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some time, he said, “ Papa, when we die, will God make us again?" His father took this opportunity to explain to him the scripture account of the judgment day ; mean time his inquiries were solemn and interesting.
When Charles was about three years old, a widowed friend came to pass a few months in our family. After observing the conduct of this child, and listening to his conversation, she said to me on one occasion, “ I think, Mrs. W. I would not indulge little Charles in so much conversation on religious subjects.” I inquired what evil was to be apprehended since he was so very cheerful. Yes,” she said, “and yet I think his mind is somewhat like Cowper's; there is to me a shade of melancholy about him.” “ Indeed,” she added, “ I wish my children would manifest interest on this subject, by asking such questions. My only fear is that this subject may be pressed upon his attention beyond the feeble comprehension of a little child.” Her words sunk with weight upon my mind. Till now, I had supposed that his inquisitiveness was all voluntary, I resolved to watch for opportunities to ascertain the fact. In the evening of this same day, iny friend went with my husband to an evening meeting. It was still twilight. I sat in my nursery in a musing frame, rocking my infant to sleep. Little Charles came about me, as usual, wanting mother to talk with him. Now, thought I, is a good opportunity to try the effect of diverting his attention. I told him that mother wished to be alone; that he might go into the sitting-room and join his little brother and two little boys that had come in to pass an hour. Charles looked sweetly and imploringly in my face, saying, “ Mother, I had rather stay with you ;” and without giving me time to refuse him, said he, “ May I repeat to you a verse I found in a book to-day ?" " What was it?" I said. It is a beautiful little verse," he replied, "at the beginning of Janeway's Token for Children.” “And Jesus said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." This was a book in which he greatly delighted. I took the Bible and turned to the account of this scene, as recorded by Mark; Charles inquired how Christ took up these little children: “as you would take me up, mother?" and with a burst of feeling said, “I do not know how to get to Christ.” I was delighted to find that it was the word of God, and not my own words, that had impressed the heart of my child. I endeavored to compose his mind by dwelling upon the love of the blessed Savior, manifested towards little children; telling him that he could now go to Christ, in prayer, with the same confident assurance, that he would hear and bless us, as when in the days of his flesh he was present with his people. Mama,” said he, with earnestness, “ will you pray with me? I do not want to be a sinner; I do want to love the Lord Jesus Christ,” Charles not only wished to love the Lord Jesus Christ, but he was truly an obedient little boy to his parents. Indeed, he was so affectionate and pleasant, that every body loved him. He was not only affectionate and dutiful, but he was very attentive to his daily lessons in reading and spelling. I never had so much occasion to reprove him, as for crying when he missed a word in his spelling lesson. Such was his application and fondness for his book, that before he was four years old, he would put out for himself whole columns of words in the spelling-book, embracing even columns of proper names, and spell them correctly without being prompted.
In the year 1816, a revival of religion commenced in our place. For deep and solemn and abiding impressions of the odious nature of sin, and the necessity of the new birth, I have never since witnessed a revival to compare with that. At this time, my two little boys were among those who made the inquiry, " What shall I do to be saved ?" A short time after the revival began to decline, two clergymen spent a Sabbath in our family. Charles' solicitude for conversation with them on the subject of religion greatly affected and interested them. They said to me, “ If you live, Mrs. W. to see your child act, you will see him act a Christian."
A few months after this precious ingathering of souls into the fold of the Redeemer, we left W. and removed to B. Here we took up our residence in the same dwelling with my parents. As my husband was to be absent the greater part of the time, I felt that it would be a privilege to join my father's family, in their morning devotions, though we kept up a family establishment of our own. But to this, Charles objected. He would say “Mama, do not go into grandpa's room to pray; I had rather hear you pray; you pray more for us than grandpa does.” Where is the mother that could have refused such a request? One morning in particular, I found it difficult to attend to the duty of family prayer with my children. Charles said, mournfully, “Well, I do hope I shall soon be old enough to pray in the family when papa is absent, and then mama won't have to do it.”
On no occasion could he be persuaded to go to bed without first joining me in prayer.
If I told him that I would pray with him after he was in bed, he would say, “ No, mother; no, mother; I shall get to sleep.” During this whole year he would come, sometimes more than once in a day, and pull me by my sleve, and say, “ Mother, will you go into the other room and pray with me? I do want a new heart, I do want to love the Lord Jesus Christ.” Often after having been to church, I would find him sitting by himself and the big tears rolling down his face, and on inquiring what made him weep, his reply was," } am a sinner.”
In the spring we went to reside at H. The thought of having my family once more together was delightful, and yet my soul was bowed down under a sense of great responsibility, in view of occupying a new and difficult station. But how little did I anticipate the cup of trembling of which I was so soon to drink. We were soon settled in our new residence. Early the following morning I went into my room and with unwonted solemnity I consecrated myself, my children, my room, my all, to God. I entreated the Lord to show me the plague of my own heart, and to dethrone every idol from the altar of my affection. In less than one short week, my dear Charles lay a corpse in that room. Thus you see, my friend, God took me at my word.
On our removal to H. my children, three in number, were all animated at the prospect of having access to their uncle's bookstore. Charles appeared in usual health, except he was thin in flesh, and walked occasionally lame. The same morning that I had made this renewed self-dedication, while reading the scriptures before family prayers, as Charles finished reading his verse, I saw a silent tear trembling upon his cheek. I beckoned him to come to me, and on inquiry, he said he was sick. As I led him to my room he looked very
earnestly in my face, and said, “Mama, I shall never be well again.” These words were like a dagger piercing my heart. The suggestions of many friends that he was fast ripening for heaven, had often served but the more effectually to make me feel that whatever else I might be called to resign, I could not lose this child.
Our other little boy was taken sick the same day. We sent for a physician, but no medicine had the slightest effect on Charles. His disease was soon discovered to be an inflammation in the bowels. When I was left alone with him, he would
say, “Dear mother, pray with me.” I often spoke to him of the preciousness of Christ, and told him that he was safe in his hands; but he was so very sick, and so much was constantly doing for him, that little opportunity was afforded for conversation. We invited two clergymen, morning and evening alternately to pray with us, in this time of deep anxiety, by the couch of our suffering boy. We all of us prayed with him as if we thought him on the confines of the grave; still he manifested no anxiety as to the event of his sick
Two days before his decease he asked me if the bell tolled in H. when persons died. On the morning of the day he died, I was much elated with the hope that he was better, as he appeared entirely free from pain, and some other symptoms were also favorable, though he was more feeble. My eldest little boy was often seen going into a closet adjoining the sick room. I asked why he left his little brother. I feared he would stay with us but a short time. He said, “ Mama, I go to ask God to give my little brother a new heart before he dies," His papa asked him if he felt able to repeat a hymn. He began:
"Jesus, my all, to heaven is gone,
His voice at once faultered; his
eyes suddenly closed upon
all terrestrial objects; and in less than two short hours his gentle spirit, I trust, was forever released from that clog of sin and guilt, which, even in his infancy, had so often constituted his burden.
The posture of my soul was now like that of David. " I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because thou didst it.” How consoling the reflection, that under such rebukes nature may have leave to speak in tears, since Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus. These were often my repast the succeeding year. As my time was wholly occupied, my grief was often expressed in ebullitions of sorrow. One
year had elapsed when the sun seemed to rise as it did the morning when my darling's sun set forever. I was overcome ; I wept aloud; I wept inordinately.
Our friend, the Reverend T. H. G. with whom we were associated in our work, seated himself by my husband's secretary, and shortly after presented me the following sweet lines. Till now my thoughts had too often found a lodgment in the cold grave. But from this hour, when my fond heart, with Mary, would inquire, “Where have ye laid him?" a voice from within, and from without, proclaimed, “He is risen;" and the Savior, I trust, has since filled the aching void in my maternal breast. Very affectionately, yours.
LINES ADDRESSED TO MRS. W. ON THE DEATH OF HER SON. The turf lies gently on his head,
Repose on Him, who once did take
Such infants to his arms.
Then do not weep; a little while
Will give him to thy love again;
And soothe, himself, a mother's pain
And he, perhaps, thy voice will raise
harmony, They do not sleep; in heaven they wake; And teach thee how the Friend to praise, And safe from all alarms,
Who died to rescue him from thee.
THE MOTHER AT HOME, OR THE PRINCIPLES OF MATERNAL DUTY FAMILIARLY ILLUSTRATED, BY REV. J. 8. C. ABBOTT,
Is a little work recently published. The title is not only happily chosen, but its contents are admirably adapted to interest and instruct mothers.
The great fundamental principles of education, and their effects upon human mind, are most clearly illustrated and enforced by familiar and striking examples, drawn from common life. Many errors in family government are pointed out, and an antidote provided. The whole work is manifestly the result of much observation and reflection. It enforces the necessity of unity of design between parents, in maintaining family government. It shows the fallacy of that belief which grows out of the preconceived notion that the art of governing is an innate and hereditary principle; that, on the contrary, it is the effect of persevering study, reading, and reflection, and is capable of boundless improvement; and that it is an act of injustice to our children if we do not become familiarly acquainted with the results and experiments of others. We are exceedingly gratified that the plan, suggested in the 5th No. of the Mother's Magazine, of keeping a “Mother's Note Book,"is so highly approved by this discriminating author; and we feel not a little flattered that the original plan, revised and enlarged by ourselves for the Mother's Magazine, has been given entire in this invaluable little volume ; exciting the hope that this, or a similar plan, will eventually be adopted and acted upon by most mothers in our land. We give the following extract:
6. A good boy generally makes a good man.' Said the mother of Washington, George is a good boy. Here we see the secret of his greatness. George Washington had a mother who made him a good boy, and instilled into his heart those principles which raised him to be the benefactor of his country, and one of the brightest ornaments of the world. The mother of Washington is entitled to a nation's gratitude. She taught her boy the principles of obedience, and moral courage and virtue. She, in a great measure formed the character of the hero, and the statesman. It was by her own fireside that she taught her playful boy to govern himself, and thus was he prepared for the brilliant career of usefulness which he afterwards pursued. 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.”
FOR SEPTEMBER, MDCCCXXXIII.
For the Mother's Magazine.
THEIR GRAND OBJECT IS TO MAKE EVERY CHILD, WHILE HE IS A CHILD, A BILIEAER
IN THE BIBLE."
I first saw the above quotation in a “ liberal paper, to whose columns it was transferred, as deserving of severe animadversion. The idea of making a child, wohile yet a child, a believer in Revelation, was spoken of with a sneer. " Can they not depend upon the mature judgment of manhood? No; they must take the infant mind while it is yet tender, and capable of being directed any way." You perceive the scope of the writer's design. The reasoning has an air of dangerous plausibility around it. With thousands it would pass as conclusive. Leave children to grow up, and form their own opinions about religion. Your interference only transfuses into them a hereditary faith. It prejudices their minds. It forecloses independent inquiry.
And are there no mothers, who read your Magazine, on whom this arch fallacy holds a secret, if not acknowledged influence ? I have known such instances. But I do not say there are any now. Is it not, however, important that every weapon hurled against the sentiment which my motto teaches, should be fairly met?
I propose to offer some reasons why it is incumbent on every mother to labor diligently to make her child, while he is a child, a practical believer in the Bible.
1. It is in perfect consistency with the policy we adopt in other respects.
It is said the children of this world are wiser in their generation, than the children of light. We should endeavor, therefore, to profit, as far as we can, from their policy. Now, it is a plain fact, that every considerate parent, who wishes his child to possess any particular traits of character, takes pains to instil them, while he is a child. He does not fear that he shall thus instil prejudice, or check free inquiry. He proceeds, unhesitatingly, to direct in the education, model the habits, dictate the pursuits, and influence the wholo future course and history of the child. Shall we retort upon the gainsayer his favorite cavil, “ Can you not depend upon the mature judgment of manhood ? Why not leave the infant mind unprejudiced and free, that in its riper age it may choose its own course, and form its own character? No parent reasons thus in worldly things. Then, why in religious things ? Are not the children of this world wise in this course? Unquestionably wise. Then, why shall we not profit from their wisdom?