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lently?' I asked. 'I did not bang it;' he replied.
Yes you did my boy,' said I. 'I tell you, I did not,' was the answer. Upon this I went up to him, took his hands, and asked him, in a gentle voice, ‘ Do you know, my son against whom you are sinning ? it is not against me, but against your Saviour, your best friend. Examine yourself, and try to find out why you have behaved in this manner.'
“ The boy's heart was touched; he burst into tears, and entreated me to forgive his wicked behaviour I had determined this morning', continued he, “to teaze you by my disobedience, till you should beat me, thinking you would suffer much more from it than I should. Pray, pray forgive me; I will never do so again in all my life. I pointed out to him from what a great temptation he had been delivered, and then dismissed him, with the assurance that I had long since forgiven him. He left me, but still appeared almost inconsolable. In the afterternoon, having finished my classes, I was sitting alone in my little study, when I heard a knock at the door. The boy came in, his eyes red with weeping, and saying it was impossible I could have forgiven him, for he had behaved towards me like a devil. He begged I would tell him once more that I had forgiven him, repeating that he would never vex me again, not even by a look. I again assured him of my full forgiveness, but told him he must ask par
THE UNRULY BOY.
don of his Saviour, against whom he had chiefly sinned, and who would certainly hear his prayer, if his repentance was sincere. The boy however left me, still crying.
“I had scarcely risen next morning when my little penitent came again, crying so bitterly that I was quite astonished. He said the remembrance of his conduct the day before had prevented his sleeping, and entreated me with his whole heart, to continue to love him has I had done before. He could not imagine what had led him to form such a naughty resolution, and assured me he had determined not to allow any punishment to overcome his obstinacy, but had been quite unable to resist the kind and gentle means I had used to convince him of his fault. He begged me to tell him how it had been possible for me to bear with his wicked behaviour as I had done. To this I answered, “Dear child, I cannot exactly explain that to you; but if I must express it to you, it is because I have myself received much mercy from the Lord, that I have been enabled to show mercy toward you. Thus spoke this venerable man, and concluded his narrative with the satisfactory intelligence, that the boy had from that day become his best scholar, and was still liviugin Stutgard, esteemed by all who knew him as an honest and virtuous citizen.”
THE DYING SOLDIER;
OR, HIS MOTHER'S Bible. One of the earliest scholars in a Sundayschool in Kent, was the only child of his mother, and she was a widow. Perhaps he had been a spoiled child, for his life was wild, capricious, and wicked. In the Sunday-school, where he had been placed for instruction, he made no improvement; and it was only respect for the aged widow which prevented him from beirg expelled. At length the conductors were obliged to dismiss him. The boy was driven from all means most likely to save him, and he enlisted to be a soldier. He was sent to America during the unhappy and regretted war which we last conducted against that country.
When he entered the army, he became as notorious and as profligate abroad as he had
THE DYING SOLDIER.
been obstipate and self-willed at home. His mother still survived to weep over him, and pray for him. She found a sergeant, the son of a neighbouring farmer, who was going out to the regiment in which her son was, and she obtained a small Bible, and sent it to him, and who can help supposing that she embalmed it with her tears, and followed it with her prayers ? The boy had resisted many efforts to do him good; but who could tell whether this effort might not prove availing ? The sergeant embraced an early opportunity of taking him aside, and said, “I have seen your mother.” “Is the old woman alive;" was the careless unvatural reply. “Yes, she is,” rejoined the sergeant, but I suppose by this time she is no more; she was very ill, and and has sent you a small present.” I hope it is some money.” “Ah,” said the sergeant, “my lad, it is something better than money; it may prove better than gold and silver, if you use it aright; it is a Bible.” He looked at it with chagrin. “Your mother has sent you one dying request, and that is, that you will look at this Bible, and read at least, one verse every day. He took the Bible, and handled it, as if he was ashamed or afraid of it; sorely vexed that he had got nothing which he esteemed better. “Well,” said he, “it is not much to look at a single verse every day.” He casually opened the book, and said, “Why this is very strange; here the only verse just falls under my eye, that
ever I was able to learn at the Sunday-school
Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.'
Oh, that is very strange! Pray who is it that says, 'Come unto me.' “Do you not know” said the sergeant, “that it is Jesus Christ? It is He who says, 'Come unto me.' He is waiting to receive such poor sinners as you and me.” A few more words passed; and, as the sergeant turned aside, he looked back, and saw the soldier with both his hands before his eyes, evidently much affected.
The ma began to read the Bible, and he soon became as distinguished for piety, as he had previously been for sin; and the change which took place in him was very obvious to his associates. The battle of Orleans soon occurred; and, after the violent struggle on the plains below, the sergeant, who escaped, was passing the field of blood, and saw the poor soldier lying dead under a tree. He had been shot through the neck; but he had evidently been reading his Bible after he was shot: for it was lying by his side, and it was open at the very verse which I have recited. The gentleman who stated this fact, said he had the Bible frequently in his hands, and that it was saturated with the blood of the dying soldier !