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herself in the brook; from whence he took an opportunity of warning children against the evil of bad tempers, and of enforcing the “ meekness and gentleness which was in Christ Jesus,” and is among all real christians.
His next story was about a very lovely boy: Though once inclined to be very wicked, his heart afterwards became so tenderly impressed with the Saviour's love to fallen sinners, that he would be frequently quite overpowered by the tender feelings of his own mind. He would even ask his parent's leave to part with the shoes from off his feet, and his clothes from off his back, when he saw other poor children, as he supposed in greater want than himself: and when he had no money of his own to give, the dear child would even turn beggar to his parents and others to assist them. He never thought of telling a lie, because he dreaded the idea of doing wrong; and only wrong things need to be covered with a lie. And whenever he saw other children do wrong, he would talk to them very gravely and seriously against their evil ways; and even in his play, if any children behaved cruel or unkind, he would grieve, weep, and retire. But this dear child, it seems, was too full of heaven to live on earth. Before he died, he called his brothers and sisters around his bed three times over, on the three last days of his lite, and told them all that he was going to his dear Saviour, who had pardoned his sins, and changed his heart; and exhorted them most affectionately to turn to the Lord, and renounce their sins. He even cast his dying arms around the necks of them one by one, praying them to turn to the dear Jesus, insisting; with many tears, that they should promise him they would; and then added, “ I could die for you all a thousand times, if that could but save you from dying in your sins. O! think of a dying Christ! and give him your hearts, that we may meet again in glory!"
After a most affectionate application to the children, Mr. Lovegood, addressed the parents, observing that, as a parent, he knew the powers of natural affection; but urged upon them an affection of a far more refin: 1 and spiritual nature-an affection for their souls. He said, that correction should never. be administered, but in much tenderness and love; that every stripe given by an angry hand, from a revengeful heart, increased the evil for which the child was so unwisely and unmercifully corrected. That we should chastise our children as the Lord corrects his; never in wrath, but ever in love. In short, his address to the parents was not less wise and good, than his exhortation to the children was affectionate and kind; while every heart seemed to be melted down under the sweet influence which attended his discourse. Nor was it a less affecting scene to observe with what difficulty Mr. Lovegood, who possessed very tender feelings, got through these stories, and this address ! How Thomas Newman nodded at his lovely group of little ones, toexcite their more serious attention! How Betty sat with her babe at the breast, praying for a blessing on every word ! How Farmer Littleworth wept like the rain, while he heard of the conversion of the child, thinking all the time on the conversion of his own son!. How Mr. Merryman, lately recovered from a dissolute life through Mr. Lovegood, looked up to him as to a father, with fixed . attention and a watery eye; beholding the lovely instrument in the hand of God, by whom he was reclaimed from a life miserable and dishonourable to himself, and destructive to the souls of his parishioners: and how Mr. Worthy, with an elevated smile of approbation and delight, rejoiced in the happiness and blessedness of the neighbourhood, among whom
he lived with affectionate patriarchal simplicity of conduct; praising and blessing God for influencing the mind of Lord Cancellor (as Thomas calls him) to send such a man into that parish—so wise, zealous, and kind as dear Mr. Lovegood ! O what a blessing would England enjoy, were every parish pulpit adorned with such a minister, sanctioned by men of such affluenĉe and character as good Esquire Worthy of Brookfield Hall. Long live the family, and may they never want such a chaplain as Mr. Lovegood, to administer among them the blessed word of everlasting life!
After the sermon Mr. Lovegood gave out the following hymn, which was sung by the children, and Thomas Newman pitched the tune.
WHAT children like us have such cause to be glad!
We hear how our Maker from heaven came down,
O myst'ry of godliness, wonder of grace!
Next commenced the examination. Mr. Attentive, a barber from Mapleton, was the school-master, who was appointed to this office, because he had made a sacrifice of his daily bread, by not following his occupation on the Lord's-day.
Mr. Lovegood was the examiner. Mrs. Fairspeech, who was a professor of that religion which she never possessed, sent her son with others to the Sunday school, and he was the first who was examined.
Mr. Loveg. Well, Bobby Fairspeech, what do
you upon that
you remember of the sermon I have just now been preaching
Bob. I remember the text, sir.
Bob.“ Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Loveg. And what did I
Bob. Why, that we were all miserable sinners, and should be ruined if we did not come to Christ.
Loveg. Then it is to be hoped that you, as a miserable sinner, have been taught to come to Christ. Do you know what it is to give him your heart?
Bob. Not so much as I should.
Loveg. Why then, I fear you neglect to pray to him.
Bob. Oh no, sir; for my mother would beat me sadly if I did not say my prayers.
Loveg. Surely, chiid, you must be very wicked if you need to be beaten to say your prayers; but I should hope your mother has a better way of teaching you to pray than by beating you to it. I can hardly think that your father, who is a sensible man, though he does not come to church so often as he should, would allow you to be beaten to make you pray.
Bob. Sir, my father is scarce ever at home when it is my tinie to go to bed, for he always spends his evenings with Mr. Sobersides the sadler.
[Mr. Lovegood, pirudently forebore asking any more questions, lest he should dive into family secrets before the children: but the truth was, that though Mrs. Fairspeech could appear very soft and saintish before others, yet she was of a turbulent temper, self-willed, insulting, and irritating to her husband; and after she had driven him away from the family,
would consume three times as much in applying to the gin-bottle as he and Mr. Sobersides did in a pint or two of beer over a pipe of tobacco, while they read the news-paper, and conversed on the politicks of the day. As for the faithful and salutary reproofs bestowed on Mrs. Fairspeech, they were all spent in vain; she still continued the perpetual grief of Mr. Lovegood's mind, who hated nothing more than the cant and hypocrisy of such false-hearted professors.]
We now attend to the examination of Jacky Proud.
Loveg. Well, what good have you got by coming to the Sunday school, and attending the church?
Jacky. A great deal, sir.
have a good heart?
Jacky. I hope so, sir.
Loveg. How is it then that you can say after me, “ we have done those things which we ought not to have done, and left undone those things which we ought to have done, and there is no health in us?” and how could you pray that God would " have mercy on you a miserable sinner?) Iam afraid you are very inattentive to those excellent prayers I read among you Sunday after Sunday; and this is no great proof of the goodness of you heart.
Jacky. Why, sir, my mother and godmother both say I am a very good child.
Loveg. But should you not rather believe what God's word says, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me?”
Jacky. Sir, I do my duty as well as I can.
Jacky. I always come to church, and say my prayers night and morning.