תמונות בעמוד

and often remind them of their own concern in what was then transacted.

We should lead on their thoughts to the glorious views of Christ's resurrection and ascension; and tell them with what adorable goodness he still remembers his people in the midst of his exaltation ; pleading the cause of sinful creatures, and employing his interest in the court of heaven, to procure life and glory for all that believe in him and love him.

We should then go on to instruct them in those particulars of obedience, by which the sincerity of our faith and our love is to be approved ; at the same time reminding them of their own weakness, and telling them how God helps us, by sending his holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, to furnish us for every good word and work. An important lesson, without attending to which our instruction will be vain, and their hearing will likewise be vain !

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3. Children should be trained up in the way of obedience to their


This is a command which God recommended from Mount Sinai, by annexing to it a peculiar promise of long life*; a blessing which young persons greatly desire. The apostle therefore observes, that it is The first commandment with promiset; i.e. a command eminently remarkable for the manner in which the promise is adjoined. And it is certainly a wise constitution of providence, that gives so much to parental authority, especially while children are in their younger years, their minds being then incapable of judging and acting for themselves in matters of importance. Children should therefore be early taught and convinced by scripture, that God has committed them into the hands of their parents; and conseqnently, that reverence and obedience to their parents, is a part of the duty they owe to God, and disobedience to them, is rebellion against him. And parents should by no means indulge their children in a direct and resolute opposition to their will in matters of greater or smaller moment; remembering, that a child left to himself bringeth his parents to shames, and himself to ruin ; and with regard to subjection, as well as affection, It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youthş.

4. Children should be trained up in the way of benevolence and

kindness to all.

Exod. xx. 12.

+ Eph. vi. 2

Prov. xxix. 15.

Lam. ii. 27.

The great apostle tells us, that Love is the fulfilling of the law*, and that all those branches of it, which relate to our neighbour, are comprehended in that one word, lovet. This love therefore we should endeavour to teach them; and we shall find, that in many instances it will be a law to itself, and guide them right in many particular actions, the obligations to which may depend on principles of equity, which lie far beyond the reach of their feeble understandings.

There is hardly an instruction relating to our duty more happily adapted tothe capacity of children, than that golden law, (so important to all of the maturest age) Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye so unto thems. This rule we should teach them, and by this should examine their actions. From their cradles we should often inculcate it upon them, that a great deal of religion consists in doing good; that The wisdom from above is full of mercy and good fruits ; and that every christian should do good unto all as he has opportunityll.

That such instructions may be welcome to them we should endeavour, by all prudent methods, to soften their hearts to sentiments of humanity and tenderness, and guard against every thing that would have a contrary tendency. We should remove from them, as much as possible, all kinds of cruel and bloody spectacles, and should carefully discourage any thing barbarous in their treatment of brute creatures ; by no means allowing them to sport themselves in the death or pain of doniestic animals, but rather teaching them to treat the poor creatures kindly, and take care of them; the contrary to which is a most detestable sign of a savage and malignant disposition. The merciful man regardeth the life of his beast T.

We should likewise take care to teach them the odiousness and folly of a selfish temper, and encourage them in a willingness to impart to others, what is agreeable and entertaining to themselves; especially we should endeavour to form them to sentiments of compassion for the poor.

We should shew them where God has said, Blessed is the man that considereth the poor, the Lord will remember him in the day of trouble**. He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth to the Lord, and that which he hath given, will he pay him againft. And we should shew them, by our own practice, that we verily believe these promises to be true, and important. It might not be improper sometimes to make our children the messengers, by which we send some small supply to the indigent and distressed ; and if they discover a disposition to give something out of the little stock we allow them to call their own, we should joyfully encourage it, and should take care that they never lose by their charity, but that in a prudent manner we abundantly repay it. It is hardly to be imagined, that children thus brought up should, in the advance of life, prove injurious and oppressive; they will rather be the ornaments of religion, and blessings to the world, and probably will be in the number of the last whom providence will suffer to want. 5. Children should be trained up in the way of diligence.

* Rom. xii. 19. | Gal, yi. 10.

+ Gal. v. 14.

Prov. xji, 10.

Mat. vii. 12. ** Psal. xli, 1.

James iü. 17. -t Prov, xix. 17.

This should undoubtedly be our care, if we have any regard to the welfare, either of their bodies, or their souls. In whatever station of life they may at length be fixed, it is certain there is little prospect of their acquitting themselves with usefulness, honour and advantage, without a close and resolute application; whereas the wisest of princes and of men has said, Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men*. And it is evident, that a diligent prosecution of business keeps one out of the way of a thousand temptations, which idleness seems to invite, leading a man into numberless instances of vice and folly, because he has nothing else to dot.

A prudent and religious parent will therefore be concerned, that his children may not early contract so pernicious a habit, nor enter upon life, like persons that have no business in it, but to croud the stage, and stand in the way of those who are better employed. Instead of suffering them to saunter about from place to place, (as abundance of young people do, to no imaginable purpose of usefulness, or even of entertainment) he will quickly assign them some employment for their time : An employment so moderated, and so diversified, as not to overwhelm and fatigue their tender spiritsi; yet sufficient to keep them wakeful and active. Nor is this so difficult as some may imagine ; for children are a busy kind of creatures, naturally fond of learning new things, and trying and shewing what they can do. So that, I am persuaded, were perfect inactivity

* Prov. xxii. 29.
+ Thus it is said of Ægisthus,

Ne nil ageretur, amavit. Ovid.
Nec sum adeo Ætatum imprudens, ut instandum teneris protinus acerbe
putem, exigendamque plenam operam.- -Lusus hic sit, &c. QUINTIL.
Orat, Lib.i. Cap. 1.


to be imposed upon them as a penance, but for one hour, they would be heartily weary of it, and would be glad to seek their refuge from it, in almost any business you would think fit to employ them about.

Thus should they be disciplined in their infant years, should early be taught the value of time, and early accustomed to improve it, till they grow fit for some calling in life; in which they should at length be placed with this important maxim deeply ingraven upon their minds, “ That full employ in whatever service they are fixed, is a thing by no means to be dreaded, but, on the contrary, greatly to be desired.”

I shall conclude this head with the mention of a very remarkable law amongst the Athenians, which ordained, “ That those, who had been brought up to no employ by their parents, should not be obliged to keep them, if they came to want in their old age; which all other (legitimate) children were*. 6. Children should be trained up in the way of integrity.

Simplicity and godly sincerityt is not only a very amiable, but an essential part of the christian character ; and we are every one of us indispensably obliged to approve oursclves Israelites indeed, in whom there is no allowed guilet. And this is a circumstance that will peculiarly require our regard, in the education of our children, and of all young persons under

our care.

It is very melancholy to observe, how soon the artifices and deceits of corrupt nature begin to discover themselves. In this respect we are Transgressors from the womb, and go astray almost as soon as we are born, speaking liesg. Great care therefore should be taken to form the minds of children to a love for truth and candour, and a sense of the meanness, as well as the guilt of a lie. We should be cautious, that we do not expose them to any temptations of this kind, either by unreasonable severities, on account of little faults, or by hasty surprises when enquiring into any matter of fact, which it may seem their interest to disguise by a falsehood: And when we find them guilty of a known and deliberate lie, we should express our horror of it, not only by a present reproof or correction, but by such a conduct towards them for some time afterwards, as may plainly shew them how greatly we are amazed, grieved, and displeased.

When so solemn a business is made of the

* Potter's Greek Antiq. vol. i. page 142.

John i. 47.

+ 2 Cor. i. 12.

Psal. Iviii. 3.

first faults of this kind, it may be a means of preventing many more.

I will farther adı, that we ought not only thus severely to animadvert upon a direct lie, but likewise, in a proper degree to discourage all kinds of equivocations and double meanings, and those little tricks and artifices, by which they may endeavour to impose on each other, or on those that are older than themselves. We should often inculcate upon them that excellent scripture, He that walketh uprightly, walketh surely; but he that perverteth his way, (that twists and distorts it with the perplexities of artifice and deceit) shall at length be known*. Be shewing them every day, how easy, how pleasant, how honourable, and how advantageous it is to maintain a fair, open, honest temper; and on the other hand, what folly there is in cunning and dishonesty in all its forms; and how certain it is, that by studying and practising it, they take the readiest way to make themselves noxious and useless, infamous and odious. Above all should we remind them, that The righteous Lord loveth righteousness, and his favourable countenance beholds the uprightt; but lying lips are such an abomination to himf, that he expressly declares, All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstones. 7. Children should be trained up in the way of humility.

This is a grace, which our Lord particularly invites us to Learn of him, and most frequently recommends to us; well knowing, that without it, so humbling a scheme as he came to introduce, would never meet with a welcome reception. And with regard to the present life, it is a most lovely orna


universal estecm and affection ; so that Before honour is humility T: On the whole we find, Ile that exalteh himself is abased, and he that humbleth himself is exalted** both by God and man.

A regard therefore to the ease, honour, and happiness of our children, should engage us to an early endeavour of checking that pride, which was the first sin, and the run of our Datures; and diffuses itself so wide, and sinks so deep, into all that draw their original from degenerate Adam. We should teach them to express humility and modesty in their converse with all.

ment, which

* Prov. x. 9. wpyn (à wpy) huc illuc se flexit. + Psal. xi. 7. | Prov, xii. 22.

$ Rev. xxi. 8. Mat. xi. 28. & Prov. xv. 33.

** Mat, xxiii, 12.

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