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/ Songbook.ManuelAdam.com March 31st, 2005 Newsletter!
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Isaiah 55 - The Compassion of the Lord
1"Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2Why do you spend your money for that
which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4Behold, I made him a witness to the
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5Behold, you shall call a nation that you
do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
6"Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9For as the heavens are higher than the
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
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The Duties of Christian Parents
by J. C. Ryle
Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he
will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
I suppose that most professing Christians are acquainted with the text
at the head of this page. The sound of it is probably familiar to your
ears, like an old tune. It is likely you have heard it, or read it,
talked of it, or quoted it, many a time. Is it not so?
But, after all, how little is the substance of this text regarded! The
doctrine it contains appears scarcely known, the duty it puts before
us seems fearfully seldom practised. Reader, do I not speak the truth?
We live in days when there is a mighty zeal for education in every
quarter. We hear of new schools rising on all sides. We are told of
new systems, and new books for the young, of every sort and
description. And still for all this, the vast majority of children are
manifestly not trained in the way they should go, for when they grow
up to man's estate, they do not walk with God.
Now how shall we account for this state of things? The plain truth is,
the Lord's commandment in our text is not regarded; and therefore the
Lord's promise in our text is not fulfilled.
Reader, these things may well give rise to great searchings of heart.
Suffer then a word of exhortation from a minister, about the right
training of children. Believe me, the subject is one that should come
home to every conscience, and make every one ask himself the question,
'Am I in this matter doing what I can?'
Come now, and let me place before you a few hints, about right
training. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost bless them,
and make them words in season to you all. Reject them not because they
are blunt and simple; despise them not because they contain nothing
new. Be very sure, if you would train children for heaven, they are
hints that ought not to be lightly set aside.
First, then, if you would train your children rightly, train them in
the way they should go, and not in the way that they would. Remember
children are born with a decided bias towards evil, and therefore if
you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong.
The mother cannot tell what her infant may grow up to be- tall or
short, weak or strong, wise or foolish: he may be any of these things
or not- it is all uncertain. But one thing the mother can say with
certainty: he will have a corrupt and sinful heart. It is natural to
us to do wrong. 'Foolishness,' says Solomon, 'is bound in the heart of
a child' (Proverbs 22:15). Our hearts are like the earth on which we
tread; let it alone, and it is sure to bear weeds.
If, then, you would deal wisely with your child, you must not leave
him to the guidance of his own will. Think for him, judge for him, act
for him, just as you would for one weak and blind; but for pity's
sake, give him not up to his own wayward tastes and inclinations. It
must not be his likings and wishes that are consulted. He knows not
yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for
his body. You do not let him decide what he shall eat, and what he
shall drink, and how he shall be clothed. Be consistent, and deal with
his mind in like manner. Train him in the way that is scriptural and
right, and not in the way that he fancies.
If you cannot make up your mind to this first principle of Christian
training, it is useless for you to read any further. Self-will is
almost the first thing that appears in a child's mind; and it must be
your first step to resist it.
Train up your child with all tenderness, affection, and patience. I do
not mean that you are to spoil him, but I do mean that you should let
him see that you love him. Love should be the silver thread that runs
through all your conduct. Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering,
forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish
troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys -- these are the
cords by which a child may be led most easily -- these are the clues
you must follow if you would find the way to his heart.
Few are to be found, even among grown-up people, who are not more easy
to draw then to drive. There is that in all our minds which rises in
arms against compulsion; we set up our backs and stiffen our necks at
the very idea of forced obedience. We are like young horses in the
hand of a breaker: handle them kindly, and make much of them, and by
and by you may guide them with thread; use them roughly and violently,
and it will be many a month before you get the mastery of them at all.
Children are weak and tender creatures, and, as such, they need
patient and considerate treatment. We must handle them delicately,
like frail machines, lest by rough fingering we do more harm than
good. They are like young plants, and need gentle watering- often, but
little at a time.
We must not expect all things at once. We must remember what children
are, and teach them as they are able to bear. Their minds are like a
lump of metal -- not to be forged and made useful at once, but only by
a succession of little blows. Their understandings are like
narrow-necked vessels: we must pour in the wine of knowledge
gradually, or much of it will be spilled and lost. 'Line upon line,
and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little,' must be
our rule. The whetstone does its work slowly, but frequent rubbing
will bring the scythe to a fine edge. Truly there is need of patience
in training a child, but without it nothing can be done.
Train with this thought continually before your eyes- that the soul of
your child is the first thing to be considered. Precious, no doubt,
are these little ones in your eyes; but if you love them, think often
of their souls. No interest should weigh with you so much as their
eternal interests. No part of them should be so dear to you as that
part which will never die. The world, with all its glory, shall pass
away; the hills shall melt; the heavens shall be wrapped together as a
scroll; the sun shall cease to shine. But the spirit which dwells in
those little creatures, whom you love so well, shall outlive them all,
and whether in happiness or misery (to speak as a man) will depend on
This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you
do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every
plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out
that mighty question, 'How will this effect their souls?'
Soul love is the soul of all love. To pet and pamper and indulge your
child, as if this world was all he had to look to, and this life the
only season for happiness -- to do this is not true love, but cruelty.
It is treating him like some beast of the earth, which has but one
world to look to, and nothing after death. It is hiding from him that
grand truth, which he ought to be made to learn from his very infancy
-- that the chief end of his life is the salvation of his soul.
A true Christian must be no slave to fashion, if he would train his
child for heaven. He must not be content to do things merely because
they are the custom of the world; to teach them and instruct them in
certain ways, merely because it is usual; to allow them to read books
of a questionable sort, merely because everybody else reads them; to
let them form habits of a doubtful tendency, merely because they are
the habits of the day. He must train with an eye to his children's
souls. He must not be ashamed to hear his training called singular and
strange. What if it is? The time is short -- the fashion of this world
passeth away. He that has trained his children for heaven, rather than
for earth -- for God, rather than for man -- he is the parent that
will be called wise at last.
Train your child to a knowledge of the Bible. You cannot make your
children love the Bible, I allow. None but the Holy Ghost can give us
a heart to delight in the Word. But you can make your children
acquainted with the Bible; and be sure they cannot be acquainted with
that blessed book too soon, or too well.
A thorough knowledge of the Bible is the foundation of all clear views
of religion. He that is well-grounded in it will not generally be
found a waverer, and carried about by every wind of new doctrine. Any
system of training which does not make a knowledge of Scripture the
first thing is unsafe and unsound.
See that your children read the Bible reverently. Train them to look
on it, not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God,
written by the Holy Ghost Himself- all true, all profitable, and able
to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ
See that they read it regularly. Train them to regard it as their
soul's daily food -- as a thing essential to their soul's daily
health. I know well you cannot make this anything more than a form;
but there is no telling the amount of sin which a mere form may
See that they read it all. You need not shrink from bringing any
doctrine before them. You need not fancy that the leading doctrines of
Christianity are things which children cannot understand. Children
understand far more of the Bible than we are apt to suppose.
Tell them of sin, its guilt, its consequences, its power, its
vileness: you will find they can comprehend something of this. Tell
them of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His work for our salvation- the
Atonement, the cross, the Blood, the sacrifice, the intercession: you
will discover there is something not beyond them in all this.
Tell them of the work of the Holy Spirit in man's heart, how He
changes, and renews, and sanctifies, and purifies: you will soon see
they can go along with you in some measure in this. In short, I
suspect we have no idea how much a little child can take in of the
length and breadth of the glorious Gospel. They see far more of these
things than we suppose. Fill their minds with Scripture. Let the Word
dwell in them richly. Give them the Bible, the whole Bible, even while
they are young.
This excerpt is from