The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
February 14, 1878 Battle Creek College part 2
Filed under: EG White Articles

Remarks by Mrs. E. G. White, at , June 26, 1877.
-
(Concluded.)

We would say to the who are soon to return to their homes, we hope they will make continual advancement in the , and in his fear. An that is obtained merely in is a very deficient education. An education in , a of God, combined with all the knowledge that you may obtain from will give you . As the students return to their homes, we hope they will carry with them; and that they will have the before them. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the of God.” Here is a which reaches deep beneath the surface, taking hold of the and actions of the entire man. He is required to be constantly guarded, a faithful sentinel over , prepared to meet and resist every thought and action which will dishonor his . A compliance with this injunction of the will bind and hold in restraint every , and will make an absolute necessity to the . , , , and everything which will strengthen and develop and will be . The combined with will give to all perfect and entire . Every believing mind will be filled with . The will be: I can do all things through which strengtheneth me. Such youth, and only such, can stand before the world with symmetrical characters.

prayed to God for . The Lord said, because he had not asked for or for , he should have not only the blessing of wisdom, but and also. One who has is prepared to make a right use of the talents and means which God has given him. All the he may possess will not lead him to forget . There is danger of some of these dear youth being , as was the who came to Jesus, and in all inquired: “ what shall I do to ?” Said : If thou wilt enter into life . Exultingly the young man replied: All these have I kept from my youth up, what lack I yet? How earnestly, and with what elation of soul he said this. But Jesus looked pityingly upon this deceived young man and said: “Yet lackest thou one thing; sell all that thou hast, and distribute to , and come follow me, and thou shalt have .” This unfolded to the deceived young man his supreme . His spoiled all his virtues. It was a fatal deficiency, for he turned away from Christ, from the , rather than to comply with the conditions.

We have hope that when you shall return to your homes and mingle in , and are surrounded with , when you shall meet with and , when is called for, when is required, that you will be connected with God, and maintain a of character; that you will be like the pure lily, only gathering to yourselves the good and refusing the bad. You can all do this if you will. Every one of you may have moral power; every one of you may have grace and strength to become victors on your own account, in the name of the One who has conquered for you, and has ascended up on high to represent your case to the Father. Man’s representative pleads in heaven in our behalf; and we want that the youth who have given their hearts to God will so live that Christ can freely present their cases before the Father. We hope that those who have just entered the school of Christ will continue to be learners. “If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.” There are many who cease to be learners in Christ’s school after they have received the ordinance of baptism. They appear more like graduates. “Except ye be converted and become as little children ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” How natural for many to love to teach, but who will not be taught. “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” Who so easily taught as a child; who so willing and ready to believe? God looks with love upon the confiding simplicity of children. Duties in our homes, in the college, and in the church, may be regarded as drudgery; but in proportion as these duties are blended with the love of God they are made cheerful and pleasant. The simple faith and trusting confidence of the child is necessary to be possessed by the learner in the school of Christ.

After the baptism of Christ he bowed upon Jordan’s banks, and heaven never listened to such a prayer as he then and there uttered. And in answer to that prayer, the light and glory of God flashed forth from his throne and descended as a dove and rested upon him. Immediately from the Infinite One came a voice, saying: “This is my beloved Son.” Here, heaven was opened to man; earth was connected with heaven through our representative, and finite man with the Infinite God. Heaven was opened to you, dear youth; and you need not to feel that the heavens above you are brass. God testified to his Son in his own voice that he accepted him; and in accepting the representative of the race he signifies to man that he will accept him through his Son if we comply with the conditions laid down in his word. The steps requisite in conversion are repentance, faith and baptism. And then after these steps are taken, the life of prayer is essential to maintain the Christian life, and to seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth, you cannot stop at baptism and feel that you have graduated. Your Christian life is only entered upon, the formation of Christian character is yet before you, you have just entered the school of Christ, and need to continue to learn of him.

You are to continue to be instructed in the school of Christ, having the heart open to receive the heavenly knowledge that will be imparted unto you; and thus you will grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth. There is a final examination that is to take place in reference to your probationary time in this world which is of vital interest to every one of us. There will in that day be no indifferent spectators. Every one will have a part to act, and will have intense interest to pass that ordeal with heavenly honors. All will have an opportunity to educate themselves while in this world, that they may be fitted to stand the grand review which must shortly take place. If you make efforts in one term at our college, and through negligence on your part fail to stand the examining test, you may console yourselves with the hope to redeem your failure in the following term. But if in the vital interest of your soul’s salvation you neglect to learn the lessons necessary to stand the test of the great examination to come, there will be no second privilege and opportunity granted. It is now or never that you must perfect Christian character. There will be no following term that you may enter the school of Christ to redeem abused privileges and lost opportunities. It is of the highest importance that in the great examination to come you can stand in the merits of your heavenly Redeemer by having gained the victory in his name.

We have been having an exhibition of talent here today, but the grand review of character is to take place by and by. Jesus would have us learn in his school that we may become intellectual Christians. He would have us learn of him that we may grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth, that we may be qualified to talk intelligently upon the things of God, repeating the lessons of the cross of Christ. We have heard speeches from the stand today from you which have done credit to both students and teachers. We are anxious that those who are learning in the school of Christ should have willing hearts and ready tongues, that they may speak the praise of God, and tell, in their language and deportment, the advancement they have made in the divine life. You want to make your mark high, and progress every day. Every day you want to obtain knowledge how to successfully control self. You want to obtain knowledge how to gain new victories. The Christian warfare is a battle and a march. Take Christ with you in everything you do; take him with you at your homes, and wherever you go; and if Jesus is with you, if you have his presence and his love, you have a heavenly companion, a heavenly guest.

Think not that the Christian’s life is one that takes away from you all pleasure. It opens to us fountains of pleasures that it is impossible for us to measure. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Take away from me everything that this world can give, but do not take away my connection with Heaven. I love my Saviour; and I want every one of these youth to love him. I want you to prepare for the final examination, when every man shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body. Who will be acquitted in that day? To whom will it be said: “Well done, good and faithful servant?” Who in that day will hear the words: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world?” How many who are present on this occasion will listen to those words which are richer than any music that ever fell upon human ear? And who, then, will have the crown of glory placed upon their brow? Who will bear in their hand the palm branch of victory, and the harp of gold?

We want you to swell the triumph of “Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and that lives again, a triumphant conqueror.” We want to see every one of you with your laurels of honor that you shall cast at the feet of your Redeemer; and then touch your golden harps, and fill all heaven with the melodious strains, and songs of praise to the Lamb. Talk not to me of the pleasures of earth. I have my eye fixed upon the immortal inheritance, and it has eclipsed all that is beautiful, all that is lovely, and all that is attractive in this world. I want heaven. I must have the eternal weight of glory. Will you strive with me to obtain heaven? Will you triumph with me in that day when God makes up his jewels? God grant that we may all be there; that every one of us may tread those streets that are paved with gold; that we may enter the pearly gates of the holy city, and that we may go no more out forever.

Jenny @ 12:04 pm
February 7, 1878 BATTLE CREEK COLLEGE
Filed under: EG White Articles

REMARKS BY MRS. E. G. WHITE, AT GOGUAC
LAKE, JUNE 26, 1877.

     [THE CLOSING EXERCISES OF THE BATTLE CREEK COLLEGE FOR THE YEAR WERE HELD IN THE BEAUTIFUL GROVE AT GOGUAC LAKE, ABOUT TWO MILES FROM THE CITY OF BATTLE CREEK. BEFORE THE SERVICES CLOSED THERE WERE ABOUT FOUR HUNDRED PERSONS PRESENT WHO WITNESSED THE BAPTISM OF FOURTEEN STUDENTS OF THE SCHOOL WHO HAD BEEN CONVERTED DURING THE LAST TERM. IT WAS ON THIS OCCASION THAT MRS. WHITE GAVE THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS, WHICH WAS REPORTED BY A STUDENT.]

Our Saviour, frequently, when he was giving his lessons of instruction to his disciples, took them without inclosed walls and led them by the lake- side and in the groves; and here he gave them illustrations by the objects in nature; and with these he bound up the sacred lessons of instruction which were to be immortalized in their minds. As they would look upon the shrubs and the flowers, the rocks and barren soil, the mountains and hills, the sower and the reaper; and as they would look upon the flowers in glowing beauty around them, the lessons of instruction given by their divine Lord were repeated to them. When we look upon these lofty trees and upon the lake and the boats that are going out and coming in upon the water we can remember that Christ beckoned for a fisherman’s boat, and he entered into Simon’s, and asked him to thrust out a little from the land. He there gave important lessons which were to be immortalized and handed down to us; and which were to reach unto the end of the world. As we view the lake today, and the boats upon the waters, these lessons which Christ gave are repeated to us.

Said the Saviour of the world: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Who gave to the beautiful flowers their delicate tints and their varied colors? Was it not that God which has given us everything that is lovely and beautiful in our world? Our heavenly Father who has surrounded us with everything that is glorious in nature is a God of love. He is a lover of the beautiful. He says: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.” Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed, with his costly robes of gold and silver, in garments which could bear comparison to these flowers of loveliness in their natural simplicity. Solomon is seated upon a throne of ivory, its basement is of gold, the steps are of gold flanked with six golden lions. Everything surrounding him is attractive. All his eye rests upon is magnificent. His eye rests upon expansive gardens, stretching away in the distance, beautiful and adorned with trees and shrubs to resemble the loveliness of paradise. The most rare and expensive birds of the richest plumage have been transported from every clime, and with their varying notes and bright songs, are flitting from bough to bough, while youths, the most lovely, clad in gold and silver dress, are seeking to amuse and divert the mind of the greatest monarch that ever sat upon an earthly throne. Many envied the popularity and abundant glory of Solomon, thinking that of all men he must be the most happy. But amid all that glory of artificial display the man envied is the one to be most pitied. His countenance is dark with despair. All the splendor about him is but to him mockery of the distress and anguish of his thoughts as he reviews his misspent life in seeking for happiness through indulgence and selfish gratification of every desire. He wails out his disappointment in these words: “All is vanity and vexation of spirit.” We may learn the lesson in the sad life of Solomon that riches and high intellectual attainments will not be sufficient for a happy life. Learning, and ability, and outward display without the sanctifying power of true godliness, will not bring contentment, peace, and happiness.

You have your youthful strength, your strong, ardent, impetuous temperaments which if guided aright will make you men and women of influence. If you bring your talents early as a consecrated offering to God he will accept you. If connected with the source of all purity, nobility and holiness, your lives will represent the spotless purity of this lily, diffusing a fragrance grateful and pleasant to all with whom you associate.

Dear youth, cultivate natural simplicity. Consider and learn from the flowers of the field the lesson Christ has sought to impress upon your mind and heart. You may devote the golden hours of your probation in studying your outward appearance. You may neglect the most essential work of your life in failing to secure the inward adorning, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is in the sight of God of great price. You may devote time, money and much thought to outward display, and after all your anxious care, you will not bear comparison to one of these flowers for attractive loveliness in their natural simplicity.

Here is the pure and lovely lily growing among the filth of ponds and lakes, striking down its curiously channeled stem, and gathering to itself only those properties that shall develop into this pure, fragrant lily. Every one admires this emblem of purity. Your lives, dear students, may resemble this lily.

As Christ offered his prayer to his Father he uttered these words. “I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world but keep them from the evil.” The world is a land of emptiness: It is a world good and beautiful of itself but man has become so sensual and depraved so embittered against God that the earth itself groans under the weight of accumulated guilt, you must cultivate firm principle in the midst of surrounding infidelity, hypocrisy, pride, and profligacy. You must be Bible students and carry Bible rules into your every day life. In no case allow knavery deception and dishonesty to beguile you from your simplicity. Be it your constant study how you will best attain and cherish that which God values, the ornament of purity and meekness, that the world will be better for your having lived in it. Like the pure lily you need faith’s penetrating root descending beneath the outward things which do appear to gather spiritual strength to invigorate and give purity and goodness to the life. The study of the Bible, the hours of secret communion with God, meditation upon heavenly themes will develop into purity of character resembling the spotless lily. The life of God in the soul is Christ in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life. This springing up into life will refresh all who connect with you. If your character is such that God can approve, it will be a complete Christian character filled with grace that is not assumed, but that has a natural growth. If your affections are obedient unto Christ your motives pure, there will be in your life, in your every day deportment, lessons of instruction to all around you. You will be living epistles known and read of all men. Your connection with God will lift you above every thing that has a debasing tendency, your pure and uncorrupted life will be ever pointing your school-mates and old associates upward to God and heaven saying to them you must seek peace and purity and happiness from above. Jesus is the source of your comfort strength and fortitude, amid vexation, trials and grievous temptations. The leaves of some trees and flowers seem naturally to gather dust which adheres to them, and mars their color and beauty. This is the case with many youths they do not see the necessity of vigilant watchfulness and earnest prayer to keep themselves pure, and their Christian character is always dingy. They need to wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Young men and young women while you are attending school you may be gathering to yourselves only those things which shall tend to the perfection of character, or you may gather to yourselves the habits, customs and practices of the world; love the things which they love, which shall have a corrupting influence upon the life and character, and you will forfeit your right to eternal life. Which shall it be? Our heavenly Father, the Giver of life, would draw us from the artificial to the natural simplicities. “Consider,” says Christ, “the lilies of the field, how they grow;” and again he says, “If God so clothed the grass of the field which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” If our heavenly Father has taken such special care for that which has to be cut down and cast into the oven, then how much greater is his care, his love and his attention for those who are formed in his image!

Young men and young women you may make any thing of yourselves that you please. You may attain to excellence and perfection of character; you may go through this world without being stained and blackened with the sins that taint and corrupt it; and when you are brought in contact with the evil of this world, you may escape them if you choose. Christ will be to you a special help in every time of need. But in order for you to develop characters which Heaven shall approve; it is necessary that you connect with God. Will you consider these lilies which I hold in my hand, emblem of purity and loveliness? Here in this flower is an expression of the love of God. Satan is never at rest; he is an interested spectator of all your actions. He will present before the inexperienced youth, things which on the surface appear attractive, to allure them from their integrity, and corrupt their morals. Christ’s voice is heard saying to them, Consider the lilies of the field, learn from them the value of natural simplicity. God speaks to you through his created works. Will you listen to his voice? Will you become acquainted with God in nature?

We can discern his love to us in giving us all these things in nature. We can see it in the lovely flowers in the valleys and on the surface of the lake. Anywhere, everywhere, we may read expressions of God’s love in the opening buds and blooming flowers. As God has given us these things of beauty and purity how much more will he delight to give us an eternal inheritance. He wants you to come into that position where he may grant you the gift of immortality. He has given you the gift of his Son, the greatest gift that Heaven could bestow; and now if you connect with God, if you connect with heaven, you may, in the name and strength of Jesus develop symmetrical characters; characters that are spotless as the pure lily that opens its blossom on the bosom of the lake. I invite you to take hold of heaven’s blessings and then you can have a right hold upon the earth. I invite you to look up through nature to nature’s God. Let these things teach you the love of God, and the care that he has for those formed in his image.
                          (Concluded next week.)

Jenny @ 6:44 pm
February 14, 1878 Battle Creek College part 2
Filed under: EG White Articles

Remarks by Mrs. E. G. White, at , June 26, 1877.
-
(Concluded.)

We would say to the who are soon to return to their homes, we hope they will make continual advancement in the , and in his fear. An that is obtained merely in is a very deficient education. An education in , a of God, combined with all the knowledge that you may obtain from will give you . As the students return to their homes, we hope they will carry with them; and that they will have the before them. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the of God.” Here is a which reaches deep beneath the surface, taking hold of the and actions of the entire man. He is required to be constantly guarded, a faithful sentinel over , prepared to meet and resist every thought and action which will dishonor his . A compliance with this injunction of the will bind and hold in restraint every , and will make an absolute necessity to the . , , , and everything which will strengthen and develop and will be . The combined with will give to all perfect and entire . Every believing mind will be filled with . The will be: I can do all things through which strengtheneth me. Such youth, and only such, can stand before the world with symmetrical characters.

prayed to God for . The Lord said, because he had not asked for or for , he should have not only the blessing of wisdom, but and also. One who has is prepared to make a right use of the talents and means which God has given him. All the he may possess will not lead him to forget . There is danger of some of these dear youth being , as was the who came to Jesus, and in all inquired: “ what shall I do to ?” Said : If thou wilt enter into life . Exultingly the young man replied: All these have I kept from my youth up, what lack I yet? How earnestly, and with what elation of soul he said this. But Jesus looked pityingly upon this deceived young man and said: “Yet lackest thou one thing; sell all that thou hast, and distribute to , and come follow me, and thou shalt have .” This unfolded to the deceived young man his supreme . His spoiled all his virtues. It was a fatal deficiency, for he turned away from Christ, from the , rather than to comply with the conditions.

We have hope that when you shall return to your homes and mingle in , and are surrounded with , when you shall meet with and , when is called for, when is required, that you will be connected with God, and maintain a of character; that you will be like the pure lily, only gathering to yourselves the good and refusing the bad. You can all do this if you will. Every one of you may have moral power; every one of you may have grace and strength to become victors on your own account, in the name of the One who has conquered for you, and has ascended up on high to represent your case to the Father. Man’s representative pleads in heaven in our behalf; and we want that the youth who have given their hearts to God will so live that Christ can freely present their cases before the Father. We hope that those who have just entered the school of Christ will continue to be learners. “If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.” There are many who cease to be learners in Christ’s school after they have received the ordinance of baptism. They appear more like graduates. “Except ye be converted and become as little children ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” How natural for many to love to teach, but who will not be taught. “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” Who so easily taught as a child; who so willing and ready to believe? God looks with love upon the confiding simplicity of children. Duties in our homes, in the college, and in the church, may be regarded as drudgery; but in proportion as these duties are blended with the love of God they are made cheerful and pleasant. The simple faith and trusting confidence of the child is necessary to be possessed by the learner in the school of Christ.

After the baptism of Christ he bowed upon Jordan’s banks, and heaven never listened to such a prayer as he then and there uttered. And in answer to that prayer, the light and glory of God flashed forth from his throne and descended as a dove and rested upon him. Immediately from the Infinite One came a voice, saying: “This is my beloved Son.” Here, heaven was opened to man; earth was connected with heaven through our representative, and finite man with the Infinite God. Heaven was opened to you, dear youth; and you need not to feel that the heavens above you are brass. God testified to his Son in his own voice that he accepted him; and in accepting the representative of the race he signifies to man that he will accept him through his Son if we comply with the conditions laid down in his word. The steps requisite in conversion are repentance, faith and baptism. And then after these steps are taken, the life of prayer is essential to maintain the Christian life, and to seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth, you cannot stop at baptism and feel that you have graduated. Your Christian life is only entered upon, the formation of Christian character is yet before you, you have just entered the school of Christ, and need to continue to learn of him.

You are to continue to be instructed in the school of Christ, having the heart open to receive the heavenly knowledge that will be imparted unto you; and thus you will grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth. There is a final examination that is to take place in reference to your probationary time in this world which is of vital interest to every one of us. There will in that day be no indifferent spectators. Every one will have a part to act, and will have intense interest to pass that ordeal with heavenly honors. All will have an opportunity to educate themselves while in this world, that they may be fitted to stand the grand review which must shortly take place. If you make efforts in one term at our college, and through negligence on your part fail to stand the examining test, you may console yourselves with the hope to redeem your failure in the following term. But if in the vital interest of your soul’s salvation you neglect to learn the lessons necessary to stand the test of the great examination to come, there will be no second privilege and opportunity granted. It is now or never that you must perfect Christian character. There will be no following term that you may enter the school of Christ to redeem abused privileges and lost opportunities. It is of the highest importance that in the great examination to come you can stand in the merits of your heavenly Redeemer by having gained the victory in his name.

We have been having an exhibition of talent here today, but the grand review of character is to take place by and by. Jesus would have us learn in his school that we may become intellectual Christians. He would have us learn of him that we may grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth, that we may be qualified to talk intelligently upon the things of God, repeating the lessons of the cross of Christ. We have heard speeches from the stand today from you which have done credit to both students and teachers. We are anxious that those who are learning in the school of Christ should have willing hearts and ready tongues, that they may speak the praise of God, and tell, in their language and deportment, the advancement they have made in the divine life. You want to make your mark high, and progress every day. Every day you want to obtain knowledge how to successfully control self. You want to obtain knowledge how to gain new victories. The Christian warfare is a battle and a march. Take Christ with you in everything you do; take him with you at your homes, and wherever you go; and if Jesus is with you, if you have his presence and his love, you have a heavenly companion, a heavenly guest.

Think not that the Christian’s life is one that takes away from you all pleasure. It opens to us fountains of pleasures that it is impossible for us to measure. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Take away from me everything that this world can give, but do not take away my connection with Heaven. I love my Saviour; and I want every one of these youth to love him. I want you to prepare for the final examination, when every man shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body. Who will be acquitted in that day? To whom will it be said: “Well done, good and faithful servant?” Who in that day will hear the words: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world?” How many who are present on this occasion will listen to those words which are richer than any music that ever fell upon human ear? And who, then, will have the crown of glory placed upon their brow? Who will bear in their hand the palm branch of victory, and the harp of gold?

We want you to swell the triumph of “Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and that lives again, a triumphant conqueror.” We want to see every one of you with your laurels of honor that you shall cast at the feet of your Redeemer; and then touch your golden harps, and fill all heaven with the melodious strains, and songs of praise to the Lamb. Talk not to me of the pleasures of earth. I have my eye fixed upon the immortal inheritance, and it has eclipsed all that is beautiful, all that is lovely, and all that is attractive in this world. I want heaven. I must have the eternal weight of glory. Will you strive with me to obtain heaven? Will you triumph with me in that day when God makes up his jewels? God grant that we may all be there; that every one of us may tread those streets that are paved with gold; that we may enter the pearly gates of the holy city, and that we may go no more out forever.

Jenny @ 3:21 pm
August 23, 1877 Home Thoughts
Filed under: EG White Articles

Life is a disappointment and a weariness to many persons because of the unnecessary labor with which they burden themselves in meeting the claims of custom. Their minds are continually harassed with anxiety as to supplying wants which are the offspring of pride and fashion. Jesus, in his sermon on the mount, strikes a direct blow at this engrossing care for the things of this world. He says, “take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” ‘Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” All the efforts of humanity cannot approach the beauty of Nature. The simple flowers of the field put to shame the robes of royalty. And Fashion, with her endless changes and eccentricities, presents the very opposite of that simple loveliness with which the lilies of the field are clothed, and which Jesus declared exceeds the glory with which Solomon was arrayed.

The expense, the care, and labor, lavished on that which, if not positively injurious, is unnecessary, would go far toward advancing the cause of God if applied to a worthier object. People crave what are called the luxuries of life, and sacrifice health, strength, and means to obtain them. A lamentable spirit of rivalry is manifested among persons of the same class as to who shall make the greatest display in matters of dress and of household expenditure. The sweet word, Home is perverted to mean something with four walls, filled with elegant furniture and adornments, while its inmates are on a continual strain to meet the requirements of custom in the different departments of life.

It is necessary to give due regard to the clothing, to the table, and to the pursuits by which we gain a livelihood; but there is danger of carrying this zeal to an extreme. In the days of Noah they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, buying, selling, and building, till the flood came and destroyed the people who had been so overzealous in the things of this world that they forgot God, and became abominable in his eyes. It was lawful for men to eat and drink, plant and build, marry and give in marriage, in the days of Noah; but the sin was in carrying these lawful things to extremes, to utterly fill their mind with them to the exclusion of all noble thoughts. Depravity, violence, and all manner of sin was the result. The great danger of these days is in devoting too much time to merely temporal matters, and making it the great aim of life to provide for the temporal wants, many of which are perverted and unnatural. In order to gratify a weak and sinful pride, people sacrifice comfort, peace, and the love of God.

Happiness is not found in empty show. The more simple the order of a well-regulated household, the happier will that home be. The courtesies of every-day life, and the affection that should exist between members of the same family, do not depend upon outward circumstances. Much of the restless longing and seeking for “that which profiteth not” is due to wrong training in youth. Each child in the family should have a part of the home burden to bear, and should be taught to perform his task faithfully and cheerfully. If the work is portioned out in this way, and the children grow up accustomed to bearing suitable responsibilities, no member of the household will be overburdened, and everything will move off pleasantly and smoothly in the home. A proper economy will be maintained, for each one will be acquainted with, and interested in, the details of the home.

In some families there is too much done. Neatness and order are essential to comfort, but these virtues should not be carried to such an extreme as to make life a period of unceasing drudgery, and to render the inmates of the home miserable. In the houses of some whom we highly esteem, there is a stiff precision about the arrangement of the furniture and belongings that is quite as disagreeable as a lack of order would be. The painful propriety which invests the whole house makes it impossible to find there that rest which one expects in the true home. It is not pleasant, when making a brief visit to dear friends, to see the broom and the duster in constant requisition, and the time which you had anticipated enjoying with your friends in social converse, spent by them in a general tidying-up, and peering into corners in search of a concealed speck of dust or a cob-web. Although this may be done out of respect to your presence in the house, yet you feel a painful conviction that your company is of less consequence to your friends than their ideas of excessive neatness.

In direct contrast to such homes was one that we visited during the last summer. Here the few hours of our stay were not spent in useless labor, nor in doing that which could be done as well at some other time; but were occupied in a pleasant and profitable manner, restful alike to mind and body. The house was a model of comfort, although not extravagantly furnished. The rooms were all well lighted and ventilated and every one, including the bed-rooms, was furnished with an open grate that the occupants might enjoy the healthful warmth and glow of an open fire, which is of more real value than the most costly adornments. The parlors were not furnished with that precision which is so tiresome to the eye, but there was a pleasing variety in the articles of furniture. The chairs were mostly rockers or easy-chairs; not all of the same fashion, but adapted to the comfort of the different members of the family. There were low, cushioned rocking-chairs, and high, straight-backed ones; wide, capacious lounging-chairs, and snug little ones; there were also comfortable sofas; and all seemed to say, Try me, Rest in me. There were tables strewn with books and papers. All was neat and attractive, but without that precise arrangement that seems to warn all beholders not to touch anything for fear of getting it out of place.

The proprietors of this pleasant home were in such circumstances that they might have furnished and embellished their residence expensively, but they had wisely chosen comfort rather than display. There was nothing in the house considered too good for general use, and the curtains and blinds were not kept closed to keep the carpets from fading and the furniture from tarnishing. The God-given sunlight and air had free ingress, with the fragrance of the flowers in the garden. The family were, of course, in keeping with the home; they were cheerful and entertaining, doing everything needful for our comfort, without oppressing us with so much attention as to make us fear that we were causing extra trouble. We felt that here was a place of rest. This was a Home in the fullest sense of the word.

The rigid precision which we have mentioned as being a disagreeable feature of so many homes is not in accordance with the great plan of Nature. God has not caused the flowers of the fields to grow in regular beds, with set borders, but he has scattered them like gems over the greensward, and they beautify the earth with their variety of form and color. The trees of the forest are not in regular order. It is restful to eye and mind to range over the scenes of nature, over forest, hill and valley, plain and river, enjoying the endless diversity of form and color, and the beauty with which trees, shrubs, and flowers, are grouped in nature’s garden, making it a picture of loveliness. Childhood, youth, and age can alike find rest and gratification there.

This law of variety can be in a measure carried out in the home. There should be a proper harmony of colors, and a general fitness of things in the furnishing of a house; but it is not necessary to good taste that every article of furniture in a room should be of the same pattern in design, material, or upholstery; but, on the contrary, it is more pleasing to the eye that there should be a harmonious variety.

But whether the home be humble or elegant, its appointments costly or the reverse, there will be no happiness within its walls unless the spirit of its inmates is in harmony with the Divine will. Contentment should reign within the household.–Mrs. E. G. White, in Health Reformer.

Jenny @ 2:38 pm