The Review and Herald

1763/1902

August 22, 1912

The True Ideal for Our Youth

EGW

By a misconception of the true nature and object of education many have been led into serious and even fatal errors. Such a mistake is made when the regulation of the heart or the establishment of right principles is neglected in an effort to secure intellectual culture, or when eternal interests are overlooked in the eager desire for temporal advantage. RH August 22, 1912, par. 1

It is right for the youth to feel that they must reach the highest development of their natural powers. We would not restrict the education to which God has set no limit. But our attainments will avail nothing if not put to use for the honor of God and the good of humanity. Unless our knowledge is a stepping-stone to the accomplishment of the highest purposes, it is worthless. RH August 22, 1912, par. 2

The necessity of establishing Christian schools is urged upon me very strongly. In the schools of today many things are taught that are a hindrance rather than a blessing. Schools are needed where the Word of God is made the basis of education. Satan is the great enemy of God, and it is his constant aim to lead souls away from their allegiance to the King of heaven. He would have minds so trained that men and women will exert their influence on the side of error and moral corruption, instead of using their talents in the service of God. His object is effectually gained, when, by perverting their ideas of education, he succeeds in enlisting parents and teachers on his side; for a wrong education often starts the mind on the road to infidelity. RH August 22, 1912, par. 3

In many of the schools and colleges of today, the conclusions which learned men have reached as the result of their scientific investigations are carefully taught and fully explained; while the impression is distinctly made that if these learned men are correct, the Bible can not be. The thorns of skepticism are disguised; they are concealed by the bloom and verdure of science and philosophy. Skepticism is attractive to the human mind. The young see in it an independence that captivates the imagination, and they are deceived. Satan triumphs; it is as he meant it should be. He nourishes every seed of doubt that is sown in young hearts, and soon a plentiful harvest of infidelity is reaped. RH August 22, 1912, par. 4

We can not afford to allow the minds of our youth to be thus leavened; for it is on these youth we must depend to carry forward the work of the future. We desire for them something more than the opportunity for education in the sciences. The science of true education is the truth, which is to be so deeply impressed on the soul that it can not be obliterated by the error that everywhere abounds. RH August 22, 1912, par. 5

The Word of God should have a place—the first place—in every system of education. As an educating power, it is of more value than the writings of all the philosophers of all ages. In its wide range of style and subjects there is something to interest and instruct every mind, to ennoble every interest. The light of revelation shines undimmed into the distant past where human annals cast not a ray of light. There is poetry which has called forth the wonder and admiration of the world. In glowing beauty, in sublime and solemn majesty, in touching pathos, it is unequaled by the most brilliant productions of human genius. There is sound logic and impassioned eloquence. There are portrayed the noble deeds of noble men, examples of private virtue and public honor, lessons of piety and purity. RH August 22, 1912, par. 6

There is no position in life, no phase of human experience, for which the Bible does not contain valuable instruction. Ruler and subject, master and servant, buyer and seller, borrower and lender, parent and child, teacher and student,—all may here find lessons of priceless worth. RH August 22, 1912, par. 7

But above all else, the Word of God sets forth the plan of salvation: shows how sinful man may be reconciled to God, lays down the great principles of truth and duty which should govern our lives, and promises us divine aid in their observance. It reaches beyond this fleeting life, beyond the brief and troubled history of our race. It opens to our view the long vista of eternal ages,—ages undarkened by sin, undimmed by sorrow. It teaches us how we may share the habitations of the blessed, and bids us anchor our hopes and fix our affections there. RH August 22, 1912, par. 8

The true motives of service are to be kept before old and young. The students are to be taught in such a way that they will develop into useful men and women. Every means that will elevate and ennoble them is to be employed. They are to be taught to put their powers to the best use. Physical and mental powers are to be equally taxed. Habits of order and discipline are to be cultivated. The power that is exerted by a pure, true life is to be kept before the students. This will aid them in the preparation for useful service. Daily they will grow purer and stronger, better prepared through His grace and a study of his Word, to put forth aggressive efforts against evil. RH August 22, 1912, par. 9

True education is the inculcation of those ideas that will impress the mind and heart with the knowledge of God the Creator and Jesus Christ the Redeemer. Such an education will renew the mind and transform the character. It will strengthen and fortify the mind against the deceptive whisperings of the adversary of souls, and enable us to understand the voice of God. It will fit the learned to become a coworker with Christ. RH August 22, 1912, par. 10

If our youth gain this knowledge, they will be able to gain all the rest that is essential; but if not, all the knowledge they may acquire from the world will not place them in the ranks of the Lord. They may gather all the knowledge that books can give, and yet be ignorant of the first principles of that righteousness which could give them a character approved of God. RH August 22, 1912, par. 11

Those who are seeking to acquire knowledge in the schools of earth should remember that another school also claims them as students,—the school of Christ. From this school the students are never graduated. Among the pupils are both old and young. Those who give heed to the instructions of the divine Teacher are constantly gaining more wisdom and nobility of soul, and thus they are prepared to enter that higher school, where advancement will continue throughout eternity. RH August 22, 1912, par. 12

Infinite Wisdom sets before us the great lessons of life,—the lessons of duty and happiness. These are often hard to learn, but without them we can make no real progress. They may cost us effort, tears, and even agony; but we must not falter nor grow weary. It is in this world, amid its trials and temptations, that we are to gain a fitness for the society of the pure and holy angels. Those who become so absorbed in less important studies that they cease to learn in the school of Christ, are meeting with infinite loss. RH August 22, 1912, par. 13

Every faculty, every attribute, with which the Creator has endowed the children of men, is to be employed for his glory; and in this employment is found its purest, noblest, happiest exercise. The principles of heaven should be made paramount in the life, and every advance step taken in the acquirement of knowledge or in the culture of the intellect should be a step toward the assimilation of the human to the divine. RH August 22, 1912, par. 14

To many who place their children in our schools strong temptations will come because they desire them to secure what the world regards as the most essential education. But what constitutes the most essential education, unless it be the education to be obtained from that Book which is the foundation of all true knowledge? Those who regard as essential the knowledge to be gained along the line of worldly education are making a great mistake, one which will cause them to be swayed by opinions that are human and erring. RH August 22, 1912, par. 15

Those who seek the education that the world esteems so highly are gradually led farther and farther from the principles of truth until they become educated worldlings. At what a price have they gained their education! They have parted with the Holy Spirit of God. They have chosen to accept what the world calls knowledge in place of the truths that God has committed to men through his ministers and prophets and apostles. RH August 22, 1912, par. 16

Upon fathers and mothers devolves the responsibility of giving a Christian education to the children entrusted to them. In no case are they to let any line of business so absorb mind and time and talents that their children are allowed to drift until they are separated far from God. They are not to allow their children to slip out of their grasp into the hands of unbelievers. They are to do all in their power to keep them from imbibing the spirit of the world. They are to train them to become workers together with God. They are to God's human hand, fitting themselves and their children for an endless life. RH August 22, 1912, par. 17

There is earnest work to be done for the children. Before the overflowing scourge shall come upon all the dwellers on the earth, the Lord calls on those who are Israelites indeed to serve him. Gather your children into your own houses; gather them in from the classes who are voicing the words of Satan, who are disobeying the commandments of God. Let us in our educational work embrace far more of the children and youth, and there will be a whole army of missionaries raised up to work for God. RH August 22, 1912, par. 18

Our educational institutions are to do much toward meeting the demands for trained workers for the mission fields. Workers are needed all over the world. The truth of God is to be carried to foreign lands, that those who are in darkness may be enlightened. Cultivated talents are needed in every part of the work of God. God has designed that our schools shall be an instrumentality for developing workers for him,—workers of whom he will not be ashamed. He calls upon our young people to enter our schools, and quickly fit themselves for service. RH August 22, 1912, par. 19