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"A Little While," Poetry
the, Among Soldiers in India,
in Ireland, Fruits of the
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Thanksgiving for, Poetry
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the London City Missionary to the Journey to Jerusalem, the, Poetry Labour, not in vain in the Lord, Little Children, a New Year's Exercise for, “Live or Die, put me on Shore,”
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to the Seiks,
New Year's Exercise for Little Children, a,
Present, a, and a New Year's Day,
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Fruits of the Gospel among French
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JUVENILE MISSIONARY RECORD.
“HOW OLD ART THOU ?"
Y YOUNG FRIENDS, -I wish to address a few
words to you on this, the first day of a New
Year; and, as is my wont in speaking to those older than you, I shall select a text of Holy Scripture as the subject of address. The text will be a very short and a very simple one. You will find it in the book of Genesis, the forty-seventh chapter, and the eighth verse: " And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou ?”. This question, we need scarcely tell you, was first asked by a very great man,-Pharaoh, king of the Egyptians. And the individual to whom it was put was another great man,—Jacob, one of the patriarchs; and the occasion on which it was asked, was, you remember, this: Jacob, who was now an old man, had come up to Egypt to see his son Joseph,—the boy, you remember, who was once sold as a slave by his brethren, but who was now prime minister of Pharaoh. And he was now being presented by his son to the great monarch, and was standing in the king's presence, before the imperial throne. We think we see him, an old venerable man, his head covered with silvery grey hairs, and his brow marked with not a few wrinkles by the hand of time, and by grief for the loss of his son Joseph. Pharaoh, seated upon his throne, looks at the venerable patriarch. He sees the traces of years written upon the forehead of the good old man, and he accordingly kindly asks him, “ How old art thou ? ”
Now, my young friends, the question which Pharaoh put to Jacob we are going to put to you to-day: “How old
VOL. IV. No. I.
art thou ?” And not only will we put the question, but we will answer it. Listen to us, then, and we will tell you something about your age.
And first of all, we observe, you are young-you are yet in the morning of life. You are not like the patriarch Jacob, full of years. You are now in the happiest of all seasons, youth. Grief has not yet weighed heavily on your young hearts, as it did upon the heart of old Jacob, bringing his grey hairs to the grave. Prize, children, your present happy time,-improve your present happy time. There is many an old man in the world who would like to be young as you are. There is many a one that would like to have your golden time back again. But listen to us a little longer, and we shall tell you more about your age. We have said that you are young; but you are older than perhaps you imagine. Let us see.
1. We remark, You are old enough to seek God.
Perbaps some of you may be thinking that you are too young to seek God. What! you may be saying to yourselves, does God care about me, who am but a child? When I am a man He will care for me-- when I am a man I will seek God. Now, this is an error. God cares as much for you as He does for the oldest and the greatest mav. You have seen the fields, children, in a summer day, and you have seen there the flowers blooming in all their beauty, and the trees covered with their rich foliage. Now, does God not care as much for these tiny flowers as He does for the tall trees? Yes, quite as much. He gives to these flowers their delicate forms, their lively colours, their sweet perfume, as much as He gives to the trees their giant strength, their tall stature, their green leaves. So God cares as much for the youngest and feeblest of you, as He does for the greatest and mightiest upon earth. But what shews still more clearly that you are old enough to seek God, God himself invites you to come to Him. They who seek me early, He says, shall find me. Remember your Creator, He says, in the days of your youth. And not only has God thus shewn you, by these invitations put into the mouths of holy men, that you are old enough to come
unto Him, but He has said so directly himself. There was once One who walked this earth in human form, to appearance a mere man, but in truth God manifest in the flesh; and on one occasion He took children younger than many of you, and lifted them up in His arms, and blessed them, and said of them : “ Suffer little children to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” This was God himself telling you that you are old enough to come unto Him. But,
2. We observe, You are old enough to comunit sir.
Some of you may think that you are too young to commit sin—that seeing you know so little, though you do at times what is amiss, that little will not be considered by God as sin. This, too, is an error. Whenever a child has come to the time when it can distinguish between right and wrong, then every offence which he commits is sin. Do you do, then, at any time, that most ungrateful of all acts—disobey your parents ?-know that you commit sin, grievous sin in the sight of God. Do you do that most impious of all acts—take God's name in vain ?-know that when you do 80, you commit a grievous sin in the sight of God. Do you perpetrate that meanest of all acts—telling a lie !-know that in any such offence you commit a deep and grievous sin in the sight of God. And remember, that sin, in each and all of its forms, is a very pernicious thing—pernicious both in this life and in that which is to come. Sin is like a snake, pretty enough in appearance,—but fatal when touched. You have perhaps seen a snake-there is scarcely a fairer creature in all creation, its skin so smooth, its spots so beautiful, its movements so graceful; but take it into your bosom and it stings you. Flee then sin, children, as you would do a deadly serpent. Remember, you are old enough to commit sin. But,
3. You are old enough to do good.
Some of you may be thinking that you are too young, too feeble, to do good. But this, too, is an error. There is nothing in the whole of God's creation that may not, in its way, do good. The sun that shines so gloriously, cheering with its light, and warming with its heat this earth, glad.