Page images
PDF
EPUB

She whispered, Yes.

And will you try another thing ? To remember, when you are naughty, and your mother threatens to tell your father, and though you think she will not ;-Will you remember, that God knows without telling? He sees and knows all things; His eye is upon you while you are doing wrong; and it is an awful thing to sin against God. He has commanded you to honor and obey your father and mother, and when you do not, you sin against God.

As I saw I had gained her attention, I continued ; You may remember, also, that God sees you when you are obedient, as well as when disobedient; and He watches children's conduct, because He has made a promise, “ It shall go well with thee," if thou obeyest thy father and mother.

And he delights to fulfil his promise. How pleased I should be, Hannah, if the next time I came this way, I should hear that you have tried to honor your father and mother. The Lord Jesus, who loves children, will suffer you to go to Him, and ask Him for grace to teach you how to obey, and to make you able. I encouraged her by patting her on her head, and a kind look, and then left them.

When I arrived at my house, I found my young people just at liberty from their morning studies; and they came around me to demand an account of all that had passed in my ramble.

I related all that was adapted to their instrucson, and concluded by reminding them of the great blessing which had been bestowed upon them by the goodness of the Lord, in giving them parents whose business and delight it was to be found doing the Lord's will, in training them up in the way they should go.

I cannot tell you, my dear uncle, said Louisa, how much this blessing has been discovered to me since we came to you; and I shall never be sufficiently thankful that it was providentially ordered, that you should be so engaged when we came. I knew enough to know that we owed to our dear father and mother more than we can express, but a comparison with the state of others, has increased the value of it in my mind a hundred-fold. Oh! my dear mother, she said, turning to her, and taking her hand with a tenderness of filial love, may you have the reward of the Promise of God, that we shall never depart from the way in which you have trained us.

My sister's heart was touched by this address from her dear daughter, but endeavoring to overcome her flow of feeling, she answered, sweetly,

Amen! my child, and may the honor and glory be the Lord's! Bear constantly in mind, my dear children, who maketh you to differ. It is the goodness of the grace of God, to whom alone, you, and your father, and I, owe the advantage and blessing of the precept and the grace of the practice, so far as we may have walked according to it. But we still fall short, my dear

[ocr errors]

children. When I consider the extent and importance of my trust, I can only feel comfort in looking to the ground of our acceptance in the perfect sacrifice--the Lamb of God, without spot or blemish, and in the security that your keeping is in the faithfulness of Him who never leaves nor forsakes His dear children.

These remarks gave a turn to our conversation which was deeply serious, and which engaged us during the whole of our walk in the garden, until it was time to return to the house.

CHAPTER XIII.

Our party being once more assembled, the conversation seemed to be suggested by a remark of my friend, Mr. Conway, whose love of discipline was frequently manifested by the nature of his observations.

I will freely confess to you, my dear friend, he said, that you have given me altogether a new view of the duties of parents, and in doing so, have turned my mind with very serious reflection on that dependence we ought to have on the Lord, and which I have hitherto little understood : my only wonder is, how I have had so much success with our dear girl, whose obedience has been of that prompt and uniform nature that it might never raise a question whether it, were from love.

It makes me happy to hear these sentiments, my friend, because it proves the very thing to be working in you for which I have so often longed; and as to your dear child, she is one of those few characters, which we may in Scripture terms, call " upright.” She has imbibed 'from your example, a respect for discipline, and a conscientious desire to do right; but she has had, I trust, seed of grace beyond this, which made her heart restless for something else ; and I think you will find henceforth, a tone and manner in her obedience of a much higher cast, because of being graciously taught the love of God, and that the delight of duty is in that love. She is one of those instances in whom we see the

Scripture verified,-he that will do the will of i the Lord, shall know of the doctrine. She has

had, besides, another great advantage in that conformity of precept and example which subsists between you

and
your

wife. She has had a uniform system ; the obedience to one parent was obedience to the other, and thus she has been strengthened in habits of duty by the double care of both.

I must confess again that I am a friend to discipline, and should be sorry if this addition of love to honor should be found to weaken its effect.

That it never can, if it be the love of God.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

There is perhaps a remarkable proof, in that which is said of Abraham, whose love of God was so fully displayed, in Genesis xviii. 19, the Lord says of him, “ For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment ; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” There can be no stronger discipline than such as is here described, and yet this love, we know, was of that intense kind, which would not withhold any thing from God.

Mrs. Conway observed, I think I see a new system of education springing up amongst us; and it has caused me much reflection, --because I am not thoroughly persuaded whether to approve or condemn it. May I be permitted to point it out ?

We shall be grateful for any observations which may tend to give us clearer light on this important subject.

It is this : I find among many of my friends, a determination not to exact from their children any act of obedience, but by the power of reasoning with them. I have seen them spend an hour at a time, perhaps, to convince a child that it ought to do what is desired, for such and such reasons, ultimately to issue in advantages to itself. I certainly have seen the child yield in the end, but I have also seen a pertinacious adherence to the first feeling which prompted a refusal. I have watched the effect, and it ap

« PreviousContinue »