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CREATION OF ALL THINGS BY THE SACRED THREE IN ONE.
"It is a fine morning, my little ones," said Mr. Fairchild one day to his children; we will take a walk to the top of the hill, and sit there under the shade of the trees; and there we will talk about God, and we will sing a hymn in praise of him." Then Lucy and Emily and Henry ran joyfully to put on their hats and tippets; and when their mamma was ready, they set out.
Near Mr. Fairchild's house there was a little green hill, at the top of which were some beautiful chestnuttrees and under the chestnut-trees was a wooden seat, which Mr. Fairchild, with John's help, had placed there. In the summer mornings Mr. Fairchild often used to retire to this place, in order to sit there and read his Bible undisturbed: for the singing of the little birds in the trees was no disturbance to him. From the top of this hill one might see Mr. Fairchild's house standing in the pleasant garden; and also many beautiful cornfields, and little coppices, and meadows, through which flowed a smooth river; the long green lane which led to the village, too, was visible from the hill: and John Trueman's neat cottage just at the entrance of the village; and the spire of the church just peeping over the trees. You do not know who John Trueman is; but you shall know by-and-by.
So Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild and their children walked up the hill, and sat down upon the seat under the chestnut-trees; and then Mr. Fairchild began to talk to his children about holy things.
"Look round you, my dear children," he said; "what a beautiful place is this! Behold that glorious sun, which just appears above those golden clouds: that sun is a million of times larger than this earth; it shines upon this world, and gives it light and warmth; it would be quite dark, and very cold, if there were no sun, and we shoul dall die. The sun shines upon other worlds, many of which are vastly larger than this; of these we know but little, but that they were all made by God.
"The globe which we inhabit is very fair; look at the green fields, full of sweet flowers, in which the cows and the sheep are feeding-how beautiful they are! and how
sweet is the smell of the flowers as the wind blows gently over them! The little birds make their nests in the branches of the trees, and God provides them with food. Men build themselves houses; but God creates the wood and the stone of which they are made: men sow seeds in the ground; but God sends rain and sunshine to make the seeds grow. All the things that are in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth, are made by the Lord Almighty.
"God is called in Scripture the Lord Jehovah; by which we understand three persons in one God-namely God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; these three holy Persons are one God, which is a great mystery above our understanding, but which we are bound to believe, because it is a doctrine of Scripture. These holy Persons are continually engaged in the great work of man's salvation, and the bringing multitudes of those to glory and happiness who are lost through sin and disobedience."
Then Mr. Fairchild taught his children a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the wonders of creation; which prayer any little children may use upon the same occasion.
O blessed Lord God: holy Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! we thank thee for having made the sun to shine upon us and warm us in the day-time, and the moon and stars to shine in the night. We thank thee for having made this world for us to live in; and for filling it with trees, and flowers, and corn, and useful animals. We thank thee, O Lord, for having made us and our dear papa and mamma; and for taking care of us every day, and giving us food and drink, and clothes to wear. O Lord, thou art very good! we thank thee for all thy goodness, and all the care which thou hast taken of us, ever since we were little babies; but more especially we thank thee for sending thy Son to die for us. And now, O dear and holy Lord God, give us new hearts, that we may know thee, and love thee, and serve thee all the days of our lives on earth; and after death that we may go up to heaven and live there, in thy presence, for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Father, which art in heaven, &c.
I sing th' Almighty power of God,
I sing the wisdom that ordain'd
I sing the goodness of the Lord,
Lord how thy wonders are display'd
There's not a plant or flower below
Creatures as numerous as they be,
In heaven he shines with beams of love,
"Tis on his earth I stand and move,
His hand is my perpetual guard;
MAN BEFORE THE FALL.
"IT is Lucy's birth-day," said Mr. Fairchild, as he came into the parlour one fine morning in May: we will go to see John Trueman, and take some cake to his little children; and afterward we will go on to visit Nurse, and carry her some tea and sugar.
Nurse was a pious old woman, who had taken care of Lucy when she was a baby, and now lived with her son and his wife Joan in a little cottage not far distant, called
Brookside cottage, because a clear stream of water ran just before the door.
"And shall we stay at nurse's all day, papa?" said the children.
"Ask your mamma, my dears," said Mr. Fairchild. "With all my heart," said Mrs. Fairchild; "and we will take Betty with us to carry our dinner."
So when the children had breakfasted, and Betty was ready, they all set out. And first they went down the lane towards John Trueman's cottage. There was not a pleasanter lane near any village in England; the hedge on each side is of hawthorn, which was then in blossom; and the grass was soft under the feet as a velvet cushion on the bank, under the hedge, were all manner of sweet flowers, violets, and primroses, and the blue vervain.
Lucy and Emily and Henry ran gayly along before their papa and mamma, and Betty came after with the basket. Before they came up to the gate of John Trueman's cottage, the children stopped to take the cake out of Betty's basket, and to cut shares of it for John's little ones. While they were doing this, their papa and mamma had reached the cottage, and were sitting down at the door when they came up.
I promised to make my reader acquainted with John Trueman. He was a poor working man, and had a wife and six children. But I should not call him poor: I should rather call him rich: for he had cause to hope that his wife and all his children (that is, all who were old enough to inspire such hopes) had been brought to the knowledge of God; and as for John himself, there was reason to think that he was one of the most faithful servants of God in all the country round.
John Trueman's cottage was a neat little place, standing in a garden, adorned with pinks, and rosemary, and southernwood. John himself was gone out to his daily work when Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild came to his house; but his wife Mary was at home, and was just giving a crust of bread and a bit of cheese to a very poor woman, who had stopped at the gate with a baby in her arms. Why, Mary," said Mr. Fairchild; "I hope it is a sign that you are getting rich, as you have bread and cheese to spare."
"Sir," she answered, "this poor woman is in want, and my children will never miss what I have given her."
"You are very right," said Mrs. Fairchild. "He that giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord,' and the Lord will pay it again ;" and at the same time she slipped a shilling into the poor woman's hand.
John and Mary Trueman had six children; the eldest, Thomas, was working in the garden; and little Billy, his youngest brother, who was but three years old, was carrying out the weeds as his brother plucked them up. Mary, the eldest daughter, was taking care of the baby; and Kitty, the second, sat sewing; while her brother Charles, a little boy of seven years of age, read the Bible aloud to her. They were all neat and clean, though dressed in very coarse clothes.
When Lucy, and Emily, and Henry divided the cake among the poor children, they looked very much pleased; but they said that they would not eat any of it till their father came in at night. "If that is the case," said Mrs. Fairchild, "you shall have a little tea and sugar, to give your father with your cake;" so she gave them some out of the basket. Mary Trueman first thanked God, and then Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild, for these good things: and she, with all her children, followed Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild with courtesies and bows to the corner of the lane.
As Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild and their children passed through the village, they stopped at the schools, and found every thing as they could wish ;-the children all clean, neat, cheerful, and busy; and the master and mistress very attentive. They were much pleased to see every thing in such good order in the schools: and having passed this part of the village, they turned aside into a large meadow through which was the path to Nurse's cottage. Many sheep with their lambs were feeding in this meadow and here, also, were abundance of primroses, cowslips, daisies, aud buttercups; and the song of the birds which were in the hedge-rows was exceedingly delightful.
As soon as the children came in sight of Nurse's little cottage, they ran on before, to kiss Nurse; and to tell her that they were come to spend the day with her. The poor woman was very glad, because she loved Mr. Fairchild's children very dearly; she therefore kissed them, and took them to see her little grandson Tommy, who was asleep in the cradle. By this time Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild and Betty had come up; and while Betty