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our especial benefit, and with which he has connected especial advantages. It seems as if we could hardly fail of feeling the force of Solomon's humbling address; Go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise; Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer; and gathereth her food in the har

vest.

We need a spiritual portion for present comfort, whatever else we may possess; and how can we do without it when death shall strip us of every earthly thing? Since the things of heaven are so good in this life, that nothing can be good without them, how much must they be enhanced in value, to those whose portion they shall be in another, and far different world, where this corruptible shall put on incorruption; this mortal put on immortality; death be swallowed up in victory; and every thing, without, and within, become in the strictest, and highest sense perfect!

But may we not suppose that we are making, the things of God's kingdom the great object of desire, and pursuit, and find ourselves in the end wretchedly disappointed? To deny the possibility of this would be to call in question the truth of many passages of the scriptures. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Israel of old, followed after righteousness, but did not attain to righteousness; and the reason is stated in connexion with the fact. We have it from the mouth of the Judge of the quick and the dead himself, that many hereafter will seek to enter into heaven, and shall not be able; that is many will claim, and expect, the dignity and happiness gratuitously bestowed upon the saints, upon the ground of their own merit; without understanding what constitutes that dignity, and happiness, after which they will be so impatient.

All this being admitted for truth, it does not follow, that religion is a subject concerning which nothing can be known; for we may say with St. Paul, If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them who are lost; and we may say with him, Examine yourselves; prove yourselves; know ye not your own selves; how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be

reprobates; and we may say with him also, We desire, that every one of you do shew the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end. But is it not a fact too well known to be disputed, that religion, generally speaking has less attention given to it than any subject which can be named; and that we are inclined to draw the most favorable and unwarrantable conclusions, as the bankrupt debtor does, who is afraid to understand the real state of his affairs?

Let it be whispered, that the title to our farm is questionable, and we shall take the first opportunity, convenient, or inconvenient, to search the records which will ascertain the matter. Now, if our remissness will sufficiently account for the scantiness of our knowledge in spiritual affairs, it is unnecessary, and improper, to assign any other reason. However liable we may be to deception, when we judge ourselves to be right, the case may be so circumstanced, as to allow of no doubt that we are wrong. If a public record of our title is indispensable to secure to us the land which we call our own; our title to the incorruptible inheritance depends upon this, that our names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

If Christ be not our Savior, we have none; and he is not our Savior, unless we believe in him as such; and place our whole dependance upon him. Without faith it is impossible to please God; and we have no faith that is acceptable, unless we believe, in the most unqualified sense, in the Son of God. So inseparably connected are repentance, and evangelical faith, that an impenitent believer believes to no more purpose than the devils do. Love is the fulfilling of the law; and if you would find it any where upon earth, you must look for it among penitent believing sinners.

These three things, faith; repentance; and that love which does not depend upon natural ties, and the common connexion of interest; are the fruits of a divinely cultivated soil, and can be expected only in hearts which have been sanctified by the grace of God. Should I be inquired of whether a man's life is no evidence of his character, I would reply, that Christ has sufficiently answered this question by saying, A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart,

bringeth forth good things; and an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth evil things. Every article of conduct is characterized by that state of heart from which it originates. Saul of Tarsus was, if we may believe his own testimony, touching the law, blameless, when, at the same time, he was, if we may credit what he says himself, without the law, having no understanding of its nature, and obligations; and being in a situation to act the part of the chief of sinners; being a blasphemer; a persecuter; and injurious.

There may be morality, upon a circumscribed scale, where there is no religion; but there can be no religion, where there is no morality. As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, is a rule which the christian will subscribe to, though there will not be in his life sufficient conformity to secure to him the charity of men of a different persuasion; for if they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household.

We will not take up further time now in considering what is the right way for us who are adults, but turn from ourselves to our little ones, if we have any; and inquire what is the right way for them.

As children, if they live, will soon fill the places of their parents, the same general rule is applicable to parents and children. But, during the years of minority, parents have the care, and direction, of their children, and are under obligation to the performance of various duties, which result from the relation which they sustain. This matter is fairly stated by St. Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians: Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all: But is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the father.

Persons have very different ideas in regard to education, some, strongly recommending, what others as strongly reprobate. Can there be any decision of a question about which there is such a contrariety of opinion? The scriptures we profess to take as the standard of faith, and practice; and since their language is not yea, and nay; but always uniform, and intelligible, we may get instruction, to

be depended upon, from this source.

Solomon says, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. David says, Come ye children; hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. These citations comport with the general precept respecting this matter, delivered by Moses to the people of Israel, and recorded in the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children; and shalt talk of them, when thou sittest in thine house; and when thou walkest by the way; and when thou liest down; and when thou risest up. If this were not proper, would it have been commanded; and should we find so much said about it, in the scriptures?

Those who oppose the early religious instruction of children, to be consistent, ought to oppose the early efforts of husbandry; and put off, themselves, and advise others to put off, those labors which are usually performed in the spring, to a more advanced season of the year. That crop which requires the whole season to bring it to maturity, we know, cannot be expected, unless the whole season be improved. Knowledge, common, and religious, depends upon the cultivation of the mind in childhood, with as few exceptions, perhaps, as the harvest depends upon the cultivation of the earth in the spring. As to common knowledge, the truth is so obvious, that no one undertakes to dispute it; and all are governed in their practice by their own convictions. When however, religion is the object, the difficulty of explaining it to the apprehension of a child, is often the excuse for making no attempt.

But do not children, and very young children too, by the questions which they frequently propose, show their desire to be instructed; and their capacity to receive instruction; and if their questions are sometimes too great, and too difficult to be answered, might not something be said upon them?

Children listen with great attention to interesting narratives; and surely the Bible furnishes an abundant supply. The creation of the world: Eden and our first parents in innocence, in the garden: the fall of man, through the seduction of the serpent: the curse upon the whole creation, in

consequence of sin: the flood, and Noah's family sailing in safety over the tops of the mountains: the resettlement of the world: the impious project of building Babel, stopped by the confusion in the language of the builders: the calling of Abram with the wonderful things attending his life; the destruction of the cities of the plain, with the preservation of Lot; the bondage of Israel in Egypt, with their miraculous deliverance: their journey through the wilderness, fed upon manna, and guided by the cloud, and the pillar of fire; their establishment in the land of promise: the peculiarities of their original government: the state of their monarchy, with what led to its adoption: the building of the temple, with the manner of their worship: the revolt of the ten tribes; the prophets and the way in which they were treated: the various captivities, and their consequences: the coming of Christ; his character; his life; doctrines; miracles; death; resurrection and ascension: the day of pentecost: the destruction of Jerusalem: the calling of the Gentiles: the universal spread and influence of the gospel: the rising of the dead: the end of the world: the awful scenes of the judgment; and the retributions of eternity, in which the perfection of God's attributes will be seen in the sentence which he will pass upon his intelligent creatures; these are things, which if set before children, at a proper time, and in a proper manner, might be listened to with great avidity, and to great advantage. Timothy, from a child knew the holy scriptures, in which these things are contained; and he well rewarded the pious labors of his mother, and grandmother, in instructing him.

Much good might result to children, if their parents were faithful to keep them properly employed upon the sabbath, during all the hours of the day; and particularly, and especially, in the time of public worship; requiring of them some account of the discourse of the preacher, at the close of the service, and making the whole more intelligible by a more familiar exhibition. If instead of this, children are permitted to sleep away the hours of public worship, or spend them in play, they will be, it is likely, without some extraordinary interposition, forgetful hearers, instead of doers of the word, as long as they live.

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