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The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
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God's Gifts

by Lady Laura Ridding
Volume 10, 1899, pg. 33


On the Training of the Soul

The other day at the funeral of one of our country's patriotic sons, a wreath lay on the coffin with these touching words on it: "From his Mother: God gave him to her." Does not that inscription sum up the true attitude of the mother, realizing the stupendous trust placed by God in her hands, of a child to be trained for Eternity by her? The training means the training of body, mind, soul. About this last I am asked to steak to-day. May I read to you Adelaide Proctor's poem, called "God's gifts?"

The two examples given here by her are extreme illustrations. They mark in strong lines the contrast of the results of neglect and careful training of character.

In the sets of people among whom your work lies, the training of the body and of the mind is rarely neglected. The soul's training is the one so often ignored, deficient in method or study. We realize this when we compare the quality of the ordinary religious training given to children with the advances made in physical and mental training. l Canon Gore points out as the three great movement of human life:

(1)The moving towards nature to appreciate its resources, i.e., the history of Civilization: this we may perceive in miniature in the physical training of the child. (2) The moving out to develop relations of man with man, i.e., the history of Society: this we may watch in miniature in the mental and character training of the child. (3) The moving out towards God, i.e., the history of Religion--of this Canon Gore says: "This movement looked at in the broad, is quite as perceptible and as important as the other two movements . . . We are the heirs of the ages in the matter of prayer, no less than

[An Address given to the Derby Branch of the parents' Educational Union in October, 1898]