« 前へ次へ »
CHILD'S FIRST INTRODUCTION
TO THE STUDY OF THE
SERIES OF DIALOGUES BETWEEN A MOTHER AND
ALICIA CATHERINE MANT,
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk
IN TWO VOLUMES.
Of all the feelings which can arise in the breast of a Christian Mother on contemplating the opening years of her child, that must be the most interesting which views her as a rational and accountable being. If her child be rational and accountable, for what was reason given? To whom is account to be rendered of its use or abuse? The answer to these questions naturally gives birth to an anxiety to lose no time in engaging this reason to the proper exercise of its powers, and in instructing the child in the nature of that God, to whom she is responsible for all her actions *, and on whose favour and displea
* The use of the female pronoun throughout the Introduction has arisen from the work having been written for the immediate use of a female child. The author hopes that it will be found adapted equally to both sexes, since the hopes and fears of both are centred in the Scriptures.
sure are to be built up all her hopes and fears. The pursuits and accomplishments, to which it has become a practice to give more than their due share of importance, may engross a large, frequently perhaps too large a portion of the estimation of a mother; still if she reflects at all, the silent truth must present itself, that most of these pursuits and accomplishments are trifling, some perhaps reprehensible, when put in comparison with the study of that one thing needful, the benefits and consequences of which are of enduring value. To that study, therefore, she will be desirous of early introducing her child, and of fixing her attention upon the subjects of importance connected with it.
To the study of scripture in its own excellent and unrivalled language, as to her highest privilege, her greatest reward, a child should be early
invited; nor would the author of the following pages, in the plan adopted throughout them, be supposed to discourage a mother from leading a child to seek for information on points of the greatest moment at the unadulterated fountain of inspiration, where instruction can be best obtained. Very far from this is the design of the author. But it was thought, that with the Bible in the hand, the plan of colloquial inquiry and reply adopted in the following work might assist in impressing on the memory its facts, and doctrines, and precepts : while, in regard to those yet unable to read the sacred text itself, an attention might be won and an interest excited, by the adoption of the same plan, which would be found to be of subsequent usefulness, when a facility in reading would afterwards advance the child to the perusal of scripture itself. It is principally, perhaps, in the latter case that the following dialogues might be likely to be useful. Before a child is competent to understand the beautiful