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Prudence undertakes to catechise
PRUD. Good boy still. But how doth God the Father save thee?
James. Bv bis grace.
James. By his satisfaction and intercession. · Prud. How doth God the Holy Ghost save thee?
James. By his illumination, his renovation, and his preservation.
Then said Prudence to Christiana, “ You are to be commended for thus bringing up your children. I suppose I need not ask the rest these questions, since the youngest of them can answer them so well. I will therefore now apply myself to the next youngest."
Prud. Then she said, Come, Joseph, (for his name was Joseph,) will you let me catechise you :
JOSEPH. With all my heart.
JOSEPH. A reasonable creature, made so by God, as my brother said.
PRUD. What is supposed by this word, saved ?
Joseph. That man, by sin, bas brought himself into a state of captivity and misery.
Prud. What is supposed by his being saved by the Trinity:
Joseph. That sin is so great and mighty a tyraut, that none can pull us out of its clutches but God; and that God is so good and loving to man, as to pull him indeed out of this miserable state.
Prud. What is God's design in saving poor man?
Joseph. The glorifying of his name, of his grace, if his justice, &c. and the everlasting happiness of his creature.
PRUD. Who are they that will be saved :
PRUD. Good boy, Joseph; thy mother has taught thee well, and thou hast hearkened to what she has said unto thee.
Then said Prudence to Samuel, who was the eldest son but one:
the four Sons of Christiana.
Holingly; that may see C901 90, and because
PRUD. Come, Samuel, are you willing that I should catechise you?
SAM. Yes, if you please.
Sam. A place and state most blessed, because God dwelleth there.
PRUD. What is hell ?
Sam. A place and state most woeful, because it is the dwelling place of sin, the devil, and death.
PRUD. Why wouldst thou go to heaven ?
Sam. That I may see God, and serve him without weariness ; that I may see Christ, and love him everlastingly; and that I may have that fulness of the Holy Spirit in me, which I can by no means bere enjoy.
PRUD. A very good boy also, and one that has learned well.
Then she addressed herself to the eldest, whose name.was Matthew; and she said to him, “Come, Matthew, shall I also catechise you?"
Matt. With a very good will.
PRUD. I ask then, if there was ever any thing that had a being antecedent to, or before God.
Matt. No, for God is eternal; nor is there any thing, excepting himself, that had a being, until the beginning of the first day. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.
PRUD. What do you think of the Bible i .
PRUD. Is there nothing written therein, but what you understand ? .
Matt. Yes, a great deal.
PRUD. What do you do when you meet with places therein that you do not understand?
Matt. I think God is wiser than I. I pray also that he will please to let me know all therein that be knows will be for my good.
Prudence catechises Christiana's Sons.
Prud. How believe you as touching the resurrection of the dead?
Matt. I believe the same shall rise that was buried; the same in nature, though not in corruption. And I believe this upon a double account: first, because God has promised it; secondly, because he is able to perform it.
Then said Prudence to the boys, “ You must still hearken to your mother; for she can teach you more. You must also diligently give ear to what good talk you shall hear from others; for your sakes do they speak good things. Observe also, and that with carefulness, what the heavens and the earth do teach you ; but especially be much in the meditation of that book which was the cause of your father's becoming a pilgrim. I, for my part, my children, will teach you what I can while you are here, and shall be glad if you will ask me questions that tend to godly edifying.'
* The advantages of christian fellowship are very great, when the members of a church are governed by “prudence, piety, and charity." Well-instructed believers will find themselves quite at home in such a community; and they who are babes in Christ will be exhorted and encouraged to grow in grace and knowledge. It is an honour to parents, when their children give proof of having been well instructed in the doctrines of the Scriptures; and it becomes such young disciples still to be subject to them, and to look to them for further instructions. They should also be swift to hear what may be said by older christians in the church for their information, and should carefully observe the operation of God's hand in the dispensations of providence; but above all they should meditate upon the holy Scriptures, “ comparing spiritual things with spiritual,” i Cor. ii. 13.-As it is probable they will need some prudent experienced person to explain and solve difficulties which they will meet with in studying the sacred Scriptures, young believers should avail themselves of the privileges of church fellowship, and propound such questions to their minister, or others capable of giving them information, as may tend to their edification in godliness. Young persons, who are members of churches, would do well to take heed to the advice of the apostle Peter, which confirms this representation ;-"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject, une to another, and be clothed with humility, &c. 1 Pet. v. 5.
Now by that these pilgrims had been at this place a week, Mercy had a visitor that pretended some good will unto her, and his name was Mr. Brisk; a man of some breeding, and that pretended to religion, but who stuck very close to the world. So he came once or twice, or more, to Mercy, and offered love unto her. Now Mercy was of a fair countenance, and therefore the more alluring.
Her mind also was, to be always busying herself in doing; for when she had nothing to do for herself, she would be making hose and garments for others, and would bestow them upou then that had need. And Mr. Brisk not knowing where, or how she dis. posed of what she made, seemed to be greatly taken, for that he found her never idle. “I will warrant her to be a good housewife," said he to himself.
Mercy then revealed the business to the maidens that were of the house, and inquired of them con. cerning bim, for they did know him better than she. So they told her, that he was a very busy young man, and one who pretended to religion, but was, as they feared, a stranger to the power of that which is good.
" Nay then,” said Mercy, “I will look no more on him; for I purpose never to have a clog to my soul.”
Prudence then replied, that there needed no great inatter of discouragement to be given to him ; for continuing so as she had began to do for the poor, would quickly cool his courage.
So the next time he came he found her at her old work, making things for the poor. Then said he, 66 What, always at it:” “ Yes," answered she, “either for myself, or for others.” “And what canst thou earn a day?" said he. “I do these things," replied she, “ that I may be rich in good works, laying up in store for myself a good foundation against the time to come, that I may lay bold on eternal life.” (1 Tim. vi. 18, 19.) “ Why, prithee, what doest thou with them?” said he. « Clothe the naked,” replied she. With that his countenance fell. So he forebore to b 13
· Mercy discourages and distnisses Mr. Brisk.
come to her again. And when he was asked the rea. son why, he answered, that Mercy was a pretty lass, but troubled with ill conditions.
When he had left her, Prudence said, " Did I not tell thee that Mr. Brisk would soon forsake thee? yea, he will raise up an ill report of thee; for notwith. standing his pietence to religion, and his seeming love to Mercy, yet Mercy and he are of tempers so different that I believe they will never come together."
MER. I might have bad husbands before now, though I spoke not of it to any; but they were such as did not like my conditions, though never did any of them find fault with my person. So they and I could not agree.
PRUD. Mercy in our days is little set by, any further than as to its name: the practice, which is set forth by the conditions, there are but few that can abide.
MER. Well, said Mercy, if nobody will have me, I will die a maid, or my conditions shall be to me as a husband; for I cannot change my nature: and to have one who shall oppose me in this, that I purpose never to admit of as long as I live. I had a sister named Bountiful, married to one of these churis; and he and she could never agree; but because my sister was resolved to do as she had begun, that is, to show kindness to the poor, therefore her husband first cried her down at the cross, and then turned her out of his doors.
PRUD. And yet he was a professor, I warrant you?
Mør. Yes, such a one as he was, and as the world is now full of: but I am for none of them all.
& Our author has here introduced what may be designated a religious courtship, and has interwoven with the account some very profitable hints to young females, who are members of churches, to put them upon their giard against those professors of religion who “stick very close to the world," and who, even respecting marriage, always mind what they call the main chance, and, imidst all their declarations of affection, are influenced merely by the prospect of bettering their worldly circumstances. Young