Page images
PDF
EPUB

regularity about public means of grace. Tell them of the duty and privilege of going to the house of God, and joining in the prayers of the congregation. Tell them that wherever the Lord's people are gathered together, there the Lord Jesus is present in an especial manner, and that those who absent themselves must expect, like the apostle Thomas, to miss a blessing. Tell them of the importance of hearing the word preached, and that it is God's ordinance for converting, sanctifying, and building up the souls of men. Tell them how the apostle Paul enjoins us not “to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is” (Heb. x. 25); but to exhort one another, to stir one another up to it, and so much the more as we see the day approaching.

I call it a sad sight in a church, when nobody comes up to the Lord's table but the elderly people, and the young men and the young women all turn away. But I call it a sadder sight still, when no children are to be seen in a church, excepting those who come to the Sunday School, and are obliged to attend. Let none of this guilt lie at your doors. There are many boys and girls in every parish, beside those who come to school, and you who are their parents and friends should see to it that they come with you to church.

Do not allow them to grow up with a habit of making vain excuses for not coming. Give them plainly to understand, that so long as they are under your roof it is the rule of your house for every one in health, to honour the Lord's house upon the Lord's day, and that you reckon the Sabbath-breaker to be a murderer of his own soul.

See to it too, if it can be so arranged, that your children

go
with
you
to church, and sit near you

when they are there. To go to church is one thing, but to behave well at church is quite another : and, believe me, there is no security for good behaviour like that of having them under your own eye.

The minds of young people are easily drawn aside, and their attention lost, and every possible means should be used to counteract this. I do not like to see them coming to church by themselves, they often get into

with our young

bad company by the way, and so learn more evil on the Lord's day than in all the rest of the week. Neither do I like to see what I call a "young people's corner" in a church. They often catch habits of inattention and irreverence there which it takes years to unlearn, if ever they are unlearned at all. What I like to see is a whole family sitting together, old and young, side by side,men, women, and children, serving God according to their households.

But there are some who say that it is useless to urge children to attend means of grace, because they cannot understand them.

I would not have you listen to such reasoning. I find no such doctrine in the Old Testament. When Moses goes before Pharaoh (Exodus x. 9), I observe he says, * We will go

and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters,-for we must hold a feast unto the Lord.” When Joshua read the law (Josh. viï. 35) I observe, “ There was not a word which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them."

“ Thrice in the year" (says Exod. xxxiv. 23) 66 shall all

your men children

appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel." And when I turn to the New Testament, I find children mentioned there, as partaking in public acts of religion as well as in the old. When Paul was leaving the disciples at Tyre for the last time, I find it said, (Acts xxi. 5,)

They all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore and prayed."

Samuel, in the days of his childhood, appears to have ministered unto the Lord some time before he really knew Him. (1 Sam. iii. 7.) “Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.” The apostles themselves do not seem to have understood all that our Lord said at the time that it was spoken ; thus, (John ii. 22) “ When He was risen from the dead the disciples remembered that He had said this unto them.” And (John xii. 16) “These things understood not His disciples at the first, but

when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of Him."

Parents, comfort your minds with these examples. Be not cast down because your children see not the full value of the means of grace now. Only train them up to a habit of regular attendance. Set it before their minds as a high, holy, and solemn duty, and believe me, the day will very likely come when they will bless you for your deed.- Rev. J. Č. Ryle.

TAKE CARE OF THE PENCE. A man who is in the habit of taking care of the pence will not be likely to spend his money wastefully; if he has no use for a thing he does not buy it; he buys only what he wants, and by waiting a little he has found out that he really does want the thing he buys. No one need be at a loss as to what he shall do with his savings; as soon as he has got a shilling he can put it in the savings? bank, where it will be quite safe; and as soon as he has a pound the bank will pay him interest upon it. Money begets money; so that little by little a man may save enough to keep himself from want, or from being a burden to his friends.

It is a very good thing that there are places and persons to save money for those who don't know how to save for themselves, and to find the means of paying those who are willing to work. . . . Yet it is no uncommon thing to find men looking on their masters as tyrants and enemies. How often do we hear of machinery being broken, or property destroyed by workmen to spite their masters! These short-sighted people, however, only spite themselves : if the masters had not saved there would be no money to pay the workmen ; and if a machine is broken for mischief, it is just the same as throwing so many sovereigns into the sea. Nearly all the masters in England have worked their way up from small beginnings; they saw there was a chance, and they made the most of it. They did not waste their time in idle clamour or noisy speeches, they knew that good order in the management of affairs helps the

savings; that a beginning, however small, is better than no beginning at all; and any man who sticks to work, and takes care of the pence, is in a fair way of arriving at the same success. -Family Economist.

It cannot be too often or too strongly impressed upon every person's memory, that it is not what a man gets, but what he saves that enables him to become rich; however large an income he may have, trouble, care, and anxiety await him if he exceeds it.

Without being miserly or niggardly, there are few but what have an opportunity of saving a little: and the nest-egg once formed, all the first difficulty of saving is overcome.

RADOUNITSA. This name is given to a strange half-heathen festival which is celebrated in Russia in the week after Easter. The people proceed to the cemeteries where their departed parents are buried, and, after a de profundis has been chanted, white cloths are laid upon the tombs and viands spread out for a repast. The departed are then invited to come forth and partake, and the living place themselves around and eat. They believe that the souls of their ancestors quit the grave on these occasions and enjoy themselves unseen, and that the parents of those who do not come to render this duty are bitterly sensible of the neglect. Betrothed persons take the opportunity of asking the benediction of their deceased parents upon their nuptials. When the repast is ended, those who have eaten it address a few words again to the dead, praying them not to be offended that so little has been offered to them. The viands that remain are given to

the poor.

SELECTIONS FROM DIFFERENT AUTHORS. On our Saviour's preaching from the Cross.- Consider, first, that the whole life and doctrine of Christ is a series of lessons to his followers, to renounce self-love, with its three mischievous branches, "the lust of the flesh," (the love of sensual pleasures,)“ the lust of the eyes,” (the love of perishable goods,) and “the pride of life." These are the unhappy sources of all those evils that withdraw us from our allegiance to God; and make us exchange the pure fountain of life for noxious puddles, that can never quench our thirst. These are the foundations of a worldly and sinful life; nay, the broad road to death and hell. Alas! do we not love ourselves and our own will more than God? Are we not even so self-confident, sensual, covetous, and presumptuous, as to bear with nothing that opposes or contradicts our inclinations? But attend seriously, O my soul, to the sermon which the Son of God preaches from the pulpit of the Cross. Hark how loudly He condemns the illusions of self-love, with all the maxims and practices of the world, and the unhappy attachment of worldlings to their carnal and sensual affections. Remember that what He suffers is by his own choice; not only to the end that He may expiate our sins, but also in order to correct the preposterous judgment we form of things, and teach us to embrace what He embraces, to despise what He despises, and to condemn what He condemns. Learn then, O my soul, at the foot of the Cross, to overcome pride, by the bright example of the voluntary humiliation of the Son of God; a love of the world, by his voluntary poverty, in being stripped of all things, and abandoned by all; and a love of pleasure, by his voluntary sufferings and inexpressible torments.

Consider, secondly, that Jesus Christ, in offering Himself a sacrifice to his Father upon the Cross, without any manner of reserve, and by dying in pure obedience to his heavenly will, preaches another admirable sermon to us, containing the whole perfection of a spiritual life; which consists in dedicating our whole being to God, and in being obedient even unto death. Yes, Christians, if you would be perfect, learn of your dying Saviour to offer yourselves without reserve to his Father, and to your Father; unite your offering to his, and offer it through his hands, that it may be acceptable. You may offer it daily, and oftentimes in the day. O! give Him then daily your soul and body; your understanding, your memory, and your will. Give Him your whole being, with all that you possess, both for time and eternity; and He will give his whole self to you. O happy ex

« PreviousContinue »