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witnesses of anger or any evil passion. Above all things, therefore, those who have the charge of children should keep their own spirits in tranquility and purity. A mere babe will grieve and sob at the expression of distress on the countenance; he cannot possibly know what that expression means, but he feels that it is something painful. As the
first step in education, I have recommended gentle but constant efforts to attract the attention and improve the bodily senses. I would here suggest the importance of preserving the organs of those senses in full vigour. For instance, the cradle should be so placed that the face of the infant may be in the shade. A strong light is dangerous to his delicate organs of vision; and if it be allowed to come in at one side, he may turn his eyes, in the effort to watch it.
The cultivation of the affections comes next to the development of the bodily senses ; or rather, they may be said to begin together, so early does the infant heart receive impressions.
Kindness towards animals is of great importance. Children should be encouraged in pitying their distress; and if guilty of any violent treatment towards them, they should see that it gives offence, and is not approved of. But before showing any disapprobation, a very young child should be made to know when he really does hurt an animal; for young children are often cruel from the mere thoughtlessness of frolic; they strike an animal as they would strike a log of wood, without knowing that they occasion pain.
I once saw a mother laugh very heartily at the distressed face of a kitten which a child of two years old was pulling backwards by the tail, At last the kitten, in self-defence, turned and scratched the boy. He screamed, and his mother ran to him, kissed the wound, and beat the poor kitten, saying all the time, “Naughty kitten, to scratch John ! I'll beat her for scratching John! There, ugly puss !” This little incident, trifling as it seems, had, no doubt, important effects upon the character of the child ; especially as the mother who would do such a thing once, would be likely to do it habitually. In the first place, the child was encouraged in cruelty, by seeing that it gave his mother amusement. Had she explained to him that he was hurting the kitten, and expressed her pity by saying, “Oh, don't hurt kitten ; she is a good little puss, and she loves John,” what a different impression would have been made on his infant heart! In the next place, the kitten was struck for defending herself; this was injustice to the injured animal, and a lesson of tyranny to the boy.
In the third place, striking the kitten because she had scratched him, was teaching him retaliation. For that reason, a chair or table, against which a child may have accidentally hurt himself, should never be struck,
or treated in an angry.manner. A grown-up person knows, to be sure, that an inanimate object is not capable of feeling pain, but the infant does not know it; the impression made upon him is, that it is right to injure when we are injured.
A spirit of revenge is one of those evil passions to which our nature is most prone, and with respect to which we should most anxiously guard against the influence of habit and of example. The mind of a child is not like that of a grown person, too full and too busy to observe everything; it is a vessel always ready to receive, and always receiving.
Every look, every movement, every expression, does something towards forming the character of the little heir to immortal life.
Does a mother regard it as too much trouble thus to keep a watch over herself ? Surely the indulgence of evil is no privilege; the yoke of goodness is far lighter and easier to bear than the bondage of evil. Is not the restraint which the mother imposes upon herself good for the child, and blessed, doubly blessed, to her own soul ?
The rule, then, for developing good affections in a very young child is, that he never be allowed to see or feel the influence of bad passions, even in the most trifling things; and in order to effect this, those who have the management of children should endeavour to drive evil passions out of their own hearts. Nothing can be real that has not its home within us. The only sure way, as well as the easiest, to appear good, is to be good.
A MOTHER'S PRAYERS.
After a very affecting meeting, “You are near port, mother," said the hardy-looking sailor, “and I hope you will have an abundant entrance.
“Yes, my child; the fair haven is in sight, and soon, very soon, I shall be landed
“On that peaceful shore
Where pilgrims meet to part no more.” “You have weathered many a storm in your passage, mother ; but now God is dealing very graciously with you, by causing the winds to cease, and by giving you a calm at the end of your voyage.'
“God has always dealt graciously with me, my son; but this last expression of His kindness in permitting me to see you
before I die is so unexpected, that it is like a miracle wrought in answer to prayer.”
“Oh, mother!” replied the sailor, weeping as he spoke, "your prayers have been the means of my salvation, and I am thankful your life has been spared till I could tell you of it."
She listened with devout composure to the account of his conversion; and, at last, taking his hand, she pressed it to her dying lips, and said, “ Yes, Thou art a faithful God, and it has pleased Thee to bring back my long-lost child, and adopt him into Thy family. I will say, 'Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.”
THAT SLEEPY CHILD. OME parents have a theory that their children, all of them, must be up and dressed by a certain hour every morning. But they have a great deal of
trouble in putting their theory into practice. The ten-year-old boy, hearty, healthy, and active, as only boys and young colts know how to be, sleeps like a log. In vain is the breakfast-bell rung in loud sonorous peal at the foot of the stairs. In vain is the knocking at his door. Harry will not get up.
His mother complains that nothing but a good shaking wakens the little fellow, and even then, unless she sees him out of bed and in the act of dressing, she does not feel sure of him. The fact that he sleeps as he does is the proof that be needs the sleep. He is growing fast, and nature demands for him the prolonged rest periods that she gives all her growing children. It is almost wicked to waken any child till he wakens himself. Much of the fretfulness and fractiousness, many of the contrary moods, and much of the naughtiness of children proceeds from the mistakes that are made in their physical education. They eat improper food at irregular times. They do not sleep enough, and they are cross and troublesome. In this matter of sleep the mistake is that many children sit up entirely too late at night. Little folks, who ought to be in bed with the birds, sit up as late as their fathers and mothers do, and are then expected to rise nearly as early. In the case of older children, lessons often interfere and defraud the brain and the rest of the body of its rightful repose. There is far too much task-work imposed on most boys and girls in the way of home study. An amount of labour that deprives a boy or girl of all time for play or for rest at home, is in the end a bad investment. Plenty of sleep should be allowed and insisted upon if you want your children to be strong, healthy, and wellbalanced.
A WORD TO THE YOUNG.
not the Lord Jesus Christ. We are always injured or benefited by every society into which we enter, and by every individual with whom we hold communion. It is a natural propensity, ever inherent in man, to be unceasingly desirous of engraving his own image on the heart of every one he associates with, and of delineating his own mind in the mind of his companions. Do not, I entreat you, meddle too much with the world. Act with regard to it as you would do in a shower of rain, when you put on your great coat and button it close, and take your umbrella, and, having protected yourself as well as possible, go through your business with all the speed you can. You never go out into the rain to loiter about for amusement or pleasure (2 Cor. vi. 14–18).
Unnecessary connection with the wicked is forbidden for a moment; how much more then for life! There are many who are now smarting beneath the consequences of being united to one who is irreligious.—Howels.
“I believe that the greatest power in the world, next to the ministry of the word, is, by the power of the Holy Ghost, the holy living of Christian families. Let us plant in this dark world garrisons of holy men and women with their children about them, and this will be a means whereby the world shall be conquered for Christ.”—Spurgeon.
“Infancy is the season of impression: then the feelings are tender, beyond any other time of life; then the memory is most susceptible, and at the same time most tenacious; then the conscience is not seared, and so soon as Divine truth can be introduced, it knows the voice of God."-President Edwards.
“Mothers, enlightened by the sunshine of true wisdom, and guided and sustained by the Holy Spirit, will effect more for mankind, and produce a greater change in the destinies of the human race, than the whole host of legislators and philosophers which the world has known."--Martin.
“Wholesome laws and good sermons are but slow ways forming men; the reformation of the world must begin with children.”—Tillotson.
“ The hope of the whole state rests on this stage of life, as that of the harvest on the blade of corn."—Wolsey.