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Holy Spirit into bis ignorant mind and dark heart, and teach him to understand the Bible. Thus did he work and pray; and when the daily hour to rest from work came, who often had no dinner to eat, used to take his Bible out of his boson, (where he generally carried it,) and sit among the rocks by the sea shore near his cottage, to read and pray over the Word of God, as he said himself, “the Lord feeding bis soul.” Many times he called in his neighbours, that his little child might read to them too the wonderful things of God. The Minister, who often visited him, said to him one day, “Tell me, Charles, who has taught you the meaning of all these things?" The poor man replied, “Sir, I have no knowledge of my own, but the Lord himself has put all these blessed things here;" laying his hand on his heart, and raising his eyes to heaven, he added, "Glory be to his holy Name, 't was he did it all."
MY DEAR SIR,—The following hints for meditation were drawn up for private use, on occasion of a monthly season of humiliation and prayer, in remembrance of the death of a beloved child, an “only son ;" they are now offered for insertion in your “Friendly Visitor,” in the humble hope that they may thus become more extensively useful, by the Divine blessing, even to some parents who have not, as well as to others who have, sustained a similar affliction.
I remain, my dear sir,
Yours faithfully, Ipswich, August 1, 1844. PRACTICAL LESSONS FOR OUR OWN PRIVATE IMPROVEMENT, SUITED
FOR THIS DAY'S SOLEMN STUDY AND REMEMBRANCE.NOVEMBER 16, 1842.
1. To exercise deep humiliation, on account of our past failures in parental duties—“looking upon Him whom we have pierced, and mourning for Him as one mourneth for an only son ;" increased watchfulness, lest we lose the benefit of this afflictive bereavement, and fall again into the same errors and sins, with greater guilt, as committed after such solemn warnings, and repeated vows of amendment; and lively thankfulness, for the distinguished honour and privilege bestowed upon us, as Christian parents, of having, as we trust, notwithstanding our conscious unworthiness, two dear children safe in heaven.
2. To consider our remaining children as loans intrusted to us by God for a season; not our own, but to be returned to him, with interest and improvement, when he calls for them. His by original right-his by baptismal consecration--his by daily dedicationhis by a special offering on the late solemn occasion of his reinvestment of a precious deposit, lent to us for a little time, in the treasury of heaven.
3. To observe due reverence to them, as the Lord's children. To maintain a reverential remembrance of Him in all our dealings towards them, so as not to exceed, or give way to inordinate, selfish, or carnal affection, either in respect of indulgence or severity; so as not to fondle, idolise, or spoil them, on the one hand; and not to neglect to cultivate or lose an interest in their best affections, on the other. Also to keep up a constant recollection of their presence in our daily intercourse with and behaviour towards each other ; and of the influence of all present impressions, arising from what they observe in our conduct, upon their future life and character.
4. To call to mind, from time to time, that our children are sin, ful, responsible, dying creatures ; that from ourselves they have inherited guilt, corruption, and mortality. To deal with them as for eternity, as rational and spiritual agents, and never to defer religious instruction, when there is opportunity of imparting it, upon any pretence or plea whatever. But, in season and out of season, at all events, and by all means, to seek to save their souls, and to win them to Christ.
5. To maintain, watchfully and prayerfully, a spirit of love in all our administration of reproof, correction, and chastisement, when needful ; and to cultivate the same spirit among themselves, and all around them. To try to make, by God's blessing, the parlour, the nursery, and the study, hotbeds of Christian love; where the atmosphere of love is breathed by all, and circulates freely among all the members of an united family, as a holy and happy household of faith.
6. To contemplate Death as approaching silently, indeed, yet certainly and speedily to ourselves and our children; and to be daily “setting our house in order,” in expectation of its sudden arrival. Also to avoid every mode of conduct, or principle of action, which, in a dying hour, or at a death-bed scene, would be likely to cause regret; or which we should mourn over, and deprecate the effects of, either as respects them or ourselves.
7. To live more by faith, and less by sight : faith in the boundless love, and complete, soul-satisfying promises of the covenant in Christ : casting all our care for the future upon our allsufficient God and Saviour, and ceasing from all outward satisfac. tions and regrets as much as may be; as respects the health, personal appearance, gifts (natural and acquired), and other temporal advantages or disadvantages of ourselves or our children.
8. To be much in prayer, pleading with God for the children he has given us, after the example of the Father of the faithful: “O that Ishmael might live before thee!” (Gen. xvii. 18.) To be often urging and reminding them to pray for and by themselves, and never to leave to servants the duty, or rather the privilege, of hearing them pray.*
9. To be always observing our children, but not often interfering with them. As we would watch their bodily health, but seldom give medicine; so to have a constant eye upon their conduct, but not too frequently find fault with them. To be careful lest irritability in our tempers spoil correction by overdoing it; or partiality in our feelings make us too severe in one case, and too lenient in another. To remember, in short, that a child may be ill, when it only seems naughty; and may have many reasons for its conduct which it is unable to produce; which yet may not only be real, but well understood by the supposed offender.
The God of all grace vouchsafe to bless these lessons, and shew mercy to the reader and the writer, through the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ! Amen.
Mark x. 14. John xxi. 15. Acts. ii. 39.
WHICH OF THESE MOTHERS ARE YOU?
The Christian Mother
The Worldly Mother 1. Feels the value of her 1. Is blind to her own soul's own soul, and therefore is most danger, and is therefore indifferanxious about the souls of her ent about her children's souls. children.
2. Takes her baby to be 2. It does not much matter to christened ; and why? Be her whether her child is christened
* The following short and simple prayer is suitable for a child to offer by and for itself: “O Lord, convert my soul by thy Holy Spirit, and pardon all my sins, and shew me that I am, indeed, thy child, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen,"
cause its soul is her chief or no: she does not mind delaying anxiety. She wishes to follow its baptism. But when she does the example of Hannah, and take it to church, what motive ingive her child to the Lord. duces her? She has a pride in beIt is too young to think and longing to the church, and wishes speak for itself; she will there. her child to belong to it also. She fore act for it. She presents thinks it convenient to have her her child to Christ in his tem- child christened, or it may be reple, and prays that it may be fused Christian burial when it dies. a real Christian--a follower of She takes it because other mothers Jesus here, and an heir of glory take theirs; and she goes to church hereafter.
without really presenting it to God -without ever offering up one sincere prayer for a blessing on its
precious soul! 3. Seeks to take those with 3. It is a matter of little moment her to her child's baptism who what kind of people are chosen as will really pray for its soul; sponsors, so long as she gets them; and thus become spiritual and perhaps she does not care about friends, or sponsors.
having any at all. 4. As her children get out 4. She thinks most of this world, of babyhood, she labours to and her children do the same. She impress on their young minds has no time to pray, nor to teach the great reality of eternity, her children to pray. As soon as and the shortness of time. She they can speak, they employ their prays with them, and for them; tongues in the service of sin and and as soon as they can speak, Satan. she teaches them how to pray.
5. Her chief desire is, that 5. The Sabbath-day is regarded the Sabbath-day should be kept as a convenient day for taking holy. She will not allow her pleasure, paying visits, or receivchildren to be out in the streetsing visitors; their children are alwith others on that day, but lowed to play, or to loiter on their sees that they are punctual at way to church or school. What school and church; and what time they are at home on the Sabtime is over she employs in bath is spent in noise and merritalking to them, hearing them ment; and all this they have learnt read, or in singing hymns with from their ungodly mother. them.
6. Pays great importance to 6. Delights in seeing her child her child's dress. She is par. decked out. She laughs at neat ticular that it should be neat, dressing ; and bestows a deal of clean, and plain. Neck-laces, time and thought on the various flowers, and ornaments of all articles of dress which she thinks descriptions, she forbids her may improve her child's looks, children to wear; and tries to The soul is forgotten, and the get them to seek for the “or. body thought much of. nament of a meek and quiet spirit."
7. Enforces obedience upon 7. Thinks nothing of requiring her children, knowing it to be obedience. She talks much about one of God's commandments. it, but never gets it: she does not She values a Sunday-school, go the right way to get it. She and loves those teachers who often laments her children's way. take pains with her little ones. wardness. She thinks lightly of Nothing distresses her more a Sunday-school, cares little about than to see her child disobe- its teachers, and listens to all the dient or disrespectful to its whims and fancies of her children. teacher.
Disobedience to teachers she regards as a light evil, and listens to all the tales of her little ones with the ear of a foolish and partial
mother. 8. Is very particular to al. 8. Thinks she has no time to low no loose or low conversa. watch her children's conversation. tion. She checks the careless Theirirreverent manner r--the vain mention of God, and it grieves use of the name of God—the laugh her much to see religion made at religion-give her no pain ; 80 fun of.
she takes no notice of it. 9. Is very careful of the 9. She does not mind who her company her children keep, child is with, so long as it is with and will allow no foolish com. no one beneath her. She allows panions, whether men or wo- her child to mix with the
and men. She asks herself, “ Will giddy, till she finds out, perhaps, that companion do my child that she has given too long a rope,
and the child is becoming quickly
ruined. 10. Seeks to make her chil. 10. Finds her own pleasure in dren find a higher pleasure this world, though it does not sathan that which this world can tisfy her. She hails with joy days
any good ?"