IF any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me," said the teacher. Through the half opened window came warm sweet breaths of early spring, while gay little sunbeams danced into the Sabbath-school room through the clefts of the blinds, now gilding the top of Effie's feather, now sparkling into Jeannie's bright eyes when she moved, now kissing little Grace's golden hair, or, rippling over the superintendent's dark old desk, made a sort of Jacob's ladder with golden rounds. Outside, where the sun-beams had their own way, no blinds to shut them out, nor leaves enough on the trees to make a shadow, everything seemed to rejoice in its own brightness and life, and the birds were greeting the coming spring in their own joyous way. "Let him deny himself, and take up his cross," said the teacher again. 

"Take up his cross!" Jeannie wondered how often the teacher said that during the half-hour, and thought how pretty Effie's feather would look if only it could keep its tip of sunshine, and how sweet it was out doors, and why Miss Barnes kept saying that; and she was just going to steal a sly look at the clock, when one of the merry sunbeams fell on Miss Barnes's face, and Jeannie saw with surprise there were tears in her eyes. "My little girls," she was saying, "you all want to follow the dear Lord Jesus,—to be his children. And to each one of you he gives some cross to carry,—something either to do or bear for his sake. You may not know just now what it is, but if you are in earnest about following him, you will find out what it is; and do not turn away from it, and think 'This I cannot do,' but remember his words: 

'Take up thy cross, and follows me." Then the bell rang, and soon after, the children came trooping out of the doorway to greet the robins and the sunbeams. But Jeannie did not heed them now; deep in her heart had fallen the words, "Take up thy cross, take up thy cross." What did it mean for her? "I'm sure I haven't got any trials to bear," she thought. "Perhaps if I had to wear a calico dress with a big patch on it to Sabbath-school, as Katherine Miller does, why, that would be a real cross,—or holes in my shoes;" and she glanced down with satisfaction at her pretty dress and tidy boots. "And I don't have to work in the mill, and I haven't got a sick mother, nor lost any little brother, nor nothing. There can't be any cross for me, any way." 

Sabbath evening was always the most delightful time of all the week at Jeannie's home, for then papa was at leisure, and the children were allowed to sit up longer than usual, and have him all to themselves. 

"Jeannie," said Rob that evening, in a pause in one of papa's most delightful stories of when he was a little boy, "I do wish you would sometimes let me sit by papa; you will always get one side of him, and Dottie the other, and I can only sit in front of him and look at his old boot." 

"It isn't old at all," laughed Jeannie, "and it's beautiful, black, and shiny; besides, you can sit in a higher chair, and then you needn't look at it at all!" 

"Well!" said Rob ruefully, "you've sat there every Sabbath evening always, and I'm the youngest, and you ought to sometimes give up to me." 

"No," answered Jeannie, "boys ought to give up to girls, and besides"—"Take up thy cross!" 

What brought a flush of color over the little girl's face, as she jumped from her chair saying, 

"Here, Rob, take it; I believe I have sat here long enough"! Was that a cross? Such an easy thing to do! The color deepened in her face, as she thought, "I am ashamed to call that a cross, just to give up a chair; I would rather do something harder for Christ's sake." But the interest in papa's story brought other thoughts, and the Sabbath-school lesson was again forgotten. 

But the next morning! Why does "get up" time always come so soon to the childish sleeper after the "good nights" are said? Jeannie had just turned over for a little more sleep when the familiar voice called her in the morning. She wouldn't hear it quite yet, just a minute longer in her soft little nest; so she slipped again into her dream. Was mamma calling again? It must be a mistake; she would wake up soon, but not—quite—ye-e-et! "Jeannie, Jeannie, do get up!" called mamma; "you are always so late to breakfast." "Take up thy cross, take up thy cross," seemed whispered in Jeannie's ear as she bounded out of bed, now quite awake. Was that a cross, getting up when mamma called in the morning? 

"I think I understand about it now," said Jeannie, while dressing herself. "I haven't any patches to wear, or great trials of any kind, but it's just doing little disagreeable things that I ought to do, and doing them cheerfully for Christ's sake, that is to be my cross. It is such a little cross to carry for him, but perhaps he will be pleased if I do everything cheerfully." Before she left her room she prayed, "Dear Lord Jesus, I am only a little girl, but I want to be one of thy dear children; teach me what my cross is, and then help me to carry it. 

I know there isn't much for me to do, but please accept of just what little I can do, for Christ's sake. Amen."

S. S. Times.