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Mrs. Fairchild. “ Tomorrow morning, my dear ; and I will give you a pen and a little inkstand to keep in your own room, that you may always have everything ready when you wish to write."
Mamma,” said Lucy, am I only to write the naughty things that are in my heart? Then I will try and have nothing naughty in my heart to-morrow.
“Very well, my dear," said Mrs. Fairchild.
When Lucy went to bed that night, she thought how good she would be next day, and that she would not think one naughty thought. However, she determined not to deceive herself, but to put down everything as it passed in her heart as nearly as she could. And now I will tell you how Lucy spent the next day, and will put down what she wrote in her book.
When Lucy awoke in the morning, the first thing she thought of was, what she would have to write in her book; and she began to think how very good she would be all day. Whilst she was lying in bed thinking of those things, her mamma called to her, and bade her make haste and get up, and make her bed, and rub the chairs and tables. Now Lucy happened to be lying very comfortably, and had no mind to get up: she, however, obeyed her mamma without speaking: but she felt vexed, and began to think how disagreeable it was to have these things to do; and she said to herself, “ I wish I was like Miss Augusta Noble, who has two or three servants to wait upon her. She never makes her own bed, or cleans the chairs or tables, or even puts on her own shoes and stockings. Then what beautiful frocks; and blue, and pink, and green, and all-coloured sashes; and shoes, and necklaces, and bonnets she has ! and a coach to ride in! But how coarse my frocks are ! and I have not one sash, or necklace, or a coloured shoe! And my mamma is so strict! Miss Augusta Noble's governess lets her do what she chooses, and never scolds her, or tells her that she is naughty !”
Whilst Lucy was thinking of these things, Emily went into her mamma's room ; and Mrs. Fairchild, who was looking over some drawers, gave Emily a little bit of muslin, and about a quarter of a yard of narrow pink ribbon, to make her doll a cap of. Emily ran to show Lucy what she had got : Lucy said nothing: but she felt vexed that her mamma had not given them to her instead of Emily. By this time the breakfast was ready, and Lucy went down, not in the best of tempers; but she did not say anything by which any one could find out that she was out of humour ; for people who are brought up well are taught to keep many of their ill tempers to themselves.
When the rest of the family were all seated at the breakfast table, Mr. Fairchild came in from the garden with a very large strawberry on a leaf.
“Look here, my dear," said he to Mrs. Fairchild, “what a very large strawberry !"
“It is indeed,” said Mrs. Fairchild.
As Mr. Fairchild passed by to his chair, he popped the strawberry into Henry's bowl of milk, saying, “ There, my boy, see if you can manage to eat that great strawberry.
This vexed Lucy again; and she said to herself, Emily gets muslin and ribbon, and Henry a strawberry; but what do I get?” Then she began to think of a lady who lived not a great way off
, who had two little girls, one of which she loved very much, and hated the other; and it came into her mind that her papa and mamma loved Henry and Emily more than they did herself.
After breakfast, John and Betty were called into the parlour, and the family sang a hymn and prayed together. Mr. Fairchild also read a chapter in the Bible. Whilst her papa was reading, Lucy looked
out of the window, and saw a bird picking seeds and worms on the gravel walk, just under the window. “ Oh!" thought Lucy, “ how I should like to be playing with that bird, instead of listening this reading : I have heard that chapter so often ?" Then she peeped over her papa several times, to see if he had nearly done.
Soon after Mr. Fairchild had done reading, Mrs. Fairchild called Lucy and Emily to work. Whilst they were working, a lady came in, of the name of Barker, who was a very good-natured and kind person; but it pleased Providence that she should have a very ordinary set of features, such as you seldom see: she had a wide mouth and flat nose, and one eye was less than the other. Whilst Mrs. Barker was talking with Mrs. Fairchild, Lucy looked at her, and in her heart despised her for her want of beauty, and thought how much prettier her own face was than Mrs. Barker's.
The lady sat with Mrs. Fairchild till twelve o'clock, at which time permission was given to the children to play. Emily and Henry went into the garden, and Lucy went up into her own room to write in her new book some of the things she had been thinking of that morning. When Lucy took out her book, and began to consider what to write, she was surprised to find, that although she had appeared to conduct herself well in the eyes of her parents all day, having read well and worked well, and been quiet and civil, yet all this time her heart had been full of evil thoughts and wicked passions : and now she began to feel that which she had often heard without attend. ing to it, “that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked : who can know it?" (Jer. xvii. 9.)
Oh, I am a wicked child !” she said to herself: “I am a wicked girl! Who can save me from my own wicked heart? But I will write down all I have thought this morning, and show it to my mamma.
You will, perhaps, like to know what Lucy wrote; I therefore will copy it here: and, perhaps, when you are able to write, you will get your friends to give you a blank book, and a pen and ink, that you
may keep an account of the sins of your heart, in order, with the Divine blessing, to keep you from being proud ; “ for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.'
(1 Pet. v. 5, 6.)
LUCY FAIRCHILD'S JOURNAL.
Written when she was Nine Years and a Half Old.
• When I awoke this morning, mamma called me to make my
and I felt cross, and wished I was like Miss Augusta Noble, and had servants to wait upon me; and that Lady Noble was my mamma, and not my own dear mamma.
• Mamma gave Emily a bit of muslin, and some pink ribbon; and I was envious, and hated Emily a little while, though I knew it was wicked.
• When papa gave Henry the strawberry, I was angry again ; and then I thought of Mrs. Giles,
who loves one of her little girls, and hates the other. 'I thought that my papa and mamma were like Mrs. Giles, and that they loved Henry and Emily more
" than me.
• When papa was reading and praying, I wanted to be at play: and was tired of the Bible, and did not wish to hear it..
And then I thought a very bad thought indeed ! * When Mrs. Barker came, I despised her for not
being pretty, though I knew that God had made * her such as she is, and that he could make me like her in one moment.'
As soon as Lucy had finished writing these last words, she heard her mamma come up stairs and go into her room: she immediately ran to her, and showing her the book, “Oh, mamma, mamma!" she said, “ you cannot think what a wicked heart I have got! Here is my journal ; I am ashamed to show it to you : pray do not hate me for what is written in that book."
Mrs. Fairchild took the book ; and when she had read what was written,“ My dear child,” she said, “ I thank God, who has by his Holy Spirit helped you to know a little of the wickedness of
heart. Your heart, my dear, is no worse, and no better, than the hearts of all human creatures ; ‘for there is none good, no, not one. As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.' (Prov. xxvii. 19.) And yet, as I told you before, there are many people who live to a very old age without knowing that their hearts are wicked; they think themselves very good, and they think that they shall go to heaven as a reward for their goodness. They do not see the need of a Saviour, and therefore never apply to him for help: thus they live and die in unbelief. But happy are those, my dear Lucy, who are brought to the knowledge of their own sinful nature before their death."
Then Mrs. Fairchild gave the book back to Lucy, and told her to continue every day to keep an account of what passed in her heart, that she might learn more and more to know and hate her own sinful nature. After this, Mrs. Fairchild and Lucy knelt down, and confessed before God the exceeding vileness of their hearts, as follows:
Confession of the exceeding Vileness of our Hearts.
O Almighty Father! my heart is so exceedingly wicked, so vile, and full of sin, that even when I ap