« السابقةمتابعة »
the invitations of the gospel; and yet address those invitations to all indiscriminately, and urge them to comply; when according to their own scheme, they cannot comply if they would.
But, follow me to another apart
So they followed him to anoth er apartment, where also there was a prison, with a man in it as before. And while they looked, one came and threw open the prison doors, and went to the prisoner, knocked off his chains, and set him on his feet, so that he walked about freely. He then invited him to come out, and offered him great rewards if he would comply. But the man answered, I love my prison, and cannot leave it; 1 despise your rewards, and cannot accept them. I cannot come
Then the Interpreter took them to another place, and bid them look into two dark rooms, and tell which of them was clean. Then said the pilgrims, we cannot tell; they appear to be both alike.
Then the Interpreter, called for one to bring a light, and bid them look again, which they did. And they saw that one of the rooms was entirely clean; but the other was extremely foul; loathsome reptiles were crawling upon the floor, and spiders, bloated with poison, were creeping upon the walls, and dangling upon the ceiling.
Then said the pilgrims, what means this?
In. This illustrates one effect of the faithful preaching of the gospel. Before the light of truth comes, men may appear to be per. fectly alike, and seem to have the
Then said the pilgrims, what same temper of heart; as the two means this?
In. This case illustrates the real situation of the sinner. What the Prince Immanuel has done, has unbarred his prison doors, and knocked off his chains. can come out, if he will. But he will not. He loves his prison, and and is unwilling to leave it. He despises the rewards which are offered, and will not accept them. He also says he cannot come out; but it is plain, that his cannot is only a will not His inability to come out is wholly a moral inability. It is nothing but disinclination.
rooms appeared to be alike, while no light shined into them. But the light of truth makes manifest. When the truths of the gospel are clearly exhibited, those who have a clean heart will be made manifest; and those whose hearts are foul as this room will be made manifest also. And whereas the bringing in of the light, was not what made the room foul, but it only discovered the foulness which was in it already; so the clear exhibition of the light of truth is not to be found fault with, as though it
worse, as it soon discovers them to be.
attention to the music, being busily engaged in conversing with each other, or in taking notice of each other's dress, or in exhibiting their own; and some of them seemed to be very drowsy and almost asleep Then the Interpreter bid the pilgrims ask the people how they liked the music; and they all answered that they liked it exceedingly; they thought it was very fine indeed; they had never heard better. So the pilgrims kept looking, and soon after, the whole company seemed to be all atten
Then he took them to another place where was a dark room, and a man entering with a light in his hand; a thief, who was there for the purpose of plunder, stepped towards him, and endeavored to strike the light out of his hand. But when he had made several attempts to do that, without success, he began to strike at the man who bore it, that he might knock him down if he could. Then said the pilgrims, what tion to the music; every one was means this?
In. This illustrates another effect of the faithful preaching of the gospel. When the light of truth is brought in, and begins to discover the true character of the wicked, as they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil, they hate the light & try to extinguish it. They deny the truth and try to make others disbelieve it. But when these attempts do not succeed, and they cannot extinguish the light nor conceal themselves from it, their enmity is roused against him who bears it, and they try to get him out of the way, that the light may no longer shine, to disturb them in the execution of their designs.
Then he took them to another place where was one playing upon a musical instrument, to a room full of people. But they saw that the people paid very little
awake, every noise was hushed, every eye was fixed, and every ear was open. Then the Interpreter bid the pilgrims again ask the people how they liked the music; and now they answered different ways. Some declared they had never heard it before
but liked it well. Some said they had before only heard a few notes at a time, and they liked it now better than ever. But many of them exclaimed against it, as the worst they had heard. The instrument they said was out of tune, and made dreadful discord; and the performer discovered a strange want of taste. They thought he had altered unaccountably for the worse, (though the pilgrims had perceived no alteration ;) and some said, if he did not soon mend his hand, they would hear him no longer.
Then said the pilgrims, what means this?
In. This illustrates another efect of the faithful preaching of the gospel. When a preacher who has the character of preaching well, comes to a congregation who are in a stupid state, having their minds occupied with worldly pleasure and amusements, they are ready enough to think he preaches well, and to join in extolling his performances, though they had not in reality heard them so as to be qualified to form any judgment. But afterwards, when their attention is excited, and they hear so as to understand what he preaches, those who really love the gospel like it better than before; and some, who have never heard with serious attention and self-application, having now the truth set home to their consciences and their hearts, and feeling its sanctifying power, are well pleased. But those who really hate the truth, are now greatly displeased; and remembering that they had before expressed their approbation, they think the change is in the preacher, though in reality he preaches the same truths; and many of them are now so much provoked, that they declare they will not hear such things any longer, though they are the very same things they joined in commending a little while before.
AN ADDRESS ΤΟ MOTHERS ON THE
dress myself particularly to mothers, for they are commonly intrusted with the most important part of education. The temper and disposition, the habit of obedience and the first principles of religion, should all be formed during the first six or seven years, when the child is principally under the care of the mothers.-Women, if they are what they ought to be, seem particularly suited to this task, from the tenderness & gentleness of their dispositions, and the happy art which they possess of gaining affection, and softening authority by kindness.
But they are apt to fall some errors from which I wish to guard them. They do not always consider the absolute necessity of teaching a child obedience from the very first. Before he can speak, he should learn this lesson, which sooner or later must be learned by every created being. From infancy he should be taught that nothing is to be gained by passion and crying. This is attended with but very little difficulty, if it be done, before any bad habits are formed, and custom will soon make it easy to the child, but we often see mothers especially among the poor who never attempt to govern their children till their little passions have gained so much strength that they know not how to conquer them except by methods which would never have
On this subject I wish to ad- been necessary, if they had been
taught obedience from the very first. If a child has been accustomed from infancy to do what he is bid; and if his little heart has been gained by the kindness of a prudent mother, her displeasure will be his punishment, her praise will be his reward. Though language and blows are almost always proofs that the parent did not know how to govern. It is observed of one sect of christians, who have a remarkable command over their passions, that they never raise their voices in speaking to their children, nor ever permit them to speak loud to each other. The good effects of this rule will be evident to all who steadily pursue it. The child will attend to the meaning of your words instead of being frightened with the sound of them and will soon know that he is governed like a reasonable creature, and not like a brute beast, which has no understanding.
This point being once gained and the child being accustomed to immediate and ready obedience without dispute or murmur, it remains that you use this power for his real good. Carefully watch the very first appearance of any thing wrong in his disposition and check it immediately.Carefully guard against deceit.Teach bim to own his faults; and when he does so, forgive them; but convince him that they are faults, and must be rooted out.-
Above all give him early impres sions of religion; teach him to fear God, and to tremble at the punishment prepared for the wicked in the next world. This is what we all ought to fear.
ANECDOTE OF DIDEROT.
In the account which the Abbe Barruel gives of the closing scene of Diderot's life, is the following interesting anecdote.
This infidel philosopher had a christian servant to whom he had been kind, illness. The servant took a tender interest in the melancholy situation of his master, who was just about to leave this world, without any preparation for another. Though a young man, he ventured one day when he was engaged about his master's person, to remind him that he had a soul, and to admonish him in a respectful way, not to lose the last opportunity of attending to its welfare. Diderot heard him with attention, melted into tears, and thanked him. He even consented to let the young man introduce a clergyman ;-— whom he would probably have coninfidel friends would have suffered the tinued to admit to his chamber, if his clergyman to repeat his visits.
and who had waited on him in his last
ful lesson. This, story may furnish us with a useWe are often deterred from an endeavour to do good, by conceiving that the attempts will be vain. Yet surely it becomes us to beware, that we lose no opportunity of being serviceable to another, especially in his highest ity of success. concerns, by an idea of the improbabilWe may be mistaken in that respect. Christian charity, let it also be remembered, is not that cold calculating spirit which weighs exer
tion before it makes it, and which fears to venture upon an act of benevolence, least it should be thrown away. True charity has its eye more on what its than on what itself may expend in object may lose for want of assistance,
ing the character and conduct of
JOB 36, 22.--Who teacheth like God, was both pertinent and in
Job's afflictions were truly providential. He had long enjoyed great prosperity, and had no previous warning of approaching adversity. His troubles came suddenly and unexpectedly and rapidly, like the waves of the sea, billow after billow, until he was completely overwhelmed. He viewed them as flowing directly from the band of God, and upon this ground, he implored the sympathy and compassion of his friends. "Have pity upon me, have pity upom me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.", His friends saw and pitied him. Though they mistook his character, yet they did not mistake his condition and duty. They said many things to him, which were very suitable to his trying situation. But Elihu, who spoke last, said most, and what was most to the purpose. He undertook to speak on God's behalf; and what he said respect