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children, but restrained them not; and that by this means you do not bring the like curse on your families that he did on his.
“And let Children obey their Parents, and yield to their instructions, and submit to their orders, as they would inherit a blessing and not a curse; for we have reason to think, from many things in the Word of God, that nothing has a greater tendency to bring a curse on persons in this world, and on all their temporal concerns, than an undutiful, unsubmissive, disorderly behavior in Children towards their parents.”
Miss ELIZABETH Smith has been regarded as a young woman of great attainments; but during her childhood and youth she was not neglected. Indeed she does not seem to have there enjoyed any uncommon or peculiar advantages, except in the conversation and instructions of her Mother, who appears, from some of her letters, to nave possessed an elegant and cultivated understanding.
Miss Bacon.--Of this lady, the eldest daughter of John Bacon, Esq., R. A., her brother has said," I have no hesitation in believing, that, had she been otherwise educated, she would have become a willing subject for the gayest scenes of the fashionable world." This is the testimony of a Son to his Father's conduct; and as for her Mother, who died when Miss Bacon was thirteen years old, he says," when on her death-bed, among the petitions which she frequently and fervently repeated on behalf of her children, one was, that they might be kept from the evils of the world; a prayer which was not uttered in vain in the experience of my sister.”
It is, I am aware, a common observation, that all great men and women have discovered, even in childhood, some remarkable trait of character; but then who is it, I ask, that feel in this the deepest interest, and who have the most powerful influence in not only bringing this forward to maturity, but in giving it a good or an honorable and useful direction? Does it not now appear to be the Parents? The fewer the talents which either you or your Children
possess, the less will you have to account for; but is God not resolved to take as strict account of the one talent as of the ten? I wish the reader, however, to look back even on these instances, and observe whether the object in general was not to implant principle, nay, and Christian principle, rather than to furnish their Children with the means of becoming eminent in this world; and I have also to remind my reader, that the hands and hearts of these Parents were often cold in the dust, long before their dear Children reached that eminence in point of mind or extent of influence, which we now admire. At their full growth, they did not live to see them; but they have left us an example which, when its consequences are observed, we shall do well to follow.
After all, however, the question is not so much, who or what were these men and women, but what would they have been without their Parents' example and counsel, their care and constancy? And it is indeed a most consoling reflection, that while there have been powerful minds, eminent chiefly for infidelity and mischief, and who seem as though they had labored under, what has been called, a black inspiration; while I believe that the Parents might have checked and crushed much evil in the bud, certainly they do not appear on the page of history, as in the striking examples of an opposite character, to be the immediate nurses or prompters in early life'; much less were they the advisers to the sad infidelity of
Let an equal number of persons, equally eminent for mere talent, be produced, who had rejected the Sacred Scriptures professedly (though in all such cases without serious examination), and it will, I suspect, be found, that they were as distinguished for disobedience and self-will, or for impatience of parental authority, as the instances now adduced were for the opposite qualities. Take four of the most eminent of these men, without naming them, as a specimen; it will be found that the Mother of one died young, and his education was neglected by his Father; another incurred his Father's displeasure ; the third acted directly contrary to his Father's will and intentions ; while the fourth individual of the same sad school, on being asked if he wished his relatives, or children, and servants, to adopt his opinions, is reported to have either declined an answer, or replied in the negative. No, these unhappy men, who have been pre-eminent for infidelity, in many, if not in most cases, had forsaken, so far at least, the earthly, but divinelyappointed guide of their youth. They had not, in their skepticism at least, asked their Father's advice and concurrence ;
in the wane of life, wearied in the greatness of a way which they had marked out for themselves, their last years have generally exhibited a melancholy and miserable destitution of all the tender charities of the human heart. Where is the
distinguished for skepticism or deism, who can point to his Father and his Grandfather as having been precisely of his sentiments ? And how has it often fared with their posterity ? Where are the children's children of these men, and these walking in the steps of their fathers ? History, in kindness to mankind, may attempt to draw a veil over them, but there is an unalterable determination of Heaven upon record which explains the whole :“ The memory of the wicked shall rot.”
On the other hand, there are instances occurring daily, as to Christianity, in which the child can look up to the God of his Father, and his Father's Father; nay, in various cases, the individual has been favored to look back to three, and four, and even five generations, and reflect that his progenitors, in regular succession, are now all met in glory everlasting, as the gracious effect of their unity in the Christian faith. One case has been already quoted, and that no mean man, who could look back on four, and another who could look back on six. This last (Dr. Dwight) left behind him, in America, six aons, each of whom, if Christians, are at this moment able to look back on seven !
The eminent worthies of North America stand on very high ground for such accounts of their ancestry. There was but little to interest such men in the woods and wilds around them; and being, in many instances, men of learning and erudition, and compelled happily to look into the bosom of their families for all their hopes and comfort, they and their posterity as often looked back on the Parents, to whom they were naturally and almost solely indebted. The same striking peculiarity appeared in our own country, during the Augustan age of Howe, and Owen, and Bates ; but were consistent Christians, in any age, to read the book of Providence, and hand it down to their posterity, the same law, measure for measure, will be found to hold good ; and if duty is done, such genealogies will not be lost :
" There is a book
In his own palace of uncreated day, the genealogies of Christian families will be more clearly seen ; and many a
golden chain will then appear, as the bright reward of parental piety and prayer, parental consistency and judicious training
It is indeed very true, that the gospel, in the course of its progress, makes strange circuits, and seizes on characters who were in every sense out of the way ;' but these instances of divine mercy, while they furnish reason
glorifying God in them,” as in the case of Saul of Tarsus, are among the secret and sovereign things which belong to God; not the revealed, which belong to us, and to our children after us. Never can these cases furnish a rule of conduct; and wo to that Parent who turns them into a pillow of presumption, with reference to his family.
It is also still true, that “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him who runneth, but of God who showeth mercy;" but before the reader has finished these pages, it is presumed he will agree with the writer in believing, that this God, who showeth mercy, and delights in it, at the same time delights that his mercy should run in the channel of consistent family conduct and character: and, oh, how affecting and deeply interesting is the contemplation of the divine favor, when it so runs,
of Parents having fulfilled their part ! So it seems Paul thought when he said, “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers, with pure conscience, that, without ceasing, I have remembrance of thee in my prayers, night and day, greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy.” And at what time was he especially so affected ? Hear himself. 66 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt, first, in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.' The apostle seems to have regarded this young man, as not only possessing, in himself, a strong claim on his affection, but one of the highest hereditary titles to his