صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

In all these Affairs a wife Parent will keep a watchful Eye upon the Child, while he indulges it in these Gratifications of Youth and Inclination: A wife Parent will daily obferve whether the Son or the little Daughter begin to be too much charmed with any of the gay Ornaments and Amusements of Life; and, with a prudent and facred Sollicitude, will take Care left any of them entrench on the more neceffary and more important Duties of Life and Religion. And according to this View of Things, the Parent's Hand will either give a loofer Rein to the Pursuit of thefe Exercifes, or will manage the Propenfities of the Child with a needful and becoming Reftraint.

BUT among all the Accomplishments of Youth there is none preferable to a decent and agreeable Behaviour among Men, a modeft Freedom of Speech, a foft and elegant Manner of Addrefs, a graceful and lovely Deportment, a chearful Gravity and good Humour, with a Mind appearing ever ferene under the ruffling Accidents of human Life: Add to this a pleafing Solemnity and Reverence when the Difcourfe turns upon any Thing facred and divine, a becoming Neglect of Injuries, a Hatred of Calumny and Slander, a Habit of fpeaking well of others, a pleafing Benevolence and Readinefs to do Good to Mankind, and fpecial Compaffion to the Miferable; with an Air


and Countenance, in a natural and unaffected Manner, expreffive of all these excellent Qualifications.

SOME of thefe, I own, are to be numbered among the Duties and Virtues rather than among the Ornaments of Mankind: But they must be confeffed to be Ornaments as well as Virtues. They are Graces in the Eye of Man as well as of God. Thefe will befpeak the Affection of all that know us, and engage even an ill-natured World betimes in our Favour. Thefe will enable the Youth of both Sexes, who are fo happy to attain them, to enter upon the Stage of Life with Approbation and Love, to pass through the World with Eafe (as far as Eafe may be expected in fo degenerate and unhappy a State of Things) to finish the Scenes of Action on Earth with Applaufe, and to leave behind them the Monument of a good Name when their Bodies fleep in the Duft, and their Souls dwell with God,

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A Guard against evil Influences from Perfons and Things,


T belongs alfo to a good Education that Children be guarded and fecured (as far as poffible) from all evil Influences and unhappy Impreffions which they may be exposed to receive both from Perfons and Things. I fhall fufficiently explain this Direction by particular Inftances.

LET not Nurfes or Servants be fuffered to fill their Minds with filly Tales and with fenfelefs Rhimes, many of which are fo abfurd and ridiculous that they will not bear to be reprefented in a grave Difcourfe. The Imagination of young Creatures is hereby flattered and deceived: Their Reafon is grossly abused and impofed upon: And by this Means they are trained up to be amused with Follies and Nonfenfe rather than to exercise their Understanding, which is the Glory of human Nature.

LET not any Perfons that are near them terrify their tender Minds with dismal Stories of Witches and Ghofts, of Devils and evil Spirits, of Fairies and Bugbears in the Dark. This hath had a moft mifchievous Effect on


fome Children, and hath fixed in their Con ftitutions fuch a rooted Slavery and Fear, that they have scarce dared to be left alone all their Lives, especially in the Night. These Stories have made fuch a deep and frightful Impreffion on their tender Fancies, that it hath enervated their Souls, it hath broken their Spirits early, it hath grown up with them and mingled with their Religion, it hath laid a wretched Foundation for Me lancholly and diftracting Sorrows. Let thefe Sort of Informations be referved for their firmer Years, and let them not be told in their Hearing till they can better judge what Truth or Reality there is in them, and be made fenfible how much is owing to Romance and Fiction.

NOR let their little Hearts be frighted at three or four Years old with shocking and bloody Hiftories, with Maffacres and Martyrdoms, with Cuttings and Burnings, with the Images of horrible and barbarous Murders, with Racks and red hot Pincers, with Engines of Torment and Cruelty, with mangled Limbs, and Carcafes drenched in Gore. It is Time enough, when their Spirits are grown a little firmer, to acquaint them with these Madneffes and Miseries of human Nature. There is no need that the Hiftory of the holy Confeffors and Martyrs fhould be fet before their Thoughts fo early in all their most ghaftly Shapes and Colours. Thefe Things, when M 4 they

they are a little older, may be of excellent Ufe to discover to them the wicked and bloody Principles of Perfecution both among the Heathens and the Papifts; and to teach them the Power of the Grace of Chrift in fupporting these poor Sufferers under all the Torments which they fuftained for the Love of God and the Truth.

LET their Ears be ever kept from all immodeft Stories and from wanton Songs: From Riddles and Puns with double Meanings and foul Intentions: Let them not be fuffered to read wanton fefts or amorous Romances: And due Care fhould be taken to remove all Books out of their Way that may defile their Imagination, or teach them the Language or the Sentiments of Impurity. Nor let their Eyes be entertained with lewd and unclean Pictures, and Images of Things or Actions that are not fit to be expofed. Thefe Things indeed have too often an unhappy, Influence to corrupt the Fancy and the Manners; and in riper Years have been the Occafion of numberlefs Mischiefs: But especially they should be kept far away from the Sight or Hearing of Children, Jeft too deep and dangerous Impreffions be made in thofe early Years of Life. Nothing but what is chafte, pure and innocent fhould come within the Reach of their Eyes and Ears. Even the common Neceffities and Actions

of Nature

fhould be always expreffed before them in


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