Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

6

hand was softly laid upon his burning brow, and whose tears more than once fell on the pillow. His father watched him all through the fever, but Horace hardly recognised him, except perhaps for a moment at a time. Sometimes he thought his father was Sillison, and asked him if his head was much hurt. It was the image of Sillison which chiefly haunted him; and so, when he had recovered his consciousness sufficiently to remember what had happened, and to recognise Harry, the first thing he asked was“How's Sillison ?

Oh, he's all right,' replied Harry. "There was never much the matter with him.'

Horace looked at Harry with a puzzled look, then passed his hand over his forehead as if to collect his thoughts, and then smiled.

'I must have been very ill, Harry.'

'Yes, you have been ill for a week; but you are better now, Horace.'

"Thank God!' said a well-known voice, as the door was gently opened.

'Oh, papa !' cried Horace, and, weak and ill as he was, burst into tears.

Ah i what is it to have a kind father ! Captain Hazelwood came and sat down by Horace, and, kissing him and taking his thin hand, said again-for it was all he either could or wished to say, and it was said from the bottom of his heart-" Thank God!' ‘Oh, papa, don't be angry with me.

I have been very naughty; but I am sorry.' My dear boy, I am not angry with you, nor will God

if you are sorry.' “They all looked like little things, papa.' “Well, hush, hush, Horace. We must make

you

well first, and then we can talk about it.'

[ocr errors]

be angry,

And at this point I choose rather abruptly to end my story, having accomplished its object, which was to show by what a sad lesson Horace learned the great danger of little things. A very sad lesson, indeed; but one which many boys have to learn as he did, before they become good and happy men.

I should like to tell more about Horace,--how he got better; how he went back to school; how he set himself to fight against and to conquer little things; how he made his school-fellows change the bad opinion which they had formed of him. Perhaps some day I shall be able to tell all this, and a great many other things besides, about Horace and Harry; but for the meantime my story is finished.

And now one word of farewell from the author to the young reader, which he claims to have deserved ; for he has not written these pages for his own pleasure or his own profit merely, but with an earnest wish that all boys and girls who read them may try to be obedient, kind, brave, truthful in little things. Ah! what a better and happier world this would be, if, as the Father has commanded, and the Son has taught, we would do wrong neither in great things nor little things, but do right in ALL things!

THE REPENTANT CHILD.

BY THE REV. J. A. WALLACE.

HAVE, dear young reader, a brief message to convey to you.

It is drawn from the experience of a little child like yourself. May the Spirit of God carry it home to your

heart, and enable you to learn for yourself the touching lesson which it teaches !

The little child had involved herself in the guilt of rebellion against a loving and indulgent father. As a necessary consequence, she felt estranged from the perfect love which casteth out fear ; and on hearing the sound of her father's footsteps, her first impulse was to flee from his presence. But for a moment she paused. Instead of prosecuting the course which was fitted only to enhance her father's displeasure, and to bring down upon herself in the end the infliction of a heavier punishment, she allowed a softer feeling to take possession of her heart. The memory of her father's tenderness, while it aggravated the conviction of her guilt, came back upon her with a power which she could not resist. And when she listened to his voice calling upon her, even though his countenance was changed, and the rod of chastisement was in his hand, yet so far from trying to escape from him, she rushed at once into his bosom, threw her arms passionately around his neck, and fervently kissed him.

There was no audible confession of sin, no intense pleading for forgiveness, no promise even of amendment. But there was something in the weeping eye, the beating heart, the warm embrace, the silent grief, that was altogether irresistible. The father's heart was moved to its lowest depths. In a moment the cloud passed from his countenance. The rod of chastisement dropped out of his hand. With unutterable tenderness his bowels of mercy yearned over her, and, clasping the loved little one to his bosom, it needed not the words of articulate speech to proclaim that the erring but repentant child was fully and heartily forgiven.

Dear little reader, you can understand this. The same kind of feeling which God has lodged in the heart of every earthly parent, He is not only inclined, but, because of Christ's attested and accepted work, He is positively pledged to exemplify for Himself. And even now He is waiting graciously, and with the utmost cordiality, to treat with you as a child, if you will only be persuaded to deal with Him as a Father.

You have grieved Him ; you have disobeyed Him ; you have dreaded Him; you have rebelled against Him ; you have fled from His presence. But He has neither forgotten you nor ceased to care for you. He is a Father still, though His heart has been deeply wounded ; and because He is a Father, He hath sent forth to seek you. Messenger after messenger has been despatched, some of them with rich gifts, some of them with solemn warnings, some of them with overtures of reconciliation. His own Son, with His tears, and His blood, and His dying agonies, has been beseeching you to be reconciled. Yea, He Himself, with His bowels of mercy yearning over you, has gone forth in quest of you. And once more He is calling upon you to arise and to return.

To resist such tenderness, to tamper with such longsuffering patience, to flee from the face of such a Father, is to trample upon your richest mercies, and with your own hand to affix the seal to your everlasting condemnation.

But to lay aside the enmity of the carnal heart, and through the promptings of the Divine Spirit, to treat Him as a loving Father, to cast yourself at His feet, to rush into His outstretched arms, and to lay your head upon His bosom,—that is the work of faith, the test of penitence, the way of acceptance, the earnest of forgiveness. And that forgiveness, dear little reader, may be yoursyours freely, yours now, yours for ever (Isa. i. 18, and lv. 7).

THE WAY TO PARADISE.

(Freely translated from the German.)
What seeks that little Child again,

Thus knocking at our gates?
Before the Hospital she stands,

And still she weeps and waits.

'I seek, I seek my mother dear-
Ah let me in, I pray:

Ι
Since you have brought her to this place,

Two moons have passed away!

* Alas, poor little orphan Child,

I grieve to see you here;
For never, never more on earth,

You'll find your mother dear!

'In the cold ground she has been laid,

Seven days ago and more.' 'Twas thus the ancient Porter said,

And then he shut the door.

But by the Hospital the Child

Still poured her sad lament; For though she heard the Porter's words,

She knew not what he meant.

At last she slowly crept away,

With sad and tearful look,
To the old woman's where she lived,

Since God her mother took.

But with the morning light she stood

Before the gate once more ;
Nor would she go away, but knocked

Till her small hands were sore.

O Porter, cruel Porter ! come
And let me in, I

pray:
I cannot bear to stay at home

When Mother is away!

* Thy mother dear no more is here,

Poor lonely little one:
Know this, that she away from thee

To Paradise is gone !

« AnteriorContinuar »