Praying Child 


 A Child Of Prayer  

A FEW weeks since, in coming down the North  

River. I was seated in the cabin of the

 magnificent   steamer Isaac Newton, in 

conversation with some   friends. It was 

becoming late in the evening, and 

one after another, seeking repose from the cares   

and toils of the day, made preparations to retire

 to their berths. Some, pulling off their boots and

coats, lay themselves down to rest; others, in 

the attempt to make it seem as much as possible

 like home, threw off more of their clothing each

 one as his comfort, or apprehension of danger


I had noticed on deck, a fine looking little boy,  

of about six years old, following around a man.  

evidently his father, whose appearance indicated

him to be a foreigner, probably a German, a man

 of medium height and respectable dress. The

 child was unusually fair and fine looking, 

handsomely featured, with an intelligent and 

affectionate expression of countenance; and 

from under his little German cap fell his chestnut

 hair, in thick, clustering, beautiful curls.  After 

walking about the cabin for a time, the father 

and son stopped within a few feet of where

we were seated, and began preparations for

 going to bed. I watched them. The father 

adjusted and arranged the bed the child was to

 occupy, which was an upper berth, while the

 little fellow was undressing himself. Having

 finished this, his father tied a handkerchief 

around his head to protect his curls, which 

looked as if the sunlight from his young, happy 

heart always rested there. This done, I looked 

for him to seek his resting place; but, instead of

 this, he quietly kneeled down on the floor, put

 his little hands together, so beautifully child-like

 and simple, and resting his arms on the lower

 berth, against which he knelt, he began his 

vesper prayers.

The father sat down by his side, and waited the

conclusion. It was, for a child, a long prayer, but

well understood. I could hear the murmuring of

his sweet voice, but could not distinguish the 

words he spoke. But what a scene! There were

 men around him Christian men retiring to rest 

without prayer; or, if praying at all a kind of 

mental desire for protection, without sufficient

 courage or piety to kneel down in a steamboat's

 cabin, and, before strangers, acknowledge the

 goodness of God, or ask his protecting love.

This was the training of some pious mother.

Where was she now? How many times had her

kind hand been laid on those sunny locks, as she

had taught him to lisp his prayers

A beautiful sight it was, that child at prayer, in

the midst of the busy thoughtless throng, lie,

alone, of the worldly multitude, draws nigh to

heaven. I thank the parental love that taught him

to lisp his evening prayer, whether Catholic or

Protestant, whether dead or living, whether far

 off or nigh. It did me good; it made me better. I

could scarce refrain from weeping then, nor can

 I now, as I see again that sweet child, in the 

crowded tumult of a steamboat's cabin, bending

 in devotion before his Maker.

But a little while before, I saw a crowd of

 admiring listeners gathering about a company 

of Italian singers, in the upper saloon, a mother

 and two sons, with voice and harp, and violin;

 but no one, heeded, no one cared for the child 

at prayer.

When the little boy had finished his evening

devotion, he arose and kissed his father most 

affectionately, who put him into his berth to rest

 for the night. I felt a strong desire to speak to 

them: but deferred till morning. When morning

 came. the confusion of landing, prevented me

 from seeing them again. But if I ever meet that

 boy in his happy youth, in his anxious manhood,

 in his declining years, I'll thank him for the 

influence and example of that night's devotion, 

and bless the name of the mother that taught 

him to pray. Scarcely any passing incident of my

 life ever made a deeper impression on my mind.

 I went to my room and thanked God that I had 

witnessed it and for its influence on my heart. 

Who prays on a steamboat? Who train their 

children to pray, even at home?

 Youth's Companion.


O, MAY I know the Saviour's love,

Be a good and lovely child;

And, like the peaceful, harmless dove,

My temper meek and mild!

O, make me more thy grace to know,

And learn thy Word to read;

That I may serve thee here below,

On heavenly manna feed!

Give me a heart to love, and pray

My sins to be forgiven;

A heart to feel, as well as say,

Father, Who art in heaven.

And when I leave this world of care,

Of sorrow, and of sin,

O, take me, blessed Saviour, where

Saints drink endless pleasures in.