The Baldwin Library
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MdR. SHELTON AN~D EMILY.
WHAT IT TAUGHT HETJ.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY,
56. PATERNOSTER Row; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
I.-EMILY'S FIRST PLACE 5
Ir.-A SERIOUS FAULT 17
III.-VAIN REGRETS 23
Iv.-HOME AGAIN 29
V.-BEGINNING AFRES 32
VI.-A NEW START AND NEW TRIALS 41
VII.-THE FAMILY COUNCIL 49
VIII.-"WITH GOOD-WILL DOING SERVICE" 53
IX.-CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE 56
X.-"A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD TIEM 61
And what it Tatught !cOr,
''i. .-i N a small upper room of a high
House in one of the large
l 1i London squares, a girl of about
fourteen years was crouching
by the side of her little bed,
sobbing in a very heart-broken fashion.
It was night; the rest of the household
were either asleep or preparing for it; it was
bitterly cold too, for the month was December,
and the season unusually severe, yet Emily
Leeson had forgotten everything else in her
It was her first great weight of trouble, one
which she had brought on herself, and yet
6 Emily's Trouble.
had there been some kind friend near to listen
to her tale, probably such an one would have
found much to pity and excuse on the score
of poor Emily's childishness and inexperience.
However, no one in the great house was par-
ticularly disposed to be her friend; she had
been reproved by her mistress severely, and
before the other servants, and every one knew
that she had been found untruthful and dis-
honest, and was being sent home in disgrace
the very next morning.
Home! what a sweet sound the word used
to have for Emily before she fell into tempt-
ation; how the remembrance of father and
mother's faces, and the thought of the chubby
little brothers and sisters made her plod on in
her work, and never care if it was hard or
wearisome, because she was helping those
dear ones in the little cottage away in Suffolk;
yes, really and truly gaining seven pounds a
year, from which she hoped to save a little to
go towards the rent when work was scarce, or
to buy shoes for the children, or flannel when
winter brought mother a twinge of rheu-
Her First Place. 7
All those bright dreams were.at an end now.
Oh, if she could only blot out that past fort-
night, and go back to the time before, when
she was looking forward to Christmas like
every one else, and planning what she could
spend on some little gifts for Fanny and
Polly, who would think everything beautiful
which came from London; now she was
going home in shame and disgrace, which
would half break her mother's heart. So no
wonder that Emily sobbed and cried as the
hours struck, until at last it was nearly
morning, and she threw herself on her bed
and fell into a heavy, troubled sleep until day-
light woke her to a full sense of her misery.
Emily's home, as we have said, was in
Suffolk-one of those peaceful uneventful
little villages which may be found in numbers
throughout the length and breadth of Eng-
land-where for generations the Leesons
had worked upon the Squire's ground, keep-
ing their troop of rosy boys and girls about
them until they were of an age to place out,
all growing up to bear a good honest name in
that part of the country.
8 Emily's Trouble.
It was a wonderful thing in Stoke when
Emily was coming to London; to those
simple country-folk the big city was some-
thing to be dreamed of, not seen; and there-
fore when Joe Leeson's eldest girl was known
to be off to service in the strange far-off
place, the old people shook their heads dis-
approvingly and the young ones questioned
and almost envied her.
"Eh, lass, 'tis to be feared no good will
come of it," said old Nancy Hodges, the most
ancient inhabitant of Stoke, who had been
the companion and playmate of Emily's great
grandmother; "better stay at home among
your own people."
But the child tossed her head delightedly-
it was all settled-mother had said yes, and
Mrs. Wolstanley had engaged her; and in less
than a month, when all was ready and the
old clothes mended and the new ones made,
she was to travel up to London to try her
hand as under-housemaid for seven pounds
a year, and a rise in her wages as soon as she
was a little older.
Certainly Emily held her head higher than
Her First Place. 9
ever during those last few weeks at home;
she was extra good though to her parents,
and more motherly than ever to the little
ones; and if she patronised her old playmates
rather more than she ought, we must excuse
her, because her future seemed so great and
beautiful, and she was very young.
Just at the last Emily's dignity gave way,
and she cried bitterly at the moment of
parting. "Oh, mother, mother, I most wish
I wasn't going," she cried, hanging round
Mrs. Leeson's neck, with half-a-dozen brothers
and sisters clinging to her clean print frock,
which would certainly have been pulled out
at the gathers if it had not been sewn in good
strong country fashion, which would bear
a few experiments.
"Why, child, you'll be as happy as the
day's long, once you're used to it all," said
the mother, hoping to hide her own pain.
"Not but what we shall miss you terribly,
and it'll be lonesome for me; but just think
how proud I'll be to think I've got a girl in
service in London."
So at last, after tears and good-byes innu-
10 Emily's Trouble.
merable, Emily Leeson was away from her
father's cottage, sitting in Farmer Grey's high
cart, with the old horse jogging and jolting
along towards the station where she could
get a train for London.
Many another country girl has made such
a journey, and Emily's feelings were much
the same as what others have gone through ;
partly through fear of the strange future, partly
hope and pleasant expectation, and then at
the last a positive terror when the moment
came to encounter "the missis" and the
servants, and the great house and unfamiliar
rooms. However, she got through it all
fairly well; and after the first week was able
to write home that she was happy, and Mrs.
Wolstanley seemed satisfied.
"They laugh a little at the frocks you've
made me, mother," so ran the end of the
letter. "They say I'm regular country cut;
but I'll have some more when I get my
quarter's wages, and then I can send these
home for Polly and the rest."
"Country cut, indeed!" Mrs. Leeson had
said, in high indignation; and well she might
Her First Place. 11
be a little sore upon the point, after spending
so much money, and sewing far into the
night on purpose to send out her girl re-
spectably and nicely. "I hope they're not
going to fill Emily's head with nonsense, and
teach her to dress herself in London fashions
like I've heard of;" and she wrote a very
wise letter to her daughter, advising her to
be satisfied with the clothing she had, and
make it last as long as possible.
Emily read these words with a little toss
of her head. Mother did not think how
disagreeable it was to be laughed at, nor how
pleasant it would be to have a bonnet as
smart as cook's, and a dress cut after the
pattern of that which Jane the housemaid
put on to go to church on Sunday evening.
Mrs. Leeson, too, as she bustled about her
cottage, and went through her routine of hard
work, thought a little uneasily about what
Emily had said. "If I thought the girl
would get her head crammed with fashions
and folly, I'd never forgive myself for letting
her go; that I wouldn't, Joe," she said to her
12 Emily's Trouble.
But good honest Joe Leeson only smiled
good-humouredly. "Why, missis, don't be
fretting and fuming thyself about a trifle;
girls will be girls, and Emily naturally likes
to be as smart as the rest; but she'll take no
harm, you'll see.
So Mrs. Leeson tried to content herself
with believing all was right; and when Emily's
next letter came, and nothing more was said
about the striped frocks, her annoyance
melted away, and she only expressed her
delight at her child's good fortune when she
was asked for news of her.
Five months Emily Leeson had been at
Mrs. Wolstanley's, in Russel Square, when
that sad December day came on which she
was tempted to do wrong-a wrong that was
found out quicker than she ever could have
imagined. During that time the girl had
made many blunders, had her share of
scoldings, and been sometimes discouraged
and unhappy; but on the whole she got
on well for one so young, and Jane gave her
a good character for being willing and good-
tempered, and Mrs. Wolstanley was satis-
Her First Place. 13
fled, and Emily herself had sent ten shillings
home out of her wages-not a large sum as
compared with her great intentions, but still
a proof of her good-will, when wages were
only one pound fifteen shillings a quarter,
and London boots and shoes seemed to wear
out directly, and a winter frock and jacket
had to be bought.
The girl's duties were about the house,
cleaning, sweeping, dusting, learning to open
the door, to wait at table, to do little services
for the two young ladies; in fact, to make
herself useful in any and every way which
Jane could find; and this was how Emily
came to have something to do with counting
and sorting the linen which was sent to and
from the laundress, and taking the money
down to pay her every Monday morning.
Emily had already spent in imagination
every shilling of her quarter's wages. There
was to be three shillings laid out for mother,
and three for father, and a few little things
found for the children; and after that she
should just have enough left for a pair of new
boots, and a winter bonnet, and some new
14 Emily's Trouble.
aprons, and a pair of gloves, all of which she
stood in need of.
But, like other girls, Emily did long for a
little finery sometimes ; boots and aprons and
gloves were very necessary, but it did seem
hard that all the money must go that way,
when the shops were filled with the most
attractive and wonderful brooches and other
ornaments, and so cheap too. In fact, Emily
felt a little troubled at her lack of these trifles,
for Jane and the other servants seemed to
have quite a variety of ear-rings and brooches,
and she had only one little pebble-stone, with
a ring of silver round it to fasten her collar;
and as for ear-rings, she had never been able
to persuade her mother into tolerating them.
However, now she was in London, and
she really must do a little like other people;
one could not be dressed quite in Stoke
fashion; and really mother was very anti-
quated in her ideas: so Emily had quite
resolved upon the ear-rings, and had fixed
upon a pair displayed in a shop window
as the most becoming.
"You had better buy them at once, if you
Her First Place. 15
are going to," Jane said, when Emily con-
fided to her her intention of purchasing.
"They will be gone before Christmas, may-
be, and then you would have to take a pair
you did not like so well."
Oh, how tiresome it was to have a whole
fortnight to wait; if only she could summon
up her courage to borrow of one of her fellow-
servants she should be able to manage; but
Emily dared not ask even the cook, who was
so good-natured, though it was only four
shillings she wanted.
This was her state of mind on the Monday
morning when the mistress gave her the
washing bill and a sovereign to pay it, from
which the woman must give four shillings
Why was it that a sudden temptation over-
took poor Emily? We cannot tell; but we
do know that though God permits temptation
He always gives sufficient grace to resist,
if it is only sought in the moment of danger :
and this was a girl who from childhood had
been trained in the knowledge and love of
the Lord, who knew good from evil, who
16 Emily's Trouble.
knew that her heavenly Father was watching
her every day and hour, and that she could
not escape His all-seeing eye.
As Emily walked downstairs to the back-
door where the laundress was waiting, she
formed her plan: several times it had hap-
pened that the woman had not change, and
as Mrs. Wolstanley knew her well, and had
employed her for years, the money was left
standing until another week without any
remark being made. Thus it was that the
little housemaid resolved that if the four
shillings were given her out of the sovereign,
it would be easy enough to keep them in her
own hands, and make out that it was to be
settled the next time, and by then she could
repay the money from her wages, and no
harm would have been done, while she should
have the gratification of securing the much-
"No harm !"-that was how Emily sought
to stifle the voice of conscience, and for the
sake of a passing pleasure she yielded to
temptation, which brought her much sorrow
before many days had passed.
^ ertous anlt.
i RS. BARCLAY, the laundress, count-
ed out the four shillings change,
put paid to the book, and taking
up the basket of linen, went her
way, while Emily slipped the money
into her pocket, and going back to
her work of dusting Miss Wolstanley's
room, felt as unhappy as any girl could do.
She could not even find much comfort in the
thought of the ear-rings, or in the prospect of
obtaining them that very evening if she got
leave to go out, as she most likely should do.
No, Emily had been too carefully taught to
know right from wrong for her to be able
easily to give way to deliberate sin; and her
hand trembled, and her heart beat at every
passing step, just as if every one was coming
to expose her.
However, as the day passed, and all went
18 Emily's Trouble.
on as usual, Emily began to feel more at ease;
and in the evening she was sent to post
letters, and thus the opportunity came of
securing the smart ear-rings she had desired
so much; and when they were really in her
possession her sense of sin and shame seemed
less strong. Certainly, when she went to bed
that night she did not feel able to pray; it
was not often Emily had missed her prayers
before, and even if this did happen, she was
soon out of bed, kneeling to beg forgiveness
of God her Father; but now, with this upon
her conscience, the girl could not ask His
blessing, could not say the words she had
learned as a.little happy child at home in the
cottage where her mother was praying for
her that very night.
That was not a peaceful sleep which came
over Emily Leeson; she started, and called
out, and moaned so often, that Jane, who
slept in the next room, heard her, and laugh-
ingly asked her at breakfast if her conscience
was uneasy, and thus brought a flush of
shame to her cheeks, and an unusually sharp
answer to her tongue.
A Serious Fault. 19
"Uneasy! no; what should make me
uneasy? You had better mind your own
business, I think."
"Hoity-toity!" exclaimed cook; "what
has happened to you, child; it's the first time
I have seen you cross, at any rate."
"Enough to make me, when people pry
and listen, even when I am asleep," retorted
the girl; and then, with the sudden con-
viction that she was making a very ridiculous
fuss about nothing, she burst into a violent
fit of tears.
"Well, really, I never saw anything to
equal this !" exclaimed Jane; "there's some-
thing amiss with you, I am sure;" and off
she went, leaving cook to sympathise with
Emily and persuade her to dry her eyes.
All that day the girl was restless and un-
happy. Jane's words seemed to haunt her.
"There's something amiss with you;" and
over and over again she wondered if her
fellow-servant had heard anything about her,
or what she had in her mind. All this was
but the result of an uneasy conscience, for
Jane spoke from a sudden impulse, without
20 Emily's T'rouble.
considering her words, and she had not the
slightest suspicion of any harm in the girl;
on the contrary, she would have been indig-
nant with any one who hinted at such a thing,
for in her own sharp way the housemaid was
very partial to Emily, because she was always
active and willing.
Thus things dragged on through a second
day; and on the third Emily saw the laun-
dress come to the house with a few kitchen
towels which had been left behind, and after
that she guessed from Jane's face that some-
thing had come out. She was quite right;
on seeing Mrs. Barclay coming up to the side-
door, Jane had gone to her, believing she had
come on purpose to give the change owing
since the Monday. "Good morning," she
said, "you really needn't have come up on
purpose, it could have gone on till next week,
as it has sometimes."
"No, I'd rather bring them back at once,
it's easier to keep things straight, if one makes
the number right each week," said the woman,
unfolding a paper, and giving up the missing
articles as she spoke.
A Serious Fault. 21
"Oh! it's the towels you're talking of; I
really thought you had come on purpose to
bring the four shillings, and that did not
matter, you know."
Mrs. Barclay gazed in intense surprise:
"Four shillings ? I don't know what you
Why, the change out of the sovereign;
Emily said you had not got it on Monday
"Not got it? Why I gave it her, sure
enough; a two-shilling piece and four six-
pences; I remember so well, because I said,
'I hope the missis won't mind these sixpences,
for I haven't a shilling about me.' And she
said I didn't pay her ?"
Jane hesitated. "I thought so; but per-
haps I was wrong. I daresay she took it to
This, then, was how the matter came out;
and the housemaid went with her tale to the
mistress, and an hour after poor frightened
Emily stood in the dining-room listening to
She had owned it all, and begged hard for
22 Emily's Trouble.
pardon, saying it was the first, quite the first,
time she had ever done anything dishonest or
untrue; but Mrs. Wolstanley was inexorable,
and she declared that Emily should only
remain in the house till the next day, and
that she was to write at once to her mother
to say she was coming home directly. So a
very short, tear-stained letter went out by the
afternoon s post from London.
"DEAR MOTHER,-I am coming home to-
morrow, almost as soon as you get this letter.
I have done very wrong; but oh! dear
mother, please forgive me, and don't let father
and the children know. Your affectionate
Then Emily went up to her little bedroom
to pack up her clothes; oh, how she cried to
think of going home like this, without a
character, in disgrace; and it was just before
Christmas, too, and instead of every one
being happy, all would be miserable through
'ow Emily wished then that
those ear-rings were back in
'- the shop they came from;
\ she never wanted to see
them again; and she won-
dered whether the man would
take them back if she could
get Jane to ask him. With a great effort she
crept downstairs and made her request, and
was considerably relieved when Jane offered
to buy them of her for three shillings. Poor
Emily, her sorrow was real, for she went
straight to Mrs. Wolstanley with the money,
trembling very much, as her timid knock at
the door was answered by a Come in."
"Please, ma'am, here is three shillings.
Jane was so kind as to buy those-those ear-
rings I've done so wrong about, and this is
what she gave me, if you will please take it,
24 Emily's Trouble.
and let the other shilling come out of my
"Of course, I intended taking it all from
your wages," said the lady, sternly. How-
ever, it is just as well you should save your-
self losing any more, for no doubt your poor
mother will need every penny, with a great
girl on her hands in winter time."
This was more than Emily could bear, and
she began to cry again, for the thought of the
sorrow she was bringing on her mother was
quite the worst part of it all to her.
"There, don't cry here, it distresses me,"
said Mrs. Wolstanley, and, for a moment,
there was, perhaps, a shade of pity in her
voice. "It seems very hard to you now, I
dare say, but the day will come when you
will see I only did my duty in punishing you
so severely; it may save you from a long
course of sin."
The girl left the room and went back to
her packing; oh, how she longed for a kind
and pitying word, and in her longing, her
thoughts turned to the pitying, loving Saviour
of man. "Oh, if only He was in the world
Vain Regrets. 25
as He was all those years ago; I think I
could go and tell Him what I've done, and
not be afraid, because I am sure He would
see how sorry I am, and quite, quite forgive
me." And from this Emily got to think of
what she had learned all her life-that Jesus
in heaven was still the same, ever ready to
pity, to pardon, to help; ever ready to take
back to His love all who had fallen from the
right path; and so in her sorrow and friend-
lessness she turned to God, and prayed ear-
nestly that He would help and protect her all
her life long, and forgive her sin for the sake
of Christ, His dearly-beloved Son.
Morning came, the sun shone cheerily,
although it was December; and as Emily
looked round the little room she should sleep
in no more, there was a feeling of regret, for
all changes and partings bring some sorrow,
and then this certainly was not a happy
As the train rattled along on its way,
Emily looked out and thought of the summer
day when she had travelled along that line
before; the trees were in full leaf then, the
26 Emily's Trouble.
fields green, the birds in song, and flowers
blooming in the hedge-rows. Now, all was
bare and dreary-looking, even though the sun
shone on the frosty roadways and leafless
branches, and there was no comfort in the
thought of seeing home again. What would
mother say ? or, rather, how would she look ?
and the children, they would all shrink from
her, instead of running to greet her, and ask
her a thousand questions about what she had
seen in London.
These and many more such thoughts passed
through Emily's mind on that miserable jour-
ney, which seemed almost too short, because
she dreaded so much her arrival among her
old friends, that she would willingly have
prolonged the distance if she had been able.
However, railway trains and time-tables are
inexorable; and so, in less than five minutes
after the hour named, Emily was on her feet
in the station, and looking round, caught
sight of her eldest brother, Bob, who greeted
her with a kiss.
Glad you've come, Emmie," he cried;
"it would have been a dullish Christmas
Vain Regrets. 27
without you; and getting here before the
time, you'll be such a help to mother."
Emily's eyes filled; but Bob took no notice
-only shouldered her box, and led the way
to Farmer Hobson's cart, which had come
to meet her. Good lad he knew his sister
was in trouble; and he meant to show her
that he for one welcomed her home.
Come, Emmie, don't be downcast," he
said, when the cart had taken them over the
first mile of their journey in perfect silence.
"I know you're unhappy; you must not
mind mother showing me your letter, for it
is a secret from all the rest, except father,
and the folks think you're just come for a
holiday. I'm not going to ask what's the
matter; I'm your brother, and I'll stand up
for you anywhere."
That blunt, rough, but loving speech went
straight to Emily's heart; and, glad to relieve
her troubled mind, she was soon sobbing out
the whole history.
"Well, of course, it was very wrong, and
all the rest," said Bob ; I can't say different,
Em. But still I think the lady was hard on
28 Emily's Trouble.
you; and I'm sure mother and father won't
say much when they see how cut up you are.
Cheer up, you'll soon get another place."
"Oh, Bob, do you really think so ? I could
bear it better if I believed I shouldn't be a
burden to mother."
." ir's most time the cart was
'--. _. here, children," said Mrs.
Leeson, glancing at the old
.-': clock in the corner of the
. kitchen, which showed the
Time to be a quarter to
S four. "Get tea ready,
"Fanny, for Emily will be
hungry, coming all that way."
However, when Emily was dragged into
the kitchen by a troop of loving little brothers
and sisters, and when her bonnet and shawl
were taken off, and she was put in the warm-
est seat by the fire, it was found that she was
not hungry at all; and that though she at-
tempted to swallow a few mouthfuls of food
it had to be given up as impossible, and,
after a violent effort to keep from tears, she
began at last to sob bitterly, saying, "Oh,
30 Emily's Trouble.
mother, mother-I don't wan't anything,
except to be by myself with you."
The children huddled away then in the
little wash-house, to wonder still more what
ailed Emily, who used to be so merry and
now looked so pale and sad. Bob went off
to his father, trying to whistle, but making
a very bad hand at it, and so Emily was left
to tell her tale to Mrs. Leeson.
Ah! it was hard to bring it all out; it
seemed as if the very telling gave her a still
stronger light to see how she had sinned, to
understand how God had been grieved by
one who was his own child, who had pro-
mised Him again and again in whispered
prayers to keep His commandments, and,
by His help, walk in the narrow way which
leads to eternal life. And this then was the
end of all; no one would believe her, no one
trust her; and as for getting a place, there
seemed no chance of it when Mrs. Wolstanley
had distinctly said she would not recommend
her to any one.
Child, don't be thinking of how she was
to blame," said Mrs. Leeson, gravely; "keep
Home Again. 31
your mind to what you have done, and don't
begin judging her. Oh, Emily, to think you
would grow up to do a wrong like this-you
who knew better, too."
Emily cried still more, Don't, don't re-
proach me, mother! I am sorry, God knows
I am, and I can't believe but He's forgiven
He always forgives all who ask Him, my
girl. There's not a sin, however dreadful,
but the blood of Christ can wash away, and
you're right to believe it, for no one ever was,
or ever will be turned away by God. But I
want you to think, too, how sin displeases
Him; you must not think lightly of it be-
cause He is good enough to forgive us so
lia..v r. .-, old and young, all
-a t l' tie good pastor. He
!iw- v.: L the friend of rich and
S'.:"'-.r, v' ith a kind word for
all t ,Iic cia-me near him, and help
a in.l sip:'..thy for the suffering
ni:] tr.i:'.bl d. So it naturally
ii-', c:m abL.ut that Mr. Shelton
heard that Joe Leeson's daughter Emily had
come home from London; and this news
took him to the cottage to see for himself
how she was.
"Well, Mrs. Leeson, you have your girl
home, I hear. That is pleasant for you, just
at Christmas time, but I hope too it is only
for a holiday; it looks well if young servants
stay on in the same place for years."
"Yes, sir, Emily's come home," said Mrs.
Leeson; but she could not disguise the
Beginning Afresh. 33
trouble it was to her, and Mr. Shelton felt
convinced that there was some truth in his
idea that all was not well.
"Emily, Emily, here's Mr. Shelton." But
Emily ran away upstairs to her little attic
at the sound of her mother's voice, for it
seemed as if the good old minister was about
the last person she desired to see; however,
in the end, she had to come down, looking
very much inclined to cry.
"Poor child, don't be afraid," said the kind
old man. "Your mother has told me the
story; and though it is sad to hear, I can only
say to you what Christ would say, if He were
here, 'Go, and sin no more.' Do you know,
Emily, that good may come even out of all
this unhappiness ?"
"Good ?" said Emily, almost reproachfully,
"Oh, Mr Shelton, how can any good come
from it? I have lost my place and my
character, and here I am on mother's hands
again, when I ought to be helping her, and
everyone in the village is wondering what has
happened, and what I have done to get sent
34 Emily's Trouble.
"Places are still to be had, and you can
regain our good opinion, Emily. But I was
thinking more of what a lesson our Lord has
taught you of your own weakness and sinful-
ness, and, until we really know what we are,
until we really see that, without His grace,
it is impossible to do right, we cannot truly
follow Him. Our safety is in understanding
that we can do nothing by ourselves, and, my
poor child, I am afraid you thought you could
do a great deal. Then came temptation, and
you yielded; if God had not been good
enough to let you be found out, perhaps you
might have got into a habit of untruthfulness
Emily hung her head: it almost seemed
to her, that moment, as if it would have been
so much better not to be found out: in a few
days all would have been put right, and
surely, after all the unhappiness and worry,
she should never have even wanted to go
wrong again. Perhaps Mr. Shelton knew
her thoughts, for he said, "It was good of
God to bring this to light; you will see it
some day, my child, if you do not now. But
Beginning Afresh. 35
will you not let this be a fresh beginning ?
Will you not really now give up your heart
to God who has so often asked for it, and
serve and follow Him all the days of your
Emily Leeson hesitated. It was no new
thing for Mr. Shelton to speak thus: love to
Jesus was so bound up in his heart and life
that he could not keep it hidden; whether
he talked to old or young, the theme was
ever the same, and his desire was to gain
souls for the dear Saviour who died to save
sinners. And as the young girl listened she
felt, as she had felt before, a wish that she
could be what the good old man wished to
see her, that she could really say she had
given herself wholly to God, and cast in her
lot with the followers of the meek and lowly
Jesus. Yet Emily was what would be termed
a good girl; she had the faults peculiar to
very young people, but she had many good
qualities: she was industrious, obedient, kind.
She carefully said her prayers night and
morning, very rarely omitting them; and on
Sunday she always went to the house of
36 Emily's Trouble.
God, and read a chapter in her Bible and
some serious book; all this she did, and
perhaps some of my girl readers may ask
what more was wanted ?-what else could
be expected in one still so young ? Just this,
dear girls, dear children, the changed heart,
the heart all given to God, the desire to
follow day by day, and hour by hour, in the
footsteps of the great Redeemer, the fight
against sin, failings, little habits which hurt
the soul: in a word it was a deep, true earn-
est love of Jesus which was needed before
Emily Leeson could be classed as one of His
servants, one who had taken up her cross to
follow Him till death.
The kind minister looked gently at her
bent head; perhaps God told him in part of
what she was thinking.
"Pray to your heavenly Father, Emily;
say, every day, 'Show me how to give my
heart to Thee; take me, and keep me as
Thy child;' and the answer will come. And
if thus you are led to Jesus, you will look
back upon this fall as the means, however
painful, of showing you your sinfulness and
Beginning Afresh. 37
weakness, and bringing you to Him for
strength and guidance."
So Christmas came; the dear old festival
which every one loves, because it repeats
afresh the sweet story of the Infant of
Bethlehem, born and cradled in the manger,
in poverty and humility, as a lesson to us
of His love who could for our sakes leave
heaven's glory to begin a life of suffering
on earth, and at last die a death of shame
to set us free from the punishment of sin.
This year the 25th of December fell on a
Sunday; and naturally the preacher's lips
dwelt upon the old theme, one which though
so old is never wearying to hearts which love
Perhaps Emily's heart was unusually soft-
ened that morning, for her eye fixed upon
Mr. Shelton, and her mind dwelt upon his
words; and as he talked of Jesus, of His love,
of His life on earth, as he besought his hear-
ers to do something in return for all He had
sacrificed for them, as he begged them to
yield their hearts to Him and their lives to
His sweet service, Emily, for the first time
38 Emily's Trouble.
said to herself, "I will; by God's help, I will
be all His from this day forward."
When the sermon was ended, she prayed,
with an earnestness she had not known before,
that God would accept the gift she offered
Him, and show her how to begin. What
should she do? that was the question filling
her mind; and she determined to seek Mr.
Shelton that very day, if possible, and ask
him to help her.
"Mother, might I, do you think, go and
say something to the minister ?" she whis-
pered, and Mrs. Leeson answered, "Surely."
Then Emily, half timid, half happy, waited
till the congregation had dispersed, and said,
simply, "Mr. Shelton, I have given my heart
to God this morning; I know I am not good,
but He can make me so; will you teach me
how to please Him ?" and Mr. Shelton, rais-
ing his trembling hand above the young fair
head, called upon God to bless her who had
yielded herself that Christmas morning to be
For perhaps half-an-hour they talked, and
Emily would have wondered at herself only
Beginning Afresh. 39
a short week before if she had known that a
conversation about holy things would not
have seemed wearisome; now all was dif-
ferent, for just a faint glimpse of that "hunger
and thirst after righteousness" had dawned
upon her, and she longed to know what was
God's will for her.
Simply did the old pastor tell the child
the secret of the Christian life : prayer, the
constant humble study of God's word, and
faithful discharge of every trifling duty.
Nothing great or wonderful in the eyes of
the world, and yet needing such help from
heaven, such patient striving against self and
against sin. For the first time in her life,
Emily saw the simplicity of the gospel-to
accept the salvation purchased by the blood
of Christ, to look to Him as her Master, her
Teacher, her Example, and with steady eye
fixed upon His will to go forth on her path
to heaven. And then there were the little
common duties at home, in place, among
brothers and sisters, the influence upon
young companions, all sweet small works
to be done for the love of Jesus.
40 Emily's Trouble.
As the girl went homeward after this inter-
view, her face looked bright with joy; but her
heart was even brighter, for the love of Christ
was shining within it, and she was no more
the same, but a "new creature in Jesus
R Se tart anu fletu rials.
EMEMBERING the love of Jesus,
Emily Leeson felt a constant
joy in her heart which made
all things seem easy and even
happy to her; but although
the peace which comes from love
to God will remain with us, we are
never told that we shall be free from
trials and temptations: on the contrary, our
Lord always points us to a straight and narrow
way which leads to life eternal; a way which
is hard and thorny oftentimes, but yet, if we
persevere in it, the very difficulties will be
sweetened and softened, because we shall
find that they bring us nearer to our Master.
To young people like Emily, our good God
usually sends troubles in the shape of little
42 Emily's Trouble.
daily disappointments and vexations which
we can bear with His help, and which will
exercise us in the sweet virtues of patience,
humility, and love, so necessary to adorn the
character of the true Christian; yet, small as
such things may seem, they are often hard to
endure and to overcome, because we consider
them so trifling, almost too trifling to take to
God in prayer. Thus with Emily, although
the sunshine in her heart shed a golden light
over everybody and everything just in the
first freshness of feeling, it appeared very
soon as if the children were just as tiresome,
mother as strict, work as wearisome as before;
and, in spite of her good resolutions, it seemed
to the young girl that she was just as prone
to idleness, to impatience, to sharpness of
speech as ever. Studying her little Bible to
learn there the character of Him she had
chosen for her great Example, to think over
His sweetness, His self-denial, His gentle
compassion towards all men, she found out
more and more how far she was from re-
sembling Him; and though sometimes a
feeling came which made her exclaim, "I
A New Start and New Trials. 43
shall never, never be good," a prayer always
followed for strength and help; and such
prayers are never offered in vain.
A fortnight after Christmas, Emily's bro-
ther Bob came in one evening in high spirits.
"I told you, you would get on, after all, Em "
he cried. "I've heard of a place for you this
time, guess where ?"
In Stoke?" cried all the children together.
"No; not far off, though."
Of course they guessed everywhere but the
right place, and Bob enjoyed puzzling them,
it was only after long trying that he could be
persuaded to impart his news: that Mrs.
Middleton, at Dedham, wanted a girl to wait
on her; and one of the men on the farm
happened to hear of it, and, remembering
Emily Leeson, had told Bob about it."
Middleton ? yes ; I know who the lady is.
She is a widow and in very bad health, so I
suppose she wants some one to run about
and do things for her when the servants are
busy," said Mrs. Leeson. "Suppose, Emily,
we walk into Dedham to-morrow and ask
44 Emily's Trouble.
Emily willingly agreed, for she was longing
to get to service again; and as they walked
along the crisp frosty road she talked con-
stantly of the pains she would take to please
this mistress, if she was so fortunate as to get
the place, and how firmly she was resolved
never to waver in the very least from the
paths of truth and honesty.
"That's right enough, child; but don't
make sure of yourself. You're weak, and
temptation is often strong, but God is still
stronger. Trust Him, Emily, and fear your-
self, that is the best advice I can give you."
Good Mr. Shelton told the girl much the
same when she went to give him her news-
that Mrs. Middleton had engaged her to come
at once, and she was to begin at 8/. a year.
"And about a character ?" asked the minister.
"Why, sir, she never said a word about it.
You see she knows father's name so well, for
she says her husband lived in Stoke many
years, and she has heard him speak of the
Leesons. She seemed quite satisfied."
"Well, you see then, Emily, the worth of
a good name for steady uprightness; you
A New Start and New Trials. 45
must gain it for yourself now you have a
fresh opportunity." The girl promised to do
her best; and when the day came to leave
home once more she offered many sincere
and heartfelt prayers for strength to do her
duty to God and her new employer.
"There's one thing troubles me, Emily,"
her mother said; "I can't find out that this
lady is a pious, Christian woman, though I
hear she is charitable and kind. Mind, let
nothing turn you back from God; you've
promised yourself to Him, child, and don't
take back your word when He has been so
good to you, and forgiven you so much."
Emily often thought of these words when
she was settled at Mrs. Middleton's; at the
time it had appeared so easy to say yes, but
many a difficulty and hindrance beset her.
Her new mistress was both nervous and fan-
ciful, and though she meant to be kind, there
were things hard to bear. To a young girl it
was trying to be always with an invalid from
early morning till late at night, to rise from
her sleep at a hasty call, to sit reading for
hours when it was her mistress's pleasure, or
46 Emily's Trouble.
to remain silent with darkened windows when
Mrs. Middleton was suffering from the ner-
vous headaches which came so often; and this
was how the days were spent, and Emily felt
lonely, and longed to be in the kitchen with
the other servants, if she chanced to hear
them talking and laughing merrily together,
and still oftener she wished herself back in
London at her old place.
Something of this she said one day when
her mother came to visit her. "Well, child,
you must take the rough with the smooth, if
you want to get on in service. You lost the
other place through your own fault, so it is
no use thinking of it, except to make you
sorry for what is past."
"That was rather hard of mother," Emily
thought, however she deserved it; and then
she knew Mrs. Leeson only wanted to remind
her of her sin for her own good, so she tried
to be humble, and to beg God to cleanse her
more and more from all evil, and to wash her
soul white in the blood of the Lamb.
But, beside the things we have mentioned
as difficulties in Emily's path, there were
A New Start and New Trials. 47
others still greater. She was but a young
Christian; her feet were only taking the first
faltering steps along the road to heaven, and
she felt as if she needed some one to help her
and keep her from falling; and yet in her
place she stood alone. Mrs. Middleton was
an upright, moral woman; kind-hearted and
benevolent, too, but her heart was worldly.
Though God had removed her by weak health
from the temptations and vanities of earth's
gay scenes, she longed after what she could
not share, and her one desire was to mix
again in the society she loved, and which it
was her great pleasure to talk of. Poor
Emily, in her desire to do good, would ven-
ture to bring her Bible on Sunday afternoons
and offer to read a little; but her mistress
would refuse sharply, and choose to hear
some light novel, or even pages from a book
of fashion; or else she would describe to her
little maid the balls and parties in which she
used to shine so brightly in the days of youth
and strength. What a help, what a blessing,
it would have been for the young servant to
have been in a Christian household; as it
48 Emily's Trouble.
was, she had to content herself with getting
to the house of God once on Sunday, and
any private time she could snatch for reading
Yet all through these hindrances Emily
tried her very best to please God; often she
felt weary, often she felt impatient, but she
struggled hard to overcome her failings, and
every failure only took her to the feet of
Jesus, and therefore she was safe.
"u' j-^ ^
Zhe 'fami1p eo-txcril.
-rl r iI US time passed by; spring,
"-I: a_ summer, autumn, had all fled,
"- and winter had come again,
when Mrs. Leeson sent one
day to tell Emily a piece of news.
Mrs. Wolstanley had written to ask
if she would return to London, no
longer as under-housemaid, but to attend
upon a little boy of eight years, the delicate
sickly child of her only brother, who had
intrusted him to her care during a long
absence from England. Mrs. Wolstanley
wrote that she required a respectable girl
from the country; and thinking Emily had
been sufficiently punished for her fault, she
was quite willing to take her back and over-
look the past, as she had no other reason to
dislike the girl. It was a cold letter, and
when Emily read it it roused all the pride
50 Emily's Trouble.
in her heart. "Me go back ?-no, indeed.
If I did wrong, I made it up, and I was
sorry; but she was hard and unforgiving, and
I am not going to oblige her. For it is
obliging her !-yes, mother, I see what you're
thinking of, but I know Mrs..Wolstanley well
enough to be sure she would not write for me
unless she particularly wanted me."
"That's right!" cried Bob; I like to see
you show a bit of spirit. Don't you go,
Emily;" for the consultation took place in
the cottage at Stoke, as Mrs. Middleton had
allowed her to go home to talk with her
mother on the subject.
Each one had something to say. "But it'd
be nicer than Dedham, Emmie," said Dick.
" Don't I wish I could get to London."
And you'd like doing for the little gentle-
man a deal better than for fussy Mrs. Middle-
ton," added Polly.
But at last Emily turned to try and read
her mother's wish from her eyes.
"Mother, you're vexed ?" she exclaimed.
"Vexed? no, not that, child. I was thinking
of what you said, 'If I did wrong;' surely
The Family Council. 51
you know you sinned against God when you
used that money."
"Dear, dear; why should mother bring up
such disagreeable subjects ?" said Emily to
herself. The very words' made her wince;
yet conscience whispered "pride," and a happy
thought came of the sweet silence of Jesus
when He. suffered accusation and shame
which He did not merit, and thus kept back
the quick angry retort which was so nearly
"Yes, mother, I know I was very, very
wrong," she said, humbly. "And I know,
too, it is pride which makes me feel thus.
I will go back if you think right, mother."
"God bless you, child; we'll pray about it,
and we must ask Mr. Shelton's advice, and
between one and the other we can't go wrong.
And now it's time for you to be home, for
your mistress will want you."
"I should not be very sorry to leave,
mother," said Emily, as she tied her bonnet-
strings. "Mrs. Middleton is dreadfully fidgety,
and she hardly gives me time to say my
prayers, or anything else; she even seems
52 Emily's Trouble.
to grudge me the time I have for going to
the house of God on Sundays."
Well, be patient and do right, Emily, and
then nothing will harm you. I'd like to see
you in a Christian family. I don't exactly
fancy the one place or the other."
They parted then, and Emily went back to
her post by her invalid mistress, feeling per-
haps a little glad that there was at least a
chance of being set free. But she felt almost
ashamed of it that very night, when, as she
was leaving Mrs. Middleton's room, the lady
called her back, and said:
"Emily, you've been a good, faithful girl
to me, and I know it's often hard for you.
I wish I could be a kinder mistress, but I
often feel so irritable from illness; you
mustn't mind what I say."
"Oh, no, ma'am; thank you," said Emily,
blushing. But those words had the effect of
making her very patient during the next few
days; and she was almost sorry when she
heard that her mother had come to the con-
clusion that it would be best for her to return
to London as Mrs. Wolstanley wanted her.
"With Gjoot-toil DcLimi Secrbiu."
I -- I- -
.u,, l wish to leave !" said Mrs.
'1 :. .Middleton, in the greatest
surprise. "Why is this?
SHave you not been happy
'li, r ? is it too dull for you ?"
Oh no, ma'am; no indeed,"
stammered Emily, who felt the case
awkward to explain. It is only that mother
thinks it best for me to go back, because I
lived there before."
"I thought your mother was a wiser
woman," said the lady, irritably. "It never
answers for servants to return to a place
they have left, or very rarely. I should
have thought, too, that it was better for a
young girl like you to be in a quiet situation
near your home than away in London. How-
54 Emily's Trouble.
ever, you must choose for yourself; of course
you are free to leave at the end of your month,
and I must seek some one else; but it is very
provoking, just when I am used to your ways,
and it makes me so ill and nervous to have
strangers about me."
Emily tried hard during the remaining
time to do her very best to please her mis-
tress; and somehow she felt a great pain in
leaving her, for she knew it was hardly likely
that she would ever see her again. She kept
wishing that she had been able to say some
little word for God there, to read some of the
promises contained in His word, which per-
haps might bear fruit afterwards, and lead
the sick lady to peace and rest through
Mrs. Middleton, too, appeared to show a
kindness and thoughtfulness for the girl
which she had not done before, and would
talk to her about her future life as if she
was really interested. "If ever you want a
friend, I shall be glad to serve you," she said,
when the time came for Emily to bid her
farewell; "you have behaved very well, and
With good-will doing Service. 55
I shall not forget you." Nor did she, for a
few years after, when she died suddenly, she
was found to have bequeathed in her will ten
pounds to her former faithful servant, Emily
Leeson;" and, though it is taking a leap into
the future, we may just say here that it came
in handily, when Emily was getting ready to
make a home for herself.
Oh, mother, it's a long way," said Emily,
when the last night came. I wish, after all,
I was stopping near home."
"Don't wish foolish things, child. It is
settled for you to go, and we have prayed
about it, and taken advice, so we may believe
it is the will of God. It seems to me it is
like as if He had given you the chance of
making up for your fault, and showing the
beauty of your religion."
All the journey through, Emily thought of
that. Was it really possible that she, in her
humble daily life as a young servant, could
show forth the light of God's truth, perhaps
even lead others to know and love Him ?
Oh, how she would try, and how she would
pray, and how thankful she would be.
eilaubs anb ^nnshine.
n. HEN the girl reached London,
''and rang the bell at the fa-
-.jI miliar side door, she had a
'- liearty welcome from Jane and
S the cook, who were both still in
the house. Even Mrs. Wol-
stanley spoke kindly, and it was evident that
the whole family intended to forget the past.
"This is Master Edwin, who is to be your
charge," said the mistress, opening the door
of a small room, which had been fitted up for
her little invalid nephew; and, as Emily fol-
lowed, she saw stretched on a sofa a fair
fragile child, who looked more like six than
eight years old.
Eddie, this is Emily, who has come to
read to you and amuse you;" and as the
little fellow raised his head, he gave a sweet,
Clouds and Sunshine. 57
bright smile, which Emily never forgot; it
seemed to win her heart directly. They were
soon great friends, and were perfectly happy
in each other's company, the boy talking of
his home, of his dead mother, of his father,
who was gone away; and Emily telling, in
her turn, of the cottage at Stoke, of parents,
and brothers, and sisters, and Bob in par-
ticular; and describing to him the country
walks, and the fields, and the lanes, and the
narrow pathways which ended in high stiles
to be clambered over, and all the many
amusements which country children enjoy.
"Emily, I really think God sent you heie
to take care of me," said Eddie, one evening
when he had been listening to the I4th
chapter of St. John. "When I came first
I used to wish so much I had some one to
talk to me about God, and about heaven, and
those 'many mansions.' Mamma is there,
you know, she is waiting for me; and I think
Jesus won't be long before He fetches me,
and so I want to be ready."
Emily stooped to kiss the little thin cheek.
"I am very glad I came. I am sure God
58 Emily's Trouble.
sent me, Master Eddie. Still, I hope you will
get better, and stay with us a long time."
Edwin shook his head gravely, but a sweet
bright look lit up his face as he said, I want
to go; I feel sure it won't be long, so you
must help me to get ready; and when you
see me cross or selfish, you'll remind me,
won't you, that Jesus wasn't so, and I must
try to be like Him!"
Emily's eyes filled. "Oh, dear Eddie," she
said, "I am only trying very hard to be good
myself, and I feel cross and naughty much
more often than you. Do you know it is
only a year and a little over, that I have
loved God at all, or thought anything about
pleasing Him! You don't know how bad
I've been; if I were to tell you what I did
when I lived here before, I dare say you would
hardly like me at all, but I am sorry for it,
and I know God has forgiven me."
"Tell me, if you like, Emily," said the
child. I am sure I shall love you just the
same, for our Lord does, and He would be
sorry if He saw me not loving you too."
So Emily told Eddie the story of her great
Clouds and Sunshine. 59
fault, and how, in her shame and sorrow,
when she was sent home, she learned to know
and to love Christ, the Saviour of sinners,
and to give her heart to Him for ever. Eddie
stroked her hand with his own tiny ones.
"Poor Emily; how unhappy you must have
been! but you see God loved you all the
time, and made you sorry, and made you try
to be better. I am glad I know, for I think
I love you more instead of less."
And it indeed seemed as if the gentle
heart of the dying child turned more fondly
to his young attendant than ever, and he
loved to talk to her of what Christ had done
to save sinners, those whom He has had to
forgive so much, like you and I, as He said.
Oh, Emily, I wish I had more sorrow, and
more love," he often said. "If I saw some
poor man beaten and wounded, and reviled
for my sake, because of my having been
naughty, I think my heart would break; and
yet though I hear all that Jesus did, I seem
not to grieve as I ought, or to feel half grate-
Dear little Edwin!-he, in his early days,
00 Emily's Trouble.
had learned more of the spiritual life than
many an older person ; he had learned that
sorrow and love are the means of bringing us
to God, and keeping us safely near Him; he
had learned, too, that we never can fully
realise how great a price was paid for us.
And as he spoke of all this in his simple
language, Emily's heart melted at the thought
of her own sin and of Christ's deep love.
"I shall never, never see papa again,"
Eddie often told his friends. Mrs. Wolstanley
tried to assure him that he would soon be
better, and his father would come back to
find him grown quite strong; but she felt all
the time that perhaps he was right, for he
looked indeed like a little fading flower. And
so it proved; for in spring-time, when trees
were budding, and flowers beginning to
bloom, he was gathered to the arms of the
Good Shepherd who loves little children.
". little (hilb hall lea them."
9 MILY LEESON was very sad
..-.',A'^ ..: and lonely now; she felt that
Sher especial work was ended,
and she thanked God that He
"---.'7 had sent her to cheer the last
-- days of the little child who had
"" -.-. early been called to the heavenly
kingdom; now she hoped to go home again,
and get to service near her friends, but Mrs.
Wolstanley wished to keep her.
"You are a good girl, Emily, and we can-
not part with you," she said. "I wish to
tell you I am sorry I was so hard on you
before; it was a girlish fault, and you were
sorry, and I ought to have pardoned you. It
might have prevented you ever becoming a
respectable servant, sending you away like
that, without any character. You must for-
62 Emily's Trouble.
give me Emily, and stay with us for many
years to come."
Emily was touched by this unlooked-for
gentleness. "Indeed, ma'am, indeed I have
nothing to forgive. Oh, Mrs. Wolstanley,
you said I should thank you one day, and
I do; for if you had forgiven me, and let me
stay here, perhaps I should have gone on
carelessly, and quite forgotten God. I had
been taught how to please Him, but I never
really began until I went back home, and
felt so unhappy. And then, in the midst of
the shame and the grief, Jesus found me; and
I love Him at last." And the girl stopped,
suddenly remembering that she was talking
to her usually cold, stern mistress.
Mrs. Wolstanley looked grave. Emily, I
have never thought of these things-both you
and our little Edwin have, however, forced me
to see that it is a happy thing to have a deep
strong love for Jesus. Do you think I can
gain it too? Do you think I can learn to
pray, after I have forgotten God for so many
"Indeed, yes, dear lady," said Emily.
A lit/e Child shall lead them." 63
"He does it:all for us,-He teaches us and
helps us day by day, forgiving so much, and
saving us at last by the merits of His atone-
ment. I should be so happy to know you
had found Christ too; perhaps, after all, this
may be a Christian household, as mother
It would lengthen our little tale too much
to follow Emily Leeson further in her earthly
path: we may just say that she stayed on
with the family, who esteemed and valued
her more and more each year, until the time
came for her to leave service and settle in
her own home, where little children grew up
around her to be trained for God and heaven.
In all times and all places she looks back
with thankfulness to the day when her
Saviour called her to be His, when He bade
her bring her sins to His feet, and rise to the
Christian life of daily duty, daily effort,
counting it a joyful thing to be enlisted
among the servants and soldiers of Christ
When Emily had reached an advanced
age, the Christmas season always brought
64 Emily's Trouble.
back the day when, by her mother's side, her
heart opened to receive the message of peace
which Christ came into the world to bring.
She is often heard to whisper softly the sweet
words sung by angel voices so many hundred
years ago, which good old Mr. Shelton took
for his text that day, Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward
men." Ah! it was indeed peace; that peace
which "passeth all understanding," which
entered her heart never to go away, when
once she yielded to the loving Saviour: and
that peace, that joy, that safety is promised
to each one of us, if we will but come, as
Emily Leeson came, to Jesus, in the days of
youth and health.
LONDON: KNIGHT, PRINTER, MIDDLE STREET, E.C.