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36 DUTY OF CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS. tioned; and even when they go wrong, by departing in their example or in their advices from the Gospel rule, you must still be affectionate to them; you 'must treat them with respect as well as love ; you must pray for them; you must make it your constant study to promote their happiness. There are several motives which should constrain yo

you to discharge your duty to your parents.' In the first place, it is recommended and enjoined in Scripture. The fifth commandment of the moral law says, “ Honour thy father and thy mother.' An apostle, speaking by divine inspiration, repeatedly urges this precept, “ Children, obey your parents." And we are told that Jesus Christ, who left us an example that we should follow his steps, “was subject to his parents ;" though if ever filial duty could be dispensed with, it might have been dispensed with in the case of him who, amidst all his humiliation, was yet *** the Lord from heaven." Now, if

you do not honour and obey your parents, and act towards them at all times in a becoming mander, you are guilty of resisting the authority of your God and Saviour, and consequently you expose yourselves to his righteous and awful displeasure—a consideration which you cannot think of, surely, without feeling humbled for every

instance of improper conduct to your parents that you have hitherto been guilty of, and without being deterred from every instance of such conduct to which you may hereafter be tempted.—But, in the second place, remember the obligations under which your parents have laid you, by the care and affection with which they have watched over you. They supported you when you were in infancy, and incapable of doing any thing for yourselves. They guarded you from a thousand dangers that would otherwise have overwhelmed you. They have given you food, and raiment, and lodging. They have toiled for you by day, and watched over you by night. They have tended you in sick

ness with unremitting tenderness. They have prayed to God in your behalf. They have contributed both to your instruction and your amusement. They have sent you to school, where you are taught to ead your bible, and prepared for business and for



usefulness in the world. And O, if you but knew all the anxieties, and all the fears, and all the privations, and all the distresses they have suffered on your account, you would be sensible that when I exhort you to be dutiful to them, I exhort you to what you cannot refuse doing without showing that your hearts are harder than the rocks. Think often of the many strong and peculiar claims which they have on your grati. tude; and evince your gratitude by being affectionate and obedient children.-Lastly, be persuaded to act the part of dutiful children towards your parents, from a regard to your conduct and prosperity in after life. If you do otherwise, it will not soon be forgotten by those who have observed, or who have been made acquainted with your wicked behaviour. The good will give you no countenance, and even the bad will place no confidence in you. They will unite in saying, “ These young persons have shown very depraved dispositions, for they took pleasure in disobeying their parents, and in making them unhappy. And if they were so disrespectful and cruel to those whom they were so much bound to love and reverence, how can we expect that they will act properly in any of the relations in which they may be placed? They cannot be faithful servants, or diligent apprentices, or agreeable companions, or trust-worthy friends.” Such is the opinion that will be generally entertained of you. And those who thus speak are correct in their views. For your obligations as children are far stronger and more endearing than your obligations are, in any of the ordinary relations of life. And if you violate the stronger obligation, how can it be expected that you will fulfil the weaker? And besides, the curse of Almighty God is likely to rest upon those children who cherish such an unnatural and rebellious spirit as that they treat their very parents their father and mother, who on every account should be so dear to them—with indifference and with scorn. And who can expect to succeed in life if they have that curse hanging over them? Let me, therefore, beseech you,

if your conscience tells you that you have been at any time undutiful to your parents, to repent of it sincerely, and after this to show in your whole deportment

38 PIOUS VIEWS OF EXTERNAL NATURE. towards them, the greatest attention, submission, gratitude, and kindness.


He is the freeman whom the truth makes free.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Of nature ; and though poor, perhaps, compared
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight,
Calls the delightful scenery all his own.'
His are the mountains, and the valleys his,

And the resplendent rivers ; his t' enjoy.
With a propriety that none can feel,
But who, with filial confidence inspired,
Can lift to Heaven an unpresumptuous eye
And smiling say-My Father made them all.
Are they not his by a peculiar right?
· And by an emphasis of interest his,
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love
That plann'd, and built, and still upholds a world,
So clothed with beauty, for rebellious man?
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taste
His works : then see that thou wast blind before.
Thine shall be instructed ; and thine heart,
Made pure,

shall relish with divine delight,
Till then unfelt, what hands Divine have wrought.
Brutes graze the mountain top with faees prone,

eyes intent upon the scanty herb
It yields them; or, recumbent on its brow,
Ruminate, heedless of the scene outspread
Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away
From inland regions to the distant main.
Man views it, and admires, but rests content
With what he views. The landscape has its praise,
But not its author. Unconcerned who formed
The paradise he sees, he finds it such,
· And, such well pleased to find it, asks no more:
Not so the mind that has been touched from Heaven,"




And in the school of sacred wisdom taught
To read his wonders, in whose thought the world,
Fair as it is, existed ere it was.
Not for its own sake merely, but for his
Much more, who fashioned it, he gives it praise ;
Praise that, from earth resulting, as it ought,
To earth's acknowledged sovereign, finds at once
Its only just proprietor in him.
The soul that sees him, or receives sublimed
New faculties, or learns at least t’employ
More worthily the powers she owned before,
Discerns in all things, what with stupid gaze
Of ignorance till then she overlooked,
A ray of heavenly light gilding all forms
Terrestrial, in the vast and the minute,
The unambiguous footsteps of the God
Who gives its lustre to an insect's wing,
And wheels his throne upon the rolling worlds.


The most effectual expedient employed by Alfred for the encouragement of learning was his own example, and the constant assiduity with which, notwithstanding the multiplicity and urgency of his affairs, he employed himself in the pursuits of knowledge. He usually divided his time into three equal portions. One was employed in sleep, and the refection of his body by diet and exercise; another in the dispatch of business, a third in study and devotion. And that he might more exactly measure the hours, he made use of burning tapers of equal lengths, which he fixed in lanthorns; an expedient suited to that rude, age, when the geometry of dialling, and the mechanism of clocks and watches, were totally unknown. And by such a regular distribution of time, though he often laboured under great bodily infirmities, this martial hero, who fought in person fifty-six battles by sea and land, was able, during a life of no extraordinary length, to ac


ANECDOTE OF POOR JACK. quire more knowledge, and even to compose more books, than most studious men, though blessed with the greatest leisure and application, have, in more fortunate ages, made the object of their uninterrupted industry.


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The following anecdote was related at one of the meetings of a Bible Society in London ; and affords an interesting illustration, at once, of the watchfulness of Divine providence, and of the riches of Divine grace. “ It was at Portsmouth, that the poor child of a dissolute and profligate sailor importuned his unhappy father for some bread, when the abandoned wretch, in a fit of intoxication, spurned him from him with his foot, and he fell into the sea, where he disappeared, and was supposed to be drowned. The hand of Providence was however his protection. By clinging to a raft, he floated till he was picked up by a vessel then under weigh. The child could only tell that his name •was Jack, but the humanity of the crew led them to take care of him. Poor Jack, as he grew up, was promoted to wait on the officers, received instructioneasily, was quick and steady, and served in some actions: in the last, he was appointed to the care of the wounded seamen. Jack had previously formed an acquaint

. ance with some religious sailors, and became truly pi

His notice was therefore naturally attracted to a wounded sailor, with a Bible under his pillow, and who approaching his end, presented it to the lad, telling him it was the instrument of his conversion. One thing, however, lay heavy on his conscience-He had been guilty of the murder of his child. He then related the circumstance above referred to, and Jack recognized in the dying sailor his own father. It is needless to attempt, as it is impossible to describe, the scene of mutual joy, affection, and gratitude to Heaven, which now took place. After the death of the father, Jack


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