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Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students

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    The Work to Be Done for Our Children

    I have been pointed to the churches that are scattered in different localities, and have been shown that the strength of these churches depends upon their growth in usefulness and efficiency.... In all our churches there should be schools, and teachers in these schools who are missionaries. It is essential that teachers be trained to act well their part in the important work of educating the children of Sabbathkeepers, not only in the sciences, but in the Scriptures. These schools, established in different localities, and conducted by God-fearing men or women, as the case demands, should be built on the same principles as were the schools of the prophets.CT 168.1

    Special care should be given to the education of the youth. The children are to be trained to become missionaries; they must be helped to understand distinctly what they must do to be saved. Few have the instruction in religious lines that is essential. If the instructors have a religious experience themselves, they will be able to communicate to their students the knowledge of the love of God that they have received. These lessons can be given only by those who are themselves truly converted. This is the noblest missionary work that any man or woman can undertake.CT 168.2

    When very young, children should be educated to read, to write, to understand figures, to keep their own accounts. They may go forward, advancing step by step in this knowledge. But before everything else, they should be taught that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. They should be educated line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; but the one aim before the teacher should be to educate the children to know God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.CT 168.3

    Teach the youth that sin in any line is defined in the Scriptures as “transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4.... Teach them in simple language that they must be obedient to their parents and give their hearts to God. Jesus Christ is waiting to accept and bless them if they will only come to Him and ask Him to pardon all their transgressions and take away their sins. And when they ask Him to pardon all their transgressions they must believe that He does it.CT 169.1

    God wants every child of tender age to be His child, to be adopted into His family. Young though they may be, the youth may be members of the household of faith and have a most precious experience. They may have hearts that are tender and ready to receive impressions that will be lasting. They may have their hearts drawn out in confidence and love for Jesus, and live for the Saviour. Christ will make them little missionaries. The whole current of their thought may be changed, so that sin will not appear a thing to be enjoyed, but to be shunned and hated.CT 169.2

    Small children, as well as those who are older, will be benefited by this instruction; and in thus simplifying the plan of salvation, the teachers will receive as great blessings as those who are taught. The Holy Spirit of God will impress the lessons upon the receptive minds of the children, that they may grasp the ideas of Bible truth in their simplicity. And the Lord will give an experience to these children in missionary lines; He will suggest to them lines of thought that even the teachers did not have. The children who are properly instructed will be witnesses to the truth.CT 169.3

    Teachers who are nervous and easily irritated should not be placed over the youth. They must love the children because they are the younger members of the Lord's family. The Lord will inquire of them, as of the parents, “Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?” Jeremiah 13:20....CT 170.1

    In educating the children and youth, teachers should not allow one passionate word or gesture to mar their work, for in so doing they imbue the students with the same spirit which they themselves possess. The Lord would have our primary schools, as well as those for older students, of that character that angels of God can walk through the room, and behold, in the order and principle of government, the order and government of heaven. This is thought by many to be impossible; but every school should begin with this, and work most earnestly to preserve the spirit of Christ in temper, in communications, in instruction, the teachers placing themselves in the channel of light where the Lord can use them as His agents to reflect His own likeness of character. The teachers may know that, as God-fearing instructors, they have helpers every hour to impress upon the hearts of the children the valuable lessons given.CT 170.2

    The Lord works with every consecrated teacher; and it is for the teacher's own interest for him to realize this. Instructors who are under the discipline of God receive grace and truth and light through the Holy Spirit to communicate to the children. They are under the greatest Teacher the world has ever known, and how unbecoming it would be for them to have an unkind spirit, a sharp voice, full of irritation! In this they would perpetuate their own defects in the children.CT 171.1

    Oh, for a clear perception of what we might accomplish if we would learn of Jesus! The springs of heavenly peace and joy, unsealed in the soul of the teacher by the magic words of Inspiration, will become a mighty river of influence, to bless all who connect with him.CT 171.2

    Do not think that the Bible will become a tiresome book to the children. Under a wise instructor the word will become more and more desirable. It will be to them as the bread of life, it will never grow old. There is in it a freshness and beauty that attract and charm the children and youth. It is like the sun shining upon the earth, giving its brightness and warmth, yet never exhausted. By lessons from Bible history and doctrine, the children and youth can learn that all other books are inferior to this. They can find here a fountain of mercy and love.CT 171.3

    God's holy, educating Spirit is in His word. A light, a new and precious light, shines forth from every page. Truth is there revealed, and words and sentences are made bright and appropriate for the occasion, as the voice of God speaking to them.CT 171.4

    We need to recognize the Holy Spirit as our enlightener. That Spirit loves to address the children and discover to them the treasures and beauties of the word. The promises spoken by the Great Teacher will captivate the senses and animate the soul of the child with a spiritual power that is divine. There will grow in the receptive mind a familiarity with divine things which will be as a barricade against the temptations of the enemy.CT 172.1

    The work of teachers is an important one. They should make the word of God their meditation. God will communicate by His own Spirit with the soul. Pray as you study, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law,” Psalm 119:18. When the teacher will rely upon God in prayer, the Spirit of Christ will come upon him, and God will work through him by the Holy Spirit upon the mind of the student. The Holy Spirit fills mind and heart with hope and courage and Bible imagery, which will be communicated to the student. The words of truth will grow in importance, and will assume a breadth and fullness of meaning of which he has never dreamed. The beauty and virtue of the word of God have a transforming influence upon mind and character; the sparks of heavenly love will fall upon the hearts of the children as an inspiration. We may bring hundreds and thousands of children to Christ if we will work for them.—Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church; written at Cooranbong, N.S.W., Australia, December 15, 1897.CT 172.2

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