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'fj ELPING mother!' I think I hear .*- * some school-boy say, with rather a scornful look, as he reads our title, 'that's not a thing for me; well enough for girls to "help mother" in mending stockings or putting the room to rights, but not for boys; we have something else to think of.' Not so fast, my young friend; 'helping mother' can never be beneath any boy or man either, for that matter. The braver and more manly a boy is, the readier he will be to do whatever he can to lighten a mother's care. Sometimes he may take in hand heavy work which a boy's strong arm can do more easily than a mother's or a sister's; sometimes he may willingly lay aside a favourite book or an engrossing sport, to sit down quietly in the nursery and amuse the little ones. But the way in which a child helps mother, will depend upon what she has got to do, where she lives, what position of life she has to fill; in short, upon the circumstances (to use a grand word) in which she and her household are placed.
In a great many homes there is a baby to keep; surely some elder brother or sister could fill a nurse maid's place, and let the mother rest, or go on with work which the younger members cannot share. Many a mother has to work to support herself and her children; even in this, the little ones can take their part in the daily labour, and save their mother the wages of a message girl. In the hop growing counties of England, little children may often be seen, in August and September, helping their mother in the picking and gathering of the hops. This work is almost all done by women and children; men are only employed in 'pulling the poles,' as it is called, and measuring the hops. The gardens are most picturesque; groups of the workers may be seen as if in bowers of the gracefully growing plant, busy at hop picking. Careful mothers dress the little ones in their plainest garments; for the fruit, graceful as it is, stains the dress and hands of the workers, and
mittens are often used to save the skin from being dyed.
Did you ever think of the home at Nazareth, where 'the child Jesus' lived, and was, subject to his parents? The usual work that goes on in the house of a common tradesman now-a-days, would be done there; and no doubt He who pleased not Himself, and whose tender care for his mother lasted all through His earthly life, found many opportunities during His childhood, of lightening her burden and brightening her lot. 'The Virgin's fountain,' as it is still called, is not far away from the place where the Holy Family are supposed to have dwelt; dout you think Jesus would sometimes help his mother to draw the water at eventide, or to carry it home if she was weary? And many a time, doubtless, she would silently gaze upon her wonderful boy, and ponder, as she had done long before, what angel messengers had told her concerning her child. Now, we read that 'Christ left us an example that we should walk in His steps.' That verse is not for grown up people alone. Jesus has left small prints which a child's foot can fill, and in so doing the little ones can carry out one of the ends for which the Lord of all became an infant of days, and grew up to man's estate.
Surely 1 need say no more. I can nowhere get a higher illustration of my text, and young helpers can have no higher example. K.
GEORGE WASHINGTON—THE TEUTHFUL BOY.
NEARLY every person has in his character some feature which is more prominent than others. We meet with people who, while they have many good qualities, are especially marked by kindness. Others again are distinguished for courage, and so on. Well, this is particularly true of George Washington. The one point which stood out very markedly in his character was a love of truth and honesty.
The schoolmaster was also the sexton, am' was probably more able to bury the dead than teach the living. However, George was blessed with a good father and mother who trained him in what was right.
It was when he was about eight years old that the well known incident of the chorry-tree occurred. A hatchet had been left in the garden, and George having found it, amused himself chopping the trees. Amongst others, he spoiled a fine cherry-tree, an especial favourite of his father's. When his father saw the mischief that had been done, he was very angry. He never suspected George, but thought it must be some boys who had broken into the garden. However, he heard that George had been seen in the garden with the hatchet, so he waited till his son came home from school. He met him at the door and told him what had happened, adding that 'it must have been some of those idle Irish boys.' What a chance, some of my readers perhaps think, for George to throw the blame on them and escape himself! I wonder if the boys and girls who read this would have had the courage to tell the truth. Washington had, at any rate, for he replied: 'It was not the Irish boys, father; do not lay it to them or to anybody else: it was I that chopped the tree.'—' You,' said the father. 'Yes, it was I, father. 1 know it was wrong to chop the trees, and you may flog me for doing it, but I cannot tell a lie.' This habit of truthfulness, as we have said, Washington practised all his life.
In 1743, George, now eleven years old, lost his father. He then went to stay with his half-brother in order that he might attend a better school. There he persevered in his lessons. His copy-books were among the neatest and most accurate in the school. But he was not a mere book-worm who did nothing but learn lessons. He practised running, jumping, wrestling, riding, and other manly sports. He was the proper kind of boy. Whatever he did, he tried to do it well. When at his lessons, . he learned with all his heart, and when at play, he played with all his might. This is
the true way to get on in life. At school, George was made the umpire in quarrels, for his companions had learned to trust him so much that they knew he would be fair to all.
At his half-brother's, George associated a good deal with soldiers, and in their company probably was acquired, or at least much strengthened, his desire to enter the navy. His mother, very deeply attached to her son, was stronly opposed to his choice of this profession. She, however, at last gave her consent. A situation as midshipman was procured, and it is said his luggage even was on board. At the last moment his mother changed. She could not bear, when it came to parting, to let her son go; so the engagement was cancelled and George returned to school. There he continued his studies with his usual earnestness. He devoted his attention especially to land surveying, which tended to strengthen his habits of method and thoroughness in his work.
In 1748, when sixteen years of age, Washington got a situation as a landsurveyor to a large land-owner called George William Farifax. His school days were done, and now he had entered on the great stage of the world where he was destined to play so important a part. Here we must leave him, but I hope we can all learn like him to do everything well, and to be truthful in all things. 'Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, think on these things.' j. M'm.
child; she and her brother loved each other like two doves.' Often she said, '1 do not want to stay here, I want to go to my dear Jesus.' At night she loved to look up at the soft evening sky, glowing with stars, and repeat 'Twinkle, twinkle, little star.' On Sunday she went to church, but did not seem well; for she said, 'I want, please, to go home to my good bed.' She came home, and lay in her little bed with eyes fixed, but they were looking at Jesus. Once or twice she said, 'I want to lie in my cold bed,' meaning the grave. A quarter of an hour after fits came on; and, said her mother in her broken English, 'She lay in her bath wrapped in a shawl, but did not speak; she was stiff; I called her father, he came, she knew him and said, 'Father, dear father, sing to me.' But the father could not. Then she say, 'It is Jesus, father, my dear Jesus who has come to take me.' She looked up, she saw what we saw not, she smiled and laughed. 'There He is, at the foot of my bed; He calls me to come.' So, beckoning with her little hand, 'Look up, father, here is a little boy, too, come to take me.' Dear Nazlie, she speak no more to me, no! she did not want; would I see her, 1 must look up, not down there. Then a. was quite finished; she herself shut helittle mouth, closed her eyes, and folded her hands, and so she left us. I dressed her in a new white frock her father bought for her birthday. She was but six hours ill. My child ever loved the pictures best at school which showed the dear Jesus. One day I put some flowers in my hair. 'Mother,' she said, 'why do you put flowers on your head, and Jesus had thorns on His head?'
Her little brother Aneese is almost broken hearted for his little sister. 'Why does Jesus not let her come back?' he asks; 'if He loved my sister He would bring her back to me.' No! I tell him, Aneese, we may not have Nazlie back, we must go to her. 'Then, mother, I must go now to my sister, for I know she seeks me.'
One day, said the mother, I took him to Nazlie's grave; and we took flowers to put upon it. 'Mother,' he asked, 'Is Nazlie here, or up with the dear Jesus ?'—' She
is not here, but with the dear Lord,' I said. 'Then why do you cry here at her grave?' 'I cry, dear, because she leave me.'—' But you may not cry mother; no! you sing as in school—
'I want to be with Jesus.'
Then he began himself to cry. 'Put away the stone, dear mother; I must bring her food below there; perhaps she is hungry. / must eat, and my sister Nazlie not! Then added the mother, wiping her tears,' I know she is with Jesus, I shall not see her here; she is not down but up, always singing; she wears a white dress now, and sings ever with a beautiful tongue; but the world is changed to us since Nazlie our child left us.' Dear children, little Nazlie sleeps quietly in her far off grave in Jerusalem—waiting until the resurrection morning, when the eternal day will break, and the shadows flee away! She was but six hours ill. Are you ready for death so sudden, so swift as that? Ask the dear Lord to teach you how to love Him, that you, too, may be washed in the blood of the Lamb, and be ready to go to the ' Beautiful Home over there.' K. P.
A PAGE PKOM A TEACHER'S NOTE BOOK.
MANY years ago, at the beginning of my career as a Sunday School Teacher, a little incident connected with a young pupil gave me great encouragement and help, and even yet, when I look back, the bright face of Tom Esplin rises clearly before me.
He was one of thirteen rather wild boys who composed the minister's class. In the absence of their regular teacher I was left in charge of them for the summer months.
I at once liked Tom's earnest look, and found him of great use to me in trying to persuade noisy boys near him to pay attention. I had reproved them one day for swearing, having overheard them using the holiest name when wrangling at the church door. I felt agitated myself when I tried to tell them how cruel it was in them to use the name of their Father in
heaven with such mocking ridicule, and how unkind to their dear Lord who had given them such a beautiful example of godly reverence and love. Several of the boys looked penitent, but Tom laid down his head on his hands and sobbed aloud. This tender conscience of his invariably shewed itself when any direct appeal was made to try and persuade them to be gentle, and yet brave with the Christian boldness of young soldiers in the Lord's service. Tom's parents were hard working people, and at that time Bibles were not by any means cheap; so, as he had only a small New Testament, 1 gave him a Bible as a reward for his regularity and attention. Soon after this the Esplin family left the parish, and only now and then did I remember my blue-eyed friend, Tom, who had so often looked at me in the quiet country church, and quietly 'said his verses' in the class.
Fully ten years after, I heard very unexpectedly of my favourite scholar. He had gone to a large seaport town as a carpenter: and, after a neglected cold, he began to show signs of consumption. He worked on—poor fellow—long after he ought to have had rest and medical care; so by the time that he was compelled, by his distressing cough and pain, to remain in his humble lodging, the doetor plainly said to him, 'there is no hope.' Then Tom begged to be taken to the infirmary, for he had no home. His mother had died soon after she went to live in town; and, the father soon marrying again, the family became scattered. A benevolent gentleman, who used to go and read to the Infirmary patients, found Tom the day after he was taken there. The nurse introduced him as 'a fine lad and a good listener.'
When Mr M— expressed sympathy for the sufferer, he was much pleased by the polite and cheerful thanks of the young man; who, apparently, was near the 'Happy Land.' On offering to read a few verses of a psalm, if he wished, Tom said:
'O, I like the bonny psalms, an winder I can mind sae mony o' them I learned lang syne. You'll get my Bible below my
pillow, sir; if you're to read to me.' Mr M— took the book, and on opening it said,
'You are Tom Esplin, and I see you got this Bible from Mrs. K—, as a prize when you were a boy.'
'Aye, that I did. Do you ken her? If she only knew hoo the things she explained at that time a' come back to me lyin' here, tho' I forgot a' about them at the time!'
Then Mr M— explained that the lady was his married sister; and he knew how it would rejoice her to know that the little Bible she had given him had lain beside his pillow, and brought comfort to hia heart in the quiet infirmary ward.
Months after, I met my brother, who told me of the unexpected meeting, and gave me Tom's message. It was very precious; for by that time the poor lad was at rest, and had been laid in his lonely grave in the church-yard by the sea.
Thirty years have passed since then, but when the minister's class meets in the old country church, and I see the earnest brown faced lads, I look back and remember the boy who used to sit there, and 'liked the bonny psalms.' ¥. ■,
IS THAT ALL?
A YOUNG man, dying in a tent, sent for a Christian friend, and told him he had been very wicked; 'he could not die so, his parents were Christians.' Said he, 'I have read and prayed a great deal. The great, great question is, what shall I do to be saved? I canaot get hold of it,'
'All you have to do is to believe. Just trust all to Jesus.'
'Is that all?'
'jYes; can you do that?'
Waiting a moment he answered, 'Yes, I can.'
Soon his confidence in Christ became very strong, and at last he said, 'Yes, if I had a thousand souls, I could trust them all to Jesus;' and he sank away and died