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am sorry that Emily has got that pretty doll. Pray do not hate me for it, mamma: I know it is wicked in me to be sorry that Emily is happy, ut I feel that I cannot help it.”
“My dear child,” said Mrs. Faircnild," I am glad you have confessed the truth to me. Now I will tell you why you feel this wicked sorrow; and I will tell you where to seek a cure for it. You know, my dear child, that God made man's heart pure and holy; and that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their hearts became corrupt, and those of all their children became corrupt. The difference between a holy and a corrupt heart is this: a holy heart is full of love, joy, and peace;' but corrupt hearts are full of uncleanness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revilings, and such like.' To those who are without sin --such as the holy angels in heaven, and the spirits of just men made perfect-there is no difficulty in doing well, for they have no wicked passions driving them on to sin; but we, who are in this world, are constantly tempted to do wickedly by our own bad hearts. Even when we wish to do well, we cannot. The wicked passion you now feel, my dear, is what is called Envy. Envy makes persons unhappy when they see others happier or better than themselves. Envy is in every man's heart by nature. Some people can hide it more than others, and some have been enabled by God's grace to overcome it in a great degree; but, as I said before, it is in the natural heart of all mankind ; and it is also felt by devils. Little children feel envious about dolls and playthings, and men and women feel envious about greater things.”
“Do you ever feel envious, mamma?” said Lucy. “I never saw you unhappy because other people had better things than you had."
“My heart, my dear child,” answered Mrs. Fairchild, “is no better than yours. It is written in the Bible, ‘As the face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.' There was a time when I was very envious. When I was first married, I had no children for seven or eight years: I wished very much to have a baby, as you wished just now for Emily's doll; and whenever I saw a woman with a pretty baby in her arms, I was ready to cry for vexation."
• “ That was just like me, mamma,” said Lucy; " for I was very much grieved indeed when I saw Emily's doll. But how were you cured of this wicked passion, mamma ?"
Mrs. Fairchild. Why, my dear, I was led to confess my sin to my God; and that not once or twice, but again and again and again. I was made to know that the Lord Jesus Christ had died, not only to procure forgiveness for my sins, but to set me free from the power of sin, and to enable me, through the spirit of God, to overcome my wicked passions of all kinds.
. “And did the Lord Jesus Christ hear your prayers, mamma!” said Lucy,
“ Yes, my child, in his good time he did hear me," answered Mrs. Fairchild.
“Do you never feel any envy now, mamma ?" said Lucy.
“ I cannot say that I ever felt it, my dear; but I bless God that this wicked passion has not the power over me which it used to have: I am delivered from the slavery and bondage of it, so that it does not overcome me, and inake me miserable, as it used to do; and I know that, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I shall when I die be quite set free from this, as well as every other wicked passion.”
"Oh! mamma, mamma!” said Lucy, “how unhappy wickedness makes us ! I have been very miserable this morning; and what for? only because of the sin of my heart; for I have had nothing else to make me miserable."
“ Alas! my child,” said Mrs. Fairchild, “what would you have more to make you wretched! Sin itself, when it has full power over us, would make a hell without the help of fire or brimstone."
Then Mrs. Fairchild took Lucy by the hand, and went into her closet: where they prayed that the Lord the Spirit would take the wicked passion of envy out of Lucy's heart; and as they prayed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died upon the cross to deliver us from the power of sin, they did not doubt but that God would hear their prayer : and indeed he did; for from that day Lucy never felt envious of Emily's doll, but helped Emily to take care of it and make its clothes and was happy to have it laid on her bed, between herself and her sister.
I shall put down the prayer which Mrs. Fairchild used, as it may perhaps be useful to you at any time when you may feel envious of any thing your playfellow may have.
Prayer against Envy. O Lord God, holy Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, blessed and glorious Trinity, I confess unto thee my great wickedness. My heart is full of envy. I cannot see anybody whom I think handsomer, or cleverer, or in any way better than myself, or having any thing which I should like to possess, but I am immediately troubled with envy, and my heart is filled with hatred and sorrow; as Satan was troubled when he saw Adam and Eve happy in the garden of Eden.
O Holy Spirit, I thank thee for having made me to know this my great sin. By thy help I was brought to this knowledge. I might have been envious and spiteful all my life, if thou hadst not shown me this my great sin. O Thou that searchest the heart, finish the great work which thou hast begun, and take envy out of my heart, that I may be like the angels of heaven who rejoice in each other's happiness, and delight in each other's glory. Give me a heart to rejoice in the happi. ness of my brothers and sisters, and of my school-fellows and my play-fellows; and if they are prettier than I am, or cleverer than I am, teach me not to be envious; or if they have better clothes, or nicer playthings, still help me not to be envious.
O Holy Spirit, come into my heart, and make it clean from every wicked passion; that I may live in peace in this world, and at the last day enter into glory. I have no right to ask the blessing in my own name; but I ask it in the name of my dear Saviour, who bore my sin in his own body on the tree; that I, being dead in sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes I am healed. 1 Peter ii. 24.
And now, O holy Father, blessed Lord Jesus, and thou, Holy Spirit, pardon the imperfect prayers of a wicked child.
“ Our Father," &c. &c.
In smiling crowds draw near;
A Saviour's voice to hear.
The Lord of all the worlds on high
Stoops to converse with you;
Your friendship to pursue :--
Is sure my love to gain ;
Shall never seek in vain."
If once compared with thee!
Like what in Christ I see!
Vain tempters of the mind !
For here true joy I find.
STORY ON THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT.
One morning, as Mr. Fairchild was coming down stairs, he heard the little ones quarrelling in the parlour; and he stood still to hearken to what they said.
“ You are very cruel, Lucy," said Henry; “why won't you let me play with the doll ?”
6 What have boys to do with dolls ?” said Lucy : “ you sha'n't have it.”
“But he shall,” said Emily; and the door being half open, Mr. Fairchild saw her snatch the doll from her sister, and give it to Henry, who ran with it behind the sofa. Lucy tried to get the doll away from her brother, but Emily ran in between them and accidently hurt Lucy's foot, which increased Lucy's anger so much that she pinched her sister's arm; whereupon, Emily struck her sister: and I do not know what might have next happened, if Mr. Fairchild had not run in and seized hold of them.
Mr. Fairchild, however, heard Emily say to her sister, “I do not love you, you naughty girl ;” and he heard the other reply, “ And I don't love you: I am sure I do
At the same time they looked as if what they said was true for the moment: for their faces were red, and their eyes full of anger. Mr. Fairchild took the doll away from Henry : and, taking a rod out of the cupboard, he whipped the hands of all the three children till they smarted again, saying :
“Let dogs delight to bark and bite,
For God has made them so;
For 'tis their nature too :
Such angry passions rise;
To tear each other's eyes."
After which he made them stand in a corner of the room, without their breakfasts: neither did they get any thing to eat all the morning ; and what was worse, their papa and mamma looked very gravely at them. When John came in to lay the cloth for dinner, Mr. Fairchild called the three children to him, and asked them if they were sorry for the wicked things which they had done.
“Oh! yes, papa! yes, papa! we are sorry,” they said.
“Do you remember, Lucy-do you remember Emily," said Mr. Fairchild—" what words you used to each other ?!!
“ Yes, papa," they answered : “ we said that we did not love each other, but we did not mean what we said."
“ Yes," answered Mr. Fairchild; “you did mean what you said at the time ; or else why did you pinch and strike ?"
“Oh, papa !” answered Lucy,“ because we were angry then.”
“And suppose,” said Mr. Fairchild, “ that you had had a knife in your hand, Lucy: in your anger you might have struck your sister with it, and perhaps have killed
“Oh! no, papa ! no, papa !” said Lucy: “I would not kill my poor sister for all the world.”
Mr. Fairchild. You would not kill her now, I am sure, for all the world, because you are not angry with her; nor would you pinch her now, I am sure; but when hatred and anger seize upon persons, they do many shocking things which they would not think of at another time. Have you not read how wicked Cain, in his anger, killed his brother Abel ? And do you remember the verse, in 1 John iii. 15 : Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him ?'