Our Leader's definition of "children," as given in the glossary of our text-book, is very remarkable and lifts thought far above the ordinary human concept. Here they are defined as "the spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love" (Science and Health, p. 582). There is, perhaps, nothing on the human plane which calls forth the best in us as does the appeal of true and pure childhood, and it was to this that the great Teacher directed the thought of his students when insisting upon the conditions necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The right condition in childhood, no less than in maturity, is one of obedience, purity, truthfulness, unselfishness, kindness,—in a word, mental, moral, and physical health; and where the first of these virtues is neglected, the others are apt to be wanting.

A visitor in a Christian Science home once remarked upon the ready obedience and sweet serviceableness of a child of eight or nine years. The mother replied smilingly that they had trained the child carefully from her earliest hours to obedience and unselfishness, knowing that thus she would call forth love and kindness from others. The mother added that they felt it would be cruel in them to allow the child to grow up selfish and disobedient, as people all disliked such children, who were often made to suffer for their parents' neglect of a solemn duty. She also said she believed many of the ailments of children to be due to the collisions in thought which occur in many homes and in schools, and which come from a lack of proper discipline in the home.

An experienced school teacher once said she felt that many parents made the great mistake of "nagging" children,—calling attention to every little fault and seldom securing obedience,—while the better way was to leave the child alone in many cases, but in really important matters to take a stand and have obedience at any cost. A child who is properly trained is spared many of the painful experiences which necessarily come to those who are undisciplined and wilful, and with this in view no parent can afford to neglect his clear duty to the child. A loving father once undertook to discipline his child of seven for disobedience which had been repeated. He took the little one alone, knelt down, and with tears prayed for wisdom and divine guidance. The child was nearly heart-broken, and the punishment which followed was taken almost gladly, as a debt to be paid to justice, but the child never once grieved that father again.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

August 3, 1907

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.