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Mr. Edgeworth, in one of his valuable works on Education, suggests the advantages likely to arise from the formation of Education Societies, consisting entirely of Parents. Were this idea carried into execution, it would more effectually assist this great cause, secure the happiness of Parents, and promote the interests of the rising generation, than any other means that could be devised. . And could Mothers have a more delightful, or a more profitable topic for consideration and discussion, than the intellectual and moral culture of human nature, in its most important and most interesting stage*? Would not the time thus spent, be as agreeably and as advantageously employed as in the assortment of lace and riband; in discussing each other's dress and looks; the success or failure of an entertainment; the shape of a carriage; the superiority of one street, or one set of furniture, or one acquaintance, on the score of
* If my subject is not one in which you are interested,it is one which is in itself most interesting. It is one so interesting, that were I a legislator, I would begin here to legislate.—Lecture 24 on Education.—M. Allen.
fashion, to another? In daily preparations for nightly exhibitions in a crowd, into which neither talents, nor virtues, nor information, nor merit of any sort will be required as the passport; where the ignorant, the presuming, the frivolous, the insignificant, are on a level with the intelligent, the modest, the actively virtuous, the high-minded!
And it is well if this busy trifling, this frivolity, this dissipation, which is dignified by the name of employment—this contemptible eagerness, this frenzy for what is new, and gay, and fashionable, which has seized all ranks, and encroached upon every sacred duty; if this heartless trifling terminate in mere folly; if it lead not to sentiments, to feelings, to practices at utter variance with the principles of the religion we profess*.
* We must speak out: Their Christianity is not Christianittf.—Wilberforce. • ■
Whatever is foolish, ridiculous, rain, earthly, or sensual in the life of a Christian, is something that ought not to be there.; it is a spot and a defilement that must be washed away with tears of repentance. But if any thing of this kind runs through the course of our whole .life, if we allow ourselves in things that are either vain, foolish, or sensual,
Could Mothers be awakened to a sense of their culpability, to a feeling of their utter degradation when they abandon their children for the world; when they devote that time and that attention to trifles, which, under the guidance of nature, of reason, and of Christianity, might be improved to the noblest purposes: could they be roused to a fulfilment of their high destination: could Parents be persuaded to associate, to correspond, to devote themselves to their First duty, these " Hints" would no longer be re
we renounce our profession.—Serious Call to a Holy Life.—Rev. W. Law.
Must it not excite our grief and indignation, when we behold Mothers forgetful at once of their own peculiar duties, and of the high office which Providence designed their daughters to fulfil, exciting, instead of moderating in them, the natural sanguineness and inconsiderateness of youth; hurrying them night after night to the resorts of dissipation; thus teaching them to despise the common comforts of the family circle; and instead of striving to raise their views, and to direct their affections to their true object, acting as if with the express design studiously to extinguish every spark of a devotional spirit, and to kindle in its stead an excessive love of pleasure, and perhaps a principle of extravagant vanity, and ardent emulation ?— W'dberforce on Practical Christianity.
quired; this humble offering of love would be discontinued, under the conviction that this great cause must prosper if Practically taken up by those most capable of understanding and of executing it, whose bounden duty it is, and whose highest delight and glory it should, and might be.
Books on the subject of education are now numerous, and many of them excellent; these are read and talked of, but unfortunately few consider it to be their business to act upon the suggestions they contain. It is evident (hat the same course will continue to be pursued, that no alteration or improvement will or can take place in this momentous concern, till Parents undertake the all-important, the deeply-interesting, the sacred duty.
While Parents prove themselves indifferent to the true interests of their children, while they remain deaf to the voice of nature, of conscience, and of duty, can it reasonably be expected that any other individual (however well qualified in many respects) should perform, as it ought to be performed, what Parents consider as too ignoble, too troublesome, too burdensome a task?
Could Mothers assume the courage and have the perseverance to devote their time and to give their undivided attention to this grand object; could they resolutely determine to employ the powers bestowed upon them for the express purpose of sowing in infancy the seeds of knowledge and of virtue, of all that is great and good; could maternal affection and maternal skill be engaged in the cause, with an earnest determination assiduously to perform the part of duty, a gradual but certain reformation and improvement would take place; the poor and false pleasures of dissipation would be despised, foreign joys would no longer be sought, the treasure and the heart would be at home; sure and rich to Parents, to children, to society, would be the reward *.
It is acknowledged that Mothers have a peculiar art in conciliating the affections of children, that there is an inexpressible charm accompanying the intercourse between Mo
* Were it generally understood that the education of children is the Mother's peculiar province; an important trust committed to her by her Maker, education, at that early period, would, I am persuaded, be'carried on more accurately than it is at present.—Lord Kaimes.