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Cabin boy's letter, the
Peace in the one thing need-
Colporteur's story, the
Dark lantern, the .
Lonely cottage, the
Nature and revelation; or,
THE NEW YEAR'S GIFT.
“The gift-a gift!" Why, there were a dozen new year's gifts that year. They strewed Lucy's table in her snug and pleasant dressing room; and her soft blue eyes were lighted up with delight as she opened packet after packet, and contemplated her fresh accession of wealth, on a small scale. And not on a very small scale either; for there were silks and jewels and costly-bound volumes among these treasures ; and if the love of the donors was to be estimated by the money they had expended for her gratification, why, Lucy was rich in the love of her friends.
In truth, Miss Huntley had many friends, and her lot was in many particulars what might have been, and was, termed an enviable lot. She was an only child: it is not meant that Lucy was really to be envied on this account; but, so far as worldly possessions were concerned, this circum
stance increased and multiplied her advantages. These advantages, certainly, would have been neutralized had her position as an only child led to extreme and weak indulgence on the part of her parents; but from this danger Lucy had been delivered by their good sense and firmness ; so that though the prosperous merchant and his wife loved their child with exceeding and concentrated affection, they had not spoiled her. In
saying that Lucy's father was a prosperous merchant, we, in some measure at least, account for her numerous friends. Without analyzing the quality of such friendships, is indisputable that the rich have many friends," on the principle that will praise thee when thou doest well to thyself.” Mr. Huntley was hospitable and open-hearted as well as rich; and, as another proverb tells us that a man that hath friends must show himself
friendly," so the converse will generally be found to hold good, "He who shows himself friendly will have friends."
Lucy's mother was a kind, sensible, and gentle woman, so her society was courted in the circle in which she moved. And Lucy herself, at nineteen years of
of those qualities which attract the admiration of observers. Thus, with a wide circle of acquaintance, and numerous personal connections, among whom were numbered many who were, reputedly at least, richer than her own parents, it is not to be wondered that, on one particular new year's day, Lucy's new year's gifts were numerous and valuable.
One packet after another was opened, and lay glittering on the table. There were little notes, too, notes of congratulation and good wishes; for, young as she was, Lucy Huntley was soon to be a bride. Her engagement was no secret; and her prospects in life were accounted to be very bright and promising.
There was one square parcel which she had opened almost at first, and had laid aside with an air of indifference; and now she laid her hand upon it again. It was a pocket Bible, plainly bound, and clasped with silver clasps. She unclasped it, and glanced at the inscription on the blank page—“TO Lucy Huntley, with the affectionate regards of her mother's and her own old friend, Archibald Seaton, who begs her acceptance of this token of his friendship, and of his anxious desire and prayer that the glorious revelation of Divine Love it contains may be, through life, her support and solace, a light to shine upon her path, and a pledge and foretaste of eternal life at God's right hand for ever and for evermore.”
Lucy read the inscription carelessly, clasped the book again, and put it from her. There was a note accompanying the gift; and she broke the seal, and read
“My dear Lucy: From an old pilgrim, tottering on the brink of time, what gift can be more appropriate to one at the beginning of the journey of life, than the staff which has supported, the light which has guided, and the shield which has guarded him all his journey through?
“ It may be, dear Lucy, that you think you will have no need for staff, light, and shield. Life is spreading prosperously before you; your journey promises to be smooth beneath your feet, and bright above your head. Will you believe me if I say, will you forgive me if I hint, that there
I may be stumbling-blocks and pitfalls, darkness and gloom,