124 FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
constantly inculcated, I see no danger in the use of hope and fear as motives to exertion and obedience—obedience to parents, as involved in obedience to God. There will, in this case, be a higher motive in the lieart—that which arises from a perception of the inalienable claims of duty: and this will effectually prevent the debasing tendency which the inferior motives of selfish hope and fear might create, if they became the frequent sources of action.
As connected with this question of motives, there have been also much doubt and discussion in regard to punishments. Corporeal punishments have been altogether discarded by many, as degrading to human nature and injurious to the subjects of such discipline. But I am disposed to think that He who recommends to parents not to spare the rod, understood this subject better than these modern reformers. It may be that Vicessimus Knox, that prince of pedagogues, who laid an average of fifty lashes a day upon the backs of his scholars for some forty years, and Dr. Samuel Johnson, who was a great friend to flogging, and some others, have quoted Solomon in behalf of a severe system of youthful discipline. If so, it is not the first time that Holy Writ has been wrested from its true meaning, and made the instrument