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CONVERSATIONS AT THE CARLTON HOUSE.
- [CONTINUED FROM VOL. VI., 2D SERIES, 1842.] To our new readers we present a notice of the Carlton Family from our Harbinger of January, 1840, pp. 9, 10, 11:
"To foretell the fortune of a family with unerring certainty, is not more difficult than to estimate how much good, present and future, direct and indirect, may be achieved in any neighborhood by only one person of great energy of character, of superior intelligenie and moral worth, who sincerely and devoutly undertakes the improvement of society. The excellent Olympas, long resident and master of the Carlton House, in Carlton Place, and his beloved Julid, are yet living monuments of the great moral force of well disciplined minds, energetically and affectionately employed in advancing the religious and moral conditions of human existence. Their philanthropy was rational, pure, and fervent, and sought the. most natural aud capacious channels through which to communicate its blessings to society. While their commiserations and sympathies embraced the Turk, the Jew, and the Indian, they wasted not their time nor their substance in the formation of Utopian schemes for their conversion; but supremely employed their energies in family and neighborhood advancement in the paths of literature, religion, and morality. They felt the impulses of heavenly charity to be warmest and strongest for those at home; and, therefore, superlatively sought the moral excellence and eternal salvation of their children, relatives, and neighbors. Yet did they not look with a : cold indifference on the destitute and wretched of other climes and languages; but, reversing the policy of some of their more popular compeers, they contributed their pence to Hindostan and spent their pounds at home.
But their domestic administration and manner of disciplining and training their own immediate family, is that which at this time most SERIES 111.- Vol. VI.
especially interests us, because it very happily exemplifies, in an intelligible and practicable form, those principles and rules of family culture which both our theory and experience would commend to those who are supremely devoted to the eternal happiness of their own dear households. To further our aims and wishes we shall be at some pains to give in detail a few of those lessons in which we had the pleasure to participate under their consecrated roof, around the family altar, at the morning and evening hour of domestic instruction and social prayer.
The family was large, consisting of nine children, natural and adopted, with some half dozen domestics of different ages. All were arranged in classes according to their ages and capacities. The first consisted of three, under 7 years old; the second of four, under 14; and all the rest made up the third class. All that could fuently read, with book in hand sat round the room, and in turn read their several portions of the daily lesson. After the 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 infix in the youthful heart the solid and enduring principles of pure religion and Christian righteousness.
The morning hour, from 6 to 7, thus became an intellectual and moral feast-a spiritual breakfast of the most refreshing and invigorating efficacy to all. The plan in one important seature soon impressed itself upon my admiration. The infant class, as I may call that composed of those from 5 to 7, 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 house hold 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 a literary and intellectual superiority over every other family in the neighborhood, 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 School-as it was for William and Mary, Edward and Eliza, of the second class, to gain all the honors in all the classes of 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.”
We can only furnish a few conversations of the many we have had the pleasure to hear during our frequent sojournings under his hospitable roof. These are intended as specimens of the plan which we would most respectsully recommend to all Christian parents who have in their hands the immense responsibilities of rearing a family for the Lord.
Nine years have made many changes in the family of the excellent Olympas. Of his whole family, consisting of nine children when first I sojourned with him, on my late visit there were at home but the three youngest-Susan, James, and Henry. Three had died, and three had married. Some new domestics had taken the place of the old ones, and the venerable Clement, senior president of the church in Carmel city, had taken up his residence with his brother, Elder Olympas. The old lady, mistress of the household, was yet more like herself, nine years ago, than any member of her amily. The family customs, however, had not changed. Morning and
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