Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

May 13, 1890

Perils of, and Provisions for, the Youth

By Mrs. E. G. White

The solemn scenes of the judgment, which have passed before me in vision, have made a deep impression upon my mind. How can I present these things before young and old in such a manner as to impress them? The dangers and perils of the present time have been presented before me. The youth of today have a very faint conception of what constitutes true religion, and this makes the danger tenfold greater because many take the name of Christian who have no experimental knowledge of what is comprehended by this title. They have never drank at the living fountain, and are full of unrest, grasping at something to make life amusing and tolerable. They are homesick and lonesome, and full of longing for excitement. The voice of Christ invites them to come to him. He says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” But many of the youth refuse to go. They do not seek peace and contentment and happiness in Christ. Their life is destitute of real enjoyment. The help, the influence, and the talent of men who will have an elevating, expanding, refining influence on all who are connected with them, are needed in the work.

With humble views of self, the teacher of truth will not manifest arrogance, although he may have superior knowledge of the Scriptures and of science. Unless the intellect of man is connected with God, and sanctified by the grace of Christ, he will work but foolishness. The teacher should open the Bible to the students, and draw their attention to it, that they may search its pages for hidden treasure, and discover jewels of truth. If the Bible were studied as it should be, men would become strong-minded and intellectual. The subjects treated upon in the word of God, the dignified simplicity of its utterances, the grand and noble themes which it presents to the mind, are calculated to develop faculties in man which cannot be otherwise developed. In the themes of the Bible, a boundless field is open for the imagination.

The Bible is an inspired history which should be placed in the hands of all, that men may become acquainted with our first parents as they stood in innocency, communing with holy angels, looking upon glorious Eden as it was adorned by the hand of their Creator. By perusing its chapters, men may see how sin was introduced into paradise, and how it resulted to the disobedient pair. The pages of inspiration give us the privilege of having intercourse with patriarchs and prophets. The student may move through the most grand and inspiring scenes; he may behold Christ, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, humbling himself to humanity, and working out man's redemption. He may see him walk a man among men for thirty years, living an example, dying a sacrifice, for the fallen race. The student will come from the contemplation of these grand and elevating themes, from association with these lofty thoughts, more pure and elevated in mind than if he had spent the time in contemplation of the exploits of the Pharaohs, Herods, and Caesars of the earth. The powers of the youth are restricted and torpid, because they do not make the fear of the Lord the beginning of their wisdom. God gives men wisdom; he gave Daniel wisdom and understanding because he refused to be molded by any power that would interfere with his religious principles. The reason why we have so few men of mind, of stability, and of solid worth, is that God is not feared, God is not loved, the principles of religion are not carried out in the life as they should be. The Lord can do but little for men because they so easily become exalted.

God would have man enlarge his ability, and avail himself of every means of cultivating and strengthening his intellectual powers. Man was born for a higher, nobler life than the life which now is. This time is one of preparation for the future, immortal life. Where can be found grander themes for contemplation, a more fascinating subject for thought, than the sublime truths unfolded in the Bible? Can earthly science reveal anything equal in sublimity to the knowledge of God? The truths of the Bible will do a mighty work for man if he will but follow what they teach. But how little the Bible is studied! Every unimportant thing is dwelt upon in preference to its themes of thought. If the Bible were read more, if its truths were better understood, we should be a far more enlightened and intelligent people. The psalmist declares, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Energy is imparted to the soul by searching the pages of the Bible. Angels from the world of light stand by the side of the earnest seeker for truth, to impress and illuminate his mind. He who is dark of understanding may find light through an acquaintance with the Scriptures.

God designed that his people should be a separate people from the world. The line of demarkation should be made plain and distinct between his followers and the dwellers on earth. The people of God are to be living epistles, known and read of all men; but when those who profess to be soldiers of Christ mingle with worldlings, and intermarry with those who care not for God, apostasy will be the result. When the professed children of God unite with the Lord's enemy, and are not particular to choose for associates those who are friends of God, they are going over to the enemy.

“Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Here are stated the conditions of adoption into the family of God. We are to separate ourselves from the enemies of the Lord. Those who will firmly take their stand upon God's word, and obey his commandments, will be called old-fashioned and singular. But God designed that his people should be a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, purifying unto himself a peculiar people. Those who belong to Christ are not like the world in thought or action, and only those who are unlike the world will God acknowledge as his. There are many pretenders to piety, but few really live for Christ, and let their light shine forth to the world in good works. Those who are content to have little knowledge of God here, who take no delight in communing with him, will never see heaven, because they do not delight in heaven or heavenly things.

John says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” This is glad news to all who love God; but is it a matter of rejoicing to those who delight in feeding the mind on commonplace and trivial things? Those who take no pleasure in thinking and talking of God in this life, will not enjoy the life that is to come, where God is ever present, dwelling among his people. But those who love to think of God will be in their element, breathing in the atmosphere of heaven. Those who on earth love the thought of heaven, will be happy in its holy associations and pleasures. The prophet says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” “And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him; and they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”

Those who love God will have an intelligent knowledge of him. The image of God will shine forth from the faces of his servants, and they will be openly acknowledged as sons and daughters of God. When in the world, they did not claim to be their own, and God set to his seal that they were his. Heaven will be for those who desire it with intense desire, who put forth efforts in proportion to the value of the object which they seek. The thoughts of those who will obtain heaven, will be upon heavenly things; but those who are all taken up with the excitement and pleasure of this world, will have no love whatever for God or heaven. Superficial minds and carnal hearts love the things that are earthly, sensual, and devilish.

We should be careful as to what kind of record passes up to heaven concerning our daily life; for God is no respecter of persons, but will render to every man according to his works. The Judge of all the earth will try every man's case. You may deceive human eyes. In the courts of justice on earth, justice is not always done; the innocent often suffer, the guilty are often set free, for lack of proper evidence; but there will be no lack of evidence in the court of heaven. The deeds of men, with every concealed motive, will be revealed. The eyes of the Lord run to and fro over the whole earth. He who has offered salvation to the sinner will one day judge the thoughts and deeds of all who stand before him. He who died that man might become a partaker of the divine nature, will one day acquit or condemn him before the Father and the holy angels. Gold and silver will not be a sufficient ransom in that day; nothing but the merits of the blood of Christ will suffice to wash out the guilty stains from the hearts of men.

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