The Signs of the Times


June 23, 1881

Parents in the Sabbath-School


The Sabbath-school affords precious opportunities and privileges for the young. Parents should highly prize these advantages, and show their children that they appreciate them. If they manifest no decided interest in the school themselves, they cannot expect their children to do so. In the Sabbath school, parents may be learners as well as the children. Both parents and children should seek to have a knowledge of the Scriptures. Other books should be secondary to the word of God. Christ has said, “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.” We ought all of us to be better acquainted with the prophecies than we are, and to have a more thorough knowledge of the practical lessons of Christ. If we merely read the Scriptures uninterestedly, we cannot become intelligent in the truths therein contained. ST June 23, 1881, par. 1

Parents should search the Scriptures with their children. They should become familiar with the lessons themselves, then they can assist their children in learning them. Every day some portion of time should be appropriated to the study of the lessons, not merely in learning to mechanically repeat the words, while the mind does not comprehend the meaning; but to go to the very foundation, and become familiar with what is brought out in the lesson. The indifference of the children, in very many cases, is chargeable to the parents. They are indifferent, and the children catch the same spirit. If parents show that they attach importance to the Sabbath school, by giving it respect and prominence, the children will generally copy their example. ST June 23, 1881, par. 2

Parents should have a thorough understanding with their family that the sacred hours of the Sabbath are to be spent to God’s glory. They should be up with the sun, and have plenty of time to prepare for Sabbath-school without getting into a rush, and perhaps losing self-control. If the proper preparations have been made the previous day, there will be abundance of time to review the lesson studied during the week; and both parents and children can go to the school with the assurance that they have the lessons well learned. ST June 23, 1881, par. 3

Jesus was interested in children. He did not step into our world a fully matured man. Had he done this, children would not have had his example to copy. Christ was a child; he had the experience of a child; he felt the disappointments and trials that children feel; he knew the temptations of children and youth. But Christ was in his child life and youthful life an example to all children and youth. In childhood his hands were engaged in useful acts. In youth he worked at the carpenter’s trade with his father, and was subject to his parents, thus giving in his life a lesson to all children and young. If Christ had never been a child himself, the youth might now think that he could not sympathize with them. But he lived their example, and all children and youth may find in Jesus one to whom they can carry all their griefs and all their disappointments, and in him they will find a friend who will help them. ST June 23, 1881, par. 4

Jesus loves little children. When the mothers brought their children to Jesus, the disciples attempted to send them away. But Jesus rebuked them, and said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” He then gathered them in his loving arms and blessed them. Those parents and teachers who have no love or patience with children are to be pitied, for they have not the mind of Christ. Those who are seeking to gather the children into the Sabbath-school are doing a good work, the very work the Master would be pleased to have them do. The expanding minds of even small children may comprehend very much in regard to the teachings of Christ, and may be taught to love him with all their ardent affections. Teachers and parents should sow beside all waters, and if faithful they may have a harvest of souls by and by. And when they shall see the souls for whom they have labored, around the great white throne, with crowns and white robes and harps of gold, they will feel then that their efforts were not lost. The well done, good and faithful servant, will fall upon their ears as sweet music. ST June 23, 1881, par. 5