Little Jean

IN a circle of brothers and sisters, who lived

in a large stone house near a mountain pass in

Switzerland, let us look at the youngest. His

name is Jean; (John;) he has a bright face,

and his very looks seem to be asking questions.

It is not among his playmates or his books that

he is most interesting; but when he goes away

by himself into the forests, as he often loves to

go, then he seems very thoughtful, as if his little

mind was deeply impressed with great and

serious subjects.

As he looks round, he feels there is something

mightier than the mountain, and higher than the

sky, and more spreading than the branches of

the forests; and he asks himself, "Is this God,

all around me? The same God who rained fire

on wicked Sodom, who took care of Joseph in

Egypt, who talked with Moses in the mount?"

The boy is tenderly alive to these stories of the

displeasure and the goodness of God. He 

treasures them up in his mind, he thinks of them

 in the woods, and he says, "I will mind this

 great God." He does not want to forget God. He

prays God not to forget him, a little boy.

One day there was a disagreement among

the brothers, in which Jean was to blame. At

bedtime when his nurse undressed him, she said

that God was angry with naughty children; he

would punish them, nor suffer any such to go

to heaven. Jean went to bed, but the nurse's

words sunk deep into his heart.. "I am a wicked

boy," he said to himself, "and how do I

know but God may call me to an account this

night?" A burden lay upon him. He tossed

about upon his pillow. The thought of displeasing

God grieved him, and he could find no

rest. Then he got up, and falling upon his

knees, he penitently confessed his sins, and

begged to be forgiven. "I think God did hear

me that night," he said, long afterwards, "for

I began to feel a little of that peace which I

have since known so much of."

Let all little children take courage from this.

If you have done wrong, and feel the dark, cold,

heavy weight of sin, making you afraid of God,

-of your parents, afraid even of yourself, remember

what little Jean did. He was only seven

years old then. He did not try to forget it, to

sleep it away, to comfort himself that tomorrow

or the next day all would be well. You may

indeed forget your sins, but God will not. Jean

believed this, and it led him to carry his burden

before God, to beg for favor and forgiveness,

for Christ's sake, who takes our burdens for us.

Did God regard the prayer of little Jean? O

yes; for he who hears even the young ravens

when they cry, will graciously listen to the

humblest prayer of the little child. He gave

peace to Jean; then the boy slept, for he was

no more afraid of God; penitence and prayer

had cast out fear.

This little boy afterwards became an eminent

minister of the Gospel. He was the Rev. John

W. Fletcher of Madely. 

Child's Paper.