Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

May 1, 1854

To the Young

My dear young friends,

Are you preparing for Christ's coming? Do you, in all your actions, seek to glorify God? I have greatly feared that many of you who profess the religion of Christ are careless, and will be found wanting when the destiny of every one shall be fixed.

Jesus is now pleading for you in the Sanctuary. You can now come to him and he will give you strength. He will wash away your sins if you truly repent of them, and humbly and earnestly seek his pardon. He knows your weakness, and is ready to have compassion upon you, although you may have sinned much against him. Some of you may have faults that it seems hard for you to correct and overcome. You may feel discouraged at times, and think that it is impossible to live out religion; but do not give over the effort. Be determined to get the victory over yourself. You can live out your profession. You can set a good example to your friends and associates, which will tell to them that there is a reality in religion, that you are Christians in deed and in truth; for they will see that religion corrects your faults, makes you mild and humble, and removes from you self-conceit, vanity and pride.

You have no strength of your own to overcome your faults. You may make good resolutions, and promise much in your own strength that you will do, but through temptation you may soon be led astray. But this need not discourage you. There is one to whom you can go for strength, and his grace will be sufficient for you. You can tell him your weakness. He that died for you will be ever ready to listen to your earnest prayer for help to overcome your faults, that you may be a sincere Christian and glorify God. Do not forget to pray. Secret prayer is too much neglected. I fear that you suffer things of little importance to engross your mind, and cause you to neglect this important duty. You can all find time to pray, and when you pray, let it be in faith believing that Jesus hears you, and that you will receive the strength you so much need. There is strength for you, and you can obtain it; but not unless you earnestly desire it, and ask for it. The body must have temporal food in order to live. It is just as necessary that the soul should often receive a supply of spiritual food in order to flourish, and bear the fruits of the Spirit: meekness, humility, patience, &c. By daily receiving this strength from heaven, you can cheerfully say that the yoke of Christ is easy and his burden is light.

Pure religion gives health, liberty and happiness to the soul, but to live in sin, brings bondage now, and destruction at last. There is no pleasure like that of serving God, and having a good conscience; and there is no real peace without the approbation of God.

Dear young friends, make thorough work. Do not be half hearted in the service of God. Follow the meek Pattern; study his life and character and strive to imitate it. Live to the glory of God, and try to obey the truth as you hear it from your parents, and the servants of God. Study your Bible much, and have your conversation pure and holy. Go by yourself and pray, at least three times a day, and do not let it end here, but while about your work, keep your heart uplifted to God for strength and grace, that you may do all to the glory of God. By thus doing you can shut out vain and foolish thoughts, and there will be but little room for the temptation of the enemy.

It is natural for the young to be gay and sprightly, and forgetful of God; therefore there is need of double watchfulness. Watch every moment, keeping your mind stayed upon God, instead of having it upon dress, and suffering pride to dwell in your heart. Seek to deny yourself; be holy; let your mind dwell upon heaven, and let your conversation be there also.

There always should be a plain and decided difference between the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, and those of the world. Those who follow Christ will choose the suffering, self-denying part, and will have his approbation here, and will incur the scorn and displeasure of this proud world; but will have glory, immortality and eternal life hereafter. Those who choose to go with the world, follow its fashions and have its approbation here, will have the displeasure of God, and will lose heaven and immortal glory, and finally die the second death.

Young friends, which will you choose? To live a life of self-denial here, act out the religion of Jesus which you profess, be singular in the eyes of the world, and reap life everlasting; or will you put off the preparation, live half-hearted in the cause of God, merely having the name of a Christian, a form of godliness, and thereby dishonoring your profession, and then in the day of God's wrath that is just before us, be weighed in the balance and found wanting, shut out from heaven and lost forever!

There is joy and consolation for the true-hearted, faithful Christian, that the world knows not of. To them it is a mystery. The Christian's hope is big with immortality and full of glory. It reacheth to that within the vale, and is as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast. And when the storm of God's wrath shall come upon the ungodly, this hope will not fail them, but they are hid as in the secret of his pavilion.

E. G. W.


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