Bless God for this Doll

by the American Sunday-School Union

When Mary Wilson was about five years old, her aunt Ann came from a distant place to make her mother a visit. She was fond of children, and often talked and played with her little niece, and assisted her in making dresses for her doll. This gratified Mary, and made her love her more and more, as we always love those who are kind to us.

Mary's doll was not pretty, but she liked it very much, and took good care of it. She always undressed it at night, before she went to bed, and put on a nice white night-gown her mother had made for it; and in the morning she would dress it again for the day. She named it Louisa, but her younger brother always called it Quesa, and, after a time, all the family spoke of it by that name.

Mary often wished she could wash Quesa's face, as her own was washed; but she had tried it once, and found it would not answer, for the colour came off its cheeks, and it looked more than ever as if it needed a good rubbing with a sponge.

Sometimes, when passing the shop-windows, and seeing the new dolls so temptingly displayed, Mary would ask if she might stop and look at them, and would, perhaps, say, "I should like that doll." Mrs. Wilson would gladly have purchased one of them for her, but she was obliged to be economical, and could not gratify all her wishes. Mary had early to learn many lessons of self-denial, and I must do her the justice to say she was always satisfied with her mother's decision.

Mary would occasionally go to walk with her aunt Ann, who observed with what delight she looked at the porcelain dolls, so bright and fresh, and she thought she could not make her a more acceptable present than one of them.

One day, when Mary was not with her, she bought a doll with rosy lips and cheeks, blue eyes, and short curling hair, and dressed it in clothes which could be taken off and put on easily, as all little girls like to have them. It was indeed very pretty, and its face could be washed without injury as often as Mary pleased to do it.

Mary knew nothing about the present she was to receive, till all this was done; and then her aunt, going into the nursery, put it in her arms as she was sitting in her low chair playing with Quesa. Mary looked at the new doll, and then at her aunt, and then at the doll again, as if to say, "What does all this mean?" Aunt Ann answered the look by saying, "The doll is for you, Mary."

It was just what she had long wanted, and her heart was full of happiness and gratitude. After holding it a moment, she laid it carefully in her chair, and kneeling down, put her little hands together and closing her eyes, said, "Bless God for this doll." Mary had been taught that God was the giver of every good gift, and she felt, that although aunt Ann gave her the doll, her heavenly Father had put it into her heart to do so, and she wanted to thank him for making her so happy.

Perhaps you think that God is too great a being to care about your little wants, and that he does not put the thought into any body's heart to buy dolls for children, as Mary Wilson did. Nothing which concerns the happiness of the creatures he has made, is too small for his attention. Nothing escapes his notice. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered." So small a bird as a sparrow, the Bible tells us, cannot fall to the ground without his knowledge. If he cares for the birds, he certainly does for children, and wishes them all to be good and happy.

God has given you all many gifts, for which you ought to thank him. If I should look into your play-rooms, how many things I should see which add to your enjoyment! In one there is a pasteboard house, with windows and doors, and partitions to divide it into rooms. It is furnished with tables and chairs, and the dolls can sit in them. In another, are blocks with which to build houses, castles, and railways, or any thing the fancy of the young architect may dictate; and here is Noah's ark, in miniature, containing himself and family, and many animals. Countless other toys are distributed among my young friends, which make their bright eyes sparkle, and wreathe their lips with smiles.

Other treasures, more valuable than these, are not wanting. How many books I see! and as I open them, one after another, at the fly-leaf, I read your own names and the names of those friends and relatives who have given them to you.

Have you ever thanked your heavenly Father, as Mary Wilson did, for these pleasant things which make you so happy, and for all the blessings he confers upon you?

Your parents provide you with food and clothes, and many other comforts which you need; but it is God who enables them to do so, and who fills their hearts with such love for you as to make it a pleasure to watch over and care for you. You should be grateful to them for all their kindness, but you should never forget that to your Father in heaven you owe your gratitude for such loving friends.

God himself has taught you to ask him, day by day, for your daily bread. That prayer shows who provides for your wants, and whom you should thank for the pleasant things you enjoy.

There is one gift of exceeding great value which the Lord has bestowed upon us—greater than all others—but I will tell you about it another time.