The widow's sixpence, or, Go thou and do likewise

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Material Information

Title:
The widow's sixpence, or, Go thou and do likewise
Portion of title:
Go thou and do likewise
Physical Description:
182 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 15 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
James Blackwood & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher:
James Blackwood & Co.
Place of Publication:
London
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian giving -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Widows -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1870   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1870
Genre:
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication from prize inscription.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002239701
notis - ALJ0235
oclc - 56811552
System ID:
UF00023503:00001

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Full Text
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The Baldwin Library


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" Weary and sad, he sat down on the steps ota splendid mansion."


THEWIDOW'S SIXPENCE;OB,GO THOU AND DO LIKEWISE.F --LONDON:JAMES BLACKWOOD & CO., LOVELL'S COURT,PATERNOSTER ROW.&


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PREFACE ,MAiN years since I was present when aclergyman related the circumstances uponwhich this little tale is founded. I wasgreatly struck with it at the tinie; there wasso much humility, as well as generosity, inthe poor widow's donation. She literallygave all she had.The hope that the example of the poorwidow might be an encouragement to otherswho, like herself, have not much of thisworld's goods, suggested to me the thoughtof giving this to the public.We hear on all sides the call for increasedmeans to enable the various benevolentorganizations of the day to carry on theirgood work. There seems to be an especialnecessity at the present time for all to giveto the utmost of their ability, for the ad-vancement of Christ's kingdom.


iv PREFACE.Shall we not respond to the call? Arethere not friends of Jesus who will be ready,and consider it a privilege, to make greatersacrifices than they have ever yet done forthe advancement of his cause ? Who will beready, whether they have much or little,cheerfully to give, and thus "honour theLord with their substance ?"Oh! look abroad over the world, and seethe multitudes perishing for the bread of life;"not a famine of bread, nor a thirst forwater, but of hearing the words of theLord!"If this little volume, containing a memorialof an act of one in humble life, should be anencouragement and incentive to any whoread it, to go and do likewise, then will ithave accomplished that for which it is pre-sented to the public."Whatever ye do, do it heartily as untothe Lord, and not unto men."


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.CHAPTER I."How beautiful upon the mountains are the feetof him that bringeth good tidings, that publishethpeace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that pub-lisheth salvation."HE lovely village ofR- -, was situ-ated in a valley atthe foot of theAllegheny moun-Stains, and not farfrom the Red River,whose broad waters formeda beautiful contrast to thegreen verdure along its banks.In the centre of the quiet village stoodan unpretending church of Grecian archi-1


10 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.tecture and lofty spire, and not far fromit stood the parsonage with its broadlawn and highly cultivated garden.The Rev. William Bruce was the pastorof this church, and his congregation con-sisted principally of th6 labouring classesand the farmers in the neighbourhood;he was a man who faithfully dischargedhis duties to his people, visited them atregular intervals, attended the sick, wasat the death-bed of the dying, and took aprominent part in all benevolent enter-prises.As a reward of those faithful ministra-tions, 'he received the attachment anddevotion of his congregation, he waseverywhere respected, and his name be-came a source of influence and power inchecking vice and encouraging habits ofindustry and well-doing. Though notwealthy, all contributed to the best oftheir ability, to every effort in the causeof missions, benevolence or humanity


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 11which their large-hearted pastor en-couraged or undertook.His wife was a fit companion andfellow worker, she ably assisted her hus-band in the discharge of his duties, andwas shrewd in her advice in domesticmatters at home, and a peace-maker insocial foibles or family differences in thevillage; she was singularly attentive tothe wants of the poor, and took an activepart in the formation of Bible classes forgirls, infant schools, and associations forproviding the industrious classes withclothes and books.Year after year passed away; like thenoiseless motion of a deep river, no inci-dent beyond the ordinary routine ofministerial engagements took place, andno dissensions disturbed the harmonyand happiness of the family; they hadonly one child, an infant boy, for whomthey cherished the most ardent 'affection,and of whom we shall afterwards hear;1-2


12 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.but all earthly happiness is uncertain,and comes at last to a close, and themany years that are gone appear but aspan; and the incidents but a dream.For fourteen years he had preachedfaithfully to the people over whom he wasplaced, but lately he suffered greatly froma chlrdnic disease, which made him feelhe might be summoned at any moment,to give an account of his stewardship,nor were his fears long in being sadlyrealized; one night after visiting one ofthe sick members of his church, heretired in apparently more comfortablehealth than usual, but about midnighthis wife hearing him sigh heavily, sprangup, anxiously enquiring, " Is anything thematter ?" Another sigh was the onlyresponse; and before she could get alight, his spirit had entered upon thosejoys which "eye hath not seen nor earheard, neither hath it entered into theheart of man to conceive." Language


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 13cannot describe the anguish of heart sheexperienced, when she found that thebeloved partner of her life had breathedhis last. But although her desolate heart"grieved, joy too was mingled in the cup:joy that for so many years he had beenspared to bless her with his aid, in thepursuit of that glory which she hopedsoon to enjoy with him.SAs already named, he had been settledover a country congregation. They paidhim as much as they were able, but itwas barely sufficient to meet their fewand simple wants. Had it not been forhis wife's nmanagement and economy,they could not possibly have lived on themeagre stipend, she had learned thehousewife's secret, to make "auld claitheslook amaist as weel as new," and in thefourteen years that he had been settledin the parish, there had not been muchexpended on their wardiobe. Mr. Brucehad nothing to leave his family. The1-3


14 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.parsonage that had been their home dur-ing her married life, she would now beobliged to vacate in favour of the newminister; and as she would be under thenecessity of doing something for the sup-port of herself and little son, (her onlychild,) she thought, after consulting someof her friends, that she would be betterable to do so in the city than in thecountry. It was a severe trial to leavethe place where her dear husband hadlaboured for so many years, and whichwas endeared to her by so many tenderrecollections. The people of the parishkindly made up a little sum of money forher, and would not suffer her to be at anyexpense for her removal. One of theelders, who was a farmer, with his ownteam removed her furniture for her to thecity of B--, where she had determinedto reside, and i was now the most ardentdesire of her heart, to give her son everyadvantage of education, hoping that one


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 15day she might be permitted to see himfill the same position his father had occu-pied.Soon after her arrival in the city, shewas fortunate in getting work that en-abled her to maintain herself and child.Edward went to school, and always stoodhighest in his classes.At this time threepenny pieces werebeginning to come into use, but were notvery plenty.As Mrs. Bruce had but little to give tothe cause of benevolence, she said to herson, one day, when he brought her one hehad received in change :" That, my son, you shall put into themissionary box next Sabbath; and afterthis, we will make a rule that all thethreepenny pieces we get we will conse-crate to the Lord. They shall go into histreasury."When Edward was twelve years of age,his mother had a severe attack of rheuma-


16 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.tism, which for months confined ner toher bed, and for a long time rendered herright arm useless. She had by her in-dustry been able to lay by a small sumagainst "a rainy day," but in her longillness they had been obliged to spendevery shilling; and now it became neces-sary to remove Edward from school, andhave him seek some employment, bywhich he would be able to support him-self and his afflicted mother. The ques-tion became, "What can Edward do?"He was smaller than most boys of hisage, too small to go into a shop. Hismother could think of nothing that hecould do, unless he could sell papers. Itwas decided that he should make theattempt; and the next day he was tomake his first trial.Early in the morning he purchased ashilling's worth, and sallied forth. Poorchild! the first day he sold but two; andtwo more were stolen from him by a big


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 17boy who pretended that he was going tobuy them, but who, as soon as he got pos-session of them, ran off without payingfor them.After three days of not much, bettersuccess, he came home in the eveninglooking pale from anxiety and fatigue.He took his little chair, and sat down byhis mother's bed, against which he leanedhis head for a few minutes in silence;then raising it up, he said, " Mother, thereis no use in my trying to get moneyenough for our support by selling papers.I am so little, the big boys push me asideand I have no chance. I have not madeanything since I began. I have not evenpaid my expenses. We have not moremoney than will buy the papers for to-morrow-our flour is done; and we havecut the last loaf of bread, and if I takethe money to buy papers, unless I cansell them we shall not have as much evenas will buy a loaf of bread."


18 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE." My dear son, take courage, Godreigns. He orders all things after thecounsel of his own unerring will. Heknows what we have need of, and seeingthe end from the beginning, he knowsthe best path to lead us, and if we lovehim, he will cause all things to work to-gether for our good.""I almost think, sometimes, mother,that God has forgotten us.""Do you think, my dear, that Iwould forget you, or refuse to do yougood ?""No, mother, I do not."" Open the Bible, my son, to the forty-ninth chapter of Isaiah, and read thefifteenth verse aloud, and see what Godhimself says."The Bible was lying on the bed besideher. It was her unfailing comforter.Edward read aloud, "Can a motherforget her sucking child, that she shouldnot have compassion on the son of her


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 19womb? yea, they may forget, yet I willnot forget thee."" There, my dear, is God's own answer,and to doubt is to make God a liar.'Only believe.'"" We were getting along so nicely,mother, when you were taken sick."" My dear,-'God moves in a mysterious way,His wonders to perform.'He would now try our faith, and if werest on him, we shall find that'Behind a frowning Providence,He hides a smiling face.'Our changes are not regulated by acci-dent or chance. God would know whe-ther we trust him in the hour of dark-ness. His dealings with his children areoften veiled in mystery, but Jesus hassaid, What I do, thou knowest not now,but thou shalt know hereafter.' He willnot send one unnecessary trial.


20 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.' God is his own interpreter,And he will make it plain."'The next morning after the foregoingconversation, Edward started out to try,once more, what he could do. He hadnot gone many steps, when he saw athreepenny-piece lying in the road, hepicked it up, and before going on withhis papers ran back to exhibit the prizeto his mother." Only look, mother, what I havefound! Now, even if I do not sell mypapers we shall have enough to buy aloaf of bread.""But, my son, this is not ours. Doyou forget what we were to do with thethreepenny-pieces ?""Mother, isn't it a pity it is a three-penny-piece? I wish it had been four-pence or sixpence."" If you could know who lost it, wouldyou not be willing to return it to theowner ?"


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 21"Yes, mother.""That we cannot find out; but we cangive it to Him, to whom we have con-secrated all the threepenny-pieces thatcome into our possession. Would yougrudge to give this as an offering to theLord ?""No, mother, I would not. I amsorry, but I could not help thinking howmuch you needed it, and it would havebeen enough to buy a loaf of bread."" Take it, my dear, and put it in yourdonation box, and next Sabbath take itto your teacher for Home Missions."Again poor Edward started forth. Hehad purchased the usual amount of papers,and for them had paid the last shillinghis mother had. As he passed along,the savoury smell of food, as it came fromthe various houses where they were pre-paring breakfast, was very tempting tothe poor child, who had been obliged tomake his breakfast on a piece of dry2


22 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.bread and a cup of cold water. It madehim think, too, of his poor dear mother,who had not been able to eat anything.She had taken no breakfast, for shethought, if .Edward was as unsuccessfulas he had hitherto been, there would beno supper for her poor patient boy. Ashe went along, he thought to himself,"If I could only sell all my papers to-day, I could get something for dear mo-ther." But hour after hour passed, andhis feet were sore with constant walking,and he had not yet sold one paper.Weary and sad, he sat down on the stepsof a splendid mansion. There was agreat contrast in the appearance of thatprincely mansion and the poor pinched-looking little boy on the steps. He laidhis papers on the steps beside him, andresting his aching head on his hand, thetears rolled over his pale face. He wasso absorbed in thought, that he did notobserve a gentleman come out of the


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 23door: seeing the child on the steps, hestood for some moments watching him.The desponding look of sorrow which wasso strongly depicted on the face of thechild, at once touched the affectionate andbenevolent heart of Mr. Morgan, for heit was who resided here, and who was justgoing out to his business."Why, my poor little boy, what is thematter ?" said the kind voice of Mr.Morgan. fhey were the first tones ofkindness he had heard since he had en-tered upon his new mode of life.He soon told his simple tale of wantand disappointment; and had the happi-ness of telling it to one in whose heartwas a well of sympathy for every child ofwoe."Cheer up, my little man," said he,"brighter days will come. How muchdid you expect to get for your papers ifyou had sold them ?"" Why, sir, I should have received two2-2


24 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.sh:.i ngs, and that would have given meone shilling profit.""I will buy them all from you. Hereis two shillings, the price of your papers,and here is a little change for you to getsomething for your sick mother. Sometime to-day I will call and see her."Mr. Morgan then took Edward intothe house, told the cook to give him agood breakfast, and directed her then tofill a basket with provision for his mother-luxuries such as she had never had inher house before.Edward took the basket, with manythanks to his kind benefactor, and for-getting his sore feet, ran until he gothome.As soon as his mother saw the brightsmile on his face, she knew that he hadgood news. He could hardly wait to getinto the house until he exclaimed, " Mo-ther, dear, only look what I have got foryou! Now you'll be able to eat." At


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 25the same time he exhibited the contentsof the basket.His mother was amazed. It was a longtime since her eyes had rested on such anabundance."Where, my son, did you get allthis ?"He then handed her his money, andgave her a full account of the morning'sadventures. Edward then had the satis-faction of seeing his dear mother partakeof the food he had brought her.In the afternoon, as she was speakingto her son about the faithfulness of Godin the fulfilment of his promises, theywere interrupted by a rap at the door.Edward, on opening it, found his kindfriend accompanied by a lady. Theycame in. The tale they heard, not onlycorroborated Edward's of the morning,but also revealed many additional trials."When they heard of the noble conduct ofEdward, and the faith and confidence of2-3


26 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.his mother, their eyes were melted totears.Mr. Morgan found, upon further con-versation with her, that he and her hus-band had been schoolmates in early life.This at once made them feel like oldacquaintances. Mr. Morgan had built anumber of cottages on the outskirts ofthe city, which he let out to widows, freeof rent. To each of these was attachedan acre of ground on which were severalchoice fruit trees, and by the sale of thefruit, they could generally nearly supportthemselves. At this time there was onevacant which he offered to Mrs. Bruce,and she most thankfully accepted it. Hehad it thoroughly cleaned, and then camewith his own carriage and removed her toher new and pleasant home. He thensent for a physician to attend her, and hiswife got a nurse to remain with her untilshe was entirely restored to health. Mr.Morgan from this time forth took upon


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 27himself to attend to the education of Ed-ward, who faithfully improved the oppor-tunities given him, made learning andtheology his study, carried off many prizesat college, and, by the grace of God, be-came all that his mother could desire.Years rolled on, and Mrs. Bruce's cupof happiness seemed almost overflowing,when she saw her beloved son walking inthe footsteps of his father as an " am-bassador of Christ."Immediately after Edward's ordinationhe took a charge in the village of R--.He was anxious that his mother shouldmake her home with him, but she thoughtit best to keep her own home and visither son. By the sale of the fruit fromthe little place where she lived, she wasable to live very comfortably. The Christ-mas after she moved to this cottage, Mr.Morgan sent her a very kind note, and,as a gift, the title deeds of the cottagewhere she was living. Thus God, through


28 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.his rich servants, was fulfilling his pro-mises to the widow and the fatherless.She and her son delighted to review theway the Lord had led them, and oftenspoke of the morning when Edwardstarted out with the papers that had beenpurchased with the last shilling. Thattime they always designated as "thedarkest hour;" but it was the hour thatwas to usher in the "dawn of day." Themeeting of those kind friends, Mr. andMrs. Morgan, was to the desolate widowand her orphan boy, the sunrise of a pros- -perous future.We shall hear of them again in anotherpart of this narrative.


CHAPTER II."And he looked up and saw the rich men castingtheir gifts into the treasury." And he saw also a certain poor widow casting inthither two mites." And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that thispoor widow hath cast in more than they all." For all they have of their abundance cast in intothe offerings of the Lord: but she of her penury hathcast in all the living that she had." Luke xxi. 1-4."NE NE Saturdayevening of June,1840, the Rev. Mr.Wilson sat at theSparlour windowofthe pleasant par-sonage of R- ofShis friendthe Rev.Edward Bruce,who forsomeyearshad now been the pastor of the church ofthat village. Mr. Wilson was agent for'2-3


30 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.the Bible society, and as his business hadbrought him to that part of the field inwhich he was labouring, he had been so-journing for the last ten days at the houseof his friend.He had repeatedly brought the subjectbefore the community, and had mostearnestly entreated them to contribute oftheir abundance to the noble work forwhich he was labouring.The village in which he was, was beauti-fully situated in a valley among the Alle-gheny Mountains.As Mr. Wilson gazed abroad, hethought that he had never seen a morebeautiful landscape. The sun was justsinking beneath the horizon, and as itsdeparting rays lingered for a few mo-ments, they seemed to rest upon themountain's brow like a coronet of glory,causing every leaf to reflect its bright-ness, and showing in gloomy contrast theremainder of the landscape, over which


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 81the dark shadows of night were alreadyfalling. As he gazed, he said to himself,"That sun which is now lighting up withbeauty the darkest object upon which itrests, will, in a short time, go forth toillumine with equal splendour that por-tion of the world which is now veiled ingloomy darkness."From dwelling upon the beauties of thenatural world, his thoughts turned to thestate of the spiritual. It saddened hisheart to contemplate the millions of hisfellow-creatures living in spiritual dark-ness; into whose minds no ray of gospellight had ever yet entered; who had neverheard "that sweet story of old;" to whomno word of God had been sent, that itmight be as a " light to their feet and alamp to their path," to conduct them,from the ways of sin and error, into thepaths of everlasting peace.Mr. Wilson had been, for many years,labouring in the Bible cause; and as he


32 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.thought of how little, comparatively, hadbeen done towards sending the glad tid-ings of salvation through a crucifiedRedeemer, to the benighted portions ofthe earth; and that too, by those whohad, by their profession, publicly avowedthat they had enlisted under the bannerof the cross, and would henceforth do allin their power to advance the kingdom oftheir Lord and Saviour; his heart sick-ened at the thought of the fearful accountthey would have to render of their stew-ardship, when, standing in judgment atthat last great day, their brother's bloodshall cry out against them. The picturewas too fearful to dwell upon. Mr. Wil-son poured forth his heart in prayer toGod, that he would hasten the time whennations now lying in spiritual darknessshould be illumined by the Sun of Right-eousness; and as he felt that the Biblewas the great instrument designed byGod to effect this happy result, he prayed


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 33that those who possessed this " pearl ofgreat price" might have their hearts sofilled with the love of Christ, that theywould put forth every effort, and " notweary in well doing," until the Gospelbanner should be unfurled over every na-tion, and it should no longer be necessaryfor one to say to his neighbour, " Knowthe Lord," for all should know him fromthe least to the greatest.At this moment the attention of Mr.Wilson was arrested by the approach of avery plain-looking woman. From herdress, she was evidently a child ofpoverty. Her clothing was of the plain-est kind, hut scrupulously neat. Hercountenance bore the impress of sorrow,but was at the same time so meek andsubdued that the beholder felt that Hewho had said to the stormy waves,"Peace, be still," had also spoken peaceto her troubled soul. As with feeblesteps she approached the door, she in-3


34 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.quired of Mr. Bruce's little girl, who wasplaying on the step, if the Rev. Mr. Wil-son was still there. Upon being informedthat he was, she said she would like tosee him.The little girl bade her follow. Shebrought her to the room where Mr. Wil-son was sitting. She seemed t:mid andembarrassed, but his kindness of mannersoon re-assured her. She sat down andimmediately announced her errand. Shesaid that she was a member of Mr. Bruce'schurch, and the Sabbath before had beenpresent, when he (Mr. Wilson) spoke ofthe Bible cause. "At that time I was notprepared to give anything, but have nowbrought my offering, which I wish you toaccept and appropriate to that good cause,and I pray that He who so graciouslycondescended to notice the poor widow'smite may add his blessing to this. Mayhe put it in the hearts of those whom hehas blessed with wealth, to give as freely


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 35as they have received. Oh! Sir, myheart wept as you pictured to us the mul-titudes who are daily passing into eter-nity without having heard of the way ofsalvation; and when you so solemnlycalled upon all to contribute of the meanswhich God had given them, to assist inthe spread of his Gospel, I felt as if thevoice of God was saying to me, Whathast thou done? Hast thou denied thy-self to enable thee to send to thy famish-ing brother the bread of life? Or hastthou considered thine own comfort andleft thy brother to perish ?'"As soon as I got home, I went bymyself and prayed that God would showme what I could do to advance this cause.I am very poor, sir, and sometimes findit hard to earn enough to procure breadfor my children; but God is very good;you know, sir, he has promised to takecare of the widow and the orphan. Hehas never suffered us to want, and oh! he3-2


36 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.has given me that which I would not partwith for the wealth of the world-he hasgiven me his own precious word to teachme the way of salvation; and now I wantto do something towards sending it toothers, that they, too, may hear of thatdear Saviour who suffered and died thatthey might live."She then modestly handed me her offer-ing. It was sixpence."Never," said Mr. Wilson, as he re-lated the circumstance to his friend," have I received a donation that gaveme half the pleasure. I have receiveddonations of hundreds of pounds, but Ithought of our Saviour's words, when' He looked and saw the rich men castingtheir gifts into the treasury, and he sawalso a certain poor widow casting inthither two mites, and he said, Of a truth,I say unto you, this poor widow hath castin more than they all.'"On the Sabbath before, Mr. Bruce had


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"She then modestly handed me her offering-itwas sixpence."


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 37had a paper taken round for the subscrip-tions to be marked down. They passedby Mrs. Allen (the poor widow who hadjust called). They did not suppose shewould have anything to give. The paperwas first taken to Mr. Jones. He wasthe richest man in the congregation. As,for many years, he had made this villagehis summer residence, he had become oneof the leading men; and as his wealthgave him great influence, he was lookedup to by all around, and what Mr. Jonesor his family did was all right. He wasone who never gave privately. He wishedhis influence to be felt. Upon this occa-sion he gave ten pounds. The paper wasnext handed to Mr. Brown. When hesaw that Mr. Jones had subscribed tenpounds, he was not able so far to controlthe expression of his face, as not to givesome manifestation of surprise. He ele-vated his eyebrows, but as he felt that3-3


38 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.Mr. Jones was looking at him, his face ina moment assumed its former calmness ofexpression, and he put down under Mr.Jones, " Mr. Brown, ten pounds." Hewas determined he would give as muchas Mr. Jones, although his heart ratherfailed him, as he thought of the remarksMrs. Brown might be induced to makewhen they got home. It was only thatmorning, at the breakfast table (Sabbathas it was), that she had told him, she wasdetermined that their daughter MaryAugusta should go to Saratoga and CapeMay, this summer, as Sallie and JennieJones were to be there. (These youngladies were named for their mother andaunt, and used to be Sally and Jane! Mr.Jones kept a French governess for hischildren, and as she thought these namesperfectly barbarous, they must be mod-ernized by changing the termination),Mrs. Brown had notified her husbandthat they would need all the ready cash


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 39he could command, as their Augustamust dress as well as the Joneses, for sheintended to stop at the same houses.Although Mr. Brown was engaged inextensive iron works, was apparentlywealthy, and to the eye of an observer ap-peared to be surrounded by every luxury,yet his style of living was inferior to thatof Mr. Jones.Many of the congregation gave one,two, three, and five pounds; and theywho would have looked with contempt onthe sixpence of the poor widow were loudin their praises of the generosity ofMessrs. Jones and Brown. The dona-tions from Mr. Bruce's church, whenadded together, made quite a large sum.Indeed there were many who thoughtthat their church should be held up tothe world as a model church. "Onlythink," said one young lady to another,"how generous Miss Prim was; she gave


40 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.one pound! and I know she gave onepound to the Board of Education only afew weeks since, for I heard her say so ata party at Mrs. Lund's.


CHAPTER III."Charge them that are rich in this world, thatthey be ready to distribute, laying up for themselvesa good foundation against the time to come, that theymay lay hold on eternal life.""Unto whom much is given, from them will muchbe required."EADER, I wish first to in-S troduce to your notice, MissPrim, the young lady whoseI generosity was so extolledby her friends for havinggiven the munificent sumof one pound, to send thebread of life to those who were perishingfor it; and who had, also, given the sameamount to the Board of Education, tohelp to prepare those who intended to de-vote their lives to the cause of Christ.She whom her friends looked upon asa paragon of generosity, had lost her3-3


42 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.father a few years previous to this time.He left three daughters, to each of whomhe bequeathed five thousand pounds.The one now referred to had an incomeof two hundred and fifty pounds, and wasat no expense but for clothing. Shethought nothing of giving ten pounds fora cloak: ten or fifteen pounds for ashawl; three pounds for a bonnet, whichwould not be in fashion for more thansix weeks, when it must necessarily be re-placed by another equally costly. Herbills at the drapers' showed that she wasquite as lavish in her expenditure forother articles of dress. Indeed economywas hardly in her vocabulary; althoughshe did sometimes say to her friend Mrs.Simmons, "I must try to economize, formy income will hardly meet my expenses.Can you recommend a good plain seam-stress to me ? I must try to get one whowill do my work more reasonably thanMrs. Allen."


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 43Miss Prim never thought of sewing anyherself. She had no time; she break-fasted at ten, and the rest of the day wastaken up with making and receivingvisits, or practising a little on the piano.After dinner, she must, of course, take anap. She was so fatigued, she could notsit up all day. She would then dress forthe evening. Perhaps she would have alittle embroidery on hand, which shewould bring to the parlour. Plain sewingwould not be tolerated by such fashion-able young ladies.Mrs. Allen had been recommended toher as a worthy and a pious woman whomit would be a charity to assist, as she wastrying to support herself, and threefatherless children, by honest industry.For some time she had had but littleto do.Miss Prim, in speaking of her to herfriend Mrs.- Simmons, said-" I gave mywork to Mrs. Allen, because she promised


44 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.to do it cheaper, as she was in great need-and now, only think, last Saturdaywhen she brought my work home, shetold me she would not do any more atthe same price. Really the ingratitudeand impudence of these people is insuffer-able! And forsooth she must have herwages every Saturday, although she knowsfull well I receive my income only quar-terly. I told her last Saturday she wouldhave to Wait until quarter day, whichwould not be for two weeks."Augusta Brown intends giving a largeparty, and I must have a new dress forthat occasion. Miss Taylor, the onlyreally fashionable mantua-maker here,has made a rule to make no more dressesthat are not paid for in advance. I wouldnot give her mine for her impudence inmaking such a rule; as if she feared totrust her betters." (It may here be ob-served that Miss Prim had not yet paidfor the last two dresses made for her, and


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 45poor Miss Taylor had sat up two nightsuntil after midnight to finish them, asshe was anxious to get the money, thatshe might send her sick and aged motherto the country for a few weeks, for thebenefit of her health.) "But she makesthe Joneses' dresses, and one made by anyone else would not be looked at."At the work Mrs. Allen had beendoing for Miss Prim, she could make buta shilling a day! and that required theclosest application. With that she hadher rent to pay, and provide bread forherself and her fatherless little ones.Reader, who gave most generously tothe Bible cause,-Mrs. Allen or MissPrim ?A little on the outskirts of the village,almost secluded from the public gaze bythe noble old elms which surrounded it,may be seen the aristocratic residence ofMr. Jones. It was a charming place, and4


46 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.in the eyes of the proprietor, none everequalled it, or ever could, unless Mr.Caleb Jones should be the owner himself.That would give it a charm that nothingelse could.Mr. Jones possessed the happy facultyof looking upon all that he claimed as his,as possessing attractions that could notexist, if another could say, "These aremine."In his opinion, his house was the mostelegant; his wife the handsomest; hischildren the cleverest, and his horses thefleetest; to his ear even his canaries sangmore sweetly than any others; and noflowers could equal, either in tint or frag-rance, those that came from his own con-servatory.Whoever looked upon the home of Mr.Jones could not but acknowledge it to bea very desirable one. All that taste couldplan, and money execute, was bestowedto adorn his house and beautify the


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 47grounds which surrounded it; until fancycould not imagine, or desire wish for,anything that could add to the beauty orcomfort of his home. No ladies dressedwith more elegance and taste than didMrs. Jones and her daughters. If anytable had reason to groan under theweight of luxuries placed upon it, Mr.Jones's had; for all that was to be had,from water, land, or air, was there toplease the palate.Mr. Jones was called a "temperanceman;" and, although he was president ofthe temperance society, he kept his winecellar, and would take a glass for dinner.He was always careful to have choicewines. He was able to afford it, and hecould see no reason why he should notindulge.He was considered a very generousman. He never gave less than fivepounds, if he gave at all. He would notsee his name on paper for a less sum.4-2


48 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.He never gave privately. He thoughtevery one should receive credit for allthey gave. One year it was found verydifficult to make up Mr. Bruce's stipend.One hundred pounds per annum was pro-mised to him. Messrs. Jones and Browngave, in addition to their yearly subscrip-tion, five pounds each, toward making upthe deficiency, and by so doing, thoughtthat they were entitled to the lastinggratitude of Mr. Bruce.The physician of the place gave thesame amount in addition to his annualsubscription, and to his gratuitous at-tendance, which was no trifle, as nightafter night he had been called upon totake a long, and sometimes a cold andwet walk. Dr. Canning had nothing butthe income from his practice to dependupon for the support of a large family,and his own health was far from robust;but he was one of those who felt that itwas "more blessed to give than to receive."


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 49Mr. Brown was surrounded by everycomfort and many luxuries, he had beenthe head man at the village before Mr.Jones came there to reside, and his wifeand daughters were the leaders of fashion.Mrs. Brown had felt a little sore that an-other should come in her place, as sheconsidered it, and was unwilling to becast into the shade by her more opulentneighbours.After church, instead of going home,Mr. Brown had walked out to visit hisbrother, a most estimable man, who livedon a farm a few miles out of town. Hislittle daughter had been making herhome with " Uncle Brown" in town, thatshe might go to school with her cousinCarrie. The parents of Emma Brownwere devotedly pious and had endea-voured to bring up their children in thefear of the Lord.On Monday morning, at breakfast,Mrs. Brown again introduced the subject4-3


50 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.of a trip to the sea-shore for herself andMary Augusta.Her husband said to her, "I do notknow, my dear, how I can possibly affordit. I would be glad to indulge you inanything that would be conducive to yourhappiness; but you know how much Ihave lost by the failure of Blagden & Co.,and the pressure in the money market isso great, I can hardly command enoughof ready cash to pay my workmen, whichI am obliged to do every Saturday night.""Then why, Mr. Brown, did you giveten pounds to the Bible society? Onepound would have been quite enough.""Do you think, Mrs. Brown, (healways called his wife Mrs. Brown whena little vexed,) I would let any one havethe opportunity to say, Mr. Jones had'given ten pounds to any public charityand Mr. Brown had given but one !""Well, Mr. Brown, how do you everexpect our Mary Augusta to make a


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 51suitable match if she is to be shut uphere for ever? All fashionable youngladies, when they come out,' are ex-pected to visit the sea-shore in order tosee something of the fashionable world.It is too bad if we are to be disappointed."When I married you, I thought I wasmarrying a rich man; instead of whichmy own ten thousand, which my dearaunt Abigail gave me, had to go to helpyou out of former difficulties; and now,when I want to bring out our daughterlike other young ladies, I am told youcan't afford it."At this stage of the conversation theirlittle daughter, Carrie, a rosy cheekedchild of about eight or nine years old,came bounding into the room, holding bythe hand a little ragged boy; while justbehind them stood his mother, with aninfant in her arms. Poor woman! shelooked hardly able to hold her little babe,delicate as it was, for she herself seemed


52 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.ready to drop, overcome with fatigue andexhaustion." Only think, mamma," said Carrie," I found this poor woman, with herbaby and little boy, sitting on a log bythe fence. This poor little boy was cry-ing with hunger. His mother says theyhave had nothing to eat since yesterday,and when I gave him a piece of cake Ihad, he said it was so good.""Carrie, how often must I forbid yourbringing these good-for-nothing beggarsto the house ? I expect nothing else,but we shall have our house broken openby them, some of these nights. I dowish there were no pobr."" Mamma, cousin Emma says we shallalways have poor people, for the Biblesays so. She has such a nice Bible ofher own that aunty gave her, and auntymade her promise to read it every day.Cousin Emma gets up every morning atfive o'clock, and reads her Bible, before


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 53she goes down stairs. I wish I had aBible of my own. I would rather haveit than the fairy tales you bought me.The other day when cousin and I wereout, we met some beggars, and cousinEmma gave them some money she had toget candy for herself; and when we camehome she said she could read something,in her Bible, to me, that spoke about thepoor. I remember the words, for shemade me commit them to memory. Shesaid I would know then what to do whenI met a poor person. These were thewords: 'The poor shall never cease outof the land. Therefore I command thee,saying, Thou shalt open thy hand wideunto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thyneedy in thy land.' So you see, mamma,there will always be poor people, and asGod has commanded us to give to thepoor, shouldn't we do so? You know,mamma, we are rich and have plenty.Every day Betty throws out so much


54 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.bread. I could not eat half the puddingyou gave me for dinner the other day,and Betty threw it out to the street, andshe says a little boy picked it up and ateit. Please, dear mamma, mayn't I takethis poor woman and her children to thekitchen, and tell Betty to give themsomething to eat? Another thing cousinEmma told me was in the Bible; shesaid that Jesus Christ had said if any onegave but a cup, of cold water for His saketo one of the least of His disciples, itwould be the same as if they gave it toHim. I did not wish to disobey you, dearmamma, when I brought these poor peo-ple in; but I thought if you knew whatour Saviour had said, you would be gladto have me bring them in, and give themsomething to eat, and some clothes toput on. You see how very ragged theyare. Mamma, would you give to Jesusif He were here ?"


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 55"My child, how strangely you talk!Certainly I would."" Oh! I am so glad, for now you willgive something to these poor people,won't you? You know what I told youcousin Emma said was in her Bible.And Jesus will consider it just the sameas if you gave to Him. Now, mamma,ain't you glad I brought them in ?"Mrs. Brown could not resist the elo-quence of the little pleader. She was akind woman at heart, and before hermeans were so ample, was ever ready tohelp the poor and needy.Mr. Brown was looked upon as amoney-making man. That being thecase, his wife was brought more intocontact with fashionable society; andthere is, without doubt, something in theatmosphere of the fashionable world, pre-judicial to the growth of charity.Mrs. Brown bid Carrie take the poorwoman and her children to the kitchen,


56 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.and give them as much food as theywanted. It was not necessary to repeatthe permission more than once. Thedear child sprang up, and taking thelittle boy's hand, joyfully escorted themto the kitchen, where her kind heart hadthe pleasure of seeing them well fed.She had been in the kitchen but a littlewhile, when her mother came in carryinga large bundle of clothes, for the poorwoman and her children. The sight ofit made little Carrie's face beam withdelight. In the exuberance of her joy,she threw her arms around her mother'sneck, and said, "Oh dear mamma, isn'tit a pleasure to feed the hungry andclothe the naked?-Cousin Emma saysthat the Bible is to sinners the Bread oflife, and unless Jesus would clothe us inthe beautiful white robes of His righteous-ness, we could never go to heaven.Don't you wish He would clothe us,mamma ?"


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 57"My child, you must not be so muchwith cousin Emma. She will make alittle Methodist of you.""What is a Methodist, mamma? Ifit is one who loves Jesus, I would like tobe one. I pray every day since cousinEmma taught me how, to our dearSaviour, and ask him to give a new heartto you and pa, and sister Mary Augusta,and to your little Carrie too; and I askhim to clothe us all in the beautiful whiteand spotless robes of his righteousness,and I know he will. Then when we die,cousin Emma says we shall go to heaven,and be like the angels. Mamma, did youever hear the hymn cousin Emma's littlesister sang before she died ?-It com-mences 'I want to be an angel.' As Iwas singing it this morning, with cousin,I thought I would like to be one too.Then I should have a golden harp."Mrs. Brown became alarmed by theexcited manner of her child; and taking5


58 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.her in her arms, found she was even thenlabouring under symptoms of that dread-ful disease, scarlet fever, which oftenmakes so many homes desolate.The doctor was sent for at once, butmedical skill was of no avail. Before an-other Sabbath sun arose, sweet Carriehad joined that angelic choir, and withharp in hand, her voice was mingled withtheirs in the song of redeeming love,which was to continue throughout theceaseless ages of eternity.


CHAPTER IV."Be merciful after thy power. If thou hast much,give plenteously. If thou hast little, do thy diligencegladly to give of that little.""God loveth a cheerful giver."E have looked a little7 into the circum-stances of Messrs.Jones and Brown;also, into MissPrim's, and we haveseen, that althoughtheir donations were looked upon asgenerous in the extreme,by those who onlyvalue such donations by pounds, shillingsand pence; yet, no self-denial was neces-sary, on their part, to enable them to castin their fives, or their fifties. "They gaveof their abundance." Neither their luxu-ries, nor their comforts were curtailed by it.5-28


60 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.How was it with the widow Allen ?Many would say that the trifle she gavecould not be missed."What is a sixpence ?" I think I hearthem say : " not worth giving for all thegood it will do.""Well; come with me, and we will callat the widow Allen's, and after lookinginto her circumstances, see if it wasnecessary for her to deprive herself or herchildren of any of their daily comforts,(luxuries they had none) to enable her tocontribute her "mite' toward the spreadof God's word. She, who had been ableto draw comfort from its wells of salva-tion, so precious to her own soul, felt itwould be a great privilege to be per-mitted to help to send it to those whowere perishing for want of its lifegivingwaters.Mrs. Alien's history was not an isolatedone. She had been called upon to drinkdeeply of the cup of affliction, but with


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 61the Psalmist she could say, " Before Iwas afflicted I went astray, but now haveI kept thy word." She had never beenwealthy. It had always been necessaryfor her to economise; but she had notbeen poor. Early in life she had beenunited to one who was all her heart coulddesire, or her judgment approve. Whilehe, the partner of her choice, was sparedto her, she felt that her cup of happinesswas full. Her husband was her idol!Around him the best affections of herheart entwined. To the creature wasgiven that love which belongs to theCreator alone.How true it is, that " in the midst oflife we are in death!" At a time whenshe least expected it, he who had beenthe light of her life, was removed fromher. But it was by her heavenly Father'shand, and who can doubt, that the dread-ful severing blow was dealt in love ? Hewho has promised, " As thy days so shall5-3


62 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.thy strength be," fulfilled it to her inthis trying hour. Although she was calledupon to pass through deep waters, thesustaining arm of Him who has said, " Iwill be with thee," was around her tosupport her and safely bear her through.With her husband's death, her means ofsupport ceased. He had his salary aloneto depend upon, which was not more thansufficient for the support of his family.Thus was she left to provide bread forthree fatherless little ones. Her friendsfeared her affliction was more than shecould bear-and it would have been, hadshe not been in the hands of One, whoin the midst of judgment, rememberedmercy. He made her feel she had a friendto lean upon-One "who sticketh closerthan a brother." By God's grace shewas enabled to cast herself upon him,and from the heart, with sweet submission,to say, " Father, not my will, but Thinebe done."


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 63At the time of which we now write,she was living in a small house, with agarden attached to it, just in sight of theprincely mansion of Mr. Jones. The con-trast in their dwellings was indeed astriking one. Here Mrs. Allen had re-moved, when she was obliged to leave herpretty cottage, a home endeared to her bythe tenderest ties of memory. There hadshe gone, with her husband, when shewas first a bride. There, too, was thebirth-place of their children. When theirlittle Mary was born, it seemed as if theyhad reached the climax of their happi-ness. She came, as a sweet cherub, togladden their already happy home. Withthis precious gift, their hearts had nothingmore to wish for.Mr. Allen was a man of much taste,and during his life-time, he had sparedno labour to make their home inviting;and Rose Cottage, as he had named itwas indeed the admiration of all who be-


64 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.held it. Strangers, as they passed, wouldstop to admire the beauty of the place.The house stood back, some distance fromthe road. You approached it through agarden filled with flowers of every variety.At the entrance of the garden was anarch over the gateway; and over it acypress vine gracefully entwined. If Mr.Allen had a pet among flowers, it wasthis cypress; and every evening, as hereturned from his day's labour, would hestop, after entering the gate, with his lit-tle Willie in his arms, and Mary andKatie beside him (for they always randown the lane to meet dear papa as soonas he came in sight), to admire the beautyand rapid growth of his favourite plant.Every morning found it covered withfresh coral blossoms, and as he passedunder the beautiful arbour, they seemedlike smiles of love to cheer him as hewent forth to his daily employment. Thecottage could but just be seen from the


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 65road, so completely was it embowered inroses.No feelings of envy ever entered thehearts of the inmates, towards those uponwhom the gifts of Providence had beenmore abundantly bestowed. They hadin their home all that their heartsdesired.From their door, the destitute and dis-tressed were never sent unrelieved away.Mr. Aller's worldly friends often foundfault with him for his generosity, andwould say to him, "Your own childrenwill yet have to beg." But he wouldanswer them in the words of holy writ," He that hath pity on the poor lendethto the Lord; and that which he hathgiven will he pay him again." He feltthat his security was good.It was a severe trial to leave a homesurrounded by so many hallowed associa-tions; but it must be done. As Mrs.Allen for the last time passed from room


66 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.to room to take a farewell look of eachvalued piece of furniture, all the gifts ofher husband, which were to be sold andgo into the hands of strangers on themorrow, her soul sickened within her,and bowing her head she gave way to anunrestrained burst of weeping. Afterpaying the funeral expenses, Mrs. Allenfound she would have but a few shillingsleft; and as she had nothing but her ownexertions to depend on for the support ofherself and little ones, she knew it wouldbe necessary for her to leave her presentabode, and seek one of more humbledimensions, and of lower rent. She hadthought at first that she would be able tokeep some few articles of furniture. Herheart clung to them, for they were asso-ciated with the memory of the belovedpartner of her youth; but she found itwould be necessary to part with every-thing she possibly could, in order toraise a little money for the support of


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 67her family, until she could get employ-ment.In a few days she found a little cottageshe thought would suit her. It was verysmall, and being on the outskirts of thetown she procured it at a very low rent.There was a nice little garden attached toit, where she was able to raise vegetablessufficient for her family's use. This wasa very great assistance to her.In this humble home, she and her lit-tle ones had resided since the death ofher husband, until the time of our intro-duction to her, when she brought herdonation to the Bible cause to the Rev.Mr. Wilson.She had had many a hard struggle toprovide bread for the dear ones left toher care. Sometimes she found it diffi-cult to obtain work; and often when shemight have procured it, her health wassuch that she was unable to do it. Then,in these hours of darkness, would her


68 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.spirits droop, and she would feel as if sheand her fatherless little ones must perish.But God's own word, which had enabledthe beloved partner of her life to meet,with calmness, the king of terrors, wasnow her support. The sweet promisestherein contained, were as "the shadowof a great rock in a weary land." Theywere more refreshing to her than " waterto a thirsty soul." Through divine graceshe was enabled to " cast her burden onthe Lord." He was her refuge andstrength, " a very present help in time oftrouble."Plain sewing was all that she could do,and for it the remuneration was so smallshe often found it difficult to provideabsolute necessaries for her children.Oh! yes, daughters of fashion, would thatI could induce you to turn aside and fora little while visit the abodes of virtuouspoverty; where, perhaps, as in the caseof Mrs. Allen, you would find a widow,


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 69struggling by honest industry to main-tain a family of little ones, and see herpale and anxious face, as she wearily toilson from early dawn until the curtains ofnight, closing around her, compel her toput away her work, as her little earningsare not sufficient to enable her to affordeven a tallow candle. Would not yourhearts melt within you at the sight ? Oh!surely, unless you have become callous,from contact with the fashionable worldyour womanly nature would go forth insympathy with those, from whom Godhas withheld the many blessings, withwhich he has surrounded your path. Youwould open wide your hands and share,liberally, your abundance with them.Then would you realize the truth of thesweet assurance, "It is more blessed togive than to receive."Mrs. Allen knew that Mr. Wilson, theagent of the Bible Society, was in town,some days before she heard him preach.6


70 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.She had said to her little girls, who, al-though they were but eight and ten yearsof age, were fully able to sympathize withtheir mother in all the generous emotionsof her heart, "Now while Mr. Wilson ishere, I would like to give him somethingtowards the spread of the Bible." Buthow was this widow to do anything? Itwas by the closest application to her workthat she was able to earn enough to sup-port her in the plainest manner. What-ever she gives, it must be by self-denial.She had been quite busy recently forMiss Prim, and she hoped by Saturdaynight to be able to finish all the work shehad on hand. She had been sewing forher now for about two weeks, and as shehad not received any money yet, shehoped to get all that was due to her atthe close of the week. Out of the pro-ceeds of it, she intended first to pay Mr.Andrews, the grocer. He had kindly lether have such things as she needed, on


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 71credit,'until she was able to pay him.She had always avoided going in debt, asmuch as possible, but unless she was paidpromptly by her employers, she was un-able to meet her daily expenses. In con-sequence of Miss Prim's neglect to payher for her work as soon as it was done,she had been obliged to go in debt. Itwas her only alternative.Little Kate, the youngest daughter,who was a very delicate child, and whoseappetite was capricious, would sometimessay, when they sat down to their frugalmeal, " I do wish, mamma, we had plentyof milk and nice cakes, such as we usedto have when papa was living."Often did expressions like these openthe fountain of tears, in that mother'sheart, which a sense of duty had closed.Her sister Mary, who was two yearsolder than Kate, would throw her armsaround her, and with all the tendernessof a sister's love would say, " Katie, dear,6-2


72 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.why will you wish for things that youknow dear mamma cannot get for you?Don't do so, dear, any more, it makesmamma so sad."Sweet little Kate would, then, dry hertears and cheerfully partake of such foodas her mother had to give.Mrs. Allen would take advantage ofsuch opportunities as these to teach herchildren submission to the divine will,and as she held sweet converse with them,would urge her dear ones to give theirhearts to that Saviour whose love she hadfelt to be as fathomless as the ocean andas boundless as eternity. It was notlong until her instructions seemed to beblessed, and she had the unspeakablehappiness of knowing her dear daughtershad given their hearts to Jesus in thedays of their youth.Saturday evening arrived, and as Mrs.Allen completed her last piece of work,Mary got ready their frugal meal, and her


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 73mother folded up the work neatly andlaid it in her basket, ready to carry toMiss Prim.As soon as supper was over, Mrs. Allenput on her bonnet (one she had worn forthe last three years), and with Kate and"Willie, who were to enjoy the rare pri-vilege of a walk with their mother, startedoff with a hopeful heart for the residenceof Miss Prim, thinking, of course, shewould pay her immediately upon the re-ceipt of the work. Two weeks was along time for one in Mrs. Allen's circum-stances to be without wages for her work;but to-night, hope whispered to her heartshe would receive all that was due to her.She thought she would first pay Mr. An-drews on her return. That must be thefirst appropriation of her money. Shethen hoped with the proceeds of so gooda job to be able not only to pay all herdebts, but also to lay in a store of provi-sions to last them for two weeks-what6-3


74 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.she had not been able to do for a longtime. She also thought she would beable to give something to the Bible cause,in which her heart was so deeply inter-ested.Mary kissed them all good-bye, andpromised to have the dishes washed andthe house swept, all in order for the Sab-bath by the time they returned. " Then,Sdear mamma, we will have such a nicetime this evening. You will feel so happyto be able to pay all your debts, and haveenough besides for two whole weeks with-out being obliged to go in debt again.And you have as much work in the houseas will keep you busy all next week, andthe promise of more. Miss Annie metme yesterday, and told me she thoughtshe could sell the little socks I knit, andthen dear, sweet, little Willie can go toschool. Oh mamma, I feel as if we weregoing to get along so nicely now."As Mrs. Allen started with Kate and


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 75"Willie, she could hear her darling Marygiving expression to her feeling of grati-tude in the following hymn:-Father, whate'er of earthly blissThy sovereign will denies,Accepted at thy throne of graceLet this petition rise.Give me a calm, a thankful heart,From every murmur free,The blessing of thy grace impart,And make me live to thee.Let the sweet hope that I am thineMy life and death attend;Thy presence through my journey shine,And crown my journey's end.


CHAPTER V."The Lord will provide."ATIE and Willie entertain-ed their mother with theirinnocent prattle as they ranalong beside her, greatlyenjoying their walk. Sab-bath was the day they lovedabove all others; they lovedit because they had been taught to rever-ence the Lord's day; and on that daythey always had the pleasure of walkingto church with the mother they so dearlyloved. Notwithstanding they were obligedto walk more than a mile to church, noweather, however inclement, kept themfrom going. They were always in goodtime for Sabbath-school and church.After returning home, the remainder of


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 77the day was spent in giving and receivinginstruction. The Bible was the text book.From its inspired pages they received in-struction that would be to them, in afterlife, a treasure more valuable than thoseof Golconda's mines.Katie and Willie were now in ecstasieswith every thing they saw. They gatheredwild flowers to take home to sister Mary;then would they run on in advance oftheir mother, chasing the butterflies, whoseemed to be holding a levee on a patchof thistles that were growing by the road-side. But like many of the pleasures oflife, just as they thought them withintheir grasp, they would take wing and ina few minutes be out of their sight. Thenwould the songs of the birds attract them,as, here and, there, the little songsters ofthe grove would pass them on their home-ward way, making the woods ring withthe melody of their voices, as they war-bled forth their sweet songs of praise.


78 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE."Mamma," said Willie, "hark! whatkind of bird is it that makes such amournful sound? I heard one last nightwhen I was coming from the minister'shouse. When I hear it moan, it makesme feel so sorrowful, I can hardly helpcrying. I think it must be all alone.Perhaps some wicked boys have killed itsfather and mother.""That, my dear," said Mrs. Allen, "isthe dove. Its moan is very plaintive.The dove is the emblem of innocence.Can either of you tell me what kind of abird Noah sent out from the ark, whichreturned bringing an olive branch ?"They both exclaimed at once, " Oh, yes,mamma, it was a dove.""I wish, mamma," said Willie, "Iknew the names of all the birds and allthe animals in the woods. When I growto be a man, I mean to study all aboutthem. You know, mamma, Miss Anniehad her Sunday-school class to spend the


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 79afternoon with her last Saturday. Shetold us so many interesting things. Shetold us all about King Solomon; how heknew all about the trees, from the cedarsof Lebanon, down to the little hyssop;and that he knew all about the birds andbeasts. Oh! I do wish I was as wise asSolomon."" Who giveth wisdom, my son ?"" 'Tis God, mamma.""Katie, what was the text you learned,last Sabbath, about wisdom? Can yourepeat it ?"" If any of you lack wisdom, let himask of God who giveth to all men liberallyand upbraideth not, and it shall be givenhim.""What does the Bible say is the be-ginning of wisdom, Willie ?"" It says, The fear of the Lord is thebeginning of wisdom.'"" Yes, my dear, and it also says, 'Wis-dom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and


80 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.all her paths are peace;' may each ofyou, my dear children, learn to walk inher ways, then will you be useful hereand happy hereafter."But here is Miss Prim's house, andpoor Mrs. Allen's heart beat rapidly asthey approached the door. She rang thebell; and as they were waiting for theservant to come to the door, she couldhear the sound of music and merryvoices." Is Miss Prim at home ?" asked Mrs.Allen of the servant."Yes, but she bid me say, she is en-gaged.""Tell Miss Prim it is Mrs. Allen. Ihave just completed the work I had todo for her, and have brought it home. Ifyou please, say if convenient, I wish shewould settle with me in full for the workI have done for her.""When the servant found who it was,she took the work and carried it to her


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 81mistress, and delivered Mrs. Allen's mes-sage.In a few minutes the servant returned,saying Miss Prim was engaged and couldnot be troubled with her that evening;and that it would not be worth while forher to come again for the money beforetwo weeks, as she would then receive herquarterly income; and it would not beconvenient to pay her before.Poor Mrs. Allen! this was a cruel dis-appointment to all her hopes. It waswith difficulty she controlled her feelingsuntil out of sight.The servant, who brought her the mes-sage, seeing how distressed she looked asshe turned from the door, sighed, andsaid to a fellowservant, "God help thepoor !"The children had heard all that hadpassed, and deeply realized what a soredisappointment it would be to their be-loved mother.7


82 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.Entirely out of sight of the house,there was a log lying a little off from theroad. When they came to it, Mrs. Allensat down, and then gave way to a pas-sionate burst of tears. The childrenwere frightened at so unusual a sight.Before them she always endeavoured topreserve a calm exterior, whatever mightbe the agony of her heart."Oh !" she exclaimed, "what shall Ido? Has God deserted me? How, mybeloved ones, am I to get bread for you ?"At the first burst of her grief the chil-dren had both thrown their little armsaround her, and mingled their tears withhers. Willie was the first to speak. Hisface was like a bright April day, as helooked smilingly through his tears andsaid to his mother, "Mamma, don't youremember, last winter when we had nocoal and no bread, and you were so longwithout work, and you had roasted thelast potatoes we had in the house for


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 83breakfast, and you cried when you thoughtyou had nothing to give us for supper?Then you took the Bible and read to ushow God took care of the fatherless andthe widow; and then you made us kneeldown, and you prayed that God wouldgive us our daily bread;' and after youhad prayed you said you felt better, foryou knew that God would do as he hadpromised. You said you did not knowwhere it was to come from, but you knewhe would give us something for supper.And he did; for you said it was God sentthat kind lady who brought you so muchwork, and gave you some money at thetime she brought the work. We hadsuch a good supper that night, for yougot us as much bread and milk as wecould eat; as we had had no bread fortwo days, you said we should have asmuch that night as we wanted.""Then, dear mamma," said Katie,"you said you would always trust God,7-2


84 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.and you taught us all that prettyhymn:-"' When we in darkness walk,Nor feel the heavenly flame;Then is the time to trust our God,And rest upon his name.'"And there was another hymn youtaught us at the same time:" 'Though troubles assail, and dangers affright,Though friends should all fail, and foes all unite;Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,The Scripture assures us, the Lord will provide.',Truly " out of the mouths of babes andsucklings" God "has perfected praise.""My dear children, you have com-forted my heart. I pray God to forgivemy ingratitude and unbelief. He knowswhat things we have need of. Our ex-tremity is his opportunity. God willprovide."They then arose and proceeded home-ward. As they approached their homethey saw Mary coming to meet them, her


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 85face radiant with smiles. As soon as shecame up she inquired, " Did Miss Primpay you, mamma ?"" No, dear, she did not; and will notbe able to, for two weeks.""Not able! and she so rich !"Mary did not look so sad as her motherexpected she would. Nothing more wassaid until they got home.Mrs. Allen sat down at the door, look-ing very much fatigued. Mary took herbonnet and shawl and put them away.She then sat down beside her mother,and as she did so, took a little box fromher pocket, and opening it displayed toher mother's astonished gaze, a five-shil-ling piece and a shilling." Why, my child, where did that comefrom ?""You know, mamma, when Miss An-nie, our sabbath-school teacher, heardthat I was knitting those little socks toearn money to send Willie to school, she7-3


86 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.said she would try to dispose of some forme. Since you went out, she called andbrought me this money to pay for thoseshe took last week, and now she has takenwith her all the rest that I had finished.She thinks she can sell all that I canknit. As Miss Patience only charges tenshillings a quarter, for such as Willie, Ican soon earn what will pay for a quarter.Now, mamma, won't you let Willie com-mence school next Monday? As MissPrim has disappointed you, mamma, youcan have this money; and here is a largebundle of shirts Miss Annie got a friendof hers to send you. As soon as theseshirts are finished, you can take them toMiss Annie, and she will give you themoney for them."Kate and Willie had come up to theirmother as Mary was showing her trea-sure, and relating what had occurred intheir absence. They listened with as-tonishment, and no one having found a


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 87bag. of gold could have felt richer thanthey.As soon as Mary got through, Kate ex-claimed, "Now, mamma, has not Godprovided ?"" He has, indeed, my dear; and to himwe will return thanks, for' His merciesare new every morning and fresh everyevening. He will ever be mindful of hiscovenant. ". Mrs. Allen had called, on her wayhome, to let Mr. Andrews know that shewould not be able to pay him as she hadpromised. He was very kind, and toldher to give herself no uneasiness about it;and if she needed anything more that hehad, before she received her money, hehoped she would not hesitate to call andget it.It was decided that master Willieshould commence school on the followingMonday. He was greatly rejoiced whenhe heard it. He had never yet been to


88 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.school, his mother and sisters havingtaught him at home. He was the pet ofthe family; and was a noble boy. NaturalHistory was his delight. He would sitfor hours, poring over a little volume thathad been given to him the last Christmasby Mr. Bruce. It was a history ofanimals. Willie was able to communi-cate all the information contained in hisfavourite book.The cloud, which seemed for a while tohang so darkly over them, they foundwas not without " a silver lining." Withwhat grateful hearts did Mrs. Allen andher little ones offer up their evening in-cense of prayer and praise, as, before re-tiring, they bowed around the family altar!They were up early the next morning,and ready betimes for Sabbath-school.They spent the hours in study until thesound of the bell warned them the happyhour had come, when they would soonmeet their beloved teacher, Miss Annie.


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENC., 89They were always in time, and no chil-dren in school knew their lessons better,or were better children than they.On that day Mr. Wilson preached hissermon in behalf of the Bible Society.His eloquent pleadings in behalf of thecause he loved were enough to melt theheart, and open the purse-strings of amiser; but there were many who heardthat sermon who always had money fortheir own enjoyment, yet turned awaywithout answering that appeal. "Howhardly shall they that have riches enterthe kingdom of heaven !"Mrs. Allen had been anxious, as wehave seen before, to give something forthe Bible Society, and when she saw MissPrim lay a sovereign on the plate, shethought to herself, if Miss Prim had onlypaid me the few shillings she owes me, Itoo could give something. Her heart wassorrowful, and the subject occupied herthoughts as she pursued her way home.


90 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.As soon as she reached home, she retiredto her closet, there to pour out her heartin supplication to God, that he wouldshow her how she could give somethingto the cause that lay so near her heart.As she and her children were takingtheir tea, she said to them, "I have beenthinking, my'dear children, in what waywe could deny ourselves, that would en-able us to give something to Mr. Wilsonbefore he leaves, which will not be foranother week. If we could all take coldwater instead of tea, we would save whatwe now give for milk."The children were quite willing topractise this self-denial; but Mary, look-ing anxiously at her mother, said, " Dearmamma, we can very well take coldwater; but what will you do withoutyour tea? You have to work so hard,and a cup of tea is the only indulgenceyou allow yourself.""It would not be much, any how,


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 91mamma," said Kate. "It would be onlysixpence !"" I know, my child, it would be butlittle. It would be literally the widow'smite, but that will be enough to buy atestament; and only think, with God'sblessing, how many souls that one testa-ment may be instrumental in savingNow, my loved ones, God has shown ushow we may give, even if it is but little.Let us then pray that he, who by hisalmighty power fed five thousand with afew loaves and fishes, would add his bless-ing to this gift, and make it instrumentalin bringing thousands to eat of the breadof life."Do you not think, reader, it may besaid of Mrs. Allen, as was said of thewidow of old, "This poor widow hathcast in more than they all ?""We will keep sight of that sixpence,and see what good it will accomplish.


C HAPTER VI." Riches take to themselves wings and fly away."NNIE Morgan, the Sab-bath-school teacher ofMrs. Allen's children, al-ready referred to, hadbeen born and broughtup in affluence, and untilher fifteenth year hadnever known what it was to have awish ungratified. Her father was awealthy merchant of the city of B--To those who knew him, his wealthseemed unbounded. He was as generousas he was rich. He allowed himself acertain amount for the support of hisfamily, and all the rest of his princely in-come was given to the cause of benevo-lence. In his wife he had one who was


THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 93ever ready to join him heart and hand, inall his benevolent enterprises.Mrs. Morgan was in the habit daily ofvisiting the poor of the city, and thusmaking herself personally acquainted withtheir necessities. Emphatically she livedto do good. Nothing deterred her fromvisiting the homes of penury and want.Many a heart was relieved of its burdenby her tender sympathy, and many aprayer was offered up, that she, who hadbeen so ready to relieve the wants ofothers, might never know want herself.Hers was true generosity. She keptmaterials always on hand, that she mightgive employment to all who asked for it.Sewing and knitting all were sure of,if they wished to earn an honest living.She would then pay them well for theirwork. Many a box of clothing made inthis way she sent to the orphan asylumin the city, thus doubling her benevo-lence.8./f


94 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.Some years previous to this time shehad been afflicted with a severe illness,that, for months, kept her confined toher room and most of the time to herbed. Before that she had looked to thislife only for happiness. Young, accom-plished, and beautiful, the daughter ofwealthy parents, the idol of her husband,she had ever been the centre of attractionwherever she went. A cold taken from ex-posure after dancing, laid her on a bed ofsickness, which, for a long time, her friendsfeared would be a bed of death. But herheavenly Father had work for her to do.He mercifully spared her, and made thatsick bed the beginning of spiritual life.God opened her eyes, and made her seethe vanity of spending her life in thepursuit of worldly happiness, which, likean ignis-fatuus, would, just as it seemedwithin her grasp, fly from her, and by itsfalse brightness, allure her on, until lostin the mazes of dissipation and folly,


THE WIDOW'S SIXPETCE. 95nothing tould have saved her from itssoul-destroying grasp but the interposi-tion of Divine power.It is wonderful the means God makesuse of to bring us to himself. "Hisways are not as our ways, nor histhoughts as our thoughts." If left toourselves, we would never choose thethorny path; yet the path in which God'schildren must walk, is ever one of trial."Who would not be willing to suffer, whensuffering is the badge of God's love ? Hetells us in his holy word, "those whomhe loves, he chastens." He bids us notfaint at his rebuke; and promises, " Mygrace shall be sufficient for thee."At the time of her illness, she was themother of three lovely children, two boysand one girl. Annie was the eldest.She was ten years of age. Mrs. Morganhad always been fond of her children,but she had so many claims on her, shehad had but little time to devote to those8-2


96 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE.little immortals God had committed toher charge. An hour or two a day wasall she could spare to spend with them.Those hours were the happiest of theirlives. They loved their beautiful andgentle mother. Often would they say totheir nurse, " I wish mamma would staywith us as much as Helen and HenryStanley's mother stays with them. Shekeeps no nurse or governess, but takescare of them and teaches them all herself,and they are so happy.""But," said the nurse, "Mr. Stanleyis only a clerk, and Mrs. Stanley couldnot afford to keep a governess andnurse.""I wish our papa was a clerk too,"said Edgar the youngest of the boys, " ifmamma would teach us herself, then, andlet us be with her all the time."As Mrs. Morgan lay upon her sickbed, she thought, with sorrow of heart,how much she had neglected her dear


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126 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. discover whence they came; at last, they discovered four or five little girls sitting under an arbour made by the branches of trees. Mr. Bruce proposed stopping to speak to them. As they drew near to do so, they heard a child's voice saying, "I know you will love Miss Annie. She is so good; every body loves her; and she is so kind to the poor. Mary Allen says that if it had not been for the kindness of Miss Annie, she does not know what her mother would have done. Miss Annie spoke to some of her friends and got work for Mrs. Allen; and she has got some lady to take all the little socks Mary knits, and now she can send her little brother to school. And only think! Miss Annie goes down every day and reads to old Mrs. McPherson, and if it was not for that the old woman would be alone all day when her granddaughter goes to work. Mrs. McPherson says it is like a ray of sunlight whenever



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The Baldwin Library



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20 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. God is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain."' The next morning after the foregoing conversation, Edward started out to try, once more, what he could do. He had not gone many steps, when he saw a threepenny-piece lying in the road, he picked it up, and before going on with his papers ran back to exhibit the prize to his mother. Only look, mother, what I have found! Now, even if I do not sell my papers we shall have enough to buy a loaf of bread." "But, my son, this is not ours. Do you forget what we were to do with the threepenny-pieces ?" "Mother, isn't it a pity it is a threepenny-piece? I wish it had been fourpence or sixpence." If you could know who lost it, would you not be willing to return it to the owner ?"



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148 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. stances. He had been well taught, and he seemed to possess an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Annie had not been at Mrs. Carlyle's that day, as she had given her little pupils a holiday, but she thought she would walk over after tea and sit an hour with Mrs. Carlyle, and as she returned would stop at Mrs. McPherson's and give Robert the Testament she had for him. They had tea that evening much earlier than usual, as Mr. Bruce had promised to take Mr. Wilson to visit some of his country parishioners who had promised to contribute to the Bible cause. When Annie reached Mrs. Carlyle's, she found Mrs. Carlyle and the children had ridden out in the country to visit a friend, and would not return until near dark. "When Annie heard this, she thought she would take the opportunity of speak/



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66 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. to room to take a farewell look of each valued piece of furniture, all the gifts of her husband, which were to be sold and go into the hands of strangers on the morrow, her soul sickened within her, and bowing her head she gave way to an unrestrained burst of weeping. After paying the funeral expenses, Mrs. Allen found she would have but a few shillings left; and as she had nothing but her own exertions to depend on for the support of herself and little ones, she knew it would be necessary for her to leave her present abode, and seek one of more humble dimensions, and of lower rent. She had thought at first that she would be able to keep some few articles of furniture. Her heart clung to them, for they were associated with the memory of the beloved partner of her youth; but she found it would be necessary to part with everything she possibly could, in order to raise a little money for the support of



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 21 "Yes, mother." "That we cannot find out; but we can give it to Him, to whom we have consecrated all the threepenny-pieces that come into our possession. Would you grudge to give this as an offering to the Lord ?" "No, mother, I would not. I am sorry, but I could not help thinking how much you needed it, and it would have been enough to buy a loaf of bread." Take it, my dear, and put it in your donation box, and next Sabbath take it to your teacher for Home Missions." Again poor Edward started forth. He had purchased the usual amount of papers, and for them had paid the last shilling his mother had. As he passed along, the savoury smell of food, as it came from the various houses where they were preparing breakfast, was very tempting to the poor child, who had been obliged to make his breakfast on a piece of dry 2



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62 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. thy strength be," fulfilled it to her in this trying hour. Although she was called upon to pass through deep waters, the sustaining arm of Him who has said, I will be with thee," was around her to support her and safely bear her through. With her husband's death, her means of support ceased. He had his salary alone to depend upon, which was not more than sufficient for the support of his family. Thus was she left to provide bread for three fatherless little ones. Her friends feared her affliction was more than she could bear-and it would have been, had she not been in the hands of One, who in the midst of judgment, remembered mercy. He made her feel she had a friend to lean upon-One "who sticketh closer than a brother." By God's grace she was enabled to cast herself upon him, and from the heart, with sweet submission, to say, Father, not my will, but Thine be done."



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132 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. them many rare and beautiful plants which she had. By this time the children had all joined except Josie, who, instead of coming through the gate, had climbed the fence, and, in doing so, had torn her dress so badly that she was obliged to change it before she could make her appearance. Emma seemed to appropriate Annie to herself. She took her by the hand, and asked her if she would go with her to see her bees and her chickens. These Emma claimed as her property, and she was delighted by the interest Annie took in her pets. Emma then took her to see the school-house. With this Annie was delighted. It was covered with the Irish ivy; and in the inside she found it, not only comfortably, but tastefully arranged. She looked around and thought to herself, it will be a pleasure to teach in such a place as this; and as she was going home she said to Mr. Bruce, "I can say



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18 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. My dear son, take courage, God reigns. He orders all things after the counsel of his own unerring will. He knows what we have need of, and seeing the end from the beginning, he knows the best path to lead us, and if we love him, he will cause all things to work together for our good." "I almost think, sometimes, mother, that God has forgotten us." "Do you think, my dear, that I would forget you, or refuse to do you good ?" "No, mother, I do not." Open the Bible, my son, to the fortyninth chapter of Isaiah, and read the fifteenth verse aloud, and see what God himself says." The Bible was lying on the bed beside her. It was her unfailing comforter. Edward read aloud, "Can a mother forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 177 ther for her darling son. Robert felt that he was at home. Tea was ready, and after Robert had partaken of it, he called to see his old friend Mrs. McPherson, who still occupied the same cottage which so long was Robert's home; he could scarcely recognize it as the same, it was so much improved in appearance; but there was no mistaking the kind faces of those who came to meet him as he opened the little wicket gate. True, Mrs. McPherson still occupied the cottage, but she and Jennie were no longer alone. After Robert left home, James, the gardener, would often go over to sit an hour of an evening, to talk about Robert; but he soon found a more interesting subject than Robert. He began to realize that it was not good for man to be alone." He offered his honest, manly heart, with his hand, to Jennie, and she did not refuse him. 15



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 23 door: seeing the child on the steps, he stood for some moments watching him. The desponding look of sorrow which was so strongly depicted on the face of the child, at once touched the affectionate and benevolent heart of Mr. Morgan, for he it was who resided here, and who was just going out to his business. "Why, my poor little boy, what is the matter ?" said the kind voice of Mr. Morgan. fhey were the first tones of kindness he had heard since he had entered upon his new mode of life. He soon told his simple tale of want and disappointment; and had the happiness of telling it to one in whose heart was a well of sympathy for every child of woe. "Cheer up, my little man," said he, "brighter days will come. How much did you expect to get for your papers if you had sold them ?" Why, sir, I should have received two 2-2



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50 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. of a trip to the sea-shore for herself and Mary Augusta. Her husband said to her, "I do not know, my dear, how I can possibly afford it. I would be glad to indulge you in anything that would be conducive to your happiness; but you know how much I have lost by the failure of Blagden & Co., and the pressure in the money market is so great, I can hardly command enough of ready cash to pay my workmen, which I am obliged to do every Saturday night." "Then why, Mr. Brown, did you give ten pounds to the Bible society? One pound would have been quite enough." "Do you think, Mrs. Brown, (he always called his wife Mrs. Brown when a little vexed,) I would let any one have the opportunity to say, Mr. Jones had' given ten pounds to any public charity and Mr. Brown had given but one !" "Well, Mr. Brown, how do you ever expect our Mary Augusta to make a



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 147 tered her Sabbath-school class some weeks before. Mr. Wilson, who had been very much pleased with Annie, said to her: Why, Miss Annie, do you wish particularly to have one bought with this sixpence ?" "Because I know God will bless that widow's offering. And her sixpence will be as seed sown in good ground." "I too," said Mr. Bruce, "would like to trace the progress of that sixpence. I know Mrs. Allen well, and am sure it has been watered with her prayers." Annie's request was complied with, and she purchased the Testament with the widow's sixpence, to present to her Sabbath-school scholar, in whom she had become deeply interested. The favourable impression she had formed of Robert at their first interview, had been greatly increased upon acquaintance with him. She found him very superior to most boys in his circum-.



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 11 which their large-hearted pastor encouraged or undertook. His wife was a fit companion and fellow worker, she ably assisted her husband in the discharge of his duties, and was shrewd in her advice in domestic matters at home, and a peace-maker in social foibles or family differences in the village; she was singularly attentive to the wants of the poor, and took an active part in the formation of Bible classes for girls, infant schools, and associations for providing the industrious classes with clothes and books. Year after year passed away; like the noiseless motion of a deep river, no incident beyond the ordinary routine of ministerial engagements took place, and no dissensions disturbed the harmony and happiness of the family; they had only one child, an infant boy, for whom they cherished the most ardent 'affection, and of whom we shall afterwards hear; 1-2



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PREFACE MAiN years since I was present when a clergyman related the circumstances upon which this little tale is founded. I was greatly struck with it at the tinie; there was so much humility, as well as generosity, in the poor widow's donation. She literally gave all she had. The hope that the example of the poor widow might be an encouragement to others who, like herself, have not much of this world's goods, suggested to me the thought of giving this to the public. We hear on all sides the call for increased means to enable the various benevolent organizations of the day to carry on their good work. There seems to be an especial necessity at the present time for all to give to the utmost of their ability, for the advancement of Christ's kingdom.



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 127 her winsome face comes in at the cottage door. And she spoke to a lady, a friend of her mother's, who comes all the way from Bto see her, and she is going to take all the socks old Mrs. McPherson knits. She said that when she made known the old woman's story, she knew that she could dispose of all the socks she could knit between this and Christmas. Knitting is all the old woman can do." Brother Dick says, if all Christians were like Miss Annie, he would like to be one too. For she is always doing good." Here Emma, the youngest of Mrs. Carlyle's children, saw them and gave notice to her companions. Annette, the oldest, a pretty lady-like child, who had been pretending to be the mother of the little ones, came forward and shook hands with Mr. Bruce. He was the only one of the company that she was acquainted



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 151 with Mrs. Carlyle and the young ladies, but he told Robert as soon as he was ready he might go to his room, and he could look over his books until they get back. Oh! Miss Annie, it is a blessing to have one like Mr. Fullerton in the house, he's a jewel of a man. He's always trying to make every one good and happy. Ye never hear him bleth'rin'."* Annie bid James good-bye, and hastened on to Mrs. McPherson's to see Robert before he would leave. Annie had heard a great deal of Cousin Fullerton," as her little pupils called Mr. Fullerton, and Mrs. Carlyle said she hoped soon to have the pleasure of introducing the two young friends she thought the most highly of. Annie had not yet met him, since he came to his aunt's, as one circumstance after another had occurred to prevent it. She had heard so much of him, from his aunt and cousins, Talking idly



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 17 boy who pretended that he was going to buy them, but who, as soon as he got possession of them, ran off without paying for them. After three days of not much, better success, he came home in the evening looking pale from anxiety and fatigue. He took his little chair, and sat down by his mother's bed, against which he leaned his head for a few minutes in silence; then raising it up, he said, Mother, there is no use in my trying to get money enough for our support by selling papers. I am so little, the big boys push me aside and I have no chance. I have not made anything since I began. I have not even paid my expenses. We have not more money than will buy the papers for tomorrow-our flour is done; and we have cut the last loaf of bread, and if I take the money to buy papers, unless I can sell them we shall not have as much even as will buy a loaf of bread."



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32 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. thought of how little, comparatively, had been done towards sending the glad tidings of salvation through a crucified Redeemer, to the benighted portions of the earth; and that too, by those who had, by their profession, publicly avowed that they had enlisted under the banner of the cross, and would henceforth do all in their power to advance the kingdom of their Lord and Saviour; his heart sickened at the thought of the fearful account they would have to render of their stewardship, when, standing in judgment at that last great day, their brother's blood shall cry out against them. The picture was too fearful to dwell upon. Mr. Wilson poured forth his heart in prayer to God, that he would hasten the time when nations now lying in spiritual darkness should be illumined by the Sun of Righteousness; and as he felt that the Bible was the great instrument designed by God to effect this happy result, he prayed



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 69 struggling by honest industry to maintain a family of little ones, and see her pale and anxious face, as she wearily toils on from early dawn until the curtains of night, closing around her, compel her to put away her work, as her little earnings are not sufficient to enable her to afford even a tallow candle. Would not your hearts melt within you at the sight ? Oh! surely, unless you have become callous, from contact with the fashionable world your womanly nature would go forth in sympathy with those, from whom God has withheld the many blessings, with which he has surrounded your path. You would open wide your hands and share, liberally, your abundance with them. Then would you realize the truth of the sweet assurance, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Mrs. Allen knew that Mr. Wilson, the agent of the Bible Society, was in town, some days before she heard him preach. 6



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24 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. sh:.i ngs, and that would have given me one shilling profit." "I will buy them all from you. Here is two shillings, the price of your papers, and here is a little change for you to get something for your sick mother. Some time to-day I will call and see her." Mr. Morgan then took Edward into the house, told the cook to give him a good breakfast, and directed her then to fill a basket with provision for his mother -luxuries such as she had never had in her house before. Edward took the basket, with many thanks to his kind benefactor, and forgetting his sore feet, ran until he got home. As soon as his mother saw the bright smile on his face, she knew that he had good news. He could hardly wait to get into the house until he exclaimed, Mother, dear, only look what I have got for you! Now you'll be able to eat." At



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 45 poor Miss Taylor had sat up two nights until after midnight to finish them, as she was anxious to get the money, that she might send her sick and aged mother to the country for a few weeks, for the benefit of her health.) "But she makes the Joneses' dresses, and one made by any one else would not be looked at." At the work Mrs. Allen had been doing for Miss Prim, she could make but a shilling a day! and that required the closest application. With that she had her rent to pay, and provide bread for herself and her fatherless little ones. Reader, who gave most generously to the Bible cause,-Mrs. Allen or Miss Prim ? A little on the outskirts of the village, almost secluded from the public gaze by the noble old elms which surrounded it, may be seen the aristocratic residence of Mr. Jones. It was a charming place, and 4



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 73 mother folded up the work neatly and laid it in her basket, ready to carry to Miss Prim. As soon as supper was over, Mrs. Allen put on her bonnet (one she had worn for the last three years), and with Kate and "Willie, who were to enjoy the rare privilege of a walk with their mother, started off with a hopeful heart for the residence of Miss Prim, thinking, of course, she would pay her immediately upon the receipt of the work. Two weeks was a long time for one in Mrs. Allen's circumstances to be without wages for her work; but to-night, hope whispered to her heart she would receive all that was due to her. She thought she would first pay Mr. Andrews on her return. That must be the first appropriation of her money. She then hoped with the proceeds of so good a job to be able not only to pay all her debts, but also to lay in a store of provisions to last them for two weeks-what 6-3



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 13 cannot describe the anguish of heart she experienced, when she found that the beloved partner of her life had breathed his last. But although her desolate heart "grieved, joy too was mingled in the cup: joy that for so many years he had been spared to bless her with his aid, in the pursuit of that glory which she hoped soon to enjoy with him. SAs already named, he had been settled over a country congregation. They paid him as much as they were able, but it was barely sufficient to meet their few and simple wants. Had it not been for his wife's nmanagement and economy, they could not possibly have lived on the meagre stipend, she had learned the housewife's secret, to make "auld claithes look amaist as weel as new," and in the fourteen years that he had been settled in the parish, there had not been much expended on their wardiobe. Mr. Bruce had nothing to leave his family. The 1-3





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112 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. and brother. He promised to do so, and said that from that time forth he would consider her as his sister. Mrs. Morgan drew Annie to her and imprinted upon her lips a farewell kiss. She then placed her hand within Mr. Bruce's, and said to her, Ever consider him your brother." She then closed her eyes as if in prayer, and thus continued until aroused by another paroxysm of pain, which caused the perspiration to roll off in great drops. Annie, seeing it, said, "Oh! mamma, you are suffering so! can I do nothing to relieve you ?" "I am, my dear, suffering more than tongue can express; but it is nothing in comparison with what my Saviour suffered for me." She then repeated: 'Why should I shrink at pain and woe, Or feel at death dismay ? I've Canaan's goodly land in view, And realms of endless day.'



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180 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Arise, ye gales, to waft them Safe to their destined shore, That men may sit in darkness And death's dark shade no more. "Oh thou eternal Ruler, "Who holdest in thine arm The tempests of the ocean, Deliver them from harm. Thy presence still be with them, Wherever they may be; Though far from those who love them, Let them be nigh to thee." Mr. Bruce, and other friends, now left the ship, and reaching shore, remained standing on the wharf, until the vessel which contained the loved ones had faded from their sight, and, with its precious burden, was far out upon the deep blue sea. Now, my dear reader, I would like to put the question to you, and wish you to put it to your own heart, and let your conscience answer to God. Have you done what you could? Have you given



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 35 as they have received. Oh! Sir, my heart wept as you pictured to us the multitudes who are daily passing into eternity without having heard of the way of salvation; and when you so solemnly called upon all to contribute of the means which God had given them, to assist in the spread of his Gospel, I felt as if the voice of God was saying to me, What hast thou done? Hast thou denied thyself to enable thee to send to thy famishing brother the bread of life? Or hast thou considered thine own comfort and left thy brother to perish ?' "As soon as I got home, I went by myself and prayed that God would show me what I could do to advance this cause. I am very poor, sir, and sometimes find it hard to earn enough to procure bread for my children; but God is very good; you know, sir, he has promised to take care of the widow and the orphan. He has never suffered us to want, and oh! he 3-2



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152 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. that she could not prevent his sometimes occupying her thoughts. As Annie walked along after she had left James, these thoughts would intrude themselves. "I wonder if Mr. Fullerton is as good as they all represent him; if so, how pleasant it would be to have him for a friend !" Her reverie was interrupted by the approach of Robert, who was hastening to Mrs. Carlyle's, to be ready for Mr. Fullerton as soon as he returned from his ride. He again repeated to Annie the news communicated by James. As he was speaking very earnestly of the goodness of Mr. Fullerton, he seemed as if he could not find words to express the gratitude of his warni Irish heart, for the kindness shown him. His whole face expressed the delight he felt. Annie thought, as she looked at him, she had never seen a more noble-looking boy. She warmly sympathized with him in his prospects of being able to pursue his



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iv PREFACE. Shall we not respond to the call? Are there not friends of Jesus who will be ready, and consider it a privilege, to make greater sacrifices than they have ever yet done for the advancement of his cause ? Who will be ready, whether they have much or little, cheerfully to give, and thus "honour the Lord with their substance ?" Oh! look abroad over the world, and see the multitudes perishing for the bread of life; "not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord!" If this little volume, containing a memorial of an act of one in humble life, should be an encouragement and incentive to any who read it, to go and do likewise, then will it have accomplished that for which it is presented to the public. "Whatever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men."



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156 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. that he would overrule it for his glory and their eternal good. He then furnished Robert with the books he should need, and marked out the lessons he wished him to learn for the next day. He conversed with Robert some time longer about the studies he wished him to pursue. As Robert was about to leave, Mr. Fullerton took him by the hand and said to him, "My dear Robert, we are taught in the Bible that wisdom is the principal thing, but ever remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.' Have you a Bible ?" I have a Testament Miss Annie gave me this evening." "Was it Miss Annie Morgan, the young lady who teaches my little cousins ?" "Yes, sir, she is my Sabbath-school teacher." Robert handed his Testament to Mr. Fullerton; as he opened the book



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. CHAPTER I. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation." HE lovely village of R-, was situated in a valley at the foot of the Allegheny mounStains, and not far from the Red River, whose broad waters formed a beautiful contrast to the green verdure along its banks. In the centre of the quiet village stood an unpretending church of Grecian archi1



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176 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. ber who had no ties of kindred to bind him to his native land, for such he considered America, notwithstanding his first breath was drawn on "Erin's isle." But as he himself said, "Here I received my spiritual birth, and from that time alone can it-be said that I have lived." Although Robert had no ties of kindred, yet he had many warm and loving friends, who, when he came among them a poor orphan boy, had opened their hearts to him and received him as their own, and now he was bound to them by the strong cords of affection. No brother could have received a warmer welcome than Robert did from Mr. Bruce, who was waiting at the coach office ready to receive him. As they drove up, Robert saw his kind friend, and soon felt the friendly grasp of his hand. They walked home together. Mrs. Bruce met them at the door, and her greeting was like that of a fond mo-



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36 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. has given me that which I would not part with for the wealth of the world-he has given me his own precious word to teach me the way of salvation; and now I want to do something towards sending it to others, that they, too, may hear of that dear Saviour who suffered and died that they might live." She then modestly handed me her offering. It was sixpence. "Never," said Mr. Wilson, as he related the circumstance to his friend, have I received a donation that gave me half the pleasure. I have received donations of hundreds of pounds, but I thought of our Saviour's words, when He looked and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury, and he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites, and he said, Of a truth, I say unto you, this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.'" On the Sabbath before, Mr. Bruce had



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 65 road, so completely was it embowered in roses. No feelings of envy ever entered the hearts of the inmates, towards those upon whom the gifts of Providence had been more abundantly bestowed. They had in their home all that their hearts desired. From their door, the destitute and distressed were never sent unrelieved away. Mr. Aller's worldly friends often found fault with him for his generosity, and would say to him, "Your own children will yet have to beg." But he would answer them in the words of holy writ, He that hath pity on the poor lendeth to the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again." He felt that his security was good. It was a severe trial to leave a home surrounded by so many hallowed associations; but it must be done. As Mrs. Allen for the last time passed from room



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150 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Mr. Fullerton, who you know came last week to visit his aunt, Mrs. Carlyle, has taken quite a likin' to Robert, and he says he is as good at Latin as most lads when they enter college. Mr. Fullerton was talking to him this morning, and ax'd him if he would like to study and become a good scholar. Robert answered him, SMr. Fullerton, it has been the desire of my heart to be a good scholar, and as soon as I earn money enough I mean to study yet.' "Mr. Fullerton then told him if he would come to his room every evening he would teach him, and he would give him the use of his books. Robert's eyes beamed with delight at this kind offer, and when he wanted to thank Mr. Fullerton, the words seemed to choke him, and he could not speak. I never saw a lad work as he did, to get through in good season, that he might be at Mr. Fullerton's room in time. Mr. Fullerton went



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182 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Perhaps you may have professed the name of Jesus. What have you done for his cause? Have you denied yourself any of the comforts of life-or have you even curtailed any of your luxuries, that by so doing you may, by your liberality, help to spread the knowledge of Jesus throughout the world-to hasten that glorious time when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea? Do not wait to evince your generosity until you can give and not feel it. That would not be following the example of your blessed Redeemer. Give until you do feel it: and give cheerfully. God loveth a cheerful giver." THE END.



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a5 3 4



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42 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. father a few years previous to this time. He left three daughters, to each of whom he bequeathed five thousand pounds. The one now referred to had an income of two hundred and fifty pounds, and was at no expense but for clothing. She thought nothing of giving ten pounds for a cloak: ten or fifteen pounds for a shawl; three pounds for a bonnet, which would not be in fashion for more than six weeks, when it must necessarily be replaced by another equally costly. Her bills at the drapers' showed that she was quite as lavish in her expenditure for other articles of dress. Indeed economy was hardly in her vocabulary; although she did sometimes say to her friend Mrs. Simmons, "I must try to economize, for my income will hardly meet my expenses. Can you recommend a good plain seamstress to me ? I must try to get one who will do my work more reasonably than Mrs. Allen."



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 101 disease. It rapidly developed itself, and they feared they were to be left childless. But in the midst of judgment, God remembered mercy. For a long time her life seemed doubtful; but God blessed the means made use of for her restoration, and to the surprise and joy of every one she was once more restored to her wonted strength. It seemed almost like one rising from the dead. The next communion season, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan had the happiness of having their dear Annie sit down with them at the table of the Lord, there to commemorate, with them, the dying love of their crucified Redeemer. Annie would frequently accompany her mother in her visits to the poor. Her bright and cheerful face was like a sunbeam, to cheer their hearts. There was never any pride in her manner when visiting them. She was ever ready to listen to their tales of woe, and by her



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CHAPTER V. "The Lord will provide." ATIE and Willie entertained their mother with their innocent prattle as they ran along beside her, greatly enjoying their walk. Sabbath was the day they loved above all others; they loved it because they had been taught to reverence the Lord's day; and on that day they always had the pleasure of walking to church with the mother they so dearly loved. Notwithstanding they were obliged to walk more than a mile to church, no weather, however inclement, kept them from going. They were always in good time for Sabbath-school and church. After returning home, the remainder of



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 143 he got through, she kindly took him by the hand and said to him, "' The Lord will not cast off for ever. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies,' and 'They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.' 'The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed in times of trouble.'" She then took Robert and went back to the house of Mrs. McPherson. As soon as Mrs. McPherson had heard his sad tale, she said she would give the boy shelter until something could be done for him. There Annie left him for the night. When she got home she related the circumstance to Mr. Bruce, and he promised he would see him the next morning, and try what could be done for him. Accordingly, the next morning he walked over to Mrs. McPherson's, and was so much pleased with the appearance 12-2



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 91 mamma," said Kate. "It would be only sixpence !" I know, my child, it would be but little. It would be literally the widow's mite, but that will be enough to buy a testament; and only think, with God's blessing, how many souls that one testament may be instrumental in saving Now, my loved ones, God has shown us how we may give, even if it is but little. Let us then pray that he, who by his almighty power fed five thousand with a few loaves and fishes, would add his blessing to this gift, and make it instrumental in bringing thousands to eat of the bread of life." Do you not think, reader, it may be said of Mrs. Allen, as was said of the widow of old, "This poor widow hath cast in more than they all ?" "We will keep sight of that sixpence, and see what good it will accomplish.



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108 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. "Oh! mamma, I cannot live without you. Must I give you up? Oh that I could die with you !" Her mother tenderly encircling her with her arms drew her to her, and thus remained for a few moments, silently entreating God to give strength to herself and child, patiently to yield to his will in this, their hour of trial. "My child, the Bible tells us that 'man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.' Afflictions spring not from the dust.' Every trial is of God's appointment, and the gracious intention is, that each wave of trouble, that rolls at his command, may bear us nearer our heavenly home. He would by his providential dealings teach us, this is not our rest." "When you are gone, mamma, I shall be all alone. There will be none to love me." "Alone! did you say, my daughter?



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160 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. promise to Annie of reading his Testa-, ment, and he never forgot to ask God for his Holy Spirit to enable him to understand and apply its precious truths. This he did from affection to her who had been so kind a friend to him, and not because he yet felt the necessity of the Holy Spirit's assistance. When Mr. Fullerton left his aunt's to return to the seminary, Mr. Bruce, finding Robert thirsting for knowledge,, became his teacher. Robert continued to be employed, during the day, at Mrs. Carlyle's. He made rapid progress in all, his studies, but, notwithstanding he had so little time to devote to his darling object-the attainment of knowledge, he never once omitted the fulfilment of his promise to Annie; and his Testament, which at first he read to please his dear friend, had now become doubly precious for its own sake. That Testament was the instrument, in God's hands, of pros-



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 157 he saw Robert's name written in a plain lady-like hand, and underneath the verse of scripture Annie had also written. Robert, may I add one or two more verses to those Miss Morgan has written ?" "If you please, sir, I would like to have you do so." Mr. Fullerton then wrote, "'My son, give me thine heart.' Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.' If I was to write you a letter containing advice, with the request that you would read it daily, and be governed by it, would you not do so ?" I would indeed, Mr. Fullerton." "My dear boy, this precious volume is a letter from God-him to whom you are indebted for every blessing you enjoy. Through these pages he would speak to your soul; he says, Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in 13-3



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;..' ,. \ s* lr kw4a4 4a ''* / 2?41 ..^ ;.: wit ]}§'/ VI/, A-f, A I teA I -) e4t .i~i~rc~re * *a ;.:,| B I~; I17Ei



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 165 duty so to live that he might be able to give a portion of it to the cause of Christ. Well would it be if Christians would always feel thus. They pray, "Thy kingdom come," but what do many of them do towards the advancement of that kingdom ? Mr. Carlyle had determined to reside permanently in the village where Mr. Bruce was settled as a pastor. The quiet retirement of the country was more congenial to his feelings than the noise and turmoil of city life. He always laid aside a certain sum, annually, from his income, for the benevolent institutions of the day. Besides his annual subscriptions, he always educated one young man entirely himself. He had heard, both from his wife and his nephew, Robert's history, and how great was his desire for an education. When Mr. Fullerton was ready to leave home, his uncle told him that he would now appropriate to Robert the sum 14



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C HAPTER VI. Riches take to themselves wings and fly away." NNIE Morgan, the Sabbath-school teacher of Mrs. Allen's children, already referred to, had been born and brought up in affluence, and until her fifteenth year had never known what it was to have a wish ungratified. Her father was a wealthy merchant of the city of B-To those who knew him, his wealth seemed unbounded. He was as generous as he was rich. He allowed himself a certain amount for the support of his family, and all the rest of his princely income was given to the cause of benevolence. In his wife he had one who was



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94 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Some years previous to this time she had been afflicted with a severe illness, that, for months, kept her confined to her room and most of the time to her bed. Before that she had looked to this life only for happiness. Young, accomplished, and beautiful, the daughter of wealthy parents, the idol of her husband, she had ever been the centre of attraction wherever she went. A cold taken from exposure after dancing, laid her on a bed of sickness, which, for a long time, her friends feared would be a bed of death. But her heavenly Father had work for her to do. He mercifully spared her, and made that sick bed the beginning of spiritual life. God opened her eyes, and made her see the vanity of spending her life in the pursuit of worldly happiness, which, like an ignis-fatuus, would, just as it seemed within her grasp, fly from her, and by its false brightness, allure her on, until lost in the mazes of dissipation and folly,



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CHAPTER X. "Weeping-may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good." N N I E was present when Mr. Wilson related to Mr. Bruce the circumstance of the widow's sixpence. Her eyes overflowed with tears when she heard it. She knew that even a sixpence could not be given by the widow Allen without self-denial. As soon as Annie could command her voice to speak, she requested Mr. Wilson to give her a Testament for that sixpence. She wanted it for Robert, who had en.-



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84 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. and you taught us all that pretty hymn:"' When we in darkness walk, Nor feel the heavenly flame; Then is the time to trust our God, And rest upon his name.' "And there was another hymn you taught us at the same time: 'Though troubles assail, and dangers affright, Though friends should all fail, and foes all unite; Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide, The Scripture assures us, the Lord will provide.', Truly out of the mouths of babes and sucklings" God "has perfected praise." "My dear children, you have comforted my heart. I pray God to forgive my ingratitude and unbelief. He knows what things we have need of. Our extremity is his opportunity. God will provide." They then arose and proceeded homeward. As they approached their home they saw Mary coming to meet them, her



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124 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. "Yes, God is love-a thought like this Can every gloomy thought remove, And turn all tears, all woes, to bliss, For God is love."



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44 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. to do it cheaper, as she was in great need -and now, only think, last Saturday when she brought my work home, she told me she would not do any more at the same price. Really the ingratitude and impudence of these people is insufferable! And forsooth she must have her wages every Saturday, although she knows full well I receive my income only quarterly. I told her last Saturday she would have to Wait until quarter day, which would not be for two weeks. "Augusta Brown intends giving a large party, and I must have a new dress for that occasion. Miss Taylor, the only really fashionable mantua-maker here, has made a rule to make no more dresses that are not paid for in advance. I would not give her mine for her impudence in making such a rule; as if she feared to trust her betters." (It may here be observed that Miss Prim had not yet paid for the last two dresses made for her, and



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 25 the same time he exhibited the contents of the basket. His mother was amazed. It was a long time since her eyes had rested on such an abundance. "Where, my son, did you get all this ?" He then handed her his money, and gave her a full account of the morning's adventures. Edward then had the satisfaction of seeing his dear mother partake of the food he had brought her. In the afternoon, as she was speaking to her son about the faithfulness of God in the fulfilment of his promises, they were interrupted by a rap at the door. Edward, on opening it, found his kind friend accompanied by a lady. They came in. The tale they heard, not only corroborated Edward's of the morning, but also revealed many additional trials. "When they heard of the noble conduct of Edward, and the faith and confidence of 2-3



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170 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. the senior class. Through Robert's instrumentality, many had been brought from darkness into light, and were now rejoicing in the hope of salvation. "We now see the beginning of the good done by the widow's sixpence. The Testament which had been bought with it and given to Robert, had been like good seed sown in good ground, which had taken root and sprung up into a goodly tree, throwing out branches which would yet bear fruit sixty-or an hundred fold. Robert graduated, taking the first honours of his class; after which he made a short visit to his friends. He had not seen Mr. Bruce since he first entered college, as he had been engaged, during his vacations, either as a colporteur or teacher, and consequently could not take the time necessary for so long a journey. It was a very pleasant visit to his friends, and greatly did he enjoy the re-union with those who had taken him by the



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 55 "My child, how strangely you talk! Certainly I would." Oh! I am so glad, for now you will give something to these poor people, won't you? You know what I told you cousin Emma said was in her Bible. And Jesus will consider it just the same as if you gave to Him. Now, mamma, ain't you glad I brought them in ?" Mrs. Brown could not resist the eloquence of the little pleader. She was a kind woman at heart, and before her means were so ample, was ever ready to help the poor and needy. Mr. Brown was looked upon as a money-making man. That being the case, his wife was brought more into contact with fashionable society; and there is, without doubt, something in the atmosphere of the fashionable world, prejudicial to the growth of charity. Mrs. Brown bid Carrie take the poor woman and her children to the kitchen,



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CHAPTER IX. "But to do good, and to communicate forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." HE next evening, according to promise, Annie, accompanied by her friends, walked over to the residence of Mrs. Carlyle. It "was about a mile from Mr. Bruce's residence, and part of the way was through a thick pine wood. The house was a plain old-fashioned stone building; but it was beautifully situated in the midst of a grove of forest trees, whose thick foliage almost secluded the house from view. As they approached, they heard youthful voices, but for some time could not



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136 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Jenny, his wife accompanied him to the door, as was her wont, there to receive his parting kiss; she stood watching him as he went towards the gate, and when he reached it he turned and saw his wife still standing where he left her; he came back to give her one more kiss, and as he did so, he said to her, I do not know why it is, my dear Jean, I feel so unwilling to leave you this morning. I feel oppressed with a painful presentiment of evil, and it seems as if I could not tear myself from you. If I had not promised Mr. Jacobs to have his barn repaired to-day, I would not leave home. May God keep you, my darling wife, from every evil !" His wife tried to cheer him, although she too had felt as if a cloud of darkness was hanging over her. She had not mentioned her apprehensions to her husband, as he laughed at her for her superstition. That day he was brought home to her a mangled corpse While in the act of



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 99 highly. valued brother-in-law. Now the steamer has hove to. Many are there, anxious to rush on board to greet those who have been absent. Mr. Morgan was much disappointed at not seeing his brother-in-law in the crowd on deck. He hastened to the Captain to inquire where he was. Alas! the Captain's face soon told the sad tidings. He had died of fever the day they were in sight of the island of St. Helena. There they buried him, on a foreign shore. Poor Mrs. Morgan! this was a severe trial. She had hardly recovered from the shock of this news, when both of her noble boys were taken ill with a disease prevalent among children, which had that season been very fatal. After one week's illness, one grave received them both. Their father was inconsolable, and said, How can I part with my precious boys!" Mrs. Morgan, leaning on his breast,



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CHAPTER IV. "Be merciful after thy power. If thou hast much, give plenteously. If thou hast little, do thy diligence gladly to give of that little." "God loveth a cheerful giver." E have looked a little 7 into the circumstances of Messrs. Jones and Brown; also, into Miss Prim's, and we have seen, that although their donations were looked upon as generous in the extreme,by those who only value such donations by pounds, shillings and pence; yet, no self-denial was necessary, on their part, to enable them to cast in their fives, or their fifties. "They gave of their abundance." Neither their luxuries, nor their comforts were curtailed by it. 5-28



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 163 the gloom, was able to lay hold of the promises, rich with mercy; and that bleeding heart, torn and wounded by sin, found rest-rest such as the world can neither give nor take away. On that night he solemnly entered into a covenant with God to be his. The next communion season in Mr. Bruce's church was one of peculiar interest, so many of the dear lambs were gathered into the fold. Of that number were Robert, Annette and Lizzie Carlyle, Mary Allen, and several others who were in Annie's class. It was a matter of special rejoicing to Annie to see so many of her dear Sabbath-school scholars publicly giving themselves to their Saviour in the days of their youth. It had been her prayer that she might be permitted to see those scholars numbered among the followers of the Lamb, and God had graciously answered it.



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40 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. one pound! and I know she gave one pound to the Board of Education only a few weeks since, for I heard her say so at a party at Mrs. Lund's.



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 49 Mr. Brown was surrounded by every comfort and many luxuries, he had been the head man at the village before Mr. Jones came there to reside, and his wife and daughters were the leaders of fashion. Mrs. Brown had felt a little sore that another should come in her place, as she considered it, and was unwilling to be cast into the shade by her more opulent neighbours. After church, instead of going home, Mr. Brown had walked out to visit his brother, a most estimable man, who lived on a farm a few miles out of town. His little daughter had been making her home with Uncle Brown" in town, that she might go to school with her cousin Carrie. The parents of Emma Brown were devotedly pious and had endeavoured to bring up their children in the fear of the Lord. On Monday morning, at breakfast, Mrs. Brown again introduced the subject 4-3



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46 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. in the eyes of the proprietor, none ever equalled it, or ever could, unless Mr. Caleb Jones should be the owner himself. That would give it a charm that nothing else could. Mr. Jones possessed the happy faculty of looking upon all that he claimed as his, as possessing attractions that could not exist, if another could say, "These are mine." In his opinion, his house was the most elegant; his wife the handsomest; his children the cleverest, and his horses the fleetest; to his ear even his canaries sang more sweetly than any others; and no flowers could equal, either in tint or fragrance, those that came from his own conservatory. Whoever looked upon the home of Mr. Jones could not but acknowledge it to be a very desirable one. All that taste could plan, and money execute, was bestowed to adorn his house and beautify the



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116 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. we would go forward in the discharge of duty, looking to our heavenly Father, he would give us strength as our day." Mr. Bruce soon after consented to Annie's teaching as soon as a suitable situation could be obtained. And thus the matter was decided. "Afflicted saint, to Christ draw near, Thy Saviour's gracious promise hear; His faithful word declares to thee, That 'as thy day thy strength shall be. "Thy faith is weal, thy foes are strong, And if the conflict should be long, The Lord will make the tempter flee; For 'as thy day thy strength shall be. "Should persecution rage and flame Still trust in thy Redeemer's name; In fiery trials thou shalt see, That 'as thy day thy strength shall be.' "When called by him to bear the cross, Reproach, affliction, pain, or loss, Or deep distress and poverty; Still' as thy day thy strength shall be.!



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104 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. alone to buffet with the world, and was herself dependent for a home upon the charity of others.



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22 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. bread and a cup of cold water. It made him think, too, of his poor dear mother, who had not been able to eat anything. She had taken no breakfast, for she thought, if .Edward was as unsuccessful as he had hitherto been, there would be no supper for her poor patient boy. As he went along, he thought to himself, "If I could only sell all my papers today, I could get something for dear mother." But hour after hour passed, and his feet were sore with constant walking, and he had not yet sold one paper. Weary and sad, he sat down on the steps of a splendid mansion. There was a great contrast in the appearance of that princely mansion and the poor pinchedlooking little boy on the steps. He laid his papers on the steps beside him, and resting his aching head on his hand, the tears rolled over his pale face. He was so absorbed in thought, that he did not observe a gentleman come out of the



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 173 manly deportment had so affected him that one day he came to Robert's room, and, after acknowledging his fault, begged his pardon, which was most cheerfully given. He said to Robert, "I am convinced by your conduct, that there is a power in religion that we of the world know nothing of. Had I been treated by any one as I have treated you, I would not have rested until I had his heart's blood." "The Christian code," said Robert, "is to return good for evil, and if I had treated you otherwise, I should have been unworthy the name of a disciple of Christ." Robert then took advantage of this favourable opportunity to impress upon him, in a tender and earnest manner, the necessity of personal religion. Mr. Simson (for such was his name) manifested much feeling as Robert conversed with him, and as he was leaving



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CHAPTER II. "And he looked up and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all. For all they have of their abundance cast in into the offerings of the Lord: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had." Luke xxi. 1-4. "NE NE Saturday evening of June, 1840, the Rev. Mr. Wilson sat at the Sparlour windowof the pleasant parsonage of Rof Shis friendthe Rev. Edward Bruce, who forsomeyears had now been the pastor of the church of that village. Mr. Wilson was agent for' 2-3



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 37 had a paper taken round for the subscriptions to be marked down. They passed by Mrs. Allen (the poor widow who had just called). They did not suppose she would have anything to give. The paper was first taken to Mr. Jones. He was the richest man in the congregation. As, for many years, he had made this village his summer residence, he had become one of the leading men; and as his wealth gave him great influence, he was looked up to by all around, and what Mr. Jones or his family did was all right. He was one who never gave privately. He wished his influence to be felt. Upon this occasion he gave ten pounds. The paper was next handed to Mr. Brown. When he saw that Mr. Jones had subscribed ten pounds, he was not able so far to control the expression of his face, as not to give some manifestation of surprise. He elevated his eyebrows, but as he felt that 3-3



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 179 Mr. Bruce accompanied Robert to the place from which he was to sail. His companions, who were to go with him, were there with their friends, who had also come to take a final farewell. As they stood upon the deck of the ship, surrounded by the loved ones from whom they were so soon to part, Mr. Bruce led in prayer, commending them to the care of Him, who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,"Him, whose voice the winds and waters obey, who says to the mighty deep, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no farther: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed." They then joined in singing the following hymn:"Roll on, thou mighty ocean, And, on thy billows' flow Bear messengers of mercy To every vale of woe. 15-2





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78 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. "Mamma," said Willie, "hark! what kind of bird is it that makes such a mournful sound? I heard one last night when I was coming from the minister's house. When I hear it moan, it makes me feel so sorrowful, I can hardly help crying. I think it must be all alone. Perhaps some wicked boys have killed its father and mother." "That, my dear," said Mrs. Allen, "is the dove. Its moan is very plaintive. The dove is the emblem of innocence. Can either of you tell me what kind of a bird Noah sent out from the ark, which returned bringing an olive branch ?" They both exclaimed at once, Oh, yes, mamma, it was a dove." "I wish, mamma," said Willie, "I knew the names of all the birds and all the animals in the woods. When I grow to be a man, I mean to study all about them. You know, mamma, Miss Annie had her Sunday-school class to spend the



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"She then modestly handed me her offering-it was sixpence."



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 19 womb? yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee." There, my dear, is God's own answer, and to doubt is to make God a liar. 'Only believe.'" We were getting along so nicely, mother, when you were taken sick." My dear,'God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.' He would now try our faith, and if we rest on him, we shall find that 'Behind a frowning Providence, He hides a smiling face.' Our changes are not regulated by accident or chance. God would know whether we trust him in the hour of darkness. His dealings with his children are often veiled in mystery, but Jesus has said, What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.' He will not send one unnecessary trial.



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72 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. why will you wish for things that you know dear mamma cannot get for you? Don't do so, dear, any more, it makes mamma so sad." Sweet little Kate would, then, dry her tears and cheerfully partake of such food as her mother had to give. Mrs. Allen would take advantage of such opportunities as these to teach her children submission to the divine will, and as she held sweet converse with them, would urge her dear ones to give their hearts to that Saviour whose love she had felt to be as fathomless as the ocean and as boundless as eternity. It was not long until her instructions seemed to be blessed, and she had the unspeakable happiness of knowing her dear daughters had given their hearts to Jesus in the days of their youth. Saturday evening arrived, and as Mrs. Allen completed her last piece of work, Mary got ready their frugal meal, and her



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70 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. She had said to her little girls, who, although they were but eight and ten years of age, were fully able to sympathize with their mother in all the generous emotions of her heart, "Now while Mr. Wilson is here, I would like to give him something towards the spread of the Bible." But how was this widow to do anything? It was by the closest application to her work that she was able to earn enough to support her in the plainest manner. Whatever she gives, it must be by self-denial. She had been quite busy recently for Miss Prim, and she hoped by Saturday night to be able to finish all the work she had on hand. She had been sewing for her now for about two weeks, and as she had not received any money yet, she hoped to get all that was due to her at the close of the week. Out of the proceeds of it, she intended first to pay Mr. Andrews, the grocer. He had kindly let her have such things as she needed, on



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114 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. until he had seen the remains of his dear friend consigned to the grave, then with Annie and his mother, who was going with Annie to her new home, he started. for the village of C--. After the first shock from the realization of her mother's death, Annie was wonderfully \sustained. All who looked upon her, felt that her strength was from above. Her mother's dying prayer was answered, and she had that peace which the world can neither give nor take away." They reached Mr. Bruce's about sunset, and were tenderly received by his wife. Annie soon felt herself at home. Her kind and gentle manners won her many warm friends. She felt unwilling to be entirely dependent on Mr. Bruce for support, as she was aware of his limited means. She was a fine scholar, and she thought if she could employ a few hours in the day in teaching, it would divert her mind, and, at the same time,



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 71 credit,'until she was able to pay him. She had always avoided going in debt, as much as possible, but unless she was paid promptly by her employers, she was unable to meet her daily expenses. In consequence of Miss Prim's neglect to pay her for her work as soon as it was done, she had been obliged to go in debt. It was her only alternative. Little Kate, the youngest daughter, who was a very delicate child, and whose appetite was capricious, would sometimes say, when they sat down to their frugal meal, I do wish, mamma, we had plenty of milk and nice cakes, such as we used to have when papa was living." Often did expressions like these open the fountain of tears, in that mother's heart, which a sense of duty had closed. Her sister Mary, who was two years older than Kate, would throw her arms around her, and with all the tenderness of a sister's love would say, Katie, dear, 6-2



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 133 with the Psalmist, The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places. "While they were in the school-room, the tea bell rang, and soon Annette, Lizzie, and Josie made their appearance, coming for them to go in to tea. Josie seemed a little shy at first; but Annie, holding out her hand, soon dispelled all shyness by one of her fascinating smiles. Josie had one of Annie's hands and Emma the other, and when Mr. and Mrs. Bruce and Mrs. Carlyle met them, they found the children all talking to Annie as if they had known her for years. After tea they had some music, and then Mr. and Mrs. Bruce, with Annie, bade their kind hostess and her dear little girls good night. They were equally pleased with each other. On Monday Annie commenced her labours; or, as she said to Mrs. Bruce, 11-3



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102 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. tender sympathy would often pour the balm of consolation into their wounded hearts. Time rolled on, and Annie had reached her birthday. In the last few years Mr. Morgan had experienced many heavy losses, but was still looked upon as a rich man. But "Riches take to themselves wings and fly away." In the kindness of his heart he had become surety very heavily for a friend, whom he thought perfectly safe, who owned the most extensive silk and lace warehouse in the city of B.About this time a large fire occurred, sweeping all before it until one entire square was consumed. It was the eleventh of January, and the weather was was most intensely cold. The engines were useless, as the water pipes were frozen and there was no water to be had. His friend's warehouse, with all its contents, was a heap of ruins, and he who had been considered a millionaire in



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48 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. He never gave privately. He thought every one should receive credit for all they gave. One year it was found very difficult to make up Mr. Bruce's stipend. One hundred pounds per annum was promised to him. Messrs. Jones and Brown gave, in addition to their yearly subscription, five pounds each, toward making up the deficiency, and by so doing, thought that they were entitled to the lasting gratitude of Mr. Bruce. The physician of the place gave the same amount in addition to his annual subscription, and to his gratuitous attendance, which was no trifle, as night after night he had been called upon to take a long, and sometimes a cold and wet walk. Dr. Canning had nothing but the income from his practice to depend upon for the support of a large family, and his own health was far from robust; but he was one of those who felt that it was "more blessed to give than to receive."



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38 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Mr. Jones was looking at him, his face in a moment assumed its former calmness of expression, and he put down under Mr. Jones, Mr. Brown, ten pounds." He was determined he would give as much as Mr. Jones, although his heart rather failed him, as he thought of the remarks Mrs. Brown might be induced to make when they got home. It was only that morning, at the breakfast table (Sabbath as it was), that she had told him, she was determined that their daughter Mary Augusta should go to Saratoga and Cape May, this summer, as Sallie and Jennie Jones were to be there. (These young ladies were named for their mother and aunt, and used to be Sally and Jane! Mr. Jones kept a French governess for his children, and as she thought these names perfectly barbarous, they must be modernized by changing the termination), Mrs. Brown had notified her husband that they would need all the ready cash



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 117 "When death at length appears in view, Christ's presence shall thy fears subdue; He comes to set thy spirit free; And 'as thy day thy strength shall be.'" 10





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122 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. pect of having her to teach her little girls. But when Annie was called in, and introduced, and had conversed with her a little, she was still more pleased with the prospect of having her as a teacher in the family; for she, like every one else, was charmed with her gentle manners. Annie too was pleased with Mrs. Carlyle. The preliminaries were soon arranged, and it was settled that Annie should enter her new sphere of duty on the following Monday. Before leaving, Mrs. Carlyle invited Annie, with Mr. and Mrs. Bruce to take tea with her on the next evening. She said Annie would not feel so much as a stranger; as she would thus have an opportunity of becoming acquainted with her little pupils, before entering on her duties. The invitation so kindly given was at once accepted. After Mrs. Carlyle had left, Annie said to Mr. Bruce with tears of gratitude in



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 81 the dark shadows of night were already falling. As he gazed, he said to himself, "That sun which is now lighting up with beauty the darkest object upon which it rests, will, in a short time, go forth to illumine with equal splendour that portion of the world which is now veiled in gloomy darkness." From dwelling upon the beauties of the natural world, his thoughts turned to the state of the spiritual. It saddened his heart to contemplate the millions of his fellow-creatures living in spiritual darkness; into whose minds no ray of gospel light had ever yet entered; who had never heard "that sweet story of old;" to whom no word of God had been sent, that it might be as a light to their feet and a lamp to their path," to conduct them, from the ways of sin and error, into the paths of everlasting peace. Mr. Wilson had been, for many years, labouring in the Bible cause; and as he



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE; OB, GO THOU AND DO LIKEWISE. F -LONDON: JAMES BLACKWOOD & CO., LOVELL'S COURT, PATERNOSTER ROW. &



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 53 she goes down stairs. I wish I had a Bible of my own. I would rather have it than the fairy tales you bought me. The other day when cousin and I were out, we met some beggars, and cousin Emma gave them some money she had to get candy for herself; and when we came home she said she could read something, in her Bible, to me, that spoke about the poor. I remember the words, for she made me commit them to memory. She said I would know then what to do when I met a poor person. These were the words: 'The poor shall never cease out of the land. Therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thy hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy in thy land.' So you see, mamma, there will always be poor people, and as God has commanded us to give to the poor, shouldn't we do so? You know, mamma, we are rich and have plenty. Every day Betty throws out so much



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60 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. How was it with the widow Allen ? Many would say that the trifle she gave could not be missed. "What is a sixpence ?" I think I hear them say : not worth giving for all the good it will do." "Well; come with me, and we will call at the widow Allen's, and after looking into her circumstances, see if it was necessary for her to deprive herself or her children of any of their daily comforts, (luxuries they had none) to enable her to contribute her "mite' toward the spread of God's word. She, who had been able to draw comfort from its wells of salvation, so precious to her own soul, felt it would be a great privilege to be permitted to help to send it to those who were perishing for want of its lifegiving waters. Mrs. Alien's history was not an isolated one. She had been called upon to drink deeply of the cup of affliction, but with



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 161 trating him at the foot of the cross. As God spake to him night and morning through those prayers, he was brought to feel himself a lost and undone sinner. His sins rose like mountains before him, and he seemed to be covered with guilt as with a mantle of darkness. He was made to cry out in the language of the publican, "God be merciful to me a sinner." But Satan, who is ever ready with his suggestions, tempted him to think" God may forgive others, but how can he forgive me ? There can be no mercy for one so rebellious, so hardened in guilt as I am." His strength was worn away by anxious days and sleepless nights. The greater part of the night would he spend in pleading at a throne of grace. And, blessed be God, such pleading never goes unanswered. One night as he took his Testament in his hand to read, he opened it at the parable of the Prodigal Son. As he read,



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 77 the day was spent in giving and receiving instruction. The Bible was the text book. From its inspired pages they received instruction that would be to them, in after life, a treasure more valuable than those of Golconda's mines. Katie and Willie were now in ecstasies with every thing they saw. They gathered wild flowers to take home to sister Mary; then would they run on in advance of their mother, chasing the butterflies, who seemed to be holding a levee on a patch of thistles that were growing by the roadside. But like many of the pleasures of life, just as they thought them within their grasp, they would take wing and in a few minutes be out of their sight. Then would the songs of the birds attract them, as, here and, there, the little songsters of the grove would pass them on their homeward way, making the woods ring with the melody of their voices, as they warbled forth their sweet songs of praise.



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Si :" I



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142 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. was taken sick, and found she could go no farther. Upon looking around they found an old shanty empty, which they rented, hoping Robert would be able to get work enough to pay the. rent, and keep them from starving. He succeeded in getting several little jobs to do, and if his mother had been restored to health, they no doubt would there have had a comfortable home. But God had other work for him to do. Mrs. Bailey got worse, and soon felt that she must leave her poor boy alone, a stranger in a strange land; but she committed him to God. In him she knew her child would find a friend. "He will regard the prayers of the destitute and not despise their prayer." "When Annie met Robert, he had just returned from following to the grave the remains of her, who, to the poor friendless boy, was all the world. Annie wept with him as he told his sad tale, and when



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30 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. the Bible society, and as his business had brought him to that part of the field in which he was labouring, he had been sojourning for the last ten days at the house of his friend. He had repeatedly brought the subject before the community, and had most earnestly entreated them to contribute of their abundance to the noble work for which he was labouring. The village in which he was, was beautifully situated in a valley among the Allegheny Mountains. As Mr. Wilson gazed abroad, he thought that he had never seen a more beautiful landscape. The sun was just sinking beneath the horizon, and as its departing rays lingered for a few moments, they seemed to rest upon the mountain's brow like a coronet of glory, causing every leaf to reflect its brightness, and showing in gloomy contrast the remainder of the landscape, over which



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80 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. all her paths are peace;' may each of you, my dear children, learn to walk in her ways, then will you be useful here and happy hereafter." But here is Miss Prim's house, and poor Mrs. Allen's heart beat rapidly as they approached the door. She rang the bell; and as they were waiting for the servant to come to the door, she could hear the sound of music and merry voices. Is Miss Prim at home ?" asked Mrs. Allen of the servant. "Yes, but she bid me say, she is engaged." "Tell Miss Prim it is Mrs. Allen. I have just completed the work I had to do for her, and have brought it home. If you please, say if convenient, I wish she would settle with me in full for the work I have done for her." "When the servant found who it was, she took the work and carried it to her



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 149 ing to James (Mrs. Carlyle's gardener) about Robert. She felt desirous of hearing how he was likely to get on in his new employment. She walked out in the garden, where she saw James at work. As she approached, he stopped his work, and politely bowing, he said to her, It's myself that's glad to see ye, Miss Annie." Thank you, James. I called to inquire how Robert suits. Do you think he'll make a good gardener ?" He does bravely, Miss Annie, he already knows the names of all the vegetables, all the flowers in the garden and green house; he has had a deal of larnin'. I ax'd him where he got it, and he tells me his mother's father was a preacher, and before he came to this country, he staid most of his time with his grandfather, and the old gentleman took a deal of pains to teach the lad.



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14 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. parsonage that had been their home during her married life, she would now be obliged to vacate in favour of the new minister; and as she would be under the necessity of doing something for the support of herself and little son, (her only child,) she thought, after consulting some of her friends, that she would be better able to do so in the city than in the country. It was a severe trial to leave the place where her dear husband had laboured for so many years, and which was endeared to her by so many tender recollections. The people of the parish kindly made up a little sum of money for her, and would not suffer her to be at any expense for her removal. One of the elders, who was a farmer, with his own team removed her furniture for her to the city of B--, where she had determined to reside, and i was now the most ardent desire of her heart, to give her son every advantage of education, hoping that one



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96 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. little immortals God had committed to her charge. An hour or two a day was all she could spare to spend with them. Those hours were the happiest of their lives. They loved their beautiful and gentle mother. Often would they say to their nurse, I wish mamma would stay with us as much as Helen and Henry Stanley's mother stays with them. She keeps no nurse or governess, but takes care of them and teaches them all herself, and they are so happy." "But," said the nurse, "Mr. Stanley is only a clerk, and Mrs. Stanley could not afford to keep a governess and nurse." "I wish our papa was a clerk too," said Edgar the youngest of the boys, if mamma would teach us herself, then, and let us be with her all the time." As Mrs. Morgan lay upon her sick bed, she thought, with sorrow of heart, how much she had neglected her dear



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98 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. and whom, after years of absence, she was expecting the happiness of welcoming once more to his native land. The room for dear brother Charley was in readiness to receive him; everything had been arranged with the utmost taste. A beautiful bouquet of choice flowers, culled by the hand of his favourite niece, had been tastefully arranged by her in a vase, and set upon his table. Their fragrant odour pervaded the room. That beloved niece at the time her uncle left home was just able to lisp, Do tome back soon, dear unker Charley, to your itty Annie." Now she was a tall, beautiful girl; could he have seen her, he would almost have thought it was his own sister, so much had Annie grown like her mother. The hour had arrived in which the steamer was expected that was to bring the long absent brother and uncle. Mr. Morgan was at the wharf, with his carriage, expecting soon to clasp the hand of his



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 169 his short life, ithad been his experience that wealth had never given happiness, but often hastened misery. Robert never resented their unkind treatment, but upon all occasions treated them with kindness; until by his courteous and gentlemanly manner, he made them ashamed of their conduct. Years rolled on, and Robert had entered upon his last collegiate year. By his exemplary conduct and his diligence in study, he had won for himself the friendship and esteem of the professors, and the sincere affection of his fellow students. Many of those who had looked down upon him, on account of his poverty, and thought it a condescension to notice him by a nod, now esteemed it a privilege to claim him as a friend. The prayer meeting, which had been begun by Robert and two or three of his friends, now numbered the majority of 14-3



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 171 hand when he came amongst them, an orphan stranger boy. He made but a short visit, as he was anxious to enter without delay upon his ministerial studies. He had not yet decided in his own mind where he would labour. When he looked around and saw so much need of labourers in his own country, where wickedness of every kind seemed to be on the increase, and where in every direction he saw multitudes going the broad road to ruin; his heart yearned over them, and he felt that he must spend his life in trying to win souls to Christ in his own beloved land. In the course of providence, his views were changed. A sermon preached before the Society, by a returned missionary, the last year that he was at the seminary, convinced him that it was his duty to carry to heathen lands the glad tidings of a Saviour's dying love. As the mission-' ary depicted in such thrilling tones the



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120 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. "What qualifications, Mrs. Carlyle, do you require ?" First, and above all, I wish one who is pious; for next to the influence of a mother, I think that of a teacher is the greatest. I would wish her to teach music and the common branches of an English education." I can recommend one, Mrs. Carlyle, who will just suit-a young lady who resides with me." What! Miss Annie Morgan! the young lady I saw in your pew on Sabbath ? I have heard her history, and should suppose that one brought up surrounded by luxuries, as she has been, would not be able to submit to the drudgery of teaching." Her circumstances have been greatly changed. It is her desire to teach; and in securing Annie Morgan for the instruction of your children, you will have a prize. I have never met with any



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52 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. ready to drop, overcome with fatigue and exhaustion. Only think, mamma," said Carrie, I found this poor woman, with her baby and little boy, sitting on a log by the fence. This poor little boy was crying with hunger. His mother says they have had nothing to eat since yesterday, and when I gave him a piece of cake I had, he said it was so good." "Carrie, how often must I forbid your bringing these good-for-nothing beggars to the house ? I expect nothing else, but we shall have our house broken open by them, some of these nights. I do wish there were no pobr." Mamma, cousin Emma says we shall always have poor people, for the Bible says so. She has such a nice Bible of her own that aunty gave her, and aunty made her promise to read it every day. Cousin Emma gets up every morning at five o'clock, and reads her Bible, before



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 121 young lady, who I think could be compared with her. During the greater part of her life, as you observe, she was surrounded by every luxury that wealth could procure. For some years she was the only child of her parents, and by them, her every wish was anticipated. This continued prosperity might have made her forget that this was not her home; but He, who all her life had been showering down his blessings upon her, manifested his love for her soul by laying upon her the hand of affliction. He not only took from the family their vast wealth, but from Annie he took the parents of her love-left her without an earthly prop to cling to. But he did not leave her comfortless. God himself became her comforter, and in him she has found 'a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.' Mrs. Carlyle was deeply interested in Annie, and was delighted with the pros10-3



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172 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. condition of the millions of poor benighted heathen, who were going down to everlasting destruction, he felt that if he refused the call to go to them, their blood would be upon his head; and he determined, Providence permitting, that he would devote his life, his time, and his talents to the work of foreign missions. He felt that it would be a great privilege to be permitted to carry to them the glad tidings of the unsearchable riches of Christ. It was now clear to the mind of Robert what God really did require of him. He and four others of his class offered themselves to the missionary work, and expressed their perfect willingness to go wherever it would be deemed best to send them. One of these was a young man who had been at college with Robert, and had been the most unkind in his ridicule of him. Robert's forbearance and gentle-





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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 15 day she might be permitted to see him fill the same position his father had occupied. Soon after her arrival in the city, she was fortunate in getting work that enabled her to maintain herself and child. Edward went to school, and always stood highest in his classes. At this time threepenny pieces were beginning to come into use, but were not very plenty. As Mrs. Bruce had but little to give to the cause of benevolence, she said to her son, one day, when he brought her one he had received in change : That, my son, you shall put into the missionary box next Sabbath; and after this, we will make a rule that all the threepenny pieces we get we will consecrate to the Lord. They shall go into his treasury." When Edward was twelve years of age, his mother had a severe attack of rheuma-



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34 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. quired of Mr. Bruce's little girl, who was playing on the step, if the Rev. Mr. Wilson was still there. Upon being informed that he was, she said she would like to see him. The little girl bade her follow. She brought her to the room where Mr. Wilson was sitting. She seemed t:mid and embarrassed, but his kindness of manner soon re-assured her. She sat down and immediately announced her errand. She said that she was a member of Mr. Bruce's church, and the Sabbath before had been present, when he (Mr. Wilson) spoke of the Bible cause. "At that time I was not prepared to give anything, but have now brought my offering, which I wish you to accept and appropriate to that good cause, and I pray that He who so graciously condescended to notice the poor widow's mite may add his blessing to this. May he put it in the hearts of those whom he has blessed with wealth, to give as freely



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CHAPTER XII. Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." 'Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel." SOBERT constantly corresS ponded with Mr. Bruce and Mr. Fullerton, and in them found able advisers and sympathizing friends. From the time that Robert found peace in God, it seemed to be his meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father, and the language of his heart was "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" and he made it his daily prayer that God would teach him what he really did require of him. As he looked upon a bleeding Saviour and then upon a world lying in 14-2



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPETCE. 95 nothing tould have saved her from its soul-destroying grasp but the interposition of Divine power. It is wonderful the means God makes use of to bring us to himself. "His ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts." If left to ourselves, we would never choose the thorny path; yet the path in which God's children must walk, is ever one of trial. "Who would not be willing to suffer, when suffering is the badge of God's love ? He tells us in his holy word, "those whom he loves, he chastens." He bids us not faint at his rebuke; and promises, My grace shall be sufficient for thee." At the time of her illness, she was the mother of three lovely children, two boys and one girl. Annie was the eldest. She was ten years of age. Mrs. Morgan had always been fond of her children, but she had so many claims on her, she had had but little time to devote to those 8-2



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENC., 89 They were always in time, and no children in school knew their lessons better, or were better children than they. On that day Mr. Wilson preached his sermon in behalf of the Bible Society. His eloquent pleadings in behalf of the cause he loved were enough to melt the heart, and open the purse-strings of a miser; but there were many who heard that sermon who always had money for their own enjoyment, yet turned away without answering that appeal. "How hardly shall they that have riches enter the kingdom of heaven !" Mrs. Allen had been anxious, as we have seen before, to give something for the Bible Society, and when she saw Miss Prim lay a sovereign on the plate, she thought to herself, if Miss Prim had only paid me the few shillings she owes me, I too could give something. Her heart was sorrowful, and the subject occupied her thoughts as she pursued her way home.





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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 111 After this conversation, Mrs. Morgan seemed very much exhausted. Annie spoke to her, but she was unable to reply. Mrs. Bruce coming in at that time, thought that indeed the last struggle was over. She called her son, who was in an adjoining room. He came forward, and taking her hand, found that the pulse was not quite gone. After giving her some restorative drops she revived, but it was evident she would not have much longer to suffer. He read a portion of the scripture to her and prayed with her; after which he said, Have you any fears of death ?" She looked up with a sweet smile and repeated in a clear voice, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." She then spoke to him about her dear Annie, requesting him to take her home with him and be to her a friend





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58 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. her in her arms, found she was even then labouring under symptoms of that dreadful disease, scarlet fever, which often makes so many homes desolate. The doctor was sent for at once, but medical skill was of no avail. Before another Sabbath sun arose, sweet Carrie had joined that angelic choir, and with harp in hand, her voice was mingled with theirs in the song of redeeming love, which was to continue throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 39 he could command, as their Augusta must dress as well as the Joneses, for she intended to stop at the same houses. Although Mr. Brown was engaged in extensive iron works, was apparently wealthy, and to the eye of an observer appeared to be surrounded by every luxury, yet his style of living was inferior to that of Mr. Jones. Many of the congregation gave one, two, three, and five pounds; and they who would have looked with contempt on the sixpence of the poor widow were loud in their praises of the generosity of Messrs. Jones and Brown. The donations from Mr. Bruce's church, when added together, made quite a large sum. Indeed there were many who thought that their church should be held up to the world as a model church. "Only think," said one young lady to another, "how generous Miss Prim was; she gave



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CHAPTER VII. S soon as Mr. Bruce heard of the death of his friend, and the destitute condition of his family, he wrote to Mrs. Morgan, begging her to con"sider his house her home. All that I have, my dear Mrs. "Morgan, is at your service. What should I have but for the kindness of your husband-my friend! my benefactor I Gladly would I do anything to prove that I am not ungrateful." Mrs. Morgan, however, declined this kind offer, but most gladly and thankfully availed herself of a share of his mother's home, in that little cottage on 9



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 57 "My child, you must not be so much with cousin Emma. She will make a little Methodist of you." "What is a Methodist, mamma? If it is one who loves Jesus, I would like to be one. I pray every day since cousin Emma taught me how, to our dear Saviour, and ask him to give a new heart to you and pa, and sister Mary Augusta, and to your little Carrie too; and I ask him to clothe us all in the beautiful white and spotless robes of his righteousness, and I know he will. Then when we die, cousin Emma says we shall go to heaven, and be like the angels. Mamma, did you ever hear the hymn cousin Emma's little sister sang before she died ?-It commences 'I want to be an angel.' As I was singing it this morning, with cousin, I thought I would like to be one too. Then I should have a golden harp." Mrs. Brown became alarmed by the excited manner of her child; and taking 5



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CHAPTER III. "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be ready to distribute, laying up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." "Unto whom much is given, from them will much be required." EADER, I wish first to inS troduce to your notice, Miss Prim, the young lady whose I generosity was so extolled by her friends for having given the munificent sum of one pound, to send the bread of life to those who were perishing for it; and who had, also, given the same amount to the Board of Education, to help to prepare those who intended to devote their lives to the cause of Christ. She whom her friends looked upon as a paragon of generosity, had lost her 3-3



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 81 mistress, and delivered Mrs. Allen's message. In a few minutes the servant returned, saying Miss Prim was engaged and could not be troubled with her that evening; and that it would not be worth while for her to come again for the money before two weeks, as she would then receive her quarterly income; and it would not be convenient to pay her before. Poor Mrs. Allen! this was a cruel disappointment to all her hopes. It was with difficulty she controlled her feelings until out of sight. The servant, who brought her the message, seeing how distressed she looked as she turned from the door, sighed, and said to a fellowservant, "God help the poor !" The children had heard all that had passed, and deeply realized what a sore disappointment it would be to their beloved mother. 7



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110 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. will you, like the young man in the gospel, turn away instead of bowing submissively to the will of him who gave himself tor you? I have felt for some time, my dear Annie, that your mother was filling that place in your heart which belongs to God: and now God says that the clay idol that is supplanting him must be removed." "How can I help it, mamma? you are all that is left to me. When I look back and see the great change a few years have made, I feel that it is more than I can bear." My darling, forget the things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.' May my darling one be encircled in the arms of God's love, and oh! may you have that peace which belongs alone to him whose mind is stayed on God !"



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 93 ever ready to join him heart and hand, in all his benevolent enterprises. Mrs. Morgan was in the habit daily of visiting the poor of the city, and thus making herself personally acquainted with their necessities. Emphatically she lived to do good. Nothing deterred her from visiting the homes of penury and want. Many a heart was relieved of its burden by her tender sympathy, and many a prayer was offered up, that she, who had been so ready to relieve the wants of others, might never know want herself. Hers was true generosity. She kept materials always on hand, that she might give employment to all who asked for it. Sewing and knitting all were sure of, if they wished to earn an honest living. She would then pay them well for their work. Many a box of clothing made in this way she sent to the orphan asylum in the city, thus doubling her benevolence. 8 ./f



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164 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Mr. Fullerton had been urged to take charge of a church in the far, far West, as soon as he should have finished his studies; and after consulting with his friends he consented to go. He knew he would have many privations, but he had made it a subject of prayer that he might be made an instrument of good to his fellow men; and when he was called upon to go far from all whom he held dear, he hesitated not to consecrate on the altar of God his services, his time, and his life. Mr. Carlyle was by no means wealthy, yet he did more for the advancement of Christ's kingdom than many who were far more able to give. He had been unfortunate in business, and had found it necessary to curtail many of his expenses; but he told his wife, it must be in some other way than by lessening their donations to the benevolent objects of the day. He felt that, whatever he had, it was his



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82 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Entirely out of sight of the house, there was a log lying a little off from the road. When they came to it, Mrs. Allen sat down, and then gave way to a passionate burst of tears. The children were frightened at so unusual a sight. Before them she always endeavoured to preserve a calm exterior, whatever might be the agony of her heart. "Oh !" she exclaimed, "what shall I do? Has God deserted me? How, my beloved ones, am I to get bread for you ?" At the first burst of her grief the children had both thrown their little arms around her, and mingled their tears with hers. Willie was the first to speak. His face was like a bright April day, as he looked smilingly through his tears and said to his mother, "Mamma, don't you remember, last winter when we had no coal and no bread, and you were so long without work, and you had roasted the last potatoes we had in the house for



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 87 bag. of gold could have felt richer than they. As soon as Mary got through, Kate exclaimed, "Now, mamma, has not God provided ?" He has, indeed, my dear; and to him we will return thanks, for' His mercies are new every morning and fresh every evening. He will ever be mindful of his covenant. .Mrs. Allen had called, on her way home, to let Mr. Andrews know that she would not be able to pay him as she had promised. He was very kind, and told her to give herself no uneasiness about it; and if she needed anything more that he had, before she received her money, he hoped she would not hesitate to call and get it. It was decided that master Willie should commence school on the following Monday. He was greatly rejoiced when he heard it. He had never yet been to



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 97 children, and determined, if it should please God to spare her life, that her first duty should be to them. She trembled to think how negligent she had been of the solemn charge committed to her; she resolved, with God's assistance, that the time which had hitherto been given to frivolous amusements, should now be devoted to the training of her children for heaven. Before this illness she had hardly known a sorrow. While on her bed of pain and suffering, she had given herself and all she had unreservedly to the Lord. The language of her heart was, "Lord, here I am, do with me as thou wilt. I wish to know no will but thine." It seemed as if God, to test her sincerity, sent trial upon trial, and sorrow upon sorrow, upon her from that time until the day of her death. First her father and mother were taken. Then an only brother to whom she was tenderly attached, 8-3



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100 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENOE. softly repeated, "' Shall we receive good at the hands of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil? The Lord, gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.' Come and let us return unto the Lord, for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.' The Lord is our refuge. He says, I will not leave you comfortless; I will come unto you.' It was but a short time since Mr. Morgan had come forward publicly to renounce the world and declare himself on the Lord's side, but he felt now what it was to have an Almighty arm to rest upon. Together, he and his wife knelt beside the bed that held the lifeless bodies of their dear children, and together renewed their covenant with the Lord, to be his. On their return from the grave of their dear boys, they observed in their Annie the premonitory symptoms of the same



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 75 "Willie, she could hear her darling Mary giving expression to her feeling of gratitude in the following hymn:Father, whate'er of earthly bliss Thy sovereign will denies, Accepted at thy throne of grace Let this petition rise. Give me a calm, a thankful heart, From every murmur free, The blessing of thy grace impart, And make me live to thee. Let the sweet hope that I am thine My life and death attend; Thy presence through my journey shine, And crown my journey's end.



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THE WIDOW 8 SIXPENCE. 155 at the time of his parents' death, he had been enabled to pursue his studies. He had entered college with the expectation of studying for the bar, as soon as he had completed his collegiate course; but while at college he became the subject of a revival which took place the year after he entered, and he, with the most of his class, became a student of divinity. It was now two years since he had commenced his theological studies; in one year more he expected to go forth as a herald of the cross. Mr. Fullerton received Robert very kindly, and after conversing with him for some time, he said to Robert, "Before entering upon any new duty, I always ask God's direction and blessing upon it. We will kneel, Robert, a few minutes in prayer." He then offered a short but impressive prayer that God would be with them, to direct and assist them in the labour they were about to engage in, and 13-2



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 153 studies; she knew how ardently the poor boy had desired to do so. In this, dear Robert, I hope you will see the hand of your heavenly Father. May you faithfully improve the advantages he has given you, and may he make you a useful labourer in his vineyard. I was just on my way going to see you for the purpose of presenting you with this Testament. Make it the man of your counsel. And now, Robert, I wish you to make me a promise; it is this, that you will read a chapter in this little book morning and evening. Before reading, kneel down and ask God to send his Holy Spirit to enlighten your understanding, and to prepare your heart for the reception of the precious truths contained in his word, that they may sink into your heart and be like seed sown in good ground, which will bring forth sixty or an hundred fold of the fruits of righteousness." Robert was very much affected by his 13



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 67 her family, until she could get employment. In a few days she found a little cottage she thought would suit her. It was very small, and being on the outskirts of the town she procured it at a very low rent. There was a nice little garden attached to it, where she was able to raise vegetables sufficient for her family's use. This was a very great assistance to her. In this humble home, she and her little ones had resided since the death of her husband, until the time of our introduction to her, when she brought her donation to the Bible cause to the Rev. Mr. Wilson. She had had many a hard struggle to provide bread for the dear ones left to her care. Sometimes she found it difficult to obtain work; and often when she might have procured it, her health was such that she was unable to do it. Then, in these hours of darkness, would her



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 141 When Mary came home and heard from her son that her husband had taken her Bible, the last gift of her father, she felt as if God had deserted her; for in his word was all the comfort she had, and now that was gone, and where would she get another? Since Patrick had again taken to drink, he had given himself up to it so completely, that he soon fell a victim to the curse. After his death, Mary, finding she could get no work for herself or Robert, thought if they could go West, where some of her Irish acquaintances resided, they might do better. They started to walk. Some nights they would sleep in barns, and frequently they would be hospitably entertained by the farmers, who not only gave them a night's lodging, but after giving them as much as they could eat, would furnish them with provision for the way. They had only reached the village of when Mary 12



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CHAPTER VIII. "Commit thy ways unto the Lord, and he shall direct thy steps." ST was but a few evenings after Annie had mentioned her wishes to her friend, when Mr. Bruce had a call from Mrs. Carlyle, a lady who had recently moved to that place. The servant showed her into the study where Mr. and Mrs. Bruce and Annie were sitting. Mrs. Bruce'and Annie left the roomn almost directly. Mrs. Carlyle at once mentioned her errand. "Knowing that your acquaintance in the neighbourhood is extensive, I have taken the liberty to call, in hopes you would be able to recommend a young lady, who would be willing to come to my



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 135 Annie was indefatigable in her efforts to do good. She continued to read or converse anuhour every day, with old Mrs. McPherson, while she was busily plying her knitting needles. Mrs. McPherson was a poor widow, who, for many years, had been bed-ridden; and who, when her grand-daughter Jennie was out at work, would have spent her days in loneliness, had it not been for the kindness of Annie, whose constant aim it seemed to be to imitate Him who went about doing good. Mrs. McPherson had been a widow many years. Her only daughter was married, at an early age, to a truly pious young man, an excellent mechanic; and who, if his life had been spared, would have been able to provide amply for his mother-in-law, as well as for his own family. But in an hour when we know not, the Son of man cometh." About two months before the birth of their little



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 43 Miss Prim never thought of sewing any herself. She had no time; she breakfasted at ten, and the rest of the day was taken up with making and receiving visits, or practising a little on the piano. After dinner, she must, of course, take a nap. She was so fatigued, she could not sit up all day. She would then dress for the evening. Perhaps she would have a little embroidery on hand, which she would bring to the parlour. Plain sewing would not be tolerated by such fashionable young ladies. Mrs. Allen had been recommended to her as a worthy and a pious woman whom it would be a charity to assist, as she was trying to support herself, and three fatherless children, by honest industry. For some time she had had but little to do. Miss Prim, in speaking of her to her friend Mrs.Simmons, said-" I gave my work to Mrs. Allen, because she promised



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 103 the morning of that day, found himself a bankrupt in the evening. He had been insured for one half of the value of his property; but his policy had run out, and neglecting to renew it, all was now gone. On the same day that the fire occurred by which Mr. Morgan lost so largely, he heard of the entire loss of a ship in which he was principal owner. Ship and cargo -all were lost. These accumulated losses were more than he could bear. They preyed upon his mind until his health gave way, and the strong man sunk under his misfortunes. It was but a few months after, that Mrs. Morgan was left a widow to mourn the loss of one of the best of husbands, and she and her daughter were reduced from affluence to poverty. Everything was gone: and she who had lived in affluence, and had always been ready to relieve the wants of others, was now left



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64 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. held it. Strangers, as they passed, would stop to admire the beauty of the place. The house stood back, some distance from the road. You approached it through a garden filled with flowers of every variety. At the entrance of the garden was an arch over the gateway; and over it a cypress vine gracefully entwined. If Mr. Allen had a pet among flowers, it was this cypress; and every evening, as he returned from his day's labour, would he stop, after entering the gate, with his little Willie in his arms, and Mary and Katie beside him (for they always ran down the lane to meet dear papa as soon as he came in sight), to admire the beauty and rapid growth of his favourite plant. Every morning found it covered with fresh coral blossoms, and as he passed under the beautiful arbour, they seemed like smiles of love to cheer him as he went forth to his daily employment. The cottage could but just be seen from the



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106 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. the outskirts of the city where she resided; and now in that very cottage presented to her by Mr. Morgan, did his own destitute wife and daughter find shelter and a comfortable home. She was not, however, long permitted to enjoy even the limited comforts of her new home. -Past reverses and her great bereavement had broken her constitution, and sowed the seeds of disease, she became ill and gradually sank, until she found it too probable that she would never be able to leave it again until taken to her final resting-place. Her daughter Annie now became the first object of her solicitude, and she expressed a wish that Mr. Bruce would be her protector. Faithful to his sense of gratitude for the past kindness of her husband, he hastened to see her as soon as he heard that she was too ill to leave the house. His presence was a great consolation to her, and the tender and affectionate attentions of



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 83 breakfast, and you cried when you thought you had nothing to give us for supper? Then you took the Bible and read to us how God took care of the fatherless and the widow; and then you made us kneel down, and you prayed that God would give us our daily bread;' and after you had prayed you said you felt better, for you knew that God would do as he had promised. You said you did not know where it was to come from, but you knew he would give us something for supper. And he did; for you said it was God sent that kind lady who brought you so much work, and gave you some money at the time she brought the work. We had such a good supper that night, for you got us as much bread and milk as we could eat; as we had had no bread for two days, you said we should have as much that night as we wanted." "Then, dear mamma," said Katie, "you said you would always trust God, 7-2



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CHAPTER XI. "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." He that goeth forth * bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." SHE next Sabbath Mr. Fullerton took a class in the SabSbath-school. Robert was one of his scholars, as Annie had requested the Ssuperintendent to put him in Mr. Fullerton's class, as she thought it would be more to his advantage to be there. Robert rose every morning at the dawn of day. He faithfully fulfilled his



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 115 she could earn what would support her. She took an early opportunity to speak of it to her friend. He was astonished when she mentioned her wish. Why, how could my little sister Annie, brought up as she has been, submit to the confinement and drudgery of teaching ?" She said she knew that she had not been brought up with the expectation of teaching; but as God had bestowed upon her every advantage of education, she felt as if he now called upon her to do something for his glory and the good of those around her; and there was no way that she could think of, in which she could be as useful as teaching. "I fear my sister has not strength to go through with such arduous labour." She looked smilingly at him and repeated, "'As thy day thy strength shall be.' You know you told us last Sabbath, when you preached from that text, that if



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174 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. his room he shook hands, thanked him for the interest he had taken in him, and promised that from that time he would begin to seek the Lord. They became warm friends, and Robert had the happiness of seeing Mr. Simson numbered among the followers of Christ. It was through Robert's instrumentality that he was first brought to see himself a sinner against the Almighty. As he felt the necessity of a new birth, he began earnestly to seek the Saviour. For some time he struggled against his better feelings, but at last yielded himself in sweet submission to the will of God.



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 61 the Psalmist she could say, Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept thy word." She had never been wealthy. It had always been necessary for her to economise; but she had not been poor. Early in life she had been united to one who was all her heart could desire, or her judgment approve. While he, the partner of her choice, was spared to her, she felt that her cup of happiness was full. Her husband was her idol! Around him the best affections of her heart entwined. To the creature was given that love which belongs to the Creator alone. How true it is, that in the midst of life we are in death!" At a time when she least expected it, he who had been the light of her life, was removed from her. But it was by her heavenly Father's hand, and who can doubt, that the dreadful severing blow was dealt in love ? He who has promised, As thy days so shall 5-3



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130 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Mrs. Carlyle soon made her appearance, and warmly welcomed them all, but to Annie her manner was tenderly affectionate. "You found my little ones in the woods, Miss Annie, where they are, in pleasant weather, the most of the time that they are out of the school-room." "How much better it is," said Mrs. Bruce, "for your children to have the privilege of playing in this beautiful wood, than to be confined to the city !" "Yes," said Mrs. Carlyle, "I fully agree with you. The enjoyments of city life are very artificial. Here my children may become acquainted with nature; and while they are rambling about in the fields and woods, they will acquire a taste for pleasures which will delight but never corrupt." "As your little ones, Mrs. Carlyle, become interested in the beauties of nature, the examination of them must bring con-



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128 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. with. He introduced his wife, and then turning to Annie, said, "Annette, this is Miss Annie Morgan, the young lady who has consented to become your teacher. I hope you will all love her and try to be good girls." Annette then introduced her sisters and the little girl who was visiting them; it was she who had been so loud in Miss Annie's praise. Emma seemed, at once, to be attracted to Annie, and coming up beside her, she said, "Don't you think this a very pretty play-house, Miss Annie ?" "Yes, my dear, I do indeed. It is a fit palace for the queen of dolls to reside in." And well might she say so. The green sward was the carpet: in one corner was a bed for dolly, tastefully covered with a moss counterpane; in another part of the room they had a log, with stones at each end for pillows, all entirely covered with



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140 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. "Shure an ye'll not refuse to take a drap with your auld neighbour! Ye needn't take any more if ye don't wish." Patrick did as so many others have done. He thought he could take a drink and then stop. Poor fellow! When once he tasted, he was lost. He continued from that time to drink, until he had bartered for whiskey all the little articles of furniture that he had been able to gather for the comfort of his family. His wife pleaded with him to give it up, but the demon had taken too fast hold of him. His wife and children were obliged to beg their bread. One day when he came in and found his wife was out, as he was looking for something to dispose of for liquor, he came across her Bible. He immediately took it off and sold it that he might get something to buy whiskey. This was the last article left. Everything had been taken, even to part of her clothing.



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162 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. his face became radiant with joy, and he exclaimed aloud, "I will arise and go to my Father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy child. Oh! my Saviour and my God, forgive me for doubting; thou hadst compassion on the prodigal son even when a great way off, and thou hast said-' Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.' I come depending on thy promises. I am vile and unworthy, but Jesus has made a full and all sufficient atonement. "Blessed truth! it was for sinners Jesus died. Yes he saves the chief of sinners, therefore he can save me-' The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.'" His mind, which was shrouded in darkness so that he could see nothing bu condemnation, now, since a ray of th& "Sun of righteousness" had penetrated



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68 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. spirits droop, and she would feel as if she and her fatherless little ones must perish. But God's own word, which had enabled the beloved partner of her life to meet, with calmness, the king of terrors, was now her support. The sweet promises therein contained, were as "the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." They were more refreshing to her than water to a thirsty soul." Through divine grace she was enabled to cast her burden on the Lord." He was her refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble." Plain sewing was all that she could do, and for it the remuneration was so small she often found it difficult to provide absolute necessaries for her children. Oh! yes, daughters of fashion, would that I could induce you to turn aside and for a little while visit the abodes of virtuous poverty; where, perhaps, as in the case of Mrs. Allen, you would find a widow,



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 145 him, and he did for her all that a son could do. "If distress befall thee, Painful though it be; Let it not appal thee, To thy Saviour flee. "When earth's prospects fail thee, Let it not distress; Better comforts wait thee, Christ will freely bless." 12-3



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28 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. his rich servants, was fulfilling his promises to the widow and the fatherless. She and her son delighted to review the way the Lord had led them, and often spoke of the morning when Edward started out with the papers that had been purchased with the last shilling. That time they always designated as "the darkest hour;" but it was the hour that was to usher in the "dawn of day." The meeting of those kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, was to the desolate widow and her orphan boy, the sunrise of a prosperous future. We shall hear of them again in another part of this narrative.



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10 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. tecture and lofty spire, and not far from it stood the parsonage with its broad lawn and highly cultivated garden. The Rev. William Bruce was the pastor of this church, and his congregation consisted principally of th6 labouring classes and the farmers in the neighbourhood; he was a man who faithfully discharged his duties to his people, visited them at regular intervals, attended the sick, was at the death-bed of the dying, and took a prominent part in all benevolent enterprises. As a reward of those faithful ministrations, 'he received the attachment and devotion of his congregation, he was everywhere respected, and his name became a source of influence and power in checking vice and encouraging habits of industry and well-doing. Though not wealthy, all contributed to the best of their ability, to every effort in the cause of missions, benevolence or humanity



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86 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. said she would try to dispose of some for me. Since you went out, she called and brought me this money to pay for those she took last week, and now she has taken with her all the rest that I had finished. She thinks she can sell all that I can knit. As Miss Patience only charges ten shillings a quarter, for such as Willie, I can soon earn what will pay for a quarter. Now, mamma, won't you let Willie commence school next Monday? As Miss Prim has disappointed you, mamma, you can have this money; and here is a large bundle of shirts Miss Annie got a friend of hers to send you. As soon as these shirts are finished, you can take them to Miss Annie, and she will give you the money for them." Kate and Willie had come up to their mother as Mary was showing her treasure, and relating what had occurred in their absence. They listened with astonishment, and no one having found a



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16 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. tism, which for months confined ner to her bed, and for a long time rendered her right arm useless. She had by her industry been able to lay by a small sum against "a rainy day," but in her long illness they had been obliged to spend every shilling; and now it became necessary to remove Edward from school, and have him seek some employment, by which he would be able to support himself and his afflicted mother. The question became, "What can Edward do?" He was smaller than most boys of his age, too small to go into a shop. His mother could think of nothing that he could do, unless he could sell papers. It was decided that he should make the attempt; and the next day he was to make his first trial. Early in the morning he purchased a shilling's worth, and sallied forth. Poor child! the first day he sold but two; and two more were stolen from him by a big



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88 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. school, his mother and sisters having taught him at home. He was the pet of the family; and was a noble boy. Natural History was his delight. He would sit for hours, poring over a little volume that had been given to him the last Christmas by Mr. Bruce. It was a history of animals. Willie was able to communicate all the information contained in his favourite book. The cloud, which seemed for a while to hang so darkly over them, they found was not without a silver lining." With what grateful hearts did Mrs. Allen and her little ones offer up their evening incense of prayer and praise, as, before retiring, they bowed around the family altar! They were up early the next morning, and ready betimes for Sabbath-school. They spent the hours in study until the sound of the bell warned them the happy hour had come, when they would soon meet their beloved teacher, Miss Annie.



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 63 At the time of which we now write, she was living in a small house, with a garden attached to it, just in sight of the princely mansion of Mr. Jones. The contrast in their dwellings was indeed a striking one. Here Mrs. Allen had removed, when she was obliged to leave her pretty cottage, a home endeared to her by the tenderest ties of memory. There had she gone, with her husband, when she was first a bride. There, too, was the birth-place of their children. When their little Mary was born, it seemed as if they had reached the climax of their happiness. She came, as a sweet cherub, to gladden their already happy home. With this precious gift, their hearts had nothing more to wish for. Mr. Allen was a man of much taste, and during his life-time, he had spared no labour to make their home inviting; and Rose Cottage, as he had named it was indeed the admiration of all who be-



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134 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. who called for her one day after she had been teaching some weeks, and asked her to go with her, if her labours for the day were over: "Not labours, sister (for so she always called her), but my hours of pleasure; for the hours I am engaged in teaching are the most pleasant of my life." Annie proved herself a most faithful teacher. She always endeavoured to give her instructions such a bearing as would lead her pupils to seek God's blessing upon their efforts to obtain knowledge; and in all her teaching tried to impress upon their minds, that The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." The weeks passed pleasantly along; Annie enjoyed her daily walk; and so far from being injured in health by her labour, as Mr. Bruce had feared, she gained in health and strength by the regular exercise.



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 131 viction to their minds, that here are evidences of the presence of infinite wisdom and power; and thus their young hearts will be drawn from nature up to nature's God.' "My husband and myself are both rural in our tastes, and we desire to cultivate the same in our children. We do not desire to have our children brought up in the city; but Mr. Carlyle's business has been such, that we have been obliged to be there part of the year. If he is successful in his present business, and is spared to return to us, he has determined to take up his residence permanently in the country. For my own part I am heartily sick of city life; there is so much living for appearance; every one seems to be aiming a little beyond what his means are adequate to." Mrs. Carlyle invited her friends to take a stroll in her garden. There she showed 11-2



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74 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. she had not been able to do for a long time. She also thought she would be able to give something to the Bible cause, in which her heart was so deeply interested. Mary kissed them all good-bye, and promised to have the dishes washed and the house swept, all in order for the Sabbath by the time they returned. Then, Sdear mamma, we will have such a nice time this evening. You will feel so happy to be able to pay all your debts, and have enough besides for two whole weeks without being obliged to go in debt again. And you have as much work in the house as will keep you busy all next week, and the promise of more. Miss Annie met me yesterday, and told me she thought she could sell the little socks I knit, and then dear, sweet, little Willie can go to school. Oh mamma, I feel as if we were going to get along so nicely now." As Mrs. Allen started with Kate and



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 181 for the advancement of God's kingdom according as he has enabled you to? Or have you been indulging in luxuries which have consumed your means, and rendered you unable to contribute to the cause of Him, to whom you are indebted for all you have, and who will call upon you for an account of your stewardship? We must give an account, not only for all we do, but also for all we leave undone. You perhaps will say, "I can give so little, it is not worth while for me to give at all." Had Mrs. Allen thus reasoned, how many souls might have been left in ignorance and sin, instead of adding their voices, as they now are, to the songs of the redeemed in glory If you were to see a fellow creature starving, would you not gladly share your last loaf with him -or your last piece of bread ? Oh! then, will you not think of the millions who are starving for the bread of life, and who are .daily going down to endless woe ? , 15-8



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 27 himself to attend to the education of Edward, who faithfully improved the opportunities given him, made learning and theology his study, carried off many prizes at college, and, by the grace of God, became all that his mother could desire. Years rolled on, and Mrs. Bruce's cup of happiness seemed almost overflowing, when she saw her beloved son walking in the footsteps of his father as an ambassador of Christ." Immediately after Edward's ordination he took a charge in the village of R--. He was anxious that his mother should make her home with him, but she thought it best to keep her own home and visit her son. By the sale of the fruit from the little place where she lived, she was able to live very comfortably. The Christmas after she moved to this cottage, Mr. Morgan sent her a very kind note, and, as a gift, the title deeds of the cottage where she was living. Thus God, through



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 119 house daily for about three hours, to teach my little girls. As you are the minister of the place, I thought you would be the best person that I could apply to. My husband has been called away from home, and will probably be absent a year or eighteen months. We spent last summer here, and were so much pleased with the beauty of the scenery, that I thought I should greatly prefer remaining here during my husband's absence, to living in the city. The want of a school for our children was the only objection my husband had to my plan. I have four little girls. The oldest is twelve; the youngest six. As our circumstances have been somewhat straitened, we could not afford to employ a regular governess; yet I thought that there might be some young lady living here, who would be willing to teach about three hours a day for such a salary as we were able to give." 10-2



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158 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. to him, and will sup with him and he with me.'" After a little more conversation, Mr. Fullerton told Robert to be there the next evening at the same hour. Robert, taking his book under his arm, bade Mr. Fullerton good-night, and returned home, his heart filled with a feeling of solemniity he had never before experienced.



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 79 afternoon with her last Saturday. She told us so many interesting things. She told us all about King Solomon; how he knew all about the trees, from the cedars of Lebanon, down to the little hyssop; and that he knew all about the birds and beasts. Oh! I do wish I was as wise as Solomon." Who giveth wisdom, my son ?" 'Tis God, mamma." "Katie, what was the text you learned, last Sabbath, about wisdom? Can you repeat it ?" If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." "What does the Bible say is the beginning of wisdom, Willie ?" It says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.'" Yes, my dear, and it also says, 'Wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 109 No, youf will not be alone. He who, of old, led his people by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire to show them the way wherein they should go, will be with you. He himself says, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,' and again, I will not leave you comfortless.' Look for direction to that Friend who sticketh closer than a brother. He has said, 'I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way wherein thou shalt go. I will guide thee by mine eye.' Prospects at present, my dear, look dark and gloomy to you, but God can bring light out of darkness. Be assured, my child, that not a trial, not a cross, that is unnecessary, will your heavenly Father send. Whatever trials come, there is 'a needs be.' Your Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.' And does not your own heart re-echo it? Are you willing to give up all at the command of God, or 9-3



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178 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. Mrs. McPherson had a good home with them. As Robert entered the house, he saw her sitting by the fire knitting. Tears of joy flowed over her cheeks, as she warmly welcomed her callan,* as she called Robert. In speaking to Robert about Jennie's marriage, she said to him, Jamie is sae couthie,t I need nae mair be fasht about my Jennie, an' auld grannie has nae mair to do, but sit by the chimley lug and knit." Robert visited all his old friends. Swiftly did the days pass, that brought his visit to a close. The time had come when he must say good-bye to all the friends of his youth, to whom he was so tenderly attached; and not with the expectation of seeing them again after a few months, or even years; but with the expectation of never again meeting this side of eternity. "* Boy. + Kind and loving. 3 Troubled.



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 137 raising a heavy piece of timber, his foot slipped, and he was thrown down, and crushed by'the timber so badly as to die within fifteen minutes after the accident. His poor Jean was never out of her bed again, except for a little while at a time. She died a few hours after the birth of her babe. Before breathing her last, she placed her babe in the arms of her mother, and begged she would keep it. It was a great charge for one so poor as Mrs. McPherson; but Jennie had richly repaid the kindness of her grandmother, by the kind and tender care she had taken of her since she had been rendered so helpless by disease. Annie often said, a visit to Mrs. McPherson was as good as a sermon to her. Annie had taken a class in the Sabbath-school. Several of the children were those she had gathered from the streets and alleys, who had never before



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 107 Mrs. Brace greatly contributed to relieve her sufferings and soothe her mind during her last and lonely hours. It soon became evident to all, that they who had been so happy and devoted to each other in life, would not long be separated. Poor Annie's heart was almost broken, as the truth forced itself upon her that she would soon be without father or mother. The latter had been trying for some time to prepare her for the trial which she felt from the first, was awaiting her; but the heart is slow to believe what it does not wish, and it was not until the doctor told her that he could do nothing more for her mother, that she gave up hope. The evening after she received this assurance, she took her Bible to read to her mother, as was her wont, her voice failed her, and she could not proceed. Throwing herself on the bed beside her, she exclaimed in accents of anguish, 9-2



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166 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. he had formerly given to him. He then wrote a note to Mr. Bruce, requesting him to make the arrangements for Robert's going to college, and generously authorized him to call on him for the sum necessary to defray all expenses. Thus had God led Robert on, step by step, and opened a way by which he might attain the great desire of his heart. Mr. Bruce, in accordance with Mr. Carlyle's request, made all the necessary arrangements, and in due time Robert bade good-bye to those who had been so kind to him, and started for college.



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138 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. been in a Sabbath-school. Amongst them, was one she had found under very affecting circumstances. One evening, as she was coming out of Mrs. McPherson's gate, later than usual, her attention was attracted by a young lad who was sitting on the ground, his head bowed down, and sobbing and crying as if his heart would break. Annie went up to him, and kindly inquired what was the matter, and why he did not go home as it was getting so late. "Home! miss," he said, "I have no home." "Have you no friends ?" "No, neither home nor friends. Oh dear! Oh dear! what shall I do ?" Annie at last drew from him that he was a stranger in this place. About three months before, he, with his father, Patrick Bailey, and mother had arrived in New York from the "old country." His mother was a Protestant, and his



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 129 most beautiful fresh green moss; this was their sofa. Then they had a box, which their mother had given them, turned upside down; this was covered with a white cover, and on it was a bouquet of wild flowers arranged with great taste. This was the work of Lizzie, Mrs. Carlyle's second daughter, a sweet little creature, sensitive as the mimosa, and passionately fond of flowers. She would spend hours alone in the woods gathering them. Josephine, or Josie as she was called, was the third daughter of Mrs. Carlyle. She was a warm-hearted, impulsive child, and a regular romp. She was seated on one of the boughs of the tree under which they had their play-house. After Annie had made some kind remarks to each of the children, they proceeded to the house accompanied by Annette. She took them into the parlour and then announced their arrival to her mother. 11



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" Weary and sad, he sat down on the steps ot a splendid mansion."



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90 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. As soon as she reached home, she retired to her closet, there to pour out her heart in supplication to God, that he would show her how she could give something to the cause that lay so near her heart. As she and her children were taking their tea, she said to them, "I have been thinking, my'dear children, in what way we could deny ourselves, that would enable us to give something to Mr. Wilson before he leaves, which will not be for another week. If we could all take cold water instead of tea, we would save what we now give for milk." The children were quite willing to practise this self-denial; but Mary, looking anxiously at her mother, said, Dear mamma, we can very well take cold water; but what will you do without your tea? You have to work so hard, and a cup of tea is the only indulgence you allow yourself." "It would not be much, any how,



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12 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. but all earthly happiness is uncertain, and comes at last to a close, and the many years that are gone appear but a span; and the incidents but a dream. For fourteen years he had preached faithfully to the people over whom he was placed, but lately he suffered greatly from a chlrdnic disease, which made him feel he might be summoned at any moment, to give an account of his stewardship, nor were his fears long in being sadly realized; one night after visiting one of the sick members of his church, he retired in apparently more comfortable health than usual, but about midnight his wife hearing him sigh heavily, sprang up, anxiously enquiring, Is anything the matter ?" Another sigh was the only response; and before she could get a light, his spirit had entered upon those joys which "eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive." Language



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56 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. and give them as much food as they wanted. It was not necessary to repeat the permission more than once. The dear child sprang up, and taking the little boy's hand, joyfully escorted them to the kitchen, where her kind heart had the pleasure of seeing them well fed. She had been in the kitchen but a little while, when her mother came in carrying a large bundle of clothes, for the poor woman and her children. The sight of it made little Carrie's face beam with delight. In the exuberance of her joy, she threw her arms around her mother's neck, and said, "Oh dear mamma, isn't it a pleasure to feed the hungry and clothe the naked?-Cousin Emma says that the Bible is to sinners the Bread of life, and unless Jesus would clothe us in the beautiful white robes of His righteousness, we could never go to heaven. Don't you wish He would clothe us, mamma ?"



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168 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. sin, he would hear the response to his question in almost audible tones, "Go work in my vineyard." "The harvest is great, but the labourers are few." He felt that he was called of God to go forth as a herald of the cross, and it was his determination when he entered college, that if God spared his life to complete his studies, he would become an ambassador for Christ, entreating sinners in his stead to be reconciled to God. Immediately after entering college, he took charge of a Sabbath-school class; and with two or three of his companions, who were of like mind with himself, commenced a prayer meeting, which was held in each other's room alternately. Some of the students, who considered themselves the aristocracy on account of their wealth, were disposed to look down upon Robert, -and point the finger of scorn at him on account of his poverty. Robert paid no regard to it, for even in



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 47 grounds which surrounded it; until fancy could not imagine, or desire wish for, anything that could add to the beauty or comfort of his home. No ladies dressed with more elegance and taste than did Mrs. Jones and her daughters. If any table had reason to groan under the weight of luxuries placed upon it, Mr. Jones's had; for all that was to be had, from water, land, or air, was there to please the palate. Mr. Jones was called a "temperance man;" and, although he was president of the temperance society, he kept his wine cellar, and would take a glass for dinner. He was always careful to have choice wines. He was able to afford it, and he could see no reason why he should not indulge. He was considered a very generous man. He never gave less than five pounds, if he gave at all. He would not see his name on paper for a less sum. 4-2



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1\p N(/~~ .to: '~'' ^,ak ~i ..*'!



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144 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE of the boy and his intelligent answers, that, before he returned home, he went over to see Mrs. Carlyle, for he had heard her say that she needed a boy to assist her gardener. Upon Mr. Bruce's representation, she engaged Robert as assistant to the gardener. Mr. Bruce then returned to the house of Mrs. McPherson to report the good news to Robert, who was unable to find words to express his gratitude. Mrs. McPherson, whose kind heart had been warmly interested in the lad, seemed as much rejoiced as he. She agreed, for a small compensation, to take Robert to board with her. Thus Mr. Bruce had the satisfaction of being able to tell Annie, when he got home, of the great kindness of God, in so soon opening the way for Robert to get employment, and providing him with such a comfortable home. Mrs. McPherson was like a mother to



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 113 "Oh! it is sweet to lie passive in God's hands." Looking upon Annie with inexpressible tenderness, she said, Dear daughter, seek to be found in Jesus: SJesus can make a dying bed, Feel soft as downy pillows are; While on his breast I lean my head, And breathe .' She was unable to finish the last line, and Mr. B. repeated it for her: And breathe my life out sweetly there." Before he had finished, the sweet spirit had fled. She had joined that glorious throng whose robes are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. When Annie found that her mother was really gone, she fainted, and would have fallen had not Mr. Bruce caught her in his arms. He carried her to her room and laid her on her bed. There she lay like a crushed flower. Mr. Bruce remained at his mother's,



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 139 father belonged to the church of Rome. When his mother married his father, he was an honest, industrious man, and for several years provided well for his family; but falling into bad company he took to drink, and the demon alcohol seemed to destroy all natural affection. His poor wife struggled on, and tried to keep up a decent appearance. At last she induced him to come to America, hoping if she could get him away from his drunken companions he might reform, and they would yet be happy. He was a good workman, and got employment soon after landing. For about one month he did very well; but unfortunately as he was coming home from his day's work, he met one of his old companions who had followed him to this country, who urged him to take a drink. "No," said Patrick, "I have taken the pledge, and I have promised Mary never to taste a drop again."



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26 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. his mother, their eyes were melted to tears. Mr. Morgan found, upon further conversation with her, that he and her husband had been schoolmates in early life. This at once made them feel like old acquaintances. Mr. Morgan had built a number of cottages on the outskirts of the city, which he let out to widows, free of rent. To each of these was attached an acre of ground on which were several choice fruit trees, and by the sale of the fruit, they could generally nearly support themselves. At this time there was one vacant which he offered to Mrs. Bruce, and she most thankfully accepted it. He had it thoroughly cleaned, and then came with his own carriage and removed her to her new and pleasant home. He then sent for a physician to attend her, and his wife got a nurse to remain with her until she was entirely restored to health. Mr. Morgan from this time forth took upon





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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 33 that those who possessed this pearl of great price" might have their hearts so filled with the love of Christ, that they would put forth every effort, and not weary in well doing," until the Gospel banner should be unfurled over every nation, and it should no longer be necessary for one to say to his neighbour, Know the Lord," for all should know him from the least to the greatest. At this moment the attention of Mr. Wilson was arrested by the approach of a very plain-looking woman. From her dress, she was evidently a child of poverty. Her clothing was of the plainest kind, hut scrupulously neat. Her countenance bore the impress of sorrow, but was at the same time so meek and subdued that the beholder felt that He who had said to the stormy waves, "Peace, be still," had also spoken peace to her troubled soul. As with feeble steps she approached the door, she in3



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 51 suitable match if she is to be shut up here for ever? All fashionable young ladies, when they come out,' are expected to visit the sea-shore in order to see something of the fashionable world. It is too bad if we are to be disappointed. "When I married you, I thought I was marrying a rich man; instead of which my own ten thousand, which my dear aunt Abigail gave me, had to go to help you out of former difficulties; and now, when I want to bring out our daughter like other young ladies, I am told you can't afford it." At this stage of the conversation their little daughter, Carrie, a rosy cheeked child of about eight or nine years old, came bounding into the room, holding by the hand a little ragged boy; while just behind them stood his mother, with an infant in her arms. Poor woman! she looked hardly able to hold her little babe, delicate as it was, for she herself seemed



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 123 her eyes, How good God is! He has provided just such a situation as of all others I would have preferred." You are right, my sister, to acknowledge the hand of God in this truly providential offer. Truly we have daily cause to exclaim, 'God is love.'" I cannot always trace the way Where thou, Almighty One, dost move; But I can always, always say, That God is love. When fear her chilling mantle flings O'er earth, my soul to heaven above, As to her sanctuary, springs, For God is love. "When mystery clouds my darkened path, I'll check my dread, my doubts reprove; In this my soul sweet comfort hath, That God is love. The entanglement which restless thought, Mistrust, and idle reasoning wove, Are thus unravelled and unwrought, For God is love.



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54 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. bread. I could not eat half the pudding you gave me for dinner the other day, and Betty threw it out to the street, and she says a little boy picked it up and ate it. Please, dear mamma, mayn't I take this poor woman and her children to the kitchen, and tell Betty to give them something to eat? Another thing cousin Emma told me was in the Bible; she said that Jesus Christ had said if any one gave but a cup, of cold water for His sake to one of the least of His disciples, it would be the same as if they gave it to Him. I did not wish to disobey you, dear mamma, when I brought these poor people in; but I thought if you knew what our Saviour had said, you would be glad to have me bring them in, and give them something to eat, and some clothes to put on. You see how very ragged they are. Mamma, would you give to Jesus if He were here ?"



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THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. 85 face radiant with smiles. As soon as she came up she inquired, Did Miss Prim pay you, mamma ?" No, dear, she did not; and will not be able to, for two weeks." "Not able! and she so rich !" Mary did not look so sad as her mother expected she would. Nothing more was said until they got home. Mrs. Allen sat down at the door, looking very much fatigued. Mary took her bonnet and shawl and put them away. She then sat down beside her mother, and as she did so, took a little box from her pocket, and opening it displayed to her mother's astonished gaze, a five-shilling piece and a shilling. Why, my child, where did that come from ?" "You know, mamma, when Miss Annie, our sabbath-school teacher, heard that I was knitting those little socks to earn money to send Willie to school, she 7-3



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154 THE WIDOW'S SIXPENCE. teacher's solemn manner, and promised to do as she desired. Annie then handed Robert the Testament, in which she had written his name, and underneath the following words: "May this precious book be as 'a lamp to your feet, and a light to your path,' to lead you to Jesus, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world." Annie shook hands with Robert and bid him good-bye; as he walked off, Annie offered up a prayer, that God would bless the orphan boy and make him instrumental in doing good. Robert had not long to wait until Mr. Fullerton made his appearance. Edward Fullerton was the only child of Mrs. Carlyle's favourite sister. He lost both of his parents .when quite young, From childhood he was passionately fond of his books. Through the kindness of his uncle Carlyle, who had adopted him



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CHAPTER XIII. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing thlem in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and fo the Holy Ghost." OBERT and his companions were ordained, and, under ithe most solemn circumstances, set apart to the work of the ministry. As they expected to sail / in a month from that time, they each of them made a farewell visit to their beloved friends, from whom they expected so soon to be separated, never again to meet, until together they should stand before the bar of God and render an account of their stewardship. How swiftly that month passed away! Robert was the only one of that num-