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with unfeeling hearts, launch them on the ocean of life, only that they may be fwallowed by its quickfands, or dashed on its rocks?
I. Every parent, who neglects to acquaint his child with the principles of Christianity, commits him to the captivity of fin, and the power of the devil; a mafter who pays his fervants in pangs and forrows, and who compels them, with harsh severity, to work out their own deftruction.
Children, it is to be confidered, have a natural demand on their parents for both moral and religious instruction. And that the parent may be stimulated to the confcientious difcharge of his duty, he perceives in his children a thirst after knowlege, in the gratification of which, they, generally, appear to feel the moft fenfible pleasure.
Befides, if you neglect to inftil principles of integrity and religion, the pernicious weeds of profligacy and vice will foon overrun the mind. Into what follies may not the thoughtless youth be betrayed, when he is fortified neither by the fenfe of right, nor the fear of God? His natural propenfity to Ill, feduced by allurements, and encouraged by example, D 4 leads
leads him far from the path of duty; and his paffions, bridled by no restraint, plunge him into exceffes, out of which he knows not how to get extricated. Having broken the fetters of apprehenfion and "caft away the cords of "duty from him," he pursues his destructive course, till either the fword of Justice, or the rod of the Almighty ftop his mad career. After a life, which hath been a burden to himself, and a peft to the community, he goes down to the grave, either infenfible to the mifery of his fituation, or hardened with guilt, or diftracted with terror. So great is the neceffity of " training up a child in the way he fhould go, that when he is old he may not depart "from it.
Let us now see the advantages arising from a careful, and religious, education.
II. A dutiful and virtuous child, through his ready help, and affectionate interposition, will remove many difficulties which might pierce with their sharpness, or opprefs with their weight. He will fhew his parents, when weakened by age, or bowed down with infirmities, many expreffions of kindness, dictated by nature, refined by education, and enforced by duty. He will cheerfully feize every oppor
tunity of contributing to the ease, and comfort, of his revered parents; and will acknowlege, by every teftimony of gratitude, and demonftration of honor, the vaft debt, which, fince his first entrance on the stage of life, hath been perpetually increafing. The splendor of the great, the poffeffions of the wealthy, the knowlege of the learned-all these enviable distinctions united-are not to be compared with the folid pleasure, the pure delight, the tranfporting rapture of the happy parent. But, on the other hand, what relief, or comfort,orhonor, can be expected from a perverfe, and uninstructed child? The natural fruits of his barbarous temper will be neglect, contempt, and upbraiding. Inftead of those little attentions which their years may require, and their exceffive indulgence of him hath a right to demand, his behavior is strongly marked by unnatural insolence, and extreme brutality. Instead of being a comfort to their declining age, he contemplates their forrows with indifference, and hears their lamentations with difdain. The reflection, that his favage manners are owing chiefly to themselves, to their misplaced indulgence, and unpardonable neg
lect, pierces them through with many forrows. They long looked forward to the time of harvest, when they might reap the full vintage of their anxious hopes, but when they "look for grapes, behold! only wild grapes.' Their care had been expreffed, not fo much in preparing the mind for right principles, and implanting, and nurturing them, as in protecting what were caft by the hand of accident, or by the subtilty of the enemy.
It may be asked, perhaps, in what mannerare we to train up our children, in order that both the parent and the child may reap the advantage of a good, and right education? Children are to be taught that they are members of a community, and that, on the good conduct of the individuals which compofe it, depend the happiness and profperity of both fociety, and themselves. The principles of justice, integrity, fubmiffion, respect, charity; tenderness, forbearance, and all the virtues which adorn the human mind, are to be early impreffed. The characters they are likely to fuftain; the comforts they are to feel within themselves, refulting from propriety of behavior, and eminence of merit; the esteem derived from
the world by the exercise of kindness and humanity; by these arguments, and arguments like thefe, every parent fhould inceffantly urge his child to the highest degrees of excellence.
But it is incumbent on the Christian parent to acquaint his children with the nature and defign of Christianity, how it conduces to both our prefent, and future interests; and, on the contrary, if it be not both believed, and practifed, the fevere punishment awaiting incredulity of mind, and impiety of life. To inculcate this more effectually, he will naturally teach them to offer up their prayers, and praises to Almighty God, with folemnity and devotion; he will bring them early "to the "Courts of the Lord's houfe, to worship the "Lord in the great congregation;" he will teach them the refpect due to the folemn day dedicated to the Lord; how it fhould be religiously dedicated to his fervice, and not facrilegiously appropriated to their own. To enforce with more efficacy these religious duties, he will inftruct his children as well in the knowlege of our Lord Jefus Chrift, as in the knowlege of God the Father; "for this is life eternal to