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tion and piety, with which she closed the service. At such times, she would explain to me the purposes of prayer, and teach me to love the good Being, who gave me father and mother, and made me happy. It was her practice, also, to seize the moments when my young heart was overflowing with cheerfulness and good-will, to remind me of the Father above, and direct my gratitude to him. Thus his image became associated in my thoughts with all that was gladsome and delightful; with every satisfaction and every enjoyment. It was mingled with all my remembrances of maternal fondness; and the love of God grew upon the same branch with the love of my parents. I sought to please him, I feared to offend him, I loved to speak of him, and to him, in the innocent openness of my young heart, and to regard him, in all respects, as I did my parents. Thus there was nothing of severity, or gloom, or dread, in my early religious feelings. I knew nothing of the dislike of religion, which I have seen in many others. The judicious piety of my parents made it a delight to me, and not a burden. I saw it mixing with all their thoughts and pursuits; most evidently the ingredient of life which did most to make them happy; never casting a gloom over them, never arraying them in sternness, nor driving away innocent pleasures; and thus it found its way to my heart, and blessed be He who has supported me! — it has never left my heart, or ceased to be its joy and peace. I have much inconsistency to be ashamed of, and many sins to lament; but—thanks to my pious parents, and the grace of God!—I have never failed to find religion a pleasure, and never withdrawn from my father's God.

O that parents would but take a hint of wisdom from this, and treat the young immortals committed to them as if they were indeed immortal! I have no children.


hath not pleased my Father that I shall leave my name behind me. I cannot, therefore, repay to my own offspring the debt which I owe to my parents. I can only entreat others to do it. And I do most earnestly solicit them to drive austerity from their religious teachings, and to make the idea of God not only one of the earliest, but one of the happiest of the infant mind. Let it be presented, not rarely, with ceremony, and on occasions of sadness and alarm, as if a fearful object of dread, which shuns all that is happy,

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but let it be a familiar thought, beloved, because always connected with happiness, and to be feared only by those who do wrong. Thus passed the years of childhood my happier were never known. I was made early familiar with the history and truths of revealed religion, and taught to act, every day, from a regard to them, before any other motive. My parents were very seldom known to employ other motives with their children than those of religion; and the consequence was, I was always made to inquire, Is it right? Will it please God? Would Jesus approve this? Is this doing as I would be done by? till such questions formed the standard of my conduct, just as, What will people think? Is this genteel? Is this for my interest? are the inquiries which decide the men of the world. They referred me, on all occasions, to the life and example of the Savior, and taught me to contemplate, with admiration and delight, the purity, benevolence, and piety, of that holy pattern. They tried to make it my ambition to imitate him; and never shall I forget how I was sometimes affected by the earnest and feeling manner in which they told me the wonderful story of his love and sufferings, and urged me to begin young and follow him.

Such, in general, was something of the system of parental instruction to which I owed so much; for it gave me a

religious propensity, which, in all the after struggles and sins of life, I never lost. Truly, God's greatest blessings are pious parents.


In the account which I gave, in the former chapter, of my religious education, I rather described the method of my parents, and the design they had in view, than its actual effect on myself; for I can by no means think that I at any time became altogether such as they wished to make me. But assuredly their labor was not lost; for the seed which they so faithfully planted, and assiduously cultivated, never has died, however feebly it may have flourished. The trunk has grown old, and begins to decay; it will soon fail; but there is hope that it" will sprout again, though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground," that it will spring up with new vigor and eternal beauty in the garden of God.

My childhood passed like that of other children who have tender and watchful parents, and has left as few distinct traces which are worth recording. The waves of time have flowed over the track which my little boat made, and I can discern its path no longer.

I was in my fourteenth year when I lost my mother. This is one of the events which made a lasting impression. She had been, for a long time, gradually wasting away, and I had seen the anxious countenance and manner with which my father watched her. But a boy, even of thirteen, is not likely to understand or realize such signs, and I remember I had no foreboding of the coming calamity. But, at length,

I observed an altered tone in the morning and evening prayer of my father, which impressed me. I began to suspect the truth. I observed more narrowly. I discovered that the form was wasted, the cheek had grown pale, the eye had sunk, and disease had made a fearful cnset, while my childish eyes had been blinded. And I do not wonder that they were blinded; for the calm and cheerful manner of my mother was unaltered, and she spoke and smiled as she always had done. But I now saw the truth, and every hour served to make me see it yet more plainly. My solicitude soon betrayed itself, and then my father summoned resolution to speak upon the subject to his children. The others were younger than myself. They were frolicking in all the unapprehensive lightness of childhood, when he called us around him. There were four of us. The youngest sprang upon his knee, and playfully put her lips to his mouth; while the rest of us, who perceived the emotion upon his face, gazed upon him, and gave him our hands without speaking. As soon as he could command himself, "My children," said he, "God has given you a good mother; but he is about to take her away from you. You will not see her much longer. She is visited by a disease which is hurrying her to the grave, and we can do nothing but weep, and give her back to God. But we must not weep," said he, bursting into tears, "for she is only going home; going to be happy, which she has not been here. It would be wrong to mourn, for she is only going to sleep a sweet sleep; and we shall all, by and by, sleep too, and then shall all rise together, if we have been good."

Not many days after this, my mother called me to her, as I sat in the chamber, and, kissing my cheek, “You are old enough," said she, "to know what death means, and to learn a lesson from it. I am soon to die. I have known it

for a long time, and have perfectly prepared my mind to meet the event. I have no longer reluctance or fear. And now, my dear son, while I speak to you, perhaps for the last time, hear my parting counsel. I have tried to teach you your duty, and to fill your mind with religious principles. Do not swerve from those principles. They are my support now, they always have been my support. You will need them as much as I do. And if you would cherish them, and have them strong, I charge you never pass a day without prayer. Promise me this, and I shall feel easy." I kissed her hand, and bowed my head; for I could not speak. She put her hand beneath the pillow, and, taking thence a locket, containing a braid of her own hair, she gave it to me. "I do not know," said she, "that departed spirits are acquainted with what happens to the friends they have left on earth; but if they are, I shall never cease to watch your life with maternal solicitude. Think of this whenever your eyes meet this memorial of my love. Reflect that perhaps I see you, and remember the promise you have made me; or, if not so," she added in a voice of inconceivable expressiveness, "reflect that God sees you, and bears witness whether you keep that promise or not. My dear son, farewell! A mother's parting blessing is on your head; and do Thou, O Father, bless him, and make him thine!" She kissed me again, and sunk back exhausted.

It seems as if I still heard her voice, and gazed upon her composed, but animated features. And it is one of the joyful anticipations of my approaching removal from earth, that I shall again see that face, and be united to her pure spirit, never to part more. I had no spirit, after this, to leave her side, or to engage in any occupation. I was suffered to remain near her, to see the gradual approach of dissolution, and to witness the tranquillity and cheerfulness with which

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