We are commanded by Soloman to "train up a child in the way he
should go," with the assurance that "when he is old he will not depart
from it." We must not imagine that these words are to be taken in an
absolute sense, as if no child that had been trained up in the way he
should go had departed from it. Observers of facts will by no means
agree with this. Seemingly some of the best parents have the worse
This may be because good men have not always good understanding.
Without this, it will hardly be expected that they will know how to train
their children in the way they should go. Sometimes good men let their
sympathy overrule their judgment. In so doing they go no farther in
restraining their children from evil than Eli when he said, "Nay, my sons,
the report I hear of you is not good." We believe that one of the largest
and saddest mistakes the church and race are making is failing to take
more interest in preparing young people for future usefulness. Child-
training is essential, and things will continue to go from bad to worse
until we spend more time in the training of our children in the funda-
mental principles of right living, right thinking and right doing.
It is not strange nowadays to see bright-minded and bright-eyed boys
and girls on the public highway growing up in sin, vice and ignorance
simply for the want of proper training. A child will never reach the
desired end of true life, culture, refinement and usefulness until it is
well trained. The word trained is broad and fitting in every respect.
Some biblical scholars construe this "training" to apply to a child "in
the beginning of his way," or as soon as the child is capable of receiving
It is very hard for a child who has been thoroughly trained to do
the right to stray entirely from it. Parents must train their children both
by precept and example. Children should be initiated in the doctrine of
Christianity as soon as they are capable of knowing right from wrong.
This can be done in a very simple and sensible way without stirring up
strife by unreasonable discussion of parental government. Says the Apostle
Paul "And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up
in the nuture and admonition of the Lord." Here we have the method