These young men should remember that they are responsible for all the privileges they have enjoyed: that they are accountable for the improvement of their time, and must render an exact account for the improvement of their abilities. They may inquire. Shall we have no amusement or recreation? Shall we work, work, work, without variation? Any amusement in which they can engage asking the blessing of God upon it in faith, will not be dangerous; but any amusement which disqualifies them for secret prayer, for devotion at the altar of prayer, or for taking part in the prayer-meeting, is not safe, but dangerous.

A change from physical labour that has taxed the strength severely, may be very necessary for a time, that they may again engage in labour, putting forth exertion with greater success. But entire rest may not be necessary, or even be attended with the best results, so far as their physical strength is concerned. They need not, even when weary with one kind of labour, trifle away their precious moments. They may then seek to do something not so exhausting, but which will be a blessing to their mother and sisters.

In lightening their cares by taking upon themselves the roughest burdens they have to bear, they can find that amusement which springs from principle, and which will yield them true happiness, and their time will not be spent in trifling or in selfish indulgence. Their time may be ever employed to advantage, and they be constantly refreshed with variation, and yet be redeeming the time, so that every moment will tell with good account to some one.-- "Testimonies" Vol. III. pages 222, 223 .

Page 32a

Manual Labour Not Degrading

The public feeling is that manual labour is degrading, yet men may exert themselves as much as they choose at cricket, baseball, or pugilistic contests without being regarded as degraded. Satan is delighted when he sees human beings using their physical and mental powers in that which does not educate, which is not useful, which does not help them to be a blessing to those who need their help. While the youth are becoming expert in games that are of no real value to themselves or to others, Satan is playing the game of life for their souls, taking from them the talents God has given them, and placing in their stead his own evil attributes. It is his effort to lead men to ignore God. He seeks to engross and absorb the mind so completely that God will find no place in the thoughts. He does not wish people to have a knowledge of their Maker, and he is well pleased if he can set in operation games and theatrical performances that will so confuse the senses of the youth that God and heaven will be forgotten.

One of the surest safeguards against evil is useful occupation, while idleness is one of the greatest of curses; for vice, crime, and poverty follow in its wake. Those who are always busy, who go cheerfully about their daily tasks, are the useful members of society. In the faithful discharge of the various duties that lie in their pathway, they make their lives a blessing to themselves and to others. Diligent labour keeps them from many of the snares of him who "finds some mischief still for idle hands to do."-- MS .

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