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now follow; because, while it abundantly confirms the remarks we have ventured to make respecting Joseph Mitchell, it reflects the highest honour upon the parties concerned. No sooner was the unfortunate situation of our friend made known, than a subscription was immediately set on foot for the benefit of his family. Henry Blunt, Esq., at whose house the accident happened, and of whom we have before made mention, was at the head of these kind exertions. Several other publicspirited gentlemen followed his example, and made it their business to divulge the situation of the widow and fatherless children in every suitable quarter; and seldom has a call of the kind been more promptly obeyed. In numerous instances, the inhabitants of the place declared, that had no application been made to them for pecuniary help, they should have felt disappointed. That the righteous should perish, and no man lay it to heart, would indeed be disgraceful to any people. The subscription list accordingly contains almost every name of respectability The Honourable and among the superior inhabitants of Chelsea.

Reverend Dr. Wellesley, Rector of the parish, and brother to the Duke of Wellington, set the fair example. The Local Magistrates followed. The names of several gentlemen of title and distinction, among whom is a prelate of the Church of England, were then annexed. After which, the housekeepers, in almost unbroken succession, contributed, we will not say their mite, but their very handsome quota; not altogether as an act of charity, but to show the high sense they entertained of departed worth, and to evince to survivors, in similar circumstances, that, to say nothing of futurity, virtue and religion, sooner or later, even in this world, meet with their just distinction and reward. Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the Lord delighteth to honour. Say ye to the righteous, it shall be well with him, May the bereaved widow and children walk in the steps of their revered patron and father; and may the descendants of Mitchell long be distinguished for piety, such as he enjoyed!




2 SAM. vi. 20.

"Then David returned to bless his household."

FEW men have ever obtained greater celebrity among their cotemporaries, or shone with more distinguished lustre on the page of sacred history, than David. An inspired writer of his time states, that "the

fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations." His sphere in society was strangely diversified. In what line of life did he not move? And what station did he not occupy and adorn? As a shepherd, with what intrepidity did he defend his flocks! As a warrior, how fearlessly did he attack, and how completely did he triumph over, his most formidable foes! As a musician, how sweet were his songs in the house of his pilgrimage! As a saint, how elevated and intense were his devotions! As a sovereign, how wise were the maxims of his government, and how prosperous and extended his reign! As a prophet, how luminous and evangelical were the visions of futurity, that beamed before his eyes; for God had “sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit upon his throne." And as a moralist, how unblameable was his general character! For "David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite." But many are great in public life, and dazzle the multitude by the variety and splendour of their worldly achievements, who are yet total strangers to domestic virtues, and complete aliens from the duties of retirement. Abroad, they appear studious to please, and emulous to excel; at home, their conduct exhibits a melancholy reverse. But David appeared as solicitous to please God at home as abroad; and whether viewed in the camp, the senate, the sanctuary, or the family, we see the same devotional disposition to "serve his generation according to the will of God."

The chapter before us records a transaction in which David bore a most conspicuous part. He, and the chosen men of Israel, had been engaged in bringing up the ark of God from Kirjath-jearim unto the city of David; but instead of committing it to the management and care of the priests and the Levites, who should have borne it upon their shoulders, with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded, according to the word of the Lord; they thoughtlessly and irreligiously put it upon a cart, in imitation of the processions of the heathen, who drew their gods about in carriages. The oxen yoked to the cart stumbled, and Uzzah, suspecting that the ark was in danger of falling, irreverently stretched forth his hand to support it; but God smote him for his error, and there he died by the ark of God. David, terrified at this awful token of the divine displeasure, hesitated to proceed; and the ark, instead of being removed unto the place appointed for it, had a temporary residence in the house of Obed-edom: and where the symbol of the divine presence rested, there the blessing of Jehovah dwelt: every thing prospered with Obed-edom while the ark abode in his house. David, hearing of this, resolved to make another attempt to remove it unto his own city; and profiting by his former error, he appointed the Levites to bear it upon

their shoulders, and when they had proceeded six paces, he caused oxen and fatlings to be sacrificed, as an atonement for past omissions of duty; and he laid aside his royal robes, and clad himself with an ephod, similar to that worn by the Ministers of the sanctuary, and with every demonstration of joy preceded the ark, until they had pitched it in the place appointed for its reception; and having given "to the whole multitude of Israel, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine, and blessed them" in the name of the Lord of hosts," then David returned to bless his household." We shall take an occasion, from these words, to show how a man may instrumentally bless his household, and what motives should urge him to such a procedure.

I. How may a man instrumentally bless his household?

It will of course be understood, that we refer, in our observations upon this subject especially, to a father, master, or head of a family; one who is placed by providence in a state of authority over his domestics; and we use the word instrumentally, because man can bless man only as an agent or instrument, and in proportion as God blesses him. Thus the Lord said unto Abram, "I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing." And,

1. A man may instrumentally bless his household by his example. Every living creature possesses the property of imitability. Brutes instinctively copy the actions of their species, and imitate, with servile exactness, each others' tones, gestures, and manners. Man especially fetches knowledge from external objects, and grafts on his own stock the scions of others. The traveller surveys his route on a map; the mariner traverses the ocean by charts; the school-boy writes from copies; the architect works by plans; and the limner draws from sketches. Nor is man the creature of imitation merely in reference to mechanical operation. Minds possess the mysterious power of assimilation, and morals are not unfrequently the transcripts of others: hence no man can be either solitarily good or bad. The contagion of vice, or the influence of virtue, is quickly communicated; with this difference, that there is a repulsive faculty that guards the system against the admission of the gracious principle, but a predisposition to absorb the poison whenever it is presented. But that examples, both of good and evil, are powerfully operative, the Bible bears direct and repeated testimony: hence such statements and directions as the following:-"They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them: but were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them." (Ps. cvi. 34, 35, 36.) "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." (Prov. xiii. 20.) "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father

which is in heaven." (Matt. v. 16.) "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1 Peter ii. 12.) "Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they may without the word be won by the conversation of their wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear." (1 Peter iii. 1.) Living models of excellence, daily set before our eyes, can scarcely fail to win attention, and excite emulation; and if ever good example shines with superior lustre, and commands a more than ordinary sway, it is in the seclusion of domestic life. In the walks of commerce, the marts of merchandise, or even the bustle of business, the Christian may and must be seen; for he has " to provide things honest in the sight of all men ; but here his stay is comparatively transient, and his conversation, and whole demeanour, cautious and circumspect. Often with the illustrious subject of our text, he "keeps his mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before him." But in the bosom of his family, his character is fairly developed here his example meets every eye, and attracts the attention of every spectator; children, servants, domestics, and all who come within the sphere of the family circle, see in him "an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." "A man on earth devoted to the skies." And is not the presence and influence of such an individual beneficial to his family? Does not his example cast a lustre on all the inmates of his dwelling? Will they not see his good works, and see them to advantage; and be led to glorify God in the day of visitation? Was it not thus, that David returned to bless his family? Hear what he saith: "I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." (Ps. ci. 3.) You who wish to bless your households, be emulous to become their exemplars. Let your characters be models for theirs. Curb the levity of your children's dispositions, by the habitual seriousness of your own and conduct yourselves towards all your domestics so consistently, that, with the Apostle, you may individually say, "Those. things which ye have both learned, and received, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."

2. A man may instrumentally bless his household by his instructions. Example, it must be allowed, possesses an instructive influence; it silently and unobtrusively courts the attention of thoughtful minds: but the purest and most untarnished example, cannot always command success. Children and young people are often thoughtless, unaccustomed to reflection; their minds are easily dissipated, and frequently flattered by an imposing exterior; and, what is worse, foolishness is bound up in their hearts; religion is disliked, and accused of insufferable severity; pleasure is courted, and embraced; evil is called good, and good evil;

darkness put for light, and light for darkness: hence where family instruction is forborne, family religion will be deprived of one of its most powerful props, and most successful auxiliaries. Ignorance is the negation of all moral excellence; a soul without knowledge is devoid of good; and like a wild and desolate wilderness, where the hand of cultivation has never broken the stubborn soil, noxious weeds, or useless shrubs, grow in rank luxuriance: but instruction does that for the mind, which industry does for the soil: he, therefore, who would bless his household, must become their teacher. Let him not think that this is usurping the ministerial office: pious parents are the ablest coadjutors, and the most efficient fellow-helpers of whom Ministers can boast. Nor let him deem himself incompetent to the task of teaching his domestics: he may not have all the talent which he covets, but let him use that of which he is possessed, and it will improve. To acquire facility in teaching, without practice, is impossible; even if his ability should fail, and his personal attempts prove unsuccessful, still there is no ground for discouragement helps for instruction, and things made ready to hand, adapted to all capacities, abound almost every where. Of these the christian householder should avail himself, and put his children and domestics under a course of catechetical instruction. Ours is an age of Catechisms; they meet us at every turn; not a subject can be named, but invention has tortured and compressed it into a Catechism. To illustrate all the truths that Christian parents should teach their children, within the limits of a single sermon is impossible; nor is it necessary: but we may be allowed to suggest, that they should begin the work of instruction betimes. The mind of an infant is a perfect blank, without intelligence, or even conscious existence; but it cannot long remain in that state. Very early in life, ideas begin to shoot; habits begin to form, and propensities to prevail; as soon as there is a capacity for the reception of instruction, then, it should be communicated. "In the morning sow the seed." "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom

shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." (Is. xxviii. 9.) And children should be taught repeatedly. A solitary sentence, or a lesson casually or hastily administered, cannot accomplish any valuable purpose." For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." And thus God said to Israel, "These words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deut. vi. 7, 8.) And they should be instructed seriously. The truths to be brought before them, and impressed upon their hearts, are truths of a tremendously awful character; and an eternity of bliss or woe

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