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ON TIE DUTIES OF CHILDREN.
some of them have listened with deep attention, and
obtained help of God' to do the things he has ena joined. All of them appear wishful to do so ;-and who can really be, or desire to become a Christian, without obeying his SAVIOUR's frequently repeated injunction, 'A neo commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another."
ON THE DUTIES OF CHILDREN TO THEIR
PARENTS. (Extracted from Innes's Domestic Religion : p. 42, &c.) 66 The next class of domestic duties to which we propose to direct our attention, is that which comprehends the duties which children owe to their parents. These we find enjoined in Coloss. iii. 20, and Eph. vi. 1:“Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing unto the LORD:” “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right : Honour thy father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth.” By comparing these two passages, we see what is the supreme standard of right and wrong, according to the Scriptures. That in the one text is represented to be right, which in the other is well pleasing in the sight of God, or agreeable to the revealed will of God; for it is thus we learn what that is with which he is well pleased.
“ But while it is quite sufficient to constitute a course of action a right course, to say that it is enjoined in Scripture, we must remark, that the revelation of the divine will, here, as in other cases, plainly carries the evidence of its excellence in its own bosom. Frora VOL. VI.
the nature of the relation in which children stand to their parents; as these parents have been the means of bringing them into being, of rearing them, and of watching over them amidst the helplessness of their infant years ; as from the force of parental affection, they must naturally feel interested in the prosperity of their children; and as from their superior knowledge and experience, they ought to be much better judges of what is conducive to their safety and happiness, than the children themselves ;-all these considerations combine to establish the reasonableness and propriety of the duties here enjoined.
56 I shall now state some things included in that honour and obedience which children owe to their parents, and which ought to be carefully attended to by children professing godliness.
66 1. This duty implies that children are called to treat their parents with every external mark of respect. We have an example of this in the conduct of Solomon towards his mother Bathsheba, (1 Kings ii. 19,) 'Bathsheba, therefore, went unto King Solomon to speak unto him for Adonijah; and the King rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the King's mother; and she sat on his right hand.' Few things are more disgusting to a well-regulated mind than seeing children, in their manner, language, or even tone of voice, discover any thing like rudeness or even pertness towards their parents. Nay, to a person of delicacy and a true sense of propriety, there is a certain degree of familiarity which would be quite uasuitable towards a parent, though it might be indulged without the smallest impropriety in our intercourse with others. I do not mean by this that pa
TO THEIR PARENTS.
rents should keep their children at a repulsive distance. No; there is something wrong where there is not the most perfect mutual confidence in this relation ; but this is quite consistent with that uniform feeling of delicate respect to which I now refer.
2. Children, in honouring their parents, should be at all times ready to do them every act of service which lies in their power. This remark is finely exemplified in the character of Joseph and of David :
And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock on Shechem ? Come, and I will send thee unto them; and he said unto him, Here am I.' (Gen. xxxvii. 13.) And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren ; and carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge. And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and went, and took, as Jesse had commanded him.?. (1 Sam. xvii. 17.) But it is not merely the external object which is here required : much of true religion consists in the temper with which it is performed. Every one must have seen the outward act of obedience performed in such a manner, with such a spirit, as fully to prove that religious principle had nothing to do in the business. How often are a parent’s. commands obeyed in so sullen and repulsive a manner, as plainly to show, that what ought to be viewed as a source of pleasure is considered a most painful drudgery? Let it never be forgotten that, in every thing connected with christian obedience, the Lord loveth a cheerful giver. Children, influenced by the principles of the Gospel, will obey their parents in such a way, as clearly to indicate that they consider it not only their duty but their privilege to serve them.
“ 3. Submission to reproof is farther implied in the honour and obedience here enjoined. When I speak of children actuated by christian principle, I of course speak of those who are advanced beyond the period when bodily chastisement is necessary. But even where there is reason to hope that yourg people, in some measure, do feel the influence of divine truth, yet, as youth is more the season of feeling and of passion than of reason and reflection, from the hastiness of temper, and from the thoughtlessness, or the inexperience, peculiarly incident to that early period, they often act in such a way as must excite a parent's disapprobation.
" Now the obedience required, is obedience to ipjunctions, even when accompanied with reproof if these are neglected. There is nothing, however, more offensive to the feelings, or trying to the temper, especially at this period of life, than to be found fault with. There is a certain feeling of self-confidence, a certain tone of independence, extremely natural to youth. This is thought manly, noble, dignified. It is of course cordially cherished. But this indepen. dence is invaded by being reproved. This is bringing them back to the state of children, and on this account it is peculiarly revolting. But it is for this very reason, that a willingness to submit to reproof becomes one of the most decided indications of christian principle in the youthful mind.”
(To be continued.)
À MOTHER'S PRAYERS ANSWERED.
(Extract of a Letter from a Young Minister.) o As to my labours, to a spectator I may appear to do much,—to myself it appears scarcely any thing. Ali, Sir, you know but little of my obligations to Almighty grace and redeeming love. I look back with dismay and horror to the time when I led the van in wickedųess
"Dar'd to attempt th' infernal gate,
And force iny passage to the Hames.' Regardless of the prayers, and tears, and groans of a pious mother, I rushed upon the thick bosses of God's buckler, and in the worst parts of the kingdom of darkness invented new schemes of wickedness, and dared the ALMIGHTY to do his worst. Even now may heart bleeds at the thought of the nights, when, mad with intoxication, I have returned to my tender mother, between two and three o'clock, burst open
the window, poured out a torrent of abuse, and sunk, upon the. bed as a monster of iniquity. Next morning I have been aroused at seven by a mournful voice, smothered with heavy sobs and tears. I have listened, and, to my inexpressible astonishment, found it was my mother pouring out her soul in this language :
O LOAD-Oh! mercy,-mercy,-mercy upon my poor child.-Lord, I will not, cannot, give him up!-Lord, he is still my child,--surely he is not yet out of the reach of mercy!- Lord, hear, hear, I beseech thee, a mother's prayers !-Spare, oh spare, for CHRIST's sake, the son of her old age! O Absalom, my son ; 0 Absalom, my son, my son !
66 Yes, precious mother, thy prayers are now antwered, and thy child,-thy worthless, guilty child, still lives, a monument of boundless grace and incomprehensible mercy,
" Exense, dear Sir, this effusion of a heart deeply affected at the retrospection of events treasured up in my mind, and often remembered with humility, ab. horrence, and inexpressible admiration at that free 2nd fathomless grace, which could save a wretch like we, and make me what I am.”
(Innes's Domestic Religion, p. 190.)