Abbildungen der Seite

on this slip of paper ; they may prove of use, if we have the honesty to apply them.”

The paper which Ellen then read aloud, contained seven texts — one for each day in the week. The verses themselves, were in the hand writing of Agnes, but as they had been selected with a view to the failings of her companions, rather than her own benefit, she and Esther had added to each of the first four, the name of the young lady to whom they thought it most applicable. These names were in Esther's hand, and were written with a black lead pencil. The passages were as follows:

I. That no one of you be puffed up against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another, and what hast thou, that thou didst not receive? now, if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it.” (1 Cor. iv. 6.) The name which followed this text, was “ Myra.

II. “ Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel ; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible ; even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Pet. iii. 3-4.) Here followed Fanny's name, with three notes of admiration !!!

III. “ Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves." Sophy's name was written at the end of this passage; but with a pencil mark drawn across it—we will hope by Agnes. It was singular enough, that Sophy had selected that very text and repeated it; nay more, had understood its meaning so well, as to apply it to the case of the poor woman, and yet, never imagined, that she was herself an example of the sort of pride pointed out by it. So true is it, that the heart is deceitful above all things.”

IV. I say, through the grace given unto me to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly." The names of Mary and Myra followed this passage.

The three remaining texts were as follows:
V. “ Be not high minded, but fear.(Rom. ii. 20.)

VI. “ Pride goeth before destruction; and a haughty spirit . before a fall.(Prov. xviii. 18.)

VII. “ Every one that is proud in heart, is an abomination to the Lord.(Prov. xvi. 5.)

To these texts there were no names subjoined ; though Ellen felt inclined, to add those of the writer. . “My dear Myra,” said she, addressing that young lady as she folded up the paper, “ I agree with you, in feeling that there is something sad in looking at the old tombstone opposite, and reflecting, that nothing remains of the once noble family at the manor house, but the dust buried there, but we may learn a solemn and instructive lesson by pursuing this subject a little further. Tell me of what importance is it, at this moment, to the ashes in the vault beneath us, that they were, when living, what the world calls noble and rich ?” Ellen paused; Myra blushed deeply, but did not reply. She then continued, “we could scarcely have chosen a better place than this church-yard, for impressing upon our minds the sin and folly of pride. There is, as Fanny remarked, something very terrible to our fallen nature, in the contemplation of a scene like this. Here we are surrounded by graves, where the rich and the poor meet together,' on terms of perfect equality. To them, it matters not, what was their station in life, for as the Scripture beautifully expresses it, .We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain, we can carry nothing out.' But before we proceed,” said she, addressing Fanny," are you sure, you know what pride means ?".

“ Oh, yes, it means," returned Fanny, hastily~" it means-Oh! dear, I know very well, what it means, Miss Ellen-only, I cannot put my meaning into words."

“Then I must apply to Sophy,” observed Ellen, with a smile, “Come, Sophy, do you define the word, 'pride.'

“I think, pride consists, in thinking too well of ourselves," replied Sophy, modestly. : “ You have given an excellent definition, dear Sophy," said Ellen : “pride, does indeed consist, in thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. Improper self-estimation is the root; and now, I will point out the different branches which spring from this root, and bear the unpleasing fruits which disfigure your characters and make you unamiable. It is this which renders Agnes and Esther censorious, and anxious to find out the faults of others, rather than humbly and carefully to correct their own ;

which makes them estimate too highly their intellectual superiority, whilst they neglect that most valuable of all knowledge, “ selfknowledge.” It is pride which leads Mary to be confident, and to overrate all that belongs to herself—that causes Myra to assume a superiority over her companions; Fanny to boast and be vain of her dress; and Sophy to be impatient of reproof, unwilling to acknowledge herself wrong, and liable to forget her place as a younger sister and a little girl. Thus you perceive the forms of pride are as various as are our dispositions and our characters, but we shall most effectually remove the branches by striking at the root. For instance, if you, Esther and Agnes, will look at yourselves, in the only true mirror for self-examination-the Scriptures, you will find occupation sufficient, without making mischief, and sowing discord amongst your school-fellows. Oh! how I wish, I could prevail on one and all of you to come to the blessed Saviour, and learn of him who was meek and lowly in heart. Believe me, my dear girls, the more we resemble our Divine Redeemer, the more lovely will our tempers and manners become. Nothing confers so much true dignity as Christian humility. Genuine respectability must proceed from a right state of mind; whilst a haughty spirit and vulgarity are inseparable, whatever may be the station or pretensions of their possessors."

The tears of the young ladies had begun to flow freely during Ellen's remarks; and as soon as she had finished speaking, Sophy rose from her seat, and approaching Myra, begged her forgiveness for her rude behaviour at the Dorcas meeting. Perhaps nothing could have happened more calculated to deepen the impression made on Myra's mind, and to soften her heart, than this submission of Sophy's, which was made with all the warmth of feeling natural to her. Myra was so much affected by it, that she in her turn apologized to Mary, and a complete reconciliation followed. As to Esther and Agnes, they were mortified and humbled ; conscious that they were guilty, they attempted no justification of their conduct, but although they did not, like the rest, confess their Taults, they made resolutions of amendment. Agnes was much affected by her sister's penitence and voluntary humiliation, and gladly would she have followed her example, but was withheld by the dread of incurring the reproaches of Esther. Poor girl! she had sufficient sense and feeling to be aware of the influence which

prevented her from doing right-but alas ! she had not the resolution necessary to brave the contempt and ridicule of a girl of her own age.

Ellen now proposed returning home, and playfully joining the hands of Mary and Myra, drew an arm of Agnes and Esther, within her own; but before they left the church-yard, she endeavoured to lead the minds of the young people to the cheering consideration of the blessed truths declared in the gospel, the glorious hope of a resurrection, the earnest of which was given, when our blessed Redeemer rose from the dead, and thus became the first-fruits of them that slept. Addressing Fanny, in particular, she pointed out the love of Christ in humbling himself even unto death, the sting of which he destroyed; and she referred to the promise made to believers in Him, “I will redeem them from the power of the grave.” Esther said, that she recollected some lines on the death of bishop Heber, which expressed this idea very beautifully, and she repeated the verse.

“Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore thee,
Tho' sorrow and darkness encompass the tomb;
The Saviour has passed thro’ its portals before thee,

And the lamp of his love is thy guide thro' the gloom.” During their walk home, Ellen had much serious conversation with “ the friends.” She returned the list of texts to Esther, who thanked her for the forbearance she had displayed in not exposing their folly and unkindness to their school-fellows. Ellen then urged them to exert their influence over each other for good, rather than evil. They listened to her gentle remonstrances with respectful attention, and Esther begged she would point out the means they should use to correct their faults. “That I will gladly do, my dear Esther,” returned her kind friend. “You appear to be sensible of your errors. In order to correct them, I advise you to pray earnestly and daily, that your heavenly Father will, for Christ's sake, grant you the assistance of his Holy Spirit; you will then become each day more alive to your own defects; and discerning the beam in your own, will feel little disposition to look for the mote in your brother's eye.”

Young reader, whatever form your pride may take—“Go and do likewise."

S. A, A.


(Continued from page 56.) We left young Linnæus ready to start on his interesting expedition, and many are the enterprising spirits who will feel disposed to go with him. It was on a lovely spring morning, in the fulness of health, that he commenced his travels. There appears to have been much in unison with his own feelings in “ the cheerful and delightful aspect” of nature at this season ; and he accordingly set out with good heart upon his lonely pilgrimage, if lonely it could be called, to one who had so long been accustomed to commune with the thousand sights and sounds of the animate and inanimate creation. The progress of the corn and of the foliage; the character of the soil ; the general appearance of the scenery; the minute mosses, and more assuming flowers that came within his observation; even the geese that looked up to him in silly wonderment as he passed, and stretched forth their long necks in defence of the yellow brood that followed in their wake; all attracted his attention, and elicited remark, as he left Old Upsal on the right, and took a farewell view of its three huge sepulchral mounds or tumuli.

Like a true student, intent upon his work, he was unaccompanied : he had set out alone ; and it is, indeed, this circumstance which imparts such a fascinating character to his whole book. It is the record of what he personally saw, and heard, and did, receiving no adventitious aid, but simply minuting, day by day, the several items of knowledge which he picked up. To know what a mind is really worth, we must leave it in a measure to its own resources; and the mind of our young naturalist was one that could well abide this test. His journal contains ample evidence that he could not only see, but reason, and associate, and compare, and judge, and analyze ; that he could philosophize as well as observe, and what is still, perhaps, more rare, could describe with scientific minuteness, as well as with considerable graphic beauty.

In these things he was a model for our young readers : we want to see them equally intelligent, though we are by no means of opinion that this is all that is required of them. As we have before said, it is only sanctified intelligence that is really valuable, and if ever there were times when it behoved the young to be well informed upon general topics, as well as experimentally conversant with the great truths of Revelation, those times have now arrived.

« ZurückWeiter »