Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

and affectionate manner, will not be treated by British Christians with indifference. On the other hand, we have a full assurance that they will cordially receive it for themselves, and recommend it to the acceptance of others.

Thus impressed, we retire till the commencement of another year, when we hope to meet our friends more numerous, and quite as happy as they are at present. May the Father of mercies impart to our readers, and our writers, of his wisdom and favour, is the fervent desire of

THE EDITOR.

27, Paternoster-Row,

Nov. 25, 1834.

TIE

FAMILY MAGAZINE.

No. 1.

AUGUST, 1834.

Vol. I.

EDITOR'S ADDRESS. It is quite possible that not a few of our readers have felt the difficulty of entering a company where their name has been mentioned with somewhat of encomium, and where, consequently, a degree of expectation has been raised, which may excite fears as to a disappointment. Such is the situation of the humble Editor of THE FAMILY Magazine, in making his first bow to the public in the office he has now assumed. But, notwithstanding the complaints which have been made of the unreasonable expectations of the public, and the ill-nature of the critics, he has experienced too much kindness from both these classes to be alarmed at the result. Besides, in stepping forward, as he now does, into the domestic circle, he feels confident of a reception which is ever given to a Christian friend, even though he may not be quite so clever as may be wished for, nor so polite as some of the young people may desire.

Supposing, then, that we are now looking at the family circle, the head of whom has kindly introduced us at the breakfast table to his wife and children, and the servants, we will briefly take an opportunity of saying a few words as to what we hope to do, and what we would respectfully ask of our friends.

Fully aware, then, of the responsibility which devolves upon us in our monthly visits to our friends, we would carefully cherish a calm, decided, cheerful piety. We would present as its basis the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we consider to be the means in the Divine hands of regenerating the heart of man. We shall ever assume that, however amiable and lovely may be the conduct of our friends, and however high they may stand in the estimation of their fellow-men, without regeneration they cannot enjoy the privileges of Christ's kingdom on earth, nor experience the happiness of his family in heaven. Nor shall we omit ever to maintain that the origin of the Christian character, and the maintenance of holy consistency, is to be ascribed to the Holy Spirit of Jehovah, whose graces alone, reigning in the heart, can fit us for the enjoyment of the holy inheritance of eternal bliss.

Such is our theological creed; and we hope, with the kind assistance of our correspondents, to present these, and their collateral truths, in a manner which may both instruct and interest; and always in a way which shall illustrate the connexion between doctrine and duty, between faith and practice. We have no peculiarities to contend for, no party in the Christian world to serve, no object but that of the Divine glory in the salvation of men to promote. Equally undismayed by the frowns of some, and unmoved by the smiles of others, we hope to proceed in our career in affording “ doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness,” to the end that every branch of the families who may entertain us, “may be perfect, and thoroughly fur.nished to every good work."

We are fully aware, that in the discharge of our duty, we need more wisdom than we possess; but we calculate on the prayers of our friends, and hope for their fulfilment; we expect the co-operation of holy men, and we do not think we shall be disappointed; and though we may sometimes fail in the accomplishment of our wishes, we are sure we have formed a circle of friends who know how to exercise a spirit of Christian forgiveness. . Knowing that while we continue in the present world, we must have

somewhat to do with it, we shall not feel ourselves doing wrong when we meddle with its machinery, describe its wonders, or glance at its sciences. The wisdom and benevolence of the Deity have been shown in its creation, and the ingenuity of man has manifested itself in applying its various elements to his use. We think it quite possible for the Christian to look at the world without loving its sins; and as the spirit of the Bible should be cherished by the Christian in his intercourse with men, we cannot see the impropriety of showing our families the things which relate only to earth and time in the aspect in which they ought ever to be contemplated.

We have thus freely, without effort and without disguise, told our present views and feelings; and we now ask permission to visit once a month in the parlours and the kitchens of our readers, bringing with us our beloved friends who have promised us their aid. We entreat that kind attention may be granted by the parents and the children, the master and the servant, and that whatever commends itself to each of their consciences, as in the sight of God, may be treasured up, and its highly important influence be fully developed. Such is the earnest and affectionate request of one who fervently prays that the readers of The Family Magazine may form a part of that family which is named after Christ, and which shall eternally occupy the mansions of felicity; and who, therefore, cheerfully becomes the servant of the public for the accomplishment of this great end.

THE EDITOR.

TEACHING YOUNG CHILDREN TO PRAY. Most parents think it a duty incumbent upon them to make a child, as soon it can lisp, repeat the Lord's Prayer, or some little form suited to its capacity. I have long doubted the expediency of this course. The child, in most cases as he is preparing for bed, is told, “ Kneel down and say your prayers." Obedient to the command, he drops beside his mother's lap, perhaps half asleep, or with a mind filled with the play from which he has just been called, and mutters a few words, which he has learned by rote, and repeated night after night, till it has become a matter of course. He does it as he would pull off his shoes and stockings, because he knows he cannot go to bed till it is done.

It is not necessary that the child's evening prayer should be thus a mere heartless form. Some effort and attention on the part of the mother is, indeed, necessary to prevent it; but it does not require more than any Christian ought to be willing to devote to her child. Let her, at the close of the day, take her child upon her knee, and by a few simple remarks, like the following, endeavour to awaken its heart to gratitude :

“My child, let us talk a little about what has happened to-day. Have you felt sick to day ?"

“ No, mother.”
“ Have you been happy all day?"

Why, yes, mother," (perhaps she will say,) "except just a little while, when I was vexed because the baby tore my book ; and then I felt sorry that I had been angry, because baby did not know any better, you know.”

"And can you tell me nothing else, about the day, my child ? " After a little thought,

“Oh, yes. I had a beautiful walk with father, and-and-you know, once I was disobedient, and you had to punish me, and that made you feel grieved.”

“Yes, I am grieved when I am obliged to punish my little daughter. Now, you know who it is you must thank for keeping you from being sick, and who has given you that kind father, who took you a walk, and who it is will help you to be better, and, who is listening to us now."

" Yes, mother; God.”

The child will now, with a mind full of the idea of a heavenly Father, kneel, and with the warmth and sincerity of childhood, offer up its prayer, in its own simple language.

I once had an intelligent boy, of four or five years old, left in my care, for a few weeks. The first night, as had been his custom, he repeated, with great rapidity, a little form of prayer,-then started from his knees, and began to tell me of something that had evidently been occupying his mind, whilst kneeling. The next evening, I withdrew him at an early hour from the family circle, and seating him on my lap, began a review of the day, and endeavoured to lead his mind to God. I then told him to kneel down : he as usual repeated the little form: and I then asked him to thank God in his own words. With childish reluctance he said, " I don't want to.” On being farther urged, " I do

not know what to say,” was the reply. I spoke of his parents,-he could thank them; would he not thank his Father in heaven for his care, and ask him for help to be a better boy? At last he said, “I thank thee, that thou hast took care of me, and I thank thee to make me a good little boy to-morrow.”

This was something gained. I found his reluctance decrease every night; and I thought I could perceive a beneficial effect on the child, as we extended our evening conversations, and talked of God's constant care and oversight. Not long after our first conversation, in relating the events of the day, he mentioned one incident, and said, “I felt really sorry I did so; I don't always feel sorry when I do wrong, but this time I did. Did God know I was sorry in my heart ? Would he have known it, if I hadn't said so ?· This was the first time I had known him volunteer an expression of regret for a fault.

There is, probably, nothing original in my remarks ; they may have occurred to many parents ; but it is a deeply important subject, and I should feel most truly grateful, might I be the humble instrument of rousing one careless mother, to think of her responsibility in early cultivating a real, heartfelt spirit of prayer in her children. -Abbots' Religious Magazine.

THE CHILD'S PRAYER. [It is quite possible that some of our friends may take a very different view of this subject to that of the writer, whose views they have just read. For their sakes we introduce the following article, furnished us by an esteemed correspondent.--Ed.]

Most mighty and most merciful Lord God! with humble and holy reverence let me call upon thy name; for thou hast led me and fed me by thy care and goodness. And now, before I retire to rest, I desire with my whole heart and soul to bless thee; while I humbly pray thee to forgive all that I have done amiss. Still make my body and my soul thy care, and enable me every day I live to love and serve thee better, and find acceptance with thee through Jesus Christ; for whose sake I pray thee to bless my parents and all my relations and friends. Make us all thy children, that we may love thee on earth, and live with thee in heaven. Till then may we ever delight to call thee, Our Father, &c. Trevor Square.

E.D.

THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE.

BY MRS. CAMERON. I lost my mother when I was only two years of age, and my father not being able to give me the attention required by so young a child, I was received into the family of my maternal uncle. This, my uncle, cultivated a small estate of his own in that part of our lovely Island in which the Welsh and Shropshire hills are seen almost in one point of view. In my uncle's family I found companions of nearly my own age ; five of my cousins having been born before I left the family, and two of these being older than myself.

I spent six happy years in this family ; but my father dying in

« VorigeDoorgaan »