Imágenes de páginas

ened our conviction—and we think it must, the conviction of every one who reads it—that parents will almost certainly impress their own image on their children—that as in regard to the physical, so in regard to the moral man, the features of the parent will appear in the face of the child. The following passage will explain our meaning:

“The great Creator has ordained, that in early childhood, all the powers and faculties of man shall be placed under the guidance, and in a very great degree under the forming hand of his parents. His feelings are as ready as his intellectual powers to take the impression that may be given them. How strong are the prejudices derived from parents in early youth! When pains are taken to produce a similarity, how clearly do we see the prominent features in the manners, habits, and feelings of parents reflected in their offspring! A little gipsey is an adult gipsey in miniature. I am told that among the Gentoos a like similarity is very apparent; and I have myself been struck by it among the Quakers—a sect whom I by no means mention to dishonour. Why, may not the parent inquire, should not that which produces such striking effects among them and other classes of men, and often promotes feelings and habits adverse to good sense and propriety, to good order or to true religion, be employed in favour of the best interests of man and the glory of God? To suffer it to lie idle, is folly and sin. But in fact it will not be absolutely idle. One thing or another children will always be catching from their parents; and through the corrupt bias of human nature, they will be far more likely to catch the evil than the good: and even in copy. ing what is innocent, if not positively good, in parents, they will be very apt to give it some turn, or associate it with some quality, which may make it subservient to evil. ... No one, then, can doubt the deep responsibility of every parent to make a good use of his power over the dispositions and affections of his offspring. And since in exercising that power, nothing will be so operative as his own example, how earnest should he be, that the light which shines in him may be the true light of the Gospel, purified as much as may be from every thing that may obscure or defile it !"-p. 42–44.

Of this treatise and its author, the Rev. Mr. Gallaudet, in the Preliminary Essay with which he has favoured the present edition, thus speaks—and we quote a paragraph of some length, not only because it well expresses what we should otherwise wish to say ourselves, but because Mr. G. is so favourably known to the public on the subject of education, that his recommendation can hardly fail of effect.

“ This volume, containing A Practical View of Christian Edu. cation in its early stages, by Thomas Babington, Esq., is one of the best treatises on the subject, in our language. Its author was, not long since, if he is not still, a member of the British Parliament, and also extensively engaged in commercial transactions in the city of London. His sentiments, therefore, repugnant, as they doubtless will be, to the feelings of those who entertain vague and low views of Christian faith and practice, are not to be attri. buted to the narrowness of his sphere of observation or of duty; to his want of expansion of mind or refinement of feeling; to his secluded habits and ignorance of the world; or to a contracted and illiberal estimate of the doctrines and requisitions of the gospel. Nor is he a mere theorist, descanting on what might be best, and leaving plain, practical parents, to smile at the uselessness of his speculations. He has himself brought up a very numerous family of children, to whose education he has devoted his time and atten. tion with an assiduity and frequency that very few men, engaged in public life, and the transactions of an extensive business, have been able to bestow upon such an object. What he says, therefore, is to be received as coming from one whose own education, of the most liberal and accomplished kind; whose situation in society, affording him the best opportunities of an enlarged acquaintance with human nature and the every day duties of life; and whose personal experience in reducing his principles to practice, or rather, in deducing his principles from practice; all conspire to give great weight to his opinions and advice, among all parents who regard, as they ought, not merely the temporal, but the eternal, welfare of their offspring.”—p. 4, 5.

When we consider, moreover, the nature of the subject, and the peculiarly Christian character of this treatise, and reflect how little demand is made, in this age, not to say by the great mass of men, but even by the Church of God, for reading of so sober a sort, it must be regarded as an additional recommendation--and a recommendation, too, which but few books on any subject receive—that it has already passed through eleven editions, though it has been published, if we mistake not, but about as many years.

But as our object in this article is not to make a book, but to recommend one that is already made, we must not prolong our remarks. And now in conclusion, deeply sensible as we are of the importance of the religious education of the rising race, and especially at a time when the arrangements of divine Providence, and the signs of the times, seem to demand a generation prepared for the service of the Lord, we are desirous, not only to recommend this little volume to every parent and teacher, in all the confidence of our conviction, that it is well worthy of a purchase and a perusal-yes, of oft repeated perusal—but also to suggest to every clerical reader, whether, if his judgment coincide with ours, he might not extensively serve the cause of Christian education, and consequently of the world's conversion, by recommending it from the pulpit, as well as in private, to the people of his charge.



It is natural to inquire, while surveying the extended works of God, What is the ultimate end of this great and complicated system? Some parts of it, we can easily see, were formed for others; objects that are small and insignificant, for those that are greater and more important; and again, these for others greater and more important still. The pebble and the drop were made to constitute the mountain and the river; and the mountains and the rivers to adorn and embellish the face of nature, and in a thousand ways, to minister to the wants of those who dwell on the earth. The solid earth, with all its immense quantities of matter, its diversified surface, its fertile soil, its rapid motions, its elastic atmosphere, was evidently intended to be the habitable abode of men. The extended ocean, with all its mighty expanse and unmeasured depth of waters, while it is the grand reservoir of nature, and the source of evaporation, perpetually enriching the earth with fertility and verdure, every where distributes its watery treasures for the sustenance and benefit of the numerous tribes of animated and intelligent existence. If we extend our views to the solar system, or from the solar system to the starry heavens, in these trackless regions we behold an assemblage of resplendent orbs, spacious perhaps as the sun of our own system, and all subserving the interests of unnumbered worlds, not improbably invested, like our own, with intelligence and immortality. Matter, in all its variety and magnificence, we see, is made for mind, and one portion of this great and complicated system for another.


What then is the ultimate end of all things? The lights of unaided reason are far from fitting us to solve this high problem; and yet, so far as we are enabled to follow them, they conduct us to the same conclusion to which we are conducted by a supernatural revelation, when it so happily and explicitly instructs us, that “The Lord hath made all things for himself.

When we say that God acts for the purpose of displaying abroad the perfections of his nature before the intelligent creation—when we say that God made all things for himself, we mean, that his supreme end, “is his own glory, or the most perfect gratification of his infinitely benevolent mind.” The word glory, when applied to God, sometimes denotes the inherent and full perfection of the divine nature, and sometimes the manifestation of the divine nature in creation, providence, and grace. There is a difference between the intrinsic and the manifested excellence of the Godhead. By his intrinsic excellence, is meant his essential perfections; by his manifested excellence, is meant his essential perfections exhibited to himself and the created universe. There is a richness, a fulness of perfection which constitutes his essential glory; and there is a diffusion, a resplendency in his perfections which, if I may so speak, reflects the Deity to himself and the universe; which casts its light through all worlds, and constitutes his manifested glory. The chief excellence of God consists in his goodness. Infinite amiableness and beauty are treasured up in his perfections, because the basis of them is the most pure, permanent, universal, and perfect goodness.

This is the glory of his nature. But the intrinsic, or essential goodness of God does not admit of increase or diminution. God cannot possess more essential goodness than he does possess; and, therefore, cannot be made essentially more glorious than he is. When, therefore, we speak of God's being glorified, or of the advancement and promotion of his glory, we speak of the augmentation of his manifested excellence—of the expression, or gratification of his infinite goodness, in some of its forms and modifications. It is not incompatible with his immutability, that the exhibition he makes of his nature, should be capable of continual growth and enlargement, and that his manifested excellence should receive fresh accessions, and be continually growing more extended and more refulgent. For all that we know, the manifested glory of God is susceptible of augmentation that is perpetually progressive. In the same proportion in which the scene opens, will the true character of God be unfolded, and his perfect goodness made known. And as the drama draws to a close, and the catastrophe of the mighty plot begins to be developed, at every step of this progressive disclosure will the heart of God be acted out, the name of God magnified, the glory of God displayed abroad, and the divine goodness infinitely and forever exalted and gratified. This is what we mean when we say, that the glory of God is the ultimate end of all his conduct, and that he made all things for himself. It was that he might manifest the perfections of his nature, and thus exalt and gratify his infinite goodness.

This is God's ultimate end. This is the end to which all other ends are subordinate and subservient. Jehovah, the king of Israel, is “the first and the last;" he is “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending;” the first cause and the last, or supreme end of all things. “Of him, and to him, and through him are all things." “All things that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, principalities, and powers, all were created by him and for him. God himself often declares in his word, that he will do, or refrain from doing, "for his own sake,”—for “his name's sake,” —"for his praise,"—"for his glory,”—and, that “in all things he emay be glorified.” What means the sublime declaration in the Apocalypse? “And the four beasts rest not day nor night, saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory, and honour, and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for THY PLEASURE they are, and were created!

Whom could God ultimately regard, in the creation of all things, except himself? Before the creation there was none other in existence but God. The motives to create must of necessity be within himself. Is it said, that future existence itself may be an end in proposing and causing it to exist? Is it said, that the excellence of his work was an inducement to create ?

But for what purpose did God propose happiness? Did he

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »