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THE SISTER'S PRIZE.
Oh, Rose, I hope-I think you will get the prize."
“ I don't know, Alice, I wish I may ; but Susan Foster is older than I am, you know."
“Yes, but she is not so steady, nor so regular as you are, and her class is not so well taught as yours.”
“Well to-morrow will soon be here,” said Rose, with a half sigh.
And to-morrow, as Rose said, soon came, the long thought of to-morrow, when the prizes were to be given. All the girls in the school whose conduct deserved it, had a reward of some kind ; but there was one prize-the prize" it was called, intended for the best scholar, which Rose was especially anxious to get. She had set her mind upon having it, not so much for her own sake, as for her sister's, for Alice had often expressed her earnest wish that Rose might be the successful one this year. And if Rose failed this time-well, could she not try the next ? Ah, but then, Alice, dear, loving, warmhearted little Alice, might perhaps not be there to share in her sister's joy. For Alice had been in bad health for a long time; she was slowly wasting away; and the doctor had not any hope that she would ever be well again. And Alice knew this, but it did not make her sad, for she loved the Saviour, and was ready to go and dwell with him.
It was a fine sunny morning; the birds sang merrily; and many a little heart beat high as the school children assembled in the parsonage grounds. There they were to have their merry games and their nice feast, and there he prizes were to be distributed by Miss Selwyn, the lergyman's sister. Mr. Selwyn was there, ready with his sind speeches, and encouraging remarks ; and Miss Dora Selwyn, who had been long absent was there also, besides Other visitors.
And did Rose gain the prize ? Yes, dear reader, she did ; ind very happy she felt, although she looked very quiet,
and blushed a good deal as she received from Miss Selwyn ahandsome rosewood work-box, nicely furnished for use. If any one felt more pleased than herself, it was her dear little sister, who was seated on a low chair a few yards distant. You may be sure that so soon as Rose was at liberty she ran eagerly to Alice with her new treasure. Oh, how bright Alice looked as she held it in her hands!
“Oh I am so glad, so very glad, Rose,” she said. The other girls crowded round, that they, too, might see it; and as Alice was thus left to herself for a minute, some one said to her
“And wouldn't you like to have got a prize as well as your sister ?"
It was Miss Dora, who had been watching the two sisters, and hea rd what had passed between them.
Alice looked up with a pleasant smile at the young lady, and replied with touching calmness, “No Miss, for I should never want to use it ! I don't think I shall live very much longer. But then," and her little face brightened considerably, “I shall have a better prize than Rose's !-'a crown of glory. Ah, that will be beautiful, won't it?” Happy little Alice, pale and drooping as she looked, there was not a happier child that day in those pretty gardens ! And Rose was pleased, partly because she had gained the prize, and partly because Alice was pleased. Sweet little sisters, they loved each other tenderly, and they have not been separated !
What ! did Rose die too? No, dear reader, but Alice has lived. It pleased God, that contrary to everybody's expectations, she should get better ; and now, the two loving sisters are helpers to each other in their daily duties and pleasures; and are together “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."- Church of England Sunday Scholars' Magazine.
ARE YOU SURE?
Are you sure you will go to heaven when you die ! and if so, can you give a scriptural reason for believing so ! Does your life evidence that your feeling sure is well founded, and not presumption ? Are you sure that you are, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, taking the road which leads to present and future happiness: the way of faith in Christ your Saviour, a faith which works by love ? Are you sure you are not deceived by a name to live while you are spiritually dead ?
Are you sure you are not injuring the cause of God in your family, and in public, by an inconsistent walk ? Are you sure you are training up your children in the way they should go, and by your example, recommending religion to them ?
Are you sure your temper is mild and affectionate; that you are of a forgiving spirit, and heavenly in conversation, so that others may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus? Are you sure you never unnecessarily speak of the faults of others when absent ! and if you reprove for faults, are you sure that it is in meekness and love ?
Are you sure you read the Holy Scriptures dails, and search them, and try to retain and practice what you read
Are you sure, when you pray, that you are in earnest, fervent, believing, and importunate? or are you cold, lifeless and formal ?
Are you sure you make no vain excuses for not attending the house of God on the Lord's-day? Will the excuses you now make be accepted at the judgment day?
Are you sure that you spend nothing in gaudy dress, unnecessary ornaments, expensive food, or vain amuse ments, which might be spent to better purpose-in reliefing the poor, sending the Gospel to the neglected at home, or the heathen abroad; distributing tracts at home, or when travelling?
Are you sure that you are not putting off repentance ? Beware, for you may die suddenly, be deprived of reason, or given up to hardness of heart ?
Are you sure that you are born again of the Holy Spirit, and are believing in Jesus as your Saviour ? Christ said, “ Ye must be born again," and “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” John iii. 7, 36.
Friend, ponder these questions, and answer them as in the presence of God ; and may the Lord bless them to your soul.
TELLING MOTHER. A cluster of young girls stood about the door of the school-room one afternoon, engaged in conversation, when a little girl joined them, and asked what they were doing. “I am telling the girls a secret, Kate, and we will let you know, if you will promise not to tell any one as long as you live," was the reply.
"I won't tell any one but my mother," replied Kate. “I tell her every thing, for she is my best friend.”
“No, not even your mother ; no one in the world.”
“Well, then, I can't hear it; for what I can't tell my mother, is not fit for me to know.” After speaking these words, Kate walked away slowly, and perhaps sadly, yet with a quiet conscience, while her companions went ou with their secret conversation.
I am sure that if Kate continued to act on that principle she became a virtuous, useful woman. No child of a pious mother will be likely to take a sinful course, if Kate's reply is taken for a rule of conduct.
As soon as a boy listens to conversation at school, or or the play-ground, which he would fear or blush to repeat to his mother, he is in the way of temptation, and no one can tell where he will stop. Many a man dying in dis grace, in prison or on the scaffold, has looked back wit1 bitter remorse to the time when first a sinful companioi 162
THE JUVENILE COMPANION. gained his ear, and came between him and a pious mother. Boys and girls, if you would lead a Christian life, and die a Christian death, make Kate's reply your rule :
“What I cannot tell my mother is not fit for me to knou; for a pious mother is your best friend.
If you have no mother, do as the disciples did,-go and tell Jesus. He loves you better than the most tender parent.
A STRIKING CONFIRMATION. One of the most interesting of the monuments of ancient Rome, is the triumphal arch erected to commemorate the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus, who after the destruction of the temple made a triumphal march to Rome, bringing with him a long train of captive Jews, and the spoils, among which were the sacred vessels of the temple. This procession is represented in the sculptures on the beautiful arch; which thus furnish an illustration of the Bible nowhere else to be found, these being the only representations that exist of the sacred vessels, the table of the shew-bread, the golden candlestick with its seven branches, and the silver trumpets used by the priests to proclaim the year of jubilee. The Roman Senate and people little thought, when erecting this monument to a deified emperor, that they were erecting a monument to the true God, in the verification of prophecy and divine history. A recent traveller says, not one of the Jews at Rome, of whom there are about 6000, will even at this day pass under the arch of Titus, although it spans one of the thoroughfares of the city; they shun it as a memorial of the subjugation of their nation, wbich has never been retrieved, and regard it with aversion.
INCENTIVES TO READING. Everything that passes around you, everything that you meet with in your walk, is a stimulus to read. The very roll of the tide, the fall of the leaf in autumn, the growth of the grass in spring, the roar of the tempest, or the starry firmament, each and every one of these things is a subject in itself. Do you understand these things?