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and death can never enter, and in which the joys and bliss of all will be complete and without end, for it is in heaven.
In closing this important subject, permit me, earnestly and affectionately to remind parents of the duty which they owe to their children. It is on you, my dear hearers, that God has laid the injunction to “lay up his words in your heart and soul, and to bind them for a sign upon your hand, and to have them as frontlets between your eyes, and to teach them your children.” This clearly defines what is your great duty in reference to the training of your offspring. It is on you that God has laid it, and you cannot Deglect it, or atternpt to transfer it to others, without calling in question his wisdom and setting aside his authority; and this can never be done, in reference to any matter, without bringing along with it the most fearful consequences. It is doubtless a true say. ing, that no other person can duly fill a parent's place; and it is no less true that no other person can supply a parent's instructions and a parent's example. However good these may be in others, yet they have not the frequency nor the moulding influence of parental intercourse, nor are they aided by the attractions of a father's and a mother's love, entreaties, and prayers—ingredients in moral influence, the want of which nothing else can supply. And yet the observant mind cannot fail to see that the tendency of the fashionable education of the age is to keep “the words of God” as far as possible from the youthful mind, and to bring it, in all its early impressions and associations, under the influence of a system in which neither God nor eternity finds a place, and whose chief object is to secularize the human heart, and to hound its hopes, and fears, and aims, within the narrow span of life, and leave it wholly unprepared for eternity. But, though we thus speak, we are far from being opposed to a due measure of attention to those acquirements in science, or literature, or the arts, which are regarded as necessary accomplishments in modern society; it is only the giving of the chief place to these, instead of "the words of God," in the training of the young, that we fear and deprecate. Parents, also, too often forget their character as divinely appointed teachers of their children in “ the words of God," and to wish to transfer all the religious instruction which they receive to the pulpit and the Sabbath-school. It is an abuse of these, however, to suppose that they were ever intended to set aside the daily influence of parental example and instruction, at the family altar, in the family circle, and by the way-side. However excellent these institutions may be, yet they never can make up for the want of these ; and the right view for parents to take of them is, that they are only important helps to aid them in their appropriate duties, and to carry out their instructions, it may be, into a wider range in Divine truth, than can usually be taken in
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the family circle. Early impressions and associations are pro. verbially the most lasting, and generally the most fondly cherished ; and on you, Christian parents, devolves the high duty of having those of your children all on the side of piety here, and calculated to lead them to heaven hereafter. And, if you would have them to be of this character, " the words of God” must be laid up in your heart and soul, and be the man of your counsel in all things. Everything must be excluded from your parental example and family arrangements, which is calculated to make an unfavorable impression in regard to religion, on the tender minds of your children; whilst all your instruction and example should be such as are calculated to make indelible impressions on their hearts of the necessity, the excellence, and the loveliness of piety. In addition to the daily prayers and praises which you offer up around the family altar, they may occasionally at least be taken with you into your closet, that they may there witness the pourings out and wrestlings of your heart with God for them. To the sanctuary, too, on the Sabbath, they should early and regularly be brought, and the deepest reverence and attention be inculcated upon them. They should also be made acquainted with their lost and undone condition by nature, and with the plan of salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ, and with the necessity of an early surrender of themselves to him, and of a life of devotedness to his service. Early, too, should they be taught to look to heaven as their home, and to be continually preparing for it, as the place alone where your best and most ardent wishes for them can be fully realized. Christian fathers and mothers! Oh be entreated, then, thus to train up your offspring in the words and ways of God, that they may be a seed to serve him here, and with you to be united in the bonds of his covenant, that, when called to part in death, the sorrows of the trying scene may be mitigated or lost amid the splendors of the hope of meeting, ere long, a family redeemed in heaven. Happy families ! who are thus trained. Happy church that possesses them they are the never-failing nurseries of her prosperity. Happy parents! who can thus part with them in death. And glorious and blissful, beyond the powers of present description, will be their happy lot . when they meet and dwell forever around the throne of God and the Lamb. .
Such are the important and delightful bearings of this subject on the well-being of families themselves. But these are not the only aspects in which we ought to view it. There are others, most intimately connected with the preservation and extension of genuine piety in the world, which should not be overlooked. The low state of piety which, with few exceptions, prevails in our churches, and the open and restless movements of the abettors of the various systems of soul-destroying error which abound, par
ticularly when viewed in connection with the fulfillment of some of those great Scripture prophecies, whose day seems near at hand, are calculated to awaken the deepest interest in the proper training of the children of the church, that they may be prepared for the trials which seem to await them, and for successfully sustaing the cause of Christ against the combined and furious assaults of the confederated powers of infidelity and anti-christ, and for carrying it onward to the conquest of the world. Great and glorious struggles for the truth, which may involve the loss of all things in this world for Christ, we fear are in the path of the church ;-struggles, which nothing but deep-seated and nobleminded piety that will raise the heart above all the low calculations of mere worldly wisdom; and enable it fearlessly to meet whatever shock may come on it in the future conflicts for the faith, and to be careful for nothing, so be that Christ may be magnified in them, whether it be by life or by death, can enable them to carry on. And where can we so appropriately look for the seeds and nurslings of that piety, as in the faithful, pure, elevated and impressive teachings and examples of the Christian family circle ? There--and there alone-under God, we feel persuaded, is the moulding cast to be given to the immortal minds that are destined to sustain the conflicts, and to gain the holy triumphs of the coming age. Would you, then, my dear hearers, have your sons men of renown in the future armies of the Lord God of Israel, and rising superior to all the seductions of error, and all the frowns and terrors-it may be—of a blood-stained persecution, study to bring them, from their earliest days, under the sanctifying and heavenly influence of "the words of God.” And then, when you yourselves rest from your labors, and your happy spirits wing their way from this world of conflict to that where all is peace and the fullness of joy forever, you will be able to carry with you the glad tidings to the spirits who are already there, that you have left behind you those who will carry on the conflict with the enemies of truth and holiness, and will never give over till the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and all the tribes and kindreds of men shall be blessed in him, and the adoring shout of a redeemed world shall crown him Lord of all. Better and brighter far will be the glory of training up children who will thus be renowned in the future triumphs of Divine grace, than of being the parents of those who may wield sceptres, or be celebrated as the heroes of the world. Aim, then, at this, in all you teach, and wish, and pray for your children, that in them you may bless generations yet unborn, while they themselves shall follow on, to be with you, partakers in the joy and glory of the family in heaven.
THE DEVIL A DECEIVER.–BY THE EDITOR. “ There is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it," —John 8: 44.
As God is the essence and embodiment of all truth, so the Devil is the personification and mouth-piece of all falsehood. The first conception of sin in the towering mind of that fallen archangel, was a horrible though yet unuttered falsehood; all the sin in the universe is but the growth and development of that original untruth. As he began his career of rebellion and abandonment in heaven, with a secretly cherished falsehood, so has it been the drift of all his plans and doings since, openly to defend and maintain that falsehood against God and the universe. His character is the essence and expression of all falsehood : his power to do evil is the power of falsehood : he rules in hell and maintains himself on earth by falsehood : his agency, from first to last, is one vast and diabolical system of deception and lying: all sin is the result of a lie-hell itself is the fruit of a lie.
The Devil gained his entrance into this world by means of deception and falsehood. The part he acted in the garden was the part of subtility and lying. “Ye shall not surely die,” was the malicious and monstrous lie with which the “serpent" finally triumphed over man. And he has never spoken to man since, except to utter a new lie or to repeat an old one. Truly, as John affirms, “ There is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is a liar and the father of it.” It is amazing what a bold and practiced liar he has become. And more amazing still, that men will be made his willing dupes : will believe his lies, which he has been repeating over and over ever since the fall, and which have been proved to be such by the observation and experience of the world for nearly six thousand years. Not a word that he ever addressed to men was spoken in good faith : not a part that he ever acted on earth was sincere and real : not a promise that he ever made to beguile men's reason or excite their hopes, has he kept : his end, his one business, is to deceive and cheat the soul out of virtue and heaven; and yet, beings calling themselves rational, and when their all is at stake, believe and practice, as true and real, what he tells them.
Thus he promises men this world and the glory and riches, and pleasures of it, if they will but fall down and worship him.Is the world his to give ? Are these things at his disposal ? The promise is a lie, and he never means to keep it; and cannot perform it if he would. He promises sinners impunity in transgression, happiness in sin, hope in death, and heaven beyond, live as they will. But does his promise falsify God's awful word: “ Be sure your sin will find you out ;" “ the end thereof is destruction ?” Will he step in between God and the soul he has ruined, and shield him in the day of calamity ? He means no such thing. He knows that he has spoken lies, and that they will eternally undo those who take refuge in them; and that is what he wants. His object is to deceive men as to the guilt and consequences of sin.
He whispers in the ears of the young : “ Delay religion for the present: time enough yet: a convenient season will come by and by : this haste and great ado about religion are needless : years hence, in old age, in a time of sickness, on your death-bed, you can repent just as well as now, and God will not refuse your repentance even at the last moment.” Oh! into how many ears has this syren song been sung, to lull men's fears and prevail on them to put off the great concerns of eternity till he has them in his power. Was there a greater untruth ever uttered? And does not the D;vil know it? Is it not a wanton and malicious device to gain his dreadful end ? Has he not eternally ruined millions of souls by this very deception ?
To another, the Devil says : “The gospel is well enough for the vicious, the profane, the lewd, the openly irreligious and wicked; but you are honest and moral; you respect religion and observe its requirements; and what more is necessary? Your heart is not so bad : this regeneration that some talk about is not essential : do as well as you can, and trust God for the rest.” And thus he applies the unction of flattery to men's consciences, and fills them with pride and self-righteousness. But in all this he only acts out his true character. He can counterfeit religion as readily as he can disguise sin : he has as many ways and means to induce men to trust in a false experience, as he has to lead them to disbelieve or neglect religion entirely. Probably as many are ruined by being deceived as to what religion is, and as to their personal experience of it, as by unbelief and neglect of it. The Devil takes advantage of the tendencies of the human heart, and when he can no longer keep the sinner away from religion, he will, if possible, substitute “another gospel” and make him satisfied with it.
Thus all the fair words and spurious hopes by which he allures men to sin, and retains them in his service, and palms off upon them a worthless experience, are cheats and lies ; there is nothing true and real in them. The Devil has no authority to hold out such inducements-no power or will to make them good. They deceive men and are meant to deceive them; and under the specious promise of good, or impunity, make sure the damnation of the soul.
The Devil deceives men as to the real value of this world when once it is secured, as well as in reference to impunity in sin. Men's experience in the possession of wealth, power, rank, honor, pleasure, is a sad commentary on the doctrine which they have been taught to believe, and the expectations to cherish. The sigh of disappointment, wrung even from such, and their cry of “ Vanity, all is vanity !” shows the extent of the deception which