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LIFE IN EARNEST.
“Oh! what a glory doth this world put on,
For him who with a fervent heart goes forth, .
“Mama says, will you go with her to-day, after luncheon, Miss Burnet, to see our new house ?”
“Yes, Percy, I shall like it very much. Is mama going to walk ?”
“Oh, no; she will drive there. We are all going, I believe, and those who like it will walk home. Effie will go, will she not?”
“That I will,” said Effie, who just entered.
examinations, and investigations, had been finally decided on, was situated in the hamlet to which Mr. Marsh's house (Heathside) belonged, and was not more than ten minutes' walk from it. The hamlet was beautifully situated, half-way up a fine ridge of hills, and commanded an extensive and beautiful view. The house was well furnished, and in all respects fitted for the reception of such a family as the Thorntons ; and Mrs. Thornton engaged it for one year certain, with the prospect and hope, very strong in her mind, of making it a permanent home. The garden and grounds attached to it were of moderate size, and all in perfect order, therefore there would be nothing to prevent their taking immediate possession, as soon as the necessary arrangements were made. The children, with the light-heartedness and love of novelty which attaches to that age, were enchanted with everything they saw. They ran in and out of the rooms, into the garden, back again into the greenhouse, form. ing all sorts of sunny schemes for the future, and calling to one another at every turn. All but Flora, whose quieter spirit and deeper love for her grandmother than the others, threw a slight shade of sadness over her at the approaching separation. Effie observed this, and being very much in the same mood of mind herself, she took Flora's hand, and they continued together during the greater part of the afternoon.
Mrs. Thornton and Helen sat together in a summer-house, and the conversation naturally turned upon the new life which was before them both, and upon the spirit in which both desired to enter upon its duties. “I think we shall have need of great patience," said Mrs. Thornton, “and we must not be surprised or disappointed, if a long time elapses before we are permitted to see any fruits. I do not wish to conceal from you, my dear friend, any of my children's faults, and I know they are such as will require time and labour, with faith and prayer, to reach."
"We shall have no counteracting in
fluences," said Helen; "and I have so much faith in the power of example. If they see us striving to walk with God, and happy in so doing, they will be insensibly led to walk with us in time.”
“I am sure of it,” replied Mrs. Thorntor. “In the religious training of the young, indirect influences have much more effect than those directly addressed to them. Religious books and conversation, strictly so called, should I think very sparingly be used, for the young mind is apt to look with suspicion upon them, as calculated to curtail its enjoyments. We know they do not do so, but we must let this knowledge steal imperceptibly upon them, not force it upon their notice before they will bear it."
“I am so very glad,” said Helen, “to have a real and actual object for my life. You cannot think, Mrs. Thornton, with what pleasure I shall work, now that I have some direct and specified thing upon which to concentrate my powers. I have so often felt the want of this, and thought that I would almost rather break stones upon the road, if only I were appointed to do it, than go on wondering where my real work lies, longing to do it, but finding myself always in some way prevented.”
“My dear young friend, this is no uncom. mon case. To one possessing an active mind, there is nothing so trying in the world, as to be obliged to sit still; to feel one's powers, to know what one could do, and yet not to be permitted to do anything. But this state of things is just as much of God's appointing as any other. And I believe it is a far higher walk of Christian duty, to go through this trial patiently, than to work night and day, even until health and strength fail, because the one fits in with our natural desire, and the other does not."
“It is quite true," said Helen, “I am sure I feel it so; but I trust the time is come now, when I may work. I do hope, indeed, I shall be able to be useful to you; but there is one important thing I feel very