« AnteriorContinua »
that they were coming to him. At last Betty came with a piece of bread and a cup of water. Henry spoke to her, but she made him no answer, and went down stairs. He then got up, and stood at the window, watching to see Mr. Somers go, and thinking he would go and beg his papa's pardon as soon as Mr. Somers was gone ; but Mr. Somers walked out with Mr. Fairchild after dinner, and came in to tea with him.
Whilst Mr. Fairchild and Mr. Somers were walking in the garden, somebody came up softly to the door of Henry's room, and pushed a paper under the door, and Henry heard the person run away. It was Lucy. Henry took up the paper : it was folded up like a letter, and Lucy had written these words upon it :
• Dear Brother;
Emily and I must not speak to you ; “ have been praying for you. I hope you are sorry “ for being naughty, and that you have prayed to God, “ and told all your wickedness to him. You know “ that he will forgive you, if you ask him in our Sa“ viour's name and that He will send bis Holy “Spirit into your heart. I have not time to say
“ Your dear Sister,
“ Lucy FAIRCHILD.”
When Henry had read this letter, he looked for his little hymn book, which he always kept with his Bible on his shelf just over his bed's head ; and when he had sung a hymn, he prayed. As he prayed, all that remained of his proud and obstinate spirit seemed to leave him, and he felt nothing but shame and sorrow for his sins. He prayed and sung till it grew dark, then he laid himself on his bed and fell asleep.
I shall put down Henry's hymn and prayer in this place for the use of children, when they are in disgrace with their papas and mammas, or their masters and teachers.
A Prayer for a Humble Spirit under Correction, that
we may be the better for Correction given us. O Lord God Almighty, I am a very wicked child ! I have made my dear parents angry, by disobeying their commandments; and when they punished me, instead of being humble, I was angry and proud. O Lord God, take this pride and obstinacy out of my heart, that I may feel that I have deserved this punishment, and indeed a much greater, had it pleased them to give it to me. Did not my dear Saviour bleed and die for my sins ? and do I not know that there is not one person who is good ; and that there is not a just man on earth, that doeth good and sinneth not ? and yet when any punishment comes upon me, I am ready to rebel, and think myself very ill used ! O holy Father, send thy Holy Spirit to humble my proud heart, to set all my sins before me, and particularly this fault that I have done to-day ; that I may be truly sorry for it, and that I
my punishment with patience, and that I may remember this punishment, and be the better of it all the days of my life.
My God, to thee I pray:
How I may cleanse my way.
Teach me thy will to know ;
Betimes on me bestow.
The object of thy care;
And fly from every snare.
My heart, to folly prone,
Renew by Power Divine ;
And make me wholly thine.
My warmest thoughts employ ;
My treasure and my joy.
Be my whole soul inclin'd:
And sanctify my mind.
By these to cleanse his way;
That leads to endless day.
THE MISERY OF THOSE WHO ARE
UNDER THE ANGER OF GOD.
EXEMPLIFIED BY THE UNHAPPINESS OF A CHILD
UNDER THE ANGER OF HIS FATHER.
HENRY slept till midnight, about which time he woke. It was dark, and the wind whistled, as it often does in an autumn or winter's night in England. Henry had often heard the wind whistle before, but it had never sounded so dismally in his ears as he thought it did now. At one time it sounded as at a distance, sweeping over the fields; then it came nearer and nearer, and rustled among the trees, the leaves of which were beginning to fall ; and then it came close and shook the window. Henry was frightened, and covered his head over with the bedclothes. What was it that made Henry afraid of this wind ? It was because he knew that he had been a very bad boy: he was in disgrace with his papa, and he knew that he deserved God's anger.
After a while Henry fell asleep again, and did not wake till morning. Henry got up and looked out of the window : it had rained very hard during the night, and the wind had scattered the damp leaves over the garden. Henry went down stairs, with a sorrowful heart: the study door was half open : Henry, peeping in, saw his papa reading his Bible at his desk. Mr. Fairchild looked very grave : suddenly he turned his head, and looked towards the door. Now was Henry's time: he should have run up to his papa, and knelt down before him ; but, instead of doing so, he ran away to the garden. There he saw Betty feeding the fowls in a little yard which ran along the back of the garden, and he asked for a bit of bread. She brought what he asked for, without speaking a word, and gave it him, with a cup of milk, over the pales. When he
cup back to her, he spoke to her again, but she turned away without answering him. Then Henry began to cry again, and walked sorrowfully to his favourite walk in the coppice : but even this his favourite walk now appeared to him dismal : there were no flowers to be seen, by reason of the fallen leaves, which nearly covered all the pathway : and the trees waved their heads backwards and forwards in the wind. Poor Henry had never felt himself so unhappy before: his papa's displeasure was the cause of his sorrow, and made him think that even the woods and the fields were changed.
I know not how long Henry bad sauntered about the coppice, but it seemed to him a long while, when suddenly he heard a very sweet sound of one singing in the wood, and, standing still to listen, he heard a child's voice singing these words :
JERUSALEM, thou blessed place !
That so I may thy glory see ! The voice ceased, and then Henry walked on towards the part of the wood from which the sound came, and coming to a turning of the pathway, he saw a little boy sitting on a trunk of a tree which had been felled, and leaning his back against one of the great branches. It was a part of the wood facing the mid-day sun, and sheltered from the wind. The little boy was dressed in coarse clothes, and those well patched and darned. He had ceased singing, and was now reading, and that so busily, that Henry came up close to him before he perceived him. When the little boy looked up from his book, Henry saw that he