ROB waked up cross on Monday morning. To be sure there was nothing uncommon about that, except that he was crosser than usual. 

The first thing he said was, "Dear me; I wish that old bell wouldn't ring. I don't want to get up."  Nevertheless he got up and dressed, pouting all the while.

Breakfast was on the table, and father and mother were taking their seats as Rob came in. Who would believe that a boy could be cross in such a bright, sunshiny room, and with so nice a meal before him? But Rob did not even say "Good-morning," in answer to his mother, but only this instead: "There, now, mother, you said you would have some buckwheat cakes!"

"They are coming, Robbie; Jane is frying them now," said his mother; "wait a minute."

"Yes,' wait,'" he grumbled, "I always have to wait. I want my breakfast." 

"Robert!'' said his father warningly. 

When father said, "Robert!" it was best to be careful; and as the cakes were just then brought, Robert contented himself with looking sulky while he ate them. 

By and by he broke out again: "Father, can't I have a new ball?"

"Another ball? Where is the one you had?"

"Oh, I lost that last week!"

"Then I think it will not pay to buy another for you to lose."

"O father, I should think I might have one! All the boys do but me."

"No, Rob," returned his father; "not till you can be more careful and more " 

"pleasant," he was going to say, but Rob snapped out,"I don't care; you never let me do anything!" and marched out of the room.

"What shall we do with the boy?" sighed his mother.

"He is growing crosser every day. He needs a lesson," said his father.

School went ill that morning with poor Rob. He failed in one lesson, and blundered in another, and was reprimanded by the teacher. He came home in bad humor, but was surprised and mollified to find lying by his plate a pretty pocket-case containing comb, brush, and a dear little looking-glass.

"Oh! Thank you sir," cried Rob, smiling up at his father. "I've wanted one like this for a long time."

"Don't lose it," replied his father; 

"Rob, that is a sort of magic glass."

Rob looked doubtfully first at the glass, then at his father, and asked, "But what will it do?"

"Oh, never mind, you'll find out. All you have to do is to be sure to look into it whenever anything goes wrong."

Rob ran back to school, his gift safe in his pocket, and his mind so full of curiosity about it that he almost wished something would go wrong, to give him a chance to make a trial of its powers.

He had not long to wait. Proud of his new possession, he made haste to display it to the boys, who were all admiring the neat case and pretty toilet articles, when Ben Barlow came up. Ben was the bully of the school, a rough, coarse lad. No sooner had he seen the toilet-case than he exclaimed, "Pooh! That's nothing great;" and with a quick movement, tossed it into the muddy street.

"For shame, Ben Barlow," cried half a dozen voices, as Rob, white with anger, ran to pick up the case. It was covered with mud, and scratched by a rough stone, pretty and new no longer.

"You coward!" muttered Rob, shaking his fist at his tormentor, "I'll, I'll" But words failed, and Rob was not ready for deeds. Instead, he began to examine his case, drawing out, one by one, the brush, comb, and glass, to see if each was safe. 

As his eye fell on the last, his father's words came to mind, and Rob eagerly scrutinized the shining surface. Nothing remarkable happened, however; but while Rob gazed, he noticed the disagreeable scowl on the face he saw reflected. It was not a pleasant sight, and it changed the current of his thoughts.

"Whew! I didn't know I looked like that," he whistled under his breath.

Just then the school-bell rang, and the boys hurried to their seats. Once again that afternoon Rob stole a glance at his magic mirror. He had failed in the spelling-lesson and had gone down two places. 

Now things were going wrong, if ever, and he quickly drew out the glass, but with no better result than before. "H'm!" pondered Rob, "I don't see what father meant."

At the table he asked for explanations, but his father only said with a very knowing smile, "You follow directions! Rob, and you'll see before long what the magic is." So Rob went to bed more curious than ever.

Next morning everything went smoothly till about half-past eight, when, as Rob was counting his best marbles, he heard his mother's voice calling, "Robbie, where are you? I want you to run to the store for some butter."

"O mother!" Rob called back, "I can't; I shall be late."

"Not if you hurry. Come, quick."

"I shan't" muttered Rob, with emphasis.  Now what do you suppose put it into Rob's head to pull out his glass just then? 

You don't suppose he called that a case of "things going wrong," do you? Do you suppose that the magic was beginning to work?

Whatever the reason was, Rob did pull out the glass, and take a good look. Then he put it back and went into the house. 

In a minute more, out he came with the butter-pail in hand, and marched over to the store.

"What is there about that glass?" he thought as he went along. "I don't see anything ever, but just my own face, same's I should in any looking-glass. Don't see's that's any magic. 'Tisn't very handsome. 

Wonder if I do look like that much of the time. Wonder if I shouldn't look better if I kept pleasant."

Once admitted, that last thought was not to be easily banished. It took firm hold of Rob, and resulted in a stout resolve that he would keep pleasant henceforward. Poor boy! When any one has a habit of being cross, that resolve is not so easily kept. He fell into the habit of peeping into his glass on all occasions, not now to look for magical results, he had forgotten all about that, but to see if he looked any better.

So day after day went by. Rob thought he had never passed so unhappy a week. 

By Saturday night he was utterly discouraged. He had been very cross that day, and he cried himself to sleep.

Sunday morning he told the whole story to his mother, with many chokings and a stray tear-drop or two, in spite of his efforts at self-control.

"And there never were so many things to vex me," he ended, "as since I tried to be pleasant; and oh, dear! It isn't one bit of use."

"Robbie," said his mother, "once there was a man in a boat floating down a river. 

He did not have to work at all. But after a while he took up his oars to row back. 

He tugged and tugged, but still the current drifted him along. 'Why!' said the man, 'the current was not half so strong before I began to row.'"

"How foolish!" said Rob. "It was just as strong, only he didn't feel it when he was floating the same way."

"Yes," said his mother; then she stopped.

"But why" began Rob. "Oh yes, I see! You mean that things were just as bad before I tried, only I didn't notice. But that doesn't make it any easier, does it, mother? And I can't be good; it's no use at all," wailed poor Rob.

"No, my darling; you can't, all alone," she answered; and there the conversation dropped, for Rob's father called that it was time for church.

It would be useless to tell Rob that the sermon he heard was not made for him. 

He knew it was, though how his minister had found out about him, he could not guess. And I think he was right. To be sure, the minister did not know about Rob, but God knew, and he sent the message, didn't he? A part of what Rob took home was this: 

"Some of you are trying to do the work yourselves. You are asking,' What shall I do?' And you think that you are to make yourselves better, before you can come to Jesus. But Christ's work is finished. You cannot add to it. All he wants of you is to take it, and own that it is his work, not yours."

"That's what I want," thought Rob, with a glad bound of heart. "I'm willing, I know I'm willing to have Jesus do it all." 

So the great load was lifted.

Not many days after, came Rob's birthday, and such a happy one! His presents delighted him. From his mother there was a pretty illuminated text, "My Grace is Sufficient for Thee;" from his father, the much-desired new ball, and a little Bible. On a fly-leaf of the latter were Rob's name, the date, and below, this text: "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

"O father!" cried Rob with sparkling eyes, "now I know what you meant by saying there was magic in my little glass." 


in S. S. Times.


BLEST they who seek,

While in their youth,

With spirit meek,

The way of truth.

To them the Sacred Scriptures now display

Christ as the only true and living way.

His precious blood on Calvary was given

To make them heirs of endless bliss in Heaven.

And e'en on earth the child of God can trace

The glorious blessings of his Saviour's grace.

For them he bore,

His Father's frown;

For them he wore

The thorny crown;

Nailed to the cross,

Endured its pain,

That his life's loss

Might be our gain.

Then haste to choose

That better part,

Nor e'er refuse

The Lord thy heart,

Lest he declare,

"I know you not,"

And deep despair

Should be your lot.

Now look to Jesus who on Calvary died,

And trust in Him who there was crucified.