It Isn't Fair, I Peeped
by the American Sunday-School Union
Willie and Eddie were playing Hide the Button.
After they had played some time, and it was Willie's
turn to find it, he came into the nursery with his
face flushed, and evidently much excited. "It isn't
fair," said he, and the tears gathered in his eyes, and
his lips quivered with emotion, "I peeped. Eddie
must hide it again;" and he went out of the room,
for Eddie to put the button in another place.
Willie had been overcome by temptation. He
had done a dishonourable act, but his conscience
was quick to reprove him, and he had listened to its
admonitions. There had been a short but severe
struggle in his mind, and truth and honour had
conquered. He was brave enough to confess his
fault, and to do what he could to make amends
Mrs. Dudley was not at home, but a friend who
had charge of the children told her the circumstance.
It rejoiced her greatly that her dear boy
should have had the manliness to acknowledge his
error; and it encouraged her to hope that he would
never be guilty of a similar fault again. Willie is
a conscientious boy. He sometimes does wrong, as
in this instance, but when he reflects, he is always
Mrs. Dudley did not say any thing to Willie
about the occurrence; but a few evenings afterwards
as she was sitting at the tea-table alone, the
others having all left, he came to her and stood
by her side, leaning his elbow upon the table, and
resting his head upon his hand. She knew by his
manner and his serious look that he had something
in particular to say to her. She put her arm around
him and drew him close to her.
"Mother," said he, "the other day, when you were
gone, I peeped while Eddie hid the button;" and
then went on and told her all about it. Mrs. Dudley
talked with him a short time, and said he had done
right in confessing his fault, and in refusing to
profit by his wrong act. She knew he was much
happier than he could have been if he had done otherwise.
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper;
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have
mercy." Willie found the happiness of an approving
conscience; and I doubt not that Jesus looked
down with love upon him, as he does upon all true
penitents. "There is joy in heaven over one sinner
If Willie had not confessed his fault, and been
sorry for it, his conscience would have been hardened
and he would probably have "peeped"
another time, when the children played the same
game. But now, if he should be tempted in this
way again, he would remember how much he suffered
in consequence of having once yielded to a
similar temptation, and would not allow himself to
commit the wrong.
It is very important that children should early
learn to confess their faults, and not form the habit
of endeavouring to hide them from others. If they
have injured any individual, they should apologize
to that individual. Sometimes it is only necessary
to confess to God, but we should not be satisfied
with doing it in a general manner. Each wrong
act, so far as we remember it, should be mentioned.
If we really love our heavenly Father, we shall
wish to tell him all about ourselves. We shall have
no desire to conceal any thing from him, and it will
be a pleasure to us to think that he knows every
thought and feeling of our hearts.
Willie had no wish to conceal from his mother
the wrong he had done; he preferred to tell her
about it; and I have no doubt he had previously
told his Father in heaven.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all