Page images
PDF
EPUB

But, perhaps, if we describe one of these small houses by itself, you will understand the plan better. Here, then, is a little wooden building, one story high, standing among the flowers and the apple-trees, with one room above for the assistants. The boys have their time divided, so much for out-door work, so much for study, so much for play, so much for taking their food, and so much for sleeping. Now they are at their books and slates, now working at farm-work, or at shoe-making, tailoring, printing, and other trades, in shops built for the purpose ; now enjoying their sports, now taking their meals, and now taking their rest in sleep. In these happy homes among the flowers and the apple-trees, clean, comfortable, and well employed, live those who were penniless, and homeless, and friendless.

When a wretched little vagrant from the streets is sent in here, he is not at once placed among the rest. The little stranger is put with a few other new-comers into a separate house, where two or three young men have charge of him. He eats at their own table with his few comnanions, and has enough. The overseers study his temper, and either set him to a trade, or to garden and farm-work, as he seems best fitted. He has his play and playmates, and free fresh air, and friends to care for him, who hold it a labour of love to do for the fatherless ones, in a feeble manner, as Christ did for them.

After a little time the new.comer is received into one of the other houses, and regarded as a part of the family. Here he takes his share of their work and

What a their play, and is treated with kindness.

change must a life in a home like this be, among the flowers and the apple-trees, to the life of a poor friend. less lad, living by his wits, cheating, lying, and swear. ing, and suffering, as a homeless outcast, all the evils of poverty and want !

If you could see some of the poor, ignorant, dirtyfaced lads in their ragged clothes, without shoes and stockings, first going into the Home among the Flowers, and then look at them after they had been received into one of the happy families, you would hardly know them again.

In the Home among the Flowers, girls are received as well as boys. There are as many as tbirty or forty of them, who learn to wash, iron, sew, and to attend to household affairs. After being trained five or six years, the boys are put out as apprentices, and the girls go to service; nor are there, througliout Germany, any better servant-girls or apprentices to be found than those who were brought up in this quiet family home.

Besides the school-rooms, workshops, and sleeping. rooms of this youthful household, there is a room for the sick, a kitchen for cookery, and a neat little chapel; and then a printing-press has been set up there, where the tracts and little books needed in the schools are printed. The different articles which are made and not used in the household, together with many little books printed there, are sold, and help to pay the expenses of the Home.

Since this Home among the Flowers was first opened, many other places of the same kind have been formed in Germany.

You now know something of this German refuge for the destitute, which is a shelter to many a poor homeless boy and girl. Would that the poor children of every land were cared for and guided the way to heaven! that all the ragged were clothed, the hungry fed, the ignorant instructed, and the houseless provided with a clean and happy abode! Oh for a hundred kind-hearted Wicherns to befriend the friendless! Oh for a thousand happy Homes among the Flowers !

THE WIDOW BELL. "LEAVE TIY FATHERLESS CHILDREN, I WILL PRESERVE

TIEM ALIVE; AND LET TUY WIDOWS TRUST IN ME.”Jer. xlix. 11. The widow Bell was seated, with her Bible opened

wide, While lovingly her daughter was kneeling by her side : "See, Minnie,” said the mother, “though dear papa ,

is dead, Here are the precious promises that he so oft has read. " Thy children thou mayest leave, though fatherless,

with me,

And let thy widows trust, I will t'neir helper be:'
Yes, darling, we will trust that God will be our friend,
And guard us safe from every ill, and keep us to the end."
The Holy Book was laid aside, but deep within the

breast Of this, her only daughter, the widow has impressed The value of thcse gracious words from God so kindly

given

To soothe the anguish of their hearts, and raise their

thoughts to heaven. The widow has another child, - Alfred, her darling boy, Thoughlong a wanderer, is still her treasure and her joy; For him her daily prayers ascend, that God her child

would bless, And teach his youthful feet to love the way

of holiness. At length the joyful news arrives, when three long

years have passed, That Alfred Bell, from distant lands, is coming home

at last: Has he, too, learned to prize God's word and seek his

portion there? The widow clasps him in her arms, and offers up her

prayer That he his mother's God may serve, his father's faith

may share.

“Dear mother, pray for me,” he said, " and read in

God's own word That story of the prodigal, which I have often heard; For I have wandered far away, but now desire to come And love and serve that Being who hath safely brought

me home."

Her prayers were heard, and Alfred Bell is now a

Christian man, Serving his God with faithfulness, and doing all he can That those who go to distant lands to scarch for mines

of gold May find within that blessed Book a mine of wealth

untold.

[graphic][subsumed]

THE LITTLE GLEANER. For many a year the right of gleaning in Farmer Burns' fields had been the privilege of Widow Neal. When spring, and summer, and sober autumn had all combined to make the golden grain ready for the

No. 201. SEPTEMBER, 1861.

K

« PreviousContinue »