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The writer having found his own birthday an appropriate season for grateful recollection and penitent supplication, thought that a Manual for birthdays might be useful, and that Christian parents and others might be glad to avail themselves of such a little work, in order to bring eternal things before the minds of those dear to them, on a day when natural affection and spiritual solicitude are specially called into exercise.
The author's great desire is, that God may honour these meditations by making them the means of bringing many to know a new and heavenly birthday; a day which shall be gratefully remembered in time, and looked back upon with holy wonder millions of years hence.
This little work (first published in 1848) has been out of print some twenty years. During that time, the author has had many applications for it, and recently has been earnestly requested to republish it. He now ventures on another edition, revised and enlarged.
Many things which occurred at the time the first edition was published, now come very vividly to the mind, producing humbling and solemnising reflections. How many changes have there been in family and other connections since then ? Deaths, marriages, a new generation rising uphow much do these facts include ? How often the heart muses on those dear young ones, and wonders what their future will be when we are gone! Such prying is of no use; but praying will be. So, while we indulge in loving congratulations, and try to give a few kind counsels, let the heart constantly rise in praise to Him “whose righteousness is unto children's children;" who “hath been mindful of us, and who will bless us."
“ Thus we begin the lasting song,
And when we end our race,
Of God's abounding grace.”