Page images

Second, to pity and help those who have not these blessings. If you see a poor boy or girl, instead of laughing at them, as I have seen some boys do, try to help them, remembering that the Bible

says: “He that giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord.”

Tom was led to the home of George Strong, where he received a kind reception, a good warm, a clean wash, and a good meal, the first he had had for many a day. Mrs. Strong was poor, but kind ; she, too, was a widow, but had a few good friends, and was kept from want. She listened to poor Tom's tale with all a mother's feelings. And when he told how he had slept under archways or in outhouses, she could not help weeping. She felt as though she would like to do something for Tom, but was too poor to keep him with them. She determined, however, that he should stop that night, When she told him this, the poor lad was too full to thank her, but burst into tears, " and felt the thanks he could not speak.”

George was delighted that Tom could stop. "You shall share my bed," said he. That was one of the happiest nights Tom had spent since his mother's death. George and he grew as intimate as if they had known each other all their lives. Bed-time came, and the two boys, bidding the widow good night, went to their room. After shutting the door, George was about to undress quickly and get into bed.

George,” said Tom, “ don't you read first ? " “ Read what ?" asked George. “Why, the book that tells about Jesus, and angels, and heaven," said Tom. No,” said George ; “ do you ?” said Tom. “I promised my mother that I would read it every day. She said that if I did and was a good boy, God would take care of

I have never missed reading this book since she gave it to me on the night she died. I try to be good, but sometimes I have been very wicked.” “I should like to hear you read that book," said George. “Very well, you shall,” said Tom, as he opened the small Testament which our readers saw his mother giving to him. They sat on the side of the bed while Tom read several passages which he could understand best and had read most. He read of Jesus blessing children -the many mansions—and the account of heaven in the last chapter of Revelations. All this was comparatively new to George. True, they had a big old Bible which had belonged to his grandfather, but it was seldom opened, unless they wanted to see the date of someone's birth or death written under the cover. It usually stood on a little table, with sundry other books placed upon it, and a small white cover over the lot; just as we can see it, almost any day,


many houses.

George asked many questions, some of which Tom could answer, but some he could not. In earlier days he had been a Sunday-school scholar, and had not forgotten the good things which his teacher had told him. He now found some of them useful whilst talking to George. George was so much interested in what he heard, that he wanted Tom to teach him how to pray to

"Oh, yes,”


Jesus. The two fatherless boys knelt together, and a few simple words of prayer were offered by Tom, but not too simple for God to hear. They got into bed, and George said he would always read about Jesus in future, and never go to bed without praying to Him. Soon they forgot their joys and sorrows, for

“Sleep, gentle sleep,

Nature's soft nurse,' took them in her arms, and gently watched over them in their season of forgetfulness.


(Continued from page 45. )

N the next page of my Album you may see the portrait

of Mr. John Blunt, the teacher who always "speaks his
mind," and who often grieves and wounds the minds of
others. He tells you boastfully that he is one of your
straight-forward, outright, fearless men. He has no idea

of mincing matters to please anybody. If he can only catch someone in a fault he is in his glory, for then he lays about him right and left. He does not believe a bit in palaver and squeamishness. In fact, to use his own words, he is “ a real John Bull.” Well, perhaps our friend has in him too much of the bull and too little of the lamb, too little of the meekness and gentleness of Christ. He has, you may see, not the most winning and agreeable face. He is too apt to gore people with his grievances, too apt to blurt out the cutting and rasping word and keep back the word that is cheering and tender. His speech is not always with grace, seasoned with salt. The churlish manner and snappish tones have done much to repel those who loved to be quiet-who were not thick-skinned, whose feelings were not petrified into indifference and contempt.

He does not believe much in praising anybody (except himself for his outspokenness), for that might make men vain and conceited ; and he seems to have got a special commission from somewhere to keep everybody humble and in their right place. When he does praise, the words come in drops, few and far between; but his blame comes in buckets and showers. He keeps part of the commandment,

speak the truth,” but he omits part, " speak the truth in love." Whatsover things are true, and honest, and just, he remembers, but he too often forgets the things that are “ lovely” and of good report.


Rarely is his " the soft answer that turneth away wrath.” Mr. John Blunt is willing to work. He attends to his class regularly, and is usually in time. He knows what the rules of the school require, and often reminds others of their requirements. He is sober, just, and reliable, and by many he is respected and trusted ; but I cannot say that he is beloved. He might be, and would be if, in addition to stern and rugged honesty, he would acquire more of the “ beauty of holi

" and practise more fully this precept, “ Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love." While we should all be fearless and true to the core of the heart, we need not be harsh and unkind.

Speak gently! it is better far

To rule by love than fear.
Speak geutly! let not harsh words mar

The good we might do here.
Speak gently to the little child,

Its love be sure to gain.
Teach it in accents soft and mild,

It may not long remain.
Speak gently to the erring, know

They may have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so,

Oh! win them back again.

X.-MR. CHARLES BIGGER, Is the name of the young gentleman whose likeness you see on the next page of our Album. He was brought to school when very young. He was moved up from class to class, and at last he almost moved himself off. He reckons to have some connection with the school yet, but it is very slender. His name is still on the book, but his face is rarely seen in the class. He never seemed to be thoroughly interested in the Sunday school; he did not fairly grasp the great truths of the Bible. He read it and heard it, but it was never deeply imbedded in his heart, never enthroned upon his conscience or will, never interwoven with the fibres and passions of his inmost being His dealing with the truth was slight and superficial. The seed fell upon stony ground-ground that had hard blocks of stone underlying a thin layer of earth. So the seed could not grow, because it had not depth of earth. But Mr. Charles Bigger was not without some sense of his own importance. He never liked to sit with boys younger and smaller than himself. He was always glad when the time for promotion came, for he did not form strong attachments to his teachers, and was not sorry to leave them. At last he began to stay away frequently. He was visited, questioned, entreated, but all that could be got out of him was that he too big now to come and sit with a parcel of youngsters.” What he said with his lips he confirmed by his whole conduct and bearing. Was it not a shame to ask him to come to school ? Why, he was nearly nineteen years old, he had now done wearing round jackets ; soon he hoped to have a tall hat ; further, he had begun to smoke, to order


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

a glass of wine or beer on his own account. On his lips you may see a little soft down; in his pockets there is a quantity of "spending money" all his own. He has begun to call his parents, not mother and father, but the old woman and governor; and if they attempt to check or reprove him, he turns up his nose and says, “I can keep myself.” Now, when you consider all these things—his age, nineteen, mark you, his attainments and prospects—is it not an insult to expect him to come and sit with a lot of youngsters ? He is not too big to learn many lessons of vice and folly—not too big to drink and gamble and scoff--not too big to stand at the corner of streets, to stroll in lanes or fields on the Sabbath-day, to join bad companions, and thus go from bad to worse himself. All this may seem to him manly and brave; really it is low and mean and false. True manliness is made up of intelligence, purity, love, and heroism. My dear young friends, let me entreat you never to turn your backs upon the Sunday school. There you have met with much kindness, been taught precious truth, and pointed to eternal bliss and purity. However big and strong and wise you may become, if you had the strength and stature of Goliath, and your mind was as large and vigorous as that of Milton or Shakespeare, there would still be much to learn ; and if others have taught you, it is but fair that when you have the ability you should teach others. “Freely ye have received, freely give.”.

Before we turn to the next page, I should like to tell you a story which I once heard about a noble boy who went to sea.

The owner of the vessel in which this boy sailed said to him before the voyage was commenced, “Now, I want you to promise me that you will never leave the ship." The boy promised. When far away from home the vessel was in danger. The sailors said, “Let us leave the ship and look after our own lives.” “Not so," said the lad; “I promised to stick to the ship.” “But the ship will go down,” said the men. “Never mind," said the boy, “ I shall not leave her." will be drowned, and we shall leave you here alone.” " Well," he replied, “I will not leave the ship." The men did forsake the vessel, taking what they could with them. But by the good and mighty help of Him who“ rules the raging of the waves,” the ship reached the port in safety. The brave boy kept his word and stuck to the ship. My young friends, let me again entreat you to stick to your Sunday school. Others may be too big, or too busy, or too important to come, but let all who read the JUVENILE INSTRUCTOR hold fast lovingly and resolutely to the Sunday school.

6. But you

“PLAYS LIKE A CHRISTIAN.”. A LITTLE boy hit one of the true proofs in a remark about his girl playmate whose heart and conduct had been changed. Said he

Mother, I know that Emma is a Christian."




" What makes


so, my child ?"
“Because, mother, she plays like a Christian.”

“Plays like a Christian said his mother; the expression sounded a little odd.

"Yes,” replied the child, “ if you take everything she's got, she don't get angry. Before she was selfish ; and if she didn't have everything her own way she would say, 'I won't play with you, you are an ugly little boy !'



My dear friends, as you know, we are now met to hold

Our Juvenile Missionary Meeting,
And I trust I may wish you, without seeming bold,

A right hearty juvenile greeting.
And as this is a juvenile mooting, of course,

You will not think it very surprising
That we young folks are called on in turn to discourse,

And we hope you won't laugh at our rising.
We, of course, don't expect to be able to preach,

And I think it is hardly expected.
We shall try just a few mission lessons to teach,

And we hope they will not be rejected.
So to-night you'll have young folks to speak or recite,

And young folks to help you to sing,
And afterwards, if I understand right,

The collecting-plates round we shall bring.
Perhaps some will say we ought to have had

A boy to preside o'er this meeting ;
But among my schoolfellows I don't know a lad

Who for chair-boy would think himself fitting.
There's one fact, however, which satisfies me,

And 'tis clear to the veriest dunce,
That no matter how old our chairman may be,

He must surely have been a boy once.
So, while young folks and old folks together conspire

The cause of their missions to plead,
I hope your benevolent hearts will catch fire,

And prompt many a generous deed.

« PreviousContinue »