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by your occasional conversation, might you discover to your Children, that
“Religion does not censure or exclude
Unnumber'd pleasures harmlessly pursued;
Do you ever walk with your Children, and observe them disposed to notice the earth, when it teems with fragrance, and is covered with beauty ? Indulge them in such remarks; admire, with them, the works and wonders of your common Creator; and having so indulged them, you can easily discover to them that
main enjoyment, from a filial confidence in Him who made them all.
Certainly, it is to be lamented, that so many Christian Parents seem not to be aware of the frequency, with which their own Redeemer conversed with the works of his hands, while here below; though if they only take up their Bible, and “walk with Him” through the evangelical history, they will find scarcely one chapter, in which Nature is not pointedly regarded. The shining of the sun, and the falling of rain; the light of the world, and the face of the sky; the aspect of the morning and the evening : the lilies of the field, and the birds of the air ; the
grass of the ground, and the salt of the earth : the dove and the sparrow; the sheep and the goat ; the fox and the wolf; the ass and the camel; the serpent and the fish; the crowing of the cock; the hen and her chickens; the eagle pouncing on his prey : in short, nothing escaped his gracious and condescending eye. The artlessness of Children, and the harmlessness of doves, he recommended
to his followers; and when he saw a multitude of sinful men, he was wont to be moved with compassion, and compared them to “sheep without a shepherd.” The operations of husbandry, he was ever commending to notice; and, to his eye, a lily in its native bed had more of outward adorning, than even Solomon, when arrayed in all the insignia of his kingdom. Adam, in perfection and innocence, when naming his animals, as their Creator brought them to his feet, or when conversing with his garden, was as nothing to this. Strange indeed ! that those who listened to the Saviour's manner of reference to such objects, at all times so apposite, and often so affecting, could not descry the voice of Him, by whom all things were created, " whether they be things in heaven, or things on earth, or things under the earth.” Nature, then, it is true, had met with her own Creator, and never, since the morning stars sang together, had she appeared so subservient to religious instruction and reproof, excitement and delight.
Now you have not been born too late to profit by all this. If Christian Parents, you live under the dominion of the Messiah, and possess every advantage in following his example, at whatever distance. The productions of his hand are ever the same, and, to the present moment,
Still all are under one. One Spirit-His,
To the green blade that twinkles in the sun,
Were it at all necessary, I ought to have extended this section to various other subjects: such, for example, as those of Patience and Submission-Temper and Fortitude—the baneful Evils arising from Vanity and Affectation—the Companions with whom your Children come in contactand the imperious necessity of you, as Parents, making careful selection ; for if Christians themselves are in imminent danger from “evil communications which corrupt even good manners," what shall we say of Children whose principles are not yet fixed-whose manners are not yet formed ?
Not, however, wishing to extend the subject farther than what seemed necessary for the object in view, I would rather refer to such works as the Practical View of Education, by Mr. Babington—the anonymous author of “Hints for the Improvement of Early Education and Nursery Discipline"—the Parental Duties, by Mr. Braidwood-Domestic Religion, by Mr. Innes—and the various publications by the amiable family of the Taylors'-a family which has, as a Family, done more for Domestic Education, in the proper sense of the terms, than perhaps any other in Great Britain.
In conclusion, may I now presume that the reader is fully convinced, that a Parent stands on ground peculiar
* These poetical quotations, I hope the reader well knows, are taken from Cowper,-one of those few poets whose writings will probably be quoted, even in the days when one song shall employ all nations,” and the knowledge of the Lord shall have covered the earth as the waters do the sea.
to himself—far above that of any mere teacher, and that his responsibility, both to God and to his Family, extends correspondingly ?-He is to teach, it is true, but he is also to repeat, repeat, repeat with patience, and even pleasure. Here a little, there a little ; as he rises up, as he lies down; as he sits in the house, or walks by the way :-he or she it is who is to recall-explain—rectify-illustrate-enforce many things many times, or many times the same thing : he it is who is appointed to be the prompter of his Children -the instigator to good only: he it is, as has been said, who looks not to the infantile mind, as to an empty vessel, into which knowledge only is to be poured. The mind of his Child he would rather compare, in one sense, to the Bee in the first period of its existence, which is fed by the labors of others; but, ere long, as he expects, this little mind will rise, and lift its wings in vigorous employment, to collect sweets from every field or flower.
To Christian Parents-extent of that authority which has been con.
ferred by God--the power of affirmation or testimony lodged in the Parents' hands alone—the signal blessing, promised from above, upon their exertions.—To the Ministers of Christ-powerful aid afforded to them by the Domestic Constitution, without either invading the peculiarity of their office, or relieving them from the assiduous discharge of any of its duties—the interesting aspect of the Primitive Church in relation to Families—the beauty and value of Christianity when possessed by Children-those Families where the Domestic Constitution ought to be seen, in all its beauty and its moral power
TO CHRISTIAN PARENTS.
The character with which, as Parents, you have been in vested, were it duly considered, is, of itself, sufficient to induce frequent reflection on that constitution of things, at the head of which you stand. You may not, however, have observed before, that in the very constitution of a Family, there is involved so much of solemn and sacred duty ;-solemn, inasmuch as the authority conferred upon you, approaches nearer to absolute authority, than that of any other which man can lawfully sustain ;-and sacred, inasmuch as this authority has not only been conferred upon you by God, but to Him, for the exercise or neglect of it, you are at last to render an account.
Solemnity of mind, I admit, is not natural, and often