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Title: Mrs Whittelsey's Magazine for Mothers and Daughters - Volume 3
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mrs Whittelsey's Magazine for Mothers and Daughters - Volume 3" ***

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[Illustration: Engraved by C. Burt, from a Miniature by H.C. Shionway.

Yours truly

A. G. Whittelsey]






     That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that
     our daughters may be as corner stones polished after the
     similitude of a palace.--BIBLE.




Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1852, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for
the Southern District of New York.

Transcriber's note: Minor typos corrected and footnotes moved to
end of text.



A Child's Prayer.                                                 369

A Child's Reading.                                                129

A Lesson for Husbands and Wives.                                  257

An Appeal to Baptized Children.--By Rev. William. Bannard.        141

A Temptation and its Consequences.                                 21

A Word of Exhortation.                                              5

Brotherly Love.--By Rev. M. S. Hutton, D.D.              89, 105, 137

Children and their Training.                                      375

Children of the Parsonage.--By Mrs. G. M. Sykes.                  246

Children's Apprehension of the Power of Prayer.                   305

Chinese Daughter.--Letter of Mrs. Bridgeman.                       18

Cousin Mary Rose, or a Child's First Visit.                        69

Despondency and Hope; an Allegory.--By Mrs. J. Norton.            187

Every Prayer should be offered in the Name of Jesus.              356

Excerpta.                                                         100

Excessive Legislation.                                            167

Extravagance.                                                     354

Family Government.                                                320

Fault Finding; its Effects.--By Ellen Ellison.                     13

  "      "     The Antidote.--By Ellen Ellison.              156, 180

Filial Reverence of the Turks.                                    292

First Prayer in Congress.                                         308

Female Education.--By Rev. S. W. Fisher.                          271

  "       "        Physical Training.                             297

  "       "        Intellectual Training.                         330

  "       "                                                       363

Frost.                                                            384

General Instructions for the Physical Education of Children.      336

Gleanings by the Wayside.                               217, 249, 277

God's Bible a Book for all.                                       220

Habit.                                                            140

Infants taught to Pray.                                           192

Inordinate Grief the effect of an Unsubdued Will.                 301

Instruction of the Young in the Doctrines and Precepts of
  the Gospel.                                                      31

Intellectual Power of Woman.--By Rev. S.W. Fisher.                255

Know Thyself.                                                      93

Letter from a Father to his Son.                                  241

Light Reading.                                                    316

Lux in Tenebras; or a Chapter of Heart History.--By
  Mrs. G. M. Sykes.                                               286

Magnetism.                                                        170

Memoir of Mrs. Van Lennep.                                         24

Ministering Spirits.                                               20

Mothers need the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.                       353

My Baby.                                                          309

My Little Niece Mary Jane.                                     55, 76

Music in Christian Families.                                      342

Never Faint in Prayer.                                            259

Never tempt another.                                              184

Notices of Books.                                        36, 131, 164

Old Juda.                                                          96

One-Sided Christians.                                             283

Opening the Gate.                                                 267

Parental Solicitude.                                              165

Prayer for Children sometimes unavailing.                         213

Promises.                                                         223

Recollections Illustrative of Maternal Influence.                  37

Reminiscences of the late Rev. T.H. Gallaudet.--By
  Mrs. G. M. Sykes.                                                42

Report of Maternal Associations.--Putnam, O.                       64

   "         "         "          2d Presb. Church,
  Detroit, Mich.                                                   84

   "         "         "          Salem, Mich.                     86

Sabbath Meditations.                                               81

The Benefits of Baptism.--By Rev. W. Bannard.                     120

The Bonnie Bairns.                                                 53

The Boy the Father of the Man.                                    339

The Boy who never forgot his Mother.                              202

The Death-bed Scene.                                               34

The Editor's Table.                                                67

The Family Promise.--By Rev. J. McCarroll, D.D.                   109

The Importance of Family Religion.--By Rev. H. T. Cheever.         48

The Mission Money, or the Pride of Charity.                  205, 234

The Mothers of the Bible.--Zipporah.                              101

     "       "       "     The Mothers of Israel
  at Horeb.                                                  133, 188

     "       "       "     The Mother of Samson.                  197

     "       "       "     Naomi and Ruth.                        229

     "       "       "     Hannah.                                261

     "       "       "     Ichabod's Mother.                      203

     "       "       "     Rizpah.                                325

     "       "       "     Bathsheba.                             357

The Mother's Portrait.                                            310

The Orphan Son and Praying Mother.                                378

The Promise Fulfilled.                                       112, 145

The Riddle Solved.                                                211

The Stupid, Dull Child.                                           175

The Treasury of Thoughts.                                         162

The Wasted Gift, or Just a Minute.                           125, 150

The Youngling of the Flock.                                       196

The Young Men's Christian Association.--By Mrs.
  L. H. Sigourney.                                                228

To Fathers.--By Amicus.                                             7

To my Father.                                                     318

Trials.                                                           227

Why are we not Christians?                                        346

Woman.--By Rev. M. S. Hutton, D.D.                                370




       *       *       *       *       *



Sensible of our accountability to God, of our entire dependence upon his
blessing for success in all our undertakings, knowing that of ourselves
we can do nothing, but believing that through Christ strengthening us we
may accomplish something in his service, we enter upon the duties of
another year--the twentieth year of our editorial labors.

With language similar to that which the mother of Moses is supposed to
have employed when she laid her tender offspring by the margin of the

            "Know this ark is charmed
  With incantations Pharaoh ne'er employed,
  With spells that impious Egypt never knew;
  With invocations to the living God,
  I twisted every slender reed together,
  And with a prayer did every ozier weave"--

we launched our frail bark upon the tide of public opinion. Since then,
with varied success, have we pursued our course--often amid darkness,
through difficulties and dangers, and to the present time have we been
wafted in safety on our voyage, because, as he did Moses in the ark,
"the Lord hath shut us in."

Referring whatever of success has attended our efforts to His blessing,
and believing that He has given us length of days, and strengthened our
weakness, and poured consolation into our hearts when ready to sink in
despair, in answer to persevering and importunate prayer, we come to
direct our readers to this source of wisdom and aid,--to urge upon them
to engage often in this first duty and highest privilege. Let us go
forth, dear friends, to the work we have to do in the education of our
families, having invoked the Divine blessing upon our efforts, holding
on to the promises of the covenant, and pleading for their fulfillment
in reference to ourselves and our households.

As Mrs. H. More has beautifully said: "Prayer draws all the Christian
graces into her focus. It draws Charity, followed by her lovely
train--her forbearance with faults--her forgiveness of injuries--her
pity for errors--her compassion for want. It draws Repentance, with her
holy sorrows--her pious resolutions--her self-distrust. It attracts
Truth, with her elevated eyes; Hope, with her gospel anchor;
Beneficence, with her open hand; Zeal, looking far and wide; Humility,
with introverted eye, looking at home."

And who need these graces more than parents, in the government and
training of those committed to their charge? Could our Savior rise a
great while before day,--forego the pleasures of social intercourse with
his beloved disciples, and retiring to the mountains, offer up prayers
with strong crying and tears, unto Him who was able to save from death
in that he feared, and shall we, intrusted with the immortal destinies
of our beloved offspring, refuse to follow his example, and pleading
want of time and opportunity for this service, be guilty of unbelief, of
indolence, and worldly-mindedness?

You labor in vain, dear readers, unless the arm of the Almighty shall be
extended in your behalf, and you cannot receive the blessing except you
ask it. Let then your supplications be addressed to your Father in
heaven;--pray humbly, believingly, perseveringly, for wisdom and aid,
then may you expect to be blessed. So important is this duty, and so
much is it neglected, that we could not forbear to urge your attention
thereto, ere we entered upon another year.

And will not our Christian friends remember us in their prayers, asking
that we may be directed in what we shall say and do this present year,
in the work in which we are engaged? And if God shall answer our united
petitions, we shall not labor in vain.

       *       *       *       *       *




How gladly would the writer gain (were it possible) the ear of every
father in the land, if it were but for the short space of one quarter of
an hour,--nay, some ten minutes, at a _propitious time_,--such a time
as, perhaps, occasionally occurs, when business cases are not pressing,
when the mind is at ease, and the heart has ceased its worldly
throbbings. He wants such a quarter of an hour, if it ever exists.

"And for what?" That he may have an opportunity to propose some worldly
scheme,--some plan which has reference to the probable accumulation of
hundreds of thousands? Nothing of the kind. Fathers at the present day
generally need no suggestions of this sort--no impulses from me in that
direction. They are already so absorbed, that it is difficult to gain
their attention to any matters which do not concern the line of business
in which they are engaged.

Look for a moment at that busy, bustling man; you see him walking down
Broadway this morning; it is early, quite early. May be he is calling a
physician, or is on some visit to a sick friend. He walks so fast; and
though early, there is something on his brow which indicates care and
anxiety. And yet I think no one of his family is sick, nor do I know of
any of his friends who are sick. I have seen that man out thus early so
often, and hurrying at just that pace, that I suspect, after all, he is
on his way to his place of business. That, doubtless, is the whole
secret. He is engaged in a large mercantile concern. It seems to
require--at least it takes--all his attention. He is absorbed in it.
And, if you repair to his store or office at any hour of the day, you
can scarcely see him,--not at all,--unless it be on some errand
connected with his business, or with the business of some office he
holds, and which _must_ be attended to; and even in these matters you
will find him restless. He attends to you so far as to hear your errand;
and what then? Why, if it will require any length of time, he says: "I
am very busy at this moment, I can't _possibly_ attend to it to-day;
will you call to-morrow? I may then have more leisure." Well, you agree
for to-morrow. "Please name the hour," you say. He replies--"I can't
_name any hour_; but call, say after twelve o'clock, and I will catch a
moment, _if I can_, to talk over the business."

Now, that merchant is not to blame for putting you off. His business
calls are so many and so complex, that he scarcely knows which way to
turn, nor what calculations to make. The real difficulty is, he has
undertaken too much; his plans are too vast; his "irons," as they say,
are too many.

This is the _morning_ aspect of affairs. Watch that merchant during the
day,--will you find things essentially different? The morning, which is
dark and cloudy and foggy, is sometimes followed by a clear, bright,
beautiful day. The mists at length clear off, the clouds roll away, and
a glorious sun shines out broadly to gladden the face of all nature. Not
so with the modern man of business. It is labor, whirl, toil, all the
day, from the hour of breakfast till night puts an end to the active,
hurrying concerns of all men. There is no bright, cheerful, peaceful
day to him. Scarcely has he time to eat--never to _enjoy_ his
dinner,--that must be finished in the shortest possible time: often at
some restaurant, rather than with his family. Not one member of that
does he see from the time he leaves the breakfast table till night, dark
night has stretched out her curtain over all things.

Let us go home with him, and see how the evening passes.

His residence, from his place of business, perchance, is a mile or two
distant--may be some fifteen or twenty, in which latter case he takes
the evening train of cars. In either case he arrives home only at the
setting in of the evening shades. How pleasant the release from the
noise and confusion of the city! or, if he resides within the city, how
pleasant in shutting his door, as he enters his dwelling, to shut out
the thoughts and cares of business! His tea is soon ready, and for a
little time he gives himself up to the comforts of home. His wife
welcomes him, his children may be hanging upon him, and he realizes
something of the joys of domestic life!

Scarcely, however, is supper ended, before it occurs to him that there
is a meeting of such a committee, or such an insurance company, to which
he belongs, and the hour is at hand, and he _must_ go. And he hies away,
and in some business on hand he becomes absorbed till the hours of nine,
ten, or eleven, possibly twelve o'clock. He returns again to his home,
wearied with the toils of the day,--his wife possibly, but certainly his
children, have retired,--and he lays his aching head upon his pillow to
catch some few hours of rest, and with the morning light to go through
essentially the same busy routine, the same absorbing care, the same
wearing, weary process.

This is an outline of the life which thousands of fathers are leading in
this country at this present time. We do not pretend that it is true of
all,--but is it not substantially true, as we have said, of thousands?
And not only of thousands in our crowded marts of commerce, but in our
principal towns--nay, even in our rural districts. It is an age of
impulse. Every thing is proceeding with railroad speed. Every branch of
business is urged forward with all practical earnestness. Every sail is
set--main-sail, top-sails, star-gazers, heaven-disturbers--all expanded
to catch the breeze, and urge the vessel to her destined port.

This thirst for gain! this panting after fortune! this competition in
the race for worldly wealth, or honor, where is it leading the present

To men who have families--to fathers, who see around them children just
emerging from childhood into youth, or verging toward manhood,--this is
and should be a subject of the deepest interest.

Fathers! am I wrong when I say you are neglecting your offspring?
Neglecting them? do I hear you respond with surprise;--"Am I not daily,
hourly stretching every nerve and tasking every power to provide for
them, to insure them the means of an honorable appearance in that rank
of society in which they were born, and in which they must move? In
these days of competition, who sees not that any relaxation involves and
necessarily secures bankruptcy and ruin?"

I hear you, and you urge strongly, powerfully your cause. You must,
indeed, provide for your household. You must be diligent in business.
You may--you ought in some good measure, to keep up with the spirit, the
progress of the age. But has it occurred to you that there is danger in
doing as you do; that you will neglect some other interests of your
children as important, to say the least, as those you have named? Are
not your children immortal? Have they not souls of priceless value? Have
they not tendencies to evil from the early dawn of their being? And must
not these souls be instructed--watched over? Do they not need
counsel--warning--restraint? "O yes!" I hear you say, "they must be
instructed--restrained--guided--all that, but this is the appropriate
business and duty of their _mother_. I leave all these to her. I have no
leisure for such cares myself; my business compels me to leave in charge
all these matters to her."

And where, my friend--if I may speak plainly--do you find any warrant in
the Word of God for such assumptions as these? Leave all the care of
your children's moral and religious instruction, guidance, restraint,
to their mother! It is indeed her duty, and in most cases she finds it
her pleasure, to watch over her beloved ones. And in the morning of
their being, and in the first years of their childhood, it is _hers_ to
watch over them, to cherish them, and to bring out and direct the first
dawnings of their moral and intellectual being.

But beyond this the duties of father and mother are coincident. At a
certain point your responsibilities touching the training of your
children blend. I find nothing in the Word of God which separates
fathers and mothers in relation to bringing up their children in the
ways of virtue and obedience to God.

I know what fathers plead. I see the difficulties which often lie in
their path. I am aware of the competition which marks every industrial
pursuit in the land. And many men who wish it were different, who would
love to be more with their families, who would delight to aid in
instructing their little ones, find it, they think, quite impossible so
to alter their business--so to cast off pressure and care, as to give
due attention to the moral and religious training of their children.

But, fathers, might you not do better than you do? Suppose you should
make the effort to have _an hour_ each day to aid your wife in giving a
right moral direction to your little ones? How you would encourage her!
What an impulse would you give to her efforts! Now, how often has she a
burden imposed upon her, which she is unable to bear! What uneasiness
and worry--what care and trouble are caused her, by having, in this
matter of training the children, to go on single-handed! whereas, were
your parental authority added to her maternal tenderness, your children
would prove the joy of your hearts and the comfort of your declining
years. But as you manage--or rather as you neglect to manage them, a
hundred chances to one if they do not prove your sorrow, when in years
you are not able well to sustain it. Gather a lesson, my friend, from
the conduct of David in respect to Absolom. He neglected him--he
indulged him, and what was the consequence? The bright, beautiful,
gifted Absolom planted thorns in his father's crown,--he attempted to
dethrone him,--he was a fratricide,--he would have been a parricide: and
what an end! Oh, what an end! Listen to the sorrowful outpourings of a
fond, too fond, unfaithful parent: "My son, oh, my son Absolom,--would
to God I had died for thee, oh, Absolom, my son, my son!"

Take another example, and may it prove a warning to such indulgence and
such neglect! Eli had sons, and they grew up, and they walked in
forbidden ways, and he restrained them not; yet he was a good man: but
good men are sometimes most unfaithful fathers, and what can they
expect? Shall we sin because grace abounds? Shall we neglect our
children in expectation that the grace of God will intervene to rescue
them in times of peril? That expectation were vain while we neglect our
duty. That expectation is nearly or quite sure to be realized if duty be

But I must insist no longer; I will only add, then, in a word,--that it
were far, far better that your children should occupy a more humble
station in life--that they should be dressed in fewer of the "silks of
Ormus," and have less gold from the "mines of Ind," than to be neglected
by a father in regard to their moral and religious training. Better
leave them an interest in the Covenant than thousands of the treasures
of the world. Your example, fathers,--your counsel--your prayers, are a
better bequest than any you can leave them. Think of leaving them in a
cold, rude, selfish world, without the grace of God to secure them,
without his divine consolation to comfort. Think of the "voyage of awful
length," you and they must "sail so soon." Think of the meeting in
another world which lies before you and them, and say, Does the wide
world afford that which could make amends for a separation--an eternal
separation from these objects of your love?

       *       *       *       *       *



"What in creation have you done! Careless boy, how could you be so
heedless? You are forever cutting some such caper, on purpose to ruin me
I believe. Now go to work, and earn the money to pay for it, will you?
lazy fellow!"

Coarse and passionate exclamations these, and I am sorry to say they
were uttered by Mr. Colman, who would be exceedingly indignant if any
body should hint a suspicion that he was, or could be, other than a
gentleman, and a _Christian_. His son, a bright and well-meaning lad of
fourteen, had accidentally hit the end of a pretty new walking cane,
which his favorite cousin had given him a few hours before, against a
delicate china vase which stood upon the mantle-piece, and in a moment
it lay in fragments at his feet. He was sadly frightened, and would have
been very sorry too, but for the harsh and ill-timed reproof of his
father, which checked the humble plea for forgiveness just rising to his
lips, and as Mr. Colman left the room, put on his hat and coat in the
hall, and closed the street door with more than usual force, to go to
his store, the young lad's feelings were anything but dutiful. Just then
his mother entered.

"Why James Colman! Did you do that? I declare you are the most careless
boy I ever beheld! That beautiful pair of vases your father placed there
New Year's morning, to give me a pleasant surprise. I would not have had
it broken for twenty dollars."

"Mother, I just hit it accidentally with this little cane, and I'm sure
I'm as sorry as I can be."

"And what business has your cane in the parlor, I beg to know? I'll take
it, and you'll not see it again for the present, if this is the way you
expect to use it. You deserve punishment for such carelessness, and I
wish your father had chastised you severely." And taking the offending
cane from his hand, she, too, left him to meditations, somewhat like
the following:--

"'Tis too bad, I declare! If I had tried to do the very wickedest thing
I possibly could, father and mother would not have scolded me worse.
That dear little cane! I told Henry I would show it to him on my way to
school, and now what shall I say about it? It's abominable--it's right
down cruel to treat me so. When I had not intended to do the least thing
wrong, only just as I was looking at the bottom of my cane, by the
merest accident the head of it touched that little useless piece of
crockery. I hate the sight of you," he added, touching the many colored
and gilded fragments with the toe of his boot, as they lay before him,
"and I hate father and mother, and every body else--and I'm tired of
being scolded for nothing at all. Big boy as I am, they scold me for
every little thing, just as they did when I was a little shaver like
Eddy. What's the use? I won't bear it. I declare I won't much longer."
And then followed reveries like others often indulged before, of being
his own master, and doing as he pleased without father and mother always
at hand to dictate, and find fault, and scold him so bitterly if he
happened to make a little mistake. Other boys of his age had left home,
and taken care of themselves, and he would too. "I am as good a scholar
as any one in school, except Charles Harvey, and I am as strong as any
boy I play with, and pity if I can't take care of myself. Home! Yes, to
be sure it might be a dear good home, but father is so full of business,
and anxious, and thinking all the time, he never speaks to one of us,
unless it is to tell us to do something, or to find fault with what is
done. And mother--fret, fret, fret, tired to death with the care of the
children, and company, and servants, and societies, and every thing--it
really seems as if she had lost all affection for us--_me_, at any rate,
and I am sure I don't care for any body that scolds at me so, and the
sooner I am out of the way the better. I am sure if father is trying to
make money to leave me some of it, I'd a thousand times rather he'd give
me pleasant words as we go along, than all the dollars I shall ever
get--yes, indeed I had."

The above scene, I am sorry to say, is but a sample of what occurred
weekly, and I fear I might say daily, or even hourly, to some member of
the family of Mr. Colman, and yet Mr. and Mrs. Colman were very good
sort of people--made a very respectable appearance in the world, regular
at church with their children--ate symbolically of the body, and drank
of the blood, of that loving Savior, who ever spake gently to the
youthful and the erring--and meant to be, and really thought they were,
the very best of parents. Their children were well cared for, mentally
and physically. They were well fed, well clothed, attended the best
schools--but as they advanced beyond the years of infancy, there was in
each of them the sullen look, or the discouraged tone, the tart reply,
or the vexing remark, which made them any thing but beloved by their
companions, any thing but happy themselves. At home there was ever some
scene of dispute, or unkindness, to call forth the stern look, or the
harsh command of their parents--abroad, the mingled remains of vexation
and self-reproach, caused by their own conduct or that of others, made
them hard to be pleased--and so the cloud thickened about them, and with
all outward means for being happy, loving and beloved, they were a
wretched family. James, the eldest, was impetuous and self-willed, but
affectionate, generous, and very fond of reading and study, and with
gentle and judicious management, would have been the joy and pride of
his family, with the domestic and literary tastes so invaluable to every
youth, in our day, when temptations of every kind are so rife in our
cities and larger towns, that scarcely is the most moral of our young
men safe, except in the sanctuary of God, or the equally divinely
appointed sanctuary of home. But under the influences we have sketched,
he had already begun to spend all his leisure time at the stores, the
railroad dépôts, wharves, engine-houses, and other places of resort for
loiterers, where he saw much to encourage the reckless and disobedient
spirit, which characterized his soliloquy above quoted. Little did his
parents realize the effects of their own doings. Full of the busy cares
of this hurrying life, they fancied all was going on well, nor were
they aroused to his danger, until some time after the scene of the
broken vase, above alluded to, when his more frequent and prolonged
absence from home, at meal times, and until a late hour in the evening,
caused a severe reprimand from his father. With a heart swelling with
rage and vexation, James went to his room--but not to bed. The purpose
so long cherished in his mind, of leaving parental rule and restraint,
was at its height. He opened his closet and bureau, and deliberately
selected changes of clothing which would be most useful to him, took the
few dollars he had carefully gathered for some time past for this
purpose, and made all the preparation he could for a long absence from
the home, parents, and friends, where, but for ungoverned tempers and
tongues, he might have been so useful, respected and happy. When he
could think of no more to be done, he looked about him. How many proofs
of his mother's careful attention to his wishes and his comfort, did his
chamber afford! And his little brother, five years younger, so quietly
sleeping in his comfortable bed! Dearly he loved that brother, and yet
hardly a day passed, in which they did not vex, and irritate, and abuse
each other. He was half tempted to lie down by his side, and give up all
thoughts of leaving home. But no. How severe his father would look at
breakfast, and his mother would say something harsh. "No. I'll quit, I
declare I will--and then if their hearts ache, I shall be glad of it.
Mine has ached, till it's as hard as a stone. No, I've often tried, and
now I'll go. I won't be called to account, and scolded for staying out
of the house, when there is no comfort to be found in it." And again
rose before his mind many scenes of cold indifference or harshness from
his parents, which had, as he said, hardened his heart to stone. "I'll
bid good bye to the whole of it. Little Em,--darling little sister! I
wish I could kiss her soft sweet cheek once more. But she grows fretful
every day, and by the time she is three years old, she will snap and
snarl like the rest of us. I'll be out of hearing of it any way." And he
softly raised the window sash, and slipped upon the roof of a piazza,
from which he had often jumped in sport with his brothers, and in a few
moments was at the dépôt. Soon the night train arrived, and soon was
James in one of our large cities--and inquiring for the wharf of a
steamer about to sail for California; and when the next Sabbath sun rose
upon the home of his youth, he was tossing rapidly over the waves of the
wide, deep, trackless ocean, one moment longing to be again amid scenes
so long dear and familiar, and the next writhing, as he thought of the
anger of his father, the reproaches of his mother. On he went, often
vexed at the services he was called to perform, in working his passage
out, for which his previous habits had poorly prepared him. On went the
stanch vessel, and in due time landed safely her precious freight of
immortal beings at the desired haven--but some of them were to see
little of that distant land, where they had fondly hoped to find
treasure of precious gold, and with it happiness. The next arrival at
New York brought a list of recent deaths. Seven of that ship's company,
so full of health and buoyancy and earthly hopes, but a few short months
before, were hurried by fevers to an untimely, a little expected grave.
And on that fatal list, was read with agonized hearts in the home of his
childhood, the name of their first-born--James Colman, aged sixteen.

Boys! If your father and mother, in the midst of a thousand cares and
perplexities, of which you know nothing--cares, often increased
seven-fold, by their anxieties for you, are less tender and forgiving
than you think they should be, will you throw off all regard for them,
all gratitude for their constant proofs of real affection, and make
shipwreck of your own character and hopes, and break their hearts?
No--rather with noble disregard of your own feelings, strive still more
to please them, to soothe the weary spirit you have disturbed, and so in
due time you shall reap the reward of well-doing, and the blessing of
Him, who hath given you the fifth commandment, and with it a promise.

Fathers! Provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged,
for the tempter is ever at hand to lead them astray. The harsh
reproof--the undeserved blame--cold silence, where should be the kind
inquiry, or the affectionate welcome--oh, how do these things chill the
young heart, and plant reserve where should be the fullest confidence,
if you would save your child.

Mothers! Where shall the youthful spirit look for the saving influence
of love, if not to you? The young heart craves sympathy. It must have
it--it will have it. If not found at home, it will be found in the
streets, and oh, what danger lurks there! Fathers and mothers--see to
it, that if your child's heart cease to beat, your own break not with
the remembrance of words and looks, that bite like a serpent and sting
like an adder!

                      ELLEN ELLISON.

       *       *       *       *       *



                              _Chánghái, Aug. 15th, 1851._


In order to keep before my own mind a deep interest for this people, and
to awaken corresponding sympathies in my native land, I make short
monthly memorandums of my observations among the Chinese. They are
indeed a singular people, with manners and customs peculiar to
themselves; and it would seem that, in domestic life, every practice was
the opposite of our own; but in the kindly feelings of our nature, those
whom I have seen brought under the influence of Christian cultivation,
are as susceptible as those of any nation on earth. At first they are
exceedingly suspicious of you,--they do not, they _cannot_ understand
your motives in your efforts to do them good; and it is not until by
making one's actions consistent with our words, and by close observation
on their part, that you enjoy their confidence.

Since I last wrote I have been quite indisposed. During my husband's
absence in committee my nurses were Chinese girls, one eleven, the other
thirteen years of age. No mother who had bestowed the greatest care and
cultivation upon her daughters, could have had more affectionate
attention than I had from these late heathen girls,--they were indeed
unto me as daughters,--every want was anticipated, and every thing that
young, affectionate hearts could suggest, was done to alleviate my pain.
One has been four years, the other a year and a-half, under instruction.
Christianity softens, subdues, and renders docile the human mind, before
the dark folds of heathenism have deepened and thickened with increasing

One of these pupils, after reading in the New Testament the narrative of
Christ's sufferings, one day asks--"Why did Jesus come and suffer and be
crucified?" I then explained to her as well as I could in her own
tongue. She always seems thoughtful when she reads the Scriptures. Will
some maternal association remember in prayer these Chinese girls?

During the current month a vile placard has been published against
foreigners, and some of the pupils have been railed at by their
acquaintances for being under our instruction. One, on returning from a
visit to her friends, told me the bitter and wicked things that were
said and written; I asked her if she had found them true? she said "No."
I asked her if foreigners, such as she had seen, spoke true or false?
She said "always true." Did they wish to kill and destroy the Chinese as
the placard stated? She replied, "No; but they helped the poor Chinese
when their own people would not." The mothers were somewhat alarmed lest
we were all to be destroyed. We told them there was nothing to fear, and
their confidence remained unshaken.

The school has enjoyed a recess of a week from study, but they do not go
to their own homes, except to return the same day. Our house is just
like a bee-hive, with their activity at their several employments; and
usually some _deprivation_ is a sufficient punishment for a dereliction
from any duty.

Who will pray for these daughters? Who will sympathize with the
low-estate of the female sex in China? I appeal to the happy mothers and
daughters of America, our dear native land. Though severed from thee
voluntarily, willingly, cheerfully, yet do we love thee still; thy
Sabbaths hallowed by the voice of prayer and praise; thy Christian
ordinances blessed with the Spirit's power. Oh, when will China, the
home of our adoption, be thus enlightened, and her idol temples turned
into sanctuaries for the living God?

                           ELIZA J. BRIDGMAN.

       *       *       *       *       *




  Do ANGELS minister to me--
  Can such a wonder ever be?
    Oh, sure they are too great;
  Too glorious with their raiment white,
  And wings so beautiful and bright,
    Upon a child to wait.

  Yet so it is in truth, I know,
  For Jesus Christ has told us so,
    And that to them is given
  The loving task to guard with care
  And keep from every evil snare
    The chosen ones of heaven.

  And so if I am good and mild,
  And try to be a holy child,
    My angel will rejoice;
  And sound his golden harp to Him
  Who dwells among the cherubim,
    And praise Him with his voice.

  But if I sin against the Lord,
  By evil thought or evil word,
    Or do a wicked thing;
  Ah! then what will my angel say?
  Oh, he will turn his face away,
    And vail it with his wing.

  Then let us pray to Him who sends
  His angels down to be our friends,
    That, strengthened by his grace,
  I may not prove a wandering sheep,
  Nor ever make my angel weep,
    Nor hide his glorious face.

       *       *       *       *       *



Not long since, in one of the cities on the Atlantic seaboard, there was
a lad employed in a large jewelry establishment. A part of his duty was
to carry letters to the post-office, or to the mail-bag on the boat,
when too late to be mailed in the regular way. On one occasion, after
depositing his letters, he observed a part of a letter, put in by some
other person, projecting above the opening in the bag. Seizing the
opportunity he extracted this letter without being seen, and took it
home. On examination he found it contained a draft for one thousand
dollars. Forging the name of the person on whom it was drawn, he
presented the draft at a bank and drew the money, and very soon
afterwards proceeded to a distant western city.

After a little while, the draft was missed and inquiries made. It was
found that this lad had been near the mailbag on the day when the
missing letter had been put in it, that he was unusually well provided
with money, and that he had suddenly disappeared. Officers of justice
were commissioned to find him. They soon traced him to his new
residence, charged him with his crime, which he at once confessed, and
brought him back to meet the consequences of a judicial investigation.
After a short imprisonment he was released on bail, but still held to
answer, and thus the case stands at present. He must of course be
convicted, but whether the penalty of the law will be inflicted in whole
or in part, it will be for the Executive to say.

Meanwhile the circumstances suggest some thoughts which may be worth the
reader's attention. This lad was a member of a Sunday school, but
irregular in his attendance, and this latter fact may in some degree
explain his wandering from the right path. He might, indeed, have been a
punctual attendant on his class, and still have fallen into this gross
sin, but it is not at all probable. And it is curious and instructive,
that wherever any inmates of prisons, houses of refuge, or other places
of the kind, are found to have been connected with Sunday-schools, it is
nearly always stated in accompaniment that they attended only
occasionally and rarely.

Again, how much weight is there in Job's remarkable expression (ch.
31:5), _I have made a covenant with my eyes_! The eye, the most active
of our senses, is the chiefest inlet of temptation, and hence the
apostle John specifies "the lust of the eyes" as a leading form or type
of ordinary sins. The lad in the case before us allowed his eye to dwell
on the letter, until the covetous desire to appropriate it had grown
into a fixed purpose. Had he made the same covenant as Job, and turned
his eye resolutely away as soon as he felt the first wrongful emotion in
his heart, the result had been widely different. But he rather imitated
the unhappy Achan, who, in recounting his sin, says, "_When I saw_ among
the spoils a Babylonish garment and two hundred shekels of silver, and a
wedge of gold, _then_ I coveted them." A fool's eyes soon lead his hands

Here also we see the deceitfulness of the heart. A mere boy of fifteen
years, of good ordinary training, at least in part connected with a
Sunday-school, and not prompted by any urgent bodily necessity, commits
a crime punishable by fine and imprisonment. Had any one foretold to him
a week before even the possibility of this occurrence, how indignantly
would he have spurned the very thought! That he should become, and
deservedly so, the inmate of a felon's cell--how monstrous the
supposition! Yet so it came to pass. The heart is deceitful above all
things, and he who trusts in it is "cursed." Multitudes find their own
case the renewal of Hazael's experience. When Elijah told him the
enormities he, when on the throne of Syria, would practice, he
exclaimed--"Is thy servant a dog that he should do these things?" He was
not then, but he afterwards became just such a dog.

But if the heart be deceitful, sin is scarcely less so. When the poor
boy first clutched his prize, as he esteemed it, he promised himself
nothing but pleasure and profit, but how miserably was he deceived!
After he had converted the draft into money, and thus rendered its
return impossible without detection, he saw his guilt in its true
character, and for many nights tossed in torment on a sleepless bed,
while at last he was made to take his place along with hardened convicts
in a city prison. Thus it always is with sin. Like the book the apostle
ate in vision, it is sweet as honey in the mouth, but bitter in the
belly. Like the wine Solomon describes, it may sparkle in the cup and
shoot up its bright beads on the surface, but at the last it biteth like
a serpent and stingeth like an adder. The experiment has been tried
times without number, from the beginning in Eden down to our own day, by
communities and by individuals, but invariably with the same result. The
way of transgressors is hard, however it may seem to them who are
entering upon it a path of primrose dalliance. And surely "whosoever is
deceived thereby is not wise."

Finally, how needful is it to pray--"Lead us not into temptation."
Snares lie all around us, whether old or young, and it is vain to seek
an entire escape from their intrusion. The lad we are considering, had
not gone out of his way to meet the temptation by which he fell. On the
contrary, he was doing his duty, he was just where he ought to have
been. Yet there the adversary found him, and there he finds every man.
The very fact that one is in a lawful place and condition is apt to
throw him off his guard. There is but one safeguard under grace, and
that is habitual watchfulness. Without this the strongest may fall--with
it, the feeblest may stand firm. O for such a deep and abiding
conviction of the keenness of temptation and the dreadful evil of sin as
to lead all to cry mightily unto God, and at the same time be strenuous
in effort themselves--to pray and also to watch.

       *       *       *       *       *



The following review, written by Mrs. D.E. Sykes, of the Memoir of Mrs.
M.E. Van Lennep, we deem among the finest specimens of that class of
writings. The remarks it contains on the religious education of
daughters are so much in point, and fall in so aptly with the design of
our work, that we have obtained permission to publish it. We presume it
will be new to most of our readers, as it originally appeared in the
_New Englander_, a periodical which is seldom seen, except in a
Theological Library.

An additional reason for our publishing it is, our personal interest
both in the reviewer, who we are happy to say has become a contributor
to our pages, and the reviewed--having been associated with the mothers
of each, for a number of years, in that most interesting of all
associations, "The Mother's Meeting."

For eleven years, Mary E. Hawes, afterwards Mrs. Van Lennep, was an
attentive and interested listener to the instructions given to the
children at our quarterly meetings--and it is interesting to know that
her mother regards the influence of those meetings as powerfully aiding
in the formation of her symmetrical Christian character.

An eminent painter once said to us, that he always disliked to attempt
the portrait of a woman; it was so difficult to give to such a picture
the requisite boldness of feature and distinctness of individual
expression, without impairing its feminine character. If this be true in
the delineation of the outer and material form, how much more true is it
of all attempts to portray the female mind and heart! If the words and
ways, the style of thinking and the modes of acting, all that goes to
make up a biography, have a character sufficiently marked to
individualize the subject, there is a danger that, in the relating, she
may seem to have overstepped the decorum of her sex, and so forfeit the
interest with which only true delicacy can invest the woman.

It is strange that biography should ever succeed. To reproduce any thing
that was transient and is gone, not by repetition as in a strain of
music, but by delineating the emotions it caused, is an achievement of
high art. An added shade of coloring shows you an enthusiast, and loses
you the confidence and sympathy of your cooler listener. A shade
subtracted leaves so faint a hue that you have lost your interest in
your own faded picture, and of course, cannot command that of another.
Even an exact delineation, while it may convey accurately a part of the
idea of a character, is not capable of transmitting the more volatile
and subtle shades. You may mix your colors never so cunningly, and copy
never so minutely every fold of every petal of the rose, and hang it so
gracefully on its stem, as to present its very port and bearing, but
where is its fragrance, its exquisite texture, and the dewy freshness
which was its crowning grace?

So in biography, you may make an accurate and ample statement of
facts,--you may even join together in a brightly colored mosaic the
fairest impressions that can be given of the mind of another--his own
recorded thoughts and feelings--and yet they may fail to present the
individual. They are stiff and glaring, wanting the softening transition
of the intermediate parts and of attending circumstances.

And yet biography does sometimes succeed, not merely in raising a
monumental pile of historical statistics, and maintaining for the
friends of the departed the outlines of a character bright in their
remembrance; but in shaping forth to others a life-like semblance of
something good and fair, and distinct enough to live with us
thenceforward and be loved like a friend, though it be but a shadow.

Such has been the feeling with which we have read and re-read the volume
before us. We knew but slightly her who is the subject of it, and are
indebted to the memoir for any thing like a conception of the character;
consequently we can better judge of its probable effect upon other
minds. We pronounce it a portrait successfully taken--a piece of
uncommonly skillful biography. There is no gaudy exaggeration in it,--no
stiffness, no incompleteness. We see the individual character we are
invited to see, and in contemplating it, we have all along a feeling of
personal acquisition. We have found rare treasure; a true woman to be
admired, a daughter whose worth surpasses estimation, a friend to be
clasped with fervor to the heart, a lovely young Christian to be admired
and rejoiced over, and a self-sacrificing missionary to be held in
reverential remembrance. Unlike most that is written to commemorate the
dead, or that unvails the recesses of the human heart, this is a
cheerful book. It breathes throughout the air of a spring morning. As we
read it we inhale something as pure and fragrant as the wafted odor of

  "----old cherry-trees,
  Scented with blossoms."

We stand beneath a serene unclouded sky, and all around us is floating
music as enlivening as the song of birds, yet solemn as the strains of
the sanctuary. It is that of a life in unison from its childhood to its
close; rising indeed like "an unbroken hymn of praise to God." There is
no austerity in its piety, no levity in its gladness. It shows that
"virtue in herself is lovely," but if "goodness" is ever "awful," it is
not here in the company of this young happy Christian heart.

We have heard, sometimes, that a strictly religious education has a
tendency to restrict the intellectual growth of the young, and to mar
its grace and freedom. We have been told that it was not well that our
sons and daughters should commit to memory texts and catechisms, lest
the free play of the fancy should be checked and they be rendered
mechanical and constrained in their demeanor, and dwarfish in their
intellectual stature. We see nothing of this exemplified in this memoir.
One may look long to find an instance of more lady-like and graceful
accomplishments, of more true refinement, of more liberal and varied
cultivation, of more thorough mental discipline, of more pliable and
available information, of a more winning and wise adaptation to persons
and times and places, than the one presented in these pages. And yet
this fair flower grew in a cleft of rugged Calvinism; the gales which
fanned it were of that "wind of doctrine" called rigid orthodoxy. We
know the soil in which it had its root. We know the spirit of the
teachings which distilled upon it like the dew. The tones of that pulpit
still linger in our ears, familiar as those of "_that good old bell_,"
and we are sure that there is no pulpit in all New England more
uncompromising in its demands, more strictly and severely searching in
its doctrines.

But let us look more closely at the events of this history of a life,
and note their effect in passing upon the character of its subject.

MARY, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Hawes, of Hartford, Conn., was
born in 1821. Following her course through her youth, we are no where
surprised at the development of any remarkable power of mind. She was
prayerful and conscientious, diligent in acquiring knowledge,
enthusiastic in her love of nature, evincing in every thing a refined
and feminine taste, and a quick perception of the beautiful in art, in
literature, and in morals. But the charm of her character lay in the
warmth of her heart. Love was the element in which she lived. She loved
God--she loved her parents--she loved her companions--she loved
everybody. It was the exuberant, gushing love of childhood, exalted by
the influences of true piety. She seems never to have known what it was
to be repelled by a sense of weakness or unworthiness in another, or to
have had any of those dislikes and distastes and unchristian aversions
which keep so many of us apart. She had no need to "unlearn contempt."
This was partly the result of natural temperament, but not all. Such
love is a Christian grace. He that "hath" it, has it because he
"dwelleth in God and God in him." It is the charity which Paul
inculcated; that which "thinketh no evil," which "hopeth" and "believeth
all things." It has its root in humility; it grows only by the uprooting
of self. He who would cultivate it, must follow the injunction to let
nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of heart
esteem others better than himself. As Jesus took a little child and set
him in the midst to teach his disciples, so would we place this young
Christian woman in the assemblies of some who are "called of men Rabbi,
Rabbi," that they may learn from her "which be the first principles" of
the Christian life.

But let no one suppose that there was any weakness or want of just
discrimination in the subject of this memoir. It is true that the
gentler elements predominated in her character, and her father knew what
she needed, when he gave her the playful advice to "_have more of
Cato_." Without Christian principle she might have been a victim of
morbid sensitiveness, or even at the mercy of fluctuating impulses; but
religion supplied the tonic she needed, and by the grace of God aiding
her own efforts, we see her possessed of firmness of purpose and moral
courage enough to rebuke many of us who are made of sterner stuff.

For want of room we pass over many beautiful extracts from the memoir
made to exhibit the traits of her character, and to illustrate what is
said by the reviewer.

In September, 1843, Miss H. was married to the Rev. J. Van Lennep, and
in the following October sailed with him for his home in Smyrna. Our
readers have learned from the letter of Rev. Mr. Goodell, which we
lately published, through what vicissitudes Mrs. Van Lennep passed after
her arrival at Constantinople, which had been designated as her field of

It was there she died, September 27, 1844, in the twenty-third year of
her age, only one year and twenty-three days from her marriage-day, and
before she had fully entered upon the life to which she had consecrated
herself. Of her it has been as truly as beautifully said:

  "Thy labor in the vineyard closed,
  Long e'er the noon-tide sun,
  The dew still glistened on the leaves,
  When thy short task was done."

And yet this life, "so little in itself," may be found to have an
importance in its consequences, hardly anticipated at first by those
who, overwhelmed by this sudden and impetuous providence, were ready to
exclaim, "To what purpose is this waste?" Her day of influence will
extend beyond the noon or the even-tide of an ordinary life of labor.
"_Sweet Mary Hawes_" (as she is named by one who never saw her, and
whose knowledge of her is all derived from the volume we have been
reviewing), shall long live in these pages, embalmed in unfading youth,
to win and to guide many to Him, at whose feet she sat and learned to
"choose the better part." Her pleasant voice will be heard in our homes,
assuring our daughters that "there is no sphere of usefulness more
pleasant than this;" bidding them believe that "it is a comfort to take
the weight of family duties from a mother, to soothe and cheer a wearied
father, and a delight to aid a young brother in his evening lesson, and
to watch his unfolding mind." They shall catch her alacrity and cheerful
industry, and her "facility in saving the fragments of time, and making
them tell in something tangible" accomplished in them. They shall be
admonished not to waste feeling in discontented and romantic dreaming,
or in sighing for opportunities to do good on a great scale, till they
have filled up as thoroughly and faithfully as she did the smaller
openings for usefulness near at hand.

She shall lead them by the hand to the Sabbath-school teacher's humble
seat, on the tract distributor's patient circuit, or on errands of mercy
into the homes of sickness and destitution,--into the busy
sewing-circle, or the little group gathered for social prayer. It is
well too that they should have such a guide, for the offense of the
Cross has not yet ceased, and the example of an accomplished and highly
educated young female will not fail of its influence upon others of the
same class, who wish to be Christians, and yet are so much afraid of
every thing that may seem to border on _religious cant_, as to shrink
back from the prayer-meeting, and from active personal efforts for the
salvation of others. Her cheerful piety shall persuade us that "_it is
indeed_ the _simplest_, the _easiest_, the _most blessed thing in the
world, to give up the heart to the control of God_, and by daily looking
to him for strength to conquer our corrupt inclinations, _to grow in
every thing that will make us like him_." Her bright smile is worth
volumes to prove that "_Jesus can indeed satisfy the heart_," and that
if the experience of most of us has taught us to believe, that there is
far more of conflict than of victory in the Christian warfare,--more
shadow than sunshine resting upon the path of our pilgrimage, most of
the fault lies in our own wayward choice. The child-like simplicity and
serene faith of this young disciple, shall often use to rebuke our
anxious fears, and charm away our disquietudes with the whisper--"_that
sweet word_, TRUST, _tells all_." Her early consecration of her
all to the great work of advancing the Redeemer's kingdom, shall rouse
us who have less left of life to surrender, to redouble our efforts in
spreading like "love and joy and peace," over the earth, lest when it
shall be said of her, "She hath done what she could," it shall also be
added, "She hath done more than they all."

There has been no waste here,--no sacrifice but that by which, in
oriental alchemy, the bloom and the beauty of the flower of a day is
transmitted into the imperishable odor, and its fragrance concentrated,
in order that it may be again diffused abroad to rejoice a thousand
hearts. If any ask again, "To what purpose was this waste?"--we answer,
"The Lord had need of it."

       *       *       *       *       *

We are indebted to God for the gift of Washington: but we are no less
indebted to him for the gift of his inestimable mother. Had she been a
weak and indulgent and unfaithful parent, the unchecked energies of
Washington might have elevated him to the throne of a tyrant, or
youthful disobedience might have prepared the way for a life of crime
and a dishonored grave.

       *       *       *       *       *




DEAR MADAM--It is among the recollections of my early youth,
that your departed husband was pastor of one of the churches in the
southern section of Litchfield County, Conn. Among the distinguishing
religious characteristics of that portion of country, at that period,
was the soundness of the Congregational churches in the faith of the
gospel: the means for which, in diligent use, were, the faithful
preaching of the gospel in its great and fundamental doctrines and
precepts; and catechetical instruction, in the family and in the school.
I am not informed as to the present habits there, on the latter means.
But knowing what was the practice, extensively, in regard to the
instruction of children and youth, and what its effects on the interests
of sound piety and morals in those days, I feel myself standing on firm
ground for urging upon the readers of your Magazine, the importance of
the instruction of the young in the doctrines and duties of the gospel.
The position taken in your Magazine, on that great and important
subject, Infant Baptism, is one which you will find approved and
sustained by all who fully appreciate the means for bringing the sons
and daughters of the Church to Christ. I hope that in its pages will
also be inculcated all those great and distinguishing doctrines and
commands of our holy religion, which, in the Bible, and in the minds of
all sound and faithful men, and all sound confessions of Christian
faith, stand inseparably associated with Infant Baptism.

Such instruction should be imparted by parents themselves; not left to
teachers in the Sabbath-school alone; as soon as the minds of children
begin to be capable of receiving instruction, of any kind, and of being
impressed, permanently, by such instruction. It should be imparted
frequently--or, rather, constantly,--as God directed his anointed
people: "And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine
heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou
shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou
walkest by the way, and when thou liest down and when thou risest up."
It should be done with clearness and simplicity, adapted to the minds of
children and youth; with particularity; and with a fullness, as regards
"the whole word of God," which shall not leave them uninstructed in any
doctrine or command in the sacred word. These points in the manner of
instructing the young are suggested, with an eye to the fact, that since
the establishment of Sunday-schools, there is a temptation for parents
to leave to others this important work; that it is therefore delayed
till the age at which children have learned to read,--by which time,
some of the best opportunities for impressing truth have become
lost--because also there is infrequency and omission of duty; and
because there is not always the requisite pains taken to have children
understand what is taught; and indefinite ideas on the doctrines and
precepts of the gospel are the consequences; and because there is an
inclination, too often indicated, to pass over some doctrines and
precepts, under the notion that they are distasteful, and will repel the
young mind from religion. We set down as a principle of sound common
sense, as well as religion, that every truth of the Bible which is
concerned in making men wise unto salvation, is to be taught to every
soul whose salvation is to be sought, and that at every period of life.

Let a few words be said, relative to the advantages of thorough and
faithful instruction of the young, in the doctrines and duties of the
gospel. It pre-occupies and guards their minds against religious error.
It prepares them early and discriminately to perceive and understand the
difference between Bible truth, and the words taught by men, however
ingenious and plausible. It exerts a salutary moral influence, even
before conversion takes place,--which is of high importance to a life of
correct morality. It prepares the way for intelligent and sound
conversion to God, whenever that desirable event takes place; and for
subsequent solidity and strength of Christian character, to the end of
life. Added to these, it may in strict propriety be asserted, that the
influence of thorough instruction in the sound and sacred truths of
God's word is inestimable upon the intellect as well as on the heart.
Divine truth is the grand educator of the immortal mind. It is therefore
an instrumentality to be used in childhood and youth, as well as in
adult years.

The objection often made, to omit instruction as advocated in this
article,--that children and youth cannot understand it,--is founded in a
mistake. Thousands and thousands of biographies of children and youth
present facts which obviate the objection and go to correct the mistake.
It is the beauty of what our Savior called "the kingdom of God,"--the
religion of the gospel,--that while it is to be "received" by every one
"_as_ a little child," it is received _by_ many "a little child," who is
early taught it. But on the other hand, it is an affecting and most
instructive fact, that of multitudes who are left uninstructed in early
life, in the truths of the gospel; that Scripture is proved but too
true, "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the

May your Magazine, dear Madam, be instrumental in advancing the best
interests of the rising generation, by its advocacy of bringing up
children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;" into which enters,
fundamentally, teaching to the young,--by parents themselves,--and that
"right early," constantly, clearly, particularly and fully, the truths
of the gospel; the sure and unerring doctrine and commands of the Word
of God. With Christian salutations, yours truly,

                          E. W. HOOKER.
  _South Windsor, Conn., August, 1851._

       *       *       *       *       *



The following death-bed conversation of a beloved daughter, detailed to
us by her mother, exhibits such sweet resignation and trust in God, that
we give it a place in our Magazine. Would that we all might be prepared
to resign this life with cheerfulness, and with like hopes enter upon
that which is to come!

"Mother," said she, "I once thought I could be a Christian without
making a profession of religion, but when God took my little Burnet from
me, I knew he did it to subdue the pride of my heart and bring me to the
foot of the Cross. Satan has been permitted to tempt me, but the Savior
has always delivered me from his snares."

I was absent from her one day for a short time; when I returned she
looked at me with such a heavenly expression, and said:

"Mother, I thought just now I was dying; I went to the foot of the Cross
with my burden of sins and sorrows, and left them there. Now all is
peace; I am not afraid to die."

Her father coming, she took his hand in hers and said:

"My dear father, if I have prayed for one thing more than another, it
has been for your salvation, but God, doubtless, saw that my death
(which will, I know, be one of the greatest trials you have ever met
with) is necessary to save you; and although I love my parents, husband
and children dearly as any one ever did, and have every thing in this
world that I could wish for, yet I am willing to die--Here, Lord, take

Her sister coming in, she said to her:--"My dear Caroline, you see what
a solemn thing it is to die. What an awful thing it must be for those
who have no God. Dear sister, learn to love the Savior, learn to pray,
do not be too much taken up with the world, it will disappoint you."

After saying something to each one present, turning to me, she said:

"My dear mother, I thank you for your kind care of me, for keeping me
from places of dissipation. I thought once you were too strict, but now
I bless you for it. I shall not be permitted to smooth your dying
pillow, but I shall be ready to meet you when you land on the shores of
Canaan. Dear mother, come soon."

To Mr. H. she said:--"Dear husband, you were the loadstone that held me
longest to the earth, but I have been enabled to give you up at last. I
trust you are a Christian, and we shall meet in heaven. Take care of our
children, train them up for Christ, keep them from the world." She then
prayed for them. After lying still for some time, she said:

"Mother, I thought I was going just, now, and I tried to put up one more
prayer for my husband, children, and friends, but (looking up with a
smile), would you believe I could not remember their names, and I just
said, Here they are, Lord, take them, and make them what thou wouldst
have them, and bring them to thy kingdom at last."

When she was almost cold, and her tongue stiffened, she motioned me to
put my head near her.

"My dear child," said I, "it seems to distress you to talk, don't try."

"Oh, mother, let me leave you all the comfort I can, it is you who must
still suffer; my sufferings are just over; I am passing over Jordan, but
the waves do not touch me; my Savior is with me, and keeps them off.
Never be afraid to go to him. Farewell! And now, Lord Jesus, come, O
come quickly. My eyes are fixed on the Savior, and all is peace. Let me
rejoice! let me rejoice!"

       *       *       *       *       *


small "Narrative"--a reprint from a London Edition, by Carter and
Brothers, 235 Broadway, New York.

The field of benevolent action of this holy man, was that great
metropolis--London. His life and character were in fact a counterpart of
our own Harlan Page. The somewhat extended "Introduction" to this
reprint was prepared by Dr. James Alexander. We feel justified in
saying, with his extensive experience, and his keen perceptions of truth
and of duty in such matters, this Introduction is worth all the book may

The main thought of the work suggests "_The condition of our
metropolitan population_"--points out the "_true remedy_" for existing
evils--shows us the value of "_lay agency_," and "how much may be done
by individuals of humble rank and least favored circumstances."

Every parent has a personal interest to aid and encourage such
benevolent action. Vice is contagious. Let our seaboard towns become
flagrantly wicked--with "railroad speed" the infection will travel far
and wide. Mothers are invited to peruse this little volume--as an
encouragement to labor and pray, and hope for the conversion of wayward
wandering sons--for wicked and profligate youth.

Roger Miller, whose death caused such universal lamentation in the city
of London, was for many years a wanderer from God, and was at length
converted by means of a tract, given him by the "_way-side_," by an old
and decrepit woman.

"NEWCOMB'S MANUAL"--Is a carefully prepared little volume,
containing Scripture questions, designed for the use of Maternal
Associations at their Quarterly Meetings.

"MARY ASHTON"--Is the title of a little work recently issued
from the press, delineating the difference between the character of the
London boarding-school Miss, and one of nearly the same age, educated
and trained by the devoted, affectionate care of a pious mother. The
influence which the latter exerts upon the former is also set forth
during the progress of the story. Those readers who are fond of
delineations of English scenery and of the time-hallowed influences of
the old English Church, will be pleased with the style of the volume,
while some few mothers may possess the delightful consciousness of
viewing in _Mary Ashton_ the image of their loved ones now laboring in
the vineyard of the Lord, or transferred to his more blessed service in
the skies. But few such, alas! are to be found among even the baptized
children of the Church; those on whom the dew and rain gently distilled
in the privacy of home and from the public sanctuary bring forth the
delightsome plant. God grant that such fruits may be more abundant!

       *       *       *       *       *



In thinking over the scenes of my childhood the other day, I was led to
trace the path of some of my youthful companions into life; and I could
not but be struck with the fact, that in almost every instance, both the
character and the condition were referable, in a great measure, to the
influence of the mother. Some of them were blessed with good mothers,
and some were cursed with bad ones; and though the conviction is not in
all the cases marked with equal distinctness, yet in several of them,
the very image and superscription of the mother remains upon the child
to this day. I sometimes visit the place which was the scene of my early
training, and inquire for those who were the playmates of my childhood,
and I receive answers to some of my inquiries that well nigh make me
shudder; but when I think of the early domestic influence, especially
the maternal influence, to which some of them were subjected, there is
nothing in the account that I hear concerning them, but what is easily
explained. For the cause of their present degradation and ruin, I have
no occasion to go outside of the dwelling in which they were reared. I
am glad to put on record, for the benefit of both mothers and their
children, two of the cases which now occur to me, as illustrative of
different kinds of maternal influence.

One of the boys who attended the same school with me, and whose father's
residence was very near my father's, was, even at that early period,
both vulgar and profane in his talk. He seemed destitute of all sense
and propriety, caring nothing for what was due from him to others, and
equally regardless of the good-will of his teacher and of his
companions. When I returned to the place, after a few years' absence,
and inquired for him, I was told that he was growing up, or rather had
grown up, in habits of vice, which seemed likely to render him an outlaw
from all decent society: that even then he had no associates except from
the very dregs of the community. In my visits to my native place ever
since, I have kept my eye upon him, as a sad illustration of the
progress of sin. He has been for many years--I cannot say an absolute
sot--but yet an intemperate drinker. He has always been shockingly
profane; not only using the profane expressions that are commonly heard
in the haunts of wickedness, but actually putting his invention to the
rack to originate expressions more revolting, if possible, than anything
to be found in the acknowledged vocabulary of blasphemy. He has been
through life an avowed infidel--not merely a deist, but a professed
atheist,--laughing at the idea both of a God and a hereafter; though his
skepticism, instead of being the result of inquiry or reflection, or
being in any way connected with it, is evidently the product of
unrestrained vicious indulgence. His domestic relations have been a
channel of grief and mortification to those who have been so unfortunate
as to be associated with him. His wife, if she is still living, lives
with a broken heart, and the time has been when she has dreaded the
sound of his footsteps. His children, notwithstanding the brutalizing
influence to which they have been subjected, have, by no means, sunk
down to _his_ standard of corruption; and some of them at least would
seem ready to hang their heads when they call him "father." I cannot at
this moment think of a more loathsome example of moral debasement than
this person presents. I sometimes meet him, and from early associations,
even take his hand; but I never do it without feeling myself in contact
with the very personification of depravity.

Now, I am not surprised at all this, when I go back to the time when he
had a mother, and remember what sort of a mother she was. She was coarse
and vulgar in her habits; and I well recollect that the interior of her
dwelling was so neglected, that it scarcely rose above a decent stable.
The secret of this, and most of her other delinquencies was, that she
was a lover of intoxicating drinks. I believe she sometimes actually
made a beast of herself; but oftener drank only so much as to make her
silly and ridiculous. It happened in her case, as in many similar ones,
that her fits of being intoxicated were fits of being religious; and
though, when she was herself, she never, to my knowledge, made any
demonstrations of piety or devotion; yet the moment her tongue became
too large for her mouth, she was sure to use it in the most earnest and
glowing religious professions. A stranger might have taken her at such a
time for a devoted Christian; but alas! her religion was only that of a
wretched inebriate.

Now who can think it strange that such a mother should have had such a
son? Not only may the general corrupt character of the son be accounted
for by the general corrupt influence of the mother, but the particular
traits of the son's character may also be traced to particular
characteristics of the mother, as an effect to its legitimate cause. The
single fact that she was intemperate, and that her religion was confined
to her fits of drunkenness, would explain it all. Of course, the
education of her son was utterly neglected. No pains were taken to
impress his mind with the maxims of truth and piety. He was never warned
against the power of temptation, but was suffered to mingle with the
profane and the profligate, without any guard against the unhallowed
influences to which he was exposed. This, of itself, would be enough to
account for his forming a habit of vice--even for his growing up a
profligate;--for such are the tendencies of human nature, that the mere
absence of counsel and guidance and restraint, is generally sufficient
to insure a vicious character. But in the case to which I refer, there
was more than the absence of a good example--there was the presence of a
positively bad one--and that in the form of one of the most degrading of
all vices. The boy saw his mother a drunkard, and why should he not
become a drunkard too? The boy saw that his mother's religious
professions were all identified with her fits of intoxication, and why
should he not grow up as he did, without any counteracting influence?
why should he not settle down with the conviction that religion is a
matter of no moment? nay, why should he not become what he actually did
become,--a scoffer and an atheist? Whenever I meet him, I see in his
face, not only a reproduction of his mother's features, but that which
tells of the reproduction of his mother's character. I pity him that he
should have had such a mother, while I loathe the qualities which he has
inherited from her, or which have been formed through the influence of
her example.

The other case forms a delightful contrast to the one already stated,
and is as full of encouragement as _that_ is full of warning. Another of
my playmates was a boy who was always noticed for being
perfectly-correct and unexceptionable in all his conduct. I never heard
him utter a profane or indecent word. I never knew him do a thing even
of questionable propriety. He was bright and playful, but never
mischievous. He was a good scholar, not because he had very remarkable
talents, but because he made good use of his time--because he was taught
to regard it as his duty to get his lessons well, and he could not be
happy in any other course. His teachers loved him because he was
diligent and respectful; his playmates loved him, because he was kind
and obliging; all loved him, because he was an amiable, moral,
well-disposed boy. He evinced so much promise, that his parents, though
not in affluent circumstances, resolved on giving him a collegiate
education, and in due time he became a member of one of our highest
literary institutions. There he maintained a high rank for both
scholarship and morality, and graduated with distinguished honor. Not
long after this, his mind took a decidedly serious direction, and he not
only gave himself to the service of God, but resolved to give himself
also to the ministry of reconciliation. After passing through the usual
course and preparation for the sacred office, he entered it; and he is
now the able and successful minister of a large and respectable
congregation. He has already evidently been instrumental of winning many
souls. I hear of him from time to time, as among the most useful
ministers of the day. I occasionally meet him, and see for myself the
workings of his well-trained mind, and his generous and sanctified
spirit. I say to myself, I remember you, when you were only the germ of
what you are; but surely the man was bound up in the boy. I witness
nothing in your maturity which was not shadowed forth in your earliest

Here again, let me trace the stream to its fountain--the effect to its
cause. This individual was the child of a discreet and faithful
Christian mother. She dedicated him to God in holy baptism, while he was
yet unconscious of the solemn act. She watched the first openings of his
intellect, that no time might be lost in introducing the beams of
immortal truth. She guarded him during his childhood, from the influence
of evil example, especially of evil companions, with the most scrupulous
care. She labored diligently to suppress the rising of unhallowed
tempers and perverse feelings, with a view to prevent, if possible, the
formation of any vicious habit, while she steadily inculcated the
necessity of that great radical change, which alone forms the basis of a
truly spiritual character. And though no human eye followed her to her
closet, I doubt not that her good instructions were seconded by her
fervent prayers; and that as often as she approached the throne of
mercy, she left there a petition for the well-doing and the well-being,
the sanctification and salvation of her son. And her work of faith and
labor of love were not in vain. The son became all that she could have
asked, and she lived to witness what he became. She lived to listen to
his earnest prayers and his eloquent and powerful discourses. She lived
to hear his name pronounced with respect and gratitude in the high
places of the Church. He was one of the main comforters of her old age;
and if I mistake not, he was at her death-bed, to commend her departing
spirit into her Redeemer's hands. Richly was that mother's fidelity
rewarded by the virtues and graces which she had assisted to form.
Though she recognized them all as the fruits of the Spirit, she could
not but know that in a humble, and yet very important sense, they were
connected with her own instrumentality.

Such has been the career of two of the playmates of my childhood. They
are both living, but they have been traveling in opposite directions,--I
may say ever since they left the cradle. And so far as we can judge, the
main reason is, that the one had a mother whose influence was only for
evil, the other, a mother who was intent upon doing good. Both their
mothers now dwell in the unseen world; while the one is represented on
earth by a most loathsome specimen of humanity, the other by a pure and
elevated spirit, that needs only to pass the gate of death to become a

Mothers, I need not say a word to impress the lessons suggested by this
contrast. They lie upon the surface, and your own hearts will readily
take them up. May God save you from looking upon ruined children, and
being obliged to feel that you have been their destroyers! May God
permit you to look upon children, whom your faithfulness has, through
grace, nurtured not only into useful members of human society, but into
heirs of an endless glorious life!

       *       *       *       *       *




There is a little legend of the Queen of Sheba and wise King Solomon,
which is fragrant with pleasant meaning. She had heard his wonderful
fame in her distant country, and had come "with a very great company,
and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious
stones;" this imposing caravan had wound its way over the deserts, and
the royal pilgrim had endured the heat and weariness of the way, that
she "might prove the king with hard questions, at Jerusalem." This we
have upon the highest authority, though for this particular test we must
be content with something less. Entering his audience-chamber one day,
she is said to have produced two crowns of flowers, of rare beauty, and
apparently exactly alike. "Both are for thee, O wise king," said she,
"but discern between them, which is the workmanship of the Most High,
and which hath man fashioned in its likeness?"

We read of costly oriental imitations of flowers in gold and silver, in
pearls, and amethysts, and rubies. How shall Solomon the King detect the
cunning mimicry? Solomon the Wise has determined. He causes the windows
looking upon the gardens of his ivory palace to be thrown open, and
immediately the crown of true flowers is covered with bees.

Like King Solomon's bees are the instincts of childhood, sure to detect
the fragrance of the genuine blossom in human nature, and settle where
the honey may be found. It was a rare distinction of the good man whose
name stands at the head of this chapter, that children everywhere loved
him, and recognized in him their true friend. An enduring monument of
his love for children, and his untiring efforts to do them good is found
in the books he has written for them. His _Child's Book on the Soul_,
has, if I am not mistaken, been translated into French, German, and
Modern Greek, and has issued from the Mission-press at Ceylon, in one or
more of the dialects of India. It has also been partially rendered into
the vernacular at the missionary stations, in opposite parts of the
world. His _Child's Book on Repentance_, and his _Histories of the
Patriarchs_, published by the American Tract Society, are the result of
diligent study. The _Life of Moses_ may be specified, as having cost him
most laborious investigation; and it is true of them all that there is
in them an amount of illustrative Biblical research, and a depth of
mental philosophy, which more ambitious writers would have reserved for
their theological folios. But even his books, widely as they are known
and appreciated, convey but an imperfect idea of the writer's power to
interest and benefit children. They cannot present his affectionate,
playful manner, nor the genial and irresistible humor of his intercourse
with them. Mothers were glad to meet Mr. Gallaudet, but they were more
glad to have their children meet him, even in the street; for a kind
word, or a smile of pleasant greeting, told every young friend, even
there, that he was remembered and cared for,--and these things encourage
children to try to deserve favor.

In person, Mr. G. was rather short and slender, but with an erectness of
carriage, and a somewhat precise observance of the usages of refined
society, which gave him an unfailing dignity of appearance. A certain
quaintness of manner and expression was an irresistible charm about him.
Sure I am, that one little girl will always remember the kind hand
stretched out to seize her own,--and the question after the manner of
Mrs. Barbauld: "Child of mortality, whither goest thou?"

His most remarkable personal characteristic was the power of expression
in his face. The quiet humor of the mouth, and the bright, quick glance
of the eye, were his by nature; but the extraordinary mobility of the
muscles was owing, probably, to his long intercourse with deaf mutes. It
was a high intellectual gratification to see him in communication with
this class of unfortunates, to whom so large a proportion of the labors
of his life was devoted. It is said that Garrick often amused his
friends by assuming some other person's countenance. We are sure Mr.
Gallaudet could have done this. We remember that he did astonish a body
of legislators, before whom there was an exhibition, by proving to them
that he could relate a narrative to his pupils by his face alone,
without gesture. This power of expression has a great attraction for
children. Like animals, they often understand the language of the face
better than that of the lips; it always furnishes them with a valuable
commentary on the words addressed to them, and the person who talks to
them with a perfectly immovable, expressionless countenance, awes and
repulses them. In addition to this, our friend was never without a
pocketful of intellectual _bon-bons_ for them. A child whom he met with
grammar and dictionary, puzzled for months over the sentence he gave
her, assuring her that it was genuine Latin:--

"Forte dux fel flat in guttur."

To another he would give this problem, from ancient Dilworth:--

"If a herring and a half cost three-halfpence, how many will eleven
pence buy?"

Persons who are too stately to stoop to this way of pleasing childhood,
have very little idea of the magic influence it exerts, and how it opens
the heart to receive "the good seed" of serious admonition from one who
has shown himself capable of sympathy in its pleasures.

Those whose privilege it has been to know Mr. Gallaudet in his own home,
surrounded by his own intelligent children, have had a new revelation of
the gentleness, the tenderness and benignity of the paternal relation.
Many years since I was a "watcher by the bed," where lay his little
daughter, recovering from a dangerous illness. He evidently felt that a
great responsibility was resting upon a young nurse, with whom, though
he knew her well, he was not familiar in that character. I felt the
earnest look of inquiry which he gave me, as I was taking directions for
the medicines of the night. He was sounding me to know whether I might
be trusted. At early dawn, before the last stars had set, he was again
by the bed, intent upon the condition of the little patient. When he was
satisfied that she was doing well, and had been well cared for, he took
my hand in his, and thanked me with a look which told me that I had now
been tried, and found faithful and competent.

Not only was he a man made of tender charities, but he was an observant,
thoughtful man, considerate of the little as well as the great wants of
others. I can never forget his gentle ministrations in the sick room of
my most precious mother, who was for many years his neighbor and friend.
She had been brought to a condition of great feebleness by a slow
nervous fever, and was painfully sensitive to anything discordant,
abrupt, or harsh in the voices and movements of those about her. Every
day, at a fixed hour, this good neighbor would glide in, noiselessly as
a spirit, and, either reading or repeating a few soothing verses from
the Bible, would kneel beside her bed, and quietly, in a few calm and
simple petitions, help her to fix her weak and wavering thoughts on that
merciful kindness which was for her help. Day after day, through her
slow recovery, his unwearied kindness brought him thither, and
gratefully was the service felt and acknowledged. I never knew him in
the relation he afterwards sustained to the diseased in mind, but I am
sure that his refined perceptions and delicate tact must have fitted him
admirably for his chaplaincy in the Retreat.

I retain a distinct impression of him as I saw him one day in a
character his benevolence often led him to assume, that of a city
missionary; though it was only the duties of one whom he saw to be
needed, without an appointment, that he undertook. How he found time, or
strength, with his feeble constitution, for preaching to prisoners and
paupers, and visits to the destitute and dying, is a mystery to one less
diligent in filling up little interstices of time.

I was present at a funeral, where, in the sickness or absence of the
pastor, Mr. Gallaudet had been requested to officiate. It was on a bleak
and wintry day in spring: the wind blew, and the late and unwelcome snow
was falling. There was much to make the occasion melancholy. It was the
funeral of a young girl, the only daughter of a widow, who had expended
far more than the proper proportion of her scanty means in giving the
girl showy and useless accomplishments. A cold taken at a dance had
resulted in quick consumption, and in a few weeks had hurried her to the
grave. Without proper training and early religious instruction, it was
difficult to know how much reliance might safely be placed on the
eagerness with which she embraced the hopes and consolations of the
Gospel set before her on her dying bed. Her weak-minded and injudicious
mother felt that she should be lauded as a youthful saint, and her death
spoken of as a triumphant entrance into heaven.

There was much to offend the taste in the accompaniments of this
funeral. It was an inconsistent attempt at show, a tawdry imitation of
more expensive funeral observances. About the wasted face of the once
beautiful girl were arranged, not the delicate white blossoms with
which affection sometimes loves to surround what was lovely in life, but
gaudy flowers of every hue. The dress, too, was fantastic and
inappropriate. The mother and little brothers sat in one of the two
small rooms; the mother in transports of grief, which was real, but not
so absorbing as to be forgetful of self and scenic effect. The little
boys sat by, in awkward consciousness of new black gloves, and crape
bands on their hats. Everything was artificial and painfully forlorn;
and the want of genuineness, which surrounded the pale sleeper, seemed
to cast suspicion on the honesty and validity of her late-formed hope
for eternity.

But the first words of prayer, breathed forth, rather than uttered, in
the low tones the speaker was most accustomed to use, changed the aspect
of the poor place. _He_ was genuine and in earnest.

The mother's exaggerated sobs became less frequent, and real tears
glistened in eyes that, like mine, had been wandering to detect
absurdities and incongruities. We were gently lifted upwards towards God
and Heaven. We were taught a lesson in that mild charity which "thinketh
no evil,"--which "hopeth all things, and endureth all things;" and when
the scanty funeral train left the house, I could not but feel that the
ministration of this good man there had been--

  "As if some angel shook his wings."

We preserve even trifling memorials of friends whom we have loved and
lost; and even these recollections, deeply traced, though slight in
importance, may bear a value for those who knew and estimated the finely
organized and nicely-balanced character of the man who loved to "do good
by stealth," and who has signalized his life by bringing, in his own
peculiar and quiet way, many great enterprises from small beginnings.

                            Norwich, Ct.

       *       *       *       *       *




It is a very general remark, at the present time, throughout our
country, and the complaint comes back, especially from the great West,
through those who are familiarly acquainted with society there, that
there is a growing spirit of insubordination in the family, and, of
course, in the State; and it is ascribed to laxity and neglect in the
_Mothers_ as much as in the Fathers. Its existence is even made the
matter of public comment on such occasions as the celebration of the
landing of our Pilgrim Fathers, those bright exemplars of family
religion. And grave divines and theological professors, in their
addresses to the people, deprecate it as a growing evil of the times.

Now, without entering into other specifications here, may it not be that
a chief reason for the _increase_ of family insubordination is to be
found in the DECREASE OF FAMILY RELIGION? By this we mean
Religion in the household; in other words, the inculcation and
observance of the duties of religion in American families, in their
organized capacity as separate religious communities. Family religion,
in this sense, implies the acknowledgment of God in the family circle,
by the assembling of all its members around the domestic altar, morning
and evening, and by united prayer and praise to the God of the families
of all flesh; by the invocation of God's blessing and the giving of
thanks at every social repast; by the strict observance of the Sabbath;
and by the religious instruction and training of children and servants,
and the constant recognition of God's providence and care. This
constitutes, and these are the duties of family religion--duties which
no Christian head of a family, whether father or mother, can be excused
from performing. They are duties which all who take upon themselves the
responsibilities of the family should feel it a privilege to observe.

The duty of family prayer, especially by the one or the other head of
the household, as the leading exercise of the family religion, should be
performed with seriousness, order and punctuality. John Angell James
very properly asks if the dwellings of the righteous ought not to be
filled with the very element of piety, the atmosphere of true religion.
"Yet, how few are the habitations, even of professors, upon entering
which the stranger would be compelled to say, Surely this _is_ the house
of God, this _is_ the gate of heaven! It may be that family prayer is
gone through with, such as it is, though with little seriousness and no
unction. But even this, in many cases, is wholly omitted, and scarcely
anything remains to indicate that God has found a dwelling in that
house. There may be no actual dissipation, no drunkenness, no
card-playing, but, oh! how little of true devotion is there! How few
families are there so conducted as to make it a matter of surprise that
any of the children of such households should turn out otherwise than
pious! How many that lead us greatly to wonder that any of the children
should turn out otherwise than irreligious! On the other hand, how
subduing and how melting are the fervent supplications of a godly and
consistent father, when his voice, tremulous with emotion, is giving
utterance to the desires of his heart to the God of heaven for the
children bending around him! Is there, out of heaven, a sight more
deeply interesting than a family, gathered at morning or evening prayer,
where the worship is what it ought to be?"

It is hardly to be supposed that any pious heads, or pious members, of
American households, are in doubt whether family worship be a duty. We
are rather to take it for granted, as a duty universally acknowledged
among Christians, nature itself serving to suggest and teach it, and the
word of God abundantly confirming and enforcing it, both by precept and
example. God himself being the author and constitutor of the family
relation, it is but a dictate of reason that He should be owned and
acknowledged as such, "who setteth the children of men in families like
a flock, who hath strengthened the bars of thy gates, and hath blessed
thy children within thee." Of whom it is said, "Lo, children are an
heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

It is this great Family-God, whose solemn charges, by his servant Moses,
are as binding upon Christian families now as of old upon the children
of Israel--Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy might: and these words which I command
thee this day shall be in thy heart: and thou shalt teach them
diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou
sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou
liest down and when thou risest up.

This is God's command, and He will hold every parent responsible for the
religious instruction of his or her children. In such an education for
God, which is the duty of the parent and the right of the child, the
habit of family worship constitutes an essential part. Nothing can make
up for the want of this. Neither the best of preaching and instruction
in the sanctuary or Sabbath-school, nor the finest education abroad, in
the boarding-schools or seminaries, will at all answer for the daily
discipline of family religion. This is something which no artificial
accomplishment can supply. A religious home education, under the daily
influence of family worship, and the devout acknowledgment of God at the
frugal board, and the godly example and instruction of a pious
parentage, are more influential upon the future character and destiny of
the child than all the other agencies put together.

The true divine origin of the domestic economy is to train children, by
habits of virtue, obedience, and piety in the family, to become useful
members of society at large and good subjects of the State, and above
all to be fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of faith.
In order to this the strict maintenance of family religion is absolutely
essential. It is therefore laid down as an axiom that no State can be
prosperous where family order and religion are generally neglected. The
present condition of France, and the so far successful villainy of her
perjured usurper, are in proof of this position, which was understood by
one of her statesmen a few years ago, when he said with emphasis on his
dying bed, "What France wants is family religion; what France wants is
family religion."

On the contrary, every State _will be prosperous_, whatever its
political institutions, where family religion and healthy domestic
discipline are strictly maintained. Disorderly and irreligious families
are the hot-beds of disorderly and irreligious citizens; on the other
hand, families in which God is honored, and the children educated under
the hallowed influences of family religion, are heaven's own nurseries
for the State and the Church. The considerations which should urge every
Christian householder to be strict in the maintenance of family religion
are therefore both patriotic and religious. The good results of such
fidelity and strictness on the part of parents are by no means limited
to their own children, as the experience of a pious tradesman, related
to his minister in a conversation on family worship, most instructively

When he first began business for himself, he was determined, through
grace, to be particularly conscientious with respect to family prayer.
Morning and evening every individual of his household was required to be
present at the domestic altar; nor would he allow his apprentices to be
absent on any account. In a few years the benefits of such fidelity in
daily family religion manifestly appeared; the blessings of the upper
and nether springs followed him; health and happiness crowned his
family, and prosperity attended his business.

At length, however, such was the rapid increase of trade, and the
importance of devoting every possible moment to his customers, that he
began to think whether family prayer did not occupy too much time in the
morning. Pious scruples indeed there were against relinquishing this
part of his duty; but soon wordly interests prevailed so far as to
induce him to excuse the attendance of his apprentices; and it was not
long before it was deemed advisable for the more eager prosecution of
business, to make praying in the morning when he first arose, suffice
for the day.

Notwithstanding the repeated checks of conscience that followed this
sinful omission, the calls of a flourishing business concern and the
prospect of an increasing family appeared so pressing, that he found an
easy excuse to himself for this unjustifiable neglect of an obvious
family duty. But when his conscience was almost seared as with a hot
iron, it pleased God to awaken him by a peculiar though natural
providence. One day he received a letter from a young man who had
formerly been an apprentice, previous to his omitting family prayer. Not
doubting but that domestic worship was still continued in the family of
his old master, his letter was chiefly on the benefits which he had
himself received through its agency.

"Never," said he, "shall I be able to thank you sufficiently for the
precious privilege with which you indulged me in your family devotions!
O, sir, eternity will be too short to praise my God for what I have
learned. It was there I first beheld my lost and wretched estate as a
sinner; it was there that I first found the way of salvation, and there
that I first experienced the preciousness of Christ in me the hope of
glory. O, sir, permit me to say, Never, never neglect those precious
engagements. You have yet a family and more apprentices. May your house
be the birth-place of their souls!"

The conscience-stricken tradesman could proceed no further, for every
line flashed condemnation in his face. He trembled, and was alarmed lest
the blood of his children and apprentices should be demanded at his
hands. "Filled with confusion, and bathed in tears, I fled," said he,
"for refuge in secret. I spread the letter before God. I agonized in
prayer, till light broke in upon my disconsolate soul, and a sense of
blood-bought pardon was obtained. I immediately flew to my family,
presented them before the Lord, and from that day to the present, I have
been faithful, and am determined, through grace, that whenever my
business becomes so large as to interrupt family prayer, I will give up
the superfluous part of it and retain my devotion. Better lose a few
dollars than become the deliberate moral murderer of my family and the
instrument of ruin to my own soul."

Now this experience is highly instructive and admonitory. It proves how
much good may be doing by family worship faithfully observed when we
little know it, and the importance, therefore, of always maintaining it.
It proves the goodness of God in reproving and checking his children
when they neglect duty and go astray. And it shows the insidious way in
which backsliding begins and grievous sin on the part of God's people.
May the engagements of business never tempt any parent that reads this
article to repeat the tradesman's dangerous experiment! But if there be
any that have fallen into the same condemnation, as it is to be feared
some may have done, may God of his mercy admonish them of it, and bring
them back before such a declension, begun in the neglect of family
religion, shall be consummated in the decay and loss of personal
religion, and the growing irreligion both of your family and your own

       *       *       *       *       *


This exquisitely touching ballad we take from the "Songs of Scotland,
Ancient and Modern," edited by Allan Cunningham. He says, "It is seldom
indeed, that song has chosen so singular a theme; but the _superstition_
it involves is current in Scotland."

  The ladie walk'd in yon wild wood,
    Aneath the hollow tree,
  And she was aware of twa bonnie bairns
    Were running at her knee.

  The tane it pulled a red, red rose,
    Wi' a hand as soft as silk;
  The other, it pull'd a lily pale,
    With a hand mair white than milk.

  "Now, why pull ye the red rose, fair bairns?
    And why the white lily?"
  "Oh, we sue wi' them at the seat of grace,
    For soul of thee, ladie!"

  "Oh, bide wi' me, my twa bonnie bairns!
    I'll cleid ye rich and fine;
  And a' for the blaeberries of the wood,
    Yese hae white bread and wine."

  She sought to take a lily hand,
    And kiss a rosie chin--
  "O, naught sae pure can bide the touch
    Of a hand red--wet wi' sin"!

  The stars were shooting to and fro,
    And wild-fire filled the air,
  As that ladie follow'd thae bonnie bairns
    For three lang hours and mair.

  "Oh, where dwell ye, my ain sweet bairns?
    I'm woe and weary grown!"
  "Oh, ladie, we live where woe never is,
    In a land to flesh unknown."

  There came a shape which seem'd to her
    As a rainbow 'mang the rain;
  And sair these sweet babes plead for her,
    And they pled and pled in vain.

  "And O! and O!" said the youngest babe,
    "My mither maun come in;"
  "And O! and O!" said the eldest babe,
    "Wash her twa hands frae sin."

  "And O! and O!" said the youngest babe,
    "She nursed me on her knee."
  "And O! and O!" said the eldest babe,
    "She's a mither yet to me."

  "And O! and O!" said the babes baith,
    "Take her where waters rin,
  And white as the milk of her white breast,
    Wash her twa hands frae sin."

       *       *       *       *       *



This little girl was doubtless one of those whom the Savior early
prepares for their removal to his pure and holy family above. The sweet,
lovely, and attractive graces of a sanctified childhood, shone with a
mild luster throughout her character and manners, as she passed from one
period of intelligence to another, until she had reached the termination
of her short journey through earth to heaven.

Peace to thy ashes, gentle one! "Light lie the turf" upon thy bosom,
until thou comest forth to a morning, that shall know no night!

After the birth of this their first child, the parents were continually
reminded of the shortness and uncertainty of life, by repeated
sicknesses in the social circle, and by the sudden death of one of their
number, a beloved sister.

Whether it was that this had its influence in the shaping of the
another's instructions, or not, yet such was the fact, that the subject
of a preparation for early death, was not unfrequently the theme, when
religious instruction was imparted. The mind of the mother was also
impressed with the idea of her own responsibility. She felt that the
soul of the child would be required at her hands, and that she must do
all in her power to fit it for heaven. Hence she was importunate and
persevering in prayer, for a blessing upon her efforts; that God would
graciously grant his Spirit, not only to open the mind of her child to
receive instruction, but also to set it home and seal it there.

Her solicitude for the spiritual welfare, of the child was such, as
often to attract the notice of the writer; while the results forced upon
her mind the conviction, that the tender bud, nurtured with so much care
and fidelity, and watered with so many prayers and tears, would never be
permitted to burst into full flower, in the ungenial soil of earth.

Mary Jane had hardly numbered three winters, when a little sister of
whom she was very fond, was taken dangerously sick. Her mother and the
nurse were necessarily confined with the sick child; and she was left
very much alone. I would fain have taken the little girl home with me;
but it was feared that a change of temperature might prove unfavorable
to her health, so I often spent long hours with her, in her own home.
Precious seasons! How they now come up to me, through the long vista of
the dim and distant past, stirring the soul, like the faint echoes of
melting music, and wakening within it, remembrances of all pleasant

I had been spending an afternoon with her in the usual manner, sometimes
telling her stories, and again drawing forth her little thoughts in
conversation, and was about taking leave, when I said to her, "Mary
Jane, you must be sure and ask God to make your little sister well
again." Sliding down from her chair, and placing her little hand in
mine, she said with great simplicity, "Who will lead me up there?"
Having explained to her as well as I could, that it was not necessary
for her to go up to heaven; that God could hear her, although she could
neither see him nor hear his answers, I reluctantly tore myself away.
Yet it was well for the child that I did so; for being left alone, the
train of her thoughts was not diverted to other objects; and she
continued to revolve in her mind, as was afterwards found, the idea of
asking God to make her sister well.

That night, having said her usual evening prayer, "Our Father," "Now I
lay me down to sleep," &c., the nurse left her quietly composed to
sleep, as she thought, but having occasion soon to pass her door, she
found that Mary Jane was awake and "talking loud." On listening, she
found that the little girl was praying. Her language was, "My dear
Father up in heaven, do please to make my little sister well again."

Before her sister recovered, she was taken sick herself. A kind relative
who was watching by her bedside one night, offered her some medicine
which she refused to take. The watcher said, "I want to have you take
it; it will make you well." The sick child replied: "The medicine can't
cure me--the doctors can't cure me--only God can cure me; but Jesus, he
can make me well." On being told that it would please God, if she should
take the medicine, she immediately swallowed it. After this she lay for
some time apparently in thought; then addressing the watcher she said,
"Aunty B----, do you know which is the way to heaven?" Then answering
the question herself she said, "Because if you don't, you go and ask my
uncle H----, and he will tell you which is the way. He preaches in the
pulpit every Sabbath to the people to be good,--and that is the way to
go to heaven."

Were the dear child to come back now, she could hardly give a plainer or
more scriptural direction--for, "without holiness, no man shall see the

Before Mary Jane had recovered from this sickness, a little brother was
added to the number; thus making a group of infants, the eldest of whom
could number but three years and one month.

As the little ones became capable of receiving impressions from
religious truth, Mary Jane, though apparently but an infant herself,
would watch over them with the most untiring vigilance. One thing she
was very scrupulous about; it was their evening prayer. If at any time
this had been omitted, she would appear to be evidently distressed. One
evening while her mother was engaged with company in the parlor, she
felt something gently pulling her gown. On looking behind her chair, she
found little Mary Jane, who had crept in unobserved, and was whispering
to her that the nurse had put her little brother and sister to bed
without having said their prayers.

It was often instructive to me to see what a value this dear child set
upon prayer. I have since thought that the recovery of her infant
sister, and her own prayer for the same, were so associated in her mind,
as to produce a conviction of the efficacy of prayer, such as few

Being confined so much to the nursery, the mother improved the favored
season, in teaching her little girl to read, to sew and spell; keeping
up at the same time her regular routine of instruction in catechism,
hymns, &c. She had an exercise for the Sabbath which was admirably
adapted to make the day pass, not only pleasantly but profitably. In the
morning, unless prevented by illness, she was invariably found in her
seat in the sanctuary, with such of her children as were old enough to
be taken to church. In the afternoon she gave her nurse the same
privilege, but retained her children at home with herself. The moment
the house was clear, Mary Jane might be seen collecting the little group
for the nursery; alluring them along with the assurance that "now mother
was going to make them happy." This meeting was strictly in keeping with
the sacredness of the day. It was also a social meeting, each little one
as soon as it could speak, being required to take some part in it, the
little Mary Jane setting the example, encouraging the younger ones in
the most winning manner; and always making one of the prayers. The Bible
was not only the text book, but the guide. It furnished the thoughts,
and from it the mother selected some portion which for the time, she
deemed most appropriate to the state of her infant audience. Singing
formed a delightful part of the exercises. The mother had a fine voice,
and the little ones tried to fall in with it, in the use of some hymn
adapted to their tender minds.

These meetings were also very serious, and calculated to make a lasting
impression on the tender minds of the children. At the close of one, the
mother who had been telling the children of heaven, turned to Mary Jane,
and said, "My dear child, if you should die now, do you think you should
go to heaven?" "I don't know, mother," was her thoughtful reply;
"sometimes I think I am a good girl, and that God loves me, and that I
shall certainly go to heaven. But sometimes I am naughty. J---- teazes
me, and makes me unthread my needle, and then I feel angry; and I _know_
God does not love me _then_. I don't know, mother. I am afraid I should
not go to heaven." Then encouraging herself, she added in a sweet
confiding manner, "I hope I shall go there; don't you hope so too,

Oh, who of our fallen race would ever see heaven, if sinless perfection
only, were to be the ground of our admittance there? True, we must be
free from sin, before we can enter that holy place; but this will be,
because God "hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we
might be made the righteousness of God in Him."[A]

How much of the great doctrine of Justification by Faith in Christ this
little girl could comprehend, would be very difficult to tell. But, that
she regarded him as the medium through which she must receive every
blessing, there could be no doubt. He died that she might live; live in
the favor and friendship of God here, and live forever in his presence

Since commencing this simple narrative, I have regretted that more of
her sweet thoughts respecting Jesus and heaven could not be recalled.
Every thing relating to the soul, to its preparation for another and
better state of existence; to the enjoyments and employments of the
blessed, had an almost absorbing power over her mind; so that she
greatly preferred to read of them, and reflect upon them, to joining in
the ordinary sports of childhood. Yet she was a gentle and loving child,
to her little companions, and would always leave her book, cheerfully
and sweetly, when requested to join their little circle for play. But it
was evident that she could not as easily draw back her thoughts from
their deep and heavenly communings.

Whenever she witnessed a funeral procession, instead of lingering over
the pageant before her, her thoughts would follow the individual into
the invisible world. Was the person prepared for death? Had the soul
gone to God? were questions which she pondered with the deepest

A short time previous to her death, she was permitted at her urgent and
oft repeated request, to witness the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Her
mother was much affected to see the interest which the dear child
manifested on the occasion, and also the readiness with which she
entered into the meaning and design of the sacred ordinance.

The entire sixth year of Mary Jane was a period of unusual confinement.
Several members of the family were sick during that time; her mother
more than once; and she was often confined for whole days to the nursery
amusing the younger children and attending to their wants. Hence, when a
visit to the 'water-side' was talked of, the proposal was hailed with
joy. The prospect of escaping from her confinement, of being permitted
to go freely into the fresh air, to see the ocean, and gather shells and
pebbles upon its beach, was hailed with joyous emotion. Yet all these
delightful anticipations were destined to disappointment. The family did
indeed go to the 'water-side'; but they had scarcely reached the place
when their second daughter was taken alarmingly ill. When the dear child
was told that she must return home with her little brother, not a murmur
escaped her lips. Not that she cared nothing for the ocean, or the
treasures upon its beach; but she had learned the great lesson of
self-denial, although so young. A moment before, and she was exulting in
prospect of the joyous rambles in which she should participate, amidst
the groups of sportive children collected at the watering place. But
when the carriage was brought to the door, and her little bonnet was
being tied on, not even, 'I am sorry' was uttered by her, although her
whole frame trembled with emotion. With a hurried, though cheerful,
'good bye, mother,' she leaped into the coach and was gone.

The two children were brought home to me; and as day after day passed
and no favorable intimation reached us respecting the sick child, I had
ample opportunity to see how she resorted to her old refuge, prayer.
Often would the dear child return to me with the clear light shining in
her countenance, after a short season of retirement for prayer. I feel
my heart grow warm, now, after the lapse of a quarter of a century
nearly, as I recall _that look_, and that winning request, 'Aunty, may I
stay with you? the children plague me.' Her two little playmates were
boys; and they could not understand why she refused to unite in their
boisterous sports. She could buckle on their belts, fix on their riding
caps, and aid them in mounting their wooden horses; but why she would
not race up and down with them upon a cane, they could not comprehend.
She was patient and gentle, towards her little brother. It was a great
treat to her, to be permitted to take him out to walk. I have seldom
seen more gratitude expressed by a child, than she manifested, when she
found that 'aunty' reposed confidence enough in her, to permit her to
take him out alone. And how careful she was not to abuse that
confidence, by going beyond the appointed limits. Often since then I
have found myself adverting to this scene, as furnishing evidence that a
child who fears God can be trusted. I can see the dear little girl now,
as she arrived at a particular corner of the street, from which the
house could be seen, before turning to go back again, stopping and
gazing earnestly at the window, if perchance she might catch a bow and
smile from "aunty," expressing by her countenance more forcibly than
words could, "you see I am here."


       *       *       *       *       *



In conversation with some Christian friends, a few days since, one young
lady remarked that she should never forget a sermon preached by her
father several years before, in which he remarked that Christian
biographers of the present day differed very much from those _inspired_
of God to write for succeeding generations, for _they_ did not fear to
tell the faults and expose the sins of primitive Christians who were to
be held up as examples, while those who now wrote took every possible
pains to hide the faults and make the subjects of their memoirs
perfection itself, not admitting they had a fault or flaw in their
characters. "Since hearing these remarks from my pastor," said she, "I
have never tried to cultivate a taste for memoirs and have seldom looked
into one."

"Depend upon it, my dear friend," I replied, "you have denied yourself
one of the richest means of growth in grace, and one of the most
delightful pleasures afforded the Christian; and while your pastor's
remarks may have been true of _some_, I cannot agree with him in
condemning all, for I have read most that have come within my reach for
ten years past, and have seen but two that I thought merited censure."

"But you will admit," continued my friend, "that those published of
children are extravagant, and quite beyond any thing seen in common

"No; I can admit nothing of the kind, for let me tell you what I
witnessed when on a visit to a friend missionary's family at Pairie du
Chien: The mother of little George was one of the most spotless
characters I ever saw, and as you witnessed her daily walk you could not
but realize that she enjoyed intercourse with One who could purify and
exalt the character, and 'keep staid on Him in perfect peace the soul
who trusted in Him.' And should it have fallen to my lot to have written
her memoirs, I am quite sure it would have been cast aside by those who
think with you that memoirs are extravagant. I cannot think because
David committed adultery, and the wisest man then living had three
hundred wives, and Peter denied his Savior, that all other Christians
living in the present enlightened age have done or would do these or
like grievous sins. It has been my lot at some periods of my life to be
cast among Christians whose confidence in Christ enabled them to rise
far above the attainments made by the generality of Christians, indeed
so far as to be almost lost sight of, who would shine as brightly on the
pages of written Christian life.

"But, as I was going to say, little George was not yet four years old
when his now sainted mother and myself stood beside his sick bed, and
beheld the sweet child with his hands clasped over his eyes, evidently
engaged in prayer, with a look of anguish on his face. We stood there by
his side, watching him constantly for over an hour, not wishing to
interrupt his devotions, and at last we saw that look of distress
gradually disappear, and as silently we watched him we felt that the
influence of God's Spirit was indeed at work in that young heart.

"At last he looked up at his mother, and a sweet smile lighted up his
little face as he said, 'Mother, I am going to die; but don't cry, for I
am going straight to Jesus; my sins are all forgiven, mother.'"

"How do you know that, my sweet child?"

"Why, Jesus said so, ma."

"Said so; did you, indeed, hear any voice, my son?"

"O no, mother; but you know how it is. He speaks it in me, right here,
here, mother," laying his little hand on his throbbing breast. "I don't
want to live; I want to go where Jesus is, and be His own little boy,
and not be naughty any more; and I hope I shan't get well, I am afraid
if I do I shall be naughty again. O, mother, I have been a great sinner,
and done many naughty things; but Jesus has forgiven me all my sins, and
I do wish sister would go to Him and be forgiven for showing that bad
temper, and all her other sins; don't you, ma?"

"Contrary to expectation this lovely boy recovered, and a few days after
he got well I saw him take his sister's hand and plead with her to come
and pray. 'O, sister,' he said, 'you will lose your soul if you don't
pray. Do, do ask Jesus to forgive your sins, He will hear you, He will
make you happy; do, do come right to Him, won't you, sissy?' But his
sister (who was six years old) turned a deaf ear to his entreaties, and
it grieved him so, that he would go away and cry and pray for her with
exceeding great earnestness.

"Months after, he had the happiness of seeing his sister converted to
Jesus, and knowing that his infant prayer was answered, and great indeed
was the joy of this young saint, as well as that of the rest of the
household as they saw these two of their precious flock going off to
pray together, not only for themselves, but for an older brother, who
seemed to have no sympathy with them."

"Well," said my friend, "this is indeed as remarkable as any thing I
ever read, and I must say, hearing it from your own lips, has a
tendency to remove that prejudice I have felt toward reading children's
conversion. Did this child live?"

"O, yes, and remains a consistent follower of Jesus; he is now twelve
years old."

"This is a very remarkable case," continued my friend; "very rare
precocity. I have never met with any thing of the kind in my life."

"Yet, I have known several such instances in my short life, one more of
which I must detain you to relate."


       *       *       *       *       *



Time, in its rapid flight, my dear sisters, has again brought us to
another anniversary of our Association. It seems but yesterday since we
held our last annual meeting, but while we have been busy here and
there, the fugitive moments have hurried us along almost with the
celerity of thought through another year. Were it not an established
usage of our society, that something like a report be rendered of the
past, the pen of your secretary would have remained silent. The thought
has often arisen, what foundation have I for giving that which will be
of any interest to those who may come together? It is true that each
month has witnessed the quiet assembling of a little band in this
consecrated place, but how small the number! Have we _all_ been here,
with united hearts, glowing with love for the souls of our children, and
feeling that we had power with God, that we had in our possession that
key which is said to unlock heaven, and bring down precious blessings
upon those committed to our charge? Have not family cares been suffered,
too often, to detain some from the place of meeting? and their absence
has thrown the chill air of despondency over those who _were_ here. The
average attendance during the year has been but five, while fourteen
names are upon the record as members. Are we manifesting that interest
in this important cause which those did who were the original founders
of this society? Almost all of those are now absent, several have
removed to other places; two, we trust, have long since been joining in
the praises, and participating in the enjoyments, of heaven; and others,
by reason of illness or the infirmities of age, are usually detained
from the place of prayer. But we trust their hearts are with us; and
shall we not endeavor to be faithful representatives of those whose
places we now occupy? Have we not motives sufficient to stimulate us to
a more diligent discharge of duty? God has given to us jewels of rare
beauty, no gem from mountain or mine, no coral from the ocean's flow,
can compare with them. And they are of priceless value too; Christ's
blood alone could purchase them, and this He gave, gave freely too, that
they might be fitted to deck His diadem of glory. He has encased these
gems in caskets of exquisite workmanship, and given them to us, that we
may keep them safely, and return them to Him when He shall ask them of
us. Shall we be negligent of this trust? Shall we be busy, here and
there, and suffer the adversary of souls to secure them to himself? We
know that God is pleased to accept the efforts of the faithful mother;
his language to us is, "Take this child and nurse it for _me_, and I
will give thee thy wages." But on this condition alone, are we to
receive the reward promised that they be trained for His service. And
have we not the evidence, even now, before us of the fulfillment of His
precious promise? Those of us who were privileged on the last Sabbath to
witness the consecration of that band of youthful disciples to the
Savior, felt that the efforts of faithful mothers _had_ been blessed,
their prayers _had_ been answered, and when we remembered that six of
those loved ones were the children of our little circle, and others were
intimately connected with some of our number, we felt our confidence in
God strengthened, and I trust all gained new encouragement to labor for
those who were yet out of the ark of safety. There are others of our
number with whom God's Spirit has been striving, and even now His
influences are being felt. Shall they be resisted, and those thus
influenced go farther from Him who has died that they might live?

Not many years since I was permitted to stand by the death-bed of a
mother in Israel. Her sons were there, and as she looked at them with
eyes in which we might almost see reflected the bright glories of the
New Jerusalem, she exclaimed, "Dear sons, I shall meet you all in
heaven." Why, we were led to ask, does she say this? Two of them had
already reached the age of manhood, and had as yet refused to yield
obedience to their Heavenly Father. But she trusted in her
covenant-keeping God, she had given them to Him; for them she had
labored and prayed, and she _knew_ that God delighted to answer prayer.
We realized the ground of her confidence, when tidings came to us, ere
that year had expired, that one of those sons, far away upon the ocean,
with no Sabbath or sanctuary privileges within his reach, had found the
Savior precious to his soul. The other, ere long, became an active
member of the church on earth. Is not our God the same in whom she so
implicitly trusted, and will He not as readily bless our efforts as
hers, if we are truly faithful?

We are all, I trust, prepared to-day to render a tribute of praise to
our Heavenly Father, who has so kindly preserved us during the year now
passed. As we look around our little circle we find no place made vacant
by death, I mean of those who have been the attendants upon our meeting.
We do not forget that the messenger has been sent to the family of our
eldest sister, and removed that son upon whom she so confidently leaned
for support. He who so assiduously improved every opportunity to
minister to her comfort and happiness, has been taken, and not only
mother and sisters have been bereaved, but children, too, of this
association have, by this providence, been made orphans. We trust _they_
have already realized that precious promise, "When my father and mother
forsake me, then the Lord will take me up;" and may He whose judgments
are unsearchable, and His ways past finding out, enable that sorely
afflicted mother to say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

What the events of the coming year are to be, as it regards ourselves,
we know not. We would not lift the curtain to gaze into futurity; but
may we each have strength and wisdom given us to discharge faithfully
every duty, that whether living or dying we may be accepted of God!

                    SARAH A. GUTHRIE, _Secretary._

       *       *       *       *       *


The steamer _Humboldt_, after a long passage, having encountered heavy
seas, and been obliged to put into port for repairs, has just arrived.
She has proved herself a stanch vessel, thoroughly tested her sea-going
qualities, and escaped dangers which would have wrecked an ordinary
steamer. Her passengers express the utmost confidence in the vessel and
her officers, and advise travelers to take passage in her.

_Our_ bark has now accomplished a voyage, during which it met many
dangers and delays which as thoroughly tested its power and capacity;
and we too meet with expressions of kindness and confidence, some of
which we venture to extract from letters which the postman has just laid
on our table.

A lady, residing near Boston, writes thus: "Permit me to assure you, my
dear Madam, of my warmest interest in you and your work, and of my
earnest desire that your enterprise may prove a successful one. Your
work certainly deserves a wide circulation, and has in my opinion a
stronger claim upon the patronage of the Christian public than any other
with which I am acquainted. You must have met with embarrassments in
commencing a new work, and hence, I suppose, the occasional delays in
the issuing of your numbers."

A lady from Michigan writes: "My dear Mrs. W., we rejoice in the success
which has thus far attended your efforts in the great work of your
life. May their results, as manifested in the lives and characters of
the children of the land, for many many years, prove that your labors
were not in vain, in the Lord. We were beginning to have some anxiety as
to the success of your Magazine from not receiving it as early as we
expected; no other periodical could fill its place. May you, dear Madam,
long be spared to edit it, and may you have all the co-operation and
patronage you need."

A friend says: "Our pleasant interview, after a lapse of years, and
those years marked by many vicissitudes, has caused the tide of feelings
to ebb and flow till the current of my thoughts is swollen into such a
stream of intensity as to lead me, through this channel of
communication, to assure you of my warmest sympathy and my deep interest
in the important work in which you have been so long engaged. It was
gratifying to learn from your lips that amid the varied trials which
have been scattered in your pathway God has been your refuge and
strength--a very present help in trouble, and cheering to hear your
widowed heart sing of mercy and exult in the happiness of that precious
group who have gone before you into the eternal world." * * *

"My dear friend, may the sentiments and doctrines inculcated in your
work drop as the rain, and distill as the dew, fertilizing and
enlivening the sluggish soul, and encouraging the weary and heavy-laden.
I know you need encouragement in your labor of love, and as I expect
soon to visit M----, when I shall greet that precious Maternal
Association to which I belonged for so many years, and which has so
often been addressed by you, through the pages of your Magazine, as well
as personally, I shall hope to do something in increasing the
circulation of the work there. * *

                                 "Your friend,

                                   "E. M. R."

We have many other letters from which we might make similar extracts,
but our purpose in making the above was to give us an opportunity to say
to our friends, that our bark is again ready for sea, with the
flattering prospect of making a pleasant voyage, and that our sails are
trimmed and need but the favoring breeze to speed it on its way.

       *       *       *       *       *




How capricious is memory, often retaining through life trivial and
transient incidents, in all the freshness of minute details, while of
far more important events, where laborious effort has been expended to
leave a fair and lasting record, but faint and illegible traces
frequently remain!

Far back in my childhood, so far that I am at a loss where to place it,
is a little episode, standing so far apart from the main purport of its
history, that I do not know how it happened, or whether the original
impression was deepened by its subsequent recurrence. This was a visit
to the village of W----, the home of my Cousin Mary Rose.

I remember distinctly the ride; short it must have been, since it was
but four or five miles from home, but it seemed long to me then. There
was great elation of spirits on my part, and no particular excitement;
but a very sedate pace on the part of our old horse, to whose swinging
gait a monotonous creaking of the old-fashioned chaise kept up a steady
response, not unharmonious, as it was connected in my mind with the idea
of progress. I remember the wonders of the way, particularly my awe of a
place called Folly Bridge, where a wide chasm, filled with many
scattered rocks, and the noisy gurgle of shallow water, had resulted
from an attempt to improve upon the original ford. Green fields, and
houses with neat door-yards, thickened at last into a pretty village,
with a church and school-house, stores and workshops. Then, turning from
the main street, near the church, we took a quiet lane, which soon
brought us to a pause, where our wheels indented the turf of a green
slope, before the gate of a long, low dwelling, half buried in ancient
lilac trees. This was the home of Aunt Rose, who, though no veritable
aunt of mine, was one of those choice spirits, "to all the world akin,"
around whose memory lingers the fragrance of deeds of kindness. Here, by
special invitation, I had come on a visit--my _first_ visit from home. I
had passed through no small excitement in the prospect of that event. I
had anxiously watched every little preparation made for it, and my own
small packing had seemed momentous. I felt to the full the dignity of
the occasion. The father and mother, the brothers and sisters, the
inseparable and often tedious nursery-maid, Harriet, were all left

I stood for the first time on my individual responsibility among persons
of whom I had known but little. The monotony of home-life was broken in
upon, and my eyes and ears were both open to receive new impressions.
Doubtless, the careful mother, who permitted me to be placed in this new
situation, was well satisfied that I should be subjected only to good
influences, but had they been evil, I should certainly have been
lastingly affected by them, since every thing connected with the house
and its inmates, the garden, the fields, the walks in the village, lives
still a picture of vivid hues.

What induced the family to desire my company, I do not know; I have an
idea that I was invited because, like many other good people, they liked
the company of children, and in the hope that I might contribute to the
element of home-cheerfulness, with which they liked to surround their
only daughter, my Cousin Mary Rose, whose tall shadowy figure occupies
in my recollections, as it did in reality, the very center of this
household group. That she was an invalid, I gather from many remembered
trifles, such as the constant consideration shown for her strength in
walks and rides, the hooks in the ceiling from which her swing-chair had
formerly hung (at which I used to gaze, thinking it _such_ a pity that
it had ever been removed); her quiet pursuits, and her gentle, and
rather languid manner. She must have been simple and natural, as well as
refined in her tastes, and of a delicate neatness and purity in her
dress. If she was a rose, as her name would indicate, it must have been
a white rose; but I think she was more like a spotted lily. There was
her father, of whom I remember little, except that he slept in his large
arm-chair at noontide, when I was fain to be quiet, and that he looked
kindly and chatted pleasantly with me, as I sat on his knee at twilight.
I found my place at once in the household. If I had any first feelings
of strangeness to be overcome, which is probable, as I was but a timid
child, or if I wept any tears under deserved reproof, or was in any
trouble from childish indiscretions, the traces of these things have all
vanished; nothing remains but the record of long summer-days of delight.
Up and down, in and out, I wandered, at will, within certain limits.

An old cider mill (for such things _were_ in New England) in the orchard
was the remotest verge in one direction; to sit near it, and watch the
horse go slowly round and round, and chat with Chauncey, the youngest
son of the house, who was superintending it, was a great pleasure; but
most of my out-of-doors enjoyments were solitary. I think this must have
given a zest to them, for at home I was seldom alone. I was one of a
little troop of brothers' and sisters, whose pleasures were all _plays_,
gregarious and noisy. It was a new thing to be so quiet, and to give my
still fancies such a range. I was never weary of watching the long
processions of snow-white geese, moving along the turfy sides of the
road, solemn and stately, each garnished with that awkward appendage the
"_poke_," which seemed to me very cruel, since, in my simplicity, I
believed that the perpendicular rod in the center passed, like a spit,
directly through the bird's neck. Then, how inexhaustible were the
resources of the flower garden, on the southern side of the house, into
which a door opened from the parlor, the broad semicircular stone
doorsteps affording me a favorite seat.

What a variety of treasures were spread out before me: larkspurs, from
whose pointed nectaries I might weave "circles without end," varying the
pattern of each by alternate proportions of blue, and pink, and white.
There were foxgloves to be examined, whose depths were so mysteriously
freckled; there were clusters of cowslips, and moss-pinks to be
counted. There were tufts of ribbon-grass to be searched as diligently
as ever merchandise in later days, for perfect matches; there were
morning-glories, and moon-sleeps, and four o'clocks, and evening
primroses to be watched lest they might fail to be true to their
respective hours in opening and shutting. There were poppies, from whose
"diminished heads" the loose leaves were to be gathered in a basket,
(for they might stain the apron,) and lightly spread in the garret for
drying. There were ripe poppy-seeds to be shaken out through the curious
lid of their seed-vessel, in which a child's fancy found a curious
resemblance to a _pepper-box_; I often forced it to serve as one in the
imaginary feasts spread out on the door-step, though there were no
guests to be invited, except plenty of wandering butterflies, or an
occasional humming-bird, whizzing about the crimson blossoms of the
balm. Oh, the delights of Aunt Rose's flower-garden!

Then, there were the chickens to be fed, and the milking of the cows to
be "assisted at," and a chat enjoyed, meanwhile, with good-natured
Nancy, the maid, to stand beside whose spinning-wheel when, in an
afternoon, she found time to set it in motion, herself arrayed in a
clean gown and apron, was another great delight.

But my greatest enjoyments were found in Cousin Mary Rose's pleasant
chamber, which always seemed bright with the sunshine. From its windows
I looked out over fields of grain, and fruitful orchards, and green
meadows, sloping all the way to the banks of the blue Connecticut. I
doubt if I had ever known before that there was any beauty in a
prospect. There was plenty of pleasant occupation for me in that
chamber. I had my little bench, on which I sat at her feet, and read
aloud to her as she sewed, something which she had selected for me.
Though I never had an opportunity of knowing her in years when I was
more capable of judging of character (for we were separated, first by
distance, and now, alas, by death), I am sure that she must at that time
have been of more than the average taste and cultivation among young
ladies. Sure I am that she opened to me many a sealed fountain. My range
of reading had been limited to infant story-books and easy
school-lessons. She took from her book-shelves Cowper, and made me
acquainted with his hares, _Tiny_ and _Bess_, and enlisted my sympathies
for his imprisoned bullfinch. She turned over many leaves of the
_Spectator_ and _Rambler_, till she found for me allegories and tales of
Bagdad and Balsora, and showed me the Vision of Mirza, the Valley of
Human Miseries, and the Bridge of Human Life; I caught something of
their meaning, though I could not grasp the whole, and became so
enamored of them that when I returned home nothing would satisfy me but
the loan of my favorites, that I might share the great pleasure of these
wonderful stories with my friends there. How great was my surprise to
find that the same books held a conspicuous place in the library at

The little pieces of needlework, too, which filled a part of every day,
unlike the tedious, never-ending patchwork of school, were pleasant.
Cousin Mary Rose well understood how to make them so, when she coupled
the setting of the delicate little stitches with the idea of doing a
service or giving a pleasure to somebody. This was a bag for Nancy.
To-morrow, it was a cravat for Chauncey. Now, this same Chauncey was my
special delight, he being a lively youth of eighteen, the only son at
home, with whom, after tea, I had always a merry race, or some
inspiriting game of romps. And then, feat of all, came the hemming of a
handkerchief for Mr. Williams.

But who was Mr. Williams? I had no manner of idea who he was, or what
relation he held to the family, which entitled him to come in
unceremoniously at breakfast, dinner or tea-time, and gave him the
privilege of driving my Cousin Mary Rose over hill and valley for the
benefit of her health. In these rides I often had my share, for my
little bench fitted nicely into the old-fashioned chaise, where I sat
quietly between the two, looking out for wonders with which to interrupt
the talk going on above my head. Not that the talk was altogether
unintelligible to me. It often turned on themes of which I had heard
much. It spoke of God, of heaven, of the goodness and love of the
blessed Savior, of the hopes and privileges of the Christian. I liked
to hear it; there was no constraint in it. They might have talked of any
thing else; but I knew they chose the topic because they liked it,--I
felt that they were true Christians, and that it was safe and good to be
near them. Sometimes the conversation turned on earthly hopes and plans,
and then it became less intelligible to me.

One ride, I remember, which occupied a long summer afternoon. We left
home after an early dinner, and wound our way over hills rocky and
steep, from which we would catch views of the river, keeping always near
its bank, till we came to Mr. Williams's own home, or rather that of his
mother. What a pleasant visit was that! How Mr. Williams's mother and
sisters rejoiced over our coming! What a pet they made of me! and how
much they seemed inclined to pet my Cousin Mary Rose. I have an
indistinct idea of a faint flush passing now and then over the White
Rose. What a joyous, bountiful time it was! Such pears, and peaches, and
apples as were heaped up on the occasion! How social and cheerful was
the gathering around the teatable, lavishly spread with dainties!

How golden and glorious looked the hills, the trees, and the river in
the last rays of the setting sun, as we started from the door on our
return! How the sunset faded to twilight, and the dimness gave place to
the light of the rising moon, long before we reached the door, where
anxious Aunt Rose was watching for us! How much talk there was with the
old people about it all; for I suspect that, in their life of rare
incidents, it was the custom to make much of every thing that occurred.
What an unlading there was of the chaise-box, and bringing to light of
peaches and pears, which kept the journey in remembrance for many days

That night, as on every other night of my stay, my kind cousin saw me
safely placed in my bed, after I had knelt beside her to repeat my
evening prayer. Then, as she bent to kiss me, and gently whispered,
"_God bless thee, child_," she seemed to leave her serene spirit as a
mantle of repose.

When the Sabbath came, I walked hand in hand with her to the village
church. There was much there to distract my attention, particularly in
that rare sight, the ample white wig (the _last of the wigs_ of
Connecticut!) on the head of the venerable minister, who, though too
infirm for much active service, still held his place in the pulpit; but
I listened with all my might, intent on hearing something which I might
remember, and repeat to please Cousin Mary Rose; for I knew that she
would expect me to turn to the text, and would question me whether I had
understood it. I have pleasant hymns too, in recollection, which date
back to this very time. They have outlived the beautiful little purse
which was Mr. Williams's parting gift to me, and the tortoise-shell
kitten, with which Aunt Rose sought to console me, in my grief at seeing
myself sent for to return home. The summons was sudden but peremptory,
and I obeyed it with a sad heart.

I cannot tell how long afterwards it was, for months and years are not
very different in the calendar of childhood, when I was surprised with
the announcement that a change had come over Cousin Mary Rose. She was
changed to Mrs. Williams, and had gone with him, I think, to the South.

I doubt if any trace of the family is still to be found in the pleasant
village which was their home. The parents have gone to their rest. The
younger members removed long ago to the distant West.

My Cousin Mary Rose, for many years a happy and useful wife, has at last
found, in some part of the great western valley, a peaceful grave. I do
not know the spot where she lies, but I would fain twine around it these
little blossoms of grateful remembrance.

There is a moral in this slight sketch which I wish to impress on the
_daughters_ who read this Magazine. It is that their influence is
greater than they may suppose. Children read the purpose, the motive of
conduct, and understand the tenor of character; they are attracted by
feminine grace and refinement; they are keen admirers of personal
beauty, and they can be won by goodness and gentleness. Never, dear
young friends, overlook or treat with indifference a child thrown in
your way. You may lose by it a choice opportunity of conferring
happiness and lasting benefit.

_Norwich, Conn._

       *       *       *       *       *




When the sick child had recovered, and the family were again collected,
Mary Jane was sent to school. This was a delightful change to her--she
loved her teacher, she loved the little girls, she loved her book, but
more than all, her needle. The neatly folded patchwork made by her
little fingers, is kept as a choice relic to this day.

She had been in school just one month when she was taken sick. Whether
this was owing to the confined air of the school-room, or to a too close
application to her studies and work, is not known.

She returned from school one evening, and having sat with the family at
the table as usual, she went to her mother, and with rather unusual
earnestness requested her to take her in her lap and tell her a story.
To be told a story in mother's lap was regarded as a great indulgence by
the children. The little ones on hearing her request, ran to mother and
insisted on being attended to first. "Take me up, mother, and do take me
up." At length Mary Jane with her usual self-denial restored quiet by
requesting her mother to begin with the youngest first. When a short
story had been told her little brother, and she was about occupying the
desired position, she again yielded her right to the importunities of
her younger sister. A longer story was now told, in which she became
quite interested herself, so that when her turn came, she appeared
somewhat exhausted. As her mother took her in her arms, she laid her
head upon her shoulder, saying it ached very hard. It was thought that
sleep would restore her, so she was placed in bed.

At midnight the mother was aroused by the ineffectual efforts of Mary
Jane to awaken her nurse. On entering the chamber, she found that the
dear child had not slept at all. Her head was throbbing with pain, and
she was saying in a piteous manner, "I can't wake up Nancy." Her mother
immediately carried her to her own bed, and having placed her there,
perceived that from an almost icy coldness, she had suddenly changed to
an intense and burning heat.

Her father was standing by the bed uncertain whether or not to call a
physician, when in a pleased but excited manner she called out to him
"to see all those little girls." She imagined that little girls were all
around her, and although somewhat puzzled in accounting for their
presence, yet she appeared greatly delighted to see them.

After this she lay for some time in a dozing state, then she became
convulsed. During her short but distressing sickness, she had but few
lucid intervals. When not lying in a stupor her mind was usually busied
amidst past scenes.

At one time as I was standing by her pillow, bathing her head, she said
in a piteous tone, "I can't thread my needle." Then in a clear sweet
musical voice she called "Nancy" to come and help her thread it.

At another time her father supposing her unconscious said "I fear she
will never get well." She immediately opened her eyes, clasped her
little hands and laying them upon her bosom, looked upward and with
great earnestness commended herself to God: "My dear Father up in
heaven," she said, "please to make me well, if you think it is best; but
if you do not think best, then please to take me up to heaven where
Jesus is." After this, she continued for some time in prayer, but her
articulation was indistinct. One expression only was audible. It was
this, "suffer little children to come."

What gratitude is due to the tender and compassionate Savior for this
rich legacy of love, to the infant mind! How often has it comforted the
dying, or drawn to the bosom of everlasting love, the living among
little children. "Suffer little children to come unto me." The
preciousness and efficiency of this touching appeal seem to be but
little realized even among believing parents. Were it otherwise, should
we not see more of infant piety, in the families of professing

Once as the gray dawn approached, she appeared to wake as from a quiet
sleep, and asked if it was morning. On being told that it was, she
folded her hands and commenced her morning prayer. Soon, however, her
mind wandered, and her mother finished it for her.

From this time she lay and moaned her little life away. But whenever
prayer was offered, the moaning would cease for a short interval,
indicating that she was conscious, and also interested.

During the last night of her life, her mind appeared perfectly clear.
She spoke often of "heaven" and of "Jesus"; but little is recollected,
as her mother was not by. Not apprehending death to be so near, she had
been persuaded to try to get some rest. Suddenly there was a change. The
mother was called. Approaching the bed she saw that the last struggle
had come on. Summoning strength, she said, "Are you willing to die and
go to heaven where Jesus is?" The dear dying child answered audibly,
"Yes." The mother then said, "Now you may lay yourself in the arms of
Jesus. He will carry you safely home to heaven." Again there was an
attempt to speak, but the little spirit escaped in the effort, and was
forever free from suffering, and sorrow, and sin.

In the morning I went over to look upon my little niece, as she lay
sleeping in death. "Aunty B----" was there standing by the sofa.
Uncovering the little form she said, "She has _found the way to heaven_
now;" alluding to the conversation she had with Mary Jane, more than
three years before.

Soon, the person whose office it was to prepare the last narrow
receptacle for the little body, entered the room and prepared to take
the measurement. Having finished his work, he seated himself at a
respectful distance, and gazed on the marvelous beauty of the child. At
length turning to the father he asked, "How old was she?" "Six years and
eight months," was the reply. "So young!" he responded; then added that
he had often performed the same office for young persons, but had never
seen a more intelligent countenance, at the age of fifteen. Yet
notwithstanding the indications of intellect, and of maturity of
character, so much in advance of her tender age; her perfectly infantile
features, and the extreme delicacy of their texture and complexion, bore
witness to the truthfulness of the age, beneath her name on the little
coffin: "six years and eight months."

And now as my thoughts glance backwards and linger over the little
sleeper upon that sofa, so calm and beautiful in death, a voice seems
sounding from the pages of Revelation that she shall not always remain
thus, a prey to the spoiler. That having accomplished his work, "ashes
to ashes," "dust to dust," Death shall have no more power, even over the
little body which he now claims as his own.

But it shall come forth, not as then, destined to see corruption, but
resplendent in beauty, and shining in more than mortal loveliness; a fit
receptacle for its glorified inmate, in the day of the final
resurrection of the dead.

Let all Christian parents who mourn the loss of pious children, comfort
themselves with the words of the apostle, "Them also that sleep in
Jesus, will God bring with him," "when he shall come to be glorified in
his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe."

It was in the month of November that Mary Jane died, and was buried;
reminding one of those lines of Bryant:

  "In the cold moist earth we laid her,
    When the forest cast his leaf;
  And we mourn'd that one so lovely,
    Should have a life so brief.
  Yet not unmeet it was, that one,
    Like that young child of ours,
  So lovely and so beautiful,
    Should perish with the flowers."

On the return of her birth-day, February 22, when if she had lived, she
would have been seven years old, the following lines were sent to the
bereaved mother by Mrs. Sigourney.


  Thy first born's birth-day,--mother!--
    That cold and wintry time,
  When deep and unimagined joy
    Swell'd to its highest prime.--

  Thy little daughter smileth,--
    Thy son is fair to see,--
  And from its cradle shouts the babe,
    In health and jollity:

  But still thy brow is shaded,
    The fresh tear trickleth free,
  Where is thy first born darling?
    Oh, mother,--where is she?

  And if she be in heaven,
    She, who with goodness fraught,
  So early on her Father--God
    Repos'd her bursting thought:--

  And if she be in heaven,
    The honor how divine,
  To give an angel to His arms,
    Who gave a babe to thine!

L. H. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

Human improvement must begin through mothers. It is through them
principally, as far as human agency is concerned, that those evils can
be _prevented_, which, age after age, we have been vainly endeavoring to

       *       *       *       *       *

He that is good will infallibly become better, and he that is bad will
as certainly become worse; vice, virtue, and time, are three things that
never stand still.

       *       *       *       *       *



John 5:1.

It is a time of solemnities in Jerusalem--"a feast of the Jews"--and
crowds throng the sacred city, gathered from all parts of Judea,
mingling sympathies and uniting in the delightful services which the
chosen people so justly prize. The old and young, the joyful and the
sad, all classes and all conditions are there, not even are "the
impotent, the blind, the halt, the withered," absent. Through the aid
and kindness of friends they have come also, cheered and animated by the
unwonted excitement of the scene, and doubtless hoping for some relief
in known or unknown ways, from their various afflictions. Among these, a
numerous company of whom are lying near the sheep-gate, let us spend an
hour. By God's help it shall not be wasted time. How many are here who
for long years have not beheld the sun, nor looked on any loved face,
nor perused the sacred oracles. A lesson of resignation we may learn
from them, in their proverbial peacefulness under one of the severest of
earth's trials, for "who ever looked on aught but content in the face of
the born-blind?" Here also are those who have felt the fearful grasp of
pain, whose nerves have been shocked, and the whole frame tortured by
untold sufferings; and those who cannot walk forth on God's earth with
free elastic step, nor pursue any manly toil--the infirm, the crippled,
the helpless. How it saddens the heart to look upon them, and hear their
moans! Yet they all have a look of hope on their faces. The kind angel
who descends to ruffle the hitherto calm waters of the lake may be near
at hand. Soon sorrow to some of these will give place to proportioned
gladness. He who can _first_ bathe his limbs in the blessed wave, says
the sacred oracle, shall find relief from every infirmity. First: It is
a short and simple word, yet how much of meaning it contains, and in
its connection here how much instruction it affords! It is ever thus
under the moral and providential government of God. The first to ask his
blessing are those who gain it. "Those who seek Him early are the ones
to find Him." The prompt and active are the successful competitors. To
those who with the dawning day are found offering their daily sacrifice,
He vouchsafes most of his blessed presence. "Give Him thy first thoughts
then; so shalt thou keep Him company all day, and in Him sleep."

It is those who dedicate to Him the freshness of youth, that thrive most
under His culture, and still bring forth fruit in old age. Their whole
lives are spent beneath the shadow of his wings, and they know not the
doubts and fears of those who long wandered before they sought that
sheltering spot. They who are on the watch, who see the cloud as big as
a man's hand, are the largest recipients of the blessing when the Spirit
is poured out from on high. The lingerers, who think they need not
bestir themselves, for the blessing is sure, may nevertheless fail, for
though there was a sound of rain, the clouds may scatter, when but a few
drops have fallen, and the _first_ be the only ones who are refreshed.

But we are wandering. In this porch lies one who scarce bears any
resemblance to living humanity, and from his woe-worn countenance has
departed the last glimmering of hope. "Thirty and eight years" a
helpless being! a burden to himself and all around him! Alas, of what
untold miseries has sin made human flesh the inheritor! He came long
since to this healing pool, with cheerful anticipations, perhaps
undoubting faith, that he should soon walk forth a man among men. But he
has been grievously disappointed. He seems friendless as well as
impotent. Listen while he answers the inquiry of one who speaks kindly
to him: "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into
the pool; but while I am coming another steppeth down before me." This
is indeed hopeless wretchedness. But who is it thus asking, "Wilt thou
be made whole?" Little didst thou dream, unfortunate, yet most
fortunate, of sufferers, who it was thus bending tenderly over thy
painful couch! Said we that thou wert friendless; that none knew thy
woes? Blessed be God, there is ever One eye to see, One ear to hear, One
heart to pity.

"When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path."
"He is not far from every one of us." But, though He is ever near, yet
God often waits long before he relieves. Why is it thus? We do not
always see the reason, but we may be sure it is infinite wisdom that
defers. He would have us feel our dependence on Him, and when we do feel
this, when we hope no more from any earthly source, and turn a
despairing eye to Him, then he is ever ready to rescue. Even toward
those who have long withstood his grace, and rebelled against his love,
is he moved to kindness "when He seeth that their power is gone." "We
must sometimes have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should
not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead."

Even where we would accomplish most, when we would fain secure the
salvation of those dearest to us, when we would win eternal life for our
children, we must be made to rely on Him who, as he can raise the dead,
even call life from nothing, can also revive the spiritually dead, and
break the sleep which threatens to be eternal.

       *       *       *       *       *

He is gone--while we looked, suddenly he rose in the full vigor of
manliness, and now, exulting in his new-found faculties, he is walking
yonder among the multitude, carrying upon his shoulders the couch which
has so long borne his weary, helpless frame. See, one with frowning
countenance and harsh words arrests his steps, and wholly unmindful of
the joy which lights his pale face, reproves him with severe and bitter
words: "It is the Sabbath day. It is not lawful for thee to carry thy
bed." The command indeed is, "Thus saith the Lord, take heed to
yourselves and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the
gates of Jerusalem. Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on
the Sabbath day; neither do ye any work; but hallow ye the Sabbath day,
as I commanded your fathers." He stands dismayed and troubled. In his
new-found happiness he has forgotten the solemn mandate. Timidly he
answers, "He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed
and walk." Thou hast answered well. Only the Lord of the Sabbath could
have done on thee this work of healing. Go on thy way rejoicing. Return
not to seek Him, He was here, he spoke to thee; but he is gone. None saw
him depart. Everywhere present, He is, yet, when He will, invisible to
mortal eyes.

       *       *       *       *       *




Another year has passed over us, and we, a little band, have met to
recount, and gratefully to acknowledge, God's goodness and
loving-kindness to us and our families. Our Association, commencing as a
small stream, has not yet grown to be a mighty river; yet it has flowed
steadily in its course, and we confidently believe, has sent forth sweet
and hallowed influences, refreshing some thirsty souls with pure and
living waters.

During the year now past, our meetings have been continually sustained,
although sickness and absence from the city, especially during most of
the summer, have deprived us of the attendance of a large proportion of
our members. Notwithstanding our meetings have been much smaller than we
could desire, and sometimes tempted us to be "_faint_ and _weary_ in
well-doing," still we believe that our prayers and consultations have
been a source of blessing to ourselves and to our offspring. We are told
that "the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much." We
feel assured that we can testify to the faithfulness of the promise, for
not only can we gratefully acknowledge the love of God in shedding more
grace upon our hearts; but the gracious call of the gospel of salvation
has been accepted by some of our precious children, and we trust that
they are now in the "narrow way that leadeth unto life." Oh, may the
Spirit of all truth guide their youthful steps through all the thorny
mazes of life, preserve them from the alluring and deceitful charms that
surround them, and bring them at last to those blissful mansions
prepared for those who love and serve God. We do indeed rejoice with
those dear mothers who have been made the recipients of so large a
blessing--that of seeing the precious lambs of the flock gathered into
the fold of the Good Shepherd. Oh, may the prayer of faith ever encircle
them in this only safe retreat from the ravening wolves and the hungry
monsters of sin!

But whilst we rejoice with those of our number who have been so greatly
blessed, we turn with heartfelt sympathy toward those whose hearts have
been wrung by the loss, _to them_, of the objects of their hopes and
affections. Three of the children of members of this Association have
died during the past year. Thus we believe so many sweet angels of God
have gone from our midst and escaped the sorrows of this evil world. Let
the dear parents think of them as already far surpassing their own best
attainments, and praising the blessed Savior, in the heavenly paradise,
and turn their more anxious and diligent thoughts to the living. Two
children have been added by birth to the number of those connected with
the Association.

Our membership has not greatly changed within the past year. Three
mothers have united with the Association since the last Annual Report,
and three have left us, making the number the same that it was one year

While we regret the loss of each and all of those who have departed from
our midst, we think it would not be deemed invidious to express our deep
sense of the loss we have sustained by the removal from the city of Mrs.
Parker, the former secretary. Her devotion and faithfulness in every
sphere of duty, afforded us all an example well adapted to stimulate us
in the discharge of our obligations, as well as to guide us in the paths
of usefulness. We hope and pray that she may long be spared to shed a
hallowed influence around her wherever her lot may be cast.

Our quarterly meetings have been sustained with interest and profit.
Portions of Scripture have been committed by the children, and the
instructions and truths contained in them have been enforced by
appropriate remarks from the Pastor. We consider this an invaluable
means of instilling saving truth into the tender minds of our children,
and would urgently request that it be accompanied by the constant and
believing prayers of all parents. Upon a full review of the past year,
we see abundant cause for gratitude and encouragement. We have especial
occasion for thankfulness that none of our number have been removed by
death. Since we know that the Lord has thus prolonged our stewardship,
that we may work in his vineyard, let us be the more diligent, that we
may be prepared to render our account with joy at the last day. Amongst
the means for preparing ourselves for the faithful discharge of our
duties to our own families, and as members of this Association, we take
pleasure in acknowledging the _pre-eminent merits of Mrs. Whittelsey's
Magazine_, and would urgently recommend its more general perusal and
circulation. During the past summer some of us enjoyed the inestimable
privilege of hearing her experienced counsel, and fervent exhortations.
We believe that her visit to this city resulted in much good, and we
wish her abundant success in her noble calling.

Dear Mothers, let us persevere, looking unto the covenant-keeping God
for the salvation of our children, as well as for the triumph of the
Gospel throughout the community and this sin-ruined world.

       *       *       *       *       *


We have been brought, through the kindness of our Heavenly Father, to
this the first anniversary of our Maternal Association. We meet to-day
that we may together look back upon the year just closing, and recall
the mercies and judgments of our God, in which I think we cannot fail
to recognize the guiding hand of our Heavenly Father, who we believe
has presided over and defended the dearest interests of this our little
society. We bless his name that a few individuals, sustaining the sacred
name of mother, and upon whom consequently devolve important duties,
were led to roll their burden, in all its magnitude, upon an Almighty
arm, and in a united capacity to plead for promised grace. We rejoice
that this feeling has been perpetuated, and that there have been those
who have not "forsaken the assembling of themselves together," but who
have been drawn to the place of prayer by an irresistible influence,
esteeming it a privilege thus to resign their numerous anxieties into
the hands of an all-wise God. And may we not rejoice, dear sisters, that
as each returning fortnight has brought its precious opportunity for
prayer and instruction, our hearts have cheerfully responded to its
call, and that we have hailed these seasons as acknowledged and
well-tested sources of profit. If they have not proved so to us, have we
not reason to fear that our guilt will be greatly increased, and that we
shall share the condemnation of those who have been frequently and
faithfully reminded of duty, but who have failed in its performance?
During the past year we have had twenty-two meetings, the most of which
have been attended by from six to ten mothers. A small number, indeed;
yet God, we remembered, promised that where two or three are met
together in His name, He would be in their midst to bless them. On the
7th of May the Rev. Mr. Harris preached to the children, from the text,
"Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not." Sixteen
ladies were present, and twenty-three children. On the 28th of
September, Professor Agnew addressed mothers on their various important
duties. At the commencement of the year we numbered twelve mothers and
twenty-three children, under the age of fifteen. We now number sixteen
mothers and thirty-three children; one little one has been added to our
number. God, in wise providence, and for some wise purpose, has seen fit
to lay his afflicting hand upon us. Early in the year it pleased Him to
call an aged and beloved father of one of our sisters from time to
eternity. With our sister we do most sincerely sympathize; may it truly
be said of us, as an Association:

  "We share each other's joys,
    Each other's burdens bear,
  And often for each other flows
    The sympathizing tear."

But God has come nearer still unto us as an Association, and has taken
one of our little number, dear sister Elizabeth C. Hamilton, who was one
of the four mothers who met together to converse and to ask counsel of
our pastor on the subject of forming this Association. On the 11th of
October, her spirit took its flight from this frail tenement of clay, as
we humbly trust to the mansions of the blest. With her bereaved and
afflicted companion and infant daughters, we do most sincerely
sympathize. May we remember that we have promised to seek the spiritual
and eternal interests of her children as we do that of our own! Let us
not cease to pray for her children until we shall hear them lisping
forth the praises of the dear Redeemer. As we commence a new year, shall
we not commence anew to live for God? Ere another year has gone, some
one of this our little number may be called from time to eternity; and
shall we not prove what prayer can do; what heavenly blessings it will
bring down upon our offspring? But perhaps some mother will say, I
should esteem it the dearest of all privileges, if I could lay hold in
faith on God's blessed promises, but when I would do so a sense of my
own unworthiness shuts my mouth. But which of God's promises was ever
made to the worthy recipient? Are they not all to the unworthy and
undeserving? And if "Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon
his knees," shall we not take courage, and claim God's blessed promises
for ours, and often in silence and in solitude bend the knee for those
we love most dear?

While memory lasts I shall never forget my mother's earnest,
supplicating, trembling voice, as she pleaded with God for Christ's
sake to have mercy on her children. And shall our children forget ours?
No, dear sisters, let our entreaties with our God be as they will, I
think they will not be forgotten. Therefore, let us be more awake to
this subject, let us sincerely endeavor to train our children up for
God, that they may be useful in his service while they live, and that we
may be that happy band of mothers that may be able to say in God's great
day: Here, Lord, are we, and the children which thou hast given us.

                          A. HAMILTON, _Secretary_.
  _Salem, Wash. Co., Michigan_, Dec. 31, 1851.

       *       *       *       *       *




     "Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, in
     honor preferring one another."

In no system of morals or religion, except the Bible, can such a precept
be found. It at once proclaims its divine author. We feel as we read
it--here speaks that God and Almighty Father who so loved the world as
to give his Son to die to save it. We feel that none but a being who
regards himself as the Father of all, and who would unite his children
in the bonds of family affection, would think of urging upon a company
of men and women, gathered from all classes and conditions of life, the
duly regarding each other with the same sincerity, tenderness, respect
and kindness as if they were the nearest relatives. Such is the force of
the expression, "Be kindly affectioned one to another." The word
expresses properly the strong natural affection between parents and
children; but the apostle is not satisfied with this, and uses the word
to qualify that brotherly love which our Lord has made the badge of
discipleship. It should be with the tenderness and the unselfishness
which characterize the filial and paternal relation, blending love with
natural affection, and making it manifest in common intercourse. Oh, how
different this from the spirit of the world, the spirit which seeks not
to bless others, but self; not to confer honor but to obtain it; which
aims not to diffuse respect, but to attract all others to give honor to

I design at present to use this divine injunction as conveying the Holy
Spirit's direction and description of proper family intercourse, in
reference, particularly, to children in the family circle.

I notice very briefly (for the direction must commend itself to the
heart of every child) its application to parents: "Be kindly affectioned
toward your father and mother." It is indeed hardly necessary to urge
this duty, for God has in his wisdom so constituted us, as in a good
degree to insure the duty of filial love even in those who do not regard
his own authority over their spirits. No child can for a moment reflect
upon the love and care which he has received from his parents, without a
moved heart, although he can never know their full power until he
himself becomes a parent; but here indeed lies the difficulty, and here
do I find the necessity of dwelling for a moment upon this point.
Children do not reflect upon this. Few ever sit down, calmly and
consecutively, to recall the parental kindness, and therefore, would I
ask each of you, my young friends, that you may obey this injunction,
and be kindly affectionate towards father and mother, to consider their
kindness to you. Why, if you look at it, you will hardly be able to find
that they have any other care in the world, or any other object, than
yourselves. What does that kind mother of yours do which is not for her
children? does she not seem always to be thinking of you? have you never
noticed how her eye brightens with delight when you or any of your
brothers or sisters do right, or even when she looks around on the
health and happiness of her children? and, when you or any of her dear
ones are ill, how sad she looks, how her cheek will become pale, and how
she will watch and wait at the bed-side of her child, how her own hand
gives the medicine, how nothing can call her away from home, no friends,
no amusements, often not even the church and Sabbath-day, and if she did
go to church while you were ill, she went there to pray that God would
make you well. And I would have you also think of the large surrenders
of ease, time and fortune which your father is daily making for the
benefit and comfort of his children. How many fathers will compass land
and sea in quest of provision for them, and in order to give them name
and station in society? How many adventurously plow the ocean in their
behalf? How many live for years in exile, and in the estrangement of a
foreign land, with nothing to soothe them in the midst of their toil and
fatigue, but the image of their dear and distant home? How many toil and
plan, day after day, and year after year, from early morn until late at
night, for no other object than to gather wealth, which in their love
they expect and intend their children to enjoy, when they themselves
have gone down to the grave! Oh, my young friends, though ye have not
perhaps thought of it, yet the devotedness of a parent to his children,
in the common every-day duties and comforts of life, often equals and
surpasses that which history has recorded for us of the sublimest

It would often seem utterly impossible to wear out a father's affection
or a mother's love, and many a child, after the perversities and losses
of a misdirected manhood, has found himself welcomed back again to the
paternal home, with all the unquenched and unextinguishable kindness of
his early and dependent childhood; welcomed even amid the hardships of
poverty, with which declining years and his own hand, perhaps, have
united to surround the whitening heads of the authors of his being.

Now, it is in view of the reality and strength of these parental
regards, thus flowing from a father's or a mother's heart upon their
children, that we bid you see the force, the reason, and the right of
the direction, Be kindly affectionate in all your intercourse with them.
And it is in the same view that we appeal to your own hearts, and ask
whether it be not most revolting and wrong for a son or daughter to
utter the word, or dart the look, or feel the feeling which is prompted
by wickedness; a disdainful son or disrespectful daughter is a sight
most painful to every right-minded man.

But while I mention this as the rule which should govern the family in
their treatment of those who stand at its head, I would also beg leave
to remark, that this same law should govern the heads of the family
towards each other and all the members. This is the only way by which
reciprocal affectionate regard and treatment can be inculcated and
insured. The Holy Spirit has deemed this so important, that He has given
the express injunction to parents: "Fathers, provoke not your children;"
and it is an injunction which parents need constantly to remember. The
natural and necessary subjection of the children to parental authority,
unless the hearts of the parents be guided by religious principle, will
often induce an arbitrary and enforced obedience, which, unless guided
and controlled by affection, will have only the appearance of harshness,
and will only produce unpleasant feeling. Parents should never forget
that it is always as unpleasant to a child to have his will and plans
crossed as it is to themselves, and that, therefore, it is their own
obedience to the injunction, Be kindly affectioned, which alone can make
their authority both strong and pleasant. There are again so many cares
and anxieties connected with the details of family arrangements, and
there are so much thoughtlessness and perversity in the depraved hearts
of the most amiable and properly disposed children, that the patience of
even the all-enduring mother will often be tried in a manner which
nothing but divine grace can sustain. Ill health and natural
irritability, so constantly exposed to attack, will often increase the
difficulty, and thus make the injunction, Be kindly affectioned, one of
the most arduous duties of life. But the triumph of principle will
always be accompanied with corresponding valuable results in the
happiness and comforts of the whole family circle.

       *       *       *       *       *



Many instructive lessons may be conveyed to the minds of children in
story and in verse. We do not now remember who is the author of the
story we are about to relate. It may be familiar to many of our readers.
We venture, however, to repeat it in our own words, as it has an
important moral worthy the attention of the old as well as the young:--

A man and his wife were hard at work in a forest, cutting down trees.
The trees were very hardy and tall, and their axes were dull; the
weather was cold and dreary, they were but poorly clad, and they had but
little to eat.

At length, the woman, in her despondency, fell to crying. Her husband
very kindly inquired, "What is the matter, my dear wife?"

"I have been thinking," said she, "of our hard fate, and it does seem to
me a hard case that God should curse the ground for Adam's sake, just
because he and his wife had eaten a green apple; and now all their
descendants must earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, all their

The man replied, "Do not, my dear wife, distress yourself thus, seeing
it will do no good."

She continued, "I do think that Adam and Eve were very foolish to listen
to any thing that a serpent had to say. If I had been in the place of
Eve I am sure I should have done otherwise."

To this her husband replied, "True, my dear wife, Eve was a very silly
woman. I think, if I had been in Adam's place, before I would have
listened to her foolish advice, and run such a hazard, I would have
given her a smart box on the ear, and told her to hold her tongue, and
to mind her own business."

This remark made his wife very angry, and here followed a long dialogue
on this topic till they began mutually to criminate each other as well
as the serpent.

Now, a gentleman, who had all this time been concealed behind the trees,
and had heard their complaints, and listened with grief to their
fault-finding disposition, came forward and spoke to them very kindly.

He said, "My friends, you seem to be hard at work, and very unhappy.
Pray tell me the cause of your misery, and whether I can do anything to
comfort you?"

So they repeated to this gentleman what they had been saying.

He replied to them thus: "Now, my dear friends, I am truly sorry for
you, and I desire to make you more comfortable. I have a large estate,
and I wish to make others as happy as I am myself. I have a fine house,
plenty of servants, and every thing desirable to eat and to drink. I
have fine grounds, filled with shrubbery and fruit trees. If you will go
and live with me you have only to obey the regulations of my house, and
as long as you do this and are contented, you shall be made welcome."

So they went with this gentleman. At once he took off their rough and
ragged garments, and clad them in a fine suit of clothes, suited to the
place, and put them into a spacious apartment, where for a time they
lived very happily.

One day this gentleman came to them, and said business of importance
would call him from home for some days. In the mean time he hoped they
would be happy and do every thing in their power to reflect honor upon
his hospitality till his return. He said he had but one other suggestion
to make, and that was, that _for his sake_ they would be very careful to
set a good example before his servants, and do every thing _cheerfully_
that they should direct, for up to this hour not one of his servants had
ever questioned the reasonableness of his commands.

They thanked him kindly for his generous supply of all their wants, and
promised implicit obedience.

They now had, if possible, more sumptuous meals, and in greater variety
than ever, and for a few days every thing went on well. At length, a
servant placed a covered dish in the center of the table, remarking that
he always had orders from his master, when that particular dish was
placed upon the table, that no one, on pain of his displeasure, should
touch it, much less lift the cover.

For a few days these guests were so occupied in examining the new dishes
that this order was obeyed.

But the woman at length began to wonder why that dish should be placed
on the table if it were not to be touched; she did not for her part see
any use in it.

Every meal she grew more and more discontented. She appealed to her
husband if he did not think such a prohibition very unreasonable. If it
were not to be touched, why was it placed on the table?

Her husband at length grew very angry; she would neither eat herself nor
allow him to eat in peace. She at length remonstrated, she threatened;
she used various arguments to induce him to lift the cover; said no one
need to know it, &c. Still her good-natured husband tried to reason her
out of this notion. She now burst into tears, and said her life was
miserable by this gentleman's singular prohibition, which could do no
one any good; and she was still more wretched by reason of her husband's
unkindness,--she really believed that he had lost all affection for her.

This remark made her husband feel very badly. He lifted the cover and
out ran a little harmless mouse. They both ran after it, and tried their
best to catch it, but in vain.

While they were feeling very unhappy, and were trembling with fear, the
gentleman entered, and seeing their great embarrassment, inquired if
they had dared to lift the cover?

The woman replied that she did not see what harm there could be in doing
so. She did not think it kind to place such a temptation before them; it
could do no one any good.

The man added that his wife teazed him so that he had no peace, and
rather than see her unhappy he had lifted the cover.

The gentleman then reminded them of their fault-finding while in the
forest, their hard thoughts of God, of the serpent, and of Adam and Eve.
Had it been their case they should have acted more wisely! But, alas!
they did not know themselves!

He immediately ordered his servants to take off their nice new clothes
and to put on their old garments, and he sent them back to the forest,
ever after to eat their bread _by the sweat_ of their brow.

       *       *       *       *       *



Many years since, I took into my service an old colored woman by the
name of Juda. She was a poor, pitiful object, almost worn out by hard
and long service. But I needed just such services as she could render,
and intrusted to her the general supervision of my kitchen department.

Under the care bestowed upon her she fast recruited, and I continued to
employ her for three years. I gave her good wages, and, as for years I
had induced all my help to do, I persuaded her to deposit in the
savings' bank all the money she could spare. Fortunately for poor old
Juda, she laid up during these three years a considerable sum.

Before this, she had always been improvident, careless of her earnings,
and from a disposition to change often out of place. But as one extreme
is apt to follow another, when she found that she had several dollars
laid aside, entirely a new thing for her, there was quite a revolution
in her feelings and character. She now inclined to covetousness, and
could hardly be persuaded to expend a sum sufficient to make herself
comfortable in extreme cold weather which sensibly affected her in her
old age and feeble health. At length her disposition to hoard up her
earnings increased to that degree that she resorted to many unnecessary
and imprudent means to avoid expense and to evade my requirements with
regard to her apparel. But for this parsimony she might have held out
some years longer. She greatly improved in health and strength for the
first two years, and was more comfortable and useful than I expected she
would be. Always at her post, patient, faithful, economical and
obliging, I really felt grateful for the relief she afforded me in the
management of a large family; but at length I was obliged to dismiss her
from my service. For a few months she found employment in a small
family, but soon fell sick, and required the services of a physician.
She had to find a place of retirement and take to her bed, and soon her
money began to disappear.

Her miserable sister, who had exercised an injurious influence over
Juda, and whom I had found it necessary to forbid coming to my house,
now came constantly to me for this money, for Juda's use, it is true,
but which I had reason to fear was not wisely spent. Under this
impression, I broke away from my cares and set out to look after her
welfare. I was pained to find her in a miserable hovel, surrounded by a
crew of selfish, ignorant, lazy and degraded women, who were ready to
filch the last farthing from the poor, helpless invalid.

My first interview with Juda was extremely painful. She hid her head,
her great wall eyes rolling fearfully, and cried bitterly, "Oh! I am
forever undone. Why did I not listen to your entreaties, and heed the
kind advice of my good master, to lay up treasures in heaven as well as
in the savings' bank!" I remained silent by her bedside, thinking it
better for her to give full vent to her agonized feelings before I
should probe her wounded spirit, or try to console her. "Oh," said she,
"that I could once more have health, that I might attend to what ought
to have been the business of my life--the care of my soul." "Yes, Juda,"
I replied, "but I see, I think, plainly, how it would be had you ever so
much time. You would not be very likely to improve it aright, for even
now you are wasting this last fragment of time that remains to you in
fruitless regrets; why not rather inquire earnestly, 'Is there still any
hope for me? What shall I do to be saved? Lord, save me, or I perish.'"
For some time her emotions choked her utterance, at length she seized
both my hands so forcibly that it seemed as if she would sever them from
my wrists, and exclaimed, "Oh, pray for me!"

Her condition was an awful one. From the nature of her ailment she was a
loathsome object. Not one of her old companions would approach her, for
to them she was now peculiarly an object of terror. Her entreaties that
I would not leave her in the power of such cruel wretches, to perish
alone, and without hope, prevailed over my own reluctance and the
remonstrances of my husband, and summoning up all my resolution, I
remained with her, with but little respite, for three days and nights.

Her bodily sufferings continued to be extreme to the last, but were
nothing in comparison to her mental agonies. What a condition of mind
and body was hers! Every moment demanding something to cool her parched
tongue, or to allay her fears, or to encourage her hopes.

Never shall I forget the last night of painful and protracted suffering.
The miserable woman who pretended to assist me in watching, had taken
some stupefying potion, and I watched alone, as David expressed it,
longing for the first ray of the morning. At length, the day dawned, and
I was relieved by good old Mr. Moore. As he entered, I said to him,
"Poor Juda is still living, and is a great sufferer; will you not pray
for her?" He replied, "I come purpose pray with Juda." Then kneeling,
prayed, "Oh Lord, Oh Lord God Almighty, we come to thee for this poor
dying creature. Have mercy on her precious soul--Lord God, it will never
die. Forgive her sins; oh, Lord God, take the lead of her thoughts
to-day, TO-DAY, TO-DAY; Lord God, take the lead of her thoughts
to-day, for Christ's sake. Amen."

This was indeed her dying day, and I could not but hope that this humble
but pertinent prayer was prevalent with God.

Very many times since then, as I have caught the first glimpse of day,
have I said, This may prove my dying day, and prayed, Oh Lord, take the
lead of my thoughts to-day.

       *       *       *       *       *



"The fruits of maternal influence, well directed," said a good minister,
"are peace, improvement, and often piety, in the nursery; but if the
children of faithful mothers are not converted in early life, God is
true to his promise and will remember his covenant, perhaps after those
mothers sleep with the generations of their ancestors."

"Several years since," that same minister stated, "he was in the
Alms-house in Philadelphia, and was attracted to the bedside of a sick
man, whom he found to be a happy Christian, having embraced the Gospel
after he was brought, a stranger in a strange land, to that infirmary.
Though religiously educated by a pious mother, he clandestinely left
home at the age of ten years, and since that period--he was now forty,
or more--had been wandering over the earth, regardless of the claims of
God or the worth of his own soul.

"In Philadelphia he was taken with a dangerous fever, and was brought to
the place where I met him. There, on that bed of languishing, the scenes
of his early childhood clustered around him, and among them the image of
his mother was fairest and brightest, and in memory's vision she seemed
to stand, as in former days, exhorting him to become the friend and
disciple of the blessed Savior. The honeyed accents were irresistible.

"Through the long lapse of thirty years--though she was now sleeping in
the grave--her appeal came with force to break his flinty heart.

"With no living Christian to direct him on that bed of sickness,
remembering what his mother had told him one-third of a century before,
he yielded to the claims of Jesus."

Here the power and faithfulness of a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering
God were exhibited. Here was a mother's influence crowned with a
glorious conquest.

       *       *       *       *       *


AN AMERICAN HOME.--The word Home we have obtained from the old
Saxon tongue. Transport the word to Africa, China, Persia, Turkey or
Russia, and it loses its meaning. Where is it but in our favored land
that the father is allowed to pursue his own plan for the good of his
family, and with his sons to labor in what profession he chooses and
then enjoy the avails of his labor? The American Home is the abode of
neatness, thrift and competence, not the wretched hut of the Greenlander
or Caffrarian, or under-ground place of Kamschatka. The American Home is
the house of intelligence; its inmates can read; they have the Bible;
they can transmit thought. The American Home is the resting-place of
contentment and peace; there is found mutual respect, untiring love and
kindness; there, virtue claiming respect; there, the neighbor is
regarded and prized; there, is safety; the daily worship; the principle
of religion.

Ten thousand good people noiselessly at work every day, making more firm
all good felt at home or abroad, and fixing happiness and good
institutions on a basis lasting as heaven.

CHRISTIAN UNION.--In "D'Aubigne's Reformation" we find a short,
beautiful sentiment on the subject of Christian Union. He says: "Truth
may be compared to the light of the sun. The light comes from heaven
colorless and ever the same; and yet it takes different hues on earth,
varying according to the objects on which it falls. Thus different
formularies may sometimes express the same Christian truth, viewed under
different aspects. How dull would be this visible creation if all its
boundless variety of shape and color were to give place to one unbroken
uniformity? How melancholy would be its aspects, if all created beings
did but compose a solitary and vast unity? The unity which comes from
heaven, doubtless has its place; but the diversity of human nature has
its proper place also. In religion we must neither leave out God nor
man. Without _unity_ your religion cannot be of God; without _diversity_
it cannot be the religion of man, and it ought to be of both."

       *       *       *       *       *




In the mountainous and wild region which lies around Horeb and Sinai,
were found, in the days of that Pharaoh, whose court was the home of
Israel's law-giver, many descendants of Abraham, children of one of the
sons which Keturah bore him in his old age. We know little of them, but
here and there on the sacred page they are mentioned, and we gain brief
glimpses of their character and of the estimation in which they were
held by Jehovah. Like all the other nations, they were mostly idolaters,
against whom He threatened vengeance for their inventions and
abominations. But among them were found some families who evidently
retained a knowledge of Abraham's God, and who, although they did not
offer him a pure worship, "seem, nevertheless, to have been imbued with
sentiments of piety, and intended to serve Him so far as they were
acquainted with his character and requirements." For these, from time to
time, a consecrated priest stood before the altar, offering sacrifices
which were doubtless accepted in Heaven, since sincerity prompted, and
the spirit of true obedience animated, the worshipers.

In the family of this priest, who was also a prince among his people, a
stranger was at one time found, who had suddenly appeared in Midian, and
for a slight kindness shown to certain members of the household, had
been invited to sojourn with them and make one of the domestic circle.
He was an object of daily increasing interest to all around him. Whence
had he come? Why was he thus apparently friendless and alone? Wherefore
was his countenance sad and thoughtful; and his heart evidently so far
away from present scenes? Seven sisters dwell beneath the paternal roof,
and we can readily imagine the eagerness with which they discussed
these questions and watched the many interviews between him and their
father, which seemed of a most important character. The result was not
long kept from them. Moses was henceforth to perform what had been their
daily task, and as his reward, was to sustain the relation of son,
husband, and brother in the little circle. Zipporah, whether willingly
or reluctantly we are not told, became the wife of the silent man, nor
has he, in the record which he has left, given us any account of those
forty years of quiet domestic life, watching his flocks amid the
mountain solitudes, and in intercourse with the "priest of Midian," and
taught of that God who chose him before all other men. As a familiar
friend, he was daily learning lessons of mighty wisdom, and gaining that
surpassing excellence of character which has made his name immortal. Was
the wife whom he had chosen the worthy daughter of her father, and a fit
companion for such a husband? Did they take sweet counsel together, and
could she share his noble thoughts? Did she listen with tearful eyes to
his account of the woes of his people, and rejoice with him in view of
the glorious scenes of deliverance which he anticipated? Did she
appreciate the sublime beauties which so captivated and enthralled his
soul as he pored over the pages of that wonderful poem which portrays
the afflictions of the man of Uz? Did she worship and love the God of
their common father with the same humility and faith? We cannot answer
one of the many questions which arise in our minds. All we know is, that
Zipporah was Moses's wife, and the mother of Moses's sons, and we feel
that hers was a favorite lot, and involuntarily yield her the respect
which her station would demand.

Silently the appointed years sped. The great historian found in them no
event bearing upon the interests of the kingdom of God, worthy of note,
and our gleanings are small. At their close he was again found in close
consultation with Jethro, and with his consent, and in obedience to the
divine mandate, the exile once more turned his steps toward the land of
his birth. Zipporah and their sons, with asses and attendants,
accompanied him, and their journey was apparently prosperous until near
its close, when a strange and startling providence arrested them.[B] An
alarming disease seized upon Gershom, the eldest son, and at the same
time intimations not to be mistaken convinced his parents that it was
sent in token of divine displeasure for long-neglected duty. God's eye
is ever on his children, and though He is forbearing, He will not
forever spare the chastening rod, if they live on in disobedience to his
commands. Both Moses and Zipporah knew what was the appointed seal of
God's covenant with Abraham, and we cannot understand why they so long
deferred including their children in that covenant. We do not know how
many times conscience may have rebuked them, nor what privileges they
forfeited, but we are sure they were not blessed as faithful servants
are. Now there was no delaying longer. The proof of God's disapprobation
was not to be mistaken, and they could not hesitate if they would
preserve the life of their child. "There is doubtless something
abhorrent to our ideas of propriety in a mother's performing this rite
upon an adult son," for Gershom was at this time probably more than
thirty years of age, but we must ever bear in mind that she was
complying with "a divine requisition," and among a people, and in a
state of society whose sentiments and usages were very different from
ours. Her duty performed, she solemnly admonished Gershom that he was
now espoused to the Lord by this significant rite, and that this bloody
seal should ever remind him of the sacred relation. The very moment
neglected obligations are cheerfully assumed, that moment does God smile
upon his child. He accepts and upbraids not. The frown which but now
threatened precious life has fled, and children rejoice in new found
peace, and in that peculiar outflowing of tenderness, humility, and love
which ever follows upon repentance, reparation and forgiveness.

For some reason, to us wholly inexplicable, Moses seems to have sent his
family back to the home which they had just left, before reaching Egypt,
and they resided with Jethro until the tribes, having passed through
all the tribulations which had been prophesied for them, made their
triumphant exodus from the land of bondage and encamped at the foot of
Sinai. Jethro, who seems to have taken a deep interest in the mission of
Moses, immediately on hearing of their arrival, took his daughter and
her sons to rejoin the husband and father from whom they had been long
separated. Touching and delightful was the re-union, and we love to
linger over the few days which Zipporah's father spent with her in this
their last interview on earth. The aged man listened with wonder and joy
to the recital of all that Jehovah had wrought. He found his faith
confirmed and his soul strengthened, and doubtless felt it a great
privilege to leave his child among those who were so evidently under the
protection of the Almighty, and before whom he constantly walked in the
pillar of fire and cloud. With a father's care and love, he gave such
counsel as he saw his son-in-law needed, and after uniting with the
elders in solemn sacrifice and worship, in which he assumed his priestly
office, he departed to his own land. We seem to see Zipporah, as with
tearful eyes she watched his retreating footsteps, and felt that she
should see her father's face no more on earth. Not without fearful
struggles are the ties which bind a daughter to her parents sundered,
though as a wife she cleaves to her husband, and strives for his sake to
repress her tears and hide the anguish she cannot subdue. One comfort,
however, remained to Zipporah. Soothingly fell on her ear the invitation
of her husband to her brother, the companion of her childhood, "We are
journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you:
Come thou with us and we will do thee good: for the Lord hath spoken
good concerning Israel." Deprecatingly she doubtless looked upon him, as
he answered, "I will not go, but I will depart to mine own land, and to
my kindred;" and united in the urgent entreaty, "Leave us not, I pray
thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness,
and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes." With her husband and brother
near, on whom to lean, she must have been cheered, and the bitterness
of her final separation from home alleviated.

Feelings of personal joy or grief were soon, however, banished from her
mind by the mighty wonders which were displayed in the desert, and by
the absorbing scenes which transpired while Israel received the law, and
were prepared to pursue their way to Canaan. Of her after history we
gather little, and the time of her death is not mentioned. One
affliction, not uncommon in this evil world, fell to her lot. Her
husband's family were unfriendly and unkind to her, and she was the
occasion of their reproach and ridicule. But she was happy in being the
wife of one meek above all the men upon the earth, and she was
vindicated by God himself. What were her hopes in prospect of seeing the
promised land, in common with all the nation, or whether she lived to
hear the terrible command of God to Moses, "Avenge Israel of the
Midianites," we do not know. The slaughter of her people may have caused
her many a pang, and she probably went to her rest long before the weary
forty years were ended. She has a name and a place on the sacred
page,--she was a wife and mother,--and though hers is a brief memorial,
yet, if we have been led to study the word of God more earnestly,
because we would fain learn more concerning her, that memorial is not

       *       *       *       *       *




     "Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, in
     honor preferring one another."

     (Continued from page 92.)

I remarked that this precept was important in the heads of families, in
regulating their intercourse with each other, as well as that between
themselves and their children. I take it for granted that there is in
truth no want of real affection and regard between husband and wife, and
yet there may be, in their treatment of each other, frequent violations
of the duty of kindly affection. The merely outward manner is indeed
never as important as the real feeling, but it always will be regarded
more or less as the indication of the real feeling, and parents should
never forget, that in their children they have most observant and
reflecting minds; and you may rest assured that the parental cords are
loosed most sadly when the child is led to remark that his parents do
not cordially harmonize. Nay, more, if those parents be Christians, such
conduct throws a shade of doubt over their Christian character. There
were both force and sincerity in the remark of the man who, when the
reality of his religion was questioned, replied: "If you doubt whether I
am a changed man, go and ask my wife." I fear that many a professing
Christian could not stand this test; he could appeal with confidence to
the testimony of his church, and receive the most favorable answer, but
could he appeal with the same confidence to the testimony of his home,
of one who knows him best? Is his intercourse with them whom he truly
loves best, always regulated by the law of that kindly affection which
religion imperatively demands, nay, which good sense and common humanity
require? Many a man will speak at times to his wife in a most unkind and
even uncourteous manner, in a manner in which he would not dare to speak
to any one else; I know he may not mean unkindness, but is it not a
wrong? I say nothing of its unchristianness; is it not a wrong done to
her who loves him more than she does all the world, to treat her far
more uncourteously than the world would do?

Is it not shameful that she who has borne all the pain, and care, and
anxiety, and burden of his children, should ever have an unkind word or
look from him? Nay, is it not a meanness, an entirely unchristian
meanness, that a husband should presume upon the very loveliness of his
wife, upon the very affections of her pure heart, to treat her thus
rudely? And is it not as cowardly as it is mean, thus to act towards
one whose only defense is in himself? I say cowardly, for were many a
husband to speak, and to act towards another woman as he allows himself
to do and to speak towards his own wife, he would not always escape the
punishment due his ungentlemanly conduct. Let us, who are husbands and
wives, endeavor all of us to be on the watch in this thing; and let it
be our rule to treat no one in the world more kindly or more politely
than we do our own wives and our own husbands. Not long since, at the
bedside of a dying wife, I heard a husband, with quivering lip and
tearful eye, say, "Beloved wife, forgive me, if I have ever treated you
unkindly." If you would be saved from the anguish of ever feeling that
you needed forgiveness from the dying lips of your dearest earthly ones,
be kindly affectioned, therefore, one to another.

Let us, in the next place, seek to apply this direction to the
intercourse of brothers and sisters. No association of beings on earth
can be more interesting than that of the family; there are found the
tenderest sympathies and the most endearing relations. There the painter
seeks for the sweetest scenes by which to exhibit his art, and the poet
finds the inspiration which gives melody to his song. The highest praise
which we can give to any other association of men, whether in church or
state, is to say that they dwell together as a family; and cold and hard
indeed must be that heart which does not sympathize and rejoice in
family ties. In nothing short of the developments made in the cross of
Jesus do the wisdom and love of God towards our race shine more
conspicuously than they do in this grouping us in families. The result
has been, that society has been preserved, even though the authority of
God has been condemned; and even the annals of heathenism afford us very
many displays of those kindly feelings, which adorn and beautify human
nature. These would not have existed, had not the heart been cultivated
in the family; and where religious principle is added as the guiding
influence of the circle, the family becomes the nursery of all that is
great and good in our nature, it becomes the very type and antepast of
heaven. Now, the great development of this religious principle would
chiefly show itself in obedience to the apostolic injunction in the
precept, "Be kindly affectioned, one to another, with brotherly love; in
honor preferring one another." I do not, however, so much seek just now
to urge upon the members of the family the existence of kind feelings,
for I take it for granted that in obedience to the call of nature, and
the ties of blood, these feelings are already in existence; but what I
desire to present is the duty of always making these feelings apparent
in common intercourse, for just in proportion to the neglect of this, is
the family influence on the happiness of its members affected. If you
would combine the greatest possible elements of unhappiness you could
not imagine any which would surpass that of a family of brothers and
sisters, hating each other, yet compelled to live together as a family,
where no word of kindness passes from one to the other, where no act of
kindness draws out the affections, where the success of one only excites
the envy of the others; no smile lights up the countenance; no gladness
found in each other's society, the aim of each to thwart and annoy the
other. In such dwellings there would be no light, no peace, no joy, no
pleasant sounds. Indeed such a picture does not belong to even our
fallen world, it is the description of the misery of the lost. A
picture, perhaps, of a family in hell. The further, therefore, from
this, my friends, that you can remove your own family, the greater will
be your own happiness and comfort, and you must remember that the
responsibility of this rests upon each one of you individually. Let your
brother or sister never receive an unkind, unbrotherly or unsisterly
act, never perceive an unaffectionate look, nor experience an
uncourteous neglect, and you will do very much towards making your
family the abode of as perfect peace as can be enjoyed upon earth, and
cause it to present the loveliest and most attractive scene this side of
heaven. Now, I will freely acknowledge that in urging this duty upon
brothers and sisters, I am setting you upon no easy work; I know that it
will require often much self-denial, much restraint in word and deed,
but the gain will far more than repay the struggle.

       *       *       *       *       *




The promise is to you and to your children, and to all that are afar
off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. From the beginning of
the creation God has dealt with man as a social being. He made them a
male and a female, and the first institution in innocence and in Eden,
was marriage. In his dealings with Adam, God deals with the race. He
made with them his covenant when he made it with Him. Hence, by the
disobedience of one, many were made sinners; in Adam all die. With Noah
he made a covenant never to drown the world again by the waters of a
flood. This promise belongs to the children of Noah, the human race.

To Abraham, the father of the faithful, the Almighty God said, "I will
establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in
their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee
and to thy seed after thee." (Gen. 17:7.) In token of this covenant,
Abraham was circumcised, and his family, and his posterity, at eight
days old. This principle of the ecclesiastical unity of the many, this
family, is continued under the new dispensation of the covenant, and
distinctly announced in the memorable sermon of Peter, on the day of
Pentecost: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; for the
promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off,
even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:38, 39.)
Accordingly, when Lydia believed she was baptized, and her household;
and when the jailor believed he was baptized, he and his, straightway.
(Acts 16.) And so clearly was this principle established, that it
extends to the children of parents of whom one only is in the covenant;
"for the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the
unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband, else were your children
unclean, but now are they holy." (1 Cor. 7:14.) The first mother derived
her personal name from this great principle. Under the covenant of works
her name is simply the feminine form of the man, [Hebrew: ISHA] the woman,
from [Hebrew: ISH] the man. But when, in the awful darkness which
followed the fall, the first light broke upon the ruined race, in the
grand comprehensive promise, "I will put enmity between thee and the
woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head and
thou shalt bruise his heel," it was promised that she should be the
mother of a Savior who should destroy the grand adversary of man, though
he himself should suffer in his inferior nature in the eventful
conflict. In view of this great honor, that she should be the mother,
according to the flesh, of the living Savior, and all that should live
by his mediation and grace, Adam called his wife's name Eve, [Hebrew:
KHAVA], because she was the mother of all living, [Hebrew: HAY]. (Gen.
3:20.) The family identity, established at the beginning of the
dispensation of grace, and continued to the end of divine revelation
without the least shadow of change, gives to Christian parents their
grand encouragement and constraining motive to seek the salvation of the
children whom God hath given them. His former respects, first,
themselves, and then their children, as part of themselves. As it is
necessary that they should believe the promise to themselves, in order
that they may enjoy it; so they must believe the promise respecting
their children, in order that the children may enjoy the blessing. And
as they must prove the reality of their faith in the promise which
respects themselves by their works, so they must prove the reality of
their faith in the promise which respects their children by the faithful
discharge of the duties which they owe to God in their behalf. Fathers,
provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord. Train up a child in the way he should go, and
when he is old he will not depart from it.

A soldier is not trained for the service of his country or the field of
battle by a few lectures on the art of war. He must be drilled,
practiced, in the very things which he must do upon the field of blood.
So the children of believers, who are to take the places of their
fathers and mothers in the grand warfare against Satan, the world, and
the flesh, must be practiced in these very truths, and graces, and
duties which they must labor and do, that they may be saved and be
instrumental in extending that kingdom which is righteousness and peace
and joy in the Holy Ghost, to the end of the earth and to the end of
time. Let Christian parents make full proof of the family promise, use
it in their prayers at the Throne of grace, cling to it as the anchor of
their hope for those who are as dear to them as their own lives, and
prove the sincerity of their prayers by unmeasured diligence in
instruction and parental authority and influence, and a holy example. It
was a high commendation of Abraham, in whose seed shall all the families
of the earth be blessed, that He who is the fountain of honor and
blessing should say, "I know Abraham, that he will command his children,
and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to
do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham the thing
that he hath spoken of him." If you would not that the blood of souls
should be found in your skirts at the last day, and that the souls of
your own children, plead incessantly the family promise, plead it in
faith, approved by diligence and a holy example, not only point the road
to heaven, but lead the way. So shall each Christian parent say to the
Redeemer, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints and admired
in all that believe, Here am I, Lord, and the children which thou hast
given me. Let children of Christian parents plead the promise made on
their behalf. It has kept the true religion from becoming extinct; it
will yet fill the earth with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover
the sea. Plead it for yourselves and show your faith in it by giving
yourselves up to Emanuel, the great high priest of our profession, as
free-will offerings in the day of his power, as his progeny, whom he
will adorn with the beauties of holiness, as the dew from the womb of
the morning, when reflecting the light of the sun refracts the prismatic
colors. Say with David, "I am thy servant, the son of thine handmaid,
and therefore belonging to His household, to serve Him, to glorify Him,
to enjoy Him forever." But beware, on the peril of your souls, how you
_abuse_ your relation to the family of God. Think not in your hearts we
have Abraham to our father; make not the holy promise, nor its holy
author, a minister of sin, an apology for unbelief and all ungodliness.
Wilt thou not at this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of
my youth? Hear, believe, plead and obey the gracious word. "I will pour
water upon him that is thirsty, and upon the dry ground. I will pour my
Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring, and they
shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses; one
shall say, I am the Lord's, and another shall call himself by the name
of Jacob, and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and
surname himself by the name of Israel."

       *       *       *       *       *



     "Leave thy fatherless children with me, and I will preserve
     them alive."

How often has this promise been offered in the prayer of faith at the
mercy-seat, and proved a spring of consolation to the heart of a pious
widowed mother! In the desolation caused by the death of the husband and
father, who was the helper, counselor, and guardian in reference to
spiritual as well as temporal interests, and in the deepened sense of
parental responsibility in the charge now singly resting upon her, how
often and readily does the widow cast herself upon the sure and precious
promise of the covenant, "I will be a God to thee and to thy seed after
thee." In the faith of this her heart imbibes comfort, her prayers
become enlarged and constant, and her efforts become wisely directed,
and steadily exerted, in behalf of the spiritual interests of her
children. When we carefully observe such cases, we shall find proof that
the blessing of the God of grace peculiarly rests upon the household of
the pious and faithful widow. God, in the truth and promises of his
Word, takes peculiar notice of the widow and the orphan, and his
providence works in harmony with his word. The importance and efficiency
of maternal influence in every sphere of its exercise cannot be too
highly estimated, but nowhere does it possess such touching interest, or
such high promise, as the scene of widowhood. How would faith, laying
hold upon the truth of the following promise, and securing its proper
influence in all appropriate labors, realize the fulfillment of the
blessing: "This is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; my Spirit that
is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth shall not
depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of
the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and
forever." Isaiah 59:21.

These remarks receive a new confirmation in the case of the recent
deaths of two young sons of MRS. JANE HUNT, widow of the late
Rev. Christopher Hunt, pastor of the Reformed Dutch church in Franklin
street, in this city. They died within eight days of each other, the
elder, _De Witt_, in his twentieth year, on the 19th of January, and the
younger, _Joseph Scudder_, in his sixteenth year, on the 11th January,
both of pulmonary disease. Their father, the Rev. Mr. Hunt, was a
faithful and successful minister of Christ, much beloved by the people
of his pastoral charge. The writer of this well remembers a sermon
preached by him at the close of a series of services in the visitation
of the Reformed Dutch churches of this city, which was solemn and
impressive, from the text, "There is but a step between me and death."
This was in January, 1839. At this time the seeds of disease (perhaps
unconsciously to himself) were springing up within him, and after a few
more services in his church, he was confined to his house, and lingered
until the following May. His soul was firm in faith and full of peace,
on his sick and dying bed. He committed them, again and again, to the
care and faithfulness of their covenant God, and felt that therein he
left them the best of legacies, whatever they might want of what the
world could give. At the time of his decease, they had four children,
the youngest of whom was three weeks old. The two oldest were the sons
to whose deaths we are now adverting. The two youngest (daughters) are
surviving. The elder son was seven years old at his father's death. The
responsible trust of rearing these children for Christ and heaven was
thus cast upon the widowed mother. Mrs. Hunt is the daughter of the late
Joseph Scudder, of Monmouth, N.J., and sister of the venerable,
long-tried, and devoted missionary, Rev. Dr. John Scudder, now in India.
Brought up under the influences and associations of piety, she was early
brought to a saving acquaintance with Christ, and a profession of faith
in Him within the church. The consistency and ripeness of her piety has
been evinced in the different spheres and relations of life where
Providence placed her. With the infant children cast upon her care, at
the death of her husband, she plied herself with toilful industry to
provide for them, while her soul was ever intent upon their early
conversion to Christ. She aimed to give these sons such a course of
education as would, under God's sanctifying blessing, prepare them to
engage in the work of the ministry, perhaps the missionary service. She
had the gratification of seeing them as they grew up evincing
thoughtfulness of mind, amiableness of spirit, and correctness of
conduct, and by an affectionate spirit, and ready obedience,
contributing to her comfort. At the time of his death, De Witt was in
the Junior class, and Joseph had just entered the Freshman class, and
there had gained a good distinction for study and scholarship, and drawn
forth the respect and affection of their instructors and
fellow-students. While pursuing his own studies, the elder brother led
on the younger brother at home, and it is believed that by his close
application he hastened the bringing on of his disease. In addition to
this, the mother's heart was yearning for the proofs of their having
given their hearts to God. Attentive as they were to divine truth in
the sanctuary and Sabbath-school, in the reading of it at home, and
careful in forming associations favorable to piety, she yet looked
beyond these to their full embrace of, and dedication to, the Savior.
How mysterious is that dispensation which, at this interesting period,
when these only two sons were moulding their characters for life opening
before them; and when they seemed to be preparing to realize a mother's
hope, and reward a mother's prayers, and toils, and anxieties, they
should, both together, within a few days of each other be removed from
time to eternity. But in the circumstances and issues of their sickness
and death we find an explanation of this apparent mystery by the
satisfactory evidence they afforded of their being prepared by an early
death to be translated to the blissful worship and service of heaven.

Previous to a brief sketch of the sick-bed and dying scene of these dear
youths, a circumstance may be adverted to, beautifully and strongly
illustrative of the value and efficacy of the prayer of faith. Rev. Dr.
Scudder, in his appeals, has frequently and ardently pressed upon
parents the importance of the duty of seeking the early conversion of
their children, and their consecration to the service of the Savior.
With his heart intent upon this duty in the spirit of continued
believing intercession, God has signally blessed him in his own large
family of children in their early conversion to Christ, and in the
training of his sons for the foreign missionary service in which he is
himself engaged. Two of his sons are now engaged in that service; one
training for it some time since entered into the heavenly rest, and
others are now in preparation for it. On the 12th of November last,
1851, Dr. S. addressed a letter from Madura, in India, to his nephew, De
Witt Hunt. So remarkable is this letter, not only in the matter it
contains, and spirit it breathes, but also in the fulfillment of the
prayers it refers to, as the end of the two months stipulated found De
Witt brought into the hope and liberty of the Gospel, on the very verge
of his removal to heaven, that we make the following copious extracts
from it:

"My dear Nephew,--My daughter Harriet received your letter by the last
steamer. I have not the least evidence from the letter that you love the
Savior, for you do not even refer to him. On this account I may perhaps
be warranted in coming to the conclusion that he is not much in your
thoughts. Be this, however, as it may, I have become so much alarmed
about your spiritual condition as to make it a special subject of
prayer, or to set you apart for this purpose; and I design, God willing,
to pray for you in a special manner until about the time when this shall
reach you, that is, about two months. After that I can make no promise
that I shall pray for you any further than I may pray for my friends in
general. I have now set apart a little season to pray for you and to
write to you. Do you wonder at this? Has it never occurred to you as _a
very strange thing_ that others should be so much concerned in you,
while you are unconcerned for yourself? I can explain the mystery. Your
friends have seen you, and your uncle, among the rest, has seen you
walking on the pit of destruction, on a rotten covering, as it were,
liable at every moment to fall through it, and drop into everlasting
burnings. _This_ you have not seen, and therefore you have remained
careless and indifferent. Whether this carelessness and indifference
will continue I know not. All that I can say is, that I am greatly
alarmed for you. It is no small thing for you to trample under foot the
blood of Christ for eighteen years. Justly might the Savior say of you,
as he said of his people of old, 'Ephraim is joined to idols, let him
alone.' Your treatment of the blessed Savior is what grieves me to the
heart. What has He not done to serve you? Were you to fall into a well,
and a stranger should run to your help and take you out, that stranger
should forever afterwards be esteemed as your chief friend. Nothing
could be too much for you to do for him. Of nothing would you be more
cautious than of grieving him. And has Christ come down from heaven to
save you? Has He died for you? Has He shed his very blood for you that
you might be delivered from the worm that dieth not, and the fire which
is never quenched? And can you be so wicked as not to love Him? My dear
nephew, this will not do; it _must_ not do. You must alter your course.
But I will stop writing for a moment and kneel down and entreat God's
mercy for _you_. I will endeavor to present the sacrifice of the
Redeemer at the Throne of grace, and see if I cannot, for this
sacrifice' sake, call down the blessing of the Holy Spirit upon you."

As a remarkable coincidence evidencing an answer to earnest believing
prayer, this letter found both the nephews drawing near to their eternal
state. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, the end of the two
stipulated months for special daily prayer in his behalf, found De Witt
brought into the light and liberty of the Gospel, rejoicing in his

A few incidents occurring in the progress of the sickness, and during
the death-bed scene, will now be adverted to; and as the death of
JOSEPH took place first, I shall first allude to his case. He
was in his fifteenth year, and last fall, in September, entered the
Freshman class in the New York University. He had been characterized
from childhood for an amiable and docile spirit, filial kindness and
obedience, and correctness of deportment. His mind opened to religious
instruction in the family and Sabbath-school. He loved the Bible, and it
is believed was observant of the habit of prayer. It was the anxious
prayer, and assiduous labor of his pious mother that all this might be
crowned with the saving knowledge of Christ as his Redeemer. He took a
cold soon after entering the University which at first excited no alarm,
but it was soon accompanied with hectic fever, which made rapid
progress, and gave indications that his death was not remote. In the
early part of November, their mother, realizing these indications, and
also the precarious state of De Witt's health, who had been afflicted
with a cough during the whole of the preceding year, which had been
slowly taking root, and now furnished sad forebodings of the issue,
plied her labors with greater earnestness for their spiritual welfare.
The visits and conversations of Rev. Mr. Carpenter were most acceptable
and blessed after this period. I shall here make extracts from some
notes and reminiscences furnished me by the mother: "The evening of
Sabbath, November 16, was a solemn one to myself and sons. We spent the
time alone; I entreating them to yield their hearts unto God, _they_ in
listening to the words of their mother as though they felt and
understood their import. I begged them not to be wearied with my
importunity, and wearied they had been had they not cared for the things
belonging to their everlasting peace. I knew not how to part with them
that night until they should yield themselves, body, soul and spirit, to
Whom they had been invited often to go." After this, Joseph's disease
rapidly advanced, and the physicians pronounced his case hopeless. He
was throughout meek, quiet, patient. Mrs. Hunt again writes: "Sabbath
morning, November 30, I endeavored to entreat God to make this the
spiritual birthday of my children. I was with Joseph in the morning,
reading and conversing with him. In the afternoon I urged him to go to
Christ just as he was, feeling his own nothingness, and casting himself
upon His mercy. He replied, in a low, solemn voice, 'I have tried to go
many times, but I want faith to believe I shall be accepted.' After a
few minutes he said, 'Sometimes I think I shall be, and sometimes that I
shall not be.' Again, there was a pause and waiting, and then his gentle
voice was heard saying, 'I can give my heart to the Savior.' Truly did I
bless God for his loving kindness and tender mercy." It is worthy of
observation, that the evening before, Saturday, a small number of pious
young men of their acquaintance met for special prayer on behalf of
Joseph, De Witt, and another young man very ill. I continue to quote
Mrs. H.: "On Friday night, the 2d of January, I asked him in regard to
his feelings. He replied, 'I pray that I may give myself away to Christ,
and He may be with me when I pass through the valley of the shadow of
death.' I remarked, then, Joseph, you want to enter the heavenly Canaan,
to praise Him, and cast your crown at his feet. He said, 'Yes, to put on
the robe of righteousness.' On Wednesday night, January 7, he was
restless. After he awoke on Thursday morning, I said to him, Joseph,
try now to compose yourself to prayer; to which he assented and closed
his eyes. During the day he remarked to me, 'I prayed for the teachings
of God's Holy Spirit that I might be made wise unto salvation; that he
would lift upon me the light of his countenance, and uphold me with his
free Spirit; give me more light that I may tell around what a precious
Savior I have found. I say, Precious Savior, wash me in thine own blood,
and make me one of thine own children. I come to thee just as I am, a
poor sinner.'" On Wednesday, the day before De Witt received the letter
from his uncle, Dr. Scudder, before referred to and quoted. "Joseph
wished me to read it to him, which I did. After I had finished, he
remarked, 'Before Uncle Scudder prays for me all his prayers will be
fulfilled,' but afterwards added, 'he thought his uncle would now be
praying for him, and sending a letter to him.'" After this he grew
weaker and weaker, and continued peacefully and patiently to wait his
coming death, giving expressions of fond attachment to his mother, in
acknowledgment of her pious care. On Saturday he was visited, as he lay
very low, by Rev. Mr. C., who held a plain and satisfactory conversation
with him. Passages of Scripture and hymns were read to him, which gave
him pleasure, and to the import of which he responded. He expressed to
him the blessed hope of soon reaching heaven. He sank during the night,
and died at half-past one o'clock, of the morning of the blessed day of
the Lord, January 11, 1852, surrounded by weeping but comforted
Christian friends. T.D.W.


       *       *       *       *       *

John Newton one day called upon a family whose house and goods had been
destroyed by fire. He found its pious mistress in tears. Said he,
"Madam, I give you joy." Surprised and almost offended, she exclaimed,
"What! joy that all my property is consumed?" "I give you joy," he
replied, "that you have so much property that no fire can touch."

       *       *       *       *       *




_Son._--Father, how do you reconcile the distinction which the apostle
Paul makes in 1 Cor. 7:14, between children as "holy" and "unclean,"
with the fact that all the descendants of Adam inherit a corrupt nature?

_Father._--The distinction is not moral, but federal or ecclesiastical.
The apostle is speaking, you perceive, of the children of believers and
unbelievers. The one, he says, are "holy," the other "unclean." But he
does not mean by this that the children of pious parents are by nature
different from others, or that, unlike them, they are not tainted with
evil. He means that they stand in a different relation to God and his
church. "_Holy_," in Scripture, means primarily "set apart or
consecrated to a sacred use." Thus, the temple at Jerusalem, its altar,
vessels and priests, were holy. The Jews themselves, as a people, were
in covenant with God. They belonged to him, were set apart to his
service, and in this sense "_holy_." Now, the apostle is to be
understood as teaching that children of believing parents, under the
Gospel, are allowed to participate in this heritage of God's ancient
people, and hence are holy.

_Son._--But how can this be?

_Father._--I will tell you, briefly, though I cannot now go into detail.
In virtue, then, of their parents' faith in God's covenant, into which
he entered with Abraham, and through him with all believing parents,
their children, also, are brought into covenant with him and entitled to
its privileges and blessings. They are set apart and given to him by
their parents when they are sealed with the seal of his covenant in
baptism. In this manner, and in this sense, they become "_holy_."

_Son._--In what sense are all others "_unclean_?"

_Father_.--The children of unbelievers are "unclean" because they
sustain no such relation to God. They have not been consecrated to him
by their parents' faith in offering them to him in the ordinance of
baptism, and are not interested, therefore, in the provisions or
benefits of the Abrahamic covenant. They have, moreover, no special
relation to the church; no more title to its immunities, deeper interest
in its regards, than the children of the heathen. They may, indeed, when
they reach a suitable age, hear the Gospel, and upon repentance and
faith, be admitted to its ordinances, but they have no _special_ claim
upon its care, or right to its prayers and nurture.

_Son._--But, after all, is not this relation one of mere name or form?
Has it any positive or practical benefits?

_Father._--It is, indeed, too often disregarded, yet it is positive in
its character and fraught with striking benefits. If you will give me
your attention I will state a few of the benefits which accrue to
children from this relation. You, then, my son, and all children of
believing parents who have been consecrated to God in baptism, are
considered as thereby belonging to Him. You are set apart to his
service, in a sense that others are not, and consequently are "_holy_."
In this solemn dedication, your parents professed their faith in the
triune God, and their desire that you should be his servants. They took
him to be your God according to the terms of his covenant; they desired
that you might be engrafted into Christ, and claimed for you the promise
of the Holy Spirit to regenerate and sanctify you. Now this, in itself,
is an unspeakable blessing. On their part it was an act of faith and
obedience. In compliance with the divine direction, they claimed for
themselves and for you a privilege which has been the birthright of the
church in all ages. They commended you in the most solemn manner to
God--the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, a covenant-keeping God,
who is rich in mercy, infinite in resources, and who has promised "to be
a God _to thee and to thy seed after thee_." It _is_ an unspeakable
blessing to be thus placed under his protection, to be brought within
the bonds of his covenant, and to be entitled to that pledge of mercy
which he has made "unto thousands of them that love him and keep his
commandments." If it were a privilege for children to be brought to
Christ to receive his blessing while he was on earth, equally is it a
privilege to be brought to him now that he is exalted to the majesty on
high, and "able," as then, "to save unto the uttermost." Though God has
a regard for all his creatures, both his word and providence assure us
he has a special interest in his people. His language is, "Jacob have I
loved, and Israel have I chosen." His elect are those in whom he
delights. Their names are in his book of life. "All things" are
overruled for their good. They are regarded with more than maternal
tenderness, for though a mother forget her infant child, God will not
forget his people. _And in this affection their children share._
Repeated instances are given in which the offspring of believers, though
wicked, were spared for the _sake of their parents_. The descendants of
David were not utterly banished from the throne for generations, _for
their father's sake_. Of Israel it was said, when oppressed for their
sins by Hazael, King of Syria, "the Lord had compassion and respect unto
them, because of _his covenant_ with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and
would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet."
Even since they have rejected and crucified their Messiah, there is a
remnant of them left, according to the election of grace, who are
"_beloved for their father's sake_." The children of the covenant do
unquestionably receive manifold temporal and spiritual mercies, and to
this more than anything else on earth, it may be, they are indebted for
their present and eternal well-being. They are not forgotten when those
who bore them to God's altar, and dedicated them to him in faith, have
passed away. When father or mother forsake, or are called from them, the
Lord shall take them up. Though they stray from the fold of the good
Shepherd, and seem to wander beyond the reach of mercy, often, very
often, does His grace reclaim and make them the monuments of his
forgiving love. This covenant-relation is indeed one whose benefits we
cannot here fully estimate, for they can be known only when the secret
dealings of God are revealed, and we are permitted to trace their
bearing upon an eternal destiny. They do not secure salvation in every
instance, but who shall say they would not obtain even that blessing
were they never perverted, and were parent and children alike faithful
to the responsibilities they involve?

_Son._--These are, indeed, great benefits, but are there any other?

_Father._--Yes; besides sustaining this marked and honored relation to
God, the baptized sustain a different relation to his church from that
of others. They are members of the visible church. Their names are
enrolled among God's preferred people. They have a place in the
sanctuary of which David sung, "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord
of hosts." Nor is _this relation_ without its benefits. They are brought
thereby within the supervision and nurture of the church. They become
the subjects of her care, instruction and discipline. In addition to
household privileges, to the prayers, examples and labors of pious
parents, they have a special claim to the prayers and efforts of the
church. They are remembered as "the sons and daughters of Zion." "For
them the public prayer is made." They can be interceded for not only as
needing the grace of God, but as authorized to expect it in virtue of
their covenant with him. With all faith and hope may they be brought to
the throne of mercy as those of whom God has said, "_I will be their
God._" They may claim, too, as they ought to receive, a special
solicitude on the part of ministers, officers and members of the church,
in their instruction, and in the tender interest which those of the same
body should feel in each other. They are to be watched over, sought out
and cared for in private and in public; to be borne with in their
weakness and reclaimed in their wanderings. They are "Lambs" of the
flock, dear to the good Shepherd, and to be loved and labored for,
therefore, for his sake. Though they become openly wicked it is not
beyond the province of the church to rebuke them for their sins, warn
them of their danger, and by all the moral means in her power to seek
for their reformation. And these considerations are fraught with
benefit. It was the lament of one of old, a lament that may be taken up
by numbers in our day--"No man careth for my soul." But the church does
care for the souls of her baptized children. She recognizes them as
within her pale, provides in her standards for their nurture, and though
not faultless in her treatment of them, she does seek their improvement,
through the influence of her ministers, and by urging upon parents their
responsibility.--There is in these facts, moreover, a tendency to draw
them to the church, to bring them within hearing of the Gospel and
within the scope of its ordinances. They will be attracted to the
sanctuary of their fathers and attached to the faith and worship of
those among whom they have been solemnly dedicated to God. How often in
after years do we in fact see them coming themselves and esteeming it a
privilege to bring their own children to receive, as they have received,
the seal of the covenant!--The baptized are, further, candidates for all
the immunities of Christ's house. They may come to the Lord's table as
soon as they have attained to the requisite knowledge and piety. It is a
distinguished honor, and exalted privilege, to be a guest at Christ's
table, to partake of that feast which is a type of the marriage supper
of the Lamb, and to this they are invited whenever they are ready
publicly to avow their faith and love as his professed disciples. They
are for the present excluded, as children in their minority are
forbidden to exercise the rights of citizens; or rather in virtue of
their power to discipline, as well as instruct, the officers of the
church may exclude them, like other unworthy members, from the
communion. But it is the aim and desire of the church that they may
speedily acquire the knowledge, faith and godliness that shall qualify
them for this delightful service.--Now, all this is happy in its
tendency and beneficial in its effects. It is a high honor to sustain a
covenant relation to God, and to be favored with the peculiar regard of
his people. It is a privilege to stand in a different relation to the
church of Christ from that of a mere heathen, and to share in the kind
offices and be objects of the prayers of those who are "the excellent of
the earth," and whose intercession availeth much. It is a blessing to be
under influences adapted to counteract the power of an evil heart and an
evil world, and thus be made meet for the glories of Christ's kingdom.
And though the baptized may be, in fact often are, insensible to these
benefits, they do in themselves constitute their choicest mercies. If
valued and improved, they will become effectual for their salvation. And
should they be brought ultimately to share in the blessings of this
covenant, they will praise God for the agency it exerted, and adore the
wisdom and beneficence of its arrangements.

       *       *       *       *       *



     "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy
     might."--ECCLESIASTES 9:10.

"Dear mother," said little Emily Manvers, as she turned over the leaves
of an elegant annual which she had just received, "Is not uncle Albert
very kind to send me this beautiful book? I wonder sometimes that he
gives me such costly presents, but I suppose it is because he sees me so
careful of my gifts."

Mrs. Manvers smiled. "That speech sounds rather egotistic, my dear. Do
you really think you are such a _very_ careful little girl?"

"I am sure, mother," replied Emily, coloring slightly, "that I take more
care of my things than many other girls I know. There is my wax doll, I
have had three years, and she is not even soiled; and that handsome
paint-box uncle gave me a year ago this Christmas, is in as good order
as ever, though I have used it a great deal; there is not one paint lost
or broken, and the brushes and crayons are all safe and perfect."

"That is as it should be, my daughter," returned Mrs. Manvers, "for
even in small things, we should use our gifts as not abusing them; but
what will you say when I tell you that you possess a treasure of
inestimable value, which you often misuse sadly, and neglect most
heedlessly,--a gift that properly employed will procure wonderful
privileges, but which I sometimes fear you will never learn to value
until you are about to lose it forever."

"Why, mother, what _can_ you mean!" exclaimed Emily, in astonishment.
"It can't be that costly fan cousin Henry sent me from India, that was
broken when I laid it down just a minute, instead of putting it
immediately away, or do you mean my pet dove that I sometimes have not a
minute's time to feed in the morning; you cannot surely think that I
will let it starve."

"No, Emily," answered the mother, "it is something far more precious
than either, although by your own admission you have two gifts of which
you are not at all careful. But I fear that if I tell you what the
treasure is, I shall fail in making you see clearly how much you misuse
it; I will therefore keep a little memorandum of your neglect and
ill-usage of it for one week, and that I hope will make you more careful
in future. I will begin on Monday, as to-morrow, being the Sabbath, I
have this gift of yours more under my immediate care."

Emily wondered very much what this wonderful treasure could be that she
used so badly, and puzzled her brain the whole evening in guessing, but
her mother told her to have patience, and in a week she would find out.

Emily Manvers was a kind, amiable little girl, between ten and eleven
years old; she was dutiful and obedient, but had an evil habit of
procrastination, which her mother had tried in vain to overcome. It was
always "time enough" with Emily to do everything, and consequently her
lessons were frequently imperfect, and her wardrobe in a sad state, as
Mrs. Manvers insisted upon her daughter sewing on strings, and hooks and
eyes, when they were wanting, thus endeavoring to instill early habits
of neatness. "Put not off till to-morrow what should be done to-day,"
was a copy the little girl frequently wrote, but she never allowed its
meaning to sink into her heart. It was this truth which her mother hoped
now to teach her.

On Monday morning, Emily jumped up as soon as her mother called her, and
seated herself on a low stool to put on her shoes and stockings; there
was a story book lying upon the table, and as her eyes fell on it, she
began to think over all the stories it contained, (some of them quite
silly ones, I am sorry to say,) and pulling her night-dress over her
feet, sat thinking about worse than nothing, until her mother opened the
bed-room door, and exclaimed in surprise,

"What! not dressed yet, Emily! It is full fifteen minutes since I called

"I will be dressed directly, mother," said she, jumping up quite
ashamed, and she hurriedly put on her clothes, brushed her hair and
prepared for breakfast.

After breakfast she had to look over her lessons, but remembering her
mother's remarks, she stole a few minutes to feed her doves, and then
hurried to school afraid of being late. On her return home in the
afternoon, her mother told her to mend her gloves, which she had torn.
Emily went to her work-basket, but could not find her thimble.

"Where can my thimble be?" she cried, after looking two or three minutes
for it. "Oh, I remember now; I left it on the window sill," and off she
ran to get it.

She was gone some time, and on her return her mother asked, "Couldn't
you find your thimble, Emily?"

"Yes, mamma, but James and George were flying their kites, so I stopped
just a minute to look at them. I will sit down now."

She opened her work-box and took out a needle, then looking about said,

"Why, where is my cotton spool? I left it on the chair a minute ago."

She moved the chairs, turned up the hearth-rug, and tumbled over her
work-box in vain; the cotton could not be found. Presently she espied
puss, under the sofa, busily employed tossing something about with her

"Oh, you naughty kitty, _you_ have got my spool," cried Emily, as she
stooped down and caught hold of the thread which puss had entangled
about the sofa legs; but kitty was in a playful mood and would not give
up the cotton-spool at once, so Emily amused herself playing with the
cat and thread for some time longer. At last, she remembered her gloves,
and sitting down mended them in a few moments.

Had Emily's mother told her that she looked at her watch when the little
girl first went for the thimble, and that she had passed exactly
three-quarters of an hour in idleness, she would not have credited it.

After a while Mrs. Manvers sent Emily up stairs to get something for
her. She stayed so long that her mother called, "Emily, what keeps you

"Nothing, mamma; I stopped just a minute to look at my new sash, it is
so pretty."

Ten minutes more were added to the wasted time. The next day Emily came
home from school without any ticket for punctuality.

"How is this?" asked the mother; "you started from home in good time?"

"Yes, mother," returned the little girl, "but I stopped just a minute to
speak to Sarah Randall, and I know our school-clock must be wrong, for
it was half-past nine by it when I went in."

Mrs. Manvers took the trouble to walk around to the school and compare
her watch with the clock; they agreed exactly, and thus she found her
daughter had wasted half an hour that morning.

"Do you know your lessons, Emily?" she asked, after her return, as the
little girl had been sitting for more than an hour with her books upon
her lap.

"Not quite, mother."

"Have you been studying all the time, my dear?"

"Pretty near; there was a man beating his horse dreadfully, and I just
looked out of the window a minute."

Mrs. Manvers smiled, and yet sighed, for she knew that Emily had spent
half an hour humming a tune and gazing idly from the window upon the
passers by.


       *       *       *       *       *



In this day of books, when so many pens are at work writing for
children, and when so many combine instruction with entertainment, every
family should be, to some extent, a reading family. Books have become
indispensable; they are a kind of daily food; and we take for granted
that no parent who reads this Magazine neglects to provide aliment of
this nature for his family. How many leisure hours may thus be turned to
profitable account! How many useful ideas and salutary impressions may
thus be gained which will never be lost! If any family does not know the
pleasure and the benefit of such employment of a leisure hour, we advise
them to make the experiment forthwith. The district library, the
Sabbath-school or village library in almost every town afford the
facilities necessary for the experiment. But my object is not so much to
induce any to form the _taste_ for reading, for who, now a-days, does
not read? nor is it to write a dissertation on the pleasures and
advantages of reading; but simply to suggest a few plain hints upon the
_subject matter_ and the _manner_ of reading.

And, in the first place, the parent should know _what_ his child reads.
The book is the companion or teacher. Parent, would you receive into
your family a playmate or a teacher of whose tastes and habits and moral
character you were ignorant? Would you admit them for one day in such a
capacity without having previously ascertained as far as possible their
qualifications for such an intimate relationship to your child? But
remember that the book has great influence. It puts a great many
thoughts into the mind of the young reader, to form its tastes and make
lasting impressions; and how can you be indifferent to this matter, when
our land is flooded with so many vicious and contaminating books; when
they come, like the frogs of Egypt, into every house and bed-chamber,
and even into the houses of the servants! A single book may ruin your
child! You yourself may not be proof against evil thoughts and corrupt
principles. Look well, then, to the thoughts that come into your child's
mind from such a companion or teacher of your child as a printed book,
having perhaps all the fascination of a story or a romance. And,
besides, there are so many volumes that are tried and proved, and
acceptable to all, that there can be no excuse for admitting into your
family any which are even of a doubtful character. And do not merely
exercise supervision over the books which come to you and _ask_
admission. Avail yourself of the best means of information, and _choose_
the _best books_; I mean those best adapted to your purpose. Do not get
too many, but make a _choice selection_. Judge whether your child can
comprehend what you put into its hand; whether it is fitted to convey
instruction, or wholesome entertainment, or right moral impressions. If
it can do neither of these, it will be either an idle or a vicious
companion for your child, and you should exclude it at once.

But, furthermore, see in _what manner_ the book is read. Draw out the
thoughts of your child upon it; ascertain whether it has been read
understandingly and is remembered. In this way you will strengthen the
power of attention and of memory and judgment, and exercise also the
power of language, by drawing out an expression of thought. In this way
reading will be doubly interesting, and will be an invigorating exercise
without overloading and clogging all the powers of thought.

But, one thing more: Is your child inclined to pore over its books _too
much_? Be careful, lest its mind be over-stimulated at the expense of
the body. Many a child is at this hour undermining its physical
constitution by reading in the house, when it should be playing out of
doors, or using its muscular system in some kind of domestic employment.
Beware of any cause which shall induce a sickly precocity or a hotbed
mental growth. Let no partiality for mental prodigies induce you to make
_physical invalids_. The sacrifice is too great; seek rather a healthy
and complete development of the whole child, watching each power as it
unfolds, and training all for the most efficient fulfillment of the
practical duties of life.

       *       *       *       *       *


We venture to devote more space than usual to "Notices of Books," as we
have a large number on our table deserving a word of commendation. We
shall confine ourselves to the class of works of which the topics of
consideration come within the scope of this magazine.

Health, as developed in the Biography of NATHANIEL CHEEVER, M.D. By Rev.
HENRY T. CHEEVER. With an Introduction by Rev. GEORGE B. CHEEVER, D.D.
New York: Charles Scribner.

We have laid down this book, after attentive perusal, with the feeling
that among the many things to be learned from it, one stands prominently
forth,--_the beauty of family affection in a Christian household_. "To
our _Beloved_ and _Honored_ MOTHER, these Memorials of her
Youngest Son are affectionately Dedicated." Here we stand at the
foundation stone, and are not surprised afterward to see taking their
place in the fair edifice of family love, "stones polished after the
similitude of a palace."

The history presented in this memoir has no startling incidents. The
subject of it, a beautiful and promising boy, full of life and
happiness, is suddenly smitten with a disease which hangs like an
incubus upon his progress through life, and terminates his course just
after he has entered successfully on the practice of the medical
profession, in the island of Cuba, led, as he had previously been, on
repeated voyages across the ocean, by the hope of permanent benefit from
change of climate. Scattered through the book are descriptions of
scenery, observations on men and manners, and pleasant narratives, which
give variety to its pages, but its charm rises in the character of
uncommon loveliness which it presents; in the unvarying cheerfulness and
patience with which the young sufferer met pain, disappointment of
cherished plans of life, defeat and delay in his efforts for
intellectual improvement, separation from the friends to whom his
sensitive spirit clung with a tenacity of affection which is often
developed by suffering, but which seems to have been an original element
in his nature; years of banishment from the home circle, and at last,
_death_, away from every friend, on the ocean, which he was struggling
to cross once more that he might breathe his last sigh on his mother's
bosom. The conscientiousness, the integrity, the simplicity of this
young Christian are as beautiful to contemplate as his elasticity of
spirit, his cheerful submission, and his resolute determination to be
all that, with the shattered materials, he was capable of making
himself. His patient efforts, retarded by his severe sufferings, to
educate himself, and acquire a profession, are touching and instructive,
though few, who have not experienced the slow martyrdom of chronic
disease, can fully appreciate his energy, or sympathize with his
difficulties. Better than all this is his unwavering trust in God, from
his boyhood to the day of his early death. Here was the secret of his
joyfulness. His biographer well remarks, "Beyond all doubt the
inalienable treasure and guarantee of cheerfulness, being
reconciliation to God, was in that heart, whose pulsations are still
beating in the leaves of this book. In his sky the star of hope was
always in the ascendant. The aspect which life had to him,
notwithstanding all his suffering, was green and cheerful. He was wont
to view things on the sunny side, or if a cloud intervened to look
beyond it."

Such a cheerfulness, so based, is worth more than "silver and gold." We
commend the book to the attention of our readers, as a beautiful
illustration of early and consistent piety.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mrs. Whittelsey_:--"The influence of poetry," says another, "in forming
the moral character, and guiding the thoughts of children, is immense.
How often has a simple couplet made an indelible impression on their
memories, and been the means of shaping their conduct for life! It
cannot be a matter of indifference, then, whether the poetry they read
and hear be good or bad, healthful or poisonous. And every parent should
see that it be of the former kind; such as not only to cultivate the
taste, but such as will form the character and mould the heart to all
that is holy and excellent."

These thoughts have come up to my mind with strong interest, since I
have lately examined a little work published by Mr. M.W. Dodd of your
city, entitled, "Select Poetry for Children and Youth," a book worthy to
be in every family, and possessed by every mother in the land. It is
full of just the kind of poetry to interest children deeply, and profit
them truly; and is such a work as every parent may safely and wisely
introduce to his household. As a parent, I have taken it home, and read
it to my own family circle, and have found all, from oldest to youngest,
absorbed in attention to its choice selections, which are from such
writers as Mary Howitt, Jane Taylor, Mrs. Hemans, Cowper, &c., &c., &c.
And I am persuaded that if other parents will make the same experiment,
they will find it attended with the same result.

And now, in conclusion, as a parent who has always taken your excellent
Magazine, and who through it would speak to parents, let me ask, Ought
we not to be more careful as to the reading of our children--more
careful that the couplets they learn, and the little ballads they hear,
and the verses they commit to memory, are such as they ought to be?
Lessons from such sources will leave a deep and lasting impression long
after we are silent in the grave! The verses which the writer was taught
by a pious mother, in early days, are all vividly remembered, and
probably will be while life shall last. And if every parent would seek
to make _verses_ the vehicle of instruction to the young (for children
delight in _poetry_ earlier than in prose), they might easily implant
the seeds of virtue and piety that would never be lost, but that in due
season would spring up and bear fruit an hundred-fold to eternal life.

                                              A PARENT.

       *       *       *       *       *




We beg those readers of this Magazine who have had the patience to
follow us thus far in our study, now to open their Bibles with an
earnest invocation of the aid of that Spirit who indited the sacred
pages, and so far from being satisfied with the meager thoughts which we
are able to furnish, we entreat that they will bend diligently to the
work of ascertaining the real interest which we and all the mothers of
earth have in the scenes which transpired at the foot of Horeb's holy
mount. To the instructions there uttered, the mighty ones of every
age,--the founders of empires, statesmen, law-givers, philanthropists,
patriots, and wise men, have sought for their noblest conceptions, and
their most beneficent regulations, and it would be impossible to
estimate the influence of those instructions upon all the after history
of the world. But if the Almighty there revealed himself as the God of
kingdoms, the all-wise and infinitely good Ruler of men in a national
capacity, not less did He make himself known as the God of the family,
and his will there made known regulating the mutual relations of parents
and children, has been at once the foundation and bulwark of all that
has been excellent or trustworthy in family government from that day to

It is impossible, in the brief space allotted to us, that we should
begin to give any adequate view of the subject which here opens before
us, or follow out fully a single one of the many trains of thought to
which it gives rise.

At Horeb, Jehovah, amid fire and smoke, and in that voice which so
filled with terror all that heard, first inculcated the duty of filial
piety on all the future generations of men. Filial piety! how much it
implies. It stands at the head of the duties enjoined from man to man.
It comes next in order to those which man owes to his Maker. It
inculcates on the part of children toward their parents feelings akin to
those which he has required toward Himself, and far surpassing any which
he demands toward any other human being. It speaks of reverence, of a
love superior to ordinary affection, of unqualified submission and
obedience. "Honor thy father and thy mother" is the solemn command, and
the comments which infinite wisdom has made on it, scattered up and down
on the pages of inspiration, throw light on its length and breadth, and
on the heinous nature of the sin which is committed in its infringement.
"Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father, and keep my
Sabbaths; I am the Lord." In the Jewish law, a man who smote his
neighbor must be smitten in return; but "he that smiteth father or
mother shall be surely put to death." "He that curseth," or as it more
exactly reads, "he that disparages or speaks lightly of his parents, or
uses contemptuous language to them, shall surely be put to death." "If a
man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of
his father or the voice of his mother, and who when they have chastised
him will not hearken unto them, then shall his father and his mother lay
hold of him and bring him to the elders of the city, and unto the gate
of his place. And they shall say unto the elders of the city, This, our
son, is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice. And all the
men of his city shall stone him with stones that he die; so shall thou
put away evil from among you, that all Israel shall hear and fear."

Still more fearful is the practical commentary upon this solemn command,
given in Ezekiel 22:7, when Jehovah, in enumerating the crying sins
which demanded his vengeance on the people, and brought upon them the
terrible calamities of long captivity says, "In thee have they set light
by father and mother."

But some one will say, You profess to be speaking to parents, and this
command is given to children. True, friend, but the duty required of
children implies a corresponding duty on the part of parents. Who shall
teach children to reverence that father and mother in whose character
there is nothing to call forth such a sentiment? "Though children are
not absolved from the obligation of this commandment by the misconduct
of their parents, yet in the nature of things, it is impossible that
they should yield the same hearty respect and veneration to the unworthy
as to the worthy, nor does God require a child to pay an irrational
honor to his parents. If his parents are atheists, he cannot honor them
as Christians. If they are prayerless and profane, he cannot honor them
as religious. If they are worldly, avaricious, over-reaching,
unscrupulous as to veracity and honest dealing, he cannot honor them as
exemplary, upright, conscientious and spiritually-minded."

If parents only say, like Eli, in feeble accents, "Nay, my sons; for it
is no good report that I hear. Why do ye such things?" they will not
only have disobedient and irreverent children, but often, if not always,
they will be made to understand that their sin is grievous in the sight
of God, and he will say of them also, "I will judge his house forever
for the iniquity which he knoweth, because his sons made themselves vile
and _he restrained them not_." "And therefore have I sworn unto the
house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with
sacrifice nor offering forever."

Unto parents God has committed the child, in utter helplessness, and
weakness, and ignorance, an unformed being. The power and the knowledge
are theirs, and on their side is He, the Almighty and infinitely wise,
with his spirit and his laws, and his promises. If they are
faithful,--if from the first they realize their responsibility, and the
advantages of their position, can the result be doubtful? But they will
not be faithful; imperfection is stamped on all earthly character, and
they will fail in this as in all other duties. What then? Blessed be
God, the Gospel has a provision for erring parents. If Sinai thunders,
Calvary whispers peace. For men, as sinners, the righteousness of Christ
prevails, and for sinners, as parents, not less shall it be found
sufficient. Line and plummet can soon measure the extent of human
perfection, but they cannot fathom the merit of that righteousness, and
when laid side by side with the most holy law, there is no deficiency.
If, then, we find ourselves daily coming short of the terms of that
covenant which God has made with us as parents, we need not despair of
his fulfilling his part, for we can plead our surety's work, and that is
ever acceptable in his eyes, and answers all his demands.

Let not, however, the negligent and willfully-ignorant parent conclude
that the spotless robe of the perfect Savior will be thrown as a shield
over his deficiencies and deformity. Let not those who have blindly and
carelessly entered on parental duties, without endeavoring to ascertain
the will of God and the requirements of his law, expect that the
blessing of obedient and sanctified children will crown their days. Let
not those who suffer their children to grow up around them like weeds,
without religious culture or pruning, who demand no obedience, who
command no reverence, who offer no earnest, ceaseless prayer, let them
not suppose that the blessing of the God who spoke from Horeb will come
upon their families. "He is in one mind and who can turn him." Not an
iota has he abated from his law since that fearful day. Not less sinful
in his eyes is disobedience to parents now, than when he commanded the
rebellious son to be "stoned with stones until he died." Yet, how far
below His standard are the ideas even of many Christian parents? "How
different," says Wilberforce, "nay, in many respects, how contradictory,
would be the two systems of mere morals, of which the one should be
formed from the commonly-received maxims of the Christian world, and the
other from the study of the Holy Scriptures;" and we are never more
forcibly impressed with this difference than when we see it exemplified
in this solemn subject.

The parents who stood at Horeb learned that God required them to train
their children to implicit and uncompromising obedience, and he who
closely studies the Word of God can find no other or lighter
requisition. How will the received opinions and customs of this age
compare with the demand?

We ask our young friends, who may perchance glance over these pages, to
pause a moment and consider: If capital punishment should now be
inflicted on every disobedient child, how many roods of earth would be
planted with the instruments of death? If every city were doomed to
destruction in which the majority of sons and daughters "set light by
father and mother," how many would remain? To every child living comes a
voice, "Know thou that for all these things God will bring thee into

       *       *       *       *       *




     Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, in
     honor preferring one another.

     (Concluded from page 108.)

To aid you in making the effort to comply with the injunction we have
been considering, I add the following considerations:

1st. It is right, this you will all acknowledge, no matter how unkindly
a brother or sister may treat you, you will acknowledge that it is never
right for you, never pleasing to God, that you should treat them
unkindly in return. Yes, you will all (except when you are angry)
acknowledge that the injunction Be kindly affectioned one to another in
brotherly love, is right, proper, beautiful; could there be a better
reason for trying to obey the injunction?

2d. You have already often disobeyed this injunction. You cannot
remember many of the instances, but you can some where you acted
unbrotherly or unsisterly. Alas, such are the pride and selfishness of
our hearts that we begin very early to sin against our dearest friends.
Little boy, did you not get angry the other day, when your little
brother or sister took one of your playthings which you wanted
yourself, and if you did not speak unkindly or snatch it away roughly,
did you not go and complain to mother, and was that very kind and
loving? Would it not have been kinder and more brotherly to try to make
little brother and sister happy, and not to have troubled mother? Little
children, I say this especially for you, I want you all to make it a
rule to love everybody, and to try and make everybody around you happy.
That is the way to be happy yourselves. But, my young friends, you, who
are older, are in equal danger of sinning, and I am afraid that your
consciences can also condemn you. Indeed I know not but the danger of
violating this law is greater with those more advanced in life. There is
a transition period when the childhood is about losing itself in the
youth, which is often very trying to brotherly and sisterly affection.
The sister is not quite a woman, the brother not quite a young man, and
each is sometimes disposed to demand an attention which the other is not
quite willing to yield on demand--each would yield, perhaps, if it were
asked as a favor--but the spirit of an independent existence is
beginning to rise, and that spirit spurns any claim. This spirit is
generally the stronger in the brother than in the sister, and he
therefore sins most frequently against the law of love, and he will
treat his sister as he will allow no other young man to do, and will
treat every other young lady with more politeness and courtesy than he
does his own noble-hearted and loving sister. Oh, there is many a
brother, who, if any young man were to say and do what he says and does
to his sister, he would consider him to be no gentleman and a scoundrel.
Now, I would ask, does the fact of your being a brother alter the nature
of your conduct? You are her brother, and therefore may act
ungentlemanly and like a scoundrel! Why, oh, shame, cowardly shame!
because there is no one to resent your ill-treatment--there is no one to
defend a sister from the unkindness of a brother, or to defend the
brother, I may add, from the sister's unkindness; for though I speak to
the brother, let each sister who reads this, ask her conscience whether
her own sister's heart condemn her not.

Time will not allow me to enter into any great detail, in illustrating
the frequency of these violations of the law of family affection, nor
indeed is it needed. I can give you a general rule, which your own minds
will approve, and which will meet all cases. Let the sister treat no man
with more courtesy and politeness than she treats her father and her
brothers--treat no woman more kindly and politely than she does her
mother and her sisters. Let her not confine all her graces and
fascinations to strangers, and make her family to endure all her
petulance and unamiability. So let the brother treat his mother and
sisters. So let the father and mother treat each other and their
children, and you will, my readers, obtain a noble reward in the
increasing happiness and comfort of your family circles--in the
manliness which will belong to the sons--in the mental and moral graces
which will adorn the daughters. The family will thus become the school
of virtue and the bulwark of society--the reciprocal influence of
brothers and sisters thus trained will be of untold power on each
other's character.

One word further, and I close. I have been describing the legitimate
influence of religion in a family. True religion will make just such
fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. It is in this way that religion
develops itself; that religion which is beautiful abroad and has no
beauty at home, is of little worth. If, then, you would make your
families what I have described, you must yourself come under the power
of religion, must give your heart to God, and then you will find the
duties of the family becoming comparatively easy. Unless you do so, you
will find yourselves constantly failing in your most strenuous efforts,
and will be far from reaching the point which I have sought to describe.
Natural affection may indeed be much cultivated by this course, and
drawn forth in its native simplicity or regulated by the forms of
refined education, it will throw an inestimable beauty and charm around
the fireside. But it will be, after all, but merely natural affection.
It cannot rise so high nor exert such heavenly influence over the family
circle as will the power of religion. It sanctifies and exalts natural
affections. It not only restrains but actually softens the natural
asperities of the temper, harmonizes discordant feelings and interests,
and secures that happy co-operation which makes a Christian circle an
emblem of heaven. In one word, religion will make you a happy family
forever, happy here and happy in yonder world of bliss. Without religion
also, allow me to add, the very beauty and enjoyment, arising from the
exercise of these domestic virtues, will prove injurious to your eternal
interests. They will serve to strew with comforts your path leading away
from God to heaven. The powerful influence of a much loved brother is
exerted to keep the sister in the path of worldliness; while, in return,
the sister's boundless influence, for in such a family the sister's
influence may be said to be boundless, will all be added to the snares
of an ungodly world, to drive the brother onward in his neglect of God
and his own soul. My young friends, seek not only to make those around
you happy in this world, but happy forever. Give thine own heart to
Jesus, and thou mayest save thy brother and thy sister, and thou shalt
meet them on high. Refuse to do so, and thou mayest drag these loved
ones down with thee to that cold dark region, where affection is unknown
and nothing is heard but blasphemies and curses. Oh, thou kind and
loving brother and sister, can ye endure the thought of spending an
eternity in cursing each other as the instruments of each other's
destruction? Christ alone can deliver you from such a woe.

       *       *       *       *       *

HABIT.--"I trust everything, under God," said Lord Brougham,
"to habit, upon which, in all ages, the lawgiver, as well as the
schoolmaster, has mainly placed his reliance; habit, which makes
everything easy, and casts all difficulties upon the deviation from a
wonted course. Make sobriety a habit, and intemperance will be hateful;
make prudence a habit, and reckless profligacy will be as contrary to
the nature of the child, grown or adult, as the most atrocious crimes
are to any of your lordships."

       *       *       *       *       *




It is presumed, young friends, that you have reached an age when you are
capable of appreciating your obligations, but have hitherto neglected
them. It is proposed, therefore, in what follows, briefly to call your
attention to your position and responsibilities. If you have considered
your privileges as the children of pious parents who have dedicated you
to God in baptism, you are now prepared to examine your duties. You have
then a name and a place in Christ's visible church; you sustain covenant
relations to God, and these, fraught as they are with manifold benefits,
cannot be without corresponding responsibilities.

You are not the children of the world but the children of the covenant.
Solemn vows have been assumed for you, and these vows are binding _upon
your consciences_. They were taken with the hope and intention that you
should assume them for yourselves when you arrived at years of
discretion. You were given to God with the expectation that you would
grow up to serve him. And this it is your duty to do. You are his
property. You are his by sacred engagement, and you cannot violate this
engagement; you cannot renounce His service, and devote yourselves to
the service of Satan or of the world, without dishonoring your parents,
doing injustice to God, and periling your own salvation. You may say
this contract was formed without my consent, and when too young to
understand its requirements. No matter; this does not release you from
obligation to perform it. Ability and responsibility are not always
co-extensive. We are bound perfectly to keep God's holy law, and yet no
man of himself is able to do it. His inability, however, does not
diminish it's binding force. God cannot abate one jot or tittle of the
law's demands, for that would be a confession of its imperfection or of
his variableness. Or, should he diminish his demands because our
wickedness has made us incapable of keeping them, then the more wicked
we become, the less binding would be his authority, and if we only grew
depraved enough we might escape from all obligation to obedience. Such
an idea, cannot, of course, be tolerated. The truth is, that under the
government of God, as well as under human government, children are held
responsible for the conduct of their parents. Parents have a right to
act for them, and children must abide by their decisions, and endure the
consequences of their acts. They cannot escape from it, for this is a
natural as well as moral law which is continually operating. The
character and destiny of the child are determined mainly by the parent.
He may educate him to be refined, intelligent and useful, or to be
vicious, debased and dangerous. This process is going on continually.
The parent may make positive engagements in behalf of his children,
which they are bound to perform, and which the law recognizes as valid.
A father dying, for example, while his children are in infancy or in
their minority, may require them to appropriate a portion of his estate
for certain ends, as a condition on which they shall receive it. Another
may require of his children a given service, on condition of receiving
his blessing; and if the requirement be not morally wrong, who would not
feel themselves bound to observe it? But there are examples, perhaps
more in point, in Scripture, in which parents have entered into formal
covenants that have had direct reference to their children. Adam
covenanted for himself and posterity. They had no personal agency in it,
in any sense, and yet all are held accountable for its transgression;
all suffer a portion of its penalty, as they might, if he had kept it,
been made possessors of its blessings. So Abraham covenanted with God
for himself and his seed; and his descendants felt themselves bound to
fulfill its requirements. They knew, in fact, that unless they did, its
benefits could not be enjoyed. The same principle holds good in
reference to the baptized. You are bound by the covenant engagements of
your parents. You cannot be released from them on the ground that you
had no agency in assuming them. They were assumed for you by those who
had the right to do it--a right recognized by both God and man--and you
cannot therefore throw them off; you cannot willfully disregard or live
contrary to them, without guilt and dishonor. The apostle urges this
principle when he testifies "to every man that is circumcised that he is
a debtor to do the whole law." His consecration to God in this rite
bound him to keep his whole law; and yet this obligation was imposed on
him when an infant only eight days old; but after arriving at maturity,
he could not shake it off. He was a debtor still, for he was placed in
that position in accordance with the divine command and by those who had
the authority over him. With equal propriety may we now testify unto you
who are baptized, that you are debtors unto Christ. You are bound to
keep the laws of his kingdom, bound to serve him to whose service you
have been set apart. You are not your own; you are not, therefore, to
live unto yourselves. The vows of God are upon _you_. You have been
sealed with his seal. And since you have attained an age at which you
can understand your position, you are bound to perform those vows; to
seek to be sealed with the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. There
is no escape from this obligation; and when, therefore, you live utterly
regardless of it, as many do, your conduct is doubly criminal. You may
have flattered yourselves that you enjoyed superior advantages, and that
you were more highly favored than others; and this is true. But you must
take into the account your corresponding responsibilities. There is a
broad distinction between your position, and that of mere worldlings,
and there ought to be a like difference in your practice. You cannot
give yourselves to the sins of youth, or the gayeties of life. You
cannot set your hearts on fashion, dress, amusements, business or any
mere worldly ends, with as much consistency, or with as little guilt, as
your unbaptized associates. _You_ cannot harden yourselves against the
truth, grieve the Holy Spirit, turn away in coldness or disdain from
the claims of Christ, without exposing yourselves to an aggravated
condemnation. Shall you who are pledged servants of Christ, who are
bound to him by solemn covenant, be regardless of these vows, or be
recreant to Him as his avowed enemies? Ah, this is approaching fearfully
near the appalling sin of "treading under foot the Son of God, of
counting the blood of his covenant an unholy thing, and doing despite
unto the Spirit of grace." You cannot, surely, have considered your
relations to Christ and to his church. You cannot have pondered the
nature of your baptismal vows which were taken for you, but which are
now binding upon your own souls. You cannot realize against what
gracious promises, what high, privileges you sin, in living contrary to
your obligations, and in remaining at heart, and by your conduct,
"strangers to God and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel." Review
your position, and remember you are placed where you cannot recede.
Duties press upon you which you cannot disregard; vows are upon you
which you cannot break with safety or with honor. It is not enough that
you lead a moral life, or that you continue in your present position.
You are required to advance. You have been pledged to God; and to
fulfill this pledge you must be His in heart. You _must choose_ His
service. You must take Christ's yoke upon you and dedicate yourselves to
Him. Nothing short of this will fulfill your covenant vows or insure
your enjoyment of its blessings. As to receding, that is utterly
inadmissible. You have been put in this relation by those who loved you
and had the right, nay, were commanded of God, to dispose of you in this
manner. You cannot then evade it. You may say you never gave it your
consent, and that it is hard to be thus bound to act contrary to your
natural inclinations; but it is right, and you cannot help it. You are
in this position, and you cannot break away but at the peril of your
salvation; nay, without the certainty of perdition. But it is not hard,
or cruel, to require you to love and obey God. You were created for
this, and your nature will never attain to its perfection until you
fulfill this its noblest destiny. A hard thing to do right! A grievous
thing to be saved from the pollution of sin and the very gulf of
perdition! A hard thing to be taken under divine protection; to be
enriched with God's blessing; to be numbered among his people on earth
and ultimately admitted to his kingdom in heaven! Impossible! You did
not think it; you did not mean to urge this as an objection to your most
obvious duty. You would not object to your parents' securing for you a
costly estate while in your minority, and why then discard the heavenly
inheritance they would provide for you? Fulfill your vows. Choose His
service, and be blessed now and forever.

       *       *       *       *       *



     "Leave thy fatherless children with me, and I will preserve
     them alive."

     (Concluded from page 119.)

The elder brother, DE WITT, from childhood, was of a thoughtful
cast of mind, regular in his habits, careful in forming his
associations, kind and dutiful as a son and brother. He ever proved a
help and solace to his mother in the family circle, where he was the
oldest child. In pursuing his course of studies he evinced industry of
application, and sustained an excellent standing in his classes. His
regular and interested attendance on the exercises of the
Sabbath-school, as well as the services of the sanctuary; his conduct in
the family circle, and the developments of the closing scenes of his
life, all tend to form the conviction that divine truth had obtained a
lodgment in his mind by the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit. At
the interesting period of nineteen years, full of hope and promise, the
seeds of pulmonary disease sprang forth within him. In the fall of 1850,
he began to cough, and since then, with variations as to its severity,
it continued with him, and his friends marked that it became deeply
seated, and apprehended its probable termination. He, however, retained
his active habits and course of study till last fall. His earnest
attention to sermons, his occasional remarks on their evangelical and
practical character as profitable, and his prayerful reading of the
Bible, showed the influence divine truth was exerting upon him. The
sickness and rapid decline of his brother Joseph was to him most
affecting, as they had grown up from childhood together in uninterrupted
intercourse and love. In his feeble state of health, he saw his beloved
brother hastening to death and the grave, while their dear mother was
yearning over both in view of their spiritual welfare. While everything
indicated a deep interest in the matter of the soul's salvation, doubts
and difficulties prevented him from finding joy and peace in believing.
About ten days before his death, and just before the death of Joseph, he
received the remarkable letter from his Uncle Scudder which wrought
powerfully on his mind, and followed by Joseph's death, was doubtless
instrumental, under the divine blessing, in leading him to the decision
of giving himself to the Savior by the profession of his faith. The
Sabbath, January 11, on the morning of which Joseph died, was indeed a
memorable and impressive one in many of its associations. De Witt had
just made profession of his faith, and was admitted into the communion
of the Presbyterian Church in Canal street, of which the Rev. Mr.
Carpenter is pastor, and was carried into the church to unite with God's
people in celebrating the Lord's supper, and it was just at the
expiration of the two months of special prayer by his uncle in India.
When his mother, this morning, announced to him the death of his
brother, he just exclaimed, with much emotion, "Is Joseph dead? Then I
have no brother." He left the room for a moment and returned, saying,
"Mother, we have no cause to mourn. Joseph is only gone to the new
Jerusalem, where dear father was waiting to receive him," and then
calmly prepared himself for the sacramental service in the church before
him. The writer of this had an interview with him the following morning
(Monday). Everything conspired to render the scene impressive. As I saw
the remains of Joseph, I observed in the appearance of De Witt the
indications of approaching death, and heard the account of his
attendance at the Lord's table on the preceding day. After conversation,
he asked me to pray that it would please God to spare his life that he
might be a support and comfort to his mother, and be permitted to labor
for Christ. I replied that such desires were in themselves worthy, but
that I strongly felt it would be with him as with David in whose heart
was the desire to build the house of God. God accepted the desire, but
denied him the work, and assigned it to another. I told him that I must
affectionately tell him that every indication denoted that the Savior
was preparing him shortly to enter upon his service in heaven, and that
he would soon join his brother, whose mortal remains were then waiting
for the tomb. He received this without agitation, and calmly replied
that he then wished me to pray that it would please God to impart and
preserve to him the light of his countenance, and his divine peace, and
enable him to glorify Him during the little portion of time which might
still be allotted to him on earth. His mother states she does not
remember after this to have heard him say much about living, and that
only as connected with the service of his Savior. His mind, which had
been opening to the light and peace of the Gospel, became more and more
established in the faith of Christ, and enriched with the comforts of
the Spirit. While his body was fast wasting, his soul as rapidly grew
strong. There has rarely been a more striking growth in grace, calm and
substantial, free from all vain excitements and feverish heats. Many
interesting incidents connected with the spirit he displayed, and the
words he uttered during the week following my interview with him just
alluded to, are treasured up in the heart's memory. But there is no room
for details until we reach the closing scene, from Friday to Monday,
January 19. I shall copy from some memoranda furnished by the mother.
She had before urged that he should pray in view of continued life only
for strength to speak of the goodness of the Lord in the land of the
living, and thus live a long life in the little time spared to him. This
seemed to be verified. Mrs. Hunt writes: "On Friday morning he arose as
usual, and reclined on the sofa. He was weak, and his throat sore, so
that he could only swallow liquids. When the physician visiting him
left, I told him that he thought him very low, but I requested him to
remember what his beloved minister had told him, to look away from death
to Jesus and Heaven; he exclaimed, 'O death, where is thy sting? O
grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength
of sin is the law; but thanks to God, who giveth me the victory, through
my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.' He expressed the delightful thought
that he would be where 'the Lamb would feed him, lead him to living
waters, and wipe away all tears from his eyes.' Sometimes he would say,
'Precious Savior. Mother, what would I do without such a Savior?
Precious hope, what would I do without such a hope?' And then he would
speak of the mansions in Heaven. The 27th and 40th Psalms, which his
dear father had selected for us a short time before his death, that we
might read them for our comfort after he was gone, were given. When the
27th was commenced he took it up and repeated the whole. On Saturday he
had severe pain in the lungs, and thought his end near. Several of his
friends called, and he noticed them all distinctly. He addressed two of
his fellow-students in the University in an affectionate appeal to what
he supposed their spiritual condition. In a conversation with Rev. Mr.
C., he said that if God had been pleased to spare his life, he should
have felt himself consecrated to the ministry and missionary service;
and expressed the calm assurance of his faith. Prayer was offered that
he might spend one more precious Sabbath on earth. The night passed, and
the Sabbath came. My child exclaimed, soon after waking, '_Precious
Sabbath_,' and his eyes beamed with hallowed feeling. I said, 'Dear son,
can you truly say this morning that you feel the peace of God which
passeth understanding?' He raised his eyes and replied, most
impressively, '_Oh, yes_.' He said with delight, 'Mother, O think that
Joseph is now by the river of the water of life.' He said also to me,
'Mother, you will not weep for me?' I replied, 'If I do joy will mingle
with my tears.' He continued, 'I shall be nearer to you in Heaven than
in India' (alluding to his purpose, if his life should be spared, to be
a missionary in India). I asked him what message I should send to his
Uncle Scudder. He said, 'Tell him I think my heart was in the right
place when his letter reached me, or I know not what I should have
done.' Two friends came in. De Witt said, 'I thought I should have spent
part of this day around the throne in heaven.' And one (a pious young
college companion) said to the other, 'If this be dying, I envy him.'
After service in the afternoon, Rev. Mr. Carpenter came in with two of
his elders, and three other Christian friends were present. Singing was
proposed; De Witt was delighted with the thought of it, and selected the
hymns. '_Come, thou fount of every blessing_,' was sung first. My child
could not join with his voice, but stretched out his arm, and with his
arm, having the forefinger extended, beat the time. It was a touching,
solemn scene; the singing filled the room, and seemed to go up to
Heaven. After we had ended the second hymn, '_Rise, my soul, and stretch
thy wings_,' he exclaimed, 'I thought I was almost in heaven.' On
Sabbath night, about ten o'clock, he inquired of a friend, 'whether she
did not think he would soon die?' I went to him and asked him if he felt
any change that induced him to ask the question. He replied, 'Everything
seems to fail.' I then talked to him about the Savior being with him
when he passed through the dark valley, and added, 'Dear son, I will
give you up to the Lord.' Directly he said, 'I am now ready any moment
to say, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' He afterward repeated 'Lord
Jesus, receive my spirit. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Of whom
shall I be afraid? It is better to die than live.' A little before six
o'clock he looked intensely upon me. I asked what he wished to give
me?--his farewell kiss, which he repeated several times. He then again
gave me an intense look. I said, 'My son, God will take care.' He
replied, 'I know he will.' He shook hands with two of his youthful
companions, and sent a message to the brother of one of them, expressive
of his solicitude for his spiritual welfare. I said to him, 'I have
taken care of you these nineteen years, for the Lord.' He said, 'Yes,
these nineteen years,' but did not proceed. He asked one of his friends
to pray, which he did. After this he ceased to speak, and sank,
continuing to breathe hard, without a struggle, until the precious
spirit took its everlasting flight a little before eight o'clock,
January 19."

I have thus given, from the notes furnished by the bereaved and
mourning, but grateful and comforted mother, a sketch of the closing
hours and dying scene of this youth, which, in connection with the
similar scene in the younger brother, beautifully and strongly
illustrates the precious trust committed to mothers, the importance and
value of maternal influence, and the encouragement to its faithful and
wisely-directed exercise.

T. D. W.

       *       *       *       *       *



     "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy
     might."--ECCLESIASTES 9:10.

     (Continued from page 128.)

That evening a little schoolmate came to visit her; they played several
amusing games, and Emily staid up much past her usual hour. The next
morning when her mother called her, she felt very sleepy, and unwilling
to rise, so instead of jumping up at once, she turned her head on the
pillow thinking "I will get up in a minute." But in less than that
minute she was fast asleep again, and did not awake until aroused by
Mary the nurse, whose voice sounded close in her ear, exclaiming,

"Why, Miss Emily, are you in bed yet! Here have I been looking all
through the house and garden for you. Jump up quick, breakfast is just

You may be sure Emily did not wait a second bidding, but hurrying on her
clothes, hastened down stairs without even thinking about saying her
prayers, which no little child should ever forget to do, because it is
the kind and merciful God who keeps us safely through the night, and our
first thoughts when we awaken should be gratitude to him for protecting
us, and we should pray to Him to keep us all day out of sin and danger,
and teach us how to improve the time which He has intrusted to our care.

Emily thought of none of these things, but ran down to the
breakfast-room, feeling rather ashamed of being so late. Her papa had
finished his breakfast, and gone out, and when her mother looked up to
the clock as she entered, she saw that it wanted twenty minutes to nine.

"How very late it is!" thought the little girl, as she hurried off to
school, "mamma always calls me at seven. I did not think I had slept so

Despite all Emily's haste she was too late; school had commenced when
she entered, and worse than all, she did not know her lessons, and was
kept in an hour after the rest were dismissed. She could not study the
evening before, and had depended upon an hour's study before breakfast,
but her unlucky morning nap left her no time to think about lessons
before school, and her consequent disgrace was the punishment. The
little girl returned home that day very unhappy.

Emily had not forgotten the conversation about the wasted gift, and had
determined to give no opportunity for her mother to complain. She
thought she was very careful that week, but never imagined how much of
the precious gift she wasted each day in idleness.

The day after her unfortunate disgrace in school, she brought down
several articles of dress that needed repairing, and seated herself at
the window to work. Her mother had promised to take her out with her,
and Emily had to finish her mending first. She plied the needle very
steadily for a while, but presently her attention was attracted by the
opposite neighbors.

"Look, mamma," she exclaimed, "there is Mrs. Dodson and Lucy; they are
just going out, and Lucy has on a new hat."

"Well, my dear," returned her mother quietly, "it is not unusual for
people to get new bonnets at this season."

Emily felt a little abashed at this reply, but could not refrain from
casting furtive glances across the way. The afternoon was fine, and the
street filled with well-dressed people. The little girl watched the
passers-by, holding her needle listlessly in her fingers, and presently
cried out,

"Did you see that lady, mamma? How oddly she was dressed."

"No," answered Mrs. Manvers, "I am attending to my work now, but I hope
soon to join the promenaders myself."

Emily stole a glance at her mother to see whether her countenance
implied reproof, but Mrs. Manvers's eyes were fixed upon her work and
the little girl again endeavored to fix her attention upon her sewing.
At length Mrs. Manvers rose and put aside her work-basket. "I am going
to dress, Emily," she said.

"Very well, mother, I will be ready in a minute," replied her daughter,
and she followed her mother up stairs.

Emily tossed over her bureau in vain to find a clean pair of pantalets,
and then she remembered of having taken several pairs down stairs to
mend. She ran hastily down and selected the best pair. Some of the
button-holes were torn out, but she could not wait to mend them now, so
hastily pinning on the pantalets, she dressed and joined her mother.

As they pursued their walk, Emily felt something about her feet, and
looking down discovered her pantalets; she hastily stooped to pull them
off and the pin scratched her foot severely. Mrs. Manvers saw all this,
but said nothing; she knew that her daughter had wasted time enough to
have mended all her pantalets, and she added another hour to the already
long account of wasted minutes in her memorandum.

The following day was Friday, and it was part of Emily's duties on this
day to arrange her bureau-drawers and put her closet in order. She went
up stairs after dinner with this intention, but there were so many
little gifts and keep-sakes in her drawers, to be successively admired
and thought over, so many sashes to unfold, and odd gloves to be paired,
that the whole afternoon was consumed, and the tea-bell rang before she
had quite finished the second drawer, and consequently the duty of that
day remained to be finished on the next.

"Well, my little girl," said her father the next morning, "I hope you
will have my handkerchief nicely hemmed by this afternoon; you have had
it several days now, and I suppose it is nearly finished. I shall want
it, as I am going away after dinner."

"You shall have it, papa," replied Emily. She did not like to tell him
the handkerchief was not yet commenced, as she felt quite sure she could
finish it in time, and determined to begin immediately after breakfast.

When she went up stairs to get the handkerchief out of her drawer she
saw her bureau was yet in disorder. "Mamma will be displeased to see
this," she thought, "and I shall have time enough to put it in order and
hem papa's handkerchief beside." She went eagerly to work, but the
bureau took her longer than she anticipated, and when her father came
home to dinner she had not finished his handkerchief.

Now she made her needle fly, but her industry came too late; her father
could not wait, and Emily had the mortification of hearing him say:

"I hope my handkerchief will not be like my gloves, that you kept so
long to mend, and mamma had to finish after all."

She cried bitterly after he was gone, but managed through her tears to
finish the handkerchief at last, and carried it to her mother, asking
her to beg her papa's forgiveness.

After tea was over, Mrs. Manvers called Emily to her, and folding her
arm fondly around the little girl's waist, pointed to a small book lying
open upon the table, saying as she did so:

"Do you remember, my love, our conversation last Saturday night upon the
subject of your gifts?"

"Oh, yes, mamma, and you told me you would keep an account of my
ill-usage of one of them."

"I have done so, my dear, and now tell me can you not imagine what this
gift is which you so much abuse?"

"Indeed, I cannot, mamma," replied the little girl with a sigh. Mrs.
Manvers placed the memorandum book in her daughter's hand without saying
a word.

There, written at the head of the page, were these words:

  "_Emily's Waste of Time._"

and beneath was quite a long column of figures, and a list of duties

"Oh, mamma," cried Emily, throwing herself upon her mother's breast, "it
is time, precious time, that is the gift I waste; but surely I have not
spent so many idle minutes in just one week."

"I am sorry to say that you have, my dear daughter, all these and even
more. I have promised to keep an account, and I have done so; add them
up and see how many there are."

Emily added up the figures with tearful eyes, and said, "there are four
hundred and twenty, mamma."

"And how many hours does that make, Emily?"

The little girl thought a moment, and then answered,

"Seven hours."

"Very well; then you see you waste seven hours in a week, which would
make three hundred and sixty-four in a year, and if you should live the
allotted period of life, which would be sixty years from the present
time, you will willfully waste twenty one thousand eight hundred and
forty hours of the precious time God has given you in which to work out
His will."

"Oh, dear mamma, it does not seem possible; I am sure I don't know how
the time slips away," said Emily, sadly.

"I will tell you, my love," replied Mrs. Manvers. "It slips away in just
a minute; as uncounted drops of water form the sea, so do millions of
minutes make up the sum of life; but so small are they that they pass
without our heeding them, yet once gone they come back to us no more.
Time is the one talent, the precious gift which God has bestowed upon
all his creatures, and which we are bound to improve. Every hour brings
its duty, and do you think it is right, Emily, to leave that duty

Emily hung her head, while tears slowly coursed down her cheek.

"Do you not see, my dear, that by idling away the precious moments you
crowd the duty of one hour into the next, so your task can never be
finished, or at best very imperfectly? If you reflect, the experience of
the past week will tell you this. I have kept this memorandum on purpose
to convince you of your sinful waste of that most precious of all
gifts,--the time which our Master allows us here to work out our
happiness hereafter. Remember, my love, that you are accountable to Him
for your use of His gifts, and a proper improvement of time will not
only save you many mortifications and produce much pleasure and comfort
to yourself and all about you, but it is a duty you owe to the God who
bestowed it. Do not think me unnecessarily earnest, my dear little girl;
the subject is of fearful importance, and this habit of putting off till
to-morrow what should be done to-day, is your greatest fault. Remember
hereafter that 'Whatsoever thine hand findeth to do, do it now with all
thy might,' and then I shall have no more occasion to remind you of the
wasted gift."

Emily never forgot the lesson of that week, but gradually overcame the
evil habits of idleness and procrastination which were becoming fixed
before she was made fully aware of their danger, and a long life of
usefulness attested the good impression left upon her mind by her
mother's memorandum of "The Wasted Gift."

       *       *       *       *       *



"Will you excuse me, mother," said a bright looking boy of twelve or
thirteen to his mother, as soon as he had finished his meat and potato.
"Yes, if you wish." "And may I be excused too, mother?" cried his little
brother of some six or seven years. "Yes, dear, if there is any occasion
for such haste, but why do you not wish for your pudding or fruit?" "Oh,
Charley is going to show me something," replied the happy little boy, as
he eagerly hastened from his seat, and followed his brother to the
window, where they were both speedily intent upon a new bow and arrow,
which had just been presented to Charley by a poor wandering Indian, to
whom he had been in the habit of giving such little matters as his means
would allow. Sometimes a little tobacco for his pipe, a pair of his
father's cast-off boots or a half-worn pair of stockings, and sometimes
he would beg of his mother a fourpence, which instead of purchasing
candy for himself was slid into the hand of his aboriginal friend, and
whenever he came, a good warm dinner was set before him, under Charley's
special direction. He loved the poor Indian, and often told his mother
he would always help an Indian while he had the power, for "Oh, how
sorry I am that they are driven away from all these pleasant lands," he
often used to say, "and are melting away, like the snows in April.
Mother, I should think they would hate the sight of a white man." But
the poor Indian is grateful for kindness from a white man, and this day
as Charley came from school, poor Squantum was sitting at the corner of
the house waiting for him, with a fine long smooth bow, and several
arrows. "I give you this," he said, "for you always good to Squantum;"
and without waiting for Charley's thanks, or accepting his earnest
invitation to come in and get some dinner, he strode away. Charley was
wild with delight. He flew to the house with his treasure, but the
dinner-bell rang at that moment. He could not find in his heart to put
it out of his hand, so he took it with him, and seated himself at the
table, and as soon as his hunger was appeased, he nodded to his brother
and hurried to show him his precious gift. The family were quietly
conversing and finishing their dinner, when crash! and smash! went
something! Poor Charley! In the eagerness of his delight, while showing
the beautiful bow to his brother, he had brought the end of it within
the handle of a large water-pitcher, which stood on the side table near
him, and alas, the twirl was too sudden--the poor pitcher came to the
floor with a mighty emphasis. "Boy! what are you about? What have you
done? What do you mean by such carelessness? Will you break everything
in the house, you heedless fellow? I'd rather you had broken all on the
table than that pitcher, you young scapegrace. Take that, and learn to
mind what you are about, or I'll take measures to make you." And with a
thorough shaking, and a sound box on the ear, the father quitted the
room, took his hat, and marched to his office, there to explain the law,
and obtain _justice_ for all offenders. But alas for Charley! How great
was the change of feeling in his boyish heart. His mother looked for a
moment with an expression of fear and sorrow upon her countenance, and
telling a servant to wipe up the water he had spilled--she took his hand
gently to lead him away. For a moment he repulsed her, and stood as if
transfixed with astonishment and rage. But he could not withstand her
pleading look, and she led him to her own room. As soon as the door
closed upon them, his passion burst forth in words. "Father treats me
like a dog. I never will bear it--never, never, another day. Mother, you
know I did not not mean to do a wrong thing, and what right has my
father to shake and cuff me as if I were a vile slave? Mother, I'll
break the house down itself if he treats me so--to box my ears right
before all the family! And last night he sent me out of the room, so
stern, just because I slammed the door a little. I was glad he had to go
to the office, and I wish he would stay there--"

"Hush, hush, my son, what are you saying? Stop, for a moment, and think
what you are saying of your own kind father! Charles, my son, you are
adding sin to sin. Sit down, my dear child, and crush that wicked spirit
in the bud." And she gently seated him in a chair, and laying her cool
hand upon his burning brow, she smoothed his hair, and pressing her lips
to his forehead, he felt her tears. "Mother, mother, you blessed good
mother." His heart melted within him, and he wept as if it would burst.
For a few moments, both wept without restraint, but feeling that the
opportunity for making a lasting impression must not be lost, Mrs.
Arnold struggled to command herself. "Charles, my son, you have
displeased your father exceedingly, and you cannot wonder that he was
greatly disturbed. That pitcher, you often heard him say, was used for
many years in his father's family. It is an old relic which he valued
highly. It was very strong, and has been used by us so long, that it
seemed like a familiar friend. It is not strange that for a moment he
was exceedingly angry to see it so carelessly broken, and oh, my son,
what wicked feelings have been in your heart, what undutiful words upon
your tongue!"

"I cannot help it, mother--I cannot help it," replied the excited boy,
"he ought not to treat me so, and I will not--" "Charles, Charles, you
are wrong, you are very wrong, and I pray you may be sorry for it,"
interrupted his mother, in a tone of the deepest sorrow. "Do not speak
again till you can conquer such a spirit," and they were both silent for
a few moments. The mother's heart went up in fervent prayer that this
might be a salutary trial, and that she might be enabled to guide his
young and hasty spirit aright.

At length he spoke slowly, and his voice trembled with the strong
feelings which had shaken him. "Mother, you are the dearest and best
mother that ever lived. I wish I could be a good boy, for your sake; but
when father speaks so harsh, I am angry all the time, and I cannot help
being cross and ugly too. I know I am more and more so; I feel it, and
the boys tell me so sometimes. John Gray said, yesterday, I was not half
as pleasant in school as I used to be. I feel unhappy, and I am sure if
I grow wicked, I grow wretched too." And again he burst into a passion
of tears.

"Does not sin always bring misery, my dear boy?" asked his mother, after
a little pause, "and will you not daily meet with circumstances to make
you angry and unhappy, if you give way to your first impulse of
impatience,--and is it not our first duty to resist every temptation to
feel or act wrong? God has not promised us happiness here, but He _has_
promised that if we resist evil it will flee from us. He has promised
that if we strive to conquer our wicked feelings and do right when we
are tempted to do wrong He will aid us, and give us sweet peace in so
doing. To-day you have given way to anger, and you are wretched. You are
blaming your father and think he is the cause of your trouble; but think
a moment. If you had borne the punishment he gave you meekly and
patiently, would not a feeling of peace be in your bosom, to which you
are now a stranger? You know that when we suffer patiently for doing
well, God is well pleased; and would not the consciousness that you had
struggled against and overcome a wicked feeling, and that God looked
upon you with approbation, make you more really happy than anything else
can? My dear, dear boy, your happiness does not consist in what others
say or do to you, but in the feelings you cherish in your own heart.
There you must look for happiness, and there, if you do right, you will
find it."

"I know you always say right, mother, and I will try, I will try, if I
can, to bear patiently; but oh, if father only was like you"--and again
tears stopped his utterance.

"My dear child," said his mother, "your father has many troubles. It is
a great care to provide for his family, and you know he suffers us to
want for nothing. He often has most perplexing cases, and his poor
brains are almost distracted. You are a happy boy, with no care but to
get your lessons, and obey your parents, and try to help them. You know
nothing yet of the anxieties which will crowd upon you when you are a
man. Try now to learn to bear manfully and patiently all
vexations--looking for help to that blessed One, who, when he was
reviled, reviled not again. How much happier and better man you will
be, how you will comfort your mother, and still more, you will please
that blessed Savior, who has left such an example of meekness--suffering
for sinners, and even dying for his cruel enemies. Oh, my son, my son,
ask that blessed Savior to make you like himself, and you will be happy,
and His own Spirit will make you holy. Let us ask Him to do it," and she
knelt by her bedside, and her son placed himself beside her. It was no
new thing for him to pray with this devoted mother. Often had she been
with him to the throne of grace, when his youthful troubles or faults
had made him feel the need of an Almighty helper and friend, but never
had he come before with such an earnest desire to obtain the gift of
that blessed Spirit, to subdue and change his heart and make him like
his Savior. When they rose from prayer he sought his own room. He felt
unable to go to school, and his mother hoped the impression would be
more lasting, if he thought it over in the solitude of his own chamber,
and she had much reason afterward to hope that this solemn afternoon was
the beginning of good days to the soul of her child. As she looked
anxiously at the expression of his countenance when the family assembled
at the tea-table, she was pleased to notice, though an air of sadness
hung around him, he was subdued, gentle, and affectionate, and she hoped
much from this severe contest with his besetting sin. His father said
little, and soon hurried away to a business engagement for the evening.
Mr. Arnold was a lawyer, a gentleman and a professing Christian, and
though never very strongly beloved, yet few of his neighbors could tell
why, or say aught against his respectability and general excellence of
character. He was immersed in the cares of an extensive business, and
spent little time at home, and when there he seemed to have no room in
his busy heart for the prattle of his children, no time to delight and
improve them, with the stores of knowledge he might have brought forth
from his treasury. If company were present, he was polite and agreeable.
If only his wife and children, he said little, and that little was
chiefly confined to matters of domestic interest--what they should have
for dinner--what schools the children should attend--or the casual
mention of the most common news of the day. He provided liberally for
his family, what they should eat and drink, and wherewithal they should
be clothed and instructed--but he took no pains to gain their affections
or their confidence, to enlarge their ideas and awaken within them the
thirst for knowledge, and plant within them the deathless principles of
right and wrong--or even to inspire their young minds with love and
reverence for their Divine Creator and Preserver. All this most
important duty of a father was left to his wife, and blessed is the man
who has _such_ a wife and mother, to whom to intrust the precious charge
he neglects. Most amiable and affectionate, intelligent and judicious,
and of ardent and cheerful piety, this excellent woman devoted herself
with untiring zeal to the training of her cherished flock, and as she
saw and felt with poignant grief that she would have no help in this
greatest and first earthly duty, from him who had solemnly promised to
sustain and comfort, and assist, and cherish her, to bear and share with
her the trials and cares of life (and what care is greater than the
right training of our offspring), she again and again strove with
earnest faith and humble prayer, to cast all her care upon Him, who she
was assured cared for her, and go forward in every duty with the
determination to fulfill it to the utmost of her power. Many times did
the cold and stern manner of her husband, his anger at trifles, and his
thoughtless punishment for accidental offenses, cause her heart to bleed
for the effects of such government, or want of government, upon her
children's hearts and minds. But she uttered no word of blame in their
presence, she ever showed them that any want of love or respect for
their father grieved her, and was, moreover, a heinous sin, and by
patient continuance in well doing, she yet hoped to reap the full
reward. Her eldest, Charles, felt most keenly his father's utter want of
sympathy, and to him she gave her most constant tender care.
Affectionate, but hasty, he was illy constituted to bear the harsh
command, or the frequent fault finding of his father, and often she
trembled lest he should throw off all parental control, and goaded by
his irritated feelings, rush into sin without restraint. And so,
probably, he would have done but for the unbounded love and reverence
with which he regarded his "blessed mother." Her gentle influence he
could not withstand, and it grew more and more powerful with him for
good, till the glance of her loving eye would check his wayward spirit,
and calm him often, when passion struggled for the mastery. Often did
she venture to hope he had indeed given himself to his Savior, and her
conversations with him from time to time, showed so much desire to
conquer every evil passion, and to shun every false way with so much
affectionate reverence for his God and Redeemer, that the mother's heart
was sweetly comforted in her first-born.

       *       *       *       *       *



The days of primer, and catechism, and tasks for the memory are gone.
The schoolmaster is no longer to us as he was to our mothers, associated
with all that is puzzling and disagreeable in hard unmeaning rules, with
all that is dull and uninteresting in grave thoughts beyond the reach of
the young idea. He is to us now rather the interpreter of mysteries, the
pleasant companion who shows us the way to science, and beguiles its
tediousness. If there is now no "royal road," certainly its opening
defiles are made easier for the ascent of the little feet of the
youthful scholar. The memory is not the chief faculty which receives a
discipline in the present system of things. The "how," the "why," are
the subjects of interest and attention. This is well; but it may be that
in our anxiety to reach the height of the hill, and to keep up with the
progress of the age, we are neglecting too much the training of the
memory, which should be to us a treasury of beautiful thoughts, to cheer
us in the prose of every-day life, to refine and elevate taste and
feeling. We do not think it was a waste of time to learn, as our
mothers did, long extracts from Milton, the sweet lyrics of Watts, the
Psalms of David. Have we not often been soothed by their recitation of
them in the time of sickness, at the hour of twilight, when even the
mind of the child seems to reach out after the spiritual, and to need
the aliment of high and holy thought? The low, sweet voice, the harmony
of the verse, were conveyancers of ideas which entered the soul to
become a part of it forever.

If we would be rich in thought, we must gather up the treasures of the
past, and make them our own. It is not enough, certainly, for ordinary
minds, simply to read the English classics; they must be studied,
learned, to get from them their worth. And the mother who would
cultivate the taste, the imagination of the child, must give him, with
the exercise of his own inventive powers, the rich food of the past.

It need not be feared that there will not be originality in the mind of
one thus stored with the wealth which others have left. Where there is a
native vigor, and invention, it will remould truth into new forms, and
add a value of its own, having received an inspiration from the great
masters of thought.

If, then, you would bless your child, persuade him to make Milton and
Cowper, and other authors of immortal verse, his familiar friends. They
shall be companions in solitude, ministers of joy in hours of sadness.
And let the "songs of Zion" mould the young affections, and be
associated with a mother's love, and the dear delights of home. Perhaps
in a strange land, and in a dying hour, when far from counselor and
friend, they may lead even the prodigal to think upon his ways, and be
his guide to Heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *


"THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD."--This is a charming book, written by
one of our own countrywomen, which we think may be safely and
appropriately given to a pure-minded and simple-hearted daughter. If it
is fictitious, it is only so as the ideal landscape of an artist, which,
though unreal, compels us to exclaim, How true to nature! If the
delineation of true religious character is not its main object, that of
piety and benevolence is as truly a part of it, as is its fragrance a
part of the rose. We should love to give it to some of our friends whose
Christianity may be vital, but which does not make them lovely--who may
show some of its fruits, but who hardly cultivate what may be called the
leaves and flowers of a holy character. If the sternness and want of
sympathy of Aunt Fortune does not rebuke them, perhaps the loveliness
and patience of Ellen, and her friends, may win them to an imitation.

       *       *       *       *       *

little work, coming out under the sanction of the American Sunday-School
Union, hardly needs from us an item of praise; but we cannot consent to
pass it by unnoticed. A more faithful and interesting picture of the
trials of a Christian family in removing westward, and of their
surmounting such trials, we have never seen. Religion, the religion of
home, they take with them; and by the wayside, and in the log cottage,
they worship their father's God. We needed such a delineation, in the
form of an attractive narrative, to show us that in passing through the
trials of a strange country, we are yet to be _on the Lord's side_. But
beside this, there is in the work the loveliness of a well-ordered home;
the picture of a faithful, thoughtful _mother_, and of children and
husband appreciating such a mother. To give one little extract--"The
_mother's room_! What family knows not that sociable spot--that _heart_
of the house? To it go the weary, the sick, the sad and the happy, all
sure of sympathy and of aid; all secure in their expectation of meeting
there the cheering word, the comforting smile, and the loving friend."
In thorough ignorance of what a _new home_ should mean, little Willie
inquires, "_Home_ is not a _house_, is it?" Most sensible question _for
a child_. To such as desire an answer to the inquiry, we recommend the
work, as one which will be of value to them and their children.

       *       *       *       *       *



In my intercourse with Christian parents, and it has not been limited, I
have often found a deep anxiety pervading their hearts in relation to
the spiritual state of their children. And why should not such anxiety
exist? If a parent has evidence that his child is in an impenitent
state--especially if that child is growing up in habits of vicious
indulgence--he ought to feel, and deeply feel. That child is in danger,
and the danger is the greater by how much the more his heart has become
callous, under the hardening influence of a wicked life; and every day
that danger increases. God's patience may be exhausted. The brittle
thread of life may be sundered at any moment, and the impenitent and
unprepared soul be summoned to the bar of God. With great propriety,
therefore, may the parent feel anxious in regard to his unconverted

But to some parents it seems mysterious that such deep, constant,
corroding anxiety should be their allotment. They sometimes attempt to
cast it off. They would feel justified in doing so, were they able. But
that is impossible. Now, to such parents allow me to address a few
thoughts which, may the Divine Spirit, by his gracious influence, bless
to their comfort and direction.

And the first thing I have to say is, that the solicitude they feel for
their children may be excessive. That it should be deep must be
admitted, and it should continue as long as the danger lasts. It should
even increase as that danger increases up to a given point; but there is
a point beyond which even parental solicitude should never be suffered
to proceed. It should not become excessive. It should never be suffered
to weaken our confidence in the divine goodness, nor in the wisdom of
the divine dispensations. It should never prompt the parent to desire
that God should alter the established order of his providence, or change
or modify the principles of his moral government. It would not be right
for me to wish my children saved at all adventures. That anxiety which
prompts to such a desire is both excessive and selfish. It can never be
justified, nor can God ever favorably regard it.

My second remark is, that a deep solicitude of the parent for the
spiritual good of his children is most desirable. I am aware that it is
more or less painful, and in itself is neither pleasant nor desirable.
But may it not, notwithstanding, be beneficial in its results, and even
of incalculable importance? Where no danger is apprehended, no care will
be exercised. Who knows not that the unsolicitous mariner is far more
likely to suffer shipwreck than he who, apprehensive of rocks and reefs,
exercises a wise precaution? The parent who never suffers himself to be
disturbed--whose sleep is never interrupted while his children are
abroad, exposed to temptation--may for that very reason neglect them at
the critical juncture, and the head-waters may become too impulsive; the
tendencies to vice and crime too powerful to be resisted. Oh! had the
parent been a little more anxious--had he looked after his children with
a higher sense of his obligations, how immeasurably different, probably,
had been the result! The truth is, that where one parent feels too much
in relation to his children, hundreds of parents are criminally
indifferent. In regard to such parents, it is our duty to awaken their
anxieties by every means in our power. But what shall we say to those
who may be thought already over-solicitous? Such parents are seldom to
be found. If any such there be, let them moderate what may possibly be
excessive; but be sure to bless God, who has given you a deep anxiety
for the salvation of your loved ones. Remember that it prompts you to
greater watchfulness and care than you would otherwise exercise. You
pray more, you instruct them more, you guard them more. And your
children, therefore, are more likely to become the children of God. And
remember, further, that your Heavenly Father knows just what solicitudes
you feel, their weight, their painfulness; and just so long as you feel
them, and in consequence of them, _act_ in the use of those legitimate
means which God has instituted for the restraint and conversion of your
children, you have reason to hope. The very end and object of those
Christian anxieties are just what you desire, and for which you are
daily praying--the conversion of your children; and if you pursue a
proper course under them, you are probably more likely to see your hopes
accomplished than if they did not exist.

I had contemplated adding other suggestions, but time and space will not
allow. But I cannot dismiss this subject without saying, that instead of
ever complaining that God has imparted to you such a deep anxiety for
the spiritual good of your children, let that time thus spent be
employed in fervent, importunate and agonizing prayer for them. That is
the best way of washing off these accumulated and accumulating loads of
anxiety. Plead in view of your deep solicitude--plead in Christ's
name--plead by the worth of your children's souls--plead by every
consideration you can think of, and then plead by every consideration
which the All Omniscient mind of God can think of--especially plead the
divine honor and glory, as involved in such a desired result, and when
you have done all these, then act wisely, and efficiently as you can.
Never give up--never falter--not even for a moment. But be steady to
your purpose--yet in every step of your progress say, "O God, thy will
be done."

       *       *       *       *       *



A family is a community or government, of which the parents are the
legislators, and the children are the subjects. The parents are required
by the family constitution to superintend and direct the conduct of
their children, and others under their care. And children, by the same
authority, are required to obey their parents. "Children, obey your
parents in all things; for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." But
parents are more than legislators; they possess the executive power.
They are to see their rules carried out. And, still further, they are to
judge of the penalty due to infraction and disobedience, and of the time
and manner in which punishment is to be inflicted. The authority vested
in parents is great, and most judiciously should it be exercised. God
has given general directions in his word touching the exercise of their
authority. To Him they are amenable. And by all the love they bear to
their offspring, their desire for their welfare, and the hope of the
future approbation of God, they should endeavor to bring up their
children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord."

But are not parents apt to legislate too much? This is often an error in
all legislative assemblies. Perhaps there is not a State in the Union in
which the laws are not too many, and too minute. Every legislator feels
desirous of leaving his impress on the statute book. And so there is
yearly an accumulation of laws and resolves, one-half of which might
probably be dispensed with, with advantage to the people.

The same over legislation often obtains in the school-room, springing
doubtless from a desire on the part of the teacher to preserve a more
perfect order among his pupils. Hence the number and minuteness of his
rules; and in his endeavor to reduce them to practice, and make
clock-work of the internal machinery, he quite likely defeats the very
object he has in view. A school-teacher who pretends to notice every
aberration from order and propriety is quite likely to have his hands
full, and just so with parents. Some children cannot keep still. Their
nervous temperament does not admit of it. I once heard an elderly
gentleman say, that when riding in a coach, he was so confined that he
felt as if he should die because he could not change his position. Oh!
if he could have stirred but an inch! Children often feel just so. And
it is bad policy to require them to sit as so many little immoveable
statues. "There, sit in just that spot, and don't you move an inch till
I bid you." Who has not heard a parent give forth such a mandate? And a
school-master, too, to some little urchin, who tries to obey, but from
that moment begins to squirm, and turn, and hitch, and chiefly because
his nervous system is all deranged by the very duty imposed upon him.
And, besides, what if Tommy, in the exuberance of his feelings, while
sitting on the bench, does stick out his toe a little beyond the
prescribed line. Or suppose Jimmy crowds up to him a little too closely,
and feeling that he can't breathe as freely as he wishes, gives him a
hunch; or suppose Betty, during a temporary fit of fretfulness, induced
by long setting in one posture, or overcome with the heat of a midsummer
afternoon, or the sweltering temperature of a room where an
old-fashioned box stove has been converted into a furnace; suppose Betty
gives her seat-mate a sly pinch to make her move to a more tolerable
distance, shall the teacher utter his rebuke in tones which might
possibly be appropriate if a murder was about being committed? I have
known a schoolmaster "fire up" like a steam-engine, and puff and whiz at
the occurrence of some such peccadilloes, and the consequence was that
the whole school was soon at a stand-still as to study, and the askance
looks and suppressed titter of the little flock told you that the
teacher had made no capital that time. I have seen essentially the same
thing in parents.

Now, I am not exactly justifying such conduct in children. But such
offences will exist, despite of all the wisdom, authority, and sternness
in the wide world. My position is, that these minor matters must
sometimes be left. They had better not always be seen, or if seen, not
be noticed. I think those who have the care of children may take a
lesson from a slut and her pups, or a cat and her kittens. Who has not
seen the puppy or the kitten taking some license with their
dams?--biting as puppies and kittens bite at play? Well, and what sort
of treatment do they sometimes get from the older folks? Now and then
you hear a growl, or see a spat. But, generally, the "old ones" know
better. The little frolicsome creatures are indulged. Nature seems to
teach these canine and feline parents that their progeny must and will
have sport. I have, indeed, as I have said, heard the ominous growl and
the warning spat or spit, but what good has it done? Why, the growl
seems only to inspirit the young dog. He plays so much the more; or, at
least, if he plays shy for a brief space, the next you'll see, he jumps
on to the old dog and plays the harder, and the kitten acts in like

But I have said enough. The sum is, that it is wise not to take
cognizance of all that might be considered amiss in children. Correct
the faults which are the most prominent. Let the statute-book not be
overburdened with small enactments. Nothing is small which is morally
wrong; but little physical twitchings, and nervous peccadilloes are not
worthy of grave legislation. The apostle's account of himself has some
pertinence here. "When I was a child, I thought as a child, I spoke as a
child"--Paul, doubtless acted as a child; "but when I became a man, I
put away childish things." The experience and observation of years often
make salutary corrections, which you would in vain attempt to effect in
early childhood, by all the laws of a ponderous octavo, or by all the
birch saplings to be found in a western forest.


       *       *       *       *       *



Kind reader, whoever thou art, I come to thee with an earnest plea, and
that I may the more surely prevail in my suit, let me for a time exert
over thee the mesmeric power; thy bodily eyes being closed, and thy
spirit set free from its encumbering clay, let me introduce thee to
distant scenes.

The hour is midnight,--the place an humble home in far off Michigan. Let
us enter; nothing hinders, for bolts and bars are here unknown. Step
quietly, that we may not disturb the sleeping. Come with me to this
bed-chamber; it is indeed dark, but the spirit does not need material
light. On this rude bed reposes an aged man with whitened locks and
furrowed face, and yonder lies a little child whose tiny feet have yet
taken but few steps on life's rude journey. Listen!--she moves--she is
not asleep. What has wakened thee, gentle one?--the slumbers of
childhood should be undisturbed. She sings--in the silent, lonely night,
with sweet low voice she is singing--

  "Jesus, Saviour, Son of God,
  Who for me life's pathway trod;
  Who for me became a child,
  Make me humble, meek, and mild.

  I thy little lamb would be,
  Jesus, I would follow thee;
  Samuel was thy child of old,
  Take me now within thy fold."

The old man wakens--she has disturbed him. Shall he stop her?--no; he
loves that little one, and he has not the heart to bid her be silent.
One after another she pours forth her sweet melodies, till at last her
voice grows fainter and fainter, and soon she and her grandfather are
both lying again in unbroken repose. The morning comes. The old man
calls to him the petted one, and says: "Lucy, why did you sing last
night when you should have been asleep? What were you singing?" Stopping
her play she looks up and says brightly--"I was singing to Jesus,
grandpa, and you ought to sing to him, too."

Why does he start and tremble, that stern, gray-headed man? He has lived
more than sixty years an unbeliever--a despiser of the lowly Savior. No
thought of repentance or remorse has afflicted him--no desire has he
ever had to hear the words of eternal life. He has trained up his family
in ignorance of God, and only in _his memory_ has the blessed Sabbath
had a name since he went to his distant western home.

Not long ago a benevolent man passing through the town, gathered some of
the ragged and forsaken little ones into a Sabbath-school, and bestowed
on them the inestimable gift of a few small books. The little Lucy
heard from her young companions the wonderful story, and begged to go.
But she was sternly refused. He wanted nothing with the Sabbath-school.
She could not be pacified, however, and at length with prayers and tears
she was permitted to prevail. She went, and returned with her Testament
and little hymn-book, and with such joy and glee, that even her
grandfather came to think the Sabbath-school an excellent thing. Of that
blessed school he is now a member, and is weekly found studying the word
of God, as humbly and diligently as a little child. The infidel of sixty
years is a penitent follower of that Jesus to whom little Lucy sung her
midnight song, and who out of the mouths of babes often perfects his

But we cannot tarry here; let us journey on. Our way lies through these
woods. Do you hear the sound of an axe? Yonder is a woodman, and by his
side a little boy. We will approach. Never fear. Spirits cannot be
discerned by mortal eyes, and though we come very near, they will be
unconscious of our presence. How attractive is childhood. The little
fellow is as merry as a lark, and chatters away to his father, who, with
silent absorption pursues his work. Suddenly his axe slips, and a large
limb, which should have fallen in the other direction, descends with
violence upon his foot. Can spirits be deaf at pleasure? If so we will
quickly close our ears, for fearful is the torrent of oaths proceeding
from the mouth of the infuriated man. But where is the child? Look at
him where he stands; his innocent prattle hushed--his whole appearance
and attitude showing the utmost fear and distress. Listen--he
speaks--slowly and solemnly: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord
thy God in vain." Who made thee a preacher of righteousness, a rebuker
of sin, thou little stray lamb of the Savior's fold? _The
Sabbath-school_,--lone instrument of good in these western wilds, has
taught thee, and thou teachest thy father. Nor is the reproof vain.
Heart-stricken and repentant he is henceforth a new man. "God moves in a
mysterious way, his wonders to perform." But we will on. The woods are
passed, and we emerge again into the highway. Who goes yonder with
painful effort in the road before us? It is a crippled boy. Stop--let us
speak to him. Can spirits converse in human tones? We will try. "Good
morning, my poor boy; are you going far on your crutches over this rough

"Only to the village, sir, about a mile from this."

"And pray what may be your errand that you make so much effort?"

"Oh, sir, one of the boys, last week, gave me a little book, which told
about God, and heaven, and hell, and I am frightened about my soul, and
I am going to ask the good minister who lives in the village what I
shall do that I may go to heaven."

"God speed and teach thee, and give us to see thee at last among the
ransomed ones."

We have left the village where the "good minister" lived, far behind,
and now we approach a populous town. By our side travels a thoughtful
man, all unwitting of his company. It is the Sabbath, and he has been
ten miles to hear the gospel preached. No church-going bell has as yet
ever gladdened the place which he calls his home. Deep sighs escape from
his breast, as he rides slowly along. He meditates on the wretched
condition of his neighbors and friends. As we approach the town the
sound of voices is heard. The good man listens, and distinguishes the
tones of children familiar and dear. He approaches the hedge from which
they proceed. What anguish is depicted on his face as he gazes on the
boys, sitting under the hedge, on God's holy day, busily engaged _in
playing cards_! Are you a parent, kind reader? Are you a Christian
parent? If so, perhaps you can understand his feelings as he turns
desparingly away, and murmurs to himself--"No preacher of the gospel--no
Sunday-school--no Sabbath day. Alas! what shall save our children?"

Our journey is ended. Every incident which we have imagined we saw, is
recorded in God's book of remembrance as a fact.

My plea is in behalf of those who would establish Sabbath-schools among
the thousands of precious infant souls in the far-off West.

Do you ask what you can do? Perhaps you can increase your donations to
the Home Missionary and Sunday-school Societies. Every dollar goes far,
given to either. But perhaps you are doing all you can in that way. Have
you then no good books lying about your home which have done their work
for your loved ones, and can be dispensed with? Can you collect among
your friends a dozen or more? Do not think it a small thing. Gather them
together, and put them in some box of clothing which is destined to
Michigan. Every one of those defaced and cast-off books may be a
messenger of life to some starving soul.

More than this you can do. Train your own precious children to value
their abundant privileges, and embue them with the earnest desire to
impart freely what is so freely given. Look upon your son, your pride
and joy. A few years hence may find him living side by side with one of
those unfortunate boys who knew no better than to desecrate the holy day
with gambling. Will he be able to withstand the influences which will
surround him in such society? That, under God, depends on your prayers
and efforts. Ask earnestly for grace to prepare him to do the blessed
work, wherever he goes, of winning souls to Christ, and not be himself
enticed to evil. Your daughter--your gentle, bright-eyed one--over whom
your heart yearns with unspeakable tenderness--her home may be yet
appointed far toward the setting sun. For her sake, lend all your
influence to the good work of saving those rapidly populating towns from
the dominion of evil. Labor and pray, and day by day, instil into her
young mind the principles which governed her Savior's earthly life--who
went about doing good, and who valued not the riches of heaven's glory
that he might redeem souls.


       *       *       *       *       *



There is always great danger of wounding the sensibilities of a timid,
retiring child. It requires great forbearance and discrimination on the
part of parents and teachers, in their endeavors to develop the latent
faculties of the minds of such children, (whether this dullness is
natural, or the effect of untoward circumstances,) without injuring the
sensibilities of the heart.

This is especially true at the present day, when the world is laying
such heavy demands upon the time and attention of parents.

We not unfrequently hear a father confessing, with regret, to be sure,
but without any apparent endeavors to obviate the evil, that his time
and thoughts are so absorbed in the cares of his business, that his
little children scarcely recognize him, as he seldom returns to his
family, till they are in bed, and goes forth to his business before they
are up in the morning.

This is, indeed, a sad evil, and if possible ought to be remedied. How
can we expect that such a father will understand the peculiar temper and
dispositions of his children so as to aid a mother in their proper
training? Perhaps in some cases such evils cannot be remedied.

But, alas! what heavy responsibilities does such neglect, on the part of
the father, devolve upon the mother! Methinks the circumstances of such
a mother may be even more difficult to meet than if she were a widow!

We invite the attention of parents to a consideration of this topic and
some of the evils growing out of the wrong treatment of timid, dull
children. We can do no more at present than attempt to show, in a given
case, how such an existing evil was cured by forbearance and kindness.
The illustration is taken from "Pictures of Early Life," in the case of
a little girl by the name of Lilias Tracy.

This poor child, though her father was rich, and held an honorable
station in society, yet on account of her mother's sorrows, and
subsequent insanity, her poor child, Lilias, who was allowed to remain
with her mother, was brought up in an atmosphere of sadness, and it was
no wonder that she became melancholy and reserved.

After the death of her mother, her father understood too little of the
character of his only child to be able to afford her much solace, and he
therefore determined to send her to a boarding-school.

If there be a trial which exceeds a child's powers of endurance, it is a
first entrance into a boarding-school. Little Lilias felt at once this
painful situation in all its bitterness.

Shy and sensitive at all times, she had never felt so utterly forlorn,
as when she first found herself in the play-ground belonging to Mrs.
Bellamy's school.

Not only was she timid and shy, but the necessity of being always with
her mother to soothe the paroxysms of distress, had deprived Lilias of
many opportunities of education, and she was therefore far less advanced
in knowledge than most of her companions. Numberless were the
mortifications to which she was obliged to submit on account of her
ignorance, while her timidity and shyness increased in proportion to the
reproofs of her teachers, and the ridicule of her schoolfellows. She at
length came to be regarded as one of those hopelessly dull pupils who
are to be found cumbering the benches of every large school, and but for
her father's wealth and honorable station in society, she would,
probably, have been sent away in disgrace.

Fortunately, Providence raised up for poor Lilias, at this juncture, a
kind friend and patient teacher in a schoolfellow, by the name of
Victorine Horton. This amiable young lady, seeing the trials and
mortifications of this sensitive child, begged Mrs. Bellamy to allow
Lilias to become her room-mate, and she would assist her in her lessons.
Some few weeks after this arrangement took place, Victorine was accosted

"How can you waste so much time on that _stupid_ child, Miss Horton?"
said one of the teachers. "She does not seem to improve any, with all
your pains; she will never repay your trouble."

"I do not despair," said Victorine, smiling. "She is an affectionate
little creature, and if continual dropping will wear away a stone,
surely, repeated kindness will melt the icy mantle of reserve which now
conceals her better qualities."

A happy child was little Lilias, thus to become the companion and
bedfellow of such a kind-hearted friend as she found in Victorine.
Stimulated by affection, she applied herself to her studies, and as
"perfect love casteth out fear," she was enabled to get her lessons, and
to recite them without that nervous timidity which had usually deprived
her of all power.

A few months after Victorine had thus undertaken the charge of Lilias, a
prize was offered, in each class, for the most elegantly written French
exercise. Lilias observed the eagerness of the pupils to compete for the
medals, but she never dreamed of becoming a candidate till Victorine
suggested it.

"I wish you would try to win the prize in your class, dear Lilias," said

"I, Victorine! It would be impossible."

"Why, impossible, Lilias? You have lately made great progress in the
study of French, and if I may judge by your last translation, you will
stand as good a chance as any of the class."

"But, you know, I have your assistance, Victorine, and if I were writing
for the prize I should be obliged to do it all myself."

"I gave you little aid in your last exercises, Lilias, and there are yet
two months before the time fixed for awarding the premiums, so you will
have opportunity enough to try your skill."

"But if I should not succeed, the whole school will laugh at me for
making the attempt."

"No, Lilias; those who possess proper feelings will never laugh at an
attempt to do right, and for those who can indulge an ill-natured jest
at the expense of a schoolfellow's feelings, you need not care. I am
very anxious you should make the attempt."

"Well, if _you_ wish it, Victorine, I will do my best; but I know I
shall fail."

"Do you know how I generally succeed in such tasks, Lilias? It is never
by thinking of the possibility of failure. I have almost forgotten to
say, _I can't_, and have substituted, upon every occasion, _I'll try_."

"Well, then, to please you, Victorine, '_I'll try_,'" said Lilias,

"Poor child," thought Victorine, "with your affectionate nature, and
noble principles, it is a pity you should be regarded only as a dull and
sullen little dunce, whom no one cares to waste a thought upon."

For a long time, Lilias' project in regard to the medal was concealed
from the school. To tell the truth, Victorine, herself, had many doubts
as to the success of her little friend, but she knew if she failed to
obtain the prize, the exertion would be of service to herself.

Long before the day arrived, Lilias had twenty times determined to
withdraw from all competition; but she never broke a promise, and as she
had pledged herself to Victorine, she resolved to persevere.

In the sequel, Victorine was surprised at the beauty of the thoughts in
Lilias' exercise, as well as the correctness of the language. She was
satisfied that Lilias had done well; her only fear was lest others
should do better.

At the head of the class to which Lilias belonged was Laura Graham; and
a mutual dislike had always existed between them. Laura was a selfish,
as well as an avaricious girl; and she had often looked with a covetous
eye upon the costly trifles which Lilias' father had bestowed upon his
daughter. To her narrow mind it seemed impossible that Victorine should
not have an interested motive in her kindness to Lilias, and she thought
an opportunity was now offered her of sharing some of her spoils.

About a week before the trial day, Laura G. sought Lilias, and leading
her to a remote part of the garden, she unfolded to her a scheme for
insuring the prize she so much coveted. She proposed to destroy her own
theme, knowing she was one of the best French pupils, thereby securing
the prize to Lilias, on condition she should receive, in return, a pearl
brooch and bracelet she had long coveted. Lilias, as might have been
expected, expressed the greatest contempt and resentment at the

When the day arrived, many a little heart beat high with hope and fear.
Victorine, as might have been expected, took the first prize in the
first class. The class to which Lilias belonged was next in order. As
Mrs. Bellamy arose, Lilias perceived she held in her hand two themes,
while before her on the table lay a small box. Addressing Laura Graham,
who sat with an air of conscious superiority at the head of the class,
Mrs. Bellamy said,

"Of the two themes I hold in my hand, the one written by you, Miss
Graham, and the other by Miss Lilias Tracy, I am _sorry_ to say that
_yours_ is best."

Lilias could scarce restrain her tears, as she saw Laura advance,
proudly, towards Mrs. Bellamy, and bend her head as if to receive the
riband that suspended the glittering prize; but what was her surprise,
when Mrs. Bellamy, instead of offering it to Laura, in the usual manner,
handed her a small box, closely sealed.

"As the best French scholar, Miss Graham," said she, "I am compelled to
bestow on you the medal which you will find enclosed in a box; but, as
an act of justice, and a proper punishment for your want of integrity,
(Mrs. B. having casually overheard what passed in the garden), I forbid
you to wear, or exhibit it, for twelve months."

"Come hither," said Mrs. B. to Lilias, as Laura, pale and trembling, and
drowned in tears, hurried in shame and sorrow from the room. Lilias,
scarcely less overwhelmed than her guilty fellow-pupil, advanced with
faultering step, and Mrs. Bellamy, suspending from her neck a small and
highly-finished locket, said:

"I can give but one medal in each class for improvement in French, and
had not Miss Graham been in your class, yours, Miss Tracy would have
been the best; I cannot, however, allow this opportunity to pass without
some lasting memorial of your merit. I therefore present you with a
locket containing the hair of your beloved friend, Victorine, as a
testimonial of my esteem for your integrity and honor."

Poor Lilias! She had never been so happy in her life as when she threw
herself in Victorine's arms, and shed tears of joy upon her bosom.

Whether these few outlines of this truly interesting story be founded on
fact or not, we cannot forbear to say that God will assuredly, sooner or
later, fully reward all those who live up to the holy principles and
precepts of his own blessed truth, and he is no less faithful in
punishing every proud and wicked doer.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Continued from page 162.)

At length it was time to choose his path in life, and being inclined to
mercantile pursuits, his father placed him in the store of one of their
friends, where he would have every facility for acquiring a thorough
knowledge of business. Oh, how carefully did his mother watch the effect
of a closer contact with the world, and a more prolonged absence from
her hallowed influence--and how gratefully did she perceive that her
precious boy still came to her with the confiding love of his childhood,
in all the temptations of his business life, and that her influence was
still potent with him for good.

"Mother, I was terribly urged to go to the theater last week," said he
in one of his frequent visits at home. "Harvey and Brown were going, and
they are pretty steady fellows, and I really was half inclined to go."

"Well, what saved you?"

"Oh, I knew just how you would look, mother, dear, and I would rather
never see a theater than face that grieved look of yours. Mother, the
thought of you has saved me from many, many temptations to do wrong, and
if I am good for anything, when I am a man, I must thank God for my

"Thank God for his preserving grace, my dearest Charley, and ask him to
give you more and more of it."

Not many days after, Mrs. Arnold was in company with her son's employer.
"Your son promises well, Mrs. Arnold," said he, "he is very accurate,
obliging, respectful. I am somewhat hasty at times, and a few days since
blamed him severely for something which I thought he had done wrong. He
showed no ill-temper, but received it with so much meekness, my heart
smote me. The next day he asked me very respectfully if I would inquire
of one of the clerks about it, which I did, and found he had done
nothing blameworthy in the least. He is a fine boy, madam, a very fine
boy, and I hope will make as good a man as his father."

But a good _man_ Charley was not destined to be. Her reward was nearer
than she had thought, and he who had learned of the lowly Saviour to be
meek and lowly of heart, was soon to be transplanted to dwell with
loving and holy ones above. One day he returned home unexpectedly, and
the first glance told his mother he was in trouble. "Mother, I feel
really sick. I was sick yesterday, but I kept in the store; but to-day I
could only go down and see Mr. Barker, and tell him I must come home for
a day or two. Oh, mother it is a comfort to see your dear kind face
again," said he, as she felt his pulse, examined his tongue, and
inquired how he felt, "and perhaps if I can rest quietly an hour or two
this dreadful pain in my head will be relieved."

He went to his pleasant chamber, to his quiet bed, the physician was
summoned, and all that skill and the tenderest care could do was done,
but he rapidly drew near the grave. He was patient, gentle, grateful,
beautiful upon that bed of death, and while his mother's soul was poured
forth in earnest prayer, for his continued life, her heart swelled with
grateful thanksgiving for the sweet evidence he gave of a subdued and
Christian spirit, and she could say with true and cheerful submission,
"Not my will but _Thine_ be done, whether for life or death, for it is
well with the child."

Just at twilight one evening, he awoke from a short slumber, and his eye
sought his mother at his bedside. She leaned over him and softly pressed
her lips to his forehead. "Mother," he said, faintly, "the Doctor has
given up all hope of my life, has he not?" Nerving herself to calmness
for his sake, she answered, "He thinks you very sick, Charley, but I
cannot give up all hope. How can I part with you, my beloved?"

"Mother," said he, as he took her hand in both his, and laid it on his
breast, "I want, while I am able, to tell you how I feel, and I want you
to know what you have done for me. I was a passionate, bad tempered boy,
and you know father--" He stopped. "Mother, I should have been a ruined
boy but for you. I see it all now plainly. You have saved me, mother.
You have saved my soul. You have been my guide and comfort in life. You
have taught me to meet even death and fear no evil, for you have shown
me my sin, and taught me to repent of it, and love and trust the
precious Saviour, who died that His blood might cleanse even my guilt. I
feel that I can lie in His arms, sure that He has forgiven my sin and
washed my sinful soul white in His blood. How often you have told me He
would do it if I asked Him, and I have asked Him constantly, and He will
do it, He will not cast me off. Mother, when you think of me, be
comforted, for you have led me to my Saviour, and I rejoice to go and be
with Him forever."

The next sun arose on the cold remains of what was so lately the active
and happy Charles Arnold, and there was bitter grief in that dwelling,
for very dear had the kind and loving brother been to them. The father
was stunned--thunderstruck. Little had he expected such a grief as this,
and he seemed utterly unable to endure it, or to believe it. How much he
communed with his own heart of his neglected duty to that departed boy,
we know not, but dreadful was the anguish he endured, and the mother
had the joy to perceive that his manner afterward was far more tender to
his remaining children, whom he seemed now for the first time to realize
he might not always have with him, to be neglected and put aside, as a
trouble and as a care, rather than as a precious gift, to be most
carefully trained up for God.

But all wondered at the perfect calmness of that afflicted mother. So
devoted--so saintlike--it would seem that she was in constant and sweet
communing with the redeemed spirit of her boy. No regret, no repining
escaped her lips, and many who knew how fondly she loved her children,
and had feared that this sudden blow would almost overwhelm her, gazed
with wonder at her perfect submission, her cheerful touching tenderness
of voice and speech. And though tears would at times flow, yet she would
say in the midst of them, "These are not tears of grief but of joy, that
my darling son is safe, and holy, and blessed forever. Tears of
gratitude to God for His goodness." And when hours of sadness, and of
longing for her absent one came, as they _will_ come to the bereaved at
times, a faint voice seemed to whisper in her ear. "Mother, you have
saved me, you have saved my soul!" And sweetest comfort came with that
never to be forgotten whisper from the dying bed of her precious child,
to sustain her in the darkest hour.

Fathers! Plead as you will, that you are full of care and labor to
support your families. Say it over and over, till you really believe it
yourself, if you please, that when you come home tired at night, you
cannot be crazed with the clatter of children's tongues. You want to
rest and be quiet. So you do, and so you should--but have you any right
to be so perfectly worn out with business, that the voice of your own
child is irksome to you? Try, for once, a little pleasant, quiet,
instructive chat with him. Enter for a few moments into his feelings,
and pursuits and thoughts--for that child _has_ feelings, that need
cherishing tenderly, for your own future comfort. He _has_ pursuits, and
you are the one to talk with him about them, and kindly tell him which
are right and useful, and which he would do better to let alone. He
_has_ thoughts, and who shall direct that mind aright which must think
forever, if not the author of his being? Ask of his school, and his
playmates, and see if your own spirit is not rested and refreshed, and
your heart warmed by this little effort to win the love and confidence,
and delight the heart of this young immortal, who owes his entrance into
this weary world to you, and whom you are under the most solemn
obligations, to strive to prepare to act well his part in it. Do not say
this is his mother's business. Has the Bible laid any command upon
mothers? Would it not seem that He who formed her heart, knew that she
needed not to be told to labor, in season and out of season, for her
beloved offspring? But to _you_ is the strong command, "_Fathers_,
provoke not your children to wrath, but _bring them up_ in the nurture
and admonition of the Lord."

Mothers, do you not reap a rich reward for curbing your own spirits, for
every self-denial, for untiring devotion to the immortals given to your
care, with souls to be saved or lost? Oh! neglect them not, lest
conscience utter the fearful whisper, "Mother, _you might have saved
that soul_!"

                          ELLEN ELLISON.
  Feb. 1852.

       *       *       *       *       *



There are thousands of persons in the United States to whom the name of
Jonathan Trumbull, formerly a governor of Connecticut, is familiar--I
mean the first governor of that name. He was a friend and supporter of
General Washington during the Revolutionary War, and greatly contributed
by his judicious advice and prompt aid to achieve the Independence of

This Governor Trumbull had a son by the name of John, who became
distinguished in the use of the pencil, and who left several paintings
of great merit commemorative of scenes in the history of our
revolutionary struggle. My story relates to an incident which occurred
during the boyhood of John.

His father, for the purpose of giving employment to the Mohegan Indians,
a tribe living within the bounds of the Connecticut colony, though at
some distance from the governor's residence, hired several of their
hunters to kill animals of various kinds for their furs. One of the most
successful of these hunters was a sachem by the name of Zachary.

But Zachary was a drunkard, and persisted in his intemperate habits till
he reached the age of fifty. By whose means I am unable to say, but at
that time he was induced utterly to abandon the use of intoxicating
drinks. His life was extended to eighty years, but he was never known
after the above reformation, although often under powerful temptation,
to taste in a single instance of the "accursed thing."

In his history of the Indians of Connecticut, De Forest has given us an
account of the manful resistance of Zachary on one occasion of an artful
temptation to violate his temperance principles, spread before him by
John Trumbull, at his father's house. He says, "In those days the annual
ceremony of election was a matter of more consequence than it is now;
and the Indians, especially, used to come in considerable numbers to
Hartford and New Haven to stare at the governor, and the soldiers, and
the crowds of citizens, as they entered those cities, Jonathan
Trumbull's house was about half-way between Mohegan and Hartford, and
Zachary was in the habit of stopping, on his way to election, to dine
with his old employer.

"John Trumbull, then about ten years old, had heard of the reformation
of Zachary, and, partaking of the common contempt for the intemperate
and worthless character of the Indians, did not entirely credit it. As
the family were sitting around the dinner-table, he resolved to test the
sincerity of the visitor's temperance.

"Sipping some home-brewed beer, which stood on the table, he said to the
old man, 'Zachary, this beer is excellent; won't you taste it?' The
knife and fork dropped from the Indian's hand; he leaned forward with a
stern intensity of expression, his dark eyes, sparkling with
indignation, were fixed on the young tempter: 'John,' said he, 'you
don't know what you are doing. You are serving the devil, boy. Don't you
know that I am an Indian? I tell you that I am; and if I should taste
your beer, I could never stop until I got to rum, and become again the
drunken, contemptible wretch your father once knew me. _John, while you
live, never again tempt any man to break a good resolution._'"

This was said in an earnest, solemn tone, and deeply affected Governor
Trumbull and lady, who were at the table. John was justly awed, and deep
was the impression made upon him. His parents often recurred to the
incident, and charged their son never to forget it.

The advice of the sachem was indeed most valuable. "Never again tempt
any man to break a good resolution." It were well if this precept were
followed by all. How many who are reformed from evil habits, yet not
firm and established, but who would persevere in their better
resolutions were they encouraged, are suddenly, and to themselves
surprisingly, set back by some tempter! What sorrow is engendered! and
how difficult to regain what is thus lost! All this is essentially true
of the young. Their good resolutions are assaulted; the counsels of a
pious mother--the precepts of a kind father, and the determinations
which a son may have formed in view of those counsels and those
precepts, may be easily undermined and destroyed by the flattery or the
ridicule, the reproach or the banter of some subtle or even of some
thoughtless companion. To those who may read these pages, and who may at
any time be tempted to seduce others from paths of virtue, or to break
over solemn resolutions which they may have formed as to an upright and
commendable course of life, let the injunction of old Zachary, the
Mohegan sachem, not come in vain. "Never tempt any one to break a good


       *       *       *       *       *





  In a lone forest, dark and drear,
  Stood wrapt in grief a maiden fair;
  Her flowing locks were wet with dew,
  Her life was sad, her friends were few.

  A sparkling light gleam'd distant far,
  Like twinkling faint of evening star;
  Quickly it spread its brilliant ray,
  Till forest drear looked bright and gay.

  And on the wings of love and light,
  A radiant figure, pure and white,
  Approached and spake with accents mild:
  "Why so despondent, sorrow's child?

  "When thy lone feet the violet press,
  Its perfume rises still to bless;
  While groves and lawns, with landscape fair,
  Are bathed in healthful mountain air."

  "Ah, friend! thy path shines bright and clear;
  Daily thou breath'st the mountain air;
  But mine is in the barren wild,
  Where naught looks bright to sorrow's child."

  "Then take my arm, pale sister, dear,
  With you I'll tread this forest drear;
  When guided by this light from Heav'n,
  Strength and peace will both be given."

  They journeyed on through glade and fen,
  'Till passing near a rocky glen,
  Mild Patience came and sweetly smiled
  Upon the path of sorrow's child.

  The measured way still brighter grew,
  'Till cares and griefs were faint and few.
  Thus, Hope and Patience oft beguiled
  The toil-worn path of sorrow's child.

       *       *       *       *       *




There is no path of duty appointed for man to tread, concerning which
the Almighty has not expressed his will in terms so plain that the
sincere inquirer may always hear a voice behind him saying, "This is the
way, walk ye in it;" nor are there any relations of life, nor any human
affections which he has not constituted, and bestowed, nor any
disappointment of those affections for which he has not manifested a
sympathy so sincere, that the desolate and heart-stricken may always
say, "Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal."

Yet, it is something difficult for us to realize in our hours of
darkness and despondency, that toward us personally and individually,
the great heart of Infinite Love yearns with tenderness and pity. Even
if we can say, "Though clouds and darkness are round about him, justice
and judgment are the habitation of his throne," and can acquiesce meekly
in all his dispensations, and believe sincerely that they will work for
our good, yet we often fail of the blessedness which might be ours, if
we could be equally assured that, "_As a father pitieth his children, so
doth the Lord pity them that fear him._" This assurance only the
faithful student of the Bible can feel, as the great truth gleams forth
upon him from time to time, illuming "dark afflictions midnight gloom"
with rays celestial, and furnishing balm for every wound, the balm of
sympathy and love.

We often hear it said, by those who even profess themselves Christians,
and devout lovers of the sacred oracles, "How can you read the book of
Leviticus? What can you find in the dry details of the ceremonial law to
detain you months in its study and call forth such expressions of
interest?" Such will probably pass by this article when they find
themselves invited again to Horeb. Turn back, friends. You are not the
only ones who have excused themselves from a _feast_. And we--we will
extend our invitation to others. On the by-ways and lanes they can be
found; in every corner of this wide-spread earth are some for whom our
table is prepared. We leave the prosperous, the gay, the happy, and
speak to the desolate--the widowed.

Dearly beloved, you can look back to a day in your history over which no
cloud lowered, when you wore the bridal wreath, and stood at the sacred
altar, and laid your hand in a hand faithful and true, and pledged vows
of love, and when hope smiled on all your future path; but who have
lived to see all you then deemed most precious, laid beneath the clods
of the valley, and have exchanged buds of orange for the most intensely
sable of earthly weeds; you who once walked on your earthly journey in
sweet companionship which brightened your days; who were wont to lay
your weary head every night on the faithful "pillowing breast," and
there forget your woes and cares, but who are now _alone_; you who
trusted in manly counsel and guidance for your little ones, but who now
shed bitter, unavailing tears in every emergency which reminds you that
they are fatherless; and, worse than all, you who had all your wants
supplied by the loving, toiling husband and father, but have now to
contend single-handed with poverty,--come, sorrowing, widowed hearts,
visit with us Horeb's holy mound. It is, indeed, a barren spot;
nevertheless, it has blossoms of loveliness for you. Come in faith, and
perchance the prophet's vision shall be yours--peradventure, the "still,
small voice" which bade to rest the turmoil of his soul, shall soothe
your griefs also; the words which are heard from its summit as Jehovah
gives to Moses his directions, have indeed to do with "meats and drinks
and divers washings," yet, if you listen intently, you will now and then
hear those which, as the expression of your Heavenly Father's heart,
will amply repay the toil of the ascent. Draw near and hearken:

"Ye shall not afflict any widow nor fatherless child. If thou afflict
them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their
cry, and my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword;
and your wives shall be widows, your children fatherless."

Will you not now be comforted? "The Eternal makes your sorrows his own,"
and Himself stands forth as your protector against every ill.

"When thou cuttest down thy harvest in thy field, and hast forgotten the
sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it, but it shall be
for the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord thy
God may bless thee in all the works of thy hands."

If God's will is done, you see you will not suffer. He will raise you up
friends, and those who obey Him, who wish to please Him, will always be
ready to aid you for His sake. As shown to himself, he regards and will
reward the kindness shown to you, and He has all hearts in his hands.
But this is not all. A certain portion of every Israelite's possessions
is to be given to furnish the table of the Lord, and, as if to assure
you that He considers you His own, and will perform the part of husband
and father for you at that table, and in his own house he provides for
you ever a place. "In the tithes of wine, corn and oil, the firstlings
of the herds and flocks, in all that is to be devoted to the service of
the Lord, you have your share.

"At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine
increase the same year and lay it up within the gates. And the Levite,
because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee, and the stranger, and
the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come
and eat and be satisfied, that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all
the work of thine hand which thou doest."

Do you sorrowfully say that no such table is now spread? But He who thus
provided still lives, and is the same as then. The silver and the gold
are His, and the cattle upon a thousand hills, and he ruleth all things
by the Word of His power. They that trust in him shall never be

"Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the
fatherless, nor take the widow's raiment to pledge. Why? Because they
have no earthly friend to redeem the latter or plead for the former.
Weak and unguarded, they are exposed to all these evils, but that He,
the Eternal, takes them under his own especial care; and instead of
compelling them to depend on the insecure tenure of man's compassion, or
even justice, institutes laws for their benefit, the disobedience of
which is sin against Himself."

Scattered through all the sacred volume are words which, equally with
those we have quoted, speak forth Jehovah's interest in the helpless.
"Leave thy fatherless children to me," he said, by his prophet Jeremiah,
at a time when misery, desolation, and destruction were falling on Judea
and her sons for their awful impiety. "Leave thy fatherless children, I
will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me." "A father of
the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy

Oh, do we receive the full import of these soul-cheering words? Lone,
solitary one! who hidest in thy heart a grief which, untasted, cannot be
understood, there is a Being sitting on the circle of the heavens, who
knows every pang thou endurest. He formed thee susceptible of the love
which thou hast felt and enjoyed; Himself ordained the tie which bound
thee. He, better than any other, comprehends thy loss. Dost thou
doubt--study faithfully His word; obey his voice. Yield thy heart to Him
and trust Him implicitly. He will prove himself able to bless thee in
thine inmost soul. The avenues to that soul are all open to Him, and He
can cause such gentle, soothing influences to flow in upon thee as shall
make thee "Sing even as in the days of thy youth."

Fatherless child! whose heart fails thee when thou dost miss from every
familiar place the guide of thy youth, faint not nor be discouraged,
though the way is rough, and the voice that ever spoke tenderly to thee
is silent. Thou hast a father in heaven; and He who calls himself such
understands better than thou what is implied in that sacred name. Tell
Him thy woes and wants.

  "Thou art as much His care, as if beside
  Nor man nor angel lived in heaven or earth."

       *       *       *       *       *



Persons who have never investigated the subject cannot believe that
young children are capable of being taught to pray, intelligently. As
infants cannot be supposed to understand the essential nature and design
of prayer, we may profitably inquire, "Of what use can prayer be to a
young child?"

Miss H. More defines prayer to be "The application of want to Him who
alone can relieve it; the confession of sin to Him who alone can pardon
it; the urgency of poverty, the prostration of humility, the fervency of
penitence--the confidence of trust. It is the 'Lord save us, we perish,'
of drowning Peter--the cry of faith to the ear of mercy." Now, are not
children, for several of their first years, absolutely dependent upon
others for the supply of all their wants? And yet, though no beings are
so weak, so helpless, yet none are so eloquent in pleading or praying
for what they want as young children in distress, though they have not
yet acquired the language of speech, and simply because this language is
nature's voice.

How irresistible are the entreaties of an infant in sickness, pain, and
trouble. It will not be pacified or comforted by any one but its
mother--her bosom is its sanctuary--her voice its sweetest melody--her
arms its only refuge. What a preparation is this in the ordering of
Providence, and in direct reference to what is to succeed, evidently
with the design that when a child is of a suitable age, it may transfer
its highest love and confidence from its earthly parents to a heavenly
Father. At first the mother stands in the place of God to her child, and
is all the world to him. But if she be a praying mother, the child will
very early discover that, like himself, she too is a helpless,
dependent, needy creature, and he will learn to trust in that great
Being whom his mother adores.

Perhaps she has been in the habit, when her child was drawing its
nutriment from her breast, to feel more than at any other time her
responsibility to the little helpless being who is a part of herself,
and especially to "train it up in the way it should go." And she will
usually improve this opportunity to commune with her God, saying with
more solemn importunity, day by day, "How shall I order thee, child?"
She feels the need of more wisdom, for she now begins to realize that
her arms will not always encircle her child, and if they could, she
could not ward off the arrows of disease and death. She thinks too of
the period as near when it will be more out from under her scrutinizing
watch, and will be more exposed to temptations from without and from
within. Perhaps, too, she may die early, and then who will feel for her
child, who will train it, who will consecrate it to God as sedulously as
she hopes to do? O, if she could be certain of its eternal well-being.
She eagerly inquires, "Is there any way by which my child can be so
instructed, so consecrated, that I may be absolutely certain that I
shall meet him, a ransomed soul, and dwell with him forever among the
blessed in heaven?" "Yes, there is." I find in the unerring Scriptures
many precious examples of children who were thus early dedicated to God,
and were accepted and blessed of Him. She loves to remember those
mothers on the plains of Judea who brought their infants to the Savior
for his blessing. They were not discouraged, though the disciples, like
many of the present day, forbade them to come, saying, "Of what possible
use can it be to bring young children to the Savior?" But behold, the
Savior welcomes and blesses them. Children who have been thus blessed of
the Savior will not, cannot be lost. His promise is, "None shall pluck
them out of my father's hand;" and again, "I will keep that what is
committed to me till the final day."

With such Scripture promises and examples, this praying mother, hour by
hour, lifts her heart to God, and implores that the Savior would crown
with success her endeavors to obey his precepts, and, in doing so, to
accept her consecrated child. How sweet and gentle are her accents!
With a loud voice she puts up her petitions which, till now, under
similar circumstances, have not even been whispered aloud.

But her emotions have risen so high, that not only does her voice become
inarticulate, but her tears fall like April showers upon the face of
her, till now, unconscious child.

The child looks inquiringly. It now perceives that that countenance,
which has hitherto been lighted up only by smiles, and been radiant with
hope, at times is beclouded by fears. No wonder if this scene should
attract the attention of this infant listener. Perhaps it is overawed.
It rises up, it looks round to see if any one is present, with whom its
mother is holding converse. Seeing no one, it hides its little head in
the folds of its mother's dress, and is still.

What does all this do but to awaken, on the part of the mother, a still
deeper interest in the welfare of her sympathizing little one. She now
realizes as she never did before, what an influence she has in swaying
the mind and affections of her darling child, and her responsibility
seems to increase at every step. She presses her child more and more
fondly to her bosom. With daily and increasing faith, love and zeal, she
resorts to the throne of grace, and pleads for that wisdom she so
pre-eminently needs.

It cannot be but that her love to her child should be daily strengthened
by such communings with her own heart and her Savior, in sweet
fellowship with her little one, though so young as not fully to
comprehend all it sees and hears, yet it will remember and be
influenced, eternally, by what has been done and said in its presence.
This mother fully realizes that she is under the watchful eye of God,
her Maker and Redeemer--that the Holy Trinity--the mysterious "three in
one" have been present, more than spectators of what has transpired. For
she is sure that these aspirations after holiness for herself and for
her child are not earth-born--but emanations from the triune God.

It is natural to suppose that lasting impressions would be made upon the
heart of a child thus early taught to pray.

No wonder if this little child, ever after, should find a sacred
pleasure in visiting the place where prayer is wont to be made, which at
first was hallowed and sweetened by tender and endearing associations.

And we would here remark, that it is chiefly by the power of association
that young children can be supposed to be benefited by such teachings
and examples.

A striking incident occurred in my mother's nursery, not only
illustrative of the power of association, but showing how very tenacious
is the memory of young children.

My mother had a fit of sickness when my little brother was but seven
months old, and she was obliged to wean him at that early age.

He was always a feeble child and clung to our mother with almost a
death-grasp. The weaning of that child will never fade from my
recollection. In fact our mother used to say that that boy was never

When he was about a year old, he was found fast asleep one day behind
the bed-room door, leaning his little head upon a chest. Over the chest
was a line, and across the line had been thrown a chintz shawl,
memorable as having always been worn by our mother when nursing her
children. In one hand he had hold of the end of the shawl, which he
could just reach, and he was sucking the thumb of the other.

This shawl, which this little child had not previously seen for some
time, was associated in his mind with its sweetest, but short-lived
comfort. This fact will serve to explain the propriety of taking all the
ordinary week day play-things from children on the Sabbath, and
substituting in their place others more quiet--for instance, relating
Scripture stories, explaining Scripture pictures, and the like.

Such scenes and experience as have been above alluded to, must be more
or less familiar to every faithful and praying mother. Children who have
been dedicated to God, as was Samuel, and David, and Timothy, in all
ages of the world, will be found in after life to be, to the praise, and
glory, and riches of God's grace, vouchsafed to parents, in answer to
their faith and prayers, and pious teachings.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Welcome! thrice welcome to my heart, sweet harbinger of bliss!
  How have I looked, till hope grew sick, for a moment bright as this;
  Thou hast flashed upon my aching sight when fortune's clouds are dark,
  The sunny spirit of my dreams--the dove unto mine ark.

  Oh! no, not even when life was new, and life and hope were young,
  And o'er the firstling of my flock with raptured gaze I hung,
  Did I feel the glow that thrills me now, the yearnings fond and deep,
  That stir my bosom's inmost strings as I watch thy placid sleep!

  Though loved and cherished be the flower that springs 'neath summer skies,
  The bud that blooms 'mid wintry storms more tenderly we prize.
  One does but make our bliss more bright; the other meets our eye,
  Like a radiant star, when all besides have vanished from on high.

  Sweet blossom of my stormy hour, star of my troubled heaven,
  To thee that passing sweet perfume, that soothing light is given;
  And precious art thou to my soul, but dearer far than thou,
  A messenger of peace and love art sent to cheer me now.

  What, tho' my heart be crowded close with inmates dear though few,
  Creep in, my little smiling _babe_, there's still a niche for you;
  And should another claimant rise, and clamor for a place,
  Who knows but room may yet be found, if it wears as fair a face.

  I cannot save thee from the griefs to which our flesh is heir,
  But I can arm thee with a spell, life's keenest ills to bear.
  I may not fortune's frowns avert, but I can with thee pray
  For wealth this world can never give nor ever take away.

  But wherefore doubt that He who makes the smallest bird his care,
  And tempers to the _new shorn lamb_ the blast it ill could bear,
  Will still his guiding arm extend, his glorious plan pursue,
  And if he gives thee ills to bear, will give thee courage too.

  Dear youngling of my little flock, the loveliest and the last,
  'Tis sweet to dream what thou may'st be, when long, long years have past;
  To think when time hath blanched my hair, and others leave my side,
  Thou may'st be still my prop and stay, my blessing and my pride.

  And when this world has done its worst, when life's fevered fit is o'er,
  And the griefs that wring my weary heart can never touch it more,
  How sweet to think thou may'st be near to catch my latest sigh,
  To bend beside my dying bed and close my glazing eye.

  Oh! 'tis for offices like these the last sweet child is given;
  The mother's joy, the father's pride, the fairest boon of heaven:
  Their fireside plaything first, then of their failing strength the rock,
  The rainbow to their wavering years, the youngling of their flock.

                                               ALARIC A. WATTS.

       *       *       *       *       *




In the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Judges is recorded the short
but suggestive story which is our Bible lesson for the present month.
Horeb is long since left behind. The evil generation, who forty years
tried the patience of Jehovah, have fallen in the wilderness, and their
successors are now in possession of the promised land. Moses, and
Joshua, and Caleb, have gone to their rest, and Israel, bereft of their
counsel, follow wise or evil advices as a wayward fancy may dictate, and
receive a corresponding recompense at the hands of their God. The
children proved in no respect wiser or more obedient than their fathers.
Again and again "they forsook the Lord and served the idols of the
Canaanites, and in wrath He gave them up to their enemies." Often in
pity he raised up for them deliverers who would lead them for a time in
better paths, "but when the judge was dead, they returned, and corrupted
themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve
them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings
nor from their stubborn way," and therefore were they often for long
tedious years in bondage to the various nations which God had left in
the land "to prove them whether they would walk in his ways." It was
during one of these seasons of trouble that the subject of our study is
mentioned. She was the wife of Manoah, a citizen of Zorah, of the tribe
of Dan. Of her previous history, and the events of her after life, we
know nothing. He who sitteth on the circle of the heavens, and beholdeth
all things that are done under the sun, and readeth all hearts, had
marked her out as the instrument, wherewith he would work to get glory
to himself, and however little known to others, He deemed her worthy of
this distinguished honor, and to receive a direct communication from
himself. Of her character nothing is said, but we gather with unerring
certainty that she was a self-denying, obedient child of God, for He
would not have chosen one who would not adhere strictly to his every

It is not necessary that we should detail every incident of those
interviews with the angel Jehovah, which the mother of Samson was
permitted to enjoy. Take your Bible, friend, and read for yourself in
words more befitting than we can use, and as you rise from the perusal,
if the true spirit of a Christian reigns in your heart, you will perhaps
exclaim, "Oh, that the Lord would come to me also and tell me how I
shall order my children that so they may be the subjects of his grace
and instruments of his will!" If you meditate deeply while you read,
perhaps you will conclude that in His directions to this mother, our
Heavenly Father has revealed to us wonderful and important things, which
may answer us instead of direct communications from Himself, and which,
if heeded and obeyed, will secure to us great peace and satisfaction.
Bear in mind, that he who speaks is our Creator--that all the wonders of
the human frame are perfectly familiar to Him, and that He knows far
more than earthly skill and science have ever been able to ascertain, or
even hint at, concerning the relations which Himself ordained. He comes
to Manoah's wife with these words: "Now, therefore, beware, and drink
not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing. For, lo! thou
shall conceive and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for
the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb." Can you discern
in this only an allusion to Jewish customs and ceremonies, long since
obsolete, and in no way interesting to us, except as a matter of
history? Can you not rather see gleaming out a golden rule which all
would be blessed in following? To us, in this history, Jehovah says,
"Mother, whatever you wish your child to be, that must you also in all
respects be yourself." Samson is to be consecrated to God by the most
solemn of vows all the days of his life, and the conditions of that vow
his mother is commanded to fulfill from the moment that she is
conscious of his existence until he is weaned, a period of four years at
least, according to the custom of her time.

These thoughts introduce to us a theme on which volumes have been
written and spoken. Men of deep research and profound judgment have been
ready to say to all the parents of earth, "Whatever ye are such will
also your children prove always, and in every particular to be;" and
there are not wanting multitudes of facts to strengthen and confirm the
position. In certain aspects of it it is assuredly true, since the
principal characteristics of the race remain from age to age the same.
Nor is it disproved by what seem at first adverse facts, for although
children seem in physical and intellectual constitution often the direct
opposite of their parents, yet a close study into the history of
families may only prove, that if unlike those parents in general
character, they have nevertheless inherited that particular phase which
governed the period from which they date their existence. No person
bears through life precisely the same dispositions, or is at all times
equally under the same influences or governed by the same motives. The
gentle and amiable by nature may come into circumstances which shall
induce unwonted irritability and ill-humor; the irascible and
passionate, surrounded in some favored time, by all that heart can wish,
may seem as lovely as though no evil tempers had ever deformed them; and
the children who may be the offspring of these episodes in life, may
bear indeed a character differing wholly from the usual character of
their parents, but altogether corresponding to the brief and unusual
state which ruled their hour of beginning life. So is it also in
physical constitution. The feeble and sickly have sometimes intervals of
health, and the robust see months of languor and disease. Hence,
perhaps, the differences which are observable many times in the children
of the same family with regard to health and natural vigor.

We cannot enter into the subject. It is wide and extended as human
nature itself. It is also, apart from the Gospel of God's grace, a very
discouraging subject to the parent who contemplates it with
seriousness, and with an earnest desire to ascertain the path of duty.
"How useless," we may be tempted to exclaim, "any attempt to gain an end
which is so uncertain as the securing any given constitution, either of
body or mind, for my children. To-day I am in health, full of
cheerfulness and hope; a year hence I may be broken and infirm, a prey
to depressing thoughts and melancholy forbodings. My mind is now
vigorous and active; who knows how soon the material shall subject the
intellectual and clog every nobler faculty? What will it suffice that
to-day I feel myself controlled by good motives, and swayed by just
principles, and possessed of a well-balanced character, since in some
evil hour, influences wholly unexpected may gain the ascendancy, and I
be so unlike my present self that pitying friends can only wonder and
whisper, How changed! and enemies shall glory in my fall. No. It is vain
to strive after certainty in this world of change and vicissitude, since
none of us can tell what himself shall be on the morrow. Do what I will,
moreover, my child can only inherit a sinful nature." In the midst of
gloomy thoughts like these, we turn to the story of Samson's mother, and
hear Jehovah directing her to walk before Him in the spirit of
consecration, which is to be the life-long spirit of her son. He surely
intimates that the child's character begins with, and depends upon, that
of the mother. A ray of light and encouragement dawns upon us. True, we
are fickle and changeable, and subject to vicissitude; but He, our God,
is far above all these shifting scenes, and all the varying
circumstances of this mortal life are under his control, and he can turn
the hearts of men as He will; His counsel shall stand. True, we are
transgressors like our first father, partakers of his fallen nature, and
inheritors of the curse; but "where sin abounds, grace does much more
abound," and "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being
made a curse for us." For all the evils under which we groan, the Gospel
has a remedy, and we have faith that in spite of all obstacles and
difficulties, our Savior will yet present us, as individuals, faultless
before the throne. Why may not our faith take a still higher flight?
There are given to us exceeding great and precious promises. The Holy
Spirit, first of all, shall be given to all who ask. They who hunger and
thirst for righteousness shall be filled. He has never said to the seed
of Jacob, seek ye me in vain. There are on almost every page of the
sacred word, these precious promises. By them you are encouraged daily
in your onward struggle, Christian friend. What shall hinder you now
from taking them to your heart as a mother with the same faith? If God
is able to secure your soul against all evil influences, yes, even
against the arch enemy himself, and if he has made the character of your
child to depend upon your own in any degree, why may you not plead the
promises of His word with double power, when your prayers ascend not
merely for yourself, but for another immortal being whom he has so
intimately associated with you. You are accustomed daily to seek from
Him holy influences; you pray that you may grow in grace and knowledge,
and be kept from the evil that is in the world, and from dishonoring
your Savior. Can you not offer these same petitions as a mother, and beg
all these blessings in behalf of your child, who is to take character
from you? Can you not consecrate yourself in a peculiarly solemn manner
to the Lord, and viewing the thousand influences which may affect you,
pray to be kept from all which would be adverse to the best good of the
precious soul to be intrusted to you, and believe by all you know of
your Heavenly Father and of his plan of grace, that you will be accepted
and your petitions answered? And then can you not _act_ upon that faith?
Desiring your child to be a man of prayer, will you not, during the
years in which you are acting directly on him, give yourself much to
prayer? Hoping that he may not be slothful, but an active and diligent
servant of his Lord, will you not give your earnest soul and busy hands
to the work which you find to do? Wishing him to be gentle and lovely,
will you not strive to clothe yourself with meekness? In short, will you
not cultivate every characteristic that is desirable for the devoted
Christian, in order that, at least, your child may enter on life with
every possible advantage which you can give him? And since a sane mind,
and rightly-moving heart, are greatly dependent on a sound body, will
you not study to be yourself, by temperance and moderation, and
self-denial and activity, in the most perfect health which you can by
any effort gain?

Who does not believe that if all Christian mothers would thus believe
and act, most blessed results would be secured? The subject appeals to
fathers also, and equal responsibility rests upon them.

Some will doubtless be ready to say, "This would require us to live in
the spirit of a Nazarite's vow all the time. You have drawn for us a
plan of life which is difficult to follow, and demands all our
vigilance, constant striving, and unwearied labors." True, friends; but
the end to be gained is worth the cost, and you have "God
all-sufficient" for your helper.

       *       *       *       *       *

  _June_ 2, 1852.

MY DEAR MADAM,--I send you an extract from an unpublished
memoir of the Rev. E.J.P. Messinger, who died in Africa, where he was
sent as a missionary of the Protestant Episcopal Church. This biography
is not finished; but I think the following passage is well adapted to
your Magazine.

                            Yours, with respect,
                          STEPHEN H. TYNG.

       *       *       *       *       *



When James was ten years old his father was suddenly removed by death.
His mother was then left to provide for the aged mother of her husband,
as well as her own little family, of whom the youngest was an infant of
a few weeks old. This was a weary and toilsome task. Neither of her sons
were old enough to render her any assistance on the farm, and the
slender income arising from it would not warrant the expense of hiring
needful laborers. She was obliged to lease it to others, and the rent of
her little farm, together with the avails of their own industry, became
the support of the widow and fatherless. With this she was still able to
send her children to school, and to give them all the advantages which
her retired dwelling allowed.

It was during these first years of his mother's lonely widowhood that
the tenderness and the loveliness of her son's character were brought
out to view. All that he could do to relieve her under her burden became
his delight. Though but a child, he was ready to make every sacrifice to
promote her comfort and happiness, and to gratify and console his aged
grandmother. Attention to his mother's wants from this time entered into
all his plans of life. Her interests and welfare were a part of his
constant thoughts. It seemed to be his highest earthly delight to
increase her happiness and to relieve her trials. He never forgot his
mother. He might be called "the boy who always loved his mother."
Beautiful trait of character! And God blessed him in his own character
and life, according to his promise. After he had gone from his native
home to enter upon the business of life, this trait in his character was
very constant and very remarkable. At a subsequent period, when his
younger brother was about leaving home to learn a trade, James wrote to
him, "Mother informs me that you intend learning a trade. I am very glad
of it, because I know that it will be advantageous to you. But before
you leave home, I hope you will endeavor to leave our dear mother, and
grandmother, and the rest of the family, as comfortable as possible. The
desire of mother that I should come home and in some measure supply your
place, I should not hesitate to comply with, had I not been strongly
impressed with the idea that I could render more substantial help by
remaining here than by coming home. But I hope before you leave home you
will do everything you can for mother; and should you be near home, that
you will often visit them, and afford them all the assistance in your
power. You know, dear brother, that mother has had many hardships for
our sakes. Well do I remember how she used to go out in cold, stormy
weather, to assist us about our work, in order to afford us the
opportunity of attending school. May we live to enjoy the pleasure of
having it in our power to return in some small degree the debt we owe
her, by contributing to her comfort in the decline of life."

Then again he wrote to his sister, referring to his brother's absence:
"I scarcely know how you will get along without him, as mother wrote me
he was going to learn a trade this fall. You must try to do all you can
to help along. Think how much trouble and hardship mother has undergone
for our sakes. Surely we are old enough to take some of the burden off
her hands. I hope you will not neglect these hints. Never suffer mother
to undergo any hardship of which you can relieve her. Strive to do all
you can to lessen the cares and anxieties which must of necessity come
upon her. Be kind, obedient, and cheerful in the performance of every
duty. Consider it a pleasure to do anything by which you can render
assistance to her."

To another sister he wrote, "I hope you will do all you can to
contribute to the assistance and comfort of grandmother and mother. You
have it in your power to do much for them. Take care that you never
grieve them by folly or misconduct. If my influence will have any effect
on your mind, think how much your brother wishes you to behave well, and
to render yourself useful and beloved; but remember above all, that God
always sees you, and that you never can be guilty of a fault that is not
known to him. Strive then to be dutiful and obedient to our only
remaining parent, and to be kind and affectionate to all around you."

These are beautiful exhibitions of his filial love. A remembrance of his
mother's wants and sorrows was a constantly growing principle of his
youthful heart. It was a spirit, too, which never forsook him through
his whole subsequent life. Even while on his bed of death in Africa, his
heart still yearned over the sorrows and cares of his widowed mother.
Then he gave directions for the sale of his little earthly property,
that the avails of it might be sent back to America to his mother.
Though the sum was small it was enough to contribute much to her comfort
for her remaining years. How precious is such a recollection of a boy
who never forgot, and never ceased to love his mother. What a beauty
does this fact add to the character and conduct of a youth! How valuable
is such a tribute to the memory of a youth, "He never forgot his

       *       *       *       *       *



     "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of
     them."--MATTHEW 6:6.

In an obscure country village lived two little girls of nearly the same
age, named Annie Grey and Charlotte Murray; their homes were not very
distant from each other, and they were constant companions and

Charlotte Murray was the eldest of five children, and her parents,
though poor, were kept removed from want by constant frugality and
industry. Her father labored for the neighboring farmers, and her mother
was a thrifty, notable housewife, somewhat addicted to loud talking and
scolding, but considered a very good sort of woman.

Charlotte was ten years old, and assisted her mother very much in
attending to the children, and performing many light duties about the
house. She was healthy, robust and good-natured, but unfortunately had
never received any religious instruction, more than an occasional
attendance at church with her mother, and thus was entirely ignorant of
any higher motives of action than to please her parents, which, though
in itself commendable, often led her to commit serious faults. She did
not scruple to tell a falsehood to screen herself or brothers from
punishment, and would often misrepresent the truth for the sake of
obtaining praise. Charlotte was also very fond of dress, and as her
parents' means forbade the indulgence of this feeling, she loved to
decorate herself with every piece of faded ribbon or soiled lace that
came in her way.

Annie Grey was the only child of a poor widow, who supported herself and
daughter by spinning and carding wool for the farmers' wives. Mrs. Grey
was considered much poorer than any of her neighbors, but her humble
cottage was always neat and in perfect order, and the small garden patch
which supplied the few vegetables which she needed was never choked with
weeds. The honeysuckle was carefully trained about the door, and little
Annie delighted in tying up the pinks, and fastening strings for the
morning glories that she loved so much.

Mrs. Grey, though poor in this world's goods, had laid up for herself
"those treasures in Heaven, which no moth nor rust can corrupt." She had
once been in better circumstances, and surrounded by all that makes life
happy, but her mercies had been taken from her one by one, until none
was left save little Annie; then she learned that "whom God loveth, he
chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth;" and thus were
her afflictions sanctified unto her.

Annie was a delicate little girl, and had never associated much with the
village children in their rude sports. Once, when her mother spent a
week at Mrs. Murray's, assisting her to spin, she had taken Annie, and
thus a friendship commenced between herself and Charlotte.

Annie had been early taught by her mother to abhor deceit and falsehood
as hateful to God, and Charlotte often startled her by equivocating, but
she had never known her to tell a direct untruth, and she loved her
because she was affectionate and kind. Some kind and pious ladies had
succeeded in establishing a Sunday-school in the village, and Annie was
among the first who attended; she told Charlotte, who prevailed upon her
mother to let her go, and they were both regular scholars.

One pleasant Sunday morning, the two little girls went together to
school, and after all the children had recited their lessons, the
superintendent rose and said that a good missionary was about to leave
his home, and go to preach the Gospel to the heathens far over the sea,
and that they wanted to raise a subscription and purchase Bibles to send
out with him, that he might distribute them among those poor people who
had never heard God's holy word.

He told them how the poor little children were taught to lie and steal
by their parents, and how they worshiped images of carved wood, and
stone, and sometimes killed themselves and drowned the infants, thinking
thus to please the senseless things they called their gods. He said that
children who could read and write, and go to church, ought to be
grateful to God for placing them in a Christian country, and they should
pray for the poor little heathen children, and do all they could to
provide instruction for them.

"I do not expect you to do much, my dear children," he said, "but all I
ask is, to do what you can; some of you have money given you to buy toys
or cakes; would you not rather know that it had helped a little heathen
child to come to God, than to spend it in anything so soon destroyed and
forgotten? And to those who have no money, let me ask, can you not earn
it? There are very many ways in which children may be useful, and God
will most graciously accept a gift which has cost you labor or
self-denial. You remember Jesus himself said that the poor widow's two
mites were of more value than all that the rich cast into the treasury,
because they gave of their abundance, but she cast in all that she had;
will you not, therefore, endeavor to win the Savior's blessing by
following the widow's example, and 'Go and do likewise?'"

The children listened very attentively to all the superintendent said,
and after school there was much talking among the scholars as to the
amount to be given, and how to obtain it. The following Sunday was
appointed to receive the collection, and all seemed animated with a
generous feeling, and anxious to do what they could.

"I have a bright new penny," cried little Patty Green, who was scarcely
six years old. "I didn't like to spend it, because it was so pretty,
but I will send it to the little heathen children to buy Bibles with!"

"And I," added James Blair, "have a tenpence that Mr. Jones gave me for
holding his horse; I was saving it to buy a knife, but I can wait a
while for that; uncle has promised me one next Christmas."

"You may add my sixpence to it, brother," said his sister Lucy. "I did
want a pair of woolen gloves, but it is long until winter, and I do not
need them now."

"Good!" exclaimed merry, good-natured Simon Bounce. "Ten and six are
sixteen, and Patty's bright penny makes seventeen; and let me see, I've
got fivepence, and John Blake offered me three cents for my ball, that
will make two shillings exactly, quite a good beginning. Why what a
treasure there will be if we all put in our savings at this rate!"

Thus talking, the children strolled away in groups, and Charlotte and
Annie walked slowly toward their homes. Annie looked thoughtful, and
Charlotte spoke first.

"I wish," said she, "that father would give me sixpence; but I know he
wont, for he never goes to church, and cares nothing about the heathen,
and as for mother, she would call me a simpleton if I was to ask her. I
am determined I wont go to school next Sunday if I can't take something,
it looks so mean; I will say I am sick and cannot go."

"Oh, Charlotte!" said Annie, "that would be a great deal worse than not
giving anything, for it would not only be a falsehood, but you would
tempt God to make you sick. I know you do not mean what you say."

"You always take everything so seriously," replied the other, laughing
and looking a little ashamed. "But what are you going to do, Annie? Your
mother cannot give you anything; but I am sure she would if she had it,
she is so kind, and never scolds. I wish mother was so always."

"I have been thinking," returned Annie, "that if I take the two hours
mother gives me to play in the garden, and card wool for her, as she has
more than she can do this week, perhaps she will give me two or three
pennies. I wish I could earn more, but I will do what I can."

"Maybe your mother will let me help her too," said Charlotte, eagerly;
"but I have so little time to play that I could not earn much, and I
would be ashamed to give so little. I would rather put in more than any
one, it would please the teacher and make the girls envy me."

"I am sure," answered Annie, gently, "the teacher would not like us to
do anything that would make another envy us, because that is a very
wicked and unhappy feeling, and though she might be pleased to see us
put in so much, yet it is God whom we are seeking to serve, and he looks
at the heart, and knows our feelings. He tells us not to give alms to be
seen of men, and you remember, Charlotte, what the superintendent said
about the widow's mite, which pleased Jesus, though the gift was so

"You speak like a superintendent yourself," cried Charlotte, gaily, "but
ask your mother, Annie, and I will come over to-night and hear what she

They had now reached Mrs. Grey's house, and bidding each other good-by
they parted. Charlotte hurried home to tell her mother about the
contributions, and was laughed at, as she expected; however, Mrs. Murray
said she would give, if she had it to spare, but charity began at home,
and it was not for poor folks to trouble their heads about such matters.
Let those who had means, and nothing else to do, attend to it.

When Annie told her mother what had been said in school, Mrs. Grey told
her that it had also been given out in church, and a collection was to
be taken up on the following Sunday, when the missionary himself would
preach for them.

"I shall give what little I can," she added, with a slight sigh. "I wish
it was more, but my earnest prayers shall accompany this humble offering
to the Lord."

Annie now unfolded her plan to her mother, and asked her consent, which
was readily given, and then Annie told her of Charlotte's request. And
her mother said that although she did not require Charlotte's help,
still she would not refuse her, as she liked to encourage every good
inclination. And when Charlotte came in the evening, Annie had the
pleasure of telling her that her mother had consented, and would give
them a little pile of wool to card every day, for which each should
receive a penny.

"And that will be sixpence a-piece, you know," continued Annie, "and we
can change it to a silver piece, for fear we might drop a penny by the

"Oh, how nice that will be," cried Charlotte. "Do you think many of the
girls will put in as much? I hope, at any rate, that none will put in
any more."

Then, thanking Annie, she ran home, leaving her friend not a little
puzzled to know why Charlotte should wish to make a show.

The difference between the little girls was this; Charlotte only sought
to please others from a selfish feeling to obtain praise, while Annie
had been taught that God is the searcher of all hearts, and to please
him should be our first and only aim.

The next morning Annie was up bright and early, and it seemed to her
that the wool was never so free from knots before. After she had said
her prayers in the morning, and read a chapter with her mother, the
little girl ate her frugal breakfast, and seated herself at her work,
and so nimbly did she ply the cards, that her task was accomplished full
half an hour before the usual time. She was just beginning her own pile
when Charlotte came in; they sat down together, and worked away
diligently. Charlotte said that her mother laughed at her, but told her
she might do as she pleased, for it was something new for her to prefer
work to play, and availing herself of this permission she came.

Annie, who was accustomed to the work, finished her pile first; she then
assisted Charlotte, and they each received a penny; there was plenty of
time beside for Annie to walk home with her friend.

The two following days passed in the same manner, but on Thursday
Charlotte went out with a party of girls, blackberrying, thinking she
could make it up on Friday; but it was as much as she could do to earn
the penny with Annie's assistance, and Saturday was a busy day, so her
mother could not spare her, and Charlotte had but fourpence at the end
of the week. Annie had worked steadily, and on Saturday afternoon
received the last penny from her mother. She had now six cents, and
after supper went with a light heart to get them changed for a sixpenny
piece, at the village store.

On the way she met Charlotte. "I could not come to-day," said the
latter. "Mother could not spare me, and I cried enough about it. I might
have earned another penny, and then I would have changed it for a silver
fivepence. Is it not too bad? How much have you got?"

"I have six pennies," answered Annie, "And I am going to change them
now; but if you feel so bad about it, I will give you one of them, and
then we will each have alike; it makes no difference, you know, who puts
it in the box, so that it all goes for the one good purpose."

"How kind you are! How much I love you!" exclaimed Charlotte,
gratefully, as she took the money, and kissed her friend. "I will run
home and get my fourpence directly."

Annie went on with a contented heart; she had obliged her companion and
done no injustice to the good cause, since Charlotte would put the money
to the same use. The store-keeper changed the pennies for a bright, new
fivepence, and she went on her way rejoicing.

(To be Continued.)

       *       *       *       *       *



Some years since, the pastor of a country congregation in a neighboring
State was riding through his parish in company with a ministerial
friend. As they passed a certain house, the pastor said to his friend,
"Here is a riddle which I wish you would solve for me. In yonder house
lives one of my elders, a man of sterling piety and great consistency of
character, who prays in his closet, in his family, and in public. He has
seven or eight children, several of whom are grown up, and yet not one
is hopefully converted, or even at all serious. Just beyond him, on the
adjoining farm, lives a man of the same age, who married the elder's
sister. This man, if a Christian at all, is one of those who will 'be
saved so as by fire;' he is very loose and careless in his talk, is in
bad repute for honesty, and, although not guilty of any offense which
church authorities can take hold of, does many things which grieve the
people of God, and are a stumbling-block to others. Yet, of his eleven
or twelve children, seven are valued and useful Christians, and there is
every reason to anticipate that the rest, as they grow up, will follow
in the same course. Now, solve me this difficulty, that the careless
professor should be so blessed in his family, while the godly man mourns
an entire absence of converting grace, especially as both households are
as nearly equal as may be in their social position, their educational
facilities, and their means of grace?"

"Let me know all the facts," said the pastor's friend, "before I give my
opinion. Have you ever considered the character of the _mothers_,

At once the pastor clasped his hands and said, "I have it; the secret is
out. It is strange I never thought of it before. The elder's wife,
although, as I trust, a good woman, is far from being an active
Christian. She never seems to take any pleasure in religious
conversation, but whenever it is introduced, either is silent or
speedily diverts it to some worldly subject. She is one of those persons
with whom you might live in the same house for weeks and months, and yet
never discover that she was a disciple of Christ. The other lady, on the
contrary, is as eminent for godliness as her husband is for
inconsistency. Her heart is in the cause; she prays with and for her
children, and whatever example they have in their father, in her they
have a fine model of active, fervent, humble piety, seated in the heart
and flowing out into the life."

The friends prosecuted the inquiry no further; they felt that the riddle
was solved, and they rode on in silence, each meditating on the wide
extent, the far-spreading results of that marvellous agency--_a mother's

       *       *       *       *       *



Matthew, in his Gospel (chap. 20th), has recorded a highly instructive
incident in relation to the disciples, James and John, whose parents
were Zebedee and Salome. The latter, it would seem, being of an
ambitious turn, was desirous that her two sons should occupy prominent
stations in the temporal kingdom, which, according to the popular
belief, Jesus Christ was about to establish in the world. That she had
inspired _them_ also with these ambitious aspirations, is apparent from
the narrative; she even induces them to accompany her in her visit to
Christ, and so far they concurred with her designs. On entering his
presence she prefers her request, which is, that these sons may sit, the
one on his right hand, and the other on his left, in his kingdom. The
request was made with due respect, and, doubtless, in all sincerity.

Now, it cannot be denied that there may be a just and reasonable desire
on the part of parents, that their children should be advanced to posts
of honor and distinction in the world. But that desire should ever be
accompanied with a wish that those honors and distinctions should be
attained by honest and honorable means, and be employed as
instrumentalities of good. If such wish be wanting, the desire is only
selfish. And selfishness seems to have characterized the desires of
Salome, and probably of James and John. We trust that they all, at
length, had more correct views of the character and kingdom of Jesus,
and sought and obtained spiritual honor in it, infinitely to be
preferred to the honor which cometh from men.

But at the time we speak of, the desires of the mother were narrow and
selfish. Yet, it is remarkable with what courtesy Christ treated her and
her sons, while at the same time he gave them to understand that they
did not know the nature of their request, nor the great matters involved
in it.

Passing from the contemplation of the prayer of Salome for the temporal
advancement of her sons to the prayers of many parents, at the present
day, for the salvation of their children, have we not reason to
apprehend the prevalence in them, if not of a similar ambition, of a
similar selfishness? I would wish to speak with just caution on a
subject of so much interest to parents, and one on which I may easily be
misunderstood. And yet a subject in reference to which the most sad and
fatal mistakes may be made.

God in his providence has intimately connected parents and children. In
a sense, parents are the authors of their being; they are their
guardians; they are bound to provide for them, educate them, teach them
the knowledge of God, and use all proper means for their present and
eternal welfare. In all these respects, they are required to do more for
their children than for the children of others, unless the latter are
adopted by them, or come under their guardianship. It is doubtless my
duty and my privilege to seek more directly and more assiduously the
salvation of my children than the salvation of the children of others.
This seems to be according to the will of God, and according to the
family constitution. And, moreover, it is most reasonable and right.

And if parents have a just apprehension of their responsibilities, they
cannot rest satisfied without laboring for the salvation of their
offspring, and laboring assiduously and perseveringly for its
attainment. And among other things which they will do--they will _pray_.
The Christian parent who does not pray for his children, is not entitled
to the name of Christian. There is no such Christian parent, and we
doubt if there can be.

But it is obvious that the spirit of Salome, at least in the selfishness
of that spirit, may sometimes be even the governing principle of the
parent in his prayers for the salvation of his child. Knowing, as he
must know, something of the value of his child's soul, and the eternal
misery of it if finally lost, how natural to desire his conversion as
the only means of escape from a doom so awful! And we admit that the
parent is justified, and his parental affinities require him to make
all possible efforts to bring that soul to repentance. And he should
pray and wrestle with God, as fervently, as importunately, as
perseveringly as the object sought is important and desirable.

But, then, here is a point never to be overlooked, and yet is it not
often overlooked? viz., that the grand governing motive of the parent in
seeking the salvation of his child should be the glory of God--not
simply the honor of that soul, as an heir of a rich inheritance--not
simply the exemption of his child from misery--nor yet his joy, as a
participator in joys and glories which mortal eye has not yet seen, nor
human heart yet conceived. The glory of God! the glory of Jesus! that is
the all in all--the paramount motive, which is to guide, govern parents,
and all others in their desires and labors for the salvation of children
and friends!

I do not mean to intimate that parents _can_ ever, or _ought_ ever to
take pleasure in the contemplated ruin of their children. God takes no
pleasure in the death of him that dieth. But it is not enough for the
parent simply to wish his child _saved_. That desire may be selfish, and
only selfish. And that prayer which terminates there, may be as selfish
as was the desire of Salome that her sons might occupy the chief places
of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. The parent may, indeed, wish, and ought
to wish, that his child may be _saved,_ and for that he should labor and
toil--but in a way which will illustrate the marvels of redeeming mercy,
and which shall be in consonance with the established principles of the

The parent, then, who prays for the salvation of his child, irrespective
of all other considerations, excepting his exemption from misery, prays
in vain, for he prays with a heart which is supremely selfish. Where is
the parent who could not thus pray? Pray, do I say; such is not prayer.
Such pleas, however ardent, however long, however importunate, can never
be consistently answered. Prayer, to be acceptable and effectual, must
always have the glory of God in view, and be offered in submission to
the divine will. It must have reference not merely to what is good, but
to a good which shall consist with those eternal principles of justice
and mercy, according to which God has decided to conduct the affairs of
his spiritual kingdom. We may never wish our children to sit with Christ
in his kingdom to the exclusion of others. We may not wish them
introduced into that kingdom on other principles, or by other
instrumentalities, than those which God has recognized and appointed.
The great law which governs in relation to other matters is to govern
here. Whatsoever ye do or seek, do and seek, even the salvation of your
children, for the glory of God.'

And, now, in conclusion, allow me to inquire whether it be not owing to
this selfish feeling that so many parents, who nevertheless abound in
prayer for their children, fail in seeing those prayers answered? They
fail, not because they do not pray often and earnestly, but because they
desire the salvation of their children rather than a humble, holy,
self-denying walk with God on earth. They forget that the chief end of
man is to glorify God, and that the enjoyment of Him is an effect or
result of such a course.

The object of the writer is not to discourage parents in praying for
their children, not for a moment, only, dear friend, I show you "a more
excellent way." I would urge you to abound in prayer still more than you
do. Pray on--"pray always"--pray, and "never faint." But, at the same
time, pray so that you may obtain. AMICUS.

       *       *       *       *       *

represented by the anecdote of the American geologist, who was walking
out for meditation one Sabbath day in Glasgow. As he passed near the
cottage of a peasant, he was attracted by the sight of a peculiar
species of stone, and thoughtlessly broke a piece of it. Suddenly a
window was raised, and a man's coarse voice reprovingly asked, "Ha! man,
what are ye doing?" "Why, only breaking a piece of stone." "An', sure,"
was the quaint reply, "ye are doing more than breaking the stone; ye are
breaking the Lord's day."

       *       *       *       *       *




  "Do with thy might whatsoever thy hand findeth to do."

I rose one morning, before six, to write letters, and hastened to put
them into the post-office before breakfast. It was a dark, lowery
morning, not very inviting abroad, for an April shower was then falling.

I had the privilege of depositing my letters in a box kept by Mr. D., a
thriving merchant, not very remote from my dwelling. As I entered the
store, Mr. D. expressed surprise to see me out from home at so early an
hour, remarking that he was sure but few ladies were even up at that
time, and much less abroad.

I told him in reply, that I had been accustomed from my childhood to
strive to "do with my might whatsoever my hand found to do." That
persons often expressed surprise that one so far advanced in life could
do so much, and endure so much fatigue and labor, and still preserve
health. I told Mr. D. that I had myself often reflected upon the fact
that I could do more in one day, with ease and comfort to myself, and
could endure more hardships, than most others. And when I came to
analyze the subject, and go back to first principles, I could readily
perceive all this had grown out of an irrepressible desire to please and
honor my parents.

My love towards them, coupled with fear, was perfectly unbounded, and
became the guiding and governing principles of my whole life. I could
not bear, when a very young child, to have either of my parents even
raise a finger, accompanied by a look of disapprobation, and whenever
they did, I would, as soon as I could, unperceived, seek out some
retired place where I could give vent to my sorrowful feelings and
troubled conscience.

That I might not often incur their censure, I strove by all possible
means to do everything to please them. My parents had a large family of
children; there was a great deal to be done, and our mother was always
in feeble health. I felt that I could not do enough, each day, in
sweeping, dusting, mending, &c., besides the ordinary occupation of each
day, that I might gratify my father, for he was very careful and tender
of our mother. I was not conscious of a disposition to outvie my
brothers and sisters, but when anything of consequence was to be done I
would exert myself to the utmost in my efforts to accomplish the largest
share. When we went into the garden or the fields to gather fruits or
vegetables, I was constantly influenced to be diligent, and to make
haste and gather all I could, so that on our return home I might receive
the plaudit, "Well done, good and faithful child." So it was in knitting
and sewing. That I might be able to accomplish more and more each day, I
would often induce one or more of my sisters to strive with me, to see
which could do the most in a given period.

So profitable did I find this excitement, that I often carried the
practice into my hours of study, as when my busy fingers plied the
needle. And often when I had no one to strive with me, I would strive
with myself, by watching the clock,--that is, I would see if I could not
knit or sew this hour more than I did the previous hour, if I could not
commit to memory more verses, or texts, or lessons, than I had the last

In this way I not only cultivated habits of vigorous efforts, but I
acquired that cheerful, happy disposition which useful occupation is
always sure to impart. In this way, too, I obtained that kind of
enthusiasm when anything of importance was to be done, that a boy has
when he is indulged in going out on a fishing or hunting excursion. A
boy thus situated, needs no morning summons. On the contrary, he is
usually on his way to the field of action before it is quite light; and
it concerns him but little whether he eats or fasts till his toils are
at an end.

Children, who thus early acquire habits of industry, and a love of
occupation, instead of living to eat in after life, will eat to live.

Oh, how do early right habits and principles help to form the character,
and mould the affections, and shape the destiny in all the future plans
and modes of living. How do they lead their possessor to strive after
high attainments, not only in this life, but thus lay the foundation for
activity in the pursuit of high and holy efforts throughout the endless
ages of eternity.

It will be perceived that the ruling motives of my conduct, in my early
childhood, towards my parents, were those of love and fear. Indeed these
are the two great principles that actuate the holy inhabitants of heaven
towards their Maker, whether they be saints or angels.

It was not the fear of the rod that led me to obey my best of parents.
It was not all the gifts or personal gratifications that could be
offered to a child that won my love.

I saw in both of my parents heavenly dispositions, heavenly tendencies,
drawing them, day by day, towards the great source of all perfection and
blessedness. I saw the noble and sublime principles of the Gospel acted
out in the nursery as sedulously as in the sanctuary, in fact far more
when at home than when abroad, for here there were more ample
opportunities afforded for their full development than perhaps anywhere
else. They loved each other with a pure heart, fervently, and they
sought not only the temporal good of their children, but their eternal
felicity and happiness. There was no constraint in their daily and
hourly watchings and teachings, but it was of a ready mind.

They aspired, themselves, after a perfect conformity to the image of the
blessed Savior--whose name is love--and they taught their children by
precept, and by their own lovely examples, to walk in his footsteps, who
said, "Be ye holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy."

What powerful motives then have all parents so to demean themselves
towards each other, and towards their children, as to deserve and to
secure their filial regard! Parents and children, thus influenced, will
forever respond to the following beautiful sentiment:

  "Happy the heart where graces reign,
    Where love inspires the breast;
  Love is the brightest of the train,
    And strengthens all the rest."

       *       *       *       *       *



At a meeting of the thirty-sixth anniversary of the American Bible
Society, May 13, 1852, many thoughts were suggested worthy the special
attention of all Christian mothers. A few are here registered, in the
hope that they may continue to call forth the prayers and efforts of all
Christian parents, and lead them to feel that whatever else they neglect
in the daily instructions of their children, they cannot safely overlook
their sacred obligations to see to it that the minds and hearts of their
children be early imbued with a love and reverence for this Book of

As was justly remarked, the Bible is the teacher of true philosophy, in
fact the only fountain of truth, and suggests the best and only plan
adequate to the conversion of the world.

Let the prayers, then, of all Christian mothers be daily concentrated in
asking God's blessing upon this noble institution, keeping in mind the
Savior's last prayer for his beloved disciples, "Sanctify them through
thy truth: thy word is truth."

We particularly invite attention to a resolution offered on that
occasion by Rev. Theo. L. Cuyler of Trenton, N.J.:

"_Resolved_, That the adaptedness of the Bible to all conditions of
society, and all grades of intellect, as shown by past history, brings
us evidence of its divine origin, and inspires us with hope of its
future success in enlightening and purifying the world."

Mr. C. remarked--"A wide field swells out before me in this resolution,
for it is nothing less than the universality of God's Word in its
complete adaptedness to the possible conditions of humanity. The truth
which I hold up for you all to gaze upon is, that 'God's Bible is the
book for all.' Like the air which visits alike the palace and the
cottage; like the water which meanders its way, or gushes from deep
fountains for the use of all men; so this book is adapted to the wants
of all immortal men. It is adapted to every grade of mind and heart,
rising higher than human intellect ever reached, and descending lower
than human degradation ever sank.

"Go to that closet in the neighborhood of Edinburgh, and see one of the
mightiest intellects the world has ever produced, upon whose
transcendent eloquence a Brougham, a Canning, and the greatest names of
the age, have hung entranced, bending over the pages of the Book of
Life. He reads, and writes his thoughts as he reads, until his writings
become volumes, and the world is blessed with his meditations on the
whole Bible. So thoroughly does his spirit become imbued with the
thoughts of this book, that Chalmers was said to have held the whole
Bible in solution.

"Upon Alpine peaks it spreads a moral verdure which makes their rugged
valleys smile, and adorns them with flowers of heavenly origin. Upon the
Virginia plantation, it made Honest John, the happy negro. It was
adapted to all climates and all conditions of life. It was the only book
which comforts in the last hour.

"This was vividly illustrated by the closing scene in the life of Sir
Walter Scott. The window of his chamber was open, through which entered
the breeze, bearing upon its wings the music of the silvery Tweed, which
had so often lulled his mighty spirit. His son-in-law was present, to
whom he said, 'Lockhart, read to me.' Lockhart replied, 'What shall I
read?' The dying bard turned to him his pale countenance and said,
'Lockhart, there is but one book!'

"What a tribute from the world's mightiest master of enchantment, who
had himself penned so many works which were the admiration of his
fellows, were those brief words uttered, when the spirit hung between
two worlds, 'There is but one book.' Would you learn true sublimity?
Throw away Virgil, the Greek and Roman classics, and even Milton and
Shakspeare, and go to the Bible.

"Amid all turbulence, agitation and danger, there is no other foundation
upon which we can rest the welfare and peace of society. This is the
only resort of every scheme of human elevation. This contains the primal
lessons of all duty. Let reformers recollect this, and let us all gather
around and protect this pillar of truth. Diffuse this 'blessed book,' as
one of England's poets, when pressing it to his lips in his dying hour,
called it. Wheel up this sun of light to the mid-heavens, and cause its
rays to gleam in every land."

Rev. Mr. Goodell, missionary to Constantinople, remarked, that during
thirty years residence in Mahomedan countries, he had learned something
of the importance of that book. The nations of the East are all wrong in
their conceptions of God. He had often stood upon the goodly mountain,
Lebanon, and upon the heights around Constantinople, and raised his
thoughts to God, asking, How long shall this darkness prevail? Without
this book we could have effected little in our missionary work; but by
it God hath done great things, whereof we are glad. The Bible was once
found only in dead languages; now it is translated into the language of
almost every people with whom we come in contact. Every friend of the
Bible will rejoice to know that it is becoming the great book of the
East. Before its translation into the Greco-Armenian, it was a mere
outside book, kept and admired for its handsome binding, and from a
superstitious reverence. Now it is an inside book; it has taken hold of
the heart of the Armenian nation. Once it was looked at; now it is read.
It has come to assume a great importance in the eyes of that people.
They have a great anxiety to read. More than one hundred aged women are
now engaged in learning to read, that they may read the New Testament
for themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let religion create the atmosphere around a woman's spirit and breathe
its life into her heart; refine her affections, sanctify her intellect,
elevate her aims and hallow her physical beauty, and she is, indeed, to
our race, of all the gifts of time, the last and best, the crown of our
glory, the perfection of our life.

       *       *       *       *       *



  "And though to his own hurt he swears,
  Still he performs his word."

I was yet a boy, when one day a gentleman came into the lot where my
father was superintending the in-gathering of his hay crop, and
addressing himself to a mower in my father's employment, inquired
whether he would assist him the following day. He replied, "Yes." "How
is this," said my father; "are you not engaged to mow for me?" "O yes,"
said the man. "Why, then," continued my father, "do you promise to mow
for Gen. K----?" "Why," said the man, "I wish to oblige him; I love to
oblige everybody." "And so," said my father, "you are willing to incur
the guilt of falsehood, for you cannot perform your promise to him and
myself, and in the end you must disappoint one of us; and, maybe,
seriously injure our interests and your reputation."

Nothing, surely, is more common, it is believed, than this heedless
manner of making promises which cannot be fulfilled. The modes in which
such promises are made are multitudinous, but it is not within the
compass of this article to specify them. That they are utterly wrong,
and indicate, on the part of those who make them, a light regard for
truth, is obvious. Besides, they often lay the foundation for grievous
disappointments, they thwart important plans, derange business
calculations, give birth to vexatious feelings, cause distrust between
man and man, and sap the foundations of morality and religion. Promises
should always be made with due caution and due reservation: "If the Lord
will," "if life is spared," "if unforeseen circumstances do not
interpose to prevent." It is always easy to state some conditions, or
make some such reservations. Or, rather, it would be easy, were it not
that one is often urged beyond all propriety, to make the promise, as if
the making of it, of course insured its fulfillment, although a
thousand circumstances may interfere to prevent it.

This is a subject of vast importance to the community. There are evils
also connected with it of alarming magnitude, and which all needful
efforts should be made to remove. Especially should this subject attract
the attention of parents. The mischief often begins with them and around
their own hearths. How common it is for parents to make promises to
their children, while the latter are yet tottering from chair to chair,
which are never designed to be fulfilled. And, at length, the deception
is discovered by the little prattlers, and often much earlier than
parents imagine. Often, too, is the parent reminded of his promise and
of its non-fulfillment. And, sometimes, this is done days and weeks
after the promise has been made and neglected. The consequence is, that
the child comes to feel that his parent has little or no regard to truth
himself, and that truth is a matter of minor importance. So that child
grows up. So he goes forth into society, and enters upon business. Will
he be likely to forget the lessons thus early taught him, and the
example thus early set him?

I am able to illustrate this subject by an incident which occurred in my
own experience within the last two months. I must tell the story in my
own simple way, and as it is entirely truthful, I hope salutary
impressions may be made in every quarter where they are needed, and
where this article shall be read.

Having occasion for the services of a mechanic in relation to a certain
piece of work, I called upon one in my neighborhood, then in the
employment of a gentleman, and was informed, on stating my object, that
as he should be through with his present engagement on the evening of a
certain day, he would commence my work on the following morning. The
specified time arrived, but the man did not appear. I waited two or
three days, in hourly expectation of his appearance, but was doomed to
disappointment. At length, I again called upon him and found him still
in the employment of the gentleman aforenamed. On inquiring the reason
of his delay, I was informed that on completing his former engagement
the gentleman had concluded to have more done than he originally
intended, and insisted upon the continuance of the mechanic in his
service until his work was entirely finished.

I said to him, "But did you not agree with me for a specified day?"


"Did not your engagement with Mr. ---- terminate on the evening previous
to that day?"


"Were you under obligation to that gentleman beyond that time?"


"Did not your continuance with him involve a violation of your promise
to me?"


"Was not this wrong? and how are you able to justify your conduct?"

"Sir," said he, "you do not understand the matter. I am to blame, but my
employer is still more to blame. Look at it. I am a mechanic and a poor
man. I am dependent on my labor for the support of myself and family.
This gentleman is rich, and gives me a great deal of employment; I do
not like to disoblige him, and, sir, when I told him, on the termination
of my engagement to him, that I had promised to enter upon a piece of
work for you, he would not release me. He claimed that I was in good
faith bound to work for him till his various jobs were done."

"And did you think so, my friend?"

"No," he replied, "I did not; but he told me that if I did not stay he
would give me no further employment."

"And so," said I, "you violated your conscience, wronged your own soul,
disappointed me, and all for the sake of obliging a man who was willing
that you should suffer in point of conscience and reputation, if his
selfish purposes might be answered."

"I am sensible," said he, "that I did wrong, but what course shall we
pursue, who are dependent upon our daily labor, for our support?"

"I admit," said I, "that you and others similarly situated, are under a
grievous temptation. But honesty, in the long run, is the best policy.
Acting upon the same principles with the gentleman who has detained you,
_I_ might hereafter refuse to employ you. And others might refuse, whose
work you are probably engaged to perform, but are postponing to gratify
_him_. The consequence of all this is, that your promises will soon pass
for nothing. You will be considered as a man not of your word, and when
once your good name is lost, you will become poorer than you now are,
and remain without employment and without friends."

No one, it is believed, can read the foregoing incident without being
impressed with the great impropriety chargeable upon the gentleman
referred to. The temptation he spread before the poor mechanic was
utterly wrong and unbecoming. It was nothing short of oppression. It was
bringing his wealth to bear upon a point with which it had no legitimate
connection. It was placing self before right; it was a reckless
sacrifice of the interests of others for his own gratification.

That such cases are common, is well known; but their frequency is only a
proof of the slight regard in which the sacredness of promises is held,
and to the violation of which employers frequently contribute by the
temptations which they spread, and the coercion which they practice. We
do not justify for a single moment the mechanics and laborers who
violate their pledges. We insist upon it that it is their solemn duty to
encounter any and every temporal evil rather than sacrifice truth and
conscience; but it is believed they would seldom be guilty of this
violation were they not pressed beyond measure by employers.

We must for a moment again advert to parents. You see, friends, what an
evil exists throughout the community. It is everywhere, and is helping
to work the ruin of immortal souls. It often begins, it is believed, in
the family. Parents are guilty, in the first place, and they early
inoculate their children with the evil. And the infection, once taken,
is likely to spread and to pervade the whole moral system. It enters
into other relations of life. It reaches to other departments of duty,
and tends to destroy our sense of obligation to God. It weakens our
regard for promises made to the Author of our being. In short, this
disregard for the fulfillment of sacred promises helps to sap the
foundations of moral virtue, and to prepare the soul for a world where
falsehood reigns supreme, and where there is no confidence between man
and man.


       *       *       *       *       *



The Rev. Wm. Jay has sweetly said of the trials of the people of God:
"Have they days of affliction? God knows them; knows their source, their
pressure, how long they have continued, the support they require, and
the proper time to remove them. Have they days of danger? He knows them,
and will be a refuge and defense in them. Have they days of duty? He
knows them, and will furnish the strength and the help they require.
Have they days of inaction when they are laid aside from their work, by
accident or disease? He knows them, and says to his servants under every
privation, 'It is well that it was in thy heart.' Have they days of
privation when they are denied the ordinances of religion, after seeing
his power and glory in the temple, and going with the voice of gladness
to keep holy day? He knows them, and will follow his people when they
cannot follow him, and be a little sanctuary to them in their losses.
Have they days of declension and of age in which their strength is fled,
and their senses fail, and so many of their connection have gone down to
the dust, evil days, wherein they have no pleasure? He knows them, and
says, 'I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth. Even down to old age
I am He, and to hoary hairs will I bear and carry you.'"

       *       *       *       *       *



Our friend, Mrs. Sigourney, has, at our request, kindly sent us the
subjoined hymn and remarks: "The Young Men's Christian Association I
consider one of the very best designs of this age of philanthropy. I
send you a hymn, elicited by the Boston branch of this same Society, a
circumstance which will not, I hope, diminish its adaptation to your

We cannot omit to ask mothers and daughters to give this Association
their countenance and prayers. We trust it will be the means of
accomplishing great good.


  GOD of our children! hear our prayer,
    When from their homes they part,
  Those idols of our fondest care,
    Those jewels of the heart.

  We miss their smile in hall and bower;
    We miss their voice of cheer;
  We speak their names at midnight hour
    When none but Thou dost hear.

  God of their spirits! be their stay,
    When from their parents' side,
  Their boat is launched to find its way
    O'er life's tempestuous tide.

  Tho' toss'd 'mid breakers wild and strong,
    Its veering helm should stray
  Where syrens wake the mermaid song,
    Guide thou their course alway.

  Oh, God of goodness, bless the band
    Who, moved by Christian love,
  Take the young stranger's friendless hand
    And lead his thoughts above.

  May their own souls the sunbeam feel,
    They thus have freely given,
  And be the plaudit of their zeal
    The sweet "_well-done_" of heaven.

L. H. S.

       *       *       *       *       *




It would be only presumption in us to attempt giving in any other than
the beautifully simple words of Scripture the story of Ruth and her
mother-in-law. The narration is inimitable, and needs nothing to make it
stand out like a picture before the mind. Suffice it then that we now
attend only to the lessons which may be gathered from it, and endeavor
to profit by them through all our coming lives. Nor let any think the
lessons afforded by these four short chapters few or easily acted upon,
though they may be soon comprehended. They will amply reward earnest
study and persevering practice.

The first thing which wins our admiration is Ruth's faith. She had been
educated in the degrading worship of Chemosh, the supreme deity of Moab.
Probably no conception of the one living God had been formed in her mind
until her acquaintance with the Jewish youth, the son of Elimelech and
Naomi. How long she had the happiness of a wife we are not informed. We
know it was only a few years. But during that period she had learned to
put such confidence in Jehovah, that she was willing to forsake country
and friends, even the home of her childhood and beloved parents, and go
forth with her mother-in-law to strange scenes, and willing to brave
penury and vicissitude that she might be numbered among His people.
Firmly she adhered to her resolution. The entreaties of Naomi--the
thought of her mother--the prospects which might await her in her own
land--even the retreating form of Orpah--nothing had power to prevail
over her desire to see Canaan and unite in the worship of her husband's
God. "The Lord recompense thy work," said Boaz to her, "and a full
reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou
art come to trust." He is not unfaithful, and that reward was made
sure. "Of the life that now is," the promise speaks, and it was
fulfilled to her. Of an undying honorable name it says nothing, but that
is also awarded her. "Upon a monument which has already outlasted
thrones and empires, and which shall endure until there be a new heaven
and a new earth--upon the front page of the New Testament is inscribed
the name of RUTH. Of her came David--of her came a long line of
illustrious and good men--of her came Christ."

Why will we not learn--why will we not daily and constantly act upon the
truth that implicit faith is pleasing to God? "None of them that trust
in Him shall be desolate."

There is a fund of instruction also in the few glimpses which we gain of
the intercourse of Naomi and Ruth as they journey on and after their
arrival in Canaan. How does the law of love dictate and pervade every
word and action! Naomi had once been an honored wife and mother in
Judah, and far above the reach of want. But in "the days when the judges
ruled," those days during which "every man did what was right in his own
eyes," her husband had deserted his people; and now on her return she
was probably penniless, her inheritance sold until the year of jubilee,
and she in her old age, unable by her own efforts to gain a subsistence.
The poor in Israel were not forlorn, but it required genuine humility on
Ruth's part, and a sincere love for her mother-in-law, to induce her to
avail herself of the means provided. She hesitated not. It was "in the
beginning of the barley harvest" that they came to Bethlehem, and as
soon as they were settled, apparently in a small and humble tenement,
she went forth to glean in some field after the reapers, not knowing how
it would fare with her, but evidently feeling that all depended on her
labors. The meeting of the mother and daughter at the close of that
important day is touching indeed. The joy with which the aged Naomi
greets her only solace, and the kind and motherly care with which she
brings the remains of her own scanty meal, which she had laid aside, her
eager questions, and Ruth's cheerful replies as she lays down her burden
and relates the pleasant events of the day--what gratitude to God--what
dawning hopes--what a delightful spirit of love appear through all! And
as days pass, how tenderly does Naomi watch over the interests of her
child, and how remarkable is the deference to her wishes which ever
animates Ruth. Even in the matter of her marriage,--a subject on which
young people generally feel competent to judge for themselves,--she is
governed entirely by her mother's directions. "All that thou sayest unto
me I will do." Said a young lady in our hearing, not long since, "When I
am married I shall desire that my husband may have no father or mother."
This is not an unusual wish, nor is it uttered in all cases lightly and
without reason. We know of a mother who would never consent that her
only son should bring his wife to dwell under her roof, although she was
entirely satisfied with his choice, and was constantly doing all in her
power to promote their happiness. What were her reasons? She was a
conscientious Christian and fond mother, but she would not risk their
mutual happiness. She felt herself unable to bear the test, and she was
unwilling to subject her children to it. Often do we hear expressions of
pity bestowed on the young wife who is so "unfortunate" as to be
compelled to live with her mother-in-law, and many are the sighs and
nods and winks of gossip over the trials which some of their number
endure from their sons' wives. Why is all this? The supreme selfishness
of our human nature must answer. Having a common love for one object,
the mother for her son, the wife for her husband, they should be bound
by strong ties, and their mutual interests should produce mutual
kindness and sympathy, and this would always be the case if each were
governed by the spirit of the Gospel. But alas! love of self rather than
the pure love inculcated by Jesus Christ most often rules. Brought
together from different paths, unlike, it may be, in natural
temperament, perhaps differing in opinion, the mother wishing to retain
her wonted control over her son, the wife feeling hers the superior
claim, there springs up a contest which is the fruitful source of
unhappiness, and which mars many an otherwise fine character. Before us
in memory's glass as we write, sits one of a most fair and beautiful
countenance, but over which hang dark clouds of care, and from the eyes
drop slowly bitter tears. She is what all around her would call a happy
wife and mother. Fortune smiles upon her, and the blessing of God abides
by the hearth-stone. Her husband is a professing Christian, as is also
his yet youthful-looking mother and the wife herself. Beautiful children
gambol around her, and look wonderingly in her face as they see those
tears. What is the secret of her unhappiness? She deems hers a very hard
lot, and yet if we rightly judge, could her sorrow be resolved to its
elements, it would be found that the turmoil of her spirit is occasioned
solely by the fact that she finds it hard to maintain her fancied
rights, her desired superiority over her husband and servants, because
of the presence of her calm, firm, dignified mother-in-law, whose very
lips seem chiseled to indicate that they speak only to be obeyed. What
would be the result if the tender, considerate love of Naomi and the
yielding spirit of Ruth were introduced to the bosom of each?

We cannot leave this record of Holy Writ without commenting also on the
remarkable state of society which existed in Bethlehem in those far
distant days. When Naomi returned after an absence of ten years--an
absence which to many might have seemed very culpable--with what
enthusiastic greetings was she received. "The whole city was moved." It
made no difference that she "went out full but had returned empty;" nor
did they stop to consider that "the Lord had testified against her." The
truest sympathy was manifested for her and for the stranger who had
loved her and clung to her. In her sorrow they clustered around to
comfort her, and when the bright reverse gave her again an honored name
and "a restorer of her life" in her young grandson, they were eager to
testify their joy. The apostolic injunction, "Rejoice with them that do
rejoice, and weep with them that weep," seems to have been strictly
obeyed in Bethlehem. The distinctions of society, although as marked
apparently as in our own time, seem not to have caused either
unhappiness nor the slightest approach to unkind or unchristian
feeling. Witness the greeting between Boaz and the reapers on his
harvest field. "And behold Boaz came from Bethlehem and said unto the
reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless
thee." Boaz was "a mighty man of wealth;" he had his hired workmen
around him, and in the same field was found the poor "Moabitish damsel,"
gleaning here and there the scattered ears, her only dependence. Yet we
find them all sitting together in the hut which was erected for shelter,
and eating together the parched grain which was provided for the noon's
refreshment, while Boaz enters into a conversation with Ruth which
indicates his truly noble and generous character, and speaks words which
are like balm to the sorrowing spirit. "Thou hast comforted me and
spoken to the heart of thy handmaid," she said as she rose to leave the
tent and felt herself no longer a stranger, since one so excellent and
so exalted in station appreciated and sympathized with her. We see
little in these Gospel days and in this favored land which will compare
with the genuine kindliness which breathes in every word and act
recorded in the book of Ruth.

But the most surprising revelation is made in the account which follows
the scene in the tent. What exalted principle--what respect for
woman--what noble virtue must have characterized those among whom a
mother could send her daughter at night to perform the part assigned to
Ruth, apparently without a fear of evil, and receive her again, not only
unharmed, but understood, honored, and wedded by the man to whom she was
sent, and that notwithstanding her foreign birth and dependent
situation, and fettered with the condition that her first-born son must
bear the name and be considered the child of a dead man!

We have friends who will fasten their faith on the New Testament only,
and can see nothing in the Old akin to it in precept or spirit. We
commend to them the Book of Ruth.

       *       *       *       *       *



     "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of
     them."--MATTHEW 6:6.

     (Concluded from page 211.)

In the mean time Charlotte ran home for her pennies, and on her return
met an acquaintance who did not belong to the Sunday-school.

"Where are you going so fast, Charlotte?" said she; "stop, I want to
show you what a lovely blue ribbon I have just bought at Drake's, only
four cents a yard, and half a yard makes a neck ribbon; isn't it sweet?
just look;" and she displayed a bright blue ribbon to the admiring gaze
of Charlotte.

"It is very pretty," said Charlotte longingly, "and I wish I could
afford to buy one like it, but I've got no money."

"What is that in your hand?" asked the other, as she espied the pennies
in Charlotte's hand.

"That is mission money," she replied; "I am going to give it to the
missionary to buy Bibles for the heathen."

"Buy fiddlesticks!" said the other, with a loud laugh. "Why, you _are_ a
little simpleton to send your money the dear knows where, when you might
buy a whole yard of this beautiful ribbon and have a penny left!"

Charlotte looked wishfully at the ribbon, and sighed as she answered,
"But I earned this money on purpose to give."

"More goose you to work for money to give away; but if you are so very
generous, buy half a yard, and then you will have three cents left to
give, that is enough I am sure; but do as you like, I must go. They have
got some splendid pink, that would become you exceedingly. Good bye;"
and so saying she left her.

Charlotte walked thoughtfully on; her love of dress and finery was a
ruling passion, and had been aroused at a most unfortunate moment; she
had never possessed a piece of new ribbon, and she longed to see how it
would look with her white cape. Thus thinking she arrived at Mr. Drake's
store, and the first thing she saw temptingly displayed in a glass case
upon the counter was the identical ribbon she coveted. There were
customers in the store, and Charlotte had to wait her turn; during those
few moments various thoughts passed through her mind.

"If I buy the ribbon what will Annie say?" suggested conscience. "Why
need you care for Annie?" whispered temptation, "the ribbon will look
pretty and becoming; you earned the money, and beside, Annie need not
know anything about it; tell her you had not time to change the money,
and throw the pennies quickly in the box; there will be more there, and
no one will know how much you put in."

Poor Charlotte! she did not know that the best way to avoid sin is to
flee from temptation. The shopman was at leisure, and waited to know
what she wished. She had not decided what to do; but the ribbon was
uppermost in her thoughts, and she asked, "What is the price of that
ribbon?" "Four cents," said the shopman as he quickly unrolled it; "here
are pink, white, blue and yellow; pink I should think the most becoming
to you, Miss. How much shall I cut you? enough to trim a bonnet?"

Charlotte was agitated; the man's volubility confused her, and she
stammered forth, "Half a yard, if you please, sir."

It was cut off, rolled up, and in her hand, and she had paid the two
cents before she collected her thoughts; and then as she slowly returned
home, she unfolded her purchase, and tried in her admiration of its gay
color to forget she had done wrong.

Perhaps if Charlotte had read her Bible she would have remembered how
Ananias and his wife Sapphira were struck dead for mocking the Lord, by
pretending they had given all when they had reserved a part of their
goods. Their sin consisted not so much in keeping back a part as in
lying unto God; and this sin Charlotte was about to commit by
pretending to put in the mission box more than she really did.

Sunday morning dawned bright and lovely. Annie was up and tidily dressed
long before the hour for school. She had time to sing a sweet morning
hymn, and to feed the tame robins with the crumbs she had carefully
swept up, and then with her little Bible sat down to study her lesson
again, and assure herself that she had it perfect. As she read the
sacred volume, and dwelt upon its precious promises, which her mother
had explained to her, she felt doubly sorry for those poor people who
were deprived of so great a blessing; and then she thought of her little
offering, and wished with all her heart it had been more.

Charlotte, on the contrary, awoke late, after an uneasy slumber, and
hurriedly eating her breakfast, for which she had but little appetite,
dressed herself, and opening the box where she kept her little
treasures, took out the gay pink ribbon, and after a long admiring gaze,
pinned it carefully about her neck. As she closed the box cover she saw
the three cents lying in one corner, and hastily put them in her pocket
with a feeling of self-abasement that made her cheeks glow with shame.
She ran quickly down stairs, lest her mother should see her and question
her about the ribbon, for although Mrs. Murray would not have
disapproved of her daughter's purchase, Charlotte dreaded her mother's
ridicule for so soon abandoning her new-fangled notions, as she called

She had promised to call for Annie, and she walked quietly along, hoping
her friend would not notice the ribbon nor ask to see the money. As she
slowly approached Mrs. Grey's cottage, she saw Annie's favorite kitten
jump up in the low window seat to bask in the warm sunshine. Charlotte
saw the little cat put out her paw to play with something, and just as
she was opposite the window a small bright piece rolled down into the
road. She hastened forward and picked it up; it was a bright new

"This must be Annie's," she thought; and looking in the window she saw
the room was empty, and Annie's Bible and handkerchief laid on the
window seat. Puss was busy playing with the leaves of the book, and
Charlotte walked slowly on with the piece yet in her hand.

"How pretty and bright it looks," she thought. "I wish that I had one to
give. I know the girls will stare to see Annie put in so much. How lucky
it was that I passed; if I had not it would have been lost, or some one
else would have picked it up. I will give it to her in school; I shall
not keep it, of course." Thus quieting her conscience she walked quickly
to school, and took her seat among the rest.

How gradual is the descent to sin. Charlotte would have spurned the idea
of stealing, and yet from desiring to give with a wrong motive she had
been led on step by step, and when the girl who sat next her asked what
she had brought, she opened her hand and showed the piece of money.

School had commenced when Annie came in; she looked disheartened, and
her eyes were red with crying. Charlotte's heart smote her, and could
she have spoken to Annie, she would doubtless have returned the piece of
money, but she dared not leave her seat, and after a few moments it was
whispered around the class that Annie Grey had lost her mission money.
Then the girls about Charlotte told each other how much she had brought,
and she began to think,

"What difference will it make if I put it in the box? it is all the
same, Annie says, who gives the money, so that it is given;" and so when
the box was handed round she dropped the five cent piece in. Her
conscience reproved her severely as she glanced at poor Annie, whose
tears were flowing afresh, and who, when the teacher handed her the box,
said in low, broken tones, that she had lost her offering and had
nothing to give.

After dismissal the children crowded around Annie, pitying and
questioning her. Charlotte moved away, she could not speak to her
injured friend; but as she passed she heard Annie say, "I laid it on my
Bible. I was just about tying it in the corner of my pocket handkerchief
when mother called me away; when I came back it was gone. Kitty was
sitting in the window, and I suppose must have knocked it down in the
road. I searched all over the room, and out in the road, but could not
find it."

"I am really sorry," said one.

"And I, and I," added three or four more.

"Let us go and help her look for it again," said they all, "perhaps we
may find it yet," for Annie's gentleness had made her beloved by all.

Charlotte's feelings were far from enviable as she went towards home;
she hated herself and felt perfectly miserable. As soon as she arrived
at the house she went hastily up stairs, and took off the hateful
ribbon, as it now appeared, with a feeling of disgust, and throwing
herself on the bed cried long and bitterly. Charlotte did not know how
to pray to God to give her a clean heart and forgive her sin; she never
thought of asking His forgiveness, or confessing her fault; she felt
sick at heart, restless and unhappy. Such are ever the consequences of
sin. She ate no dinner, and her mother told her to go and lie down, as
she did not look well. Charlotte gladly went up stairs again, and after
another hearty crying spell fell fast asleep.

When she awoke it was evening, and going down stairs she found that her
mother had gone to visit a neighbor. Charlotte stood out by the door,
and although it was a lovely summer night, a gloom seemed to her to
overhang everything. Her little brothers spoke to her, and she answered
them harshly and sent them away. While she stood idly musing a miserable
old beggar woman, who bore but an indifferent character in the
neighborhood, came hobbling along; she came up to the little girl and
asked an alms. Almost instinctively she put her hand in her pocket, and
taking thence the three cents placed them with a feeling of relief in
the beggar's hand. She thought she was doing a good act, and would atone
for her wicked conduct. The old woman was profuse of thanks, and taking
from her dirty apron a double handful of sour and unripe fruit, placed
it in Charlotte's lap and went away.

Charlotte's parents had forbidden her eating unripe fruit; but a day
begun in sin was not unlikely to end in disobedience. She felt feverish
and thirsty, and so biting one of the apples went on eating until all
were gone. She then went up to bed, and feeling afraid to be alone, for
a bad conscience is always fearful, she closed her eyes and fell almost
immediately asleep.

She was awakened in the night by sharp and violent pain; she dreaded to
call her mother, as she would have to tell her what she had been eating,
and so she bore the suffering as long as she could; but her restless
tossings and moans aroused her mother, who slept in an adjoining room,
and hastening in to her daughter, she found her in a high state of
fever. She did all she could for her, but the next morning Charlotte was
so much worse that a physician was sent for. She was quite delirious
when he came, and he pronounced her situation dangerous.

The poor girl raved incessantly about ribbons and Annie's tearful face,
and seemed to be in great distress of mind. Annie heard that Charlotte
was very ill, and came to see her. She was shocked to hear her talk so
wildly, and to see her face flushed with fever. She stayed some time,
but Charlotte did not know her, although she often mentioned her name.
When Annie returned home she asked her mother's permission to stay with
Charlotte as much as possible, which Mrs. Grey cheerfully gave, and went
to visit her herself.

For a whole week poor Charlotte's fever raged violently, and as Annie or
her mother were with her constantly, they could not fail to discover
from the sick girl's ravings that she had taken the lost fivepence.
Annie, however, who heartily forgave her playmate, never mentioned what
she heard to her mother, and Mrs. Grey also wisely refrained from
telling her suspicions. She was better acquainted with the treatment of
the sick than Mrs. Murray, and she watched over Charlotte with the
tenderness of a mother. One day Annie sat reading her Bible by the
bedside when Charlotte awoke from a long sleep, the first she had
enjoyed, and looking towards Annie said in a feeble voice,

"Oh, dear Annie, is that you?"

The little girl rose, and bending over her sick playmate, begged her in
a gentle voice to lie still and be quiet.

"I will, I will," answered Charlotte, clasping her hands feebly about
her friend's neck as she leaned towards her, "if you will only say you
forgive me. Oh, you know not what a wicked girl I am, and yet it seems
as if I had been telling everybody."

"Never mind now, dear," whispered Annie, "only keep still or you will
bring on your fever again."

"I believe I have been very ill, and have said many strange things,"
murmured Charlotte, "but I know you now and understand what I say. Do
you think you can forgive me, Annie?"

"Yes, dear Charlotte, and I love you better than ever now, so do not
talk any more." Annie kissed her tenderly as she spoke, and the sick
girl laid her head upon the pillow still holding Annie's hand in her

From this time Charlotte rapidly improved, and one afternoon, when her
mother and Mrs. Grey and Annie were sitting with her, she told them the
whole truth about the lost money, and begged them to forgive her. Little
Annie, whose tears were flowing fast, kissing her again and again,
assured her of her entire forgiveness, and told her never to mention it

Mrs. Grey then said, "I think that we all forgive your fault, my dear
child, but there is One whose forgiveness you must first seek before
your repentance can be sincere. The sin you have committed against God
is far greater than any injury you have done us. In the first place, my
dear Charlotte, you wished to give with a wrong motive; you did not seek
to please God and serve Him, by giving your trifle with a sincere heart
and earnest prayers. You sought rather the praise of your teachers; and
worse even than this, you wished to awaken the envy of your companions.
Such a gift, however large, could never be acceptable to the just God,
who knows all hearts, and bids us to do good in secret and He will
reward us openly. You see, my little girl, how one misstep makes the way
for another,--how this pride begat envy, and envy covetousness, and
then how quickly did deceit and dishonesty and disobedience come after.
Do not think me harsh, my dear child, from my heart I forgive you; your
punishment has been severe, but I trust it will be to you a well-spring
of grace; and now let us humbly ask the forgiveness and blessing of that
just and yet merciful God who for Jesus' sake will hear our prayers."

They knelt, and Mrs. Grey made a touching and earnest prayer; even Mrs.
Murray was affected to tears; she felt ashamed of her daughter's
conduct; she knew she herself was to blame, and this event had a good
effect upon her future conduct.

After a little while Charlotte asked for her box, and taking out the
pink ribbon placed it in Mrs. Grey's hand and begged her to burn it, as
she could not bear to see it.

"No," said Mrs. Grey, "keep it, Charlotte; it will remind you of your
fatal error, and perhaps, through God's blessing, may sometimes lead you
from the path of sin into that of holiness."

Charlotte took her friend's advice, and after her recovery never gave
utterance to a falsehood. She and Annie became Sunday-school teachers,
and through the grace of God Charlotte was the means of bringing her
whole family into the fold of the Good Shepherd; and while she lived she
always carefully treasured the pink ribbon, which was a memento alike of
her fault and her sincere repentance.

       *       *       *       *       *



MY DEAR SON:--Seldom, if ever, have I perused a letter of
deeper interest to myself as a father, than the one you lately addressed
to your sister. Long had it been my daily prayer that the Spirit of God
would impress you with the importance of becoming a Christian; from your
letter I infer that you are anxiously inquiring after the "great
salvation." It is all-important that you be guided aright. _What must
you do?_

The Bible should be our guide in matters involving our spiritual
interests, and we need not fear to follow its directions. The Bible
declares that in order to be saved the sinner must "_repent_." This is
the first step.

But what is it to repent? Let me tell you. Suppose, then, that a person
spreads a false and injurious report about another, by which his
character is wounded, his influence lessened, and his business
destroyed. This is wrong. Of this wrong, the injurer at length becoming
sensible, and deeply regretting it, repairs to the one whom he has
injured, confesses the wrong, seeks forgiveness, does all in his power
to make amends, and offends no more. This is repentance.

Now, when such sorrow is exercised toward God for wrong done to Him,
when that wrong is deeply deplored, is honestly confessed, and is
followed by a permanent reformation, that is repentance toward God. Such
repentance God requires; nor can one become a Christian who does not
exercise it. This is one unalterable condition of salvation. I do not
mean that the penitent sinner will never afterwards, in no instance, sin
again. He may sometimes, again, do wrong, for so long as he is in the
world imperfection will pertain to him; but the ruling power of sin will
be broken in his heart. He may sometimes sin; but whenever he does he
will lament it. He will retire to his closet, and while there alone with
God his tears will flow. Oh! how will he pray and wrestle that he may be
forgiven; and what solemn resolutions will he make to sin no more! This
he will continue to do month after month, and year after year, as long
as he lives, as long as he ever does any wrong. To forsake sin becomes a
principle of his life; to confess and forsake it, a habit of his soul.
Repentance, then, is the first step.

But the Bible adds, "Repent and _believe_ on the Lord Jesus Christ, and
thou shalt be saved." Belief, or faith, as it is called, is another
exercise required in order to be saved. What now is _faith_? Let me
illustrate this.

Suppose a person is standing on the branch of a tree. It appears to be
sufficiently firm to bear him, and he feels secure. But presently he
perceives that it is beginning to break, and if it break he may be
dashed on the rocks below. What shall he do? He looks abroad for help.
At this critical moment a person presents himself at the foot of the
tree, and says, "Let go, let go, and I will catch you." But he is
afraid. He fears that the person may not be able, or may be unwilling to
save him. But the branch continues to break, and destruction is before
him. Meanwhile the kind-hearted person below renews his assurance, "Let
go, let go, confide in me and I'll catch you." At last the person on the
branch becomes satisfied that no other hope remains for him, so he says,
"I'll do as this friend bids me; I'll trust him." He lets go, falls, and
the other catches him. This is _faith_, or in other words it is

Now the sinner is liable to fall under the wrath of God for the wrong he
has done, and there to perish. He may repent of that wrong, and
repentance is most reasonable, and is, we have seen, required; but
repentance of itself never repairs a wrong. One may repent that he has
killed another, but that does not restore life. One may be sorry that he
has broken God's commands, but that does not repair the dishonor done to
the Divine government. That government must be upheld. How can it be
done? I will tell you how it has been done. Christ consented to take the
sinner's place. On the cross he suffered for and instead of the sinner;
and God has decided that whosoever, being penitent for sin, will confide
in his Son, or trust him, shall be saved.

Sinners are wont to put a high value upon some goodness which they fancy
they possess, or upon good actions which they imagine they have done.
These, they conceive, are sufficient to save them; and sinners generally
feel quite secure. How little concerned, my son, have you been. But
sinners mistake as to their goodness. They are all "dead in trespasses
and sins." They are under condemnation. They are in imminent danger. Any
day they may fall into the hands of an angry God. Sinners under
conviction see this and feel this. The branch of self-righteousness on
which they stand is insufficient to bear them. By-and-by it begins to
give way. When the sinner feels this he cries, "What shall I do? Who
will save me?"

Now Christ is commissioned to save, and when the poor sinner sees that
he is about to perish, and in that state cries for help, Christ comes to
him and says, "Let go all hope in yourself; let go dependence upon every
other thing; trust to me and I will save you." "Come, for all things are
ready." But may be the sinner is afraid. Will Christ do as he promises?
Is he able to save? Well, the sinner looks round--he hesitates--perhaps
prays--weeps--promises; but while all these are well enough in their
places, they never of themselves bring peace and safety to the anxious
heart. At length he sees and feels that there is no one but Christ, who
stands as it were at the bottom of the tree, that can save him. And now
he lifts up his voice and cries, "Lord, save me, or I perish." Into the
hands of Christ he falls, and from that moment he is safe. This is
Gospel faith or confidence.

And this repentance and faith which I have described are necessary in
order to salvation. So the Bible decides; and whenever a soul exercises
them that soul is a Christian soul, and that man is a Christian man.

There is yet one question further of great moment. You hope, perhaps,
that you are a Christian--that you have truly repented, and do exercise
true faith. You ask, _How shall one decide?_

I will tell you this also. Suppose you agree with a nurseryman to
furnish you with a tree of a particular kind. He brings you one. You
inquire, "Is this the kind of tree I engaged?" He replies, "Yes." But
you say, "How do I know? It looks indeed like the tree in question, and
you say it is; but there are other trees which strongly resemble it." He
rejoins, "I myself grafted it, and I almost know." "Ah! yes, _almost_;
but are you certain?" "No," he replies, "I am not absolutely certain,
and no one can be sure at this moment." "But what shall I do?" you ask.
"I want that particular tree." "Well," says he, "I will suggest one
infallible test. Set it out on your grounds. It will soon bear _fruit_,
and that will be a sure and satisfactory test." "Is there no other way?"
you ask--"no shorter, better way?" "None," he replies. "This is the only
sure evidence which man can have."

Let us apply these remarks. As there is but one infallible test as to a
tree, so there is but one in respect to a man claiming to be a
Christian. "What _fruit_ does he bear?" "By their fruits," says our
Savior, "ye shall know them." Only a good tree brings forth good fruit.
Here, then, we have a plain, simple, and, I may add, infallible rule for
testing ourselves. What kind of fruit are we bearing? What fruit must we
bear? "The fruits of the Spirit," says the Bible, "are love, joy, peace,
long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," &c. If, then, we have been
born of the Spirit, _i.e._, born again, or in other words, if we are
Christians, we shall bear the fruits of the Spirit.

I have known persons suggest various marks or tests by which to try
themselves; but I have never found any which could certainly be depended
upon besides the one which I have named--_the fruit which one brings
forth_. The application of this test requires time. For evidence of
Christian character, a person must examine himself month after month and
year after year. His great aim must be to glorify God. He will,
therefore, strive to keep his commandments. He will shun all known evil,
and let others see that he sets a high value upon all that is "lovely
and of good report." He will pray, not one day or one month, but
habitually. His life will be a life of prayer, and in all the duties of
the Christian profession he will endeavor to persevere. He will find
himself imperfect, and will sometimes fail; but when he fails he will
not sink down in despair and give up, but he will repent and say, "I'll
do better next time;" and thus he will go forward gathering strength.
Many trials and difficulties he will find, but the way will grow
smoother and easier. His evidence will increase. The path of the
righteous is as the light which shines brighter and brighter unto the
perfect day.

And now, my dear son, are you willing to set out in all sober
earnestness so to live, not one day, but always? If you are, God will
bless and aid you. You will be a happy boy, and as you grow older you
will be happier still; and in the end you will go to God and to your
pious friends now in heaven, or who may hereafter reach that blissful
abode, and spend an eternity in loving, praising and serving God. This
is the constant prayer of your affectionate father.

       *       *       *       *       *




Little Charlie, the youngest child of our pastor, was the delight of all
the household, but especially of the infirm grand-mother, to whose aid
and solace he devoted his little efforts. He was a beautiful and active
child, of nearly three years, and was to the parsonage what the father
emphatically called him,--its "_fountain of joy_." But little Charlie
was suddenly taken from it, after an illness of a few hours. A week
afterward, FANNY, a beautiful and highly intelligent child of
five years, died of the same fearful disease, scarlet fever. The
following little poems were intended as sketches of the characteristics
of the two lovely children.

Some three years after, death bore away also little EMMA, a
child two years old, who had in some measure replaced the lost children
of the parsonage. To express the sparkling and exuberant vivacity of
this last darling of friends very dear to the writer, has been the
object of another simple lay. There are smitten hearts enough in the
homes to which this magazine finds its way to respond to notes that
would commemorate the infant dead.


  Beside our pilgrim path there sprang
    A pleasant little rill,
  Whose murmur, ever in our ear,
    Was cheerful music still.

  The earliest rays of brightening morn,
    Back to our eyes it flashed,
  And onward through the livelong day,
    In tireless sport it dashed.

  We loved the little sparkling rill,
    We sunned us in its glance;--
  The turf looked green where, near our feet,
    It kept its joyous dance.

  And welcome to our weariness
    Was the clear draught it gave;
  E'en way-worn age took heart and bowed,
    Its aching brow to lave.

  But where is now our pleasant rill,
    We miss it from our side;
  We looked, and it was at its full--
    We turned, and it was dried.

  Oh Father.--thou whose gracious hand
    Bestowed the boon at first,
  A parched and desert land is this--
    Let not thy servants thirst!

  Fountains of joy at thy right hand
    Are gushing evermore--
  Bid them for us, thy fainting ones,
    Their rich abundance pour.


  We miss thee on the threshold wide.
                             Smiling little Fanny!
  Thine offered hand was wont to guide
  Our footsteps to thy mother's side,
                             Ready little Fanny!

  We miss the welcome of thy face,
                             Winning little Fanny!
  We miss thy bright cheek's rounded grace
  Thy clear blue eyes' confiding gaze,
                             Lovely little Fanny!

  We miss thy glowing earnestness,
                              Guileless little Fanny!
  We miss thy clasping arms' caress,
  The solace of thy tenderness,
                              Loving little Fanny!

  We miss thy haste at school-time bell,
                              Docile little Fanny!
  Learning with eager face to spell,
  Thy Sabbath verses conning well,
                              Studious little Fanny!

  We miss thee at the hour of prayer,
                              Gentle little Fanny!
  Thy sweet low voice and thoughtful air,
  Reading God's word with earnest care,
                              Serious little Fanny!

  The hour of play brings woeful dearth,
                              Merry little Fanny!
  _With thee the voice of childhood's mirth,_
  _Died from about our twilight hearth_,
                              Joyous little Fanny!

  But angels' gain doth our loss prove,
                              Precious little Fanny!
  Now dwelleth with our God above[C]
  That little one whose life was love,
                              Blessed little Fanny!


  A floweret on the grassy mound
    Of buried hopes sprang up;--
  Tears fell upon its bursting leaves
    And gemmed its opening cup.

  But such a rosy sun-light fell
    Upon those tear-drops there,
  That no bright crystals of the morn
    Such diamond-hues might wear.

  No glancing wing of summer-bird
    Was ever half so gay
  As that fair flower--no insect's hues
    Shone with such changeful play.

  It nodded gaily to the touch
    Of every wandering bee,
  Its petals tossed in every breeze,
    And scattered odors free.

  And they who watched the pleasant plant
    In its bright bursting bloom,
  Hailed in its growth their bower of rest,--
    Solace for years to come.

  But He who better knew their need
    Laid its fair blossoms low;--
  Between their souls and heaven's clear light
    Tendril nor leaf might grow.

  Then oh! how sad the grassy mounds
    Its graceful growth had veiled!--
  How sere and faded was their life,
    Its fragrance all exhaled;--

  Till from the blue o'erarching sky,
    A clearer beam was given,
  A light that showed them _labor_ here,
    And promised _joy_ in heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *



I shall attempt to show by an every-day sort of logic, rather than by
any set argument, that young children, when religiously educated, do at
a very early age comprehend the being of a God,--that the mind is so
constituted that to such prayer is usually an agreeable service,--that
in times of sickness or difficulty, or when they have done wrong, they
do usually find relief in looking to God for relief and for forgiveness.

I have known quite young children, in a dying state, when their parents
have hesitated as to the expediency of referring, in the presence of the
child, to the period of dissolution as near, in some paroxysm of
distress at once soothed and quieted by the strains of agonizing prayer
of the father, that relief might be afforded to the little sufferer,
commending it to Jesus.

From my own early experience I cannot but infer that young children do
as readily comprehend the sublime doctrine of a superintending
providence as the man of gray hairs. We know from reason and revelation
that the heavens declare the glory of God, and that the earth showeth
forth his handiwork--day unto day utterreth speech, and night unto night
showeth forth knowledge of him.

As soon therefore as a child begins to reason and to ask questions, "Who
made this?" and "who made that?" it can understand that "the great and
good God made heaven and earth." Indeed this truth is so self-evident
that the heathen who have not the Bible are said to be without excuse if
they do not love and worship the only living and true God, as God.

The man, therefore, of fourscore years, though he may understand all
things else,--how to chain the lightning, to analyze all earthly
substances, to solve every problem in Euclid, yet in matters of Gospel
faith, before he can enter the kingdom of God, must come down to the
capacity of a little child, and take all upon trust, and believe, and
obey, and acquiesce, simply on the ground, "My Father told me so."

One of the first things I remember with distinctness as having occurred
in the nursery, related to the matter of prayer. One night when a sister
a year and a half older than myself had, as usual, repeated all our
prayers suited to the evening, which had been taught to us, from a
sudden impulse I made up a prayer which I thought better expressed my
feelings and wants than any which I had repeated. My sister, who was
more timid, was quite excited on the occasion. She said that as I did
not know how to make up prayers, God would be very angry with me. We
agreed to refer the case in the morning to our mother. When we came to
repeat our morning prayers, the preceding transaction came to mind, and
we hurried as fast as possible to dress, each one eager first to obtain
the desired verdict.

Almost breathless with excitement, we stated the affair to mother. Her
quick reply was, "The Bible says that Hezekiah, king of Israel, had been
sick, and he went upon the house-top, and his noise was as the
chattering of a swallow, but the Lord heard him." Without asking any
further questions, ever after we both framed prayers for ourselves.

Soon after this occurrence a sudden death occurred in our neighborhood,
and my mind was deeply affected. I went stealthily into our spare
chamber to offer up prayer, feeling the need of pardon. Just as I knelt
by the bedside, my eldest sister opened the door. Seeing her surprise at
seeing me there and thus engaged, I was about to rise, when she came up
to me, put her arms about my neck, kissed me, and without saying
anything, left the room. This tacit approval of my conduct, so
delicately manifested, won for her my love and my confidence in her
superior wisdom; and though nearly sixty years with all their important
changes have intervened, yet that trifling act is still held in grateful

One such incident is sufficient to show the immense influence which an
elder brother or sister may have, for weal or for woe, over the younger
children. The smothered falsehood, the petty theft, the robbing of a
bird's-nest, the incipient oath, the first intoxicating draught, the
making light of serious things, with the repeated injunction--"Don't
tell mother!" may foster in a younger brother the germ of evil
propensities, and lead on till some fatal crime is the result.

When I was nine years old a letter was received by my father, the
contents of which set us children in an uproar of joy. It was from our
father's elder brother, who resided in a city seventy miles distant from
our country residence. This letter stated if all was favorable we might
expect all his family to become our guests on the following week, our
aunt and cousins to remain in our family some length of time, and be
subjected to the trial of inoculation from that dreaded
disease--small-pox. We were all on tip-toe to welcome our friends, and
especially our uncle, who from time to time had supplied us with many
rare books, so that we had now quite a valuable library of our own. All
our own family of children were at the same time put into the hospital.
I shall never forget "O dear," "O dear, I have got the symptoms, I have
got the symptoms!" that went around among us children.

I cannot but take occasion to offer a grateful tribute of thankfulness
that we are not now required by law, as then, to subject our children to
such an ordeal and to such strict regimen. Who ever after entirely
recovered from a dread of "hasty pudding and molasses" without salt?

When all was safely over, and my uncle came to take his family home,
there seemed to have been added a new tie of affection by this recent
intimacy, and it was agreed that my uncle's eldest son, a year or two
older than myself, should remain, and for one year recite to my father,
and that I should spend that time in my uncle's family, and become the
companion of a cousin three years younger, who never had a sister.

I have often wished that such exchanges might be more frequently made by
brothers and sisters and intimate friends. It is certainly a cheap and
admirable method of securing to each child those kind and faithful
attentions which money will not always command. I needed the polish of
city life--the freedom and the restraints imposed in well-disciplined
schools, where personal graces and accomplishments were considered
matters of importance as well as furniture for the mind; while my cousin
would be benefited in body and mind by such country rambles, such
fishing and hunting excursions, such feats of ball-playing, as "city
folks" know but little about. Some fears were expressed lest this boy
should lose something by forsaking his well-organized school, and fall
behind his classmates. But I have heard that cousin say, as to literary
attainments, this year was but the beginning of any high intellectual
attainments; for till now he had never learned how to study so that
intellectual culture became agreeable to him. And what was gratifying,
it was found on his return home that he was far in advance of his
classmates. So needful is it often to have the body invigorated, and
the mind should receive a right bias, and that such kind of stimulants
be applied as my father was able to give to the wakeful, active mind, of
his aspiring nephew.

Many times after my return home did my mother bless "sister N----" for
the many useful things she had taught me. My highest ambition had been
to iron my uncle's large fine white cravats, which, being cut bias, was
no easy attainment for a child.

I cannot well describe my astonishment and grief of heart, on being
installed in my new and otherwise happy, delightful home, to find
wanting a _family altar_. I had indeed the comfort of knowing that in my
own distant home the "absent child" was never for once forgotten, when
the dear circle gathered for family worship.

So certain was the belief which my parents entertained that an
indispensable portion was to be obtained for each child in going in unto
the King of kings, that in case of a mere temporary sickness, if at all
consistent, family prayer was had in the room of the invalid. Not even a
blessing was invoked at the morning meal till every child was found in
the right seat. In case of a delinquency, perhaps not a word of rebuke
was uttered, but that silent, _patient waiting_, was rebuke enough for
even the most tardy.

It was felt, I believe, by each member of the family, that there was
meaning in the every-day, earnest petition, "May we all be found
_actually_ and _habitually_ ready for death, our great and last change."
My father did not pray as an old lady is said to have done each day,
"that God would bless her descendants as long as grass should grow or
water should run." But there was something in his prayers equivalent to
this. He did seldom omit to pray that God would bless his children and
his children's children to the latest generation.

Oh how often, while absent, did my mind revert to that assembled group
at home! Nothing, I believe, serves to bind the hearts of children so
closely to their parents and to each other as this taking messages for
each other to the court of heaven. Never before did I realize that each
brother and sister were to me a second self.

I was a most firm believer in the truth of the Bible, and I have often
thought more inclined to take the greater part as literal than most
others. I had often read with fear and trembling the passage, "I will
pour out my fury upon the heathen, and upon the families that call not
upon my name." To dwell in a Christian land and be considered no better
than heathen--what a dreadful threatening; a condemnation, however, not
above the comprehension of a child. Here I was in such a family, and
here I was expected to remain for a full year. I do not recollect to
have entertained any fears for my personal safety, yet every time a
thunder-storm seemed to rack the earth, and as peal after peal with
reverberated shocks were re-echoed from one part of the firmament to the
other, I was in dread lest some bolt might be sent in fury upon our
dwelling on account of such neglect. Little did these friends know what
thoughts were often passing through my mind as I ruminated upon their
privileges and their disregard of so plain and positive a duty. I did
often long to confide to my aunt, whom I so much venerated, my thoughts
and feelings on religious subjects, with the same freedom I had been
encouraged to do to my own dear mother. I can never forget the struggle
I had on one occasion. A lady came to pass a day in the family. The
conversation happened to turn upon the importance and efficacy of
prayer. Here now, I thought, is an opportunity I may never have again to
express an opinion on a subject I had thought so much about; and
summoning to my aid all the resolution I could, I ventured to remark,
"the Bible says, 'the effectual and fervent prayer of the righteous
_prevaileth_ much.'" I saw a smile pass over the radiant and beautiful
countenance of my aunt, and I instantly conjectured that I had misquoted
the passage. For a long time, as I had opportunity, I turned over the
pages of my Bible, before I could detect my mistake. I cannot say how
long a period elapsed, after I left this pleasant family, before the
family-altar was erected, but I believe not a very long period. One
thing I am grateful to record, that when my aunt died at middle age,
all with her was "peace," "peace," "sweet peace." And my venerated uncle
recently fell asleep in Jesus, at the advanced age of more than
fourscore years, like a shock of corn fully ripe.

       *       *       *       *       *



There has been a long-standing dispute respecting the intellectual
powers of the two sexes, and the consequent style of education suitable
to each. Happily, the truth on this subject may be fully spoken, without
obliging me to exalt the father at the expense of the mother, or ennoble
man by denying the essential equality of woman. It is among the things
settled by experience, that, equal or not equal in talents, woman, the
moment she escapes from the despotism of brute force, and is suffered to
unfold and exercise her powers in her own legitimate sphere, shares with
man the sceptre of influence; and without presuming to wrest from him a
visible authority, by the mere force of her gentle nature silently
directs that authority, and so rules the world. She may not debate in
the senate or preside at the bar--she may not read philosophy in the
university or preach in the sanctuary--she may not direct the national
councils or lead armies to battle; but there is a style of influence
resulting from her peculiar nature which constitutes her power and gives
it greatness. As the sexes were designed to fill different positions in
the economy of life, it would not be in harmony with the manifestations
of divine wisdom in all things else to suppose that the powers of each
were not peculiarly fitted for their own appropriate sphere. Woman gains
nothing--she always loses when she leaves her own sphere for that of
man. When she forsakes the household and the gentler duties of domestic
life for the labors of the field, the pulpit, the rostrum, the
court-room, she always descends from her own bright station, and
invariably fails to ascend that of man. She falls between the two; and
the world gazes at her as not exactly a woman, not quite a man,
perplexed in what category of natural history to classify her. This
remark holds specially true as you ascend from savage to refined
society, where the rights and duties of women have been most fully
recognized and most accurately defined. Mind is not to be weighed in
scales. It must be judged by its _uses_ and its _influence_. And who
that compasses the peculiar purpose of woman's life; who that
understands the meaning of those good old Saxon words, mother, sister,
wife, daughter; who that estimates aright the duties they involve, the
influences they embody in giving character to all of human kind, will
hesitate to place her intellect, with its quickness, delicacy and
persuasiveness, as high in the scale of power as that of the father,
husband and son? If we estimate her mind by its actual power of
influence when she is permitted to fill to the best advantage her circle
of action, we shall find a capacity for education equal to that of him
who, merely in reference to the temporary relations of society, has been
constituted her lord. If you look up into yonder firmament with your
naked eye, the astronomer will point you to a star which shines down
upon you single in rays of pure liquid light. But if you will ascend yon
eminence and direct towards it that magnificent instrument which modern
science has brought to such perfection of power, the same star will
suddenly resolve itself into two beautiful luminaries, equal in
brilliancy, equal in all stellar excellence, emitting rays of different
and intensely vivid hues, yet so exactly correspondent to each other,
and so embracing each other, and so mingling their various colors as to
pour upon the unaided vision the pure, sparkling light of a single orb.
So is it with man and woman. Created twofold, equal in all human
attributes, excellence and influence, different but correspondent, to
the eye of Jehovah the harmony of their union in life is perfect, and
as one complete being that life streams forth in rays of light and
influence upon society.

       *       *       *       *       *


The following letter, addressed to a mutual friend, we rescue from
oblivion, containing as it does a lesson for husbands and wives, and
most gracefully conveyed.

_We_ shall certainly be pardoned if we take a more than ordinary
interest to preserve a memento of that "_hanging garden_," as for months
it was as fully seen from our own window as from that of the writer,
though a little more remote, yet near enough to feast our eyes, and by
its morning fragrance to cause our hearts to render more grateful
incense to Him who clothes the lily with such beauty, and gives to the
rose its sweet perfume. It is a sad pity that there are not more young
wives, who, like the writer of the following letter, are ready to strive
by their overflowing love, their gentleness and forbearance, to win
their husbands to love and good works.

Perhaps some good divine who may perchance read this article will tell
us whether the Apostle Peter, when he said, "For what knowest thou, O
wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband?" did not by this language
mean to convey the idea of a promise that if the wife did conduct
herself towards her husband on strictly Gospel principles, she would be
the honored instrument of saving his soul?

"I would like to tell you how my husband and I amuse ourselves, and
contrive to have all we want. You will see that we illustrate the old
saying, that 'where there is a _will_, there is a _way_,' and that some
people can do things as well as others. We both love flowers extremely,
but we neither own nor control a foot of ground; still, we have this
summer cultivated and enjoyed the perpetual bloom of more than a
hundred varieties. You will wonder how this is done when you know that
we are at board, and our entire apartments consist of a parlor and
dormitory--both upon the second floor. Very fortunately our windows open
upon a roof which shelters a lower piazza, and this roof we make our
balcony. Last May we placed here eight very large pots of rich earth,
which we filled with such seeds and plants as suited our fancy. Now,
while I sit writing, my windows are shaded with the scarlet runner,
morning glory, Madeira and cypress vines, so that I need no other
curtains. Then, on a level with my eye, is one mass of pink and
green--brilliant verbenas, petimas, roses and oleanders seem really to
_glow_ in the morning light. Flowers in the city are more than
beautiful, for the language they speak is so different from everything
about them. Their lives are so lovely, returning to the culturer such
wealth of beauty--and then their _odors_ seem to me instead of voices.
Often, when I am reading, and forget for a time my sweet companions, the
fragrance of a heliotrope or a jessamine greets me, causing a sense of
delight, as if a beautiful voice had whispered to me, or some sweet
spirit kissed me. With this _presence_ of beauty and purity around me, I
cannot feel loneliness or discontent.

"Our flowers are so near to us we have become really _intimate_ with
them. We know all their habits, and every insect that harms them. I love
to see the tender tendril of a vine stretch for the string that is
fastened at a little distance for its support, and then wind about it so
gladly. Every morning it is a new excitement to see long festoons of our
green curtains, variegated with trumpet-shaped morning-glories, looking
towards the sun, and mingled with them the scarlet star of the cypress
vine. When my husband comes home wearied and disgusted with Wall-street,
it refreshes his body and soul to look into our "_hanging garden_," and
note new beauties the day has developed. I trust the time and affection
we thus spend are not wasted, for I believe the sentiment of Coleridge's

  'He prayeth best who loveth best
    All things, both great and small
  For the dear God who loveth us,
    He made and loveth all.'

But there is one circumstance that makes this garden precious, which I
have yet to tell you, and you will agree with me that it is the best
part of it. When we were married, my husband was in the habit of
drinking a glass of beer daily. I did not approve of it, and used to
fancy he was apathetic and less agreeable afterwards; but as he was so
fond of it, I made up my mind not to disagree upon the subject. Last
spring, when we wished some flowers, we hesitated on account of the
expense, for we endeavor to be economical, as all young married people
should. Then my husband very nobly said that though one glass of beer
cost but little, a week's beer amounted to considerable, and he would
discontinue the habit, and appropriate the old beer expenditure upon
flowers. He has faithfully kept his proposal, and often as we sit by our
window, he points to the blooming balcony, saying, 'There is my summer's
beer.' The consequence of this sacrifice is that I am a grateful and
contented wife; and I do assure you (I being judge) that since beer is
turned into flowers, my husband is the most agreeable of mankind.

                                  Yours very truly."

       *       *       *       *       *



     "Men ought always to pray and not to faint."

So important is a spirit of prayer to mothers who are bearing the heat
and burden of the day, that we give for their encouragement a few devout
meditations by Rev. W. Mason, on the above passage. And though penned
towards the close of the last century, they have lost none of their
freshness or fragrance.

Christ opposes praying to fainting, for fainting prevents praying. Have
you not found it so? When weary and faint in your mind, when your
spirits are oppressed, your frame low and languid, you have thought this
is not a time for prayer; yea, but it is: pray _always_. Now is the time
to sigh out the burden of your heart and the sorrows of your spirit.
Now, though in broken accents, breathe your complaints into your
Father's ear, whose love and care over you is that of a tender and
affectionate father.

What makes you faint? Do troubles and afflictions? Here is a reviving
cordial. "Call upon me in the day of trouble, _I will deliver thee_, and
thou shalt glorify me." Ps. 50:15. Does a body of sin and death? Here is
a supporting promise. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord
Jesus shall be saved." Rom. 10:13. Do we faint because we have called
and prayed again and again to the Lord against any besetting sin,
prevailing temptation, rebellious lust, or evil temper, and yet the Lord
has not given us victory over it? Still, says the Lord, pray
_always_--persevere, be importunate, faint not; remember that blessed
word, "my time is not yet come, but your time is always ready." John
7:6. "Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." Matt. 26:41. Note
the difference between being tempted and entering into temptation.

Perhaps you think your prayers are irksome to God, and therefore you are
ready to faint and to give over praying? Look at David; he begins to
pray in a very heartless, hopeless way, "How long wilt thou forget me, O
Lord, forever?" but see how he concludes; he breaks out in full vigor of
soul, "I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with
me." Ps. 13:6. Above all, look to Jesus, who ever lives to pray for you;
look for his spirit to help your infirmities. Rom. 8:26.

       *       *       *       *       *




Imagination can picture no more animating scenes than those which were
presented to the beholder at the seasons of the year when Judea poured
forth her inhabitants in crowds to attend the solemn festivals appointed
by Jehovah, and observed with punctilious exactness by the people. Our
present study leads us to contemplate one of these scenes.

From some remote town on the borders of Gentile territory the onward
movement commences. A few families having finished all their
preparations, close the door of their simple home, and with glowing
faces and hopeful steps begin their march. They are soon joined by
others, and again by new reinforcements. Every town, as they pass,
replenishes their ranks, until, as they approach Shiloh, they are
increased to a mighty multitude. It is a time of joy. Songs and shouts
rend the air, and unwonted gladness reigns. All ages and conditions are
here, and every variety of human form and face. Let us draw near to one
family group. There is something more than ordinarily interesting in
their appearance. The father has a noble mien as he walks on, conversing
gaily with his children, answering their eager questions, and pointing
out the objects of deepest import to a Jew as they draw near the
Tabernacle. The children are light-hearted and gay, but the mother's
countenance does not please us. We feel instinctively that she is not
worthy of her husband; and especially is there an expression wholly
incongruous with this hour of harmony and rejoicing. While we look, she
lingers behind her family, and speaks to one, who, with slow step and
downcast looks, walks meekly on, and seems as if she pondered some deep
grief. Will she whisper a word of comfort in the ear of the sorrowful?
Ah, no. A mocking smile is on her lips, which utter taunting words, and
she glances maliciously round, winking to her neighbors to notice how
she can humble the spirit of one who is less favored than herself. "What
would you give now to see a son of yours holding the father's hand, or a
daughter tripping gladly along by his side? Where are your children,
Hannah? You surely could not have left them behind to miss all this
pleasure? Perhaps they have strayed among the company? Would it not be
well to summon them, that they may hear the father's instructions, and
join in the song which we shall all sing as we draw near to Shiloh?"
Cruel words! and they do their work. Like barbed arrows, they stick fast
in the sore heart of this injured one. Her head sinks, but she utters no
reply. She only draws nearer to her husband, and walks more closely in
his footsteps.

       *       *       *       *       *

The night has passed, and a cloudless sun looks down on the assembled
thousands of Israel. Elkanah has presented his offering at the
Tabernacle, and has now gathered his family to the feast in the tent. As
is his wont, he gives to each a portion, and hilarity presides at the
board. The animated scene around them--the white tents stretching as far
as the eye can reach--the sound of innumerable voices--the meeting with
friends--all conspire to make every heart overflow, and the well-spread
table invites to new expressions of satisfaction and delight. But here,
also, as on the journey, one heart is sad. At Elkanah's right hand sits
Hannah, her plate filled by the hand of love with "a worthy portion;"
but it stands untasted before her. Her husband is troubled. He has
watched her struggles for self-control, and seen her vain endeavors to
eat and be happy like those around her; and, divining in part the cause
of her sorrow, he tenderly strives to comfort her. "Hannah, why weepest
thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? Am I not
better to thee than ten sons?" That voice of sympathy and compassion is
too much. She rises and leaves the tent to calm in solitude, as best she
may, her bosom's strife. Why must she be thus afflicted? Severe, indeed,
and bitter are the elements which are mingled in her cup. Jehovah has
judged her. She has been taught to believe that those who are childless
are so because of His just displeasure. Her fellow-creatures also
despise her; her neighbors look suspiciously upon her. Wherefore should
it be thus? She wanders slowly, and with breaking heart, towards the
Tabernacle. The aged Eli sits by one of the posts of the door as she
enters the sacred inclosure, but she heeds him not. She withdraws to a
quiet spot, and finds at last a refuge. She kneels, and the long pent-up
sorrow has now its way; she "pours out her soul before the Lord." Happy,
though sorrowful, Hannah! She has learned one lesson of which the
prosperous know nothing; she has learned to confide in her Maker, as she
could in no other friend. It were useless to go to her husband with the
oft-told trouble. He is ever fond and kind; but though she is childless,
he is not, and he cannot appreciate the extent of her grief. All that
human sympathy can do, he will do, but human sympathy cannot be perfect.
It were worse than useless to tell him of Peninnah's taunts and
reproaches. It would be wicked, and bring upon her Heaven's just wrath,
if she did aught to mar the peace of a happy family. No; there is no
earthly ear into which she can "pour out her soul." But here her tears
may flow unrestrained, and she need leave nothing unsaid.

"O Thou who hidest the sorrowing soul under the shadow of thy wings--who
art witness to the tears which must be hidden from all other eyes--who
dost listen patiently to the sighs and groans which can be breathed in
no other presence--to whom are freely told the griefs which the dearest
earthly friend cannot comprehend,--Thou who upbraidest not--who
understandest and dost appreciate perfectly the woes under which the
stricken soul sways like a reed in the tempest, and whose infinite love
and sympathy reaches to the deepest recesses of the heart--unto whom
none ever appealed in vain--God of all grace and consolation, blessed
are they who put their trust in thee."

Long and earnest is Hannah's communion with her God; and as she pleads
her cause with humility, and penitence, and love, she feels her burdened
heart grow lighter. Hope springs up where was only despair, and a new
life spreads itself before her; even the hard thoughts which she had
harbored towards Peninnah had melted as she knelt in that holy presence.
The love of the Eternal has bathed her spirit in its blessed flood, and
grief, and selfishness, and envy have alike been washed away.
Strengthened with might by the spirit of the Lord, she puts forth a
vigorous faith; and taking hold on the covenant faithfulness of Jehovah,
she makes a solemn vow. The turmoil within is hushed. She rises and goes
forth like one who is prepared for any trial--who is endued with
strength by a mighty though unseen power, and sustained by a love which
has none of the imperfect and unsatisfying elements that must always
mingle with the purest earthly affection. Meek, confiding, and gentle as
ever, she is yet not the same. She meets reproach even from the High
Priest himself with calmness. She returns to her husband and his family
no longer shrinking and bowed down: "she eats, and her countenance is no
more sad."

Another morning dawns. Hannah, has obtained her husband's sanction to
the vow which she made in her anguish. Elkanah and his household rise
early and worship before the Lord, and return to their house in Ramah.

       *       *       *       *       *

A year passes, another and another, but Hannah is not found among the
multitude going up to Shiloh. Has she, the pious and devoted one, become
indifferent to the service of Jehovah, or have the reproaches and taunts
of Peninnah become too intolerable in the presence of her neighbors, so
that she remains at home for peace? No. Reproach will harm her no
longer. As the company departs, she stands with smiling countenance
looking upon their preparations, and in her arms a fair son; and her
parting words to her husband are--"I will not go up until the child be
weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord,
and there abide forever."

       *       *       *       *       *

Will she really leave him? Will she consent to part from her treasure
and joy--her only one? What a blessing he has been to her! Seven years
of peace and overflowing happiness has that little one purchased for her
burdened and distracted spirit. Can she return to Ramah without him, to
solitude and loneliness, uncheered by his winning ways and childish
prattle? Surely this is a sorrow which will wring her heart, as never
before. Not so. There she stands again on the spot where she once knelt
and wept and vowed, but no tears fall now from her eyes--no grief is in
her tones. She has come to fulfill her vow, "to lend her son to the Lord
as long as he liveth." Again she prays as she is about parting from him.
What a prayer!--a song of exultation rather. Listen to its sublime
import. "My heart rejoiceth in the Lord; mine horn is exalted in the
Lord." How did we wrong thee, Hannah! We said thy son had purchased
peace and joy for thee. Our low, selfish, doting hearts had not soared
to the heights of thy lofty devotion. We deemed thee such an one as
ourselves. In the gift, truly thou hast found comfort; but the Giver is
He in whom thou hast delighted, and therefore thou canst so readily
restore what he lent thee, on the conditions of thy vow. The Lord thy
God has been, and is still to be, thy portion, and thou fearest not to
leave thy precious one in His house. We thought to hear a wail from
thee, but we were among the foolish. Thy soul is filled with the beauty
and glory of the Lord, and thou hast not a word of sadness now. Thou
leavest thy lamb among wolves--thy consecrated one with the "sons of
Belial"--yet thou tremblest not. Who shall guide his childish feet in
wisdom's ways when thou art far away? What hinders that he shall look on
vice till it become familiar, and he be even like those around him? The
old man is no fit protector for him. Does not thy heart fear? "Oh,
woman, great is thy faith!"

Come hither, ye who would learn a lesson of wisdom; ponder this record
of the sacred word. Hannah returned to Ramah. She became the mother of
sons and daughters; and yearly as she went with her husband to Shiloh,
she carried to her first-born a coat wrought by maternal love, and
rejoiced to see him growing before the Lord. How long she did this, we
are not told. We have searched in vain for a word or hint that she lived
to see the excellence and greatness of the son whom she "asked of God."
The only clew which we can find is, that Samuel's house was in Ramah,
the house of his parents; and we wish to think he lived there to be with
them; and we hope his mother's eyes looked on the altar which he built
there unto the Lord, and that her heart was gladdened by witnessing the
proofs of his wisdom and grace, and the favor with which the Almighty
regarded him.

But though we know little of Hannah--she being many thousand years
"dead, yet speaketh."--Come hither, ye who are tempest-tossed on a sea
of vexations. Learn from her how to gain the ornament of a meek and
quiet spirit. Come ye who feel that God hath judged you, and that you
suffer affliction from his displeasure. Learn that you should draw
nearer to him, instead of departing from him. Come with Hannah to his
very courts. "Pour out your soul" before Him; keep back none of your
griefs; confess your sins; offer your vows; multiply your prayers; rise
not till you also can go forth with a countenance no more sad. He is
"the same yesterday, to-day, and forever." Come hither, ye who long to
know how your children may assuredly be the Lord's. Strive to enter into
the spirit of Hannah's vow, remembering, meantime, all it implied as she
afterwards fulfilled it. Appreciate, if you can, her love and devotion
to her God; and when you can so entirely consecrate your all to Him, be
assured he will care for what is His own, and none shall be able to
pluck it out of his hand. Come hither, ye who are called to part with
your treasures; listen to Hannah's song as she gives up her only son, to
call him hers no more--listen till you feel your heart joining also in
the lofty anthem, and you forget all selfish grief, as she did, in the
contemplation of His glories who is the portion of the soul. "_My heart
rejoiceth in the Lord._" Alas! alas! how does even the Christian heart,
which has professed to be satisfied with God, and content with his holy
will, often depart from him, and "provoke him to jealousy" with many
idols! Inordinate affection for some earthly object absorbs the soul
which vowed to love him supremely. In its undisguised excess, it says
to the beloved object, "Give me your heart; Jehovah must be your
salvation, but let me be your happiness. A portion of your time, your
attention, your service, He must have; but your daily, hourly thoughts,
your dreams, your feelings, let them all be of me--of mine." Oh for such
a love as she possessed! We should not then love our children less, but
more, far more than now, and with a better, happier love--a love from
which all needless anxiety would flee--a perfect love, casting out fear.

Ye who feel that death to your loved ones would not so distress you as
the fear of leaving them among baleful influences--who tremble in view
of the evil that is in the world, remember where Hannah left, apparently
without a misgiving, her gentle child. With Eli,--who could not even
train his own sons in the fear of the Lord--with those sons who made
themselves vile, and caused Israel to transgress,--she left him _with
the Lord_. "Go ye and do likewise," and remember, also, He is the God of
the whole earth.

       *       *       *       *       *



I lately met with an account of a youth, under the above title, which
contains a volume of instruction. It is from a southern paper, and while
particularly designed for a latitude where servants abound, it contains
hints which may prove highly useful to lads in communities where
servants are less numerous:

"'I wish that you would send a servant to open the gate for me,' said a
well-grown boy of ten to his mother, as he paused with his satchel upon
his back, before the gate, and surveyed its clasped fastening.

"'Why, John, can't you open the gate for yourself?' said Mrs. Easy. 'A
boy of your age and strength ought certainly to be able to do that.'

"'I _could_ do it, I suppose,' said the child, 'but it's heavy, and I
don't like the _trouble_. The servant can open it for me just as well.
Pray, what is the use of having servants if they are not to wait upon

"The servant was sent to open the gate. The boy passed out, and went
whistling on his way to school. When he reached his seat in the academy,
he drew from his satchel his arithmetic and began to inspect his sums.

"'I cannot do these,' he whispered to his seat-mate; they are too hard.'

"'But you _can try_,' replied his companion.

"'I know that I can,' said John, 'but it's too much trouble. Pray, what
are teachers for if not to help us out of difficulties? I shall carry my
slate to Prof. Helpwell."

"Alas! poor John. He had come to another closed gate--a gate leading
into a beautiful and boundless science, 'the laws of which are the modes
in which God acts in sustaining all the works of His hands'--the science
of mathematics. He could have opened the gate and entered in alone and
explored the riches of the realm, but his mother had injudiciously let
him rest with the idea, that it is as well to have gates opened for us,
as to exert our own strength. The result was, that her son, like the
young hopeful sent to Mr. Wiseman, soon concluded that he had no
'genius' for mathematics, and threw up the study.

"The same was true of Latin. He could have learned the declensions of
the nouns and the conjugation of the verbs as well as other boys of his
age; but his seat-mate very kindly volunteered to 'tell him in class,'
and what was the use in _opening the gate_ into the Latin language, when
another would do it for him? Oh, no! John Easy had no idea of tasking
mental or physical strength when he could avoid it, and the consequence
was, that numerous gates remained closed to him all the days of his
life--_gates of honor_--_gates to riches_--_gates to happiness_.
Children ought to be early taught that it is always best to help

This is the true secret of making a man. What would Columbus, or
Washington and Franklin, or Webster and Clay, have accomplished had they
proceeded on the principle of John Easy? No youth can rationally hope to
attain to eminence in any thing who is not ready to "open the gate" for
_himself_. And then, poor Mrs. Easy, how _she_ did misjudge! Better for
her son, had she dismissed her servants--or rather had she directed them
to some more appropriate service, and let Master John have remained at
the gate day and night for a month, unless willing, before the
expiration of that time, to have opened it for himself, and by his own
strength. Parents in their well-meant kindness, or, perhaps, it were
better named, thoughtless indulgence, often repress energies which, if
their children were compelled to put forth, would result in benefits of
the most important character.

It is, indeed, painful to see boys, as we sometimes see them, struggling
against "wind and tide;" but watch such boys--follow them--see how they
put forth strength as it accumulates--apply energies as they
increase--make use of new expedients as they need them, and by-and-by
where are they? Indeed, now and then they are obliged to lift at the
gate pretty lustily to get it open; now and then they are obliged to
turn a pretty sharp corner, and, perhaps, lose a little skin from a
shin-bone or a knuckle-joint, but, _at length_, where are they? Why, you
see them sitting _in_ "the gate"--a scriptural phrase for the post of
honor. Who is that judge who so adorns the bench? My Lord Mansfield, or
Sir Matthew Hale, or Chief Justice Marshall? Why, and from what
condition, has he reached his eminence? That was a boy who some years
since was an active, persevering little fellow round the streets, the
son of the poor widow, who lives under the hill. She was poor, but she
had the faculty of infusing her own energy into her boy, Matthew or
Tommy; and now he has grown to be one of the eminent men of the country.
Yes; and I recollect there was now and then to be seen with Tommy, when
he had occasionally a half hour of leisure--but that was not
often--there was one John Easy, whose mother always kept a servant to
wait upon him, to open and shut the gate for him, and almost to help him
breathe. Well, and where is John Easy? Why there he is, this moment, a
poor, shiftless, penniless being, who never loved to open the gate for
himself, and now nobody ever desires to open a gate to him.

And the reason for all this difference is the different manner in which
these boys were trained in their early days. "Train up a child," says
the good book, "in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not
depart from it." Analyze the direction, and see how it reads. Train up a
child--what? Why _train_ him--_i.e._, educate him, discipline him. Whom
did you say? A _child_. Take him early, in the morning of life, before
bad habits, indolent habits, vicious habits are formed. It is easy to
bend the sapling, but difficult to bend the grown tree. You said _train
a child_, did you? Yes. But how? Why, _in the way_ in which he _ought to
go_--_i.e._, in some useful employment--in the exercise of good moral
affections--pious duties towards God, and benevolent actions towards his
parents, brothers, companions. Thus train him--a child--and what
then--what result may you anticipate? Why, the royal preacher says that
when he is old--of course, then, during youth, manhood, into old age,
_through life_ he means, as long as he lives he will not--what? He will
_not depart_ from it, he will neither go back, nor go zig-zag, but
_forward_, in that way in which he ought to walk, as a moral and
accountable being of God, and a member of society, bound to do all the
good he can. And thus he will come under the conditions of a just or
honest man, of whom another Scripture says, "His path is as the shining
light, which shineth brighter and brighter unto the perfect day." The
_perfect_ day! But when is that? Why in it may mean the day when God
will openly acknowledge all the really good as his sons and daughters.
But I love to take it in more enlarged sense--I take the perfect day to
be when the good will be as perfect as they can be; but as that will not
be to the end of eternity, those who are trained up in the way they
_should_ go, will probably continue to walk in it till the absolutely
perfect day comes which will never come, for the good are going to grow
better and better as long as _eternity_ lasts. So much for setting out
right with your _children_, parents!--bringing them up right--and this
involves, among other things, teaching them to "open the gate for
themselves" and similar sorts of things.


       *       *       *       *       *




The nature of female education, its influence, its field of action,
comprehending a wide range of the noblest topics, render it utterly
impossible to do justice to the entire theme in the brief limits here
assigned to it. Indeed it seems almost a superfluous effort, were it not
expected, nay, demanded, to discuss the subject of education in a work
like this.

Thanks to our Father in Heaven, who, in the crowning work of his
creation, gave woman to man, made weakness her strength, modesty her
citadel, grace and gentleness her attributes, affection her dower, and
the heart of man her throne. With her, toil rises into pleasure, joy
fills the breast with a larger benediction, and sorrow, losing half its
bitterness, is transmitted into an element of power, a discipline of
goodness. Even in the coarsest life, and the most depressing
circumstances, woman hath this power of hallowing all things with the
sunshine of her presence. But never does it unfold itself so finely as
when education, instinct with religion, has accomplished its most
successful work. It is only then that she reveals all her varied
excellence, and develops her high capacities. It only unfolds powers
that were latent, or develops those in harmony and beauty which
otherwise would push themselves forth in shapes grotesque, gnarled and
distorted. God creates the material, and impresses upon it his own laws.
Man, in education, simply seeks to give those laws scope for action. The
uneducated person, by a favorite figure of the old classic writers, has
often been compared to the rough marble in the quarry; the educated to
that marble chiselled by the hand of a Phidias into forms of beauty and
pillars of strength. But the analogy holds good in only a single point.
As the chisel reveals the form which the marble may be made to assume,
so education unfolds the innate capacities of men. In all things else
how poor the comparison! how faint the analogy! In the one case you have
an aggregation of particles crystallized into shape, without organism,
life or motion. In the other, you have life, growth, expansion. In the
first you have a mass of limestone, neither more nor less than insensate
matter, utterly incapable of any alteration from within itself. In the
second, you have a living body, a mind, affections instinct with power,
gifted with vitality, and forming the attributes of a being allied to
and only a little lower than the angels. These constitute a life which,
by its inherent force, must grow and unfold itself by a law of its own,
whether you educate it or not. Some development it will make, some form
it will assume by its own irrepressible and spontaneous action. The
question, with us, is rather what that form shall be; whether it shall
wear the visible robes of an immortal with a countenance glowing with
the intelligence and pure affection of cherub and seraph, or through the
rags and sensual impress of an earthly, send forth only occasional
gleams of its higher nature. The great work of education is to stimulate
and direct this native power of growth. God and the subject, co-working,
effect all the rest.

In the wide sense in which it is proposed to consider the subject of
education, three things are pre-supposed--personal talents, personal
application, and the divine blessing. Without capacities to be
developed, or with very inferior capacities, education is either wholly
useless, or only partially successful. As it has no absolute creative
power, and is utterly unable to add a single faculty to the mind, so
the first condition of its success is the capacity for improvement in
the subject. An idiot may be slightly affected by it, but the feebleness
of his original powers forbids the noblest result of education. It
teaches men how most successfully to use their own native force, and by
exercise to increase it, but in no case can it supply the absence of
that force. It is not its province to inspire genius, since that is the
breath of God in the soul, bestowed as seemeth to him good, and at the
disposal of no finite power. It is enough if it unfold and discipline,
and guide genius in its mission to the world. We are not to demand that
it shall make of every man a Newton, a Milton, a Hall, a Chalmers, a
Mason, a Washington; or of every woman a Sappho, a De Stael, a Roland, a

The supposition that all intellects are originally equal, however
flattering to our pride, is no less prejudicial to the cause of
education than false in fact. It throws upon teachers the responsibility
of developing talents that have scarcely an existence, and securing
attainments within the range of only the very finest powers, during the
period usually assigned to this work. To the ignorant it misrepresents
and dishonors education, when it presents for their judgment a very
inferior intellect, which all the training of the schools has not
inspired with power, as a specimen of the result of liberal pursuits.
Such an intellect can never stand up beside an active though untutored
mind--untutored in the schools, yet disciplined by the necessities
around it. It is only in the comparison of minds of equal original
power, but of different and unequal mental discipline, that the result
of a thorough education reveal themselves most strikingly. The genius
that, partially educated, makes a fine bar-room politician, a good
county judge, a respectable member of the lower house in our State
Legislature, or an expert mechanic and shrewd farmer, when developed by
study and adorned with learning, rises to the foremost rank of men.
Great original talents will usually give indication of their presence
amidst the most depressing circumstances. But when a mind of this stamp
has been allowed to unfold itself under the genial influence of large
educational advantages, how will it grow in power, outstripping the
multitude, as some majestic tree, rooted in a soil of peculiar richness
rises above and spreads itself abroad over the surrounding forest? Our
inquiry, however, at present, is not exclusively respecting individuals
thus highly gifted.

Geniuses are rare in our world; sent occasionally to break up the
monotony of life, impart new impulses to a generation, like comets
blazing along the sky, startle the dosing mind, no longer on the stretch
to enlarge the boundaries of human knowledge, and rouse men to gaze on
visions of excellence yet unreached. Happily, the mass of mankind are
not of this style of mind. Uniting by the process of education the
powers which God has conferred upon them, with those of a more brilliant
order which are occasionally given to a few, the advancement of the
world in all things essential to its refinement, and purity, and
exaltation, is probably as rapid and sure as it would be under a
different constitution of things. Were all equally elevated, it might
still be necessary for some to tower above the rest, and by the sense of
inequality move the multitude to nobler aspirations. But while it is not
permitted of God that all men should actually rise to thrones in the
realm of mind, yet such is the native power of all sane minds, and such
their great capacity of improvement, that, made subject to a healthful
discipline they may not only qualify us for all the high duties of life
on earth, but go on advancing in an ever-perfecting preparation for the
life above.

The second thing pre-supposed in education is personal application.
There is no thorough education that is not self-education. Unlike the
statue which can be wrought only from without, the great work of
education is to unfold the life within. This life always involves
self-action. The scholar is not merely a passive recipient. He grows
into power by an active reception of truth. Even when he listens to
another's utterances of knowledge, what vigor of attention and memory
are necessary to enable him to make that knowledge his own? But when he
attempts himself to master a subject of importance, when he would rise
into the higher region of mathematics, philosophy, history, poetry,
religion, art; or even when he would prepare himself for grappling with
the great questions of life, what long processes of thought! what
patient gathering together of materials! what judgment, memory,
comparison, and protracted meditation are essential to complete success?
The man who would triumph over obstacles and ascend the heights of
excellence in the realm of mind, must work with the continuous vigor of
a steamship on an ocean voyage. Day by day the fire must burn, and the
revolve in the calm and in the gale--in the sunshine and the storm. The
innate excellency of genius or talents can give no exemption to its
possessor from this law of mental growth. An educated mind is neither an
aggregation of particles accreted around a center, as the stones grow,
nor a substance, which, placed in a turner's lathe, comes forth an
exquisitely wrought instrument. The mere passing through an academy or
college, is not education. The enjoyment of the largest educational
advantages by no means infers the possession of a mind and heart
thoroughly educated; since there is an inner work to be performed by the
subject of those advantages before he can lay claim to the possession of
a well-disciplined and richly-stored intellect and affections. The
phrase, "self-made men" is often so used as to convey the idea that the
persons who have enjoyed the advantages of a liberal education, are
rather made by their instructors. The supposition is in part unjust.

The outward means of education stimulate the mind, and thus assist the
process of development; but it is absolutely essential to all growth in
mental or moral excellence, that the person himself should be enlisted
vigorously in the work. He must work as earnestly as the man destitute
of his faculties. The difference between the two consists not in the
fact that one walks and the other rides, but that the one is obliged to
take a longer road to reach the same point. Teachers, books, recitations
and lectures facilitate our course, direct us how most advantageously to
study, point out the shortest path to the end we seek, and tend to rouse
the soul to the putting forth of its powers; but neither of these can
take the place of, or forestall intense personal application. The man
without instructors, like a traveler without guide-boards, must take
many a useless step, and often retrace his way. He may, after this
experimental traveling, at length reach the same point with the person
who has enjoyed superior literary aids, but it will cost the waste of
many a precious hour, which might have been spent in enlarging the
sphere of his vision and perfecting the symmetry of his intellectual
powers. In cases of large attainments and ripe character, in either sex,
the process of growth is laborious. Thinking is hard work. All things
most excellent are the fruits of slow, patient working. The trees grow
slowly, grain by grain; the planets creep round their orbits, inch by
inch; the river hastens to the ocean by a gentle progress; the clouds
gather the rain-drop from the invisible air, particle by particle, and
we are not to ask that this immortal mind, the grandest thing in the
world, shall reach its perfection by a single stride, or independently
of the most early, profound and protracted self-labor. It is enough for
us that, thankfully accepting the assistance of those who have ascended
above us, we give ourselves to assiduous toil, until our souls grow up
to the stature of perfect men.

The third thing pre-supposed in education is the divine benediction. In
all spheres of action, we recognize the over-ruling providence of God
working without us, and his Spirit commissioned to work within us. Nor
is there any work of mortal life in which we need to allay unto
ourselves the wisdom and energy of Jehovah, as an essential element of
success than is this long process where truth, affection, decision,
judgment, and perseverance in the teacher, are to win into the paths of
self-labor minds of every degree of ability, and dispositions of every
variety. When God smiles upon us, then this grand work of moulding
hearts and intellects for their high destiny moves forward without
friction, and the young heart silently and joyously comes forth into the

       *       *       *       *       *



A river never rises higher than the source from whence it springs; so a
character is never more elevated and consistent, in mature life, than
the principles which were adopted in childhood were pure, reasonable,
and consistent with truth: so a tree is either good or bad, and brings
forth fruit after its own kind, though it be ever so stinted. If you
find a crab-apple on a tree, you may be sure that the tree is a
crab-tree. So one can predicate a pretty correct opinion of a person, as
to character, disposition, and modes of thinking and acting, from a
single isolated remark, incidentally made, or an act performed on the
spur of the moment.

This I shall attempt to show by reference to two occurrences which took
place in the case of a young husband and wife.

Joseph, the father of a young child, one day brought home "Abbott's
Mother at Home," remarking to his wife, as he presented it, "Louise, I
have been persuaded to buy this book, in the hope that it may aid us in
the training of our little daughter."

Her quick and tart reply was--"I don't think I shall 'bring up' my child
by a book."

It may be useful to learn under what peculiar circumstances this young
wife and mother had herself been "brought up."

Certainly not, as a matter of course, in the country, where good books
are comparatively difficult to be obtained, and (though every one has
much to do) are usually highly prized, and read with avidity. Certainly
not, as a matter of course, where there was a large family of children,
and where all must share every thing in common, and where each must
perform an allotted part in household duties, perhaps to eke out a
scanty salary. Not in a farm-house, where the income will yield but a
bare competency for the support of ten or twelve children. If there is
a good and wise father and mother at the helm, it is under such
conflicting circumstances that children are usually the most thoroughly
and practically taught the great principles which should govern human

Louise was educated under very different circumstances. Her father's
residence was the great metropolis. He was a very wealthy man, and he
had the means of choosing any mode of education which he might prefer to

The mother of Louise was said to have been a noble-minded woman, but
always in delicate health. She early dedicated this infant daughter to
God, but died while she was quite young. Unfortunately, poor little
Louise was for a few years left to the care of ignorant and selfish
relatives, who intermeddled, and often in the child's hearing, with a
significant nod of the head, would utter the piteous inuendo, "Who knows
how soon the poor thing may have a step-mother!"

From this and similar ill-timed remarks, poor little Louise very early
fostered an inveterate dislike to her father's ever marrying a second

But he did soon marry again. Instead of at once taking this cruel sliver
out of the flesh, acting on the sublime principle, "Duty belongs to us;
leave consequences with God," the father of Louise very injudiciously
and selfishly fell in with this child's foolish and wicked notions, and
in order, as he thought, to remunerate this darling child for her great
trial, allowed her to live almost entirely abstracted from the family

She was allowed to have a room entirely by herself, which was the
largest and best in the house, and in all respects to maintain a
separate interest. No one might interfere with this or that, for it
belonged to Miss Louise.

Her father said, at any rate, she should not be annoyed by any
participation in the care of the little ones, as she left no one in
doubt of the fact, that above every thing she disliked children, and
especially the care of them. Certainly, he said, they should not
interfere in any way with her in acquiring a "liberal education." And
thus she lost the sweet privilege of acting the honorable and useful
part usually assigned to an "elder daughter," and an "elder sister."

To atone for her isolated and unfortunate situation--made unfortunate by
the contracted and selfish views of this ill-judging father--her father
made another mistake under the circumstances, for, instead of sending
her to a good select school, where she would come in contact with
children of her own age, and her intellectual powers might be sharpened
by coming in contact with other minds, he procured for her _private
teachers_, and she had not even the benefit of a good long walk to and
from school in the open air.

Thus was this mere child, day after day, and hour after hour, confined
to the piano, to her drawing and painting lessons, and her worsted work.
She became a proficient in these external accomplishments, and was by
some considered quite a prodigy--possessing a rare genius, which often
means nothing more nor less than a distorted character.

Her health for a time was sadly undermined, and her nervous system was
shattered by too close attention to pursuits which imposed too great a
tax upon the visual organs, and too much abstraction from common

Who would not rather see a young daughter--the merry, laughing companion
of a group of girls--out after wild flowers, weaving them into garlands
to crown the head of some favorite of the party, making up bouquets as a
gift for mamma, or some favorite aunt--cutting paper into fantastic
figures, and placing them upon the wall to please children, or dressing
a doll for little sister? Who would not rather see their young daughter
a jumping delicate little romp, chasing a bird in mirthful glee, as if
she verily thought she could catch it?

How could this young wife and mother, so differently trained, be
expected all at once to judge and act wisely and impartially about the
grave matter of infant training--a subject she absolutely knew nothing
about, having never contemplated it? What do parents think, or expect
when their young daughters marry and become parents? Do they suppose
that some magic spell will come over a girl of eighteen in going through
the matrimonial ceremony, which shall induct her into all the mysteries
of housewifery, and initiate her into the more intricate and important
duty of training the infant, so as to give it a sound mind in a sound
body, so that it shall possess a symmetrical character?

The father of Louise saw too late his mistake in allowing this daughter
the great privilege, as he thought at the time, of having her own way in
every thing.

If this were a proper place to give advice to young men on the grave
subject of selecting a wife, we should say, "Never marry a young lady
merely for her showy, outward accomplishments, which, ten chances to
one, have been attained at the expense of more valuable and useful
acquirements--perhaps at the sacrifice of the ornament of a meek and
quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Never select
for a wife a young lady who dishonors her name and sex by the avowal
that she dislikes children; that she even hates the care of them, and
that she never could find pleasure in household duties. She could never
love flowers, or find satisfaction in cultivating them."

A lovely infant is the most beautiful object of all God's handy works.
"Flowers _are_ more than beautiful;" they give us lessons of practical
wisdom. So the Savior teaches us. If I did not love little children--if
I did not love flowers--I would studiously hide the fact, even from
myself, for then I could not respect myself.

But to return to the remark which Louise made to her husband, when he
presented her with that good and useful book--a book which has elicited
praise from many able writers, and called forth the gratitude of many
wise and good parents.[D]

This remark was anything rather than a grateful acknowledgment to her
husband for his thinking of her when absent; and it not only evinced a
spirit of thoughtlessness and ingratitude to him, but manifested a
remarkable share of self-sufficiency and self-complacency.

Just so it is with a head of wheat. When it is empty, it stands
perfectly erect, and looks self-confident; but as soon as it is filled
with the precious grain, it modestly bends its head, and waives most
gracefully, as if to welcome every whispering breeze.

But was Louise wanting in affection and care to her own child? No; not
in one sense, for she was foolishly fond of this little paragon of
perfection. She one day said, boastingly, "My child has never been
washed but with a fine cambric handkerchief, which is none too good for
her soft flesh. Nothing can be too good for this precious darling, and
while I live she shall never want for any indulgence I can procure for

It might be said, too, that Louise evinced a fondness for her husband;
and she was proud of the attentions of a youth who was admired for his
remarkable polish of manners; but she certainly had not at this
time--whatever she might afterwards acquire--a warm and generous heart,
free from selfish interests, to bestow upon any object on earth or in

Notwithstanding Joseph's elegant address and appearance, his character
was in one respect vulnerable, as will be seen from a trivial act which
I have yet to mention.

His mother was an occasional assistant in her son's family. He was her
only son. She was in most respects a highly-educated woman, with no
ordinary share of self-possession, having pleasing manners, unless it
might be said that she evinced a kind of _hauteur_, which made her
rather feared than loved. But it was apparent to every one that she was
selfishly attached to this only son. Louise said one day to a friend--"I
never had occasion to be jealous of Joseph's attentions to me, or of his
affection for me, except when his mother was present."

No one could help noticing the greater deference this mother paid to her
son, even when his father was present; and most fully did this son
reciprocate his mother's respectful attachment. This love and reverence
for his mother, on the part of this son, would have been right and
beautiful if it had not been so exclusive.

In one of her visits in her son's family, when she was in feeble health,
this son proposed to his mother, towards night, in the presence of
Louise, but without conferring with her, that his mother should lodge in
his broad bed, with Louise, in their well-heated nursery.

To this Louise objected, saying she would quickly have a fire made in
the spare chamber, and there would be ample time to have it thoroughly
heated; and if she did not choose to lodge alone, she would offer her a
charming young lady to sleep in the room with her. The choice was again
referred by Joseph to his mother. Louise now expostulated with her
husband. She said, as she was not strong, she needed his assistance a
part of the night, as usual, in the care of the infant. But still,
without any regard for her feelings and her wishes to the contrary,
Joseph _insisted_ that his mother should make a choice; and, strange to
say, she chose to lodge with Louise.

This unaccountable preference, unless it was because it was proffered by
her son, it would seem, must have produced unhappiness and discomfort,
on her part, on witnessing this daughter the livelong night restlessly
turning from side to side, and her child restless and crying. But not
one expression of regret was manifested the next day by either mother or

The day after the incident referred to above occurred, a kind friend
whispered in Joseph's ear a truth, which, perhaps, till then had been
entirely overlooked by him. This friend reminded him that when he
plighted his vows to his young wife at the altar, he did most solemnly
promise, agreeably to God's ordinance, "that he would forsake father and
mother, and all others, and he would cleave to his wife, and to her
alone; that he would take her for better or for worse."

We may laud the conduct of Naomi and Ruth in their beautiful attachment
to each other, at the point of history where they are first introduced
to us. But their love to each other was doubtless greatly modified by
the circumstances into which they were now brought. They had a
remarkable sympathy and fellow-feeling for each other in their
sufferings. That son and husband, the bond of this tender and happy
union, and the occasion had there been any strife between them when this
loved object was living, was now forever removed from them, and not a
trace of any thing to blame or to regret was still remembered by them.

I can never be sufficiently grateful for the oft-reiterated advice of my
father to his children. "Never," he would say, "act a selfish part." In
all your plans and purposes in life, do not have an exclusive regard to
self-interest. If you do, you will find many competitors. But if you
strive to render others happy, you will always find a large and open
field of enterprise; and let me assure you that this is the best way to
promote your own happiness for time and for eternity.

       *       *       *       *       *



How difficult a thing it is in the present day to find a well-balanced
Christian! In this day of fits and of starts, of impulse and of action,
a day of revolution both in thought and kingdoms, where is the man who
is formed in _all respects_ after the image of his Savior?--where the
Christian, who, "being _fitly framed together_, groweth unto an holy
temple in the Lord?" Many of the followers of Christ seem to have
forgotten that His alone is the example after which they are to pattern,
and are looking to some distinguished neighbor or friend, or to their
own selfish and sensual desires, to inquire how they shall walk in this
evil world. Many appear to have made an estimate in their hearts how
little religion will suffice them--how little humbling of the
spirit--how little self-denying labor for Christ and dying men. It may
be they "do justly," and, in their own eyes, "walk humbly;" but their
religion is of the negative sort. They are "neither extortioners,
unjust, nor even as this publican:" they give to every man his due, and
take good care to obey the precept--"to look every man on his own
things, and not on the things of his neighbors." But they forget that
"Love mercy" was a part of the triad! that the religion of Jesus is not
a religion of selfishness, and that the Master has said, "Go ye out into
the streets and lanes, and _compel them_ to come in, that my house may
be filled!" They forget His _example_ who came down from heaven to
suffer and die for guilty man; who _went about_ doing good, and whose
meat and drink was to accomplish the work which the Father had given him
to do. They forget that one of his last acts was to wash his disciples'
feet, saying, "As I have done to you, so do ye also to one another;"
and, as if our selfish and proud hearts would rebel, he adds--"The
disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord."

This want of conformity to Christ is also shown in the speech of many of
his followers. He who was the _Searcher of hearts_ must certainly be
expected to condemn iniquity, and condemn it severely; but how unwilling
do we find him to pass sentence upon the guilty--how comforting and
consoling to the sinner! To the offending woman he says--"Neither do I
condemn thee; go, and sin no more." For his murderers he cries--"Father,
forgive them; they _know not_ what they do!" And must vain, erring man
be more harsh towards his fellow-man than his Maker? "Blessed are the
merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." "I came," says Jesus, "to seek
and to save _the lost_!" therefore, who so lost but in Jesus shall find
a friend? And shall it not be so with his followers, when they remember
his words, "_I have given you an example_, that ye should do as I have
done to you"?

In this day of the multiplicity of good works, and of trusting to them
for salvation, it may seem strange for us to urge their necessity. But
in speaking of those who lack the beautiful oneness in character and
conduct which distinguished Jesus, we would not omit many who, having
been educated in the full belief of the doctrine of "justification by
faith," carry it to such an extent as to despise good works, and almost
to look upon them as heretical. They set them down in their religious
calendar as _savoring of ostentation_, and thus run into the opposite
extreme, neglecting entirely the command of our Lord, to "Let your light
so shine before men, that they _may see your good works_." They take a
one-sided view of truth and duty, forgetting that "he who shall break
one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so" (even by
practice), shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. Could
they but know, by sweet experience, the luxury of giving "even a cup of
cold water in His name," they would never again refrain from the blessed
work. Could they fully understand the words to be pronounced on the
final day, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these
my brethren, _ye have done it unto me_," no earthly inducement would be
able to deter them from obtaining a part in that commendation and
reward. Did they but read with divine enlightening the parable of the
good Samaritan, and hear the Master saying, "Go and do thou likewise,"
what possible excuse would remain for them for not obeying his command?
They little realize that they may read and meditate and _believe_, and
still remain very selfish and un-Christ-like; for if Christ had been
possessed of their supineness, he would still have remained in heaven,
and we and ours yet been in the bonds of wickedness. Christian mothers
have greatly erred in not _training_ their children to a life of
Christian self-denial and usefulness. In their visits to the poor and
perishing, they should early accustom their little ones to accompany
them, thus overcoming that sensitive dread of misery in its various
forms, so common to the young. They would thus be laying up for them a
good foundation against the time to come--training them in the way they
should go--guiding their feet into the imitation of that blessed One
whom they hope soon to see them following. Of how many delightful hours
have parents deprived their children, who have never taught them, by
precept and example, the luxury of doing good! How many gracious
promises in God's blessed word are yet sealed to them--promises for
time and for eternity! Mothers, awake! to know more of Jesus, of his
life, his example, and of the high and holy inducements which he holds
out to you in his word, to be conformed to his image.

       *       *       *       *       *




It was a beautiful winter-morning. The new fallen snow lay light and
fleecy about the porch and on the evergreens before the door, and
cushioned and covered all the thousand minute branches of the trees till
they stood forth as if traced in silver on the deep blue of the sky. A
sparkling, dazzling scene it was, which lay spread out before the
windows of that comfortable family parlor, where the morning sunshine
and the blazing wood-fire on the hearth seemed to feel a generous
rivalry as to which should be most inspiriting.

There were children in the room, a merry group of all sizes, from the
boy of ten years old to the little one whose first uncertain footsteps
were coaxed forth by a lure, and cheered onward like a triumphal
progress by admiring brothers and sisters. It was the morning of
New-Year's day, which had always been held as a high festival in the
family, as it is in many families of New England, all the merriment and
festal observance elsewhere bestowed upon Christmas having been
transferred by Puritan preferences to this holiday.

It was just the weather for a holiday--brisk and bracing. Sleigh-bells
were jingling merrily, as the deep drifts of the road having been
overcome, one after another of the families of the neighborhood had
commenced their round, bearing baskets filled with gifts and pleasant
tokens of remembrance, with the customary wishes and salutations of the

The young mother sat in the group of happy children, but she did not
smile on them. Her hand rested fondly on one little head and another, as
they pressed to her side with eager question or exclamation. She drew
the little one with a quick, earnest clasp to her heaving bosom. Her
tremulous lips refused to obey the impulse of her will; she left
Edward's question unanswered, and abruptly placing Willie in the arms of
his careful nurse, she rushed away from the gladness she could not bear,
to the solitude of her own chamber. There she fell upon her knees and
covered her face, while the storm of sorrow she had striven so hard to
stem, swept over her. Amid groans of agony, came forth the low
murmur--"'Write his children _fatherless_, and his wife a _widow_!' Oh,
my God, why must this be? _His_ children fatherless, _his_ wife a

Soon came the quick sobs which told that the overcharged heart which had
seemed ready to burst, had found temporary relief in tears; then
followed the low moans of calmer endurance, and the widow's heart sunk
back into all it had yet found of peace under this great bereavement,
though it had been months since the blow fell; the peace of
submission--"Not my will, but thine, O God, be done!" This time it
expressed itself in the quaint words of Herbert;

  "Do thou thy holy will;--
  _I will lie still_."

Then came the mother's habitual recollection of her children. They must
not bear the weight of this great sorrow in the days of their tender
youth, lest the hopefulness and energy they would certainly need in
after life should be discouraged and disheartened out of them. Edward is
naturally too reflective; he dwells too much on his loss, and evidently
begins to ponder already how so many children are to be taken care of
without a father. Sensitive Mary feels too deeply the shadow of the
cloud which has come over her home; her face reflects back her mother's

So, rising, the mother rang the bell, and gave directions that the
children should be prepared for a visit to their grandfather's, and
that the sleigh should be brought to the door.

"They must go," thought she, "I cannot bear them about me. I must spend
this day alone;" and she bade Mary replenish the fire, and seated
herself in the arm-chair by the window. What a sickness fell upon the
sad heart as the eye roved over the cheerful winter landscape! Here were
the hurryings to and fro of congratulation, the gay garments, such as
she and hers had laid aside, the merry chiming of the many-toned
sleigh-bells, all so familiar to her ear that she knew who was passing,
even if she had not looked up. Here is Thomas with the sleigh for the
children, and, preceding it, is Ponto in his highest glee--now he dashes
forward with a few quick bounds, and turns to bark a challenge at Thomas
and the horses--now he plunges into a snow-drift, and mining his way
through it, emerges on the other side to shake himself vigorously and
bark again.

Has Ponto forgotten his master? Ponto, who lies so often at his
mistress's feet, and looks up wistfully into her face, as if he
understood much, but would like to ask more, and seems, with his low
whine, to put the question--Why, when his master went away so many
months ago, he had never come back again:--Ponto, who would lie for
hours, when he could steal an access to them, beside the trunks which
came home unaccompanied by their owner, and which still stood in a
closed room, which was to the household like the silent chamber of
death. There had been for the mourner a soothing power in Ponto's dumb
sympathy, even when, with the caprice of suffering, she could not bear
the obtrusiveness of human pity.

Out trooped the merry, noisy children, well equipped with caps and
comforters. Good Thomas arranged them on the seats, and wrapped the
buffalo-robes about them, and encircling his special darling, a
prattling little girl of three years old, with his careful arm, away
they went, down the hill and out of sight.

With a sigh of relief, the mother drew her chair to the hearth, and
resolved, for that one day, to give over the struggle, and let sorrow
have its way. She dwelt on all the circumstances of the change, which so
suddenly had darkened her life. She permitted her thoughts to run upon
themes from which she had sedulously kept them, thus indulging, and as
it were, nursing her grief. She recalled the thoughtful love which had
been hers till it seemed as natural and as necessary to her as the air
she breathed. She had been an indulged wife, constantly cared for, and
lavishly supplied with everything that heart could wish. The natural
sensitiveness of her temperament had been heightened by too much
tenderness; she had been encouraged to cling like a vine, and to expect
support from without herself. She was still young and beautiful. She was
accustomed to be loved and admired by many, but that was nothing to her
in comparison with the calm unvarying estimation in which she had been
held by one faithful heart. How was she to live without this essential
element of her life?

Then the darkened future of her life rushed over her like an
overwhelming flood: the cares and duties which were henceforward to
devolve on her alone; the children who were never to know any other
parent but herself; never to know any stronger restraints from evil or
incentives to good than she in her feebleness could exert over them.
What would become of her boys as they grew older, and needed a father's
wise counsels? She saw with grief that she was even less qualified than
most mothers to exercise the sole government and providence over a
family. She had been too much indulged--too entirely screened from
contact with the world's rough ways.

How were the wants of her large family to be provided for with the
lessened income she could now command? Pecuniary loss had followed close
upon her great bereavement, and though this constituted but a small
element in her sorrow, yet now that it came before her on the morning of
this new year, it added yet another shade to the "horror of great
darkness" which encompassed her. She knew that it must have a direct
bearing upon her welfare, and that of her family.

Then she reverted to the New Year's Day of last year; the little
surprises she had helped to plan; the liberal expenditure by which she
had sent pleasure, for one day at least, into the dwellings of the poor,
her generous gifts to her servants, which it had been a pleasant study
to adapt to their several tastes and wants; the dependencies, near and
remote, which she had used as channels for conveying a measure of
happiness to many a heart. Now there must be an end to all this; she
could be generous no more. Even her children, partly from her
pre-occupied mind, had no gifts provided for them to-day. Was she not a
"widow and desolate?"

"Desolate, _desolate_!" she repeated in bitterness of soul. She paused.
A voice within her seemed to say--"Now she that is a widow and desolate
_trusteth in God_." A moment after there came into her mind yet another
verso, "And _none of them that trust in Him shall be_ DESOLATE."

Could it be that she remembered the passage aright? Her Bible lay open
on the table before her. She had that morning earnestly sought strength
from it, and from communion with God before she could nerve herself to
meet her children, and bear their reiterated salutations, heart-rending
to her, "Happy New Year, mother"--"Mother, dear mother, I wish you a
Happy New Year."

Now as she drew it towards her, and turned over its pages to verify the
exactness of the words, it soon opened to _the blessed thirty-fourth
psalm_, which has proved to many an anchor of hope when they cried to
God "out of the depths."

"I will bless the Lord at all times;" Oh, surely not!--How could any one
bless the Lord at such a time as this? Yet there it stood:--

"I will bless the Lord _at all times_; his praise shall continually be
in my mouth." If others could do this, and had done it, God helping her,
she would do it too. She, too, would bless the Lord, and speak his

"My soul shall _make her boast in the Lord_." A feeling of exultation
began to rise within her. Something was yet left to her. Her earthly
"boast" was indeed broken; but why might not she, too, "_make her boast
in the Lord_"?

Touched with living light, verse by verse stood out before her, as
written by the finger of a present God. Humbled to the earth,
overpowered by deep self-abasement and contrition of soul, she clung as
with a death-grasp to the words that were bearing her triumphantly
through these dark waves.

"They looked unto Him _and were lightened_." Was not her darkness
already broken as by a beam from His face?

"This poor man cried, and _the Lord heard him_, and delivered him out of
all his troubles."

"The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that fear Him, and
delivereth them."

"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto
their cry."

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but _the Lord delivereth him
out of them all_."

Who was this, that, under these comfortable words, looked peacefully
upward? It was one who was learning to _trust God_; taught it, as most
of us are, by being placed in circumstances where there is _nothing
else_ to trust.

It is not for us to portray all that passes in the human soul when it is
brought into vivid communion with its Maker. It is enough for us to know
that this sorrowful heart was made to exult in God, even in the calm
consciousness of its irretrievable loss; and that before the sun of a
day specially consecrated to grief had attained its meridian, the
mourner came cheerfully forth from her place of retirement, while a
chant, as of angelic voices, breathed through the temple of her
sorrowful soul, even over its broken altar.

"_Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good_; blessed is the man that
trusteth in Him."

"Oh, fear the Lord, ye his saints; _for there is no want to them that
fear Him_."

The group of banished little ones was recalled, but while the messenger
was gone for them, the mother in the strength of her new-found peace,
had brought forth from that closed chamber the gifts which the fond
father had designed for each of his children, and had spread them out
in fair array on the parlor table. So it was New Year's Day to the
children after all.

The trust of that mother _in the widow's God_ was never put to shame.
Her children grew up around her, and hardly realized that they had not
father and mother both in the one parent who was all in all to them. She
was efficient and successful in all her undertakings. Her home, with its
overshadowing trees, its rural abundance and hearty hospitalities, lives
in the hearts of many as their brightest embodiment of an ideal, a
cheerful, Christian home. The memory of that mother, dispensing little
kindnesses to everybody within her reach, is a heritage to her children
worth thousands of gold and silver. Truly, "they that seek the Lord
_shall not want any good thing_."

       *       *       *       *       *


A beautiful feature in the character of the Turks is, their reverence
and respect for the author of their being. Their friends' advice and
reprimands are unheeded; their words are _leash_--nothing; but their
mother is an oracle. She is consulted, confided in, listened to with
respect and deference, honored to her latest hour, and remembered with
affection and regret beyond the grave.

"My wife dies, and I replace her; my children perish, and others may be
born to me; but who shall restore to me the mother who has passed away,
and who is no more?"

       *       *       *       *       *




                         "Strength is born
  In the deep silence of long-suffering hearts,
  Not amidst joy."

The noblest characters the world knows are those who have been trained
in the school of affliction. They only who walk in the fiery furnace are
counted worthy the companionship of the Son of God. The modes of their
discipline are various as are their circumstances and peculiar traits,
but in one form or other stern trials have proved them all. They partake
of the holiness of the Lord, because they have first endured the
chastening of his love. They are filled with righteousness, because they
have known the pangs of spiritual hunger and the extremity of thirst.
They abound, because they have been empty. They are heavenly-minded,
because they have first learned in the bitterness of their spirits how
unsatisfying is earth. They are firmly anchored by faith, because
frequent tempests and threatened shipwreck have taught them their need.
The Master himself was made perfect through suffering, and with his
baptism, must they who would follow him closely, be baptized.

While Hannah was undergoing at Ramah the discipline which wrought in her
such noble qualities, there dwelt in Shiloh one of kindred spirit, who
was called to endure even severer tests, inasmuch as that which should
have constituted her happiness, was evermore the bitterest ingredient in
her cup; what might have been her purest joys became her greatest
griefs. She was a wife, but only in name. Of the serenity and bliss
which attend on true wedded love she was deprived. Her bridal pillow was
early planted with thorns, which henceforth forbade all peace. She was a
mother, but her children were to be partakers of their father's shame,
disgraced, and doomed to early death or lives of wickedness and woe. She
seemingly enjoyed abundant privileges, but her trials as a child of God
were deeper than all others. She dwelt on sacred ground, but alas!
herein lay the secret of her sorrow. Had her home been among the
thousands in the outer camps, it had not been so sadly desecrated. Her
husband was the High Priest's son, and daily performed the priest's duty
among holy things. Had he been a humble member of Dan or Naphtali, his
crimes had not been so heinous. She lived under the shadow of the
tabernacle; had her abode been farther from the sacred enclosure, she
had not been daily witness to the heaven-daring deeds which made men
abhor the offering of the Lord, and called for vengeance on her nearest
and dearest. Her food was constantly supplied from the sacred offerings;
had it been procured in ordinary ways, she had not been a partaker with
those who committed sacrilege.

No trifling vexations, no light sorrows were hers; and as might be
expected, her virtues bore their proportion to the purifying process to
which she was subjected. Disappointed in her earthly hopes, she clung to
her God, and fastened her expectations on Him. Humiliated in her human
relations, she aspired to nothing henceforth but His honor and glory.
Wounded in heart, her wealth of love despised, lonely, deserted, she
sought in Him the portion of her soul, and her lacerated affections
found repose and satisfaction, without the fear of change in His
unchanging love.

It is often so ordered in the Providence of God, that those who have
borne the yoke in their youth, live to see days of comparative quietude
and exemption from trouble. Hannah, after the birth of Samuel, appears
to have passed the remainder of her life in peace and prosperity. But
the nameless woman whose memorial we record had no respite. Her life was
a life of endurance, and she was cut off in the midst of her days by a
most fearful and agonizing stroke.

Israel was as usual at war with the Philistines. The army had pitched
beside Eben-ezer, "And the Philistines put themselves in array against
Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the
Philistines." Alarmed and distressed by this defeat, the Israelites
vainly imagining that wherever the ark of God was, there He would be
also with his favoring presence, sent up to Shiloh to bring from thence
the sacred symbol. With great pomp and solemnity it was borne by the
Priests and Levites, and uproarious was the rejoicing as it entered the
camp, but no account is given of the feelings of those who remained near
the deserted tabernacle. Did the aged Eli forbode that the awful event
which should signal the fulfillment of prophetic woe against his family
was about to befall? Did the abused wife dream that she should behold no
more her husband's face? We know not what of personal apprehension
mingled with their trouble, but we do know that with trembling hearts
these faithful servants of God awaited tidings of the ark of his
covenant. How portentous soever might be the cloud which hung over their
own happiness, they deemed it of small importance in comparison with the
honor of Jehovah. The messenger came, but who shall portray the scene
when he rendered his tidings!

       *       *       *       *       *

In a darkened chamber, whither death, clothed in unwonted horrors, has
suddenly come for the fourth victim of that doomed family, lies the
subject of our meditations, panting under his iron grasp. The
afflictions of her life are now consummated. The husband of her youth,
his follies and faults against her, now are forgotten in the bitter
thought that _he is dead_, has gone unrepentant to the bar of God to
give account of his priesthood--her venerable father-in-law alone, with
no friend to cheer his dying agonies, has also departed from earth--her
people are defeated in battle, and worse than all, the ark of God is
fallen into the hands of the uncircumcised Philistines--who doubtless
glory as if Dagon had conquered the invincible Jehovah. What to her are
the pangs and throes under which her tortured body labors? She heeds
them not. Pitying friends endeavor to rouse her from her dying lethargy,
by the most glad tidings a Hebrew woman could learn, "Fear not; for thou
hast borne a son!" But she answers not. Shorter and shorter grows her
breath--nearer and nearer she approaches the eternal shore. But she is a
mother, and though every other tie is sundered, and she is dying of the
wounds which the cruel breaking of those heart strings has caused, she
feels one cord drawing her to her new-born child, and asks that he may
be brought. It is too much! Why was he born? No cheering thought comes
with his presence. Nor joy nor honor are in store for him. Call him
Ichabod, (without glory) she gasps with feeble accents, "for the glory
is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken." A moment more and
her freed spirit is in His open presence, who she deemed was forever
departed from her people.

       *       *       *       *       *

Christian friend, you who are walking through desert places, and perhaps
fainting under the heavy hand of God, let not your heart fail you.
Shrink not back from the path, though it seem beset with thorns. Some
good is in store for you. Affliction, indeed, is not for the present
joyous but grievous, nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable
fruits of righteousness. If, like the mother of Ichabod, you learn to
forsake the turbid waters of earth for the Fountain of eternal love--if
you make the Lord your portion, you will not in the end be the loser,
though wave on wave roll over you and strip you of every other joy. No,
not even if at length your sun shall set in clouds impenetrable to
mortal vision. A glorious cloudless morning lies beyond, and you shall
be forever satisfied with Him who has chosen you in the furnace of

      "Then rouse thee from desponding sleep,
      Nor by the wayside lingering weep,
  Nor fear to seek Him farther in the wild,
      Whose love can turn earth's worst and least
      Into a conqueror's royal feast;
  Thou will not be untrue, thou shall not be beguiled."

       *       *       *       *       *




I have presupposed three things in reference to education. The field
which it covers is also three-fold--the body, the intellect, and the

The body is the living temple of the soul. It is more than a casket for
the preservation of the jewel; it is more than the setting of the
diamond; it is more even than an exquisitely-constructed dwelling
wherein the soul lives, and works and worships. It is a living,
sensitive agent, into which the spirit pours its own life, through which
it communes with all external nature, and receives the effluxes of God
streaming from a material creation. It is the admirable organ through
which the man sends forth his influence either to bless and vivify, or
to curse and wither. By it, the immortal mind converts deserts into
gardens, creates the forms of art, sways senates, and sheds its plastic
presence over social life. The senses are the finely-wrought gates
through which knowledge enters the sublime dome of thought; while the
eye, the tongue, the hand, are the instruments of the Spirit's power
over the outer world. The soul incarnate in such a body, enjoys a living
medium of reciprocal communication between itself and all things
without. Meanwhile the body itself does not arrive here mature in its
powers; nor does it spring suddenly from the imbecility of the infant to
the strength of the man. By slow development, by a gradual growth, in
analogy with that of a tree whose life is protracted, it rises, after
years of existence, to its appointed stature. Advancing thus slowly, it
affords ample time for its full and free development.

In this physical training, there are two points of special importance.
The first is the removal of all unnatural restraints and the pressure
of unhealthy customs; the second, is the opportunity, the motive and the
habit of free exercise in the pure air of heaven. These, as causes of
health and fine physical development, are interwoven as are their
opposites. In the progress of society from barbarism to refinement, it
has often been the case that men, in departing from what was savage,
have lost that which was natural; and in their ascent from the rude have
left behind that which was essential to the highest civilization. In
escaping from the nakedness of the barbarian, they have sometimes
carried dress to an extreme of art which renders it untrue to nature and
productive of manifold evils. In ascending from the simple and rude
gastronomy of the savage, they have brought the art of cookery to such
an excess of luxury as to enervate society by merely factitious
appetites. In the formation of habits of life, social intercourse and
amusements adapted to a refined state, they have introduced many things
at war with the healthful development of both body and mind. The manly
exercises of swimming, skating, riding, hunting, ball playing; the
bracing walk in storm and sunshine; the free ramble over hill and dale,
all adapted to develop an independent, self-relying character; with the
occasional reunion where wit, science, healthful industry and serene
piety shed their benedictions; associating that which is free and bold
with the refined and sacred; all these are, in many cases, displaced by
frivolous and less healthful excitements. Our girls and boys,
prematurely exalted into young gentlemen and ladies, are tutored by
dancing masters; their manners disciplined into an artificial stiffness;
and the free developments of an open nature formed under the genial
influence of truly polite parents--the finest discipline in the
world--arrested by the strictures of a purely conventional regimen, in
which the laws of health and the higher spiritual life seem never to
have been consulted.

With such a physical training, associated with a corresponding education
of the mind and heart, they are ripe for the customs and fashions of
life in harmony therewith; and totally averse to the purer, manlier and
nobler duties and pleasures of a better state of society. To dress and
exhibit themselves; to crowd the saloon of every foreign trifler, who,
under the abused name of art, and for the sake of gold, seeks to
minister to us those meretricious excitements which associate themselves
with declining states and artificial forms of life; to waste the most
precious hours of night, set apart by the God of nature for repose, in
dancing, eating, drinking, and revelry, follow naturally enough upon
such training. Then in the rear, come disease of body and mind, broken
constitutions and broken hearts; and last of all, with grim majesty,
death, prematurely summoned, avenges this violation of the laws of
nature upon the miserable victims, and quenches the glare of this
brilliant day in the darkness of the tomb. How utterly different is such
training and such modes of life consequent upon it, from those which are
dictated by a thorough understanding of our nature and the great
purposes of our existence. For in all these things we shall find there
exists a connection sufficiently obvious between the right education of
the spirit and the body; and that so strong is their mutual influence as
to render it of great importance to care for them both in harmony with
each other. Then shall we regard the perfection of the form and the
vigor of our bodily powers. Casting away whatever did not consist with
the health and finer developments of the physical system, we should
pursue that course of education which best prepared the body for its
grand work as the living agent of the spirit.

In considering physical training it is allowable for us to look both at
beauty and intellectual power. A noble form in man; a fine, beautiful,
healthful form in woman, are desirable for their outward influence.
Created susceptible of deep impressions from external appearances, it is
neither religion nor good sense to undervalue them. That men generally
have over-estimated their worth, is a reason why we should reduce them
to their true position, and not sink them below it. The palace of the
soul should befit its possessor. And as God has taken pleasure in
scattering images of beauty all over the earth, and made us susceptible
of pleasure therefrom, it is right that in the education of our
children we should seek for the unfolding of the noblest and most
beautiful forms. Shall we beautify our dwellings; adorn our grounds with
plants, flowers, and trees of various excellence; improve the breed of
our cattle, and yet care not for the constitutions and forms of those
who are on earth the master-pieces of divine wisdom and the possessors
of all this goodly heritage? Most of all, however, as the agent of the
spirit, should we seek to rear our children in all healthful customs and
invigorating pursuits. It is possible, indeed, that a mind of gigantic
powers may sometimes dwell in a feeble frame, swayed to and fro by every
breath of air. But we are sure that such a physical state is the source
of manifold vexations, pains and loss of power. It is a state which the
possessor never covets; which oppresses him with the consciousness of an
energy he is forbidden to put forth, and a force for moving the world
crippled by the impediment of a frail body. For the full discharge of
all the duties of life; for the affording to our mental powers a fair
field for their action; and especially for the education and advancement
of succeeding generations, it is indispensable the vigor of the body
should correspond to the vigor of the intellect, so far as to constitute
the one the most efficient agent of the other. It has rarely been taken
into view, that, aside from the personal benefits of health in the
greater power of present action, the intense intellects and feeble
frames of one generation are a ruinous draft upon both the physical and
mental powers of that which succeeds. A race of overwrought brains in
enfeebled bodies must be recruited from a more healthful stock, or their
posterity will, in time, decline into idiocy or cease from the earth.
The process of degeneracy, by an infallible law, will pass from the body
to the intellect; and the descendant of a Luther or a Bacon go down to
the level of the most stupid boor that drives his oxen over the sands of
southern Africa.

       *       *       *       *       *



I called on a friend a few months since, who for a full year had been
watching with maternal solicitude over an invalid daughter still in the
morning of life, upon whom had been lavished all the fond caresses of
parental love and tenderness. Every advantage which wealth, and the
means of education could impart to qualify her for happiness in this
life had been hers--nor had her religious culture been entirely

In her father's family there had been little effort made to instill into
the minds of their children the principles of holy living, and it was
felt that there was but little necessity to give them habits of
self-denial or self-reliance.

This daughter, notwithstanding her happy childhood in having all her
wants anticipated, and upon whose pathway the sun had shone most
brightly, was now, like an unsubdued child, under a most painful
infliction of the rod of God.

Two years previous to this time, during a revival of religion, she
publicly covenanted to walk in all the statutes and ordinances of God's
Word and house, blamelessly. Thus was she married to Christ, and she
then felt, and her friends felt, that she had chosen Christ to be the
guide of her youth.

But how could she be expected, never having had her will thoroughly
subdued, or been called to bear any yoke or burden, fully to understand,
or to realize what was implied, or required in becoming a disciple of
Christ, so that she could at once fully adopt the language,

  "Jesus, I my cross have taken,
    All to leave and follow thee,
  Naked, poor, despised, forsaken,
    Thou from hence my all shall be."

Just one year from her espousal to Christ the village of ---- was all
excitement, on an occasion which had called the young and the
middle-aged to the house of her father,--the wealthy Mr. G----, when
this lovely daughter was to be united in marriage to the accomplished,
the graceful, the pious Mr. L----, a universal favorite with persons of
all ages and ranks. A short time previous to his union to the young and
beautiful belle of ----, he had, under most favorable auspices,
commenced a lucrative business in the city of ----.

Immediately after the nuptial ceremony, Mr. L---- accompanied his bride
to the Falls of Niagara, that favorite place of resort on such memorable
occasions. They were now all the world to each other. Alas, how utterly,
for a time, did they overlook the injunction, "Little children, keep
yourselves from idols." Nor did they for once even dream how insensibly
the streams of God's bounty and goodness were withdrawing their hearts
from the fountain of all blessedness and perfection.

On their return from this delightful excursion, this envied young
husband was soon found at his post of business, surrounded by numerous
friends all eager to aid and encourage him on in his preparations to
welcome to his home and his heart, his darling "wife." Oh, how sweet to
him did that treasured name sound, when greeted by his young friends,
and the question was asked, "How is your _wife_?" "When do you expect
your _wife_?" Never, he felt, was there another more truly blessed.

How sudden must have been the transition, for the summons came, as it
were, in a moment, "The Master has come, and calleth for thee." Young
Mr. L---- had been in the city but two days, when retiring to his bed,
he was suddenly siezed with a bilious attack, and in a few brief hours,
even before his friends could reach his bed-side, he was wrapped in the
habiliments of the grave. His last faint farewell was uttered in hurried
and broken accents, just as he expired, "Tell her that Jesus makes me
willing"--"makes me willing."

In his ready, cheerful, and manly willingness to obey the Master's call,
though so sudden, we see the blessed influence of early parental
discipline--absolute unconditional submission to parental authority.

Truly this was a most sad and unexpected reverse for that youthful and
happy bride. Her face at once became as pale and almost marble-like, as
the icy hand of death had made that of her husband's. No wonder if this
world should now seem to her as a barren wilderness. No wonder if her
thoughts, for a time, should brood mournfully over the words, "Lover and
friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness."
No wonder if to her desolate heart, solitude, and gloom, and the grave,
should, for a season, be her chosen themes of contemplation. She does
well to grieve. There is nothing wrong in the mourner's tears. We have
the example of Jesus in such an expression--tears are Nature's own sweet
relief. It is safe--yes, it is well to bleed when our limbs are taken
from our side.

But let such as mourn remember, in all cases of bereavement, it is God,
whose discipline is strictly parental, hath done it, and "He doeth all
things well." How sad it is when the bereaved, who are not called to
mourn as those who have no hope, allow their thoughts to find a lodgment
only in the grave. How widely different had been the condition of this
youthful mourner, if, instead of shutting herself up in her chamber,
taking to her bed, chiefly, for a full year refusing to be
comforted--had she dwelt more upon that touching "farewell" to her,
receiving it as a beam of light and love from the spirit land, inviting
her to the contemplation of heavenly themes. Had she rather considered
her departed companion as _favored_ in this early call to glory,--had
she considered the passage in Isaiah 57:1, "The righteous are taken away
from the evil."--why did she not meekly and penitently reflect, that as
God does not willingly afflict, he must have had some special design in
this severe chastisement upon her. Had her mind been open to
conviction--had she been bowed down under a sense of sin--would she not
have inquired whether the blessed Saviour, perceiving the lurking danger
there was to this young couple, from a disposition to find their heaven
upon earth, to seek their chief happiness in each other, had not with
the voice of love and tender compassion said to her husband, "The Master
hath need of thee, come up hither." Had her heart been right with God,
as she contemplated her departed friend in his new-born zeal to honor
and glorify his Redeemer, flying on swift wings to perform Heaven's
mandates, would she not resolve, by the grace of God, to emulate him in
his greater efforts to save lost souls, for whom Christ died? Were not
the same motives set before her, by his death, to seek a new and holy
life? Was not the same grace--the same strength proffered to her, which,
if accepted and improved aright, would have enabled her to deny
herself--to take up her cross and to follow Jesus whithersoever he might
see fit to lead her?

But, alas, this was in nowise her happy experience. On the contrary, she
turned away from the consolations proffered to her in God's blessed
Word, and by his Holy Spirit, and in the teachings of that last touching

May we not suppose that her husband, on finding himself liberated from
the trappings of earth, from sin and temptation, as his thoughts would
naturally revert to the friends he had left behind--finding his chosen,
bosom friend, a mere clod of clay, sunk down in a state of hopeless
misery and sorrow, at his loss, having no sympathy with him in his new
and blessed abode, and in his more exalted employments and purer
enjoyments, would he not rather bless God, more ardently, that he was so
quickly removed from such chilling, blighting earth-born influences as
she might have exerted over him?

Oh, that this youthful mourner might now hear that voice of God to his
chosen people, "Ye have compassed this mountain long enough--turn you
northward." God grant that the past time of her life may suffice that
she has "wrought the will of the flesh." We most earnestly commend to
her prayerful contemplation the last words of our blessed Saviour to his
disciples, "In my Father's house are many mansions." I go to prepare _a
place_ for you--just such a mansion--such a place as each ransomed soul,
by improving the discipline of God--by holy and self-denying efforts in
this life, to do his will, is fitted to fill, and enjoy.

And so it will ever be with the heirs of salvation, while they remain in
a world of sin and temptation. They are daily and hourly working out
their salvation with fear and with trembling, while God is working in
them to will and to do of his good pleasure. The improvement which is
made of afflictions has a great deal to do in this process.

And thus, too, will it be with those who wilfully, or even thoughtlessly
neglect the great salvation--those who reject the overtures of pardoning
mercy and salvation by Christ. They will hereafter know and acknowledge
that "they knew their duty but they did it not." It is said that "Judas
went to his _own place_"--and that "Dives _made his bed_ in hell." And
herein will these words of the poet be strikingly fulfilled in every
human soul--

  "'Tis not the whole of life to live,
  Nor all of death to die."

       *       *       *       *       *



While visiting in the family of Rev. Mr. F----, one morning as we were
quietly seated at the breakfast table, his two little boys, Willie and
Georgie were seated between their father and mother. All at once
Georgie, the youngest, a child of five years, reached his head forward,
and in a half-whisper said to his brother, "Willie, Willie, if you were
going a journey, which would you give up, your breakfast or your

Willie replied, "I should want both."

"But," said the little fellow, still more earnestly, "What if you
couldn't have both, then which would you give up?"

"I would give up my breakfast," said Willie.

The little urchin said in an undertone, "I think mother would take
something along in her bag." There was certainly a good "look out" for
two worlds.

A mother who resides near me, and has a large family of small children,
related to me the following circumstance of her eldest boy, when quite
young. From the time her children began to talk, she accustomed them,
each in their turn, to kneel by her side, on rising and retiring each
morning and evening, and repeat to her their little prayers.

One day when her eldest boy, as she thought, was old enough to
comprehend her, she said to him rather seriously, "My son, there is one
kind of prayer to God to which I have not directed your attention. It is
called 'secret prayer.' The direction and encouragement for this kind of
prayer is found in the passage, 'Enter into thy closet and shut to thy
door, and pray to thy Father which is in heaven, and thy Father which
seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.' Now do you not desire to
obtain this open reward. If you would like a closet of your own, there
is a little retired place near my bed-room--you can go there each day by
yourself, and shut your door as directed."

One day, not long after, the child was gone some time; his mother did
not like to accuse him of having trifled on so serious an occasion, for
he was a remarkably conscientious and honest boy--and she said to him,
"Frank, you have been gone so long I fear you may have been using 'vain

The color mantled at once in the little fellow's cheeks, and almost
ready to cry, he said, "Mother, when aunt Mary left us yesterday, she
said that she and the children would be exposed to many dangers during
the voyage, and she asked me to pray for them, and it took me a good

I was told by a friend, of a group of little boys when visiting a little
companion, all seated on the floor near each other, looking at some
pictures. They came to one representing Daniel in the den of lions. It
was noticed that the lions were not chained, and yet they were in a
reposing posture. None seemed to understand how this was. One little boy
said to another, "Ah, wouldn't you be afraid to be put into a den of
lions?" "Oh, yes," was the reply. And so the question went all round,
eliciting the same answer. At last the youngest of the party reached
himself forward and pulled his brother by the sleeve, saying, "Johnny,
Johnny, if lions are afraid of praying people, they'd be afraid of
mother--wouldn't they? And she wouldn't be afraid of them, for she says
we needn't fear anything but sin."

I was acquainted with a family where the following circumstance
occurred. The two youngest boys in the family were often trusted to take
long walks, and sometimes they were permitted to go over, by themselves,
to N----, a distance of nearly four miles, and make a call on their aunt
and cousins, who resided there.

One day they came and asked their mother if they might take a long walk.
She told them not a very long walk, for that day they had not been as
studious and dutiful as usual. They took hold of hands, and without
designing to do so at first, it was believed, they ran on very fast till
they reached the village of N----, where their aunt lived.

On going to the house, their aunt thought, from their heated appearance,
and hurried and disconcerted manner, that they were two "runaways." She,
however, welcomed them as usual--invited them to partake of some fine
baked apples and new bread and milk--quite a new treat to city boys--but
N----, the eldest, declined the invitation. She then proposed to them to
go to the school-house, which was near by, and see their cousins. This,
too, N---- declined. He said to his brother, "Charley, we must go home."
And they took hold of hands and ran all the way as fast as possible, and
immediately on entering the house, their faces as red as scarlet, N----
confessed to his mother where they had been, and asked her forgiveness.
This being granted, N---- could not be happy. He said, weeping, "Mother,
will you go up stairs with us and pray with us?" She did so, with a
grateful heart, and sought pardon for them. N---- did the same. When it
came Charley's turn to pray, he made an ordinary prayer--when his
brother repeatedly touched him, and in a low whisper he said, "Charley,
why don't you repent--why don't you repent?"

A very little child, not two years old, always seemed delighted to hold
her little book at prayer time, and when her father said Amen, she
always repeated it after him aloud. One day she seemed very uneasy
during prayer time, and though she made great resistance, she was taken
out of the room. She insisted on going back to the drawing-room, and the
chairs being still in the order in which the family had been seated
during prayer time, the little creature went by the side of each, and
folding her little hands, she repeated "Amen," "Amen," until she had
been to each one. Thus we see it is not so much for want of knowledge,
as for a right state of heart, right teachings, right examples, that
children do not live and act, speak and think and pray aright.

       *       *       *       *       *



In the letters of John Adams to his wife, Sept. 10, 1774, we have an
account of the _First Prayer_ in Congress. What an instructive and
encouraging lesson is here taught to all religious persons, always
unhesitatingly to obey all holy and good impulses.

Had Mr. Cushing, who moved the resolution, held back,--or had Mr. Samuel
Adams refused to second this resolution,--or had Rev. Mr. Duché
declined, when called upon to lead on that occasion, our nation might
never have presented the sublime spectacle of uniting, as a body, in
calling upon God at the opening of their Congressional sessions.

And who would dare to predict the loss which this omission might at that
time have occasioned to this infant Republic!

Mr. Adams's account is as follows:--

"When Congress first met, Mr. Cushing moved that it should be opened
with prayer. This was opposed on the ground that the members, being of
various denominations, were so divided in their religious sentiments
that they could not join in any one mode of worship. Mr. Samuel Adams
arose, and after saying that he was no bigot, and could hear a prayer
from any gentleman of piety and virtue who was a friend to his country,
moved that Rev. Mr. Duché--an Episcopal clergyman, who, he said, he
understood deserved that character--be invited to read prayers before
Congress the next morning. The motion was passed; and the next morning
Mr. Duché appeared, and after reading several prayers in the Established
form, then read the Collect for the 7th of September, which was the
thirty-fifth Psalm. This was the next morning after the startling news
had come of the cannonade of Boston;" and, says John Adams, "I never saw
a greater effect upon an audience: it seemed as if Heaven had ordained
that Psalm to be read on that morning."

"After this," he continues, "Mr. Duché, unexpectedly to everybody,
struck out into an extemporaneous prayer, which filled the bosom of
every man present. I never heard a better prayer, or one so well
pronounced. Dr. Cooper himself never prayed with such fervor, ardor,
earnestness, and pathos, and in language so eloquent and sublime, for
America, for the Congress, for the province of Massachusetts, and
especially for Boston. It had an excellent effect upon everybody here,"
and many, he tells us, were melted to tears.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Within a cradle, still and warm,
  There lies a little gentle form,
  Just look beneath the coverlid,
  And see the tiny sleeper hid!

  Then peep beneath the cap of lace,
  Behold his rosy happy face;
  The velvet cheek, so pure and white,
  Didst ever see a fairer sight?

  His dimpled arm across his breast,
  His chubby limbs composed to rest,
  The gentle curls of waving hair,
  Falling upon the pillow there!

  The drooping lashes shroud his eyes,
  Blue as the tinge of summer skies,
  His damask lips like tints of rose
  Which garden buds at twilight close.

  Art thou a form of human mould,
  Or stray-lamb of the heavenly fold?
  A little herald to the earth,
  Or cherub sent to bless our hearth?

  Must evil spirits intertwine
  And lead astray that heart of thine?
  And must thou be with sin defiled,
  That seemest now an angel child?

  Oh blessed Lamb of God! to thee
  I come, and with my baby flee
  Within thy fold, and sheltering care,
  I lay my child, and leave him there.

                              EUCLID, _Ohio_.

       *       *       *       *       *



Night was coming on. The tall elms which beautify the little village of
G---- were waving to and fro their pendent branches, heavy with the
evening damp, and as the boughs swayed against the window panes of one
of the largest mansions in the town, the glass was moistened by the
crystal drops. But heavier and colder was the dew that gathered upon the
forehead of the sufferer within; for extended upon the couch lay a dying

The trembling hand of an aged man wiped the forehead, and the tears that
stood in his eye told that his remaining days on earth must be uncheered
by the kind voice and radiant smile of her who had been a mother to his
children. Those children, grown to full age, were there, and if need be
could have borne clear and convincing testimony that sometimes, at
least, the connection between a step-mother and her husband's family is
only productive of good. But where were her own offspring? Three noble
looking men, and as many matrons, owed their existence and education to
her, and she had hoped, ere she died, to behold once more their faces.

Soft and gentle were the hands that smoothed her pillow; low and sweet
were the voices that inquired of her wants, but dear to her as were
these, they were not _her own_, and the mother's heart yearned once more
to trace their father's likeness in the tall dark-eyed sons who but a
few years ago were cradled in her arms. And can these feelings cause the
pang which seems at once to contract the face? So thinks her
step-daughter, as she says, "They will be here to-morrow, mother." "It
is not that, my dear," murmured the sick one, "but when I was just now
enjoying the blessedness of committing my soul to Him who died for me,
when feeling my own unworthiness of one of his many mercies, I had cast
myself on the mercy of the 'Sinner's Friend,' like a wave of agony
rushed in upon me the thought that my dear sons have denied the divinity
of the Savior, into whose name they were baptized, and who laid down his
life to redeem them. Oh! could I be assured that they would be led back
to their fathers' God, I could die happy." There was stillness in this
chamber of death. The invalid's pale lips moved as if in prayer, and
soon the lids were raised, and the brilliant black eye was lighted up as
of old, and triumphant was the strain that burst forth. "I know in whom
I have believed, and am persuaded that He will keep that which I have
committed to Him, my most precious treasures, _my children_, against
that day. I know Him--I rest in His faithfulness." The smile lingered on
her features, but the spirit had fled.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Green Mountain range in Massachusetts presents a series of most
magnificent scenery, and in the villages which nestle among its
summits, dwell some of the noblest hearts and sturdiest frames of New

Mountains have always been the rugged nurses of independence of thought
and action, and the grand chains of our own land form no exception to
the rule. Nor is this all--none who have not dwelt among our rural
population know the strong sympathy which pervades the inhabitants of
the same settlement--long may it continue! Each takes an interest in the
welfare of all about him, and though there are some things disagreeable
in the minute surveillance to which one is thus exposed, yet it is more
than compensated by the affectionate interest which is manifested in the
weal or woe of each neighbor. Not there, as in the crowded city, may a
man be laid in his grave, while the occupant of the next dwelling
neither knows nor cares concerning his fate.

The intelligence of illness spreads from house to house, and who can
number the kind offices which are immediately exercised by neighbors far
and near. The very schoolboys lower their voices as they pass the
darkened windows, and there needs no muffling of the knocker, for who
would disturb the invalid? And when the bell solemnly announces the
departure of a soul, sadness settles in every heart, and the cathedral
hung in sable is a poor tribute to departed worth, compared to the
general mourning of the whole village, when the long funeral procession,
whence old and young unite

  "To pay the last sad tribute, and to hear
  Upon the narrow dwelling's hollow bound,
      The first earth thrown."

Oh! who would not exchange the pomp and hollow pageantry of the
metropolis for such attentions?

In one of these same homes of virtue and happiness dwelt a family, who,
contented with their lot, sought no wide sphere of enjoyment. With a
good education, fine talents, with a strong constitution, the father had
commenced his career about forty years before, and by his own exertions
had risen to wealth, respectability and honor. Having often represented
the interests of his fellow-townsmen in the assembly of the State, the
county in which he resided had deemed that they could commit to no safer
hands the senatorial dignity.

His gentlemanly bearing, his benevolent smile, his tall and commanding
appearance won all hearts; while his calm judgment, his energetic course
of action gained respect and demanded admiration. In public and private
life he was a pattern of excellence. Surely his mother must have looked
upon such a son with feelings of gratitude and even pride. As you enter
the door, from which no poor man was ever turned empty away, and
crossing the hall, advance into the elegant parlor to greet your host
and his amiable wife, you can fancy a smile of satisfaction upon the
lips of that mother's portrait, which hangs in the place of honor on the
wall, a smile which seems to say, "this is my eldest born." But, alas!
it was for this son that that mother had put up her last prayer--for him
it was, she had poured forth her soul, and now years have passed since
he stood by her helpless remains, and her petition is still unanswered.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is a May morning, two years later, and cheerily does the sun shine
upon the village of ----. The pine forest at a little distance, sheds
forth after the last night's rain that fragrance which is so delicious,
the fields are gay with dandelions, the brooks yellow with the American
cowslip, close beside which peeps forth the lovely veronica, while
yonder slope is enameled with bright blue violets, and the little white
Mayflower. But no children are seen plucking them. The very herds in the
field low in a subdued manner, and the birds warble their gladsome
spring song with a depth which belongs only to sacred music. None are
moving about the streets. The church doors are open, however, for it is
the Sabbath. Come with me to yonder mansion--the tasteful shrubbery, the
vine-covered window, the well arranged garden bespeak for its possessor
wealth and luxury. Enter with me, but tread lightly as we ascend the
staircase. Upon that white curtained bed, raised by pillows, reposes
one who has numbered more than sixty summers. His brow is scarcely
furrowed, though his face is thin. His clasped hands are emaciated, but
he does not look old. The fever spot burns in his cheeks, and his eye is
lighted up with a heavenly ray, which shows that now at least the soul
is triumphing over the body.

A small table, covered with damask of snowy whiteness, stands near, on
which are placed the emblems of the broken body and poured-forth blood
of our Redeemer. A few Christian brethren and sisters are kneeling
around, and the pastor is blessing the bread. Methinks "it is good to be
here." The great Master is present, and "his banner over this little
company is love." One can almost see the ministry of angels as they bend
to watch the scene.

The rite is done. The softly murmured hymn which concludes it, has died
upon the balmy evening air. The partakers of the Lord's Supper have
departed. The pastor has for the last time pressed the hand which has so
recently subscribed to the covenant of the church, and he, too, has
taken his final leave. Relations alone remain in the chamber of death.
Solemnity broods over the spot. The brothers who through life have
looked to this now dying brother, as a father, guide, and friend, sit
gazing on him in mournful silence, the tears slowly chasing each other
down their manly cheeks, with something of the feeling of the prophet
when it was told him, "Know thou that your master will be taken from
your head to-day".

The sisters watch and anticipate his wishes, till first one and then
another is overcome by her emotion, and steals away to give it vent. The
wife, like a ministering spirit, silently wipes the clammy brow and
moistens the parched lips. But now the sick man speaks: "Brother, will
you bring mother's portrait! I would take my leave of that--O, how soon
shall I join her now." It is brought, and the heavy window curtains are
thrown back, and it is placed at the foot of the bed with reverend care,
which showed the veneration in which the original was held.

"Look, brother: it smiles upon me!" and observing the astonished
expression of his friends, the dying man continued in a less excited
tone, "Do not suppose that my mind is wandering. I assure you on the
word of one who must shortly appear before a God of truth, that ever
since my mother's death the picture has frowned upon me. I knew what it
meant, for you have not forgotten her last prayer, and every time I have
looked upon it I felt, while I continued to deny the divinity of our
Savior, I could not expect my mother's approbation or blessing. For
years I fought against the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, till I examined
the subject more thoroughly, and to-day I have sealed my renunciation of
that error, and have testified my faith in the atonement made for
sinners. The cross of Christ has drawn me with cords of love. I wanted
to see that portrait once more, and, lo, the frown is gone--and my
mother beams upon me the same sweet smile as when at sixteen years of
age I left home a fatherless boy, to make my own way in the world. Thank
God I die in peace."

My sketch is finished. Shall I make the application? Has not every
mother's heart made it already? asking the question, "Is my influence
over my children such that when I am gone my portrait shall have such
power over them for good?"

Cowper has embalmed his mother's miniature in lines which will touch the
heart while our language is preserved. But this picture is hallowed by
strains which are poured forth from angelic choirs, as they tune their
harps anew "over one sinner that repenteth."

The likeness of Cowper's mother led him to mourn for past delights, but
this picture led the son to look in humble joy to that blessed hope and
glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.


       *       *       *       *       *



During a recent tour in search of health and pleasure, I was surprised
and pained at seeing the amount of light reading indulged in while
traveling, by old and young of both sexes and all classes. I observed,
while rapidly urged over our railways, many thus engaged--many
purchasing eagerly the trash offered at every station, and could but
regret they had not provided with the same care food for the mind, by
placing in the satchel that contained sustenance for the body, some
valuable book, some truthful work.

Lake George, with its clear waters and lovely islands, its majestic,
untrod mountains and historical associations, had not attractions
sufficient to win the lovers of fiction from the false pages of life, to
the open, beautiful book of Nature. It was a bright July morning when I
stood upon the deck of the "John Jay."

  "The beautiful sun arose--and there was not
  A stain upon the sky, the virgin blue
  Was delicate as light, and birds went up
  And sang invisibly, the heavenly air
  Wooed them so temptingly."

Now the mountain-tops were radiant with the golden light, now valley,
lake, and green islet, rejoiced in the morning sun. Yet, at such an
hour, amid such scenes, ladies and gentlemen were engrossed with the
mawkish sentimentalities of fictitious narrations, their eyes closed to
all the beauty of the time and place, their ears deaf to the delicious
harmony of awakening nature.

Lake Champlain, with its romantic ruins ever dear to the heart of an
American, its verdant shores and rural villages, nestling in the valleys
or crowning the hills, could scarce obtain a passing glance from those
enraptured with the improbable if not impossible pictures of life.

When upon the St. Lawrence, gliding swiftly through the charming scenery
of the Thousand Isles, that like emerald gems adorn the bosom of that
noble river, now passing one with cultivated fields and quiet
farm-house, another low and level bathed in the rays of a setting sun,
others rocky and precipitous, crowned with cedar and fir; again a little
quiet spot where one would like long to tarry, or one with shrubbery and
light-house so peaceful in its rural beauty you almost envied the
occupants their retirement; even here, as I turned from the scene at the
whispered exclamation of a friend, "O, how beautiful!" my eye fell upon
two ladies bending over the pages of newly issued novels, their
countenances glowing--not with holy emotions awakened by the enjoyment
of a summer's sun-set upon the St. Lawrence, but with feverish
excitement, kindled by the overwrought pictures of the novelist. Fair,
young girls, how could you linger over the unreal when passing through
such scenes of God's own work? How could you shut out that gorgeous
sunset, turn from all the pure and heavenly feelings such scenes must
awaken, to sympathize with imaginary beings and descriptions?

And now I tarried at Niagara, wonderful, sublime Niagara--

  ----"Speaking in voice of thunder
  Eternally of God--bidding the lips of man
  Keep silence, and upon the rocky altar, pour
  Incense of sweet praise."

Rambling along the shore of Iris Island, every step presenting a new
scene, impressing the mind with the greatness of God and the
insignificance of man, while "the voice of many waters" proclaimed to
erring reason "there is a God:" also, here, under the shade of a noble
oak, in full view of the great Cataract, sat a small group of ladies; in
their midst, a gentle girl reading aloud from one of the many works that
"charm the greedy reader on, till done, he tries to recollect his
thoughts and nothing finds--but dreamy emptiness." I lingered, and
learned this was the tale of a young authoress, whose writings are now
winning golden opinions from a portion of our religious press. Yet how
unsuitable the place for delighting in the extravagant and improbable
blending of truth and fiction, though it may have a _moral_ and
_religious_ under-current. At the side of that young reader sat her
_mother_. The favorable moments for impressing that immortal mind
committed to her guardianship, with right views of the Infinite Supreme,
were swiftly passing away, the opportunity of awakening in her young
heart while beholding His wonderful work emotions of humility and
reverence was alike forgotten; with the daughter just entering upon
womanhood she gave all thought and feeling, alone to the ideal. Could I
have aroused that parent to a sense of her obligations, of her neglected
opportunities, of the priceless value of her child's soul, stranger
though I was, I would have earnestly besought her, to take away that
romance, to step with her to the point but just before them--open the
"Book of books," and let her read of Him "who hath measured the waters
in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with a span; who hath
compassed the waters with bounds until the day and night come to an end;
whose way is in the sea, and his path in the great waters. The Lord,
whose name alone is excellent, his glory above the earth and heaven."


       *       *       *       *       *




  All gone--yet 'mid this heavy loss
    A ray of light behold;
  If thou art parted with the dross,
    There's left for thee the gold.

  A name unsullied--conscience clear,
    From aught that man can prove;
  And, what must be to thee most dear,
    Thy children's changeless love.

  The visions of the world so fair
    Are fading from our sight;
  Yet hope sinks not in vain despair,
    But points to one more bright.

  Oh, may misfortune's chilling blight,
    But bind us closer here,
  Till we behold the dawning light
    Of yonder blessed sphere.

  And O, my father, linger not,
    In exile, from our hearth;
  Ah, this has been a cherished spot,
    To make us cling to earth.

  'Tis where the youngest of the seven
    First drew his fleeting breath,
  Sweet cherished flower, the gift of heaven,
    To fill our blooming wreath.

  And saddened memories linger not
    Around each faded year;
  Oh, let it never be forgot
    Death hath not entered here.

  The shrine of many a fervent prayer,
    More loved than words can tell,
  Is passing to another's care,
    And we must say, Farewell.

  But O, my father, hasten home,
    'Tis in each loved one's heart;
  Thy wife, thy children, bid thee come,
    And ne'er again depart.

  For me, my love shall ever twine
    Around thy future years;
  And my most fervent prayers be thine
    Amid this vale of tears,

  That when life's busy cares shall cease--
    Its feeble ties be riven;
  Thine honored head may rest in peace,
    Thy soul ascend to heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *



It is generally admitted that there has been a lamentable declension in
family government within a few years. I propose to show some of the
causes of this growing evil, and to point out the remedy.

1. _Inattention and blindness to the faults of children._--As a matter
of course we cannot expect parents will restrain their children without
observing their faults. They must see an error before they can correct

It would not be strange if affection or love for our children should
sometimes hide their faults, or that others should sometimes notice them
before we do. They are often, too, looked upon as trivial, as of small
importance. The mother of pirate Gibbs might have thought it very
trivial that her little son should kill flies, and catch and torture
domestic animals. But it had its influence in forming the character of
the pirate. The man who finishes his days in state-prison as a notorious
thief began his career in the nursery by stealing pins, or in the pantry
by stealing sugar and cake, and as soon as old enough to look abroad, to
take a little choice fruit from a neighbor's garden or orchard. The
finished gambler began his career by the side of his mother, by taking
pins stealthily from her cushion. Children cannot do great things when
young. They have not the power. Their powers and views are too limited
to perform what may be called great deeds of wickedness. Yet the grossly
immoral usually begin their downward course in youth. The germ of
wickedness is then planted. Time only matures what is thus begun. Those
trivial things which you suffer to pass without a rebuke, constitute the
germ of all their future depravity. The wickedness of youth differs from
that of mature age rather in degree than in kind. The character of the
man may often be read in the conduct of the child. Thus bad government
originates in overlooking the faults of children, or in wrong views of
their conduct. The deeds of childhood are considered of small moment.
Childhood with them has no connection with manhood. The child may be
anything, and make a giant in intellect, or a professor in morals. But
it should be remembered that the very essence of good government lies in
watching the connection of one act with another, in tracing the relation
between the conduct of mature age and the little developments of
childhood and youth. Good government respects not only the present good
of its subjects but their future. It takes in eternity as well as time.
A great many parents are totally blind to the faults of their children.
They see none when they are even gross. Everybody else can see them, and
is talking about them, and they know not that they exist. Like Eli, of
ancient days, the first that they know of the wickedness of their
children they hear it from all the people. It is a sad thing when others
have to tell us of the depravity of our children. And it is then
generally too late to correct them. The public do not know the first
aberrations of childhood and youth. They can only be learnt in the
nursery. If parents are blind to them, and they are suffered to become
habits, it is generally too late to correct them. It is in the form of
habits that neighbors become acquainted with them. Woe to that child
then, whose faults are rebuked by every one else, but not by his
parents! His faults are in every one's mouth, but not in theirs.

2. _The interference of one parent while the other is endeavoring to
enforce rightful discipline._--Nothing has a more injurious influence
upon family government than such a course. It presents the two, in whom
the children should place the most implicit confidence, at variance. As
a matter of course, the disobedient child will throw himself into the
hands of the one interfering, as a kind of shield from the rod. In such
a case it is almost utterly impossible to maintain government and
support discipline. The child justifies himself, and stoutly persists in
his rebellion while he receives countenance from one of his parents.
This, if I mistake not, is often done. Many a family has been ruined in
this way for time and eternity. Government was entirely disobeyed in the
outset. The father undertook the correction of the child, but the
mother threw her arms over him--she pleads that he is a little
child--that he knew not what correction means, as for _what_ he is
corrected--or the rod is applied too severely. The child cried most
unmercifully, when perhaps he only cried because he was rebellious and
stubborn. This repeated a few times, and the one who is determined to
maintain discipline becomes discouraged, and silently the management, or
rather the mismanagement of the family passes into the hands of the
other parent, and for peace sake.

The above is a fruitful cause of bad management. In truth no one is
prepared to govern others unless he governs himself. A fretful spirit
and an impatient manner can do but little else than awaken opposition in
the breast of the child. Such a course can never secure confidence and
love. Every parent is here exposed to err. We are never prepared to
administer discipline without possessing the spirit of Christ. It would
probably be a good rule to adopt never to correct a child until we have
been upon our knees before God in prayer. It would be a great preventive
to a spirit of impatience.

3. _A want of decision._--One reason why some find so much difficulty in
the management of their families, is owing to the manner in which they
address their children. They never speak with any degree of decision.
The child judges it doubtful whether the parent means what he requires.
He therefore hesitates and hesitates before he obeys. He foresees this
habit, and hence he neglects obedience altogether. For the want of
decision, he is under the necessity of repeating his commands again and
again. What a wretched practice! No one should think he governs his
children without they obey him _at once_. He should never expect to
repeat his commands, and he should speak in such a manner as to lead the
child to infer the parent _expected him to obey._ Manner has great
influence. _Expression_ is more than half.

Where submission takes place under such circumstances, it is generally
of the genuine kind. There is no spuriousness about it. And there is not
often any more trouble about discipline after that. The question is
decisively settled. It is not every child that manifests its rebellion
so much all at once. They manifest it little by little, daily, as
opportunity offers, and then they will appear more easily to yield. It
is to be feared, there is but little genuine submission in many such
instances. At least there is but one course for the parent--to keep up
the discipline so long as he manifests the least particle of rebellion.
If he shows rebellion in any particular way, you should not try to avoid
it, but meet it, and effect the work of entire submission.

4. _Correcting with an improper spirit and in an improper manner is
another cause of bad government._--Some never chastise except in a rage,
and then no one is prepared to do it. They must get very much excited
before they undertake to correct the child, and then perhaps when the
child is not in the least to blame. He lets a pitcher fall, or breaks a
plate, the parent flies into a passion, and begins to beat the unlucky
boy or girl. Perhaps no positive correction was deserved. Such a spirit
can never benefit a child. Some never think of reproving a real fault.
It is only when an accident occurs, or some unintentional mishap is
done, that the rod is ever used. To be sure there might be blame, but
nothing compared with some acts of deliberate and willful transgression,
when no correction is given.

Parents, your children cannot purchase at any price what you can give
them; I mean a subdued will. To effect this it is necessary to begin
when a child is very young. The earlier the better, if you can make
yourself understood. You need not fix upon any particular age when to
begin; let this depend on circumstances, and different children will
show their rebellion upon different points.

5. _Coming short of attaining the object when you make the
attempt--leaving discipline half completed._--When a child is corrected,
every reasonable object should be attained. No point should be evaded.
The parent should not stop until perfect and entire submission is
effected on every point of dispute. And first I would invite your
attention to instances by no means rare, where the child shows rebellion
on some particular point. At such a point he stops; you cannot move him.
He will do anything else but just the thing required. He may never have
showed a stubborn will before. You have now found a point where you
differ; there is a struggle between will and will; the stakes are set,
and one or the other must yield. There is no avoiding it; you cannot
turn to the right nor to the left; there is but one course for you. You
must go forward, or the ruin of your child is sealed. You have come to
an important crisis in the history of your child, and if you need motive
to influence you to act, you may delineate as upon a map his temporal
and eternal destiny--these mainly depend upon the issue of the present
struggle. If you succeed, your child is saved; if you fail, he is lost.
You may think perhaps your child will die before he will yield. We had
almost said he might as well die as not to yield. I have known several
parents who found themselves thus situated. Perhaps they possessed a
feeble hand, their strength began to fail, but it was no time to parley.
They summoned all their energy to another mighty struggle. Victory was
theirs--a lost child was saved. Some are contented with anything that
looks like obedience in such instances. The occasion passes. It soon,
however, recurs with no better nor as good prospects. Thus the struggle
is kept up while the child remains under the parental roof.

A father one day gave his little son some books, his knife, and last of
all his watch to amuse him. He was right under his eye. At length he
told him to bring them all to him. He brought the books and knife to him
cheerfully; the watch he wanted to keep--that was his idol. The father
told him to bring that; he refused. The father used the rod. He took up
the watch and brought it part way, and laid it down. The father told him
to put it in his hand, but he would not. He corrected him again. He
brought it a little farther and laid it down. Again he whipped him. At
length he brought it and held it right over his father's hand, but would
not put it in. The father, wearied by the struggle, struck the son's
hand with the stick, and the watch fell into his hand. It was not given
up. There was no submission. That son has been known to be several times
under conviction, but he would never submit to God.

       *       *       *       *       *




In order fully to understand the subject of our present study, we must
return upon the track, to the days of Joshua, before Israel had wholly
entered upon the possession of the promised land. The tribes were
encamped at Gilgal to keep the passover, and from there, by the
direction of Jehovah, they made incursions upon the surrounding
inhabitants. Jericho and Ai had been taken, and the fear of these
formidable Hebrews and their mighty God had fallen upon the hearts of
the nations and stricken them almost to hopelessness. Feeling that a
last effort to save themselves and their homes must be made, they banded
together and resolved to defend their rights, and to put to proof the
combined power of their deities. One clan, however, despairing of
success by any such means, having heard that the utter extirpation of
the Canaanites was determined upon, resorted to stratagem, and thus
secured their safety in the midst of the general ruin. "They did work
wilily," says the sacred record, "and made as if they had been
ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles old,
and rent, and bound up; and old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and
old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and
mouldy. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto
him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country, now
therefore make ye a league with us." At first the Israelites seem to
have suspected trickery, but when the supposed ambassadors produced
their mouldy bread, and declared that it was taken hot from the oven on
the morning of their departure from their own country, and that their
wine bottles were new, now so shrunk and torn, and pointed to their
shoes and garments quite worn out by the length of the journey; and
told their pitiful story, and in their humility stooped to any terms if
they might only be permitted to make a covenant, Joshua and his elders
were completely deceived, and without stopping to ask counsel of the
Lord, "they made peace with them, and made a league with them to let
them live."

The Lord abhors treachery, and although his people had greatly erred in
this act, and although these Hivites were among the nations whom he had
commanded them to destroy, yet since a covenant had been made with them,
it must be kept on peril of his stern displeasure and severe judgments.
Only three days elapsed before the Israelites discovered that the crafty
ambassadors were their near neighbors, and were called upon to come to
their defense against the other inhabitants of the land, who having
heard of the transaction at Gilgal, had gathered together to smite their
principal city, Gibeon, and destroy them because they had made peace
with Joshua. Before the walls of that mighty city, and in behalf of
these idolaters, because Jehovah would have his people keep faith with
those to whom they had vowed, was fought that memorable battle, the like
of which was never known before or since, when to aid the cause, the
laws of Nature were suspended upon human intercession--when Joshua said,
"Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the valley of
Ajalon." "So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not
to go down about a whole day."

The tribes gained their inheritance, and their enemies were mostly
driven out of the land, but in their midst ever dwelt the Gibeonites,
safe from molestation, though the menial services of the tabernacle were
performed by them, because of the deceit by which they purchased their
lives, and they were contented to be thus reduced to perpetual bondage
so they might escape the doom of their neighbors.

Years passed on, and vicissitudes came to the Israelites of one kind and
another. Sometimes they were victorious in their battles and peaceful
among themselves; and again they fled before enemies or were embroiled
in civil dissensions. Ever, above, caring for them, and bringing them
safely on through all; instructing, guiding and disciplining, sat on
his throne, their mighty invisible King. They demanded an earthly
monarch, and in judgment he granted their desire. _In judgment_, and
miserable in many ways were the results of his reign. Among his other
evil acts not recorded, but alluded to in the history, was one of cruel
treachery to the Gibeonites. "It would seem that Saul viewed their
possessions with a covetous eye, as affording him the means of rewarding
his adherents, and of enriching his family, and hence, on some pretense
or other, or without any pretense, he slew large numbers of them, and
doubtless seized their possessions." In this wicked deed we gather that
many of the Israelites, and the members of Saul's family in particular,
had an active share, and were benefited by the spoils. The Almighty
beheld and took cognisance, but no immediate retribution followed.
Towards the close of David's reign, however, for some unknown reason,
the whole land was visited with a famine. Month after month it stalked
abroad, and year after year, until three years of want had afflicted the
chosen people. At the end of that time David, having resorted to all
possible means of providing food in vain, began to reflect that there
was meaning in the visitation, and "sought the face of the Lord," to
inquire why he was displeased with his people. The answer was explicit
and terrible. "It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he slew the
Gibeonites." Though men forget, the Lord does not. He will plead the
cause of the oppressed sooner or later, and though his vengeance sleep
long, yet will he reward to those that deal treachery sevenfold sorrow.

Driven by famine and by the expressed will of Jehovah, David sent to ask
of the injured people what should be done to satisfy their sense of
justice. "And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor
gold of Saul nor of his house, neither for us shalt thou kill any man in

"The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be
destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel,

"Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them
up unto the Lord in Gibeon of Saul. And the king said, I will give

Dreadful days of blood! Fearful fiat! which though needful and just, yet
invaded the sanctuary of home so gloomily. Sad world! in which the
innocent so often bear the sins of the guilty,--when will thy groans,
ever ascending into the ears of Almighty love, be heard and bring

The sentence was executed. Two sons of Saul by Rizpah, his inferior
wife, and five of Merab his eldest daughter, whom Michal had, for some
reason, educated, were delivered up and hung by the Gibeonites.

Who can imagine, much less portray, the mother's anguish when her noble
sons were torn from her for such a doom! We do not know whether Merab
was living to see that day of horror, but Rizpah felt the full force of
the blow which blasted all her hopes. Her husband, the father of her
sons, had been suddenly slain in battle; her days of happiness and
security had departed with his life, and now, all that remained of
comfort, her precious children, must be put to a cruel death to satisfy
the vengeance due to crimes not hers nor theirs. Wretched mother! a
bitter lot indeed was thine! But the Lord had spoken, and there was no
reprieve. To the very town where they had all dwelt under their father's
roof, were these hapless ones dragged and their bodies ignominiously
exposed upon the wall until they should waste away--a custom utterly
abhorrent to all humanity, and especially to the Hebrews, whose
strongest desire might be expressed in the words of the aged Barzillai,
"Let me die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father
and mother."

Behold now that lone and heart-broken mother, on the spot where day and
night, week after week, and month after month, she may be found. Neither
heat nor cold--distressing days nor fearful nights--the entreaties of
friends, nor the weariness of watching, nor the horrifying exhibition of
decaying humanity, could drive her from her post. Upon the sackcloth
which she had spread for herself upon the rock she remained "from the
beginning of the harvest until the rain dropped upon them out of
heaven," and suffered neither the birds of the air by day, nor the
beasts of the field by night to molest those precious remains. O
mother's heart! of what heroism art thou capable! Before a scene like
this the bravest exploits of earth's proudest heroes fade into dim
insignificance. At this picture we can only gaze. Words wholly fail when
we would comment on it. Of the agonies it reveals we cannot speak. There
are lessons to be learned from it, and upon them we can ponder.

The value which the Lord our God sets upon truth is here displayed. He
will have no swerving from the straight path of perfect fidelity to all
engagements and covenants. Severe and awful appears his character as
thus presented to us, and yet it is upon this very attribute that all
our hopes rely. "He is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man
that he should repent." If he thus defends those who love him not, how
safe and happy may his children rest.

The days in which Rizpah lived were dark and gloomy days. The words of
Samuel to Agag may stand as their memorial, "As thy sword hath made
women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women." Let us
be thankful that we see no such direful scenes, and let us act worthy of
our higher lot. Let us remember also that there is a destruction of life
more terrible even than that which Rizpah witnessed--the destruction of
the soul. If the mother's love within us prompts us to half the care of
the spiritual life of our children, which she bestowed on the decaying
forms of her loved ones, He who rewards faithfulness will not suffer us
to labor in vain.

       *       *       *       *       *

Each day is a new life; regard it therefore, as an epitome of the world.
Frugality is a fair fortune, and industry a good estate. Small faults
indulged, are little thieves to let in greater.

       *       *       *       *       *




Let us now enter upon the second part of the field of education, the
training of the intellect. It is obvious that we have in this, a much
higher subject to deal with than that on which we have just dwelt. The
physical form in a few years develops itself, and soon reaches its
utmost limits of growth. It is then an instrument whose powers we seek
to maintain but cannot increase. As time advances, indeed, those powers
gradually yield to the influence of disease or age, until the senses
begin to neglect their office, the brain declines in vigor, while the
tongue, the eye, the hand, forget their accustomed work in the
imbecility wrought by the approach of death. But no such limitation is
manifest to us in the growth and future life of the intellect. Dependent
upon the body for a healthful home in this world, and so far limited by
the conditions of mortality, it yet seems to have in itself no absolute
limitation bounding its prospective and possible attainments, save as
the finite never can fully attain to the infinite. Granting it a
congenial home, a fitting position, with full opportunity for progress,
and there is scarcely a height this side infinity which in the ascent of
ages it seems not capable of reaching. All creatures are finite, and as
such, limited; but the horizon around the soul is so amazingly
expansive, and the capacities of the mind for progress so immense, that
to us, in our present state, it is almost as if there were no
limitations at all.

The power of the intellect to acquire facts and relations, and from them
to ascend to the laws which control; its power to advance in a daily
ascending path into the region of intuition, where masses of things,
once isolated or chaotic, range themselves into harmony, and move in
numbers most musical; its power thus to rise into an enlarging vision
of truths now latent, and behold directly laws, relations and facts
which once evaded the sight, or were only seen dimly and after great
toil, it is utterly beyond our sphere to limit. We know that what to us
in childhood was a mystery, is now simple; that some of the grandest
laws of the material world which a few years back were reached only
after stupendous labor, are now become intuitive truths; and we can see
no reason why the human mind is not capacitated for just such advances
eternally; at every ascent sweeping its vision over a broader range of
truth, and rising ever nearer that Omniscient Intellect to which all
things open. The instinct and imperfect reason of the noblest brutes,
are here in marked contrast to the mind of man. They reach the limit of
knowledge with the ripening of their physical frame; a limit which no
training, however protracted and ingenious, can overpass; which never
varies, except as a cord drawn round a center may vary, by being
enlarged on the one side and contracted on the other; and which prepares
them without the acquisition of a particle of superfluous intelligence
for their brute life as the servitors of man. While his mind, never
wholly stationary for a long period, has capacities for development that
seem to spurn a merely sensual life, and lift the spirit to a
companionship with angels; which, instead of resting satisfied with the
mere demands of the body, seeks to penetrate the deep springs of life,
discern the exquisite organism of an insect's wing, measure the stars,
and analyze the light that reveals them.

Possessing an intellect of so fine a nature, it is not to be questioned
that, according to our opportunities, it is incumbent on us to carry
forward its improvement from childhood to hoary age. A power like this,
of indefinite expansion, in directions surpassingly noble, among
subjects infinitely grand, has been conferred that it might be expanded,
and go on expanding in an eternal progression; that it might sweep far
beyond its present horizon and firmament, where the stars now shining
above us, shall become the jeweled pavement beneath us, while above
still roll other spheres of knowledge, destined in like manner to
descend below us as the trophies of our victorious progress.

To bury such an intellect as this in the commonplaces of a life of mere
sense; to confine it to the narrow circle of a brute instinct and
reason; to live in such a world, with the infinite mind of Jehovah
looking at us from all natural forms, breathing around us in all tones
of music, shining upon us from all the host of heaven, and soliciting us
to launch away into an atmosphere of knowledge and ascend to an
acquaintance with the great First Cause, even as the bird challenges the
fledgling to leave its nest, and be at home on the wing; to live amid
such incitements to thought, yet never lift the eyes from the dull round
of physical necessities, is treason toward our higher nature, the
voluntary defacement of the grandest characteristic of our being. The
education of the intellect is not a question to be debated with men who
have the slightest appreciation of their noble capacities. The
obligation to improve it is commensurate with its susceptibility of
advancement and our opportunities. It is not limited to a few years in
early life, it presses on us still in manhood and declining age. Such is
a general statement of the duty of intellectual improvement.

In the actual education of the mind, our course will necessarily be
modified by the ultimate objects at which we aim. Properly these are
twofold--the first general, the second specific. The first embraces the
general training of our intellectual powers, with direct reference to
the high spiritual life here and hereafter. We place before us that
state of immortality to which the present stands in the relation of a
portico to a vast temple. The intellect is itself destined to survive
the body, and as the instrument through which the heart is to be
disciplined and fitted for this condition of exalted humanity, is to be
informed with all that truth most essential for this purpose. Whatever
there be in the heavens or the earth--in books or works of men, to
discipline, enlarge and exalt the mind, to that we shall be attracted. A
right heart breathes in an atmosphere of truth; it grows and rejoices in
communion with all the light that shines upon it from the works or word
of God. All truth, indeed, is not of the same importance. There is that
which is primary and essential; there is that which adds to the
completeness, without going to the foundation of character. The truths
that enter a well cultivated mind, animated by right sentiments, will
arrange themselves by a natural law in the relative positions they hold
as the exponents of the character of God, and the means more or less
adapted to promote the purity and elevation of man. All truth is of God;
yet it is not all of equal value as an educational influence. There are
different circles--some central, some remote. The crystals of the rock,
the stratification of the globe, and the facts of a like character, will
fill an outer circle, as beautiful, or skillful, or wonderful, in the
demonstration of divine powers, but not so in themselves unfolding the
highest attributes of God. The architecture of animate nature, the
processes of vegetable life, the composition of the atmosphere, the
clouds and the water, will range themselves in another circle, within
the former, and gradually blending with it, as the manifestations of the
wisdom and benificence of God. Then the unfoldings of his moral
character in the government of nations, in the facts of history, and in
the general revelation of himself in the Scriptures, will constitute
another band of truth concentric with the others, yet brighter and
nearer the center. While at length in the cross and person of Christ--in
the system of redemption, and all the great facts which it embodies, we
behold the innermost circle that, sweeping round Jehovah as its center,
reflects the light of his being, most luminously upon the universe. Such
is obviously the relative order of the truth we seek to know. It is the
different manifestations of God, ascending from the lowest attributes of
divinity, to those which constitute a character worthy the homage and
love of all beings. Now, as it is the great object of life to know God
and enjoy him, so in education we are to keep this steadily in view, and
follow the order of procedure for the attainment of it which God has
himself established. To spend the life or the years of youth on the
study of rocks and crystals, to the neglect of the higher moral truths
which lie within their circle, is unpardonable folly--a folly not to be
redeemed by the fact that such knowledge is a partial unfolding of God
to man. It is little better than studying the costume to the neglect of
the person--than the examination of the frame to the neglect of the
master-piece of a Raphael inclosed within it--than the criticism of a
single window to the neglect of the glorious dome of St. Peter's--than
viewing the rapids to the neglect of the mighty fall of Niagara. In
education, the observance of this natural order of truth will bring us,
at length, to that which fills the outer circle, and thus _all_ the
kinds of knowledge will receive a just attention. Indeed, the study of
the one naturally leads us to the other. We shall pass from the inner to
the outer lines of truth, and back again, learning all the while this
important lesson, that the study of the more remote class of truths is
designed to conduct us to a more perfect appreciation of that which is
moral, religious, central and saving; while the study of the higher
parts of revelation will show us that the former come in to finish and
perfect the latter. We do not despise the frieze--the architrave--the
cornice--the spires, and the other ornaments of the temple, because we
regard as most essential the foundation, the corner stone, the walls and
the roofing; but in due time we seek to impart to our edifice not only
strength and security, but the beauty of the noblest and richest
adornment. According to our means, and as the necessities of life will
permit, we shall seek for knowledge from all its various spheres, and
despise nothing that God has thought worthy of his creative power or
supporting energy.

Now this large course of education in obedience to its first great
object, is not limited by anything in itself or in us, to a particular
class of individuals. It is the common path along which all intelligent
beings are to pass. The object to which it conducts is before us all,
and common to all. It is not divided into departments for separate
classes. Woman, as well as man, has an interest in it, and an obligation
to seek for it, just as binding as that which rests on him. All souls
are equal, and though intellects may vary, yet the pursuit of truth for
the exaltation of the soul is common to all. As this obligation to
unfold the powers of the intellect, that we may grasp the truth, is
primary, taking precedence of other objects--since all duty is based on
knowledge, and all love and worship, and right action on the
intelligence and apprehension of God--so education, which in this
department is but the development of our capacity, preparing us to
pursue the truth, and master the difficulties which frown us away from
its attainment, rises into a duty the most imperative upon all rational
beings. The same path here stretches onward before both sexes, the same
motives impel them, the same objects are presented to them, the same
obligations rest upon them. Neither youth nor age--neither man nor
woman, can here make a limitation that shall confine one sex to a narrow
corner--an acre of this broad world of intelligence--and leave the other
free to roam at large among all sciences. Whatever it is truly healthful
for the heart of man to know, whatever befits _his_ spiritual nature and
immortal destiny, that is just as open to the mind of woman, and just as
consistent with her nature. To deny this abstract truth, we must either
affirm the sentiment falsely ascribed to Mahomet, although harmonizing
well enough with his faith in general, that women have no souls; or take
the ground that truth in this, its widest extent, is not as essential to
their highest welfare as it is to ours; or assert, that possessing
inferior intellects, they are incapable of deriving advantage from the
general pursuit of knowledge, and therefore must be confined to a few
primary truths, of which man is to be the judge. The first supposition
we leave with the fanaticism that may have given it birth, and with
which it so well harmonizes; the second we surrender to those atheistic
fools and swindling politicians who can see no excellence in knowledge,
save as it may minister to their sensual natures, or assist them to
cajole the people; while the man who maintains the third, we would
recommend to a court of Ladies, with Queen Elizabeth as judge, Madame de
Stael as prosecuting attorney, and Hannah More, Mrs. Hemans, and other
bright spirits of the same sex, as jury.

I have dwelt thus at length on the first and most general object before
us in the pursuit of knowledge, because it is really of the highest and
noblest education, common to both sexes and unlimited by anything in
their character or different spheres of life.

       *       *       *       *       *



The great difficulty in this country is, that we try to do too much for
our children. If we would let them alone a little more, we should do
better; that is, if we would content ourselves with keeping them warm
and clean, and feeding them on simple, wholesome food, it would be

They will take exercise of themselves, if we will let them alone, and
they will shout and laugh enough to open their lungs. It is really
curious for a scientific person to look on and observe the numerous and
sometimes, alas! fatal mistakes that are constantly made. You will see a
family where the infants are stout and vigorous as a parent's heart
could desire, and, if only let alone, would grow up athletic and fine
people; but parents want to be doing, so they shower them every morning
to make them strong--they are strong already!

Then, even before they are weaned, they will teach them to suck raw
beef; for what? Has not their natural food sustained them well? An
infant will have teeth before it wants animal food.

But all these courses they have heard were strengthening, so they
administer them to the strongest, till excess of stimulants produces
inflammation, and the natural strength is wasted by disease. Then the
child grows pale and feeble; now the stimulants are redoubled, they are
taken to the sea-shore, kept constantly in the open air, and a great
amount of exercise is insisted on. By this time all the symptoms of
internal inflammation show themselves: the skin is pale, the hands and
feet cold, dark under the eyes, reluctance to move, &c., &c. But no one
suspects what is the matter; even the physician is often deceived at
this stage of the process, and if he is, the child's case will be a hard

I mention particularly this course of stimulants, as it is just now the
prevalent mania. Every one ought to understand, that those practices
which are commonly called strengthening, are, in other words,
stimulating, and that to apply stimulants where the system is already in
a state of health, will produce too much excitement. The young, from the
natural quickness of their circulation, are particularly liable to this
excess of action, which is inflammation. This general inflammation, in
time, settles into some form of acute disease, so that in fact, by
blindly attempting to strengthen, we inflame, disease, and enfeeble to
the greatest possible degree.

If we look at nature--at the animal instincts that are around us, what a
different course does it advise! The Creator has taught the lower races
to take care of their young; and if some accident does not happen to
them they never lose one; just as they manage to-day, just so did they
do for them a thousand years ago. Man is left to his own reason, I had
almost said to his caprice; every age has produced different customs,
and in consequence different diseases. More than half of the human race
die under five years old; how small a portion live to the full
"_threescore and ten_."

Morally and intellectually, man may advance to an almost unlimited
extent; but he must remember, that physically he is subjected to the
same laws as other animals. Is it not quite time that we should bow our
pride of reason, and look to the practice of those animals that raise
all their young, and live out their own natural lives? How do they
manage? We need not look far; see, madam, the cat; how does she contrive
to rear her young family? Who ever saw her give one of them a
shower-bath? Who ever saw her take a piece of meat to her nest, that her
little ones might try their gums on it, before their teeth had grown?
Who ever saw her taking them out of a cold winter's day for exercise in
the open air, till their little noses were as red as those of the
unfortunate babies one meets every cold day? Not one of all these
excellent fashionable plans does she resort to. She keeps them
clean--very clean, warm--very warm indeed. The Creator sends them to
make their way in the world dressed completely, cap and all, in a
garment unexceptionable as to warmth; there is no thick sock on the feet
to protect from chills, and the head left with the bare skin uncovered,
because reason had discovered that the head was the hottest part of the
body, and that it was all a mistake that it should be so; therefore it
was left exposed to correct this natural, universal law of the animal
economy. Pussy knows nothing of all this, so kittie's cap is left on,
coming snug over the little ears; and who ever saw a cat deaf (but from
age) or a kitten with the ear-ache? Yet the first thing that strikes a
stranger, in coming to our land of naked heads, is the number of persons
he meets, that are partially deaf, or have inflamed eyes. All this
sounds like a joke, but is it not a pretty serious one? Is it not
strange, that men do not look oftener in this direction? It is not the
cat alone, every animal gives the same lessons. The rabbit is so
careful, that lest her young should take cold while she is from home,
she makes a sort of thick pad or comforter of her own hair, and lays it
for a covering over them. We do not hear that the old rabbits, when they
go out into life, (in our cold climate too) are any more liable to take
cold from having been so tenderly brought up. In fact, I doubt whether
they ever take cold at all, young or old; while with man, to have a cold
seems to be his natural state, particularly in the winter season. I have
heard some persons go so far as to say, that a cold does not do a child
any hurt; but it is not true, let who will say it; every cold a child
takes, makes him more liable to another; and another, and another
succeeds, till chronic disease is produced.

(To be Continued.)

       *       *       *       *       *




On my first visit to New York, many years since, I was accompanied by a
young nephew. He was made up of smiles and cheerfulness. Such a
traveling companion, of any age, is rare to be found, so gallant--so
ready to serve--so full of bright thoughts--anticipating all my wishes,
and yet so unobtrusive and modest--at the same time disposed to add to
his own stock of knowledge from every passing incident. Nothing, in
fact, escaped his observation. The variety and richness of scenery which
is everywhere to be found in the New England States, seemed to delight
his young heart. This alone, was enough to inspire my own heart with
sunny thoughts, though I was in affliction, and was seldom found absent
from my own happy home.

As I recall to mind that journey and that happy, cheerful child, I often
think how much comfort even a child can impart to others, when their
hearts have been sanctified by the Spirit of God. I cannot forbear to
say that cheerfulness is a cardinal virtue, and ought to be more
cultivated by the old and by the young. A cheerful disposition not only
blesses its possessor but imparts happiness to all that come within its

As we entered the city at an early hour, everything wore a cheerful
aspect, every step seemed elastic and every heart buoyant with hope.
There was a continual hum of busy men and women, as we were passing near
a market. Such a rolling of carts and carriages--so many
cheerful children, some crying "Raddishes"--"raddishes"--others
"Strawberries"--"strawberries"--others with baskets of flowers--all wide
awake, each eager to sell his various articles of merchandise. This was
indeed a novel scene to us--it did seem a charming place. My young
companion remarked, Aunt C----, "I think everybody here must be happy."
I could not but at first respond to the sentiment. But presently we
began to meet persons--some halt--some blind--some in rags--looking
filthy and degraded.

Every face was new to us--not one person among the throngs we met that
we had ever seen before. An unusual sense of loneliness came over me,
and I thought my young attendant participated in this same feeling of
solitude, and though I said nothing, I sighed for the quiet and familiar
faces and scenes of the "Home, sweet home" I had so recently left.

We had not proceeded far before we saw men and boys in great commotion,
all running hurriedly, in one direction, bending their steps towards the
opposite shore. Their step was light and quick, but a look of sadness
was in every face. We could only, now and then, gather up a few
murmuring words that fell from the lips of the passers-by.

"There were more than thirty persons killed," said one. "Yes, more than
fifty," said another. We soon learned that a vessel on fire, the
preceding evening had entered the harbour, but the fire had progressed
so far that it was impossible to extend relief to the sufferers, and
most of the crew perished in the flames, or jumped overboard and were

The awful impression of distress made upon the minds of persons
unaccustomed to such disasters, cannot well be described--they certainly
were by no means transient.

It was sad to reflect that many who had thus perished after an absence
from home, some a few weeks, others for months, instead of greeting
their friends, were hurried into eternity so near their own homes, under
such aggravated circumstances. And then what a terrible disappointment
to survivors! Many families as well as individuals were by this calamity
not only bereft of friends, but of their property--some reduced to a
state of comparative beggary.

This day's experience was but a faint picture of human life.

But to return to that young nephew. Does any one inquire with interest,
Did his cheerful, benevolent disposition, his readiness to impart and to
receive happiness continue with him through life? It did in a
pre-eminent degree. It is believed that even then "The joy of the Lord
was his strength."--Neh. viii. 10.

He died at the age of 37, having been for nearly six years a successful
missionary among the spicy breezes which blow soft o'er Ceylon's Isle. A
friend who had known him most intimately for many years while a student
at Yale, and then tutor, and then a student of Theology, after his
death, in writing to his bereaved mother, says, "We had hope that your
son, from his rare qualifications to fill the station he occupied, his
remarkable facilities in acquiring that difficult language, his
cheerfulness in imparting knowledge, his indomitable perseverance, his
superior knowledge, and love of the Bible, which it was his business to
teach--that in all this God had raised him up for a long life of service
to the Church; but instead of this, God had been fitting him, all this
time, for some more important sphere of service in the upper sanctuary."

Here, as in thousands of other cases, we see that "The boy was the
father of the man."

Would any mother like to know the early history of that cheerful young
traveler, we reply, as in the case of the prophet Samuel, he was "asked
of the Lord," and was, therefore, rightly named Samuel. The Lord called
him by his Spirit, when a mere child, "Samuel," "Samuel," and he replied
"Here am I;" and his subsequent life and character were what might be
expected from his obedient disposition and his lowly conduct in early

       *       *       *       *       *

A young prince having asked his tutor to instruct him in religion and to
teach him to say his prayers, was answered, that "he was yet too young."
"That cannot be," said the little boy, "for I have been in the burying
ground and measured the graves; I found many of them shorter than

       *       *       *       *       *



It gives me much pleasure, in accordance with your suggestions, Mrs. W.,
to lay before the readers of the Magazine, a few thoughts on the subject
of music in Christian families. The subject is a very interesting one;
and I regret that time and space will not allow me to do it more ample

Music is one of those precious gifts of Providence which are liable to
be misused and misinterpreted. It has been applied, like oratory, to
pernicious, as well as to useful purposes. It has been made to minister
to vice, to indolence and to luxury--as well as to virtue, to industry,
and to true refinement. But we must not on this account question the
preciousness of the gift itself. The single circumstance that the Master
of Assemblies requires it to be employed through all time, in the solemn
assemblies of his worshipers, should suffice to prevent us from holding
it in light estimation.

Other good things besides music have been abused. Poetry, and prose, and
eloquence, for example; but shall we therefore undervalue them?
Painting, too, has its errings--some of them very grievous; but shall it
therefore be neglected, as unworthy of cultivation? Things the most
precious all have this liability, and should on this account be guarded
with more vigilance.

Music, merely as one of the fine arts, has many claims to our attention.
We could not well say, in this respect, too much in its favor. Wrong
things, indeed, have been said; and many pretensions have been raised to
which we could never subscribe. It does not possess, as some seem to
think, any _inherent_ moral or religious efficacy. It is not _always
safe_, as a _mere_ amusement. An unrestrained passion for it, has often
proved injurious, and those who would become artists or distinguished
amateurs, have need of much caution on this head. Music is in this
respect, like poetry, painting, and sculpture. The Christian may cherish
any of these arts, as a means to some useful end; but the moment he
loses sight of real utility he is in danger, for everything that he does
or enjoys should be in accordance with the glory of God.

The most interesting point of view in which music is to be regarded is
that which relates to the worship of God. This gives it an importance
which is unspeakable. There is no precept which requires us to employ
oratory, or painting, or sculpture in the worship of the Most High. Nor
is there any direct precept for the consecrated use of poetry; for
"psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," may be written in elevated
prose. But the Bible is filled with directions for the employment of
music in the sacred service. Both the Old Testament and the New require
us to sing with devout affections, to the praise and glory of God. The
command, too, seems to be general, like those in relation to prayer. If
all are to pray, so "in everything" are all to "give thanks." If we are
to "pray without ceasing," so we are told, "let every thing that hath
breath praise the Lord." Again, "is _any_ man afflicted, let him pray:
is he merry (joyful), let him _sing_ psalms." The direction is not, "if
any man is joyful, let him attend a concert or listen to exercises in
praise," but "let him _sing_." There is something to be done in his own
proper person.

Our necessities compel us to pray. A mere permission to do so, might
seem to suffice. For we must pray earnestly and perseveringly, or perish
forever. But will it do meanwhile to be sparing in our thanks? True, one
may say, I am under infinite obligations to give thanks, and I generally
endeavor to do so when engaged in the exercise of prayer. But, remember
there is another divinely constituted exercise called praise. Why not
engage in this also, and mingle petitions with your praises? This is the
scriptural method of expressing gratitude and adoration, and for
ourselves, we see not how individuals are to be excused in neglecting
it. Every one, it is true, would not succeed as an artist, if he had
never so many advantages. But every one who has the ordinary powers of
speech, might be so far instructed in song, as to mingle his voice with
others in the solemn assembly, or at least to use it in private to his
own edification. This position has been established in these later times
beyond the possibility of a rational doubt. Proofs of it have been as
clear as demonstration. These, perhaps, may be exhibited in another

But in reply to this statement it will be said, that cultivation is
exceedingly difficult if deferred to adult years. Well, be it so. It
follows, that since it is not difficult in years of childhood and youth,
all our children should have early and adequate instruction. There
should be singing universally in Christian families. And this is the
precise point I have endeavored to establish in the present article. How
far the neglects and miscarriages of youth may excuse the delinquences
of adult years, I dare not presume to decide or conjecture. It may
suffice my present purpose to show that according to the Bible all
_should_ sing; and that all _might_ sing if instruction had not been
neglected. Is it not high time for such neglect to be done away? And how
shall it ever be done away, except by the introduction of music into
Christian families?

Let Christian parents once become awake to the important results
connected with this subject, and they can ordinarily overcome what had
seemed to them mountains of difficulty; nay, more, what seemed
impossibilities, by considerable effort and a good share of

Even one instance of successful experiment in this way should be quite
sufficient to induce others to make similar efforts.

A father who for many years, during his collegiate and professional
studies, was for a long period abstracted from all domestic endearments,
much regretted this, as he was sensible of the prejudicial influence it
had in deadening the affections. Not many years after he became settled
in business, he found himself surrounded by quite a little group of
children. He became exceedingly interested in their spiritual welfare,
and in the success of Sabbath-school instruction. His heart was often
made to rejoice as he contemplated the delightful influence upon
himself of these home-scenes, and which he longed to express in sacred
song. But as he had never cultivated either his ear or his voice, he
felt at his time of life it would be quite useless for him to try to
learn. Neither did the mother of his children know anything about the
rules of music.

They had at one time a very musical young relative for a visitor in
their family. The children were so delighted with his lofty strains that
they kept him singing the greater part of the time. The mother expressed
great regret that neither she nor her husband could gratify the children
in their eager desire to enjoy music.

This young friend said he was sure, if she would but try, he would soon
convince her of the practicability of learning. She promised to try--and
in the attempt she was greatly encouraged by the assurances of her
husband that he also would try.

It was soon found that all the children had a good ear and a good voice,
and particularly the eldest, a girl of seven, who was at length able to
take the lead in singing a few tunes at family worship.

After a few months' trial, no money could have tempted these parents to
relinquish the pleasure and the far-reaching benefits which they felt
must result from this social and exalted pleasure of uniting on earth in
singing the sacred songs of Zion, as a preparation for loftier strains
in Heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *

It has been beautifully said that Reason is the compass by which we
direct our course; and Revelation the pole star by which we correct its

Experience, like the stern-light of a ship, only shows us the path which
has been passed over.

Happiness, like the violet, is only a way-side flower.

       *       *       *       *       *




It was the day for the meeting of the Monthly Missionary Society, in the
village of C.; a day of pure unclouded loveliness in early summer, when
the sweetest flowers were blossoming, and the soft delicious air was
laden with their perfume, and that of the newly-mown hay. All nature
seemed rejoicing in the manifestations of the goodness and love of its
Creator, while the low mingled murmurings of insects, breezes and
rivulets, with the songs of birds, formed a sweet chorus of praise to
God. The society was to meet at deacon Mills's, who lived about four
miles out of the village, and whose house was the place where, of all
others, all loved to go. Very early in the afternoon all the spare
wagons, carriages, carryalls, chaises and other vehicles were in demand.
A hay-rack was filled with young people, as a farmer kindly offered to
carry them nearly to the place, and toward evening, they considered, it
would be pleasant to walk home. So deacon Mills's house was filled with
old, middle-aged and young, who were all soon occupied with the
different kinds of work, requisite for filling a box to be sent to a
missionary family among the distant heathen. Seaming, stitching,
piecing, quilting and knitting, kept every hand busy, while their
owners' tongues were equally so, yet the conversation was not the
common, idle talk of the day, but useful and elevating, for religion was
loved, and lived, by most of those dear and pleasant people, and it
could not but be spoken of. Still there was interest in each other's
welfare, as their social and domestic pursuits and plans were related
and discussed.

There was a piazza in front of the house, the pillars of which were
covered with vines, running from one to another, gracefully interlacing,
and forming a pleasant screen from the sun's rays. At one end of this
piazza, a group of five young girls were seated at their work. They were
chosen and intimate friends, who shared with each other all that was
interesting to themselves. They had been talking pleasantly together for
some time, and had arrived at a moment's pause, when Clara Glenfield
said, "Girls, I think this is a good opportunity to say to you something
that I have for a long time wished to say. You know we are in the habit
of speaking to each other upon every subject that interests us,
excepting that of religion. None of us profess to be Christians,
although we know it is our duty to be. We have all pious mothers, and,
if yours are like mine, they are constantly urging, as well as our other
friends, to give our hearts to God, and we cannot but think of the
subject; now, why should we not speak of it together? and why are we not

Emily Upton. "I should really be very glad, Clara, if we could. It seems
to me we might talk much more freely with each other, than with older
persons; for some things trouble me on this subject, and if I should
speak of them to mother, or any one else, I am afraid they would think
less of me, or blame me."

Clara. "Then let us each answer the question, why are we not Christians?
You tell us first, Emily."

Emily. "Well, then, it seems to me, I am just as good as many in the
church. I do not mean to say that I am good, but only if they are
Christians, I think I am. There is Leonora D., for instance, she dresses
as richly with feathers and jewels, attends parties instead of the
prayer-meetings, and acts as haughtily as any lady of fashion I ever
knew. Now, I go to the Bible class, evening meetings, always attend
church, and read the Bible, and pray every day. Notwithstanding all,
mother says, so tenderly, 'Emily, my child, I wish you were a
Christian,' and I get almost angry that she will not admit that I am

Alice Grey. "Well, I do not blame Leonora much. To tell the truth, I do
not believe in so much church-going and psalm-singing. I think God has
given us these pleasant things to enjoy them, and it is perfectly
natural for a young girl to sing and dance, visit, dress, and enjoy
herself. It seems to me there is time enough for religion when we grow
older, but give me youthful pleasures and I can be happy enough."

Sophia. "But you think religion is important, do you not?"

Alice. "Yes, I suppose it is necessary to have religion to die by, and I
own I sometimes feel troubled for fear that I may die before possessing
it, but I am healthy and happy, and do not think much about it. I want
to enjoy life while I can, like these little birds in the garden who are
singing and skipping so merrily."

Clara. "Annie, you are the reverse of Alice, quiet, gentle, and sedate;
why are not you a Christian?"

Annie. "Since we are talking so candidly, I will tell you. I really do
not know how to be. I cannot feel that I have ever done anything that
was so very sinful, although I know, for the Bible says so, that I am a
sinner. To be sure, I have done a great many wrong things, but it does
not seem as though God would notice such little things, and besides it
did not seem as though I could have done differently in the
circumstances. Mother has always commended me, and held me up for a
pattern to the younger children, and I suppose I have become, at least,
you will think I have, a real Pharisee. Yet when I have been urged to
repent and believe in Christ, I have not known what to do. I have spent
hours in the still, lonely night, thinking upon the subject, and saying,
if I could only feel that I am a sinner I would repent. I have always
believed in Jesus, that He is the Son of God, that He assumed our
nature, and bore the punishment we deserve, and will save all who
believe in Him. Now what more can I do? I know that I must do
everything, for I feel that I am far from being a Christian, and yet I
know not what. I suppose your experience does not correspond with mine,

Clara. "Not exactly. I not only know, but deeply feel, that I am a great
sinner; sometimes my sinfulness appears too great to be forgiven. The
trouble with me is _procrastination_. I cannot look back to the time
when I did not feel that I ought to be a Christian, but I have always
put off the subject, thinking I would attend to it another time, and it
has been just so for year after year. Only last week I was sitting alone
in my room at twilight, enjoying the quiet loveliness and beauty of the
view from my window. I could not help thinking of Him who had made all
things, and had given me the power of enjoying them, besides so many
other blessings, and I longed to participate in the feeling which Cowper
ascribes to the Christian, and say, '_My Father_ made them all.' Then
something seemed to whisper, 'wilt thou not from _this time_ cry unto
me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth?' 'Now is the accepted
time.' 'To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart.' But I
did harden my heart. I did not feel willing, like Alice, to give up the
pleasures which are inviting me all around, and become a devoted,
consistent Christian, for I do not mean to be a half-way Christian,
neither one thing or the other."

Sophia. "Nearly all these reasons have been my excuse for not becoming a
Christian, but another has been, that I do not like to be noticed, and
made an object of remark. My father and mother and friends would be so
much pleased, they would be talking of it, and watching me, to see if my
piety was real, and I would feel as if I were too conspicuous a person.
Now if we would all at the same time resolve to consecrate ourselves to
the Lord, I think each particular case might not be so much noticed."

"But why should you dread it so much Sophy?" asked Emily.

"I hardly know _why_" she replied, "but I have always felt so since I
was quite a child, but since I have for the first time spoken of it, it
seems a much more foolish reason than I had before considered it."

Alice. "And I must confess that I am not always so careless and
thoughtless on this subject. When I am really possessing and enjoying
the pleasures I have longed for, there seems to be always something more
that I need to make me happy. Fanny Bedford, pious and good as she is,
seems always happier than I, and I have often wished that I was such a
Christian as she is."

"Who has not," exclaimed the other girls; and their praise of her was
warm and sincere.

"She is so consistent and religious, and yet so humble, and so full of
love to every one, that it is impossible not to love her and the
religion she loves so much. Annie, I have never wished so much that I
was a Christian, as when I have thought of her; how much I wish I was
like her." "There is Fanny in the hall, let us speak to her of what we
have been saying," said Sophia.

They agreed that they were willing she should know it all, and called to
her. She came and sat with them, and they related to her the
conversation which they had had together, to which she listened with
much interest, and a warm heart, and replied, "It is a great wonder to
me now, dear girls, that any should need to be _persuaded_ to accept of
Christ, and devote themselves to His service; yet it was once just the
same with me. I had all of your excuses and many more, and considered
them good reasons for not becoming a Christian. How true it is, that
'the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not,
lest the light of the glorious gospel should shine unto them.' Could you
but once experience the blessedness of being children of God, you would
be surprised and ashamed that you have so long refused so precious a
privilege, to possess instead, the unsatisfying pleasures of earth.
Consider, to be a Christian, is to have God for your father, to have all
that is glorious and excellent in his perfections engaged for your good.
It is to have Jesus for an ever-present, almighty friend, ready to
forgive your sins, to save you from sin, to bear your sorrows, to
heighten your joys, to lead and bless you in all the scenes of life, to
guide and assist you while you engage in his blessed service, to be with
you in the hour of death, and to admit you to the realms of eternal joy.
I can scarcely commence telling you of all the benefits he bestows on
His people."

"What must we do, Fanny?" inquired Annie.

"The first thing of all, dear Annie," she replied, "is to go to the
Savior, at His feet ask for repentance and true faith in Him. Consecrate
yourself to Him, and resolve that you will from this time serve the
Lord. Then, Annie, you will have done what you could, and 'He giveth the
Holy Spirit to them that obey Him.' That Spirit will convince you of
sin, and you will be surprised and grieved that you could ever have
thought of yourself as other than the chief of sinners, and while you
shed tears of sorrow and repentance, He will lead you to Christ, the
Lamb of God, whose precious blood will prevail with God for the pardon
of your sins; in it you can wash away your sins, and be made pure and
holy in his sight. Do what you know how to do, and then shall you know
if you follow on to know the Lord; will you not?"

Annie. "I will try."

Fanny. "I think the sin of procrastination must be very displeasing to
God, as it is to our earthly parents, when we defer obeying their
commands. It is solemn to think that He against whom we thus sin, is He
in whose hands our breath is, and who can at any time take it away. If
He were not so slow to anger, what would become of us? Dear Clara, and
each of you, you are only making cause for sorrow and shame in thus
neglecting to do what you know you ought to do. 'Enter in at the strait
gate and walk in the narrow way that leadeth unto life,' and you will
find that every step in that way is pleasure. Not such pleasure as the
world gives, Alice, but more like the happiness of angels. Religion
takes away no real pleasures, nor the buoyancy and happiness of the
youthful spirit. It only sanctifies and leads its possessor to do
nothing but what a kind heavenly Father will approve, Alice."

"But, Fanny, all Christians are not happy ones."

Fanny. "Yet those who are the most devoted and consistent, are the most
happy. Some have troubles and sorrows which they could scarcely bear if
it were not for religion. They are sanctified by means of these
afflictions and so made happier; holiness and happiness are inseparable.
''Tis religion that must give, sweetest pleasure while we live,' you
know the hymn says, and it is true. Do you think Emily, that because you
are as good as you think Leonora is, you are good enough?"

Emily. "No, Fanny, it was a poor excuse; I see that I must not look at
others, but at what God requires of _me_."

Fanny. "How common is the excuse, so many people profess to think they
can do without religion, because so many who call themselves Christian
are inconsistent. Dear girls, I pray that if you are ever Christians,
you may be consistent, sincere ones. Who can estimate the good, or the
evil, you may do by your example. If you love the Savior more than all
else beside, you will find his yoke easy and his burden light, and for
his sake it will be pleasant to do what would naturally be unpleasant.
Remember this, Sophy, and I hope you will soon all know the blessedness
of being Christians. It is our highest duty and our highest happiness.
Do, dear girls, resolve, each of you, to seek the Lord now."

Just then, their pastor came; he spoke kindly to each of the little
group, before entering the house.

"It is nearly tea-time," said Clara, "let us go and offer our assistance
to Mrs. Mills; as we are the youngest here, perhaps she would like to
have us carry around the plates and tea. We will try to not forget what
you have told us, Fanny."

"Pray for me, Fanny," said Sophia softly, as she passed her, and kissed

"And for me," said Annie.

"And for us, too," continued Clara, Emily and Alice, as they stepped
back for a moment.

Tea was soon over, the missionary hymn, "From Greenland's icy
mountains," was sung, and prayer offered by the pastor, and then the
pleasant interview was ended.

A few days after, Fanny and Annie met each other in the street. "Have
you tried to do, Annie, what seemed your duty to do?" Fanny asked.

"I have," she replied, as she looked up with a happy smile.

"You have done what you could," said Fanny; "it is all that God requires
of you, continue to do so." Annie's heart thrilled with joy, at the
first faint hope that she was indeed a Christian, and from that time
her course, like that of the shining light, was onward and brighter.

C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *



At one period of my life, during a revival of religion, God led me by
his Spirit to see and feel that the many years I had been a professed
follower of Christ--which had been years of alternate revivings and
backslidings, had only resulted in dishonor to Him and condemnation to
my own soul. True, I had many times thought I had great enjoyment in the
service of God, and was ever strict in all the outward observances of
religion. But my heart was not fixed, and my affections were easily
turned aside and fastened upon minor objects. In connection with this
humiliating view of my past life, a deep sense of my responsibilities as
a mother, having children old enough to give themselves to God, and
still unreconciled to him, weighed me to the earth.

I plainly saw that God could not consistently convert them while I lived
so inconsistent a life. I felt that if they were lost I was responsible.
I gave myself to seek the Lord with all my heart, by fasting and prayer.
One day, in conversation with my dear pastor, I told him my trials, and
he said to me, "What you want is a baptism of the Holy Ghost. Give
yourself up to seek this richest of all blessings." I did so--and rested
not until this glorious grace was mine. Then, oh how precious was Jesus
to my soul! How perfectly easy was it now to deny myself and follow

I now knew what it was to be led by the constraining love of Jesus, and
to do those things that please him. Then it was that he verified to me
his precious promise, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall ask what ye
will, and it shall be done unto you." Very shortly, one of my dear
loved ones was brought to make an entire surrender of herself to Christ.

I trust I was also made the instrument of good to others, who professed
to submit their hearts to my precious Savior. Will not many more be
induced to take God at his word and believe him when he says, "Then
shall ye find me, when ye shall search for me with all your hearts"?

       *       *       *       *       *



The following paragraphs, which we have met in the course of our
reading, contain a great deal of truth worthy the consideration of our

_Extravagance in living._--"One cannot wonder that the times
occasionally get hard," said a venerable citizen the other day, "when
one sees the way in which people live and ladies dress." We thought
there was a great deal of truth in what the old gentleman said. Houses
at from five hundred to a thousand dollars rent, brocades at three
dollars a yard, bonnets at twenty, and shawls, and cloaks, &c., from
fifty dollars up, are enough to embarrass any community that indulges in
such extravagances as Americans do. For it is not only the families of
realized wealth, who could afford it, that spend money in this way, but
those who are yet laboring to make a fortune, and who, by the chances of
trade, may fail of this desirable result. Everybody wishes to live,
now-a-days, as if already rich. The wives and daughters of men, not
worth two thousand a-year, dress as rich nearly as those of men worth
ten or twenty thousand. The young, too, begin where their parents left
off. Extravagance, in a word, is piled on extravagance, till

  "Alps o'er Alps arise."

The folly of this is apparent. The sums thus lavished go for mere show,
and neither refine the mind nor improve the heart. They gratify vanity,
that is all. By the practice of a wise economy, most families might, in
time, entitle themselves to such luxuries; and then indulgence in them
would not be so reprehensible. If there are two men, each making a clear
two thousand a-year, and one lays by a thousand at interest, while the
other spends his entire income, the first will have acquired a fortune
in sixteen years, sufficient to yield him an income equal to his
accustomed expenses, while the other will be as poor as when he started
in life. And so of larger sums. In fine, any man, by living on half of
what he annually makes, be it more or less, can, before he is forty,
acquire enough, and have it invested in good securities, to live for the
rest of his life in the style in which he has been living all along. Yet
how few do it! But what prevents? Extravagance! extravagance! and again

_Wives and carpets._--In the selection of a carpet, you should always
prefer one with small figures, for the two webs, of which the fabric
consists, are always more closely interwoven than in carpeting where
large figures are wrought. "There is a good deal of true philosophy in
this," says one, "that will apply to matters widely different from the
selection of carpets. A man commits a sad mistake when he selects a wife
that cuts too large a figure on the green carpet of life--in other
words, makes much display. The attractions fade out--the web of life
becomes weak--and all the gay figures, that seemed so charming at first,
disappear like summer flowers in autumn. _This_ is what makes the
bachelors, or some of them. The wives of the present day wish to cut too
large a figure in the carpet of life."

       *       *       *       *       *



Through Him alone have we access with boldness to the throne of grace.
He is our advocate with the Father. When the believer appears before God
in secret, the Savior appears also: for he "ever liveth to make
intercession for us." He hath not only directed us to call upon his
Father as "Our Father," and to ask him to supply our daily need, and to
forgive our trespasses; but hath graciously assured us, that
"_whatsoever_ (we) shall ask _in his name_, he will do it, that the
Father may be glorified in the Son."--(John 14:13.) And saith (verse
14), "If ye shall ask _anything in my name_, I will do it." And again
(John 15:23, 24), "Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall
ask the Father _in my name_ he will give it you. Hitherto ye have asked
nothing _in my name_; ask, and _ye shall receive_, that your joy may be

All needful blessings suited to our various situations and circumstances
in this mortal life, all that will be necessary for us in the hour of
death, and all that can minister to our felicity in a world of glory,
hath he graciously promised, and given us a command to ask for, _in his
name_. And what is this but to plead, when praying to our heavenly
Father, that Jesus hath sent us; and to ask and expect the blessings for
his sake alone?


       *       *       *       *       *




A summons from the king! What can it mean? What can he know of her? She
is, indeed, the wife of one of his "mighty men," but though he highly
esteems her husband, he can have no interest in her. She meditates. Her
cheek pales. Can he have heard evil tidings from the distant city of the
Ammonites, and would he break kindly to her news of her husband's death?
It cannot be. Why should he do this for her more than for hundreds of
others in like trouble? Again, she ponders, and now a crimson hue mounts
to her temples--her fatal beauty! Away with the thought--it is shame to
dwell upon it--would she wrong by so foul a suspicion the Lord's
anointed? She wearies herself with surmises, and all in vain. But there
is the command, and she must be gone. The king's will is absolute.
Whatever that summons imports, "dumb acquiescence" is her only part. She
goes forth in her youth, beauty and happiness--she returns--

       *       *       *       *       *

Weeks pass, and behold another message, but this time it is the king who
receives, and Bathsheba who sends. What is signified in those few words
from a woman's hand, that can so unnerve him who "has his ten thousands
slain"? It is now his turn to tremble and look pale. Yet a little while,
and he, the man after God's own heart, the chosen ruler of his
people--the idol of the nation, shall be proclaimed guilty of a heinous
and abominable crime, and shall, according to the laws of the land, be
subjected to an ignominious death. _He_ ponders now. Would he had
thought of all this before, but it is too late. The consequences of his
ungoverned passion stare him in the face and well nigh overwhelm him.
Something must be done, and that speedily. He cannot have it thus. He
has begun to fall, and the enemy of souls, is, as ever, at hand to
suggest the second false and ruinous step.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another summons. A messenger from the king to Joab. "Send me Uriah the
Hittite." It is peremptory; no reasons are given, and Joab does as he is
bidden. Unsuspecting as loyal, Uriah hastens on his way, mindful only of
duty, and is soon in the presence of his royal master, who, always kind,
is now remarkably attentive to his wants and thoughtful of his
interests. He inquires for the commander of his forces and of the war
and how the people fare, and it would almost seem had recalled him only
to speak kindly to him and manifest his regard for the army, though he
had not himself led them to battle.

But though unsuspecting and deceived, the high-minded and faithful
soldier cannot even unwittingly be made to answer the end for which he
has been summoned, and after two days he returns to Joab, bearing a
letter, of whose terrible contents he little dreams and is happy in his

Meantime Bathsheba has heard of his arrival in Jerusalem, and is
momentarily expecting his appearance. Alas! that she should dread his
coming. Alas! that she should shudder at every sound of approaching
footsteps. How fearful is the change which has come over her since last
she looked on his loved face! He is her husband still, and she, she is
his lawful loving wife. Never was he so dear to her as now. Never did
his noble character so win her admiration, as she contemplates all the
scenes of her wedded life and reviews the evidences of it in the past.
How happy they have been! What bliss has been hers in the enjoyment of
his esteem and affection! She is even now to him, in his absence, the
one object of tender regard and constant thought. She knows how fondly
he dwells on her love, and how precious to him is the beauty which first
won him to her side. She is the "ewe lamb which he has nourished, which
has drank from his own cup and lain in his bosom"--she is his all. He
has been long away; the dangers of the battle field have surrounded
him, and now he is returned, alive, well; her heart bounds, she cannot
wait till she shall see him; yet how can she meet him? Ah! fatal
remembrance, how bitterly it has recalled her from her vision of
delight. It is not true! it cannot be true! it is but a horrible dream!
Her heart is true? She would at any moment have died for him. The entire
devotion of her warm nature is his. She had no willing part in that
revolting crime. Oh! must she suffer as if she had been an unfaithful
wife? Must she endure the anguish of seeing him turn coldly from her in
some future day? Must she now meet him and have all her joy marred by
that hateful secret? Must she take part in deceiving him, in imposing
upon him--him, the noble, magnanimous, pure-minded husband? Oh, wretched
one! was ever sorrow like hers?

The day passes, and the night, and he comes not. Can he have suspected
the truth? Slowly the tedious hours go by, while she endures the racking
tortures of suspense. The third day dawns, and with it come tidings that
he has returned to Rabbah, and his words of whole-souled devotion to his
duty and his God are repeated in her ears.--Faint not yet, strong heart;
a far more bitter cup is in store for thee.

       *       *       *       *       *

Bathsheba is again a wife, the wife of a king, and in her arms lies her
first-born son. Terrible was the tempest which burst over her head, and
her heart will never again know aught of the serene, untroubled
happiness which once she knew. The storm has indeed lulled, but she sees
the clouds gathering new blackness, and her stricken spirit shrinks and
faints with foreboding fears. The little innocent being which she holds
fondly to her bosom, which seemed sent from heaven to heal her wounds,
lies panting in the grasp of fierce disease. She has sent for the king,
and together they look upon the suffering one. Full well he knows, that
miserable man, what mean those moans and piteous signs of distress, and
what they betoken. He gazes on the wan, anguished features of his wife
as she bends over her child; his thoughts revert hurriedly to her
surpassing beauty when first he saw her--a vision of the murdered Uriah
flits before him--the three victims of his guilt and the message of
Nathan, which he has just received--the stern words, "Thou art the man,"
bring a full and realizing sense of the depth to which he has fallen,
and overwhelmed with remorse and wretchedness, he leaves the chamber to
give vent to his grief, to fast and weep and pray, in the vain hope of
averting the threatened judgment.

Seven days of alternate hope and fear, of watching and care have fled,
and Bathsheba is childless. Another wave has rolled over her. God grant
it be the last. Surely she has drained the cup of sorrow. She sits
solitary and sad, bowed down with her weight of woes; her thoughts
following ever the same weary track; direful images present to her
imagination; her frame racked and trembling; the heavens clothed in
sackcloth, and life for ever divested of happiness and delight. The king
enters and seats himself beside her. And if Bathsheba is changed, David
is also from henceforth an altered man. "Broken in spirit by the
consciousness of his deep sinfulness, humbled in the eyes of his
subjects and his influence with them weakened by their knowledge of his
crimes; even his authority in his own household, and his claim to the
reverence of his sons, relaxed by his loss of character;" filled also
with fearful anticipations of the future, which is shadowed by the dark
prophecy of Nathan--he is from this time wholly unlike what he has been
in former days. "The balance of his character is broken. Still he is
pious--but even his piety takes an altered aspect. Alas for him! The
bird which once rose to heights unattained before by mortal pinion,
filling the air with its joyful songs, now lies with maimed wing upon
the ground, pouring forth its doleful cries to God." He has scarcely
begun to descend the declivity of life, yet he appears infirm and old.
He is as one who goes down to the grave mourning. Thus does he seem to
Bathsheba as he sits before her. But there is more in David thus humble,
contrite and smitten, to win her sympathy and even love, than there was
in David the absolute, and so far as she was concerned, tyrannical
monarch, though surrounded with splendors, the favorite of God and man.
A few days since had he assayed the part of comforter, she would have
felt her heart revolt; but now repentant and forgiven, though not
unpunished by Jehovah, she can listen without bitterness while he speaks
of the mercy of the Lord which has suffered them both to live, though
the law could have required their death, and which sustains even while
it chastises.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another message--by the hand of the prophet to David and Bathsheba--a
message of peace and tender consideration--a name for their new-born
child, the gift to them from his own hand. "Call him Jedediah--beloved
of the Lord."

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how
unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out."' In his
dealings with his sinful children how far are his ways above the ways of
men! "As the heaven is high above the earth, _so great_ is his mercy
toward them that fear him." He dealeth not with them after their
sins--he rewardeth them not according to their iniquities, but knowing
their frame--remembering that they are dust--that a breath of temptation
will carry them away--pitying them with a most tender compassion, he
deals with them according to the everlasting and abounding and
long-suffering love of his own mighty heart. Whenever those who have
known him best, to whom he has manifested his grace most richly, whom he
has blessed with most abundant privileges, fall, in some evil hour, and
without reason, upon the slightest cause, bring dishonor on his name and
give occasion to his enemies to blaspheme, and incur his just judgment,
behold how he treats them. Upon the first sign of contrition, the first
acknowledgment "I have sinned," how prompt, how free, how full is the
response, "The Lord also hath put away thy sin, thou shalt not die." No
lingering resentment--no selfish reminding of his wounded honor--no
thoughts but of love, warm and tender, self-forgetting love and pity for
his sorrowing child. Even when he must resort to chastisement, "his
strange work"--when he must for his great name's sake, raise up for
David evil out of his own house--when he must, before the sun and before
all Israel, show his displeasure at sin; with one hand he applies the
rod, and with the other pours into the bleeding heart the balm of
consolation, so pure, so free, that his children almost feel that they
could never have understood his goodness but for the need of his
severity. When, notwithstanding the earnest prayer of the father, he
smites the child of his shame, how soon does he return with a better
gift--a son of peace, who shall remind him only of days of contrition
and the favor of God--a Jedediah, who shall ever be a daily witness to
his forgiving love.

And to those who suffer innocently from the crimes of others, how tender
are the compassions of our heavenly Father. To the injured, afflicted
Bathsheba is given the honor of being the mother of Israel's wisest,
most mighty and renowned king; and she is, by father and son, by the
prophet of the Lord, by the aspirant to the throne, and by all around
her, ever approached with that deference and confidence which her truly
dignified character and gentle virtues, not less than her high station,
demand. And while not a word of reproach is permitted to be left on
record against her, on that monument of which we have before spoken,
among mighty and worthy names, destined to stand where many of earth's
wisest and greatest are forgotten, with the progenitors of our Lord and
Savior, is inscribed hers "who was the wife of Urias."

       *       *       *       *       *




The second and special object of education, is the preparation of youth
for the particular sphere of action to which he designs to devote his
life. It may seem at first, that this general education of which I have
already spoken, as it is most comprehensive and reaches to the highest
range of subjects, so it should be the only style of training for an
immortal mind. If we regarded man simply as spiritual and immortal, this
might be true; but when we descend to the practical realities of life;
when we behold him in a mixed nature, on one side touching the earth, on
the other surveying the heavens, his bodily nature having its
necessities as well as his spiritual, we find ourselves limited in the
manner of education and the pursuit of knowledge. The division of labor
and of objects of pursuit is the natural result of these physical
necessities in connection with the imperfection of the human mind and
the constitution of civilized society.

This division of labor constitutes the starting point for the diverse
training of men, and modifies, in part, all systems of instruction that
cover childhood and youth. This is, at first, an education common to
all. The general invigoration of the intellect, and the preparation of
the mind for the grand, the highest object of life on which I first
dwelt, embrace all the earliest years of youth. There are elements of
power common to all men, and instruments of knowledge effective for both
the general pursuits of a liberal education, and the limited pursuits of
physical toil. The education of the nursery and school are equally
useful to all. But when you advance much beyond this, far enough to
enable the youth to fix upon his probable line of life, then the
necessity of an early application to that pursuit at once modifies his
course of education.

When we pass from the diverse professions into which the growth of
civilized society has divided men, to the distinctions which exist
between man and woman, we enter upon a still clearer department of our
subject. The differences which are here to give character to education,
are not incidental and temporary, but inherent and commensurate with
life itself. The physical constitution of woman gives rise to her
peculiar life. It determines alike her position in society and her
sphere of labor.

In all ages and climes, celebrated by travelers, historians, poets, she
stands forth as a being of better impulses and nobler affections than
him, of whom she is the complement. That which is rugged in him, is
tempered by softness in her; that which is strong in him, is weak in
her; that which is fierce in him is mild in her. Designed of God to
complete the cycle of human life, and through a twofold being present a
perfect _Adam_, she is thus no less different from man than essential to
his perfection. Her nature at once introduces her into a peculiar sphere
of action. Soon, maternal cares rest upon her; her throne is above the
family circle; her scepter of love and authority holds together the
earliest and happiest elements of social life. To her come young minds
for sympathy, for care, for instruction. Over that most wonderful
process of development, when a young immortal is growing every day into
new thoughts, emotions and habits, which are to abide with it for ever,
she presides. By night she watches, by day she instructs. Her smile and
her frown are the two strongest powers on earth, influencing human minds
in the hour when influence stamps itself upon the heart in eternal
characters. It is from this point of view, you behold the glorious
purpose of that attractive form embosoming a heart enriched with so
copious a treasure of all the sweetest elements of life. She is destined
to fill a sphere of the noblest kind. In the course of her life, in the
training of a household, her nature reveals an excellence in its
adaptation to the purpose for which she is set apart, that signally
illustrates the wisdom of God, while it attracts the homage of man.
Scarcely a nobler position exists in the world than that of a truly
Christian mother; surrounded by children grown up to maturity; moulded
by her long discipline of instruction and affectionate authority into
true-hearted, intelligent men and women; the ornament of society, the
pillars of religion; looking up to her with a reverent affection that
grows deeper with the passage of time; while she quietly waits the
advent of death, in the assurance that, in these living representatives,
her work will shine on for ages on earth, and her influence spread
itself beyond the broadest calculation of human reason, when she has
been gathered to the just.

How then are we to educate this being a little lower than the angels;
this being thus separated from the rest of the world, and divided off,
by the finger of God writing it upon her nature, to a peculiar and most
noble office-work in society? It is not as a lawyer, to wrangle in
courts; it is not as a clergyman, to preach in our pulpits; it is not as
a physician, to live day and night in the saddle and sick room; it is
not as a soldier, to go forth to battle; it is not as the mechanic, to
lift the ponderous sledge, and sweat at the burning furnace; it is not
as a farmer, to drive the team afield and up-turn the rich bosom of the
earth. These arts and toils of manhood are foreign to her gentle nature,
alien to her feeble constitution, and inconsistent with her own high
office as the mother and primary educator of the race. If their pursuits
are permitted to modify their education, so as to prepare them for a
particular field of labor, proceeding upon the same supposition, it is
equally just and appropriate, that her training should take its
complexion from the sphere of life she is destined to fill. So far as it
is best, education should be specific, it should have reference to her
perfect qualification for her appropriate work. This work has two
departments. The first, which is most limited, embraces the routine of
housewifery and the management of the ordinary concerns of domestic

The second department of her duties, as it is the most important, so it
must be regarded and exalted in an enlightened system of female
education. It is as the centre of social influence; the genial power of
domestic life; the soul of refinement; the clear, shining orb, beneath
whose beams the germs of thought, feeling, and habit in the young
immortal are to vegetate and grow to maturity; the ennobling companion
of man, his light in darkness, his joy in sorrow, uniting her practical
judgment with his speculative wisdom, her enthusiastic affection with
his colder nature, her delicacy of taste and sentiment with his
boldness, and so producing a happy mean, a whole character; natural,
beautiful and strong; it is as filling these high offices that woman is
to be regarded and treated in the attempt to educate her. The
description of her sphere of life at once suggests the character of her
training. Whatever in science, literature and art is best adapted to
prepare her to fill this high position with greatest credit, and spread
farthest around it her appropriate influence, belongs of right to her
education. Her intellect is to be thoroughly disciplined, her judgment
matured, her taste refined, her power of connected and just thought
developed, and a love for knowledge imparted, so that she may possess
the ability and the desire for future progress.

Who will say that this refiner of the world, this minister of the
holiest and happiest influences to man, shall be condemned to the
scantiest store of intellectual preparation for an entertainment so
large and noble? Is it true that a happy ignorance is the best
qualification for a woman's life; that in seeking to exalt the fathers
and sons, we are to begin by the degradation of mothers and daughters?
Is there anything in that life incompatible with the noblest education,
or which such an education will not ennoble and adorn? We are not
seeking in all this to make our daughters profound historians, poets,
philosophers, linguists, authors. Success of this high character in
these pursuits, is usually the result of an ardent devotion for years to
some one of them, for which it is rarely a female has the requisite
opportunities. But should they choose occasionally some particular walk
of literature, and by the power of genius vivify and adorn it; should
there be found here and there one with an intense enthusiasm for some
high pursuit, combined with that patient toil which, associated with a
vigorous intellect, is the well-spring of so many glorious streams of
science, should not such a result of this enlarged education be hailed
as the sign of its excellence, and rejoiced in as the proof of its
power? The Mores, the Hemanses, the De Staels, and others among the
immortal dead and the living, who compose that bright galaxy of female
wit shining ever refulgent--have they added nothing to human life, and
given no quick, upward impulse of the world? Besides, that system of
education which, in occasional instances, uniting with a material of
peculiar excellence, is sufficient to enkindle an orb whose light,
passing far beyond the circle of home, shall shine upon a great assembly
of minds, will only be powerful, in the multitude of cases, to impart
that intellectual discipline, that refinement of thought, that power of
expression, that sympathy with taste for knowledge, which will best
prepare her for her position, and enable her in after life to carry
forward her own improvement and that of her associated household.

The finest influence of such an education is the development of a
character at once symmetrical, refined, vigorous, confident in its own
resources, yet penetrated with a consciousness of its distance from the
loftiest heights of power; a character which will be an ennobling life
in a household, gently influencing others into quiet paths of
excellence; to be felt rather than seen, to be understood rather in its
results than admired for any manifest attainments in science; an
intellect informed and active, in sympathy with what is known and read
among men; able to bear its part in healthful discussions, yet not
presuming to dictate its opinions; in the presence of which ignorance
becomes enlightened and weakness strong; creating around its home an
atmosphere of taste and intelligence, in which the rudest life loses
some of its asperity, and the roughest toils much of their severity.
Such is the form of female character we seek to create by so enlarged an

The education of the _heart_ reaches deeper, and spreads its influence
further than all things else. The intellect is only a beautiful piece of
mechanism, until the affections pour into it their tremendous vitality,
and send it forth in all directions instinct with power. When the
"dry-light" of the understanding is penetrated by the liquid light of
the emotions, it becomes both light and heat, powerful to vivify,
quicken, and move all things. In woman, the scepter of her chief power
springs from the affections. Endowed most richly with sensibility, with
all the life of varied and vigorous impulse and deep affection, she
needs to have early inwrought, through a powerful self-discipline, an
entire command of her noble nature. There are few more incongruous and
sadly affecting things than a woman of fine intellect and strong
passions, without self-control or truly religious feeling. She is like a
ship whose rudder is unhung; she is like a horse, rapid, high-spirited,
untamed to the bridle; or, higher still, she is like a cherub fallen
from its sphere of glory, with no attending seraph; without law, without
the control of love, whose course no intelligence can anticipate and no
wisdom guide. Religion seems to have in woman its most appropriate home.
To her are appointed many hours of pain, of trial, of silent communion
with her own thoughts. Separated, if she act the true woman, from many
of the stirring scenes in which man mingles, she is admirably situated
to nourish a life of love and faith within the circle of her own home.
Debarred from the pursuits which furnish so quickening an excitement to
the other sex, she either is confined to the routine of domestic life
and the quiet society of a social circle, or devotes herself to those
frivolous pleasures which enervate while they excite; which, like the
inspiration of the wine-cup, are transient in their joy, but deep and
lasting in their evil. But when religion enters her heart it opens a new
and that the grandest array of objects. It imparts a new element of
thought, a wonderful depth and earnestness of character. It elevates
before her an ennobling object, and enlists her fine sensibilities,
emotions and affections in its pursuit. Coming thus through religion
into harmony with God, she ascends to the highest position a woman can
occupy in this world.

To woman should Christianity be especially dear. It has led her out of
the house of bondage; it has lifted her from the stool of the servant to
an equality with the master; it has exalted her from the position of a
mere minister of sensual pleasure, the toy of a civilized paganism, to a
full companionship with man; it has given her soul--once spurned,
degraded, its immortality doubted, its glory eclipsed--a priceless
value; and shed around her whole character the radiance of heaven. Let
pure religion create the atmosphere around a woman's spirit, and breathe
its life into her heart; let it refine her affections, sanctify her
intellect, elevate her aims, and hallow her physical beauty; let it
mould her early character by its rich influences, and cause the love of
Jehovah to consecrate all earthly love, and she is indeed to our race of
all the gifts of time, the last and best, the crown of our glory, the
perfection of our life.

       *       *       *       *       *



By one of our little friends, seven years of age, for a little sister of
five, who had committed an offense.

  Oh great and glorious God!
    Thy mercy sweet bestow
  Upon a little sister,
    So very full of woe.

  Oh Lord, pray let her live,
    For lo! at thy right hand,
  To intercede for sinners,
    The blessed Savior stands.

  Then pardon her, Most High!
    Pray cast her not away,
  But blot out all her sins,
    And cleanse her heart to-day.

       *       *       *       *       *




     "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be
     alone, I will make him a help meet for him."--GEN.

     "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
     created he him; male and female created he
     them."--GEN. 1:27.

These two passages settle beyond controversy the oft-disputed question
as to the equality of the sexes. In the image of God created he man;
male and female created he them. Had God created him male and female, in
_one person_, the question of equality could never have arisen. Nor
should it arise because in his wisdom he has been pleased to create man
in two persons--both man and woman are made in the image of God. It is
not good for man to be alone, I will make a help meet for him. The exact
rendering of the original translated help meet, is an help as before
him, _i.e._ one corresponding to him, a counterpart of himself, in a
word, a second self, contrived to meet what is still wanting to his
perfection, and to furnish mutually a social and superior happiness, of
which solitude is incapable. A more delicate and beautiful form was
united _in the woman_ to a mind possessing gentler and lovelier
affections, a more refined taste, and more elegant sentiments. In the
man, a firmer and stronger frame was joined to a mind more robust. In
each, the other was intended to find that which was wanting in itself,
and to approve, love, and admire both qualities and actions, of which
itself was imperfectly capable; while in their reciprocations of
tenderness, and good will, each beheld every blessing greatly enhanced,
and intensely endeared. The only instance in which these mental and
moral qualities were ever united in one person, is in the Lord Jesus
Christ. And I would here note the fact, that in Christ we have as
perfect an example of the woman's nature as we have of man's nature. All
the kindness, gentleness, softness, endurance, and unselfishness of
woman were in him combined, with all the majesty, firmness and strength
of the manly nature. All dispute, therefore, about the superiority or
equality of man and woman is absurd and inconclusive. They stand on the
same platform, were both made in the image of God, and the platform upon
which they stand is wide enough for them both, and not completely filled
until both are upon it.

My object, however, in selecting these passages is to present some
thoughts on the mission of woman in our world, which have not perhaps
been as prominently presented as they deserve. Men have their distinct
objects in life before them, their various professions. One aims to be a
lawyer, another a merchant, another a physician, another a mechanic, and
thus through all the vocations of life. But what is woman's aim? what
her object in life? These questions are more or less frequently asked in
our day, and asked in reference to that general spirit of reform and
progress of society which seems to characterize our age, and in relation
to which, just in proportion as men forget to listen to the Word of God,
they grope about in the darkness of their own feeble light.

Our theme then is Woman's Mission.

What is it?

The general answer to this inquiry is very plain and easy. God created
_man_ in his own image; _male and female_ created he them. The general
design, therefore, of the creation of woman is precisely the same as
that of the man. He created but one race when he made them male and
female, and had in view but one object. In relation then to that object,
no distinction is to be drawn between man and woman, and the perfect
equality of the two sexes again becomes apparent. Indeed, it is a matter
of wonder that this question of superiority has ever risen, or at least
has ever been agitated by reflecting men, who for one moment considered
the manner in which our race is propagated in the world. Nothing ever
rises above its own nature. A spark, however high it may rise, however
brilliantly it may shine in the blue ethereal, can never become a star.
It ever remains but a spark, and so the offspring of a woman cannot, in
its nature, rise above its origin. A man can never become superior in
nature to his mother, and can certainly never, with right or justice,
exercise authority over her. He may be stronger, wiser, and better, but
he cannot be a superior being. Such a claim is alike foolish and
despicable. The two sexes, therefore, being one in nature, their chief
end is one, and reason and revelation unite in the assertion that man
was created to glorify God and enjoy him forever. God made all things
for himself. He is presented to us as the sole and supreme object of our
love and worship. His laws are our only rule of conduct, and he himself
the sole Lord of our souls. This he claims from us as creatures. This,
at the same time, he has required with the promise of eternal life to
obedience, and the threatening of eternal death to disobedience; thus
showing us that he regards this end as of infinite importance--for this
end, his own glory, happiness in himself. When we had sinned he sent his
Son into the world, and formed the plan to save our immortal souls from
woe, while from the nature of the case it is evident that this is the
highest and noblest end which man can accomplish. What can be a higher
aim than to be like God? What can God confer superior to himself as a
source of happiness? As he is the source and sum of all good, both moral
and natural, to know and to love _him_ is to know and love all that is
excellent, great, and lovely, and to serve him is to do all that is
amiable or desirable, all that is pleasing to God or profitable to his
rational creatures. True happiness and true worth are thus attained, and
thus alone. There is, there can be no other design in the creation of
man than this, to glorify God by loving, serving, and enjoying him; by
obeying his laws, living for him, living to him. This, then, is of
course the general answer to the inquiry, What is woman's mission? To
glorify God and to enjoy him forever. She, as well as man, has come
short of this. She, as well as man, therefore, needs atoning blood and a
renewed heart. She is a fallen, depraved being, influenced, until she
comes under divine grace, by unholy and unworthy motives. Her first and
imperative duty, therefore, if she would fulfill her mission, is to
return to God by the way of his appointment, to come to Jesus, repenting
of sin and believing on him, to receive pardon and eternal life. This,
indeed, is the imperative duty of all, but it will be seen in the
prosecution of our subject, that, as far as the welfare of society is
concerned, it is most imperative upon woman. She needs it most for her
own happiness here; she needs it most on account of her greater
influence upon the happiness of others.

Having thus seen the general and ultimate design of woman's creation is
to glorify God, our next inquiry is, Is there any particular mode by
which she is to fulfill this duty? How can she most glorify God and
enjoy him in this life? In order to answer these inquiries it becomes
necessary for us to examine her peculiar nature. That woman differs from
man in her very nature is obvious, and the peculiarities of her
organization clearly intimate that her Maker has assigned to her
peculiar duties--that she has her allotted sphere for which infinite
wisdom has fitted her. To enter upon all these peculiarities would
require a volume. I must therefore be content with a brief notice of
some of the more prominent and acknowledged ones.

Her physical organization is more delicate than that of man. She
possesses not the muscular power which belongs to him, and is therefore
not designed to undergo the outward toil and hard labor of life. The
same toil and physical exertion which will strengthen and increase the
power of the man, will often weaken and destroy her more delicate
organism. And when, in addition to this, you consider that to her alone
is committed the entire maternal care, you have not only the difference
between the two sexes distinctly marked, but you have also an intimation
of where her peculiar sphere is to be found, and in accordance with this
physical difference you will find a corresponding difference in her true
spiritual and moral nature. No one who has had around him a youthful
family circle has failed to notice that even from the cradle there is a
difference in the very nature of sons and daughters. Every little girl
knows that she is different from boys of her own age, though she may not
be able just now to point out that difference; she knows that there are
many things which boys like, and which they do, which she does not like
and will not do, and this difference only widens as we advance in life.

There is generally a delicacy of feeling, of thought, and of action,
corresponding with the delicacy of her physical organism. God hath made
her gentle by nature, and kind. She likes and longs to be loved and to
love, must have some object on which she can center her affections. She
admires flowers, and everything which is beautiful and delicate like
herself. She has a finer imagination and more curiosity than men. She is
more conscientious and truthful, and though a fallen, sinful creature,
and by nature like us all, a hater of God, yet there is not so decided
an opposition to religious things in her heart, in her loving nature;
there is not, indeed, a predisposition towards a God of love, but a
peculiar adaptation which assimilates more easily to religious things
when her heart is touched by the Holy Spirit. The beauty, the harmony,
the adaptation of the Gospel to the wants of our fallen nature, are more
apparent to her, more quickly perceived. This may also, perhaps, be
traced to another peculiarity which I must not forget to mention--her
disposition to lean on others. Unlike man, she loves to be
dependent--place her in danger and she naturally flies to her brother,
her father, or her husband. I am aware that to all these things there
are exceptions--there are unwomanly women as there are effeminate men,
but the fewness of the exceptions only proves the general truth. England
had her masculine Elizabeth, but she had only one.

       *       *       *       *       *



What wonderful provision has God made for the happiness, safety, and
well-being of infants. He has implanted in the human breast a natural
love of offspring, and has provided for each child parents, who should
be of mature age, and who should have been so trained by their parents,
that by combined wisdom, sagacity and experience, it may be duly watched
over and cared for, and so trained as to answer life's great end, viz.,
"To glorify God and enjoy him forever."

Then how wisely is the body framed, and most wonderfully adapted to
answer all the purposes of life, and especially during the period of
infancy and childhood, when the body must be more or less exposed to
accidents; while therefore it is destitute of experience, and cannot
take care of itself, its bones are all soft and yielding, and more
particularly of the skull which incloses and protects the brain, and
those of the limbs are made flexible, so that if it falls they may bend
and not break.

We see daily some new development of wonderful powers and faculties in
every new-born infant. An infant has a natural and instinctive desire to
exercise its limbs, its voice, and indeed all its bodily functions. How
soon it begins to laugh and coo like a little dove, to show you that it
is social in its disposition, asking for your sympathy in return.

It is curious and interesting to watch a young child when it first opens
its eyes upon the light of day or the light of a candle. With what
evident satisfaction does it slowly open and close its eyelids, so
adapted--to say nothing of the wonderful mechanism of the eye itself--to
let in sufficient light to gratify desire, or to shut out every ray that
would prove injurious to the untried organs.

What incipient efforts are first made to feel and examine different
objects, and how very soon even infants become possessed of some of the
elementary principles of the most abstruse sciences, and that without a
teacher. How many thousands of times will you see it endeavor to put up
its little hands before its face, before it is able to control its
movements so as to be able to examine them critically.

We propose to dwell, hereafter, somewhat minutely upon the all-important
subject of infant training, and in a way to show the care and attention
which both parents should bestow upon each child, so as to provide
proper food, clothing, and the means of self-culture and amusement, and
absolute control over it at the earliest possible period--the earlier
the better, so as to secure "a sound mind in a sound body."

It is really pitiable to find so large a proportion of young parents who
seem to think that but little instruction can be imparted, and in fact
that but little is needed in the care and management of _infants_,
whereas their education commences, in very many respects, and in a very
important sense, as soon as they are born.

Man is a complex being, composed of mind, soul and body, mysteriously
united as to their functions, in beautiful harmony with each other, yet
so distinct as absolutely to require widely different methods of
training, that each shall do its office without encroaching upon the
others, and in a way to secure a symmetrical character.

No wonder the proper training of children should become painfully
interesting to Christian parents, when they consider the pains-taking,
the watchfulness, the restraints, the self-denial, and the encouragement
which may be requisite for this. The faith and prayers which may be
necessary to bring their children into the fold of the Good Shepherd,
who in his last commission to his disciples did not forget to remind
them, saying, "Feed my lambs," and whose promise and prediction, before
his coming into the world, was, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
I have _ordained_ praise." The Scriptures inform us that it was the
purpose of God when he "set the solitary in families," to "seek a goodly

How delightful and consoling then is the thought, in this world of sin
and temptation, where there are three mighty obstacles to the final
salvation of our children--the world, the flesh and the devil, that
angels, ministering spirits, are appointed to "keep their watchful
stations" around the families of the just. "Are they not all ministering
spirits, sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of

When parents cheerfully fall in with the great designs of God, and in
dependence upon him in the use of the divinely appointed means, in his
preparing a people to himself, what a glorious combination there is in
all this to fulfill his gracious purposes. Not only God the Father, God
the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, but the angelic hosts, and all good
people by their prayers and labors, help forward this grand and glorious

When beyond this sublunary sphere, and the vail is removed which now
hides from our view the realities of the unseen world, with what
different emotions may we suppose parents will look upon their mission
on earth. It will indeed seem wonderful that they should have been thus
intrusted with the care and guardianship of children, which in a
peculiar sense is their own, and in this respect widely differing from
the angelic band, whose happiness, though they are permitted to minister
to the saints, in such efforts and experience, must be inferior to that
which parents will feel in training their own offspring--even emulating
the all-wise Creator in his preparing a people for himself. It is
certainly but natural to suppose that the happiest souls in Heaven will
be those parents who are the spiritual parents of their own children.

The benefits which must result to parents in the careful training of
infants--children who are, by means of parental faith and fidelity,
converted in early life, can scarcely be apprehended, certainly not
fully, in this world, even by the most judicious Christian parents.

Considering the instinctive love of offspring which God has implanted in
the parental bosom, it is most painful to see the utter dislike which so
many persons at the present day, who have entered the marriage relation,
evince to the care and responsibility which the guardianship of children
must ever involve.

There is something in all this manifestly wrong. It is unnatural. It is
even monstrous--even below the brute creation. It interferes with the
whole economy of nature, and frustrates the wise and benevolent designs
of the Creator, when he set the solitary in families. No person who
takes into view eternal realities and prospects, can, while so doing,
indulge in such selfish, carnal and sordid views. Those who are without
natural affection are classed by Paul with the enemies of all
righteousness. We cannot therefore but look suspiciously upon all such
as deny the marriage relation, cause of abuses (this is not the way to
cure them), or, for any pretext, profess to plead the superior
advantages of those who, for reasons best known to themselves, may
choose a state of "single blessedness," however plausible or cogent
their arguments may appear in favor of such a choice. We may not do evil
that good may come, or in other words, "root up the tares, lest we also
root up the wheat."

       *       *       *       *       *



Some years since a small volume was sent to me by a friend, containing
an account of the labors of a pious missionary along the line of the
Erie canal. I read it with great interest, and I trust, with profit. God
honors his word; he honors his faithful servants; and when the Great Day
shall reveal the secrets of this world, it will be seen to the glory of
divine grace, that many a humble missionary was made the instrument of
eternal consolation to the poor neglected orphan--in answer to a pious
mother's prayers.

I beg leave to ask the insertion in the Magazine of a touching scene,
which occurred during a missionary tour of the above friend of the
outcast and neglected. I shall give the narrative chiefly in his own

"I called at a horse station one morning very early. The station keeper
had just got up, and stood in the door. I told him my business, and that
I desired to see his boys a few moments. He said his boys were in bed,
and as I was an old man, he did not wish to have me abused. 'You had
better go on and let my boys alone,' said he; 'they will most assuredly
abuse you if they get up, for I have got a very wicked set of boys.' I
told him the very reasons that he assigned why I should not see his
boys, were the reasons why I wished to see them, for if they were very
wicked boys, there was the greater necessity for their reformation; and
as to the abuse, that was the least of my troubles, for my Master had
been abused before me.

"'Well, sir,' said he, 'don't blame me, if you are abused.' He then
awoke his boys, and as they came out, I talked to them. Instead of
abusing, they listened attentively to me, and some of them were much
affected. They took my tracts, and I presume, read them.

"On leaving them, I remarked, that I supposed the most of them were
orphans, that I was the orphan's friend, and though I might never see
them again, they might be assured they had my prayers daily, that they
might be converted. There was one little fellow who, as I had observed,
looked very sober, and who at the last remark cried right out. As I
wished to take the same boat again, I stepped out of the station house,
but found it had left, and I was walking along, looking for another
boat, when I heard some one crying behind me, and turning round, saw
that it was the little fellow who wept so much in the station house.

"He said, 'Sir, you told me you was the orphan's friend; will you stop?
I want to ask you a question.'

"I asked him if it was because he had now discovered that he was a
sinner, that he cried, and wished me to talk with him.

"'No, sir,' said he, 'I knew that three years ago.'

"I perceived, from his answer, he was an interesting boy, and said to
him, 'Sit down here, my son. How old are you?'

"'Thirteen,' he replied.

"'Where did you come from?'

"He said, three years ago his father moved from Massachusetts to Wayne
county; he was a very poor man, and when they got to their journey's end
they had nothing left. His father obtained the privilege of building a
small log house to live in, on another man's land, but just as he had
got the house finished, he was taken sick and died. I asked him if his
father was a Christian, but afterwards regretted that I asked him the
question, for it was a long time before he could answer it.

"At length he said, 'No, sir, if he had been a Christian, we could have
given him up willingly. We had no hope for _him_; but my mother was a
Christian. My mother, a sister seven years old, and myself, were all the
family after my father died. I had no hope that _I_ was a Christian when
my father died; but my mother used to come up the ladder every night and
kneel down, and put her hand upon my head, and pray that I might be
converted. Often, when I was asleep, she would come, and her tears
running into my face, would wake me. I knew that I was a sinner, but I
hope God forgave my sins one night, while my dear mother was praying for
me, and I still hope I was converted then.

"'About a year after my father died, my sister was taken sick and died
in about two months. My mother was naturally feeble, and her sorrow for
the loss of my father and sister wore upon her until she was confined to
her bed. She lay there seven months, and last fall she died.'

"By this time the little fellow was so choked with grief that he could
hardly speak. 'Then,' said he, '_I_ was taken sick, and lay all winter,
not expecting to get well.' I shall never forget the appearance of that
boy, and the expression of his countenance, when he said, 'I am a poor
orphan, sir; I have nothing in this world except the clothes I have on.'

"All the clothes he had on would not have sold for twenty-five cents.

"What an example is here to induce mothers to be faithful to their
children. I wish to ask mothers if they have ever gone at the midnight
hour and awoke their children by a mother's tears while pleading with
God for the salvation of their souls?"

Many mothers--thousands of mothers--have done no such thing. They have
neglected their own souls, and the souls of their dear children--and
both have gone to the bar of God, unprepared for the solemn interview.

But some mothers have been more faithful, and what a rich and divine
reward have they received! Many a son, now in glory, or on his way
thither, owes his religious impressions to the prayers of a tender,
faithful mother.

Nor should mothers be soon or easily discouraged! True, they may not
live to see their prayers answered--but a covenant-keeping God will
remember them, and in his own good time and chosen way give them an

  Though seed lie buried long in dust,
    It shan't deceive our hope;
  The precious grain can ne'er be lost,
    For grace insures the crop.

The writer, perhaps, cannot better conclude this article than by another
extract from the work alluded to, much to the same purpose as the one
already cited.

"In conversing with the captain of a certain boat, I found him a very
amiable and companionable man, although he acknowledged, that he had no
reason to hope that he was a Christian. Said he, 'I ought to have been a
Christian, long ago,' without giving his reasons for such an assertion.
When the hour for prayer arrived, (I staid on his boat all night,) I
asked him for a Bible. He seemed to be affected, and I did not know but
he was destitute of a Bible. I told him I had one in my trunk, on the
deck, and that if he had none, I would go up and get it. 'I have one,'
said he, and unlocking his trunk, he took out a very nice Bible, and as
he reached it out to me, the tears dropped on its cover. 'There, sir,'
said he, 'is the last gift of a dying mother. My dear mother gave me
that Bible about two hours before she died; and her dying admonition I
shall never forget. O, sir, I had one of the best of mothers. She would
never go to bed without coming to my bed-side, and if I was asleep, she
would awaken me, and pray for me before she retired. Twelve years have
elapsed since she died, and five years of that time I have been on the
ocean, five years on this canal; and the other two years traveling. I do
not know that I have laid my head on my pillow and gone to sleep, during
that time, without thinking of the prayers of my mother: yet I am not a
Christian; but the prayers of my mother are ended. I have put off the
subject too long, but from this time I will attend to it. I will begin
now and do all that I can to be a Christian.'

"I hope those dear mothers, who may have an opportunity of reading these
sketches, will inquire of their own hearts, 'Will my own dear children,
those little pledges of God's love, remember my prayers twelve years
after my head is laid in the narrow house appointed for all the living?'
Oh, could we place that estimate on the soul which we should do, in the
light of eternity, how much anxiety would be manifested on the part of
parents for their children, and for the whole families of the earth. The
midnight slumber would more often be disturbed by cries to God, and
tears for this fallen, apostate, rebellious world."

Mothers! what do you think of such facts? And what are they designed to
teach you? Every one of them, as you meet them in the pilgrimage of
life, is a voice of encouragement from above. Has God been kind towards
other mothers? he can be kind towards you. Has he blessed their efforts?
he can bless yours. Has he heard their prayers? he can hear and answer

Say not that you have prayed, labored, watched, and all in vain! How
long have you thus toiled? thus wrestled? Years? Well, and may be you
will have to toil and strive years to come. What then! Your Heavenly
Father knows precisely when it is best to answer you, and how! Suppose
you pray and labor ten, twenty, thirty years--and then you
succeed--won't the salvation of your children be a sufficient reward?
How do worldly parents do? Take an example from them. _They_ spend
_life_ in laying up this world's goods for their children--treasures
which perish in the using. Surely, then, you may, with great propriety,
devote a few years to secure an imperishable crown of glory for your
sons and daughters. For what is the present world--its gold of
California or its gems of Golconda--what are its honors--its stars,
coronets, crowns--to an inheritance in the kingdom of God!

The time has not yet come when parents appreciate this subject as they
will do. Oh, no! and until they realize their duty, their privileges,
the purchase which they have on the throne of God by means of faith, and
their covenant interest in the blood of Jesus, there is reason to fear
that many children will perish, but who need not perish--who would not
perish were their parents as faithful and energetic as parents will be
in some more distant age of the world.

But why postpone what may be realized now? Why relinquish blessings of
vast and incomparable magnitude to others which you may enjoy, and which
it is no benevolence to forego for others, because when they come upon
the stage, there will be blessings for them in abundance and to spare?
Let the sentiment fall upon your hearts, and make its appropriate
impression there--"While God invites, how blest the day!"

       *       *       *       *       *

If the candle of your earthly comfort be blown out, remember it is but a
little while to the break of day, when there will be no more need of

       *       *       *       *       *

CHRISTIAN, wouldst thou have an easy death? then get a
mortified heart; the surgeon's knife is scarcely felt when it cuts off a
mortified member.

       *       *       *       *       *



  The beams of morn were glittering in the east,
  The hoary frost had gathered like a mist
  On every blade of grass, on plant and flower,
  And sparkling with a clear, reflected light--
  Shot forth its radiant beams that, dazzling bright,
  Proclaimed the ruling charm in beauty's power.

  The god of day came forth with conquering glow,
  When shrinking from his gaze the glittering show
  In vapor fled, with steady, noiseless flight--
  But left its blasting mark where'er it pressed
  The tender plant that on earth's peaceful breast,
  Still slept, unmindful of the fatal blight.

  Thus sin oft gilds the onward path of youth,
  Till straying far from virtue and from truth,
  Heaven's bright, pure rays, in fearful distance gleam;
  While on the mind the blasting, clinging shade,
  With deathless power, refuses still to fade--
  Till life's dark close unfolds the fearful dream.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Fireside, is a seminary of infinite importance. It is important
because it is universal, and because the education it bestows, being
woven in with the woof of childhood, gives form and color to the whole
texture of life. There are few who can receive the honors of a college,
but all are graduates of the hearth. The learning of the university may
fade from the recollection; its classic lore may moulder in the halls of
memory. But the simple lessons of home, enameled upon the heart of
childhood, defy the rust of years, and outlive the more mature but less
vivid pictures of after days.


[A] 2 Cor. 5:21.

[B] The construction put upon this passage is taken from Bush's
Commentary on Exodus, which see.

[C] 1 John iv:16.

[D] We are glad to see that Mr. Abbott has recently revised and enlarged
this useful book. We recommend it to the careful perusal of all _young
people_, as well as parents.

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