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A CALL ON PARENTS ANXIOUS FOR THE GOOD
OF THEIR CHILDREN. I have just stepped in to tell you how pleased I am with the punctual, orderly, diligent, and obedient conduct of your children at the Sunday school. I know that you are anxious about their welfare, temporal and spiritual ; and you have every reason to be encouraged in your exertions for their welfare.
When even the poorest people bring up their children in the fear of the Lord, they find them their best friends in after days; but when parents, rich or poor, neglect their children, and bring them up ignorant of God and of Divine things, such children are sure to be plagues to them. So far from honouring their parents, and proving a comfort to them, they are as dust in their eyes, thorns in their feet, and goads in their sides.
Train up your plants in faith and love
Let truth divine be given.
And blossom bright in heaven.
There is every encouragement to persevere A vine that is left wild, presents but a sorry appearance; but when properly cultured, how beautiful its clusters appear! “ Train up a
child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it,” Prov. xxii. 6..
Many parents desire to leave their children well provided for; but after all, there is no richer legacy than an example of piety. For a child to be able to say, “My father and mother were sincere and simple-hearted disciples of Jesus Christ,” is better than to boast of their riches and prosperity. “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked; but he blesseth the habitation of the just,” Prov. iii. 33.
The children of pious parents are not always alive to the mercy of God, in giving them guides in their youth, in leading them from temptation, in delivering them from evil, and in directing their feet in the way of holiness; but in after years, these things fail not to come uppermost in their minds.
Be encouraged, then, for the promises of God are not confined to Christian parents. No; they reach to the children also. Our heavenly Father showeth mercy unto thousands of them that love him and keep his commandments, Exod. xx. 6. Wherever, then, you read the words of eternal life, doubt not the mercy of God to those who are to tread in your steps, when you have exchanged earth for heaven; and put up the prayer, “Lord, vouchsafe the spirit of revelation, take the scales from my eyes, that, as these are thy truths, so they may be profitable to me. Do thou graciously incline my soul, that in faith I may cast myself entirely upon thine infinite mercy in Christ Jesus.”
A CALL ON A DRAM-DRINKER. I have a few papers to deliver “On Dram Drinking;” and perhaps you will let me leave one with you, as well as with your neighbours. It lies in a little compass, it speaks the truth without flattery, and will not take up five minutes of your time to read. The bitterest medicine often does the most good, and the sharpest language is frequently, in the end, the most friendly. Read it slowly, and ponder on every sentence it contains.
'DRAM DRINKING.' Dram drinking makes man a monster, and renders him unfeeling to the mother's sigh, the orphan's tear, the widow's groan. Like the grave, it is always craving for more, and spares neither high nor low. Subtle as the serpent, it robs its victim of life, while it hugs him in its false embraces; it charms the senses, while it steals the soul. Cruel as the whirlpool, it hurries its misguided victim to an early grave, and dashes him into the whirlpool of destruction, while he fancies he is taking a voyage of plea
sure! It is found under every description of rank and character, from the palace to the cottage, and patronized by all orders and degrees. It is admitted, though it shuts out the best friends. Such are its fancied charms, and the baneful pleasure it affords, that every interest has been sacrificed, every tie abandoned, every duty neglected, every principle broken to gratify it. Such its deceit, that its victim smiles, and mistakes the message of death for the friendly welcome. Such its delusions, that while it affects to gladden the heart, it hastens on poverty, disgrace, ruin, disease, misery, and madness. The awful scene closes here, in death; but after that will come the judgment !
A CALL ON AN AGED SERVANT OF GOD.
Here you are, Dorothy, digging in the unfathomable mine of God's holy word, for the precious things contained in the gospel of Christ. A good man has said, “ God's people have sweet intercourse with him, even in their callings; when we look for comfort, we shall find it, either in ordinances, hearing, reading, or praying;” and I doubt not that you find this to be the case.
I have brought you a cake which I trust you will relish; a sprig of holly to stick in your window; and a text of Scripture to put in your
heart— “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Heb. xiii. 5.
Deborah. Thank you, sir; thank you. The cheerful sprig of holly is good, for its red berries seem to smile in this gloomy weather; the cake is still better, and may remind me, among God's especial mercies in Christ, of the bread of eternal life; and the text of Scripture is best of all, for it is a cordial to the fainting soul. Many a weary pilgrim has leaned on that staff, in journeying to the heavenly land. Come what will, “if God be for us, who can be against us?” and if he be with us, we shall need no other comforter.
Visitor. When I call upon you, Dorothy, I always expect to take away something better than I bring. You are an aged servant of God; and we hope to reap a harvest of instruction from your Christian experience.
Deborah. God has mercifully prolonged my life, and preserved my faculties, so that I can still read, with the help of my glasses, of his grace to a sinful world, and ponder on his goodness to me in particular, in all my unworthiness; but as to instruction, you must not look to me for it. I often wonder what God preserves me for, for my infirmities make me a trouble to those around me; but he knows his own plans, and they are all holy, just, and good. I feel myself to be a good-for-nothing old woman.