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EZEK. xiii. 10.

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JOB Viii. 4-7.

"If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression; If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase."

I PURPOSE, Christian Brethren, from these verses, to speak a word on EARLY PIETY, a possession than which earth hath none greater, inasmuch as it is twice blessed, being the blessing both of children and of their parents. More


over, like the possessions of this world, it passeth not away, but endureth ever, if it ripen well, and continue unto the end. In other words, if EARLY PIETY settle down into solid and well-grounded religious faith and practice, it passeth the grave and the gate of death, and is consigned over to everlasting habitations, and to "the inheritance of the saints in light." Certain it is,—there is nothing more certain, that from a child (as St. Paul said to Timothy) to have "known the Holy Scriptures," is "able to make" a man "wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus." And our blessed Lord's own words, applied to Christian Baptism, wherein children are made regenerate, or, born anew, assuredly look this way: "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God." Bright as are the stars in the heavens, and lovely as are the loveliest spots on earth, yet is there nothing

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brighter, nothing lovelier, than a child brought up "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Witness the history of "the child Samuel," that "ministered unto the Lord before Eli!" Of whom it is recorded that he "grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground." Witness that all-blessed childhood of our only Lord and Saviour; so beautiful! so attractive! and which should be the model and the pattern for us all; and how of Him it is said, that "he went down with" his parents, "and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them, and increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." Surely from that time forth the estate of childhood was blessed, and the beauty of EARLY PIETY shone forth, never to be forgotten more!

Then, as I said, I will speak a word upon this point yet again, on which I have spoken so often, and for so many

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