The Family and the City
Hazards of City Life. --Life in the cities is false and artificial. The
intense passion for money getting, the whirl of excitement and pleasure seeking,
the thirst for display, the luxury and extravagance--all are forces that, with
the great masses of mankind, are turning the mind from life's true purpose. They
are opening the door to a thousand evils. Upon the youth they have almost
irresistible power. One of the most subtle and dangerous temptations that
assails the children and youth in the cities is the love of pleasure. Holidays
are numerous; games and horse racing draw thousands, and the whirl of excitement
and pleasure attracts them away from the sober duties of life. Money that should
have been saved for better uses is frittered away for amusements.
Consider the Health Standpoint. --The physical surroundings in the cities are
often a peril to health. The constant liability to contact with disease, the
prevalence of foul air, impure water, impure food, the crowded, dark,
unhealthful dwellings, are some of the many evils to be met.
It was not God's purpose that people should be crowded into cities, huddled
together in terraces and tenements. In the beginning He placed our first parents
amidst the beautiful sights and sounds He desires us to rejoice in today. The
more nearly we come into harmony with God's original plan, the more favourable
will be our position to secure health of body and mind and soul.
Hotbeds of Iniquity. --The cities are filled with temptation. We should plan
our work in such a way as to keep our young people as far as possible from this
The children and youth should be carefully guarded. They should be kept away
from the hotbeds of iniquity that are to be found in our cities.
Turmoil and Confusion. --It is not God's will that His people shall settle in
the cities, where there is constant turmoil and confusion. Their children should
be spared this, for the whole system is demoralized by the hurry and rush and
Labour Troubles. --Through the working of trusts and the results of labour
unions and strikes, the conditions of life in the city are constantly becoming
more and more difficult. Serious troubles are before us, and for many families
removal from the cities will become a necessity.
Impending Destruction. --The time is near when large cities will be swept
away, and all should be warned of these coming judgments.
Oh, that God's people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands
of cities now almost given to idolatry!
For Worldly Interests and Love of Gain. --It is often the case that parents
are not careful to surround their children with right influences. In choosing a
home, they think more of their worldly interests than of the moral and social
atmosphere, and the children form associations that are unfavourable to the
development of piety and the formation of right characters. . . .
Parents who denounce the Canaanites for offering their children to Moloch,
what are you doing? You are making a most costly offering to your mammon God,
and then, when your children grow up unloved and unlovely in character, when
they show decided impiety and a tendency to infidelity, you blame the faith you
profess because it was unable to save them. You are reaping that which you have
sown--the result of your selfish love of the world and neglect of the means of
grace. You moved your families into places of temptation; and the ark of God,
your glory and defence, you did not consider essential; and the Lord has not
worked a miracle to deliver your children from temptation.
Cities Offer No Real Benefit. --There is not one family in a hundred who will
be improved physically, mentally, or spiritually by residing in the city. Faith,
hope, love, happiness, can far better be gained in retired places, where there
are fields and hills and trees. Take your children away from the sights and
sounds of the city, away from the rattle and din of streetcars and teams, and
their minds will become more healthy. It will be found easier to bring home to
their hearts the truth of the word of God.
Counsel on Moving From Rural to City Areas. -- Many parents remove from their
country homes to the city, regarding it as a more desirable or profitable
location. But by making this change, they expose their children to many and
great temptations. The boys have no employment, and they obtain a street
education and go on from one step in depravity to another, until they lose all
interest in anything that is good and pure and holy. How much better had the
parents remained with their families in the country, where the influences are most favourable for
physical and mental strength. Let the youth be taught to labour in tilling the
soil, and let them sleep the sweet sleep of weariness and innocence.
Through the neglect of parents, the youth in our cities are corrupting their
ways and polluting their souls before God. This will ever be the fruit of
idleness. The almshouses, the prisons, and the gallows publish the sorrowful
tale of the neglected duties of parents.
Better sacrifice any and every worldly consideration than to imperil the
precious souls committed to your care. They will be assailed by temptations and
should be taught to meet them; but it is your duty to cut off every influence,
to break up every habit, to sunder every tie, that keeps you from the most free,
open, and hearty committal of yourselves and your family to God.
Instead of the crowded city seek some retired situation where your children
will be, so far as possible, shielded from temptation, and there train and
educate them for usefulness. The prophet Ezekiel thus enumerates the causes that
led to Sodom's sin and destruction: "Pride, fullness of bread, and
abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she
strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." All who would escape the doom
of Sodom must shun the course that brought God's judgments upon that wicked
When Lot entered Sodom, he fully intended to keep himself free from iniquity
and to command his household after him. But he signally failed. The corrupting
influences about him had an effect upon his own faith, and his children's
connection with the inhabitants of Sodom bound up his interest in a measure with
theirs. The result is before us. Many are still making a similar mistake.
Let it be your study to select and make your homes as far from Sodom and
Gomorrah as you can. Keep out of the large cities. If possible make your homes
in the quiet retirement of the country, even if you can never become wealthy by
so doing. Locate where there is the best influence.
I am instructed by the Lord to warn our people not to flock to the cities to
find homes for their families. To fathers and to mothers I am instructed to say,
Fail not to keep your children within your own premises.
Time Now to Move From the Cities. --Take your families away from the cities
is my message.
The time has come when, as God opens the way, families should move out of the
cities. The children should be taken into the country. The parents should get as
suitable a place as their means will allow. Though the dwelling may be small,
yet there should be land in connection with it that may be cultivated.
Before the overflowing scourge shall come upon the dwellers of the earth, the
Lord calls upon all who are Israelites indeed to prepare for that event. To
parents He sends the warning cry: Gather your children into your own houses;
gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who
are teaching and practising evil. Get out of the large cities as fast as
God Will Help His People. --Parents can secure small homes in the country,
with land for cultivation, where they can have orchards and where they can raise
vegetables and small fruits to take the place of flesh meat, which is so
corrupting to the lifeblood coursing through the veins. On such places the
children will not be surrounded with the corrupting influences of city life. God will help His
people to find such homes outside of the cities.