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or four Years of Age, may be taught fome Part of these Articles, and may learn to understand them all at feven, or eight, or nine; at leaft fo far as is needful for all his own Exercises of Devotion and Piety. As his Age encreases, he may be inftructed more at large in the Principles and Practices of our holy Religion, as I fhall fhew more particularly in the third Section.

SECT. II.

The Exercife and Improvement of their Natural Powers.

H

AVING mentioned Religion as the principal Thing in which Children fhould be inftructed, I proceed to say in the fecond Place, that Children fhould be taught the true Ufe, the Exercife and Improvement of their natural Powers: And we may for Order Sake diftinguish these into the Powers of the Body and thofe of the Mind: Now though Nature gives thefe Powers and Faculties, yet it is a good Education that must inftruct us in the Exercife and Improvement of them: Otherwife like an uncultivated Field they will be ever barren and fruitlefs, or produce Weeds and Briars instead of

Herbs and Corn.

AMONG the Powers of the Mind which are to be thus culvated we may reckon the Under

Understanding, the Memory, the Judgment, the Faculty of Reasoning, and the Confcience.

1. TEACH them to use their UnderStanding aright. Perfuade them to value their Understanding as a noble Faculty, and allure them to feek after the Enrichment of it with a Variety of Knowledge. Let no Day escape without adding fome new Ideas to their Understanding, and giving their young unfurnished Minds fome further Notion of Things.

ALMOST every Thing is new to a Child, and Novelty will entice them onward to new Acquifitions: Shew them the Birds, the Beafts, the Fishes and Infects, Trees, Herbs, Fruits, and all the feveral Parts and Properties of the vegetable and the animal World: Teach them to obferve the various Occurrences in Nature and Providence, the Sun, Moon and Stars, the Day and Night, Summer and Winter, the Clouds and the Sky, the Hail, Snow and Ice, Winds, Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Fields, Woods, Mountains, Rivers, &c. Teach them that the great God made all thefe Things and his Providence governs them all. them all. Acquaint a Child alfo with domeftic Affairs fo far as is needful, and with the Things that belong to the civil and the military Life, the Church and the State, with the Works of God and the Works of Men. A thousand Objects that

ftrike

ftrike their Eyes, their Ears and all their Senfes will furnish out new Matter for their Curiofity and your Inftructions.

THERE are fome Books which are published in the World wherein a Child may be delightfully led into the Knowledge of a great Number of these Things by Pictures or Figures of Birds, Beafts, &c. well graven with their Names under them; this will much affift the Labour of the Teacher, and add to the Pleasure of Children in their daily Learning.

You who inftruct them should allure their young Curiofity to afk many Queftions, encourage them in it, and gratify their Enquiries by giving them the best and most fatisfactory Anfwers you can frame, and accommodate all your Language to their Capacity.

GIVE them, as far as poffible, clear Ideas of Things, and teach them how to diftinguifh one Thing from another by their dif ferent Appearances, by their different Properties and by their different Effects. Shew them how far fome Things agree with others, and how far they differ from them; and above all Things teach them, as far as their young Understandings will admit, to diftinguish between Appearances and Reali ties, between Truth and Falfhood, between Good and Evil, between Trifles and Things of Importance; for thefe are the most va

luable

luable Pieces of Knowledge and Distinction which can be lodged in the young Underftandings of Children.

2. The Memory is another Faculty of the Soul which should be cultivated and improved: Endeavour carefully to impress on their Minds Things of Worth and Value. Such are, fhort and useful and entertaining Stories which carry in them fome Virtue recommended, fome Vice ridiculed or punished, various human and divine Truths, Rules of Piety and Virtue, Precepts of Prudence, &c. Repeat these Things often to them by Day and by Night, teach them these Things in Verse and in Prose, rehearse them in their Ears at all proper Seafons, and take Occafion to make them repeat thefe Things to you.

Be follicitous to know what it is they learn when they are out of your Sight, and take good Care that their Memories be not charged with Trifles and idle Trumpery. The Memory is a noble Repofitory or Cabinet of the Soul, it fhould not be filled with Rubbish and Lumber. Silly Tales and foolish Songs, the Conundrums of Nurfes, and the dull Rhimes that are fung to lull Children afleep, or to footh a froward Humour, fhould be generally forbid to entertain those Children where a good Education is defigned. Something more innocent, more folid and profitable may be in

vented instead of thefe Fooleries. If it were poffible let a very few Things be lodged in the Memory of Children which they need to forget when they are Men.

THE way to ftrengthen and improve the Memory is to put it upon daily Exercise. I do not mean that young Children should be kept so close to their Book as to be crammed with Leffons all the Day long, and made to receive and sustain a heavy Load every Hour. The Powers of the Soul (efpecially fuch as act in close Concert with the Body and are fo much aided by the Brain) may be overburdened, and injured as well as the Limbs: The Mind may be perplexed and confounded, the Head may be overftrained and weakened, and the Health impaired in those tender Years of Life by an exceffive Impofition on the Memory: The Teachers of Children fhould have fome Prudence to diftinguish their Ages and their feveral Capacities: They should know how to avoid Ex

tremes.

BUT in general it may be faid that the Powers of the Mind, as well as thofe of the Body, grow stronger by a conflant and moderate Exercife. Every Day let the Memory of a Child be entrusted with fomething new: Every Day let fome Leffons be learned: And every Lord's-Day at least, even in their youngest Years, let them learn by Heart fome one Text of Scripture, (chiefly

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