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INFLUENCE.

INFLUENCE.

now, as he called it. You know, Mary,'

he added, as his sister slowly walked along, VATCH now, Mary,' said Robert, as Tom and Fanny are coming this afternoon;

he threw a stone into the pond, | I have promised Fanny a fine time of it from the wooden bridge on which the on our new swing, and Tom is to bring his brother and sister were standing, watch | large ship; I have rigged out our little how the circles come after the splash; boat, for a sail on the pond. there they are, how they get larger and Oh, delightful!' said Mary, and she larger, till now, that one is large enough | quickened her steps to join her brother, to go from shore to shore, and then the the walk ending in a race home. water looks the same as ever.'

In the afternoon, the expected visitors But that was a large stone you threw in, arrived. Here we are,' said Tom, 'I Robert,' said Mary. Try if a little one think we are up to time, but you may thank would do the same;' and she lifted a tiny me for that. I thought Fanny was never stone, and watched once more, as the to be ready; girls do take such a time. waters closed over it. Yes, there they were, That sash of hers has been tied and loosed smaller circles to begin with, and the and tied again, half a dozen times before water less troubled than when Robert nurse would let her alone. Oh! Tom, showed his throwing powers, but ripple such nonsense,' said Fanny, but never after ripple could be traced to the edge of mind, now we are here. Come along, I am the pond. “There now,' said Robert, “it is ready for the swing, Robert, or any thing all the same again, just as if it had never else you like,' she added 'hesitating, for she been stirred-how deep and still it looks!' saw a slight frown gathering on her brother's

"I dont know,' said Mary, about its face-dont you like it. Tom?'-Oh! well being quite the same, before and after enough,' replied he, rather sulkily, but it throwing; I am not so sure of that.'

is always that swing you are after. Here Of course the two stones are lying at have I lugged along this great big ship, the bottom, if that is all you mean,' said and it seems there's to be no use for it Robert; and he ran to the end of the after all; but of course, you always 'have bridge, giving himself no further concern your own way; come along to the swing in the matter.

then,' and with the air of 'a martyr he laid Mary slowly followed. Her mother had | down his ship on the summer house table, been telling her only the night before, of round which they were standing. the harm she had done in the nursery, by Silence fell on the little group. Little some unkind words she had spoken, and of Anrie and Willie, who had been thinking the gloom it had shed over the little all morning of the fun they were to have in company that had been quite happy before. the afternoon, looked half afraid of their That stone, thought Mary, thrown into the visitor, and were preparing to steal away water, is something like my provoking and leave their elders to settle the matter temper last night. I made Robert and as they liked. Fanny felt ashamed and Annie, and Willie, quite unhappy, though indignant at her brother's rudeness, and we went on playing our game all the same; Robert did not know which of his guests but Mamma saw something was wrong he should try to please. Mary's thoughts when she came in, and spoke of it, when went back to her morning stroll. That she bade me good night.

speech of Tom's, she said to herself, is like • What are you dreaming about?' shouted the throwing of a stone into the water, and Robert. He had been amusing himself, of course it makes a disturbance all round. jumping off the end of the bridge, then I'll try another and see if I can bring back hanging on by a long branch of a large good humour amongst us. 'Fanny,' said tree that bent over the pond; but he was she, in a pleasant voice, what would an active boy, and wished to be getting on' | you think of coming for a little while to my

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room? I have got a beautiful new work-box , so, even a child, by her words and conduct, for a birthday present; it only came last cannot help doing good or doing harm all Wednesday, and I should like to show it round; if she does not do the one she is you. Robert and Tom will be going down certain to do the other. Each effort to the pond and getting the ships launched honestly made for the good of others gives by the time we are ready-it takes a while you the power of doing more, and leads to get all right.'

those around you to follow your example, Oh! yes, Fanny, do come' said little so that no one can calculate how much Annie, her face brightening, and I'll shew happiness may spring from such an attempt. you my lovely new doll, its eyes open and Our Saviour's words, Occupy till I come,' shut; it is so pretty.'—Well, remember,' are for a child as well as for grown-up said Robert, we must not stay too long at people; and they mean, amongst other the pond, for I must keep my word to you, things, that we should use every Fanny, and give you a real, right, good opportunity we have of making others turn at the swing. What do you say to happier and better. I shall be glad if this the plan, Tom? the sun is shining morning's walk and the afternoon's enjoybeautifully on the water just now, and the ment have taught my little girl a lesson she white sails will show off splendidly.

will not soon forget.' Was not Tom in his heart thoroughly ashamed of his sulky conduct? but he put the best face upon things, and with an effort answered pleasantly enough, “O yes,

LITTLE JOHNNIE, AND WHAT HE thank you, Mary;' then anxious to do

BECAME. something to make his unkind speech be TS it true? is a question that is very forgotten, Willie,' he said, would you 1 often put by young people, when a like to come with Robert and me? I dare story has been told them by a friend or say you would like it better than going companion. To satisfy the minds of the with them.'

many young readers of the Dayspring' on Willie felt two or three inches taller this point, I begin my little sketch, by when he marched off with two big' boys, saying that it is a true story; and further, as he thought them. Mary saw the that little Johnnie'-little no longer--is complete success of her effort, and felt yet alive, and may himself read this short happy in having made others so. The sketch of his interesting life. afternoon passed most pleasantly; there Little Johnnie was born a good many was time for the swing after the regatta,' years ago in one of the largest and busiest as Tom chose to call the pond expedition, towns in Ayrshire. His parents, though and when he and Fanny left, they made not poor, yet moved in the humble ranks their young friends promise that they would of life. But whilst they could not boast not be long of returning the visit.

of worldly wealth, they rejoiced in the That night, Mary, as she lay down in her possession of heavenly treasure,- for God little bed and talked a while with her was their Father, Christ their Saviour, and mother, as she always did before falling heaven their eternal home. asleep, could not but tell of the effort When but a very little fellow, Johnnieshe had made to profit by the gentle or little Johnnie, as he was generally reproof given her the night before, and her called — went to live in one of the quiet, meditations at the pond in the morning. beautiful towns, in the Firth of Clyde,

• Yes, Mary, you are right,' said her his father requiring to go there in search mother, we all have “Influence," as we of health, which had failed him when call it; some more, some less. Just as the quite a young man. In that quiet little stone cannot help the circles coming in the town Johnnie spent a good many years; water, enlarging and widening as it spreads; | learning at school what was to help him in

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the future; and receiving from his father, Lord would guide and keep him, he has who was his almost constant companion, burst into tears, and falling on his knees, much precious instruction concerning God has asked his father's God to be his God, and divine truth.

and his mother's Saviour to be his Saviour; When but seven or eight years old, little and has then gone off to his day's work, Johnnie expressed a wish to be a minister; with its trials and temptations, resolved and on the Sabbath evenings he converted that he would boldly and faithfully walk in his father's arm-chair into a pulpit; and the way of God's commandments. But he with his father for precentor, and his trusted too much to his own strength and mother for congregation, he conducted determination; therefore it is not to be service something like what he saw in wondered at that he was too weak to resist church on the earlier part of the day. I do the wiles of the tempters by whom he not know what his sermons were like, as was daily surrounded. Thus he was not none of them have been published; but long in their company until his good they seemed to give the utmost satisfaction impressions and resolutions vanished, and

o both preacher and hearers. But as he he became as sceptical and indifferent as grew older, he grew less inclined for the

before. ministry; until at length he gave up all For a time he maintained an outwardly idea of it, and resolved to become a religious character,-he could not all at merchant.

once become irreligious and profane. When about eighteen years of age, he Shortly after settling down in Edinburgh, was sent to Edinburgh to act as assistant , he had become a Sabbath School teacher; in a large warehouse there; and for some and for a good while took a deep interest years he remained at his post learning and in that work; but now he felt it to be mastering all the details of the business. irksome and unpleasant, and accordingly Among the large number of young men found an excuse for giving it up. who were employed in the establishinent, He still, however, was pretty regular in were several who cared very little for his attendance at church on the Sabbath religion and religious people, and who were day; but by and by it also came to be not at all backward in giving utterance to neglected,--and instead of going with the their opinions.

others to worship God, he frequently Johnnie-or John, as we shall now call spent the day with ungodly companions in him-tried at first to turn a deaf ear to pleasure or idleness. their evil words; but finding he could not During the week be often spent his escape hearing what they said, he tried to evenings at the theatre, and other places argue the matter with them, and convince of giddy and sinful amusement, and was them that they were wrong. This, however, rapidly forgetting God. But God had not was no easy matter for so young and inex forgotten him; nor had his pious parents perienced a lad; and before long he was (who were quite ignorant of the sad change not only silent when they spoke, but even which had taken place in their son) ever acquiesced in some of their false and forgot to bring him before the Lord in irreligious opinions.

earnest prayer. Little by little was he drawn away from Still did their loving letters come to him the path of truth; but he was not allowed with the greatest regularity; but instead of to leave it without many a struggle and their contents bringing him to his knees, as many a tear. Every week brought him a they often did at first, they seemed to make letter from home, full of loving counsels him more hardened, more careless, more and words and wishes; and as he there read defiant, than before. He had deliberately how that morning and evening he was put from him God; and would have been brought before God in prayer by his well pleased, had there been no God at all. parents, who ceased not to ask that the | He seemed like a piece of wreck tossed

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