Page images
PDF
EPUB

preferred doing herself to seeing the little boy's ponting attempts, and having the still less agreeable prospect of his company across the common. It seemed as if everything had gone against her ; but in this moment of trouble she remembered what her grandmother had said in the morning about a Friend who was always near, and sent up a secret little petition to him for aid. And though no radiant angel on bended wing was seen hastening to help the tired gleaner, not the less surely did an answer come from Him who revives the spirit of the humble. A gentle hand was laid on Betsy's shoulder, and a gentler voice whispered in her car, “I am sorry about this, Betsy, but it will all be right by and by.” At Mary Burns' cheering words the little girl looked up with almost a smile, which deepened into a real one, as the same pleasant voice added, " Father has given me leave to step home with you ; so, when Tommy has finished his little job here, we shall divide the bundle into three parts, one for each, and then the cool breeze on the common is so refreshing, we shall get on quite merrily with our light loads."

Even Tommy felt the soothing influence of his sister's words, and began to work with such good will that in a short time they were ready to start. Mary's quick way of tying up the bundles, and placing by far the largest one on her own head, seemed to impart fresh vigour to Betsy, who reflected the sunny temper of her more cheerful companion; and Tommy, not being ia a reflecting mood just then, nevertheless felt his crossness melting away under the sunbeams. So in the eventide there was light.

The walk to Mrs. Neal's cottage was such a pleasant one that the children were both surprised and half sorry to find it so soon over ; and as they reached the open door, Betsy, having looked her thanks up into Mary's blue eyes, took Tommy's bundle from his arms, saying, “ Tommy, I am obliged to you for helping me home with my load; do come in for a moment, I know grandmother would like to thank you too." The undeserved thanks completed the melting process which Mary's unselfish example had begun; and as the little boy turned to leave, after his sister had said a few words to the widow, he slipped three rosy Eveapples from his pocket into Betsy's hand, and whispered, “I don't mean to torment you any more, Betsy ; come to glean every day while harvest lasts, and we shall help you home at night.”

Tommy kept his word, and, after this first painful effort to help another, every succeeding attempt became gradually more easy; until, in the course of years, he learned the happiness of trying to make those around him happy, and, by sharing a neighbour's burden of sorrow, +7 fulfil the law of Christ.

COFFEE-CARRIERS. In the country of Brazil, in South America, there is a race of slaves called the coffee-carriers. They usually work in gangs of from ten to twenty, and are the most powerful men that can be found. Indeed, the labour soon wears them out, and would speedily destroy men of feebler frames. Great part of the labour

of porters is performed by them. Under their captain, who is the largest and strongest man among them, a troop will hoist, each of them, a bag of coffee weighing 160 pounds on his head, and will start off at a trot that soon becomes a rapid run. One hand steadies the load, and the other carries and shakes a

[graphic][merged small]

sort of child's rattle. In this manner, shouting a song, they plunge round the corners and up the streets, to the astonishment of the stranger, who is naturally startled at being charged by a dozen half-naked black giants, roaring at the top of their voices. Any one who will try to steady a half-hundred weight on his

head for one minute, may judge what labour these negroes go through, in carrying all day long nearly three times the weight at a sharp run.

The noise they made was so great, that a few years ago an attempt was made to stop them. They were forbidden to sing. The immediate result was that they did no work—not in the way of strike, but of positive depression, and inability to go on without the old chant: just as a dray-horse will stop if the bells are taken off his collar, or a file of camels lie down, and be beaten to death rather than rise, if the jingling iron pot is taken off the leader's neck. The proļiibi. tion was repealed, and the work and the noise began again, and go on to this day.

When we sit down to breakfast, let us not forget that we owe something of our comforts to the toil of the poor coffee-carriers of Brazil.

BIBLE LESSONS.

CHAPTER III, - WHAT IS MEANT BY THE GOSPEL.

Miss STONE, wishing that her pupils should apply to themselves in private the truths they heard in public, selected for her next weekly lesson the question, “How does the gospel show us the way of salvation P” Most young people know that the word gospel means good tidings or news (Luke ii. 10), and is especially applied to that part of Scripture which narrates the life and death of our blessed Lord, on whom alone we depend for life and salvation. This was very suitable to talk about just after having learned something of the wretched

state of man when left to himself, and the manner in which some have been rescued from that condition.

Harriet soon found her text this time : it was John iï. 16:“ God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” She remembered an anecdote of a poor man, in one of these islands, so much spoken of at the last meeting, who had started up when he first heard this verse, and begged to have it read again, saying, “Let me hear ; what is that? God so loved the world !".

How pleasant it is to have facts like this fixed on the memory, and how different was this

poor

heathen from many who listen to these blessed words without care or interest. If we wish to love God, let us think more of his love to us.

Several other verses were chosen by the elder girls : 1 Tim. i. 15; Romans iii. 23, 24, and x. 13--17, and xv. 8-13; Eph. ii. 6–8; John vi. 35–40; Colos. sians i. 21; Revelation xxii. 17; all showing that salvation is the free gift of God through Christ Jesus, and that it is all mercy from first to last, and not of our own works and deservings. Though, wherever true faith or belief is found it will show itself by love, leading men to deny themselves for the good of others, and earnestly labour to bring their fellow-creatures to trust in the same Saviour. That love is beautifully set forth in the 1st Epistle of John, iii. 16, and elsewhere: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

Miss Stone having made a few remarks to this

« PreviousContinue »