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soul goes across the border of time in quest of the departed spirit, and so acquaints itself better with eternity and its unseen realities. How real is the distant isle to which a friend has gone, though formerly it seemed but a dim fog on the sea! How real is eternity, when one that we have loved, and love still, is there! 'One that I love is there'—that gives our hearts a local habitation in eternity. This event tells us that we are nearer our journey's end now than we were yesterday. The Jordan is not far off-a few breathings of the air of the wilderness, a few steps across the dreary sands, and then we reach home.” *
It is very touching to listen to many parents, who will tell you it never entered their apprehension that their first dear child was mortal, till, on being weaned, it fell sick, or convulsions in teething, or that widewasting destroyer, “summer complaint," swept it away.
This loss of children seems to me the rod under which the Good Shepherd gathers many a sheep into his fold. It is precious to hear them tell how they first turned to Christ, when they followed their departed lambs to his bosom. Sweetly and confidingly do they intrust you with their soul's secret, and amid the riches of their new-found hopes, mingle their sweet smiles and tears with your sympathies and precious it is to hear of little disciples, taught early by the Great Teacher, who never made a soul
* Hewrtson's Memoir.
too young to receive His influences, speaking words of resignation, of love, and peace, to the weeping parents whom they are about to leave, and of hope and joy of the welcoming Lord whose presence they are about to enter. On listening to narratives of such early Christians, I have felt it difficult to abstain from congratulating the mourners with a “Blessed are the dead who are already dead, more than the living who are yet alive.”
There never was better material of which to make good and wise citizens than these children, so quick to understand, so keen to feel, so prompt to act. But the very metal in them renders the use of breaking-bridles in childhood, and a tight rein in youth, of great importance. They receive education with facility and smartness, but those who are destined for commerce are so generally mounted on a tall desk-seat in their fourteenth or fifteenth year, that they much require exact and strict moral discipline before that early period. Obedience, that grave selfdenying quality, is never so easily nor so fitly learnt as in childhood-self-will never gains strength more rapidly than in the nursery. If the child does not learn submission to his natural guardians with the first shooting up of his own will and desires, how shall he, later in life, learn obedience to the Divine will ?
One perceives a perplexity in the parent's mind sometimes, between a consciousness that he ought to rule his son, and a notion that the little rebel's escapades are the natural result of “Liberty"-liberty ! that sacred name under which many a crime has been perpetrated, and many a dangerous and ruinous mistake committed. There is no fear of the child born under free institutions and destined to exercise a freeman's privilege, becoming too tame by means of just parental discipline—and it is certain that he will render the more healthful obedience to the laws of his country, and more reverential observance of the laws of God, by his being accustomed to observe the laws of his earliest protectors and loving friends. To see sensible people smile with secret admiration of the “spirited” exhibition of rebellious will on the part of their offspring, excites, in an English mind, a sense of lurking danger—as also to hear pupils asserting boldly what they “will never learn,” and what they “will learn,” and to see teachers using all manner of adroit flatteries and timid expostulations, with a view to obtain a slender influence over the pupils, leads one to look out anxiously for ultimate results.
Natural quickness enables persons to discern methods of “getting along,” and to pass well in social life, who have lacked thorough training. Many a man finds himself in a position which forces him to guide or influence others, who has not acquired the difficult art of governing himself; and many a girl is placed in the centre of maternal cares, with all the duties and responsibilities of rearing a family, who feels herself at a loss on many points, because of her own undisciplined childhood, or, what is worse, feels herself at no loss, but thinks she knows all about it.
It happens frequently, also, that persons attain wealth who have not themselves been well educated; and they, in the United States as in England, mistake the important objects of instruction, and omit them in favour of the showy or amusing. In this way only can I account for the listlessness or even the impatience that I have seen manifested in school examinations, when the subject is a solid branch of education. Thus, at an exhibition of the attainments of the children who were brought in from the “Orphan Asylum” to the Apollo Rooms in New York for examination, a well. dressed and animated audience began to thin away in an alarming manner under an examination on geography and arithmetic, so that the sagacious directors “stopt that,” and immediately seats were cheerfully resumed to listen to choruses, solos, and amusing dialogues— and, though printed in the programme, grammar, and parsing, and lessons in geometry, were not ventured upon, but gave place to “Dirty Jem,” “ the Handy Lad," and the “Grand Banquet.” When I remarked this to more than one sensible and well-educated matron, I was told that, not only at an examination of strangers and orphans, but of their own children, the parents often exhibit weariness when the subjects of investigation are solid. It is pleasing to see severer studies diversified by moral songs, hymns, and music, and a touch of elocution may be very wisely bestowed
on the embryo stump-orator or future senator; but that these should be the all of education which ex- * cites an interest is an unsound and unsafe state of things. I am not a judge of how much may be enjoyed by Americans in such matters, being myself used to the ways of a slower and more enduring people, who can sit out long sermons, long lectures, and long school examinations; but I feel assured that it is not the well-informed part of the audience who become weary of the substantial and useful portions of instruction ; and it might be wise in the lessinstructed parents to remain and see if they can learn something of what their children are acquiring.
In no country shall we find more lovely examples of cheerful domestic union, or more honourable and self-denying exertion on the part of parents, in sharing and lightening the studies of their children
-any one might feel with me, enriched for life by having been admitted to such family circles, and formed friendships with such parents; but, in the ever-changing mass of people in the maritime and commercial cities, such steadfast and enlightened characters are far from being the majority. Yet how rich are the rewards of those who lay themselves out to indoctrinate the young immortal, and to strengthen, while they prune, the budding energies of the future citizen !
Though it is years since, in my remote Scottish home, my eyes often overflowed as I read the speeches of John Quincey Adams, and pictured thọ