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For this purpose they should read and explain cometh down from above it will determine us to the bible to their children, and enable them to embrace every opportunity that may be presented, read and understand it for themselves. Other whether in public or private, of inviting the atbranches of knowledge may be useful and even tention of those with whom we associate to the necessary; but what shall these avail in the end things which belong to their peace. if the one thing needful has been neglected? The Few points of character may be more safely work of parental instruction requires much time relied on as an evidence of personal godliness than and great labour; and it must be done not by the desire to converse on religious subjects. It is substitutes, but by parents themselves, in a course truly mournful to think how very seldom matters of diligent and well directed personal efforts. It of a spiritual nature find their way into our ordiis truly said that “a good man leaveth an inheri- nary conversation. The professing people of God tance to his children. He may have nothing meet together and converse about many things; else to give, but if he has conferred on them the they talk on the state of the weather, or the news advantages of a religious education, followed up of the day, or on questions of national policy, or by fervent prayer, and illustrated and enforced by the merits of public men, or the defects of private a consistent example, he leaves them an inheri- character, but have not a word to say respecting tance that is more valuable than any thing and the truths of the bible, nor the concerns of their every thing else. But ‘children' represent the souls, nor the realities of an eternal world. How rising generation in general, and in this view the different is the course which the authority of inprecept speaks to all without exception. Many spiration has dictated on the subject! Thou parents care not for the spiritual interests of their shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine families; in such cases it becomes the duty of house, and when thou walkest by the way, and every professing Christian to endeavour, as far as when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.' possible, to supply their lack of service.
This practice has many advantages to recomother way can we do so much good at so little mend it. It is of comparatively easy observance. expence as by extending the blessings of a reli- Those who cannot produce a regular and well congious education to the ignorant and neglected nected discourse upon the truths of God, are yet youth. But another mode of communication is able to talk about them in familiar conversation. by talking, or
No man feels himself at a loss for something to say Conversation. Thou shalt talk of them.' To when he speaks of subjects that lie near to his talk is to convey our thoughts upon any subject heart, for 'out of the abundance of the heart the in a simple, homely, and familiar style of address, mouth speaketh. Another recommendation is such as we are accustomed to employ in the com- the probability of usefulness. In this way valuamon intercourse of domestic and social life. With- ble lessons of truth may be communicated, and out being necessarily coarse or undignified it has seasonable warnings administered, and serious imthe recommendation of being universally under pressions produced, no less extensively and no less stood, and of being calculated to attract and in- effectually than by more public and laborious interest the minds both of the learned and the ig- strumentality. "Cast thy bread upon the waters, norant. It is the style which God himself has for thou shalt gather it after many days. But adopted in the revelation of his will, for the scrip- personal holiness is an essential qualification for tures which contain it are distinguished through- religious usefulness. We must seek to have our out by their extreme plainness and simplicity. own hearts impressed with the truths of the What was the teaching of Christ but a series of bible, and then the work of communicating them conversations in which he talked familiarly with to others will be easy, pleasant, and successful. his disciples or with the Jewish people? Stalk on religious subjects evidently for no purpose than to display their own attais but our design should be to instruct an
TY-FIRST DAY.-EVENING. others; and this requires that we should of them with the vet simplicity, and
child thou hast known the holy same time with gr ir and frequency
ich are able to make thee wise obtrude these sub usly on the atten
through faith which is in Christ of others, would
ii. 15. o harm instead good. A word fi w good is it!
le with regard to the early this as in every de luty "wisdom
One most important cirprofitable to direct; e wisdom tha
rcorded for our instruction.
His father was not a Jew, nor a proselyte to the firmed than in the words of the apostle, who religion of the Jews, but a Greek, and conse- declares that they are able to make wise unto quently, if not hostile to the Jewish scriptures, salvation. They do this yet ignorant of them, and indifferent about them. By the discoveries which they afford. The Timothy had not been circumcised in his infancy; first step towards the attainment of saving wisdom but his religious education had, notwithstanding, consists in the knowledge or conviction of sin. been carefully attended to by his grandmother The scripture bath concluded all under sin, that Lois, and his mother Eunice, who were not only every mouth may be stopped, and that all the Jewish by birth, but, which is far better, de- world may become guilty before God.' But a cidedly pious women. Through the blessing of conviction of sin without the hope of forgiveGod upon their labours, young Timothy acquired ness could only lead to despair. The awakened an early and intimate knowledge of the Old Tes- sinner finds a refuge in the holy scriptures, which tament scriptures; and he was by this means assure him of an acceptable atonement offered for prepared to follow the example of his excellent the expiation of his guilt, of a perfect righteousmother by embracing the gospel, and devoting ness wrought out for the justification of his perhimself to the service of Christ. During the son, and an effectual influence provided for the whole of his subsequent life he continued to sanctification of his nature. Here is a redempcherish a grateful sense of the benefit which he tion alike honouring to the perfections of God, bad derived from early parental instruction; and and suited to the circumstances of man, comprePaul, his spiritual father, took occasion to remind hending everything which we can possibly need, hin, both as a ground of thankfulness to God, or reasonably desire, or profitably seek after, and a motive to perseverance in duty, that knowledge for our ignorance, pardon for our from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, guilt, love for our enmity, purity for our corrupwhich are able to make thee wise unto salvation, tion, strength for our weakness, hope for our through faith which is in Christ Jesus.'
fears, life for our death. The holy scriptures are Other writings make men wise, but not wise able to make us wise unto salvation by unto salvation. The wisdom that may be de- The influence which they exert. Our Lord ni red from them is valuable in a very high said of them, what cannot be affirmed of any degree, and capable of being applied to many other writings, “The words that I speak unto zseful purposes, and worthy of being sought after you they are spirit, they are life. Paul had felt with ardour and diligence; but it is the wisdom this influence in himself, and from experience he of this world, which has to do only with the things could declare, 'I am not ashamed of the gospel of the world, and which, with the world, will at of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salva
pass away and be forgotten. What can tion to every one that believeth. He had witall the wisdom avail us which the facts of history nessed it in others, and he could appeal to thousupply, or which may be derived from a minute sands when he said, “For our gospel came not acquaintance with the maxims of philosophy, the unto you in word only, but also in power, and in mysteries of science, or the rules of art, so long the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.' 23 we remain destitute of that wisdom which the But the holy scriptures can exert no influence Eight of inspiration has revealed? “Hath not unless they are believed. Articles of food may God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For be wholesome and nutritious, but in order to imafter that in the wisdom of God the world by part strength to the body they must be received wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the into it. Medicines may be calculated to effect a foolishness of preaching to save them that be- cure, yet the patient would inevitably perish if he
should continue to resist their application. Our The arrogant deist who denies the necessity unbelief cannot affect the truth of the scriptures, vf revelation, labours under a delusion scarcely but it will prevent their efficacy. The influence
palpable and pernicious than the blinded which they exert is not mechanical, but moral: Futary of the Church of Rome, who asserts its it is the influence of doctrines and precepts, of mafficiency. We know that the scriptures need promises and threatenings, addressed to the at the help of interpretations to clear up their understanding and the judgment, the conscience stecurity; much less do they need the help of and the heart. But these cannot operate unless onditions to supply their deficiency. The end they are felt; nor can they be felt until they are be which they were given, and their perfect effi- believed. Instead of being the savour of life soy to the accomplishment of that end, could unto life, which they are graciously intended and Ret have been more clearly and conclusively af- calculated to be, they become to all who reject
knowledge for thyself; wisdom and knowledge wisdom of God. Its doctrines are the word of is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, wisdom;' its precepts are the ways of wisdom.' and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings All who believe and obey it have been made have had that have been before thee, neitherwise unto salvation.' The voice of Christ shall there any after thee have the like. Thus speaks in every part of it, and in every part it appears that godliness is profitable unto all it speaks the language of true wisdom. Obthings, having the promise of the life that now is, servem and of that which is to come.'
The publicity of its announcements. The Wisdom comprehends all that is essential to heathen oracles uttered their responses in secret, the spiritual and eternal interests of man. It is and with studied ambiguity. Error shuns the another name for real and saving religion. In light; but wisdom crieth' that all may hear. principle, it is faith; in experience, it is peace; and She comes forth to the gates of the city, or the in character, holiness. It is the pearl of great streets, and other public places, where all classes price; it is the one thing needful. Other things of the people usually congregate in the greatest may be desirable, this is indispensable. Other numbers. Thus did Jesus in the course of his things may be needful to some, but all stand in personal ministry. In the last day, that great need of wisdom, whether learned or ignorant, day of the feast, he stood and cried, saying, “If high or low, rich or poor.” “Wisdom is the prin- any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. cipal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy To Pilate, who asked him of his disciples and of getting, get understanding. She is more precious his doctrine, he could say, 'I spake openly to than rubies, and all the things thou canst desire the world, I ever taught in the synagogue,
and are not to compared unto her. She is a tree of in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy and in secret have I said nothing.' He had not is every one that retaineth her. And as wisdom one doctrine for the rich, and another for the is necessary to all, so it is attainable by all. poor; but addressed to the people without dis• Wisdom crieth aloud; she uttereth her voice in tinction and without exception the word of truth the streets, If any man thirst, let him come and salvation. That which he did in his own unto me and drink. But wisdom is God's gift ; person, he commanded the disciples to do in his as he confers the blessing, so he claims the glory. name, “What I tell you in darkness, that speak Let us then live in the spirit of dependence and ye in the light; and what ye hear in the ear, gratitude, daily asking, "So teach us to number that preach ye upon the house tops. It is his our days, that we may apply our hearts unto will that all men should come to the knowledge wisdom.'
of the truth, that they may be saved. Still he · Now unto him that is able to keep you from cries, “ Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is falling, and to present you faultless before the to the sons of men. Who hath ears to hear, presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the let him hear.' The gospel is recommended byonly wise God our Saviour, be glory and ma- The kindness and impartiality of its adminisjesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.' tration. Wisdom crieth at the gates, at the Amen.
entry of the city,' in the hearing of a large and promiscuous multitude, comprehending person: of every variety of rank and character. Nowher
is the preaching of the gospel so much needed a NINETEENTH DAY.--MORNING. in places of public resort, frequented as they Wisdom crieth at the gates, at the entry of the worthless of mankind. The master of the feas
usually are by the most ignorant, depraved, and city, at the coming in at the doors,' Prov. viii. commanded his servants, 'Go out into the higi . 3.
ways, and as many as ye shall find bid to th By wisdom Solomon intends the Son of God. His marriage.' In him there is enough and to spare people may be wise, but he is wisdom. He is and as the provision is sufficient for all, so it i the essence, the source, the perfection, the per- offered to all • without money and without price sonification of wisdom. The term wisdom may, There is no respect of persons with him. He con however, be understood to represent that system demned the proud Pharisees who felt no need o of divine truth which was taught by him, and by repentance; but kept company with the publi the apostles in his name. The gospel is emi-cans and sinners, who confessed their guilt, an nently entitled to the appellation of wisdom. It desired instruction. The gospel is remarkabl is the wisdom of God in a mystery; the manifold for
Plainness and simplicity. It speaks not only have refused, and the means of grace which they to the multitude promiscuously, but particularly have despised, and the opportunities of improveto individuals. All the knowledge of it which is ment which they have neglected, and the capacinecessary may easily be obtained even by the ties of usefulness which they have misapplied, most illiterate inquirer. Wisdom crieth not only will form so many bitter ingredients in their cup ‘at the gates, at the entry of the city,' but also of misery. But “now is the accepted time.' Let ‘at the coming in at the doors.' Thus Christ the cry of wisdom, calling to repentance and taught both publicly, and from house to house. promising forgiveness, be responded to in the Not only has he placed the word of salvation prayer of the publican, who smiting on his breast, within our reach, he has brought it to our very and not daring so much as to lift up his eyes doors. He has made it not only accessible, but to heaven, cried, “God be merciful to me a intelligible to all, so that every man may read sinner. Such a cry will assuredly come up and can understand it for himself. * And the with acceptance into the ears of the Lord God Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, of Sabaoth, who is not only compassionate and and make it plain upon tables, that he may run merciful, but faithful and just to forgive us that readeth it. The wayfaring men, though our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousfools, shall not err therein.' The gospel is ness.' characterised by
The urgency of its calls and invitations. Accordingly wisdom "crieth' with an earnest and importunate voice. And she does not wait to
NINETEENTH DAY.-EVENING. be applied to, but goes forth to meet the people at the entry of the city,' and there solicits their 'Oh that they were wise, that they understood attention. She perseveres in the attempt, and this, that they would consider their latter end!' continues to press upon them with her impor
Deut. xxxii, 29. tunities, following them from the gates' of the The Jews were proverbially inconsiderate. Isaiah city even to the coming in at the doors' of their complained of them saying, “The ox knoweth his houses. Truly the Lord ‘is long-suffering to owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel usward, not willing that any should perish, but doth not know, my people doth not consider.' that all should come to repentance.' He not Moses had witnessed many sad proofs of their only waiteth to be gracious, but employs posi- forgetfulness and folly: and at the close of a long tive means in order to persuade sinners to turn and laborious life, spent in their service, his heart's and live. He addresses them by his word and desire and prayer for them was, “that they would ordinances, by his ministers and people, by the consider their latter end. The subject was not remonstrances of conscience and the dispensations more important to them than it is to all. It of providence. He speaks to them in the teaches us that to consider our latter end' conlanguage of kindness and terror, of promise and stitutes true wisdom. By our latter end he threatening, of expostulation and entreaty. In- means death. But it cannot be profitably constead of leaving them to the consequences of sidered unless it is properly understood. their criminal resistance, be bears with their understand it to beindifference and renews his solicitations; he The end of our present state of being, of its raises another and a louder cry; has recourse joys and sorrows, its duties and dangers, its posto more urgent importunity and more powerful sessions and pursuits, its comforts and cares. The means to enforce their compliance. With some hand then forgets its cunning, the tongue is silent, the means prove successful; and when sinners the pulse ceases to beat, and the lungs to breathe; repent and turn to the Lord, he sees in them the whole frame becomes a lump of cold and the travail of his soul, and is satisfied. Others senseless clay. The ties which bind us to our continue impenitent; and over them he utters nearest and dearest friends, and to every thing the lamentation of unavailing sympathy: If earthly, are then broken asunder; for “they that thon hadst known, even thou, at least, in this have wives shall be as though they had none; thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace; and they that weep as though they wept not, and but now they are hid from thine eyes!' they that buy as though they possessed not; for
How fearful, yet how just, will be the con- the fashion of this world passeth away. And demnation of those who turn a deaf ear to the the change is final. There is hope of a tree if it ery of heavenly wisdom! They are without ex- be cut down, that it will sprout again. But man ense; and the invitations of mercy which they | dieth and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? We understand our lat-cern. All who are truly wise will consider their ter end to be
latter end. Wisdom requires them to consider it The commencement of a future and eternal with state of being. The dust shall return to the Serious attention, as a subject in which they earth as it was; but the spirit shall return to are deeply interested, and with which they must God who gave it. After death cometh the very shortly be brought into personal connection. judgment, which shall try every man's work; and Fools may altogether exclude the thought of the sentence of the Judge shall admit of no appeal, death; but instead of being resisted as a prenor can the consequences which follow, whether sumptuous intruder, it ought to be welcomed as happy or miserable, be ever altered, or reversed. a friendly monitor, and permitted habitually to They that are Christ's, made perfect in holiness, influence our feelings and conduct. It is not more shall immediately enter on the full and everlasting calculated to alarm the sinner and bring him to enjoyment of God; whilst the enemies of his cross Christ, than it is necessary to humble the believer, and his cause shall be cast into outer darkness, and excite him to duty. They who are wise will where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth consider their latter end — We understand death to be
Practically, and in the way of diligent preparaThe universal destiny of man. The stroke of tion, by cultivating a state of mind and character death cannot be resisted by force, nor evaded by suitable for meeting death. This includes the artifice, nor set aside by the influence of rank or exercise of a simple and steady reliance on the wealth. One event happeneth to the righteous work of Christ; connected with the cultivation and the wicked, to the king and his subjects, to of exalted spirituality, unfeigned and universal the philosopher and the fool, to the man of wealth repentance, enlarged and active benevolence. Our and the child of poverty, to the sinner of four- lamps must not merely have oil in them, they score and the infant of yesterday. 'I know that must be filled with it, and exhibit a bright and thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house vigorous flame. Nothing but the privilege of appointed for all living. We understand that union to Christ realized by faith, evinced in the the event of death may come
purification of the heart, and in the victory which Soon and suddenly upon us.
It cannot be far overcometh the world, can prepare us to meet off, and it may be very near at hand. This night death with safety, or warrant us to meet it with thy soul may be required of thee. How often are confidence and comfort. "Wherefore the rather, children carried off before their parents, the brethren, give diligence to make your calling and scholars before their teacher, the physician before election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall his patients. ·Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered thou knowest not what a day may bring forth to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom We understand death to be
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They The penalty of guilt. “By one man sin entered who are wise will consider their latter endinto the world, and death by sin, and so death Without delay. The Bridegroom may tarry, hath passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. but the delay cannot be long; and the suddennes In Adam all die, even those who never sinned of his coming may be such as to take even those after the similitude of Adam's transgression. But who love and long for his appearance by surprise. as death is the wages of sin, so the gift of God Then “whatsoever tlfy hand findeth to do, do it is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, To understand death aright we must view it in nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, connection with
thou goest.' Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. The remedy which has been provided for it in the sacrifice of Christ, who by dying took away sin, which is the sting of death, and destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the
TWENTIETH DAY.MORNING. devil, and delivered them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage, "Turn you at my reproof; behold, I will pour and who are enabled to say, "Thanks be unto
out my Spirit unto you, I will make known God, who giveth us the victory through Jesus
my words unto you,' Prov. i. 23. Christ our LordHow awfully momentous is Wisdom has a word in season for persons of the event of death, when thus understood! How every variety of character and circumstances
. Foi unaccountable, how fatal the infatuation which the ignorant, she has a word of instruction; for treats it as a matter of trifling or of distant con- the sorrowful, a word of consolation ; for the