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into truth, or the ready and effectual communication of it to others.
Rule VII. The last requisite of method is, that that the parts of a discourse should be well connected ; and these three short directions will suffice for this purpose.
I. “ Keep your main end and design ever in view, and let all the parts of your discourse have a tendency towards it, and as far as possible make that tendency visible all the way.” Otherwise the readers or hearers will have reason to wonder for what end this or that particular was introduced.
2. “ Let the mutual relation and dependence of the several branches of your discourse be so just and evident, that every part may naturally lead onward to the next, without any huge chasms or breaks, which interrupt and deform the scheme.” The connexion of truths should arise and appear in their successive rank and order, as the several parts of a fine prospect ascend just bebind each other, in their natural and regular elevations and distances, and invite the eye to climb onward with constant pleasure till it reach the sky. Whatsoever horrid beauty a precipice or cataract may add to the prospect of a country, yet such sort of hideous and abrupt appearances in a scene of reasoning are real blemishes and not beauties. When the reader is passing over such a treatise, he often finds a wide vacancy, and makes an uneasy stop, and knows not how to transport his thoughts over to the next particular, for want of some clue or connecting idea to lay hold of it.
3. “ Acquaint yourself with all the proper and decent forms of transition from one part of a discourse to another, and practise them as occasion offers.” Where the ideas, propositions and arguments, are happily disposed, and well connected, the truth indeed is secure ; but it renders the discourse much more agreeable, when proper and graceful expression joins the parts of it together in so entertaining a manner, that the reader knows pot how to leave off till he hath arrived at the end.
These are the general and most important rules of true METHOD; and though they belong chiefly to the communication of knowledge, yet an early and thorough acquaintance with them will be of considerable use toward the pursuit and atlainment of it.
Those persons who have never any occasion to communicate knowledge by writing or by public discourses, may also with great advantage peruse these rules of method, that they may learn to judge with justice and accuracy concerning the performances of others. And besides, a good acquaintance with me. thod, will greatly assist every one in ranging, disposing and managing all human affairs.
The particular mears or method for a larther improvement
of the understanding, are very various, such as meditation, read-
THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH.
Of the Importance of Education, and the Design of this
Discourse, with a Plan of it. The children of the present age, are the hope of the age to
We who are now acting our several parts in the busy scenes of life are basting off the stage apace ; months and days are sweeping us away from the business and surface of this earth, and continually laying some of us asleep under ground, The circle of thirty years will plant another generation in our room: another set of mortals will be the chief actors in all the greater and lesser affairs of this lise, and will fill the world with blessings or with mischiefs, when our heads lie low in the dust.
Shall we not then consider witb ourselves, what can we do now to prevent those mischiefs, and to entail blessings on our successors ? What shall we do to secure wisdom, goodness and religion among the next generation of men ? Have we any concern for the glory of God in the rising age? any solicitude for the propagation of virtue and happiness to those who shall stand up in our stead? Let us then hearken to the voice of God and Solomon, and we shall learn how this may be done: the all-wise God, and the wisest of men, join to give us this advice ; Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. The sense of it may be expressed more at large in this proposition, namely, Let children have a good education given them in the younger parts of life, and this is the most likely way to establish them in virtue and piety in their
In this discourse, I shall not enter into any enquiries about the management of children in the two or three first years of their life : "I leave that tender age entirely to the care of the mother and the nurse ; yet not without a wish, that some wiser and happier pen would give advice or friendly notice to nurses and mothers, of what they ought to avoid, and what they ought to do in those early seasons : and indeed, they may do much towards the future welfare of those young buds and blossoms, those lesser pieces of human nature, which are their proper charge. Some of the seeds of virtue and goodness, may be conveyed almost into their very constitution betimes, by the pious