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ON THE SABBATH.
SABBATH SET APART IN PARADISE.
George, Charles, and Susan, are the names of the children who will be frequently mentioned in what I am now about to write. George was thirteen, Charles eleven, and Susan nearly nine years of age. If any of my young readers doubt whether there ever were two such boys as George and Charles, and such a little girl as Susan; they may suppose
that some other children with these names said what I represent George, and Charles, and Susan as saying in this story. Perhaps you may think there never was such a person as the woman I call Mrs. Martyn, the mother of these little chil. dren; well, then, you may suppose, if you please, that your own mother says to you what I represent Mrs. Martyn as saying to her children.
The husband of Mrs. Martyn was a physician. He was obliged to be absent from his family a good deal, and that was the reason why Mrs. Martyn took the chief charge of their education. She
was a woman of good sense, and she had studied more than most women, because she wished to know how to teach her children. It is a great blessing to have a pious and sensible mother, who can instruct her children about God, and their own souls, and the way to be happy hereafter.
Mrs. Martyn used, every Sabbath evening, to call her children around her, and ask them what they remembered about the texts and the sermons which they had heard that day. And sometimes she would tell them a story out of the Bible, or read to them some useful book, which she thought would instruct them and make them better.
I have known some fathers and mothers who made their children repeat the catechism to them on Sabbath evening, but the children did not love at all to have the time come for saying the catechism. George, and Charles, and Susan Martyn, however, always loved to gather around their mother after supper on the Sabbath—for it made them happy to see their mother so pleasant and cheerful. Mrs. Martyn always tried to be cheerful, and especially on the Sabbath, and when she talked with her children on serious subjects. She thought that if she was gloomy, her children might think religion made her so, and they would not wish to be religious. I believe there are few children who would not, on Sabbath evening, love to sit on the knees of their parents, or to stand by their side,
and say the catechism,-but would think it the happiest time in the week,-if their parents only looked a little more cheerful and pleasant.
Mrs. Martyn had often talked with her children about the Sabbath, and had taught them to keep it holy. She began to think, however, that it was time to tell them, more particularly, why they ought to love and observe the Sabbath. She wished to have them able, when they grew up, to give to others a reason for resting on the Sabbath, and for keeping their thoughts from worldly business. She knew that if they lived, they would be tempted to break the Sabbath, and that while they were young was the best time to guard them against these temptations.
She had another reason for wishing them to be instructed, now, about the Sabbath. A brother of Dr. Martyn lived near by, and often visited the family. He did not care at all for the Sabbath. To be sure, he did not work on that day, because it would grieve his friends, and because others would talk about it. But he would often speak disrespectfully concerning the Sabbath before her children.
Mrs. Martyn thought George was old enough to understand all the reasons for keeping the Sabbath, and that Charles and Susan, if they could not understand all the reasons, might understand enough to do them much good.
She waited several weeks, hoping that her husband might be able to give them some lessons about keeping the Sabbath. But he was too busy in cur. ing the sick. So she determined to wait no longer. She began to read all the good books she could find on the subject. She thought it all over her. self, and when she was prepared, she told George, and Charles, and Susan, after tea one Sabbath evening, that she wished them to be very attentive to what she should say to them about the Sabbath. She told them that she hoped they would never forget it, but remember it when their mother was lying in the grave, and could not talk with them, and give them good advice any more.
Mrs. Martyn's voice trembled, and a tear stood in her eye, as she thought how soon she might be torn from her dear children. But she wiped away the tear, and in a moment was as cheerful as ever. The thought only made her spirit a little more serinus, and her silent prayer more earnest, that she might say something which would do her children good, and fit them for the endless Sabbath. George, and Charles, and Susan were very sad at what their mother told them, and said, they hoped their mother would live as long as they did.
The sun cast his mellow evening rays into the windows of the room where Mrs. Martyn and her children sat around a table, on which were a large Bible, a hymn book, and several other serious books,
which they had been reading. Mrs. Martyn began her conversation about the Sabbath.
Mrs. M. George, can you tell me how long it is since the world was created ?
George. Almost six thousand years, mother. It was about four thousand years from the creation to the time when our Saviour was born, and it has been more than eighteen hundred years since.
Mrs. M. How long was God in creating the world?
George. Six days, mother.
Mrs. M. Do you suppose, my child, that God could not make the world, though it is so very large, in less than six days ? George. I suppose
God could have made this world, and a thousand more worlds just like it, in one day, if he had pleased.
Mrs. M. Why, then, do you think he spent six days in making the world?
George. I think, mother, it must have been because he meant to have men work six days, before they have a day of rest.
Mrs. M. Very well, my son, I think that is the
Now, Charles, see if you can tell me what God did on the seventh day?
Charles. He rested, mother, the Bible tells usI have read it a great many times.
Susan. Why, mother, did God want to rest ? He could not be tired.