Religious Education Of Children
( Originally Published 1851 )
Do not press your children too much during their early years on the subject of religion. Show them, by your example, that it is the object of your own reverence ; but suffer their religious principles to form gradually, as their understandings open. Do not make religion appear to them a burden; do not lay them under unnecessary restraints; do not let them see religion clothed in a dress repulsive to their youthful minds. To insure its making a good impression on them, let it be clothed in its native colors of attraction. Study to make them regard it as an object of veneration, but, at the same time, what it truly is, as a source of cheerfulness and joy. Do not let them regard the Sabbath as a day of gloom and restraint. Take them with you to the House of God, and accustom them to regard the institutions of religion with reverence, but do nut compel them, during the rest of the day, to remain immured within the walls of your own house. Al-low them the reasonable indulgence of air and exercise an indulgence useful to their health, rational in itself, and no way inconsistent with their religious character; while the refusal of that indulgence has just the effect of making them regard the return of the day as a day of penance and mortification, in-stead of hailing it as a day of joy.