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renunciation of the duties of children to parents, and shows most expressly that they neither love, honor, nor intend to succor their parents; they thus discharge themselves from all obligations of conscience, to perform the duties of children. It is a gift, say they, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; which implies, You have no claim on me, no right to any help from me. What I give to you, henceforth, will be out of my own bounty, and whatever benefit I render to you, will be a gift, and not a duty. So they not only loose the bond for the future, but they acknowledge no sense of gratitude or obligation for the past. It is affecting to see the methods adopted by sinners to evade the law of God, which law knows no period at which the children's duty shall terminate,-it exists as long as the relationship stands.
Honor thy father and thy mother, saith the law, and saith the Gospel too. It proceeded out of the mouth of Moses, by whom came the law, and also out of the mouth of Him by whom came grace and truth! By “Corban” they make the commandment of God of none effect, and they draw very near to that point, from which, perhaps, they think they stand clear. He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. It is remarkable that the Lord combines these two points, Mark vii. 10, “For Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death." He knows the heart of man, and that a child
once losing the sense of duty, love, and honor, towards its parents, is in the awful way of cursing them ; for what is it for a child to disown the parental claim, but to say that they are willing to leave them to whatever miseries
may overtake them ?
How dreadful is such a state!
Beware, my dear children, and watch yourselves, lest in any way your hearts be deceived in this important matter ; remember in how many ways you are permitted to succor your father and mother ; your ready obedience, your diligent study, your kind attention, your filial love, are all methods by which you may continually succor them, making the care and toil of your education light, remembering their injunctions, and not troubling them to repeat often the same lesson of admonition. When you conform to their orders or rule, as with a forced compliance, then you say, Corban! When you think much of your own obedience, then you say, Corban ! not having the generous and delightful sense of respect and love for their desires, which prompts the obedience of the heart. The Jews, by their tradition, said, when they had offered their gift, or Corban, that they were free, as though the bonds of duty were a chain of slavish servitude. But the Lord reminded them of what the law said, “ Let him die the death,” let him receive the wages of sin.
Here my sister observed, You recollect,
Charles, do you not, that the fifth commandment is with Promise ?
Then observe how the Jews forfeited that Promise, How they were cut off from the land of Promise, How short their lives were in that land, for it is evident how they departed from the law of their father; and, having also made the commandment still of none effect, having
the measure of their sins in the rejection of Jesus, they were utterly cast out of the land of promise. It is still, however, a land of promise to them, into which, through mercy and grace, they shall be gathered again ; when they will also receive the fulfilment of that promise, “ I will write my law in their hearts," and then will they no more make the commandment of God of none effect through their tradition.
But, dear George, to return to your first observation on the conduct of Dick Johnson, I agree with you, that though not by a tradition, yet it is by a scheme of human policy and worldly wisdom they are making the commandment of God of none effect. You saw that the commandment was out of the question, it had no effect on their hearts or on their practice, and with the want of a spirit of honor, there is most likely a preparation for a spirit of hatred in the breast of that boy towards his mother.
Just as I had concluded this remark, a vivid flash of lightning shot across the room, succeeded by a tremendous burst of thunder.
There, exclaimed George, with a half reproachful look at his mother, I said it was sure to rain !
Ah, George, let not the practical application of our conversation be. lost. Beware lest the commandment be of none effect ! obedience be the acquiescence of love!
He colored instantly, but with a beautifully open frankness, went up to his mother, and said, It shall not be Corban, mother; it is my duty to submit, I desire to honor you !
The glistening eye of his mother spoke a please ? which she forbore to utter, but she said with peaceful sweetness, There is a compact between us, my dear boy, formed on the love and law of our God and Father in Jesus Christ; we are bound to each other, and we feel our yoke easy and light, because it is the yoke of Jesus.
It will rain all night, brother.
I believe it will, he cheerfully replied, and perhaps all to-morrow too.
It was with peculiar pleasure that I opened my eyes the following morning upon a clear and brilliant day. All nature seemed in animation ; and I felt myself roused to an unusual activity, which, when we met at the breakfast table, I betrayed by proposing the question to my sister, If she would permit us to go that morning to the gardener's cottage.
She smiled, but made no answer.
Louisa and Charles looked towards their mother, waiting a reply, but George took up his roll and began to cut a slice off from it. He was, however, soon conscious that all eyes were turned on him.
He looked up at his mother with perfect confidence, saying, Just as you please, mother, I will not be "FREE," and, if you prefer it, will wait till the evening.
Many mothers would have instantly been induced to consent to the morning walk, as I expected she would; but she answered,
Very well, George, then we will defer it until the evening
Very well, he readily answered.
I own I was surprised at her determination, but soon perceived its wisdom; she thus put the profession of her boy to the proof whether it were principle, and she also did that which was very important,-proved her own confidence in his sincerity.
As matters stood, I found I should not have my companions until evening, and determined to spend my morning in calling on my friends and seeking opportunity for further conversation on our interesting subject. On my way I passed through the village, and met two boys, who scarcely seemed advancing, so slow was their tardy step. I soon understood why, by seeing