Page images

The sea, the blue lone sea, hath one- She faded 'midst Italian flowers,
He lies where pearls lie deep-

The last of that bright band.
He was the loved of all, yet none
O'er his low bed may weep.

And parted thus they rest, who play'd

Beneath the same green tree; One sleeps where southern vines are Whose voices mingled as they pray'd drest,

Around one parent knee.
Above the noble slain;
He wrapt his colours round his breast,

They that with smiles lit up the hall

And cheered with song the hearthOn a blood-red field of Spain.

Alas! for love, if thou wert all, And one-o'er her the myrtle showers And nought beyond, Oh earth!

Its leaves, by soft winds fann'd;




tle had just before referred, perhaps

the word would better have been THE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION OF CHIL

rendered parents, in the text-That

it enjoins duties indispensably bindEssay I.

ing on all Christian parents, there In offering to the publick, through can be no doubt. It'is most admithe pages of the Christian Advo- rably conceived and expressed, cate, some remarks on the trite, but guarding those to whom it is adimportant topick, announced at the dressed, both against severity on head of this paper, the writer wishes the one hand, and indulgence on to be guided entirely by the oracles the other; and while it equally proof sacred truth. He proposes hibits each of these extremes, it therefore to attempt little more points out the middle path of duty than to explain, illustrate and en- and propriety-The great object of force, what he takes to be the true the whole plainly is, to inculcate meaning of the apostle Paul, in the importance and the obligation the injunction which he delivers, of giving to children a truly ChrisEphes. vi. 4. “And ye fathers, tian education; such as will be provoke not your children to wrath; most likely, under the divine blessbut bring them up in the nurture ing, to make them practical Chrisand admonition of the Lord.” tians. This object, therefore, will

If it were necessary to assign a be kept steadily in view, in the disreason why this precept is directed cussion before us, which, although to fathers, rather than to parents of the subject be copious, must be both sexes, it might be remarked short, and of consequence general that fathers are, perhaps, more likely in its nature. than mothers, to violate the first It is proposed to attempt to show, part of the precept; and that being very briefly, how Christian parents ovested with the chief authority in may guard against each of the exa family, they are chiefly responsi- tremes that have been mentioned, ble for the observance of the whole and then to point out more directly njunction. But the truth is, that wherein the true Christian educathe original word rendered fathers tion of children consists. n the text, is sometimes used to I. Parents, in the education of ienote both parents. It is so trans- their children, should carefully avoid ated in one instance in our Bibles; undue severity—“Provoke not your and as both fathers and mothers are children to wrath.” The distinct Fistinctly mentioned in the precept meaning of this part of the precept of the decalogue to which the apos. seems to be, that parents are vigilantly to guard against that system to chastise in passion, but with of treatment toward their children, such coolness, deliberation and tenthe natural tendency of which is to derness, as shall leave a child fully excite in their minds such anger, in- impressed with the belief, that his dignation and bitterness, as are not own guilt is the sole cause of his only sinful, but very apt to break suffering; and that the parent would out at last, into acts of resentment not have inflicted it, if he had not and rebellion against the parents been compelled to it by a sense of themselves. It should be carefully duty. As to the objection that paobserved, that our statement is, that rents cannot correct, unless they we should avoid a system of treat- are angry, it is, probably, in almost ment naturally tending to this ef- every instance, a mistake, or a fect: For with refractory and dis- mere pretence. obedient children there ought to be disagreeable and painful, and that some acts of discipline, which, it may it requires much 'self-denial to do be, will greatly anger them at the it properly, is certainly true. But time. And yet, if the system of treat- still it may be done, and the very ment be right, the children them. circumstance that it is painful, selves may, in their cooler moments, by being observed by the child, will not only acquit the parent of all be likely to give the correction injustice, but love him the more for more effect. what, for a short season, was very I add, as a matter of great imporoffensive. Beside, if the system of tance, that it gives unspeakable imtreatment be not excessively se- pression to correction, if it be acvere, parents may hope that the im- companied with prayer. Yes, let perfection of their administration Christians, as a general rule, pray of discipline in any single acts, in with their children, immediately bewhich they may, unhappily, have fore they correct them.-Pray ear. been incautious, will not leave any nestly, and with tears, that God may permanent effects of an injurious give them repentance and pardon kind on the minds of their offspring. for their sin, and may sanctify to As, however, it is of high impor- them, for this end, the correction tance that parents should avoid all about to be inflicted. And hard, errors on the side of severity, a indeed, must be that heart, which serious attention is requested to is not moved at the sight of a pray. the following directions.

ing and weeping parent. A small 1. Never correct a child in an- measure of correction, inflicted in ger. There are some parents who th

this forin-with this solemnitysay that they cannot correct, unless will have infinitely more effect, than they do it in anger.

If this were the most frequent stripes without true, it might be very questionable it: And unless the mind of a child whether they ought ever to correct be inost malignantly wicked inat all: For there is always danger deed, he will not be provoked to of excess, and of a thousand errors, wrath, but melted into contrition, when any thing is done through pas- by such treatment-especially if sion. An error in correction is often there be connected with it, as there as clearly discerned by children, as always should be, faithful and tenby those of riper years; and it some- der admonition. times becomes the means of giving But before leaving this particular, them,ultimately, an ascendency over I must remark that the correction the erring parent; and in the mean of words, as well as of stripes, time, they impute their correction, ought to be guarded. As children not to their own fault, but to their advance in age they frequently parent's ill temper. To avoid this, need reproof, as well as instruction, it should be an invariable rule not and to administer it aright is both important and difficult. It ought, of primary importance not to exact if possible, to be so done as to pro- too much in any respect-neither duce conviction of the offence re- too much labour, nor too much subproved, sorrow for, and hatred of mission, nor too much circumspecit; and there should be nothing in tion, nor too much subserviency. the matter or manner of the re- Let us be careful of this, because proof, wbich may leave the sting of what a parent actually requires, he resentment in the mind of a child ought, in all cases, to insist on beagainst the parent himself. There ing punctually, promptly, and fully may be children who have become performed; inasmuch as on this, so perverse and unreasonable, as to the establishment of his authority, render this impracticable. But as well as the benefit of the child, this is not a common case: and in essentially depends. all cases of correction, in whatever 3. Let us not keep our children form administered, there should al- at too great a distance from us, by ways be set clearly before the view inspiring them with a servile dread of the child, the possibility and the of our presence, with a fear that practicability of retrieving his er- we shall question them unduly, on rors, and of reinstating himself in topics on which they would wish not the confidence and complacency of to speak. his parent. The door of return to It is not a very easy matter to obedience, happiness and favour, unite familiarity with dignity, to should be set wide open before him; be free with our children, and yet that despondence may not discou- to maintain our authority and comrage exertion, but that hope may mand their respect. This however, conspire with fear, to produce is a matter of much importance, amendment.

which we ought by all means to at2. Parents must be careful not tempt: For if our children shun our to exact of their children any thing presence, or fear to speak their that is unreasonable or excessive, minds to us with freedom, they may Are our children required to per contract the most pernicious sentiform labour, in which either the ments, or enter into the most ruinbody or the mind is to be employ- ous schemes or connexions, without ed: We must see that this labour our ever having it in our power to does not exceed their powers, but correct them, till all attempts may that with due exertion they can

be fruitless. Let us, therefore, as easily accomplish it; otherwise they far as we can, gain their confidence, will certainly be either grieved or

make them our companions, treat discouraged, or provoked to wrath their notions with respect, patiently -Or do we require of them evi- labour to convince them when they dences of penitence and reforma- are wrong, forbear to press them on tion, when they have grossly offend- points which too deeply interest ed? Let us demand no tokens of their feelings; and thus, by securabject submission or humiliation. ing their confidence and affection, as Let us show them that all we want well as their esteem and reverence, is, to be convinced of their grief for learn the secrets of their hearts, and what is wrong, and their sincere influence their opinions, sentiments purposes of amendment; and that and conduct, on all important subwith this we shall cheerfully and jects and concerns. joyfully receive them to our em- 4. Much indulgence, tenderness braces. In a word, let us remem- and forgiveness, must be mingled ber that as, in all government, one

with the discipline of children, if great point is, to be careful not to we would not provoke them to govern too much, so in the govern- wrath. It should be manifest that ment of children in particular, it is it gives us far more pleasure to VOL. V, -Ch. Adv.


gratify their wishes than to disap- consigned, who did, or do, not depoint and refuse them. Then, if serve to be sent to hell, but who, nethey are not extremely perverse, vertheless, are not fit to be admitted they will be sensible that every re, to heaven—from which places they fusal springs from a strong convic. could not be released and admitted tion that indulgence would be in- to celestial bliss, otherwise than jurious. We should even lay hold either by a personal visit from Christ on some suitable occasions to dis- himself, or by the renewed offering appoint their expectations of cor- of his sacrifice on earth, by his rerection or reprimand, for what they gularly constituted vicars. As the know to have been wrong in their only information we have respèceconduct-not failing, however, to let ing these half-way places between them see that we notice and disap- heaven and hell, seems to be about prove of the wrong; but that, in the as well certified as many romantic present instance, we forgive it frank. stories told us by lying travellers, ly, in hope that forgiveness will we feel alike incredulous to both. affect them more than punishment. There is another opinion, which Thus will they be constrained to savours somewhat of the former

, feel that discipline and coercion but is much more partial in its exare used, solely from a regard to tent. Instead of making this pritheir benefit. In addition to all, son, or limbus, a receptacle for all there should be a general tender- the pious who had died before the ness, united with delicacy and dig. coming of Christ, it was a place of nity, in the whole treatment of our keeping only for those who were offspring; which can scarcely fail, disobedient to the preaching of Noah if they possess any sentiments of —but who happily repented after generosity, to gain their hearts,- the flood commenced, and before and to withhold them from being they were drowned. Why those provoked to wrath, when duty calls persons should have met so singu. us to animadvert on their fullies or lar a fate I am unable to see. If their vices.

true penitents, why were they not (To be continued.)

congregated with all other true penitents, who had before them entered

eternity, or who entered it afterFOR THE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATP.

wards until Christ came? If they Exposition of 1 Peter, iii. 19, 20. they distinguished from the rest

were not true penitents, why were “ By which also he went and preached who died in sin? I suspect that this to the spirits in prison which sometime text does not at all teach that Christ, were disobedient when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, after his death, visited the abodes while the ark was a preparing, wherein of departed spirits, to report to few, that is eight souls, were'saved by them his triumph, and to effect their water."

discharge. There are few texts in the sacred There is one other opinion which volume which have received so many has been very generally received, different expositions as have been and to the general truth of which no given to the above. Some have here good objection can be made. It is found a region in the world of spi. that interpretation which supposes rits which they have denominated that the Apostle Peter here tells “ limbus patrum,” which, anterior us that Christ, by that Spirit by to the death of Christ, and his de- which he was made alive from the scent to that place, seems to have dead, did inspire and influence corresponded to the more modern Noah, and other preachers of that purgatory. These, it seems, are day; and thus may be said to have places to which those were, and are preached to those who were then

disobedient and perished, but who, Tous Trupati " Quraxa, (c) by the when Peter wrote, were spirits in spirits on watch, arsimradi, to those the prison of hell. That Christ, by who had been unbelieving-(d) 'T his Spirit, did direct and influence roti, as formerly, the long sufferthe preachers of righteousness in ing, &c. Or thus:-At which time, Noah's day, as well as in every having departed (from the tomb) other period of the church, is unde- he proclaimed by spirits (i. e. by niably true ; nor is there any rea- angels) his resurrection, to those on son to doubt but that they, who then guard, who had been unbelieving lived and died impenitent, were, formerly. Or thus :-At which when Peter wrote, in the prison of time, having departed, he proclaimhell. But that this is the special ed his resurrection, by spirits—i.e. import, and true interpretation of by the holy angels, who first anwhat Peter has here written, may, nounced it—as formerly in the perhaps, be fairly questioned. Why days of Noah, when the ark was with such special emphasis and preparing, the long suffering of God distinction, is he said to have gone waited on the unbelieving or disoat that time, and preached. If he bedient, (e) és (mv, -after which long had gone at no other time, or at that suffering, few (i.e. eight) souls, were time in some special and peculiar preserved safe, through the water way, by such facts the interpreta- of the deluge: to which a corretion here given might be explained; sponding baptism now saves us, but such special facts are not als through the resurrection of Jesus leged, nor is there any evidence on Christ (not a baptism which conwhich they could be alleged. sists in removing the filthiness of

A translation and interpretation the flesh,) but the answer of a good differing from all those now enu- conscience toward God (i. e. by a merated, has occurred to the writer renovated and upright mind)--by the of this paper.—That the doctrine resurrection, &c., who having gone, which this new translation expres. &c. ses, is in perfect accordance with 1 Peter iv. 1, 2. “Forasmuch then other scriptural doctrine and facts as Christ hath suffered for us in the is confidently believed, even though flesh put on, as armour, the same it should be denied to be the doc. mind; for he having suffered in the trine of this text. It is this—That flesh hath (f) made an end, or laid Christ, when risen from the dead, a restraint upon, sins (8), that we did proclaim his resurrection, and consequently his divine mission, by (c) Schleusner on Quraxa—"Propric: spirits, i. e. holy angels, who were custodia, actio custodiendi, qua excubiz on the watch (at his tomb,) to those aguntur, ne res aliqua surripiatur, aut who had before been unbelieving et ab Alexandrinis Num. i. 53, xvii. 3, 4,

aliquis evadat. Sic sumitur Luc i. 8, i. e. the soldiers stationed there; or 5, xxxi. 47. to his unbelieving and disconsolate (d) Schoetgenius, in Horis Hebraicis, disciples, who had come to visit his 1043. legi pro été vult otı, quod in edi. dead body-not believing that, ac- tione sua Genevense exstet, et codices quicording to his promise, he would dam, teste Erasmo, habeant. Millius unum rise from the dead. The text thus "Jam enim semel Deus, temporibus Noa

pro hac lectione adfert. Ex hac lectionetranslated, would be as follows:- chi, pro longanimitate sua, homines invita. to , (a) at which time, xes, also, vit, eorumque pænitentiam expectavit." Togruênis () erneuter, he preached, (e) es -postquam patientiam.

CM) See the following, of many in.

stances in which passive verbs are used (a) John s. 7. Mark ii. 19. Luke xi.1. with an active signification. Acts xiii. 2, (O) A pleonasm--predicavit-Ephes. ü. 47; xvi. 10; xviii

. 19. 15 Back night on the Epistles.

(3) 1 Peter ü. 24.

« PreviousContinue »