« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
were no more.
LEAVE it. In those cases indeed we should | draws his protection! A great wind may always remember the intimation of the wise come and smite the four corners of the house, man, “As a bird that wandereth from her and it may fall and bury us in the ruins. A nest, so is a man that wandereth from his man may start up from his bed, and hear place.” Persons who have families and call within the noise of thieves and robbers seizings should not be too frequently, nor too ing his property and threatening his person. long, from home. It will cherish a roving at midnight
, when deep sleep falleth upon disposition, multiply expense, injure those af- man, he may be awakened by the cry of fire, fairs which require inspection, and produce a and see the flames consuming his substance, nameless train of evils. But sometimes jour- and not leaving an avenue by which to carry neys are necessary. Business may call a off his babes What a blessing is it to have a man abroad. Friends and relations may live tabernacle in peace! at a distance. Health may require a change Nor shall the tabernacle only be preserved, of scene. Now when God calls us abroad, but the owner too. “And thou shalt visit he will take care of us, and we may hope to thy habitation, and shalt not sin.” It is a find the proverb true, The path of duty is the mercy when we go from home to come back path of safety.
alive and well; for though we are too little Hence he is reminded of the WELFARE of sensible of it, we always travel in jeopardy. his house and family in his absence. Thou Let us reflect.-We might have been terrishalt know that thy tabernacle “is in peace.” fied and robbed by wicked and unreasonable
Peace means PROSPERITY. “ Blessed is men. We might have been left groaning every one that feareth the Lord, that walketh under the pain of bruised limbs and broken in his ways—for thou shalt eat of the labour bones. Our lives might have been spilt of thy hands; happy shalt thou be, and it upon the ground, and we might have died shall be well with thee.” The Lord can among careless and mercenary strangers, keep off disease. He can render business suc- and our friends have received the sad intellicessful. He can afford every needful supply. gence, broken to them by degrees,—that we What peace can there be while children are crying for food, and there is none to give And are no suitable RETURNS to be made them? But, “ fear the Lord, all ye his saints; to the God of our salvation ! Surely for all for there is no want to them that fear him. this he expects from us something better than The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, sin. But a man would sin in this case, if he but they that seek the Lord shall not want visited his habitation without thankfulness, any good thing." Suppose they have not so and did not fall down and adore the “Premuch as others-Philip Henry tells us that server of men. He would sin, if his grati“ The grace of God will make a little go a tude was not lively and practical, and, " by great way;" and David says, “ A little that a the mercies of God,” he did not present his righteous man hath is better than the riches " body a living sacrifice”-and resolve to walk of many wicked."
within his house with a perfect heart, to set Peace is HARMONY. There can be no happi- no wicked thing before his eyes, to hate the ness in a family, among the members of work of them that turn aside"—to watch which are found reserve, suspicions, bicker- over his conversation, and to guard his temings, contentions. “Where envying and strife per--and to flee passion and pride, and "the is, there is confusion and every evil work.” | love of money, which is the root of all evil" What is pomp without concord? What is to be satisfied with his lot, and resigned abundance without union and attachment? under his trials to behave towards his ser* Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, vants as one that has “a Master in heaven" than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. Bet- -to train up his “children in the nurture ter is a dry morsel and quietness therewith, and admonition of the Lord," ruling well his than a house full of sacrifices with strife.” It own house “after a godly sort”--that God has been justly said, that quietness under a may derive a revenue of glory, not only from man's roof is a blessing only exceeded by one himself, but from his family. thing, viz. quietness in his conscience. “O He would sin also, did he not confide in how good and how pleasant a thing it is for him in future more simply and firmly; for brethren to dwell together in unity_where God, by these instances of his attention and all move in concert, mutually attentive to proofs of his faithfulness, solicits us to trust serve and please, exchanging nothing but in him, commands us to give up our fears, tender affections and kind offices!
“Cast all your care upon me, for I “How pleasant 'tis to see
care for you."
Let us observe one thing more, and con-
clude. DOMESTIC PIETY CROWNS DOMESTIC With syınpathizing heart,
It should be our daily prayer, when
we go out and when come in,Peace is PRESERVATION. To how many “ Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us disasters is a family exposed if God with from evil.” In all our employments, and in
Kindred and friends agree;
In all the cares of life and love!"
all our enjoyments, to be preserved from sin, then confidence, if timid. By checking, they is the greatest privilege; it should therefore may chill; and by indulgence, they may not be our greatest concern. Sin is a dreadful only encourage, but dissipate. All these disthing, for it is always the attraction of wrath. advantages necessarily arise from our defect“The curse of the Lord is in the house of the ive knowledge. wicked; but he blesseth the habitation of the But our Heavenly Father is the only wise just. The house of the wicked shall be God. His understanding is infinite. It is overthrown; but the tabernacle of the right- our happiness that he knows what we really eous shall flourish."
need; knows when to refuse, and when to Let us, therefore, keep sin out of our yield; and so arranges our circumstances in dwellings; and say, with Joshua, “ As for me life, as to make "all things work together for and my house, we will serve the Lord." our good.” Then neighbours, and angels, and God will The second instance of superiority is desay, " The voice of rejoicing and of salvation rived from CORRECTION. It is thus that the is in the tabernacles of the righteous. Peace Apostle distinguishes between “fathers of be both to thee and to thine house, and peace our flesh," and "the Father of Spirits." be unto all that thou hast." Amen. "They verily for a few days chastened us
after their own pleasure:” often from whim
and caprice; from fretfulness and passion; to DISCOURSE II.
relieve their feelings, rather than to comply with their convictions. Hence, if they did
not rebuke us at the very moment of provoGOD THE BEST OF FATHERS.
cation, they could not do it at all: whereas, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good if they had been concerned for our welfare,
gifts unto your children, how much more the reason for correction would have remainshall your Father which is in heaven give ed when the irritation had subsided—“ But good things to them that ask him ?—Matthew He for our profit, that we might be partakers vii. 11.
of his holiness." There is no tyranny in God: The parental relation is a very familiar there are no uneasy sensations in him. If he and a very instructive one. It is, therefore, afflicts, it is not from passion, but principle; often employed to hold forth the union be- and this principle looks only to the advantage tween God and his people. But while it aids of his children. our conception, it cannot do justice to the We may also err on the other side. We subject. Man, from whom our idea of this may be too soft to the faults of our offspring, relation is taken, is evil, whereas, “our Fa- and our tenderness may degenerate into foolther which is in heaven” is perfect. Defects ish fondness. Eli is an awful example of this: appear in the dispositions and actions of every “His sons made themselves vile, and he reearthly father; but when the Supreme Being strained them not.” It is said also of Adoniassumes the character of a parent, he fully jah, that his father David " had not displeased exemplifies it. He does much more than was him at any time in saying, Why hast thou ever seen—ever heard of in this relation be- done so ?" —But it is cruel to connive where fore. And hence, according to our Saviour, we should punish: “he that spareth the rod, we may learn as much from the difference, hateth his son.” And God will not sacrifice as from the resemblance in this striking com- our profit to our feelings. If our welfare reparison.
quires it-he will frown-or withhold the Let us, then, see how PRE-EMINENTLY he tokens of his love or shut us up for a time sustains the parental office; and learn thereby - or smite us and severely too. Nor let us the happiness of his children.
think hardly of his dealings with us, since it The first instance of superiority is derived is written, “ Blessed is the man whom thou from KNOWLEDGE. Men know not always chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of what is good for their offspring. Sometimes thy law.” they ignorantly yield to their wishes, and in Behold a third instance in which God sureffect give them stones instead of bread, and passes every earthly parent. It arises from serpents instead of fish. Not knowing suffi- NEARNESS and OBSERVATION. They cannot ciently their talents and dispositions, they be always with their children, so as to attend may place them in a line of business which to their circumstances. They sleep, and are will embarrass or ensnare them, instead of unable to watch over them. They are emone in which they would appear to advan- ployed, and business draws them off, and octage. From the same principle, they may cupies all their thoughts. They journey, and advise them to form connexions which would leave their little ones behind them with prove their vexation through life, or hinder many an anxious feeling. There is an age them from unions which would complete when their children go from them: school or their happiness. They may not know how to trade calls them away from home, and they approach their minds most successfully by in- are no longer under the
eye of their natural struction: to fix them, if volatile; to give guardians. It was well for the little Shunamite, when seized in the field, that he had a he cannot cure; no want which he cannot father by-he said unto his father, “My supply. head, my head!” Joseph would have been Fifthly. Other parents are not suffered to preserved from the rage of his brethren, in CONTINUE by reason of death: and thus their the plain of Dothan, had his venerable father children become ORPHANS. It matters not been there—but in vain he looked—and called how heavy the affliction may be—they are -no father was nigh.
left-Jeft perhaps uneducated, unprovided for. But here it is otherwise. If we are the Incapable at present of appreciating their children of God, we are never out of his sight loss, they are to learn it by bitter experience. —“He withdraweth not his eyes from the Behold them passing through an unfeeling righteous.” He who keepeth them—“never world, on which they are turned adrift to be slumbers nor sleeps." Though he governs overreached by artifice, oppressed by injus worlds, he attends as much to each individual tice, injured by violence. In vain do they as if nothing else engrossed his care. And visit a father's tomb with the voice of joy or wherever we go-there is he. Jeremiah grief: “his sons come to honour, and he found him in the dungeon. Daniel in the knoweth it not; and they are brought low, lions' den. John in the isle of Patmos. And but he perceiveth it not of them.” Jonah and Paul in the deep. “ Yea,” says But hear David: “When my father and David, “though I walk through the valley my mother forsake me—then the Lord will of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: take me up." Hear the Church: “ Doubtfor thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff less thou art our father, though Abraham be they comfort me."
ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us Fourthly. Parents may be unable to re- not." With him the relation continues for lieve their children, if with them. I pity the ever--he is “the everlasting Father:" and mother whose ears are assailed with the cries hence his children can never be destitute. of half-fed babes, when, alas ! she has no more In every loss they have this to comfort them to give them. I feel the situation of poor the Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; Hagar; her bread consumed, and the bottle and let the God of my salvation be exalted." of water spent-what could she do?—“she Again. The Love of parents is far exceedcast the child under one of the shrubs”—and ed by the love of God. There is no affection "she went and sat her down over against him, perhaps more ardent and forcible than parena good way off, as it were a bow-shot: for she tal: hence God assumes it: "Like as a fasaid-Let me not see the death of the child. ther pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth And she sat over against him, and lifted up them that fear him.” But this marks resemher voice, and wept.” By faith, Moses blance, not equality; for the one is no more when he was born was hid three months of to the other than a drop to the ocean. Though his parents, because they saw he was a pro- the love of a father be great, it is generally, per child"-—and what could they do more? and it is justly supposed that the love of a They make him a little "ark of bulrushes, mother is more so. We see in this the wisand daub it with slime and with pitch—and lay dom and kindness of Providence, which thus it in the flags by the river's brink”—one thing makes duty a privilege, and reconciles the more is possible—“his sister stood afar off, to woman to numberless privations, and cares, wit what would be done to him." And here and toils, in rearing the human race, from Providence took up the business, or what had which the man is exempted : and God avails become of the poor helpless infant? We read himself therefore of this relation also: “As in the Gospel of “a certain nobleman whose one whom his mother comforteth, so will I son was at the point to die”—and what in comfort you." this case could titles and riches do for him? * Can a fond mother from herself depart, Nothing. He therefore goes abroad in search Can she forget the darling of her heart:
The little darling whom she bore and bred . of aid: 0, I sympathize with the father who
Nursid on her knee, and at her bosoin sed ; hears from the physician the sad hint-Sir, I To whom she seem'd her ev'ry thought to give, can do nothing more for the child. He enters
And in whose life alone she seem'd to live ?" the room-we behold him standing by the “Can a woman forget her sucking child, side of his expiring Isaac—but unavailing that she should not have compassion on the are all his tears-life quivers upon the lip, son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet and the eye is closed-for ever.
will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graThe children of God are never in a condi- ven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy tion in which he cannot effectually aid them. walls are continually before me. For this is " They are the sons and daughters of the as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have Lord Almighty.” O blessed thought! our sworn that the waters of Noah should no Father is Lord of heaven and earth. The more go over the earth; so have I sworn that silver and the gold are his: his “are the cat- I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke tle upon a thousand hills; the world is his, thee. For the mountains shall depart, and and the fulness thereof." There is no enemy the hills be removed; but my kindness shall which he cannot vanquish; no discase which | not depart from thee, neither shall the cove
nant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord | back and review the past. But I wish you that hath mercy on thee.”
also to look forward. “ Tomorrow is the Finally. Parents give good things to their rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord.” offspring, HOWEVER IMPERFECTLY THEY MAKE Let us consider the sabbath as a rest, and see KNOWN THEIR WANTS AND DESIRES. Behold with what dispositions we should think of its a family of several children: Here is one approach. who is able to come and ask for his supplies First. The sabbath is a rest. in proper language—a second begs in broken It is so even to the BRUTE CREATION. The phrases—but here is a third that cannot speak mercies of God are over all his works: He at all—but he can point, he can cry. Sweet takes care for oxen. It is pleasing to hear babe ! thou too art a child—thou too shalt | bim say, “ that thine ox and thine ass may succeed-every thing pleads for thee—thy | rest as well as thou.” If animals were endimpled cheeks, thy little hand, thy big shin- dued with reason, they would bless God for ing tears. And if we who are evil do this, the kind and tender design of a sabbath. But, what think we of him whose " tender mer- alas! in how many instances does the wickedcies are over all his works ?" Let us there- ness of man counteract and defeat the goodfore go to him-let us go, and ask as we are ness of God! able. Let us remember, that words are not The sabbath is a rest for the body. Those necessary to inform him who knows all things, who live in ease and idleness cannot value or to move him who is already “more wil- the day as a cessation from labour: all days ling to give than we are to receive.” He are nearly alike to them. But think of the hears the voice of our weeping. Our desire condition of thousands and millions of your is before him, and our groaning is not hid fellow-creatures—think of a man sitting six from him.
days at a loom, or standing six days at a forge; He calls himself your Father, to teach you —how inviting, how soothing, how useful, with what dispositions you should enter his how necessary is a period of repose! Man sacred presence. It is to encourage you to is impelled to labour : "In the sweat of thy approach him with holy confidence and hum- face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return ble boldness.
unto the ground; for out of it wast thou Admire him. Love him. Hope in him. taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt Repair to him. • Pray without ceasing.” thou return.". But is there nothing to soften “Pray, and not faint.” “He who hears the the rigour of the obligation? Who could young ravens that cry,” will not refuse the bear everlasting drudgery and fatigue? Beimportunity of children. He hears prayer. hold a refreshing pause: a day of relaxation. Thousands, millions, have sought him—and The labourer lays aside the inplements of none ever sought him in vain. These suc- industry-changes his apparel-unbends hig cessful suppliants, returning from his throne, wearied limbs-enjoys the fresh air of heaencourage us to go forward, all saying, “I ven. The alteration of scene conduces to sought the Lord, and he heard me, and de- the preservation of health-enlivens the dull livered me from all my fears. They looked sameness of toil, and renews the waste of unto him and were lightened, and their faces spirits. Who would be cruel enough and were not ashamed. This poor man cried, senseless enough to blot out the sabbath from and the Lord heard him, and saved him out the days of the year? How heavily and of all his troubles." "() taste and see that joylessly would time pass away without these the Lord is good : blessed is the man that precious intervals ! How many pleasing trusteth in him."
emotions associate themselves with the idea of a sabbath Lour charming Poet therefore
has not forgotten to notice the want of this DISCOURSE III.
in the lines supposed to have been written
by Alexander Selkirk in his solitude: SATURDAY EVENING.
"But the sound of the church-going bell
These valleys and rocks never heard ; To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto Never sigh’d at the sound of a knell. the Lord.—Exod. xvi. 23.
Nor smiled when a Sabbath appear'd." ANOTHER week is drawing to a close. But it is principally designed to be a rest Another period has been added to the season for the MIND- & SPIRITUAL rest. Thus it is of God's longsuffering patience, and to the not a day of inactivity, but of reflection and time of your preparation for an eternal world. devotion—a day in which, disengaged from These hours are gone to appear before God the concerns of time and sense, we may at-What can they testify in your favour? tend to the things which belong to our peace, They are gone, to return no more-How | examine our state and our character, inquire have you improved them? What nise have where we are going, and what preparation you made of your trials, your mercies, your we have made for the journey. It is almost means of religious instruction and edification ? the only opportunity some of the labouring On such an occasion as this, it is well to look | poor have to gain religious information. It
" Lo! the sweet day of sacred rest returns
But not to me returns
is the return of this day, that reminds them create hurry and confusion on the very eve that they are men, that they are heirs of im- of the Sabbath, and to retire later, and with mortality. It is the worship of this day, that a mind less fitted for devotion, than on any preserves in them a sense of that dignity and other day in the week!
Where something importance which they are so likely to lose of this is unavoidable, persons are to be while grovelling always in the earth, or toil- pitied. ing among the beasts that perish. A pious We should expect the return of this seamind will overflow with joy to behold them son with THANKFULNESS. Let us bless God under the sound of the Gospel, and to for an institution which shows his concern for think of the accomplishment of these words, our present and everlasting welfare, and " Though the Lord give you the bread of marks his lovingkindness more than his soveadversity, and the water of affliction, yet reignty: for “the sabbath was made for man.' shall not thy teachers be removed into a Let us bless God, that our lives are spared, corner any more: but thine eyes shall see and that in a few hours we hope to hear the thy teachers; and thine ears shall hear a multitude who keep holy-day saying, “ Let word behind thee, saying, This is the way, us go into the house of the Lord;" let us walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, bless him, that we are in circumstances and when ye turn to the left.” A pious which promise us ability to join in the sacred mind will love to enter the cottage, and wit- exercises, and that we are not by accidents ness the Sunday scene—the Bible is taken and diseases doomed to pass a solitary sabdown, and while one child is stationed be- bath, and impelled to take up the melancholy tween the knees, and the rest are sitting complaint, around, a portion is read of that blessed book which “brings glad tidings to the poor," and teaches us " in whatever state we are, there- Rest with the day. Ten thousand hurrying thoughts
Bear me away tumultuous, far from heaven with to be content."
And heavenly work: alas! flesh drags me down The real Christian indeed does not confine From things celestial, and confines my sense his devotion to particular seasons: he will
To present maladies. Unhappy stale!
Where the poor spirit is subdued to feel mingle piety with business, and endeavour
Unholy idleness; a painful absence to acknowledge God in all his ways. But From God and heaven, and angel's blessed work; still he finds week-days to be worldly days:
And bound to bear the agonies and woes
That sickly flesh and shatter'd nerves impose." he wants a retreat-he wants a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. We should expect the return of the day
When, therefore, he awakes in the morn- with HOLY AWE. It is a solemn thoughting, he can say,
and we should impress it upon our minds “Welcome, sweet day of rest,
that every sabbath, every sermon, every pray
er, is a step taken, which brings us nearer Welcome to this reviving breast,
heaven or hell—that the means of grace with And these rejoicing eyes!"
which we are so frequently indulged will Blessed be his name, he has fed me through prove either “the savour of life unto life” or the week-but
* of death unto death." Yes—these are pri“ The King himself comes near,
vileges which will not leave us as they find And feasts bis saints to-day:
us: if they are not food, they will prove poiHere we may sit, and see nim bere, And love and praise and pray."
son; if they do not cure, they will be sure to Here is such a day as Christians want shall be called to give the strictest account,
kill. They are talents, for each of which we day entirely for their souls and their God. and, unimproved, they will sink us deeper
They feel impressed and sacred; every thing in condemnation than either Jews or heawears a new appearance. And
thens. “With joy they hasten to the place
We should meet the sabbath with PIOUS Where they their Saviour of have met; And while they feast upon his grace,
RESOLUTION. Here is at hand a returning Their burdens and their griefs forget." season of mercy, let me embrace it
. By how This leads us, secondly, to inquire with many will it be profaned—but “as for me what dispositions we should think of the ap- and my house, we will serve the Lord.” How proaching Sabbath.
many of these invaluable opportunities have We should endeavour to FINISH ALL OUR I already trifled away! how many have I WORLDLY AFFAIRS AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE ON sinned away! O let me now awake, and be A SATURDAY EVENING, that we may feel free serious and diligent: let me not shorten the and composed. Edgar, one of our Saxon day by rising late; let me not lose it by inatkings, passed a law, that the Sabbath should tention. Let it not be “a price in the hand be observed from nine o'clock Saturday eve- of a fool." ning till Monday morning. I wish the cus- But what is resolution without PRAYER ? tom, if not the law, was revived. How wrong “ The preparation of the heart and the anis it for tradesmen, and masters and mis- swer of the tongue in man are from the tresses of families, to drive things oft so as to Lord.” Without him, we can do nothing.
That saw the Lord arise ;