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seal was broken. For the last three hundred years -- thank God for it !-His word has been open to us in our own tongue. And not only open to us, so that those who could afford it might buy and possess the Bible; but for the last three hundred years care has been taken that the Bible should be publicly read to us— read in our churches. Each time we come together in God's house, we hear no inconsiderable portion of His most holy word. We hear a chapter from the Old, and a chapter from the New Testament, and the Psalms for the day; besides, at our morning prayer we hear the Epistle and Gospel, and have God's holy commandments read to us. We have, indeed, ample provision for hearing the word of God. And this, surely, is a thing to be thankful for. If, as St. Paul says of the privileges of his countrymen, the Jews, their chief advantage over the heathen was, that unto them were committed the oracles of God, at a time when, as yet, only the Old Testament was in existence, what must be our blessedness, unto whom have been committed, not the Old Testament only, but the New as well -all the oracles of God!

I hardly think, brethren, that we sufficiently value this great gift of God to us—the Bible. Though Bibles are so common, though they can be purchased for the merest trifle, though we all

have a Bible, and many of us many copies of the Bible, yet we greatly fear that, for the most part, we know


little of its contents. We let our Bibles lie upon our shelves, the dust covering them, for whole weeks together. We forget that the object for which God gave us His word was this— to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus -- that what He caused to be written aforetime was written for our learning - to teach, and to guide, to comfort, and to instruct us. But how can this be the case?-how can we get comfort, or instruction, or guidance, or wisdom, if we make no use of the gift of God-if we never, or only seldom, consult our Bibles ?

When first the Bible was printed in English the thirst for its divine counsels was great. People, we are told, flocked in crowds to the churches to hear it read. The word of the Lord was, indeed, precious in those days!

But why is it not so now? Do we not equally stand in need of its direction ? Are we not, in other respects, just as our forefathers were-men full of cares, full of troubles, full of perplexities, full of sins ? Do we not want, as they wanted, a light to lighten our paths, to guide us into the way of peace ? Do we not want, as they did, an anchor for our soul --something to hold by amid the storms and tossings of this troublesome world? Have we no occasion for “the patience and comfort” of the Scriptures ? Indeed, you know we have. Then let us look to the quarter whence these benefits spring. Let us read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest, God's written word; assured that, if we do, we shall be wiser, and better, and happier men than we are at present.

Thy word, says the Psalmist, Thy word is my comfort in my trouble : Thy word quickeneth me. Through Thy commandments I get understanding, therefore I hate all evil ways.

But what I wish most to insist upon now is, that we should give our children the advantage, the blessing of an early acquaintance with God's word. From a child, writes St. Paul of the young Timothy, his own son in the faith; from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salration through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

This is mentioned as the thing of all others which had been of use to the


Christian minister. His parent, and his grandparent, his mother Eunice, and his grandmother Lois, were persons of unfeigned faith, devout and religious; and they had taken care that the young boy Timothy should have an early learning in God's word. Through their kindness he had been instructed, from quite a child, in the only scriptures that were


at that time written, the scriptures of the Old Testament. And he had been so well taught in those scriptures, with such true guidance into their deep spiritual meaning, that he had gained from them most precious, and saving knowledge; had learnt to see the Saviour in the types and prophecies of the Old Testament—to see and to believe; and so had become wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus !

Now this, which pious Jewish parents did for the youthful Timothy, is what all Christian parents should do for their children. They should take care that they be taught, and taught betimes, out of God's holy word. They should read the Bible to them, and with them, and choose out such parts of it as a child may understand; giving them the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby.

I repeat it, brethren, all Christian parents will feel it a very chief duty to learn their children early out of God's word. By home teaching, by sending them to school — to day-school, and to Sunday-school — they will provide, as far as they can, for their sons and daughters growing up into the Lord in all well-pleasing; for their acquaintance, their early acquaintance, with the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus !

For look, I beg of you, at the sure benefit that would follow from such training, such teaching betimes of God's holy word. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way ? asks the Psalmist; and his answer is, Even by ruling himself after Thy word. But how shall a young man do this? how shall he rule himself after God's word, unless he has been instructed in it-unless he is familiar with it, so that he can put his hand readily upon every part of it, so that, when temptation besets him, he can meet it, and overcome it, by bringing up some holy text to be his defence—even as our Lord did in the wilderness, beating back with His firm It is written ! every craft and assault of the wicked


Yes, believe me, it is a real advantage in our warfare to have known the Holy Scriptures from a child. And every parent that loves his children will seek to give them that advantage, against the time when they must go out from them into the world. Every parent, looking to that time when his child must stand alone, and can no more be under the paternal eye, will do his utmost to furnish him with the means of keeping innocent, and doing what is good and right.

And of these means not the least will surely be, the implanting in our children's hearts an early knowledge of the Scriptures; fortifying them against their coming danger by putting into

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