AMONG the Sabbath schools established in Wales toward the close of the last century, was one in the picturesque village of Llanfihangel. One of the scholars, Mary Jones, was the daughter of poor but pious parents. Her mother, by employing her to carry the lantern when the nights were dark, made Mary an exception to the general rule, which did not allow children to attend church-meetings, or the "societies" peculiar to Wales.

In those days Bibles were scarce, and sold at a very high price. Few of the cottagers were able to purchase them, and the only Bible to which Mary had access was in a farmhouse two miles distant from her home. So great was this young girl's love for the Bible that for six years she continued to avail herself of the permission given her to read and study her lessons in this Bible, treasuring up whole chapters in her memory.

It soon became the one desire of her heart to own a copy of this precious Book, and to this end she treasured up every penny in the hope that she might one day be able to purchase one. At last the necessary amount was made up; but she was told that no copy of the Bible could be had nearer than Bala, more than twenty-five miles distant, and that it was doubtful whether one could be found there. But the young girl was not to be discouraged, and one bright morning in the spring of 1800 she rose with the lark and started off toward Bala. Barefooted, she walked all the way, carrying a pair of shoes to put on at the end of her journey, in a wallet, which she had borrowed to bring back the long-coveted Bible. It was a lovely day, and the little girl beguiled the weariness of the journey with happy thoughts of the treasure she hoped soon to call her own.

Night came on before she had reached Bala, and David Edwards, the friend with whom she lodged, advised her to go to bed and rest until morning.

"Thou shalt sleep here tonight," said the good man," and we will go to Mr. Charles as soon as I see a light in his window tomorrow morning, so that thou mayst reach home before night."

At the earliest dawn Mr. Edwards aroused his young friend, and they proceeded to the abode of Mr. Charles. The good pastor was deeply moved at the recital of her story; how for six long years she had every week trudged two miles on foot in order to study her lesson in a borrowed Bible, saving up her pence and half-pence through all those long years that she might be able to have one of her own. "It truly grieves me," he said, "to know that this little girl has come all this distance to buy a Bible, and I have none to give her. The last supply of Welsh Bibles has been sold out for months, except a few that I have kept for friends whom I must not disappoint. What I shall do for Welsh Bibles for my country again, I know not."

'The poor girl burst into tears, and Mr. Charles found himself altogether unable to resist her appeal. "My dear child," he said, "you must have a Bible, difficult as it is for me to spare you one.

It is impossible for me to refuse you. David Edwards," he continued, "is not such a sight enough 'to melt the hardest heart!—a girl so young, so poor, compelled to walk all the distance from Llanfihangel to Bala and back again, about fifty miles, to get a Bible!

From this day I can never rest until I find out some means of supplying the crying wants of my country for the word of God."

This visit made a lasting impression upon Mr. Charles; and by relating this young girl's history in his appeals before wealthy friends in England, great sympathy was awakened in behalf of Wales.

In the midst of the enthusiasm produced by the recital of the story, at a meeting held in London, December, 1802, for the formation of a society, to meet the wants of Bibles in Wales, the venerable Joseph Hughes, of Battersea, threw in the suggestion, "Mr. Charles, if a society for Wales, why not a society for England, and for the whole world?" In these words we see that the visit of this little Welsh girl to Rev. Thomas Charles was closely linked with one of the greatest events in the history of Christianity,—the establishment of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

In all her after-life Mary Jones continued to value the Bible as her chief treasure. She read a portion of it every day, and committed to memory many of those books richest in Divine truth; such as the book of Job, Psalms and Proverbs, Isaiah, the Gospels, and many of the Epistles. Her interest in Sabbath-schools never flagged; and at all the public catechisings held by the great Welsh apostle, Mr. Charles, he was sure to find his young disciple from Llanfihangel. During such catechisings his eye would naturally turn to her for the most correct Scriptural replies; and the entire assembly was often thrilled by the intelligent and heartfelt appreciation of Bible truths evinced by this devoted young Christian.

In after years she became famous for the multitude of her bees and the quantity and quality of her bees-wax. Her receipts from the honey were used for the maintenance of her family; but the receipts for bees-wax, which in fortunate seasons amounted to a considerable sum, were devoted to the Bible Missionary Societies. Never was any bee-keeper on such friendly terms with the busy little workers, who repaid her care by the most delicious honey in all the country round. Incredible as it may appear, she would catch and hold them on the palm of her hand as readily as if they were common flies. She was wont to say that it was owing to their missionary zeal that she was never stung by them. "They all knew that she gave a share of the fruits of their labor to the service of their Creator, and on that account considered her service a privilege and a delight."

When a collection was made in 1854 toward a million Testaments, a half-sovereign was found in one of the boxes. It was the only one, and it was feared that it had been put in by mistake. But it proved to be the gift of Mary Jones.

On the 28th of December, 1866, this good woman entered into her rest. She died in her eighty-sixth year, after a long life passed in poverty and obscurity. But who can estimate the blessed results of that humble life?