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Sarah Murray's New-Year's Gift.

OTHER, I wish you a happy new year; please will you give me a new year's gift ?" said Will Murray, coming with a bright face into the little kitchen. where his mother was preparing breakfast. Snow had fallen heavily through the night, and Will had been out betimes to clear a path in front of the house; and as he did so, he had so often heard these words from the groups of boys who were besieging almost every house in the street with their clamorous greeting, that it was natural for him to repeat them merrily to his mother when he came in. But he was sorry he had done so when he saw what a cloud came over her care-lined face.

"I only wish I had a new year's gift for you, William," she said; "I can put up with pinching for myself, but it's hard to see your jacket so thin this cold weather, and to have nothing better for your breakfast on new-year's morning than dry bread, and this drop of warmed tea. I've been planning for weeks back how to buy you some new clothes for a new-year's gift, but when father don't bring home scarce any of his wages, and I've only your small earnings to depend on, I can't manage it anyhow."

"Oh, mother, don't trouble yourself," William said, eagerly; "you know I never mind as long as I can help you a bit. I wish I was only a man, and got a man's wages, and then you should live like a lady, mother, and have buttered toast and good coffee every morning to breakfast."

The mother smiled for a moment, but the sad look came back again: "We should never have much comfort in the house, William, however much money you might bring home, unless father was to take a turn, and there seems little hope of that."

Sarah Murray did not often speak of her husband's drinking habits, not even to William, who was her only child,

and a great comfort to her; but this morning she was unusually depressed. The social brightness of the season; the thought of so many homes where the father would be a source of joy and blessing to all within the house; the wishing of good wishes, and giving of gifts, and plentiful supply of good cheer that might have been in their house if her husband had been different; all these thoughts filled her heart with a great sorrow as she looked round her little room, so clean and yet so bare, and then glanced at William, and saw how thin he was, and how his threadbare jacket and trowsers scarcely reached to his wrists and ankles. William was an intelligent-looking boy of twelve years; and his mother thought how well he would have got on if he could have had good schooling and good clothes.

Sarah Murray knew and loved the Saviour, and many times, in the past years of deep trial which no one knows more surely than the drunkard's wife, she had turned to Him for rest, and had found it; but let no one wonder that sometimes, and on this new-year's day in particular, her faith nearly failed, and she was ready to ask, "Hath God forgotten to be gracious?"

Mother and son sat very quietly at their meagre breakfast ; the cloud on Mrs. Murray's face had overspread William's too, and she reproached herself for having said anything to make him sad on new-year's morning. Suddenly he looked up: Mother," said he, "do you think the Bible's true?"

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"I should think I do, William," she said, startled by this question; "why do you ask such a thing?"

"Because, mother, if it's true, shouldn't we go by what it says ?"

"I'm sure I try to do what it says," answered his mother; "but I'm a poor weak woman, and often find it hard work."

"Oh, but mother, I didn't mean doing, but believing. Jesus Christ says, 'If ye ask anything in my name, I will do it.' I know all about it, for teacher made us all learn that verse last Sunday; and then he turned to a good many

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