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Michael power of doing many kind actions; and Esther was extremely careful in house expenditure; there was a sentence frequently upon her lips,
Plenty, but no waste;”-in short, Thou God, seest me. And the dear children were taught to fear daintiness-—" How many poor little creatures want what you have, Moss; and if you take care, Jemima, I should not wonder if you might give a new frock to little Judith; but you know your father works hard, love, and if we waste we can have nothing to give.” Now some good folks will say, how was it possible that such babies as these could understand? But we will say of them, as it is said of the German, that they make playthings for the English children to break; so these preserved those halfpence to make up a little store for the poor, which other children spent in trash to gratify the palate; and we will venture to say, this kept them in better health, and they breathed an atmosphere of love and good will, and their little active powers were kept in play usefully and happily, so that they rarely suffered from that species of uneasiness called fretfulness; and they mixed with no children but their cousins, and were not tempted with forbidden dainties nor forbidden finery.
People are little aware how children are affected by association, or how soon they long for what they see, and it is unkind to tantalize them with a prospect of enjoyment which is to be forbidden. Their greatest delight was the infant school, there they saw beings even younger than themselves busy and happy in pursuit of knowledge; they saw also necessary and wholesome correction of those faults which in so large a circle must arise, and they saw it immediately effectual in restoring good order and obedience, and if there was any thing like resistance at home, Michael would say, “ I think we shall send you to the infant school :" and much as they liked to visit, they never wished to be members. Moss's chief
gratificaticn was a visit to his grandmother, who had a large old Bible, and permitted him to amuse himself by turning over the pictures and tracing the history by reading that part which related to them, and by these means they became acquainted with all the historical parts; and it was as natural to Esther to refer for examples and warnings to the sacred book, as to some mothers to utter a worldly threat, or to offer a worldly enjoyment. If they concealed a fault, she would say, “ 0, Moss, the woman whom thou gavest
to be with me.' If they were prevaricating, “ Thy servant went no whither;' and immediately the idea of Gehazi, covered with leprosy, was present to the infant imagination. If they were not kind to each other, the love of Jonathan and David ; if they were envious, they were reminded, Behold, this dreamer cometh;” and in any act where generosity was required, the conduct of Abraham to Lot, “ If thou wilt go to the right, I will go to the left;" and the conduct of David to Araunah, “ in all these things did David give as a king giveth to a king;” and when they were to take offerings at the church, that text, “ Shall I offer unto God that which cost me nothing ;" so that some little self-denial was to be practised ere they consented to permit them the gratification of bestowing. If they were confident, they were reminded of Peter ; if reluctant to forgive each other, they were reminded of that injunction of our Lord, “I say not unto you seven times, but until seventy times seven.” If they looked pouting at the time of repose, ** Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” If they were unwilling to impart their little gifts to each other, it was,
Remember, the Lord said, ' it is more blessed to give than to receive.'
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advantage of another, this broad axiom, 'Speak not evil one of another,” stopped them; and then, for the gentleness and all the beautiful graces that adorn the christian character, they were referred to the Saviour, Who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; and then for obedience, even Jesus was subject to his parents. The Lord of life and glory, before whom nothing is pure, nothing is holy, came and dwelt among us, bore with our sins, our infirmities, and shall not we bear with one another?
Thus did these good parents train their little ones, and for moral precepts they went to the Proverbs, so abounding in wisdom. And for God's hatred of contempt for age, the awful instance of the children with Elijah made a strong impression—the bears out of the wood. Moss was a keen child; “But mother, there are no bears now in England." “ But take care, Moss, how you harden your little heart. Remember Pharaoh : there are plenty of flies and frogs, besides, God says, “ He that being often reproved, and hardeneth his neck shall be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy.” These children felt the force of these appeals, they understood them. It is impossible to ascertain how far the divine blessing might
operate upon the minds of children whose parents were walking in the fear of God, but this we can assure the reader, that neither Esther or Michael found the slightest difficulty in making their children understand all the precepts of the Scriptures, nor even the lessons which are drawn by inference, so that the common objection that they cannot understand appears to be the result of prejudice and inexperience. Not only did they comprehend what was told them, but they soon began to find out lessons for themselves. Thus, for instance: as they were walking hand in hand through the church-yard, Moss asked, turning his little head round to his father,“ Whether that was not holy ground.”
Yes,” replied his father. What led the child to this question, was having overheard some one say, that the punishment was more severe for any abuse offered in the church-yard, because it was holy ground; and then said the little prattler,
Dada, should we not pull our shoes off as Moses did ?" 6. There is no commandment of that sort, my dear; if God were to speak personally to us as he did to Moses, we might be commanded to act as Moses acted; he is every
where• Not to one narrow partial spot confined.' If you take the wings of the morning,