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and perished. Observe with attention the infants which you so often see, and consider that a little while ago you were as feeble as they are; you were only a burden and a care, and you had nothing with which you could repay your parents' affection. But did they forsake you? How many sleepless nights have they been disturbed by your cries! When you were sick, how tenderly did they hang over you! With what pleasure have they seen you grow up in health to your present state ? and what do you now possess, which you have not received from their hands? God indeed is your great parent, your best friend, and from him every good gift descends: but God is pleased to bestow everything upon you through the kindness of your parents. To your parents you owe every comfort; you owe to them the shelter you enjoy from the rain and cold, the raiment which covers, and the food which nourishes you.
While you are seeking amusement, or are employed in gaining knowledge at school, your parents are toiling that you may be happy, that your wants be supplied, that your minds may be improved, that you may grow up and be useful in the world. And when you consider how often you have forfeited all this kindness, and yet how ready they have been to forgive you, and to continue their favours, ought you not to look upon them with the tenderest gratitude? What greater monster can there be than an unthankful child, whose heart is never warmed and melted by the daily expressions of parental solicitude ; who, instead of requiting his best friend by his affectionate conduct, is sullen and passionate, and thinks that his parents have done nothing for him, because they will not do all he desires? My young friends, your parents' hearts have ached enough for you already; you should strive from this time, by your expressions of gratitude and love, to requite their goodness. Do you ask how you may best express these feelings of respect and gratitude, which have been enjoined? In answer, I would observe,
Thirdly, That you must make it your study to obey your parents, to do what they command, and do it cheerfully. Your own hearts will tell
you that this is a most natural and proper expression of honour and love. For how often do we see children opposing their wills to the will of their parents; refusing to comply with absolute commands; growing more obstinate, the more they are required to do what they dislike; and at last sullenly and unwillingly obeying, because they can no longer refuse without exposing themselves to punishment. Consider, my young friends, that by such conduct you very much displease God, who has given you parents, that they may control your passions and train you up in the way you should go. Consider how much better they can decide for you, than you can for yourselves. You know but little of the world in which you live. You hastily catch at everything which promises you pleasure; and unless the authority of a parent should restrain you, you would soon rush into ruin, without a thought or a fear. In pursuing your own inclinations, your health would be destroyed, your minds would run waste, you would grow up slothful, selfish, a trouble to others, and burdensome to yourselves. Submit, then, cheerfully to your parents. Have you not experienced their goodness long enough to know that they wish to make you happy, even when their commands are most severe? Prove, then, your sense of their goodness, by doing cheerfully what they require. When they oppose your wishës, do not think that you have more knowledge than
they. Do not receive their commands with a sour, angry, sullen look, which says, louder than words, that you obey only because you dare not rebel. If they deny your requests, do not persist in urging them; but consider how many requests they have already granted you. Consider that you have no claim upon them, and that it will be base and ungrateful for you, after all their tenderness, to murmur and complain. Do not expect that your parents are to give up everything to your wishes, but study to give up everything to theirs. Do not wait for them to threaten; but when a look tells you what they want, fly to perform it. This is the way in which you can best reward them for all their pains and labours. In this way you will make their houses pleasant and cheerful. But if you are disobedient, perverse, and stubborn, you will be uneasy yourselves, and will make all around you unhappy. You will make home a place of contention, noise, and anger; and your best friends will have reason to wish that you had never been born. A disobedient child almost always grows up ill-natured and disobliging to all with whom he is connected. None love him, and he has no heart to love any but himself. If you would be amiable in your temper and manner, and desire to be beloved, let me advise you to begin life with giving up your wills to your parents. ... Fourthly, You must further express your respect, affection, and gratitude, by doing all in your power to assist and oblige your parents. Children can very soon make some return for the kindness they receive. Every day you can render your parents some little service, and often save them many cares, and sometimes not a little expense. There have been children, who in early life have been great supports to their sick, poor, and helpless parents. This is the most honourable way in which you can be employed. You must never think too highly of yourselves to be unwilling to do anything for those who have done so much for you. You should never let your amusements take such a hold of your minds, as to make you slothful, backward, and unwilling, when you are called to serve your parents. Some children seem to think that they have nothing to seek but their own pleasure. They will run from every task which is imposed on them; and leave their parents to want many comforts, rather than expose themselves to a little trouble. But consider, had they loved you no better than you loved them, how wretched would have been your state! There are some children, who not onl refuse to exert themselves for their parents, but add very much to their cares, give them unnecessary trouble, and by carelessness, by wasting, by extravagance, help to keep them in poverty and toil. Such children, as they grow up, instead of seeking to provide for themselves, generally grow more and more burdensome to their friends, and lead useless, sluggish, and often profligate lives. My young friends, you should be ashamed, after having given your parents so much pain, to multiply their cares and labours unnecessarily. , You should learn very early to be active in pleasing them, and active in doing what you can for yourselves. Do not waste all your spirit upon play; but learn to be useful. Perhaps the time is coming, when your parents will need as much attention from you as you have received from them; and you should endeavour to #. such industrious, obliging habits, that you may render their last years as happy as they have rendered the first years of your existence.
Fifthly, You should express your respect for your parents, and you: sense of their kindness and superior wisdom, by placing unreserve 1 confidence in them. This is a very important part of your duty. Children should learn to be hones', sincere, and open-hearted to their parents. An artful, hypocritical child is one of the most unpromising characters in the world. You should have no secrets which you are unwilling to disclose to your parents.
you have done wrong, you should openly confess it, and ask that forgiveness which a parent's heart is so ready to bestow. If you wish to undertake anything, ask their consent. Never begin anything in the hope that you can conceal your design. If you once strive to impose on your parents, you will be led on, from one step to another, to invent falsehoods, to practice artifice,
will become contemptible and hateful. You will soon be detected, and then none will trust you. Sincerity in a child will make up for many faults. Of children, he is the worst, who watches the eyes of his parents, pretends to obey as long as they see him, but as soon as they have turned away, does what they have forbidden. Whatever else you do, never deceive. Let your parents always learn your faults from your own lips; and be assured they will never love you the less for your openness and sincerity.
Lastly, You must prove your respect and gratitude to your parents by attending seriously to their instructions and admonitions, and by improving the advantages they afford you for becoming wise, useful, good, and happy for ever. I hope, my young friends, that you have parents who take care, not only of your bodies, but your souls; who instruct you
in your duty, who talk to you of your God and Saviour, who teach you to pray and to read the Scriptures, and who strive to give you such knowledge, and bring you up in such habits, as will lead you to usefulness on earth, and to happiness in heaven. If you have not, I can only pity you ; I have little hope that I can do you good, by what I have here said. But if your parents are faithful in instructing and guiding you, you must prove your gratitude to them and to God, by listening respectfully and attentively to what they say ; by shunning the temptations of which they warn you, and by walking in the paths they mark out before you. You must labour to answer their hopes and wishes, by improving in knowledge; by being industrious at school; by living peaceably with your companions; by avoiding all profane and wicked language ; by fleeing bad company; by treating all persons with respect; by being kind and generous and honest, and by loving and serving your father in heaven. This is the happiest and most delightful way of repaying the kindness of your parents. Let them see you growing up with amiable tempers and industrious habits ; let them see you delighting to do good, and fearing to offend God; and they will think you have never been a burden. Their fears and anxieties about you, will give place to brighter views. They will hope to see you prosperous, respected, and beloved in the present world. But if in this they are to be disappointed, if they are soon to see you stretched on the bed of sickness and death, they will still smile amidst their tears, and be comforted by the thought that you are the children of God and that you are going to a Father that loves you better than they. If, on the contrary, you slight and despise their instructions, and suffer your youth to run waste, you will do much to embittter their happiness and
shorten their days. Many parents have gone to the grave brokenhearted by the ingratitude, perverseness, impiety, and licentiousness, of their children. My young friends, listen seriously to parental admonition. Beware, lest you pierce with anguish that breast on which you have so often leaned. Beware, lest by early contempt of instruction, you bring yourselves to shame and misery in this world, and draw on your heads still heavier ruin in the world beyond the grave.
Children, I have now set before you your duties. Let me once more beseech you to honour your father and mother. Ever cling to them with confidence and love. Be to them an honour, an ornament, a solace, and a support. Be more than they expect, and if possible be all that they desire. To you they are now looking with an affoction which trembles for your safety. So live, that their eyes may ever fix on you with beams of hope and joy. So live, that the recollection of you may soothe their last hours. May you now walk by their side in the steps of the holy Saviour, and through his grace may you meet again in a better and happier world. Amen.
2 TIMothy i. 10: “Our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and bath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel."
IMMoRTALITY is the glorious discovery of Christianity. I say discovery, not because a future life was wholly unknown before Christ, but because it was so revealed by him as to become, to a considerable extent, a new doctrine. Before Christ, immortality was a conjecture or a vague hope. Jesus, by his teaching and resurrection, has made it a certainty. Again, before Christ, a future life lent little aid to virtue. It was seized upon by the imagination and passions, and so so by them as often to minister to vice. In Christianity this doctrine is wholly turned to a moral use; and the Future is revealed only to give motives, resolution, force, to self-conflict and to a holy life. My aim in this discourse is, to strengthen, if I may, your conviction of immortality; and I have thought that I may do this by showing, that this great truth is also a dictate of nature; that reason, though unable to establish it, yet accords with and adopts it; that it is written alike in God's word and in the soul. It is plainly rational to expect, that, if man was made for immortality, the marks of this destination will be found in his very constitution, and that these marks will grow stronger in proportion to the unfolding of his faculties. I would show, that this expectation proves just, that the teaching of revelation, in regard to a future life, finds a strong response in our own nature. This topic is the more important, because to some men there seem to be appearances in nature unfavourable to immortality. To many, the constant operation of decay in all the works of creation, the dissolution of all the forms of animal and vegetable nature, gives a feeling, as if destruction were the law to which we and all beings are subjected. It has often been said by the sceptic, that the races or classes of being are alone perpetual, that all the individuals which compose them are doomed to perish. Now I affirm, that the more we know of the Mind, the more we see reason to distinguish it from the animal and vegetable races which grow and decay around us; and that in its very nature we see reason for exempting it from the universal law of destruction. To this point, I now ask your attention. hen we look round us on the earth, we do indeed see everything changing, decaying, passing away; and so inclined are we to reason from analogy or resemblance, that it is not wonderful that the dissolution of all the organized forms of matter, should seem to us to announco