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throwing it down again on the counter with an expression of violence) I know who I have to thank for this turn. The
young man's face, before calm, now flushed as though a feeling had been touched too acute to be kept in its full restraint ; his mouth half opened to reply, but he closed it again without a word.
I fairly tell you, then, the father continued, that if you persist in refusing to accept this offer, you may turn out and shift for yourself.
Father, I own I should feel it hard, but I can submit to that in obedience to your will, though I cannot, I must not, submit to the other condition. Oh! Sir! he said, appealing to me in an accent of heart-rent distress, What would I give that my father could see my true reason for seeming to slight his kindness!
I'll tell you what, John, if it wasn't the same in every thing I propose, I should think you had some good reason for this; but since it's in every thing, I know it's your bad, obstinate temper. But it is in vain, gentlemen, to think of turning him; I can't make him feel : I might as well try to persuade this counter as to turn him.
That he made him feel now was too evident, for, taking his handkerchief out of his pocket, he hastened out of the shop.
Now you see, gentlemen, that's always the end, and I can make no more of him than that, till I declare I know not what to do; it would perplex
But you are quite well acquainted, it seems, with his reasons.
His reasons, Sir !-you see they are such reasons ! as if he would make a religion of his own, and tell his father he didn't know what serving God meant.
His spirit was getting much exasperated by the operations of his own mind, and I said,
I think a young man is to be respected for his reasons, if they bear upon his duty to God, and you should be very careful how you reject them, for they may come from a higher source than you suppose. At least he shows wisdom in making his calculation upon grounds reaching further than temporals; there is a time when they shall end, and eternal things only remain. You are calculating for his good; you are willing to let him go away from home to be provided for a period beyond the present : the difference is, that he makes a longer calculation than you do, and it appears to me that his plan has the most wisdom in it.
O Sir, I see you are on his side, and so you cannot enter into my feelings.
I will not deny that I am on his side, but I do not agree that I cannot enter into your feelings. I have this advantage over you, that having been by nature of the same way of thinking as you, and being now by grace in the same way as your son, I can understand you both, and I wish
for that reason that you would allow me to advise you.
With a tone that implied great incredulity he said, Good advice would be very acceptable.
I would then advise you to reflect well upon the principle which operates on your son's mind, and I think it appears to be a sense of his duty to God.
Perhaps it may be; but his duty to God should teach him his duty to his parents.
Very true, it should indeed; but what is to be done if the parent, for want of proper understanding of the truth, should propose any thing to his child contrary to his duty to God?
But that's not my case, Sir ;-I want nothing but his advantage.
Temporal advantage, even though it be at the expense of eternal advantage. Now, however natural it is for a parent to desire present good things for his child, yet if they be found to interfere with his future well-being, he ought to renounce them utterly, and sacrifice the present for the future. Your son is setting you the example ; you cannot suppose that present advantages are indifferent to him, but he can sacrifice them, rather than risk the injury of his future happiness. “ Deny thyself," is the lesson of the Lord, and a lesson of the cross, without which, he cannot follow Jesus. you think it gives him no pain to have to decline your wishes ? It is evident he suffers daily from this necessity,
and that the whole cause of the difference between you is because you cannot enter into his mind. 'Had you placed him with one master, and another came to him to demand his attentions, which were, besides, of a quite opposite nature to those in which he was engaged with the first, would you blame him if he refused the one, and held to the other ?
But what has that to do with this case, Sir ?
That he is engaged to serve one master, even the Lord, and you propose to him to serve another, who is contrary to the Lord. Blame him not that he refuses to serve the one, and adheres to the service of the other. If you have not the same principles, let him act according to his own, which you dare not deny to be right. Seek a master for him who will himself be in the service of the same Lord, and then you will find his ready compliance with your will, then you will understand that whilst he honors you as his father, he can obey you in the Lord.
It would all lead to this, Sir ;-that his will, not mine, is to be obeyed.
But you forget that his will is directed by the Lord's will, which is supreme
whether we must obey God or man, judge ye." I think you would be spared much unhappiness if you would calmly endeavor to understand the cause of the differences which arise between you ; and perhaps in so doing, your own heart might be lifted up in praise to that Lord and master, who, with
out your asking Him, has engaged your own son in His gracious service. Remember how it is written, “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.” Mark viii. 36. But that it is also written, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Tim. vi. 6. May I prevail upou you to respect your son's motives, and to permit him to act as a young man ought to do, on conscientious principles towards God? You may still differ in sentiment, but you would at least not be putting violence on the gracious disposition of the youth. Why should you be angry that his soul aspires after the greatest happiness, in serving God ?
I turned to my friend, and proposed to return home.
As we went out of the house, --I see how it is, he said ; and if my Mary is to be one of those who will prefer the will of God to mine, may I find grace to resign my will to His !
Then, my friend, will she be the happy girl that can obey her father in all things; for this will be acceptable to the Lord, and "right."
We parted once more, and on reaching my own door, I found Louisa arriving just at the same time. With a cheerful voice she said,
I bring an invitation for us all, uncle; the lady had not a moment to write an answer, but she spoke to me herself, and desired me to say that she would be happy to receive us in the school-room at two o'clock.