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Amongst the Reapers
New Convert's Confidence
City of Refuge, The
36 Peace God's Free Gift
335 Prayer in Distress, A
83 Resignation :
For Thy sake
God or Mammon
HERE she is !” and off skipped little Gipsey to welcome her sister Alice, a pale, shadowy-looking girl of nine teen, who had just returned from a hard day's work as teacher in a private family.
“Only think, Mark, we are to have her for five whole weeks to our own selves—isn't that 'icious ? Just say yes-do!”
“ JOLLY !” was Mark's curt but ap
preciative reply. Then, bethinking himself, he added, “But that's not much; put an o to the 5, | and I'd say something to it.”
Gipsey looked very wise for a minute; then, appealing to Alice, said,
“ Mark's o wouldn't do any good 'less 'twas put after the 5 ; would it, sister ? "
“It has done some good already,” smiled Alice, “for it has made me feel that I have got a kind young brother, and that is more than many can boast of; but as to poor it had better stay where it is-all alone; for what should I do if my pupils did not want me back for fifty weeks ?”
“Oh, do as I do," laughed Gipsey, merrily; and she began to dance round Alice as though she were the veritable
mulberry-bush” which, from time immemorial, children have delighted to honour“ on a cold and frosty morning;' then, catching up a card-tray, she proceeded to escort her into the parlour by a series of nimble pirouettes, meanwhile rapping the tray tambourine-fashion, to the tune of “See the conquering hero comes !"
Her mirth, however, came to sudden grief. Mark twicked her pinafore ominously, and turning towards him, she received a menacing "Be quiet, can't you !” Poor Gipsey promptly divined the cause, and wistfully scanned her sister's face. Yes, Mark is right; their darling Alice is in trouble ; her sweet, pale face plainly says so, for all that it tries to reciprocate their joy; besides, are there not traces of recent tears there? This was enough for the child, who had a secret persuasion that when grown persons cry, it is not for nothing. So, slipping her hand gently into her sister's, she led her quietly towards their mother, and with delicate instinct left her to unfold what sorrow soever it was that vexed her.
But what Alice Beverly hid from her young brother and sister I will tell you, dear reader. She had heavy tidings to break to her only, parent. She was not to return to her situation as daily governess after the present vacation. Notice to this effect had been duly given her three months previously, but Alice had not yet told her mother, the arrangement being that if her pupils, were not sent abroad, she would kindly remain with them—an issue she fully expected, as the same subject had been mooted before, with no better result than that of rendering her unsettled. Now, however, the case was hopeless, and “mother” must share
her disappointment, and, with her, calculate this fresh anxiety of life by the sordid £ s. d. system.
With a feeling akin to desperation, Alice determined to speak at once, and was about to do so, when a voice seemed to whisper, “Go first and gain strength by telling your Heavenly Father. He knows that this little sparrow of your hope has fallen to the ground; but has it fallen without Him?”
She immediately obeyed this sweet message of love, and, kneeling by her mother's door, she prayed this simple prayer : “ O Lord, help me to be brave for
dear mother's sake; give me strength to tell her quietly the great sorrow that has come, and help her to hear it patiently, for Jesus' sake.”
She arose refreshed and invigorated; that one moment with God had worked wonders for her. She knew it would when she knelt down, and she determined it should when she got up; for Alice felt that it would be of no use to kneel in prayer, and then arise in doubt.
She briskly, yet gently, opened the door, and said clieerfully, as she crossed the room, “ Yes, here I am ; home for good."
“I can't fancy you home for anything else,” fondly replied Mrs. Beverly, as she clasped her daughter's hands together between her own.
Ah, what will you say when you know what I have brought with me?"
A faint flush spread over the invalid's face, as she raised her eyes inquiringly.
“ Mother dear, I have brought bad news.”
“Oh yes, prid right enough, mother; see here !” and Alice dangled her purse on her right forefinger.“ But, mother darling, they don't want me any more; the girls have outgrown me, and are going to school.”
“Is that all that you feared to tell me ?” said her mother, with the utmost serenity.
“ALL! Why, mother dear, isn't that enough ? **
“It is more than enough as we view it, Alcy; but then it might be much worse in many ways. You might have
But Alice did not give her mother time to say more, for the thought occurred to her, "Here I've been praying that she might take it calmly, and now that the Lord has enabled her to do so, I arn actually trying to sadden her.”
With this thought came the courage she had sought, and she exclaimed,
“Mother, I am ashamed of myself; my mountain of an ALL sinks to the veriest molehill! I have known this for three months, but feared to tell you."
“Feared what, Alcy?" (this was her pet name)—“that God would not keep His promise, 'As thy days, so shall thy strength be?'* No; Alice did not fear such an impossibility.
This was her foolish misgiving—What shall we do when my salary is spent? Mamma's pension will not keep us all! She might get a situation elsewhere; but to leave her precious homecharge was not even to be thought of. "Well, Alcy, what is it?” said Mrs. Beverly.
Perhaps I shall not find another situation until-
do so at once ; adopt the means, and seek His blessing on it.”
“ Amen!” said Gipsey, who just peeped in, and thought that Alice had been praying, as she knelt by the sofa.
“Amen to what, darling ?” asked her mother. “Oh, to what you're saying to God.”
Mrs. Beverly and Alice exchanged looks, and the latter jumped up, and, kissing her little pet, exclaimed,
“ It isn't much to say, Gipsey, but it means a great deal !”
Alice duly advertised; but without success.
It was now the last day of December, and her little store of cash had sensibly diminished. Nevertheless, both child and parent felt no uneasiness for the future. Grace to wait had been