Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

something of the pleasure attending the performance of benevolent deeds.

6. Our house is not much like yours," said the boy, as they turned to go into a very small house. Everything was neat within it, though the furniture was very scanty. A Bible and hymn-book lay on the table. A sickly-looking woman sat mending clothes. As the basket was brought in and opened, she blushed and said, “My son, I hope you have not been begging."

“No, ma'am, he has not,” said David; “I got talking with him, and found out you had been ill, and I made him go

home with me, and my mother begs you will accept of these things."

“ I cannot refuse what Providence has so clearly sent; and I have no disposition to do so. I did not see where help was coming from ; for I had concluded that Mary must stop work to-night; she is killing herself, poor girl. She can now stop for a time, and we shall not suffer.”

“ Father says the Lord always helps those who trust in him,” said David.

“I am glad you have rebuked me for my want of faith," said the woman. “ I did not mean to rebuke

you,

ma'am.” “ I know you did not.”

“Mother will come and see you, I think ;” and turning to the boy, “ You come and see me, and I will play with you." David then withdrew, because he thought they might be very hungry, and would not like to eat before him.

“ Mother,” said he, when he went home, “ I hope you will send me to that place again, for I think Mrs. Barclay will prove to be a good customer.”

“ What do you mean?” said Mr. Halsey.

“I was thinking of what Christ says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'”

PR. A.

[merged small][ocr errors]

GOOD SERVANTS. ANOTHER example of generous and disinterested kindness will show the justice of the remarks made in our March number in regard to the class of persons who are so usefully, and often so worthily engaged in family service. Those who know from experience how largely faithful servants contribute to the general happiness and comfort of a household, (themselves included,) will value the record of every example of that

mutual good-will which should ever prevail among those dwelling together.

ELIZABETH.

If a physician were to visit us without receiving a fee, or a lawyer give us his advice without remuneration, should we not feel greatly obliged to both for so disinterestedly bestowing upon us time for which we would gladly have paid ? What shall we say then, when we hear of hours, days, years being devoted to the service of employers, without any equivalent in the way of wages ? and yet such instances are not so unfrequent as may be thought. A very remarkable one came within the writer's knowledge, and deserves to be recorded.

In a house where I visited when young with my parents, the attendant upon the children, a most respectable-looking and kind person, always took me under her protection, with her own little charges, during the hours I spent with them. Our abode was in the country, about seven miles from the town in which the family lived, and while the horses rested, and my mother executed her various commissions, I was well pleased to join my young playmates. Nothing they showed me delighted me so much as a large tame hare which the good Elizabeth used to tempt from its house to nibble a leaf, and amuse me by its various pretty tricks.

At last poor pussy died, and then I saw it transferred from its hutch in the garden to a large glass case, and gazed at it with wonder.

Years passed on; these children grew up, and still the faithful Elizabeth was an inmate of the house, making herself useful, though no longer needed in the capacity of nurse. During this time, large arrears of wages were due to her. She was contented to leave them in her master's hands; and grateful for the kindness of her mistress, and the affection of the younger

members of the family, was unwilling to cause inconvenience by pressing for her money. Unhappily, her master was a careless, extravagant man.

He had a good office under government, and therefore knew exactly the amount of his income, and ought to have proportioned his expenses to it; but, associating with companions of gay and dissipated habits, he was embarrassed, lost his situation, and eventually was reduced to poverty. This, however, made no difference in the feelings of this devoted servant, except that she became more energetic in her exertions to be useful.

The impending blow she had long foreseen ; but she did not consider herself at liberty to disclose the private affairs of the family. Now, however, the case was altered, and she could without any breach of confidence venture on a step she had been meditating. She set out for her master's native county, (which was also her own,) went round to all his early acquaintances, represented his fallen fortunés, and succeeded in raising a very handsome subscription for him.

Broken in constitution as well as fortune, he did not long survive his reverses. His daughters were, by the aid of friends, enabled to establish themselves in a small shop, in which they prospered, and had everything in their little household made comfortable by their old servant, who was regarded by them as a friend, but who always retained so much respect for them, that she would not on any account have seated herself in their presence unless desired to do so, and always addressed them with the greatest deference.

She remained with them till her death, when they were in circumstances to afford her the comforts she required, and to gratify themselves by giving her a respectful funeral, and by placing a stone on her grave with an inscription expressive of her virtues and their gratitude.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

L.

CHRISTIAN SCRIVER'S THOUGHTS.

(From the German.)

THE FLOWER BED.

GOTTHOLD had caused a piece of ground in his garden to be newly laid out as a flower-bed, containing many varieties of seeds and roots. This being done, he was led into the following train of thought. Had not the gardener employed his skill in preparing the soil in a proper way, this earth would have remained like other uncultivated land; and in a short time, now, unless carefully kept, it will again be filled with weeds. Thus is it with the hearts of the children of God. They are become new creatures by their second birth, and their hearts are changed by the grace of God, through his word and Spirit; yet their old sinful habits still remain, and need to be constantly kept under, by repentance and prayer, diligence and holy resolution. The pious man forsakes his sin, but sin has not yet forsaken him. My God, I own thy grace, and thy constant care, by which my poor wildernesslike heart has been brought into thy service. I thank thee, that thou hast given me a desire for thy salvation, and hast

are

planted in my heart earnest desires and endeavours, even the seeds of holiness. But, O my Father, thou knowest the nature of the soil ; my sin still remains. Thou knowest how I am wearied with struggling against and resisting it; yet

my sinful habits rooted in my flesh, and they cease not to spread and stretch themselves as far as they have power. Since, then, my watching and striving is too slight, too weak, do thou thyself look down upon my poor heart. Root up, check, and stifle these sins of mine, and let the blossoms of faith and love daily grow and increase, that I may be a garden in which thou wilt take pleasure.

IT SAVES FROM SIN. ABOUT midnight I was called by the watch at the “ Eagle,” in Richmond, Va., in the United States of America, and told that the stage would soon be ready. In a few minutes I found myself in a crowded stage on our way to Fredericksburg. When the morning came, I discovered that my

fellow-travellers were five well-dressed men, and a well-dressed, matronly, coloured woman, who had under her charge two white children.

They called her “mamma,” and such was her good character, that she was trusted with these children on a journey of about 140 miles. Soon after breakfasting, conversation became quite lively among a portion of the passengers.

The exhaustless theme of politics received some notice. Then we heard of what had recently occurred in the city. Lastly, religion was introduced.

The most voluble of the company gave us his views rather flippantly. He was quite opposed to religion. It made hypocrites. It was an enemy to innocent amusements. It made

It was neither good for black people nor white people. At first he was listened to by several of the company with apparent respect. But soon most of us paid no attention.

mamma.” She was all attention. Her manner was very respectful and dignified. At length the infidel noticed her, and by something he said, invited her to give her opinion.

With much modesty she said, “If all you have stated is true, it surprises me very much. I live down on Roanoke, and religion has a very different effect there. Mr. G-, one of my master's neighbours, is very wealthy, and has been a very passionate man. He had a servant named Tom, who was one of the worst men in the neighbourhood. Tom would lie,

men inean.

Not so

66

ance.

and steal, and run away, and fight. Some months ago, Tom went out on one of his rovings, and on the Lord's day came to-a meeting, and heard the gospel preached. The minister preached about the love of Jesus to poor sinners, and told the people that if the worst man in the congregation would forsake his sins, and cry to Jesus for mercy, he would be forgiven. Tom heard this, and began to weep. As soon as the meeting was over, Tom started for home, but was in great distress. The next day he went to work, but said little. He continued so some days. At length one of the servants heard him praying alone. In a month or two Tom began to put his trust in Jesus, and then he was so happy, he wished everybody to be religious. So he talked to the servants, and had prayers in his cabin at night. Some of the servants mocked him, and said he was only after some mischief; but all confessed he was very much changed ; for he showed no bad temper, even when they told him he was mad.

“At length Mr. G- heard how Tom was going on, and he too thought Tom was laying some plot to make a disturb

So he came and told Tom he must leave off singing and praying in the quarters. Tom said, Master, I have been a very bad man, and a very bad servant, but I hope God has forgiven me. I now intend to quit all my bad practices, and prove to you that I am a better man.

I will serve you

faithfully, but, master, I feel as if I must praise God, and tell my fellow-servants what the Lord has done for me.' Then,' said the master, ‘I will whip you.' So he tied him up and whipped him severely. As soon as he let him down, Tom fell on his knees and prayed for his master, for himself, and for all the family. The master left him on his knees, but he went to the house very unhappy. He began to think and read the Bible, and pray too. So it was, Mr. G- was soon converted himself. And last month Mr. G- and Tom both joined the Baptist church, and when they were going to be baptized, Mr. G- went and took Tom by the hand, and they were both baptized together, and now they are good friends. Tom does not lie and steal and quarrel any more; and his master has prayers, and brings all the servants in to prayers every night, and the change there is beautiful.”'

“Mamma” closed her story. One or two of the passengers gave a significant look at each other. I kept silence, feeling that it was best to let the truth work its own way, and our infidel made some remark, after a short pause, on another subject, but gave us no more of his religious opinions. We

6

« AnteriorContinuar »