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hibiting idolatry, the threatening being, to visit the sin of the fathers upon the children. We make that an idol, to the service of which we dedicate ourselves and our children, when we set up any motive or object in the place of God. Thus self-love, pleasure, indifference, selfishness, covetousness, are the character or sin of the parent, and are inculcated on the children ; for I think we may take it as a general rule, that whatever the parent proposes to the child as a motive for obedience is the prevailing motive with himself.
I waited a few moments : for I discovered a general sensation through my party.
It may appear a very peculiar and minute application, but I believe it is true. I could enlarge much upon this subject, but time will not admit. I throw it out as a hint to be improved upon. You are severally suffering under the obstacles you find: trace them back to their origin, and you will find them in yourselves, therefore they are in your children. Correct them in yourselves, and then you will find them corrected in your children. Here, then, is a constraining consideration, equal in weight to any command. The love of a parent to a child is so strong that he would willingly, perhaps, be the sacrifice for its preservation. Should not, therefore, the consideration of their sins devolving upon their children be a powerful argument with them to put
Mrs. Evans, turning to her friend, said, I think
away sin ?
you will not now find your excuse out of the ten commandments.
Mrs. Graham looked exceedingly uneasy, and I ventured to ask her why she had put the inquiry.
If I must say it, I flattered myself with a kind of self-justification, thinking I had no particular responsibility, if I, as I do, committed my children wholly to the care of others, in whom I could place confidence.
In many instances, it may be necessary, and sometimes preferable ; for it is better that they should be under the care of conscientious and good instructers, than under the charge of a mother that would neglect her duty through ignorance, indolence, or impiety. But the mother in no case can discharge her own particular obligations through a substitute. But let us turn to a more winning consideration ; for we seem to have run a little into the terrors of the law. Let us see it holy, just, and good in that special support of mercy, with which a parent who loves the Lord may sustain even a drooping spirit. LOVE THE LORD; let that be the first principle, and let mercy unfold what mercy will bestow : "I will show mercy unto thousands, of them that love me and keep my commandments.”
Mrs. Evans again remarked, Do let us turn to that part of the subject; for I think that if we did not hope in the mercy of God, we should be always miserable, and every hour of our life be embittered; but I always trust in his mercy.
My dear madam, it is because of the unbounded mercy of God that we, any of us, have the hope of life set before us : but it is an attribute of such a holy nature, as to preclude us from any hope of deriving benefit from it, save through the infinite propitiation for our sins in the blood of Jesus. It is not a light and trifling thing; and we must lay our own hand on the head of the sacrifice, or we receive not the mercy of reconciliation and peace. Be so good as to remember the character of those upon whom mercy is shown,-them that love the Lord; and remember also, that one remarkable effect of mercy is to produce fear : “ There is mercy with thee that thou mayest be feared.” But we will not depart from our first subject : Mrs. Graham's inquiry suggests one which will perhaps follow in order, as well or better than any other, which is, the nature and number of commands which actually do attach exclusively to parents.
I think by a few minutes' recollection of God's Word, we shall be supplied with many. In the tenth of Deuteronomy, verses six and seven, we have this: “ These words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." And in the seventy eighth Psalm, fifth verse, the Psalmist, declaring that he will not hide the sayings of God
from the children that come after, adds a constraining reason: “For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children, that the generations to come might know them, even the children that should be born ; who should arise and declare them to their children ; that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments." Here are two passages of imperative command ; and if parents would but dwell upon the importance of them, they would be earnest in appealing to the Lord for the blessing of their sons and their sons' sons. Whenever we see a parent deficient in his duties, we cannot but look with awful anticipation, to the consequences upon his child; and whenever this becomes a general neglect in a country, it may be considered the commencement of that departure from the Lord, which ends in an apostate nation. In Deuteronomy the fourth, and ninth verse, there is the same command, with this additional injunction : "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine
have seen, and lest they depart from thine heart, all the days of thy life.” How intimately, therefore, do we see the interests of the parent and the child interwoven in duty and love to God; and surely we may say with Moses, “ Those things which are revealed, belong unto us, and to our children for ever, that we may do
all the words of this law.”—Deut. xxix. 29. And the way in which we can fulfil the command is stated in Prov. xxii. 6 : “ Train up a child in the way he should go." But we may pass on from the Old Testament to the command as it is contained in the New.
That is the interesting point, to train up a child; I confess I feel it a most difficult duty, said Mrs. Aston.
Again I would impress on your minds the necessity of being yourselves devoted to God; then, though the responsibility seems the same, the difficulty will be less. In Ephesians vi. 4, we see the whole simplified by the word of God :-"Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” This is a command which, whilst it enforces your duty, shows you at the same time the way ; which is learnt in the blessed word of truth, the Bible, the only directory to that nurture and admonition which is of the Lord. The conjunction of these two duties in the Lord, is a holy and gracious lesson ; admonition belonging to the authority of the station, and nurture to the tenderness and love of the parent. It is quite necessary to observe the two, that neither the strictness of discipline may frustrate the operation of love, nor the show of love loosen the bonds of discipline. The Lord has implanted the tender love of the parent with his own hand. He hath made you the natural nurses of your own children, and has appointed you to be their spiritual nurses also. All the supply