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his holy child Jesus, and the great salvation,-of the spirit and his blessed influence, and strive to curb unruly desire, to bring it un ler the early influence of the truth, and form its heart to the love and service of God?
You have been the means of bringing it into a guilty and a dring world. Shall it be saved or lost? The one or the other shall be the fact; and whether the one or the other, will depend, in a great measure on you, and on its early impressions. Resign it to the dominion of its passionsCheat and deceive it by your falsehood and hypocrisy-Vex and torture it by your fretfulness and rage-Irritate and dissappoint it by your treachery and unfaithfulness-Throw around it the contagion of your own depravity-Withhold from it the knowledge of God, and of his law, of Christ, and of his death-Put it under the care of teachers, that neither fear nor love God-And lead it through the paths of science, without an observation of His agency and will, and the child shall grow up, a prey for the vengeance of heaven.
We cannot neglect to urge, in the most importunate manner, on you, the importance and necessity of early and solemn attention to this matter. Will you mothers, fathers, friends, christians, and philanthropists, allow the young immortal to grow up in sin, without an effort to bring its little powers under the genial and sanctifying influence of the truth? Why not familiarize the infant mind with divine things? Why not tell it of the love of Jesus, and strive, before the propensities of the heart shall have become deep rooted, and wedded it indissolubly to sinful objects, to bring it under the influence of some awakening truth, and mould the little understanding to useful, intellectual, and moral pursuits? The system of infant-school instruction, which proposes, as its object, "to awaken a desire in the infant heart, to scek moral and intellectual improvement, by early and lasting activities, to excite virtuous attachments,
and inspire an utter detestation for all immorality,” deserves the interested attention, and zealous co-operation of every one, who would arrest the progress of moral death. “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, God has-ordained strength, because of His enemies, that (He might) still the enemy and the avenger." Here, then, let us begin, and make our moststudied, and systematic, and mighty attack on Satan's kingdom. Here is where the strength lies. And as the whole plan of God's governmentment ment, in this world, is that of development, let us learn wisdom from His own constitution, and bring the truth early to bear upon the infant heart, by developing the spiritual powers and mental capacities of the young immortal, we may get the start of corruption and the world, and fit it for usefulness, happiness, and glory. Seize first the affections of the infant heart, in all the tenderness and pliancy of their earliest buddings, and let the bright mirror of God's blessed word, reflect, in mild and mellow rays, the rich and glowing image of the Sun of Righteousness, to ripen it into holiness. His gracious Spirit invites to this work. And blessed be His name, for the growing army of youthful teachers, and yet more tender scholars, whom the blessed Spirit is marshaling in our Sunday and infant schools! "Whom shall he teach knowledge, and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little."2
1. Psalm vui, ..
2. Isai. xxviii, 9, 10.
THE MORAL CERTAINTY OF HUMAN DE
We are exposed, from the earliest period of our moral history to the influ
ence of causes which secure a deranged exercise of our moral powersDifficult to trace the influence of these things—An harmony in his moral exercises, originally characteristic of Adam—This harmony was de. ranged through the sublety of Satan's temptations-One wilful act changed the whole moral aspect of the world—Noticed particularly in respect of the moral feelings of our first parents-Traced in respect of their progeny-Inquiry as to what brings men under the actual government of law-Difference between God's providential and moral government-Out of place to ask whcther, and how infants sin-The theory of moral ünity or representation in Adam noticed--Some remarks to prevent mistake-A brief view of man as furnished with various capacities for thought, feeling and action—The law of reproduction applicable here—Psalm ii, 5.-Conscience affected not by theories, but by per. sonal crime-General laws affecting the development of human capacities— These laws perverted— Instinct Animal sensation-Passions and affections-Inquiry whether infants possess moral character-Moral character the result of moral acts-Neither sin nor holiness predicable of infants personally—More abundant causes for men's universally sinning, than for the Arst sin of our progenitors.
In the chapter before the last, we digressed into a consideration of the question of human ability, as it presented itself in the course of our investigations on the subject of derived corruption. In the chapter preceding that, the fact had been noticed, that men inherit from Adam, a constitutional nature, which is subjected to a forfeiture of privileges and immunities that would have been secured by his obedience; and also, that they come into being, under circumstances, which render it morally certain, that they will sin, as soon as they are capable of moral agency. It is our object, in this chapter, to adyert to the developements of human character, as from the very earliest period of their history, men are exposed to the influence of causes or circumstances, which render it morally certain that they will universally sin as soon as they are capable of moral action.
It were an endless task, to unfold the eyer-varying modifications of corrupt character. They are as numerous, as the individuals of our race, and as diversified, as the combinations of human passion, which may be excited by ever-varying circumstances. To analyse these, we shall not attempt. To do so, would render it necessary, among other things, to investigate the excedingly perplexed and intricate subject of insanity.-For, it is very manifest that, many of its manifestations are owing to the inordi. nate growth, and ascendant influence of some one partinular passion. All that we can adventure is, some general reflections to guide the further inquiries of the reader.
We have already seen, that when Adam was created, there was an harmony in the exercise of all his moral powers. His intellectual perceptions, his sensitive emotions, and his voluntary actions, were in unison. As his mind perceived, his heart felt, and his will determined. The operations of his self-love, or the instinctive desires of his soul after happiness, were in perfect accordance with his duty. On yielding to their impulses, and in seeking his enjoyment in the things which God had prescribed, he incurred not the accusations of conscience. On the contrary, he secured its approbation, without which he could not have been blessed.
The tempter contrived to destroy this harmony. He awakened emotions, which obscured his perceptions of truth, and induced him to act directly contrary to the divine will. A desire for knowledge, a general respect for the character of God, the natural appetite for food, the influence of animal senses, entire practical ignorance of sin, were all appealed to, and roused into action, and through the specious reasonings of the tempter, our first mother made the desperate experiment, determining to do, and doing what God had probibited. From that very moment, a moral derangement took place. That one resolute act of will, drew with it most fearful consequentes in her own moral history, and that of her race. She instantly became the tempter of her husband in her turn, and having persuaded him to sin, their offspring after them, evince through all their generations, the same alienations of mind and heart.
It is a subject of very deep interest, and to the christian niinister of awful moment, to inquire how far a deliberate and determined effort of will, in one special case, tends to shape the whole subsequent history, and character, and even to effect the generations to come. To the grief and anguish of the soul of a godly minister, he not unfrequently finds, that one decided and desperate effort of will, on the part of an awakened sinner, by which he acts with energy, either in refusing to believe on Jesus Christ, or in shaking off his convictions, is followed by insensibility, rapidly increasing depravity, utter desertion by the Spirit of God, and eternal death; nor does it stop here, but his children after him, oftimes imitate his example, imbibe his spirit, follow in his steps, and pursue him down to Hell. No man can tell, but that any and every, affort of will in rejecting Christ and his salvation, and in refusing to repent, shall be followed with eternal consequences, both in himself, and in those to whom he may give birth. The whole iniquity that has been teeming in the world, and ruining our guilty race, and spreading havock