(Part of the Collection, Kersey's Essays)

Jesse Kersey

Taken From  A Narrative of the Early Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors of Jessey Kersey, Late of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Chapman, 1851, pages 242-244.

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[P. 242] We are now to look into the duties which are required, and must be fulfilled on the part of those sons and daughters of God. As they have entered into covenant with the Holy One of Israel, they are bound by pure love watchfully to regard all that is required of them to do: among the first and most solemn of obligations, the duty of commanding their households and those after them, can never be neglected without incurring the divine displeasure. It appears to have been a cause why the Almighty declared he would not hide from Abraham what he had determined to do with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. "Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I do, seeing that I know him, that he will command his children and his household, and they shall keep the way of the Lord?"

It is much to be lamented that many children are permitted to grow up in the Society of Friends, without their being ever taught the lesson of obedience to [P. 243] parents. The consequence is, that they in a state of manhood prove self-willed, if not stubborn; nor have they scarcely any respect for the judgment of their parents, but live in opposition to the advice of their friends; nor is it likely that such will ever make useful and agreeable members of society; because being always indulged with their own gratifications, and never condescending to proper restraint they acquire a habit of obstinacy that ever after renders them disagreeable in all company. But children that are rightly educated are mild and pleasant in their disposition and manners. On this important concern much might be said; but though it is of great consequence to the cause of Truth, it must under present circumstances be left; not without sincere desire, however that it may obtain the serious attention of Friends, As it regards the schooling of the families of Friends, I have long doubted the fitness of large boarding institutions for this purpose. It appears to me that a child to be brought up properly, should never be separated from a connection with the domestic duties. If this was regarded according to the merits of it, parents would undergo many inconveniences rather thin send their children from home to be educated. In my opinion the proper place for children to receive learning is in the house of the parent; and this could be readily accomplished by a little attention to the proper occupancy of the time. In the winter farmers have the long evenings at leisure, and if the plan was adopted of bringing the books on the table after supper, two hours might be devoted to instruction every evening, and it would not be long before the father and the child would find it a very happy method of acquiring the necessary [P. 244] learning: they would ever be delighted with those pleasant modes of family improvement so that in many families the father in a few years would see that their elder children were capable of supplying his place.