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THE MOTHER'S FORGIVENESS,

AND

OTHER SKETCHES.

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of Mr. Moody's elder brothers, who ought to have been the chief support of the family, grew up wild and wayward, and at length sud

denly disappeared. For years no tidings of the lost boy reached the widowed mother. It seemed sometimes as if softly as they went; for that name was like a swordher heart would break for him. “Oh!

thrust to the mother's heart. Then they would lie if I could only know he was dead, it would be better awake listening to the roar of the wind among the than this ! Maybe he is sick and in want !-maybe he mountains, thinking maybe he was out in the cold has fallen in with wicked men, who will make him somewhere; or, worse than that, perhaps he had gone like themselves !”

to sea, and while they were snug in bed was keeping Her family would sit in a semicircle about the fire watch on a wave-beaten deck, or climbing a reeling on a stormy winter's night, and listen to stories of

mast in just such darkness and storm. their dead father: what he did, what he said, how he Now and then, between the gusts, a sound would be looked, how he was kind to a friend and lost a great heard like the wail of the summer wind when it used deal of money by him, and so their little home was to make harpstrings of the leaves and branches of the mortgaged, and they were poor. But if by chance any great maple trees in the yard : low and gentle now, one spoke the name of the absent brother, a great and again rising into louder and stronger tones. Then silence fell upon them; the tears would come into the they held their breath and listened.

Mother was eyes of the mother, and then they would steal

away sitting up to pray for her lost boy. to bed, whispering their “good nights,” and walking Next morning perhaps she would send them down to the post-office in the village, a mile and a half away, to ask for a letter—a letter from him, though the HOW JOE SPENT SUNDAY AFTERNOON. mother never said so. But no letter ever came.

When Mr. Moody's mother was growing old, and her soft dark hair was turning white, one summer afternoon a tall, swarthy man, with heavy black beard, was seen coming in at the gate. He came up under the porch, and, the door being open, he stopped and looked in, with an eager, anxious face, as if he were afraid he might not find the one he was seeking; thinking, perchance, that instead of climbing the hill to the old farm-house under the maples, he ought to have turned in at the little gate he had passed below. The widow came to the door to bid the stranger in.

UNDAY afternoon on board ship!

Not a very favourable place for The eyes that had watched so long for his coming did

enjoying a quiet half-hour, some not know him now. He was only a boy when he ran

people would think, but Joe Mason had determined away; years of hardship and exposure to sun and

to spend his leisure time profitably, and therefore storm had made him strange even to his mother.

we see him dressed in his clean white suit, and seated “Will you come in ?" said she, in her courteous and kindly way.

upon an old gun, practising his favourite tunes.

It is now many months since the day when he told But the stranger did not move or speak. He stood

his mother how discouraged it made him feel to see his there, humbly and penitently, in the presence of her

elder brothers, ready and willing to work steadily, and whose love he had slighted, and whose heart he had

yet unable to obtain permanent employment. For himbroken; and, as a sense of his ingratitude began to

self, he said, he should like to be a sailor, for he was overwhelm him, the big tears began to find their way

sure that he should do far better on sea than on land. over his weather-beaten face.

The good mother gave her consent, and after many By those tears the mother recognised her son. He

injunctions and warnings, and followed by many a had come at last! There was so much of the old home in him that he could not always stay away. But he

prayer, Joe began his life on board the training ship.

It was not quite so pleasant as he had expected, but would not cross its threshold till he had confessed

when the strangeness had worn off he grew to like it. his sin against it, and heard from the same lips which

It was soon discovered that he was fond of music and had prayed for him so often and so long, the sweet

had a quick ear, and he was taken into the band, and assurance that he was forgiven.

much of his spare time was spent in practising, and he No! no !” said he; “I cannot come in till my

persevered so diligently that he learnt to play better mother forgives me.”

than many of his ship-mates. Weeping upon his neck, forgetting all the sorrow

But this afternoon as he sits on the deck, while the he had caused her in the joy of seeing him once more, ship lies anchored in the broad harbour, the sea lapshe forgave him because he asked it, and because she

ping her sides, and the sea-gulls flying overhead, he is loved him. “And that is just the way," said Mr. Moody,--who

trying to play some of the hymn tunes which he used sometimes tells the story to his great congregations, - bells is wafted from the shore, bringing to his mind

to sing in the Sunday-school: A sound of church “that is just the way God forgives all the prodigal

many happy Sundays long gone by. But there is sons who come back to Him. Do you think mother kept her long-lost boy out there in the porch till he something wrong this bright afternoon, and Joe cannot had gone through with a string of apologies, and done play the tunes correctly because his thoughts are

wandering. a list of penances, and said ever-so-many prayers ? Not

Down below lies a young sailor-boy, whose pallid at all! She took him to her heart at once. She made him come right in. She forgave him all, and rejoiced

face and quick breathing tell us that he is seriously

ill. But he is alone, no tender mother or loving sister over his coming more than over all the other children.

watches beside him. The sailor whose business it is to He had been lost, and now he was found !"

attend
upon

him is sent off on other duty for a whfle,

and no one comes near him. No one? Yes, Joe has *RECEPT.—Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, given up his practice for once, and put away his call ye upon Him while He is near.

favourite music, for he could not feel happy up there

in the sunshine while he remembered the sufferer PROM18E.-Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

down below. He spends the precious hours of the

afternoon with the sick youth, who has never been a PRAYER.Have mercy upon me, O God, according very kind friend to him, and who is neither a patient to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

nor grateful invalid.

But Joe remains with him talking and reading,

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Isaiah ly. 6.

Luke xi. 9.

Psalm li. 1.

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writes a letter for him, and does what he can to chase
away the sad gloomy thoughts that are filling his OVER THE ROUGH PLACES.
mind. At length the time came for Joe to go on
duty, and he goes away with joyfulness in his heart

BABE, only a few months old, and a consciousness that this has not been a misspent

was left, by the death of its afternoon, but that he has been following the footsteps

mother, to the care of a

doctor and his wife in Richand obeying the commands of the Master who "pleased not Himself."

mond, Virginia. It was a grandchild. The doctor's

wife was in feeble health, THE BREAD OF LIFE.

and a great deal of the care

of the child necessarily HEN Jesus Christ lived here on

devolved on the doctor, earth, He preached many sermons,

especially at night, when but not one more precious than

the nurse was not at hand. the one on bread. He had fed

The doctor at first felt it five thousand people on five loaves

painful and irksome to watch over the helpand two fishes—a wonderful

less child. His rest at night was often miracle ; and the next day the people

broken in attending to the wants of the crowded around Him, perhaps to be

child. fed again, but Jesus said to them,

Very soon, however, the little occupant of the cradle “Labour not for the meat (or food) which perisheth, began to get hold of the affections of the grandfather. but for that which endureth unto everlasting life.” In the absence of its nurse he promptly paid it caressThis does not mean that we are not to work for our

ing attentions. As time wore on he became more and daily bread, but that while we are doing this, we are to more attached to the little fellow. His prattle was strive still harder for the food which sustains the soul.

music to the ears of the grandfather. The first words “Seek first (or chiefly) the kingdom of God and His

of the child had a charm; the first essay to walk righteousness,” Jesus said in another place," and all delighted him, and by the time the little boy could other things shall be added unto you."

follow him to his study, and begin to enjoy pictureThen the Jews asked how they were to work for this

books, he had become the object of the strongest and enduring food; and Jesus said, “ This is the work of

tenderest affection. God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.”

And now for the little incident for which this It is faith in Jesus, simple faith, that pleases God, and

narrative is given. It was a summer morning. The brings nourishment to the soul.

little boy's feet were weak and tender. He clasped his Jesus went on to say, “I am the Bread of life, and grandfather's hand and started with him to the market. he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.” That is, | Over the smooth pavement, on the sidewalks, he tripped we are to accept and trust Him as our Saviour. You along gleefully and glibly; but on coming to a crossand I are sinners, and must die unless some way of alley that was paved with cobble-stones, the little deliverance is found. God saw our helpless state, and fellow began to flinch and mince his way, sent His Son to die for us—instead of us—and now

evident signs of pain. Whereupon the doctor took him we can go to our Father and say, “We have sinned, up in his arms and carried him over to the smooth and done wickedly, and cannot answer for one of a paving-stones on the other side. thousand of our sins; but Jesus has died for us. Look

As he was put down again he looked up with an Thou on Thy dear Son, Jesus, crucified on Calvary, | inimitable smile, and said, “Grandpa, won't you carry and, for His sake, forgive our sins.” This is faith ; this me over all the rough places ?” is what is meant by “ eating His flesh and drinking His The doctor put his hands on him and said, “ God blood;" and Jesus says if we do this we shall have bless your precious white soul, my child, I will." And eternal life.

instantly the tears of grateful joy blinded the eyes of But as we cannot keep our bodies alive by just once that grandfather for the lesson suggested to his own eating, or by eating only once a year, or once a month, mind. “Will not my Father in heaven carry me over but have to eat two or three times every day, so we the rough places ?" he said, half audibly. must keep trusting Jesus every day and every hour. “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts The proof that we have eaten of the Living Bread is unto your children, how much more shall

your

Father that we have spiritual life : and the proof that we have which is in licaven give good things to them that ask spiritual life is that we seek spiritual food. Let no Him?” Yes, when our feet are tender, and we are man think he can keep his soul alive by feeding on the ready to faint and give up by the way, will not God experiences of days gone by. The manna must be carry us over the rough places ? That lesson paid the gathered fresh every morning. The Bible must be read, doctor for all his care of the little boy, and, as repeated and the teaching and guidance of the Holy Spirit daily by him, it has encouraged many a halting and fainting sought by earnest and believing prayer,

pilgrim on his way to heaven,

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and gave

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