Imágenes de páginas


ers and stupid nurses, who take the liberty of practicing on the credulity of children, often to a shameful extent-retailing to them idle superstitions, dealing out abominable fictions, and making them ståre, and even tremble, at their lying wonders.

The sociaLITY of children is proverbial. How quick to become mutually acquainted! How different their ways from the cool and cautious intercourse of mature and artificial life! Hence arises a parental duty—to guard their companionships. Many have been ruined by their carly associations. They know not how to choose their friends, such as deserve the name. The serpent has often lurked amid the roses of the social bower. The May Queen Festival has been the school of vanity and ultimate moral ruin; the dancing-room the vestibule of hell. There are higher and nobler pleasures, even for youth, in its most ardent and sprightly forms and manifestations. Great skill, indeed, is necessary in parents, to direct and control the sympathies and socialities of their children. But if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” The early implantation of the grace of God is the chief of all objects to be sought; the only certain conservative principle of the soul; the pledge of future happiness, and the earnest of future usefulness. Grace alone can bring our dear ones to glory. I cannot but conclude, as I began this paper, with some lines from the poet of the home and the heart.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ His heart, now passive, yields to thy command;
Secure it thine, its key is in thine hand.
If thou desert thy charge, and throw it wide,
Nor heed what guests there enter and abide,
Complain not, if attachments lewd and base
Supplant thee in it, and usurp thy place.
But if thou guard its sacred chambers sure
From vicious inmates and delights impure,
Either his gratitude shall hold him fast,
And keep him warm and filial to the last ;
Or if he prove 'unkind, (as who can say
But, being man, and therefore frail, he may ?)
One comfort yet shall cheer thine aged heart,
Howe'er he slight thee, thou hast done thy parl!"

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

“ Come, Suzy," said the mother, "let'us read awhile in this pretty picture Bible. We will read how God made the world.”

0 mamma, I know all about that." “Never mind ; let us read it once more.

let us read it once more. But first we will go and sit in the porch. Look round, Suzy, and tell me what you


“Why, here are the flowers all round the yard, mamma; and there is the beautiful green meadow, with lambs and cows in it, and over the brook is the village, and behind the village are those

pretty hills.”



[ocr errors]

« Look

and tell me what

you Only the sky, mamma; but it looks very blue, and there are some little white clouds sailing about on it. Ah, there goes a bird ! it's a hawk, mamma. And now there are some little birds. Wee, wee things, how happy you must be! 0, hear that robin, how he sings in the elm-tree.”

Suzy, there was a time when there was not one of these things made. There were no people in the earth ; no animals moving about on it; no birds flying in the air ; no trees, nor grass ; no sun; no sky. Oh, it was a dark, dismal place. Thick clouds were wrapped around it; a black, muddy sea rolled over its whole surface. It was always, always night-cold, dark, still. God alone was there in the darkness and silence." Was it

s, it so, mamma? How do you know ?! The Bible tells us so. ' In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void (waste, empty), and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.' The earth was made, but it was not fit for man to live on. But now God was going to make it a beautiful home for us. He is our Father, you

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

know, and he wanted to make his children very happy. He thought he would put into this home every thing that was pleasant to look at, good to taste, sweet to hear and to smell. Now, shall we go on and see how it was done ?! Oh

yes, mamma ; is that in the Bible too ?!! “Yes, dear, you have often read it, only you didn't think; you only read the words. Now I will tell you what he did first. 'God said, Let there be light, and there was light.' Shut your eyes, and try to think how it seemed. The black clouds grew a little lighter. They began to rise slowly up from the water. The dark, muddy waves rolled heavily, and glimmered a little in that first ray. By-and-bye it became night again, dark and still as before. The light of the first day was gone.” “But after a while it grew light again; the second morning

Then God said, Let there be a firmament.'. That means the arch of the sky. The clouds rose up high into the air, and left this open space as we see it now. It looked as a dull, cloudy day does to us. Night came, and closed the second

had come.


But do you

“Did he do nothing else all that day, mamma?

“The great God, my dear, is never in a hurry, as we are. He never does any more than is best, at one time. But do think that was a small work for one day? Think how long it takes to build one house ; how many men are busy for weeks, and perhaps months, before it is done. Now look up at that noble arch, how broad and high it is. It reaches from the hills on this side to the hills on that side, and the top is above the flight of any bird. Millions of houses could stand under it, and yet it was all made in one day.” Go on,

mamma." “The third morning came. You will be glad to hear about this--great and beautiful things were done on the third day. 'God said, Let the waters be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.' First the tops of the mountains, then the hills, then the plains and valleys rose slowly out of the water, and the waves rolled back into great hollows, and became seas. Soon, green grass began to spring on all the hills and vales, bushes sprouted from the earth, and trees rose and grew, till tall forests crowned the mountains, and waved on the slopes, while groves of orange, and fig, and citron, and all kinds of delicious fruits, clustered in the valleys. So closed the third day.

“ The fourth morning came, and with it came something more grand and beautiful than all before. "God said, Let there be

' light in the firmament.' The clouds grew bright, they parted, they melted away, and there stood the glorious sun, for the first

, time, shining in the clear blue sky. The whole earth seemed to laugh with gladness. Every little brook sparkled as it ran, and ten thousand flowers bloomed out all at once, and breathed forth their sweetest smells. And as evening came on, and the sun sunk down in the West, the moon beamed like a slender silver bow, in heaven, with one bright star close by her side. Night came too, but not like those other gloomy nights, for all the sky was spangled with stars, like little points of fire.

' The sun rose on the fifth morning over this beautiful and silent world. How beautiful, and how silent! Not a sound, but of the rustling leaves and the murmuring water ; not a voice, not a stir of living thing amidst it all.”

Mother, I should have thought it was Sunday, if I had beer there."

But God speaks, and the silence is gone. A gush of sudden music breaks from every grove; the trees and the air are all alive with the stir of wings. God has made the birds! The eagle sits perched upon the lofty crag; the lark soars singing to the sun ; the turtle-dove coos to its mate; the swift swallow skims along the stream ; humming-birds glance among the flowers. The water, too, is all alive. Great whales are sporting in the sea, and thousands of smaller fishes dart hither and thither, and leap out of the water as if wild with joy. And so the fifth night drew its starry curtain over a world of life and happiness, as well as beauty.

“ The sixth day has come. And now, at the command of God, the earth, as well as the air and the water, swarms with life. In the forests range the majestic -lion, the elephant, the tiger, the beautiful leopard, the graceful deer ; goats spring from height to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

height; the fleet horse, with curving neck and flying mane, bounds across the plain ; lambs feed in the green valleys. The squirrel chatters and cracks his nuts in the trees; the monkey shows his antic tricks. The little moles and mice are playing about the tree roots ; gay lizards bask in the sun; worms, insects, and ten thousand other happy creatures, start into life at the word of the Creator. Ah, it is no silent world now. The motion and the voices of millions of joyful beings fill the air with gladness. And God looked down upon the earth, and saw that it was all very good.

But one thing is yet wanting. Of all these happy, living creatures, not one knows who made him ; not one can love Him. The children, for whom the great Father has prepared this beautiful home, are not yet made. It is now all ready for their use.

Then God said, Let us make man. Two beings, a man and a woman, more beautiful and noble than any other creatures upon the earth, are formed out of the dust. They do not creep upon the ground, but stand upright. They look round on the fair earth, and up to the sky; they listen to the sweet sounds, they smell the flowers, they taste the fruits; and they know that God has made them all. They sing, and their voices swell out sweeter than the birds, for they sing hymns of praise to God. They speak, and God himself comes down and talks with them. These are the children for whom He made the earth. He gives it to them for their own. Yes, this whole earth, with all its plants, and all its living creatures, is given to them for their own. They are to rule over all the fishes of the sea, the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field. Now the creation is finished, and the sixth day oloses over the perfect work of God.

“The seventh day is the Sabbath, and there is rest on earth and in heaven!”


It was debated before Agesilaus, whether courage or justice was the greatest virtue.

There would be no occasion for valor, if all men were just,” observed the king.

« AnteriorContinuar »