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parental hearts when he grew up by their side, a loving, trusting, and trusted boy! And what he promised to be, and more, he became when a man. He came to do his heavenly Father's will,
. and he learned obedience when he was young.
It seems to me there is a lesson here which mothers would do well to commend to their children. Read them the story of Christ's childhood. It is better than all the thousands of stories that are made for the young. It has a great lesson in it, and it will reach the heart of a thoughtful child. He will try to be like Christ, when no other example would excite him.
To be Christians, we must be like little children. To be Christians, children must be like Christ.
THE MOTHER TO HER FIRST-BORN.
BY MRS. H. C. CONANT.
Months have fled, my darling baby,
Since thy lovely form I gave,
To the cold and lonely grave.
Deem the stricken heart is healed;
Hid within the fountain sealed.
Thy sweet image still I see,
Gazing fondly still on me;
Stretching out those dimpled arms,
To embrace thy infant charms.
As the night-shades veil the sky,
All its pent-up agony.
Christ THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE.-0 what a melting consideration is this : that out of his agony comes our victory; out of his condemnation, our justification ; out of his pain, our ease; out of his stripes, our healing; out of his gall and vinegar, our honey ; out of his curse, our blessing; out of his crown of thorns, our crown of glory; out of his death, our life! If he could not be released, it was that you might. If Pilaté gave sentence against him, it was that the great God might not give sentence against you. If he yielded, that it should be with Christ as they required, it was that it mirht be with our souls as well as we can desire.
LITTLE CHILDREN TO BE EMPLOYED. A very common fault in mothers of the present day, is their neglect to cultivate, in little children, habits of diligence and useful employment. Not that little ones are never to have their pastime, their hours of leisure and sportive play. Far from it. These, certainly, they are to have. It belongs to their age to have them. And the innocent, spontaneous tendencies of our nature prompt to them
But play and sport are not all that should occupy the time of little children. While very young, even, they should be taught to know that life has something of serious importance in it. Nor can they be so effectually taught this by mere precept on the part of those who have the care of them. Besides precept and example, it requires practice on their own part, and that continuously, and at times regularly recurring. Employment, though often intermitted, and never unduly pressed, must be resumed and kept up till habits become settled and established. This, it is believed, is of great importance—far greater than most mothers or fathers are apt to think. Let a little child, with proper instruction, be duly trained to diligence during a few of his first years, and hardly will he ever be left to fall away in after life ; while, on the contrary, leave him to idle, irregular, casual habits during his first years, and you shall find it, perchance, a hopeless task to reduce him, and form him to the character you would desire. .
Nor is the difficulty, at first, of training little children to good habits so great, it is believed, as it is often thought to be. It may, as to most, be difficult to form them to habits of diligence, in attending to what is abstract and intellectual, or ideal only. Where there is a peculiar taste for things of the kind, it may be done more successfully. Sometimes, indeed, a child needs to be restrained and kept back from over-devotion to study. But cases of this sort are rare, and, with most children, some employment in which they will be occupied with sensible objects, will succeed better. Take something of this sort, and an ingenious
mother can easily find employment for her child, and that for hours, without his becoming weary, or feeling the least restraint. She may, too, interweave not a little that will be intellectual and instructive, and adapted to form the mind and heart of her dear one.
And who has not witnessed the satisfaction, the pleasure, the happiness of a very little child—how delighted he has been with the thought that he is doing something, and is helping, perhaps, his dear mother! And how much better he enjoys his play, too, for having been thus employed! Never fear, I would say to every mother who has her little children around hernever fear, lest your child should be unhappy in being employed. Let it be your study, your constant effort, to interest him pleasantly, and direct his employment wisely, in whatever you give him for his diversion and amusement. Only let a mother do this—let her cherish in her child a disposition to do something, and something which, in his way and manner of viewing it, shall be useful, and she shall find him far happier, and forming, withal, a far more useful and respectable character in life, than would be the case, if he were left to an idle, casual, sauntering, vagrant way of spending his time, desiring now this thing, and the next moment that, and as soon rejecting both, in dislike and dissatisfaction. It is an old adage, “ Idleness is the parent of many vices ;" and if parents do not employ their children, and mothers their little ones, let it be remembered the great adversary will. That hymn of Dr. Watts, for little children, is truly beautiful, and is just as true as it is beautiful :
“In works of labor, or of skill,
I would be busy too,
H. J. L.
PUNCTUALITY.-It is said of Melancthon, that when he made an appointment, he expected not only the hour, but the minute to be fixed, that no time might be wasted in the idleness of suspense; and of Washington, that when his secretary, being repeatedly late in his attendance, laid the blame on his watch, he said, “You must either get another watch, or I another secretary.”
WHAT AN INFLUENCE!
THERE are at least three millions of mothers in the United States. These mothers, aside from older children, have, it is supposed, between two and three hundred thousand infants under their charge. No influence at present can reach these infant minds but that of a mother. These minds may be moulded at the will or discretion of these mothers. If this vast army of mothers should combine to accomplish any given object, what might they not do? If every mother should imitate the example of Hannah of old, and consecrate her infant to the service of the Lord, what could withstand such a moral influence? And yet from these infants are to come our rulers, our judges, our ministers, and all the influence, either for good or evil, which is to sway the destinies of the nation.
A LETTER TO THE CHILDREN. You will see on the opposite page, we have given you a very pretty picture of the Shepherds watching their flocks by night. We design by this picture to impress upon your minds the great events of the Bible. Now, if you have not yet learned to read, you will ask your father or mother to read and explain to you what is said about this picture. If they are too busy, you must wait till some convenient time, and then they will be pleased to tell you
all about it. We have sometimes taken our little children in our lap, and explained to them these pictures, and told them about the Saviour, and asked them questions until they have become so interested as to require more time than we could
spare. It is a very pleasant way of improving the leisure hours, especially of the Sabbath, and we have no doubt your parents will find it a source of great satisfaction to call their little ones together, and read these stories, and answer such questions as you will be inclined to ask. . When you have learned all about this story, perhaps we shall give you another.