Page images
PDF
EPUB

ed and perplexed with the multiplicity of their questions; and through absolute indolence, refuse to satisfy their minds. How the Lord vindicates His own goodness, by showing the power of inquiry in the minds of children ; and it is remarkable, I think, that they are particularly inquisitive on religious subjects. Satan himself hinders them not, knowing too well, doubtless, the culpability of parents on this head, and that they either will not satisfy their children, or cannot, or treat them with a kind of indifference, as if their questions had no real importance, and thus they easily train them to in fidel carelessness and hardness.

Sir, said old Thomas, don't you think that the blessing which Jacob gave to the sons of Joseph, his grandchildren, was a beautiful proof that he had told them all the goodness of God, and that they knew what he meant ? Often does my heart burn within me when I think of it. "God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel who redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads !" David, too, tells of the teachings of his fathers. “We have heard with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us, what works thou didst in their days, and in the times of old.Now, Sir, if I may speak my mind, this is fit conversation for parents with children.

It is so, Thomas. And let those who are here be encouraged to cultivate this holy communion concerning the wonderful works of God,

1

and His redeeming love; for these things are not done in a day. Let me urge you, my dear young people, to make inquiries of this nature, and ask your fathers what they mean by their religion, and their profession, that you may not grow up like mere imitators of actions, without understanding their end and object. Many have no better reason to offer why they go through certain formalities of religion, than " I do it because my father did it before me.” They know nothing of the reason why their father did it, or of the meaning of their profession of religion. It would also be a means by which you would learn more to honor your father and mother, seeing the testimony of their high calling of God in Christ Jesus, and that they were leading you in the way of everlasting life. And may you strive to be heirs together of the same glory.

We must not fatigue our venerable friend too much ; and if he is not the worse for the trouble of this evening, perhaps we may induce him to join us again.

O, do ! do! sounded from almost all the young people.

Now, Charles and little Jane, resume your office, and take care of our friend ; let him have refreshment, and wait quietly till his son Thomas comes for him.

Charles went to him immediately, saying, You will promise, Thomas, to come to-morrow.

My dear master Charles, “ Go to now, ye that say, to-day or to-morrow we will do this or

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

that ;" if the Lord will, I shall be very glad, for it is a cordial to my heart to meet in the name of the Lord.

He was slow in rising, and was evidently greatly fatigued in body, though full of energy of mind; and all the young people rose up again before the hoary head, and “seemed to honor the face of the old man, and to fear God.”

Charles offered his support, and he was soon out of the room.

Whilst the party was preparing to depart, Mary came up to me and said, I wish you would tell me what will be the subject for to-morrow evening.

Why, dear Mary?

Because I should like to see if I could find any texts ; not to say, but to try whether I shall be right or not.

I think, perhaps, as we have proceeded upon Love and Promise, we must now look to the threatening against disobedience; for you know, Mary, we must take the whole Word, and not select such parts only as we think agreeable, but to teach as God teaches; this is right," is it not ?

She smiled, and said, Yes ; I think I know more of the threatenings than I did of Love and the Promise: but I am very grateful to you for showing me these.

Be upright, then, my dear girl, in seeking this sweet principle of grace, and you shall receive the Promise, and be saved from the punishment.

66

Just at that moment, I saw Anna making a refractory movement against some counsel from her mother, and I went up to her.

Anna, let the“ law of thy mother lie as chains on thy neck," a golden chain to bind you to her in the obedience of love.

She submitted instantly, but colored deep.

I wanted to say a word to Maria, and she soon gave me the opportunity. Her mamma was tying a handkerchief round her neck, to guard her from the cold ; but she forced away the hand, and quickly pulling off the handkerchief, threw it familiarly over her mamma's shoulder, and then kissed her hand passionately.

Is that “all for love," Maria, tell me truly ?
She looked as if conscious of detection.

I think it is for love, but it is the worst kind of love, which is that of self. It will be for love, if, honoring your mamma's kind motive, you take the handkerchief and tie it on.

Oh! yes, she said, I will tie it on mamma. There now, mamma, take care of yourself.

That's not where your mamma desired to have it.

No; but I do not want it; I shall not take cold.

You have no promise that it shall be well with thee, unless you do with it as your mamma wishes.

She looked at me, and observed the expression of my eye; she saw it determined

the point, and drawing the handkerchief off her mamma, said,

upon

[ocr errors]

Oh, I can carry the handkerchief, but I do not want it on my neck.

No; but your mamma does. Seeing her obstinate, I said, Come, I will tie it on for you ; and I am sorry to say, that whilst I save you the trouble, I also prevent you from showing the proof of true love, which would obey your parent in the Lord.

The point was gained : she looked softened, her eye fell, and she was evidently self-condemned; though the pride of her heart made it also

l evident that she felt the soft silk handkerchief like a yoke.

The party was soon dispersed, and, as before, our own young people talked over among themselves the whole subject of the evening,

CHAPTER XII.

Pursuing my engagements, I was out early the next morning; and was not long before, passing a cottage door, I heard a woman, in a complaining tone of voice, say,

Take the child then, do! now then, Hannah, I wish you'd take the child ! The door was wide open; and I saw a girl of about eight years old, standing and indolently tapping with the back of an old spoon on the seat of a wooden chair.

« PreviousContinue »