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
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.