‘Poor boy!’ said Mrs Maurice ’you didn’t leave him alone with his grandfather, I hope?’
’No, I engaged a neighbour to spend the night with them, and called at my office on my way home to write a letter to a brother, of whom the old man told me, who is now residing in the country. The little grandson will probably be wealthy now, but I do not believe the enjoyment of it will make up for his past suffering.’
‘I hope he won’t be a miser,’ said Effie.
‘I shouldn’t think it very strange if he should be,’ replied her brother, ‘the example of his grandfather is enough to spoil him.’
‘But you forget, Harry,’ said Mrs Maurice, ’what a terrible example it was. I think the little fellow will be likely to avoid it.’
‘Very probably,’ added Mr Maurice, ’there is more danger of his going into the opposite extreme.’
‘I am sure, father,’ said Harry, ’that it can’t be so bad to spend money foolishly, as to hoard it up the way that old man did.’
‘No,’ said Effie, ’for he made a god of it, and it is better to care too little about it, than too much.’
’But the man that spends his money in frivolous pursuits, or what would be called slightly criminal adventures, who lavishes the money which God has given him to do good with, upon himself, seeking only his own gratification—’
‘O father!’ interrupted Harry, ‘he made a god of himself.’
‘Such a man,’ continued Mr Maurice, ’may be led on from one step to another until he becomes as guilty as the old man of whom I have told you to-night.’
‘If I were a man,’ said little Effie, shuddering, ’I should be afraid to do anything lest I should do wrong.’
‘And why so?’ asked Mrs Maurice; ’you forget, my dear, that you, too, are exposed to temptations, that none of us are exempt from trials, and our only hope is in the promise that the child of God shall not be tempted above what he is able to bear.’
‘Remember,’ added Mr Maurice, taking the family Bible from its shelf preparatory to their evening devotions, ’to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. And remember, when you are searching your hearts to discover their hidden idols, that the same Divine Being has said, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."’
THE POOR WIDOW.