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ing to Esau, To prevent this, Rebekah, his mother, in cited Jacob to an act of deceit and falsehood. To her son Esau, it is true, she did no wrong, for by agreement, ratified with an oath he had sold his birthright; but she "injured her husband by practising, imposition upon him, and her son Jacob by using her authority and persuasions to tempt him to sin; and she dishonoured the power and faithfulness of God, by supposing he needed such means of effecting his purpose and fulfilling his promise." Reader! art thou a parent? It is thy bounden duty to train up thy children in the fear of God; by thy precept and thy example to lead them in the path, wherein they should go, to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord t." Examine, as in the presence of God, and remember thou canst not deceive him, how thou art fulfilling the duties of a parent. It may be thou art neglecting them. Enquire ask thyself, "Am I tender and compassionate towards my children?"-Do I never, by. harsh and violent treatment, "provoke them to wrath?" Do I endeavour, to the best of my humble ability, to instil into their young minds prudent and pious principles? Do I provide for them, all the means within my power of being taught to discern good from evil? Do I gladly and thankfully avail myself of the school established, through the liberality of my neighbours, in the place where I dwell; and do. I endeavour by the regularity of their attendance at it, to encourage those who teach, as well as to improve those who learn? And am I very cautious, very watchful, that, by my own words and conduct, I in no degree hinder the effect of the lessons they are taught by those who seek their good, whether in the school or Church? Happy those parents whose consciences condemn them not on this latter enquiry. But, reader! deceive not + Eph. vi. 4. .
• Gen. xxv. £3.
thyself. If thou proceedest only thus far, thou dost not fulfil thy duty as a father or a mother. No. It is not enough that thou art kind to thine offspring, that thou endeavourest to direct them into the good way, that thou sendest them to the school to be taught in that way, that thou doest nothing to check their progress in it. But ask thyself, what do I do to advance them in it. Do I "shew piety at home *?" Do I give good example? Am I regular in my attendance at the house of God? Do I worship God in my family? "Kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King," do I pray with and for my children? It is indeed lamentable, it is awful, to reflect how parental duties are neglected! It is sad, it is alarming, to see a family, whether inhabiting a mansion or a cottage, in which God's holy name is not reverenced, and his service is regarded: more sad and alarming still is it to see the father of a family indulging in gluttony, or drunkenness, or other sinful pleasures, and to hear from his lips cursing and swearing, or any kind of profaneness or impiety. To see a mother giving way to the violence of passion, and, in her general deportment, the very reverse of those whom the Apostle commends; "discreet, chaste, keepers at home, lovers of their husbands, and of their children t."-Fathers and mothers, be persuaded to think seriously of what you have to answer for. On you it mainly depends whether your children shall be religious and happy, or wicked and miserable. Do you love your offspring? O prove it by the only sure evidence; "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," that, when you go down to the gates of the grave, they may fill your places with credit, and that, when they follow you, you may have a good hope of meeting them again, and of enjoying with them, through † Titus ii. 4, 5.
* 1 Tim. v. 4.
the mercy of God, and the sacrifice of his Son, joys that shall never end.
Jacob having succeeded, as Isaac expresses it, by subtilty in taking away his brother's blessing, was hated of Esau, who resolved to slay him. Informed of his danger, Jacob, at the recommendation of his mother, fled to Haran, where Laban, Rebekah's brother, resided, purposing to continue there until Esau's anger turned from him. In Laban's family, Jacob formed an attachment, and remained several years in Haran, during which period, though he had some severe trials, and was himself, in one instance, the victim of deceit and subtilty, he prospered exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maid servants, and men servants *. At length it pleased the Lord to summon him to return to the land of his kindred t.
Immediately he obeyed; but, recollecting that he must, in his journey thither, pass through Seir, where Esau was established, whose anger might not yet be passed away, he dispatched messengers to him to conciliate his favourt. Reader! see in this part of Jacob's conduct a pattern for thy imitation, should family discord ever interrupt thy peace. Be willing and ready to give way to others, when thou canst do so without giving up religious principle. Use no harsh, disrespectful language, to thy opposers-never be ashamed to sue for reconciliation, and, in a becoming spirit, to entreat favour."I have sent to tell my Lord, that I may find grace in thy sight" is the language of Jacob.
To this kind and conciliating messenger an answer of peace is not returned. On the contrary, information is brought that Esau is on his way to meet Jacob and "four hundred armed men with him §."
• Gen. xxx. 43.
+ Gen. xxxi. 3.
+ Gen. xxxii. 3.
§ Gen. xxxii. 6.
Then, we read, was Jacob "greatly afraid;"nor can we wonder at it. "His sin now found him out," the remembrance of it now, though twenty years had passed since the commission of it, weighed heavy upon his mind, sunk his spirits, and enfeebled his exertions. Mark, reader, how sin retains its hold, how it occasions misery. Yes, conscience will sometimes speak, and sins long since committed, perhaps long since forgotten, will occasionally, in seasons of suffering, rush upon the mind with an almost overwhelming force. Wouldest thou have a mind without fear, study to have a conscience without offence.
In these circumstances of difficulty, Jacob resolved to use every pradent means of defence: accordingly, he divided his company, trusting, that if one of his bands were smitten the other might escape. V. 8. He did not, however, rely upon his wise precautions; but, that they might be successful, he humbly and piously addresses his prayer to that God who alone could effectually aid and deliver him. V. 9-12.
What an interesting picture is here presented to our view, an eminent servant of God in great distress, pleading with his Almighty Father in humble, fervent, believing prayer. Behold him, in the time of trouble, seeking the Lord-listen to him in his distress pleading with God as the God of his Fathers, claiming nothing for himself, but pleading, as it were, in the name of his ancestors, that, as in covenant with them, his God would condescend to hear him. It is in this manner that we must approach God, as a God engaged by the word of infallible promise to hear and accept the prayers of his people, through the Son of his love. See to it, reader, that thy prayers be thus presented. Approach the throne. of grace in the name of the great Immanuel; plead his merit, atonement, and intercession; let these be thy grounds of confidence, trust to be accepted
only in him; and thy prayers shall ascend unto God an acceptable service, and shall return unto thee "laden with a blessing, and the dew of heaven.”— Watch in prayer. Remember how great a God thou addressest; therefore be humble-minded in thy devotions. Remember how great a need thou hast; be thou then earnest and persevering. Remember how great the things are that thou prayest for; seek them with thy whole heart. Remember, lastly, that God heareth not sinners, but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, bim he heareth *.
(To be concluded in our next.)
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
THERE still remains in some places a prejudice against Vaccination, especially amongst the lower ranks of society, owing in a measure to some few failures, which perhaps careful examination might have accounted for. If you think the following statement will have a beneficial tendency, I request you will make use of it.
In my humble attempts to do good in this and some adjoining parishes, I have vaccinated, since the first establishment of that mode, a considerable number of the children of the poor, and hitherto not one instance of failure has occurred. But I
* John ix. 31.