The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
March 18, 1880 The Plagues of Egypt
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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(Concluded.)

Pharaoh was now forewarned of a still more terrible visitation, that of murrain upon all the Egyptian cattle which were out in the field. It was distinctly stated that the Hebrews should be exempted from this evil. The plague came, as predicted, and Pharaoh, on sending messengers to the homes of the Israelites, found that they had entirely escaped. Still the king was obstinate, and he was encouraged in his persistency by the priests and magicians.

But they also were to feel the judgments of God. Moses and Aaron were commanded to take ashes of the furnace and sprinkle them in the air before Pharaoh. As they did so, the fine particles spread as dust over all the land of Egypt, and where it settled became a “boil breaking forth with blains upon man and upon beast.” The magicians could not by any of their enchantments, shield themselves from the grievous plague. They could no longer stand before Moses and Aaron, because of this affliction. The Egyptians were thus permitted to see how useless it would be for them to put their trust in the boasted power of the magicians, when they could not protect even their own persons.

Still there was no yielding on the part of the monarch. And the Lord sent a message to him declaring, “I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.” Then a plague of hail was threatened which would destroy the cattle and every man found in the field. Here was an opportunity to test the pride of the Egyptians, and to show how many were really affected by the wonderful dealings of God with his people. All who regarded the word of the Lord gathered their cattle into barns and houses, while those who disbelieved the warning left their animals in the field. In thus providing a way of escape for all who chose to act upon the warning given, we see the mercy of God in the midst of judgment.

The storm came on the morrow as predicted,–thunder and hail, and fire mingled with it, destroying every herb, shattering trees, and smiting man and beast. Hitherto none of the lives of the Egyptians had been taken, but now death and desolation followed in the track of the destroying angel. The land of Goshen alone was spared. Here the Lord demonstrated to the Egyptians that the whole earth is under the command of the God of the Hebrews, that even the elements obey his voice. Here also was fulfilled the prophecy: “My people dwell in a peaceful habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places; when it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.” The only true safety of nations and individuals is to be obedient to the voice of God, and to ever stand on the side of truth and righteousness. Pharaoh now humbled himself and said, “I have sinned, the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.” He entreated the servants of God to intercede with Him that the terrific thunder and lightning might cease.

Moses knew that the contest was not ended, for he understood the workings of the human heart that is set in proud defiance against God. Pharaoh’s confessions and promises were not made because there was any change in his mind or heart; but terror and anguish compelled him, for the time being, to yield the controversy with God. Moses, however, promised to grant his request, as though his confession was genuine and his repentance sincere, for he would not give him any occasion for future exhibitions of stubbornness. And notwithstanding the terrific warring of the elements, he fearlessly went forth, thus giving evidence to Pharaoh and his host of the divine protection while engaged in doing the work given him of the Lord.

On going out of the city he “spread abroad his hands unto the Lord, and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.” But as soon as the awful exhibitions of divine power had passed, the heart of the king returned to its stubbornness and rebellion.

The Lord was manifesting his power to confirm the faith of his people Israel in him as the only true and living God. He would give them unmistakable evidences of the difference he placed between the Egyptians and his people. He would cause all nations to know that although they had been bound down by hard labor, and had been despised, yet he had chosen them as his peculiar people, and that he would work for their deliverance in a wonderful manner.

By long association with the Egyptians, and continually beholding the imposing worship of idols, the Hebrews’ idea of the true and living God had become degraded. Any reference made by them to Him was treated with contempt by the Egyptians, who pointed to their bondage and mocked at the idea that their God was worthy of respect. What had he done for his people! They saw the idolatrous Egyptians enjoying an abundant prosperity, while they were continually taunted with the remark, “Your God has forsaken you.”–But by his mighty works, the Lord would now teach his people in regard to his character and divine authority, and show them the utter worthlessness of false gods.

The Lord, in his providence, had placed a man upon the throne whose pride and stubbornness was so great that he would defiantly refuse to obey his voice, and in so doing would reveal his haughty, tyrannical spirit, and fully establish the power, authority, and justice of God. Thus all the idolatrous nations might hear and know that the God of Israel is the Lord of the whole earth. 

Then “the Lord said unto Moses, go in unto Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants; that I might show these signs before him: and that thou mayst tell in the ears of thy son and of thy son’s son what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord.”

Moses went according to the divine command and warned the monarch that if he still remained obstinate, a plague of locusts would be sent, which would cover the face of the earth, and eat up every green thing that had been spared; they would fill all the houses, even the palace itself; such a scourge as “neither thy fathers nor thy, fathers’ fathers have seen.” The king was permitted to choose whether to humble himself before God, or refuse and suffer the effects of the plague.

The counselors of Pharaoh were appalled at this new danger. They had sustained great loss in the death of their cattle. Many of their people had been killed by the hail. Their forests were broken down and their crops destroyed. Everything was in a ruinous condition, and they were fast losing all they had gained by the labor of the Hebrews. At last they spoke out to the king, “How long shall this man be a snare unto us! Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?”

Then Moses and Aaron were again summoned, and the monarch said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God; but who are they that shall go?”

The answer was, “We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go: for we must hold a feast unto the Lord.” 

The king was filled with rage. “Let the Lord be so with you,” he cried, “as I will let you go and your little ones. Look to it, for evil is before you.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.

In this answer, the king shows his contempt for the divine command. Let God require you, if he will, to take your little ones. Does your God think that I will let you go, with your wives and children, upon so dangerous an expedition? I will not do this; only you that are men shall go to serve the Lord. This hard-hearted, oppressive king, who had sought to destroy the Israelites by hard labor, would now pretend that he had a deep interest in their welfare, and a tender care for their little ones, when he only designed to keep them as a pledge of their return.

Pharaoh’s scorn and unbelief had no power to stay the judgments of God. Moses was commanded to stretch out his hand over the land, and an east wind blew, and brought locusts, “very grievous were they; before them were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.” They filled the sky till the land was darkened, and devoured every green thing, on the ground and among the trees

The king sent for Moses and Aaron in haste, and said to them, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. Now, therefore, forgive I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the Lord your God, that he may take away from me this death only.”

They did so, and a strong west wind arose, which carried away the locusts toward the Red Sea, so that not one was left behind. But notwithstanding the king’s humility while death threatened him, as soon as the plague was removed he hardened his heart and again refused to let Israel go.

The people of Egypt were in despair. The scourges which had already fallen upon them seemed almost beyond endurance, and they were filled with fears for the future. The people had worshiped Pharaoh as being a representative of their god and carrying out his purposes. But, notwithstanding, many were convinced that he was opposing his will to a superior power who held all nations under His control. Suddenly a darkness settled over the land, so thick and black that it seemed a darkness which could be felt. Not only were the people deprived of light, but the atmosphere was very oppressive, so that breathing was difficult. “They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days.” But all the children of Israel had light, and a pure atmosphere, in their dwellings.

The Egyptians were in the greatest perplexity. The Hebrew slaves were continually favored of God, and were becoming confident that they would be delivered. The task-masters dared not exercise their cruelty as heretofore, fearing lest the vast Hebrew host would rise up and be revenged for the abuse they had already suffered.

This terrible darkness lasted three days, and during this time the busy activities of life could not be carried on. This was God’s plan. He would give them time for reflection and repentance before bringing upon them the last and most dreadful scourge, the death of the first-born. He would remove everything which would divert their attention, and give them time for meditation, thus giving new evidence of his compassion and unwillingness to destroy.

At the end of the three days of darkness, Pharaoh sent for Moses and said, “Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed. Let your little ones also go with you.” The answer was, “Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt-offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God. Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the Lord our God; and we know not with what we must serve the Lord, until we come thither.”

The king was stern and determined. “Get thee from me,” he cried, “take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face, thou shalt die.” The answer was, “Thou hast spoken well; I will see thy face again no more.”

As Moses had witnessed the wonderful works of God, his faith had been strengthened, and his confidence established. God had been qualifying him, by manifestations of divine power, to stand at the head of the armies of Israel, and, as a shepherd of his people, to lead them from Egypt. He was elevated above fear by his firm trust in God. This courage in the presence of the king, annoyed his haughty pride, and he uttered the threat of killing the servant of God. In his blindness, he did not realize that he was contending not only against Moses and Aaron, but against the mighty Jehovah, the maker of the heavens and the earth. If Pharaoh had not been blinded by his rebellion he would have known that He who could perform such mighty miracles as had been wrought, would preserve the lives of his chosen servants, even though he should have to slay the king of Egypt. Moses had obtained the favor of the people. He was regarded as a wonderful personage, and the king would not dare to harm him.

Moses had still another message for the rebellious king, and before leaving his presence he fearlessly declared the word of the Lord: “About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill, and all the first-born of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast; that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee; and after that I will go out.”

As Moses faithfully portrayed the nature and effects of the last dreadful plague, the king became exceedingly angry. He was enraged because he could not intimidate Moses, and make him tremble before the royal authority. But the servant of God leaned for support upon a mightier arm than that of any earthly monarch.

Jenny @ 8:20 pm
March 11, 1880 The Plagues on Egypt
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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The Lord directed to go again to the , and repeat the promise of deliverance, with a fresh assurance of . Moses went as he was commanded; but the people were in no mood to receive him; their hearts were full of bitterness, the lash was still sounding in their ears, the cry of anguish and distress drowned all other sounds, and they would not listen. Moses bowed his head in and , and again was heard by him.–”Go in, speak unto , king of , that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.” The discouraged man replied, If the children of Israel, thine own circumcised people, will not hearken unto me, how then shall Pharaoh, who is uncircumcised and an idolater, hear me? Moses’ heart seemed utterly crushed. Yet still he was kept to duty. He was told now to take Aaron with him, and directed, “Thou shalt speak all that I command thee;” told to go before Pharaoh and again request “that he send the children of Israel out of his land.” He was informed that the monarch would not give his consent until God should lay his hand in judgment upon Egypt and bring Israel out by his almighty power. Every punishment which the king rejected would render the next chastisement more close and severe, until his proud heart should be humbled, and he should acknowledge the Maker of the heavens and the earth as the living and all-powerful God. The Lord would bring up his people from their long servitude in a signal manner, giving the Egyptians an opportunity to exhibit the feeble wisdom of their mighty men, and array the power of their gods in opposition to the God of Heaven. He would show them by his servant Moses that the Maker of the heavens and the earth is the living and all-powerful God, above all gods; that his strength is mightier than the strongest,–that Omnipotence could bring forth his people with a high hand and with an outstretched arm. He would punish the Egyptians for their idolatry, and for their proud boasting of the mercies bestowed upon them by their senseless gods. God would glorify his own name, that other nations might hear of his power and tremble at his mighty acts, and that his people might be led to fully turn from their idolatry to render to him pure worship. 

Obedient to the command of God, Moses and Aaron again entered the lordly halls of the king of Egypt. There, surrounded by the massive and richly sculptured columns, and the gorgeousness of rich hangings and adornments of silver and gold, and gems, before the monarch of the most powerful kingdom then in existence, stood these two men of the despised race, one with a rod in his hand, come once more to deliver their request that he would let their people go.

The king demanded a miracle. Moses and Aaron had been previously directed of God how to act in case such a demand should be made, and Aaron now took the rod and cast it down before the king. It became a serpent. The monarch sent for his “wise men, and the sorcerers,” who at his command, “cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents; but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.” The only effect on the king was to make him more settled and firm in his purpose than before.

The magicians did not really cause their rods to become serpents, but by magic, aided by the great deceiver, made them appear like serpents, to counterfeit the work of God. Satan assisted his servants, in order to deceive the people, and encourage them in their rebellion. Pharaoh would grasp at the least evidence he could obtain to justify himself in resisting the work of God performed by Moses and Aaron. He told these servants of God that his magicians could do all these wonders. The difference between the work of God and that of the magicians was, one was of God, the other of Satan. One was true, the other false.

Moses and his brother were next directed to meet the king as he visited the river in the morning, and standing upon its bank they were again to repeat their message to him, and as proof that God had indeed sent them, they were to stretch out the rod over the waters in all directions, thus changing them into blood. It was done, and the river ran blood, and all the water in their houses was changed to blood, the fish died, and the water became offensive to the smell. But “the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments,” changing in the same way the water drawn from wells. Still the king hardened his heart, and refused to yield. For seven days the plague continued, the inhabitants being obliged to dig wells to supply themselves with water. 

Another effort at moving the king was now made. The rod was again stretched out over the waters, and frogs came up from the river and spread over the country,–into the houses, and bed-chambers, and ovens, and kneading-troughs. The magicians with their enchantments appeared to bring up similar animals. The general nuisance soon became so intolerable that the king was earnest to have it removed. But although the magicians had succeeded in producing frogs, they could not remove them. When Pharaoh saw this he was somewhat humbled, and desired Moses and Aaron to entreat the Lord for him, that the plague might be stayed. They reminded the haughty king of his former boasting, and asked where was now the vaunted power of his magicians; then they requested him to appoint a time for their prayers, and at the hour specified the living cause was removed, though the effect remained; for the frogs, perishing, polluted the atmosphere.

The work of the magicians had led Pharaoh to believe that these miracles were performed by magic; but he had abundant evidence that this was not the case when the plague of frogs was removed. The Lord could have caused them to disappear and return to dust in a moment; but he did not do this, lest, after they should be removed, the king and the Egyptians should say that it was the result of magic, like the work of the magicians. The frogs died, and were then gathered together in heaps. Here the king and all Egypt had evidence which their vain philosophy could not dispose of, that this work was not accomplished by magic, but was a judgment from the God of Heaven.

When the king was relieved of his immediate distress, he again stubbornly refused to let Israel go. Aaron, at the command of God stretched out his hand and caused the dust of the earth to become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh called upon the magicians to do the same with their enchantments, but they could not. The work of God was thus shown to be superior to the power of Satan. The magicians themselves acknowledged that their imitative power was at an end, saying, “This is the finger of God.” But the king was still unmoved.

Still another trial was made, after another appeal to “let the people go.” Flies filled the houses and swarmed upon the ground, so that “the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.” These were not such flies as harmlessly annoy us at some seasons of the year; but they were large and venomous. Their sting was very painful to man and beast. It had been previously stated that the land of Goshen would be exempt from this visitation, which was accordingly found to be true.

Pharaoh now sent for the two brothers, and told them that he would allow the Israelites to offer sacrifices in Egypt itself; but this offer was refused. Certain animals were regarded as objects of worship by the Egyptians, and such was the reverence in which these creatures were held that to slay one, even accidentally, was a crime punishable with death. Moses assured the king that it was impossible for them to sacrifice to God in the land of Egypt; for they might select for their offering some one of the animals which the Egyptians considered sacred.

Moses again proposed to go three days’ journey into the wilderness. The king consented and begged the servants of God to entreat that the plague might be removed. They promised to do this, but cautioned him against dealing deceitfully with them. The plague ceased at their prayer. But the king’s heart had become hardened by his persistent rebellion, and he still refused to let the people go.

Jenny @ 8:17 pm
March 4, 1880 Return of Moses to Egypt
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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, being instructed by , went forth to meet his brother, from whom he had been separated for many years; and they met, amid the desert solitudes, in the . Here they communed together, and told Aaron “all the who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.” Together they journeyed over the wastes, toward ; and having reached the land of , they proceeded to assemble together the elders of Israel. Aaron, the eloquent spokesman, communicated to them all the dealings of God with Moses, and then they gave the signs before the people. “The people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.”

The next work of the two brothers was to communicate with the king himself. They entered the great palace of the Pharaoh’s as commissioners from Jehovah; they felt that God was with them there, and they spoke with authority: “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.”

“Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go?” demanded the monarch; “I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” They answered,

“The God of the Hebrews hath met with us; let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

The king had heard of them before, and of the excitement among the people. He became very angry. “Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let [hinder] the people from their works? Get you unto your burdens.” Then he added, as a thought of the loss occasioned by this interruption in their work passed through his mind. “Behold, the people of the land are many, and ye make them to rest from their burdens.”

The same day the king issued orders to all the officers superintending the work of the Israelites, to do that which made their slavery doubly severe and cruel. The buildings of that country were and still are made of sun-dried bricks, with cut straw intermixed to hold the earth together, even their finest edifices being so constructed, and then faced with stone. The king now commanded that no more straw should be issued to the workmen; but the same amount of brick was rigidly required.

This order produced great distress among the Israelites throughout the land. The Egyptian taskmasters had appointed Hebrew officers to oversee the work of the people, and these officers were responsible for the labor performed by those under their charge. When the unfeeling requirement of the king was put in force, the people scattered themselves throughout the land, to gather stubble instead of straw; but they found it impossible to accomplish the usual amount of labor. For this failure, the Hebrew officers, as well as the people, were cruelly beaten.

These officers supposed that their oppression came from their taskmasters, and not from the king himself; therefore they went to him with an account of their grievances, and the unjust treatment which they had received. Their remonstrance was met by Pharaoh with a taunting charge of idleness, to indulge which, he said, they were desirous of going into the wilderness for the purpose of sacrificing. They were ordered back to their work, which was to be in no wise diminished, but to be everywhere exacted. As they were returning, they met Moses and Aaron, and cried out to them: “The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.”

As the Hebrew elders thus reproached Moses, he was greatly distressed. The sufferings of the people had been much increased. All over the country a cry of anguish went up from men, women, and children; and all united in charging upon Moses this disastrous change in their condition. Alone he went before God, with the bitter cry,

“Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? Why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh, to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.” The reply to him from Jehovah was,

“Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.” And then he was reminded of the covenant which God had made with his forefathers, and assured that it would be faithfully carried into effect.

The Hebrews had expected to be released from bondage without any particular trial of faith, or any suffering on their part. But they were not yet prepared to be delivered. They had but little faith, and were unwilling patiently to suffer their afflictions, until God should work for them a glorious deliverance.

Many years had the children of Israel been in servitude to the Egyptians. Only a few families went down into Egypt, but they had become a great multitude. And being surrounded with idolatry, many had lost the knowledge of the true God, and had forgotten his law. Yet there were some among them who still worshiped the living God, the Maker of the heavens and the earth. They were grieved to see their children daily witnessing, and even engaging in, the abominations of the idolatrous people around them, and bowing to Egyptian deities, made of wood and stone, and offering sacrifice to these senseless objects. In their distress, the faithful cried unto the Lord for deliverance from the Egyptian yoke; that he would bring them out of Egypt, where they might be free from idolatry, and the corrupting influences which surrounded them.

They did not conceal their faith, but openly acknowledged before the Egyptians that they served the only true and living God. They rehearsed the evidences of his existence and power, from creation down. The Egyptians thus had an opportunity to become acquainted with the faith of the Hebrews, and their God. They tried to subvert the faithful worshipers of the true God by threats, by the promise of reward, and by cruel treatment.

The elders of Israel endeavored to encourage the sinking faith of their brethren, by referring to the promise made to Abraham, and the prophetic words of Joseph before his death, foretelling their deliverance from Egypt. Some would listen and believe. Others looked at their own sad condition, and would not hope. When the Egyptians learned the expectations of the children of Israel, they derided their hopes of deliverance, and spoke scornfully of the power of their God. They pointed them to their own situation, as merely a nation of slaves, and tauntingly said to them, If your God is so just and merciful, and possesses power above the Egyptian gods, why does he not make you a free people? Why not manifest his greatness and power, and exalt you? The Egyptians then called attention to their own people, who worshiped gods of their own choosing, which the Israelites termed false gods. They exultingly said that their gods had prospered them, and had given them food, and raiment, and great riches, and had also given the Israelites into their hands to serve them, and that they had power to oppress them, and destroy their lives, so that they should be no people.

Pharaoh boasted that he would like to see their God deliver them from his hands. These words destroyed the hopes of many of the children of Israel. It appeared to them very much as the king and his counselors had said. They knew that they were treated as slaves, and that they must endure just that degree of oppression which their taskmasters and rulers might choose to inflict upon them. Their male children had been hunted and slain. Their own lives were a burden; and they were believing in, and worshiping, the God of Heaven. Then they contrasted their condition with that of the Egyptians. The latter worshiped the sun, moon, and stars, and also beasts, and even images, the work of their own hands; yet they were prosperous, and wealthy. And some of the Hebrews thought that if the Lord was above all gods, he would not thus leave them as slaves to an idolatrous nation.

The faithful servants of God understood that it was because of their unfaithfulness to him as a people, and their disposition to intermarry with other nations, thus being led into idolatry, that the Lord had suffered them to go into Egypt. And they firmly declared to their brethren that God would soon break their oppressive yoke.

But many of the Hebrews were content to remain in bondage, rather than to go to a new country, and meet the difficulties attending such a journey; and the habits of some had become so much like those of the Egyptians that they preferred to dwell in Egypt. Therefore the Lord did not deliver them by the first display of his signs and wonders before Pharaoh. He overruled events to more fully develop the tyrannical spirit of the Egyptian king, and also by manifestations of almighty power, to give the Israelites more exalted views of the divine character, that they might be anxious to leave Egypt and choose the service of the true and merciful God. The task of Moses would have been much easier, had not many of the Israelites become so corrupted that they were unwilling to leave Egypt.

Jenny @ 8:01 pm
February 26, 1880 Duty of Parents to their Children
Filed under: EG White Articles

The youth of our day are ignorant of Satan’s devices. Parents should therefore be awake in these perilous times, working with perseverance and industry, to shut out the first approach of the foe. They should instruct their children when sitting in the house, or walking by the way, when rising up or lying down. It should be line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. The mother’s work should commence with the infant. She should subdue the will and temper of the child, and bring its disposition into subjection. Teach it to obey, and as the child grows older relax not the hand. Every mother should take time to reason with the child to correct its errors, and patiently teach it the right way.

Christian parents should labor to instruct and fit their offspring to become the children of God. Strict discipline may at times cause dissatisfaction, and children will want their own way; yet where they have learned the lesson of obedience to their parents, they are better prepared to submit to the requirements of God. Thus the training received in childhood influences the religious experience, and molds the character of the man.

When children decide to leave the pleasures of the world, and become the disciples of Christ, a great burden is lifted from the hearts of parents. But the labor and care should not cease at this point, since the children have but just commenced the warfare against sin in all its forms, and specially need the watch-care and counsel of faithful parents. They should encourage the children to confide in them and unburden to them their trials and griefs. Parents will thus learn to sympathize and pray with them, and they will be encouraged to press on in the way of life, trusting in God.

Children would be saved from many evils if they were more familiar with their parents. Parents should encourage in their children a disposition to be open and frank, and come to them with their difficulties, and lay the matter just as they view it before their parents, and ask advice of them. Who are so well calculated to see and point out their dangers as godly parents? Who can understand the peculiar temperaments of their own children as well as they? The mother who has watched every turn of the mind from infancy, and is acquainted with the natural disposition, is well prepared to counsel her children. Who can tell as well what traits of character to check and restrain, as the mother, counselled by the father?

Children who are Christians will prefer the love and approbation of their God-fearing parents above every earthly blessing. They will love and honor their parents. One of the principal studies of their lives should be, How can I make my parents happy? But children who do not receive right instruction, have but little sense of their obligation to their parents. It is often the case that the more parents do for them the more ungrateful they are, and the less they respect them. Children who have been petted and waited upon, always expect it; and if their expectations are not met, they are disappointed and discouraged. This same disposition will be seen through their whole lives, and they will be helpless, leaning upon others for aid, expecting others to favor them, and yield to them. And if they are opposed, even after grown to manhood and womanhood, they think themselves abused; and thus they worry their way through the world, murmuring and fretting because everything does not suit them.

Parents should deal faithfully with the souls committed to their trust. They should not encourage in them pride, extravagance or love of show. Habits formed when very young, are not easily forgotten. Parents should commence to discipline the minds of their children while very young, to the end that they may be Christians. Let all your efforts be for their salvation. Act as though they were put in your care to be fitted as precious jewels to shine in the kingdom of God. Beware how you lull your children to sleep over the pit of destruction, with the mistaken thought that they are not old enough to be accountable, and are not old enough to repent of their sins and profess Christ.

Many precious promises like the following are recorded for those who seek the Lord early: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. Eccl. 12:1. “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Prov. 8:17. The good Shepherd still entreats: “Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Teach the children to seek the Lord while young and thus devote the best of their strength to his service.

We are living in an unfortunate age for children. A strong tide is setting downward to perdition, and it needs more than childhood’s experience and strength to press against the current, that would bear them down. All who have a desire to yield their hearts to God and obey his requirements, Satan will try to perplex, and overcome with his temptations, that they may become discouraged and give up the warfare.

Parents, help the children. Watch continually to cut off the current, and roll back the weight of evil which is pressing in upon them. The children cannot do this of themselves. Parents can do much. By earnest prayer and living faith they may bind their children upon the altar, and thus secure the watch-care of guardian angels; the guiding hand of God will lead them through the perils of the last days, and bring them off victorious over every foe.
                                                          Mrs. E. G. White

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