« AnteriorContinuar »
A PRAYER FROM THE HEART.
but not this, and this; but of this again she may prate, and then thou shalt always know what thou mayest chatter about.'
“ Betty.— I do beg thy pardon, mother; I did not mean it so.'
“ Mother. Thou hast been told, once for all, that thou art not to talk of any thing that is no business of thine ; but it is all in vain : there is no getting thee out of that habit, except by severe means; and the very first time that I overtake thee again in any such idle gossip, I shall take to the rod.'
“The tears burst from poor Betty's eyes when her mother mentioned the rod. The mother saw it, and said to her : “The greatest mischief, Betty, often arises out of idle gossip, and thou must be cured of that fault.'
“ Thus discoursed the mother with them all; even to little Kitty she said : 'Thou must not be so impatient again in asking for thy soup, or I shall make thee to wait still longer; and, after all, give it to some one else.?
“All this being over, the children said their usual evening prayers, and after them the Saturday-night's prayer which Gertrude had taught them, and which was as follows:
“ " Dear Father in Heaven! Thou art always kind to men on the earth, and to us also Thou art always kind, and givest us all that we want. Yes, Thou givest us good things in abundance. From Thee all things come, bread, and all that our dear father and mother give us; Thou givest it to them, and they give it to us gladly. They rejoice in all things that they can give us and do for us, and they tell us to thank Thee for all the good which we receive from them. They tell us, if they knew not Thee, and loved not Thee, neither could they love us; nor could they do us much good, unless they knew Thee and loved Thee. They tell us also, to thank the Saviour of the world, that they know and love Thee, oh Heavenly Father! and that all men who do not know nor love that dear Saviour, and who follow not all the good commandments which He gave unto men on the earth, cannot love Thee, oh Heavenly Father! nor educate their children carefully and piously, as those do that believe in the Saviour of the world. Our dear father and our dear mother are telling us ever much of this dear Jesus; how much He loved all men on the earth, and how, to make them happy in this life and in the life to come, He lived in sorrow and affliction, and at last died on the cross; how Thou hast raised Him up from the dead, and how He, being Thy son, now sits with Thee in the glory of heaven on Thy throne, at the right hand of Thy majesty; how he still loveth all men on the earth, and seeketh to make them good and happy. Oh, it always goes to our hearts, when we hear of that dear Jesus! Grant that we may learn to live so that we may please Him, and that we may one day be with Him in heaven!
“Dear Father in Heaven! We that are sitting here, and praying together, are brothers and sisters; therefore we will be kind to one another, and do
PRAYER ADAPTED TO CIRCUMSTANCES,
each other no harm, but on the contrary, all the good we are able to do. We elder ones will take care of the younger ones with all care and diligence, that our dear father and mother may comfortably go about their work for their bread; alas, this is all that we can do for them, for all the trouble and expense they have for our sakes! Reward Thou them, O Father in heaven! for all they do to us, and make us obedient unto them in all that they command us to do, that we may remain dear to them to the end of their lives, when Thou shalt take them from us, and reward them for all the faithfulness which they have shown towards us.
« «Dear Heavenly Father ! let us remember, that we may keep holy the day of to-morrow,
that we may be mindful of Thy goodness, and of the love of Jesus Christ, and that we may not forget any of the good which we receive from our father and mother, and from all men; that we may be grateful and obedient to God and man, and walk in love before Thee all our lives.'.
“ Here Niclas was to stop. And Gertrude taught them, according to what had happened in the week, to pray further as follows:
«« We thank Thee, O Heavenly Father, that Thou hast eased, this week, the heavy burdens of our dear parents, and their cares for their bread and the bread of their children, and hast blessed our dear father with a good and profitable employment. We thank Thee, that our Lord with paternal affection protects, and comforts, and assists us in all our misery and distress. We thank Thee for all the blessings which Thou hast bestowed upon us through him. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may serve him acceptably before Thee all our days, for he is unto us as a faithful father.'
“ Then the mother taught Betty to pray in this manner: Forgive me, O my God, my besetting sin, and teach me to bridle my tongue, to be silent when I am not to speak, and to answer considerately and discreetly whenever I am asked.'
“ And Niclas : *Preserve me, 0 Heavenly Father, from all hastiness, and teach me to be on my guard, and to see what I do, and who is about me.
“ And Anne : 'I am sorry, good God, for leaving my dear little brother so thoughtlessly, and frightening my dear mother. I will not do it again all my life; forgive me, I pray Thee, good God.'
“And after the mother had thus taught all the children, she continued :
“ Hear us, O Lord !
Father, forgive us !
« Then Niclas said the Lord's prayer. “And Anne: “Have mercy, O Lord, upon my dear father, and my dear
mother, and my dear brothers and sisters, and our dear lord Arnheim, and all the dear good people on the earth.”
“And Betty : Grant us our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Father! O Son! O Holy Ghost !
“ And the mother again : “ The Lord be with you, the Lord bless you, the Lord let the light of his countenance shine upon you, and be merciful unto you !
“ And after this, mother and children sat yet a little while in that solemn silence which a true prayer always imposes.
Betty interrupted this silence : “Thou wilt now show us our new pennies ;' said she to her mother.
“I will, replied the mother, but thou art always the first to speak, Betty'
“ Niclas now jumped up from his seat, and pushed forward, that he might be nearer the candle and see the new pennies better; and, in doing so, he hurt the little baby, so that it began to cry
aloud. “ Then said the mother: ‘Niclas, this is very bad. Thou didst promise, not more than a quarter of an hour ago, that thou wouldst be more careful, and now thou seest what thou hast done again.'
“ Niclas.— O, mother, I am very sorry for it, it shall not happen any more.'
“ Mother. That is what thou didst just now promise to God Almighty, and yet thou hast done it again. Thou art not in earnest.'
“ Mother.- O yes, my dear mother ! I am quite in earnest. Forgive me; I am so very, very sorry.'
“ Mother.—'So am I, my dear! but thou wilt not remember it, unless thou be punished. Thou shalt go to bed now without thy supper.?
“And saying so, she led him away from the others into his chamber. His brothers and sisters were all standing about grieved, for they were sorry that poor Niclas should go without his supper.'
««What a pity it is that you will not be governed by kindness !' said the mother, when she came back.
“Let him come out again this once;' said the children.
“ No, my dears, he must be got out of his thoughtless habits,' was the mother's reply.
"Well, then, we will not see the pennies till to-morrow, that he may see them with us,' said Anne.
“Well spoken, Anne !' answered the mother; "he shall see them with you.'
“ After this she gave the children their suppers, and then she led them to the chamber where Niclas was still crying.
“. Be very careful, pray, another time, my dear Niclas,' said the mother to him.
“ And Niclas : 'Do pray forgive me, dear, dear mother : do forgive me, and kiss me. I do not want any supper.'
“ And Gertrude kissed her Niclas, and a burning tear flowed down her cheek upon her face, when she said to him: 'O Niclas, Niclas, do try to become more careful. And Niclas threw both his arms round her neck, and said : O mother, mother, forgive me!'
“And Gertrude once more blessed her children, and then she returned to her room.
“She was now quite alone. A small lamp shed its feeble rays through the apartment, and her heart was still in silent prayer, which, without words, inexpressibly moved her soul. The feeling of God and of his goodness, the hope of life everlasting, the sense of that internal joy and peace which dwells in those who trust in their Heavenly Father; all this stirred her soul, and she sunk down on her knees, and a stream of tears flowed down over her cheeks."
Leonard and Gertrude continued-Village Reform-The New
System-Trials and Successes of a Country Schoolmaster.
After the introductory scenes, which are admirably calculated to give the reader a distinct impression of the leading characters, the plot of the story opens with the determination on the part of Hummel, to be revenged for Arnheim's infringement of the long-enjoyed privilege of iniquitous rule over the village. He attempts the removal of a boundary stone on one of Arnheim's estates, by which, though he cannot be benefited himself, yet he hopes, from the peculiar position of that stone, considerably to curtail the property of his master. A concatenation of unfortunate circumstances, however, aided by his own superstitious fears, leads to his detection; and while he is under the arm of justice, awaiting the sentence of the law, he, as well as several of his accomplices in former iniquities, make spontaneous confessions, some from fear, others from remorse. The discoveries successively made in the course of the inquiry, bring the mal-administration of the village, which had taken deep root during the times of his predecessor, under the notice of the young lord, who, more anxious to repair evil than to avenge it, proceeds with the utmost lenity against the offending parties; and, assisted by Ernst, the minister of the parish, undertakes a fundamental reform of the whole community, which he is the better able to carry into effect with energy, as the most influential men in the village, and those most inclined to oppose him, have by the recent revelations become liable to the most severe visitations