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THE DISTRICT VISITOR; OR, IN.
In the neighbourhood of Ross, a lady who was in the habit of visiting the poor for benevolent purposes, took her little daughter with her. The child saw, heard, and was interested. But there was something which the child could not exactly make out. So, on the road home, she said, “ Mamma, when you are out visiting the poor, you always talk about Jesus Christ to them, but you don't talk of him at home.”
I need not say one word about how the lady felt, but, if the remark had been made to us, how should we have felt ? Would it have been just P Could it have been said with truth In reference to too many, I fear, it may be said with too much truth. Many parents seem to think, that if they take their children to public worship, if they put good books into their hands, and if they have family prayer, they have done all that is necessary. They talk of almost all sub. jects before their children, and they talk with them on many points, but they do not talk of Jesus. They act as if they fancied that their children heard enough of him, or knew all that was requisite for them to know. But is it so P
Reader, are you a parent P Have you little ones around you? Do you notice, how attentively they often listen to you? Do. they hear you speak of Jesus P Do they hear you speak of him, as the object of your highest love P As of that Saviour, who, for you, performed wondrous deeds, who for you suf fered tremendous agonies, who for you achieved most glorious conquests? Do they hear you speak of what he was, when in the bosom of his Father; of what he became, when a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and of what he is now, exalted above all principalities and powers P Do they hear you speak with admiration of his loving heart, of his all-atoning blood, and of his prevalent intercession at the right hand of God P Do they hear you dilate on his amazing oonde scension, in the visits he paid, the miracles he wrought, and in receiving and blessing even little children? Do they hear you speak of Jesus, as a subject in which you feel the deepest interest, of a Saviour to whom you feel the warmest love, and a Friend in whom you place the strongest confidence ? Could they conclude, from the frequency of which you speak of Jesus, the tender and energetic manner in which you speak of Jesus, and the reverence and gratitude that you feel toward Jesus, that he is your-all and in all p My friends, I fear the best of us do not
speak of Jesus so much or so frequently as we ought. We do not speak of Jesus before our children in the manner we ought. We so speak to them of our parents and other relatives, as to interest them, excite desires in them, and often so as to draw out their love ; but do we so speak of Jesus P Is there not utterly a fault among us on this subject ? What is so interesting as the gospel narratives ? What so calculated to affect the minds of the young, as a tender, touching, heartfelt representation of what the Lord Je. sus did and suffered to save sinners! We have been surprised, sometimes, to find how little the children of some professed Christians know of the Lord Jesns. But surely, if he had been made the subject of frequent and interesting conversation, they must have known more. It is not enough to say, “I give them the Bible, and put other religious books into their hands." They should hear of Jesus in a father's manly tones, and they should hear of Jesus in the tender accents of a mother's tongue. They should hear their parents converse of Jesus, and so converse of him as of the most interesting and profitable subject. They hear us speak of ministers, and of church members, and perhaps, on these points, they hear what they ought not. They hear us talk of books, and the occurrences of every day, but if they do not hear us talk of Jesus, the most important subject is omitted.
But we ought not merely to talk before them, but we ought to deal with them personally and closely. Every child should be spoken to alone, and be prayed with alone. We should so deal with our children's consciences on the subject of religion, as to leave the impression on their minds, that we consider it to be a matter of the greatest im. portance. We should deal so closely with our children on the subject of personal reli. gion, as to convince them that we desired and sought the salvation of their souls above every thing else. Surely, if parents realised the value of their childrens' souls, if they had a vivid sight of the danger to which they are exposed; if they felt that they must be say. ed by the Lord Jesus, or perish for ever, they would act differently toward them. Could a parent, if he believed the scriptural representation of hell, as a place of torment; and saw that his child hung over that ever. burning lake as by a thread, by the mere circumstance of time, and may, at any moment, by some accident, be plunged into the bottomless abyss; I say, if he saw and believed this, could he let his child go on, day after day, and month after month, without the tender expostulation, the affectionate appeal, and the heartfelt prayer with him. I Think not! Alas! alas! we do not half be. lieve in the horrors of hell, in the danger of our children, and in the absolute necessity of faith in Christ, in order to their salvation, or we could never live as we do. What anxiety is manifested about their health, their education, and their respectibility, and what indifference about their never-dying souls ! One feels at times ready to conclude that many professors must be half infidels, or wholly insane, to act as they do. - Reader, suppose thy child dying. His pulses are faint and few. He breathes short and hard. You approach his bedside. You take his hand in yours. He asks, “Father, did you believe I was a sinner? Did you know that it was possible I might die young P Were you aware that, without faith in Christ, I must perish forever? Did you, father pri “I did, my child.” “Then how could you be so cruel, so hard-hearted, as to treat me in the way you have? You never took me aside to talk to me seriously. You never endeavoured to impress upon my mind the importance of spiritual things. You never earnestly warned me to flee from the wrath to come. You never lovingly invited me to the Lord Jesus Christ. You never prayed with me as if you believed I was in danger of going to hell, and could only be saved by the grace of God. You were very earnest about temporal things, but as indifferent about spirituals. You knew I was going to hell, and you did not try to prevent it. Now I am lost, lost for ever, and you are the cause of it. Or, at least,