Generous Nelly

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 for myself."

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 need.

Nelly brought forth her purse. 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.