ONE lovely June morning a troop of little folks surrounded Jim, the gardener, and begged so much for one of his moss roses that he was obliged to consider what was to be done. 

"I tell you what, young ladies and gentlemen," said Jim, " this moss-rose is a special favorite of the rector's, and I can't cut it. There isn't a day but that he looks at it when it is in bloom; but I'll cut one flower if any of you will take it to him, and ask him why he calls this the preaching rose. 

Only one held up her hand for the flower; and the gardener severed the beautiful blossom from the parent stem. The little girl hastened with her treasure to the rector's door. 

"Come in, little maid," said a voice from within. 

"What have you in your hand, little woman! I hope you have not been cutting the roses near the house." 

"No, sir; the gardener gave me this one because I promised to ask you why you call it the preaching rose.' " 

"Well, my child, I'm glad that Jim gave it to you, and that you did not cut it; and I am pleased that he sent you to ask me this question. And may the rose do you as much good as it has done me. 

"One summer morning, just like this, I was walking with my dear father in the garden, and he, stopping at that tree, said to me, Joseph, you saw me in the pulpit on Sabbath; and some day I hope you will be a preacher yourself. God has a multitude of preachers in the world whose voices people do not hear. Now, look at this rosebush. 

If the wonderful lilies of the field and even the little grass-blades teach God's great truths, how much more such beautiful flowers as this!' 

"Then my good father cut a beautiful flower, put it into a basket with some tea and sugar, and went off to see a dying girl. The girl thanked him kindly for the tea and sugar; but her eyes sparkled when she saw the rose, and she said, Oh! I'm glad to see this rose, for God -made it; 

and when I look at it, I think how good he is to give such beautiful things to such sinners as we are. 

"Well, Florence, I never saw this sick girl again alive; but her mother told me that many a time during her last hours she looked at the flower and said, How beautiful God and his promised land must be!' And so the blossom preached to her, and helped to make her happy up to her last breath. 

"Even then, my child, the rose had not done preaching; for it kept saying to me, 'With what small things you can give pleasure, Use them; do not wait until you have greater.' And so I began to do this. I gave away some strawberries out of my own bed, and some apples off my own tree, and some flowers out of my own garden; and thus I grew up loving to do good and a happy life I have had. 

"And now look here, my child," said the rector, as he opened a drawer, and showed Florence an old faded flower; "when that girl's mother died, she left me a little paper parcel. When I opened it, it was found to contain this rose and the message, 'The rose with which you helped to make my child's death-bed happy.' " 

Then the rector put Florence's blooming rose by the side of the few dead leaves, and said, "My dear little girl, the old rose is a preacher still—an old preacher, now, like myself. It says, Do good while you can. The time will come for you to die, as I have died. Work while it is day.' And so, Florence, I have often taken flowers to sickbeds, and tried to win men, women, and children to God by telling them of his exceeding beauty and of his wondrous love in the gift of his only Son to die for us. And you, little maid, be a rose bearer yourself through the world, and you, too, shall be oneof the preachers of God."

—Children's Banner.