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of a charity scarcely implored! What more mortifying to them than to be obliged again and again to display their misery; to recount all the circumstances of it; and to endeavour to place it in such a light as to soften an obdurate heart!

To give with gentleness, is a characteristic not less essential. The air and the manner often oblige more than the gift, however valuable it may be. It is inconceivable that people who give, who give largely, who give even with joy, should poison their favours by a haughtiness, and rudeness of manner which deeply wounds the soul of the unhappy. Yet such instances are every day seen. If you would imitate the Samaritan, avoid this defect, and give with cheerfulness, with mildness, and affection.

I need say but one word on personal services, because most of the remarks which have been made will apply to them. Like the Samaritan be ready, not only to relieve the indigent with your fortune, but to perform also those offices of kindness, which will comfort the sick, encourage the desponding, and sooth the afflicted: thus will you obey the command of your Saviour, “Go and do likewise.

I might now safely leave it to yourselves to apply the foregoing discourse to the present occasion, for I am well persuaded that there is no necessity to importune you to give liberally for the support of this valuable institution. It rose in the midst of

you. Charity reared it-charity has supported it—and charity will still sustain it. To give to such an establishment is disinterested benevolence, since these children can make you no return but thanks and good wishes. It is real benevolence: those poor children who are maintained by the asylum are friendless and helpless; they are poor orphans,

since if they have parents, these parents cannot support them. These children ask of you assistance; deny them not their supplication, and they in their turn will raise their little hands to heaven, and will solicit in your behalf the divine benediction. God will hear their prayer, and shed down his blessings upon you.

Yes, my dear children! this is your duty, a duty which I trust you will never forget. Pray God for your generous benefactors; cherish an eternal gratitude for them; let them not be disappointed in the wishes and hopes which they form, that you

will one day be useful members of society, and disposed to do for others what they now do for you, 6 Fear and love God, and keep his commandments.” Thus shall

you be happy in life, and through eternity. For you, my brethren, who are about to exercise your charity, we pray God to recompense you an hundred fold ; and to grant, that, if by any of those unexpected reverses of fortune, which we daily witness, you, or your children, or your children's children, should be reduced to distress, you may never want active and benevolent friends; you may never need some charitable Samaritan to bind up the wounds of your soul, and relieve your distresses,

SERMON CXL.

1

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION.

EPHESIANS vi. 4.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath ; but

bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

When in any churches where pure religion has once flourished, we behold corrupt manners and licentious sentiments, a diminution in the zeal and number of the disciples of Jesus, and an augmentation of the votaries of vanity and sin; we shall generally find that this lamentable degeneracy has been caused in a great degree by a neglect of Christian education. If in such places we would wish to restore the holiness and fervour of former times, perhaps no single means can be employed, that is so efficacious, as a strict and faithful regard to this duty.

* A subject of such consequence deserves our serious consideration. Favour us then with tention while we inquire,

1. What is implied in a Christian education; and

your at

your children

II. What are those motives which should excite parents to bestow it upon their children.

The nature of this duty, and the inducements which should urge us to comply with it, form then the whole division of the ensuing discourse.

I. What then is implied in a Christian education ? What is that duty to which St. Paul exhorts parents, when he charges them “ not to provoke their children to wrath, but to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord ?" This Christian education, this sacred duty, includes these four things: wise discipline, salutary instruction, holy example, fervent prayer.

1. A wise discipline is essential to a Christian education. In vain will you hope to lead in the ways of piety, if you do not begin while they are yet young, to exercise over them a strict but affectionate discipline; if you do not teach them from the very cradle, that instead of acting according to their own wayward fancies, they are to be regulated by the will of God, and their parents. Give the reins to their inclinations, suffer them to act as they please, let them have no other restraint than their own wishes and desires, and they are in the direct road to misery, to vice, and to perdition: they will perhaps live to curse that weak fondness, which strengthened vicious habits, and plunged them into guilt; to execrate those criminal compliances which have laid the foundation of their unhappiness, by cherishing furious passions, and incapacitating them to bear with disappointment. Govern them then with a firm and steady hand. Begin to bend the twig while it is yet Alexible; in a few years

it will become a sturdy oak, and resist all your efforts., The vicious propensities of children, the fruit of

38

SOL. IV.

their original corruption, are early to be discerned. On their first appearance, endeavour to extirpate them, and exercise your authority to prevent the formation of criminal habits. Keep a watch over their tongues. Do not, like so many injudicious parents, encourage lying or ill-nature, by smiling at a false or malignant expression, if it have some degree of smartness. Do not nourish their pride by excessive commendation and flattery, by loading them with pageantry and gorgeous ornaments. Do not cultivate their revenge, by teaching them to direct their feeble yet malicious strokes, against the persons or things that have injured them. Do not inspire a relentless and tyrannical disposition, by permitting them to torture various species of animals. Do not encourage a worldly spirit, by continually proposing the riches or honours of earth, as the recompense which they may expect for their goodness, while the favour of God is scarcely ever mentioned as an object worthy to be aspired after. Do not suffer them to be exposed to unnecessary temptations, which, while their judgment is immature, and their reason without the aids of experience, will almost inevitably plunge them into sin. But, on the .contrary, by a steady exercise of discipline, accustom them to the utmost sincerity, justice, and benevolence in their intercourse with their companions. Habituate them to control their passions and wishes. Accustom them to value time, and to flee from indolence, that canker of virtue and destroyer of the soul. Teach them to be modest, to be humble, and exemplary in their deportment; to reverence the ordinances and institutions of religion; and to pray constantly to their Heavenly Father. Thus strive, by an unintermitted course of discipline, to implant vir

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