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ту attention and care may be useless ; but such instances are not frequent.
24. Seldom does it happen that he who interests himself in the education of his children with a truly enlightened, active and indefatigable zeal is put to fo painful a trial. The fruits of his labors may not often discover themselves till late ; if he do not live to reap the fruits himself, they may, nevertheless, one day come to maturity.
25. Besides, when I have given all my attention to the education of my children, I have nothing with which to re. proach myself, even though it shall have been of no use. In this case I am not the author of their misery ; I have not contributed to it. How great foever it may be, I ought not to consider it as a punishment on me, but as a disaster I could not possibly prevent.
26. Preserve me, O my God, if it may be, from this greatest of all distress. Gracious God! Thou seest.my beating, trembling heart ; hear the prayer of a parent ! Protect the feeble creatures thou hast committed to my care! Suffer them not to become the deplorable victims of debauchery and vice.
27. Uphold and direct them, that they may never go astray and be lost. Make their path straight before them. Support them in the way of life ; and let innocence, truth, virtue and piety always accompany and preserve them. Let them be heirs of unfading glory ; let them be safe through eternity
28. O that my children may be heirs of God, and joint heirs of Jesus Chrift! Should they be foon removed hence, may it be into Abraham's bosom ; or should they longer be continued here, may they be gathered at last, as a shock of corn, into the celestial garner.
29. Give thy blessing on all I have undertaken with this view, and on whatever I shall hereafter undertake. feeble efforts are ill directed, they are at least sincere. Sup. ply my deficiencies, and grant me, Oh my God! more light and knowledge, that I may choose the best means, and Rot be discouraged in the discharge of my important duty.
30. Happy, inexpressibly happy, shall I be, if at the hour of death, and in the day of judgment, I may be reunited to my children, never more to be separated ; and be
able to say, in the transports of joy, “ Behold me, Lord, and the children thou hast given me.
31. They have, like me, happily finished their course they have kept the faith, and persevered in their obedience ; and now they humbly wiit, with me, for the recompense which thou hast promised to those who have been faithful unto death."
32. With a view to all these blessings would I bring them, in the arms of faith and love, to the divine footstool, and resign them to the disposal of infinite goodness and mercy. To that kind and gracious God who gave them would I humbly commit them, to be guarded by thy prov. idence, ministered to by thine angels, infuenced by thy Spirit, conducted fafely through the dangers and evils of this world, and preserved to thy everlaiting kingdom in the other.
A CHILD'S REFLECTIONS ON HIS DUTY. 1. IN what a state of weakness and dependence, O my God, are the children of men born! When they come into the world they are much more feeble, much more dependent, much more exposed to dangers than the most senseless animals. It is but flowly, and very late that they acquire sufficient strength to stand alone, without the assistance of
2. But this arrangement is the effect of thy paternal bounty. Thou intendest we should be raised above the brute creation, and become intelligent and moral beings. But such we cannot become but by a constant intercourse, and the daily instructions of persons better informed than ourselves.
3. And it is in order that we may enjoy this fociety and inftraction, that thou hast so closely united us to beings of the same nature with ourselves, and placed us in such a state of dependence on one another.
4. I revere thy will, O my God; and I return thee thanks for the ties which unite me to my parents, and all the advantages I derive from it.
5. Yes, I perceive how feeble and dependent I am, and desire to think and a&t accordingly. Happy shall I think myself, if filled with love and gratitude to my parents, I fulfil my obligations to them with a tractable and joyful heart.
6. How great are my obligations to them! What should I do without them ? Surrounded from my birth with ten thousand dangers, I should probably not have escaped any one of them, if the supporting and watchful hand of a father or a mother, or of persons who supplied their place, had not protected and fnatched me from the dangers which threatened me.
7. Exposed to a thousand wants, without the power of fupplying them; a prey to hunger and thirst, to cold and heat, to forrow and disease, I should have fallen a vi&tim to all these evils had it not been for the assiduous attention of those who were around me, and their care to supply my want of knowledge and of strength.
8. For how long a time hath this state of weakness and dependence (in which I still in a great degree find myself) continued ? À stranger to every thing, the least thing fills me with fear and trouble. My mind, as feeble as my body, falters at every step, falls into a thousand errors, and, daz. zled by a false luftre, fuffers itself to be easily led astray by vain appearances.
I have not yet acquired sufficient experience to confide entirely in myself. To-day I judge totally different of men and things from what I did yesterday. Knowing but little of the design of my being, and the means of attaining it, I cannot yet tread with a firm and steady foot in the path of life.
10. How much do I need an enlightened and faithful guide ? Without such a director I run the risque of straying into a thousand obscure bypaths, the victim of every impoftor who wishes to abuse my credulity, and the sport of eve. ry accident.
11. But who amongst mankind will guide me with more kindness, prudence, and circumspection than a father or a mother? My parents are the first and furest guides I can
have in the journey of life, which is to me at present an unknown road. They will give me the benefit of their expe. rience, light and strength.
12. They will warn me of the dangers I run, and remove the obitacles that lie in my way. They will teach me to distinguish reality from appearance, and to form a right judgment of mankind and the objects around me. They will raise me when I fall, and encourage my trembling steps.
13. They will lead me insensibly to wisdom and virtue, to the knowledge of God and religion, which they will teach me to study and to follow, as the noblest and most friendly guides to man, the most faithful and the surest conductors to happiness.
14. How great then are my obligations to my parents ! How can I ever acquit myself to them, and sufficiently acknowledge my gratitude! How much have my maintenance, my early education, and the improvement of
my mind already cost them ; and how much anxiety, pain and labor have I not occasioned them!
15. How many conveniences and pleasures, and accommodations have they not given up on my account ! How many tears have I made them shed for me! How much difappointment and distress have they experienced for me ! How much more have they watched, labored, and lived for me, than for themselves !
16. And have I never made a perverse return for their love ? Have I never repaid their kindness with ingratitude ? Yet they have never ceased to give me new proofs of their tenderness, and never ceased to labor for my happiness.
17. Alas ! it is now I fee ny faults. The idea of having occasioned them anxiety and mortification, and of having grieved their hearts, affliéts and tears my own. shamed that by obstinacy and disobedience I have hindered their good intentions in my behalf, and failed in my duty to thern.
18. I will try in future to repair these faults, and to give them only satisfaction. To this my best endeavors shall be directed. Filial piety shall direct and animate all my conduct. I will say and do nothing that shall displease them.
19. I will make it my greatelt pleasure to obey them, to
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afford them every service and assistance in my power, and to become their confolation and their joy. I will give myself sincerely.to their direction, instantly obey their commands, and, if pollible, even anticipate their wishes.
20. The end to which I will direct all my efforts shall be to make a good use of all the means of instruction they procure me, that I may become more intelligent and wise, and hereby make the best return in my power for all their kindness.
21. Thus will I endeavor to lighten their burdens, re. lieve their cares, and rejoice their hearts with the pleasing hope that their labor has not been in vain.
22. Preserve me, O merciful God, from the levity and inconftancy of my age. Let the idea of thy presence, and of thy will, confirm me in every good resolution I have formed, and do thou affist me to execute them with perse. verance and fidelity !
A YOUTH'S REFLECTIONS ON HIS DUTY.
1. HOW pleasant is the season of youth! Like the fine days in the spring, it composes the prime of life, and promises in future a rich harvest. But, alas ! it passes away with the same rapidity, and the hopes it raises are often as de. ceitful. In the moral, as in the natural world, the fineit blossoms do not always produce the fruit we had reafon to expect : 2. “ Fair is the bud his vernal morn brings forth,
And foffering gales awhile the nursling fen.
re blighting whirlwinds, Spare its balmy prime." In vain are our wishes ! Too often, blasted by the hoar frost, or torn by the tempest, the faireft buds of hope, and the most promising plants perish, with the precious feed which they enclose.
3. How must it ami&t the perfon, arrived at the matu. rity of manhood, when he casts his eyes over the days of