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reading of one or two chapters, as the case might be, a free conversation ensued in the form of question and answer, frequently interspersed with practical views and remarks adapted to the capacity of all present, and animated with pious emotions and moral sentiments, fitted to imbue the minds of all with the fear and love of God, and to infis in the youthful heart the solid and enduring principles of pure religion and Christian righteousness.
The morning hour, from six to seven, thus became an intellectual and moral feast-a spiritual breakfast of the most refreshing and invigorating efficacy to us all. The plan in one important feature soon impressed itself upon my admiration. The infant class, as I may call that composed of those from five to seven, was exercised primarily upon the simple facts in the lesson, while the second class explained them; and the third drew the inferences and deduced the practical bearings of the subject as it applied to themselves and society at present.
Another very cardinal view of the whole exhibition immediately arrested my attention. Olympas, instead of calling upon his family to attend family worship, was accustomed to assemble his household to the morning and evening lesson. Family instruction, rather than family worship, was the prominent idea. True, indeed, the praises of God were frequently sung, and prayer and thanksgiving were always offered at the close of the lesson ; but as instruction extended to all present, and only a part could properly unite in the worship of God, it was much more apposite to denominate it family teaching than family worship.
Apart from its religious and moral character and influences, contemplated as a literary and intellectual affair-as purely educational in the common acceptance of the term, it was nearly equal to a common school course. Two hours per day, well and faithfully applied in this way, gave to the whole household of Olympas a literary and intellectual superiority over every other family in the neighbourhood who enjoyed in every other respect the same educational advantages.
Hence it was usual for Susan, James, and Henry, of the junior class, to be foremost in the Sunday School--foremost in the primary schoolas it was for William and Mary, Edward and Eliza, of the second class, to gain all the honours in all the classes at the common and high schools of Carmel City. The domestics of the Carlton House were a sort of aristocracy for intelligence and respectability among their co-ordinates in profession- among all their compeers who attended at the Carlton church. But it would be impossible for any one often to visit this consecrated family-the Carlton Bethel, and not to anticipate such fruits from a system of instruction and moral government so admirably adapted to all the exigencies of humanity in the morning time of its existence. The pre-eminence mentioned was but the proper fruit, the genuine effects of a system of training in perfect harmony with the conditions and wants of human nature.
These conversations are intended as specimens of the plan which we would most affectionately recommend to all Christian parents who have in their hands the immense responsibilities of rearing a family for the Lord.
MONDAY morning, six o'clock, being a second reading of the two first chapters of Genesis, containing fifty-two verses, eleven persons read five verses each in rotation. After a distinct enunciation of these chapters, Olympas interrogated the junior class in the following manner:
Tell me, Susan, who created the heavens and the earth?
Susan. God; which as you told me, means the Good BEING.
When, James, did God create the heaven and the earth?
James. "In the beginning." ;
And what, Susan, was before the beginning of time?
Were the heavens and the earth, James, both created at the same time?
James. They were both created in the beginning.
And where, Henry, did God dwell before the heavens and the earth were made ?
Henry. I cannot tell.
William. Moses does not tell us; but one of the books says, he dwells in Eternity.
Which of the holy scribes says this?
William. Isaiah calls him, “The High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity."
Olympas. Observe, then, that time is no part of eternity: for as in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, the heavens and the earth are the beginning of time. We would then say that God created time by creating the heavens and the earth. In how many days, Henry, did God create the heavens and the earth ?
Henry. In six days.
Susan. I do not know; but I know what God called it. He called it night.
And what made the first day, James ?
James. “The evening and the morning made the first day."
Then was not darkness between the evening and the morning, William ?
William. It was. Still light is called day ; for we have to count darkness in time, and include a portion of it with light, in counting events; and thus evening, night, and morning are computed as one day.
Olympas. You mean, that while day means light, in time it denotes both a portion of light aud darkness.
William. Yes; in computing the week we have to count darkness as a portion of time, and make seven days and seven nights a week.
Olympas. Mary, can you tell what darkness is?
Mary. It was not created, and is therefore nothing.
Olympas. It is indeed, no substance; and
therefore was not properly created. But it is spoken of as a thing, and is figuratively said to be created. God says, “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil ; I the Lord do all these things." But he creates darkness by removing the light; for darkness is but the privation of light. Do you think, Edward, that light is a substance ?
Edward. It strikes my eye with force, and sometimes with pain, which darkness never does ; and is therefore a substance.
Olympas. Can you, Eliza, recollect any reference made to the creation of light in the New Testament?
Eliza. Paul, I think, says that “God commanded the light to shine out of darkness."
William. I read in Plato, or some other book, that “light is the shadow of God."
Olympas. But neither Plato nor the poets, are of any authority here. A beautiful saying and a true saying, are not identical. Some have thought that the original term AUR, which represents both fire in general, and lightning or electricity, here refers more to the matter of light than to the display of it, because the luminaries were not made till the fourth day; but this to you is more curious than edifying. Tell me, James, what was done on the second day?
James. God made the firmament on the second day.
Olympas. Nothing else, Susan?
Susan. Yes, he made the waters also, and separated them into two parts.
Olympas. We are not told that he created the waters on the second day. He only separated