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A Prayer against the Sin of Disobedience to Parents.
O Almighty Father! thou who didst command all children to honour their parents, and didst promise to bless those who obeyed this commandment, give me a heart to keep this law. I know that I ought to do all that my father and mother and masters bid me to do, as long as they do not order me to do any thing wicked ; and yet my heart, O Lord God, is so utterly averse to all that is good, that I often feel great unwillingness to obey their most plain and simple commands: sometimes I rise up in open rebellion against my parents; and sometimes I try to disobey them slyly, when I think that they do not see me: forgetting that thine eye, O Lord God, is always upon me; and though thou, O Lord God, mayst not punish me immediately, yet thou markest all my sins in a book : and I know that the dreadful day will come, when the dead shall be raised, and the books shall be opened; and all I have done, unless I repent and turn unto the Lord, will be read aloud before men and angels, and I shall be cast into hell-fire for my sins.
O holy Father! I am sorry for my disobedience. O make me more and more sorry for it; and send thy Holy Spirit to give me a clean heart, that I may obey this thy commandment. I know that disobedient children, unless they repent, always come to an ill end; there is no blessing on such as do not honour their parents. Othen, dear Saviour, hear my prayer! Thou that diedst for poor sinners, save a wicked child! Give me a new heart; teach me to be obedient to my parents, and to honour and respect them ; that I may be blessed in this present life, and may, through the merits of my dying Redeemer, be received into everlasting glory in the world to come.
Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour, for ever and ever. Amen.
“Our Father,” &c.
Hear what their teachers say,
And with delight obey.
Have you not heard what dreadful plagues
Are threaten'd by the Lord,
Or mocks his mother's word ?
How cursed is his name?
The eagles do the same.
Their parents honour due,
And live hereafter too.
THE THREE BOOKS.
It was the time of the Midsummer Fair; and John asked Mr. Fairchild's leave to go to the fair. “ You may go, John," said Mr. Fairchild ; "and take the horse, and bring every thing that is wanting in the family.” So John got the horse ready, and set out early in the morning to go to the fair; but, before he went, Emily and Henry and Lucy gave him what money they had, and begged him to bring them each a book, Henry gave him a penny, and Emily gave him twopence, and Lucy gave him threepence. “You must choose a book for me with pictures in it,” said Henry. “And for me, too,” said Emily. “I do not care about pictures,” said Lucy, “if it is a pretty book. So pray don't forget, John."
In the evening, after tea, the children and their papa and mamma, as usual, got ready to take a walk; and the children begged their papa and mamma to go with them to meet John: "For John,” said Henry, “ will be coming back now, and will have brought us some pretty books.”
So Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild took the road which led towards the town where the fair was held, and the children ran before them. It was a fine evening. The hedges were full of wild roses, which smelt most sweetly; and the haymakers were making hay in the fields on each side of the road.
"I cannot think where John can be,” said Henry: "I thought he would be here long before this time.” "Do not be impatient, my dear,” said Mr. Fairchild;
“impatience is not pleasing in the eye of your heavenly Father.”
By this time they were come to the brow of a rising ground; and, looking before them, behold, there was John at a distance ! The children all ran forward to meet him: “Where are the books, John? Oh, where are the books?" they all said with one voice. John, who was a very good-natured man, as I have before said, smiled, and, stopping his horse, began to feel in his pockets: and soon brought out, from among many other things, three little gilt books; the largest of which he gave to Lucy, the least to Henry, and the third to Emily; saying, “ Here is one pennyworth—and here is two pennyworth—and there is three pennyworth.”
“Indeed, John, you are very good," said the children, o what beautiful books!”
“ Here are many beautiful pictures in mine," said Henry ; “it is about a covetous woman.—'The History of the Covetous Woman. I never read that story before.”
“My book," said Emily, “is 'The History of the Orphan Boy :' and there are a great many pictures in it : the first is the picture of a funeral—that must be the funeral of the poor little boy's papa or mamma, I suppose.”
“Let me see, let me see,” said Henry: "O how pretty! and what's your book, Lucy ?".
" There are not many pictures in my book," said Lucy; “ but there is one at the beginning :-it is the picture of a little boy reading to somebody lying in a bed; and there is a lady sitting by. The name of my book is, • The History of the Good Child, who was made the instrument of turning his father and mother to the ways of holiness.'”.
“Oh! that must be very pretty!" said Henry.
By this time Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild had come up; “Oh, papa! Oh, mamma!” said the little ones, “what beautiful books John has brought !"
“Indeed,” said Mr. Fairchild, when he had looked at them a little while, “they appear to be very nice books : I see they are written in the fear of God; and the pictures in them are very pretty."
“ Henry shall read them to us, my dears," said Mrs. Fairchild, “ while we sit at work: I should like to hear them very much.”
• “To-morrow," said Mr. Fairchild, looking at his wife,
we begin to make hay in the primrose meadow. What do you say? Shall we go after breakfast, and take a cold dinner with us, and spend the day under the trees at the corner of the meadow? Then we can watch the haymakers; and Henry can read the books, while you and his sisters are sewing.”
“O do let us go, mamma! do let us go!" said the children,“ do, mamma, say yes.” o With all my heart, my dears," said Mrs. Fairchild.
So Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild and the children went home; and after they had eaten their supper, and prayed, they went to bed.
The next morning early, the children got every thing ready to go into the primrose meadow. They had each of them a little basket, with a lid to it, in which they packed up their work and their new books: and as soon as the family had breakfasted, they all set out for the primrose meadow :-Mr. Fairchild with a book in his pocket for his own reading; Mrs. Fairchild with her work-bag hanging on her arm; Betty with a basket of bread and cheese, and a cold fruit-pie ; and the children with their work-baskets, and Emily's doll, for the little girls seldom went out without their doll. The primrose meadow was not a quarter of a mile from Mr. Fairchild's house: you had only the corner of a little copse to pass through before you were in it. It was called the Primrose Meadow, because every spring the first primroses in the neighbourhood appeared on a sunny bank in that meadow. A little brook of very clear water ran through the meadow, rippling over the pebbles; and there were many alders growing by the water-side.
The people were very busy making hay in the meadow when Mr. Fairchild and his family arrived. Mrs. Fairchild sat down under the shade of a large oak tree, which grew in the corner of the coppice; and Lucy and Henry, with Emily, placed themselves by her. The little girls took out their work, and Henry his new books. Mr. Fairchild took his book to a little distance, that he might not be disturbed by Henry's reading; and he stretched himself upon a green bank.
“Now, mamma,” said Henry, “are you ready to hear my story? And have you done fidgeting, sisters ?”—for Lucy and Emily had been bustling to make a bed for their doll in the grass with their pocket-handkerchiefs. • Brother," answered Lucy, “we are quite ready to hear you; read away: there is nothing now to disturb you, unless you find fault with the little birds that are chirping with all their might in these trees; and those bees which are buzzing among the flowers in the grass."
“First, mamma,” said Henry, “look at the picture at the beginning of the book, there are two cottages in the picture, with trees growing up behind them higher than the chimneys, and two little neat gardens before them; and there is a woman spinning at the door of one of the cottages; and another woman, with a baby in her arms, at the other.”
“Let me see, brother," said Emily.
“Why, you have seen it several times," said Henry; 66 and now I want to read.”
“ Still, my dear,” said Mrs. Fairchild, “ you might oblige your sister. Good manners and civility make everybody lovely, and are pleasing in the eyes of God. Have you forgotten Mrs. Goodriche's story of Master Bennei ?"
Henry immediately got up, and showed his sister the picture ; after which he sat down again, and began to read as follows:
THE STORY OF THE COVETOUS WOMAN, 'IN
HENRY FAIRCHILD'S BOOK. "On the high road which goes from Bridgenorth to Wellington, not half a mile out of the town of Bridgenorth, there formerly stood two very neat cottages: at the back of them was a small orchard, and in the front two little gardens, with wickets opening towards the road. In these cottages lived two poor men, who supported themselves by working in the fields : the name of one of these was Dobson; the name of the other, Wray. These men were both married; Dobson's wife's name was Jane, and the name of Wray's wife was Kate. They were both clean, industrious women; they kept their houses very neat, and their clothes well patched; and what spare time they had they spent in spinning and knitting. I cannot tell you how much woollen-yarn they spun in a twelvemonth, nor how many knit stockings they sold in Bridgenorth market in one year.
“ When Jane had been married two years, she had a little son born; after which she could not do so much