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tion. It was his chief aim to stamp on the mind of the young immortal committed to his care, this reflection.—“My parents have given me to God, and I am training up for Him." Such should be the object of every christian parent. Even were there no command to teach our children, in the earliest periods of their life, the way in which they should go, the religion of the bible is 50 particularly adapted to the young, that it would be a great oversight for us to neglect such a period. Its reception demands docility, faith, subordination, and when are these feelings most natural, and habitually enforced by the circumstances of our being, unless in the days of childhood ? It appeals to hope, fear and joy, as alluring, or warning, or inspiriting the subject; and with whoin do these passions reign more than with the young? Youth is a season of expectation, of anxiety to be happy, and of comparative freedom from the corroding passions of envy and covetousness. This then is surely a period favorable to religious education. The great question is, what is a religious education, or how shall it be conducted ? In our view it consists in teaching the child his relations to God and his fellow beings, and leading him to obedience in the performance of those duties to which he is called by such relations. The first thing then, is to imprint upon his mind the solemn truth, that such relations exist. Nor for this purpose are we to wait till he can clearly perceive what they comprehend ; or the reasons why they reach out so broadly over his whole path of moral action. This he must learn as he grows up to manhood. The intellect must be occupied with the truth, and its bearings must be developed as he advances in his mental perceptions. As soon as he can understand it, this impression, before made through docility and submission to the parent's declarations, must be formed into an intelligent admission and conviction of the grounds on which rests the truth already lodged in the memory : and the consciousness of accountability beginning to be felt, must be deepened into a more solemn sense of responsibility to God, in view of the consequences attending its discharge. The parent must feel, and the child must likewise be made to feel ; That eternity depends on the right use of those powers, which God bas given for moral action—and both must act like those who in a short period are to close life and probation, to enter upon retribution and a nerer ending state. Religion wearing her most attractive dress, insinuating her counsels in the voice of parental urgency, must stand forth to the view of the child, as the great business of life. While there should be an unyielding firmness in repressing the waywardness of wrong inclinations, there should likewise be a winning readiness, ever to promote those feelings which may attach more strongly the tendrils of youthful expectation around the parent stock, so that to be sundered but for a time, shall be punishment enough for the offender.
The want of a systematic course of action in the treatment of children, is one of the evils most deeply to be deplored in practice. So many influences are operating on the young mind just ready to receive its bent for life, that it would be strange indeed, if a series of occasional impulses should not be unfavorable in the bighest degree, to the right development of the intellectual and moral powers. If the parent or teacher is one thing at one time, and another at a short interval after, though he himself may have forgotten the inconsistency of his conduct, his children will not do so; and the want of some regular principles will fasten its consequences on his child, it may be throughout all the period of his future being. In this point of view, we would strongly urge every parent to adopt at the very outset, some great principles of systematic education; and to make religion the controlling habit in every thing which he has to perform with reíerence to his offspring. Prayer must bear its interests up to the throne of God, and seek to draw down blessings which shall fit the soul for its probation, and for its eternal state. Example must recommend the precepts which drop from those lips on which his children hang for instruction. A mother's or a father's life of holy love to God, spreading over the family circle, that influence, which like oil on the bosom of the deep, will calm the rising passions and perturbations of the little state, must be associated in the memory of the young immortal, with that sweet and unruffled serenity which beams in the smiling eye of maternal delight, or marks the brow of manhood's unwavering aim. To descend to notice the little wants and the petty griefs of infantile disquietude, may be a sacrifice to some; but is it not richly repaid, if thereby an influence is secured by which we may win the soul of a loved child to our Redeemer? To go through all the minutiæ of detail by which to interpret duty and enforce obligation on the dawning powers of moral agency, may sometimes seem wearisome; but is it not worth all the labor, and all the time, if by such a process we may sieze upon the first shootings of the germ of intellect, and train it up to hang its purple clusters, in ripened beauty in the vineyard of our God?' We live in an age when much is done for the education of the young; and when increasing facilities are at hand to aid in the great duties of the parental relation. A “ Mother's Magazine," embodying the experience of maternal solicitude and maternal wisdom, may be greatly useful in lending its co-operation in this department of religious instruction. Such, we hope, will be the issue of an undertaking lately commenced in another part of our country ;* and while the means are multiplying through infant schools, sabbath schools, and various institutions of learning and science, and materials are accumulating in the manuals and books with which the press every where teems, we hope that every parent will realize his increasing responsibility, and seek by wisdom and grace to render his fire-side a happy spot to the children of his love, and those children too a legacy to future ages, for which posterity shall rise up to pronounce him blessed.
* The Mother's Magazine, Ulica, N. Y.
Art. III.-PROMOTION OF HEALTH IN LITERARI INSTITU
TIONS. First Annual Report of the Society for Promoting Manual Labor in Literary ha
stitutions, including the Report of their General Agent, Theodore D. field. New York: 1833.
The numerous and nameless chronic complaints which are all comprehended under the general and expressive name of ill-health, are peculiarly common in these times among all classes of the community, especially among those who devote themselves to literary pursuits. The ill-health of students has long been proverbial; but it seems to have become far more frequent within the last half century, at least in this country. It is so common now, that hardly an individual is to be found, among this portion of society, who is not, or has not been, a considerable sufferer. It is so often, so almost universally an accompaniment of literary pursuits, that one is able to predict it, almost to a certainty, in the case of him who is seen giving himself up to such occupations. The terms invalid and student are nearly synonymous. The complaints in question are every day wearing out and destroying prematurely some of the most valued lives in the land ; annihilating the usefulness of multitudes; and driving out of the world an amount of human happiness hardly conceivable. They are scattering to the winds the best hopes of friends and the world; wounding the cause of religion and humanity ; and laying in the dust some of the best and noblest monuments of human greatness. They almost unser our literary men. They make them a sickly and effeminate race—the miserable abortions of physical degeneracy—the mere apologists of all that which characterizes manhood. By an undermining and insidious process, they diffuse a poison throughout the whole nature of man, touch him and deprave him in all his capacities and relations, unbinge bis mind, dethrone reason, impair the moral sense, him a burden to himself and his friends, and transform the greatest and best of men into mere ciphers or monsters in society. They are the common cause of weakness and irratibility of mind, fickleness, obstinacy, selfishness,- of unnatural attachments and antipathies, exaggerated and partial views of things, and the ten thousand varieties of monomania which pass under the milder and more acceptable name of eccentricities. They are the source of much of that personal wretchedness which is so frequently to be found in
the midst of innocence and plenty, honor and friendship. They give birth to sentiments and propensities, to passions and desires which urge to the violation of the laws of God and the rights of man—all those graver offenses which ruin reputation and expel from society. These complaints have been the means of rendering our literary institutions almost the objects of dread to parents solicitous for the welfare of their sons, and to philanthropists moved with generous sentiments for the physical and mental soundness, and the active and extended usefulness, of the rising generation. They have been, moreover, important means of deteriorating the race, according to the laws of hereditary descent-a matter of no trifling moment. Imperfections and deformities of body and mind, however induced, when they have become thoroughly constitutional, are transmitted to the offspring. This fact, though generally overlooked, is well established. Monstrous and degrading evils are thus wrought into the character of the species. These evils are diffused and extended from generation to generation, until the circle which bounds them acquires a breadth which it is not easy to span. This view of the subject in question should astonish and appal.
That the existing condition of our literary men is most melancholy, and demands the intent consideration of the philosopher and philanthrophist, is now very generally felt. The public feel as though something commensurate with the evil to be corrected, must be done. They see their immediate and vital interests at stakethe hopes of religion and virtue in jeopardy-the cause of human improvement and human happiness periled. The mode, of education, particularly, and the habits and practices of youth in our institutions of learning, are attracting the eyes of all. We anticipate happy results from the deep feeling which has been awakened, and from the spirit of inquiry which is abroad.
That mental occupation or literary pursuits, are in themselves injurious to health, is what we cannot for a moment believe-cannot reconcile with the benevolent institutions and designs of God, and the harmony of all his works. The mind of man is evidently made for constant action, in the waking state. The power of thought is his noblest and best prerogative. So the Creator pronounced it when he made man in his own image, and breathed into him a living soul. So his own consciousness and the desires implanted within him, declare in unequivocal terms. So every thing about him proclaims-his situation, bis wants, and all his connections, and relations. He is placed in a world in which his liveliest gratifications and his most exalted happiness, indeed his very existence, have a natural dependence upon the exercise of his rational powers. The various faculties of which he is possessed, cannot be placed in relation to their proper objects, or attain the ends for which they were designed, in which the essence of all true happiness consists) without
the continued agency and efficient action of mind. How is it
, then, that mental activity is connected with disease and suffering, thus de stroying the very capacity for action, and defeating the very end of itself? If this connection is necessary, does it not bring the laws of God and nature into direct and palpable collision ?-does it not set the plain institutions of the Creator at irreconcilable war with each other ? But as there is not and cannot be any such contradiction or collision, is not the supposition an absurdity? Inasmuch then, as mental occupation, (even that degree of it which is productive of the greatest results, in the end,) is in perfect accordance with the constitution of things, the arrangements of providence, and the circumstances of man,-indeed is the very fulfilling of the end of his existence,-it is clear that such occupation merely cannot be productive of sickness and suffering ; but on the contrary, is itself the condition on which the most perfect and universal health or happiness are promised—the only condition on which is to be expected the reward attached to the legitimate exercise of one's faculties, and the discharge of duties imposed by the Author of our being. This position might be abundantly confirmed by an appeal to the testimony and experience of mankind, but it is here deemed unnecessary.
If exercise of mind, then, and the complaints in question have not the relation of cause and effect, how is it that they are such frequent concomitants? If the first is not the cause of the second, is it possible to ascertain what is? Is it possible to disentangle the evils to which we have alluded from accidental associations, and trace them to their true and sufficient cause? A careful inquiry into the nature of the disorders of students, their habits and prace tices, the constitution and laws of the human body and mind, current modes of education, and the customs and fashions of the times, will enable us to do this. All these circumstances, however, must be considered and weighed. If some of them are neglected, if the importance of others is estimated falsely, the search for truth-the whole truth—will not be satisfactory. "A principal element in this inquiry-an adequate knowledge of man as he is—of man in his three-fold nature as an animal, intellectual and affective being, has too often been wanting. That knowledge which is based on partial views—on views which separate man from himself
, is of no available importance. Principles derived from a consideration of man's intellectual being alone, or of bis intellect and affections alone, conduct to false conclusions. This animal nature, the basis, the substratum, the primordial germ of all the others, must be taken into the account. The laws which relate to man in this commpound character, the influence which each of these natures exerts upon the other, the effects of external agents and agencies, and the play of its own organs upon the human machine, are incompre