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degree of originality. It is a plan, 10o, calculated to awaken thought and inquiry in the mind of the parent, and to lead to the discovery and correction of faults. It is a plan successfully pursued in many branches of instruction, and may well be applied to that of imparting instruction to parents, in regard to the education of their children.
To give our readers some idea of the work, and to prepare the way for the observations which we intend to offer in ihe concluding part of this article, we will briefly notice the contents of the volume, and transfer to our pages a few extracts as specimens of the style and manner of the writer.
The leading topic first introduced to our notice, is the wrong estimate which many parents form of the earliest character of their offspring. It is laid down as "a truth incontrovertible, and of momentous bearing, that all children, without exception, possess tempers that are irascible ; dispositions which are selfish; propensities of various kinds which tend to evil; that they are impatient of restraint ; that they dislike obedience to parental authority, any further than it comports with their own inclinations ; that they are averse to regular industry; and that they prefer the pleasures of sense to all other gratifications.” To these statements every one who is at all acquainted with the subject, and who has no theory to maintain contrary to facts, must yield his unqualified assent. Thus it ought ever to be borne in mind by parents, in forming their views of education, and in regulating the discipline of their children, that they are depraved, radically depraved, so as to be strongly biased 10 evil, and to need powerful influences to subdue their wills and overcome their natural passions and propensities. Many, however, seem to lose sight of these truths, and from a fond partiality to the objects of their affection, act upon the belief, that they are naturally almost as much inclined to good as to evil. An error of this kind must necessarily be a fundamental one in education. It will invariably lead to a superficial treatment of faults, and to an undue and misplaced confidence in the virtuous qualities of the child. On this subject our author remarks:
* From thirty years experience in matters of education, in various forms and under various circumstances, during which I have had opportunity to notice the management of children in many families, and in many parts of the country, I am fully persuaded that an over-estimation of their good properties, and insensibility to their faults, lie at the foundation of most of the mistreatment which they receive from their parents, and is one of the greatest causes of their little success.
This evil is blended with every other, as giving birth to it or aiding its effects.'
The next topic of discussion is the personal neglect of pareits in conducting the education of their children. It is no doubt a fact, and a deplorable one too, that many parents make various objects of pursuit paramount to the all-important end of training up their children to virtue and usefulness here, and glory and happiness hereafter. They have so set their affections on the pleasures the honors, and the wealth of this world, that their highest aim is to secure for themselves the enjoyment of these, and to put their children in possession or pursuit of the same objects. Hence those may be found “who sacrifice the future wellbeing of their offspring to the love of present ease or of pleasure;" and others, who neglect their parental duties, by wandering in the wily mazes of ambition; and still more, who, in their eagerness to be rich, involve themselves in so extensive and complicated business concerns, as leave them little opportunity to superintend the education of their children. The latter remark is especially true of many in our cities, who are successfully engaged in mercantile transactions, and whose time is so completely occupied with the management of their affairs, as to cause the neglect of family discipline and instruction. These are induced to commit the education of their children to others, who are poorly qualified 10 stand in the place of parents, and through whose injudicious management, ruin and blighted hopes are often the consequence. But these courses are commonly as unwise as they are pernicious and criminal. For, in the language of our author :
•What lustre can the highest official station give, which an abandoned child will not quickly tarnish? Of what avail is it to acquire property for one who neither knows its value nor how to preserve it? Or of what use is it to endeavor to dignify one whose character is essentially base ? Would it not be well for parents sometimes to reflect, whether it would not be better for their families to be a little less wealthy, if in consequence of it their children might be rendered more capable of using what they did possess to better advantage?' pp. 37, 38.
The next subject treated of in the order of the work, is the government of children. Among other topics embraced under this head, modern views respectiny discipline are examined ; the causes of inefficiency in parental government are pointed out; penalties for misconduct are considered; and the question is answered, At what age should discipline commence? We prefer that our readers should become acquainted with the author's views on these points from the pages of his work, rather than attempt to communicate them through our own. Whether they adopt all his sentiments or not, they cannot fail to receive important bints, that will repay them amply for their time, and the labor of perusing the work. We are next presented with remarks on the style of intercourse be
tween parents and children. A greater distance between the father than between the mother and the child is recommended, as requisite to the orderly management of the family, and 10 a just gradation and distribution of powers. It is regarded as a predominant error of the present time, that parents indulge in too great familiarities with their children, to the risk of maintaining their ascendency over them, and at the hazard of that dignity which is necessary to command respect. Our author, however, would by no means recoinmend or countenance coldness, austerity, or a baughty and overbearing demeanor, on the part of either parent All he urges is, that they should avoid excessive fondness and familiarity, which remove all restraint, encourage rude, pert, and uncerenionious questions and answers, and invite indecorous treatment of various kinds. He means, that parents shall maintain a deportment in the intercourse with the family, which shall constantly inspire the minds of their children with respect, and that shall make it manisest to all who are at the head of ihe household, and
possess authority and maintain the right to govern. The next subject relates to the disclosing of the faults of children to their parents, and the unreasonableness of some who are unwilling to be informed of their children's misconduct. Our limits will not allow us bere to make any extracts; but we must pass on to the next topic, to wit, the necessity of parental vigilance in the education of children.. By vigilance, the author means “a merited attention on the part of the parent to the formation of the character of his child, a constant oversight of bis conduct, and a due care that this oversight shall not be withdrawn by himself, nor eluded by the latter.” The parent should possess a knowledge of all that pertains to the character and conduct of his children. He should know the places which they frequent, the company which they keep, the books which they read, and, as far as possible, their most secret practices and habits. The child should never be capable of deceiving the parent on any of these points. He should be made 10 believe and feel, that he is strictly accountable for all his actions, and should be often required to give account of himself. Nor should he be permitted to place himself in circumstances of temptation, by parental approbation, and the facilities afforded him for that purpose. As our author justly remarks:
• parent who exposes his children to all the collisions of an unrestrained intercourse with companions in nocturnal revels ; who provides them with the means of procuring hurtful enjoyments, and who, believing that all this is a matter of course, makes no inquiry as to their places of resort, and the manner in which they are employed, does enough to excite all their latent energies of evil into action, and gives
ople per tuan bis trei consent to their fall derelopment.
The darkA. 1, l, lite sterne al reprorers, the cossciousness of safety from Theater, 13e sunuci musk, ibe glee of south, the influence of wine,
w residi Babilon, the presence of companions mutually exciting die lewe led, permanent/r pitate their taste, and debase their moral A 8, de- frog a relish for animal gratifications. Such occasions,
The next top
revts in conduct doubt a fact, ar various objects training up the and happiness
subduing their moral sensipleasures the highest aim and to put i jects. He being of t1 ure;” and
duct of parents toward their children when at school; and this
A chapter is next devoted to the choice of schools, and the coning in th eagernes
cha Mer is well worthy of the perusal of all who wish their children plicated
should enjoy and improve the best advantages which their cir
cumstances afford. In the conclusion of the work, the author alperinte ludes to the early condition of those who are now in middle lile,
” and reputation; and finds it as a fact, so especi ged in
though respectable origin, and liegan the world with poverty, or
far as his inhmation extends, ibat most of them were of humble negle
mih an outtit at least bit moderate. On the other hand, a large proportion of those whose parents were wealthy, have become reduced in properly, and many of them live and die in poverty. education, the one being trained up to habits of self-denial and intraces the causes of these different results to different courses of dustry, the other to habils of idleness and self-indulgence. These
boarding up treasures for their ed
children. Ther should teach them to devote their property to
ohjects of benevolence and public utility, and to act on the princier b
ple of doing the greatest possible good with their earthly treasures. i
To say nothing more, this is the safest course for the future respectability and happiness of those for whose character they are held, in a great measiire, responsible. It is the surest means of producing those results which every virtuous parent wishes for his offspring.
Taking leave of the work under review, we will close this article which it treats. And that we may not deviate from the plan of the with a few thoughts of our own, on the all-important subject of further defects in the education of children. they educate their children solely for this world. In love with it
1. It is a radical and fundamental error with many parents, that which wealth and learning and talents bestow, to enjoy the highthe first ranks of respectability and fashion, and, from an elevation est worldly advantages. Hence their first inquiry is, how can they be put in the way of such attainments? And the whole course of
to co lyc jud seg are
and affluent in our country, who are
education is shaped accordingly. The child is taught to look upon certain objects in this life as his supreme good, and the strongest possible motives are urged on his mind to induce him to pursue them with the utmost ardor. His pride, his avarice, his love of personal aggrandizement, are called into early and constant exercise, in order to form those principles of action, which in the parepts' estimation are essential to success in life. Under this discipline, he becomes a little worldling before he knows the meaning of the term; and all the parents' influence, both of precept and example, is afterwards employed in shaping and strengthening the character which they have been so successful as to form in the period of early childhood. The consequence is just what, under the circumstances, might be expected. The depraved propensities of human nature in the child are well adapted to give efficiency to such treatment. His choice fastens on the world, and his plan is formed to secure that portion which he has chosen. pose is intensely fixed, to pursue a course of self-gratification and aggrandizement, and no ordinary means will overcome his selfishness and lead to right principles of action. God and his government, the soul and ils eternal destinies, are forgotten ; moral obligation is kept out of view; conscience loses its susceptibility; the mind is blinded, and the moral being becomes a low and groveling animal, without any lofty aspirings after true glory or immortality. Such, we fear, is the kind of education, to a great extent, prevalent in our country at the present day. But how totally at variance is this with duty! how utterly opposed to the divine requirement, that children should be trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord ! how destructive to the happiness of those concerned, both here and hereafter !
Let every parent educate his offspring for God, and not for this world. Let his first lessons of instruction be of such a kind, as to turn the infant heart to its Father in heaven,as to make it feel moral obligation. Let the child be taught that be is not bis own, but that he is bound to glorify God in his body and spirit which are his. Let his parents surrender him up to his rightful owner and prepare him for his service. Let them refer all their plans respecting him to the divine will, and regulate their conduct 10ward bin, with the abiding conviction, that they are the stewards of the Lord, intrusted by him with the care and education of their offspring. Then will the world be made to take its proper place, and parental counsel, and parental discipline, and parental influence, all combine to train up a generation for usefulness in this life, and for blessedness in the lise to come.
2. It is a great fault with many parents, that they underrate the importance of the education of their children, and form too low an estimate of the greatness and difficulty of the work. VOL. VIII.