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The anxiety of Parents for their Son.-Difficulties in
procuring a proper situation for him. -A family professing but not possessing religion. The report sent home.Decision thereon,- -Remarks. Father's address.- -The parting.
“ How valuable are good principles,” said Robert Melville, as he shut the door of the Warehouse, “the mind may be easily corrupted by such conversations as I am forced to hear from day to day; and were it not that I ain enabled to look unto God for preservation, and to rely upon his aid, I should despair of being able to stand against what I see and hear:""
Robert Melville was an only son of very pious parents, who had educated him with peculiar attention, and watched the influence of their labours. Having passed through the days of infancy and childhood to their great satisfaction, they had the pleasure of seeing him arrive at that age when he could converse rationally and agreeably upon general subjects.
of, nothing to deplore but the visible unconcern of the family in regard to another world;" he concluded his letter thus: “I cannot let this moment pass without thanking you for all your
attention to my real interests; from thy lips, my mother, I first learned to lisp a prayer to God! and my father's consistent walk and conversation, gave force and energy and confirmation to his declarations of love to Christ. Whatever I may think of other subjects, I shall never think otherwise than that religion is a reality, but oh! the difference of my present situation! I hear nothing, I see nothing, but the world, from day to day. What shall we eat? What shall we drink ? What dress shall we wear? What speculation shall we make to increase our gain? are the constant questions proposed, while the great, the important, inquiry, 'WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED,' is neglected or viewed with indifference. Pray for me dearest parents, pray that I may hold fast that which I have, that I may be kept from dishonouring Christ; pray that I may shine as a light in the world, and that I may glorify God in the sight of them who honour Him with their lips while their hearts seem to be far from Him."
It afforded Mr. and Mrs. Melville sincere pleasure to receive this communication; but that pleasure was mingled with pain. They often conversed upon the subject, and for some weeks hesitated as to the path they should follow. As the traveller when he comes to the place where four roads meet, stops his horse, looks first at the roads, then round to see if any one is near to solve his difficulties and then between hope and fear proceeds on his way: so these good parents paused, reasoned, asked advice from others-prayed to God to direct them—and at length determined to seta tle their son for a time.
It was amusing enough to hear the opinions of the neighbours upon the subject of young Robert's removal from home. By some his father was commended, by others he was severely censured as having no regard to his son's spiritual interests. Mr. Melville was a man that knew the world, and what is called the religious world. On all occasions he determined to think for himself, to ask counsel of God, and to watch the leadings of His providence. He gave his son the best advice, reminded him of the Scriptures he had read, the sermons he had heard, and the prayers offered on his behalf. Admonished him to beware of evil company, to reverence the Sabbath, and never to neglect private prayer. Represented to him the necessity of courage in opposing sin, and in declaring his attachment to religion. 66 Whatever others do my dear,
described the row at the theatre, another how much wine he had taken with his friend Gay at the Hummums, a third rapturously applauded the songs at Vauxhall, and a fourth, devoid of shame, of decency, and of principle, described his unchaste and unhallowed amours. The question at length was put to Melville :-" Well, Master Robert, and whither did you steer last night ?” Robert was silent, and continued writing. “Come, come,” said Arthur Freeman, “ let us have the answer-no simpering—I suppose you were among the saints—at chapel, eh!" The sound of chapel produced a loud laugh, in which all joined except Robert, who looked grave and remained silent. “Stop," said Henry Elworthy, “ do not be too hard upon him, he will not be fond of chapel alway. A little of your training will take away his inclination for that, I have no doubt. I was a little scrupulous when I came amongst you first, but I think you cannot complain of me now.” “
“No, no,” rejoined Freeman, “not at all, you are a good fellow, and can drink and swear as well as any of us. If old father were alive and could look upon you now and then, (tapping him on the shoulder) he would see his son rather altered I think.”
“God of His infinite mercy keep me from the paths of these destroyers !" said young