Imágenes de páginas

to their parents, in carrying them upon their shoulders from an irruption of Mount Etna.

I will relate a few more instances of filial piety, which transpired at a later period. During the reign of James II., a singular instance of filial piety occurred in Scotland. Sir John Cochrane was condemned to death for joining in a rebellion; but his daughter, disguising herself, robbed the mail that brought his death-warrant, and destroyed the fatal paper. In the meantime, he was pardoned by the king.

The Chinese books abound with instances of filial piety. The two following are specimens. A certain mother was always much alarmed by thunder; and whenever she saw a thunder storm approaching, she would request her son not to leave her. After she died, whenever he heard a storm coming on, he would hasten to her grave, and softly whisper, "I am here, mother." This illustrates superstition as well as filial piety. Neither the mother nor her son need have been so much alarmed by thunder; and it could do her no good, after she was

dead, for him to go to her grave; but it illustrates very strikingly his filial regard for her. Another story is told of a young Chinese woman, whose mother-in-law having lost her teeth, could not eat her food without great difficulty. The dutiful stepdaughter nursed her several years from her own breast, often rising in the night to afford her nourishment.


An English missionary, on entering the house of a converted female African, whose child was sick, found her in tears. My child," said he, "what aileth thee? Is the baby still ill?" "No, no," she replied, with a heavy sigh. "Why do you weep, then?" "O, my mother!" was the reply. "Which, your mother-in-law?" inquired the missionary. "No, not my mother-inlaw; my own dear mother who bore me!" and she sobbed as if her heart would burst. "What is the matter with your mother?" asked the good man. Holding out the gospel of St. Luke in her hand, bedewed with tears, she said, "My mother," (who was still in her native district, from whence this daughter had been brought captive,)


my mother will never see this book! my mother will never hear the glad tidings of this book!" Again she sighed and sobbed, and, looking to heaven, breathed forth this lamentation: "My mother! my mother! she will never hear that glad sound that I have heard! the light that shone on me will never shine on her! she will never taste that love of the Saviour which I have tasted!"

Such, in these cases, was filial affection, natural and sanctified. And, how beautiful! how lovely! Is there a heart destitute of it? It would seem almost impossible; and yet I have seen those who had affectionate and excellent parents, who seemed to care but little more for them than for strangers. Surely, such hearts can have but little of the "milk of human kindness," they must be made of something harder and sterner than love and affection. My young friends, will you not strive to cultivate filial affection? Will you not endeavor at all times to please your parents? Will you not delight in their company, and show in every possible way your love,

esteem and regard for them? If you do this, you will not be without your reward. Your own conscience will reward you for it; you will be rewarded by your parents' affection; your fellow-men will love and honor you for it; and God will be pleased with it. What stronger inducements can be desired, to lead us to return the affection of our parents?

HONOR.-We are not merely to love our parents, we are also to honor and reverence them. "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee," is the direct command of God; and the same command has been repeatedly quoted and urged by the apostles, in their epistles. The Bible also threatens those who neglect this duty, as the following texts show: "Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or mother." "For every one that curseth his father or his mother, shall surely be put to death."

To illustrate this duty, and to show the consequences of neglecting to perform it, let us look at the case of Noah's three sons.

Shortly after the flood, Noah became intoxicated by the juice of the grape, and laid himself down in his tent, being uncovered. One of his sons, Ham, discovered it, and unnaturally dishonored and mocked his father. The other two sons "took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father." When Noah recovered from the effects of his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him, he said, "Cursed be Canaan [the son of Ham], a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." But his other two sons he blest, saying,

* One word about the intoxication of Noah. This happened about a year after the flood, and probably the first time he drank wine after that event; and as the flood continued nearly a year, he had not, therefore, drank any wine for about two years. It should also be remembered that Noah was an old man, and a little wine would greatly affect him. While I would not excuse or explain away this sin, I think it has been greatly magnified by those who would hold Noah up to scorn, or shield themselves behind his example. It is not probable that he was ever guilty of this sin before, or afterwards.

« AnteriorContinuar »