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Having given you, Dear Children, this account of one of your schoolfellows, we wish to add two or three remarks for your use.
1. This case is sent you for INSTRUCTION. You hear accounts of true religion continually; but here you see it. In this little boy you see what your Bible means, by being born again-a new heart-a lively faith—a hope full of glory.
You see, also, the fruits which they bear, who are truly religious; that is, are united by faith to the tree of life, Jesus Christ. This child not only loved God, and his Word, and his Church; but he was a blessing, a comfort, yea a comforter to his parents, and an example to all. Nor is true religion that gloomy uncomfortable thing, which some children foolishly suppose. You see the contrary in your schoolfellow. He was happy and thankful in life-- happy in death-and is gone to be happier than I can tell you, for ever. For godliness is profitable for all things; having the promise of the life that now is, so far as there is anything good in it; and the promise of the life that is to come, in which there is nothing but good: 1 Tim. iv. 8.
2. This case will afford you ADMONITION, that is, warning and caution. Yon was children may be called therefore, our Lord old, Be ye also a think not, the
cometh, we are told the small as well as great must stand before him in judgment: Rev. xx. 12. To be ready when the Judge shall come, was the grand concern of this child : he pressed this upon all around him: he begged his father to charge you to prepare to meet your God, and to say this expressly from him. We pray yoụ to consider how awful a witness he will be against you in that great day, if you continue in a careless state. Godly children will then be witnesses against other children. God, in having servants of all ages. and in all stations, will leave others of all ages and stations without excuse. If therefore you are tempted to sin with ungodly children - so as to tell untruths—to break the sabbath-to slight instruction—to disobey your parents, and to wish to break loose from their restraints that you may follow the course of this world ; Oh beware, lest God in judgment to you should say, “ Let that wicked child take its course. I will give him up to his heart's lusts. He shall go on bis way to destruction!" For the day shall come that shall burn as an oven, and all that do wickedly shall be as stubble. But, to such as fear my name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings: Mal. iv. 2.
3. The case of this child offers ENCOURAGEMENT to children. God has put it into the hearts of your parents and friends to bring you to the House of God for instruction, and He has put
it into the hearts of others to instruct
there. They would, with his blessing, take you by the hand and guide you from that broad way
which leads to destruction, into the narrow path which leads to everlasting life. They will feel well rewarded for all their pains and expence in bringing, if but one of you, into the right way. They know one soul is of more worth than a whole world. You are shewn, in the success that has attended their labours with this little boy, what they would do for you.
Watch, therefore, against the temptations of Satan, of a wicked world, and of a deceitful heart, which would discourage you, and tell you that you are but a child, and cannot yet seek God: know and trust in Christ; and be truly religious. This account proves how well a young
may, by divine grace, enter God's ways,
prepare to meet Him. This child was born with the same corrupt nature as yourselves; yet, by the help of his God, he turned out of the course of this world, and took the same path as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and others of the saints of God. Like the child Samuel, he early knew and served the Lord in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom he shone as a light in the world. He owned his God, and his God owned him, and blessed him in life and in death.
It should also afford great encouragement to you, Dear Children, that God has set his mark of
approbation on this our endeavour in setting up a school for you. He has said, they that seek me early, shall find me; Prov. viii. 17. and he has fulfilled this promise before our eyes in this little boy. We see Jesus still taking young children into the arms of his love and blessing them. Take encouragement from this, and call upon him with Jabez, 1 Chron. iv. 9, 10. “Oh, that thou wouldest bless me indeed, that thine hand may be with ME, that thou wouldest keep ME from evil, as thou didst my late schoolfellow, that, with him I may finally inherit thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ my