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Notice of the "Mother at Home."
Hymn tor Children.
FOR JANUARY, MDCCCXXXIII.
At a meeting of the committee of ladies appointed by the Maternal Association of Utica, to examine into the expediency of publishing a MONTHLY PERIODICAL, DEVOTED TO MOTHErs, it was resolved as follows:
Resolved, That after such deliberation as we have been able to give to the subject, we deem it highly important that such a periodical should be published and sustained.
Resolved, That from an examination of the probable difficulties which would attend the conducting of this paper, by a number of mothers, we deem it expedient, that it be pubTishod by one person, to be recommended by this Association, which person shall assume the entire responsibility of the work.
Resolved, That we hereby cordially recommend Mrs. Abigail G. Whittelsey as a suitable editor of the contemplated paper.
In a country where the claims of females to the blessings of education have been so fully admitted, it is unnecessary to search for arguments to prove the extent and importance of their duties. If, as one of the greatest philosophers has conceded, “ all the world is but the pupil and disciple of female influence;” if to mothers is committed the moulding of the whole mass of human mind, when it “ turneth as wax to the seal ;? of what infinite consequence must be the nature of those impressions which they stamp, not only indelibly, but eternally. Called as they often are, to sustain this fearful responsibility, while the judgment is immature, compelled to resolve and to act without precedent, and when error may be fatal, the mind should have access to a full store-house of facts and deductions, to prevent the waste of profitless experiment, and the danger of establishing a perverted system.
If to the welfare of every science, it is necessary that the results of past experience and recent discovery be embodied and circulated ; if periodical publications have been deemed indispensable to the progress of philosophy, politics, philanthropy, and religion, why should not the same privilege be extended to her who imparts to the philosopher his alphabet; and instructs the politician to govern, by first requiring him to obey; and plants the earliest germ of sympathy in the bosom of the philanthropist; and teaches him who is to make others wise unto salvation, his first lisping prayer to God? Still, among the multitude of periodicals, which form so distinguishing a feature in the literature of the day, which come to the mechanic on his work bench, to the child at his sports, and to the infant in its nursery, not one has been devoled to mothers.
It has at length been decided, that this chasm in their library, this deficiency in their panoply, should be supplied. A Magazine is about to be issued for their benefit, comprehending a wide range of subject and illustration. design is to embrace physical education, intellectual training, the culture of the affections, the nurture of the soul, all the bearings of maternal intercourse, from its earliest watch over the cradle-dream, to the full development of that mysterious being, whose destiny is immortality.
Among the social principles that bear upon a mother's office, and the charities that spring from it, prominence will be assigned to maternal associations, whose salutary influence is already so widely diffused; to the wants of the children of ignorance and penury , to the sorrows of orphanage ; to the claims of the offspring of missionaries, who turn for education to the land of their fathers-perchance when their parents are sleeping in the dust.
It is hoped that for all the varieties of responsibility which devolve upon the weaker sex, some instruction or aid may be derived from the “ Mother's Magazine;" that in solitude it may prove a companion ; in toil, a helper ; in doubt a guide; in affliction, a comforter; and, through the divine blessing, be made an instrument of gathering the souls of many little ones, together with the souls of those who have cherished them in their bosoms, and sheltered them under their wings, and borne them on their prayers, through the storms of time, into the safe and blissful haven of eternity.
L. H. S.
It is intended that the Magazine shall embrace a variety of topics, upon each of which there may be expected the best information that can be obtained from our resources; such as our own experience, books, the proffers of assistance from ladies and gentlemen of the first respectability and talents, and from extensive correspondence.
For the sake of those who will be invited to subscribe for this publication, but who may have opportunity to give the prospectus only a cursory reading, we will attempt to illustrate more fully the design of our paper.
1. To lay before mothers the history, designs, and results of maternal assoçiations.
2. To awaken in them deeper feeling on the subject of their responsibility, not only to their children, but to the church and the world. The future defenders of the faith are now in the hands of mothers! Do they not need counsel and encouragement ?
3. To pourtray the duties of Christian parents towards orphans of their deceased friends. Can they hereafter meet their sisters who have gone before them to eternity, and say, We did all we could to watch over the little flock you left?
4. To illustrate the proper government of children, and to make public any successful experiments parents may have made in the education and management of their families.
5. To call the attention of parents to the importance of having suitable schools and seminaries for children, such as the Lord will approve at the last day.
HISTORY OF MATERNAL ASSOCIATIONS.
6. Believing that physical education has not had that place in the estimation of parents, which its nature and importance demands, we shall endeavor to ascertain the best mode of managing infants and young children, as to proper nursing, food, clothing, toys, and amusements; the proper mode of taking care of the teeth ; the proper modulation of the voice in speaking and singing; the necessity of early rising, air, and exercise, in order to give expression to the features, due proportion to the limbs, and vigor and symmetry to the whole body. In short, we would endeavor to stimulate mothers to make their children, for the first ten years, as fine animals as possible.
7. To promote the cultivation of the affections. To endeavor to show the best method of regulating the temper and disposition of children ; the proper objects of their love and hatred; the reasons of their prejudices and partialities; the predominant love of self-how to be met and overcome. “ The foundation of all empires is laid in the same principle that actuates a boy, when in the field; he jumps upon a grassy mound and says, this sunny heap is mine."
8. To encourage efforts to ameliorate the condition of poor children, and bring them under the direct influence of moral and religious cultivation. We mean the wretched poor. The extreme sufferings of this class, we believe, cannot be estimated, or hardly conceived by most sisters in the church.
9. To advocate kind and proper treatment of infants. A vast amount of cruelty, it is believed, is now practised by mothers, which should be exposed, as far as practicable.
10. To exhibit, in true colors, the sorrows, and pangs, and tears, of those mothers who have intemperate husbands; and to awake Christian females to look at the impropriety of uniting themselves with drinkers of ardent spirits.
11. To bind up the broken heart of the widow; to dry the orphan's tears ; and let each paper bear to them some consolation.
12. To publish biographical sketches of Christian females, and of pious children.
13. To show that the signs of the times demand increase of faithfulness on the part of mothers.
14. To suggest improvements in domestic economy, especially on the subject of female help.
15. To discuss the importance of making every thing connected with the child, from its earliest infancy, tend to the formation of a high Christian character.
16. To publish the reports and correspondence of maternal associations, miscellaneous essays, communications, &c. &c.
A CONCISE VIEW
Of the History, Designs, and Results of Maternal Associations; respectfully submitted to the
Pastors of Churches of different denominations, throughout the United States. Respected friends—Permit us to call your attention to a subject of vital'importance, as we believe, to the welfare of Zion, and of increasing interest in our country. It must be a matter of deep and thrilling interest to every heart,
HISTORY OF MATERNAL ASSOCIATIONS.
that wishes well to Zion, to learn that a new and simultaneous impulse has been given to the subject of maternal influence, in many parts of our country within the last six months. This fact must have been obvious to those who have had opportunity to read the powerful appeals that have been made to Christian mothers within the last year, in the various tracts, hints, and circulars, which have been addressed to members of maternal associations and Christian mothers.
Presuming that, even now, these institutions may be unknown to many clergymen in our country, for the information of such, it may
proper to state, more particularly, their history.
History. They are of recent origin—probably a sign of the times not to be overlooked.
The first institution ever established in our country, originated with Mrs. Payson, of Portland, Maine. The circumstances which gave rise to it we have drawn from Mrs. Payson; and are here given in her own words—" I know not that there are maternal associations in all our villages; but I know that there are many in our country, and some in India, in a very flourishing condition. Our institution was formed in 1815. You ask the circumstances which led to its formation. A
very dear friend of mine, who died about that time, had often lamented that, in our social prayer meetings, children were so much neglected. I was privileged to meet with her occasionally, and spend an hour in prayer for our children ; but neither of us thought of a special meeting for them. After her death, my husband often in our secret prayers, appeared earnestly to desire that I might be made useful out of my little family, which then occupied almost all my time, and greatly exhausted my spirits. While holding my dear Caroline in my arms, and thinking of my deceased friend's solicitude for her children, the entire plan of our association presented itself to my mind, like an agreeable vision, and I took my pencil and sketched down the items, and showed them to my husband, who was highly gratified, and felt that prayer was answered. He thought it would be one great instrument in bringing on that glorious period when all shall know the Lord.”
The Maternal Association of Utica was organized in 1824. It commenced with eight members. It now numbers one hundred. Similar associations were formed about the same time in Boston, and in Hartford. More recently associations have been organized in the Sandwich Islands, at Ceylon and Bombay, at Mackinaw and other Indian stations; and we are informed they have already been the means of extensive good.
Within six months, a maternal association has been established in the Baptist church in Utica, and is very flourishing. If our pages will permit, we shall find pleasure in inserting the address appended to their constitution. It is one of the best we have ever seen.
The Utica Association originally adopted the Portland constitution, which has continued substantially the same till the present time. We have found occasion, however, to new model it from time to time. For the benefit of those who are disposed to form associations without delay, we have deemed it expedient to insert our constitution in the Magazine. We have thought it essential that every member of our association should he furnished with a copy for her