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of death, but to be caught by the under-current and borne ! into the bosom and blessedness of eternity.
While satan rages and appears to triumph, there is a mighty conqueror that triumphs over him, and rescues the victims of his malice. He that has the power of death has been himself destroyed. The very reign of death, secures from every people, kindred, tribe and tongue the largest additions to the family of the redeemed. How few in comparison with the countless myriads on high, will remain among the wilful rebels, that refused to submit to the government of God, and shall be shut up in the penitentiary of Hell? How will the temporary triumphs, but eternal disappointments of the God of this world, contribute to illustrate the wisdom and
of the divine government, and the folly and madness of rebellion? How delighted will be the believer's experience in Heaven, there to be made, under circumstances inconceivably glorious, to see how easily the God of truth and justice, has discomfited falsehood and iniquity! How will the darkest features in the mysterious history of man, be developed in the brightest exhibitions of grace and sovereignty? And, how will the very curse, in all its odious features, prove through the exceeding riches of divine grace, in his kindness by Christ Jesus a blessing to the ruined family of man?
And even here, before we reach that bright world, where our delighted eyes shall survey the rich and varied prospect of bliss unfolding its unceasing wonders to our view, what lessons of rebuke and consolation may we not draw from the infant's death? Reader, are you a parent, and yet unreconciled to God, through the blood of Jesus Christ? And have you lost a darling babe, that in the midst of sufferings, and exquisite agony of body, has been torn from your fond embrace, and hurried to an early grave? Then learn in it, the rebuke of Heaven. That child, on which perhaps your fond heart was set, and which
already had began to bind, and rivet those affections which should have been given to God, has been removed from you in mercy to it. Had it been allowed to remain in your embrace, it would have imbibed your rebellious spirit. The love of its heart for you, would have given you a power and influence over it, which would have secured the earliest developments of sin, and placed it in an attitude of direct rebellion against God. You would have proved the murderer of its soul, and stamped on it, your own character, so infamous in the sight of God, and involyed it in the condemnation under which you lie.
But God in taking it away, has in effect said, “You are not fit to have the care of this child. You would have infused into it, your own unbelieving, and rebellious temper, and armed its little heart, in hostility against me. It would have learned from you, to break my Sabbath--to profane my name—to despise my law-to rebel against my authority-and proclaim itself a candidate for Hell. But ! have had mercy on it. I have seen that you are not fit to have it live with you, and have therefore brought it home to leaven, that it may be brought up under the immediate eye and care of my dear Son, away from the contagion of your example. Read in the death of your child the vengeance of Heaven, and its frightful record against you."
But are you a believer, and did you cast your dear little one over upon God, when you brought it to the baptismal font, and there in the arms of your faith and love, presented and devoted it to God, to be washed in the blood of Jesus, and sanctified by his Spirit, to be redeemed from all the conscquences of the sad and ruinous apostacy of our race: And has that child, for which you have plead the promises of the well-ordered, and everlasting covenant, been removed from you, and been taken from this world of sin, before it could itself sin, how rich is your consolation! Ciod las in cloct said to you, “I take you at your
word-I have heard your prayers—I have received the offering of your faith, and have removed your child to other scenes, where it shall not come in contact, or be contaminated with sin. I know how great would have been your solicitude; how many heart-rending anxieties, you would have had on its account, and that, with all your care, you could not have prevented it from becoming a wilful transgressor of my law, nor have proved half faithful and watchful enough for its training for the skies. I have therefore taken this work out of your hands, and given your child to my dear Son, that it may pass at once into the seminary of Heaven, and escape the consequences of your unfaithfulness, and mismanagement, as well as the ills of this dying and rebellious world, in which you dwell.” Read then in the death of your sweet smiling babe the mercy of Heaven: and learn to humble yourself at the feet of God, adoring the grace of his covenant, and receiving the kind and paternal admonition, his providence administers.
But has it pleased Ilim to spare the little prattlers round your table? And already do they begin to strike their roots, and grow like willows by the water courses, then see what a work His providence has laid to your hands. Those sweet lips have already perhaps been soiled. Those bright eyes have fallen on rebellious scenes, and they have left their traces on the little mind and memory. The little bosoms have begun to heave with passion, and swell with desire. And shall the young immortal fall under the damning sentence of God's holy law? Parent, teacher, nurse, friend, what have you to say? Say ye mothers, will you neglect the moral culture of your darling babes, and suffer the passions and propensities of their nature to rise and gather strength, and bear them off to objects which God has forbid len? Will you allow all this to go on before your eyes, and neglect to tell your little charge of God, and of his holy child Jesus, and the great salvation,-of the spirit and his blessed influence, and strive to curb unruly desire, to bring it un ler the early influence of the truth, and form its heart to the love and service of God?
You have been the means of bringing it into a guilty and a dring world. Shall it be saved or lost? The one or the other shall be the fact; and whether the one or the other, will depend, in a great measure on you, and on its early impressions. Resign it to the dominion of its passionsCheat and deceive it by your falsehood and hypocrisy-Vex and torture it by your fretfulness and rage-Irritate and dissappoint it by your treachery and unfaithfulness-Throw around it the contagion of your own depravity-Withhold from it the knowledge of God, and of his law, of Christ, and of his death-Put it under the care of teachers, that neither fear nor love God-And lead it through the paths of science, without an observation of His agency and will, and the child shall grow up, a prey for the vengeance of heaven.
We cannot neglect to urge, in the most importunate manner, on you, the importance and necessity of early and solemn attention to this matter. Will you mothers, fathers, friends, christians, and philanthropists, allow the young immortal to grow up in sin, without an effort to bring its little powers under the genial and sanctifying influence of the truth? Why not familiarize the infant mind with divine things? Why not tell it of the love of Jesus, and strive, before the propensities of the heart shall have become deep rooted, and wedded it indissolubly to sinful objects, to bring it under the influence of some awakening truth, and mould the little understanding to useful, intellectual, and moral pursuits? The system of infant-school instruction, which proposes, as its object, "to awaken a desire in the infant heart, to scek moral and intellectual improvement, by early and lasting activities, to excite virtuous attachments,
and inspire an utter detestation for all immorality,” deserves the interested attention, and zealous co-operation of every one, who would arrest the progress of moral death. “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, God has-ordained strength, because of His enemies, that (He might) still the enemy and the avenger." Here, then, let us begin, and make our moststudied, and systematic, and mighty attack on Satan's kingdom. Here is where the strength lies. And as the whole plan of God's governmentment ment, in this world, is that of development, let us learn wisdom from His own constitution, and bring the truth early to bear upon the infant heart, by developing the spiritual powers and mental capacities of the young immortal, we may get the start of corruption and the world, and fit it for usefulness, happiness, and glory. Seize first the affections of the infant heart, in all the tenderness and pliancy of their earliest buddings, and let the bright mirror of God's blessed word, reflect, in mild and mellow rays, the rich and glowing image of the Sun of Righteousness, to ripen it into holiness. His gracious Spirit invites to this work. And blessed be His name, for the growing army of youthful teachers, and yet more tender scholars, whom the blessed Spirit is marshaling in our Sunday and infant schools! "Whom shall he teach knowledge, and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little."2
1. Psalm vui, ..
2. Isai. xxviii, 9, 10.