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"Perhaps not, my dear; but that need not distress you. I have not set my heart upon your being clever at all. You know God appoints the measure of our capacity, and He suits it to the work He intends us to do. Therefore we have no need to be anxious; we have only diligently to make use of the powers we have, and to improve them."
“Then, mama, you are not disappointed.' I am so glad. Miss Willis said you were so anxious about our education.”
“So I am, dear, and I have very large hopes and views upon the subject, larger even than Miss Willis thinks, but not of the kind she imagines.”
“What then, mama ?”
" Why, Flora, I look upon this world as a large school, in which we are all to prepare for the happy life at home in heaven. God is our kind Teacher, and we are all pupils; some old, and some young, but all pupils. The lessons we have to learn are of different kinds, but they are exactly suited to our powers, and if
we faithfully apply ourselves to them, we shall get forwarder every day.”
Flora's kindling eye showed the interest that her mother was awakening. “Mama, are you a learner ?”
“Indeed I am, Flora, and sometimes my lesson is very hard. I did not like parting with my darling children; but you could not have lived in India. I did not like coming to England without papa; but if I had not come, I should have died. God arranged all this, not I.”
“Yes, mama, I suppose it is so with you and papa; but with us children it is different, surely. We look to you, and if you tell us a thing, it must be right."
“But who appointed us your guardians and protectors, Flora ?”
“I suppose God, mama."
“ Then you see we are only under-workers in his school; just as you have seen in Mr. Marsden's school-room, the elder children appointed as teachers over the younger ones i but we are all responsible alike to Him. Now, it is indeed true, that He has appointed me to watch over and take charge of you, my own darling children, and it is my joy and delight to do it; and I want to find out exactly what it is He wishes you to do, that I may help you to the utmost of my power.”
“ And how shall you find out, mama ?”
“I shall pray to God to direct me, dear, and we will study together His written Word, which He has given for our guidance; and you will all help me, and we will work together. Papa expects to find a happy home when he returns; and he shall not be disappointed, shall
“No, mama, that he shall not. I am so glad you have come home. I wonder what God means me to do, mama; can you tell?”
"Yes, my love, I can tell you a great deal. He means you to be loving and obedient, to think of others before yourself, to be very truthful in all your words and actions, and to
remember that you are perpetually in His presence."
"I don't think we have remembered this while you have been away, mama ; we very often quarrel, but I am sure I will try to do better."
“That is right, my love, and may God give you strength to keep your resolution. And now I think we have talked enough, and you shall read to me out of the pretty book you began yesterday.”
“ That I will, mama ;” and as Flora tripped across the room to fetch the book, her mother could not help reflecting, how the spirit of love, once awakened, infuses energy and hope into the most inert; and often during that morning did her thoughts wander far away from the book her little girl was reading, into the new world of duties which lay before her; and many a thought, as it passed through her mind, shaped itself into a prayer, for guidance and wisdom from above; and a bright future seemed to rise before her, stretching far beyond the brief period of Time. And when Flora had finished reading, she looked up in her mother's face, and said, “I am sure you like my book, mama, for you du look so happy."