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be well to advert to some of the ex- giving his own comment upon it amples of the wisest and best of men, for an hour every morning." in support and illustration of the In the life of that simple-bearted duty of cherishing family religion, and contented, I bad almost said We have before mentioned the case innocent man, Izaac Walton, there of Abraham. Of Moses it is record- is an interesting account of the ed that be was faithful in all his domestic devotions of Mr. Nicholas house; and his illustrious successor Farrer; and, in the life of his expressed his determination in the contemporary, George Herbert, a memorable resolution, "As for me, similar iestimony is borne to his ha. and my house, we will serve the bits of social worship.
“ His conLord." of Cornelius, it is declared, stant public prayers did never make that “ he feared God, with all bis him to neglect his own private debouse, and prayed to God alway." votions, nor those prayers that be I might also mention Elkanah and thought himself bound to perform Hannah, Zachariah and Elizabeth, with his family, which were always and that iuteresting family in whose a set form, and not long, and he house the Saviour himself often did always conclude them with abode ; for" he loved Mary and that collect which the Church bad her sister, and Lazarus ;” though, appointed for the day or week. perhaps, in several of these exam- Thus he made every day's sanctity ples, the duty arises, rather by a step towards that kingdom where way of inference, than expressly impurity cannot enter." from what is recorded.
To approach nearer our own day, To pass over the accounts given I would glance at the mention made of the domestic worship of the pric of the habits of the late Mr. Bacon, mitive Christians, and to descend a name familiar to every lover of the more immediately to modern times, fine arts. His biographer, Mr. Cecil, it may be observed, that some of states, that “ he was a bright exthe most excellent men amongst the ample to his family and to the laity, as well as the clergy, have world. Religion, with him, was testified their opinion of the im- not the Sunday garb of a formalist. portance of family devotion, by Occupied with business, exalted their
observance of the by favour, and templed with wealth, duty.
religion was still his grand concern. In Burnet's Life of Sir Matthew Animated by this, his family dwelt Hale, we find this passage : " He in a house of daily prayer and spi. used constantly to worship God in ritual instruction." his family, performing it always The plans of his biographer were himself, if there was no clergyman much the same. " In his familypresent."
worship, the Scripture was read in The biographer of Burnet him- course by one of his children. While self remarks of him" He was an the passage was reading, he freearly riser: private meditation oc- quently interspersed short, pithy, cupied the first two hours and the and instructive remarks, in the most last half hour of the day. His first easy and familiar manner, Of his and last appearance to his family prayers,” continues the narrator, was at their biorning and evening “ I can only say that I never did, prayers, which were always pere nor do I ever expect to hear any formed by himself, though his thing like them in simplicity, uncchaplains were present. He drank tion, and devotion, and in that filial his tea in company with his children, fear, affection, and reverence which and took that opportunity of in- bespoke much of that nearness and structing them in religioni. He close friendship with God, which he went through the Old and New often expressed as the high priviTestament with them three times, lege of a Christian. While his
prayers comprehended much, both falling in with a dry and sheltered in their matter and manner, they spot, I lay down on the grass. were always short. He aimed to While my ihoughts were engaged make his family worship useful, with some of the Psalms, 1 heard without becomingirksome: latterly, the notes of barmony behind; the they were often alarming as well as which, on turning about, I found edifying, as he appeared rapidly ma- proceeded from a cottage at a little turing for that world where prayer distance to the left. The inhabiis exchanged for endless praise." tants, consisting of two families,
In Dr. Hendersou's Account of bad collected together for the exhis Travels in Iceland, several ercise of social worship, and were sketches, of no mean interest, are sending up the melodyofpraise to the drawn of the domestic worship of God of salvation. This practice is the islaoders. In Vol. II. p. 124. universal in the island on the Sabhe describes the Sysselman, of bath-day. When there is no pubSkard, collecting his family and lic service, the members of each faleading their hallowed exercises mily (or where there are more fawith a life and energy which few, milies than one they combine) join even of the clergy, would surpass. in singing several hymns, read the In p. 24, of the same volume, he de- Gospel and Epistle for the day, a tails another scene at Stadarhraun, prayer or two, and one of Vidalin's in a family of eight individuals, as- Sermons. Where the Bible exists, sembled round their coarse wooden it is brought forward, and several table, when several appropriate chapters of it are read by the young Psalms were sung in a very lively people in the family.” manner, after which a solemn and This is the first account which impressive prayer was offered up; this Christian traveller gives of all the females placing their these simple people. The other hands flat on tbeir faces, so as passage is at the close of his deentirely to cover their eyes. “The scription of their mode of spending joy,” he adds, " which beamed their long evenings. P. 368: “At from their countenances, at the the conclusion of the evening laconclusion of the service, disco. bours, the family join in singing a vered plainly the increase of hap- Psalm or two; after which a chappiness derived from their renewed ter from some book of devotion is approach to the Fountain of Bliss." read, if the family be not in pos
But there are two passages in the session of a Bible; but where this first volume so truly interesting, sacred Book exists, it is preferred that, as some of your readers may to every other. A prayer is also not be in possession of the work, read by the head of the family, and I must quote them.
the exercise concludes with a Psalm. “ The exercise of domestic wor- Their morning devotions are consbip is attended to in almost every ducted in a similar manner at the family in Iceland, from Michaelmas lamp. When the Icelander awakes, to Easter. During the summer he does not salute any person, but mooths, the family are so scattered hastens to the door, and, lifting up and the time of their returning his eyes towards heaven, adores from their various employments so Him who made the heavens and the different, that it is almost impos- earth, the Author and Preserver of sible for them to worship God in a bis being, the Source of every collective capacity; yet there are blessing. He then returns into the many families whose piety is more house, and salutes every one he lively and zealous, that make con- meets, with, 'God grant you a good science of it the whole year round. day.'”—This pious conduct of the
"One day I strolled up a rising Icelander, when viewed in conground behind the factory, and, nexion with the awful scenery that group within.
surrouuds him, is at once cha- .“ Angels might stoop from thrones in racteristic and delightful. It bears heaven to be so strong a resemblance to ibe cha- Co-worshippers in such a family p." racter and habits of the Scotch peasant, as drawn by the lively nor has the peculiar beauty of this
But this is not a solitary instance, pencil of the author of the Shep- national habit escaped the obserherd's Calendar, that I cannot bet- vation of the muse. The Poet of ter express my own feelings than in Scotland bimself felt this to be one his language." I know," he ob- of his native country's chief and serves,
" of no scene so impressive purest excellences. is it necessary as that of a family sequestered in a
to mention “ the Cotter's Saturday lone glen during the time of a win- Night?" or have not Burns' lovely ter storin. There they are left to the protection of Heaven, and they recollection, and brought full in
stanzas already hurried over the know and feel it. Throughout all view a family, in which the wild vicissitudes of nature, they have no hope of assistance from " Their cheerfu' supper done wi'serions man, but are conversant with the face, Almighty alone. Before retiring
to The sire turns o'er wi' patriarchal grace,
They round the ingle form a circle wide, sest, the shepherd uniformly goes The big lia’Bible - ance his father's out to examine the state of the
pride. .weather, (apt emblem of the failh. His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside ; ful spiritual pastor; indeed, of every His lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare, Christian parent), in order to make Those strains that once did sweet inZion his report to the little dependent glide,
Nothing is to be He wales a portion with judicions care, seen but the conflict of the eles And Let us worship God! he says
with solemp air." ments, nor heard but the raving of the stoso. Then they all kneel “Then, kneeling down to heaven's eter. around him, while he recommends
nal King, them to the protection of Heaven, The saint, the father, and the husband
prays!" and though their little bymn of praise can scarcely be heard even But I stop. Your readers must by themselves, as it mixes with the be familiar with the remainder of roar of the tempest, they never fail these exquisite lines : and if any to rise from their devotions with of them are still strangers to the their spirits cheered and their con- pure delights of social prayer, let fidence renewed, and go to sleep ibem condescend to lears them with an exaltation of mind of which from an Ayrshire cotter. kings and conquerors have no Or, if poetical authority of a still share. Often havel been a sharer higher stamp be sought for, I would in such scenes, and never, even in point to what are, perhaps, two of my youngest years, without having ihe most beautiful and fioely.conmy heart deeply impressed by the ceived passages of Milton's incom. circumstances. There is a subli- parable Paradise Lost. In the formity in the very idea. There we mer he thus speaks of our first palived, as it were, inmates of the rents, while as yet they were uncovcloud and the storm, but we slood scious of sin, and therefore apin a relationship 10 the Ruler of proached as nearly as possible, in all these, that neither time nor eternity ileir social rites, to the Divice will: ever cancel. Woe to him
“ As soon as sacred light began to that would weaken the bonds with
dawn which true Christianity connects us
In Eden on the humid flowers, that with Heaven and each other!" Of
breath'd such a spectacle as this, is it too Their morning incense, when all things much to say,
From the earth's great altar sent up si- mation of youth at its prime, and lent praise
when glowing with health and vigor: To the Creator, and his nostrils fill
and even death itself, terrible as it With grateful smell, forth came the hu- is at all times, is divested of its
man pair And join'd their vocal worship to the greatest horrors when it makes its
approach in the gradual progress qaire
of old age; when it gently leads, Of creatures wanting voice !”
not violently seizes, its victim, alIn the second they appeat at ready matured for the sacrifice, and their vespers.
bending, as it were, its head to " When at their shady lodge arriv'd, meet the stroke. both stood,
Of late years we have been called Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd The God that made both sky, air, earth, the shortness and uncertainty of
to learn many a salutary lesson of and heav'n, And starry pole. Thon also mad'st the life, not only from the ordinary night,
but, from the most exalted ranks Maker Omnipotent! And Thou, the day of mankind : and the annals of Which we, in our api ated work em- British royalty bave furnished, ploy'd,
within a short period, instances of Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help mortality in every stage of human And mutual love, the crown of all our existence, from infancy to youth, bliss
from youth to manhood, and from Ordain’d by Thee!”
manhood up to enfeebled and wast. Surely I need not say more in ed old
age. favour of a practice which, as we Within ten years we have to rehave seen, conduces to the piety cord the removal of a daughter, and good order of families, to the the ornament of her sex, and the discharge of relative duty, to the pattern in life of those Christian improvement of the young, to the
graces which shed a mild lustre morals of servants, and to the wel- opon her parting scene; and whose fare of the community at large-a loss is said to have mainly contripractice consonant to the will of buted to extinguish the last ray of God, and co-incident with the dice intelligence in her illustrious but tates of a well-informed judgment - too susceptible father. Then fola practice, moreover, adorned by the lowed, though at a considerable recorded examples both of primi- interval, a grand-daughter, live and of modern Christians in pride and hope of the British naevery station of life, from the very fion, and of whom it has been throne which he lately occupied beautifully said, " that the Deity, whose loss we deplore, to the lowly after having conducted her to an cot of the pious peasant; nor need I eminence, from whence she could add a syllable in proof how much it survey the glories of empire as her is to be in
own, Himself closed ber eyes in teresting a feature in the character death.” One inevitable stroke cut of our ancestry should be univer- asunder the thread of life to the sally discernible in our own. mother and the infant, and felled
FAMILY SERMONS.* No. CXXXV.
Sovereign, we do not think our readers Job v. 26.-" Thou shalt come lo will require an apology for our making
thy grave in a full age, like as a that event the ground work of a Family shock of corn cometh in his sta- Sermon. It is an occurrence which has son."
spoken forcibly to us all, and we should Everything is beautiful in its sea
not feel satisfied if this department of son. We admire the playful ani
our pages did not record a humble at.
tempt to point out some of the lessons Though some weeks have elapsed which the dispensation seems calculated since the departure of our late revered to enforce.
at once the parent tree, and the patriarch-of whom it is reported, scion just about to take root. that “ the Lord blessed his latter
Next in the melancholy cata. end more than his beginning," and logue, we have to, enumerate our that he died when old and full of late venerable and lamented Queen, days, and cheered by the sight of who, while she may have lived his numerous descendants, even to long enough for fame, had not the fourth generation- yet they lived too long for usefulness; and cannot be considered as generally who sustained to the last her high true. Unmixed prosperity is selcharacter for conjugal fidelity and dom, at any age the lot of God's affection, for courily manners and children: ibeir Heavenly Parent virtuous decorom. And now we knows too well the advantages of have been lately called to perform affliction, to withhold that loving ibe last rites to our aged and rever- correction which is intended to ed Monarch, while yet the knell make them great ; at the same time had scarcely ceased 10 sound for that be nicely adapts the trial to his lamented son, whose manly their acquired strength, or "makes and benevolent character, and ge- a way for their escape that they neral habits, most nearly resembled may be able to bear it.” But if his own. Tbat princely son has
ever the assertion of the text rebeen deposited in the silent tomb. ceives a full accomplishment, it The following week, his royal sire must surely be in the case of those was removed in funereal state to the who, having humbly bowed to the same dark abode ; and a Christian discipline of their heavenly Teacher, and loyal people gave vent to their have duly improved in the school feelings by devoting to sacred medi- of affliction. To them may be aptation and prayer, that day which saw plied the words of the saine speaker carried to the house appointed for in another place, “Behold, 'Happy all living, the mortal remains of one is the man whom God correcteth; who was not less distinguished for or those of the Apostle to a similar his magnanimity and justice as a effect, “ Behold, we count them sovereign, than for his piety and happy which endure." The sorhumility as a Christian. But how- rows that are borne well, that are ever distressing the stroke which received with meekness, and apassembled us together on that day, plied to the purposes of increased it came to us freed from many ag- self-knowledge, and a progressive gravations which might have at advaocement in holiness, will infaltended it, had it fallen at an earlier libly end well: they will be accomperiod. We are not now called to panied by present alleviation-they fament over life cut short in the will terminate in future joy-and prime and vigor of usefulness, like “ he that now goeth on his way curn blasted before it be grown up; weeping, yet bearing precious seed, but over old age, smootbly de- shall doubtless come again with scending into the grave in peace, joy, bringing his sheaves with him." yielding itself up without a struggle He that submits to bear the yoke or a sigh, and exemplifying in a in his youth, may reasonably exremarkable degree the promise of pect, in one sense at least, to come the text, “ Thou shalt come to thy to his grave in a good old age, to grave in a full age, like as a shock be adorned with a crown of rightof corn cometh in in his season." eousness, and to be gathered into
These words were originally the barn of the great husbandman, spoken by Eliphaz iv his conference like a shock of corn ripe for the with Job upon the subject of his mul- sickle, and in its proper season. riplied sorrows: they must therefore, There is a figurative and a literal of course, be received with manyqua- sense in which the words of the lifications; and, though strikingly text may receive their fulfilment, verified with respect to that early both of which it will be my object