« AnteriorContinuar »
will refuse to undertake it at all. Now, in this, they can hardly be right, because, as it is an office that requires great thought and watchfulness to perform it well, so it is an opportunity of doing a great service, by being instrumental in bringing up a child to the knowledge of its God and Saviour. If conscientious people, for fear of doing wrong, were all to refuse this office, it would then he in the hands of none but the thoughtless and careless; and thus a great deal of harm would be the consequence. We are forgetting, however, good George Herbert. "The Country Parson, he says, instructeth the Godfathers and Godmothers, that it is no complimental or light thing to sustain that place, but a great honour, and no less burden, as being done, both in the presence of God, and his saints, and by way of undertaking for a christian soul."
The Bishop of London, in his last Charge, has called our attention to the same subject.
"A.nd here I wilt remark that the suretyship of the Godfathers and Godmothers may be made of substantial use, by a judicious minister, in promoting religious instruction in families. It surely is not too much to suppose that, out of three persons obliged by a solemn engagement "to see that a child be brought up to lead a godly and christian life," be might, at least, prevail on one to second his remonstrances with a parent who should forget his duty."
GOING TO CHURCH.
It was on a delightful morning in the early part of last November, when all nature seemed rejoicing, that we set off from the village of Milnwood to walk to church. The bells were ringing, and, as we approached the venerable house of God, I was much pleased to see, advancing on the same path, rich and poor from their several houses, neatly and properly dressed, many mothers in their cheerful warm scarlet cloaks, with their husbands and children, drawing nearer and nearer to the temple of God. We now entered the church yard where many of our relations and friends had been gathered to their narrow homes, awaiting the day of general resurrection. Surely this consideration should make us earnestly desire, whilst now we have time, to offer up our prayers and praises, in an acceptable manner to our heavenly Father. Those whose graves we are now passing, have trod the same path. Around ns, are all ages and stations, some who, through the goodness of Providence, have enjoyed a long and a prosperous life, others who, at an early age, have been consigned to the silent tomb amid the tears of afflicted parents and friends.
From them let us turn to ourselves, who are now entering the house of God; let us endeavour to worship Him with all our hearts, remembering that we are accountable for the opportunity which this day affords us of attending His holy service; that His eye is ever upon us, and that He knoweth all the secret thoughts of our hearts. And, as we join with the Minister in the different parts of the service, let us join in heart, as well as in words, humbly and sincerely beseeching Almighty God to receive our prayers. Let us think of our past sins, and let us beg of Him, for Christ's sake, to grant us repentance, and amendment of life. In our praises and thanksgivings, let us call to mind His past mercies, and all the benefits which He has poured upon us, how He hath blessed our honest labours with success, given us health, and strength, and preserved to us all the kindly fruits of the earth. May we ever remember that God is the giver of every good and every perfect gift! We may reasonably hope then that a faithful and constant attendance upon His public worship may be a means of drawing down His blessing upon us; that the instructions, and impressions which we have received on the Sabbath may remain with us during the employments of the week, may check us when we are tempted to sin, and may strengthen and support us under our trials and afflictions. For our comfort and encouragement in well-doing, we are assured that "if we draw nigh to God he will draw nigh to us."
A Constant Reader.
Village of Milnwood,
IMPORTANCE OF SENDING CHILDREN TO
A Letter from Sarah Gauntlet, a nursery Maid in
My Dear Sister,
I Arrived safely, and without any accident, at the end of my journey, and have got nearly settled again, in my usual occupations; yet, as I sit at my needle work after the children are gone to bed, it is very pleasant to me to call to mind, things that passed during my visit to you; and I can think of you, sometimes, till I fancy I see your husband and the children collected in the evening, at the cottage door, and yourself in the midst, with your knitting, as blithe as a bird.
I have long wished, my dear sister, to have a few words with you, on what appears to me an important subject; and, j et, I have suffered the time to go by that I spent with yon so lately, and could not find courage to speak to you. I was afraid you might think that I wished to set myself up to find fault, and that, for this, you might be displeased with me as I am younger than you; but yet, I should believe myself neglectful of my duty, both as a sister aud a friend, if, thinking as I do, I was not to point out to you what appears to me amiss in your conduct; particularly as I am convinced you would not go Oh in any wrong way, but from not having considered or thought it wrong. Do not then be offended at my freedom. It is concerning your duties, as a mother, that I wish to say a few words. You think that, because you feed and clothe your children, and because you and your husband work hard to enable you to do this, that your duty towards them is fulfilled. But be assured, that if you neglect to bring them up properly, you are neglecting a very great part of your duty, and the consequences will be more sad than you have any idea of. To explain more exactly what I mean I will enter into particulars. Your four eldest children are girls; one of whom is now almost 11 years old. Can you suppose these dear children will become active and industrious women, such as for their own happiness, as well as your own, you would wish them to be, if they are not brought up in habits of activity and industry, but on the contrary are suffered to loiter away their time in idleness, or what is very near to it. There is no where, 1 am convinced, a more affectionate Mother than you are. How then do you think you could bear to see your children hereafter lamenting that they cannot do as well for themselves as other girls in the village, who have been differently brought up? If they are too affectionate and too dutiful, to upbraid you with their deficiencies, you will be obliged to upbraid yourself; and this is supposing the best of them; I say nothing of how often it happens, that those who have had their education neglected, turn out undutiful and wicked. I will not suppose a misfortune so terrible; but I am speaking of Hie danger of growing up in idleness and ignorance.
A very good opportunity is afforded you of getting your girls taught, at least reading and needle-work, at your village school: but, although admittance has been offered for them, you make trifling excuses for^ not accepting it. There they would learn something of order and neatness, as well as the use of the needle and reading, and what is of great consequence, would not acquire the dangerous habit of doing nothing. Let me then advise you to exert your good understanding on this subject; and, I am sure you will agree with me, that it is desirable to make some change in your plans, and that you could not do better than to determine to send. your two eldest girls to school without delay.
I have, so far, only called you to think on the advantages that your children as well as yourself would derive from education, in a worldly point of view; but there is another much more serious consideration which should be taken into the account. Your children are not destined to live only in this world; this is but the beginning of an existence, which is to last through all eternity; and, as they fulfil their parts here, their lot hereafter will be cast, for happiness or misery. How important, then it is that they should be taught their duty, and trained up early to love and fear their Creator! And vet how little are your children instructed in the duties of the Christian Religion! The Sabbath-day, which the Almighty himself has appointed to be set apart for his more immediate service, and sanctified it that we mayon this day seek bim and give our thoughts to heaven, is, in your house, too often only a day of idleness. We are forbidden, it is true, to work on the seventh day, but we are also commanded to keep it Holy. How, then can you reconcile it to your conscience, that you permit your children to neglect the opportunity afforded them of religious instruction, and public worship at church? and what excuse can you offer that will quite satisfy yourself that you do quite right in not sending your children to the village Sunday School, where they would not only receive the benefit of what is taught there, but would get the valuable habit of devoting the Sunday as the Fourth