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countenance as she conducts her well-beloved son to the altar. The saint speaks in that eye, sparklmg with delight, as she devotes what she holds most dear m the world to Him, from whom she had by holy importunity obtained him; the tear rushes to it, and all the mother stands confessed as she retires. Piety has prevailed, and presented the offering: nature feels, but submits.
It is easier to conceive than to describe what was the state of her mind as she returned from Shiloh to Ramah: the anxiety and regret at leaving her Samuel behind; the satisfaction and delight of reflecting in what hands she had left him, and to what care she had committed him. But we hear of no wild project formed of removing the whole family to reside at Shiloh, in order to indulge a fond mother's partial affection, with the continual presence of her little minion. No, the same spirit of prudence, the same domestic regards, the same sense of duty which once engaged her to prefer attention to Samuel, to attendance on the sacred festival, now engage her to prefer the unostentatious employments of a wife, and the mistress of a family at Raman, to the sacredness of the tabernacle, and the care of an only son, a first-born. But the heart of a mother finds, and flies to, the innocent refuge which nature pointed out. She employs her mind and her hands during the intervals of the feast, about her absent son ;" His mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice." O how pure, how cheap, how satisfying are the pleasures of virtue ! No words can express the mward, the incommunicable joy of that mother, as her fingers wove the threads of that little coat, as her eyes saw it grow into shape and color and shade, as the increasing stature of the wearer rendered the increase of her labor necessary. You must be converted and become a little child, a dutiful affectionate, and pious child, like Samuel, to conceive
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the delight of seeing bis parents return, of putting on liis new garment, of exhibiting his mother's present. These nothings are the bond of affection among virtuous minds, and the source of their felicity.
Tins we settle a* a more advanced stage of education, as far as it depends upon the mother. To pait with the child firmly and unreluctantly when the proper hour of separation comes; to preserve the commerce of affection by works and messages of kindness ; aud to subject every feelmg and pursuit to the known and declared will of God. Let no one, O woman, usurp thy pros vinoe,step between thee and thy child, steal bis affections from thee. AVhat, suffer him to have a step mother while thou art yet living! Forbid it nature, forbid it .decency, forbid it religion. But the hour of separation is at rived, you have done your duty, he must now pass into other hands; as a mother you retained him, as a mother resign him. You have not labored in vain : you have uot spent your streugth for nought and in vain. Be of good cheer, you have trained him up in the way in which he should go, and when old he will uot depart from it. Your heart shall rejoice in him many davs hence, lie shall be to thee a crown of glory wiieo thou art dropping into the grave.
The disorderly state of Eli's family, the consequence uf a careless and neglected education, w ill, through the divme permission, be the subject of the next Lecture.
I conclude with addressing myself in a very few words, first, to the parents of the other sex. You see w hat a heavy burden God and nature have laid upon the weaker of the two. You are bound injustice, in humanity, in gratitude, to alleviate it. To no purpose will the mother watch and toil, unless you co-operate. She has part of her reward iu her very employment; her recompense will be complete if she obtam your approbation, and retain your affection. Has ofie;ice arisen, does calamity press, is the spirit ruffled, is her person changed? Reflect, she is the mother of thy child; perhaps she lost her looks, her health, it maj be her spirits, and temper, in doing the duty of a mother: she ought to be the more estimable in ) our eyes at least.
Let me next speak for a moment to ingenuous youth. Young man, superadded to all the other motives to virtue, if you feel not the (brce of this, you are lost indeed. There is a worthy woman in the world, who loves you as her own soul, who gave you your fust nouiishment and instruction, who brought you into life at the risk of her own, to whom nothing that affects) you can be a matter of indifference. She is jealous over you with a holy jealousy. If you tread in the ways of wisdom, how her heart will be satisfied within her! If you declme from the right path, ifyou become "a son of Belial," you will rend her with severe/ pangs than those which she endured in bringing thee into the world. And can your heart permit you to plunge a dagger into the heart of your own mother? Who does not shudder at the thought of a parricide so detestable, so monstrous! For a mother's sake, renounce that "covenant withdeath:"retracethy wanderingsteps, resumethe reinsof self-government, and return to real rest and joy.
Young woman, let thine eyes be still toward the nurse, the guide, the comforter, the refuge of thy early years. Alleviate, by partaking of, the burdens and labors of her station; dissipate her solicitude; soothe her pains; give her cause to bless the day she bare thee. Trust in her as thy most prudent counsellor, as thy most assured friend, as thy most intelligent instructor. Do her good and not evil, all the days of thy life. Rise into usefulness, into importance, into respectability, by marking her footsteps, imbibing her spirit, following her example. A daughter unkind, undutiful, ungrateful to a mother, is of all monsters the , the most odious and disgusting. Youthful excellence is nevermore amiable and attractive, than when it seeks retreat and retirement under the maternal wing, and, shrinking from the public eye, seeks its reward io a mother's smile of approbation.
HISTORY OF HANNAH,
THE MOTHER OF SAMUEL.
Now the sons of Eli loere sons of Belial: they ktierc not the Lord. And the priests' custom icith the people was, that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came while the flesh was in seething, with a flesh-hook of three teeth in his hand: and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot: all that the Hesh-hook brought up, the priet took for himself: so they did in Shiloh, unto all the Israelites that came thither. Also before they burned the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest : for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the jat presently : and (hen take as much as thy soul desirefh, then lie would ansiver him, Nay, but thou shalt give it to me now: and if not, I will take it by force. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord. Noio Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel. Arid he said unto them. Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people: nay, my sons: for it is no good report that I hear; ye make the Lord's people to transgress....} Samuei ii. 12.... 17, 23,'24.
ERFECTION consists in the happy medium be
J tween the too litile and too much. It is etnim ntlv conspicuous in every thing that comes immediately from God. " He is the rock, his work is perfect, and at! his ways are judgment." Contemplate thf stupendous whole, or examine the minutest part, and you hud no redundancy, no defect. All is good, yea \ery good. But man is ever in the extreme. Now under the power ol an indolence which shrinks from every appearance of difficulty or danger, and now hurried on hy a zeal which overleaps all the bounds of wisdom and discretion. Now he cannot be prevailed on to begin, and now nothing can persuade him to stop. He makes his very good to be evil spoken of, by imprudence and excess in the manner of performing it.
In nothing is human ignorance and frailty more apparent, than in the important article of education. It is conducted, at one time, with a severity that intimidates and overwhelms; at another, with a lenity that flatters, encourages, and fosters vice. One is driven into an evil course by despair, another drawn into it, and fortified in it, by excessive indulgence. It is, in truth, no easy task to manage this matter aright. The modes of treatment are as various as the character and dispositions of the young ones, who are the subjects of it. The application of a general rule is impracticable and absurd. The discipline which would oppress one child, is hardly sufficient to restrain another within any bounds of decency. It is happy when the child is inured to habits of restraint and submission from the cradle. If the mother has discharged her duty tolerably, the business of the father and master is half executed. Last Lord's day we had the satisfaction of observmg the effects of an early good education, in the example of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. We saw in her con duct a happy mixture of tenderness and resolution; of attention to domestic employments, and regard to the »lfices of religion; of moderated anxiety about