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interested in her behalf, by reciting her little tale of woe, her Christian patience and submission.

I had observed a neatly, though scantily clad female, leaning against a pillar in the aisle, on the Sunday when I commenced my pastoral labours in the little church of M_; her respectful appearance and great devotion had attracted my attention, and as she resumed her wonted place dressed in the decent garb of mourning I recognised in her the poor widow. Each sabbath she approached the porch with the same reverential step : with the same earnest devotion kneeled in prayer, and stood meekly repeating the responses from her well-worn Prayer Book. In repeated visits to her solitary home, she would often speak to me of the departed girl. She now appeared to think of her as another link between her and a better world, where she humbly trusted all her beloved family now awaited her, and this Christian hope and a constant trustfulness in the saving blood of the Lamb supported her amidst all the wretchedness that old age and poverty are called to endure.

Nearly a year elapsed—the autumnal winds had scattered the foliage of another summer, and the weather was cold and wintry, when I was summoned to the bed-side of a sick friend.

I was absent nearly a fortnight, my stay being protracted by the painful illness and subsequent death of my poor friend. Having paid him the last sad tribute, I again resumed my ministry at M—. As I regarded my congregation at church on the following Sunday morning, my eye, in vain, sought the poor widow beside the pillar. On inquiring after her, I found that she too had at last gone to “that bourne from whence no traveller returns!”

A short week's illness had cut her 6 off from the land of the living ;" her sufferings had been few, and her end was peace.

The withered hands which had closed the eyes of all dear to her were now cold and motionless; and, two days after, I buried her beside those she loved on earth and was gone to meet in heaven ; for, verily, “ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord,” Rev. xiv. 13.


HUMILITY. Humility is an inverted, paradoxical ladder, in which he who descends lowest ascends highest; the lowest step of Christian humility is the highest point of Christian eminence.



SYMPATHY is very distinct from love. There may

be strong love with very little sympathy. It is true they very often accompany each other. Among equals, perhaps, one seldom exists without the other. But between the parent and the child the instinctive affection on the one side may be very powerful, while there is no common bond of union, and, consequently, there will be very little return of love on the other.

To sympathize with a child is to understand, and appreciate, and in some measure to partake of, his feelings and desires, in all the various circumstances which awaken them. The parent who sympathizes with a child acquires a vast ascendancy over his mind. This is the secret of the magical influence which some persons seem to exercise over the young, and which many think they would give anything in their power to possess. The secret is in sympathy. It consists in just understanding how children think and feel, and in sharing those thoughts and feelings. Expressed thus in general terms, it seems a very simple principle, but its influence is universal in modifying all the treatment which the child receives at its parents' hands.

I have said that there is often very little sympathy between the parent and the child. It is not surprising that this should

In fact we may almost consider it surprising that it should be ever otherwise. Everything tends to produce a total dissimilarity in all the habits of thought and feeling which characterize these different periods of existence. The child enters upon life dazzled and delighted with the novelty and brilliancy of the whole scene around him. For the parent, the novelty has gone, the brilliancy has faded, and the world is decked in sober colours, which, every year, have less and less of charm. The child is thoughtless and gay. Having no responsibilities to bear, Providence has formed it incapable of feeling the burden of responsibility. The parent's heart is full of care. A heavy load rests upon it continually, which makes the eye restless and contracts the brow. The child is full of instinctive gladness and glee. He is happy at nothing. He laughs from the mere pleasure of laughing, and finds everything a resource for pleasure and play. The mother is thoughtful and sedate. Time has sobered her. Anxieties have sobered her; and perhaps

The child is full of imagination and vivacity,

be so.


everything is seen metamorphosed or magnified. The sofa and the chairs, to his eyes, are gay carriages and spirited horses; he sees castles in the fire, and lions and tigers on the wall : the lawn is a boundless expanse of verdure, and the congregation at church a countless throng. To the mother the congregation is thin, the lawn is too contracted, the wall is a mere wall, and the furniture plain furniture, far below the standard of her ambition. And so in regard to moral vision. The inother is removed from all temptation to take sweetmeats furtively, to tell falsehoods, to strike those that displease her. But the boy, full of appetites and impulses, all new and all growing in strength every day, unaccustomed to the art of restraining them, unacquainted with the necessity of restraining them, is continually going astray; and the mother, judging his transgressions by the same standard with which it would be proper to measure her own, is astonished and vexed at his faults, and wonders that her injunctions and the plain principles of duty are capable of exercising over his heart so little control. All these things combine to separate the middle-aged from the young in heart and feeling. The mother loves her child, she protects him, she watches over him, but often she does not understand him. There is no harmony or sympathy in feeling. The desires, and hopes, and fears, and endless imaginings of the youthful heart, she does not appreciate, and of course does not share.

Where there is a want of sympathy between the parent and the child, there can be but little influence of the one over the other, except, indeed, the influence of command and fear. Children know, by an instinct never at fault, who enter into and sympathize with their childish feelings, and who do not. If you look down upon their amusements and plans, as upon something beneath you, something which you merely tolerate in them, and perhaps tolerate reluctantly, on account of the trouble which they incidentally occasion you, they will soon feel that

you and they have, as it were, taken opposite sides. They will feel alienated from you, or rather will feel that you have alienated yourself from them. So in regard to the faults which they commit. If you enter into their feelings, place yourself in imagination in their situations, and consider the nature and the strength of the temptations which weigh upon them, they will see in you a kind and sympathizing friend, even while you are taking the most decided and efficient measures to correct the faults into which they have fallen.

But how shall the parent learn to feel this sympathy for his children? I answer :

1. Observe them. Study them. Thousands of parents know nothing about their children. They know their faces, their names, perhaps their ages; but of their hearts, their hopes and fears, the world of fancy and imagination that they live in, they know nothing. They love them, it is true. They toil incessantly to provide for their wants, or to lay up a store of future wealth for them. But they do not know them. Now to know children, we must go to them. We must lay aside our business, our wandering thoughts, our care-worn faces, and go into the centre of the little group, making ourselves one of them. There we must listen to their talk, notice their mistakes, study the hidden meaning of their actions, and from what we see acted out on their little stage, discover the nature and movements of the hidden springs within. There can be no more interesting study than this. The subjects are all around us. They are invested with a beauty and charm unspeakable. We give enjoyment and we receive enjoyment at every step of our progress.

The little world of mystery which we attempt to enter and explore, flits before us in an endless change, exposing itself by the most transparent media, and unfolding its most hidden recesses freely and spontaneously to our view. Thus the child is the most simple, the most alluring, the most useful study for the man.

Then, to study children is making sure of sympathizing with them. We cannot watch them without catching their spirit. We cannot see the world of enchantment which they live in, without entering it and learning in some measure to live in it ourselves. Thus we link ourselves to them; we catch the freemasonry of their looks and gestures. We understand them, and can make them understand us; and we come into possession of that magical ascendancy which some persons seem to possess over their minds, and which many others are so much at a loss even to comprehend.

2. Learn always to put the most favourable construction upon all which your children do or say, in representing the case to them. If you hear indirectly that they have done something wrong, suspend your judgment till you have fully learned all the particulars of the case, and listen to what they have to say with a desire to put the most favourable construction


say with a desire to put the most favourable construction upon it- meaning that you show a

disposition at the outset to judge favourably, while you still firmly put the true construction upon it at last, even if it is an unfavourable one. If, for instance, you have given your boy leave to go out to play for half an hour. The time elapses, and he does not return. Do not, as many would do in such a case, condemn him unheard, and get your reproaches and invectives prepared to launch against him when he enters, and perhaps even utter some in anticipation in the hearing of the other children. Let the other children, on the contrary, see that you continue to regard him as innocent till he is proved to be guilty. Meet him when he returns with a pleasant countenance-a countenance expressive of hope that he can give a good reason for his absence ; and if on hearing his report, and faithfully though fairly scrutinizing it, he appears not justified, let him see that you are disappointed and sorrowful, not vexed and angry,- let him see that you listen to his plea, not impatiently and with a prejudication against it, but with candour and hope, and that you come to the conclusion to condemn him slowly, reluctantly, and with pain.*

“SUSAN! SUSAN! ARE YOU READY?” SUSAN WILLIAMS was the eldest of a large family of brothers and sisters, dwelling in a little cottage not far from BShe was a dressmaker by trade, and used to go into the town every morning to her employment, returning home again at night. It was a very poor home to be sure, and Susan was frequently obliged to go to bed supperless after her long day's work and her weary walk, wliich she thought very hard ; but she made no effort to render her home more comfortable by the sacrifice of a portion of those earnings which, little as they were, might have been better spent than in the showy ribbons and cheap finery, with which, in imitation of her companions, she took such pleasure in adorning herself.

When Susan came in of an evening, and threw herself on a chair, declaring that she was tired to death, she never thought that her mother might be weary also, or offered to lighten her work and cares. As that fond and too indulgent mother said, “Who could expect it, poor thing, when she had been working hard all day?” But although Susan could never find time to help to put the children to bed, or mend their clothes, she would often sit for a long time trimming and re-trimming her straw bonnet, or altering her dress to the

* A few other points will be noticed in a future Number.

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