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nity, and live as if there were none.
I need not designate them further. What consistency can be expected from such as these?
If, then, we would be consistent, we must first see that our object and our means of pursuing it, our path and our destination, are agreed. If they are not, let us examine where the evil is. Do we want information, do we want judgment, or do we want honesty ? One or the other we want assuredly.
There is a character consistent in beauty, in holiness, in perfection. The features of it have been sketched, distinct though separate, in the records of eternal truth: the whole have been conjoined, embodied, realized, in the person of the incarnate Deity. Conformity to this standard is perfection: every departure from it, is an imperfection. Here perfect consistency would be perfect holiness. It is a standard no man has attained; yet is it the only one consistency with which is desirable. When we seek consistency for ourselves, this ought to be what we mean; when we desire consistency in others, this ought to be the rule by which we judge them. But, I fear, for the most part, that is not our meaning. The only lawful code of conformity is abrogated; the only real standard of excellence, consistency with which is beautiful, and every inconsistency with which is a defect, is put out of sight; while we make to ourselves each one a standard of our own, moulded on our own prejudices, our own habits, our own peculiar taste and character, and by this we measure every thing, judge every thing, and too frequently condemn every body, for no better reason than because they are not like ourselves. In great things, and in small things, from the important features of moral rectitude, to the trifling ornaments of exterior propriety, Self is our standard, and all is
right or wrong, admired or condemned, as it agrees with, or departs from, this standard, this household deity, that each one has made for himself, and fashioned to his own taste, that he may worship it. CONSISTENCY, therefore, has come, in common language, to mean little else than conformity to the narrow ideas of the individual who uses it.
If we can succeed in showing the mother that she has left a duty unperformed towards her infant—a duty of paramount importance-yea, one of far greater consequence than those even which she so assiduously performs for its bodily comfort; if we can convince her that any of the bad passions which agitate, the evil dispositions which deform, and the vicious inclinations which degrade the human character, are under her control, are attributable to her neglect, and may be prevented by her exertions; she will no longer be idle, she will no longer be negligent and indifferent as to the moral health of her offspring.
As soon as a group of little creatures peep out from the nursery, every body asks the mother how she means to educate them; and she, with maternal anxiety, begins to inquire for the best method. For some it is determined that they shall have governesses, some are to be sent to school, some are to be taught by masters, and some are to get their education piecemeal, and by accident, in any way that may happen; which, I have been surprised to observe, sometimes proves, in the end, a very good one. As to which of these modes of education is the best, volumes large, and volumes many, have been written; and our most partial readers would not, I believe, petition for another, even of six pages, were there not a point of view in which the subject is not, to my knowledge, sufficiently considered. There is yet room for discussion on the subject, “How should a Christian mother educate her children ?" for it cannot be that the same answer should be
given where that adjective is subjoined, and where it is omitted. It cannot be, that to ends so opposite, the same path should be the most direct.
When a boy is to be brought up to the church, he is not sent to a military school; neither, when destined to the army, is he sent to a Theological Seminary. If, therefore, there be two masters, two services, two worlds, so distinct and separate as the Scriptures throughout describe them, there must be some difference in the mode of preparation for them. The boy educated for the army may, when he becomes a man, choose to go into the church; and the man educated for the church may take it into his head to enter the army; but this is not in the parents' contemplation : they have an object, and pursue the most likely means to attain it. The child of the Christian mother may turn out careless, thoughtless, unbelieving, and choose the service for which she was not designed; for genuine piety goes not by inheritance, nor of the bequest of man; but the Christian mother does not intend this, does not prepare for this bad preference. And if at the baptismal font she have really devoted her child to be a child of God and a servant of Christ, with ardent prayer and honest wish that the vow should be fulfilled, it is impossible her view of education, and the manner in which she calculates the advantages of the various modes of it, can be exactly the same, as if she considers that ceremony an established farce, and would be very sorry that her child should fulfil its promises. If, therefore, I write my sentiments upon the best mode of educating girls, it is for Christian mothers; to them only, my observations apply: for I am satisfied they cannot, in every point at least, be equally applicable to all.
Travelling last autumn, leisurely and for amuse
ment, in the West of England, by one of those casualties that so often give beginning to the most intimate and lasting friendship, I became acquainted with a gentleman travelling the same road, though not on the same errand. I was wandering away from my home, he was making haste to return to his. After much of that preluding sort of intercourse which usually makes the first chapter of a story so uninteresting, I received an invitation to make his house one stage upon my journey, and remain a few days there, to see what was worthy of observation in the neighbourhood. I did so: and whatever I did or did not see without, I was most highly satisfied with all I found within. I scarcely need draw a picture of which the original may be seen in every town or province of our happy country—the picture of domestic enjoyment, and grateful prosperity. By prosperity, I do not mean wealth revelling in her halls of luxury, amid the plenitude of unrestrained expenditure; but that secure sufficiency, which speculating avarice does not reach, and ostentatious splendour does not waste; which hundreds do enjoy, and hundreds might who do not, were their desires more reasonable, and their hearts more grateful.
If there was nothing in the residence of my friend that bespoke unlimited resources, nothing splendid or costly, it is impossible to imagine a comfort that there was not. Though not far from a large town, the extensive shrubbery that encompassed the house, and closed it from the road, gave to it a fictitious air of loneliness and seclusion, the more delightful, perhaps, that it was not a reality. My friend was a grave and sensible man, one in whose company you could not pass an hour, without perceiving a mind of no common cultivation, under the immediate and habitual influence of the strongest religious princi