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annexed, relative to our duty to man, is,'HONOUR thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.' Now it does not say, honour the righteous, the pious, the excellent, the wise : but honour thy father and thy mother; honour them because they are your parents ;--because God has commanded you to give them honor, and because He has set them over you as heads to be respected and obeyed. I do not say that there are not cases in which it is very difficult to render obedience. It may happen that a misled parent may require his child to make sacrifices which it is impossible he should make; in such a situation, the Word of God must be his guide. No one, for instance, would feel it to be his duty to give up studying the Scriptures, prayer, or meditation; a Christian requires these helps, as man requires food for his body; but there are a hundred unimportant points in which he ought to remember the precept, and act upon it."
“I am sure,” said Mary, “that there is much more self-denial called for in yielding to others than in maintaining our own ground.”
Certainly there is. I have seen young persons resisting a parents' authority under the plea of securing more power to devote them
selves to religion; but I should very much question the sincerity of such feelingsas led them to throw off the parental yoke. I cannot help thinking that most young converts exhibit a vast deal more of self-will (or selfishness, I might call it,) than they are aware of. By way of justification for corresponding with acquaintance to whom their parents object, they sometimes urge that their mother or father not seeing religion in the light they do, cannot be supposed capable of judging, and therefore their wishes are not to be regarded. Now I must say I scarcely know a case in which I could defend such measures : where young persons do know the truth and have spiritual discernment, they certainly should be able to do without gratifications purchased at the expense of the feelings of their parents, and in direct violation of the commandment. There will arise difficulties, and there must arise suffering, but I am far from thinking that they lessen the evil by choosing the more agreeable way.”
“I should hardly think their way more agreeable ; I never find that self-indulgence procures the comfort one seeks.”
“It cannot, Mary! there is in it something that an honest mind revolts from ; and before all the schemes of self-gratification can be accom
plished, many secret transactions and underhand plans must be resorted to; all this is not open plain conduct, it is not simple trust in God, it savours far too much of the crooked policy of the world. A Christian should do all in faith, or he cannot be acting uprightly. I cannot understand making ourselves smooth paths by striking down all difficulties, whether lawful or unlawful. They forget that their heavenly Father promises to make the rough places plain, and to lead the wayfaring man, though a fool, safely on; and that their course should therefore be to look to Him for guidance under every trial, patiently waiting to see how He will deliver them, while they are rendering honour unto whom honour is due. By such conduct they would evince their confidence in God, and their sense of duty to their earthly parents. I see no exercise of faith in any other way, and I trust God would have enabled me to teach my children to respect and love their Father, and to act towards him with openness and simplicity, even had he not possessed the measure of intellect he does ; and had he been less friendly to the cause of religion than he is.
BUT NOW HE IS DEAD, WHEREFORE SHOULD I FAST ?'
2 Sam. xii. 23.
IN THE LAND
THOU ART MY REFUGE, AND MY PORTION
The afternoon previous to Mary's departure from the Grange, she wished to speak to Mrs. Gray on business; and not finding her in any of the rooms, she put on her bonnet and went out in search of her. She found her where she had expected, on a favourite rustic seat, placed beneath some beech trees, and sheltered from the north and east winds by a thick shrubbery; she was apparently contemplating the prospect before her, which was one of uncommon beauty, wildness, and variety. The lawn was of short closely mown grass, and sloped down from the spot on which they sat to a sunk fence, on the other side of which was a deeply planted bank of firs, which time had rendered almost
venerable. From this bank, the ground continued to fall for a considerable distance, and then stretching into a level, was met by a small lake, the opposite side of which was shaded by rows of fine elms :-ascending again, the eye was led on by an ascent of wild and varied richness, smooth and bright patches of verdant green were succeeded by the deep purple of the heath and the rich blossom of the furze ; detached groups of tall and slender pines with a light and feathery head of dark foliage rose from this acclivity, and the hill still ascended, varying in its outline, and presenting every novelty of feature, until it was terminated by a thick wood, and followed by another and another range of hills. To the right of the lake, amidst a mass of trees, and almost obscured by the deep shade into which it was thrown, stood the remains of an ancient castle, looking darkly forth upon the fair prospect which lay at its feet. The sun was now moving towards its rest, and retiring in all that splendour of colouring, which so often accompanies its decline at that season of the year; its brilliant light was thrown upon the rich purple of the heath, contrasting it with the tints of the furze, and the red brown of the fern, and other of nature's wild productions. Gleams of vivid light fell upon the smooth