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TO THEIR PARENTS.
me that though he would be most happy to do so, he had no opportunity; that his former companions had now quite deserted him; that if they called at all, it was merely to inquire about his health, but that they seemed quite uneasy while they remained, and would not spend even a few minutes in his company.
Ah ! what a picture of the friendship of the world! It possesses no ingredients which can furnish a topic of consolation in the day of adversity. It was in reference, however, to this subject, and to the hope that, though he had no access to his former companions, his history might prove useful to them, that he uttered the last expression I shall quote. With an ardour and an emphasis which I cannot describe, he said to me, at one of the last interviews I had with him, “ I earnestly pray that I may be a warning to them that forget God.” May this solemn and affecting exclamation of a young man, on the bed of sickness and of death, be fastened on the recollection, especially, of every young reader; that, instead of forgetting God, he may remember his Creator in the days of his youth, and be found, in the season of youth and of health, supremely valuing that Gospel which alone can give solid happiness in life, comfort in affliction, and peace in death.”
(To be concluded in our next Number.)
THE CONFECTIONERS' SABBATH:
AN ANECDOTE, WITH REMARKS. A few years ago, as a little girl, between three and four years old, was going with her mother to a place of worship, in London, on a Sabbath-morning, seeing several confectioners' shops open,
Mother, the Jews keep their sabbath on the Saturday, and we keep ours on the Sunday : when do Confectioners
keep their Sabbath ?” She might have added,,when do Grocers, Butchers, Green-Grocers, Fruiterers, Slopsellers, &c., &c., keep their Sabbath ?
This striking question from a child shows,
1. The advantages of a religious education, and the benefit of a holy example in the conduct of parents. If this child had never been taught to observe the Sabbath-day to keep it holy, she would not have seen it to be the duty of other persons to keep Sabbath at all.
2. It shows that children, when young, if properly instructed, are more observant of men and things than is generally imagined, and that impressions are made on their tender minds by the example of others, beyond what is generally supposed. When children see in their parents a conscientious care to keep the Lord's day holy, to speak truth, and to promote genuine piety, their hearts are frequently touched, and their memories are stored with good things. Trained up thus in the way they should go, they may be expected not to depart from it when they are old. On the other hand, if parents be wicked, and keep open shop, or follow their occupations, on the Lord's day, or if they lounge away the Sabbath in idleness and dissipation, what can be expected from their children?
3. This question of a child calls on all persons who keep shops open for business, or who go to them to buy, on the LORD's day, to ask themselves, when they keep their sabbath? Is it a small evil to disobey the eternal Jehovah, who hath commanded us to keep one day in seven holy, and to do no manner of work on that day? Is it a light thing to rob God of the glory due to his Name, to profane his day, and to neglect his worship? Are not such persons treasuring up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath? And if they be parents, are they not training up their children for endless misery! O that men were wise, that they would duly consider their latter end !
4. This anecdote reproves those children who dislike the worship of God, and the strict observation of the Sabbath; who would prefer play to prayer,
ESSAY ON DISCRETION.
and the company of wicked children to that of good people; who think their parents too severe because they will not suffer them to spend the day of the LORD in sinful mirth, and foolish conduct. Such children are wicked: they offend God, and grieve their pious parents.
5. It calls on those children who have been, or are now, favoured with religious instruction and example, to be very thankful to God for such blessings, and carefully to improve them to his glory, and their own everlasting benefit. They are not without knowledge of what God requires of them, of the way of salvation by Christ, of the things which make for their
peace. May those dear children accept the offered mercy of God, and become a blessing to mankind ! Liverpool, Aug. 29, 1822.
ESSAY ON DISCRETION. I have long esteemed the Book of Proverbs as the best collection of maxims for our direction in civil and domestic life that was ever put into the hands of
The intention of this book is specified in the first six verses of the first chapter, which may be considered as a preface to the whole work. Youth are particularly regarded by the Wise Man; and he often addresses himself to the juvenile reader. Happy is that young person who re ves the instruction thus communicated, and walks in the paths of wisdom. " When wisdom entereth into his heart, and knowledge is pleasant to his soul, then understanding shall keep him, and DISCRETION shall preserve him.” Of all the qualities of the mind, Discretion is one of the most useful, as it is that by which we use every other quality aright, and improve every circumstance in life in a proper manner. We often see great and shining gifts possessed, without discretion to apply them to a right end; and when this is the case, the deficiency of the character is the more striking ; because our expectations being raised by observing something above the common level of mankind,, we are disap, pointed by finding the want of prudence in the appliplication. Discretion is not the most splendid quality of the human mind ;-learning, wit, generosity, and courage, surpass it in this respect ;- but without dis. cretion, learning is but pedantry, wit impertinence, generosity profusion, courage fool-hardiness, and even virtue itself looks like weakness; the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in his errors, and active only to his own prejudice. Discretion is the wisdom of governing ourselves ; it is the ability of directing all other qualifications, of setting them at work in their proper times and places, and of turning them to due advantage. In short, it is that which gives a value to every thing else which a man possesses. If we look into particular societies and divisions of men, we shall see that it is not the most witty, learned, or brave, who guide the conversation, and give measures to the society. A man with great talents, but void of discretion, is like POLYPHEMUS in the fable, strong and blind, endued indeed with irresistible force, but which, for want of sight, is of no use to him. Though a man have all other perfections, and wants discretion, he will be of no great consequence in society; but if he have this single talent in perfection, and but a common share of others, he may do almost what he pleases in his particular station of life. Thus discretion not only makes a man master of his own parts, but of other men's; for the discreet man finds out the talents of those he converses with, and knows how to apply them to proper uses. Let us, however, dístinguish between Discretion and Cunning, for they are not the same. The latter is the accomplishment only of little, mean, ungenerous minds; but the former has an enlarged and generous soul for its seat. Discretion points out to us the noblest ends, and pursues the most proper and laudable means for attaining them : Cunning has only private selfish aims, and stops at nothing which may make them succeed. A wellformed eye takes in the whole horizon ; such is Discretion to the mind; it has full and extended views : Cunning is a kind of short-sightedness, that discovers only the minute objects that are near at hand, but is
ATTACHMENT TO THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
not capable of a full view of any extended subject; much less can it discern things that are afar off. Discretion, the more it is discovered, gives the greater authority to the person who exercises it; for every one approves of it, even if he does not possess it : Cunning, when it is once detected, loses its force, and incapacitates a man for bringing about even those events which he might have done, had he passed only for a plain man. Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life : Cunning is a kind of instinct, that only looks out after immediate interest and welfare. Discretion is a proof of strong sense and good understanding : Cunning is often to be met with in brutes themselves ; but is particularly the character of those persons who are in the lowest degrees removed from them. In short, Cunning is only the mimic of Discretion, and may pass upon weak men, in the same manner as vivacity is often mistaken for wit, gravity for wisdom, and a sour temper and sanctimonious appearance for religion.
EXAMPLES OF ATTACHMENT TO THE HOLY
SCRIPTURES. 66 TAE excellent and learned LADY JANE GREY, though executed at the age of sixteen, the night before she died, bequeathed to her sister a Greek Testament, on one of the blank leaves of which she wrote :- I have sent you, my dear sister, a book, which although it be not outwardly trimmed with gold, yet inwardly it is more worth than all the precious mines of which the vast world can boast. It is the book, my only, best, and best-beloved sister, of the law of the LORD. It is the Testament, and last Will, which he bequeathed unto us, wretched sinners, which shall lead you to the path of eternal joy. It will teach you how to live, and likewise how to die. If you apply yourself diligently to this book, seeking to direct your life according to the rule of the same, it shall win you more, and endow you with greater felicity, than the possession of all your father's lands; and you