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Hiding the Trnth.
He did not always mean to do wrong,
James had ever seen. He thought again and again, “Oh, if I could only take it in my hand and look at it;" but its owner would never allow him to touch it.
One day James was alone in the school-room, and it was a good opportunity for him to gratify his long cherished desire. He could take the inkstand in his hand, look at it as much as he pleased, and no one would ever know it. So he climbed up on the high bench, reached it, and held it. It was heavier than he expected to find it, but handsomer too. He examined it thoroughly, and was satisfied. He was just putting it back in its place when he heard a noise. He trembled. The inkstand fell. What a moment of agony ! He caught the inkstand ; saved it; but alas ! the desk was covered with ink, the books and papers too ; even his own hand. He sprang back to his low seat, and wiped his hand on the under side of his brown apron. He could not wipe off all the ink; the stain was there. He rubbed it very hard again and again, but it was still there, and he hid his hand in his pocket. His sense of wrong, his regret for the ruin the ink had made, and fear of reproof and punishment filled him with distress.
When the teacher came in and saw what had been done she at once asked Hugh Williams, a big boy of suspicious character, if he had spilt the ink. He protested his innocence ; she questioned him ; he still protested it. Other children were questioned. Every moment James expected his turn to come. He felt as if every eye were upon him, as if the teacher were looking right into his heart, as if God were frowning upon him, and he could not sit there and bear it. What added to his sorrow was, a big girl told a shameful lie and said that she saw Hugh Williams have the inkstand and let it fall; and on her false testimony Hugh was severely punished. This was a new agony to James. How sad that another should suffer so for his guilt! And still he could not speak nor move. He sat there three long hours, hiding his inky hand in his pocket, and feeling himself guilty, and yet he had not the courage to make a confession and ask forgiveness.
When school was over, and James and his sister entered their pleasant home, James did not hasten for his mother's welcoming kiss, but crept slowly and timidly into her room. When she lifted her soft, loving eyes, she saw that her little son was in trouble, and stretched out her hands towards him. He ran to her and hid his face in her lap. “What is the matter, James ? Tell mother,” she said. Anna answered for him, and told his sin and sorrow that had grown out of it, and mother and children wept together.
“We will lay the case before the righteous and merciful God,” answered the mother; and she knelt with her children and prayed. They rose from their knees quiet and grave. Then the mother turned to James: “This wrong you have done must first be confessed. Tell the truth to the teacher; tell it to Hugh Williams. Ask the teacher to tell it to the whole school, so that justice may be done. Ask forgiveness of Hugh, and then by your good conduct towards all,, especially towards Hugh, show you are really penitent.”
“ I'm afraid I can't tell the teacher; 'but I'm so sorry for Hugh. * I can tell him,” said James in a loud voice.
The next morning Anna and James were among the first in the school-room., As soon as the teacher came in, Anna
told her that James wished to speak to her, and as soon as she had opened the school she called him to her side.
“I spilt the ink, he said, before he had quite reached her, and then burst into tears. She asked him to repeat what he had said. Hiscourage grew with his effort to do right, and he repeated it ina louder tone, and added, “I am very sorry I did it; and I am very sorry I didn't tell you ; and I am very sorry that Hugh Williams was punished for me ;” and he stretched out his little hand that the teacher might punish him, but she did not strike it.
“I am very sorry too,” she said, “ for what you have done, very sorry; but I will not punish you now, as it is your first offence, and you have confessed it.”
At noon-time, instead of eating his dinner at once, James kept his eye on Hugh Williams, and when he saw him alone, went up to him, and said, “I am sorry you were whipped. I won't do so again, Hugh.”
Hugh laughed, though he looked more like crying, and answered, “That's nothing. I can bear whippings. I'd rather be whipped ten times than have a little fellow like you struck."
“But it wasn't right,” said James, growing bolder all the time. Then he offered Hugh the largest of his two apples and his turn-over pie.
“ I don't want your dinner," answered Hugh, turning his head, so that no one but James could see the big tears swimming in his eyes. James urged the apple, and Hugh took it; but when he offered the pie a second time Hugh pushed it from him and ran away saying, “ I'd starve first. I'm not so mean as to eat up your dinner.”.
Hugh's generous feeling towards little James was observed by all the scholars, and he was treated by them wtth a consideration and regard that he had never known before : 50 that he began to have a feeling of self-respect which finally led him to despise the small mischief in which he had once delighted. And as Hugh grew better, James grow bolder and more courageous, so that he was ready to confess his faults and ask forgiveness. He never again kept silence and let another suffer for his sin.
KATHRINE ANNIE BARRATT.
KATHRINE ANNIE BARRATT that Kathrine must die; and was a scholar in the Free when asked whether she Methodist Sunday-school, would rather die or live, she Lincoln. She loved the invariably answered, "Just gates of Zion, and was never as the Lord thinks best-if I willingly absent from the die, I know I shall go to school, or public worship. heaven.” Her simple, but She was always a delicate sincere faith in Christ, as child; in the Autumn of 1869, her Saviour, was real; her friends were alarmed by ligion was with her a living symptoms of consumption. principle. As she
grew Her strength failed, and all weaker she
grew efforts to restore her seemed patient, and unavailing. In the following thoughtful for the comfort spring she rallied, and hopes of others. A few days bewere entertained that her fore she died, she told her young life would be spared ; uncle and aunt, with whom but the frail flower was only she resided, who were to have to bloom awhile, and when some books and other articles perfected the Master would in remembrance of her. remove it to a more genial clime, where disease dear friend, with the mesne'er blights fair flowers, nor sage, “Tell her to read it, death robs loving hearts. for it tells of the place to Early in the present year, it which I am going." The became painfully evident night before she died, she re
“Gates Ajar,” she sent to a
quested her uncle to sing her the thin outstretched hands favourite hymn, and pray
within his own and replied, with her : he sang “ Jesu -"No my dear, you are not lover of my soul,” and pray- dying, you are falling ased with her. Early in the leep in Jesus; it is not dying morning, she said, “Sing to those who love the Saviour, Uncle, sing Jesus.” Again it is sleeping in Jesus.” he sang
the favourite hymn, The momentary fear of death and prayed that God would instantly gave place to a impart strength to the dying peaceful, holy calm, which child who was evidently rested upon her countenance fording the river. When to the end. Presently she asked how she was, she murmured, “ Lord help said," It will soon be over, me;" and again she whissing." Again she said,- pered,—“Pray.” Prayer
Oh, uncle, dosing, sing till was again offered for her; I die.” The hymns she most shortly after she wished to loved were sung, when her be moved. Her position pale countenance was light- was slightly altered, she ed up with unearthly smiled, and nodding the brightness. During the
thanks she could no longer morning she wished to see speak, and without a strugthe Rev. G., Turner, who oc- gle or a sigh, she passed casionally visited her, but away, April 8th, 1871, aged unfortunately he was from eleven years
and three home. About an hour be- months. fore her dissolution her
Another gem in the Saviour's breathing became difficult. crown, She said, "Am I dying ? Another soul in heaven, Oh, uncle, am I?” He took
ESTHER LEACH, OF RUNCORN. The subject of this brief School, Rụncorn, connected sketch was
scholar in with the United Methodist Ellesmere Street Sunday Free Churches. Her attach