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tion of all ages, that piety, in its divinely enlightening and directive principles, its sanctifying grace, its holy affections, its pure morality, its spiritual and exalted enjoyments, supplies us with influences which operate as so many conservative principles to the health of the mentul as well as the corporal constitution of man; and thus it cannot but tend to the prolongation of human life. The restraints, too, which it throws over us against the too eager pursuit of the affairs of this world, are, no doubt, designed to guard us against that oppressive load of perplexity, anxiety, and disappointment, usually attendant on a lite of unrestrained worldly ambition and interprise, and which in multitudes of instances, bring down their votaries to a premature grave. The sustaining influence, and abounding consolation also, which it imparts, and the cheering and well-grounded hopes which it cherishes, with regard to glory and blessedness hereafter, under all the inevitable afflictions and trials of life, are eminently calculated to soothe the mind and uphold it under all the cares which are more or less incident to our present condition. Thus whilst it effectually protects us against all unnecessary tear and wear of the constitution, by the excessive perplexities and anxieties attendant on all undue connection with plans of worldly agrandisement, and by the destructive influence of sinful indulgences, by its grace and consolations, it also sustains and soothes the mind under all the inevitable ils of the present world, and thus cannot but exert an important influence favorable to the duration of human life. Besides all this, the early and decided piety, and the due discharge of the filial duties whicho chil. dren owe to their parents, and the peace and bappiness which may naturally be expected generally to flow from such a system of training, cannot but free the minds of parents from much of that anxiety which they cannot fail more or less to feel in reference to their children. Nor is it the burden of care and anxiety alone which is thus either allevi. ated or taken away; there is the joy which the parental heart cannot but feel as it surveys the holy and happy circle around it, or ventures to look forward into the future, and pictures each one, as they rise into mature years, verging off into some new path of usefulness and happiness, as Providence may allot to them, in " serving their generation, and thinks of the expanding influence which they may thus have in sustaining the cause of the Redeemer in the world ; or ventures to look forward to the closing scene of all, and to their happy meeting in some of the mansions of glory in heaven. As these are circumstances which seem eminently calculated to free the parent's heart from care, and to fill it with exalted joy, so they cannot but have a favorable influonce on their health, and therefore on the prolongation of their life. The undutifulness and impiety of a child have broken many a parent's heart, shortened their days, and at
last brought down their grey
hairs with sorrow to the
grave. But, in the case before us, there is nothing of all this. Piety, in all the maturity and fruitfulness of age, on the one hand, and in all the lovliness and freshness of childhood and youth on the other, throws its hallowing and cheering influence over all, so that their days pass “as the days of heaven upon the earth.” and when death comes and breaks up the happy circle, parent and child can part in peace and joy, and in the delightful assurance of soon meeting again in a far happier home, in a mansion into which sin and death can never enter, and in which the joys and bliss of all will be complete and without end, for it is in heaven.
In closing this important subject, permit me, earnestly and affectionately to remind parents of the duty which they owe to their children. It is on you my dear hearers, that God has laid the injunction, “to lay up his words in your heart and soul, and to bind them for a sign upon your hand, and to have them as frontlets between vour eves, and to teach them your children." This clearly defines what is your great duty in reference to the training of your offspring. It is on you that God has laid it, and you cannot neglect it, or attempt to transfer it to others, without calling in question his wisdom and setting aside his authority; and this can never be done, in reference to any matter, without bringing along with it the most fearful consequences. It is doubtless a true saying, that no other person.can duly fill a parent's place ; and it is no less true that no other person can supply a parent's instructions, and a parent's example. However good these may be in others, yet they have not the frequency nor the moulding influence of parental intercourse ; nor are they aided by the attractions of a father's and a mother's love, entreaties and prayers--ingredients in moral influence, the want of which nothing else can supply. And yet the observant mind cannot fail to see that the tendency of the fashionable education of the age is to keep " the words of God” as far as possible from the youthful mind, and to bring it, in all its early impressions and associations, under the influence of a system in which neither God nor eternity finds a place, and whose chief object is to secularize the human heart, and to bound its hopes, and fears, and aims, within the narrow span of life, and leave it wholly unprepared for eternity. But, though we thus speak, we are far from being opposed to a due measure of attention to those acquirements in science, or literature, or the arts, which are regarded as necessary accomplishments in modern society ; it is only the giving of the chief place to these, instead of the words of God," in the training of the young, that we may fear and deprecate. Parents, also, too often forget their character as divinely appointed teachers of their children in " the words of God," and to wish to transfer all the religious instruction which they receive, the pulpit and
the Sabbath-school. It is an abuse of these, however, to suppose that they were ever intended to set aside the daily in. fluence of parental example and instruction, at the family altar, in the family circle, and by the way-side. However excellent these institutions may be, yet they never can make up for the want of these ; and the right view for parents to take of them is, that they are only important helps to aid them in their appropriate duties, and to carry out their instructions, it may be, into a wider range in divine truth, than can usually be taken in the family circle. Early impressions and associations are proverbially the most lasting, and generally the most fo:dly cherished ; and on you, • Christian parents, devolves the high duty of having those of your children all on the side of piety here, and calculated to lead them to heaven hereafter. And, if you would have them to be of this character, " the words of God" must be laid up in
your heart and soul, and be the man of vour counsel in all things. Everything must be excluded from your parental example and family arrangements, which is calculated to make an unfavorable impression in regard to religion, on the tender minds of your children ; whilst all your instruction and example should be such as are calculated to make indelible impressions on their hearts of the necessity, the excellence, and the loveliness of piety. In addition to the daily Prayers and praises which you offer up around the family altar, they may occasionally at least be taken with you into your closet, that they may there witness the pourings out and wreslings of your heart with God for them. To the sanctuary, too, on the Sabbath, they should early and regularly be brought, and the deepest reverence and attention be inculcated upon them. They should also be made acquainted with their lost and undone condition by nature, and with the plan of salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ, and with the necessity of an early surrender of themselves to him, and of a life of devotedness to his service. Early, too, should they be taught to look to heaven as their home, and to be continually preparing for it, as the place alone where your best and most ardent wishes for them can be fully realized. Christian fathers and mothers! Oh, be entreated, then, thus to train up your offspring in the words and ways of God, that they may be a seed to serve him here, and with you to be united in the bonds of his covenant, that, when called to part in death, the sorrows of the trying scene may be mitigated, or lost amid the splendors of the bope of meeting, ere long, a family redeemed in heaven. Happy families! who are thus trained. Happy church that possesses them !—they are the never-failing purses of her prosperity. Happy parents! who can thus part with them in death. Aud glorious and blissful, beyond the power of present description, will be their happy lot when they meet and dwell for ever around the throne of God and the Lamb.
Such are the important and delightful bearings of the subject on the well-being of families themselves. But these are not the only aspects in which we ought to view it. There are others, most intimately connected wlth the preservation and extension of genuine piety in the world, which should not be overlooked. The low state of piety which, with few exceptions, prevails in our churches, and the open and restless movements of the abettors of the various systems of soul-destroying error which abound, particularly when viewed in connection with the fulfilment of some of those great Scripture prophesies, whose day seems near at hand, are calculated to awaken the deepest interest in the proper training of the children of the church, that they may be prepared for the trials which seem to await them, and for successfully sustaining the cause of Christ against the combined and furious assaults of the confederated powers of infidelity and antichrist, and for carrying it onward to the conquest of the world. Great and glorious struggles for the truth, which may involve the loss of all things in this world for Christ, we fear are in the path of the church ; struggles, which nothing but deep-seated and noble-minded piety that will raise the heart above all the low calculations of mere worldly wisdom, and enable it fearlessly to meet whatever shock may come on it in the future conflicts for the faith, and to be careful for nothing, so be that Christ may be magnified in them, whether it be by life or by death, can enable them to carry on. And where can we so appropriately look for the seeds and nurslings of that piety, as in the faithful, pure, elevated and impressive teachings and examples of the Christian family circle? There--and there alone--under God, we feel persuaded, is the moulding cast to be given to the immortal minds that are destined to sustain the conflicts, and to gain the holy triumphs of the coming age. Would you, then, my dear hearers, have your sons men of renown in the future armies of the Lord God of Israel, and rising superior to all the seductions of error, and all the frowns and terrorsmit may be—of a blood-stained persecution, study to bring them, from their earliest days, under the sanctifying and heavenly influence of the words of God." And then when you yourselves rest from your labors, and your happy spirits wing their way from this world of conflict to that where all is peace and the fullness of joy forever, you will be able to carry with you the glad tidings to the spirits who are already there, that you have left behind you those who will carry on the conflict with the enemies of truth and holiness, and will never give over till the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and all the tribes and kindreds of men shall be blessed in him, and the adoring shout of a redeemed world shall crown him Lord of all. Better and brighter far will be the glory of training up children who will thus be renownedin the future triumphs of Divine grace, than of being the parents of those who may wield sceptres, or be celebrated as the heroes of the world. Aim, then, at this, in all you teach, and wish, and pray for your children, that in them you may bless generations yet unborn, while they themselves shall follow on, to be with you, partakers in the joy and glory of the family in heaven.
THE DEVIL A DECEIVER.-BY THE EDITOR.
“There is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his
own: for he is a liar, and the father of it,”—John 8: 44.
As God is the essence and embodiment of all truth, so the Devil is the personification and mouth-piece of all falsehood. The first conception of sin in the towering mind of that fallen archangel, was a horrible though yet unuttered falsehood ; all the sin in the universe is but the growth and development of that original untruth. As he began his career of rebellion and abandonment in heaven, with a secretly cherished falsehood, so has it been the drift of all his plans and doings since, openly to defend and maintain that falsehood against God and the universe. His character is the essence and expression of all falsehood ; his power to do evil is the power of falsehood ; he rules in hell and maintains himself on earth by falsehood ; his agency, from first to last, is one vast and diabolical system of deception and lying : all sin is the result of a lie--hell itself is the fruit of a lie.
The Devil gained his entrance into this world by means of deception and falsehood. The part he acted in the garden was the part of subtility and lying. “Ye shall not surely die," was the malicious and monstrous lie with which the
serpent” finally triumphed over man. And he has never spoken to man since, except to utter a new lie or to repeat an old one. Truly, as John affirms, " There is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it.” It is amazing what a bold and practiced liar he has become. And more amazing still, that men will be made his willing dupes, will believe his lies, which he has been repeating over and over ever since the fall, and which have been proved to be such by the observation and experience of the world for nearly six thousand years. Not a word that he ever addressed to men was spoken in good faith ; not a part that he ever acted on earth was sincere and real ; not a promise that he ever made to beguile men's reason or excite their hopes, has he kept ; his end, his one business, is to deceive and cheat the soul out of virtue and heaven ; and yet, beings calling themselves rational, and when their all is at stake, believe and practice, as true and real, what he tells them.