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"I went down into the garden to see the fruits of the valley, to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded." "Let us get up early to the vineyards, let us see if the vines flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth." Such, my dear young friends, is the language in which the Lord has graciously condescended to express his care for the growth of religion in the youthful soul. O let not his tender concern for your endless happiness, beginning as it does with the first moment of your existence, be returned by indifference and neglect ; ye who are in the bud and bloom of your existence, so nourish in yourselves the fear and love of God, that ye may bring forth good fruits in your maturity, and be fitted for transplantation to the gardens of eternal life. To this end, my dear children, you must continually foster in your hearts a spirit of reverence to the Supreme Being, of kindness towards each other, and of obedience to your teachers. Think how much you owe to those who, under God, may be the instruments of all your future well-doing in life; who care for you, cherish you, instruct you, and often wake, when you sleep, to consider anxiously your future destiny, both as it may regard this world and the next.
Beautifully does Rollin, that learned and good man, whose life was devoted to the education of
youth, express his sense of the solemn duties of his office, when he says, "What then is a Christian master, who is intrusted with the education of youth? He is a man into whose hands Christ has committed a number of children, whom he has redeemed with his blood, and for whom he has laid down his life; in whom he dwells, as in his house and temple; whom he considers as his members, as his brethren and coheirs, of whom he will make so many kings and priests, who shall reign and scrve God with him, and by him to all eternity. And for what end has he committed them to his care? Is it barely to make them poets, orators, and men of learning? who dare presume to say, or even to think so? he has committed them to his care, in order to preserve in them the precious and inestimable deposit of innocence, which he has imprinted in their souls by baptism, in order to make them true Christians. This is the real end and design of the education of children, to which all the rest are but the means. Now how great and noble an addition does the office of a master receive from so honourable a commission? But what care, what attention, what vigilance, and, above all, how great a dependence upon Christ does it require?"
Such, my dear children, are the views and feelings of her, also, who now addresses you; and who only asks in return, for the love she bears you,
and for the entire devotion of her time to your welfare, that you shall aid her efforts by your own endeavours, and join her in a devout reliance for the rest on the blessing of the Divine Being, the fount of all good; for "Neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." "Now he that planteth,
and he that watereth are one; and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour." "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." "According to the grace of God, which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon; but let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon." -1 Cor. iii.
"Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me, and to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew the salvation of God."-Ps. 1.
ACCUSTOM yourselves, my dear children, to turn your thoughts with gratitude to the Author of your being, as soon as you open your eyes on the glorious sun, which He has made to enlighten and to warm the earth; so let your souls be enlightened and warmed with a sense of his infinite wisdom and ineffable love, which have guarded you from the dangers of the night, and preserved your existence to the beginning of another day. Let some of the following sentences, or reflections of the nature they are calculated to suggest, be meditated on in your hearts, and find utterance from your lips, whilst you prepare yourselves for the useful occupations and innocent enjoyments, which may be appointed as your portion, before you again betake yourselves to rest, under the protection of your Heavenly Father: thus will you nourish in yourselves, whilst yet in the morning of life, a spirit of adoration to the Giver of All-Good, of respect to your teachers, and of affection to your companions, which will contribute as much to your happiness, as it will to your religious and moral improvement.
SACRED MEDITATIONS FOR THE
"Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.---Ps. iv.
"This is the day which the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee; thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever. Blessed be
he that cometh in the name of the Lord."---Ps. cxviii.
"Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me, my glory and the lifter up of my head." "I laid me down and
slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.” "Salvation belongeth to the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.”—Ps. iii.
"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning. O Lord, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." "Let all those that put their trust in thee let them ever shout for joy,because