MOTHERS OF THE WISE AND GOOD
It is evident that the first and deepest impressions are made on the minds of children by mothers. It is under their maternal attention that the physical form is gently reared, the intellectual faculties elicited, and the moral powers fostered and directed. To discharge this threefold office, what knowledge, skill, kindness, fidelity, and perseverance are required! How important that the earliest lessons and impressions should be those of wisdom, goodness, and piety; and not of folly, ignorance, and irreligion! As is the mother, extensively and generally, so will be the children. The child will, and must, from the very necessity of things, be powerfully influenced by the maternal character which presides over it.
It is a rare thing to meet with a dull and ignorant child who has had the fostering care of an intelligent mother; so that the province she occupies is one of the most important and momentous, to the interests of mind, in which a responsible being can possibly be placed.
Now, it is of the highest import that mothers should be awakened and duly instructed as to this responsibility itself. A deep sense of these moral obligations would lead to an earnest desire to know by what means the onerous duties could best be discharged. Instruction would be diligently sought, examples would be eagerly contemplated, and Divine aid would be fervently implored.
The writer has been powerfully struck by the fact, that there are few good works which are directly adapted to give the information, and supply the help which is needed. Good thoughts and interesting facts on this subject are scattered abroad through the length and breadth of our moral and religious literature; but thus it is almost unavailable to those whose benefit and encouragement should be chiefly aimed at.
The plan designed in this volume has been to furnish within a portable and convenient size, a series of delightful instances of the success of pious maternal influence, interspersed with various striking incidents, both in prose and verse, calculated to interest and improve the mind, and followed by short essays on the various duties and responsibilities of the Christian mother.
To collect and arrange has been the chief duty of the Author, being satisfied that it would have been impossible, for him, at least, to have provided original articles of equal value, and as directly adapted to the end contemplated. That the book may prove instructive, edifying and useful, under God's blessing, to that most numerous, important, and influential class for whom it is chiefly designed, is the earnest and prayerful desire of the Author.
Jabez Burns, March 1846