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Νου. 28, 1825.
How dang'rous to indulge repose
Rise! rise! and meet your Saviour's foes;
Why should the blasting powers of hell
Rise! rise! ye saints, and joyful tell
Let heart meet heart, and hand to hand
Rise! rise! ye heav'n-aspiring band,
Let not that treach'rous foe, the world,
Rise! rise! the banner is unfurl'd,
Jesus your Saviour's call obey,
Yes, Jesus, we obey thy call,
To thy dear cross we come;
We rise! we rise and give thee all,
Thou hast redeem'd us, we are thine,
We rise! we'll rise! and rising shine
LETTERS FROM A MOTHER TO A DAUGH-
(Continued from vol. iii. p. 547.)
A, August 20, 1821. You write, my dear Mary, that your little Charles attends the village school. His time has now become valuable, and must be regulated by system. A child of common capacity should be taught his letters ere he is four years old; and should be able to read intelligently at five. This should be an invariable rule, in every family where there are children to be educated. We are deplorably mistaken, if we suppose the time of children at this age of no value. How many parents, under this impression, leave their children untaught, till the age of seven or eight years? Then, when
they might be employed to good advantage in other studies, they must acquire the very elements of reading: and what is perhaps worse than all, habits of vice and of idleness are formed, which may never be laid aside.
Time is never more precious than at this early age-Experience has taught me to assert, that a child can never be taught to read as easily at any other age. The vacant soil is more easily cultivated, than that which is overgrown with thorns and thistles. The active mind will not remain vacant. Therefore, dear Mary, let not that of your Charles be now filled with what must be eradicated, or with what will interfere with the rapid growth of useful knowledge. Let his school hours be punctually observed; and let not a fragment of time be lost. Even at this early age he cannot
require more time for exercise and recreation than the intermissions of his school will afford; and these hours of recreation will be far more enjoyed, if the rest of his time is busily employed, than if all were at his own disposal. Observe how dull and dissatisfied a child becomes before night, who has devoted his whole day to amusement. Not
"The playful children just let loose from school."
Mark the rapture with which your boy hastens to receive your embrace; and the glee with which he pursues his pleasures. For they return anew to him; and he is not satiated with unbought delights.
Let all his recreations and amusements be under your own inspection. Let him never be in company with, you know not whom; or absent, you know not where. But no longer confine him to your own room; or exclusively to your own society; for he is no longer "Ma's babe." He resigns this place and privilege to his successor; and as an equivalent, he must have other pleasures. To prevent his becoming dull and effeminate, choose him two or three companions, with whom he may freely associate; with whom he may roll the hoop, fly the kite, or toss the ball. Let wisdom direct you in the choice of his associates; know whether they have been educated by a faithful mother-whether, in all probability, they will be suitable for friends in the years of manhood. And beware now, that he contract no intimacies which may not with advantage be continued, down to the last days of his life. Above all, be assured that they are religiously educated; and that they will probably remain forever ignorant of those way-worn paths of vice, which lead down to the chambers of death; and whither, if vicious, they might also conduct your Charles!
When you have found proper as
sociates, let them frequently interchange visits, or walk, or play together. But never let yours, without liberty from you, go even into the streets. Beware that they mix not with the clubs of children, ever to be found in the highways of towns and villages, and generally composed of the idle and ungoverned of every condition-rich and poor, black and white. Did you never while passing these groups, hear their boisterous, vulgar and profane conversation? Oh, let not a child of yours, through your carelessness, become one of these
You should learn to become familiar with the noise, and not to fret at the disorder, which the little ones may occasionally create around your dwelling. You can restore order there, much easier than you can correct the vitiated taste and minds of your children, when they are under the influence of bad company. Neither must you make your sprightly boy mope by the fireside, nor seclude him from society; if you do, he will be likely to imbibe contracted notions, and habits of locality, which may render him peculiar in his mode of thinking; as well as awkward in his whole deportment. Perhaps you will ask, if all your time and attention must be engrossed by your children? I would also ask, what object is of equal importance? Form no plans, engage in no business, which may be inconsistent with the duties you owe to them. Still you may connect other objects of pursuit with these; and you must, if you would discharge your duties to all around you. Let your children be nearest to you; but extend your cares still farther; like the circles widening on the smooth lake, after the fallen sinking stone. That mind is contracted indeed, which cannot extend its benevolence, beyond its own self and children.-Every child of Adam has a claim on your benevolence, but not a claim which can interfere with
the duty you owe to the immortals placed under your own immediate charge. The stranger has a claim on your hospitality.-But oh! let no unemployed votaries of fashion, be in the habit of spending their idle hours at your house, to interfere with your proper business. Your time is too precious to be squandered away thus, and your charge too important to be neglected. If such persons must be entertained, let them have recourse to those whose taste and views are similar to their own. The claims which these idlers have, are your pity, your reproofs, and your prayers; not on your time and your countenance-rob not your husband and your children thus. Incivility towards any is doubtless unjustifiable-but candour and "godly sincerity" will save both your time and your feelings; and certainly render you more respected. Never give an insincere invitation, or an insincere welcome. This is in itself sinful, and carries with it its own punishment-How unwise is she,
rity; and will sit with gazing eyes and folded hands, wasting those hours, which you can by no means afford to lose. They often will too, if you allow them, slander those who are better than themselves: and would persuade you, that none of the poor around you are really objects of charity. You ought to reprove such, and warn them of their wickedness, and their danger, as enemies to God, while they injure both their neighbours and themselves-The greatest benevolence you can exercise toward them, is to teach them to improve well all their time-to be industrious and economical in their own families. Give them work, if you please, to employ them at home, and pay them for it: but encourage not their idleness by giving them food and raiment, while they might earn these by their honest industry-In giving out work to them, or in their returning it, afford them no excuse for sitting, and wasting their hours in idleness, or in tattling.
Both the above classes will probably labour hard to ingratiate themselves by flattery; but I can
"Who invites her dear five hundred not think you need warning of the
"Contemns them all, and hates them coming"
I have much to say on this subject: perhaps it may be the theme of another letter. In the mean time, practise much on the lesson of "simplicity, and godly sincerity," of which an apostle has spoken. And let not your own beloved friends have any just reason to suspect your sincerity towards them, because they see you lavish the same attentions, and same professions of friendship, on every one.
There is another class of intruders, which it is equally wrong to countenance. These are the idle and gossipping of the poor, who would engross a seat at your kitchen fire, if not at your dining room hearth. These often introduce themselves as objects of cha
danger of being thus duped. They may not dare directly to flatter yourself; but if they understand human nature, as they often do, they know that parents are easily gained through their children; and they may tell you that yours are superior, in beauty and intellect, to any others-You indeed may not be fool enough to believe this, but your children, it cannot be expected, will have discernment to discover the artifice. And the unhappy influence which this may have on their minds, if not counteracted, may be exceedingly great, by exciting their vanity, and weakening their motives for attaining knowledge-Rather teach yours, to esteem others better than themselves. Discover to them how ignorant they are of many things which they might know, and point them to those whose at
tainments exceed theirs, as the mark at which they ought to aim.
Some have supposed that the evil of esteeming one's self too highly, is not so great as that of setting too low an estimate on one's abilities; for there are enough, it is said, in the world to pull down the proud, and few to raise the humble. This however is not altogether correct as to the fact; and besides, the sentiment is inconsistent with the word of God. We may make a low estimate of ourselves, and yet be confident, that by exertion and perseverance we may make great attainments.
I know that diffidence is very often the occasion of most painful sensations; but it is also attended with much good: and it always goes far, in recommending the possessor to the wise and candid, and in atoning for many casual mistakes. Are we not disposed to pay more attention to such, than to the bold and assuming? Let not your dear Charles and Ellen become those, whom their friends, for their good, will seek to humble by frequent neglect and reproof, and perhaps by severe mortification. Leave them not thus, to learn lessons of modesty and humility, which their own mother ought more kindly to have taught them. Above all, labour earnestly to teach them Christian humility; which differs widely from pusillanimity, and wider still from slovenliness in manners and appearance. It is a grace which must have its seat in the heart; and will be best cultivated, by instilling into their minds the great and fundamental truths of Christianity. Inspire them with a sense of the holy character of God; and of their own lost and sinful condition, by nature and by practice. Teach them the absolute necessity of the Holy Spirit, to renew and sanctify them-of the mediation and atonement of the Son of Godin short, of the whole plan of redemption. We are not as wise or
as faithful in teaching our children these things, as we should be. We do not sufficiently bring our ideas on these subjects, down to their apprehension; nor illustrate them, as might be done, by objects familiar to their minds. We often tell them they must be good; but do not discover to them the insufficiency of their own works to merit any favour from God; nor do we always, in language which they understand, teach them repentance toward God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(To be continued.)
TRAVELS IN EUROPE FOR HEALTH IN 1820. BY AN AMERICAN CLERGYMAN, OF THE SYNOD OF PHILADELPHIA.
(Continued from vol. iii. p. 552.)
Montpelier, May 25, 1820. My dear Friend,-My last from this place, gave you the result of my superficial observations, during the few days I acted the part of a looker on, in the great city of Marseilles. I took passage in the Diligence, the 25th of last month, for this place; the pleasantness of whose situation, unitedly with the supposed salubrity of the atmosphere, has made it, for ages, the resort of invalids, in pursuit of health. My travel here, which occupied a day and a half, including a night, produced little that is worth reciting. The country through which I
passed, gives evidence of dense population, by its thickly planted houses, with large villages, at short distances. But its husbandry appeared to me to be, generally speaking, far from good. I saw much land that gave signs of great exhaustion; while the buildings and improvements, evidently indicated a poor and unimproving people.
The principal place through which I passed was Nismes: and it indeed is a great place, beautifully
situated, near the foot of a range of high rocky hills, in a fine and fertile plain. Its vicinity shows some very luxuriant vegetation. The stage stopped here early in the afternoon, and remained over night, which gave me some opportunity of looking at the place. Had I possessed the curiosity of health, in stead of the languor and debility of disease, I should certainly have tarried a week; as there is much at Nismes, well worth the traveller's attention. There still exists here an amphitheatre, built by the ancient Romans, when they possessed the country, which is in surprising preservation. These kind of buildings, you know, were erected without cover, for the accommodation of the publick sports. This one at Nismes, is circular, built of massy stone, and covers a space of some acres-speaking by guess. You may form a correct idea of it, by conceiving of a huge bowl, whose bottom encloses a wide space, in which the shows and sports were exhibited; and whose sides within are lined with circular seats, rising one above the other, to the height of sixty or seventy feet. In two places, the depredations of time have made rents in its sides, from the top to the bottom. It is surrounded with an iron paling; and is no doubt a relick of antiquity of sufficient value, from the resort of strangers which it helps to attract to the city, to merit the expense of such a measure for its preservation. I viewed it with deep interest; and who could have done otherwise ? having his thoughts carried back to the remote ages, when this stupendous fabrick was erected, for the pastime of the mighty masters of the world. And in what pastimes did they delight! how cruel! how savage! How immense the benefits of the gospel!-if only in this respect, that it has rescued Christendom from a taste for the murderous sports of fighting gladiators,
and other demoralizing shows, such as were here exhibited.
At no great distance from the amphitheatre, stands a temple of "The great goddess Diana"-probably not less ancient, and as a relick of heathenism, not less interesting. In size it resembles a small church, one story high. It is built altogether of marble, which from age has assumed a very sombre hue. It is without windows, or any avenue that I could discover, to admit the light. Having little time on hand, and in truth, feeling then a more than ordinary depression of spirits, which is always a sufficient damper to curiosity, I contented myself with viewing its exterior, without seeking admission within.
I have learned from the Protestant minister of this place, that Nismes contains a large Protestant population. There are three or four congregations, who have five pastors, settled over them. None of them however are considered entirely evangelical in their doctrines. One of them, is counted a man of some distinction, in point of talents. He conducts a monthly magazine, devoted to moral and literary subjects, with some mixture of religion.
I left Nismes early in the morning, and arrived at Montpelier by noon of the same day. Here I have concluded to make some stay, and try the benefit of this climate. I find constant travelling in the stage is too expensive, and too fatiguing. My first sally from the hotel, where the stage stopped, was to the house of Mons. Lasignot, the Protestant minister, to whom I had a letter of introduction. I found him sick in bed, not however very ill. He received me with much kindness, and I have since found in him a friend of much value. I have taken private lodgings, and ride on horseback almost daily. I have now been here four weeks, during which