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them, when regard to your real interests obliged them to sacrifice fond indulgence to the demands of rigorous correction! How have they restrained your impetuous passions, borne with your childish prejudices, gratified your innocent wishes, pleaded with you on your best interests, and poured out their cries and tears to heaven on your behalf! And with what painful anxiety, mingled with eager hope, have they looked forward to the event of all those measures they have taken with you, to prepare you for the station of life you are perhaps just entering upon!
"And now, are there no returns due to all those expressions of parental kindness? Shall inattention and neglect on your part draw tears of sadness from those eyes which have so often looked on you with tender pity? Shall harsh and disrespectful language grate on those ears which have been ever open to your cries? Shall unnatural disobedience pierce the bosom that has so passionately loved you? Shall sullen ingratitude crush the heart that has doated upon you? Shall folly and sin, in a word, bring down those grey hairs with sorrow to the grave, which not old age only, but affection for you, hath rendered truly venerable? God forbid ! On the contrary, does not every ingenuous sentiment, and every pious feeling of the heart, call loudly on you to exert your utmost efforts towards discharging debt, which, after all, it will never be in your power to repay? Ought you not to approach them with respect, and to kindle into a flame at every insult offered them? Ought not their commands to be a law with you, and every deviation from them a force put upon your nature? Ought you not religiously to regard their admonitions, and patiently submit to their censures? Ought you not to consult their happiness in every step you take, and accommodate yourselves even to their humour? Ought you not, when they are in the decline of life, to afford them all the assistance in your power? to watch their looks with assiduity and attention? to bear their pains with them? to soothe their ruffled passions, support their feeble steps, make their bed in their sickness? and, if you cannot hold back the hand of death from them, yet by your sympathy and prayers disarm him at least of some of his terrors? Gratitude for a thousand kind offices you have received
* One of the lessons most frequently and most strongly inculcated upon the Lacedemonian youth was to show great reverence and respect for old men, and to give them proofs of it upon all occasions, by saluting them, by making way for them, and giving them place in the streets, by rising up to do them honour in all companies and public assemblies; but, above all, by receiving their advice, and even their reproofs, with docility and submission. By these characteristics a Lacedemonian was known wherever he came : if he behaved otherwise, it would have been looked upon as a reproach to himself, and a dishonour to his country. An old man of Atheas going into a public assembly, none of his own countrymen offered him a seat; but, when he came near the place where the Spartan ambassador and those of his retinue were sitting, they all rose up out of reverence to his age, and seated him in the midst of them. Lycander, therefore, had reason to say that "old age had nowhere so honourable au abode as at Sparta," and that "it was an agreeable thing to grow old in that city." How much more ought the conduct of young Christians to be marked with reverence and love to their parents!
The whole body of the Athenian laws in the early state of that people were comprised in one line, Honour your parents: worship the gods: hurt not animals."
demands all this at your hands"*. And in the performance of such duties does not the mind enjoy a high satisfaction? Yes, far superior to that which the world can give; and it is often stamped by heaven's blessing even in this life. For have we not known persons whose tender regard to their parents has been tried by very peculiar circumstances, and who have acquitted themselves in a manner as extraordinary? These persons we have seen emerge from low and obscure stations in life, and rise to situations of affluence and eminence, in which they have flourished to a good old age. So that it may be said of them, in the strictest sense of the expression, in the promise, that it hath been well with them, and that they have lived long on the earth.
Indeed it would be easy to show that all those tremendous evils that shake the foundations of civil society, such as sabbath-breaking, drunkenness, adultery, theft, and such like, originate in the want of religion, and the neglect of this commandment. This it is which makes young men "disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection", &c. All such I would refer to the example of our blessed Lord, who, even when about to suffer, was not unmindful of making provision for her who was honoured to give him birth. Many other examples of filial obedience might be adduced from scripture, as in Isaac, Joseph, &c. But, while such examples stimulate you, let the conduct of the wicked prove a warning. Who shudders not at the sentence pronounced on Cain? Who can view with indifference the conduct of Joseph's cruel brethren, or Absalom's rebellion against his pious father? Yet how many a parental cheek, like Jacob's and David's, has been bedewed with tears! how many a fond affectionate heart has been wrung with anguish till it has bled in streams, by the cruel conduct of an undutiful child! And those, who were received at their birth as blessings, have proved, by their unkind and ungodly lives, a heavy
A striking example of this kind occurred some years ago in the south of England. A respectable family had two sons, whom they endeavoured to bring up in the fear of God. For a time they made a promising appearance, and bade fair for becoming a blessing to their parents; but, alas! the love of company and of pleasure led them to disregard their parents' admonitions, and the religious example with which they were favoured, and by degrees not only to forsake the sanctuary of God, but, soon after, their father's house, and forgetting their situation in life, to go and enter themselves on board a ship of war. A friend in London wrote to a respectable clergyman in Ph, where it was suspected they had gone to endeavour to find them out, and, if possible, to persuade them to return. With some difficulty he did find them, carried them to his house, showed them all kindness, remonstrated with them, and pointed out the great evil and impropriety of their sinful and undutiful conduct to their parents. Observing one of them considerably affected, he addressed him, and said, “James, are you still determined to go to sea? or will you * Stennett's Duties.
+ Plutarch says, "There is not a greater evidence of an atheist, than in a man's despising and injuring his parents."
THE declaration to which I have already referred,
And the Lord himself says: "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me" (John v. 39). We have, moreover, a high commendation of the Jews of Berea: "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed" (Acts xvii. 11, 12).
go home, and prove a comfort to your friends?" | THE PRIVILEGES OF A CHRISTIAN LAND*. 66 Yes, I will," said he. He then turned round to the other, and said, "William, will you also go home?" "No! I will not, sir: I won't be kept under by my father, and made to go to church, and say my prayers by my mother, as I have been: I wish to enjoy myself, and see the world a little." The clergyman again remonstrated with him, and pointed out the judgments of God that frequently attended such undutiful conduct; but the young man remained obstinate and resolute. Finding no impression could be made on him, he said, “It appears, my young friend, you are determined to pursue your own evil course; but I request you will remember what I now say to you, and, depend upon it, your sins will find you out." He retired with a scornful look; and nothing was heard of him for several years; till one night, after the same clergyman had gone to rest, a sailor came to his gate with a very urgent message from a young man under sentence of death, on board a ship at S--d, who wished most anxiously to see him. He took his staff in his hand, and went down through the fleet, and soon perceived, by the melancholy signal, the ship in which the unfortunate youth was to suffer. He went on board, and was received with much politeness by the captain, who told him he would desire the youth to be brought up to his own cabin, where he might have a better opportunity of speaking with him than in the dungeon where he lay. In a short time the Again, God has given you his sabbaths; as it rattling of chains and heavy groans indicated his approach; and, no sooner did he behold the coun- is written: "Remember the sabbath-day, to keep it holy." "Moreover, also, I gave them my tenance of his former monitor, than he exclaimed, "Ah! you are the person I want: had I attended sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that to your admonitions, I would not have been in they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them" (Exod. xx. 8; Ezek. xx. 12). And of this awful situation to-day." He was so worn down and emaciated that the clergyman did not this day, in a prophecy which refers more esperecognize him, but asked what was his induce- cially to the period of the gospel dispensation, it ment to send for him, as he had no recollection of is written: "If thou turn away thy foot from the him? "Ah!" replied the young man, sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, do you not remember the two unfortunate youths that and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the left their parents' house, and entered on board the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not navy, and to whom you showed so much kind- doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own Ah! do you not recollect, sir, the one you pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt used so many entreaties with to return, but who thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause would not, and to whom you said that the judg-feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and ments of God would follow him, and sooner or later his sins would find him out? They have done for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” (Isa. so, sir; for I am that unfortunate youth. I have viii. 13, 14). been led from sin to sin, till I have committed that for which I must give up my life. O, sir, if no respite can be procured for nie, pray, do pray, I beseech you, to God, for my immortal soul, that it perish not."
Thus you see, my young friends, the judgments of God frequently attend such undutiful conduct to parents, even in this life.
But there may be some young persons who are so unhappy as to have parents who disregard religion, and discover unkindness to them for their attachment to it. But does this absolve them from their duty? By no means: it rather adds to it; and young persons thus situated should show that their religion has made them more dutiful, more affectionate, more ready to sacrifice their own happiness to that of their parents; and that it is only when obedience to parents comes in contact with obedience to God that they are warranted to disobey them.
Now do you read and search the scriptures Have you ever read the whole bible daily? through? Do you make conscience of reading it through and through, again and again, from beginning to end?
Accordingly, in this Christian land, one day in seven is peculiarly set apart for the worship of God. The sabbath bell sounds in your ears, to summon you to his house, that you may worship him, and hear his gospel preached.
Do you observe his sabbaths? Do you endeavour to keep the Lord's day holy? Do you turn away your heart and mind from worldly things, to consecrate that day unto the Lord? Do you improve it for special prayer and searching of the bible at home? Do you go with your family to the house of God, to unite with his people in prayer and praise, and that you and they may hear "the glorious gospel of the blessed God"? (1 Tim. i. 11).
shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: Once more: the Lord has said, "Ask, and it knock, and it shall be opened unto you. every one that asketh receiveth; and he that * From "To my Neighbour." By a converted infidel.
seeketh findeth ; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Luke xi. 9, 10).
You have, therefore, plain direction, and abundant encouragement to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. v. 17).
Do you make use of this privilege which is so graciously vouchsafed you? Are you waiting upon God with humble and earnest prayerprayer for those blessings which God alone can give?
Are you waiting upon him with prayer for the pardon of your sins? "Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities" (Ps. li. 9), -for the cleansing and renewal of your heart? "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Ps. li. 10)-for the gift of the Holy Ghost? "If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ?" (Luke xi. 13).
If you are not diligent in searching the scriptures, careful in hallowing the sabbath, and earnest and persevering in prayer, is it not evident that you are neglecting and despising both God and your own soul?
Is it wise, is it right, can it be safe to go on in such a course? Do the scriptures sanc
tion it? Can reason or common sense defend it or excuse it? Does conscience approve it? Are you prepared to answer for it, and to defend it, before the judgment-seat of Christ?
A PRAYER FOR THE LAND.
BY THE AUTHOR OF" PROVERBIAL PHILOSOPHY."
ALMIGHTY Father, hearken,
Nor let thine anger darken
As sin and shame and weakness
We turn to thee in meekness,
O God, remember Zion,
To rein thy vengeance in:
And that shall cleanse the guilt.
In whom we live and move,
Thy tender word, "Draw near,"
Thou knowest, Lord, the peril
If earth for us is sterile
And all our labour nought.
Are famine, plague, and sword,
For lo! we know thy terrors
Truth, Lord, we are unworthy,
And quicken us at heart: Make straight thy way before us,
And let us not depart.
Turn us, that we may fear thee,
And, as our Saviour still, Lord, recompense us double With good for all our ill. Though we deserve not pity, Yet, Lord, all bounty yieldAll blessings in the city
And blessings in the field, On folded flocks and cattle, On basket and on store, In peace and in the battle,
All blessings evermoreAll good for earth and heaven; For we are bold to plead As through thy Son forgiven, And in him sons indeed. Yea, Father, as possessing In thee our Father-God, Give, give us every blessing, And take away thy rod.
August 6, 1848.
LAYS OF A PILGRIM.
BY MRS. H. W. RICHTER.
M. F. T.
(For the Church of England Magazine.)
THE ROMAN ARCH*, NEWPORT, LINCOLN.
THOU lingering relic of the Roman name,
All, all are gone; and time has brought sad change
And bring each shadowy pageant back to view;
How once the Roman won a place on Britain's shore!
* This, the most perfect relic of Roman art now remaining in the kingdom, is supposed to have been erected during the reign of the emperor Claudius, A.D. 45.
When the proud legions pass'd beneath thy shade,
Or Norman William seiz'd the vacant throne;
Thou wast-now left in crumbling age alone.
How once around thee flew the arrowy shower,
And Danish chiefs, were thy beleaguring foes;
And thou couldst tell when through that mental
Religion's day-star shot athwart the gloom;
Her path shed cheering light beyond the tomb;
But centuries fled; and then did sad remorse,
The royal Charles slept on a bloody bier.
Dost thou arch o'er, while generations new
New arts, new science rare, 'tis thine to view,
ENCROACHMENT OF THE SEA.-The slow and unnoticed, but gradual variation which is continually taking place on our coast, is truly surprising. According to Mr. Lyall, when the inn at Sheringham, in Norfolk, was built in 1805, the spot chosen was at a distance of fifty yards from the sea, which was, from previous observation of its rate of encroachment, calculated to take seventy years to reach it. No allowance was made for the slope of ground being from the sea, in consequence of which the waste was naturally accelerated every year as the cliff grew lower, there being at every successive period less matter to remove, as portions of equal area fell down. Between the years 1824 and 1829 no less than seventeen yards were swept away; and there is now a depth of twenty feet, sufficient to float a frigate, at one point of the harbour, where, fortycight years ago, there stood a cliff fifty feet high.
THE RESIDEence of a BISHOP.-The foundation of a diocese is said to have followed a certain law, upon the attempt to convert a nation to Christianity. A bishop, attended by his presbyters and deacons, established himself in some town or place of general resort, where the preaching of the gospel by their mouths might have been received gratefully and zealously. There the mother church was built, and the "cathedra," or throne of the bishop, set up: there this apostolical body of holy men served God in the beauty of his sanctuary day by day, and pushed forward the work of conversion in the neighbouring villages and towns. Thus station after station was occupied, and parishes were formed, each with its priest and deacon, in a circle widening and widening through successive years by radii drawn from the cathedral-city, as from a centre. Thus the country presbyters, sent forth by the bishop, and settled under his authority, depended upon his spiritual jurisdiction, and were held together in one bond of union with their head. Their daily prayer in the church was a universal custom; and neither bishop nor priest would dare to be absent, for conscience' sake. Thus an identity was observed between the bishop and his cathedral church, just as now between the country parson and the village church: the two could not be separated in idea, they were married together by popular opinion; as the mother church was the type of the harmony subsisting between herself and her children, so the bishop, standing within her sacred precincts, represented the concord of the several degrees in the ministry. Much of public convenience also followed this arrangement. The city of the diocese, if not always the geographical centre, is nevertheless always a place of chief importance, easy of access, and much frequented. The clergy, when summoned or resorting to their diocesan, enjoyed the privilege of a choral service, and might revel in that sweet harmony of sound denied to them in their remote and undowered districts, which uplifts the soul to heaven's gates, and reflects the employments of blessed angels before the throne of God himself. Ether the regulations for the observance of daily service, as enjoined by the church, are useful for edification, or they are not: if they are, then the bishop of the diocese ought to be the last person to violate them; if they are not, why are they retained so conspicuously and emphatically in the prayerbook? "All priests and deacons are to say daily the morning and evening prayer, either privately or openly, not being let [hindered] by sickness or some other urgent cause." Then follows a more stringent clause: "And the curate that ministereth in every parish-church or chapel, being at home, and not being otherwise reasonably hindered, shall say the same in the parish-church or chapel where he ministereth." Surely, in such an important matter as the public worship of Almighty God, which no true church has ever yet refused to solemnize daily, which is a standing witness against worldly-mindedness, and no inconsiderable part of a soul's discipline for heaven, the chief pastor of a diocese, who has promised, "the Lord being his helper," "to show himself in all things an example of good works unto others, that the adversary may be ashamed, having nothing to say against him," should beware of giving a handle to the adversary by his own indifference or neglect, for impugning not only the discipline and ordinances, but even the legi timate character of the church itself.-The Mirror of a Bishop.
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