Darling Willie

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 loved 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 the breeze.

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. 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 with Jesus.

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, he said—

"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 toys.

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 of heaven?"