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rents. There was a general sensation of horror in the children, and I added, It is so monstrous that even the word of God speaks of it thus :
“ There is a generation that curseth their father and doth not bless their mother.” My dear children, much as you may suppose it impossible that such should be the extent of sin to which you might be brought; yet, as God declares there is such a generation, and that generation is to be found amongst the sons of fallen Adam, it would be well that you should examine the state of your own hearts, and consider well the sort of tempers which arise out of them, when any of the restraints or commands of your parents are distasteful to you, and especially in instances where there is an impossibility for you to resist, however averse your minds may be to obedience or concession; then it is that the spirit manifests itself. The inward morose grumbling of an evil temper,--the violent accusations
which are poured out,—the impatient expression of vexation, all show the dreadful spirit that could, if it dared, and often indeed does, commit the deadly offence.
Now, Charles, prove to me the fact that there is such a generation, by repeating some of those Scripture denunciations which are directed against this sin.
With an oppressed voice, which denoted å painful heaviness of soul, Charles said, in a low and deeply serious tone,
In Leviticus xx. 9, it is written,-“For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death : he that hath cursed his father or his mother, his blood shall be upon him."
Proverbs xx. 20. " Whoso curseth his father, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
Proverbs xxx. 17. “ The eye that mocketh at his father and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.”
Exodus xxi. 15, 17. “ He, that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death: and he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."
Extraordinary as some of these denounced judgments may appear, you must recollect how exactly and literally they would be fulfilled, if by any violent death, or any shameful execution, the body should be left without burial, as dung on the face of the earth,” or lifted up in disgraceful exposure to hang on the gallows. It is a sentence denoting the utmost ignominy. How many a body is exposed by the various providences of this mortal life, and we know not but in many cases
fulfilment of these awful denunciations.
I paused a few moments, and then said, I wish now, my dear young friends, to contrast the two considerations of the Promise and the Curse. The Promise is Life, and the Curse is Death. Life is promised to them that honor their father and their mother. Death is de. nounced on them that despise their father and their mother. “ The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans vi. 23. In Deuteronomy xxvii. 16, there is an awful requirement made upon the Israelites, that on the denunciation of the Curse, the people should, as it were, set to their seal that this sentence is just. “ Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or mother; and all the people shall say, Amen." But whilst we fear and trennble at the judgments of God, let us turn to the blessed hope of the Promise, and know that it shall be realized to them that love God, because it is His own gift, whose gifts and calling are without repentance, for He changeth not. Therefore let me address parents and children in one voice, by the word of God, which thus solemnly speaks, Deut. xxx. 19, 20, “ I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for He is thy life, and the length of thy days !!"
I will now direct your attention to one niore point, and show you what you are to understand by the term Fool, which the Scripture applies to disobedient children. It is a word that expresses their sins, and proves indeed that it is a Fool only who can choose Death rather than Life, and take to himself the Curse rather than look for the hope of the Promise. Can you, George, give me any text, whereby you can prove that disobedient children are called fools ?
Proverbs xv. 5. “A fool despiseth his father's instructions: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent."
Proverbs xvii. 25. “ A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him."
How true then is that word, Proverbs xvii. 21, " The father of a fool hath no joy !”
The word of God thus presented, seemed to fasten in the hearts of my interesting party like a sure arrow from the Lord, and had shed, a cast of serious reflection over every face. I did not therefore wish to turn their minds from the meditation, but said we would close our evening by referring ourselves to Him who pardoneth iniquity, transgression, and sin; and with heartfelt, adoring praise, say in the language of David, " Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile." To Him let us all turn with the humble prayer : “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.' • Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.'
There was a particular stillness in the departure of my guests, and they left me and my domestic circle, with the addition of old Thomas
and Jane, his son having not yet come to fetch him. When all was settled, old Thomas said,
Sir, I hope and believe you will have a blessing in this engagement. If the Lord be with us, we shall, Thomas.
Yes, Sir, and it is of very great consequence; for bad as I find my own class of people, in this sin of never thinking of the fifth commandment; and no excuse is to be made for them; yet I do believe that the example of the rich does them a deal of harm. If you remember, Sir, that most of our poor fathers and mothers have been servants in rich families before they married and had children of their own, you will see how many bad and careless ways they've learnt from masters, and mistresses, and children. I oft think that if they'd been in godly families, where they brought up their children in the fear and love of God, it would be like an apprenticeship for them to learn that great matter for themselves.
It is a very just observation, Thomas; and it ought to inspire us with additional desires to attend to these important duties, when we reflect upon the classes under our influence; and of how much benefit we may be to them, or of how much injury, by our example.
Sir, if you'd kindly give me leave, I'd gladly come again, if God spare me, and all be well, for its a pleasure to an old man to see the young people of another generation training up for God; that so from generation to generation they