Imágenes de páginas

Christian principle*. Some Parents may boast that their Children have attained literary excellence, that others are skilled in what are termed accomplishments, that a few present a union of both; but have they been taught to apply them to just and noble purposes? Have they been trained to consider their knowledge, their accomplishments—as comparatively useless, if devoted merely to their own gratification? Have they been taught that they are not putting these acquirements to their right use, if they do not also devote them to the service, to the improvement, to the happiness of others? Has the cultivation of the Heart kept pace with that of the head and hand? Let Parents, with more than common earnestness, dwell upon this important subject, and lead children, from the earliest period of instruction, to consider that the grand object of their learning is to communicate.

Let not some Mothers be alarmed, or others smile, at the idea that they are required seri

* It appears unaccountable, that our teachers generally have directed their instructions to the head, with very little attention to the heart.—Lord Kaimes.

ously to lecture their little ones upon the duties of future life: they are simply entreated to give their Children the habit of taking pleasure in communicating to their younger Brothers and Sisters their knowledge, step by step, as they have acquired it.

Let not Females be brought up to imagine that, because they have no family of their own, they are at liberty to dispose of their time, their talents, their property, solely with a view to self.

"If self employ us, whatsoe'er is wrought
We glorify that self, not Him we ought."

Let them be trained under the conviction that the families of their relations and friends, as well as the Poor, have large and just claims upon their habitual exercise of a virtue strongly urged in Scripture. Let them learn that if they spend their money in useless, unprofitable, selfish ways, they waste that which was entrusted to them to minister comforts to others, and that which might purchase for themselves boundless riches hereafter. If they consume their time in frivolous or pernicious employments, they throw away an inestimable treasure, capable of affording the purest happiness, and the means of acquiring the highest degree of intellectual and moral cultivation.

Let them be taught that by being free from family troubles and anxieties, they are furnished with means and opportunities of more general usefulness; and that this freedom from worldly cares should lead them to aspire after the highest degree of Christian perfection. Let them learn to consider themselves as related to all that are in need of their assistance, and never allow themselves to remain unemployed while any one requires their services. Let them be taught that if they bury the talents with which they are entrusted, it will be to their own loss here and hereafter. Let them be

"aware that human life

Is but a loan, to be repaid with use,
When He shall call his debtors to account
From whom are all our blessings."

There is great room for alteration, both in the matter and the manner of instruction *. The

* It was wisely observed by Quintilian, that ourselves, with ill breeding our children, are the authors of their evil nature.—Jeremy Taylor.

method usually pursued, so far from beihg adequate to exalt and to bring into full action the intellectual and moral faculties beStdwed by nature, is rather calculated to degrade and to smother them; therefore We have hitherto been unable to form any true estimate of the powers of the human mind, nor can we reasonably hope for real improvement till PARENTS are awakened to a sense of the importance of Christian Education—till Daughters, under maternal guidance, are much more and much earlier called into action, first in the domestic circle, and afterwards in a more extended sphere. Not at the midnight ball: not in an unblushing display of themselves and their accomplishments in a crowd, anxious to shine abroad instead of wishing to be useful and to please at home; nor yet in solitary study, their highest aim self-gratification: still less in a listless wearing out of life, in self-indulging apathy, satisfied to remain as they are, without an effort to reach the mental and the moral excellence Which would enable them to act up to the times in which they live; nor yet in constant, busy trifling among the petty concerns of life; but in the profitable employment of every talent, in the exercise of extended and active goodness, in freely communicating what they have acquired, in lending their cordial, personal aid to all that is improving, enlightened, Christian; enjoying themselves, end diffusing around them the happiness of the heart.

"Ah! were the human race but wise,
And would they reason well,
That earth would be a Paradise,
Which folly makes a Hell*."

The rank that woman ought to hold in human estimation, must be secured to her by

* Religion is allowed a respectable place among the studies of the nursery. All those useful tables of instruction are assiduously employed, which teach, who was the first, the wisest, the meekest, the strongest man; and the nursling is carefully conducted, by a catechetical process, into the theory and practice of a Christian. As, however, the child advances to boyish or girlish years, this religious discipline is pretty generally relaxed, in order to allow sufficient scope for the cultivation of those modish pursuits which mark the man and woman of Fashion.

And here I cannot help remarking, how anxious the greater part of Fashionable Parents are, to guard the minds of their children against the permanent influence of that Religion which they yet have caused them to be taught. The fact is, that they would have them acquainted with the technical language, and expert in the liturgical formalities of Christianity, for these acquirements can neither disparage

« AnteriorContinuar »