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« Ahem !' answered the soldier, “your Excellency is pleased to be facetious. Loyalty's Reward is as perfect as Gustavus in all his exercises, and of a far finer figure. Marry !-his social qualities are less cultivated, in respect he has kept till now inferior company.'
“Not meaning his Excellency the General, I hope,' said Lord Menteith. “For shame, Sir Dugald.'
"My Lord,' answered the Knight, gravely, 'I am incapable to mean anything so utterly misbecoming. What I asseverate is, that his Excellency, having the same intercourse with his horse during his exercise that he hath with his soldiers when training them, may form and break either to every feat of war which he chooses to practise, and accordingly that this noble charger is admirably managed. But as it is the intercourse of private life that formeth the social character, so I do not apprehend that of the single soldier to be much polished by the conversation of the corporal or the sergeant, or that of Loyalty's Reward to have been much dulcified or ameliorated by the society of his Excellency's grooms, who bestow more oaths, and kicks, and thumps, than kindness or caresses, upon the animals intrusted to their charge ; whereby many a generous quadruped, rendered as it were misanthropic, manifests during the rest of his life a greater desire to kick and bite his master than to love and to honour him.'
""Spoken like an oracle,' said Montrose."
With what painful results a similar course is not unfrequently pursued towards children as they grow up, even by Christian parents. The charge committed to them is entrusted to others. Often there may be a necessity when the calls of duty or eminent station make imperative claims which cannot pass unheeded. But frequently there is little or no necessity; children are relegated to the nursery, or to the schoolroom, to the habitual companionship of persons totally unqualified to exercise a salutary influence on their tempers and dispositions. The cause of this is not far to seek. There is such a thing as religious dissipation as well as worldly dissipation. Is there not, perhaps, a trace of it in the language of the husband of the Shunamite, “ Wherefore wilt thou go unto him to-day ? It is neither new moon nor sabbath.” Now, personal selfdevotion to the office of training children in the way in which they would go, involves an amount of self-denial and renunciation of society seldom to be met with in these busy and luxurious days. Very different was the family circle in which Matthew Henry was trained to what is usually witnessed in Christian homes. To reproduce it literally in its details, would be as absurd as to walk about the streets of Chester in the costume of the 17th century. But if England had more Christian parents in her midst, thus diligently tending themselves their own vineyards, and watching over the vines with tender grapes growing up in the midst, both as a Church and nation, we should have more occasion to rejoice. But the daily round of
hou eipe of thon, is not as
such a task does not admit of being broken in upon; it requires the surrender of many innocent delights, and the foregoing of what many deem spiritual privileges, which have to be sacrificed, and may well be given up by those who are themselves rooted and grounded in the faith, for the sake of those who need incessant culture and genial sympathetic intercourse. Qui facit per alterum facit per se, may hold good in many cases, but hardly in the present; nor can we conceive that the blessing of God upon a parent's duty and a parent's love can be so readily and systematically transferred to tutors and governesses, to French bonnes and German fräuleins, however estimable and valuable in their respective departments, and conscientious in the discharge of functions properly assigned to them. Once more, if we fail in training up (ourselves) our children in the way they should go, we are not to count God faithless, because in due season they fail to walk in it.
Such are a few of the thoughts suggested by the bitter agony of David over his rebellious son; but it is hardly possible to dismiss the subject without adverting to other considerations, not directly deducible from it, yet bearing on the general question, and deserving a passing notice. For instance, it is 20 uncommon thing to meet with persons who, by God's mercy, have been quickened into newness of life, and raised from a death of trespasses and sins in which they had long been lying. Old things have passed away from them, old companions, old pursuits, old predilections; they have become new creatures in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is most natural-nay, in some instances, if it were not for the fearful results, it would be most landable—that they should strain every nerve and exhaust every effort to bring their children, per saltum, as it were, to the eminence to which God's outstretched arm has elevated them. But they forget even the process of God's dealings with themselves. They are apt to insist on unconverted children acting as though they were converted, and speaking as they themselves are taught by the Spirit of the Lord to speak. Now, in mani. fold cases, the result of such injudicious forcing may be indeed outward conformity, but not unaccompanied with inward revolt. No sooner is perfect liberty afforded, as in the process of time it must be, but all restraint is cast off, and nothing short of the wildest and most opposite extremes will satisfy the soul emancipated from the parent, but not from the dominion of sin and Satan. How infinitely better would it be not to despise the day of small things; not to feed those who are spiritually infants with strong meat instead of milk; to watch, to wait, to follow, to pray, and be content with seeing children grow perhaps in grace as imperceptibly, and even more gradually than they increase in bodily stature.
The perils and temptations to which young persons are exposed when they pass from under the control and tutelage of parents, and emerge into the world, and the course to be held towards them, present a tempting field for disquisition, but might tempt us too far. They are formidable and manifold, imperilling both faith and morals. The most difficult, perhaps, to cope with, especially in dealing with the young and inexperienced, is the absence of any distinct line of demarcation between the Church and the world. Vice in our days, or at any rate until recently, has lost much of its grossness, and the usages and intercourse of society are not so essentially repulsive to Christian belief and practice as they formerly were. A species of fussy religionism, if we may coin such an expression, abounds in all directions, and makes the confusion still more unintelligible to the unwary. Comparing the present with the past, whatever were the evils then existing—and they were most grievous—we might still say,
“Fuit hæc sapientia quondam
Publica privatis secernere, sacra profanis." But all are now commingled indiscriminately. A way has been devised for making the very best of both worlds; late balls and early matins; pantomimes and ritualistic performances; solemn functions and mirthful pastimes, with Church dignitaries,* “the cynosure of wondering eyes” flitting alternately from grave to gay in the midst of them, bewilder all ideas of right and wrong, and make the baptismal vow apparently incapable of any interpretation, unless perchance a non-natural one. It is no easy task, under such circumstances, for a parent to discharge the office of Mentor, and wisely and discreetly to make it clear, in the midst of such distracting in. fluences, that still“ straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto eternal life, and few there be that find it.”
It is time, however, to bring these remarks to a conclusion. We would, therefore, only further observe that we know well, when all pains have been bestowed and all affection lavished, —when, with all due allowance for human shortcoming and infirmities, the duties of Christian parents have been most conscientiously discharged, -the result has been mortification and bitter disappointment. The fondly looked for harvest has turned out a heap in a day of grief and desperate sorrow. Wilful and wayward, heady and high-minded children, casting off all control, and spurning all forms of belief and semblance of religion, have bowed down to the dust the souls of those who watched over their infancy, and cared for them with unfailing and unfaltering love. Literally and figuratively, into
* See Notes of a Visitation, Colonial Church Chronicle for January, 1869.
many a far country have such often wandered, and to hard taskmasters have they joined themselves. “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom !” has been the sore cry of those who have been left mourning by the empty hearth in the quiet country home: but are they justified in too readily asserting that “God's mercy is clear gone for ever, that his promise has failed for evermore”? Mighty and very effectual is the power of fervent intercessory prayer, and the experience of many of God's saints in this matter could, if it had an audible voice in the world, testify that its efficacy has not diminished,—that, like Him to whom in faith it is addressed, it has a mighty outstretched arm which has reached and enfolded many a wanderer in its fond embrace, and brought him back to the feet of Jesus, if not once again to an earthly home. Very touching is that incident recorded in the life of Legh Richmond, which is probably familiar to many of our readers. He was not, indeed, permitted to behold once more in the flesh the son whom he had lost, and for whom his prayers and intercessions had been so frequent and so fervent; but he could at length with well grounded hope and assurance of faith believe that, when the sea shall give up her dead, “the living soul of him whom he had so loved would stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
There is one other and a yet more solemn thought. We will, as Jeremy Taylor would say, only “show it and take it away again.” There may be cases where even prayer has seemed to meet with no response, and faith and hope have been supplanted by despair; loved ones, like Absalom, have died, and “made no signal of their hopes.” In the midst of such probably the most fearful agony which can overtake in his course onwards and upwards a child of God, may faith be given him, in the midst of the tumultuous distress overwhelm. ing his soul, to hear a still small voice uttering in solemn and compassionate tones, “ BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I Am God.”
THE WRITINGS OF HIPPOLYTUS. The Refutation of all Heresies. By Hippolytus. Translated by the Rev. J. H. Macmahon, M.A. With Fragments from his Commentaries on various Books of Scripture. Translated by the Rev. S. D. F. Salmond. Edinburgh : T. and T. Clark.
In referring to some of the causes of the heresies of the Ante-Nicene period, we do not offer any extenuation either of their folly or their mischief. We have been, from our earliest days, trained in Christianity ; but the authors of those wild fancies, for the most part nursed in heathenism, had received an early bias in favour of the Eastern philosophy, or of the Jew. ish creed. As with the cask, so is it with the mind : the old recollections are long retained.
"Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem
Testa diu." But if a depravation of the truth was early introduced, alike early was the vindication of it. “We can scarcely overestimate the value of 'The Refutation, on account of the propinquity of its author to the Apostolic age. Hippolytus was a disciple of St. Irenæus, St. Irenæus of St. Polycarp, St. Polycarp of St. John.'” (p. 21.)
Broadly does this writer assert, in the Procomium of his work, that it was from the Greek philosophers the heretics derived their ideas; and he accordingly enters on a particular exposition of the tenets of each of those philosophers, “so as to show that the earliest champion of the heresy, availing himself of these attempted theories, has turned them to advantage by appropriating their principles; and impelled from these into worse, has constructed his own doctrine.”
The first book is occupied with this account; the second and third are missing; the former of these having contained “ the doctrines and mysteries of the Egyptians,” the latter “the Chaldean science and astrology;" the fourth (the beginning of which is missing), contained the system of the Chaldean horoscope, and the magical rites and incantations of the Babylonian Theurgists. Next came the portion of the work relating more immediately to the heresies of the Church, which is contained in Books v.-ix. The tenth Book is the résumé of the entire, together with the exposition of the author's own religious opi. nions. It will thus be apparent that, early as this Christian writer lived, he has not left behind him å rambling and illdigested record, but a book whose plan preserves an order and method as complete as could be required in any treatise on Divinity of our own time; and the execution fulfils the promise of the writer's announcement in the “ Contents :"-"We propose to furnish an account of the tenets of natural philosophers, and who these are; as well as the tenets of moral philosophers, and who these are; and thirdly, the tenets of logicians, and who these logicians are.”
There follows here an enumeration, with little more, however, than the names; the account of the system of each being reserved for the body of the work.
It is scarcely necessary to remark that such a book as this, and any other of this nature, dealing with the heresies of the