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be corrected or improved in it; the management, and see what may insensibly have gone wrong, or been relaxed : to hear objections attentively and candidly, both from approvers and disapprovers of the scheme; for amongst the latter may be persons of consequence and of value, though under the dominion of prejudices: to rectify or vindicate things, as the case requires; and not let their good be evil spoken of*. The choice of masters and mistresses for the schools is a most essential article of their trust. These ought never to be taken from motives of selfinterest, importunity, compassion, cheapness; or any other, than a well-grounded persuasion, that they are qualified, by their serious and practical faith in the protestant religion, their skill and diligence, their spirit and temper, to teach the children, committed to them, their duty to God and the king, together with the means of getting an honest livelihood. For neither of these, without the other, will suffice, But as keeping them to work may be more for the private emolument of the master or mistress, than principling them well ; and a failure in the former is more easily perceived; there must be a closer watchfulness over the latter. Yet they are not to be taught an uncharitable vehemence against papists, like theirs against us; much less an imagination, that such bitterness is religion enough : but a fervent affection for the doctrines and precepts of primitive Christianity, with a conscientious dread of making either of none effect through the commandments and traditions of men t. At the same time, whatever indulgence, whatever appearance, may exalt them, either in reality, or but in fancy, beyond their due rank, is to be prohibited most peremptorily. If * Rom. xiv. 16.
+ Mark vii. 7. 13. Col. ii. 8.
knowledge of accounts, or even of writing, will tempt them to think they are above the meanest business: they had much better have little or none of it imparted to them. And in all respects they should be brought up so, as will induce them to look upon their subsequent apprenticeship in the light of a preferment.
For preserving the institution in this vigour, it will be extremely material to keep a frequent correspondence, entering into particulars, with the local committee of every school; to compare the management of one with another, diffuse the notice of whatever good economy hath been any where introduced; and recommend it to all, who can properly make trial of it. Once * a prudent and experienced person was sent to visit a considerable part of these foundations : to examine their state, and propose diminution of expences, improvements of their lands, useful regulations of various kinds. Possibly a repetition of this practice, at moderate intervals, with a report to the committee of Dublin of what had appeared on the enquiry, might have more good consequences than can be at present distinctly foreseen.
In putting the children out, it is of the utmost moment, that the persons, who take them, be not only nominal protestants, but real Christians. For indeed they had better turn papists again, than become such profligates, as the examples and common talk, it may be feared, of some families would make them. They had better think wrong in several articles of religion, than scorn the whole : and be ready to do mischief in particular points occasionally, than in all constantly. But one would contrive most studiously to secure them from both : and for that purpose, if possible, not to place them with popish fellow-servants; at least without a mixture of others. And if those who are entrusted with them, would but have the goodness to bestow some peculiar attention on their moral and religious conduct, it might often prevent the loss of all that had been done before; and both they, and the rest of their house, as well as the poor children, would be the better for it.
The priests, we are told, pursue them to the remotest corners of the island, in hopes of recovering them. Surely then we should be as anxious to retain them. But above all, the ministers of their parishes ought to eye them without intermission ; inculcate upon them the most earnest cautions not to discredit their education; and engage them in the firmest promises, whenever they are attacked, either in point of doctrines or duties, to apply for help from them immediately. Our adversaries obtain and perpetuate their influence over their people, by having much intercourse with them, by letting themselves down to them. They are wise in their generation *. If we hope to be a match for them, we must imitate them. And then, as they act thus partly for their own private ends, and we can do it only out of kindness, we shall so far have the advantage. Not for this reason only, but for many more, ministers ought to reside in their parishes, and sow spiritual things where they reap carnal . The legislature ought first to make provision for residence in a sufficient number of places, then to require it. And mere personal abode, with a legal performance of stated offices, ought by no means to be regarded as the substance of parochial duty. It is not a formal Luke xvi. 8,
ļ 1 Cor. ix. 11.
and indolent, much less a gay and voluptuous, but a self-denying, condescending, pains-taking clergy, that will do good: who are instant in season and out of season*: who knowing the terrors of the Lord, persuade ment to avoid them; who loving his promises, invite men to partake of them. Now, if the laity would have such pastors as these, they must prefer and recommend such, discountenancing others. And if they would have the labours of these effectual, they must permit them to have a due effect upon themselves. Else our religion will be reproached and blasphemed for their sakes : which, would they observe its rules, we might hope to see honoured and embraced. For it is remarkable, that in those counties of Ireland, where protestants are strictest, papists are fewest.
But then, if whilst we in England say these things to our neighbours over the water, we set them a pattern of doing the contrary; if our laity are profane, if our clergy are supine: we shall exhort them with an ill grace and small success. Therefore let us begin to amend, and there will be some prospect of their following. Or if they begin, let us think it more honour to copy them in what is right, than to lead in what is wrong. And God grant we may both consider one another, to provoke unto love and good works ; and so much the more, as we see the day approaching I: too probably the day of national calamity, unless we avert it by a speedy reformation; but certainly the day of death, and that awful account, which every one shall give of himself to God g.
2 Tim. iv, 2.
Heb. x. 4. 25.
+ 2 Cor. v. 11.
PREACHED AT THE PARISH-CHURCH OF ST. MARY,
LAMBETH, NOVEMBER 5, 1758.
JOHN xvi. 2, 3.
They shall put you out of the synagogues : yea,
the time cometh, that whosoever killeth
will think, that he doth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they
have not known the Father, nor me.
The various evils of human life are, all of them, just matter of serious and melancholy consideration : but each in its due proportion and degree. Such of them, as flow of necessity from that order of things, which Providence established in consequence of man's original transgression, are undoubtedly very heavy and afflicting : labour, pain, sickness, death; whether befalling us, or our friends. But a great alleviation of them is, that God inflicts them on us, not man; and uses them to serve excellent purposes, of teaching us resignation to himself, and compassion to each other; of weaning us from this world, and exciting in our hearts earnest desires of a better. So that these calamities, being a wholesome, though rough, exercise of our virtue and piety, may be considered, in this view, with comfort enough. But such as proceed from our own mutual injuries, though even these work together for good to them that love