The Youth’s Instructor


April 22, 1897

Words to the Youth


It is God who has given to the youth life, and every physical and mental endowment they possess. He has bestowed upon them capabilities for wise improvement, that they may be entrusted with a work which will be as enduring as eternity. In return for his great gifts he claims a due cultivation and exercise of their intellectual and moral faculties. He did not give them these faculties merely for their amusement, or to be abused in working against his will and his providence. They are to use every faculty in advancing the knowledge of truth and holiness in the world. He claims their gratitude, their veneration, their love, for his continued kindness and infinite mercies. He justly requires obedience to his laws, which will guard them from Satan's devices, and lead them in the paths of peace. YI April 22, 1897, par. 1

The Lord desires the youth to consider the infinite sacrifice made in their behalf, that they may be workers together with God; but he is often made sad because many have such indistinct ideas as to what constitutes Christian life and character. They do not put their minds to task to consider what they may be and what they may do. Every one can do something in the Master's vineyard. Our eternal interests demand that we arouse from our lukewarmness. YI April 22, 1897, par. 2

In the message to the Laodicean church, the True Witness lifts his voice in warning to all who are at ease and self-satisfied. This message means very much to us individually, and it is for our eternal interest that we make a practical application of it. Through his servant, God declares: “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” YI April 22, 1897, par. 3

However rich we may be in earthly treasure, all our wealth will not enable us to buy the precious remedies for the disease of the soul. Intellect and earthly riches were powerless to remove the defects of the Laodicean church, or to remedy their deplorable condition. They were blind, yet they felt that they were well off. The Spirit of God did not illumine their minds, and they did not perceive their sinfulness; therefore they did not feel the necessity of help. YI April 22, 1897, par. 4

To be without the graces of the Spirit of God is sad indeed; but it is a more terrible condition to be destitute, and yet try to justify ourselves by telling those who are alarmed for us that we need not their fears and pity. The True Witness counsels us to buy of him gold tried in the fire, white raiment, and eye-salve. The gold here recommended as being tried in the fire, is faith and love. It makes the heart rich; for it has been purged until it is pure, and the more it is tested, the more brilliant is its luster. The white raiment is purity of character, the righteousness of Christ imparted to the sinner. This is indeed a garment of heavenly texture, that can be bought only of Christ for a life of willing obedience. The eye-salve is that wisdom and grace which enable us to discern between evil and good, and to detect sin under any disguise. Christ is the depositary of all these graces. He says, “Buy of me.” YI April 22, 1897, par. 5

There is a great amount of superficial piety in our world at the present time; but the Lord does not favor such. He despises the religion that consists merely of words, while the life testifies of a character destitute of the grace of Christ, destitute of moral strength. Instead of being a savor of life unto life, the possessor of such a religion is a savor of death unto death; his life-practises cause his fellow beings to stumble into perdition. YI April 22, 1897, par. 6

Spurious doctrines, spurious piety, spurious faith, much that is fair in appearance, abound all around us. Teachers will come clothed as angels of light; and if possible, they will deceive the very elect. The youth need to learn all they can of the truth if they would not be deceived by the tissue of falsehood that Satan will invent. They need to live in the sunlight of Christ's righteousness. They need to be rooted and grounded in the truth, that they may impart to others the light they receive. YI April 22, 1897, par. 7

Our Master has plainly revealed to us that if we would work for the salvation of perishing souls, we must wear every piece of the armor of God. He exhorts us to stand, “having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” YI April 22, 1897, par. 8

God's children must wear the armor day and night. If we would co-operate with God in his work for the salvation of souls, we need to cultivate clear spiritual eyesight, a truth-loving heart, and a mind open to understand the word of God. Those who are growing up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus, will become more and more like him in character; it is impossible for them to do otherwise. YI April 22, 1897, par. 9

There must be a faithful watching for souls; for every deceiving influence will be brought to bear to turn souls from the truth unto fables. The Lord's command to his disciples is: “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear [in secret] that preach ye upon the housetops [in the public places, so that all the world may hear it].” God will be by the side of those who seek to advance his cause. He will speak to the hearts of those whom we seek to instruct. He will cause them to hunger and thirst after truth and righteousness. YI April 22, 1897, par. 10

Every child of God needs to have a faith well grounded and settled. What say the Scriptures in regard to this?—“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fulness of God.” “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.... If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” YI April 22, 1897, par. 11

Mrs. E. G. White