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PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
THE education of children is a most serious and important charge, and perhaps as difficult as important; for nature is very corrupted, and sure to make its early efforts against every attempt to promote their real good. To counteract this corrupted principle, and to use every mean for the establishment of the divine nature early in the minds of youth, should be the serious aim of all such as are entrusted with this weighty concern. While it is with man to use the means, it rests only with God to give the blessing. The time of youth, however, must be considered as the most promising
We hear very much in the Gospels of our Lord's notice of children, and of his love to a child-like spirit. This is a good encouragement for such as are entrusted with education; but shall I be understood, if I observe, that all such should be very righteous, but still not righteous overmuch. Children are naturally volatile ;-—they must be humoured in things that are innocent, as well as corrected for their faults: their educators, therefore, need tempers—firm, though mild and dispassionate ;-solid understandings; and gracious, affectionate, and generous hearts.
To oppose this volatile disposition, is to oppose nature itself;-it rather needs regulation than reproof; we should, therefore, first please, that afterwards we may profit. Though a child should be allowed to be innocently gay, yet all these little gaieties may need a mild controul. Parents and guardians must first be beloved before they can be obeyed, unless by
terror, which only excites the obedience of vile servility, and which, consequently, creates detestation; and when from the fear of these things the mind is emancipated, the worst of consequences ensue from such an ill judged education.
I, therefore, humbly request those to whom I now write, to join with me in this attempt for the good of the succeeding generation; to pray for much grace in their hearts, and much wisdom in their understandings, that they may have much success in their undertakings.
It is not in the power of language to reach the evils that arise from a neglect of this duty : carelessness and indifference are the
open roads to profaneness and infidelity.
On the other hand, the blessings that have attended religious education are very numerous; many a parent has been made exceedingly happy in their offspring thereby : and as the residue of the Spirit is with the Lord, the