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beads there."_“Yes, Papa!”—“And you seem to be vastly pleased with them"_“Yes, Papa!” “Well now, throw 'em behind the fire.” The tears started into her eyes. She looked earnestly at me, as though she ought to have a reason for such a cruel sacrifice. “ Well, my dear, do as you please; but you know I never told you to do anything, which I did not think would be good for you.” She looked at me a few moments longer, and then summoning up all her fortitude-her breast heaving with the effort-she dashed them into the fire.-"Well,” said I: “there let them lie: you shall hear more about them another time; but say no more about them now.” Some days after, I bought her a box full of larger beads, and toys of the same kind. When I returned home, I opened the treasure and set it before her: she burst into tears with extacy. Those, my child,” said I, are yours;
believed I told you it would be better for you to throw those two or three paltry beads behind the fire. Now that has brought you this treasure. But now, my dear, remember, as long as you live, what Faith is. I did all this to teach you the meaning of Faith. You threw your beads away when I bid you, because you had faith in me that I never advised you but for your good. Put the same confidence in God. Believe every thing that he says in his word. Whether you understand it or not, have faith in him that he means your good.”
FAMILY religion is of unspeakable importance. Its effect will greatly depend on the sincerity of the head of the family, and on his mode of conducting the worship of his household. If his children and servants do not see his prayers ex emplified in his tempers and manners, they will be disgusted with religion. Tediousness will weary them. Fine language will shoot above them. Formality of connection or composition in prayer they will not comprehend. Gloominess or austerity of devotion will make them dread religion as a hard service. Let them be met with smiles. Let them be met as friends. Let them be met as for the most delightful service in which they can be engaged. Let them find it short, savoury, simple, plain, tender, heavenly. Worship, thus conducted, may be used as an engine of vast power in a family. It diffuses a sympathy through the members. It calls off the mind from the deadening effect of worldly affairs. It arrests every member, with a morning and evening sermon, in the midst of all the hurries and cares of life. It says “ There is a God!"_“ There is a spiritual world!”_" There is a life to come!" It fixes the idea of responsibility in the mind. It furnishes a tender and judicious father or master with an opportunity of gently glancing at faults, where a direct admonition might be inexpedient. It enables him to relieve the weight with which subordination or service. often sits on the minds of inferiors.
In my family-worship I am not the reader, but employ one of my children. I make no formal comment on the Scripture: but, when any
striking event or sentiment arises, I say “ Mark that!".
" See how God judges of that thing!" Sometimes I ask what they think of the matter, and how such a thing strikes them. I generally receive very strange, and sometimes ridiculous answers; but I am pleased with them: attention is all alive, while I am explaining wherein they err, and what is the truth. In this manner [ endeavour to impress the spirit and scope of the passage on the family.
I particularly aim at the eradication of a false principle, wonderfully interwoven with the minds of children and servants--they take their standard from the neighbourhood and their acquaintance, and by this they judge of every thing. I endeavour to raise them to a persuasion, that God's will
in Scripture is the standard; and that this standard is perpetually in opposition to that corrupt one around and before them.
The younger children of the family will soon have discernment enough to perceive that the Bible has a holiness about it, that runs directly contrary to the stream of opinion. And then, because this character is so evident, and so inseparable from the Scripture, the heart will distaste and reject it. Yet the standard must be preserved. If a man should lower it, they would soon detect him ; and he must, after all, raise them up to the right standard again. Much may be effected by manner, as to impressing truth ; but, still, truth will remain irksome, till God touch the heart.
I read the Scriptures to my family in some regular order: and am pleased to have thus a lesson found for me. I look on the chapter of the day as a lesson sent for that day; and so I regard it as coming from God for the use of that day, and not of my own seeking.
I find it easy to keep up the attention of a congregation, in comparison of that of my family. I have found the attention best gained, by bringing the Truths of Scripture into comparison with the Facts which are before our eyes. It puts more stimuli into family-expositions. I never found a fact lost, or the current news of the day fail of arresting the attention. - How does the Bible account for that fact:--That man murdered his
Father- This or that thing happened in our house to-day- What does the Scripture say of such things?”
It is difficult to fix and quiet your family. The servants are eager to be gone, to do something in band. There has been some disagreement, perhaps, between them and their mistress. We must seize opportunities. We must not drive hard at such times as these. Regularity, however, must be enforced. If a certain hour is not fixed and adhered to, the family will inevitably be found in confusion.
Religion should be prudently brought before a family. The old Dissenters wearied their families. Jacob reasoned well with Esau, about the tenderness of his children and his flocks and herds. Something gentle, quiet, moderate should be our ain. There should be no scolding: it should be mild and pleasant.
I avoid absolute uniformity: the mind revolts at it: though I would shun eccentricity, for that is still worse. At one time I would say something on what is read: but, at another time, nothing. I make it as NATURAL as possible: “I am a religious man: you are my children and my servants : it is NATURAL that we should do so and so.”
Nothing of superstition should attach to familyduty. It is not absolutely and in all cases indispensible. If unavoidably interrupted, we omit it: it is well. If I were peremptorily ordered, as the VOL. III.