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keep close to the Word of God as the only safe guide for a consistent walk in the paths of godliness. It had either escaped observation that "the mite, Dora," was still present, or else she was supposed to be too busy fitting a new dress on her doll to notice anything else passing in the room, when, just as Mr. A. had raised his voice to repeat for the third time, " Keep close to God's Word," we were all startled by a small voice asking in equally earnest tones, "Does you, papa?"
A pause ensued, during which we all had time to scan each other's faces with an inquiring expression^ as though the "Does you?" rang through each mind demanding a reply. At last the dear child's father said in a rather confused manner,
"I hope so, my love!" and on Dora's merely saying, "For torse you does," an uncomfortable silence again fell on the party, and we were all greatly relieved when the lady of the house appeared. But the relief was not for long, for when, at another turn of the conversation, this lady was sending a message of condolence to a neighbour in sorrow, beseeching her to recollect that the Lord does not willingly afflict, and that if we would only call to remembrance His former mercies,1 we should not faint under His corrective hand, little Dora again broke in on us with the home-thrust, "Does you, dear mamma?"
"I hope so, my darling," was again the unsatisfactory answer.
And unsatisfactory it was, at any rate, to the little girl, for turning back to her doll she lisped, with a shake of her pretty head, "I soud say, 'Yes, my darling,' right out."
It was impossible to pass this second remark over without notice, not so much for the sake of vindicating my friend, but because, young and unreasoning as the child was, it might injure her unformed Christian principles, were the wavering "Hope so" to take precedence in her young mind of the firm and beautiful "I do" of the believing soul . Calling her, therefore, to his knee, her father asked, "And why should my little girl say yes to this"
1 Psa. lxxvii. 10, 11.
Without a moment's hesitation, she looked artlessly up into his face, and said,
"'Cos I is quite sure dear mamma doesn't-forget. She taught me my pretty text; 'Forget not none of His ben'fits,' and she says ben'fits is the mercies we have evely day; so she soudn't say, 'Hope so;' soud you, mammy dear?" and the sweet young face smiled round to " mammy dear" f©r a corroborative word. But her eyes were full of tears, and her voice too quivering for speech. Presentlyt howeyer,. she replied to us all:
"How marked is the difference hetween hope and faith! Even this dear babe perceives it . Hope may anchor the soul to the rock, but faith climbs and. stands safely on.it . Hope looks forward to the promised land, but faith, enters it at once, and takes full possession."
"All.the difference between 'There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God,'1 and 'We which have believed do enter into rest,'"2 I ventured to remark, when my friend (the child's father) exclaimed heartily:
"Do not let us be cowards! Hope is a blessed Christian grace, and supports as we walk through the deep waters; but faith—ah, what does faith do? it divides the waters, and enables us to pass over dryshod. Oh no, my little babe is. right, the Christian should have no 'I hope so;' it should all be joyful, earnest certainty in matters 'touching his God.' How much happier should we be if in both of these two cases which have elicited this conversation we could firmly say, 'I do take God's Word as the rule of my life, and I do trust Him in the darkest dispensation that hides even Himself from my sight.'"
Here little Dora's wondering eyes fixed on her father, as if she would like to speak, induced the invitation to do so, when she leaped from his knee, and folding her hands, said reverently, ".I can sing it to you, if I may."
1 Heb. iv. 9. * Heb. iv. 3.
Then pitching her voice to its highest infantile strain, she sang so sweetly and correctly, that it was difficult to realise that the singer was but five years old—
"' I does believe, I does believe,
Then, on her father's catching her up to bestow the wellearned kiss, she whispered softly, yet so as to be heard by us all, "' I does believe' is nicer 'n 'hoping-so' isn't it, pappy dear?"
I need not say that Dora's question remained unanswered; and must I confess why? Because, though we were all professing earnest Christians, we had not an undisputed right to the glorious name "Believers," simply because when asked certain questions concerning our filial privileges as children of God, instead of being able to reply, "I do," we could only attain to the poor "I hope so" of any spiritual outsider.
Dora's lesson has not been without its results, and one, at any rate, of those present on that occasion never hears or gives this unsatisfactory reply, "I hope so," without deep heart-searching, and a prayerful desire that more of St. Paul's soul-stirring aspiration may be hers, and that when asked to give a reason for the hope that sustains her, she may be able to exclaim with humble gratitude, " I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him."1
x. Y. z.
■ N.B.—It must not be supposed that this dear child understood the solemn verities she uttered, but as "I hope so" in gaining parental permission for any expected pleasure would convey doubt, she would naturally prefer the heartier form of speech.
1 2 Tim. i. 12.
JesUS is with the ruler
As to his house they go;
Some marvelling at His fame, Some with new love enkindled, And some to praise His name.
Mark that pale, timid woman,
With feeble step and slow; Twelve years of wasting sickness
Have strangely laid her low: Twelve years of ceaseless spending,
In suffering, on and on, With many a famed physician,
Until her means are gone.
And she was nothing bettered;
It was sheer waste, she knew; Her step became more feeble,
Her pale face paler grew. And in the sighing tempest
She seemed to hear her doom And catch the solemn echoes
That murmur through the tomb.
She knew the power of Jesus,
Who then was very nigh; And so she came behind Him,
As He was passing by;
With light-enkindled soul,
She should at once be whole.
None helped her to the Saviour,
Of all that anxious band; But gently as an infant
She raised her trembling hand, And faith had grandly triumphed;
Oh! faith for her had won The health for which she languished,
The favour of the Son!
"Who touched Me?" said the Healer;
And at His feet she fell,
Her greatest griefs to tell.
He bade her sobbings cease;
Oh, daughter, go. in peace!'
So is it with the sinner
Who gives his wanderings o'er:
Faith makes the promise sure.
Beyond the shades of night,
He gains the hills of light.
"Jfuitjrful in t\t frast."
THE STORY OF A TRACT DISTRIBUTOR'S LIFE.
Ilizabeth Sydserf was born at the commencement of the present century, in a small market town in the west of England. Her family claimed its descent from some German Protestant refugees, who had emigrated to England in order to escape religious persecution in their own fatherland. They were faithful to their religion, counting it honour to suffer persecution for the name of Christ .
Elizabeth herself was the daughter of poor parents. The father died in his prime, leaving the widow with three orphan children to face a cold world. She forthwith opened a small school, and managed by this means to support her little family in some degree of comfort.
A large part of the education she imparted consisted of
hymns, combined with copious reading of the Scriptures.
When a very little child Elizabeth would sing these hymns,
while the friends and neighbours listened with wonder.
She was also very fond of reading, and when about