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sally makes a strong Impression on the Minds of those who survive them; and it is as natural for those who are leaving this World, to make the Thing, which they esteem to be of the greatest Consequence and Importance to their Friends, who are to stay behind them, the Subject-matter of their last Advice.
Consider now the Character of Mofes ; the many Years he spent in conducting the People of Israel from Egypt to the Land of Promise; the high Office he bore, by being appointed by God a Prophet and Lawgiver to his People : consider him, after a long Course of Teaching and Exhortation, giving his last Advice before he died; and you must needs think the Happiness of the People to be extremely concerned in the Matter recommended to them, by so great a Friend, by one of such Authority, and under such Circumstances.
The Advice is no less interesting than is to be expected : it aims at laying a solid Foundation of Happiness for that and all succeeding Generations ; by instructing the People how to perpetuate to their Posterity the Knowledge of God and his Law, and to make him their constant Friend and Pro
tector; namely, by instilling into the Minds of their Children, a Sense of the great Things which God had done for them and their Forefathers, and by forming them early to Obedience to the divine' Law under which they lived :—re shall command your Children to observe and do all the Words of this Law. :. ::
The Jews had still a greater Reason to be careful and constant in discharging this Duty towards their Children; they had not only the last Command of their great Lawgiver for it, but they well knew that they were distinguished from the Rest of the World by Providence for the Sake of this Duty. Their great Ancestor Abraham was chosen to be the Head of a great Nation, that he might, and because God knew he would, be diligent to transmit to his Posterity the Knowledge of God's Laws, and to breed them up in Obedience to them. In the eighteenth Chapter of the Book of Genesis, God declares his purpose of making Abraham a great and mighty Nation; and that all the Nations of the Earth mould be blessed in him. At the 19th Verse, the Reason of this peculiar Regard to Abraham is given; For I know him, that be will com
mand bis Children and his Houshold after bim, and they shall keep the Way of the Lord, to do Justice and Judgment.
That the Command of Mofes lays an Ob. ligation on Parents, to make Use of their Authority with their Children to bring them into Subjection to the Law of God, is put out of all Doubt by the Language of the Text. They were to command their Children to observe and do all the Words of the Law. But this Precept had a larger and more extensive View, being given not merely as the Advice of a Preacher, but as the Injunction of a great Lawgiver prescribing a proper Method to establish and secure the Prosperity of a Nation. The Education therefore of the Children of a Country may, and ought, in all wise Governments, to be considered as a national Concern.
This Conclusion may appear, perhaps, with greater Force, as supported by the Declaration of God concerning Abraham, just before mentioned. God saw that Abrabam would command his Children and Houshold after him, to keep the Way of the Lord, and to do Justice and Judgment; and therefore he determined to make him à great and mighty Nation. Now if this Dif
position, feen and approved in Abraham, has no Relation to the Office of a public Magistrate, the Reason given for making Abra. bain Head of a great People, is a very strange one. For if the Magistrate has, and ought to have, no Concern in seeing the Youth of the Country brought up in the Fear of God, Abraham's Disposition to take this Care upon him could be no Reason for making him the Head of a great Nation.
To judge of the Methods which have been, or may be applied to propagate, or preserve Religion and the Fear of God in the World, we must consider the Nature, Capacities, and Circumstances of Men in general; the Influences under which they act; and which of them may be properly made Use of in the Case in Question. Rea ligion being the Service of a free Agent, all external Force is excluded as absolutely improper : Instruction is the proper Application to a reasonable Mind; and were Men under no Influence but that of Reason, Instruction would be the only proper Applica., tion : but Men are born with Passions, as well as Reason, and the Paffions grow strong and turbulent, much fooner than
Reason comes to such Maturity as to be able to correct and restrain them; and therefore Authority is wanted as well as Instruction, to form the Mind of Men to Virtue and Religion.
I am sensible there are some, who have their Objections to this Method of propagating Religion, who think all Men should be left free to judge for themselves, without having the Prejudices of Education thrown into the Scale on either Side. They see that in Christian Countries, all are, through the Power of Education, Christians; in Mahometan Countries, they are, for the same Reason, Mahometans; and they think true Religion should reject the Use of those Means, which serve indifferently to promote Truth and Falsehood. . It is no uncommon Thing for Men to pursue their Speculations till they lose.Sight of Nature ; the Consequence of which is, that they fall into Notions contradictory to the Experience of Mankind, and absolutely impoffible to be reduced to practice.
Look into the History of Ages past, there is no Instance to be found of Children brought up free from the Impressions of