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respect to those minor offences which may be said to be personal, we cannot withhold our forgiveness without infringing a law we have often occasion to enforce; of which the shades of every evening eloquently remind us, that we should not let the down
upon our wrath.' There is a kind of resistance arising from another cause, which is often mistaken for obstinacy. It results from the want of a proper understanding between the parties; the one having some latent motive of action, totally unsuspected by the other. An instance of this was lately given in a chapter on education; the case of a little girl, who positively refused, in spite of threats and punishment, to carry some clothes into a visiter's room, having an idea that there was an impropriety in going there. Such misapprehensions can only be prevented by cultivating that confidence between parent and child which has been warmly recommended in a former page. There are other failings common in children, which are sometimes construed into proofs of resistance to authority, which might more properly be treated as physical weaknesses than as faults. For example; a little girl acquires a habit of sitting in an awkward position. • I have spoken to you about this fifty times, observes the mother, and you will not mind. Why, take it for granted that she will not. Better to give her credit for having no intention to disobey, and provide her with a stronger motive for attention. The mother may tell her, without any appearance of anger, that she perceives she is acquiring a habit which will in time injure her health, and propose as a remedy that she should lie down upon a floor or board, for a certain length of time, whenever she appears to have difficulty in keeping an upright position. This restraint will have all the good effect of a punishment, without eliciting any bad temper. The mother may say, • My dear, I see it is time for you to lie down,' with exactly the same tone and manner as she would say, “ It is the hour for you to take your medicine. None but very ill-taught children feel any resentment towards their parents for giving them medicine, and keeping them confined during illness. Though they may have a conceit that they should recover as soon without the regimen, it never excites any angry feelings, because they are convinced it is intended for their good; and the same would be the effect of moral discipline, could the same conviction be produced.
It frequently happens that the manner of giving an injunction is the only thing which renders it obnoxious, or excites a disposition to resist. It is very important a child should acquire habits of independence, but what a difference it makes in the feeling with which it exerts its powers, whether she who has it in charge induces it to do so by saying, You are old enough
to help yourself, and I have trouble enough without waiting upon you,' or lays her hand caressingly upon its head, observing, Now that your little limbs are growing strong, and your mind is acquiring knowledge, you will be able to do many things for yourself, and the sooner you can do that, the sooner you will have the pleasure of performing little services for others.' It may appear strange to propose this to a child as a reward, yet there exist in the world glorious proofs, that the human mind may gradually be brought to such a state, that to give it an additional means of conferring happiness, is the richest boon which can possibly be bestowed upon it.
Another strong reason for ruling by the law of love is the consideration that each and all of the young beings with whom we have to deal, will have in future life their own sphere of action, and as they have been governed, so, in all probability, will they govern. A few of the persecuted may learn mercy, , but, generally speaking, there is no tyranny like that of slaves.
The enforcement of a command, because it is a command, is for the present a trouble-saving system, and many who are aware that such an influence cannot be lasting, adopt it in the hope that it may some time or other be made to merge into the right principle. It is better to lay hold of the right principle at once, disregarding the mental exertion that will be needful to direct its operation upon very young, ignorant, or perverted minds.
It is well to fix our eyes steadfastly upon the sublime certainty • that God is love,'—that Christianity is but another name for benevolence—that the divine government, of which all human governments should be a correct, though humble imitation, is
dispensing of happiness, though in a manner not always manifest to our perceptions, and to let in the light of these glorious truths, little by little, upon the mind, as it becomes able to bear it. There will then be nothing to unlearn. There will be in the memory of the learner, no cloudy recollections of discipline it is impossible to account for, except upon the supposition that the teacher, having power, loved to exercise it.
A perpetual reference to the command, promises, and threats of the gospel might be wearisome, if not unintelligible, to infantile and uninformed minds, but the spirit of its teachings may be conveyed to them, passing through the minds of their instructors as the sun-beams glance through the leaves of the forest, refreshing and expanding the young flowers which would have been overwhelmed by its unmitigated splendour.
It has been observed by Dr. Johnson, that if every one would determine to dispense as much happiness as he could, the world would soon be reformed. In forming the minds of the young, we should not fail to engrave upon them the conviction that it
is the duty of every Christian to do his part to instruct and reclaim the ignorant and the vicious part of the community. It is a beautiful thought, that men might be reformed by making them happy; and if it be true, who are so well fitted as the gentler part of the creation, to make happiness the minister of virtue, and so to embody the happiness-giving principle in their actions, that they become themselves its ministers ?
Woman, that was brought to man, .bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh,' to be to him a helpmate and a blessing, is in every way calculated for the glorious work of presenting virtue to the world, so completely surrounded by the bright atmosphere of love, that amidst temptation, self-denial, and difficulty, its unity with happiness may clearly be perceived. In her warm and sensitive feelings the cause of the oppressed finds a ready advocate; in her lovely charities, the failings of the erring a merciful judge ; in her deep and fervent sympathies, the teachings of religion have an earnest and thankful appreciation.
To woman was first revealed the present advent of the Messiah. She was found at the feet of Him who was meek and lowly of heart, treasuring up the expressions of love and selfdevotedness which fell from his hallowed lips ; and when the strong, the valiant, and the confident forsook him and fled, she was amongst the very few who waited to catch the last faltering sentence . It is finished;' she it was who watched at the mouth of the sepulchre, and bore to the astonished disciples tidings of Him who is the resurrection and the life.'
Is there not still a spirit within her, ready to hail the first manifestations of better feeling in the guilty or uninformed mind—to seize as a treasure every expression that appears to succeed in recommending the precepts of the gospel-to endure to watch the working out of right principle from the vortex of passion, and the bonds of habit, through all the slow, strong agonies of remorse, and then whisper to the Christian brotherhood, that a soul had passed from darkness into life?
If, in treating of female education, we have spoken rather of the infant than the woman, it is because we believe that the child is the father of the man,' and that habits, those friends or foes to virtue, have their foundation in very early life. We would venture to say, that at no period of its existence is the heart inaccessible to the spirit of love. There are few, perhaps none, who, if they believed that their interest alone was sought, would not listen to advice, and design to profit by it; but habit presents an often insurmountable barrier to the improvement of persons
of maturer years. We know not how early the first impressions are made, nor which are they that, woven into the intricacies of being, most determine the characteristics of the mind. We see the action, but the motive which prompted it may have germinated years ago. When we make or suffer a principle to enter the mind, we know not what part of existence it may affect.
• Of man's miraculous mistakes,' there is not a greater than the supposition that all moral training, and all right conduct, are but preparation for a happy death ;-they are preparation for a happy life, and if they do not promote the one, there is reason to fear if they will secure the other. The act of dying well is no isolated effort of the mind. In our moral growth there are few convulsive expansions; in our moral identity there are no chasms. The last emotion is but the ultimate link of a chain, of which every preceding link is a preparer, the nearest not more so than the most remote. If it were possible to evade this dependence of one feeling upon another, should we wish to do it? Would the husbandman, when he sows the seed, be content if it could start miraculously into ear at harvest time, that the ground should meanwhile lie fallow? Would he wil. lingly lose the sight of the first fresh germ, with its soft delicate beauty—of the maturer growth, with its rich luxuriance, reflecting the glancing sunlight, or the rustling sound of the ripened produce, which seems like a voice communing with the reapers about to come into the field ? And we, if we could ensure for our beloved ones a remorseless death, distinct from the consequences of life, would we resign the contemplation of their loving and joyous childhood; the anticipation of their useful and happy womanhood; their honoured and calm old age ?
Upon the principle that it is sufficient to sketch the outline, and leave it to be filled up according to circumstancs, we have said nothing about the degree of information, which should be given to young females, believing, that when the importance of intellectual cultivation is once admitted, no parents will withhold from their daughters such a portion of it as their means enable them to bestow. Neither will they be careless in the choice of teachers to assist them in this part of education. They will naturally look out for persons, whose plans, feelings, and principles of action coincide with their own. It is to be regretted that instructors, truly competent for the office they undertake, are not so numerous as may be desired. One of the happy results of greater attention to female education will be, that they will become more so, and thus extend the advantages they have received.
We have lately seen an observation, coming from too respectable authority not to have weight with many, that females often engage in the business of education, because they have become bankrupt in fortune, or have been crossed in love. Of the former we can only say, that their own necessities ought not to be their only reason for entering upon such a charge. Of the
latter, we cannot help remarking, that a mind such an affliction would render unfit for communicating instruction, would have been unfit whether afflicted or not. For the credit of human nature we would believe, that connections of this kind are seldom broken by any cruelty or unfaithfulness on either side. They are much more frequently dissolved by death, on account of adverse fortune, or by the interference of over-cautious, perhaps proud and mercenary, relatives. The woman who has undergone this trial, is not, on that account, less eligible as a teacher. She has formed an exalted idea of at least one of human kind. Whatever failings or earthliness may have mingled with his virtues, to her they have had no existence, for she has not perceived them. Whatever he may have been to others, to her he has always appeared full of disinterested kindness, energy, and truth. She, beyond other women, has a model of moral excellence, after which to mould the young mind of her pupils, and she will rejoice in the growing likeness her care has produced. She has one tie less to earth, and one more to that better land where there is no poverty and no separation. Men do little justice to themselves when they suppose, that of the affection they inspire in women, the only remnants are bitterness and ashes. The poet was nearer the right when he exclaimed, • Our children will love as we have loved, and therefore cannot be wholly miserable. A virtuous attachment is an elevating feeling; and she who has thus experienced it has an object of blessed and secret contemplation. The beautiful in spirit has crossed her path, and left upon it a vision of human perfection, bright as the coming of morning, and peaceful as an infant's dream.
There are yet a few words which, parting, we would address to the friends of the young. We would entreat them not to be too anxious for those they have cherished, because, when they go out into the world, they must have tribulation. Our revered Master prayed for his disciples, not that they might be taken out of the world, but that they might be kept from the evil. If our faith in the benevolence of God be steadfast, we shall believe, for those we love better than ourselves, that in every dispensation he designs them good. If we see them afflicted, we shall trust that sorrow will refine and establish their virtue. If all his appointments are for our benefit, those which do not immediately conduce to happiness, must quicken some moral excellence, which will, in the end, produce it.
The domestic discomforts and personal annoyances which men inflict upon one another, may disturb the feelings without rectifying them, and fever rather than strengthen the mind; but when the angel troubles the waters of life, they receive a healthgiving and vivifying influence. Parents, teachers, and friends,