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Child. O, yes! they certainly are so.
Mother. And if a man could not only not see, but likewise not hear, would he not be very miserable?
Child. He would be so indeed.
Mother. What great benefit then do you enjoy in regard to your body?
Child. That I can see and hear.
Mother. Is not ripe fruit pleasant to the taste?
Mother. Does not a rose or a hyacinth spread a very agreeable and fragrant smell? Child. Very.
Mother. Is not the enjoyment of the pleasant taste of food, and the fragrant smell of flowers, a great benefit which you have received from God?
Child. Indeed this is a real -benefit of our kind God.
Mother. You can then see, hear, smell, and taste. But if you had no hands, would you be able to work, to take food, or to perform any thing useful?
Child. No, not much.
Mother. Your hands, therefore, with which you can touch, feel, and handle things, are one of the many goods which God has given you. Oh then, my dear child, beware of ever misusing your hands, but always employ them to some good and useful purpose. The sense of feeling, however, extends throughout your whole body. With your eyes only you can see; with your ears only you can hear; but with your hands, with your feet, with your whole body you can feel. But do not you think there must be something within you that sees, hears, smells, tastes, and feels. Child. Yes.
Mother. That something within you which sees me, which hears my words, with which you learn, with which you comprehend your parents and masters, and with which you reflect, is called the Soul; this, your soul, sees through the eyes, hears through the ears, learns and reflects. Do you understand me when I speak?
Mother. Hence you have an understanding. If some one promises you a good thing, do not you wish it to be given to you?
Child. Indeed I do.
Mother. This power to desire what is good, to choose and to demand, is called the Will. Besides this, you can by means of your Memory retain what you learn. What powers or faculties, therefore, is your soul endowed with?
Child. It is endowed with understanding, will, and memory.
Mother. If you receive from your parents or friends a fine present, does it not give you joy or pleasure?
Child. Certainly, it does.
Mother. And do not you feel an inward satisfaction, when you are aware that your parents love you and you love them in return?
Child. Indeed, nothing is more pleasing to me. ...
Mother. Thus, as you have already said, several pleasing and agreeable feelings, as joy, love, gratitude, &c. may arise in your soul. Now. then consider well, and often think with a grateful heart, how. many useful and agreeable powers, both of soul and body, God has bestowed upon you. You behold with your eyes a thousand good things which God daily prepares for you and for all; you hear with your ears the discourse of men, by which you are instructed, and may become a useful member of society; you possess the power of tasting and smelling, that you may enjoy eating and drinking, and take delight in many other objects of nature. With your hands you can provide for yourself, put on your clothes, take food, work, and preserve yourself against dangers; and what is of still greater value, my dear child, God has given you the faculty of speech, by which you are enabled to converse with men, to pray to God, and to procure for yourself innumerable comforts and blessings. Oh! how manifold are the gifts of God, which you have received for the benefit of you body: and your soul is a good which exceeds every other gift; the importance of which no words can express. Consider the beasts of the field, they have no reason, and therefore they wander about without thought and reflection, and are placed under the dominion of man. But God has endowed you with the power of reason, by which you can provide for yourself, and acquire a knowledge of God, in order to love and to adore him.
O merciful God! I thank thee, that thou hast so wonderfully made me; that thou hast given me eyes and ears, endowed me with reason and senses, and that thou kindly preservest them. Accept my praise of thy infinite Wisdom, and my thanks for thy tender love. I hope to worship and to serve Thee from henceforth with body and soul. May the remembrance of Thy kindness be always alive within me, and induce me to become a good and obedient child. I will endeavour that my conduct from this day shall be such as to shew that I love Thee with all my heart, and my dear Parents after Thee.
Genesis, ii. 7. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and he became a living soul.
Job, x. 8,11. Thine hands have made me, and fashioned me together round about. Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
Psalm cxxxix, 14. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made : marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Mother. You have lived but a few years
in this world, my dear child. Pray, why did