Young Sabbathkeepers are given to pleasure seeking. I saw that there is not one in twenty who knows what experimental religion is. They are constantly grasping after something to satisfy their desire for change, for amusement; and unless they are undeceived and their sensibilities aroused so that they can say from the heart, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord," they are not worthy of Him and will come short of everlasting life. The young, generally, are in a terrible deception, and yet they profess godliness. Their unconsecrated lives are a reproach to the Christian name; their example is a snare to others. They hinder the sinner, for in nearly every respect they are no better than unbelievers. They have the word of God, but its warnings, admonitions, reproofs, and corrections are unheeded, as are also the encouragements and promises to the obedient and faithful. God's promises are all on condition of humble obedience. One pattern only is given to the young, but how do their lives compare with the life of Christ? I feel alarmed as I witness everywhere the frivolity of young men and young women who profess to believe the truth. God does not seem to be in their thoughts. Their minds are filled with nonsense. Their conversation is only empty, vain talk.
They have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind so that Christ is not desired. The spiritual longings of the soul for divine knowledge, for a growth in grace, are wanting.
I was shown that the youth must take a higher stand and make the word of God the man of their counsel and their guide. Solemn responsibilities rest upon the young, which they lightly regard. The introduction of music into their homes, instead of inciting to holiness and spirituality, has been the means of diverting their minds from the truth. Frivolous songs and the popular sheet music of the day seem congenial to their taste. The instruments of music have taken time which should have been devoted to prayer. Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse. It excites, but does not impart that strength and courage which the Christian can find only at the throne of grace while humbly making known his wants and with strong cries and tears pleading for heavenly strength to be fortified against the powerful temptations of the evil one. Satan is leading the young captive. Oh, what can I say to lead them to break his power of infatuation! He is a skillful charmer, luring them on to perdition. Listen to the instructions from the Inspired Book of God. I saw that Satan had blinded the minds of the youth that they could not comprehend the truths of God's word. Their sensibilities are so blunted that they regard not the injunctions of the holy apostle:
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the [new] earth." "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." Children who dishonor and disobey their parents, and disregard their advice and instructions, can have no part in the earth made new. The purified new earth will be no place for
the rebellious, the disobedient, the ungrateful, son or daughter. Unless such learn obedience and submission here, they will never learn it; the peace of the ransomed will not be marred by disobedient, unruly, unsubmissive children. No commandment breaker can inherit the kingdom of heaven. Will all the youth please read the fifth commandment of the law spoken by Jehovah from Sinai and engraven with His own finger upon tables of stone? "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
I was referred to many passages of Scripture that clearly show the young the will of God concerning them. These plain teachings they must meet in the judgment. Yet there is not one young man or young woman in twenty professing the present truth who heeds these Bible teachings. The youth do not read the word of God enough to know its claims upon them; and yet these truths will judge them in the great day of God, when young and old will be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body.
Says John: "I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."
This exhortation to young men extends to young women also. Their youth does not excuse them from the responsibilities resting upon them. They are strong and are not worn down with cares and the weight of years; their affections are ardent, and if they withdraw these from the world and place them upon Christ and heaven, doing the will of God, they will have a hope of the better life that is enduring, and they
will abide forever, being crowned with glory, honor, immortality, eternal life. If the youth live to gratify the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, they are seeking for the things of the world, pleasing their great adversary, and separating themselves from the Father. And when these things that are sought after pass away, their hopes are blasted and their expectations perish. Separated from God they will then bitterly repent their folly in serving their own pleasure, gratifying their own desires, and for a few frivolous enjoyments selling a life of bliss that they might have enjoyed forever.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world," says the inspired apostle. Then he adds the warning: "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." It is an alarming fact that the love of the world predominates in the minds of the young. They decidedly love the world and the things that are in the world, and for this very reason the love of God finds no room in their hearts. They find their pleasures in the world and in the things of the world, and are strangers to the Father and the graces of His Spirit. God is dishonored by the frivolity and fashion, and empty, vain talking and laughing that characterize the life of the youth generally. Paul exhorts the youth to sobriety: "Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."
I entreat the youth for their souls' sake to heed the exhortation of the inspired apostle. All these gracious instructions, warnings, and reproofs will be either a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. Many of the young are reckless in their conversation. They choose to forget that by their words they are to be justified or condemned. All should take heed to the words of our Saviour: "A good man out of the good treasure
of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." How little regard is paid even to the instructions of the heavenly Teacher. Many either do not study the word of God or do not heed its solemn truths, and these plain truths will rise up in judgment and condemn them.
Words and acts testify plainly what is in the heart. If vanity and pride, love of self and love of dress, fill the heart, the conversation will be upon the fashions, the dress, and the appearance, but not on Christ or the kingdom of heaven. If envious feelings dwell in the heart, they will be manifested in words and acts. Those who measure themselves by others, do as others do, and make no higher attainments, excusing themselves because of the faults and wrongs of others, are feeding on husks and will remain spiritual dwarfs as long as they gratify Satan by thus indulging their own unconsecrated feelings. Some dwell upon what they shall eat and drink, and wherewithal they shall be clothed. These thoughts flow out from the abundance of the heart, as though temporal things were the grand aim in life, the highest attainment. These persons forget the words of Christ: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
The youth have their hearts filled with the love of self. This is manifested in their desire to see their faces daguerreotyped by the artist; and they are not satisfied with being once represented, but sit again and again for their picture, each time hoping that the last will excel all their previous efforts and appear really more beautiful than the original. Their Lord's money is squandered in this way, and what is gained? Merely their poor shadow upon paper. The hours that should have been devoted to prayer are occupied upon their
own poor selves; precious hours of probation are thus wasted.
Satan is gratified to have the attention of youth attracted by anything to divert their minds from God so that the deceiver can steal a march upon them and they, unprepared for his attacks, be ensnared. They are not aware that the great heavenly Artist is taking cognizance of every act, every word, and that their deportment, and even the thoughts and intents of the heart, stand faithfully delineated. Every defect in their moral character stands revealed to the gaze of angels, and they will have the faithful picture presented to them in all its deformity at the execution of the judgment. Those vain, frivolous words are all written in the book. Those false words are written. Those deceptive acts, whose motives were concealed from human eyes, but discerned by the all-seeing eye of Jehovah, are all written in living characters. Every selfish act is exposed.
The young generally conduct themselves as though the precious hours of probation, while mercy lingers, were one grand holiday, and they were placed in this world merely for their own amusement, to be gratified with a continued round of excitement. Satan has been making special efforts to lead them to find happiness in worldly amusements and to justify themselves by endeavoring to show that these amusements are harmless, innocent, and even important for health. The impression has been given by some physicians that spirituality and devotion to God are detrimental to health. This suits the adversary of souls. There are persons with diseased imaginations who do not rightly represent the religion of Christ; such have not the pure religion of the Bible. Some are scourging themselves all through life because of their sins; all they can see is an offended God of justice. Christ and His redeeming power through the merits of His blood they fail to see. Such have not faith. This class are generally those who have not well-balanced minds. Through disease transmitted to them from their parents, and an erroneous education is youth, they
have contracted wrong habits which injure the constitution and the brain, causing the moral organs to become diseased and making it impossible for them to think and act rationally upon all points. They have not well-balanced minds. Godliness and righteousness are not destructive to health, but are health to the body and strength to the soul. Says Peter: "He that will love life, and see good days, ...let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it: for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled."
The consciousness of rightdoing is the best medicine for diseased bodies and minds. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is health and strength. A person whose mind is quiet and satisfied in God is in the pathway to health. To have a consciousness that the eyes of the Lord are upon us and His ears open to our prayers is a satisfaction indeed. To know that we have a never-failing Friend in whom we can confide all the secrets of the soul is a privilege which words can never express. Those whose moral faculties are beclouded by disease are not the ones to rightly represent the Christian life or the beauties of holiness. They are too often in the fire of fanaticism or the water of cold indifference or stolid gloom. The words of Christ are of more worth than the opinions of all the physicians in the universe: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." This is the first great object--the kingdom of heaven, the righteousness of Christ. Other objects to be attained should be secondary to these.
Satan will present the path of holiness as difficult while the paths of worldly pleasure are strewed with flowers. In false and flattering colors will the tempter array the world with its
pleasures before you. Vanity is one of the strongest traits of our depraved natures, and he knows that he can appeal to it successfully. He will flatter you through his agents. You may receive praise which will gratify your vanity and foster in you pride and self-esteem, and you may think that with such advantages and attractions it really is a great pity for you to come out from the world and be separate, and become a Christian, to forsake your companions, and be alike dead to their praise or censure. Satan tells you that with the advantages which you possess you could to a high degree enjoy the pleasures of the world. But consider that the pleasures of earth will have an end, and that which you sow you must also reap. Are personal attractions, ability, or talents too valuable to devote to God, the Author of your being, He who watches over you every moment? Are your qualifications too precious to devote to God?
The young urge that they need something to enliven and divert the mind. I saw that there is pleasure in industry, a satisfaction in pursuing a life of usefulness. Some still urge that they must have something to interest the mind when business ceases, some mental occupation or amusement to which the mind can turn for relief and refreshment amid cares and wearing labor. The Christian's hope is just what is needed. Religion will prove to the believer a comforter, a sure guide to the Fountain of true happiness. The young should study the word of God and give themselves to meditation and prayer, and they will find that their spare moments cannot be better employed. Young friends, you should take time to prove your own selves, whether you are in the love of God. Be diligent to make your calling and election sure. It depends upon your own course of action whether you secure to yourselves the better life.
Wisdom's "ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths
are peace." The future abode of the righteous and their everlasting reward are high and ennobling themes for the young to contemplate. Dwell upon the marvelous plan of salvation, the great sacrifice made by the King of glory that you might be elevated through the merits of His blood and by obedience finally be exalted to the throne of Christ. This subject should engage the noblest contemplation of the mind. To be brought into favor with God--what a privilege! To commune with Him--what can more elevate, refine, and exalt us above the frivolous pleasures of earth? To have our corrupt natures renovated by grace, our lustful appetites and animal propensities in subjection, to stand forth with noble, moral independence, achieving victories every day, will give peace of conscience which can arise alone from rightdoing.
Young friends, I saw that with such employment and diversion as this you might be happy. But the reason why you are restless is, you do not seek to the only true source for happiness. You are ever trying to find out of Christ that enjoyment which is found only in Him. In Him are no disappointed hopes. Prayer, oh, how is this precious privilege neglected! The reading of the word of God prepares the mind for prayer. One of the greatest reasons why you have so little disposition to draw nearer to God by prayer is, you have unfitted yourselves for this sacred work by reading fascinating stories which have excited the imagination and aroused unholy passions. The word of God becomes distasteful, the hour of prayer is forgotten. Prayer is the strength of the Christian. When alone he is not alone; he feels the presence of One who has said: "Lo, I am with you alway."
The young want just what they have not; namely, religion . Nothing can take the place of this. Profession alone is nothing. Names are registered upon the church books upon earth, but not in the book of life. I saw that there is not one in twenty of the youth who knows what experimental religion is.
They serve themselves and yet profess to be servants of Christ; but unless the spell which is upon them be broken, they will soon realize that the portion of the transgressor is theirs. As for self-denial or sacrifice for the truth's sake, they have found an easier way above it all. As for the earnest pleading with tears and strong cries to God for His pardoning grace and for strength from Him to resist the temptations of Satan, they have found it unnecessary to be so earnest and zealous; they can get along well without it. Christ, the King of glory, went often alone to the mountains and desert places to pour out His soul's request to His Father; but sinful man, in whom is no strength, thinks he can live without so much prayer.
Christ is our pattern; His life was an example of good works. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He wept over Jerusalem because they would not be saved by accepting the redemption which He offered them. They would not come to Him that they might have life. Compare your course of life with that of your Master, who made so great a sacrifice that you might be saved. He frequently spent the entire night upon the damp ground in agonizing prayer. You are seeking your own pleasure. Listen to the vain, frivolous conversation; hear the laugh, the jesting, the joking. Is this imitating the pattern? Still listen--is Jesus mentioned? Is the truth the theme of conversation? Are the speakers glorying in the cross of Christ? It is this fashion, that bonnet, that dress, what that young man said, or that young lady said, or the amusements they are planning. What glee! Are angels attracted and pressing close around them to ward off the darkness which Satan is pressing upon and around them? Oh, no. See, they turn away in sorrow. I see tears upon the faces of these angels. Can it be that angels of God are made to weep? It is even so.
Eternal things have little weight with the youth. Angels
of God are in tears as they write in the roll the words and acts of professed Christians. Angels are hovering around yonder dwelling. The young are there assembled; there is the sound of vocal and instrumental music. Christians are gathered there, but what is that you hear? It is a song, a frivolous ditty, fit for the dance hall. Behold the pure angels gather their light closer around them, and darkness envelops those in that dwelling. The angels are moving from the scene. Sadness is upon their countenances. Behold, they are weeping. This I saw repeated a number of times all through the ranks of Sabbathkeepers, and especially in -----. Music has occupied the hours which should have been devoted to prayer. Music is the idol which many professed Sabbathkeeping Christians worship. Satan has no objection to music if he can make that a channel through which to gain access to the minds of the youth. Anything will suit his purpose that will divert the mind from God and engage the time which should be devoted to His service. He works through the means which will exert the strongest influence to hold the largest numbers in a pleasing infatuation, while they are paralyzed by his power. When turned to good account, music is a blessing; but it is often made one of Satan's most attractive agencies to ensnare souls. When abused, it leads the unconsecrated to pride, vanity, and folly. When allowed to take the place of devotion and prayer, it is a terrible curse. Young persons assemble to sing, and, although professed Christians, frequently dishonor God and their faith by their frivolous conversation and their choice of music. Sacred music is not congenial to their taste. I was directed to the plain teachings of God's word, which have been passed by unnoticed. In the judgment all these words of inspiration will condemn those who have not heeded them.
The apostle Paul exhorts Timothy "by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ": "I will therefore
that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."
Peter writes to the church: "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
The inspired Paul directs Titus to give special instructions to the church of Christ, "that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." He says: "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
Peter exhorts the churches to "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." "The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." Again he says: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing, than for evil-doing."
Are the youth in a position where they can with meekness
and fear give an answer to every man that asketh a reason of their hope? I saw that the youth greatly fail of understanding our position. Terrible scenes are just before them, a time of trouble which will test the value of character. Those who have the truth abiding in them will then be developed. Those who have shunned the cross, neglected the word of life, and paid adoration to their own poor selves will be found wanting. They are ensnared by Satan, and will learn too late that they have made a terrible mistake. The pleasures they have sought after prove bitter in the end. Said the angel: "Sacrifice all for God. Self must die. The natural desires and propensities of the unrenewed heart must be subdued." Flee to the neglected Bible; the words of inspiration are spoken to you; pass them not lightly by. You will meet every word again, to render an account whether you have been a doer of the work, shaping your life according to the holy teachings of God's word. Holiness of heart and life are necessary. All who have taken the name of Christ and have enlisted in His service should be good soldiers of the cross. They should show that they are dead to the world, and that their life is hid with Christ in God.
Paul writes to his Colossian brethren as follows: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." "And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him."
To the Ephesians he writes: "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
God is glorified by songs of praise from a pure heart filled with love and devotion to Him. When consecrated believers assemble, their conversation will not be upon the imperfections of others or savor of murmuring or complaint; charity, or love, the bond of perfectness, will encircle them. Love to God and their fellow men flows out naturally in words of affection, sympathy, and esteem for their brethren. The peace of God rules in their hearts; their words are not vain, empty, and frivolous, but to the comfort and edification of one another. If Christians will obey the instructions given to them by Christ and His inspired apostles, they will adorn the religion of the Bible and save themselves severe trials and much perplexity which they attribute to their afflictions in consequence of believing unpopular truth. This is a sad mistake. Very many of their trials are of their own creating because they depart from the word of God. They yield to the world, place themselves upon the enemy's battlefield, and tempt the devil to tempt them. Those who adhere strictly to the admonitions and instructions of God's word, prayerfully seeking to know and do His righteous will, feel not the petty grievances daily occurring. The gratitude which they feel, and the peace of God ruling within, cause them to make melody in their hearts unto the Lord and by words to make mention of
the debt of love and thankfulness due the dear Saviour, who so loved them as to die that they might have life. No one who has an indwelling Saviour will dishonor Him before others by producing strains from a musical instrument which call the mind from God and heaven to light and trifling things.
The young are required in whatsoever they do, in word or deed, to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. I saw that but few of the youth understand what it is to be Christians, to be Christlike. They will have to learn the truths of God's word before they can conform their lives to the pattern. There is not one young person in twenty who has experienced in his life that separation from the world which the Lord requires of all who would become members of His family, children of the heavenly King. "Wherefore 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."
What a promise is here made upon condition of obedience! Do you have to cut loose from friends and relatives in deciding to obey the elevated truths of God's word? Take courage, God has made provision for you, His arms are open to receive you. Come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and He will receive you. He promises to be a Father unto you. Oh, what a relationship is this! higher and holier than any earthly tie. If you make the sacrifice, if you have to forsake father, mother, sisters, brothers, wife, and children for Christ's sake, you will not be friendless. God adopts you into His family; you become members of the royal household, sons and daughters of the King who rules in the heaven of heavens. Can you desire a more exalted position than is here promised? Is not this enough? Said the angel: "What could God do for the children of men more than He has already done? If such love, such exalted
promises are not appreciated, could He devise anything higher, anything richer and more lofty? All that God could do has been done for the salvation of man, and yet the hearts of the children of men have become hardened. Because of the multiplicity of the blessings with which God has surrounded them, they receive them as common things and forget their gracious Benefactor."
I saw that Satan is a vigilant foe intent upon his purpose of leading the youth to a course of action entirely contrary to that which God would approve. He well knows that there is no other class that can do as much good as young men and young women who are consecrated to God. The youth, if right, could sway a mighty influence. Preachers, or laymen advanced in years, cannot have one half the influence upon the young that the youth, devoted to God, can have upon their associates. They ought to feel that a responsibility rests upon them to do all they can to save their fellow mortals, even at a sacrifice of their pleasure and natural desires. Time, and even means, if required, should be consecrated to God. All who profess godliness should feel the danger of those who are out of Christ. Soon their probation will close. Those who might have exerted an influence to save souls had they stood in the counsel of God, yet failed to do their duty through selfishness, indolence, or because they were ashamed of the cross of Christ, will not only lose their own souls, but will have the blood of poor sinners upon their garments. Such will be required to render an account for the good that they could have done had they been consecrated to God, but did not do because of their unfaithfulness. Those who have really tasted the sweets of redeeming love will not, cannot, rest until all with whom they associate are made acquainted with the plan of salvation. The young should inquire: "'Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?' How can I honor and glorify Thy name upon the earth?" Souls are perishing all around us, and yet what burden
do the youth bear to win souls to Christ? Those who attend school could have an influence for the Saviour; but who name the name of Christ? and who are seen pleading with tender earnestness with their companions to forsake the ways of sin and choose the path of holiness?
I was shown that this is the course which the believing young should take, but they do not; it is more congenial to their feelings to unite with the sinner in sport and pleasure. The young have a wide sphere of usefulness, but they see it not. Oh, that they would now exert their powers of mind in seeking ways to approach perishing sinners, that they might make known to them the path of holiness, and by prayer and entreaty win even one soul to Christ! What a noble enterprise! One soul to praise God through eternity! One soul to enjoy happiness and everlasting life! One gem in their crown to shine as a star for ever and ever! But even more than one can be brought to turn from error to truth, from sin to holiness. Says the Lord by the prophet: "And they that turn many to righteousness [shall shine] as the stars for ever and ever." Then those who engage with Christ and angels in the work of saving perishing souls are richly rewarded in the kingdom of heaven.
I saw that many souls might be saved if the young were where they ought to be, devoted to God and to the truth; but they generally occupy a position where constant labor must be bestowed upon them, or they will become of the world themselves. They are a source of constant anxiety and heartache. Tears flow on their account, and agonizing prayers are wrung from the hearts of parents in their behalf. Yet they move on, reckless of the pain which their course of action causes. They plant thorns in the breasts of those who would die to save them and have them become what God designed they should through the merits of the blood of Christ.
The youth exercise their ability to execute this or that nice
piece of art, but do not feel that God requires them to turn their talents to a better account, that of adorning their profession and seeking to save souls for whom Christ died. One such soul saved is of more value than worlds. Gold and earthly treasure can bear no comparison to the salvation of even one poor soul.
Young men and young women, I saw that God has a work for you to do; take up your cross and follow Christ, or you are unworthy of Him. While you remain in listless indifference, how can you tell what is the will of God concerning you? and how do you expect to be saved, unless as faithful servants you do your Lord's will? Those who possess eternal life will all have done well. The King of glory will exalt them to His right hand while He says to them: "Well done, good and faithful servants." How can you tell how many souls you might save from ruin if, instead of studying your own pleasure, you were seeking what work you could do in the vineyard of your Master? How many souls have these gatherings for conversation and the practice of music been the means of saving? If you cannot point to one soul thus saved, turn, oh, turn to a new course of action. Begin to pray for souls; come near to Christ, close to His bleeding side. Let a meek and quiet spirit adorn your lives, and let your earnest, broken, humble petitions ascend to Him for wisdom that you may have success in saving not only your own soul, but the souls of others. Pray more than you sing . Do you not stand in greater need of prayer than of singing? Young men and women, God calls upon you to work, work for Him. Make an entire change in your course of action. You can do work that those who minister in word and doctrine cannot do. You can reach a class whom the minister cannot affect.