The Health Reformer



January 1, 1873



If parents would feel it a solemn duty that God enjoins upon them to educate their children for usefulness in this life, if they would adorn the inner temple of the souls of their sons and daughters for the immortal life, we would see a great change in society for the better. And then there would not be manifest so great indifference to practical godliness, and it would not be as difficult to arouse the moral sensibilities of children to understand the claims that God has upon them. But parents become more and more careless in the education of their children in the useful branches. Many parents allow their children to form wrong habits, and to follow their inclination, rather than to impress upon their minds the danger of their doing this, and the necessity of their being controlled by principle. HR January 1, 1873, Art. A, par. 1

Children frequently engage in a piece of work, and become perplexed or weary of it, and wish to change and take hold of something new, although they entered upon the work with enthusiasm. Thus they may take hold of several things, meet with a little discouragement, and give them up; and thus pass from one thing to another, perfecting nothing. Parents should not be so much engaged with other things that they have not time patiently to discipline those developing minds. They should not allow the love of change to control their children. A few words of encouragement, or a little help at the right time, may carry them over their trouble and discouragement, and the satisfaction they will have in seeing completed the task they undertook will stimulate them to greater exertion. HR January 1, 1873, Art. A, par. 2

Many children, for want of words of encouragement and a little assistance in their efforts in childhood and youth, become disheartened, and change from one thing to another. And they carry this sad defect with them in mature life. They cannot make a success of anything they engage in; for they have not been taught to persevere under discouraging circumstances. Thus the entire lifetime of many proves a failure because they did not have correct discipline. The education in childhood and youth not only effects their entire business career in mature life, but the religious experience bears a corresponding stamp. HR January 1, 1873, Art. A, par. 3

With the present plan of education, a door of temptation is opened to the youth. Although they generally have too many hours of study, they have many hours without anything to do. These leisure hours are frequently spent in a reckless manner. The knowledge of bad habits is communicated to one another, and vice is greatly increased. Very many young men, who have been religiously instructed at home, and go out to the schools comparatively innocent and virtuous, become corrupt by associating with vicious companions. They lose self-respect, and noble principles are sacrificed. Then they are prepared to pursue the downward path; for they have so abused their conscience that sin does not appear so exceeding sinful. These evils which exist at the schools conducted upon the plan they now are, might be remedied, in a great degree, if study and labor could be combined. In the higher schools, the same evil exists, only to a greater degree; for many of the youth have educated themselves in vice, and their consciences are seared. HR January 1, 1873, Art. A, par. 4

Many parents overrate the stability and good qualities of their children. They do not seem to consider the deceptive influences of vicious youth to which they are exposed. Parents have their fears as they send them at a distance from home to school, but flatter themselves that as they have had good examples and religious instruction they will be true to principle in their high-school life. Licentiousness exists in these institutions of learning, and many parents have but a faint idea to what extent. They have, in many cases, labored hard and suffered many privations for the cherished object of having their children obtain a finished education. And after all their efforts, many have the bitter experience of receiving their children from their course of studies, with dissolute habits and ruined constitutions. They are frequently disrespectful to their parents, unthankful and unholy. These abused parents, who are thus rewarded by ungrateful children, lament that they sent their children from them, to be exposed to temptations, and come back to them physical, mental, and moral wrecks. With disappointed hopes and almost broken hearts, they see their children of whom they had high hopes, follow in a course of vice, and drag out a miserable existence. HR January 1, 1873, Art. A, par. 5

But there are those of firm principles, who answer the expectation of parents and teachers. They go through the course of schooling with clear consciences. They come forth with good constitutions and pure morals, unstained by corrupting influences. But the number is few. Some students put their whole being into their studies, and concentrate their minds upon the object of obtaining an education. They work the brain, while the physical is inactive. The brain is overworked, and the physical is weak, because they have not exercised the muscles. When they graduate, it is evident they have obtained their education at the expense of their life. They studied day and night, year after year, keeping their minds continually upon the stretch, while they did not sufficiently exercise their muscles. They sacrificed all for knowledge of the sciences, and passed to their graves. HR January 1, 1873, Art. A, par. 6

Young ladies frequently give themselves up to study, to the neglect of other branches of education even more essential for practical life than the study of books. After they have obtained their education, they are frequently invalids for life. They neglected their health by remaining too much in-doors, deprived of the pure air of heaven, and the God-given sunlight. These ladies might have come from their schools in health, if they had combined with their studies household labor and exercise in the open air. HR January 1, 1873, Art. A, par. 7

E. G. W.