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At last, one night he lay contemplating the case of his Mother.
"1 see,' said he within himself, two unquestionable facts: first, My mother is greatly afflicted in circumstances, body, and mind; and yet I see that she cheerfully bears up under all, by the support she derives from constantly repairing to her closet and her Bible; secondly, That she has a secret spring of comfort, of which I know nothing; while I, who give an unbounded loose to my appetites, and seek pleasure by every means, seldom or never find it. If, however, there is such a secret in religion, why may I not find it as well as my Mother ?'—He instantly rose and began to pray, but was soon damped, by recollecting that much of his mother's comfort seemed to arise from her faith in Christ. Now, thought he, 'this Christ I have ridiculed : He stands much in my way, and can form no part of my prayers.'-In utter confusion he lay down again; but, in process of time, conviction of sin continuing, his difficulties were gradually removed, his objections answered. He now listened to those admonitions of his Mother, which he had before affected to receive with pride and scorn; yet they had fixed themselves in his heart like a barbed arrow; and though the effects were concealed from her observation, yet tears would fall from his eyes, as he passed along the street, from the impression she had made on his mind. Now he would discourse with her, and hear her without outrage, which revived her hopes, especially as he then attended the public worship of God. Thus he made some progress, but felt no small difficulty in separating from his favorite connections. Light, however, broke into his mind, till at last he discovered that Christ Jesus, so far from 'standing in the way,' as he once thought, was indeed the way, the truth, and the life, to all who come unto God by Him."
After such a change it is not wonderful that Mr. Cecil should have written and spoken with so much pathos on the influence of the parental character. “Where parental influence does not convert,” he would say,
66 it hammers : it hangs on the wheels of evil. I had a pious Mother who dropped things in my way. I could never rid myself of them: I was a professed infidel : but then I liked to be an infidel in company, rather than when alone: I was wretched when by myself. These principles, and maxims, and data spoiled my jollity.” Again he says," I find
in myself another evidence of the greatness of parental influence. I detect myself, to this day, in laying down maxims in my family, which I took up at three or four years of age, before I could possibly know the reason of them.”_" Besides, a parental influence must be great, because God has said it shall be so. The Parent is not to stand reasoning and calculating. God has said, that his character shall have influence : and so this appointment of Providence becomes often the punishment of a wicked man. Such a man is a complete selfist. I am weary of hearing such men talk about their family and their 'family—they must provide for their family.' Their family has no place in their real regard ; they push for themselves. But God says,— No! you think your children shall be so and so; but they shall be rods for your own backs. They shall be your curse. They shall rise up against you.' The most common of all human complaints is,
-Parents groaning under the vices of their children ! This is all the effect of parental influence.”
The female character, on which so much depends, and which, unquestionably, has never risen to its greatest power and perfection, save when formed under the domestic roof, the reader may have observed, has been kept in view throughout. Could the eminent Mothers, already mentioned, be traced to their respective homes in early life, there we should find the secret of that powerful sway which they maintained over their own children with so much advantage. The lustre of that example, to which the walls of their Husband's dwelling bore such witness, had before then, in most instances, if not in all, proved the joy of a Father's or a Mother's heart. Still it would be unpardonable, and a great defect, not to give a few
distinct additional instances, proving that the same law holds good in their experience, and that they also are witnesses to the power of parental influence. A few of our most eminent female characters must therefore be noticed.
LADY Rachel Russell will ever be held in admiration, not merely for her fortitude under so many years of trial and sorrow, but for her fine talents applied with so much care in the education of her bereaved children. But then she was the daughter of the Earl of Southampton, a man who, to the best of his judgment, without deviation, pursued, in difficult and evil days, the public good, and, at the same time, had been most careful of her education. In this care her Mother united, the branch of a French Protestant family, distinguished for the best of principles It was her Mother's brother who was deputy-general of the reformed churches in France, and who pleaded strongly, at a full audience before Louis XIV., though in vain, in favor of toleration.
LADY Bacon.—The Mother of Lord Bacon has been referred to: the woman who, during the early periods of childhood and youth, when the temper is most susceptible, and the first habits are acquired, instilled into his infant mind the rudiments and principles of science, and awakened the spirit of liberal curiosity in that gigantic mind. But then she had been carefully educated under her Father's eye, along with her sister, who married Lord Burleigh. Indeed she was but one of four sisters equally distinguished for erudition. They were the four daughters of Sir Anthony Cooke; he had paid scrupulous attention to their training-up in youth, and was the man who was selected for preceptor to the English Josiah, King Edward VI., who ever held him in the highest esteem ; while this
daughter, Lady Bacon, had so profited under her Father's roof, that, from her superior endowments and irreproacha,
she was appointed governess to that interesting prince.
MRS. LUCY HUTCHISON has been justly admired as having written one of our most interesting pieces of biography, the Life of her Husband, Colonel Hutchison. She was, no doubt, highly accomplished; but in such times especially, what had she been if her Parents had neglected their duty ? After celebrating the land of her birth, “the next blessing," she says, “I have to consider in my nativity, is my Parents, both of them pious and careful instructors of my youth, both by precept and example.” They are afterwards represented as applying all their cares, and sparing no cost, to improve her mind ; and to conclude, she says,—“It pleased God, that, through the good instructions of my Mother, and the sermons she carried me to, I was convinced that the knowledge of God was the most excellent study, and accordingly applied myself to it, and to practise as I was taught.”
Mrs. ELIZABETH Rowe imbibed from her Parents her religious principles; her Father having been at great pains in the cultivation of her mind, was ably assisted by her Mother, an eminent Christian, who had first become acquainted with her Father when he was unjustly confined in Ilchester jail for nonconformity. “My infant hands," she
says, were early lifted up to Thee, and I soon learned to know and acknowledge the God of my Fathers.” For her relatives, whether of her own or her husband's family, she entertained the warmest affection; and she was laid at last, according to request, in her Father's grave.
Mrs. Cecil has been already referred to; but then she was the link in a chain of pious ancestors : and many preceding generations in her family having walked in the fear of God, the united influence of their example was daily before her mind.
Mrs. Dwight, and her manner of proceeding in the education of her children, have perhaps been admired by the reader ; but no wonder that she was such a woman, being the daughter of such a Father-Jonathan Edwards of America ; a man who entertained the finest sentiments respecting Family order and government. The man who said on one occasion,—“We have had great disputes how the Church ought to be regulated ; but the due regulation of your families is of no less, and, in some respects, of much greater importance. Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church, consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by his rules. Family education and order are some of the chief of the means of grace. If these fail, all other means are likely to prove ineffectual : if these are duly maintained, all the means of grace will be likely to prosper and be successful. Let me now, therefore, once more repeat the counsel which I have often urged on the heads of families, to great painfulness in teaching, warning, and directing their children ; bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; beginning early where there is yet opportunity; and maintaining a constant diligence in labors of this kind. Remember, that as ye would not have all your instructions and counsels ineffectual, there must be government as well as instructions, which must be maintained with an even hand and steady resolution, as a guard to the religion and morals of the family, and the support of its good order.—Take heed that it be not with any of you as it was with Eli of old, who reproved his