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HINTS TO PARENTS :

A

SERMON

ON THE

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION OF CHILDREN.

BY GARDINER SPRING,

PASTOR OF THE BRICK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE CITY OF

NEW-YORK.

NEW-YORK:

PUBLISHED BY JONATHAN LEAVITT, 182 BROADWAY.

JOHN T. WEST, PRINTER.

1833.

Apr. 30, 1928
LC 361
sra

HARVARD UNIVERSITY
SLADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

MONROE C. GUTMAN LIBRARY

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1833, by John T. West, in the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New-York.

SERMON.

Ephesians vi, 4.

"And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring

in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

them up

WHOEVER turns his thoughts toward the construction of human society, will be convinced that the religious education of children constitutes one of the great means of grace and salvation. It is in the power of parents, with the blessing of God, to do more to prevent the declension of vital piety, to suppress the prevalence of religious errors, to advance the interests of truth and godliness, to reform and save the world, than can be accomplished by any other

means.

I speak of a religious education. And yet there are so many things that ultimately go into the account of a religious education, and exert a powerful, though indirect influence in forming the moral character, that to confine my remarks to that course of education which is purely religious, would be to take a very limited view of the subject. The inquiry we present to your consideration is, What is the nurture to which the Word of God and sound

course.

experience direct us, that is most likely to result in the salvation of our children? To answer this inquiry, as fully as it ought to be answered, would require a volume, instead of a single dis

I can offer but a few hints on this important subject. My design in the following remarks, is to call your attention

To some particulars in the education of children, to which the efforts of parents should be specially directed;

To some of the measures to be adopted in the prosecution of these desirable ends; and

To some of the encouragements and motives to the faithful performance of this parental duty.

I. I will call your attention to some particulars in the education of children, to which the attention of parents should be specially directed.

And here I remark,

One of these is, the habit of subordination. Subjection to authority is the ordinance of God; and if there is a sphere where it ought to maintain its perfect and unbroken influence, it is the family. The God of nature has subjected the years of childhood and youth to parental control; nor can this wise and benevolent constitution be inverted, without jeoparding the best interests of our children for time and eternity The habit of subordination is one of the happiest preservatives from a thousand evils. The spirit that consults a parent's wishes ; that reluctates from violating a parent's authority;

that prefers to sacrifice its own gratification, to a parent's choice; is not only one of the strongest shields that can be thrown around the youthful character, but forms one of the links in the chain that often leads to early piety. Though it is not every dutiful child that is pious, yet it is much more probable that such a child will become so, than one of an obstinate, unbending temper. "If it be true, that there are more pious women than men, it is to be ascribed very much to this circumstance, that they are more habituated to restraint and subjection."

A sacred regard to truth is also a habit of the first importance to be instilled into the mind of a child. In this respect there is a great difference in the disposition of children. I have seen those who rarely, if ever, told a falsehood; and I have seen those who seem to be born with a lying tongue. It is wonderful to see how the early habit of extravagant and false representations cleaves to the human character; and it is mournfully affecting to know how strong a barrier it throws in the way of holiness and heaven. Children should be taught the immense importance of always speaking the truth; and should be made to feel, that love, confidence, and honor; or, detestation, distrust, and disgrace, will follow them, as they are observant or regardless of the claims of veracity. Every false declaration, every art of conceal

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