* " :V:. "'.
The Baldwin Lbrary
THE HYMN MY
MOTHER TAUGHT ME.
B l I t O
B S NG T E CHIL 'S HYMN
THE HYMN MY
MOTHER TAUGHT ME.
JLMnb Other .torits.
A. L. 0. E.,
AUTHOR OF "THE YOUNG PILGRIM," RESCUED FROM EGYPT,"
"THE SHEPHERD OF BETHLEHEM," ETC.
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EfiNBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
L "THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME," ... ... ... 7
II. ARE ALL SAVED? ... ... .. ... ... 21
IIL THE SOLDIER'S CHILD, ... ... .... 31
IV. IS THIS HISTORY MINE? ... ... ... ... 43
V. BURNING BANK-NOTES, ... .. .. ... 51
VI. ON THE RAFT, ... ... ... ... ... 5
VII. STEPPING-STONES, ... ... ... .. ... 69
VIII. WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN? ... .. ... 63
IX. THE MAELSTROM, ... ... .. ... ... 72
X. DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS, ... .. .. .. 81
XI. THE FOUR WISHES, ... ... ... ... ... 90
XII. THE VASE, THE BOOK, AND THE PEARL, ... ... 99
XIII. ST. PAUL'S CHURCH CLOCK, .. ... ... ... 103
XIV. THE LITTLE LIGHT, ... ... .. ... ... 118
"THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME."
"ET away with ye, will ye, Ben
Madden! I don't want you a-
sneaking about my stall to see
what you can be laying your
fingers on exclaimed Betty Wig-
gins, the cross old dame who sold biscuits
and cakes at the corner of High Street.
The poor orphan boy thus rudely addressed
slunk back a pace or two from the tempting
stall. His young heart was burning with
anger, and indignant tears rose into his
eyes. "I never in my life took what did
not belong to me," muttered Ben; "my
poor mother taught me something better
8 "THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME."
Betty Wiggins might have given a kind
word to the lonely child, if she had given
no more. Ben Madden had lately lost his
mother, a poor industrious widow, who had
worked as long as her fingers could work to
support herself and her orphan boy. Alice
Madden had died in peace and faith, com-
mending her child to the care of Him who
hath said, "I will never leave thee nor for-
Poor Ben seemed to have a hard life-
struggle before him. He had no relative
living but a sailor uncle, who might, for
aught he knew, be on the other side of the
world. There was none to care whether the
orphan slept under a roof or an archway,
whether he fed or whether he starved.
Betty, who had known his mother for years,
might have spared him one of those biscuits
and never have missed it amongst so many :
so thought Ben, who, since rising at day-
break, had not tasted a morsel of food.
As Ben stood leaning against an area
railing, looking wistfully at the piles of
cakes and gingerbread nuts, a light cart, in
which was seated a reckless young driver
"THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME." 9
urging on an excited horse, was whisked
round the corner of High Street with such
careless speed, that it knocked over the
stall, and threw its contents on the pave-
ment. What a scatter was there of tartlets
and cakes, bits of toffee and rock, biscuits,
bull's-eyes, almonds, and buns, and sticks of
bright barley sugar Had the stall-woman
been any other than cross Betty Wiggins,
Ben would have run forward to help her to
pick up her goods, which were rolling about
in every direction. But a feeling of resent-
ment filled the soul of the boy: he was not
sorry for Betty's disaster. "She bade me
keep off," thought the child, "and I will;
she would not trust me to pick up her
Ben would not go to the cakes, but one
of the cakes came to him. A beautiful
pink one, studded with almonds, and frosted
with sugar, rolled close up to his feet.
Betty did not mark this, for with clenched
hand and flashing eyes she was pouring a
torrent of abuse after the careless driver
whose cart had done the mischief, which the
youth would not stop to repair. Ben saw
10 "THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME."
the cake-the delicious pink cake : what a
temptation to a half-famished boy! For-
getful of his own words so lately uttered, in
a moment the child caught it up, and hurried
away down the street, leaving Betty to abuse
the driver, set up the stall, and recover such
of her dainties as had not been smashed on
Before Ben had walked many steps he
had eagerly swallowed the cake: having
once tasted its sweetness, he felt as if
nothing could stop him from eating the
whole. Ben had committed his first theft-
he had forgotten the words of his mother-
he had broken the law of his God. Let
none of my readers deem his fault a small
one, or think that little harm could come
from a hungry boy's eating a single cake
that had rolled to his feet. Ben's enjoy-
ment was quickly over; what had pleased
his taste had but whetted his hunger; and it
seemed as if with that stolen morsel evil
had entered into the boy. Every time that
we yield to temptation we have less power
to resist it in future. Many sinful thoughts
came into the mind of Ben as he lounged
"THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME." 11
through the streets. Never before had he
so envied the rich-those who could feast
every day upon dainties. With a covetous
eye he gazed into shops filled with good
things which he could not buy. With a
repining, discontented spirit he thought of
his own hard lot. Why had his mother
been taken from him ? why had he been left
to sorrow and want ?
Then, in this dangerous state of mind,
Ben began to consider how he could find
means of supplying his need. He did not
think now of prayer; he did not think of
asking his heavenly Father to open some
course before him by which he might
honestly earn his bread. Ben remembered
how that sharp lad Dennis O'Wiley had
told him that he knew ways and means by
which a lad could push himself on in the
world. When Ben had repeated these
words to his mother, she had warned him
against Dennis O'Wiley; she had said that
he feared neither God nor man, and would
end his days in a prison. Ben had resolved,
in obedience to his parent, never to keep
company with the lad; but, since stealing
12 THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME."
that pink sugared cake, Ben found his
resolution beginning to waver. He could
see no great harm in Dennis, as good-natured
a fellow as ever was born; why should he
not ask a bit of advice from a chap who
seemed always to find out some way of get-
ting whatever he wanted ?
Alas, poor Ben! he had been like one
standing at a spot where two roads branch
off-the strait one leading to life, the broad
one leading to destruction : his first theft
was like his first step in the fatal downward
road. But for a little incident which I am
going to relate, the widow's son might have
gone from evil to evil, from sinful thoughts
to wicked deeds, till his heart had grown
hard and his conscience dead, and he had
led a life of guilt and of shame, to close in
misery and ruin.
As Ben was sauntering down a street
half resolved to seek Dennis O'Wiley, his
ear caught the sound of music. It came
from an open door, leading into an infant
school. Ben, who dearly loved music, drew
near, and listened to the childish voices
singing a well-known hymn. Very heavy
"THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME." 13
BEN LISTENING TO TBE HYMN.
grew the heart of the boy, and his eyes were
dimmed with tears, for he heard the familiar
Oh, that will be joyful
When we meet to part no more! "
Ben's lips quivered as he murmured to him-
self, That is the hymn my mother taught
What seeming trifles will sometimes
change the whole current of our thoughts!
The sound of that music brought vividly
14 "THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME."
before the mind of poor Ben his mother's
face as she lay on her sick-bed-the touch
of her hand, her fond look of love, her dying
words of advice to her son. It was as if she
had come back to earth to stop her poor boy
on his downward way. His thoughts were
recalled to God and heaven, to that bright
home to which he felt that his mother had
gone, and where he hoped one day to join
her-the blessed mansions prepared by the
Saviour for those who love and obey Him.
Holy children will be there
Who have sought the Lord by prayer."
Ben turned away with almost a bursting
heart. Heaven is not for the unholy, the
disobedient, the covetous, for those who
take what is not their own. If he went on
in the fatal course on which he had entered
that day, he would never again meet his
mother-he would never be "joyful" in
heaven! Was it too late to turn back?
Might he not ask God's forgiveness, and
pray for grace to lead a new life ?
"Yes," thought the penitent child; "I
will never forget my mother's wishes, I will
follow my mother's ways. With the very
"THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME." 15
first money that I get I will pay for the
cake that I stole."
The strength of Ben's resolution was very
soon put to the test. Scarcely had he made
this silent promise, when a carriage, with a
lady inside it, was driven up to the school,
and as there was no footman with it, and
the coachman could not leave the box, Ben
ran forward to open the door, and guard the
lady's dress from the wheel. The lady
smiled kindly on the child, and taking a
penny from her bag, dropped it into his hand.
Here was a penny honestly earned; a
penny that would buy two stale rolls to
satisfy the hunger of Ben. Could it be
wrong thus to spend it ? Had he received
it an hour before, Ben would have run to a
baker's shop and laid out the money in
bread; but conscience now whispered to
Ben that he had a debt to discharge, that
that penny by right was Betty's, and that
his first duty was to pay for the cake which
he had wrongfully taken.
But I'm so hungry!" thought Ben, as
he looked on the copper in his hand. I
will buy what I need with this penny, and
16 THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME."
pay my debt with the next. But yet "-thus
went on the struggle between self-will and
conscience-" my mother taught me that to
put off doing what is right, is actually doing
what is wrong. Often have I heard hei
say, When conscience points out a difficult
duty, don't wait in hopes that it will grow
easy." Ben turned in the direction of High
Street; but before he had taken two steps
on his way, pride offered another temptation.
" I can't bear to go up to Betty," thought
Ben, "and tell her that I stole her cake !"
He stopped short as the thought crossed his
mind. "But can't I walk by her stall, and
just drop the penny on it as I pass, and say
nothing to bring myself shame ?" A little
reflection showed Ben that this could not be
done. "She'd be crying out again, 'Get
away with ye;' she'd think I was fingering
her cakes. Besides "-here conscience spoke
strongly once more--" does not the Bible
tell us to confess our faults one to another?
Is it not the brave, the right way, to go
straight to the persons we've wronged, and
tell them we're sorry for the past ?"
It was a hard struggle for Ben; and
THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME." 17
when, with a short, silent prayer for help,
he walked on again towards High Street,
the child was more of a true hero than many
who have earned medals and fame. He
was conquering Satan, he was conquering
self, he was bearing hunger and daring
shame, that he might be honest and truth-
Ben soon came in sight of Betty and her
stall; it seemed to the boy that the wrinkled
old face looked more cross and peevish than
ever. A sailor was standing beside the
woman, buying some gingerbread nuts.
"Now, or never," thought Ben, who did
not trust himself to delay, now that his
mind was made up. His face flushed to the
roots of his hair with the effort that he was
making; the child walked straight up to the
stall, laid his penny upon it, and said, I
took one of your cakes to-day-I'm sorry-
there is the money for it "
"Well, Ben Madden," exclaimed the old
woman in surprise, "you're an honester lad
than I took you for; you mind what your
mother taught you."
Ben Madden cried the sailor, looking
18 "THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME."
BEN MEETS HIS UNCLE.
hard at the orphan boy; "that's a name I
know well. Can this be the son of the
sister whom I have not set eyes on these
seven long years ? "
"His mother was the widow of big Ben
the glazier," said Betty, who died by a fall
from a window."
"The very same cried the sailor, grasp-
"THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME.' 19
ing the hand of his nephew, and giving it a
hearty shake. "What a lucky chance that
we met! And where's your mother, my
Tears gushed into poor Ben's eyes, as in
a low voice he answered, In heaven."
The seaman's rough hearty manner in-
stantly changed; he turned away his head,
and was silent for several minutes, as if
struggling with feelings to which he was
ashamed to give way. Then laying his
brown hand on the shoulder of his nephew,
he said, in a kindly tone, So you've neither
father nor mother, poor child; you're all
alone in the world! I'll be a father to you,
for the sake of poor, dear Alice."
Fervently did poor little Ben thank God,
who had thus provided for him a friend
when he most needed and least expected to
find one With wonder, the orphan silently
traced the steps by which his heavenly
Father had led him. What a mercy it was
that he had passed near the school-that he
had heard the hymn-that he had resolved
to be honest-and that his resolution had
brought him to the cake-woman's stall when
20 "THE HYMN MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME."
the sailor was standing beside it! Had Ben
delayed but for ten minutes he would never
have met his uncle Yes; in future life
the orphan frequently owned that all his
earthly comforts had sprung from the de-
cision which he had been strengthened to
make when, at the turning-point of his
course, he had stood at the door of the
infant school, listening with a penitent heart
to the hymn which his mother had taught
ARE ALL SAVED?
SLARGE crowd assembled on the
beach near Ramsgate on a wild
stormy day, when the rolling
billows were white with foam,
and the wind blew so fiercely that
the women could scarcely keep
their footing. What brought the crowd
together in the midst of that raging storm ?
what made the young and the tender leave
the shelter of their homes to stand in the
pelting rain, and brave the furious wind?
The sound of guns of distress had been borne
on the blast; tidings had spread through the
town that a homeward-bound vessel had
struck on the Goodwin Sands, and that she
22 ARE ALL SAVED ?
would be likely to go to pieces during the
night which would soon close in !
The life-boat was manned, its gallant crew
being ever ready to go to the relief of the
shipwrecked, even at the hazard of their
lives. But upon this occasion it appeared
that their services would not be needed. The
ship, though of considerable size, had con-
tained so few passengers that her large boat
had been able to hold all. Over the heav-
ing billows it came, bending under the force
of the gale, laden with its precious freight.
First, like a tiny speck on the sea it appeared
to the anxious eyes that were watching it
from the shore; then it grew larger and
larger, till at length even the forms of
those who crowded the deck could be dis-
"See, see!" exclaimed a woman, "there
stands one man with his hands raised towards
heaven, as if he were returning thanks for
deliverance from a watery grave "
"Well may he return thanks," said an old
sailor near, for the storm is increasing, and
the night coming on. Had these poor souls
not had the means of leaving the vessel at
ARE ALL SAVED? 23
once, they'd have had but a poor chance of
ever seeing the morning."
A joyous cheer burst from the crowd when
the heavily-laden boat, after rude tossing on
the waves, reached the mouth of the friendly
harbour, and floated into quietwaters! Every
one was eager to give hearty welcome to the
shipwrecked band, and proffer the help which
the exhausted crew so sorely required. They
had been able to bear nothing with them but
the dripping clothes in which they stood; it
was for them a sad landing in England, after
long absence from their dear native land.
Are all saved-all ? asked John Bolder,
the steersman of the life-boat, as he helped a
feeble passenger to shore.
"Yes, all-except one," was the answer
given by several voices at once.
"One hand is missing," said the boat-
swain, who had called over the names of the
"Was the poor fellow washed overboard
in the storm ? asked a gentleman near.
No one could give a decided answer. The
sailor might have been down in the hold at
the time when the boat put off, and have
24 ARE ALL SAVED?
been forgotten in the confusion ; or he might
have been swept off the deck by one of the
great billows that had dashed over the
stranded vessel. All that was certainly
known was that one man was missing; that
he had never entered the boat; and that, if
not dead already, he must certainly perish
with the ship in the course of the night.
John Bolder looked up at the stormy sky,
then over the dark billows towards the dis-
tant vessel. Let's put off in the life-boat,"
he said; we may yet be in time to save the
"No use-too late-he must have been
washed overboard," such were the exclama-
tions from many voices around; few seemed
willing that precious lives should be risked
on the faint hope of saving one. Amongst
the crowd stood John Bolder's mother, a
pale, sad widow, yet mourning for her son
Ned, whose vessel had been lost off the coast
of Bombay. John was the only child now
left to her, the sole support and comfort of
If the rest will go with me," said Bolder,
glancing at the sturdy crew of the life-boat,
ARE ALL SAVED ? 26
"we'll pull for the vessel yonder. We'll
never give up the poor fellow while there's
a chance of saving him!" He caught the
eye of the widow fixed on him in silent
anguish. She laid her hand upon his arm,
but it was not to stay him. "Go-and God
__ --- _:71
"GO-AND GOD PROTECT YOU!"
protect you!" faltered the poor mourner;
"perhaps he too has a mother! "
John's nine brave comrades shared his
spirit: they filled the life-boat, and in a few
spirit : they filled the life-boat, and in a few
26 ARE ALL SAVED ?
minutes, amidst the cheers and prayers of
anxious spectators, she was tossing on the
heaving waves. Dark loomed the clouds
above, loud roared the angry blast, the sea-
men strained at their oars. Often was the
life-boat quite hidden from the gaze of those
on shore in the trough of the sea, then again
she was seen, in the increasing distance, rising
on the crest of a wave.
"Ha !" cried John Bolder, "what's that
yonder?--a dark object moving on the
"Some floating cask," guessed a com-
panion, resting a moment on his oar, and
turning round to gaze.
"'Tis the head of a man swimming !" ex-
claimed Bolder. "Pull on-pull on hard,
my hearties None can swim long in such
a sea! "
The strong men bent to their oars; each
rowed as if his own life depended on the
efforts which he made. John Bolder at the
helm directed the course of the boat, watch-
ing with intense interest the head of the
"He has sunk-no-there he is again 1-
ARE ALL SAVED? 21
he must see us God have mercy upon him!
If he can hold on five minutes longer, we'll
have him safe in the boat! "
Every muscle was strained: on-on sped
the boat over the billows! A tremendous
surge struck the stranded vessel as the life-
boat approached her Down went masts and
spars, the furious waves rushed over their
28 ARE ALL SAVED 7
prey, and nothing remained of the gallant
vessel but a few floating bits of timber,
whirled round in the seething waters.
But the last of the crew was saved Drip-
ping, exhausted, senseless he lay in the life-
boat, but living still. He had been reached
just as his own strength failed him; and the
gallant seamen were now rowing back for
the shore, exulting in their success.
But none had such cause to exult as John
Bolder! Why are his strong hands trem-
bling with emotion, as he chafes the cold
limbs of the half-drowned man ? why are the
glad tears rising to his manly eyes? He
knows now, what he little guessed when he
launched forth in the storm to save a fellow-
creature, that the man who was in danger-
the man whom he went to rescue from death
-is his brother! Yes, the shipwrecked sailor
has a mother It is she who stands now on
the shore in the wind and rain, straining her
eyes to see the return of the life-boat, praying
for the safety of one brave son in it, uncon-
scious that it holds two !
Very loud was the cheer which greeted
the noble crew of the life-boat as they sprang
ARE ALL SAVED ? 25
on shore; loud were the praises and con-
gratulations that greeted them from every
side; but John Bolder could hear nothing
at that moment but a mother's wild cry of
delight, as she clasped to her heart the long-
lost son just snatched from a watery grave!
THE LOST ONE SAVED.
Rejoicings over the rescued How the
words carry our thoughts to greater dangers,
30 ARE ALL SAVED?
and nobler efforts How many of our poor
fellow-creatures are stranded on the fatal
sands of ignorance and sin How many are
in danger of the destruction not only of the
body but the soul Brave efforts are made
to save them: Sabbath schools, Ragged-
schools are like life-boats put out to the
rescue, manned by those who nobly give
their time and strength to the work. Have
we done nothing to assist ?-have we never
tried to save even one ? Those who cannot
give time may give money; those who can-
not give money may give prayers Oh, let
God's servants be cheered by the thought
that they are all members of one family,
bound for one glorious home When the
rescued and the rescuers stand together on
the bright strand where life's storms can
reach them no more, when glad voices of
welcome resound, he whom God has enabled
to snatch a poor sinner from destruction by
showing him the one way to heaven, will
find with delight that he has been made the
means of delivering a brother !
THE SOLDIER'S CHILD.
Twas the night before the battle.
The red glare of the watch-fire fell
on the bronzed faces of a group of
French soldiers who had gathered
round it to enjoy the kindly warmth,
for the air of the Crimea at that season was
sharp and chilling. The sound of laughter
and jesting, the light song or the careless
oath, were not heard in that group: all were
listening, with more or less attention, to
Pierre, one of the party, who was reading
aloud from that Book which contains the
word of God. To most of the Frenchmen
the Scriptures were new; they had never
before listened to them, and curiosity was
82 THE SOLDIER'S CHILD.
the cause of their interest. With others
there was a deeper feeling; they knew that
on the morrow some of them might be laid
low in death, and that this might be the last
THE SOLDIER'S CHILD. 33
opportunity of receiving the message from
As Pierre was finishing a chapter, the
sound of the bugle rang clear on the air,
and the group of soldiers dispersed to their
various quarters; Pierre alone remained
with Jacques Bonet his comrade, who,
seated upon a cannon, had been one of his
most attentive hearers.
"I say, mon ami (my friend)," observed
Jacques, "how came you by that book?
Did you buy it from one of those colpor-
teurs, who have been so diligently carrying
Bibles and Testaments into our camp ? "*
"No," replied Pierre; "I brought my
copy from France. Nor did I buy it; I own
with shame that I robbed my own child of
How could that be ? asked Jacques.
"When last I was at home on leave, before
During the Crimean war many copies of the Scriptures were taken to the
quarters of our allies, and were eagerly welcomed by both French and Sar-
dinian troops. Nor has the good work ceased. In the Report of the Bible
Society for 1863 we read: When our soldiers (the French) are about to leave
for the seat of war, they feel a necessity to procure the Word of God ; and
the soldiers who had previously met the offer of a copy with ridicule, are
those more particularly who then come of their own accord to ask with
earnestness for a copy of the Gospel. You will, I am sure, add your thanks-
givings to mine, when learning that 504 Bibles and 5478 New Testaments have,
under such circumstances, been placed in the hands of French soldiers who
have left for Mexico."
84 THE SOLDIER'S CHILD.
coming to this fatal country," said Pierre, "
spent some days in Brittany in my own little
cottage, with my children and wife. Ah!"
continued the Frenchman with a sigh, those
were bright days !-shall I ever see the like
of them again ? Annette-she's my wife-
was all smiles and tears; smiles at having
me with her again, tears because we so soon
must part. AimBe, my eldest girl, young
as she was, took half of the work of the cot-
tage upon her, to leave her mother more free:
she kept the little ones quiet, she nursed the
baby, cooked the potage (soup), and cleansed
the rooms. She was ever ready to make or to
mend, was never in the way, yet never out
of the way when wanted. Now when I had
been at home before, AimBe had been a
little heedless thing, leading a butterfly's
life. We could no more have trusted the
baby to her than have made it over to the
'Aimee is wondrously changed,' said I
one evening to my wife.
"' Yes,' she answered gravely; I am quite
uneasy about it.'
I could not just see what there was to
THE SOLDIER'S CHILD. 85
make her uneasy; 'But,' says I, 'what can
have caused the change ?'
"' It all comes,' said Annette, 'from an
English lady, who was travelling in our
country, giving a Bible to Aimee. Now
thou knowest that our cure (French priest)
tells us that is not a safe book for poor folk
like us to read.'
"' Does the girl read it ?' I asked.
"'She reads it, and prays over it, and
learns it by heart,' said Annette, with an
anxious shake of the head; 'and it has
changed her altogether! Aim6e cares no
more for the spectacle (play), or the Sunday
fetes and the dancing ; she has become quite
another child. I wish that thou wouldst
speak to her, Pierre; I'm mightily afraid
that the cur6 will be angry if he hears that
we keep such a book in our cottage.'
"I did not myself care much for the cure's
anger, but I'd no mind to having my child
go one way, while I was going the other.
' I'm master here,' says I, 'and I'll make
Aim6e see that I am so!' Accordingly on
the next day I roughly bade the child bring
me her Bible at once, as if she had been
36 THE SOLDIER'S CHILD.
GIVING UP THE BIBLE.
doing something wrong in daring to keep
one. Aimge obeyed, though sadly, poor
child A few years before, she had been as
THE SOLDIER'S CHILD. 37
wilful as she was thoughtless; but now, with
tears in her eyes, she brought me her greatest
"'This is no book for thee !' I cried, rudely
turning over the pages.
"It grieves me now," continued the soldier,
"to remember how I played the tyrant that
day, how I cared neither for my child's plead-
ing nor her tears, but took away from her
what she valued so greatly. I thought that
Aim6e would sulk-that was her old habit
when anything vexed her; but no, she was
willing and obedient as ever, and never did I
hear her complain. I repented then of my
harsh words and my unkind deeds; but, per-
haps from a feeling of pride, I did not return
the Bible. Not that I read it myself at that
time; I kept it in my knapsack, thinking
that some day or other I might just glance
over its pages.
The night before I left home-'twas a sad
night for us all!-I had been out to bid adieu
to my old father, as I was to start at day-
break. When I came back to my cottage, I
stood still on the threshold, for I heard a voice
within engaged in prayer. Aim6e, poorlamb!
38 THE SOLDIER'S CHILD.
had been trying to comfort her mother, and
when she found that words could not do it,
she had knelt by her knee; and there she was,
praying, with heart and soul, that the great
God would watch over her father, and bless
him, and bring him again to his home. I
could not interrupt her; my heart seemed
to rise to my throat. I thought that God
would hear her, and that if I were spared
to return, it would be through the prayers
of my child. And often now," continued
Pierre, resting his brow on his hand,
"when I am in trouble or danger, a thought
comes over me, with a strange power to
comfort and cheer, Aimee is praying for
But what of the Bible ?" asked Jacques.
I took it with me," answered Pierre,
"though at first I had no serious intention
of studying it. I heard others speak of and
praise it-that went for something, perhaps;
but," continued the soldier with vehemence,
"to hear a thousand people praise the Bible
does not go so far as to see one who lives up
to its precepts. I remembered not what
Aimee said, but what she was; and I turned
THE SOLDIER'S CHILD. 39
.-- :.;' ,' ,
"AIMEE IS PRAYING FOR ME "
to her Book to learn from it the secret of the
life which she led."
And found what you sought? observed
"Ay, and much more," said Pierre, reve-
rently laying his hand on the Bible. My
eyes were opened to the truth as I read; I
saw my own sins in its light, and the grace
which can blot them all out. I was led, step
40 THE SOLDIER'S CHILD.
'? --=2 :---
PIERRE AND JACQUES.
by step, towards hope and peace;-Aime e's
prayers were heard for her father "
The morning dawned on a field of strife.
The regiment to which Pierre belonged was
one of the first engaged in the conflict. I
will not describe all the horrors of the scene.
How those in the little cottage in Brittany
-the tender wife, the loving daughter-
THE SOLDIER'S CHILD. 41
would have trembled could they have be-
held one dear to them in the midst of the
roar and rattle, the smoke and fire, the gleam-
ing bayonets, the ringing shot, on the field
of carnage and blood !
Yet at the close of that terrible day Pierre
stood unhurt! His epaulette had been torn
from his shoulder, a ball had struck the
earth almost close to his feet, yet had he
sustained no harm. "Ah said he with a
smile, when he met Jacques after the fight,
"in a cottage far beyond the blue waves,
wife and child were praying for me !"
Pierre lived to return to his country, with
a medal on his breast, and to receive a de-
lighted welcome from those who had mourned
his absence. After the first joyful greetings
were over, and all-from Annette to her
youngest born-had been pressed to the
soldier's heart, he opened his knapsack and
took from it a well-worn Bible, which had
been his companion and comfort through the
long terrible campaign.
"Aim6e," said the father, with a smile
which sent a thrill of joy to the young girl's
heart, dost thou remember this ? I have
42 THE SOLDIER'S CHILD.
learned to prize it dearly, even as thou dost,
my child. I have prayed for thee, thou hast
prayed for me, when we were far apart; now
let us kneel down in this dear home to which
mercy has restored me, and with humble,
thankful hearts, let us pray and praise to-
IS THIS HISTORY MINE
" jA.MMA," said Leila, one bright
J Sunday afternoon in July, as,
seated at her mother's feet, she
turned over the pages of the
Pilgrim's Progress "-" mamma,
kv do you know that Harry and I
were. finding out yesterday in our grounds
all the places that we read of in this book ?"
Finding out what ?" asked Mrs. Leslie,
with a little surprise.
I don't mean quite all the places," re-
plied Leila; but a good many of them we
made out quite well. There is the great
pond, you know, at the end of the long
meadow, and that is like the Slough of
44 IS THIS HISTORY MINE?
Despond, for there is a wicket-gate quite
near it; and this is House Beautiful, you
see, for it stands on the top of a hill-and
we have an arbour in the garden. But
Harry and I were puzzled to find out any-
thing that would do for the lions."
And so could not carry out the likeness."
It is a great pity," observed Leila; I
like so much to put myself in the place of
the people about whom I read. It makes
everything seem so real."
"The 'Pilgrim's Progress' is a book
which describes a great deal that is real. I
think that many of us have been in places
that are mentioned in it, and may find out
their names too without searching for hill,
vale, or river," said Mrs. Leslie. There is
your dear grandfather, enjoying a peaceful
old age, delighting to make all happy around
him-delighting most of all when he can
speak to the young of the Saviour, whom he
has long served and loved. Can you not
guess at what part of the journey he has
now arrived ?"
Leila paused a little to reflect. He is
not in the Valley of Humiliation; no, nor
IS THIS HISTORY MINE? 45
climbing the Hill of Difficulty; and he is
much too happy to be passing through the
Valley of the Shadow of Death."
He has left Vanity Fair far behind
him," added Mrs. Leslie.
"Ah! I think he must have got to the
country of Beulah, to the green and happy
land so near to the Celestial City. Is that
what you think, mamma? "
Mrs. Leslie bowed her head in reply.
And you, mamma, you are in the House
Beautiful; and oh, I hope you'll stay there
a long while," added Leila earnestly, press-
ing her mother's hand to her lips, "for I
cannot bear the thought of you ever reach-
ing the river."
"All in God's good time, my child; you
know there is a meeting-place beyond."
"Yes," said Leila gravely-for she was a
thoughtful girl-" for those who have tra-
velled the same way." Presently she con-
tinued, in a more cheerful tone, I wonder
whether I have been in any of the places
which Christian went through, mamma ? "
By nature we were all born in the City
of Destruction," said Mrs. Leslie.
46 IS THIS HISTORY MINE?
Ah, but we do not all remain in it. Do
you think that I have gone over any part of
Christian's journey, mamma ? "
I once hoped so, Leila," replied her
mother, gravely; "but lately you have
seemed to me to care so little for anything
beyond the little circle of your affections and
your amusements-to take so little concern
in heavenly things-to find so little pleasure
in your Bible and hymn-book, that I own
that I have felt some disappointment."
"Do you think me like Pliable ?" asked
Leila, with a sigh.
"Not exactly; but if you have begun
your pilgrimage at all, you have gone on
but a very little way. I have not lately
found you so gentle and obedient as you
were a few months ago. You have several
times lately quarrelled with your brother,
and shown pride and temper to myself."
Leila coloured, and was silent for some
time. She then said, in a voice which her
mother had to bend down her head very low
to hear, "I am sure that I was once very,
very anxious to get rid of my naughtiness.
Don't you remember, mamma, that night? "
IS THIS HISTORY MINE ? 47
"When I found you crying in your bed
because you feared that you had displeased
and disobeyed your Lord ? Yes, Leila, I
remember that night; and I am glad that
you remember it too. I comforted and
cheered my darling with words from the
Bible: The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth
from all sin.' I believed then that you had
begun, like Christian, to feel something of
the weight of your burden, and the Evan-
gelist, God's Word, was directing you to the
wicket-gate of salvation."
But I felt as if I could never get good.
I tried again and again, and my naughty
temper always got the better. I almost
thought at last that I would give up strug-
gling against it."
"My Leila then knew something of the
Slough of Despond. It was as if her feet
had trod on its edge; for children seldom
fall into its depths. You were soon happy
again, my love?"
"Oh yes; when you taught me that
sweet hymn, Lovest thou me ?' it made my
heart so light and happy. I really felt that
I could pray then, pray hard, and that the
48 IS THIS HISTORY MINE ?
Lord would hear my prayer. I don't think
that I met with Mr. Worldly Wiseman, or
wandered to the Hanging Mountain, burn-
ing with terrible fire."
I do not think that you did," said her
mother. I believe that when you prayed
so earnestly, you were really knocking at
0 mamma, and would not the Lord
open to me ?" cried Leila, with animation.
Most willing was the Saviour to open;
but-I am afraid-"
Tell me, mamma," said Leila earnestly,
"tell me all that you think. Make a story
of me, as Bunyan made of his Christian."
I saw in my dream," said Mrs. Leslie,
" that as the little pilgrim stood knocking
at the gate, there flew by a bright-coloured
bird called Self-will, fluttering its crimson
wings in the sun; and the bird flew so near
and so low, often resting for moments on
the ground, that the child was tempted to
follow it, and try to catch it when it paused
in its flight. She forgot her burden, and
her fears, and her hopes, and her duty, and
thought of nothing so much as of eagerly
IS THIS HISTORY MINE ? 49
-i -F -- .---
TIlE PURSUIT OF SELF-WILL.
rushing after the pleasure which seemed
within her reach."
Leila's head drooped lower and lower, till
her face was buried in her mother's knee;
and when she raised it her eye-lashes were
moist and glistening. There was no need
that her mother should further describe the
history of her little pilgrim-conscience told
all the rest. Leila had begun well, but she
had not gone on well. She had knocked,
but not waited for a reply; she had not yet
60 IS THIS HISTORY MINE ?
passed through the wicket-gate, nor entered
on the narrow path, nor felt her burden
drop from her shoulders at the foot of the
Saviour's cross. But there was yet time
to turn back, and hope to cheer her in turn-
ing, and pardon and welcome, peace arid
joy, awaiting the wandering little pilgrim at
the wicket-gate of salvation. She might yet
knock, and the door be opened; she might
yet seek for grace, and find it.
The history of Leila is the history of
many a child. 0 dear young reader, ask
your own heart, Is it yours ?
URNING bank-notes! What a
provoking accident that must
have been !"
But I am not speaking of an
accident, my young friend, but of
what is mentioned as a fact, though such a
strange one that we may have some diffi-
culty in believing it true.
It is said that two gentlemen actually
laid a bet who should destroy the greatest
number of bank-notes, and that one of these
foolish wasters of his goods lived to end his
days in a poor-house !
I never heard of so mad a thing cries
my reader. "Bank-notes, that pay our
52 BURNING BANK-NOTES.
rent, buy our clothes, give us bread; bank-
notes, that procure for those who have them
all sorts of comfort, and all sorts of pleasures
-to throw such good things into the fire "
Shall I tell you that each of my readers
has something as precious as bank-notes,
which perhaps he is inclined to throw away
just as thoughtlessly as these two foolish
gentlemen did their money.
TIME is the poor man's precious bank-
notes, and also the rich man's treasure. The
penniless child has this, if he has nothing
else; and oh, how much may be made of it I
Look at that clean, cheerful youth, thriv-
ing so well in business, able to live in comfort,
and to support his blind mother! He had
not one shilling a few years ago-nothing
seemed before him but a poor-house. Oh
no! he had one treasure, the bank-notes o]
Time, and a famous use he made of them.
He rose with the lark, that he might work
hard and long: he wasted no moment of
time. By industry, under God's blessing,
he has made his way in the world. He has
changed Time's bank-notes for gold !
See that poor blind girl, so cheerful under
BURNING BANK-NOTES. 58
.i -, ___
THE BLIND GIRL.
affliction, so full of hope and peace How
comes it that she is so happy, when many
would be fretting and repining ? While she
had yet eyesight, she read her Bible with
prayer, and stored her memory with many
precious verses, which are now to her like
light in darkness. She changed Time's bank-
notes for gold!
"When we labour to improve our minds,
When we work hard to gain an honest
64 BURNING BANK-NOTES.
When we help those who need 'our help;
When we give our hearts to Christ,
When we pray, and praise, and read
God's Holy Word,-
WVe are cli,'ij,,g Time's bank-notes for
ON THE RAFT.
SAARKNESS around me closes,
And not a sail is nigh;
No human ear can hear my call,
No human voice reply;
The lowering sky above, around
Waves, waves, spread everywhere;
Dread prospect! yet my sinking soul
Still struggles with despair !
Upon my rude and sea-washed raft
I float upon the wave,
With my poor dog, who suffers with
The friend he cannot save.
56 ON THE RAFT.
Our strained eyes scan the horizon dark;
In vain-no hope is there !
I clench my hands in anguish wild-
In anguish, not despair!
No, though fell thirst and hunger
May claim us for their prey;
No, though my chill and shuddering frame
Be drenched with ocean spray;
Though fainting, helpless, desolate,
I'm still the Almighty's care;
His eye beholds, His hand protects,
And I will not despair !
Farewell, my friends beloved,
Still in this dark hour dear;
Ye little know the fearful night
Which closes round us here !
Lord bless them, and, if such thy will,
Oh, spare-for thou canst spare-
Him who, confiding in thy love,
May die, but not despair !
The dreary night has passed away
The dawn is in the skies,
Now senseless on his heaving raft
The shipwrecked Edwin lies.
ON THE RAFT. 57
But, sleepless, watchful, faithful friend,
His dog is striving there,
To rouse the sailor from his swoon,
To bid him not despair.
_ ------- __
ON THE RAFT.
The dog has seen the distant sail
Across the rolling seas;
The dog's loud, eager bark for help
Is borne upon the breeze !
58 ON THE RAFT.
And larger, larger looms the sail,
And gallant tars prepare
To launch the boat to reach the raft-
Oh who would now despair ?
They're saved they're saved oh, blessed
The dog and shipwrecked boy;
Companions once in sufferings,
Companions now in joy.
And Edwin lives to tell at home
How God had heard his prayer,
And sent in mercy help to one
Who never would despair.
". ,GEIGH-HO! a weary life I lead
a of it," thought Martha Bean, as
she crossed the brook, carrying
home her milk-pail. I'm sure
"tis work, work, from morning till
night; I might as well be an African slave.
There's poor mother crippled with the rheu-
matism, not able to rise from her chair with-
out help, much less to look after the half a
dozen children that my brother has landed
upon us; so all the trouble and nursing and
work come on me. I'm sure that to be kept
awake half the night with a squalling baby,
when I've to labour hard all the day, is
enough to drive a girl wild. It's never a
holiday I get; and as for a new dress or
bonnet, where's the money to buy it, with
all those children to feed and clothe ? It's
a weary life," Martha repeated, as she
entered the cottage, where her sick mother
sat wrapped up in flannels by the fire, with
the baby asleep in a cradle beside her. Mrs.
Bean was weak, and full of aches and pains;
but from those gentle lips no murmur ever
Well, Martha, you're home early," she
said, greeting her daughter with a smile.
"Yes, mother, because I have not now
that long way to go round by the
It was an excellent plan of the squire to
put those convenient stepping-stones across
the river," said Mrs. Bean.
Martha set down her pail on the brick-
paved floor, and threw herself on a chair
with a weary sigh. I wish that there were
stepping-stones over the river of trouble,"
cried she, "for I don't see how poor folk
like us are ever to get across."
"There are stepping-stones, dear Martha,"
said her mother; "and many a one has
found them that would have been drowned
in trouble without them."
There are three, my child, that God.
himself has set in the dreary waters, that His
people may pass in safety over the difficult
way. They are-prudence, patience, and
prayer. By prudence we shun many a
trouble which overwhelms the careless and
giddy. By patience we get over those
troubles which God sends to prove and to
try us. And when the bitter waters rise
high, and we feel as if we must sink beneath
them, then the Christian, trembling and
weary, finds firm footing in prayer."
Dear reader, at some period of your
journey through life you will have to pass
the river of trouble. May you then seek and
find these safe stepping-stones-
PRUDENCE, PATIENCE, and PRAYER.
WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN?
" ttHY should you leave the school
Sin such a thunderstorm, dear
children ?" said Miss Claremont
to the young pupils collected
around her. "Let us wait a
little, and the weather may clear up. The
time need not be lost; go back to your seats,
dear little ones. I have thought of such a
pleasant subject; we will talk over it till the
storm passes away. I will ask a question,
and each one shall answer it as she best can.
If you can give a text, I shall be glad; but
perhaps you will not be able to do so."
In a few moments the seats were filled
again with rosy little girls, and bright happy
64 WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN?
"Now, this is my question," said Ella
ELLA AND HER PUPILS.
faces were turned towards the lady, who was
dear to every young heart in the school-
"Now, this is my question," said Ella
Claremont, with that bright, cheerful smile
which gladdened like sunshine. "Answer
me in the order in which you sit. WHAT DO
WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN ? 65
WE KNOW OF HEAVEN ? Ann Jones, you are
the first to reply."
Ann Jones.-It is a glorious place, most
splendid and beautiful. Stay, I can give a
verse : Having the glory of God : and her
light was like unto a stone most precious."
-Rev. xxi. 11.
Mary Mills.-There will be music there,
sweeter than any that we hear upon earth;
for saints "stand on the sea of glass, having
the harps of God. And they sing the song of
Moses the servant of God, and the song of
the Lamb."-Rev. xv. 2, 3.
Elizabeth Brown.-There is the "river
of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding
out of the throne of God."-Rev. xxii. 1.
Bell Marks.-And there "the tree of
life."-Rev. xxii. 2.
Jane White.-And how bright and shin-
ing everything must appear-like a sky with
no cloud, a day with no night! For remember
that beautiful description: The city had no
need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine
in it; for the glory of God did lighten it,
and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the
nations of them which are saved shall walk
86 WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN?
in the light of it: and the kings of the earth
do bring their glory and honour into it.
And the gates of it shall not be shut at all
by day; for there shall be no night there."
-Rev. xxi. 23-25.
Miss Claremont.-Very well, Jane; I am
glad to see that you love and study your
Bible. Nancy Smith, have you thought of
anything else that we know of the joys of
saints in their heavenly home ?
Poor Nancy had lately lost her mother.
This was the first day since the funeral that
she and her little sister Rose had attended
the school. With a faltering voice she mur-
mured, God shall wipe away all tears from
their eyes; and there shall be no more
death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither
shall there be any more pain."-Rev. xxi. 4.
Little Rose, who sat next to her sister,
looked wistfully up into Miss Claremont's
face. I cannot give a text, but I can say
something," lisped the child; and, clasping
her little hands, she repeated-
"Oh, that will be joyful,
When we meet to part no more !"
The tears of poor Nancy fell silently but
WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN? 67
fast upon her black dress. Miss Claremont
felt for her grief; and, willing to draw away
attention from it, turned to the next girl.
"Sarah Waters, what do we know of
heaven? said she.
Sarah Waters.-All who have loved the
Lord below, shall rejoice together in heaven.
" Lo, a great multitude, which no man could
number, of all nations, and kindreds, and
people, and tongues, stood before the throne,
and before the Lamb, clothed with white
robes, and palms in their hands."-Rev.
vii. 9. There will be Abraham, and Daniel,
and St. Paul, and all holy men and women
who have lived since the world began !
Ann Brown.-And there will be no
tyrants to torment them, no enemies, no one
cruel or unjust in heaven. "There the
wicked cease from troubling; and there the
weary be at rest."-Job iii. 17.
Mary Edwards.-Oh, I am so glad that
my turn has come now You have left me
the greatest, the best joy of all! What
would heaven be without the Saviour ? To
behold him, to be near him, to hear his
voice,-oh! that would be heaven without
68 WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN?
anything else-that makes heaven heaven
indeed "His servants shall serve him: and
they shall see his face."-Rev. xxii. 3, 4.
Amy Blackstone murmured softly, "And
we shall be like him; for we shall see him
as he is."-1 John iii. 2.
It was now the turn of Ellen Payne, a
pale, gentle girl, who seemed rapidly hasten-
ing to that bright home to which their
thoughts were turned. There was deeper
silence than usual when she spoke; it was
but to repeat a verse, but the tones of her
voice, and the words that she uttered, went
to the hearts of all: "Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard, neither have entered into the
heart of man, the things which God hath
prepared for them that love him."-1 Cor.
There were yet three girls to be questioned,
but there was a pause, as though their
thoughts had already been expressed by
others. Miss Claremont therefore said, "We
have heard much of the happiness of heaven,
now let me change the question-WHAT IS
THE WAY TO REACH HEAVEN ? "
Emma Green.--Believing in the Lord
WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN? 69
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved."-Acts xvi. 31.
Mary Davis.-Loving the Lord. "Whom
having not seen, ye love; in whom, though
now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice
with joy unspeakable, and full of glory:
receiving the end of your faith, even the
salvation of your souls."-1 Peter i. 8, 9.
Mary Wadcle.-Obeying the Lord. He
became the author of eternal salvation unto
all them that obey him."-Heb. v. 9.
Miss Claremont.--Believing, loving, obey-
ing; yes, this is the Christian's path to that
heaven which he enters through the merits
and death of his Saviour! Now, look out,
dear children; the rain has ceased, and a beau-
tiful rainbow is shining on the dark cloud.
Ellen Payne.--How lovely it is! It
looks to me like a bridge in the sky.
Nancy Smith.-It has many colours, too !
-such beautiful colours But three appear
brightest and most distinct.
Little Rose raised her beaming face, and
exclaimed, "Let us call them believing,
loving, and obeying! Her sister bent down
and whispered, as she kissed her, That was
70 WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN?
mother's path to heaven; let us try to follow
and join her there."
Dear young reader, whoever you may be,
do not carelessly turn over these last pages;
let the truths which they contain sink deep
into your heart. If you are God's child,
you have been reading a description of
your home! Yes, you may be poor, sickly,
or unhappy; you may be an orphan or a
beggar, sick or dying, but for you is pre-
pared the mansion of your Father. The.
shining crown, the harp of gold, the palm of
victory, the water of life, the presence of the
Saviour,-all, all are awaiting you! But
how can you tell if you are really a child of
God ? Here is the test, lay it to your heart,
try your whole life by it: Believing loving !
obeying Do you believe that Christ died
for you; that you can be saved only through
him ? Do you love him, who first loved
you ? And, loving him, do you keep his
commandments? If it is not so with you,
oh. delay not a moment! Life is short,
death may be near, and after death the
judgment! Come to the Lord, he is waiting
to welcome you; come by prayer, earnest
WHAT DO WE KNOW OF HEAVEN? 71
heart prayer-say, "God be merciful to me,
a sinner ;" "Lord, I believe, help thou mine
unbelief;" "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst
make me clean." The prayer of the feeblest
child will be heard in heaven. But blessed,
most blessed, is the servant of the Almighty,
whether high or low, who can say from the
depths of a grateful heart, I have set the
Lord always before me : because he is at my
right hand, I shall not be moved. Thou
wilt show me the path of life : in thy
presence is fulness of joy; at thy right
hand there are pleasures for evermore."
-Psalm xvi. 8, 11.
"OW was it that I missed you from
S the Sunday school last night?"
asked a teacher of a little boy
who had tried to slink away on
his approach, but who, finding this
to be impossible, now stood before him with
downcast eyes, and cheeks red with shame.
"Where were you?" continued the
teacher, as he received no answer to his
"Please, sir, I'd rather not say," mur-
mured the boy at last.
"Very well, I will not press you too
closely; you were perhaps where you ought
not to have been. But you had promised
THE MAELSTROM. 78
me, Harry, not to fail at the Sunday school,
"The truth is, sir," said Harry at last,
"that Jack, and Ben, and Sam, were all
going to have some fun in the country, and
they asked me to go with tSem."
"And you wished to go "
Not exactly, sir; I should as soon have
gone to the school, for I wanted to hear
that story of David and the giant, which
you had promised to explain to us; but-"
74 THE MAELSTROM.
But what, my boy ? "
"You see, sir, they would have asked me
why I did not go with them, and-and-if
-they had known that I was going to the
"They would have laughed at you,
"Yes, sir," replied Harry; "that's just it,
I can't bear to be laughed at."
"I am sorry for that, for they who do
what is right are pretty sure to be laughed
at by those who do what is wrong. But
surely, Harry, it is better to bear a little
mocking from men than to offend God.
The holy prophet Elisha was mocked by
children; St. Paul was called mad; our
blessed Lord himself was reviled and
spoken against. Hear his own words:
'Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you,
and persecute you, and shall say all manner
of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is
your reward in heaven'" (Matt. v. 11. 12).
It is very hard though," murmured the
"Yes ; it is part of the cross which every
THE MAELSTROM. 75
Christian has to bear; but 'no cross, no
Harry sighed. When people urge me,
and jest at me, and call me silly and cowardly,
I don't know what to do; I can't stand it;
no, sir, indeed I can't! "
I called to see your parents, but as they
are both out, perhaps you will take a walk
with me in the garden till they return. I
want to tell you about a wonderful whirl-
pool of which I was reading the other day."
"I should like to hear all about it very
much indeed," replied Harry, most glad to
change the subject of the conversation. I
have never seen a whirlpool, and scarcely
know what the word means."
It is a whirl of waters at a certain spot,
which carries all before it. Off the coast of
Norway there is a most dreadful whirlpool
called the Maelstrom, which it is very
dangerous for vessels even to approach.
The roar of the foaming waters may be
heard at a great distance; the waves seem
to whirl round and round, crushing and
breaking everything that comes within their
reach, and then sucking them in. A poor
76 THE MAELSTROM.
; AN ,
i l. ; "'.-I
bear, that was swimming from one point of
land to another, was once caught in this
terrible whirlpool; the waters drew it nearer'
THE MAELSTROM. 77
and nearer the middle of the vortex;-in
vain it struggled,-its howling was heard on
shore,-but it could not escape, it was drawn
down, and perished in the roaring billows "
I would not have gone within fifty miles
of such a place cried Harry.
"One would have certainly thought that
no one in his senses would have ever willing-
ly approached it; but the strangest part of
the story is to come."
"Pray let me hear it, sir."
"A gay young prince, it is said, son of
the King of Denmark, if I remember right,
thought that he would do something very
bold and wonderful, and declared his determi-
nation to anchor in the middle of the Mael-
"Why, that would be certain death If
he chose to do such a mad thing," cried
Harry, "I am certain that he would have
to go alone; he would get nobody to keep
him company in the whirlpool."
"You are wrong there, Harry; remember
he was a prince. The young noblemen of
his court thought it a brave thing to ac-
company him; perhaps, had they refused to
78 THE MAELSTROM.
go, they would have been laughed at as
"And did they really anchor in the Mael-
strom ? "
"I cannot answer for the truth of the
story, but it is said that a fine ship was
prepared on purpose, and that the prince
and his companions sailed on their desperate
voyage. They never returned again !"
I thought as much," cried Harry; and
really they deserved to suffer for their folly.
The poor bear had no sense to guide her,-
but for men to be so mad !"
"Suppose," observed the teacher, "that
when the prince first proposed his wild
project, and the courtiers shouted and
applauded his spirit, suppose that one wiser
than the rest had said, 'Nothing shall per-
suade me to go; it is certain ruin. Stop, as
you love your lives I will remain behind,
even if I remain alone !' How would such
a speech have been received, do you think ?"
"I dare say with mocking and jeering."
"Suppose, then," resumed the teacher,
"that this youth, weak and irresolute, had
shrunk from encountering the jests, and said,
THE MAELSTROM. 79
' I know that destruction is before us,-but
I can't bear to be laughed at, as I should be if
I remained behind ;-they would call me silly
and cowardly; I can't stand that, so I will
go.' What would you think of him then ? "
I should think that he really was silly
and cowardly, and deserved to be laughed
at. I would not have gone, had they jested
at me ever so much "
"Oh, my dear boy, trust not your own
weak resolution Sin is like the Maelstrom;
it is a more terrible whirlpool, for it draws
sinners in, down, down-deeper and deeper;
and if not repented of and forsaken, destroys
both body and soul together. If indeed you
would have had the courage to have with-
stood the persuasions and scoffs of the prince
and his companions, and yet have not now
the courage to resist what you know to be
evil, what is this but confessing that you are
more afraid of being drowned than of offend-
ing your Maker-that you are more afraid
of death than of the judgment to come !"
Harry could say nothing in reply. He
felt the truth of the words of his teacher,
and was humbled and ashamed.
80 THE MAELSTROM.
"My dear young friend," resumed his
teacher, "you have sinned in seeking to
please a few bad boys; you have offended
the great God; oh, cry to him for pardon;
hasten to the Lord Jesus, that this sin and
all your sins may be blotted out. And when
'sinners entice thee again, consent thou not.'
Seek strength and courage from him who is
abletobestow both. Kneel down in your own
little room and say, 'Lord, grant me thy Holy
Spirit, that I may know thy will, and have
strength to do it, for Jesus Christ's sake.'
That is a very short prayer, Harry; do you
think you can remember it? "
"I think so, sir."
"And will you repeat it? "
I will indeed, sir."
"Pray from your heart, my boy, fully
believing that your heavenly Father hears
and will grant your prayer, and you will
never pray in vain; for thus spake the Lord
Jesus Christ himself, whose promise can
never be broken, 'Ask, and it shall be given
you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it
shall be opened unto you'" (Luke xi. 9).
DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS.
"LOSE the window, and come away
from it, dear Rose," said Nancy
Smith to her sister. "Those men
S are swearing dreadfully; it is a sin
even to listen to them."
"They forget that God hears them," re-
plied Rose, quitting the window, "and 'that
every idle word that men shall speak, they
shall give account thereof in the day of
judgment' (Matt. xii. 36).
"I remember, not very long ago," said
Nancy, "having read a story of two girls,
-one kind and good, the other rude and
naughty. To the first it was granted as a
reward, that whenever she spoke pearls and
82 DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS.
diamonds should drop from her mouth; the
other girl was punished for her faults by
scorpions and other reptiles following her
words. I have often thought since, that
there was much meaning in that tale; that
the conversation of the wise is indeed pre-
cious as jewels, while the speech of the
wicked is as scorpions."
"Yes," said Rose; "the words of those
bad men will sting them like scorpions at
the last day."
"Oh, Rose, let us not judge them, but
rather judge ourselves. Not one of us but
has sinned daily, again and again, with our
"I do not see that, Nancy," answered
Rose. "I am quite sure that I never
No; you would tremble to do that when
you know the command, 'Above all things,
my brethren, swear not'" (James v. 12).
"And I never tell a lie."
"No; for you have been taught that
heaven is closed to those whose lips speak
falsehood : 'And there shall in no wise enter
into it anything that defileth, neither what-
DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS. 83
soever worketh abomination, or maketh a
lie' (Rev. xxi. 27). And yet, dear Rose,
were an angel to mark down every day all
the words that you utter, you would find
there was sin in the page."
"I doubt that," said Rose; "not if I
were on my guard. Let us try now; will
you to-morrow, only to-morrow, mark down
every wrong word which I say ? I shall
not take up much of your time, I promise
"Well, Rose, I am willing to make the
"Here, then, is a pencil and a piece of
"It is a very small piece, Rose," said
"Quite large enough, I am sure, for one
day. Besides, you will see so little of me
to-morrow; if the day is fine, uncle has pro-
mised to call in his open cart, and take me
to see the school-f6te in the town. There is
to be a band, and such fine doings! I do
so hope that the weather will be bright!
Do you think there will be no rain to-
morrow, Nancy ?"
84 DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS.
"I cannot tell. The sun set in a bank
of cloud; but I hope the day may be
The first thought of Rose, as she opened
her eyes on the following morning, was, "I
hope the weather is fine But even before
she reached the window, hope was changed
into disappointment, as she heard the sound
of the pattering rain. She looked out; the
whole sky appeared leaden and dull, while
the heavy shower fell as though it never
How provoking-how very provoking! "
cried Rose. "It is always so; whenever
one wishes the day to be fine, down comes
the tiresome rain! "
Impatient, foolish, unjust words. They
were noted down.
Nancy and Rose dressed in silence, the
younger sister repeatedly glancing at the
window, and always with a look of vexation.
In their little parlour they met their brother
"What glorious rain!" cried the boy.
"It will make all my seeds spring up twice
DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS. 85
"Who cares for your seeds? It will
spoil the f6te," said Rose impatiently.
Ungenerous, selfish words. They were
"Poor Rose !" laughed David, "she has
lost an opportunity of sporting her fine new
"You are a saucy, provoking boy!" cried
Rose, turning to the window;" I do not care
a straw for all the ribbons in the world."
Exaggerated words. They were noted
"Oh, there's no use watching the sky,"
said David; "you had better take to mend-
ing my stockings. There's rain enough in
that cloud to last till this time to-morrow.
You may say good-bye to the f6te at once."
Be silent with your nonsense, will you? "
exclaimed the irritated Rose; but David
chose to talk on.
"The school-children will wish to change
their garlands for umbrellas, as they march
to church with their dripping banners. I
wish I were at .he town just to see them!"
"I wish that you were anywhere but
here, selfish, tormenting boy," cried Rose,
86 DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS.
li, ; i ,' '
door behind her.
Angry words. They were noted down.
In a short time Rose returned; David
had left the house. It was the custom of
Rose to read aloud from the Bible to her
sister every morning, and afterwards to sing
a hymn. She now seated herself opposite
DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS. 87
to the window, carelessly opened her book,
and after every hurried verse her eye glanced
out into the fields, to see if the rain were
beginning to abate. So, when she sang her
hymn, while the name of her Lord was on
her lips, and she sang of his cross and suffer-
ings, her eye was ever wandering, and her
manner showed but too plainly that her heart
was far otherwise engaged. Was not such
mere lip-service a mocking of religion ? It
was noted down.
A few minutes afterwards there was a tap
at the door, and Bell Marks appeared, shook
the wet from her shining umbrella, rubbed
her shoes on the mat, shook hands with the
sisters, and sat down.
Why, Bell, what brings you through
such pelting rain ?" inquired Nancy.
I thought I'd stop here a few minutes for
shelter. I'm on my way to Farmer Green's
to know if it's true that Sally's turned off."
"I dare say that it's true enough," said
Rose. I only wonder that they've let her
stay so long. I cannot bear that girl."
"Nor I," replied Bell; "she's so proud."
"And so selfish," exclaimed Rose.
88 DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS.
I wonder what they have turned her off
for though," said Nancy; "that's what I
want to know."
I dare say," answered Rose, "that she
has helped herself in the dairy, Mrs. Green
found her cream running short; or- Why,
Nancy! what are you doing ?" added she,
suddenly turning round towards her sister.
"There is no more room on my paper,"
said Nancy, quietly laying down the pencil.
As soon as Bell had departed, Rose took
up the paper with a blushing cheek, and
read the record of her "idle words."
0 Nancy! she cried, "it is not yet ten
o'clock, and all this is written down against
me. If I must give account for every idle
word spoken in all the years that I have lived
and may yet live, where, where shall I be on
the day of judgment? Is there punishment
for every sinful speech, do you think, Nancy ?"
"The Lord Jesus has said so. 'By thy
words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words
thou shalt be condemned'" (Matt. xii. 37).
"Then what will become of me?" cried
poor Rose. I shall never be able to stand
DIAMONDS AND SCORPIONS. 89
"No poor sinful mortal ever could," re-
plied Nancy. "'If thou, Lord, shouldest
mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
But there is forgiveness with thee' (Ps. cxxx.
2, 3). This is your only hope-forgiveness.
And you know through whom to seek it."
"Through the Lord Jesus Christ."
"Yes; for him hath God exalted.... to
give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness
"Then, need I not fear ?" inquired Rose.
"Not if you are resting your hopes upon
him, and striving in his strength to overcome
sin. But, Rose, if you are one of Christ's
children, you will strive, you will keep a
watch over your lips. You will say, like
King David in the 39th Psalm, 'I will take
heed to my ways, that I sin not with my
tongue: I will keep my mouth with a
"Ah, Nancy, I feel now how difficult it
is to do so; the scorpions seem to come so
much more readily than the diamonds!"
"Pray and persevere," replied Nancy.
Reader let this be our motto, Pray and
THE FOUR WISHES.
" HAT are 'you playing at? asked
Ella Claremont, as she turned
S from the sick-bed of a farmer's
wife whom she had been visiting,
and approached the window,
where four children were quietly amusing
themselves with some small pieces of paper.
Oh, miss, we are only playing at wishes,"
said Louisa. "We have written each our
chief wish on a slip of paper, and now we
are going to draw and read them."
"May I draw and read them?" asked
"Oh, certainly! Make room for Miss
Claremont," cried William, jumping up; and
THE FOUR WISHES. 91
-J i .'
ELLA AND THE CHILDREN.
"in a minute she was in the midst of their
Ella took the little basket which contained
the slips, and opening the first, read aloud:
"I wish to be rich and great, and ride in a
carriage and four!"
That's yours, I know," whispered Robert
That was like the wish of Cardinal Wol-
sey, who lived more than two hundred years
ago," said Ella. "He wished to be rich
and great, and rich and great he became.
92 THE FOUR WISHES.
He was the favourite of the king, who loaded
him with wealth. He had splendid palaces,
trains of attendants-eight hundred servants!
as I have read."
"Eight hundred servants !" cried all the
children in astonishment; "why, I do not
believe that the queen has half so many."
Silk and gold shone even upon the trap-
pings of his horses," replied Miss Claremont.
"Well," said William, "to my mind he
was a very happy man! "
"Mark the end," replied the lady. "Men
grew envious, and hated him; the king
began to think him too rich for a subject;
the king, whose favour had raised him so
high, stripped him of his wealth, and dis-
graced him! Cardinal Woisey died, his
death probably hastened by a broken heart;
and what were some of the last words of
this remarkable man? 'Had I but served
my God as faithfully as I served my king,
he would not have left me in my old age,
gray-headed, to my enemies!' O my dear
children, 'lay not up for yourselves treasures
upon earth, where moth and rust doth cor-
rupt, and where thieves break through and
THE FOUR WISHES. 93
steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth cor-
rupt, and where thieves do not break through
nor steal : for where your treasure is, there
will your heart be also'" (Matt. vi. 19-21).
Ella then opened the next slip and read:
"I wish to be clever and famous!"
"Though it is wrong to wish to be very
rich," said Martin, there is no harm in wish-
ing to be very, very clever, is there, miss? "
Martin was the quickest boy at school,
and very proud of his learning.
"All depends," replied Miss Claremont,
" on the use made of the talent. It may be
"a blessing-it may be a snare. There was
"a French writer, whose name was Voltaire,
who was very clever, and is still very famous.
His works have spread through different
nations of Europe; kings have read and
admired them; they are read and admired
to this day! "
"What a glorious thing for him !" cried
I believe," said the lady, "that, could
he speak now, he would wish that his right
hand had been cut off ere it had been
94 THE FOUR WISHES.
employed in writing; that he had been
an ignorant ploughboy-a senseless idiot-
rather than a writer and a wit! You look
surprised at my words, but you will be so
no longer when I tell you that he employed
his talents against the very God that gave
them-that he dared to write profanely of
the Lord! The evil that Voltaire did by his
works extended beyond his own life!"
That is dreadful to think of," said Louisa.
"And what was his end?" resumed Ella.
"So terrible was his anguish on his death-
bed, that I have heard that the nurse who
attended his last moments, when asked to
serve another sick man, asked whether he
were a Christian, for she said that she would
never again endure to witness the horrors of
the death-bed of a man who had denied his
"Certainly his talents were a snare, and
anything but a blessing," observed Martin.
" I have read somewhere,-
'To know thyself, and thy God to know,
This is true wisdom's sum below;
With it, the weakest child is wise,
The sage, without it, in darkness dies!'"
The lady added, "' The fear of the Lord is
THE FOUR WISHES. 95
the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge
of the Holy is understanding'" (Prov. ix. 10).
On the next slip of paper was written, "I
wish to be beautiful and admired! "
The boys laughed, and looked at Louisa;
she coloured, and seemed abashed.
"You have written," said Ella kindly,
"what many girls have thought. The wish has
brought thousands into folly, and fine dress-
ing and trouble, I fear. We read in history
of a young lady, named Anne Boleyn, who
was very lovely, and very much admired;
her beauty raised her even to be a queen "
"Was she not happy then?" asked Robert.
"Far from it; she was so miserable that
she must have wished herself a milk-maid
rather than Queen of England Her hus-
band grew tired of her! Her actions were
watched; she was slandered; she was ac-
cused; and what was the end? She had to
lay her beautiful head on the block, and die
a violent death, in the prime of her days! "
"Poor lady !" exclaimed Louisa. "But
should we never wish to be beautiful ?"
"Yes, my child; there is a beauty which
we may desire-which we may pray for; it
96 THE FOUR WISHES.
is loveliness like that of the angels, but the
plainest mortal may possess it. 'Oh, wor-
ship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!'
(Ps. xcvi. 9). And there is an ornament
which can make the most homely more than
fair-' the ornament of a meek and quiet
spirit, which is in the sight of God of great
price '" (1 Pet. iii. 4).
Now for the last slip of paper," cried the
"Iwish to be great and glorious!" read Ella.
Can you tell us of any one," said Robert,
"who had that wish granted and yet was
unhappy ? "
I could tell you of many. Look at Na-
poleon Buonaparte, my boy. He won battle
after battle-conquered nation after nation
-rose higher and higher, till he beheld
himself emperor of a mighty realm, with
half Europe trembling at his feet? His was
called a path of glory, but it was a path of
blood. And what was the end? The ambi-
tion which had led to his triumphs led also
to his fall! He lingered out the remains of
his weary life a prisoner in a rocky island,
with time to think over what he had been,
THE FOUR WISHES. 97
and what he had done-the glories which
he had lost, and the terrible price of guilt
which he had paid for them! "
"Yet I cannot help wishing for glory!"
"Wish for it, my boy-seek for it; but
let it be no mere earthly glory-glory which
must fade away. You need not look far for
opportunities of winning it. Look within.
' He that is slow to anger is better than the
mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than
he that taketh a city' (Prov. xvi. 32). And
look without. 'He that converteth the
sinner from the error of his way shall save
a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude
of sins' (James v. 20). What glory is that!
Thus yielding yourself to God, and bringing
others to him, the prize of victory is before
you-the 'far more exceeding and eternal
weight of glory,' offered by him who says,
'Be thou faithful unto death, and I will
give thee a crown of life.' "
One good thing is certain," said William;
"to every one of us may be granted the
wishes of the whole four, provided what we
seek is not earthly, but heavenly."
98 THE FOUR WISHES.
"Yes," replied Ella; "if you seek for
these heavenly riches- wisdom, beauty, and
glory-by faith in and by prayer to the
merciful Saviour, Jesus Christ. Through
his death alone can we hope for anything.
'For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your
sakes he became poor, that ye through his
poverty might be rich'" (2 Cor. viii. 9).
"I wish," said Louisa, "that you would
teach us how to pray for them."
"Willingly, my child; let us come to the
bedside of your mother, kneel down together,
and I will conclude my visit by prayer."
0 God, who hast prepared for them that
love thee such good things as pass man's un-
derstanding, grant unto us heavenly riches,
which will never be exhausted; wisdom,
which will lead us to thee; the beauty of
holiness here, and eternal glory in the world
to come; for the sake of him who died for
us, Christ our Lord. Amen."