My dear children, never did I pass a more truly solemn or interesting moment than that in which my firstborn child was put into my arms and when I felt that I was a father (mother). A new comfort was then produced in my heart which every succeeding day has tended to confirm and strengthen. I looked up to heaven and breathed over my baby the petition of Abraham for his son. “O that Ishmael might live before You.” Recognizing in the little helpless being which had been so lately introduced into our world, there was a creature born for eternity and who when the sun shall be extinguished would be still soaring in heaven or sinking in hell. I returned to my closet for private devotion and solemnly dedicated the child to the God who had given me the precious life. And I earnestly prayed that whatever might be his lot in this world, he might be a partaker of true holiness and numbered with the saints in everlasting glory.
From a nineteenth century father to his children