Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Title Page
 First Sunday: The birth of...
 Second Sunday: Old Simeon
 Third Sunday: The lost child
 Fourth Sunday: The first mirac...
 Fifth Sunday: The leper cleans...
 Sixth Sunday: The tempest
 Seventh Sunday: The tares
 Eighth Sunday: Signs and wonde...
 Ninth Sunday: The races
 Tenth Sunday: The rocks
 Eleventh Sunday: The blind...
 Twelfth Sunday: The stolen...
 Thirteenth Sunday: The prayer...
 Fourteenth Sunday: Who are God's...
 Fifteenth Sunday: Mount Moriah
 Sixteenth Sunday: No cross, no...
 Seventeenth Sunday: The empty...
 Eighteenth Sunday: The baby...
 Nineteenth Sunday: The kind...
 Twentieth Sunday: Papa's journ...
 Twenty-first Sunday: Take care...
 Twenty-second Sunday: The good...
 Twenty-third Sunday: Be charit...
 Twenty-fourth Sunday: The white...
 Twenty-fifth Sunday: Precious...
 Twenty-sixth Sunday: Little...
 Title Page
 Parable I: The sower and the...
 Parable II: The wheat and...
 Parable III: The king and...
 Parable IV: Of the talents
 Parable V: The great supper
 Parable VI: The pharisee and the...
 Parable VII: The ten virgins
 Parable VIII: The prodigal son
 Parable IX: The good Samaritan
 Back Cover

Title: Pleasant Sundays
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065169/00001
 Material Information
Title: Pleasant Sundays
Alternate Title: Pleasant Sundays for the young & good
Physical Description: 348, 54, 18 p, 2 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Upcher, Frances
Corner ( Julia ), 1798-1875
Dean & Son
Publisher: Dean and Son
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: [1856?]
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Bible stories, English -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Mothers and daughters -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Dialogues -- 1856   ( rbgenr )
Hymns -- 1856   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1856   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1856   ( local )
Bldn -- 1856
Genre: Dialogues   ( rbgenr )
Hymns   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations   ( local )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Summary: This series contains the stories of the 1st thru 26th Sunday. Each Sunday stands out as an individual chapter which has a title (as the main theme) and the story is narrated through the dialogues between a mother and a daughter (Alice). Each Sunday (chapter) ends with a hymn (without music).
Statement of Responsibility: by Frances Upcher Cousens.
General Note: Preface dated 1856.
General Note: "A companion to Happy Sundays"--head of title.
General Note: "Dedicated (by permission) to the Rev. Canon Dale, M.A."--t.-p.
General Note: Frontispiece and added title page, engraved and hand-coloured.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
General Note: With: Scripture parables in easy verse for children : with explanations in prose / by the author of "Ruth and Naomi," "The widow's cruise of oil,"Isaac and Rebekah," etc. 5th ed.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065169
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 - 002224815
notis - ALG5083
oclc - 70658172

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Half Title
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    First Sunday: The birth of Christ
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Second Sunday: Old Simeon
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Third Sunday: The lost child
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Fourth Sunday: The first miracle
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Fifth Sunday: The leper cleansed
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    Sixth Sunday: The tempest
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    Seventh Sunday: The tares
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
    Eighth Sunday: Signs and wonders
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    Ninth Sunday: The races
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    Tenth Sunday: The rocks
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
    Eleventh Sunday: The blind beggar
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    Twelfth Sunday: The stolen cake
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
    Thirteenth Sunday: The prayer granted
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    Fourteenth Sunday: Who are God's children?
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
    Fifteenth Sunday: Mount Moriah
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
    Sixteenth Sunday: No cross, no crown
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    Seventeenth Sunday: The empty grave
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
    Eighteenth Sunday: The baby brother
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
    Nineteenth Sunday: The kind shepherd
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Twentieth Sunday: Papa's journey
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
    Twenty-first Sunday: Take care of the crumbs
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
    Twenty-second Sunday: The good gift
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
    Twenty-third Sunday: Be charitable
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
    Twenty-fourth Sunday: The white robe
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
    Twenty-fifth Sunday: Precious stones
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
    Twenty-sixth Sunday: Little Marian
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Parable I: The sower and the seed
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Parable II: The wheat and the tares
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Parable III: The king and his debtor
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Parable IV: Of the talents
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Parable V: The great supper
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Parable VI: The pharisee and the publican
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Parable VII: The ten virgins
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Parable VIII: The prodigal son
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Parable IX: The good Samaritan
        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
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text

'Pfini ILc; LEUACY.' 1889.

The Baldwm LJbrar
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THE flattering reception accorded
to the juvenile publication entitled
" HAPPY SUNDAYS," has suggested
the idea of presenting to that in-
teresting portion of our community,
the rising generation, Companion
Volumes, in two Series, entitled
"PLEASANT SUNDAY for the Young
and Good," in the earnest hope that
He who suffered His own disciples
to pluck the ears of corn upon the
Sabbath-day, may nourish the hearts
of these little ones with the bread


of true wisdom, and inspire them
with a constant desire to pluck for
themselves, on every ensuing Sunday,
the flowers of piety and virtue.

VIABLE, 1856.




ALICE.-My dear mama, I am glad
you are come home from church. I
wish I were old enough to go with
you every Sunday afternoon, as well
as in the morning; I do not think it
would tire me so very much, mama.
I sometimes take longer walks with
nurse on week days.
MAMA.-Very possible, my dear
little girl, but you would be very
likely to go to sleep during the warm
weather, after taking so long a walk,
and then sitting so quietly; and now
that the days have become so short

and foggy, it would be too cold and
damp for you, after sitting still in the
warm church.
ALICE.-But, mama, why could we
not have the carriage out sometimes
on Sunday afternoons ? Little Miss
Barns always drives to church, and
the clergyman drives too, mama, some-
times, for I have seen the carriage com-
ing out of the gate, so there cannot be
any harm in it.
MAMA.-It is quite necessary that
Mr. Shaw should drive to church, my
dear, because it is very tiring to him
to read prayers and preach twice every
Sunday, and he has very ill health;
but we, who are quite strong and able,
are bound to walk to church, and to
let our servants and cattle rest on the
Sabbath-day; for if coachmen had the
horses to rub down, and the carriage
to clean every Sunday, it would not be
much of a day of rest for him; and
if I were to give my servants so much


employment, I should not be keeping
the Fourth Commandment, which says,
" Remember to keep holy the Sabbath-
ALICE.-But when I get a little
older, I shall be bigger, and stronger,
and then I shall be able to walk to
church twice on Sundays, as well as
you. Will you take me with you in
the afternoons then, mama ?
MAMA.-Yes, my dear; I shall be
very glad to take you to God's own
house" as often as you are able to
go; and I hope you will always be as
ready and willing to go as you are
now. But tell me, how have you em
played yourself while I have been
away, that you seem to think the time
so long.
ALICE.-I have said my Catechism
to nurse, mama, and then I read two
chapters in my Happy Sundays';"
but I almost know some parts of that
book by heart, I have read it so often;


and little Walter, mama, knows some
of it too, for I often read it to him.
I wish I had another new book that I
could read on Sundays-don't you,
MAMA.-I have no doubt I shall be
able to comply with your wishes, by
giving you a new book, and I shall
look out for one the next time I go to
the bookseller's.
ALICE.-Ah, mama, I hope it will
be as pretty as Happy Sundays."
Do you think, mama, that Robert was
a real little boy? and was not his
mama kind to tell him such lovely
stories ? I wish you had time to tell
me stories sometimes, I should listen
so very attentively.
MAMA.-My darling child, you
know how much pleasure it gives me
to instruct and please you; and if you
so much desire it, I shall give you
leave to bring your Prayer-book to
my dressing-room every Sunday after-

noon, as soon as I return from church,
and I will explain some part of the
service to you, either from the Epistles
or Gospel chosen for that particular
ALICE.-Oh, thank you, mama-
will you begin to-day ? I should be
so glad to hear more about the birth
of Jesus; there was but a short piece
of the chapter read this morning: why
did not the clergyman read it all ?
MAMA.-He read all that was ne-
cessary to convince us of the fact of
our Saviour's birth. We read then
that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was
by God's decree brought up from
Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth,
to Bethlehem, the city of David, that
the prophecies which had been written
by the prophets (or holy men inspired
by the Spirit of God) might be ful-
filled and come to pass. And the
Epistle, which means a letter written
to the Hebrews by St. Paul, begins

by reminding them, "how God had
at various times, and in various ways,
spoken to these holy men of his Son's
coming: that the sin of Adam and Eve
had forfeited paradise, and brought
death, pain, and misery upon all man-
kind; and it was to save these poor lost
creatures that God sent his Spirit into
the world in the form of a little baby."
But St. Paul particularly tells us this
is a mystery, or a wonder, that only
God could perform, and that only God
can teach us to understand that he
who was now a poor little helpless
infant, who could not speak, or walk,
was in reality the very Son of God,
who existed with his Father before the
world was created.
ALICE.-It says, mama, that He was
appointed heir of all things. What
does that mean ?
MAMA.-An heir means an inhe-
ritor or possessor of his father's pro-
perty and goods. And God gives,


therefore, to His dear Son, all the
world and all that are therein; and
He also calls him the "Brightness of
his Father's glory."
ALICE.-I suppose, mama, that was
what the angels meant when they
sung to the shepherds, saying, Glory
to God in the highest."
MAMA.-The birth of this long-
promised Saviour was a proof of the
glory of God; and the angels wished
that all men should glorify God both
as the Father and the Son.
ALICE.-What does peace on earth
mean, mama? It could not mean that
there should be no more wars, for
there have been a great many wars
since then, and there is a war always
somewhere, I think, mama-in China,
or India, or Turkey, or some other
place-for I often hear papa read about
it in the newspapers.
MAMA.--Jus t the time of Christ's
birth there was peace in all the country


round about; but when Christ is
styled the "Prince of Peace," it refers
to the peace He came to make between
an offended God and His wicked dis-
obedient children; and when Christ
ascended up again into heaven he be-
queathed peace to His disciples.
ALICE.-St. John, who wrote the
Gospel, was His favourite disciple,
MAMA.-Yes. St. John wrote the
Gospel for to-day, and I have often
told you that the word gospel means
"glad tidings;" and what tidings
could be so delightful to the ears of
poor sinners, as the glad sound of
Christ's birth-the Saviour that was
to teach, to suffer for, and to save us, and
all His people, from everlasting death ?
When all around was darkness and
ignorance, Christ came as a light into
the world, and is termed the Sun of
Righteousness," because as the bright
sun sends away the dark shadows of


night, so does the love and knowledge
of Jesus drive away the dark clouds
of sin and unbelief.
ALICE.-Don't you wish everybody
had been good and obedient like
Jesus, mama ?
MAMA.-Then, my dear, there
would have been no need for a kind
Saviour; if we had been all good,
Christ need not have left His Father's
throne to come down and die.
ALIcE.-Then we should not have
had any Christmas-days. How good
He was to be punished for our sins,
MA~MA.-Yes, for our sakes He
came into the world a poor little help-
less baby, not the child of rich parents
who could give Him fine clothes and
toys, and all kinds of pleasure; but
He was born in a stable, and His
mother was a poor unlearned woman;
but we read that He was always good
and obedient to His reputed parents;

and this teaches us two lessons, humi-
lity and obedience. All children
should learn to be humble and obe-
dient to their parents, or they will
never be like Christ.
ALICE.-Why has Jesus two names.
Was Christ his surname ?
MAMA. Before this promised
Saviour was sent into the world, the
Lord appeared to Joseph, the husband
of Mary, and told him that he should
call the child's name Jesus (which
signifies a saviour or deliverer), be-
cause he should save the people from
their sins. And, therefore, the infant
was called Jesus by His mother.
ALICE.-Does Christ mean the
same thing, mama ?
MAMA.-Christ signifies the Mes-
siah, the anointed, or holy; and this
name is very significant, because it is
only kings or crowned heads that are
anointed, or persons that are conse-
crated and set apart for God's service.

Herod, who was then filling the office
of king in Judea, heard this title
applied to the new-born child, and be-
came dreadfully alarmed lest the Jews
should take away his crown and make
the child their king in his stead.
So he called the .people together and
consulted them where Jesus might be
found. And when he was told at
Bethlehem, he determined to put the
poor little innocent child to death.
ALICE.-Oh, mama! how cruel;
but I remember how He was saved.
MAMA.-Of course God, who had
sent his dear Son into the world to
be an example to sinners, and to
preach and perform miracles, and to
build up the Christian Church in the
world, would not suffer His precious
life to be taken away until He had
done all that His Father required of
Him; and, therefore, He again warned
Joseph in a dream, and instructed
him what to do. So Joseph arose

by night, and fled away into Egypt
with Mary and the young child.
Here is another lesson of obedience.
You see Joseph obeyed God's voice,
or warning, and got up and went away
in the night; he did not even wait
for the dawn of day, but he started
immediately, and thus the life of the
child was saved.
ALICE.-Herod had all the other
children killed, to make sure the right
one might not escape.
MAMA.-Yes, when he found no one
who could direct him how to put his rival
(as he feared Christ might become)
out of the way, he cruelly put every
little child to death who was near the
same age. But it is getting late, and
I shall only have time now to tell you
the principal things we may learn
from the services of this day. First,
that Christ must be our example in
all things; and that as He was born
in the flesh, we must be renewed or


born again in the spirit. And the
second thing is, that we must strive
daily to grow better and wiser, and
show forth our gratitude to Him who
has done and suffered so much for
us. And as the next Sunday will be
to us the beginning of another year,
we may, Sunday after Sunday, grow in
grace, and pour forth blessings to
Him who sent us a Christmas-day to
rejoice in, and a Sabbath-day to praise


Brightest and best of the Sons of the Morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, our horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Cold on His cradle the dew-drops are shining,
Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,
Saviour, and Maker, and Monarch of all.


Say, shall we offer in costly devotion,
Incense from Eden, or offerings divine;
Gold from the mountains, or pearls from the
Myrrh from the forest, or gems from the mine.
Vainly we offer each earthly oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favour secure;
More grateful to Him is the heart's adoration,
Dearer by far are the prayers of the poor.
Brightest and best of the Sons of the Morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, our horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.



ALTOE.-Ah, mama! how bright and
happy everybody looked to-day; and
the little girls that you teach at the
Sunday-school had new ribbons on
their bonnets. I liked to see them
all smile and curtsey to you, mama,
and to hear them say, A happy New-
year, ma'am," it made me feel quite
happy-as if I loved them-when they
wished you to be happy.
MAMA.-I am glad that you smiled
and took notice of them, too, poor
little girls; they have not half so
many comforts as you have to make


them bright and cheerful; and when
God gives us so many more mercies,
we ought to show ourselves grateful
to Him by being kind and charitable
to the poor. When Jesus said to His
disciple, Feed my lambs," He meant,
take care of the poor and helpless, and
teach them "to serve Me and to love
ALICE.-I dare say the little girls
are glad that it is a New-year, as well
as me, mama; their new ribbons are
their New-year's gifts, and that made
them seem so happy.
MAMA.-The new ribbons alone
would not have made them happy; if
they had been fretful and discontented,
they might have wished for a warm
beaver bonnet like yours, and a merino
pelisse, but it was because, they had
been good and attentive to their les-
sons, and had heard what Mr. Shaw
told them about being grateful to God
for all the good things they had; and


you may remember, he told them how
much better their lot was than many
others. He told them that a great
many rich people would be thankful
to be able to stand as they did, among
their brothers and sisters, and wish
them a happy New-year;" but that
they were far away, rolling upon a
rough sea, with nobody but strangers
with them; and others were shut up
in dark prisons; and that even in this
country, and this village, there were
many persons who would be thankful
to be able to leave their sick beds, and
to go and join those healthy little chil-
dren in singing the Morning Hymn.
And the children hearkened very at-
tentively to his advice and his prayer,
and they went to church with hearts
full of love to God.
ALICE.-And he told them a great
deal about Jesus-did he not, mama?
saying that all children who were able
to go to church on this day, should

thank God for three things in particu-
lar-first, that he had brought them
all safely to the beginning of another
year, while many hundreds younger
than themselves had been laid in the
cold, dark grave. And the second
thing was, that He had given them
a church to go to, in which they
were all taught and encouraged to
thank Him for this mercy; and
above all, that they were bound to
be grateful, that, upon this very day,
His own Son had been brought into
the Temple to be circumcised; what
did that mean, mama ?
MAMA.-Circumcision, my dear,
was a rite instituted by God himself
among his own peculiar people, the
Jews. He enjoined it on Abraham,
whose name, Abram, he then changed
to Abraham; and after that Abraham
was ordered to circumcise all the Jews,
as a token that they were one of his
own people ; and it is the same as the

rite of baptism in our own church,
whereby persons are made members
of Christ's church on earth. And as
Christ was born of a Jewish mother,
He who considered it right to fulfil
all righteousness," and who enjoins His
people to submit to every ordinance
of man for the Lord's sake," was thus
made a member of the Jewish church,
and was afterwards baptised by John
in the river Jordan, to set the Gentiles
an example.
ALIcE.-Then Christians are bap-
tised, mama, instead of being circum-
cised, because they are not Jews.
MAMA.-Yes, my dear, and the
Gospel read this morning tells us that
Jesus was taken up to the Temple to
be circumcised when he was eight
days old, and that he was called Jesus,
as the Angel had forewarned Joseph
before the birth of the child.
ALICE.-But, mama, what was that
Mr. Shaw said about the afternoon

service and Simeon? I wished I had
been able to go.
MAMA.-Mr. Shaw told the chil-
dren to attend to this, and when they
read the song of Simeon in the after-
noon, to remember on what occasion
the good old man made use of those
prophetic words.
ALICE.-Simeon was a very old
man, was he not, mama?
MAMA.-Yes, it was customary,
according to the Jewish law, for the
parents of every child, who was pre-
sented for the first time in the Temple
of the Lord at Jerusalem, to offer, as
a thankoffering or thanksgiving to
God, a pair of turtle doves or two
young pigeons. And, behold, there
was a man in Jerusalem whose name
was Simeon, and the same was just
and devout, waiting for the consola-
tion of Israel. Poor Simeon, he had
lived to extreme old age, he had laid
many of his family in the grave, he

had studied the Scriptures, and had
hoped many years for the coming of a
Saviour, or Deliverer; he had seen
his country invaded by strangers ; he
had witnessed the destruction of the
Maccabees, the last of the royal race,
and he knew well the prophecy that
had been uttered by Jacob a thousand
years before, "that the sceptre should
not depart from Judah, nor a law-
giver from between his feet, until
Shiloh (or the Saviour) come;" now
that a Roman lawgiver (or a governor
appointed by the conquering Romans)
was ruling over the Jewish people,
who were obliged to pay tribute, or
tax-money, to CaesarAugustus, Simeon,
whose faith and belief in God's pro-
mises had never failed, began to hope
that the long-promised Redeemer
would appear, and while he thus
hoped and prayed, the Scripture tells
us, the Holy Ghost was upon him;"
and "it was by the Holy Spirit in


some way" revealed to him that he
should not see death before he had
seen the Lord's Christ.
ALICE.-You told me that Christ
means anointed, mama, as the Pro-
phet, Priest, or King of His church.
MAMA.-You are a good child to
remember, so accurately, what I have
told you; and this encourages me to
tell you a great deal more about the
dear Saviour, to whom we owe so
ALICE.-And about Simeon, mama ?
MAMA.-Yes; Simeon was brought
by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
to pray in the Temple; and while he
was there, the parents brought in
the child Jesus to do for Him after
the custom of the law." The old
man taking the holy child in his arms
(for he understood at once who it was
that appeared before him), blessed
or thanked God, and said, "Lord,
now lettest thou thy servant depart in

peace, according to Thy word, for
mine eyes have seen Thy salvation,
which Thou hast prepared before the
face of all people. A light to lighten
the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy
people Israel;" which means the
glory of the Jewish people from whom
He had descended.
ALIcE.-Was not Mary very much
astonished, mama, that Simeon should
know that her little baby was the
promised Saviour.
MAMA.-Probably she was, my
dear, but we do not hear of her
making any remark. The Gospel
only tells us, that Joseph and his
mother marvelled at those things
which were spoken of him." But
Simeon also extended his blessing to
them, and said, "Behold, this child is
set for the fall and rising again of
many in Israel, and for a sign which
shall be spoken against (yea, a sword
shall pierce through thine own soul


also), that the thoughts of many hearts
may be revealed."
ALICE.-What did Simeon mean
by piercing the soul of Mary with a
sword, mama ?
MAMA.-He was speaking prophe-
tically of the sorrow that Mary would
one day endure, when she should see
her dear Son dying in agony upon the
ALICE.-Ah, the Holy Spirit re-
vealed the future to him as well as the
present, mama.
MAMA.-And not to Simeon alone;
for there came into the Temple, just
at the time, an old widow, very, very
old, but very pious and faithful to her
God; and the Holy Spirit also put
the same thoughts into her heart, for
she no sooner saw the child Jesus than
she too began to give thanks unto the
Lord for the mercy shewn to His
people in giving them a Saviour; and
like the poor woman who had found


the lost piece of silver, and called her
friends and her neighbours to rejoice
with her, so Anna spake with joy to
all the good and pious people who
looked for redemption in Israel; she
called upon them to behold the true
light that had come to give light
to every man that cometh into the
ALICE.-And Anna was a Jewess,
too, mama ?
MAMA.-Yes, my dear, Christ came
to His own people; He came to call
the Jews to repentance. And in
those days most of the Gentile nations
(that means the people who were not
Jews) were heathens, like the poor
negroes, and did not believe in the
one true God. But Jesus is ever
willing to receive all who come to
Him, and He caused the Gospel to be
preached to the Gentiles after His
death. And then all the true be,

lievers were called Christians,or Christ-
ALICE.-This will be a pleasant
thing for me to remember every New-
year's-day, that it was the very first
time that Jesus was carried into the
Temple. I am glad New-year's-day
came on a Sunday, or perhaps you
might not have had an opportunity to
tell me all this.
MAMA.-Now that you have heard
it, you will learn to think more se-
riously about the New-year. Indeed,
this day always appears a very solemn
and important one to me, for when I
look back upon the year that has
passed away, I always feel sad at the
thought of the bad use I have made
of it; and when I remember how
much Christ has done for me, I feel
sorry that I have done so 4ttle for
Him in return. May you, my dear
child, think seriously on this matter,


and pray God to give you His grace
to live in His service, so that every
New-year may find you so much
nearer to the gates of heaven.

A happy year! my darling child
(This New-year), may it prove!
And may you look back on the past,
With gratitude and love.
Christ in the Temple! Mary stands
Her offspring to present;
Anna, and Simeon too, are there,
On pious duties bent.

Christ in the Temple! now no more
A helpless infant! pleads,
And still before his Father's throne
For sinners intercedes.
Christ in the Temple! still with grace,
Each youthful voice will hear;
And for His sake our God may grant
To us a happy year.



ALICE. --Have you seen my uncle,
mama? do you know what news he
has brought? That I have a new
cousin-such a pretty little boy, and
he is going to be called Charles. I
wanted to go with my uncle to meet
you, mama, but nurse said that as I
had a cold, she thought you would be
displeased at my going out, but I did
so much wish to tell you myself, mama,
because I thought it would please you
very much.
MAMA.-I am glad to find you so
anxious to be the bearer of good
tidings, and I promise to give you


some great pleasure in return, by
taking you with me one day this
week, when I go to see your aunt,
and this little new cousin.
ALICE.-Oh, mama, that will be
delightful! But if my uncle stays to
dine with papa, I am afraid you will
not be able to tell me a story to-day.
MAMA.-You know, my dear child,
that I never permit anything (except
business) to interfere with my plans
for you, having undertaken to explain
the Gospels to you, I should not con-
sider I was right in putting off this
duty to chat with your uncle. Where-
fore I shall begin my story at once by
asking you if you remember where
Christ was taken by his parents when
he was eight days old?
ALICE.-Into the Temple at Jeru-
MAMA.-You know that Joseph and
Mary lived a long way from Jerusalem,
but it was the custom among the Jews
C 2

to go up once every year to keep the
feast of the Passover, which was held
at the same time of year that we keep
Whitsuntide; and whenever this feast
was kept, all pious Jews considered it
their duty to go up to Jerusalem to
celebrate the feast, because very, very
many years before the birth of Christ,
the Jews had been made slaves and
bondsmen by a very wicked king of
Egypt; and after God had terrified
and punished him a great many times
and ways, in order to make him set
his people (the Jews) free: still
Pharaoh continued to harden his
heart, and refused to let them go;
until God, in order to convince the
Jews and Egyptians of His great power
and mercy, determined, in one night,
to kill all the first-born (or eldest son)
in every house among the Egyptians;
but to his own people He showed
mercy. He sent them a message by
their leader and deliverer, Moses, de-

siring every Jewish family to take a
young lamb of the first year, and to
kill it; they were to be careful not to
break a single bone thereof, the blood
of the lamb was to be sprinkled upon
the door-post of every house, and the
people were desired to roast the lamb,
and eat it, with bitter herbs, and not
to leave a bit thereof; if they could
not eat it all at one meal, they were to
burn the remainder as a sacrifice to
their merciful God. This lamb was
to be a type of the sinless Saviour,
without blemish and without spot;
and as His blood is to plead with his
Father for our forgiveness and freedom
from sin, so the blood of the lamb,
sprinkled upon the door-posts of the
Jews' houses, was to be a warning to
the Angel (whom God sent out at
midnight to slay the first-born of the
Egyptians) not to kill any in the
house where the blood was to be seen.
And, lo! at midnight there arose a


great cry throughout the land of
Egypt. Fathers and mothers were
to be heard weeping and lamenting
in every house for the untimely death
of their children; but God had mer-
cifully spared all the Jews : and when
the Egyptians found death staring
them in the face whichever way they
turned-(for no one had time to pity
and help his neighbour, because every
one had his own dead to mourn and
to bury)-when they found this, they
were frightened, and begged the King
to send the Jews quite away, for fear
they should all be dead men. And in
the first moments of his own grief,
the King listened to the entreaties of
his people, and sent the Jews all away
in haste; and in order to commemo-
rate their deliverance from the house
of bondage, God ordered them to keep
a feast every year, upon the same day,
and to eat a lamb in the same manner,
that they might never forget what.

great mercy and loving-kindness their
Creator had shown them in their sor-
row and distress.
ALICE.-Why did the Jews come
to Jerusalem to eat their lamb, mama ?
MAMA.-Because at Jerusalem the
beautiful Temple of Solomon had been
built; and though this Temple had
been destroyed, and again re-built, yet
it was considered the most holy place
on earth, and all good and devout Jews
liked to go there to keep up the re-
membrance of this wonderful deliver-
ance; and they did not mind the dis-
tance. They used to travel up in
companies, a great many families to-
gether-and the reputed parents of
Jesus went; but when Jesus was
about twelve years old, he also accom-
panied his parents, probably for the
first time since the days of his infancy,
to present himself again in the holy
Temple. When all the days and
duties were fulfilled, the families who

were returning to Nazareth assembled
together, and set forward on their
journey; but in the evening, Joseph
and Mary were astonished that Jesus
was no where to be found; they had.
supposed all day that he was amusing
himself somewhere among their ac-
quaintance with children of his own
age, and gave themselves little con-
cern; but when night came on, they
sought him anxiously, and could learn
no tidings of him. In much anxiety
they hurried back again to Jerusalem,
and sought him vainly in different
parts of the city, at the houses of their
relatives and friends ; but on the third
day they found him sitting in the
Temple, among the doctors, the most
clever and learned people of the age,
listening to their arguments, and ask-
ing them questions, all of whom were
in the greatest astonishment at the
quickness of his understanding, and
the wisdom with which he replied to


every question that was put to him.
When his mother remonstrated with
him for leaving them, saying, Son,
why hast thou so dealt with us ? Be-
hold, thy father and I have sought
thee sorrowing,"-He answered them,
saying, How is it that ye sought
me? wist ye not that I must be
about my Father's business ?" Mary
knew of no concerns of her husband's
that could have detained him, and
therefore she treasured up this strange
circumstance in her heart, and fre-
quently thought about it. This is the
only thing we read of the childhood
of our Saviour, and this is full of in-
struction to all children, no less than
the words which follow it. Jesus "went
down with them, and came to Nazareth,
and was subject unto them; but His
mother kept all these sayings in her
heart." Now, what better lesson could
Jesus give to all children than His own
example? He who was obedient, or


subject, to his own parents, justly re-
quires that all holy children should
honour their fathers and mothers, and
obey them in all things. To all good
and obedient children God promises a
long life-that is, life everlasting; and
over such children he watches with
peculiar care. I read a little incident
lately in the newspaper, which struck
me as an instance of God's love and
mercy to a poor idiot boy, who was,
as we are told, very fond of his parents,
and obedient to them.
One day a lost child was picked up
in the streets of Liverpool; he was
unable to give any account of himself.
He was conveyed to the Industrial
School, and received the greatest care
and attention from Mr. Coats, the in-
spector of the schools. He was found
to be of very weak intellect, unable
to learn or comprehend the simplest
things, and it was only after several
months that Mr. Coats succeeded in


interpreting some of his inarticulate
attempts to express himself in words.
He could just tell his own name, and
that of his father; but as to where he
belonged, all he could mutter, in an-
swer to their inquiries, was something
like Carr Street, or Chrystie, in Scot-
land. The singular way in which the
poor child had been found awakened
strong interest in his behalf in many
good Christians, as well as the parish
officers, who wrote letters to various
towns in Scotland, in the hope of trac-
ing his friends. At length Providence
directed them to apply to the superin-
tendent of police, and finally it came
to the ears of the master of police in
Campbelton, the town in which the
boy's parents resided. How they had
mourned and wept for him all this
long time! and how delighted were
they to see him carefully conveyed on
shore from the Liverpool steamer, in
good health, and looking strong and


happy; his delight at once more em-
bracing his parents was unbounded;
he had sense enough to love them
dearly, though he understood very
little besides.
ALICE.-But God took care of him,
mama ?
MAMA.-Yes, the good Jesus, whose
own mother had once mourned and
wept for the supposed loss of her dear
child, had watched over and protected
this poor little idiot in his long wan-
derings over land and sea. It seems
that he had strayed from home, and
gone on board a steamboat, and had
been brought away, unnoticed by the
captain. The same kind Saviour had
pity upon the little wanderer, and
raised up for him kind friends and
protectors wherever he went, and finally
he restored the helpless boy to the
arms of the fond mother who had so
long sought him sorrowing. So God
sometimes suffers His own lambs to


wander from the fold, and lets them
follow their own naughty ways, and
do evil; but He never forsakes them
-His hand is always stretched out to
protect them from danger; and in His
own good time He guides them back
in safety to the arms of His church.
He pardons their sins, and brings them
to the throne of God's mercy, for
though He now dwells in the high
Heaven, yet He is ever ready to be
about His Father's business," and to
save the lost sheep of the House of
Israel. Do not forget to thank Him,
my dear Alice, for your good parents
and happy home, and pray most ear-
nestly for grace to follow in all things
His blessed footsteps.

When Jesus left His mother's side,
He to His Father's temple went;
The learned and the wise to guide,
And on His Father's work intent.


No childish play his steps allur'd,
No gay companions led him wrong;
He steadfast to the end endured,
In love, and faith, and mercy strong.

We from the fold of Jesus' arms,
E'en from our birth, are prone to stray,
Led by the world's delusive charms,
To leave our upward, heavenward way.

Our Saviour's parents sought their child,
And found Him in the house of God;
We should be found upon the wild,
And need too oft His chastening rod.

Oh! let it be our daily pray'r,
To Him who wrought His Father's will,
That we may learn to seek Him there-
To follow, and obey Him still.



ALICE.-Mary, my old nurse, came
to see us this afternoon for the last
time before she is married. She is
going to be married on Tuesday,
mama, and she is going to live in
Somersetshire, so we shall not see her
very often. Why does she go so far
away, mama ? What will her mother
do without her ? I should not like to
go so far away from you.
MAMA.-My dear, Mary has already
put off her marriage for some time on
account of her mother's delicate
health; and now that Mrs. Adams is
so much better, she is very anxious to

see her daughter married and com-
fortably settled in her own home, and
in a few weeks, when Mary has got
her new house all in order and regu-
lated, she is coming here to fetch her
mother, who is to live with her in
Somersetshire; and there she will
have more comforts than she can
afford here, for Mary's husband is
much better off than Mrs. Adams,
and there is no doubt of her being
comfortable, well taken care of, and
provided for.
ALICE.-Will you allow me to go
to the church on Tuesday, mama? I
should so like to see a wedding.
MAMA.-If you are a good child,
and fulfil your duties well up to that
time, I will take you to the church;
and I shall order the gardener to
gather a nice nosegay out of the
greenhouse, which you shall have the
pleasure of presenting to the bride at
the church-door.

ALICE.-Oh, how nice it will be!
What a good kind mama you are. I
will try to be so very good and
steady, but I shall hardly be able to
think of anything but the wedding all
day to-morrow.
MMAA.-Then I fear the lessons
and other duties will be very ill per-
formed; and I would advise you to
get your hymn-book at once and read
a hymn aloud very steadily, that your
attention may be fixed and your mind a
little prepared for the serious conver-
sation we are now going to com-
ALICE.-I think my thoughts are
getting more regular now, mama; but
just tell me why you wished me to
read my hymn aloud.
MAMA.-Because I have found it a
very good plan when my thoughts
were disposed to wander, and to fix
themselves upon other things, to read
out loud, because both my eyes and

my ears are by this means occupied,
and not one sense only.
ALICE.-Then, mama, I believe I
shall adopt the same plan when I am
learning my lessons, for my thoughts
often run quite away from the page on
which my eyes are fixed, and on those
occasions it takes me three times as
long to commit my lessons to memory.
MAMA.-And now that you have
a remedy for this mental disease, I
hope you will put it in practice on
every occasion. I often hear grown-
up ladies complain of the difficulty
they have in fixing their attention
upon certain things, and I know that
the older persons grow the more diffi-
cult it is to learn anything; therefore,
my child, begin while you are very
young to regulate your mind; that is,
try to make the thoughts obey the
dictates of your reason. Practice
makes all things easier, as you have
already discovered.


ALICE.-Indeed, mama, I will try
to keep my thoughts, like my drawers,
in good order. Don't you remember,
mama, that papa said, one day, when
he saw my play-drawer in a great
mess, he was afraid my head was in
the same state of confusion, and that
he could not tell me the story of
Alexander and his horse, because my
thoughts and ideas would be so con-
fused, the facts would never settle
down into their proper places.
MAMA.-True; I would, therefore,
advise you to endeavour to keep them
both in good order for the future;
begin this minute by referring to your
Prayer-book, and tell me the subject
on which I am to talk to you this
ALICE.-Is it not strange, mama,
that the Gospel tells us about a mar-
riage where Jesus went ?
MAMA.-Yes, it calls our attention
to the first miracle which Jesus per-

formed on earth after He began His
ministry-that is, after he began to
teach and preach to the Jews. There
was a marriage in Cana of Galilee;
most likely it was a relation or some
friend of Mary, the mother of Jesus,
because she, and all the family of
Joseph were invited; and Jesus and
His mother were certainly present,
and His disciples were also among the
ALICE.-How happy the bride must
have been, mama, to have the Saviour
at her wedding.
MAMA.-At that time very little
was understood of Christ's mission on
earth. He had not then suffered for
sinners, and very few, not even His
disciples, knew what has been re-
vealed to us. But no marriage can
be a truly happy one if Jesus is not
present; though invisible to mortal
eyes, His grace and blessing must
rest upon those who would be happy

in this world and the next. And
Christ makes a wedding the type of
His love to His church. He calls the
church His bride, and Himself the
bridegroom who loves, and protects,
and watches over her. And His
being present at the wedding feast is
a proof that Jesus did not disapprove
of all rational enjoyment. The bride-
groom was doubtless very poor, and
unable to purchase wine for a large
party; wine being in those days as
great a luxury as it is now. Never-
theless, I suppose he set out the best
meat and drink that his means would
admit. But when the mother of
Jesus knew this, she (not doubting
His power to supply all deficiencies, to
relieve all wants) said unto Him,
" They have no wine." Jesus answered
her, "Woman, what have I to do with
thee? mine houris not yet come." This
was not intended as a rebuke to His
mother, or to be disrespectful to her;

it was an expression of astonishment
that she, a woman (though His own
mother), should be aware of the power
bestowed upon Him by the Father in
heaven. But she knowing, as it were,
by inward revelation, that He would
supply their wants, desired the servants
to obey His orders whatever they
might be. On the table stood, ac-
cording to the custom of the Jews,
six stone jars or pots of water, con-
taining two or three firkins a-piece.
Jesus, therefore, said to the servants,
" Fill the water-pots with water;" and
they filled them to the brim. And
He saith unto them, "Draw out now,
and bear unto the governor of the
feast;" that was he who headed the
tables, and who generally sat upon a
raised platform with the richer and
more honourable part of the guests.
And the servants did as they were
commanded. And when the ruler of
the feast had tasted the water that


was made wine, he knew not whence
it came (only the servants who drew
the water knew of the wondrous
change that had taken place in the
liquid); and he called aside the bride-
groom, and saith unto him, Every
man (or most people) at the beginning
of a feast doth set forth good wine;
and when men have well drunk, then
that which is worse; but thou hast
kept the good wine until now." You
see Jesus was not satisfied to do any-
thing by halves or indifferently. The
wine that His word had produced
struck the ruler of the feast with asto-
nishment at the goodness and flavour
thereof. And though he was unable
to account for it, he was yet conscious
that such good wine had never been
set before him until that day.
ALICE.-It was, indeed, very kind
of Jesus to give them wine.
MAMA.-Yes, it had a double and a
treble meaning; it showed foith the

love and kindness which made Him,
who was God as well as man, take an
interest in the smallest concerns and
comforts of His people. It shewed
His willingness to bless all the rites
and ceremonies of His church, and it
served to confirm in His disciples any
wavering faith they might feel in His
power to save. This miracle, which
was far beyond their accomplishment
or their comprehension, convinced
them of His divinity and omnipotence.
From that moment they believed that
He was indeed' the very Messiah, the
promised Saviour of His people; but
they bad yet to learn the way in which
this redemption would be accom-
. ALICE.-How much the people must
have loved Jesus, mama, for being so
kind and considerate to their wants
and wishes.
MAMA.-And ought we not to love
Him far better who know how much


He endured afterwards for our sakes,
and on whom His mercies are daily
poured out like water ? He tells us to
believe in Him, to believe that He is
able and willing to save all who come
to Him, and they shall be saved. He
tells.us to call upon Him when we are
in trouble, and He will hear. And He
every hour bestows upon us more
blessings than we are either able or
worthy to ask. And yet none of us
love Him half so much as we ought
to do.
ALICE.-I will pray to Him every
day, mama, to teach me to love Him
MAMA.--He only, who knows our
infirmities, whose right hand is
stretched forth to help and defend us
in all dangers and troubles, can enable
us to love Him as we ought to do.
And in the Epistle written by St. Paul
to the Romans, he desires them to
make the rightest and best use of the

different talents awarded to them.
He exhorts ministers to be faithful,
teachers to be persevering, exhorters
to be earnest. He advises him that
has riches to give according to his
means; him that ruleth over others
to do so with justice and diligence;
and to him that sheweth kindness or
mercy to others to do it pleasantly and
agreeably. He warns us to love with-
out deceiving those whom we love, to
shun evil and to do good, and to love
good people. To be kindly affectioned
one to another. I wonder whether
my little Alice ever fails in this duty.
ALIcE.--Indeed, mama, I am sorry
for having been jealous of little Walter,
and for having teased him and called
him a pet and a spoiled baby.
MAMA.-I am very glad your con-
science is sufficiently tender to feel
where you have done wrong, and to
apply my words, or rather St. Paul's
warning words to yourself. Think


whenever you are disposed to be
jealous of your little brother's plea-
sures. Be ye kindly affectioned one
to another with brotherly love, prefer-
ring to see him noticed or praised, to
receiving the honour yourself. Be
always industrious, for the more busily
you occupy yourself in doing good,
the less time your mind will have to
listen to the evil thoughts Satan is
ever ready to instil into your mind.
Learn to be fervent in serving God;
rejoice in the hope of salvation; be
patient under all trials, and pray con-
stantly to God for help; and, above
all, be charitable; you must even
learn to be kind to those who treat
you most unkindly. Christ not only
forgave his murderers, but He prayed
to God, His Father, to forgive them
ALICE.-Yes, mama, even upon the
cross He said, "Father forgive them,
for they know not what they do."
E 2

AMAA.-And if you would follow
His bright example in all things, as
St. Paul instructed the Romans to do,
you will rejoice with the happy as
Christ did also at the wedding, that
you may make others joyful; and you
will mourn with the sorrowful and un-
happy, as Christ wept with Martha
and Mary at the tomb of Lazarus.
You will strive to think as I and
others think, and to do what is agree-
able to others. You will not love and
court the richest and best dressed
people; but you will show friendship
and kindness to those who are more
humble, and who need it more.
ALICE.-And that is why you have
been saving your best flowers for
Mary's wedding, mama, and would
not let the gardener cut them when
you had company last week ? I re-
member your saying, Mrs. Rich has
finer flowers in her conservatory, and
I may want them for a. friend who has

none." I wish, my dear mama, that I
could be as thoughtful and good as
you are. Shall I ever be, do you
think ?
MAMA.-I not only hope so, my
darling, but I pray to God every day
to make you good and holy, even as
He is holy; and I think if you were
to read the Epistle we have just gone
through very attentively every day,
that it would go far to help to keep in
your mind the duties and virtues that
are required of every child of God.
And it would remind you of the faults
you, as well as others, are most prone
to fall into, and which only the saving
arm of the loving Saviour can defend
you against. He who made the water
into wine, can make my little girl's
sinful heart new and clean, and ac-
ceptable in the sight of God.


'Twas at a humble village feast,
Where Jesus deigned to go.
(He loves the meek and humble soul,
Nor slights the poor and low.)

He blessed the bride, He shared their joy,
With sympathy divine;
When thus His mother kindly pleads
Their cause-"They have no wine."

Six water-pots the table graced,
But they were empty still;
And straight the servants she desir'd
His orders to fulfil.

Fill up the water-pots," He cried.
They filled them to the brim;
With luscious wine they overflow'd
At this behest of Him.

The governor, who tasted, paused,-
Nor knew the hand Divine,
That thus supplied their need, and turned
The water into wine.



MAMA.-I am going this afternoon
to tell you a very interesting story,
mentioned among the miracles of
Christ; it was the cure of a poor
man who was ill of a very dreadful
disease. And I wish you to remark,
in particular, that almost every miracle
that was performed by our blessed
Saviour was an act of love and mercy;
it was not done to strike His disciples
with awe and wonder so much as to
relieve the pain, the sorrow, or distress
of some poor sufferer.
ALICE.-How good He was to


think more of poor people than of
MAMA.-We are told in the Gospel
of St. Matthew, that when Jesus
came down from the mountain, from
which he had been teaching the people,
great multitudes followed Him," and
as they went along, there came up a
leper and worshipped Him, saying,
" Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make
me clean !"
ALIcE.-What did the leper mean
by making him clean, mama ?
MAMA.-He was grievously afflicted
with a dreadful disease of the skii~
called leprosy. This disease had been
inflicted on the Jews as a curse, or
punishment, for disobedience. The
sister of Moses and Aaron was pun-
ished with this sad disease, when she
murmured against Moses, the law-
giver of the Jewish people; and I
dare say you remember the story I
told you of Gehazi, the servant of


Elisha, who told his master a lie, and
became a leper to the day of his death.
ALICE.--I remember, mama, he
went after Naaman, the rich king
whom Elisha had cured of leprosy,
and asked him for a present in his
master's name.
MAMA.-And having done this, he
added another sin to that, by denying it;
and then his master punished him (or
rather God permitted Elisha to inflict
this shocking punishment upon him),
that Gehazi might be a warning to all
future generations, leprosy being the
worst disgrace that could be inflicted
upon any one.
. ALICE.-Nobody could cure him, if
they tried ever so ?
MAMA.-The leprosy was a disease
inflicted upon Gehazi as a curse, or
punishment for his wickedness, and.
was therefore beyond all cure; he was
not only to be punished all through
his own life, but upon his relations

and descendants the same dreadful
punishment was to be inflicted. You
know God's decree is unchange-
able ?
ALICE.-Yes, mama; the Second
Commandment says, I will visit the
sins of the fathers upon the children,
unto the third and fourth genera-
MAMA.-The leper was not only a
sufferer from this dreadful disease by
pain and disgust; but he was avoided
by all his fellow-creatures, and driven
out of society, out of his own house,
and sent away into some lone, miser-
able place, with no one to speak to, or
to pity him; and as it was considered
by all the Jewish people a just judg-
ment sent by God, the person so
affected was taken to the priest to be
examined, and then shut up in a room
alone for seven days. Again he was
visited by the priest, and if the priest
believed him to be recovering, or was

uncertain about the disease, he was
again shut up for seven days longer.
At the end of that time, the priest saw
him again, and either blessed him and
pronounced him safe and clean, or if
he found the disease was really leprosy,
he desired the leper to rend his clothes,
to go with his head bare, and with a
covering over his lips, and that he
should cry, Unclean! unclean!"
whenever he came near any person,
until he had got beyond the reach of
all the habitations. If you remind
me, when I have told you the history
for to-day, I will read to you the beau-
tiful poem of Willis, an American poet,
and you will there find how strictly
lepers were kept away from their fel-
low-creatures; and if any one dis-
obeyed the injunctions or orders of
the priest, and went after the leper,
or communicated with him, the person
so acting almost always became infected
with leprosy also.


ALICE.--No wonder, mama, that
they were obliged to send the lepers
away, if the disease was so contagious;
it was as bad as the scarlet fever.
Don't you remember, when the fever
was so bad in the village, mama, the
doctor said nurse was never to take us
down there, because the fever was so
contagious, and he was afraid we might
take it, and be ill too ?
MAMA.-There is one difference be-
tween scarlet fever and leprosy, my
child; the fever was a complaint that
was soon over, though very severe, and
many persons die from its effects; but
leprosy frequently affected a man for
his whole life; he might survive many
years, a burden to himself. I doubt
not that many lepers have died of star-
vation and want, because they durst
not go to any house or city to get
food to preserve their lives a little
longer; and it was even more to be
dreaded than fever is now.

ALICE.-But, mama, why did Jesus
suffer the leper to go so near him-
was he not afraid ?
MAMA.-Christ, who was also God,
had no fear of the punishments He had
inflicted, or of the diseases which He
himself had sent upon mankind. He
who created can destroy; and Christ
carried in His own person the remedy
for sickness, sin, and death. And
therefore, when He beheld the poor
leper worshipping Him, loving Him,
and believing on Him, He felt compas-
sion for his sickness and his sorrows;
and to prove to His disciples His own
power and fearlessness, He no sooner
heard the words, Lord, if Thou wilt,
Thou canst make me clean !" than He
proved His willingness; He put forth
His hand and touched him-touched
him, whose very presence was pollu-
tion-and said, I will; be thou
clean !" and immediately his leprosy
was cleansed.


ALICE.-I suppose he got quite well
in a minute, mama ?
MAMA.-Yes, such was the miracu-
lous power of Jesus' word; He had no
sooner uttered the words, Be clean !"
than the leper was cured. And Jesus
saith unto him, See thou tell no man,
but go thy way; show thyself to the
priest, and offer the gift that Moses com-
manded for a testimony unto them."
You see, Christ did not say, Go, pro-
claim this wonder everywhere;" but
He said, "Tell no man, but go home;
but first go to the priest, that he may
pronounce thee clean, and then offer
the gift, according to the law of
ALIcE.-What gift was he to offer,
mama ?
MAMA.-If you refer to the 14th
chapter of Leviticus, you will there
read the whole law of the leper in the
day of his cleansing-that is, when-
ever the priest should pronounce any


leper to be cured. The leper was to
bring two birds, alive and clean, with
cedar-wood, and scarlet and hyssop;
and the priest shall command that one
of the birds be killed in an earthen
vessel, over running water; and the
priest shall sprinkle upon him that
is to be cleansed of the leprosy seven
times, and shall pronounce him clean,
and shall let the living bird loose into
the open field; and after having washed
himself, and his clothes also, and shaven
his hair, he was to wait yet seven days
before he could be considered clean;
and on the eighth day the leper was
desired to take three lambs, without
spot or blemish, and flour and oil;
and the priest was commanded to pre-
sent the man and his offerings at the
door of the tabernacle of the congre-
gation. The priest then offered these
lambs as offerings to the Lord-as
sin-offerings and burnt-offerings-and
they were considered most holy. And

the priest was to take a little of the
blood of the lamb, and put it upon
the tip of the right ear, and upon his
right hand thumb, and upon the toe of
the right foot; and some of the oil was
to be distributed in like manner; and
when the priest had anbinted the ear,
and the thumb, and the toe of the
leper, he was to pour the rest of the
oil upon his head, and to make an
atonement for him before the Lord-
and he shall be clean. Now, it was
necessary for the leper, whom" Christ
had cured, to go through all these
forms and ceremonies before he would
be considered in a fit state to return
to his family; wherefore Jesus, who
came to fulfil the law, desired the man
whom He had cured instantaneously,
to go through every form that Moses
had commanded should be observed.
ALICE.-But, mama, what was the
meaning of all these ceremonies ? I
know that offering up the lamb was a


type of Christ's death, for you told
me so a little while ago; and that is
why Christ was called the Lamb of God
that taketh away the sins of the world.
MAMA.-And sin is the leprosy of
the soul, the dreadful disease that is
so difficult to cure; and that is more
contagious than any fever, or than
leprosy itself-the disease that could
only be cured or cleansed by the blood
of Christ, of whom these lambs were,
as you just now said, a type. And sin
resembles the leprosy in more ways
than one; like leprosy, it does not
show itself all at once, but begins
with a small, and apparently trifling
spot, which gradually spreads itself
over the whole body. So sin has its
origin in the heart; it may begin
with a bad thought, which is followed
by some trifling fault, which leads to
a greater, and by degrees sin creeps
over-the whole soul, and shuts out the
light of truth.

ALICE.-But, mama, sinners are not
shut out from the society of others, as
the lepers were.
MAMA.-Unfortunately for us all,
we cannot drive away all sinners from
society, because we are all by nature
born in sin, and are children of wrath;"
but we ought, nevertheless, to do our
best to avoid sin; and being made
" children of grace, we ought not to
associate with impenitent and hardened
sinners. But while we live on earth,
we are beset with dangers, and even
in little children the spots of sin are
continually showing themselves. But
if we have the leper's disease, we have
also the leper's cure. We have Christ,
the Saviour, to help and to heal us;
and when we pray earnestly, He is ever
ready to stretch out His right hand in
answer to our prayers. We must do
as the leper did. We must be sensi,
ble of our misery and distress; we
must believe that He can and will help


us; we must kneel before Him and
worship Him, as the leper did in the
Gospel. And if we pray earnestly,
" Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make
me clean!" we must trust in His mercy,
that He will never deny our prayers,
but that His gracious answer will be,
" I will; be thou clean. Go, and sin
no more."

Jesus, teach me, while on earth,
Here to know a Saviour's worth;
Cleanse from sin my wicked heart-
Jesus, Thou my Saviour art.
Though the leprosy of sin
Covers all my heart within,
Thou, who didst the leper heal,
Canst for my uncleanness feel.
Thou canst touch the hardest heart,
Thou canst cleanse its inmost part;
Thou canst read the contrite soul-
Make me clean, and make me whole!
Teach me, gracious Lord, to know,
Fear, and seek Thy face below;
So, whatever may me befal,
Jesus, Thou art all in all!"



ALICE.-I do really believe that
this has been the longest week in the
whole year. I've never been able to
go out for I don't know how long,
and I counted so much of Sunday,
and now you see, dear mama, it has
done nothing but rain, rain, rain, and
I could not go out at all. Is it not
tiresome ?
MAMA.-Tiresome and wearisome!
What does my little girl mean ? Surely
she does not think she knows better
than God what is good for his crea-
tures Surely she does not presume


to murmur at what her heavenly Father
thinks best to send !
ALICE.-But, mama, if you had not
been able to get to church, I don't
think you would have been pleased to
sit here and watch the rain-drops
hour after hour.
MAMA.-Indeed I should not. I
know too well the truth of the words
of your little hymn to make such an

For Satan finds some mischief still,
For idle hands to do."

Or rather, I should say, idle heads.
With a whole library of nice in-
structive books, or even with a Bible
and Prayer-book, I could have found
quite enough to think about without
watching the rain-drops, and grum-
bling at the all-wise God, who sendeth
sunshine and shower at His good
ALICE.--Well, mama, I did really

try to read, but then I could hear the
drops patter, patter, patter against
the windows; then I left off reading
to think how wet you would get, and
wished I was with you. Then I kept
hoping the sun would shine that I
might be able to go to church after
dinner. Then I wondered who would
be there besides you and papa; and
I watched the clouds to see how fast
they seemed to fly over the house;
but even though the sun tried to peep
out two or three times, the rain never
ceased to fall.
MAMA.-No wonder your Bible
was uninteresting, if your little head
was so full of idle thoughts; it might
as well have been a cloud, and con-
tained nothing but water.
ALICE.-I wish you would not
smile, mama. I know you think me
a very silly little girl; but what could
I do? The thoughts would keep
coming into my head.


MAMA.-Just because you did not
go the right way to keep them out.
If you had just interested your thoughts
and heart in some more profitable
subject: For instance, now, if you
had remembered the flood which God
sent many years ago upon the wicked
and disobedient, to punish them for
their sins, you might have begun to
think of your own sins and misdoings,
and, instead of murmuring, you would
soon have felt grateful to God for the
gracious promises He made to Noah.
ALIcE.-That He would never de-
stroy the world again by a flood ?
MAMA.-Yes; and what is the sign
or token that He would keep this
promise ?
ALICE.-Oh, the rainbow, mama.
I always like to see a rainbow; ihat
does put me in mind of pleasant and
happy things.
MAMA.-But a good Christian, that
is, one who really loves and trusts in

God's promises, sees good and plea-
sant things in all God sends him; and
whether sunshine or rain, he is always
thankful and contented.
ALICE.-Ah, mama, if one could
always think right thoughts, and not
be fretful when one is disappointed of
going out, or anything else we wished
for, we should be very good and
happy; but you told me that it was
Satan who got into children's hearts,
and made them selfish and discon-
MAMA.-Yes, and whenever any
little girl feels inclined to grumble,
*she should always set about some
occupation that will employ her head
with other thoughts. You may re-
member the story I once read to you
about the seven evil spirits that came
and took possession of the empty heart
(or house as it is called in the para-
ble). The Holy Spirit had once been,
and driven out the wicked thoughts


and feelings, and made it a habitation
fit for Christ; but, alas, these good
impressions soon passed away, and no
effort was made to fill the heart with
the fruits of salvation, love, peace,
and gratitude; and Satan (who, like a
roaring lion, always goes about seek-
ing whom he may devour) found out
the unprotected and unfruitful state
of that mind, so he took possession,
and dwelt there; but tenfold more
firmly than before. The heart that had
once been made clean, and convinced
of its wickedness and wretchedness,
became seven times worse than before.
And, therefore, you see how careful
we all ought to be, when we have the
Bible and kind friends to teach and
shew us what is wrong, not to leave
our thoughts unoccupied, lest Satan
gets in and fills them with wicked-
ness. Instead of counting the rain-
drops, if you had tried to count the
mercies God has bestowed upon you,

even since you rose this morning, you
would not have found the morning
wearisome and unprofitable. I hope
you will let this be a warning to you,
that whenever you find the time too
long, you may be sure you are not
spending it in a proper manner, and
that one day you will be called upon
to give an account of it.
ALICE.-But, mama, shall I have
to give an account of my play-
time ?
MAMA.-Yes, of every wrong
thought and deed you may think or
commit during your play-hours. Your
time for recreation is given you to
improve your health, and to spare that
little head from being over-tired by too
close study; but even in your play-
time you may think of Jesus, who
gives you flowers and green fields;
you can be gentle, kind, and obedient;
and when you are left by yourself, you
can remember that God sees you, and

marks your obedience, when no other
eyes are upon you.
ALICE.-Mama, will you pray to
Him for me, and ask Him to put good
thoughts into my mind, so that nurse
may never have to call me little grum-
bler again.
MAMA.-Indeed I will pray with
you and for you, my child; and He
who hears every prayer will not turn
a deaf ear to yours, though He may
not send an answer immediately. I
remember reading the history of a
good woman named Monica, who had
an only son. He was talented, lively,
and generally affectionate to his
mother ; but his wild spirits often led
him into sin; he could not bear any-
thing like serious reflection; and
when his pious mother entreated him
to leave off his evil courses and to
read the Bible, he only ran off and
got out of the way, when he would
be joined by his evil. companions, and

get into a worse scrape than ever.
When he was about five-and-twenty,
his mother (who had always hoped he
would know better as he grew older)
talked to him one day very seriously.
She begged of him to think of the
time he had lost and the evil he had
done in setting a bad example to those
who were younger, and less clever
than himself; but he only laughed
and turned away. In her distress at
his hard-heartedness, she went to con-
sult an aged and eminent bishop as to
what more she could do for her impe-
nitent son. And when he had listened
to her sorrowful story, he said to her,
very kindly, Go home, Monica, go
home in peace, the child of so many
prayers cannot be lost." The poor
woman was comforted, but she did
not cease to pray. And at length the
answer came. God touched the heart
of this son for whom she had breathed
so many prayers. He lived to bless

her endeavours, to be the admiration
of many, and to be the means of con-
verting hundreds of his fellow-crea-
tures. Thus you see God provides
for all according to His blessed will;
and though He may for a time seem
to be deaf to our cry, He will send us
an answer in His own good time, as
He did to poor Monica. And this re-
minds me of the trial of faith to which
He suffered His disciples to be ex-
posed, in the Gospel we read at church
this morning; where He suffered His
disciples to be tossed and frightened
on the stormy sea, till they called
upon Him, and there seemed no help
at hand; but in due time He hearkened
to their entreaties. This is the ac-
count given by St. Matthew:-"When
Jesus had come down from the moun-
tain on which He had been teaching
the people, He entered into a ship,
and His disciples followed Him. And
behold there arose a great tempest in

the sea, inasmuch that the ship was
covered with the waves; but He was
asleep. And His disciples came to
Him and awoke Him, saying, Lord
save us, we perish! And he saith
unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye
of little faith ? Then he arose and
rebuked the winds and the sea, and
there was a great calm. But the men
marvelled, saying, What manner of
man is this, that even the winds and
the sea obey him ?"
ALICE.-Then here is something
about a man coming out of the
tombs ?
MAMA.-The time will not permit
us to enter into a further explanation;
it is quite sufficient that we keep to
one subject, and try to understand
fully the lesson it is intended to teach
us. You perceive that Jesus suffered
His disciples to be troubled and ter-
rified before He brought them to
peace and safety. So it is with us

sinners. He lets us be driven about
in the storms and troubles of the
world, till we are awakened to our
own sinfulness, and feel ourselves en-
tirely lost and miserable, and in the
depth of our distress we cry as His
disciples did, "Lord, save us, we
perish!" And then Jesus, strong in
mercy and m power, able as well as
willing to save all who come to Him
in earnestness and humility, stirs up
His strength, and stills the tempest
raging in our souls. "Why are ye
fearful, 0 ye of little faith, am I not
your Saviour? did I not suffer that
you might be saved ? and by my arm
I will guide you through the waves of
this troublesome world to your ever-
lasting rest. I am ever present with
you, though asleep; and my ears are
open to your softest sigh."
ALICE.-And, mama, Jesus could
make the rain cease in a moment, if it
pleased Him to do so.


MAMA.--Yes; He could do the
same now as He did when He was
present on earth; but now that we
have so many proofs of His mira-
culous power in the Scriptures, we
are apt to overlook the many mercies
that are shewn to us every day and
hour of our lives; and often, when we
escape great dangers, or recover from
some dreadful illness, we give the
credit to the cleverness of our pilot
or captain, or our own presence of
mind, or the skill of our physician;
anything, in fact, except the mercy and
miraculous power of theDivine Saviour,
to whom we owe all we have and all
we are; and if my little fretful girl
had thought of that this morning, in-
stead of counting the rain-drops, she
would have prayed to Him to still the
tempest of discontent that was raging
in her little heart, and then, when her
voice had reached His ear, He would
have said, Sweet peace !" and there


would have been a great calm. Will
you think of this whenever you feel
such thoughts coming again, and say
the pretty little hymn which I shall
copy for you? Here it is:-

When the tempest rages round,
And no ray of hope is found,
And in terror sinners weep,
Jesus still can calmly sleep.
Save us, Lord! in grief we cry;
And with pity in His eye,
Peace! He cries at once, Be still!"
The winds and waves obey His will.
While temptations set me round,
When no good can e'er be found,
Snares and sin on every side,
Jesus, Thou wilt be my guide.
When my heart is sad with grief,
Thou alone canst give relief;
When beneath the rod I bend,
Jesus, thou wilt be my friend.



MAMA.-I had almost made up my
mind to send you away this afternoon,
instead of sitting down to teach a
little girl, who forgets all her mother's
good advice, and gets into sin almost
every Sunday.
ALICE.-Indeed, mama, I am very
sorry for being unkind to Walter,
but he would tease me all the time I
wanted to read, and then I got cross
with him.
MAMA.-You forget how often you
disturb me and your nurse when we
want to read, or to write, and be busy
in other ways. And suppose we were


to put ourselves out of temper, and be
cross with you? If, when you come
with your Bible to ask me for the
promised story, I were to say, Go
away, you little tiresome child, I want
to read; I wish you were asleep."
ALICE.-But, mama, I did not think
what I was saying.
MAMA.-I am afraid you did not
think at all of anything but your own
gratification. What were you reading,
that you could not spare time to speak
to your little brother ?
ALICE.-I was reading in my Nur-
sery Magazine," about Master Sim-
plicity and his dove.
MAMA.--Is that the name of the
pretty new book your uncle brought
you last week ?
ALCcE.-Yes; indeed, mama, it has
such beautiful stories in it, and I am
so fond of reading it, that I do not
like to be disturbed.
MAMA.-And do you know what

God does when people make an im-
proper use of His bounties ?
ALICE.-He takes them away again.
MAMA.-Yes; indeed, I have told
you so very often. And I am sure you
have read, in Happy Sundays," the
story of Many Idols; and if you make
an idol of your new book, what do
you think I must do ?
ALICE (beginning to cry).- Oh,
mama, pray do not take it away just
this time; I will not be naughty again.
MAMA.-How do you know that you
will not be naughty again ? If you
can always keep from being naughty,
I wonder you so often forget yourself,
and give me trouble.
ALICE.-But indeed, mama, I can-
not help being naughty sometimes; I
feel quite determined to be good, and
give no trouble, and then, all at once,
I,do something wrong.
MMAA.-Then, if you cannot help
being naughty, how can you promise


me that you will not be so ? If of
yourself you have no power to help
yourself," how can you give me an
unconditional promise to be good in
future ?
ALICE.-I meant that I would try
to do so.
MAMA.-But while you have a
naughty heart, and are so apt to forget
all that I teach you, I must take away
your book for a whole week, until I
find you can control your impatience,
and be kindly affectioned to your
brother and sister. Instead of crying,
if you are really anxious to conquer
your temper, you would gladly make
trial of any experiment that would
help to make you good. There, dry
your eyes; I am willing to hope that
you are truly sorry for your unsisterly
behaviour, and I shall show you that
I forgive you by telling you about the
tares and the wheat. I am going to
try and sow good seed in your little


heart, and you must try very hard to
keep the tares (or naughty tempers)
ALIcE.-Thank you, dear, kind
mama; I will, indeed, strive to do as
you wish me, and to deserve your
MAMA.-Well, now, let us turn to
the book. "The kingdom of Heaven
is likened to a man who sowed good
seed in his field." This represents our
Blessed Lord, whose words and gospel
are the good seed, and the field is the
kingdom or church of Christ, which
He has chosen out of the world to
plant in; or rather it is the hearts of
those persons who compose this church,
who were brought into it at their bap-
tism. But while men slept, his
enemy came and sowed tares among
the wheat, and went his way."
ALTCE.-Mama, what are tares ? I
thought they were very pretty things;
I gathered some very pretty flowers in

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