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pians, and divers others to whom he writes. We may not, therefore, condemn this altogether. But I say, use it exceeding sparingly. And when you use it, let it be with the utmost caution, directing them at the same moment, to look upon all they have as the free gift of God, and with the deepest self-abasement to say, “ Not unto us! Not unto us! but unto thy Name give the praise !"
19. Next to self-will and pride, the most fatal disease with which we are born, is love of the world. But how studiously do the generality of parents cherish this in its several branches ? They cherish “ the desire of the flesh,” that is, the tendency to seek happiness in pleasing the outward senses, by studying to enlarge the pleasure of tasting in their children to the uttermost: not only giving them before they are weaned other things beside milk, the natural food of children, but giving them both before and after, any sort of meat or drink that they will take. Yea, they entice them long before nature requires it, to take wine or strong drink; and provide them with comfits, gingerbread, raisins, and whatever fruit they have a mind to. They feed in them “ the desire of the eyes,” the propensity to seek happiness in pleasing the imagination, by giving them pretty playthings, glittering toys, shining buckles, or buttons, fine clothes, red shoes, laced hats, needless ornaments, as ribbons, necklaces, ruffles : yea, and by proposing any of these as rewards for doing their duty, which is stamping a great value upon them. With equal care and attention they cherish in them the third branch of the love of the world, the pride of life, the propensity to seek their happiness in the “honour that cometh of men.” Nor is the love of money forgotten : many an exhortation do they hear, on securing the main chance; many a lecture exactly agreeing with that of the old Heathen, “ Si possis, recte; si non, quocunque modo rem. “ Get money, honestly if you can; but if not; get money.” And they are carefully taught to look on riches and honour as the reward of all their labours. 20. In direct opposition to all this, a wise and truly kind
parent will take the utmost care, not to cherish in her children the desire of the flesh, their natural propensity to seek happiness in gratifying the outward senses. With this view she will suffer them to taste no food but milk, till they are weaned; which a thousand experiments shew is most safely and easily done at the seventh month. And then accustom them to the most simple food, chiefly of vegetables. She may inure them to taste only one kind of food, beside bread, at dinner, and constantly to breakfast and sup on milk, either cold, or heated; but not boiled. She may use them to sit by her at meals; and ask for nothing, but take what is given them. She need never, till they are, at least, nine or ten years old, let them know the taste of tea, or use any other drink at meals, but water, or small beer. And they will never desire to taste either meat or drink between meals, if not accustomed thereto. If fruit, comfits, or any thing of the kind be given them, let them not touch it but at meals. And never propose any of these as a reward; but teach them to look higher than this.
But herein a difficulty will arise, which it will need much resolution to conquer. Your servants who will not understand your plan, will be continually giving little things to your children, and thereby undoing all your work. This you must prevent, if possible, by warning them when they first come into your house, and repeating the warning from time to time. If they will do it notwithstanding, you must turn them away. Better lose a good servant than spoil a good child.
Possibly you may have another difficulty to encounter, and one of a still more trying nature. Your mother, or your husband's mother, may live with you; and you will do well to shew her all possible respect. But let her on no account have the least share in the management of your children. She would undo all that you had done; she would give them their own will in all things. She would humour them to the destruction of their souls, if not their bodies too. In four-score years I have not met with one woman that knew how to manage grand-children. My
own mother, who governed her children so well, could never govern one grand-child. In every other point obey your mother. Give up your will to her's. But with regard to the management of your children, steadily keep the reins in your own hands.
21. A wise and kind parent will be equally cautious, of feeding “ the desire of the eyes” in her children. She will give them no pretty play things, no glittering toys, shining buckles or buttons, fine clothes : : no needless orna. ments of any kind; nothing that can attract the eye. Nor will she suffer any other person to give them what she will not give them herself. Any thing of the kind that is offered, may be either civilly refused, or received and laid by. If they are displeased at this, you cannot help it. Complaisance, yea, and temporal interest, must needs be set aside, when the eternal interests of your children are at stake.
Your pains will be well requited, if you can inspire them early, with a contempt of all finery; and on the other hand, with a love and esteem, for neat plainness of dress. Teaching them to associate the ideas of plainness and modesty': and those of a fine and a loose woman. Likewise, instill into them as early as possible, a fear and contempt of
pomp and grandeur, an abhorrence and dread of the love of money, and a deep conviction, that riches cannot give happiness. Wean them, therefore, from all these false ends : habituate them to make God their end in all things, and inure them in all they do, to aim at knowing, loving, and serving God.
22. Again: The generality of parents feed anger in their children, yea, the worst part of it, that is, revenge. The silly mother says, “ What hurt my child! Give me a blow for it.” What horrid work is this! Will not the old murderer teach them this lesson fast enough ? Let the christian parent spare no pains to teach them just the contrary. Remind them of the words of our blessed Lord, “ It was said of old, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil.” Not by returning evil for evil. Rather than this, “ if a man take away thy cloak, let him take away thy coat also." Remind him of the words of the great Apostle, “ Dearly beloved, Avenge not yourselves. For it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord.”
23. The generality of parents feed and increase the natural falsehood of their children. How often may we hear that senseless word ! No, it was not
it was not my child that did it : say, it was the cat." What amazing folly is this ! Do you feel no remorse, while you are putting a lie in the mouth of your child, before it can speak plainly? And do not you think, it will make a good proficiency when it comes to years of discretion ? Others teach them both dissimulation and lying, by their unreasonable severity: and yet others, by admiring and applauding their ingenious lies and cunning tricks. Let the wise parent on the contrary, teach them to “put away all lying,” and both in little things and great, in jest or earnest, speak the very truth from their heart. Teach them that the author of all falsehood is the devil, who " is a liar and the father of it.” Teach them to abhor and despise, not only lying, but all equivocating, all cunning and dissimulation. Use every mean to give them a love of truth : of veracity, sincerity, and simplicity, and of openness both of spirit and behaviour.
24. Most parents increase the natural tendency to injustice in their children, by conniving at their wronging each other, if not laughing at, or even applauding their witty contrivances to cheat one another. Beware of every thing of this kind : and from their very infancy, sow the seeds of justice in their hearts; and train them up in the exactest practice of it. If possible, teach them the love of justice, and that in the least things as well as the greatest. Impress upon their minds the old proverb, “ He that will steal a penny, will steal a pound.” Habituate them to render unto all their due, even to the uttermost farthing.
25. Many parents connive, likewise, at the ill-nature of their children, and thereby strengthen it. But truly affectionate parents will not indulge them in any kind or degree
of unmercifulness. They will not suffer them to vex their brothers or sisters, either by word or deed. They will not allow them to hurt or give pain to any thing that has life. They will not permit them to rob birds-nests, much less to kill any thing without necessity: not even snakes, which are as innocent as worms, or toads, which, notwithstanding their ugliness, and the ill name they lie under, have been proved over and over, to be as harmless as flies. Let them extend in its measure, the rule of doing as they would be done by, to every animal whatsoever. Ye that are truly kind parents; in the morning, in the evening, and all the day beside, press upon all your children, “ to walk in love,
Christ also loved us, and gave himself for us ;" to mind that one point, “ God is love: and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.”