« السابقةمتابعة »
THE LITTLE GIRL'S GOOD MORNING.
BY MARY IRVING.
“Oh! I am so happy," the little girl said,
“Hanpy you may be, my dear little girl,"
Mary knelt solemnly down, with her eyes
An angel looked down in the sunshine and smiled;
NUCLEUS OF A LIBRARY.—At a supper given to John P. Hale, at Cleaveland, Ohio, he related, as a fact for the encouragement of young men, that a few days before, he was in Boston, and was introduced into a large room, so filled with books, that there was not vacant room enough for a “New England Primer.” A lady asked him if he would like to see a "nucleus" of the library. He replied, yes. She showed him a Latin dictionary, purchased by the owner when a boy, with money obtained by the sale of blue berries. The owner was the son of a farmer, and commenced his library in that way. He is now familiar with the languages of the past and present, a man of thought, and that man is Theodore Parker.
OR A SISTER'S INFLUENCE IN THE FAMILY.
BY REV. S. H. REID.
It is a very common remark, but a very true one, that we all have an influence. There is not a man or a woman living, but exerts some influence over the minds of those with whom they associate. Such is the position which we occupy in the world; and such are the relations which our Maker has instituted between us ; and such is our mental and moral constitution ; that the conduct of every man, whether he be rich or poor, prominent or obscure, is followed with momentous consequences.
And this is a human characteristic over which our wills have no binding control. It is a something which we cannot beget or destroy at our pleasure. This is a fact in our history which will connect itself with our conduct, whether we desire it or not; and the streams of which, will flow out upon society, and the world, and we cannot prevent them.
If now our moral habits be loose, and our moral principles be corrupt, and our practises be vicious, our influence must be most lamentably pernicious and destructive. We will be a moral pest to society; and by the force of our example, and our unguarded words, we will destroy much good.”
If, on the other hand, our virtues be established, and our principles be morally sound, and our character be religious, then our influence will be salutary ; its effects will be most happy upon the minds of all those with whom we are brought into contact. We will be like a spice tree, shedding its fragrance around it. We will infuse the fragrance of our moral and religious sentiments and life, into the very heart of society; healing its diseases, and adorning it with our virtues.
The world often witnesses some most happy instances of a healthy and a moral influence. These stand out upon the sea of life, like so many moral light-houses, to guide the wandering feet of foolish man into the ways of virtue and peace. They may not be loud in their pretensions, nor make much ado in their conduct, but they are none the worse of this. For as deep water is still and noiseless in its course, and only the shallow ripple makes itself be heard; so real merit and influence are modest and quiet in their operations, and are the least disposed to boast of their virtues, or sound a trumpet before them.
In one of the oldest and most delightful vallies of Western Pennsylvania, there lives a worthy family whose name, for the present, shall be Grant. This is one of the oldest and most respectable households in that region of the State. Having early removed from an adjoining State to their now, peaceful and rural home, they have lived to grow up with the neighborhood; to see many happy days; and to do much good in the society of which they make a part.
The heads of this family are both pious, and are consistent members of the christian church. Having been early trained in the doctrines of the christion religion, they evince its sacred power, in the happiness they enjoy with one another; and the religious control they possess over their own household well as over society generally.
MARY GRANT, the subject of special notice at this time, is a pious girl, and a most striking instance of what a sister can accomplish for the peace and happiness of a family, by a well-ordered course of consistent christian conduct. She is the eldest daughter of her father's family; and the eldest child, save an esteemed brother, who has the honor of being the first-born of this interesting Grant family.
Besides these, there are other children connected with this family, all of which are growing up in their healthy and rural retreat; in the enjoyment of excellent health, and the growing developments of mental and moral and religious improvement.
But much of this happy growth is dependant upon the eldest daughter of this family. Not that the mother, whose first duty it is to instil into the budding minds of her beloved offspring, the first principles of a religious life, is deficient in this respect. Not by any means.
Mrs. Grant is a well-informed, good sense, devoted woman; and does all she can for the good of her family. And it is to her early fidelity, that the interesting subject of our present notice is indebted, mainly, for her enlarged good sense, her sincere and humble piety, and her ability and disposition to make herself useful. But the cares of a household are numerous, and
occupy more time indeed, than a mother often has to give, in order to do justice to all her duties. And here it is that the good sense and filial love, and the piety of Mary Grant is seen. For, instead of leaving her mother to struggle with the whole burden of her household cares, and the training and instructing of her children, she, as the eldest daughter, having shared largely in parental care and attention in the securement and advancement of her own education ; now endeavors to repay, in a measure, parental kindness, by voluntarily taking some of those family duties upon herself.
Accordingly, enter that family when you choose, and you will find this interesting young disciple engaged in something which contemplates the good of some one. Either the relief of her beloved parents, or the good of her brothers and sisters; or the temporal and spiritual peace of the neighboring poor. In the morning she may be seen actively and cheerfully engaged, moving like a stately matron, through the younger branches of the family, assisting in adjusting their dress, and fitting them for a timely entrance at school. After the morning's duty is over, she may be seen conferring with her mother in regard to the accomplishment of some work, which contemplates the good of the household generally. If it be necessary, ehe stands prepared cheerfully to enter the sphere of domestic labor, and with her own hands assists in preparing the meals of the day. For Mary Grant has too much good sense, and too much good moral character, to suppose, for one moment, that to laboris a disgrace, and that an acquaintance with culinary pursuits detracts from female credit.
But equally as much interested is this faithful sister, in the moral and spiritual welfare of her younger brothers and sisters. She has happily learned by personal experience, the importance of early religious instruction, and the necessity of early bringing the heart and life under the transforming influences of christian truth. Accordingly she exerts every power of her own mind, in instructing the younger minds around her in sacred things. Not a day is permitted to pass by, unless some wholesome lesson is taught, or some engaging illustration of christian duty is made; or some impression wrought upon the heart.
And in the evening, when the curtains of the night are drawn around us, and the hour for family worship has arrived, how careful is our young christian to see that all the members of the family are in their places, and every thing is in order, so that the devotions of the evening may not be disturbed. These exercises having come to a close, how kindly does she take her youthful charge by the hand, and lead them to their retirement, carefully, however, hearing them repeat,
“Now I lay me down to sleep," and then, in the deep faith of her own warm heart, she commits them to the watchfulness of that eye, that never slumbers nor sleeps.
One might suppose that a family so circumstanced, and under the constant influence of such moral and religious training, would be a heaven upon the earth; the tenor of whose peace and quietude could never be disturbed. And so it was for a number of years. Peace and family love reigned in this delightful household for years, without one adverse storm arising to mar that peace or disturb its reposo.
But the best of families have their trials and troubles. Satan was permitted to enter even into Paradise, and disturb its early quietude, and finally destroy its early beauty and happiness. And there is scarcely a family upon the earth, but what has some one member at least, who is more difficult to manage, perhaps, than all the rest; and in regard to whose well-doing, a great deal of fear and anxiety are manifested.
So it was in the family of Mr. Grant. His eldest son was a young man of fine mind, and also a free, generous disposition. Indeed a great deal more so than he should have been for his own good. He was not decidedly pious; though in his heart he respected religion. And how could he do otherwise, when, for twenty years of his life, he was made to breathe à pious atmosphere, and behold the consistent and upright conduct of his Parents, and his devoted sister Mary. Still his heart was unchanged by grace; and he was styled, in the language of this world, a fine, clever young man--very good-looking, but fond of mirthful society.
In the same neighborhood of this family, there resides another family of quite a different spirit from that of the Grants. Rich and reckless, all they thought about was this world; and how they might eat, drink, and be the merriest.
In this family there was also an eldest son, who, from the force and character of his early training, bid very fair to ruin himself, and all other youths whom he might bring, unfortunately, under his control. For a long time, this young man, like a viper watching its prey, kept his eye on young John Grant, Mary's eldest brother. He longed for his opportunity, when he might be able to bias this youth in favor of his own ungodly principles and practices. And accordingly, every expedient was devised, and tried, to accomplish his purpose. Finally the way seemed to be opened, and through the influence of a sister, as heartless and impious as himself, he secured an interview with this eldest member of Mr. Grant's family. And never did serpent more carefully enfold its victim prior to strangulation, than did this young man endeavor to ensnare and fully ruin young Grant. Step by step did he endeavor to lead on the mind of