The Sunny Face, and the Shady Face
by the American Sunday-School Union
OR, JUNE AND NOVEMBER.
"How happy I am to-night! I love you so
much I want to be with you all the time," said
Willie to his mother, as he followed her from the
dining-room to the nursery, one stormy evening.
What made Willie so happy? It was not because
the day had been pleasant, and he had been permitted
to enjoy himself out of doors, for a chilling
snow had been falling, and Willie had been obliged
to remain in the house. It was not because he was
well, for many hours of the day he had been lying
on the bed too ill to sit up all the time. It was not
because he had received a handsome present, for
none had been given him.
There had been nothing unusual to make him so
happy, excepting a thought hidden in the secret
recesses of his heart. Shall I tell you what that
thought was, that made his face so bright and
sunny, that made his eyes sparkle, and wreathed his
lips with smiles? I will tell you in his own words,
and I hope you will treasure it in your heart. If
you do, your face, too, will be cheerful and smiling,
and your friends will love to look upon you.
When Willie told his mother how happy he was,
she put her arm around him, and drew him lovingly
to her side. "What makes you so happy?" she
"I suppose it is because I have been trying to be
good," he answered.
"That always makes people happy," his mother
Willie is generally a good boy, but he sometimes
does wrong, and wrong-doing always makes him sad.
It was a great pleasure to him that he had tried
to be good, and had been enabled to overcome
All children are sometimes tempted to do wrong,
and it often requires a severe struggle to decide to
do right. But every child who overcomes evil
feels a conscious happiness and self-respect in so
doing. I hope you will "try to be good." If you
do, and look to Christ for strength, he will aid you,
and through his grace you will be able to become
conqueror over the sins that "so easily beset you."
Henry Maxwell lives in the same town with
Willie, and is of the same age. These boys often
play together. I regret to be obliged to say that
Henry is not so good a child as Willie. He does
not so promptly obey his mother, and of course he
cannot be so happy. Sometimes he pouts out his
lips, when his mother wishes him to do something
which he does not exactly like.
I one day heard his mother talking to him about
his teeth. She wished him to brush them again, as
he had not done it thoroughly the first time. It
was astonishing to see how that fair, round face was
disfigured by that ugly pout, and it was sad to hear
his dissatisfied "I don't want to." When his mother
insisted on obedience, Henry reluctantly complied
with her wishes, closing the door behind him with
His face was not sunny and bright like Willie's,
when he had tried to be good, but was dark and
shady, like a clouded sky. It was not pleasant to
look upon, and it made the heart of his mother
heavy and sad to see it. I hope Henry will learn
to be cheerful and prompt in his obedience to his
mother, for, if he should not, the expression of his
face will grow more and more disagreeable, till, when
he is a man, it will look more like a chilly day in
November, than a sweet, gladsome day in June.
I do not wish you should tell me, but I should
like to have you ask yourself, when you have read
about these two boys, which of them you are most
like. Is your face sunny, or shady?