« AnteriorContinuar »
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
Dear Madam, ALLOW me to offer you a few observations upon this forbidding subject. Your own knowledge and proper sentiments upon this, as upon many other topics, render it needless to recommend, or dissuade from many things, which in a mere treatise on Education it might be proper to insert, in order to meet the circumstances of all persons by whom it might be perused. You are fully aware that the only object of punishment is remedy or prevention, and that the moment the parent's own feelings are commingled with it, it ceases to have this character, and it also fails of accomplishing its end, since children, who are the keenest of observers, soon infer from tones, and looks, and actions, when they cease to be the subjects of discipline, to become the objects on which the parent gratifies his temper; and from that moment the bosom of the child feels a sense of estrangement and injury. I have no doubt also that you will feel, that where education is commenced as early as it ought to be, the best system adopted, and properly pursued, there, punishment of all kinds would be unknown. Punishment is an evil; and, like all evils, it originates in the imperfection of human conduct.
It will also be evident, that in proportion as the best system of education is adopted early enough, and pursued with an approximation to perfection, there also the need of punishment will be proportionably diminished. I will suppose, however, that at some period or other of the infancy of your child, and from some cause or other, your will, which ought ever to be your law, your word, which ought ever to be unalterable, have been withstood by your infant. He has refused to do something which you have commanded, or to cease doing something which you have forbidden. Here is the case to be considered. If you make it a matter of importance at the time, and when his feelings of rebellion are just germinating, you will in all probability awake his self-will into sudden perfection. I would advise, that at the moment you take no notice, but carefully retain the circumstances in your recollection, and choosing some opportunity when he has forgotten the event, and when his feeling has totally subsided, take him with you into solitude, and affectionately yet calmly remind him of all the circumstances: state to him that your will must be obeyed (do not reason with him: reasoning with a young child is thrown away, and always awakens his pride): and then lead him to the scene of his disobedience, and overlook him while he fulfils the neglected duty. Do not seem affected with joy or wonder at his compliance, nor say any thing upon the subject afterwards; and you will perhaps find that your authority is fixed for ever. Should it however so occur that these means fail, they must never be repeated, for their effect depends upon their being but once adopted, and that once being upon the first occasion of disobedience.
Should, however, these means be found insufficient, and should the action complained of be repeated, then it seems advisable that you represent to him how he has grieved your heart. The genuine distress which you will feel, and which he will perceive, will powerfully affect the mind and affections of your infant. Should it however be repeated the third time, then I advise that the only notice you take of it may be, as calmly as possible, to tell him what kind of suffering you intend to inflict upon him upon its being repeated; and when this has been announced, let your conduct as soon as possible assume the same gentle yet decisive tone which
you will ever have adopted towards him. I will imagine the forbidden act to be nevertheless performed; and then, whatever may be the penalty, instantly and resolutely inflict it. If it be that you will send him out of the room, do it promptly and resolutely.
The next question which is of importance is, what punishments you will denounce. Of course you will not think of shutting the little offender in a closet, or tie him in an arm-chair, or make him stand in a corner, &c.; still less will you ever dream of raising your hand against him. Banishment from your presence, and an appeal to his father, are among the most efficacious modes of deterring a young child from the repetition of faults. "Charles has torn his picture book, although I had told him not to do so. I am much grieved; but hope he will do so no more." It is useful also to make his punishment the counterpart to his fault. If anti-social, punish it with solitude. If he is wantonly injuring any thing which has been given to him, tell him, with a look of regret, that you are sorry to punish him, but you are compelled to do so, in order to imprint it upon his recollection: then take it from him. Happy, however, is the mother, whose greatest punishment that she can inflict upon her child is his removal from her presence, or the declaration that she cannot take him with her upon some anticipated excursion or visit.
A well-educated lady, who is in her turn a happy parent, once told me, that she was so educated as that of all punishments she dreaded none so much as to hear her father say, "There, you may now go and amuse yourself;" which she took to mean a dismissal from his presence.
The rules for punishment are very simple; namely, Never let a child be punished for an action which he does not know to be a fault. Never let the punishment be calculated to degrade him in the view of others, for it will then infallibly harden his heart. Never let a child be punished till he has offended in the same way the third time. Never punish him without being sure he has committed the fault in question. And let the punishment you intend to inflict be well considered, and when the proper occasion comes, rigorously inflicted. I have no need to guard you against certain practices, which are nevertheless sufficiently common, in connection with this subject. For instance, you will often see a parent correct his child, and afterwards lavish peculiar kindnesses upon him. If the boy goes to school, he has a holiday; or if not, his mother gives him something fine or nice. This is the atonement which the misguided parent offers to her own feelings. The child fully understands all this: the punishment was thrown away; provision is only hereby made for its repetition; and, above all, the mind of the child himself is perverted and ruined. I am, dear Madam, yours, &c.
TEMPERANCE.A blacksmith, in the city of Philadelphia, was complaining to his iron merchant, that such was the scarcity of money that he could not pay his rent. The merchant then a-ked him how much rum he used in his family in the course of the day. Upon his answering this question, the merchant made a calculation, and showed him that his rum amounted to more money in the year than his house rent. The calculation so astonished the mechanic, that he determined from that day to buy and drink no spirits of any kind. In the course of the next ensuing year he paid his rent, and bought a new suit of clothes out of the savings of his temperance. He persisted in it through the course of his life, and the consequence was, competence and respectability.
BRITISH ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.
No. III. Christianity among the Britons. CHRISTIANITY, having been introduced into Britain during the apostolic age, continued to diffuse its light from one native tribe to another, until they were all in some degree enlightened. As the Roman arms made progress throughout the land, they became the undesigned means of furthering the Gospel. For, reducing all the different nations of South Britain under their government, and establishing a free intercourse throughout the country, they prepared the way for the advancement of the Gospel.
Suetonius Paulinus, who commanded in Britain during the reign of Nero, perceiving that the Druids inflamed the resentment of the native tribes, resolved on their extermination. Their strongest place of security was the isle of Anglesey, then called Mona, to which Paulinus marched his terrible legions, and ravaged the consecrated island with fire and sword. Many of the infuriated Druids and Druidesses were taken captive, and sacrificed by the conquerors upon the altars which they had kindled for sacrificing the Roman prisoners, whose leaders they vainly hoped to
Druidism being thus overthrown, if not quite exterminated, in Britain, one of the greatest obstacles to the progress of Christianity was removed; and we have reason to believe that its influence prevailed extensively, though we have not particular accounts of its divine triumphs. The most popular record we have is that of the conversion of King Lucius: but the ac counts respecting him are so contradictory and absurd, that his story is rejected by every judicious writer, as almost altogether a monkish fable. That our readers may form an idea of the extravagance of this tradition, we shall give it in brief.
Nennius, in the seventh century, the most ancient British historian by whom it is mentioned, says, "In the year 164 from the incarnation of our Lord, Lucius, monarch of Britain, with all the other petty kings of Britain, received baptism, from a deputation sent by the Roman emperors, and by the Roman pope Evaristus."
To suppose that Lucius was monarch of Britain, with many petty kings dependent on him, while the Romans held most of the country, is absurd: but much more so that the Roman emperors, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and his successor Lucius Verus, who were pagans and persecutors, should send a deputation of Christian missionaries to convert and baptize the Britons.
This story became so embellished, that in the twelfth century, five hundred years after Nennius, Jeffrey, a Benedictine monk of Monmouth, says, "Lucius imitates all the acts of goodness seen in his father Coilus, and above all, sent letters to Pope Eleutherius, desiring to be instructed in the Christian religion. That holy pope sent to him two most religious doctors, Faganus and Duvanus, who, after having preached the incarnation of the Word of God, administered to him baptism, and made him a proselyte of the Christian faith. People from all countries assembling, followed the king's example, and being washed in the same holy laver, were made partakers of the kingdom of heaven. The holy doctors almost extinguished paganism in the whole land; dedicated the temples that had been founded in honour of many gods, to the one only God and his saints, and filled them with congregations of Christians. There were then in Britain eight and twenty flamens (head priests), as also three archflumens, to whose jurisdiction the other judges and enthusiasts
were subject. These they delivered from idolatry, and where they were flamens made them bishops, where archflamens, archbishops. The seats of the archflamens were at the three noblest cities, viz. York, London, and Caerleon upon Usk, in Glamorganshire. Under these three, now purged from superstition, were made subject twenty-eight bishops, with their dioceses." To complete this account Jeffrey adds, "The glorious king, rejoicing at the great progress the true religion had made in his kingdom, granted, that the possessions and territories formerly belonging to the temples of the gods, should now be converted to a better use, and appropriated to Christian churches. And because greater honour was due to them than to the others, he made large additions of lands and mansion houses, and all manner of privileges." He further adds, that " 'Lucius departed this life in the city of Gloucester, and was honourably buried in the cathedral church, in the 156th year after our Lord's incarnation."
Though this story is believed by the Roman Catholics, and much of it by many Protestants, yet, as Dr. Henry, in his History of England, observes, "Every one who knows any thing of the state of Britain at that time, must know that it contains as many falsehoods and impossibilities as sentences."
Gildas, a Briton and a zealous Christian, of the sixth century, the most ancient of our historians, gives no hint concerning Lucius; and the whole account is evidently the manufacture of the adherents of the Papacy, to promote that usurpation. Twenty-three different dates are given for the conversion of Lucius; from which it is concluded, that as there are so many allusions to that affair, we cannot reject it altogether. It seems highly probable that a petty prince, named Lucius, about the middle of the second century, was allowed by the Romans to retain a shadow of authority in his country: that this British chieftain embraced Christianity, and used his influence to bring others to yield to its gentle claims. That for this purpose he inight possibly seek spiritual advice from Eleutherius, at that time bishop or pastor of the Christians at Rome, and place under his instruction some British converts, to be employed as Home Missionaries in their own country. No military or political agitation attending all this, the Romans might not interfere, to prevent the accomplishment of the desires of Lucius; and Christianity, by this means, would make silent progress throughout the island. Many of all classes would be baptized, the rude pagan temples would be converted into Christian sanctuaries, and numerous congregations might be gathered, listening to the preachers of the gospel of salvation, and worshipping God by faith in Jesus Christ.
Mr. Southey, in his "Book of the Church," speaking of this period, and of the "doubtful legends" concerning Lucius, remarks, "It is said that the first church was erected at Glastonbury; and this tradition may seem to deserve credit, because it was not contradicted in those ages, when other churches would have found it profitable to advance a similar pretension. The building is described as a rude structure of wickerwork, like the dwellings of the people in those days, and differing from them only in its dimensions, which were threescore feet in length, and twenty-six in breadth. An abbey was afterwards erected there, one of the finest of those edifices, and one of the most remarkable for the many interesting circumstances connected
Upon the whole, although the popish legends, concerning those times, afford us but little satisfaction as to the true number and character of the British Christians, there seems reason to believe, that in the churches of wattles," which, if any reader pleases, he
may call cathedrals, there were many, who "believed to the saving of their souls," who were taught by the word and Spirit of God, and who lived to "show forth the praises of Him, who had called them out of darkness into his marvellous light."
MY SCRAP BOOK.
"The Bee that wanders, and sips from every flower, disposes what she has gathered into her cells."-SENECA. ANECDOTE OF THE REV. OLIVER HEYWOOD.
IN 1664 came out a writ for apprehending him as an excommunicated person, but he was not taken. He acted with prudence and caution, in order to avoid a long imprisonment, keeping himself private; and it pleased God to protect him from his pursuers. He had now several children, and being deprived of his income, must have been in great straits. Martha Bairstow, a maid servant, who had lived in his family several years, would not desert her master and mistress in their distress. The little stock of money was quite exhausted, the provisions were entirely consumed, and Martha could lend no more assistance from the savings of former days. Mr. Heywood still trusted that God would provide, when he had nothing but the Divine promise to live upon. He said,
"When cruse and barrel both are dry,
We still will trust in God most high."
When the children began to be impatient for want of food, Mr. Heywood called his servant, and said to her, "Martha, take a basket and go to Halifax; call upon Mr. N. in Northgate, and tell him I request him to lend me five shillings; if he will be kind enough to do it, buy us some cheese, some bread, and such other little things as you know we most want; be as expeditious as you can, for the poor children begin to be fretful for want of something to eat. Put on your hat and cloak, and the Lord give you good speed; in the mean time we will offer up our requests to Him who feedeth the young ravens when they cry, and who knows what we have need of before we ask him."
Martha observed her master's directions; but when she came near to the house where she was ordered to beg the loan of five shillings, through timidity, her heart failed her. She passed by the door again and again, without having courage to go in and tell her errand. At length Mr. N. standing at his shop door, and seeing Martha in the street, called her to him, and said," Are you not Mr. Heywood's servant?' When she had, with an anxious heart, answered in the affirmative, he added, "I am glad of this opportunity of seeing you; some friends at M. have remitted to me five guineas for your master, and I was just thinking how I could contrive to send it." Martha burst into tears, and for some time could not utter a syllable. The necessities of the family, their trust in Providence, the seasonableness of the supply, and a variety of other ideas breaking in upon her mind at once, quite overpowered her. At length she told Mr. N. upon what errand she came, but that she had not courage to ask him to lend her poor master money. The tradesman could not but be affected with the story, and told Martha to come to him when the like necessity should press upon them at any future time. She made haste to procure the necessary provisions, and, with a heart lightened of its burthen, ran home to tell the success of her journey. Though she had not been long absent, the hungry family had often looked wishfully out at the window for her arrival. When she knocked
at her master's door, which now must be kept locked and barred, for fear of constables and bailiffs, it was presently opened, and the joy to see her was as great as when a ship arrives laden with provisions, for the relief of a starving town, closely besieged by an enemy. The children danced round the maid, eager to look into the basket, the patient mother wiped her eyes, the father smiled, and said, "The Lord hath not forgotten to be gracious; his word is true from the beginning; the young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing;" Martha related every circumstance of her little expedition, as soon as tears of joy would permit her; and all partook of the homely fare, with a sweeter relish than the fastidious Roman nobles ever knew, when thousands of pounds were expended to furnish one repast.
Dr. Fawcett's Life of Oliver Heywood, p. 34. Union among Christians, how effected.-There are only two things that can unite us; the fear of a common evil, which drives us to the same refuge; or a zeal for a common good, which excites us to the same pursuits. The former hath often brought us together: O that the latter had generally the same effect!
Preface to Mason's Serm. ad fin. Love of the World.-The world troubles and molests me, yet I love it; what, if it did not trouble me?
Disputes about Religion.-If the sincere love of God and our neighbour were but once thoroughly kindled in our hearts, these pure and heavenly flames would in a great measure extinguish the unchristian heat of dispute and contention; as fires here below are ready to languish and go out when the sun in his full strength shines upon them.-Tillotson, vol. i, p. 425.
Necessity of Pious Dispositions.-Our ideas are but pictures and images of the things themselves: and as the picture of a feast cannot satisfy our hunger, nor the picture of a fire warm and enlighten us; so the finest ideas of virtue and religion, cannot make us good and happy, without those dispositions of heart, which should be raised and kept alive by them.
Leechman on Prayer, p. 24.
Tendency of the above.-All pious dispositions are fountains of pleasant streams, which by their confluence do make up a full sea of felicity.-Barrow, vol. i, p. 58.
Parental Example.-Let us take care of our children: children have every thing to learn, and they will learn every thing of those who are nearest to them. To them example is better than all the books in the world; and indeed it is the only book they study. Let us not cheat ourselves into a neglect of them, by chanting over, what nobody denies, that "God only can make a Christian," which is equal to saying, that God only can make a cucumber.- Robinson's Serm., p. 411.
Christmas. If one of the wise and virtuous Romans was to return into our world, he would judge from the conduct of some who call themselves Christians, and pretend to keep Christmas, that they were a worse sort of pagans; and that it was not an holy Jesus, but an impure Venus, or drunken Bacchus, whose festival they celebrated.—Needham's Serm., p. 20.
S. J. B*****.
The power of Christ will be manifested in all: by the destruction of sin, or the sinner. The hearts which now yield to the impressions of the Spirit, are broken only in order to be formed anew, and to become vessels of honour fitted to the Master's use: those which continue stubborn and hardened, must be dashed in pieces by the stroke of eternal vengeance. — Horne.
O! that in unfetter'd union,
Spirit could with spirit blend;
Of the body's mystic guest?
What is sleep? and what are dreams?
And how slow the body's pace!
What is thought? In wild succession,
Ne'er impress'd thy pensive mind-
Knew your thoughts, and thought of you?
When at Mercy's footstool bending,
Say, has ne'er the thought impress'd thee,
Or the wish at least possess'd thee,
Who can tell? the fervent blessing-
To the kindred bosom bear;
Wake a chord responsive there?
When, my friend, shall we awake?
Then the secret all shall end.
Let then thought hold sweet communion,
Till in heaven's eternal union,
O, my friend! to meet thee there!
THE INFANT TEACHER'S ASSISTANT, For the use of Schools and Private Families; or Scriptural and Moral Lessons for Infants: with observations on the manner of using them. By T. Bilby and R. B. Ridgway, Masters of the Chelsea and Hart Street Infant Schools. Second Edition, price 3s.
Infant Schools we hope to see established in every populous neighbourhood of our country. In every point of view we regard them as beneficial to the poor; and much of their system of instruction may be adopted with incalculable advantage by the higher classes in the domestic training of their young. We consider Infant Schools as the best auxiliaries to Sunday Schools, and they have been worthily pronounced the "Nurseries of our Churches." Messrs. Bilby and Ridgway have laid the Public under great obligations by the publication of this volume, which we sincerely recommend to Parents, as well as the Teachers for whom especially it has been prepared.
THE RELIGION OF TASTE,
A Poem, by Carlos Wilcox. Reprinted from the American edition of his "Literary Remains." London, Hamilton, Adams, and Co. pp. 56.
This is an interesting little publication, and we doubt not it will be prized by many of its readers. Mr. Carlos Wilcox, its author, was devoted to the Christian ministry in New England; but his feeble constitution disqualified him for that arduous service. He died in the faith and hope of the gospel in the thirty-third year of his age. His message on his death-bed to his brothers deserves every attention. "Tell my dear brothers," said he, "to prepare, in the morning of life, for a sick bed. Tell them that the world all appears to me vanity now. Tell them that the religion of Christ is the only satisfying portion of the soul. Tell them to make the Bible their daily portion, and the throne of grace their daily resort."
As a specimen of the style of this poem, we transcribe the last of one hundred and seven stanzas.
"Rouse to some work of high and holy love,
The first volume of the Christian's Penny Magazine, from June to December 1832, is now complete, and may be had, neatly bound in cauvass, price 3s. 6d. through any Bookseller or Newsman; and also any of the preceding Parts or Numbers. A specimen of the Embellishments in the First Volume is printed on a large Sheet, price 2d., which will be found to contain some beautiful articles for Books of Prints.
London: Printed and Published by C. WOOD AND SON, Poppiu's Court, Fleet Street; to whom all Communications for the Editor (post paid) should be addressed; -and sold by all Booksellers and Newsmen in the United Kingdom.
Hawkers and Dealers Supplied on Wholesale Terms, by STEILL, Paternoster How; BERGER, Holywell Street, Strand; F. BAISLER, 124, Oxford Street; and W. N. BAKER, 16, City Road, Finsbury.
HENRY II, DOING PENANCE AT BECKET'S TOMB.
THOMAS A BECKET was one of the most extraordinary
Becket was educated for the bar: but gaining high reputation in his profession, he was induced to enter the Church, and made Archdeacon of Canterbury. Having some affairs to manage at the court, Henry II conceived a high opinion of his talents, and made him Lord Chancellor, on the recommendation of Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury. In the discharge of this office, Becket behaved to all around him with so much pride and haughtiness, as rendered him extremely troublesome to his equals, and insupportable to his inferiors. Above all things, he was a lover of pageantry and show. He is said to have maintained at VOL. II.
his own expense, in the war of Thoulouse, where he attended the king, 700 knights, and 1200 foot soldiers. Upon all occasions Becket showed himself so entirely devoted to the will of the king, that he considered hin as always ready to sacrifice every thing to his service.
Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, dying while Henry was in Normandy, the king resolved on preserving the archbishopric for Becket; as, by that means, he might be serviceable to him in counteracting the power of the priesthood, so troublesome and injurious even to royalty. On the recommendation of the king, Becket was consecrated before Henry's return to England, when he sent the great seal to his royal benefactor, relinquishing the office of High Chan
Becket's reason for this step was, his determination to uphold the usurpations and privileges of the priesthood, which Henry had purposed to abridge, as pernicious to the community. Among the greatest grievances to be redressed, one was the impunity of the priests in the commission of crime. By degrees, the clergy had acquired an absolute power over all that belonged to their body; and those accused, were tried in the Ecclesiastical Court, from which there lay no appeal. Their trials were carried on with such indulgence, that the most enormous crimes were punished