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dare undertake, that if this one thing had
But some perhaps may here very sagely object,-Is not this the way to sour and spoil the minds of children, by keeping the remembrance of the late rebellion always fresh upon them? I answer, No; no more than to warn them against poisons, pits, and precipices, is likely to endanger their lives; or to tell them by what ill courses men come to the gallows is the ready way to bring them thither. No, nothing can be too much hated by children, which cannot be too much avoided by men. And since vice never loses its hold where it keeps its reputation, the minds of youth can never be sufficiently fortified against villainous and base actions, but by a deep and early abhorrence, caused by a faithful representation of them. So preposterous a method will it be found to bring a crime out of fashion, by making panegyrics upon the criminal.
In short, let parents prevent and seize the very first notions and affections of their children, by engaging them, from the very first, in a hatred of rebellion, and that, if possible, as strong as nature, as irreconcileable as antipathy, and so early, that they themselves may not remember when it began, but that, for ought they know, it was even born with them. Let them, I say, be made almost from their very cradle to hate it, name and thing, so that their blood may rise, and their heart may swell at the very mention of it. In a word, let them by a kind of preventing instinct abhor it, even in their minority, and they will be sure to find sufficient reason for that abhorrence when they shall come to maturity. And so much for parents.
2. The second sort of persons intrusted with the training up of youth are Schoolmasters. I know not how it comes to pass, that this honourable employment should find so little respect (as experience shews it does) from too many in the world. For there is no profession which has, or can have, a greater influence on the public. Schoolmasters have a negative upon the peace and welfare of the kingdom. They are indeed the great depositaries and trustees of the peace of it, as having the growing hopes and fears of the nation in their hands. For generally, subjects are and will be such as they breed them. So that I look
upon an able, well principled schoolmaster,
But now, if their power is so great, and their influence so strong, surely it concerns them to use it to the utmost for the benefit of their country. And for this purpose, let them fix this as an eternal rule or principle in the instruction of youth, that care is to be had of their manners in the first place, and of their learning in the next. And here, as the foundation and groundwork of all morality, let youth be taught betimes to obey, and to know that the very relation between teacher and learner imports superiority and subjection. And therefore, let masters be sure to inure young minds to an early awe and reverence of government, by making the first instance of it in themselves, and maintaining the authority of a master over them sacred and inviolable; still remembering, that none is or can be fit to be a teacher, who understands not how to be a master. For every degree of obstinacy in youth is one step to rebellion. And the very same restive humour which makes a young man slight his master in the school, and despise his tutor in the university, (a thing lately much in fashion,) will make him fly in his prince's face in the parliament house. Of which, not many years since, we have had some scurvy experiments.
There is a principle of pride universally wrapt up in the corrupt nature of man. And pride is naturally refractory, and impatient of rule; and (which is most material to our present case) it is a vice which works and puts forth betimes; and consequently must be encountered so too, or it will quickly carry too high an head, or too stiff a neck to be controlled. It is the certain companion of folly; and both of them the proper qualifications of youth; it being the inseparable property of that age to be proud and ignorant, and to despise instruction the more it needs it. But both of them are nuisances which education must remove, or the person is lost.
And it were to be wished, I confess, that the constitution of man's nature were such that this might be done only by the mild addresses of reason and the gentle arts of persuasion, and that the studies of humanity might be carried on only by the ways of humanity;
but unless youth were all made up of goodness and ingenuity, this is a felicity not to be hoped for. And therefore it is certain, that in some cases, and with some natures, austerity must be used; there being too frequently such a mixture in the composition of youth, that while the man is to be instructed, there is something of the brute also to be chastised. But how to do this discreetly, and to the benefit of him who is so unhappy as to need it, requires, in my poor opinion, a greater skill, judgment, and experience, than the world generally imagines, and than, I am sure, most masters of schools can truly pretend to be masters of. I mean those plagosi orbilii, those executioners, rather than instructors of youth; persons fitter to lay about them in a coach or cart, or to discipline boys before a Spartan altar, or rather upon it, than to have any thing to do in a Christian school. I would give those pedagogical Jehus, those furious schooldrivers, the same advice which, the poet says, Phoebus gave his son Phaeton, (just such another driver as themselves,) that he should parcere stimulis, (the stimulus in driving being of the same use formerly that the lash is now.) Stripes and blows are the last and basest remedy, and scarce ever fit to be used, but upon such as carry their brains in their backs; and have souls so dull and stupid, as to serve for little else but to keep their bodies from putrefaction.
Nevertheless, since (as I have shewn) there are some cases and tempers which make these boisterous applications necessary, give me leave, for once, to step out of my profession so far, (though still keeping strictly within my subject,) as to lay before the educators of youth these few following considerations; for I shall not, in modesty, call them instructions.
1. As first, let them remember that excellent and never to be forgotten advice, "that boys will be men ;" and that the memory of all base usage will sink so deep into, and grow up so inseparably with them, that it will not be so much as in their own power ever to forget it. For though indeed schoolmasters are a sort of kings, yet they cannot always pass such acts of oblivion as shall operate upon their scholars, or perhaps, in all things, indemnify themselves.
which two qualities, in conjunction, do above all others fit a man both for business and address. But for want of this art, some schools have ruined more good wits than they have improved; and even those which they have sent away with some tolerable improvement, like men escaped from a shipwreck, carry off only the remainder of those naturaĺ advantages, which in much greater plenty they first brought with them.
3. Let not the chastisement of the body be managed so as to make a wound which shall rankle and fester in the very soul. That is, let not children, whom nature itself would bear up by an innate, generous principle of emulation, be exposed, cowed, and depressed with scoffs and contumelies, (founded perhaps upon the master's own guilt,) to the scorn and contempt of their equals and emulators. For this is, instead of rods, to chastise them with scorpions; and is the most direct way to stupify and besot, and make them utterly regardless of themselves, and of all that is praiseworthy; besides that it will be sure to leave in their minds such inward regrets, as are never to be qualified or worn off. It is very indecent for a master to jest or play with his scholars; but not only indecent, but very dangerous too, in such a way to play upon them.
4. And lastly, Let it appear in all acts of penal animadversion, that the person is loved while his fault is punished; nay, that one is punished only out of love to the other. And (believe it) there is hardly any one so much a child, but has sagacity enough to perceive this. Let not melancholy fumes and spites, and secret animosities pass for discipline. Let the master be as angry for the boy's fault as reason will allow him; but let not the boy be in fault only because the master has a mind to be angry. In a word, let not the master have the spleen, and the scholars be troubled with it. But above all, let not the sins, or faults, or wants of the parents be punished upon the children; for that is a prerogative which God has reserved to himself.
2. Where they find a youth of spirit, let them endeavour to govern that spirit without extinguishing it; to bend it, without breaking it; for when it comes once to be extinguished, and broken, and lost, it is not in the power or art of man to recover it: and then (believe it) no knowledge of nouns and pronouns, syntaxis and prosodia, can ever compensate or make amends for such a loss. The French, they say, are extremely happy at this, who will instruct a youth of spirit to a decent boldness, tempered with a due modesty;
These things I thought fit to remark about the education and educators of youth in general, not that I have any thoughts cr desires of invading their province; but possibly a stander-by may sometimes look as far into the game as he who plays it; and perhaps with no less judgment, because with much less concern.
3. The third and last sort of persons concerned in the great charge of instructing youth are the Clergy. For as parents deliver their children to the schoolmaster, so the schoolmaster delivers them to the minister. And for my own part, I never thought a pulpit, a cushion, and an hourglass, such necessary means of salvation, but that much of the time and labour which is spent about them might
be much more profitably bestowed in catechising youth from the desk; preaching being a kind of spiritual diet, upon which people are always feeding, but never full; and many poor souls, God knows, too, too like Pharaoh's lean kine, much the leaner for their full feed.
And how, for God's sake, should be otherwise? For to preach to people without principles, is to build where there is no foundation, or rather where there is not so much as ground to build upon. But people are not to be harangued, but catechised into principles; and this is not the proper work of the pulpit, any more than threshing can pass for sowing. Young minds are to be leisurely formed and fashioned with the first plain, simple, and substantial rudiments of religion. And to expect that this should be done by preaching, or force of lungs, is just as if a smith, or artist who works in metal, should think to frame and shape out his work only with his bellows.
be brought to the bishop of the diocese to be confirmed by him, since none else, no not all the presbyters of a diocese, (nor Presbyterians neither,) can perform this apostolical act and office upon them. For though indeed a bishop may be installed, and visit, and receive his revenues too, by deputation or proxy; yet I am sure he can no more confirm than ordain by proxy: these being acts purely and incommunicably episcopal.
The church of Rome makes confirmation a sacrament; and though the church of England does not affirm it to be such, yet it owns it of divine and apostolical institution. And as to the necessity of it, I look upon it as no less than a completion of baptism in such as outlive their childhood; and for that cause called by the ancients Thors. It is indeed a man's owning that debt in person, which passed upon him in his baptism by representation; and his ratifying the promises of his sureties, by his personal acknowledgment of the obligation.
It is also expressly instituted for the collation of those peculiar assistances and gifts of the Spirit, by the imposition of episcopal hands, which the rubric represents as requisite to bear him through his Christian course and conflict with comfort and success. For till a person be confirmed, he cannot regularly and ordinarily partake of that high and soul-supporting ordinance, the sacrameut of the Lord's supper. And these are the considerations which render the confirmation of children necessary, and the neglect of it scandalous, unchristian, and utterly unjustifiable upon any account whatsoever. For is there so much as the least shadow of excuse allegeable for parents not bringing their children to the bishop to be confirmed by him? or for the bishop not to confirm them when duly brought? The chief and general failure in this duty is no doubt chargeable upon the former; the grand rebellion of forty-one, and the dissolution of all church-order thereupon, absolutely unhinging the minds of most of the nation, as to all concern about religion; nevertheless, if, on the other side also, both the high importance of the ordinance itself, and the vast numbers of the persons whom it ought to pass upon, be duly pondered, it will be found next, at least, to a necessity, (if at all short of it,) that there should be episcopal visitations more than once in three years, if it were only for the sake of confirmations; especially since the judges of the land think it not too much for them to go two circuits yearly. And some are apt to think that no less care and labour ought to be employed in carrying on the discipline of the gospel, than in dispensing the benefits of the law. For certainly the importance of the former, with those who think men's souls ought to be regarded in the first place, is no ways inferior to
It is want of catechising which has been the true cause of those numerous sects, schisms, and wild opinions, which have so disturbed the peace, and bid fair to destroy the religion of the nation. For the consciences of men have been filled with wind and noise, empty notions and pulpit-tattle. So that amongst the most seraphical illuminati and the highest Puritan perfectionists, you shall find people of fifty, threescore, or fourscore years old, not able to give that account of their faith, which you might have had heretofore from a boy of nine or ten. Thus far had the pulpit, by accident, disordered the church, and the desk must restore it. For you know the main business of the pulpit in the late times (which we are not thoroughly recovered from yet, and perhaps never shall) was to please and pamper a proud, senseless humour, or rather a kind of spiritual itch, which had then seized the greatest part of the nation, and worked chiefly about their ears; and none were so overrun with it, as the holy sisterhood, the daughters of Sion, and the matrons of the new Jerusalem, (as they called themselves.) These brought with them ignorance and itching ears in abudance; and Holderforth equalled them in one, and gratified them in the other. So that whatsoever the doctrine was, the application still ran on the surest side; for to give those doctrine and use-men, those pulpit-engineers, their due, they understood how to plant their batteries and to make their attacks perfectly well; and knew that, by pleasing the wife, they should not fail to preach the husband in their pocket. And therefore, to prevent the success of such pious frauds for the future, let children be well principled, and, in order to that, let them be carefully catechised.
Well; but when they are thus catechised, what is to be done next? Why then let them
that of the latter; at least many wise and good men of the clergy, as well as others (who hope they may lawfully wish what they pretend not to prescribe,) have thought the proposal not unreasonable. For confirmation being, as we hinted before, the only proper, regular inlet, or rather authentic ticket of admission to the Lord's supper, and yet withal the sole act of the bishop; if people who desire to obtain it should find that they cannot, would they not be apt to think themselves hardly dealt with, that, when Christ has frankly invited them to his table, they should, for want of confirmation, find the door shut against them when they come?
Besides that nothing can be imagined more for the episcopal dignity and preeminence, than that after Christ has thus prepared this heavenly feast for us, he yet leaves it to his bishops (by lodging this confirming power in their hands) to qualify, and put us into a regular capacity of appearing at that divine banquet, and of being welcome when we are there. And therefore, in short, since the power of confirming, no less than that of ordaining itself, is, as we have shewn, so peculiar to the episcopal character, as to be also personal and incommunicable; all wellwishers to the happy estate of the church must needs wish, that as the laws of it have put a considerable restraint upon unlimited ordinations, so they would equally enforce the frequency of confirmations; since a defect or desuetude of these latter must no less starve the altar, than a superfluity of the former overstock the church: both of them, I am sure, likely to prove fatal to it.
But to proceed; as the minister, having sufficiently catechised the youth of his parish, ought to tender them to the bishop, to be confirmed by him; and the bishop, for his part, to give his clergy as frequent opportunities of doing so as possibly he can; so after they are thus confirmed, he is to take them into the farther instructions of his ministry, and acquaint them with what they have been confirmed in. And here, the ter to acquit himself in this important trust, let him take a measure of what good the pulpit may do, by the mischief which it has already done. For in the late times of confusion, it was the pulpit which supplied the field with sword-men, and the parliament house with incendiaries. And let every churchman consider, that it is one of the principal duties of the clergy to make the king's government easy to him, and to prepare him a willing and obedient people. For which purpose, the canons of our church enjoin every minister of it to preach obedience, and subjection to the government, four times -year at And this I am sure cannot be better and more effectually done, than by representing the faction, which troubles and
undermines it, as odious, ridiculous, and 1excusable, as with truth he can; and by exposing those villainous tricks and intrigues by which they supplanted and overturned the monarchy under King Charles I. and would have done the same again under King Charles II. though he had obliged them by a mercy not to be paralleled, and an oblivion never to be forgot.
Let every faithful minister, therefore, of the church of England, in a conscientious observance of the laws laid upon him by the said church make it his business to undeceive and disabuse the people committed to his charge, by giving them to understand, that most of that noise which they have so often heard ringing in their ears, about grievances and arbitrary power, popery and tyranny, persecution, and oppression of tender consciences, court pensioners, and the like, has been generally nothing else but mere flam and romance, and that there is no kingdom or government in Christendom less chargeable with any of these odious things and practices than the English government, under his present majesty, both is and ever has been ; and consequently, that all these clamours are only the artifices of some malecontents and ambitious demagogues, to fright their prince to compound with them, by taking them off (as the word is) with great and gainful places; and therefore, that they bark so loud, and open their mouths so wide, for no other cause than that some preferment may stop them; the common method, I own, by which weak governors and governments use to deal with such as oppose them; till in the issue, by strengthening their enemies, they come to ruin themselves, and to be laughed at for their pains. For that governor, whosoever he is, who prefers his enemy, makes him thereby not at all the less an enemy, but much more formidably so, than he was before.
And whereas yet farther, there have been such vehement invectives against court pensioners; let the people who have been so bet-warmly plied with this stuff, be carefully informed, that those very men, who raise and spread these invectives, do not indeed (as they pretend,) hate pensioners so much, but that they love pensions more; and have no other quarrel to them, but that any should be thought worthy to receive them but themselves.
And then, as for the next clamour, about the persecution and oppression of tender consciences. Let every conscientious preacher thoroughly and impartially instruct his congregation that there is no such thing; that from the very restoration of the king, they have been all along allowed (and that by a law made for that purpose) to worship God after their own way in their own families with five more persons besides; so that all the oppression and persecution of these men
amounts but to this, that the government will not suffer them to meet in troops, regiments, and brigades; and so form themselves into an army, and under colour of worshipping God, to muster their forces, and shew the government how ready they are, when occasion serves, for a battle: so that, in truth, it is not so much liberty of conscience, as liberty from conscience, which these men contend for. Likewise, let the faithful minister teach his people, that as the main body of the nation hates and abhors popery with the utmost aversion; so that old stale pretence of the danger of its being every day ready to return and break in upon us, while this general aversion to it continues, and the laws against it stand in full force, (as at present they certainly do,) is all of it, from top to bottom, nothing else but an arrant trick and term of art, and a republican engine to rob the church, and run down the clergy, (the surest bulwark against popery ;) as the very same plea had effectually served them for the same purpose once before. And lastly, let the youth of the nation be made to know, that all the bustle and stir raised by schismatics and dissenters against the rites and ceremonies of the church of England, (which after so much noise are but three in number, and those not only very innocent, but very rational too,) has been intended only for a blind and a cheat upon those lamentable tools, the unthinking rabble, whom these leading impostors are still managing and despising at the same time. For can any man of sense imagine, that those whose conscience could serve them to murder their king, (and him the most innocent and pious of kings,) do or can really scruple the use of the surplice, the cross in baptism, or kneeling at the sacrament? Alas! they have a cormorant in their conscience, which can swallow all this, and a great deal more. But the thing they drive at by this noisy, restless cant, is to get the power and revenues of the church into their comprehensive clutches; and, according to a neighbouring pattern, having first possessed themselves of the church, to make their next inroads upon the state. I say, it is power and wealth, and nothing else, which these pretenders design, an push so hard for; and when they have once compassed it, you shall quickly see, how effectually these men of mortification will mortify all who differ from them; and how little favour and indulgence they will shew those who had shewed them so much before. Such is the cruelty and ingratitude of the party.
All which and the like important heads of discourse, so nearly affecting not only the common interest, but the very vitals of the government, had the parochial clergy frequently and warmly insisted upon to their respective congregations, and to the younger part of them especially; such a course could
not, but in a short time, have unpoisoned their perverted minds, and rectified their false notions, to such a degree, as would in all likelihood have prevented those high animosities, those divisions and discontents, which have given such terrible shocks both to church and state, since the late happy, but never yet duly improved restoration.
And now I must draw towards a close, though I have not despatched the tenth part of what I had to say upon this useful, copious, and indeed inexhaustible subject. And therefore for a conclusion, I have only two things more to add, and by way of request to you, great men; you who are persons of honour, power, and interest in the government; and, I hope, will shew to what great and good purposes you are so.
1. And the first is, that you would employ the utmost of this your power and interest, both with the king and parliament, to suppress, utterly to suppress and extinguish, those private, blind, conventicling schools or academies of grammar and philosophy, set up and taught secretly by fanatics, here and there all the kingdom over. A practice which, I will undertake to prove, looks with a more threatening aspect upon the government, than any one fanatical or republican encroachment made upon it besides. For this is the direct and certain way to bring up and perpetuate a race of mortal enemies both to church and state. To derive, propagate, and immortalize the principles and practices of forty-one to posterity, is schism and sedition for ever, faction and rebellion in sæcula sæculorum ; which I am sure no honest English heart will ever say Amen to. We have, I own, laws against conventicles; but, believe it, it would be but labour in vain to go about to suppress them, while these nurseries of disobedience are suffered to continue. For those first and early aversions to the government, which these shall infuse into the minds of children, will be too strong for the clearest after-convictions which can pass upon them when they are men. So that what these underground workers have once planted a briar, let no governor think, that, by all the arts of clemency and condescension, or any other cultivation whatsoever, he shall be able to change into a rose. Our ancestors, to their great honour, rid the nation of wolves, and it were well, if (notwithstanding their sheep's clothing) the church could be rid of them too; but that neither will nor can ever be, so long as they shall be suffered to breed up their litters amongst us. Good God! can all history shew us any church or state since the creation that has been able to settle or support itself by such methods? I can, I thank God, (looking both him and my conscience in the face,) solemnly and seriously affirm, that I abhor every thing like cruelty to men's persons, as