by the American Sunday-School Union
Willie was an active little boy, just large
enough to be dressed in frock and pantaloons. He
was very affectionate, and everybody who knew him
When he left the green fields in the country, to
come with his parents to the city, he did not feel so
happy as in his pleasant home by the river side,
where the wild birds sung to him, and where he
could watch the branches of the old elm swaying in
It was autumn when he came to town, and there
were no flowers in the yard attached to his city
home. The grass was brown and frost-bitten, and
soon the white snow came and covered it. The
stone walks were swept, and when it was not too
cold, Willie could ride around the little square,
seated on his velocipede. In his mother's parlour,
he could make houses with his blocks, or stables for
his tin horses, and often he went out to walk or
drive with his mother, who always enjoyed taking
him with her.
The winter passed away, and every month the
strong cords of love were binding him still more
closely to the hearts of his friends. Spring came—the
fresh grass sprung up, and the dandelions opened
their blossoms in Willie's playground. How he
loved to look at them! Those blades of grass, and
the yellow flowers, filled his heart with gladness.
His eyes sparkled, and he could scarcely stand still
as he talked about them.
Willie was, one day, sitting with his grandmother
by the open window. The sun had just sunk below
the horizon, and the clouds were gorgeously tinted
with his parting rays. Some of them were of a rich
golden hue, and others were dyed with rosy light.
It was an exceedingly beautiful sunset, and Willie,
who loved all nature, gazed for some time in silent
admiration. Then, looking up to his grandmother's
face, and pointing to the west,
"See, grandmother," said he, "what a beautiful
home Charley has!"
Willie was one day sitting with his grandmother by the open window.
Charley was Willie's little brother, whom the
angels had taken from earth, and carried to live
He thought Charley must have felt lonely when
he first went to heaven; but, as he would say, "now
he has got acquainted, he is very happy."
Sometimes Willie would ask his mother, "Would
you be lonesome without me, mother?" It was
always a pleasant thought to him that he might
early die and go to Jesus.
Willie liked to look at the blue sky. Perhaps it
was because he thought it was Charley's home. He
watched every evening for the moon, with her silvery
light, and for the twinkling stars.
At one time, a cousin of his called to see him.
He brought a basket with him. Raising the cover,
"Willie, come, look in my basket."
Willie came as requested.
"Oh! I know what it is! It is a rabbit for me!"
So it was. George opened the basket, and out
jumped a white rabbit, with pink eyes. It was
a beautiful animal. Willie capered with delight.
He had a live plaything, and it pleased him more
than the velocipede, or his blocks, or any of his
Willie said he loved his cousin George for bringing
him the rabbit, and his cousin Walter for sending
it to him. They were happy because they had
made him so happy.
Not long after this rabbit was added to Willie's
amusements, very sad tidings came to the home
of George and Walter. It was said that Willie
was dead. It seemed scarcely possible—for it was
only a few days since he had sent a message of
love to them.
Some member of the family immediately went to
town, and called on Willie's father. It was indeed
true that Willie was not there! He had gone
to be with the angels. God had heard his prayer.
Heaven was a better, safer, happier place for him
than even his pleasant home, with his fond parents,
and he was taken "right up there," as he wished,
to be with Charley.
Saturday evening Willie went to his bed in apparent
health. Sabbath morning he complained
of not feeling entirely well, and on Wednesday he
laid aside his garment of mortality, and put on the
beautiful robes made white in the blood of the
Lamb, in the spirit-world. He was a lovely child
when he dwelt with us here below; how very
lovely he must be in the bright world to which
he has gone!
His mother often weeps when she thinks of him,
and she misses him more than any one but a
mother can. There is no one to play with his
blocks, or his tin horses, or his pretty rabbit. Yet
Willie is very happy, and his mother has no wish to
recall him to earth, lonely and desolate as is their
once cheerful home.
Willie will shed no more tears. He will never
feel sad or lonely. He will suffer neither pain, nor
hunger, nor weariness. But we, who love him,
may weep, as did Jesus when Lazarus lay in the
grave; and we shall never forget the sweet child, so
full of life and love, who was given us for a little
while, and then taken home to glory.
Dear children, who read about Willie, are you
prepared to follow him and Charley, where they
are gone to dwell with that Saviour who, when
he was on earth, took little children in his arms,
and blessed them, and said, "of such is the kingdom