Imatges de pÓgina


Thou turnest man, O Lord, to dust,

Of which he first was made :
And when thou sayest the word “Return!"

'Tis instantly obey'd.
“ But I am with you,” saith the Lord ;

"My saints shall safe abide :
« Nor will I e'er forsake my own,

“ For whom the Saviour died."
Through every scene of life and death

Thy promise is our trust;
And this shall be our children's song

When we are cold in dust.
O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guard whilst life shall last,

And our eternal home.


WHEN Henry had finished reading the story in Emily's book, Mr. Fairchild proposed that they should take a walk before they went home to tea. Accordingly they gathered all their things together, and put them in their baskets, and left the Primrose Meadow. They crossed the brook by a wooden bridge, and went up a little woody hill on the other side. When they came to the top of this little hill, they arrived at a place where a hut or shed was built, under the shade of a spreading oak tree. This hut had been made by an old gentleman who formerly lived in that country, but was now dead. From this hut you might see all the country round, with the coppice and Primrose Meadow at the foot of the hill on which it stood, and the brook winding through the meadow. Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild and their children sat down at the entrance of the hut, and hearkened in silence, for a while, to the sweet singing of a nightingale not far distant. At length Lucy spoke.


[ocr errors]

said Lucy;

Papa, we have read Henry's book and Emily's book to-day : but there is another book still to be read.”

“Well,” said Mr. Fairchild, smiling, “and what then? Cannot you read it to-morrow at home?” “But it is pleasanter to read out of doors, papa,

“and we could see the haymakers from this place, if we were to come here to-morrow.”. Yes, papa,” said Emily; "we could indeed." ,

And it is not so very far to come,” said Henry. What!

you wish for another day in the woods ?” said Mr. Fairchild, smiling.

- What does your mamma say ?

I have no objection,” said Mrs. Fairchild, “if you approve

it, ту

dear." Accordingly, it was agreed that they should spend the next day in the hut, to read the story in Lucy's book : and the children went joyfully home, with the thought of having another holiday. Early the next morning they made all things ready; and when they had breakfasted, they set out for the but at the top of the hill. It was a lovely morning, and, although rather warm, yet as they sat in the hut they were well shaded from the sun, and enjoyed a gentle breeze, which, blowing over the hay-fields below, was very agreeable to the smell.

When Mrs. Fairchild and the little girls were ready to begin their work, and Mr. Fairchild had placed himself with his book, at a little distance, on a green bank on the shady side of the hut, Henry began to read the story in Lucy's book, and read as follows:


Every person who lives in England has heard of


France. A small arm of the sea parts this country from France : but though a person may pass from England to France in a few hours, yet there is a great difference in the manners and customs of the French and English. A few years ago the French were governed by a king who had so much power that, if he did not like any person, he could condemn him to be shut up for life at his pleasure, and nobody dared to inquire after him. The religion of the French was, and still is, Roman Catholic.

“Roman Catholic!" said Henry, shutting his book. Mamma, I don't know what Roman Catholics are. Are Roman Catholics Christians ?'

The Roman Catholics, my dear, are called Christians,” said Mrs. Fairchild : “but there is much in their religion which the Bible does not approve. The Roman Catholics have a Bishop—the Bishop of Rome-(whom they call the Pope, and also the Vicar of Christ ; that is, standing in the place of Christ, and almost as great as Christ); and they say that they must do everything that this Pope bids them. They do not believe, as we do, that men's hearts are so evil that they can do nothing meritorious; but they say that saints and holy men can do as many good works as will satisfy the demands of God's law for themselves, and leave some to spare to make up the deficiency of their neighbours.'

“ If people can save themselves and their neighbours by their own goodness, mamma,” said Lucy, “ what was the use of the Lord Jesus Christ's coming down from heaven, and dying for us ?”

True, my dear,” said Mrs. Fairchild : “all true religion turns upon this,—that we poor creatures are so very bad that we can do nothing to save ourselves, and that we must entirely trust to our dying Redeemer for salvation. But the Roman Catholics (or, more properly, the Papists) have many persons

[ocr errors]


and ceremonies in which they trust besides Christ. They make images of saints and holy men, and wor. ship them; and

they whip their own bodies, and keep long fasts, and make long and painful journeys to the graves of saints : thinking by all these things to save themselves. And now, my dears, you understand in part what the Roman Catholics are ; and


know that the French are Roman Catholics, and that they formerly were governed by a very powerful king. So now go on with your story, Henry.”

“ About one hundred and fifty years ago” (continued Henry, going on with his story), “there lived in France a certain great man, called the Baron of Bellemont : he was a proud man,


and his castle stood in one of the beautiful valleys of the Pyrenees, not far from the dwelling-places of those holy people the Waldenses.” “ What are Waldenses, mamma,” said Henry.

Why, my dear,” answered Mrs. Fairchild, "many hundred

years ago, when all the nations of Europe began to corrupt themselves by worshipping images of saints, obeying the Pope, and following the Roman Catholic doctrines, a certain set of persons retired from the sight of the rest of mankind, and hid themselves in valleys amongst hills: there they led innocent and holy lives for many ages, serving their God in purity, and resisting all the wicked desires of the Roman Catholics, who wished to turn them to their own corrupt religion. These people, in some places, were called Waldenses ; in others, Valdenses ; and some were called the Poor Men of Lyons, because there was a city called Lyons near their dwelling-places."

“ The Baron de Bellemont' (continued Henry, reading again), “lived in a castle not far from the valleys of the Waldenses. He had one daughter, of

[ocr errors]

the name of Adelaide, who was very beautiful; and as she was to have much of her father's riches at his death, everybody flattered and seemed to admire her, and many rich and great men in France sought to marry her. The Baron had also a poor niece living with him, named Maria. Maria was not handsome, and she was poor; therefore nobody who came to the castle took any notice of her : and her cousin Adelaide treated her more like a servant than a relation. Yet Maria was, in the sight of God, no doubt, more lovely than Adelaide, because she was a humble and pious young woman; whereas Adelaide had no fear of God. Maria had been nursed among the Waldenses, and had learned, with God's blessing, all the holy doctrines of these people from her nurse.

When Adelaide and Maria were about twenty years of age, they were both married. Adelaide was married to the young Marquis de Roseville, one of the handsomest and richest men in France, and went to live in Paris with her husband, where she was introduced in the court of the king, and lived amongst the greatest and gayest people in France."

“ Where is Paris, mamma ?” said Lucy.

“ You know, my dear," answered Mrs. Fairchild, “ that London is the chief town of England, and the residence of the king : in like manner, Paris is the chief town of France, and the king of France's palace is in Paris.”


was one

“ Maria's husband” (continued Henry) of the pastors of the Waldenses, of the name of Claude: he lived in a small and neat cottage in a beautiful valley : he was a holy young man, and all his time and thoughts were given up to teaching his people and serving his God. Maria was much happier in her little cottage with her kind husband than she had been in the castle of the Baron. She kept


« AnteriorContinua »