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So saying, he sat down on the stump of an old tree, and the children gathered close round him.
“ When I first came into this country, before any of you, my children, were born," said Mr. Fairchild, “ there lived, in that old house which you see before you, a widow lady, who had two sons. The place then, though old-fashioned, was neat and flourishing ; the garden being full of fine old fruit-trees, and the flower-beds in beautiful order. The old lady kept an excellent table, and was glad to see any of her neighbours who called in upon her. Your mamma and I used often to go to see her; and should have gone oftener, only we could not bear to see the manner in which she brought up her sons. She never sent them to school, lest the master should correct them, but hired a person to teach them reading and writing at home: this man, however, was forbidden to punish them. They were allowed to be with the servants in the stable and kitchen, but the servants were ordered not to deny them any thing : so they used to call them names, swear at them, and even strike them; and the servants did not dare to answer them, lest they should lose their places : the consequence of which was, that no good servant would stay, to be abused by wicked children.
“ From quarrelling with the servants, these angry boys proceeded to quarrel with each other. James, the eldest, despised his brother Roger, because he, as eldest, was to have the house and land; and Roger, in his turn, despised his brother James. As they grew bigger, they became more and more wicked, proud and stubborn, sullen and undutiful. Their poor mother still loved them so foolishly, that she could not see their faults, and would not suffer them to be checked. At length, when they became young men, their hatred of each other rose to such a height that they often would not speak. to each other for days together; and sometimes they would quarrel, and almost come to blows, before their mother's face.
“ One evening in autumn, after one of these quarrels, James met his brother Roger returning from shooting, just in the place where the gibbet now stands: they were alone, and it was nearly dark. Nobody knows what words passed between them; but the wicked Roger stabbed his brother with a case-knife, and hid the body in a ditch under the garden, well covering it with dry leaves. A year or more passed before it was discovered by whom this dreadful murder was committéd. Roger was condemned, and hung upon that gibbet ; and the poor old lady, being thus deprived of both her sons, became deranged, and is shut up in a place where such people are confined. Since that time no one has lived in the house, and, indeed, nobod likes to come tbis way.”
“ O what a shocking story!” said the children: ": and that miserable man who hangs there is Roger, who murdered his brother? Pray let us go, Papa.”
“We will go immediately,” said Mr. Fairchild ; “ but I wish first to point out to you, my dear chil. dren, that these brothers, when they first began to quarrel in their play, as you did this morning, did not think that death, and perhaps hell, would be the end of their quarrels. Our hearts by nature, my dear children,” continued Mr. Fairchild,“ are full of hatred. People who have not received uew hearts do not really love any body but themselves ; and they hate those who have offended them, or those whom they think any way better than themselves. By nature, I should hate Sir Charles Noble, because he is a greater man than myself; and you might hate his children, because they are higher than you. By nature, too, I should hate Farmer Greenfield, because he is ten times richer than I
am ; and even poor John Trúeman, because of all the men in this country, high or low, he is the most esteemed. And take me with my natural heart to heaven, and I should hate every angel and every archangel above myself; and even the glory of the Almighty God would be hateful to me. But when, through faith in my dying Redeemer, I receive a new heart, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, my hatred of God and of my fellow-creatures will be turned into love : then I shall • love my enemies, bless them that curse me, do good to them that hate me, and pray for them that despitefully use me and persecute me;' (Matt. v. 44); like my beloved Redeemer who prayed upon the cross for his enemies, saying, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' (Luke xxiii. 34.)"
“ Papa," said Lucy, “ let us kneel down in this place, and pray for new hearts."
“ Willingly, my child," said Mr. Fairchild. So he knelt upon the grass, and his children round him; and afterwards they all went home.
A Prayer for Love towards God and our Neigh
bours, which may be used by any Child who has been angry with his Companion.
O Lord God, who sent thy dear Son to die upon the cross for us, who by nature hate thee; hear our prayers, for our dear Redeemer's sake. Thou hast commanded us to love every body; but we have such wicked hearts, that we do not love any person but ourselves. O Lord, send thy Holy Spirit to cleanse our wicked hearts ; and make us to love thee, O Lord God, and to love each other. Let us not despise poor people, but love them and help them; and let us 'not envy people who are greater or better than ourselves, but love them also, and bless them, and do good to them.'. If any body is kind to us, give us hearts to be thankful to them, and to love them; and if any body is unkind to us, give us hearts to forgive them, and love them too: for the Lord Jesus Christ prayed for the wicked people who nailed him upon the cross. And, above all, make us to love our dear father and mother, and every body who teaches us any good thing , and our dear brothers and sisters, and all the little children we play with : and may we never quarrel, as wicked men and devils do; but live in love, like the angels of God in heaven.
O Lord God, if thy Holy Spirit is in our hearts, we shall do well; but if it is not in our hearts, we shall do evil. Come, then, O Holy Spirit, come iuto our young hearts, and fill them with holy love.
“ Our Father,” &c. &c.
WHATEVER brawls disturb the street,
There should be peace at home :
Quarrels should never come.
And 'tis a shameful sight,
Fall out, and chide, and fight.
That are bat noisy breath,
To murder and to death.
To rage against another :
Till he had kill'd his brother.
At least before the night;
It burns till morning light.
Pardon, O Lord, our childish rage:
Our little brawls remove :
Our hearts may all be love.
ON THE FORMATION OF SIN IN THE HEART;
or, STORY OF THE APPLES. Just opposite Mr. Fairchild's parlour-window was a young apple-tree, which had never yet brought forth any fruit : at length it produced two blossoms, from which came two apples. As these apples grew, they became very beautiful, and promised to be very fine
it. “I desire," said Mr. Fairchild one morning to the children, " that none of you touch the apples on that young tree; for I wish to see what kind of fruit they will be when they are quite ripe.”
That same evening, as Henry and his sisters were playing in the parlour window, Henry said, “ Those are beautiful apples indeed, that are upón that tree.” “Do not look upon them, Henry,” said Lucy.
Why not, Lucy?” asked Henry. “ Because Papa has forbidden us to meddle with them.”
Henry. “Well, I am not going to meddle with them: I am only looking at them."
Lucy. “ Oh! but if you look much at them, you will begin to wish for them, and may be tempted to take them at last.”
Henry. “ How can you think of any such thing, Lucy? Do you take me for a thief?”
The next evening, the children were playing again in the parlour window. Henry said to his