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charming young lady. Open the trunk and see what's inside," said the fond mother, smiling, as she watched the eager fingers quickly apply the key; and Bessie's expectant eyes dilated with pleasure as she drew a little folded note from its concealment. "Oh, mamma, did you know it was for me? Where's grandpa ? I want to kiss him;" and the delighted child was soon in the old man's arms, for the time utterly oblivious of everything but the doll and grandpa. Four handsomely - bound books were placed by four little plates, which were quickly appropriated. Every one had presents that morning, but I can only enumerate those of the little ones. Papa and mamma found specimens of their children's ingenuity, which had been long preparing. Nor were the servants forgotten. The children had noticed a large package which, tied by a tiresome string, no one had touched. There it lay upon the sideboard. What could it contain? When the father thought his children had suppressed their curiosity long enough, he had the parcel brought to him. Every one watched with interest as he cut the string. "Books! Bibles! Whose are they? Where did they come from?" burst from all the children. "Now, cannot my children find many who would like to have a Bible for a New Year's present?" said papa. "And here are other good books. Now will not your morning walks be pleasant?" "Yes! oh yes," said all the children. "What made you buy them, father?" said Harry. "It was a conversation I heard between my children and their mother," said he. saying that so many of the poor people never read the Bible, and how you wished you could give Bibles to all who had them not; so your grandfather and I ordered these books for you to distribute this morning." Hats and cloaks were quickly donned, and the little feet started on their joyous errand. Many a cottage was visited by the children, who each carried a basket containing the
bibles and other presents for the grateful occupants. occupants. Little Susy Ray lay pale and thin on her bed; every now and then her eager eyes would fix their bright gaze on the door, as if she expected some one. had no brother or sister, and her mother was a poor widow; her husband had died the last New Year's Day. So sad recollections came to the poor widow and her child. A little testament Susy held in her hand; it was very old and worn, but how her eyes brightened, as every few moments she would read some of Christ's sweet promises.
The door opened, after a quick little rap, and Bessie entered with her grandfather. She went up to the sick child, and, after kissing her tenderly, said, "See, Susy, what I have brought you, and grandpa is come on purpose to see you." "How kind you are, murmured Susy, as she pressed the little hand which clasped hers; then, raising her eyes, she said, "O what a beautiful Bible! Did you really bring this for me, Miss Bessie ? Oh, how kind.” Then Bessie drew a parcel from her grandfather, and opening it, took out a new dress, made of a warm, dark material. "This is for you, Susy, when you get up. soon, the doctor says so; and after a few more kind words the little girl departed, depositing on the table some delicacies her mother had sent. And after they were gone, the widow found a letter containing a fivepound note from the old gentleman. A happy New Year was theirs. They left joy in many hearts, and a Bible where its presence was needed.
WE deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more. A straw or a feather sustains itself in the air.
WE are always looking into the future, but we see only the past.
LET us ever exceed our appointed duties, and keep within our lawful pleasures.
"A HAPPY NEW YEAR."
"A HAPPY New Year!" is the wish that falls From thousands of lips on this cheerful day;
And its echo on kindred hearts recalls
The thoughts of others now passed away! When wishes as kind, and hopes not less bright, Have spoken our love, and dazzled our sight
With their pleasing light!
"A Happy New Year!" in Pleasure's gay bowers, Where the glad heart in its joyous strain, Woos to its bosom the swift, flitting hours,
Unconscious of grief or smarting of pain: Exulting in happier days in view, With their sources of joy and blessings new, But thinks not how few! "A Happy New Year!" when the Old has retired, Where its moments have gone to the dark, chilly tomb;
When the joy we retrace to which we aspired, With its beamings of pleasure our path to illume: When the Old has been lost in eternity's wave, And remembrance alone is all that we save
Of the scenes it gave!
cottages, the walls of which were covered with sweet-scented honeysuckle and jessamine, a girl of some nineteen summers lay dying. The window of the invalid's chamber was open to admit the soft air laden with the fragrance of flowers, which bloomed luxuriantly in the garden beneath; in the distance the sound of carriage wheels might have been heard, for Dr. Thorne, an eminent practitioner from the adjoining town, had only a short time previously left the cottage. "Mother!" and the voice was strangely hollow and weary, "what does the doctor say ?' Mrs. Wayneflete did not immediately reply, for Dr. Thorne's report had been unfavourable, and her heart was too full of grief to allow of her answering at once the question so anxiously put. Again the girl reiterated earnestly than before. "Mother! what did Dr. Thorne say? Shall I recover?" Very gently the broken-hearted mother replied that the medical adviser held out no hope of ultimate recovery, and was even of opinion that her stay on earth might be limited to a very brief space. An expression of intense agony settled upon the features of Maude Wayneflete as she listened, for she was not prepared to die; and, looking up, she exclaimed in woeful accents, "Oh, mother! mother! why did you not prepare me for this?" It was a sad scene, and the mother's heart was sorely smitten, for she had sadly neglected the spiritual training of this her only daughter.
About twenty years before the time of which we write, Helen Sinclair had been professedly a follower of the Saviour. Unfortunately, however, she had formed an attachment to one Clement Wayneflete, who was not decided for Christ, and whose religious impressions were vague and unsatisfactory. Captivated by his fascinating exterior, and trusting in her own influence to effect the desired change, she disregarded the Scriptural injunction, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with un
believers," and became his wife. influence was powerful, but it was not strong enough to turn the heart of her husband to the Saviour, and ere many months had gone by, instead of witnessing his conversion, she found to her sorrow that she herself had retrograded. Every one knows what a difficult matter it is to retrace the steps when once a wrong turning has been taken in life's journey, and Helen Wayneflete's experience was no exception to the rule. Surrounded by adverse circumstances, and naturally anxious to retain the love of her husband, to please him she acquiesced in many things which the dictates of conscience convinced her were utterly wrong; and so, little by little (for that is the way in which the arch enemy of mankind ensnares his victims), she yielded to the insidious temptations which beset her pathway, and finally became a woman of the world. Think not that she was happy when thus lured from the path of rectitude. No, the inward monitor frequently asserted its power, and filled her heart with a wild unrest which no earthly power could assuage. Well for her had she heeded the warnings so faithfully given; but, alas! she sought to banish them by a ceaseless round of worldly pleasure, and ultimately succeeded only too thoroughly. At length tiny hands clasped hers, and infant eyes reflected the brightness of her own, and as she gazed tenderly upon the little one God had in mercy given her, there seemed a hope that she would turn again to Him who is ever ready to receive the penitent wanderer, and to give rest to the weary soul. (To be continued.)
into the darkness. Pale, terror-stricken, and bewildered, it was almost with maniacal stare that she turned back into the room, and muttered, between set teeth, "Midnight—and the child dying! Will he never come?" "Mother! dear mother!" said a feeble voice from a low bed beside the dying embers, "is the old year gone by? Was it the clock I heard just now when I awoke ?" "Yes, darling! the new year has come. God grant I may not live to see the end of it!" “ Nay, mother, it is better to say this-'God give me patience, and God comfort me, whatever I may suffer.' We must be ready to live or die; just as He pleases." Ah, yes ! but without thee, my child, my little teacher, my own darling Lucy! can I still live when thou art taken away?" 66 Yes, mother, you must live to help poor father," said the child, with one hand laid against the cheek so wet with tears. "He will come soon, and I will tell him, with my last breath, to be kind to you, and love you. Is that the wind shaking the door so much?" As they spoke, a man entered the cellar, and, reeling across its floor, said, thickly, and in a voice that contrasted strangely with the quiet which had reigned before, "Well, Luce, my child, art thou better? Let me look at thy bright eyes." The girl drew back. "O father! I am dying! Did I not ask you to keep sober, and see me die?” For a moment the drunkard staggered, and seemed unable to comprehend her words; then, bursting into tears, he knelt beside the bed, and sobbed, "Forgive me, darling; I forgot. I did not know." "Yes, you did know," interrupted the miserable wife; 66 'you knew that your child was dying."
Mother, be patient,
Bind the wet cloth round father's head, and let me talk to him. I know that he will listen, for he loves me still." do, my little Luce; I do, indeed." "Then, father, if you love me, you will promise what I ask. It is a thing that will make
you and mother happier than you have ever been before-happier even then you were in the little cottage mother talks aboutwhen I was quite a baby, and you never got drunk." "Go on," said the father, with a bitter outburst of grief and remorse; "I know what you want me to promise, and I will do it for your sake." The girl wound an arm round his neck, and whispered, earnestly, "There are more things than one which I must ask for, for I want you to make mother 'A Happy New Year.'" "Well, well, I will. I will save up and give her a new gown. She shall have all the wages next Saturday-every penny. I'll even get my coat out of pawn, and go to parson F's. Will that make thee happy, Lucy?" "Dear father, even that will not be enough. I want you to begin at the beginning. I want you to feel that you are a sinner, and that you deserve even the worst punishment there is; and I want you to read the Bible, and find how Jesus died to save such sinners from the punishment they deserve; and then I want you to pray that God's own Spirit may lead you-as He has led meto believe this truth about Jesus, and to love Him with all your heart. Then mother will indeed have 'A Happy New Year.' Promise me, before I die, that you will remember what I say?" Solemnly in that hour did the poor drunkard yield to the last wishes of his dying child, and, with her mother's hand within his own, wept bitter tears of sorrow for the wrong he had done them both. "Thank God!" said Lucy, when her lips had ceased to move in silent prayer. "Mother, be patient; father be in earnest. Then Jesus
will be with you, and the new year I spend in heaven will be a happy one for all of us.” The clock struck one. "Hark!" said the dying child. "Was it a harp I heard? An angel's harp ? Or was it the voice of Jesus? Where are you, father-mother? I cannot see you now. Say, Suffer little
children.'" Her mother repeated the loving words of Jesus, and a smile lit up the pale face of Lucy. "Lord, I am coming!" she said, brokenly, and so she died.
From that hour Robert Barton was an altered man. Beginning on that New Year's Day, as Lucy, with so much earnest. ness had exhorted him to do, he found, within the pages of THE BOOK, a message to his soul. But it was when he stood beside the grave of the child, whom his neglect had brought to early death, that he first saw that even for his guilt there was forgivenesss; and that for the sake of Christ, who died on Calvary. Then was his lowly home the scene of rejoicing, such as angels love to witness; for that night wife and husband knelt together before Him whose loving arms even now enclosed their child. It was a happy year! Ah, mother, let this New Year to thee be such as theirs!
Fragments for Spare Moments.
BROADCAST THY SEED.
Although some portion may be found
Or when it comes, some pestilent air
A little Swedish girl was walking with her father one night under the starry sky, intently meditating upon the glories of heaven. At last, looking up to the sky, she said, "Father, I have been thinking if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what shall the right side be!"