Volume. XXVII, No. 47
Sunday, 19 May 2013

Susannah Wesley: Thoughts on Raising Children - Part 2

...Continued from last week

Keeping the Wesley Children in Order

"What was yet stranger, any word he had learned in his lesson, he knew, wherever he saw it, either in his Bible, or any other book; by which means he learned very soon to read an English author well.

"The same method was observed with them all. As soon as they knew the letters, they were put first to spell, and read one line, then a verse; never leaving till perfect in their lesson, were it shorter or longer. So one or other continued reading at school-time, without any intermission; and before we left school, each child read what he had learned that morning; and ere we parted in the afternoon, what they had learned that day.

"There was no such thing as loud talking or playing allowed of; but every one was kept close to their business, for the six hours of school: and it is almost incredible, what a child may be taught in a quarter of a year, by a vigorous application, if it have but a tolerable capacity, and good health. Every one of these, Kezzy excepted, could read better in that time, than the most of women can do as long as they live.

"Rising out of their places, or going out of the room, was not permitted, unless for good cause; and running into the yard, garden, or street, without leave, was always esteemed a capital offence.

"For some years we went on very well. Never were children in better order. Never were children better disposed to piety, or in more subjection to their parents; till that fatal dispersion of them, after the fire, into several families. In those they were left at full liberty to converse with servants, which before they had always been restrained from; and to run abroad, and play with any children, good or bad. They soon learned to neglect a strict observation of the Sabbath, and got knowledge of several songs and bad things, which before they had no notion of. The civil behaviour which made them admired, when at home, by all which saw them, was, in great measure, lost; and a clownish accent, and many rude ways, were learned, which were not reformed without some difficulty.

"When the house was rebuilt, and the children all brought home, we entered upon a strict reform; and then was begun the custom of singing psalms at beginning and leaving school, morning and evening. Then also that of a general retirement at five o\'clock was entered upon; when the oldest took the youngest that could speak, and the second the next, to whom they read the Psalms for the day, and a chapter in the New Testament; as, in the morning, they were directed to read the Psalms and a chapter in the Old: after which they went to their private prayers, before they got their breakfast, or came into the family. And, I thank God, the custom is still preserved among us.


Susannah Wesley\'s "By-laws"

"There were several by-laws observed among us, which slipped my memory, or else they had been inserted in their proper place; but I mention them here, because I think them useful.

"1. It had been observed, that cowardice and fear of punishment often lead children into lying, till they get a custom of it, which they cannot leave. To prevent this, a law was made, That whoever was charged with a fault, of which they were guilty, if they would ingenuously confess it, and promise to amend, should not be beaten. This rule prevented a great deal of lying, and would have done more, if one in the family would have observed it. But he could not be prevailed on, and therefore was often imposed on by false colours and equivocations; which none would have used (except one), had they been kindly dealt with. And some, in spite of all, would always speak truth plainly.

"2. That no sinful action, as lying, pilfering, playing at church, or on the Lord\'s day, disobedience, quarrelling, &c, should ever pass unpunished.

"3. That no child should ever be chid (scolded), or beat twice, for the same fault; and that if they amended, they should never be upbraided with it afterwards.

“4. That every signal act of obedience, especially when it crossed upon their own inclinations, should be always commended, and frequently rewarded, according to the merits of the cause.


"5. That if ever any child performed an act of obedience, or did anything with an intention to please, though the performance was not well, yet the obedience and intention should be kindly accepted; and the child with sweetness directed how to do better for the future.

"6. That propriety be inviolably preserved, and none suffered to invade the property of another in the smallest matter, though it were but of the value of a farthing, or a pin; which they might not take from the owner without, much less against, his consent. This rule can never be too much inculcated on the minds of children; and from the want of parents or governors doing it as they ought, proceeds that shameful neglect of justice which we may observe in the world.

"7. That promises be strictly observed; and a gift once bestowed, and so the right passed away from the donor, be not resumed, but left to the disposal of him to whom it was given; unless it were conditional, and the condition of the obligation not performed.

"8. That no girl be taught to work till she can read very well; and then that she be kept to her work with the same application, and for the same time, that she was held to in reading. This rule also is much to be observed; for the putting children to learn sewing before they can read perfectly, is the very reason why so few women can read fit to be heard, and never to be well understood."

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



*New Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Bro Raphael Ng. Next Lord’s Day: Dn Tony Law

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

*Next Lord’s Day is our 27th Anniversary Thanksgiving. Please invite your family members, relatives & friends to join us.

*Combined Ebenezer - Hope BPCs Easter Family Bible Camp — MP3, CD & DVD Media order forms available at the foyer table. Please submit orders by today.

 Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong; Bros Raymond Ang (Adl), Raphael Ng (Barossa/Adl) & Houston Li (S’pore/KL); Sisters Michelle Jap (Melb/Adl), Josephine Wong & family (Adl), Felicia Tan (Melb), Mary Ting, Peng Ha Yeo (Wuhan), Serene Wong (S’pore); & others who are travelling. 

2. Church Activities, in the past week. 

3. Successful surgery: Dn Yaw Chiew Tan

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), Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi (Nursing Home) & Audrey Yeo; 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. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Rev Srun Chivan & Ministry (Sihanoukville).

3. Ministry in New Life BPC (London) & God’s guidance for the future: Ps & Sis Ki.

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

5. Presbyterian Missionary Union: Board & missionaries.

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

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

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

9. Journey mercies: Elder Michael D Lee (Melb); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & family (Barossa/Adl); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo)  & Houston Li (Adl); Sisters Lee Lan Chong, Felicia Tan (Adl), Mary Ting, Peng Ha Yeo (Beijing), Serene Wong (UK) & Sharon Ying (Per); & others who are travelling. 

10. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

11. Full-time Job - Sisters Felicia Tan & Corinne Teng; & others looking for  stable jobs.

12. Australian Work Visas - Sisters Clara Sim & Felicia Tan.

13. Sis Sharon Ying: God’s guidance & provision for her future, job, & PR Visa.

14. God’s guidance - future of Hope BPC

15. 27th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service next Lord’s Day - for Hope BPC to grow spiritually.

16. Session Meeting: God’s wisdom for members



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