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been as well assured of the salvation of the one twin as of the other; and I should rather think they were. But even if it should be so, that God will sometimes grant to the weak faith of the parents what they accept as a token of the child's salvation, which considering his great tenderness I cannot say He may not, those parents should be cautious how they call such a token by a wrong name, or exbibit it as a thing of importance to any but themselves : I could receive it as an evidence of nothing but God's indulgent pity towards the weakest desires of his people.
I have no doubt of the influence the mother's state of mind may have upon the future dispositions of her unborn child; and of the still greater efficacy of her prayers for its regeneration; and I see no reason for rejecting your correspondent's suggestion, that the former may be made the natural means of conveying the gracious influence granted to the latter. We learn from scripture, confirmed by observation, that some children are set apart for God from the mother's womb, or enter very early on their regenerate state. But the Scriptures give us no warrant for expecting in infancy what are called evidences of sanctification. I cannot find that any thing of the sort is promised ; and I am sure that nothing of the sort is related ; which might, I think, induce those who believe they see them, to “ lay up all these things in their heart.” In the prominent instances of Samuel, of Sampson, and John the Baptist, it is the parent's faith, devotedness, and sanctity, that are exhibited, not the child's—and in this lies all the value of the example-the blessing that attended them is beneficently declared, to the great encouragement of every pious parent, but we hear of no infant evidences of the work of grace. Of Him, even of Him, in whom the Spirit abode without measure, in whom the fulness of his own Godhead dwelt, unlimited by the ignorance and imbecility of childhood, the Spirit has not thought fit to tell us what He did or said till He was twelve years old. If these things are to be-if infantine manifestations of grace are to be sought for and made a show of for the glory of God and the instruction of the church, why have we not some scripture example by which to judge of them ? why not at least one beautiful model in the perfect infancy of the Holy Jesus?
In the publication of such memoirs as that of Little Annie, I can see nothing but danger to every class of readers... The tone of apparent exaggeration and improbability inseparable from them, is likely to have a most injurious effect upon the doubting mind, wherein the hue of fiction never fails to detach itself from the story, to fix upon the principle set forth in it. . Should they come into the hands of children, I can imagine nothing more dangerous to their modesty, simplicity, and truth, than to find so much importance given to their words, and such inferences drawn from their imitative actions. To the parent for whose right guidance and encouragement I suppose these publications are especially intended, I can anticipate only a quite opposite result; they seem calculated only to give a wrong aim to their endeavours, a wrong foundation to their hopes, and a wrong method for the attainment of their wishes. The mother who, from the first conception of her child, prays without ceasing that it may be a child of God I have heard of such a one, who held fast her faith, and continued her prayers, for forty years, before she saw a sign of its acceptance-if the child dies in infancy, ought to receive the bitter dispensation as a most sure though painful answer to her prayers. If the child lives, or as long as it lives, it is her part, watchfully and consistently, to prepare it for and lead it to a Christian course, looking forward, in humble trust and hope, to see, in God's own time, the fruit of her pious culture, when the child shall be of age to answer for itself. In this divine trust, steadfast in the promises of God to them that bring up a child in the way that it should go, she will meet with no discouragements, no disappointments, to check her equable and faithful labours. But if she be induced to make a harvest of the seed-time-if she will be looking for fruit, when she should be weeding the soil, and putting in the grain, false excitements and undue discouragements will alternately animate and relax her efforts. And her method will be as injudicious as her aim. The skilful gardener picks off the too early blossom or untimely germ, which promises nothing but a sickly growth, and thus invigorates and matures his plant. But in this system of religious forcing, the first developed faculties, imitation and susceptibility, are unduly wrought upon, and a spurious blossom is produced, as it generally may be ; which the fond parent fosters as a principle, while it is no more than an impression ; but which the understanding will disown, as soon as it is of sufficient strength to be consulted. It is well, indeed, if the little neophyte does not grow up in its loving mother's persuasion, and take its own pretty speeches and tender emotions for certain evidences of a state of grace; and through many a year of womanhood, live upon sentiment in the stead of faith.
AMONG the minor virtues of life, as they are commonly called, (which said minor virtues exercise a most important influence on daily duties and daily habits) there is not one of more consequence than punctuality. By punctuality, I mean such an arrangement of our time as may enable us to perform our various duties within such periods, and at such hours, as, after candidly surveying our own engagements, and the engagements of those with whom we are connected, we find to be most fit and appropriate. All must go on harmoniously ; one duty must not jostle against another ; one engagement must not assume undue importance, by engrossing a larger proportion of the hour or the day than justly and fairly belongs to it; and whilst we endeavour to put the talent with which we are all entrusted, time, to its true use, full regard must be had to the comfort and convenience of the persons with whom we are brought in contact. And this is what I call punctuality. I began by calling it one of the minor virtues ; but after defining what I understand by the word, I boldly assert that punctuality ought to rank much higher than it is commonly allowed to do. The right employment of our time involves all that is meant by our duty; the loss or waste of it on our own part, is the omission of our duty, and some sin
it must be, to be instrumental in the loss or waste of the time of others.
These, however, are merely general remarks; we must descend to particulars. Want of punctuality in attending divine service has been mentioned in a former number; I proceed to what appears to me of the next importance, – punctuality in family prayer. On this point, I may cite the word of an aged minister, uttered to one who felt, and who has remembered them. “You are a young house-keeper,' he said, 'I am an old one : take my advice : fix that hour for family prayer, morning and evening, which, after taking into consideration all the circumstances of your family, you find the most convenient; have your servants in, and having fixed it, suffer nothing to interfere with it. Whatever happens, whoever comes, let nothing intrench upon that time which you have peculiarly devoted to God, and which you must consider sacred. Assign the true reason,
it is the hour for family prayer.' The important effects of punctuality, in this particular, upon our children and our servants are scarcely to be estimated. If any thing, every thing is to interfere with our assembling ourselves together for the social worship of our God; if our Bibles are to be opened and to be closed just when caprice may dictate; if we avail ourselves of frivolous excuses for deferring to a more convenient season ” what we ought to do at an appointed time, we virtually assert to our families that the veriest trifle is of more importance than communion with our Maker. And let those who say such things by their actions, prove them if they can by their words, and explain to their families what they understand by seeking first the kingdom