THERE was once a mother who was separated from her two daughters when they were little children, and did not see them again until they were nearly grown up. When the time came for her to live with them once more, her heart was full of wonder and longing, and strange hope and fear combined. What would they be, the two girls who had been children when she saw them last? Would they love her? Would they obey her? Would they make her happy or sad by their behavior to her? A thousand questions she asked herself about them, and at last came the time when she could have them answered.

The oldest daughter, Rosa, rushed into her mother's arms.

"Oh, how I love you!" she cried. "Dear, dearest mamma, how glad I am that you have come back!  Now I will make you so happy that you will never leave us again."

The younger daughter, Ruth, stood apart, shy and silent. She had barely a word of welcome for her mother; she was awkward, and plain, and stupid in appearance; her mother looked at her with grief and disappointment.

"I shall have no comfort in Ruth," she thought; "it is Rosa who will make me happy."

She delighted in Rosa's sweet words and caresses, in her bright eyes and blooming cheeks, in her merry laughter and conversation. But by and by she began to discover that while Rosa hung about her neck with kisses, it was Ruth who did without waiting to be told, or expecting to be rewarded, all the little tasks that insured her comfort. It was Ruth who took care of the canaries, and tended the flowers, and saw that the fire was bright, and ran to do an errand, or give a message, and never was tired or impatient when anything needed to be done.

Rosa dressed herself in her pretty frocks, and sang sweet songs all full of loving words, to her mother; but Ruth dusted the piano, and kept the music in order, and stood over the hot fire to make the toast that her mother liked crisp and brown.

If she was sick, or tired, or anxious, Rosa would call her "darling mamma," and say how sorry she was; but Ruth would think of something, and quietly do it, to make her feel better. Before many days the mother found out that her awkward, plain daughter, who had so little power to express her affection, loved her far more tenderly and truly than the pretty Rosa, who had so many sweet words at her tongue's end.

So, perhaps, our Father in heaven learns which of his children love him best. There are some who will sing the Sabbath-school hymns with loudest voices, and take the prize maybe for learning the largest number of verses; and yet they will go home, and be so rude, and selfish, and unkind.

Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, the Bible tell us. And to go to Sabbath-school, and to learn hymns and verses is very well indeed; but unless we practice the good lessons they teach us, and try to make others happy by kind acts as well as words, we can never truly please our heavenly Father. Let us pray that we may love him with our hearts, and serve him with our lives, and then we shall be his children indeed.