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judgment or authority, and no confidence in their good will. It proves on the part of the child, a self-will, a want of filial affection, and even a disregard of his parents, which foreshadows nothing good. Children who act on their own responsibility in such grave and momentous matters, setting aside the feelings of their father and mother, can find no apology for their conduct, neither can they rationally expect a blessing to attend them in the business of life. We say,
4. Finally, to honor their parents, children must endeavor to act on all occasions so as not to make their parents ashamed of their conduct. Every parent by nature and the sure instincts of affection, cannot but feel honored in the honorable and praiseworthy conduct of his children. It is a most precious balm to his life-a sweet and never failing solace to his soul, when, with conscious pride, he can look on his children acting under the fear of God, and with a steady purpose of doing only what is right. But on the other hand, when parents are ashamed of the reputation and doings of their children-when, for some deeds of infamy or rashness, they cannot mention their names, but must needs let their memory be forgotten, what solace now will you find for their grief. For the bitterness of death their is a relief and a balm which never fails to give comfort to the soul; but for the bitterness of children's shame, there is no consolation among men. It is more bitter than death itself, and often will the agonized parent declare, that it had been easier to have carried his child to the grave, than to have borne the sorrow of his disgraceful conduct for one day. Let children think of this when they are tempted to do wrong. Let them call to mind the anguish, more bitter than wormwood, which their wicked conduct will bring upon their father and mother; and by that may they be persuaded to resist temptation and cleave to the keeping of the commandments of God. Thus they will honor their parents, and the blessing of Heaven shall be upon them. "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
II. This brings us to the second grand division of our discourse, which is to insist on the duty which this commandment enjoins on children. By insisting on this duty, is meant the presentation of reasons or motives why it should be done. 1. The first motive which we mention therefore, why children should honor their parents is, that by so doing, they will obtain the blessing of God. He promises them in this commandment, a long life-that is a blessing; and in it are included, health, prosperity, comfort, honor, and earthly happiness in all its varied forms. This is therefore a very great and precious promise, and God will not be slack in fulfilling it in the case of all children who obey his commandment! Think of the blessedness which is here involved, even in this world! Think how desirable it is to live to a happy and
honorable old age! and that, by the direct interposition of God! This is one motive by which children are exhorted to honor their parents.
2. Another motive is, that obedience to this commandment is the only way to secure peace of conscience. Children who dishonor their father and mother, cannot escape from remorse. Where ever they go, conscience goes, and whispers in their ear their guilt. It traverses the ocean, and is heard closeupon their heels in the wilderness. In a strange land it accuses them of the injuries they have done to their parents. Nor will it let them alone in sickness. In dreams it terrifies them. When they think of the judgment day, they tremble at the thought of the grief and sorrow which their conduct gave their parents. And if they hear that their father and mother are no more, even these tidings give then no relief, but redouble their distress. "Oh! could we but bring them back from the dead," they will say to themselves; "Could we but enjoy their presence one hour, how earnestly would we implore their forgiveness, and confess the offences by which we dishonored them! But now it is too late! Oh! the intolerable bitterness of having grieved our parents' hearts." If children would avoid the bitterness of such reflections, let them obediently comply with the precept: Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
3. Another motive, in view of which, we would insist on the performance of this duty is, that parents are the nearest and dearest friends of their children on earth. This is a consideration of great weight. Whom will children honor if not their dearest and nearest friends? Whom will they love and obey, if not those who love them with a tenderness which no language can express? Men have doubted and questioned all things, even the existence of the world and the being of a God, but there never lived the child that doubted or called in question the love of its parents. That love is a reality. It ceases not, we believe, no, not with the going out of life itself; but from the eternal world looks back and longs to minister to the welfare of its well-beloved. Woe betide the unhappy, graceless outcast, who grieves the heart of his father or mother, and renders all their love and affection vain. "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 eagles shall eat it." But,
4. The final motive we urge upon children for the obedience of this commandment is, that God requires them to do it. This is the highest and most solemn of all considerations. He that commands angels, and sways the awful sceptre of the universe, and is Lord of lords and King of kings; He, in whom centres all power, and all glory, and all authority; from whom all created beings received their existence, and to whom alone they are all
amenable, the Holy and Eternal Jehovah presents himself before every child with this special command: "Honor thy father and thy mother." What a motive in the very being and attributes of Him by whom the precept is uttered! Alas! youth do not always remember this. They often disregard the inquiry whether this or that action will dishonor their parents, as though it were a matter of but small consequence. They indulge themselves in pleasures, in books, in the company of associates, in forming associations of the most serious nature: they imbibe sentiments, cherish plans, and pursue courses of life at war with every known feeling of their parents' hearts: and this they do when they know it is wrong, and contrary to their parents' oft repeated advice; but how seldom do they consider the greatness of their sin. It is not only an earthly parent's heart that they have wounded; it is not only the law of their father and mother's honor they have violated-it is the Majesty of Heaven and Earth that they have disregarded! it is the law of the Most High God they have broken! it is the honor of their father in Heaven, which they have so grievously offended! In dishonoring a fellow mortal, they have disobeyed God. Think of this, O youth, when temptation besets you. Think how, when you consent to sit with the scoffer, to walk with the wicked in his ways, and to put away from you the commandment to honor your father and mother by conduct such as makes them not ashamed, you not only forfeit a blessing-wound your own conscience-offend against your best earthly friend; but more than all, you sin against God and break his holy and eternal law. Beware then, how you ever give yourself to the disobedience of this commandment. Make a covenant with yourselves, that, by the grace of God, you will at least have the unspeakable satisfaction of knowing, in your own consciences, that you have faithfully endeavored to do this one thing-to honor your father and mother, in the very terms of God's requirement.
In the keeping of this good commandment, you have the special promise of God to cheer you. And when that promise is once fairly realized, you will be happier, more honored and more honorable than the sons and daughters of kings. You will be masters of a wealth, which all the gold and gems of this world can never equal-the wealth of an approving conscience, and of the favor of God. Nor must you ever forget, that as part of this blessing promised, you will enjoy your parents' blessing. That is one of the most precious treasures of the soul. There is hardly a sorrow of earth but what it will lighten--not a grief but what it will greatly assuage. It will disperse many of the clouds that gather around that melancholy day when you are for the first time fatherless and motherless. To be sure that you have their blessing, will diminish the bitterness of that hour which consigns them to the dust. It will be to you as a good pledge that you and they will meet in that happy land, where holy spirits forever dwell together, in the pure and blessed service of God.
It is the commandment of God that you should honor your father and mother. See that you do it. Do it with all your heart. Do it because God requires it. Do it on all occasions, and at every sacrifice of personal feelings. Seek grace from God day by day, that you may keep this commandment without fail or fault. Begin every day with the remembrance of it on your hearts. When you retire at night, examine yourselves conscientiously, whether or no you have obeyed it; and wherein you have failed, confess honestly, and pray that you may be forgiven. Take pleasure in honoring your parents; for God is well pleased with all children who thus obey his will; and your obedience of this precept in regard to your earthly parents, will teach you the higher obedience of your Father in Heaven. Obedience to God will become the law of your lite. You will love all that is good, and learn to do all that is right. And your life on earth, being prolonged to a happy old age, you will then be prepared, through the mercy of God the Saviour, and through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, for the service of God in glory, where your life will never end. Amen, and Amen.
BY REV. ROSWELL D. HITCHCOCK, D.D.,
PROFESSOR OF CHURCH HISTORY, IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, NEW YORK.
GOD, NATURE, MAN, IN THE LIGHT OF CHRISTIANITY. "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."-COLOSSIANS ii. 3.
MAN has a twofold constitution, by virtue of which he inhabits at the same time two worlds. His body, gross and perishable, blends him with nature in its ceaseless flow, and makes him brother to the worm which crawls waiting for him in the ground. His soul, ethereal and immortal, lifts him up above nature, opens his life to God, and makes him brother to angels, myriads of whom float unseen waiting for him in the sky. He is thus an heir of Eternity, though a child of Time.
To his physical constitution pertain the familiar and homely uses of life, such as bodily vigor, food, raiment, houses, lands, money, merchandise, and the mechanic arts; which all are of the earth, earthy. Man did not bring them with him into the world, and cannot carry them away. These things, which are seen, are temporal. It is as though the globe itself dissolves, every time a human being dies off of it.
The essential, the permanent, the grand in man, all centres in his spiritual constitution. This constitution, when we come to analyze it, is trinal; corresponding with eternal types and realities. There is that in us, by which we apprehend the Beautiful; and, for want of a better name, we have called it Taste. There is that in us, by which we apprehend the True; and we have called it Intellect. There is also that in us, by which we apprehend the Good; and we have called it the Moral Sense. These
three make up the one man. They are faculties, in us by nature. Only they require development and culture. Then they bloom and bear fruit; enriching our manhood with refinement, intelligence and virtue. Taste, Intellect, Moral Sense: These are the trinal nature. Art, Letters, Religion: These are the triple
So we build, and so we justify the College. It has other foundations, and other walls, than these of brick and stone. It grows up out of the human soul, and is measured and nourished by its wants. The dominant idea of it, is not outward use, but inward culture. Uses indeed it has, manifold and great, ministering, as it must eventually, to all worthy material ends and interests; helping the farmer to better husbandry, the mechanic to better fabrics, the merchant to better traffic, and society at large to better health, better laws, and better manners. But its immediate and chiefest end, is the culture of the man himself. This is end enough, the highest of all ends; even as soul is more than body, and Eternity than Time.
While thus we build and justify the College, we are enabled also to define its work. It must take the whole nature of man, and make the most of it. In deference to our sense of Beauty, it must honor Art. In deference to our hunger for Truth, it must honor Science. In deference to our apprehension of a Divine Presence, it must honor Religion. And neither of these by itself alone, but all in harmony. Exclusive addiction to either one of them breeds mischief. Art, unbalanced, becomes voluptuous; Learning, arrogant; and Religion, fanatical. While in a just blending of the three, there appears the fulness and symmetry of a perfect discipline. Lowest in rank, as most mixed up with material forms, stands Art. Next above it is Science, perpetually gazing and struggling upwards from facts to principles, from phenomena to laws. Highest of all is Religion, as concerning itself supremely with the infinite and the eternal. This is the order of consciousness. It is the order also of history. There is no civilization of ancient or modern times, no culture of Orient or Occident, which has not made faith and worship its chiefest care. Greeks and Romans, Hindoos and Buddhists, Mohammedans, Jews and Christians, have been agreed in this, that Divine rites are the highest of all duties, and the knowledge of Divine things the highest of all wisdom.
Such, in part, are the sentiments which find expression in this edifice, within whose walls we are now assembled. The completion of it marks an epoch in the history of the College. Compared with our ability, compared with what stood here before, compared with any building of its kind upon the Continent, it is an imposing structure. Massive, substantial, and costly, it bids
*This Discourse was delivered at the Dedication of the New Chapel of Bowdoin College, June 7, 1855.