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Home arrow Griffin's History arrow For Children: June 1882
For Children: June 1882 PDF Print E-mail
Written by W.M. Mitchell   

Dear Children:—You have doubtless read our first letter that was specially addressed to you in the May number of the GOSPEL MESSENGER and will be looking for another very soon; and as we do not wish to disappoint you, we will write again, though we have not time to write much at present.

In our first letter we told you that we had been thinking for some time of writing a few things to you, as well as to the older heads and members of the family to whom the MESSENGER makes its monthly visits; but we wish now to tell you how we become stirred up to write a little sooner than we would have done had it not been for a little word or two in the letter of Elder J. W. Parker, of Alabama. In the MESSENGER for April, and on the 128th page, he says: “I have read the GOSPEL MESSENGER to my family tonight,—my wife and children enjoying an equal portion with myself.”

When we heard that the children enjoyed the reading, we thought we would no longer forbear writing a few words specially for them.

It is certainly very nice, and a good custom, for one of a family to read something that is worth reading, while the other members of the family sit around and listen attentively to what is being read. If we enjoy what we read, we will be much more interested to have others enjoy it with us, not only by listening to but by conversing about it, and presenting one to another such additional thoughts of our own as may have been suggested to our mind by what has been read.

The great Creator of all created things has bestowed a wonderful blessing upon men, women and children, in giving them the power of speech, that they may talk one to another, both by word of mouth and by writing. They ought to be very glad, and very thankful for such a gift, and to be very careful they do not make a bad use of it, either in speaking or writing. We all have to learn to speak, to read, or to write; and the first and oldest writing that we have any account of, was written by the special authority and command of God. If you will look in the 17th chapter and 14th verse of Exodus, you will find this command there recorded. We suppose you know, or some of you do, that Exodus is the second book in the Bible; but perhaps you do not know what Exodus means. Well, we will let you find that out, and now tell you that the great God of heaven and earth has not only commanded his servant Moses and others to write certain things, but has written, himself, on tables of stone, and also in fleshly tables of the heart.

In Exodus, the 32nd chapter and 16th verse, you will see these words: “And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.” Also, in chapter 31st and 18th verse, we read of certain things being “written with tile finger of God.”

Now, children, you certainly must know, if you think a little about it, that if the Lord has written any thing, or commanded any of his servants to write, that he intends what is written shall be read by somebody; and, in order that any body read what is written in the letter of it, he must learn the language in which it is written, and learn the letters, and how to place them so as to make words. Every one who reads has had to learn how to read, but there are a great many persons now, and always have been, who do not know how to read, or who read so poorly that they can not get the sense or meaning of what they read. If they were to read to you, it would be hard to tell what they are reading, because they call so many words wrong, or leave some little words out entirely. If you ever read the Bible or any other useful writing, so as to get information from it, or give any to others, you must be very careful about these little things and improve by careful study and by making a good use of your time.

Several thousand years ago, there were no books printed, nor papers, like we have them now. What few books there were then, had to be written with a pen and you know it would take a long time to copy one so that others could have a book. Books were scarce, and but few people were allowed to own one, and very few could read them. But it was a custom for people to assemble together at times, and one or more of the company would read to the men, women and children who thus assembled. Moses read the law of God to all Israel, and Joshua read “every word” that was commanded to “all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.” See the Book of Joshua, 8th chapter and 35th verse. In the 8th chapter of Nehemiah we have an account given of Ezra the priest reading from morning till the midday before the men, and the all those that could understand.

You will see in the New Testament that it was a “custom with the Lord Jesus Christ, when he was here personally on earth, to go into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and “stood up for to read.” See Luke, 4th chapter and 16th verse.

You see, clear children, that we have good examples for writing, for reading, and for hearing what is read. Now, will we profit by these examples? Will the children to whom we now write, learn to read for themselves as well as for others? We hope they will. We have been told of one little boy that read the letter to children in the May number of the MESSENGER and then took down the Bible and read for some time. May the Lord incline others to do likewise!—M.


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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.