« PreviousContinue »
One of his neighbours, a turner by trade,
THE HEDGE OF THORNS. said to him one day, “What do you do
(Concluded from p. 139.) with all the money that you earn so easily? Your manner of living as well as of dressing The church bells rang out their sumyourself and your children is quite as simple
in vain for Clement that and modest as it was when you were not
morning :- 'You won't insist upon my nearly so well off as you are now.'
going, mother, will you ?' he entreated. The cabinet-maker replied with a smile,
So he was left at home alone, though ‘Half of my weekly earnings is employed
Harry begged hard to be allowed to stay in paying my debts, and the other half I with him. Mrs. Harley felt it was best so: place at very good interest.'
perhaps a quiet hour or two of sorrow and Nonsense!' replied the turner, laughing. repentance might in due time bring forth 'I know very well, good neighbour, that
fruit of real amendment. you have no debts at all; and I am pretty
But in the afternoon she called him to sure that you have not much capital at the
walk with her in the garden; and as they bank.'
slowly paced up and down, he put his arm Nevertheless I tell you the exact truth,'
about her in his loving boy-fashion, and replied the cabinet-maker, with a smile.
asked humbly S *Only let me explain my manner of act- Do you think, mother, I could ever ing: I regard it as a sacred duty to pay cure myself? back to my aged and infirm parents all the
Of what, my dear?' money that they have spent for me since my ‘Of my indolence; you see it was that, birth, and I feel that I must pay this im
and nothing else, which brought me this portant debt to them. On the other hand,
trouble. I have been thinking about it all I consider as capital placed at very good
the morning, and it seems to me it is thuit interest all the money I spend to bring
which is always setting things wrong. It up my children as well as possible, and to is not only about my lessons, and not help them to gain an honourable livelihood. getting on and taking prizes,-of course, if This capital will be paid back by them with one won't work, one can't expect that kind good interest when I can no longer work. of thing,—but it gets one into all sorts My parents have spared no sacrifice to give
of scrapes besides. It does indeed, mother; me a good religious education, and to teach I could tell you something that would show me a useful trade, and I wish to spare nothing in the same matter for my children.'
* I don't need any proof, my dear; it is It is thus that all Christian parents should
one of the curses of slothfulness that it bring up their children; and children thus brings so many evils in its train: many a educated from their earliest years will find crime has had its beginning in idleness; true happiness in proving their gratitude
it leads to faults that seem quite foreign to their well-beloved parents. J. F. C. to the idler's nature; it has made many an
affectionate man neglectful of his family,
you it does.'
other day that something bad altered me, watch against your temptation; you must and made me close. It was about my exer- force yourself into action, and try to do cise ; I left it, and left it, till there was no with all your might whatever you attempt time to do it properly, and so—and so- to do at all. And you cannot begin too don't look at me like that, mother,-I soon; it would be an awful thing to put copied it as near as I dared from Bob off the striving till it should be too late.' Freeman's book.'
Too late! The words sounded like a It was out at last; and now Clement felt funeral knell over poor Tartar. It was too the comfort of his mother's grave sympathy | late to save his dear old favourite, Clement and advice.
reflected, but not too late to save himself. • There is but one course to take,' she And he took a deep resolve that memorable said after a little quiet talk on the matter; afternoon, strengthening the resolve before .you must tell Mr. Jones the exact truth he went to sleep at night by a fervent prayer to-morrow, and bear patiently any punish- for God's help. ment he may think it right to impose. Ah, We will not attempt to look into his my child, it would be sad indeed if your future, and learn whether the prayer was indolence should end by making you ready answered and the resolution kept. But at deceit and careless of right—the prey this much I can tell :-he got up early the of any temptation that may seem to offer an next morning, and set the tool-house in escape from the consequences of your fault. order before going to school; and he made You have thought it a slight thing to be a full confession to his tutor about the merely lazy; but you see what it leads to: copied exercise, though the avowal cost him it not only makes the whole life unfruitful, a great deal of pain. but it brings forth all kinds of poisonous And the foot once firmly set upon the weeds, tares instead of wheat ; and you re- briers and thorns, we may venture to hope member that, in the parable, the reapers the whole hedge will in time be trampled bind up the tares in bundles to be burned.' down.
EMMA RHODES. Mrs. Harley spoke solemnly: Clement hung his head with deep awe and penitence
THE FRENCH TRAVELLER AND in his heart. • Remain an idle, useless boy,' went on
HIS ARAB GUIDE. the lady after a moment's pause, and you FRENCHMAN, very learned in many will grow up an idle, useless man: all
sciences, but rather inclined to be faults strengthen with time. But you ask if an atheist, was travelling with an Arab it is possible to cure yourself. Yes, to be guide in the deserts of Africa. He noticed sure, or God would not command us to
with a smile of pity that his guide, at cerstrive after perfection—to lay aside our be- tain hours of the day, raised his eyes setting sin. But He tells us also-at least towards Heaven and knelt down, devoutly He puts it into St. Paul's mind to tell us
pronouncing the name of God. Many days that we must look to Jesus while we succeeded each other, and the Arab always strive ; you must ask God for Christ's sake showed himself faithful to his practices of to help you ; and you must struggle with devotion. yourself, and try hard every day and at One evening, at the moment when the every turn : you must always be on the Arab had finished his prayer, the French
has kicked against a stone and hurt her foot.
Look, here is a broad and easy road, and Now what would you ask of the
a pleasant one to travel ; no stones in the If you were with Him up in Heaven?'
way, no thorns to tear your legs, no fogs to Thus questioned the kind Sunday-teacher
chill you; plenty of jolly companions From a ragged boys' class of seven.
too, who laugh, and sing, and dance, and Thought one, of most glorious apparel; amuse themselves all the day, without any Thought the next, of a white horse with thought or care: they will be glad enough wings;
of your company.' And the third, of a sword and a sceptre, ‘But,' said Iva, 'will it lead me to my
With a crown for his head, like a king's. | home?' The fourth thought of bags full of money;
O yes,' said the stranger, it will lead The fifth, of some wonderful bird ; you home safely enough ; all that travel this The sixth was too stupid for thinking: way get home quite as soon as they wish.' But none of them answered a word.
But there is one thing that puzzles me, * And what would you ask, little Tommy,
said the boy: 'this road leads down hill,
whereas I was going up hill; the roads If you were with Christ up in Heaven?'
cannot lead both to the same place.' Thus questioned the kind Sunday-teacher From the youngest boy of the seven.
O yes,' said the stranger, it is all one
way; and, the worst come to the worst, He was but a small orphaned cripple, you will be as well off as your neighA nine-years-old poor little elf;
bours.' And, smiling, he answered, 0, teacher,
'Let us change lamps, then,' said the I'd ask Him to give me Himself.'
boy: but when he looked for his lamp it MARY HOWITT, in ‘Good Words
was gone. for the Young.' • Never mind,' said the deceitful one,
you will find the road plainly enough; and THE STAFF AND THE LANTERN. in the dark places lamps are put. Some call (Continued from p. 148.)
these lamps the light of reason; others, the
light of nature: they will do for you better HE man instantly complied with Iva's
than the lamp you have lost.' request, and a bright light shone out.
‘But the staff, what shall I do with Not a white light like the light of his own that?' said Iva. lantern, but something like the flame of Oh, keep it or throw it away, just as you furnace, and it showed to Iva the handsomest like: it does not matter.' man he had ever seen. The face seemed full The deceiver well knew that the staff of kindness, and when he spoke his words was of no use without the lantern, and seemed like honey for sweetness. “Ah,' | indeed Iva saw numbers of his new comsaid the man, 'I see you are a wise and sen- panions with staves like his own; but of sible young fellow; you know what is good all those who carried a staff, not one was and what is bad: those silly children have walking with it. Some were fencing, gone trudging along that narrow road, they whilst others stood around and admired little think how difficult it is. Hark now! their skill in using their weapons ; some one of them is crying already because she
were quarrelling about them, and trying