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Hyma XXIV............................................. 203
MR. and Mrs. FAIRCHILD lived very far from any town: their house stood in the midst of a garden, which in the summer time was full of fruit and sweet Aowers. Mr. Fairchild kept only two servants, Betty and John: Betty's business was to clean the house, cook the dinner, and milk the cow; and John waited at table, worked in the garden, fed the pig, and took care of the meadow in which the cow grazed.
Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild had three children ; Lucy, who was about nine years old when these stories began; Emily, who was next in age; and Henry, who was between six and seven, These little children did not go to school : Mrs. Fairchild taught Lucy and Emily, and Mr. Fairchild taught little Henry. Lucy and Emily learned to read, and to do various kinds of needle-work. Lucy had begun to write, and took great pains with her writing: their mamma also taught them to sing psalms and hymns, and they could sing several very sweetly. Little Henry, too, had a great notion of singing.
Besides working and reading, the little girls could do many useful things : they made their beds, rubbed the chairs and tables in their rooms, fed the fowls; and, when John was busy, they laid the cloth for dinner, and were ready to fetch any thing which their papa and mamma might want.
Mr. Fairchild taught Henry every thing that was proper for little boys in his station to learn : and when he had finished his lessons in a morning, his papa used to take him very often to work in the garden ; for Mr. Fairchild has great pleasure in helping John to keep the garden clean. Henry had a little basket, and he used to carry the weeds and rubbish in this basket out of the garden, and do many such other little things as his papa set him to.
I must not forget to say, that Mr. Fairchild had. a school for poor boys in the next village, and Mrs. Fairchild one for girls. I do not mean that they taught the children entirely themselves, but they paid a master and mistress to teach them; and they used to take a walk, two or three times a week to see the children, and to give rewards to those who had behaved well. When Lucy, and Emily, and Henry were obedient, their papa and. mamma were so kind as to let them go with them to see the schools; and then they always contrived to have some little thing ready to carry with them, as presents to the good children.
Mr. and Mrs, Fairchild had been brought to the knowledge of God in the early parts of their lives.
It is the greatest blessing which we can possibly receive, to be made to know our God, and to be made acquainted with all that he has done for our salvation. It is the work of the Spirit to bring us to this knowledge; and they, who are thus enlightened have new hearts given them, and are entirely changed, - insomuch, that they may be
called new creatures, and the way by which we may know those whose hearts are changed through the power of the Spirit, is, that they love God above all things, and seek the everlasting good of their friends on earth with a degree of earnestness which, makes them despise all other things in the comparison.
So it was with Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild: they did not wish their dear little children to be handsome, or rich, or powerful in the world : all that they desired for them was, the blessing of God; without which, all that this world can give is nothing worth.
You would perhaps like to hear the prayer which these pious parents used to offer up in behalf of their children-a prayer wbich they not upseldom used as they knelt down in a morning in their own chamber, the three little ones kneeling by them. The pious Father and Mother's Prayer for
their beloved Children. Oh, heavenly Father! who hast opened a way for us to approach thee, through the blood and righteousness of thy blessed Son, for his sake hearken to the
prayers of us sinful parents, who presume to intercede with thee in behalf of our children. Thou, O God! in thine infinite love, hast provided a means of salvation for all men, O grant to our humble and earnest prayers the assistance of thy Holy Spirit, to enlighten and renew the minds of our children, to convince them of the unbelief in which they have bitherto lived, and to point out to them that glorious atonement which thou hast provided for their sins. We do not ask any worldly honour or possession for our children ; but we pray that they may be enabled to prefer thee above all things, and be made sensible of that everlasting love with which thou hast loved thy people through all eternity