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THE BETTER LAND.
I hear thee speak of the better land;
“ Not there, not there, my child !”
“ Not there, not there, my child !
“Not there, not there, my child !”
It is there, it is there, my child !
“IT COMES FROM ABOVE.”
Gen'-tle-man Bir'-ming-ham Sin'-gu-lar Re-cov'-ered Wealth'-y Pa'-tience
Cir'-cum-stan-ces Oc-cur'-rence Prov'-id-ence Eng'-lish-man Ben'-e-fit Prob'-a-bly Taught
Bus'-i-ness There was once in France a poor boy, who was called “ Little Peter.” He was an orphan, and begged his bread from door to door. He sang very prettily, and people seldom sent him away empty-handed. It was an idle and sad life which he led, but Peter had no one to care for him, and he did not know what else to do. He had the singular custom of saying on every occasion, “ It comes from above.” I will tell you why.
When his father was on his deathbed—if, indeed, he had a bed, for he was very poor-he said to his son, “My dear Peter, you will now be left alone, and many troubles you will have in the world. But always remember, that all comes from above; then you will find it easy to bear everything with patience."
Little Peter understood him, and in order not to forget the words, he often spoke them aloud. He received every gift with the words, “ It comes from above.” As he grew up, he used to consider what they meant. He was wise enough to see that, as God rules the world, we may well believe of everything that happens in the way of His providence, “ It comes from above.”
This faith of Little Peter often turned out for his benefit. Once as he was passing through the town, a sudden gust of wind blew off a roof-tile which fell on his shoulder, and struck him to the ground. His first words were, “ It comes from above."
The bystanders laughed, and thought he must be out of his senses, for of course it could not fall from below; but they did not
understand him. A minute after, the wind tore off an entire roof in the same street, which crushed three men to death. Had Little Peter gone on, he would probably have been at that moment just where the roof fell.
Another time, a gentleman employed him to carry a letter to a town, bidding him make all haste: On his way, he tried to spring over a ditch, but it was so wide that he fell in and was nearly drowned. The letter was lost in the mud, and could not be recovered. The gentleman was angry when Little Peter told him of the loss, and drove him out of doors with his whip. comes from above,” said Peter, as he stood on the steps. The next day the gentleman sent for him. “See here,' said he, “ there are two half-crowns for you for tumbling into the ditch. Circumstances have now so changed, that it would have been a loss to me had that letter gone safely.”
I could tell you much more about Peter. When he had become a big boy, he was still called “ Little Peter.” A rich gentleman who came into the town, having heard his story, sent for him, in order to give him something. When Little Peter entered the room, the Englishman said, “What think you, Peter ; why have I sent for you?” “It comes from above,” replied Peter. This answer greatly pleased the gentleman. After thinking a while, he said, “ You are right; I will take you into my service, and provide well for you. Will you agree to that?" “It comes from above,” answered Peter; “God is very good to me; I will gladly go with you.”
So the Englishman took him away. It was a good thing for the poor boy, who had been taught no trade. Long afterwards, we learned that when his master died, he left him a large sum of money to carry on the busi: ness; and that “Little Peter” was then a wealthy man in Birmingham. But he still said of every occurrence, “It comes from above."
CHARLES AND JACK.
A little boy, whose papa and mamma were very rich, thought it beneath him to speak to a poor boy with patched clothes, who every day passed his father's gate with papers to sell, for this was the way in which he supportud himself and his sick mother.
Charles (for that was the rich boy's name) had more than once insultud poor Jack by setting his dog on him, or speaking in a loud tone to his companions about the “ little ragamuffin,” as he contemptuously styled him. Jack took no notice of all this abuse, for his kind mother had taught him to return good for evil and to love his enemies, because his Saviour commanded him.
Charles was very fond of fishing; he would frequently take his hook and line, and go with some of his companions to a lake about a mile distant. On one occasion of this kind he was seated on the end of a decayed log which projected some distance into the water. A fish played around his hook: he was so intent on catching it that he forgot everything else. Giving the line a sudden jerk, the log tilted, and he was thrown into the deep water. He did not know how to swim, so he struggled about, calling to his companions for aid; but they were all afraid to venture their lives for another. Jack, who was also fishing at a little distance off, hearing the screams of the frightened boys, hastened to know the cause.
When he saw Charles struggling and sinking, without once thinking of the evil treatment he had received from him, he plunged into the water and saved his life.
Before Charles had recovered from his wetting, Jack ran off home, not even waiting to receive thanks. The next day Charles sent for him to come to him, as he was quite sick, and therefore not able to go out.
When Jack entered his room, the unhappy boy hung his head; then taking the proferred hand of the poor boy confessed all his past wickedness, asking the forgiveness of him he had once despised.
Never, since then, has Charles spoken in contempt of those whom God has not favoured with riches. He and Jack are the best of friends; for, says he, “I
life to him, how can I be otherwise than grateful?" Little readers, I hope you may all possess
Jack's forgiving spirit. Remember what the Bible says, “If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.”
THE CHILD AND THE STAR.
They tell me, dear father, each gem in the sky,
That sparkles at night is a star:
And shed their cold lustre so far ?
That it gives to the flow'rets their birth,
Their cold rays of light upon earth ?
Are worlds that are fashioned like this, Where the souls of the good and the gentle, who die,
Assemble together in bliss ;