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but in * Children as they Are . " Is there anything so very appalling in their berrig acquainted with trie fact : that a £ reat difference of opinion exists among good people , respecting certain doctrines ? We have never found it difficult to make them comprehend and view these subjects candidly , and differ froth those who would rob them of the advantage of knowing very early tfeat there is good on all sides , It : is a parent ' s business to prepare the way for these things ; bat that child must be ill prepared indeed , to whom
a strong doctrinal expression can do harm . It may lead to inquiry : and we know no evil in this . Whatever is written in perfect lionesty and good faith , with love to God and love to Jesus , and good-will to man interwoven with its teachings , cannot surely be a thing to excite a parent ' s just dread . It isf not that we are indifferent to unscriptural statements and superstitious notions : far otherwise : but we sincerely think that parents are too anxious
about accordance with their own opinions , and not solicitous enough respecting princi ' ple . If what appears to them a truth is stated , they are not sufficiently anxious to inquire whether the manner in which it is stated does not involve some sacrifice of the high tone of morality . However , we should fervently rejoice to see many of the books we have in view purified from their objectionable things , and to hail the multiplication of such as , while
they are free from similar defects , are , at the same time , interesting and able . Our Unitarian volumes for children have been too often frigidly accurate , and laboriously dull . But they are improving . We trust a freer , more generous spirit is coming in , Unitarians will learn to look at Christianity less as it is anti-calvinism , abstractedly from the hurtful and narrowing and corroding view of its corruptions . Let them give themselves up to it as one with all that is noble in principle , beautiful in feeling , and lively
and inspiriting in operation . Then , and then only , will they rise above the depressing thoughts of what is earthly , into the light of the heavenly . We hail such books as Mr . Greenwood ' s Lives of the Apostles , and Mr . Ware ' s Jotham Anderson , as inestimably valuable to young people . In these , there is heart : as much may be said of that beautiful little work , " Gospel Examples . " Such of the American children's books as have been noticed in the Boston Christian Examiner , have , we must confess , disappointed us on
more intimate acquaintance . Many of those published by Messrs . Bowles and Dearborn are prosing and heavy , the style inflated , and the narrative poor . We must , however , except < 4 Winter Evenings in Boston , " which , though immeasurably inferior to " Evenings at Home , " is a work of great merit . —It is time to close these very miscellaneous observations , and yet , since children , and the improvement of children , is our theme , we cannot
forbear adverting to a late article in the Christian Examiner on " Early Religious Instruction . " It is there supposed that a child is inquiring who made the flower which delights its senses by its beauty and fragrance . The parent ' s answer is to be , unhesitatingly , " God ; " and the Christian Examiner delights himself in thinking that the name of the Deity will thenceforth be associated in the child's mind with one of his most beautiful works .
But why should not the idea have been more firmly established in the infant being by a short suspension of the satisfaction of its curiosity , while it is aided , as kindly and gently as possible , in the examination of those circumstances in the growth of a flower which have a human origin , and those which cannot be accounted for by any visible agency ? Give a child a mere name , and you are near giving it stones when it asks for bread ; but let it feel and distinguish the effect of a Power which it does not see , let it trace this Power allied with goodness , with the production of a
Children ' s Boohs . 61
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1831, page 51, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2593/page/51/