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stantial consolations and holy joys in this present earthly condition. It prevents the countless miseries which come upon those who disregard its claims; it alleviates outward trials, and enables its possessor to rejoice even in tribulation. It cures the evils of the heart, by subduing and eradicating those disorderly passions, and inclinations, which create so much dissatisfaction and misery in human society. It confers the “ witness of a good conscience.” It provides mental pleasures of the highest kind, by presenting to the mind objects of contemplation, the most excellent and ennobling. Its consolations under sorrow, disappointment, and bereavements, are effectual to relieve and cheer the heart. They are balm to the wounded spirit, and like the source whence they spring, they are pure, unfading, and eternal.

The privileges which true religion confers, are most valuable. Peace with God, and the enjoyment of his favour; union to Christ; an inheritance with them that are sanctified, these are privileges, which transcend all our present conceptions. True religion implants in the heart spiritual graces, and these become sources of unspeakable plea

“The water,” says the Saviour, “which I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up to life everlasting."* Faith realizing things invisible and eternal ; hope, like a star, illuminating scenes of darkness, and pointing to a glorious heaven; love, centred upon objects the most exalted, delighting in God, acquiescing in the perfect wisdom of his dispensations, grateful for countless benefits, and rejoicing in his salvation ; and repentance, patience, meekness, temperance,—all these are as purifying streams issuing from an inexhaustible fountain of grace in the heart and flowing forward to the ocean of endless felicity. The duties of religion, too, bring with them diversified and exalted pleasures. Praise is comely and pleasant for the upright. Prayer is the calm rest and satisfaction of the heart, revealing its wants, cares, desires, to One who will assuredly hear, and who is ever ready to answer. The reading of the Scriptures, hearing the Word preached, the holy rest of the Sabbath, admission to the Lord's Table, participation in social and domestic worship, are exercises suited to the rational and spiritual nature-exercises which refine, and satisfy, and ennoble-which, while they contribute to form a holy character, prepare for higher, even heavenly enjoyments. The assurance, too, of an interest in the love of God, and the hope of future glory, which true religion brings in its train, delight and satisfy the heart: Animated by such joys, the evils that afflict humanity are felt to be indeed “light and momentary,"--as to the Israelitish Lawgiver, when on Mount Pisgah, the wilderness is forgotten, and the eye rests with unmingled delight upon the ineffable pleasures of the heavenly country—the land of promise. These pleasures never satiate nor ever weary. Neither the world nor any enemy can take them away. They are a healing medicine for every wound, and a balm for every woe; and they are continually augmented, as the capacity for relishing and enjoying them, expands. They are pleasures for life; they yield solace, support, and triumph in death; and in the future state, they become "rivers of pleasure, and joys at God's right hand for evermore." Such is the happiness which religion holds out to the young, as it invites them to its service. “Length of days” is in wisdom's “right hand, and in her left riches and honour.” Should not the baptized youth of the Church early make these pure and unalloyed pleasures their own ? Happiness here and hereafter depend upon their choice

sure.

* John 7: 37.

-the earnest in time will be followed by eternal and unchangeable felicity.

The examples of many honoured servants of God should excite and encourage the young to recognize early their baptismal dedication.

Many, whose names are recorded in the Book of Life, enjoyed the benefit of parental dedication, and willingly devoted themselves early to the service of God. The largest number of those whose lives and characters are depicted in the Bible as servants of God, and who were eminent instruments in advancing the Divine glory, were thus distinguished. Of these, Moses, Joseph, Samuel, David, Josiah, Obadiah, Daniel, and Jeremiah, in the Old Testament, and John the Baptist, and Timothy, under the New, are exhibited as illustrious examples of youthful piety-remarkably blessed themselves, and singularly useful in their generation. In all ages, since the introduction of Christianity, it is evident that a peculiar blessing has rested upon the lives and labours of those who, early recognizing their infantile dedication, have yielded themselves to the Lord. Numbered with these were many of the illustrious reformers and martyrs of Christ, and some of the most devoted missionaries, who have carried the Gospel to the perishing heathen. The names of Guthrie and Rutherford, of Cargill and Renwick, and of many others of the covenanted confessors and martyrs of Scotland, will live enshrined in the hearts of all who value the cause of true religion and civil liberty—and of these it is recorded, that they enjoyed faithful parental training, and were remarkable for youthful piety.* Richard Baxter, Philip and Matthew Henry, and a great number, besides, of the Nonconformists of England, are instances of singular usefulness, in connection with early devotedness. Elliot and Mayhew, and the Mathers of America, are a part of the same great “cloud of witnesses. Who has not heard of Pearce, and of the family of the Janeways, who gave themselves to God' in childhood—who were honoured to do much for Christ's cause in a short time, and whose works, though they are dead, will always speak ? Brainerd, the most prayerful and devoted of missionaries, whom God honoured with eminent success, and Edwards, his biographer,-one of the greatest of uninspired men,--in early life, dedicated their heart and life to God, and even before they had passed their years of boyhood, exhi

* See Scottish Worthies—Passim.

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bited fruits of wisdom and piety, which have seldom been equalled, and never surpassed. The “Resolutions,” of Jonathan Edwards, prepared when he was but twenty years of age, deserve to be frequently pondered and adopted as rules of conduct for the young. How admirably the spirit which the following express ! and how worthy of imitation !

“Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, never so many myriads ages hence.

“Resolved, To do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.

“ Resolved, To be continually endeavouring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the fore-mentioned things.

“Resolved, Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

“Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time; but improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.

“Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.

“Resolved, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

“Resolved, Never henceforward till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's.

“Resolved, Constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest serutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no;

. that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.

“Resolved, Very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz., with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him, all my sins, temptations, dificulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, everything, and every circum

May the youth of the Church be led by the Spirit of all grace to follow them, who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises ! May they choose early that best part, “which shall not be taken from them!”

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stance."*

* Edwards's Life and Diary, in his Works.

ARTICLE IV.

ON THE DUTIES OF THE CHURCH TO THE CHILDREN

OF THE CHURCH.

A PASTORAL LETTER OF THE SYNOD OF GEORGIA.

To the Parents and Sessions of the Churches under the care of the

Synod of Georgia. Brethren, beloved in the Lord: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, be multiplied to you.

In consulting for the peace, purity, and prosperity of the Churches committed to our care, the Synod thought it good, at this time, to address to you a word on the important subject of the relation of your children to the Church of Christ, and to remind you of your duties growing out of that relation. And this we do, not so much to instruct you in any new truth, as to remind you of that which you already know, that thus we may stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.

First, then, you know that your children are members of the Church of Christ. "The visible Church consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children.(Confession of Faith, Chap. 25, Sec. 2.) They are included in the covenant which God has made with his beloved people. “The promise is to you and to your children." This, then, according to our view of the teachings of God's Word, is their relation to the Church. They are, by the gracious appointment of God, members of the visible household of Faith; children of the Kingdom, and heirs of the promises.

And now, in view of this fact-since your little children, whom God hath given you, are claimed by him for his own, what are your duties to them as such ?

1. You should, without unnecessary delay, see that they are presented, that they may receive baptism. (See Directory for Worship, Chap. 7, Sec. 1.) This is the seal of God's covenant, and he requires that all his people receive it. Under the old Dispensation, the child eight days old was to receive circumcision, which, at that time, was the form of the seal; and those who neglected to receive that seal were cut off from the people of God, as despisers of his covenant. To neglect, therefore, to bring your children forward in due time to receive baptism, is to be guilty of withholding from them their sacred rights, and of slighting the ordinance of God and the seal of his cove

We affectionately and earnestly exhort you, therefore, to be diligent and prompt in securing for your little ones, at as early an age as practicable, the application of this seal. We have grounds to fear that there is a great remissness on the part of parents touching this matter.

nant.

2. In the next place, you should habitually look upon your children as Church members, and carefully instruct and train them as such. They are the lambs of Christ's flock, intrusted to your care to be trained up for him. And the point to which you should direct all

your efforts and your cares, is to train them in such a way, that they may grow up consistent and efficient members of the Church. They are given you in trust for that very purpose. (Eph. 6: 4.) Your care of them, and labours for them, should all look evermore to this one result.

And in order to this, your first duty will be to acquaint them with the teachings and authority of the Bible, as a revelation from God; that this book is our perfect and exclusive guide in matters of doctrine and duty; that by its principles and precepts are our lives to be moulded and fashioned. The Scriptures are able to make them wise unto salvation, through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 3:15.) See, then, to it, that you make them familiar with the teachings of the Bible, and with God's ways of dealing with his people. “ These words which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. ” (Deut. 6:6, 7.) You should train them to careful, systematic study of the Bible; and to assist them to a clear knowledge of it, require them to memorize the Shorter and Larger Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, and frequently catechize them on the same. Experience proves that this is the only way of attaining to, and fixing in the mind, accurate knowledge on any subject. And now, dear brethren,

, have any of you neglected this duty to your children? Is it your habit to leave them to their own tastes—to select their own reading ? Or do you content yourselves with advising them to study the Bible, without laboriously and carefully teaching them out of it ? Parent, remember that if your children grow up without a thorough knowledge of the Bible, the loss and ruin will be theirs, but the guilt will

be yours.

Then you must train them up to the habitual performance of all those Christian duties which are appropriate to their age. From earliest infancy let the fact be impressed upon them, that they are not their own, but are bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of God—that the vows of God are upon them—and that they must always, and in all things, be careful to conduct themselves as becomes the children of God. Make this with them the central, ruling thought of their lives, and let it be worked up in all the details of business, recreation, and devotion.

To instance only in a few things-train them up to the duty of habitual secret prayer-train them to punctual and conscientious attendance on prayer-meetingto regularity at public worship, with reverential and decent behaviour while there—train them carefully to profound reverence for the name, attributes, and worship of God, and

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