« AnkstesnisTęsti »
sister Lucy told you at the time not to look at them and she did well; for by looking at for. bidden things we are led to desire them; and when we desire them very much, we proceed to take them. In this manner the sin which you committed this morning began to be formed in your heart, my child, three days ago; and from that time it grew and gained strength till this morning, when it broke forth, as the chickens broke forth out of the eggs, alive, strong, and fully formed."
Henry did not interrupt his mamma, and she went on speaking :
"As all sin, my dear child, is thus formed in our hearts, sometimes long, long before it breaks out, it becomes us, therefore, carefully to watch our thoughts; and whenever we find a bad thought, we ought to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ to cleanse our hearts from it. Your papa forbade you to touch these apples: therefore, my dear child, you ought not to have allowed yourself to think of them for one moment. When you first thought about them, you did not suppose that this thought would end in so very great a sin as you have now been guilty of."
"Oh! Mamma,' "said Henry, "I will try to remember what you have said to me all my life; and whenever I find an evil thought in my heart, I will pray to God, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, to cleanse my heart from it."
Mrs. Fairchild kissed little Henry then, and said, "God bless you, my child, and give you a holy heart, which may never think or design any evil!" Mrs. Fairchild then led Henry down into parlour, where Mr. Fairchild and Lucy and Emily were, waiting for them to go to tea. Mr. Fairchild kissed his little boy, and Lucy and Emily smiled to see him.
"Henry," said Mr. Fairchild, "you have had a sad day of it; but I did not punish you, my child, because I do not love you, but because I wished to save your soul from hell." Then Mr. Fairchild cut a large piece of bread and butter for Henry, which he was very glad of, for he was very hungry.
After tea, Mr. Fairchild knelt down with his family and prayed. I shall put down Mr. Fairchild's prayer in this place, as it may perhaps be useful to you at any time when you may be troubled with evil thoughts and desires.
A Prayer against Evil Thoughts.
O Lord God Almighty, hear the prayer of poor sinful creatures. Our hearts, O Lord, are such by nature that sin of itself springs up and grows into life and strength in them: we first begin with an evil thought, which becomes stronger and stronger, until at length it breaks out into open and grievous sins. And these our vile hearts we have no power of ourselves to change; but they will still continue to imagine and bring forth all manner of sin, and every kind of wickedness, unless thou, O Lord, wilt have mercy upon us, and renew us by thy Holy Spirit. Though we have deserved thine eternal anger by our wickedness, yet thy dear Son, our Saviour, has by his death made the atonement for our sins. O give us faith to receive our dying Saviour! and send thy Holy Spirit to make clean and sanctify our wicked hearts; that our hearts, being made new, may no longer imagine. wickedness, and bring forth sin; but that they may be filled with the Spirit, and bring forth the fruits of the Spirit,-even love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance.
And now to God the Father, God the Son, and
God the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour for
ever and ever.
"Our Father," &c. &c.
DEAREST of all the Names above,
My Jesus and my God,
Who can resist thy heavenly love,
"Tis by the merits of thy death
But if Immannel's face appear,
His Name forbids my slavish fear,
His grace removes my sins.
STORY ON THE CONSTANT BENT OF MAN'S HEART TOWARDS SIN.
Ir happened that Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild had had nothing for a long time to interrupt them in the care and management of their children; so that they had had it in their power to teach them, and watch them from evil, continually. I will tell you exactly how they lived and spent their time.Emily and Lucy slept together in a little closet on one side of their mamma's and papa's room; and Henry had a little room on the other side, where he slept. As soon as the children got up, they used to go into their papa's and mamma's room to prayers; after which Henry went with his papa.
into the garden, whilst Lucy and Emily made their beds and rubbed the furniture: afterwards they all met at breakfast, dressed neatly, but very plain. At breakfast the children eat what their mamma gave them, and seldom spake till they were spoken to. After breakfast, Betty and John were called in, and all went to prayers. Then Henry went into his papa's study, to his lessons; and Lucy and Emily staid with their mamma, working and reading, till twelve o'clock, when they used to go out to take a walk all together: sometimes they went to the schools, and sometimes they went to see a poor person. When they came in, dinner was ready. After dinner, the little girls and their mamma worked, whilst Henry read to them, till tea-time: and after tea Lucy and Emily played with their doll, and worked for it; and Henry busied himself in making some little things of wood, which his papa shewed him how to do: and so they spent their time, till Betty and John came in to evening prayers: then the children had each of them a baked apple, and went to bed.
Now all this time the little ones were in the presence of their papa and mamma, and kept carefully from breaking out into open sin by the watchful eyes of their dear parents. One day it happened, when they had been living a long time in this happy way, that Lucy said to her mamma, "Mamma, I think that Emily and Henry and I are much better children than we used to be: we have not been punished for a very long time."
"My said Mrs. Fairchild, "do not boast or thin well of yourself: it is always a bad sign when people boast of themselves: God resisteth the pro, but giveth grace to the humble.' (James iv. 6). If you have not done any very naughty thing lately, it is not because there is any goodness or wisdom in you, but because your papa and I
have been always with you, carefully watching and guiding you from morning till night."
That same evening a letter came for Mr. Fairchild, from an old lady who lived about four miles off, begging that he and Mrs. Fairchild would come over, if it was convenient, to see her, the next day, to settle some business of consequence. This old lady's name was Mrs. Goodriche, and she lived in a very neat little house just under a hill, with Sukey her maid. It was the very house in which Mrs. Howard lived about fifty years ago, as my grandmother knew very well, having been often there when she was a little girl.
When Mr. Fairchild got the letter, he ordered John to get the horse ready by day-break next morning; and to put the pillion on it, for Mrs. Fairchild: so Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild got up very early; and, when they had kissed their children, who were still asleep, they set off.
Now it happened, very unluckily, that Mrs. Fairchild at this time had given Betty leave to go for two or three days to see her father, and she was not yet returned; so there was nobody left in the house, to take care of the children, but John. And now I will tell you how these children spent the day, whilst their papa and mamma were out.
When Lucy and Emily awoke, they began playing in their beds. Emily made babies of the pillows; and Lucy pulled off the sheets and tied them round her, in imitation of Lady Noble's long-trained gown: and thus they spent their time till Henry came to the door to tell them that breakfast was ready." And I have persuaded John," said Henry, "to make us toast and butter; and it looks so nice! Make haste and come down: do, sisters, do!" And he continued to drum upon the door with a stick until his sisters were dressed. Emily and Lucy put on their clothes as quickly as they could,