365 days with Newton


Instruct children early

‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.’ Ephesians 6:4

I must speak to those parents who have a sense of the worth of souls. I need say nothing to persuade you of the importance of this duty. I wish I was able to advise and assist in the discharge of it. It requires wisdom and steadiness. But be not discouraged. If any parent lacks wisdom for this service, let him ask of God and it shall be given. Three or four things I may mention from the text. Instruct your children early in the principles of religion. For this purpose catechisms have their good use. But teaching children a form of words by rote is not the main thing. Endeavour to converse with them. Children have curiosity, which is as a handle by which they may be led. Endeavour to impress them with a sense of the goodness of God, their dependence upon him for life, health and protection—his governing providence and the authority of his blessed Word. Pray for them, pray with them and put them upon praying for themselves.

FOR MEDITATION: Had my first meeting with the children at the Great House. Called one of them out to read Matthew 19:13–15, from whence I took occasion to speak of the condescension and love of the Lord Jesus and his gracious attention even to young children, having been once (for our sakes) an infant and a child himself. Gave to most of them Mason’s Catechism and explained a few of the questions and answers at the beginning. Cautioned them against the proofs of depravity which too soon appear in children: disobedience, lying, bad words, petty thefts, breach of the Sabbath, and such things. Amongst other things I directed them to attend at church. Accordingly the chief part of them came at the lecture and seated themselves before the pulpit in the middle aisle. It was a pleasing and affecting sight and moved me to pray for them before the congregation.272
Journal of children’s meetings at Olney, Thursday 17 January 1765


Published by milo2030

I am widowed 5 years now and have 2 adult sons at home

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