IMPORTANT PRECEPT ILLUSTRATED
RALPH'S ACCOUNT OF A VISIT TO
EDITED BY DANIEL P. KIDDER.
PUBLISHED BY LANE & SCOTT,
FOR THR 8UNPAT-SCHOOL UNION OF THE METHODIST EPISCO.AL
CHURCH. 900 MULDERRY-ITREET.
JOIIPH LONOKINO, PRINTER.
Entered, according to Act of Congreos,.. the year 1848, by
G. LANE & C. B. TIPPETT,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern
District of New-York.
BE good! These are two little,
very little words, but every child
knows that they mean a great deal
And, dear children, how many times
do you suppose those two little words
have been whispered in your ear?
You cannot tell; for long before you
could understand their meaning, your
mothers, as they rocked you in the
cradle, or hushed you in their arms,
have said, Be good, little baby, be
good;" and as years have passed
away, and you have been taught
what it is to be good, how many,
many times, you have heard those
same little words! You have heard
them in your own homes, in the
sabbath school, in the house of God,
U11UU, IlU1Ct LliUl uill UI1, UCtU Ulllu llUe,
you have heard them in your hearts.
They have spoken to you in the
"still small voice" that has followed
you, and will follow you, all through
your lives. This soft little voice
speaks to every heart, and it always
says, "Be good!" Some listen to
its gentle teachings, and they are
wise and happy people. Others will
not hear. Some, through a whole
long life, turn away from the "still
small voice," and will not be good;
but, O, how sorry they are, when
they come to die, for it is then too
late! Now, let all little boys and
girls, who read this book, just stop a
moment, and see if they do not heal
something whispering to their hearts,
and saying, Be good, little boy-be
good, little girl-be good!"
July weather-Netty's wish-The rainbow-Journey
roposed-The pleasant night-dream-The preparation
-Our Father's care . Page 7
The journey-The telescope-Springs in the desert
-Christmas presents-Old Nanny-The thunder storm
-The arrival 15
Our best Friend-The long kitchen-The sunshin-
kunt Kezzy-The forgotten name-The mother's story
-Evening prayers 27
Picking peas-The poor and sick-Little Sarah-
Fesus' lambs-The little grave-Be good 42
JL CLUI L FVJ W 01LUSR CLJLW LLJuI avyf
said I, as I entered the house one
afternoon, throwing my cap across
the room, and stretching myself at
full length upon the floor; "I can't
mother: I would rather be turned
into a mackerel, and broiled upon a
=l.ULlUIL, CU1U Ul-IVC WUUVLl UC WL VUlU
"O!" lisped my little sister Netty,
who had perched herself upon the
window-seat, if you were a macke-
rel, Ralphy, you could go and jump
right into the pond. I wish you
were; I wish we were all fishes,
then we could swim."
"And where should we go?" said
I, beginning to feel out of patience
with our city privileges. I should
pity the fish that had to walk the
whole length of M-- street, and
up Mount Joy, and half a mile back
of the Observatory, before he could
find a drop of water."
I rather think," replied our mo-
ther, that it is best to content our-
selves with being what we are; and
wre shall Sfd this easy, if we think
those of which we are deprived."
"0 dear, I am half dead!" ex.
claimed Mrs. Wilmot, a neighbor of
ours, as she leaned from her window,
and spoke to mother. "Did you
ever see the like? I really though
when those clouds came up thai
we should have a shower, but they
have all gone round; I believe
that we are never to have anymore
God has not broken his covenant
with the earth," replied my mother,
as she pointed over the Phoenix
"O, a rainbow! a rainbow!" pi
"We have no need of a rainbow
to assure us that we are not in dan.
ger of a flood at present," said Mrs
WV UU1J, a lB UV mLugumu, .Luu uIlljIcu
"What did you mean, mother,
about God's covenant with the earth?"
inquired sister Mary.
Mother turned to the ninth chap-
ter of Genesis, and Mary read: "I
do set my bow in the cloud, and it
shall be for a token of a covenant
between me and the earth. And I
will remember my covenant which
js between me and you; and the
waters shall no more become a flood
to destroy all flesh."
"I think with Mrs. Wilmot," said
I, "that there is not much danger
of a flood; we have had no rain for
"We should be careful, my son,"
said mother, "that we do not speak
irreverently of the word of God.
A.LUD U ICUUCJLIU I LI UW LL Ja OL1 IA. LU lA
cloud establishes another covenant
which our kind, heavenly Father, has
made with sinful man. Mary, my
dear, read the twenty-second verse
of the eighth chapter of Genesis:'
"While the earth remaineth, seed.
time and harvest, and cold and heat
and summer and winter, shall nol
"That is the same as giving us a
promise of rain," said Mary; "foi
without rain everything would dry
ip, and die. I know, when I was
>ut in the country last summer, how
hankful the farmers all were for a
shower; and I remember that uncle
Fohn, in his evening prayer, thanked
God for the shower that had fallen
ipon the thirsty ground."
O, I wish that we were at uncle
Fohn's now!" said I, starting to my
'eet; "that is such a glorious place
n summer. That beautiful shady
grove back of his house, and the old
nill, and the pond, and cranberry
meadow! 0, mother, mother, do ask
father to let us go and stay a week
or two at uncle John's!"
Perhaps we shall all go in a day
or two," said mother, as she smiled
pleasantly upon us all. I have said
nothing about it, for I did not wish
you to be disappointed; but your
'ather told me that he had found a
:rusty man to take charge of his
business, and if possible would have
is all in the country in a few days."
That night, I dreamed of the old
mill, with its long, creaking stairs,
md the broken floor, through which
[ could see the clear waters curl and
boam. I dreamed too of my little
cousins, Charley, and Alice, and Katy,
md George. I dreamed that we
were playing in the grove, and
wading into the pond for water-
ilies; but somebody called, "Ralph,
Ralph!" and I sprung from my bed.
It was morning. The same red sun
was shaping like a ball of fire, and
the hot, dusty air, was rising from
the street below. I dressed myself
almInrlr anrl T ifnw- th,+ +lir noraa hilt
little, if any, gratitude in my heart
as I knelt down, and repeated my
"Ralph, Ralph!" said my sister
Mary, flinging open my door; "we
are going to-day, and father wants to
start early, so make haste."
"Be sure," said I, snatching up
my shoes, and darting down stairs,
"he shall not wait for me;" and I
ran to see if the horse was harnessed,
and if Netty was dressed, and if mo-
ther was ready, but never thought
of breakfast until the bell rung for
prayers; then I hoped that father
would read a very short chapter, and
in thinking of my journey I lost
nearly all of my father's prayer, only
once, when he asked God to protect
us, I thought perhaps we were going
with a skittish horse. Since then I
lave learned that there is no safety
)ut in trusting our heavenly Father;
to power but his that can afford us
protection from danger.
The journey-The telescope-Springs in the Desert
-Christian presents-Old Nanny-The thunder shower
THE first few miles of our journey
could hardly be called pleasant We
loaded, and we pitied the panting
oxen and their sun-burned drivers,
as they passed slowly toward the
city. The dust rolled up in thick
clouds, and the grass by the wayside
looked yellow and crisped. Little
Netty cried, Mary said that her throat
was full of sand, and though mother
did not complain, I knew that her
head ached, for she looked pale and
"After all, father," said I, "it is not
so pleasant riding as I thought it
You are but a little boy, Ralph,"
said my father, "and have not yet
learned that all earthly pleasures
look brightest in the distance. You
remember the telescope through
which you looked, a few evenings
on-. nnd could hardly believe that
the moon, so wonderfully magnified,
could be the same little silver ball
that shines, night after night, from
the clear blue sky. And so, my son,
imagination is the telescope through
which we look at the future; it pro-
mises us enjoyment that can never
be ours, for it promises us pleasure
without pain, happiness without al-
loy; and thus many seek in this
world what earth can never give."
"And, father," said Mary, "how
ong does it take people to find out
:heir mistake ?"
It has not taken us long," said I,
"Perhaps not, this morning," re-
alied father; "but children learn but
little from disappointment. I dare
my that both of you are even now
I, hi L-; a, m, e .. .-.".. ..+.-. .
in which you expect to be perfectly
Mary and I looked at each other,
and smiled, but said nothing. We
had now entered a cool, shady wood,
and a soft, sweet breeze played around
"We will stop here awhile," said
father, as he drove the horse under a
We all sprung from the carriage,
and were soon wandering in the
Come, come!" cried Mary, who
had run on before; "here is a beau-
"What a blessing!" said dear mo-
ther, as we all sat down upon the
green bank, and bathed our faces in
the cool waters.
We didn't look at this through a
ILVI3OLUapV, OaLu L V L EI
nothing about it."
We shall often find in this world,"
replied father, that the blessings we
least expect are enjoyed the most.
Children think a great deal of unex-
pected presents. At Christmas, you
all expected something splendid;
you could not tell what it would be,
but for weeks you looked at it
through the mind's telescope; and
when the reality came you were
"0 no, father!" said I; for I was
ashamed that he should think me
ungrateful; "I am sure that I was
pleased with my beautiful new maps,
"But what, my son?"
I don't know, father," said I
it T *lU;-r ] ,. k r-- ;rrh anrtl 1,^n -
tinted father, "Mary could hardly
believe that she was to have only a
I liked it, father," said Mary,
blushing; I liked it very much after
I had read the pretty stories, and
seen the pictures."
"And Netty," said father, "though
she had a whole 'horn' of sugar-
plums, must needs search all father's
pockets, to see if there was not some-
thing else. No one appeared really
pleased, excepting your mother, but
her present was unexpected."
Dear mother smiled, but a tear
stood in her eye; and afterward,
when I had grown to be quite a
large boy, I found that mother's
Christmas present was a beautiful
copy of the Holy Bible, and, on a
'LI__I_ 1--P T _-i 1-A j-I_.;_ 1:___ .
Twelve years, this very day, my love,
(How swift life's current flows)
We stood beside the altar, love,
And plighted holy vows.
Since then, this book has been our guide,
In grief, a solace sweet;
In joy, more true than aught beside;
A lamp to light our feet.
Three precious gifts, received from God,
Around our table meet;
And three, beneath the church-yard's sod,
In Jesus sweetly sleep.
Still be his precious word the light,
Upon life's paths uneven,
Until at last we all unite,
A family in heaven."
"But," continued our father, "what
I wish to say to you, my dear chil-
dren, is this: the Christian expects no-
thing from this world; he is a pilgrim
and stranger here; his rest is in hea-
ven, his treasure, and his heart also.
But when earthly blessings are be-
stowed, we find him more grateful,
and really enjoying them more, than
those who seek no purer happiness
than this world can give. I suppose,
Ralph, that you remember but little
of good old Nanny."
"Indeed I do, father," said I, the
tears starting to my eyes; I remem-
ber once, when I carried her the nice
warm blanket, how she cried, and I
thought it was queer to cry if she
was glad; but at last she said,' How
my heavenly Father loves me! I
am sure that I do not deserve so
many earthly blessings, and heaven
"And yet," said mother, "she was
so poor, that she hardly ever knew,
when eating one meal, where the
next would come from. She told
me once, that she asked God every
day for her daily bread, and every
day it came; but, like the manna in
the wilderness, it came day by day.
Dear old lady! she has gone where
she will hunger and thirst no more,
where the Saviour, whom she loved,
will feed her, and lead her to living
fountains of water."
Greatly refreshed, we now entered
the carriage. Many miles lay be-
tween us and the city. The roads
were less dusty, and as we passed
the fields of new-mown grass the air
seemed laden with the sweet scent
Dry time," said my father, to a
man who was whetting his sythe.
"Very, very," replied the man;
"but good hay weather; couldn't
So," thought I, "even this hot,
dusty weather, is esteemed a blessing
"Are your crops suffering much
from the drought?" inquired father
of another farmer, who was walking
in his corn-field.
0 yes!" said he; "we need rain;
a good shower would make all right."
"Father," said I, "it makes me
think of the text last sabbath: When
the poor and needy seek water, and
find none, and their tongues fail them
for thirst, I, the Lord, will hear them,
I, the God of Jacob, will deliver
I think that promise will be ful-
filled before another day," said mo-
ther, pointing to a white cloud that
rose up in the west, like a column
Our journey was now drawing to
a close, and the answer to "How
much further ? How much further ?"
had dwindled down to only Three
miles;" at least, so said the old guide-
board, and it looked too honest to
tell a lie. It was growing dark too;
for the cloud, at first thin and white,
now spread itself like a dark curtain
over the whole western sky, and,
once in awhile, the heavy thunder
would roll over our heads, and the
lightning would dart along the black
cloud in a fiery chain.
Are we almost to uncle's?" said
sister Mary, in a trembling voice,
and hiding her head under mother's
shawl. We were riding through the
woods, and it was so dark that we
could scarcely see the horse. Father
knew that all we children were afraid,
and he sung:-
"The God that rules on high,
And all the earth surveys,
That rides upon the stormy sky,
And calms the roaring seas-
That awful God is ours,
Our Father and our Love."
"Mary, Mary!" said I, "look up!
there is the pond and the old mill!
we are just turning the corner, and
shall be at uncle's in a minute. Do
hurry, father. See how the rain
sweeps over the mountains; and see
those tall trees, they are bending to
What a clap of thunder !" Netty
screamed, with terror; but before the
rain and wind had reached us, she
and Mary were in uncle's arms, and,
followed by father, mother, and my-
self entered the house. The hired
man led the horse, carriage and all,
into the stable.
Our best Friend-The long kitchen-The sunshine-
Aunt Kezzy-The forgotten name-The mother's story
I NEVER shall forget how safe I felt
when we were fairly in the house,
and the doors were shut How little
did I then know of the great and
terrible God, "who maketh the clouds
his chariot, and rideth upon the wings
of the wind;" and yet, whose ten-
der mercies are over all his works."
Once before, when a very little boy,
I had visited at my uncle's; and we
were now in the same kitchen where
I had often played-that long, old-
fashioned kitchen, with its wide fire-
place and snow-white floor, which
the sun used to creep over so lazily,
through the long summer days; it
looked dark and gloomy now.
The rain fell in torrents, and though
uncle's family were rejoiced to see
us, there was but little said. The
voice of the Lord was heard in the
pealing thunder; and they knew that
when God speaks, man should be
silent But, after a time, the wind
ceased, the dark clouds rolled toward
the east, and the last rays of the set-
ting sun streamed through the win-
Uheeriul voices now rung through
the old kitchen. Katy was setting
the table; aunt Kezzy, who had al-
ways lived in the family, was walk-
ing briskly about, in her new, creak-
ing shoes, and there seemed no end
to her gathering good things together.
Father and mother, uncle and aunt,
were talking cheerfully. Netty was
having a fine frolic with Georgy's
dog; and Charley, who was begin-
ning to think himself quite a man,
was showing me his books. Still, I
missed somebody. There was a little
girl that used to play with me when
I was at uncle's before. Was it
Katy? No; Katy was older than
myself I looked at Alice, who was
sitting in the door, and picking over
some strawberries. Was it Alice?
No; Alice had dark eyes and hair.
This little one had light golden locks,
md clear blue eyes. I had often
seen her in my dreams, but what
was her name? I scarcely heard
anything that Charley said, for I was
tying to think. Just then, some
mne said, Supper is ready;" and we
ill went in. There was not room
it the large table for the children; so
aunt Kezzy seated us at the round
:able. O, that round table! It was
the very same from which I used to
eat my bread and milk. It was no
iream-I was sure that it was not
[ could almost see the little blue-
eyed one, that used to sit there in
a high chair, and call me "Ally."
Quick as thought, her name darted
into my mind, and, without thinking,
I sprung up, and called out, "Uncle,
uncle! where is little Sarah?"
My uncle looked up, and I saw
hat a tear was gathering in his eye.
Confused and anxious, I looked at
ny aunt My question, so sudden,
iad almost overpowered her; she
was pale as death, while my uncle
-eplied: "Your little cousin Sarah
las gone to heaven, Ralph."
Is Sarah dead ?" said I, leaning
on my uncle's chair, with a choking
feeling in my throat
Go to your supper now," replied
he. "By and by, I will tell you
about our little angel Sarah."
After tea, we took our seats in the
portico. It was a lovely evening;
the air was fresh and cool, and the
moon shone brightly upon the dark
green leaves, still sparkling with drops
Shall we talk of little Sarah
a5 BE GOOD.
now?" said uncle, taking George and
Netty upon his knee.
"0 yes, do, do!" we all exclaimed,
as we drew our seats as near him as
I am surprised," said father, that
we did not hear of your little daugh-
It has been but a few days," re-
plied uncle, since we laid our lovely
one in her grave. We should have
written, but were expecting you
daily: indeed, little Sarah herself ex-
pected to see her cousins once more,
though she seemed to know, what
we did not, that her time on earth
was very short."
Uncle paused, wiped a tear from
his eye, and continued:-
"I suppose it is very natural for
us to think of the dead as more per-
fect and lovely than the living.
Memory rejects everything bat the
pure and beautiful when she weaves
her garland for the tomb; and thus
we always hear parents speak of the
children they have lost as being the
dearest, the best, of the family circle."
But," said mother, ",are there
not reasons for this ? Does not God
sometimes send a holy little spirit
among us, to cheer us in our earthly
pilgrimage, to reprove us by its pa-
tience and purity; those whom we
feel, from their infancy, are among
us, but not of us? Sweet buds!
they seldom bloom on earth's cold
ground. Some pitying angel trans-
mnu1ave ia&e, iAU u5 weep Bs MJCeua
"Dear little BSarah ever seemed
like a stranger here," said aunt: I
never spoke-a hasty word in her
presence without noticing an expres-
sion of grief and surprise in her clear
blue eye. One circumstance I shall
never forget Aunt Kezzy was sick,
and it was impossible to procure help
in the family, even for a few days
My health was poor; hard work
wore upon my weak body, and the
care of my children harassed and
perplexed my mind; both together
excited my nerves, and I became
fretful and fault-finding: it appeared
to me that the children were nevel
so careless and unruly; and I have
Ba GOOD. 83
io doubt now but that it was even
o. I had lost the power of self
government, and no wonder that I
wouldd not govern them. One very
warm afternoon, I had taken great
mains to dress them all clean; and,
ifter giving a great many charges, I
allowed them to go out, and play in
:he lane. Presently, Charles came
running into the house; but in such
a trim! his clean pantaloons, with
one leg rent half way up, and both
covered with bog mud. 'Just as I
expected,' said I, throwing down my
work, and seizing my long stick,
which, I am sorry to say, was now
my readiest weapon. Charley tried
to speak, but I seized his arm, and
bade him be silent Just then, Sarah
rushed into the room, and threw both
nF hli awrna mawr nI I Ch1.rla T wraa
surprised; for though the dear child
had always wept when her brother
and sisters were punished, yet I had
never seen in her before a disposition
to resist the authority of her parents.
' Sarah!' said I, sternly, 'go away
but, instead of obeying, she turned
toward me, grasping that hand in
which I held the stick in both of
"'What do you mean, Sarah?'
said I; must I whip you as well as
"' No, mother,' she calmly replied.
' Please sit down, just a minute.'
"I did as she desired, when she
looked full in my face-O, I shall
carry that look to my grave!
"'Mother, mother!' said she, 'is
"'Right!' I replied; 'right to pun-
ish a naughty boy that disobeys his
"' But,' persisted little Sarah, you
don't know that he hasbeen naughty.'
"Just then, Mrs. Evans, the poor
widow that lives in the cottage at
the end of the lane, came running
"'Where is he?' she exclaimed;
'the dear boy!' and she threw her
arms around Charley's neck, and, all
muddy as he was, pressed him to
"'Why, what does this mean?' I
inquired, throwing down my stick.
"' Why, do you not know that he
has saved Eddy's life?' sobbed Mrs.
"Eddy is her only child, and was
then only two years old. He had
Il---_ -AA *- -i. AIL-'- i a -- !-,
the cranberry meadow. The ground
there is loose and boggy, and ib
some places very dangerous, eveJ
for grown persons. The little fellow
was rapidly sinking into the darl
mud, when Charley, who had juE
climbed a tree, to gather a nic
large peach for his mother, saw th,
poor child, and, forgetful of every
thing but his danger, flew to th
rescue. This he accomplished; bu
not without risk to himself, as the
place was very near the pond, ano
was more dangerous on that aocouni
"I would not have related thi
circumstance," continued aunt, ha4
Charley been present- He is helping
aunt Kezzy in some work that she i
determined to finish to.night. But.
wished to tell you the effect produced
on me bv little Sarah's words an<
sm *Oon. a9
manner. Thegrief and shame that
I felt when I had learned the whole
truth can hardly be described. How
near had I been to committing an
act of the greatest injustice! and had
I not, during the few weeks pat,
been guilty of many such acts? Had
I really any excuse for indulging this
hasty, fretful spirit? any excuse thai
I would dare offer to my God? No,
no; I had sinned, greatly sinned;
and in a flood of tears I went to m)
room. Presently, my door opened
gently, and little Sarah knelt by my
"'Look!' said she, 'dear mother;
you are tired and sick, but here if
something that will comfort you; ii
is in my little Bible: here, mamma
I have put in a mark at the places '
S QL. I1-A #L- 1Xkl- -1 -L.a. 1k
40 3B GOOD.
my side, and left the room. What
was my surprise, when I found that
the dear child had marked the follow-
ing passages, with several others of
the same description! Cast thy bur-
den upon the Lord. He will sustain
thee.' 'My grace is sufficient for
thee,' &c., &c.
"You may be sure that from this
time I walked softly before my child,
as if in the presence of an angeL"
Uncle thought that we had better
now go into the house, and have
prayers, as we were tired, and ought
to retire early. After reading a chap-
ter, father gave us a hymn to sing.
Charles, Alice, Katy, sister Mary, and
even little George and Netty, joined
with the older people in singing; but
I am sorry to say, that though I had
felt very eprinou all the Avaninapl vat
iow I was near laugmng aloud at
poor aunt Kezzy. She had a shrill,
Wiping voice, and had a way of beat-
ng time with her head, which kept
ler wide-bordered cap in constant
:ommotion. I was wicked enough
:o try and catch Mary's eye, to make
ler laugh too, but I did not succeed.
[ soon, however, forgot aunt Kezzy's
map, and my own mirth; for uncle's
prayer drew tears from my eyes,
especially when he prayed for the
children, that we might all be good
n this world, and, at last, numbered
with the little ones who always be-
hold the "face of their Father in
II WV *
Picking peas-The poor and sick-L tle Sarah-Jeeu
lamb-The little grave-Be good
"WHERE shall we go first?" in
quired Charles, the next morning, a
we finished our breakfast, and, wit]
hats and bonnets on, stood in th,
Let us go strawberrying," saii
"0 no! the grass is not yet dry
and, for the same reason, We could
not go to the grove. There is n
grass in the way there," said I, poinl
ing down the lane; for my heal
yearned toward the old mill.
No," replied Charles, slowly
"but father is not willing that w
should go there by ourselves, th
floor is so old and broken: but I wil
Presently, Charles returned, and
uncle with him.
I will tell you something to do"
said he, "that I think will be much
better than playing in the old mill
Poor Mr. Parsons is very sick: all the
garden they have this summer was
made by Mrs Parsons and little Sw
san; but just as their things began to
grow, the cattle broke in, and deo
stroyed all. I went into their porch
yesterday, after some water, and I
heard the poor sick man say, If I
only had some peas, I think that
I could eat them.' Now what will
the children do? pick some nice
peas, and carry them to the poor
and sick; or play in the old mill?"
"Pick the peas!" said Mary, and
Charles, and Katy, and Alice; but I
was silent. Fine, indeed," thought
I, "that I must come so far to pick
peas for the neighbors; catch me to
touch a single pod!" and I walked
haughtily into the house, and sat
down by the window.
Charles looked as though he was
sorry to have me treated so impo-
litely; but uncle merely said, "Let
no one pick peas that is unwilling
to do so."
"I willing," said dear little Netty,
looking up sweetly into uncle's face.
"Precious one !" said uncle, fold-
ing her in his arms; "your name
ought to be Sarah."
At the mention of little Sarah's
name my heart softened. Who can
say that her sweet spirit was not then
near me, speaking in angel whispers,
uiu ecumg uL mue imu, anu genue,
md pitying, on earth, who become
he holy and happy in heaven? But
here were others spirits too-proud,
:ruel spirits--who told me to stay
where I was; that my father was a
ich man, and it was not for one like
ne to pick peas for the poor. And
here I sat, listening first to one and
hen another of these silent voices,
intil at last the angel prevailed, and
[ went into the garden.
"0, here is Ralph coming!" said
Alice; and Charles showed me a
)lace where I could pick without
standing. There was a glance of
mischief in Katy's eye, as she offered
:o bring a milking-stool from the barn-
yard for me. I was heartily ashamed,
md plunged into the hottest of the
work. Soon the baskets were fall,
auu we .wSnea ior we counge oI ur.
Parsons. Aunt called Alice back, as
we passed the door, and gave her a
tin pail, covered with a white cloth.
"What is in there?" said Georgy.
Something to go with the peas,"
replied his mother. Give it to Mrs
Parsons, and tell her that mother
What a pleasant walk we had that
fine morning! How green were the
trees by the road-side! and the little
birds, Netty thought they must be
crazy to sing so loud; but Katy said
they were praising God.
At last we came to the house. It
was a poor-looking cottage, but things
looked neat and comfortable around
it. I had scarcely stepped into the
door, when I heard a hollow cough:
my heart beat quick, and I almost
wished myself away; but, jut tat
moment, a sweet-looking but very
oale little girl came into the room.
Ihe started and blushed, on seeing
Mary and myself, for we were stran-
,ers; but she knew my uncle's chil-
ren, and greeted them with a plea-
I have before told you that my
cousin Charley was trying to be a
man; and now I could hardly keep
Trom laughing, as he introduced his
cousins and then, in a set speech,
presented the peas.
My father-" began the little girl,
but the tears rushed to her eyes, and
leaning her head on Katy's shoulder,
she sobbed aloud.
How I wanted to cry too! It ap-
peared to me then, that I should be
willing to pick peas forty-eight hour,
u n womua make ousan nappy. nui
her mother now came into the room.
Why, what is all this?" said she,
"Susan, my love, is this the way to
welcome your little friends?"
"I know, mamma," replied the
little girl, "that it is foolish to cry;
but I was so glad that father could
have some peas."
"And I am glad too," said Mrs.
Parsons; but I think it would be
better to smile, and thank our kind
friends, than to sit down and cry
over the basket of peas;" and as
Susan left the room to tell her father,
her mother said to us, "You must
excuse Susan. She is confined al-
most constantly to her father's room.
Poor child! it would do her good to
run out and play sometimes, but she
cannot be spared."
ousan now came DacK, and said
that her father would like to see us
all. I felt almost afraid to go, and
we all stopped at the door; for Mr.
Parsons was sitting up in the bed,
and looking so pale and sick. But
when he spoke to us in a kind, cheer-
ful voice, we all walked up close to
"I am glad to see you, my dear
children," said he; "you look well
and happy, and it must be that you
are good; for children who visit and
comfort the sick are like our blessed
Saviour: 'He was rich, yet for our
sakes became poor;' and all this, that
he might cheer and bless the outcasts
and the forsaken."
The poor man now began to cough.
Mrs. Parsons and Susan were soon
at his side, doing all that they could
) BE GOOD.
support and relieve him; but the
old sweat stood upon his pale fore-
ead, and when he spoke again, it
ras with a low and faint voice.
" You see, my dear children," said
e, "that I am very sick, and I ex-
ect soon to die. My life appears to
ie very short; but, short as it has
een, I might have done more good
i the world. I am sorry that I have
ot; but the time is past: all I can
o now is to trust in the dear Re-
eemer. I shall soon be with him,
nd I hope that all these children
vill meet me in heaven."
He then reached out his hand, and
ve went, one by one, close to the
ed. How cold that poor hand felt!
ut we knew that it would soon be
older; and as we walked home that
morning, we talked of poor little
Bs GOOD. 51
Susan, who would soon follow her
father to the cold, silent grave.
As we were eating dinner, I asked
uncle if Mr. Parsons had been a
No, Ralph," said my uncle; "but
why do you ask?"
Because," I replied, he said that
he had done but little good in the
"Alas!" said my uncle, "I know
not what my reflections will be when
called to a dying bed, if neighbor Par-
sons regrets that he has done so little;
for I have seldom seen a more faith-
ful Christian, or a more active man,
than he has been."
That evening, as we were seated
in the portico again, uncle and aunt
talked to us of little Sarah.
It is nearly a year ago," said un-
61 Bl GOOD.
cle, that Sarah was one day reading
where Christ told Peter to 'feed his
"' Papa,' said she,' who are Jesus'
"'Kind, gentle, good little chil-
dren,' I replied; 'those who love
MI, WIILUV U IiULHLUCL UV UI1
ure; among them was one little boy,
vho, on account of his ill temper,
las never been a favorite in the
neighborhood. I found that, as usual,
"'Come away,' said another;
would as soon pick berries with
IUlUu, W4~ L U UJ
"'O, Franky!' said she, 'how you
have hurt you!' and she unpinned
her little kerchief, and wiped his
face. Poor boy! spilled all your
berries, too! but don't cry, Franky,
you shall have half of mine.'
I heard all this," said uncle,
wiping a tear from his eye, "and I
saw its effect upon the ill-natured
boy. He would not take Sarah's
berries, but he kept close to her side,
and spoke pleasant, gentle words.
'0,' thought I,' how I wish all the
dear little children in this neighbor-
hood were trying to be the Saviour's
"Did you not say, last evening,"
1 ... J -- ,1 Al-_,,T. .-- -- - 1
to know that her time on earth wae
to be short?"
Yes," replied aunt; many time
did the dear child speak words which
at the time sounded strangely to us
but which, like the words spoken b)
our Saviour to his disciples, we were
to know hereafter. Once, when ]
was making her a new dress, she
begged me to fit it for Alice. She
was then apparently well. I urged
her to tell me the reason, and she
said that she should never want it
that the Saviour had a dress all readA
for her, and she was going to weal
it From this time," continued aunt
( she gradually declined; she talked
but little, but sung low and sweetly
and loved to sit on her father's knee
and hear of the better world. We
lInow that hla hona h an failina andn
1 earnest: we did
ing, was really going down to the
"One evening, about a week be-
fore her death, she called Katy and
Alice up stairs, and made an equal
division of all her play-things. She
gave her books to Charles and
George, only reserving her hymn-
book for me, and her Bible for her
father. She requested the children
to say nothing about it then, but wait
until mother was willing for her to
die. About this time, we became
we supposed it the effect of medicine.
The last night of her life, she slept
much, while her father and I watch-
ed by her little bed. As the morning
broke, she opened her eyes, and in-
quired for her brothers and sisters;
and as the day advanced, she spoke
of one and another of the children in
the neighborhood, until all at lasi
gathered around her bed.
"It was wonderful to hear hei
language. She seemed no longer
child, but spoke of the Christian's
race, and the prize of eternal life
like one who had borne the burden
and heat of life's day.
When the sun went down tha
sleep, but it was the sleep that knows
no waking; none, until the trump
shall sound, and earth shall give up
We spent a few more happy
days at dear uncle John's, visited
little Sarah's grave, played in the
orchard and grove, and went with
father and uncle down to the old
mill. But wherever we went, some.
thing seemed whispering to oui
hearts, "Be good, be good! Time ih
short; prepare to die:" and when
we had finished our visit, and bade
farewell to our kind friends, we re
turned with our parents to the city,
wiser and better children.