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As all success depends upon the Lord's blessing, the want of success must be attributed to the want of that
which ensures it. Of all prayers, that which is most essential, yea, absolutely necessary, is prayer for the Holy Spirit. He must apply our rules of instruction, and accompany them with his quickening power, or there will be no saving movement effected by our labours. In education, as well as in every other undertaking which has for its object the glory of God and the welfare of man, we should never for one moment forget that truth which no length of time can weaken, “ It is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." We may place a child under the influence of what is termed a good education; may behold the gradual opening of a fine intellect, with all a parent's affection and delight; may train the youthful plant with restless anxiety, and watch over it " night and day” with wakeful care, any
hurt it;” yea, Paul may plant, and Apollos water, and an angel nurture; but all, all will be in vain, unless the Holy Spirit descend, and regenerate and sanctify the heart of the child, and bless our labours, all will be in vain, unless “ God give the increase.”
The responsibilities of education, also, claim earnest attention.
The responsibility of education is, first to Christ. The mother of Moses was responsible to Pharaoh's daughter. Parents and guardians are responsible to Christ. The talent committed to our stewardship must be returned, and that too with usury. He will require his own, educated, nursed for himself, prepared for eternity. To the pious-minded parent few thoughts are more delightful than that his children are not his own, but the Lord's; loans of love, to be returned to the Lord again. But this thought must be overwhelming to those who forget the value of the treasure entrusted to their care, and the great reckoning day, when Christ shall demand at their hands the souls committed to their guardianship. Better, far better that they had been written childless, than that they should fail to nurse their children for Christ.
The responsibility is, secondly, to children. Consider, parents and guardians, the infinite value of one immortal soul. That child is entrusted to your care to be tutored for eternity. It is placed in your hand to be led to Christ. It is deposited in your arms to be nursed for him. See with what confidence it clings to you! “ You love
your child loves you, and cannot dream that you are abusing
Think not that you can go in one path, and induce your child to walk in another. You must not only point to heaven, but lead the way.
It is related of a child, upon her dying bed, that raising her eyes to her parents, she exclaimed, in bitterness of spirit, 660 my parents, you never told me of death, or urged me to prepare for it; and now,” she added, bursting into an agony of tears, “ I am dying, and my soul is lost!” She died;
her sun went down in darkness. What were the feelings of those parents ? What agony must have rent their bosoms! How must the spectre of their ruined daughter pursue them in all the employments of the day, and haunt them at their dying hour! If they repented not, how dread their meeting again, when the trump of judgment shall summon them to the bar of Christ, with eternity before them! May the God of all grace grant that we may all be preserved from such a meeting !
And how great are the encouragements of Christian education.
Pharaoh's daughter said to the mother of Moses, “ I will give thee thy wages.” Do parents, do guardians, serve God for nought? Is there no reward for the faithful nursing of children? Does the God of grace hold out'no encouragement ? Is the education of your child a path so dark and rugged, that it is lighted up with no promise, that it is smoothed with no encouraging examples ? How read you the Scriptures ? “ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Here is a promise, whose light shines through time into eternity. Here are your wages. “ The promise is unto you, and to your children.” If you could but behold your little one shining as a star in the Redeemer's
's crown, his countenance beaming with heavenly bliss, your “respect for the recompence of the reward” would draw forth more prayers in his behalf, and would constrain you to forget the tears you have shed for him, and the pains you have taken with him. Let example encourage you. Behold the obedience of Isaac, on mount Moriah! Abraham's education was not in vain. Behold the piety of Timothy ! Doubtless, his mother Eunice was she who had taught him the Holy Scriptures, which he knew from a child, and which had made him wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. How easy it would be to multiply examples of the saving blessing attending pious exertions on behalf of children!
On one occasion, out of one hundred and twenty candidates for the ministry, gathered together under one roof, more than one hundred had been carried by a mother's prayers, and directed by a mother's counsels, to the Saviour. The pious watchfulness and earnest prayers of parents may seem for a time to be fruitless; but, in the education of children, experience tells
" that whatsoever a man soweth, that shail he also reap.” The holy impressions made in childhood are seldom erased in manhood. * The child may, like the prodigal son, break away from all restraints; but he will never forget his mother's tears; the mirth of sin will never drown
* “Where parental influence does not convert, it hampers. It hangs on the wheels of evil. I had a pious mother, who dropped things in my way. I could never rid myself of them. I was a professed infidel : but then I liked to be an infidel in company rather than when alone. I was wretched when hy myself. These principles, and maxims, and data, spoiled my jollity.”— Cecil's Remains.
his father's prayers.
We know of one who always felt the soft hand of his praying mother upon his head, restraining him in his dissipated course. Go on, then, parents and guardians, in this your responsible labour of love! Though you may have occasion to sow in tears, yet you will reap in joy. Your work of education, carried on in faith, watered with tears, and sanctified by prayer, will not be in vain. It is difficult to think, that the child of many prayers will be suffered to perish. What you know not now, you must be content to know hereafter. You sow in time; you will reap in eternity.
G. A. R.
SHORT PIECES BY OLD HUMPHREY.
There is something very solemn in the last interview we have with a friend, before he bids us farewell for ever. And so it is with the last month of the year. We begin when December comes to regret that we have let the year go by without having made a better use of it. We feel that it is too late to do what has been left undone, or to blot out what has been done amiss. Something like the value of time presses itself on our attention, and we are in a mood to review our misdeeds and our mercies; to reflect more seriously on the past, and to make better resolutions for the future. In this respect December is a friend; a serious one, it is true, but a real one. It speaks solemnly, but it speaks truly. It says, as it were, in the language of holy writ, “ Man is like to vanity; his days are as a shadow that passeth away,” Psa. cxliv. 4. “Fear God, and keep his commandments ;-for God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil,” Eccles. xii. 14.
Repent, where thou hast been to blame;
The Lord of life adore;
And break his laws no more.
In the time of health, and of sickness ; in the season of joy and of sorrow; in the beginning and ending of the year; in the day of life, and the hour of death, praise and thanksgiving should break from the lips of the followers of the Redeemer. “ Bless the Lord, O iny soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name," Psa. ciii. 1.
GOD'S MERCIFUL REMINDINGS. CHRISTIANS must have their winters as well as their summers; their endings as well as their beginnings. God's merciful remindings are precious to him who is waiting his Lord's commands. Sickness and growing infirmities whisper kindly in his ears, “ Prepare !” And the death of an acquaintance touches him, as it were, gently on the shoulder, and
says to him, “ Friend! the time is short.”
“ Thy work is almost done below,
And he whose name is Love,
And beckon thee above."
WANT OF PRINCIPLE FATAL. I HAVE seen the young man who had stored himself with the intellectual qualifications necessary for a reputable life, with good intentions, generous impulses, honourable sentiments, with intelligence, and agreeable manners, and an active spirit; he thought himself prepared for all that lay before him, equipped for a creditable, successful, self-governing career, and for as much virtue as would be requisite for safety and good repute in the world. So he stepped forth with confidence and alacrity upon the theatre of life.
By and by, of course, there came a stress upon his principles, a draft upon his moral resources, that he had not anticipated. Dangerous associates drew their wily and invisible nets about him. Pleasure plied him with its enchantments. New influences drew him by degrees from his industry, his fidelity, his probity. The confidence of his superiors was weakened. Evil predictions were whispered of him by the sagacious. The aims of life became gradually lowered in him, and the flame of good aspirations burned lower and lower. A reckless aspect stealthily came over him, that indescribable but unmistakable look. He fell
from his good endeavours, and his lamp went out, in a prodigal and worthless life, in the slough of indolence, and sensuality, and moral enervation. There was a fatal deficiency at the outsetand it was sure to go out.
I have seen the maiden, who resembled her foolish prototypes in the parable. She entered upon life gaily. Her confidence was in her beauty, her taste, her accomplishments, her intellectual quickness, her social attractiveness, her social