Page images

the end; have you ever taught him his duty from the fifth commandment ?

She hesitated a minute; at last, with a little s curtsey, she said, I ask pardon, Sir, but I've

clean forgot which is the fifth commandment. I could say my catechism well when I was a girl, but its all gone out of my head.

That's a pity ; but that the commandment of God should have gone out of your mind is a sin, and a dreadful one too; it shows that you do not think of God as your Lord and Maker. I do not wonder

you could not get your boy to work with: | out your experiment. Tell me, my boy, do you

know the fifth commandment ? He pretended to be busy tying a knot in the thread, and did not answer.

I see it is not a rule in this house, but I will leave you without excuse, by repeating it for the instruction of you both, “ Honor thy father and thy mother : that thy days may be long in the

land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Now i see, if you had taught your lad this, he perhaps

would have worked out of love and respect for you and his father, and have learnt to delight in succoring you. But now it is all selfish, for his own gratification, to throw off all dependence on his parents, and to look upon you as under an obligation to him, instead of his feeling his obligation to you. : You will find out the mischief of this system sooner or later: as you seem woman who can calculate consequences, and which way advantage or gain may be sought, I

a a

will request you to think of this, and whether you have not given your son a wrong motive for his industry; and when you find things going wrong with him, ask yourself if it has not been owing to this fault in bringing him up.

Why, Sir, may be your advice is good, but at present

I don't seem to have much to fear. Only remember what I say, and perhaps I shall see you again.

What's your name, my boy ?

Dick Johnson, he answered ;- in a bold and somewhat resentful tone.

Well, Dick, I wish you may remember the word of God spoken to all sons and daughters ; Honor thy father and thy mother.”

My young companions again made their remarks, and showed themselves so well grounded in the sense of the commandment, that they were able to detect the false principle of training which was here adopted ; but we were interrupted in our conversation by drawing near to a group of big boys and young men who were engaged in throwing quoits, and had evidently been stopped in their game by a squabble among themselves, as to the right award of victory. They were vociferating, "Fair play! fair play!” and there seemed a contention between two parties. Just at that time an elderly decent looking came out of his house, attracted by the noise :his countenance was full of anxious inquiry, and going up to one of them, he said,

Ah! John, you'll never mend, you're always


at this work, gambling and quarrelling, and idling and wasting your money.

What's that to you, he answered ;-my money's my own; what I've earned I've a right to spend as I please.

I wish you'd leave such ways, and come home to your mother and me.

Nay, liberty's sweet, and as long as I can earn my own bread I'll keep it.

A time will come, when perhaps thou'll be ! glad to have a father and a mother to come to.

May be, but that's not now.

The man uttered a kind of groan, that seemed wrung from his bosom by inward anguish ;-and as if in despair, turned away and re-entered his house.

This was a scene and dialogue that struck my young friends with horror, and they seemed scarcely able to endure it.

Wicked wretch! said Charles, in a burst of indignation.

Poor man! said George, let us go in and speak to him.

I wonder what his poor mother feels, said Louisa.

We will go in for a moment. We tapped at the door, which was opened to us by a very respectable looking elderly woman; she curtsied as she inquired,

What do you please to want, Sir ?
To speak a word to your husband, if you please.
He was gone into an inner room, but hearing


our desire, he came to us. His eyes were red with the scalding tear of anguish, but he endeavored to wait calmly our business.

I am sorry to say, we have just been the witnesses to your distress, and I would wish, if it were possible, to help you to some remedy.

What reinedy! he exclaimed, yielding to the feeling which overpowered him. My son's lost, , and nothing moves him.

The woman turned to set by some chairs, with the intention of hiding the tears that flowed down her cheeks at this declaration.

He is indeed very bad, all the sin of his heart seems at work, and it is no slight proof of it when such disobedience is manifested. Have you tried to bring him up in the fear of God?

When he was young and tractable, I took him to Sunday-school, and to Church, and always set him a good example ; but he's followed wicked lads, and turned out as you see; he grew so stubborn and high-minded, we could not manage him, and at last he left us quite.

How came he to be able to leave you? did he not depend on you for his support ?

No; he's been able to earn his own bread ever since he was twelve years old.

Have you any other children?
Yes, two, a boy and a girl.
Are you bringing them up in the same way?

I don't know what better to do ; but I dare not let them see their brother, much, for fear they should turn out the same.

I would not wish to add to your trouble, but perhaps you'll take it as a friendly warning, if I say, that they are very likely to be the same. He started, and said, -Why, Sir, do you know

, aught amiss of them ?

No, I do not know them, but I know somewhat amiss of you.

What, pray, Sir ?

That you have neglected your duty to your children!

How, Sir ? I think you have taught them neither the love of the Lord Jesus, nor the commandment of God.

You're wrong, Sir, for I've taught them the Cominandments and all the Catechism.

You mean to say, that you have made them learn them like parrots, to repeat word by word ; but yoų have not taught them how to observe them, you have not taught them to love and honor and succor you and their mother ; you have put them upon caring for themselves, after the principle of this selfish world, and if they have no better motive, they will each please themselves according to the different turn of their dispositions, and you and their mother will be quite out of the question with them, because they understand not that the will of the Lord is, that they should in word and deed honor their father and mother. You teach them to serve themselves; their own pleasure and their own belly is their god, and they will seek after them as after idols I advise you seriously to think of this before it be too late.

« PreviousContinue »