Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

for Christ's sake he would freely forgive you all your great debt.

How many wrong and sinful things have you done in one whole year! For all these sins you are in debt; but Christ Jesus has died for the sins of men.

If you truly trust in his merits, and love him, you will be freely forgiven. You may begin the new year with no sin laid up against you and not forgiven.

It is only grown-up people who go about to make visits on New-Year's-day," says some little girl or boy; "what have we to do with that?”

There is a kind of old friends you can shake hands with on the first of January, and there are new ones you can make, without going out of your own house, or your own room, or even your own heart-I mean, good resolutions. This is the time to make anew the good resolutions you have once resolved upon, and to add to them others that you are sure you need.

It is now the middle of winter, and if we have it not now, we soon shall have snow-snow everywhere, pure and white, in the country; dusty, heaped up, and in the way, in the city.

Snow in the country! how still and white it lies over the fields, covering the wheat with its pure cloak, and shielding even the grass from the deadly frost. Strange as it seems, snow is a warm protection, kindly sent to cover the earth through the biting cold of winter. Closely wedged together lie the tiny flakes; point fitting to point, point melted into point, they are well packed.

That wide field of snow is covered with single flakes, each in its own place, each doing its own duty: what if each flake should say, “ I am too small to do any good; why, I cannot cover a single blade of grass."

That is not the way anything great is accomplished. “Every little helps," is a sure and safe motto. Let it be in the mouth and in the heart of every child. What a lovely world this would be, if even the children did all the good in their power. They would be like the snow, a pure, beautiful mantle to, shield from all that can injure, pain, and destroy. How the sick would be waited upon. How the pocr would be fed and clothed. How the sorrowful would be cheered. How the ignorant would be taught. How the old would be spared many weary steps. How the blind would be read to. How the babies would be amused.

Go, then, do the good that is in your power, if it be but a little. Remember the snow-flakes, and be found busy at your places; and what a blessing will come upon the world.

The snow is beautiful, in its single flakes, in its wide-spread sheets, in its high, glistening banks. We are just admiring it when the sun shines out brightly. Soon comes a real January thaw. The snow melts into streams, that flow by the way-side, and pools that stand dark and treacherous in the midst of the fields. Now the air grows damp, the clouds thicken, and soon a rain comes down that earries off the white garment and exposes the brown earth to the eye. Away fly the clouds. Keen blows the wind. The farmer sighs, and thinks of

the bare grain; he trembles for his crops.

There is a long dark-blue bank in the north-east, a line of low clouds. The farmer smiles as he sees it, then he closes his shutters at night; and more brightly he smiles, as he opens them again in the morning. The ground is again white with snow, and fast the flakes are falling now. Snow is the January treasure-God's New-Year's present for the dark ground, kindly sent down from the skies.

Each little human heart is cold and dark, with. out something pure and good sent down from above. At all seasons, at all times, this blessing can be won. Will not my little readers seek the good gift for their own heart? Will they not pray for the par. don Jesus loves to bestow, and the holiness the Spirit gives ? Do not forget that sweet promise, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool,” Isaiah i. 18. And, at the same time, offer that prayer, “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow," Psalm li. 7.



OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN." It was a cold day in winter. The air was keen and frosty, and the ponds were covered with ice. The sun peeped out now and then, but he did not stop long enough to make the weather look bright and pleasant. It was not a very tempting morning for

a walk. So most persons in the village, if they had their choice, stayed at home by their snug firesides.

But one kind-hearted girl, who could do as she pleased, chose to leave a warm parlour, and to go out into the cold. Her name was Rose Wilson. She was the minister's grand-daughter, and she wanted to visit a poor orphan child, who was in trouble. She was a gentle girl, who tried as much as she could to help and comfort others. This was the reason why she laid aside the book she was reading, and put on her bonnet and warm dress, and set out to brave the wind and the cold.

She opened the door and tripped lightly down the steps of the old-fashioned house. She had a small umbrella in one hand, and a little fancybasket in the other. What was in the basket? Oh, Rose does not intend any one to see the con. tents at present, for the lid is closely shut down : so it is of no use to be curious.

Rose went quickly and cheerfully along. A few flakes of snow fell, but she opened her umbrella, and did not mind them. She was strong and healthy, and she was used to being out in all sorts of weather.

We will leave her now to take her walk by herself, while we look into a little cottage which stands alone, down a narrow turning at the end of the village green. It is a low, white-washed dwelling, containing only two rooms; but there is a tidy white curtain up at the window, and a pretty bed of winter flowers on either side of the door, which

gives a neat and comfortable look to the whole. You feel sure it cannot belong to any idle untidy person; and you are right, for it is the home of nurse Brown, and she is one of the most busy, orderly persons in the village. She is an old woman now, and does not go out much, as she formerly did, to nurse sick people. She lives on the money which she has saved from her earnings, together with a small sum which is allowed her weekly by a lady.

But nurse Brown is not at home to-day. A neighbour was suddenly taken ill in the night, and had no one to attend to her; and as nurse Brown is still active and useful, though not able to work very hard, she has gone to sit with her, and to wait. upon her till evening.

“Why have we come to her cottage, then you will say; "if there is no one in it, what is to be seen in it po

Oh, there is some one there, although the old nurse is not in just now. On a low stool, close to the small fire, sits a thin, pale-faced little boy, with his head resting on a chair beside him. Some old toys and a torn picture-book are lying on the table, but he is either tired of them, or is too sad to look at them. He has been crying, for his eyes are red, and there is a tear standing now upon his cheek. Who is he? and what is the matter with him ?

Willy Maitland is a little orphan boy. He has not any brothers or sisters. Three years since, he lived with his father and mother in a pretty little

« AnteriorContinuar »