• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Chapter I: Leaving home
 Chapter II: The first evening from...
 Chapter III: Daily life at the...
 Chapter IV: The way to be...
 Chapter V: Strength for daily...
 Chapter VI: Sunday at the...
 Chapter VII: The return home
 Back Cover






Title: Annie Lyon, or, The secret of a happy home
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055078/00001
 Material Information
Title: Annie Lyon, or, The secret of a happy home
Alternate Title: Secret of a happy home
Physical Description: 80 p. : ill. ; 13 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Jackson, Mason, 1819-1903 ( Engraver )
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: T. Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication: London ;
Edinburgh
Publication Date: 1870
 Subjects
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Diseases -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Country life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Happiness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1870
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
 Notes
General Note: Illustration engraved by M. Jackson.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055078
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002446031
notis - AMF1274
oclc - 56903677

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter I: Leaving home
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Chapter II: The first evening from home
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Chapter III: Daily life at the parsonage
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Chapter IV: The way to be happy
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Chapter V: Strength for daily duty
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    Chapter VI: Sunday at the parsonage
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    Chapter VII: The return home
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text





ANNIE LYON;


OR,


THE SECRET OF A HAPPY HOME.


LONDON:
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW ;
RDINBURGH; AND NIW YORK.
MI)CCCLXX.













ANNIE LYON.



CHAPTER I.

LEAVING HOME.

" COME and take one more walk in the
garden with me, Annie, before the
prayer-bell rings; the old trees look so
lovely in the moonlight, and I have not
said nearly all I wished. This time to-
morrow you will be at Melcombe, and I
shall be thinking of the warm welcome
they will all give you. I am so glad you
are going to see my idea of a clergy-
man's home."
"I wish you could come with me,






6 LEAVING HOME.
Jessie;'I feel so weak and foolish, that
the thought of staying in a strange
house is anything but pleasant, and you
have been so gentle to me all through
my illness, and especially the last few
weeks, that I shall miss you dreadfully.
I have been so ungrateful and fretful,
dear Jessie, lately; say you forgive me
once more."
With all my heart I do, but I shall
make one condition, that you will not
brood over the past any more; we both
know how much of it was caused by
weakness, and I am quite sure that a
month with those dear ones at the par-
sonage will remove most of the feel-
ings which have troubled you since the
fever. But the best comfort in such
thoughts, dear Annie, is the assurance,
'Thou wilt cast all their sins into the
depths of the sea.' We don't want to
rake them up again, do we ?-if our
God forgets them, we may."





LEAVING HOME. 7

Annie's heart was too full to give
any answer in words; putting her arm
round her sister, they walked across
the lawn till the bell summoned them
to prayers.
Jessie and Annie Lyon were the
daughters of a medical man in a large
manufacturing town. A few months
before our story begins, a violent fever
had broken out in the neighbourhood,
and Annie, after nursing an old servant
through a severe attack of it, was
seized by it, and for some weeks her
life was in great danger. When at last
her father's skilful treatment, and her
sister's tender nursing were blessed to
the removal of the fever, her extreme
weakness and depression made them
gladly accept an invitation from an
uncle in the country. Often during
Annie's illness had Mr. Lyon thought
of the mother's gentle care that his
children would never know, and of the





LEAVING HOME.


sorrow which had shaded their home
when Annie was a child of three; and
if anything could'supply her soothing
influence, it would be the affectionate
sympathy of their aged grandmother
whose home had been for many years
at Melcombe Parsonage, with her
married daughter, Mrs. Burney.
There were many reasons why this
visit was looked forward to with much
pleasure by Mr. Lyon and Jessie.
Anna was a very-warm hearted child,
and a stranger might have thought her
open manner and quick response to
every mark of affection proofs of a very
tractable and easy disposition; but
those who knew her in the only place
where character is -truly known, at
home, saw beneath this warmth of
manner a peculiarly sensitive mind,
and one that at the critical age of
fifteen seemed especially to need a
mother's tenderness. Jessie was only





LEAVING HOME. 9

two years older, and had not yet dis-
covered the secret of a sister's influence
to be sympathy without the least as-
sumption of authority.
SThe sun was shining brightly in the
cheerful little breakfast-room when the
sisters came down to the early meal the
next morning. Mr. Lyon and his son
Charles were already seated, and the
travelling-bag -well furnished with an
interesting -book and a bottle of Eau de
Cologne, showed that Annie's comfort
had been considered.
"Well, Charlie, my boy, we shall ex-
pect full particulars of the journey to-
morrow. I can trust you to take all
proper care of Annie; what does she
say to her escort?"
"I am quite satisfied with it, papa;
Charlie has the gift of arranging
cushions, and making fidgety people
comfortable; I will let you know how
I get to the end of my journey and you





10 LEAVING HOME.
will tell me everything that concerns
you and dear Jessie, won't you? I
shall not like to think -of your small
party to-night."
Oh, we shall have plenty to do,
Annie; and the pleasure of hearing your
descriptions when the post comes, and
brings letters from you and Charlie,
will make up for long evenings. Just
fancy that dear fellow at college; good-
bye to sober letters for the next month,
say I."
I shall expect a grave lecture, Miss
Jessie, every day from you, so mind
you don't disappoint me; but, Annie,
here is the cab, so rush for your cloak,
bonnet, boxes, umbrella, parasol, and
other little packages indispensable to
ladies' luggage."
"They are all in the hall," said
Jessie, whose quick eye noticed Annie's
flush, and the tears that would not be
kept back; "while you see them ar-





LEAVING HOME. 11
ranged in the cab we will get ready,
and say good-bye to papa."
"Well, little snow-drop," exclaimed
Mr. Lyon as Annie came for his part-
ing kiss, "so you are going to see if
country air can turn you into a rose.
I expect great things from grand-
mamma's nursing, and Aunt Mary's
good advice, so mind you attend to
both. My love to all, and especially
to Uncle Henry. God bless you, my
child, and send you home again with
fresh health and strength before long.
One kiss to Jessie, and then you must
be off."
Long after the carriage was out of
sight did Jessie stand at the window,
wondering how she should get through
the next few weeks without the sister
who was accustomed to share every-
thing with her; rousing herself at last,
she took down her garden hat and
gloves, and was soon pleasantly and






12 LEAVING HOME.

busily occupied in taking cuttings of
some choice flowers for a bedridden
patient of her father's, whose long days
were often brightened by Jessie's
thoughtful visits.





THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME. 13


CHAPTER IL

THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME.

FIvEhours ofrailwaytravelling brought
Charlie and Annie to the quiet little
station where Mr. Burney's chAise was
waiting for them, and very pleasant
was the change from the hot crowded
carriage to the easy, open pony-chaise,
which carried them through shady
lanes, and across a hilly common to the
parsonage. Annie's first view of it
drove away every fear. Through the
trees she could see the children on the
lawn, and hear their merry voices as
they ran round the old walnut stump
where their father and mother were
seated. At the sound of the opening
gate there was a general rush to the
hall door, and when the chaise drove
up, Mr. and Mrs. Burney were already





14 THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME.
in the porch, to receive the travellers
with the cordial welcome so peculiarly
their own.
Now, my children," said Mrs. Bur-
ney after the first greetings were over,
"I must come to the rescue, and let
Annie have a little breathing time up
stairs. Come, dear, and you shall have
a quiet rest in your room before tea. I
shall try and supply the place of your
own good nurse as far as I can."
In a few minutes Annie was upon
the sofa, and if anything could make
her forget the noise and whirl of the
express, certainly it would be that cool
sound of the wind stirring the aspen
leaves, and the water rippling over the
stones in the trout stream at the bot-
tom of the garden. But sweeter and
more soothing than either of these
sounds were the tones of her aunt's
voice as she leant over Annie, and
gently asked about Mr. Lyon and Jessie,





THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME. 15
and the little home news that Annie
liked- so much to tell. Before they
were summoned down stairs she had
time to indulge in a little ecstasy at the
view from her window, the delicious
climbing rose covered with flowers,
some of which she could reach, the
beds on the lawn below filled with
bright summer flowers, and just beyond,
the grey church tower peeping through
the trees.
"I am ready now, Aunt, Mary,"
said Annie; "thank you very much for
this rest, it has taken away my head-
ache. Shall I see grandmamma this
evening ? "
Oh yes," replied Mrs. Burney;
lshe is looking forward with great
pleasure to seeing you and Charlie
once more; you know she loves to trace
your dear mother's face and character
in each of you, and to watch the in-
creased resemblance year by year.





16 THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME.
Dear mother," she added, as they en-
tered the room where the family had
gathered for tea, "I have brought you
the tired child at last; we went up for
a little rest before our noisy meal."
Quite right, quite right," answered
Mrs. Wylie, as she took Annie's hand,
and kissed her affectionately. "You
have had a long journey, my child, and
must have a good rest to-night; we will
all have compassion upon you, and
make Charles the spokesman this even-
ing."
While Annie sat quietly listening to
the cheerful voices of her cousins, she
had time to examine their faces and
learn something of each, and to wonder
at the gentle way in which quick or
hasty words were turned aside by her
uncle's ready answers or her aunt's
smile. Just opposite to her was Agnes,
the merriest of the merry; her bright
face seemed to have grown round by
a5)





THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME. 17

laughing. Annie thought she should
like her the best, and she looked about
a year younger than herself, which
would be very pleasant. Then came
Margaret, who was very quiet and
grave, though every now and then her
demure little speeches made the others
laugh more than ever. Next to her was
Harry, the eldest, who was going to
college with Charles, and on the other
side of Mr. Burney, between Annie and
her brother, was the pet of the family,
little Amy the youngest, a child of
seven. As soon as tea was over, Mrs.
Burney called to her, and whispering a
few words, sent her out of the room;
she very soon returned with a little
book covered with blue paper and or-
namented with a gilt beehive in the
middle. Amy carried it to the window
at which her mother was sitting.
"Well, my little bee," said Mrs.
Burney, as she took the child on her
s(15 2





18 THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME.
knee, and how much honey have you
gathered to-day for our hive ? Tell me
what useful things you have been
doing; let us begin before breakfast."
First of all, mamma, when nurse
had dressed me, I helped her to put the
nursery tidy, and put out her workbox,
and filled the great heavy pin-cushion
with pins, and then I went to you."
Then after breakfast, Amy, what
did you find to do?" asked Mrs. Burney,
as the child stopped in her little history.
Why, I was trying to think,
mamma; I don't recollect anything but
lessons and play," said Amy; and
after diner I was so happy making
baskets with strawberry leaves, that I
did not like to leave off when Agnes
asked me to carry the pudding to
Johnie Millard, and I did not go,
mamma; but I was so sorry afterwards,
when I saw Agnes going all alone with
so much to carry. I thought of the





THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME. 19
little verse you taught me this morn-
ing about our Saviour, 'Even Christ
pleased not himself.' I wish I could
remember those verses in time."
"You will, my child, more and
more if you always tell him when you
feel you have done wrong. That little
voice which makes you know, directly
you forget to please him, is sent on
purpose to help you; and if you listen
to it at once, and ask for his Holy
Spirit's help to do what it tells you, in
a little while it will be easier. Only,
dear Amy, never hush that voice; begin
while you are little to think of it as
God's whisper, to you, when no one
else knows what is in your heart. We
will go and tell our kind Saviour all
about it, and ask him to wash away
that and every other selfish act you
have done to-day. But first let me
mark the book,-a good mark for the
morning, and a blank for the afternoon.





20 THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME.
Now, good night, Cousin Annie and
sisters."
After a kiss from each, the little
one and her mother left the room, and
Annie was left with the rest. She
had been standing a little apart from
them, and so had heard the whispered
conversation with Amy.
How happy you must be," she said
with half a sigh, as Agnes came and
put her arm round her; "Jessie used
often to tell me about Melcombe, but I
never thought it was like this."
"Yes; isn't it lovely, Annie? To-
morrow you must come and see our
gardens, and the little bridge over the
brook at the bottom, and the orchard,
and perhaps in the afternoon mamma
will take us into the school for a treat.
Will you ask, Margaret, if we may go? "
and Agnes skipped across the room to
make her sister look up from her book
and answer.






THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME. 21
Oh, you little teasing child," said
Margaret, with a very amusing look of
resignation, "I thought you were safe
with Annie in the window, and could
find enough to tell her for a long time
to come, and leave me in peace. Well,
I suppose I must submit."
Annie and Agnes burst into a merry
laugh as Margaret laid aside her book,
and with a grave face prepared to
answer a long string of questions.
"I want you to ask mamma to take
us into the school to-morrow, and then
Annie can see our children; will you,
Margaret?" asked Agnes.
"If Annie would like to go. Have
you ever been in a school, Annie ?"
said Margaret, turning to her cousin,
" I think you will like ours. You know
it was built in memory of dear Aunt
Jessie, and it has been such a blessing
to the parish. There was only a dame's
school before, at the other end of the






22 THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME.
village, and the children learned nothing
there. It is so pleasant to see them
coming across the meadow and through
the church-yard every morning; and
now, in these hot days,- when they
have the door open during school time,
we can hear the sound of their voices
as they are learning in the morn-
ing."
"Do you ever teach in the school,
Margaret?" asked Annie, whose inte-
rest in it was roused by its connection
with her mother.
Every Wednesday afternoon Agnes
and I go in to give a lesson in work;
Agnes teaches mending and patching,
and I superintend the darning. How
amused you would be, Annie, to see the
cobbling of the beginners," andMargaret
laughed as the recollection of that day's
work came before her. "Mamma,"
she added, as Mrs. Burney entered the
room, "we have been telling Annie





THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME. 23

about the school; will you let us go in
to-morrow when you are giving the
singing lesson 1"
Certainly, dear, but we must let
Annie get over the fatigue of her
journey before we introduce her to all
our duties and pleasures. Here is papa
coming with the boys from the garden;
run and ask him, Margaret, if we may
have prayers earlier to-night. I shall
write to Jessie by the early post, and
tell her, dear Annie, that you are safe
here, and shall be well taken care
of."
Mrs. Burney was here interrupted
by the party from the garden, and soon
after the whole family were assembled
for prayers, excepting little Amy.
When Annie went up stairs after-
wards she found her'box unpacked and
its contents carefully placed in the
wardrobe, and then remembered that
Agnes had suddenly disappeared while





24 THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME.
she and Margaret were talking, and
must have acted the good fairy's part.
Everything she had noticed that even-
ing made Annie wonder at the secret
of her cousins' happy home; she could
see in one evening the difference be-
tween their quiet rest in each other
and the unsettled, irritable feeling which
she knew often betrayed itself in her/
looks and words at Bridport.
How earnestly she prayed that night
that she might return from them to re-
pay her sister's unwearied patience
with more unselfish love, and to shed
more brightness in her home by daily
and hourly acts of self-denying, self-
forgetful considerations of those around
her! What a difference there would
be in many English homes if each one
felt responsible to God for the talent of
secret influence, the irresistible power
of a life of self- enouncing love;" and
what fresh springs of joy would be





THE FIRST EVENING FROM HOME. 25

found in the humblest and most shaded
home if each one sought to be filled
with the source of all true loving ser-
vice, the love of Christ!"





26 DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE.



CHAPTER III.

DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE.

ANNIE'S sound slumbers were scarcely
over the next morning when she heard
a gentle knock at the door, and in
answer to her come in," her aunt
quietly walked to the bedside, and with
a bright smile laid on the bed a half-
blown rosebud still wet with dew.
God bless you, my child," she said,
as Annie sat up to put her arms round
her aunt's neck, and make this morn-
ing hour as refreshing to your spirit as
it is to the flowers. I must give you,
as I do my children, a verse to begin
the day with,-' All my fresh springs
shall be in thee.' Are you rested,
dear; or shall I give you a longer time
this morning?"
Oh no, thank you, aunt, I should





DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE. 27

like to be down to breakfast. I want
to do just as you do, and learn a great
deal while I am here."
Well, then, you may come into my
room when the bell rings; we all meet
together for a quarter of an hour before
we go down stairs," said Mrs. Burney,
as she left the room.
Annie was soon dressed, and joining
her cousins, found herself seated by her
aunt. The lesson that morning was
on St. Luke xii. 48, "To whomsoever
much is given, of him shall be much
required;" and Mrs. Burney dwelt
much on the feeling of gratitude that
should lead them to spend every gift
of time, temper, and knowledge in the
service of- the Master who intrusted
them to their care. "And remember,"
she added, when you are tempted to
be selfish in little things, 'that he that
is unjust in the least is unjust also in
much.' Think what it cost your Master





28 DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE.
to make you his free servant, and thank
him by using all you have cheerfully
and entirely in his service. And now,
my children," continued Mrs. Burney
after a few moments' silence, "let us
see what our work for to-day is. Are
there any of yesterday's duties un-
finished?"
Yes, mamma," answered Agnes
with a little hesitation, "I forgot to
copy the list of books papa gave me.
I put it away when we went out, and
thought no more of it in the evening,
and I cannot recollect where it is
now."
"You must look for it carefully,"
said Mrs. Burney, "after breakfast,
and make it the first business of the
morning. I shall be so glad, my child,
when I see you more conscientious in
these things. Whatever is given you
to do make a point of doing it directly;
our morning's lesson will help you, if





DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE. 29
you think of it, as the day passes on.
This is your day for walking with
grandmamma; and, Margaret, you will
have Amy's lessons; then there are
the school hymns to be sorted, and in
the afternoon Annie is going with us to
the practising."
After thus reminding them of their
duties Mrs. Burney dismissed her chil-
dren, and they were soon seated at the
breakfast table. A vase of fresh flowers
was already on it, little Amy's daily
welcome for her father, and he never
forgot to acknowledge it in some words
of love and wisdom, which were stored
up in her memory as great treasures.
If any one wishes for a bright picture
let him peep in at the door of the break-
fast-room at Melcombe. There, at the
head of the table, sits Mr. Burney, his
face expressing that holy peace which
only hours of communion with God
can give, and as he gives to each mem-





30 DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE.

her of his family his morning blessing,
his eye rests for a moment upon them
with a look that seems to read their
thoughts, and yet there is such love in
it that not one shrinks from his gaze.
And at his side in the arm-chair is Mrs.
Wylie, the very model of an old lady,
her snowy hair giving a softened ex-
pression to the high forehead and dark
eyes, that at the age of seventy still
retain their brightness. She has a
cheerful greeting for her grandchildren,
as one by one they bent over her chair
for her kiss. Then at the other end
of the room is the mother of the family,
whose heart seems almost too full as
she looks down the line of happy faces,
and at last meets her husband's answer-
ing smile of gratitude to the Giver of
all.
Harry," said Mr. Burney, as they
prepared to leave the room, "I want
you to walk over to the town and order





DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE. 31
those new pictures we marked in the
list the other day. You can take
Charlie and show him all there is to
be seen in Leyton, only take care to
be back at five; and ask mamma if she
has any commissions before you start.
If you can find any orchis roots in the
woods I should be very glad of them
for the shrubbery."
The boys started with a long list of
purchases to be made. An expedition
to Leyton was always a great event, as
there were no shops in the village of
Melcombe, and Mrs. Burney was glad
to get a fresh supply of articles for the
house and parish store-room.
When all the party had dispersed to
their several employment, Mrs. Wylie
called Annie to her, and asked her to
come and read with her.
"I shall get you to be my daily
reader, my dear," said she, as she took
Annie's arm, and walked into the sunny





32 DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE.
room appropriated to her use; "and we
can have some pleasant chats together,
as Jessie and I had last summer. Al-
most everything in my room has an old
story attached to it; and many happy
hours we have spent in talking over
old times connected with your dear
mother."
Mrs. Wylie's room was a most tempt-
ing place for young people; in the
corner, by the high backed carved oak
chair in which she always sat, was her
small round table, and on it were a
large Bible and prayer-book, and a
book of hymns. On the floor at her
side was the large basket, generally
filled with flannel or print for clothing,
and over it on the wall hung several
old fashioned portraits of great value to
her, as they recalled days long past.
But one of the most remarkable things
in the room was a beautiful little com-
pass; it was in a leather box and could






DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE. 33

be opened or not as desired. No one
ever saw it closed when Mrs. Wylie
was in her room; every morning as she
seated herself in the great chair to en-
joy her hour of reading, the compass
was taken from a drawer in the table,
the well-worn case carefully opened,
and laid where she could see it. Annie
longed to ask some questions about it,
but her grandmother's look, as she laid
it before her, checked them. After the
first morning she learned to look for-
ward to the time in this room as the
greatest pleasure of the day, and many
gentle words of truth heard then Annie
gratefully remembered in after years.
There is something in the little casual
sayings of an aged Christian that no
other teaching can convey, and Annie
felt this. Her grandmother's expres-
sions of quiet hope, when anything led
her to speak of the future, and her sub-
dued humility when she referred
(a 3





31 DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE.
to the past, taught Annie more than any
more direct efforts would have done,
that the secret of a Christian's rest
is trust in One, who amid the dangers
and trials of this life is still the same
yesterday, to-day, and for ever." And
these quiet lessons were just what she
needed in the excitable andyetweakened
state she was in after the fever. Mrs.
Burney saw and rejoiced in their sooth-
ing effect, and wisely left Annie much
with her aged mother during the first
week of her visit. The extreme sen-
sitiveness which often led to irritability
was partly physical, and partly, Mrs.
Burney soon discovered, the results of
disregarding a naturally tender con-
science. Often when Margaret and
Agnes saw only great hastiness of
temper, their mother detected something
deeper, and anxiously watched the sharp
struggle within of right and wrong, and
at those times she longed to gain a





DAILY LIFE AT THE PARSONAGE. 35
mother's place in Annie's heart, and
throw all the weight, which such in-
fluence would give, on the side of right
and duty, against wrong and inclina-
tion.





3$ THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.


CHAPTER IV.

THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.

ANNIE had not been many days at the
parsonage before she discovered one
secret of the brightness which seemed
to fill it; every one in the house seemed
to live in remembrance of the principle
her aunt had taught at the first Bible
lesson she attended. Even little Amy
spent her days as if she knew there was
work for to do-work given by One
who was her master and only Saviour,
and to be done always in his presence.
About a week had passed since
Annie's arrival, when Mr. Burney
came in one morning from his visits,
looking grave and sad; he scarcely
touched his dinner, and seemed to find
no pleasure in his children's conversa-
tion. My dear," he said, as he met





THE WAY TO BE HAPPY. 37
his wife's look of sympathy, I have
been down to Mrs. Grey's, and found
little Susan much weaker; the doctor
had just left, after telling the poor
woman that she will, humanly speak-
ing, be bedridden for life. You know
what a home that is; and I must try
to find some way of lightening this
burden, a heavy one to both mother
and child, but doubly so to the child,
who will have less diversion, and will
be more likely to brood over herself
and her trouble. It struck me as I
came across the meadow, that perhaps
Annie could give up one hour every
other day to read to Susan and cheer
her. Would you like it, Annie? "
A bright flush of pleasure rose on the
child's face as she looked up, and
quickly answered, Oh yes, uncle, I
should be so glad to be any comfort to
her, if you will tell me what to do."
"Very well," repliedMr. Burney, "we





38 THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.
will consider it settled; there are only
two things I wish to say about it, dear:
first, never forget your little suffering
friend in prayer; and next, consider it
a great privilege to be able to brighten
her long days, and never let your plans
interfere with this pleasant duty. Fix
any time you like, and then remember
it is sacred to Him who so graciously
says, 'Inasmuch as ye did it to one of
the least of these, ye did it unto me.' "
The great eagerness with which
Annie would have promised never to
neglect these visits was checked by the
serious, gentle expression of her uncle's
face, and the quiet way in which his
eye rested upon her, as he put his hand
on her head, when they left the room,
and almost whispered, God bless you
to each other, my child."
The next afternoon Mr. Burney and
Annie set out for the first visit. It
was a lovely summer's day, every





THE WAY TO BE HAPPY. 39
creature seemed brimful of joy and
gratitude; and as Annie watched the
swallows skimming over the field,
now coming near enough to let her see
the brilliant blue on their backs, and
now darting up into the clear sky, she
thought of those words often responded
to so heartlessly, "We bless Thee for
our creation," and wondered how she
could so often forget One who thus sur-
rounded her with his love.
"I wish I always lived here, uncle,"
she exclaimed, after some minutes'
silence, in which Mr. Burney seemed
revelling in the beauties around; "it
would be so much easier to remember
right things; I always go wrong at
home, and then when Jessie reminds
me, it makes me angry instead of help-
ing me."
"What would you think of the bees,
Annie," said her uncle, smiling, "if;
when they went to the flowers for





40 THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.

honey, they wished never to get back
to the hive with it, and asked the
flowers to let them live there? Both
bees and flowers would lose their use
very soon; and so it would be with us
if we forget our chosen place of work.
You know, my dear Annie, your home
is chosen for you by the God who made
you, and the Saviour who redeemed
you; and you may be quite sure that
nowhere else is there such a store of
love and joy laid up for you, as there.
The great thing is to learn how to
draw it out, and, believe me, that is the
great art of a Christian's life. I have
seen many homes where God's name is
loved and feared, that do not reflect his
beauty because that secret was not dis-
covered. I have known many sincere
Christians longing for some work to do
for God, and dissatisfied and miserable
because they either have not found it, or
have found more than they can do





THE WAY TO BE HAPPY. 41

rightly; and all the time the work God
had cut out for them, and laid close be-
side them, was neglected. Don't let
your life be like any of these, my child.
I hope you will find much honey to
sweeten and strengthen you in your
stay with us, but mind you carry it all
back to your hive ; remember your
work, for God must begin there, and
while he keeps you in it, is chiefly
there."
They had now reached the cottage;
Mr. Burney put his hand on the gar-
den gate, but before he opened it, he
took Annie's, and pressing it between
his own, added with a smile that made
graver thoughts vanish, "Blessed is he
that hath found his work, let him ask
no other blessedness; that is my motto,
Annie, take it as yours too."
The minister's gentle tap was an-
swered by a tall, unpleasing-looking
woman, whose surly voice contrasted





42 THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.


strangely with his courteous inquiry
after the child.
She's no better at all, sir, and frets
wonderful after the school; it's a sad
thing; the best thing that could happen
would be if she was taken;" and iMrs.
Grey noisily shut the door, and placed
chairs for her visitors.
It must, I am sure, be a heavy trial,
Mrs. Grey," said Mr. Burney, looking
kindly at her; "but try and recollect
what I said to you the other day, that
when things look dark below, we must
lift our eyes and look above for light,
and perhaps by-and-by we shall thank
God more for the clouds that turned
our eyes upward, than for the bright
days when we were satisfied with his
gifts below. Is Susan able to see me
to-day?"
"Yes, sir; she has been looking for
you and talking of your coming; I'll
tell her you are here." Mrs. Grey left





THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.


the room, and Annie looked with dis-
may at the total absence of cleanliness
and comfort, and wondered how she
would have felt in such a place during
her long illness. Mrs. Grey soon re-
turned and led them to Susan's room;
it was small, and the only window was
so covered with dust and cobwebs, that
at first Annie could not distinguish
anything. In a few seconds, however,
she discovered the little low bed on
which the child lay; it was placed so
that she might look out of the window
and catch a glimpse of the school gable,
and the trees by the church gate.
Close by the wall. was another bed;
there were no chairs in the room, but a
Broken table stood within reach of the
little sufferer, and on it was a cracked
jug with a rose just coming into flower.
Two or three books, too, were laid on
it; and half covered by the brown quilt
was her Bible on the bed. The child





44 THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.

was lying on her back, and when
Annie saw her, was looking bright and
rosy, but the colour faded when she
had spoken to Mr. Burney as he sat on
the bed beside her, and there was an
expression of pain on her forehead.
"Well, Susan," said Mr. Burney,
when he had asked how she felt, "I
have brought you a new friend, one who
has promised to come and see you every
other day, if you can bear it, and read
you some of the lessons you would have
if'you were at school. And perhaps
sometimes you will be able to learn
some texts for her. Do you think you
find it more easy to be patient since I
saw you last, Susan ?"
I do try, sir, and sometimes when I.
feel cross and tired with the bustle, and
wish I were well and at school, I ask
God to help me, and then he always
does," said Susan, looking timidly at
Mr. Burney. He answered her with a





THE WAY TO BE HAPPY. 45
smile of encouragement that stayed like
a sunbeam in the room long after he
and Annie left it.
Take this verse to-day, my child, to
think of, 'It is good that a man both
wait and quietly hope for the salvation
oftheLord.' God bless and comfort you."
Susan watched her minister and "the
young lady," from the window, till they
had turned out of the lane, and then
her thoughts went all over their visit
and the promise of many more, till she
felt almost light-hearted again; and
with a grateful sense of the love that
had given such blessings, she took a
pencil and paper from her pillow, and
added to the list of mercies begun at
Mr. Burney's suggestion, My minis-
ter's smile and blessing."
She had scarcely finished writing,
when the sound of voices under the
window made her look up just in time
to give a smile and nod to the school





46 THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.
children, who made a point of coming
down the lane to leave their little friend
a few flowers from their gardens.
Mrs. Grey was not always willing to
let the children come in, and Susan
listened anxiously to the conversation
at the door, and felt almost disposed to
cry when she heard her mother say in
a loud tone, "Yes, yes, I'll tell her;
come, make haste in, Hannah, and get
your bonnet off, I've a great deal of
work for you to do; and Jim, you go
and keep quiet in Susan's room; I can't
have you running up the lane again."
The children came in quickly, and
carried the nosegay to their sister; the
boy stayed behind when Hannah had
put the flowers in water and gone to
help her mother. "Well, Susie, I am
so glad we met Mr. Burney, and he
said he had been to see you; and there
was such a kind lady with him, who
came into the school last week and





THE WAY TO BE HAPPY. 47

gave us each a little book. Did the
afternoon go quicker I" said the child,
getting on the bed to kiss her.
Oh yes, Jemmie, I couldn't believe
it was four when I heard you all com-
ing home; the lady is coming often to
see me; it will be so pleasant; and I
am to learn something for her when I
can. Did you have a new song this
afternoon ? I like to hear all about
the school, and then I think of it when
you and Hannah are there, and some-
times I try to sing," said Susan, looking
up at her brother.
"I think I can -say the new one,
answered Jemmie, and I am sure you
will like it; it made me feel so comfort-
able, only the words, and to-morrow I
shall get up early and go down to the
stream, and try to do what it says; this
is how it begins,-
"' Hurrah for a splash!
Come give me a dash





48 THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.
With the water all clear and cold;
It makes me so bright,
So active and light-
'Tis better than silver or gold.'
"Don't the words go nicely, Susie? I
could scarcely help stamping to them,
only our teacher said before we began
that no little boys were to stamp while
they learned."
"I can say that, I think," said Susan,
and she repeated the verse several times,
till Jemmie said she was perfect in it;
and then they talked about the new
pictures in the school, and the sick
children that were away, and the kind
messages that the teacher sent to Susan
and all that were ill, till Hannah came
in to say tea was ready, and mother
wanted Jemmie.






STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY.


CHAPTER V.

STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY.

FOR some weeks Annie came regularly
to see Susan; her visits were always a
great comfort. She had so lately been
weak herself, that she knew the value
of little acts of thoughtfulness, and
never came without some flowers, or an
egg saved from breakfast, or a little
milk, and sometimes, as a great treat,
she brought in the basket that -Susan
knew so well, some fresh strawberries
from the parsonage garden. By degrees
Annie had persuaded Mrs. Grey to
make'Susan more comfortable, her bed
was moved to have a better view from
the window, and one day meeting
Hannah on her return from school,
Annie asked her to keep Susan's win-
dow bright and clean, and told her
(15) 4





50 STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY.
how much more cheerful the room
would look. After that no more cob-
webs were ever to be seen in it, and
"the leaves," she said, "seemed al-
most inside the window, they were so
plain now." But after the freshness
of the visits had gone, Annie became
less careful of the hour set apart for
the sick child; she was sometimes late,
and Mr. Burney began to notice it, and
waited for an opportunity to speak to
her. One Saturday afternoon Agnes
and Amy asked Annie to let them walk
with her part of the way, and they all
started together. They had not gone
far when Amy spied a hedgehog and
ran to find its hole; Annie and Agnes
followed slowly, talking over everything
that interested them. The day was hot,
and as they strolled across the meadow
neither of them noticed how they
had wandered from the path. Once or
twice Annie said she thought it must





STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY. 51
be getting past her time for Susan, but
Agnes assured her it was quite early,
and they could go through the wood.
When they reached the gate leading to
it, Amy was nowhere to be seen, and
much time was spent in running back
for her; then Agnes missed the path,
and after a long search for it they
found themselves in the cart track lead-
ing to Leyton, two miles from Mrs.
Grey's cottage. Annie was very un-
easy; she knew it would be impossible
to get there, and be back in time for
tea, and the thought of disappointing
Susan and breaking her promise for no
reason was most painful. Agnes saw
her distress, and tried to comfort her,
"Never mind, Annie, it was not your
fault, I ought to have known the way,
and Susan will quite understand when
you see her and explain it; you have
never missed her before."
But Annie was not so easily quieted,





52 STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY.
and very sorrowfully and silently she
walked by her cousin's side till they
reached the house. They were just in
time for tea, Mrs. Burney and Margaret
were telling Mrs. Wylie of their lovely
afternoon's drive, and no one at first
noticed Annie's unusual stillness. After
a few minutes Mrs. Burney became
conscious of it, and to divert her
thoughts, said, "Well, Annie, and how
was your little patient ? "
Annie coloured deeply, and Agnes
said quickly, "Why, mamma, it was my
fault that she did not go;. I thought
we could go through the wood, and we
lost our way."
Mr. Burney looked up, and would
have spoken, but one glance at his
niece's face convinced him that no
words of his were needed. Perhaps
nothing showed his discernment of
character so much as his different ways
of giving reproof. Mrs. Burney looked






STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY. 53

very grave as she lingered behind to
speak to Amy. Annie came up to
her. "I am so sorry, aunt," she said,
as Mrs. Burney turned to her; "it was
very wrong, because something told me
I had better go straight to Susan; and
leave the walk till afterwards." She
stopped in great distress.
"Well, dear," said her aunt very
gently, "I will not say any more to
you now, your own conscience will
tell you much more strongly than I
could the misery of neglecting duty
for pleasure, and perhaps you will have
more reason to thank God for this
evening's sorrow than for many other
brighter times. It is a great mercy,
dear Annie, when the monitor within
is the first to speak and the most
powerful. Now, let us go into the
drawing-room and sit with grand-
mamma."
In the other room Agnes soon joined






54 'STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY.
them: she looked very quiet and
thoughtful, and in answer to her mo-
ther's inquiry, said she had been in the
study. And, grandmamma," she
added, "my father wished me to ask if
you would tell me the history of your
little compass."
"Certainly, my dear," replied Mrs.
Wylie, if your father thinks it will be
a useful one; fifty years have passed
since that time, but the lessons it taught
are still fresh in my memory; and pain-
ful as they are, I would gladly tell
them if they would prove useful to my
grandchildren, or would save them
from such experience.
"When I was your age, Agnes, I
was the only living child in a family of
ten; my brothers and sisters died young;
not one lived to be more than six years
of age. The effect of such repeated
trials upon my parents was very differ-
ent. My mother seemed to concentrate






STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY. 55

all her love upon me; she could not
bear to see me thwarted, and never
denied me any pleasure. My father
was very stern and grave; I sometimes
fancied the sight of me was painful to
him, because it reminded him of the
children he had lost. The consequence
was, I shunned him, and sought my
pleasure in my mother's love, and the
friendship of some I dearly loved, girls
of my own age. I was naturally very
impulsive, and should often have been
led into serious forgetfulness of home,
if fear of my father's displeasure had
not checked me. Even this was not
always sufficient. There was one
friend I loved especially; her gentle
sympathy with my mother in her hours
of sorrow made her doubly valued,
and her very keen sense of right and
wrong was a great blessing to me.
One day I was sent by my mother
with a message to a lady in great





56 STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY.
trouble; she wanted my mother's ad-
vice, but could not come to her alone,
and could only come at a specified time.
I was to bring her back with me. It
was a cool spring evening, and on my
way I went into my friend's house for
a shawl; I found her on the sofa alone,
and was tempted to stay; the time
passed very quickly, though not with-
out some pricks from within; once or
twice I said I must go, but as my
friend knew nothing of my errand, she
easily persuaded me to stay.
"An hour passed, and as the clock
struck I started up in haste and left
the house; in vain I tried to make up
for lost time. When I reached the
place of my destination, it was too late;
the lady was unable to accompany me.
I scarcely know how I reached home;
the fear of my father's look, the anguish
lest I should be tempted to deceive,
almost took away my strength. But





STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY. 57

God in his mercy helped me. My
mother was alone; I told her exactly
all, with such feelings as I hope you
may never know, and her sad look of
pity for me I shall never forget. The
next morning a letter from the lady
brought the news of some family afflic-
tion which she hoped my mother's
counsel might at least have mitigated.
I was completely overcome with the
tidings. All that day I could do no-
thing; I sat alone till my thoughts
seemed to burn into my very heart,
and then I went into the garden. I
could not bear to be with any one, lest
the subject should be alluded to. In
this miserable way the day passed. In
the evening my mother came to my
room; she knocked softly at the door,
and in a voice I could not resist said
she wished to come in. I was sitting
on the bed, holding my throbbing head
in my hands; she came and stroked





58 STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY.
my forehead till her gentle touch broke
through every other feeling, and tears
relieved the burning heat of my brain.
After a few minutes' silence she said,
'Mary, you have thought more than
enough over yesterday; it is past now,
and however great your fault may
have been, it is not too great to be
blotted out by "the blood which
cleanseth from all sin." Every time
you go over it, is like tearing open a
fresh wound; instead of healing, it
weakens you; take this to ponder over,
"I will not remember their sin;" and
when something seems to drag you
down to yourself, keep hold of that
promise-it will be like our Saviour's
look to his erring disciple, full of the
tenderest sorrow for your sin, and the
most complete forgiveness of it. And
now, dear,' she added, 'come into my
room, and let me show you something
I have bought for you.'






STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY. 59
"What a load was taken from my
mind by my mother's words! If she had
suffered all that I had that day, she
could not have more exactly expressed
my feelings, or more entirely met them.
I knew there was forgiveness for sin,
but I had not realized its complete
banishment from God's remembrance.
I followed my mother into her
room; she led me to the open window
where we could hear the birds singing,
and opening a little packet on her table,
put this compass into my hand; her
eyes were filled with tears, as for the
first time that day I met them, but
a sweet smile was on her lip when she
said, 'All we like sheep have gone
astray, we have turned every one to
his own way, and the Lord hath laid
on him the iniquity of us all.' Let
this little compass remind you, dear
Mary, that amid the waverings of our
desires and affections, there is one in-






60 STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY.
fluence and only one strong enough .to
keep us in the right path; our hearts
must be touched with the load-stone of
our Saviour's constraining love, our
eyes fixed on his guiding eye as our
pole-star.'
"I need not add, my dears," con-
tinued Mrs. Wylie after a pause, "that
my mother's gift has been a treasure I
cannot sufficiently value. Often since
that evening has it reminded me of her
wise and tender counsel, and when I
have been tempted to forsake the path
of duty for self indulgence, a glance
at the quivering yet steady compass
has recalled her words, and the truth
they conveyed. God grant its story
may not be unblessed to my grand-
children."
A deep silence fell upon the little
group of listeners when Mrs. Wylie
ceased; the different effect upon each
was closely watched by Mr. Burney,





STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY. 61

who had entered the room unnoticed a
few minutes earlier.
Margaret was working, but the grave
look on her face showed her interest
was not confined to the work before
her. Agnes, seated on a stool at her
mother's feet, could with difficulty re-
strain the tears that had evidently
fallen as she heard her grandmother's
story. And Annie! Mr. Burney was
some moments reading the expression
of her face; one side of it was shaded
by the hand on which it rested; her
eyes were cast down, and her whole
appearance gave the impression of
great sorrow, mingled with quiet, stead-
fast resolve. He seemed to be satisfied
with the result of the story. 0
papa," said little Amy, suddenly looking
up from her mother's shoulder where
her head was nestling, "I am so glad
you have come in, it was such a sad
story, but it is all over now."





62 STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY.
The story is over, Amy," answered
her father, "and perhaps it was not
meant for such a little one as you, but
the lessons we can learn from it do not
end when we have heard them. Before
we ring for prayers I want to read to
you all a piece I have just found in an
old book of extracts, it will come well
after grandmamma's story:-
'I see some Christians whose Life
is laden with Groans and Sighs for
Sinne, and these often fall like a heavie
Weight upon their fellow Travellers,
for there is Sinne enough to make the
Heart sad. But if One who knows
this constant Cause of Sorrow bids us
"rejoice evermore" there must be two
Vaies of looking at Sinne. As I would
not go into a dark and drearie Dungeon
without a Friend to guide me with
his light, soe may I never go down
into those inward Thoughts of the
Heart which are very deep, without





STRENGTH FOR DAILY DUTY. 63

Him who is come a Light into the
World.'"
When Annie said good-night, her
aunt's smile seemed to answer all she
would have said, and though her
uncle's voice was quieter than usual,
she felt he understood her thoughts
and had forgiven her.





64 SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE.



CHAPTER VI.

SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE.

IT is Sunday morning; Annie is sitting
at the window of her room enjoying the
peculiar stillness of the day of rest.
The Bible is open before her at the
chapter she has been learning for her
aunt, Hos. xiv. As she raises her
eyes from the well-known words, it is
evident that she has discovered a fresh
meaning in them, and the look of deep,
calm repose in her face, shows that she
has felt the joy and peace of forgive-
ness, a peace that can never be ex-
pressed in words.
A heavy thunder storm in the night
had cleared the air, and relieved the
extreme sultriness of the preceding day;
and as Annie looked on the flowers
beneath her window and saw them





SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE. 65
freshened into life by the cooling
showers, she could not help repeating to
herself the promise so lately learned, "1
will be as the dew unto Israel,.he shall
grow as the lily." Sundays were al-
ways bright at Melcombe Parsonage;
the problem so difficult to most Chris-
tians, how to make Sunday a happy
day, and yet disconnect it with week-
day sources of recreation, never seemed
to find a place in Mr. and Mrs. Bur-
ney's list of difficulties. Annie had
been with them long enough to look
forward with delight to these days; this
morning was brighter than ever, and
when she went down stairs and heard
her aunt's joyous greeting, "A happy,
holy Sunday to you," repeated with
such a beaming smile to each, she
thought of the words in the Psalm,
S "This is the day the Lord hath blessed,
we will rejoice and be glad in it." As
this is Annie's last Sunday at Mel-
(15) 5





66 SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE.
combe, everything makes a deeper im-
pression than usual; she listens earnestly
to the Psalm her uncle reads at prayers,
the 84th, and wishes every one could
be there to hear him describe the gradual
assembling of willing worshippers de-
scribed in the verse, "They go from
strength to strength, every one of them
in Zion appeareth before God." How at
the great Jewish feasts the men from all
parts of Palestine crowded to Jeru-
salem, and how they rejoiced as, draw-
ing near to the holy city, they fell in
with friends on the same happy errand.
And when Mr. Burney contrasts the
more favoured state of God's people
now, and speaks of the freedom with
which all may enter into his courts,"
Annie feels that she has never rightly
valued it.
At breakfast Mrs. Burney tried to
make her children understand the
meaning of those inspiriting words,





SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE. 67


"The holy Church throughout all the
world doth acknowledge Thee." She
spoke of many dear absent relations
and friends, the circumstances of their
homes, and the different churches in
which they would assemble for the
sacred duties of prayer and praise;
and how in far off lands the number of
Christian worshippers was increasing
as the blessed news of a Saviour was
carried to them by the Messengers of
Peace."
The hour before church was a very
happy one. All the children met with
their Bibles to read to their mother.
This morning they sat in the large bow
window, and after referring to a little
book kept for the purpose, Mrs. Burney
said whose turn it was to sit next to
her and choose the hymn. After that
each one read.a verse of Holy Scrip-
ture, passages being short and selected
by each child in turn. Mrs. Burney





68 SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE.
was gifted with the happy power
of drawing out her children's thoughts,
and leading them to think of the sub-
ject they were talking over. The hour
was ended, when the bell chimed for
service, by a short, earnest prayer, in
which Mrs. Burney remembered each
of the group before her, and their
special wants. This day Annie was
most in her thoughts, as for the last
time they knelt together before the
throne of grace, and many were the
blessings she asked for her on her re-
turn to the home where Mrs. Burney
knew she would miss the experienced
sympathy of an older Christian. With
a hearty kiss of charity the little party
separated to prepare for church. Mel-
combe church was a small one; it was,
however, large enough for the little
country parish for which it was in-
tended, and was always well filled.
Annie had never found so much help





SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE. 69
and comfort in the service as she did
on this Sunday; every one seemed to
join in the responses as if they really
expressed their feelings and wants, and
though Annie's thoughts often wan-
dered in prayer, the voice of her uncle
and those around her recalled them, and
made her remember that she was in the
presence of One who was waiting to
grant her requests and give those bless-
ings she needed. How different would
our service be, how much more full of
blessing to those who use it, if each
one repeated the words and tried with
the Holy Spirit's ever present help to
pray them with the heart!
When the afternoon service was
ended, Annie went to pay her usual
Sunday visit to Susan Grey. Amy was
always her companion at these visits,
and they tried to make the day a happy
one to the little invalid by telling her
all they could remember of the sermon,






70 SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE.
and singing to her the hymns they had
joined in at church, or some of Susan's
favourites, and then Annie left a paper
of Scripture questions for Susan to
answer in the week, and looked over
the answers to the last Sunday's.
This was a pleasant hour to the
three girls; it made them feel that they
all had the same wants and hopes, joys
and sorrows, when they thought of
everlasting life, and the differences in
their earthly lives sank into the place
they should always keep in the Chris-
tian's mind.
Annie and Amy never forgot in after
life the happy hours of Christian inter-
course they spent with the poor suffer-
ing child, and the lessons of patience
and contentment they learned from her;
and Susan was cheered in her lonely
times of pain and weakness by the re-
collection of their sympathy, and the
words so modestly spoken, which often





SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE. 71
threw light upon things that had
puzzled her.
The cousins returned to the parson-
age, and were soon seated at the tea-
table, and Mr. Burney knew, without
asking any questions, that Annie and
Susan had mutually acknowledged and
forgiven the neglect of the day before.
After tea it was the custom at Melcombe
to spend some time in sacred music.
Each member of the family repeated a
hymn, and it was sung by them all.
Mr. Burney was very musical, and his
children inherited his taste and talent,
and very sweet was the sound of their
united voices as they joined in hymns
of praise and love and hope. No one
had discovered Annie's love of music
till she stayed with her uncle; her fond-
ness for it was very peculiar; it seemed
as if nature had given her a most keen
appreciation of beautiful sounds, with-
out the powerofjoining in them herself,





72 SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE.
and very few knew the exquisite pain
of a jarring note, or the thrill of delight
felt by her when she listened to real
harmony-for these were feelings she
could not put into words. How fully
she understood her aunt, when after the
hymns were repeated, and they had
silently enjoyed the peaceful stillness of
the hour, Mrs. Burney spoke of the joy
of that home where every heart and
tongue would be filled with the melody
of sinless love and gratitude, and of the
watchfulness with which we should
look for every discordant string in our
life on earth, and seek to have it daily
tuned by the Spirit of God. Then they
spoke of the common causes of discord,
and the best means of removing and
avoiding them in the Christian's life;
and after thus encouraging their chil-
dren to begin atresh the duties and
struggles of another week, Mr. and
Mrs. Burney rang for evening prayers,





SUNDAY AT THE PARSONAGE. 73

and the happy, happy Sunday," as
little Amy said, "was over."
There must be difficulties in the
Christian arrangement of Sundays, but
who that has enjoyed days like these
at Melcombe will ever lose the feeling
of holy refreshment which a childhood
like Amy's must associate with the day
of rest.





74 TIIE RETURN HOME.


CHAPTER VII.

THE RETURN HOME.

PARTINGS are painful things, and more
easily imagined by those who have left
a place where many happy, helpful days
have been passed, than described. So
we will leave Melcombe before Annie
does, and go back to Bridport to see
how Jessie is prepared to welcome her
long absent sister. Six weeks have
passed since they were together, and
while Annie has been learning much
from the sympathy and experience of
her uncle and aunt, her letters have not
been without a great indirect influence
upon Jessie. At first they. brought
with them a little feeling of vexation,
it was unpleasant to know that Annie
had found something at Melcombe that
helped her more than her sister's society,





THE RETURN HOME. 75
and Jessie could not read her letters
without seeing that a secret chamber in
Annie's heart, never before unlocked,
had now been opened: it made her un-
comfortable. But when these thoughts
had passed, and Jessie looked back up-
on her life with Annie, her naturally
candid and generous mind obliged her
to acknowledge that the cause of this
want of sympathy between them had
rested as much with her as with Annie.
She felt that she had not studied Annie's
tastes and wishes as her mother would
have done, and that many times when
a little gratification of her sister's in-
clinations might [have drawn them
nearer together, and strengthened a
mutual feeling of dependence, she had
found some more pleasant occupation,
and quieted her conscience by saying it
was not good to indulge Annie.
No one would have called Jessie
selfish, and she had never thought her-





76 THE RETURN HOME.
self so; but now, as her memory re-
called little circumstances of daily oc-
currence when Annie was at home, she
saw that she had not gained the in-
fluence she might by a constant practice
of self-denial in unimportant differences
of habit between them. And then she
felt that what her mother would have
done from the natural instinct of mo-
therly love, she must pray and strive
for as an acquired grace; and Jessie
resolved that by God's help Annie
should never again find a want of
sympathy at home.
Many days had passed before she
came to this conclusion, and could rest
in it; and she had to struggle hard
with the feeling that Annie had been
irritable and independent, and that she
must alter before it would be all right
between them. But Jessie knew where
to carry all these conflicting thoughts,
and in her quiet morning and evening





THE RETURN HOME. 77
hours of meditation and prayer, she
learned that Annie would correct her-
self much more quickly from a con-
sistent example of unselfishness, than
from any, amount of good advice.
Jessie was full of the vigorous hopes
always inspired by a prayerful resolu-
tion to begin a right course of action,
when the postman brought a letter in
the well-known hand-writing bearing
the fMelcombe stamp; she opened it
eagerly, for every day she expected the
welcome news that Annie had fixed the
time of her return. This morning she
was not disappointed, Mr. Burney was
coming to town on business, and would
bring Annie as far as their roads were
the same. The letter was written with
a little feeling of sadness at the thought
of leaving such dear friends; but
Jessie's eye rested on the sentence that
showed how Annie longed to see her
again ; for they loved one another





78 THE RETURN HOME.
strongly, as sisters do, in spite of little
misunderstandings.
The day seemed scarcely long enough
for all Jessie's plans; and yet every
now and then, when she stopped in the
midst of the pleasant work of arranging
Annie's room, she thought the evening
would never come. A new and com-
fortable chair had been placed where
Annie spent her hour of reading; an
illuminated text, Jessie's first attempt,
was hung on the wall, one that she
thought would just please her, "In
quietness and confidence shall be your
strength ;" and lastly, a beautiful little
white vase, shaped like a lily and its
leaves, was filled with roses and ver-
bena, and carefully put upon the table.
When everything was completed, and
Jessie had cast a scrutinizing look to
see that all was right, she went down
stairs and stationed herself at the win-
dow to watch for the long absent one.





THE RETURN HOME. 79
At last the welcome sound of wheels
reached her ears, she sprang to the door,
and the sisters were once more together
at home.
The first week was like a dream;
Annie still seemed to be living at Mel-
combe; she could talk of nothing but
her visit there, and Jessie was never
tired of listening, for, amid all Annie's
vivid descriptions, there was not one
wish to return-not one regret that she
had come home. She had learned the
truth of her uncle's words, that the
work God gives his children, and
therefore their greatest joy, are both
found in the homes where he has placed
them. Neither of the sisters learned
this without further struggles; there
were often times when their efforts
seemed useless, or when they gave up
the necessary watchfulness of the "love
that never faileth;" but by degrees the
habit of mutual consideration andcheer-





80 THE RETURN HOME.
ful self-denial was established, and they
learned the lesson that is worth months
of labour to acquire, There's no place
like home," and no love more patient
or forbearing than a sister's.
When Mr. Lyon returned from his
round of visits to the sick and dying, it
was the sight of his daughters' increas-
ing love and confidence in each other,
that more than anything else cheered
his jaded spirits; and when Charles
had gone back to college, it was the re-
membrance of his sisters' practical re-
ligion in their daily intercourse with
one another that effectually silenced
sceptical doubts.
Mr. Burney's motto, so lightly re-
peated to his niece, had by God's bless-
ing, filled her home with brightness:-
"Blessed is he that hath found his
work: let him ask no other blessedness."




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