Imágenes de páginas

ing of the children of Israel in the wilderness, where they had bread from heaven for food, and drank water which Moses caused to flow from the rock by smiting it with his rod. Represent the miraculous conquest of the promised land, when the waters of Jordan rolled backward to their source, and the walls of a city fell of themselves, in the view of the besiegers. Present a lively and natural description of the battles of Saul and David; represent the latter, in his youth, without armor, and in his shepherd's dress, victorious over the gigantic Goliah. Never forget the glory and wisdom of Solomon; introduce him deciding the quarrel of the two women who lay claim to a child; but especially exhibit him falling from the height of this wisdom, and dishonoring himself by luxury and effeminacy, the almost inevitable conseqences of extreme prosperity.

Introduce the prophets addressing kings in the name of God; let them be represented reading in the future as in a book; let them appear humble, austere, and suffering con

tinual persecutions for having declared the truth. Describe in the proper place, the first fall of Jerusalem; let them see the temple burnt, and the holy city in ruins, as a punishment for the sins of the people. Recount the Babylonish captivity, in which the Jews lamented their beloved Zion. Before their return, describe briefly the delightful adventures of Tobit and Judith, Esther and Daniel. It would not be without advantage, to make children give their opinions upon the different characters of these saints, for the sake of knowing who are most agreeable to them. One would prefer Esther, and another Judith; and this would excite between them a little dispute, that would impress these histories more deeply upon their minds, and would assist in forming their judgments. conduct again the people to Jerusalem, and represent them repairing its walls; give an agreeable picture of its peace and prosperity; soon after, present to their view the cruel and impious Antiochus, who dies in a false penitence; show, in the times of this perse


cutor, the victories of the Maccabees, and the martyrdom of the seven brothers of that name. Proceed to the miraculous birth of St. John. Give more in detail, that of Jesus Christ; after which, you can select from the Gospels all the most impressive passages of his life; his appearance in the temple at the age of twelve years,-his baptism, his retirement into the wilderness and temptation there, -the calling of his apostles, the multiplication of the loaves,-the conversion of the woman that was a sinner, who anointed the feet of the Saviour with perfumed ointment, washed them with her tears, and wiped them with the tresses of her hair;-represent likewise the Samaritan woman instructed, the blind man healed, Lazarus raised from the dead, Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem; make his sufferings on the cross visible; picture him rising from the tomb. Next, you can bring to view the familiarity with which he remained forty days with his disciples, till they saw him ascend to heaven;-the descent of the Holy Spirit, the stoning of St. Stephen,


the conversion of St. Paul, the calling of the centurion Cornelius, the journeys of the apostles, and particularly of St. Paul, are especially entertaining. Select the most wonderful histories of the martyrs, and something in general of the heavenly life of the early Christians; introduce here the courage of young virgins, the astonishing austerities of recluses, the conversion of the emperors and of the empire, the blindness of the Jews, and their terrible punishment which continues to this day.

All these narrations, discreetly managed, would prepare the lively and tender imaginations of children to receive with delight the whole series of religious history, from the creation to the present time; and, in this way, their understandings would be filled with very grand and impressive ideas, which would never be effaced. They would even see, in this history, the hand of God always raised to deliver the just, and to confound the purposes of the wicked. They would be accustomed to discern the Deity acting in every thing,

and secretly directing according to his own purposes, those who appear most distant from them; but in these histories it is necessary to combine every thing that yields the most agreeable and magnificent images, because all our efforts should be of such a kind as to render religion amiable, attractive and august, while, on the contrary, it is generally represented as something feeble and melancholy.

Beside the inestimable advantage of communicating religious instruction to children in this way, the treasure of pleasing narratives thus accumulated in the memory, awakens their curiosity respecting serious things, renders them sensible to the charms of intellectual enjoyment, and makes them interested in what they hear of other histories that have connection with what they already know; but, once more, it is necessary sedulously to avoid imposing any compulsory obligation upon them to listen to these accounts, or to retain them in mind; they should by no means be considered regular lessons; let all this be done solely by the attraction of


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