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face in his hands, and for the first time in his child-life felt himself in the actual presence of God. And in that awful Presence he put up his first real prayer :
• O great God! forgive my sin, for Jesus Christ's sake, and make me a better boy.
• And I hope after a time,' said Mrs. Webb, as the party left the shop, and she was bidding the boys good-bye, “that you will be friends with Edward once more. You see he is really ashamed and sorry ; and the best among us may fall into temptation some time or other.'
• We will be friends with him now,' cried the three boys at once; and they shook hands with him all round.
Now he's owned to it, it doesn't seem so bad ; does it ma'am?' said Johnny Fisher.
No; to hide a fault always makes worse of it,' Mrs. Webb answered gravely.
And then she and Edward walked home in silence until they reached the door. Here Edward said, 'I'm glad I've done it.
And I never should, Aunt Anna, if it hadn't been for you.'
'I'm glad, too,' she answered quietly.
He began again, and now with trembling lips — Shall you tell father?'
“We will tell him together,' Mrs. Webb said. “And I will beg him not to punish you, because I think you are punished enough already
'Yes, aunt, I feel as though a thrashing couldn't be worse than all this.'
But he was saved from tlie thrashing by his aunt's entreaty, though his father was severely angry. The anger was bad enough, Edward thought, as he crept away at last: but still he was glad that his father knew, and that all concealment was now over. His heart felt lighter that night than it had done for some weeks past, though it was still sore and sad. And the next morning, when the Commandments were read in church, and he heard his aunt's clear voice responding to the words, Thou shalt not steal,' with the earnest petition, “Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law,' he buried his flushed
THE CHURCH MOUSE. WHAT brought thee hither, little mouse?
There are few comforts here for thee: Why didst thou leave the farmer's house,
And all its cheerful glee ?
Which brought thee here to pine away; For who would wish to spend for nought
His labour, and his day? It was not wise to quit the fire,
And platters full of broken bread, E'en though the hassock of the squire
Now serves thee for a bed. Poor little creature of a day,
Without a hope, without a soul, Thou hast no need, like us, to pray
That God would make thee whole. The Sunday bells, so full of cheer,
The organ's voice, the preacher's theme, Have no sweet music for thine ear,
No place in thine esteem. Alas, for thee! no part thou hast
In our bright Creed high on the wall;
No resurrection call !
Are born to that eternal lot,
Who yet regard it not.
Must Thy sad exiles banished be ?
And our bright mansions see?
HARD AS STONE.
OOR woman! what a hard life you Their sunshine in the night.
have lived these many long, long The world they love is bare and bleak,
! how you have had to struggle with Above them bends a darkening sky;
sorrow and want! How different you thought For life and joy in vain they seek,
it would be when you stood with your In vain they toil, and die.
Edward at the altar, where you plighted
your troth to each other! Though you did Away, away, delusive dreams :
not look forward to a life of riches and The whole wide world can nothing give: abundance, yet you hoped for one of Come, let us to the crystal streams,
peace at home, in which, through hard And eat, and drink, and live!
labour and prudence, you might gain a G. S. OUTRAM. comfortable livelihood, and pass your days
in quiet and happiness.
Yes, indeed, piety and diligence were not ray of light from above, which strengthwanting. Day and night did Edward work ened and comforted you. for the daily bread, and faithfully did you But now came the time when, according assist him. But he could not keep want to Prussian law, Fritz must be a soldier; and trouble away from his door. And
and now again you must alone bear the care when the children came-one, two, three, of the five children. And Fritz, too, you and more-oh, how then you had to toil for could not abandon him when he went away the bare necessaries of life!
and joined the army.
You toiled, and And yet those cares were sweet. Edward struggled, and starved, in order to be able worked gladly for you and for the children, from time to time to send him some little whom he so dearly loved. You bore and comfort. Poor widow! how hard that was suffered much; for was it not for your for you. How you suffered and endured, and children's, for your beloved husband's, alone-quite alone-worked for them all!
And were the children grateful to their So those days passed away in contentment, faithful, loving mother? llas Fritz reand now and then there was a ray of sun- membered those nights of watching, those light which fell with comfort and strength anxious hours, and repaid them to the brave, upon your struggling married life.
true mother? Of the others I shall not But then came Death, and tore your be- speak; but of Fritz I will relate, good loved husband from your side, and you reader, and you may judge yourself whether stood there alone with bleeding heart, and he acted as a good son should do. with a troop of sorrowing, destitute orpbans. This was a hard time for you, and many
CHAPTER II. a tear did you shed then in silence.
But with heroism you rose to the Nothing, it is said, educates a man so struggle. It had been a hard lot to feed well as the army, which is for him a real and clothe the children, even when Edward school of life. There he has to lead a wellstood at your side. But you had a far disciplined, regular life, so that out of heavier yoke to bear now; but with courage the most stupid rustic is formed a sharp, and trust in God your faithful mother-intelligent, useful man, in whom the love heart set bravely to work, and so far suc
of order and cleanliness has been implanted. ceeded that you were able to say, 'Now it Generally speaking such may be the case, will be a good deal easier ; now they will but it certainly is not so with all. Many be bett!'
a lad has gone away heavy and stupid, and Your eldest son, Fritz, had passed has not come back much better, for with through his apprenticeship, and was now his uniform he has laid aside his neat and able to bring many a sixpence into the cleanly habits. But with others it has been house. The boy, or I should rather say much worse. They have gone to the town the youth, had been well educated, and piously-educated Christian lads, and have brought up as a good Christian. He ful- returned to their parents' homes ruined in filled all your hopes about him. He brought body and soul, and robbed of the treasures home every farthing that he earned, and of faith, hope, and love. for a time matters prospered far better in The military system does not do this. your household. Again there was a bright It is generally to the bad company al young
man falls into, and to the evil language he
a child. Before be went away to the town constantly hears.
he worked faithfully and diligently; honest And this the poor Marie experienced with labour was a pleasure, and a true heart's her Fritz. Earnestly had the good mother joy was it to him when he could pour out longed for the day when she should again the pence which he had earned into his dear clasp her son, freed from service, in her arms, mother's lap, and see the pleasure which and when he should again help her in the beamed from her face. care of her other children.
But now he hated every kind of serious The day came: with open arms she work. After idly wandering about all day received the returning one, and warmly
be would come home to his mother's spare pressed his hand in welcome, and pressed meal, eat the bitterly-earned bread of the a mother's kiss on his sunburnt cheeks. widow and the orphans, and even demand But what was this? Her hearty welcome some pocket-money besides. was not returned; he coldly received her And only because he could not get thistokens of joy; cast his eyes down to the for how could his mother give it him, and ground, and turned surlily from her.
how dare she if she could ? —he would • But, dear Fritz!' stammered his mother get some sort of stray employment (for the with sorrow, “what is the matter? After a honest trade which he had learned he separation of years, why such a meeting? would have nothing to do with), and would Do you no longer understand, no longer then squander what he earned in gambling value your mother's heart? '
and drinking • Oh! indeed, I am as glad as you can
Tbus fulfilled the hopes which be to lay aside the soldier's coat.
Marie had set upon her son.
But the unall this nonsense ? I am no longer a child !' dutiful young man went farther still. His
The poor mother said nothing. She mother could not silently witness such was cut to the heart by the contemptuous conduct. She begged and implored him language of her son.
His want of sym
to give up this life of vice, and again, as pathy fell like a bitter frost upon her before, to be a faithful son and a true loving heart. And yet he had spoken the brother. But this only excited his wrath. truth - he was no longer a child. That Cursing and stamping he went about the childlike, pious faith, with which he had house; he struck on the table with his fist, left his parent's home; that childlike, and declared that he was master in the true affection to his honest mother, which house. Once, indeed, he even went so far he had previously shown her; these had as to hold his fist up to his mother's face, vanished-he was no longer a child. In- and to threaten her with a blow! nocence had long ago been driven from Poor, poor mother! Thus did your Fritz, his heart; his faithful, confiding mind, was whom you had brought up so well, and sent now filled with the so-called enlighten- away from home so good, come back to you. ment of the age—that enlightenment which You saw the day, the hour approaching, despises and mocks at strong faith in God, when all this must have a terrible end. But and in His truth, as old wives' fables. Heaven interfered, and for a time put an Thus had Fritz come home-truly no longer end to this godless conduct, by liberating a child.
you for a space from this unworthy son. In other respects, too, he was no longer
(To be continued.)