FRED MORRIS and his sister Alice were in their cozy sitting room, learning their lessons for the morrow; and their mother sat at her sewing table near them. 

They were not studying Greek nor Hebrew, but something quite practical and very common,—a spelling lesson. Fred had been very quiet, for him, until suddenly he seemed to give vent to his feelings, as he closed his book with a bang, and shouted out, one syllable at a time, the last word in his lesson, which almost rang through the house. 

"A-bom-i-na-tion." Then, turning to his mother, he said, "That is the last word." 

"So I thought," she replied. "But do you not learn the definitions?" 

"I know the meaning of all but that, mother. 

Will you please be dictionary for me, and save me the trouble of looking it up? I suppose I Ought to know what it means, but I don't exactly." 

"Your sister Alice just had a word in her lesson that I once learned to associate with it, not because it is like it, but on account of the contrast. The other word is delight.' Solomon uses both words in a verse in Proverbs, and tells their meaning quite plainly. He said, 'Lying lips are abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly are his delight.' 

To make it still plainer, if you wish, I will consult Mr. Webster. ABOMINATION. An object of hatred and disgust.' And now that other word, DELIGHT, is spoken of as lively pleasure, happiness, or joy.' " 

Fred seemed quite impressed with his mother's words, and said,— 

"I guess some people I know don't delight the Lord much." 

Little Alice listened attentively. But one would not have said she needed the lesson, for those who knew her, often observed her tender conscience and truthfulness; and even Fred would have resented it, if any one had doubted his sister's word. 

"I hope," said their mother, "that my children will deal so justly with every one that they will indeed be a delight to the Lord." 

Fred was not a truthful boy, but he did not know that his mother had found him out. Even among his schoolmates, he had the reputation of telling untruths; and, when the reproof came so quietly from his mother's lips, he wondered how much she knew of his deceitfulness. To be sure, she had often accused him of such things, and shed bitter tears while she told him what she feared; but he thought he had covered it by other falsehoods. 

Fred had a handsome face, and he was vain enough to glance at his regular features with some satisfaction when he stood before his mirror; but that night, when he entered his room, he turned from the face reflected there with an expression of sorrow and distress, and, at the same moment putting his hand to his mouth, he muttered, "Abomination." 

He fell asleep, and dreamed that he had committed some dreadful crime and was about to be hung, when some one in authority said:— 

"He can have his choice between hanging and another penalty. He can have branded upon his lips this word, 'Abomination." 

He hardly knew whether to choose that or death; and he sobbed aloud, while trying to repeat in broken accents that dreadful word. 

His mother went to his bedside, roused him from his troubled sleep by imprinting a kiss upon his lips, and, in her tender, motherly way, said:— 

"You have been troubled in your sleep, and I know from your words, uttered in your dreams, that you have a troubled conscience. I have understood you better than you thought, my boy; and I have prayed that God, who knows our thoughts even, would lead you to realize your danger. Let us thank God that it is not too late for you to be a delight' to him. May you learn to deal so justly and speak so truthfully that your lips may never seem to you or others to be branded, as you dreamed they were, with that word, 'Abomination.' "