Page images

they were having, as it was not time for school, but he was so much taken up with his play, that he did not think of it.

Joseph called out to him, “Come, William, let us have a walk before school.

“No, I cannot go,” said William, “I have company, and I'm going to stay at home as long as I can.”

Joseph was hurt. But you ask by what was he hurt? He felt grieved that his friend William should prefer the company of his cousins to his, and as he went on alone toward the school-house, he said to himself,

“Well, I never did think William loved me so much as I love him, and now I know it. I would have left my play and all my cousins if he had come for me, but he may do as he thinks best ; I think I will not take the trouble to call for him again."

Full of these evil thoughts, he went to school, and taking his books before the other scholars had come, he went to work. But his mind was not at ease, and he could not learn his lesson.

He felt wickedly toward William, and he was thinking all the time of his refusal to walk with him.

Just before school began, William came in, with a bright and cheerful face, and took his seat very near to Joseph.

“How do you do?” said William, “I am glad to see you, but I did want to stay at home to-day, and play with my cousins."

“I wish you would not bother me now," Joseph; “I don't think as much of you as I did yesterday.” “What's the matter?” inquired his young

friend :

» said

I did not know that I had done any thing to hurt you. If I have, I am very sorry.

Now this was well said, and is just what all children should say when others think they have done wrong.

But Joseph was not willing to be satisfied, and he went on with his books. Yet he was thinking more of his morning walk than of any thing else, and trying to persuade himself that he was not properly treated.

As he thought of it more and more during the day, his heart became harder, and his feelings of displeasure became stronger.

He came to recite, and made some sad mistakes; while William, who was in the same class with him, recited his lessons very well, and was praised by his teacher.

This made Joseph feel still worse, and by the time the school was out at night, he was the enemy of the boy, whom in the morning he had loved as his friend.

The next week William was taken very sick, and in a few days after, it was thought that he would die. The doctor had done all that he could do for him, and he said that he was afraid he would never get well.

When Joseph was told that William was sick, he said “he did not care," and when he heard that William was likely to die, he still felt as if it was no matter, for he did not love him now as he once did.

God knew what Joseph was thinking about, and how he felt, and he saw that he had the same evil spirit in him that leads to murder.

He hated his brother and friend. O what a wicked feeling had now taken possession of this child's heart!

The sick boy sent for him, and he had to come and see him. As soon as he entered the chamber, where the little boy was lying, William stretched out his hand, and asked him to come near to his bedside.

“Joseph,” said he, in a very feeeble voice, “I wanted to see you very much, for I am afraid that you do not feel right about me.

I am very sorry that I did not speak more pleasantly to you that morning, and I want you to forgive me.”

The proud and wicked boy burst into tears, and said, “No, no, I am the one that is to blame. sorry that I have been so foolish and wicked, and you must forgive me.”

I am


Then he kneeled down by the bed and hid his face in the clothes, while he wept bitterly over his sin.

The sick boy did not die, but after many weeks of confinement to his bed, he was restored to health, and the two were better friends than they had ever been before.

How easy it is for the spirit of evil to take possession of the heart.



THE Seventh Commandment is, Thou shalt not

commit adultery." This holy command of God forbids all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.

It is very common for children at school to indulge in the use of vulgar words, which they would not dare to use if they thought their parents were near to hear them.

To utter such words is very wrong, and none but low and vulgar children will ever be heard to use them.

“But what should we do," perhaps you will ask, “when we hear vulgar words used by those with whom we are at play?”

I would leave the company of any one, or of all my playmates, who were in the habit of using any words which they would be ashamed to use when their parents or teacher could hear them.

In a very large school there were several boys who were very vulgar in their conversation and in their actions.

The teachers did not know it, for they had never heard the boys using any improper words; but there were a few good boys in the school, who wanted to do something to correct the fault of their companions.

They did not like to complain of them to the teachers, and they had often told the boys to stop, but they would not, and now they tried another plan.

They formed a club which they called “the Joseph Club,naming it after Joseph, the son of Jacob, who refused to sin when he was tempted by a wicked person.

They would not allow any one to belong to the society who would use any indecent words or do any filthy actions.

The most of the boys in the school joined this society, and one of the rules to which they agreed was this, that no one who was vulgar in his words or deeds, should be admitted to any of their plays or to any of the exercises in which the society engaged.

The vulgar boys very soon felt the force of this club, and complained to the teacher of the school that the others would not let them play with them.

“ What does this mean?” said Mr. A. “I am surprised to learn that any of the school should set up to be so much better than the rest, that

you cannot all play together.”

All the boys looked towards George Carpenter who was president of the “ Joseph Club,” and he stood up and said, very pleasantly,

“We have no objection to the boys playing with us, if they will stop using vulgar words; but a few of us who do not care to use or to hear such talk, have formed a society, and we have agreed that we will not keep company with vulgar boys."

That is right," said Mr. A. “I approve of your club, and I hope that you will hold fast to your

« PreviousContinue »