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TO THEIR PARENTS.
gave him birth. This change of sentiment on his part does not infringe upon the parental authority, Nay, as a child in such a situation must feel the deepest concern about the spiritual interests and future happiness of his parents, he will most studiously endeavour, by every mark of attention to their comfort, to gain their confidence, to win their affection, that by thus inspiring them with a favourable impression of the new principles he has embraced, he may be the instrument of leading them also to see their value, and thus be partakers of that salvation which is the joy and rejoicing of his own heart. The spiritual condition of his beloved parents will be the frequent subject of his fervent supplication at the throne of divine mercy; and though he will feel it a duty which requires the utmost delicacy, for a child to address any thing in the form of admonition to a parent, he will not omit it, but will watch those softer moments of parental tenderness, to suggest some useful hints respecting the necessity of a personal interest in the salvation of the Gospel in order to our present comfort and our future hope.
66 Such attempts on the part of Christian children have not always been in vain ; some have enjoyed the high satisfaction of being instrumental of leading their own parents to the knowledge of that truth which alone can make them happy for ever. I recollect hearing of a remarkable instance of this occurring several years ago in our neighbouring kingdom. A young Clergyman, whose father also was of the same profession, some time after he entered the church, had his mind impressed with a sense of the importance of the things pertaining to his eternal peace. After he became convinced that there is no name given among men by which any one can be saved, but the name of Jesus, and no safety but by faith in his atonement, he could not avoid communicating his discovery to his venerable parent, who, through means of his son's correspondence with him, was led to adopt the same views of divine truth. The good old man was so sensible of the benefit he had thus derived from the letters and conversation of this most valuable correspondent, and that it was through his instrumentality that he had been led to discern the way of acceptance before God, that he ever afterwards used to address him as his beloved father in the Gospel. And is it possible to conceive a higher honour conferred on a human being, than that of being the instrument of communicating to those who gave him birth the knowledge of that truth by which, in the language of inspiration, men are said to be born again, and interested in those blessings which shall last through eternity. The possibility of attaining an object so transcendently interesting and glorious, must be, to Christian children placed in the circumstances we are now supposing, the most powerful incitement to fervent prayer, accompanied with persevering assiduity and unceasing watchfulness.
66 2. If a Christian child finds that he is connected with parents who know the grace of Jesus Christ, it ought to be a subject of peculiar gratitude, that those who, by ties of nature, stand to him in so endearing a relation, are also united to him by still stronger ties, and such as shall never be dissolved. Must it not furnish to such, a perennial source of holy thankfulness, and a theme of unceasing praise, that if, in the course of nature, he shall be called to commit his beloved parents to the dust of death, it will not prove a final separation, but that he can spend the remaining
THE COLLIER-BOY'S CANDLE-BOX.
portion of his fleeting pilgrimage animated by the hope that he shall meet those who were so justly dear to him, with comfort, at the great future day, when he and they shall be received together into those everlasting habitations which their common REDEEMER hath gone to prepare for them. The recollection of this union gives additional strength to all the tenderest ties of nature. It spreads a fresh charm over all our social enjoyments, and furnishes a source of consolation under all the afflictions of the present scene, which can be found in no other quarter. It yields solid comfort at the last sad and sorrowful hour of separation, while, without it, all is unmitigated darkness, desolation, and despair.”
THE COLLIER-BOY'S CANDLE-BOX:
AN AFFECTING ANECDOTE.
At a late Anniversary Meeting of the Southampton Auxiliary Bible Society, the Rev. Legn RICHMOND related the following anecdote :
By a sudden burst of water into one of the Newcastle Collieries, thirty-five men and forty-one lads were driven into a distant part of the pit, from which there was no possibility of return, until the water should have been drawn off. While this was being effected, though' all possible means were used, the whole number gradually died, from hunger or from suffocation. When the bodies were drawn up from the pit, seven of the youths were discovered in a cavern separate from the rest. Among these was one of peculiarly moral and religious habits, whose daily reading of the sacred Scriptures to his widowed mother, when he came up from his labour, had formed the solace of her lonely condition. After his funeral a sympathising friend of the neglected poor went to visit her; and while the mother showed him, as a relic of her son, his Bible, worn and soiled with constant perusal, he happened to cast his eyes on a candle-box, with which, as a miner, he had been furnished, and which had been brought up from the pit with him; and there he discovered the following affecting record of the filial affection and steadfast piety of the youth. In the darkness of the suffocating pit, with a bit of pointed iron, he had engraved on the box his last message to his mother, in these words :-“ Fret not, my dear mother; for we were singing and praising God, while we had time.—Mother, follow God more than ever I did. JOSEPH, be a good lad to God and mother." Mr. RICHMOND produced the box, which he had borrowed of the widow, under a solemn promise of returning a relic so precious to a mother's heart.
A DYING FATHER'S LAST COMMAND. AND
LEGACY. Among other excellent persons who lost their lives in the course of the unhappy civil wars which afflicted England in the seventeenth century, was Arthur, Lord Capel, Baron of Hadham. He was, on conscientious principles, a firm adherent to the Royal cause; and was beheaded in Palace-Yard, Westminster, on Friday, March 9, 1649. From an old and scarce, but highly interesting tract, which contains an account of his last hours, we extract the following anecdote.
“ He prayed,” in the morning of the day on which he died, " for half an hour in an excellent method, very apt expressions, and most strong, hearty, and passionate affections: first, for himself, confessing and bewailing his sins with strong cries and tears; and then humbly and most earnestly desiring God's mercy, through the merits of Christ only: secondly, for his dear wife and children, recommending them to the Divine Providence with great confidence and assurance, and desiring for them rather the blessings of a better life than of this: thirdly, for the King, Church, and State: and, lastly, for his enemies, with
ANECDOTES OF CYRUS.
almost the same ardour and affection. After this, I read the whole office of the Church for Good-Friday; and then, after a short homily, we received the Sacrament; in which he discovered great humility, zeal, and devotion. Being asked how he found himself, he replied, " That he was very much better, stronger, and more cheerful for that heavenly repast; and doubted not to walk like a Christian through the vale of death in the strength obtained through it.' he was to have an agony before his passion; and that was, the parting with his wife, eldest son, &c. which indeed was the saddest spectacle that ever I beheld. In blessing the young Lord, (afterwards Earl of Essex,) HE COMMANDED HIM NEVER TO REVENGE HIS DEATH, though it should be in his power. The like he said unto his Lady. He told his son, that he would leave him a Legacy out of David's Psalms, and that was this; LORD, LEAD ME IN A PLAIN PATH!’ For, boy,' said he, I would have you to be a plain honest man, and to hate dissimulation."
ANECDOTES OF CYRUS.
When Cyrus was twelve years old, his mother MANDANE took him with her into Media, to his grandfather AsTYAGES, who, from the many things he had heard said in favour of that young prince, had a great desire to see him. In this court young Cyrus found very different manners from those of his own country. Pride, luxury, and magnificence, reigned here universally. AsTyages himself was richly clothed, had his eyes coloured, his face painted, and his hair embellished with artificial locks. For the Medes af. fected an effeminate life, to be dressed in scarlet, and to wear necklaces and bracelets ; whereas the habits of the Persians were very plain and coarse. All this finery did not dazzle Cyrus, who, withont criticising or condemning what he saw, was contented to live as he had been brought up, and adhered to the principles he had imbibed from his infancy. He charmed