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though of the same constitution, resembles an apparatus, in motion indeed, but shattered and deranged; while, in this, we see the same apparatus in order, proceeding harmoniously, and reaching the end intended by its Maker. The moral power to which I allude is not so much the power of numbers, for these are not great ; but various modifications of power, which are found scattered elsewhere, yet individually moving and sustaining other bodies, are here combined. There is much of power in authority, much in precept and in example, much in union and in sympathy: they are here all united. Here each of these have an appropriate sphere of operation, in which they thrive and grow to the greatest extent ; and not only so, but they grow best in harmony with each other, growing and strengthening with each other's growth and strength.
There seem to be, at least, four different points of view in which this power ought to be regarded. These contemplated, first separately, and then in union, will display both its peculiar character and prodigious extent. First, The influence or power which the judicious parent acquires over the child, and the beneficial purposes to which this power, in such hands, naturally tends. Second, The power which the parent enjoys of forming the child to greatness of character or extensive usefulness. Third, The power
inherent in the domestic constitution to form, or reform, and improve the character of servants. Fourth, The irresistible energy inherent in the constitution itself, as a whole, for preserving religion or morality, and repelling evil or the corruption of manners.
First, THE INFLUENCE - OR POWER WHICH THE JUDICIOUS PARENT ACQUIRES OVER THE CHILD, AND THE BENEFICIAL PURPOSES TO WHICH THIS POWER, IN SUCH HANDS, NATURALLY TENDS.
Witness the power which Abraham must have acquired over Isaac, when you see him yield to his father on the top of Mount Moriah, for I have no idea that any violence was used. Witness the influence of this son over Jacob, when called upon to discover the object of his highest veneration by solemn oath. Then you hear him swear “ by the Fear of his Father Isaac.” See him also on the way to Egypt, yet afraid to go down, and, as soon as he arrives at Beersheba, the border of Canaan, lest he should plant his foot on forbidden ground, see him solemnly recognise his connexion with Isaac. There he offers sacrifices to the God of his Father Isaac, and the Almighty as strikingly adverts to this. He replied in a vision of the night, “ I am God, the God of thy Father : I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up; and Joseph shall put his hand on thine eyes.”—Dead or alive, as though the Lord had said, it matters not, for my promise of blessing extends to thee and thine beyond the grave: still “ I will bring thee up.” So Joseph, under God, was the instrument employed -closing his father's eyes in death, and bringing up his body into the land of promise. Witness the influence of Jacob on Joseph. One day, when yet only a lad, Jacob had said to him, “ What is this dream that thou hast dreamed ? Shall I, and thy mother, and thy brethren, indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" Yet Joseph lived to shew the
old man how all this might be true, and how he could still retain for him the highest regard and affection. See him, though “Lord of all Egypt,” bowing before his venerable parent, and venerating and cherishing him, bringing even his children to receive their old grandfather's blessing; and see him afterwards, in company with his brethren, and in exact compliance with his father's request, carrying the bones of the patriarch up into Canaan with so much respect. Witness the influence of his parents on Moses. Here was education too—that powerful engine-standing in the way, and which, so far as it went, must have chained him down to Egypt: but all is as nothing before the influence of his nursing mother and father. The choice of Moses is ascribed, indeed, to faith, for nothing else could account for it; but “ faith cometh by hearing ;” and in the court of Pharaoh, or from Pharaoh's daughter, what had he heard, if his parents had not instilled into his mind their own principles ?
But I need not here multiply examples, with which the Sacred Scriptures abound; otherwise one might dwell on the influence and power of many parents : the influence of such a mother as Hannah over such a son as Samuel; the influence of the grandmother of Timothy on his mother, and of his mother on him, the man of whom even Paul said afterwards, “ I have no man like-minded," or so dear to me.
THE APOSTLES.—There is, however, one illustrious group of examples, which must not be so passed over: they will be seen standing in the closest connexion with our blessed Saviour himself, who, in laying the foundation of his own imperishable kingdom, availed him
self to such an extent of the
power of parental influence and natural attachment. The principle on which he proceeded in the selection of his particular friends and apostles, if it is discoverable, is certainly a subject of great interest and laudable curiosity ; it has therefore often afforded matter of speculation. Observe, however, the following facts, and then say whether it does not actually seem as though, by his procedure, he had intended to commend the subject now before us to the most serious attention of Christians individually, and the Christian church in all ages.
Of the twelve men whom he selected for apostles, while not one of them belonged to Jerusalem, and not one of them, as far as we know, was taken from the tribe of Levi, more than the half were under previous natural connexions among themselves. The natural relationship, however, of these apostles to each other, as well as their connexion with the parents who gave them birth, like many other subjects, is not apparent at first view, nor does any single passage, in so many words, inform us of either.
The sacred penmen pursue their own high purpose or end, while they write so as to invite search ; and numerous are the discov. eries which result from cautious induction, and a careful comparison of incidental expressions. As far as the Apostles and their parents are noticed, in a variety of places, the following may be taken as the result : PARENTS
Peter and Andrew.
..James and John. CLEOPAS or ALPHEUS
James and Jude. * and MARY,
Simont and Matthew..
* Or Judas, not Iscariot, or Lebbeus, or Thaddeus.
Cleopas and Mary had indeed yet another son, called Joses or Joseph ; so Mary is said, in one place, to be the mother of James, and Joses, and Simeon, and Ju. das; and, as she was also nearly related to the mother of our Lord, these, her children, in the large acceptation of the Jewish phraseology, were called “ his brethren,” while, by the same passage, it also appears
that Mary had several daughters.
Thus, of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, eight of them were brothers chosen out of three families; and nothing, by the way, could be more lovely than these brothers going out, two and two, as they afterwards did, by the direction of their Saviour. On the eminence of these men I need not dwell, nor on their importance in establishing Christianity. They include the only individuals in the apostleship who wrote any part of the New Testament; nay, five out of the eight are writers in Scripture; ten of its books they are inspired to compose, including two lives of the Saviour himself, seven epistles, and the book of Revelation; one of them opens the door of faith to the nations of the world, and, from attachment to their Master, one is the first, and another the last, who suffered for his sake.
It is however on account of their parents, and in connexion with them, that they have been here introduced. Of these parents the brief notices in Seripture are extremely interesting, and, when they are all united, it is presumed the inference will be clear and striking, that to them their children must have been signally indebted.
Of the parents of the two first mentioned, Peter and Andrew, we know least. Of their mother indeed nothing is said, so that probably she was gone to a