Note the atmosphere that surrounded the cradle of each of the babes of whom we have been speaking. In the first home we find prayer, love, hope, and tenderness; in the last, sin, hatred, crime, and villainy. Oh that mothers everywhere would take warning! If only these two pictures could be framed and hung in the recesses of every mother’s heart where they might teach their silent lesson! If only mothers might see how powerful for good or evil is their influence; how the affections and the mental powers may be moulded by prayer and maternal love, and how the groundwork for the future of the child may be laid in its early training!
A sensible mother has a charm and wields an influence that takes a fast hold on the hearts of those who are dear to her. The kindly sympathy of youth, the deep affection of manhood, can be traced to influences that began at mother’s knee.
What true, prayerful mother does not feel as her child closely nestles to her bosom that she is invested with a divine, mysterious power, an influence which she can not understand? Then it is that she sees her imperfections and longs for wisdom to know how to guide her child. God alone can supply that understanding. She is her child’s book of wisdom, love, and, beauty, but she should be of God’s writing.
A PRAYING MOTHER.
Still another mother comes before my mind—an earnest, zealous, pious mother, who fashioned her life and example continually by God’s Word and endeavored daily to teach her children the deep truths of salvation in language so simple that they could understand, to seek out the causes of their failures and discouragements, and to give them timely advice and instruction.
As I trace a few of her experiences, which are all true incidents, I trust they may sink into some perplexed mother’s heart and enable her to wield the instruments of love and prayer about her darlings and to be more able to guide their tender hearts in the right course.
Mrs. Worthington lived in the great city of Chicago, in a small cottage on Portland Avenue near Thirty-first Street. Nothing about the dwelling was elaborate; everything was simple, but very neat. Pretty vines trailed gracefully over the porch and windows, and a few flower beds filled up the dull nooks and corners. In front of the house was a grassy lawn enclosed by a picket fence. Here the children could play apart from the rough waifs that thronged the street. Within the cottage the same quiet taste was in evidence.
Every day in her cozy sitting-room Mrs. Worthington talked with her little girls, Bessie and Louise. In times of trouble and perplexity she bowed with them in prayer. How much the children enjoyed their mother’s comradeship and counsel! The mother realized the importance of these early impressions made on the child’s mind. She had promised God to do all in her power to train her children for heaven. She had commenced early, even from the time she had first looked into the depths of their innocent eyes.