Volume. XXVII, No. 46
Sunday, 12 May 2013

Susannah Wesley: Thoughts on Raising Children - Part 1

Conquer the Child's Will

"In order to form the minds of children, the first thing to be done is to conquer their will, and bring them to an obedient temper. To inform the understanding is a work of time, and must with children proceed by slow degrees as they are able to bear it: but the subjecting the will is a thing which must be done at once; and the sooner the better. For by neglecting timely correction, they will contract a stubbornness and obstinacy which is hardly ever after conquered; and never, without using such severity as would be as painful to me as to the child. In the esteem of the world they pass for kind and indulgent, whom I call cruel, parents, who permit their children to get habits which they know must be afterwards broken. Nay, some are so stupidly fond, as in sport to teach their children to do things which, in a while after, they have severely beaten them for doing.

"Whenever a child is corrected, it must be conquered; and this will be no hard matter to do, if it be not grown headstrong by too much indulgence. And when the will of a child is totally subdued, and it is brought to revere and stand in awe of the parents, then a great many childish follies and inadvertences may be passed by. Some should be overlooked and taken no notice of, and others mildly reproved; but no willful transgression ought ever to be forgiven children, without chastisement, less or more, as the nature and circumstances of the offence require.

"I insist upon conquering the will of children betimes, because this is the only strong and rational foundation of a religious education; without which both precept and example will be ineffectual. But when this is thoroughly done, then a child is capable of being governed by the reason and piety of its parents, till its own understanding comes to maturity, and the principles of religion have taken root in the mind.

"I cannot yet dismiss this subject. As self-will is the root of all sin and misery, so whatever cherishes this in children insures their after-wretchedness and irreligion; whatever checks and mortifies it promotes their future happiness and piety. This is still more evident, if we farther consider, that religion is nothing else than the doing the will of God, and not our own: that the one grand impediment to our temporal and eternal happiness being this self-will, no indulgences of it can be trivial, no denial unprofitable. Heaven or hell depends on this alone. So that the parent who studies to subdue it in his child, works together with God in the renewing and saving a soul. The parent who indulges it does the devil\'s work, makes religion impracticable, salvation unattainable; and does all that in him lies to damn his child, soul and body for ever.


They Had Nothing They Cried For

"The children of this family were taught, as soon as they could speak, the Lord\'s prayer, which they were made to say at rising and bed-time constantly; to which, as they grew bigger, were added a short prayer for their parents, and some collects; a short catechism, and some portion of Scripture, as their memories could bear.

"They were very early made to distinguish the Sabbath from other days; before they could well speak or go. They were as soon taught to be still at family prayers, and to ask a blessing immediately after, which they used to do by signs, before they could kneel or speak.

“They were quickly made to understand they might have nothing they cried for, and instructed to speak handsomely for what they wanted. They were not suffered to ask even the lowest servant for aught without saying, \'Pray give me such a thing \'; and the servant was chid (reprimanded), if she ever let them omit that word. Taking God\'s name in vain, cursing and swearing, profaneness, obscenity, rude, ill-bred names, were never heard among them. Nor were they ever permitted to call each other by their proper names without the addition of brother or sister.

"None of them were taught to read till five years old, except Kezzy, in whose case I was overruled; and she was more years learning than any of the rest had been months. The way of teaching was this: The day before a child began to learn, the house was set in order, every one\'s work appointed them, and a charge given that none should come into the room from nine till twelve, or from two till five; which, you know, were our school hours. One day was allowed the child wherein to learn its letters; and each of them did in that time know all its letters, great and small, except Molly and Nancy, who were a day and a half before they knew them perfectly; for which I then thought them very dull; but since I have observed how long many children are learning the horn-book, I have changed my opinion.

"But the reason why I thought them so then was, because the rest learned so readily; and your brother Samuel, who was the first child I ever taught, learned the alphabet in a few hours. He was five years old on February 10; the next day he began to learn, and as soon as he knew the letters, began at the first chapter of Genesis. He was taught to spell the first verse, then to read it over and over, till he could read it offhand without any hesitation, so on to the second, &c, till he took ten verses for a lesson, which he quickly did. Easter fell low that year, and by Whitsuntide he could read a chapter very well; for he read continually, and had such a prodigious memory, that I cannot remember ever to have told him the same word twice.”


….... To be continued next week.



Excepted from John Wesley, The Heart of Wesley’s Journal, ed., Percy Livingstone Parker, (New York, NY: Fleming H. Revell, Inc.), pp. 93-101


Pastor Weng


More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht. Next Lord’s Day: Phil Surman.

*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm.

*Session wishes all grandmothers & mothers a Blessed Mother’s Day today

*Combined Ebenezer - Hope BPCs Easter Family Bible Camp— MP3, CD & DVD Media order forms available at the foyer table. Please submit orders by 19 May 2013 (that is, next Lord’s Day) latest.

*Video materials including worship service webcasts & sermon videos now available in the password-protected “Members Area” on the church website. Please approach Dn Wai Kin Wong or Session Members for details.

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (KL); Bro Charles & Sis Rachel Scott-Pearson & family (UK); Dns Joyce Gong & Sis Serene Wong (Adl); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & family (Barossa/Adl); Bro Houston Li (Barossa/Adl); & others who are travelling. 

2. Church Activities, in the past week. 

3. Ministry of Bro Charles Scott-Pearson in Australia

4. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

5. Visitors & new worshippers.

 Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (UK); Rev & Mrs James White; Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (Nursing Home); Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Susan Varadi (Nursing Home); Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Special Prayer for healing: Sisters Corinne Teng & Audrey Yeo

3. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh); Khmer pastors & families (rural villages)

4. Ministry in New Life BPC (London) & God’s guidance: Ps & Sis Ki.

5. Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions: Rev Keith Coleman, Board members & missionaries.

6. Presbyterian Missionary Union: Board & missionaries.

7. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

8. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & preparation for ordination - Pr HS Lim  (Melb, Vic).

9. Ministry in Hope BPC - Ps & Sis Weng . 

10. Journey mercies: Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & family (Barossa/Adl); Bro Houston Li (Barossa/Adl); Sisters Michelle Jap (Melb/Adl), Felicia Tan (Melb), Mary Ting, Peng Ha Yeo (China) & Serene Wong (S’pore); & others who are travelling. 

11. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

12. Full-time Job - Sisters Felicia Tan, Corinne Teng, Sharon Ying; & others looking for  stable jobs.

13. Unity in doctrine & fellowship of all B-P Churches

14. Australian visas - Sisters Clara Sim, Felicia Tan (work visas) & Sharon Ying (PR).

15. Australia - God’s wisdom for our nation’s leaders & people; salvation of souls.

16. Believers under persecution in Islamic & Communist countries (especially in North Korea).

17. Sichuan Earthquake - Victims & those who lost loved ones; for Salvation, comfort & healing.

18. God’s guidance - future of Hope BPC



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