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minds, however wicked they may become, I have
felt the truth of this in my own case: I said “My e father is right, and I am wrong! Oh, let me die the
death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.!” The bye-conversations in a family are, in this view, of unspeakable importance.
On the whole, arguments addressed to the heart press more forcibly than those addressed to the head. When I was a child, and a very wicked one too, one of Dr. Watts's Hymns sent me to weep in a corner. The lives in Janeway's Token had the same effect. I felt the influence of faith in suffering Christians. The character of young Samuel came home to me, when nothing else had any hold on my mind.
On the Management of Children. GREAT wisdom is requisite in correcting the evils of children. A child is bashful perhaps: but, in stimulating this child, we are too apt to forget future consequences. “Hold up your head. Don't be vulgar." At length they hold up their heads; and acquire such airs, that, too late, we discover our error. We forgot that we were giving gold, to purchase dross. We forgot that we were sacrificing modesty and humility, to make them young actors and old tyrants*.
• The reader cannot but admire the sentiments, which Bishop Hurd has, on this subject, put into the mouth of Mr. Locke, one of his supposed interlocutors in the Dialogue on Foreign Travels.
“Bashfulness is not so much the effect of an ill education, as the proper gift and provision of wise nature. Every stage of life has its own set of manners, that is suited to it, and best becomes it. Each is beautiful in its season; and you might as Well quarrel with the child's rattle, and advance him directly to the boy's top and span-farthing, as expect from diffi-'
dent youth the manly confidence of riper age. si “Lamentable in the mean time, I am sensible is the con-'
dition of my good lady: who, especially if she be a mighty,
CHRISTIANs are imbibing so much of the cast and temper of the age, that they seem to be anxiously tutoring their children, and preparing them by all! manner of means, not for a better world, but for the present. Yet in nothing should the simplicity of faith be more unreservedly exercised, than with regard to children. Their appointments and sta. tions, yea even their present and eternal happiness or misery, so far as they are influenced by their states and conditions in life, may be decided by the most minute and trivial events, all of which are in God's hand, and not in ours. An unbelieving spirit pervades, in this respect, too intimately the Christian world.
WHEN I meet children to instruct them, I do not suffer one grown person to be present. The Moravians pursue a different method. Some of their elder brethren even sit among the children, to sanction and encourage the work. This is well, provided children are to be addressed in the usual manner. But that will effect little good. Nothing is easier than to talk to children; but, to talk to them as they ought to be talked to, is the very last
well-bred one, is perfectly shocked at the boy's awkwardness and calls out on the taylor, the dancing-master, the player, the travelled tutor, any body and every body, to relievo her from the pain of so disgraceful an object.
“She should, however, be told, if a proper season and words soft enough could be found to convey the information, that the odious thing, which disturbs her so much, is one of nature's signatures impressed on that age; that bashfulness is but the passage from one season of life to another; and that as the body is then the least graceful, when the limbs are making their last efforts and hastening to their just proportion, so the manners are least easy and disengaged, when the mind, conscious and impatient of its perfections, is stretching all its faculties to their full growth." See Bishop Hurd's Moral and Political Dialogues, ed. 6th.
Lond. 1788. vol, 3d. pp. 99, 100, 101. j. P..
effort of ability. A man must have a vigorous imagination. He must have extensive knowledge, to call in illustrations from the four corners of the earth; for he will make little progress, but by illustration. It requires great genius, to throw the mind into the habit of children's minds. I aim at this, but I find it the utmost effort of ability. No sermon ever put my mind half so much on the stretch. The effort is such, that, were one person present, who was capable of weighing the propriety of what I said, it would be impossible for me to proceed: the mind must, in such a case, be perfectly at its ease; it must not have to exert itself under cramps and fetters. I am surprised 'at nothing which Dr. Watts did, but his Hymns for Children. Other men could have written as well as he, in his other works; but how he wrote these hymns, I know not. Stories fix children's attention. The moment I begin to talk in any thing like an abstract manner, the attention subsides. The simplest manner in the world will not make way to children's minds for abstract truths. With stories I find I could rivet their attention for two or three hours.
CHILDREN are very early capable of impression. I imprinted on my daughter the idea of faith, at a very early age. She was playing one day with a few beads, which seemed to delight her wonderfully. Her whole soul was absorbed in her beads. I said—“My dear, you have some pretty beads there.”-“Yes, Papa!"_"And you seem to be vastly pleased with them, "-"Yes, Papa!"__"Well now, throw 'em behind the fire.” The tears started into her eyes. She looked earnestly at me, as though she ought to have a reason for such a cruel sacrifice. “Well, my dear, do as you please: but you know I never told you to do any thing, which I
did not think would be good for you." She looked at me a few moments longer, and then-summoning up all her for itude-her breast heaving with the effort-she dashed them into the fire.--"Well," said I; "there let them lie, you shall hear more about them another time; but say no more about them now.” Some days after, I bought her a box full of larger beads, and toys of the same kind. When I returned home, I opened the treasure and set it before her: she burst into tears with ecstacy. “Those, my child," said I, "are yours: because you believed me, when I told you it would be better for you to throw those two or three paltry beads behind the fire. Now that has brought you this treasure. But now, my dear, remember, as long as you live, what Faith is. I did all this to teach you the meaning of FAITH. You threw your beads &way when I bid you, because you had faith in me, that I never advised you but for your good. Put the same confidence in God. Believe every thing that he says in his word. Whether you under. stand it or not, have faith in him that he means your
On Family Worship. FAMILY religion is of unspeakable importance. Its effect will greatly depend on the sincerity of the head of the family, and on his mode of conducting the worship of his household. If his children and servants do not see his prayers exemplified in his tempers and manners they will be disgusted with religion, Tediousness will weary them. Fine language will shoot about them. Formality of connexion or composition in prayer they will not comprehend. Gloominess: or austerity of devotion will make them dread religion as a hard service. Let them be met with smiles. Let them be met as for the most delightful service in which they can be engaged. Let them find it short, savory, simple: plaia, tender, heavenly, Worship, thus conducted may be used as an engine of vast power in a family. It diffuses a sympathy through the members. It calls off the mind from the deadening effect of worldly affairs. It arrests every member, with a morning and evening, sermon, in the midst of all the hurries and cares of life. It says, “There is a “God!"-"There is a spiritual world!"-"There is a life to come!" It fixes the idea of responsibility in the mind. It furnishes a tender and judicious father or master with an opportunity of gently glancing at faults, where a direct admonition might be inexpedient. It enables him to relieve the weight with which subordination or service often sits on the minds of inferiors. • In my family-worship I am not the reader, but
employ one of my children. I make no formal comment on the Scripture: but, when any striking event or sentiment arises, I say “Mark that!" . “See how God judges of that thing!" Sometimes I ask what they think of the matter, and how such a thing strikes them. I generally receive very strange, and sometimes ridiculous answers; but I am pleased with them: attention is all alive, while I am explaining wherein they err, and what is the truth. In this manner I endeavor to impress the spirit and scope of the passage on the family.
I particularly aim at the eradication of a false principle, wonderfully interwoven with the minds of children and servants-they take their standard from the neighborhood and their acquaintance, and by this they judge of every thing. I endeavor to raise them to a persuasion, that God's will in Scripture is the standard; and that this standard is perpetually in opposition to that corrupt one around and before them.
The younger children of the family will soon have discernment enough to perceive that the Bible has a holiness about it, that runs directly contrary to the stream of opinion. And then because this