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every happiness; but she was mistaken. She loved ; but there was no return from her to whom she was attached. Disappointed in this, she cared no more for society, and spoke no more of friendship.
“ Still she was sure there must be an undiscovered land of joy; and thought she had attained some glimpse of it, when several books fell in her way, of that fanciful and fascinating sort which was exactly calculated to attract and fix her attention. To these she now turned, and loved solitude for the sake of undisturbed reading : all the leisure moments of the day were given to them; and it was not to be wondered at, that, when she looked on the ordinary duties of life with eyes accustomed to the dazzing glitter of fiction, the former should pear dark and dismal. Many months were thus occupied, till at last she felt that these works, far from satisfying her desires for pleasure, gave a greater intensity to them: she formed in them the echo of her wishes; but, alas ! from them there was no voice, neither any that answered,' to tell where such hopes and wishes should find satisfaction. Her own heart told her the truth of - The Minstrel's' words :
Fancy enervates, while it soothes the heart;
And, while it dazzles, wounds the mental sight :
But wraps the hour of woe in ten-fold night.'
" ISABELLA became weary even of these mental luxuries, for they could not feed an intellect and heart, that were ever crying, "Give, give;' and thus without suffering any great affliction, and without entering into the dissipations or cares of life, before she was eighteen, she had come to the most melancholy, yet
most true of all conclusions, Vanity of vanities! all is vanity, and vexation of spirit!'
66 And what could bring back her relish for life? What could support her under the unavoidable sorrows, and increase the common joys of existence ? Nothing, but that RELIGION, from which she had never tried or expected to derive pleasure. It was this that found her wretched and miserable; and, like the Good Samaritan, poured oil and wine on her wounded and weak spirit, to heal and strengthen it. And now her love of pleasure was turned into an instrument of delight; for she knew wherewith to satisfy it. En. gaged in the works of faith and labours of love,' whether adoring and loving her God and Saviour in the calmness of retirement, or busily employed in doing good to her fellow-creatures, she breathed an atmosphere of joy, and walked in the light of Heaven. But she soon found that she had not only a soul to save, but also a mind to improve ; and she considered this as her duty. No longer weakened by the influence of ungoverned fancy and feeling, her renewed and vigorous spirit sought and intermeddled with all wisdom.' And when, tired with these high pursuits, she needed relaxation, she found it in the discharge of the quiet duties, and in the enjoyment of the simple pleasures, of home. I am sorry that I have spoken so long of ISABELLA's search after pleasure that I have not time to enlarge on her attainment of it; but I would rather leave you to experience the latter, and then you will find the best description of it written on the tablets of your own hearts.”
ON THE DUTIES OF CHILDREN TO THEIR
(Concluded from page 341.) 65. Support in old age must also be considered as a duty which a Christian child owes to his parent. This was one of the consolations presented to NAOMI when Boaz married. Ruth. 66 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age.” (Ruth iv. 14.) This duty is directly enjoined in 1 Tim. v. 3: “ Honour widows that are widows in. deed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents : for that is good and acceptable before God.” Where a parent, then, is in such cireumstances as to need the aid of a child, there is something very unseemly and very inconsistent with a professed regard to divine authority, where, according to the child's ability, that aid is not givel. Cases sometimes occur, in which children professing Christianity are seen expending on dress a sum by no means necessary to their appearing with decency in the rank in which they are placed ; while an aged parent, perhaps, is left in a great measure destitute of the comforts, if not of the necessaries, of life. Others may attempt to reconcile this with Christian principle, if they can; for my part, I cannot.
" But there are other cases where children are not called to this duty, from their parents being in circumstances quite independent of their aid. Still, such
ON TIIE DUTIES OF CHILDREN
children, if under Christian influence, will delight to Minister to their parents' comfort, by complying, in
every possible way with their wishes, and by paying them a thousand little nameless soothing attentions, which may greatly smooth the ruggedness of the remaining part of their journey through the wilderness. I need hardly say, that it is impossible a young person, can have imbibed the spirit of the Gospel, without feeling it both a duty and a privilege to repay to those who gave him birth, some of those kind and endearing expressions of affection which, in the helpless period of infancy and childhood, they, with such persevering parental tenderness, bestowed upon him.
« 6. I cannot conceive children honouring their parents in the way the Scriptures enjoin, without being willing to consult them in any important step they take in life. There must be evidently some deficiency in the mutual confidence that ought to subsist between a parent and a child, if the latter should form a connexion in life, or take any important step, without the knowledge of the former; or without a desire to avail himself of his parent's advice, and to take the benefit of his more enlarged experience. In such a case there must be an evil somewhere; I do not exclusively ascribe it to one of the parties. It may be on the side of the parent, as well as on that of the child. A parent may show caprice, want of consideration, want of due regard to the comfort of a child ; or the child may be chargeable with want of respect and confidence in his conduct toward his parent. But where both parties profess to be Christians, nothing can be more unseemly than such a deficiency; such an inconsistency with their Christian profession, appearing either on the one side or the other.
“ As an illustration of this part of our subject, we may refer to the conduct of Jacob, especially as contrasted with that of Esau, in the connexions they formed in marriage. Of the former it is recorded, (Gen. xxviii. 1,)“ And Isaac called JACOB, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of LABAN, thy mother's brother.” JAGOB's cheerful compliance with this injunction is well known. The account given of Esau's marriage shows, on the other hand, how little he consulted the feelings or the comfort of his parents, in forming this connexion : (Gen. xxvi. 34:) “And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Jovith, the daughter of Beers the Hittite, and BASHEMATH, the daughter of Elon the Hittite ; which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to REBEKAH.”
“Before dismissing the subject of the duties of children, I may mention two cases that occur in the relation of Christian children to their parents, and notice the duties more peculiarly belonging to those placed in these different situations.
“ 1. A young man, when his attention is first directed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, may clearly perceive that his parents are strangers to its influence. What then is the effect which Christianity ought to produce on the mind and conduct of a child in such circumstances? He ought, in the first place, never to forget the relation in which he stands to those who