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saved, seeing that He had just declared the ruler of the synagogue a hypocrite, in having reproved Him for doing good on the Sabbath day. Our Lord replied, and oh that we may well consider his words: “ Strive to enter in at the strait gate ; for many, I
say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Faith in Christ as
an atonement and mediator, is not a strait gate; it is thronged and crowded by the religious world. The way
of obedience is strait and narrow ; few enter therein: but when once the Master of the House is risen up, and hath shut the door; many who had faith to believe, but no love to obey, will, being found without, begin to knock at the closed door, saying: “ Lord, Lord, open to us !” they are, as it were, at home in the thought that He has been the object of their faith, of their salvation ; But as they never acknowledged His doctrine, nor followed his example, He declares that He never knew them, nor from whence they are.
How insufficient the exercise of spiritual gifts which are, through faith in his Name, to be attained, leavADDRESS TO PARENTS.
deluded object who rests in them, a sad example of the deceivableness of unrighteousness in those that perish; “ because they received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved.”
“ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he
is old, he will not depart from it."
This sentence of Holy Writ has often been pronounced, but seldom has the depth of its wisdom been sounded. The Spirit of Truth, which dictated, can alone search its full meaning
Parents are addressed in these words, as if they knew the Way here alluded to, and could, from an experience of the blessing, and safety of walking therein, recommend it to their children by precept, and above all, example. Let the thought be indulged, that this meets the eye of one who does walk in the straight and narrow way of obedience, with the appointed lamp to their feet.
You have long experienced, in the unreserved surrender of your own will to the teaching and leading of your heavenly Father, the soul's calm sunshine, and the heart's pure joy. You are accustomed to look at and be guided by His eye; by the least indication of His will; by the lowest whisper of His providence in the way of obedience. You know the security of your standing ; you comprehend the character and quality of your light; your lamp goeth not out by night, for in that way there is no dark
Wisdom, as a halo, from the Sun of Righteousness, encompasses your goings, and bears you up, from the fear of evil. But you have an anxiety in proportion to the magnitude of the case, for those whom you watch over as souls entrusted to your care.
That your children may be guarded from the many seducing calls to soar beyond, to stop short of, or to err, either to the right hand or the left, it is your earnest prayer, desire, and study to see them invested with the whole armour of God, that they may be enabled to resist the wiles of the devil; for we wrestle against the principalities, powers, and strong holds of this world's darkness, and against wicked spirits in high places. Your children are born with a will which naturally leads to the inversion of the revealed will of God, just as the uncultivated soil produces thorns and thistles, instead of good fruit-trees. If, therefore, they should be denied the illustration of the excellency of the regenerating principle in the example of their parents, they would, naturally prone to evil, choose the desire of the eye, and the desire of the flesh, and the pomps of this world. You have, in their reliance on your direction, their sense of dependance, and their affection, together with the workings of conscience, several powerful auxiliaries on the side of your prayers and desires ; but your example is above all these in modelling the future character of your children.
The child who habitually beholds in his parents inviolable truth, uncompromising integrity, unbending uprightness, honest simplicity, godly sincerity, disinterested good works, pure affection, as a stream continually flowing from an inexhaustible fountain, will take an early impression of these godlike characteristics, before the headstrong passions have begun to burst the restraints which they impose. The admiring creature will seek to imitate that which is right and excellent in such endeared preceptors, and gradually as the powers of his mind unfold, he will graft his filial
love on pure veneration and esteem. With perfect confidence he reposes on the advice or the promise of those whose wisdom and love he can trust. He fears to take a single step, without their approbation, he runs with alacrity to execute their commands, and would esteem it an insult on their rectitude to reason on their utility, or to evade their precision. In process of time the understanding perceives the spring from which these virtues and graces take their rise. He now comprehends that they stand in the same relation with himself—that of children to a Father, to whose will they desire in all things to be conformed; and that in their contemplation of the perfection of His character, they are changed into the same moral image, by a principle of inward love, imparted with the desire of being His children by regeneration.
Had you never discerned by the Spirit of Light those attributes of your Heavenly Father which call forth all your admiration, affection and respect, you could not have so acted on the knowledge of His character as to constitute yourselves a light glorifying your Redeemer. Had you confined your duty to an abstract homage of the love of God, manifested in the atonement of the Lamb of God, you would, seeing only the gift, have remained ignorant that the altar (whereon he was consumed in the fire of righteousness) sanctified the gift. The Word being the life, the truth, and the way, the flesh could only bear the curse due to transgression, and exhibit that
perfect obedience which constitutes man a son renewed from the guilt of the fall. Had you been worshipping any attribute instead of the living God, you might have expected to have seen your children shew much love to you in profession, while they refused to do the will of their parent, when that crosses their inclination. But in being led to see
a constellation of trustworthy excellence of character manifested as often as called forth, the youth is prepared to recognise in the express image of the invisible Majesty, not alone a sinless victim to atone for transgression, not only a blameless substitute for the guilty, but an illustrious example of all the ennobling qualities which constitute true greatness. They are taught to look at the resplendent Sun of Righteousness, having their vision and perception strengthened by the power which emanates from that Wisdom which giveth understanding to the simple. Thus the pure in heart see God in Spirit and in Truth now, and shall see Him in visible Majesty hereafter. They behold the Son laying down His life for the honour of the Righteousness of the Father, and the Father declaring that the love of righteousness which called forth this act of devotion constituted Him the Son beloved, in whom He was well pleased “ Thou lovest righteousness and hatest iniquity, therefore God thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of joy above thy fellows.” For that reason it was said,
He was to be heard because he came not in his own name, He spake not his own words; but He came in the Father's Name, and He spake the words of the Father. He had power to lay down his life and to resume it; but that power was not in the flesh but in the Spirit, not in the man, but in the Word which sanctified the man. It was by commandment He became alive from the dead. 66 This commandment hare I received from my Father.” The first Adam found death in turning aside from the commandment; the second Adam brought life and immortality to light by keeping the commandment. In the contemplation of such exalted excellenee, such pure devotion, the mind would learn to detach itself from its old grovelling coil, its multiplied