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“ ONLY A SLIP OF THE
“ Oh, clear me! Seems to me
you’re always wanting some
thing, Robbie. Here I’ve just
sat down, and now I’ve got to
get right up again for you!”
and Sophie Churchill rose, with
a very unbecoming scowl upon
her pretty face, to look for the
missing cap, which was seldom,
it is true, in the right place.
When it was found, she hand
ed it to her little brother, saying,
“ There! now do run away,
child, and leave me in peace.”
The little fellow went off to
his play with a clouded brow ;
for children are quick to catch
the spirit of those about them.
No sooner had the door closed
behind him than Sophie took up
the pretty slippers which she was
working for her papa’s birthday,
and set diligently to work ; but
the hasty words she had spoken
had given uneasy, dis
satisfied feeling, and she would
have given anything to recall
“ Oh! what shall Ido with my
troublesome, unruly tongue?”
she said, keeping back the tears
which would spring to her eyes.
“ Shall I never, never, be able
to control it? ‘Only a slip of
the tongue’ (for I’m sure I did
not mean to be cross,) yet dear,
sensitive little Robbie has gone
off unhappy; and his little face
was so bright only a moment
An hour passed quietly.
“Sophie!” called her mother
from the foot of the stairs—
“ can’t you come and help me
make your father’s birth-day
“ Yes’m, I suppose I can. But I was getting along so
beautifully on my slippers! Seems to me I never have
any time to myself, as the other girls do.”
“ Well, my dear, you needn’t come, if you can’t come
cheerfully. I can do it alone.”
“ There it is again,” she said in an instant to herself,
noticing her mother’s tired face; for she had been all
the morning busy in the kitchen, making nice things
“ to please the children.”
“ Now, I might work down here all day,” she con
tinued, “ and yet I shouldn’t deserve the slightest shadow
of praise; because I took all the merit out of it by that
dreadful ‘slip of the tongue.’ ”
“ Oh, yes, mamma! I really would like to help you,”
she said aloud, “ if you can only excuse my hasty words.
PUBLISHED BY THE HOME MISSION BOARD OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION.
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I wish I could help them; but I believe it’s no use try
ing : they will come out before I think.”
“Patience, my child,” said her mother. “All our
faults can be overcome by that and the grace of God.”
Sophie was not fond of housework; and this was one
of her crosses. It was so much pleasanter to sit down
in her pretty pink room, before the open fire, and sew.
But she tried bravely to overcome her distaste for it; and
her deft fingers could accomplish wonders when once she
forgot what might have been her pleasure in duty.
“ Sophie, child, won’t you mend my gloves?” said her
father, coming in to dinner, and tossing some very dilapi
dated-looking gloves into her lap. The cake was in the
oven; and she had thought she was sure of a few minutes
to herself before dinner, to finish an interesting story.
MACON, GEORGIA, JULY 22, 1877.
“ Won’t it do just as well by
and-by, papa ? I’m so interest
ed just now; for Robert is just
going to fall in love with Bella;
and it’s just an elegant story!”
“ I’m sorry to trouble you,
dear; but I shall want them as
soon as dinner is over.”
Sophie closed her book with
a slam, while a “ dear ” escaped
through her lips.
Then the troublesome consci
ence smote her again. “ Cross
words and ‘ a slip of the tongue ’
for everybody in the house to
day. What a horrid, selfish
girl I am!”
“ Here they are, papa dear,”
she said, handing them to him
as he drew on his overcoat be
fore going out. “ Kiss me, do!
I m so sorry I was not willing
to do this, or anything in the
world I could for you, when
you work so hard for us !”
But her father caught her in
his strong arms; and, as if she
had been a little child again,
tossed her high up in the air,
saying, as he kissed her fondly,
“ ‘ A fault confessed is half re
dressed,’ my dear. And, when
I see how hard my daughter
tries to overcome, I am sure she
will win the victory by-and-by.”
A little girl six years old was
a short time ago called home to
God. About a year before her
death, she had a small writing
desk given her. After her death
her mother unlocked it, and
found this writing:
“ The minute I wake up in
morning, I will think of God.
“ I will mind my father and
“ I will try to have my lessons perfect.
“ I will try to be kind, and not get cross.
“ I want to behave like God’s child.”
Matthew Henry tells a story of a great statesman
in Queen Elizabeth’s time, who retired from public life
in his latter days and gave himself up to serious thought.
His former gay companions came to visit him, and told
him he was becoming melancholy. “ No,” he replied,
“ I am serious; for all are serious round about me.
God is serious in observing us; Christ is serious inter
ceding for us; the truths of God are serious; our spir
itual enemies are serious in their endeavors to ruin us,
and why then should not you and I be serious too?”
Don’t laugh at religion!