The next thing shown me was the sins of parents in neglecting their children. I saw they would have an awful account to give. They have fostered and cherished the evil tempers of their children until God's frown was upon them and their children. They have forgotten that which was written in the Holy Word, "he that spareth the rod hateth his son," and the children are left to come up instead of being brought up or trained up. The poor little children are thought not to know or understand the meaning of a correction at the age of eight, nine or ten months, and they begin to show stubbornness very young, and it is cherished and nourished by its parents till their evil passions grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength.--Ms 1, 1854, p. 4. ("Reproof for Adultery and Neglect of Children," February 12, 1854.)
The food eaten by children with whom I have become acquainted when on the cars, did not make good blood, or good tempers. These children were frail. Some had sores on the head, face, and hands. Others had sore eyes, which destroyed the beauty of their faces. Others, though suffering from no skin eruption, were afflicted with catarrh, difficulty of the throat, chills, and fever. Their parents were kept in continual worry and perplexity.
I noticed one boy, three years of age, who had bowel difficulty. He had considerable fever. The mother seemed to think that food would help his case,
and every time he asked for food, she gave him fried chicken, bread and butter, or rich cake. Another child of about ten years was suffering from fever, and was disinclined to eat. Yet the mother urged her to eat this and that. Children, sick, complaining, and feverish, were urged to eat food unfit to be placed in any human stomach, even if in the most healthy condition.
These children thus injudiciously treated, were creatures of circumstance, made miserable because of the course pursued toward them by their parents, who must have been very ignorant of the laws of life and health. These laws should govern the appetites and passions of parents. Then parents will be fitted to educate their offspring.
We were pained to hear the mothers' fretful chiding, as they sought to hold in check the outbursts of temper exhibited by the children. But these mothers did not control themselves; how then could they expect their children, with their perverted habits, to have tranquil tempers. Both parents and children ate at irregular intervals all through the day, after eating heartily three times a day. The boy on the cars who sold cakes, candies, nuts, and fruit, was freely patronized by the indulgent parents.
We felt sorry for these mothers; they had such a worn, worried look, and were pictures of discouragement. I frequently heard them relating their own sufferings and their poor childrens' ailments, and telling what the doctor had said of them from time to time. Many said that they were seeking a more healthful climate; for they and their children were always sick.--Ms 1, 1876, pp. 2, 3. ("Diet," June 12, 1876.)
Some mothers dislike the discipline it gives them patiently to teach their children how to do little duties and cultivate in them a love for these duties, which love shall grow up with them. Some think children of seven and eight years old are too young to have their tasks assigned to them in sewing, in washing dishes, in mending neatly their own garments, in making beds, and sweeping and dusting. But to let the children grow up unused to these important habits of useful labor, with the thought that they will take to it by and by, is a sad mistake. These duties neglected in childhood will be found in youth and womanhood an irksome task, and the child that with proper training might mature into a pleasant, useful woman will, by occupation, be turned into a drudge.--Ms 4, 1876, p. 14. ("Testimony to E. H. Gaskill and Wife," circa 1876.)
You invite me to visit you at Bro. Fred Harmon's. I do not say I will not come but I should do injustice to myself and to you should I come and converse with you both as I have done several times. A plain statement it is my duty to make to you.
You ask me serious questions which must not be answered by me in any careless way for much is involved in these questions and in order to answer you with due thought and intelligence, I must not be constantly interrupted by your playing with your children. Have you not thought, my sister, you are not doing justice to yourself and showing due respect and courtesy to me, your guest?
Your daughter Daisy is a very promising child. She attracts notice and praise and flattery from others and all praise her for her smartness; but be very careful that you do not administer to her vanity. When you have guests, you can say to your children, Now I wish to visit with my friends and you must amuse yourself. Daisy is 4(?) years old, a very nice little girl and her perceptions are large. She will form habits rapidly. You can, when you have special visiting to do with your friends, say that she must not disturb you by putting in her little sharp voice to distract your mind, and you lose all the benefit it is your privilege to have. It will be just as you shall manage the matter. You held the lines and a little whip and were carrying on an imaginary driving a horse. Your voice [was] heard in directing and etc., then her voice was constantly interspersed in the conversation and a laugh. It was a mixing of the common and sacred in such a way that it was a most painful interview to me, for you could not possibly have been able to get clear ideas of what I was trying to say to you, and could not be a reliable one to communicate that which was said.
You will not educate your children to respect those who are older and those who are laborers together with God. You yourselves have been acting teachers. You have needed caution in regard to being so severe if all respect and due attention was not given to your words of instruction. You have a little school in your own family and you need to move as parents wisely. If you consider that every expressed wish to your little ones must be gratified, you will make them selfish and their wishes will multiply and be predominating. In visiting our people in other places, the education you give your children will make them an annoyance and I advise you now to leave them
at home for it is evident they are placed on exhibition as prodigies of smartness and the good you might accomplish as laborers together with God in families you visit is not done. It is not pleasant to you to be separated from your children and let others have a care for them. But I learned in our labors the formation of right character in my children required this. The continual changing brought the children to notice and to the hearing of remarks calculating to indulgence, and praising and petting brought into their education a love of self and the idea that they were to be administered to as the all important part of the program.
I would advise you as missionaries doing a work for God, have your little ones under as good care and discipline as possible. It is not in any way perfect. It would be far more so than the advantages you can give them under all circumstances.
We would not sever youth and old age, and I love to have children in the room where I am if they do not fill the whole room and are the all pervading element in the room. It is proper to teach the little ones that there are times when they must not command your whole time and resources to amuse them. You need not make a long recitation of the matter to the children, but act as opportunities present themselves. Tell them you must not be interrupted for you wish to hear and to talk now. And the character of the child must be formed so as not to consider your children in this world to carry through without restraint their own desires. They are to be educated as to what is proper and right. Hannah gave to the Lord her son and separated him from her as soon as he was weaned and brought a little coat to the lad every year. How many tears and prayers mingled in the stitches put in that little coat. Was
it not a sacrifice for her to be deprived of the care of her loved one? With what pride she would have cherished the child given her of God, but she gave this child to the Lord to serve Him, and how grateful and joyous her heart that the Lord accepted the offering and evidenced that He regarded the mother's gift as a fragrant savor offered to God.--Letter 12, 1884, pp. 1-3. (To Brother and Sister Brownsberger, 1884.)
The Lord has a controversy with parents, because they have permitted their children to follow their own pernicious ways, by which the way of truth is evil spoken of. Education should be commenced in the home at the dawn of reason, and is to be carried forward in the fear and love of God.--Letter 117, 1898, p. 4. (To Brother Griggs, December 1, 1898.)
Sister Peck had charge of the children's meeting, and during the holidays on several occasions there were as many as four hundred children and parents present. Sister Peck has taxed her strength to interest the children. This has required constant vigilance and keen management. The children are divided into classes under the direction of teachers who are instructed by Sister Peck.
This is missionary work in the highest sense of the word. The lessons given are made very plain, and parents as well as children are being drawn by them. As far as possible kindergarten methods are followed. Sister Peck leads the minds of the children from nature to nature's God. Thus she sows the
seeds of truth. And when the parents hear the simple story from the lips of the children, they are delighted.
This work must be done in all our camp-meetings. And we must have in our schools those who have tact and skill to carry forward a line of kindergarten work.--Letter 138, 1898, pp. 11, 12. (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg, December 14, 1898.)
Many parents send their children to school, and think when they have done this that they have educated them. But education is a matter of greater breadth than many realize. It comprises the whole process by which the child is instructed from babyhood to childhood, from childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood. As soon as the child is capable of forming an idea, his education should begin. The teachers in the school will do something toward educating the youth, but the example of parents will do more than can be accomplished by any other means. Their conversation, the way in which they manage their business matters, the likes and dislikes to which they give expression, all help in molding the character. The disposition the child sees in you, the self-control, the self-possession, the kindness, the courtesy, all will be daily lessons to him. Like time, this education is ever going on, the tendency of this everyday school will be to make your child what he ought to be.--Ms 58, 1899, pp. 4, 5. ("The Duty of Parents to Children," April 13, 1899.)
In the discipline given during the first years of childhood, parents are making lasting impressions upon the minds of their children. It is in these early years that they are laying the foundation of character.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it," are the words of the wise Solomon. In the earliest years children may receive those principles which will determine their future life and destiny. The education and training of youth commences with the child in its mother's arms. At this early age the temper and spirit of the child may be encouraged or repressed.--Ms 43, 1900, p. 12. ("Fragments," August 2, 1900.)
Children, remember that you are the Lord's property. Jesus gave His life that you might be saved. See how much you can do for Him. First give Him your hearts. Accept Him as your personal Saviour, and consecrate yourselves to Him as His children. The most highly-valued treasure which you can give the Lord is the heart. Present to Him a New Year's Offering by giving Him yourself. "Ye are not your own: for ye have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."
How many will make an offering to the Lord of the whole being, to be used as a temple for His indwelling? Seek the Lord while He may be found. As you give yourself to Him to be cleansed from all sin, He will accept you as His child. He has revealed His love for you by sending His Son to this world to die for you, and He will help you to serve Him.
Will you appreciate the great sacrifice Christ has made in your behalf? Give yourself, body, soul, and spirit, to the dear Saviour who loves you. This is the greatest gift you can make to Him. Will you do this?
Parents should help their children in this good work, bringing their little ones to the Lord as an offering. Patiently and lovingly they should teach their children that Jesus is their best friend. Let parents take up their neglected duties, and bring their children to Christ. Let them make no delay. If parents did their duty in the fear of the Lord, there would be more children serving in the army of the Lord, being trained and educated to do His will.
Simply and lovingly teach your children the lessons God has given for them, that they may learn how to become members of the royal family and children of the heavenly King. Read for your own benefit the eighth and ninth chapters of Second Corinthians. Read this instruction over and over again, that you may not only understand but practice the lessons given. Read diligently and prayerfully, and then give yourselves to the Lord to be guided and controlled by His Holy Spirit.
Children, you can do much for the Lord. Ask your parents to give you the money they are planning to spend in buying you presents, and bring this money to the Lord Jesus. The cause of God is in great need of money. Just at this time there are precious instrumentalities belonging to God in danger of being lost to the cause. The Sanitarium in Denmark and the Publishing House in Norway are in great need of help. We cannot afford to see these precious institutions passing out of our hands. Let children be taught to practice self-denial in regard to spending money for themselves or their friends. Let
them make presents to God by helping His oppressed institutions. Children, bring your offerings to the Lord. Let them be offerings of self-denial, because you are anxious to act as the Lord's helping hand in doing missionary work. Some can give but little, but by His blessing the Lord can make that little go a long way.--Ms 71, 1900, pp. 1, 2. ("Children to be the Lord's Helpers," December 3, 1900.)
Important features of the camp meeting are the meetings for the children and youth. Special meetings should be arranged for the children. Kindergarten methods and object-lessons from nature can be used to great advantage in interesting the little ones. By this means they can be taught the parables of Christ. Thus truth will be fastened in their minds as a nail in a sure place. This is a work of the greatest consequence to the younger members of the Lord's family. Even children who are favored with Christian instruction at home can learn much in these meetings that will be a great help to them. Teach the children with the simplicity of Christ. They will receive the knowledge, and as they return to their homes, they will bring forth from the treasure house of the heart precious lessons.
The youth should be given time and opportunity to become more fully instructed in the work of God. Bible truth should be made plain to them. Those who have an experience in the truth should search the Scriptures with them. This will be as seed sown in good ground.
The meetings for the children and youth should be conducted in such a way that a favorable impression will be made upon those who come from
outside. The various methods and plans used to interest the children and youth will impress unbelievers. In many cases seed may thus be sown which will spring up and bear fruit.--Ms 74, 1900, pp. 1, 2. ("Our Camp Meetings," December 12, 1900.)
Parents, give your time to your children. Teach them to form careful habits. Some parents allow their children to be destructive, to use as playthings that which they have no right to touch. Children should be taught that they must not handle the property of other people. For the comfort and happiness of the family they must be taught to observe the rules of propriety. Children are no happier because they are allowed to handle everything they see. If they are not educated to be care-taking, they will grow up with unlovely, destructive traits of character.
The greatest suffering has come upon the human family because parents have departed from the divine plan to follow their own imaginings and imperfectly developed ideas. Many parents follow impulse. They forget that the present and future good of their children requires intelligent discipline.
Parents do their children great wrong when they allow them to scream and cry. They should not be allowed to be careless and boisterous. If these objectionable traits of character are not checked in their early years, they will take them with them, strengthened and developed, into the religious and business life. Children will be just as happy if they are taught to be quiet in the house.
Fathers and mothers, be sensible. Teach your children that they must be subordinate to law. Do not allow them to think that because they are children, it is their privilege to make all the noise they wish in the house. Wise rules and regulations must be made and enforced, that the beauty of the home life may not be spoiled. . . .
Our children are to be educated line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. From babyhood the character of the child is to be molded and fashioned in accordance with the divine plan. Virtues are to be instilled into its opening mind.--Ms 49, 1901, pp. 5, 6, 8. ("Work Out Your Own Salvation," June 26, 1901.)
I was much pleased with my visit to the Orphan's Home. I feel so thankful that the homeless can have so pleasant a home. I have never before seen gathered together so large a number of children, and all bright and cheerful. Their faces are healthy, their eyes clear, their nerves strong. To see them and hear them does me more good than a dose of medicine. The superintendent seems to be well adapted to his position of trust, which he occupies with his wife.
This home is an educating school for both boys and girls. If I had children whom I would be compelled to leave motherless, I would feel it a great privilege to leave them in such a home.
I was glad to be able to visit the kindergarten department, and see the little ones working in Bible lines, molding figures of clay to illustrate Bible subjects, thus becoming familiar with heavenly truth. Wherever their
lot may be cast in the future, they will remember this instruction. The seed being sown will bear a precious harvest.
This is the instruction every child should receive in his earliest years. This is the work the parents should do in the home. The family in the Haskell Home is an object lesson for all parents. If children who had parents and a home had one half the patient instruction given to the orphans in the home, there would be a very different condition of things. If mothers would devote less time to cooking and sewing and more time to teaching their children in the love and fear of God, how greatly pleased the Lord would be. But many parents seem to be only grown up children, who have not left behind their childish ways and inclinations. Let parents remember that Satan is playing the game of life for every soul, and that practical sympathy, forbearance, and love is the test of purity and unselfishness.--Letter 70, 1901, pp. 2, 3. (To Dr. and Mrs. J. H. Kellogg, May 1, 1901.)
Parents are responsible for the salvation of their children. For the first ten years of a child's life, it should be kept in the home school, with the father and mother as guardians and teachers.
Children should be taught to obey the command, "Honour thy father and mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Children are to become acquainted with their parents and in turn parents are to become acquainted with their children. Both parents and children are to learn to fulfill their duty to God and to one another.
From their earliest years children should be trained to carry their share of the home burdens. They should be taught that obligations are mutual. They should also be taught to work quickly and thoroughly. This education will prove of the greatest value to them in after years.--Ms 75, 1901, p. 1. ("Parental Responsibility," August 5, 1901.)
I am unable to sleep after half past twelve o'clock. In the night season I was presenting before the parents of the Los Angeles church a message given me by the Lord in regard to their sinful neglect to train their children from their very infancy to form characters that will meet the approval of God. Parents should regard nothing as of sufficient consequence to take the place of their work for their children.
Please read the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of Deuteronomy. . . . Parents are to take every precaution to prevent their children from growing up with objectionable traits of character. Parents are to control themselves, for the sake of Him in whom they claim to believe as their Creator and their Redeemer. Parents, unless you prepare yourselves for the present and the future life, you will not be admitted into the city of God. The words addressed by Paul to Timothy are addressed to every member of the church, "Take heed to thyself and to the doctrine." "Thyself" comes first. The soul-temple must be cleansed. The inner lamp must be trimmed. Piety, virtue, and godliness must be revealed in the home life. God will not accept the most splendid service unless the one who offers it is first consecrated to Him by the entire surrender of the soul. Unless the root be holy, there can be no
acceptable fruit. The great apostle, in commending the churches of Macedonia to his Corinthian converts for their benevolence and Christian liberality, tells in emphatic words the secret of the value of their good works, "They first gave their own selves to the Lord."
Jesus requires of the parents in Los Angeles a thorough change of their attitude in the home. He has entrusted them with the responsibility of training their children for Him. These children are His property, and by diligent training of their capabilities, they are to be carefully improved, that not one of them shall be lost. This responsibility no father or mother can safely neglect. If they shirk the God-given work which they should do in the church in their own house, God will be robbed of the influence which should be exerted for Him in the home and out of the home. By failing to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, parents rob God of His entrusted talents.
All are to put their capabilities to the very best use. Parents, invest wisely every talent that God has entrusted to you. Cultivate piety at home. Cherish and exemplify in the home life the sacred principles of truth. All are to be workers. The children are to be taught to bear their weight of responsibility, to do little deeds of service. Their hands and minds are to be kept employed in useful duties. . . .
For the first ten years of a child's life the home is to be its school. In the home parents and children are to learn together the way of the Lord. A child's rebellion and disobedience require discipline. But in administering this discipline, let parents understand their own relation to the heavenly Father. Do they not often draw apart from God, refusing obedience to His
commandments? Let these words be studied, "He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."--Ms 79, 1901, pp. 1-3, 8. ("Testimony to the Parents of the Los Angeles Church," August 18, 1901.)
Fathers and mothers, to you God has entrusted children, and upon you rests a great responsibility, that of patiently and faithfully educating them. To fit your children to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King is your first duty. You are responsible to God carefully to educate them, from their earliest years, to be kind and helpful, patient and forbearing.--Ms 42, 1903, p. 2. ("The Training of Children," May 4, 1903.)
In our larger schools provision should be made for the education of younger children. This line of work is to be managed wisely, in connection with the work of the more advanced students. The older students should be encouraged to take part in teaching the lower classes.
These things are not trifles, unworthy of our consideration. I wish to state especially that very much more can be done to save and educate the children of those who at present cannot get away from the cities. Church schools are to be established in these cities, and in connection with these schools provision is to be made for the teaching of higher studies, where these are called for. These schools can be managed in such a way, part joining to part, that they will be a complete whole. The Lord has His methods
and His plans. His wisdom is far-reaching.--Letter 189, 1903, p. 6. (To Brother Griggs, August 26, 1903.)
The truth, in all its important bearings, needs to have a much deeper hold upon all who have to do with the training of our youth. Parents are to work skillfully for their own children, helping them while they are still in the home to gain a fitness to work as missionaries for Christ when they leave the home. The children are to be taught to be faithful in labor. They are to learn to relieve the weary mother, sharing her burdens. The elder children may greatly assist her by helping to care for the little ones. And the younger ones may learn to perform many of the simple duties of the home.
Young men and young women should regard a training in home duties as a most important part of their education. The family firm is a sacred, social society, in which each member is to act a part, each helping the other. The work of the household is to move smoothly, like the different parts of well-regulated machinery. The mother should be relieved of the burdens that the sons and daughters can take upon themselves.
How important that fathers and mothers should give their children, from their very babyhood, the right instruction. They are to teach them to obey the command, "Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." And the children, as they grow in years, are to appreciate the care that their parents have given them. They are to find their greatest pleasure in helping father and mother.
Fathers and mothers should do all in their power to carry forward the work of the home in right lines. The law of God, with its holy principles and solemn injunctions, is ever to bear rule. The principles of the Bible are to be taught and practiced. The parents are to teach their children lessons from this Holy Book, making these lessons so simple, yet interesting, that they will readily be understood.
The more closely the members of the family are united in their work in the home, the more uplifting and helpful will be the influence that father and mother and sons and daughters will exert outside the home.
It is a serious matter to send children away from home, thus depriving them of the care of their parents. It is of the greatest importance that church schools shall be established, to which the children can be sent, and still be under the watchcare of their mothers, and have opportunity to practice the lessons of helpfulness that it is God's design they shall learn in the home.
In our larger schools provision should also be made for the education of younger children. This work is to be managed wisely, in connection with the training of more advanced students. The older students should be encouraged to take part in teaching these lower classes.
Much more can be done to save and educate the children of those who at present cannot get away from the cities. This is a matter worthy of our best efforts. Church schools are to be established for the children in the cities, and in connection with these schools provision is to be made for the teaching of higher studies, where these are called for. These schools can be managed in such a way, part joining to part, that they will be a complete whole.
Let us study the way of the Lord diligently, that we may discern His methods and plans. His wisdom is far-reaching.--Ms 129, 1903, pp. 6, 7. ("How Shall Our Youth be Trained?" October 28, 1903.)
As church schools shall be established in the future, there is a class of work to be done in connection with them that has not been done in the past. All who can should have the privileges of a home church school. It would be well if several families in a neighborhood would unite to employ a humble, God-fearing teacher to give to the parents the help that is needed in educating their children. This will be a great advantage, and a plan more pleasing to the Lord than that which has largely been followed of removing the youth from their homes to attend one of our larger schools. The church members, uniting, could erect an inexpensive building, and secure a wise teacher to take charge of the school.
Our small churches are needed. And the children are needed in their homes, where they may be a help to their parents when the hours of study are ended. The Christian home is the best place for young children; for here they can have parental discipline that is after the Lord's order. God would have us consider these things in all their sacred importance. It is the precious privilege of teachers and parents to cooperate in teaching the children how to drink in the gladness of Christ's life by learning to follow His example. The Saviour's early years were useful years. He was His mother's helper in the home; and He was just as verily fulfilling His commission when performing
the duties of the home and working at the carpenter's bench, as when He engaged in His public work of ministry.
It is not required that all the youth rush off from home responsibilities to seminaries or higher schools in order to reach the highest round of the ladder. It should be remembered that right in the home there are generally young children to be instructed. The elder should ever seek to help the younger. Let the elder members of the family consider that this part of the Lord's vineyard needs to be cultivated, and resolve that they will put forth their best capabilities to make home attractive and to deal patiently with younger minds.
There are young persons in our homes whom the Lord has qualified to give the knowledge they have to others. Let these strive to keep spiritual lessons fresh in the mind that they may impart the knowledge they have gained. If these older members of the family would become learners with the children, new ideas would be suggested and the hours of study would be a time of decided pleasure as well as of profit.
The tender years of childhood are years of sacred responsibility to fathers and mothers. Parents have a sacred duty to perform in teaching their children to help bear the burdens of the home, to be content with plain and simple food and neat and inexpensive dress. The requirements of the parent should always be reasonable; kindness should be expressed, not by foolish indulgence, but by wise direction. Parents are to teach their children pleasantly, without scolding or fault-finding, seeking to bind the hearts of the little ones to them by the silken cords of love. Let all, fathers and mothers, teachers, older brothers and sisters, become an educating force to
keep up every spiritual interest, and create a wholesome atmosphere in the home and school life that will train the younger children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Our Children are the Lord's property; they have been bought with a price. This thought should be the mainspring of our labors for them. The most successful method of assuring their salvation, and keeping them out of the way of temptation, is to instruct them constantly in the word of God. And as parents become learners with their children, they will find their own growth in a knowledge of the truth more rapid. Unbelief will disappear; faith and activity will increase; assurance and confidence will deepen as they thus follow on to know the Lord. Their prayers will undergo a transformation, becoming more earnest and sincere. Christ is the Head of His church, the dependence of His people; He will give the needed grace to those who seek Him for wisdom and instruction.
I speak to fathers and mothers: You can be educators in your home churches; you can be spiritual missionary agencies. Let fathers and mothers feel the need of being home missionaries, the need of keeping the home atmosphere free from the influence of unkind and hasty speech, and the home school a place where angels of God can come in and bless and give success to the efforts put forth.
Let parents unite in providing a place for the daily instruction of their children, choosing as teacher one who is apt to teach, and who as a consecrated servant of Christ will increase in knowledge while imparting instruction. The teacher who has consecrated self to the service of God will be able to do a definite work in missionary service, and will instruct the
children in the same lines. Let fathers and mothers cooperate with the teacher, laboring earnestly for the salvation of their children. If parents will realize the importance of these small educating centers, cooperating to do the work that the Lord desires to be done at this time, the plans of the enemy for our children will be frustrated.--Ms 33, 1908. ("Home Schools," May 17, 1908.)
[2 Peter 1:1-13 quoted]
These words should mean a great deal to us; and we should study this chapter diligently, that we may learn to practice the virtues it presents before us. If we do these things, the apostle says, we "shall never fall." It is of great consequence to us in our spiritual experience that we have the assurance that we are treading securely and walking understandingly in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I wish this afternoon to address particularly the parents and children. These should understand that they have solemn obligations resting upon them--the most solemn that ever rested upon mortals. Let parents take up their work and labor intelligently for the salvation of their families.
Fathers and mothers we are verging upon the eternal world, and that which we should now most earnestly seek to understand is what we should do to inherit eternal life. If you will follow on to know the Lord, you will know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. We must prepare for the great crisis that is just before us. Will you not sense your responsibilities
in regard to the education and training of your children in spiritual matters?
Here are the children. Your daughters are inclined, if they see a dress different from that which they have, to desire a dress similar to that. Or perhaps they want something else that they see others have, which you do not feel would be in accordance with your faith to grant them. Will you allow them to tease this thing out of you, letting them mold you instead of molding them according to the principles of the gospel? Our children are very precious in the sight of God. Let us teach them the word of God and train them in His ways. It is your privilege to teach your children to live so that they will have the commendation of heaven.
Are we preparing for heaven? We say we are; and we ought to be making ready for the future immortal life. We should be so conducting ourselves that we shall make right impressions upon those who are brought in contact with us. Let us not encourage our children to follow the fashions of the world; and if we will be faithful in giving them a right training, they will not do this. But if you let your children rule you, they will surely get away from the pure principles of the word of God and will walk in the ways of the world. Let them see how much the Lord sacrificed in their behalf when He came to this world. There was everything to oppose His advance, yet He gave us a perfect example in every detail of life--just the example that we follow and teach our children to follow.
Dress your children in simple and neat clothes, but do not let them have anything that they may suppose they want. They may ask for a dress that is cut low in the neck because it is the fashion to wear them so. Who has
supposed such a fashion? It is not a right fashion, and we should not allow ourselves to consider it right. We should dress our children in such a way that they will learn to fashion their lives in simple orderly lines. We are to be preparing for the grand review that is soon to take place, and our children must have a part in this work of preparation. We want the light, the pure light of heaven to shine into our hearts.
All heaven is interested in our children, and parents grieve the Spirit of God when they fail to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Parents, be kind to your children, but be firm. Let them see that you mean all that you tell them. The fashions of the world often take a ridiculous form, and you must take a firm position against them. Our manner of dress as well as our deportment is to be a ministry, an education.
Parents you are responsible for the work of bringing up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. These children need instruction line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. You may feel annoyed sometimes because your children go contrary to what you have told them. But have you ever thought that many times you go contrary to what the Lord has commanded you to do that you might prepare yourselves for His work and know His will as revealed in His word? If you will follow on to know the Lord you can make a splendid representation of Christ before the world.
Never manifest passion when your children do wrong. When the mother gives her child a jerk or a blow, do you think it enables him to see the beauty of the Christian character? No indeed; it only tends to raise evil feelings in the heart, and the child is not corrected at all. We need to consider as we endeavor to do our duty intelligently, that our children are
to be brought into right relation to God, that they may have an entrance through the gates into the City of God and have right to all the advantages that heaven can give.
We have but little time now. Let us prepare earnestly for the solemn scenes of the future. The Lord would have us work under the direction of His word. It does not show any true love to let your children do as they please, and to think that in doing so they are doing just right. Husband and wife should be united in the work of seeking to form in their children correct habits of speech and conduct. If they will draw constantly in Christ's lines, the will of Christ will be rule in their lives, and they will see of the salvation of God in their homes. Let them invite the Spirit of God to act His part in training the children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With this power to help in every time of need, they will obtain the victory.
Has not God given you every evidence of His love? Did He not allow Jesus to come to this world as our pattern? Men could not endure the perfection of Christ's character, and they took and crucified Him. There is a crucifixion that must go on in our lives, a constant dying to self and sin. We must walk circumspectly, that our lives may preach the gospel of Christ to those with whom we associate. If we will speak and walk circumspectly, the light of Christ will be revealed in our lives.
I desired at the beginning of my talks to speak these words to you. I leave them with you to think about. Let us be faithful to the duties of the home life. Let your children understand that obedience must reign there. Teach them to distinguish between that which is sensible and that which is foolish in the matter of dress, and furnish them with clothes that are neat
and simple. As a people who are preparing for the soon return of Christ we should give to the world an example of modest dress in contrast with the prevailing fashion of the day. Talk these things over, and plan wisely what you will do, then carry out your plans in your families. Determine to be guided by higher principles than the notions and desires of your children.
Parents need to come up on a higher platform. They have a sacred work to do in bringing their children into harmony with Christ. Parents, do not neglect this work. You need to move constantly in the counsel and fear of the Lord God of Israel. Talk with your children in regard to the lessons of the word; pray with them. Seek for confession of heart from them. Show them which is the wrong and which is the right way, and their need of yielding their wills to the will of God if they would be overcomers. I see many parents taking a course with their children that will shut them out of the kingdom of God. Oh that these might now repent, and seek to redeem the time, that God might help them to act their part.
I did not expect to speak more than a few words to you this afternoon. I want you to have the light and blessing that the Lord desires to give you. Reach out for these blessings; seek for a fitness for eternal life, that others may see that you are coming into harmony with heaven. When the soul takes its position on the side of right, all heaven is filled with rejoicing and praise and thanksgiving. Shall we not take hold with Christ to do our best. Pray with your children. Impress their minds with the thought that Christ was given to our world that we might love His beauty of character and seek to follow Him in every particular. If you will follow on to know the Lord, the blessing of God will rest upon you. We need to glorify God more
than we do, to praise Him with uplifted soul. If we would study more faithfully the virtues of His character, we would desire to be more like Him. If in the minor points we would carry out the directions of the Lord, He will give us strength to follow Him in the large matters. We need to see the necessity of bringing the principles of the truth into every purpose and action of the life.
There is a large work to be carried on in this locality. Consider how God has wrought to bring these buildings into our possession. We have made every possible effort to establish the work in this place; and there are but few who know of the real difficulties we have had to meet. Now we are in possession, and for this I thank the Lord with heart and soul and voice.
There are many here who will need to take their position directly contrary to the world's customs and fashions. They may not want to do this, but this must make no difference. We are to have a large experience here in a little while, and everything should be brought into line with right principles. Here are men and women of capability. We want you to realize your capabilities, and act your part in carrying out the purposes of God for this place. Here are men who are preparing to enter on high positions of truth; but they are not ready for these positions. They need to be reconverted, and to let the blessing of God come into the life to transform the character. If those who come here to obtain an education will seek to help in every possible way, God will multiply blessings to them, and giving them His knowledge and His grace will make them overcomers through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.--Ms 45, 1911, pp. 2-7. (Sermon, November 6, 1911.)