‘But, father,’ inquired Harry, ’if Mrs Gilman should become a Christian, would she love her baby less.’
’No, she might love it more, but not with the same kind of affection she bears it now. This is a blind idolatry—her child is her all, and she cannot bear to part with it, even though it should join her lost husband, and wear a crown in glory. If she were a Christian, she would be able to say, “Thy will be done,” and to place entire confidence in the Divine Master, and bow in submission to His requirements, even though they should call on her to resign this treasure.’
‘Oh, how happy we should be, if we loved God better than anything else!’ said Harry.
After they had arrived at home, and while Mrs Maurice was engaged in preparing some comfortable things for the poor woman, Harry was heard to whisper in his sister’s ear, ’Poor Mrs Gilman makes a god of her baby, Effie.’
GENEROSITY AND JUSTICE.
Several days passed away, and little Effie was watching every opportunity for making applications of the truth her mother had taught her, but yet, (such is the deceitfulness of the human heart,) she still considered herself out of danger. If any little boys or girls who may perchance read this story, are as confident as Effie, we only ask them to watch over their thoughts and actions for as long a time as she did, and see if they do not discover their mistake. One day Mrs Maurice went to make a call on a lady of her acquaintance, and as Harry was engaged with his father, she allowed Effie to accompany her. It was a beautiful parlour into which they were ushered, and Mrs Town received them with due politeness. They were scarce seated when the servant announced another visitor, and a lady with whom Mrs Maurice was very well acquainted entered, and immediately stated the object of her call—to obtain subscriptions for a charitable society.
‘I am tired of these societies,’ said Mrs Town, ’do not you think, Mrs Maurice, that individual charity is preferable?’
’Undoubtedly, in many instances, but societies have done much good, and I am therefore disposed to countenance them.’
‘But don’t you think,’ said Mrs Town, ’that a person is very apt to think by being a member of a society she is freed from individual responsibility?’
‘There may be such people,’ was the reply, ’and undoubtedly are, but they are those who give merely because they are expected to do so, and this is the easiest mode of cheating the world and themselves that could be devised.’
‘Well,’ replied Mrs Town, ’I have always made it a point never to place my name on a subscription list, so I shall be obliged to decline. I hope,’ she said to the disappointed lady, who had been advised to call upon her because she was rich, ’I hope you will meet with better success elsewhere.’
‘I hope I shall,’ the lady could scarce forbear saying, as Mrs Town curtsied gracefully in answer to her embarrassed nod, but she soon calmed her excited feelings and passed on.