ONCE I knew a sweet little girl called Mary, and I am going to tell you how she showed old Jim the signal lights that guide us to our Father's kingdom.

Her papa was the captain of a big ship, and sometimes she went with him to sea; and it was on one of these trips that what I am going to tell you happened. 

One day she sat on a coil of rope, watching old Jim clean the signal lamps. 

"What are you doing?" she asked. 

"I am trimming the signal lamps, Miss," said old Jim. "They are to keep other ships from running into us, Miss; if we did not hang out our lights, we might be wrecked."

Mary watched him for some time, and then she ran away and seemed to forget all about the signal lights; but she did not, as was afterwards shown.

The next day she came to watch old Jim trim the lamps, and after he had helped her onto the coil of rope, he turned to do his work. Just then the wind carried away one of his cloths, and old Jim began to swear awfully.

Mary slipped from her place and ran into the cabin; but she soon came back and put a folded paper into his hand.

Old Jim opened it, and there, printed in large letters for Mary was too young to write were these words, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

The old man looked into her face, and asked, "What is this, Miss Mary?"

"It is a signal light, please. I saw that a bad ship was running against you because you did not have your signal hung out, so I thought you had forgotten it," said Mary.  Old Jim bowed his head and wept like a little child. At last he said: 

"You are right, Miss, I had forgotten it. My mother taught me that very commandment when I was no bigger than you; and for the future I will hang out my signal lights, for I might be quite wrecked by that bad ship, as you call those oaths."

Old Jim has a large Bible now, and on the cover he has printed, " Signal lights for souls bound for Heaven." 

Child's Paper.


As polished steel receives a stain

From drops at random flung, 

So does the child, when words profane

Drop from a parent's tongue. 

The rust eats in, and oft we find,

That naught which we can do 

To cleanse the metal or the mind,

The brightness to renew.