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paying a vigilant regard to truth and accuracy in the most trifling occurrences of life yourselves; that is the degree of falsehood and mistake which exist in the world. thing but experience,” said Dr. Johnson, “could evince the frequency of false information, or enable any man to conceive that so many groundless reports should be propagated, as every man of eminence may hear of himself.
Some men relate what they think as what they know; some men of confused memories and habitual inaccuracy, ascribe to one man what belongs to another; and some talk on without thought or care.
A few men are sufficient to broach falsehoods, which are afterwards innocently diffused by successive relaters." In the training of Children, therefore, a strict attention, on the part of Parents, to truth, even in the most minute particulars, is of the first importance. “Accustom your Children,” said the same author, “constantly to this; if a thing happened at one window, and they, when relating it, say that it happened at another, do not let it pass, but instantly check them ; you do not know where deviation from truth will end.” “But,” said a lady at the table, “ little variations in narrative must happen a thousand times a-day, if one is not perpetually watching.” Well, madam,” he replied, “and you ought to be perpetually watching. It is more from carelessness about truth, than from intentional lying, that there is so much falsehood in the world."
Should you, then, only guard yourselves, habitually, against inaccuracy and exaggeration, you will also encourage your Children uniformly to tell the truth, whether for or against themselves. To assist you in promoting this, you will find in the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments, most powerful assistance. See Moses frankly and openly leaving it upon record, not only that his brother had been verging towards idolatry, and his two nephews
struck dead, but that he himself was a man “slow of speech;" Isaiah, that he was “a man of unclean lips;" Jeremiah, that “he could not speak, for he was a child ;" Amos, as artlessly telling, that he “was no prophet, neither a prophet's son, but an herdman and a gatherer of sycamore fruit, when the Lord took him as he followed the flock, and said to him, Go prophesy unto my people Israel."
Point your Children to such instances in the New Testament, as that of Matthew telling us himself, what the other evangelists have not, that he had been a “publican,” which in those days was often nothing short of an extortioner. Show them, that when the disciples, all united, could not cure a man, they tell us, and Matthew, one of themselves, must tell us also the cause—their unbelief; that they all agree in leaving upon record their ambitious contest for superiority, as to which of themselves should be the greatest; and after all, their universal departure from Jesus when apprehended. Show them that none of the evangelists conceal Peter's fall; nay, that Mark, who is supposed to have been under the eye of Peter, records it with additional aggravation, noticing also what the others had omitted, that warning which the first crowing of the cock should have given him. So also Luke neither conceals the contemptuous opinion which the Jewish Sanhedrim had of Peter and John, nor the still more contemptuous idea which the Athenians entertained of Paul; while, at the same time, Paul himself regards Luke as “the beloved physician," if not “the brother whose praise was in all the churches."
If any man will not believe such speakers of truth as these, you can say to your Children, then there is no help for him. Greater marks of sincerity can nowhere else be found; and this which you have pointed out to them is but one of the features of sincerity—that they always
tell the truth, whether it is for or against themselves. And of what advantage is that to them now that they are gone? or to the cause which they had all espoused? Why, that their character as men is unimpeachable, and that their testimony is now, and ever will be, invulnerable. The very infidel, yes,
“ The infidel has shot his bolts away,
Till his exhausted quiver, yielding none,
And aims them at the shield of truth again ;" but still in vain, and so it ever must be. Now, if your Children only possess this disposition, whether you leave them rich or poor, you will have implanted one of the best securities for their being respected, and respectable, whatever be their station in future life.
If, however, you really wish them to possess this, or shall I say, inherit it from yourself? then will you never amuse them, as some foolish people do, by attempting to deceive them: and then will you never employ cunning, or artifice of any kind, to gain your end, or, as some strangely dream, save trouble. Artifice is detected by Children far sooner than many imagine ; and once detected in you, you have given your character a stab. You will also as carefully beware of urging your Children strongly, or with violence, whether of temper or manner, to confession of anything, even of anything which you suspect; and should you even inadvertently, at any time, accuse a Child falsely—a mistake which inevitably tends to break the spirit, and diminish his sense of integritythen, for such a mistake, you must make an apology to your Child.
Have patience, then, and look up to the Implanter of this invaluable disposition; and the day may come, even in this life, when you will receive your reward; when you will be able, without any danger of increasing the vanity
of your Child, to address him in terms such as I hope, at present, meet your warmest wish. “My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine; yea, my reins shall rejoice when thy lips speak right things.”
Industry and Economy." Industry is the source, and economy the preservation, of all the comfortable subsistence of man. But industry, as is proverbially observed, is not natural to the human race. On the contrary, it is the result of education and habit only. Accordingly, the savages in all countries, being uneducated to industrious exertion, are lazy in the extreme, and are roused to toil only by the calls of hunger. This cannot even be begun, as the education whence it is derived cannot exist to
considerable extent, but in families ; nor by any other persons except Parents ; nor at any other period beside childhood. Without families, indeed, industry would not exist; and without industry, the world would be a desert.
“Economy is not less necessary to human comfort than industry, and is still more unnatural to man. It demands the attention of every day to those things which we are to preserve; and this attention is more irksome than labor itself. Fewer persons overcome their reluctance to it. Savages are always squanderers. Exposed as they are perpetually to want and famine, and frequently and distressingly as they suffer from these evils, such is their reluctance to this employment, that they go on from age to age, wasting, and suffering, and perishing.
“ Early, watchful, and long-continued parental education, will therefore alone establish a habit of either industry or economy. The attention, the authority, and the example of Parents, are all equally and indispensably necessary to the creation of these habits; and without them all, they cannot, in any extensive degree, exist. Savages, indeed, have families, and are married Parents.
It may, therefore, be asked, Why their Children are not educated to these habits ? The answer I have already given. Neither the attention, the authority, nor the example of such Parents, are at all exerted for this end, so far as their male Children are concerned, and very imperfectly with regard to the other sex. Of these, however, both the industry and economy fully answer to the degree of education which they receive, and to the opportunities which they enjoy of exercising them. My position is, without a domestic education these things would never exist; not that that education, be it what it may, or that a mere domestic existence, will give them birth. Besides, savage Parents neither understand nor perform the great body of duties created by this institution : yet even they, in these, as well as in other important particulars, derive real and considerable advantages from the domestic state."
Humanity. It is certainly a humiliating thought, that inhumanity, as the very word implies, is a vice peculiar to man; for in any species of the inferior creation we search in vain for a parallel disposition. Never do they devour and prey upon their own species; and when they do fight with each other, it is, generally, in consequence of their being teased and trained by the more savage disposition of human beings. Well then may humanity begin with initiating Children, from infancy, into the compassion which they owe to their own species. The following passages of Sacred Writ are not only so intelligible even to the young, but so beautiful and tender in themselves, that they require no comment. Only regard them as a proof of the divine will on this subject, and of the wonderful adaptation of his word, however