The Review and Herald

823/1902

April 28, 1896

Our Youth and Children Demand Our Care

EGW

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear.” RH April 28, 1896, par. 1

Those who have newly come to the faith should be patiently and tenderly dealt with, and it is the duty of the older members of the church to devise ways and means to provide help and sympathy and instruction for those who have conscientiously withdrawn from other churches for the truth's sake, and thus cut themselves off from the pastoral labor to which they have been accustomed. The church has a special responsibility laid upon her to attend to these souls who have followed the first rays of light they have received; and if the members of the church neglect this duty, they will be unfaithful to the trust that God has given them. RH April 28, 1896, par. 2

There has been altogether too little attention paid to our children and youth, and they have failed to develop as they should in the Christian life because the church-members have not looked upon them with tenderness and sympathy, desiring that they might be advanced in the divine life. In our large churches very much might be done for the youth; and shall they have less special labor? Shall less inducements be held out to them to become full-grown Christians—men and women in Christ Jesus—than was afforded them in the denominations which they have left for the truth's sake? Shall they be left to drift hither and thither, to become discouraged, and to fall into temptations that are lurking everywhere to catch their unwary feet? If they err and fall from the steadfastness of their integrity, do the members of the church who have neglected to care for the lambs, censure and blame them, and magnify their failures? Are their shortcomings talked of and exposed to others, and are they left in discouragement and despair? RH April 28, 1896, par. 3

The work that lies next to our church-members is to become interested in our youth; for they need kindness, patience, tenderness, line upon line, precept upon precept. O, where are the fathers and mothers in Israel? We ought to have a large number of them who would be stewards of the grace of Christ, who would feel not merely a casual interest, but a special interest in the young. We ought to have those whose hearts are touched by the pitiable situation in which our youth are placed, who realize that Satan is working by every conceivable device to draw them into his net. God requires that the church rouse from its lethargy, and see what is the manner of service demanded of them at this time of peril. The lambs of the flock must be fed. The eyes of our brethren and sisters should be anointed with heavenly eye-salve, that they may discern the necessities of the time. We must be aroused to see what needs to be done in Christ's spiritual vineyard, and go to work. The Lord of heaven is looking on to see who is doing the work he would have done for the youth and the children. RH April 28, 1896, par. 4

As a people who claim to have advanced light, we are to devise ways and means by which to bring forth a corps of educated workmen for the various departments of the work of God. We need a well-disciplined, cultivated class of young men and women in the Sanitarium, in the medical missionary work, in the office of publication, in the conferences of different States, and in the field at large. We need young men and women who have a high intellectual culture, in order that they may do the best work for the Lord. We have done something toward reaching this standard, but still we are far behind that which the Lord has designed. As a church, as individuals if we would stand clear in the judgment, we must make more liberal efforts for the training of our young people, that they may be better fitted for the various branches of the great work committed to our hands. As a people who have great light, we should lay wise plans, in order that the ingenious minds of those who have talent may be strengthened and disciplined and polished after the highest order, that the work of Christ may not be hindered by the lack of skilful laborers, who will do their work with earnestness and fidelity. RH April 28, 1896, par. 5

The church is asleep, and does not realize the magnitude of this matter of educating the children and youth. “Why,” one says, “what is the need of being so particular thoroughly to educate our youth? It seems to me that if you take a few who have decided to follow some literary calling, or some other calling that requires a certain discipline, and give due attention to them, that is all that is necessary. It is not required that the whole mass of our youth should be so well trained. Will not this answer every essential requirement?”—No, I answer, most decidedly not. What selection would we be able to make out of the numbers of our youth? How could we tell who would be the most promising, who would render the best service to God? In our human judgment we might do as did Samuel when he was sent to find the anointed of the Lord, and look upon the outward appearance. When the noble sons of Jesse passed before him, and his eye rested upon the handsome countenance and fine stature of the elder son, to him it seemed that the anointed of the Lord was before him; but the Lord said to Samuel, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Not one of the noble appearing sons of Jesse would the Lord accept. But when David, the youngest son, a mere youth, and the shepherd of the sheep, was called from the field, and passed before Samuel, the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him: for this is he.” RH April 28, 1896, par. 6

Who can determine which one of a family will prove to be efficient in the work of God? There should be general education of all its members, and all our youth should be permitted to have the blessings and privileges of an education at our schools, that they may be inspired to become laborers together with God. They all need an education that they may be fitted for usefulness in this life, qualified for places of responsibility both in private and public life. There is a great necessity of making plans that there may be a large number of competent workers, and many should fit themselves up as teachers that others may be trained and disciplined for the great work of the future. The church should take in the situation, and by their influence and means, seek to bring about this much-desired end. Let a fund be created by generous contributions for the establishment of schools for the advancement of educational work. We need men well trained, well educated, to work in the interests of the churches. They should present the fact that we cannot trust our youth to go to other seminaries and colleges established by other denominations, but must gather them in where their religious training shall not be neglected. God would not have us in any sense behind in educational work, and our colleges should be far in advance in the highest kind of education. RH April 28, 1896, par. 7

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” If we do not have schools for our youth, they will attend other seminaries and colleges, and will be exposed to infidel sentiments, to cavilings and questionings concerning the inspiration of the Bible. There is a great deal of talk concerning higher education, and many suppose that this higher education consists wholly in an education in science and literature; but this is not all. The highest education includes the knowledge of the word of God, and is comprehended in the words of Christ, “That they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” RH April 28, 1896, par. 8

The highest class of education is that which will give such knowledge and discipline as will lead to the best development of character, and will fit the soul for that life which measures with the life of God. Eternity is not to be lost out of our reckoning. The highest education will be that which will teach our children and youth, our teachers and educators, the science of Christianity, that will give them an experimental knowledge of God's ways, impart to them the lessons which Christ gave to his disciples of the paternal character of God. RH April 28, 1896, par. 9

“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.” “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Let us seek to follow the counsel of God in all things; for he is infinite in wisdom. Though we have come short of doing what we might have done for our youth and children in the past, let us now repent and redeem the time. The Lord says, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword.” RH April 28, 1896, par. 10