The Youth’s Instructor


August 31, 1887

“Search the Scriptures.” John 5:39


This injunction is from the eternal Son of God. Neglect of the study of God's word leads many to neglect the great salvation, and proves the ruin of thousands. When this command was given, reference was had to the Old-Testament Scriptures only, but we now have the New-Testament Scriptures besides. If God has done for us the utmost that Deity could do; if all the divine attributes, unlimited as they are, have combined and even exhausted themselves in the great plan of redemption, then every child and youth should make the Scriptures their study, that they may not be ignorant of this wonderful scheme. You should open the Scriptures with a solemn interest to hear what the voice of God bids you do and be in order to be saved. YI August 31, 1887, par. 1

The subject of redemption is plainly revealed in the Scriptures. Nature and the Bible agree perfectly: but the minds of finite beings are not agreed in their suppositions as to what these teach, and hence there are many erroneous theories concerning religion. We see God in nature; he is speaking to our senses continually. The heavens declare his glory; and if our faculties of observation were awake, we could see the impress of God everywhere. YI August 31, 1887, par. 2

When you open the Guide Book, and there hear God's voice speaking to your senses, it is then you should open the understanding to take in his instruction. You read there the plan for saving a lost world. You can but tax your mind to the utmost to become acquainted with this greatest of subjects. It is wonderful! The mystery of godliness is unsearchable as well to angels as to men. YI August 31, 1887, par. 3

The world's Redeemer has said, “Search the Scriptures.” In them is laid open the bounteous provisions for human necessities, and the strongest motives are set forth to influence to repentance and obedience. Here the seeker for truth may read, contemplate, and be stirred to the very depths of his being by that which a good and gracious God has done and is continually doing for him. He will be amazed that he should ever have treated with indifference the marvelous love and pardon proffered; for in redeeming man, God gave the greatest that he could offer. And if the objects of so great a love neglect salvation, there is nothing that Heaven can do more in their behalf. YI August 31, 1887, par. 4

If you neglect so great salvation, is it not certain that the magnitude of that which you turn away from and are indifferent to is a sure proof that the one who neglects so great salvation must be lost? You need to study, to contemplate these great themes, lest you cherish indifference and become too hardened to yield to the conditions of the wonderful plan of salvation, and too proud to be humbled by a realization of your own fallen conditions. YI August 31, 1887, par. 5

There are many who are easily amused with story books. The mind is filled with a cheap kind of food for meditation, so that it becomes powerless to search and comprehend the very things which concern eternal interests. The Lord enjoins upon children and youth to search for truth as for hidden treasure, and to be attracted and fascinated by that which unites the human with the divine. Story books are read with assiduity; fictitious tales are eagerly devoured; and a large class, not only of children and youth, but of men and women of mature age, are mental inebriates. They seem more or less indifferent upon religious matters, for their moral taste is perverted; and as they give their mind cheap food, it becomes enfeebled, just as the body becomes weak when deprived of healthful nourishment. As the mind becomes habituated to contemplate subjects which do not draw upon its powers, the sensibilities of the mind become dwarfed, and grow cold and unimpressible. The mind then has no appetite for serious and divine contemplation, and takes no interest in the study of the deep, hidden truths of God's word. There is need for penetrating minds to dig for the truth as for hidden treasure. The mind that is allowed to read story books and novels, will not be interested in searching the Scriptures. The heart will be too cold to burn with the compassion of Him who loved us and gave his life for us that we might be saved. YI August 31, 1887, par. 6

My heart is sad when I think how many will miss the way to heaven because they did not study the guide God has given them. There is no possible arrangement whereby these souls can be saved who, having the voice of God speaking to them in his word, have not interest sufficient to search and become acquainted with the directions God has given them, pointing out the only path that leads heavenward. Well may the apostle ask, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” Our youth should be presented with a pledge to sign that they will not touch idle tales, but that they will make diligent search of the Scriptures, that they will give their minds the most nourishing, wholesome food, in order to become strong in contemplating the works of Christ who became surety for the fallen race. YI August 31, 1887, par. 7

The power of an angel could not make an atonement for our sins. The angelic nature united to the human could not be as costly, as elevated, as the law of God. It was the Son of God alone who could present an acceptable sacrifice. God himself became man, and bore all the wrath that sin had provoked. This problem, How could God be just and yet the justifier of sinners? baffled all finite intelligence. A divine person alone could mediate between God and man. Human redemption is a theme which may well tax the faculties of the mind to the utmost. The reason that Christianity is not more elevated is because there is so little effort put forth in the great, grand, holy work of struggling for immortality. Satan is constantly trying to make the salvation of the soul an indifferent matter,—that man has but little to do to secure this priceless treasure. This is why eternal things are not discerned; this is why there is a cheap, spurious article passed off as religion. There are many who say, “I am saved; I am sanctified; I have nothing to do, Jesus has done it all,” and they care not to search the Scriptures or to hear the voice of God in his word, or to be doers of the word. This belief is like a building erected on sliding sand. It is a refuge of lies, and the storm and tempest sweep it away, and “great,” says Christ, “is the fall of it;” because the false hopes were built so high, and the builder felt so perfectly secure. It was a delusive hope. Our faith, the hope we claim of one day obtaining immortality, calls for the stretch of every muscle, and the strain of every nerve. We cannot be saved in sin and in transgression of God's law. We cannot be saved in indolence and inactivity. We must search the Scriptures if we would have spiritual enlightenment. We have to wrestle against pride and against the human passions, which the light of God's word reveals. Every soul saved will present unwearied petitions for the assistance of Jesus Christ, and will use thankfully and appreciate all the helps which God has provided for them. YI August 31, 1887, par. 8

There can no such evil as idleness exist in the heart, mind, or character of the champion of faith who is actuated by the consciousness that he cannot repent or be pardoned without Christ. But the task, to the soul seeking for heaven, is prescribed, that he go under all and every circumstance to Christ for help. And though the path is obstructed through existing inclination, he must press, he must urge his way; he must abase his will, his desires; he must feel his helplessness, his nothingness, and look alone to the Author and finisher of his faith. It is noble to seek repentance and salvation through the merits of Jesus Christ. We cannot say to the youth or those of mature age, You have nothing to do yourself in this great work. We urge to constant effort. You must be diligent to make your calling and election sure, else you will be found without God and without hope. The youth must become intelligent in the Scriptures; they may, if sanctified through the truth, become living channels of light, and they must strive for the mastery. There will be a work done in the hearts by the Spirit of God, a change wrought in the character. “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet to Thy Testimonies.” The great danger with many of our youth is, they do not study the Scriptures and meditate, like David, upon His testimonies. So far as eternity is concerned, they seldom think of it. If they will make the Scriptures the subject of careful study, they will make it a subject of meditation. Once make them anxious for their souls, and they will labor to be saved; and when this point is reached, angels in heaven sweep their harps in exultation that a soul is saved. YI August 31, 1887, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White