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tude of intelligent and pious persons, who give them a favorable reception, that we shall continue to discharge our official duties with thankfulness to God for his blessing on our labors bitherto; and with the hope of assisting a portion of our fellow men to reach that world of universal benevolence and concord, so impressively described by our author.
“ Turn from this, and behold the excellent nature and fruits of that benevolence, which is the moral fulness and blessedness of God himself, and the holy creation. This holy love, in the first instance, enjoys all its own internal fulness, and then enjoys itself again in a diffusive communication, which is made without lessening its own store. Few persons have considered this subject sufficiently to see how benevolence multiplies happiness. Take, as an example, the mind of a holy creature, filled with the spirit of love from God. Though he be in himself frail, of limited powers and knowledge, and a limited capacity of personally receiving divine bounties; still how amazing the field of happiness, opened before him. First, his own personal wants are completely supplied-every thing, which his rectified heart desires, is given in the utmost fulness, he can receive. He can say, my nature, my whole heart and mind is filled—the vessel can personally hold no more good, than God hath poured into it, and will continue to pour through eternity It will be allowed, this is a happy creature, and that taking into consideration, the eternity through which all his wants will be supplied, his situation is blessed indeed. But is this a just or complete description of his blessedness ? By no means.
His benevolence still multiplies happiness to bim. He loves the happiness of his neighbor as his own, and in beholding his good, re-enjoys all the blessedness a finite mind can receive ; and in traversing an immense creation of holy beings, every one he meets, like a glass, reflects back on his heart, a good which he enjoys, equal to the satisfaction of his own personal wants. How different is the meeting of two envious or of two benevolent minds? The envious spontaneously kindle into all the rage and torment of hell. The benevolent reciprocate a divine blessedness, and each brings with him, an ingredient of heaven for his brother-each is happy in his own supplyequally happy in his brother's good."'--vol. i. pp. 90 91.
ART. II.-Domestic PORTRAITURE.
Domestic Portraiture; or,
the Successful Application of Religious Principle in the Education of a Family, ecemplified in the Memoirs of three of the deceased Children of the Reo. Legh Richmond. New York: Jonathan Leavitt. 1833.
The name of Legh Richmond, will be known and honored in the christian church, while there exists on earth, any enlightened regard for piety or sound practical wisdom. Those touching delineations of his pen, the Young Cottager, and the Dairyman's Daughter, will go on for ages to call the pious of every name to “a closer walk with God,” and to a warmer glow of gratitude for His grace and love. The volume before us invites the reader into the family circle of this excellent man; and presents him to us in the character of an affectionate, judicious parent, leading his offspring to the service of God, and thus forming them for happiness, here and hereafter. It shows us how deeply Mr. Richmond felt the responsibilities of a christian parent; responsibilities we fear, which are far too little estimated, and too feebly discharged, by the majority of those, even among the disciples of Jesus, who are entrusted with the care of training up sons and daughters for the Lord Almighty. The author of this compilation, for his name is not given, is of a kindred spirit with his lamented friend; and intermingles his own views of education, with those of Legh Richmond, while portraying to us the method adopted by the latter in discharging his duty as a christian parent. We are here presented in lively colors, with the daily intercourse of this pious family. The anxieties of parental love, and the joys of parental anticipation, blend or alternate before our view, and give a glowing interest to the whole picture. As in a sort of transparency, the heart of the father is laid open to inspection. We mark its yearnings over his beloved offspring : his earnest wrestling in prayer in their behalf, his soft persuasions, his thrilling expostulations, and solemn admonitions, all tell us in how weighty a business he felt himself engaged. Every bosom that has beat responsive to the voice of infancy, must feel, how true to nature is the siinple and characteristic language, in which he pours out the overflowing of his tenderness and urgency, to the dear ones who cluster around his heart. The principle which he assumed as the basis of all education, is RELIGION; and that too, not a mere conformity in outward conduct, to certain forms, but a solemn, heart-searching sense of obligation to live for God's glory, and to be devoted to His service. Legh Richmond, in all his intercourse with his children, regarded them as immortal beings, destined to an eternity of happiness, or misery; placed here on probation under the government of God, and entrusted with the decision of their future allotment, in the world of unchangeable existence. He began, therefore, as early as possible, to imprint on their minds, lessons of wisdom and piety. "His aim was to make them realize the great end of their creation ; and to impress them with a deep and ever increasing conviction of their accountability to God, their maker and moral governor. He perpetually taught them, the necessity of a change of heart, by the power of divine grace. He sought to twine around every fiber of their souls, the claim of God upon their love ; and mingled in all the instruction which he imparted on literature or science, a holy unction, which might make them consecrate every acquisition to their Redeemer.
present day, of a premature development of the moral faculties, or of religious instruction at the earliest period of life. He saw no warrant in the revelation of God, for leaving the soft, mellow soil of the young mind, uncultured by moral discipline, till the physical frame should become robust, and meet for the exercises of boyhood or youth: he well knew that those days of pliancy, when the mind just opening may be led to love such a Savior, as invites children to seek him early, can never return, even should life be continued, or health be insured. In our view, his was the wisest course. To us, it seems better, far better, to train up the child for God, to bring him to share in the blessings of early piety, though the subject be soon ripe and laid in a premature grave;-though the scarcely opened bud, transplanted as it is, to the upper Eden, blossom not, or exhale its fragrance in this lower world,--rather than, leaving the soul uncared for, to aim only at rendering the frame vigorous, and prolonging his days in this world of temptation and sin. If, in the few years which comprise his pilgrimage here, the
young immortal has reached the highest point of God's love, if, so to - speak, he has lived years where others have lived hours, and is
ripened for heaven, before the days of childhood are past, has he
manhood, has yet to learn the secret of the soul's true prosperity ? it. We do not believe, indeed, that any sacrifice of health, or of the
joyous activity of youth, is necessary to early piety. But if it hide were, no one, we think, would hesitate to make it, who decides
according to the word of God, and who knows how liable all are
, therefore, a work which like the volume before us, is calcula-
this little work. But we should rejoice to be in any way instrumental, in awakening a deeper interest in early religious education, by turning the attention of our readers to the example of Legh Richmond, as portrayed in this volume. There is something which seems to us uncommonly interesting in the piety of the
man who penned the Dairyman's Daughter. It is like a soft die spell
, which throws its magic influence over every spot where he the moves ; hallowing every relation in which he is called to act, and
pervading all the situations in which he is placed; exerting its puri-
dy consecration of all his natural powers and acquired talents to his Savior, Legh Richmond seems ever to feel, that no opportunity is to be lost for promoting the spread of piety. The same spirit exhibits itself in his most familiar letters to bis children, and his correspondence with friends in more advanced life. He never unbends himself so far, as to lose sight of the great truth, that religion is all in all to man. The book before us, affords us many exemplifications of these remarks. We shall sketch concisely, after the author, the plan adopted by the venerated rector of Turvey in the education of his children. We hope however, our readers will not be satisfied with this meager sunmary, but peruse for themselves the pleasing record of a good man's words and actions. If the volume has not all the charm and freshness of the productions of Legh Richmond's pen; yet here and there, we may meet with the same spirit in its utterance of faithfulness and affection.
The great principle on which Mr. Richmond conducted his plan of education, his grand aim was “ to make duty and delight synonymous.” “Religion,” as our author well observes, " is estimated far below its real character, when it is regarded as an affair of dutiful necessity, or as a medicine taken for ulterior relief, rather than as a well-spring of life and health, to which the soul turns for satisfaction and delight, and without which it can neither be peaceful nor happy. The truths of the bible may be taught in their utmost purity, and yet, unless their spirit be transfused into the affections of the heart and the habits of the life, they will fall short of the effect and design of real christianity. Mere knowledge of religion without a corresponding feeling and practice, often issues in a false apathy, and forms a character which becomes at last impervious to every sacred impression.” Such views Legh Richmond enforced both by precept and example ;—and how well he succeeded in convincing his children that piety is the way to happiness, is plain from the remark so often made by the members of bis family, “ We love religion because we see papa so lovely and happy under its influence.” Happy indeed must be that parent, in the exercise of a cheerful and enlightened piety, whose constant, daily walk constrains such a testimony from the youthful mind.
Mr. Richmond felt that one great object at which he should aim, was to make home the most endeared spot to his beloved offspring. For this purpose, and in order to occupy their leisure hours, he gathered around them a great variety of objects which might at the same time interest and instruct. Thus says our author,
Mr. Richmond's first object was to make home the happiest place to his children ; to render them independent of foreign alliances in their pursuits and friendships ; and so to interest them in domestic enjoyments,
as to preclude the feeling, too common in young people, of restlessness and longing to leave their own firesides, and wander abroad in search of pleasure and employment. In this attempt to satisfy his family and engage their compliance with his wishes, he so completely succeeded, that every member of it left home with regret, even on an occasional visit, and returned to Turvey with fond anticipation,—as to the place of their treasures. p. 13.
He had recourse to what was beautiful in nature or ingenious in art or science; and when abroad he collected materials to gratify curiosity. He fitted up his museum, his auctarium, and his library, with specimens of mineralogy, instruments for experimental philosophy, and interesting curiosities from every part of the world : he had his magic lantem to exhibit phantasmagoria, and teach natural history ; to display picturesque beanty, and scenes and objects far-famed in different countries; his various microscopes for examining the minutiæ of plants and animals ; his telescope for tracing planetary revolutions and appearances; his air pump and other machines for illustrating and explaining the principles of pneumatics and electricity ; authors of every country who treated on the improvements connected with modern science ; whatever, in short, could store the mind with ideas, or interest and improve the heart. When he traveled he kept up a correspondence with his family, and narrated to them the persons, places, and adventures of his progress. On his return he enlivened many a leisure hour by larger details of all that he had observed to amuse and improve. pp. 15, 16.
In reference to the elegant arts, he was in favor of having his children taught to use the pencil, that they might be able to sketch the landscapes and natural scenery which might fall under their eye. Thus he
says :Loving landscape scenery as I do, my grand object is to see God in it; to trace him in every part of his works; to acknowledge his goodness in them, and to collect arguments from them to endear the character of Christ, óby whom,' the scripture says, 'all things were made, and without whom was not anything made that was made. To this end I wish drawing to be cultivated. I mourn over pride and vanity, and if accomplishments are only acquired to gratify these unholy affections, I should wish them banished. Nay, mere innocent pleasure is not a suffcient motive ; the glory of God must be the end and aim of every attainment, or else it is a waste of time, and an abuse of talent. pp. 16, 17.
Although he knew the danger of its abuses, yet he likewise favored the cultivation of musical talents. He regretted the corruption of the theater, the fascinations of the ball-room, and the substitution of waltzes and airs, etc., for the sober dignity of genuine instrumental music, and deprecated such a profanation of that noble art, vocal music, as unfitted for true praise to God. Writing to his daughter on this subject, he says: