« السابقةمتابعة »
giving; intercession. We will say a little about each.
1. Confession.-You know, if you have behaved ill, and your parents are angry with you, you cannot be happy till you have confessed your fault, and asked them to forgive you. It is the same with your heavenly Father: every day you offend him by some wrong thought, or word, or Sometimes when others may even have praised you for good conduct, if you think of it with reference to what God's good law requires, you will be sensible you have not in God's sight done what you should. Perhaps you have had unkind, proud, or self-willed thoughts hidden in your heart. God has seen them all; and they offend him. You must every day confess to God how sinful you are, and ask him to forgive you for Jesus' sake. All that you do wrong is written down in God's book, and nothing but the blood of Jesus can blot it out. When you have done anything wrong in the day, try and remember it at night, and ask God not only to forgive all your sins, but the special sin you remember having committed that day. Some children before they pray at night take two or three minutes to think over the past day, that they may recollect what sins they have to confess, and pray for strength to resist them on the morrow: this is a good plan, which you would do well to follow.
2. Petition. This means asking God for all you want. How many things little children want! Food and clothes and a home to shelter them, friends to take care of them and teach them. Your parents supply you with these things, but they could not do so, unless God first gave them these things to give you. And there are a great many things which your parents cannot give you; they cannot give you health, they cannot preserve you from many dangers, they cannot make you improve by all the good lessons you are taught, and, above all, they cannot give you new hearts, and make you love and serve God. You see there are many things for you to ask of God. We may ask God to give us anything that we wish for, only, if it is something merely for our pleasure in this world, we are not sure that it will be good for us; therefore we must only ask for it, if it is God's will. Thus, if a little child is ill, it may pray to God to be made quite well again; but perhaps God may see that that dear child will learn to think more about him, and love him more, when it lies alone on a sick bed, than at play with its companions; and so he may not make it well at once; and God's will is always best; therefore we say in such prayers, "If it be thy will." There is one thing which it is always God's will to give, and which every child should pray for very earnestly, that is, the Holy Spirit. You have promised to renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh: you have promised to keep God's holy will and commandments; but you have no power to do this. Your evil heart, which you promised to resist, is always getting the better of you; and you listen to Satan or to bad companions, when they tempt you to do wrong. You cannot keep your promise by yourself; but, if the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart, he will make you strong to resist evil, and to do good. You know if your father tells you
to do anything, and you find it too hard, you ask him to help you. Dear child, it is too hard a thing for you to serve God by yourself: you must ask his help, as your catechism teaches you to say: "Yes, verily, and, by God's help, so I will." God promises to give his Holy Spirit: he reminds us how fathers give their children good things, and then says: "If ye, being evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him." As I advised you to try and remember each night what sin you had to confess to God, so I advise you to notice what it is you find it most difficult to do, that you may specially pray for strength to fulfil that duty. Some children are idle: the hardest thing to them is to be diligent at their work. Some children are passionate: they find it the hardest thing to overcome their evil tempers. Some children are obstinate: to them the hardest thing is to be obedient. Try and find out what is the hardest thing to you, that you may watch and pray most about this. 3. Thanksgiving. This is a joyful part of prayer. When your parents give you anything, how happy it makes you to thank them for it, and to think what a dear kind father and mother you have. This is the happy feeling you should have when you thank God for all the good things he has given you. How many they are! When you wake in the morning, you may think how God has watched over you while you were asleep, and could not take care of yourself, how he has made the sun to shine once more to give you light, how he has provided you food and clothing, and all that you need. At night how many mercies you may count up that you have received during the day. If anything has given you special pleasure, you must not forget to thank God for that, because every good thing comes from him.
4. Intercession. This means prayer for others. The bible tells us we must never be selfish, and seek good things for ourselves only; therefore we must not pray selfishly; but we must pray for others as well as ourselves. You must first pray for those nearest to you, your parents, your brothers and sisters; then you may pray for your neighbours and friends, and your country; and you may pray for all Christians, and for the Jews, and also for the heathen, that God would teach them his truth, and turn them from dumb idols to serve him. A little child cannot do much himself to help others; but God hears the prayers even of little children; and therefore he may ask God to bless them. I will tell you a little history to explain this. A missionary was leaving England, to preach to the Indians in North America: before he went away he talked to a little girl whom he knew about the country he was going to live in, and he told her there were many bears in that country, which killed men; and he said, My dear child, you can do this for me, you can pray to God to deliver me from the bears. The child did not forget what he had said, but, every day, when she said her prayers, she added: "Pray, God, deliver Mr. - from the bears." The missionary went into North America, and it so happened one day, when he was with others, a bear attacked them; but God watched over them: they were not hurt, but were able to kill the fierce beast. The missionary had the paw of the bear
cut off, to be sent to the little girl, that she might see how God had heard her prayers. I hope you, too, will soon learn to love to pray for others, and that, if any of your friends are in trouble, you will be ready at once to help them, by praying for them; and, when you hear of the poor heathen, your heart will be full of pity, and you will pray
to God to teach them.
Now I have explained to you these four parts of prayer, I must say a few words about how you ought to pray. 1st. You must pray humbly and seriously: God is very, very great: it is an awful thing for a child to offend him by light and thoughtless prayers. 2nd. When you confess your sins, you must be sorry for them: you are sorry when your dear parents are angry, and you ought to be much more sorry when you have made the great God angry. 3rd. When you ask God for any mercy, you should heartily desire it. It will not do to ask God to make you a good child, and take you to heaven, if in your heart you do not care how you behave. You do not ask your parents for anything unless you really wish for it; this is what you should feel about those things you ask of God. 4th. You must feel quite sure that God is willing to hear your prayers, and often think of those gracious words," Ask, and it shall be given you." 5th. Since you cannot pray aright of yourself, you must ask for the Holy Spirit to teach you to pray.
THE LOVE OF GOD EVIDENCED IN GIVING HIS SON. In hearing that this which we take and eat is Christ's body broken for our sins and his blood shed for our iniquities, we are occasioned to call to mind the infinite greatness of God's mercy and truth, and of Christ's love towards us. For what a mercy is this-that God would, for man being lost through his wilful sins, be content, yea, desirous to give his own only Son," the image of his substance, the brightness of his glory," "being in his own bosom," to be made man for us, that we men by him might be, as it were, made gods! What a mercy is this-that God the Father so should tender us, that he would make this his Son, being co-equal with him in divinity, a mortal man for us, that we might be made immortal by him! What a kindness is this-that the Almighty Lord should send to us his enemies his dear darling to be made poor, that we by him might be made rich! What bowels of compassion is this-that the omnipotent Creator of heaven and earth would deliver his own only beloved Son for his creatures, to be not only "flesh of our flesh and bone of our boncs," that we might by him through the Holy Ghost be made one with him, and so with the Father, by communicating the merits of his flesh, that is, righteousness, holiness, innocency, and immortality, but also to be a slain sacrifice for our sins, to satisfy his justice, to convert and turn death into life, to make sin unto us grace, hell to us heaven, misery felicity! What a mercy is this-that God will raise up this his Son Christ, not only to justify and regenerate us, but also in his person to demonstrate unto us our state which we have; for in his coming we shall be like unto him! O wonderful mercy of God, which would assume this his Christ, even in human body, into the heavens, to take and keep there possession for us, to lead our captivity captive, to appear before him always praying for us, to make the throne of justice a throne of
mercy, the seat of glory a seat of grace; so that with
mised? And as for Christ's love, O whose heart can
WHAT FAITH IT IS THAT SAVETH.-Faith now
in God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the covenants and appointments made between God and us, is our salvation. Wherefore I have ever noted the covenants in the margins, and also the promises. Moreover, where thou findest a pro
mise, and no covenant expressed therewith, there must thou understand a covenant; that we, when we be received to grace, know it to be our duty to keep the law. As for an example, when the scripture saith, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matt. vii.), it is to be understood, if that, when thy neighbour asketh, seeketh, or knocketh unto thee, thou then show him the same mercy which thou desirest of God, then hath God bound himself to help thee again, and else not.-Tyndale.
How rare a spectacle didst thou present,
Stood ready to defeat the wild assay,
J. D. H.
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ST. MARGARET'S, IPSWICH. IPSWICH is a town in Suffolk, about 25 miles E.S.E. from Bury St. Edmunds, and 69 N.E. from London. It is seated on an acclivity, bounded on the west and south by the river Orwell, and sheltered by hills on the north and northeast. It appears to have derived its name from the Gyppen, or Gypping, a small stream which flows into the Orwell. The following is the account given of this town by Camden :
"Near unto the mouth of this river we saw Ipswich, in times past Gippwich, a fair town resembling a city, situate in a ground somewhat low, which is the eye, as it were, of this shire, as having a baven commodious enough, fenced in times past with a trench and rampire, of good trade, and stored with wares, well peopled and full of inhabitants, adorned with fourteen churches, and with goodly, large, and stately edifices. I say nothing of four religious houses now overturned, and that sumptuous and magnificent college, which cardinal Wolsey, a butcher's son of this place, here began to build, whose vast mind reached always at things too high.....As touching the antiquity thereof, so far as ever I could observe, the name of it was not heard of before the Danish invasion, whereof it smarted. For, in the year of salvation 991, the Danes sacked and spoiled it and all the sea-coast with so great cruelty, that Siritius, archbishop of Canterbury, and the nobles of England thought it the safest and best course they could take to redeem and buy their peace of them for the sum of ten thousand pounds. Nevertheless, within nine years they made spoil of this town again; and presently thereupon the Englishmen valiantly encountered them in the field; but through the cowardly running away of one man alone, named Turkill, as writeth Henry of Huntingdon (for, in matter of war, things of small weight otherwise are of right great moment and sway very much), our men were put to flight, and let the victory slip out of their hands. In the reign of St. Edward, as we
find in the Survey-book of England, out of this town queen Edeva had two parts, and earl Guert a third part; and burgesses there were eight hundred, paying custom to the king. But, after the Normans had possessed themselves of England, they erected a pile or castle here, which Hugh Bigod defended for a good while against Stephen, the usurping king of England, but surrendered it in the end. This fort is now quite gone, so as there remain not so much as the ruins thereof. Some say it was in the parish of Westfield hard by, where is to be seen the rubbish of a castle, and where old Gipwic, as men say, stood in times past. I think verily it was then demolished when king Henry II. laid Waleton castle near unto it even with the ground. For it was a place of refuge for rebels; and here landed those 3,000 Flemings whom the nobles of England had called in against him, what time as he unadvisedly had made prince Henry his son king, and of equal power with himself; and the young man, knowing no mean, would be in the highest place or none, set upon a furious desire of the kingdom, most unnaturally waged war against his own father. Albeit, these castles are now clean decayed and gone, yet this shore is [defended sufficiently with a huge bankthey call it Langerston-that for two miles or thereabout in length lieth forth into the main sea, not without great danger and terror of such as sail that way: howbeit the same serveth very well for fishermen to dry their fishes, and after a sort is a defence unto that spacious and wide haven of Orwell."
Of the fourteen churches mentioned by Camden, twelve remain. St. Margaret's is a spacious edifice, with a plain tower at the east end. The nave is of a more enriched character, in the later style of architecture, and is lighted by a row of ten windows on a side, each of three lights. This church suffered much and was seriously defaced in the great rebellion. The parliamentary visitors stripped it of most of its decorations, destroyed the paintings, and removed the statues of the twelve apostles. It is well that the building itself was