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not be without its use, to say a word to my young readers on the blessing of it.
I doubt not I speak to many, who in these happy days enjoy the privilege of family prayer. You are called by your parents or friends to praise God for his mercies by day, and his mercies by night; and to pray to him to continue his blessing, without which nothing is strong, nothing his holy; and without which our own strength is perfect weakness. Now let your kind friends see that you value your privilege. Let nothing lead you to make an excuse for not always being present. Beware how you ever suffer yourselves to lie in bed beyond the time of family prayer. And while it is going on, see that you maintain a serious, thoughtful frame of mind. For it is a solemn service. Jesus Christ, in a special manner, is present in the family circle: for he has said, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Is it not a solemn thing, and a blessed thing to have Christ present amongst you? Would you not like to have been near him in the days of his flesh? Well, he is quite as near in family worship. You cannot see him, but he has promised, you see, to be present, and he cannot break his promise. Oh! if you could but keep alive these feelings, how
they would preserve you from trifling, and lead you to enjoy the blessing of prayer !
And I like to see very young children present, even those who are not old enough to understand what they are doing. Because, if it is a blessed thing to bring the children to Jesus; and if he has promised to be present where his people are met together in his name, then the present Saviour may perhaps shed a blessing on the little children, even though, like the children of old, they do not know why they are brought to Jesus. And very young children may be trained to behave quietly. I saw the other day a family of six little ones, the eldest only nine years old, as good as one could wish, during the whole time of family worship.
And lastly, since many of my young readers will live to grow up, and be the heads of families themselves; it is a great allvan. tage to have learnt in early life by constant practice, the value of a custom which it will be their duty to adopt.
DISOBEDIENCE TO PARENTS. God tells you in his word, he is very angry indeed with those who do not obey their parents : and do you not tremble to think God should be angry with you? It is that God who gives your dear parents that great love they have for you.It is that God who gives them health to work for you, that you may have good food to eat, and clothes to keep you warm ; a clean bed to sleep in, and a peaceful home to dwell in. And if you do not cheerfully obey them, but look sullen, and pout, when they ask you to do any thing, or refuse to answer them when they ask you a question ; if you lie in bed in the morning, when they have begged you to rise and learn your tasks, that you may be ready for school
if you stay when they send you on an ers rand, and play and loiter about the streets with other boys and girls, if you give your parents short answers when they speak to you, and turn your back and walk away, as I have seen some naughty children do, and sadly grieved their dear parents do you not think, my child, God must be very angry with you, if this is your conduct ? My heart trembles for you; and chiefly for you who have pious parents. With you God is much more angry than with those poor children, who have no good example set before them; no prayers offered up day after day for their salvation; who are not taught to read the Bible, and keep holy the sabbath day. Du you ever think, my dear children of those inercies that this good and gracious God is bestowing upon you ? Many poor little children are not blessed as you are. I dare say you have heard your father or mother read about some wicked parents who have been very cruel to their own children, and have beat them so sadly, that the poor little things have not been able to get out of their beds for days together; and how they would sometimes keep them without food so long, that they have been almost starved to death.
Some years ago, a poor little wretched girl
thing beat them so their owners who have
was brought into a Court of Justice for the people to see her, when her wicked parents were brought up, and sent to prison, to be punished for their cruelty. And when the court saw her, the sight was so affecting, that they were all in tears; and very well they might, for I am sure it made one weep only to read about it.
Now I tell you this, to try and convince your little minds, that God must be very angry indeed with you who have kind parents, if you disobey and grieve them by naughty tempers and 'undutiful conduct, when they are every day trying to do you good; and love you so dearly, that they often deny themselves many things which they might enjoy, to be able to procure you those things which they know will please and do you good.
And think of those poor distressed parents whohave nofood very often for their dearlittle ones, no bed to put them in at night: many of them are obliged to lie out in the cold fields, and under the hedges, with scarce any thing to cover them; and their poor unhappy parents weep over them, but cannot help them, when they cry and sob as if their little hearts would break ; and very often they die with cold or hunger, or their parents die and leave their dear little babes to perish, without an eye to pity, or an hand to save. Could you bear, my children, to see this sad scene ! Oh no, you say, I should cry and break my heart. Well, my dear child, I remind you of this, because I wish you to learn the rea.. son why God is so angry with you, when you are disobedient to your kind and tender parents ; because he has favoured you so greatly, and has given your parents such loving hearts towards you, and strength and
willingness to labour for you, and to do every thing for yon that they know will be for your real gond, and make you happy. If you dis. whey them, you disobey him; and in his hlessed book 'he tells little children, “ The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth tn ohey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it." Prov. xxx. 17.
I remember a little anecdote which I will tell you." There lived somewhere down in the country, a very naughty, disobedient son; and his father, a very old man, lived with him. He would often beat his father, and behave very cruelly indeed to him ; and one day the poor old man had done some thing to offend him. when this wicked son took hold of him by the hair of his head, and dragged him a good way along the road : but when he came to a certain spot, the old man cried out, with tears in his eyes, “Stop! stop, John! pray do not drag me any farther; for just to this very spot I dragged my poor father.” This puts me in mind of what a good old lady often said ; that she had taken notice all through her life, that there was no sin that God so often punished in this world as disobedience; and this anecdote proves in one very striking instance the truth of her observation.
Now, my dear children, God will punish all naughty little boys and girls who live and die in wilful sin against him, when that great and dreadful day comes which we read about in the 13th chapter of Matthew, from the 41st to the 50th verse ; but sometimes God punishes them in this life, as you see in the case of this poor old man.
My dear little children, I hope you have