The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge:
[but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
A Mother’s Influence
The late Dr. Harvey Goodwin, Bishop of Carlisle, gave the following account of his mother:
“I am one of those who lost their mother at a very early age.
I was very little over six years old when my dear mother was suddenly taken from me. I mention my age that I may put before you the effect which my mother’s teaching had upon me, and the tender age at which it ceased, and I think we may draw from it some useful lessons.
Now, then, when I look back to the teaching of my mother, what do I think of it?
I say deliberately, and without any amount of exaggeration, that though I have since that time been at school, been under tutors, been at college, and had all the experience of life, I do not believe that all the lessons that I have received since that time put together amount in value and in importance to the lessons which I learned from my mother before I was seven years old.
I will tell you one of the first lessons she taught me.
She taught me always to speak the truth; and the lesson she gave me concerning truth has never been lost upon me.
She always brought me up in the feeling that what was to be spoken was to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth; that there was to be no evasion, that everything was to be stated simply and honestly, exactly as it occurred.
I will tell you how she enforced that lesson: she always spoke truth to me.
▪︎ I never caught her in any kind of deceit;
▪︎ I always knew that what she said to me she meant.
▪︎ I was always sure that if she told me she was going to do a thing she would do it, and no amount of coaxing or persuasion would lead her to change her mind.
Absolute truth, absolute in the smallest matters, that was her practice, and that was the lesson that she impressed upon me.”
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