Jamie and His Teacher by Unknown

Among the scholars in a mission Sabbath school formed in one of our large country villages, was a little Irish boy, whose bright, intelligent face, quickness of mind, and earnest attention to the lessons, had awakened great interest in the mind of his teacher.

After a few Sabbaths, however, this boy was missing, and when sought by the visiting committee during the week, was never to be found.

Sometimes he was seen from a distance, looking with apparent interest, as the superintendent or one of the teachers passed by, but if they attempted to approach him, he would take to his heels, and spring over walls and fences with such agility that there was no hope of overtaking him.

Miss L., his teacher in the Sabbath school, was a young lady belonging to one of the wealthiest families in the village. One cold afternoon in December, after Jamie had been absent from his class more than a month, he made his appearance at the back door of her father's house, asking to see her.

"No, no," said the cook, "ye needn't be thinking the young leddy'll come in the woodshed to see ye. If ye have any message, ye can go in the house."

"I don't look nice enough to go in," said Jamie, glancing ruefully at his torn trousers and coarse, muddy boots.

But it so happened that Miss L. was passing through the hall, and she heard and recognized the voice at once; so she came to the door to see what was wanted.

Jamie hung his head in confusion, while the young lady kindly took his hand in hers, and asked if he had been well, and why he had not been to Sabbath school.

"Me father wouldn't let me come," he sobbed out at last; "he bate me because I'd been to the Sabbath school."

"Poor child!" exclaimed Miss L. "But does your father know you came here this afternoon?"

"No, ma'am; but he said I might have every half holiday to go skating, if I promised never to go inside the Sabbath school again. So I brought me Testament, and I thought mebbe you'd teach me here, ma'am."

Was it not a bold request? Did not Jamie know that with home duties and the claims of social life, his teacher's time must be fully occupied? Might she not think that her services on the Sabbath were all that should be required of her?

Ah, no; what were time, and strength, and fashionable amusements, to be compared with the value of a precious soul? Miss L. could only thank God for so rich a privilege, and enter with joy upon the work of instruction.

So every half holiday found Jamie seated by her side in the beautiful library, earnestly studying the words of the Master, who has said, "Suffer little children to come unto Me."

[Illustration: "<i>It's me Testament, father</i>."]

Skating-time came and went; the last ice had melted from the pond; but never once had Jamie gone skating. He had found a source of better, deeper delight, than even boyish sports could afford.

But Jamie could not always hide the fact that he was spending his time in this way.

One day, his well-worn Testament fell from his pocket in the presence of his parents.

"What's that?" demanded the father fiercely.

"It's me Testament, father," Jamie gently replied.

"And where did ye get that? Have ye been to the Sabbath school since I told ye not?"

"No, father; but my teacher gave me this a great while ago."

"And who is your teacher?"

"Miss L."

"What, Miss L.? The one that lives in that splendid house on the hill?"

"Yes, father."

"Well, well, what's in the book? let's hear a bit."

Providentially, this was one of the rare occasions when Mr. Ryan was not intoxicated, and as the boy read passage after passage from his beloved book, the father's mind opened with a child-like interest to the truths of the holy word.

[Illustration: "<i>What's in the book? let's hear a bit</i>."]

From that day he became a sincere inquirer after the truth as it is in Jesus. The appetite for strong drink, which had been the cause of his degradation, was at last quenched; for a stronger thirst had taken possession of his soul, even for that purifying stream of which whosoever drinketh shall never thirst.

When sober, Mr. Ryan was an industrious and intelligent man, and by his renewed energies his family was soon placed in a position of comfort and respectability. But that was not all the good effect of Jamie's love for the truth.

Within a few months, both father and mother had cast off the fetters of restraint, and were receiving for themselves with meekness and earnestness, that precious word which was able to save their souls.

Had not Jamie made the very best use of his winter holidays? and was not his teacher richly rewarded for all her exertions?

How many of our young readers will study with equal earnestness the word of truth, which is always open to them, that they may learn from it the way of life? How many Christian teachers will engage with equal interest in the work of instruction, in the hope that in so doing they may save a soul from death?

Hosanna to the Son
Of David and of God,
Who brought the news of pardon down,
And bought it with His blood.

To Christ the anointed King
Be endless blessings given;
Let the whole earth His glories sing,
Who made our peace with heaven.