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especially as he hoped, by adopting another plan, to make his advice more impressive.
The day soon arrived on which Mr. Abel fulfilled his kind promise, and Edwin's heart leaped for joy as he drew near his beloved home. . The servant was just coming out at the gate.
“ Are papa and mamma at home, John?" exclaimed Edwin, almost springing from the chaise.
My mistress and the young gentlemen," replied the man, (smiling at the sight of his young master) “are gone for a ride, but they will be home to dinner. Your papa, sir, came in a few minutes ago.”
“Well, I must not stay now, my love," said Mr. Abel, “or I shall be too late. I will call for you in the evening : you may tell papa
I will take tea with him." “ Thank you, sir : good bye,” said Edwin. “ Is papa in the dining-room, John? Find him,, find him, and tell him I am here."
Edwin ran into the dining-room and drawing-room, but papa was not in either. The servant, however, quickly returned, saying, “My master is in his own room, sir ;: but he wishes you not to go to him, for he will come down presently.
A shade of disappointment passed over the little boy's countenance; but he thought to himself, Papa will be here in a minute : so he began to look round, that he might see whether any alteration had been made during his absence, and then he took a book of prints, with which, for a while, he endeavoured to amuse himself. All his attempts, however, were in vain ; every minute seemed an hour, and though minute after minute passed, no papa came. Twenty times had Edwin fancied that he heard his step, and as often had he run to the door to meet him. He met nothing, however, but the mortification of finding himself still alone : he felt half inclined to go up stairs notwithstanding the prohibition, but he had ever been accustomed to obedience, the order was plain, and he dared not break it. At length, when patience was quite worn out, he sat down and wept bitterly. While thus engaged, he really heard his papa ; but now he felt quite unable to make any advances, and when Mr. Wordsworth entered, exclaiming,
“ Edwin, my love, where are you ?" the child could only Aling his arms around his neck, and sob aloud.
Mr. Wordsworth's parental feelings were peculiarly tender, and he almost regretted the method he had adopted. A tear started in his own eye, as he raised Edwin's head, and enquired, “What is the matter, my boy?”
It was some time before bis little son could speak : at length, interrupted by sobs, he replied, “ O papa, I thought you would
“Do you think it is very long since you came in?"
“ It is more than half an hour, papa, and I have only this one day; and I had so counted upon coming home.” “ But you were at home, my love."
Papa ? “ You were at home, and you knew I was in the house also, for John had seen me.
“ Yes,” replied Edwin, in an almost indignant tone, “but home without seeing you, or mamma, or brothers, I would ten times rather have been at school. That is not the way you have taught me to feel, Papa."
“ No indeed, my child, it is not; and I should have thought your affectionate heart sadly changed, could you have been so satisfied. Come near to me, my Edwin,” he continued, putting his arm around him, and pressing him tenderly to his heart, “ Be assured you have as large and warm a place as ever in my affections, and the time I suffered to pass before I saw you, appeared as long to me as to you, and has been equally painful.”
“ But why did you not come then, dear papa ?” asked Edwin, drying his eyes, and looking up to him.
“ Because, my boy, I have a lesson to teach you, which I wish deeply to impress upon your mind. I fear that on some occasions, you do not feel as I have taught you ; but that full heart is now so softened, that if God vouchsafe to bless what I am going to say, I trust the remembrance will be lasting. When you reached home, and heard I was within, what was your first desire, Edwin ?”
“ To see you, Papa.”
“ Yes; and that is the desire I should wish and expectin my child. If you could have amused yourself with any thing that
came in your way, and not cared whether you saw me or not, and gone back to school contented with such a visit, should I have felt satisfied ?"
“No, papa," said Edwin emphatically.
“ No; I should have been greatly grieved and displeased. I should have said, my child has lost all his love for me. Have you any other father besides me?"
“ No papa,” replied the little boy, kissing him fervently. 6 No other father but me?" 6 Not on earth, papa.”
“ Certainly not. But what does the great and good God condescend to call himself?
“My heavenly Father.”
“ And how do you go, my child :. can you tell me that this is your first thought, – Is my heavenly Father in this place, and may
I draw near to him?'" “ No, papa,” As Edwin faintly but distinctly made this
he dropped his head upon his father's shoulder ; and the tears which had been so lately dried, Aowed afresh.
“ So I feared, from what I have heard of your conduct, during the precious hours of public worship. But do you think that God's children, who love him so fervently, can be content to go to his house, and never see lim; to leave it without having enjoyed any intercourse with him, though they might have spoken to him in prayer and praise, and heard him. speaking to them by his Word and Spirit ? Will they think it sufficient to hear that he is there, and has been beheld by others? No, my
presence,' the house of God would be as dull to one of his true children, as your home was miserable to-day, because I did not come to you. Now, if we see any one able: to amuse himself with whatever trifle comes in his way; careless about the presence and favor of the Lord, and satisfied with merely having been to his habitation; what must we conclude of such an one ?
Edwin's attention was rivetted, but he made no reply. • Shall I answer for you ?." said his father, “We must conclude that he is not one of God's dear, affectionate children; that he has no love in his heart towards him, and oh, how awful a condition is this ;-not a child of God! He grieves that Holy Spirit, who sheds joy through the hearts of the children of Jesus. In the divine presence he surely is, and the omniscient eye turns upon him, but he has never sought a father's smile of love, and therefore he receives, though he observe it not, the awful frown of his displeasure. He departs with a curse instead of a blessing. And now, my dear child,” continued Mr. Wordsworth, “ let me particularly apply what I have said. I find that you have behaved with levity in that holy place, which is none other than the house of God and gate of heaven ; and I cannot tell you what pain and sorrow the information has occasioned me. I am aware, indeed, that the heart may be far from God, even when the outward behaviour is correct; but this I must leave with the Searcher of hearts. If, however, you appear trifting, I am sure you can neither be offering acceptable worship, nor receiving beneficial instruction, and therefore it is my duty to insist on outward decorum, both for your own sake, and that of others, to whom the example of one so carefully brought up, might be doubly pernicious. But I am anxious to dismiss this painful subject : I hope and believe, you will never again suffer a word, a smile, or a look to escape you, inconsistent with the service in which you profess to be engaged. Yet this is far from being all that I desire. There are very many, both children and adults, who seem devout and serious in the house of God; and nevertheless, neither seek nor enjoy communion with him. May you, my child, after what has passed in your mind to-day, never forget the purpose for which God's children go up to his dwelling place. In the suffering, which with so much pain to myself, I have inflicted upon you, my design has been, to illustrate and enforce the admonition I felt constrained to give. And O may the Holy Spirit lead you from this day, as a lost sinner, to seek pardoning mercy through the blessed Redeemer; that you may behold the Lord as your reconciled father in Christ : then you will find a father's presence as essential to your peace, within his hallowed courts, as it was necessary to your comfort, when visiting your earthly home. Nộr seeking it thus, shall you ever seek in vain, while the promise stands,
* I will be a Father unto you.' My people shall be satisfied with the treasures of my house, even of my holy temple.''
Mr. Wordsworth then prayed fervently with his son; after which, having received his humble confessions, and heartfelt thanks, he kissed him affectionately, and assured him of his full forgiveness. Then, devoting the time to Edwin's gratification till Mrs. Wordsworth's return, he soon restored the accustomed smile to his countenance, and saw his eye once more sparkle with pleasure.
And now, my reader, having related this little cireumstance; allow me to add a few remarks, on a subject important at all times, and peculiarly suitable at the present season. Another year, with all its mercies, is nearly closing : among the richest of those mercies, are our Sabbath privileges. Though in our present state, we are at a distance from our heavenly Father's dwelling, yet bow graciously does he invite us to meet him in his earthly courts. How often has it been said to you, us go unto the house of the Lord.” Ask yourselves then, my young friends, have your's been the visits of children, or of strangers ? The Lord God is your Father by creation and providence; and has he not been a kind and tender Father? Can you find any thing in his conduct towards you, to justify indifference to him? Ah no ; he has crowned your years with mercy, and loaded you daily with his benefits, and he offers himself to be your Father in a far dearer sense ; your reconciled Father in Christ Jesus. Seek him then through the Son of his love. Call to remembrance the Sabbaths you have spent this year. If conscience tell you they have been trifed away, 0 let the conviction deeply humble you, for He who views the heart and marks the conduct, has heard, as distinctly as if you had uttered the words with your voice,“ Depart from me, for I desire not the knowledge of thy ways.” Now what can be expected in answer to such awful impiety, but the sentence,
Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire:” but blessed be God, that sentence is not yet executed ; mercy is still offered ; invitations and exhortations are still held out; Sabbaths are still granted. Intreat the assistance of the Holy Spirit, that you may seize and improve the few which now remain; and should
spared to enter on a fresh period of time, may