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have occasion to say, because of his sin, “ The Lord hath chastened me sore;" he shall, however, be able to add, “but He hath not given me over to death.” When we are corrected and scourged for our transgressions, “we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”
Let the child of God consider in his heart, “that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord our God chasteneth thee” (Deut. viii. 5). Let us “not despise the chastenings of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction; for whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” T. W. M.
2 Tim. i. 5.—The question is often asked, “By whom shall Jacob arise?" One answers one thing and one another ; but if I may be permitted to give a partial answer, though I believe a true one, I will say to pious mothers : Yes; a woman had the unspeakable blessing of being the mother of our Lord and Saviour
r; so woman, collectively, shall be the mother of the church. Ten thousand Loises and Eunices will, at the same time, be training their little Timothys on the knee, and with sweet and persuasive speech, instilling into their opening minds the words of those Holy Scriptures, which are able to make them wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.' A genuine and thorough reformation must commence in the family, which is the foundation of all social institutions, civil and religious. Here is the root whence springs the whole tree, with all its spreading and twining branches. And if true religion, to be general, must begin in the domestic circle, to whom will belong the chief agency and the most distinguished honour ? Undoubtedly, to pious mothers. Theirs must be the hands which plant the precious seed; theirs the prayers and tears which water the growing plant; theirs the kind, seasonable, and well-adapted instructions which distil into the tender, susceptible mind, like the gentle rain on the tender grass, or the more imperceptible dew on the thirsty plant. A.
PLAYING AT BEING MOTHERS.
SHORT time since, as I was walking through a street in the suburbs of the city, my attention was attracted to a group of girls, who appeared to be quarrelling. On going up to them, with a view of making
peace, if possible, I saw a very little child beat an elder girl with considerable violence; then, pushing her to the wall, she said, from the top of her voice," there, miss, do so again if you dare !” Observing that this only provoked a laugh, I concluded there was not much
anger, and therefore inquired what rough amusement they were following. One of the elder girls replied, “Oh, ma'am, we are only playing at being mothers, and it was her turn,” pointing to the little one.
How much I then wished I could gather the mothers round me, there to show them how they themselves were reflected in their children. I asked the one who was so violently using the elder girl, if her mother punished her so severely? She replied, “Oh, that she do, and a great deal worse, she beats us and calls us names, and father don't like it at all.” I inquired of another, if she was accustomed to be beaten? “Our mother never punishes us unless we deserve it, and then she is very sorry;" at which a meek and pleasing girl voluntarily added, “mother sometimes whips us, but then she takes us up-stairs by ourselves, and she always prays to the Almighty to forgive us for doing wrong." I did not need to ask many questions—the dress, the tone, the manners of each one bespoke the character of the home in which she dwelt; and I looked on them as future mothers acting out the example they were set by their parents—their mothers in particular.
It would be well did every mother bear in mind, that as she does, so will her children after her; that it is far more what she is, and what she does, than what she directly teaches them, that will go to form their habits and characters. And if mothers are brought to consider what a powerful influence they have in their families, they will feel the need of constant watchfulness over their own conduct, remembering that their children will not only be copies, but probably exaggerated copies of themselves; if they take one step aside, the children will very likely take two.
I have heard some mothers say—“ I can't teach my children myself, but I send them to school; so it will not be my fault if they are not what they should be.” Certainly a mother does right to send her children to school ; but she makes a sad mistake if she thinks the chief teaching is from the lesson-books. The mother teaches all day long by her temper, her talk, her tidiness or untidiness, by her conduct to her husband, and her household doings. 'Tis her example which teaches. If a mother governs herself, her children will learn obedience. If she neglect this first duty to herself, she will fail with them.
Bishop Wilson's PRAYER.-0 LORD! give me skill and conduct, that with a pious, prudent, and charitable hand I may govern those committed to my care; that I may be watchful in ruling them, earnest in instructing them, fervent in loving them, and patient in bearing with them.-- From the Mothers' Almanack for 1871.
ORDS may be termed the expression of ideas; and a
single word will often convey a meaning that strikes the mind with greater effect than a long sentence. The word Mother may be derived from the Hebrew word Em, signifying love; from which comes the Latin amo, and the English word amiable. That the word Mother should thus mean love, is most
appropriate, as no affection is so strong, so durable, so self-denying, as that of a mother.
If a mother's love is thus strong, her influence upon the child is in many cases equally so. No one can read the characters of the kings of God's ancient people, but must have obeserved how particular the sacred historian is in giving the name of the monarch's mother, when he ascended the throne of his fathers; plainly intimating that the reign of the king would be prosperous or adverse, according as his training had been influenced by maternal example and precept.
When one of the courtiers of Alexander the Great told him of the misgovernment of his mother in Macedon, “ Hold,” said the king, “ remember she is my mother."
It has often been remarked, and the remark is indeed true, We
may have many friends and near relatives, but never can we have more than one mother."
What made the men that composed the States of Greece so brave in war ? It was because the mother sang the warlike songs of the poets of her country, and thus early imbued their minds with the love for martial deeds. The matrons of Rome kept the same object before the minds of their sons, and thus silently laid the foundation of that empire whose arms subdued, and whose arts civilized, all the then known parts of the world.
If, then, in heathen lands, such is the influence of mothers, how much greater is its importance among Christians! Many of our most self-denying missionaries and devoted ministers have become such by the training and prayers of a mother, although that mother might perhaps be but little known or noticed in the world, as the poet says
“ Scarce heard of half a mile from home.” The writer well remembers his mother's Bible, in which so many pins were stuck at the promises and sentiments of instruction, to know where they might more readily be found; and even when a new Bible was introduced into its place, the old one was not removed, but was retained as a memento from which many a source of comfort had been derived in past seasons of affliction and sorrow.
A mother's prayers are often the last thing and the most diffi
cult for a child to forget, even when arrived at manhood. The room where for so many years they had been so unceasingly and fervently offered up, those tears that have so copiously flowed, and those mild but decisive reproofs upon the wayward course of the youth, cleave like iron into the very soul of the child, and follow it even to the grave. There is an anecdote related of a wild youth, who, when told by his mother that she should at the last day be a swift witness against him, so affected him that he soon altered his conduct, and became eventually an ornament to the Church of Christ.
"I MEAN TO BEGIN BY-AND-BY."
HIS was said by a young mother whose friend had been urging on her the importance of habituating her children to unhesitating obedience. Although there was no very annoying conduct on the part of her
children, it was evident to a watchful eye that obedience was not the rule. Mamma often felt them troublesome, yet never apprehended how she might spare herself by far the greater amount of vexation they caused. She hoped her children would grow up the best of children, and that the errors of to-day would be corrected to-morrow, forgetting how the act of to-day generates the habit of to-morrow, and that “the beginning is always the beginning of the end.” Her eldest child not being quite three years of age, a little perverseness she thought might be naturally expected and excused; and when she was "old enough to understand, then she purposed to exact implicit obedience.” She did not, however, recognize this present deficiency of understanding in other things. The child was pressed forward into the list of pupils for many a task, alike unnecessary and unsuited to its infant powers ; but it was
not old enough” to understand that every command meant what it expressed. 'Tis remarkable that this very individual would often notice the quickness of perception in her children, and would even remark that her infant in the cradle could distinguish a smile from a frown, yet could not be persuaded that a child of three years old could comprehend the meaning of a look, an uplifted finger, or a word, when employed as a vehicle of prohibition or command, simply because she had not made it a habit with the child to notice the signal. Papa was somewhat wiser ; but he found he could do little alone, in fact nothing, against mamma's influence; and here, as in numberless instances perpetually around us, we might trace the baneful effect of the absence of sympathy in the parents as to their general principles of domestic government. A little incident occurred in this family, which, as it may help
us to show how, by early mistakes in training children, lasting and grievous evils are created, we will narrate what we saw. Our object will be gained if one young mother should be stimulated to remember that by a little want of self-denial and gentle firmness on her own part, she may be nurturing self-will and insubordination in her child.
The little girl was amusing herself on the carpet, and watching papa who was writing, and seeing him frequently use his ruler, she went up to the table, and, looking very archly, ran off with it. “ Anna must not take my ruler,” said papa; “I cannot spare it bring it me, my love.” The ruler was not returned. “ Anna, repeated papa,"" did you not hear me tell you to bring me back the ruler ? " He continued to look at her with an expression of decision, not of anger, and said, “ directly, Anna." She then clenched the ruler with both hands, and retreated to the farthest end of the room. Papa immediately rose, made the little hands tingle which had held the ruler, and led her out of the room to stand in a corner of the hall. The child began to cry bitterly, and kicked the door to obtain admission. On hearing this, mamma, who was up-stairs, came down, immediately wiped her eyes, hushed her, and led her into the room. “My dear,” said papa,
" Anna must not come in, she has disobeyed me.” Oh, but I cannot have a noise,” said mamma, “she will wake baby; he is only just gone to sleep." “But I cannot allow her to come in,” reiterated papa, who explained what had happened ; but as baby must not wake, and Anna would cry, mamma placed her in a corner in the parlour, which, under the circumstances of the case, was no punishment at all. The child conquered by crying, and her subsequent conduct proved she had found out the ready means of easy victory. We think papa should have maintained his ground, but we can find some excuse for him in not wishing to oppose mamma in the presence of the child. No one now suffers more than mamma for the mistakes she has committed (for this was one of a series), and she is still intending, “ by-and-by," to have better plans. The work in the meantime is becoming more and more difficult every day, because it was not begun at the beginning. We fancy we hear some mothers saying, “I am sure if I was to push matters thus, I should do little else than punish.” We are not afraid to say we are sure she makes a mistake. Our own experience convinces us that the first step is the only really difficult one; and few punishments will be found needful in that establishment, be it large or small, where at the outset it is understood that the child is to obey. Let this one lesson be wisely taught, and the child may be truly said to be educated for life, since it lays that firmest foundation of moral character-self-control-without which the graceful accomplishments of polished life, or the useful arts of humble society, are comparatively worthless.