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other hand, what can be so dreadful, as the idea of having brought a child into the world, only to be the prey of sin and wretchedness here, and the subject of never-dying torments hereafter? Let no parent, therefore, think that he has done his duty, till he hath done all that lieth in him to make his children acquainted with God and their duty, and to make them pursue that good way, which leadeth to eternal life.
But farther; besides natural parents, civil parents are also concerned to assist in training up children. By civil parents I mean magistrạtes, tutors, and heads of families; who, though they give not the first being to those under their care, yet are bound, in a subordinate degree, to consult their well-being. And therefore,
ist, All magistrates, as such, ought in their several stations, not only to countenance and favour, but to protect and support, nay, farther, to command and enforce, as far as their authority extends, the due practice of religious education, especially among the lower orders of the people. They ought to imitate the example of the good king Hezekiah, who was both himself a pattern of good morals, and also “ spake
“ comfortably unto those that taught the good
knowledge of the Lord.”
2dly, They are likewise in duty bound to the discharge of this necessary office, who professedly undertake to superintend the education of youth. They are entrusted by natural parents ; and a great and important trust in truth it is; since no less than the welfare of every nation may justly be said to depend upon it. And though the more immediate design of their
profession, as teachers, may be only to train up those who are committed to their care in human literature, yet they should ever remember, that 6. the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wis" dom” both human and divine, and therefore should be careful to lay this,' as the best foundation of their intended superstructure. And indeed, unless youth are bred up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, the most shining abilities will only make them more capable of doing mischief, and the most cultivated talents will only make their want of probity the more glaring and conspicuous. And therefore much will they have to answer for, both in the sight of God and the world, who are the causes of this mischief, hy neglecting to give a proper bias to their minds in the early, innocent, and flexible period of life. Q3
: And on the other hand, there is no order of men, who deserve better of the public, than those teachers, who faithfully discharge the duties of their function, and are careful to form the manners, as well as the tongues, of their pupils. To perform this important office, David did not think it beneath him to descend from his royal throne:-“Come, ye children,” says he,“ and hearken unto me, and I will teach you
the fear of the Lord.” And in all nations where arts have had their due esteem, much respect hath been paid to the teachers and professors of them. Thus the civil law of the Romans exempted professors of grammar and rhetoric from the burden of public taxes and offices; established their maintenance, and even continued those privileges to their families. Thus again, Theodosius, a prince of singular goodness and humanity, enacted a law in favour of those who had taught grammar twenty years in Constantinople, and had, during that time, approved their skill and diligence to the senate; that they should be ranked with those who were possessed of the highest honours in the eastern empire.
We read also of many noble princes, who have bestowed the highest honours on their preceptors; treating them as parents, and even
professing, like Alexander, that they owed more to their good breeding, than to their birth.."
I could not forbear saying thus much in favour of a profession, which is certainly too much sunk into contempt, and to which, in my opinion, much too little attention is paid by those, whose duty it is to attend to the welfare of a corrupt, luxurious, and declining empire. And though part of this contempt may justly perhaps be charged to the ignorance or viciousness of some of the professors, yet it should be remembered, that in every profession, the number of able and worthy professors will always bear a certain proportion to the honours and emoluments which accompany it. There is no reason, therefore, to expect, that many persons of distinguished abilities will engage in so arduous and laborious an employment, so long as the fashion shall continue to lavish away enormous sums on men of the most despicable professions, and to grudge even a moderate pittance to those, whose business it is, as a * wise father expresses it, “ to polish God's image, the soul "" of man, and to adorn it with virtue and wis- dom.” ...
3dly, As the parent and tutor, so also magters of families are concerned in this necessary and important work. They are to govern for God as well as for themselves, and to teach his ways as well as to command their own works. In them is united both the office of magistrate and tutor; they being what the former is in his proper department, and the latter among his pupils : therefore, under the obligation of both in conjunction, they are strongly bound to perform this part of duty belonging to civil parents.
Lastly, The spiritual and ghostly parents concerned also, ‘are the governors and ministers of the church, who are to contribute to the new birth, and administer nourishment to the spiritual life. Indeed, their very office consists especially in this duty, to train up all their children for God in the way they should go, and at the same time, by their public and private exhortations, to stir up others to a faithful discharge of the trust committed to them.
We see, then, from this ample provision of guides and instructors, which God has made for training up children in the good way, of how great consequence it is in his sight, and there