§. 43. Of parents wearisomnesse in instructing their children.
Contrary is the practise of those parents who soone waxe weary in instructing their children. The Apostle laieth it downe as a generall caueat in good duties that we wax not*weary: if in no good thing we must wax weary, shall parents wax weary in doing good to their children? Yet how many be there that hauing once taught their children, thinke they haue done dutie enough in that kinde: if their children will take it, they may. They are loth to take too much paines in often vrging the points which they haue taught them.
Thus that teaching vanisheth away: and so it falleth out, as we say in the prouerbe, as good not at all as neuer the better. This is one point wherein old Eli failed: for he gaue very good instruction to his children: but because he there staied, neither was that accepted of God as a sufficient discharge of his duty, nor were his children any whit bettered thereby. If this were a fault in him notwithstanding his children were come to yeares of discretion, and to ripenesse of vnderstan∣ding, how much greater is the fault in those whose children are but young?
Obiect. If a childe take not instruction at first, he is but of an vntoward and peruerse disposition: all the paines that can be taken will be lost.
Answ. It may be childishnesse rather then peruersnesse, or some imperfection, rather then obstinacy. Considering the necessity of good nurture, no paines may be thought too much. There is more peruersenesse, and vntowardnesse i• such parents as wax weary in doing this dutie, then in such children as at first are not wrought vpon: for this is a means ordained of God to cure this vntowardnesse.