The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
January 8, 1880 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Sixteen.
By Mrs. E. G. White.

was with Joseph in his new home. He was in , not for any wrong that he had done, but through the of his brothers. Yet he did not cherish a , sullen spirit, he did not yield to , as many would have felt excused in doing. He was not in a position of his own choosing, and he would not make his condition worse by useless repining. With alacrity he performed the which were assigned him, laboring for the best interest of those to whom he then belonged. In contributing to the of others he was .

The marked which attended everything placed under Joseph’s care was not the result of a direct . With the , his persevering industry, his , his thoughtful care-taking were crowned with success, and won for him the highest regard of his master. This success could never have been gained, and Joseph himself could not have become what he was, without steadfast, well-directed effort. The exercise of the physical and mental powers is necessary to their full and perfect development. Without bodily exercise the laboring man’s arm would lose its strength, and unless the mental powers are taxed they will become weak.

Although surrounded with idolatry, which was most repulsive to his principles, Joseph preserved his simplicity, his purity, and his God-fearing fidelity. The discordant notes of vice and revelry often fell upon his ear, but he would not allow his thoughts to linger for a moment upon forbidden subjects. Had Joseph sacrificed principle to please the Egyptians, he would have been overcome by temptation. But he was not ashamed of the religion of his fathers, and he made no effort to conceal the fact that he loved and feared God. The Lord designed that the light and power of heavenly grace should shine forth amid the darkness of heathen superstition and idolatry; that the purity, the faithfulness, and steadfast integrity of the true believer in God should appear in contrast with the darkened characters of those who served idols.

Joseph gave the credit of his prosperity to the Lord, and his master believed that the Lord was with him, and that he caused all that he did to prosper. Thus God was glorified by the faithfulness of his servant. The confidence which Potiphar reposed in Joseph daily increased, until he promoted him to be his steward, placing him in charge of all his affairs. But fiery trials were to test still more severely the faith and integrity of Joseph. The morals of the Egyptians were very low. His master’s wife was a licentious woman, and now a temptation to deviate from the path of right, to transgress the law of God, is presented before the youthful exile. His future welfare depends upon the decision of the moment. Will Satan triumph? Will principle now garrison Joseph’s heart? Will he now have the fear of God before him? Will he be loyal and true to the divine law? Angels were regarding this servant of God with intense interest. The elevating power of religious principle was evidenced in his answer to his master’s wife. After speaking of the great confidence which his master had reposed in him by trusting him with all he had, he exclaims, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

Many will take liberties under the inspecting eyes of holy angels and of God that they would not be guilty of before their fellow men. This class are an abomination in the sight of God. Joseph’s first thought was of God; Thou “God seest me,” was the great truth controlling the thoughts of his mind, influencing the motives of his actions. He looked upon God, not as a tyrant watching his actions to condemn and punish him, but as a tender, loving friend, guarding his interests. He would not be persuaded by inducements or threats to deviate from the path of strictest integrity. He would not violate God’s law.

Joseph’s firm adherence to right brought him into a trying position. He lost his situation, his reputation, and his liberty. Crime and falsehood for a time seemed to triumph, while innocence and virtue suffered. Had Potiphar fully believed the charges of his wife, Joseph would have lost his life. But his past conduct, his modesty and firm integrity, were convincing proof of his innocence; and yet, to save the reputation of his master’s house, Joseph was sacrificed, while the sinful wife was exalted in the estimation of her friends as if a model of virtue.

When the base crime was laid to the charge of Joseph, and he was covered with reproach, he stood in nobility of soul, in conscious innocence. He knew that the eye of God was upon him, and he could confide his case to his care who had hitherto supported him. He was condemned as a criminal to a gloomy prison, yet he did not become morose and look upon the discouraging features of his case. He kept his patience and his hope and faith. He did not close his heart against suffering humanity, he did not turn his attention to himself, but entered into the troubles of his fellow-prisoners, giving them his kindly sympathy. He found work to do, even in the prison. He was indeed a servant of servants. God was fitting him, in the school of affliction, for greater usefulness. He was learning to govern himself. From a position of honor and trust he had been suddenly abased to one of apparent degradation; but integrity, innocence, and virtue can never be degraded. God’s will had been his ruling motive in prosperity, and he shows the same high regard for that will now that he is inclosed in prison walls. He carried his religion with him wherever he went, and in whatever situation he was placed.

Those who love God will have an all-pervading influence shedding a grateful fragrance. If man will discharge his duties faithfully wherever he may be, he will become a power for good. God gave Joseph favor with the keeper of the prison, and to faithful Joseph was committed the charge of all the prisoners.

Here is an example to all generations who should live upon the earth. Although they may be exposed to evil influences, they should ever realize that there is a defense at hand, and it will be their own fault if they are not preserved. God will be a present help, and his Spirit a shield. Although surrounded with the severest temptations, there is a source of strength to which they can apply, and obtain grace to resist them. How fierce was the assault upon Joseph’s morals. It came from one of influence, the most likely to lead astray. Yet how promptly and firmly was it resisted. He suffered for his integrity; for she who would lead him astray, revenged herself upon the virtue she could not subvert, and by her influence caused him to be cast into prison, by charging him with a foul wrong. But Joseph had placed his reputation and interests in the hands of God. And although he was suffered to be afflicted for a time, the Lord safely guarded that reputation that was blackened by a wicked accuser, and afterward, in his own good time, caused it to shine. God made even the prison the way to his elevation. Virtue will in time bring its own reward. The shield which covered Joseph’s heart was the fear of God, which caused him to be faithful and just to his master, and true to God. He despised that ingratitude which would lead him to abuse the confidence of his master, although he might never learn the fact. The grace of God he called to his aid, and then fought with the tempter. He nobly says, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” He came off conqueror.

Amid the snares to which all are exposed, they need strong and trustworthy defenses on which to rely. Many, in this corrupt age, have so small a supply of the grace of God, that in many instances their defense is broken down by the first assault, and fierce temptations take them captive. The shield of grace can preserve all unconquered by the temptations of the enemy, though surrounded by the most corrupting influences. By firm principle and unwavering trust in God, their virtue and nobleness of character may shine; and, although surrounded with evil, no taint need be left upon them. And if, like Joseph, they suffer calumny and false accusations, Providence will overrule all the enemy’s devices for good, and in his own time, exalt them as much higher, as for a while they were debased by wicked revenge.

The part which Joseph acted in connection with the scenes of the gloomy prison, was that which raised him finally to prosperity and honor. God designed that he should obtain an experience by temptations, adversity, and hardships, to prepare him to fill an exalted position.
                            (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 7:06 pm
October 17, 1878 A Lesson for the Times
Filed under: EG White Articles

Entire abstinence from every pernicious indulgence, and especially from tobacco and intoxicating drink, should be strenuously taught in our homes, both by precept and example. Upon no consideration should wine be placed upon our tables. Our children should grow up to consider it a deadly evil, leading to misery and crime.

The youth of today are the sure index to the future of society; and as we view them, what can we hope for that future? These young men are to take a part in the legislative councils of the nation; they will have a voice in enacting and executing its laws. How important, then, is it that the voice of warning should be raised against the indulgence of perverted appetite in those upon whom such solemn duties will rest. If parents would zealously teach total abstinence, and emphasize the lesson by their own unyielding example, many who are now on the brink of ruin might be saved.

What shall we say of the liquor-sellers, who imperil life, health, and property, with perfect indifference? They are not ignorant of the result of their trade, but they become callous of heart. They listen carelessly to the complaints of famishing, half-clad mothers and children. Satan has no better agents by which to prepare souls for perdition, and he uses them with the most telling effect. The liquor-seller deals out his fiery draughts to men who have lost all control of reason and appetite; he takes their hard-earned money and gives no equivalent for it; he is the worst kind of robber.

We find in the special precepts given by God to the Hebrews, this command: “If an ox goad a man or a woman that they died, then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and his owner also shall be put to death. If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.” “And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein, the owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them, and the dead beast shall be his.”

The principle embodied in this statute holds good in our time. The liquor-seller compares well with the man who turns a vicious ox loose upon his neighbors. The liquor seller is not ignorant of the effects of the fiery draught which he deals out unhesitatingly to husbands, fathers, youth, and aged men. He knows that it robs them of reason, and in many cases changes them to demons. The liquor-seller makes himself responsible for the violence that is committed under the influence of the liquor he sells. If the drunkard commits murder, under the effect of the maddening draught, the dealer who sold it to him, aware of the tendency of its effect, is in the sight of God equally responsible for the crime with him who did the deed.

The liquor-dealer digs a pit for his neighbor to fall into. He has seen the consequences of liquor-drinking too often to be ignorant of any one of their various phases. He knows that the hand of the man who drinks at his bar is likely to be raised against his own wife, his helpless children, or his aged father or mother. He knows, in very many instances, that the glass he hands to his customer will make him a raging madman, eager for quarrel, and thirsting for blood. He knows that he is taking bread from the mouths of hungry children, that the pence which fall into his till, and enable him to live extravagantly, have deprived the drunkard’s children of clothes, and robbed his family not only of the comforts, but of the very necessities of life. He is deaf to the appeals of weeping wives and mothers, whose hearts are breaking from cruelty and neglect.

Crimes of the darkest dye are daily reported in the newspapers as the direct result of drunkenness. The prisons are filled with criminals who have been brought there by the use of liquor; and the blood of murdered victims cries to Heaven for vengeance, as did the blood of Abel. The laws of the land punish the perpetrator of the deed, but the liquor-seller, who is also morally responsible for it, goes free; no man calls him a murderer; community looks calmly on at his unholy traffic, because justice is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter. But God who declared that if a man owned a dangerous ox, and knew it to be so, yet let it loose upon his neighbors, if it caused the death of any man or woman, he should pay the penalty with his own life, - that just and terrible God will let fall the bolts of his wrath on the liquor-vender, who sells violence and death to his fellow-men, in the poisonous cup of the inebriate, who deals him out that which takes away his reason, and makes him a brute.

Oh, if men, formed in the image of God, would let reason hold sway in their minds; if they would remember that cursed is he who putteth the bottle to his neighbor’s lips, and that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of heaven; if they would count the cost beforehand of creating an appetite which has no foundation in nature, - how much misery, crime, and disease might be spared the children of men!

Parents who freely use wine and liquor leave to their children the legacy of a feeble constitution, mental and moral debility, unnatural appetites, irritable temper, and an inclination to vice. Parents should feel that they are responsible to God, and to society, to bring into existence beings whose physical, mental, and moral characters shall enable them to make a proper use of life, be a blessing to the world, and an honor to their Creator. The indulgence of perverted appetite is the great cause of the deterioration of the human race. The child of the drunkard or the tobacco inebriate usually has the depraved appetites and passions of the father intensified, and at the same time inherits less of his self-control, and strength of mind. Men who are naturally calm and strong-minded not infrequently lose control of themselves while under the influence of liquor, and, though they may not commit crime, still have an inclination to do so, which might result in the act if a fair opportunity offered. Continued dissipation makes these propensities a second nature. Their children often receive this stamp of character before their birth; for the appetites of the parents are often intensified in the children. Thus unborn generations are afflicted by the use of tobacco and liquor. Intellectual decay is entailed upon them, and their moral perceptions are blunted. Thus the world is being filled with paupers, lunatics, thieves, and murderers. Disease, imbecility, and crime, with private and public corruptions of every sort, are making the world a second Sodom.

For the sake of that high charity and sympathy for the souls of tempted men for whom Christ died, Christians should come out from the popular customs and evils of the age, and be forever separated from them. But we find in the clergy themselves the most insurmountable obstacle to the promotion of temperance. Many are addicted to the use of the filthy weed, tobacco, which perverts the appetite, and creates the desire for some stronger stimulant. The indifference or disguised opposition of these men, many of whom occupy high and influential positions, is exceedingly damaging to the cause of temperance.

The safety of society, and the progress of reform, depend upon a clear definition and recognition of fundamental truth. The principles of God’s law must be kept before the people as everlasting and inexorable as the character of God himself. Law is defined as a rule of action. Civil law represents the supreme power of the State, regulating the actions of men, and restricting them from doing wrong under penalty of punishment. The good of society and the safety of man require that the law be respected. All enlightened law is founded on the law of Jehovah, given on Mount Sinai. To the inebriate, both the law of God and the law of man are meaningless. His senses are benumbed, he cannot comprehend the language of Sinai, and he tries to bring the law down to meet his debased standard rather than elevate himself to meet the exalted standard established by the rules of God’s government.

If Christian men would protect their homes from the horrors of vice, let them respect the laws of God. Let them be jealous for the sanctity of the ten precepts given for the government of mankind. Let them thus purify themselves, and decide to obey God at any cost to themselves. Then will they understand the mystery of godliness, and exclaim with David, “How love I thy law. It is my meditation all the day.” “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” - Mrs. E. G. White, in Health Reformer.

Jenny @ 10:57 pm
March 21, 1878 The Sins of the Pharisees.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.

“Then spake to , and to his , saying, The and the sit in . All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their ; for they say, and do not.” The claimed to be invested with similar to that of . They assumed to take his place as of the and of the people. As such they claimed all and from the people. But admonished his to observe and do that which the taught according to the law, but not to follow their , for they neglected the which they taught others to observe.

made it plain to all that he held no against the scribes and Pharisees, notwithstanding their of him; but he openly condemned their and acts as directly opposed to their , and therefore not to be imitated. Said he, “They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” The Pharisees enjoined a multitude of minute regulations having their foundation in tradition, and unreasonably restraining personal liberty of action.

God forbade the eating of beasts, not to exercise an arbitrary , but to preserve the of his people. In order for them to retain their faculties of , it was necessary that their should be kept pure, by eating simple, . He therefore specified the animals least for food. The leading Jews who delighted in and in administering the law, carried the of God to unreasonable lengths, making life a of and . They carried the regulations of eating and drinking so far that the mind was kept on a continual in between what was considered and , and in following out the multitude of injunctions imposed by the priests. All the water was strained lest the presence of the smallest or might render it unclean, and therefore unfit to use. They were in constant fear of infringing upon which were taught to them as portions of the law.

The Pharisees by their endless round of forms, fastened the minds of the people upon external services to the neglect of true religion. They failed to connect the thought of Christ with their ceremonies, and, having forsaken the fountain of living water, hewed out for themselves broken cisterns that could hold no water.

The priests, scribes and rulers not only rejected Christ themselves but took the most unfair means to prejudice the people against him, deceiving them by false reports and gross misrepresentations. Said Jesus: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” These words, condemning this sin of the Pharisees, are applicable to all who follow their example. In all ages of the world truth has been unpopular; its doctrines are not congenial to the natural mind. The cold professor, the bigot and hypocrite are not willing to accept that which searches the heart, and reproves the life. Some ministers turn the ears of the people from truth unto fables, stopping at nothing that will help to carry out their purpose. They even stoop to pervert the words and malign the characters of those who receive and love the precious truths of God, and labor to bring others to a knowledge of them.

The Saviour pronounced a woe on those who, imitating the great rebel, compass all difficulties to make one proselyte. Said he, “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Those whom he addressed would resort to any species of deception in order to gain influence with the people, and prevent them from believing and obeying the truth. The Saviour declared of them: “Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him; when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it.” These cutting words were applied to those who made the highest pretensions to godliness, and who regarded all other nations as contemptible in the sight of God.

Just such zealous adversaries of the truth are met in our day. They leave no means untried to subvert the minds and consciences of men. They originate falsehoods, and find plenty ready to believe them. They have taken step after step away from the light into darkness, until the light has become darkness to them. They possess a determined zeal, which savors of honesty, and appears to many as such. They are willing to make great sacrifices and endure rebuffs for the sake of attaining their object, returning again and again to the same point, seeking to turn souls away from the divine truth unto superstitions and fables. These pious pretenders come as angels of light, professing deep experience in the things of God, while they are doing the work of Satan. Those whom they succeed in gaining become even worse than themselves; such is the downward road to ruin. Jesus says of this latter class, “Ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

The Saviour continued: “Woe unto you, ye blind guides, who say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind; for whether is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it he is guilty. Ye fools and blind; for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?” The priests interpreted the requirements of God to meet their false and narrow standard. They presumed to make nice distinctions between the comparative guilt of various sins, passing over some lightly, assigning as an excuse that the end justified the means, while errors of perhaps less consequence were treated as unpardonable. These blind guides so confused the minds of their followers in regard to sin and the proper standard of holiness, that they were destined to eventually perish with their leaders.

The Pharisees took upon themselves the responsibility of deciding concerning the burdens and duties of others according to the judgment of their own carnal minds. They accepted money from persons in return for excusing them from their vows, and in some cases, crimes of an aggravated character were passed over in consideration of large sums of money paid to the authorities by the transgressor. At the same time these hypocritical priests were exact in the matter of sacrifices and ceremonies, as if it were possible for cold forms to blot out the unrepented sins of their daily lives.

The Lord said unto Samuel, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and in sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” No outward service, even in that which is required by God can be a substitute for an obedient life. The Creator desires heart service of his creatures.

God has said through Hosea, “For I desired mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant; there have they dealt treacherously against me.” The many sacrifices of the Jews and the flowing of blood to atone for sins for which they felt no true repentance was ever repugnant to God. He spoke through Micah saying, “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doeth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Costly gifts and a semblance of holiness cannot win the favor of God. He requires for his mercies a contrite spirit, a heart open to the light of truth, love and compassion for our fellow men and a spirit refusing to be bribed through avarice or self-love. The priests and rulers were destitute for these essentials to God’s favor, and their most precious gifts and gorgeous ceremonies were an abomination in his eyes.

The Pharisees built expensive monuments to the dead prophets, pretending to deplore the sins of their fathers in rejecting, persecuting and slaying the chosen servants of God. At the same time they were burning with rage against the greatest prophet the world had ever seen, simply because he revealed and reproved their sins. They not only manifested the same spirit of hatred which had actuated their fathers, but were doing ten-fold worse than they in opposing and plotting against the divine Son of God.

These men whom Jesus exposed in so unsparing a manner should be a warning to those who reject the light of truth. They had gone step by step into darkness, rejecting the evidences that Jesus was the true Messiah, until the obscurity of their minds was so great that they called righteousness sin and sin righteousness. They evinced the same malice that actuated Satan against Christ in heaven, and for the same reason, because of the superior goodness of the Son of God. They were indeed the children of Satan. They condemned the acts of their forefathers in persecuting the prophets, and assumed to be the representatives of those holy men of God who died for their faith; they built the tombs of the prophets and garnished their sepulchers, and said one to another, If we had lived in those days we should not have been partakers with those who shed the blood of God’s servants, yet at the same time they were planning to destroy the Son of God, and would not have hesitated to imbrue their hands in his blood if they had not feared the people.

The condition of the Pharisees should be a lesson to the Christian world of the present day. It should open their eyes to the power of Satan to deceive human minds when they once turn from the precious light of truth, and yield to the control of the enemy. Many who make exalted professions today are following in the track of the Pharisees. They zealously cherish the memory of the prophets, even as the Pharisees were zealous in building and decorating their tombs. They declare that, had they lived in the days when Christ was upon the earth, they would have gladly received his teachings and obeyed them. But if these very persons had been placed in a similar position with the Jews, they would have done no better than they who crucified the Saviour.

Unpopular truth is no more acceptable to Pharisaical, self-righteous hearts today than when Christ walked the earth, a man among men.

If Christians were to be tested now as were the Jews at the first advent of Christ, few would accept him wrapped in his garment of humanity, living a life of humiliation and poverty. The Christian world can accept Messiah as a King at the right hand of God in heaven, but their hearts reject a Saviour of humility and self-sacrifice; they shrink from the cross of Christ, even as did the haughty Pharisees. Few indeed imitate the example of Jesus, and follow his teachings in their daily lives. He has exhorted his disciples to follow in his foot-steps. Many are in as great blindness concerning the plan of salvation as were the Pharisees, who professed obedience to God while they rejected Him who came to work out their salvation, that their efforts to gain a righteous character should have virtue with God through the sinner’s Advocate and substitute.

If man sacrifices righteous principles and truth because he can thus avoid persecution and trial in this life, he may obtain the friendship of the world, but will lose the favor of God. He barters his eternal welfare for trifling considerations. But he that obeys the requirements of Christ, neither looking nor planning for his own convenience, preferring even to sacrifice his temporal life rather than turn from the light of truth will secure the reward of the future immortal life. Jesus has said, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”

Jenny @ 6:42 pm
August 30, 1877 The Duties of a Mother
Filed under: EG White Articles

The Christian mother, to a very great extent, has it within her power to secure to her children good constitutions, sound morals, and correct views of the duties and responsibilities of life. Thousands of mothers are today ignorant of the laws of health and morality, and utterly reckless in the management of their children. Thousands are ruined for life and rendered worthless to society through neglect of proper training in early youth. A failure of health prevents the cultivation and development of the mental faculties, the talents lie dormant in consequence, and the world loses the benefit of them. A knowledge of, and obedience to, the laws of nature would have preserved the healthful action of body and mind and given to humanity the blessing of many a life now wasted in uselessness. Through the inefficiency of parents, much good is lost, to the world, and God is robbed of the glory he should receive through the proper direction of youthful talent and energy. 

Mothers are not thoroughly qualified to discipline and educate the minds of the young, unless they have that knowledge of God by which they can conscientiously train their children for the highest usefulness in this life and for the future immortal life. In the education of her children, the mother needs the wisdom which God alone can give her. She also needs health and its accompaniment of calm nerves, clear judgement, and sound reasoning powers. She will then have decision as well as gentleness, firmness as well as love, and will be able to hold the reins of guidance with a firm yet patient hand. She should cultivate that quiet dignity and independence of character which is necessary to her sacred life-work, and the proper conducting of her household. The customs and habits of the world in regard to the training of children should not turn a Christian mother from her course. In no case should she sacrifice her ideas of right because she sees many mothers yielding their scruples in order to gratify the inclinations of their children for questionable amusements, idleness, or a style of dress calculated to foster vanity and injure the health.

Indulgence of wrong desires and gratification of the animal passions are the order of the day in this age of the world. Youth is surrounded with the fascinations of pleasure and the seductive temptations of sin. For these reasons a great and important responsibility rests upon the Christian mother. It is hers, in a measure, to rectify the growing evils of the world by rearing her children in such a manner that they will take a firm stand for the right and cast their influence on the side of virtue. But the mother who submits her God-given womanhood to the slavery of fashion wastes, in useless labor and frivolity, time and energy which should be devoted to her sacred calling. She cannot feel a sense of her solemn responsibility to God and humanity. Satan has invented manifold temptations to divert the minds of mothers from their most important work. The matter of dress holds the larger share of women in the veriest bondage. The study of fashion-plates is pursued with untiring zeal, and is followed up by an endless round of cutting, fitting, stitching, ruffling, pointing, and plaiting, to arrange for vain display. All this costs time, money, and concentration of mind, for which no equivalent is returned. The mental powers are dwarfed for want of proper cultivation, and wretchedly abused by being almost wholly bent upon the object of preparing raiment for the body, while their children are on the way to ruin. 

Many mothers are much more concerned as to the dress and adornment of their children than they are for their behavior and the proper direction of their minds. They will spend precious time in ruffling and trimming the garments of their little ones, while those who are to wear them are running in the streets, subject to the influence of vile associates and breathing in the atmosphere of vice. The hours that should be devoted to prayerful communion with them and a careful superintendence of their employments and amusements are worse than wasted in ornamenting the little suits which will serve to add the evil of vanity to the faults already acquired. A mother who prizes the approval of God and who is controlled by heavenly influences will not dare to waste her precious time, strength, and money, in arranging her own and her children’s dress to meet the claims of custom. Fashion-loving mothers are daily giving their children lessons in devotion to dress, which they will never unlearn in after life. They are sowing seeds in those tender minds which will erelong bear fruit. “Sad will the harvest be!” “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

It is the mother’s duty constantly to educate her mind and heart for the grave duties devolving upon her, that she may successfully meet her increasing family cares. She should study the peculiarities in the temperaments of her children, and vary her discipline to suit their different dispositions; thus she will be able to mold their minds in the right shape. The usual management of children at the present time tends to weaken their moral power. They are allowed to be idle, and their active young minds, seeking employment, stumble into evil ways. They are not taught self-denial and prompt obedience, therefore they grow up selfish and incapable of taking of the earnest work of life. The example of most parents is demoralizing to the children, who naturally look to them for a pattern. If the parents are swept into the strong current of the world and follow its practices regardless of right or wrong, time or expense, certainly no better can be expected of their children. The lessons of precept and example given by parents to their children should tend to fit their characters for the higher, immortal life. They are thus qualified also for the greatest usefulness in this world. God has placed us here not to live for our own amusement, but to do good, to bless humanity, to prepare for heaven. Every violation of moral obligation, with its burden of result, must be met and accounted for hereafter.

Especially are the mother’s moments priceless; her work will be tested in the solemn day of accounts. Then it will be found that many of the failures and crimes of men and women have resulted from the ignorance and gross neglect of those whose duty it was to guide their childish feet in the right way. Then it will be found that many who have blessed the world with the light of genius and truth and holiness, owe the staunch principles and integrity that were the mainspring of their usefulness and success to the careful religious training of a praying Christian mother.–Mrs. E. G. White, in Health Reformer.

Jenny @ 3:43 pm