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spring more beautiful than before, but surely it is so this spring. The perfume of the flowers, the birds among the trees, their morning notes and evening! To-day is perfectly lovely! Alone here, in this peaceful nook, with the cloudless sky above, and the sweet new-mown grass, and the thousand birds warbling in one's ears, and bright flowers around, it makes the soul bound upward with delight. The gleams of sunshine playing through the dark foliage, and the beautiful dawning of the summer mornings, and the glorious sun that sheds its light on all around, seem truly the outward. types of the blessed resurrection, always renewed that it may be habitual in our view. The scenery is surpassingly lovely. It combines all I could wish to enhance this quiet, peaceful life. What if the thread of our existence were snapped asunder, and the thinking soul translated to the realms of light before it had become conscious of darkness ! How the endearing ways of children twine themselves around my heart! I cannot refrain from sending you a small offering at this season, when I have so much cause for thankfulness. Marriage is a type of the union between Christ and his Church, as being the closest and most enduring of all those relations which God has appointed here below.”
THE RIGHT OF THE BIBLE IN our COMMON SCHOOLS. - ESTAB
LISHMENT OF THE HOME FOR FRIENDI.ESS Boys in New York City. — VISITS TO THE Poor WOMEN IN THE CITY PRISON. — The Power Of SYMPATHY. — RECOLLECTIONS AND PORTRAITURES OF MRS. CHEEVER'S CHARACTER AND LIFE BY SOME OF HER DEAREST FRIENDS.
Y dear wife's convictions were heartfelt and
profound in regard to the necessity and blessedness of a prevenient, foreseeing, forewarning religious education of children from the earliest infancy, as being both a gift from God and a primal duty and divine heritage for every household and community.
In her view, such a protecting, preoccupying education belonged only to God's benevolence and mercy to reveal and command; and it was accordingly entailed in his law as the first duty of parents to their children, and the first claim of the little ones, in the name of God. It was God's offer of his own covenant of eternal wisdom and love when he said: Ye shall teach my Word to your children, and your children to theirs, and to
the end of time, the next generation to the next; so that they may never live nor die in ignorance of the law and love of their Heavenly Father, nor of the way of salvation. Obedience to this blissful law of the prepossession of every new-born soul with the knowledge of God's truth and love in the Gospel would speedily have made the whole world holy and happy in Christ, and on the way to heaven.
For this purpose “Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you ; BECAUSE IT IS YOUR LIFE ” (Deut. xxxii. 46, 47).
How great, then, is the cruelty, and how blasphemous the crime, that would forbid the freedom of God's Word, or deny the duty and necessity of providing it as an inalienable possession from the earliest childhood, in our common schools !
In the Old, as well as in the New Testament, God has declared, “All souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine;” given to the parents on earth, to be brought up, from earliest infancy, in the knowledge and love of their divine Redeemer. It is impossible to begin too early with a baptism in the experimental knowledge of a Saviour's love. That is the first injunction from God in the Hebrew covenant, as to the teaching of his Word from generation to generation; and the same is in the Law of Love by our blessed Lord Jesus, — “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Compare Ps. lxxviii. 6, and cxxvii. 3; Is. xxxviii. 19.)
But how are the children to be gathered into our common schools, and how can the merciful provisions in the commandment of the Saviour be secured and fulfilled in the teaching of each generation? This problem had been discussed more and more carefully in our churches; and because of the attempted exclusion of the Scriptures, friends of the ragged and neglected little ones in the streets were soon found, who would undertake its heavenly solution.
The work began in a quiet and lowly form of benevolence, that soon became a delightful attractive magnetism, and a power of social Christian effort, like that which resulted from the first institution of Sabbath-schools. It was a benevolence both giving and receiving; laden, as the trees of Paradise by the River of the Water of Life, with fruits of perpetual life-giving mercy.
And yet, to this day, the right of the Bible to be taught in our common schools, with prayer to God for his blessing, is denied; and its exercise is affirmed to have been an oppressive violation of the law of love and of the freedom of conscience, under a human government !
Government, it is asserted, (and even by some ministers of the Gospel,) has no authority or right to teach religion to the children, or to see that they are educated in the knowledge of God, and taught the way of salvation. As the children are born and cradled without the interference of government, so the common school must take them and bring them up in freedom to choose for themselves what religion they please, if indeed they come to the knowledge of any. Perhaps nine tenths of the children in the United States get their only education in the common schools; where, by edict of the Government forbidding the Bible and prayer, and all instruction in regard to Christ, their only Saviour, they necessarily become infidels.
Yet, on the pretence of guaranteeing the rights of conscience in respect to religion against encroachment, it is now affirmed that the State has the right, and is under obligation by the Golden Rule, to guarantee the schools and the children against any instruction from the Bible in religion.