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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 195, 1901

    An Appeal to Parents


    September 6, 1901 [typed]

    Previously unpublished.

    During the Los Angeles camp meeting my attention was especially called to a work which has been strangely neglected—the training and education of children. Parents have set aside the work which lies at the very foundation of the salvation of the souls of the household. This neglect was presented to me in a very forcible manner.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 1

    Fathers, mothers, your children have been bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of God. They belong to him. From the time the child is a baby in its mother’s arms, its every capability should be carefully trained for the Lord.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 2

    Parents, neglect not your work. There is nothing more important than the training of your little ones. Do not leave them to pick up their education here and there. Satan will preoccupy the heart if he is given time and opportunity. Let him control your children, and in their hearts will spring up a harvest of tares.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 3

    As far as possible Seventh-day Adventists should attend the camp meeting held in the district in which they live. Parents should take their children <old enough to be benefitted> with them to the meeting, telling them that they are going to receive the blessing of God, that the camp meeting is a holy convocation, at which the Lord is to meet with his people.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 4

    God desires the camp meeting to be a season of precious blessing to parents and children. It is not to be regarded as a time for amusement. I urge our people to remember that when they go to camp meeting, they go to meet with God. Remember that the meeting is a sacred gathering.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 5

    Those camping on the ground should not allow their children to run all over the ground, shouting and playing games. They should insist upon order and obedience. They should realize the responsibility resting upon them, and should impress their children with the necessity of order and quietness.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 6

    When parents attend the services, they should not leave their children to themselves, to run and play about the ground, making noise and disturbance. They should keep their children under their own management. At a camp meeting children bear true testimony in regard to the education they receive in the home. There it is shown whether or not parents have been co-operating with God in the training of their children.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 7

    If children are not helped by attending camp meeting, is it not best for their parents to keep them at home? We do not advise parents to stay at home. We urge them to appreciate the privilege of attending camp meeting. We urge them to set their families in order and to keep them in order during the meeting. Then from the meeting will go forth a Christlike influence.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 8

    God’s great lesson book, his holy Word, gives parents instruction regarding the preparation their children must receive before they can be admitted into the heavenly family. Hear the word of the Lord speaking to you: “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great who hath the Lord God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous, as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thine heart all the days of thy life; but teach them to thy sons and to thy son’s son; especially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear all my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.” [Deuteronomy 4:5-10.]16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 9

    Here we see that the Lord calls holy and sanctified those who honor him by keeping his commandments and teaching them to his children.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 10

    “Hear therefore, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might; and these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine head, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” [Deuteronomy 6:3-8.]16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 11

    “What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good.” [Deuteronomy 10:12, 13.]16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 12

    “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments, which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle that thou mayest eat, and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land, which the Lord giveth you.” [Deuteronomy 11:13-17.]16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 13

    These scriptures are for our instruction and admonition. But how much have they been studied? The failure to follow God’s plan is greatly displeasing him, and is causing him to remove his blessing from parents and children. If in the home the instruction given by God were faithfully followed, the irreverence so common in the world would not be seen.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 14

    Many fathers and mothers will have a heavy charge brought against them when they stand before the Judge of all the earth. They do not obey the voice of the Lord. Their unruly, disobedient children testify to their neglect of duty. They permit their children to do wickedly. This greatly dishonors the Lord. The sins which they regard so lightly in their children are carried to other children, and the result lies at the door of the unfaithful parents.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 15

    I beseech the parents in our churches to make a solemn covenant with God by repentance and confession. Confess your past neglect, and in the fear of God take up the work of educating your children in righteousness. A spiritual revival and reformation must take place. Then God’s people can claim the blessings he has promised. When parents take up the cross and follow Christ, when they bring their lives into conformity to the will of God, their children will be converted. The world will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus and have learned of him. By their deeds of true religion they will bear witness to the power of Christ’s grace.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 16

    Parents, do you not think that it is time for you to seek the Lord with all the heart, that you may find him and co-operate with him in the saving of your children? The Lord will not pass over your neglect if you fail and do not feed his lambs. Teach your children that they are the younger members of the Lord’s family. Guide their feet in the way of holiness. Lead them to God. Guard well your words and actions, that by example as well as by precept you may give the lessons God has instructed you to give. Respond to the striving of the Holy Spirit. Thus you prepare the way for the Spirit to strive with your children.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 17

    Educate your little ones for Christ. Teach them that every day they are sowing seeds, and that as they sow, so they will reap. Teach them to be polite and respectful. Let them understand that you have been converted to right methods, and that you are prepared to make a practical application of the principles of truth to the everyday life.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 18

    Be Christlike in home life. Let no scolding be heard. There is a better way than this to correct children. Never punish a child when you are angry; for you will punish in a way that will make him angry and stubborn. Never use the rod without first asking God to forgive you for transmitting to your children dispositions and tempers so difficult to manage. In your children you meet yourselves. When correcting them, remember that you are correcting your own habits and practices. First take heed to yourselves, and then take up your God-given work, the neglect of which has made your children what they are.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 19

    O parents, for the sake of yourselves and your children, I make this appeal to you. My heart is greatly burdened. I cannot sleep as I think of parental neglect and its fatal results. I pray that you may be impressed with the importance of the work on which so much depends. There is set before you “a blessing and a curse; a blessing if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, ... and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God.” [Verses 26-28.] Clear the King’s highway. Prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. This is the preparation day. Set your own hearts in order, and work earnestly for the conversion of your children. An unreserved surrender to God will remove many of the obstacles in your way, sweeping aside the barriers which have long defied the approaches of heavenly grace.16LtMs, Ms 195, 1901, par. 20

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