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other reproves him, or if, while they teach him to be gentle and patient, they set him an example of perverseness and ill-humour in their behaviour to each other, he will soon despise them both. Let the parents always support each other, let them set the example of every virtue which they wish the child to practise, and let each of them teach their children to love and respect the other.
This leads me to the important subject of education; and I earnestly request the attention of all those who are called to perform this duty. To them God has given a great blessing; for children are His gift, and happy is the man on whom He vouchsafes to bestow them. Let him never consider a large family as a hardship. If he be not able to maintain them, he has a right to expect assistance; but when they grow up, I believe it will be almost always seen that a large family well brought up, in the fear of God, and habits of honest industry, who are dutiful to their parents, and united by mutual affection—it will, I say, be almost always seen that they succeed best in the world, and are a support, instead of a burden, to each other. But if we expect the tree to flourish and take deep root, we must carefully form the tender plant. It must not be exposed to the chilling frost of unkindness, or the constant sunshine of improper indulgence. We must train it in the way that it should go, and by constant care and management we must raise it to that state of perfection from which the happiest fruits may be expected. It is, indeed, possible that the best parent may be disappointed in the hopes which he had formed of his child; but this does not often happen, if constant and prudent care have been taken from infancy.
On this subject I wish to address myself particularly to the mothers, for they are commonly entrusted with the most important part of education. The temper and disposition, the habits of obedience, and the first principles of religion should all be formed during the first six or seven years, when the child is chiefly under the care of the mother. Women, if they are what they ought to be,
seem particularly suited to this task, from the gentleness and tenderness of their dispositions, and the happy knack which they possess of gaining affection, and softening authority by kindness. But they are apt to fall into some errors, from which I wish to guard them. They do not always consider the absolute necessity of teaching a child obedience from the
first. Before he can speak, he should learn this lesson which, sooner or later, must be learnt by every created being. From infancy he should be taught that nothing is to be gained by passion or crying. This is attended with very little difficulty, if it be done before any bad habits are formed; and custom will soon make it easy to the child; but we often see mothers, especially among the poor, who never attempt to govern their children, till their little passions have gained so much strength, that they know not how to conquer them, except by methods which would never have been necessary if they had been taught obedience from the beginning.
If a child has been accustomed from infancy to do what he is bid, and if his little heart has been gained by the kindness of a prudent mother, her displeasure will be his punishment, her praise will be his reward. Rough language and blows are almost always proofs that the parent did not know how to govern. It is observed of one denomination of Christians who have a remarkable command over their passions, that they never raise their voices in speaking to their children, or ever permit them to speak to each other in loud tones. The good effects of this will be evident to all who steadily pursue it. The child will attend to the meaning of your words, instead of being frightened with the sound of them, and will soon know that he is governed like a reasonable creature.
Thus, I have briefly indicated the duties of husbands, wives, and parents. Nothing can give a Christian parent greater joy than to see his children walking in the truth ; but to attain this end the parent himself must shape his life by the Word of God.
E. R. P.
DARK cloud overshadows me,
Lord Jesus, lift the cloud.
Lord Jesus, lift the cloud.
Lord Jesus, lift the cloud.
Lord Jesus, lift the cloud.
Lord Jesus, through the cloud.
The path grows smooth, the way is clear,
He has dissolved the cloud.
E. S. P.
Vick Morgan's Excuse.
E left Dick Morgan going to bed with this oft
repeated excuse, “I be no scholar.” And when he thought of things that he ought to have
done, but had not done ; when he thought of things he ought to know, but was wholly ignorant of, he made the excuse over and over again to himself, as though the acknowledgment of being no scholar were a remedy for the evil. He fell asleep with the words on his lips; he awoke with them on his heart, a heavy but unrecognised burden. In the morning, whilst his trembling fingers did their best towards dressing himself, he still kept saying the words, as though some one were standing by and demanding an excuse, if not a reason, for his ignorance.
The night, or evening we should call it in sweet summer hours, found Dick again leaning on his living crutch, and making way for the school. This time he took a hindmost seat, behind a pillar, to avoid being seen by the minister. The text chosen this time was: “He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain My words: keep My commandments, and live."1
"All about learning !" thought Dick; "the minister speaks up for his school!"
Again Dick went unobserved to his cottage ; no, not unobserved, for the quick eyes of Mr. Grey observed him at once; but, as before, no notice was taken.
To-morrow night, and Dick was again at the school; this time he drew one seat nearer. The text chosen by Mr. Grey on this occasion was: “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths."2
“About teaching this here time!" whispered Dick to his faithful little “ crutch."
She nodded a wise little nod and said, “ Can't learn, maister, wi’out teaching : but us don't talk in church, please, sir." Then remembering it was not church, she whispered with a smile, “I forgot; 't'aint church—there we mustn't talk; 'tis school; here t'aint proper like, nor 'spectful to
On Dick's return home, he said to Matty, “Matty, my lass, I should like, if I were a bit younger, to tell over the three texeseys we've heard ; they all seems to be out of the same book, and all about school. Can 'e say 'em, my dear ?" Matty thought a minute, and then replied : “Say 'em ? i Proverbs iv. 4.
2 Proverbs iv. II.
Sure and I can. The Bible is most taught and read in our school.”
I said Dick was not as unobserved as he thought in going to the night school. Mr. Grey had seen him, and rightly thinking that the old man had altogether mistaken him as to the night school he (Mr. Grey) meant; and also fearing that the effort of going so far in the wintry cold and damp would be too much for his aged friend and parishioner, he determined to go and have what Dick himself called “the matter out with him.”
Accordingly, an hour before night school the next day, Mr. Grey was gently rapping with his knuckles at Morgan's door. Matty opened it, and dropping a curtsey, asked him into the parlour kitchen, whilst she ran to the veritable kitchen, where Dick lived in the snug “ chimbley corner,” crying eagerly, “He's come, maister ! He's come !" For to Matty's loyal ideas there was only one she in the world—that was Mother, dear mother;" and only one he —that was Minster, good minster.” Dick generally liked to ask many questions before admitting any one; but now he seemed as well to understand Matty's announcement as though he had made it himself, and simply replied, as he bustled about in his armchair, to sit “ tidy and upright-like” to greet the guest, “Let 'en come in, Mat; don't say naught to 'en about rubbing his boots clean; he's welcome, mud and all !"
A great thing for Dick to say, for mud and mire, with uncleanliness of any kind, were his natural enemies, "seeing he was brought up to the decoratin' and letterin' trade,” he used to add, by way of excusing his tidy ways.
“Good evening, Dick Morgan—no; don't try to rise, my friend, without your crutch and stick—there now, sit down. Well, good evening. I am come on purpose to have a little talk with you before my night school begins. You will have done tea by this time, I know, as you are always punctual and
Always riglar and punctool,” put in Dick.