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patient teacher, to render it efficient. It is the mainspring of improvement, and if suffered to rust from neglect, impairs the motion of the machinery of the mind. Indifference or rebuke, destroys its elasticityto answer all inquiries, is to lead the child up the hill of science, and prepare him for future usefulness.
Impress, deeply, upon the minds of your children, the importance of always speaking unvarnished, unprevaricated truth. Among the old pagan Persians, not a liar could be found.—In our Christian land, liars are more annoying, and as common as musquetoes in Au
be found even in our churches. How great the contrast in morals! Some wicked parents teach this vice to their children purposely, as an adjunct of pilfering.-Some good fathers and mothers teach it through inadvertency. It is sometimes induced by too severe punishment for faults committed, causing the child to resort to falsehood, to avoid a castigation. Other parents teach it by practising deception on their children, which cannot long be concealed. In other instances, parents make promises to their children, only to break them, and thus inculcate this ill habit. Some parents wink and laugh at fibs in their little ones, as a mark of cunning and sagacity, instead of crushing the propensity in embryo. This is leading them into temptation, and not delivering them from evil. Some parents and teachers injure their children and pupils, by blunting their sense of shame, a powerful principle of human nature, that requires the most delicate and skilful hand to manage it to advantage. It is the hair-spring of the machine, and is operated upon by the least movement of the regulator, which, if turned too far, lets it out, and deranges the motion
may as well
of every wheel. Shame should be brought into action, only to correct the grosser errors,
You take the hair-spring from a watch, as to paralyze shame in a child, by over working it. The more delicate it is, the more readily will a rough hand destroy it.
To balance, properly, HOPE and FEAR, in children, is a matter of high importance, and of rare attain ment. Hope, without fear, engenders rashness—fear, without hope, destroys mental and physical energy. The former is the motive-power, the latter, the safetyvalve of human society and civil government. A family is a government in miniature.—What is proper for one, is proper for both, notwithstanding the greater often indulges in wrongs, for which it would punish the lesser.
Parents and teachers, before they are prepared to balance these two great principles in children, must effect an equilibrium in themselves, and pursue a consistent, uniform course, in precept and example. Excessive indulgence one day, and chilling severity the next, will soon cause a vibration in the best balanced mind of a child. Thus, a teacher, at school, may destroy the good work of a correct parent; and the bad management of a parent, may counteract the unwearied exertions of a judicious teacher. This subject requires more attention than it receives.
To produce an equilibrium of hope and fear in the minds of children, they must be taught the cause and the certainty of rewards and punishments. They must be made to fear to do wrong because it is a violation of right, as well as an exposure to punishment and to hope for a reward when they act correctly, because the natural result of good actions; and that a good
character is their highest reward in life. They should be taught to shun evil because it is sin, and to do right for the sake of righteousness. Such hope is not selfish—such fear is not slavish. Let them have a reasonable share of rational, innocent, and healthful recreation, and a fixed time for receiving instruction, either from oral lessons or books. Impress on their minds, the importance and advantage of system in every thing. Let them learn and practise the mottoa time and a place for every thing, and every thing in its time and place. Finally, teach them the enormity of every vice, and the blessings of every virtue, that they may early learn to shun the former and practise the latter. Above all, teach them pure and undefiled religion. The subject may appear trifling—it is so treated generally, and, because so treated, and because children are not properly trained, our county prisons and penitentiaries are crowded with felons, and our country with thousands more who ought to be there. Train up your children in the way they should go, and you will rob the penitentiary and the gallows of many a subject, and save souls from perdition.
This is an amiable, and, discreetly used, an advantageous quality. I have somewhere read of two goats that met midway, on a narrow pass, over a deep gulf. Neither could turn round to go back, without danger of falling off, and one very courteously laid down, and permitted the other to walk, not harshly, but gently over him, and both passed on in safety. This is not the first wise lesson I have learned from brute ani
mals, who act much more consistently than some men, who claim reason for a guide, but seldom follow its directions.
In passing over the highway of life, it is often necessary to condescend to accommodate our fellow travellers, and put ourselves to mutual or individual inconvenience, to get along smoothly. By condescension, I mean not that any one shall yield a single thing that is not clearly right, or submit to any thing clearly wrong-but if we meet another in straitened circumstances, when he can neither go back or forward, without using us, gently, let him do it—do not be too particular which shall be walked over. The great social law of humanity requires, that we should grant all accommodations to our fellow travellers, that cannot essentially injure us, or that will not compromise the fixed principles of truth, justice, and righteousness.
If a more yielding disposition was exercised in things that tend to better and ameliorate the condition of man, and a more obstinate resistance made to injustice, vice, and immorality; peace and happiness would be promoted, and social order advanced.
In the domestic circle, obstinacy, and a want of mutual confidence, do much mischief. Instead of advising with each other, and profiting by mutual counsel, husbands and wives too often seek the advice of others, who have no interest, and perhaps less capacity, in giving safe counsel. "Many a husband would have been saved from shipwreck, had he made a confidant of his wife in all his business, and taken her advice. No one can feel as deep an interest in his prosperity and happiness as she should, and does, if worthy to be a wife. Children should yield implicit obedience to
parents, and even manhood should not place them above their counsel. The best lessons on this subject are contained in the Bible—the best experience, in the enjoyment of religion.
CONSISTENCY is a jewel of more value to the human family, than all the precious stones and gold of the earth. It is the prime minister of mind, giving healthful vigor to reason, prudence, discretion, and common
Be consistent, was long a motto of the old Romans—when this became obsolete in practice, they ceased to be.
It was the motto of our revolutionary sires, and is still the watch word of every old school patriot among us—the Simon Pure republicans of our land—the salt of our free institutions. True, we have much of the paper currency of inconsistency in circulation, but I flatter myself, we have a sufficient quantity of the genuine coin in the vault of patriotism, to redeem enough of this paper, should a pressure come upon us, to save our country from bankruptcy. But, to render us safe, as a nation and people, the virtue of consistency must be more thoroughly and generally inculcated, Inconsistency is a rank, poisonous weed, and is taking deep root in our soil. Confined to no age or country, its unholy leaven, once introduced into the mass, ma suddenly pollute the whole lump, and produce fearful and rapid destruction. Its march is onward; it gains force and velocity, and the moment it is permitted to pass the summit of the inclined plane of reason, the