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The Baldwin LibrarY Uivnity
COME, join with me, companions dear,
To bless our Saviour's name: And everlasting honours rear
To God and to the Lamb.
For Children (0 what wondrous grace!)
The Lord was crucify'd;
For Adam's vile apostate race
The Saviour bled and dy'd.
Pere we may love 'without, restraint,
Nor fear to prize too high ; Christ is the song of ev'ry saint
On earth or in-the sky.
lord, with thy grace anoint mine eyes,
Throughout my darkness shine;
0 make me to salvation wise,
My ALL, be ever mine!
011, MEMOIRS OF
CHILDREN EMINENTLY SERIOUS:
EMBLEMATICAL PICTURES, PRAYERS, GRACES,
BY THE REV. GEORGE BURDER. Hearest au what these sa Yea, have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and suldingw, thou hast perfected praise? Matt. xxi. 16. A NEW EDITION, ENLARGED AND IMPROVED,
BY THE AUTHOR.
PRINTED BY AND FOR HENRY MOZLEY.
My dear young Reader,
THIS little book is written with a design and a
desire, at once to profit and please you ; by showing in the examples of children, young as you are, the great happiness and advantage of Real and Early Piety.
That you may read it to profit, you must take notice of whatever was good in the children you read of to imitate it; and of whatever was bad, in order to avoid it.
You will find that the good children loved prayer, that is to teach you to love it too.
They hated sin very much, that is to teach you to hate it.
Many of them died very young (not that they died the sooner because they were good, but being good, they were the sooner fit to die) now, you yourself may die young too, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord, for the pardon of all your sins, and beg for grace to make you fit to live, and then you will be fit to die.
MASTER BILLY AND MISS BETSEY GOODCHILD.
or THEIR BEHAVIOUR AT SCHOOL AND COMING HOME AT CHRISTMAS.
MASTER Billy and Miss Belsey Goodchild were
sent by their parents into the country, to a genteel boarding-school; where they were put under the care of Mrs. Lovegood, a lady of singular piety and wisdom : remarkably fitted for the education of youth ; for she dearly loved little children, was very indulgent to them, and never failed graciously to reward them, whenever they did well ; especially, when she observed them diligent in reading their bibles, in learning their catechism, in secret prayer, or when they could give a good account of the sermons they had heard on the Lord's day. Upon such occasions she would not only commend and reward, but would indulge them with some useful piece of knowledge that was new to them.
And so by the blessing of God upon her instructions,-and the diligent and dutiful behaviour of her scholars, it was truly surprising what a quick
EARLX PIETY. 7
progress they made in learning and politenqs. Mrs. I4wgood could by no means conceal the improvement they made from their kind parents, and therefore wrote several times to acquaint them with all the particulars; and nothing could be more welc~e to them than such news, I assure you.
You may imagine, by observing your own parents, (my dear reader) that it greatly delighted their hearts, to hear of the welfare and good behaw iour of their dear little ones ; and made them exceedingly abound in thankfulness to God, who had directed them to so good a school, and who had bestowed upon their children such lovely dispositions. They even thought it long till holiday time came, w hen they expected again to see them.
Well, Christmas came at last; and, for my part, I cannot tell you, whether parents or children were most pleased with its coming.
The appointed day for Master and Miss to return home was now arrived : and they took lve of Mrs. Lovegood, with tears of affection and love, begging her prayers for their safe journey to town; where they got safe and sound in the evening; meeting at the inn in Aldersgate-street, with their papa's servant, whom he had kindly sent to conduct them home. And home they came, but it would be in ,vain for me to attempt to tell you what a pretty sight their meeting was.
When they entered the room, after making &ir obeisance, they ran, and both falling on
their knees, begged their parents' blessing. Maimma could not speak for crying; she was so affected with joy. But Mr. Goodchild, raising them up in the most tender manner, "1May Jesus bless you both !"-and kissing them, added, IGod be praised for this mercy, in giving me to "-see my dear children again I
After they had drank tea, Miss Betsey gave her mamma an account of their rules and orders at school ; how happy they lived there, how kind Mrs. Lovegood was to them ; and how she taught ,them morning and evening prayers, which they repeated. And as you akmy little reader) might like to know them, and it may be to use them yourself, I will set them down. The morning prayer was as follows:
"0 Almighty and most merciful God, who "hast made sue, and preserved me to this hour ; look graciously upon me, and have mercy up"on me. Thou hast promised, 0 Lord, that "those who seek thee early shall find thee ; and "I am now come to seek thy face and favour. "Dear Jesus, when on earth, thou didst suffer ,,little children to come unto thee: and I am "comne, 0 take me into thy arms of love, and "make my young heart soft and tender; afraid "4of sin, and its terrible consequcnces!1 0 make "mre highly to prize thy love in dying for sinners!1 "and, Lord, be pleased to give me a share in that "love. Make me humble, teachable, and hoIl.
EARLY PIETY. 9
"Accept my praise for another night's preserva"tion, and be pleased to continue the same care. and protection all this day. Instruct me, 0 Lord, in all useful and necessary knowledge, es., "pecially that which concerns my eternal peace., "Whatever I do to-day, may I do it to thy glory. While I live, may I live to God ; and when 1, "die, may I sleep in Jesus afid after death admit me to heaven, to ascribe glory to Father, Son., and Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen." "OUR Father," &c. &c.
"10 Lord, my God, most high 1 most holy 1"and most gracious I Thou searchest all hearts, "and well knowest all that I have this day done, "said, or thought amiss:; forgive all most freely "for the sake of Jesus Christ. Clothe my naked "soul with the spotless righteousness of Jesus thy "dear Son :wash my unclean soul in his cleans-.
ing blood ; sanctify my unsanctified tempers "and dispositions, by thy Holy Spirit. Watch "over my body and soul this night while I sleep. "Graciously defend me from every danger. Pre"4 serve also, 0 Lord, all that dwell under this "roof and bless my dear parents, and all my relationsn; prosper and increase the ministers "of thy gospel : and may every one of my friends "and acquaintance acquaint themselves with .1.. asls, and be at peace with him. Glory be to A 5
10 EARLY PIETY.
thee, 0 Lord, for my creation, preservation, "cand all the comforts of this life, but much more "for the gift of gifts-a precious Jesus. May "my soul be found in him, both now and for evermorer. Grant all my petitions, and accept "9My praises in the name and for the sake of Je"lgus Christ, who, with the Father and Holy "Ghost, is one God over all, blessed for ever. "Amen and Amen."
These prayers you see, are both very short and suitable; but at times they used other petitions, not set down here, according to their various wants; as when they were ill or had got well again ; when they were going a journey, or the like.
Master Goodchild also informed his parents, that at school before family prayer, a chapter used to be read; and when it was done, each scholar was expected to repeat some verse or seaItence, that they remembered, and this kept up their attention. And there they used to sing very pretty hymns, which, if you should like to learn, you may find them at the end of this book,
Well, before supper, when Mr. Goodchild's family were called up to prayer, you cannot think how glad all the servants were to see Master and Miss again; from which I conclude, that they behaved well before they left home. Their sweet voices made an agreeable addition to the song of praise, that every evening ascended from that happy (because pious) family. In short, it was
as the house of God, and the very gate of heaven. For my part, I wish that those people who have no prayer in their families had been there ; methinks it would have made them much desire to repeat such pleasant scenes under their own roofs. Jer. x. 25.
OF THE GALLERY OF PICTURES.
MASTER and Miss Goodchild, behaving themselves so well, deserved indulgence; and they had what they deserved :-for they had not been at home long, when a great man, John Benevolent, Esq. hearing of them, invited them to his country house, at a very pleasant village neat London ; and he sent his own coach for them too, They were most cordially received, and kind entertained indeed. Among the many curtol things they saw, nothing pleased them better thai a gallery of fine pictures, each of which had spiritual Ineaning; and the squire was so obliging as to point out to them the instructive lesson! they were designed to teach.
The first picture, which struck their attention was a beautiful historical piece, very highly finish ed by a capital hand.
No. I. The little folks (as you will naturally suppose) were anxious to know the meaning of i
-which gave rise to the following dialogue.
12 EARLY PIETY.
Hasler G. Pray, Sir, what does this picture represent?
Squire. My dears, you perceive a poor man almost drowned.
.Miss. G. Yes, Sir, and bow came he there
Squire. He was going over that great piece of water, in a little pasteboard boat. Being deluded by a man in black (who ought to have known better) he foolishly thought that his boat would keep out the water, and convey him to the opposite shore. But as soon as the wind blew, and the waves arose, his boat overset, and the man fell into the water.
Miss G. Poor man but pray, Sir, who is that gentleman on the bank ?
Squire. My dear, that is a tender hearted good Prince: though he looks so plain, he lives in yonder fine palace on the high hill; and seeing (for he can see a great way) this poor creature fall in, he ran immediately to his relief-flung him a rope, and bade the poor man lay fast hold, and he would draw him out.
Master G. Dear Sir, how kind! how very kind that was !
Squire. It was indeed.-The man can never be sufficiently thankful to him.
Miss G. And how excessively tight he seems to hold the rope!
Squire. My dear, he would not let it go for* all the world;I his life is at stake-and if it had not -been for the gentleman, he must certainly
EARLY PIETY. 13
have perished.-And now, children, (added Mr. Benevoleni) I,11 tell you what spiritual instruction it is intended to convey. The man in his paper boat, is to show you how every man by nature (till taught of God) is ready to think that he may get to heaven, by what he can do himself. But it is absolutely impossible, for this reason : The holy lawa of God insists upon perfect obedience, and nothing short of that will do.-But no *man is now able to, obey perfectly.
Therefore, unless the perfect righteousness of another is imputed to him, he must fall under the curse of the broken law-his own best righteousness will fail him, as this man's paper boat has done-and if immediate assistance be not afforded, he must perish for ever and ever. But that dear Prince is to represent Jesus Christ, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who came from glory on purpose to seek and save the lost. The rope shows y0u how we are saved by Faith,* There is no merit in the man, nor in the rope, nor in his holding the rope. His deliverance from death is entirely owing to the Gentleman ; and thus the whole glory of salvation is due alone to Christ.
,Vaster G. I dare say the poor man will not brag of saving himself.-I am sure he ought to be very -thankful.
Squire. You say right, and so he was. The Ge~lman took him afterwards, and gave him
*Faith is taking God at his word,
14 EARLY PIETY.
fresh clothes, his own handsome livery, white turned up with red-and he dwells now in his palace, as happy as a prince.
Miss G. I believe, Sir, I know the meaning of tbat-Thus Jesus brings to heaven, all whom he converts and forgives ; so that he can say-Xot one of them is lost.
Mosier G. How dearly the man must love him, how desirous must he be to please him I dare say the Prince has no need to bid him twice to do any thin-, or to threaten to turn him out of doors if he is not good.-I think if I was in his place, it would be my meat and drink to do his will, and I should want no other wages than his approbation.
Squire. Well said indeed.-O my dear children, remember then, thus cheerfully to love and obey a precious Saviour, who has redeemed usfrom the curse of the Law, by becoming a cursefor us.
No. 2. in the next picture you see two boys; he on the left-hand is named Passion, the other's name is Patience. You may perceive, Passion is much disquieted ; but Patience sits, with a bible in his hand, as quiet as a lamb ; and he is so happy because he is content to wait till next year for several pretty things his guardian has promised him. But Passion is thus disturbed, because he is determined to have all now. He is indeed a very wicked child-he is descended from Dives, whom you read of in the Bible; and Patielice is descended from Lazarus, a very good, though a very poor man. They take after their ancestors
EARLY PIETY. I
very *inch; for, as Mr. Bunyan informs us in his Pilgrim's Progress, a man came and brought
,f to Passion a great bag of money, which he seize ed with prodigious eagerness; and, at the same
time laughing at Patience, calledosim a sorry beggar: but, however, it was not long before he spent all he had, in riotous living; lost his friends and his cash together, and has been seen himself not Iong ago begging about the streets. Wheres as Patience, in time, by diligence and industry, t got a very comfortable estate, upon which he
lives, and does a great deal of good with it.
Master G. And pray, Sir, what is this to teach
Squire. My dear, it is this--Never to covet present things, things which regard only this world, but both quietly to wait, and patiently hope for your portion of better things in a better world.
All this world calls good or great must either leave us, or be left by us; and, it is better to have our portion in heaven than on earth, for this reason also, because, if it be on earth, we are going from it; but if it be in heaven, we are
going to it.
No. S. Squire. What do you observe, Miss
Goodchild, in this next picture ?
Miss G. Sir, I observe a man with a rake in
his hand, raking together all the muck and straw;
and he seems to he very busy indeed.
Squire. But do you not observe something
It EARLY PIETY.
Miss G. Yes, Sir, there is an angel over his head, that seems to want him to look up at a fine crown in his hand. How sweetly the angel smiles I but the man takes no notice. Will you please, Sir, tojell us the meaning ?
Squire. My dears The man who seems so busy in raking to-ether nothing but dirt, is an emblern of the men of this world, who rise early and sit up late, eating the bread of carefulness, and all to get money. The angel represents the faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, who are using all the means they can, to en-age poor careless sinners to think of eternal things ; and showing them what a crown they are despising for mere trash.
-But after all, as you observed, the man takes no notice of the angel, nor of the glorious crown, though it is worth a thousand times more than he will ever scrape together as long as he lives. And thus, dear children, too, too many tabour and study only for the meat which perisheth, while they neglect the unspeakable important concerns of Salvation; and thus ministers tabour in vain: and spend their strength for nought. Few believe their report, and to few is the arm of the Lord revealed.
The very kind gentleman, after having shown them several other pictures of equal merit, dismissed them, with some pretty presents, especially a neat pocket bible to each, which (to them) was the most precious gift they could possibly reteive.
EARLY PIETY. 17
When they returned home, they gave so disL tinct and pleasing an account of all they had seen,
as highly delighted their parents: especially as they took care to remember the instructive explanation of each piece, and were not, like L vqL
children, pleased with them merely as pictures.
Master Goodchild particularly observed to his
papa, with what earnestness the man in the water kept bold of the rope: and said, He hoped the Lord would help him to hold Jesus fast by faith, as his Saviour, with the same de-ree of steadfastHe,
Mr. Goodchild was so pleased with their remarks, that he promised they should see every thing that might be likely to advance their best interest: and accordingly, the next day, they went' to the Museum. AA account of which you have
in the following chapter.
OF THE MUSEUM.
r MUST remark in the first place, that Billy and
Betsey whenever they were to go abroad to see k any fine sight, used always to pray for a blessing
upon it. And they never went to see any thing, or engaged in any diversion, upon which they dared not to ask God's blessing.-And for that reason never went to plays, nor played at cards; tbev knew that all such diversions were unlawful.
They had been told what rare curiosities of na-
18 EARLY PIETY.
ture and art were to be seen at the Museum, and therefore they prayed, that from seeing the wonderful things which God had made, and given wisdom to man to make, they might he led to adore the great Creator.
The first room they were led into, contained a vast variety of serpents, snakes, adders, and such like frightful creatures, many of which, though beautiful to look upon, were terrible when alive; having had sharp stings, and mortal poison under their tongues.
Miss Goodchild shuddered almost to look upon them ; but Master Billy whispered his papa, and said, these destructive creatures put me in mind of that old and subtle serpent, who first persuaded Eve to sin against Cod, bv breaking his commands, and so 11brought death into the world, and all our
w o e.
Yes, my dear, (said a venerable minister,
%ho showed the curiosities) and so it did ; but I "hope you know that Christ the friend of sin"ners came, according to his promise, to bruise "the serpent's head: so that death to those who "believe in him, is disarmed of his sting, and is "no more hurtful than these vipersr, now they "are dead and bottled up in spirits." They were then led into a dark room, in which was a fine transparent picture of a burning mountain in Italy, called Vesuvius -, from the top of which issued huge quantities of stones, and rivers of liquid fire poured down its side. The sight
EARLY PIETY. t9
of such an awful scene, though hbit painted, filled every mind with solemnity, and every face with fear.-And who can help thinking, said the 1,inister who accompanied them, of that dreadful day, which our eyes must behold ; no painted fire, nor imaginary thunders then, but all real ; when the elements must melt with fervent heat, the sun be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, when the Son of man shall colnein the clouds of heaven, in great glory, and all his holy angels with him ; to take vengeance on his enemies, and to sentence all the sons of Adam to everlasting happiness or misery Oh said the little girl, F Oh that this Judge may be our friend; then we
shall lbe safe. Here they were also shown all manner of birds, and their nests-alt sorts of butterflies, and other insects-curious helmects and swords-all sorts of shells and leaves, and more fine things than I could tell you of in an hour.
But nothing pleased Master Goodchild more than an old manuscript of the Bible in vellum,, which the minister said was worth all the books there; and so it was : for what mould all the books in the world be without the bible; other books may make a man wise in worldly, wisdom : but it is only the Bible that can make a man wise to salvation : this only teaches hini how to live, and how to die ; this tells him, how he may be happy here and for ever happy. Oh I prize it, my dear reader, never let a day pass without reading it;
20 EARLY PIETY.
and be sure, when you read it, you pray to God to help you to understand it.
When they came home they made many pretty remarks upon almost every thing they had seen : and what was still better, their minds were so much impressed as to lead them to pray for more admiring and adoring thoughts sof the great God, who made all things with infinite wisdom :and that they might ever stand in awe of him, and not dare any more to sin against him. Thus you see how they improved by whatever they saw; and in the next chapter we shall show you, what sort of company they kept : how they spent their time together; and what use they had made of the good books they read, by being able to relate with so much propriety, remarkable histories of good and pious children, whom you will do well to imitate.
,THE PIOUS ASSEMBLY, AND A VERY REMARKABLE HISTORY.
WHEN the young gentlemen and ladies, who
were acqttaintedl with. Master Gondchild and his sister, heard that they were returned from boarding-school, they were very desirous to come and see them, so a day was fixed on for that purpose; and when shou ld it be, but the Twelfth-day, and it happened that they were just twelve in company.-Well; after they had dined, it was
EARLY PIET1 proposed by Mr. Goodchild that instead of the
idle diversion of choosing king and queen, (which he knew they were above) they should each tell o some pretty history which they had read, that e might tend to their mutual advantage. This
being directly agreed upon, Mr. and Mrs. GoodU child withdrew, leaving only the young people )t together, that they might speak with the greater ,e freedom.
Ld Miss Mild, being the eldest in company, was
rt desired to begin, which she was just about to do, ie when Master Prayerful begged leave to ask, whel ther it was not proper first to pray fora blessing
on their conversation-Certainly, said Master kd Goodchild, for 1 have often read that text, which
says, In every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And I heartily acquiesce in the proposal, said Miss Candour, for it is the custom of some very honourable persons, where mamma visits, after dinner to sing an hymn, and EM
unite in prayer, which they say prevents the conversation from turning upon the failings of ab0, sent friends.
d Master Serious theirayed for a few minutes;
a after which, the little company being again seat. e ed, Miss Mild introduced her story thus:
I apprehend, my dear young friends, that nothing can be more profitable to us, nor indeed more encouraging, than to hear of those, #- ike us in age and capacity, whose early piety,
22 EARLY PIETY.
and whose happy deaths have witnessed, how much little children are the care of a compassionate Saviour, who permitted, when on earth, "such to be brought to him, and declared, that
of such is the kingdom of heaven."
I have read of a poor boy, who came all in
-dirt and rags to a gentleman's door at Newington, crying for bread. Notwithstanding his filthy condition, the Lord disposed that generous man to take him in, and clothe him from head to foot, and bring him up as his own child.
This boy was as wicked as he was poor; he used to take the Lord's name in vain, and curse and swear in a shocking manner : indeed he was guilty of all sorts of wickedness. But the gentleman who had his eternal, as much or more than his temporal good at heart, laboured to convince him of his natural depravity-of his sinful practices-of the worth of his soul, and the bitter consequence% of sinning against God-of the uncertainty of life-the certainty of death,-and a future judgment-he used often to pray with, and apart to pray for, him.
Nor were his prayers long unanswered. in a few weeks' time, a great change took place in the boy's outward behaviour: which was once very uncivil, but now affable and courteous to all. And the change affected not his outward conduct only ; but he began privately to weep, and mourn for his past offences ; he would gladly. attend on prayer; would listen with great attq!
EARLY PIETY. 23'
ff ion to aldl his master said, about eternal things.
And thus he continued to do, when the Lord vi1, sited him, with sickness: he was taken ill: his it body was full of pain:- but the distress of his soul
was greater still-His sins now stared him in the a face; hie would lay atAd cry out, 0 what shall I
do !-W~hat shall 1 do !-Ifear there is no inercy y foriuue!
0 He was often told, there was mercy in Christ
fi# the chief of sinners; yet he was still afraid God would not have mercy on him, lie was so e vile a sinner. But at length he was helped to
* lay hold on this promise-Come unto me, all Se
* that tabour and are heavy laden, and I will give
L_ you rest. And then he would bless and adore the e free and rich grace of God, that such a wretch as
he should obtain pity and pardon.
11 Thus he abounded still more and more in prayer and praise, longing to he dissolved, that he e might be with Christ.
a Yet he had at times fears returning, lest after
alfte should be deceived. But the day before
he died, a gentleman came to see him, and blama ed him much for giving way to doubts and fears,
at saying, it was as though all that had been to*t e him were lies, to deceive him.-You say, you fear
31 Christ will not accept you; perhaps you are not It willing to accept Christ. "indeed I am," replied
the boy. "1Why then, child," said he, "1if thou
"art really willing to have Christ, Christ is a "thousand times more willing to have thee, and,
24 EARLY PIETY.
"wash thee in his blood." Well! (said the boy, leaping up in his bed) Well! yea, all is well, Chri*st is willing, and I am willing too; and nowa Christ is min6, and I am his for ever. He conti-, nued from that moment, to his last, t riumphing in full assurance of God's love'; earnestly desiring his dismission, which next morning he obtainedand the last words he uttered were, Into thy hilkds, 0 Lord, I commit my spirit; and so he slept in Jesus. He was but just turned of nine yeartf~ age.
And oh, what a sweet smile of applause sat on every countenance, when the story was finishedI each of the dear young people saying, 0 that 1I may die the death of the righteous, and that my latter end may be like his!
CR APT ERV.
REMARKABLE CONVERSION OF SEVERAL CHILDREN AT THE ORPHAN-HOUSE IN GEORGIA.
MASTER Timothy then obliged the company II with the following history:
You have, doubtless, heard of the Orphan. house, in Georgia, founded by the late Rev. Mr. Whitfield. His heart, you know, always longed for the salvation of precious souls, especially of young people; and it was not long after the school there was settled, that the Lord was pleased toanswer the wishes of his heart. For in the
EARLY PIETY. 25
year 1741, Mr. Barber, the superintendent of their spiritual affairs, wrote a letter to Mr. Whitt field, which I shall take the liberty4o read :
Bethesda, March 21, 1741.
"My very dear Brother,
a "NEVER-no never, did my eyes see such a
f "s sight, nor my ears hear such a sound, as in the
"day past; and oh, how will your soul rejoice, n "when you hear what it was! it was nothing less
i "wonderful than a great number of linc children I ",in your Orphan-house, crying out after the
"- Lord. After dinner, brother Perian had left them in the school, picking cotton: and, while "they were working one of them said to another, ,If we do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ we "shall all go to hell, and added, that the children "of God prayed to God. Immediately the boy, N "to whom he spake, fell down upon his knees,
", and began to pray; and then another, till they y "were all on their knees together, praying.,--Pro,vidence so ordered it, that some of the family
i heard them, and it was not long before the r. "whole family were gathered around them. 0 dl4 how did the awful and pleasing sight strike 3f "us, and melt us into a flood of tears !-The le "I dear little lambs, continued crying out, with the trembling jailer, Ifhat nmust ee do to be sq"saved? They prayed, Lord God almighty, Bi
26 EARLY PIETY.
"have compassion upon us; prick us to tht "heart, and pluck us as fire-brands out of thf "burning; and, 0 Lord Jesus Christ, wash ui H "in thy blood-O Lord, take away our hati
stony hearts, and give us hearts of flesh.-Ani -how did the little souls plead with God!" Lord, bast thou not said, that those that seel "thee earlj shall find thee? and that thou wO "not quench the smoking fiax, nor break th "bruised reed? And I heard one of them say 11 Lord, thou hast said, that we shall be all taugh of thee.-Thus they continued crying after thi "Lord, an hour or two, and I am convinced, n6 "only by what I saw, but felt, that the Lord wa
present with us," &c. &c.
bliss Lydia, his sister, being desired to relate
something, began thus: Since the company ap pear so much and so justly affected with what m!
brother has said, I shall attempt to tell you as wel as I can, the substance of another letter from t
same person about half a year after.
At family prayer one evening, he read the 251
chapter of Matthew ; spoke a little from it, aboi the day of judgment, and had the pleasure to ol serve many of the children very attentive a much affected.
After he had, as usual, lighted them to be
and retired to his own chamber, a child came a
told him, that one of the boys wanted to sp vith him ;-he went directly. Before he got the chamber, he heard a noise, and when he ca in, found many pra) ing, that the Lord Jesus wo
EARLY PIETY. 27
h hare mercy on them. One of them told him He h had a hard heart. He prayed with them; and, n after he had left them, some continued praying
L in deep distress, great part of the night.
nWhen he visited them in the morning, asking
11 one what he wanted;, he answered with tears in ,e his eyes, lie wanted Jesus Christ.
,j After this, it was observable, that they sought th all opportunities to be by themselves, and pray. a What then can we think of children that never
g pray to God, when all converted people begin imth immediately to pray ?May this, my young friends, a quicken us all to more diligence in this delightful VV duty.
Miss Melody, not being able, then, to recollect [a any history, obliged her friends with the hymn in al the frontispiece of this book. in
0 CONTAINING 'THE InSTOaT OF A SkD WICKED CHILD,
0 AND HIS5 MISERABLE DEATH.
a MASTER Samuel, whose torn it was next, said
Je he had frequently met with this observation, that contraries illustrate ; and therefore, as a contrast to those pleasing histories already recited, he hoped it might be profitable to relate an account
a of a very wicked boy, in order both to warn. us 0 against his faults, and excite our grdiade to God,
28 EARLY PIETY.
and thankfulness to our friends, for his grace and their instruction.
The boy, whose story I am about to tell, was named Jack Perverse, and his nature was answerable to his name.
Though his parents sent him to a very good school, yet he was such a dunce, that he could not read a single verse in the Testament without blundering; and when he was reproved, used to answer again with impertinence; and wasso sulkyl and obstinate, that correction only made him worse. When any mischief was going forward school, he was sure to be found at the head of it by which means his book was neglected, his' task left undone ; and then, to avoid punishment, h would play truant: the consequence of which was$ that he was not only well flogged, but a heavy log was also fastened to his leg, and a great fool's cap put upon his head; so that he became the sport and derision of all that beheld him.
His master, in order to reclaim him, would some. times call him up and speak thus to him:-" Chld "you should remember that your good father put you under my care, that you might ira prove in useful knowledge, and so be fit, whe "you leave school enter the world with credit but if you continue your bad ways and neglc your learning, your dear father will be griev and disappointed, I shall be discredited, and yo "will be ruined."
Now, onwould have thought that such kin advice as this would have had some weight wit
EARLY PIETY. T9
him: but alas! it had none: he still contisuedt idle and obstinate, despising both his master and
- his cot L
He was not only idle, but cruel.-lge used to
catch flies on purpose to torment them ; and was guilty of that horrid practice of making cockchafers spin, by putting a crooked pin through their e tails and hanging them by a bit of thread, which d puts them in terrible agouies.-When this was ,r mentioned, several of the company immediately
burst into tears, they were so shocked at any thing that was cruel. And Master Tender could not help saying, '1 am astonished at the hard,, ness of that heart, which can takedelight in
beholding the agonies of poor dumb creatures: and it brings to my mind what I once read of
"c the wise Athenians, who condemned a boy for putting out the eyes of birds with a hot needle,
-judging that such seeds of cruelty would neces-
i "sarily grow up into more dreadful acts of vio.
,- fence, and endanger the lives of men and thc happiness of mankind: the boy was terefor( 1' put to death.-But I beg pardon for this inter. eruption."
Master Samuel then resumed his narration.-] have mentioned already his bad behaviour at school, and his wickedness at his diversions; ; shall only trouble you farther with an account ol his perverse conduct at home, and his irreverent disposition at church : which I think together make up a boy as bad as boy can be!
In the morning he would lie a-bed very late, even after he was called ; hurry over his prayer like a parrot, and sometimes if he thought h( should not be found out, would wholly.omit them; and then if asked about them, he would, tell a lie to hide his sin, and so make it double you know.
When his papa was at prayer in the family, hi would be looking about him, instead of making every petition his own ; and at evening prayei was often found asleep. If he was sent on an erm rand, he would loiter and play by the way, some. times quite forgetting his mes!ge, and sometime delivering wrong one.
His behaviour to the servants was extremel haughty and insolent, always speaking ill of thew behind their backs, and laying his own faults t their charge, and yet to their faces would faw and flatter, if he could get any thing by it.
But the worst of all was his irreverence a
EARLY PIETY. 3 81
church; he did not go there, as good boys do, to hc meet with God, and learn more of Jesus Christ ore and their duty, but only because he was obliged ,r- to go. He never prayed before he went, for a
blessing upon the minister, and that he might get good : and when there, he would stare about him, a observe every body that came in, take notice how
this and that person was dressed, but did not pray 0 in prayer, nor mind the sermon, but frequently
laughed at it and the minister too, e little
e thought of those wicked children we read of in the
2d Book of Kings, who laughed at a great ministe: ter in those days, the prophet Elisha, calling him a er baldhead, and making game of him whom they h ought highly to have honoured ; and the Lord sent two great frightful bears out of the wood, u and killed no less than two-and-forty of them. Ie We may see, my friends, that God Almighty takes
notice of, is displeased with, and punishes naughty h boys and girls, as well as naughty men and woin men: and that he does so still is evident, for Jack Perverse, one Sunday afternoon, after he er had been -akin game of the minister and his
ne message, went with a boy of his acquaintance, as Be bad as himself, to bathe in the river, and there, he
getting out of his depth, and the other being el seized with the cramp, were both drowned ; and e so taken away suddenly, with all their sins unrepented of and unforgiven, to stand before God in
judgment: thus we see that the way of sin is d.wn-hill; and how children are hurried on from
crime to another, till all ends in the ruin of
32 EARLY PIETY.
soul and body. May God keep us all, said the little pious company, from all the ways of sin and the least appearance of evil! Then they sung the
following hymn of Dr. Watts:
OUR tongues were made to bless the Lord,
And not speak ill of men ;
When others give a railing word,
We must not rail again.
The lips that dare be so profane.
To mock, and jeer, and scoff,
At holy things or holy men,
The Lord shall cut them off.
When children in their wanton play,
Serv'd old Elisha so,
And bid the prophet go his way, Go up, thou bald-head, go,"
God quickly stopt their wicked breath,
And sent two raging bears,
That tore them limb from limb to death,
With blood, and groans, and tes.
Great God how terrible art thou
To sinnmersoer so young!
Grant me thy grace, and teach me how
To tame andi rule my tongue.
Let the sweet work of prayer and praise
Employ my youngest breath;
Thus I'm prepared for longer days,
Or fit for early death.
EARLY PIETY. 33
OF A VERY GOOD GIRL, THAT DIED VERY HAPPY
BEFORE SHE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD.
MjNISS Goodchild then begged leave to rte
some few passages from the life of Miss Carteret Rede, who was the daughter of a gentleman in Wiltshire.
She gave remarkable proofs of her early piety; for bein- asked, when she was no more than four years of age, who was her greatest enemy I she replied, Sin was her greatest enemy. Soon after, when reading in the second chapter of St. Lakes gospel, about Joseph and Mary, that there was no room for them in the inn, and that the BABE was laid in a manger; she burst into a flbod of tears, saying, What wasiere no room in the inn for the Lord of glory, but must BE lie in a manger among the beasts
34 EARLY PIETY.
One morning when she was not well, she began
her prayer thus, 0 Lord, took down upon me, and give me the knowledge of thyself: take sin out of my heart, that I wnay be thy child; with several
such like expressions.
iI When she had done, she said, I have a pretty lesson in miy book, which is about Gods sending the Lord Jesus to die for poor sinners. At another time, when sitting by the fire, she burst into tears ; and being asked what was the matter, she said, I do offend the Lord in all I do. At another time, I must be more afraid of sinning ag-ainst God than of being whipped,for it is God that gives
us food and raiment and every thing.
One evening she went to her father, and said,
Pray for me, that God would pardon all my sins, ass4hat he would take away this wicked heart, and j that I may be with God when I die. Just before she was taken ill, she was reading the 55th of V Isaiah, she stopt and said, XAothing but the blood
of Christ can cleanse ma from sin. Her mother asked her, Whether she did not think that being, good, and doing good works would save her ? She replied, Our righteousness is a sinful righteousness,
terefore it-cannot save us.
~A little kinswoman and she being at play, they
happened to fall out ; but presently Cartaret, recollecting herself, said to her Cousin, Don't we know Thsat. Christ died for us,wh should we fatl
S oon after she was taken ill, and was One evenin- earnest with tears, that Christ might be re-
EARLY PIETY. 35
vealed to her: she said, I msa hare Christ, I cannot tell what to do wftkout him. One said, Cannot your prayers save you ? Oh! no, said she,
none but Christ can do it.
At another time, not long before her death, she
said, This scripture is come to my mind, He will have mercy on wko&* he will have mercy, and he willhave mercy on me. Soon after, being asked, Does God lift up the light of his countenance upon you ? she said, I hope he does, And you are willing to go to Christ ? I hope I ax. The ago.
nies of death coming on, the last wordshe spoke
to her father, was, Pray for me.
While he prayed with her she lay very still, and
abouteleveno'clock on the 7th of December, 1701,
she fell asleep in Jesus.
When Miss Goodchild had finished the history
of Cartaret, which she told with great modesty, F they agreed to sing the following hymn:
r HAPPY the child whose youngest years
Receive instruction well
Who hate the si aner's path, and fears
The read that leadsto heIL
S When we devote our youths to God,
'Tis phasing in his eyes
e A flower, when ofler'd in the bud,
is no vain sai ice.
'Tis easier work if we begin
To fim, the Loord betin1
S6 EARLY PIETY.
While sinners that grow old in sin,
Are hardened in their crimes.
'Twill dAre us from a thousand snares,
To mind religion young;
Grace will preserve our following years,
And make our virtue stron-.
To thee, Almighty God, to thee
Our childhood we resign;
'Twill please us to look hack and see
That ~ur whole lives were thine.
OF ANOTHER VERY GOOD CHIiLD.*
mlilss Candour then obliged the company with
several particulars of a child, who died in the Lord, no longer ago than in the year 1775.
Being ill, prayer was put up for him in the publie congregation; after which he said to some about him, The Lord has answered prayer; I know now that the Lord loves me and will save we; God is miy salvation; I will trust anid not be afraid. Before this he had strong fears of death.
One day he said, 0 how I ove those two sweet.
God is my salvation. How I love mny Father for
*Master Rogers of Brighthelmstone.
EARLY PIETY. 8
leaching me to read the Bible! If I should live to be a man, I would give everyp body in my house a Bible.
The Lord let him into a sight of the iniquities. of his heart:- for he told one, That the last time he had his new clothes on he was so proud, that if his Itfe were spared, he should be afraid ever to put them on again.-On Easter Sunday he told his father, I find we must have a better righteousness than our own; for I have often, when hearing preaching at the chapel, thought how good I would be, that I never would be undat~ful, or ploy with naughty boys any more; but as soon as the next day came, I was as bed as ever: so I am sure our own righteous will not do.
He saw his mother weeping, and said to her, Do not grieve; 1, can tell you of one who had a greater trial than you have: Abraham, you know, was to offer uip his son. Yes, my dear, said his mother, but I have not Abraham's faith. Ahi, mother, replied he, God can give it you.
When he had been peevish and fretful, he mourned over his evil tempers, and looking earnestly at his mother, said, Mother, passion is my besetting sin; but the Lord will pardon me, because he loves me.
fie told the Rev. Mr. Peckwell, who visited him, it was ungrateful in people to run away from Christ. Mr. Peckwell, asked him how it was that he did not run from him-His answer was, Because the Lord loves me. But if you get well again, do not you think you shall. r n away from
38 EARLY PIETY.
himI No-, he replied, The Lord loves wte too well toletme. What would you say to your playmates, if you could see them now ? I would call them to Christ.
How kind it was in Christ to die for me 0 I want to die, because the Lord loves me!
During his illness, he would frequently say, Lord, look on a poor afflicted child. Mother, see your dying child; I want to die and go to my sisters.
In the morning of April 28, he said, I shall be gone before night. One asked, Where ? To heYen, said he.-A little before his departure, he cried out, Come down, my God, and take me up to heaven ; and take that devil down to hell.
Soon after this he was released, and expired repeating these words, My God-My God-My God I
THERE is beyond the sky
A heav'n ofjoy and love ;
And holy children when they die,
Go to that world above.
There is a dreadful hell,
And everlasting pains;
There sinners must with devils dwell
In d4rk ess, fire, and chajus.
Can such a wretch as I
Escape this cursed end?
And nmay I hope, whene'er I die,
I shall to heaven ascend?
EARLY PIETY. 39
Then will I read and pray,
While I have life and breath,
Lest I should be cut off to-day,
And sent t' eternal death.
OF GOD'S PROVIDENCE AND REMARKABLE
INSTANCES OF IT.
WVE have seen, said Master Considerate (who
sat next) in a pleasing variety of instances the power of divine grace in changing the hearts of many little children like ourselves, and as we have spokeu so much of grace, it may not be amiss a little to consider the Providence of God, as very prettily held out in the story of a hermit, which I have read in a book in my papa's study.
A certain hermit, who ad passed the greatest part of his life in the midst of a lonely desert, far
40 EARLY PIETY.
remote from mankind, whose food was the fruits of the earth, and his drink the crystal fountainmight have continued his repose and quiet, had not this temptation arisen in his mind, Whether Providence guided the actions of men or not P For, said be, if God really directs all things, how happens it that good men often suffer many injuries from the wicked, and wicked men so often prosper.
To clear up this matter, he determined, though very old, to leave his retirement and visit the world. Accordingly he arose at break of day, and after travelling a long time, he perceived a beautiful youth hosting across the plain. Good day to you, honoured father, said the youth; and Good day to you, replied the sage. Very agreeable conversation ensued, and they travelled together until night approached.
Observing a stately palace just by, in which dwelt a proud but hospitable knight, they stept up to the door, and giving a gentle knock, were immediately admitted. An elegant supper was served up, and numerous servants waited upon them ; after which, being fatigued, they retired to bed, and did not awake until mornin-.
They were then called up to a sumptuous breakfad, and rich wines were handed round in a large golden cup. When they had eat and drank as much as they pleased, they returned many thanks to the courteous knight, and were dismissed. No one had reason to be sorry but the kind landlord,
EARLY PIETY. 41
for the young man was so ungrateful as to steal the golden cup.
They had not gone far before theyouth showed, the cup to the aged hermit. He stood astonished at his ingratitude, almost wishing to get rid of such a companion, but did not dare to mention his wish; however, lifting up his eyes to Heaven, he thought how hard it was, that generous actions should be so strangely rewarded.
The weather now became cloudy ; the wind rustled; the cattle scudded home for shelter, and such a*m of rain fell, as made them glad to see an old gentleman's gothic seat, upon a rising ground, near at hand. They hastened to the door, where they long knocked without admittance. At last the miserly master of the house, with slow and cautious steps came to the door, which he opened with suspicious care. They were but half welcomed:-only one little fagot lighted the naked walls; a poor pittance of coarse bread, and some stale small beer were brought for their refreshment:-even this was grudged, and as soon as ever it began to clear up, they were bid to be gone.
The hermit was surprised to think that a man of such vast possessions should lead such a miserable life: and he almost blamed Providence, for permitting so much wealth to lay useless in his hand; but how was he astonished when the young man informed him that be had rewarded the miser with the golden cup, which was stole4en from their former generous benefactor I
42 EARLY PIETY.
itNight again came on, and once more they ~Isought a place of rest. Looking round, they
perceived a mansion not far off; it was neither mean nor grand, but seemed to speak the mind~ of its owner, a man content and benevolent.
Hither they repaired, and were kindly received they were not only well entertained as to refreshment b~ut the host talked like a serious pious
in the morning just before they departed, the
youth went to a cradle, in which was a pretty infant, (the pride and joy of its aged fa*r) and broke its neck-But Oh! how looked the hierinit! strange return he cried for so much hospitalityI
Confused and struck with horror, the old man
was determined at any rate to get rid of so vile a companion. Be fled-but the youth pursued and soon overtook him. And as the country lay wide and the roads were not easy to find, a servant of their last host went before, to show the way. They had occasion at last to pass a river, when the youth, who seemed to watch every opportunity of doing mischief, approached the care
less guide, as he waicrossing the wooden bridge, and pushed him into the river; he cried for help,
hut in vain ; he sunk, to rise no more I
The hermit's eyes now sparkled with rage; he
overcame his fears, and thus exclaimed-"6 De
tested wretch !"-but before be could speak ano.
teword-his companion seemed no longer
man he appeared as an angel from heaven
The hermit stood astonished, and knew not what to say-The Angel thus addressed him: 11The Almighty Creator has a right to do as he pleases with his own-Learn the mystery of Providence
-That vain man, who fared sumptuously every day was too luxurious to be good; he was proud of his side-board of plate, and forced his guests to drink morning draughts of wine : by losing that golden cup, he has brokeft off that custo~m, but still welcomes every stager, though with less pomp and expense.
As for that suspicious miser, with whom 1 left the cup, he may learn, that if mortals will be kind, Providence can well repay their benevolence; conscious of this, his icy bosom now, for the first time, feels the warmth of compassion.
The child of our pious friend had almost weaned his affections from God; but to teach him better, the Lord, to save the father, has taken the child. ,To all but us, he seemed to go off in fits, and I was ordained to call him hence. The poor father, now humbled in tears, owns that the punishment was just.
But had the false servant, whomn I drowned, returned back in safety, w14f a fund of charity. would have benls!for he had laid a plot against the life of his master, and this very night intended to put it into execution-Thus then be instructed, no more to dispute the wisdom of Providence; but humbly acknowledge the-equity of the divine counsels, and thy own inability to judge of them aright.
44 E A RLY I BTY.
I remember, said Master Josiab, that somegood men we read of in the Psalms have been under the same temptation; for the Psalmist says, That his feet had well nigh slipt, for he was envious at 11 foolish, when he beheld Ike prosperity of the wicked.,but when he went into the house of God, and learned their miserable end, he no more repined at Providence ; but was content to be any thing here, so he might but ave Heaven at last, and have Grace to carry him there.
They then sang this pretty Hymn:
PROVIDE ENC .
GOD moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform:
lie plants his footsteps in the sea,
And ride& upon the storm.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his Grace:
Behind a frowning Providence
He hides a smiling face.
pis purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding e our:
The bud may a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow'r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
EARLY. PIETY. 45
A PRETTY HISTORY 0F A PIOUS YOUNG LADY, WELL WORTHY TUB IMITATION OF MlY LITTLE READERS. IN my father's library (Said Master Prayerful) is a most excellent little book, giving an account of Amelia Geddie, from her infancy to her death, which happened February the 2d. 1688, when she [was about sixteen. I can only promise you a few particulars. which I remember. It was remarked of her, that before she could speak, if she had been crying, or out of humour, (as you know littie folks too often are) if she perceived any of the family where she was, were about to go to prayer, she would be perfectly silent in a moment, and continue as quiet as a lamb, during the whole time of worship.
As soon as she could speak, she would ask questions about God and the creation.-For instance, Whether the sun shined on her grandfatther and grandmother; and when she was told that the same sun gave light to all the world, she replied, ought we not then to love that God who made
all these things and gave them to us.
Before she was three years Vold, she used to ask
a blessing on her food, with words of her own.
one day, when her mother had reproved her
for not giving a good accountL of her lesson, she was afterwards. found weeping ; and being -asked, Why do you weepP you were not heat; she answered, 't had rather, have been beat thananger my mother ; the thought of my mother's being
angry makes me weep."
46 EARLY PIETY.
Being sorely troubled in soul, she went to a good woman of her acquaintance, who asked the cause of her distress: to which she answered
The devil takes the good word out of the very bottom of my heart, and often says to me, What needs all this noise with your religion ? Other children will get to Heaven as soon as you.' Being asked what she did when so tempted.;h replied, 11 1 know no other way than to go to the Lord in prayer: and I desire God's people to pray for me, for my prayers are of no strength, nor theirs neither, without Christ."
One day being dressed flue in white and red ribands; one said, I suppose you think yourself very fine, she answered,~ 1 1 shall never think that, until I get on the clean and fair robe of Christ'* imputed righteousness, and then I shall be truly fine and clean."
She would frequently give money to the bggar@, and follow them to the outward gate o the house where she lived, and used to instruct them,. showing them that there was a God and
EARLY PIETY. 47
hell; she would reprove them for their wicked lives, pailtllnth ,Thtsernrnk
ing, and sabbath-breaking would bring them to bell.
She was so earnest in secret prayer, that every word she uttered seemed to come from the bottom of her heart.
She learned much of the scripture by heart, and could correctly repeat many chapters, particularly the 8th of RomauS, which she said was a whole bible to her : also the 14tb, 16th, and 17th chapters of St. John's gospel, and I Ith of Hebrews, many of the Psalms, and almost all Solomon's Songs, &c. She was asked, Why she got so much by heart, seeing, she had a bible at handI She answered, I fear the time will come that I shall want it, and 1 cannot live without the precious bible.
When she was exercised with strong pains of the gravel, her patience was truly admirable; never uttering a rash word, or giving the least signs of impatience or weariness. 't I have heard (she would say) of many sick persons, who have said, when it is morning, 0 that it were evening; and when it is evening-0, that it were morning! but as for me, I must confess, to the glory of free grace, that the time, night and day, is made pleasant to me by the Lord ; When it is evening, it is pleasant ; and when it is morning, I am refreshed."
Being asked what supported her, she answered, I look upon my trouble as the fruit of my sin.
I am made to wonder it has not been always so with me.
48 EARLY PIETY.
I am helped to bless the Lord that it is no worse.
Means are used, and I look to hint to bless thent as far as he seems good.
I submit whether for life or death. And I have the faith that it will he better, for I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed.
Not long before she died, this scripture cam to her mind, Give we thine heart; to which she' replied, 0 reasonable demand-if I had a thou sand hearts thou art worthy of them all. FOn the Saturday night before her death, she often said,- This following sabbath will be my last; and expressed a vehement desire for an everlasting sabbath.
Having slept till eight o'clock, and finding it. wjas so late, she said, She thought to have spent it better than to sleep so lon-After this she mentioned with admiration, almost all the names and titles given tp Christ in his holy word. She also spoke something concerning every one to the astonishment of all that beard her. He is, said she, Ike chief of ten thousand, and added, the chief of all to me.
Somebody think ing that she was just departing, brought a, light to see; but she smiled and said, I shall not die just now-How do you know that? 1 miss that promised presence, which for many a
Through great weakness she bad not been able
EARLY PIETY. 49
to raise her bead up in bed, but now she arose and sat straight up, prayed to God and pleaded his promises, saying, Now let it be according to thy precious word to my soul, for there is nothing in me; adding, it is only upon the blood of the Lord Jesus, and the faithfulness of God I depend.
After this, a little wine was given her, and she said, Now no more of the creature; and immediate desired her mother to pray. When her mother was giving her up to God, she was ob. served to smile, and as soon as prayer was done, she closed her eyes and lips, as one failing asleep, and so quietly resigned her soul to God.
Master Tender, who should have spoken next, as so very much affected, that he begged to be excused relating any history : he could only say, I pray to God to make us all like Amelia Geddie.
-But however they sun- the following hymn
COME, children, learn to fear the Lord,
And that your days be long,
Let not a false or spiteful word,
Be found upon your tongue.
Depart from mischief, practise love,
Pursue the works of peace;
So shall the Lord your ways approve,
And met your souls at ease.
He bids his angels pitch their tents,
Round where his children dwell;
50 EARLY PIETY.
What ills his heav'nly care prevent,
No earthly tongue can tell.
0! children, come and taste his love!
Come learn his pleasant ways,
And let your own experience prove,
The sweetness of his grace.
THE HISTORY OF EDWARD VI. RING OF UGLAND,5
WHO WAS A GOOD BOY AND A GOOD KING0.
WE have hitherto, said Master Josiah, (whwo
sat next) heard of those whose lot was cast (as most of God's people are) in the lower rank. of life: but I have read of one most illustrious prince, who was much more honourable by his grace than his earthly dignities.
Prince Edward was but just nine years old, when, by the death of his father, he became kin of England.
lie was possessed of such extraordinary qualifications, that the nation entertained (and very justly, I think) the highest expectations of last. ing happiness and prosperity.
It was among his least commendations, that h was surprisingly learned for his age; he was abl to speak- Latin fluently, and was well versed Greek, Italian, and other languages-, in the n quirement of which knowledge, he was alwaq
EARLY PIETY. 51
ready to leave his diversions, when the appointed hour of study returned.
No sooner was he settled upon the throne, than he promoted, by every means he could, the great work of reforming England from popish idolatry and superstition, by enacting good laws, and encouraging and promoting all pious, learned, and diligent men, whether bishops or others, who faithfully explained and enforced the truths of the gospel.
The nation having but just shaken off popish superstition and cruelty, retained still too much of what always belonged to popery, I mean persecution for conscience' sake.
A warrant was brought for the young king to sign, for the burning Joan of Kent, who was condemned as an heretic. He was extremely unwilling to do it; but archbishop Crannier, and others, using many arguments, at last overper-.suaded him. When he had signed his name, with tears in his eyes, he said, If I have done wrong, Cranmer, you shall answer it at the day of judgment.
At another time, the same archbishop had been pleading with him to permit his popish sister Mary (afterwards the bloody butcher of God's people) to have mass performed publicly in herI house; he could not, by the strongest arguments, be prevailed upon to consent. The archbishop coming out of the king's presence, met with Mr. Cheeke, who had been his school-master, and &aluted him~ thus-Sir, you may be glad all the days C 2
52 EARLY PIETY.
of your life, that you had the education of such a scholar ; adding, that the king had more divinity in his little finger than they had in both their whole bodies.
In January, the beginning of the 7th year of his reign, he fell sick, and in the time of his sickness bishop Ridley preached before him, and much recommended works of charity, especially to those who were rich and great. After dinner the king sent for him, and after thanking him for his sermon, repeated the principal parts of it; and then added, I take myself to be chiefly touched in your speech; for as in kingdom I am next under God, so I ought to be most like him in mercy and goodness. Therefore as you have given me this general exhortation, direct me, I beseech you, by what particular act, I may best discharge my duty.
The bishop being astonished, as well he might, declared to the king that he was not prepared at present to answer so weighty a question; but if his majesty pleased he would consult with the city of London, and return him their answer.
In consequence of this, the poor were ranked in three classes: for each of which, the king gave some houses, and lands; and founded the Blue Coat School, and St. Bartholomew's Hospital, in Smithfield, and the Bridewell, by Fleet-Ditch which being done, he thanked God, for prolong ing his life to finish the business.
But, alas! this pious prince, of whom England was not worthy, was soon to be removed froi his
EARLY PIETY. 53
earthly throne, to be crowned with never-fanig glory.
When he was about sixteen he was seized with a consumption, which daily growing upon him, soon threatened his dissolution.
Physicians and others tried all the powers of physic in vain: he was given over, and death hastily approached.
About three hours before he died, his eyes being closed, and thinking nobody was within hearing, he offered up this prayer :
0 Lord God, deliver me out of this miserable and wretched life, and take me amongst thy chosen ; howbeit, not my will, but thine he done: Lord, I commit my soul to thee ; 0 Lord, thou knowest how happy it were for me to be with thee; yet for thy chosen's sake send me life and health ;that I may truly serve thee. 0 Lord, my God, bless thy people and save thine inheritance. 0 Lord God, save thy chosen people of England; 0 my Lord God, defend this realm from popery, and maintain the true religion, that 1 and thy people may praise thy holy name, for thy Son Jesus Christ's sake.
Then turning his face and seein-some nigh, he said, Are you so nigh? I thought you had been farther off. Many fervent prayers he put up; and his last words were these, I am faiut, Lord, have mercy upon me, and take my spirit; and so committed his pious soul into the hands of hisI heavenly Father.
He died July 6, 1553, in his 17th year.
54 EARLY PIETY.
BY should I say, 'tis yet too soon
To seek for Heav'n or think of death ?
A flow'r may fade before 'tis noon,
And I this day may lose my breath.
If this rebellious heart of mine
Should slight the gracious calls of Heav'n;
I may be harden'd in my sin,
And never have repentance giv'n.
What if the Lord in wrath should swear,
Whilst I neglect to read and pray,
That he'll refuse to lend an ear
To all my groans another day.
WHICH IS THE LAST CHAPERI, AND A VERY
PRETTY ONE IT IS.
MASTER Goodchild being at home, was the
last to speak ; and he told the story of the Prodigal Son, which is related in the 15th chapter of St. Luke.
You must undoubtedly, my dear friends (said he) remember reading in the Bible of a rich and great man, vo had two sons. The younger of them, though he had all the indulgence that a good boy could wish for, and more than a bad one deserved, was nevertheless so naughty as to wish to be from under his father's eye, and so be able without restraint or reproof, to indulge himself in all manner of wickedness with greediness.
-Accordingly he applies to his father, and for
EARLY PIETY. 55
that purpose desires to have all that was intended ffor him : and the good-natured parent, unwilling to cross his inclination, consents to his request, and gives him a great deal of money.
The rake, overjoyed with his success, scrapes togehe alh-could, and then sets off (Oh it was the worst thing he ever did in his life) into the country a great way off, where his father might neither see nor hear from him: from which, you see it is plaiii he did not love his parents, and so broke the fifth commandment.
Being now (forsooth) his own master, and neglecting God, Prayer, and his Bible; and having no kind father to conunt-he gave the full swing to all sensual lusts and passions. and like most extravagant people, soon spent all he was worth
-lost his money and friends (such as they were) together: and at the same time a famine happening, it is no wonder that he came to want a morsel of bread.
in this distress, his pride being brought down, he was glad of any employment to get him food; so after having lived like a swine he was fain to become a feeder of swine; and still, bread being so scarce, he could not get a bit, then he would gladly have filled his belly with the husks the swine ale, hut even these were denied him.
Oh how little did he think, when at home, with good clothe "s on his back, a plentiful table, warm fire-side, and a comfortable bed, that by one rash act, he should bebrought into such distress, as to want clothesXfood, fire, and lodging:
56 EARLY PIETY.
all these he wanted and instead of his pious father, his brother, and other friends to converse with, all his company were the grunting pit-Is, and his best apartment a hog-stye.
But however, when be came to himself, and used that reflection he had been long a stranger to, he began to reason thus with himself: 11 Foot that I am thus to remain in hunger and wretchedness, when in my father's house there is a plenty of every thing where the meanest servant has more than enough!-I will arise and go to my father; though he might well reject me, frown at me, and call me rebel, as I am, yet sure he retains a parent's heart; his compassion will kindle when he sees his son, and I won't conceal or deny any of my faults; but will say, Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: give me the meanest place in thy house, and,* will be thankful."
EARLY PIETY. 57
No sooner said than done. Up he gets; and though he had now no chaise or horse to convey him, he trudged as fast as he could on foot, nor would any thing stop him till within sight of home.
The dear aged father, who had often cast a wishful eye towards thatfar country, whither this poor boy was fled, was now, perhaps, walking upon his house, or on some lofty terrace in his garden, and sees-what ?-his son ?-yes; it was his poor son: but 0 how changed once, he was a tall, handsome, healthy-looking lad, but now a poor, meagre, ragged, filthy wretch. Nevertheless, the dear old gentleman runs, as fast as he can, to meet the returning prodigal.
The youth filled with love and grief, falls down before him, and with a weeping eye, a blushing face, and faltering voice, owns all his vast offence. The father now is so full of joy, that he does not mention one of his faults; folds him to his bosom, kisses away his tears, and calls aloud for the servants: "Bring here-he eagerly cries-bring here the best robe you can find; bring here the ring to ornament his finger, and shoes for his feet ; provide quickly an handsome dinner, and let us and all our neighbours rejoice
-for this iny son was dead, and is alive again was lost and is found."
Here was a solemn pause.-Who could have helped crying, if they heard in what a pathetic manner the story was recited ?-All were dissolved in tears.
At length Master Tender broke silence and C 5
bs EARLY PIETY.
said, See here, my dear companions, the sad resukt of despising and disobeying our pious parents; and what comes from the foolish desire of being from under their care and authority!
Nor is this all, said Master Considerate, I have heard the ministers say, that this returning prodigal represents to us a repenting sinner, who, by departing from God and his ways, has plunged himself into distress and ruin ; but when helped by the grace of God's Spirit to rethink himself, and mourn for his offences, is like the prodigal, encouraged by the well known tender mercies of a compassionate Saviour to return and confess his sin-own the justness of his misery, and receive pardon, peace, and happiness, as a free and undeserved gift.-May the Lord help us to go end do likewise.
Then with cheerful hearts and voices they united in the following hymn:
WHAT blest examples do I find
*rit in the word of truth;
ochlrnthat begin to mind
Rfecildren in their youth.
Children a sweet Uosannah sung,
And blest their Saviour's name;
They gave him honour with their tongue,
While scribes and priests blaspheme.
Samuel, the child, was wean'd and brought
To wait upon the Lord a
4Young Timothy betimes was taught
To know his holy word.
EARLY PIETY. 59
Then why should I so long delay
What others learn so soon?
I would not pass another day
Without this work begun.
When the little pious assembly had sung this hy mn, Master~ Goodchild concluded the happy opportunity with solemn prayer-beseeching the Lord to make them like the good children they had been speaking of. And I hope, my little reader, that your heart too begins to long to be like them-does it not?
0 then pray, and pray again!I nor rest content tilt Jesus Christ make you to know 'and feel that He has redeemed you with his precious Blood, and that you shall live and reign with Him in Glory everlasting. Amen and Amen.
C ON CLUSI ON.
Master and Miss Goodchild having thus spent their holidays at home, in the most improving manner, were, on the appointed day, again conducted to school-to which they returned with the utmost pleasure; well knowing the need they stood in of farther instruction of every branch of useful knowledge.
And there, for the present, we leave them, pursuing, with diligence and delight, the same excellent course of study and devotion that we described in the beginning of this book-and where they are daily growing in favour with God and man.
RISE, my soul, adore thy Maker
Angels praise; join the lays,
With them be partaker.
Father, Lord of ev'ry spirit, In thy light, lead me right,
Thro' my Saviour's merit.
0 my Jesus I God Almighty, Pray for me till I see
Thee in Salem's city.
Holy Ghost divine instructer, Guide me still; let thy will
Be my sole conductor.
Thou this night wast my protector, With me stay all the day,
Ever my director.
Holy, Holy, Holy Giver Of all good, life, and food,
Reign, ador'd for ever.
Ere I sleep, for ev'ry favour This day show'd by my God,
I will bless my Saviour.
0 my Lord what shall I render To thy name still the same, Gracious, good and tender.
EARLY PIETY. 61
Leave me not but ever love me: Let thy peace be my bliss,
Till thou hence remove me.
Visit me with thy salvation: Let thy care now be near,
Round my habitation.
Be my rock, my guard, my tow'r; While I sleep, safely keep Me with all thy pow'r. So whenever in death I slumber, Let me rise, with the wise,
Counted in their number.
AWAKE, my soul, and with the sun Thy daily stage of duty run; Shake off dull sloth, and early rise To pay the morning sacrifice. Redeem thy mispent time that's past: Live this day as if 'twere thy last: T' improve thy talents take due care; 'Gainst the great day thyself prepare. Let alt thy converse be sincere ; Thy conscience as the noon-day clear: Think how th' all-seeing God thy ways And all thy secret thoughts surveys. Glory to God, who safe bath kept, And hath refresh'd me while I slept;
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake, I may of endless life partake. Direct, control, suggest this day, All I design, or do, or say ; That all my powers with all their might In thy sole glory may unite. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below Praise Him above, ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
GLORY to thee, my God, this night, For all the blessings of the light: Keep me, 0 keep me, King of kings, Under thy own almighty wings., Forgive me, Lord, for thy dear Son, Whatever ills this day I've done; That with the world, myself, and thee, 1, ere I sleep, at peace may be. Teach me to live, that I may dread The grave as little as my bed: Teach me to die, that so I may Triumphing rise at the last day. 0 may my soul on thee repose, And with sweet sleep my eye-lids close: Sleep that may me more vigorous make To serve my God, when I awake.
EARLY PIETY. 6
Let my blest guardians, while I sleep, Close to my bed their vigils keep: Let no vain dreams disturb my rest I No pow'rs of darkness me molest. Praise God, &c.
SAFELY through another week
God has brought us on our way, Let us now a blessing seek
On th' approaching Sabbath-day: Day of all the week the best, Emblem of eternal rest. Mercies, multiply'd each hour,
Thro' the week our praise demand; Guarded by Almighty Pow'r,
Fed and guided by his hand: Tho' ungrateful we have been: Only made return# of sin. While we pray for pard'ning grace
In the dear Redeemer's name, Show thy reconciled face,
Shine away our sin and shame: From our worldly cares set free; May we rest this night in thee. When the morn shall bid us rise,
Let us feel thy presence near; May thy glory meet our eyes When we in thy house appear:
64 EARLY PIETY.
There afford us, Lord, a taste
Of our everlasting feast.
May thy Spirit's voice resound,
Conquer sinners, comfort saints;
May the fruits of Grace abound;
Bring relief for all our wants:
Thus let all our Sabbaths prove?
Till we join the church above.
LORD'S DAY MORNING.
BLEST day of God, most calm, most bright,
The first and best of days ;
The laborer's rest, the saint's delight,
A day of pray'r and praise.
My Saviour's face made thee to shine,
His rising did thee raise;
This made thee heav'oly and divine,
Beyond the common days.
The first-fruits do a btsing prove
To all the sheaves behind;
And they who do a Sabbath love,
A happy week shall find.
This day, must I for God appear,
may Lod speda in thifer
Fo LorIped, tda i thinfer
Then shall the day be mine.
Throughout the day, cease work and play,
That I to God may rest;
EARLY PIETY. 6
0 let me talk with God and walk
With God, and I am blest.
Let thy good Spirit help my soul,
With faith thy word to hear; Be with me in the temple, Lord,
And let me find thee near.
LORD'S DAY EVENINGR.
WHEN, 0 dear Jesus, when shall I
Behold thee all serene?
Bless'd in perpetual Sabbath-day,
Without a veil between.
Assist me while I wander here,
Amidst a world of care%;
incline my heart to pray, in faith,
And then accept my prayers.
Release my soul from every chain,
No more hell's captive led ; And pardon a repenting child,
For whom the Sayvjour bled.
Spare me, 0 God, 0 spare the soul
That joins itself to thee; rake all that I possess below,
And give thyself to me.
Thy Spirit, 0 my Father, give
To be my guide and friend,
To light my way to ceaseless joys,
VtV here sabbaths never e"d
66 EARLY PIETY.
THE KITE, A ABLE ; OR, PRIDE MUST HAVE A FALL.
ONCE on a time, a paper kite
Was mounted to a wondrous height,
Where, giddy with- its elevation,
It thus express'd self-admiration:
See how yon crowds of gazing people Admire my flight above the steeple;
How would they wonder if they knew
AU that a kite, like me, could do!
Were I but free, I'd take a flight,
"And pierce the clouds beyond their sight.
"But ah like a poor prisoner bound,
My string confines me to the ground.
I'd brave the eagle's tow'ring wing,
Might I but fly without a string."
It tugg'd and pull'd, while thus it spoke,
To break the string ;-at last it broke;
Depriv'd at once of all its stay,
In vain it try'd to soar away ; Unable its own weight to bear,
It flutter'd downward through the air;
Unable its own course to guide,
The winds soon plung'd it in the tide.
Oh! foolish kite, thou hadst no wing, How couldst thou fly without a string?
My heart reply'd, 0 Lord, I see Bow much this kite resembles me!
Forietful that by thee I stand,
Impatient of the ruling hand,
EARLY PIETY. 67
How oft I've wished to break the lines Thy wisdom for my lot assigns I How oft indulg'd a vain desire For something more or something higher I And hut for Grace and Love divine, A fall thus dreadful had been mine."
PRITHRE, little buzzing fly,
Edding round my taper-why ?
Is it that its quiv'ring light, Dazzling, captivates thy sight 2 Bright my taper is, 'tis true: Trust me, 'tis too bright for you. 'Tis a flame, fond thing, beware 'Tis a flame you cannot bear: Touch it, and 'tis instant fate; Take my counsel ere too late : Buzz no longer round and round, Settle on the wall or ground ; Sleep till morning-with the day, Rise and use your wings; you may Use 'em then-of danger clearWait till morning, so my dear.
Lo my counsel nought avails,
Round, and round, and round it sails, Sails with idle unconcernPrithee, trifler, canst thou burn? Madly heedless as thou art, Know thy danger and depart. Why persist ?-I plead in vain, Sing'd it falls and writhes in pain.
66 EARLY PIETY.
Is not this, deny who can ;
Is not this a draught of man?
Like the fly he rashly tries
Pleasure's burning sphere, and dies
Vain the friendly caution: still
He rebels: alas! and will.
What I sing let pride apply,
Flies are weak, and man's a fly.
GRACES BEFORE AND AFTER MEAT.
Before.-BLESS, Lord, these creatures for our
(Thy bounty from above)
But feed our souls with nobler food,
And let us taste thy love.
.dfter.-We thank thee for thy goodness, Lord,
We bless thy wondrous love;
0 may we meet around thy board,
In realms of peace above.
Before.-Be present at our table, Lord,
He here and every where ador'd :
These creatures bless, and grant that we
May feast in Paradise with thee.
.4fler.-We thank thee, Lord, for this our food,
But more because of Jcsus' blood,
Let manna to our soul be given,
The bread of life sent down from heav'n. Before.-Jesus, our outward wants relieve; But oh, the food immortal give,
Our hungry souls to fill
EARLY PIETY. 69
Sustain us by thy pard'ning grate,
And lead us through this wilderness,
To the celestial hill.
.4fler.-Happy the man to whom 'tis given
To eat the bread of life in heaven This happiness in Christ we prove
Who banquet on forgiving love.
A MORNING HYMN.
MY God, who makes the sun to know
His proper hour to rise,
And to give light to all below,
Doth send him round the skies.
When from the chambers of the east,
His morning race begins;
He never tires nor stops to rest,
But round the world he shines.
So like the sun would I fulfil
The business of the slay .
Begin my work betimes, and still
March on my heav'nly way.
Give me, 0 Lord, thine early grace,
Nor let my soul complain;
That the young morning of my days
Has all been spent in vain.
AND now another day is gone,
I'll sing my Maker's praise;
-My comforts every hour make known
His Providence and Grace.
70 EARLY PIETY.
But how my childhood runs to w aste,I
My sins how great their sum!I Lord, give me pardon for the past,
And strength for time to come.
lay my body down to sleep,I
Let angels guard my head;
And through the hours of darkness keep
Their watch around my bed.
With cheerful heart I close mine eyes,
Since thou wilt not remove; And in the morning let me rise
Rejoicing in thy love.
A CRADLE HYMWN.
HUSH! my dear, lie still and slumber,
Holy angels guard thy bed;
lleav'nly blessings without number
Gently falling on thy head.
Sleep, my babe; thy food and raiment,
House and home, thy friends provide; All without thy care or payment,
All thy wants are well snpply'd. How much better thou'rt attended,
Than the Son of God could be, %en from heav'n he descended,
And became a child like thee!i Soft and easy is thy cradle,
Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay; When his birth-place was a stable,
And his softest bed was hay.
EARLY PIETY. 7
Blessed babe!I what glorious features, Spotless fair, divinely bright;
Must he dwell with brutal creatures!
How could angels bear the sightP Was there nothing but a manger, Cursed siners could afford,
To receive the heav'nly stranger?
Did they thus affront their LordI
Soft my child!I I did not chide thee,
Though my song might sound too hard;
'Tis thy nurse* that sits beside thee,
And her arm shall be thy guard.
Yet to read the shameful story,
How the Jews abus'd their King,
How they serv'd the Lord of Glory,
Makes me angry while I sing.
See the kindred shepherds round him,
Telling wonders from the sky;
Where they sought him, there they found him,
With his virgin mother by.
See the lovely babe a-dressing;
Lovely infant! how he smil'd!
When he wept, the mother's blessing
Sooth'd and hush'd the holy child.Lo, he slumbers in a manger, Where the horned oxen fed;
*Here you may use the word, mother, brother, sister, neighbour, friend, &c.
72 EARLY PIETY.
Peace, my darling, here's no danger,
Here's no ox a-near jhy bed.
'Twas to save thee, child, from dying,
Save my dear from burning flame,
Bitter groans and endless crying,
That thy blest Redeemer camne.
May'st thou live to know and fear him,
Trustand love him all thy days!I
Then go dwell for ever dear him,
Sec his face and sing his praise!
I could give thee thousand kisses,
Hoping what I most desire;
Not a mother's fondest wishes,
Can to greater joys, aspire.
LITTLE VERSES FR GOOD CHILDREN,
I MUST pray-both night and day.
Before I eat-I must entreat
That God would bless to me my meat.
I must not play on the sabbath- day; But 1 must hear God's word in fear.
I must not lie, I must not feign;
I must not take God's name in vain.
It is a sin to steal a pin,
Much more to steal a greater thing.
Henry Mozicy. Printer, Derb,