by the American Sunday-School Union
Nelly Wallace is about six years old. She
has a pleasant, attractive face. Her long hair curls
in ringlets over her neck. She is one of the neatest
and most gentle children I ever saw, and gives her
mother but little trouble. Indeed, she is so orderly,
and active, that she is quite an assistance to her.
She sings like a lark, and is patient as a lamb. She
is very generous, too.
Her father is obliged to live on a small salary.
Nelly is a favourite with her father's friends, and
often receives a present from them.
One day, she heard her mother say to her father
that they needed some particular article very much,
but he told her he had not money enough to purchase
it. She quietly left the room, and went up
stairs. Presently she returned, and placed a five-dollar
gold-piece, which had been given to her, in
her mother's hand. "Please use my money, mother,"
she said; "I should rather you would use it
for what you need, than keep it to buy something
At another time, her father was obliged to take a
journey on business. Nelly brought forth her
purse, and offered its contents to him to defray his
expenses. Dear child! she knew nothing about the
cost of travelling, nor the value of money. She
thought her three-cent pieces would be all he would
Nelly brought forth her purse.
Paul, when exhorting the Corinthian church to
liberality, says, "If there be first a willing mind, it
is accepted according to that a man hath, and not
according to that he hath not." Nelly had a willing
mind, and her father was as much gratified by her
thoughtful consideration as he would have been if
she had been able to furnish him all that he needed.
So our heavenly Father is pleased with his children
when they do what they can to provide for the
wants of the needy; and the smallest gift, offered in
love, is not forgotten by him.
You recollect that our Saviour, when he saw the
rich men casting their gifts into the treasury and
the poor woman casting in her two mites, said that
she had cast in more than they all. They had
given of their abundance; it had cost them no
self-denial—but she, of her penury, had cast in all
the living that she had. God looks not only on the
outward act, but at the heart. He sees the motives
which actuate us. He saw Nelly's heart, and he
approved her generosity. He gave her an approving
conscience, which made her very happy—far
happier than she could have been if she had been
selfish, and thought only of her own enjoyment.