0 l i
fov)du by the Com,,nttee of Publiction of the Amrio.o
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION.
1122 Chestnut Street.
WRITTEN FOR THE AM. S. S. U., AND REY9iSE
BY THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLICATION.
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
1122 CHESTNUT STREET.
NEW YORK DEPOSITORY: 375 BROADWAY,
THE FIRST LIE.
AGNES LEE had not been
aught how great a sin it is to
tell a lie. Her mother was very
strict with her, and if she did any
mischief, she used to punish her;
but she did not tell her that she
should be more angry with her if
she told a lie, than if she tore her
dress or broke a dish. So when
Agnes did any thing of this kind,
she used to try to hide it by a lie.
The father of Agnes was a
good workman, and might have
got along very well, but he was
fond of strong drink, and went
often to the grog-shop and grew
idle. His family began to feel the
want of food and clothes, and as
winter was coming on, Mrs. Lee
said she must put Agnes into
some family where she would be
clothed and fed for her work.
Mrs. Lee was a very tidy wo-
man, and had taught Agnes to be
neat. She had also learned to
sew very well, and could sweep
a room and put it in order, and
wash dishes and set a table, and
do many other things.
Mrs. Lee heard that a lady
named Mrs. Hill wanted to get a
little girl to do light work, and so
she told Agnes- to put on a clean
frock and apron, and get ready
to go with her and see this lady.
When they got to the house,
Mrs. Hill told Mrs. Lee what she
wanted a little girl to do. She
said she had not much work for
her to do, but she wanted her to
take care of her little daughter,
who was her only child; and to
play with her and amuse her.
When the weather was pleasant,
she wanted her to play out in the
yard with this little girl,, wh t.
name was Maria.
Mrs. Hill told Agnes she was
very glad to see her look so tidy;
and after many charges to her
never to speak a naughty word
before her little girl, and always
to speak the truth, she told her to
take off her bonnet, and said she
might stay and try how well she
Agnes had a pleasant temper.
She had none of those cross
ways of speaking and acting
which some children have. She
was not in the habit of pouting
with her lips, or stamping with
her foot, or crying out, when
things did not go to please her;
and little Maria soon became very
fond of her She used to dress
her doll -in clothes very neatly
sewed. She made frocks and
aprons and caps for miss Dolly;
also a bonnet and cloak; and
these things were made so that
they could be taken off, just like
Maria's. Agnes used to fix Ma-
ria's play-house, and this little
girl was never so happy as when
she was playing with Agnes.
Maria was three years old
when Agnes came to live with
Mrs. Hill. This lady had always
been very careful about her little
daughter's habits, and she had
never known her to tell a lie
But Agnes was in such a habit of
speaking lies, that she did so
whenever she found it was likely
to save her from blame. She told
lies every day to Maria about
something or other.
One day Agnes went to shut a
drawer just as Maria put in her
hand. to get out some of her doll's
things; and so her fingers were
pinched very badly. Agnes was
very sorry, and told her not to
cry, and she would give her a
large piece of candy; and when
Maria stopped crying and asked
for the candy, she said it was up-
stairs in her trunk. Maria said,
" We will go up-stairs and get it,"
When Agnes open id her trunk,
she looked first in one corner and
then in another, though she knew
there was none there; and then
she said that she put it there, and
that the mice had ate it. It was
not long before Maria found out
that Agnes told lies, but she was
not old enough to tell her mother
about it, and as she was always
kind to her, she never made any
complaint to her mother.
One day Maria was in a hurry
'to have Agnes come and play
with her, though her work was
not done, for she was busy clean-
ing knives. Maria said, Come,
Agnes, do come quick and play.
"Yes," said Agnes, "pretty
roon; you must wait till I clean
all my knives and forks, for I
would not like to put them on the
table if they did not look bright;
besides you know you heard your
mother say I must always clean
my knives before I played with
Well," said Maria, I am go-
ing to tell mother that they are
all cleaned, and ask her if you
can come and play."
"No," said Agnes, "you must
not say so, for I have got all the
large knifes and forks to clean
Yes," said Maria, I will tell
her so, for I cannot wait any
longer for you to come and play."
So away she ran.
Now while she had been talk
ing to Agnes, her mother stood so
near, that she heard all she said,
though she was in another room
Maria went to the parlour, and
rot finding her mother, she went
to another room, but she was not
there; then she began to call for
her, but she did not answer her,
though she heard her. So she
came into the room next to the
kitchen, and there she found her
Mother," said she, may Ag-
nes play with me now? She has
done cleaning the knives."
"Maria," said her mother,
looking sternly at her, take care
what you say."
"She has, she has, mother, and
I told her I would tell you. Now
can she come and play ?"
0 how her mother's heart did
ache and how sad she felt when
she found that her little girl had
told a lie. She took her by the
hand, and said, "Come with me,
my child ;" and she led her toher
own room and shut the door.
Maria looked in her mother's
ace and saw that it was very sad.
She sat down without speaking to
Maria, and put her hand over her
eyes, and the little girl saw the
tears run down her mother's
0 mother, mother," said Ma-
ria, "do not cry. What are you
crying for, dear mother?"
0 my child," said her mother,
"because you have told a lie; a
wicked lie. Do you know tha,
God cannot love you now ? Do
you know that you have grieved
me very much? 0 my little gik,
how could you do so ?"
Maria said, "Why, mother, I
wanted her to come and play with
me; that was the reason."
After a few moments, Mrs. Hill
took her Bible, and said, "You
knc w, my child, that this is the
word of God, and that in it God
tells us what he wishes us to do.
Now I will read to you what he
says about liars." Then she read
wo her that God hates liars, and
will punish them; and that he
says that those who make and
love them shall never dwell with
Him in heaven.
After her mother had talked
with her some time longer, she
said, "Now, my child, I must
punish you for this fault. Would
it not be better that I should do
so, than that you should get the
habit of telling lies? This is the
first time you have ever been
guilty of this sin, and I hope it
will be the last and only time."
Maria said, 0 yes, mother, I
deserve to be punished; and I am
very, very sorry I have been so
wicked. I am afraid God will
never love me again."
Then ner mother punished her
with tne rod, because God has
told us in his word," The rod and
reproof give wisdom; but a child
left to himself bringeth his mo-
ther to shame." (Prov. xxix. 15.)
Maria is now nine years old,
and, I believe, has never told an-
other lie. She often speaks of the
time she was punished for her
first lie, and says she is very glad
her mother did correct her in time.