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ture; on the other hand, these new affections and new acts will not come, unless the Holy Spirit supplies the spiritual life by which alone they can be performed. Hence, with all our ingenuity, and energy, and zeal, there must be entire and humble dependence on God; the spirit which would say, God grant repentance and salvation to these lost souls.

This view of the subject is particularly worthy of the consideration of Christian parents, in their efforts to promote the religious welfare of their families. A vast proportion of Christian parents, not only do not exercise much skill or dexterity in endeavoring to awaken religious feeling in their childrens hearts, but they do not seem even to imagine that there is room for'any. They teach lessons, and impose restraints, and require external duties; and this is all. They think the Spirit must do the rest. Now this would be right if it were true that the first feeling of penitence and love, were to be the penitence and love of the Spirit

, and not of the child. But it is not so. That little child is to be led to be itself sorry for its sins; it is itself to love its Maker, and to engage in his service; and though it is to do this by means of a spiritual vitality which must come from above, yet every holy feeling and action must be strictly its own, and therefore, if you wish to awaken them, you must wisely adapt your means to the moral end in view; you must study the nature of its mind, and approach it with skill. You must win its confidence, call out by allurement, and by gentle moral suasion, its affections towards God, and thus employ skill and care, and careful adaptation of the means which you bring to bear upon its powers.

On the other hand, you must feel that after all, the work is not in your hands. The spiritual life by which right feelings must be exercised, must be from above. Feel this. Let it humble your spirit while you are at work, and animate it while you are at prayer.

Thus combine zeal and energy and skill in all you do, with a meek and humble and happy reliance upon God in the spirit with which you do it.

Such are the principles and feelings with which the Christian, whatever may be his situation and circumstances, is to act, if he really feels desirous of drawing down the blessing of heaven upon the circle in which he moves. It has often been remarked by a pastor who has spent a long life in the experience of the Christian service, that he has never once made the effort to awaken religious interest around him, in the right spirit, without success. Persons very often attempt this in the wrong spirit, and their efforts result in total failure ; but it may be doubted whether a Christian in any sphere of duty, whether the pastor or the humblest member of his flock, teacher or pupil,-parent or child, if he shall really humble himself before God, confess his sins, return to his own individual duty, and then sincerely pray for a blessing upon others, and go forth to the work of doing what he can to promote the Saviour's


will be allowed to labor without success. When our own hearts are cold and formal, we often imagine that we have no opportunities to do good, and even if we try when in that state, urged by some other motive than honest love for God, and for human happiness, nothing succeeds. We find as cold and as cheerless an atmosphere without, as we carry within. But when the right feelings lead us forward to duty, and guide us in the performance of it, God will open doors of usefulness till then unseen ; and will give efficiency to the means we attempt to apply.

Reader, is your church to be blessed and watered and increased this season? Does it not depend in some degree upon you? Will you help forward the work, or will you stand in the way ?

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Mr. Isnes says, " I will mention a very pleasing instance of a signal blessing accompanying the consistent conduct of a female domestic, who was placed in a family, the members of which were strangers to the influence of true religion. Several children were the objects of her charge. Frequently in the evening she proposed to read to them, when they were retiring to rest, a portion of the word of God; and though they had no taste for such an employment, yet, as she was a great favorite with the family, on account of her uniformly amiable temper, and accommodating manners, they were willing to listen to her. For a long time they heard what she read with much indifference. At length, however, she was taken ill and died in the family, emninently supported by the faith of the gospel, and animated by the hope of eternal life. The wonderful consolation she experienced on her deathbed recalled to the recollection of the young ladies the truths she used to read to them from the word of God. They then began to see the vast importance of these truths; and from one step to another the greater part of a family, formerly gay and thoughtless, embraced the gospel, and were eminently distinguished for living under its influence." Let none, then, imagine that their situation is so obscure as to exclude them from usefulness, even of the important and exalted kind. Let us bear in mind, that those who honor God he will honor.

By this case, we are reminded of the following useful truths. 1. That they who have a heart to do good will never want opportunity. 2. That there are modes of exerting an influence in favor of God and religion, adapted to all the circumstances and relations of life.

3. That seed sometimes springs up and bears fruit, which the one who planted it never sees.


For Young MOTHERS.


In the manner thus explained, the child should be made acquainted with many elementary truths of religion. They may be presented in succession in the following order.

1. The existence of an unseen and omnipresent Being. 2. That this Being watches the child, sees all his conduct

, is pleased with what is right, and displeased with what is wrong.

3. That though God does not speak to us, we ought often to address him, to ask forgiveness and protection.

4. That we must all die.

5. That we shall be called to account when we die, for all our conduct.

Each of these truths it must be remembered, constitutes a great step in the progress of a child, though they are very sim

each one ;

ple to us. Many parents would, perhaps, bring out the whole in one conversation. But a far deeper and pleasanter, and more permanent impression will be made by dwelling considerably upon

and by bringing forward one at a time, and holding it up to view, in all its aspects and relations, until it has fairly made a permanent lodgment in the soul, and become thoroughly incorporated with it. We do not mean that the pupil should be kept for a long period at any one time, upon these truths, but that many successive short lessons should be given upon them, so that each may be thoroughly taught before the next is attempted.

For example, suppose you have explained to your child the existence, and the unseen presence of God; and also his moral character, and our accountability to him. Suppose he thoroughly understands these ; still he knows nothing about prayer to him. He has no reason whatever to suppose that he can have any useful communication with him. The announcement of the fact, that there is somebody besides his father and mother to whom he can come in his troubles, is a great announcement to him. It is sufficient to engross wholly, all his attention. He wants to think of it, and look at it in all its relations. We are so familiar with the subject, that the connexion between the idea of such a being and the duty of prayer to him, is almost indissoluble. We almost imagine that, when we speak of God for the first time to the child, he must instantly perceive the duty of praying to him; and our language seems more like merely reminding him of what he might have already known, than of making him, for the first time, acquainted with a truth which must be as unexpected as it is new.

Think what a new and boundless field of reflection is opened to a child, when he first realizes that there is, besides his father and mother, another listener to his requests,—another being interested in his wants and troubles and sorrows. Had he full command of language and of his thoughts, he would overwhelm you with questions. What sort of requests may he make? When may he make them ? How will God grant them? Is he to ask God for bread when he is hungry, and water when he is thirsty ? Is he to call upon God to help him up when he falls down, or to assuage his pain when he is hurt? Will this unseen, mysterious Being, ever treat him unkindly or harshly? Will he ever be occupied and not attend to him? Will he ever speak to him, or appear in any visible form? Now although the child, not being accustomed to connected, logical thought on any subject, will not distinctly raise these inquiries, he is still utterly in the dark respecting them all. He is liable to mistakes and misconceptions in regard to them.

We must remember then, that though the word God is thus indissolubly connected in our minds, with all the important attributes which form his character, so that whenever we use it, it is accompanied with an idea in which all these attributes are comprehended; it is not so with a child. When first informed of the existence of an unseen Being, he knows nothing beyond the mere existence of something unseen, and incomprehensible,--and when told that God hears and grants requests ---he knows nothing but just that simple statement, and the wild, absurd inferences which he will draw from it.

Consequently, the duty of praying to God, is one which the parent ought to pause upon some time, in his course of religious instruction, if he expects to give the child any adequate conceptions of it. The mother may, ont he evening when she first announces this duty, or rather privilege, offer, with the child, and in his behalf, some simple prayer,-it should be, however, some one single request. For instance, she may ask that God will forgive him for some sin he has committed that day. This will teach him that asking forgiveness, is one sort of request that it is proper to make. The next day she may tell him some story of prayer, imaginary or real; or it may be read from the Bible. It may be a case of prayer for a sick child, or for rescue from danger, or the confession of childish sins by some boy or girl ; or, in a word, any case, which illustrates the nature of this duty, in connexion with circumstances which a child can appreciate and understand. Another day the Lord's prayer may be read and explained, with special reference to its application to the situation and wants of childhood; and again general instructions may be given, drawing out questions from the little pupil, -ascertaining and correcting his misconceptions, and giving him as just views of the whole subject as the nature of the case will allow.

It is thus that the simple elementary truths of religion should be taught to childhood, each coming in its place, and presented in such a way as really to take possession of the conscience and heart, and dwelt upon with such variety and familiarity of illustration, and such an application of it to the wants and circumstances of the child, as shall make it clearly understood as a practical principle, which is to have an immediate and direct bearing on his daily conduct and feelings.

If the method which is thus recommended, is pursued, -viz. going on step by step, cautiously and slowly, not attempting to teach any truth until the mind is prepared to understand and

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