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The first convert was her eldest daughter. The two eldest sons followed, and before long the whole of her nine children were hopefully converted to God. The husband's conversion came last of all. He was not willing for a time to believe in the reality of the change which had taken place in himself, and was afraid to speak of it to any one. But soon the blessed fact was too plain to be denied or doubted longer. And now, in her husband's conversion, the last prayer of this praying wife and mother was answered. All she had asked of God had been given her. "Not one thing had failed of all the good things which the Lord her God had spoken concerning her. All had come to pass unto her ; and not one thing had failed thereof” (Josh. xxiii. 14).
It is related in the life of Mrs. Winslow, that she determined, with God's blessing, that every member of her family should share with her the enjoyment of the redeeming mercy of God in Christ.
While she lived, she gave herself unceasingly to prayer, as perhaps only a mother can do; and when she died, it was with an is unshaken assurance” that she and all her children would be united, " an undivided family in heaven.” Some of her last words, spoken on her dying bed, were, “My faith is still strong and confident, that I shall meet all my dear children in heaven."
“This expectation,” says a Christian mother, who is seeking to encourage other mothers from Mrs. Winslow's example—“this expectation was not fully realized before her death.” But it is fully realized now. All her children have been brought to Christ; and the last convert, who had held back the longest, is now earnestly devoting the leisure allowed him by a laborious profession to the blessed work of “winning souls” to Christ. As he himself had not sought the Lord till the season of youth had long gone by, his warmest appeals are made to young men, urging them to give their youth to God.
All this, in the way of means, is to be set down to the account of the prayers of this praying mother. We know that the real power which had done it all was the sovereign grace of God. But then, the prayers of a Christian mother-answering to the wires of the electric telegraph-are the most powerful of all conductors through which this very grace of God passes into the souls of her children. "I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord God, I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them” (Ezek. xxxvi. 37).
Few names are better known to the religious public in England and America than the name of the Rev. John Angell James. He was a minister of the gospel in Birmingham for upwards of fifty years; most devoted to his work, and most successful in it. One of his printed books, “ James's Anxious Inquirer,” is believed to have been the means of the conversion of hundreds of sinuers to God. Mr. James's mother was a most devout Christian woman; and
to her prayers Mr. James, in his after-life, thus gratefully refers : “I remember my mother taking me into her chamber, and pour. ing her fervent and pious breathings over my infant head. And who can tell how much of all that follows in my history is to be traced to a mother's prayers ?” Who indeed? Who can tell how much of any son's after success in life is owing to a godly mother's influence and prayers ?
Praying mothers, only go on praying, and God will give you, too, the “desire of your heart in the salvation of your children's souls! Be sure you never give them up !
Oh, blessed mothers, these praying mothers ! Oh, blessed children of such mothers ! Christian mothers, take these as your examples and encouragements. Pray for your children. Pray for them one by one, by name. Pray on, till
your prayers are heard, and the souls of all your children are safely gathered into the fold of Christ.
If your children are young, pray with them! Take them with you, now and then, into your own room alone, and placing them beside you, on your knees ask God to bless them and save them. It is feared that not many, even amongst Christian mothers, do this; and yet hardly anything can promise so large a blessing, both to the mother and to her children.
Dr. Chalmers, writing to a mother, says, “On the religious education of children, I shall only say that you cannot begin too early; that God should be spoken of to the very youngest, and the name of Jesus Christ familiarized to them; and every association of reverence and love that the tone and style of the parent can attach to the business of religion, should be established in them. Their consciences are wonderfully soon at work.” A greater than Dr. Chalmers
says, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mark x. 14).
EARLY PIETY._" Suffer the little children to come unto Me." Oh yes, it is my firm belief if little children were brought to Him early ; if prayed over, watched over, instructed by degrees as they are able to bear it, before the seeds of sin in the heart have sprouted and blossomed, and the fruit has been formed in the plant; if sin was pointed out to the child in its proper character, as a noxious weed to be rooted up and cast away; if the rising and perplexing visions of this world were thrust afar on this side and on that, and the Saviour was shown in His real form and character, as altogether lovely : then, I cannot help believing, that our children would grow up as olive branches, and be fair and graceful (with Christian graces) as the polished corners of the temple.-C. B. Tayler.
Great God, we praise Thy gracious care,
THE SCHOOL AT THE TABLE.
HE education of our children is not only that which they get at school, nor yet the result simply of the hours of actual book study at home. The gathering together of a family for the purpose of partaking of its regular meals has a great edu
cating influence, either for good or for mischief. The multiplication-table and the dinner-table are not very distant relations. Each plays its part in the work of juvenile progress, though different in character and in methods of operation. To most children, dinner is more attractive than multiplication. An object-lesson with knife and fork on good steak and wholesome pudding will command a degree of attention seldom gained by the best arithmetical blackboard exercise. An educating influence generally has power in proportion to its attractiveness.
The goodness of a meal consists not entirely in the excellence of the food placed upon the table or the costliness of the crockery from which it is eaten. There may be dainty food, prepared by skilled cooks, and served with all conceivable luxurious appliances, the eating of which is dismal business. There are mistaken souls who come to the board at which their children sit, insisting that, though the children may be seen, they shall not be heard. There are starved children at these tables who, even though they be crammed with food, pine for a ray of the sunshine which beams from a genial Christian heart in sympathy with the nature of a child.
The daily lessons of neatness or slovenliness, politeness or rudeness, are more thoroughly learned at the table than elsewhere. Whoever is habitually tardy at meals, or tumbles into place at table with unkempt hair, untidy hands, or clothes hurriedly heaped on, need not essay to teach children lessons of politeness or gentility. No matter how poor the family, or how plain the meal, good arrangements and genuine gentility have their mission under every roof.
We have no business to be slovenly or rude, merely because no strangers are present. Home is a sacred place, and we want the best of everything when we have it to ourselves, just as surely as if we have a house full of company.
And let us teach our children to thank the Giver of all good for every meal they eat. There are empty formulas of ejaculatory worship mumbled over beef and mutton, which are in no sense a looking to the Lord for His grace and blessing. The honest spirit of prayerful thanksgiving should be manifested at every meal, if we expect God to bless what we eat to our strength and growth. Bring in the dinner! Set on the provision of "herbs and
contentment,” rather than the "stalled ox and hatred therewith." Let the food be the most wholesome that the money will buy, and let its good not be turned to evil by the cookery. Draw up the great arm-chair for the old grandfather, and set the high-chair for the baby. Let each and all be decorously in their places, while the Giver of every gift is asked to be present at the feast. Then let cheerful conversation aid digestion. To the garret with the discontented and the disagreeable. Banish all that is unlovely, and let thankful enjoyment pervade the room till the last mouthful is eaten. Such a meal will be a means of grace to the soul as well as a means of refreshment to the body.
SYMPATHY. YMPATHY is not only the power to feel with and for another, it is also the power to restrain selfishness, and repress all outward manifestations that would chill or wound the feelings of others. The gift of sympathy is one of the sweetest manifestations of love. The mother has it for her babe in a wonderful degree. Long before any eyes but hers can discern the expression in an infant face, she sees the light of intelligence kindling in the eyes, the
smile dimpling the mouth. She hears the joyous "coo," soft breathing murmur of satisfaction, as plainly as the cry of impatience or of pain. God has implanted and hallowed the sensitive quick tenderness——the sympathy in the maternal heart.
But as no human emotion is perfect, this feeling requires both watchfulness and guidance, or it becomes mere idolatry or declines into indifference. The good of the object is the end that love aims at. So the mother does not cease to wash her child thoroughly, though the little creature dislikes it; she has to give the disagreeable medicine and to dress the painful sore with all firmness, while her heart is throbbing with pity. She must learn to say “No," and make her baby early understand and obey that hard little word. She must not yield to the cry of temper, nor allow the assaults of infant passion. In loving firmness she must rule from the time that her baby smiles-up at her from the breast. Yes; loving firmness is true sympathy.
But there comes a time when children have outgrown the helplessness and the beauty of infancy; when they are frequently noisy and tiresome and self-assertive. Then, often, even with loving mothers, there is a decline in sympathy. Wearied with many trials, the mother is content to know that she loves her children, and does, as she says, her duty by them; but their plays and pursuits and companionship have no longer the hold they had