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writer, that for a Christian mi- One word on the supposed connister to make the graces of lan- nection between classical taste and guage and diction the end and flowery language, and I have object of his studies, rather than a done. I cannot help suspecting collateral assistance in publish that the writer of the article in ing their result, is not only use question, had in his eye, when he less, but criminal; I still think, spoke of the preachers of elegant that in the paper in question, at- sermons, and“ adorned with the tention to classical pursuits is con- graces of finished composition;" demned with rather too large a some of the half-taught students measure of severity. It has long of the second or third year, heapbeen the practice of religious phi. ing trope upon trope, making lanthropists, to represent in the “ ships sail through the clouds, strongest manner the claims of and fishes swim in the air;" conthe poor ; that they are perishing founding all the elements of nafor lack of knowledge, and that ture, and supplying, from imagitheir souls are worth as much as nation, things not to be found in those of the rich. This is per- heaven above, or in earth below. fectly true, but it does not follow It is quite certain that the most that they are worth more. The homely sense is far preferable to soul of a Cabinet Minister is of as such nonsense. But surely we much value as that of a carman, never heard any thing like this and equally in want of the bread from a man who had formed his that never perisheth. The mis- style from the classical models. fortune of the poor man in having It was not thus that Cicero arbeen born and educated in the raigned the traitor; nor did Dedeepest ignorance, is fully ad- mosthenes thus awake the slummitted, and readily meets with bering patriots of Athens. A sympathy and relief; but the single progress through the Latin equally great misfortune of the grammar may prompt an attempt, rich, in being born and educated by way of anticipation, upon some amidst prejudices which steel the things which, though not found in heart against the influence of the London, may possibly be at Rome; truth, procures little attention and and it is thus that a slur is cast less succour.
on the very name of a classical It is not very unnatural that the preacher. But if the style of the preacher who attempts to convey pulpit “ ought to be distinguished religious instruction to the man of by great vigour and strength,” if birth and education, in language " searching truths are to be adwhich betrays ignorance of what dressed in powerful and searching his hearers have been accustomed to language,” and “it is confessedly consider the first rudiments of even a difficult attainment to acquire a youthful knowledge, should be masculine and resolute style, withregarded by him as unlikely to be out a tincture of harshness ;" then a proficient in the (as he thinks) let not the candidate for the honour abstruse science of theology, nor of having converted a sinner from is it surprising that unwelcome the error of liis ways, think it beand unwonted tidings should not neath him to give his nights and be favourably received from a days to the difficult task; let him herald, apparently so destitute of take Quinctilian for his text book, credentials. Let him follow, in and Tully for his model, and this respect, the example of the soften down every“ tincture of unlettered fishermen of Judea, harshness,” by familiarity with the who can, like them, heal the sick, flowing numbers of Virgil. If and cast out devils.
eloquence be “ the art of persuading,” let him learn it of those This is certain, that whenever who lived where eloquence was a such instances do oceur they hordistinct profession and study, since rify our feelings much. We think it is to be his business to " per- we have a right to expect better suade men.” Language, to be things, and are therefore somecorrect and good, need not be what surprised, and of course much crabbed and unintelligible. A de- more affected, by the unhappy parture from clearness and sim case. plicity of style is generally con- If we suppose the statement sidered an indication of want of true, (and facts will warrant such familiarity with the best models.. a supposition,) it may be worth our Thinking that the young ministers while to inquire if any reasons for of the day do not want an induce. so appalling an evil can be given. ment to idleness, I have presumed If so, it is possible that some mode to trouble you with the obser- of cure may be suggested, or at vations of
least some warning sounded, which MARCUS. may tend to make the evil less fre.
When we state that the sons of ON THE TOO FREQUENT PROFLI.
ministers partake of the same corGACY OF MINISTERS' SONS.
rupt nature as others, although
we make an alarming and humiliaSEVERAL such cases have come ting remark, yet, as this is only in under my observation, and more common with others, it hardly than one are now exciting very seems to account for the case. painful feelings. My mind has Especially, as we naturally conhereby been led into the following ceive, that such have greater intrain of thoughts; which, if you ducements to resist this corrupthink useful, you will give it tion, and more powerful helps to publicity in your appropriate Ma- enlighten the mind, to train the gazine,
conscience, and give steadiness to The observation is frequently the conduct. made with grief, if it is by the We shall come nearer to the godly, but sometimes with exulta- exact case by fearing, tion by the carnal, that the sons of 1. That the children of ministers Gospel Ministers often turn out have sometimes less care taken of very flagitious characters, and sink the piety of their education than into vileness beyond others. Cer- the children of other serious charactainly whenever such circumstances ters. This may seem a weighty occur, they are great stumbling- charge. Where, however, it is not blocks; they give occasion to the just it will fall lightly. enemies of religion to blaspheme, Observation may teach us, that and bring, among the friends of the the parents of such children are Gospel, strong suspicion against liable to all those foolish fondthe more immediate relatives. nesses by which so many promising
Whether the sons of ministers dispositions of the young are inare more often of this description jured, and so many vicious tenthan the sons of lawyers, physi- dencies encouraged and exaspecians, or persons of any distinct rated. This we do not expect, class, might be fairly doubted. but finding it to be the fact we But to settle that point is not my must not deny it; but rather mourn present object; it occurs often over a weakness so injurious, and enough to make an inquiry into it against which the Scriptures give worth the while, if undertaken in a so many warnings. serious spirit.
But where this does not appear, our fears may be justified by ob- sometimes, under the smarting sufserving the mothers, with whom ferings occasioned by such sacrithe training of the infant mind must fices, made not to piety or beneof necessity rest. Now, without volence, but to custom, or variety, supposing in them any uncommon or imperious inconsideration. I deficiency of knowledge, love to have even thought it a great haptheir children, or of real piety, we piness to a wife and a mother, in may say, there are many hindrances such a case, to have just so much and temptations, peculiarly be. illness as might make an undelonging to their situation as wives niable excuse for absence ; espeof ministers.
cially if it were not so great as Such women are, in a degree, might incapacitate her for her public characters, in proportion as motherly cares and duties at home, their husbands are in a larger or which have gone on delightfully smaller circle. I have known the while such enjoyments have left mother of six or eight young ones, her own house clear from interrupwho required, of course, her own tion. eye, care, and labour every mo. The present day has made a miment, hindered, absolutely so nister a much more public chahindered, by morning callers, as racter than formerly, by giving not to be able to keep her young him other work to do in various ones together for ten minutes. societies, and schemes of benevoThose who called expected to be lence. These have also raised the waited on; each party supposing wife into more notice, and have that half an hour could be no ob- almost forced her into a publicity ject; and supposing, too, that if it not natural to her sex, not desirewere their individual rank and im- able, nor comporting with her doportance in the place, and sub- mestic duties-duties which canscriptions might entitle them to not be neglected without great insuch an indulgence -- not con- jury. sidering that themselves were only When, on such occasions, I have one of twelve or twenty parties of seen the mother of an infant brood callers every morning. A sen present at a public meeting, and sible woman must groan under have known that at home all was such useless hindrance; but she confusion and mischief the while, must groan to herself, for the least I have sighed for her; and doubted whisper of a sigh, in such a case, much if she were not quite out of would be resented, by all such as her duty, in giving her presence were so thoughtless as to give oc- where many could well fill up her casions for it.
place; and leaving a situation, a Again, in visiting ; dinner par- direct charge given her by Proties consume almost a whole day vidence, the duties of which no in the preparation and enjoyment: one but herself could fulfil. and even tea parties destroy many Were the loss occasioned, by precious hours, which might be such repeated invasions of her usefully spent by any mother and time, only that which a seammistress of a family. Yet if the stress could rectify, it would not minister's wife were to send an ex- be very serious. But that wo. cuse, the lady of the house would man does not deserve the name of think herself slighted. “ She might mother, whose absence can be have waited upon me.” How many made up by any assistance. Her precious seasons in a week are, in own eye and heart, her gentle ausome cases, torn thu from the real, thority, or her sweeter blandish. the important duties of infantile ments, are all wanted -wanted ininstruction. My heart has ached cessantly, if the minds of her chil
dren are to be cultivated, if their to absent herself a moment. 0 manners are to be formed, if their that “ never absent yourself a conduct is to be reprobated, and moment,” could be echoed in the the principles which are to guide gadding mother's ears! How eathem in life are to be engrafted, sily we quiet our consciences, by fostered, and assisted in this blos- devolving upon others the duties soming time of the human plant which we feel disinclined to fulfil divine. These plants will grow ourselves. Will it be wonderful, if no care is taken with them, but will such mothers have reason to how distorted, how unsightly, how complain, if they find their servants unproductive of the first ripe fruits. to be no more conscientious in Many a ruinous self-will might be this case than themselves ? traced to this want of timely Indeed, the servant being left check ; and I will say too, want of in charge with the young brood, is that soft controul which a mo- no palliation of the evil, but a ther's feelings dictate; and which great aggravation. Servants are is more powerful and more suit- generally deficient in knowledge, able to the softening some dis- often destitute of principle, most positions, than all the father's commonly without any religious stern authority. This may silence feeling, and sometimes absolutely the rebel, but that disarms him. vicious. Yet to such careless care Many a lively disposition has run are the little immortals committed, wild, from mirth to mischief, and while the cruel mother deserts her soon to crime, from want of watch- paramount duties. Yes, she might ing, of instruction, of mild expos- remember, if she gave it a serious tulation ! Fretfulness, that bane thought, that most of the knowof future life, is hardly to be de- ledge she gained concerning things tected, and cannot at all be coun- of which she ought to have reteracted, by those who are not in- mained ignorant, was from the cessantly on the spot. A placid servant; that most of the feelings countenance can be made up indulged, which have given her against; Mamma comes home; pain through life, were fostered and a sort of mutual understanding by the servant. Yet, with all this obtains, by which, without any dear-bought experience, she incompact, the little delinquents trusts to similar instructors the avoid telling each other's mis- fine minds, the growing passions, doings, as the only way of esca- the depraved souls of her immortal ping mutual and inconvenient re- offspring. Betty, and Molly, and criminations; what follies are in Susan, may be blamed justly; but dulged into habits, what vices for justly too may the blame rise want of being nipped in the bud, higher. Can such a process be take deep root in such circum- called education ; can it give hope stances. Is it any wonder that, in of future excellence, steadiness, future life, these bear their poi manners, or knowledge, in the sonous berries, and bring disgrace wild things thus let loose on each and ruin upon the family, as the other, and then on the world ? consequence of only being out It may, perhaps, be stated, as upon a visit, or present at a pub- in contrast, that when the mother lic meeting.
is at home she is very careful of It will be urged, perhaps, that them, hears them read, and say the children are not left wholly their hymns and catechism, as alone, (though this must often be often as she can, and is very strict the case,) but are under the care with them. Those must know noof the servant, who is particularly thing of children, who can think charged to be watchful, and never their reasoning sound, or their
conduct satisfactory. The senti- is evidently too much for one; ment of Jacob may apply in this both had need set to the arduous case, the children are young and task, with all their concentrated tender, and if the flock be over- energies; happy if their whole driven one day, all the flock will powers prove sufficient to the budie. The mischief of one day's siness; happy if no negligence on absence will not be repaired by either part produce or suffer detethe next day's care; the ruinous rioration to form the rising character. sentiment imbibed in one hour's But has the father a moment's baleful lesson, may lie dormant time? If he is a man of study, awhile, possibly, but may also which he ought to be, he must burst forth, and operate to the pass many hours in retirement; latest hour of life. The slow poi- and he says he cannot either read sons work the surest; because, as or write while the children are in no symptoms give alarm, no anti- the room; they must be sent to dotes are applied.
their mother; all the while that If the children of ministers are he is studying, or rather, that he thus liable to peculiar neglect in is in his study, they are absolutely their infancy, from the numerous neglected by him, as much as if engagements to which their mo- they belonged to the person at thers are exposed, we shall, per- next door. When this is occahaps, find similar negligence en- sioned by real necessity; it may dangered by the father's multi be excused, but yet must be lafarious occupations.
mented. It is well, however, if Their growth from infancy to this principle is not strained too childhood is gradual, and gradually far, and a habit of passing the should they pass from the mother's children to the mothers, is not to the father's care; or better, thus generated, and grows to when the mother's care still con- a guilty forgetfulness of those tinuing, the father's endeavours imperious duties, which God, are superinduced, as the rising age and nature require of every faand evolving powers require, and ther; anxiously to endeavour at will bear more close attention. his children's welfare in every
Does not the father frequently possible way, and in this of their satisfy himself with thinking the pious education, more especially. mother sees after them, when his He will add, perhaps, that his conscience tells him it is high pastoral duties carry him much time he took them more or less abroad. In a large interest, the under his own care. This may business of visiting the sick alone, relate to the sons, perhaps, with occupies many an afternoon; and more urgent propriety than to the renders it impossible, when away. daughters; yet they are all his from home, to keep any regular children, and have demands upon school hours with his children. his parental feelings; and if his. Yet, when the state of the finances parental feelings are not sadly be- occasions a necessity for taking numbed, his very affections will care of other people's children, by claim a share in the privilege of actually keeping school, these rearing the tender thought, and several duties are united, and time teaching the youug idea how to is found for them all. shoot. The mind of a child, in all Public services not relating to its bearings, will find work enough his immediate charge, but to the for both father and mother; if general cause of religion in the they are willing jointly to culti- country, the nation, the world, vate that prolific field, where there under the name of Bible, Tract. is a number of children, the labour Missionary, and many various