Sidor som bilder

prepared the dinner, Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild sat talking with Nurse at the door of the cottage.

Their discourse ran upon the mercy and goodness of God to his people, and poor Nurse especially was full of gratitude for what had been lately done for her son; for this young man had for a short time past given evidence of a great change of heart, insomuch that he made his mother and wife extremely happy, whereas he had formerly given them great uneasiness. “These are blessings," said Mr. Fairchild to Nurse," for which you cannot be too thankful.”

Betty and Joan laid the cloth upon the fresh grass before the cottage door; and when Joan had boiled some potatoes, Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild sat down to dinner, with the children; after which, the children went to play in the meadow, by the brook-side, till it was time for them to be going home. But before they parted from Nurse, I should tell you that Mr. Fairchild read a chapter in the Bible aloud ; and afterward they all prayed together, that God would bless them until they should meet again : and Mrs. Fairchild having given Nurse the tea and sugar, the good old woman kissed the dear children, and they returned home with their papa and mamma.

" What a happy day we have had !” said Lucy,as she walked home between her papa and mamma: “every thing has gone well with us since we set out; and every one we have seen has been kind and good to us; and the weather has been so fine, and every thing looks so pretty all around us !"

“It is very true,” said Mr. Fairchild, “that we have had a happy day, my dear; for we have conversed with no persons to-day but those who live in the fear of God. If everybody in this world feared God, the world would again become nearly such as it was before Adam sinned ; but 'by reason of sin all lands mourn.""

“Was the world very pretty, papa,” said Emily, “before wickedness came into it?""

“ It is written in the first chapter of Genesis,” said Mr. Fairchild, “that when God had made all things, he looked on them, and behold, they were very good. Adam and Eve were made in the image of God: they were no doubt most lovely to look upon; and they had no angry, wicked passion to disturb them. They were placed in a garden watered by four streams, in which was every kind of tree pleasant to the sight or good for food. There were no evil beasts then in the world; no sick. ness or sorrow, no pain, no death; but when Adam sinned, all these evils came into the world.”

“If men were to leave off being wicked, papa," said Lucy, “ would pain and sorrow leave them ?

“Men can never leave off sinning, my dear,” said Mr. Fairchild,“ because sin is in our hearts, and will continue to trouble us to our dying day; but in proportion as the people of any town, or village, or house, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and love him, they will become more and more happy; and in proportion as people give way to sin, they become more miserable. In those heathen countries where God is not known at all, the people are poor, miserable, cruel, and dirty: they do not know what it is to be happy; the fields look barren and desolate, and the very beasts share their misery. I remember a time when Nurse and her son did not love God; and then they were not happy, but were always quarrelling and miserable : their little cottage did not look clean, and orderly, and pleasant as it now does, but was always in an uproar and confusion; but, now that God has given them clean hearts, you see how happy they are. We must have clean hearts, before we could be happy even in heaven; without holiness, no man shall see the Lord."" Heb. xii. 14.

By this time Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild, with their chil dren, had got home; and they were very much tired, for they had walked a long way that day. Before they went to bed, however, Mr. Fairchild taught his children a very pretty prayer, which I shall put down here for your use. A Prayer for the Restoration of the Image of God in which

Man was first made. O Lord God Almighty, blessed Three in one, it is written in the first chapter of Genesis, that thou didst make man in thine own image—that is, without sin in him, with a clean and innocent heart ; but we are fallen from the innocence in which God first made our father Adam: our hearts are not good now; no, they are very wicked. When Adam and Eve had no sin, they lived in the garden of Eden, and were never unhappy : then they loved thee, O Lord God, and loved each other, with all their hearts : but when sin came into them, they hid themselves from God, and were angry with each other. O Lord God, give us clean and holy hearts, that we may

love thee, and live in peace with each other. Without
new hearts we cannot be happy; we should not be happy
even in heaven, without clean hearts. O Lord, we ask
for clean hearts, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
thy beloved Son, who for our sakes was nailed upon the
cross, and there gave up his life for us. O Lord, hear the
prayers of us poor wicked children, and give us clean
and holy hearts.
Our Father, &c. &c.

Backward with humble shame we look

On our original :
Here is our nature dash'd and broke

In our first father's fall.
To all that's good, averse and blind,

But prone to all that's ill!
What dreadful darkness vails our mind !

How obstinate our will!
What mortal power from things unclean

Can pure productions bring ?
Who can command a vital stream

From a corrupted spring ?
Yet, mighty God, thy wondrous love

Can make our nature clean!
· While Christ and grace prevailed above

The tempter, death, and sini.
The second Adam shall restore

The ruins of the first :
Hosannah to that Sovereign Power

Which new-creates our dust ?



MR. FAIRCHILD had a little tame hare, which he kept in his study. He had it many years. This hare had a little wooden house, with a small door, in the study; and whenever any thing frighted it, it used to run into its house, where it remained in safety. Emily and Lucy and Henry used to go every morning into the garden, to get parsley and other green things for the hare. One day, when they came in with the hare's food, they saw their papa sitting at his study table examining a large round ball, or globe, which was fixed upon a stand before him. The children had never seen this before, because it was just come from London, a present from Mr. Fairchild's uncle.

“Oh! papa! papa! what pretty thing is that ?" said the children: “ pray let us see it."

“ It is a globe, my dears,” said Mr. Fairchild; “your kind uncle sent it from London for your use."

“Oh, that was good, papa,” said Lucy; "it is very pretty."

“Yes, it is very pretty indeed,” said Henry: “but I do not understand its use.”

“ My little people, come here,” said Mr. Fairchild: “and stand round the table, and I will try to make you understand what is the use of the globe."

So the children gave the hare his parsley, and gathered round their papa. : “Of what shape is this thing, my dears ?" said Mr. Fairchild.

* It is round, papa," said Lucy: “round like an apple."

6. This thing, my dears,” said Mr. Fairchild,“is called a globe ; it shows the shape of the world in which we live; and upon it are drawn, as in a picture, all the countries of the world.”

“Oh, papa ! how pretty!" said Emily; "and is the world in which we live round like this?"

Mr. Fairchild. Yes, my dears; and it hangs in the heavens as the moon does, kept there by the almighty power of God.

“Papa,” said Henry,“ will you teach us where all the countries are upon the globe ?"

Mr. Fairchild. Yes, my dear; you shall come into my study; and I will teach you a little every day; and we will talk about the various nations and people who live on this globe.

The next morning the children came again into Mr. Fairchild's study, and he gave them the instruction he had promised them. And first he taught them that the globe was divided, by general agreement, into four unequal parts_namely, Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. 6 Asia is that part of the world,” said Mr. Fairchild, “in which the garden of Eden, or Paradise, is supposed to have been placed, where the first man, Adam, lived."

“Oh papa!" said Emily, “show us where the garden of Eden was."

« Here it was,” said Mr. Fairchild, “as is supposed, upon the borders of the river Euphrates, which was one of the four rivers of Paradise.”

“ Papa,” said Henry, “I can repeat the verses in Genesis about Paradise. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food : the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison; that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium, and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel; that is it which goeth towards the east of Assyria. And the fourth is the Euphrates. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it.'" Gen. ii. 8–15.

“Paradise, my dears,” said Mr. Fairchild, "was a most lovely place, such as we never saw; for there is no place in this world in which the ruin caused by sin does not appear. But when Adam and Eve were tempted by the devil to eat the forbidden fruit, they were cast out of Paradise ; their bodies became subject to sickness and death; and their hearts became exceedingly corrupt, and all their children, who have since been born in their likeness, are utterly and entirely sinful : so that of ourselves we cannot do a good thing, or think a good thought.”

“ Papa," said Lucy, "may we say some verses, about mankind having bad hearts?" “ Yes, my dear,” answered Mr. Fairchild.

Then each of the children repeated a verse from the Bible to prove that the nature of man, after the fall of Adam, is utterly and entirely sinful.

Lucy's verse." And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually; and it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. The earth also was corrupt before God; and the earth was filled


« FöregåendeFortsätt »