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tendency of our times to substitute the teaching of schools and the lessons of society for the teaching and lessons of the parents' lips and lives. Our public schüvis, ais Sunday schools, are great blessings, if properly employed; but in just so far as they have caused parental oversight to be relaxed, and family government and family instruction to be diminished, in just so far they have done harm. The influence of parental example cannot be wholly destroyed; but there should be no substitute for it. Our schools should be parental helps, not substitutes, and especially must the parent retain in his own hands the religious instruction of his children. God has intended the parent to be the child's first instructor, and first priest. For months, after birth, the child gazes with an uncertain bewildered look on whatever objects are within its horizon. Its education has begun. And these surrounding objects, from which it takes lessons as fast as it can see, should be beautiful, well formed, and pure in all their associations and powers to produce suggestions as remembered in after life. The pictures, furniture and window views, landscapes, and all that comes within the child's vision, should be refined and in good taste. But the next stage of its education is imitation-catching and repeating the tones of voice, or the personal habits of those that surround it, or of the names of things it hears; and, in most cases, before the parents are aware of it, the child has adopted their principles of conduct, and imbibed the spirit that reigned in their hearts. Happy then if the child has detected no inconsistency between the teaching and the example of the parents! Happy is it if the principles

adopted, and the disposition absorbed shall, I say, have been such as are according to truth and righteousness, for they are to be firm and enduring. They will grow with his growth, and when every thing else learned in after life shall fade away, and be forgotten, they will spring up in renewed power, and strengthen the soul for its last effort in leaving the body. It is in our earliest years the soul receives its coloring and shape for eternity.

2. In Mordecai's adherence to his religious principles we see that there are limits to the claims of social and official civility — bounds that duty does not allow us to pass in our respect for our superiors. True religion has much to do with our every day life, and its tendency is always to elevate and refine our social relations, and make us more conscientious and faithful in our duties to the State. An enlightened Scriptural fear of God always implies a proper regard for the rights and welfare of our fellow men. It is fanaticism, and not Christianity—it is bigotry, and not the Gospel, that persecutes men for their opinions. Our Constitution and laws guarantee, not toleration, but absolute, impartial, perfect religious freedom. And so does the Gospel.

Mordecai was bound to adhere to his principles, or be a traitor to his God. Accordingly, we find him taking heed to his conscience, and see, also, at the same time, that his conscience is an enlightened and educated one. He has carefully studied the laws of God. I do not, however, understand it to be a part of Christian politeness to flatter or lie, in paying compliments to the great. It cannot be a Christian's duty to violate his conscience



for the sake of court etiquette. The Word of God is the standard of respectability and manners as well as of faith, and it forbids all lying and deceit, all flattery and all mean compliances with the wishes of others, however exalted. It does not allow us to do anything that is contrary to good breeding and the chivalry of right. It does not allow us to neglect our duties, waste our time or injure our health, merely to please a friend or a potentate. Let it be remembered, to the honor of one of the Presidents of the United States, (General Jackson, to whom I preached, as pastor of the Hermitage Church, for several years, that he never allowed any visitors to keep him from the house of God on the Lord's day. He kept an open house, and was visited by many from all parts of America, and by not a few distinguished foreigners. The hospitality of his mansion was dispensed with a grace and dignity peculiar to one of the Almighty's true noblemen. It was his custom, when his house was full of visitors, when the hour for going to divine service arrived, to say, “ Ladies and gentlemen, it is my habit to go to church. If

you will accompany me, I shall be glad. Horses and the carriage are at your service. But if you prefer not to go, the library is open to you, where you will

, please entertain yourselves until I return." It is useless to say that his visitors generally went with him to worship God, and that, whether they believed in his religion or not, they respected him the more for his consistency and manliness of character. Nor does it require a single illustration to show that this was the way of true politeness. It was my happiness to know General Jackson intimately—to see him often in per

plexing circumstances, and to know much of him as he was in his chamber and in his most unguarded and se·cluded moments and I do not believe there ever lived à more pure-minded man, or a man of more ardent patriotism, or one that possessed greater attachment to high principles. He was the most incorruptible of men.

And, in his last years, I have no doubt he was sincerely pious. The divinity of Christ, the inspiration of the Scriptures, and the realities of a future state, were, with him, always articles of faith that did not admit of debate. It was displeasing to him for a minister to condescend to argue such points.




"If weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, sacriligious, but may plead it ?
All wickedness is weakness."


“Pish, fool! thou blunder'st through the book of guilt, Spelling thy villany."


We are now introduced to Haman meditating revenge, not on Mordecai only, but on all of his race. He was full of wrath, and he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Customs and circumstances change; the occasions of the development of human depravity are varied; but, in all ages, the opposition of the human heart to God has always found ways to show itself. According to the Bible, and to experience, moral evil belongs to us, in our present degenerate state, as truly as any one of our animal appetites, or intellectual pow

It is comparatively a minor point as to how it

It is a fact, that you can as easily find a man without the appetite of hunger, or without memory or understanding, as you can find an unregenerate man



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