Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/32

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How keen the pang, but keener far to feel,
   We nurs'd the feather, that impell'd the steel."

While the minds of children are in their waxen state, let parents then be most assiduous to impress on them such a likeness, as they should be willing themselves to bear. This injunction addresses itself more immediately to the mother, who has it in her power to make the earliest impressions, and is liable in her turn to be the most strongly impressed.

Observe how soon, and to what a degree, this influence begins to operate. Her first ministration for her infant, is to enter as it were, the valley of the shadow of death, and win its life at the peril of her own. How different must an affection thus founded, be from all others. As if to deepen its power, a season of languor ensues, when she is comparatively alone with her infant and with Him who gave it, cultivating an acquaintance with a new being, and through a new channel, with the greatest of all beings. Is she not also herself an image of His goodness, while she cherishes in her bosom, the young life that he laid there? A love, whose root is in death, whose fruit must be in Eternity, has taken possession of her. No wonder that its effects are obvious and great.

Has she been selfish? or rather has the disposition to become so, been nourished by the indulgence [22] of affluence, or the adulation offered to beauty?