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the most modeft Forms of Speech that our Mother-Tongue can furnish us with. In this Refpect, (as the Poet fays) Children fhould be treated with great Reverence.

Maxima debetur pueris reverentia.

IT is confeffed that Books of Anatomy and other Parts of neceffary Science are proper to be written, and thefe may be confulted by Perfons who are grown up to a due Age, especially by thofe whofe Profeffion requires it. There is alfo fome Neceffity of foul Narratives where foul Crimes are committed and ought to be publickly exposed and brought to Juftice and Punishment. As the Affairs of Mankind ftand, thefe Things cannot always be avoided; But there is no Manner of Neceffity that Children should read them, or rash unguarded Youth.

FOR fome of the Reafons before mentioned there fhould be a wife Conduct in thewing Children what Parts of the Bible they should read: For though the Word of God expreffeth all Things with due Decency, yet there are fome Things which have been found neceffary to be spoken of in Scripture, both in the Laws of Mofes, and in the Representation of the Wickedness of the Gentiles in the New Teftament, in which adult Perfons have been concerned, which there is no Neceffity for Children to read and hear,

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and they may be paffed over or omitted among them. The Jews were wont to withhold Solomon's Song from their Children till they were thirty Years old: And the late pious and prudent Bishop Tillotson (in a Manufcript which I have feen) withes that those Parts of the Bible wherein there are fome of the Affairs of Mankind expreffed too naturally (as he calls it) were omitted in the publick Leffons of the Church: I think they may as well be excepted alfo out of the common Leffons of Children, and out of the daily Course of reading in Family Worship.

LET Parents take as much Care as they can in the Choice of Companions and Playfellows for their Sons and their Daughters. It would be a happy Thing if Children, who are bred up in Schools, could be fecured from the Company and evil Influence of other Children who curfe and fwear, who take the Name of God in vain, and ufe filthy and unclean Language. Mafters and Miftreffes fhould be very watchful and ftrict in their Inquiries into the Behaviour of their Scholars of both Sexes when they are out of their Sight, that if it were poffible there might not be one among them whofe Lips are impure or prophane: For one difeafed Sheep may infect the whole Flock. However, where Children find fuch Immorality practifed by any of their Fellows, they fhould be taught to fhew their utmost Abhor

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rence of it, and fpeedily forfake fuch nicious Company.

SECT. IX.

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A Guard fet on the Sports and Diverfions of Children.

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S Parents fhould take Care to have their Children employed in proper Learning and Bufinefs, fo they fhould not think it beneath them to concern themselves a little about their Sports and Recreations. Human Nature, efpecially in younger Years, cannot be conftantly kept intent on Work, Learning or Labour. There must be fome Intervals of Pleasure to give a Loose to the Mind, and to refresh the natural Spirits. Too long and intense à Confinement to one Thing, is ready to over-tire the Spirits of Youth, and to weaken the Springs of Activity by exceffive Fatigue. It is an old Simile on this Occafion, and a very just one, that a Bow kept always bent will grow feeble and lofe its Force. The alternate Succeffions of Business and Diverfion preserve thé Body and Soul of Children in the happiest Temper: And Learning is more closely purfued, and Work better done after fome agreeable Relaxations. The young Creatures ap

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ply themselves to their Bufinefs with new Vigour after the Enjoyment of fome pleafurable Releafe.

I CONFESS it would be a confiderable Advantage if the various Parts of Learning and Bufinefs in which Children are employed, were fo happily contrived, that one might be as it were a Relaxation or Diverfion, when the Mind is tired with the other: And if Children have a Tafte and Relifh of Reading and Improvement of the Mind, there is a rich Variety of Entertainment to be found in Books of Poetry, History, Accounts of the Wonders of Art and Nature, as well as ingenious Practifes in mechanical and mathematical Affairs. It is happiest indeed where this Relifh is the Gift of Nature; yet Children may be trained up by wife and alluring Methods, to delight in Knowledge and to choose fuch Sort of Recreations, especially in Winter Nights and rainy Seafons when they cannot enjoy the more active Diverfions abroad. Yet befides thefe fome other Sorts of Sports will generally be found neceffary for Children of almost all Difpofitions.

AND their Sports ought to be fuch as are in fome Measure chofen by themselves, that they may be Matter of Delight, yet ftill under the Regulation of the Eye and Prudence of a Parent. No fort of Play fhould be permitted wherein facred Things become a

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Matter of Jeft or Merriment. No Sport fhould be indulged wherein foul Language, ill Names or Scandal are practifed; wherein there is any Violation of Modefty or of the Rules of Decency and Cleanlinefs; nothing muft be fuffered wherein there is any Breach of the moral Precepts of the Law of God; wherein Cozening or Cheating, Falfhood or Lying are practifed or allowed. They fhould be confined to Honefty, Juftice, Truth and Goodness even in their very Play.

THEY fhould not be permitted to use such Sporting as may tend to discompose their Spirits, diforder their Nature, injure their Flefh, prejudice their Health, break their Limbs, or do Mischief to themselves, or each other. This fhould rather be the Play of Dogs or Horfes than of Children.

NOR fhould they ever be allowed to practife thofe Diverfions that carry an Idea of Barbarity and Cruelty in them, though it be but to brute Creatures. They should not fet up Cocks to be banged with Cudgels thrown at them about Shrovetide; nor delight in giving a tedious lingering Death to a young Litter of Dogs or Cats, that may be appointed to be deftroyed and drowned, left they multiply too much in a House: Nor fhould they take Pleafure in pricking, cutting or mangling young Birds which they have caught, nor ufing any favage and bloody

Practices

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