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Home Influence A Tale for Mothers and Daughters   By: (1816-1847)

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A Tale







Independent of the personal feelings which urged the dedication of this unpretending volume to you, I know few to whom a story illustrative of a mother's solemn responsibilities, intense anxiety to fulfill them, and deep sense of the Influence of Home could, with more justice, be tendered. Simple as is the actual narrative, the sentiments it seeks to illustrate, are so associated with you have been so strengthened from the happy hours of unrestrained intercourse I have enjoyed with you that, though I ought, perhaps, to have waited until I could have offered a work of far superior merit to a mind like yours, I felt as if no story of mine could more completely belong to you. Will you, then, pardon the unintentional errors which I fear you, as an earnest Protestant, may discern, and accept this little work as a slight tribute of the warm affection and sincere esteem with which you have been so long regarded by

Your truly attached Friend,



The following story will, the author trusts, sufficiently illustrate its title to require but few words in the way of preface. She is only anxious to impress two facts on the minds of her readers. The one that having been brought before the public principally as the author of Jewish works, and as an explainer of the Hebrew Faith, some Christian mothers might fear that the present Work has the same tendency, and hesitate to place it in the hands of their children. She, therefore, begs to assure them, that as a simple domestic story, the characters in which are all Christians, believing in and practicing that religion, all doctrinal points have been most carefully avoided, the author seeking only to illustrate the spirit of true piety, and the virtues always designated as the Christian virtues thence proceeding. Her sole aim, with regard to Religion, has been to incite a train of serious and loving thought toward God and man, especially toward those with whom He has linked us in the precious ties of parent and child, brother and sister, master and pupil.

The second point she is desirous to bring forward is her belief, that in childhood and youth the spoken sentiment is one of the safest guides to individual character; and that if, therefore, she have written more conversation than may appear absolutely necessary for the elucidation of "Home Influence," or the interest of the narrative, it is from no wish to be diffuse, but merely to illustrate her own belief. SENTIMENT is the vehicle of THOUGHT, and THOUGHT the origin of ACTION. Children and youth have very seldom the power to evince character by action, and scarcely if ever understand the mystery of thought; and therefore their unrestrained conversation may often greatly aid parents and teachers in acquiring a correct idea of their natural disposition, and in giving hints for the mode of education each may demand.

Leaving the beaten track of works written for the young, the author's aim has been to assist in the education of the HEART, believing that of infinitely greater importance than the mere instruction of the MIND, for the bright awakening of the latter, depends far more on the happy influences of the former than is generally supposed.

The moral of the following story the author acknowledges is addressed to mothers only, for on them so much of the responsibility of Home Influence devolves. On them, more than on any other, depends the well doing and happiness, or the error and grief, not of childhood alone, but of the far more dangerous period of youth. A Preface is not the place to enter on their mission. The author's only wish is to aid by the thoughts, which in some young mothers, anxious and eager to perform their office, her story may excite... Continue reading book >>

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