The habitual, the known truth-speaker, occupies a proud position. Alas! that it should be so rare. Alas! that, even among professedly religious people, there should be so few who speak the truth from the heart; so few to whom one can turn with a fearless confidence to ask for information on any points of personal interest. I need not to be told that it is during childhood that the formation of strict habits of truthfulness is at once most sure and most easy. The difficulty is indeed increased ten thousandfold, when the neglect of parents has suffered even careless habits on this point to be contracted. The difficulties, however, though great, are not insuperable to those who seek the freely-offered grace of God to help them in the conflict. The resistance to temptation, the self-control, will indeed be more difficult when the effort begins later in life; but the victory will be also the more glorious, and the general effects on the character more permanent and beneficial. Not that this serves as any excuse for the cruel neglect of parents, for they can have no certainty that future repentance will be granted for those habits of sin, the formation of which they might have prevented.
Dwelling, however, even in thought, on the neglect of our parents can only lead to vain murmurings and complainings, and prevent the concentration of all our energies and interest upon the extirpation of the dangerous root of evil.
In this case, as in all others, though the sin of the parent is surely visited on the children, the very visitation is turned into a blessing for those who love God. To such blessed ones it becomes the means of imparting greater strength and vigour to the character, from the perpetual conflicts to which it is exposed in its efforts to overcome early habits of evil.
Thus even sin itself is not excepted from the “all things” that “work together for good to them that love God."
 Rom. viii. 28.
It is, perhaps, an “unknown friend” only who would venture to address a remonstrance to you on that particular sin which forms the subject of the following pages; for it seems equally acknowledged by those who are guilty of it, and those who are entirely free from its taint, that there is no bad quality meaner, more degrading, than that of envy. Who, therefore, could venture openly to accuse another of such a failing, however kind and disinterested the motive, and still be admitted to rank as her friend?