“I want to go home!”
“Where is your home?”
The boy could not tell.
“What is your name?”
“William Hudson.” He did not say, as he should have done, William Hudson McPherson.
The old gentleman kindly took him by the hand, and led him to his own home. William’s tears were soon dried, and he became quite contented. It was too late to attempt to find his parents that night, as he could not tell where they lived, and the name of Hudson was not familiar to the good people who had given him shelter.
When Sabbath morning came, William was questioned again and again, till at length some clue was obtained of his father’s place of residence. The horse was harnessed, and William, with lame and blistered feet, was placed in the wagon. About noon he safely reached home, and was clasped once more to his mother’s heart. The father had not returned from his search, and he afterwards said, it had seemed to him that he never could go home without his child, on account of the terrible and almost frantic distress of the mother. As he approached his house, borne down with grief, he saw a wagon at the door. His heart leaped with joy, for he thought the lost one was found. He opened the door hopefully, and there, indeed, was William gathered once more with his brothers and sisters around the great cooking-stove, tears of joy flowing down the grateful mother’s cheeks.
All this great grief which William’s father and mother endured—all the anxiety felt throughout the town—and all the sufferings of the boy himself, were occasioned by William’s stopping to play, when he ought to have gone directly home!
Children often think they are quite as capable of judging for themselves, as their parents are for them. Sooner or later this opinion will lead them into trouble. William thought it was safe to stop and see the boys play marbles, but he found, to his sorrow, that it would have been far better to have resisted temptation and denied himself the short pleasure he enjoyed.
Every human heart is grieved when a child like William strays from home. We do not wonder that his mother should be fearfully anxious in regard to his fate. But, oh! how much more bitter tears a loving mother sheds, when her dear ones stray from the path of virtue, and become disobedient and wicked! I hope none of the children who read about William will go astray from the right path, but will ever choose that which is pure and lovely and of good report, and which, through the grace of God in Christ Jesus, will safely lead them home to heaven.
THE UNPLEASANT NEIGHBOUR.
Eddie’s father has a disagreeable neighbour. In one way or another he is a constant source of annoyance. Sometimes his pigs will creep through the fence, and root up the smooth green lawn. His part of the fence he will not keep in repair, and the hungry cows, in search of food, will break into the garden, and make sad havoc among the cabbages and other vegetables. His fine bay horse, whom he knows will jump over any ordinary fence, is permitted to run in a pasture, where he can eke out his scanty meal by a hearty lunch among Mr. Dudley’s corn. All these aggressions, and many more, have been borne with the greatest patience.