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will that person go the step farther and assert that hope of gain and fear of pain are religion ? or if he should, will he confess that no gain is so great as the glory and the bliss of becoming thus perfected; no pain so terrible as the consciousness of having forfeited or even postpone such a destiny ? and there will remain but little difference of opinion between us.
We cannot desire pain, or cease to desire happiness; but we can learn to seek our happiness from worthy sources.
Another method for enlivening and facilitating moral and intellectual training.
Although the mother has been principally named, it is meant to be understood that in the institutions for teaching moral training, instructions in the whole system should be given in as practical a form as can be devised, not only to mothers themselves and all who hope to be mothers, if they will attend and learn, but also, as far as possible, to all who may ever be called upon either to aid or to replace mothers, and to all intended for teachers, or assistants, or even servants, whether in infant or other schools, or in nurseries ; with, of course, the aid of the written forms already spoken of; for only mothers and teachers of great intelligence and much good feeling can be expected to compose the moral tales, &c., themselves.
To this teaching to teach must be added a knowledge of physical training, or of the conditions of health. This knowledge should be given, not only to those destined to have the care of children, but also to all the pupils themselves; as each individual must, in time, become the guardian of his own bodily well-being. Not, indeed, as to the cure of disease, but as to the preservation of health ; which, being a moral obligation, should be taught as such ; it being self-evident, that he who injures or neglects his powers, whether of body or of mind, cannot fulfil perfectly his relative duties.
Now all duties, fully understood, are relative as well as selfregarding, and self-regarding as well as relative. The old division, therefore, into “self-regarding duties," &c., inferred a great moral fallacy-namely, that any being could innocently separate himself from the one great whole of which he had been created a part. Occasions will not be wanting, when children have made themselves unable for their lessons or other duties by some act of infant intemperance in cake, fruit, &c., to illustrate in a manner they will understand, the principle that every wilful limitation of our powers of usefulness, every wilful retirement, even temporary, from the active duties of our station, is a modification or milder form of the sin of suicide.
One among the many great advantages of applying the light of mental science to moral training, is that by this light mothers will not only see to what faculty to address each lesson, but they will perceive that many feelings which they have been in the habit of fancying should be checked in children, are really but misdirected manifestations of some of their highest and most valuable faculties; and that, therefore, while turning the manifestation of the faculty into a right channel, the greatest care must be taken to encourage and cherish the development and energy of the faculty itself.
The light of mental science shows us, for instance, that to desire the approbation of conscience, representing that of God, so ardently, and to be so wretched when we cannot approve ourselves as to feel compelled to do right, is the real office of the very same mental power which, when neglected, runs to weed, and degenerates into idle efforts to obtain applause from those around us for adventitious or worthless distinctions; and to satisfy the cravings of our own hearts after our own approbation by ignorantly endeavouring to take pride to ourselves for such. This contemptible abuse of this noble faculty has led even some moral philosophers to confound the misdirection of the function with the faculty, and speak of desire of approbation as an inferior feeling. Yet, consider but for a moment. Is it the manifestation of an inferior feeling to desire the approbation of God ? If not, it is perfectly clear that as we have not several separate faculties with which to desire approbation, that it is the object to which the faculty is directed which is changed, not the faculty, when this abuse occurs; and that, therefore, whether it be our own approbation, the approbation of God, or mere applause generally that we desire; or, whether it be on worthy or unworthy grounds that we expect to be approved of, that is still the same instinctive faculty that acts in desiring the approbation.
People talk of desire of approbation being too strong. It is worse than folly to say so! If a man grasp a worthless object instead of a valuable one, is it because his hand is too strong ? Do we endeavour to rectify his judgment by weakening his arm?
Can we think that the desire of approbation can be too strong when we recognise in this faculty the natural root whence conscience draws its vitality; and, consequently, whence educated conscience, after absorbing into itself the deductions of the understanding, and being associated with enlightened veneration, benevolence, and all the other moral faculties, still holds its power of acting on the will as still a natural emotion, though now became a complex emotion.
Now, it is most important to mothers to understand and remember all this; for when they see clearly that the desire of our own approbation, representing that of God, constitutes the voice of conscience, and yet that the same natural faculty desires approbation or applause generally, they must perceive that were it possible with the mistaken view of preventing vanity, to harden any being into having no desire of approbation, that being's conscience would have no voice. So that when the deductions of the understanding were formed, there would still be no general motive power to act on the will. Special cases might awaken special motives ; but perceiving a line of conduct to be right or wrong would furnish no general motive for following or avoiding such. The instinct which makes us wretched when we think we do not deserve approbation, or fills us with placid joy when we think we do deserve approbation, is the root, the vital principle of conscience. Let parents, then, take care not to mutilate the minds of their children as though they knew better than God with what faculties to furnish a soul.
The real business of education, then, is to preserve the energy and activity of every faculty, while directing each habitually to its legitimate object.
We cannot desire the approbation of God and of our own conscience too ardently; we cannot admire moral perfection too intensely. Direct, then, but beware of repressing, the faculties which perform these functions !
Thus, by the light of mental science, a mother sees that when her child seeks applause for childish trifles, or admires idle vanities, she must not crush an important mental power because in its undirected activity it had gone astray; that she must not starve an important mental power because, in its untaught eagerness for food, it had been about to swallow poison ; but that, on the contrary, she must judge by the intensity of the moral appetite, that the faculties which so craves is proportionately indispensable to the moral existence of the being; and that, therefore, it is her duty to provide the moral instinct with proper nourishment as assiduously as she would have provided food had it been the body of her child which had hungered.
Vanity an abuse of the faculty the legitimate function of which is to worship.
Being vain, however, is not even an abuse of the desire of approbation. It is, on the contrary, an abuse of the possession of our own approbation. It is approving of ourselves on false, or idle, or insufficient grounds, which is an abuse of self-esteem.
Now the light of mental science shows that the mental act of esteeming ourselves is performed by the same faculty by means of which we are enabled to respect and admire goodness of every
kind, till, by the intensity of our admiration of moral perfection, we arrive at the real worship of God.
Is this faculty to be crushed ?
Admiring ourselves more than we deserve, is vanity. Admiring God with all the intensity of which the soul is capable, is piety.
Self-esteem, then, is veneration turned inward upon ourselves, whether on true or false grounds, instead of being turned outward on all that is admirable in our fellow-creatures, and heavenward on the moral perfections of the Deity. In each of these various directions of the faculty, it is clearly the object, not the faculty, which has been changed.
Now, it is quite right that a portion of veneration should be turned inward on whatever God has given us of good, or just, or noble in our own souls; and that this self-respect should, through the legitimate value we place on our own approbation, incite us to the cultivation of all our higher faculties, and preserve us from the self-degradation of the undue indulgence of any of our lower propensities. Thus the mother sees, by the light of inental science, that she must not attempt to crush self-esteem because, when ill founded, it is absurd or hurtful, but that she must take care that the faculty does not, from her neglect, miss its high calling, run to weed, and become idle vanity. And, what is of incalculable importance to know and to remember, she sees by the same steady light of mental science applied to moral training, that the only possible way to prevent this running to weed of selfesteem, is to enlighten veneration by directing it to the enthusiastic admiration of all moral greatness and goodness, from the attributes of God downwards to everything noble, kindly, or worthy in the soul and conduct of all mankind, ourselves included.
The veneration which has been so enlightened will approve of, esteem, or venerate, whether in ourselves or in any other being, only such qualities and such conduct as are worthy of approbation, esteem, or veneration. Such self-esteem, then, is only another name for the approbation of an educated conscience ; for, as we have already seen, it is the enlightening of veneration that educates conscience, by grafting on its natural root those experiences of the other moral faculties, and those deductions of the understanding, which are necessary to the perfecting of the moral sense. In short, every fresh ray of light obtained
from mental science but adds a proof, that when we have been brought to venerate all that is great and good, the whole soul is educated. We only puzzle ourselves by giving things a variety of names. Let us turn our attention inward, let us look on at the workings of our own minds, and we shall perceive that all its most important operations, all that decides what sort of character we are, and what shall be the general tenor of our conduct through life, are determined by what we thoroughly, and cordially, and enthusiastically admire.
By this it is not meant to be asserted that our conduct is necessarily guided by our speculative opinions ; far from it: the actions of very many persons are not at all in harmony with their
specullative opinions. The admiration amounting to veneration here spoken of, is a sentiment, a feeling, an affection, it might almost be said, a passion; while, beyond a doubt, the noble ambition of the soul which it awakens to resemble that which we thus admire, has all the fervour of passion. It is the germ of fitness for a future and higher state of being, given to be cultivated from the cradle to the grave, and thence transplanted into eternity. This ambition of the soul once awakened will govern the life ; for, though people do not always live as they think, nor as they speak, nor yet as they write, they do, invariably, live as they habitually feel!
Now we have seen, that the faculty which urges us to form our lives on the model we feel to be admirable is the desire of our own approbation, representing within us the voice of God, and implanted in us for the purpose of exciting in us that inward virtue or elevation of our own inclinations above temptation which is necessary to purity, and which, without loving virtue we could no more attain to by the mere conviction of the understanding, than a bird could fly by means of its feet without the aid of its wings.
We have also seen, that the natural craving for approbation, by even the most ignorant of how to merit such, is evidently the soul's instinct of self-preservation. Nay, that of the body, as though it knew, intuitively, the inferiority of its office, gives way before this of the soul. A fact which the history of mankind indisputably proves.
At the shrine of even false glory, have not whole armies and whole nations been found ready to lay down their lives that they might die approving of themselves, and obtain for their memories after death the approbation of their fellow-men? During the Grecian, the Roman, the Judal, all the warlike ages, did not, with scarcely an exception, every boy that was born grow up willing to fling away his life for false glory? And why? Because the instinct of veneration urged him to worship; and the instinct of desire of approbation urged him to resemble what he worshipped; and during, infancy and childhood, he saw every one around him worshipping false glory; and, therefore, his sympathies awakened by example, he learnt to worship false glory with the whole enthusiasm of his soul's mistaken ambition.
Does not this sufficiently prove that, on the broad averages of history, the great principle--namely, that what we admire we strive to assimilate ourselves to, is sufficiently universal to defy the varieties of individual character, and give one stamp to a whole age or nation; and that, therefore, it is but fair to conclude, that in all futurc ages and nations whole generations of