« AnteriorContinuar »
shall order you unto. They, who have not had that education, have after wished for it; and they who have wastefully mis-spent their time, and past their opportunity for it, have after repented of it too late.--Letter from Henry Jones, Bishop of Meath, to his God-son, J. Bowdler, Esq.
WATCH AND PRAY.
WHENEVER you are under a temptation to vice of any sort, make a pause, and reflect that it is as hard to stop in a way of vice, as in running down a precipice. Could a man foresee the consequences of the first wrong step, I do believe that not even the united forces of those three strong enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil could drag him into it; yet they are very powerful, and must subdue every man who does not fly to God for his assistance and grace to resist them.-Letter from the above J. Bowdler, Esq. to his Son. P. 53.
“ TO DO GOOD_FORGET NOT.” I OFTEN have in my mind that good man Mr. Bow. :: yer's * saying, which he so frequently repeated to , his children, “ Do all the good you can." It is but
uncomfortable, when one recollects at night the passages of the day, to think one has been of no use to one's self or any body else.- The same. P. 55.
• Vicar of Martock. .
On a Tomb-stone in the Church-Yard at Holy
So flits the world's uncertain span!
SLADE THE MURDERER.
murderer,ow, that his bread when
DEPRAVED as Slade's life had been, there was doubtless a time when he little thought that it would be closed upon the scaffold—when, if he had been told, while earning his bread honestly by the sweat of his brow, that he would turn out a robber and a murderer, he would have rejected the imputation with scorn, and have been ready to say with Hazael of old, “ Is thy servant a dog that he should do this great thing ?” “ Had I but known the least part of what I know now," said he one day to the Clergyman that attended him, “I should never have been here.” Of what unspeakable importance then must it be to inspire the young mind with right principles of religion; to check with a gentle - but steady hand, the first approaches to vice; and - to inculcate lessons of industry, sobriety, and integrity, by that most persuasive of all arguments,-a good example.--Extract from a Narrative of the Murder of Mr. Waterhouse.
THE SINS OF FATHEŘS VISITED ON
The letter of our Correspondent G.P., in our last Number *, appears likely to be useful, since many readers, who have not the opportunity, or the inclination, to consider Scriptural declarations in all their bearings, are apt to think that there are contradictions in them; when perhaps a little farther consideration would have shewn them that, in reality, there is no contradiction at all. Thus, when the Second Commandment declares that God " visits the offences of the fathers upon the children,” it is important for us to understand, as G. P. remarks, that this refers to “ the consequences of sin in this life.” And in truth we well know that this is the case,---for children do frequently suffer in their health, or fortune, or character, by the vices of their parents. And is not this a warning calculated to strike on the hearts of every parent, and to exhort him to guard his conduct with the greatest watchfulness, since the effect of his vices does not end with himself, but visits his children after him? It is important, too, to consider, as our Correspondent observes, that the command was first given to the Jews, and that the great sin then prevailing in the world, was Idolatry, the worshipping of Images,--and that God therefore held out the severest threats to those who were guilty of this sin,-declaring that its punishment should extend “ to the third and fourth generation" of those who were guilty of this crime.
But the Second Commandment still keeps its place among the commands given to a Christian Church, although many persons may be ready to say, that Christians are not at all tempted to worship idols of wood or stone. This is true; but still
* Page 542
The Sins of Fathers visited on their Children. 35 we are tempted, in another way, to break this commandment: for, let us ask, “what was the real sin and danger of worshipping idols ?”—The sin and the danger was, that such worship drew the hearts of men from the love and service of God, for « no man can serve two masters,”—we cannot wor. ship at the same time the true God and false ones. It cannot therefore be too often repeated, that those who are called Christians, and yet give their time, and their thoughts, and their affections, to those things which serve to draw their minds from the love and service of God, are, in truth, guilty of the sin of Idolatry, and incurring all its danger : · G. P. has likewise given a very useful caution to our readers against consulting fortune-tellers; or en, couraging that superstitious feeling which puts any confidence in those idle pretenders to a power which belongs only to God. It is certain that there is now much less of this folly amongst us than there was a few years ago, but there is still too much of it, there are still some ignorant people, among whom it prevails to a fearful extent, and with whom it is often productive of very terrible consequences. Where the Holy Scriptures are studied and understood, these idle notions give way; and the vain fears excited by artful and ignorant men give place to a salutary fear of God,-a reverence and respeet for Him, and a full assurance that the management of all things is in His hands.
Fear Him, ye Saints, and you will then
Have nothing else to fear,
34th Psalm, New Version. . The promises of God's mercy, as given in the 18th chapter of Ezekiel, as our Correspondent has stated to our readers, extend to a “ future state." He who serves God shall be accepted of God;
the sins of others shall not be visited on him;“the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son*." If we would prepare for that state of eternal blessedness which Christ has purchased for us, we are to make it the business of our lives here, to · cultivate such dispositions, and engage in such pursuits as shall be suited to that abode of purity and holiness ; God, if we are aiming at this, and earnestly seeking for the help of His Spirit, will enable us to live to his service. If we are prepared for heaven, we shall be admitted into heaven, and into the joy of our Lord,-without any reference to the conduct of our forefathers who have unhappily walked in a different course. .
It must ever be a subject of thankfulness and praise to the Christian, who delights in thinking on the mercy of God, to know that even those judgments which seem harsh, are, in the end, all mercy, all intended to bring about good. · What is it that first introduced misery into the world ?-and what is it that still causes misery? It is sin. God therefore often punishes the wicked in this world, and thus shews them the dreadful consequences of their offences; declaring, at the same time, that they extend even to their children's children. This terrible assurance of God's abhorrence of sin is intended then to be a warning to parents, and to every one of us. And if we are thus led to stand in awe of sin,--to fly from what is wrong, and to pursue what is right,
-if we are thus brought to act according to God's purposes,-then the consequence is happiness, and we see that the judgment was indeed mercy. And how can we help seeing the strikingly beautiful way in which this mercy shines forth through a command, which, at first, looks like all threatening? : Look, moreover, at the triumph of mercy. God
* Ezekiel xviii. 20.