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tales in the Young Scholar. There is one thing, however, which we cannot bear to think of our young scholars being—we cannot bear to think that any of them should be hypocrites. Our Lord could endure the publicans and sinners-He could see some hopes of repentance in these wretched, miserable people, who were sincere amid all their sin and misery; but words were scarcely bitter enough for Him to show how He detested this vice of hypocrisy. For while boy or girl, man or woman, remains in this sad condition there is no hope of their repentance.
The deaf may hear the Saviour's voice,
The fettered tongue its chain may break,
The laggard soul that will not wake,
Note'en in healing cloudless shine.
From idle words, that restless throng
And haunt our hearts when we would pray,
Seal Thou my lips and guard the way ;
To own no hope, no God but Thee.
a follower of Christ.” And yet it is very doubtful if all of them are doing their best to follow Christ—to show their love to Him by doing His commandments. A boy that calls himself a Christian, and does the very things that Christ commanded him not to do, is a hypocrite-he is bearing a name that does not belong to him: he calls himself a follower of Christ, and he is all the while following the devil.
Now this is not a matter only to be thought of on Sundays—it is a matter that concerns a boy or girl's character for honesty. If
you have fully made up your mind not to follow Christ, it would be more honourable for you to tell people that you are not a Christian. But if you really wish to follow Christ, and find that you are not able, then remember this order that He gave you—“Always to pray, and not to faint.” Daniel prayed three
times a day to his God, and persisted in doing so, though he knew he should be cast into the den of lions.
God is our Maker and our Preserver. Whether we pray to Him or not we are altogether in His power-our lives are in His hands. Evermore, surely, then, in all conditions of our life, we should pour out our spirits before Him. A boy or girl cannot lead a healthy life that does not pray to God. The devil made none of us, and all he can do to us is to ruin us, and make us wretched and miserable; and the safest way to keep out of his reach is by constantly praying to God. If the devil can once induce a boy or girl to give up praying to God, he has done much to get him or her into his power.
There is nothing nobler for any boy or girl to do than to do their duty.
The last signal of Lord Nelson England expects every man this day to do his duty.” But we cannot do our duty without God's continual help. We ought, therefore, "always to pray, and not to faint.” Boys and girls have duties at home and at school. At home they have to obey their parents, to be kind and loving to their brothers and sisters, not to use bad language, to keep themselves clean and tidy; at school, to obey the master or mistress and give them as little trouble as possible, to be industrious, quiet, and orderly. It is hard work to do this, and no boy or girl can possibly do it without the help of God. To get this help we must “always pray, and not faint.”
Remember, we are “not to faint.” Some children try to be good for a few days, and, finding that they do not succeed very well, give it up, and go on as they used to do. This is “fainting," becoming tired and weary—just what Christ tells us we should not do. However often we fail we must not faint-we must always keep trying again.
And remember, we ought not to be selfish in our prayers. In the Lord's Prayer we are taught to pray, first, that God's name may be regarded with awe and reverence; secondly, that God's kingdom may be extended amongst men— —that is, that men and women, and boys and girls, may more and more be brought to regard Him as their king, and obey His laws; thirdly, that His will
may be done on earth as it is in heaven. Then we begin to pray for ourselves. This is to teach us not to be selfish in our prayers; to pray first for God, and afterwards for ourselves.
To a Butterfly.
'VE watched you now a full half-hour,
Self-poised upon that yellow flower;
And, little butterfly, indeed,
More motionless! And then,
Sit near us on the bough!
The Basket Woman.
REPARED by Paul's speech to hear something very
difficult to be understood, Anne looked very grave; and her brother explained to her that with a sovereign she might buy two hundred and forty times as many plums as she could get for a penny.
“Why, Paul, you know the fruit woman said she
would give us a dozen plums for a penny. Now for this little sovereign would she give us two hundred and forty dozen ?”
“If she has so many, and if we like to have so many, to be sure she will,” said Paul ; “but I think we should not like to
have two hundred and forty dozen of plums. We could not eat such a number.”
“But we could give some of them to my grandmother,” said Anne.
“But still there would be too many for her and for us, too,” said Paul; “and when we had eaten the plums there would be an end of all the pleasure. But now I'll tell you of what I am thinking, Anne—that we might buy something for my grandmother with this sovereign that would be very useful to her indeed—something that would last a great while." “What, brother; what sort of thing ?”
Something that she said she wanted very much last winter, when she was so ill of the rheumatism-something that she said yesterday, when you were making her bed, she wished she might be able to buy before next winter.”
“I know! I know what you mean,” said Anne;" a blanket. Oh, yes, Paul, that will be much better than plums. Do let us buy a blanket for her. How glad she will be to see it! I will make her bed with the new blanket, and then bring her to look at it! But, Paul, how shall we buy a blanket ? Where are blankets to be got ?”
“Leave that to me; I'll manage that. I know where blankets can be got; I saw one hanging out of a shop the day I went last to Dunstable."
“ You have seen a great many things at Dunstable, brother.”
“Yes, a great many ; but I never saw anything there, or anywhere else, that I wished for half so much as I did for the blanket for my grandmother. Do you remember how she used to shiver with the cold last winter? I'll buy the blanket to-morrow; I'm going to Dunstable with her spinning.”
“And you'll bring the blanket to me; and I shall make the bed very neatly. That will be all right! all happy !” said Anne, clapping her hands.
“But stay! Hush ! don't clap your hands so, Anne; it will not be all happy, I'm afraid,” said Paul; and his countenance changed, and he looked very grave. “It will not be all right, I'm afraid; for there is one thing we have neither of us thought of, but that we ought to think about. We cannot buy the blanket, I'm afraid.”
“Why, Paul, why ?”
“Nay, brother, but I'm sure it is honestly ours. It was given to us; and grandmother said that all that was given us to-day was to be our own.”
“But who gave it to you, Anne ?”
“Some of the people in those chaises, Paul ; I don't know which of them, but I dare say it was the little rosy girl.”
“No," said Paul; “for when she called you to the chaise door she said, “Here's some halfpence for you.' Now, if she gave you the sovereign, she must have given it you by mistake.”
“Well, but perhaps some of the people in the other chaises gave it me, and did not give it by mistake, Paul. There was a gentleman reading in one of the chaises, and a lady who looked very good-naturedly at me; and then the gentleman put down his book, and put his head out of the window and looked at your scotcher, brother: and he asked me if that was your own making; and when I said yes, and that I was your sister, he smiled at me, put his hand into his waistcoat pocket, and threw down a handful of halfpence into the hat; and I dare say he gave us the sovereign along with them, because he liked your scotcher so much.”
· Why,” said Paul, “that might be, to be sure; but I wish I was quite certain of it.”
“Then, as we are not quite certain, had we not better go and ask grandmother what she thinks about it ?”
Paul thought this was excellent advice, and he was not a silly boy who did not like to follow good advice; so he went with his sister directly to his grandmother, showed her the sovereign, and told her how they came by it.
“My dear, honest children,” said she, “I am very glad you told me all this. I am very glad that you did not buy either the plums or the blanket with this sovereign. I am sure it is not honestly ours; those who threw it to you gave it by mistake, I warrant, and what I would have you do is to go to Dunstable and try if you can, at either of the inns, find out the person who gave it you. It is now so late in the evening that perhaps the travellers will sleep at Dunstable, instead of going on to the next stage; and it is likely that whoever gave you the sovereign, instead of a halfpenny, has found out his mistake by this time.