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Children's Department.

LITTLE KINDNESSES.

« 'Tis sweet to do something for those that we love,
Though the favor be ever so small.”

ROTHERS, sisters, did you ever try the effect which

little acts of kindness produce upon that charmed circle we call home? We love to receive little favors ourselves; and how pleasant the repetition of them makes the domestic eircle! To draw up the arm-chair and get the slippers for father, to watch if any little service can be rendered to mother, to help brother or assist sister, how pleasant it makes home!

A little boy has a hard lesson given him at school, and his teacher asks him if he thinks he can get it; for a moment the little fellow hangs down his head, but the next he looks brightly up, “I can get my sister to help me,” he says. That is right, sister, help little brother, and you are binding a tie round his heart that may save him in many an hour of dark temptation.

“I don't know how to do this sum, but brother will show me,” says another little one.

Sister, I've dropped a stitch in my knitting ; I tried to pick it up, but it has run down, and I can't fix it."

The little girl's face is flushed, and she watches her sister with nervous anxiety while she replaces the “naughty stitch.”

“Oh, I am so glad !" she says, as she receives it again from the hands of her sister all nicely arranged; “you are a good girl, Mary.”

“Bring it to me sooner next time, and then it won't get so bad,” says the gentle voice of Mary; and the little one bounds away with a light heart to finish her task.

If Mary had not helped her, she would have lost her walk in the garden. Surely it is better to do as Mary did than

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to say, “Oh, go away, and don't trouble me;" or to scold the little one all the time you are performing the trifling favor.

Little acts of kindness, gentle words, loving smiles, they strew the path of life with flowers; they make the sunshine brighter and the green earth greener; and He who bade us “love one another,” looks with favor upon the gentle and kind-hearted, and he has pronounced the meek blessed.

Brothers, sisters, love one another, bear with one another. If one offend, forgive and love him still; and whatever may be the faults of others, we must remember that, in the sight of God, we have others as great, and perhaps greater than theirs.

Be kind to the little ones; they will often be fretful and wayward. Be patient with them, and try and amuse them. How often a whole family of little ones are restored to good humor by an elder member proposing some new play, and perhaps joining in it, or gathering them round her while she relates some pleasant story!

And, brothers, do not think because you are stronger, it it is unmanly to be gentle to your little brothers and sisters. True nobleness of heart and true manliness of conduct are never coupled with pride and arrogance.

Nobility and gentleness go hand in hand; and when I see a young gentleman kind and respectful to his mother, and gentle and forbearing to his brothers and sisters, I think he has a noble heart.

Ah! many a mothers and many a sister's heart has been wrung by the cold neglect and stiff unkindness of those whom God has made their natural protectors.

Brothers, sisters, never be unkind to one another, never be ashamed to help one another, never be ashamed to help any one, and you will find that though it is pleasant to receive favors, yet it is more blessed to give than to receive. -Sunday School Advocate.

If we would get wisdom, we must do as the chickens do when they feed-pick up a little at a time.

102

WHAT O'CLOCK 18 IT?

“ WHAT O'CLOCK IS IT?"

WHEN I was a young lad, my father one day called me

to him that he might teach me to know what o'clock it was. He told me the use of the minute-finger and the hourhand, and described to me the figures on the dial-plate, until I was pretty perfect in my part.

No sooner was I quite master of this additional knowledge than I set off scampering to join my companions at play.

"Stop, William !” said he, “I have something more to tell you."

Back again I went, wondering what else I had got to learn, for I thought I knew all about the clock as well as my father did.

“ William,” said he, “I have taught you to know the time of the day; I must teach you how to find out the time of your life.”

All this was strange to me, so I waited impatiently to hear how my father would explain it; for I wanted sadly to go to my play.

“The Bible," said he,“ describes the years of a man to be threescore and ten, or fourscore years. Now, life is very uncertain, and you may not live a single day longer; but if we divide the fourscore years of an old man's life into twelve parts, like the dial of a clock, it will allow almost seven years for every figure.

“When a boy is seven years old, then it is one o'clock of his life; and this is the case with you. When you arrive at fourteen years old, it will be two o'clock with you; and when at twenty-one years, it will be three o'clock; at thirtyfive it will be five o'clock; at forty-two it will be six o'clock; at forty-nine it will be seven o'clock, should it please God to spare your life.

“In this manner you may always know the time of your life, and looking at the clock may remind you of it. My great-grandfather, according to this calculation, died at twelve o'clock, my grandfather at eleven, and my father at

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ten. At what hour you or I shall die, William, is only known to Him to whom all things are known.”

Never, since then, have I heard the inquiry, “What o'clock is it?"--nor do I think I ever looked at the face of a clock-without being reminded of the words of my father. • -Day-Star.

SCHOOL DIALOGUE.

These lines were composed for four little school-girls, who recited them at a school examination at Jackson Valley, Pa. The scene represents the scholars' play-ground.

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Editor's Table.

READING IN SCHOOL.

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THE subject of reading in school has occupied much of our attention during

the past ten years, and though we have said much about it, there is still much more to be written. We hope the time is not far distant when even the increasing attention now bestowed upon reading shall become more universal in its diffusion, and more practical in its applications. In our readings we came across the following excellent thoughts on this subject, which we will take the liberty of repeating here. Their authorship is unknown to us.

“The thought must have occurred to those in the least degree familiar with the mechanical hum-drum method of teaching reading in our common schools and academies, that a reform is imperatively called for. It is the office of the school to teach not only the meaning of punctuation marks, the proper inflections and intonations, the distinct enunciation and correct emphasis of words, and the blending of all these into a clear, forcible style of reading, but to form in some manner a literary taste; to turn the attention of the scholar to the beauty of thought as well as to its outward form, and to implant in the young mind right principles. These two purposes of reading should never be separated in the mind of the teacher, and class books should be arranged with this in view. While this is true in the earliest stages of the child's progress in the art of reading, it is many fold more important as the mind advances in culture and maturity.

“ If the reading exercise is dull and monotonous, if it does not call out some thoughts, and awaken some interest in the scholar, it soon becomes a formality to be gone through with, a task to be performed, and fails to educate the mind or even to cultivate the vocal organs. When a mind is thoroughly imbued with a thought, when it catches the inspiration of truth, there is no hesitation as to how the thought should be expressed; it will express itself truthfully and well. We regard it as self-evident that when the scholar has been roused to activity, been made to feel that he has a direct individual interest in the subject-matter of his reading, an immediate benefit to derive from it, the great point in good reading has been gained. We do not intend to say that no rhetorical rules are necessary, but only that a knowledge of these alone will never make one an effective, polished reader.

“ Another consideration is here worthy of notice. Before the scholar leaves the school for the active duties of life, a literary taste must, as a general rule, be formed, and its character determined. If the teaching has been such as to lead the mind to appreciate the beauties of sound thinking and good writing, it will hereafter seek for companionship with the best authors, and will go on to educate itself. If, on the contrary, no correct taste has been acquired, books are thrown aside as a weariness, and with the close of school days terminates all intellectual effort, all literary spirit.

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