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in directing the hopes to that immortal happiness which will not deceive our expectations,—they may do the greatest good to their fellow-creatures. The sanctity of their office and character, and the disinterestedness of their conduct, give them great influence over the poor, and make them welcome visitants to their dwelling-places. In communicating spiritual instruction and consolation to the mourner, the bereaved, the destitute, and the dying, they are exercising true charity, and in a way appropriate to the wants of the persons to whom they minister.
When to this they add, the oversight of the schools, especially of the poorer classes in their neighbourhood; and, as in Scotland, take the principal charge of the distribution of the funds destined to the support of the poor, they discharge a work of benevolence of a nature the most important to their fellow-creatures and to their country.
II. Medical men have it also in their power to bestow charity very extensively on the poor, by affording them medicine and the benefit of their professional skill when necessary. To the honour of this profession, its members very generally are, in this way,
instruments incalculable good, by the time and attention which they gratuitously bestow. In the discharge of their duty they have numerous opportunities of witnessing families whose laborious industry had hitherto kept them from indigence, but who, in consequence of the continued illness with which they are visited, are fast falling from that place in society which they have most laudably struggled to maintain. To hasten to their relief, by humanely prescribing to them, and cheering
them with the hope of recovery, is one of the noblest works of charity, and one which medical gentlemen are frequently accustomed to perform.
III. Lawyers, and country gentlemen, by seasonable counsel, may prevent litigation among the poor ; and thụs preserve them from probable ruin. This is, in regard to them, a duty of humanity and benevolence. Its discharge, indeed, requires time and patience; but the peace and reconciliation which may be produced by it, and the saving of property, and perhaps of morals, are objects of great importance in the estimation of every man who thinks aright. The interposition of advice and friendly suggestion on the part of those who possess the confidence of the poor, may be the means of saving them from the necessity of directly contributing, at a future period, to supply their wants.
ON THE DUTIES OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN.
Let us now proceed to consider the duties of justice. These are far too numerous to be noticed in detail. Some of those which will fall to be treated under a subsequent head, ought to be slightly noticed heresuch as the relative duties. Parents, for example, are not only stimulated by the parental feelings to provide for their children, but they are required to do so by the demands of justice. They are the natural guardians of their offspring; and reason and revela
tion suggest the obligation of watching over their helpless years, and of training them up in the nurture and admonition of God. There are also certain duties due from the children to the parents, for the faithful performance of which there is not only provision made in the filial affections, but in maturer years, the claims of justice powerfully plead for their fulfilment. Το them they are indebted for the preservation and protection of their lives during the years of helplessness and childhood ;-to them, and especially to one of them, they owe the growth and gradual development of the kindlier sympathies of their nature ;—to them they are obliged for the elements of that education by which they are preparing, or have been already prepared, for usefulness and happiness in society ;and to them, above all, is due their gratitude, if they instructed them in the fear of God, and ceased not, by their exertions and their prayers, to point out the way to everlasting happiness. Hence the terms in which the authoritative injunction of revelation is enforced;
Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. Honour thy father and mother, that it may
be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth.”
The natural affections, as well as the Scriptures, establish the duty of parents to maintain their children. “ If any provide not for his own, especially for those of his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel *."
They are also, for the same reasons, bound to give them such a training or education, as may fit them for * 1 Tim. v. 8.
passing comfortably and creditably through the sequel of life. If they are to acquire subsistence by manual labour, they ought betimes to be inured to restraint, and to be provided with regular employment. If they are to depend on the exercise of their talents in a profession, it is criminal in the parents to withhold, from avarice, the means of procuring that knowledge, and those accomplishments, that will fit them for entering on its duties with a fair prospect of success. Nor are they less blameable, should they allow them to con
that time in foolish amusements, which should be devoted to studies necessary to their future honour and usefulness.
It may be more difficult to ascertain the extent to which parents are bound to make pecuniary provision for the future wants of their children. It is clear that this ought not to be prosecuted at the expense of the claims of justice, and of charity, reasonably proportioned to our income. It has been remarked by all who have been much conversant with the world, that with regard to sons especially, a good education, and virtuous and industrious habits, give them a far better chance of this world's happiness, than the possession of a large capital at the outset of their course. And with regard to the superior enjoyment of acquiring a fortune, above to the getting of it already provided by others, there can be no question.
The duty of parents making provision for the virtue of their children is of a still higher order. This cannot be done effectually without the union of example with precept. Should the child make the discovery that the parent in his admonitions is only acting a part,--and he will sooner or later make the discovery when such is actually the case,-he will receive his admonitions as he would “hear the same maxims from the mouth of a player. And when once this opinion has taken possession of the child's mind, it has a fatal effect upon the parents' influence in all
' subjects ; even those, in which he himself may be sincere and convinced. Whereas a silent, but observable regard to the duties of religion, in the parent's own behaviour, will take a sure and gradual hold of the child's disposition, much beyond formal reproofs and chidings, which being generally prompted by some present provocation, discover more of anger than of principle, and are always received with a temporary alienation and disgust *.'
ON MASTERS AND SERVANTS.
The mutual relation of masters and servants also gives rise to certain duties of justice. Both parties enter into stipulations, and both are laid under obligations. Those who serve enter into engagements with their employers, which they are bound with readiness and submission to fulfil. They are exposed to temptations peculiar to their station,-a culpable negligence in the business they have undertaken, dishonesty in
See the Chapter on the Duties of Parents and Children in Personal and Family Religion.