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-the victories of the cross would be rapidly achieved --and the bright day be ushered in, when Jesus shall rule, King of nations, as he now does King of saints.
TREATMENT OF CHILDREN.
INFANTS, of all the animal creation, when ushered into this world, are more helpless, and remain so longer than the young of any of the brute creation. The wisdom of God, in this, as in all his economy, is conspicuous. Nothing binds so firmly the union of hearts, as the increasing love of parents to their children, enhanced by the arduous and protracted care, necessary to sustain and bring them up. The mother, who is worthy of that endearing name, finds a new impetus to urge her on to the fulfilment of every duty, imposed by her marriage vows. The father, if not transformed from a man to a brute, feels, more deeply, his obligations as a protector, and nobly discharges them. A social compact is thus formed, and becomes one of the links of the great chain that forms a society, which increases to a state, and finally to a nation. The great length of time it requires, to prepare children to act and do for themselves, enlarges and strengthens this link, and operates as the most powerful incentive to maintain good government. Hence, not only the advantage, but the absolute necessity of the marriage institution. Let this become obsolete, the waves of destruction would roll over us like a mighty flood. Its abuse, by some miscreant wretches, demons in human shape, is no argument against it. The intrinsic value of religion is not reduced, because the devil gets into a church. It is the keystone of social order-properly
entered into and properly used, it is the desideratum of human happiness, and nothing refines this happiness so much, as a well regulated and skilfully cultivated juvenile nursery. Here, the scion is reared that makes the tree--be it crooked or straight.
As the mental powers of children are developed, and often when yet at the breast, certain traits in their dispositions are plainly seen. To be enabled to treat them properly, all their propensities must be well understood. The father is the king over this little community, but generally imposes upon his QUEEN, the duties of juvenile government, which is the first and important duty in the nursery. Laws must be enacted-few in number at the commencement—simple, plain, reasonable, and absolute. Too much governing and legislation, injure children, as well as our commonwealth. To govern properly, you must always govern yourself. Let your own examples enforce the precepts you inculcate. To train up a child in the right way, you must walk in the right way yourself. Children are close observers. The great secret in juvenile government, in the nursery and in the school, is, to gain and retain their love. This inspires respect, and these, more than any other thing, will induce obedience. Tenderness and firmness are the fulcrum and lever with which to operate. Anger should be manifested never—displeasure and tender regret, whenever the child violates any. known rule of discipline. Rare and perverse is the disposition, that requires the rod, Solomon to the contrary, notwithstanding. Obedience, based on fear, and not on esteem and respect, makes a slave, and mars the native loveliness of the image of a son, daughter, or pupil. Harsh scolding language, anu frequent hard
blows, create the former-kindness, reason, and a uniform firmness, improve the latter. Children have good memories-excessive severity is never forgotten; it may so dry up the fountain of love, that its gushing waters will never again flow clear and free. It has often rendered desperate, but has rarely softened a morose disposition. It has sometimes prostrated the energies of a child, but never gives them a healthy vigor. Too much pruning endangers a shrub, more than the shade of a dense forest. Dr. Cotton Mather made it a rule, never to resort to corporeal punishment, except for atrocious wrongs, or minor faults, obstinately persisted in. And when the rod must be used, by reasoning mildly with the offender, you may generally convince the child of the atrocity of the offence, the justness of the punishment, and the tender regard you have for his good, and thus preserve his esteem-in no other way can it be done. If he is naturally bad, improper punishment will make him worse. No unnecessary restraints or unreasonable tasks, should be imposed on children. In this way, their mental and physical powers may be crippled. Make their obedience passive, their hearts cheerful, and their actions free. Never excite them by unnecessary crosses and vexation, merely to exercise your authority. Blame them cautiously for errors, and commend them liberally for good conduct. Correct all faults the moment they appear; weeds grow more rapidly than the esculent plant, each hour of neglect retards the growth of the latter, and increases the labor of destroying the former. Beware of partiality. It is an incubus upon good government, and is as quickly perceived, and more keenly felt by children, than by adults. If one child is less amiable, docile, and gifted, than another in the same family neglect will increase these qualities fearfully. A favorite child among children, is made unhappy by mistaken favoritism-arousing in the others one of the basest passions—envy,—which makes the latter worse and the former miserable. The merits of the favorite may justify the feelings of preference, indulged by the parents, but this feeling should be judiciously suppressed, at least, until the children arrive at their majority; and by some discreet fathers, is first exhibited in their wills.
The education of children should commence in the nursery, and the mother should be the teacher. I speak not of book learning, which is a mere adjunct. Impressions, deep and lasting, are imprinted on the mind of the young child, before it learns a letter. The infant, long before it can articulate a word, is impressed with things that please the eye and the taste, and by indulgence, may contract a habit, lasting as life. An infant may be fed on food, poisoned with alcoholic liquors, and imbibe an artificial taste, that may doom the man to a drunkard's grave, perhaps to a drunkard's hell. Imitation is early developed; the first oral lessons that are understood, are seldom eradicated-and nave a great influence on the formation of character. The first lines of a hymn, the first simple prayers, lisped by the child, as it learns them from the lips of a pious mother, are remembered through life, and have often led to early piety, and laid the foundation of greatness, based on goodness. Early scenes of terror, shame, joy, and violent indignation, are seldom eradicated from the mind. Frightful bugbear stories of ghosts, hobgoblins, and witches, are never forgotten, and are criminally pernicious, creating artificial fear, that remains unconquered by riper years.
How important, then, that first impressions, the preliminaries to a school education, should be as pure as the unsullied sheet on which they are imprinted, and that no foul blots deface its fair surface. How important that the mother and the nurse should be discreet, affectionate, kind, firm, intelligent, and pious. If all were so, we should have more Washingtons, who would bless their mothers and honour our country. Mothers, your responsibility to your children, and your country, is vast beyond conception. Your precepts and your examples, will tell through future time, for weal or for wo.
The great secret in teaching children, is, to gain so large a share of their love and confidence, as to direct their inclinations into the proper channel. Enlist their attention, convince them of the benefits in prospect, the rewards of application, and the degrading consequences of neglect. Treat them with kind and marked attention, uniform politeness and courtesy, but not with childish familiarity. Make them feel their importance as human beings, without inflaming their pride. Teach them the duties they owe to their parents, their teachers, their fellows, their country, and their God. Treat their inquisitiveness with patience and encouragement, and manifest a pleasure in their disposition to learn the reason of things. It is the germ of intellect, and if properly fostered, will ripen into the fruit of knowledge. A contrary course has blasted many a promising bud, like a killing frost, the tender vine. Curiosity in children, is the grand lever of nature, to raise them from the quarry of ignorance, and needs the fulcrum of a