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terial air, but by way of advice recommended to hiin such studies and such methods of improvements, as his experience had long approved; he gave frequent hints of the danger of some opinions, and the fatal consequences of some modish and mistaken principles. Ile let him know generally what sentiments he bimself embraced among the divided opinions of the age, and what clear and comprehensive knowledge, what satisfaction of judgment, serenity of mind, and peace of conscience, were to be found in the jiriifciples which he had chosen ; but he exhorted bis pupil still to choose wisely for himself, and led him onward in the sciences, and in common and sacred affairs, to frame his own sentiments by just rules of reasoning : though Eugenio did not superstitiously confine his belief to the opinions of his instructor, yet he could not but love the man that indulged him in such a liberty of thougbe, and gave him such an admirable clue, by which he let himself into the secrets of knowledge, human and divine : thus under the bappy and insensible influences of so prudent a supervisor, he traced the paths of learning, and enjoyed the unspeakable pleasure of being his own teacher, and of framing his opinions himself. Bg this means he began early to use his reason with freedom, and to judge for himself, without a servile submission to the authority of others ; and yet to pay a just and solemn deference to persons of age and experience, and particularly to those who were the proper and appointed guides of his youth, and who led him on 80 gently in the paths of knowledge.
He loves to call himself by the honourable name of a Chris. tian: and though his particular sentiments approach much nearer to the opinions of some parties than to others ; yet be likes not to be called by the name of any party, for he is wise and bold enough to be a bigot to none. He practises a noble and an extensive charity to those that, in lesser matters, differ widely from him, if they do but maintain the most essential aod necessary parts of Christianity; nor does he seclude them from his communion, nor withhold himself from theirs ; but as the providence of God gives him just occasions, he eats and drinks with thein at the table of their common Lord, provided always that they impose nothing upon his practice contrary to his conscience.
Yet his charity has its limits too : for he hardly knows how to worship the Son of God in the most solenn ordinance of com• munion with those that esteem binn but a mere man ; por can be join with an assembly of professed Socinians to commemorate the death of Christ, who deny it to be a proper atonement for the sins of men.
He dares to believe the doctrines of original sin, the satisfaction of Christ, the influences of the blessed Spirit, and other despised truths of the gospel; and this not because bis ancestors believed them, but because he cannot avoid the evidence of them in scripture. And if in some points of less importance he takes leave to differ from the sentiments of his elders, it is with such a becoming modesty, that convinces his father how unwilling he is to dissent from him ; and yet he maintains his opinion with such an appearance of argument, and such an honest concern for truth and piety, that makes it plain to his friends, that he is under the strong constraint of an inward conviction. Thus, though he bas perbaps some new apprehensions of things, yet he is by no means fed into them by a licentious huinour of opposing his teachers, nor a wanton pride of free-thinking.
He was not kept a stranger to the errors and follies of mankind, nor was he let loose among them, either in books or in company, without a guard and a guide. His preceptor let him know the gross mistakes and iniquities of men, ancient and modern, but inlaid him with proper principles of truth and virtue, and furnished him with such rules of judgment, as led him more easily to distinguish between good and bad ; and thus he was secured against the infection and poison, both of the living and the dead.
He had early cautions given him to avoid the bantering tribe of mortals, and was instructed to distinguish a jest from an argument, so that a loud laugh at his religion, never puts bim nor his faith out of countenance. He is ever ready to render a reason of his Christian hope, and to defend his creed ; but lie scorns to enter the lists with such a disputant that has no artillery but squib and flash, no arguments besides grimace and ridicule. Thus he supports the character of a Christian with honour ; he confines his faith to his bible, and his practice to all the rules of piety; and yet thinks as freely as that vain herd of Atheists and Deists, who arrogate the name of free-thinkers to themselves.
You will cnquire, perhaps, how he came to attain so manly a conduct in life at so early an age, and how every thing of the boy was worn off so soon. Truly, besides other influences, it is much owiug to the happy management of Eraste, (that was the name of the lady his mother) she was frequent in the nursery, and inspired sentiments into his childhood becoming riper years. When there was company in the parlour, with whom she could use such a freedom, she brought her son in among them, not to entertain them with his own noise and tattle and impertinence, but to hear their discourse, and sometimes to answer a little question or two they miglit ask him. When he was grown up to a youth, he was often admitted into the room with his father's acquaintance, and was indulged the liberty to ask and enquire on subjects that seemed to be above his years : he was encouraged to speak a sentence or two of his own thoughts, and thus to learn and practise a modest assurance. But when the company was gone, he was approved and praised if he bchaved well, or receiv. ed kind biots of admonition that he might know when he had been too silent, and when too forward to speak. Thus by enjoying the advantage of society above the level of his own age and understanding, lie was always aspiring to imitation ; and the excesses and defects of bis conduct were daily noticed and cured.
His curiosity was gratified abroad with new sights and scenes, as often as his parents could do it with convenience, that he inight not stare and wonder at every strange object or occurrence ; but he was made patient of restraint and disappointment, when he seemed to indulge an excessive desire of any needless diversion. If he sought any criminal pleasures, or diversions attended with great danger and inconvenience, the pursuit of them was absolutely forbidden; but it was done in so kind a manner, as made the guilt or peril of them appear in the strongest light, and thereby they were rendered hateful or formidable, rather than the objects of wish or desire.
When Ugenio first began to go abroad in the world, bis companions were recommended to hiry by the prudence of his parents ; or if he chose them bimself, it was still within the reach of his tutor's observation, or the notice of his father's eye: nor was be suffered to run loose into promiscuous company, till it appeared that his mind was furnished with steady principles of virtue ; till he had knowledge enough to defend those principles, and to repel the assaults that might be made upon his faith. Aod for this reason, till he was twenty years old, lie gave account to Jis superiors how he spent the day, whensoever he was absent from them; and though they did not at that age require that be should ask formal leave for a few hours excursion.
Yet it was hardly thought fit to trust him to his own conduct for whole days together lest he should meet with temptations too hard for bis virtue, till he had gained resolution enough to say NO boldly, and to maintain an obstinate refusal of perpicious pleasures. He was told beforehand how the profane and the lewd would use all the arts of address, and how subtily they would practise upon his good humour with powerful and tempting importunities. This set him ever upon his guard, and though he carried his sweetness of temper always about with bim, yet he learned to conceal it wheresoever it was neither proper por safe to appear. By a little converse in the world, he found that it was necessary to be positive, bold and unmovcable in rejecting every proposal which might endanger his character or his morals; especially as he soon became sensitle that a soft and cold denial gave courage to new attacks, and left him liable to be teized with tresli solicitations. He laid down this therefore for a constant rule, that where his reason bad determined any practice to be either lainly siniul, or uiterly inexpedient, he would give so firm a denial, upon the principles of virtue and religiou, as
shonld for ever discourage any further solicitations. This gave bim the character of a man of resolute virtue, even among the rakes of the time, nor was he ever esteemned the less on this account. At first indeed he thought it a happy victory which he had gotten over himself, when he could defy the shame of the world, and resolve to be a Christian in the face of vice and infidelity : he found the shortest way to conquer this foolish shaine, was 10 renounce it at once : then it was easy to practice singularity amidst a profane multitude. And when he began to get courage exough to profess resolute piety without a blush, in the midst of such company as this, Agathus and Eraste then permitted their son to travel abroad, and to see more of the world, under the protection of their daily prayers. His first tour was through the neighbouring counties of England; he afterward clarged the circuit of his travels, till he had visited foreigo nations, and learned the value of his own.
In short, the restraints of his younger years were tempered with so much liberty, and managed with such prudence and tenderness, and these bonds of discipline were so gradually loosened, as fast as he grew wise enough to govern himself, that Eugenio always carried about with him an inward conviction of the great love and wisdom of bis parents and his tutor. The humours of the child now and then felt so:ne reluctance against the pious discipline of his elders ; but now he is arrived at manhood, there is nothing that he looks back upon with greater satisfaction than the steps of their conduct and the instances of his own submission. He often recounts these things with pleasure, as some of the chief favours of heaven, whereby he was guarded through all the dangers and follies of youth and childhood, and effectually kept, through divine grace operating by these happy means, from a thousand sorrow's, and perhaps jrom everlasting ruin.
Though he has been released some years from the strictness of paternal government, yet he still makes his parents his chosen friends : and though they cease to practise authority upon hiim 'and absolute command, yet he pays the utmost deference to their counsels, and to the first notice of their inclinations. You shall never find him resisting and debating against their desires and propensities in little common things of life, which are indifferent in themselves ; he thinks it carries in it too much contempt of those whom God and nature requires him to honour. In those instances of practice which they utterly forbid in their family, he bears so tender a regard to their peace, that he will scarcely ever allow himself in them, even when he ca inot see sufficient reason to pronounce them unlawful. Nor does he pay this regard to bis parents alone, but denics himself in some gratifications which he esteems innocent, out of regard to what he accounts the mistaken judgment of some pious persons withi whom he converses and worships. They are weak, perhaps in their austerities, but St. Paul bas taught bim, that the strong ought to bear with the infirmities of the weak, and not to please themselves to the offence of the church of God. This he observed to be the constant practice of Agathus and Eraste, and he maintains a great regard to the examples of so much piety aud goodness, even though bis reason does not lead hiin always to embrace their opinions. Whensoever be enters into an important action of life, he takes a filial pleasure to seek advice from his worthy parents, and it is uneasy to bim to attempt any thing of moment without it. He does not indeed universally practise all their sevtiments, but he gains their consent, to follow his own reason and choice.
Some of the wild young gentlemen of the age may bappen to laugh at him for being'so much a boy still, and for shew. ing such subjuction to the old folks, (as they call them:) with a scornful smile they bid him break of his leading-strings, and cast away his yokes of bondage. But for the most part
he observes, that the same persons shake off all yokes at once, and at once break the bonds of nature, duty and religion : they pay but little regard to their superior iu heaven, any more than to those on earth, and have forgotten God and their parents together. “ Nor will I ever be moved (says he) with the reproaches of those who make a jest of things sacred as well as civil, and treat their mother, and their Maker with the same contempt." Sect. XI.—Of the proper Degrees of Liberty and Restraint in the Education of Daughter's, illustrated by Examples.
IT is necessary that youth should be laid under some restraint. When our inclinations are violent, and our judgment weak, it was a wise provision of God our Creator, that we should be under the conduct of those who were born before us ; and that we should be bound to obey them, who have an ionate solicitude for our happiness, and are much fitter to judge for our advantage, when we ourselves can be in that early part of life.
But it inay be said, liberty is so glorious a blessing, that surely it ought not utterly to be taken away from the young, Jest their spirits be cramped and enslased, and the growth of their souls so stinted by a narrow aod severe restraint, that they act all their lives like children under age. Or sometimes a too rigid confinement will have the contrary effect, and make the imparience of youth break out beyond all bounds, as soon as ever they get the first relist of freedom.
But o how exceedingly difficult it is to hit the middle way!