網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

to remove all doubt of the rectitude of the instructions which they receive.

I have already observed that one great benefit which we derive from the institution of the Sabbath, is that of affording time for more ample instruction than can, in many situations, be obtained on the days of labour. I would here remark, that a conscientious regard in the parent to the sacredness of this holy season, is of great importance in a system of religious education. Let all worldly and trifling conversation be avoided on this day, that the impressions made by the public or family exercises of religion may not be obliterated, by a carelessness to improve the intervals of religious service.

Children are not ignorant of the truth of that divine aphorism, " Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh :” nor will they be easily persuaded that religious truths make deep impressions on the minds of their parents, when nothing is heard that can direct the mind to eternal objects, except at the stated hours of instruction. And as God has expressly forbidden us to “ speak our own words” on the Sabbath, an example of conformity to this gracious command should be shewn by every master of a family, whose peculiar office it is to direct the subjects of discourse to those who are in his presence, and under his care.

The influence of example should make parents extremely cautious in the choice of companions for their children. With this view those schools should be chosen where pious example may be added to religious instruction and useful learning. It gives me pleasure, while on this subject, to be able to con gratulate the friends of religion, that instructors may be found in this kingdom, in whom are combined the excellent qualities required in a christian teacher.

The company to which children are introduced in other places should be such as shall have no tendency to make them slight the religious instructions of their parents and masters.

This great object should also be kept in view in the choice of situation for the trade or profession to which they are educated ; as the highest interest of a child ought to have the first place in our regard. But my design is not to write a system of education, a subject too copious for an article in your Miscellany, and too complex for my abilities. I wish merely to throw out a few hints in com

pliance with the request of your correspondent, and such as have been suggested by the experience of a parent.

I must not, however, conclude these hints without reminding the christian parent, that, to all his endeavours (be they ever so judicious) must be added constant prayer for the influences of the Holy Spirit, without which true religion will never be implanted in the minds of his children. Though Paul should plant, and Apollos water, without the influence of divine grace no fruits of righteousness will appear; for it is God that giveth the in

But we have the strongest reason to hope for this blessing, while diligently, and with an humble dependence on his grace, we use the means which God hath appointed.

crease.

ON THE

ETERNITY

OF

FUTURE PUNISHMENT.

Being fatigued with the labours of the preceding day, I awoke this morning somewhat later than is usual with me at this season of the year; when the first sound that reached my ear was that of a passing-bell,—the sigual that one of my fellow-creatures had just entered upon a state of eternal duration. The thought of eternity and its immense importance, pressed forcibly upon my mind; and a variety of reflections on this awful subject held me for some time in serious contemplation. Among other things, the danger and absurdity of the doctrine of universal salvation occurred; and I thought with regret on the profession of this pernicious doctrine, which was said to have been made on bis death-bed, by a late eminent philosopher, who died not long ago in America.

A passage of Scripture occurred to my mind, as it has often done before, which affords a full demonstration of the falsehood of this doctrine. The terms of this passage are so clear, that they will admit of no sense but one, which proves the certainty of an eternal duration of the misery of the damned, unless we allow the doctrine of annihilation.

The idea of applying mathematical demonstration in support of any doctrine of divine revelation, may, at first sight, appear strange and absurd ; but in this peculiar instance such demonstration will not be found inapplicable ; and may be urged with propriety in confutation of such persons as boast of the rationality of their religious principles.

The doctrine which I mean to oppose, and which is held by too many who call themselves Christians, is this,—That those who are not truly righteous shall suffer a certain degree of punishment in a future state, proportioned to their criminality; but shall at last, after this time of discipline, (to use the expression

« 上一頁繼續 »