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of Youth, the Public. will soon fee and feel the happy Effects of it. Permit me therefore to remind all Parents of the Duty they owe to God, their Country, and their Children, to take care that those, who are by the Laws of God and Man committed to their Government, be virtuously educated, and instructed in the Way of the Lord. This God requires of you; his Creatures they are, whom you call your Children: they owe Obedience to him in the first place, and it is his Authority which
you exercise over them; and if they perish for want of timely Instruction and Correction, he will require their Souls at your Hands.
Parents have a Trust likewise reposed in them by their Country. There is nothing of greater Consequence to the Public, than that the Youth of the Nation should be trained up to Virtụe and Industry; that the Seeds of Religion should be fown betimes in their Hearts, and cherished by proper Encouragement. These are the only Methods from which we can have any Hopes to see our Country supplied with honest and worthy Men, It is but reasonable to expect from Parents, that they should out of natural Affection seek to promote the Happiness of their Children; and since the same Care, which is necessary to form them to be good Subjects, is also necessary to lay the Foundation of their own Happiness and Profperity in the World, this Care is wholly entrusted to Parents; who ought to look
'themselves as responsible to their Country for the future Behaviour of their Children.
But farther: If Parents would but consider the Condition of those Children whom they have brought into the World, they would find themselves obliged, by the strongest Ties of natural Affection, to guard them against the certain Miseries of this Life, and of the next, by seasoning their Minds with Principles of Virtue and Religion. How wretched, do you think, are those Parents, who live to see their Children made miserable by Vice? And what an Addition must it be to their Misfortune, if it is attended with this Reflection, that it was want of early Care in them, which led the way to this Ruin and Misery? How often is it, that Men remember with Detestation the Negligence and Indulgence of their Parents, when either they find themselves useless to the World and themselves, for want of that early Care which should have been bestowed on
them; or exposed to Mifery, to an untimely End, or to a Life of Shame and Reproach, by those evil Inclinations, which grew
headstrong in them for want of being pruned in their tender Years!
You see then what strong Obligations Parents are under to be diligent in the Difcharge of this Duty; which they owe to God, their Country, and their Children: And we might promife pusfelves happy Days to come, were there a Performance answer able to these Obligations. In many Cases indeed Parents are disabled from discharging this Duty, through Ignorance and Poverty; and what must become of such Families, where the Fathers and Mothers can scarcely, with all their Labour, provide Food and Raiment; so far are they from being able to attend to the Education and Instruction of their Children? And this Necessity of many poor Families
among us gave rise to the Inftitution of public Schools, maintained by Contributions for the Instruction and Education of the Poor. An Institution which, however serviceable to the Poor of our Country, is calculated to promote nobler Views than those of private Interest and Advantage
to any one Set of Men, and tends directly to the public Good, and the Benefit of all.
The Passions of Men considered, it is not to be expected, that those who are permitted to go wild and untamed in their Youth, should prove harmless, much less useful and beneficial to Society, in their more advanced Years. Necessity is a great Temptation to Wickedness, and leads Men to use Fraud or Violence to support their Vices; and if they have nothing but their corrupt Affections to direct them, can it be hoped that they should withstand these Temptations? Idle and undisciplined Boys commonly prove loose and vicious young Men, and often fall a Sacrifice to the Severity of the Law before they become old ones. Thieves and Robbers must be punished, or the Innocent must be ruined ; so far the Rigor of the Law is justified : But is it not a deplorable Case, and to a Christian Country a great Reproach, that great Care should be taken to punish Wickedness, and little or none to prevent it? And yet this is the Case where the Instruction of the Poor is neglected, and they are left to pursue the corrupt Inclinations of Nature to their own Destruction. This Mischief is in some Measure provided for by the Charity-Schools;
and by breeding up the Poor to be honest: and diligent, the Rich are saved from the Violence of wicked necefsitous Men; the Poor are rescued from Wickedness, and the Punishments due to it; and so many useful and beneficial Hands are gained to the Public.
Farther, Not only the good Order and Peace of civil Society is provided for by these charitable Institutions, but also the Peace of the Church of Christ; by training up Youth to be orderly and well behaved Members of it: An End which
Chriftian, who has any Regard for his holy Profeffion, must take Pleasure in promoting. But carry this. Confideration into its remoter Consequences, the Happiness to which many Souls may arrive through the Infuence which a pious Education
the whole Course of their Lives; and nothing will be wanting to give us a just Conception of the Usefulness of this Design, or to encourage us to be liberal and generous in contributing to the Support of it. If every
Gift bestowed for the Honour of God, or for the Good of our Country, or for the sake of a poor Brother, shall have its Reward; how abundantly shall this Charity be recompensed,