The Review and Herald

603/1902

December 8, 1891

Christian Character Exemplified in Teachers and Students

EGW

In the name of my Master I appeal to the young men and women who claim to be sons and daughters of God, to obey the word of God. I appeal to teachers in our schools to set a right example to those with whom they are associated. Those who would be qualified to mold the character of the youth, must be learners in the school of Christ, that they may be meek and lowly of heart as was the divine Pattern. In dress, in deportment, in all their ways, they should exemplify the Christian character, revealing the fact that they are under wise disciplinary rules of the great Teacher. The Christian youth should be in earnest, trained to bear responsibilities with brave heart and willing hand. He should be ready to encounter the trials of life with patience and fortitude. He should seek to form a character after the model of the divine One, following maxims of worth, confirming himself in habits that will enable him to win the victor's crown. RH December 8, 1891, par. 1

In school life the youth may sow seeds which bear a harvest, not of thorns, but of precious grain for the heavenly garner. There is no time more favorable than the time spent in school in which to acknowledge the power of Christ's saving grace, to be controlled by the principles of the divine law, and it is for the student's interest to live a godly life. The crowning glory of life results from a connection with Christ. No man liveth unto himself. Your life is interwoven with all others in the common web of humanity, and you are to be a laborer together with God for the salvation of those who perish in degradation and woe. You are to be instruments in influencing all those with whom you associate to a better life, to direct the mind to Jesus. RH December 8, 1891, par. 2

John writes: “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” And Paul exhorts Timothy to bid the young men to “be sober-minded.” Elevate your soul to be as was Daniel, a loyal, steadfast servant of the Lord of hosts. Ponder well the path of your feet; for you are standing on holy ground, and the angels of God are about you. It is right that you should feel that you must climb to the highest round of the educational ladder. Philosophy and history are important studies; but your sacrifice of time and money will avail nothing, if you do not use your attainments for the honor of God and the good of humanity. Unless the knowledge of science is a stepping stone to the attainment of the highest purposes, it is worthless. The education that does not furnish knowledge as enduring as eternity, is of no purpose. Unless you keep heaven and the future, immortal life before you, your attainments are of no permanent value. But if Jesus is your teacher, not simply on one day of the week, but every day, every hour, you may have his smile upon you in the pursuit of literary acquirements. RH December 8, 1891, par. 3

Daniel ever kept before him the glory of God, and you should also say, Lord, I desire knowledge, not for the glorification of self, but to meet the expectation of Jesus, that I may perfect an intelligent Christian character, through the grace he has given unto me. Will the students be true to principle as was Daniel? RH December 8, 1891, par. 4

In the future there will be more pressing need of men and women of literary qualifications than there has been in the past; for broad fields are opening out before us, white already for harvest. In these fields you may be laborers together with God. But if you are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, if you are filled with levity, if you allow the golden opportunities to pass without acquiring knowledge, without placing solid timbers in your character building, you will be dwarfed and crippled in any line of occupation you may undertake. RH December 8, 1891, par. 5

While a good education is of great benefit if combined with consecration in its possessor, still those who do not have the privilege of gaining high literary attainments need not think they cannot advance in intellectual and spiritual life. If they will make the most of the knowledge they have, if they will seek to gather something to their store every day, and will overcome all perverseness of temper through the studious cultivation of Christ-like traits of character, God will open channels of wisdom to them, and it may be said of them as it was said of old, concerning the Hebrew children, God gave them wisdom and understanding. RH December 8, 1891, par. 6

It is not true that brilliant young men always make the greatest success. How often men of talent and education have been placed in positions of trust, and have proved failures. Their glitter had the appearance of gold, but when it was tried, it proved to be but tinsel and dross. They made a failure of their work through unfaithfulness. They were not industrious and persevering, and did not go to the bottom of things. They were not willing to begin at the bottom of the ladder, and with patient toil, ascend round after round till they reached the top. They walked in the sparks (their bright flashes of thought) of their own kindling. They did not depend on the wisdom which God alone can give. Their failure was not because they did not have a chance, but because they were not sober-minded. They did not feel that their educational advantages were of value to them, and so did not advance as they might have advanced in the knowledge of religion and science. Their mind and character were not balanced by high principles of right. RH December 8, 1891, par. 7

Let our young men be sober, and ponder the ways of their feet. Let them shun sin because it is destructive in its tendencies and displeasing to God. Let them discern what possibilities are within their reach, and seek God for grace to keep in the paths of righteousness. Let them seek the counsel and guidance of the Lord, that they may spend their lives for his glory in the world. RH December 8, 1891, par. 8

In obtaining an education, success is not to be regarded as a matter of chance or destiny, it is from that God who read the heart of Daniel, who looked with pleasure upon his purity of motive, his determination of purpose to honor the Lord. Daniel did not walk in sparks of his own kindling, but made the Lord his wisdom. Divine philosophy was made the foundation of his education. He welcomed the counsel of the Lord. Would that all students were as was Daniel; but many do not see the importance of submitting to divine discipline. RH December 8, 1891, par. 9

O, that all might realize that without Christ they can do nothing! Those who do not gather with him scatter abroad. Their thoughts and actions will not bear the right character, and their influence will be destructive of good. Our actions have a twofold influence; for they affect others as well as ourselves. This influence will either be a blessing or a curse to those with whom we associate. How little we appreciate this fact. Actions make habits, and habits, character, and if we do not guard our habits, we shall not be qualified to unite with heavenly agencies in the work of salvation, nor be prepared to enter the heavenly mansions that Jesus has gone to prepare; for no one will be there except those who have surrendered their will and way to God's will and way. He whose character is proved, who has stood the test of trial, who is a partaker of the divine nature, will be among those whom Christ pronounces blessed. RH December 8, 1891, par. 10

Without Christ we can do nothing. The pure principles of uprightness, virtue, and goodness are all from God. A conscientious discharge of duty, Christ-like sympathy, love for souls and love for your own soul, because you belong to God, and have been bought with the precious blood of Christ, will make you a laborer together with God, and endow you with persuasive, drawing power. You must respect your own faith in order successfully to introduce it to others. By example as well as precept, you must show that you reverence your faith, speaking reverently of sacred things. Never allow one expression of lightness and trifling to escape your lips when quoting scripture. As you take the Bible in your hands, remember that you are on holy ground. Angels are around you, and could your eyes be opened, you would behold them. Let your conduct be such that you will leave the impression upon every soul with whom you associate that a pure and holy atmosphere surrounds you. One vain word, one trifling laugh, may balance a soul in the wrong direction. Terrible are the consequences of not having a constant connection with God. RH December 8, 1891, par. 11

Abstain from all evil. Common sins, however insignificant they may be regarded, will impair your moral sense, and extinguish the inward impression of the Spirit of God. The character of the thoughts leaves its imprint upon the soul, and all low conversation pollutes the mind. All evil works ruin to those who commit it. God may and will forgive the repenting sinner, but though forgiven, the soul is marred; the power of the elevated thought possible to the unimpaired mind is destroyed. Through all time the soul bears the scars. Then let us seek for that faith which works by love and purifies the heart, that we may represent the character of Christ to the world. RH December 8, 1891, par. 12