Man is an animal formidable both from his passions and his reason; his passions often urging him to great evils, and his reason furnishing means to achieve them. To train this animal, and make him amenable to order, to inure him to a sense of justice and virtue, to withhold him from ill courses by fear, and encourage him in his duty by hopes; in short, to fashion and model him for society, hath been the aim of civil and religious institutions; and, in all times, the endeavour of good and wise men. The aptest method for attaining this end hath been always judged a proper education.
Must not the conduct of a parent seem very unaccountable to a child when its inclinations are thwarted; when it is put to learn letters; when it is obliged to swallow bitter physic; to part with it what it likes, and to suffer, and do, and see many things done, contrary to its own judgment? Will it not, therefore, follow from hence, by a parity of reason, that the little child man, when it takes upon itself to judge of parental providencea thing of yesterday to criticise the economy of the Ancient of Dayswill it not follow, I say, that such a judge of such matters must be apt to make very erroneous judgments, esteeming those things in themselves unaccountable which he cannot account for; and concluding of some things, from an appearance of arbitrary carriage towards him, which is suited to his infancy and ignorance, that they are in themselves capricious or absurd, and cannot proceed from a wise, just, and benevolent God?