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more pure, takes its place." When a man marries he gives himself up
entirely to _another_ being; in this affair of life he first goes out
of himself, and inflicts the first deadly wound on his egotism. By
every child with which his marriage is blessed, nature renews the same
attack on his selfhood, causes him to live less for himself, and
more--even without being distinctly conscious of it--for others; his
heart expands in proportion as the claimants upon it increase, and,
bursting the bonds of its former narrow exclusiveness, it eventually
extends its sympathies to all around.
Whenever a mother is supplying her baby with the food which God has so
wisely provided for it, or is ministering to any other of its numerous
and increasing wants, she may feel that everything she does for it is
pleasing to her Heavenly Father and has its immediate reward in the
delight she experiences in the act.
I can fancy that when a mother has washed her baby, and before she
dresses it has a good romp with it, smothering it with kisses, calling
it all the beauties and darlings and pets and jewels she can think of,
and talking any amount of nonsense at the top of her voice--the baby
all the while cooing, chirping, or even screaming with delight--at
such a time, I say, I can easily fancy that the angels are looking on
approvingly and enjoying the scene. And why not? "Of such is the
kingdom of heaven."
From the time that an infant first becomes conscious of its wants, and
long afterwards, it looks to its mother to supply them all, fully
believing her able to do so. She is, in fact, in place of God to it,
and it would be well for many of us if we trusted our Heavenly Father
as simply and as fully as the infant does its earthly mother.
Those who know no better, when they see a mother patiently watching
her sleeping babe, might wonder that she does not feel the want of
company. She has, however, company that they know not of, and of which
even she herself may not be conscious. If only our eyes were open, we
might see that she is not the only one that is so engaged--that
angels are also occupied in watching the babe and in supporting her.
I entirely agree with Dr. Watts, where, in his "Cradle Hymn," he makes
the mother say:
"Hush! my babe, lie still and slumber,
Holy angels guard thy bed."
You probably know the beautiful Irish superstition that when a baby
smiles in its sleep the angels are whispering to it.
"Before I became a father, I took little or no interest in babies; I
rather thought them troublesome things. But the arrival of one of my
own wrought a great change in me. It enlarged at once my views and my
heart, and I had higher and stronger motives to exertion. My interest
in them has not yet begun to weaken, and I have no reason to think it
Girls are differently constituted from boys. God makes the intellect
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