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justice. His pupils learned to love and trust him implicitly, to look for his commendation, to dread his displeasure, knowing that neither would be given unless deserved; and the influence of his calm, clear mind lives still.
“I told you not to come bothering me, Poppy; I am reading a most interesting book, and I will not be worried." "Well, but, ma, I've nothing to do."
"Go and play with your sister, or somebody; now, not a word, be off.”
This time the voices came from the edge of the cliff just above my head. One voice was unmistakably that of a lady, pleasant in tone, refined in accent, but to the last degree impatient and ungoverned. Surely, I thought, that must be the mamma of my quarrelsome trio. I was moved to go and see, but before I had time to give effect to the impulse, a frank, cheery voice called out:
"Come and have a row, Minnie; it's a jolly day."
"Oh, do leave me alone, Frank; I want to finish my book, and can't get a minute's peace," answered the same voice that had snubbed the child, and in the same petulant tone.
"Well, you are an idiot to waste this glorious day reading that trash," answered Frank. "Come, children, we'll go, at any rate."
And the next moment a man of seven or eight-and-thirty, with a pleasant, open face, leapt down the cliff beside me, joyously followed, as I expected, by the three children I had noticed before.
I rose and sauntered on to the cliff. A handsome, fairhaired woman sat in a comfortable folding-chair, a few feet from the edge, absorbed in the pages of a novel. She was richly dressed and pleasant to look upon-a woman very likely of fascinating ways, and adored by her husband and children, notwithstanding her selfish nature and quick, impatient temper —a woman whose influence for good might have been unbounded, and whose bad influence was the more dangerous in that it was so vague and variable.
To-day sweet and fascinating, to-morrow petulant and selfish. They did not quarrel either; even the term "idiot" was not used in a voice of anger, and the children made no attempt to strike each other whilst using the most threatening language. Downright blows would probably have startled that kindly-looking father, as violent quarrelling would have shocked and frightened the children; but querulous speech, hasty epithets, and impulsive contradiction were occurrences of every hour, and looked upon as entirely venial faults. Thus the children would grow up totally regardless of the gentler courtesies of speech and manner which make a home so beautiful; and who could wonder when, in their hearing, their mother snapped angrily at so trifling an annoyance as the interruption of her novel?
If fathers and mothers would only realise the lasting effect that words, hasty and uncontrolled, have upon the characters and manners of their children, and would act upon the knowledge, how great a benefit it would be, not only to the children themselves, but to the world at large !
Dark February, Chill and Bare.
ARK February, chill and bare,
Again thou shiverest in the glen!
The hurrying day, the lurid west,
The frosty night thou bring'st again.
Wan month, that strik'st with watery beam,
Once more I am among them all,
O World and Life and Love !—the days,--
Justified.-Rom. iii. 24.
Alive unto God.-Rom. vi. II.
Conqueror.-Rom. viii. 37.
Heir of God.-Gal. iv. 7.
OMING home one evening from a country ramble, I was overtaken, near the village where I was staying, by an elderly woman and a young girl.
As they passed me, with a pleasant "good-night,” something about them struck me as unusual, and several times, in the course of the evening, I found myself wondering what it was that had attracted my attention.
The next day, as I was talking to the clergyman of the parish, I remembered my meeting of the night before, and said: I wonder if you can tell me anything of a mother and daughter I met last night, who took my fancy quite unusually ?"
He smiled, and said, "I believe I can; but tell me first,
was the woman very tall, with a bright, cheery face, and the younger extremely fair and slender?" "The same; but how could you possibly guess, scanty description ?"
"Well, to tell you the truth, I have been expecting your question. Most visitors to our village notice Ruth Hammond and her adopted daughter, Mary Dawes, and most people make your mistake as to their relationship. Their story is a striking illustration of God as a faithful promiser, and perhaps you would be interested in hearing it?"
"That I certainly should." And Mr. Dean began: "When I first came here as clergyman, one of my outlying parishioners was a small farmer, named Dawes. I was not able to see much of him, as I had no curate then; but from what I did see, and from what I heard, I judged him to be an upright Christian, reserved and quiet, but anxious to bring up his family of seven children in the fear of the Lord. He was blessed with a bright, active wife, and, although they lived more than three miles from church, in wet weather or fine the Dawes family was sure to be well represented at every service, and the children were amongst the best answerers in my Sunday Bible-class.
"When I had been here about two years, a terrible fever broke out in the neighbourhood. Amongst the first to fall victims to its fury were Mr. Dawes and his eldest son. A few hours of terrible suffering and they had both entered into rest. Most of the other children took the fever; strange to say, they all, including their mother and her baby, a month old, recovered; but, as the children gained health and strength daily, their mother as surely failed more and more, so that it was soon evident to all that the family was to be doubly orphaned. As soon as she realised the fact of her approaching departure, Mrs. Dawes sent for me, and I shall never forget her state of mental distress. For herself all was peace; but at the thought of leaving her children she seemed almost distraught with agony. Looking up piteously into my face, she wailed her sad complaint.
“What will become of my poor children? Seven of them; the eldest nine years, and the youngest not as many weeks. Who will care for my little ones? No father, no mother; no elder brother, even. How can I leave them ?' "I could scarcely speak myself, and could only urge her to cast her burden upon the Lord, and to plead with Him His precious promises to the widow and orphan. From circumstances, I was not able to see Mrs. Dawes again for more than a week. When I went in, I was immediately struck with the change in her. Though perceptibly worse, bodily, than at my last visit, the expression of her face had entirely altered, and in place of the terrible anxiety had come a look of peace and rest beautiful to see. Directly she saw me, she smiled sweetly, and said
"I'm so glad to see you again, sir, and to tell you that God has taken away the fear of the future.'
"You can leave your children with Him?'
"I can, entirely. He always has been true to His promises, and He always will be.'
"'Have you any out-look for the children ?'
“None whatever; but that does not trouble me. God knows, and that's enough.' After a slight pause, she added, 'I suppose, even if we trust God entirely, we ought to do our best as well ?'
666 Certainly we ought. God works, as a rule, through our instrumentality, and we have no right to talk of trusting Him till we have done all we can to help ourselves.'
"Thank you, sir; I thought so, and I will ' "At this point she turned faint, and our conversation came to an abrupt end.
"As I walked home, my mind was full of the wonderful power of the grace of God to subdue our natural fears and misgivings for the future, and, knowing that there were no near relations on either side of the family, I did not attach much importance to Mrs. Dawes' last question; but I found afterwards that she was not mistaken in thinking that there was a possibility of making provision for her children.