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at your table, in your conversation, in 1 pressing it: that we may be, in a manyour behaviour to those inferior to you, ner not to be mistaken, ourselves of the in teachableness under instruction, in number of the little children, of the nummeekness under reproof or provocation, ber of those, of whom the Saviour says, whether in these and like particulars, that “ Of such is the kingdom of heaven !" disposition appears and expresses itself in Then it is such views will then be you which constitutes the greatness of the given us of the glory of his kingdom, of kingdom of heaven, according to what we the extent of his love, of the unsearchable hear from him whose kingdom it is, riches of his grace, of the fulness of joy in “ Whosoever shall humble himself as this his presence, and the pleasures for everlittle child, the same is the greatest in the more at his right hand for he reveals kingdom of heaven."
these things to his babes—then it is we · Oh! that we may be becoming every day shall be desirous, as earnestly desirous to greater and greater thus, dear brethren, bring our little ones also to him, if that we may have more and more of this the were possible, as He is himself to have greatness of the kingdom of heaven about them-it will be no longer a place in th us. Oh! yes ; that we may be “ clothed world we shall be seeking for them, bu with humility”-every thing about us ex. a place in His arms, in His kingdom.'
EDUCATION AFTER BAPTISM,
BY THE REV. WILLIAM CLEAVER, A.M.
DEUTERONOMY, vi. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, « Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord : And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walk est by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign · upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."
In our last discourse, we spoke of the child from the Lord, she lent him, or as encouragements which we have, my it is in the margin, "returned him to the brethren, thus to bring our children to Lord, from whom by petition, she had the Saviour. For that in bringing them obtained him”_ It is for the Christian to be baptized, it is to the Saviour him- mother in like manner, when she receives self, we are bringing them, that we bring her child “born again,” to look upon them, in the language of our service, to that child as not her own, but as though be " embraced in the arms of his mercy, she heard Christ saying to her, like what to receive from him the blessing of eternal Pharaoh's daughter said to the mother of life, and to be made partakers of his ever- Moses, lasting kingdom.”
“ Take that child, and nurse it for me." In this passage you hear, Christian What a charge does there not then lie parents, what you are to do with your upon you, parents, when you receive children, when you have received them your children back after baptism ! back after baptism. It is as though the If you can suppose some princess to charge which you have now heard, were drive up to a cottage door, and to leave given to each of you with your baptized a royal infant at it, to be brought up for child_“ These words which I command her, you can picture to yourself, how the thee this day shall be in thy heart, and child would be received out of her hands, thou shalt teach them diligently to that and what care there would be taken that child, and talk of them, when thou sittest it should form no habits, learn no words in thine house, and when thou walkest by the or manners, that it should keep no comway, and when thou liest down, and when pany which would afterwards bring disthou risest up;" for it is thus the promises grace upon those who brought it up, and of baptism are made good. As at the first, unbecoming the station of life to which when it had been promised to Abraham,“1 it was born. What then, when the King will be a God to thee and to thy seed,” it of kings gives a child into your hands, was added, “ For I know him, that he will to be brought up for him to be brought bring up his children after him, and they up for the kingdom of heaven! Need I will keep the way of the Lord.” The say, what pains it is for you to take, to promises to Abraham's seed were to be bring him up suitably to his high destinaaccomplished through Abraham's care in tion, and to keep him “unspotted from bringing them up in the way of the Lord. the world"?
Just as when Hannah received her That parents may acquit themselves of the great responsibility, and execute the rom you, and with him, would give you high trust which is thus reposed in them, all things ; whose mercy and loving kind“the words which I command thee this ness have followed you through life; and day shall be in thine heart,” the Lord who is bringing you, and would bring says to each of them.
| your children with you, to a land where As in baptism, we cannot bring our there will be no need of the sun to shine children to the Saviour, without having upon it, to a land flowing-with streams, first come to him ourselves ; so neither at which, whosoever drinketh shall never can we, after baptism, bring them up for | thirst- t is this God who asks of thee, the Saviour, without having first received and is it without reason then he asks ithis words into our own hearts.
that the words which he commands thee, Oh! but what has He not done to put should be in thine heart ?" his words into our hearts, my brethren!! Then it is, you will be qualified, and not Observe only, how this charge is intro- till then, to be the nursing-fathers and the duced : “ Hear, O Israel, the Lord nursing-mothers of the heirs of Heaven. our God-it is 'the God of Israel, For then-to put a like case in familiar He who has shown himself as He life—think of one in the extremity of has done, as Israel's God, who thus affliction, a widowed mother suppose, addresses thee; as it is afterwards, with her fatherless children around her, 6 When thy son asketh thee in time to whose little all is about to be sold, to pay come, saying, what mean the testimonies, her deceased husband's debts ; when one and the statutes, and the judgments, of the creditors, touched by her situation, which the Lord our God hath commanded not only withdraws his own demand, but you ; then thou shalt say unto thy son, makes himself answerable for every other, we were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt, and leaves nothing undone, that can make and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a widows's heart to sing—with what feel. a mighty hand, and the Lord shewed signs ings would those children be brought up and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, towards such a benefactor ? would they upon Pharoah, and upon all his house be in the habit of hearing his name fall hold, before our eyes, and He brought us coldly from their mother's lips ? but out from thence, that he might bring us would he ever enter their door, and not in, to give us the land, which he sware
see countenances lighted up, as at the unto our fathers.”
approach of one whose goodness was It is as though He had said, It is the familiar to them? It is when the kindsame God who had pity on thee in the ness and love of God our Saviour bas bondage of Egypt, who opened a passage been impressed upon the parents themthrough the sea for thee-who led thee, selves, that the directions which are here and fed thee, and kept thee, and taught given for bringing up their children for thee, and bore with thee-who did such God, will appear no impracticable directhings for thee in the wilderness, and is tions. As it was when Peter could answer bringing thee to a land flowing with milk as he did, to the question; “ Lovest thou and honey–He it is, who says to thee, me?” that the charge was given him, as “ My son, give me thy heart.”
one which he would then be able, as well To make the application to ourselves as willing to execute : “ Feed my lambs." Christian parents, it is the God, who, in | Let us consider, briefly, what these the riches of his grace, brought you out directions are. of darkness into his marvellous light-1 “ The words which I command thee who burst the bonds in which another this day shall be in thy heart, and thou master held you—who has forborne to shalt teach them diligently unto thy cut you off in your provocations, It is childreu. the God who withheld not his own Son! There are parents, who, while they express all affection for their children, which he received from his mother, are far from teaching diligently, often, before he could yet read, by means of alas ! do not teach them at all, what they some Dutch tiles, upon which Scripture owe to an unseen parent. There are stories were represented, which were in the others, who, while they do not neglect chimney of the room in which they used the religious instruction of their children, to sit ; and which she would explain to yet do not make it acceptable to them ; bim as one in whose heart the stories teach them diligently, it may be, but do were, as well as upon the tiles. From not teach them graciously. The conse- his experience of what he had thus quence is, in the former case, the child learned himself, he would often recomgrows up self-willed, self-indulgent, as if mend to mothers like modes of early there were no such thing as religion ; in instruction. the other, with a distaste for it, and pre- In the humblest cabin are you not rejudiced against it. But when the mouth minded, as you see the hen upon your speaks out of the abundance of the heart,” | floor, employed, the day long, in diswhen the assiduity in teaching has all the tributing whatever food falls in her way sweetness and tenderness which belongs to the little brood around her, that it is to Christianity to recommend it, at the for you to be in like manner crumbling same time that the child's mind is in the bread of life continually to the young formed, his affections will be engaged. souls under your care ? And is there
But the directions are yet more par not, at the same time, suggested to you, ticular: “ Thou shalt talk of them when as what your child can understand and thou sittest in thy house, and when thon feel as well as yourself, the application walkest by the way, and when thou liest of that sweetest expression of divine down, and when thou risest up." There tenderness, that, as the hen gathereth her are parents who teach their children re- chickens under her wings, there is one ligion, as they would teach them French who would gather you and yours under or music. As soon as the lesson is over, | His ? the subject is altogether laid by, till it “ And when thou walkest by the way, comes round again in its turn as a lesson. thou shalt talk of it.” And does the How different this from the course com- walk afford no opportunities of such manded here, “ Thou shalt talk of it familiar instruction? Does the garden when thou sittest in the house, when thou afford uone, and the field ? When at walkest by the way, when thou liest this season of the year you see the haydown, and when thou risest up.” As harvest in progress, and as soon as the different as salt when it is in a heap in grass is cut, the weeds which grew up the salt-cellar, and when it is sprinkled with it gathered out, and raked into heaps over all your food. We are not to teach by themselves—“and it will be thus," our children religion, as one of the circle could you not say touchingly to your of sciences; but it is to be mixed up child, “ as soon as the scythe of time with every other-it is to be mixed up shall have mowed us down, that many with all the events of life, with all the and many, whom the long suffering of engagements and occurrences of the day, God is now sparing, will be gathered out and to be applied to them all.
from among the rest, and burnt like those “Thou shalt talk of it when thou sittest
weeds ?” in thine house." It is told of one, who Can the mother, who is not herself afterwards beeame eminent for his Chris- insensible to the goodness which breathes tian attainments—the well-known Dr. around her in the rich variety of the Doddridge-- that he used to trace his simplest garden, in all its beautiful tints, first seeds of piety to the instructions and in the odours which perfume it, fail to draw the attention of her chiidren to | while the opposite to what is reproved is that goodness, thus supplying all things to be seen in her, who, while she has so richly to enjoy ? Oh! will she not the Bible upon her lips, has it in her thus turn their thoughts to Him, who, heart also, let those say, who have made while the world sees no beauty in him the experiment, according to these that it should desire him, would help us God's own directions, and in dependence in nature also to some faint conception of upon his own convincing of sin, whether what he is, by the comparison of himself they have found the difficulty insurto the lily of the valleys and the rose of mountable. Sharon ?"
There is one thing more to be obWhat is meant is this ; that it is not served, and which has been now glanced by lessons at stated times, kept apart, at, which is, in order to any success and distinct from the other engagements whatsoever, the necessity of a consistent of the day-that it is not by bringing example. With a view to which, father, truth before the young mind in a chapter mother, “thou shalt bind these words as or in a catechism, unconnected with the a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be life, parents can hope to fulfil the sacred as frontlets between thine eyes, and thou trust reposed in them, or that they will shalt write them upon the posts of thy be taking the prescribed means of ful- house, and upon thy gates. filling it. The question suggested by “Thou shalt bind them as a sign upon the directions here given is this, whether thy hand.” That “whatsoever thy hand there be Christianity in the atmosphere | findeth to do,” you may seem to see that is arouud your children? You may written upon it, how God would have have seen a child, after having passed you to do it. In your dealings, for insome time in the unhealthy air of a city, stance, that “no man go beyond or though it might not have wanted for its defraud his brother in any matter.” Or regular meals while it was there, yet re- if you meet with provocation, and be turning from it a sickly child.
tempted to raise your hand, that you may It is when the Bible not only has its see in large letters, as it were, upon that place in the succession of lessons, but hand, “ do violence to no man." when its golden thread is twisted with " And they shall be as frontlets bethe thread of the whole life_when it is tween thine eyes." That you may see still referred to, as occasions arise, as the every thing in the light in which God rule of life, and as the balm of life--as himself sees it that the world may the balance in which all actions are to be appear to you, not in the false colours in weighed, and as the spring of all good | which the god of this world decks it out, ness, and of all happiness—then it is, we not through the golden mist, through may hope to see character formed, as which he would have you to see it, but well as knowledgc acquired to see the stript of its disguise that your children, soul cast in the mould, as well as the head when they perceive you to be thus dead instructed in the doctrines of the Gospel. to the world yourselves, may come to
I have heard the difficulty lamented of see it with your eyes, and may grow up awakening in a child a real sense of sin. as those who are not of it. But if, not only in the school-hour, but “And thou shalt write them upon the at other times also, as often as any bad posts of thy house, and upon thy gates." temper breaks out, or if the child has That as often as you go out, whether to been looking about during church-time, your business or into company, or though for instance, or when any thing occurs it be but to speak to one at your door, that calls for correction, the Bible be you may carry words with you, by which then made to charge the conscience, and I you may be kept yourself, and of which