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acid stomach. It refuses to take its customary food, occasioning to the poor mother no ordinary suffering. Many a sleepless night and anxious hour she contemplates a sad catastrophe, which casts a gloom over this hitherto happy nursery. But the apprehended evil of is often magnified, repellants are therefore applied with zeal and energy, until loss of appetite, the pallid cheek, and perhaps hectic flush, indicate symptoms of a speedy consumption. Many a mother can testify to the experience of all these and many other evils, produced by pride, negligence or inexperience. The evil which had its origin in pride, is usually maintained by a display in dress, a heavy, stiff, worked cap, and tight laced frock, must be uncomfortable to the yielding frame of a tender infant.
How much more good sense, and economy, and real affection is shown by that mother, who so manages as to keep her young infant sleeping, at least two thirds of the day, and the live long night ; feeding it at intervals of from three to four hours, perhaps only once during each night ; dressed in a plain muslin frock and cap; with health and strength renewed, she again engages with alacrity, in the domestic duties of her family, and the more delightful and important business of training an intellectual and immortal being.
BABY TEA PAR TIES.
Before giving to the public, the subsequent article, we wish to call the attention of our readers to some remarks of Miss H. More, on the subject of BABY BALLS, which will be found in her Strictures on Education, chap. iii. As some of our readers may not have access to this excellent treatise, for the benefit of such, we will make a few extracts.
“ To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven,” said the wise man, but he said it before the invention of BABY BALLS, (and we may add, before the invention of BABY TEA PARTIES, which may perhaps be considered as taking the place of the former,) an invention which has formed a kind of æra, and a most inauspicious one, in the annals of polished education. This modern devise, is a sort of triple conspiracy against the innocence, the health, and happiness of our children. Thus by factitious amusements, to rob them of a relish for the simple joys, the unbought delights, which naturally belong to their blooming season, is like blotting out spring from the year.” “Only furnish them with a few simple and harmless materials, and a little, but not too much leisure, and they will manufacture their own pleasures, with more skill and success, than they will receive from all your money can purchase.” " While childhood preserves its native simplicity, every little change is interesting, every gratification a luxury. A ride, or a walk, a garland of flowers of her own forming, a plant of her own cultivating, will be a delightful amusement, to a child in its natural state.”
To say nothing of the evils which would result to our children, from the introduction of " baby balls,” we feel constrained to advert for a moment to the innumerable evils, which do actually result from the existence of baby tea parties," not merely in a moral point of view, but as essentially affecting the intellectual interests of our children.
Some mothers, who appear sensible and judicious in other respects, not only yield to the solicitations of their little daughters for an evening tea party, but even write, with their own hand, notes of invitation for the company of little boys to join their daughters on these occasions. The evils of such a practice, no subsequent tears of regret or repentance of theirs, can obliterate from our domestic circles, our seminaries of learning, our sanctuaries, our towns and villages, and from our beloved country.
Instead of nerving and fortifying the youthful mind to habits of reflection and thought, and laborious study, and patient investigation-what effeminacy, what imbecility, what decrepitude, must result from such early associations and intercourse between the sexes. If parents themselves do not perceive such effects, for the truth of our assertions, we must appeal to the teachers of their children. It is to be feared that children, at the present day, more frequently mould the minds of each other, than either their parents or their preceptors. While children are so constantly herded together, what opportunities are afforded to a parent, either to spy out the peculiar defects, incident to childhood, or the predominant faults of her own children, individually, which if not early perceived cannot be nipped in the bud ?
Knowledge is not only the best source of human happiness, but it is usually the best preservative of virtue. Instead of following the simple laws of nature and of reason, at the present day, how often are these sacrificed to the capricious tastes of children.
How affecting to think of parents, by their own indulgencies, drying up the fountain of mental culture, blighting the growth of intellectual greatness, by closing up the only avenues to the hill of science,
Miss H. More says, “ Providence has plainly indicated childhood to be the season of instruction, by communicating to them, at that period, such flexibility to the organs, such retention to the memory, such quickness to the apprehension, such inquisitiveness to the temper, such alacrity to the animal spirits, and such impressibility to the affections, as are not possessed at any subsequent period. We are therefore bound, by every tie of duty, to follow these obvious designations of Providence, by moulding that flexibility to the most durable ends, by storing that memory with the richest knowledge, by pointing that apprehension to the highest objects, by giving that alacrity its best direction, by turning that inquisitiveness to the noblest intellectual purposes, and above all, by converting that impressibility of heart to the most exalted use."
Tea parties, for little children, have doubtless laid the foundation for many of the evils in society, which have so long been felt and deplored, some of which are referred to in the subsequent article.
Temptations do not indeed put corruption into the hearts of our children, but they do serve to call into exercise these latent evils. A judicious mother would wish, therefore, to guard her imperfect children from temptation, especially until their minds are fortified by a cultivated intellect, an enlightened conscience, the restraints of religion, and the grace of God. Many mothers may be grieved, but none surely can be surprised to learn the fact, that most of the children who attend these infant parties, are already divided into pairs'; that the future wife of many a lad scarcely ten years old is already selected,
How totaly different are the views of parents who permit such early intercourse from those expressed by Rev. J. A. James, in his “ Christian Father's Present.” When giving his daughters advice on the choice of a companion for life ;"
“ The first piece of advice I offer is, not to think of this all-important affair too soon, nor to suppose it necessary that a young person of eighteen or nineteen, should begin to pay or receive particular attentions.
Do not court the subject, nor permit your imagination to be forever dwelling upon it. Rather put it from you, than bring it near. Repress that visionary and romantic turn of mind, which considers the whole space between you and the altar, as a dreary waste, all beyond, as a paradise. In innumerable instances the
very reverse of this
and the exchange from a father's house, to that of a husband's, has been like the departure of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. Young persons should be cautious of converting this subject into a matter of merrin.ent."
We apprehend, that this grave advice will hardly be relished, by such of our youth, as have made this the hackneyed theme of laughter and jest, from their early days, we had almost said, to the exclusion of every other topic. Where will mothers hide their blushing faces, when these evils are brought into the light of sober investigation, but under the covert of ignorance of the existence of such glaring facts.
But from whence should such ignorance arise, but from the modern fashion of excluding the “old folks” from the drawing-room when their daughters receive their youthful visitants.
We should hardly venture to hazard our popularity, by broaching a subject of such exquisite delicacy, were we not fortified, by the sage remarks of such distinguished and unimpeachable authorities as those above quoted. If parents did but reflect, that the fate of unborn millions is suspended on the education, the early lessons, and habits, which they are at this moment giving to their children, we presume to say, that their zealous endeavors as philanthropists, as patriots, and as Christians, would be immediately and successfully awakened and exerted, to do away from their families, and from community, the evils of every perverted system of education.
For the Mother's Magazine.
There is no trait of character in a Christian mother, more to be lamented than want of decision, and as your useful magazine will prove a friendly monitor to mothers, I hope from time to time such errors, either in character or education, as deepen instead of wiping away the impressions of earthly stain upon our offspring, will be pointed out, that we may behold their sad consequences, and avoid their dangers.
I have no doubt, many a mother weeps, in secret places, over a wayward child, unconscious that her own want of decision is daily increasing this waywardness, and producing the bitter fruits of self-will and self-gratification in hor child.
No Christian mother would wilfully foster such evils and encourage such dispositions, yet by not opposing them, they are most successfully encouraged. Who has not witnessed the importunity of a child to gain permission from an indulgent mother to attend a little tea party, (fruitful source of pride and vanity,) and the mother's faint “ No,” converted by successful teazing into the approving “ Yes.” In every such contest the victorious child gains over the vanquished mother, a vantage it knows full well how to use.
At these little parties for little children, the taste for fashionable company commences. Here the intimacies are formed, which give coloring to future character, and here habits are contracted, which “grow with their growth, and strengthen with their strength ;” thus the “education of circumstances" progresses and the undeceived mother is all this time ignorant of the extent of its progress. The germ of evil, her plastic hand should have resolutely crushed in childhood, has now taken strong root. The buds, she should have nipped, have swelled, and burst, and now bear fruit, not to the “ honor and praise of God," but for the world, and in the world, and to the world.
That gay, laughing, sporting child, is rising up to woman's height, and woman's strength, and having proved the success of her powers, when younger, she tries again and succeeds. A contest so painful to sustain in infancy, is now insupportable in riper years, and that young being, so often dedicated to God in prayer, that devoted child, whose infant face has been watered by the tears of a pious mother, that immortal creature, destined for an existence commensurate with eternity, is now pursuing a course, which needs no prophetic vision to declare its termination. What has produced this? What course of perverted education led to such results? Want of decision in the mother, in preventing her child from attending that little party. Want of decision, in breaking up an improper intimacy. Want of decision, in yielding to the purchasing of that ornamental dress, for her young beauty. Want of decision, in commanding obedience, when self-will was arraigning itself against a mother's reasonable requisitions.
Life is progressive, from infancy to riper years, our course is either from bad to worse, or from good to better; every step we take, forms our habits, fashions our minds, and stamps our character. Can any mother, believing this, cease to watch, with unceasing vigilance, the young mind, her plastic hand may mould, her irresolution may ruin ? A Christian mother who has the glory of God in constant view, the sole object of her own and her child's existence, will watch with an eye that seldom slumbers, every little minutia connected with the furmation of its character, her “yea will be yea, and her nay, nay," and most emphatically will she pronounce sentence of disapprobation upon known sin, and ever unequivocally maintain her authority on all disputed points.
It is a mournful fact, and as glaring as mournful, that very many mothers do nothing but lament over their untoward children. They are seldom if ever, denied any worldly gratification, seldom restrained, either in inclinations or actions, and feebly opposed in known sin. Mothers who are members of maternal associations, and live under the holy influence of prayer, can thus act from year to year and appear totally ignorant that they themselves are the destroyers of their children.
How can a remedy be found for this sorrowful evil? What can be done to
bring duty to bear directly upon the minds of such mothers? What will alarm them? What can be done to set before them, in vivid colors, their own criminal weakness, and the dangers of their children, so that they shall be awakened ? They have the faithful admonitions of christian friends; pastors often warn them, pious books advise, awful examples terrify, and the sacred oracles of God, in which there can be no mistake, make plain the path of duty. In this unerring word of truth, we are not left to conjecture; and in condescension to our weakness, our heavenly Father, in regard to many important duties, has invariably connected a promise with the command. For instance, “ Train up a child in the way he should go;” and here follows the heart cheering promise, “ And when he is old, he will not depart from it.” If the examples of Eli's, and Aaron's, and David's, and Hezekiah's children, the children of eminent saints, but at the same time, children over whom little parental restraint was thrown (for it is written of Eli's childen," they made themselves vile and he restrained them not,”) fail to affect the mind, what examples can be produced to show how God will punish careless parents.
If the book of Proverbs, with all its wise counsels and its plain advice ; if the prophecies of Isaiah, with all the glowing promises of God's everlasting covenant with our “ seed's seed to the latest generation ;” if the exhibition of our condescending Redeemer's love too, and willingness to receive and bless little children, fail; we might almost say, “ neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.”
Oh ye weak, ye undecided, ye irresolute mothers. What can be done to bring the sad consequences of your not doings, so plainly before your view, that“ beholding, as in a glass,” your own reflected image, the sight may alarm, awaken, and arouse you to duty. Think not your prayers will be answered when
you arise from your knees, to attire your children for the gay party, or for the fashionable circle! Think not that God will bless, because you sanction these unhallowed pursuits ! Ask not the prayers of Christian mothers for your beloved ones, while
you have not resolution to restrain them from sin. It is solemn mockery, it is an abuse to common sense, to give your sanction to your child's disobedience to the Lord's and your own commands, and then come and ask your Christian sisters to pray for their souls! True, you point with your finger to the straight and narrow way, but you exert no influence, you throw around them no restraints to keep them from the broad way, where thousands walk together and perish. Awake then, O! deluded mothers, from your sinful infatuation! Remember the vows of God are upon you. Look into the church of Christ, and see how much your children are needed in its various departments. Look into the wide extended reign of missionary enterprise, and let the imploring cry of perishing heathen pierce your heart, and enlist you to train up your children, to aid in carrying them the everlasting Gospel. Contemplate the final destiny, which awaits these young immortals, and with all the weight of these righteous requisitions pressing upon you, arise, and in humble dependence upon that aid and wisdom which cometh from above, faithfully perform every duty, and the everlasting God, thy God, will be the God of thy children, who being snatched from the world, may yet become as pillars to support, and as polished stones to adorn, the temple of Jehovah. W*********, Feb, 20 1833..