Imágenes de páginas

straints of the law of CHRIST could be effectual in preserving so ardent and ambitious a spirit from sin and misery

One morning, after JANE had been telling GEORGE that she hoped he would always be an honour and a happiness to her, she added, “The benefits and pleasures which brothers and sisters may confer on one another are far greater than they are generally supposed to be. I once heard of two orphans who lived in the enjoyment of them, and I will give you their history.

"Alfred was three years old, and his sister Mar. GARET a year and a half, when their mother died. Mrs. Rivers lived at a sea-port town, and was the wife of a Captain in the navy, whose return from a dangerous voyage she had long anxiously expected. Her health had always been very delicate; and a few watchful days and sleepless nights brought her to the grave, to slumber awhile, and to watch no more. MRs. R

had been buried a week, when CAPTAIN Rivers’s vessel was wrecked, and himself and the greatest part of his crew were lost. On hearing this, his brother, LIEUTENANT R-; came to the town where they lived, to settle the affairs of the poor children, who were thus left orphans at an age when they were happily almost unconscious of their loss. He stayed some months with them, and then set out for the East Indies.

6. They were now entirely under the care of an old and trasty servant, who had promised Mrs. Rivers that she would never desert them while they were children, and would endeavour to do her duty to them. This she certainly did; but her notions of duty were very narrow: she thought it was merely

[blocks in formation]

to keep them out of danger, and to feed and clothe them well. HANNAH's love to her mistress was her only inducement to take this charge upon her, for she was not naturally fond of children; and her temper being peevish, she was frequently wearied by their wild mirtk and blithsome gambols, so that, except at meal-times, they were very little with her. Every morning, however, she made a point of teaching Alfred to read, and MARGARET to work; and, when in a remarkably good humour, would take them to walk on the beach, or in the church-yard. In general, they were obliged to find their own amusements; and this was not a dif. cult matter, for they agreed together very well, though ALFRED was a bold rough boy, and MARGARET a soft gentle girl. Al the fine weather they spent in the large garden that surrounded their home. The trees, shrubs, and flowers of it they knew perfectly; and to most of them had given names of their own making, because they had been taught no others. They had a childish fancy of pretending that some of the favourite ones were real persons. In one corner of the shruba bery stood a high poplar, and beneath it there was a beautiful bending willow. These they called their father and mother. In their shade grew two young rose-bushes ; the red one was ALFRED, and the white one MARGARET: around them rose a holly, and this they named HANNAU. Sometimes ALFRED was the gardener, employed in digging and watering the beds, while MARGARET gave him her orders in the way in which she thought a lady would speak; and then they would be brother and sister agaili, playing at hide and seek among the tall grass and thick bushes.

u in the winter-time their play-room was the parlour; in which stood many glass cases of curiosities,

particularly a cabinet of shells which their father had brought from his voyages, and which Mrs. Rivers had passed many hours in cleaning and arranging. In this room also their toys were kept. Here too, though it had been long overlooked by them, was a treasure infinitely more valuable than any that have been men. tioned. One day, they observed a large book on the highest shelf of a closet in this parlour. ALFRED immediately climbed up to reach it; and he felt very happy to be able to read its title, and to tell his sister that it was “ The Holy Bible.” He then began to read it aloud to her; for MARGARET did not know her letters, as HANNAH, it seems, thought it best for a girl to learn to work before she began to read. Their usual games were now for a long while laid aside; for they were so interested in the histories of the Bible, that they thought of them all day, and often dreamed at night about the characters of whom they read. There was one part of this book which they liked better than any other. This was that narrative in the New Testament, which describes our Saviour as taking the little children in his arms, and blessing them; saying to those who would have hindered it, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 0,' said MAR. GARET, when she read this, "how I wish that Jesus Christ was now on earth; for though my mother could not take me, I would go to be blessed by him.' ALFRED said, 'And I would ask him to love me, and to be


father.' “ This is a picture only of their childish happiness; but they have enjoyed the same all through life. As they did in their early days, so have they always instructed, soothed, and cheered each other; finding,



in so natural and long-tried a friendship, the best resource ir grief, and the greatest heightener of joy.

" MARGARET has never left her own old and much. loved mansion; and ALFRED, after a life of change, has lately returned to end his days, as he began them, with his sister. And they who have so loved on earth, may hope to live together eternally in heaven; for that SAVIOUR, whom they wished in infancy to be their Father, has led them to seek his love and favour above all other objects, and has mercifully proved to them the truth of David's words, “ When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up."

As JANE finished, Mr. and Mrs. L- entered the room ; and, though the children were all wishing to live together in love and peace as ALFRED and MARGARET did, they felt truly happy that they were not orphans.


REMARKABLE CONVERSION. (Extracted from the New-York CHRISTIAN HERALD.) " A GENTLEMAN residing in the western part of this state, a few years siuce, had sent two of his daughters to Litchfield for education.

While they were there, God was pleased to favour the place with a revival of religion, the news of which reached the fars of their father. He was likewise informed that Gon was striving with them. At this he was no little troubled, and became apprehensive (to use his own words), that they might be frightened into religion, lost to all hope and happiness, and consigned to gloom and despondency.' Alive, as he thought, to their welfare, and determined to allay their fears, and quiet their distresses, he sent a friend of his to Litchfield, with positive orders to them to come home immediately. The messenger departed on this errand of their father's anxiety, and arrived at the place, but was too late! The Lord had revealed his pardoning love to their souls, and adopted them both into his family. They resolved that whatsoever others might do, they would serve the Lord. They looked at both sides of the great question : they looked at the world, and the pleasures of the world, they looked at God and the glories of immortality; and with minds full fixed on heaven, they determined to live to glorify Him who had shed his blood for them. They plainly saw that reli. gion never was designed to make their pleasures less ; that it commends and approves every rational enjoy. ment which the world can afford ; and that it adds others of a more exalted nature to which the world is an entire stranger. They returned to their father's, not, as he expected, overwhelmed with gloom and de. spoudency, but with hearts glowing with gratitude to God, and with countenances beaming forth a pleasing serenity and a joyful hope : indeed they were truly happy in the LORD. Soon after their return home, they were anxious to have family-worship, and affec. tionately desired their father to commence that duty: he replied, “ that he saw no use in it; he had lived very well without prayer for more than fifty years, and he would not be troubled with it now.” They then asked permission to pray with the family themselves. Not thinking that they would have confidence, he assented to their proposal. The duties of the day being ended, and the hour of retiring to rest having arrived, the sisters drew forward a table, and placed the Bible on it: one read a chapter,—they both kneeled,-the father stood !--and while the humble fervent prayer of his daughter was ascending on devotion's wing to heaven, his knees began to tremble; his nerves, wbich had been gathering strength for more than half a century, could no longer support him :-he also kneeled, and then became prostrate on the floor. God heard their

prayers, and directed their father, who had never shed tears of penitence before, to 6 behold the LAMB: of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." “ Again I say unto you; that if two of you shall agree on earth, as touching any thing that they shall ask, shall be done for them of my FATHER which is in. heaven." (Matt. xviii. 19.);

« AnteriorContinuar »