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sun, his ear caught these harmonies, suited to captivate and inspire his heart. Yet, he grew up to be a boasting infidel. All the studied efforts to preserve his social. and moral virtue did not avail to complete his character, so long as there was wanting positive counsel concerning his duties to God. It were not sufficient to select his companions, his books, his pleasures, nor instruct him in regard to his obligations to his fellow-men; there were needed the lessons found alone in the word of God to establish him in religious principle, and make him a fond lover of the truth. He needed to know more of his own heart, more of God and His claims, more of the Judgment and eternity.
In the view we have taken of the parental relation not a word has been uttered which may not have a bearing upon the injunction, "Train up a child in the way he should go." We have spoken of physical, intellectual, and secular discipline, all of which may become an aid, or a hinderance, to the moral and religious culture of the child. The more unexceptionable the training is in these particulars, the more confidently may we hope that he will be persuaded to walk in the path of morality and religion. Many of the incidentals, usually regarded unimportant, have much to do with the perceptions of the mind, and the tendencies of the heart. There is more hope of the polite and respectful child, who addresses his parents with becoming reverence, than there is of him who employs the rough "yes" and "no," "I will” and "I wont." Even these little words are indicative of prospective insubordination. They are as ominous of ill in the history of the child, as bull-baiting and horse-racing in the history of adults. Hence, we insist that the entire discipline of a child, corporeal, intellectual and secular, has to do with the issues of that religious obligation which God has imposed upon every parent. In this regard parental responsibility should be pondered.
What motives urge the parent to study, and faithfully
discharge the duties of his responsible relation! It is not alone that society has a claim upon his fidelity, nor that his watch and counsel will promote the earthly happiness of his children, nor contribute to the felicity of his own declining life, that he is exhorted to consider the solemn trust; but more especially because a deathless soul tabernacles in the comely and beautiful body. His home may be humble in respect to the embellishments of wealth and the graces of literary refinement, from which no gifted son shall go forth to seats of science, or legislative hall, but it may furnish a better treasure to the church, and hopeful candidates for the kingdom of God. His humble efforts may offer to the world no pearl of genius nor gem of art, but they may add to the christian ranks "sons to be as plants grown up in their youth, and daughters as corner stones polished after the similitude of a palace." He may not be able to confer upon them a legacy of wealth, nor a world-wide fame, but his words and his prayers may secure them a title to a harp and crown of glory above.
"Honor thy parents, those that gave thee birth,
THE Scriptures greatly magnify the filial relation. It occupies a prominent place in the Decalogue. Its duties are the theme of frequent discourse throughout the Word of God. The following selection of texts exhibits the impor tance which God attaches to it.
"Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." "Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother; and all the people shall say, Amen."
"My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee."
"Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness."
"The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagle shall eat it."
"Children obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. Honor thy father and mother, (which is the first commandment with promise.) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."
In such language do the Scriptures present the claims of the filial relation. They teach children to honor, love, fear, reverence, obey, please, provide for, and make happy their parents, as well as to regard their faithful instructions and example. They speak as if the duties of this relation were exceedingly important.
Nor is this all. The penalty inflicted for the violation of the Fifth Commandment under the Jewish economy shows by its terrible severity the light in which God regards it. The fearful threatening against the sin appears in the following language. "He that smiteth his father or mother shall surely be put to death. And he that curseth his father or mother shall surely be put to death." "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them; *** And all the men of the city shall stone him with stones that he die; so shalt thou put evil away from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear." A severe penalty, indeed, for the violation of the Fifth Commandment was this punishment of death! It is evidence that God regards the neglect or abuse of filial duties a matter of great concern. The Dis pensation is changed, but the Fifth Commandment is as sacred and binding now as ever. It is as dear to God, as important to the family and the world, as it was four thousand years ago. The Commandment has abated none of its force in the march of time, and cannot be disregarded with moral impunity now, more than it could be then.
It is conceded that all parents do not equally deserve the love and obedience of their children. There are those who are immoral, tyrannical, and even cruelthose who appear exceedingly irresponsible in respect to all their family duties. those who set a bad and even debasing example before their children - those who have not the fear of God or man before their whose -the unloving and unnatural parents,
They are not to obey
influence tends to lead their offspring down to the abyss of wo -parents who ought to hang their heads for shame, and wonder God ever gave them a child. And yet, even here, the ties of nature compel children to give some heed to Divine instruction in respect to their duties. their parents when obedience will conflict with the law of God. The command is, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord;" that is, so far as they do not require you to disobey God. In all the remarks that follow upon this subject, it is taken for granted that the counsels and commands of parents are in harmony with Divine requirements.
Notwithstanding the solemn injuctions of the Scriptures relating to the subject, there is scarcely any relation of life so little regarded as the filial. It would be impossible to compute or describe the wo which has preyed upon the hearts and happiness of devoted parents in consequence of unfilial acts. Language cannot depict the sorrow which is even now "bringing down grey hairs to the grave," because of prodigals who return naught for a parents' blessings but ingratitude and rebellion. Since David wept for Absalom tears have never ceased to flow, in the closet and at the fireside, over the heartless returns that children make for parental kindness. The graves that have been filled with brokenhearted parents in past ages, would cover an empire with their mounds. And the great company to be summoned to the Judgment-seat, whose chiefest sin is a violation of the Fifth Commandment- sin enough to sink the soul to everlasting night-we might almost say in truth “ no man can
Would that an inspiration might awaken thoughts and dictate words of sufficient power to cause every reader to feel upon a theme of such intrinsic merit! Would that every child and youth, and every person blest with a living parent might appreciate these endearing ties of nature! Would that a sense of right and duty might arrest the un