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therefore called upon her to repeat it. She colored, and would gladly have escaped this notice; but as all waited for her, she, closing the Bible, in a soft whisper and rather tremulous voice said,
Proverbs xxiii. 13, 14. “ Withhold not correction from the child, for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die ; thou shalt beat him with the rod and shalt deliver his soul from hell."
George, have you a text?
Proverbs xxix. 15, 17. “ The rod and reproof give wisdom ; but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Correct thy son and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul."
We will pause here for a moment lest we lose, in the multiplicity of the texts, their particular application. You perceive, dear children, that you have been repeating Scriptures, which declare the duty of your parents, and explain to you the authority with which they are entitled to correct you, for sin or disobedience. You see correction is not without necessity, as enjoined by the Word of God; and you see the ends to be answered by it. Can you trace them back?
That the child shall not die.
To give rest and delight to the soul of the parent.
That the child may not bring his mother to shame. To redeem his soul from hell.
You see, then, how wise it is to chasten a son while there is hope ; and how true an evidence it is of the real nature of the feeling of the parent. “ To spare the rod is to hate bis son ; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
Charles, tell me if this is like the dealings of God with us for our souls' sake?
In Heb. xii. 6—11, there is a clear comparison of God's ways with the ways of a parent; but it is a long passage ; Must I repeat it all ?
Do, Charles; nothing is so edifying as the word of God.
“ Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If you endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons ; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you
bastards and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which have corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much more be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? for they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure ; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous : nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
As it is so long a portion we will make the same reference to it as to those in Proverbs. First; we see that the chastening of the Lord is
the proof of His love : “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” And now will you tell me some of its benefits.
It is the proof that we are sons.
That it may yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby.
Can you give me another text, Mary?
She answered, Louisa showed me one in 1 Cor. xi. 32: “ But when we are judged we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”
You see, then, my dear young people, that the correction of children by their parents is quite in agreement with the dealings of the Lord with his people ; and this last reason assigned is one of great interest, which should teach us how to value His correction, namely," that we may not be condemned with the world." “ This is all the fruit, saith the Lord, to take away their sin :" and so we can understand well that word of the Lord, in Rev. iii. 19, “ As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” We learn therefore that obedience will bear a further trial; even to submit to correction, and not to rebel against it; nor yet, as some do, to harden ourselves against it, but to endeavor to look for the purpose. What it is meant correct, and what to produce? It is written in Job v. 17, " Behold! happy is the man whom God correcteth, there
fore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. I knew a little girl so affectingly endowed with this filial submission under correction, that she used, whilst the tears rolled down her cheeks, to seize the hand that struck her, and kiss it whilst in the act of correction. There is a text in Deut. xxi. which is an ample proof of the condemnation of God, directed against a rebellious or disobedient son ; and I should be glad if any of you can repeat it, for whilst we consider the Commandment with Promise, we have no right to overlook the judgments which must come on those who are incorrigible, or will not submit to the authority of their parents.
If you please, uncle, Louisa said, I will read it, for it is long, it is from the 18th to the 21st verse, “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place : and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die : so shalt thou put evil away from among you : and all Israel shall hear and fear."
Observe, my dear young friends, what a dreadful responsibility was thrown upon the parents in that law delivered to Moses; and it was doubtless designed to operate as a strong precaution to both parents and children; that parents, to avoid, if possible, this fatal end, should begin betimes to correct, and that children should early learn to obey. By such a testimony, we can see how they should be delivered from death and hell ; and so it is also between God and us. Continued rebellion will provoke Him to swear in His wrath that we shall not enter into His rest, and to cut us off in our sins. There is another Scripture also of awful import against disobedient children, in 2 Tim. iii. 2, which ranks them in the number of the reprobate; whose crimes shall be the sign by which we shall know the last and perilous times :—“ Disobedient to parents!!"
There was an air of great seriousness in all the party, and I thought it would be better 10 pursue the subject even beyond its present point. I therefore said, I would now, my dear children, carry your observation of God's word further, as respects the judgment on rebellious, children, by desiring some text to be brought forward, which will prove that particular punishments are allotted to particular degrees of the offence : for rebellion may grow on to that state of wickedness, which will totally extinguish all feeling of love, honor, or duty, or obedience, or desire to succour; and become such a spirit of hatred, as, next to the blasphemy against God, to produce the deepest sin towards men, and that is even to curse their pa