A BITTER war was raging in the land when the soldier's little daughter was born. As the mother folded her new treasure to her loving heart, and wept tears of mingled joy and grief upon the baby brow, joy for the gift of the precious soul entrusted to her care, and grief because of the absent father, exposed to danger and death, she breathed a prayer that God would give a speedy peace to the distracted country, and return the dear loved one to his home and household treasures.

"Poor little blossom," she whispered to the unconscious infant, "you come in a time of war, but your name shall speak to us of blessed peace." And she called her baby Irene, signifying peace.

As the little one grew, it became evident that her lovely name was well chosen. The child was in truth a peacemaker. Angry words and frowns and harsh actions could not continue long where this little peace-lover was. 

She had a soft answer for every wrathful word, and the soft answer turned away the wrath. In her childish play she was never quarrelsome, and the disputes and contentions of other children grieved her gentle heart. 

Her large, soft eyes would widen in wonderment at the angry voices, and fill with tears as the unkind words fell from her playmates' lips.

"See, you are making Irene cry," one said. "It is mean to tease Irene so. She never vexes any one."

"It is you who began it," answered the other. "You are the one who ought to be ashamed."

"Please stop," said Irene. "I will give you my apple, Laura, and you, Ada, shall have my string of shells, if you will not fuss any more. Jesus says, 'Little children, love one another.'"

 "What a good little thing you are, Irene," said Ada. "If I were like you, I could get along better with Laura, but she is provoking. Why should she contradict me so?"

"But if you did not answer back again," Irene said, in a gentle voice, "there could be no quarrel. Try to forgive Laura when she provokes you, and she will soon learn to love you."

"I love you, dear little peacemaker," said Laura, "and I'm sorry for my part of the quarrel. I will make friends with Ada if she will." And the little girls gave up their contention, and began again to play amiably.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God," said the teacher, who had heard and seen all.

And a true child of God this dear little girl was. Everywhere her voice was for peace and love and kindness, Her life was like her speech, full of gentle piety, of kind actions, and generous, thoughtful efforts for the good of those about her. Some people, who do not often quarrel and strive themselves, yet take no special pains to prevent strifes among others, or to bring about reconciliation between those who are at variance. These cannot be truly called the children of God. God is a peacemaker. He gave his only Son to make peace for sinners, 'through the blood of his cross.' Christ died to reconcile us to God, even as he lived on earth to preach a gospel of peace. At his birth the angles sang the beautiful meaning of his coming: "Peace on earth, good will to men."

It is not enough to live peaceably, and to love peace ourselves; we must put forth active efforts to promote the peace of others, if we would be numbered among those whom Jesus pronounced blessed in being known as the children of God. Both by our lips and by our lives we are called to adorn the gospel of peace. "Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." He who exerts himself to prevent strife, to smooth away frowns, to hush the angry words, helps to subdue the powers of evil. 

He is a worker with God against Satan. He is a child of the loving Father. "And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." It was true of Irene that many blessed fruits of righteousness were sown by her loving hands as all her life she sought faithfully to "follow peace with all men." 

Mary E. C. Wyeth.