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which maketh wise the simple, and correcteth the heart :—will you consent ?
All but Anna said—Oh! yes, gladly.
Consent also, Anna; it will agree, you will find, with ornaments and chains.
Very well, she coldly replied. And as it was evident that some conviction had entered her mind, I drew the morocco case out of my pocket :-her eye glistened at the unexpected sight, but mortified feeling taught her to disguise her pleasure.
Take it, Anna; this reward for a sum of long division will do to hang on a chain when it is earned by the lesson of music; until you have done something else to earn a garnet cross, which will sparkle more brilliantly than the eyes of this picture.
She dropped her head in confusion ; whilst Maria gazed at her with intense earnestness, and Mrs. Aston whispered, O friend, spare her.
My dear Mrs. Aston, I replied, it is a moment worth more than a world : follow it up; from this time cease to offer bribes to your child, and wait until she will find the delight of duty to be its own reward. You are all wrong.. Human, selfish, idolatrous motives rule : and no love of God in Christ is set before your children as the spring, and motive, and end of love and obedience.
Ah! my dear friend, I begin to catch a glimpse of my error, and thankful shall I be to see my child well directed, and to be myself in structed.
Mrs. Bennet said, I really do not know what to think; for my own part, I have always thought love the best principle to inculcate; I have found it answer my purpose so far, and can desire nothing better than the effect produced.
Love is the best principle; so far you are right : but on what that love is to be supremely fixed, and whence derived, would take us further, my
dear Mrs. Bennet, than you are perhaps prepared to go.
I do not understand you.
You would understand when you had to experience that you must, in important circumstances, perhaps have to give place,--to be second only, in your child's estimation, provided an imperious claim were put upon her by a superior affection.
You speak in a kind of mystery; perhaps I may comprehend you better after a few of our weekly meetings. At present, I confess, my aim and my ambition are, that my husband and 'myself may be the first and principal object of regard in the hearts of my beloved children ; for this end we devote ourselves to them, and adapt ourselves in every possible way to be their friends, companions, and even playfellows. They are satisfied with us alone, and never appear to have been so happy any where as with us, always returning, from any little visit, to their parents and their home as to their joy.
I now found myself launched on an important duty, through which I felt it would require the aid of the Holy Spirit to guide me with discretion, integrity, affection, and success. The extensive power and influence of this holy will of God in the relative duties of parent and child, filled me with contemplation; and in imagination, I had run through generation after generation under its influence, until I had pictured before me a world full of inhabitants with whom it WELL." In the midst of this reverie I was interrupted by a voice of vociferous anger, and the scream of terror which burst from a little boy who was, it appeared, endeavoring to run away from his father.
I will, I will! he exclaimed, and the man was answering him, as he struck him some sharp strokes over the shoulders with a rope,
I'll teach you, you young rascal, whether I'll be obeyed or not.
They were soon out of sight, entering their cottage door, and closing it instantly. Thus I was brought back from imagination to painful reality, and was again exercised in reflecting on the origin and causes of the prevalence of disobedience amongst children.
By the time I reached my own home I was impressed with the Scripture, 66 Thou that teachest another, teacheth thou not thyself ?” It awak
ened a review of the past,
earliest recollections, and in tracing the impressions of my own mind, the windings of my ways, the consequences and effects, I had many a pang of selfconviction, and many an illustration of the natural heart, and, blessed be God, many a token of the benefit of an early training to the love of my parents in the love of the Lord.
These retrospections are often among the most valuable operations of the Holy Spirit, working within, and disclosing to us from past experiences, the mysteries of sin, and the unwearied faithfulness of God. I was thankful for this counsel within my own heart, and felt both more earnest and more humble in the calling before me. I felt, too, that my way was opening, and I had now to bring in the other friends with whom we were intimately associated, to make our object as generally useful as possible. I thought it best to call upon them, and openly to explain my intentiort, for I desired a voluntary attendance, wishing that, at the same time that I presented it in an engaging manner to win their consent,-it should also be in such a way as to convey its serious importance. I expected to find difficulties, but would not on that account be deterred.
My first call was on Mary's parents, and when I presented my plan, her mother (Mrs. Conway) smiled, and said,
You have imposed upon yourself an extraordinary task, I fear, and not perhaps likely to produce the end desired ; for unless people will
confirm precept by practice, little can be expected.
True, I replied, but in cases where the precept is unknown, we are sure the practice can never be founded on it.
Mr. Conway then said, My dear friend, I do not feel myself in any need of such instruction, I have what I want, the perfect obedience of my child. If at any time she is tempted to express any reluctance, a look from me is sufficient to establish my authority. She knows I never waver ; once having said, Do, she knows very well it must be done ; and I have been the more particular on this subject, because she is our only child, and I determined she should never have to blame her parents, as too many only children have.
Mary was present, and listened with great attention. The thing I most feared was, that her father should once refuse compliance, as I knew it would then be fruitless to endeavor to induce him to retract.
At all events, I said, you will allow the purpose to be good, and being undertaken with a desire of good, we may hope for a blessing. There are not many who know the just use of 'discipline, and fewer still who know the power of the Word of God. You would, perhaps, at least be interested in seeing the effects we may expect on different characters; and if no success were to be granted, we should have this comfort, " it was well that it was in thy heart.”