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But this is not enough-ministers and which, if earnestly, judiciously, must combine their influence with pa- prayerfully taken up, will, by God's rents, to secure the youth of this sex; grace, be followed with a blessed reand yet is it not an undoubted fact, sult. that both parents and ministers do I shall conclude by a few hints more for the religious education of both to parents and ministers on the girls than for the spiritual good of momentous subject of this paper. boys ? And why? Because it is, or To the former I would say, seems to be, a more easy task to suc- Cultivate, I repeat, your own perceed with the former than the latter. sonal religion to a higher degree of “I can do nothing," says the mother, eminent and consistent piety. Withthe father, and the minister, “with out this you will have neither the disthat lad; I can teach and move his position nor the power to do much sisters, but his sturdy and unyielding in forming the religious character of nature resists all my efforts; I must your children. Many of you must give him up.” Thus requiring more be sensible that you are in too lukeattention, they receive less. True it warm a state, and too inconsistent as is, they are removed at an earlier age, professors of godliness, even to make and through subsequent life far more, the attempt to bring your children from beneath the care of parents and under the influence of religion, much ministers than their sisters; but even less to expect success, if you were with this admission, I still say they even to make the attempt; and it is are neglected. Ministers, I speak to not improbable that some of you are you and intreat you, as you would acting upon the conviction that you have your churches built up with will do more good by silence and by pious and intelligent young men; your leaving them altogether to ministerial Sunday-schools replenished with able influence, the power of preaching, and and influential teachers; your insti- the course of events. Alas! for both tutions directed by sagacious and you and your children. But shall well-educated committees;--look well matters remain thus ? Shall this year to the boys that are growing up in be added to the number in which you the families of your flock. Wait not have thus lived ? Awake from your till they are young men ; they will be slumber, which, if continued, will be gone then from beneath your care. the sleep of death, both for you and Gather them round you in Bible for them. classes, and for catechetical instruc- Settle with yourselves the point tion, while they are yet boys, and la- fully and for ever, that whatever adbour, by training their minds and vantages of general education you hearts to habits of right thinking, wish and intend to procure for, and reading, and piety, not only to attach bestow upon your children, their relithem to yourselves, which you easily gious character is the first object of may do at that age, and by such at- your deepest solicitude, and shall be tention, but to your denomination, of your practical and persevering and, what is of far more consequence,
effort. Let there be no question, no to true religion. I do not hesitate to hesitation, no wavering here. Here say, that we are all verily guilty fix you centre; here direct your aim; touching this matter, and are thus as here concentrate your efforts, your much wanting in pastoral sagacity as energies, and your prayers. we are in pastoral duty. Be this one Remember, their religious educaof the defects of the past which in the tion is your business. Whatever aids future we will supply--one of the mis- you call in from ministers, or teachtakes we will rectify-one of the means ers, you never must, you never can, of revival we will adopt-one of the you never should, delegate this work. plans for increasing our churches we God will hold you responsible for the will carry out. Here, in this increased
religion of your children, so far as parental and pastoral attention to the
means go. religious education of children, espe- Begin religious education early.
It cially of the boys, is something defi- is in general too long deferred. The nite, tangible, easy of accomplishment, natural corruption of the heart is allowed to acquire strength before it is to religion as well as fashionable acresisted, and Satan is permitted to be complishments; and if you can, send beforehand. Begin with calling out them where they will have the advanthe conscience; this may be done as tage of a lively, impressive ministry. soon as a child can speak. Conscience It is a sad thing for a lively girl, is the great faculty which in religious or a sprightly boy, not perhaps illeducation is to be enlightened, invi- disposed towards religion, to find gorated, and made tender. A child the Sabbath the dullest of all dull can soon be made to know and feel days. the distinction between right and I need scarcely remind Christian wrong, and taught to be a law to him
parents how much of earnest, believself. Inspire a reverence for your- ing, persevering prayer for the Holy self; be you, in a sense, to the child Spirit is necessary, and how much of in the place of God as his representa- familiar, affectionate, judicious, intive, before he can understand who struction, or how much of vigilance, and what God is. Train even the little expostulation, tender rebuke, and child to obedience, to surrender his salutary restraint, must enter into will to a superior will. What else is their system of domestic religious practical religion, if we only substi- education : all this is taken for tute God for the parent ?
granted. Let religion be seen in you as an Well, then, parents, be this your ever-present and ever-regulating rea- purpose for the year on which you lity; no mere abstraction, or thing of have just entered; your intelligent, times and places. Let it be a part of solemn, and deliberate purpose. Beyour whole character. Appear before gin afresh. Set out anew. Recollect, your household as one habitually con- again, what an awful thing it is to scious of the presence of God and be a parent, and what a responsiwalking with him.
bility attaches to those who have Be exemplary in matters of truth, immortal souls committed to their integrity, generosity. A religion with- care, and those the souls of their out these will disgust your children. own children. Let there be no little acts of equivo- Ministers, have we not something cation, injustice, spite, or meanness. to repair for the future in the neAcquire a nobleness of character. A glects of the past ? Have we been very little child can understand all faithful pastors as regards the chilthese matters.
dren of our church members? Have Be good tempered; not passionate, we fed the lambs? Have we, with stormy, impatient, severe, denuncia- the mild authority, and, at the same tory. A bad-tempered saint is a time, with the tenderness of a good contradiction. You may give your shepherd, looked after the younglings children much Scriptural knowledge, of the flock ? True, we are not to and even bore them with warnings be the substitutes, but ought we not and admonitions, but frequent fits of to be the helpers, of the parents ? passion and stormy gusts of anger Has not the catechetical instruction will drive it all out of their heads and of children fallen into general desuehearts.
tude? Why? Can we assign a solid Avoid all censoriousness upon the reason? If we neglect it, are we not failings of professing Christians, and the only religious functionaries who all cynical criticism and cavils upon do? Do the Roman Catholics negthe sermons of ministers.
lect it? Do the clergy of the Church Bring round your children the best of England neglect it? We are the specimens of religious professors. I ministers of the whole congregation do not mean the most fashionable and committed to our care, and the chilworldly, for these are often the worst, dren are a part of it, and therefore a but those whose piety is consistent part of the objects of our legitimate and cheerful, whose manners are en- attention. The parents will thank us gaging, and with as much of polish for aiding them in their endeavours as can be obtained.
to bring up their children for God, Choose their schools with reference and the children will gladly avail
No altars to the saints we build,
Though faithful deed and word Have long with pleasant fragrance
filled The temple of the Lord. We heap not in a golden shrine
The relics of the dead :What then-must fervent spirits pine
Our cold, bare aisles to tread ?
There are, have builded altars fair,
Have carved the shapely stones, With eager hands have gathered there
The blanched and scattered bones.
If ever to the sculptor's side
The blessed ones drew nigh, Methinks they marvelled at the pride,
The fond idolatry; If aught could mar their high content
Surely they sorrowed then; Surely their
robes were rent To watch the sin of men.
It was not for a vision fair
Of priestly rule below,
In the fierce noon-day glow.
To any earthly name,
They felt the scorching flame.
heart might reign, Those ancient saints rejoicing died
And spake not of the pain. It was, that men might see the light
Where once the shadows fell, It was, that men might wash them
white In life's unfailing well. Look not on broken images,
On altars trampled down, And say we blot their memories
And mar their glorious crown;For he who through the opened door
Beheld how heaven is fair, Saw that his Master's throne before,
Their crowns they would not wear,
Their tombs we would not garnish
now, But in their footsteps tread, And in the heart's dim chamber show
The relics of the dead.
What though the images of stone
Are from the niches cast, Think you our souls have never gone Back to the crowded past,
To gaze upon the martyr band
Who fought the fight of old Till quailing heart and faltering hand
The while grew strong and bold?
But cast them on the crystal stone
That paves those mansions old, While glory to the Lord alone Through the bright city rolled.
LETTERS TO THE WIFE OF A YOUNG CLERGYMAN.-No. XIV.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,—I do and miracles harmoniously arranged, not doubt that your many and varied (as Mr. Bickersteth has done,) will duties fully occupy your time and answer the twofold end of personal thoughts, and that you often feel the improvement, and qualification for necessity for much watchfulness, con- teaching, better than
other. You sideration, and prayer, to prevent will find the greatest assistance in this their injurious effects upon your own work from the marginal reference spiritual state. You know by expe- Bibles, which you should accustom rience that it is these “little foxes
your young friends to use constantly that spoil the grapes,” and often pre- in their own reading, and whilst invent your heavenly Father from reap- structing their classes. If you do ing that portion to which he is justly not know Bagster's “Treasury of entitled. (Canticles viii. 11, 12.) Our Scripture Knowledge," I would great adversary is constantly endea- strongly advise you to procure it. vouring to injure the root, blight the This work is far preferable to the blossom, or destroy the fruits of our “Scripture Harmony," by the same exertions; and we cannot be too ear- author. The “illustrative notes" nest in prayer that God would fulfil connected with the “ Treasury," and his own promise, of "keeping his the improved arrangement of the vineyard, watching and watering it “references, so as to correspond every moment,” by the dew of the with each clause, without obliging the Holy Spirit.
student to look through those for the But we must not be discouraged by verse, make this work more generally constant proofs of our own weakness useful. After your own prayerful inand imperfection ; on the contrary, we vestigation of the word of God with must pray for a deeper sense of the your young friends is concluded, you infinite value of souls, and the great will find it both interesting and proimportance of making, as well as using, fitable to add your usual family woropportunities of usefulness. By this ship. This affords the clergyman a means our capabilities will increase, nice opportunity of sanctioning and and the performance of our work will impressing the instruction which his improve: we shall act with more de- wife may have given, and of making cision, and mingle less of human in- all present feel the family interest firmity, less of self, and less of mis- which is taken in the work. If you placed endeavours in our essays to do undertake the duty in a simple degood.
pendance upon Divine aid, and with In proportion as you enter into the the desire to advance your Saviour's details of your own schools, you will cause, you will find many other benesee the importance of having your fits attached to it besides the improveteachers grounded in Scriptural truths, ment of
schools. and you
will find it a most desirable An increasing interest in the word thing to meet them yourself once a of God will be felt when every faculty month, or if you please more fre- of the mind is called into exercise by quently, for the express purpose of a it, and your young people will see, simple conversation on the word of that He who requires them to avoid God. If you endeavour to make all those mental snares, which would these seasons really interesting and lead them into sin, has provided for profitable, you will have no difficulty them an inexhaustible fund of enjoyin keeping up either their attendance ment, whilst they are preparing for or their attention.
those pleasures which are at “God's As to the plan of reading, your own right hand for evermore." A late judgment will direct you; but, per- eminent servant of God speaks of the haps, going through the life of our “well-stocked garden of spiritual deblessed Saviour, with his discourses lights, where every tree hears heavenly
fruit, to which the smile of an approv
In the former case, the greatest ing God will yield a flavour truly watchfulness is needful. That resistdivine.” This description is fully ance whilst decided, may be in the realized by those who can say, “Thy spirit of Christ; in the latter, the words were found, and I did eat them, same spirit is needed in the giving up and thy word was unto me the joy of our own will. Affectionate advice, and rejoicing of mine heart.”
in such cases, is often most valuable When by this means your young
in the commencement of a religious people become more and more inter- course; and I can truly say, that the ested with the simple reading of God's means of usefulness to which this word, they will be led to bring what Letter has referred, have often been to they hear and what they read to its myself seasons of great enjoyment. standard ; and never was there a time In a small country town, out of a when this result was more to be de- Bible class of about fourteen, three sired. There is something very strik- young persons have now entered on ing in the account which we have of spheres of important parochial usethe Bereans. (Acts xvii. 11, 12.) A fulness, and I trust that they will find real desire to know God's will, accom- that word, which they once searched panied by a diligent search into the out with much interest, to be indeed Scriptures of truth, was followed by a “a lamp unto their feet, and a light believing reception of it.
unto their path.” Such an opportunity as a Bible It is said that they which feared the class affords of bringing forward Lord, spake “oftentimes one to anoScripture difficulties, is also truly ther. And surely no conversations valuable; and as our acquaintance are so suitable and delightful as those with the state and circumstances of which are founded upon God's own ourflockincreases, we shall find many word, of which it has been quaintly, opportunities of giving a hint which but truly said, cannot be done from the pulpit. The last benefit which I shall refer
“Men's books with heaps of chaff are
stored, to is, the more personal intercourse
God's book doth golden grains afford.” which often results from such meetings, and which brings the wife of a May we, my dear friend, profit by the clergyman acquainted with the do- advice which follows : mestic trials, temptations, and duties
“Then leave the chaff, and spend thy of the young people around her.
pains Without encouraging an unlawful
In gathering up the golden grains.” exposure of family concerns, she may often give much valuable advice, es- With much Christian affection, pecially as to the distinction between Believe me, yours truly, what is really sinful, and what is only self-denial on the part of the young Bristol, Nov. 17, 1846. Christian.
THE SPIRIT OF THE GOSPEL.
A GREAT evidence of the divine origin Gospel has made an entirely different of Christianity is found in the cir- class of persons the subject of panecumstance that its maxims are in direct gyric. & Blessed are the poor in opposition to the opinions current in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of the world. On the prosperous and the heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: powerful are bestowed the applause and for they shall be comforted.” “Befriendship of mankind; and the very hold, we count them happy which fact of a person's not wanting help or endure.” The world heard with aspraise seems often a sufficient reason tonishment that patience under opfor his being loaded with it. But the pression and insult was a mark of