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they do; then may they have even engraven on their tomb-stone, what was once placed over the grave of a good man, properly so called
“ What I spent, I have lost :
In regard to Christian generosity, however, a disposition which is yet far from being fully exemplified, never forget, that, as to your family, every thing will depend upon you, yourselves, acting on these principles. Then only will your Children experimentally understand, and admire, that saying of our blessed Lord, which, though not recorded by any of the evangelists, had sunk down into the ear, or rather lay embalmed in the heart of the primitive Chris, tians—“ It is more blessed to give than to receive."
The Love of Nature.—It is certainly not a little extraordinary, that so many Parents have overlooked, or at least neglected, this most powerful assistant, in training the dispositions of their Children. In building cities, had men succeeded also in banishing from them the admiration of nature, or had only certain individuals of the species been susceptible of interest in her wonderful productions, this neglect might have been regarded only as a consequence; but the reverse of all this is the fact :
“ 'Tis born with all; the love of Nature's works
Diversified, that two were never found
Children are fond of tracing effects to their cause; and should they wish you to account for this innate disposition in the compound man, that much-neglected book, the Bible, will assist you in this, as in all other things, with reference to whatever is either useful, or valuable, or necessary, in the analysis of the mind, so far as the bulk of mankind is concerned : for
“ The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living crea. ture, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field !”
Were I not afraid of extending this volume too far, already perhaps too large, I should have dwelt upon this important branch of Education. Remember, however, it is at once your business and your office, to excite and cultivate this disposition in your Children. The contemplation of the heavenly bodies
-the structure of the globe-the vegetation of plants -the formation of animals—the order and regularity of nature, with the changes that are perpetually taking place in it—the correspondency, the sympathy, the harmony, and the remarkable proportioning of one thing to another, which reigns throughout the uni. verse—the power and the greatness of God, as seen in the minutest objects; with the striking difference between the works of nature and of art,—the contemplation of any of these, and especially of these in succession, has a most powerful effect upon the youthful disposition. You believe that God hath made every thing beautiful in its season and place; and you know that every animal, and vegetable, and mineral, has its own specific and appropriate use ? Explain these, then, as far as you can. Such instruction from the lips of a Father or a Mother is invaluable. Perhaps you can direct their attention to the forecast and industry of the ant—the ingenious and indefatigable labours of the bee the instinct and affection of birds, in building their nests, and rearing their young-to the habitations of the beaver--the transformation of the caterpillar, or the silkworm?_But I forbear; the theme is endless, and even infinite. Many of these subjects, if nature is not before you, you can find in books; but the more familiar operations of nature you cannot omit-such, for example, as the labours of the husbandman. Thus, even by your occasional conversation, might you discover to your Children, that
“ Religion does not censure or exclude
To give dissimilar, yet fruitful lands,
Do you ever walk with your Children, and observe them disposed to notice the earth, when it teems with fragrance, and is covered with beauty? Indulge them in such remarks ; admire, with them, the works and wonders of your common Creator ; and having so indulged them, you can easily discover to them that you derive your main enjoyment, from a filial confidence in Him who made them all.
Certainly it is to be lamented, that so many Christian Parents, seem not to be aware of the frequency, with which their own Redeemer conversed with the works of his hands, while here below; though if they only take up their Bible, and “walk with Him” through the evangelical history, they will find scarcely one chapter, in which Nature is not pointedly regarded. The shining of the sun, and the falling of rain ; the light of the world, and the face of the sky; the aspect of the morning and the evening ; the lilies of the field, and the birds of the air ; the grass of the ground, and the salt of the earth ; the dove and the sparrow; the sheep and the goat; the fox and the wolf; the ass and the camel ; the serpent and the fish; the crowing of the cock; the hen and her chickens; the eagle pouncing on his prey: in short, nothing escaped his gracious and condescending eye.' The artlessness of Children, and the harmlessness of doves, he recommended to his followers; and when he saw a multitude of sinful men, he was wont to be moved with compassion, and compared them to “ sheep without a
shepherd.” The operations of husbandry, he was ever commending to notice ; and, to his eye, a lily in its native bed had more of outward adorning, than even Solomon, when arrayed in all the insignia of his kingdom. Adam, in perfection and innocence, when naming his animals, as their Creator brought them to his feet, or when conversing with his garden, was as nothing to this. Strange indeed! that those who listened to the Saviour's manner of reference to such objects, at all times so apposite, and often so affecting, could not descry the voice of Him, by whom all things were created, “ whether they be things in heaven, or things on earth, or things under the earth.” Nature, then, it is true, had met with her own Creator, and never, since the morning stars sang together, had she appeared so subservient to religious instruction and reproof, excitement and delight.
Now you have not been born too late to profit by all this. If Christian Parents, you live under the dominion of the Messiah, and possess every advantage in following his example, at whatever distance. The productions of his hand are ever the same, and, to the present moment,
“ Still all are under one. One Spirit-His,