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of a child will soon give them to understand the flower that is about. to bud, and if unfruitful, they should pluck it immediately.
Again-emuch of the time passed at the Theatre, at the toilet, or in idle and frivolous conversation, might be devoted to children with great and lasting benefit, and with quite as little expense ! It must not be infered from this, that the writer is speaking against parents for visiting the Theatre or other amusements, if they think proper; yet, nevertheless, if children are neglected for the sake of plays and shows, such visits must be considered pernicious and unwarrantable.-Children, however, should never be allowed to visit such places. The writer is an advocate for all social and innocent amusements, believing that they tend in some measure to inform the mind, to polish the manners, and to create a love and respect towards each other.
But to proceed-Do parents set proper examples before their children, and are they such as are best calculated for their good ? No excuse could possibly be raised for neglecting to do this. But is it so,--Or are there any who do not set good examples ? To answer this, we have only to consider for a moment, and we may readily and truly say, that there are many, very many, who fail even in this one particular! who appear wholly regardless of their conduct, especially in presence of children. The consequences of this evil are easily imagined; it not only corrupts the morals of children, but encourages them to engage in all manner of vices. Parents, therefore, should watch their own conduct, and set no example which they would dislike to have their children follow.
Another class of persons will aver, that from low circumstances, they are unable to clothe their children sufficiently decent to 'appear even at the public schools ! an excuse without the smallest foundation, and wholly inadmissible. And do they appear better with their poor habiliments, in the streets, than they would at school ? Some, indeed, act as if this were the case: "But would they not appear to more advantage, and with greater respect, even if ragged, with a knowledge of virtue? Why then are so many of them clothed, not in rags, but with ignorance? Why are they suffered to resort to the wharves, the market-places, and wherever else they please, and, mixing themselves with other wicked boys, will often rend the air with cursing and swearing : shall I go further and ask, Why is such wickedness indulged and encouraged even on Sabbath days?-Humanity shudders at even the recital of these facts !! Let those who have the care and management of such children, answer these questions ; or rather let them reflect on the improprieties here pointed out--for reflection may possibly produce reform.
But coming more immediately to the point-Is poverty an excuse for ignorance ? By no means. Is it then in the
poor parents to give their children the necessary education to carry them through life? It is. But what do we understand by the term necessary : by necessary, we mean a knowledge sufficient to know, to realize, and to feel, the importance of a complete reliance on the goodness of God; to be obesive to his will and commands; to study the glories of his inimitable character; and at all times to consult the best interests of mankind. This is the education here spoken of, as being necessary, and which is always in the power of parents to procure for their children, however low may be their circumstances. My remarks, however, are not applicable to the poor only; for there are many children that are equally wicked, whose parents are sitting under the “ smiles of fortune."
But poverty, I have said, is no excuse for ignorance--is no plea for suffering children to grow up without a knowledge of virtue. Though this assertion may be denied, its truth cannot be lessened. If a person, with an extensive family, should be placed in the lowest state of poverty, and in fact reduced to absolute want; he still retains the means of providing for the education of his children. But in what way is he enabled, under such circumstances, to make this provision ? Were I to refer this question to every parent for an answer, it would suffice. But no answer can be considered requisite, if we only look to the present state of our country, where we are provided with almost every institution calculated to promote the cause of charity and learning. In cases of absolute distress, there is always some provision made for us--some means reserved, whereby we may extricate ourselves from a part of our troubles ; and if we only knock at the door, it will open to our assistance. Charity too is continually going abroad, and if we have the meekness to ask, we shall not fail to receive. The same may be said of education ; for if parents have not money to procure learning for their children-still they possess the means to obtain it: I mean by asking it-by placing their childreu under the care of charitable persons, where they will be well used and well educated; and however odious it may be to some parents, to have their children in the service of others (as they will call it), they should be reconciled to this, by considering the benefit that will accrue to them, in receiving a proper education. Though we may dislike to place our children from us, yet how much better would it be to have them thus dealt with, than to keep them at home, in the embraces of poverty and ignorance ! Let our situation in life be high or low, we should never lose sight of the true interests of our children ;
we should not feel too proud to ask that for them, which we purselves are unable to bestow. These remarks will fully answer
the last question.
There is one other resource for poor children, which affords me pleasure to mention. I allude to the SUNDAY SCHOOLS—-institutions highly honorable and praiseworthy. But as they have not been long in operation, their benefit has not perhaps been so sensibly felt. They are, however, in a flourishing state, and promise much good ; and I cannot withhold the meed of praise which is due to the zeal and ability with which the founders have commenced their benevolent design. I wish them all the success and assistance they so richly deserve, and hope ere long that their funds will be amply sufficient to carry into extensive operation, the glorious object they have in view---the education, the morality and the religion of poor children and youth.
I have now finished my general remarks on the subject introduced in this and the last number. No. 3 will contain strictures on the education of children particularly; and though it may be thought perhaps that sufficient has already been said on this subject, it must be admitted, that too much cannot be said or written, if reformation is finally produced. This is the aim of the writer, and though he will not arrogate to himself the ability to bring about this reformation, yet if his complaints do but reach the hearts of those for whom they are intended, he shall feel satisfied in having attempted the good of those in whose welfare he feels a deep and unalterable interest.
CENSURE DESPISED BY PHILOSOPHERS.
[Concluded from page 9.] I DESIGNED, in this essay, to show, that there is no happiness wanting to him who is possessed of this excellent frame of mind, and that no person can be miserable who is in the enjoyment of it; but I find this subject so well treated in one of Dr. South's sermons, that I shall take a passage from it, which cannot but make the man's heart burn within him, who reads it with due attention.
That admirable author, having shown the virtue of a good con. science in supporting a man under the greatest trials and difficulties of life, concludes with representing its force and efficacy in the hour of death.
"The third and last instance, in which, above all others, this conGdence towards God does most eminently show and exert itself, is at the time of death; which surely gives the grand opportunity of trying both the strength and worth of every principle. When a man shall be just about to quit the stage of this world, to put off his mortality, and to deliver up his last accounts to God; at which sad time his memory shall serve him for little else, but to terrify him with a frightful review of his past life, and his former extravagances stripped of all their pleasure, but retaining their guilt: what is it then that can promise him a fair passage into the other world, or a comfortable appearance before his dreadful Judge when he is therė ? not all the friends and interests, all the riches and honours under heaven, can speak so much as a word for him, or one word of comfort to him in that condition; they may possibly reproach, but they cannot relieve him.
"No; at this disconsolate time, when the busy tempter shall be more than usually apt to vex and trouble him, and the pains of a dying body to hinder and discompose him, and the settlement of worldly affairs to disturb and confound him; and, in a word, áll things conspire to make his sick-bed grievous and uneasy: nothing can then stand up against all these ruins, and speak life in the midst of death, but a clear conscience.
. And the testimony of that shall make the comforts of heaven descend upon his weary head, like a refreshing dew, or shower upon a parched ground. It shall give him some lively earnests, and secret anticipations of his approaching joy. It shall bid his soul go out of the body undauntedly, and lift up its head with confidence before saints and angels. Surely the comfort, which it conveys at this season, is something bigger than the capacities of mortality, mighty and unspeakable, and not to be understood till it comes to be felt.
And now, who would not quit all the pleasures, and trash, and trifles, which are apt to captivate the heart of man, and pursue the greatest rigours of piety, and austerities of a good life, to purchase to himself such a conscience, as, at the hour of death, when all the friendship in the world shall bid him adieu, and the whole creation turn its back upon him, shall dismiss the soul, and close his eyes with that blessed sentence, “ Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord ?”
CHAMBERS OF THE TOMB PORTRAYED.
Y ONDER entrance leads, I suppose to the vault. Let me turn aside, and take one view of the habitation, and its tenants. The sullen door grates upon its hinges; not used to receive many visitants, it receives me with reluctance and murmurs.-What meaneth this sudden trepidation; while I descend the steps, and am visiting the pale nations of the dead ? Be composed my spirits, there is nothing to fear in these quiet chambers. “ Here, even the wicked cease from troubling."
A beam or two finds its way through the grates, and reflects a feeble glimmer from the nails of the coffins. So many of those sad spectacles, half concealed in shades, half seen dimly by the baleful twilight, add a deeper horror to these gloomy mansions.- I pore upon the inscriptions, and am just able to pick out, that these are the remains of the rich and renowned. No vulgar dead are deposited here. The most illustrious and right honourable have claimed this for their last retreat. And, indeed, they retain somewhat of a shadowy pre-eminence. They lie, ranged in mournful order and in a sort of silent pomp, under the arches of an ample sepulchre; while meaner corpses, without much ceremony, “ go down to the stones of the pit.”
DESIRES OF THE SOUL. What wantest thou, O my soul! with what imaginable excellency wouldst thou clothe thyself? What desirable objects wouldst thou pitch upon ? Is it beauty? The righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of heaven, and the wise as the brightness of the firmament for ever and ever. Is it riches? Wealth and riches are in the house of God; every one in his family shall have a rich, a glorious, and incorruptible and eternal inheritance among the saints. What is it then? Is it honour ? What honour like to this, to be a friend and a favourite of God, and a spouse of Christ ? To have a crown of righteousness, of life, and glory? Yet more, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory set upon thy head. Yet again, is it pleasure? The just shall enter into their master's joy, and there are rivers of pleasure at his right hand forevermore. In a word, what wouldst thou have, O my flesh? A contiuence of all the glorious things both in heaven and on earth! Why, godliness hath the promise of this life, and of that which is to come. If heaven and the righteousness thereof, be the thing thou dost seek; both heaven and earth, with the excellencies thereof, is that which thou shalt find.
By reading we enjoy the dead, by conversation the living, and by contemplation ourselves. Reading enriches the memory, conversation polishes the wit, and contemplation improves the judgment.