Page images



who have infidel husbands, beware how you admit their principles into your own hearts. Do not sanction them by your silence, when they are advocated in your presence ; for the souls of your children will thus be endangered, nay, led on to ruin. I am well aware that wives are often placed in very trying circumstances. Yet, by faithful perseverance in duty, they may be the instruments in the hands of God in bringing their infidel husbands to Christ.

In the case of my deceased relative, never was there a better wife, a better neighbor, or a better friend; would to God I could add, a better Christian. But, alas ! she had not chosen that good part, which could not be taken away from her. O that I could stop here! My heart still bleeds at the recollection of the nephew. He might have been, and indeed promised to be, an ornament to society, loved and honored by all. What is he now? A sorrow, a living sorrow to his friends, degraded, despised, a slave to intemperance, an infidel, his wife and children beggared, and himself hastening to an untimely grave.

Who can tell how many more have been drawn into this vortex of infidelity? The day of judgment only will reveal how many have been led on, through the influence of this one infidel husband and uncle, to the ruin of their souls. Although he was a man of high intellectual attainments, beloved and respected in his social intercourse, so much the more was he to have been guarded against. Oh! how deplorable will be his condemnation in the day of final retribution!


For the Mother's Magazine.



1 Cor. 7: 16.

In a village in one of the New England states, some years since, at the commencement of a powerful revival of religion, among other individuals who came to converse with their minister upon religious topics, was a Mrs. B. the mother of a large and interesting family. Two of her children were already grown to maturity. She informed her pastor that she had entertained a hope of an interest in the Savior for sixteen years; but that she had been induced to defer uniting herself to the people of God by the remonstrances of her husband. By his great kindness, he had acquired such an ascendency over her affections, that to please him, had been, she feared, the chief object of her wishes and pursuits. Within a few weeks, her eyes had been opened to perceive the superior claims of the gospel. She now realized for the first time that her husband and children were traveling the broad road together. They had never reared a family altar,

Although from custom they frequented the house of God on the Sabbath, yet the truths of the Bible had never found a lodgment in of their hearts. She now felt satisfied that it was her duty to take up her cross, and to follow Christ. "I have been deluded,” said Mrs. B. “by the belief that my way




[ocr errors]

was hedged up by an insurmountable obstacle. I have substituted the good opinion of my husband for the approbation and the smiles of my Savior.” “I advise you to converse with your husband on the subject,” said her minister. Mrs. B. replied, “I have of late repeatedly urged my husband to yield his consent; but he says if I profess religion, he will never live with me another day. Though I fear the consequences of going forward in the way that my conscience dictates, may be painful, yet I fear still more the evils that threaten my family, if I continue to neglect a known and positive duty.” Her minister promised to propound her for admission.

On returning home from worship, on the day that she was received into the church, Mr. B. told his wife, as she knew his mind on the subject of her professing religion, he should be consistent with his former declarations, and ordered separate lodgings to be prepared for him that night. His wife silently and implicitly acceded to his wishes.

The next morning he told his family that imperious business called him from home to be absent for a few days. His horses and carriage were soon in readiness, and he hastily and abruptly left his dwelling.

Mrs. B. now felt the necessity of exercising that faith which is as an anchor to the soul. But she said within herself, “Shall a man complain for the punishment of his sins?"

Immediately on Mr. B.'s leaving home, Mrs. B. requested her eldest daughter to manage the household concerns in the best manner she was able, that she might herself enjoy the privilege of retiring, with her Bible, to her closet. The day was spent in fasting and prayer, and in reading lessons of heavenly wisdom from the word of God.

To her great joy, every page seemed to be illumined as with a sunbeam. She now felt that she could endure the loss of all things for the sake of him who bore her sins in his own body on the tree. Her soul, though elevated above the perishable things of time and sense, was in heaviness at the thought of an eternal separation from him she so dearly loved—from the companion of her youth, and perhaps too from her beloved children. She upbraided herself as an accessory, if not the guilty occasion of their life of worldliness; for had she fulfilled the sacred obligations imposed by an early hope of reconciliation to God, her husband and her children might, long since, have been devout worshipers in the courts of the Lord.

It was nearly sunset, when the noise of rattling wheels arrested her attention. Till now, no external object had disturbed her thoughts. The door suddenly opened, and her husband stood pale and trembling by her side.

“My dear wife,” he exclaimed, “ can you forgive your misguided husband ? I have learnt by sad experience this day, by the way side, that my opposition against you originated in hostility to the claims of God. Can you forgive me, and will you supplicate the forgiveness of God for me? for I have no cloak or excuse for the least of my sins."

Under an overwhelming sense of the goodness of God, in thus subduing and enlightening the mind of her dearest earthly friend, they prostrated themselves in the attitude of prayer, and wept, and confessed before the Lord their



sins of heart and life. Mr. B. informed his wife, that on leaving her in the morning, he went in direct opposition to the dictates of an enlightened conscience; that her silent and acquiescent conduct proved to him indubitably the efficacy of religion; and when contrasted with his own feelings, then “ lashed into a storm,” his soul was filled with shame and remorse. At times he expected to be dashed to the ground; twice he alighted from his carriage, and falling upon his knees, he would have confessed his sin and guilt; but his mind was dark and his heart was hard. IIe faintly ejaculated, “ God be merciful to me a sinner.” But on resuming his seat in his carriage, with an involuntary grasp he held the reins, as if his horses were hurrying him forward with uncommon velocity. His business was at M. sixteen miles distant from his home. At eleven o'clock he had progressed but eight miles on his way. Under a horse-shed he tried to compose his mind, but in vain ; he found himself wholly incapable of attending to any worldly business. IIe endeavored to rid himself of such uncomfortable reflections as crowded upon his mind with a force which he was unable to resist. For several hours, he felt like the guilty murderer flying from justice. At length he perceived that his opposition to God had manifested itself by the indulgence of ill will towards his affectionate wife. He resolved at once to return home, and ingenuously confess to her, and ask her forgiveness. On doing so, the scales of unbelief fell from his eyes, and tears of gratitude and penitence flowed in abundance.

Mr. B. immediately resolved on a religious life, which he determined to commence by rearing a family altar. But he had a stammering tongue; and so slow was his speech, that he trembled, lest, in his attempt to honor God, he might expose himself to the ridicule of his grown up sons, and other adult members of his family. He hesitated and delayed. His business at M. yet unaccomplished, was really pressing, and demanded immediate attention. He retired to his closet to ask the Lord to assist him in the duty of family prayer on the following Friday. But his mouth was shut. How could he ask the Lord to assist him to do a duty on Friday, which he might not live to perform then, and which was manifestly a present duty ? He saw the inconsistency of such a petition. He rose from his knees, went in pursuit of Mrs. B. and related to her the exercises of his mind. He then told her, that if she would bring out the little stand, and the great Bible, and would assemble the family, he would try to perform the duty of family worship, let the sacrifice of feeling be what it might. Mrs. B’s emotions of gratitude and joy were indescribable. She hastened to execute this glad commission.

As this father bowed himself, with solemn awe, before the majesty of heaven and earth, a breathless silence pervaded the youthful spectators of this affecting scene, and for the first time in their life, they realized a present Deity. The Spirit of the Lord came down and sat upon their hearts, the effect of whose operations was like that of the refiner's fire, and of fuller's soap. Who can measure the extent of that change, which, within a few days, had been wrought in a family whose hearts had so long been wedded to their idols? The tongue of the stammerer, now unfettered, was employed in anthems of praise for redeeming love and mercy; and the exclamation rose involuntarily to the lips of every beholder, “What hath God wrought!"



Mr. and Mrs. B. were now, with one heart, as sedulously and as perseveringly engaged in their efforts for the salvation of their whole family, as they had formerly been to secure for them a portion in the perishable things of time; and their efforts were not in vain in the Lord.

On learning the subsequent history of this family, who will not rejoice in view of the timely decision of Mrs. B.? Both parents, and all the children except two, have in rapid succession paid the great debt of nature, leaving behind them satisfactory evidence that they had experienced the grace of God which bringeth salvation, in answer to the prayers of a decided Christian mother.

For the Mother's Magazine.


In my desire to occupy a page of the Magazine, to say a few words to mothers, I claim to have no new plan to communicate, no particular defect to expose, and perhaps nothing further than merely to reiterate what may have been said by hundreds before me.

But I would exhort and encourage every mother, as she looks at the peculiar preciousness of her privilege, and the immensity of her duty. When the heart of the Christian is alive in grace, and fixed upon doing good, then the salvation of souls is the theme of his thoughts, and the burden of his prayers. Fixing the glory of God in his eye, Oh! how he pants to promote that glory, and swell the anthems of heaven, by becoming the instrument of the salvation of souls. Then every station in life, which helps him in that enterprise, though attended with many a toil and trial, becomes at once a station of unspeakable privilege.

In precisely that station I fix the mother. I know that the world is full of the theme of a mother's toils and griefs; and there may be points of view in which her lot is one of sorrow. Yet are not those toils and griefs surpassed by the high consideration of a mother's privilege, that peculiar privilege, to which I have alluded?

I am not writing an essay, and therefore shall not pause to dwell upon the nature and amount of her advantages in laboring for the conversion of her dear children to God. The pages of the Magazine have not been deficient upon that subject. It has become a truism, that none, like a mother, can feel for her child, can pray for it, can influence it, can take it, at the first dawn of intelligence, and lead it to the “ babe of Bethlehem, and the man of Calvary.” Nor need I pause to illustrate this by the powerful language of example. The time would fail me to speak of Samuel and Timothy, and a host of more modern worthies, among the departed; yes, and of a recently embarked missionary to China, among the living.

Mother, it is the privilege of your station which you ought to understand, prize, and improve. I may be enthusiastic, but I have so strong confidence in the promise of God, in relation to parental faithfulness, where it is main



tained with constancy, that I believe it is, without doubt, your privilege to become instrumental in the salvation of every child you have. If, then, as a Christian, you are panting to obtain conquests to the Redeemer's cause, as a mother, the opportunity is placed in your hands. You, above all others, need not go to heaven, and, (if such a thing be possible,) there wear a crown without a star—there carry not one precious stone to place in your Redeemer's diadem. You can do good. You can win souls to Christ. Oh! there is a glory in the thought. It places you at a lofty elevation, perhaps the loftiest in the scale of privilege, and of duty too.

When will mothers awaken to a full sense of it! When will Christian mothers reflect, that, in an important sonse, the destinies of the church are in their hands, and, may I not say it, with them, under God, rests the immense question, whether the millenium shall be delayed, or whether it shall come quickly? Will they meet the crisis by exclaiming, “Come quickly, even so come Lord Jesus”?

“ They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars, forever and ever.

B. B. H.


We would call the attention of mothers to a small pamphlet, entitled “PracTICAL Hints To MEMBERS OF MATERNAL AssociaTIONS AND CHRISTIAN Mothers.” We insert a brief extract, hoping to excite in every mother a desire to

possess this invaluable little tract, assuring them that they may derive equal aid upon all the subjects therein suggested.

“I recollect the method adopted by a mother, who was anxious that the habit

prayer should be early formed, and rendered agreeable to her children. At the

age of two years she commenced the daily practice of retiring with them as early as possible in the morning, before they were engaged in play, The habit of prayer was soon fixed, and it was their uniform choice to attend to it. As soon as they could read, the Bible was spread open, a very few verses read in turn, and one selected to be thought upon during the day, and for the last subject at night when she left them. She retired with them, to make the season as interesting as possible, and to prevent habits of inattention. As her cares increased, she at length permitted them to go alone, and still perceived the same cheerful attention to the duty. When a third little daughter was old enough, she was sent with the others, but manifested a decided aversion to it, often saying, “I don't love to pray.” It was not difficult for the mother to perceive her mistake, and she hasted to retrieve the error. At this tender age the mother's presence was wanted to encourage and lead the infant child to God, by the same gentle steps she had led the others. She soon learned to so love to pray;" and that mother assured me that she was a thousand fold repaid by the happiness and serenity diffused over the minds of her children through the day. When she was sick or absent, their little oratory was never forsaken, nor the passage of scripture neglected; and the text selected for the

« PreviousContinue »