Page images
PDF
EPUB

may be able to say, as the wise man to his posterity, Proverbs iv. 1-4, “ Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live."

Grandfather, here's father! I see him coming up for you, said little Jane. Take hold of my hand, and take care !

So we had to part that evening with the hope of meeting again the following.

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER XIV.

We were much surprised, early the next morning, by receiving a visit from Mary and her father. There was an evident pleasure in the eyes of our young people, at the sight of Mary ; a secret attraction was growing between them, and it was delightful to observe that it was grounded on love in the Lord.

Mary went close up to Louisa, and said, I hope you will forgive me for coming so soon, but mamma has such a bad headache, that my father thought I might come and join in your engagements this morning.

On hearing this, I said to my sister, -As this is the case, will you permit me to appoint them some work ?

With pleasure.

Then it is this : Sit down for an hour or two and select me some examples from Scripture, of the blessedness of families who are unitedly devoted to the Lord : and in the evening, you shall propose these selections for consideration.

The plan seemed pleasing to all, and I proposed that my friend should accompany us in a ramble, in search of evidence of the state in which the familes in the neighborhood were brought up.

As we set out, he said, -Discipline is out of the question in this inquiry, for never did I yet see a poor family brought up with

any

due attention to it.

It is indeed rarely to be met with ; but I know some beautiful instances; one of which is old Thomas's family: and in some other cases, I have seen the want of discipline supplied by the grace given to the children, who, instructed by the Spirit of God, have been taught to love, honor, and succor their parents, even through difficulties that would appear insurmountable to any other principle.

We had crossed some fields, and found ourselves at the back part of the village ; and just as we approached a cottage, a girl, in a bonnet and shawl, was lifting the latch to go in, but seemed surprised to find it fast; she rattled the

latch and tapped at the door, but no one came to let her in; I saw her then try the window, which she slided back, and called Father ! Father! She waited, and then called, Mother, can you let me in? We went up to her, and when she turned to answer our inquiry,-if her father might not be gone out, I saw it was the girl about whom I had been so much interested by old Thomas's account.

I don't know, Sir, she answered, curtseying, with a modest air, but there was an expression of alarm in her face.

You are frightened; have you been doing any thing wrong?

In a hesitating voice, she answered, No, Sir, butBut what? young woman.

If all is right, you need not be afraid.

O no, Sir, all isn't right, my mother! my mother! She seemed in an agony.

Why, you do not think any thing has happened to her, do you ? Shall I break open the door ?

O no, Sir, she said, hastily pulling me back by the sleeve; and then as if a sudden thought had occurred to her, she ran round the corner of the house, and we lost sight of her.

The door of the house was soon opened, and a surly looking man, evidently in liquor, though so early, had the arm of the girl in his grasp, and turning her out with violence, said, time you come in here, you shall come in the right way,” pushed her away, and shut the door. The girl was not turned out without a hard struggle ; and in an agony of tears, she exclaimed, Who'll take care of my mother !

6 Next

The violence with which she had been forced out had thrown her against the side of the door, and we heard the sound of something breaking: This increased the flow of tears ;-Oh! the physic's all spilt! She sat down on a large stone which was near the door, and regardless of our presence, bent her head upon her hands on her knees, and sobbed aloud.

Poor girl, I said, what is the matter? Something very sorrowful, I fear; shall I knock at the door, and see if I can get your father to take

you in ?

Please not, Sir ; I'll wait here, may be in a little time he'll be better.

I fear your father's a wicked man.
She made no answer but sighed gently,
Is he given to liquor ?
No answer.

Is he unkind to your mother? This question made the tears flow faster.

Have you any brothers or sisters within ?
I took them to school, when I went out.
What will

you

do ? I'll wait a bit here.

Recollecting that old Thomas was her friend, I proposed that we should leave her and go to acquaint him with the circumstance. We soon walked round to his house, and when we entered, I was a little disappointed to see a young lady there, as I thought it might prevent my communicating immediately my errand.

She instantly rose to go. I desired that we might withdraw; rather than intrude ; but in a grave and kind manner she said, By no means, I have quite finished

my

business; and wishing old Thomas good morning, she offered her hand to Jane's mother, and patting little Sarah on the head as she passed, left the house.

The manner of the young lady gave me a presentiment that she was the very teacher I had wished to know; but I could not at that time take the liberty of endeavoring to form an acquaintance. However, my pressing anxiety for the distressed girl, made me quit these thoughts, to inquire what I could do for her.

After relating all we had seen, Becca's heart seemed quite overpowered with sympathy, and she said, -Poor girl, the Lord tries her, but he supports her too.

It seems very remarkable,--said old Thomas ; for this very morning she came here to meet that young lady, her friend, who brought her her money that she had saved up, and a bottle of physic for her sick mother.

We've seen the end of the physic; what has she done with the money ?

She paid it before she left this house to the man her father owed it to. The young lady thought it best, so she appointed the man to meet her here ; for Martha hasn't much time to

« PreviousContinue »