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sentiments; lively apprehensions, deep disgust, blank horror, tender concern, and strong compassion. And can the christian parent endure the thought of seeing his child grow up the slave of sense? Must he not turn away in agony from the process, in which the fibres of the heart are twining about the world? Will not every hour in which his child may delay to fix his heart and hopes on heaven, be like the continuance of a drought, withering with a touch, more and more deadly, his fondest, dearest hopes: Will he not feel impelled, by motives which he cannot resist, almost to force his child into the arms of his Savior? Will he not intreat him with tearful earnestness, to fasten his affections, young and fresh, on the objects to which they appropriately belong; to seek and find his happiness in the eternal God, whom he was made to love and enjoy?

In his relations to those around him, which the little child first practically recognizes, we perceive a deep source of encouragement to parents in their delightful work, as christian teachers. Among the earliest sentiments, which pervade his heart, may be recorded a sense of dependence. He is constantly alive to his helplessness. Without the encouragement and aid of others, he trembles at the thought of making any movement. He naturally lifts up his eyes and stretches out his hand for assistance. How closely does he cling to his parents, and how difficult do they not find the task of bringing him to rely upon his own resources, so far as to take a single step? He naturally confides, moreover, in those on whom he is dependent. The benefits which he can ask only with the pleading eye, he expects will be kindly granted. His young heart does not admit the thought, that his parents can forget, or neglect, or injure him. In the face of frightful danger, he is not afraid to commit himself to their protection. The threatening storm makes him cling more closely to their bosom. In whatever way they may have raised expectation in him, he does not hesitate to rely on the engagement. He readily gives them full credit for every kind intention. He gives up his heart to them in filial love. If they are absent, he mourns and pines; when they return, he greets them with a most cordial welcome; he clings to their side and rejoices in their society. He sees a thousand attractions in them. Their spirit, movements, and designs, command his admiration. Their very imperfections he regards with a partial eye. Among all the objects which attract his attention, and interest his feelings, he knows nothing which has so strong a hold upon his heart as his parents.

It deserves to be mentioned here, that little children are subject to frequent changes of mind. The views which they have of the objects around them, become daily more clear, accurate, and

comprehensive. To be adjusted to these views, their conclusions, feelings, movements, need frequent alteration. A change of views becomes, not unfrequently, a source of deep regret. How often do their hearts bleed under the "rod of correction!" How often do their mistakes and faults cover them with shame and constrain them to "walk softly before" their parents.

Between the relations and circumstances which give birth to the feelings we have just dwelt upon, and the relations and circumstances, which are the known occasion of christian sentiments and habits, a marked and striking analogy obtains. Our relations to God demand of us a deep and constant sense of our dependence upon him, a tender and lively confidence in him, and attachment to him, strong and fervent. The sentiments, thus required, are the very elements of christian character. The repentance, moreover, which is enjoined on every man, consists in a change of views, and feelings, and habits; and in a word, all the elements of christian character are manifestly analogous to states of mind, with which every child must be more or less familiar. The affections, which in the domestic circle he daily exercises, if directed towards the objects presented in religion, would make him a christian. Parents, then, may turn the relations and circumstances with which the child is most familiar, to high account in the work of christian education. To explain and enforce his religious obligations, they may appeal directly to feelings, of which he cannot but be daily conscious. Look up to God, they may say, with that sense of dependence on him, which makes you lean upon our arm, and cling to our side. In view of your errors and your sins, let your repentings be "kindled together," as in view of your mistakes and faults towards us, you have often with bitter regret, changed your feelings and your purposes. Be as quick to feel the attractions of his beauty, to love him with all your heart, as to regard us with the eye of filial fondness. The success of such appeals, under God, must be greatly affected by the character of the circle with which the child is connected. If the spirit and habits prevalent there, are of a worldly stamp, the attachment which binds the young heart to parents and friends, must operate to prevent any aspirations after God and heaven. Between worldly minded parents and a holy God, the smallest child cannot but see a frightful contrast. The fondness with which he loves the former, cannot but work a strong aversion in him to the latter. Thus, what was designed in the arrangements of providence to be a precious and powerful aid in christian education, becomes a distressing hindrance.

The child who is so blessed as to belong to a domestic cirele which is animated by the spirit, and dignified with the image VOL. IV.


of the Savior, has in his domestic attachments, an influence in the highest degree friendly to a life of christian piety. The parents whom he loves, breathe the temper and walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. The character of the Savior is more or less fully and clearly embodied in theirs. Every feature is more or less evidently and attractively reflected from their countenances. It is their glory to be "like him." When filial piety fastens on such an object, it fixes on a point at no great distance from the Savior. In such a case, the stronger the attachment, the more powerful may be the influence to induce the love of God. How great an advantage in the work of christian education, to have a heart to act upon, which clings with warm attachment to a holy parent! Thrice happy day, when this advantage shall be offered and enjoyed in every household!

Before we dwell upon the encouragements which parents have, as christian teachers, to prosecute their work with vigor and with hope, in the success with which God has crowned such exertions, we may be expected to touch upon what we have sometimes feared, is a popular objection to the doctrine we are advancing. "Ministers' sons," it is often coarsely said, "are worse than other people's." We rejoice to know, that facts furnish but a slight foundation for this bitter reproach. We are compelled, with aching hearts, to admit what none but a fiend could hear with triumph, that instances of deep depravity-nay, of shocking profligacy-may sometimes be found in the families of ministers. But these are rare exceptions to a general rule. They can never be fairly arrayed as an objection against the doctrine, of which we are the advocates. Ministers, it must not be forgotten, are sometimes unsound at heart. Bound by obligations the most weighty and sacred, they still live in disobedience to the divine commands. A decent exterior they must maintain in the eyes of the world; but in the retired walks of life, they may cherish a temper and maintain habits directly at war with their official character. With whatever success they can conceal themselves from others, from their own children the real tendency of their conduct, cannot be concealed. They live too near a parent's bosom, to be kept from looking in upon the heart which beats there. With his true character they will form a certain and familiar acquaintance. And his true character will work whatever impression he may make upon their spirit.

But in the case of ministers of a far different character, there are frequently two things, which cannot but have, in respect to their sons, an unfavorable bearing on the results of their education. They are excluded chiefly from the immediate society of their father, and often pass their early years without any regular and

constant employment. To furnish this employment, any one can see, for reasons which we need not give, must often be very difficult. At home they have little or nothing to do; abroad they are exposed to untoward influences, without the advantage of those guards and checks which are commonly secured by regular indentures. Thus they are exposed to the mischief of cherished and habitual idleness. In the meantime, their sympathy with their father may in a great measure be cut off. While engaged with his books, he may be impatient of interruption. He may feel himself unable to endure the embarrassment which their presence "in the study" might occasion. He may thus hold them at arm's length. Chilled by the distance at which they are removed from their father, they may seek and find other familiar acquaintance and confidential friends. In choosing these, they may be ill-advised and unhappy. Influences may be exerted upon them, which may be developed in their character and prospects. Let every minister then beware of regarding his study or his closet, as too sacred for the approach and presence of his children. Let him welcome them at the tenderest age to this con-secrated retreat. Let him encourage them to come often and stay long. Let him take more or less the conduct of their education. Let him see to it, that his sympathies and theirs in full current flow onward together in an unobstructed channel. It is, we think, a poor pretense that his public duties are too important and too pressing to permit him to care for the offspring of his body. He has no right to children, who has no time nor heart to make provision for their welfare. We believe that every minister may labor according to a plan, which will enable him to meet at the same time his official responsibilities, and the intellectual and spiritual wants of his household. We advise young ministers, especially, to keep clear of the prejudice, that to study with any good effect, they must be in solitude and silence. If they care for the children, who are growing up around them, let them learn to think amidst the most active scenes of domestic life.

While these facts will account for the occasional profligacy of ministers' sons, a strict inquiry, we believe, will show that instant ces of this kind are extremely rare, when compared with the whole number of the descendants of clergymen in this country. We remember once to have made an induction of particulars, in the circle with which we were most thoroughly conversant, and to have been greatly delighted with the results. In this circle the children of ministers, with very few exceptions, were distinguished for their excellence and usefulness. These exceptions, however, strike the mind forcibly, and fill a large place in the public eye. In the house of a minister, the noisy profligacy of one unworthy

child, will attract more attention and move more tongues than the meek virtue, the unostentatious piety, the unobtrusive worth, the silent usefulness of the many, who do honor to the sacred relations they sustain! May not hundreds know, that one of the greatest divines of our country had one unworthy son, who have never heard or cared to learn what numbers from generation to generation, trace their origin to him, who in various stations of usefulness have shed a clear lustre on his memory?

If any of those who are engaged in sustaining and promoting sabbath schools, need encouragement in their good work, we would invite their attention to the "Memoirs of Nathan W. Dickerman." In him, they will rejoice to find an attractive illustration of the happy tendency of their disinterested labors. Let them fix their eye on "the gentleman," who when Nathan "was about five years old," "called upon his mother, and requested her to send her son" to the sabbath school. Perhaps he hesitated to enter her dwelling to make this request. Might he not be regarded as obtrusive? Might he not be chilled with a frown? The request, however, is made and cheerfully complied with. Nathan enters the sabbath school, and through the sabbath school, the house of God. What he sees and hears takes fast hold of his attention. His heart is affected. One morning he rises early, and goes to his mother's bedside. He touches her elbow. She awakes, and finds him in tears. "Mother," he demands, and O what a question for a maternal heart to answer; "where shall I kneel to pray for a new heart?" A little more than a year, Nathan enjoys the privileges of the sabbath school. He is now seized with a dreadful malady. He is not unfrequently found in tears with the thrilling words upon his lips; "I don't think I shall ever get well, and I want a new heart." Having been enabled "to lean his weary soul" upon the Savior, he longs to be baptized into His adored name. To the objection-alas, that any heart should harbor such a prejudice-that he was too young, he artlessly replied, "but Jesus said, suffer little children to come to me, and forbid them not." The desire of his heart is at length gratified; and Nathan is permitted to celebrate the dying love of the Redeemer at the sacramental table. With what emotions did this renewed child ever remember W. P. who first asked his mother to send him to the sabbath school. Resting once in the arms of a devoted friend, he opened his eyes, which had been closed in apparent devotion, and looking upward, said, "I think the Lord will bless Mr. P. very much; because he was the first one that asked whether I might go to the sabbath school." Let any one engaged in the labors of the sabbath school, put himself in the place of Mr. P.; let him mark the deep penitence,

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