תמונות בעמוד

saved when the deluge of waters drowned the world. So a little child who comes to Christ and believes on him, will be put, as it were, in the ark, and will be saved when the flood of God's wrath comes upon the world of the ungodly. Now, therefore, hearken unto Jesus Christ, O ye children. He speaks to you with all gentleness and love. He calls you to himself. Come to him, and pray for pardon. Say to him in your prayers, O Lord Jesus, thoi didst die upon the cross to save sinners ; save my soul; teach me how to trust in thee; give me grace to believe in thee for pardon, and make me a good child.'

5. You must listen to what. Jesus Christ

says, when he promises to give you his

Holy Spirit to change your hearts. For, my dear children, you, cannot be good of yourselves... You cannot be serious of yourselves. You cannot think of the value of your souls, and be sorry for your sins, and put your trust in the death of Jesus Christ, of yourselves. You ought to do all this: but you are so unwilling and so weak and so sinful that you can never do it by your own power., Our hearts are like the ground in the winter when there is a hard frost; they are quite hard and cannot be moved. And therefore the Bible says, our hearts are hearts of stone.. But Jesus Christ can change our hearts and make them new. As the ground is softened by the gentle showers of rain in spring; so the heart of a little child is made soft by the grace of God. And Jesus Christ has promised his Holy Spirit to them that ask him. And when a child prays to Jesus Christ to give him his Holy Spirit, such a child will soon begin to feel his sins, and understand the way to heaven, and love what is good. God will open the child's eyes and teach him, and give him to see his sinfulness, and to turn from the wicked world, and to become holy and pious. And this is a great encouragement to you, my dear children, to seek after God. His grace will help you and hold you up, just as a nurse holds


a little infant when it first begins to go alone. And if you say you do not know how to pray for this blessing, use such words as these,

O Lord Jesus, be pleased to give me thy grace, take away my naughty heart, make me a good child, put into my heart good desires—make my heart quite new, that I may love thee, and serve thee for ever!' 6. Once more, hearken unto Jesus Christ,

ye children, when he tells you what are the duties you are to do. A good child will be known by his good behaviour. Now there are three things which I wish every child to remember. The first is, to obey his parents; the second is, to keep holy the Sabbath day; the third is, always to speak

[ocr errors]

the truth. The ruin of young people very often begins by breaking these three commands of God. On the other hand, I never knew any

. instance of a child turning out bad, who kept them. For he who honours his father and mother; and who makes a conscience of keeping holy the Lord's day; and who always tells the truth, is almost sure to be a good child in other respects. These are the signs and marks of God's grace. Whereas, when a boy grows up to despise his parents and to disobey their commands, he is just like the Prodigal Son in the parable. He goes on from one bad thing to another. He first throws off his father's authority; then he uses God's holy day for the very worst purposes, that is, for serving the devil; ; and thirdly, he tells lies to cloke his shame. Thus be becomes idle, false, and wicked; he next gets into bad company; and at last comes to ruin. Now, then, hearken unto wisdom, o ye children, and follow not the paths of the wicked. The good child tries to obey his parents and teachers, and to love them too; for love makes it an easy thing to obey. The good child is glad when Sunday comes, and he attends to the prayers at Church, and reads the lessons after the Minister, and listens all be can to the sermon. And he never plays or loiters about on a Sunday; but he is serious and in earnest. And when he is at home, he prays to

Jesus Christ to bless what he has learned at Church. The good child, also, never tells an untruth; if he has done wrong, he does not deny it or make excuses for it, but speaks the truth out, and tries to amend it. honest temper is a great thing. A sly boy generally turns out a wicked boy. I often remember two lines of an old poet :

An open

[ocr errors]

“ Dare to be true; nothing can need a lie;

The fault that needs it most grows two thereby."

7. But lastly, hearken, O my children, to Jesus Christ when he tells you, to keep and hold fast all these things which I

have been speaking about. He says in the text, Blessed are they that keep my ways. You must continue in these things. You must go on. It is one thing to set out in the way to heaven, and another to hold out. Therefore take fast hold of Instruction; let her not go, keep her, for she is thy life. For children are light and foolish and apt to change; and so are men and womenbut children are most of all so. Therefore

you must pray to God to have these things fixed in your hearts: so that whenever you may be in danger of doing wrong, you may keep God's ways. Boys at school are in great temptation very often. Perhaps there are one or two bad boys in the school. These bad boys hate every


thing religious, and laugh at those who are conscientious and good; and though they are artful enough to behave well when under the eye of their master, yet amongst their schoolfellows they use bad words and encourage every thing that is wicked, and do all they can to make the rest as naughty as themselves. Now, my dear children, I beg of you to avoid the company of such boys. Never mind their laughing at you. God's favour and your parents' favour far outweigh any thing a wicked boy may say. And there are two things which will help all little boys and girls at school to do what is right. The one is, always say your prayers night and morning in a serious and devout mauner. And not only say the forms of prayer you have been taught, but also add to them short prayers of your own, confessing any particular sins you may have done, and begging God to pardon you, and help you for the time to come. The other thing is, to read some portion of the Bible every day--if it is only a few verses, a parable, or a psalm. The custom of doing this will be a blessing to you all through life.

Thus, my dear children, I have gone through the first head of my discourse, and have shown you what it is that Jesus Christ says to children. I come now to talk to you,

« הקודםהמשך »