Imatges de pÓgina

thy lot, had not their care of thee begun before thou couldest remember, or know

any thing.

Now so proud, self willed, inexorable, thou couldest then only ask by wailing, and move them with thy tears. And they were moved.

Their heart was touched with thy distress : they relieved and watched thy wants, before thou knewest thine own necessities or their kindness.

They clothed thee; thou knewest not that thou wast naked: thou alkedst not for bread; but they fed thee. And ever since, in short, for the particulars are too many to be recounted, and too many surely to be all utterly forgotten, it has been the very principal endeavour, employment, and study of their lives to do service to thee.

And remember, for this too is of moment, it is all out of pure unfeigned affection. Other friends mostly expect


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their civilities to be repaid, and their kind offices returned with interest. But parents have no thoughts like these. They seek not thine, but thee. Their regard is real, and hearty, and undesigning. They have no reflex views upon themselves, no oblique glances towards their own intereft. If by all their endeavours they can obtain their child's welfare, they arrive at the full accomplishment of their wishes. They have no higher object of their ambition. Be thou but happy, and they are so.

And now tell me: is not something to be done, I do not now say for thyself, but for them? If it be too much to desire of thee to be good, and wise, and virtuous, and happy for thy own sake; yet be happy for their's. Think that a sober, upright, and let me add, religious life, besides the blessings it will bring upon thy own head, will be a fountain of unfailing comfort to thy declining parents, and make the heart of the aged sing for joy.


What shall we say? Which of these is happier ? the Son, that maketh a glad Father? or the Father, blessed with such a Son?

Fortunate young man who haft an heart

open so early to virtuous delights; and canft find thy own happiness, in returning thy father's blesing upon his own head.

And happy father! whose years have been prolonged, not as it often happens, to see his comforts fall from him one after another, and to become at once old and deltitute; but to taste a new pleasure, not to be found among the pleasures of youth, reserved for his age; to reap the harvest of all his cares and labour in the duty, affection, and felicity of his dear child. His very look bespeaks the inward satisfaction of his heart. The infirmities of age lit light on him. He feels not the troubles of life: he smiles at the approach of death. Sees himself ftill living and honoured in the memory and the person of his son, his other, dearer self; and passes down to the receptacle of all the living in the fulness of content and joy.

How unlike to this, is the condition of him, who has the affliction to be the father of a wicked offspring! Poor unhappy man! No sorrow is like unto thy forrow. Diseases and death are blessings, if compared with the anguish of thy heart, when thou seeft thy dearest children run heedlessly headlong in the ways of sin, forgetful of their parent's counsel, and their own happiness. Unfortunate old man! How often does he wish, he had never been born, or had been cut off before he was a father! No reflection is able to afford him confolation. He grows old betimes: and the afflictions of age are doubled on his head. In vain are instruments of pleasure brought forth. His soul refuses comfort. Every


blessing of life is loft upon Him. No success is able to give him joy. His triumphs are like that of David: While his friends, captains, foldiers, were rending the air with the shouts of victory; he, poor conqueror! went up, as it is 2 Sam. written, to the chamber over the gate, and wept: And as he went, thus he said, O my Son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! Would God I had died for thee! O Absalom, my son,

xviii. 33:

my son!


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