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JEC 15 1924

LIBRARY

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As a source of educational influence, cannot be over estimated. It is the home of our childhood. If there is any thing sacred in memory, any thing dear to the human heart, that has felt its inspiring influence, any thing that baffles eulogy, it is the genius of home. If there is any thing that stirs up the deep fountains of the soul and holds its willing victim spell-bound and silent, it is the melody of "Sweet Home."

It must follow, therefore, that a healthful home influence has an untold power for good in the formation of character. Such was the Puritan home of New England. We know of no model that compares with it. No matter how homely and uncomfortable that cabin which was the home of the Puritan family-it was their earthly paradise. Its rough walls shielded them from the northern blasts, its blazing fire upon the sacred hearth-stone shed upon them its genial light and heat. This family was a circle unbroken by discord. Harmony and confidence robed in purity, dwelt there. Parental and filial affection shed over them their genial influence from day to day and year to year. In the Puritan family each member occupied the place assigned by Heaven. The father at the head was revered and obeyed as counsellor and judge, yet loved as parent and friend. The mother "opened her mouth in wisdom and in her tongue was the law of kindness." In counsel and .discipline, the father and

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mother always harmonized. In efficient moulding influence the mother was undoubtedly the superior, and the more so, because she acted in her own sphere, and faith. fully discharged her own peculiar duties. Said John Quincy Adams, "for what I am and for what I have done, I am chiefly indebted to my mother." Yet, we all know that the mother of John Quincy Adams was the wife of the venerable president of the United States in the perilous times of our country's history, and he not only ruled the nation, but in his own household.

The children in the Puritan family were in subjection. They revered and honored those whom God had placed over them. It is said of the children of the distinguished Dr. Edwards, that they were accustomed to rise as a mark of respect, when the father entered the room. Happy, indeed, is such a family and happy the influence that is brought to bear upon the forming mind, in the midst of such relations. And we would not forget that there, too, was found the old family Bible. There stood the family altar, erected not to an "unknown God," but to the God that made the Heavens and the earth. There worship was no unmeaning ceremony, but the homage of grateful and humble hearts.

The chief sources of beneficial family influence, are two, viz: supreme authority maintained by the parents, and the power of correct principles and good example. It was thought to be indispensable in the Puritan family that the parent rule and the child obey. Else would not the pupil rise up in rebellion against the master? Would not the citizen refuse obedience to the laws of the land? Would not the immortal, accountable being trifle with the authority of Heaven? The Puritan father and mother believed what we believe, that no greater calamity can befal the child than to be left to grow up unrestrained by proper authority. Hence, obedience must be secured at any necessary expense-by mildness or severity, by the power of love, or the evangelical rod. To these artless

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