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for you,-all over the garden and the house ! and, listen ! they are calling you still. Did you not hear us ?"
“No, dear, I did not," said Emma ; “I suppose I was so engaged in what I was reading. I did not hear you come up stairs, nor into the room.”
“Well do come and play,” said Jane; “won't you ?” "Oh yes ! if you like ;” and Emma closed the book, and ran after Jane into the garden.
Jane got there first ; and her brothers and sister seemed very surprised when she told them where she had found her, and what she was doing. But they were soon all busy again with their play.
When Alfred and John were in bed that evening, Alfred said, “ John, how do you like
your cousin ?" “I like her very much," said John, "she is so cheerful and obliging."
“ So she is,” said Alfred ; ” but still she is a very queer girl. I was not very much surprised to-day, when we lost her, to hear where Jane found her; for I caught her twice in the summer-house by herself, reading, and it was always in the Bible. I cannot think why she reads it so often. I read mine at proper times; but i never heard of any boy or girl but her, leaving their play for it. I should think she knows some parts by heart."-Being tired, John was by this time asleep; and Alfred was soon so too.
The holiday soon passed away, and Emma returned home, and Alfred was sent to a boarding-school for the first time. He found it very hard to part with his dear father and mother, brother and sister, for he loved them all dearly. After being there about four months, he received a long letter from his father, telling him all the news of the family, &c., with a deal of good advice. Alfred had never before had a letter sent to him, and he could not help opening and reading it again and again, until he not only knew its contents, but knew it all by heart.
Even then Alfred was not tired of his letter, but often read it; and when doing so one day in the play-ground, half a dozen lads called out, "Now, Alfred, come and have a game.”
But Alfred had only read half the first page ; so he called out, “ All right ; I'll come presently," and went on reading.
“What a queer fellow that Alfred is," said one of them, “he's always reading that letter. I am sure he knows it. by heart by this time.”
A queer boy !” said Alfred to himself ;“ am I a queer boy because I read my father's letter so often? Well, if that makes me queer, I am a queer boy ; for I do love to read it. But,” said he thoughtfully,“that's strange : wby, that's just what I said of cousin Emma when at our house last holidays. I called her a queer girl for reading the Testament so often. Oh, I see it now! I see it all now! My father wrote me a letter, and I cannot read it too often. Her heavenly Father wrote her a letter, and she loves to read it just as often. I thought then that she acted strangely: but I am now doing the same thing myself,reading so often what I know so well. No, she is not a queer girl. She loves her heavenly Father, and loves to read His Word, and think over what He says. I see it all now!” he repeated, staring thoughtfully into the sky. " That's very different from just reading the Bible a little on Sabbath, because we think it our duty to do so. She loves the writer, and then she loves his messages. But why do not I ?”inquired he. “Why do I not feel as much interest in that letter from my heavenly Father, as in this from my earthly father? I see all now,” continued he ;“ but I never saw it in this light before. I shall call the Bible my father's letter ; and I hope I shall love it as well,—no, better, than I do this letter; and read it as often, and learn to love the writer of it.” And Alfred jumped up, and ran to join his play-fellows.
Dear reader, God is your Father, as well as little Emma's, and the Bible is His letter to you as much as it was to her. Read it often; when you read it, think, “ This is my Father's letter;" ask Him to enable you i to love him, and then you will love to read his letter also. 1;
“ ENTERTAINING ANGELS UNAWARES." We thought of this beautiful sentence, of which the above is a portion, on an occasion of recent occurrence. A little church near us was to be dedicated, and in the heat of the day, a bowed-down man, with long patriarchal garments, came toiling up the hill, and wended his way towards our dwelling. He had come, the old man said, all the
way from the city, for the purpose of seeing one more dedication before he died. He was way-worn and feeble; in his own language, spoken with a faltering tongue“ You don't know how feeble I am"-we read his extreme exhaustion. We made him sit down to a refreshing dinner, for we saw by thé beaming face, that though the skin was dark upon his visage, the heart in the sight of God was very white.
“How old are you, father ? ” we naturally asked, and to our astonishment he answered, “I was ninety-nine years old nine months ago.”
If we had looked upon him with veneration before, we now beheld him with awe. One hundred years had nearly passed since he first saw the light. Since then what mutations, what changes, what revolutions have taken place! Where are those who began life with him? Dead, nearly all dead. “My old wife," he said, “went home twenty-seven years ago ; and I have been waiting the will of my Master erer since to call me also.”
One hundred years; an old saint longing for the last great change.
“I ain't afraid to die," he exclaimed, his face radiant with the peace of the Christian : “I've been over sixty years getting ready; they'll put this old body down below, but never mind, my real home will be up there—up there."" he repeated, raising his eyes with an expression of joy.
Surely, if we ever entertained an angel unawares, we did that day, in ministering to this aged pilgrim. The old man with his hoary head, and his long coat girded about the loins, and his “ Pilgrim's Progress," which he carried with him wherever he went, with his dark eye lustrous
yet, brought a blessing to our home, and all, even the very little children, felt the influence of his
presence. Peace go with the aged pilgrim. It may be that the slight frame is laid away in silence—that the tongue will never move more in the soft accents of peace and good will, --that the old staff is put by in some corner,—that the 1 ancient spectacles are laid snugly in some receptacle,-that the cold hands are crossed in silence and moreless for ever; yet we know that "up there” he shines with steady glory; and we shall once again see the beaming of those dark eyes, and feel the clasp of his fingers, and hear him say again—"God be with you."
Oh! it is very sweet when our Father deigns to put “his angels” under our protection-let us be careful ttat we offend Him not, by rejecting one of the least of his children.- Olive Branch.
LITTLE BRIGHT-EYED TOMMY, THE SABBATH
Many a Sabbath morning might have been seen a beautiful boy, of some eight summers, trudging along the dusty road to the village Sabbath school ; and so very interesting-looking was dear little Tommy in our view that an artist, we think, would have been arrested a his walk to gaze on his sunny face ; and we should not have felt surprised if he had earnestly begged for a “sitting," that a portrait of the cherub-looking boy might have graced his studio.
Dear little Tommy was called by those of us who knew and loved him, “the bright eyed boy ;” and no marvel, for seldom have we looked upon such a pair of brilliant, laughing eyes. The contour of the face too was perfect, and the shining auburn hair curled luxuriantly above and around it. In his figure, little Tommy was a perfect man in miniature ; so much so, that when on one occasion the little fellow was visiting a fashionable watering-place,
strangers constantly halted before him to gaze and admire the unique" little man. But the dimpled, sunny face has a dark shade on it now, and the bright eye is closed in a long, last sleep. Step softly! it is a solemn place-how marble-like the lovely form has become! The little chubby feet tread life's path no more- —they are stretched out in a narrow bed, and the little round hands are meekly folded on the quiet breast. The hand of disease has stamped its impress on the face of the once beautiful boy, and the grave-robes are folded around the little form so admired in life. But the bud of beauty is gone to bloom in a more congenial climate ;-it was not allowed to unfold here !
“ We would not recall thee from glory and bliss,
While answering angels repeat the glad song.” In the Sabbath-School to which little Tommy belonged there was what was called little
prayer meeting." Once a month the female teachers gathered the girls around them to sing and pray in private ; and exceedingly interesting was the sight, to behold the concentric circles of very little ones kneeling around their teachers, who asked for blessings on their young heads. Two little ones were admitted among them, to aid in leading the singing, dear little Tommy was one of them. The last hymn he joined in singing there seemed like a shadow cast before to tell of the coming event. It was this :
Who are they whose little feet,
Pacing life's dark journey through,
They had ever kept in view ?