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exercised, no virtue? Is gratitude no virtue ? Is the fear of offending no virtue? All these qualities are provided for by nature,-all these qualities men call virtues,-all these qualities Christ taught, practised, and possessed; to deny merit to actions, because we are prompted to them by nature, is to put an end, at once, to all human virtues, because there is not a single one to which we are not carried by some original principle of our nature. It must be observed, too, that, on every occasion, we are impelled by the constitution of our minds to two opposite system of actions; and that merit and duty consist in selecting the right propensity: Fear prompts us to fly, shame to remain, gratitude to remunerate, avarice to withhold, parental affection to cherish, selfishness to neglect. That man is righteous who, in the conflict of passions, subdues those feelings which God has given us to be subdued; and obeys those feelings which he has given us to be obeyed.


The sense of those obligations we owe to our parents, is frequently impaired by the lapse of time since those obligations have

been incurred; the season of infancy is past away like a dream; the dangerous impetuosity of youth is subsided; we feel strong and wise, and forget the days of weakness, and the nursing father, and the nursing mother, of the times that are gone; -we remember these things no more; but they live in the memory of the old, and it seemeth hard to them that they should no more be had in remembrance.

These are some of the principal reasons which impede us in this duty of honoring our parents. Let us now see how this duty itself is to be performed.

There are few men, in the present state of society, (softened as the human heart is by the gospel of Christ) who, on great, and glaring occasions, would be deficient in duty to their parents; who would suffer them to perish by want; or would refuse to Such sort rescue them from aggression. of occasions very rarely occur; and, therefore, he who comforts himself, that he would, in the cause of his parents, display this species of alacrity, should remember,

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however exellent his intentions may be, that he will, most probably, pass through life, without ever putting them to the test. There are little sacrifices, of daily occurrence, which, in a series of years, contribute as materially to the happiness of a parent, and which, because they are obscure, and have no swelling sentiments to support them, are more difficult for a continuation than more splendid actions. Every man has little infirmities of temper and disposition, which require forgiveness; peculiarities which should be managed; prejudices which should be avoided; innocent habits, which should be indulged; fixed opinions which should be treated with respect; particular feelings and delicacies, which should be consulted; all this may be done without the slightest violation of truth, or the most trifling infringement of religion; these are the sacrifices which repay a man, in the decline of his life, for all that he has sacrificed in the commencement of yours; this makes a parent delight in his children, and repose on them, when his mind, and his body are perishing away, and he is hastening on to the end of all things.-Consider that he

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has been used to govern you; that (however you may have forgotten it) the remembrance is fresh to him, of that hour, when you stood before him as a child, and he was to you as a God: Bear with him in his old age; pain and sickness have made him what you see; he has been galled by the injustice, perhaps, and stung by the ingratitude, of men; let him not see that old age is coming upon him, that his temper is impaired, or that his wisdom is diminished; but as the infirmities. of life double upon him, double you your kindness; make him respectable to himself, sooth him, comfort him, honor your father, and your mother, that your days may be long, that you may be justified by your own heart, and honored by the children which God giveth to you.


Parents are honored by the strict and sacred concealment of faults they may be discovered to possess. A good son will be loath to suppose that his parents have any faults;—but he must be the worst, and wickedest of men, who unveils their nakedness, and avails himself of those occasions which their

protection has given him, to study their weaknesses, and to expose them to a merciless world: Neither is it only the duty of a child not to publish the faults of his parents; let him take every fair, and judicious opportunity, of mentioning their virtues, their justice, — their kindness,― their forbearance, their zeal to promote the welfare of their offspring :-in this way à man is honored by his children; such testimony of children, prudently, and modestly delivered, the world always receives with favor, and esteem, as they ought to do that rectitude of conduct, in the parent, which has impressed itself so deeply on the mind of the child.

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I need not add to my explanation of what is meant by honoring a parent,-the necessity of obeying him, in all things lawful,—of consulting him in all the important proceedings of our lives,-of referring to his advice, and instruction, in every difficulty,—of showing that we feel, on all occasions, the strength of that sacred connection which binds us to the authors of our-existence.

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