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have patience with him, and he would

pay him all."

"Then, mother, I am sure he would remember the kind example of his king, and forgive the poor man the little debt, after the king had forgiven him so much."

"No, my dear; he had not the least regard for the golden rule; and he forgot how he felt, when he and his family were about to be sold into slavery, to pay his great debt. He would not hearken to the poor man's entreaties; but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt."

"O what a cruel, ungrateful man, mother! I am sure everybody

would hate such a man."


'Yet, my dear, that was not so bad, in the sight of God, as it is for us to refuse to forgive those that injure us. We owe a debt to God, far greater than this man owed to his king. We have disobeyed him, while

he was doing us good. We have sinned against him all our lives. Think how many years old you are; and then reckon up the days, and the hours, and the minutes, and the seconds; and then remember, that all this time you have been guilty of sinning against God. You will find that your debt, instead of being a million, is more than you can calculate. It is like the sand upon the seashore, or the stars in the sky, which cannot be counted. Yet, all this, God is willing to forgive you, for the sake of his dear Son. Think, then, how mean, and vile, and odious you will appear in his sight, if you will not forgive the little injury you may have received from one of your fellow-creatures."

"What did the king do, mother, when he heard what the man had done."

"He called the man to him, and said to him, "O thou wicked servant, I for

gave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?" And the king was very angry, and commanded that the man should be punished till he should pay the debt."

"Well, mother, I think that was right; for it was only treating him as he had treated the other."

"Very true, my dear; and 'so' says, Jesus, shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.' It is very clear, then, that if you pray to God, while harbouring an unforgiving temper towards others, he will not answer your prayers. Indeed, he has only taught us to pray for the forgiveness of our sins, just as we forgive others.'

"But this is not all, my dear; we must forsake sin, and obey God, if we would have him hear our prayers. David says, 'If I regard ini

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quity in my heart, the Lord will not

hear me."


What does he mean by that, mother?"

"He means that, if you do not heartily forsake sin; but secretly love and cherish it in your heart, God will not hear your prayers. Suppose you were to think to yourself, 'I love mother, and I want her to love me. I will mind her in every thing but this one I am so fond of the sweetmeats, which she has forbidden meto touch, that I cannot give up eating them, whenever I can do it without her knowledge,' could you come to me, with any confidence, to ask for any thing you want?"

"No, mother; I should feel so ashamed that I could not ask you for any thing."

"But God knows your heart; and if there is any sin that you secretly love and cherish, and are unwilling to give up for the sake of Christ, he

will see your hypocrisy, and refuse to hear your prayers. And Solomon says, 'He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.""

"What does he mean by turning away his ear from hearing the law, mother."

"I suppose it means slighting God's law, and disobeying it, as all impenitent sinners do."

"Then, mother, according to that, the prayers of all, whose hearts have not been changed, are abomination to the Lord. Is it so?"

"Yes, my dear; the Bible says it is; and if you think a moment, you will see that it could not be otherwise. All impenitent sinners, or persons who have not become truly pious, are God's enemies. They are opposing his government, and fighting against him. Suppose your little brother had done some naughty thing, for which I had threatened to

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