What Made Willie Happy

by the American Sunday-School Union

Willie was looking at the slippers which his mother had wrought for him, and admiring the freshness of the colours. They were a Christmas present to him, and had afforded him much pleasure.

"You were very happy the evening they were given to you," said his mother.

"But no happier than I was last evening," he replied.

I will tell you what made him so happy on the evening to which he alluded. At Christmas, two little books had been added to his library, and another had been lent him by one of his companions. When he had read these books, he was very desirous to get still another. He began to inquire how he could earn money enough to buy it, for he thought he should like to purchase it himself. He could think of nothing which could be done in the house, by which he could replenish his purse; so his mother told him, if he would control his temper for a week, she would get the book for him. If he did get out of patience, and immediately checked himself, he was to receive it.

Every evening Willie came to his mother, and told her how he had succeeded through the day. She observed him very carefully, and she knew that he really tried to conquer himself. She encouraged him in his efforts, and Willie was very happy—happy because he was succeeding in correcting what was wrong—and happy in the anticipation of the reward promised him.

The last day of the week came, and passed away. Willie's father returned from the city. He brought with him a parcel done up in soft white paper, and tied with a small red and white twine. His mother opened it, and there was the book for which she had sent. She wrote Willie's name in it, with the day of the month, and then wrote "A Reward of Merit." She thought those few words would remind him of the way in which he earned the book, and would encourage him to persevere in overcoming any bad or sinful habit.

All these things together made Willie quite as happy as on "Merry Christmas." It always makes people happy to endeavour to subdue what is wrong in themselves,—such efforts being their own reward. The consciousness of the approval of our heavenly Father must always occasion the truest pleasure.