A Sad Story

THE Lord is very good to all his creatures,

but especially so to his children. If we were

more thankful for his kind care, it would not

only be pleasing in his sight, but would add

greatly to our happiness.

Do the bright-eyed, active, joyous boys and

girls who read this, always bear in mind the

favors and blessings which God bestows upon

them ? Are their hearts filled

with gratitude for these blessings? or do they

sometimes forget that they receive all these

good things from the Lord?

Do they realize what a blessing it is to have

good health, kind friends, loving parents, warm

clothes, comfortable homes, and warm hearts

to greet them there. When you thank the

Lord, in your morning prayer, for keeping

you safe through the night, do you ever think

what a dreadful thing it would be if your

dwelling should be burned some of these cold

winter nights?

On Christmas evening, a father and mother,

and five children, sat around their humble

fireside, as comfortable and happy, perhaps,

as any of us. It is quite likely that they went

to bed that night with their minds full of

pleasant thoughts, and bright expectations for

the morrow. No doubt the children were 

expecting a visit from Santa Claus, and fell 

asleep with busy fancies running through their 

heads, of what he would bring them. How 

different would have been their thoughts and 

feelings if they had known what was to befall 


Let us imagine the parents, after their children

had retired, filling the little stockings

with presents, and thinking how happy the

children would be in emptying them in the

morning. What would have been their feelings

if they had known that those little stockings

would never be disturbed, and that the

wearers of some of them had already lain

down to sleep the sleep of death!

At last the fond parents retire, and all is

still. The ground is covered with a heavy

mantle of snow, and the cold is severe. The

clock ticks solemnly on the wall, and the

sleepers are enjoying their rest. Soon, however,

smoke begins to fill the room. The

house is on fire, but the fated family sleep on.

The flames spread wider and grow fiercer;

and yet the inmates of the burning building

are not aroused. No guardian angel is sent

to waken them.

The devouring element comes nearer and

nearer to them, till the parents are finally

awakened. They spring from their bed, but

have only time to save themselves and two of

their children. The other three must perish

in the flames.

The half-distracted father makes every effort

in his power to save them; but all is in

vain. After being frightfully burned, he is

forced to give up the attempt.

What anguish fills the hearts of the fond

parents, as they look on and know that their

dear ones are writhing in the agonies of death

almost within their reach! There they stand

in the snow, with bare feet, and almost devoid

of clothing, exposed to the bitter cold and

the cutting blasts of that winter night.

It was more than a mile to the nearest

house, so the husband and father took the

remnant of his family to the barn and covered

them with a horse blanket; then mounting

the horse, he hurried away for help; but

in his almost naked condition, he became so

benumbed with cold that when he arrived at

the nearest house he could not speak. He was

accidentally discovered, however, and his 

horror-stricken neighbors hastened to his home,

where they arrived in time to save the poor

mother and her two remaining children. The

man was so badly burned and frozen that he

probably cannot live, and even while we write

he may be passing to his long home.

Dear readers, who protected your dwelling

from fire on that Christmas eve? Who saved

you from terrible suffering, and perhaps from

death? And will you not be grateful for such


Give your hearts to the Lord, and secure

his protection; for without it we are not safe.

"Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman

waketh but in vain." The Lord will

keep all that are his. Let us be sure that he

owns and blesses us every day, and we shall

have his protection; for which, may he 

ever give us a thankful heart.