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I said nothing at the time, but a day or two after called at his father's, to see how affairs were going on with him. I had not expected to find them half so bad as they were. The family, it seemed, had hardly saved a shilling, but lived from hand to mouth, in that extravagant way many of our operatives do, who, being denied the luxury of fresh air and green fields, and a healthy life in the midst of both, find their chief pleasure in good eating; so that hot new bread, quantities of butter, buttered toasts, &c., besides beer and many other articles as dear, are things which I have seen on many tables, when there was not a sixpence laid by in the savings' bank. However, I was telling you that Frank's family were in great distress; two of the little girls sitting on the floor crying because they had no dinner, the father sat over the miserable remains of a fire in the grate, and little Frank himself was huddled by his side, quite blue with the cold. You may think I did not let the occasion go by without a short lecture upon the virtue of economy, but I ended by telling Frank that he might come to my house for a loaf and some bacon, as soon as he liked. He came the next morning, and I went down into the kitchen to see the things given to him. He looked very hungrily at the loaf, as the cook put it into his basket; Frank,” I said to him, “ Can you eat dry bread ?" He looked up suddenly, and appeared much ashamed, but did not speak. “Do you know," I asked, “of a certain prayer which has in it, “Give us this day our daily bread ? ' Have you ever thought of that since you had not daily bread ?” Poor little fellow, he burst into tears, and went away without speaking. But he suffered much worse hunger than that during the next weeks. “ And did you ever go to see his parents again ?”

Yes; and I dare say they have often been recipients of your mamma's soup, Ettie, without your knowing it. But little Frank nerer missed coming to his Sunday school ; and only last Sunday, when I spoke to the children as I have told you, I saw his little face flush up when I came to this part of the prayer.”

• But they are not so poor now ?”

"Oh no! The father is in good work again, but I think he has taken a lesson from those few unhappy weeks, and saves up a part of his earnings whenever he is able."

"Thank you for your little story, Uncle Edward. Now will you go on?”

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us, comes next, Ettie. I should think you could explain that yourself."

Oh, I cannot explain it; that is, I need not, for you, Uncle Edward ; but I know that it is desperately hard to forgive all the things other people do to you. Angry, unjust words I mean, and unkind tales told about you, and all that sort of thing. I do think, Uncle, there is more quarrelling, - or rather the quarrelling lasts longer, -and more unkind feeling among girls than among boys; for boys have a fight, or knock each other down, and there the thing's done with ; but girls keep their feelings rather quieter, and then every now and then some word comes out, or they do something which shows they are keeping up a kind of spiteful feeling against you all the while--for weeks."

“ Stop Ettie, do not generalise quite so much. I have no doubt there is a great deal of truth in what you say ; but do not give your Uncle such a very poor account of your sex. Do you often feel very bitter against anybody, Ettie?"

Not so often now as I used to do."

Then, my dear, for the love of your Father in heaven, let it soon be that you never feel bitterly towards anybody. No true peace will ever enter your heart till you are at peace with the world. Strive to forget all the little injuries you receive; remember that no one is perfect, and that your good example will produce at last, if not at first, good results in the hearts of others. Remember how constantly you are yourself transgressing; remember how much God forgives you every day; and dare you be uncharitable to the faults of those around you, when you need so much mercy, so much forgiveness, yourself ? We cannot flatter ourselves, my dear child, that we are pleasing God whilst we are acting ill towards our fellow-creatures ;



and that person has no real meekness of spirit, humbleness before God, or fervour of piety, that does not cherish a kind and forgiving spirit towards those around him. I believe it to be impossible to offer a sincere prayer to God, with a heart full of ill will towards any. body, no matter how sinful or depraved.

The very act of prayer,—the very entreaty to be made better, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit,-must drive away all unkind feelings from the breast; no one could rise from their knees after such a prayer, sincerely and earnestly said, and not feel to have forgiven in their hearts any injury or injustice that may have been done to them.

• Yes,” said Ettie in a low voice, “I can never pray when I am feeling angry. I have been surprised at it sometimes; because I thought that when on feeling vexed or grieved with other people, one would be more drawn to God. But it does not do : it is not so at all."

No, Ettie; because you can only be forgiven your trespasseş, as you forgive those that trespass against you.

“Do you mean, Uncle Edward, that God will only forgive me a sin for every time that I forgive somebody else one ?"

“Not exactly, niece; though it comes very much to that in the end. But in proportion as you do good to others, behave kindly to them, and forgive their offences against you, God will be pleased with you, as His child. And in proportion as you do evil to others, behave unkindly to them, and cherish ill will in your heart towards them, God will think you unworthy of His love and forgiveness, which you are doing nothing to gain."

“ I understand that now," said Ettie, “but there is one question I want to ask. Supposing that in my prayers I am not particularly asking forgiveness for anything, then why is it, that I am not able to pray rightly, even though I be not quite at peace with every

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“For two reasons, Ettie. One, that you can never say a prayer — really thinking about it-and not find consider a prayer

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something to ask forgiveness for. The other, that no one could, conscientiously and sincerely, pray for additional grace and strength (which I suppose you would


any confessions in it) if they felt that they had not used that which God had already given them; if they felt that the heart which he had bestowed to love and serve, had been doing neither but had been given up to its own bad passions."

Ettie was silent for a time, and her Uncle quietly printed the last sentence of the prayer on his card, and proceeded to do something at the corners.

" Are you tired, Uncle, of talking to me?" she asked presently. “ Not at all, niece, if you will still go on listening.".

And lead us not into temptation,” said Ettie, “I think I know what that means."

Well, dear, tell me ? ” " It means, that we pray God not to lead us into circumstances of temptation, into places which or to people who would have a bad influence over us—when we might be persuaded to sin."

The older you grow, the more you will find how hard it is to withstand the influences of any society in which you may be placed. Young people meet with thousands of these temptations, particularly when away from home, and cast upon their own moral and religious convictions, their own conscience, their own strength. They have not always sufficient power in themselves to oppose a firm front to all the assaults of life's changeful, stormy ocean, when it comes upon them all unprepared — and unused to stand alone. Some people pray in fact, if not in words (a modern writer says it) Lord, lead me into temptation, that I may deliver myself from evil.” It is the extreme of folly, if not of wickedness, the overrating of a strength which will only too soon show its littleness, utterly fail hirn who has trusted his all therein, at the very hour of trial. If God sees fit to mark out our path of life amidst some snares and pitfalls, it ought to be our care to watch and pray' that we enter not into them — we may ask for His Divine assistance in this as in all other difficulties and troubles of life; the strength and grace

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that He will send upon us will help us onward to the Crown which is won only by a bearing of the Cross to the victory only bought by the struggle.”

The next sentence is very like this one,” said Ettie, " is it not, Uncle? •But deliver us from evil.'"

Her Unele did not answer at once. He was twirling his watch-chain round and round his fingers, apparently thinking of something that his last words had suggested to his mind-but looking up presently, he asked, “ Has it ever struck you that there is a very great spiritual, mental evil, from which we might all pray daily to be delivered - and yet few, I think, conceive it to be the actual form of evil that it is. It has struck me very forcibly, and very often,-I mean that coldness and indifference to religion — that distance from and disunion with God (familiarly and very truly called not knowing God) that very often grows upon people with their growth, and becomes confirmed with years. I scarcely know a more miserable evil - a more soul and spirit-destroying malady than this one. And I can tell you so from experience, Ettie."

“From experience! you, Uncle Edward ?"

“ Yes, Ettie, I know what starvation, and cold, and misery, wandering from the fold brings upon the sheep, and, thank God, I know the blessedness of re-entering it.” Her Uncle looked fixedly at Esther, as he added,

For to God is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever."

“ You have found that, Uncle Edward ?” Ettie mine, by very long experience and very many sorrows — by very long trial or study of the kingdoms, the powers, and the glories of this world. And year by year becomes the conviction in my heart deeper, that in his kingdom alone we can find peace— to his power alone submit with certainty of its being exercised for good — towards his glory alone look and hope, with knowledge of its perfect and unfading brightness."


“ Yes,

J. W.

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