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is by faith in its mother that the child rises to faith in God. " The child, no sooner hears God's name from his mother's lips than he glows with gladness." This first attempt of a loving, simple-minded mother to subordinate the child's growing feeling of independence to faith in God, by connecting faith with certain moral tendencies that are already more or less developed, furnishes education with the fundamental principles from which it must start, if it is to succeed in ennobling men."

2. Habits are the means by which actions, movements, are transformed into second nature, the basis of character; and habits are started at birth, continue through childhood and youth into manhood. Punctuality, truthfulness, order, neatness, cleanliness, kindness, usefulness, reverence, and all else that is desirable in character, are fashioned by securing the almost unthinking repetition of right actions and of symbolic gestures and postures.

3. The ideas of morality and religion are the late and ripe fruit of feeling and habitual conduct. There is, of course, an intellectual element in the first conscious movements, sensations, and emotions, but only with youth can there come an orderly and extended system of thoughts. Truth can be gradually formulated on the basis of previous experiences. When doctrine is made clear, articulate, distinct, rational, it reacts upon the life of feeling and volition and habit. If the doctrine, happily, is a worthy conception of God, it helps the moral life, clarifies, enlarges, exalts, refines the disposition. It is not enough to set an example of goodness before a child, nor even to cause him to do good actions himself; he must have a name for his vague experiences, must voice his aspiration, must give a rational and even æsthetic form to his devoutness. It is not a creed or a catechism which hurts the child's soul, but the monstrous and immoral dogma and the inquisitional torture which stir revolt, and the unreality of verbal formulas which signify nothing, and cause insincerity at once and skepticism in after years. V. There is time for only one application of these considerations, and that shall be to family worship. Domestic religion must find some kind of suitable liturgical expression. Family worship, to be useful, or even tolerable, must grow naturally out of the ordinary course of life, be fitted into it, and reveal its real spirit. It must be for children, where there are children; and they must, during the years of education, be active in it, not merely passive victims of it. It must not frighten them away from God's altar, where even birds make their nests in security. It must be expansive and not repressive.

How simple and natural was the act in which Jesus instituted the Eucharist. "And as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had

blessed, he brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take ye: this is my body. And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many. And when they had sung a hymn, they went out." No child would desire to run away from that dramatized prayer. The story is ineffably sweet. The Master who taught little children to regard themselves as his own by taking them into his gentle and affectionate embrace, is always ready to use physical symbols to help those who live in the flesh to press their way by tangible and visible means into the meaning of the divine word. Why should the members of a family retire from the table to proceed in stately order to a service which is cut off from the happiness, comfort, laughter, and joy of the natural melting of all? Why should they turn their backs on each other when the Giver of all good is addressed? Why should not the children themselves seek out and bring to that place the finest expressions of adoration and gratitude which literature can furnish? Many a wise mother has learned by holy instinct that it is a sacred privilege to connect the brief phrase of hope and trust with the evening caress and the delicious revery of a child falling asleep. Too often the formal family worship is torture, and its words but vain repetitions, the tone neither of earth nor heaven. The voice is that of an actor, and reality has gone out of it.

If the children are studying German at school, they might well repeat the touching sentence which reminds one of Fra Angelico's Pilgrim Christ:

Komm, Herr Jesu, sei unser Gast,
Und segne was Du uns bescheret hast.

(Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest,
And bless what Thou hast given us.)

The home ever remains the primary temple, and the light of worship on that altar must not go out, lest the world grow dark. Worship should be a natural, sincere, and joyous part of a great life of love, order, beauty, wisdom, and happiness; the children should be active agents in its observance; and its ritual should be symbols taken from the ordinary acts of familiar life, as Jesus made of the common meal, the lasting memorial of himself and the central mystery of the Christian Church.

"In liberty of holy glee,

Accept thy childhood's part,

And thou shalt find, by faith enshrined,

The Father in thy heart."





"Enlarge our capacities to understand and our hearts to receive the fulness of His life."

Consciousness of God must come to each one of us in some form of experience; we know only what we have experienced of the spiritual life. To satisfy the desire of the soul, to know God, and to lead the individual through every experience to God, may be the inspiring task of those who have children to nurture. Learning about God, going to Sunday school or church, is not enough. What we must have is a preparation for this, and the preparation must come to us as children. As the blossom depends upon the growth of the plant, and this upon the germination of the seed, so later spiritual life in man depends upon the awakening and development of the spiritual germs in the soul. What is to develop must begin, and we must not look to a later stage to accomplish the work of an earlier one.

Some one has asked, "When shall I begin to teach my little child to pray?" I cannot answer this question; the answer will come in its own good time. It depends upon the mother. Prayer is not something separate from living; when the baby was put to sleep, he was laid down with a prayer to God; when he was taken up, awake, perhaps the mother spoke to God again. I do not know how often she prays; the time comes when the child notices that she prays and he imitates her. Then words may be given him to say. After a time he adds his own petition, or gives thanks and learns to talk to his Father in heaven. By and by he asks her why she prays, and she answers, "To thank our heavenly Father for what He has given us; to ask Him to take care of us and help us to do right." None of this he understands as we do, or as he will later, but this exchange of feeling within his little breast, the talking to God and expectation of an answer, form the basis for all after-relationship between himself and God. And yet, after all, the real value of this depends upon the spiritual life of the mother and her insight.

During this time, when the child is learning what prayer means, he is gaining other ideas, of mysterious things, like the wind, that he can feel but cannot see; of the light, which he can see but cannot

touch; of the voice, which he can hear but cannot see or touch; and a sense of the hidden life in things comes to him. He talks to the flowers, the wind, the moon; to all things he feels akin, and it is but a step farther to this mysterious personality, God. Experience of the invisible the mother gives quite early to her child; for instance, when he begins to notice objects moved by the wind. He imitates these moving things, and, watching them, asks what makes the things go. "The wind," answers his mother; "listen, hear it talking to the trees, the clothes on the line, and to the weather-vane. It says, 'Turn,' to the little weathercock, and around goes the cock. Baby, show how the weather-cock turns," and quickly he turns his little hand. From this beginning he learns to notice all the things the invisible wind does, and many questions follow from the child, which cannot all be answered, but which lead back to the one Power behind that moves many things.

In the bird's nest, children see mirrored the human relationship of the family, and here may be stirred the feelings of nurture, care, love, protection, as they watch and hear about the mother and father birds. and all their efforts to protect and bring up their little ones.

All the sympathy with right action comes in the early years of the child's life. Play and story, picture and song, all are helps to the mother, but within her heart lies the God-wisdom implanted there as an instinct, that helps her to be the artist in her work of lovingly, playfully awakening and developing the germs of spiritual life in her child. For spiritual life is not separate from other life. It is every-day life with a different content and aim. To keep this consciousness, to deepen and enrich it, and prepare for further development and welcome, the presence of a Power" that for existence strives,"

work here.

this is our life

One turns instinctive'y to the home to find right conditions for the nurture of the spiritual life; and yet these conditions are not always there. Even where ideals and aims are right, there is sometimes a lack of insight in showing the way, and direct teaching of abstract truths is depended upon to bring about spiritual development, or else the responsibility is thrown off a together or placed upon church or Sunday school. Quoting from Froebel, "Parents should not be timid, shou'd not object that they know nothing themselves, and do not know how to teach their children. Their ignorance is not the greatest evil. If they desire to know something, let them imitate the child's example, let them become children with the child, learners with the learner. Let them go to and be taught by Mother Nature and by the fatherly Spirit of God. The Spirit of God and nature will guide them."

The mother indeed is the nurturer, the home-maker, and the atmosphere of the home. But it is not upon her alone that we must depend. The father has his part to do. The united work of the two is the important thing. That they unite to live, to deal with the problems of life, to nurture and train their children, is the great and important thing. No family is free until all its members are free. No individual is really happy unless the others are happy. We are constrained by the family, and there is a constant opportunity to exercise the virtues that may arise through individual coming in contact with individual. Just as the man depends upon the child, so state and church depend upon the family. Lift its roof, broaden its expanse, and the home becomes the church. The home relationships interpret our Father in heaven and the individual's nurturing power points the way for His work upon earth. Within the family lives the individual. He may be regarded as an individual, with individual rights; and he may be regarded as a member of the whole, with duties born of the relationship.

Two aspects of this life come before us,― the nurture of his feelings and right direction for his activities. The Christian mother instinctively helps her child to loving action. She does this unconsciously, for love fills her heart. Just in proportion as the love of God fills her heart, does she have the wisdom to lead her child aright. Happiness is one of the necessary conditions of the child's life, and this comes not alone through others but through himself and his right deeds. This he soon discovers and here we may find the basis for the individual relationship to mother, father, brother and sister, and God. The struggle with the self and its final victory can only be attained through a conscious determination to do right, and a constant close relationship to parents and then God, to help strengthen the will and resolve. It is the old, old struggle of man with himself. At first the difficulty is referred to outside things, and the real help given by mother or father is the reference to self. Better that the discovery that the root of the trouble lies within himself should come early. Mother's help is needed first, then brothers' or sisters', and finally God's. The struggle to reconcile what the inner man says is right with his deeds must finally end in a realization of his responsibility for his own actions. To find the reason for his own action within himself, is another starting-point for his relationship to God. Here is not only a test for the child, but a test for parents as well. Who is willing to stand, and stand firmly, lovingly, for the law? The law, not arbitrary and for the individual, but for the right? The law which, when once obeyed by the child, will show him the way to govern himself. No kindness so

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