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use words concerning any part of the Old Testament, which so much as seem to impute to it any wrong passions of men. All was written by the inspiration of that Spirit, whose "fruit is love, "joy, peace, meckness." Were all parents, or even all Christian parents, as attentive, from the very earliest dawn of reason in their children, and as judicious in educating them, as it may be possible for us to conceive, or as one out of ten thousand perhaps actually is, possibly "the rod of "correction" might be wholly dispensed with yet your correspondent seems to allow, that there may, in some instances, be need of it. But, as things actually are, and ever have been, whatever may be witnessed in future years, it has been, and is, generally indispensable. I, also, am a parent, and have been highly favoured as to the success of my plans of education; which I the more review with admiring gratitude, because conscious of failing continually in applying even my own rules. In many respects I aimed to act on the plan of your correspondent; and especially, from principle, never corrected, or even sharply reproved a child, for any thing which did not imply moral evil; of which I was earnestly desirous to give him a conviction, as being sinful before God, needing repentance and forgiveness; and the propensity to it as hateful, and ruinous to happiness, except changed by divine grace. Submission, application, self-denial, and regard to the authority and will of God, leading to a conviction of the need of a Saviour and salvation, were my grand objects; and corporal correction was sparingly and seldom used, and always
directed to the one point of submission, which, when attained, the correction ceased, or terminated in expressions of affection; but, till that was effected, it was only suspended, not terminated. I believe, that even less use of "the rod of cor"rection" might have sufficed, if I had fully entered into the same views and plans at first, which I adopted at last, and had conducted correction more as "a means of grace," as, in certain circumstances, I have since been induced to consider it; but I never was an advocate for frequent and severe correction. Neither should correction ever be given in haste and irritation: it should be preceded by shewing the evil nature and tendency of the crime corrected, by stating to the child God's command to parents to correct their children, the neglect of which will expose them to correction from Him, and by prayer for a blessing upon it as a divine appointment.
While actually employed in training up my children, I was under the necessity of considering Solomon's maxims on the subject, which did not, and do not, appear to me to be marked with severity. I will adduce the passages, and my remarks upon them.
Prov. xiii. 24. "He that spareth his rod, "hateth his son; but he that loveth him, chast"eneth him betimes."- The perverseness of our fallen nature renders correction necessary to children. He, therefore, who indulges his son, connives at his perverseness, suffers him to contract vicious habits, and to grow stubborn in rebellion for want of correction, acts as if he hated him; because he permits those diseases of
the mind to gather strength, which will prove the sources of inexpressible sorrow to him in this world, and, perhaps, of eternal misery: whereas the parent who wisely loves his child will early begin to teach him submission, application, and the government of his passions; and, having bent the tender twig, and established his authority, he will gradually be enabled to rule him more by persuasion and argument, and to treat him with the lenity of a kind and prudent friend. But, when children are permitted to get the mastery in their tender years, they can scarcely ever afterwards be taught subjection; and the attempt is often made by a severity which is both perilous and painful.'
'Perhaps the modern improvement, of sparing the rod and spoiling the child, and of teaching children various kinds of knowledge, without habituating them to submit to superiors, to apply at stated times to things useful, and to exercise self-denial, has not only made way for much profligacy, but has also introduced a system of insubordination, which has shaken Europe to its very centre. Obedience to the authority of parents is the best preparation for subjection to every ordinance of man" in future life; nay, it is a good means of bringing young persons to submit to God, as inuring them to the idea that self-will must be subdued. And, when destructive and irrational fondness prevents parents from thus subduing the rebellious spirits of their children, the event will generally prove, that their worst enemies could not have done them a greater injury. It should, however, be observed, that
correction is properly the work of parents; and that important and delicate trust can seldom be safely delegated; at least it should be done with great caution. For, when this exercise of authority is separated from tender affection, it often becomes a species of tyranny, productive of most pernicious consequences. How dire, then, the effect, when the parent himself, not knowing how to govern his own passions, sets his child an evidently bad example, even when correcting him for his faults! In general, no man can well govern others, who cannot govern himself; and it too often happens that chastisement, having been neglected in tender years, and afterwards attempted with violence and severity, drives young persons for refuge among bad companions; renders the company of the parent terrible, at least unpleasant; and makes way for a ruinous alienation in future life. Happy, then, are those young persons whom early and judicious correction, good instruction, with kind and wise regard to their time of life, have taught to consider their parents as their best friends and counsellors, and their most pleasant companions, nay, their most faithful confidants.'
Prov. xix. 8.-" Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare1 for his crying." 'Chasten thy son before he hath contracted bad habits, and becomes apparently incorrigible; and do not refrain because of his cries. Or, Do not concur in his mischiefs, (by conniving at them,) or in his ruin.'
Marg. to his destruction, or, to cause him to die. ·
Prov. xxii. 5.-" Foolishness is bound up in "the heart of a child: but the rod of correction "shall drive it far from him." The child is naturally given to foolishness: but seasonable correction is generally, by divine blessing, made successful to expel it.'
"Every kind of foolishness and vice is bound up in the heart of a child, and will be unfolded by years, temptations, and opportunities: but the discreet use of the rod of correction has a powerful tendency to check its growth; and when used in dependence on God, and in obedience to him, is an appointed means of driving it away: so that, generally, they who are properly educated, when they are grown old, do not depart from the way in which they have been trained up; but humoured and neglected children soon contract habits of sloth, &c.'
Prov. xxix. 15.-" The rod and reproof give "wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth "his mother to shame." The mother is supposed to have the immediate care of the child during those tender years in which correction is most seasonable and salutary. But mothers are apt to be over indulgent; and, when children are left to themselves, to contract bad habits and to grow obstinate in vice, they become a disgrace to them.'
Prov. xxix. 17.-" Correct thy son, and he "shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight "unto thy soul." The love of ease, and fear of being discomposed and put out of temper, induce many to neglect the correction of their children;