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example to all young people. May you, my dear children, follow this example. Begin to love and serve God. You are come to years enough to know who made you, and who redeemed you, and who is to sanctify you. You are come to years enough to know what a dreadful thing it is to sin against God. You are come to years enough' to know, that you must choose the ways of religion, if you would please God, and go to heaven when you die. Follow,
. then, my children, the conduct of Moses. If you find difficulties in doing this, conquer them, as Moses did. You cannot be in such great dangers as he was. Be in earnest, and you shall, by God's grace, be able to overcome them.
And in order to this, mind these three things :
1. Seek 'not for the great things of this world. Love not honour, and praise, and show, and dress, and “the pomps and vanities” of life for Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter.
2. Prefer suffering to sin. It is better to bear any pain or trouble than to offend God. Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
Sin has indeed some false and momentary pleasures, which deceive wicked children and blind them to their destruction.
The ways of God, on the other hand, have some difficulties which frighten many from them. But the pleasures of sin are poisonous and deadly; whilst the troubles of religion are soon over. Sinful pleasures leave a child wretched for ever; whereas the service of God, though it has some difficulties at first, yet soon becomes pleasant and delightful, and ends in eternal life. You may have seen the truth of this in yourselves, my dear children. If you give way to passion, or do any thing wrong, there may be a momentary pleasure in indulging your bad dispositions, but soon pain and remorse and misery follow; whereas if you resist your wicked tem
; pers, how pleasant it is afterwards!
3. The third thing is, Do not mind the reproach and ridicule which may be cast on you by wicked children. Think it your honour to be despised for Christ's sake. If God is pleased with you, mind not who is displeased. A child
, in a school may be laughed at for being conscientious, saying its prayers devoutly, reading its Bible, and not playing on Sunday—but let that child be encouraged by the example of Moses, who esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.
Here I end my second remark: choose the ways' of God, as you come to years. And in order to this, the second diRECTION I would give you is, pray to God to change your hearts.
You cannot do all I have been speaking about of yourselves, God must make your hearts new by his grace and Holy Spirit. There is naturally a heart of stone in every one of usa heart quite hard and unfeeling. God can take away that heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh-a beart that weeps for sin, and chooses the ways of God, and loves Jesus Christ.
i I remark,
III. The MEEKNESS of Moses.
In your little books the question is asked, Who was the meekest mand and the answer is, Moses. And so he was. After he had chosen God's ways, he was remarkable for many other graces; but most of all for this. The Bible says of him, The man Moses was very meek, above all the men upon the face of the earth; he had the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. He was a bumble, modest, lowly man, bearing injuries with patience, returning good for evil, forgiving those who offended him, and cautious not to speak hastily and rashly. He was a man of an excellent spirit. And yet Moses had every thing to tempt him to pride and self-conceit. And these very things set forth his meekness. First, He was brought up in a court where
, évery thing had a tendency to stir up his pride; yet he was the meekest of men.
Secondly, He was placed afterwards at the head of the Israelites—he was their governor, their law-giver, their deliverer from Egypt-he performed the greatest miracles, and especially that wonderful miracle when the Red Sea was divided, and the waters stood as a wall on this side and on that side, and the children of Israel passed through on dry land- and yet he was the meekest of all men.
Thirdly, He met also with continual provocations from the people of Israel--they disputed against his authority--they murmured and complained-they rebelled against him--they wished to return into Egypt_and yet he was the meekest man.
My dear children, copy this pattern. Be meek as Moses was. Learn to 'govern your tempers. Think before you speak. Obey your parents and teachers. Do not be sullen and out of humour. Do not fly into a passion at every little provocation. But be forgiving and gentle. You know, good children are the lambs of Christ the good shepherd. Now a lamb is the most gentle and inoffensive of all animals. And yet how many of you are angry, and quarrelsome, and discontented, and give trouble to your parents continually. You must pray to God, then, to make you meek and lowly in spirit. If children resist their cross tempers, and really try to be meek, they will gradually
overcome them; but if they go on indulging them in childhood, they will never conquer them. The bad tempers will grow stronger and stronger. Habits will be formed. I know many persons, whom I hope on the whole to be sincere Christians, who are so peevish and fretful and perverse in their families, that I hardly know what to think of them, there is such a want of meekness of temper. There is a very pretty story in a little book called the Infant's Progress, where our wicked nature is described as an old ugly person, whose name is Inbred-Sin, and who always follows children about, and tries to stir up and provoke their bad passions. Now I would have little children remember, when they are going to fall into a passion, that it is Inbred-Sin that is coming against them, and that they ought to resist and conquer him, and not let him gain the day. If a child would do this, God would help him by his grace, and old Inbred-Sin would be driven off and overcome. And thus a child of four or five years old might keep down this enemy and obtain a victory over him.
This is my third remark, Be meek as Moses was. And, my third DIRECTION is, Watch over your tempers. For even Moses once spake unadvisedly with his lips. This was when he was commanded to smite the rock. Now if Moses forgot himself, and God noticed that one