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We should remember, that we are only required to do good according to our power, and opportunities; but let it not be forgotten, that the former must be exerted to the utmost, and that the latter ought never to pass by us unimproved. It is one proof of the divine origin of Christ's holy religion, that its precepts are so truly excellent and comprehensive, that they conform to those different states of society, and varying circumstances of life, which its heavenly author foresaw must necessarily arise in the world. There is no room, therefore, for indolence, nor any excuse for carelessness, and neglect. Much good may be done by every master of a family, if he would now fulfil the important duty, which the conduct of Joshua so happily exemplified, to the utmost of his abilities.
This is to be accomplished, in the first place, taking a lively interest in the welfare of those who immediately surround us ;-by encouraging them, in every proper way, to do their duty, and by admonishing them at first, with kindness, when they fail, or transgress;-by presenting to them a daily example of prudent circumspection, regularity, and order;-by removing from them, as much as possible, all temptations to waste, pilfering, and dishonesty;
-by being always ready to make due allowance for venial errors, and by never exposing them to the intolerable evil, and tyranny, of capricious, violent, and ungoverned passions.
With respect to the great duty of religion, which is the more immediate subject of our present consideration, we ought most assuredly to use all our influence and authority, mildly, but steadily, that they might be willingly disposed "to serve the Lord." For this purpose, they should be regularly allowed time, and opportunity, to attend the hours of Divine Service and, as precepts alone are seldom efficacious, the habit of hallowing the Christian Sabbath should be encouraged, and enforced, by proper example.
Our religious duty would be farther, and more effectually fulfilled in this respect, by prohibiting all occupations, and all labor, on that sacred day, except what may be indispensably necessary; and by avoiding those pleasures and amusements for our own gratification, which impose severe tasks, and improper burdens, on others.
Farther, as nothing contributes more to the peace and happiness of a family than unanimity, with respect to sentiments and practice, on all
subjects of serious importance, it should be our earnest endeavour to see that "they serve the Lord," agreeably to the statutes and ordinances of their fathers. It appears to be desirable, therefore, at least, if not our bounden duty, to restrain every part of our household from frequenting those Conventicles, where their understanding is likely to be bewildered, instead of being enlightened and informed;-where the passions are inflamed, without being directed to any practical end, or purpose;—where every thing tends to alienate the minds of the common people from the venerable Establishments of their country;—and where some of the supposed doctrines of the holy Gospel are so shockingly perverted, as to be a snare to the bold, presumptuous sinner, and may, in his hands, prove an encouragement to perseverance in wickedness and guilt, instead of promoting the godly fear of offending, or the love of righteousness, purity, and peace.
The observations hitherto made apply chiefly to domestic servants; but there is a numerous class of young persons, with relation to whom great evils and enormities exist, which it is indeed easy to perceive, but difficult to remove. In this vast metropolis, and in every other populous
city, there must be a great number of our fellowcreatures, chiefly in the middle orders of so
ciety, who are employed in the various departments of commerce, attached to some of the professions, or engaged in official situations: but who may be said to live at large, without properly belonging to any household; and at a time of life, too, when they stand most in need of the benefits of good example, affectionate admonition, and wholesome control. By conventional arrangements, and practices which custom has now generally sanctioned, the professional man, the merchant, and the trader, take no cognisance whatever of the young persons with whom they are connected, beyond the mere routine of business transactions, and shrink from all responsibility, on the score both moral and religious duties. As to how, and where, they spend their evenings, therefore, to what purposes they devote the Christian Sabbath,-who are their associates,—and what are their habits, and amusements, they, like Gallio, the proconsul, "care for none of those things."
Now, in this state, can we wonder that temptations to the commission of crimes should be multiplied, that vicious habits and profligate connexions should be formed, that ruinous ex
penses should be incurred, that inextricable embarrassments should follow, and that the crime of forgery, or fraud, should be now almost daily committed, as one of the desperate resources of relieving them? Above all, can we wonder that, in many instances of young persons thus left to themselves, abandoned as it were to their own natural inclinations, and the strong impulse of the passions ;-can we wonder that the sacred interval of time, from the end of one week to the first day of labor in the next, instead of being devoted to their spiritual edification and improvement, should be perverted and abused to their corruption and ruin? If any person is disposed to be sceptical on this head, let him only turn over the late Reports of our public Committees; let him attend to the cases that come before the police magistrates, or read the proceedings of our principal Court of criminal judicature. When we reflect on the great numbers of young persons that come to the metropolis from every part of the country annually, for the purpose of learning some profession, or of being initiated into the mysteries of some, business, as the means of a future livelihood, it must grieve a parent's heart to think that his child, who has been brought up with the utmost