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deal upon the authority of your teachers, as they are more experienced than yourselves, and as, at your tender age, your judgment cannot comprehend the reasons of every thing. Some truths you commit reverently to memory, and in after life, when your judgment becomes mature, and your knowledge more extensive, you will find them of the greatest advantage, both to direct your course, and strengthen you in piety and holiness. With respect to both those truths, which you receive upon the authority of others, and to those truths, of which, by instruction, you can understand the reasons,—your progress will be more easy to yourself, and more encouraging to your teachers to exert themselves in improving you, if you shall be docile, humble, and attentive. A stubborn, conceited, and careless child, will remain always in ignorance, and at last fall into sin and misery. He will bring down upon him the punishment of his teachers, lose the love of his friends, and incur the displeasure of that good and powerful God, on whose favour he depends for all he needs, and all he delights in.
II. The next duty to man, which I shall recommend to your particular attention, is that of obedience to your parents, and those under whose charge and teaching you may be. I say nothing here of the divine command to obey your parents, because I have already treated of that in the Sermon on the Duties of Children to their parents! What I urge here is general obedience to them and to all, who are charged with either instructing you in knowledge, or putting upon you those restraints, and regulations, which may be necessary to establish both good principles and good habits in you, while you are young. You, as yet, know but little, and therefore cannot judge of the reasons, by which such persons may be guided in the rules laid down for your conduct, or the tasks marked out for you to execute. You will, in consequence, perhaps sometimes be apt to think their commands harsh, or their restraints useless, when, in truth, they tend to both your real welfare and happiness. Persons who have lived many years, have studied, and have acquired knowledge and experience, see the remote effects of early practices and habits, and their connexion with your bodily and spiritual interests, and with the formation of your general character. They see reasons, which you cannot see, till
shall have their experience, for denying you in many things, and accustoming you to labour in many things. You must, if you wish to benefit by their care and wisdom, commit yourselves to their direction, and cheerfully exért yourself to do what they teach, though it may seem disagreeable to your inclinations. For example, you might think it much more to your pleasure and comfort, if your teachers or parents, instead of
insisting upon your attendance at church on Sunday, would permit you to play about in the fields. But you would perceive, as you grew older, that this would be not only encouraging you to disobey and displease God, but also laying the foundation of sin and misery; and that you would find yourself disappointed in even the pleasure you expected.
Or again: you may fancy your parents, or masters, are putting upon you an unnecessary restraint, because they will not allow you to keep company with certain other children, that you would like to play with. But your parents and masters are much better judges of the real characters of children, than you can be. They know that you would be led into evil by such company, and therefore, for your good, they forbid you to join them. Obey their commands; and not only obey them, but obey them with good-will, and with a thankful sense of their kindness in taking such care of you. Be just as careful to do what you know they wish you to do, whether they expressly tell you or not, whether they are present or absent. For by any other course of conduct you would not only be wicked and ungrateful for their attention, but also deceive yourselves (not them) to your own destruction.
III. When you happen to do wrong, and are reproved, or even punished, do not be sullen or stubborn, but remember that it is for your own good you are corrected. Instead of being angry with those who correct you, be angry with yourselves for having committed faults, or encouraged dispositions which need punishment. Do not be rebellious against those who would make you wise and good, and thus happy; but turn your resentment against your sin, which is your real enemy, the real cause of your punishment, and the worst disturber of your peace.
The last duty I will mention to your parents and teachers is, that you love and reverence them. This will make all your other duties easy and pleasant. Nothing will be more delightful to you, than to do what
you think will gratify those who have been good to you. And especially you must do this, because you love and desire to please Jesus Christ, your Saviour, who bade little children to come to Him, and laid His hands upon them, and blessed them, and said that of those, who are like good children, is His kingdom composed. Do you, young friends, , continue to seek Him, and cleave to Him, and learn to be instructed in His holy word; so that He who on earth embraced and blessed little children, may embrace you“ with the arms of His mercy,”and make you“ partakers of His everlasting kingdom!"
1 Office of Baptism.
DUTIES OF A YOUTH.
PREVENT us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
GEN. viii. 21.
THE IMAGINATION OF MAN'S HEART IS EVIL FROM HIS YOUTH,
No words can more plainly than those of the text, set before the youth the judgment of God's Holy Spirit, that the Christian soldier has an early lesson of vigilance to acquire, and has entered a service, for which his discipline must begin, as soon as he is capable of using either the offensive or defensive armour of the Captain of his salvation. The corruption of his heart is at work early, and he must early be on the alert to watch and oppose its dangerous movements. With respect to the duties, and