[Editorial Note: The American Sunday-School Union was part of what contemporaries called the "Benevolent Empire," a set of non-denominational Protestant organizations, led by laymen, which sought to raise the moral tone of the United States, particularly in cities and on the western frontier. The "Empire" included the American Bible Society, the American Tract Society, and Home and Foreign Mission Societies. Prior to the Civil War it had also included the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Several of these associations published picture books for young children. Their parents were to look at the books with the child, ask the child about the picture, and use the text underneath to draw morals for the child. They provide an interesting set of clues to core Protestant values, particularly in the North.]
P. 41: Missionary Meeting.
These girls are having a missionary meeting of their own. Clara Moreton is chairman, and Lucy is writing the minutes, while one of her companions is giving a statement of the amount of money in the treasury. Some curiosities from distant lands have been given to the young workers; and a large globe helps them to understand where the people live who need the "lamp of life" to shine on their sin and ignorance. If the children do not become "weary in well-doing," we may expect good results from their self-denying interest in the missionary work.
P. 53: The City Girl.
Helen De Witt must suffer from the cold this wintry day. Her light clothing and tight kid gloves cannot keep out the piercing blast; but she thinks herself finely dressed, and passes quite scornfully the children who are going to school well wrapped up. There is a very interesting book, called "Kitty Maynard; or, Scenes at School," about a girl who was astonished to find how much more the children in a village school knew than she did, and about the troubles into which she was led by her vanity and self-conceit.
P. 61: Saturday Evening Talk.
It is Saturday evening, and the first after the death of Mr. Altson. His widow and her son are sitting by the fire, and talking about how they are to get along, now that the main support of the family is gone. Albert is a thoughtful boy, and fully deserves his mother's confidence. He intends to leave school and take a situation [job] in a store, where his industry and good knowledge of accounts will soon be of great service. To give up the house and take lodgings will be a severe trial; but there seems no help for it, and Albert tries to look forward to all the brightness he conjectures for the future.
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