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A Discourse Upon Proverbs Xxii. 6.

A Discourse Upon Proverbs Xxii. 6.

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Train up a child in the way he ahould go : and when he is old^
he will not depart from it.

Train up a child in the way he ahould go : and when he is old^
he will not depart from it.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A DISCOURSE UPO Proverbs xxii. 6.BY ROBERT SOUTH, D.D.Tain up a child in the way he ahovld go : and when he is old^he will not depart from it.WHE I look back upon the old infamous rebellion andcivil war of forty-one, which, like an irresistible tor-rent, broke in upon and bore down the whole frame of ourgovernment both in church and state, together with the prin-cipal concerns of private families, and the personal interestsof particular men, (as it is not imaginable, that where adeluge overtops the mountains it should spare the valleys ;)and when I consider also, how fresh all this is in the remem-brance of many, and how frequent in the discourse of most,and in both carrying the same face of horror, (as inseparablefrom such reflections ;) I have wondered with myself, andthat even to astonishment, how it should be possible, that inthe turn of so few years there should be so numerous a partyof men in these kingdoms, who (as if the remembrance of allthose dismal days between forty and sixty were utterly erasedout of the minds of men, and struck out of the annals of time)Digitized by VjOOQ IC72 Virtuotis education of youths [Serm. 49.are still prepared and ready, nay, eager, and impetuouslybent to act over the same tragical scene again. Witness, firstof all, tte many virulent and base libels spread over thewhole nation against the king and his government ; and inthe next place, the design of seizing his royal person, whilethe parliament was held in Oxford in the year 1682 ; andlikewise the Rye-conspiracy, formed and intended for the
assassination of the king and of the duke his brother, in theyear 1683 ; and lastly, (though antecedent in time,) the twofamous * city cavalcades of clubmen, in the two years of 1679and 1680, countenanced and encouraged under that silly pre-tence of burning the pope, but carried onjwith so much insolenceand audacious fiiry, and such an open, barefaced contempt of all authority, as if the rabble had in plain terms bid the govern-ment do its worst, and touch or meddle with them, if it durst.So hard has the experience of the world found it, for thepardon of a guilt (too big for the common measures of pardon)to produce any thing better than the same practices whichhad been pardoned before.But since nothing can happen without some cause or other,I have been further considering with myself what the causeof this terrible evil, which still looks so grim upon thegovernment, should be. And to me it seems to be this ; thatas the forementioned rebellion and civil war brought upon thenation a general dissolution of order, and a corruption anddebauchment of men's manners, so the greatest part of thenation by much now alive has been born, or at least bred,since that fatal rebellion. For surely those who are nowabout or under fifty years of age make a much greater numberin the kingdom than those who are above it ; especially somuch above it, as to have passed their youth before thetime of the late confusions; which have since so perfectlychanged and new modelled, or rather extinguished themorality, nay, the very natural temper of the English na-tion.For this is certain, that wise and thinking men observe with*R. C. said lie had tossed up is to say. Extortion began thethe ball, and his successor P. W. dance, and Perjury would carrysaid he would keep it up. That it on.Digitized by VjOOQ IC
Prov. xxii. 6.] (ke way to a happy old age. 73sorrow that the change is so very great and bad, that there isno relation in society or common life but has suffered andbeen the worse for it. For look into families, and you willfind parents complaining, that their children pay them notthat duty and reverence, which they have heard and read thatcbildren used to shew their parents heretofore. Masters alsocomplain, that servants are neither so obedient nor so trustyas in former times. And lastly, for the conjugal relation, (athing of the greatest and most direct influence upon the wealor woe of societies of any other thing in the world besides,)it is but too frequent a complaint, that neither are men so goodhusbands, nor women so good wives, as they were before thataccursed rebellion had made that fatal leading breach in theconjugal tie between the best of kings and the happiest of people. But now, how comes all this to pass ? why, from theexorbitant license of men^s education. They were bred inlawless, ungovemed times, and conventicle, fanatic academies,in defiance of the universities, and when all tlungs wereturned topsyturvy, and the bonds of government quite loosedor broken asunder. So that, as soon as they were able to ob-serve any thing, the first thing which they actually did observe,were inferiors trampling upon their superiors; servantscalled by vote of parliament out of their masters' service tofight against their prince, and so to complete one rebellionwith another ; and women running in whole shoals to con-venticles, to seek lOhrist forsooth, but to find somebody else.By which liberties having once leaped over the severity andstruztness of former customs, they found it an easy matter,with debauched morals and defloured consciences, to launchout into much greater. So that no wonder now, if, in an ageof a more grown and improved debauchery, you see menspending their whole time in taverns, and their lives in duels;inflaming themselves with wine, till they come to pay thereckoning with their blood : and women spending both timeand fortune, and perhaps their honour too, at balls, plays, andtreats. The reason of all which is, that they are not now

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