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When there's a will there's a way. 109 could not help it, and whether, by making her father's cottage more pleasant to him, she might not win him to think better of the principles that induced her to reform in these respects. So, next morning, as soon as her father had finished his breakfast, and had gone out to the woods, she washed the children more carefully than usual, and sent them out to play; she then washed down the house, and put every thing to rights, and sat down to her work, thinking over the good resolutions she had formed, and praying in her heart that she might be enabled to keep them. The time passed quickly away till twelve o'clock, when, knowing that her father would soon be in to dinner, she put aside her work, and swept up the hearth, and set every thing in nice order for their meal; and then, calling in the children, she took a bowl of water and washed the children's faces and hands, and then placed them in order round the table.
When her father came in, he was surprised to see every thing looking so comfortable, and the children so clean; but he thought it was only a chance thing, and so he said nothing. But day after day passed over, and it was so still. Susan found that, with a little care, the poorest cottage may be kept clean; and that, when the children are dirty, a little water and a cloth will soon clean them again. But “ the performance of one duty, or set of duties, opens our eyes to others—and, these performed, others again unfold to our view."
No sooner had Susan overcome her bad habit of dirt and untidiness, than the question again recurred to her, “ What good can I do?” She thought of the children: the eldest of them went to a national school
-the four youngest were not old enough, and did not know their letters. Susan had always thought herself too busy to teach them. Though she could read herself, and though she had always night and morning made them pray to God, and had taught them to offer their thanks before and after their meals, she had not taken
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pains to instruct them about the great things which their God and Saviour had done for them. “I have not time,” or “ I am too ignorant myself to instruct them,” had been her excuses.
But, “ when there's a will there's a way." When she sat down to her needle, instead of letting the chil. dren run out to play immediately, she now made them sit round her for a little while; and, taking down an old spelling-book of her own, she soon contrived to teach them the six first letters of the alphabet. She then talked to them in a kind and affectionate way about their Saviour. She told them many incidents of his most holy life. She described to them the dreadful death he had suffered, and she explained to them that he had suffered and done all this for us. These little conversations she repeated day by day. She would often, when she was at her wash-tub, even make them come and stand round her and repeat their letters; so that, in the course of a few months, the three eldest could read words of one syllable.
Now, then, it occurred to Susan, that, as she had thus been enabled to be of use to her brothers and sisters, she might, perhaps, be of some to her neighbours' children also. So she called in two or three little creatures that were always idling about, and made them stand by her while she was washing or working, and talked to them in a kind pleasant way, and then contrived to instruct them a little. The parents of these children were careless bad people, who thought not of God themselves, nor sought that their children should ; but they knew that Susan Brooker was kind to the children, and they were always, therefore, glad that they should be with her. Here, then, was a way, in which, without neglecting any of her duties at home, Susan was enabled to be of real service.
But, as I have before said, the performance of one duty opens our eyes to others which we never thought of before. Susan had long been in the habit of prayWhen there's a will there's a way. 111 ing for her relations and neighbours ; she had learnt, too, to pray not for their temporal welfare alone, but for their spiritual good. It now struck her, that, if it was right to pray for her neighbours' advance in holiness, it was also her duty to strive to promote it by every means in her power. Susan had always been kind and obliging to her neighbours, and she now tried, more than ever, to gain their good will, by doing them any little service in her power: and this she did, not to get a good name, but in order that they might be the more inclined to attend to any advice she might give them. She would, therefore, often find, or make, an opportunity of speaking to them about their everlasting good. At first she felt shy of doing this; for she said to herself, Why, after all, what can such a poor ignorant creature as I am say? But then she remembered, that it sometimes pleased God to make use of very humble means; and that, at any rate, our blessed Lord promises his help and favour to all those who earnestly desire to serve him.
Susan would, therefore, try to remember and repeat to them any thing that had struck her from the sermons she had heard; she would talk of the vast importance of seeking salvation in time, and would remind them of the dreadful destruction that awaits those who forget God. All this she would say in the kindest and gentlest manner, so as to give as little offence as possible. I have since heard more than one of her neighbours say, that they blessed God for the many useful hints they had received from poor Susan Brooker.
I could mention many other ways (did my limits permit) in which Susan strove to do good, and to be useful in her generation. I will only add, that, if any poor neighbours were sick, Susan was sure to find her way to them, and offer them any little service in her power. She would sit up with them at night, take charge of the children, or take home some of the linen to wash for them. On a Sunday, or any day when
she had a little leisure, she would call on any of her neighbours who could not read, and would offer to read to them. In short, I may truly say I do not know, in the whole circle of my acquaintances, a more useful person than poor Susan Brooker, who, without leisure, wealth, or learning, contrives to do all this good. And I have not yet mentioned the most important good she did (which any one may also do by the help of God's holy Spirit)—that of setting a good example. This had great effect on her father.
Thus we find this young woman, though poor, did in truth“ make many rich,” by helping them on in their Christian course; and,“ though having nothing, yet did she possess all things,” in having sought and found the pearl of great price,- that faith which worketh by love.
(Sent without a name.)
LINES ON PRAYER.
Highest privilege of man;
Prayer unites their nature's one.
God alone can teach his children,
By his Spirit how to pray;
When to ask, and what to say.
When a child wants food and raiment,
Why not ask his parents dear?
He's at hand, requests to hear.
Prayer's an easy, simple duty
"I'is the language of the soul; Grace demands it-Grace receives it
Grace must regulate the whole.
Sudden Deaths. .
Every earthly thought must fall ;
Then does God reign over all.
Every heart should be a temple ;
God should dwell our souls within ;
Every day redeem'd from sin.
Every place a place of worship;
Every time a time of prayer;
Every wish should anchor there.
Heart-felt sighs, and heaven-born wishes,
And the calm uplifted eye-
(Sent by A. F. N.)
SUDDEN DEATHS. There have been many sudden deaths among us of late. They are mercifully intended to lead those, who remain, “ to be ready." And yet, how much more apt we are to try to account for the suddenness of any man's death, than to consider, that we may be cut off as quickly. A poor man at Hornsey, of the name of Burdett, was lately summoned in this unexpected manner. He was apparently well, and at breakfast with his wife at half past eight, when he ran out to overtake the coach, and travel by it to London. He had not been upon it more than five minutes, when he staggered as if in a fit;-and, on being taken down, was found to be dead. At half past nine his wife was informed that he was a corpse. " The one shall be taken, and the other left *." Reader, you are left :-but remember, you may be
* Matthew. xxiv. 40.