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mind a striking illustration. She had a lovely little family, and no pains were spared to make them elegant and accomplished. They were, however, early deprived of the watchful care of an affectionate mother, the eldest being only eleven when she died. A few days before her death, she desired me to read the 103d Psalm, and I shall never forget the glow of rapture which beamed upon her countenance, while I read the 17th verse. “How precious," she exclaimed, “ the thought, that the promises extend to the children of believers.” But, alas! she did not consider that the promises of God are all conditional ; she, like too many parents, expected the end without the means. Not only had a mother's fondness often led her to excessive indulgence, but she had also manifested to the little attentive group around her, more anxiety that they should be genteel and accomplished, than that they should fear God. She had indeed sometimes given them religious instruction; but I had often noticed, with pain, that while they were sharply reproved for an awkward position in sitting, comparatively little notice was taken of anger, idleness, and even an untruth was sometimes but slightly censured. And now what is the situation of these children, grown to years of maturity? The idols of the fashionable world, but strangers to true godliness.
The conduct of Mrs. S—, on the other hand, seemed to me a striking example of Christian faithfulness and decision. When strongly solicited by her daughter to attend a ball, she took her Bible, selected all the passages relating to the duty of parents, and then taking her child alone, conversed affectionately with her, read her these passages, and then inquired whether she, as a Christian mother, could consistently permit her to visit a place where every serious thought would be dissipated? The young lady was convinced, and never again expressed an inclination to resort to scenes of fashionable amusement. She soon after became pious, and now occupies an important station in the church of Christ.
Nor could I forget, among other instances of parental faithfulness and consistency, my venerable friend P The earliest impression received by her children, an impression daily enforced, both by precept and example, was, “ The salvation of the soul is the one thing needful.” While she carefully educated them for this world, still she seemed constantly to say, with regard to every kind of excellence, but that of true piety, “Ah! 'tis well, 'tis good, so far as it goes; but I want the fruits of immortality.” And what was the result? Four out of five children are found on the Lord's side,
Christian mother, these are facts. Are your children devoted to the world? If so, search for the cause; you may find it in yourself. You say that you desire the conversion of your children, that you consider the soul of infinitely more importance than the body; but does your conduct say this ? Do you pray without acting, or act without praying? Is your sin that of Eli, or do you with affectionate firmness control the wayward inclinations of the little immortals entrusted to your care? Do you often pray with and for them; often explain to them the way of salvation, and point them to that Savior, who has said, “Suffer little children to come unto me;" and does your example speak, as well as your lips, “ Religion is the one thing needful ?"
For the Mother's Magazine.
MATERNAL ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. W.--I have recently been reflecting much upon the general aspect of the times, in reference to the near approach of the latter glory of the church. What is the meaning of all this effort for the generation who are to take our places? Why were Sabbath schools, Bible classes, and maternal associations reserved for this century? What means this sleepless anxiety, which can no longer be imprisoned in the hearts of mothers, in different parts of our country, but in a thousand forms is communicating itself to others? What is it that is awakening Christian parents to the consciousness that to them is committed the trust of immortal minds? Is there not a clear and intelligible answer to these questions?
The church has need of a host of firm, self-denying, Bible Christians. Means are now in operation, with the blessing of the Head, to raise up an army of missionaries for her service. Are Christian parents awake to this thought, and do they educate their children to the service of their Lord ?
Probably there never has been a deeper anxiety for the conversion of children felt in our country, than at this moment. But is it also felt as deeply, that the Lord hath need of them ?" If we hope to see our sons called to the high honor and rewards of the faithful, self-denying, persevering, laborious minister of Jesus, whether at home or in distant lands, and our daughters “helpers" in the work, how essential that these Christian virtues early take deep root. How shall Christian parents be persuaded to take this view of the subject, and act accordingly?
If the world is to be converted to God speedily, and this century is to witness its universal triumph, and hear the echo of the gospel from every land, what part are our children to take ? Shall they sit at ease, even as we do, and listen to the notes of joy, and watch the rising beams of millennial glory? No, the Lord will have need of them, and they must give themselves, and their property, and all, to the glorious cause, and they will do it. Is it not then a great mistake for us to educate them for ease, or worldly style and splendor? Who can look upon this concentration of effort for the coming generation, and contrast it with that of preceding periods, since the foundation of the church was laid, without feeling that “ he has surely come to gather the lambs in his arms and
them in his bosom," and also “ to raise up a generation who shall be taught of God to declare to the generation following, his mighty acts and wonders of grace;" to go as heralds of the cross, and enter the doors which are now, one after another, preparing for them.
Who can contemplate an assembly of children, in the bosom of every church in our country, convened by their mothers, for the express purpose that “he may lay his hands upon them and bless them,” and the youth of our Sabbath schools studying the blessed volume which they must give to the whole world, without the melting consideration, that they are nurseries which the Lord hath gathered, soon to expand into fruitful trees, for him to transplant here and there all over his spiritual garden? Let us then educate our children, not merely to get to heaven, but for Christ, for Zion.
We often hear the wish expressed, to know something of the history of maternal associations in detail, of their successes and their discouragements $ and to persuade your correspondents to gratify this desire of your readers, I will give a short sketch of one in -, formed six years since. In a small parish in one of the then feeble churches, an invitation was given to Christian mothers to meet for consultation on the subject. Fifteen perhaps assembled. The most affecting motives were presented to their minds, calculated to produce a deep sense of their responsibility, and while each was led to look at what mothers had, with the divine promise, accomplished, each was ready to inquire, “And why may not I pursue a similar method, and go to my heavenly home, laden with harvest fruits ?"
An association was formed; but five only would venture at that time to assume obligations which till then seemed unknown, and almost unthought of. While contemplating the subject, a flood of light seemed poured on every mind, revealing such views of maternal duty and influence as humbled us in the review, and made us tremble in going forward. The five, however, took courage and met, in storm and tempest, in summer's heat, and winter's cold; and though faint, yet pursuing their object with zeal, which has not yet grown cold. The number soon multiplied, and he who delights to "renew the strength of those who wait upon him,” drew near to this little band, and with the same kindness, with which in the days of his flesh he smiled on an association of mothers who brought their infants to him, now shed the dew-drops of mercy.
Twelve children were, we hope, gathered into the fold; and, “as olive plants, were seated around the table of their Lord.” The Holy Spirit was then visiting us in mercy. He tarried for a while, but in the course of some months the faith and love of God's people gave place to stupidity and declension. But the living fire burned brightly still on the altar of maternal piety. From that day to this, the church has had her seasons of refreshing, and her returns of decay; but here, in this circle of mothers, it is felt that the Holy Spirit condescends to dwell. It seems his blessed "rest." Faith, and
ve, and hope, and melting tenderness, are exhibited in sweet and attractive forms, as, from month to month, these sisters meet, with one heart, devoted to one object to present their offering to one common Friend. Two only of the beloved children (with the exception of infants) have been called away ; but as they took their upward flight, the dear name of Jesus, the Friend whom they knew, and loved, and had often met, and who had “ blessed them there,” was on their dying lips. Oh! the untold blessings reserved for this generation of maternal associations.
I could mention many other advantages which have been secured. A more careful attention to the general business of a Christian mother, viz. to nurture her children for the service of Christ on earth, and the final blessedness of heaven, by the early formation of habits of self-denial, prayer, truth, industry, integrity, and the application of the means of grace adapted to childhood, which the Holy Spirit always blesses in maturer years; a taste for reading, calculated to give vigor and thought to the mind, and an intimate acquaintance with the best works that have been written on the subject of education, which are con
stantly increasing. The best books are selected for children, evil associates are shunned, habits of prayer formed, &c.
But there is no possibility of assigning limits to the good accomplished, and in prospect, resulting from these associations. And still it is a mournful truth, that some of our churches cannot be persuaded to make the slight effort to form one. Would it be thus if their pastors should interest themselves in the subject, and encourage and strengthen them? And here we are ready to acknowledge the aid and comfort which we have received from our under shepherd, who would sooner choose to part with any other institution which his people enjoy, except the preached gospel; so much are his own hands strengthened by the combined influence of mothers.
For the Mother's Magazine.
WARNING TO YOUTH. George Denison, who was recently executed in the county of Chenango, was a man of grossly intemperate habits ; and although young, was yet so hardened by a course of dissipation, that he became guilty of the awful crime of murder.
He was tried, condemned to death, and was confined in the county jail to await his execution. While in his lonely cell, clergymen and other pious people often visited him, to endeavor to impress his mind with the worth of his soul, and the importance of improving his few days of probation, in preparation for eternity. Among the many who labored with him, was one who related the following incident, and who remarked that he thought it a great encouragement for mothers to be faithful.
He often repeated his visits to him, and tried every method of producing some feeling in regard to his past conduct, and his present awful and unhappy condition, but in vain. He seemed lost to all moral sensibility and obligation; his mind was dark, and his heart impenetrably hard. After having presented every kind of motive, and spread before him his most certain destiny, without any apparent effect, he at last thought that perhaps he had had a pious mother, and that the recollection of her instructions might touch a chord that would vibrate with emotion. He asked him the character of his mother. He replied, " She was a pious woman.” “Did she ever give you religious instruction ?" “Yes,"
," said he, and bursting into tears," and if I had always remembered them as well as I do now, I should not have been here.” Till then every avenue of his soul seemed closed, and every other chord of his heart was incapable of emotion, but that which responded to a mother's love.
Is not this some encouragement to mothers to persevere in their labors, and to increase their efforts for the dear children God has been pleased to place under their influence? Are they not even culpable, if they do not exert that power which he has given them over young and pliant minds? Where is the mother that would not wish to impress upon the heart of her child those principles that should govern his future conduct? Where is the Christian mother that would not labor and pray that those principles might be so deeply rooted by divine grace, as to insure a moral rectitude of life, and which
would inevitably guide his footsteps in that "strait and narrow way” which leads to eternal blessedness ?
Our duty is not done, nor our object accomplished, by imparting once a week a moral lesson; but every day and every hour that the mother is with her child, she has opportunities enough for giving useful instruction, both of morality and religion. She should seize upon every incident, and every circumstance, to draw from it something religiously instructive, or morally practical.
Notwithstanding the importance and great utility of giving "precept upon precept,” let her remember that example is worth more than all her lessons in theory.
Few children can be influenced by motives to set apart seasons for private devotion, and to be faithful in the observance of them. But let them go with their mother to her closet, and how easy do they bow with her in prayer? Mothers should endeavor to be, in every respect, what they would wish to have their children. A child is not disposed to perform all that its parents require, or even advise him to do; but he notices and observes, with the closest attention, all their acts, and treasures thein up, to practice himself on some future occasion. And how often do parents notice things, long since forgotten by themselves, all acted over again by those little reflectors of our own characters!
Oh! what deep responsibility rests upon mothers! Eternity only can reveal the full extent of their influence, or unfold to them how much they do for the salvation of their children, or their eternal ruin.
0 ***, April 14, 1833.
IMPORTANT SUGGESTIONS. From Mr. Edward's introductory essay to his " Biography of Self-taught Men,” some extracts are selected, upon which an American mother, as well as father, would do well to ponder. To all who have the forming of the first foundation of character, a peculiar appeal is made, and especially to American parents. “It is worthy of deep and careful consideration,” says Mr. E. " whether our country does not demand a new and higher order of intellect, and whether the class I have been considering cannot furnish a vast amount of materials. It is not piety alone that is needed, nor strength of body, nor vigor of mind, nor firmness of character, nor purity of taste, but all these united. Ought not this subject to awaken the attention of our most philanthropic and gifted minds ? Ought not social libraries to be collected with this main purpose, to furnish stimulants to call forth all possible native talents and hidden energies ? Every parent, and every instructor, should employ special means, to bring his children or his pupils into such circumstances, and place in their way such books and other means as will develop the original tendencies of their minds, and lead them into the path of high attainment and usefulness. Every educated man is under great responsibilities to bring into light, and to cherish, all the talent which may be concealed in his neighborhood. Genius lies buried on our mountains, and in our vallies; vast treasures of thought, of noble feeling, of pure and generous aspiration, and of moral and religious