« PoprzedniaDalej »
they are tired with Vice, they will naturally chuse Virtue. O silly Advisers! if they have never been taught what Discretion, is, how shall they make a discreet Choice? Hinder, if possible, the foolish Blandishments of Nurses, the Flatteries of Servants, and their obscene and indecent Words; and instead of letting them become a Prey to such bad Advisers, do you keep them under your own Eye and Care, and instruct them in the whole Compass of their Duty to God, their Neighbour, and themselves. If they are well taught this early, they wil! know how to behave themselves ever after. Let them first be informed that there is a God; that we are his Creatures; that our Preservation, and all the Blessings we enjoy, are from him; that we poor worthless Dependants must pray to him for what we want, and thank him for all we receive. Inform them farther, that there is a Life after Death, where the Good shall be happy, and the Wicked miserable to all Eternity. Form their Minds to Religion and Virtue, by teaching them Modesty, Sincerity and Tender-heartedness.
First, Modesty. This is a great Preservative against Sin and Vice. If the Child is suffered to grow bold, and bear no Restraint, and the Fear of Shame is gone, what skall hold him from running into Excess and committing Sin with Greediness.
Secondly, Sincerity. This is the Life and Soul of all other Graces, and will hereafter be the Ornament of their Lives, and make them acceptable both to God and Man.
Thirdly, Tenderness. Their own Bowels will prompt them to this Virtue, and incline them to be pitiful and tender-hearted. In order to teach your Children a soft and humane Disposition, keep them from Sights of Cruelty; reprove them if they torture any damb Creature for Sport; for this will harden their Hearts, and make them less apt to compassionate the Wants of the Distressed.
We find Children apt to treat Birds, Butterflies, and other Creatures, which fall into their Hands, with Cruelty. Therefore watch them narrowly in this Respect; and if you see them inclined to any such Temper, they must be chid, and taught a contrary Behaviour: for the Custom of tormenting and killing dumb Creatures, will not be apt to teach them to be very compassionate to their own Kind. Especially train up your Children to keep their Passions in Subjection for Anger drives them to Quarrels, and may perhaps even to Murder; an cver-eager Desire will prompt them to be covetous, to cheat, and steal; and Fear makes them rather offend God, than disoblige a great Man. If these irregular Passions are let alone in Children, they will in Time get an absolute Ascendant over them; and a Soul under their Dominion will be stormy and contentious, forward and cruel, full of Spite and Rancour. When Children eagerly crave what is pleasant, it is not prudent always to gratify them: let them sometimes be disappointed, and learn to submit their Wills to the better Judgment of their Guardians. While you teach them the Government of the Tongue, take all due Care to render a Lie and Breach of Faith as the most detestable and odious Vice. Keep them, if possible, from hearing lewd Words, and profane Talk; from Oaths and Imprecations. It is a dangerous Thing to let any bad Qualities take Root in Children. will consider, whether Intemperance and Meat and Drink be not the Fuel of inordinate Appetites. And, to conclude this Point, let them leam to be true and just in all their Dealings, and not suffered, even at Play, to cheat and over-reach, lest when they become Men, they should put in Practice the same Tricks. The Reason we now have so much Wickedness and Injustice in the World is, because good Principles were not instilled into Children. and singular Blessings which accompany a virtuous
Education, cannot but recommend it to all Parents. For what more noble and more valuable Ornaments can they desire for their Children, than that they be meek and humble, pure and chaste, modest and gentle, patient and charitable, merciful and compassionate? It is in these Virtues and Graces, that the Perfection of our Nature consists. But by all Means let Parents and Guardians be careful above all Things to set before their Children a good Example. This would be a
very powerful Means to engage their little ones to tread in their Steps; for Children are observed to be fond of imitating their Parents in their Behr our and Manner.
The Child's Prayer for his Parents or Guardians.
O MERCIFUL Redeemer, who didst take little Children up in thy Arins, lay thy Hands upon them and bless them. Look graciously upon me, who am one of thy Children; make me dutiful to my Parents and kind Instructors; bless their godly Admonitions, and cause them to sink so deep into my Mind, that I may be Proof against all Allurements to Sin unto my Life's End. O let thy holy Angels guard and defend me, thy Holy Spirit guide and sanctify me, that as I grow in Years, I may grow in Wisdom and Goodness, to the Comfort of my Friends, the Honour and Glory of thee my God, and to my own Happiness here and for ever, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Though we are on this Day restrained from doing our own Works, yet some Employment is allowable. Works of Necessity, of Piety and Charity, of visiting the Sick, of reconciling Differences, and relieving the Poor, are suitable Employments for this Holy Day.
As you began the Day piously, so end it by Reading an Evening Prayer.
That by keeping holy the Sabbath, or Lord's Day, in this Life, you may hereafter with Saints and Angels celebrate an eternal Sabbath of Praise and Joy in Heaven; which God grant for Jesus Christ his Sake. Amen.
UPON SOME OF THE
NEITHER the manifold Affairs of this Life, nor our Interest in the good Things of it, should so far engross our Thoughts as to make us neglect these happy Opportunities of working out our own Salvation; nor the Love of Pleasure entice us to waste these blessed Days, sacred to Piety and Devotion, in sensual Enjoyments; but our rejoicing must be with Temperance and Sobriety. If we cast our Eyes abroad at these Holy Seasons, we may see every where Scenes of Pleasure
and Effeminacy, of Luxury and Wantonness, of Rioting and Druukenness, and all the other Vices which make Men's Practices irregular, and tend to Debauchery and a general Dissoluteness of Manners. By conversing and complying with the bad Customs of the World, the Mind and Morals of Men are poisoned by De
Now to avoid this, we shall do well to consecrate these holy Seasons to Religion, to attend the public Worship with humble Thoughts, composed Behaviour, and a thankful Heart; to commemorate the Mystery of our Redemption with exalted Thoughts of God's wonderful Goodness to the Sons of Men; to keep steadfast in the Belief of those heavenly Truths which the Scriptures reveal, and undaunted in the Profession of our most holy Faith: and devoutly to spend our Time at these holy Festivals, in meditating upon the Wonders of divine Love commemorated in them, and diligently practising the Doctrines then taught, that being faithful unto Death, we may at last receive a Crown of Life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.