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"JAMES, will you fasten the garden gate ?” said his mother.
• Presently, mother,” said James, who was reading an amusing story.
James finished his story, and then went to fasten the gate ; but in the meantime the pigs had got in, and rooted up and destroyed more than could be repaired for months.
“Will you learn your lesson now, James ?” said his mother,
“ By-and-by, mother,” replied James, who was making a new kite.
The kite was finished, but the lesson was never learned. Next day James lost his place in the class, and afterwards his prize.
What James was as a boy, he was as a man. He intended to take his money to-morrow from a bank that was not safe ; but before to-morrow the bank failed, and be lost it all.
He intended to insure his house and shop tomorrow; but before to-morrow they took fire, were burned, and he was ruined.
How true is the common proverb, “ Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day !”
How much deeper truth is there in the saying of the wise king, “ Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth !"
This is true of worldly things; and it is also true, and much more important, in things which conceru the soul.
To-day is ours; we know not if we shall see tomorrow. To-day God calls us and offers us pardon; to-morrow it
be too late!
A TIGER STORY,
“A GENTLEMAN and lady had one little child, and they had to take a very long journey with it, through a wild part of India. There were no houses there, and they had to sleep in a tent. A tent is a kind of house, made by driving poles firmly into the ground, and then drawing curtains over them. It is very comfortable and cool in a warm country, where there is no rain; but then there are neither doors nor windows to shut as we do at night, to make all safe.
“ One night they had to sleep in a very wild place, near a thick wood. The lady said—Oh, I feel so afraid to-night; I cannot tell you how frightened
I know there are many tigers and other wild animals in the wood ; and what if they should come out upon us ?' Her husband replied, "My dear, we will make the servants light a fire, and keep watch, and you need have no fear; and we must put our trust in God. So the lady kissed her baby, and put it into its cradle ; and then she and her husband knelt down together, and prayed to God to keep them from every danger; and they repeated that pretty verse, ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.'
“In the middle of the night, the lady started up with a loud cry, 'O my baby! my baby! I dreamed just now that a great tiger had crept below the curtains and run away with my child !' And when she looked into the cradle, the baby was not there! Oh, you may think how dreadful was their distress. They ran out of the tent, and by the light of the moon they saw a great animal moving towards the wood, with something white in its mouth, They wakened the servants, and got loaded guns, and all went after it into the wood. They went as fast and yet as quietly as they could, and very soon they came to a place where they saw through the trees that the tiger had lain down, and was playing with the baby, just as pussy does with a mouse before she kills it. The baby was not crying, and did not seem hurt. The poor father and mother could only pray to the Lord to help ; and when one of the men took up
his gun, the lady cried, 'Oh, you will kill my child !' But the man raised the gun, and fired at once, and God made him do it well. The tiger gave a loud howl, and jumped up, and then fell down again, shot quite dead. Then they all rushed forward, and there was the baby quite safe, and smiling, as if it were not at all afraid!”
“O uncle, what a delightful story! And did the baby really live?
· Yes ; the poor lady was very ill afterwards, but the baby not at all. I have seen it often since then.”
“Oh ! have you really seen a baby that has been in a tiger's mouth ?”
“Yes, I have ; and you too." “We, uncle ! when did we see it?" “You may see him just now. The children looked all round the room, and then
back to uncle George, and something in his eyes made Lucy exclaim, “ Uncle, could it have been yourself?”
“ Just myself.”
"Is it true you were once in a tiger's mouth ? But you
do not remember about it?” “Certainly not; but my father and mother have frequently told me the story. You may be sure that often when they looked at their child afterwards, they gave thanks to God. It was he who made the mother dream, and awake just at the right minute ; and made the tiger hold the baby by the clothes, so as not to hurt it; and made the man fire so as to shoot the tiger, and not the child. But now good night, my dear little girls; and before you go to bed, pray to God to keep you safe, as my friends did that night in the tent."
ONLY ONE BRICK UPON ANOTHER.
EDWIN was one day looking at a large building which was being put up just opposite his father's house. He watched the workmen from day to day, as they carried up the bricks and mortar, and then placed them in their proper order. His father said to lim :
Edwin, you seem to be very much taken up with the bricklayers ; pray what might you be thinking about? Have you any notion of learning the trade ?"
“ "No," said Edward, smiling; “but I was just thinking what a little thing a brick is, and yet that great house is built by laying one brick upon another.”
“Very true, my boy; never forget it. Just so is it with all great works. All your learning is only one little lesson added to another. If a man could walk round the world, it would be by putting one foot before the other. Your whole life will be made up of one little moment after another. Drop added to drop makes the ocean."
Learn from this not to despise little things. Learn, also, not to be discouraged by great labour. The greatest labour becomes easy if divided into parts. You could not jump over a mountain; but step by step takes you to the other side. Do not fear, theresore, to attempt great things. Always remember that the whole of the great building is only one brick
THE WIND AND THE SUN.
A DISPUTE once arose between the Wind and the Sun, wbich was the stronger of the two, and they agreed to put the point upon this issue, that whichever soonest made & traveller take off his cloak, should be accounted the more powerful.
The Wind began, and blew with all his might and main a blast, cold and fierce as an arctic storm ; but the stronger he blew the closer the traveller wrapped his cloak around him, and the tighter he grasped it with his hands.
Then broke out the Sun: with his welcome beams he dispersed the vapour and the cold; the traveller