Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Little Children

Presbyterian Magazine
February, 1858.
edited by Rev. C. Van Rensselaer, D.D.
Published in Philadelphia by Joseph M. Wilson, p87.

From Household Thoughts: “Little Children A Great Help”

I am fond of little children. I think them the poetry of the world; the fresh flowers of our hearths and homes – little conjurors, with their “natural magic,” evoking by their spells what delights and enriches all ranks, and equalizes the different classes of society. Often as they bring with them anxieties and cares, and live to occasion sorrow and grief, we should get on very badly without them. Only think, if there was never anything anywhere to be seen but great grown-up men and women! Every infant comes into the world like a delegated prophet, the harbinger and herald of good tidings, whose office it is “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,” and to draw “the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” A child softens and purifies the heart, warming and melting it by its gentle presence; it enriches the soul by new feelings and awakens within it what is favorable to virtue. It is a beam of light, a fountain of love, a teacher whose lessons few can resist. Infants recall us from much that engenders and encourages selfishness, that freezes the affections, roughens the manners, indurates the heart; they brighten the home, deepen love, invigorate exertion, infuse courage, and vivify and sustain the charities of life. It would be a terrible world, I do think, if it was not embellished by little children.—Binney.