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There is one duty which is peculiarly proper to precede this solem. To the Editor of the Christian Observer. nity, and which the Scriptures ex
There is not any part of your work, pressly recommend, namely self. I humbly think, so calculated for examination.
The exhortation to extensive usefulness, as your " Rethe frequent practice of this duty is view of New Publications.”—The applicable to every Christian, and
review in the last number, on the the work of self-inquiry should be Refutation of Calvinism, &c.” is the work of every day. But besides this, we should fix on ceriain truly excellent.--I think it would
answer a good purpose, if a selecto be appropriated 10 more minute and extended survey. clergymen, on the various topics
lion from the writings of eminent And what more proper time can be discussed in that book, were printchosen than when we are about to
ed. If you judge the following exapproach the table of the Lord ? An accurate knowledge of our real cha. in your work, I shall be obliged
tract on Regeneration worthy a place racter and condition is not 10 be
by its insertion. obtained without frequent, serious,
R. H.S. and impartial self-examination. As there is always a great danger of
-“ None can be members or ci. self-deception, so there is constant tizens of the kingdom of God, but need of self-scrutiny. This inquiry only those who are the sons of God. should respect not merely the reality The means to become the sons or of our religion' in general, but the children of God, is by regeneration, particular state of our hearts in or new birth. This is the mystery the sight of God. The examination our Saviour told Nicodemus of, should be directed to ascertain whe. when he came to him by night; ther we are advancing in piety, or 'Except a man' (saith our Saviour), declining in our Christian course : • be born again, he cannot enter into we should inquire into what sins we the kingdom of God.'John iii. 3. Now have fallen, what duties we have regeneration, or new birth, consists omitted, to what temptations we are of these two parts, -repentance to. most exposed, and in what respects wards God, and faith towards Christ, we most need to be on our guard, and according to that which the Apostle to have our resolutions confirmed Paul told the elders of the church and our graces strengthened. We of Ephesus, Acts xx. 21; that he should also notice what we have had testified both to Jews and most to complain of, what to rejoice Greeks, repentance towards God, in, what to deprecate, and what to and faith iowards our Lord Jesus desire. These inquiries are neces
Christ:' that is, the whole mystery sary to promote humiliation, thanks- of regeneration, whereby a man begiving, watchfulness, and prayer.
comes the child of God, and a memThey will furnish suitable subjects ber of the kingdom of Heaven. for meditation and devotion, and be Where we are to note (as it will a means of rendering the celebra- serve us to understand these things tion of this holy ordinance instru- the better) that repentance properly mental in promoting the interests of and distinctly taken, looks towards vital religion in our souls*.
God the Father, and faith unto G. B.
Christ our Mediator. The one, is Those who wish carefully to study thuis
our returning unto God from whom important subject, may consult Dr. Wall's we are gone astray by sin: the other Critical Notes ou Mait. xxvi. 17 ; Dr. Water the means or way of our return noto land's Review of the Doctrine of the Eucha. him,- by Christ, without whom we rist; Ds. Cudworth's Discourse on the Nature can never he réconciled to our heaof the Lord's Supper ; Dr. Newcombe, arcli- Discourse on the Nature, Design, and Instibishop of Armagh ; and Dr. Adam Clarke's lution of the Eucharist.
Christ. Obsery. No. 118.
venly Father, nor perform any ser- the soul being united with the body vice acceplable unto him. These makes a natural man; repentance two, therefore, our Saviour distin- here, being as the body or matter, guisheth, when be saith, Repent and which faith in the Gospel of Cbrist believe the Gospel; the one look- enlivens and informeth as a soul," ing to his father, the other to bim- &c.-Discourses, by Joseph Mede, self. Both joined together make B. D. of Christ's College, Cam. a new birth, or a new man, even as bridge. London: 1652. p. 30.
Tothe Editor of the ChristianObserver. important, namely, to going (if
a boy) to school
to a private taI am the father of a large family, tor. The years spent at school natuand beg leave to offer to you my rally form a distinct period ;-and thoughts on education. As a prac- those devoted to college, or to a tical man, I should have addressed clerkship, or an apprenticeship, anoyou perhaps with less diffidence ther. The last period is that in than becomes me, if we had not which a young man is just entering lately, in the discussions on another on the full duties and privileges of sobject, had a very useful memen. manhood. No better division of to of the prejudices and errors to my subject occurs to me, than which practical men are liable. that which this division of the years While, however, I shall be led by devoted to education suggests. the lesson thus afforded me,
The period of infancy is geneliver my opinions with diffidence, I rally suffered to slide away with think it ny duty not to withhold little or no attention to the work of from your readers (if you think education. The child is supposed them worth their perusal) those re- to be in a kind of irrational state, flections which have been the result which will scarcely admit of moral of my experience. Had not cir- discipline, and its parents seem to cumstances prevented me, I should think only of its health and amusehave done this sooner, in confor- ment. If it wants any thing its
with an intimation I formerly wish must be gratified; if it cries, gave in your miscellany *. My it is to be quieted by indulgence; situation continues to be such, that or if this cannot be, attempts are I must beg your further indulgence frequently made to cheat it into a as to time. It is impossible for me belief that the desired object has to say, that I shall be able to exe- suddenly vanished If it has been cute the plan I have formed for the hurt, the immediate cause of its mistreatment of my subject, without fortune, whether animate or inaniserious interruptions.
mate, is not seldom to be beaten, The years which precede mans and the child itself is encouraged hood are naturally divided into seve. to join in inflicting the punishment. ral periods. The first is from early Things proceed in this way nearly infancy to the time when the child till the time when the child can begins to read. The next is from talk, and often much longer; and that important event, to another as when this system is changed for
another, still it gives way very slowSee Vol. for 1808, p. 13. ly, and in many cases some remains
of it may be discerned for years success can be expected; and most after the child is allowed to be ca. advisable to defer it till the reason pable of instruction, What is the of the child is further advanced, and true character and tendency of this its ability to submit to discipline course of proceeding? It unques. is greater? My experience gives me tionably fosters those seeds of evil a view of parental duty very differwhich abound in our nature. Is ent from that to which these quesman naturally self-indulgent? What tions would lead. The Almighty then must be the effect of a studied Creator very soon begins to unfold system of indulgence? Is he impa. in man those intellectual and moral tient, ard passionate, and vindic- faculties which are destined, when tive? How greatly must these disc rightly employed, to qualify him positions be cherished, by not only for the higbest services and enjoy. permitting but encouraging their ments through the ages of eter-> gratification! Is he disposed, when nity. In a few weeks after its birth, in pursuit of favourite objects, to be a child's reason begins to dawn; little scrupulous with respect to vio. and with the first dawn of reason lations of plain-dealing and truth? ought to commence the moral culThe artifices resorted to by nurses ture which may be best suited to and female relations would almost counteract the evils of its nature, create such a disposition, were it not and to prepare the way for that radi. originally planted in bis bosom. cal change, that new birth promised With what eyes then must the Al- in baptism, and the darling object mighty look upon such a course of of the hopes of every parent who proceeding! It would be trifling looks on the covenants in that holy with your readers to pursue this rite, not as forms, but as realities. topic any farther.
Let me appeal to every mother who But now we proceed to the im- delights to view her infant as it lies portant inquiry, What system of in her lap, whether it does not soon management ought to be substituted begin to read “the human face diin the place of that which has been vine,” to recognize her smile, and to described? All persons who do not shew itself' sensible of her affection think that a plea of necessity (a very in the little arts she employs to enunfounded plea, however, in the certain it. Does it not,' in no long present case), may be urged in fa- time, return that smile, and repay vour of the practice of positive evil, her maternal caresses with looks and most allow, that every thing should motions so expressive that she canbe avoided by mothers and nurses not mistake their import? She will which bas a tendency to cherish not doubt, then, the importance of and bring into activity that evil fostering in its bosom those benenature, which your readers at least volent sympathies which delight will not deny that we all bring her, by banishing from ber nurinto the world. They will grant, sery whatever is likely to countertherefore, that Nanny, or the cat, act them. She will not tolerate in or the chair, are not to be slapped a nurse that selfish indifference to because they happen to have dis- the wants of an infant, which some pleased the child.
But must not times leaves it to cry while she fiwe confine ourselves to mere absti. nishes her breakfast, or chats with nence from fostering evils? Is it a companion. Much less will she not visionary and chimerical to at. tolerate passionate spatches, and tempt to check bad tempers and ba- scolding names, and hard and impå. bits, and to lay a foundation for tieot tones of voice, in the managegood ones? Or if an attempt of this ment of her child. I may be prokind be not altogether hopeless, is nounced fanciful, perhaps, but I cerit not at least unnecessary to make tainly think it would be of import, it at so early a period, when little ance to keep sour and ill-humoured faces out of a nursery, even though will pour such a stream of affeci such faces were not commonly ac- tion on both the children as stal' companied by corresponding con- at once shew them how much each duci. I am persuaded that I have is the object of her love, and lead seen a very bad effect produced by them by sympathy to feel a simia face of ihis kind on the counte- lar love for each other. This will nance and mind of an infant. Is it be the best antidote to jealousy. not reasonable to suppose, that if But cases will arise, in which, with an infant sympathises with a smile, all her ingenuity, she will not be it may also sympathise with a scowl, able to effect her purpose in this and catch somewhat of the inward way. On such occasions, if the child disposition which distorts the fea- is too young to anderstand reason tures of the nurse? Thus begin the and persuasion, she will as far as efforts of a parent to cherish all that possible shorten and sweeten its trial, is benevolent and affectionate in the but without fostering bad dispositions bosom of a child; and to prevent in its bosom. If it is a little older, the growth of every thing of an she will endeavour to turn the trial opposite nature. And who shall to good account, by holding up to presume to assign limits to the im- it such Christian and filial motives portance of such efforts in the edu- as suit its capacity and character. cation of a being whose leading These will be accompanied by such disposition, if it fülbl the will of its a description and exemplification, Maker, must, both through life and on the one hand, of the effects they through all eternity, be love ? ought to produce,and of the sunshine
But parental cares soon extend. of soul to which they lead; and on In a short time, impatience and sel- the other, of the hatefulness of the fishness shew themselves, and are ac. fault in question, of the unhappiness companied by fretfulness, jealousy, which must attend the commission anger, and envy. At so early a of it, and of the regret and bad conperiod does innate corruption dis- sequences which must follow; as play its powers, and call for the may, by God's help, prepare its tenrestraining hand of a parent! But der mind for spiritual discriminahow are these evils to be counter- tion, and a spiriiual taste (if I may acted at an age when both the body so speak), and give its infant affecand mind are so tender, and when tions some bias on the side of God neither arguments nor explanations and duty. can be understood ? Undoubtedly But how, some parents may ask, great delicacy of treatment is re- how can this be effected at so tender quired. The character of the child an age? It seems to us impossible
. must be studied ; and, if possible, - Believe me, much may be done, such corrections of evils must be with very young children, by placapplied as will not deeply wound its ing gradually before them, with feelings. It is surprising what fe. cheerfulness and affection, and in a male ingenuity, quickened by ma. spirit suited to the occasion, religi
. ternal senderness, will achieve in ous truths, associated as much as this way. Does a child, too young may be with images pleasing to to listen to reason, want something their minds. The appellations, it ought not io have? Its mother God, and Jesus, should soon be will suddenly turn its attention to made familiar to them; and the another objeci
, and thus prevent the dwelling-place of these great Beings rise of improper tempers, or arrest may be so pointed out and describthem in their course. Is it jealous ed; and their power and their holi of the attention paid to a brother? ness, and more especially their love, While she perseveres, perhaps, in may be so set forth and brought shewing to the brother the kindness home to the feelings, by little and which has raised this jealousy, she simple. illustrations, that, while the
tender mind is imbued with the first Is he dwelling on the greatness of rudiments of religious knowledge, God, or on bis all-seeing eye, or on reverence and affection for divine his eternity, or on his glory? Let things shall, if God smile on the his own heart harmonise with his endeavour, be excited in the heart. lofty theme, and probably the right But special care must be taken not string in that of his child will vi. to give fatiguing lectures, nor to brate. Is he describing the Divine make too powerful calls on the love, and tenderness, and mercy, feelings. “Here a little and there especially as exemplified in Jesus a little," must be the parent's motto Christ? If his own feelings are imin conveying instruction at this age; pressed by the view of the picture and for that little, the seasons must be presents, those of his child are be chosen, when the child is most not likely to be altogether unmoved. likely to lend a willing ear; and the But reverse the case as to the parent, subject must always be dropped be- and what is to be expected from the fore it becomes tiresome, unless there child ? Who can be so absurd as to be some very pressing call for its hope, that, when religious truths are being continued; in which case, taught as a schoolmaster teaches the indeed, the occasion itself will gene. grammar, good impressions will be rally make it interesting. Very made on the heart? Do we see, in short and simple stories from fact, that when the Catechism is so Holy Writ may be employed with taught, any such impression is made? great advantage : as that of Jesus Step into a village school where that taking the lule children in his excellent compendium of our holy arms, and blessing them; that of his religion has been learnt merely as a restoring the widow's son to life ; task, and you will find the children and many others. If these are told as little affected by its truths (even in a cheerful manner, and with such if they understand it) as they are Jittle appropriate touches as will by the lessons in their spelling-book. present the scene to the imagination One would almost think that they of the child, they will seldom fail conceived it pointed out the high to delight it, and will be called for privileges and the sacred duties of again and again. When they are the man in the moon, and that they fixed in its memory, it is evident had nothing to do with it but to get with what great advantage reference it by heart. Few, if any, parents, it is may be made to them when the pa- hoped, wbo make religion a branch rent finds occasion to have recourse of education, proceed in a way so to dissuasion, or reproof, or exhor- utterly irrational as the generatation.
lity of village schoolmasters; but In conveying instruction, it is a in whatever degree they approach most important point for the parent to the village-school system, in that always to bear in mind, that far degree must they look for a similar more may be done by exciting the result. If sympathy of the child than by appealing to its reason.
“ Si vis me flere, dolendum est Things in.
Primum ipsi tibi," deed should always be presented to it in the garb of truth and good be a just description of human nasense; but, unless its feelings are ture, when applied to adults, it is in unison with its convictions, it may doubly and trebly so in the case of be perfectly persuaded of truth's children. Adults have been used to without being influenced by them attach certain feelings to certain cirin practice. And how are the ap- cumstances in life, and the recurpropriate feelings to be excited in rence of the latter will do much toils bosom? Chiefly by the feelings, wards exciting the former; bu: of the parent being in unison with children have not yet learnt (except the subject on which he speaks. in some obvious instances) how the