« AnteriorContinua »
on her. Now this should not be so. As human love is a far nobler thing than the mere animal affection dumb creatures show for their offspring, so it ought, if possible, to increase,-certainly not to decline,-as the child grows up.
I know a mother who is one of the neatest women I ever saw in all her household arrangements. Her children, when at dayschool, being promoted from pencil to pen-and-ink, had to write exercises at home in the evening. Their mother, fearing they might upset the ink, would not allow the use of it; and the result was, the boys made little progress at school, got dispirited and careless about their lessons, and if they could get away, misspent their evenings. Happily, a friend interposed; gave a word of praise to the boys for wishing to write at night; spoke of the value of good handwriting, and the need of practising it; and then the mother yielded. She was soon repaid by seeing the improvement and diligence of her boys,-a matter worth risking a few ink-spots to attain.
I once heard a poor woman who had to work very hard for her living, say to her little girl who had wanted to read to her : Oh, don't bother me; I've no time to listen." It went to my heart to see the look of disappointment that clouded little Mary's face at this rebuff. The mother was not without love, but she lacked sympathy.
How different the incident recorded by the writer of an essay on the Sabbath, which the good Prince Consort allowed to be dedicated to him. The young woman who wrote it was the daughter of a working gardener,-one among a large family, and living far away from any school. The children scrambled into a little acquaintance with books; and she records that when her mother was busy washing, she used to sit on a little chair near and read aloud to her; and at night, when the father came home, both child and mother talked over with him the reading of the day. That was an education. Its result was that this child grew up, not only intelligent, but pious; and her essay was approved and thought worthy to be read by some of the best and wisest in the land. The father and mother in this home were Christians; they had learned sympathy from Him who said, “Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also in Me."
When little Henry Kirke White first began to feel the promptings of the poetic faculty, he was a very shy, timid little boy of not more than seven years old ; but he ventured to whisper to his mother, “I have made some verses ; don't tell any one." And then the verses were repeated, and the mother and her boy kept the delicious secret, until practice made the child aware, as the mother soon was, that his was no common gift. The mother's sympathy in this case led her to undertake the work of teaching a little school, so as to have the means to help her boy to a better education. And though that gifted youth died in early life, he
left a name fragrant for all graceful attainments and Christian excellence.
I recollect once calling at the lodgings of a poor family in the west of London. The mother was in the midst of ironing, and the whole place was full. I wished to withdraw and call again, but the good wife and mother in that home begged me to remain awhile. I noticed that one corner of the crowded room was filled with what seemed a cumbrous bench or box, which was carefully covered over with a patchwork quilt. It was this that took up so much room and made the little place almost too small for the domestic work that was going on. Seeing my look at this object, my hostess said, with a smile of great glee on her kindly face,
" I'll let you see that. It's my husband's work of an evening."
With a wonderful glow of admiring love on her countenance she uncovered the bench, and there was a table-top, of various pieces of different kinds of wood, in a rich mosaic pattern.
“There, that's his work. There's them that grumbles, and says they'd not be bothered with a man chipping and glueing and all that every night, and putting things in my way ; but I says
it shows a head-piece in a man, and if I was twice as much put about for room I'd never hinder him."
“No, I should think not,” was my reply, as I admired her husband's ingenious and really beautiful work. It showed, as she said, "head-piece” in him, and her sympathy showed “ heartlove” in her.
That table, when finished, went to an Industrial Exhibition and sold for a sum that helped to take the man and his family to Melbourne, where he had long wanted to go; and there they have so prospered that the little room and the hardships of their early married days are only recalled to increase their thankfulness for the comfort of their present condition.
O mother! let your children's joys, sorrows, lessons, pursuits, and acquaintances, be all matters of interest to you. Show your sympathy with them in the little incidents of life. Make them your companions; win their confidence. Nothing can go very wrong with them while they confide in you.
O wife! let your husband feel that in his leisure hours his innocent hobbies and fancies, even if troublesome, excite your sympathy. It is a hard, cold world ; let united love defy the coldness, and strive prayerfully to walk together in oneness of heart and the blessed hope of the Gospel.-Home TVords,
ఆ0000000000000000000000000000eeeeee * LET EVERY ONE OF US PLEASE HIS NEIGHBOUR FOR HIS GOOD TO EDIFICATION FOR EVEN CHRIST PLEASED NOT HIMSELF."-Rom. xv. 2, 3. Com
THE INFLUENCE OF EXAMPLE.
HERE is no action of man in this life,” says Thomas of Malmesbury," which is not the beginning of so long a chain of consequences as that no human providence is high enough to give us a prospect to the end.” Example in
dubitably is one of the most potent of instructors, though it teaches without a tongue. It is the practical school of mankind, working by action which is always more forcible than words. Precept may point to us the way, but it is silent continuous example, conveyed to us by habits, and living with us in fact, that carries us along. Good advice has its weight, but without the accompaniment of good example it is of comparatively small influence; and it will be found that the common saying of "Do as I say, not as I do,” is usually reversed in the actual experience of life.
All persons are more or less apt to learn through the eye, rather than the ear; and whatever is seen in the fact makes a far deeper impression than anything that is read or heard. This is especially the case in early youth, when the eye is the chief inlet of knowledge. Whatever children see they unconsciously imitate ; and they insensibly become like those about them, like insects which take the colour of the leaves they feed on. Hence the vast importance of domestic training. For whatever may be the efficiency of our schools, the examples set in our homes must always be of vastly greater influence in forming the characters of our future men and women. The home is the crystal of societythe very nucleus of national character; and from that source, be it pure or tainted, issue the habits, principles, and maxims which govern public as well as private life. The nation comes from the nursery ; public opinion itself is for the most part the outgrowth of the home; and the best philanthropy comes from the fireside, “ To love the little platoon we belong to in society,” says Burke, . " is the germ of all public affections." From this little central spot the human sympathies may extend in an ever widening circle until the world is embraced; for, though true philanthropy, like charity, begins at home, assuredly it does not end there.
Even the mute action and unconscious look of a parent may give a stamp to the character which is never effaced; and who can tell how much evil act has been stayed by the thought of some good parent whose memory their children may not sully by the commission of an unworthy deed, or the indulgence of an impure thought? The veriest trifles thus become of importance in influencing the characters of men. “A kiss from my mother," said West, “made me a painter.” It is on the direction of such seeming trifles, when children, that the future happiness and
success of men mainly depend. Fowell Buxton, when occupying an eminent and influential station in life, wrote to his mother: “I constantly feel, especially in action and exertion for others, the effects of principles early implanted by you in my mind.”
The living man is a fruit formed and ripened by culture of all the foregoing centuries. Generations six thousands years deep stand behind us, each laying its hands upon its successor's shoulders; and the living generation continues the magnetic current of action and example destined to bind the remotest past with the most distant future. No man's acts die utterly; and though his body may resolve into dust and air, his good or his bad deeds will still be bringing forth fruit after their kind, and influencing generations of men for all time to come. It is in this momentous and solemn fact that the great peril and responsibility of human existence lies.
"BEHOLD! I STAND AT THE DOOR AND
KNOCK." WOMAN in Glasgow got into difficulties. Her rent was due, but she had no money for the landlord ; and she knew very well that he would turn her out
if she did not satisfy his claim. In despair she knew not what to do. A Christian man heard of her
distress, and came to her door with money to help her. He knocked, but, although he thought he could hear some one inside, yet the door was not opened. He knocked again, but still there was no response. The third time he knocked, but that door still remained locked and barred against him !
Some time after he met this woman in the streets, and told her how he had gone to her house to pay her rent, but could not get in. “O sir!" she exclaimed," was that you ? Why, I thought it was the landlord, and I was afraid to open the door!”
Dear friends! Christ is knocking at the door of your heart. He has knocked many times already, and now He knocks again by this message. He is your best Friend, although, like that woman, perhaps, you think He comes with the stern voice of justice to demand from you the payment of your great sin-debt. If so, you are sadly mistaken. He comes, not to demand, but to give ! “ The gift of God is eternal life." He knows you can never pay the great debt you owe to God. He knows that, if that debt is not paid for you, you are for ever lost! He loves you, though He hates your sins; and, in order that you might be saved, He laid down His life a sacrifice for the guilty. And, now, He comes ! bringing the gift of salvation to the door of your hearts. Will you receive the gift?-D. L. MOODY.
GOD'S RELATION TO MOTHERS.
but feels a new tenderness and sacredness added to relation to her husband. Dear as the babe is, con sidered simply as her own, it is yet more precious because
it is his. Closely and tenderly as she was united to him before, she feels the union to be closer and tenderer now.
In a still higher sense does a Christian mother find that her experience of maternity gives a new preciousness and sacredness to her relation to God. She was His creature before, now she is the mother of His creature. The great God has come very near to her.
He has made her the subject of the most marvellous exercise of His power which is ever exemplified. However lightly and profanely this may be treated by some, the Bible teaches us to regard it with the utmost reverence and solemnity.
The birth of a child is a more wonderful event than the creation of a material world. God causes a new human life to begin in mysterious connection with the life of the mother. It is possible to receive such a gift with natural joy, without duly regarding the Divine Giver. It is possible to feel the gush of that new fountain of affection, without thoughtfully considering who has opened it.
It is, perhaps, possible for a mother to look upon her own child and feel the pleasing emotions connected with the thought that it is her child, without solemnly remembering that it is a gift from God. It must not be so with Christian mothers. They should remember that God has come near to them in a wonderful manner, and has brought them into a new and peculiar relation to Himself. This relation is distinctly recognised in His word, and He has made it the subject of a special covenant. This covenant is indeed with both the parents, if they both are believers. I would fain encourage all such to take a strong hold upon God's promise, that He will be a God to them and to their seed after them. But in order to claim this promise, Christian mother, you must make the same unreserved commitment of your child to God which you are required to make of yourself. This, when you view God rightly, will be your highest privilege. You will commit your child to God more trustfully, more joyfully, than you lay it in the arms of its father. This may involve your consent to painful separation. You may be called to give up your child, in death, to Him who gave it; or you may be called to consent that the winds and waves shall bear that child far away from you to some distant heathen land, where “the Lord hath need of him.” There are many mothers who know by experience that, keen as the pang of such parting is, there is also a peculiar new joy which springs up from it like a clear fountain, and flows on in a serene and steady stream of precious experience through all the life.