HE was walking along the street, gathering the fresh white snow into balls, and throwing it, boy-fashion, in any and every direction. When he came across poor, ragged, forlorn Carl, who had been trying to gather up a little fuel from the streets and alleys, he pelted him as he had done everything else in his way, except well-dressed pedestrians, and laughed, to see the miserable fellow cower against the wall.

"Why doesn't the simpleton throw back, and not just stand there and take it?" he laughed.

It was only sport to him, well clothed, warm, and vigorous, but to the half-fed, half-clad Carl, suffering already from the stinging cold, every dash of the snow was torture. But his persecutor did not seem to realize it, until suddenly a sweet, childish voice called from a window near,—

"An't you 'shamed to take what God sends down from heaven, and use it to make folks down here feel bad?"

The well-dressed boy looked up, laughed in an embarrassed way, but dropped the last ball he had molded, and looked at the poor boy more attentively, as if struck with a new thought.

"Did I hurt you?" he asked with careless good nature. "I didn't mean to do that. Here is a quarter; you can buy yourself some mittens, or— something." Then he strolled comfortably on, and Carl sped away in an opposite direction.

"That makes it some better," said Winnie, reflectively. "But wouldn't it have been nice, auntie, if he'd given him the money without throwing any balls?"

I looked at the wistful face of the little preacher, and thought how often the gifts God sends from heaven are used to "hurt the folks down here;" how riches become the pomp and splendor that lift us away from those we might help; how influence is used to lead astray instead of to guide aright, and "God's great gift of speech, abused," wounds and stings where it should bring blessing. Surely the silver would have been better apart from the blows, little Winnie. We learn to find a deep meaning in the Bible words, so often repeated, of God's "loving-kindness" and "tender mercy," when we begin to realize how much of earth's kindness is careless, not loving, and its mercy so very far from tender.



S. S. Visitor.