Moral Injuries inflicted on Children at

Moral Injuries inflicted on Children at School.

by Catharine Esther Beecher October 4th, 2023
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One teacher writes thus: “Where the plastering remains, it is covered with coal marks, and numerous holes are cut through the writing desks, while vulgarities and obscenities are not only written, but deeply cut in the desks and doors.” Of another house he says, “Within and without are manifest evidences of a polluted imagination. Several lewd representations are deep cut in the clapboards in front of the house, in the entry, and even on the girls’ desks, so as to be constantly before their eyes.” “These things,” he adds, “are but specimens selected from scores.” Another writes thus: “I have alluded to the representations of vulgarity and obscenity that meet the eye in every direction. I am constrained to add that, during intermissions, ‘certain lewd fellows of the baser sort’ sometimes lecture boys and girls, large and small, illustrating their subject by these vile delineations. Many of our schoolhouses are nurseries of disorder, vulgarity, profanity, and obscenity—nay, more, in some cases, they are the very hothouses of licentiousness.” [54] One single statement, made up from these reports of the county superintendents, and presented by the head superintendent in his report, speaks volumes on the neglect of modesty, decency, neatness, and purity. In the whole state there are six thousand schoolhouses destitute of any kind of woodhouse or privy; and of the whole number, only about one thousand have privies provided with separate accommodations for children of different sexes. It appears, also, that though the schools and teachers are fast rising in character, and that many now are of uncommon excellence, yet that many of the teachers are notoriously depraved, while intellectual training, in the majority of cases, is deplorably low, and the moral training still more defective. One superintendent remarks, “Gloomy, indeed, are the impressions made by our schoolhouses. The lessons of immorality and indecency often taught there would cause a shudder to thrill every sensitive mind.” Another says, “There are, I regret to say, many teachers whose morals, manners, and daily example wholly unfit them for their duties.” Another says, “In some instances, moral qualifications[55] have been wholly disregarded, and teachers notoriously intemperate employed.” Says another, “I have found a number whose language was low, obscene, and sensual, still employed in teaching.”
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The Duty of American Women to Their Country by Catharine Esther Beecher, is part of the HackerNoon Books Series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. Moral Injuries inflicted on Children at School.


One teacher writes thus: “Where the plastering remains, it is covered with coal marks, and numerous holes are cut through the writing desks, while vulgarities and obscenities are not only written, but deeply cut in the desks and doors.” Of another house he says, “Within and without are manifest evidences of a polluted imagination. Several lewd representations are deep cut in the clapboards in front of the house, in the entry, and even on the girls’ desks, so as to be constantly before their eyes.” “These things,” he adds, “are but specimens selected from scores.”

Another writes thus: “I have alluded to the representations of vulgarity and obscenity that meet the eye in every direction. I am constrained to add that, during intermissions, ‘certain lewd fellows of the baser sort’ sometimes lecture boys and girls, large and small, illustrating their subject by these vile delineations. Many of our schoolhouses are nurseries of disorder, vulgarity, profanity, and obscenity—nay, more, in some cases, they are the very hothouses of licentiousness.”

One single statement, made up from these reports of the county superintendents, and presented by the head superintendent in his report, speaks volumes on the neglect of modesty, decency, neatness, and purity. In the whole state there are six thousand schoolhouses destitute of any kind of woodhouse or privy; and of the whole number, only about one thousand have privies provided with separate accommodations for children of different sexes.

It appears, also, that though the schools and teachers are fast rising in character, and that many now are of uncommon excellence, yet that many of the teachers are notoriously depraved, while intellectual training, in the majority of cases, is deplorably low, and the moral training still more defective.

One superintendent remarks, “Gloomy, indeed, are the impressions made by our schoolhouses. The lessons of immorality and indecency often taught there would cause a shudder to thrill every sensitive mind.” Another says, “There are, I regret to say, many teachers whose morals, manners, and daily example wholly unfit them for their duties.” Another says, “In some instances, moral qualifications have been wholly disregarded, and teachers notoriously intemperate employed.” Says another, “I have found a number whose language was low, obscene, and sensual, still employed in teaching.”

Says another, “If the tastes, associations, and moral sentiments of the teacher lack elevation and dignity, what literary progress will atone for examples so pernicious? And yet such are the moral influences shed about them by many licensed to teach.”

After presenting all these shocking details, the chief superintendent, in 1844, thus remarks:

“No subject connected with elementary instruction affords a source for such mortifying and humiliating reflection as that of the condition of a large portion of the schoolhouses as presented in the above enumeration. Only one third of the whole number visited were found in good repair; another third in only comfortable condition; while three thousand three hundred and nineteen were unfit for the reception of man or beast. Seven thousand were found destitute of any play-ground, nearly six thousand destitute of convenient seats and desks, nearly eight thousand destitute of any proper facilities for ventilation, and upward of six thousand destitute of a privy of any sort. And it is in these miserable abodes of filth and dirt, deprived of wholesome air, or exposed to the assaults of the elements, with no facilities for exercise or relaxation, with no conveniences for prosecuting their studies, crowded together on benches not admitting of a moment’s rest, and debarred the possibility of yielding to the ordinary calls of nature without violent inroads upon modesty and shame, that upward of two hundred thousand children of this state are compelled to spend an average period of eight months each year of their pupilage. Here the first lessons of human life, the incipient principles of morality, and the rules of social intercourse are to be impressed on the plastic mind. The boy is here to receive the model of his permanent character, and imbibe the elements of his future career. Here the instinctive delicacy of the young female, one of the characteristic ornaments of her sex, is to be expanded into maturity by precept and example. Such are the temples of science, such the ministers under whose care susceptible childhood is to receive its earliest impressions.[57] Great God! shall man dare to charge to thy dispensations the vices, the crimes, the sickness, the sorrows, the miseries, and the brevity of human life, who sends his little children to a pesthouse, fraught with the deadly malaria of both moral and physical disease? Instead of impious murmurs, let him lay his hand on his mouth, and his mouth in the dust, and cry ‘Unclean!’”

Let it not be imagined that this picture is peculiar to New-York. The superintendents of the common schools in Ohio, and even in Massachusetts and Connecticut, have reported similar evils as existing, to a greater or less extent, in the schools in their respective states; and if such things exist in the states where most has been done for education, what can be hoped for the neglected and abused little ones where even less is done by law for their comfort and improvement? In view of such utter destitution of schools in the greater part of our country, and of the sufferings and neglect endured by little children in other portions, the inquiry must be earnestly pressed, “What can be the reason of this deplorable state of things?”

The grand reason is, the selfish apathy of the educated classes, and the stupid apathy of those who are too ignorant to appreciate an education for their children. In those states where no school system is established by law, the intelligent and wealthy content themselves with securing a good education for their own children, and care nothing for the rest. When any project, therefore, is presented for obtaining a good school system, the rich and intelligent do not wish to be taxed for the children of others, and the rest do not care whether their children are educated or not, or else are too poor to pay the expense.

In those states where a school system is established, parents of intelligence and moral worth, seeing the neglected state of the common school, withdraw their children to private schools. And feeling no interest in schools which they do not patronise, they pass them with utter neglect. And thus, neither rich, nor poor care enough to be willing to be taxed for their elevation and improvement.

Thus, too, it has come to pass, that while every intelligent man in the Union is reading, and hearing, and saying, every day of his life, that unless our children are trained to virtue and intelligence, the nation is ruined, yet there is nothing else for which so little interest is felt, or so little done. Look, now, to that great body of intelligent and benevolent persons, who are interesting themselves for patriotic and religious enterprises. We see them sustaining great organizations, and supporting men to devote their whole time to promote these several enterprises, which draw thousands and hundreds of thousands from the public for their support. There is one organization, to send missionaries to the heathen and to educate heathen children, with its six or eight paid officers, devoting their whole time to the object. Then there is another to furnish the Bible, and another to distribute tracts, and another to educate young men to become ministers, and another to send out home missionaries, and another to sustain Western colleges, and another to promote temperance, and another to promote the observance of the Sabbath. Then we have an association to take care of sailors, and another to promote the comfort and improvement of convicts in prisons and penitentiaries, and another to relieve and ransom the slave, and another to colonize the free coloured race. All these objects are promoted by having men sustained by voluntary contributions, who spend their whole time in urging the claims of these various objects on the public mind, while almost all have a regular periodical to advocate their cause. But our two millions of little children, who are growing up in heathenish darkness, enchained in ignorance, and in many cases, where the cold law professes to provide for them, enduring distress of body and mind even greater than is inflicted on criminals in our prisons, where is the benevolent association for their relief? where is there a periodical supported by the charitable to tell the tale of their wrongs? where is there a single man sustained by Christian benevolence to operate for their relief?

Let it not be claimed that Sunday-schools meet this emergency. A Sunday-school cannot, in its one or two short hours, educate a child, or undo all the fatal influences of six days of idle vagrancy, with their pernicious lessons of vice and sin. Besides, the Sabbath-school is of little avail, except where there is a large class of intelligent and benevolent persons to labour, and such are thinly sprinkled in those portions of the land where no schools exist.

The vast proportion of neglected children in our land are never reached, even by the feeble influence of the Sunday-school.

And this fatal neglect cannot be palliated by the plea, that the means employed to sustain other objects cannot be directed to this cause. Why cannot the press be employed for popular education as efficiently as for the promotion of temperance, or the support of the Sabbath? Why cannot men of talents be supported to write and to labour for this cause as well as for any other? The only thing that can save us is, to arouse this people from the fatal apathy which is luring them to destruction. Ministers must preach, agents must lecture, conventions must be called, discussions must be urged, tracts must be written and circulated, the political press must be enlisted, and every possible mode of arousing public attention must be adopted. It must be shown that teachers are needed as much as ministers, that teachers’ institutions are as important as colleges, that it is as necessary to educate and send forth “poor and pious young women” to teach, as it is “poor and pious young men” to preach. And when the same influence and efforts are directed to educate our two millions of American children, as are now directed to establishing missions among the heathen, our country may escape the yawning abyss now gaping to destroy.

The American people are sanguine and hasty, careless of peril, and thoughtless of risk, but, when brought by danger to reflection, they have first-rate common sense, surpassing energy, and endless resources. And if they can but be convinced of their danger in season, all is safe; but the work to be done is prodigious, the time is short, and the question all turns on whether the work will be undertaken soon enough, and with sufficient energy.

Look, then, at the work to be done. Two millions of destitute children to be supplied with schools! To meet this demand, sixty thousand teachers and fifty thousand schoolhouses are required. Or, if we can afford to leave half of them to grow up in ignorance, and aim only to educate the other half, thirty thousand teachers and twenty-five thousand schoolhouses must be provided, and that, too, within twelve years. The census calculates the children between four and sixteen, and in twelve years most of these children will be beyond the reach of school instruction, while other millions, treading on their heels, will demand still greater supplies. Sixty thousand teachers now needed for present wants, and thousands, to be added every year for the increase of population!

Where are we to raise such an army of teachers? Not from the sex which finds it so much more honourable, easy, and lucrative to enter the many roads to wealth and honour open in this land. But a few will turn from these, to the humble, unhonoured toils of the schoolroom and its penurious reward.

It is woman who is to come in at this emergency, and meet the demand; woman, whom experience and testimony has shown to be the best, as well as the cheapest guardian and teacher of childhood, in the school as well as the nursery. Already, in those parts of our country where education is most prosperous, the larger part of the teachers of common schools are women. In Massachusetts, three out of five of all the teachers are women. In the State of New-York and in Philadelphia similar results are seen.

Women, then, are to be educated for teachers, and sent to the destitute children of this nation by hundreds and by thousands. This is the way in which a profession is to be created for woman—a profession as honourable and as lucrative for her as the legal, medical, and theological are for men. This is the way in which thousands of intelligent and respectable women, who toil for a pittance scarcely sufficient to sustain life, are to be relieved and elevated. This is the way, and the only way, in which our nation can be saved from impending perils. Though we are now in such a condition that many have given over our case in despair, as too far gone for remedy—though the peril is immense, and the work to be done enormous, yet it is in the power of American women to save their country. There is benevolence enough, there are means enough at their command. All that is needed is a knowledge of the danger, and a faithful use of the means within their reach.

And who else, in such an emergency as this, can so appropriately be invoked to aid? It is woman who is the natural and appropriate guardian of childhood. It is woman who has those tender sympathies which can most readily feel for the wants and sufferings of the young. It is woman, who is especially interested in all efforts which tend to elevate and dignify her own sex. It is woman, too, who has that conscientiousness and religious devotion, which, in any worthy cause, are the surest pledges of success.

And it is the pride and honour of our country, that woman holds a commanding influence in the domestic and social circle, which is accorded to the sex in no other nation, and such as will make her wishes and efforts, if united for a benevolent and patriotic object, almost omnipotent.

To you, then, American women, are brought these two millions of suffering and destitute children; these “despised little ones,” of whom is written, “their angels do always behold the face of our Father in heaven;” who are loved and cared for by the good Shepherd above, so that it were better for any of us, that we were thrown with a millstone about our necks into the sea, than that, through our guilty neglect, even one of these little ones should perish.

To you, my countrywomen, these little children call, with voices soft as the young ravens’ cry, yet multitudinous as the murmuring ocean waves. To you they complain of the filth, and the weariness, and the aching muscles, and the throbbing head, and the tortured eyes. To you they lament the degrading scenes and fatal influences, that wither all that is pure, and sweet, and lovely in childhood and youth. Of you they ask relief from suffering, and all those blessed ministries that will lead their young feet to usefulness and happiness on earth, and to glory, honour, and immortality on high. Ah, surely their supplications will be heard, and speedy relief will be found!

How, then, can American women act for these children, and thus for the salvation of their country, in an emergency like this?

Before answering this question, it is needful to consider that the education demanded for the American people is not merely to be taught to read and write. In communities where it is the universal fashion to read, and where books and papers are multitudinous as the flakes of heaven, it might, perhaps, suffice to teach a child to read, so far as intellect is concerned. But if the tastes and principles are not formed aright, the probability is, that blank ignorance would be better than the poisonous food, which a mind, thus sent forth to seek its own supplies, would inevitably select. But in those sections of our country that are most deficient in schools, there are neither books, nor the desire, or the taste for reading them. And among those who are taught to read, thousands go from the portals of knowledge to daily toil, or to vicious indulgences, leaving the mind as empty and stupid as if no such ability were gained. And how many there are, who have sharpened their faculties only as edged tools for greater mischief! No; the American people are to be educated for their high duties. The children who, ere long, are to decide whether we shall have tariff or no tariff, bank or no bank, slavery or no slavery, naturalization laws or no such laws, must be trained so that they cannot be duped and excited by demagogues, and thus led on to the ruin that overwhelmed the people of France. They must be trained to read, and think, and decide intelligently on all matters where they are to act as legislators, judges, jury, and executive. The children who, ere long, are to be thrown into the heats and passion of political strife and sectional jealousy, must be trained to rule their passions, and to control themselves by reason, religion, and law. The young daughters of this nation, too, must be trained to become the educators of all the future statesmen, legislators, judges, juries, and magistrates of this land. For to them are to be committed the minds and habits of every future child, at the time when every impression is indelible, and every influence efficient. What, then, can American women do in forwarding an enterprise so vast and so important?

In the first place, there is no woman in any station, who has not work cut out to her hand. Wherever there is a single ignorant child, there is one of the future rulers or educators of this nation; there is one immortal being, who, if neglected, will become an engine of mischief to our country, and at last sink to eternal wo; or, if trained aright, will prove a blessing to our nation, and an angel of light in heaven. And no woman is free from guilt, or free from the terrific responsibilities of the perils impending over her country, till she has done all in her power to secure a proper education to all the young minds within the reach of her influence.

Is it asked, What then; would you require every woman to turn teacher and keep school? No; but every woman is bound to bring this into the list of her duties, and, as one of her most imperious duties, to do all in her power to secure a proper education to the American children now coming upon the stage.

Every woman has various duties pressing upon her attention. It is right for her, it is her duty, to cultivate her own mind by reading and study, not merely for her own gratification or credit, but with the great end in view of employing her knowledge and energies for the good of others. It is right, and a duty for a woman to attend to domestic affairs; but, except in cases of emergency, it is not right to devote all her time to this alone. It is a duty for her to attend to religious efforts and ordinances; but it is not right for her to give all her time to these alone. It is right for her to devote some time to social enjoyments, some time to the elegancies and ornaments of taste, some time to the adornment of person and residence, and some time to the relaxation of mere amusement. In many cases, these last are as much duties as the more weighty pursuits of life.

But this great maxim is ever to be borne in mind, The most important things first in attention. It is the due proportion of time and attention that decides the rectitude of all useful or innocent pursuits. And a woman is bound so to divide her time, as to give some portion of it to each of her several duties, so that no one shall be entirely crowded out; and so, also, to apportion her attention, that each shall be regarded according to its relative value.

In this view of the subject, what, except her own immortal interest, can an American woman place, as demanding more serious attention and more earnest efforts, than an attempt to use her time and influence to avert the dangers now impending over her country, her kindred, and herself? Is there any ornamental design, any gratification of taste or appetite, any merely temporal good, that can at all be placed in comparison with this great concern? Is it, then, assuming too much to claim that every American woman is bound to give, not only some time, but more time to this enterprise than she gives to any social enjoyment, any personal or domestic decoration, or any species of amusement? Is it not so? Is it right for a conscientious woman, when all that is dear and sacred is in such peril—when she has means, time, or influence which will aid in saving her country, her friends, and herself from such dangers—is it right to give to this effort less attention and time than is devoted to visiting, or to entertaining company, or to the adornment of her person or her house? Judge ye, as ye will give account for these things to the Judge of quick and dead.

What, then, are the ways in which an educated woman can employ the talents committed to her for the salvation of her country?

Many may be pointed out, some one of which can be adopted by every woman in this nation.

Some, who are mothers, can superintend the education of their children, and, while doing it, can seek in their own vicinity orphans, or children of peculiar promise, and train them with their own children to become teachers of others.

Some, who are sisters, can superintend the education of younger brothers and sisters, and add to this class others of humbler means, whom they may thus prepare for missionary teachers in some of the destitute villages of our land.

Some, who are just returned from school, with all their knowledge fresh, and all their powers in active play, may collect a class around them in the vicinity of their homes, and impart the discipline of mind and treasures of knowledge given them by God, not to be laid up as in a napkin, but to be employed for the good of others. Thus they will be raising up, not only useful teachers, but valuable friends for the exigencies of future life.

Oh, how much happier, and more respectable, and more lovely, in such benevolent toils, than in the shopping, dressing, calling, gossiping round pursued by a large portion of the daughters of wealth!

Some, on completing their education, can interest themselves in the common schools in their vicinity, seeking the friendship of the teacher, and then contributing their time and labour to raise the school to higher intellectual and moral excellence.

Some, who have a missionary spirit, may go forth to the destitute portions of our land, and collect the future sovereigns and educators of this nation, and train them for their duties.

Some, who have wealth at their command, understanding that much is required from them to whom much is given—that wealth is bestowed, not for selfish enjoyment, but for the good of others—that education is conferred, not as the means of selfish distinction and advantage, but as the instrument for benefiting mankind—such may devote time, and service, and wealth to this noble enterprise. Such may aid in founding and superintending institutions for the education and location of female teachers, thus originating permanent fountains of knowledge and influence, that long shall send forth bounteous waters in all portions of our land.

Some, who cannot enter personally into such labours, may aid in furnishing means to send forth others into the field. There are hundreds and thousands of benevolent women in the land, who would rejoice to spend and be spent in this service, but who have neither the opportunity to qualify themselves, nor the assistance necessary in finding the proper location when prepared. Why is it not time to turn some of the charity of woman, which so long has clothed and educated young men for their benevolent ministries, to aiding their own sex in as important and more neglected service?

Some can interest themselves in the schools in their vicinity, and aid the teacher by sympathy, counsel, and lending suitable books. A woman who is well informed herself, may, in this way, do much to save both the body and minds of children from great evils. On such an errand, in some cases, she will find young children pent up in a tight room, heated by a close stove, poisoning the air with their breaths, without the least relief from the process of ventilation, so easily secured by a trap-door in the upper wall. Thus it is, that many children engender weak stomachs, headaches, feeble constitutions, and sometimes deformity and death. In other cases, she may rescue some little sufferers from the torture of supporting the body on high and hard benches, without any aid to the muscles from a support to the back. Thus it is that children sometimes are rendered feeble and distorted, especially those of delicate conformation. In other cases, she may ascertain, by her own inspection, the shameful neglect of cleanliness, comfort, modesty, and decency, too often to be found in our common schools. Nowhere else is the supervision of woman so much demanded. The preceding details of the situation of our common schools in these respects, found in reports made by the state officers of education in New-York, where great efforts have been made to remove such evils, are painful indications of the shocking abuses which are to be remedied. The poor in our almshouses, the criminals in our prisons, even the cattle in our stables, have more attention paid to their comfort than is given to thousands and thousands of the little children of our country. In other cases, she can inquire into the course of study, and the modes of giving moral and religious instruction, and into the character of the books used in school, and if any improvement or alteration is needed, by seeking the confidence and friendship of the teacher, and lending her books to read on the subject, or by influencing trustees and those who direct the school, she may remedy evils and secure improvement.

In some portions of the country where education is most prosperous, the mothers of a district have formed an association for the improvement of the school which their children attend. This is usually brought about by the teacher of the school. These mothers meet once a month, to consult, or to read books, or to visit the school, and their contributions of money are used to increase the school apparatus, or to buy the books needed by the teacher or themselves for this object.

Some can interest themselves for the domestics of their family, to whom the health, character, and happiness of little children is so extensively intrusted. By kind expressions of interest, by conversing with them on their pursuits and duties, by lending useful books adapted to their capacities, by reading to them, by inducing them to secure suitable religious privileges, and by using all practicable means to impart knowledge and moral principle, much may be done for this greatly neglected class, who not only have so much influence over the children of others, but are most of them, ere long, to rear children of their own. In no way can a mother so surely receive her reward as in faithful and benevolent efforts for her domestics.

Some can employ their time and means in circulating books, papers, and tracts, which shall enlighten the people, and awaken them to their duties and dangers. Some can use their personal influence over fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, and friends, presenting this subject to their attention, pointing out articles for them to read, and urging any measures that may tend to advance this cause. Some may approach their clergyman, and if he needs any information, or any quickening on the subject, furnish the books, and add entreaties to secure his powerful influence both in private and in the pulpit.

Some can employ the pen in writing to arouse public interest, and their influence in getting articles on this subject into newspapers. Such works as the periodicals on Education, published in Boston and Albany, Stowe’s and Mann’s Reports on the Systems of Education in Europe, and the volume called the School and Schoolmaster, will furnish materials for such articles.

Some, who have but little time at command, can render very essential service by an occasional visit to the schools in their vicinity, especially in seasons of examination; thus encouraging both teachers and pupils by the conviction that their labours are known and appreciated, and that the community around are interested in their success. If the influential ladies in any place would go but once a year to the schools in their vicinity, to inquire for their comfort and prosperity, it would give a wonderful impulse to the cause of education. The torpid indifference of the influential classes to the education of the young, except where their own families are concerned, is the grand cause of all the dangers that threaten us.

There are many who feel that any useful object of common interest can be more successfully achieved by association than by individual influence. Such are accustomed to form societies, or associations, with officers and committees. In cases where this mode of operating is common and popular, a Ladies’ School Association might be formed, who might act somewhat in this manner:

A meeting might be called, of all ladies in the place, disposed to lend their influence to promote the proper education of American children, where some gentlemen, familiar with the subject, might address them. Committees might then be appointed to obtain information on these questions. Are all the children in this vicinity so provided with schools and schoolbooks that they are gaining a proper education? Do the Sunday-schools avail to secure a proper education to the children who go to no other? Is the Bible used, or any moral or religious instruction given in the schools? Where schools are provided, what is the condition of the schoolhouse, the seats and desks, the mode of heating and ventilating, the order and neatness of the premises, and what are the outdoor accommodations?

When the committees have obtained the information on these points, another meeting can be called to hear their reports, and to devise means for remedying any evils or deficiencies that may have been discovered.

In proceeding in this way, it will be indispensable to seek the good-will and co-operation of the teachers whose schools are examined; and as these measures would all tend to promote their comfort and usefulness, a moderate degree of discretion and kindness would secure their ready co-operation.

Those who are so infirm, or so embarrassed in other ways, that they cannot engage in any one of the measures suggested above, can at least speak to those around them, and endeavour to influence them to engage in this work.

Those who have access to men of wealth and influence, those who can approach the minds that are forming comprehensive plans, and enlisting thousands to promote them, may, in many cases, most efficiently aid this cause by urging such inquiries as these.

Why is it that no plans are formed to train up our own millions of destitute children? Why is no organization effected to educate and locate female teachers, when there are hundreds and thousands in our land, who have a truly missionary spirit, and are longing to be sent forth? Why should so much money be collected for a nine year’s course for young men, who are to go forth as preachers, and none be received for the education and location of young women, who, as teachers in destitute villages, could, with only one or two year’s education, do as much good as missionary preachers?

If women are called upon to spend their time and money in clothing and educating young men, is it not proper and reasonable that the other sex should do something to aid young women who are longing to be sent forth to save the perishing children of our country?

Is it not required that children should be trained up in the way they should go? and ought there not to be benevolent organizations to secure this, as much as organizations to reform and convert those who are vicious and irreligious, simply because they are not thus trained?

Is it not better to save children from being poisoned, than to pay physicians for trying to cure them after they are contaminated, and, in many cases, beyond the reach of cure?

Is it not as important to send forth tracts to influence the people to educate their children virtuously and religiously, as it is to send forth tracts to convert and reform them after they have been trained up to vice and irreligion?

Is it not as important to teach our two millions of destitute children to read, as it is to send forth tracts, and Bibles, and colporteurs to a population where three millions cannot read a line in Bible or tract?

Is it not as important to organize, in order to secure a good common-school education to our millions who cannot read, as it is to sustain and endow colleges for the few thousand youth who enjoy their advantages, and who have such disproportionate treasures lavished on their education?

If we neglect the democracy and provide only for the higher classes, shall we not eat the fruit of our own way? The aristocracy of France took all the wealth and power for selfish enjoyment, and when the democracy came into power, how awfully did they revenge themselves! In this country, are not the rich and influential acting on the same selfish principle? “And the people do perish for lack of knowledge!” Oh! the horrors of that day when this neglected people shall visit their wrongs on those, who now are selfishly withholding that light of knowledge which is the only means of our peace and salvation!

In attempting to influence others to engage in this work, appeals can be made to the generous and patriotic feelings of the young with great effect. Why cannot an enthusiasm be created for educating children which shall equal that which has been created for preventing and curing intemperance? Let the same amount of money be spent, and the same number of good and influential men attempt to do it, and it will be done. Let every woman, then, urge on this attempt.

If a woman can do nothing else for this cause, she can at least pray for it; and it is rarely the case that any person offers sincere and earnest prayer for any good object, without speedily finding something to do for that object.

In attempting to enlist American women in the work of securing a proper education to the children of this nation, there is one topic worthy of special consideration. The great problem of the age on this subject is, how shall the moral and religious instruction of children be secured at school? When we consider the vast multitudes of children who have no such training, either at home or anywhere else, this question becomes one of paramount interest; for, unless virtuous and moral principles and habits are formed, education only adds new powers of mischief to those who are trained. The indifference of a large portion of the community to this subject, and the extreme sensitiveness of sectarian jealousy, interpose great obstacles; but these may be much more readily overcome than many suppose.

Professor Stowe, in his Report to the Legislature of Ohio on the Prussian System of Schools, makes these remarks.

“The universal success, also, and very beneficial results, with which the arts of drawing and designing, music, and also moral instruction and the Bible, have been introduced into schools, was another fact peculiarly interesting to me.

“I asked all the teachers with whom I conversed whether they did not sometimes find children incapable of learning to draw and to sing. I have had but one reply, and that was, that they found the same diversity of natural talent in regard to these as in regard to reading, writing, and other branches of education; but they had never seen a child capable of learning to read and write, who could not be taught to sing well and draw neatly; and that, too, without taking any time which would interfere with, or which would not rather promote progress in other studies.

“In regard to the necessity of moral instruction and the beneficial influence of the Bible in schools, the testimony was no less explicit and uniform. I inquired of all classes of teachers, and of men of every grade of religious faith; instructers in common schools, high schools, and schools of art; of professors in colleges, universities, and professional seminaries in cities and in the country; in places where there was a uniformity of creed, and in places where there was a diversity of creeds; I inquired of believers and unbelievers, of rationalists and enthusiasts, of Catholics and Protestants, and I never found but one reply: and that was, that to leave the moral faculty uninstructed was to leave the most important part of the human mind undeveloped, and to strip education of almost everything that makes it valuable; and that the Bible is the best book to put into the hands of children, to interest, to exercise, and to unfold both the intellectual and moral powers. Every teacher whom I consulted repelled with indignation the idea, that moral instruction is not proper for schools, and that the Bible cannot be introduced into common schools without sectarian bias in teaching.”

While it is universally conceded by all intelligent persons, that there is no nation on earth, whose prosperity, and even existence, so much depends on the moral training of the mass of the people, there is no nation, where schools are established by law, in which so little of it is done. It is mournful to reflect, that by far the larger part of our schools banish religious and moral training altogether, and confine their efforts entirely to the training of the intellect, and a great part of them merely to that of the memory.

It is supposed, by many, that the Sunday-school in our country, to a great degree, supplies the deficiencies of our schools in respect to moral and religious training. It is true that this institution does more than any other to meet these wants. But it must be remembered that such schools are properly sustained only where there is a large number of benevolent and intelligent persons to teach them.

But in our country, the places which most need such labourers are the very places where the fewest are to be found. And even in the most favoured portions of our land, much of Sunday instructions is committed to very young persons, while the parents often are thus led to throw off their own responsibility upon those of less experience.

Moreover, if the moral training of children is neglected through the six days of the week, in which they are exposed to the most temptation, how vain to expect that all the consequent evil is to be remedied by gathering them for an hour or two on Sunday, to receive religious instruction. Even were this a remedy, there are thousands of places in our land where no Sunday-schools are to be found.

Many persons justify the neglect of moral training in our schools, by claiming that religion must be banished from schools, on account of the great diversity of sects, who cannot agree in this matter. Such are little aware on how many important points all sects are agreed. To exhibit this, and to aid any who may be induced to attempt a course of moral and religious training in their schools, the following is presented as an outline of a course of instruction that could be introduced into all schools, without violating the conscientious scruples of a single denomination in this nation, professing to be Christian.

In the first place, all children in schools, can be taught, that the Bible contains the rules of duty given by God, which all men are bound to obey. This is what all denominations allow, and if there is any dispute about which translation is the proper one, each child can be allowed to use the Bible his parents think to be right.

When this is duly taught, the children can be required, for several successive mornings, each to repeat a passage from the Bible, which teaches the character of God.

When this subject is exhausted, then the teacher can compose a form of prayer consisting exclusively of passages from the Bible, to be used as the first act of school duty. The children might be required to repeat each portion, either with, or after the teacher, simultaneously, and thus unite in the exercise.

The following is presented as a specimen of the prayers, of which a great variety could be made, simply by arranging texts from the Bible:

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee.

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and look up.

For thou art not a God that hast pleasure in wickedness; neither shall evil dwell with thee.

Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness; make thy way straight before my face.

Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me;

Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing.

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, because we have sinned against thee; neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws which he set before us.

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.

For thou art the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in mercy and truth. Therefore will we trust in thee.

To the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Or this:

O Lord, my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty:

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment, who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.

Who layeth the beams of his chambers in great waters, who maketh the clouds his chariot, who walketh upon the wings of the wind.

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

He that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord.

He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me.

Thou knowest my down-sitting and my up-rising; thou understandest my thoughts afar off.

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain unto it.

I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts;

And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Now unto the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory now and forever. Amen.

Next, the children may be required to bring texts in reply to such questions as these:

Who is Jesus Christ?

For what did he come into this world?

What is the character of Jesus Christ?

What has he done for us?

What does he require of us?

What is to be the condition of those who are wicked after death?

What is to be the condition of the good after death?

How are we to escape from the portion of the wicked after death?

How are we to gain the rewards of the good after death?

Some such question can be given each morning; and the children can be required to learn a text from the Bible, which will answer this question, to repeat the next morning. If they are too young to find it themselves, they can be required to ask the aid of their companions who are older, or of their friends at home.

The being, character, and works of God, the feelings and duties owed to him, and our relations and duties in reference to a future state, are the topics which usually are classed as religious instruction.

Moral training commonly is understood as relating to the duties we owe to ourselves and to our fellow-creatures. In this department the following methods could be adopted:

Each morning, some one of such practical texts as the following could be given out for the children to reflect on through the day, and in reference to which, they can be required to seek from books, or from their friends, some cases in which this command of God is either obeyed or disobeyed.

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

“Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

“Recompense to no one evil for evil.”

“Forbear one another, and forgive one another, if any one have a quarrel; as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

“Bless them that curse you; bless, and curse not.”

“If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.”

“Put away lying, and speak every one truth with his neighbour.”

“Put on humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering.”

“Be followers of Christ, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who hath left us an example, that we should walk in his steps.”

When such texts are given out, their spirit and meaning should be illustrated by example, and then the children should be required to learn the text, and next morning to bring some case to illustrate the violation of, or obedience to this rule.

But it is not sufficient to give children clear views of duty, and store their memories with the precepts enforcing their duties.

The teachers should keep a strict watch over the children, and whenever any conduct or disposition appears, that violates these rules, they should be pointedly applied. A precept from the Bible should be employed to counteract whatever bad disposition or bad conduct is observed.

For example, if a child complains that a companion has defaced his booklet the faulty child be called up, and made to repeat the command of God which he has violated: such as, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” If a child has taken a pen from his companion without leave, take occasion, on reprimanding him, to set before the school the evil and danger of pilfering. Enlarge on the nobleness of strict honesty and uprightness. Show that the evil is not so much the loss of property by the owner as the bad habit induced in the pilferer, which may lead at last to the dungeon and the gallows.

Again, if a child is found to be prevaricating, or using any kind of deceit, require him to repeat the commands of God, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” “Lie not at all.” “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly are his delight.”

Then set forth lying before the school, as what should be held in universal abhorrence; show the importance of truth, as indispensable to the existence of society and the happiness of all beings; show how any kind of attempts at deceit weakens the habit of truthfulness, and certainly will lead, at last, to lying.

When it is needful to punish, endeavour to select a penalty that will have a good effect on the school, instead of one that will awaken sympathy for the offender. When a child is whipped, in many cases, his cries excite pity and sympathy, and often indignation at the teacher. But if, when a child has broken the laws of God, the teacher sets forth the evil of the sin, and then takes some such precept as this, “Withdraw thyself from every brother that walketh disorderly,” as his directory in requiring all the school to be separate from him, shutting him out from the play-ground, and depriving him of the usual period of recess until the delinquent appears penitent and anxious to do well; then the teacher appears to the school as acting by Divine authority, and for the good of the whole.

There are many sins against such commands of God as these: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” “Whatsoever things are lovely and of good report, think of these things.” “Be ye courteous.” The violations of the rules of politeness, of neatness, and of order, come under these precepts, and school is the place, above all others, where such faults should be checked. Throwing down hats and caps, abusing clothes, tearing books, defiling desks with ink, cutting the benches, marking the walls, are faults which ought to be noticed as disobedience to these rules. So, also, rude language, calling nicknames, teasing and frightening companions, mocking the aged, or deformed, or lame, cruel treatment of birds and other animals, injuring trees, and many similar practices, should be checked by appeals to the Word of God.

In addition to this, let the benefits of refined taste and good breeding be set forth by specific examples. Show the consequences where the children of a community are rude in the streets, abuse and injure fences, milestones, graveyards, and fruit-trees, and then set forth the advantages of street politeness, of the care of our neighbours’ property, and of all that belongs to the public.

In all efforts to lead children to benevolent feelings and conduct, it is very important to set before them the example of Jesus Christ, appealing to their feelings of gratitude and love.

If a child frets at being obliged to serve another, let him be reminded that Jesus Christ has done far more for him, and that he came into this world to set us an example, that we should walk in his steps.

While it is indispensable to notice and reprove faults, it is no less important to notice and approve whatever is commendable in children. And much care should be taken to observe whatever is right, for it is much easier and much better to govern by motives of pleasure rather than those of pain.

Whenever, therefore, any cases are observed of kindness, firmness, patience, truth, and faithfulness, let them be spoken of, not in such a way as to awaken vanity, but simply with approbation as right, and worthy of imitation.

For example, if a child gives up some gratification in order to relieve some poor companion, or furnish a destitute schoolmate with clothes or books; if a child has aided or defended a companion when laughed at, or ill-treated; if another has found some tempting article, and, instead of secreting it, has sought out the owner and returned it; if, when insulted and provoked, another has refrained from angry words and all retaliation; if another has refused to believe evil of a companion, and endeavoured to stop an injurious report; if another has taken care to preserve his own premises from filth and disorder, and protected the schoolhouse and play-ground from abuse; let all such actions be presented to the school as good, and worthy of imitation. Commendation not only encourages and animates those who do well, but inspires the desire to imitate in others.

In cases where a teacher assumes the care of a school where there are many children who have formed bad habits, it is very important that he should imitate Christ in his feelings and deportment towards sinners. In such a case, it is very important to convince his pupils that, however bad they are, he is still their friend, and ever ready to do them good. He should state to them that he is aware that they have formed bad habits, and that the labour of curing them is great and difficult. He should carefully notice all attempts to do better, and where there are efforts made to improve, occasional failures should be spoken of with words of kindness, sympathy, and encouragement.

And all teachers need to be careful not to be so frequent in finding fault, and so severe in manner as to produce the feeling of hopelessness in efforts to please and satisfy. When a child feels that, however earnestly he may try to do right, he has such bad habits already formed that he shall not succeed so as to please his teacher, all motive for exertion ceases, and he becomes reckless and hardened.

The great art of curing faults is, so to secure the affection and confidence of a child, that he shall be a cheerful co-worker with his teacher, assured of approbation in success, and of forbearance and sympathy in any failure.

In cases where the morals of a school are very bad, it will be wise for a teacher to let many things pass unnoticed that in a better community he would reprove.

Some one, two, or three rules of duty can be presented at a time, and diligent efforts be made to remedy habits which violate these rules. When some gain has been made on these points, then one or two more can be added, and thus a gradual advance will secure far more success than attempting everything at once.

There are many ways of rendering the Bible interesting to children, which should, if possible, be introduced into common schools. Some of these will be mentioned.

When reading the historical parts of the Old or New Testament, a large map of Palestine and the other countries spoken of in the Bible, should be suspended before the school, and all the places mentioned be pointed out. There are large maps of this kind to be obtained of the Sunday-school Union.

There is also a cheap chart of history prepared by a Mr. Lyman, which is most excellent for aiding in the study both of sacred and profane history. It is so made that it can be hung conveniently around the wall of a schoolroom, and is so large, that children can read the names and events while sitting in their seats.

Besides these articles, there are large drawings to be obtained of the tabernacle and all the articles spoken of in the Pentateuch, and others, also, that illustrate the manners and customs, dress, furniture, and dwellings of the Israelites, and the scenery of Palestine. These pictures, employed to illustrate the history of the Bible, would give wonderful interest to the exercise of reading it. It is hoped that, ere long, gentlemen of wealth will begin to endow common schools with such useful apparatus, instead of confining their benefactions exclusively to higher seminaries.

In reading the Bible in schools, the following method will be found to be both useful and interesting: Let the teacher, by the aid of Townsend’s Bible, arrange a regular course of Bible history chronologically, selecting only such chapters as will carry on a connected and complete history. This can be read aloud by the children in portions each morning; and by the aid of the maps, pictures, and charts, a vivid interest can be imparted to the exercise, while, at the same time, opportunities will be given to the teacher to notice incidents that convey moral instruction.

After this course is completed, then the teacher can prepare a course of biographical reading, arranged in chronological order, and use this opportunity also to point out the moral instruction to be found in these histories of individuals. Next, he might arrange a course embracing the didactic portions of the Bible, combining in one course of reading all the moral precepts; and while this is going on, he can collect anecdotes to relate to the school illustrating these precepts. Lastly, he might make a selection of the poetry and other rhetorical beauties of the Bible, and, while this is being read, point out the inimitable sublimity and beauty of the ideas and the style. The Introduction to the Study of the Bible by Horne, the larger edition, and Lowth on Hebrew poetry, are works which would greatly aid a teacher in such a course of Biblical instruction.

In this course of moral training, it will be seen that there is nothing sectarian, and nothing which would be objected to by any but those opposed to the use of the Bible in schools, and to all religious and moral training. In such cases, it would be proper to adopt the following course:

It could be stated to the objector, that in this country it is the majority that must decide every question not already settled by the Constitutions of the state or nation. That, in regard to the question of moral and religious training in the schools, the people are free to use their own judgment. That where the majority wish to have such training a part of school exercises, they have a right to require it. But in cases where persons object to having their children so trained, the majority have no right to insist on it. In order to avoid this, in every case where a parent requests it, his children can be allowed to leave the schoolroom while these exercises are going on, to study, or to perform some other school duty. Or if this is inconvenient, they can be allowed to come half an hour later, and then remain half an hour longer, after the others are dismissed. No man could object to such an arrangement without violating the first principle of our democracy, by demanding that the minority, and not the majority, shall be accommodated in this matter.

Now is it not practicable for every woman, who attempts to promote the proper education of American children, to use whatever influence she may have with parents, or teachers to secure such a course of moral training in the schools in her own vicinity, as is here indicated? Let every woman try what she can do to promote this important object.

American woman, whose eye may be resting on this page, are you willing to commence an effort to aid in saving your country from the perils of ignorance? Are you not spending more time in adorning your person, your children, or your residence, or in social enjoyments, or in providing for the gratification of the palate, than you have yet given to this cause? Can you continue this unchristian, unpatriotic apportionment of time, without an upbraiding conscience? Do you say that already you have more to do than you can properly perform? But, in the list of your pursuits, are there not some that are of far inferior consequence to this, which it would do no harm to curtail, and thus gain time for this? Do you not spend time and money for articles of dress, or ornaments, or in social intercourse, or for needless luxuries, that you might, without any evil, give up to this object?

Do you say that you can do but little, and relieve yourself from obligation because it is so little? Suppose each drop of rain should urge this plea, and thus delay to refresh the fields? Is not every great and good work accomplished by a union of many little influences, and as much so in the moral as in the natural world?

Are you dwelling in those parts of our land where most is done for education, and comforting yourself that at least you and yours shall escape in safety? But how can you tell that in five or ten years either you, or those you love best, will not be the other side of the Alleghany, and in the most destitute portion of the nation? The changes of fortune, the pursuit of wealth, the mutations of matrimonial connexions, utterly forbid any reliance on permanency of residence.

And how can one portion of this nation suffer and the other escape? Is not the vast River Valley, whatever may be the character of its millions, to hold the controlling power of our nation? If any portion of the fair West be tortured with civil commotion and lawless rage, will not every groan re-echo from the maternal heart of New-England and New-York, whose sons and daughters are dwelling on every prairie and in every valley of our land?

Mother, whose hands are so busy in ornamenting your darling child; Sister, whose fingers fly so swiftly over the canvass or lace; Daughter, so earnestly engaged in preparing your elegant habiliments, look back to that beautiful daughter of emperors, that sister of kings, that mother of princes, brought to her palace-home amid a nation’s transports, the welcome bride of the nation’s heir.

Again, on the birth of her first-born, hear the triumphant pæan re-echoed across the ocean, sung by the very children in our streets, and in the memory of many now on the stage:

“A Dauphin’s born! let cannon loud

With echoes rend the sky;

All hail to Gallia’s King!

Columbia’s great ally!”

And thus the great English orator of that day describes her: “It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles: and surely never lighted on this orb, which she scarcely seemed to touch, a more delightful vision! I saw her, just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in, glittering like the morning star, full of life, and splendour, and joy. Little did I dream I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords would have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult.”

Look, now, through those prison bars. There, pale and mournful, upon a pallet of straw, rests one for whom the splendours of Versailles scarcely seemed enough. Her once bright locks, even in youth, are gray with fear and sorrow. She is in solitude; her husband in one cell, and her weeping children, torn from her and placed with brutal keepers, in another. And now her husband is borne forth to a bloody death. Again her prison doors unclose, and she comes forth, seated on the fatal car, her hands tied behind her back, surrounded by thousands, who shout with malignant joy as the fatal guillotine terminates her woes.

See that last and most innocent sufferer, the poor little Dauphin, every tender feeling crushed, deliberately instructed in vice, doomed to disgusting and degrading services, and, ere long, cruelly starved to death!

American mother, wife, sister, daughter, the same earthquake is trembling under your feet! If such an awful period agitates any portion of this land, it will be those raised by wealth and station as the objects of popular envy, who must first meet the storm. You sit now in peace and plenty; you spend your time in elegant pleasures, and, while absorbed in selfish enjoyment, you forget the young and destitute growing up around you. And as you embroider the flower, and twine the silk, and fold the riband, they are learning to sharpen the dagger, and twine the cord, and plant the cannon. Within a stone’s throw of that smiling child with golden locks, who now absorbs a mother’s thoughts, may be growing up, in the darkness of ignorance and vice, the very hand that, at some awful crisis, will grasp those locks in rage, and plant the dagger in that happy bosom.

And when, in some after hour of terror and distress, when the roar of musketry is heard, shooting down father and husband, and brother and friend; when the bells are tolling, and the drums beating, and the wife, mother, and daughter behold those they love best girding to meet the violators of law; when they catch the parting expression of flushed excitement, or stern determination, or serious foreboding, as the loved one departs, perhaps to be returned a breathless corse—then, in the hour of anxious solitude, will the solemn inquest be made for those ruffian minds, ruined by neglect; and the voice of the Lord God will be heard, walking in the trees of the garden, demanding, “Where is thy brother?” And the trembling response, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” will meet the stern rebuke, “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.”

But why appeal to motives of fear and danger? Alas! those thousands and millions of neglected little ones in our land, they know not their wants or their danger, or they would raise their supplicating hands. Is there anything more appropriate than that gentle woman should be invoked to their aid? Is there anything more beautiful, more heavenly, than that she should spend her time, and thoughts, and means to rescue them? What is it that you would enjoy the most in after days, gazing at the fading beauties you have wrought in canvass, muslin, or lace, or looking around on the intelligent, useful, happy minds you have been instrumental in training, and who will rise up and call you blessed? True, you cannot gain this rich reward without some self-denying toil and persevering effort. But is it not worth the labour?

And when your eye is closing on earth, and the memories of the past are hovering around your pillow, who do you wish should meet your dying eye, the haggard faces of those ruined by your neglect, or the grateful smiles of those you have toiled to bless, who will bear you in their love and prayers, like seraph’s wings, to the opening gates of heaven; who will shine forever as stars in your crown of rejoicing?

And into that world of perfected benevolence and joy, who is it that shall enter and go no more out? It is those who, in this world, have followed the footsteps of Jesus Christ; who have lived, not for themselves, but for others; who, like him, have denied themselves daily to promote the salvation of the lost. Is not Jesus Christ presented as the bright and perfect example of self-denying benevolence, and is it not written, “If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his?”

Oh, ye who are appointed by Him, who toiled for your salvation, to go forth and rescue these little ones, what saith your great Exemplar? “Ye are the light of the world; and if the light in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Where, then, are your golden lamps? Whom will you guide to the light and liberty of his presence? Awake, from the dream of thoughtless pleasure! Awake from the reveries of selfish care, and save yourselves and your country, ere it be forever too late!

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