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IF NO ONE WILL PRAT WITH ME, I WILL PRAT ALONE. 291
employed to break down the branches which contain the berry, or seed, and is picked either by rubbing it between the fingers, or flogged on a cloth with a small rod; for a large one would bruise the berry too much, and cause it to weigh lighter, and thus be a loss to the owner. You see then how it bears, and how it is gathered. The seeds being now gathered, they are exposed to the burning heat of the 'sun, on what is called a Barbicue. Perhaps you don't know what a Barbicue is. Well! I will explain this also. It is a platform made of stones and mortar, and beautifully plastered. The seeds thus exposed, begin soon to lose their lovely green hue, and being daily turned up with rakes for three or four days, become dry. They are then taken up, and put into a fanner, for the purpose of getting rid of the dry leaves, and stems with which they are encumbered. After this, they are put into bags, sold, and shipped to various parts of the world for consumption. I hope you will now have some idea of the tree, the spice, and the manner in which the seeds are cured. Wishing you all a pleasant voyage over life's rough sea,
I am, yours sincerely, j
T. J. Hayes. St. Ann's, Jamaica.
"IF NO ONE WILL PRAY WITH ME, THEN I WILL PRAY ALONE." From the German. In the village of Bergheim, in Germany, lived a peasant named Jacob, with his wife and one little boy. This child had the blessing of a pious grandfather, who, from his very earliest years, had made him an object of earnest prayer. When he was brought as an infant to church to bo baptised) his grandfather chose for him the name of John, saying, "May he bebelovedof God in time, and throughout eternity." Although this good old man lived six miles from Bergheim, he often visited the little boy ; and often would he lay his hand upon his head, and say, " The Lord bless thee, my child ; the Lord bless thee, and keep thee as the apple of hia eye." And, as we shall presently see, his prayers were not left unanswered by that tender Saviour, who has said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."
On the day on which his grandfather celebrated his sixtieth birthday, Jacob and Anna drove over, with their little boy, to see him; and John was delighted at the idea of spending the whole day with his grandfather. Jacob could not stay long, but returned home, promising to come again in the evening. However, when evening came, just as he was harnessing the white horse, a terrible peal of thunder was heard, and such a storm came on that he decided it would be better to leave his wife and child to spend the night at their grandfather's. Accordingly Anna had to stay, though she would have preferred going home, for she I always felt rather ill at ease in the good grandfather's presence. Little John, on the contrary, was so delighted, he would not leave the side of the old man. When evening came, the whole household were assembled I together. John's grandfather opened the large Bible, read a portion of it aloud, and then offered up an earnest and childlike prayer, out of the fulness of his heart, alluding I with particular emotion to his birthday. Every one then I retired to rest, after a kind " Good-night." The following' morning Anna set off, to walk back with her child. It was a lovely summer's day, and the walk, in the cool of the morning, through the birch woods and past several little' waterfalls, was most inviting. John was very fond of flowers, and seldom passed them by 1 to-day, however, he; walked through the gaily-coloured meadows, behind his I mother, as seriously and quietly as though not a single I flower were to be seen. Neither did Anna feel much inclined I to talk: her mind was uneasy, she did not know why. All' on a sudden the child stood still, looked up in her face in- | quiringly, and said, " Mother, why does not father do as grandfather does?" His mother was somewhat confused: "Go and look for flowers," she said, and continued to walk on.! So they went on silently ; but the child did not care f about the flowers. Presently they came to the top of a hill, from which was a beautiful view of the distant moun-1 tains. Anna sat down to rest for a little while, and John I
IF NO ONE WILL PRAT WITH ME, I WILL PRAT ALONE. 293
beside her. "Mother," he then began again, for the second time, " why does not father do as grandfather does?" Anna felt impatient. "Well," she answered, rather sharply, " and what does grandfather do?" "He takes the great Bible," said John, "and he reads and prays." His mother coloured. "You must ask your father about it," said she. When they reached home, Jacob was not there. He was gone out to reap in a field some way off, and would not be back till evening. This the mother knew, and she thought she would persuade the child to go to bed early, hoping that by the morning he would have forgotten his question. But she was mistaken. As she was going to undress him, he began,—" No, mother; just let me wait till father comes home." So, at eight o'clock, his father returned. John ran up to him directly, and asked quickly, "Father, why don't you do as grandfather does?" His father looked hard at him; the question came unexpectedly. "What are you doing up here John?" said he; " go to bed; it's late."
John was silent, but went sorrowfully to bed. Ho got np the next morning still more sorrowful; he seemed quite another child from what he generally was. He sat silently and sadly at the breakfast-table, with folded hands and his head down, without touching his milk. "What is the matter, John ? why don't you eat ?" asked his mother.
John was silent.
After a little while, she asked again, "What is it, then, child?" He looked up at his mother with an expression of sorrow, and let his head sink again. His father and mother had finished, and were just going to clear away the breakfast, when his mother asked him a third time, " Child, tell me, what is the matter."
Then the little boy answered, "I want so much to pray, mother; and if tut one will pray with me then, I must pray alone."
This was too much for Anna. Tears filled her eyes. She hastened into the next room to tell her husband what the child had said. He had heard, however, what had passed, for the door was left open ; and his conscience was touched. "John is right," said he, "and we are wrong." Then they fell on their kuecs together,—it was the first time in their lives; and they prayed a prayer, with few words, but with many tears. It was the publican's prayer—" God he merciful to us, tinners?' And He who has promised that "if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven," was in the midst of them. He heard their petition, and he helped them.
The happy day had arrived when the little boy would no longer have to pray alone, or the grandfather have to grieve. Father and mother now began to bend their knees together before the Lord, and to beseech his mercy and forgiveness,—to ask for a new heart, and for grace to dedicate themselves and their child entirely to him.
THE TRIUMPH OF ENVY. Hard times afford, in various ways, a good test for character. The man who has been sailing upon the high tide of prosperity does not know how much he has set his heart upon his gains, until the calamity comes which threatens to sweep them away; his new circumstances reveal to him facts of which he was in ignorance in regard to himself. In many cases, we doubt not, the lessons thus learned will be permanent and salutary. The teachings of Providence concur with those of Scripture in the prohibition. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world."
Hard times, however, not frequently develop an opposite
phase of character. What is a season of calamity and i
mortification to some, is the time of rejoicing for others.
j Those who were just now so prosperous, have not pursued
their sunny career unobserved. Their success has turned
I many eyes upon them. Less favoured competitors for
wealth have regarded with anxious, painful emotions,
I the increasing distance which every new advance of the
I prosperous man placed between them. With ill-concealed
I jealousy they have witnessed his business expanding, his
I possessions increased, his luxuries multiplied, his name
becoming more and more conspicuous. They are, perhaps, hardly conscious themselves how earnestly they desire that the tide which has swept him on so buoyantly should turn against him. At length the crisis comes. One and another is carried away by the torrent of commercial disaster. Each week, nay, each day, adds to the number whose names are heralded as bankrupt. Finally, he hears that his rich and successful competitor has been involved in the ruin. To the friend who brings this intelligence he expresses regret,—says many good things of Mr. Thrive, now that he has no longer reason to be jealous of him, and talks about what a calamity his failure will be to the whole j community. Now, we will not suppose Mr. Little-soul to be so ignorant of what is stirring within him, as that he can really persuade himself that he is grieved by his neighboar's misfortunes. Grieved ! Not he. A little jubilee has been going on in his heart. His countenance unconsciously brightened, and his eye was lustrous with real gratification, when he heard the words, " Mr. Thrive has failed." Had he been alone, he might have leaped for gladness. He is so fall of it that he cannot keep the news to himself. He goes forthwith to several neighbouring counting-houses, and scarcely finishes his "Good-morning!" before he begins, with rueful countenance, all the more so because assumed, "Have you heard the bad news? Thrive has failed!" He announces it to his wife and children when he goes to dinner, and describes to the latter, minutely where Mr. Thrive lived, and how he lived, that they may know just who it is that has come down from his eminence. It is the uppermost topic when visitors come in; and Little-soul ever thinks of it, and feels several degrees more comfortable as he sees his unfortunate neighbours walk up the church-aisle on the Sabbath. In fact, Little-soul is a happier man for some days. In due time, when the period for expressing grief has elapsed, he begins to speak out what was in him. He bad always thought Thrive a fast man,—too venturesome, too reckless, too ambitious to do a big basiness and get a great name; he could have been as rich himself, if he had been willing to play the same game; he wonders how