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My dear child,” said Mrs. Fairchild, “I am glad you have confessed the truth to me. Now I will tell you why you feel this wicked sorrow; and I will tell you where to seek a cure for it. You know, my dear child, that God made man's heart pure and holy : and that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their hearts became corrupt, and those of all their children also became corrupt. The difference between a holy and corrupt heart is this : a holy heart is full of love, joy, and peace;' but corrupt hearts are full of adultery, fornification, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revilings, and such like. To those who are without sin—such as the holy angels in heaven, and the spirits of just men made perfect —there is no difficulty in doing well, for they have no wicked passions, driving them on to sin ; but we, who are in the world, are constantly tempted to do wickedly by our own bad hearts. Even when we wish to do well, we cannot. The wicked passion you now feel, my dear, is what is called Envy. Envy makes persons unhappy when they see others happier or better than themselves. Envy is in every man's heart by nature. Some people can hide it more than others, and others have been enabled by God's grace to overcome it in a great degree ; but as I said before, it is in the natural heart of all mankind; and it is also felt by devils. Little children feel envious about dolls and playthings, and men and women feel envious about greater things.”
“Do you ever feel envious, mamma ?” said Lucy. “I never saw you unhappy, because other better things than you had.”
My heart, my dear child," answered Mrs. Fairchild, “is no better than yours. It is written in the Bible, 'As the face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. There was a time when I was very
envious. When I was first married, I had no children for seven or eight years: I wished very much to have a baby, as you wished just now for Emily's doll: and whenever I saw a woman with a pretty baby in her arms, I was ready to cry for vexation."
« That was just like me, mamma,” said Lucy; “ for I was very much grieved indeed when I saw Emily's doll. But how were you cured of this wicked passion, mamma ?”
Mrs. Fairchild. Why, my dear, I was led to confess my sin to my God; and that not once or twice, but again and again and again. I was made to know that the Lord Jesus Christ had died, not only to procure forgiveness for my sins, but to set me free from the power of sin, and to enable me, through the help of the Spirit of God, to overcome my wicked passions of all kinds."
“ And did the Lord Jesus Christ hear your prayers, mamma?” said Lucy.
“Yes, my child, in his good time he did hear me,” answered Mrs. Fairchild. Do
any envy now, mamma ?” said Lucy.
“I cannot say that I never feel it, my dear; but I bless God that this wicked passion has not the power over me which it used to have : I am delivered from the slavery and bondage of it, insomuch so, that it does not overcome me, and make me miserable, as it used to do; and I know that, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I shall, when I die, be quite set free from this, as well as every other wicked passion."
“Oh! mamma, mamma!” said Lucy, "how unhappy wickedness makes us ! I have been very miserable this morning ; and what for? only because of the sin of my heart ; for I have had nothing else to make me miserable."
“ Alas! my child," said Mrs. Fairchild, “what would you have more to make you wretched ?
you ever feel
itself, when it has full power over us, would make a hell without the help of fire and brimstone.
Then Mrs. Fairchild took Lucy by the hand, and went into her closet, where they prayed that the Lord the Spirit would take the wicked passion of envy out of Lucy's heart : and as they prayed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died upon the cross to deliver us from the power of sin, they did not doubt but that God would hear their prayer: and indeed he did ; for from that day Lucy never felt envious of Emily's doll, but helped Emily to take care of it and make its clothes, and was happy to have it laid on her bed betwixt herself and sister.
I shall put down the prayer which Mrs. Fairchild used, as it may perhaps be useful to you at any
time when you may feel envious of anything your playfellow
Prayer against Envy. O Lord God, holy Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, blessed and glorious Trinity, I confess unto Thee my great wickedness. My heart is full of envy. I cannot see anybody whom I think handsomer, or cleverer, or in any way better than myself, or having anything which I should like to possess, but I am immediately troubled with
my heart is filled with hatred and sorrow : as Satan was troubled when he saw Adam and Eve happy in the garden of Eden.
O Holy Spirit, I thank thee for having made me to know this my great sin. By thy help I was brought to this knowledge. I might have been envious and spiteful all my life, if thou hadst not shown me this my great sin. 0 Thou that searchest the heart, finish the great work thou hast begun, and take envy out of my heart, that I may be like the angels of heaven, who rejoice in each other's happiness, and delight in each other's glory.. Give me a heart to
rejoice in the happiness of my brothers and sisters, and of
my schoolfellows and my playfellows; and if they are prettier than I am, or cleverer than I am, teach me not to be envious; or if they have better clothes or nicer playthings, still help me not to be envious.
O Holy Spirit come into my heart, and make it clean from every wicked passion ; that I may live in peace in this world, and at the last day enter into glory. I have no right to ask the blessing in my own name; but I ask it in the name of my dear Saviour, who his own self bare my sins in his own body on the tree ; that I, being dead in sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes I am healed. (1 Peter ii. 24.)
And now, O 'holy Father, blessed Lord Jesus, and thou, Holy Spirit, pardon the imperfect prayers of a wicked child.
“Our Father,” &c.
Ye hearts with youthful vigour warm,
In smiling crowds draw near ;
A Saviour's voice to hear.
The Lord of all the worlds on high
Stoops to converse with you ;
Your friendship to pursue :
“ The soul that longs to see my face
“ Is sure my love to gain ;
“ Shall never seek in vain."
What object, Lord, my soul shall move,
If once compared with thee;
Like what in Christ I see!
Away, ye false delusive joys !
Vain tempters of the mind !
For here true joys I find.
STORY ON THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT.
ONE morning, as Mr. Fairchild was coming down stairs, he heard the little ones quarrelling in the parlour; and he stood still to hearken to what they said.
“ You are very cruel, Lucy,” said Henry; "why won't
you let me play with the doll ?”' “What have boys to do with dolls ?” said Lucy : "you shan't have it."
“But he shall,” said Emily, and the door being half open,
Mr. Fairchild saw her snatch the doll from her sister, and give it Henry, who ran with it behind the sofa. Lucy tried to get the doll away from her brother, but Emily ran in between them, and accidentally hurt Lucy's foot, which increased Lucy's anger so much, that she pinched her sister's arm ; whereupon Emily struck her sister : and I do not know what might have next happened, if Mr. Fairchild had not run in and seized hold of them.
Mr. Fairchild, however, heard Emily say to her sister, “I do not love you, you naughty girl ;” and he heard the other replý, “ And I don't love you : I am sure I do not."
At the same time they looked as if what they said was true for the moment; for their faces were red, and their eyes full of anger. Mr. Fairchild took the doll away from Henry, and taking a rod out of the cupboard, he wipped the hands of all the three children, till they smarted again, saying :