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to prevent you from the commission of such atrocious crimes as are sometimes perpetrated in riper age. But no instruction can avail, without a disposition to become virtuous. The best precepts, or the most perfect example must be lost on the headstrong, self-opinionated, and perverse. Unless there is a desire of improvement, no efforts will be made towards its accomplishment. And surely no distress can be more severe than the disappointment of those tender parents who unhappily see all their labours are useless to render amiable the child whom they love. What anguish will it occasion them to reflect that the dearest object of their solicitude is daily forming improper habits, which must in future life be detrimental either to health, peace, or virtue ;-to see the darling, for whom they would surrender their own ease and satisfaction, neglecting their earnest desires, and immoveably bent to follow the dictates of humour and caprice. Could you but know, my young friend, the sad emotions your ill behaviour must give to the authors of your being, you would be more circumspect in all your actions. How many sleepless nights have they passed for you in the hours of your infancy; how often
have they watched beside your sick bed, with the most anxious attention, whenever any disease has required assistance! How often, with unwearied patience, have they borne the interruptions and trouble your childhood has occasioned! And all the recompence they wish for is, that you will use your endeavours to second their cause for your own felicity; that you will be assiduous in the cultivation of your bodi. ly and mental powers; that you will early accus. tom yourself to what is amiable and becoming; and, finally, that you will so conduct yourself as to be in favour with God and man. They wish to render you worthy, and to behold you happy. Their cares are not bounded by this life, but extend to the interests of a better; and they desire to meet those who are their children here, exalted to the felicity and glory of angels hereafter. May the Almighty Father of the universe dispose your youthful heart to a serious consideration of your obligation to your earthly parents, and enable you to secure happiness to yourself, and to complete theirs by your obedience.
ON OBEDIENCE TO PARENTS.
As the subject of our last lecture was too copious to be comprehended in the space usually allotted to these discourses, I will again renew the considerations proposed, as they respect your happiness in future life, your reputation in this world, and your felicity in If you have been perverse and disobedient to your parents during your younger years, while more immediately under their government and direction, you will be but little disposed to solicit their advice at your first entrance into the world; and hence you will be exposed, in a state the most unguarded, to all the snares that await you, from the ill-designing, the artful, or the malicious. You will despoil yourself of that resource with which Providence has provided you, in the experience of your natural friends, and will be subject to all the inconveniencies of an orphan, but without the promises of support made by the Almighty to those whom death has deprived of the authors of their being. On the contrary, you must have less reason to expect assistance from God, since you
refuse to avail yourself of the blessing he has vouchsafed you in continuing the lives of your parents. He does not work a miracle, to guard those from temptation who willingly expose their virtue to its power; and as he has appointed your parents as your proper counsellors, he cannot be expected to favour those with his blessing who perversely cast off the yoke of obedience, and disdain the aid of that advice their Maker has commanded them to follow. However the world by its maxims and example may contribute to the seduction of youth; however it may labour to corrupt the virtue of individuals, and to laugh at the maxims of piety and prudence, yet it is not so depraved, but that it must admire that character which is superior to its follies and vices; and even the worst minds have a reverence for true goodness, though they have not the resolution to practise it. There may be some, indeed, young, foolish, and insensible, as yourself, who will join to ridicule the venerable authority of the parental name; but believe me, my young friend, none who are truly respectable will regard you with esteem, while you continue to treat with contempt those who are so highly deserving of your reverence and regard,
Whatever qualification you possess, or however amiable you may be in some respects, if you violate the command of God, and do not "honour thy father and mother," you will never be able to establish an unblemish. ed reputation, since that fault is deemed to be so atrocious by every worthy mind, that it is of itself sufficient to blast your fame, and prevent your success in life. What prudent and conscientious person would be willing to receive into his family a youth who it was known had been disobedient to his parents? Could he rationally hope, that he who had been refractory to those who claimed his respect, by every tie of religion, gratitude, affection, and interest, would patiently and willingly submit to the direction of one, who had not those powerful obligations to enforce his docility? Consider, my young friend, if you had the choice of a master, to teach you any of the arts or occupations of life, would you willingly engage yourself to one whom you knew had ill-treated his own children, and neglected the charge of their education. Should you not fear that as he had not observed his duty to them, he would dispense with performing it to you? and is it less reasonable to pursue the same method of reasoning with res.