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N sending forth our little work to
labour in His vineyard. In looking forward to the future, we do so with hope and con
attire, we think it will not be inap-fidence; we trust we may calculate upon the
propriate to take a glance at its past and its future. For twentyone years, amidst numerous competitors in the field and many disadvantages, it has held its ground. When the one who, fora long period of its existence, devoted her life and her energies to the work, was called to her rest and reward, many an ominous shake of the head betokened its speedy downfall; but now, though more than five years have passed away since she ceased from her labours, our little "Friend" still lives. We take this opportunity of thanking those numerous helpers who have so kindly and freely aided us by their pen, as well as those who have sought by personal effort to make our little work increasingly known; and we would also desire to render devout gratitude to our Father in heaven, for thus assisting us to
Notices of Books.
The Shepherd with his Lambs. London: A. Miall, Bouverie Street.
A nice little work for Sabbath perusal in the nursery.
I will Help thee. It is Time to Seek the Lord. Never give up. Neglected Vineyards. London: W. Macintosh, Paternoster Row.
Stirring little pamphlets for the New Year.
A Modern Miracle. Birmingham: C. Caswell, Broad Street.
A remarkable instance of preservation in time of danger.
Old Merry's Annual. Busy Hands and Patient Hearts. With the Tide, or a Life's Voyage. Tossed on the Waves. Lost in Paris. The Young Man setting out in Life. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
As our space is but limited, we class these
continued aid of those who can help us to interest and instruct mothers by their contributions, and many who are unable to do this, may render us essential service by introducing it into new spheres of usefulness. Although our little serial has now a welcome in many thousands of homes, still there are thousands more where its name has never been heard, and we feel confident that if Ministers, Sabbath School Teachers, Tract Distributors, and any who visit among the homes of those in the humbler walks of life, would but take an interest in its success, our circulation might soon be vastly increased. We shall do our best to make the Magazine what it professes to be, the "Mothers' Friend"-and hope, if spared during the year, to have its pages filled with subjects of instruction and interest as regards this life and that which is
volumes together: they are handsomely bound and illustrated, the tone of their literature is particularly good, and as New Year's gifts and birthday presents we think they will be highly valued.
Old Jonathan. Old Jonathan's Almanac for 1869. London: Collingridge.
Personal Religion. By the late Jane Taylor. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
Ragged School Magazine. Our Children's Magazine. London: Kent & Co., Paternoster Row.
The British Workwoman. The British Juvenile. London Office, 335, Strand.
Notice to Correspondents.
We present our thanks to "M.A.P."-" J.R.S.C." -"Emmeline."
ATHER," said Robert, "it is nearly sunset, and you know you promised to go with me to the village this evening. Mother is ready to go." Mr. Gale laid down his paper in a manner which indicated some displeasure at being disturbed by the address of his son. He was deeply interested in the speech of a political friend, and he was by no means inclined to leave it unfinished. He remembered his promise, but he was tempted to excuse himself from keeping it, as he had often done before, to the disappointment and grief of the boy. Robert saw what was passing in his father's mind, and his clouded countenance too plainly showed that he expected another disappointment. Fortunately, the expression of his face attracted his father's notice, and led him to resolve to keep his promise. His keeping it was, thus, not the result of principle, but an impulse of sympathy. The party were soon on their way to the village. The road leading thence was a very pleasant one. Robert pointed out to his father the beautiful objects which came into view as they passed along. The great pleasure which he manifested led his father to regret
that he had not more frequently gratified his son by conforming to his wishes, especially when he had promised to do so. "Robert seems very happy," said he to his wife, as the boy ran on before them, and turned, as if to induce them to move more rapidly. "Yes, he is always very happy when he can have the company of his father," replied Mrs. Gale. "I wish you would give him a little more of your time." "I wish I could." This was not spoken in a very confident tone, for he had more than a suspicion that it was owing to his want of inclination rather than want of time that he did not give his son more of his society. "Would it not be well for you not to promise to go anywhere with him unless you are sure you will have time to do it?" "Perhaps it would." "The effect on his feelings of being disappointed so often must be, at least, undesirable; and I am afraid it has already led him to be less careful in fulfilling his promises than he would be." "Indeed!" Mr. Gale uttered this word in a tone of surprise. He well knew that he had no right to use that tone. What else could he expect? Should not the son follow the example of the father? Mr. Gale was a business man, and prided himself upon his promptness in
performing all his engagements. His promise for a sum of money was regarded by all who knew him as good as the money. The promise would certainly be kept. He wished to form his son to the same habits. He seemed surprised that he had done anything adapted to form habits of an opposite character. After a silence of some moments, he asked his wife, "What reason have you to suppose that Robert is careless in regard to his promises?" "I overheard him engaged in an altercation with one of the boys the other day. When he was charged with not keeping his promises, he replied by saying, Well, my father does not keep all his promises.' He seemed to think he was right if he could plead the example of his father." "I must be more careful," said Mr. Gale. It was easier for him to say, "I must be more careful," than to change the habit he had formed. When they reached
the village, they called at the house of an intimate friend. After some conversation had passed between Mr. Gale and Mr. Hall, the latter turned to Robert and said with a smile, "Robert, you forgot to bring me that book." Robert blushed, but made no reply. "What book do you allude to ?" "The one you recommended to me when I was at your house last week. It was out then, and Robert promised to get it and bring it to me, but he forgot it I presume. Little folks own to
respect as I might have been." "I always make it a point to impress my children with the importance of keeping promises. If I make a promise to them, I always keep it, no matter how great may be the inconvenience of so doing." "I am particular in all business matters." "I know you are. I have admired that trait in your character, but I sometimes fear that you do not estimate rightly the business of educating children. Next to the care of our own souls, the care of our children is the most important thing that claims our attention." At this moment Robert and Andrew entered the room. "Father," said Robert, may I go to the forge with Andrew? We will return in a few minutes." "Not to-night, my son." "I have never seen it, and I should like to go very much." "We have but little time to spare now. To-morrow I
will go with you myself, and show you how they make iron." Robert retired with a disappointed, incredulous expression of countenance. When Mr. Gale rose to depart, Mr. Hall begged leave to request him to remember the promise he had just made to his son.
HOMES THAT I KNOW.-NO. II.
have a great many things of o forget their M through als me every morning to pass
promises," said Mr. Gale, gravely. Robert looked at his father, who shrewdly guessed what was passing in the boy's mind. Robert soon left the room at the call of one of Mr.
I take my walk I cannot help making observations upon what I see as I go by, and sometimes as I call at the shops and houses of the inhabitants. I have been especially struck with the different treatment which old age meets with in the various families where I have had an opportunity of taking notice. Here is one in which I observe a very old woman, who has been the slave of her children and grandchildren for many a year, for which she now receives nothing but neglect. I have seen her wait most particular in that diligently on her three unruly sons, and if
Hall's boys. "This business of managing boys," said Mr. Gale, " is a difficult one. One hardly knows what to do sometimes. My boy is a pretty good boy. I have no reason to think that he is ever guilty of deception, but I am afraid he is careless about his promises." "Have you been careful about your promises to him?" that I have been quite as
"I do not know
it was a wet day she would stand and entreat the one who was going out to put on a great coat, or take an umbrella; and I have seen that son snatch it from her hand, throw it aside, and, calling her an old fool, set off without in defiance of her; yet she would meet his return with a smile, forgetting and forgiving all. To the children of her three sons she was a complete drudge; I think I see her now stooping to lead them and teach them to walk, till her poor old back was almost broken, but she never did enough to give satisfaction; the three wives of her sons thought fit to despise her. She is now paralysed, and sits in the chimney corner to bear the insults of the youngest child; a kind word is never given her; and all think it no use to pity her, for she is always grumbling. I never see her without hoping that God will in mercy soon give her a joyful release, lest her children should fill up the measure of retribution which they are preparing for their own old age. I have observed another scene. The dwelling is hardly to be called a cottage, for that gives one the idea of a neat, pretty abode, with white-washed walls covered with roses : this is a little, old, dirty house, consisting of two rooms; the people pretend to sell greengrocery; and I see the grandmother fetching dead sprouts and parched greens to set out on the block before the door. Poor old creature! her face is one mass of wrinkles, her steps are tottering, and her hands tremble; her daughter is a widow-a hardworking charwoman; want of cleanliness is her chief fault, and her greatest excellence filial affection to her poor old mother. As I pass their door the aged creature is sometimes entering with her bundle of greens. I have often seen the daughter come out to meet her, saying, in a kind tone, "Mother, why do you carry so many? come, sit down, and let me give you something to eat and drink, for I am sure you must be faint." There is a large family of children, and one day I heard the eldest boy give his grand
mother an impertinent answer, for which he received from his mother a hearty box on the ear: "That is to teach you not to answer your grandmother in that manner, sir," said she; "go and beg her pardon this moment." The young culprit did as he was bid. Doubtless, there are better systems of family government than this; the woman is dirty and slatternly, and, I fear, she has very little thought of religion, but her behaviour to her aged parent is a pattern to many. I passed the house of one who had ever been accounted dutiful to her mother. She married, and had herself become the parent of three children when called to that mother's death-bed, during the period of whose sickness her tender care was required; but she was so taken up with her three children that she could not spare an hour for her dying parent; no, these little new comers so engrossed her attention that the old tried friend who had so carefully reared her, who had ever been ready with advice and help for her when in difficulty, was now forgotten; if food required preparing for the sick mother, she was sure to be making up a smart cap for the baby. She never would contrive matters so as to devote an hour to her mother, and yet not neglect her children-no, the love, the gratitude of the daughter was lost. Let her take care lest her three idols pass unheedingly by her dying bed; they are three beautiful children, but I never see her fondle them without thinking of the poor old mother's last lonely hours. Fathers! mothers! as ye would that your children should do unto you do ye even so unto your parents.
THE liar is the greatest simpleton, but the next greatest is he who tells all he knows. A prudent silence is the highest practical wisdom; it has made more fortunes than the most gifted eloquence.
It matters not what we lose if we save our souls, but if we lose our souls it matters not what we save.
THE WIDOWER AND THE MOTHERLESS.
"It needs our hearts be weaned from earth,
WITH an earnest prayer that the service
of the evening might be blessed to his mourning heart, Philip Campbell took his seat in that house of God. The minister, who was a perfect stranger to him, read the fourteenth chapter of John's Gospel. It had been one of Isabel's favourite chapters, and the comforting words fell like healing balm on his stricken spirit. There followed a simple, earnest prayer, in which the supplicant pleaded for blessings on all present, and then for special comfort and divine consolation for any who might be bereaved, for the widow and the fatherless, the widower and the motherless. Never before had Philip heard it put in that way; and it seemed to him that God must have guided him into this place. When the text was given out, he started, for it was that memorable utterance of Job: "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." The sermon was no elaborate discourse, but it was full of heart eloquence, and every sentence seemed spoken for Philip Campbell. At the close of the service he sought the vestry, and obtained a few minutes' interview with the old minister. After thanking him for his sermon, and telling him how applicable it had been to himself, he asked if he had been told that there was such a mourner in the place. "No," said the good man; "I did not know." Why then did you refer so pointedly and pray so earnestly for the widower and the motherless?" asked Philip, earnestly, yet with faltering voice. "My friend," replied the minister, "I will tell you. Eighteen years, to-day, I was left a widower, with eight motherless children. I need not tell you
who have loved and lost how long and bitterly I mourned, but God comforted me in His own good time, and made me willing to trust His love when I could not trace it, and willing also to rise up and perform the work He had given me to do. The sermon I preached to-night was composed when the light came to my heart after that dark season of trial, when I was made able to say in reality, 'Blessed be the name of the Lord.' I little thought that a similar mourner was listening to my words to-night; but if they have been of any help and comfort, to God be all the praise. And this little one," continued the aged minister, laying his hand on Isabel's sunny curls, "may God bless the motherless one, and make her a blessing to you. Do not grieve selfishly, my friend; I mean, do not let your deep sorrow render you unfit for duty. The best medicine for such a bitter grief is not found in forgetfulness or stoicism, but in a quiet, earnest pursuance of the duty which lies nearest to you, with an uplooking eye, a waiting heart, looking on to the time when life's labours shall be over, its duty done, and the Master's call be heard: Come up higher.' Then," and the aged man's face grew bright with radiance, we shall re-join our loved ones on the shore of the Golden City, and see Him, our Saviour, as He is. Farewell, my friend, we shall meet no more until we meet yonder, for my time on earth now is but short, and it is not probable that I shall ever visit this part of England again. I am quite a stranger here; I only came yesterday, that I might preach for my brother minister, who is ill; but I am glad to have met you, glad to have been the instrument under God of speaking to your heart. Now, farewell, till we meet to part no more." For an instant they clasped hands, and heart spoke to heart in the language of the eye; then they parted, as the old man said, to meet no more on earth. In the fading twilight, Philip and his little daughter walked slowly home-she, with her hand fast locked