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tend their blissful or baleful influence on their eternal des. tiny. For, as the plant or twig is bent, so will be the tree when it grows to maturity ; just so will it usually be found that, according as the infant mind is trained and bent either to good or to evil, just so will be its character in manhood. It is thus that the child becomes the parent of the future man. And, when we look at this subject in all its bearings on the church and on the world-on the future and eternal well-being or woe of our children—and on the joys and sorrows of parents themselves, we cannot fail to see that it is not possible for us to form too high an idea of its import

What a weight of responsibility, therefore, is evidently connected with the parental relation, and how necessary and desirable is it that parents should duly feel it, and seek the qualifications which will enable them to serve their generation by raising up a seed for God and the church on earth and in heaven. Let us consider

II. The teachers and their qualifications. While the text is evidently designed to lead us to contemplate the family as a school, when it says-" And ye shall teach them your chlldrən," it points out with no less clearness who the teachers are to be. We have already remarked, that children from the dawn of their observation, are learning from everything that surrounds them ; and, as parents, in their earliest years, are most frequently with them, so in the nature of the case, they are also their graatest teachers. This, too, they may be without any design on their part. But, though this is unquestionably the case, yet our text contemplates something far higher than this, and enjoins a duty which must take precedence of eveay other that pertains to the parental relation; namely, the special and direct communication of that knowledge which God has revealed and commanded to be communicated to them. In multitudes of instances, however, it would seem as if the character of teacher were in a great measure dropt, in the present age, from that of the parental, whilst all our modern arrangements and appliances for training the young seem to have a strong tendency toward taking the formation of youthful character altogether out of the hands of parents. But, it should never be forgotten, that parents are constituted the teachers of their children by the express appointment of God, and that any arrangement that overlooks this great fact, or that sets aside this appointment, can neither be wise nor safe. The family, indeed, is the great primary school of the world, in which the infant mind receives its first impressions and its first lessons, by which it must, in the nature of the case, be in a great measure mould. ed. And in place of overlooking or setting aside this great fact, all our educational arrangements and appliances should have a tendency to aid this, by rousing parents to pay a just measure of attention to it, and endeavoring to qualify them for the due performance of their duty in this matter. So plain and explicit, too, is the command of God, that no parent can be justified in neglecting or transferring the duty to others, unless he is placed in such circumstances as to incapacitate him for discharging it. So long, therefore, as it is said—“ And ye shall teach them your children," parents are to be regardnd as the divinely appointed primary teachers of their offspring ; and they cannot neglect or transfer this duty to others, without neglecting or setting aside the ordinance of God.

As God has thus clearly defined who are to be the teachers, so he has no less clearly pointed out what are to be their qualifications—“Therefore," says he, “ shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.” In these words, we have a beautiful and highly instructive description of what every parent should be, as the head and instructor of his family. The words of God, thereby referring to the doctrines to he believed, the commands to be obeyed, the ordinances to be observed, the prophesies to be fulfilled, the promises to be realized, and the threatenings to be dreaded and shunned, are to be laid

up

in the heart and in the soul, that they may enlighten the understanding, regulate the conscience, and sanctify the affections, that they may from thence flow out into the actions of the life, and qualify them for teaching the whole will of God, and for being living examples of all that the Lord our God requires of us. The soul, in all its views, emotions and exercises, is to be entirely under their influence; and this it cannot be, without being at the same time " a living epistle of Christ, known and read of all” who behold it. The allusiou, also, to a sign or signet upon the hand, and frontlets between the eyes, beautifully illustrates the prominence which should be given to the "words of God," in their practical bearings on the life. The religious parent is not to be ashamed nor afraid to give the utmost prominence to his piety before his family. On the contrary, his deep and abiding reverence of God, his faith in Christ, and supreme love and devotedness to him and his cause, and his constant obedience to his commands and ordinances, in private as well as in public, are to mark all his course, and infuse their influence into his whole character, if, as a religious parent, he would be duly qualified for training up his children for God and for the church, either in this world or in heaven. Having thus glanced at the qualifications of the teachers, let us consider

III. The matter and the manner of the teaching which

God has enjoined. “And you shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest iņ thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon

the door-posts of thine house, and upon thy gates.” Such is the injunction of God on this all-important subject; and it is so plain, that he' who runs may read it. In the present age, however, the great object which many of the leaders of public opinion seem to have in view, is to banish religion from education, and secularize it as much as possible, under the vain and groundless plea that it is too sacred to be mixed up with the common routine of instruction, or too difficult and sublime for the mind in childhood to have to do with it. But here, as in everything else in regard to which the depraved heart of man is left to judge for itself, “ God's thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor his ways as our ways.” God says, “These my words, you shall teach your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risést up ;

but no, say these modern theorists on the training of the infant and youthful mind; for this would be to preoccupy their mind with truths before they can be supposed capable of understanding them, and would therefore lead only to hypocracy. Or, if anything is to be said on the subject of religion, say they, why not confine it to the Sabbath and the sanctuary? Why should we be always talking about it? Is not this the sure way to disgust the young mind in reference to it, and to fill it with prejudices against it? But to all such objections, how plausible soever they may appear, it is enough to adduce the explicit command of the text. For, can

For, can we suppose, without being guilty of the grossest impiety, that the Creator of the human soul, and the unerring Judge of the universe, can be in error on such a subject as this, and that we can amend any of bis institutions ? The very thought is blasphemy; and the efforts which are made to carry it into execution are fearful acts of rebellion against God. If we had no relations to sustain, nor duties to perform, nor evils to dread, nor hopes to cherish, but those which arise from our connection with the present world, it might be all well enough to exclude God and his words from the family circle, and from all parental counsel, and warning, and example; but so long as it is true that the human soul is immortal; that, in consequence of the aposcy of our first parents, it enters this world in a state of sin ; that it is prone to depart from God, even from its earliest days ;

that the world is full of errors and allurements calculated to lead to destruction ; that it is not capable of guiding or saving itself and that the words of God alone point out the way which leads to salvation here, and to glory hereafter, just so long will it be wise and necessary for parents not only to lay them np in their own heart and soul, but constantly to put forth their best efforts, in order to give them a place in the heart and soul of their own children. Nothing short of this, indeed, can prepare them even for the proper discharge of their secular duties of future life, or for safely mingling in its corrupting scenes, or for bearing its many diappointments and afflictions, or for securing the guidance and the blessing of God during it, and for at last closing it in peace, and entering on an eternity of glory and blessed

ness.

The parent, then who duly feels his parental obligations, and endeavors to act up to them, will ever be dilligent in teaching the words of God to his children, speaking of them when he sits in his house, and when he walks with them by the way–when he lies down, and when he rises up ; nor will he be ashamed to have them as ornaments or mementos upon the posts of his house, and upon his gates. The men of science or antiquarian research are not ashamed to have their habitations adorned with the emblems of their respective studies; and why should not the Christian have his ornaments and everything around him, proclaiming that God in Christ, and his words are all-in-all to him? Thus, should the family conversation, the family example, the family wor. ship, the famliy instruction, and the family mansion in its ornaments, all conspire to train up our children in the words of God, that from their earliest days they may know," the way in which they should go." In place of leaving them to the negetave and cheerless influence of a godless system of education, and to the consequent complete secularization of the 'heart, in all its aims and pursuits, the Christian parent wiil endeavor so to instruct his children, that they will never be able to recollect the period when these were unknown to them, or when their heart and conduct were not directed to a supreme regard to them. For surely it requires no argument to show that nothing is so worthy of engaging the first recollections of the mind as "the words of God," nor any- . thing so important as to have the heart-before it is immerced in the cares and anxiety of life-fully brought under the guidance of God, the grace and the love of Christ, and the attractions of heaven. And to attain this, should elicit the daily efforts and the daily prayers of the Christian parent, As he sits in his house, or walks by the way, or lies down, or rises up. It is, indeed, to be the one great object that is to be ever before his mind, in reference to those whom God has placed under his care. Nor can this be done without experiencing the most ample reward. Let us, therefore, consider

IV. The happiness which may be expected to result from this. “That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord 'sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.' There are those who would make us believe that these, and all similar promises of a temporal nature, which we meet with under the Old Testament dispensation, have no place under the New, and that it is now vain to look for their fulfillment in the experience of any, no matter how faithful they are in discharging the duties with which they are connected. But so long as it is true that “in the keeping of God's com mands there is a great reward," and that “ godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come,” and that there is a natural adaptedness in a life of piety to promote the universal well-being of man, I cannot see how that such interpretations of Scripture can be according to truth. The pen of the Old Testament inspiration declares, that “ the way of transgressors is hard," and that "many sorrows shall be to the wicked;" declarations which we find to be as true now, and as descriptive of the actual dealings of God with the various classes of transgressors of the present age, as ever they were in ancient times. And why should not those of an opposite character still hold equally true ? Is it not as true now as ever it was, that " the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,” and that his character in the government of the world is still the same? If parents, then, of the present age faithfully fulfil the duty which is enjoined in the text, we feel persuaded they may safely cherish the expectation " that their days, and the days of their cbildren, will be multiplied, as the days of heaven upon the earth,” just as long

be for their good, and the glory of God. It is quite true, however, that the chief and most glorious part of the recompense of the reward " is spiritual, and such as can be fully enjoyed only in the heavenly state ; but this was as truě of the Old as it is of the New dispensation; and the faithful Israelide, as well as the faithful Christian bad to “look within the veil," for it. If it is a blessing, then, for parents to have their children preserved to them as the sources of hope and joy to them in future years; and a blessing to children long to enjoy the instruction, the example, and the prayers of parents, the faithful discharge of the duty enjoined in the text is surely far more likely to secure it than the neglect of it; for in this, as well as in everything else, we shall no doubt find the declaration to be verified: "Them that bonor me I will honor ; but they who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” But though this, we feel persuaded, is the only correct sentiment that can be entertained on this part of the subject, viewed as a matter of Divine promise, yet we need not rest the matter here. For is it not à truth (indelibly impressed on the experience and observa

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