Ellen G. White Writings

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Christian Education, Page 48

into the religious exercises. If there are those who prolong religious exercises to weariness, they are leaving impressions upon the mind of the youth, that would associate religion with all that is dry, unsocial, and uninteresting. And these youth make their own standard not the highest, but weak principles and a low standard spoil those who if properly taught, would be not only qualified to be a blessing to the cause, but to the church and to the world. Ardent, active piety in the teacher is essential. Morning and evening service in the chapel, and the Sabbath meetings, may be, without constant care and unless vitalized by the Spirit of God, the most formal, dry, and bitter mixture, and, to the youth, the most burdensome and the least pleasant and attractive of all the school exercises. The social meetings should be managed with plans and devices to make them not only seasons of pleasantness, but positively attractive.

Let those who are competent to teach youth, study themselves in the school of Christ, and learn lessons to communicate to youth. Sincere, earnest, heartfelt devotion is needed. All narrowness should be avoided. Let teachers so far unbend from their dignity as to be one with the children in their exercises and amusements, without leaving the impression that you are watching them, and without going round and round in stately dignity, as though you were like a uniformed soldier on guard over them. Your very presence gives a mould to their course of action. Your unity with them causes your heart to throb with new affection. The youth need sympathy, affection, and love, else they will become discouraged. A spirit of “I care for nobody and nobody cares for me” takes possession of them, and although they profess to be followers of Christ, they have a tempting devil on their track, and they are in danger of becoming disheartened, and lukewarm, and back-slidden from

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