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PEAL TO FACTS.
As to infidel arguments, there is no weight in them. They are jejune and refuted. Infidels are not themselves convinced by them.
In combating this evil in Youth, we must recollect the proverb, that “ a man may bring his horse to the water, but cannot make him drink." The minds of the young are pre-occupied. They will not listen. Yet a crisis may come. They will stop, and bethink themselves. One promising method with them, is, to AP
What sort of men are Infidels? They are loose-fierce--overbearing men. There is nothing in them like sober and serious enquiry. They are the wildest fanatics on earth. Nor have they agreed among themselves on any scheme of truth and felicity. Contrast with the character of Infidels that of real Christians.
It is advantageous to dwell, with Youth, on THE NEED AND NECESSITIES OF MAN. Every pang and grief tells a man that he needs a helper: but Infidelity provides none.
And what can its schemes do for you in death ?”
Impress them with A SENSE OF THEIR IGNORANCE, I silence myself, many times a day, by a sense of my own ignorance. APPEAL TO THEIR CONSCIENCES.
Why is it that you listen to Infidelity? Is not Infidelity a low, carnal, wicked game? Is it not the very picture of the Prodigal - Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me?-_-" The question
why Infidelity is received, exposes it, and shews it to the light. Why—WHY will a man be an Infidel? Your children may urge difficulties : but tell them that inexplicable difficulties surround you: you are compelled to believe, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, whether you will or no; and shall you not be a believer in the hundredth instance from choice?
DRAW OUT À MAP OF THE ROAD OF INFIDELITY, It will lead them to such stages, at length, as they never could suspect. Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing ?
The SPIRIT AND TONE OF YOUR HOUSE will have great influence on your children. If it is what it ought to be, it will often fasten conviction on their minds, however wicked they may become. I have felt the truth of this in my own case: I said “ My father is right, and I am wrong! Oh, let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his !” The bye-conversations in a family are, in this view, of unspeakable importance. : On the whole, arguments addressed to the heart
press more forcibly than those addressed to the head. When I was a child, and a very wicked one too, one of Dr. Watts's Hymns sent me to weep in a corner. The lives in Janeway's Token had the same effect. I felt the influence of faith in suffering Christians. The character of young Samuel came home to me, when nothing else had any hold on my mind.
MANAGEMENT OF CHILDREN.
GREAT wisdom is requisite in corrccting the evils of children. A child is bashful, perhaps: but, in stimulating this child, we are too apt to forget future consequences. “ Hold up your head. Don't be vulgar.” At length they hold up their heads; and acquire such airs, that, too late, we discover our error. We forgot that we were giving gold, to purchase dross. We forgot that we were sacrificing modesty and humility, to make them young actors and old tyrants*.
• The reader cannot but admire the sentiments, which Bishop Hurd has, on this sabject, put into the mouth of Mr. Locke, one of his supposed interlocutors in the Dialogue on Foreign Travel.
6. Bashfulness is not so much the effect of an ill education, as the proper gift and provision of wise nature. Every stage of life has its own set of manners, that is suited to it, and best becomes it. Each is beautiful in its season; and you might as well quarrel with the child's rattle, and advance him directly to the boy's top and span-farthing, as expect from diffident youth the manly confidence of riper age.
“ Lamentable in the mean time, I am sensible, is the condition of my good lady: who, especially if she be a mighty well-bred one, is perfectly shocked at the boy's awkwardness; and calls out on the taylor, the dancing-master, the player, the travelled tutor, any body and every body, to relieve her from the pain of so disgraceful an object.
“She should, however, be told, if a proper season and words soft enough could be found to convey the information, that the odious thing, which disturbs her so much, is one of nature's signatures impressed on that age; that bashfulness is but the passage from one season of life to ano
CHRISTIANS are imbibing so much of the cast and temper' of the age, that they seem to be anxiously tutoring their children, and preparing them by all manner of means, not for a better world, but for the present. Yet in nothing should the simplicity of faith be more unreservedly exercised, than with regard to children. Their appointments and stations, yea even their present and eternal happiness or misery, so far as they are influenced by their states and conditions in life, may be decided by the most minute and trivial events, all of which are in God's hand, and not in ours. An unbelieving spirit pervades, in this respect, too intimately the Christian World.
When I meet children to instruct them, I do not suffer one grown person to be present. The Moravians pursue a different method. Some of their elder brethren even sit among the children, to sanction and encourage the work. This is well, provided children are to be addressed in the usual manner. But that will effect little good. Nothing is easier than to talk to children ; but, to talk to them as they ought to be talked to, is the very last effort of ability. A man must have a vigorous imagination. He must have extensive
ther; and that as the body is then the least graceful, when the limbs are making their last efforts and hastening to their just proportion, so the manners are least easy and disengaged, when the mind, conscious and impatient of its imperfections, is stretching all its faculties to their full growth."
See Bishop Hurd's Moral and Political Dialogues, ed. vith.
knowledge, to call in illustrations from the four corners of the earth: for he will make little progress, but by illustration. It requires great genius, to throw the mind into the habit of children's minds. I aim at this, but I find it the utmost effort of ability. No sermon ever put my mind half so much on the stretch. The effort is such, that, were one person present, who was capable of weighing the propriety of what I said, it would be impossible for me to proceed: the mind must, in such a case, be perfectly at its ease: it must not have to exert itself under cramps and fetters. I am surprized at nothing which Dr. Watts did, but his Hymns for Children. Other men could have written as well as he, in his other works ; but how he wrote these hymns, I know not. Stories fix children's attention. The Moment I begin to talk in anything like an abstract manner, the attention subsides. The simplest inanner in the world will not make way to children's minds for abstract truths. With stories I find I could rivet their attention for two or three hours.
CHILDREN are very early capable of impression. I imprinted on my daughter the idea of Faith, at a very early age. She was playing one day with a few beads, which seemed to delight her wonderfully. Her whole soul was absorbed in her beads. I said~" My dear, you have some pretty