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in the book of God, “ He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy,” Prov. xxix. 1.
Thou “honourest thy sons above me," 1 Sam. 11. 29. Such was the crime of Eli; and how great the severity, but righteous severity, of God towards him and his family! And now the man who suffers his child to dishonour God by breaking his law, to please that child, shows that he is more concerned to please him than God, and therefore honours his child above God. And, after God has taught you by the example of Abraham to command your children and your household after you, Gen. xviii. 19, will you suffer them to have the command. Your child wishes to have his own will, and his own way, but if you suffer him to do so, God, justly displeased with you both, will suffer him to walk in his own ways. And that will be certain ruin; it will, if Divine grace prevent not, end in the torments of hell!
And, when the Lord has provided instruction for youth, and has so repeatedly and solemnly charged you to give that instruction, or to put them in the way of it, will you refuse it, or be careless about it? Your child will not thank you for it hereafter. Hearken to a fact that happened a few years ago in the North. In the year 1788, two desperate characters, named Winter, father and son, were hanged at Morpeth, in the county of Northumberland. When they were leaving the gaol to proceed to the place of execution, the father expressed a desire that his son would shake hands with him. “ No, father,” said he, “ I shall not shake hands with
it is all owing to your bad bringing me up, that I am come to this; it is all your doing: you have been no friend to me, and I shall not shake hands with you.” They were soon carried to the gallows, and both hanged together.-Friendly Visitor, June, 1835.—Perhaps the father had not only refused to give the provided instruction, but like not a few parents, alas, in our own days, had hastened that destruction by their own sayings and his own doings!
And what will God, who will shortly call you to his bar about this instruction and this conduct, say to it? He will require you to answer to that charge if you can? But, my dear reader, if a parent-I address you as much in love as Í do in faithfulness-entreat of God forgiveness; seek his grace, whereby you may do your duty to your children, and henceforward care and provide for their instruction. Pray, and pray earnestly too, that God would make you “wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus,” by searching and hearing the Scriptures.
Mothers, do not, from a false tenderness, hide the faults of your children from their fathers, or wink at them yourselves, instead of restraining them, or having them restrained, by a temperate and salutary chastisement. For, what is the consequence ? Their self-will becomes more and more confirmed, till at length they become stubborn and uncontrollable; and so, while they bring down your grey hairs with sorrow to the grave, will also work out their own ruin, both here and hereafter! Had you not winked at their faults, had you and their father rebuked and gently chastised them at the first outbreak of their self-will and bad humours, you would have nipped their evils in the bud, and might have spared yourselves this trouble, and your children their own ruin. Perhaps you did it ignorantly in some degree, and in unbelief; but, now you are warned, do not do so any more.
Knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven,” Col. iv. 1. Masters, suffer a word of affectionate warning to you. The parents have give over the care of their children unto you, and will you have no other care for them, than how they shall be of advantage to yourselves? Or, if you wish to be careful of their bodies, will you not regard their souls; for the soul after all, is the man. Who can do so, if you do not? Will you not see to it that these immortal souls of theirs should have the instruction that God has provided for them in the word and house of God? Shall they be allowed to turn their backs upon the services of religion on the Lord's day, and to roam abroad in the fields, and perhaps you even sanction their conduct, so far at least as to absent yourself from God's house ? Content that they have served your interests, will you be indifferent to theirs, and let them have their own will and their own ways, regardless of their eternal interests. Will you allow them to become “the companion of fools,” and so to be“ destroyed”? What, if God, in righteous judgment, suffer them to walk in their own way to their ruin, will you not be responsible? When they were apprenticed or engaged to you, were they not committed to your care? and have you not a Master in heaven who will call you to account? My friends, since “the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death,” Prov. xiv. 27, take measures that, under God's blessing such fear of the Lord may be before their eyes.
A PARENTS RECOLLECTIONS OF A BELOVED CHILD. E. M. the youngest daughter of pious parents, was possessed of an affectionate disposition and good abilities, united with great decision of character, and an earnest desire to relieve the sufferings of her fellow creatures. Her mental powers were of no ordinary cast; they were early developed, and, on becoming a Christian, shone forth in much beauty. No particular events concerning her occurred till January, 1839, when she became seriously ill. Through weeks of a lingering painful affliction she manifested great patience; her Bible was read, and her prayers were said each day, though she was evidently unaffected by either at the time, not feeling her need of a Saviour; still the idea of death was distressing to her mind, and she evinced great fear if she were left alone for a short period. On the 5th of May, she was seized with a violent palpitation of the heart, whilst reading a paper in the “ Tract Magazine," upon the words, “Thou shalt die, and not live,” (from Bishop Hali.) It was accompanied at the same moment with a powerful conviction that she was a great sinner. She remained in a most distressing state on account of her soul for more than a week; her sins were viewed with the deepest anguish of spirit; but the fervent prayers offered on her behalf were at length heard, and she said, “My dear mother, I have confessed all my sins to God, I will now confess them to you, and then I shall be more comforted.” Circumstances the most trivial were regarded by her as sins, and her constant cry was, “ Will Christ forgive me?” During this period she read the “Pilgrim's Progress,” and when the nature of the Pilgrim's burden was explained to her, she was relieved to find others had felt as she did. The Bible, from the 5th of May, she studied diligently, and was accustomed to sit up in her bed, to read and search the Scriptures for hours. The papers, with references and passages of Scripture upon them, still remain as placed by her in the sacred book; they refer to some of the most beautiful parts; but those verses which spoke of her blessed Saviour, she said, were her greatest delight. Bogatzky's “Golden Treasury," was a very great consolation ; she read the portion many times in the day, and remarked how suitable the words were to her case. Doddridge's “ Rise and Progress” was read with much interest; the following lines were found written by her in the book, “ For thou, O God, art good, nd ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer, and attend to the voice of my supplications. Bow down thine ear, and hear me, for I am poor and needy. For thou hast
said that thou wilt never forsake those that call upon thee; thou knowest my desire, if my heart deceive me not, and by the aid of thy Holy Spirit, to love and serve thee till I shall serve thee triumphant above.” The following short petition was found in another book: “Great and gracious Jehovah, enable me to live wholly
and solely devoted to thy honour and glory, by the aid of thy Holy Spirit.”
Satan was permitted at times to trouble her; she would then weep very much, fearing all was not right; she said, Satan tried to make her believe that Christ was deceiving her, and represented him as any thing but a Saviour; she would then pray, and say, “ The cloud is removed.” It was always her wish for others to pray with her at such times, saying, “Go to prayer with me, my dear parents,” or uncle, or aunt, whichever happened to be near her. When her uncle called, before attending the Sunday school, she expressed a great desire to see him, in order that she might say, me prayed for to-day, my dear uncle.” The sabbath was a delight to her soul; the petitions offered on her behalf she said were answered, and she wished it was always the sabbath day. Her pastor, and the superintendent of the Sunday school, visited her, and she expressed a great desire to see them.
In a letter written to her sister, May 28th, 1839, she said, “I feel anxious to tell you how happy I am to what I have ever been before. I know you have been very anxious about my soul, but the Lord has enabled me to see that I was a very wicked child, and very disobedient to my parents, and to my brother, and you. I know, my dear sister, it has caused you a great deal of grief to see me so, but I hope, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to begin a new life, and to live more and more devoted to his glory. I know that Christ is the only refuge for sinners poor and needy. If it were the Lord's will, I would sooner die than enter into the wickedness of this present evil world. I have, indeed, much to be thankful for. "The Lord has been a God hearing and a God answering prayer on my behalf. He has said he will never leave us nor forsake us, if we put our trust under the shadow of his wing. If we confess our sins in the name of Jesus, he has said he will forgive us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I am sure I ought to love him, and try to serve him better. If God sees fit to spare my life, I trust. I shall be enabled to do some good for his cause.
If I pray for his aid and assistance, I shall be able to do so, but of myself I can do nothing."
She wished no one to see her who did not converse upon religion. The Sunday school she greatly loved, and spoke of the teachers, particularly her own, with affectionate remem
brance. When the medical attendant pronounced her better, and her strength permitted, she went once to the house of God, and derived the greatest comfort from a sermon on faith, and she felt grateful for the manner in which thanks were returned on her behalf. Her whole soul appeared to be engaged in the service. When change of air was advised, she said, she could not leave home until she had been to the Lord's house to return thanks. To those who attended her, she spoke with much earnestness, on the necessity of preparing for exchange of worlds, and warned them not to let a Sunday pass without attending the house of prayer.
Previous to leaving her home, she wrote to her relatives, with whom she was to spend her remaining days: “I trust that this affliction has been sanctified to my soul; it was on a Monday evening, about six o'clock, I had a most violent beating in my heart. I had such a conviction of sin come
I trust from that time I have been enabled to see what a great sinner I have been, and that Christ is the only refuge. He has said he will hear and answer those who call upon him, and ask for his Divine assistance. I have found him to be very precious to me; he has laid no more upon me day after day than I have been enabled to bear. Before I was afflicted, I felt no desire for prayer, or to hear any one converse upon religion, but the Lord has given me the inclination to love prayer, and to love his holy word. I do not know how I shall repay my dear mother for her kindness to me during my illness, when I was not at all deserving of it for my past disobediences. You are aware I was not obedient as I ought to have been, but I trust, by the Holy Spirit, to begin a new life, and to be obedient and submissive for the future. I have had a long affliction indeed, but I trust God has afflicted me to bring me to himself.”
The change of air did not effect what was anticipated, and one day, on returning from a ride, during which she had suffered very great pain, she exclaimed to her mother, “ that I was safely landed !” She often said, “ Precious Jesus ;" and sometimes when apparently asleep, would repeat passages of Scripture, especially, “ The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin."
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." On the Sunday following she was much worse; and at nine o'clock said to her mother, “I shall not be here long, I am fast sinking;" she was asked, if Jesus were precious to her, to which she answered, “Yes ;' and when seeing her mother weep, she said, “Do not weep for me, I have prayed to God to strengthen and support you when I am gone." On that day again, she remarked, Weep for me! who did not attend to all you