The Mother at Home

The Internet is an amazing invention. Thank you so much, Al Gore, I love it!

Recently I posted on finding old books online for free reading. The Mother at Home, originally published in 1833, can be viewed in its entirety here. I am always fascinated to learn how truth is truth throughout the ages. There is nothing new under the sun.

This excerpt is from the first chapter, and rings as true today as it did in the 1800’s:

A FEW years ago, some gentlemen who were associated in preparing for the ministry, felt interested in ascertaining what proportion of their number had pious mothers. They were greatly surprised and delighted in finding that out of one hundred and twenty students, over a hundred had been borne by a mother’s prayers, and directed by a mother’s counsels, to the Savior. Though some of these had broken away from all the restraints of home, and like the prodigal, had wandered in sin and sorrow, yet they could not forget the impressions of childhood, and were eventually brought to the Savior, to be a mother’s joy and blessing.

Many interesting facts have, within a few years, drawn the attention of Christians to this subject. The efforts which a mother makes for the improvement of her child in knowledge and virtue, are necessarily retired and unobtrusive. The world knows not of them; and hence the world has been slow to perceive how powerful and extensive is this secret and silent influence. But circumstances are now directing the eyes of the community to the nursery, and the truth is daily coming more distinctly before the public, that the influence which is exerted upon the mind during the first eight or ten years of existence, in a great degree guides the destinies of that mind for time and eternity.

Mary Cassatt Beauty

And as the mother is the guardian and guide of the early years of life, from her goes the most powerful influence in the formation of the character of man. And why should it not be so? What impressions can be more strong, and more lasting, than those received upon the mind in the freshness and the susceptibility of youth? What instructor can gain greater confidence and respect than a mother? And where can there be delight in acquiring knowledge, if not when the little flock cluster around a mother’s knee to hear of God and heaven?

“A good boy generally makes a good man.” Said the mother of Washington, “George was always a good boy.” Here we see one secret of his greatness. George Washington had a mother who made him a good boy, and instilled into his heart those principles which raised him to be the benefactor of his country, and one of the brightest ornaments of the world.

The mother of Washington is entitled to a nation’s gratitude. She taught her boy the principles of obedience, and moral courage, and virtue. She, in a great measure, formed the character of the hero, and the statesman. It was by her own fire-side that she taught her playful boy to govern himself; and thus was he prepared for the brilliant career of usefulness which he afterward pursued. We are indebted to God for the gift of Washington; but we are no less indebted to him for the gift of his inestimable mother. Had she been a weak, and indulgent, and unfaithful parent, the unchecked energies of Washington might have elevated him to the throne of a tyrant; or youthful disobedience might have prepared the way for a life of crime and a dishonored grave.

Mothers have a great privilege and responsibility before us, don’t we? I am delighted to see that within Christianity, the virtues and importance of Mommyhood are back on the radar screen. I pray that God would move me to study and be nourished by scripture, to find out for myself what kind of mother, wife, woman, person God sees as praiseworthy. I pray that myself, and you, and Christian moms around the globe are given the grace by God to live in such a way He would delight over — and in doing so touch not only the little lives in our care today, but a long legacy of lives after us.

May we make a difference in Eternity itself.


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