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even while I stood there,” said he, ening to others, either Satan or my own corrupt heart said, "Why, I could pray better than this."” This good young man started at his danger, saying, “Lord, pardon me,” in the secret recesses of his own bosom ; he sought the quiet walk in his garden, where he had been accustomed to pour out his soul before God, entreating that gracious protection from the world and from himself which he had so often found.
The little cousins were very intimate, very fond of each other, and the young Michael having been so long his uncle's pet, felt himself quite as much at home at the Brow as at the Mill; and as he was now nearly eight years old, was allowed to wander wherever his fancy led him. Not so the young Jemima, but like other young rebels, she was very fond of forbidden paths, and it required some guard over her truant footsteps to keep her always at home. In order for this, the little Merediths were frequent visitors at the Brow Farm, and many an hour's amusement has Esther found in listening to their conversation. The most favourite topic with little Michael was what happened at his school, and sometimes Esther was obliged
interfere to prevent the repetition of what she thought her little girl had better not know. There were some boys who came from a neighbouring village, who had told Michael long stories of the wonders of their fair, how ladies danced with the rope, and quack doctors cured people of all disorders only by looking at them; jugglers who told you what you were thinking of. The little girl sat wondering, and at a loss to understand it all, and could only in her own innocent manner say, “O dear, how pretty!" Aunt Esther suffered this till she heard Michael say that he would take her, that she should ride in the roundabout, where there was a boat and a one-horse chaise. At this Esther took her little maid upon her lap, saying, “ No, little Jem, I should think cousin Michael would never go to such a place, and if he did, little Jem must stay at home with mother.' But Jem's imagination was fired, and many days passed before she could forget the wonders of the fair. This slight incident furnished a lesson to both houses : if they were not to go into the follies of the world, they must not be exposed to the hearing of them.
And the question arose how to avoid this. In a world of sin and sorrow it seemed next to impossible to keep them from the hearing of it, and yet Michael was
firmly resolved that he would train his children in the way they should go. will set before them the good and the right way; I know the Lord will do his part, only let me be careful to do mine.". The difficulty was, how to gain the necessary education for young Meredith without exposing him, and how to allow the delightful intercourse of affection between the young cousins, and yet preserve them from lingering after a world full of dangers. The bare repetition of way-side converse was full of dangers; the very walk from the Brow to the Mill, and from the Mill to the Brow, furnished something for the animated mind of the young Michael, and his uncle could not but observe how much deeper were the impressions of folly and nonsense on the hearts of these young ones, than any lesson, however pleasant, taught by wisdom and experience. Esther was speaking of this to her mother; her good old aunt, sitting by her, said in her peculiar manner,
Ah, I know it, I see it in my garden.” Though Esther was so used to her aunt, she could but look round in astonishment at this little speech, and with an inquiring eye, said “Aunt ?” “ Why, Esther, child, don't you remember when you and I worked in our garden, raking, hoeing, and sowing our seeds; and don't you remember, when the feathered seeds came flying round us, how often we have said, that these took root and flourished without any care, while we laboured almost in vain to make our flowers grow. You see, Esther, it is just the same with the children; the weeds and the trumpery do grow and flourish, you see, while the pretty flowers you plant do droop and fade. There is but one, dear, that can make your flowers grow, the Lord of the harvesť."
Esther. “ True, aunt, and I am sure“ Yes, I know what you would say, Hetty, you're sure that
husband do pray, and have prayed; and what do the Scriptures say? • Pray without ceasing.' Menought always to pray, and not to faint,' Continuing instant in prayer. Poor dear Esther made no reply, but said within herself, “ Do we not always pray in earnest? It seems as though my aunt thought we depended on ourselves, and I am sure we do not. At this silence of Esther's her aunt looked up, and said, “I know what ye be thinking of, dear, Ye be thinking, as I tell you, what ye do know and practice every day of your lives. But remember, Hetty, we do all want reminding, I am sure I do, that am an old traveller, we must have here a little and there a little, line upon line. Do you remember what St. Paul says, dear, 'Not as though I had attained or were already perfect, but I follow on :'
• Go on to seek to know the Lord,
And practice what you know."" Strange to say, yet true it was, that this young mother was rather teased than profited by all this ; she knew it, she practised it, but as yet the tide of nature in the dear little ones was too strong for her, and the fond parents were precisely in the same state, waiting and wanting some little plan of counteraction to be immediately executed for the benefit of the young ones; and this short scriptural plan of the dear old Christians seemed to Esther a repetition of admitted truth, and not to their present purpose.
But when she got home, when she considered it, she could not but acknowledge to herself, that though some little scheme for present practice might be suggested, its eventual success depended on the very advice she had received. Thus it is with the best; Christians are sometimes desirous of a short cut to their purpose, forgetting that, like the husbandmen, they must wait for the former and latter rain, for the sun to shine, and the dews to descend, ere their plants shall thrive, and their seed ripen for life and glory. But there never was a sincere believer, however weak, who sought the eternal arm, but sooner or later