Citation
Aunt Harding's keepsakes, or The two Bibles

Material Information

Title:
Aunt Harding's keepsakes, or The two Bibles
Added title page title:
Two Bibles
Creator:
Longking, Joseph
Methodist Episcopal Church, Sunday School Union
Lane & Scott
Publisher:
Lane & Scott, for the Sunday-School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
64 p. : ill. 14 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Sunday school literature. ( LCSH )
Literature for Children ( LCSH )
Methodists -- Juvenile literature ( LCSH )
Aunts -- Juvenile literature ( LCSH )
Sisters -- Juvenile literature ( LCSH )
Christian life -- Juvenile literature ( LCSH )
Girls -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature ( LCSH )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature ( LCSH )
Baldwin -- 1851. ( LCSH )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States -- New York -- New York.

Notes

General Note:
Publisher's advertisement on p. 4 of cover.
General Note:
Electronic version available on the World Wide Web as part of the PALMM Project "Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1850-1869 (NEH PA-23536-00)".
Funding:
Brittle Books Program
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1850-1869 (NEH PA-23536-00).
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in Special Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026550924 ( aleph )
AAA1903 ( notis )
ALG0800 ( notis )
45616780 ( oclc )
47757292 ( oclc )

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AUNT HARDING’S
KHEPSAKES:

THE TWO -BIBLES.

REVISED BY DANIEL P. KIDDER.

New-Dork:
PUBLISHED BY LANE & SCOTT,

FOR THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH, 200 MULBERRY-STREET.

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JOSEPH LONGKING, PRINTER.
1851,







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CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE
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VI. TROUBLE BETWEEN SISTERS. ... . 39
VII. Aunt HarpinG’s LETTER. ..... 45

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IX. Aunr Harpine’s Return ..... 857








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AUNT HARDING’S
KEEPSAKES.

CHAPTER I.
GUESSING.

“Can you guess,” said Louisa to her
sister, as they sat at their work in
the summer-house, “can you guess
what aunt Harding will give us, as a
keepsake, before she goes away ”
“No, I have not thought about it,”
said Emma; “and aunt has lately
given us so many pretty things, that
we can scarcely expect any more for
a long time to come. ‘There is my
doll and its cradle, you know, and
your baby-house and furniture, how
much money they cost! No, I do



§ AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

not think aunt intends to give us any-
thing else.”

“But I am quite sure she will,”
replied Louisa; “for I was going past
mamma’s dressing-room this morning,
when the door was a little way open,
and Iheardaunt Harding say, ‘I should
like to give the dear girls something
really useful, which they may value
as they grow older. I did not hear
any more, because mamma has always
told us it is not right to listen, and so
I came away as fast as I could.”

“Well, I wonder what the present
will be?” said Emma, now quite con-
vinced.

“What should you think of two
handsome work-boxes—or, perhaps,
as I am the eldest, of a work-box for
yourself, and writing-desk for me ?”

“That would be charming!” said



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 9

Emma; “and I would let you use my
work-box, and you could lend me
your writing-desk sometimes.”

“T will not make any promises,”
said Louisa; “you know you are very
careless, and I should not like my nice
new desk to be stained with ink, or,
pene scratched with the point of
a pin.”

“But mamma says I am growing
more careful,” said her sister ; “and
I do not think I am so heedless about
other pre pestis though I often
spoil my own.”

“Remember my wax doll,” said
Louisa, “which you left in the garden
through that heavy shower of rain, so
that I could never play with it again.”

“©, that was such a very long time
ago!” said Imma, looking a little
vexed.



10 AUNT HARDING'S KEEPSAKES.

“Perhaps it will not be a writing-
desk nor a work-box that aunt Hard-
ing will give us,” said Louisa ; “there
are many other things which we
should like. I wish she would ask
us to choose.”

“So do I,” added Emma; “but
there is nothing that J should like
better than a work-box.”

Louisa thought of many other
things which she should be glad to
have ; for she was apt to indulge ina
foolish habit of wishing for what she
was not likely to possess. It is a bad
thing to give way to this failing; for
by doing so we may often make our-
selves unhappy, without any good or
real cause. People who do so should
think of the words of St. Paul: “I
have learned, in whatsoever state I
am, therewith to be content.” Philip.



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 11

iv, 11. And children, who have kind
parents or friends to provide for all
their wants, should learn that it is
very sinful to let the thoughts be often
dwelling upon things that they cannot
have, and do not really need. Pray
for a grateful heart, that you may re-
joice in the blessings that surround
you, and be thankful to your heaven-
ly Father, who gives you all oe
richly to enjoy.

CHAPTER Ii.
THE PRESENTS.

Mrs. Harvine, the aunt of these lit-
tle girls, had been paying a farewell
visit to their mamma, before gomg
with Mr. Harding to India, where it
was likely that they would remain for



12 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

some years. She had kindly given
many little presents to her nieces dur-
ing her stay with them; but they
were such as Louisa and Emma
would cease to value when they be-
came old enough to “ put away child-
ish things;” and being a person of
piety and judgment, she wished her
last gift to be one which might be
worthy of their regard in youth and
in age, and through all the changes
of life. It did not take any long time
to determine what this parting gift
should be.

The evening before she went away,
she called Louisa and Emma into the
room. They both looked round upon
the table and chests of drawers, but
no sign of a present was to be seen;
no parcel neatly wrapped up in brown
paper, nor anything like a work-box



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 13

or a desk. But, to do them justice,
the thought of what they might re-
ceive was not then uppermost in their
mind ; for their heart was full of grief
at the prospect of parting with their
aunt, whom they dearly loved, and
who was going so very far away.

“Sit down beside me, dear chil-
dren,” said their aunt Harding, “and
let us have alittle talk together, quietly
by ourselves. I wish to give you a
few parting words of advice. I am
sure that you will not forget me when
I am gone; and when you think of
me, I hope that the good things which
I have tried to teach you will also
come into your mind.”

Both Louisa and Emma said, again
and again, that they could never for-
get her, and they promised to remem-
ber her advice.



14 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

‘Your mamma will often write to
me concerning you,” said aunt Hard-
ing, “and I cannot express the joy
that it will afford me to hear that you
are learning to hate sin more and
more, and to live like children of our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I
shall be glad to find that you are im-
proving in your studies, and I hope
that every letter will bring me an
account of your progress in useful
knowledge; but I shall be far more
anxious to hear of your being good
and dutiful to your parents; and,
above all, I shall long to know if you
seek in earnest for the pardon of your
sins, through the blood of Christ, and
whether there is any proof in your
conduct that your evil hearts have
been changed by the grace of the
Holy Spirit.”



AUNT HARDING’s KEEPSAKES. 15

“Tf mamma sends you a good
account of us,” said Louisa, ‘ please
to remember, aunt, that you promised
to write to us when that was the case.
And you will write to me first, be-
cause I am the eldest, you know.”

‘Since you claim to be thought of
first,” replied her aunt, “because you
are a year older then your sister, I
hope you intend to take the lead by
setting before her a good example,
that it may be well for her to imitate
you in every respect.”

Louisa blushed, and was silent.
‘““We will try our very best, dear aunt,”
said Emma, “that mamma may send
you good news, and then you will
write to us both. And, perhaps, be-
fore you come back, we shall be
grown such good girls, that you will not
be able to find fault with either of us.”



16 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

“Tam afraid that is not very like-
ly,” said Louisa; “for it seems as if
we could not help being naughty some-
times. I am sure I have often said
to myself, ‘Mamma shall not have to
reprove me once to-day,’ and yet,
Petey after, ae has been
amiss.”

“OQ! that is quite true,” said Em-
ma, with a sigh.

“The reason is this,” their aunt
replied ; ‘you were born with an evil
nature, which loves sin and leads you
to do wrong, so that you cannot be
good and dutiful of yourselves. When
you have made such resolves, it has
been in your own strength, without
your having asked for help from God;
and this being the case, it was not
possible that you should keep from
sin. The only way to lead a holy



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 17

life is to put no trust in ourselves, to
have a constant sense of our need of
divine grace, and to pray earnestly
that it may be given to us for Christ’s
sake,”

“ But you talk of my return,” added
she, “as if it were certain that we
Should meet again; yet how many
things may happen to prevent it! No-
thing can be more uncertain than the
future, though young people are apt
to think that all will fall out just as
they wish. I may not live to come
back ; or if I should be spared to do
so, who can tell that you will be here
to meet me? Long before that time
you may be laid low in the narrow
grave. ‘For what is your life? It
is even a vapor, that appeareth for a
little time, and then vanisheth away.’
James iv, 14.”



18 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

Before their aunt Harding had done
speaking, both the children were in
tears ; for the thought that they might
never see her again was more than
they could bear. Seeing that their
hearts were softened to receive the
word of instruction, she went on
to talk to them in a kind and earnest
manner on the great importance of
preparing for another world, showing
them their awful state without the
Saviour, and urging them to seek him
at once by faith and prayer ; then, fur-
ther to impress her advice upon their
minds, she unlocked a little cabinet
which stood near her, and taking out
two handsome Bibles,* gave one to
each of her nieces, telling them that
as it was the best present she could
give them, so she hoped they would

* See frontispiece.



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 19

value it, not only for her sake, but
because it was the word of God,
and taught the way of eternal life.
After this, she desired them to kneel
down with her, while she offered a
fervent prayer that God would bless
them, and that they might be led by
the Holy Spirit into the fold of Christ,
who died to take away their sins.
And she also prayed, that if they
should never more see each other in
this world, they and all whom they
loved might meet again and be happy
for ever in heaven.

Now I will not say that when the
sisters were alone together, and look-
ed at their handsome Bibles, a thought
of the work-box and the writing-desk
never crossed their minds; but it is
certain that there was not a word said
upon the subject, and each seemed to



20 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

be greatly pleased with her present,
admiring the rich purple binding, and
opening the book with care, to look
at the name which had been nicely
written by their aunt on one of the
blank leaves at the beginning. In
Louisa’s Bible, just under her name,
was the text, ‘Open thou mine eyes,
that I may behold wondrous things
out of thy law,” Psa. cxix, 18; and in
Emma’s, in the same place, was writ-
ten, “I love them that love me; and
those that seek me early shall find
me.” Prov. vii, 17.



AUNT HARDING'S KEEPSAKES. 21

CHAPTER III.
USE OF THE KEEPSAKES.

THE next day was a sorrowful one,
both to the friends who went away,
and to those who were left behind.
The children could talk of little else
than their uncle and aunt Harding.
They asked their mother many ques-
tions about the journey they had be-
gun, and the country to which they
were going. When Louisa and Km-
ma saw that their mamma was very
sad, and not so ready as usual to join
in their talk, they did not tease her,
as some thoughtless children would
have done, but each chose for herself
a pleasant and quiet employment.
Louisa began to arrange the furniture
in her baby-house, and Emma brought
a piece of brown silk from her drawer



22 AUNT HARDING'S KEEPSAKES.

of treasures, and set about making
a cover for her new Bible.

“Why, Emma, whatare youabout?”
cried Louisa, after watching her sis-
ter for a moment; “surely you are
not going to use that beautiful book 2”

“Yes, [ am,” said Emma, quietly ;
‘“‘T mean to read a little in it every
day. Ah! I see that you think it will
soon be torn and soiled; but I assure
you I intend to be very careful; and
look, whata nice cover this will make!”

“Tam afraid,” said Louisa, laugh-
ing, “you will never be careful as
long as you live. 'T’o think of so soon
beginning to use that handsome book !
I have made up my mind to read a
chapter every day, but not out of my
new Bible. I think the old one, that
hes in the school-room, will do just
as well.”



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 23

“So it would,” returned Emma;
“and I thought of that myself last
night, when aunt Harding told us how
much she wished us to be good, and
to love the Scriptures: but then the
shool-room Bible is not always in its
place, and that might sometimes hin-
der me from reading at all. Now
I shall keep this book in my little
drawer in our room, where I can find
it In a minute.”

“Vou must please yourself, I sup-
pose,” said Louisa; “but I will ask
mamma whether it is better to use
aunt Harding’s Bible or the old one.”
_ Mrs. Western heard what her little
girl had to say, but did not give just
the answer that Louisa expected.
“You are right,” she said, “in sup-
posing that it does not signify whe-
ther you read in an old Bible or a



24 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

new one. It is from the divine bless-
ing upon what we read, and not from
the book itself, that we must look for
benefit to our souls. If you pray for
this blessing with all your heart, you
will find the way of salvation as plain-
ly declared in the worn-out school-
room Bible as in your aunt Harding’s
keepsake, with its purple binding and
shining gilt leaves. But yet I approve
of Ekmma’s wish to use her new Bible
from this time, and advise you to fol-
low her example. For though it
ought to be our great delight to read
the Scriptures, yet we have such sin-
ful hearts, so ready to put off domg
what is right for any poor excuse, that
even such a little thing as having to
look for the Bible, when it happens
to be mislaid, will be likely to prevent



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 25

you from reading it so constantly as
you intend.”

To this Louisa made no aes She
had wrapped up her beautiful book
in silver paper, and laid it carefully
in a box, under lock and key, and she
did not mean to disturb it, except per-
haps now and then for a few moments,
that it might be looked at and admir-
ed. As for Emma, she went on
fitting the brown silk cover as neatly
as she could; and hoping that, if she
prayed for the divine blessing, as her
mother and aunt had told her, she
might learn from her precious Bible
the way to be good and happy.



26 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

CHAPTER IV.
TWO CHARACTERS.

It is time that I should tell you the
age of these two little girls. Louisa
was just turned of ten, and Emma
was one year younger. I have no
doubt that although you know so little
about them, you already like Emma
better than her sister ; and the reason '
of this is plain. No one could be long
with Louisa without finding out that
she was a selfish child; while Em-
ma, though she had many faults, of
which carelessness was the chief, was
of a kind, good-natured disposition,
always ready to oblige. Louisa, too,
was often willful, and would not give
up her own way; while Emma was
numble-minded, knowing that she had



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. Q7

much to learn, and thankful to be
taught. Both of these children. were
sinners, like all who are born into
this sinful world: but Louisa cared
little about the concerns of her soul;
while Emma had begun to pray in
secret for pardon through Christ her
Saviour, and for the new heart which
is the gift of his Holy Spirit.
Reader, you too are a sinner, and
by nature far from God. Do you ever
consider what is your present state ?
Have you been brought near to him
by the blood of Christ, the new and
living way? You may have heard of
these things before, but without giv-
ing heed to the salvation of your own
soul, or seeking to prepare for the
world to come. If this has been the
case, pause now, and ask yourself
whither you are going, and what



28 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

must be the end, if you do not repent
and turn from sin. ‘There are many
awful texts in the Bible concerning
those who trifle with the offers of
divine mercy, and harden their hearts
against the Saviour’s gracious call.
O! pray that you may not be one of
this unhappy number. Seek the Lord
while he may be found, before the
day of grace is past. God has said
that his “Spirit shall not always strive ~
with man,” Gen. vi, 3; and if you will
not repent to-day, to- “morrow oe be
too late.

Emma’s Bible was nicely covered,
and laid in her own little drawer;
and every morning she read a chapter
before she went down stairs. She
prayed that God would teach her by
his Holy Spirit to understand what
she read; and though her prayers



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES, 29

were very simple, and she scarcely
knew what words to use, yet she felt
sure that he would hear her, because
he has promised to do so, for the sake
of his dear Son. And by degrees, as
she began to love her Bible more and
more, she learned a habit of going to
their little room alone, once in each
day, to read a few verses in private,
and to offer a short prayer to her
“Father who seeth in secret.” Matt.
vi, 6. She found a great blessing in
this; and it often happened that the
thought of a text of Scripture which
she had been reading in her room
alone would come into her mind
when she was afterward tempted to
say or do something wrong, and thus
help to keep her from sin.

It was not so with Louisa. The
Bible was often wanted in the school-



30 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

room—for the children had a gover-
ness who came to teach them every
day; and Louisa soon found it too
much trouble to take the book up
stairs at night, and to carry it down
again the next morning. Besides this,
she did not always rise from her bed
in time to read a chapter, so that it
was often put off till after breakfast,
and then it commonly happened that
she had other things to do, and did
not read it at all. Emma would some-
times gently remind her that her Bible
reading had been forgotten; but this
made Louisa so cross that she left off
doing so at last. The truth was, that
this poor child had no real love for
the Scriptures; and as she did not
seek for grace to help her, the good
resolves that she had made passed
away quickly from her mind.



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 31

The difference between the sisters
was seen in their outward conduct;
for Emma’s reading of the Bible would
have been in vain if the effects had
not been shown in her temper and
daily life. I do not mean to say that
she never went wrong; for Emma hac
still an evil nature, and a sinful heart,
often leading her to forget the com-
mands of God. But, she was truly
sorry when this had been the case,
and would ask to be forgiven with
many tears; and she also prayed for
divine grace, that she might try to be
more watchful for the time to come.
Louisa, on the other hand, thought
too highly of herself to be easily con-
vinced of a fault; and as she seldom
received reproof in an humble and
proper manner, she made but little
progress toward improvement.



32 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

CHAPTER V.
LETTERS FROM INDIA.

SomE months passed before there
came a letter from Mrs. Harding ; for
India, as you know, is many thou-
sands of miles from here, and it
takes a lone time for a ship to sail
over the wide sea which lies between.
But great was the joy of the children ©
and their mother when at last the
good tidings came that, through the
mercy of God, their friends had reach-
ed that distant country, safe and well.
Louisa danced and clapped her hands;
and Emma felt very happy, sitting be-
side her mother, and looking up in her
face, while she read the letter through
tears of pleasure.

Mrs. Harding had written a few



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 33

lines to the children, which their mo-
ther read aloud to them, and then
allowed them to look at for them-
selves. ‘The words were these: “I
often think of you, dear Louisa and
Emma, and pray for divine blessings
upon you both; and I hope to hear
that you are giving yourselves to the
Saviour, who died upon the cross for
you. You know the love of Jesus
_ for the young; his kindness to them
when he was upon earth; and the ten-
der way in which he still invites them
to come to him. Go, then, to Christ
without delay: ask him to be your
friend, and you will be happy for
evermore.” —

A few weeks after this letter had
been received, Mrs. Western’s birth-
day arrived, when it was usual for
her children to have a holiday and

a



34 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

a little treat. On the morning of this
day, as Emma was running up stairs,
her mamma called to her from her
dressing-room, and desired her to
come in, and to shut the door. Emma
did as she was bid; and then Mrs.
Western, with a smile on her face,
told her to look round, and try if she
could discover anything in the room
that she had not seen before.

Almost before her mother had done
speaking, the little girl fixed her eyes
upon a handsome work-box, standing
upon the table with the lid open, and
showing a lining of pale blue silk,
edged with silver; while within were
scissors and thimble, an abundance
of needles and cotton, everything, in
short, that Emma had long been
wishing for in vain.

“It is yours, my dear,” said her

»



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 35

mamma ; “it is a present from your
aunt Harding, who, in her letter, re-
quested me to choose for you on my
birthday something that you would
like, if your conduct should have been
such as to deserve a token of our
approval. I am happy to see that
you strive to amend your faults, and
I trust that you will still go on trying
to improve.”

“O, mamma, how beautiful! and
how kind in aunt Harding! Indeed
I will try to deserve it.” And the
little girl went close to the box, and
looked at its contents, but without
venturing to touch them; then gently
closing the lid, she stood gazing upon
it with silent delight.

“But, mamma,” said Emma, look-
ing up with a sudden thought, and
casting her eyes round the room as if



36 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

in search of something which was not
to be seen, “‘ where is Louisa’s pre-
sent? She would like a writing-desk,
I know ; for the old work-box which
she has had so long is not yet worn
out, because she is so very careful.”

“Tam sorry to say,” returned Mrs.
Western, “that Louisa is not deserv-
ing of any present, and therefore it
would have been wrong to provide
one for her.”

At hearing this, Emma changed
color, and looked almost ready to
cry. ‘Dear mamma,” said she, “do
pray have pity on poor Louisa. I
cannot bear to show her my beautiful
box, if she is not to have a present too.
She would be so much grieved.”

‘““My dear,” said Mrs. Western, “do |

you not perceive that it would be un-
just and contrary to your aunt’s wish,



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 37

if, while Louisa gives way to her
faults, I were to treat her as though
she were seeking to overcome them?
Itis quite as painful to me as to your-
self to make this needful difference
between you; but in all our actions
we must think of what is rzght, and
not of what it would be pleasant to do.
When I see any sign of improvement
in your sister, I shall gladly provide
her with a writing-desk; but not till
then.”

Emma paused for a moment; her
eyes filled with tears, and the color
rose to her face. ‘Then mamma,”
said she, “I will wait, if you please,
for my work-box, until you think
proper to give Louisa her desk.
Please to put it away in some safe
place, and I will not say anything
about it. I can do very well without



38 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

the box a little while longer, you
know.”

When Mrs. Western found that
Emma was willing to deny herself a
pleasure rather than give pain to her
sister, she consented to her wish,
because she desired to encourage
kind and tender feelings between
them; and she knew it would be easy
to find some other way of showing
Louisa that her friends were grieved
and displeased by her conduct. So
the work-box was safely put away
for the present; though Emma had
her hopes that the time would soon
come when, with the promised writ-
ing-desk, it might be again brought
forward.



a



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 39°

CHAPTER VI.

TROUBLE BETWEEN SISTERS.

I wave told you that Emma was
not without her faults; and whether
she was a little lifted.up by her
mother’s approval, so that she became

less watchful over herself, and felt

less her need of the grace of God, I
cannot say: but so it was, that on the
very same evening of their mother’s
birthday, the sisters had a quarrel,
which would certainly have been
worse, if Mrs. Western had not been
sitting by. Louisa was the first to
blame; but, on the other hand, Emma
did not behave like a meek and
Christian child.

Tt was about Louisa’s old work-box
that this quarrel took place. Emma



40 AUNT HARDING’S KEESPSAKES.

wished to have the use of it for a
short time, as Louisa did not want it
herself: but Louisa, as you have
seen, was not very willing to lend;
and some sharp and unkind words
passed between them, such as children
too often use when they give way to
angry and sinful passions. No doubt
the thought of her own work-box was
in Emma’s mind when she said, “You
are selfish and ill-natured, Louisa, and
do not deserve that people should give
up any pleasure for you.”

While she was speaking, she saw
her mother’s eyes turned toward her
with a look of surprise and sorrow ;
and at the same moment the words of
Scripture, “Be kindly affectioned one
toward another,” came into her mind.
She blushed and looked down while
Mrs. Western reproved them both,



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 41

and told them of the grief which she
felt on account of their sinful conduct,
reminding them also of the example
of the meek and lowly Jesus, who
has commanded us to live in love.
Emma was soon brought to tears, and
went out of the room to weep alone,
and ask forgiveness, for her Saviour’s
sake, from the holy God whom she
had displeased by her sin: but Loui-
sa, as usual, was inclined to be sullen,
and did not think that she had been
at all in the wrong. Upon this, her
mother pointed out to her the unkind-
ness of refusing so small a favor to
her sister; and in the hope of bring-
ing her to a sense of her fault, she
told her what had passed in the morn-
ing, and made known to her the whole
affair of the work-box. Louisa was
so much struck by this proof of Em-



42 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

ma’s love, that her heart was quite
softened, and she not only owned that
she had done amiss, but ran to seek
her sister, and asked her to forget
their quarrel and be friends.

Emma was very glad to agree to
this, and was also ready to take her
share of blame, saying that she had
been very wrong in speaking so un-
kindly, and she hoped never to be so
naughty again. It was pleasant after
this, to see Louisa’s desire that her
sister should use the old work-box,
and what care Emma showed in keep-
ing all its contents nicely in their
place.

The loss of the birthday present
had a great effect upon Louisa, so
that she became more watchful over
her temper and conduct. In a few
months she had improved so much,

.



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 43°

that though she was still far from
being all that could be wished, yet
her mother thought she might safely
buy her the writing-desk, according
to the desire of her aunt Harding.
Emma had still waited for her work-
box with hope and patience; and you
may imagine the joy of both when
they at last received these long wish-
ed-for gifts. And as kmma was now
not so careless as formerly, and Loui-
sa had grown more kind, the work-
box and the writing-desk were often
lent in exchange; while the sisters
soon found out the truth of what their
mother told them, that such little fre-
quent acts of mutual kindness do
more to increase love than those
greater deeds which children some-
times talk about, but seldom have the
power to perform.



44 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

The second packet from aunt Hard-
ing was received with not less joy
than the first ; for there was in it a let-
ter for Louisa and Emma; and that
she might show no favor to one above
the other, she had directed it to both.
Louisa, however, claimed and was
allowed the privilege of breaking
the seal. I wish you could have seen
their happy faces, as Emma leaned
upon her sister’s shoulder to read the
welcome letter which had been sent
to them from a country so distant, and
by a friend whom they loved so well.



AUNT HARDING'S KEEPSAKES. 45

CHAPTER VII.

AUNT HARDING’S LETTER.

Woutp you like to know what aunt
Harding wrote to her nieces? Here
then is the letter, word for word :—

“My Dear CHILDREN, LOUISA AND
Emma,—It is with great pleasure that
I read in your mamma’s letter the
account of your improvement, and |
am glad to fulfill the promise which
I made of writing to you when that
should be the case. I hope that you
will go on trying to grow better and
better; and for this end you should
pray daily for the grace of God to help
you every moment of your lives.
Without his grace the evil desires of
your sinful hearts will lead you from



46 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

the right way ; and as one sin always
brings on others, you would, if left
to yourselves, wander further and
further from that which is good, until
you lost all love for your Saviour and
his commands.

‘I often think of you, and wish
that you could see the poor little
Hindoo children, who have never
heard of the true God, but are taught
by their heathen parents to kneel
down, and pray to idols of wood and
stone. ‘There is a river in this
country, the river Ganges, which the
people believe to be a goddess, and
they think that its waters can wash
away their sins. Mothers often bring
their little infants and bathe them in
this river, because they believe it will
make them holy. Do you not pity
these poor people, whose souls are



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 47

perishing for want of knowledge?
Do you not wish that some one would
go among them, and tell them about
Jesus the Son of God, who gave him-
self to die for sinners, and whose
blood alone can wash away sin? If
so, you will be glad to know that
there are some good men here who
have left their own dear home and
friends to live in this heathen country,
and to teach the poor Hindoos the
true and only way to heaven. Chris-
tians in other places, who love the
Saviour, and wish that the heathen
should learn to love him too, give
money to send these good men here,
and to pay for Bibles, and for other
books which have been written on
purpose to show how sinners may be
saved. All may help to do this who
will spare a little money from their



48 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

own wishes and wants. You may
help, if you love the Saviour enough
to deny yourselves some little plea-
sure now and then. I think you
would resolve to do so, if you could
go with me sometimes to the mission-
ary school, and see the little children
sitting in rows, learning to read about
Jesus, and hear them asking for more
books to take home, that they may
tell the tidings of salvation to their
heathen parents. O yes! Iamsure
you would want to help them then;
for you would remember that heathen
children, like yourselves, have souls
which must live for ever and ever;
and you would long that they should
come to the knowledge of the Saviour,
who died for them as well as for you.

‘Tt is now time that I should finish
this long letter; so farewell, dear



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 49

Louisa and Emma. Your uncle sends
his love to you. We often talk of
you, and pray that you may be the
children of God, through faith in his
dear Son. Your ever affectionate,
“Aunt Harpine.”

CHAPTER VIII.
USE OF MONEY.

imma found a great deal to think
about in this letter, and it led to
frequent talk with her mother about
the heathen, for whom she began to
feel much concern. When she heard
how Christian people were trying to
help them, and had read some ac-
counts which her mother lent to her,
telling of the happy change that,
through the blessing of God, had been
4



50 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

brought about in many cases by the
preaching of the gospel, she wished
that Louisa and herself could join in
doing something, though ever so little,
for this good cause. The love of
Christ was in her heart: when this 1s
the case, it will be sure to show itself
in love for the souls of others.

But Louisa, when spoken to on the
subject, said that she had not anything
to give. “I am very sorry, though,
that the poor Hindoos should worship
idols,” she said; “and when I grow
older, and have more money, I will
do a great deal for them, depend upon
ity?

“But why not help them a little
now ?” said Emma.

“Because I have no money,” re-
plied Louisa; “no money I mean
except what is in my little savings



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 51

bank, and I should not like to part
with that. As for you, Emma, you
never can save up a shilling; so that
I am sure you have not anything to
Spare.”

“Ah,” said Emma, “ that is true, to
be sure ; I never can save my money,
and so I will tell you what I mean to
do. Mamma gives us threepence a
week, to spend as we please, you
know ; but I will only take twopence
for the time to come, and I shall ask
her to give the other pennies to the
Tract Society at the end of the year.
Four shillings and fourpence is not
much, indeed, yet it will buy some
nice little books for the Hindoo chil-
dren in the schools; and if you will
also give a penny a week, that will
buy just as many more.”

It was ofno use. Louisa would not



52 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

be persuaded to do anything for the
heathen yet. Emma gave her penny
a week, and felt happy in giving it;
while Louisa only talked of doimg so
by and by. If Louisa had loved
her Saviour and her Bible, she would
have felt it a delight to assist in send-
ing the glad tidings of the gospel to
heathen lands; but when the heart
has not been changed by the Holy
Spirit, we feel but little concern for
our own souls, and donot care for the
salvation of others.

Emma was not led away by the
example of her sister; but as she
erew older she seemed to grow in
erace, and in the knowledge and love
of Christ. This will always be the
case with those who believe the pro-
mises of God, and seek for divine
assistance to enable them to obey his



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 53

word. We can do nothing of our-
selves, for we are poor, guilty, help-
less sinners: but God, who has given
his only Son to die for our sins, has
also promised to give his Holy Spirit
to them that ask it. Therefore, though
we feel ourselves ever so weak and
sinful, we need not despair of growing
better, if we also feel our need of
Christ, and go to him for help and
pardon.

Louisa and Emma had often heard
that life is short and uncertain ; but it
is not easy for young people to feel
the truth of this while they are healthy
and strong. When Emma was about
twelve years old she was taken very
ill, so that there was from the first but
little hope that she would recover.
Then she felt that it is an awful
thing to die; and the thought of the



54 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

soul, which cannot die, and of heaven
and hell, were far more solemn than
they had ever seemed to her before.
At first she was greatly afraid of death,
for she knew she was a sinner, and
deserving of the anger of God; but by
degrees, as she lay on her sick bed,
there came into her mind many sweet
verses of the Bible, which she had
learned in her days of health, and
which gave her comfort, by telling
her of the love of Jesus the Lamb of
God, who taketh away the sins of the
world. Do you think she was sorry,
now, that she had spent so many
hours in reading that holy and bless-
ed book? No; for the promises of
mercy and salvation which it held out
to her was her only support through
many hours of pain and _ suffering,
when death seemed near, and eternity





AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 55

close at hand. ‘Though too ill to read,
or even to listen to the words of life,
she could remember many of them in
her heart, and think of them to her
comfort in this season of trial. Some-
times she was able to talk to her
mother for a few minutes, when it was
plain that her mind was chiefly filled
with thoughts of Christ and things
divine. And she often said that, if it
should be the will of God to restore
her to health, she hoped for grace to
devote herself to his service, and to
live more to his glory than she had
ever done before. She also spoke
oftener to her sister, begging her to
think of her soul, to read her Bible
more, and to seek for the pardon of
her sins; and Louisa, who was in
great distress at the thought of losing
her, was ready to promise anything



56 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

that she asked. But it did not appear
that she was under any concern for
her own state; and this was a great
trouble to poor Emma, who now felt
more than ever the need of preparing
for the world to come.

It pleased God to spare her life,
though she grew better very slowly,
and it was many weeks before she
could leave her room. When her
long and painful illness was over, she
was again able to share with Louisa
in her lessons and her pleasures, so
that in time those weeks of grief and
suffering seemed to be forgotten ; but
they were not forgotten by Emma:
she did not forget the mercies she had
received, and the resolve which she
had made of leading a holy life: she
daily prayed for an humble and watch-
ful mind, and for grace to keep her



=

AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 57

from falling into sin; and, as you may
suppose, she loved her Bible more and
more for the comfort which it had
given her in the time of trouble. She
still took pleasure in reading it alone,
and prayed that she might have grace
to obey its commands, so that it might
be a lamp unto her feet and a light
unto her path. Psa. cxix, 105.

CHAPTER IX.
AUNT HARDING’S RETURN.

AND now two more years had passed
away, and the time when their aunt
Harding’s return was looked for had
come. ‘They had talked of it all through
the winter ; and when spring was over,
and summer begun, the happy tidings
came that the ship had arrived in safety,
and their uncle and aunt Harding were



58 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

on their way to visit them once more.
I will leave you to guess the joy that
was felt by all; and you must picture
to yourself the pleasure of their meet-
ing soon afterward: how thankful ali
were that they were spared to behold
each other again; with uncle Hard-
ing’s surprise at seeing two great girls
instead of little Louisa and Emma;
and aunt Harding’s smiles, and her
hopes that there would be found an
equal improvement in matters of more
importance.

The morning after she came, when
Mrs. Harding began to unpack her
boxes, Louisa and Emma caught sight
of many pretty and curious things
which she told them were intended as
presents for themselves. ‘“ But before
we proceed any further,” said she, as
the girls were beginning to express



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 59

their thanks and pleasure, “I wish to
inquire about the parting keepsake
which I gave to you ; and I should be
glad to see how each book has been
treated, that I may know the real
value which you set upon the gift.”
Louisa and Emma both ran to fulfill
their aunt’s desire. To speak the |
truth, Louisa was now in hopes of
having all the praise. She quickly
brought in her handsome Bible, still
wrapped in the soft white paper, and
in-all the gloss of newness: not a
mark upon the rich purple binding,
not a speck upon the bright gilt leaves.
Emma, too, brought hers, but with a
more timid look ; the neat brown silk
cover was faded and worn—she had
thought of making a new one only the
day before—and the brightness was
gone from the leaves, and the binding



60 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

seemed rather loose, for the book
opened easily, and there were some
pages, less white than others, which
looked as if they had been often read.

To Louisa’s surprise, Mrs. Harding
laid down her book without saying a
word, while, as soon as she took Em-
ma’s Bible into her hand, she smiled
with pleasure, although tears came
into her eyes. “Thzs book has been
valued as it ought to be,” said she; ~
‘it has been used with care, but often
used, so that I trust it has been found
a guide and a help to heaven. But
yours, Louisa”—and she pointed to
the beautiful Bible which lay upon the
table—‘“ yours has. been laid aside,
like the talent which was buried in
the earth. It has been of no benefit
to your soul, for you seem hardly ever
to have looked to it for instruction ;



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 61

as if its real worth consisted in out-
side ornament, you have been careful
to keep that from injury, but have
never sought or cared for the treasure
that is within. But dry your tears,
my dear Louisa,” added aunt Harding
kindly. “I am not angry, for I know —
that your mistaken care was in some
measure caused by your love for me.

Iam only sorry that my parting
present has not been of the use which
I intended. But it is not yet too late
for you to learn that, while your Bible
should be kept with proper care—for
it is the word of God—yet it was
given for our daily study, that we
might read it,. pray over it, and
practice it; and thus, by the divine
blessing, become ‘wise unto salvation
through faith which is in Christ
Jesus.’” 2 Tim. 11, 15.



62 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

‘T trust,” said the kind aunt, look-
ing at her two nieces with much
affection ; ‘I trustthat my dear Emma
knows and loves her Saviour, andtakes
delight in the Scriptures, because they
testify of him. May you both have
grace to love him above all things, to
do his will, and to put your trust in
him for evermore; and then the heart-
felt desire of your aunt Harding will
be fulfilled.”

Reader, beware how you neglect
the word of God. But remember it
is not by merely reading it that you
are to look for a blessing to your soul.
You must pray for the teaching of the
Holy Spirit, who alone can open your
understanding, and incline your heart
to heavenly wisdom, that you may
not read in vain.



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 63

PRAYER FOR DIVINE GUIDANCE.

O that the Lord would guide my ways
To keep his statutes still!

O that my God would grant me grace
To know and do his will!

O send thy Spirit down to write
Thy law upon my heart!

Nor let my tongue indulge deceit,
Nor act the liar’s part.

From vanity turn off mine eyes;
Let no corrupt design,

Nor covetous desires, arise
Within this soul of mine.

Order my footsteps by thy word,
And make my heart sincere :

Let sin have no dominion, Lord,
But keep my conscience clear.

My soul hath gone too far astray,
My feet too often slip ;

Yet, since I’ve not forgot thy way,
Restore thy wand’ring sheep.

Make me to walk in thy commands,
"Tis a delightful road ;

Nor let my head, or heart, or hands,
Offend against my God.



64 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

VALUE OF THE SCRIPTURES TO THE YOUNG

How shall the young secure their hearts,
And guard their lives from sin ?

Thy word the choicest rules imparts
To keep the conscience clean.

When once it enters to the mind,
It spreads such light abroad,

The meanest souls instruction find,
And raise their thoughts to God.

Tis like the sun, a heavenly light
That guides us all the day ;

And through the dangers of the night,
A lamp to lead our way.

_ Thy precepts make me truly wise ;

I hate the sinner’s road:

I hate my own vain thoughts that rise,
But love thy law, my God.

Thy word is everlasting truth ;
How pure is every page !

That holy book shall guide our youth,
And well support our age.

THE END.







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AUNT HARDING’S
KHEPSAKES:

THE TWO -BIBLES.

REVISED BY DANIEL P. KIDDER.

New-Dork:
PUBLISHED BY LANE & SCOTT,

FOR THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH, 200 MULBERRY-STREET.

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JOSEPH LONGKING, PRINTER.
1851,




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CONTENTS.

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VII. Aunt HarpinG’s LETTER. ..... 45

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IX. Aunr Harpine’s Return ..... 857





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AUNT HARDING’S
KEEPSAKES.

CHAPTER I.
GUESSING.

“Can you guess,” said Louisa to her
sister, as they sat at their work in
the summer-house, “can you guess
what aunt Harding will give us, as a
keepsake, before she goes away ”
“No, I have not thought about it,”
said Emma; “and aunt has lately
given us so many pretty things, that
we can scarcely expect any more for
a long time to come. ‘There is my
doll and its cradle, you know, and
your baby-house and furniture, how
much money they cost! No, I do
§ AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

not think aunt intends to give us any-
thing else.”

“But I am quite sure she will,”
replied Louisa; “for I was going past
mamma’s dressing-room this morning,
when the door was a little way open,
and Iheardaunt Harding say, ‘I should
like to give the dear girls something
really useful, which they may value
as they grow older. I did not hear
any more, because mamma has always
told us it is not right to listen, and so
I came away as fast as I could.”

“Well, I wonder what the present
will be?” said Emma, now quite con-
vinced.

“What should you think of two
handsome work-boxes—or, perhaps,
as I am the eldest, of a work-box for
yourself, and writing-desk for me ?”

“That would be charming!” said
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 9

Emma; “and I would let you use my
work-box, and you could lend me
your writing-desk sometimes.”

“T will not make any promises,”
said Louisa; “you know you are very
careless, and I should not like my nice
new desk to be stained with ink, or,
pene scratched with the point of
a pin.”

“But mamma says I am growing
more careful,” said her sister ; “and
I do not think I am so heedless about
other pre pestis though I often
spoil my own.”

“Remember my wax doll,” said
Louisa, “which you left in the garden
through that heavy shower of rain, so
that I could never play with it again.”

“©, that was such a very long time
ago!” said Imma, looking a little
vexed.
10 AUNT HARDING'S KEEPSAKES.

“Perhaps it will not be a writing-
desk nor a work-box that aunt Hard-
ing will give us,” said Louisa ; “there
are many other things which we
should like. I wish she would ask
us to choose.”

“So do I,” added Emma; “but
there is nothing that J should like
better than a work-box.”

Louisa thought of many other
things which she should be glad to
have ; for she was apt to indulge ina
foolish habit of wishing for what she
was not likely to possess. It is a bad
thing to give way to this failing; for
by doing so we may often make our-
selves unhappy, without any good or
real cause. People who do so should
think of the words of St. Paul: “I
have learned, in whatsoever state I
am, therewith to be content.” Philip.
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 11

iv, 11. And children, who have kind
parents or friends to provide for all
their wants, should learn that it is
very sinful to let the thoughts be often
dwelling upon things that they cannot
have, and do not really need. Pray
for a grateful heart, that you may re-
joice in the blessings that surround
you, and be thankful to your heaven-
ly Father, who gives you all oe
richly to enjoy.

CHAPTER Ii.
THE PRESENTS.

Mrs. Harvine, the aunt of these lit-
tle girls, had been paying a farewell
visit to their mamma, before gomg
with Mr. Harding to India, where it
was likely that they would remain for
12 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

some years. She had kindly given
many little presents to her nieces dur-
ing her stay with them; but they
were such as Louisa and Emma
would cease to value when they be-
came old enough to “ put away child-
ish things;” and being a person of
piety and judgment, she wished her
last gift to be one which might be
worthy of their regard in youth and
in age, and through all the changes
of life. It did not take any long time
to determine what this parting gift
should be.

The evening before she went away,
she called Louisa and Emma into the
room. They both looked round upon
the table and chests of drawers, but
no sign of a present was to be seen;
no parcel neatly wrapped up in brown
paper, nor anything like a work-box
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 13

or a desk. But, to do them justice,
the thought of what they might re-
ceive was not then uppermost in their
mind ; for their heart was full of grief
at the prospect of parting with their
aunt, whom they dearly loved, and
who was going so very far away.

“Sit down beside me, dear chil-
dren,” said their aunt Harding, “and
let us have alittle talk together, quietly
by ourselves. I wish to give you a
few parting words of advice. I am
sure that you will not forget me when
I am gone; and when you think of
me, I hope that the good things which
I have tried to teach you will also
come into your mind.”

Both Louisa and Emma said, again
and again, that they could never for-
get her, and they promised to remem-
ber her advice.
14 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

‘Your mamma will often write to
me concerning you,” said aunt Hard-
ing, “and I cannot express the joy
that it will afford me to hear that you
are learning to hate sin more and
more, and to live like children of our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I
shall be glad to find that you are im-
proving in your studies, and I hope
that every letter will bring me an
account of your progress in useful
knowledge; but I shall be far more
anxious to hear of your being good
and dutiful to your parents; and,
above all, I shall long to know if you
seek in earnest for the pardon of your
sins, through the blood of Christ, and
whether there is any proof in your
conduct that your evil hearts have
been changed by the grace of the
Holy Spirit.”
AUNT HARDING’s KEEPSAKES. 15

“Tf mamma sends you a good
account of us,” said Louisa, ‘ please
to remember, aunt, that you promised
to write to us when that was the case.
And you will write to me first, be-
cause I am the eldest, you know.”

‘Since you claim to be thought of
first,” replied her aunt, “because you
are a year older then your sister, I
hope you intend to take the lead by
setting before her a good example,
that it may be well for her to imitate
you in every respect.”

Louisa blushed, and was silent.
‘““We will try our very best, dear aunt,”
said Emma, “that mamma may send
you good news, and then you will
write to us both. And, perhaps, be-
fore you come back, we shall be
grown such good girls, that you will not
be able to find fault with either of us.”
16 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

“Tam afraid that is not very like-
ly,” said Louisa; “for it seems as if
we could not help being naughty some-
times. I am sure I have often said
to myself, ‘Mamma shall not have to
reprove me once to-day,’ and yet,
Petey after, ae has been
amiss.”

“OQ! that is quite true,” said Em-
ma, with a sigh.

“The reason is this,” their aunt
replied ; ‘you were born with an evil
nature, which loves sin and leads you
to do wrong, so that you cannot be
good and dutiful of yourselves. When
you have made such resolves, it has
been in your own strength, without
your having asked for help from God;
and this being the case, it was not
possible that you should keep from
sin. The only way to lead a holy
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 17

life is to put no trust in ourselves, to
have a constant sense of our need of
divine grace, and to pray earnestly
that it may be given to us for Christ’s
sake,”

“ But you talk of my return,” added
she, “as if it were certain that we
Should meet again; yet how many
things may happen to prevent it! No-
thing can be more uncertain than the
future, though young people are apt
to think that all will fall out just as
they wish. I may not live to come
back ; or if I should be spared to do
so, who can tell that you will be here
to meet me? Long before that time
you may be laid low in the narrow
grave. ‘For what is your life? It
is even a vapor, that appeareth for a
little time, and then vanisheth away.’
James iv, 14.”
18 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

Before their aunt Harding had done
speaking, both the children were in
tears ; for the thought that they might
never see her again was more than
they could bear. Seeing that their
hearts were softened to receive the
word of instruction, she went on
to talk to them in a kind and earnest
manner on the great importance of
preparing for another world, showing
them their awful state without the
Saviour, and urging them to seek him
at once by faith and prayer ; then, fur-
ther to impress her advice upon their
minds, she unlocked a little cabinet
which stood near her, and taking out
two handsome Bibles,* gave one to
each of her nieces, telling them that
as it was the best present she could
give them, so she hoped they would

* See frontispiece.
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 19

value it, not only for her sake, but
because it was the word of God,
and taught the way of eternal life.
After this, she desired them to kneel
down with her, while she offered a
fervent prayer that God would bless
them, and that they might be led by
the Holy Spirit into the fold of Christ,
who died to take away their sins.
And she also prayed, that if they
should never more see each other in
this world, they and all whom they
loved might meet again and be happy
for ever in heaven.

Now I will not say that when the
sisters were alone together, and look-
ed at their handsome Bibles, a thought
of the work-box and the writing-desk
never crossed their minds; but it is
certain that there was not a word said
upon the subject, and each seemed to
20 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

be greatly pleased with her present,
admiring the rich purple binding, and
opening the book with care, to look
at the name which had been nicely
written by their aunt on one of the
blank leaves at the beginning. In
Louisa’s Bible, just under her name,
was the text, ‘Open thou mine eyes,
that I may behold wondrous things
out of thy law,” Psa. cxix, 18; and in
Emma’s, in the same place, was writ-
ten, “I love them that love me; and
those that seek me early shall find
me.” Prov. vii, 17.
AUNT HARDING'S KEEPSAKES. 21

CHAPTER III.
USE OF THE KEEPSAKES.

THE next day was a sorrowful one,
both to the friends who went away,
and to those who were left behind.
The children could talk of little else
than their uncle and aunt Harding.
They asked their mother many ques-
tions about the journey they had be-
gun, and the country to which they
were going. When Louisa and Km-
ma saw that their mamma was very
sad, and not so ready as usual to join
in their talk, they did not tease her,
as some thoughtless children would
have done, but each chose for herself
a pleasant and quiet employment.
Louisa began to arrange the furniture
in her baby-house, and Emma brought
a piece of brown silk from her drawer
22 AUNT HARDING'S KEEPSAKES.

of treasures, and set about making
a cover for her new Bible.

“Why, Emma, whatare youabout?”
cried Louisa, after watching her sis-
ter for a moment; “surely you are
not going to use that beautiful book 2”

“Yes, [ am,” said Emma, quietly ;
‘“‘T mean to read a little in it every
day. Ah! I see that you think it will
soon be torn and soiled; but I assure
you I intend to be very careful; and
look, whata nice cover this will make!”

“Tam afraid,” said Louisa, laugh-
ing, “you will never be careful as
long as you live. 'T’o think of so soon
beginning to use that handsome book !
I have made up my mind to read a
chapter every day, but not out of my
new Bible. I think the old one, that
hes in the school-room, will do just
as well.”
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 23

“So it would,” returned Emma;
“and I thought of that myself last
night, when aunt Harding told us how
much she wished us to be good, and
to love the Scriptures: but then the
shool-room Bible is not always in its
place, and that might sometimes hin-
der me from reading at all. Now
I shall keep this book in my little
drawer in our room, where I can find
it In a minute.”

“Vou must please yourself, I sup-
pose,” said Louisa; “but I will ask
mamma whether it is better to use
aunt Harding’s Bible or the old one.”
_ Mrs. Western heard what her little
girl had to say, but did not give just
the answer that Louisa expected.
“You are right,” she said, “in sup-
posing that it does not signify whe-
ther you read in an old Bible or a
24 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

new one. It is from the divine bless-
ing upon what we read, and not from
the book itself, that we must look for
benefit to our souls. If you pray for
this blessing with all your heart, you
will find the way of salvation as plain-
ly declared in the worn-out school-
room Bible as in your aunt Harding’s
keepsake, with its purple binding and
shining gilt leaves. But yet I approve
of Ekmma’s wish to use her new Bible
from this time, and advise you to fol-
low her example. For though it
ought to be our great delight to read
the Scriptures, yet we have such sin-
ful hearts, so ready to put off domg
what is right for any poor excuse, that
even such a little thing as having to
look for the Bible, when it happens
to be mislaid, will be likely to prevent
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 25

you from reading it so constantly as
you intend.”

To this Louisa made no aes She
had wrapped up her beautiful book
in silver paper, and laid it carefully
in a box, under lock and key, and she
did not mean to disturb it, except per-
haps now and then for a few moments,
that it might be looked at and admir-
ed. As for Emma, she went on
fitting the brown silk cover as neatly
as she could; and hoping that, if she
prayed for the divine blessing, as her
mother and aunt had told her, she
might learn from her precious Bible
the way to be good and happy.
26 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

CHAPTER IV.
TWO CHARACTERS.

It is time that I should tell you the
age of these two little girls. Louisa
was just turned of ten, and Emma
was one year younger. I have no
doubt that although you know so little
about them, you already like Emma
better than her sister ; and the reason '
of this is plain. No one could be long
with Louisa without finding out that
she was a selfish child; while Em-
ma, though she had many faults, of
which carelessness was the chief, was
of a kind, good-natured disposition,
always ready to oblige. Louisa, too,
was often willful, and would not give
up her own way; while Emma was
numble-minded, knowing that she had
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. Q7

much to learn, and thankful to be
taught. Both of these children. were
sinners, like all who are born into
this sinful world: but Louisa cared
little about the concerns of her soul;
while Emma had begun to pray in
secret for pardon through Christ her
Saviour, and for the new heart which
is the gift of his Holy Spirit.
Reader, you too are a sinner, and
by nature far from God. Do you ever
consider what is your present state ?
Have you been brought near to him
by the blood of Christ, the new and
living way? You may have heard of
these things before, but without giv-
ing heed to the salvation of your own
soul, or seeking to prepare for the
world to come. If this has been the
case, pause now, and ask yourself
whither you are going, and what
28 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

must be the end, if you do not repent
and turn from sin. ‘There are many
awful texts in the Bible concerning
those who trifle with the offers of
divine mercy, and harden their hearts
against the Saviour’s gracious call.
O! pray that you may not be one of
this unhappy number. Seek the Lord
while he may be found, before the
day of grace is past. God has said
that his “Spirit shall not always strive ~
with man,” Gen. vi, 3; and if you will
not repent to-day, to- “morrow oe be
too late.

Emma’s Bible was nicely covered,
and laid in her own little drawer;
and every morning she read a chapter
before she went down stairs. She
prayed that God would teach her by
his Holy Spirit to understand what
she read; and though her prayers
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES, 29

were very simple, and she scarcely
knew what words to use, yet she felt
sure that he would hear her, because
he has promised to do so, for the sake
of his dear Son. And by degrees, as
she began to love her Bible more and
more, she learned a habit of going to
their little room alone, once in each
day, to read a few verses in private,
and to offer a short prayer to her
“Father who seeth in secret.” Matt.
vi, 6. She found a great blessing in
this; and it often happened that the
thought of a text of Scripture which
she had been reading in her room
alone would come into her mind
when she was afterward tempted to
say or do something wrong, and thus
help to keep her from sin.

It was not so with Louisa. The
Bible was often wanted in the school-
30 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

room—for the children had a gover-
ness who came to teach them every
day; and Louisa soon found it too
much trouble to take the book up
stairs at night, and to carry it down
again the next morning. Besides this,
she did not always rise from her bed
in time to read a chapter, so that it
was often put off till after breakfast,
and then it commonly happened that
she had other things to do, and did
not read it at all. Emma would some-
times gently remind her that her Bible
reading had been forgotten; but this
made Louisa so cross that she left off
doing so at last. The truth was, that
this poor child had no real love for
the Scriptures; and as she did not
seek for grace to help her, the good
resolves that she had made passed
away quickly from her mind.
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 31

The difference between the sisters
was seen in their outward conduct;
for Emma’s reading of the Bible would
have been in vain if the effects had
not been shown in her temper and
daily life. I do not mean to say that
she never went wrong; for Emma hac
still an evil nature, and a sinful heart,
often leading her to forget the com-
mands of God. But, she was truly
sorry when this had been the case,
and would ask to be forgiven with
many tears; and she also prayed for
divine grace, that she might try to be
more watchful for the time to come.
Louisa, on the other hand, thought
too highly of herself to be easily con-
vinced of a fault; and as she seldom
received reproof in an humble and
proper manner, she made but little
progress toward improvement.
32 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

CHAPTER V.
LETTERS FROM INDIA.

SomE months passed before there
came a letter from Mrs. Harding ; for
India, as you know, is many thou-
sands of miles from here, and it
takes a lone time for a ship to sail
over the wide sea which lies between.
But great was the joy of the children ©
and their mother when at last the
good tidings came that, through the
mercy of God, their friends had reach-
ed that distant country, safe and well.
Louisa danced and clapped her hands;
and Emma felt very happy, sitting be-
side her mother, and looking up in her
face, while she read the letter through
tears of pleasure.

Mrs. Harding had written a few
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 33

lines to the children, which their mo-
ther read aloud to them, and then
allowed them to look at for them-
selves. ‘The words were these: “I
often think of you, dear Louisa and
Emma, and pray for divine blessings
upon you both; and I hope to hear
that you are giving yourselves to the
Saviour, who died upon the cross for
you. You know the love of Jesus
_ for the young; his kindness to them
when he was upon earth; and the ten-
der way in which he still invites them
to come to him. Go, then, to Christ
without delay: ask him to be your
friend, and you will be happy for
evermore.” —

A few weeks after this letter had
been received, Mrs. Western’s birth-
day arrived, when it was usual for
her children to have a holiday and

a
34 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

a little treat. On the morning of this
day, as Emma was running up stairs,
her mamma called to her from her
dressing-room, and desired her to
come in, and to shut the door. Emma
did as she was bid; and then Mrs.
Western, with a smile on her face,
told her to look round, and try if she
could discover anything in the room
that she had not seen before.

Almost before her mother had done
speaking, the little girl fixed her eyes
upon a handsome work-box, standing
upon the table with the lid open, and
showing a lining of pale blue silk,
edged with silver; while within were
scissors and thimble, an abundance
of needles and cotton, everything, in
short, that Emma had long been
wishing for in vain.

“It is yours, my dear,” said her

»
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 35

mamma ; “it is a present from your
aunt Harding, who, in her letter, re-
quested me to choose for you on my
birthday something that you would
like, if your conduct should have been
such as to deserve a token of our
approval. I am happy to see that
you strive to amend your faults, and
I trust that you will still go on trying
to improve.”

“O, mamma, how beautiful! and
how kind in aunt Harding! Indeed
I will try to deserve it.” And the
little girl went close to the box, and
looked at its contents, but without
venturing to touch them; then gently
closing the lid, she stood gazing upon
it with silent delight.

“But, mamma,” said Emma, look-
ing up with a sudden thought, and
casting her eyes round the room as if
36 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

in search of something which was not
to be seen, “‘ where is Louisa’s pre-
sent? She would like a writing-desk,
I know ; for the old work-box which
she has had so long is not yet worn
out, because she is so very careful.”

“Tam sorry to say,” returned Mrs.
Western, “that Louisa is not deserv-
ing of any present, and therefore it
would have been wrong to provide
one for her.”

At hearing this, Emma changed
color, and looked almost ready to
cry. ‘Dear mamma,” said she, “do
pray have pity on poor Louisa. I
cannot bear to show her my beautiful
box, if she is not to have a present too.
She would be so much grieved.”

‘““My dear,” said Mrs. Western, “do |

you not perceive that it would be un-
just and contrary to your aunt’s wish,
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 37

if, while Louisa gives way to her
faults, I were to treat her as though
she were seeking to overcome them?
Itis quite as painful to me as to your-
self to make this needful difference
between you; but in all our actions
we must think of what is rzght, and
not of what it would be pleasant to do.
When I see any sign of improvement
in your sister, I shall gladly provide
her with a writing-desk; but not till
then.”

Emma paused for a moment; her
eyes filled with tears, and the color
rose to her face. ‘Then mamma,”
said she, “I will wait, if you please,
for my work-box, until you think
proper to give Louisa her desk.
Please to put it away in some safe
place, and I will not say anything
about it. I can do very well without
38 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

the box a little while longer, you
know.”

When Mrs. Western found that
Emma was willing to deny herself a
pleasure rather than give pain to her
sister, she consented to her wish,
because she desired to encourage
kind and tender feelings between
them; and she knew it would be easy
to find some other way of showing
Louisa that her friends were grieved
and displeased by her conduct. So
the work-box was safely put away
for the present; though Emma had
her hopes that the time would soon
come when, with the promised writ-
ing-desk, it might be again brought
forward.
a



AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 39°

CHAPTER VI.

TROUBLE BETWEEN SISTERS.

I wave told you that Emma was
not without her faults; and whether
she was a little lifted.up by her
mother’s approval, so that she became

less watchful over herself, and felt

less her need of the grace of God, I
cannot say: but so it was, that on the
very same evening of their mother’s
birthday, the sisters had a quarrel,
which would certainly have been
worse, if Mrs. Western had not been
sitting by. Louisa was the first to
blame; but, on the other hand, Emma
did not behave like a meek and
Christian child.

Tt was about Louisa’s old work-box
that this quarrel took place. Emma
40 AUNT HARDING’S KEESPSAKES.

wished to have the use of it for a
short time, as Louisa did not want it
herself: but Louisa, as you have
seen, was not very willing to lend;
and some sharp and unkind words
passed between them, such as children
too often use when they give way to
angry and sinful passions. No doubt
the thought of her own work-box was
in Emma’s mind when she said, “You
are selfish and ill-natured, Louisa, and
do not deserve that people should give
up any pleasure for you.”

While she was speaking, she saw
her mother’s eyes turned toward her
with a look of surprise and sorrow ;
and at the same moment the words of
Scripture, “Be kindly affectioned one
toward another,” came into her mind.
She blushed and looked down while
Mrs. Western reproved them both,
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 41

and told them of the grief which she
felt on account of their sinful conduct,
reminding them also of the example
of the meek and lowly Jesus, who
has commanded us to live in love.
Emma was soon brought to tears, and
went out of the room to weep alone,
and ask forgiveness, for her Saviour’s
sake, from the holy God whom she
had displeased by her sin: but Loui-
sa, as usual, was inclined to be sullen,
and did not think that she had been
at all in the wrong. Upon this, her
mother pointed out to her the unkind-
ness of refusing so small a favor to
her sister; and in the hope of bring-
ing her to a sense of her fault, she
told her what had passed in the morn-
ing, and made known to her the whole
affair of the work-box. Louisa was
so much struck by this proof of Em-
42 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

ma’s love, that her heart was quite
softened, and she not only owned that
she had done amiss, but ran to seek
her sister, and asked her to forget
their quarrel and be friends.

Emma was very glad to agree to
this, and was also ready to take her
share of blame, saying that she had
been very wrong in speaking so un-
kindly, and she hoped never to be so
naughty again. It was pleasant after
this, to see Louisa’s desire that her
sister should use the old work-box,
and what care Emma showed in keep-
ing all its contents nicely in their
place.

The loss of the birthday present
had a great effect upon Louisa, so
that she became more watchful over
her temper and conduct. In a few
months she had improved so much,

.
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 43°

that though she was still far from
being all that could be wished, yet
her mother thought she might safely
buy her the writing-desk, according
to the desire of her aunt Harding.
Emma had still waited for her work-
box with hope and patience; and you
may imagine the joy of both when
they at last received these long wish-
ed-for gifts. And as kmma was now
not so careless as formerly, and Loui-
sa had grown more kind, the work-
box and the writing-desk were often
lent in exchange; while the sisters
soon found out the truth of what their
mother told them, that such little fre-
quent acts of mutual kindness do
more to increase love than those
greater deeds which children some-
times talk about, but seldom have the
power to perform.
44 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

The second packet from aunt Hard-
ing was received with not less joy
than the first ; for there was in it a let-
ter for Louisa and Emma; and that
she might show no favor to one above
the other, she had directed it to both.
Louisa, however, claimed and was
allowed the privilege of breaking
the seal. I wish you could have seen
their happy faces, as Emma leaned
upon her sister’s shoulder to read the
welcome letter which had been sent
to them from a country so distant, and
by a friend whom they loved so well.
AUNT HARDING'S KEEPSAKES. 45

CHAPTER VII.

AUNT HARDING’S LETTER.

Woutp you like to know what aunt
Harding wrote to her nieces? Here
then is the letter, word for word :—

“My Dear CHILDREN, LOUISA AND
Emma,—It is with great pleasure that
I read in your mamma’s letter the
account of your improvement, and |
am glad to fulfill the promise which
I made of writing to you when that
should be the case. I hope that you
will go on trying to grow better and
better; and for this end you should
pray daily for the grace of God to help
you every moment of your lives.
Without his grace the evil desires of
your sinful hearts will lead you from
46 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

the right way ; and as one sin always
brings on others, you would, if left
to yourselves, wander further and
further from that which is good, until
you lost all love for your Saviour and
his commands.

‘I often think of you, and wish
that you could see the poor little
Hindoo children, who have never
heard of the true God, but are taught
by their heathen parents to kneel
down, and pray to idols of wood and
stone. ‘There is a river in this
country, the river Ganges, which the
people believe to be a goddess, and
they think that its waters can wash
away their sins. Mothers often bring
their little infants and bathe them in
this river, because they believe it will
make them holy. Do you not pity
these poor people, whose souls are
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 47

perishing for want of knowledge?
Do you not wish that some one would
go among them, and tell them about
Jesus the Son of God, who gave him-
self to die for sinners, and whose
blood alone can wash away sin? If
so, you will be glad to know that
there are some good men here who
have left their own dear home and
friends to live in this heathen country,
and to teach the poor Hindoos the
true and only way to heaven. Chris-
tians in other places, who love the
Saviour, and wish that the heathen
should learn to love him too, give
money to send these good men here,
and to pay for Bibles, and for other
books which have been written on
purpose to show how sinners may be
saved. All may help to do this who
will spare a little money from their
48 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

own wishes and wants. You may
help, if you love the Saviour enough
to deny yourselves some little plea-
sure now and then. I think you
would resolve to do so, if you could
go with me sometimes to the mission-
ary school, and see the little children
sitting in rows, learning to read about
Jesus, and hear them asking for more
books to take home, that they may
tell the tidings of salvation to their
heathen parents. O yes! Iamsure
you would want to help them then;
for you would remember that heathen
children, like yourselves, have souls
which must live for ever and ever;
and you would long that they should
come to the knowledge of the Saviour,
who died for them as well as for you.

‘Tt is now time that I should finish
this long letter; so farewell, dear
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 49

Louisa and Emma. Your uncle sends
his love to you. We often talk of
you, and pray that you may be the
children of God, through faith in his
dear Son. Your ever affectionate,
“Aunt Harpine.”

CHAPTER VIII.
USE OF MONEY.

imma found a great deal to think
about in this letter, and it led to
frequent talk with her mother about
the heathen, for whom she began to
feel much concern. When she heard
how Christian people were trying to
help them, and had read some ac-
counts which her mother lent to her,
telling of the happy change that,
through the blessing of God, had been
4
50 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

brought about in many cases by the
preaching of the gospel, she wished
that Louisa and herself could join in
doing something, though ever so little,
for this good cause. The love of
Christ was in her heart: when this 1s
the case, it will be sure to show itself
in love for the souls of others.

But Louisa, when spoken to on the
subject, said that she had not anything
to give. “I am very sorry, though,
that the poor Hindoos should worship
idols,” she said; “and when I grow
older, and have more money, I will
do a great deal for them, depend upon
ity?

“But why not help them a little
now ?” said Emma.

“Because I have no money,” re-
plied Louisa; “no money I mean
except what is in my little savings
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 51

bank, and I should not like to part
with that. As for you, Emma, you
never can save up a shilling; so that
I am sure you have not anything to
Spare.”

“Ah,” said Emma, “ that is true, to
be sure ; I never can save my money,
and so I will tell you what I mean to
do. Mamma gives us threepence a
week, to spend as we please, you
know ; but I will only take twopence
for the time to come, and I shall ask
her to give the other pennies to the
Tract Society at the end of the year.
Four shillings and fourpence is not
much, indeed, yet it will buy some
nice little books for the Hindoo chil-
dren in the schools; and if you will
also give a penny a week, that will
buy just as many more.”

It was ofno use. Louisa would not
52 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

be persuaded to do anything for the
heathen yet. Emma gave her penny
a week, and felt happy in giving it;
while Louisa only talked of doimg so
by and by. If Louisa had loved
her Saviour and her Bible, she would
have felt it a delight to assist in send-
ing the glad tidings of the gospel to
heathen lands; but when the heart
has not been changed by the Holy
Spirit, we feel but little concern for
our own souls, and donot care for the
salvation of others.

Emma was not led away by the
example of her sister; but as she
erew older she seemed to grow in
erace, and in the knowledge and love
of Christ. This will always be the
case with those who believe the pro-
mises of God, and seek for divine
assistance to enable them to obey his
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 53

word. We can do nothing of our-
selves, for we are poor, guilty, help-
less sinners: but God, who has given
his only Son to die for our sins, has
also promised to give his Holy Spirit
to them that ask it. Therefore, though
we feel ourselves ever so weak and
sinful, we need not despair of growing
better, if we also feel our need of
Christ, and go to him for help and
pardon.

Louisa and Emma had often heard
that life is short and uncertain ; but it
is not easy for young people to feel
the truth of this while they are healthy
and strong. When Emma was about
twelve years old she was taken very
ill, so that there was from the first but
little hope that she would recover.
Then she felt that it is an awful
thing to die; and the thought of the
54 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

soul, which cannot die, and of heaven
and hell, were far more solemn than
they had ever seemed to her before.
At first she was greatly afraid of death,
for she knew she was a sinner, and
deserving of the anger of God; but by
degrees, as she lay on her sick bed,
there came into her mind many sweet
verses of the Bible, which she had
learned in her days of health, and
which gave her comfort, by telling
her of the love of Jesus the Lamb of
God, who taketh away the sins of the
world. Do you think she was sorry,
now, that she had spent so many
hours in reading that holy and bless-
ed book? No; for the promises of
mercy and salvation which it held out
to her was her only support through
many hours of pain and _ suffering,
when death seemed near, and eternity


AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 55

close at hand. ‘Though too ill to read,
or even to listen to the words of life,
she could remember many of them in
her heart, and think of them to her
comfort in this season of trial. Some-
times she was able to talk to her
mother for a few minutes, when it was
plain that her mind was chiefly filled
with thoughts of Christ and things
divine. And she often said that, if it
should be the will of God to restore
her to health, she hoped for grace to
devote herself to his service, and to
live more to his glory than she had
ever done before. She also spoke
oftener to her sister, begging her to
think of her soul, to read her Bible
more, and to seek for the pardon of
her sins; and Louisa, who was in
great distress at the thought of losing
her, was ready to promise anything
56 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

that she asked. But it did not appear
that she was under any concern for
her own state; and this was a great
trouble to poor Emma, who now felt
more than ever the need of preparing
for the world to come.

It pleased God to spare her life,
though she grew better very slowly,
and it was many weeks before she
could leave her room. When her
long and painful illness was over, she
was again able to share with Louisa
in her lessons and her pleasures, so
that in time those weeks of grief and
suffering seemed to be forgotten ; but
they were not forgotten by Emma:
she did not forget the mercies she had
received, and the resolve which she
had made of leading a holy life: she
daily prayed for an humble and watch-
ful mind, and for grace to keep her
=

AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 57

from falling into sin; and, as you may
suppose, she loved her Bible more and
more for the comfort which it had
given her in the time of trouble. She
still took pleasure in reading it alone,
and prayed that she might have grace
to obey its commands, so that it might
be a lamp unto her feet and a light
unto her path. Psa. cxix, 105.

CHAPTER IX.
AUNT HARDING’S RETURN.

AND now two more years had passed
away, and the time when their aunt
Harding’s return was looked for had
come. ‘They had talked of it all through
the winter ; and when spring was over,
and summer begun, the happy tidings
came that the ship had arrived in safety,
and their uncle and aunt Harding were
58 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

on their way to visit them once more.
I will leave you to guess the joy that
was felt by all; and you must picture
to yourself the pleasure of their meet-
ing soon afterward: how thankful ali
were that they were spared to behold
each other again; with uncle Hard-
ing’s surprise at seeing two great girls
instead of little Louisa and Emma;
and aunt Harding’s smiles, and her
hopes that there would be found an
equal improvement in matters of more
importance.

The morning after she came, when
Mrs. Harding began to unpack her
boxes, Louisa and Emma caught sight
of many pretty and curious things
which she told them were intended as
presents for themselves. ‘“ But before
we proceed any further,” said she, as
the girls were beginning to express
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 59

their thanks and pleasure, “I wish to
inquire about the parting keepsake
which I gave to you ; and I should be
glad to see how each book has been
treated, that I may know the real
value which you set upon the gift.”
Louisa and Emma both ran to fulfill
their aunt’s desire. To speak the |
truth, Louisa was now in hopes of
having all the praise. She quickly
brought in her handsome Bible, still
wrapped in the soft white paper, and
in-all the gloss of newness: not a
mark upon the rich purple binding,
not a speck upon the bright gilt leaves.
Emma, too, brought hers, but with a
more timid look ; the neat brown silk
cover was faded and worn—she had
thought of making a new one only the
day before—and the brightness was
gone from the leaves, and the binding
60 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

seemed rather loose, for the book
opened easily, and there were some
pages, less white than others, which
looked as if they had been often read.

To Louisa’s surprise, Mrs. Harding
laid down her book without saying a
word, while, as soon as she took Em-
ma’s Bible into her hand, she smiled
with pleasure, although tears came
into her eyes. “Thzs book has been
valued as it ought to be,” said she; ~
‘it has been used with care, but often
used, so that I trust it has been found
a guide and a help to heaven. But
yours, Louisa”—and she pointed to
the beautiful Bible which lay upon the
table—‘“ yours has. been laid aside,
like the talent which was buried in
the earth. It has been of no benefit
to your soul, for you seem hardly ever
to have looked to it for instruction ;
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 61

as if its real worth consisted in out-
side ornament, you have been careful
to keep that from injury, but have
never sought or cared for the treasure
that is within. But dry your tears,
my dear Louisa,” added aunt Harding
kindly. “I am not angry, for I know —
that your mistaken care was in some
measure caused by your love for me.

Iam only sorry that my parting
present has not been of the use which
I intended. But it is not yet too late
for you to learn that, while your Bible
should be kept with proper care—for
it is the word of God—yet it was
given for our daily study, that we
might read it,. pray over it, and
practice it; and thus, by the divine
blessing, become ‘wise unto salvation
through faith which is in Christ
Jesus.’” 2 Tim. 11, 15.
62 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

‘T trust,” said the kind aunt, look-
ing at her two nieces with much
affection ; ‘I trustthat my dear Emma
knows and loves her Saviour, andtakes
delight in the Scriptures, because they
testify of him. May you both have
grace to love him above all things, to
do his will, and to put your trust in
him for evermore; and then the heart-
felt desire of your aunt Harding will
be fulfilled.”

Reader, beware how you neglect
the word of God. But remember it
is not by merely reading it that you
are to look for a blessing to your soul.
You must pray for the teaching of the
Holy Spirit, who alone can open your
understanding, and incline your heart
to heavenly wisdom, that you may
not read in vain.
AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES. 63

PRAYER FOR DIVINE GUIDANCE.

O that the Lord would guide my ways
To keep his statutes still!

O that my God would grant me grace
To know and do his will!

O send thy Spirit down to write
Thy law upon my heart!

Nor let my tongue indulge deceit,
Nor act the liar’s part.

From vanity turn off mine eyes;
Let no corrupt design,

Nor covetous desires, arise
Within this soul of mine.

Order my footsteps by thy word,
And make my heart sincere :

Let sin have no dominion, Lord,
But keep my conscience clear.

My soul hath gone too far astray,
My feet too often slip ;

Yet, since I’ve not forgot thy way,
Restore thy wand’ring sheep.

Make me to walk in thy commands,
"Tis a delightful road ;

Nor let my head, or heart, or hands,
Offend against my God.
64 AUNT HARDING’S KEEPSAKES.

VALUE OF THE SCRIPTURES TO THE YOUNG

How shall the young secure their hearts,
And guard their lives from sin ?

Thy word the choicest rules imparts
To keep the conscience clean.

When once it enters to the mind,
It spreads such light abroad,

The meanest souls instruction find,
And raise their thoughts to God.

Tis like the sun, a heavenly light
That guides us all the day ;

And through the dangers of the night,
A lamp to lead our way.

_ Thy precepts make me truly wise ;

I hate the sinner’s road:

I hate my own vain thoughts that rise,
But love thy law, my God.

Thy word is everlasting truth ;
How pure is every page !

That holy book shall guide our youth,
And well support our age.

THE END.

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