Monday, October 3, 2011
the living and sanctifying spirit...
From John Emery Abbott, the "pious Unitarian" on the Religious Education of children..
"EPHESIANS VI. 4. FATHERS, PROVOKE NOT YOUR CHILDREN TO WRATH, BUT BRING THEM UP IN THE NURTURE AND ADMONITION OF THE LORD.
The general necessity of the Religious Education of children is acknowledged by all; but it is perhaps impossible that its actual importance should be fully realized and adequately felt. The foundation of the moral character is most often laid in the years of childhood; and the progress of life very frequently does little more than develope and fix the principles, harden the habits, and give permanence to the feelings, which were either formed by deliberate care, or caught by accidental influences, during the period of youthful susceptibility. The world is full of temptations, through which, in various measures, all are destined to pass; and nothing can protect the young adventurer amidst the perils and exposures of life, but the early establishment of sound and deep rooted religious principles...
If we inquire into the obstacles which most frequently prevent parents from attending to the religious education of their offspring, we shall find them sometimes to arise from Vanity, which is more desirous of training children in showy accomplishments, than in the solid qualities of a virtuous character; of rendering them graceful and polished in manners, and fascinating in worldly accomplishments, than of giving them the less imposing graces of seriousness, humility, and purity, or kindling in their uncorrupted bosoms, the living and sanctifying spirit of silent and unobtrusive piety."
Posted by slt at 2:27 PM