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Brotherly Love Shewing That as Merely Human It May Not Always Be Depended Upon   By: (1775-1851)

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That as merely human it may not always be depended upon.









It was at that time of year when leaves begin to lose their green hue, and are first tinctured with a brown shade that increases rather than decreases their beauty, that Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer received a letter from a brother of Mrs. Mortimer's, at Portsmouth, requiring such immediate attention that it was thought advisable that the answer should be given in person and not in writing, and without a day's loss of time. So it was determined that Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer should leave their home, even as soon as the following morning, to visit their brother at Portsmouth, and that they then should settle the business for which they went as quickly as possible, that their absence from home need not be prolonged unnecessarily, nor indeed for any length of time. It did not take long to arrange this part of the affair, and what packing was requisite was also done quickly, but the point which required most attention and thought was, what was to become of Marten and his young brother Reuben while their papa and mamma were away. "I have never left them before," said their mamma, "and I feel somewhat anxious about their being left now."

"Anxious, dear mamma," exclaimed Marten, who had overheard the remark. "Anxious," he repeated, "why I am a great boy now, and I shall soon be a man, when I shall have to take care of myself altogether; and if I cannot take care of myself for a week, what is to become of me when I am grown up? Indeed, mamma, I think you forget how old I am. I was thirteen on the 21st of April."

"Tirteen," lisped little Reuben "Marten tirteen April Oh, Marten very old mamma very, very wise;" and Reuben opened his eyes quite wide and looked so very earnestly in his mother's face, that one would have thought he was trying to read therein what she could mean about being anxious as to leaving Marten, the Marten who appeared so very old and so very wise to him, to take care of himself for a few days without his parents protection. "Thirteen," repeated Mrs. Mortimer, "thirteen no doubt seems very, aye very old, to you Reuben, for you are not yet half that age; but I am more than three times that age," she added, smiling, "and that you know must make me very, very much wiser than Marten, and now once again I say I am anxious about leaving you without your father or myself, and I should be more anxious than I am if I did not believe it is our duty to go at once to Portsmouth; and that it being right for us to go, I can leave you, my boys, in God's care, who is the tenderest of fathers to his children."

"But mamma," asked Marten, "why do you fear for me? Am I not steady, mamma? Do not I like to do what you and papa tell me to do? Am I ever obstinate or rebellious to you? Indeed, mamma, I feel quite grieved; I think it is unjust to mistrust me, mamma, really I do."

"If you feared for yourself, I should have less fear for you, Marten," replied Mrs. Mortimer, "for I know well that the heart of man is by nature prone to sin, and that our thoughts and desires while we are on earth are like our natures, full of imperfections. Temptations are ever before us they press upon us every minute, and it is not in our own strength we can resist or overcome even one of them, and while this life lasts we are not safe, unless we acknowledge their powerful influence and trust in the Divine Spirit alone to be able to withstand them."

"I have not been thought a disobedient boy till now," said Marten somewhat sulkily. "I think my usual conduct should plead for me."

"Every child has temptations, Marten," replied his mamma, "and every well behaved child, though not a pious one, resists them: and in truth these temptations are so numerous, that one scarcely thinks of them, unless we witness the conduct of a spoiled baby, as shame prevents grown up persons giving way to many things... Continue reading book >>

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