« 이전계속 »
of happiness or misery, may be brought, in some measure, under the control of reason, and moral and religious principles may be ingrafted. Is it objected, that we ask more of women than they
fied to give? When we revert to the sums that are expended in the education of females, we should say they ought to be qualified. It cannot however be denied, that their acquisitions at school are, after all, but superficial. The chief reason seems to be, that too many things are crowded upon their attention at once; and that, too, at an age when they are capable of comprehending but little. Their peculiar and paramount duties require them to leave their schools, several years sooner than the other sex relinquish their studies. “ This then, is the time for them to finish what has been but begun. Their faculties are now somewhat strengthened, and they are free from distracting cares. Company, except so much as can be enjoyed without the sacrifice of much time, or of much attention to dress, ought now to be interdicted for a few years. These are precious years 'to a girl. She may never again possess such advantages for study, as are now in her power. The connexions she will probably form will absorb all her thoughts, and demand the chief part of her time. Now, she may qualify herself to instruct those who may
hereafter be given to her care. Next to the improvement of the heart, and the regulation of the temper, we would above all things, entreat young women to cultivate a taste for reading. Where it is not innate, it may be acquired. They little know, at this careless age, the solace it will be, in many a lonesome, or
troubled hour! On these, they must assuredly reckonthey are more or less the lot of all. To those in whom the taste is inherent, reading affords a delight, that is only equalled by intelligent conversation; and it is, of all pleasures, the cheapest, and the most useful. When the song and the dance no longer have charms, a book is still a treasure! The very acquisition of knowledge, if it should never be called into use, is a pleasure. But knowledge may be of vast importance in the life of a woman. Ignorance must diminish her own sources of enjoyment, as well as her influence in her family, and in society.
Women ought to be acquainted with all the branches of an English education, to a certain extent. With what are called the higher branches they may dispense, because they can seldom be of use to them. Arithmetic, Grammar, Geography, History, and the elements of Astronomy, are useful and ornamental. They ought, too, to know something of the best Belles lettres writers. It has become a fashion of late, to set girls to the study of Latin. We think it labour lost; for they have not time to make any respectable proficiency. The apology that the Latin tongue is the key to the English, is insufficient. A grammar of the latter, together with appropriate reading, is adequate to the common purposes of women in speaking and writing. The French language is now so much spoken amongst us, that it may properly find a place in the education of our females. These things are all taught at their schools; but for obvious reasons, the scholar can make no great progress, and if she prosecute not her studies at home, her learning will be of little value. In after life.
even amidst the pressure ef household affairs, a book may occasionally be taken up. There are few women above the state of positive indigence, who might not sometimes find leisure, and many who might confess, that of what they know, the chief has been collected in these stolen hours. According to the present system of education in our seminaries, the lesson is appointed by the teacher, and to him it is to be recited; but the whole study is at home, and to this
every hour of the mother is devoted. It is then absolutely necessary that she be accomplished; if she have neglected her former advantages, she now feels her deficiency, and regrets the days that were lost in mere idleness. The passion of reading appears in some children so early, that we cannot question its being a natural endowment. In most cases it is inherited, for it is usually found in those families in which the parents are readers. But it may be communicated. We have the testimony of some eminent men,
that they imbibed a love of letters from the conversation and example of their mothers. How gratifying to a mother that she has the power of bestowing so vast a benefit! Youth is naturally averse to study. The love of reading will bring the mind to it with less reluctance. The first books of children should be amusing. Entertaining stories engage their attention; and with such as are innocent, they ought to be indulged. The best of books contains many stories; and here is the mother's opportunity to sow the first seed of Christianity. Children are unable to comprehend much that is in the Bible, but the parables and the narratives, the moral being explained to them, is adapted to their capacities : and may produce
a lasting effect. We have seen a boy burst into tears, while he listened to his mother reading the affecting story of Joseph.
With respect to moral culture, let mothers be what they would make their children. Let them exemplify the apostolic precept. To their “faith,” let them “add knowledge, and to knowledge virtue, and to virtue temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness.”
But are there not many females who are not called to the duties of which we have been speaking ? Are these to be cyphers of no benefit to society? There is no rational being so isolated, so independent, that society has no claim upon their talents. Where these are bestowed, whether it be of time, of intellect, or of property, they are not to be “hid in a napkin.” Our divine Lawgiver has given the rule. According to the number of talents intrusted, so must be the improvement. Time, intellect, property, are not given for the exclusive enjoyment of the possessor, but are to be thrown into the common stock for the benefit of the community; and happily, the benevolent spirit of the present age has pointed out the way in which they may be employed in the most noble of all ends—the diffusion of knowledge, the relief of the indigent, and the “promotion of CHRISTIANITY.”
There is not, perhaps, a greater amount of learning and religion at the present day, than in former ages have been known to prevail amongst Christian nations. Yet the wise and the good did not until now discover that the kingdom of Christ might be advanced by means of Sunday schools, of tract societies, and the diffusion of religious
knowledge by a general distribution of the Bible. Dare we to boast that, more than our ancestors, we abound in genuine piety! Let us remember the injunction of an Apostle, “Be not high-minded, but fear,” and rather consider the ordination of Providence which has called us to these “labours of love" as a privilege which ought to excite our deepest gratitude, and call forth every talent into exercise to promote the gracious purpose, which seems very plainly to be disclosed.
We have the word of inspiration, that “ All nations whom the Lord has made, shall come and worship before him, and shall glorify his name,” Ps. 86. 9—and that “at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.” The verification of these blessed promises will constitute that Mille. nium which every believer does confidently expect. Many who are well acquainted with the prophecies, and have compared them with the “ signs of the times," are of the opinion that the Millenium is approaching. And does it not seem to every reflecting mind, that the means by which it is to be brought about are in active operation ? We look not for miracles to convert the nations. Experience has taught us that human efforts are commonly employed to accomplish the Divine decrees. Sacred history is full of instances. We shall only mention two, where the free will of the agents alone appeared in a series of events most unlikely to happen. To Abram it was said—“know, of a surety, that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they