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of the tale was made to pass ; and after vainly in the more crowded parts of the city. There was not attempting for a quarter of an hour to become inter- much furniture in Mary's little room; but what there ested in the story, she at last threw down the book was, though plain, was good of its kind, and well kept. in disgust, and again rose and looked out of the window. Mary earned from six to ten shillings a week by

In a few minutes Mrs. Norton came into the room, taking in needlework of different kinds, with which looking pale and weary, and as if she needed sympathy she was well supplied, and for which she was well and kindness. Sophia kissed her mother, and in a few paid by the ladies in the neighbourhood ; among hurried words expressed a hope that she would soon whom she was respected and valued, not only on be better; but she rendered no kind attentions or account of her uniform steadiness and good conduct, assistance, and after the first greeting was over, took but also on account of her beautiful needlework. no more notice of her invalid parent.

“I do like Mary Gray's work,” said Mrs. Liston to In the afternoon the rain ceased, and there was a her sister, after she had been carefully examining some faint gleam of sunshine. Tired of idleness, and weary baby linen which had just been brought home; with sitting still for so long a time unemployed, “besides being very neatly done, it is always kept so Sophia made up her mind to take a short walk. Mr. clean that it hardly looks soiled at all.” Norton's house was situated in one of the fashionable At the time of which we are writing, Mary had a squares in London, not very far from Regent-street, to set of night-gowns to make for Sophia Norton, which which place Sophia directed her steps ; for the glitter- were to be sent home as soon as possible. She awoke ing and well-filled shops had more attractions for her early in the morning, rose quickly, dressed herself, than the purer air of the Parks. She paced slowly and after a short but fervent prayer for God's blessing through the principal streets, every now and then and guidance through the day, proceeded to sweep looking in at the shop windows when anything parti- her little room, light the fire, and set on her little cularly attractive met her eye; and after an hour thus copper teakettle to boil, while she carefully dusted and passed, turned homewards.

arranged the room and furniture. When, on her return, she had dressed for dinner, By the time all these duties were concluded, it was she found that her father had just returned from the eight o'clock, and she began to feel in want of her city. “There is a concert at Exeter Hall to-night,” he breakfast. When the water boiled, she made a cup of said, as she entered the room, “and as I thought you tea, and after toasting a slice of bread (for she was would like to go, Sophy, I have purchased tickets for rather short of money that week, and could not afford all of us; but I fear, my dear,” turning to his wife, butter), thankfully sat down to her frugal meal. “that you

will be unable to go, as you are suffering so When it was over, she washed the few things she had much from

your
head.

used, put them away in the cupboard, and took "Oh, yes ! I must quite give it up," answered Mrs. down her Bible from the shelf ; for this portion of the Norton ; “but, Sophia dear, your cousin Ellen will be day was always devoted to reading the Word of God, to «lelighted to accompany you, and you could set out a prayer and meditation. At nine o'clock she sat down to little earlier, and call for her on the way.”

her needlework, and at the end of two hours had made “That will be just the thing,” said Sophia, brighten considerable progress with one of the night-gowns ; for ing up, and looking more alive than she had yet done constant practice had made her very expert with herneedle. throughout the day

Soon after eleven there was a low tap at the door, After dinner Sophia played at chess with her father, and an elderly woman walked in. She looked pale who was particularly fond of the game; and so the and careworn, but in answer to Mary's inquiries, said evening passed till it was time to prepare for the she was pretty well. concert. To that we need not conduct our readers.

“And how is poor John ?” asked Mary. When the concert was concluded, which was at “Oh! very bad, very bad," replied the woman; rather a late hour, they returned home. Mrs. Norton “he's wasting away slowly but surely, and his appehad already retired to rest ; and after partaking of tite's quite gone; the only thing he relishes is a little some slight refreshment, Sophia and her father also brotlı, but then, alas ! I can't afford to buy meat to withdrew for the night. The former soon dismissed make it, though it goes to my heart to see him longing her maid, and after a hasty and careless prayer, uttered for what I am not able to give him, and he such a without any thought of its meaning, she laid down to good son as he is : why, he's been everything to me, , sleep. So passed the day, unimproved, wasted, and since his poor father died.” thoughtlessly thrown away as worthless-a murdered “Well,” replied Mary, soothingly, “don't be cast portion of an invaluable talent, to be accounted for to down; you know where to go for help. God is able God the Giver, at the great time of reckoning.

to supply all your wants, and I am sure He will do so, We will now turn to a more pleasing narrative-of a

if you trust Him.” day passed in quiet unpretending usefulness.

“I must not stay,” the woman said ; "I was going Mary Gray rented a small room in a one-storied past, and I thought I'd just look in, for somehow a house, which was situated in the suburbs of London, word with you always does me good.” and about a mile from Mr. Norton's. Green trees and “Stay a minute," said Mary, rising and going to the flowers were noi quite so rare in the neighbou: hood as cupboard, from which she took out a plate containing

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a small bit of a neck of mutton. « This will make him a little drop of broth,” she continued. "I am so glad I had it by me. No, don't say a word against it; I can do very well without it, and I hope poor John will relish it.”

“Thank you a thousand times," said the woman, with tears in her eyes; “ but, indeed, I don't like to rob you of it.”

“Don't be uneasy," said Mary, smiling. “I've plenty to eat without that.”

When she was alone, Mary again took up her work, and continued diligently seaming and hemming for an hour or two longer. She then rose, and after folding up her work, laid a nice white cloth over her little table, and going to the cupboard, brought out the remains of a loaf and a small piece of hard cheese. The bit of mutton had been given her by her sister-inlaw, and Mary had intended to have it for her dinner, for she was seldom able to afford meat. But she had cheerfully and willingly denied her own appetite for the sake of a sickly invalid still poorer than herself.

When her humble meal was over, Mary cleared the table, swept up the hearth, and after washing her hands, again took out her work. Towards four o'clock the rain, which had been falling at intervals all day, ceased, and the sky cleared a little. Mary had to take home some work which she had completed the day before, and for which she hoped to be paid. She also wished to call upon a poor woman advanced in

years, and who was dying of a painful cancer, that she might take her a little roll of linen, which she had begged of a kind Christian lady on purpose for poor Mrs. Jones. Mary accordingly put on her bonnet and shawl, and first of all carried home the shirts she had finished, for which the lady paid her at once, and gave her sixpence more than she had expected on account of there being two rows of stitching in the collars. Mary thankfully received the money, and laid out part in a few necessary purchases of firing and food. This done, she hastened to the house where Mrs. Jones lived.

“How I wish I could take her some nice little thing that she would relish,” thought Mary, as she walked along. “Well, Mrs. Lawton has paid me sixpence more than I expected ; I'll lay out that." Just at this moment she was passing a shop where newlylaid eggs were sold, and going in, she bought three.

Mary went on to Mrs. Jones's: she found the poor woman asleep, and unwilling to disturb her, left the linen and eggs, and returned home.

After tea, she again sat down to work, and continued busily employed till near nine ; at which time she put away her work, and enjoyed a quiet season of communion with her God and Saviour. And after committing herself to His care for the night, lay down to rest, tired indeed in body, but with a peaceful and happy mind.

We leave our readers to apply the contrast.

READ 1 KINGS XVII. 8-24.

H

ELIJAH AND THE WIDOW'S SON.

forgetfulness of God; and now she saw in her son's. death the punishment of her sin, and thought that the

prophet was God's instrument for punishing her. Better ITHERTO the presence of the prophet in the (so she seems to say), better to have gone on as before,

widow's house had brought nothing but with no thought of my sin, but with my boy safe!

blessing When first he came she was re- Better even to have died together of want, better never duced to the last extremity; he found her gathering to have seen the prophet, than now, when life had sticks to dress, as she thought, the last meal for herself been saved and comfort restored, and all seemed welland her son. But from that day she had known no now to have all so suddenly interrupted, and her son want. The barrel of meal had not wasted, the cruse of torn from her arms ! Thus she complained to the prooil had not failed. Many days, perhaps a whole year, ! phet, not denying her sin, and yet laying her misfortune

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this unfailing supply had been the support of her and her son and the prophet.

But now came a change. The meal and the oil indeed still held out; but he for whose sake the widow chiefly cared for them fell sick. The sickness, as is usual in Eastern countries, made rapid progress. Soon it

was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.” He died.

The mother, still believing in Elijah as a “man of God,” but forgetting, as it seems, in the unreasonableness of her passionate grief, the blessing his presence had brought her, flew to him at once, complaining and expostulating. Some past sin came to her mind, or she thought perhaps of her whole former life, passed in

at his door. So unreasonable is unrestrained sorrow ! So often does faith fail under a sudden blow.

Elijah felt the blow too. Probably he knew nothing of the boy's illness, till the mother came to reproach him with his death. It was a great blow to him, and these unjust reproaches must have tried his spirit; yet he made no reply but this—"Give me thy son.” Then he took him up to his own little room, and laid him on his bed, and poured out his soul to God.

How bold are his words! He almost echoes the widow's reproaches against himself; he ventures to question, to expostulate with, the Lord Himself. He represents to the Almighty that this woman was a widow; that it was her son, her only son, who had

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died; and that he himself was sojourning with her, the widow when He slew her son ; yet God caused and so had his share in the stroke; and, moreover, that good to come out of the evil. Her son was restored, the stroke seemed to have come in some sort through her faith was confirmed and increased, and God was his sojourning there ; so, at least, the mother thought, glorified. The Lord's hand is not shortened ; He still and perhaps others would think the same ; and thus brings good out of evil. Then the evil becomes not would it not seem that he had brought a curse, and not evil, but only seeming evil, a blessing in disguise, the a blessing; and would not men therefore turn away

channel by which He sends His gifts of grace. from him and his words, and would not the cause of God suffer? In such a tone did Elijah venture to address God.

THE OLD BROWN SILK DRESS. Was he not too bold ? Was not this a presumptuous challenging of God's dealings? We find no sign that

Rs. Smith at such a grand wedding, and in her his words were so regarded by God. He who bids us

old brown silk dress! She has had it for lay all our wants and troubles before Him allows us

the last six years." great liberty of speech in doing so. True, we should “I know it. The idea of a person as well off as she never pray but with deep reverence, and full submission is, keeping a dress that length of time! But she of will ; but every thought and feeling, every wish, looked well. The dress was altered to suit the present every fear, every grief, we are to tell to God without fashion." reserve; and, when the mind is overwhelmed by some “But such meanness! I do not call it economy, sudden stroke, the reason of which is not made plain but meanness. I am tired of seeing her wear that to us, God is not offended by our speaking to Him dress. If she were not able to get a new silk, it would freely of our perplexity.

be different. I wish I had the money she has, I Bold as Elijah's language was, his prayer was the would show people how to dress.” prayer of faith. Whatever it had pleased God to do, “Girls,” said grandma, “I am afraid that you are nothing was too hard for Him ; He could even now not cultivating very charitable dispositions. As the restore the life which He had taken. Three times brown silk dress seems to interest you, let me tell did the prophet stretch himself upon the child as he you a little affair connected with it. lay on the bed, and three times, as it seems, did he cry “About two weeks ago Mrs. Smith called on me. unto the Lord, “and said, O Lord my God, I pray I had just prepared to go out to do some shopping. Thee let this child's soul come into him again !” The She proposed to accompany me.

On our way she cry was heard, the prayer was granted. “ The soul of informed me that she intended to purchase a new dress. the child came into him again, and he revived." While we were in the store examining some rich silks, How happy was Elijah when he gave him once more

Mrs. Winslow came in. Seeing Mrs. Smith, she ininto his mother's arms with the words, “See, thy son formed her of the destitute condition of a family she liveth !" How happy was the mother, how full of had just visited. The father had been sick and unable thankfulness and of faith! “Now by this I know,” to work. The mother had been toiling to support her said she, “ that thou art a man of God, and that the family. She was now sick, and three of her children. Word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.”

One was lying dead in the house. They were so poor Will God always thus answer prayer? Will He in that they had not a sufficiency of either fuel or food. every case restore a lost blessing, or even spare us from Their rent should have been paid in advance, but on a threatened stroke? The prayer of faith will never

account of sickness the father had been unable to do be unheard. In our deepest distress or anxiety we

The landlord had consented to wait until the end may go to the throne of grace, and pour out our hearts of the month. The father was still unable to pay, and before God through Jesus Christ, not fearing to speak the family were threatened with being turned into the all our mind; and, for the sake of our great High street that very day. Priest, our Redeemer, our Advocate, we shall most “Mrs. Smith asked if they were worthy people. certainly be heard. Not a feeling will be disregarded, Mrs. Winslow assured her they were, and giving not a tear uncared for, not a desire unnoticed. But their address, she urged Mrs. Smith to visit them. the answer which God will give to our prayers will be Mrs. Smith had just decided to purchase a dress such as He sees to be best. Often it will be, not a from a costly piece of silk. "I will not purchase the blessing restored, but another blessing given instead ; dress now,' she said to the shopman. And turning to not a stroke withheld, but abundant comfort bestowed; me, she remarked : 'I feel it my duty to visit these not a change of circunstances, or anything outward poor people and supply their necessities before purwhatever, but an increase of peace, a growth in grace,

chasing anything for myself. Will you aecompany the heart brought into loving contentment with the will of God; in short, those "peaceable fruits of “I did so. We found the family in great distress. righteousness” which are the proper effect of God's | They were Christian people, and had been praying to fatherly chastening, when blest by His Spirit.

God to send them help. Mrs. Smith immediately paid Let us call nothing evil that works such an effect the rent then due, and another month in advance, as this. It was seeming evil that God brought upon besides ordering fuel and food. She has since sent

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them many little articles of comfort. 'I feel better,'

This seemed to be one instance in which a person she said, 'than if I had bought a new dress. I will might repent on a death-bed. remake my old one and will wear it to the wedding.'

Morning dawned, and with its light was an improve“And this is why Mrs. Smith wore that old brown ment in the symptoms. Convalescence commenced, silk dress. She is not mean, but a noble, self-denying and from day to day for a week he conversed freely Christian woman. And I can safely say there is no upon religious subjects. one that I am acquainted with who gives so freely as In a month he was well; but with returning health she does."

less and less interest was manifested in a religious life. “I had never heard of her being benevolent before." He was not disposed to make a public profession of

"She gives quietly, not noising it abroad. There are religion, and after a few months was as indifferent as many families who owe the necessaries and comforts of ever, and within a year he was openly wicked and life to her bounty."

reckless in his conduct. “I am glad you told us, grandma. The old brown If this man had died, all would have thought he silk dress will look beautiful to me hereafter. And it was prepared to leave the world. But during years of will preach me a lesson of charity—charity in judg- observation I remember no such case which could be ment, and charity, which is love, towards the poor."

considered undoubted. The pain and mental anxiety attendant upon disease sufficiently severe to prove

fatal are not favourable to a clear grasping of the DEATH-BED REPENTANCE.

subject of repentance and faith. Let no one delay a moment so important a duty.

Dy a Physician.
His is an expression often used. Many

live in sin and neglect of religion,
who hope that, when death approaches

THERE'S ONLY ONE.
they may repent and be fitted for

DHERE's only on whose dear arm heaven.

We safely lay our thoughts to rest ;
Many years
Sago, I was called to visit a There's only one who

knows the depth man who had by mistake swallowed a

Of sorrow in each stricken breast. quantity of a very poisonous drug. He was in great distress, and it was evident that a fatal result might

There's only One who knows the truth

Amid this world's deceit and lies ; ensue. On being informed that recovery was doubtful

There's only One who views each case
the patient, although in most terrible agony, began to

With just, unselfish, candid eyes.
express fear as to his future state, should death result.
No man ever manifested greater concern, or confessed

There's only One who marks the wish,
with more apparent sincerity his guilt and need of a

Nor cruelly, severely blames;
Saviour.

There's only One too full of love

To put aside the weakest claims.
A clergyman was sent for, who talked and prayed
with the sufferer. For a day and a night there was

There's only One whose pity falls
alternate sinking and reviving. At times life seemed

Like dew upon the wounded heart; almost extinct, and as he revived, then recurred the

There's only One who never leaves,

Though enemy and friend depart.
deep anxiety about the salvation of his soul. The
minister and others prayed, conversed, and sung with There's only One, when none are by,
him. All who came in were extremely solicitous

To wipe away the falling tear;
about his case. The apprehensions of its probable

There's only One to heal the wound, fatal effects, together with the hopes and fears in

And stay the weak one's timid fear.
regard to his preparation for death, caused deep-felt There's only One who's never harsh,
anxiety.

But tenderness itself to all;
During an interval of comparative relief from pain,

There's only One who knows each heart,

And listens to its faintest call.
after a long day of indescribable agony, the man be-
gan to say that he believed the Lord had forgiven his

There's only One who understands
sins. He could rejoice in pardoning love, and every And enters into all we feel;
one seemed to rejoice with him.

There's only One who views each spring,
Before morning another paroxysm of depression was

And each perplexing wheel in wheel.
anticipated, in which it was probable he would die.

There's only one who can support,
In view of this, the sufferer bade farewell to all

And who sufficient grace can give
about him, and earnestly expressed his gratitude To bear up under every grief,
to the clergyman for his kind attentions and counsel.

And spotless in this world to live.
In a few hours he began to sink, and death seemed

There's only One who will abide
inevitable. All were thankful that, if he must die

When loved ones in the grave are cold; under such distressing circumstances, he could give so There's only One who'll go with me clear evidence of having passed from death unto life.

When this long painful journey's told.

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