The Signs of the Times


May 4, 1882

Our School at Healdsburg


In the providence of God a school has been established by our people in California. The time has fully come for such a step. The need of a school has been deeply felt, and we trust that our brethren on this coast will sustain it by their means and their patronage. ST May 4, 1882, par. 1

It is the purpose of managers and teachers, not so much to copy the plans and methods of other institutions of learning, as to make this school such as God can approve. We trust that a high moral and religious standard will be maintained, and that Healdsburg Academy will be free from those pernicious influences which are so prevalent in popular schools. ST May 4, 1882, par. 2

Some parents may feel that they cannot afford to pay for the tuition of their children, when an education can be obtained free of charge, in the public schools. But we maintain that even in the matter of dollars and cents, parents will find it their wisest course to place their children under good moral and religious influences. In their association with worldlings, the young are exposed to many temptations. Pride and extravagance in dress are among the prevailing sins of the age. Will not the influence of worldly associates affect the habits, tastes, and desires of your children? Will it not lead them away from simplicity in dress, and make them discontented with that which is useful and substantial? Will not the extra demand upon your purse far exceed the cost of tuition at a school where such influences would be held in check? We have seen this experiment made again and again. In every instance parents have lost instead of saving. ST May 4, 1882, par. 3

By association with ungodly or vicious companions, the young often contract tastes and habits which prove a lifelong injury. Boys from six to twelve years old may be seen coming from the public schools, smoking their cigarettes. Some who have been taught better things are not proof against such examples. ST May 4, 1882, par. 4

Instead of permitting our children to imitate the customs and practices of the world, we should seek to impress upon their minds that the love of pleasure and selfish indulgence is dangerous to virtue and morality. We often hear it said that the young must “sow their wild oats.” But let it be remembered that the seed sown will determine the character of the harvest. Youthful follies and indiscretions will leave an impress upon the mind and character. In early life the brain is peculiarly susceptible to injury. Even a slight degree of sensual indulgence lowers its tone and impairs its power. The effect of such indulgence will be seen and felt, long after the sin itself has been repented of. ST May 4, 1882, par. 5

If parents desire that their children shall become pure, noble, upright men and women, they must give them right surroundings and proper associates in childhood. Inquire into the history of the world's best and noblest men,—those who have made life a success,—and you will find that from childhood they were governed by sterling principle. They were simple in their tastes, and temperate in their habits. The lessons of self-denial and self-control were early learned. Such men can be said, in the highest sense, to still enjoy their youth. Its purity remains unsullied, its strength and vigor undiminished. The parents thought less of hoarding money for their children than of securing to them pure morals and a vigorous intellect. The fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, was the foundation of their greatness. ST May 4, 1882, par. 6

Fathers and mothers, will you not seek to build a barrier about your children, that the contaminating, corrupting influence of the world, like a fast-sweeping current, may not bear them down to perdition? When you count the cost of educating your sons and daughters at our own school, please take into account, also, the cost of educating them in the public schools and in the colleges of the day. Consider what will be their associations, to what temptations they will be exposed, what tastes and habits they will form. ST May 4, 1882, par. 7

Nearly all youth wish to be and try to be fashionable. Not only the sons and daughters of fortune, but the children of poverty as well, are engaged in the wild chase for pleasure and display. However limited their circumstances, most parents will yield to the influence of their pleasure-loving children, and find means to gratify their desires. Many a youth is constantly in a state of exhaustive excitement or depressing discontent. Indulgence only increases the thirst for pleasure and display, until it becomes an insatiable craving. Examples of this are as frequent as they are painful. One such instance I will relate. A lady had from her girlhood found pleasure in the gratification of pride and vanity, until a love for display and a desire for admiration became the ruling passion of her life. It was still the ruling passion in her dying hour. While the death-damp gathered upon her brow, she was thinking only how she might create a sensation. She expressed a wish to be attired for the grave in her richest robes, and to be adorned with all her costly jewels. It was done, and in hollow mockery, gold and gems glittered upon the decaying body. This is idolatry scarcely to be surpassed by the worshipers of heathen gods. But to such lengths will pride and fashion lead their votaries. Shall we expose our children to these baleful influences? ST May 4, 1882, par. 8

To gain wealth, men will cheerfully brave any danger and endure any hardship. They will cross the sea, explore the depths of the earth, scale the mountains, or traverse the desert. They will incur any and every risk, in anticipation of future profits. Should not God's people be willing to make some sacrifice for the present and future welfare of their children? ST May 4, 1882, par. 9

I have felt surprised and pained to see parents send their sons and daughters hundreds of miles away from home, among unbelievers, to obtain an education. Deprived of parental watchcare, these youth are surrounded by influences that are opposed to God. The parents will find, to their sorrow, that their children have received an education in frivolity and worldliness which will place them beyond the influence of the truth. ST May 4, 1882, par. 10

We counsel parents to avail themselves of the opportunity now offered to separate their children from these worldly associations. Mothers, would it not be true wisdom to practice economy and self-denial in the furnishing of your house or the adorning of your dress, and let the means thus saved be devoted to the education of your children? Fathers, can you not sell a piece of your land, and send your children to a school where the moral and religious influence predominates? The money thus invested will bring returns more valuable than bank-stock. It will be repaid to you, both principal and interest, in the mental and spiritual advancement of your children. ST May 4, 1882, par. 11

It is designed that the education given in our school shall be in harmony with the teachings of God's word. Religious instruction will be given daily. Christian principles will be faithfully inculcated. It is the purpose of the Principal to conduct the school on the plan of a well-regulated Christian family. Whether engaged in study or recreation, the pupils will be under the supervision of kind yet watchful teachers. ST May 4, 1882, par. 12

The Bible is the word of God to men. It teaches us how to live that we may secure life's great end. The knowledge contained in this book lies at the very foundation of all knowledge. Yet God and his word have been ignored, while the words of men have been treasured as the counsels of wisdom. We should give the Bible its proper place in our schools and our homes, as the most valuable book which men possess. ST May 4, 1882, par. 13

Thousands in this age are seeking to clothe sin in garments of righteousness, to conceal its true deformity. The youth should be taught to study the word of God for themselves, and to try every act and purpose of life by this unerring test. Let the fact be ever kept before their minds that truth and justice could not be compromised, even to save a lost race. Looking upon the cross of Calvary, can we entertain the thought that sin is a matter of little moment? God could give his only-begotten Son to die for our redemption, but he could not permit the principles of his government to be overthrown. ST May 4, 1882, par. 14

Sin is the evil thing which has brought such misery upon our race. The young should be taught to hate sin, to avoid it, not merely from fear of punishment, but from a sense of its inherent baseness. They should learn to do right because it is right. Every youth should be impressed with the fact that he is not his own; that his strength, his time, his talents, belong to God. It should be his chief purpose in life to glorify God and to do good to his fellow-men. The Bible teaches him that he is a branch, on which fruit must be found; a steward, whose capital will increase as it is wisely improved; a light, whose bright beams are to illuminate the moral darkness that enshrouds the earth. Every man, every child, has work to do for God's glory, and for the salvation of souls that are ready to perish. ST May 4, 1882, par. 15

The greatest want of this age is the want of men,—men who will not be bought or sold; men who are true and honest in their inmost souls; men who will not fear to call sin by its right name, and to condemn it, in themselves or in others; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right, though the heavens fall. ST May 4, 1882, par. 16

To form such a character in the young, there is needed a different system of education from that generally adopted. Moral and religious training must receive more attention. We are educating our children for time and for eternity. Let us enter upon our work as though we realized its importance. ST May 4, 1882, par. 17

Mrs. E. G. White