« PreviousContinue »
Certain it is, ye amiable wives, that if it be your good fortune to become happy mothers, your children, those dear pledges of love, if prudently educated, prove not only an engaging comfort to yourselves, but a great and lasting security for the affections of your husbands. There is a time when the charms of beauty must cease, and the passions of youth bend to the majesty of wisdom : it is then that good nature and good sense, with that essential ingredient, a cheerful disposition, will in a great measure secure your conquest; and a charming offspring will assuredly contribute to unite parents in the lasting bonds of friendship.
The difference of constitution in women is an important affair; women of a delicate forin, and too great sensibility, are the most liable to miscarry. Such also are the most likely to imbibe, and to be affected by, the prejudices which we wish to caution them against. The power of fear is undoubtedly sovereign over most persons, and this, in the present instance, is truly to be dreaded. If, therefore, ihe prejudices were discountenanced, the unhappy fear itself would assuredly cease.ro
· And further, there is nothing tends more to render life happy, either to men or women, than to conquer, as much as possible, the passion of fear. This is the monster which in some degree subdues us all; and too frequently makes mankind miserable. There is no calamity but would easily become supportable, could we divest ourselves of fear; and daily experience proves women to be most subject to its tortures. How many trifling insects that man continually spurós from him, ruffle the breast of females, and throw them into the greatest agonies! The evil, iherefore, is seated in the imagination, for it is the dreadful apprehension of their own mind that torments them ; which, by a firm and steady resolution, may generally be overcome. Fortitude is an inestimable jewel. Reason was bestotved upon us both for the preservation of our health, and the promotion of our happiness. The abuse of it as necessarily destroys the one as the other.:
How do we continually reflect upon ourselves for incon. veniences, mental as well as corporeal, that arise froin in considerateness and folly! When a wife has the pleasing prospect of becoming a mother, it is no longer a time to be revelling in midnight assemblies. Such a conduct not only deprives her of natural rest, but also endangers her health, and thereby oftentimes promotes the evil to which we have alluded. In this, and every other point, women should be cautioned against falling into wide extremes. Some females have been seen taking violent exercise, in order to prevent the accident. Others never step out of doors, nay, nor so much as go up and down a pair of stairs, for several months : this also is to avoid the danger. Be this your guide; whatever exercise you are capable of taking without fatigue, indulge-bút no more. Never, in this point, regard the example of others. Because your friend can do this and that, it is no reason you should ; and if the attempt give pain, it should certainly be avoided.
The Author of nature has universally committed the support of infants, and the early part of children's education to women. Milk is a nourishment produced from the various kinds of food taken by the mother. This, therefore, being admitted, until an infant's powers áre sufficiently strengthened to perform so great a business as that of digestion; the mother by the all-wise appointment of Providence, from her own breast supplies it with the means of life. Hence no other sourishment appears so proper for a new-born child. This system of nursing, therefore, is peculiarly recommended to the fair sex, who will most sensibly feel the happy or miserable effects of the manner in which they discharge this first great trust which is reposed in them. Here, indeed, a mother will assuredly reap the happy fruits of fortitude, as well as of a lively, cheerful, and obliging disposition. Such as the mother is, generally speaking, will be the first, and most probably the most durable impressions received by the child. It therefore naturally follows that infants, whose minds are early accustomed to agreeable objects, and whose expanding ideas are gratified with pleasing sensations, vnabated by slavish fears; such, and şuch only, as they rise into life, will possess that generous gratitude, which prompts them to consider it as a first great duty to contribute to the happiness of their parents. . . . . in.l. 10% .
Those mothers who by a foolish indulgence spoil their children's tempers and dispositions, ' are ondoubtedly culpable; but the example of a violent, passionate, yet negligent and insensible father, is equally or more to be dreaded. A mother bas this plea, that she endeavours at least at the uime to make her child happy; and it may be said, in ex-" cuse for her conduct, that she is to be pitied in bot kaowing better : but there is no excuse, either to God or man, that can be urged to mitigate the rice and folly of such a
father; the iniquity rests with himself alone, for the benevolent Author of our being is not to be arraigned upon this or any other occasion.
How provident is Nature in all her works! How wonderfully indulgent to man, and other helpless animals in their first state of existence, by thus enabling the mother to feed her young with nourishment drawn from herself, until such time as the offspring has obtained strength sufficient to provide for itself'! This gracious bounty is abused only by man, the most intelligent of earthly beings; whose misuse of reason leads him astray, whilst humble instinct directs all other parts of the creation aright. 3: If we look around us, we shall find every animal that gives suck carefully fostering her young; and other enjoyments are no more thought of, until they are capable of providing for themselves. An example by which mankind might profit much; but the strong impulse of passion in this, and many other instances, subdues our reason. Did we consider the benefit of our children more, and the indulgence of our selfish inclinations less, the race of man would be more healthy, strong, and vigorous, than we can at present boast. But, alas ! such is the depravity of hainan nature, that it would be in vain to enlarge upon this topic of complaint; it is therefore our present business to prevent, as much as possible, the future growth of these evils.
As you are all interested in the enquiry, compare the success of mankind with that of other animals in rearing their young. A little observation will convince you that greater numbers of the human race are lost in their infancy than of any other species ; for nearly one half of the deaths, within our bills of mortality, happen to children under five years of age. And further, compare the opulent with the Tustic, the success is still exceedingly different. How many children of the great fall victims to prevailing customs, the effects of riches ! How many of the poor are saved by wanting these luxuries !
Again, compare, the success of such as suckle their own offspring with that of those who commit them to the care of nurses, ar bring them up by hand ; and we shall there likewise find an amazing difference, • From these considerations, it is evident that nature is always preferable to art; whence the brute creation succeed better than the human in preserving their own species; and the peasant, whom necessity compels to follow nature, is, in this respect, happier than his lord. Those mothers also, who, in spite of custom, pride, or indolence, will take their little ones to their breast, must have more comfort and success than those who cruelly consign them to the care of foster-Durses; thereby denying them that food which is not only the most proper, but is ordained likewise for their iufant state.
The buinan mind, in its infant opening, has been improperly compared to a' blank sheet of paper, susceptible oply of external impressions. But it may be rationally supposed that children receive iheir prejudices and inclinations in great measure from the dispositions of those persons to whose care they are entrusted.
That all children are born with vicious inclinations, there is no doubt : but when we hear parents exclaiming against the bad dispositions of ibeir own children, we cannot help oftentimes secretly condemning the parents themselves for introduciog such vices into their habits, or for encouraging them by their example... . It therefore behoves every mother to be watchfal of her own conduct, and perfectly satisfied of the dispositions of such servants as she entrusts with the care of her children at this susceptible time of life; when even the more affectionately those persons treat them, the worse consequences are to be apprehended, if their own tempers are not good : for as children are gratefully fond of those who use them kindly, they are by far more likely to imbibe the bad qualities of an indulgent attendant; and, on the contrary, to profit by good examples... in
Objects that attract the eyes, are at first most delightful. The pleasures from hearing are the next. From sight and sound ideas take their gradual rise. Hence a partial fondness is formed by children towards those whose province it is: to attend upon them; and for this reason they are more fond of their nurses, who are constantly pratiling to them, than of parenis neglectful of their infancy.·.
The want of duty and affection in children towards their parents, so much to be 'censured and so generally complained of, often proceeds from this early mismanagement." The indifference, also, of too many parents towards their children, frequently owes its origin to depriving themselves of the enjoyments of their little ones at this engaging season of life. Even to an uninterested person, the expanding of an infant mind is a delightful entertainment; but to good parents, the pleasure and attachment must, certainly prove exceedingly more agreeable and lasting. We must indeed
ily those whom necessity deprives of this happy solace, but uiterly condemn those who wilfully commit the care and early education of their children to persons in no respect qualified for so important a task. ito ir
As the infant inind advances towards a state of maturity, an increasing degree of anxiety will be excited in the minds of parents who aci under the strong impression, that their children are rational and immortal beings. The care which attends the helpless state of infancy is confined to the body only, but in a few years the children become, in the fullest sense of the term, accouütable creatures, and those parents must be insensible indeed who do not, in such circumstances, consider the care of the soul as the “one thing needful."
The choice of books is of great importance in the edacation of children; the sons will, perhaps at an early age, be put under the care of tutors, but the formation of the minds of the daughters will ever be the peculiar province of the mother; we have already given our sentiments on the religious instruction of children, and it is only necessary to add, that it is the peculiar object of this work to furnish parents with a summary of those subjects which are most calculated to forward the work of female education. ; ,
MAXIMS, MORAL AND RELIGIOUS. PERSONS in general too often remember what they should forget-injuries, and forget what they should remember-God, their immortal souls, death, and a future state.
If a sinner's thoughts are not changed in this world by grace, they will be in another by experience therefore let sinners daily pray for more grace, and less of įhe world in their thoughts.
Get this principle wrought in your heart, that there is nothing got by sin, but misery ; nothing lost by holiness, but bell.
Piety is the best profession; honesty the best policy; vice iis own punishment; and virtue its own reward.
They that deserve nothing, should be content with ang thing: sipner, what deservest thou?
Idleness is the mind's poison, the devil's working time and tbe Christian's snare. a 19