Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/57

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


LETTER V.

MATERNAL LOVE.

TO love children, is the dictate of our nature. Apart from the promptings of kindred blood, it is a spontaneous tribute to their helplessness, their innocence, or their beauty. The total absence of this love, induces a suspicion that the heart is not right. "Beware, said Lavater, of him who hates the laugh of a child." "I love God, and every little child," was the simple, yet sublime sentiment of Richter.

The man of the world, pauses in his absorbing career, and claps his bands, to gain an infant's smile. The victim of vice, gazes wishfully on the pure, open forehead of childhood, and retraces those blissful years that were free from guile. The man of piety loves that docility and singleness of heart, which drew from his Saviour's lips, the blessed words, "of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Elliot, the apostle of the Indians, amid his laborious ministry, and rude companionship, shewed in all places, the most marked attention to young children. In extreme age, when his [48] head was