« AnteriorContinuar »
that you may be enabled by the Holy | written, not with pencil or pen, but Spirit so to do. Avoid, as much with the finger of the Living God,
may be, every subject of conver- not on tablet or on paper, but“ on the sation; remove,
even from your fleshly table of the heart. The hunsight, every memorial of occupation dred texts, alone, which occur in the or amusement, which may remind circle of our Sabbath ministrations, you of the world. On entering the were they alone recorded, would form house of God, lift up your hearts in a manual of faith and practice, the secret prayer, that you may be en- reference to which could never be abled to command your thoughts unattended with advantage, in revivthroughout the duty, and instead of ing the impressions which had been pleading the length of the service as strongly attractive towards holiness an excuse for inattention, make it or powerfully operative against sin. rather a help to serving God. Strive Thus, my dear young friends, by to attend to all the prayers, and you the teaching and guidance of God's will certainly attend to some; for be Holy Spirit, without which, neither assured that those to whom the service would our counsels profit nor your is most wearisome are they who exertions avail, but which you will listen least ; and if you cannot as yet certainly receive, if you earnestly fully enjoy the Sabbath, there can be implore; thus may you be enabled surely no reason, why you should to commence and to continue anoconsciously and wilfully profane it. ther year, as heirs of immortality, who Thas acting, you may rely on God to will be ready for their inheritance bless your honest endeavour to wor- at a moment’s warning; whom their ship Him aright; and, in the end, Lord, should he come as a snare or that which too many feel a burden, as a thief in the night, would find you will esteem a pleasure and account with their loins girt, and their lights a privilege. With regard to the dis- burning. · And who can tell when or course, I know not that I can offer any how He may come? Who shall say, thing beyond my former counsel, that that ere the close of the now opening the young hearers should not listen year arrives, the parent may not miss only with outward attention, but look one of the stars which shine brightest for the voice of the Spirit speaking in around him, quenched in the darkness the heart; and afterwards commit to of death—one of the fairest branches writing from memory alone, any of his spreading and stately tree, unobservations or directions with which der the shadow of which he trusted they may have been peculiarly im- to have departed in peace.-What son pressed. It would give me much sa- or daughter here, may not be fathertisfaction to know that any solid and less or motherless ;—what parent may permanent benefit had followed on the not be childless ; what husband may adoption of this practice, which at pre- not be a solitary mourner; what wife sent, from my limited intercourse with may not be a sorrowing and dejected the congregation, I can only hope. widow, within the shortspace of twelve I would, however, discourage, as revolving months? Which of us can much as may be, the practice of tak- assume as a certainty that he shall ever ing notes during the delivery of a dis- celebrate on earth the opening of course, which I consider inexpedient, another year? We should all think, as tending to distract the attention that positively to assert it were madfrom the words, which should be ness, as well as impiety. Ought
we not then to consider it almost an an impediment in their way. Do we equal measure of folly, not to act upon not send them to the house of God, the assertion that none can question when we do not come ourselves ?" or gainsay? If all must contemplate Yes—but there are other ways of forthe contingency of death, and none bidding them than by imperious and can calculate on the certainty of life, tyrannical prohibition. There is an is it not practical fatuity to bestow all impediment which may effectually our thoughts and time on that which hinder, even while the words invite. is so precarious, and reserve none Example to young persons is greatly for that which is inevitable? 0, let more forcible than precept; and us not add another year to those though the one at best is faulty from which have been heretofore wasted the corruption of man, and the other and misapplied: for neither will the must be always salutary, because it ministering Prophet bear to us the originates from God, young persons assurance from the Omnipotent—“I cannot trace these minute distinctions; will add to thy days fifteen years;" and therefore they listen to inclinanor can Satan delude us to a ruinous tion, that treacherous, but too perpresumption, by declaring,—“This suasive counsellor, which always misshall not be thy last.” Therefore, since leads them to prefer the evil and to all must die, let all prepare to live. refuse the good, regarding only the
And now I must conclude with a present gratification, and losing sight word of admonition to you, Christian altogether of the future, and enduring, parents, or parents who are called and irrevocable penalty. Now for Christians; for we dare not flatter the young thus unhappily misled, ourselves, that all are Christians in there may be some excuse, but what deed ; and there is need of it, inas- excuse is there for the parent who much as a SOLEMN OBLIGATION, and a misleads them? Can he imagine for BOUNDEN DUTY arise hence to you; to an instant, that mere verbal admoyou, even if we take only a partial and nition, wbich, unless followed up by negative view of the expressive corresponding practice, is in truth words—“suffer,” and “forbid them little better than practical hypocrisy, not.” “What! forbid them!” you and to which in another he would not say; “Would any but a parent whose hesitate to give the name, does he heart was hardened by selfishness, think this will avail to counteract or brutalized by sensuality, forbid the the headstrong passions, and temper waiting on God, which might be the the vehement desires of youth? O! it salvation of his child? Would any will indeed be a bitter and a woeful who know Christ, even by name, and account that shall be rendered by who professedly rest in him for salva- him, or by her, who so far from ention, interdict their children from com- couraging and inviting their children ing to him, when in so doing they have to come to Christ, so far from waitthe strongest and best security, (for ing to cast in the good seed, and perthis even unbelievers will allow,) for severing to water it with seasonable that continued affection and duty which admonition, and cultivating it by shall gladden their declining years, suitable example, have negligently and gild their passage to the grave? thrown the seed in the hard and How should we forbid our children? trodden ground, careless whether it We are not ourselves as particular as penetrated the soil or not; or even if it we ought to be, but God is our witness did penetrate, and appeared above the that we would not for worlds throw ground, were not only inattentive to
remove from it the noxious and poi-| will be formed, and their practice insonous weeds, but actually, so to fluenced, by what their parents are at speak, contributed to twine them home, not by what they seem abroad; around the tender and fragile stem, and, I fear, I fear it will be found and thus to exterminate, in its first equally true, in the last day, of faspringing, the blade that would other- milies and of neighbourhoods, that wise bave ripened for immortality. one inconsistent professor of religion
My dear brethren, you would causes much evil, as that one sinner shrink with horror (I am sure you destroyeth much good. would) from the idea of inflicting the But I propose to resume this subject, slightest injury upon your children, and to examine it more fully at a funay, you would peril life or limb ture opportunity; meantime, let me for the preservation of theirs; and reiterate, with all the energy I can will you not, when their souls are at command-and O may the Spirit pracstake, strive to put a curb upon your tically impress the consideration on passions, and a bridle upon your every heart—that now, now is the time lusts; will you choke and poison to rectify former errors, to remove them with the ashy fruits of a world former imperfections, to retrieve forthat lieth in wickedness, only because mer negligences, to determine, and to you cannot abstain from the indulg- act on the determination, that “ as for ing your own vitiated tastes and ca- us, and our house, we will serve the pricious fancies, and corrupt inclina- Lord.” You have all commenced the tions? Is it not enough to do the new year aright in that, you have work of Satan for yourselves, with begun it in the house of God. out aiding him to do it for your off-Ah! could we cherish the fond exspring? O, remember, (for you are pectation, that all which shall ensue warned,) that if you knowingly com- will correspond with this beginning ! mence this year with any one prac-Surely it might make the heart to tice or indulgence, which has in time thrill with terror, and cause the eyes past proved detrimental to your chil- to run over with tears of blood, did dren, you nullify the effect of a thou- we dwell upon the tremendous continsand precepts; you subvert and under- gencies which the sight of such a conmine the very work which you imagine gregation might suggest-on the idea and profess yourselves anxious to pro- that there may be parents here who mote. And do not flatter yourselves shall for ever be separated from their that young persons are easily de- children, children for ever sundered ceived; it must be a depse veil, indeed, from their parents, and consigned by which bafles their penetrating glance; the guilty negligence and evil exthey can tell, when the specious as- ample of those who should lead them sumption of prudence is nothing better to their God, to hopeless and eternal than a cloak of covetousness; when woe. For, 0, my brethren, bear in the alleged necessity for entering into mind, that present example may ensociety and receiving friends, is in gender and perpetuate an evil, which truth, a blind for conformity to the no subsequent penitence or reformaworld; when indolence, or indiffer- tion can remove. The child may be ence forms plausible, but fictitious lost for ever, ere the parent bas found excuses for neglecting the service of the way of salvation, and lost through the Lord ;-when selfishness counter- him, or her. Let me, then, peracts the sense of duty, and Mammon suade and entreat you, dear brethren, prevails over God. Their opinions to suffer your children to come to Christ, by coming with them; to re- deemer. Beloved brethren, if you nounce every practice and indulgence would elevate your minds to the conwithout delay, even if it be a lawful ception of an image, at once the most one, by which an interruption has ever attractive and the most sublime ;-if been given to the spiritual advance- you would anticipate a spectacle, at ment of your children. Make it your beholding which Angels will utter study hereafter, to mould their hearts strains of exultant acclamation, and for God, as well as to enrich their in which you might be principally enminds, and provide for their bodies ; gaged,-on which Jehovah himself, and, above all, be yourselves, through the Judge of All, will look down with grace, the model, which you would peculiar satisfaction and inexpressible have them to imitate. O, how much love; surely it will be when the pasmoother and easier to the young man rents of many children, who were inis the path of duty and integrity, structed by precept, and encouraged when he sees it trodden before him by example “in the nurture and adby the Father whom he esteems! | monition of the Lord,” will appear and how much more effectually and together with their offspring before cheerfully does the young female the throne of judgment-changed into keep herself unspotted from the world a mercy-seat to them, and all hear when she is taught the lesson of prac- together the joyous summons, which tical religion, and devotedness to God, for ever blends all filial and parental by the mother whom she loves. How ties in the one nobler designation of often does it please our heavenly children of God.---“Well done, good Father to shed a peculiar blessing and faithful servants ; enter ye into on the charities of domestic life the joy of your
Lord.” when they are controlled by his For such a consummation, brethren, fear, and pervaded and purified it is Christ to live, and it will be gain by his love, by making the parents to die. 0 commence your new year directly instrumental to the effectual with such intentions and desires; comconversion of their children; and mit the work to God, and He will thus, in the decline of life, not only surely perform it, through the agency relieving the infirmities of age, but of the Spirit; yea, “and perform it obviating the pain of the approaching blameless unto the day of his coming." separation, by the confidence that Yes, only make it His work, by faith, they shall in the end be united for and he will fulfill it, for His own ever in the presence of the great Re- | name's sake!-Amen.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. B. NOEL,
AT ST. JOHN'S CHAPEL, BEDFORD-ROW, ON SUNDAY EVENING, JANUARY 27, 1833.
Luke, ix. 51.-" And it came to pass, when the time was to come that he should be received
up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,”
WITH WHICH HE RESOLVED TO ACCOM
It seems that the evangelist, in re- cost he would accomplish that great