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  • 1851
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widow and her children. It is keen and frosty without; and her eldest boy has just come home from his work, shivering with cold. While he is warming himself by the fire, his little sister presents him with the comforter, the thick gloves, and the overshoes, which his benevolence has enabled her to buy. What surprise and pleasure beam in the lad’s face! How happy looks the sister! How full of a subdued and thankful pleasure is the mother’s countenance.

And for weeks and months, did Mr. Alexander gaze, at times, upon this picture, and always with a warmth and lightness of heart unfelt when other images arose in his mind and obscured it.

And for a single dollar was all this obtained, while thousands and thousands were spent in the fruitless effort to buy happiness.

Strange as it may seem, Mr. Alexander did not profit by this lesson–grew no wiser by this experience. The love of self was too strong for him to seek the good of others, to bless both himself and his fellows by a wise and generous use of the ample means which Providence had given into his hands. He still buys pictures and works of art, but the picture in his imagination, which cost but a single dollar, is gazed at with a far purer and higher pleasure than he receives from his entire gallery of paintings and statues.

If Mr. Alexander will not drink from the sweet spring of true delight that has gushed forth at his feet, and in whose clear waters the sun of heavenly love is mirrored, we hope that others, wiser than he, will bend to its overflowing brim, and take of its treasures freely.