The Baldwin Library
m B University
AMY HA R I S ON.
A N EW E E L I N G
C'.IiAenl2 eeb anb Weatlcnlg 41ito,
THOMAS NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK
~T~On t tt t.
I. THE WALK, ... .. .. ... 7
II. AT SCHOOL, ... ..... 15
III. AT HOME, ... ... ... 0
IV. A NEW LEAF, AND HOW IT WAS FILLED, ... 34
V. TRY AGAIN,. .... ... 41
VI. THE TRUTH SETTING FREE, .. .. ... 46
NE fine Sunday morning two little
girls, called Amy and Kitty Har-
rison, set out from their mother's
cottage to go to the Sunday school in the
neighboring village. The little hamlet
where they lived was half a mile from the
school. In fine weather it was a very
pleasant walk, for the way lay by the side
of a little chattering stream, which fed the
roots of many pretty wild flowers; and
then, leaving the valley, the path struck
across some corn-fields, which were now
8 THE WALK.
quite yellow for harvest. And even in wet
weather the little girls seldom missed the
school; for their mother was a careful
woman, and they themselves loved their
teacher and their lessons. Mrs. Mordaunt,
the wife of the clergyman, taught them on
Sunday, for both Amy and Kitty were in
the first class.
Amy was tripping lightly along, enjoying
the sunshine. Every now and then she
bent down and gathered a wild flower,-
the four-leaved yellow potentilla, or the
meadow-sweet, or a spike of golden rod, or
a handful of forget-me-nots, watered by the
stream, to make a little nosegay for her
teacher; for Mrs. Mordaunt loved flowers
and would sometimes take the lesson for
the day from them. And she loved better
still the affectionate remembrances of her
Kitty, meanwhile, was walking very
soberly along, reading her hymn-book. Per-
THE WALK. 9
haps from this you may think that Kitty
was the more industrious and thoughtful of
the two; but it was not so. Amy had
risen early that morning, and got her les-
sons all ready, and so she could enjoy the
pleasant walk freely; for you know, or if
you do not know I hope you will learn,
that it is always those who are busiest at
their work that can be merriest in their
hours of leisure. Nothing gives us such an
appetite for enjoyment as hearty work. So
Amy tripped on, humming a cheerful hymn,
while poor Kitty kept on saying over and
over again the words of her hymn, and
vainly trying to stop her ears from hearing
and her eyes from seeing all the pleasant
sights and sounds around her. But the
birds were so busy singing, and the fish
kept springing up from the stream, and
every now and then a bright butterfly
would flit across, or a little bird perch on a
spray close to her, and everything around
10 THE WALK.
seemed trying so mischievously to take her
attention from her book, so that they had
reached the gate at the end of the wood
before Kitty had learned two verses of her
You see, these two little girls were not
quite like each other, although they had
the same home, and the same lessons, and
the same plays. If you sow two seeds of
the same plant in the same soil, you know
they will grow up exactly like each other.
The flowers will be of the same colour, the
same smell, the same shape; the roots will
suck up the same nourishment from the
soil, and the little vessels of the stems and
leaves will cook it into the very same
sweet, or sour, or bitter juices. But with
little children it is quite different. You may
often see two children of one family, with
the same friends, the same teaching, the
same means of improvement, as different in
temper and character from each other as if
THE WALK. 11
they had been brought up on opposite sides
of the world. Indeed, it is as strange for
children of one family to be alike, as for
flowers to be unlike. Why is this ? Among
other reasons one great one is, that God
has given to children a will-a power of
choosing good or evil. Flowers have no
will; they cannot help being beautiful, and
being what God meant them to be. The
earth feeds them, and the rains water them
and make them grow without any choice or
will of theirs; but with you, children, it is
quite otherwise. God has given you wills;
and it is in your own power to choose
whether you will be good and happy chil-
dren, and a blessing to all around you, and
turning everything around you into a bless-
ing, every year growing wiser and better;
or whether you will yield to the evil within
and around you, and turn health, and time,
and Christian teaching, and all the good
things God sends to feed your souls, into
12 TIE WALK.
food for your selfish and idle natures, and
so grow every year worse and worse. You
must do one of these two things,-you may
do the best. Remember I do not say you
can do them for or by yourselves, but you
can do them. God has said so. The
flowers cannot choose or ask for food, and
so God chooses for them and gives without
asking. You are higher creatures than
they, and can choose and ask, and so God
will wait for you to ask before he gives;
but he is only waiting for this, and he is
always ready to hear.
Mrs. Mordaunt had told the children
something of this last Sunday, and Amy
thought of it as she walked, and did ask
God to bless her teacher's words to her that
Now you have seen how Amy and Kitty
Harrison used their power of choice. The
sun had beamed into the room for Kitty as
well as for Amy that morning. God had
THE WALK. 13
given them both the pleasant morning
hours of his day to use as they liked best.
Kitty had chosen to spend them in dozing
lazily in bed, while Amy had jumped out
of bed and dressed quickly, and gone out
to her favourite seat under an old cherry
tree to learn her lessons.
SSo the little girls reached the gate at the
end of the wood. Outside was a road,
across which lay the corn-fields leading to
the church, and beside it stood a cottage
where Amy and Kitty used to stop to call
for little Jane Hutton, one of their school-
fellows. Jane's father was a blacksmith;
and the Huttons were richer than the Har-
risons, so that Jane had gayer bonnets and
smarter dresses than Kitty and Amy. This
morning she had such beautiful new ribbons
that Kitty's attention was quite caught by
them. And Jane too was not a little proud
of them; her mother had given a shilling
a yard for them at the next town. If
14 THE WALK.
Kitty had found it difficult to learn her
lessons before, she now found it quite im-
possible; for in the midst of every line she
could not help reckoning how many weeks'
halfpence it would take, and how many
times she would have to open the gate for
travellers who came to see the waterfall
near the cottage, before she could buy a
ribbon like that.
g T length the children reached the
school before the hymn was
learned, and Kitty felt very
much ashamed when, after stammering
through three verses, Mrs. Mordaunt gave
her back the book, saying, I would rather
have no lesson from you, Kitty, than one
learned so carelessly as this." However, it
was too late to repair the fault, so Kitty
resolved to give her very best attention to
the chapter they were going to read. It
was the parable of the sower and the seed,
in the thirteenth of St. Matthew. I cannot
tell you all that Mrs. Mordaunt said about
it, but it was something of this kind:-
16 AT SCHOOL.
"The Saviour was sitting on a little
strip of level land by the side of the Sea of
Galilee. Behind him were high mountains,
towering one above another to the clouds;
before him, the waves came rippling quietly
against the low shore. Around him were
crowds of people gathered together from
the villages and towns many miles around
to listen unto him. Had all these people
come to Jesus for the same thing, do you
think, Jane Hutton ?"
Jane Hutton started at the question.
She had been playing with her new parasol,
and her thoughts were very far from the
Sea of Galilee. Mrs. Mordaunt repeated the
question in another way. "Do you think
all the people who came to Jesus came be-
cause they loved him, and wanted to be
his disciples ?"
No; there were the Pharisees," said Kitty.
"Yes; they came to try to find fault
AT SCHOOL. 17
"And the sick," said Amy timidly, who
came to be healed."
"True," said Mrs. Mordaunt. "And then
there were very many, doubtless, who came
from mere curiosity, because they had
heard their friends talk of his wonderful
power of healing, or the new, wise, and
strange words of him who seemed to them
only the son of a poor carpenter of Naza-
reth. But were there any who gathered
close around him, and loved his words for
their own sake, not because they were new
or interesting, but because they were true
and God's words, because they had sins to
be forgiven and Jesus could forgive, and
sick souls which only Jesus could heal ?"
"Yes; there were the disciples."
What do you mean by disciples ? "
Does it not mean those who love Jesus?"
"No; don't you remember it means
scholars ?" said Kitty, who was quicker than
18 AT SCHOOL.
her sister, and rather proud of her better
"You are both right," said Mrs. Mor-
daunt. "The disciples of Jesus are those
who come to learn of him; and the first
lesson every one who comes to Jesus learns
is to love him. Nothing can be learned of
Christ without loving him.
"Well," she continued, "our Lord looked
round on the crowd: the proud and clever
men who stood knitting their brows, and
eagerly watching his words, and from time
to time whispering to one another; the
eager multitude, who listened in mute
wonder to his wonderful lessons; the
little group of disciples who gathered affec-
tionately about him; the sick whom he
had healed; the possessed and mad whom
he had restored to reason; the despised
sinners whom he had received and forgiven;
and perhaps there were some pious mothers
there with little children who were not
AT SCHOOL. 19
afraid to come close to him, for he loved
little children. But he saw more of that
crowd than we should have seen if we had
been there. What was it that he saw
which we cannot see?"
The children were silent a minute, and
then Amy murmured, "Was it their hearts,
Mrs. Mordaunt replied kindly, "Yes;
and he saw how differently his words would
tell on the hearts of the crowd around.
And so he taught them a lesson in this
story which we call-"
"The parable of the sower," said Kitty
Then Mrs. Mordaunt examined the chil-
dren about the parable, and finding they
had attended to it and understood it, she
talked to them about it.
"Now, dear children," she said, "this
schoolroom, with its whitewashed walls, is
a very different place from the shores of
20 AT SCHOOL.
the Sea of Galilee; and you, little children,
with your pleasant English homes, and
your Bibles, and your Sunday schools, I
daresay think yourselves very different from
the grave priests, and clever lawyers, and
rough Hebrew labourers and farmers, and
Roman soldiers, who gathered around the
Saviour then. But among you, as among
that multitude, who have so long since gone
the way of all the earth, the eye of Jesus
Christ (for he sees here as well as there)
sees two great divisions, not of rich and
poor, or clever and stupid, but of those who
are his disciples and those who are not.
Which class would you like to belong to ?"
Kitty answered eagerly, "His disciples,
Some of the children were silent, and
some spoke with Kitty; but little Amy said
nothing-the tears filled her eyes and
choked her voice.
You may all be Christ's little disciples,"
AT SCHOOL. 21
said Mrs. Mordaunt. "He calls you to
him. You may all come to him privately,
as the disciples did; pray to him in secret,
and have his words made clear to you, if
you will. You may all bring forth fruit to
his glory, thirty, or sixty, or a hundred fold.
"You see," she continued, "although
there are only two great bodies or parties
in the world,-those in whom Christ's
words live, and those in whom they die,-
yet there are many smaller differences
among each of these parties. Some of the
seed in the parable fell merely on the sur-
face, and never was seen any more after it
was sown: just as, I am afraid, some of you
have often left all thoughts of God behind
when you left the school or the church,
and never thought of him or his words
from one Sunday to another. The fowls of
the air-that is, some light thought or play,
or Satan, who goes about to put these in
your heart-come the moment the words
22 AT SCHOOL.
die on your ear, and take the good seed
quite away. And then some of you like to
hear about Christ, and his words and works,
and are quick, and easily understand and
take in new thoughts, and, perhaps, think
you would like to be good children, and to
love Christ, and be his disciples, and go
home and go to sleep full of good inten-
tions and plans of correcting your faults.
But the next morning other lessons have to
be learned, and other things to be thought
about, and your faults and bad habits are
strong; and so every day the echo of the
Sunday's teaching grows fainter, and at
last the end of the week comes, and finds
you no nearer God or the fulfilment of
your good resolutions than the beginning.
The thorns have sprung up-the cares and
pleasures of this world-and choked the
good seed that was beginning to grow.
And then, again, perhaps, there are some of
you who would like very much to be pious,
AT SCHOOL. 23
only you are afraid of being unlike others,
afraid of being teased for being strict, or
laughed at; for persecution does not only
consist in burning or hurting the body,-
little annoyances are often harder to bear
than great sorrows. But think how very
cowardly this would be, how very ungrate-
ful and ungenerous to Jesus. He bore the
sneers and taunts of crowds for your sake,
and bore them too when he was suffering
great pain; and can you not bear -a little
laugh for his sake ? Think how happy it
is to be able to bear a little for him who
bore so very much for us; think what joy
to have his eye on us, and to hear his kind
voice saying,' Blessed are ye, little children,
who confess me as your Master before men;
for I will confess you to be my beloved
ones before the angels of God.' And then,
dear children," Mrs. Mordaunt added, "I
hope there are some of you who do love
your Saviour, and are treasuring up his
24 AT SCHOOL.
words in your hearts; and to you I would
say, there are differences even among
Christ's disciples. Some bring forth fruit
thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred
fold. Seek, then, not only to bring forth
fruit, but much fruit; to be better and
happier every day. God means you to do
this; he will certainly enable you to do it
if you ask.
And before you leave," she said, I will
first tell you three things which I particu-
larly wish you to remember: the place
where the seed is to grow; the enemies
which try to destroy its life; and what
makes it grow. First, where is the seed
sown ? "
In the heart," replied all the children.
Are your spelling lessons, or your lessons
on the multiplication table, sown in your
hearts ? "
The children smiled, and answered, No."
Then you do not expect them to bear
AT SCHOOL. 25
fruit in your life. It does not improve
your tempers or your hearts to learn that
heart spells heart, does it ? or that 12
times 12 are 144?"
The children thought not.
Then all you are expected to do with
such lessons is to remember them; is it
not ? "
Yes, ma'am," was the reply.
Now that is precisely the point where
your lessons in reading and spelling differ
from your lessons about the Bible. When
you sow seed in your memories, it is like
laying up grains in a closed box. We do
not expect them to grow; we are quite
content if we find as many as we leave;
we do not expect any fruit or growth.
But when I sow seed in your hearts, it is
like putting it into the ground; we want
it to grow. It is not enough for it to re-
main safe and sound; we hope that it
will bear fruit in your lives. I do not care
26 AT SCHOOL.
only for finding it safe in your memories
the next Sunday. I long to know that it
has been making you better and wiser chil-
dren during the week, helping you to fight
with faults, teaching you to love God and
one another. And speaking of your faults
leads me to think of the enemies the little
seed has to encounter. Can you think of
some of the things which try to hinder its
"There were the fowls," answered Kitty.
"And the thorns," said some of the other
"And the sun," said Amy.
"You know what the thorns and the
scorching heat are ?"
Our faults and troubles ?" asked Kitty.
"Yes. Side by side with the seed, and
from the same soil, the heart, spring up
thorns and weeds, which try to choke the
seed. And the little seed has to struggle
hard for its life; if it does not choke the
AT SCHOOL. 27
weeds, the weeds will choke it. What
must we do with the weeds ?"
"Cut them down," said the children.
"Yes. We must fight with our faults,
and not let one, however small, be neglected,
or it will soon cover the garden; for all
weeds grow fast. But the other enemies,
the heat and the fowls, cannot be destroyed.
The scorching sun-trials and mockery-
can only injure those plants which have no
root, those hearts which are not trusting in
Jesus, and rooted in him. But the fowls of
the air,-those powerful and wicked spirits
who are constantly on the watch to crush
all that is good and encourage all that. is
evil in our hearts,-what can the little seed
do against siucil enemies?"
The children gave no answer.
"It can do nothing," said Mrs. Morilaunt.
"You all see it has no power whatever,
and in this, too, the seed is like us. What
then can save it? ",.
28 AT SCHOOL.
There was a pause of a minute, and then
Amy ventured to ask, "Does not God
watch over it?"
He does, my child," replied Mrs. Mor-
daunt. But do you remember why I said
the plants are cared for without asking ?"
"Because they cannot ask."
But we can ask. What is it called to
ask anything of God ?"
To pray," said all the children.
"Yes; that is what you may all do.
Our Saviour calls himself the great hus-
bandman or gardener; and now that he
has risen and reigns on high, if you ask
him, he will not disdain to watch over the
little seed of good sown in your hearts.
He will send the Holy Spirit, like the rain
to young corn, to strengthen all that is
good in you; and he will enable you, feeble
as you are, to keep down all bad feelings,
and tempers, and habits, which would choke
AT SCHOOL. 29
So there are three things for you to
remember: the seed is sown in your hearts,
and must bring forth fruit in your lives;
you have enemies within and' without to
fight with far stronger than any of you;
and you have a Friend far stronger than all
your enemies, who will give you the victory
if you seek his aid. And shall I give you
a little grain of precious seed to bear home
with you ?"
The children all wished it.
"Think, then, on these words, 'By love
serve one another.' Try to love them, and
pray to God for his strength to enable you,
for the sake of his Son, our Saviour; for
remember, though I cannot go home with
you, God does."
The church bells were ringing, the classes
broke up to form into marching order, and
the lesson was over.
ND what did the children think of
Mrs. Mordaunt's words ? We will
follow them home and see. Little
Jane Hutton, I am afraid, forgot them; for
during the service her eyes kept wandering
round the church in search of gay dresses
and bonnets, and watching what her school-
fellows thought of her own new ribbons.
Kitty Harrison had attended to what
Mrs. Mordaunt said, and resolved to do it;
so she found out all the places in her
prayer-book, and went home full of plans
of amendment, and in the evening she
drew her little stool to the window, and
began to read her Bible, not so much be-
AT HOME. 31
cause she wished to learn what it said, as
because she thought it right to read it.
But, in the first place, her thoughts would
keep wandering to Jane Hutton's ribbons,
then she could not help listening to what
her father and mother were talking about,
and the kitten would keep playing with
her frock; and so she got through a chapter
without very well understanding it, and
then was rather glad that it grew too dark
for her to read any more. Soon after, the
children were sent to bed, and Kitty went
upstairs wondering why she did not like to
read the Bible better, and rather pleased to
think that to-morrow was a play-day.
Kitty' had forgotten two great things:
she had forgotten that to love God's, Word
we must first love God; and she had for-
gotten that the little seed could not sprout
without rain, and that the dew of heaven,
the Holy Spirit, must be asked for.
Meantime, Amy was feeling very differ-
32 AT HOME.
gently. She thought how good it was of
Jesus, the Son of God, to care about the
love of little children, and to watch the
good seed sown in their hearts, and nourish
it, and water it, and make it grow; and
she thought that it would be the happiest
thing in the world to be his disciple, and
to do what he wished, and be loved and
approved by him; and she resolved to try.
So as they walked home, she planned that
she would go into a quiet place in the gar-
den, under the trees, and pray to God.
But when they reached the cottage, they
had to put away their Sunday things; and
when Amy came down her mother desired
her to keep the baby while she got the tea
ready. Amy thought it hard to be hindered
in her plans; but she remembered the verse,
" By love serve one another," and it came
into her mind that Christ might be as
pleased at her cheerfully giving up her own
way to help her mother, as if she had been
AT HOME. 33
praying to him, and the thought made her
happy, and she danced the baby, and played
with it till it crowed with delight. After
tea, she could not find any quiet in the
room where the family were sitting, so she
went into the bedroom and knelt down by
the bedside. She had always been accus-
tomed to say her prayers morning and
evening, because she had been taught, and
because she would have been afraid to go
to sleep without; but now it was a different
thing-she wanted something which she felt
only God could give. She wanted to be
made good, to have her sins forgiven, to
have strength to overcome her faults, that
Christ might love her and bless her; and
she asked this earnestly of him. She felt
sure he would hear; and she rose from her
knees with a lightened heart, and opened her
Bible an.l read, until it was quite dark, of the
Saviour and his goodness. And that night
she went to sleep happy in the care of God.
A NEW LEAF, AND HOW IT WAS FILLED.
HE next morning Amy awoke early.
It was cold and rainy, and she
felt inclined to turn on her pillow,
but the feeling came strongly over her that
she had something new before her, that this
week was to be the starting-point of a new
life; and the verse, too, which had been the
last on her lips in the evening, was the first
in her heart in the morning, By love serve
one another." She remembered that the
fire had to be lit, and the water brought
from the spring for the kettle; so she
jumped out of bed, and was quickly dressed
and ready to go downstairs. Kitty would
not follow her example. She did not for-
A NEW LEAF, AND HOW IT WAS FILLED. 35
get to ask God's blessing on the day, and
then she called Kitty again. But Kitty
was very sleepy; she only said she was sure
it would be time to get up in half an hour,
and wrapped herself up comfortably and
went to sleep again. Amy thought it was
rather selfish of Kitty to leave all the work
to her; but she said nothing, and tripped
downstairs. She had soon brought the
water and lighted the fire, and brushed and
dusted everything neat and bright, and then
she found she had a little time to spare.
Near their cottage lived a poor old widow,
named Hill. Amy knew she could hardly
hobble about her house to do her work, and
she thought it would be a nice way of
"serving one another," if she were just to
run down and light Widow Hill's fire, and
put her room neat. No sooner planned
than done. Away she ran; half-an-hour,
with Amy's light feet and busy fingers, did
the work which would have cost the old
36 A NEW LEAF, AND HOW IT WAS FILLED.
woman an hour or two; and rich with the
widow's thanks, and hungry with work, she
tripped back to breakfast, happy to think
how her mother would be pleased with what
she had done.
But on entering the cottage, Amy's spirits
received a sudden check; the family were
all at breakfast, and her father spoke rather
severely to her about her never being in
time for anything. Amy did not answer;
she felt ill-used, and she was too much hurt
to say what she had been about; so she
sat down in silence to her breakfast.
Kitty was beside her, yawning as if she
had only just got out of bed. "Yet,"
thought Amy, "no one ever scolds her;
it is no good to try to please people."
So Amy sat, getting angrier and angrier,
and not enjoying her breakfast a bit, and
thinking everybody very unkind, although
she said nothing; you might, perhaps, have
thought she bore the rebuke very meekly.
A NEW LEAF, AND HOW IT WAS FILLED. 87
Now, I do not mean to deny that this was
a trial for poor Amy. It is a very great
trial to be blamed and misunderstood when
we have been seeking to please people; but
it is the pride of our own hearts which makes
it so trying. If we were lowly, harsh words
would not have half the power to wound
us. Amy felt this, and she felt she was
doing wrong, but that only made her more
vexed; for instead of acknowledging her
fault to herself, and asking God to forgive
her and strengthen her against it, she went
on brooding over her wrongs and nursing
her anger in silence. After breakfast, Kitty
asked her if she had been working in their
garden all this time.
No," said Amy shortly.
"Have you been learning your lessons
for next Sunday, then ?"
"No," answered Amy still more sharply.
Kitty looked puzzled for a minute, and
then she lauti:ed. and said, "I can't see
38 A NEW LEAF, AND HOW IT WAS FILLED.
what good you've got, Amy, by being in
such haste to get up. You seem to have
done nothing but lose your temper."
This was altogether more than Amy
could bear; she made a bitter reply, and a
quarrel began between the sisters, which
made their walk to school very uncomfort-
able. It was so different from yesterday,
Amy felt ready to cry, but she was ashamed
that Kitty should see. Poor Amy entered
the school-room with a sore heart. A bad
temper is not likely to get sweet of itself,
so Amy went on more and more discon-
tented with herself, and her lessons, and
everything else, until the class was called
to read their morning lesson. The text
from the Bible which stood at the head of
the lesson happened to be, "For if you,
from your heart, forgive not your brother
his trespasses, how can your heavenly
Father forgive you your trespasses?" Amy
had to read these words, and they struck to
A NEW LEAF, AND HOW IT WAS FILLED. 39
her heart; she thought of what sinful and
angry feelings she had been cherishing, and
how much she had to ask God to forgive
her, and how little she felt inclined to for-
give in her sister and others; and afterwards,
as she wrote her copy, hot tears fell on the
page, and she confessed her fault in her
heart to God, and begged him to forgive
her. Then she felt happier at once. After
school, one of her school-fellows was kept in
to finish a sum; she was crying, and did
not seem able to do it, so Amy went quietly
to her, and showed her the way, and then
danced off to the play-ground. On their
way home she had a harder struggle to
make, and that was to tell Kitty she was
sorry for her hasty words; but she con-
quered, and Kitty having confessed that
.she too had been in the wrong, the sisters
felt happy again together.
This was true repentance; it was a sor-
row for and confession of sin, and then for-
40 A NEW LEAF, AND HOW IT WAS FILLED.
saking the sin; it was a change of mind.
That evening Amy felt very serious when
she thought over the day's doings; she was
weaker than she had thought-it was harder
to do right than she had believed; but she
resolved to try harder again to-morrow. So
she went to bed hopeful, although rather
sad. We shall see how her resolutions were
M did try very hard the next day,
and she prayed earnestly for
strength from on high. She rose
early, she got everything ready in time for
her father, and he praised her and called
her "a thrifty little maid;" she never re-
proached Kitty with leaving the work to
her; she went cheerfully through her les-
sons, and in the afternoon she had the
delight of being highly commended by the
mistress and set to teach one of the younger
classes. After school, some of the children
went blackberry-picking, and the Harrisons
were of the number. They had a merry
time of it; the sun was shining, the birds
42 TRY AGAIN.
were singing, and the thick leaves of the
wood where the blackberries grew just let
enough of the sunbeams through; and Amy
Harrison's heart was full of peace and sun-
shine, and the woods were full of beautiful
ripe blackberries, so that in a few hours the
little party tripped homeward full of glee,
and with baskets filled to the brim with
large ripe blackberries. They were walking
on fast, laughing and chattering, when Amy
saw that a little lame girl named Lucy Mait-
land could not keep up with the rest, and
so she stayed to talk to her. Lucy looked
rather dismal, and her basket was not half
full; she could not climb in and out among
the rocks and brambles like the others.
Amy felt sorry for her; she thought she
would give her some from her own basket,
but she did so wish to take it home full,
and she did not like Kitty to have more
than herself. But then the words breathed
into her heart, By love serve one another,"
TRY AGAIN. 43
and she resolved to seize the opportunity;
and without another word, she poured out
a third of her own little store, and nearly
filled Lucy's basket. Lucy's eyes glistened,
but she had not time to say much, for the
children were comparing what they had
each gathered, and Amy's basket had to be
held up amongst the rest.
"Why, I thought your basket was quite
full," said Kitty.
"So it was," exclaimed little Lucy, "but
she has half emptied it to fill mine."
The children all loved Amy for doing
this, and wondered how it was they had not
thought of little Lucy before; so now, many
of them insisted on pouring some black-
berries into Lucy's basket, and giving part
of Amy's back to her. In this way Lucy
and Amy's stores were soon the largest of
the whole, and the children separated in
good humour with each other and every-
44 TRY AGAIN.
As Amy and Kitty entered the garden,
the first thing that caught Amy's eye was
her little baby sister sitting on her little
chair under the window. On each side of
the door grew a little rose tree, one of which
belonged to Amy and one to Kitty. Amy's
was a red rose. The flowers were nearly
all gone, but one had lingered behind the
rest. Amy had watched it with especial
care: she had plucked off all the dead
flowers around it, and this morning she had
been thinking it would just be in beau-
tiful bloom by Sunday, that she might
take it to school as a present for Mrs. Mor-
daunt. And now there sat the baby with
that very bud in her lap quietly picking it
to pieces, and holding up the scattered
leaves in Amy's face, she lisped, "Pretty,
pretty!" Amy was too angry and too
vexed to think, and it was of no use to
scold the baby, so she snatched the rose
from the baby's hands, and said, "You
TRY AGAIN. 45
good-for-nothing, naughty little thing;" and
then she burst into tears. The baby began
to cry too, and their mother came out to
know what was the matter. "O mother,
how could you ?" sobbed Amy passionately.
"Why did you let baby sit close to my
rose-bush-my beautiful rose ? I had been
saving it all the week for Mrs. Mordaunt-
and it was my last."
Mrs. Harrison tried to comfort Amy; and
Kitty offered her the best flower in her
garden. They both felt very sorry for her.
But Amy was not to be comforted, and so
they gave up trying. Poor Amy's evening
was quite spoilt,-not so much, I think, by
the loss of her rose as by the loss of her
THE TRUTH SETTING FREE.
HE next day she awoke, out of
spirits and out of temper. She
did not see why she should always
work, while Kitty was enjoying herself in
bed. She forgot the joy of serving others,
and thought it very hard others should not
try to serve her. We are apt to be very
strict about other people's duties when we
forget our own. So Amy lay in bed until
the last moment, and then hurried on her
clothes, and hurried over her work, and
what was worse, hurried over her prayers,
and thus went out to meet the day's temp-
It never improves the temper to be hur-
THE TRUTH SETTING FREE. 47
ried; and Amy was still further tried this
morning by her father, who was in haste to
be off to his work, and wondered why she
was so slow.
It's of no use," grumbled Amy .to her-
self, "to try to do right and please every-
body. The more one does, the more people
expect. Nobody thinks of scolding Kitty
for being slow."
A day so begun seldom grows bright of
itself. There is a sunshine which can
scatter even such clouds, but Amy did not
look up to that; it did not seem to shine
for her; it never does, if you will not look
up. She felt very discontented and ill-used;
it seemed as if no one cared for her, and
everything worked together to torment her;
and so things got darker and darker, and
Amy's temper more bitter and her heart
sorer every moment.
At last her mother went out, and Kitty
was sent to the bakehouse, and Amy was
48 THE TRUTH SETTING FREE.
left alone to rock the cradle and watch that
the kettle did not boil over.
Amy had much rather not have been left
alone just then; her own thoughts were not
at all pleasant; but as she was alone she
could not help thinking. At first she
thought how unkind every one was, and of
all the wrongs she had had to bear,-of
Kitty's laziness, of her mother's rebukes, and
then of her beautiful rose, and the naughty
baby. Kitty and the baby might do just
what they liked, but if she did the least
thing wrong she was scolded and punished."
But this thought of the rose led her back
to Mrs. Mordaunt's lesson on Sunday. Had
the good seed borne good fruit this week,-
this week that was to have been the begin-
ning of a new life ? Had it led her to
overcome one fault, to be a step nearer to
God and goodness than before ? Yet she
had prayed and tried. What was then
wanting ? She was afraid she never should
THE TRUTH SETTING FREE. 49
be God's happy child, she was so full of
faults, and no one helped her to overcome
them; and yet it was wretched to be as she
was. What should she do ?
So she sat rocking the cradle, and think-
ing of her resolutions and her failures until
the tears rolled fast over her cheeks, and all
the proud heart within her was melted into
sorrow. As she sat thus, her elbows on her
knees and her hands hiding her face, she
heard a gentle voice at the door. She
looked up. It was Mrs. Mordaunt asking
for her mother. Amy was ashamed to be
seen crying, and rose quickly, and answered
as briskly as she could. But Mrs. Mordaunt
saw she was unhappy, and she came forward,
and laying her hand kindly on her shoulder
she asked what was the matter.
Amy's tears flowed faster than ever now,
and as soon as she could speak she sobbed
out in a faint voice, "0 ma'am, I cannot
do right,- I cannot be good." Mrs. Mor-
50 THE TRUTH SETTING FREE.
daunt sat down beside her and said, "Don't
despair, my child; you know the little song
you sing in school. Try again and again
until you succeed. Every one succeeds who
goes on trying."
"But I have tried again and again," said
poor Amy, "and I only get worse and
worse. In the very moment when I want
it, the strength goes away."
Our own strength always will," said the
lady. "Have you remembered to ask God
for his strength ? Do you remember what
I told you about the little seed? its enemies
are stronger than itself, but God is stronger
than its enemies."
I have prayed, ma'am," said Amy mourn-
fully, "but I am ashamed to ask God any
more. I have done what he tells us not so
very often, I am afraid he never can love
me;" and Amy cried bitterly.
"My child," said Mrs. Mordaunt, taking
her hand, "if you had disobeyed your
THE TRUTH SETTING FREE. 51
mother, and she were angry with you,
would you run away from the house in the
night, and choose rather to starve or die of
cold than ask her forgiveness ?"
Amy was silent.
"And if your mother could not bear to
see you in want, and were to come out to
you in the cold night with food and kind
words, would you turn away from her and
say, I know she can never love me, I have
been so naughty;' and would you refuse to
receive her kindness, and ask her forgive-
ness ? "
Amy bent down her head.
"Or would you say," continued Mrs.
Mordaunt, "as you saw her coming, I will
not go to meet her now; I will go and try
to earn a few pence, and then I will come
back to her and say, "Mother, I am very
sorry, but here are some pence I have earned.
Will you take them and forgive me, and let
me be your child again ?"' Would that be
52 THE TRUTH SETTING FREE
humility and gratitude, or pride and ir&-
gratitude, Amy ?"
"Pride and ingratitude," said Amy in a
"And when the Lord Jesus says to you,
'You have sinned against me and wronged
me, and broken my laws; but I have come
down from heaven to earth to seek you;
come back to me, and I will receive and for-
give you,' would it be humility or pride to
say, 'Thou canst not forgive me, I am too
sinful; but wait a little while, and I will
do something good, and make myself better,
and then I will come back to thee' ?"
"Pride," said Amy. "But I thought
God only loved good children, ma'am; and
I am not good."
God does only love good children, Amy,"
said Mrs. Mordaunt very seriously, "and
God knows you cannot be good." Amy
looked up in wonder.
"Who was Jesus Christ, Amy?"
THE TRUTH SETTING FREE. 53
"The Son of God," said Amy.
And what did he become man and come
into this world for?"
Amy answered as she had been taught,
"Jesus Christ came into the world to save
To save whom ?"
Not those who thought themselves good,
but those who knew they had been sinful.
What did he save them from ?"
"From punishment," said Amy thought-
Yes," said Mrs. Mordaunt, from punish-
ment, and from sin. He came to suffer, that
we might be delivered and freely forgiven,
and to make us holy. Did it cost him
nothing to do this, Amy ?"
"He died for it on the cross," said Amy
"He did indeed. And did he suffer all
that pain and anguish of mind for nothing?"
54 THE TRUTH SETTING FREE.
Amy did not answer.
"It would have been for nothing," said
Mrs. Mordaunt, if we had still to earn for-
giveness for ourselves. Jesus bore the pun-
ishment for us just because we could not
have borne it; and he has borne it so that
we shall never have to bear it now. If,
then, you go and give yourself up to the
blessed Saviour as He calls you to do, God
will receive you for his sake, as if you had
been always a good and obedient child, and
Jesus will give you his Holy Spirit to abide
with you always, and to make you good
and obedient and happy."
"I must not wait until I am better for
God to love me, then," said Amy doubt-
"Again, do you obey your mother in
order to become her child; or do you obey
her because she loves you and is your
mother, Amy ?"
"Because she. is my mother," said Amy.
TIE TRUTH SETTING FREE. 55
"And will your obedience make you more
her child than you are, Amy ?"
"But because you are her child and she
loves you, does that make you careless of
"If I only could be a better child to
please her!" said Amy, the tears gathering
in her eyes.
"It is so with God, my child," said Mrs.
Mordaunt. "He loves you, not because you
are good, but because he is good-because
he is love, and so loved you that he gave
his Son that you might be saved. Before
you can love him, you must believe his
word-that he loves you; and believing he
loves you, he will make you good and happy.
God has given the Bible to tell of his love
to you. Read it, my child; believe it."
Mrs. Harrison came in just then, and Mrs.
Mordaunt, after saying a few words to her,
rose to leave.
56 THE TRUTH SETTING FREE.
That evening Amy took out her Bible
with a new interest. Can it be possible,
indeed," thought she, that God has written
in this book that he loves me-me, a little
sinful child! I will look and see." She
read some of the passages she had learned
before for Mrs. Mordaunt: "Ho, every one
that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and
he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and
eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without
money and without price" (Isa. Iv. 1).
" May I, indeed, come without anything to
offer, and will God give me all I want ?"
Then: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in
the wilderness, even so must the Son of
man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth
in him should not perish, but have eternal
life" (John iii. 14, 15). "He that heareth
my word, and believeth on him that sent
me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come
into condemnation; but is passed from
death unto life" (John v. 24).
THE TRUTH SETTING FREE. 57
Can I not now hear his words," she
thought, and do I not believe ? She had
read the words often before, but now a new
light seemed to stream forth from them.
She wanted forgiveness, and here was for-
giveness offered; she wanted God to love
her, and here in every page was some mes-
sage of love from him. The Spirit of God
opened the little child's heart to the Word
of God, and she read on as if she never
could hear enough of this blessed news.
" We have known and believed the love that
God hath to us; we love him because he
first loved us."
I do believe!" she thought; and that
evening, as she fell on her knees, she felt
for the first time what it was to call God
Our Father. Her whole heart glowed with
gratitude and love to him who had so loved
her. She laid her down to sleep with the
eye of her heavenly Father upon her. She
awoke in the morning and felt that he was
58 THE TRUTH SETTING FREE.
near. Everything made her happy, because
God sent everything, and God loved her.
The streams, the woods, the flowers-they
had never looked half so bright, for she felt
that God had made them, and God had so
loved her. At school, at her tasks,-every-
where she was happy as a bird, for God was
everywhere. She could not feel cross, for
God was near, and he loved her. She could
fight with her faults now, for the Almighty
was by to help her.
Little children! thousands of little chil-
dren have had their hearts changed and
made happy, just as Amy's was; and so
may yours. Only believe the love that
God has to you, and you must love him;
and be his dear and happy child.