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seeds; but of the harvest of her labours she expects not to partake. Her hopes and her feelings are bounded to the present. Her cares, like those of the^ parents of the feathered race, cease with their flight into the world. The nestlings, in the beautiful language of the poet,
"Demand the free possession of the sky, —
'* The surging air receives
"Its plumy bi'rden. — Their self-taught wings
"Winnow the warring element.
'' Till vanished every fear; and every power
From views that are necessarily circumscribed within the narrow limits of the period of early youth, it is not surprising that all that is most essential to the future conduct, should in so many instances appear to have been excluded.
The views of parents may, it is true, be still more narrow and confined; but they are not necessarily so. If parents look not beyond the present moment, if the real interests and future happiness of their children occupies no place in their thoughts, they will doubtless leave the formation of their characters to chance,—but they will do it at the risk of having their own future hours embittered by many a heartfelt sorrow.
Parents may become careless or indifferent; but they never can be divested of all interest in the conduct of their offspring. That conduct must, even to the close of their existence, have power to kindle the glow of satisfaction or the blush of shame! Were parents to anticipate these sensations, afc the certain result of the degree in which they had attended to the impressions made upon the infant mind, they would require no exhortations to attention. In a regard to their own happiness they would have an incentive sufficiently powerful to animate them to every necessary exertion.
Minds susceptible of the ardent feelings of friendship and affection, may become little less interested in the welfare of an adopted family, than if bound by the parental tie: but to such minds the fascinating endearments' of infant innocence; the hopes inspired by the progressive expansion of the infant heart and understanding; and the delight arising from anticipated views of the future character; may eventually prove sources of the keenest misery; as, should circumstances ever throw them to a distance from the objects of their tenderness, every hope that had been cherished, every care that had awakened vigilance, lance, and every little circumstance that had called forth the fondness of the heart, will give additional poignancy to the pang of separation.
From whatever point the subject is viewed, the author perceives additional reason to enforce a consideration of the advantages that are certainly to be derived from a regular and early cultivation of the faculties of the mind, and the affections of the heart. She believes that were their cultivation to become a chief object of attention, there would, in the next generation, be little necessity for exhorting those who have a certain and unalienable interest in the future conduct of children, to take upon themselves a principal share in their instruction.
To those who really wish to perform this momentous duty, no hint that can be given upon the formation
of religious and moral principle will be given in vain. A hope that the ensuing Letters might afford some degree of assistance in these important points, was a chief incitement to their publication. To the young, indeed, they are addressed, and to young minds that have been prepared by previous instruction for their perusal, the author flatters herself they may prove salutary — she assures herself they will at least prove safe.
As it was her aim to give a general and comprehensive v(ew of the important truths which have been conveyed to us by Divine revelation, she did not think it necessary to have recourse to other authority than the Bible for any thing that she advanced. She is not perfectly unapprised of the risk she may hereby have incurred. She knows there are those who consider every book in which they do not