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the righteous retribution of Heaven, the Child is now appointed to inflict punishment. To try his Parent's patience -to exhaust his wits—and in some cases to break his
very spirit, or bring down his grey hairs with sorrow to the grave! At any one of these unhappy stages in the experience of an erring Parent, does the reader inquire, What remains to be done? I know of no other reply, than that he is to begin at the beginning, on the same principle with the lad, which he ought to have done with him when an infant. I have said only, on the same principle: but now the application of it requires much more wisdom and sagacity than before; much more than the infant required, and, alas! perhaps now much more than the Parent happens to possess ! Such, however, is the order and law of nature. “ To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
To return, however, to the infant, and to the principle on which both punishment and reward should proceed; if I so manage, that the severest punishment which can be felt in my family is the loss of my favor, and the richest reward which can be felt, is the enjoyment and expression of it, I shall not greatly err. To this, therefore, all my wisdom and pains-taking, all my other arrangements should tend. Under this, the highest, there must still, however, be subordinate punishments and rewards : and if each of these comes in, as the consequence of obedience and duty fulfilled, and the former are never felt, but in consequence of the violation of authority, here also I shall not greatly err. The excess of punishment or reward, and the unequal application of either, have been already illustrated under a former Section. To what is there stated I would now only add, that there are two instruments to be employed in all cases for maintaining authority: the one of constant, the other only of occasional application, and that the occasional use of the one de
pends materially on the constancy of the other. If the first is studied as it ought to be, and then applied with consistent constancy, a tenderness and dexterity in applying the second will be the consequence, which, without observing this order, no rules whatever can supply. The first instrument is the reins, the second is the rod or reward. The righteous man is said to regard the life even of his beast; but this very regard will prompt him to study the science of the reins supremely.
I recollect hearing of two coaches which used to drive into Newmarket from London, by a certain hour, at a time of strong competition. The coach which generally came in first had, I think, four greys, and, upon their arrival, the people used to remark, that there was scarcely a wet hair on one of them. In the other, though last, the horses were jaded and even heated to excess, and had the appearance of having made great efforts. The reader, perhaps at once, understands the cause of this difference. The first man did it all, of course, by the reins: the second, unsteady in himself, or unskilful in the reins, had induced bad habits, and then employed the whip, but he could never cope with the other. So it will ever hold in all guidance, in all government. If obedience to the reins is found to be most pleasant in itself, and even the road to enjoyment, then obedience will grow into a habit, and become in fact the choice of the party. “ Train up a child in the
go ; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Domestic Harmony.—I am well aware, that some Parents frequently dwell upon the difficulty of maintaining either order or subordination in their household; but let them remember, at such a time, there is a reward awaiting them, if these are established, even in this life, and almost immediately: for it seems to be only in exact pro
portion as these are studied and maintained, that the whole household can enjoy the great and unspeakable felicity of domestic harmony and peace. In this little community, should any misunderstanding or jarring ever take place, let not the eye of Parents pore over the evil itself only. They would do well to consider it but the effect of a cause, at least in many instances, and that cause one in which they themselves are almost as much involved as the parties at variance. Let them but consider the incident in this light, and it will often prove a memento to themselves, that there has been either some deficiency in point of order on their part, or some deficiency in that subordination, which they have not sufficiently established among those who are dependent upon them.
For what though no two individuals under this roof are of the same age of the same talents or even of precisely the same natural temper or disposition ? Collisions, of course, there may and must occur ; but this disparity, in itself considered, even when it proves the occasion of such collisions, may, under the influence of order and subordination, be employed as a mighty assistant to habitual peace and harmony. The Family Constitution is one of Nature's works, and therefore, under the domestic roof, in proportion as order and subordination are maintained, the same analogy will be found to hold good, which we admire in the delightful field of nature,
"Where order in variety we see,
And where, though all things differ, they agree." It is obvious, that the daily incidents of the domestic circle are, comparatively, but of small account; and it is therefore the more to be regretted, that they should ever prove the seeds of such evil in future life, which, without doubt, they must, if not properly regarded, and brought
under the guidance of well-regulated government; but, on the other hand, should they be so, instead of being matter of regret, they furnish the very means of preparing the inmates for acting their part in the free and full society of future existence. Indeed, in a well-regulated family, these same tiny events can be not only disposed of to advantage, but occasionally referred to by such Parents, with their children around them, in language which may be of lasting benefit to every ear.
From their lips such language as the following, will not only prove salutary, but pleasing to the recollecrion of every Child; and more especially when their Parents are gone :
Since trifles make the sum of human things,
Many and great indeed are the advantages which must accrue to both Children and Servants where such Family Government is at once studied and maintained ; nor must the Parents themselves now be forgotten, after duties, delightful in many respects, but arduous and difficult as these must ever be. What, then, shall be done for the Parents who excel in Family Government ? Duty, it is true, always brings along with it its own reward, and, in the present case, a reward so rich, that it can with difficulty be expressed in language, and certainly can never be fully comprehended by mere description ; while the future enjoyment of both Parents, in the present life, absolutely hinges upon their fulfilment of such duty. But still this is not all which is held out in Scripture to the parental eye : on Parents such as these, the Saviour of the world, even after he was enthroned in glory, condescended to look down, and then did He point them out to general notice, upon one of the most important occasions which ever does occur in his own kingdom here below. In his Church, intending there should always be found two classes of individuals bearing the highest responsibility ; in both cases, it seems, he must glance at the subject of Family Government, or Domestic order, subordination and harmony : as much as to signify to every succeeding age, that they are Christians but of inferior character indeed, who have not paid a due regard to this duty; and that though other qualifications might seem, at once, to suggest a man to observation, this was a negative which was to destroy all other positives. Having once suggested, and even cherished the desire of such an office _.“ A bishop then,” says the Almighty, “ a bishop then must be-one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection, with all gravity ; for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God ?” The deacons, too, it seems, must