The Children of the kingdom, and other stories

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Material Information

Title:
The Children of the kingdom, and other stories
Series Title:
Stories with a purpose
Physical Description:
64 p. : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher:
Thomas Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication:
London ;
New York
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1881   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1881
Genre:
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York

Notes

General Note:
Imprint also notes publisher's location in Edinburgh.
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 - 001625132
oclc - 25660831
notis - AHP9809
System ID:
UF00026230:00001

Full Text
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B' f 4iTI:' THE CHILD1EEN 0O? THEKINGDOM.4~i-P .; *i .jl?*-o~o-':" *II CR**NO'*s .OM


THE END OF POOR PEARLuau" /I "


THE CHILDREN OFTHE KINGDOMANDOther H torieo.LONDON: THOMAS NELSON AND SONS.EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.I881.


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@fantznts.THE OHILDBEN OF THE KINGDOM, ... ... ... 7" I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY," ... ... ... 84TBUE BTRENGTH AND WEAKNESS, ... ... ... 46LITTLE ALICE .... ... .. ... ... ... ... 58


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THECHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.I.HE afternoon sunlight, streamingbrightly through the windows ofthe little, old-fashioned church,gilded the fair young heads in the choir,and down a broad golden path slid a quiver-ing crown upon the good old minister'ssilver hair. Daisy and Bob Saybrook satin the square pew under the pulpit, tightlywedged in between Aunt Skinner and mis-chievous Cousin John, and listened withmore than their usual attention to the wordsof the sermon. The text was so verysweet,--" Fear not, little flock; for it is your


8 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.Father's good pleasure to give you the king-dom."The tears came in Daisy's eyes. Shelooked at Uncle Skinner, but he had settleddown with his eyes shut, probably so thathis attention might not be distracted byanything earthly. John (a thoroughly badboy) was scrawling in the hymn book,drawing pictures of dogs and cats, andanother one, which made Daisy shudder, ofa man hanging on a gallows. But Bob-that was a comfort-gave her a bright lookof sympathy, and, pressing each other'shands, they listened with eager ears.Now Bob and -Daisy were orphans, andit was only a few weeks since their dearmother had died, and they had come to livewith Uncle and Aunt Skinner. No one inall the world can take the place of .precious mother; and so, although AuntSkinner tried to be very kind, they couldnot yet feel at all happy in their new home,


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM, 9and they had to struggle very hard againsta feeling of positive dislike towards theircousin John. He was older and strongerthan Bob, and was continually doing every-thing in his power to make his youngcousins uncomfortable. Even now, as theysat in church, he would now and then varyhis occupation of drawing by giving Daisya violent pinch, which would make herstart off her seat. Then Aunt Skinnerwould give her such a sharp look, that thechild's heart would be nearly broken. Soit is no wonder that these little childrenlistened so eagerly to the comforting wordsof the good old minister. He told themsuch wonderful things of the glorious Kingwho made all the shining worlds, of hisgreat white throne, and his angels, beautifulbecause they had stood so long in his light,the harpers harping with harps, and thecherubim veiling their faces because theglory was so great. But this wonderful


10 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.King so loved the little world that he senthis Son to die upon the cross, that all hissinful, wandering Earth children might comeback to his love. And he, the great King,would be their Father, Jesus his gloriousSon their Elder Brother, and they with himshould be heirs of the kingdom. "Behold,what manner of love!" said the goodminister, with tears in his eyes. "Throughthis dear Elder Brother we can even comenearer God's heart than the angels."Daisy looked at Bob with a glad sur-prise, and when service was over, theywalked slowly home, talking it over together.They had often talked before with theirdear mother, and when she died she hopedthat she left them both "followers of Godas dear children." But Daisy felt troubled."Bob," said she, anxiously, " do you reallythink we are children of the kingdom?""Why, I hope so; but I'll tell you whatI did in church, Daisy. I gave my heart


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 11to God over again; and I promised to studyhis Book more, and find out all he wishesme to do, and then do it with all mymight.""Then I will, too," said Daisy, lifting herclear eyes to heaven."But I'll tell you what, Daisy, we'll havea tough time trying to do some things.What do you think of 'Love your enemies'?Now, there's John-""Well, to be sure, my arm is all blackand blue; but then I feel now as if I for-gave him, and, indeed, Bob," said she slowly,"I'm not quite sure, but I think I couldalmost love him.""Ah, indeed!" sneered a voice behindthem, "don't put yourself out too much."Daisy coloured violently. "Have youheard all we said ?""I've had the privilege," said John, in asal tone, "of listening to most of youredifying conversation. It was a greatC A


12 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.treat for such a poor sinner, I assure you.It's so very affecting to think that thesedear lambs of the flock can love a poor goatwith such very long horns;" and he pretendedto wipe his eyes."Now, John," said Daisy, deprecatingly,"you know we did not mean to say any-thing so bad. We want to love you verymuch, but you will not let us.""And why not, pray, Miss Sanctity ?""You need only look at her arm," criedBob, indignantly, "and you'll have oneanswer. And I'll tell you what, JohnSkinner, you'll have to stop that fun.""Ah !" said he, with provoking coolness."Will the little lamb fight ? I thought itcould only bleat, and cry for its ma."The tears sprang into Bob's eyes at thatheartless allusion to his recent sorrow, anda voice whispered in his heart, "It's no use-give up trying to be one of God's chil-dren, and punis John Skinner jist once,"


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 13But he struggled against the feeling, thoughhis hands clinched involuntarily all throughhis busy prayers for help. Daisy, too,would not trust herself to speak, and walkedon silently, while John sang scraps of psalmtunes profanely all the way home.Arrived at the door, John turned toDaisy. "My dear Christian friend, I havesuch a pleasant surprise for you." Daisyfollowed him apprehensively through thegarden to the barn, when, opening the door,out walked her little pet kitten, Pearl, herpure white fur dabbled with streaks of redand yellow paint, looking like a little clownkitten." You see," said John, while Daisy utteredan exclamation of dismay, "I knew yourtaste in colours, because you admired thesunset so much last night. I'm so glad I'vepleased you," he grinned maliciously.The kitten mewed piteously, as if in greatpain.


14 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM." I declare," said John, " I believe she hasbeen trying to lick it off. I hadn't theleast idea that she had a taste for colour,too;" and he laughed loudly."You're a cruel boy, John," cried Bob,coming up. "That poor kitten has swallowedtoo much paint, and will die before night."John only laughed louder, while Daisytenderly took her kitten, and with Bob'shelp washed it with soap and warm water.The poor kitten seemed grateful, ut laylanguidly in Daisy's lap till night, when, asBob predicted, it died.Daisy could not be comforted, and Bob in-dignantly told Aunt Skinner the whole story."Oh, John is always up to his tricks,"said she, a little impatiently, " but I don'tthink that little bit of paint hurt the kittenat all. It always was sickly. Daisyplayed with it too much. But don't cry,child," she added, more kindly; "you shallhave another some time.",


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 15"It will never be like Pearl," sobbedDaisy." Dear sister Saybrook," drawled John,passing her little stool, " your affections aretoo earthly.""Daisy," whispered Bob, as they lightedtheir candles to go to bed, "could you loveJohn now ?""Don't ask me," cried poor Daisy, in achoking voice. "It's as much as I can donot to hate him to-night."Nevertheless, Daisy prayed so earnestlythat God would take all bitterness out ofher heart, that in the morning she was ableto look quite cheerful,and spoke so pleasantlyto John that he was greatly disappointed."She didn't love her kitten so much,after all," said he to himself.But now Bob was in trouble. One ofhis boots was nowhere to be found. Hisother pair had gone to be mended, and itwas almost school time. High and low*L


16 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.pattered the willing feet of little Daisy, butall in vain."You're a very careless boy," cried AuntSkinner; "John never did such a thing inhis life.""I believe John has done it now, then,"sighed Daisy to herself." Then I must stay at home from school,"cried Bob bitterly, "and I was so anxiousnot to lose my place."There was no help for it, and Daisy lefther brother with an aching heart."It's all John," cried Bob fiercely, whenhe was left alone. " Now I've lost my placeup head. Oh, I just hate-""Stop a minute, Bob," said his goodangel. " There are worse things than losingone's place at school. Remember yourFather sees everything, and if you do right,and conquer these wicked thoughts, Johncan't make you lose your place in thekingdom."Ca


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 17"To be sure," said Bob, more cheerily;"how could I forget it for a moment ?"Just then a bright idea came into his head,and hurrying to the barn, he found an oldcast-off boot of Uncle Skinner's. It wasmuch too large, but Bob drew it on, andclattered bravely away to school. Therewas a great laugh when he made his appear-ance, but he kept his place up head, andfelt very happy.At night John sullenly threw the missingboot into the room." Where did you find it ?" asked AuntSkinner."Under a chair in his room."" O John!" cried Bob and Daisy together."It's true," said John, "but you're just acouple of bats."Bob and Daisy looked at each other, butknew it was useless to say any more.A day or two after John came to them,saying --C 2


18 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM." I'll tell you what, if you'll give up tryingto be such saints, I'll give up plaguing you."But Bob and Daisy could not agree tothat. So day by day their trials increased.Their books and most cherished treasuresdisappeared very mysteriously. They weretaunted and provoked in every possibleway. But still these little children of thekingdom struggled patiently on; and in theBook they studied to learn their Father'scommands they also often found his beautifulpromises, and this was one,-"As one whom his mother comforteth, sowill I comfort you."" Ah, Bob!" said little orphan Daisy,"how sweet it is to be children of the king-dom !"II.In the chill December air Bob and Daisywere again wending their way home fromchurch. The sweet voices of the villagechoir came floating on the wind,-


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 19" Am I a soldier of the cross? "and in Bob and Daisy's hearts were stillringing the words of the text, "I havefought a good fight; I have kept the faith.Henceforth there is laid up for me a crownof righteousness," &c."Daisy," said Bob suddenly, "I don'tthink I fight enough.""What can you mean, Bob ?""Oh, I think I take things too easy.When John provokes me (and Aunt Skinneralways takes his part), I think it's enoughif I don't say a word, or don't strike him,when I'm just longing to do it. O Daisy,if you only knew how angry I feel all thetime! Sometimes I have to run out to thewood-shed and saw wood just as fast as Ican, and sometimes I get the hammer andnails, and pound on the new chicken yardjust as if it were John's head, and I just letall sorts of wicked thoughts run on, anddon't try to stop them. Now, if I'm in the


20 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.King's army that the good old minister toldabout, I ought not to run away so like acoward. I ought to stand firm, and fightdown all these wicked feelings-come outlike a man into the front rank, and standthe fire.""Dear me," sighed Daisy, " what do youthink of me ? I don't know'how to fight.O Bob, must all the children of the kingdombe in the King's army ? ""I suppose they must," said Bob, halflaughing; "but then, you dear Dasy, don'tyou remember what the minister said, thatsome had more fighting to do than others ?Each one must do something, but theremust always be some one to look after thebaggage-' Bear one another's burdens,' youknow; and then some one must carry thebanners. Now, I think you'd make a.capital flag-bearer.""What do you mean, Bob ? Could any,one see my flag ?"


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 21"Why, yes; you must be so gentle, andforgiving, and patient, and loving, thatwhen people look at you, they will readsomething as plain as print on a banner.""Well," said Daisy, with sparkling eyes,"what banner shall I carry ?"" I'll tell you what I read," returned Bob,looking at her affectionately, "' Blessed arethe pure in heart, for they shall see God.'"Daisy coloured painfully. " 0 Bob, don'tmake fun of me; I'm so bad, no one wouldever think of that.""I'm not so sure," cried Bob, kissing herround dimpled cheeks.They opened the garden gate, and walk-ing up, paused a moment to look over the;broad fields of snow, rosy in the light of thesetting sun. Bob's heart was full of gentleand brave resolutions."I'll tell you what, Daisy, you shall carrythe banners, and make the music, and I'lltry to be a real, faithful soldier, and-"


22 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.His remarks were cut short by a veryunexpected shower of icy water from thewindows above."This is a little too much," cried Bobangrily, "over our Sunday clothes, andyour best bonnet, Daisy, I'll-""Take care," whispered a voice in Bob'sear. "Is this the way you 'stand fire'?""Dear me," cried John's voice above, inan affected tone of surprise and concern," who would have thought of your beingdown there ? Dear pilgrims, with your newclothes just fresh from Vanity Fair, and thatbeautiful pink bonnet! How well it is thatSister Saybrook never took any pride in it!"Daisy bit her lip, for she rememberedloking in the glass that very morning, andr eling quite pleased with the pretty pinkreflection on her cheeks. She also remem-bered feeling very uncomfortable at hearingJohn singing in the hall, in his disagreeablenasal tone,-I


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 23" Why should our garments, made to hideOur sin and shame, provoke our pride ?""I hope you'll be able to forgive me,"whined John." Oh, certainly," replied Bob, who hadquite recovered himself.Now, this was not at all what Johnwanted. He was greatly disappointed innot seeing Bob fly in a passion. So hecalled again,-"Oh, you precious hypocrite; to tell thetruth, I did it on purpose!"" Never mind," cried Daisy's cheery voice,as they hurried in to repair damages; "weforgive you just the same."This was too much for John, and hedid not show himself again till tea-time.The next morning, as Bob came out ofhis room, he found chalked in huge letterson his door, " Saint's Rest;" but he, smiling,wiped it off, and took no further notice ofthe intended taunt.


24 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.So the winter passed on with daily con-flicts, but also some grand victories. To besure, the young soldiers would often bevery weary, and greatly discouraged, butthey were never entirely conquered; andsure of receiving fresh strength from above,they were always ready to come bravelyback to the battle. And Daisy carriedsome very beautiful banners.Towards spring there was to be a grandexamination in the village school, and arich gentleman had offered two very hand-some prizes-one for the best scholar inmathematics, and one for the best composi-tion. Now John, who was very ambitious,and a boy of good talents, was determinedto have them both. In mathematics, Bob,Fred Grey, and he, had already distanced allother competitors, and it was hard to saywhich would be the victor. But one dayJohn failed utterly in the demonstration ofa difficult problem, which was successfully


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 25worked out by Bob. This was more thanJohn's spirit could bear, and for severaldays he went about with such an air ofsullen gloom, that no one dared to sym-pathize with him. At last he suddenlybetook himself with such energy to hiscomposition, in which there was good pros-pect of success, that Bob believed his morti-fication was forgotten.Everything went on smoothly till theday before examination, when Bob camehurrying in after school, saying, "Oh, I'veso much to study. Don't call me to tea,please, Aunt Skinner, I couldn't eat amorsel;" and he sat himself down in awestern window, to improve the last ray oflight. Suddenly he uttered an exclamationof dismay.."What's the matter ?" cried Daisy."Why, some one has torn the leaves outof my Algebra, right in the hardest part!""Why do you lay it to some one else ?"


26 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.said Aunt Skinner sharply; "you've probablybeen careless yourself.""I kept it just like a new book," saidBob mournfully. "0 John, won't you letme take yours ?""By-and-by," said John; but thoughBob begged and pleaded, he would not stirto find it till after tea. Then he camedownstairs, saying with a yawn, "Oh, I'msorry, Bob, but I just remember I lent mineto one of the boys yesterday."Bob looked intensely disappointed, andseizing his cap, rushed to the door."Where are you going ?" asked UncleSkinner, coming in with his coat dripping,and using all his force to shut the dooragainst the driving wind. "It's a terriblestorm.""I don't mind it," said Bob. "I musttry to find an Algebra.""Are you crazy, child ?" cried AuntSkinner. " You shan't stir a step. Do you


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 27think I can have you on my hands withfever and ague all through the spring ?"Bob came back into the room very quietly,and leaning his head on his hand, spoke nota word for more than an hour. Neitherdid little Daisy, who knelt beside him withher head on his knee. At last he turned toher with a very pale face, but a sweet, wansmile,-"It's all over now, Daisy. It has been agreat fight, and I'm very tired, but I'm notangry with any one now. I'm pretty sureI shall lose the prize, but perhaps I shouldhave been too proud."Daisy only sobbed softly to herself.John broke in fretfully, " Mr. Brooks saidmy composition would stand a good chance,if it were only a little fuller upon this onehead. He said I'd find a great deal to helpme in a book he told me about; but I can'tget it at this book-store, and I suppose theroads will be perfectly impassable over to


28 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.Snowdon to-morrow. What shall I do? Icould alter this one sheet at the last minute,if I only had the book."No one answered, and he, grumbling,again applied himself to his task.Poor Bob was up the next morning withthe first streak of light. He secured anAlgebra, and never before did a brain travelat such express speed over the difficultproblems and equations. But the class wascalled so soon, he was not more than halfready. Poor Bob! he passed a fine ex-amination, and had many compliments, buthe missed once in that very hard place, andthe beautiful prize went to Fred Grey.As the boys walked silently home fromschool, Bob turned off at the little bridgeover the creek. "I don't feel quite well,John," said he, " and I believe a walk woulddo me good. Please tell Aunt Skinner thatI don't care for any dinner.""Your pride's hurt, that's all," cried


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 29John; "you don't want to show yourself,after being so badly beaten. Well, it mustgo down rather hard after all your superiorairs.""I forgive you, John," cried Bob, throw-ing back a bright look, as he dashed into thewood."Forgive me! What for ?" screamedJohn, stamping his foot. "Do you think 1tore your book ?" But Bob had sprungout of hearing. "Well, it would be a pityto let such lovely Christian charity die forwant of exercise," muttered John; and heloosened one of the boards of the littlebridge, so that when Bob came boundingback, it would tilt up, and give him a heavyfall.But John's conscience troubled him allthe afternoon, and he could not eventhink of the composition which was to come.off with such glory on the next day. Assoon as the late school was dismissed, heL


30 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.almost flew down to the little bridge. Ah!his fears were too true! There, at fulllength, in the dim, gray light, lay themotionless form of his cousin Bob. He hadstruck his head in falling, and was quiteunconscious."I've done it at last," groaned John, inconscience-stricken despair. "I've killedhim now."He lifted him tenderly, for Bob's slightfigure was a light burden, and carried himhome."Bob has fallen and killed himself," healmost screamed, as Aunt Skinner came tothe door.Then all was hurry and confusion. Thedoctor came, and old nurse Comfort; andpoor little Daisy never ceased to sob andkiss Bob's pale hands. John, too, could notkeep away; and as he hovered near, he sawa little medal on a long black cord fall fromhis bosom. He took it up. On one side


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 31"was scratched in Bob's plain hand, " RobertSaybrook, entered the King's army Dec.10th, 18-;" and on the other: "MyFather's promise, 'Be thou faithful untodeath, and I will give thee a crown oflife.'John shuddered, and for the first time inhis life he prayed earnestly-" Not yet, 0God! Keep it for him a little longer.Spare him this time."But John's cup of remorse was not yetfull; for, carrying Bob's coat into the hall,a heavy book fell out. John picked it up.It was the very one he had been wishingfor; and in it was written, "John Skinner,with the love of his cousin Bob.""That is where he went, then," groanedJohn. "Poor, tired, disappointed Bob, wentaway over to Snowdon, for me. Oh, he'lldie I know he'll die I've killed him !"He went to his room, and threw himselfon his bed in an agony. The long hours


32 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.passed on, and at last some one knocked athis door. "Is it all over?" said John, ina low, fearful whisper; "is he dead ?"" Oh no," answered the pleasant voice ofnurse Comfort. "Your cousin will live, andI thought you would like to know."No words can describe the happiness thatthrilled poor John Skinner's grateful heart.Neither can it be told with what tendernesshe waited on Bob through all his wearyconfinement. And at last, when the boy wasable to bear it, he made a long confession ofall his wicked and malicious deeds, andhumbly asked forgiveness. "For you see,"said John in a faltering voice, "you havebeen such a good soldier, you have not onlyconquered yourself, but even me, yourgreatest enemy; and now I want you andDaisy to tell me how to join the King'sarmy, for I too am determined to fight thegood fight. O Bob, if you could only knowhow I thank you !"


THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 33"Don't thank me," faltered Bob; but hecould say no more for the happy tears.But as Daisy looked at his radiant face,she whispered, "I know what banner youare carrying to-day.""What ?" asked Bob.Daisy clasped her fair hands reverently:"Thanks be unto God, who giveth us thevictory through our Lord Jesus Christ."c 3


"I WOULD NOT LIVEALWAY."" AMMA, will you take us to seethe very old woman to-day ?""Yes, my dear, both you andyour sister, if it does not rain."So in the afternoon, Mrs. Campbell, withher little boy and girl, set out on a longwalk. The road lay through a wild moor-land country, with ranges of distant hillsbounding the horizon. It would have beena desolate scene in winter, but lookedbright and beautiful under the changinglights and shadows of the autumn sky.The children ran before, in high spirits,making excursions in search of wild flowers


" I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 35into the moor on either side. Their motherwalked more slowly, and thought of manythings. How great the contrast betweenthese light-hearted young travellers, justbeginning life's journey, and the aged, way-worn pilgrim they were about to visit !How great the changes she had livedthrough in the days of the years of herpilgrimage! What stirring events in thenation, the world, the Church of Christ!And yet her extreme age was but youthcompared with what was once the ordinarylife of man on earth. What kind of mindsand bodies must have been those of thepatriarchs of our race, to enable either tostand the tear and wear of centuries?Surely the experiences of earth must havebeen far less sorrowful then, and the pros-pect of heaven far less clear, to have madesuch a lengthened sojourn in the body de-sirable, or even endurable, for those who" alked with God."


36 "I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY."She was roused from such reflections bythe children coming to her side."Mamma, how old is Widow Wilson ?""Ninety-nine years, at least."" Ninety-nine years! almost a hundred!-older than grandpapa ?"" Yes, about twenty years older."The boy was lost in wonder; it was someminutes before he could comprehend theidea."Mamma, should you like to live aslong ?"" Certainly not, my dear."She spoke quickly and decidedly, andTommy was again surprised."Should you like to be sure of living aslong, Tommy ?""I think so, mamma. Why would notyou like it?""We shall speak of that again, after wehave seen Widow Wilson."They were now not far from the shep-


"I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 37herd's cottage. It was sheltered by a firplantation, and though so lonely, lookedpleasant then in the sunshine, with a peatstack at one side, and a small garden infront. An old-looking woman came out ofthe door as they approached." Is that Widow Wilson, mamma?""Oh no, only her daughter, Mrs. Elliot.-How are you, Mrs. Elliot ? how is yourmother to-day ?""In her ordinary, ma'am; much thebetter for all your kindness.""I have brought my children to see youand her.""They will be tired with the long walk.Come in, ma'am, come in."They entered the house. In a high pressbed, which seemed clean and comfortable,lay a figure so slight that it would haveappeared that of a child, but for the agedaspect of the small clay-coloured face whichwas on the pillow.


38 "I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY.""She is asleep," said Mrs. Campbell; "donot disturb her.""Oh no, ma'am, she is only dozing.-Mother, mother! this is Mrs. Campbell, thekind lady that brought you the tea, andsent you the blankets."The old woman looked up with quickblue eyes. "God bless her!" she said."How are you feeling to-day, Mrs. Wil-son ?"" An auld frail body, ma'am; auld andfrail.""I have brought my little boy and girl;they were anxious to see you."She held out her withered hand, which thechildren touched with looks of wonder andalmost fear. She looked at them with asmile. "Blessings on them! I ance hadbairns mysel'."" How many have you had ?"She looked bewildered. "I dinna mind.Jean will ken."


" I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 39"There were ten of us once," said herdaughter. "I was the eldest, and I am thelast on earth now."And she entered at some length on alittle family chronicle of joys and sorrows,to which her visitor listened with com-passionate interest."And how long is it since your fatherdied ?""Thirty years this harvest.""How long has your mother been con-fined to bed ?""She was aye able to gang about till nineyears ago, when she got a fall on the snawat the door, and broke what the doctor calledthe hip-bone; then she took to the bed.""Nine years in bed!" exclaimed littleMary and Tommy, who were listening withgreat attention.The old woman, who had been dozing,now looked up again. "Maybe," she said,"I hae seen you afore."


40 " I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY.""Oh ay, mother; this is Mrs. Campbell,the kind lady'who was here last week.""My memory's sair failed; I dinna mindmy ain daughter at times.""But," said Mrs. Campbell gently, "youdo not forget the Lord Jesus, the Lord yourshepherd ?""The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want,"she replied, and repeated, without mistake,though in a low, monotonous voice, thewhole Scottish metrical version of Psalmxxiii."You see," said Mrs. Campbell turning tothe children, "how good it is to learn theword of God well by heart in youth. Forwhatever is learned then will remain whenother things are forgotten.""She minds the Catechism too," said Jean.-" Mother, who is the only Redeemer ofGod's elect ?"" The only Redeemer of God's elect is theLord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal


" I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 41Son of God, became man, and so was, andcontinueth to be, God and man in two dis-tinct natures, and one person, for ever."" What precious truths are these!" saidMrs. Campbell. "In a world of changeand sorrow like this, how delightful tothink of such a Redeemer,-of strengththat never wearies-love that never for-sakes-mercy that never fails-Jesus Christ,the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever !"But the aged invalid had already droppedasleep again, and after some more talk withher daughter, and a few words of prayer,the visitors departed.The children walked slowly now, and forsome minutes were quite silent. Tommyheld his mother's hand as if afraid to let itgo. At last he said,-"Mamma, I know now why you wouldnot wish to live so long as Widow Wilson.""Shall we sit down for a little on thisgreen bank, and talk about it ?"


42 " I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY."They were affectionate little things, andnow their hearts seemed full. Mary got on hermother's knee, and Tommy threw his armsround her neck, as he exclaimed with tears,-"Mamma, I would not like to see youlie in bed for nine long years !""You would rather think of me in heavenwith Jesus, my child, would you not ?""And she had forgotten about her ownchildren! Mamma, could you ever forgetabout us ?"The mother only replied by pressingthem both to her heart."But she will remember all her childrenagain when she sees them in heaven, willshe not, mamma ?""I have no doubt of that, my dear, ifthey are all there.""And is not she a good woman? Willnot she go to heaven soon herself ?""I do hope so; I do believe poor oldWidow Wilson is a Christian."


"I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 43" But though she repeated the psalm andthe catechism, she did not answer you, orseem to care to hear you speak about Jesus.""That was only from her great weaknessof mind and body. You see, my dear chil-dren, that so long a life is not a thing tobe desired, and that our heavenly Fatherhas been very wise and merciful in soordering that very few indeed have tospend as many years on earth. He knowsit would not be kind, if we may so speak,to keep his people in their frail bodies solong. But when he does appoint this, nodoubt he has wise and good reasons for it;and his Holy Spirit can give comfort andpeace to their souls in a way we do notknow.""Grandpapa is not at all like WidowWilson. He is always so happy-looking;he tells us stories, and reads and prays withus, almost as well as you do.""Dear grandpapa is only eighty, and he


44 "I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY."is a wonderful old man. But if you wereto ask him, I daresay he would tell youthat he was glad to think the time mustbe near when he will go home to God.""Mamma, we hope you will live quite aslong as grandpapa.""My dears, that is not likely, and, as Ihave said, there are few like my dear fatherat his age, and I could not expect to re-semble him. But all that will be as ourFather in heaven pleases. You have learned'ust now that if we have reason to believethat ourselves, or any whom we dearly love,have come to Jesus, and are his pardonedchildren, we should not desire for such avery long life on earth. I would also likeyou to feel that the people of God shouldnever be afraid or unwilling to die at anytime. There are many children in heavenwho left this world at your own age. Notone of them would wish to come back, orever thought they had gone there too soon."


"I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 45"But, mamma, Mary and I do not wishto go to heaven just now; we would ratherlive longer with you and papa. Is thatwrong ?""No, dear, not wrong. But we shouldpray much that the Holy Spirit may makeus ready to die any day, and quite willingand joyful when the time does come.Those whom God calls away in youth aresaved a great deal of temptation, and toil,and sorrow. Yet it seems a higher honourand privilege to be the Lord's faithful sol-diers and servants for many years on earth.The hoary head is a crown of glory whenit is found in the way of righteousness.But now we must go home. We shall getquickly down hill."They kissed her tenderly again, and thenall walked on. The mother was still pen-sive, but every shadow had passed awayfrom the young hearts before they reachedtheir happy home.


TRUE STRENGTH ANDWEAKNESS." AMMA, how is Charles now ? "said Anna Stanley, as her motherentered the parlour."He is better, and asleep."" Oh, I am so glad!"Mrs. Stanley sat down on the sofa, look-ing grave and sad. Anna stood beside herfor some minutes, silent also."Mamma, are you anxious about Charles ?""No, I am thankful to say. The doctorconsiders that there is no cause for alarm.""But you are vexed about something.""Yes, a little."" Are you not pleased with me?"


TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 47" Why should you think so ?""Oh, I know your face so well, and Iam sure you are angry."" Not angry, Anna, but certainly vexedand disappointed by your conduct to-day."Anna coloured deeply. "Was it becauseI did not stay beside Charles ?""Yes; when the poor boy was broughthome with his leg so badly hurt, you onlycried and hid your face. Your little sisterof eight years old was of far more use thanyou, a girl of fourteen.""But, mamma, I could not look at thatleg; it would have made me quite sick.""And suppose it had, where would havebeen the great harm ?"Anna opened her eyes with a look ofastonishment."What would have signified your feelingsick for a little while, compared with yourbeing able to help to give your brotherrelief ?"


48 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS."But I was not needed; you were there,and Betty was in the house.""That is true; but supposing I had notbeen at home, would you have acted differ-ently? And when the doctor came, andmany things were required, you still keptout of the way.""Mamma, I really could not bear to bein the room. You cannot think howCharles's groans went to my very heart. Iwas just crying in the garden.""And do you think my heart was notfeeling the suffering of my dear childalso ?""But you have such strong nerves; youalways had.""I do not suppose that my nerves wereby nature stronger than those of most otherwomen, but I was early called to many try-ing duties, and taught by my dear mothernot to shrink from them. And by thegrace of God I was taught where to look


TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 49for help in all. I was early enabled to say,' I can do all things through Christ whichstrengtheneth me.'""Oh, mamma, I know that too; andindeed--indeed, I was praying for Charlesin the garden."" I believe you, my dear," said her motherin a softened voice, laying her hand kindlyon Anna's head as she took courage to sitdown on a low stool at her side. "But Iwould like you to feel more the necessity ofstriving, as well as praying, against ourbesetting sins and weaknesses. I wish youto see that this weakness of nerves, orsensitiveness, or whatever your Londoncompanions may choose to call it, is really agreat misfortune, if not a grave fault, andas such, that you ought to make everyeffort to overcome it. At school, I fear,you have been learning rather to think of itas a feminine, interesting quality. Is notthat the case ?"0 4


50 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS.Anna did not reply."What would become of this sufferingworld, my dear, if all women were or oughtto be like you? How little the surgeon'sskill would avail, in many cases, withoutthe help of the kind, loving nurse, he leavesbehind him at home, or even the hirednurse in the hospital! And how oftenwoman is left to do her best, without helpfrom the doctor at all! It is her glory, herhonour, to be able for such a ministry oflove and mercy.""But only some women can be able forall that. I am sure every one does not feelas I do at the sight of blood.""No doubt some are much better suitedfor such service than others. If you hadto choose your way of maintaining yourself,I should not bid you become a sick-nurse.But the weakness you complain of maycertainly be conquered, so far as to makeyou able to be useful in such a case as that


TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 61of to-day, instead of being useless, or anadditional burden. Only think what weread of ladies going through in formertimes, or even in our own day; and whatthe Sisters of Charity constantly do, inmany countries, in the most loathsomedwellings, in the crowded hospital, or onthe battle-field. Many of them are well-born and refined women; do you not thinkthey have had to overcome quite as muchas you could suffer ?""But they are Roman Catholics, mamma,and they are doing it to get salvation. Wedo not need that.""No, thank God; yet I often think wemight learn many a good lesson from theirself-denial and devotedness. Is it not areproach to us, that their false, mistakenviews of religion, should often make them dofar more to serve Christ and help their fellow-men than most among ourselves think of,with all our purer light and good hope


52 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS.through grace ? Should not we do at leastas much from love and gratitude for ourfree salvation as they do from fear andanxiety about it ?"" Yes, in some ways. But surely a lady,if she feels as I do, need never see thosedreadful things; she can always pay fordoctors and nurses.""There are many times when no doctoror nurse could or should take the place ofthe mother, the wife, the friend. And insuch a case the noblest woman is in herright place when not shrinking from themost trying or humble offices of love. Didyou ever read about Joan, queen of Navarre,and her wounded general ?""I do not recollect."A little girl, who had been playing in acorner, now came forward." Oh, mamma tell us the story; it willdo you good.""Well, you deserve a story, Jessie for


TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 53you have behaved well to-day, so I shalltry."Joan, the good queen of Navarre, wasone of the best and noblest women of whomwe read in history. She died about threehundred years ago. Her life was full oftroubles and sorrows, and would make along interesting tale, if I had time to tellyou it. She was a Protestant, or Huguenot,as they were then called in France; and inher days the Protestants were much perse-cuted by the Papists, and had to fight fortheir lives and liberty. Queen Joan waslooked up to and loved by them all."One of her best generals was called LaNoue. In a bloody battle his right armwas broken by a ball, and he had to giveup the command of the army and retire tothe town of La Rochelle, where the queenwas then residing, as a place of safety. Hewas most kindly welcomed, and the greatestcare and tenderness bestowed upon him, for


54 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS.his illness was considered quite a publiccalamity. But in spite of all the care andskill of the best physicians, his wound gotworse and worse, and at last the arm morti-fied, and the doctors told him that unless itwere taken off he must soon die ; and eventhat operation would but give a chance forlife."This was a terrible sentence for thebrave man,-not the thought of death, butthe idea of losing his right arm, and beingever after maimed and useless. He toldthe doctors that he would never submit to it,and that they might just leave him to die.""Was not that very wrong, mamma ?could he be a good man ?"" It was certainly wrong, Jessie; for it isour duty to do everything not in itself sinfulin order to preserve our life, till God seesfit to take it away. I hope La Noue was aChristian; but you know the best of menoften feel and do what is sinful, and perhaps


TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 55his long sufferings had weakened his mindas well as his body. So the doctors, muchdistressed, after trying all they could to per-suade him, went to the queen and told herthe case, and that every hour increased thedanger, and took away from their hopes ofsuccess from an operation. I suppose Anna,in Joan's place, would have written La Nouea letter, full of good, kind advice and re-monstrance. But Joan acted differently.She went herself at once to the sick-chamberof the wounded man. She stood beside him,and spoke to him in the gentlest, kindestway, sympathizing with him in his distress,and yet reproving his impatience. Sheshowed him how his duty to God, and hislove for her, and for the holy cause forwhich he suffered, should make him willingto submit to anything that could give ahope of saving a life which might still beso useful; and then, should it not please theLord in the end to bless the surgeon's skill,


56 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS.he would die with the consolation of havingdone his duty to the last, as a brave manand a Christian."La Noue was quite overcome, both byher arguments and the affection with whichshe spoke. He said he could not bear todistress her any more, and would agree towhatever she wished. What do you thinkshe did then?""She would go and send the doctors."" She did still more. They were withincall, and she made a signal for them tocome in at once. With her own hands shelaid bare the wounded arm, and supportedit through the operation, speaking words ofcomfort and encouragement to the sufferer.There was no chloroform known in thosedays, and a surgical operation must havebeen in many ways much worse thannow. But the brave woman did not faintnor turn away. Hers was true friendship,true sensibility. She felt a1Mhe good that


TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 57her presence might do, and thought not amoment of her own feelings."" Oh, mamma, it was beautiful! Anddid La Noue get better ?"" Yes; by the blessing of God his life wassaved. The queen watched over his recovery,and got an ingenious workman to make afalse arm of iron, by means of which he couldeven guide his horse. You may believe thathis love and gratitude were unbounded, andthat he could not speak of her heroic kind-ness, in after life, without tears. So yousee that even a queen, with all the doctorsand nurses in the kingdom at her command,might do more herself than any of them tosave a dear friend, by overcoming nervousweakness and forgetting her own feelings."Now, Jessie, go and see if Charles isstill asleep."" Mamma," said Anna, rising, "may I go ?""Surely, my dear; and if he is awake,sit beside him till I come."


LITTLE ALICE;OR,KILLING FOLKS IN OUR HEART.LIE was the youngest of a large.circle of brothers and sisters. ShewAs the pet; but she was not aspoiled pet, wilful and selfish, as pets areapt to be. She had a mother who madeher children not only love, but revere andobey her. She was a praying mother,whose heart's desire was, both by preceptand example, to lead her little ones to "theLamb of God, who taketh away the sin ofthe world." The Holy Spirit owned this


LITTLE ALICE. 59mother's efforts, and the eldest four werenumbered among the children of God.Alice was now five years old; andcould you have seen her in company withher cousin Ruth, her playmate and school-mate, as they dressed dolls or skipped off toschool, you would have said, Surely peaceand love dwell in the bosoms of these littleones.One night when it was Alice's bed-time,she had no mind to go to bed. Sarah said,"Come, Alice, I will go up with you, formother is engaged, you know."Alice sat still on the cricket, lookingdown very sadly. She had scarcely tastedher bread and milk. "I am not a bithungry," she said, shoving away thebowl."Do you feel sick ?" asked Sarah." No, I am not sick," she answered.Again Sarah took her hand to lead herupstairs. "I wish mother would," said


60 LITTLE ALICE.Alice; "I had a great deal rather motherwould to-night."Sarah told her that her mother had com-pany, and could not be spared; then shewas led away, but slowly and unwillingly.As Sarah undressed her, she saw tearsflowing down her cheeks."What is the matter, Alice ? Tell me,child, what ails you," cried her sisteranxiously.But Alice gave no reason, nor made acomplaint, she only sighed. When it wastime for her to kneel down by her littlebed to pray, as her habit was, Alice kneltand bowed her head, but no words camefrom her lips. Sarah thought this wasstrange. Then she arose and crept intobed, so silent, so sad, so tearful, that Sarahbecame frightened. When she went down-stairs, and joined the company below, shewatched an opportunity of mentioning thematter to her mother.


LITTLE ALICE. 61"I will run up directly and see what ailsthe child," said she."Why, she is not sick, mother," saidSarah; "only it seems as if something wereon her mind."Nor was it long before the mother escapedfrom the parlour and went to the chamberof her little one. As she trod the entrysoftly, lest Alice might then have fallenasleep, she listened and heard a low cry-ing."My child," said the mother tenderly,stooping down to her bedside, " what troublesyou ? tell me."" 0 mother, I am so glad you have come!"cried Alice, uncovering her head and seizingher mother's hand; "I can never go tosleep. 0 mother, I have killed Ruth in myheart to-day-I did;" and the tears flowedafresh. "She got angry, and I wished shewere dead. I can't ask God's forgivenesstill I've made up with Ruth. He won't


62 LITTLE ALICE.hear me, for my heart had hatred in it, andnot love. O mother !" and the little childseemed broken in heart. Her mothertried to comfort her; but there lay thecold, heavy weight of sin upon her bosom."Oh, if I could only see Ruth, and wecould make up, then I could pray," shecried piteously. "Can't I go to Ruth'shouse ?"The mother thought a moment, and thensaid, " Yes, my child, you shall go;" for shewell knew no more important business couldclaim her attention than helping her childthrough the thorny passes of the "narrowway."Alice's father was called, who, wrappingthe weeping Alice in a blanket (it wassummer-time), carried her to the home ofcousin Ruth, whose door was next their own.She was taken to Ruth's bedside. It wasa touching scene,-the confession, the prayerfor forgiveness, the kiss of reconciliation;


LITTLE ALICE. 63then laying her head on her father's shoulder,she asked to be carried home.Once more in her chamber, Alice againknelt down and prayed God to forgive herfor the sin of hating Ruth. " Give me lovein my heart," she cried earnestly, "becauseGod is love, and because it was love thatmade Jesus Christ die on the cross for us;give me love, for I want to be like JesusChrist,-keep me from hating and killinganybody in my heart."Thus prayed the little Alice. Oh, whata prayer and conflict! Sin and conscience,love and hatred had been fighting in herbosom. Alas in the bosoms of how manychildren does hatred conquer love, does sinput out the light of conscience! In Alicelove gained the mastery. Love to God inChrist, love to our fellows, love to do right,it is this love which shows us to be childrenof God: it is hatred, and anger, and strifewhich show us to be children of the devil.


64 LITTLE ALICE.How many children who read this canremember hating and killing people in theirhearts! Have you been sorry for it, andbegged to be forgiven? If not, does itnot show that you are far, far from Godand holy things ?


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The Baldwin Library Unimrsity



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 19 Am I a soldier of the cross? and in Bob and Daisy's hearts were still ringing the words of the text, "I have fought a good fight; I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness," &c. "Daisy," said Bob suddenly, "I don't think I fight enough." "What can you mean, Bob ?" "Oh, I think I take things too easy. When John provokes me (and Aunt Skinner always takes his part), I think it's enough if I don't say a word, or don't strike him, when I'm just longing to do it. O Daisy, if you only knew how angry I feel all the time! Sometimes I have to run out to the wood-shed and saw wood just as fast as I can, and sometimes I get the hammer and nails, and pound on the new chicken yard just as if it were John's head, and I just let all sorts of wicked thoughts run on, and don't try to stop them. Now, if I'm in the



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20 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. King's army that the good old minister told about, I ought not to run away so like a coward. I ought to stand firm, and fight down all these wicked feelings-come out like a man into the front rank, and stand the fire." "Dear me," sighed Daisy, what do you think of me ? I don't know'how to fight. O Bob, must all the children of the kingdom be in the King's army ? "I suppose they must," said Bob, half laughing; "but then, you dear Dasy, don't you remember what the minister said, that some had more fighting to do than others ? Each one must do something, but there must always be some one to look after the baggage-' Bear one another's burdens,' you know; and then some one must carry the banners. Now, I think you'd make a .capital flag-bearer." "What do you mean, Bob ? Could any ,one see my flag ?"



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LITTLE ALICE. 63 then laying her head on her father's shoulder, she asked to be carried home. Once more in her chamber, Alice again knelt down and prayed God to forgive her for the sin of hating Ruth. Give me love in my heart," she cried earnestly, "because God is love, and because it was love that made Jesus Christ die on the cross for us; give me love, for I want to be like Jesus Christ,-keep me from hating and killing anybody in my heart." Thus prayed the little Alice. Oh, what a prayer and conflict! Sin and conscience, love and hatred had been fighting in her bosom. Alas in the bosoms of how many children does hatred conquer love, does sin put out the light of conscience! In Alice love gained the mastery. Love to God in Christ, love to our fellows, love to do right, it is this love which shows us to be children of God: it is hatred, and anger, and strife which show us to be children of the devil.



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 17 "To be sure," said Bob, more cheerily; "how could I forget it for a moment ?" Just then a bright idea came into his head, and hurrying to the barn, he found an old cast-off boot of Uncle Skinner's. It was much too large, but Bob drew it on, and clattered bravely away to school. There was a great laugh when he made his appearance, but he kept his place up head, and felt very happy. At night John sullenly threw the missing boot into the room. Where did you find it ?" asked Aunt Skinner. "Under a chair in his room." O John!" cried Bob and Daisy together. "It's true," said John, "but you're just a couple of bats." Bob and Daisy looked at each other, but knew it was useless to say any more. A day or two after John came to them, saying -C 2



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22 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. His remarks were cut short by a very unexpected shower of icy water from the windows above. "This is a little too much," cried Bob angrily, "over our Sunday clothes, and your best bonnet, Daisy, I'll-" "Take care," whispered a voice in Bob's ear. "Is this the way you 'stand fire'?" "Dear me," cried John's voice above, in an affected tone of surprise and concern, who would have thought of your being down there ? Dear pilgrims, with your new clothes just fresh from Vanity Fair, and that beautiful pink bonnet! How well it is that Sister Saybrook never took any pride in it!" Daisy bit her lip, for she remembered loking in the glass that very morning, and reling quite pleased with the pretty pink reflection on her cheeks. She also remembered feeling very uncomfortable at hearing John singing in the hall, in his disagreeable nasal tone,I



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TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 61 of to-day, instead of being useless, or an additional burden. Only think what we read of ladies going through in former times, or even in our own day; and what the Sisters of Charity constantly do, in many countries, in the most loathsome dwellings, in the crowded hospital, or on the battle-field. Many of them are wellborn and refined women; do you not think they have had to overcome quite as much as you could suffer ?" "But they are Roman Catholics, mamma, and they are doing it to get salvation. We do not need that." "No, thank God; yet I often think we might learn many a good lesson from their self-denial and devotedness. Is it not a reproach to us, that their false, mistaken views of religion, should often make them do far more to serve Christ and help their fellowmen than most among ourselves think of, with all our purer light and good hope



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10 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. King so loved the little world that he sent his Son to die upon the cross, that all his sinful, wandering Earth children might come back to his love. And he, the great King, would be their Father, Jesus his glorious Son their Elder Brother, and they with him should be heirs of the kingdom. "Behold, what manner of love!" said the good minister, with tears in his eyes. "Through this dear Elder Brother we can even come nearer God's heart than the angels." Daisy looked at Bob with a glad surprise, and when service was over, they walked slowly home, talking it over together. They had often talked before with their dear mother, and when she died she hoped that she left them both "followers of God as dear children." But Daisy felt troubled. "Bob," said she, anxiously, do you really think we are children of the kingdom?" "Why, I hope so; but I'll tell you what I did in church, Daisy. I gave my heart





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16 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. pattered the willing feet of little Daisy, but all in vain. "You're a very careless boy," cried Aunt Skinner; "John never did such a thing in his life." "I believe John has done it now, then," sighed Daisy to herself. Then I must stay at home from school," cried Bob bitterly, "and I was so anxious not to lose my place." There was no help for it, and Daisy left her brother with an aching heart. "It's all John," cried Bob fiercely, when he was left alone. Now I've lost my place up head. Oh, I just hate-" "Stop a minute, Bob," said his good angel. There are worse things than losing one's place at school. Remember your Father sees everything, and if you do right, and conquer these wicked thoughts, John can't make you lose your place in the kingdom." C a



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 31 "was scratched in Bob's plain hand, Robert Saybrook, entered the King's army Dec. 10th, 18-;" and on the other: "My Father's promise, 'Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.' John shuddered, and for the first time in his life he prayed earnestly-" Not yet, 0 God! Keep it for him a little longer. Spare him this time." But John's cup of remorse was not yet full; for, carrying Bob's coat into the hall, a heavy book fell out. John picked it up. It was the very one he had been wishing for; and in it was written, "John Skinner, with the love of his cousin Bob." "That is where he went, then," groaned John. "Poor, tired, disappointed Bob, went away over to Snowdon, for me. Oh, he'll die I know he'll die I've killed him !" He went to his room, and threw himself on his bed in an agony. The long hours



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 23 Why should our garments, made to hide Our sin and shame, provoke our pride ?" "I hope you'll be able to forgive me," whined John. Oh, certainly," replied Bob, who had quite recovered himself. Now, this was not at all what John wanted. He was greatly disappointed in not seeing Bob fly in a passion. So he called again,"Oh, you precious hypocrite; to tell the truth, I did it on purpose!" Never mind," cried Daisy's cheery voice, as they hurried in to repair damages; "we forgive you just the same." This was too much for John, and he did not show himself again till tea-time. The next morning, as Bob came out of his room, he found chalked in huge letters on his door, Saint's Rest;" but he, smiling, wiped it off, and took no further notice of the intended taunt.



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TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. AMMA, how is Charles now ? said Anna Stanley, as her mother entered the parlour. "He is better, and asleep." Oh, I am so glad!" Mrs. Stanley sat down on the sofa, looking grave and sad. Anna stood beside her for some minutes, silent also. "Mamma, are you anxious about Charles ?" "No, I am thankful to say. The doctor considers that there is no cause for alarm." "But you are vexed about something." "Yes, a little." Are you not pleased with me?"



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12 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. treat for such a poor sinner, I assure you. It's so very affecting to think that these dear lambs of the flock can love a poor goat with such very long horns;" and he pretended to wipe his eyes. "Now, John," said Daisy, deprecatingly, "you know we did not mean to say anything so bad. We want to love you very much, but you will not let us." "And why not, pray, Miss Sanctity ?" "You need only look at her arm," cried Bob, indignantly, "and you'll have one answer. And I'll tell you what, John Skinner, you'll have to stop that fun." "Ah !" said he, with provoking coolness. "Will the little lamb fight ? I thought it could only bleat, and cry for its ma." The tears sprang into Bob's eyes at that heartless allusion to his recent sorrow, and a voice whispered in his heart, "It's no use -give up trying to be one of God's children, and punis John Skinner jist once,"



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@fantznts. THE OHILDBEN OF THE KINGDOM, ... ... ... 7 I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY," ... ... ... 84 TBUE BTRENGTH AND WEAKNESS, ... ... ... 46 LITTLE ALICE .... ... .. ... ... ... ... 58



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"I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." AMMA, will you take us to see the very old woman to-day ?" "Yes, my dear, both you and your sister, if it does not rain." So in the afternoon, Mrs. Campbell, with her little boy and girl, set out on a long walk. The road lay through a wild moorland country, with ranges of distant hills bounding the horizon. It would have been a desolate scene in winter, but looked bright and beautiful under the changing lights and shadows of the autumn sky. The children ran before, in high spirits, making excursions in search of wild flowers



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. I. HE afternoon sunlight, streaming brightly through the windows of the little, old-fashioned church, gilded the fair young heads in the choir, and down a broad golden path slid a quivering crown upon the good old minister's silver hair. Daisy and Bob Saybrook sat in the square pew under the pulpit, tightly wedged in between Aunt Skinner and mischievous Cousin John, and listened with more than their usual attention to the words of the sermon. The text was so very sweet,--" Fear not, little flock; for it is your



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8 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." The tears came in Daisy's eyes. She looked at Uncle Skinner, but he had settled down with his eyes shut, probably so that his attention might not be distracted by anything earthly. John (a thoroughly bad boy) was scrawling in the hymn -book, drawing pictures of dogs and cats, and another one, which made Daisy shudder, of a man hanging on a gallows. But Bobthat was a comfort-gave her a bright look of sympathy, and, pressing each other's hands, they listened with eager ears. Now Bob and -Daisy were orphans, and it was only a few weeks since their dear mother had died, and they had come to live with Uncle and Aunt Skinner. No one in all the world can take the place of precious mother; and so, although Aunt Skinner tried to be very kind, they could not yet feel at all happy in their new home,



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" I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 35 into the moor on either side. Their mother walked more slowly, and thought of many things. How great the contrast between these light-hearted young travellers, just beginning life's journey, and the aged, wayworn pilgrim they were about to visit How great the changes she had lived through in the days of the years of her pilgrimage! What stirring events in the nation, the world, the Church of Christ! And yet her extreme age was but youth compared with what was once the ordinary life of man on earth. What kind of minds and bodies must have been those of the patriarchs of our race, to enable either to stand the tear and wear of centuries? Surely the experiences of earth must have been far less sorrowful then, and the prospect of heaven far less clear, to have made such a lengthened sojourn in the body desirable, or even endurable, for those who alked with God."





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"I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 43 But though she repeated the psalm and the catechism, she did not answer you, or seem to care to hear you speak about Jesus." "That was only from her great weakness of mind and body. You see, my dear children, that so long a life is not a thing to be desired, and that our heavenly Father has been very wise and merciful in so ordering that very few indeed have to spend as many years on earth. He knows it would not be kind, if we may so speak, to keep his people in their frail bodies so long. But when he does appoint this, no doubt he has wise and good reasons for it; and his Holy Spirit can give comfort and peace to their souls in a way we do not know." "Grandpapa is not at all like Widow Wilson. He is always so happy-looking; he tells us stories, and reads and prays with us, almost as well as you do." "Dear grandpapa is only eighty, and he



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"I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 45 "But, mamma, Mary and I do not wish to go to heaven just now; we would rather live longer with you and papa. Is that wrong ?" "No, dear, not wrong. But we should pray much that the Holy Spirit may make us ready to die any day, and quite willing and joyful when the time does come. Those whom God calls away in youth are saved a great deal of temptation, and toil, and sorrow. Yet it seems a higher honour and privilege to be the Lord's faithful soldiers and servants for many years on earth. The hoary head is a crown of glory when it is found in the way of righteousness. But now we must go home. We shall get quickly down hill." They kissed her tenderly again, and then all walked on. The mother was still pensive, but every shadow had passed away from the young hearts before they reached their happy home.



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24 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. So the winter passed on with daily conflicts, but also some grand victories. To be sure, the young soldiers would often be very weary, and greatly discouraged, but they were never entirely conquered; and sure of receiving fresh strength from above, they were always ready to come bravely back to the battle. And Daisy carried some very beautiful banners. Towards spring there was to be a grand examination in the village school, and a rich gentleman had offered two very handsome prizes-one for the best scholar in mathematics, and one for the best composition. Now John, who was very ambitious, and a boy of good talents, was determined to have them both. In mathematics, Bob, Fred Grey, and he, had already distanced all other competitors, and it was hard to say which would be the victor. But one day John failed utterly in the demonstration of a difficult problem, which was successfully



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56 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. he would die with the consolation of having done his duty to the last, as a brave man and a Christian. "La Noue was quite overcome, both by her arguments and the affection with which she spoke. He said he could not bear to distress her any more, and would agree to whatever she wished. What do you think she did then?" "She would go and send the doctors." She did still more. They were within call, and she made a signal for them to come in at once. With her own hands she laid bare the wounded arm, and supported it through the operation, speaking words of comfort and encouragement to the sufferer. There was no chloroform known in those days, and a surgical operation must have been in many ways much worse than now. But the brave woman did not faint nor turn away. Hers was true friendship, true sensibility. She felt a1Mhe good that



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60 LITTLE ALICE. Alice; "I had a great deal rather mother would to-night." Sarah told her that her mother had company, and could not be spared; then she was led away, but slowly and unwillingly. As Sarah undressed her, she saw tears flowing down her cheeks. "What is the matter, Alice ? Tell me, child, what ails you," cried her sister anxiously. But Alice gave no reason, nor made a complaint, she only sighed. When it was time for her to kneel down by her little bed to pray, as her habit was, Alice knelt and bowed her head, but no words came from her lips. Sarah thought this was strange. Then she arose and crept into bed, so silent, so sad, so tearful, that Sarah became frightened. When she went downstairs, and joined the company below, she watched an opportunity of mentioning the matter to her mother.



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" I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 41 Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever." What precious truths are these!" said Mrs. Campbell. "In a world of change and sorrow like this, how delightful to think of such a Redeemer,-of strength that never wearies-love that never forsakes-mercy that never fails-Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever !" But the aged invalid had already dropped asleep again, and after some more talk with her daughter, and a few words of prayer, the visitors departed. The children walked slowly now, and for some minutes were quite silent. Tommy held his mother's hand as if afraid to let it go. At last he said,"Mamma, I know now why you would not wish to live so long as Widow Wilson." "Shall we sit down for a little on this green bank, and talk about it ?"



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50 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. Anna did not reply. "What would become of this suffering world, my dear, if all women were or ought to be like you? How little the surgeon's skill would avail, in many cases, without the help of the kind, loving nurse, he leaves behind him at home, or even the hired nurse in the hospital! And how often woman is left to do her best, without help from the doctor at all! It is her glory, her honour, to be able for such a ministry of love and mercy." "But only some women can be able for all that. I am sure every one does not feel as I do at the sight of blood." "No doubt some are much better suited for such service than others. If you had to choose your way of maintaining yourself, I should not bid you become a sick-nurse. But the weakness you complain of may certainly be conquered, so far as to make you able to be useful in such a case as that



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TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 47 Why should you think so ?" "Oh, I know your face so well, and I am sure you are angry." Not angry, Anna, but certainly vexed and disappointed by your conduct to-day." Anna coloured deeply. "Was it because I did not stay beside Charles ?" "Yes; when the poor boy was brought home with his leg so badly hurt, you only cried and hid your face. Your little sister of eight years old was of far more use than you, a girl of fourteen." "But, mamma, I could not look at that leg; it would have made me quite sick." "And suppose it had, where would have been the great harm ?" Anna opened her eyes with a look of astonishment. "What would have signified your feeling sick for a little while, compared with your being able to help to give your brother relief ?"



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 21 "Why, yes; you must be so gentle, and forgiving, and patient, and loving, that when people look at you, they will read something as plain as print on a banner." "Well," said Daisy, with sparkling eyes, "what banner shall I carry ?" I'll tell you what I read," returned Bob, looking at her affectionately, "' Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.'" Daisy coloured painfully. 0 Bob, don't make fun of me; I'm so bad, no one would ever think of that." "I'm not so sure," cried Bob, kissing her round dimpled cheeks. They opened the garden gate, and walking up, paused a moment to look over the; broad fields of snow, rosy in the light of the setting sun. Bob's heart was full of gentle and brave resolutions. "I'll tell you what, Daisy, you shall carry the banners, and make the music, and I'll try to be a real, faithful soldier, and-"



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28 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. Snowdon to-morrow. What shall I do? I could alter this one sheet at the last minute, if I only had the book." No one answered, and he, grumbling, again applied himself to his task. Poor Bob was up the next morning with the first streak of light. He secured an Algebra, and never before did a brain travel at such express speed over the difficult problems and equations. But the class was called so soon, he was not more than half ready. Poor Bob! he passed a fine examination, and had many compliments, but he missed once in that very hard place, and the beautiful prize went to Fred Grey. As the boys walked silently home from school, Bob turned off at the little bridge over the creek. "I don't feel quite well, John," said he, and I believe a walk would do me good. Please tell Aunt Skinner that I don't care for any dinner." "Your pride's hurt, that's all," cried



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38 "I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." "She is asleep," said Mrs. Campbell; "do not disturb her." "Oh no, ma'am, she is only dozing.Mother, mother! this is Mrs. Campbell, the kind lady that brought you the tea, and sent you the blankets." The old woman looked up with quick blue eyes. "God bless her!" she said. "How are you feeling to-day, Mrs. Wilson ?" An auld frail body, ma'am; auld and frail." "I have brought my little boy and girl; they were anxious to see you." She held out her withered hand, which the children touched with looks of wonder and almost fear. She looked at them with a smile. "Blessings on them! I ance had bairns mysel'." How many have you had ?" She looked bewildered. "I dinna mind. Jean will ken."



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"I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 37 herd's cottage. It was sheltered by a fir plantation, and though so lonely, looked pleasant then in the sunshine, with a peat stack at one side, and a small garden in front. An old-looking woman came out of the door as they approached. Is that Widow Wilson, mamma?" "Oh no, only her daughter, Mrs. Elliot. -How are you, Mrs. Elliot ? how is your mother to-day ?" "In her ordinary, ma'am; much the better for all your kindness." "I have brought my children to see you and her." "They will be tired with the long walk. Come in, ma'am, come in." They entered the house. In a high press bed, which seemed clean and comfortable, lay a figure so slight that it would have appeared that of a child, but for the aged aspect of the small clay-coloured face which was on the pillow.



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18 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. I'll tell you what, if you'll give up trying to be such saints, I'll give up plaguing you." But Bob and Daisy could not agree to that. So day by day their trials increased. Their books and most cherished treasures disappeared very mysteriously. They were taunted and provoked in every possible way. But still these little children of the kingdom struggled patiently on; and in the Book they studied to learn their Father's commands they also often found his beautiful promises, and this was one,"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you." Ah, Bob!" said little orphan Daisy, "how sweet it is to be children of the kingdom !" II. In the chill December air Bob and Daisy were again wending their way home from church. The sweet voices of the village choir came floating on the wind,-



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TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 49 for help in all. I was early enabled to say, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.'" "Oh, mamma, I know that too; and indeed--indeed, I was praying for Charles in the garden." I believe you, my dear," said her mother in a softened voice, laying her hand kindly on Anna's head as she took courage to sit down on a low stool at her side. "But I would like you to feel more the necessity of striving, as well as praying, against our besetting sins and weaknesses. I wish you to see that this weakness of nerves, or sensitiveness, or whatever your London companions may choose to call it, is really a great misfortune, if not a grave fault, and as such, that you ought to make every effort to overcome it. At school, I fear, you have been learning rather to think of it as a feminine, interesting quality. Is not that the case ?" 0 4



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" I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 39 "There were ten of us once," said her daughter. "I was the eldest, and I am the last on earth now." And she entered at some length on a little family chronicle of joys and sorrows, to which her visitor listened with compassionate interest. "And how long is it since your father died ?" "Thirty years this harvest." "How long has your mother been confined to bed ?" "She was aye able to gang about till nine years ago, when she got a fall on the snaw at the door, and broke what the doctor called the hip-bone; then she took to the bed." "Nine years in bed!" exclaimed little Mary and Tommy, who were listening with great attention. The old woman, who had been dozing, now looked up again. "Maybe," she said, "I hae seen you afore."



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30 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. almost flew down to the little bridge. Ah! his fears were too true! There, at full length, in the dim, gray light, lay the motionless form of his cousin Bob. He had struck his head in falling, and was quite unconscious. "I've done it at last," groaned John, in conscience-stricken despair. "I've killed him now." He lifted him tenderly, for Bob's slight figure was a light burden, and carried him home. "Bob has fallen and killed himself," he almost screamed, as Aunt Skinner came to the door. Then all was hurry and confusion. The doctor came, and old nurse Comfort; and poor little Daisy never ceased to sob and kiss Bob's pale hands. John, too, could not keep away; and as he hovered near, he saw a little medal on a long black cord fall from his bosom. He took it up. On one side





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54 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. his illness was considered quite a public calamity. But in spite of all the care and skill of the best physicians, his wound got worse and worse, and at last the arm mortified, and the doctors told him that unless it were taken off he must soon die ; and even that operation would but give a chance for life. "This was a terrible sentence for the brave man,-not the thought of death, but the idea of losing his right arm, and being ever after maimed and useless. He told the doctors that he would never submit to it, and that they might just leave him to die." "Was not that very wrong, mamma ? could he be a good man ?" It was certainly wrong, Jessie; for it is our duty to do everything not in itself sinful in order to preserve our life, till God sees fit to take it away. I hope La Noue was a Christian; but you know the best of men often feel and do what is sinful, and perhaps



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LITTLE ALICE. 61 "I will run up directly and see what ails the child," said she. "Why, she is not sick, mother," said Sarah; "only it seems as if something were on her mind." Nor was it long before the mother escaped from the parlour and went to the chamber of her little one. As she trod the entry softly, lest Alice might then have fallen asleep, she listened and heard a low crying. "My child," said the mother tenderly, stooping down to her bedside, what troubles you ? tell me." 0 mother, I am so glad you have come!" cried Alice, uncovering her head and seizing her mother's hand; "I can never go to sleep. 0 mother, I have killed Ruth in my heart to-day-I did;" and the tears flowed afresh. "She got angry, and I wished she were dead. I can't ask God's forgiveness till I've made up with Ruth. He won't



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THE END OF POOR PEARL uau" /I



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 29 John; "you don't want to show yourself, after being so badly beaten. Well, it must go down rather hard after all your superior airs." "I forgive you, John," cried Bob, throwing back a bright look, as he dashed into the wood. "Forgive me! What for ?" screamed John, stamping his foot. "Do you think 1 tore your book ?" But Bob had sprung out of hearing. "Well, it would be a pity to let such lovely Christian charity die for want of exercise," muttered John; and he loosened one of the boards of the little bridge, so that when Bob came bounding back, it would tilt up, and give him a heavy fall. But John's conscience troubled him all the afternoon, and he could not even think of the composition which was to come .off with such glory on the next day. As soon as the late school was dismissed, he L



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 13 But he struggled against the feeling, though his hands clinched involuntarily all through his busy prayers for help. Daisy, too, would not trust herself to speak, and walked on silently, while John sang scraps of psalm tunes profanely all the way home. Arrived at the door, John turned to Daisy. "My dear Christian friend, I have such a pleasant surprise for you." Daisy followed him apprehensively through the garden to the barn, when, opening the door, out walked her little pet kitten, Pearl, her pure white fur dabbled with streaks of red and yellow paint, looking like a little clown kitten. You see," said John, while Daisy uttered an exclamation of dismay, "I knew your taste in colours, because you admired the sunset so much last night. I'm so glad I've pleased you," he grinned maliciously. The kitten mewed piteously, as if in great pain.



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TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 53 you have behaved well to-day, so I shall try. "Joan, the good queen of Navarre, was one of the best and noblest women of whom we read in history. She died about three hundred years ago. Her life was full of troubles and sorrows, and would make a long interesting tale, if I had time to tell you it. She was a Protestant, or Huguenot, as they were then called in France; and in her days the Protestants were much persecuted by the Papists, and had to fight for their lives and liberty. Queen Joan was looked up to and loved by them all. "One of her best generals was called La Noue. In a bloody battle his right arm was broken by a ball, and he had to give up the command of the army and retire to the town of La Rochelle, where the queen was then residing, as a place of safety. He was most kindly welcomed, and the greatest care and tenderness bestowed upon him, for



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36 "I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." She was roused from such reflections by the children coming to her side. "Mamma, how old is Widow Wilson ?" "Ninety-nine years, at least." Ninety-nine years! almost a hundred!older than grandpapa ?" Yes, about twenty years older." The boy was lost in wonder; it was some minutes before he could comprehend the idea. "Mamma, should you like to live as long ?" Certainly not, my dear." She spoke quickly and decidedly, and Tommy was again surprised. "Should you like to be sure of living as long, Tommy ?" "I think so, mamma. Why would not you like it?" "We shall speak of that again, after we have seen Widow Wilson." They were now not far from the shep-



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14 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. I declare," said John, I believe she has been trying to lick it off. I hadn't the least idea that she had a taste for colour, too;" and he laughed loudly. "You're a cruel boy, John," cried Bob, coming up. "That poor kitten has swallowed too much paint, and will die before night." John only laughed louder, while Daisy tenderly took her kitten, and with Bob's help washed it with soap and warm water. The poor kitten seemed grateful, ut lay languidly in Daisy's lap till night, when, as Bob predicted, it died. Daisy could not be comforted, and Bob indignantly told Aunt Skinner the whole story. "Oh, John is always up to his tricks," said she, a little impatiently, but I don't think that little bit of paint hurt the kitten at all. It always was sickly. Daisy played with it too much. But don't cry, child," she added, more kindly; "you shall have another some time." ...



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 33 "Don't thank me," faltered Bob; but he could say no more for the happy tears. But as Daisy looked at his radiant face, she whispered, "I know what banner you are carrying to-day." "What ?" asked Bob. Daisy clasped her fair hands reverently: "Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." c 3



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LITTLE ALICE. 59 mother's efforts, and the eldest four were numbered among the children of God. Alice was now five years old; and could you have seen her in company with her cousin Ruth, her playmate and schoolmate, as they dressed dolls or skipped off to school, you would have said, Surely peace and love dwell in the bosoms of these little ones. One night when it was Alice's bed-time, she had no mind to go to bed. Sarah said, "Come, Alice, I will go up with you, for mother is engaged, you know." Alice sat still on the cricket, looking down very sadly. She had scarcely tasted her bread and milk. "I am not a bit hungry," she said, shoving away the bowl. "Do you feel sick ?" asked Sarah. No, I am not sick," she answered. Again Sarah took her hand to lead her upstairs. "I wish mother would," said



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40 I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." "Oh ay, mother; this is Mrs. Campbell, the kind lady'who was here last week." "My memory's sair failed; I dinna mind my ain daughter at times." "But," said Mrs. Campbell gently, "you do not forget the Lord Jesus, the Lord your shepherd ?" "The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want," she replied, and repeated, without mistake, though in a low, monotonous voice, the whole Scottish metrical version of Psalm xxiii. "You see," said Mrs. Campbell turning to the children, "how good it is to learn the word of God well by heart in youth. For whatever is learned then will remain when other things are forgotten." "She minds the Catechism too," said Jean. -" Mother, who is the only Redeemer of God's elect ?" The only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal



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LITTLE ALICE; OR, KILLING FOLKS IN OUR HEART. LIE was the youngest of a large. circle of brothers and sisters. She wAs the pet; but she was not a spoiled pet, wilful and selfish, as pets are apt to be. She had a mother who made her children not only love, but revere and obey her. She was a praying mother, whose heart's desire was, both by precept and example, to lead her little ones to "the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." The Holy Spirit owned this



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42 I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." They were affectionate little things, and now their hearts seemed full. Mary got on her mother's knee, and Tommy threw his arms round her neck, as he exclaimed with tears,"Mamma, I would not like to see you lie in bed for nine long years !" "You would rather think of me in heaven with Jesus, my child, would you not ?" "And she had forgotten about her own children! Mamma, could you ever forget about us ?" The mother only replied by pressing them both to her heart. "But she will remember all her children again when she sees them in heaven, will she not, mamma ?" "I have no doubt of that, my dear, if they are all there." "And is not she a good woman? Will not she go to heaven soon herself ?" "I do hope so; I do believe poor old Widow Wilson is a Christian."



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44 "I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." is a wonderful old man. But if you were to ask him, I daresay he would tell you that he was glad to think the time must be near when he will go home to God." "Mamma, we hope you will live quite as long as grandpapa." "My dears, that is not likely, and, as I have said, there are few like my dear father at his age, and I could not expect to resemble him. But all that will be as our Father in heaven pleases. You have learned 'ust now that if we have reason to believe that ourselves, or any whom we dearly love, have come to Jesus, and are his pardoned children, we should not desire for such a very long life on earth. I would also like you to feel that the people of God should never be afraid or unwilling to die at any time. There are many children in heaven who left this world at your own age. Not one of them would wish to come back, or ever thought they had gone there too soon."



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62 LITTLE ALICE. hear me, for my heart had hatred in it, and not love. O mother !" and the little child seemed broken in heart. Her mother tried to comfort her; but there lay the cold, heavy weight of sin upon her bosom. "Oh, if I could only see Ruth, and we could make up, then I could pray," she cried piteously. "Can't I go to Ruth's house ?" The mother thought a moment, and then said, Yes, my child, you shall go;" for she well knew no more important business could claim her attention than helping her child through the thorny passes of the "narrow way." Alice's father was called, who, wrapping the weeping Alice in a blanket (it was summer-time), carried her to the home of cousin Ruth, whose door was next their own. She was taken to Ruth's bedside. It was a touching scene,-the confession, the prayer for forgiveness, the kiss of reconciliation;



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 27 think I can have you on my hands with fever and ague all through the spring ?" Bob came back into the room very quietly, and leaning his head on his hand, spoke not a word for more than an hour. Neither did little Daisy, who knelt beside him with her head on his knee. At last he turned to her with a very pale face, but a sweet, wan smile,"It's all over now, Daisy. It has been a great fight, and I'm very tired, but I'm not angry with any one now. I'm pretty sure I shall lose the prize, but perhaps I should have been too proud." Daisy only sobbed softly to herself. John broke in fretfully, Mr. Brooks said my composition would stand a good chance, if it were only a little fuller upon this one head. He said I'd find a great deal to help me in a book he told me about; but I can't get it at this book-store, and I suppose the roads will be perfectly impassable over to



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM, 9 and they had to struggle very hard against a feeling of positive dislike towards their cousin John. He was older and stronger than Bob, and was continually doing everything in his power to make his young cousins uncomfortable. Even now, as they sat in church, he would now and then vary his occupation of drawing by giving Daisy a violent pinch, which would make her start off her seat. Then Aunt Skinner would give her such a sharp look, that the child's heart would be nearly broken. So it is no wonder that these little children listened so eagerly to the comforting words of the good old minister. He told them such wonderful things of the glorious King who made all the shining worlds, of his great white throne, and his angels, beautiful because they had stood so long in his light, the harpers harping with harps, and the cherubim veiling their faces because the glory was so great. But this wonderful



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 15 "It will never be like Pearl," sobbed Daisy. Dear sister Saybrook," drawled John, passing her little stool, your affections are too earthly." "Daisy," whispered Bob, as they lighted their candles to go to bed, "could you love John now ?" "Don't ask me," cried poor Daisy, in a choking voice. "It's as much as I can do not to hate him to-night." Nevertheless, Daisy prayed so earnestly that God would take all bitterness out of her heart, that in the morning she was able to look quite cheerful,and spoke so pleasantly to John that he was greatly disappointed. "She didn't love her kitten so much, after all," said he to himself. But now Bob was in trouble. One of his boots was nowhere to be found. His other pair had gone to be mended, and it was almost school time. High and low L



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64 LITTLE ALICE. How many children who read this can remember hating and killing people in their hearts! Have you been sorry for it, and begged to be forgiven? If not, does it not show that you are far, far from God and holy things ?



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26 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. said Aunt Skinner sharply; "you've probably been careless yourself." "I kept it just like a new book," said Bob mournfully. "0 John, won't you let me take yours ?" "By-and-by," said John; but though Bob begged and pleaded, he would not stir to find it till after tea. Then he came downstairs, saying with a yawn, "Oh, I'm sorry, Bob, but I just remember I lent mine to one of the boys yesterday." Bob looked intensely disappointed, and seizing his cap, rushed to the door. "Where are you going ?" asked Uncle Skinner, coming in with his coat dripping, and using all his force to shut the door against the driving wind. "It's a terrible storm." "I don't mind it," said Bob. "I must try to find an Algebra." "Are you crazy, child ?" cried Aunt Skinner. You shan't stir a step. Do you



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM AND Other H torieo. LONDON: THOMAS NELSON AND SONS. EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK. I881.



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 11 to God over again; and I promised to study his Book more, and find out all he wishes me to do, and then do it with all my might." "Then I will, too," said Daisy, lifting her clear eyes to heaven. "But I'll tell you what, Daisy, we'll have a tough time trying to do some things. What do you think of 'Love your enemies'? Now, there's John-" "Well, to be sure, my arm is all black and blue; but then I feel now as if I forgave him, and, indeed, Bob," said she slowly, "I'm not quite sure, but I think I could almost love him." "Ah, indeed!" sneered a voice behind them, "don't put yourself out too much." Daisy coloured violently. "Have you heard all we said ?" "I've had the privilege," said John, in a sal tone, "of listening to most of your edifying conversation. It was a great C A



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TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 57 her presence might do, and thought not a moment of her own feelings." Oh, mamma, it was beautiful! And did La Noue get better ?" Yes; by the blessing of God his life was saved. The queen watched over his recovery, and got an ingenious workman to make a false arm of iron, by means of which he could even guide his horse. You may believe that his love and gratitude were unbounded, and that he could not speak of her heroic kindness, in after life, without tears. So you see that even a queen, with all the doctors and nurses in the kingdom at her command, might do more herself than any of them to save a dear friend, by overcoming nervous weakness and forgetting her own feelings. "Now, Jessie, go and see if Charles is still asleep." Mamma," said Anna, rising, "may I go ?" "Surely, my dear; and if he is awake, sit beside him till I come."



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48 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. "But I was not needed; you were there, and Betty was in the house." "That is true; but supposing I had not been at home, would you have acted differently? And when the doctor came, and many things were required, you still kept out of the way." "Mamma, I really could not bear to be in the room. You cannot think how Charles's groans went to my very heart. I was just crying in the garden." "And do you think my heart was not feeling the suffering of my dear child also ?" "But you have such strong nerves; you always had." "I do not suppose that my nerves were by nature stronger than those of most other women, but I was early called to many trying duties, and taught by my dear mother not to shrink from them. And by the grace of God I was taught where to look



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B' f 4iT I: THE CHILD1EEN 0O? THE KINGDOM. 4~i -P -.; i jl ?*-o~o':" *II CR**NO' *s ..OM



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THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. 25 worked out by Bob. This was more than John's spirit could bear, and for several days he went about with such an air of sullen gloom, that no one dared to sympathize with him. At last he suddenly betook himself with such energy to his composition, in which there was good prospect of success, that Bob believed his mortification was forgotten. Everything went on smoothly till the day before examination, when Bob came hurrying in after school, saying, "Oh, I've so much to study. Don't call me to tea, please, Aunt Skinner, I couldn't eat a morsel;" and he sat himself down in a western window, to improve the last ray of light. Suddenly he uttered an exclamation of dismay.. "What's the matter ?" cried Daisy. "Why, some one has torn the leaves out of my Algebra, right in the hardest part!" "Why do you lay it to some one else ?"



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32 THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM. passed on, and at last some one knocked at his door. "Is it all over?" said John, in a low, fearful whisper; "is he dead ?" Oh no," answered the pleasant voice of nurse Comfort. "Your cousin will live, and I thought you would like to know." No words can describe the happiness that thrilled poor John Skinner's grateful heart. Neither can it be told with what tenderness he waited on Bob through all his weary confinement. And at last, when the boy was able to bear it, he made a long confession of all his wicked and malicious deeds, and humbly asked forgiveness. "For you see," said John in a faltering voice, "you have been such a good soldier, you have not only conquered yourself, but even me, your greatest enemy; and now I want you and Daisy to tell me how to join the King's army, for I too am determined to fight the good fight. O Bob, if you could only know how I thank you !"



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52 TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. through grace ? Should not we do at least as much from love and gratitude for our free salvation as they do from fear and anxiety about it ?" Yes, in some ways. But surely a lady, if she feels as I do, need never see those dreadful things; she can always pay for doctors and nurses." "There are many times when no doctor or nurse could or should take the place of the mother, the wife, the friend. And in such a case the noblest woman is in her right place when not shrinking from the most trying or humble offices of love. Did you ever read about Joan, queen of Navarre, and her wounded general ?" "I do not recollect." A little girl, who had been playing in a corner, now came forward. Oh, mamma tell us the story; it will do you good." "Well, you deserve a story, Jessie for



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TRUE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS. 55 his long sufferings had weakened his mind as well as his body. So the doctors, much distressed, after trying all they could to persuade him, went to the queen and told her the case, and that every hour increased the danger, and took away from their hopes of success from an operation. I suppose Anna, in Joan's place, would have written La Noue a letter, full of good, kind advice and remonstrance. But Joan acted differently. She went herself at once to the sick-chamber of the wounded man. She stood beside him, and spoke to him in the gentlest, kindest way, sympathizing with him in his distress, and yet reproving his impatience. She showed him how his duty to God, and his love for her, and for the holy cause for which he suffered, should make him willing to submit to anything that could give a hope of saving a life which might still be so useful; and then, should it not please the Lord in the end to bless the surgeon's skill,