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Kitty," said Fanny in a gentle tone, “ I am afraid you have been eating some of the cherries; I see your lips are stained, and some of the cherries are gone."
Kitty. “Well, suppose I did take one cherry to taste, there is no great harm in that, I should think; it will never be missed.
Fanny. " Its being missed or not, makes no difference in the fault, Kitty. If my mistress does not find it out, God knows it. And you know, very well, that it is very wrong in you to do it; or why did you
look so ashamed when I came in and try to go away directly? These cherries are not yours and why then should you steal them ?”
". Kitty.—“Steal them? I am sure that is not stealing, Fanny."
Fanny.-" Indeed, Kitty, I see no difference. Is it not stealing, to take what does not belong to you?
Fanny.-"Well, and do not these cherries belong to my mistress?”
Kitty." Wby, yes, I believe so.”
Fanny.-" How then can you take one of them without being guilty of stealing? Oh, Kitty, learn to be honest in little things, that you may gain courage to be honest in greater things. If you will not resist such little temptations, I am afraid you will soon learn to commit greater sins."
Kitty." Oh, do not say so, Fanny; indeed I did not think much about it, but I will not do it again, for I think, as you say, it is wrong.
Fanny.-" That is right, Kitty; I am glad you see your fault, for now I know you will try and mend; it and, if you pray to God to help you, you are sure of succeeding.
E.ctracted from “ Fanny Mason"
EARLY MARRIAGES. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, It is justly observed, by one of your correspondents, that a large share of the difficulties through which the poor have to struggle, are brought on by their own voluntary but thoughtless deed; I mean, by early and improvident marriages. (See Visitor, for Jan. 1822.) The same correspondent gives the poor some very good advice upon the subject, and I heartily wish that they may profit by it. However, if plain prose will not make an impression, let me beg them to read the following fable, in verse, written by the excellent Cowper.
I fear we shall have winter yet.
“ Methinks the gentleman," quoth she,
Opposite, in the apple tree,
Or (which is likelier to befall)
But, though the birds were thus in haste,
This lesson seems to carry-
I am, Sir,
AGAINST DECEIT AND FALSEHOOD;
With the Story of Hegiage and Abdarman. There are few faults of which young people, who bave not been very carefully brought up, are so apt to be guilty as falsehood, and a sort of deceit which is very nearly akin to falsehood; the one being to tell a direct lie, the other, to conceal the truth, and to make things and actions appear what they are not. Those who have had the blessing of being taught their duty, and can read their Bible, must know how sinful every kind of deceit is to the God of truth. Our Saviour tells us that the devil is the father of lies; and we know, also, that it was by deceit and cunning that he tempted the mother of mankind to disobey God, and thereby to lose the joys of Paradise. The same wicked spirit is still continually endeavouring to lead us into sin; and those who would, perhaps, at first, shudder at the thought of telling a direct lie, he may yet try to tempt to what is, in fact, as sinful, and lead us to indulge the habit of committing sly actions, or of telling, what are very vulgarly and very falsely called white lies, which are often said, by ignorant people, to do no harm : let the person who tells them, however, consider that they must do him very great and material harm, and that, whatever may be the pretence, it is always wicked and dangerous. to depart from the simple and safe path of perfect truth. We are commanded to speak ihe truth always; and woe be to bim wbo shall, in any way, wilfully disobey the laws of God! Let us then take heed, and watch and pray least we fall into temptation; the sinfulness of our nature, and the power of temptation are doubtless great, but the power of Him whose grace is always at hand to help and strengthen us, is much greater; and if we will earnestly seek it, we may be assured that it will abundantly enable us to resist the evil. Whatever may be the advantages which a departure from the strict truth appear to offer us, we be quite certain that it will, in the end, be most fatal to our happiness; whereas, TRUTH WILL ALWAYS STAND OUR FRIEND.
The following true tale of the love of truth, in a heathen, may serve to shew us, as numberless other histories may also do, how much it is our interest as well as our duty to speak the truth in all things.--"A celebrated warrior, named Hegiage, who was as ferocious and cruel as he was brave, had, in one of his battles, taken a great many prisoners; and he commanded them all to be put to death. As they were about to be led away to execution, one of them said to Hegiage, “ You ought to spare my life, for, one day, when Abdarman had uttered many imprecations against your cruelty and injustice, I rebuked him, and he has ever since been my enemy,” Hegiage demanded if there were any witness to the truth of this; and he was told that one of the other prisoners whom he had just condemned to death had been present. This man was called forward, and, having borne witness to the fact, and thereby procured the pardon of bis fellow-prisoner, was sternly asked by Hegiage, whether he also had taken his part against Abdarman ? No, Sir; I did not think I ought,” replied the honest man. Hegiage, in spite of the fierceness of bis character, was struck with this courageous integrity.' "Well," said he, after a moment's silence, "If I were to grant you life and liberty, would you be still my enemy?" "No, Sir,"answered the prisoner. " It is enough," said Hegiage? “I depend on your simple word. Take your life, which is less dear to you than truth; and receive your liberty as the just reward of your honesty.”
May we Christians remember, and practise, the esson thus given us by a heathen.
We beg to thank our Correspondeut from Edinpurgh for the following beautiful verses.
ACTs xxvii. 13, 14, 15. paraphrased and applied.
When softly blew the southern gale: Curled the briglit wave, and filled the swelling sail,