prompted by prior motives : nor is this argument above the capacity of those it is addressed to. Even a child may soon perceive so much, that he is not so wise as

parents : That if he follow his own fancy in opposition to their judgment, it is very likely, both that he will do mifchief, and have cause himself to repent it.


For, together with the superiority of their understanding, he will observe also the tenderness of their affection. Their advice, he must soon be sensible, is sincere and honest and disinterested. His other Counsellors, (and his pasions are to be reckoned among the number,) may be his enemies; and generally they are at best but their own friends. But his pa



very sure, will be faithful to him. Their's are the counsels of kindness, and their reproofs the effects, and very often the best tokens of it. There can be no difference between him and them, but about the means: the VOL. II.



rents, he

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thing aimed at on both sides is the same ; it is his welfare, honour, and happiness. They would be glad to gratify even his humour, but they prefer his lasting good. No other consideration, but the view of his advantage, could prevail with them to offend him.

This affection which your parents bear towards


and the great good they have done you in consequence of it, give them ftill another title to your consideration and respect, a right to be regarded by you for their own sake. And if in some instances you were persuaded, and truly too, that their counsels were not the most advantageous, this would not immediately exempt you from all obligation to comply with them. Gratitude, and some tenderness surely on your part, in return for so much on their's, must be allowed to have weight, and come in to supply the place of more selfish considerations. Must your own satisfaction be the end of


all your measures? or rather, cannot you receive fatisfaction from the gratification of others? Will it afford you no pleasure, to give it to your best friends and greatest benefactors? You may part with something, were it to the mistakes of such persons; and exchange, with no great loss, your own desires for this pleasure

of pleasing

Conscience, it is acknowledged, you are not to give up to any. Neither Father nor Mother must prevail with you to be wicked, and to disobey your Creator. Nor will they tempt you to do it. The injunctions of Parents are of another Sort, the same with the commands of your heavenly Father; to be good Christians, to be diligent, fober, honest men. Lay aside your apprehensions : I take upon me to be responsible for it, that you will meet with little difficulty on this head; but have full scope to oblige and please both your Father and Mother, · I 2

without Would then the

without the danger of violating any one of God's commandments.

If the two parents themselves be divided in their sentiments, the preference is due to him, to whom even the other parent is bound to be subject. But they are not apt to be divided, or mistaken in these cases; not in their advice to their children, however they may in their own practice. Even

en parents, who cannot prevail upon themselves to be virtuous and good, would yet wish, and will kindly and wisely exhort their children to deserve that character. There is no envy in their hearts: they will be glad to see themselves excelled by you as far as you please: and their advice will be safe, though their example may be dangerous.

parents, but

of for that one limitation, be absolutely boundless ? Is there nothing that can pos. fibly be brought into competition with


it, dare

it, besides the command of Almighty God? Can no advantage be so great, no inconvenience fo pressing, as to counterbalance it?

Before a child is yet arrived at the age of discretion, which he must be content to estimate by the laws and customs of his country; while he is in the family, or educated under the direction, and maintained by the substance of his parents, his obedience may be unreserved. He can hardly exceed in it. Their authority is then at the highest; and then also of the greatest necessity and use to him.

Afterwards, and always it will indeed be

great, but not absolute; and let me have leave to tell you, your reasons and objections, whenever you dispute it, ought to satisfy not only yourselves, but wife and good men, disinterested, without prejudice, and well acquainted with both fides of the question. Otherwise, if you 13

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