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but it is not because you are by nature better than they are, but because you are restrained by your friends. People who have had good friends all their lives, and have always been kept in good order, are apt to fancy that they have better hearts than other persons, and they become sell-conceited and proud; while, if they would but look close into their hearts, they would find nothing to be proud of in then--nothing but sin and evil pas
Then Mrs. Fairchild went to a drawer, and took out a book neatly bound in red leather: there was nothing written in the book; the leaves were all blank. This book she gave to Lucy; and she said, “Here, my dear; take this book, and write in it every day the naughty things which pass in your heart. You will then find, my dear, that many days, when you may appear to be very good in the eyes of your papa and mamma, and of other people, you are in reality in the sight of God very naughty. This custom, my dear child, will teach you to know your own heart, and will keep you from being proud, and thinking better of yourself than of other people."
Lucy took the book, and said, “Mamma, must I show what I write to anybody? I shall be ashamed to show
Mrs. Fairchild, No, my dear: I would not have you show what you write in this book to any one, unless it might be to me; and I shall never ask to see it: if you choose to show me what you write of your own accord, that will be quite a different thing.
" When must I begin to write in this book, mamma ?" said Lucy.
Mrs. Fairchild. To-morrow morning, my dear; and i will give you a pen and a little inkstand to keep in your own room, that you may always have every thing ready whe; vou wish to writo.
“Mamma," saiu Lucy, "am Innly to write the naughty things that are in my heart? Then I will try and have nothing naughty in my heart to-morrow."
“ Very well, my dear," said Mrs. Fairchild.
When Lucy went to bed that night, she thought how good she would be next day, and that she would noi think one naughty thought. However, she determined not to deceive herself, but to put down every thing as it
passed in her heart as nearly as she could.--And now I will tell you how Lucy spent the next day, and will put down what she wrote in her book.
When Lucy awoke in the morning, the first thing she thought of was, what she would have to write in her book; and she began to think how very good she would be all day. While she was lying in bed thinking of those things, her mamma called io her, and bade her make haste and get up, and make her bed and rub the chairs and tables. Now Lucy happened to be lying very comfortably, and had no mind to get up: she, however, obeyed her mamma without speaking: but she felt vexed and began to think how disagreeable it was to have these things to do; and she said to herself, “ I wish I was like Miss Augusta Noble, who has two or three servants to wait upon her. She never makes her own bed, or cleans the chairs or tables, or even puts on her own shoes and stockings. Then what beautiful frocks; and blue, and pink, and green, and all-coloured sashes; and shoes, and necklaces, and bonnets she has ! and a coach. to ride in! But how coarse my frocks are; and I have not one sash or necklace, or a coloured shoe! And my mamma is so strict! Miss Augusta Noble's governess lets her do what she chooses, and never scolds her, or tells her that she is naughty !"
While Lucy was thinking of these things, Emily went into her mamma's room; and Mrs. Fairchild, who was looking over some drawers, gave Emily a little bit of muslin, and about a quarter of a yard of narrow pink riband, to make her doll a cap of. Emily ran to show Lucy what she had got: Lucy said nothing; but she selt vexed. that her manma had not given them to her, instead of Emily. By this tinie the breakfast was ready, and Lucy went down, not in the best of tempers ; but still she did. uot say any thing by which any one could find out that:
he was out of humour; for people who are brought up well are taught to keep many of their ill tempcrs to. themselves.
When the rest of the family were all seated at the
“ It is indeed," said Mrs. Fairchild.
strawberry into Henry's bowl of milk, saying, “ There, my boy; see if you can manage to eat that great straw. berry."
This vexed Lucy again; and she said to herself, “ Emily gets muslin and riband, and Henry a straw. berry; but what do I get ?" Then she began to think of a lady who lived not a great way off, who had two little girls, of which she loved one very much, and hated the other; and it came into her mind that her papa and mamma loved Henry and Emily more than they did herself.
After breakfast, John and Betty were called into the parlour, and the family sang a hymn, and prayed together. Mr. Fairchild also read a chapter in the Bible. While her papa was reading, Lucy looked out of the window, and saw a bird picking seeds and worms on the gravel walk, just under the window. “Oh!" thought Lucy,“ how I should like to be playing with that bird, instead of listening to this reading: I have heard that chapter so often !" Then she peeped over her papa several times, to see if he had nearly done.
Soon after Mr. Fairchild had done reading, Mrs. Fairchild called Lucy and Emily to work. While they were working, a lady came in, of the name of Barker, who was a very good-natured and kind person ; but it had pleased Providence that she should have a very plain set of features, such as you seldom see; she had a wide mouth, flat nose, and one eye was less than the other. While Mrs. Barker was talking with Mrs. Fair. child, Lucy looked at her, and in her heart despised her for her want of beauty ; and thought how much prettier her own face was than Mrs. Barker's.
The lady sat with Mrs. Fairchild till twelve o'clock, at which time permission was given to the children to play, Emily and Henry went into the garden, and Lucy went up to her room, to write in her new book some of the things she had been thinking of that morning. When Lucy took out her book, and began to consider what to write, she was surprised to find, that although she had appeared to conduct herself well in the eyes of her parents all day, having read well, and worked well and been quiet and civil, yet all this time her heart had. been full of evil thoughts and wicked passions: and dow she began to feel that which she had often heard without attending to it, that “the heart is deceitful
above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jer. xvii. 9. "Oh, I am a wicked child!" she said to herself: “I am a wicked girl! Who can save me from my own wicked heart? But I will write down all I have thought this morning, and show it to my mamma.”
You will, perhaps, like to know what Lucy wrote; I therefore will copy it here : and, perhaps, when you are able to write, you will get your friends to give you a blank book, and a pen and ink, that you also may keep an account of the sins of your heart, in order, with the Divine blessing, to koep you from being proud; “ For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." 1. Pet. v. 5, 6.
LUCY FAIRCHILD'S JOURNAL
"When I awoke this morning, mamma called me to mako niy bed; and I felt cross, and wished I was like Miss Augusta Noble, and had servants to wait upon me; and that Lady Noble was my mamma, and not my own dear mamma.
"Mamma gave Emily a bit of muslin, and some pink riband; and I was envious, and hated Emily a little while, though I knew it was wicked.
“When papa gave Henry the strawberry, I was angry again; and then I thought of Mrs. Giles, who loves one of her little girls, and hates the other. I thought that my papa and mamma were like Mrs. Giles, and that they loved Henry and Emily more than me.
" When papa was reading and praying I wanted to be at play; and was tired of the Bible, and did not wish to hear it.
“And then I thought a very bad thought indeed! When Mrs. Barker came, I despised her for not being pretty, though I knew that God had made her such as she is, and that he could make me like her in one moment."
• As soon as Lucy had finished writing these last words, she heard hier mamma come up stairs and go into her room : she immediately ran to her; and showing her the book, “ Oh, mamma, mamma!” she said, “you can
not think what a wicked heart I have got! . Here is my journal: I am ashamed to show it to you: pray do not hate me for what is written in that book.”
Mrs. Fairchild took the book; and when she had read what was written, “My dear child," she said, “I thank God, who has by his Holy Spirit helped you to know a little of the wickedness of your heart. Your heart, my dear, is no worse, and no better, than the hearts of all human creatures; ‘for there is none good, no not one.' "As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.' Prov. xxvii. 19. And yet, as I told you before, there are many people who live to a very old age without knowing that their hearts are wicked; they think themselves very good, and that they shall go to heaven as a reward of their goodness. They do not see the need of a Saviour, and therefore never apply to him for help; thus they live and die in unbeliel. But happy are those, niy dear Lucy, who are brought to the knowledge of their own sinful nature before their death."
Then Mrs. Fairchild gave the book back to Lucy, and told her to continue every day to keep an account of what passed in her heart, that she might learn more and more to know and hate her own sinful nature. After this, Mrs. Fairchild and Lucy knelt down, and confessed before God the exceeding vileness of their hearts, as follows:
Confession of the exceeding Vileness of our Hearts. O Almighty Father! my heart is so exceedingly wicked, so vile, and full of sin, that even when I appear to people about me to be tolerably good, even then I am sinning. So great is the power of sin over me, that even when I am praying, or reading the Bible, or hear. ing other people read the Bible, even then I sin. When I speak, I sin; w en I am silent, I sin. I find, O Lord, that I cannot cease from sin, not even for one moment. Even my dreams upon my bed osten show the vileness of my heart. O Lord, what shall I do? where shall 1 fly? how can I be saved from my sins? In me there is no help! I can do nothing for myself! I must depend. entirely on thee for mercy, o heavenly Father!' Oh, pardon me for my Saviour's sake; and for his sake may God the Spirit renew and sanctisy my vile heart, and prepare me for that glory which has been procured for iho saints by the death and merits of my blessed Ram ·