"A child's whole notion of religion is 'being good.' It is well that he should know that being good is not his whole duty to God, although it is so much of it; that the relationship of love and personal service, which he owes as a child to his Father, as a subject to his King, is even more than the 'being good' which gives our Almighty Father such pleasure in His children." v3 p136
"...that most delicate and beautiful of human possessions, an educated conscience, comes only by teaching with authority and adorning by example." v3 p129
And I don't venture far to say that the only true authority is one that is fleshed out by A Living Example. Authority won't get you very far if you don't practice what you preach.
A rather long, but oh so good illustration from my recent free-reading:
"Thus had Gibbie his first lesson in the only thing worth learning, in that which, to be learned at all, demands the united energy of heart and soul and strength and mind; and from that day he went on learning it. I cannot tell how, or what were the slow stages by which his mind budded and swelled until it burst into the flower of humanity, the knowledge of God. I cannot tell the shape of the door by which the Lord entered into that house, and took everlasting possession of it...
So, teaching him only that which she loved, not that which she had been taught, Janet read to Gibbie of Jesus, talked to him of Jesus, dreamed to him about Jesus; until at length—Gibbie did not think to watch, and knew nothing of the process by which it came about—his whole soul was full of the man, of his doings, of his words, of his thoughts, of his life. Jesus Christ was in him—he was possessed by him. Almost before he knew, he was trying to fashion his life after that of his Master...
Whatever Janet, then, might, perhaps—I do not know—have imagined it her duty to say to Gibbie had she surmised his ignorance, having long ceased to trouble her own head, she had now no inclination to trouble Gibbie's heart with what men call the plan of salvation. It was enough to her to find that he followed her Master. Being in the light she understood the light, and had no need of system, either true or false, to explain it to her. She lived by the word proceeding out of the mouth of God."
Sir Gibbie, George MacDonald. Kindle Edition (Loc 2499-2532).
I cannot recommend Sir Gibbie highly enough. It's my new favorite.
I kinda wanna memorize it.
The following quote from Charlotte Mason, as well as that at the beginning of the post, make me wonder if she might have read Sir Gibbie herself. Either way, I hope you'll be inspired to read it someday. It's so good. :)
"A child cannot have a lasting sense of duty until he is brought into contact with a Supreme Authority, who is the source of law and the pleasing of whom converts duty into joy. In these rather latitudinarian days, there is perhaps no part of religious teaching more important than to train children in the sense of the immediate presence and continual going forth of the supreme Authority." v3 p137
This post is based on thoughts on Chapter 12 in Volume 3, School Education by Charlotte Mason. The topic, Some Unconsidered Aspects of Intellectual Training, is one option for a topic advocated by the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival 2014 Schedule. If you'd like to read other posts on the subject, be sure to read all the March editions.
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