« AnteriorContinuar »
it puff people up with pride, and make them look down with scorn, upon those who have not bad the same advantages. It is the same with greatness; and you have often seen children get on ju the world very much beyond .bat they had a right to expect; and yet it bas not ended in the comfort of themselves or their families. Their good luck, as it is commonly called, has perhaps become a spare to them, and they have been tempted to commit the sip of neglecting their parents, and despising those who were once their equals. But, my friends, give to your children religious jastruction, teach them, from their early childhood, the great blessings purchased for them by the death of their Redeemer that, thereby, they may become members of Christ, children of God, and inberitory of the kingdom of Heaven Give them, in your own conduct, an example of the faith, the obedience, the humility, and the patient industry of a Christian; shew them the natural sinfulness of their own hearts ; carefully and kindly instruct them to watch and pray least thev be led into temptation; ayrl then you will give them a happiness whicb the greatest riches cannot buy, which learning and greatness cannot give, and which even sorrow and disappointment cannot take away. "... ?
I shall now give you an jpstance, in a short history of a young man who lived in my neighbourhood. His parents were in a decent trade, by which they got a respectable living, and had no other child than this ope boy, of whom they were doatingly fond ; he was a remarkably quick, clever child ; and, at a little school, to which he had been sent at an early age, he learnt to read so soon, that his father and mother sept him (at a greater'expence than they could well afford) to a higher sort of school. The boy got on surprisingly, and was often in the even. ings, when he returned from the school, made to
shew his learning to a neighbour, that he might gain praise, which made him very proud and selfsufficient. As these parents, unhappily, were not religious people, the father seldom went to Church in a morning, but would stay at home to settle the weekly accounts of his shop, and would often keep his boy at home to help bim. They generally went in the afternoon, and, sometimes, when the child was very young, they taught him his Catechism.; but the cold, indifferent manner in which they did this was not likely to do the boy much good; and, bad they been heathens, and never heard of God, and all bis mercies to sinful man, their hearts could not (as they afterwards confessed) have been more insensible to all the blessed truths of Religion; and they might be truly said to live without God in the world. Their trade webt on very prosperously, and they were very eager to save money, that they might give their darling more learning and better clothes, that be might make as good an appearance as his school-fellows, in a higher condition. They saved money, too, with the intention of putting out their son to some genteel calling. At the age of sixteen, the father of one of his school-fellows offered to, take bim as a clerk in his business of a winemerchant; and, as Richârd, which was the boy's name, observed that the gentleman who made this offer appeared to be a very rich and genteel person, he determined to go to him. His only scruple was, that he should live in the same town with his parents, of whom he had long begun to be ashamed ; but he thought it too good a thing to be refused, and accordingly entered on his new employment, and gave such satisfaction, that he soon became a great favourite with his master, a most worldlyminded man, who, eager to serve mammon, forgot to serve his God, and made no scruple of shutting himself up in his counting-house on the morning of the Sabbath, with his young clerk, to reckon up and rejoice in the gain of the past week, and to plan still greater gains for the future; the evenings were spent more gaily. Richard was constantly admitted into the family, and soon taken to live in the house ; while, all this time, his parents were neglected, Sometimes, in the dusk of the evening, he would pass an hour or two with them; and, though they had long keenly felt the neglect of their beloved child, yet, when they saw him dressed like a gentleman, they forgot their grief, and gloried in the fine prospects which he had in view. These prospects were made good : his master in a few years gave bim a share of his business; and, soon afterwards, consented to his marriage with bis daughter, a shewy, conceited young woman, who thought only of having fine clothes, and going about to display them, and who made a condition with Richard, that he should never ask her to visit his parents. The business increased ; money came in fast; the winemerchant and his son-in-law laboured and feasted Sunday and week day, 'till the young man caught a violent cold by standing too long in a damp winevault, and was seized with a most painful and fatal illness.-And, now, came the proof of bow little value, in the time of trial, is all that worldly-minded people call good. Poor Richard's money could not give him ease; and the acute sufferings of his body were nothing compared with the torments of his mind. He now felt that there was a Gud; though he bad lived so wholly regardless of Him': he now felt that his soul was about to be required of him, and oh, how did he dread it! How vainly did he wish that he had thought sooner of these things ! But, unhappily, with all his dread, repentance came not : his heart, hardened by prosperity, and unused to pray, could only entreat that he might not die. Three days and three nights did he spend in an arin-chair, refusing to go to bed, as if he thought death would come there the sooner ; and, so dread.
ful were his fears, and his ravings of terror, that no one could stay in bis room for many minutes together, except his poor wretched mother, in whose bosom, his arms clasped tight round ber neck, in an ågony of despair, he breathed his last.
Parents, whose children are still young, think of this true story! Think of the misery of seeing your child die in such a state! Fancy you hear him accusing you, as poor Richard's heart-broken mother several times heard him accusing her, as the cause of such distress. And, now, let me again ask what you can best do to secure the hap. piness of your children? What, but train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.-How glady would the wretched parents, of whom I have been writing, have given all the learning and all the riches of their darling child for one ray of Christian hope in his dying hour! ' ' · Mothers ! to whom the early care of children generally falls, teach them from their first childhood, to serve and obey the God who created them;
to believe in, and to love, the Saviour, who died for them ;— to pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit to sanctify and renew their hearts, that in this life they may have that peace, which Religion alone can give, and that, in the hour of death, they may have the blessed hope to rise, through the merils of their Redeemer, to the joys of his heavenly kingdom! · Christian Mothers ! deny not to the children of your love such happiness ;- impress upon their young minds the blessed truths of your Bible; teach them by your example, as well as by your precepts, to consider it as their greatest treasure, and pray with them, and for them, that you may be enabled there to learn "the way, the truth, and the life.”
“ A meeting of the magistrates of the Eastern division of the county of Middlesex is shortly to be held, to inquire upon what authority Stepney fair is held in the parish of St. Dunstan’s, Stebbon Heath, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, in Easter week; and it is the determination of the magistrates strictly to enforce the Act of Parliament, and to de away altogether with such illegal assemblages, provided the parties capnot produce any charter of sufficient authority to warrant the continuance of the fair.”—New Times, Feb. 8.
It is incalculable the quantity of wickedness and misery which would be prevented, if every one of these disorderly fairs were put an end to ; and the magistrates, who have undertaken this good work, well deserve the thanks of all those who are anxious for the real bappiness of their fellow creatures; and, what is far above this, they will have the satisfaction: of feeling that they have been the happy instruments of preventing much wickedness and misery. It is indeed strange that, in a Christian country, a country where regular provision is made for proclaiming the great doctrines of our religion, and for teaching its duties, and thus, in fact, shewing tbe very way to make a people happy here, and preparing them for happiness hereafter ; it is, I say,very. strange, that, whilst a provision is made for this good work in every parish, there should, in any parish, be allowed another work to go on wbich absolutely upholds and encourages wickedness, effectually prevents the growth of good, and utterly stifles and puts out the very spirit of Christianity. Great pains are taking to put an end to the wicked writings of those whose blasphemous publications are intended to destroy the authority of the Christian religion. Such publications are, indeed, calculated to do much