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FOR THE YOUNG.
“ LITTLE acts of kindness,
After a little, Ella's sister Mattie Little words of love,
came in also from school. Generally, Make a heaven of this world
little Miss Mattie was so lively and Like the one above!”
so constantly in motion that her sang the children in Miss Curl's
household names were “ Witchie" school, that bright June day, when
and “Mischief,” but to day she the sunshine was like a golden seemed uncommonly quiet. shower, and the birds sang as if When she came in she folded her winter and storms were gone for
arms on the table, laid her head ever! And
down upon them, and stood quite "Make a heaven of this world still
, watching her mother and sister Like the one above!”
without saying a word. sang the happy voice of little Ella “Mattie, what is the matter?" Moore, as she ran down the school- asked Ella. house steps and tripped across the 'Nothing," was Mattie's answer. grassy yard to her own home.
But she kept her position, and reDown went Ella's books as soon mained so still that presently Ella as she entered the kitchen, and
said again, presently up went the sleeves over “ Mattie, something is the matter. her dimpled arms, for our little Ella Ma, I believe Mattie is sick." was a busy little bee, and it was “Are you sick, Mattie ?” asked dinner-time now, so mamma needed her mother. her daughter's help.
"No, mamma, I'm just tired," More especially, as mamma her- said Mattie. self was engaged in the preparation Now it was pretty well understood of a big basket, which stood, covered in the househoīd that whatever might with a white cloth, upon a side-table. be the matter, Mattie's complaints Ella was interested in the prepara- never got beyond being “tired;" so tion of this basket, also; and all over when they heard that, they knew the village a good many other little that at least the little girl was not girls and boys,
and somewho were not solittle, wereinterested in the prepar- "Oh, you mustn't get sick now! ing of other such baskets; for that you can't go to the picnic if you sunny afternoon Miss Curl's school do!” said Ella. were to have a gay picnic in the “I ain't sick. I'm just tired, and green woods west of the village, and I can go anyhow," said Mattie, and a bountiful supply of good things
with that she took her arms off the must be provided for the rustic table, and went into the sittingI expect there were other little When dinner
was ready, her girls helping mamma to get dinner; mother called her two or three any how, our Ella was, so she set times, and, receiving no answer, went the table, and washed the crisp let- into the sitting-room, and found her tuce, and pulled the scarlet radishes lying upon the sofa, asleep, with from the garden, while her mamma flushed cheeks, quick pulse, and hot took from the oven golden loaves breath which told of fever. of cake, and daintily-browned pies, She woke at her mamma's voice, which emitted a most savoury odour but when she got up, only sat up for as they were consigned to the keep- a moment or so, and could not be ing of that same mysterious basket. prevailed upon to taste any dinner.
So the fact was pretty clearly and when they all go by, I'll help established that Mattie was sick, you up to the window to see them. and would certainly not be able to And then I'll tell you stories, and go to the picnic.
maybe make a new dress for dolly, Little Ella wore a sober face all and we'll have a good time at through dinner-time, and while she home.” was helping to wash the dishes. So Ella ran out to busy her little When they were done, she went into hands sweeping the kitchen, and rethe room where the pretty white mained firm to her sacrifice, against dress she intended to wear was the pleadings of half a dozen of spread out upon the bed, and gravely her schoolmates, who came in to see looked at it a moment.
if she was ready to start. Then she went back to the kitchen, Pretty soon Miss Curl herself, and softly up to her mother's side. hearing how affairs stood, ran over “Ma,” said she,“ do you think Mattie for a minute to see how Mattie was, would like to have me stay at home and express with her sweet face as with her!"
well as her lips, how sorry she felt “But you cannot give up the pic- at the disappointment of her little nic yourself, can you ?” asked her pupils. mother.
And as she hurried back to the “I would like to go," said Ella, impatient groups who waited for but I know Mattie will feel bad be- her, she stopped to give Ella a kiss, cause she can't go, and if it will make her feel better, I'll stay with “Never mind, dear, I love you with her. May I?”
better for your kindness to your " You may go and ask her if she
sister, and I'll bring you something wants you to stay, and then do as you nice when we come back." please," was her mamma's answer, Ella heartily returned the kiss, and thinking it wisest to leave this mat- in her beloved teacher's approval ter to the little girl's own judgment. felt already half repaid for giving up
Ella went into the sitting-room, the delightful anticipations of the and stooped over little Mattie as she picnic. lay upon the sofa.
When the school marched by, she “Do you want me to stay with stood with Mattie at the window to you, Mattie? ” she asked.
see them, and merrily returned the "You wouldn't, would you?” said smiles and words of her gay comthe little one.
panions. After they had gone out “Yes, indeed I will, if you want of sight, she laid Mattie comfortably me to.
I'm so sorry you are sick, back upon the sofa, and curled up and cannot go. Maybe if I stay and on the floor beside her to tell stories. amuse you, you will get better.
She told every one she knew, and “But all the things in the basket P” made up two or three new ones for said Mattie, doubtful but smiling. the occasion. When they wearied of
Oh, Will can go and take the that amusement, mamma was called basket, and there'll be plenty out upon to furnish the prettiest piece there to eat the good things,” said she had, to make dolly a dress, in Ella.
the manufacture of which both the Well, then, you stay, and I won't girls became deeply interested. much mind if I can't go,” said The afternoon passed so quickly. Mattie, dropping back on her pillows, that Ella was exceedingly surprised and accepting with a child's uncon- when the clock struck five, and the sciousness the sacrifice her kind sound of voices and laughter ansister was so ready to make.
nounced the return of the first of “I'll stay. Now you rest a little, the picnic party.
"Why!” she cried, “I didn't | day, before dropping to sleep, she think it was so late! Mattie, we've concluded that she was just as happy had a good time, too, haven't we p" as if she had gone to the picnic in “I have, any how," sighed Mattie, the
woods with the birds and hugging her dolly with a satisfied the sunshine. smile, and shutting her eyes for a
And I think she was happier, for nap, while Ella stole softly away, so you remember the little song she as not to disturb her.
SangMiss Curl, true to her promise, remembered the little absent ones, and
“Little acts of kindness,
Little words of love. when brother Will came home, he
Make a heaven of this world brought his sisters a little basket
Like the one above." filled with the very choicest dainties, from their teacher.
Ella had kindly sought to make The little girls were delighted, of her little sister happy, and lo! some course, and when Ella went to bed sweet drops of the perfume of hapthat night, and thought over the piness had fallen back upon herself.
OUT OF TUNE. MANY Christians are troubled with a sense of something wrong They are not what they wish to be. They have lost their peace of mind and their lively interest in the cause of Christ. If called as public labourers, they see the work languish under their hands. They know that a God of changeless grace and mercy rules in heaven, and that souls are perishing around them for the bread of life, and they wonder why so much of their labour is in vain. They may seek to account for the condition of the Church and their own hearts by this or that untoward circumstance or influence, and yet none of these seem to satisfactorily explain the difficulty. While outward circumstances have more or less influence upon all
, yet we may well ask if it would not be better to look oftener for the causes of our darkness and failures within ourselves. be much against us in the world, but have we not more to fear from within? The elements of discord may seem to be in everything about us, but had we not best inquire if we ourselves are not out of
The most perfect instrument, in the hands of the most skilful player, can give but discordant notes if out of tune. A human heart, set to the gospel harmony, is an instrument of the most exquisite sensibility, and under the hand of the Great Master can be made to pour forth a mighty volume of the melody of hallowed praise to God, and of joy and blessing to men; but if this harmony is destroyed, even the Master's skill can produce nothing but discord until the
evil is remedied. A sudden jar, a rude blow, å little dust, may change the sweet tones of a fine instrument to harsh and grating sounds. How watchful the Christian needs to be, lest, amid the toil and strife, the care and dust of earth, he find the heavenly melody of heart and life which
grace inspires, changed to the discord of worldliness and woe! 1 Christ occupies the first place in the heart, His grace is sufficient t keep the chords obedient to the touch of His skilful hand. It is on when the world and self come crowding in, that danger threaten But if the mischief has been wrought,-if the joy of early love, th power'and assurance of early faith, have been forfeited,-how shall the be restored ?
If a costly instrument needs repairing, it is not trusted in the hand of an inexperienced workman who might only make the evil worse, but we secure the aid of one who understands his business. If the heart is wrong, it will not do to trust the case with this or that Christian brother, nor will it answer to expect relief and cure in our own good works. The counsel of some humble saint may be of benefit but all he can do is to lead us back to Christ. Our troubles begir with our wandering from Him ; our only help is in coming back. H understands our case perfectly. He who fashioned the wondrous in strument is the only One that can restore the harmony which has beer so marred by error and sin.
The being in condition to answer the Master's touch with responsive melody, is the privilege of every Christian. No one has a right to be a worthless instrument. What is not right is wrong. A little bird, singing in the air five hundred feet above our heads, has put in complete vibration a solid sphere of the aërial fluid one thousand feet in diameter, before the sound reaches our ear. The music of that little heart has filled all that space, and touched at last a responsive chord in your breast. So, however humble the sphere in which we move, we are to fill it with music and with blessing. The gladness with which the love of Christ fills our souls is to vibrate all about us. Though we are weak and small, if His hand sweeps the strings, other hearts and other lives will be led to join the strain.
Let, then, everything discordant, everything that separates us from Christ or unfits us for His service, be guarded against with prayerful care. Let our lives be a hymn of praise to Him who has purchased us with His own blood. Soon earth's “songs in the night shall be exchanged for the anthem of redemption's morning. “Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come,” and then the voice, so often choked with weeping, will join the swelling chorus of those who shall inherit the land of tearless, fadeless joy and beauty, evermore.
“ LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE."
Lie the beauteous Hebrides ;
And many more than these,
Amid the storiny seas.
Among these western islands,
There is one-the sailors sayApproached more easily by night
Than in the calmest day; For then the tidal wave sets in
With less capricious play.
Yet looms thereon no Eddystone,
Its faithful watch to keep; And many a gallant vessel's crew
Who dared the dangerous deep, Have gone down, in the midnight storm,
To sleep a dreamless sleep. One widow's lowly cottage
Stands near that wave-washed shore, The lamplight from whose window-pane
Looks out the waters o'er :
He went, but came no more.
Within her window-pane,
Poor sailors on the main;
But gives it not in vain.
In danger's starless night,
For that meek cottage light, Which nightly from her window-pane
Shines steady, calm, and bright.
Has saved a thousand lives,
A hundred loving wives.
That widow still survives !
Be thou the widow's God!
Storm-tossed, in darkness trod,
To send its light abroad.
Whate'er thy station be ;
There's sorrow on life's sea :
For ever, but for thee.