« 上一頁繼續 »
The children on one occasion were playing on the sidewalk, when a gentleman passing by, not knowing his right direction, inquired of Fanny, as she was playing,
“My dear little girl, can you tell me which way the numbers run in this street? ”.
“They don't run at all, sir,” replied Fanny, very seriously; "they stand still.”
The mother wit, playfulness, quickness of perception and thought, susceptibility of deep and lasting impressions, truthfulness, simplicity, generosity, were qualities that only needed corresponding qualifications in their teachers, and the wisdom of love, and love of wisdom, inspired by the Gospel of Christ, to make the household as nearly a heaven upon earth as ever can be expected in our mortal pilgrimage. They that thus dwell together in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. The Ninety-first Psalm is their heritage as truly as it ever was that of Christ and the Holy Family.
In the biography of Dr. Norman Macleod, one of the brightest lights of theology and piety in Scotland, along with Leighton, Chalmers, Guthrie, Halyburton, Candlish, Erskine, and others of like genius, we find the following record: —
“ Oct. 3. This afternoon my boy was born. The moment I heard of his birth, I solemnly dedicated him to the Lord. I followed and carried out a theory of education founded on God's teaching in the Bible, in the Pentateuch specially, which was to be read each year to young as well as old. An education based upon and saturated with Christian principle, a godly home education, is one that trains up the child by the earthly father to the Heavenly. That a parent may be as God to his child, he must first be AS A CHILD TO HIS GOD. What a father on earth wishes his child to be towards himself, that God wishes the parent to be towards his Father in Heaven."
This was assuredly the dictate of Heavenly wisdom and love. Two years afterward (1854), we find the following paragraph in reference to the birth and education of his little daughter:
“How strange that as yet my child knows not God ! I have resolved that she shall not hear his name till she has language to apprehend what I mean, and that no one shall speak of God to her till I do so. This is a moment in her life which I claim as mine own. I shall have the blessedness of first telling her of Him who I trust shall be her all in all forever after. For a time I must be to her as God."
The next utterance in regard to the progress of this little one, and the way in which she seemed to have come to the knowledge of God, is as follows, under date of 1855:
“This day I heard my little girl mention for the first time the name of God. I had requested no one ever to speak to her of God until I first had this honor. But the new servant had done it.”
A welcome treasure for the household, and faithful from the earliest moment to her immortal charge, was such a servant; protecting her earthly master's property as God's, for God and heaven!
“So [says Dr. Macleod] I took the little child on my knee, and asked her several questions as to who made her and everything, and she replied, 'God.' Oh, how indescribably strange and blessed to my ears was the sound! It cannot cease forever. My daily prayer is that she and all my children may be holy from their infancy, and grow up Christians.”
Afterward we find him remarking, on Chapter VII. in Baxter's “Saints' Rest: ” —
“Press on and on! Why? What do we expect? To be glorified with Christ, equal with John and Paul, — this, or devils ! To press on is to realize more blessedness and glory, more joy and perfect peace. Oh, how weak am I, a very babe! But it required Omnipotence to make me a
Again, in another record, “Attempting to reform Presbyterianism is like endeavoring to skin a flint.” This seems to have referred to the impossibility of possessing a true, heart-searching, and fruit-producing faith, without a loving and divine Redeemer as the soul and inspiration of such a Faith by the Word and Spirit in the heart. For he goes on to say:
“Even the Divine Word, by human interpretation, without the Holy Spirit, is no better than a sun-dial by moonlight. These speculators resemble the sparrows on the telegraph wires. They are saying one to another :
We are the judges. There is no inspiration unless it finds us, and the ultimate judge is our reason.' So there are men who no more grasp the truths which they seem to hold, than the twittering birds that have lighted on the metallic lines that convey the lightning, and yet sing on, unconscious of their danger. 'He heard the trumpet, but took not warning : his blood shall be upon him.'
“The dear little birds are innocent and safe, for not a sparrow falls to the ground but by God's providence. But the ignorant and unbelieving and presumptuous must take the consequences of the divine telegrams, which they deny by virtue of their reason. They are responsible. * And he that, being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.' 'He heard the trumpet, but took not warning: his blood shall be upon him.' The Proverbs and the Prophets carry the same divine messages to all mankind. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.'”
That is God's lightning on the telegraph of his Word by the Prophet Ezekiel. “But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.” From what shall he be delivered? FROM DYING IN HIS SINS, – the most dreadful penalty that God himself could threaten against a wicked immortal being. Plainly, the loss of immortality is in itself no penalty; but an immortality of evil is the most terrific of all realities that the human mind can possibly conceive.
And therefore God has revealed the consequences of sin in the plainest words that human language can command, whether in the Old or New Testament, whether in Hebrew or Greek, – the two primary languages in which the knowledge of God and of the eternal world was ever conveyed by divine inspiration to mankind.
An anecdote occurring within the experience of our own household, entitled “Packing up for Heaven,” is an illustration of the simplicity and confidence of faith and trust, in the minds even of babes and sucklings, in regard to the teachings given them at the very earliest period, concerning God and heaven.
The little child was playing with its mother, and they were talking about heaven. The mother had been telling the child of the joys and glories of that happy world, — the beauty and glory of the angels with their shining wings, the streets of gold, the gates of pearl, the golden crowns, the harps, and the white robes, and the songs of redemption.