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Lectures to children : familiarly illustrating important truth online

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his past services, that they freely pardoned the
guilty brother for his sake. Thus is Christ de-
scribed to us as sitting on the throne, with his
wounds yet bleeding (Rev. 5. 6,) and interceding
for us.

There are four things about Jesus Christ which
make him just such an intercessor as we need. I
will tell you what they are.

1. He IS worthy.

You know, dear children, that it is a great


He is worthy.

comfort to have g6od men pray for us. You know,
too, that the prayers of good men avail much with
God. In the Bible you will find the stories, where
one man prayed, and the dead child of a heathen
woman was raised to life ; where another prayed,
and an angel came down and shut the mouths of
lions, so that they did not hurt the good man.
Peter prayed, and a dead woman came to life.
Paul prayed, and a young man, who had fallen
from the third story of the house, and was killed,
was brought to life. Abraham prayed for Sodom
and Gomorrah, and the cities would have been
spared, if there had been ten righteous men in five
cities. But good men might pray for you ; all the
good men on earth might, and if Christ should not
also, it would not do you any good. No. And all
the good spirits in heaven, saints and angels, even
up to Gabriel, might pray for you, and all would
not be so good as one prayer of Christ. He is
worthy. The saints and the angels cast their
crowns at his feet, and cry, "Thou art worthy."


He knows our wants.

He is worshipped by all in heaven. He sits on
the throne with God, and God loves him, and will
hear him in our behalf.

% Christ knows your wants,

I sometimes pray with these children, and for
them. I shall do so again when this Lecture is
done. But it is some years since I was a child ;
and I forget how a child feels, and what his
wants are. So does every man. Were David
to pray for you, he would forget how he used to
feel when a child. So would Abraham, so would
all heaven. Not so with Jesus Christ. He never
forgets how he felt when he was a child. He
can look at once down on the heart, and
knows every feeling, every fear, every sorrow,
every want. You can conceal nothing from his
eye. And when he intercedes for you, he knows
exactly what you need. He knows better than
your mother, and even better than you know


Ever lives. Never chang-es.

3. Christ will ever live to intercede for you.
Good parents may pray for you often. So may

good ministers. But they cannot do it long.
They must soon die, and leave you. They will
soon all be gone. But Christ is aliv e to-day ; he
will be alive to-morrow ; he will be alive when
you come to die, and your soul goes into the eter-
nal world. And when the .graves are opened,
when the sun goes down to rise no more, and the
moon and the stars all fade away, he will still live,
and live to intercede for his disciples. Death will
take us all away, but he dies no more.

4. Christ never changes.

Almost every thing changes. The weather
changes, the trees change, the flowers change,
and all things which we see. Friends also change.
Some go away from us. Some are good friends
when we are well, but leave us when we are in
trouble. The severe lines of the poet are often
true : —


Tiae waters quench not his love:

" The friends, who in our sunshine live,
When winter comes, are flown ;
And he who hast but tears to give,
Must weep those tears alone."

Yes, we may all change ; we may be disap-
pointed, may be in sorrow, may be in sickness,
be in the agonies of death ; but Christ never
changes, never leaves us, never forgets us. We
may sink into the cold, swelling river, and be
drowning, and our friends stand on the banks,
not daring to go in after us ; but his love cannot
be quenched by the cold waters of " many floods."
We shall die, and sleep in the grave. We shall
awake again at the resurrection day. But in
all this Christ does not change. " The same
yesterday, to-day, and forever," he ever liveth to
intercede for us." O what a Redeemer ! " Bless-
ed, O Lord, is the man who trusteth in thee."





Every one of us shall give account of Jiimself to God.-^
Romans 14. 12.

Contents. — Plain text. The stranger. His account of himself. How dif-
ferent from the account to God. The merchant. Account of one of these
boys. Fields, horses, and plants, called to account. The plant producing
no flower. How a father feels. The house burned. The soul poisoned.
The father's feelings over a murdered child. Every one must give account.
How can children sin ? How much does a child sin ? The little rattle-
snake. What murder is. Anger. The Bible destroyed. The bones
broken. The Sabbath lost. The child killing people: Conscience. The
fruit-trees. The broken bowl. Three directions. The Roman emperor.

This seems to be one of the plainest texts in
the Bible. It tells you who shall give an account ;
" every one of us." It tells us to ivhom you shall
give an account ; " to God ;" and about whom you
must give the account ; "of himself." So far is
plain. But perhaps these children will mistake,
after all. Let me make it so plain that you can-
not mistake it. Suppose, when you go home to-


The stranger. His account of himself.

night, a stranger comes into your house, and is
asked to stay and spend the evening. He is
very pleasant, and talks w^ith all the family ; and,
among others, he talks with the children. He
tells them he has been away off on the great
waters, in a ship, to catch whales ; that, one day,
when trying to kill a poor whale, the wounded
iish turned and struck the ship with his tail, and
broke it all in pieces ; that he and his few men
who were not drowned, got into a little boat, and
rowed oif, day and night, for many days, till near-
ly all were dead, — starved to death ; — that they
were then cast upon a low, desert island, where
they lived upon fish, and such things, for years,
till a ship happened to pass that way. and took
them, and brought them home. Thus he tells you
the whole account of his life. You thank him for
it. It is an interesting and useful account. You
love to hear it. But this is not what is meant by
giving account to God. Why not ? Because he


How different from the account to God. The merchant.

is not obliged to give the account to you, unless
he pleases ; but we must do it to God. Because,
ilso, you cannot know whether or not it is the
kue account of his life ; but God will know
whether we give a true account or not. Because,
too, you could not, reward him for the times when
he did well, nor punish him when he did wrong ;
but when we give account to God, he will reward
us, or punish us, as we have done right or

A merchant might tell us all about his bargains,
his ships, his losses, and gains, and the curious things
with which he has met ; but though the account
of his life is very interesting, yet it is not such an
account as we must give to God. A lawyer could
give you an account of what he has seen, — what
prisoners tried for stealing, — others for murder, —
and how the friends were present, and how they
seemed to be broken-hearted when the sentence
of death was pronounced ; but this is not such an
account as we must give to God at last.


Account of one. of these boj^s.

Suppose that one of those little boys in that
front seat should now get up, and try to give me
an account of his whole life. Could he do it in
such a way as he would have to, if God should
call him to do it ? No. Because he would not
be likely to remember but a small part of it ; and
I could not know the rest, as God can. He
would not feel willing to put into the account all
the foolish and wicked words he has ever said ;
the wicked thoughts and feelings he has ever
had ; nor the wrong things he has ever done.
And I could not tell them. Besides, I could not
know how to punish or reward him as he de-
serves; but God knows just how to do it. I
should have no right to do it, if I could ; but God
would have the right. So you see, that it is a
very different thing to give an account to God
from what it would be to give it to a man.

We call almost every thing to account in some
way or other. Just see. Did you never see a


Fields, horses, and plants, called to account.

farmer go out and look carefully at the waving
wheat in the field, and, taking some of the wheat-
heads in his hand, rub them to get the wheat out ?
Why was he doing it ? To see if it had much
wheat in it, and to see if it were good, full w heat.
This was a kind of trial, or account, to which he
was calling his wheat. When a man buys a new
watch or clock, you will see him examining it
every day, and looking carefully to see if it goes,
and goes right. Yes, he calls it to account ; and
if it goes wrong, or stops, he sends it back, and
will not keep it. And he would blame it severe-
ly, if it could understand him, and knew better.
Let a man own a horse, and keep him, and take
good care of him, and he will blame the horse,
and whip him, if he is not kind, and does not
obey him. The very horse is called to an ac-
count for his conduct. Yes, if one of these little
girls had a plant, which she had kept, and watered,
and taken care of for years, and if it never pfb-


The plant producing no flowers. How a father feels.

duced one single blossom, she would feel discour-
aged, and call it to an account, and give it up,
and let it perish. She v^ould call the frail plant
to a kind of account, and treat it according to its
character. She might grieve over her plant, and
even shed tears to have it turn out so poorly ; but
she would not keep taking care of it, if it were a
useless plant, and never blossomed.

Some seem to think that God does not care
how we live in this world. But let us see. In
the Bible, he is called our Father. Does a father
love to see a child do wrong ? Suppose the father
of one of you should go away on a journey, and
should hear, vv^hile gone, that a wicked man had
set his barn on fire, and burned up all his hay
and his cattle. Would he not feel as if the wicked
man ought to be called to an account ? Suppose,
the next day, he should hear that the same wicked
man had set his house on fire, and had burned it
to ashes, and, in doing this, had burned up one


The house burned. The soul poisoned.

of his dear children. Would he not feel grieved ?
Would he not think the wicked man ought to be
called to account, and punished ? Yes, he would.
Well, do you not suppose our Father in heaven
feels just so towards those who sin, and do
wrong ? Suppose I should give one of these dear
children poison, and should tell him it was food,
and he should believe me, and it should kill him.
Ought I not to be called to account, and punished ?
Certainly I had. But suppose I should, by any
means, poison the mind, and tell you what is not
true, and make you lose the soul forever. Ought
I not to be called to account ? Yes, I ought to
be. But nobody can do it but God, and he will
do it.

Now, suppose, as you go home, and as you get
away at some distance, you see an old man, w ith
gray hair, bending over and leaning on his staff.
He is looking down towards the ground. As
you get near him, you see blood on the ground ;


The father's feelings over a murdered child.

and you see a little girl lying and bleeding in the
path just before the old man. She is pale ; her
eyes are closed ; and the blood runs out* of her
mouth and ears ; and she is dead. She moves
no more than the stones. She has been murder-
ed. But who is that old man bending over her ?
Oh ! he is her father,— and she is his youngest
child. She was walking with him, and cling-
ing to his arm, when a wicked man came up,
and struck her with a club, and, in spite of the
cries and^entreaties of her father, kept striking,
till she was dead ! What think you ? Does not that
old man's heart ache ? Does not that good father
wish to have the murderer called to an account
and punished ? Yes, he does. He cannot but
wish so. And so does our Father in heaven feel
when he sees sin. It may be only anger in the
heart ; but he sees it so clearly that it is murder
in his sight. And so he will call us to an account.
God can no more look upon sin without disliking


Every one must give account. How can children sin ?

it, than a father can see his children murdered,
without wishing the man who does it to be call-
ed to ah account

Every child knows that every man must give
account of his conduct to somebody. The child
must give account to his parents and to his teach-
ers. The teacher must give a kind of account
to the parents. The parents must give account
to conscience, to society around, and to God.
But has the child much of an account to give to
God ? Let us see.

Take one of these children who is eight years
old. That child has had fifty- two Sabbaths
every year, for eight years : this is over four
hundred Sabbaths. Has he kept all these
Sabbaths holy ? Has no one of them been lost,
and wasted ? All these have been seasons of
mercy, in which he might learn about God, and
Christ, and heaven. But there are three hundred
and sixty-five days in every year; and so that


How much does a child sin ?

child has lived almost three thousand days. In
each day, how many times has he thought of
God ? In each day, he could disobey his parents
more than once ; speak cross and wricked words
more than once ; neglect to pray to God more
than once, and have many wicked thoughts and
feelings in his heart. Oh, how many days has
that child lived and hardly thought of God ! And
yet, every day, God has awaked him in the morn-
ing, and fed him with food, and clothed him, and
kept him alive. When he has been sick, God
came to the bed-side and cured him. When he
was in danger of dying, God has made him well ;
and all these many days, God has been doing
good to him. Say, has not that child a great
account to give to God ?

Some people seem to feel that a child does not
commit sin ; or, if he does, his sins are few, and
very small. But I hope you will not feel so, till
you have thought much upon it. I will examine
it for a few moments.


The little rattlesnake. What murder is. Anger.

All know that it is wrong to be angry. God
declares that anger in the heart is murder. It
may not seem to be murder to you. Now, does
the little beautiful snake, not longer than your
finger, seem to be a very bad creature ? But
keep him, and feed him, and let him grow ; and
you will soon see him turning red on the back,
and hear him liiss with his tongue ; and he is soon
the deadly rattlesnake, who, with a single bite,
can kill any body. Just so with anger. If it dies
away in the heart, nobody but God knows it. If
it swells still larger, it breaks out in cross looks,
and cross words, and perhaps makes the hand
strike. If it swells still larger, it may raise the
arm, and stab, and kill. The arm does not move
of itself. No, it is the wicked feelings within
which move it to kill.

Now, suppose a dollar in money must be paid
for every time these children have ever been angry
in all their lives. Who would be able to pay it ?
If not one of them could be saved, unless a dollar


The Bible destroyed. The bones broken.

was paid for each angry feeling which he has ever
had, who could buy his salvation ? who would
engage to do it ?

Suppose there were now only one Bible in the
world, and that one is this lying on the pulpit
before me. From this one, all the Bibles which
the world are ever to have, must be copied. And
suppose God should now speak from heaven, and
say, "This Bible must lie here one year without
being moved ; and every time one of these children
commits a single sin, one leaf of the Bible shall
drop out and perish forever ! " Pray tell me, if
many, many leaves would not be gone before the
year is out ? Tell me, if what was left would
not be a very poor Bible ? And will any body
say that children do not sin ?

Suppose, too, that God should say, '' I will now
pardon all the sins which these children have ever
committed ; all shall be forgiven ; but every child
who sins after this, shall have one of his bones


The Sabbath lost. The child killing' people.

broken for every sin w^hich he ever commits!"
Do you not think that one and another vrould soon
be cripples ? What child here would live a month
or a week without having some bones broken?
And will any one say that children do not sin ?

If God should say, ''Take the best child in this
house, and let him hear what I am to say ; every
time you break the Sabbath, one Sabbath shall
forever be taken away out of each year ! " how
long would it take that child to sin away all our
Sabbaths ? Do not children sin ?

Once more. Suppose that one of these chil-
dren be called out from the rest, — no matter which
one it is, — but one be called out, to stand up in the
aisle there, and God should say, " For the first sin,
and for eveiy sin, which that child commits, the
person who is nearest to him shall drop down
dead ; — and so on, as long as he lives, every sin
shall kill the person who is nearest to him ! "
Who would not fear ? Why, every one in this


Conscience. The fruit-trees.

house would flee out for his life ; every one would
run for the door, so as not to be the nearest person.
And before we all got out, a sin would rise up in
his heart, and one would drop down dead, and then
another, and perhaps another ! Oh, what a terror
would that child be ! The angel of death, on his
pale horse, could not be more feared. And, now,
will any one say that children do not sin ? And
have they not a great account to give to God ?

There is another way by which you may know
whether or not you are sinners ; and that is, by
asking your own hearts. Let the boys of a family
be at play together on a mild afternoon. Their
father tells them they must be careful and do no
mischief. But, when he comes home at night, he
finds some one has cut, and mangled, and killed
several of his young fruit-trees. One of his boys
has done it. He calls them to an account. Now,
who is afraid to be called to the account ? Most
plainly, the boy who has done the mischief. The


The broken bowl. Three directions.

rest are not afraid. So with you. No child
would be afraid of God, were it not that the heart
tells him that he is a sinner. A mother comes
into the room where her little daughters have been
playing. She finds the cupboard door open, and
her sugar-bowl all broken in pieces. Which of
the little girls is now afraid ? Why, the one who
has done the mischief. And all, who are afraid of
God, are afraid because they are sinners. And
all are sinners. Oh, that God would make us

Let me close this Lecture with three short di-

1. Every day be careful how you live — because
you must give account to God for every day. Do
nothing of which you will feel ashamed when God
calls you to account. Omit no duty which God
tells you to do. You will be sorry for every sin
when you come to die.

2. Learn something of God every day. You


The Roman emperor.

may learn about God by thinking of him, talking
about him, reading about him, and praying to
him. The more you know about God, the more
you will fear to sin, and the more you will try to
please him.

3. Do something every day which will please
God, and which will make you glad in the great
day of accounts. Titus, a heathen emperor,
through all his life used to call himself to account,
every night, for the actions of the day past : and
when one day had slipped without his doing some
good, he used to write, " I have lost a da.y."
He did not know of a judgment-day; but you
do ; and therefore lose no day, in which you do
not something and much to please God. Amen.



A certain man drew a how at a venture. — 1 Kings 22. 34.

Contents. — The man and his bow and arrow. What an arrow can do.
The subject stated. The ship-yard. The wormy stick. The leaky ship.
The result. The child and the acorn. The oak. The result. The light-
house removed. A little mistake. Ship and lives lost. Result. Great
fires in the forest. Little boy playing with fire. The spark caught. The
mother of Mohammed. The consequence. How it is with these children.
What the subject teaches. The tongue. The child did not tell a lie.
Company. Every day. The little stream. The last thing taught by this

This chapter gives an account of a war be-
tween two kingdoms. They were the kingdoms
of Israel and of Syria. They fought hard, and
shed much blood. Ahab was king of Israel.
When going out on the battle-field, he put off
his kingly dress, and put on such clothes as other
men wear, lest they should know him and should
kill him. During the battle, a man (but what
his name was, or what his history was, we know

Lect. 9.] LITTLE THINGS. 147

What an arrow can do.

not) — a man held his bow and arrow in his
hand. He thought he would shoot towards the
army of Israel. He saw no man at whom he
especially desired to aim. Perhaps he paused a
moment, and doubted whether he should shoot or
not. But the arrow was in his hand, and he put
it to the string of his bow. Now, is it any
matter whether he shoots or not ? He raises the
bow to shoot. Is it any matter whether he shoots
one way or another ? Yes ; much depends upon
his shooting, and which way he takes aim with
his arrow. He shoots, — the arrow flies, — the
wind does not turn it aside out of the way, — it
goes towards a chariot. The harness, at that
moment, just opens a little at the joints ! There, ^
now ! it goes in at that little opening. Hark l^y^
there is a groan. It has hit the king ; it hsis
killed the king ! Ahab, the great king, who built
great cities, and built an ivory horse, and who
carried on great wars, is killed, and the war is

148 LITTLE THINGS. [Lect. 9.

The subject stated. The ship-yard. The wormy stick.

put to an end, by that little arrow, which any one
of these children could have broken with the
fin£:ers in a moment ! Oh, how much sometimes
hangs on little things !

And this is just what I am wishing to show to
these children ; that great results do often hang
on little things.

Two men were at work together one day in a
ship-yard. They were hewing a stick of timber
to put into a ship. It was a small stick, and not
worth much. As they cut off the chips, they found
a worm, a little worm, about half an inch long.

" This stick is wormy," said one ; " shall we
put it in ? "

"I do not know ; yes, I think it may go in.
Tt will never be seen, of course."

"Yes, -but there may be other worms in it;
dind these may increase and injure the ship."

" No, I think not. To be sure, it is not worth
much ; yet I do not wish to lose it. But come.

Lect. 9.] LITTLE THINGS. 149

The leaky ship.

never mind the worm ; we have seen but one ; —
put it in."

The stick was accordingly put in. The ship
was finished, and as she was launched off into the
waters, all ready for the seas, she looked beautiful
as the swan when the breeze ruffles his white,
feathered bosom, as he sits on the waters. She
went to sea, and for a number of years did well.
But it was found, on a distant voyage, that she
grew weak and rotten. Her timbers were found
all eaten away by the worms. But the captain
thought he would try to get her home. He had a
great, costly load of goods in the ship, such as
silks, crapes, and the like, and a great many peo-
ple. On their way home, a storm gathered. The
ship for a while climbed up the high waves, and
then plunged down, creaking, and rolling finely.
But she then sprang a-leak. They had two pumps,
and the men worked at them day and night ; but
the water came in faster than they could pump it

150 LITTLE THL\GS. [Lect. 9

The result. The child and the acorn.

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