The Baldwin Library
'Rm613 Of y
....~ p : ,' .
Arthur. Iby an instinctive impulse, threw himself forward,witi
uplifted arm, as if to stay the murderous weapon.--p. 195.
A. L. O. E.,
AUTIIOESS OF THE CLAREMONT TALES, ANGUS TARLTON,
HARRY DANGERFIELD, ETC.
GALL & INGLIS.
80 PATERNOSTER ROW. 6 GEORGE STREET.
1. FALSELY ACCUSED, Conquest over EBELLION,
2 LOST ON THE MIOOR,
3. THE SHADOW,
4. THE HIDDEN FOE,
5. THE PROMISE,
6. THE DROP OF WATER,
7. THE THREE BAGS OF GOLD,,,
8. A GOLDEN RULE,
9. THE PLOT,
10. THE WRONG TRAIN,
11. BOUGHT WITH A PRICE, ,
12. CROWNS AND CONQUESTS,,,
SELF-B IGIEOUSNESS, 98
"HE knows that I would have scorned to touch
it! exclaimed Harry, his face kindling with
"I can only say that Sir John is very angry,
for I heard him talking about it in the drawing-
room. He says that he saw the gold coin in its
place this morning, and you know that nobody
ever goes near the study after breakfast-time
but Simmons and yourself." The speakers
were Mrs Grange, the old housekeeper of
Allenby Hall, and Harry Graves, the young
"Were you in the study to-day ? inquired
Yes; twice with coals," answered the youth.
"Did you notice if the coin was there;-you
know which I mean, the gold one in the red
I saw the case on the table, as usual, but
I never dreamed of opening it to see if it were
empty or not!" exclaimed Harry.
Appearances are against you," said the
housekeeper, "and I'm sorry for it, for though
I've had little time to judge, you have seemed
to me a steady, good lad. It's a grievous thing
to begin life with a stain on your character-
specially as you are an orphan, and without
many friends in the world."
God will befriend me! said the youth with
emotion, "for He knows that no babe is more
innocent than I am of taking what is not my
The study bell was violently rung. "That's
for Simmons," observed Mrs Grange; "depend
don't Sir John is going to question him as to
the coin. I don't think that he can have
"You don't think that I would?" said
Harry, speaking thickly, for his heart was so
full that he could hardly utter the question.
Well-no-I hope not." Each word came
forth slowly, as the housekeeper mixed the
custard which she was preparing for Sir John
Allenby's dinner. "I say that people ought
not to put temptation in young folk's way, by
leaving gold coins about. As you've done set-
ting the table for our tea, Harry, you may just
as well go to Simmons' room, you'll be wanted
in the study by and bye."
Harry was more miserable than he would
have liked to own. As he went about his work,
the feeling that he was suspected, even by his
fellow-servants, weighed like a mill-stone on his
heart. He was startled by the loud angry-
sounding bell rung again from the study. It was
soon followed by the call of Simmons the butler,
"Harry, you're wanted up-stairs!" That was
all; but the orphan youth would scarcely have
felt more uneasy had he known that a policeman
was awaiting him there.
"I'm innocent-I've nothing to fear," re-
peated the poor lad to himself as he mounted
the stairs; but for all the comfort that such a
thought could give him, his heart throbbed very
fast as he turned the gilt handle of the oak-door,
and entered his master's study.
It was a small room, indeed, very lofty, and to
Harry it had always appeared very solemn and
grand. The Allenby arms in the stained-glass
window threw varied tints on the oak-panelled
wall, the tall massive bookcases crowded with
volumes, the large carved chair by the fire-
place, in which sat Sir John, like a judge in
state, with his gouty foot on a red velvet rest.
He was a large, heavy man, with beetling black
brows, and a deeply furrowed forehead. It had
always seemed to Harry that that grave stern
face had been never intended to smile. Lady
Allenby, a small, fair woman, richly dressed,
sat at the opposite side of the fireplace, with her
knitting in her hand. She was a timid and
gentle lady, whose voice was seldom heard,
especially in the presence of her husband, for
whom she had quite as much awe as love.
Near the door stood Simmons, a short, thick-set
man, with large whiskers; his face, always red
and coarse, flushed to a deeper colour than
The silence, which lasted for some seconds
after the entrance of Harry, was dreadfully em-
barrassing to the youth, who felt a strange diffi-
culty as to what to do with his hands. He
forced himself to meet the stern gaze of Sir
John, but its keenness was almost overpower-
ing; Harry manned himself, however, to undergo
with firmness the examination which was before
At last, in a deep stern voice, Sir John in-
quired whether Harry knew anything of his
large gold coin, pointing, as he spoke, to an
empty morocco case, which lay on the carved
"I know that it has been lost," said Harry.
"Perhaps you also know who has taken it?"
said Sir John.
The question, and the tone in which it was
put, made the poor lad colour to the very roots
of his hair; he felt the warm blood mounting
high, he knew that it might be taken as a sign
of conscious guilt, and it was with a desperate
effort that he commanded his voice sufficiently
to answer, "Indeed, Sir, I do not."
Sir John coughed, and shook his head gravely.
Lady Allenby laid down her knitting on her
Have you been before in this room to-day?"
asked the master.
"Yes, twice, Sir," answered the youth.
Again there was an awkward silence; Sir
John looked from Simmons to Harry, and again
from Harry to Simmons.
The man-servant, who had appeared full of
restless desire to put in his word, standing now
on one foot, then on the other, fingering his
button, and biting his lip with impatience,
seemed to take that look as a permission to
speak. Please, Sir," he began, it is a great
unpleasantness, it is, when anything of this sort
happens in a family; and I feel it all the more,
Sir, 'cause I know this is the boy's first place,
and you had not, as I may say, Sir, any charac-
ter with him. It would be a satisfaction to us
all, Sir, it would, if there was a search amongst
his things. I didn't like to mention it before,
Sir, but I've lately missed one of the tea-spoons,
-and a four-bladed knife of my own."
I hope that there will be a search," said
Harry, who had no cause to fear even the
A search there shall be!f t cried Sir John,
putting out his hand to the bell-rope. Mrs
Grange was summoned, who, having been for
the last twenty years housekeeper at Allenby
Hall, enjoyed the fullest confidence of her
master. She received orders to conduct the
examination, and quitted the room for that
Never had minutes seemed so tedious to Harry
as those which elapsed before Mrs Grange's re-
turn. Lady Allenby went on with her knitting,
the click, click of her needles, and an occasional
uneasy cough, being all the sounds in the room.
Sir John whiled away the time by glancing at
a county paper. Simmons seemed fidgetty
and restless; and Harry felt his mouth and
throat grow dry, as if they were parched with
At length there was a rustle of silk in the
passage, and, after knocking at the door, Mrs
Grange re-entered the study. Her face looked
grave, almost sad, as she silently laid on the
table a spoon and a four-bladed knife. "That's
my knife, I could swear to it!" cried Simmons.
Where was it found ?" asked Sir John.
"Please, Sir, 'twas in Harry's box, and so was
The boy started as if he had been struck, and
stared at Mrs Grange in utter amazement. Lady
Allenby gave a faint sigh; she was disappointed
that the crime of theft should be traced to an
orphan in whom she .had taken some interest.
It only remains to be seen what this wretched
boy has made of the coin," said Sir John; and
turning towards Harry he added in his harshest
tone, You had better make full confession at
"I have nothing to confess!" exclaimed
Harry. "I never touched the coin, nor the
spoon, nor the knife! "
"Don't add falsehood to theft!" cried Sir
John, raising his voice to a terrible pitch,
"or I may give you into the hands of the
A faint Oh no!" burst from Lady Allenby's
lips. With a look of timid entreaty she glanced
at her husband; for the lady was ever one to
take the merciful side.
"I do not, however, like harsh measures,"
pursued Sir John, over whom his wife exerted
more influence, perhaps, than he would have
chosen to own; I shall pay up your wages to
this day; unless you make a frank confession,
you must leave this house within the hour "
I have done no wrong-I am innocent! "
cried Harry. Lady Allenby glanced at his fine
open countenance, and could hardly help believ-
ing him ; but Sir John sternly waved him out of
Bewildered, almost stunned by the suddenness
and greatness of his misfortune, Harry knew not
where he was going or what he was doing, till
he found himself in the little room above the
stable in which he usually slept. To be sent
Saway, and in disgrace, robbed of his good name
-a possession tenfold more precious than wealth
-such misery seemed more than his strength
could bear! Slamming the door violently be-
hind him, Harry flung himself on his bed. He
did not cry, though the rising in his throat half
choked him, he writhed in the anguish of his
mind. It was some time ere he could collect
his thoughts sufficiently to review all that had
That Simmons had stolen the coin, seemed
clear; that to draw suspicion from himself he
had most cruelly and wickedly contrived to fix it on
an innocent lad, was plain as daylight to Harry.
But who would credit the honesty of a friendless
boy, rather than that of a confidential servant,
who had come to Allenby Hall with a two years'
character from an earl! Harry saw too well
that, say what he might, no one would believe
him to be guiltless. He thought himself marked
for life with the brand of theft-he who would as
soon have touched red hot iron, as gold not
rightly his own!
Oh! thank God that my mother is dead!
this would have broken her heart! cried Harry
aloud, in the agony of his grief. "I wish that
I were laid in my coffin beside her! There is
but one thing that I should like to live for," he
exclaimed, clenching his fist with sudden passion;
" I should like to live for revenge-to set my
heel on the neck of that wicked man, to crush
him as he has crushed me!" The youth
gnashed his teeth in the fierceness of his rage,
as if he saw his enemy before him.
That was an hour of sore temptation to
Harry. He had been brought up in the fear of
God; he had learned from childhood to love his
Saviour; he had made many good resolutions,
and kept them far better than do many Chris-
tians of riper age. But the tempest of furious
passion in his soul seemed to destroy at once all
the good harvest from seed so carefully sown-
to sweep away not only his charity towards man,
but his faith and submission towards God Re-
bellion rose in the heart of Harry; he listened
to the voice of Satan, who whispered that he had
been hardly dealt with-that the Almighty, who
had taken from him both his parents, had not
only left him to struggle with poverty unaided,
but had utterly deserted him now! Harry had
known much sorrow, but never before had he
known disgrace, and it filled him with bitterness
and indignation. Never are we so wretched as
when we struggle under our cross; then, indeed,
is it that the iron enters into our soul!
Harry did not long give way to his outward
burst of passion; he soon rose, and in sullen
gloom made his preparations for leaving. They
were few, for a bundle, not too large for him to
carry, contained all his earthly possessions; his
box he cared not to take, as it could not be so
easily removed. Harry had two ways of leaving
his little loft: one door communicated with the
house; but a little ladder staircase led down into
the stable, and by this he determined to go. He
would not again cross the threshold of Allenby
Hall, he would steal away silently, taking leave
of no one, and hoping that he might meet with
no one. It seemed at that moment to the in-
jured youth as though all the world were his
enemy, and that he hated all the world. When
Harry had descended, however, to the stable, he
laid down his bundle, and went and patted and
stroked the horses that stood in the stalls. How
often had he filled their racks; how often rubbed
down their sleek sides; they at least knew him,
and did not doubt him, and it was a sad pleasure
to the lonely boy to bid good-bye to these mute
companions. As Harry left the stable, Towler
the watch-dog sprang from his kennel, and
bounded to the full length of his chain, expect-
ing the kindly word and caress which the lad
had been accustomed to give him. "Ah, Tow-
ler, my fine old fellow!" cried Harry, as he
patted and fondled the dog, "you at least have
not given me up! The affection of the faith-
ful creature was soothing to a wounded spirit;
Harry was glad to have something to love, if it
were only a dog.
"Ah! that's you, Harry, I've been seeking
for you," said a voice from the other side of the
stableyard gate, and Mrs Grange beckoned to
him to come to her. These are your wages
to the end of the month, you know that your
first quarter was paid last Friday, and," she
continued, "seeing that the sun is near setting,
and that the evenings are growing chilly, her
ladyship has persuaded Sir John to let you stay
till the morning."
"Stay!" exclaimed the indignant boy, "I
would not stay if he paid me to do so! I want
justice from him, and not pity! But," he
added in a more softened tone, "it was kind in
my mistress to think of me, tell her that I
never "-something or other made Harry cough
instead of concluding his sentence, and without
another word he turned his back upon Allenby
Harry walked fast for some minutes before
the thought of "whither shall I go?" had
entered into his mind. It was needful, how-
ever, to come to some determination, and after
reflection, he resolved to direct his steps to the
dwelling of Farmer Brown, who lived about ten
miles off, not far from Harry's native village.
Brown had known Harry's parents in former
years, and had offered to take him on his farm
about the same time that Lady Allenby made
him her servant at the Hall. Harry knew that
the rough old farmer had been offended at his
"choosing to live with the grand folk, instead
of following the plough like an honest lad."
Harry disliked asking for the place which he
had formerly refused, and which he was not now
likely to get; but in the desperate state of his
affairs, he saw no other course before him. He
must at least make the attempt, and so reck-
lessly miserable was the lad, that it seemed to
him that if he failed he had nothing to do but
to lie down and die. Harry's spirit was much
in the state of Jonah's, when that rebellious
prophet dared to exclaim even to the Almighty,
"I do well to be angry!" He was not dis-
posed to pray, still less to submit in patience to
the will of his God.
But there are few things which tend more to
quiet the passions and calm the mind, than a
long walk through country lanes, when the
rosy sunset melts into twilight, and one by one
the stars come out, spangling the blue frosty
sky. Harry was alone with nature, and nature's
God, and as the chill fresh night air fanned his
brow, and he raised his eyes to the pure bright
orbs above him, gradually a calming influence
fell on his troubled soul. Those stars-how
high they seemed, how far removed from the
cares and troubles of earth! How many thou-
sand years had men been suffering and women
weeping beneath those quiet stars, that had
looked down on their struggles once, and now
looked down on their graves Some mourners
had grieved for the dead-whom long since they
had rejoined; some for bodily pains-that now
never could rack them more; some, perhaps,
like himself had suffered from the tongue of
slander;-do we read of any such in the Bible?
It was well for Harry that he knew his Bible,
that he could turn to it now for examples of
trials resembling his own.
"Yes, sure," thought the youth, "there was
Joseph,-first sold by his own brothers into
slavery, then thrown into a shameful prison
because he was falsely accused! His case was
harder than mine; perhaps he, too, thought
himself deserted. But no, his faifh was firm
and strong; and how he triumphed in the end
over those who had done him wrong! Then
there was Job, misjudged by his own friends,
and reproached as a hypocrite at the very time
when he most needed comfort and help. David
was accused of being false to his master; Jere-
miah was thrown into a pit as a traitor; some
of the best and noblest of men have been slan-
dered and falsely accused. But their innocence
is known at the last!" The thoughts of Harry
naturally rose from the servants to the Master,
to Him who stood in meek majesty before the
judgment-seat of a man whom He Himself had
created! The Son of God listened in silence
when "vehemently accused" of many things,
when reproached with blasphemy, when mocked
and struck, and sentenced to a terrible death !
When He was reviled, He reviled not again;
when He suffered, He threatened not; nay,
Christ could pity His persecutors, and for His
murderers could pray While thus looking unto
Jesus, Harry felt the spirit of rebellion dying
away in his heart. His trial was still heavy to
the youth, but it was appointed by One who
had Himself endured a far greater weight of woe,
and who would not call His child to suffer more
than He would enable him to bear. What trial
had Harry to undergo in which his Lord had
not set him the example of meek and loving
submission? Was it poverty? The Son of
Man had not where to lay His head Was it
desertion of friends ? All the Lord's disciples
forsook Him and fled. Was it slander? Many
things blasphemously spake the Jews against
their King. As Harry walked on with a slower
step, he repeated to himself the beautiful hymn
which has soothed so many Christian sufferers:-
The cross our Master bore for us,
For Him we fain would bear;
But mortal strength to weakness turns,
And courage to despair:
"Then pity all our frailty, Lord,
Our failing strength renew;
And when Thy sorrows visit us,
Oh! send Thy patience, too."
The last four lines were a prayer, and as soon
as that prayer had been breathed, the heart of
Harry grew lighter. He could submit to the
will of his God; he could turn with hope to the
promise of his God : commit thy way unto the
Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring
it to pass : and He shall bring forth thy right-
eousness as the light, and thy judgment as the
noon-day. Rest in the Lord, and wait pa-
tiently for Him.
It was nearly nine o'clock before Harry saw
dimly the low outline of Brown's farm against
the dark blue sky, and stood beside the wooden
gate, where an elm, half bared by the autumn
blasts, had strewed the ground with its yellow
How will he receive me !" thought Harry;
"what will he think of my coming so late !"
For several minutes the poor youth could not
make up his mind to ring the bell. When he
did so, it was answered by the angry bark of a
watch-dog, echoed by the yelping of curs. This
did not sound like a welcome, and Harry had
to wait for some time before he received any
other. At last, however, he could hear bolt
after bolt withdrawn from the house door,
and Farmer Brown himself, his bulky form
indistinct in the star-light, with heavy tread
crossed the yard.
Who be you at such an hour of the night ? "
cried the farmer, who had been roused from his
Oh my God, dispose his heart to be kind!"
was the prayer darted up from the soul of Harry,
before he answered by giving his name.
What, Harry Graves! you're welcome, my
lad. I'm glad you're come afore the supper's
cleared away. You'll be glad of a good fire, I
guess, for the nights are growing uncommon
cold." A hearty shake of the hand followed the
kind words of welcome.
Harry was soon seated at Brown's hospitable
board, beside a blazing fire whose pleasant
warmth was doubly grateful after the chill night
air. Bread and cheese were put before him,
but Harry was less disposed to eat than his host
expected him to be after so long a walk. The
excitement of the day had told upon the
youth, and he could not but feel restlessly
uneasy lest he should be questioned upon the
painful subject which was uppermost in his
"And so ye're tired already of high life below
stairs; I knew ye would be so," said the farmer,
pouring out from a brown jug some foaming
This was hardly spoken as a question, so
Harry did not think it needful to speak.
"When did you give warning?" asked the
"I did not give warning," stammered forth
Harry, who felt that silence then would be
"What," said the farmer sharply, "you don't
mean to say that they turned you off ? "
The lad's cheek grew very hot, and he was
less than ever disposed to touch the food before
"Ah! they've found you a bit wild perhaps;
can't put old heads on young shoulders; you've
been up to a spree, and Sir John likes every-
thing stiff as starch! "
Harry Graves shook his head.
"Then what kind of scrape did you get
How difficult we sometimes find it to be to
utter the plain simple truth Harry had always
been accustomed to speak it, yet now in the
presence of that blunt, honest farmer, it seemed
impossible to the lad to say the words which
might cover his own character with shame, and
deprive him of the confidence of the only man
whom he could look on now as a friend! But
Harry's hesitation, though painful, was short.
He had resolved by God's grace, to follow as
closely as weak human nature would let him, in
the footsteps of our suffering Lord; to utter
even an equivocal reply, would be to step aside
from the straight narrow way. To the question
of Brown, impatiently repeated, Harry made
answer with a quivering lip, They thought
that I had taken what was not mine, but they
did me shameful injustice! "
"I'll be bound that they did!" exclaimed
Brown, striking the deal table with his hand;
"a lad that speaks straight to the point
like that, won't take to picking and stealing.
He that scorns a lie, will never stoop to a
Harry felt as if a great weight had been lifted
from his mind. A glow of thankful joy warmed
his breast; it was such a relief that the farmer
knew all, -knew it from his own lips, and trusted
"Ye'll bide with me, my lad," continued
Brown; "I wish I'd had your stout arm at the
harvesting, but there's work enough with the
cattle, and getting all right for the winter. And
so, if matters be settled atween us, suppose you
set to your supper; it seems to me that ye've
lost your appetite as well as your place! "
And thus Harry Graves had once more found
a home, and an opportunity of winning a good
name. Very fervent that night were his thanks-
givings to his Heavenly Father, who had seen
his distress, and helped him, and given to him
a friend in his need.
Harry's trials were, however, not over, nor
his rebellious spirit quite subdued. He had
much to pain him and rouse angry feelings
during the following winter. Gossips, ever
eager to spread an ill-natured report, soon
brought to Harry's native village the story of
his dismissal from Allenby Hall, with many
additions to the tale. It was said that gold coins
had been found in his pocket, and twelve silver
teaspoons under his pillow; and that Sir John
had only been prevented by the tears of his lady
from first horse-whipping the culprit, and then
sending him to prison! Some of the villagers
pitied Harry, and said that they never would
believe such things of his father's son; others
shrugged their shoulders, and observed that
Farmer Brown was a bold man to take such a
lad into his service.
"I'll tell you what," cried the farmer angrily,
when something of the kind was once said in
his presence; "since Harry came to me last
year, I've never missed an egg from my yard,
or a turnip from my field. The lad's as honest
as any that stands on shoe-leather, and I'd trust
him with money untold "
Slander was lived down at last, and gossip
found a different subject. It was noised abroad
in the early part of the year followingg that in
which Harry had come to the farm, that Simmons
the butler had been dismissed in disgrace from
Allenby Hall. Sir John had found his cellar
shamefully robbed of its wine; the bins of claret
and port held scarcely half their proper number
of bottles. The butler was clearly dishonest.
One discovery led to another; it became known
that amongst other things the missing gold coin
had been sold by Simmons to a pawnbroker in
London. Sir John did not prosecute the
offender, but turned him out of his service.
Then every tongue was let loose against Sim-
mons, and by a kind of reaction grew loud in the
praise of Harry.
I never believed a word against him!" said
the very gossip whose ill-natured hint had
roused the indignation of the farmer.
The winter had been long and severe, and so
had been the trials of Harry; but spring-time
had come at last, both to nature and to him.
Cruel suspicions had melted away like the ice
which had bound the stream; and as the bare
branches of the trees blushed into beauty, so
new hopes budded forth for him where all had
seemed withered and dead. Adversity had but
strengthened the character of Harry, and exer-
cised his faith and submission, as the frosts and
snows of winter prepare for the glories of spring,
As Harry drove his plough over the field, with
the joyous lark carolling high above his head in
the bright blue sky, and looked at the wide view
before him-the golden meadows, the verdant
groves, the orchards rich with myriad blossoms
-the joy of his heart found expression in the
beautiful words of the Psalmist, Blessed be the
Lord because He hath heard the voice of my
supplication. The Lord is my strength and
my shield; my heart trusted in Him and I am
helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth,
and with my song will I praise Him I
Never so gloomily, man with a mind!
Hope is a better companion than fear;
Providence, ever benignant and kind,
Gives with a smile what you take with a tear!
All will be right,
Look to the light,
Morning is ever the daughter of night-
All that was black will be all that is bright!
Many a foe is a friend in disguise,
Many a sorrow a blessing most true,
Helping the heart to be happy and wise,
With love ever precious, and joys ever new!
Stand in the van,
Strive like a man,
This is the bravest and cleverest plan,
Trusting in God, while you do what you can I
fost oil i oo w.
HARRY, it's a bit of news for you I have,"
cried Farmer Brown, one cold Christmas-eve,
as his farm-lad came in from foddering the
cattle. "Who has been here, d'ye think, not
an hour since, looking like a beggar on the
tramp, with his elbows nigh through his sleeves,
and ne'er a great-coat on,-shivering as though
the sharp wind was blowing right through his
I can't tell," replied Harry, "but I'm sure
and certain that, whoever he was, you gave him
a seat by your fire on this bitter cold evening,
and something hot to warm him."
I didn't though! exclaimed the farmer,
I gave him nothing but words as bitter as the
weather;" and seeing a look of surprise upon
Harry's fine manly face, ne added, raising his
voice to a pitch expressive of indignation, "he
was no one else than that villain Simmons, that
fellow who, to hide his own dishonesty, tried to
ruin you in your last place,-the man who did
his best to get you into jail! I'd look over
many an offence, would I, I'd put up with many
a wrong, but a man who blackened my good
name,-I'd never forgive him, never !"
There were mingled emotions rising in the
breast of Harry; for a moment there was un-
generous triumph at the fall of his cruel enemy,
the shame of one who had tried to bring him to
shame. But Harry knew that such a feeling
was altogether unworthy of a Christian, and had
self-reproach for having ever indulged it.
So Simmons is in great distress!" he said;
"we all know that early this year he lost his
place at Allenby Hall, but I should not have
thought that a sharp clever fellow such as he is
would have been brought so low in so short a
"Wouldn't you have thought it !" cried the
farmer; "that shews, my lad, how little you
know of the world. That man has for long been
on a downward road. Ill-gotten gain burns the
pocket, it won't stay long in the purse. While
a fellow has health and a good name, he don't
want much cash to get on with; but, ye see,
Simmons has lost his character, and, I take it,
his health was none the better for the port and
sherry which he made free with out of his mas-
ter's cellar. I didn't know him at first, so much
was he changed from the stout hearty chap who
came here last year to talk about the cider for
Sir John. He has lost every bit of his flesh,
and breathes like a broken-winded horse; I'll
be bound he has something the matter with his
"And to be out in such an evening as this !"
exclaimed Harry. "I suppose that Simmons
was going towards the village to get some shelter
for the night."
Not he,-he was going towards the moor.
I daresay that he'd a guess that in your native
place he'd a poor chance of a kindly welcome."
I shan't feel easy on my bed to-night," said
Harry, "if I think that poor creature, accus-
tomed, as he has been, to all sorts of comforts
at Allenby Hall, is wandering about in the dark,
and losing his way in the snow, and may be
dying under a bush. Would you let him have
a night's lodging here-he could share my room,
Straw in a barn is too good for the like of
he," cried the farmer. Harry, you're a soft-
hearted chap! Many a better man than Sim-
mons has had to sleep under a hedge, but I
daresay he'll go to the village when he finds how
sharp the wind blows over the moor."
Harry went to the door and opened it to look
out. A gust of keen air rushed in, blowing out
in an instant the lighted candle on the table, and
sending the flames of the big fire with a more
roaring blaze up the chimney.
What are ye after ? cried the farmer, with
the rough kindness which he always shewed to
Harry, who was to him more like a son than a
servant, if ye hold the door open like that, ye'll
have the house as cold as a churchyard !"
I can see no one abroad," said Harry, and
a wild storm is coming on."
All the more need to close shutters and bar
doors, heap on the logs, and take something
warm to keep out the cold. This be regular
Christmas weather !" added the farmer, stretch-
ing out his broad brown hands to the glow.
"I must go and look after Simmons," said
Harry. "This is no time to keep up old
grudges; won't you give him house-room if I
bring him ?"
"You're a strange fellow!" laughed the
farmer; "why can't you sit down and be easy;
you'll never find the man on the moor, for it's
nigh an hour since he passed, and the night is
closing in dark. I'll not send him away if he
comes here, for it is a season for kindness, after
all; but if Simmons had wronged me as he has
wronged you, I'd not step across the threshold
to-night to save his neck from a halter."
Harry waited for no further permission; he
took down his felt cap from the wall, pulled it as
much over his eyes as he could, then took a
lantern from the cupboard, and lighted it.
If ye will go, wrap the plaid round you, my
lad," said the farmer.
Harry threw the folds of the warm plaid over
his chest, and then-lantern in hand, leaving
supper and fire behind-he sallied forth into the
It was not a mere impulse of humanity that
made the youth go in search of his enemy. It
was Christmas-eve, and Harry had not been ac-
customed to think of Christmas merely as a sea-
son of feasting and mirth. The song of the
angels was echoing in his heart-Glory to God
in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill
towards men. As Harry, battling with the
furious blast, made his way towards the bleak
moor, with a black starless sky above him, he
thought of One who had come from heaven to
seek the wanderers, ruined and lost, in the wil-
derness of this world.
Yet no one had had a sharper sense of wrong
than Harry Graves. When first turned out of
his former place by the base slander of Simmons,
he had felt burning hatred towards his enemy,
and an intense thirst for revenge. He had
longed, as he had once exclaimed, to set his
heel upon the neck of the wicked man who had
tried to ruin an innocent youth, and turn an
orphan adrift on the world. But Harry's con-
science soon told him that it is impossible for
any real Christian to nourish revenge. He re-
membered the words of St Paul-Dearly beloved,
avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto
wrath, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I
will repay, saith the Lord. To give up all
thought of revenge, this was the first Christian
conquest over hate.
But though the evil passion was not suffered
to triumph by an outward act, it was harboured
in the heart of the youth. Harry Graves de-
tested Simmons-he could not think of him
with patience; he was glad when he heard him
abused; he heartily desired his fall. I hope
that I shall live to see that man punished!"
was Harry's continued wish, and as long as it
was only a wish, he scarcely regarded it as sin-
ful. Harry's eyes were opened on this point,
however, by a -sermon which he heard one
Sunday, preached from the beautiful text: Let
all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and
clamour, and evil-speaking be put away from
you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to
another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another,
even as God, for Christ's sake,. has forgiven you.
Then," replied Harry, it is not enough
that I should seek no revenge upon Simmons, I
must wrestle down in my heart the malice which
I bear him. I must forgive as I have been
forgiven. But who is sufficient for these things !
How is it possible not to resent a wrong, and
hate him who has inflicted it!" Something
within seemed to whisper, with men it is im-
possible, but with God all things are possible.
The Lord who gave the command, Love your
enemies, could alone give grace to obey that
command. Harry sought for such grace by
prayer. Daily he prayed for Simmons, and
daily he prayed that he might be enabled to
forgive him freely, and from the heart. Daily
Harry repeated to himself the words of the
Lord,-If ye do not forgive, neither will your
Father which is in heaven forgive your tres-
passes. To put away thoughts of malice was
the second Christian conquest over hate.
Gradually bitterness of feeling died away in
the bosom of the youth; gradually he learnt to
pity where he could not respect. It was then
that he heard of the miserable condition of his
enemy, and resolved to shew kindness to the
man who had so deeply wronged him, should any
opportunity of doing so arise. The love of God
shed abroad in the heart had enabled Harry
to win this third and final conquest over hate.
The storm which had been threatening, burst
over the head of the youth before he had pro-
ceeded far from the gate of the farm. Down
came the pelting hail, mingled with sleet,
whirled in his face by the furious blast which
came sweeping over the moorland. Almost
blinded by the hail, and battling with the wind,
and unable to see more than a few yards before
him, Harry began to think his attempt to find
Simmons useless and vain, and was greatly in-
clined to go back.
I daresay that he is warm and comfortable
at this moment at the bar of the 'Chequers,'
while I am freezing my blood in the cold. It
does not seem likely that any man in his senses
would attempt to cross the moor on a night like
Snow lay on the ground in glimmering white-
ness. Harry, by the light of his lantern, could
see the track of footsteps upon it, marks which
would soon be effaced by the pouring hail. But
one man had trodden that road since the snow
had fallen, and the print of his feet shewed
plainly that he had gone towards the moor.
Harry had scarcely a doubt that the wayfarer
was Simmons-that the miserable man must
have wandered upon the waste which spread
before him in indistinct gloom, lightened only
here and there by the faint gleam from masses
of drifted snow.
I shall not be able to keep the track if I get
on the common," reflected Harry, as he gazed
on the dreary expanse, "I shall lose my own
way on the moor, for there are no stars above to
guide me, and I can make out no landmarks
below. I will give a loud halloo, and if no one
answer, will return at once to the farm."
Loud and long was the shout which rang from
the lips of Harry, but the fierce wind drove the
sound back. He gave another, and another,
but the rattle of the hail and the howl of the
blast almost drowned his voice. He listened in
vain for a reply.
Go back," murmured inclination.
Go on," whispered Christian duty. Harry
obeyed the whisper.
It was now impossible to trace any footsteps,
or even to be sure of the path. Harry knew
that there were pools and bogs on the heath,
and-warily as he trod-more than once, setting
foot upon treacherous snow, he plunged suddenly
up'to his knee in water! There was not only
discomfort, but some danger in pursuing his
search; but the belief that this was the work
which his Heavenly Father had given him to
do, made Harry struggle on without flinching.
As the example of his Lord had strengthened
him once to submission in suffering God's will,
so it roused him now to brave persevering effort
to do God's will. Where will an earnest Chris-
tian not go, if he see clearly that his Master has
trodden the way before him!
To deny self for the sake of a friend, to prefer
his welfare to our own; to be ready to forego com-
fort, even safety for him, is to follow in the steps
of the Lord! Reader! have you ever done this ?
To deny self for the sake a stranger, to pre-
fer his welfare to our own; to run hazards and
face trials for him-is to follow more closely in
the steps of the Lord! Reader! have you ever
done this ?
To deny self for the sake of an enemy, to pre-
fer his welfare to our own; to face danger, per-
haps death to save him-this- this is to follow
as closely as man can follow on the steps of the
Lord! Reader! have you ever done this ?
But oh how feeble, how imperfect the efforts
even of the most faithful and loving! How
much need have we of prayer-how much of
repentance, how much of pardoning grace!
How true the words of an eloquent preacher,
that we can but track on our knees the path
where the Lord left the mark of His feet!
Never has there been, never can there be, love
to be compared unto His !
Again and again, when the wind lulled for a
minute, Harry Graves repeated his shout, but
no answer came on the blast: in vain he held
forth his lantern and threw its yellow beams on
the snow-those beams shed their light but a
little way, and how wide seemed to Harry, upon
that stormy night, the desolate waste which he
traversed. Almost despairing of finding him
whom he sought, the youth lifted up his heart
in prayer, and even as he did so he almost
stumbled over an object which at a little dis-
tance he had mistaken for a small clump of
furze. Simmons, miserable man! lay before
him, half covered with snow, and in that state-
half torpor-half sleep-from which those ex-
posed to great cold, if not roused will never
awake upon earth !
"Thank God! I've found him at last!" ex-
claimed Harry. "I must stir him up, or he
will be frozen to death! He called the man
He almost stumbled over an object which at a little distance he
had mistaken for a clump of furze.-p. 32.
by his name-called loudly--Simmons made no
attempt to stir; Harry shook his arm-it fell
back as if powerless : it was clear that to awaken
this sleeper would not be an easy task.
What shall I do ? thought the much-per-
plexed youth; I have not strength enough to
carry him; if I leave him I may never find him
again-I may lose my own way, be absent for
hours, and in the meantime he may perish!
O God, my God! awaken this poor wretch from
his deadly sleep "
Harry put down his lantern, and using both
hands, shook Simmons with such energy that
he succeeded in rousing him a little.
"Leave me, I must rest-don't trouble me,"
were the drowsily muttered words which came
forth from lips, which were blue with the cold.
If I leave you," cried Harry, "you will
die. You must make an effort-you must rise;
think of the warm fire and warm bed that are
ready for you,-you must not stay here and be
frozen! As Harry spoke, he stripped off his
own warm plaid, and wrapped it tightly round
the shivering form of his enemy.
Hard indeed was it to persuade the man to
suffer himself to be saved; hard was it to arouse
him from his dangerous slumber, to induce him
to make an effort to rise. Is it not so with
the unawakened soul ? Do not God's servants,
day after day, try to rouse the sleeping con-
science, and implore, too often in vain, the per-
ishing sinner to rise and live ? And is not the
sinner even angry at being disturbed in his rest
-is not his answer to those who would rescue
him in spite of himself, "Depart, and trouble
me not !" Nay, has he not a deaf ear even for
the pleading voice of his Creator, heard in the
holy Scriptures, As I live, saith the Lord God,
I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,
but that the wicked turn from his way and live;
turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why
will ye die?
It was with the utmost difficulty that Harry
at length persuaded Simmons to struggle up on
his feet. The poor man's limbs were numbed,
his joints stiff, and his teeth chattered with cold.
Harry, deprived of his plaid, himself felt almost
frozen, and thought with uneasiness of the diffi-
culty which he might find in getting back to the
farm. He was not certain of his exact position,
the hail was rattling around him, and he had to
drag along with him a feeble, miserable man,
who could hardly be induced to make the effort
to walk which alone could keep his blood in
"How shall I ever get home!" thought
Harry. "I fear that both Simmons and myself
will find our graves amidst this snow. He will
not be able to keep up much longer "
Again Harry raised a silent but fervent prayer
to Him who alone could direct him, and felt
strengthened to do or to suffer whatever his God
Hark! exclaimed Simmons suddenly, "is
not that the bark of a dog? "'
Most welcome sound both to his ears and
those of Harry The youth shouted, and his
shout was answered! In a minute more a large
shaggy dog came bounding towards him through
the darkness, barking joyfully as he came, and
then the rough voice of Farmer Brown was
heard, "Hallo! Harry! have you found your
lost sheep on the moor ?"
"Yes, I've found him!" was the joyful
Hope giving to them new strength, the two
half-frozen wanderers, under the farmer's guid-
ance, soon left the dreary common behind them,
and went on their way till they came in sight of
the gleaming light in the window of the farm.
Few questions were asked by Brown, as he
helped Harry to support his miserable com-
panion. In the warm comfortable dwelling,
Simmons received all the care which his ex-
hausted condition required; Harry would not
even change his own wet clothes till he had
attended to his enemy's wants. Then, indeed,
in dry raiment, seated by the fire, with a steam-
ing drink to warm his shivering frame, the lad
with a joyful, thankful heart recounted to the
farmer the adventures of the night.
Well, you could not have done more for a
brother," observed his listener; "I hope that
you won't have to pay for your work to-morrow
in a fit of the ague."
Never had Harry enjoyed sounder or more re-
freshing sleep than he did that night, going to
rest as he did with the sweet sense of duty per-
formed. Never had he awoke more fresh in
body, or more blythe in spirit, than he did upon
Christmas morn. Never had he been able more
joyfully to joip in the angels' song, Glory to
God in the highest; and on earth peace, good-
will towards men!
The young and vigorous frame of Harry
suffered no after ill effects from his night ad-
venture on the moor. With Simmons the case
was different; exposure to the cold had so
greatly increased his illness, that it was found
needful to send him to the county hospital,
where he could have constant medical attention.
The days of the miserable man were numbered;
he lingered indeed, for many months-months
of suffering, and yet most precious, for they
were granted to him as a time of preparation
for the awful change before him. Harry, when
his day's work was over, often visited poor
Simmons and read the Bible by his bedside.
The heart of the once reckless sinner seemed
softened; and though those around him never
felt sure of the safety of his state, nor had he
ever joy in believing, Harry cherished a hope
that even at the eleventh hour the poor wandering
sheep had been found and saved by the Heavenly
I could never have believed that God could
have mercy on me-even on me," faltered the
dying man one day, as he laid on Harry's hand
his own weak trembling fingers, "if I had not
seen in you how far mercy can go. If you,
whom I almost ruined, can yet pity and forgive,
perhaps-who knows ?-perhaps the Lord can
pity and forgive me also!"
Harry's only reply was repeating with solemn
earnestness the blessed words of the Saviour,
which have been as new life to many a soul
almost sinking into despair-God so loved the
world that He gave His only-begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have everlasting life. He added,
still in the language of Scripture, "If we say
that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and
the truth is not in us; but if we confess our
sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins,and to cleanse usfromall unrighteousness!"
Tears stood in the sufferers eyes; the once
proud haughty spirit was subdued, and Harry
left the dying man with a sweet hope that God
in His mercy would not despise a broken and
contrite heart, and that he himself should be
granted the joy of meeting his late enemy in
One day, as Harry was returning from a visit
to the sick-bed of Simmons, he was surprised
to see, standing before the door of the farm, a
splendid carriage and pair. Well did he know
the crimson livery, the coat of arms emblazoned
on the panel, the sleek horses that pawed the
ground, as if impatient -of delay. The carriage
was that of his late master, Sir John Allenby.
Harry recognized the horses to be those which
he himself so often had tended. What strange
accident could have brought the proud baronet
to the farm? The coachman who, in stately
dignity, sat on the box, was a stranger to Harry,
or he would have been eagerly questioned; the
youth passed him, and with a quick eager step
entered the dwelling.
Here the lad is to answer for himself,"
cried Farmer Brown, as through the open door
of his parlour he caught sight of Harry Graves.
"Come hither my boy," he added, Sir John
and my lady were asking to see you."
To see me !" thought the wondering Harry,
as he pulled off his cap, and with a modest but
manly bearing entered the parlour, full of the
recollection of the painful sentence heard, the
cruel disgrace endured, when he had last stood
in the presence of those now before him. There
was the stiff stately Sir John, little changed
from what he had been some eighteen months
back, save that he was free from the gout, and
that his black beetling brows were now streaked
with some hairs of white; there sat his fair
gentle lady, in her satin and lace, with a smile
more than usually sweet upon her mild, placid face.
Sir John was, as usual, the one to speak;
even his pompous manner and deep voice were
softened to something like kindness.
"Harry Graves," he began, "we have lost
sight of you since you quitted our service, and
this was to us a matter of regret, since we found
that you had been the victim of a false accusa-
tion from a man who afterwards shewed himself
to be utterly unworthy of the confidence which
we had placed in him."
The baronet paused and coughed; Lady
Allenby took up the word, "It was only yester-
day," she said, that we accidentally heard from
the chaplain of the county hospital that you
were the person who generously went out in a
violent storm, on a cold winter's night, to search
for the unhappy man who had so cruelly slan-
dered your character."
"It was only my duty," said Harry, who
shrank from being praised for a simple act of
It may have been your duty," remarked the
baronet, "but duty is not always done, and
those who perform it under circumstances of
difficulty, deserve both encouragement and re-
ward. But first, to return to the events of the
past; I mean those which occasioned your leav-
ing my service; as you were dismissed on account
of an accusation which has since been ascer-
tained to be false, I am willing to take you
back, give you a higher position in my house-
hold, and a suitable increase of wages."
The farmer, who was standing with his back
to the fire, an interested and attentive listener,
awaited with some anxiety Harry's answer to
the baronet's proposal.
"I am much obliged to you, Sir, for the
offer," was Harry's respectful reply, "but I am
quite contented where I am, and have no wish
for a change. Farmer Brown has been my
good friend in need, and, if he is willing to keep
me, I never wish to leave him."
"Bless you for that, my boy!" exclaimed
Brown, in the warmth of his feelings almost
forgetful of the presence of Sir John and his
lady, you be-as your father was afore you-
a right honest, faithful, God-fearing youth ;
you shall never repent the day when you cast in
your lot with John Brown !"
Whether Sir John was pleased or not at his
offer being declined, it is needless to inquire;
but his manner was unusually gracious as he
slowly drew out a pocket-book, slowly unfastened
its silver clasp, and taking from it a narrow slip
of paper, laid it on the table before Harry.
This," said he, keeping his finger upon it,
"is a cheque on my banker for twenty pounds,
drawn out in the name of Harry Graves. It is
not given as a compensation, but I think it just
and right to mark my approbation of conduct
which does honour to you both as a Christian
and a man !"
Harry felt abashed alike by the praise and
the present. I thank you, Sir," he said, with
a heightened colour, and without touching the
cheque, "but I should be ashamed to take
money for shewing common charity to a fellow-
creature in distress. I never looked for reward."
I feel sure that you never did," said Lady
Allenby, with her kindly smile, "yet take the
cheque, Harry, as our expression of regret that
we once, however unintentionally, did you in-
justice. God, the Author and Giver of all good,
will Himself reward, in the presence of angels,
the feeblest attempt made-for His sake-to
save or to serve a fellow-creature. And more
especially when He has given grace to one of
His servants to exercise the most difficult-the
most godlike virtue of forgiveness, He will never
forget the blessed promise which is linked with
the command, Love your enemies, bless them
that curse you, do- good to them that hate you,
and pray for them which despitefully use you
and persecute you; that ye may be the children
of your Father which is in Heaven!"
When in our breast we feel the flame of love,
Kindled by grace, becoming dim and low;
When we resentful, angry feelings prove,
Coldness to God above, or man below,
When kindness seems a task, and words impatient, ;
How shall we foster love's declining light?
By drawing forth from Memory's treasure-cave,
Remembrance of that holy, mournful night,
When Jesus to the flock He died to save,
Gave His last sweet commands, His parting blessing gave.
Muse on the solemn scene, till Faith have power
The inspired narrative to realise,
And round the board, at evening's quiet hour
The chosen Twelve appear, their anxious eyes
Fixed on the Lamb of God, the spotless sacrifice.
Lo! on the bread His sacred hand He lays-
That hand so soon for them transfixed to be-
See the Redeemer's uplift heavenly gaze,
And hear the accents which still breathe to thee,
This do ye in remembrance of Me !"
Nor this the sole command by Jesus given
To His disciples, loved unto the last,
When the Messiah, the Beloved of Heaven,
Beheld death's awful hour approaching fast,
The cross, the anguish which all mortal woe surpassed,
When He surveyed their small devoted band,
And all that He for them would suffer knew,
The Saviour breathed that heavenly command,
That bond of union to His faithful few,
Love one another, e'en as I have loved you
"As I have loved you oh, wondrous love !
Language can breathe, and thought conceive no more;
It is not as thyself; this mounts above
All human feelings, bids us higher soar,
Gaze on the cross, and feel the love a Saviour bore!
Oh! let us never rudely tear aside
The band our Lord then twined around His own-
Never let anger, petulance, or pride
Efface the mark by which His flock are known-
Hath not Christ loved us, to us His mercy shown!
OH ANGELA, I cannot bear the thought of
your going! I cannot bear to be left here all
alone in this miserable school-house!" cried
Amy, as she sat beside her favourite companion
and friend on the evening of the day upon which
the holidays had commenced. All the girls,
except Angela and herself, had already gone to
their various homes. Angela was to set off on
the following morning, when her father was to
send a servant to fetch his daughter from school.
But poor Amy had no home to go to, no father
to give a glad welcome; while her young com-
panions would be enjoying themselves with their
friends in the bright sunshine of the country, or
by the waves of the sparkling sea, she would be
shut up in a boarding-school in a dusty, noisy
street in London.
I shall have nothing to do here, Angela, not
even our usual lessons. Only one governess
remaining to take charge of the house; and you
know what Miss Giles is, so cold, and silent,
and stern, one could never make a companion
of her! We shall never meet but at meals.
How often shell 0 I look out of these dull, dusty
windows, and watch the passengers go past;
and when a cab rattles by with luggage upon it,
how I shall envy the people within, because on
their way to some railway train that will carry
them far, far from the hot, smoky town !" Poor
Amy's eyes filled with tears, and she tuied her
head aside to hide them.
Now Angela had a little plan in her mind.
She had resolved, as soon as she should reach
home, to beg her mother to invite poor Amy to
spend some weeks at their beautiful country
house. Angela felt that it would be better, how-
ever, not to tell her friend of the intended re-
quest, for fear least it should not be granted.
It was this hope that the poor orphan girl might
yet enjoy very happy midsummer holidays, that
made Angela now shew less pity for Amy's lone-
liness than she would otherwise have done.
You don't understand my troubles, Angela;
nobody understands them!" cried Amy, in
almost a fretful tone. "Every one seems so
strong and so cheerful, so full of life and hope,
that none know what it is to be weak, and sad,
and all alone as I am !" I feel for you, dear,
indeed I do," said Angela, putting her arm
gently round the thin form of her young friend,
and pressing a kiss on the pale hollow cheek
that had never shewn childhood's bloom. But
do you think, dear Amy, that God's children
should ever consider themselves 'all alone ?'"
Amy heaved a deep sigh. "I think that
there must be something wrong in my heart,"
she said, "for my religion does not make me
cheerful or brave. I'm all full of fears, and I
don't seem to have any strength to battle against
What kind of fears ?" asked Angela, gently.
"I should be ashamed to tell you all, you
would think them so foolish. I think that I'm
afraid of everything," said Amy, whose weak
health had made her very timid and nervous.
"I'm afraid of a harsh word, or an angry look.
I'm afraid of being laughed at by others. I'm
afraid of falling ill and of dying. I'm even
afraid of- "
"Not of me?" said Angela, playfully, as
Amy paused, and hung down her head.
"Oh! no, not of you, Angela, you are so
gentle and kind, that I could tell to you what I
should blush to tell to any one else. Don't
laugh at me dear, but I'm even afraid of being
alone-in the dark. I know it's so absurd, but
I can't help the feeling. Now that .the other
girls have gone, and no one sleeps in this room
but myself, I've actually"-Amy lowered her
voice-" bought a box of night-lights to burn!
Do you think me a very, very silly girl ?" added
poor Amy, in a mournful tone to her friend.
No, not exactly silly," replied Angela, with
a little hesitation, "for I believe that your fear
arises from your not being strong. But still,"
she continued, with a more cheerful air, "I
think that my Amy might reason with, and
wrestle down her fear. What should make your
heart tremble ? You are never really alone;
your Heavenly Father ever is nigh! You can
say as David said, I will fear no evil, for Thou
art with me! No trouble can happen to you
without the knowledge of God, who is all power
as well as all love; you do dishonour to Him
when you live in such constant dread."
"I know that it's very wrong," sighed poor
"You would trust me, dear, would you not?"
continued Angela Maynard; "you would not
tremble if I, weak as I am, were beside you, and
held your hand in my own? And is there no
comfort for you in such words as these, which
are, you well know, in the Bible-Behold, God
is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid :
for the Lord Jehovah is my strength. Strengthen
ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees;
say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be
strong, fear not! "
"I wish that I were like you!" said Amy,
clasping her slender hands together, "you make
me think of the verse, the righteous is bold as a
lion! That verse will never suit me! "
"Yes," said Angela, with a kindly smile,
"that verse will suit my Amy, when she fully
understands that though in ourselves we none of
us are righteous, yet in our blessed Lord we have
both righteousness and strength. We are His
soldiers, dear Amy."
"I am a very cowardly one!" exclaimed
You have, for His sake, I know, done brave
battle with selfishness, temper, and impatience;
you must now ask Him to give you the victory
over another enemy-fear! "
The conversation was here interrupted by the
bell sounding for evening prayers, and the girls
had no other opportunity of speaking together
before the hour for going to rest. Angela had
asked Miss Giles' consent to her sleeping that
night in Amy's room, but the teacher had re-
fused to give it. It would be but an excuse,
she said, for sitting up gossiping till midnight.
Angela could not tell Miss Giles her real reason
for wishing to be with her friend, as Amy's weak
timidity would make her an object of scorn to
one who herself had never known fear.
Angela, though separated from Amy, was in
her own room thinking of and caring for the
child. She sat up for some time, writing out
in beautiful coloured letters a little hymn which
she had made for her friend.
Why is my heart afraid?
What should I fear?
Thou, Lord! my debt hast paid,
Thou, Lord! art near!
With Thine Almighty arm
Outstretched to keep from harm,
What should my heart alarm ?
Why should I fear?
Angels keep watch unseen,
Why should I fear ?
Lord on Thy strength I lean,
Still Thou art near !
Darkness and deepest gloom
Well can Thy smile illume,
Yea, e'en the silent tomb-
Why should I fear ?
Worldlings may dread to lose
All they love here;
I would my portion choose
Where Thou art near !
Led by Thy guiding hand,
Following Thy loved command,
Till I in glory stand-
Why should I fear?
In the meantime, Amy, with a very heavy
heart, had crept to her own little bed. The
room in which she slept was a large one,-
there were in it eight beds, with white curtains,
in which her young schoolfellows usually slept,
but all were now empty but her own. Amy
missed the merry voices that had made that
room so cheerful. The silence seemed oppres-
sive, and the orphan felt more lonely than she
ever had felt before. The tiny night-light cast
a gleam almost more dreary than utter darkness
would have been. Amy began to think of all
the horrid stories that she ever had heard, and to
fancy noises in the room; surely the clock had'
never before ticked so loudly, and that sound in
the wainscoat-could it be caused only by mice ?
Might not robbers get into the house, and were
they not most likely to do so when it was almost
empty, and its mistress away ?
In the midst of her childish fears, Amy
Everton dropped asleep on her pillow; but the
timid girl was troubled with uneasy dreams, and
soon awoke in a fright. What was the terror of
Amy, on first opening her eyes, to see a large
black shadow slowly moving, now on the wall-
now on the curtain of the bed just opposite to
her own! Trembling with fear, she drew the
clothes over her head to shut out the terrible
sight. My reader may laugh at the foolish
cowardice of a girl thus frightened by a shadow;
Amy had certainly cause to be ashamed of such
weakness, for she was in her twelfth year, but
silly servants had filled her brain with'tales of
horror when she had been a little child, and she
had not the strength of mind to put away the
recollection of them.
But Amy, nervous and timid as she was, had
faith in a loving protector. What Angela had
said of God's protecting care now came back to
her mind. To have mocked at her weak terrors
would only have made her hide them, and have
driven the enemy, fear, yet deeper into her
heart; but to shew her in whom to trust, to tell
her that a tender Friend was beside her, was to
give her the shield of faith with which she could
quench that enemy's fiery darts.
"It is not like a Christian girl to be so easily
frightened," thought Amy, as, struggling to
master her fears, she forced herself again to
look at the shadow, and then softly to call
"Who's there ?" though in a voice that
trembled with alarm.
"It is only I, darling!" cried a well-known
voice, and Angela, smiling, drew back the cur-
"Oh! how you frightened me!" exclaimed
Amy, "I could only see your black shadow
"I am so sorry that I startled you," said
Angela; "I only thought that I would come in
and see if you were comfortable and easy, and
give you the little hymn which I have been
writing for you to-night. I found you asleep,
and was stopping to pin the hymn on your cur-
tain, that it might be the first thing that you
would see on rising in the morning."
You are always so kind," said Amy, pressing
the hand of her friend, I shall much value the
hymn, and the lesson too," she added, with a
little laugh, "I hope that you will find that this is
the last time that I shall be afraid of a shadow !"
On the next day the schoolfellows parted.
The timid, sickly Amy clung to the firm, though
gentle nature of Angela, as a feeble creeper leans
and twines round some strong support. There
was considerable difference between their ages,
but this did not prevent their being drawn to-
gether by tender friendship. When Angela
saw the tears fast rising into the eyes of her
poor young companion, who stood at the door
of the school-house to see her off, she could not
help saying to Amy, in order to cheer her,
"Who knows whether we may not very soon
see each other again ?" These words, and the
kindly smile with which they were uttered, came
like a gleam of sunshine to the orphan's heart,
and Amy could return the smile even through
her tears, as Angela bent forward from the
carriage-window to say a last "good-bye to
Angela had a pleasant journey, and found a
glad welcome at her home. Blythe as a bird
she rambled with her brothers and sisters
through gardens bright with blossoms, and
meadows gay with wild-flowers. She listened,
delighted, to the tinkling drip of the fountain on
the lawn,-the notes of the nightingale and
thrush, or that of the lark, as high quivering in
the air, he warbled his hymn of praise!
But neither her loved companions nor her
country pleasures could make Angela forget
poor Amy, cooped up in her hot, dull school-
house in London, with no society but that of
Miss Giles; and on the next day after her ar-
rival, Angela sent an invitation from her mother
to her young orphan friend in the city.
"What delight it will give Amy to. receive
this exclaimed Angela, as she herself carried
off the letter to the post, as glad to be able to
do a kindness as she could have been to receive
one. She pictured to herself the pleasure with
which Amy would see her hand-writing on the
envelope, the impatience with which she would
break it open,-and then the exclamations of
joy with which she would read the contents.
How little can we tell what a day may bring
forth-how vain it is to count upon earthly en-
joyment! The letter found Amy stretched upon
a bed of sickness, restless with fever, moaning
with pain, too ill to read the note of her friend,
even though she knew that it came from Angela.
Shall I read it to you? asked Miss Giles,
who had brought the letter to the bedside.
Amy hesitated for a moment, for she did not
wish her governess to see the little outflowings
of confidence and love which might be meant for
no eye but her own. The desire to know what
Angela had written was, however, so strong,
that she suffered Miss Giles to open the letter.
The invitation was read aloud.
Oh exclaimed Amy, bursting into tears,
"it would have made me so happy to have been
able to go,-and now the sentence was
broken by her sobs.
You will only excite yourself, and make
your head worse," said Miss Giles; what will
Mr Grant, the doctor, say when he comes ? He
told us last night that you could not be kept too
quiet: and here he is," added the teacher, ris-
ing to receive the medical man, who at that
minute entered the sick-room.
Mr Grant felt Amy's pulse, laid his hand on
her burning brow, asked a few questions, and
then drew Miss Giles aside.
"You had better send for her relations," he
said, in a voice too low to reach the ear of Amy.
"She has no relations in England; her
uncle, her guardian, is in China."
"Has she no friends?" said the doctor,
gravely; "it is my duty to let you know that
this illness will probably be fatal."
Miss Giles looked alarmed. "I will write at
once to Mrs Lane, at Margate," said she, feel-
ing that if one of the pupils were dying, the
schoolmistress, then on a trip to the seaside,
should be summoned without any delay.
As soon as the doctor had departed, Amy,
who had hushed her sorrow in his presence,
burst again into a flood of passionate weeping.
"You had better be thinking of something
else than your childish disappointment," said
the stern governess, looking gloomily down on
the sick child; "the doctor does not think well
of your case."
Amy opened her blue eyes very widely, and
fixed them upon the speaker with an expression
of anxious terror. He does not think that I
will-die," she faltered forth, scarcely able to
bring out the last word.
"He desires me to bring home Mrs Lane
directly," was the reply, only too easily under-
stood. Amy, who had half started up from her
pillow, sank back again with a groan.
"Is there any one else to whom you would
wish me to write?" inquired the governess,
who, hard as she usually appeared, was touched
with pity for the child.
Oh Angela-Angela,-send for Angela! "
sobbed out the unhappy Amy, who felt that
there was only one being in the world who could
bring any comfort to her.
But would Angela come; would she leave her
sweet home, her cheerful family, her birds and
her flowers, to coop herself up with a dying
child, in a dark gloomy sick-room in London ?
Such was the thought which came again and
again to the mind of the suffering Amy, as
restlessly she tossed from side to side through
the long hours of the dreary day, the miserable
night. Amy did her friend wrong by such
doubts. Angela had not been more eager to set
out on her homeward journey, than she was to
return back to London, as soon as she knew
that her young companion was ill, and needed
Dear one, I am so glad that you sent for
me were Angela's first words, as with noise-
less step she glided to Amy's bedside. The
shutters of the room were almost closed, but
enough of light streamed through the narrow
opening on that sultry day in June, to shew the
sad change in the poor little patient, who feebly
stretched out a hand to her friend.
I trust that you will soon get better!" said
Angela, in a tone of anxious affection.
Oh! Angela, they think me dying, the
doctor thinks me dying, and oh I cannot, I
dare not die! gasped forth the child, as she
rested her fevered brow upon Angela's shoulder.
"Dearest, calm yourself," began Angela,
alarmed at the sufferer's state of excitement, but
Amy cut short her sentence. "Don't speak as
they all speak," she cried, and tell me to hope
and not be afraid, to be quiet and not to think !
I can't help thinking. I can't help being afraid.
I know that I shall die, and I'm not ready to
die! Oh Angela, you can't conceive how
wretched I feel! I must speak out, or my
heart will burst! "
Angela saw that it was better to let the
sorrow have its way. Silently but earnestly she
prayed to God to enable her to speak comfort to
the poor struggling soul; and then, seating her-
self at the bedside, and pressing Amy's hand
within her own, she said, in a voice subdued
but calm, I trust, love, that God will restore
you to health. All things are in his hand, He
can heal all manner of sickness. But even if it
should be His will to take you to Himself, why
should your heart be so greatly troubled?
Death is not terrible to God's dear children."
It is-it is so to me gasped Amy.
"What do you fear? asked Angela, very
gently, pressing more tenderly the fevered hand
which held hers in a convulsive grasp. I fear
everything-I fear to stand before God's judg-
ment-seat; I fear death itself, the terrible, the
unknown; I fear to leave all I love upon earth ?"
"Let us see whether God's Word will not
give us some weapon with which to conquer
each of these three fears," said Angela, who
saw that Amy's anguish of mind was seriously
increasing her fever. "You dread the judg-
"Yes, yes." interrupted Amy, "because I
have been such a sinner! "
Now Angela did not try to soothe the sufferer,
as many in false kindness would have done, by
telling her that she had not much to answer for,
that she had always been a good girl, and that
little faults would not be noticed by God.
Angela knew well that no being on earth is fit
to stand in the judgment on account of any
merit of his own, and that those who have
sinned least have sinned more than enough to
make them lose all claim to heaven, except
through the blood of Jesus Christ. She did not
attempt to make Amy think lightly of her errors,
or to put remembrance of them away when she
replied, Yes, you and I are both sinners, dear
Amy, but did not the Lord die to save sinners? "
Is there not comfort for us in the words, The
Son of man is come to seek and to save that
which was lost? Those who love and believe
in Him have no cause to fear the judgment.
You and I have deserved punishment, it is true,
but our punishment has been borne already,-
borne by the Saviour on the cross. There is
therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them that
are in Christ Jesus."
"No comdemnation! repeated Amy, as one
who eagerly grasps at a hope. But how can
I tell that I really am in Christ Jesus ? "
"Do you not love Him ?" asked Angela.
Yes, a little, but not enough," faltered Amy.
You could not love Him, even a little, had
not the Saviour loved you. We love Him
because He first loved us! Let me ask a
second question. Do you not trust only to Him
for salvation? "
"I have no one else to trust to; He is my
only hope! said the poor sufferer, the large
tears flowing down her cheeks.
They who trust in Him shall never be con-
founded," whispered Angela. "And loving
Him, and trusting Him, Amy, do you not hate,
and wish to put away the sins which cost Him
"I do, I do," murmured Amy.
Then with love, trust, and repentance,
surely you are one of the Lambs of His fold,
whom no one shall pluck out of His hand For
you is the sweet promise given, Though your
sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow ;
the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all
sin. You have no cause to fear the judgment;
you will be clothed in righteousness not your
own; the robe which you will wear will be spot-
less, because washed in the blood of the Lamb."
Amy's troubled face was becoming more
calm. "Do you think that all will be for-
given? she said.
"We have the Saviour's word for it,"
replied Angela; "let then the feelings ex-
pressed in my favourite hymn be ours," and
she repeated two of those beautiful verses which
have brought comfort to so many penitent
"Just as I am-without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God! I come !
Just as I am-and waiting not
To clear my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose love can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God I come!"
"Yes, I do come to the Lord Jesus for for-
giveness and salvation," murmured Amy: "I
will not fear the judgment, He will deliver my
soul! but death, death itself, seems so dread-
Yea, though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I will fear no evil," re-
peated Angela, in the same low, soothing tone.
"Have you ever dwelt on that word, the
shadow-of death? The Bible tells us that
Christ hath abolished death. The Lord Him-
self declared, He that believeth in Me shall
never die. What can such sentences mean
but that there is no real death to the
Christian? He but passes from life here to
a better life above; absent from the body,
present with the Lord. Death is but, as it
were, a shadow, and you know that a shadow
"I remember," cried Amy, a faint smile
suddenly passing across her faded features,
"that I was frightened by a shadow once, and
I found that it was but the shadow of a
Yes, the shadow of a Friend," repeated
Angela, "that is what death is to a Christian "
You have comforted me so! exclaimed
Amy, "my fears seem melting away! And
yet," she added, with a sigh, "it is sad to leave
you, and this beautiful world "
You did not pity me a few days since, dear
Amy, when I left this dwelling, and you whom
Oh no, for you were going to a far better
place, dearer friends, and a beautiful home "
"And is Heaven not far better than earth ?
will not the presence of the Lord give more joy
than that of loved ones below ? Is not this life
like our school, and one in which we often have
wearisome lessons to learn; while beyond the
valley of the shadow of death lies the beautiful
home of our rest? "
"My father and mother are there! whis-
There are all the holy and good, who, re-
deemed by the blood of the Lord, rejoice in the
sunshine of His love! They shall hunger no
more, neither thirst any more, neither shall 'he
sun light on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb
which is in the midst of the t.,rone shall feed
them, and shall ledd them unto living fountains
of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears
from their eyes !"
"Angela, while I listen to such verses, it
seems to me as if death, even death, which I
have dreaded so much, might be a happy thing
to a Christian "
St Paul counts it amongst his blessings,"
said Angela: "do you not remember his words
addressed to believers at Corinth ? All things
are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Ce-
phas, or the world, or life, or DEATH, or things
present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye
Christ's faintly repeated Amy; His
redeemed-His forgiven-His beloved! Oh !
if I only be His, I indeed have nothing to
She was too weak to say more, but Angela
saw with thankfulness that Amy's feverish ex-
citement was passing away. The poor sufferer
lay quiet and still, like a child on its mother's
bosom. Where she had feared the shadow,
she saw the Friend, and on her spirit's troubled
waters there rested now a great calm. Presently
the heavy eyelids dropped, and low soft breath-
ings told that the sick girl had fallen asleep.
Angela watched by her bedside, and prayed;
she besought the Lord, if He should see good,
to restore her dear friend to health, or if not, to
carry the weak lamb in His arms through the
valley of the shadow of death !
Long and unbroken was Amy's sleep, save
that once her pale lips parted, and Angela bent
down to catch the faint words that came, I will
fear no evil, for Thou art with me! The
watcher with tearful eyes thanked the Lord who
had taken from death its sting !
When Mr Grant paid his next visit, Amy had
just awoke from her long refreshing slumber,
very faint and weak indeed, but with neither fear
nor pain. She smiled to see Angela beside
her, but did not attempt to speak. Angela
anxiously looked at the doctor as he felt his
patient's pulse, and read hope in his face, even
before he rejoiced her heart by saying, The
crisis is over, she will now do well."
The danger indeed was past, care and
nourishment were alone now needed to restore
the health of the invalid, with change of air in
the country as soon as she should recover suffi-
cient strength to bear a move. Angela squeezed
Amy's hand in silence, and saw grateful joy in
the languid eyes of her friend.
Amy's recovery was steady, and before many
day's had passed away, the doctor thought that
she might be able to undertake the journey to
Angela's home. The invalid was carried gently
and carefully to the easy carriage which had
been ordered expressly for her comfort, in which
Angela had placed soft cushions to support the
weak frame of her friend.
"How good you are to me, and how happy
I am! exclaimed Amy, as the wheels of the
carriage began to move.
"I am afraid that in your weak state you will
find it a weary journey," said Angela.
Oh I don't fear !" exclaimed Amy, cheer-
fully, the hope of joy to come would make any
60 CHRISTIAN CONQUESTS.
journey pleasant. I thought ten days ago that
I was going on a longer journey," she added, in
a more serious tone, and I own that I dreaded
the way; but you shewed me, dear Angela, that
with the brightest of homes before me, and the
best of Friends at my side, even in the valley
of the shadow of death, I might say, I will
fear no evil "
" HE to be placed over me,-he! A man fresh
out from England, knowing nothing of this
country, where I have been working my life out
for these ten weary years! exclaimed Miles
Barnard, one of the under managers of a tea
plantation in India, to a friend who, at the
close of business hours, had come into the office
to see him.
Barnard was a fine, strong-looking man,
though the sun of India had browned his cheek,
and care and toil had traced many a line on
his brow. He, like many others, had found
life a struggle; he had worked hard in a land
far distant from the home of his boyhood, to
support his wife and children. Hope had
cheered his labours; he had for some time been
expecting the place of head superintendent to
fall vacant, and naturally supposed that, as he
was the person best fitted to fill it, he would be
chosen to do so. Great was the disappoint-
ment of Barnard when he found that he was not
to be promoted at all,-that the chief place was
to be given to a stranger, a man younger than
himself, who but a few weeks before had arrived
"It does seem hard upon you," said his
friend, Harry Jones.
"Hard-I should think so exclaimed Bar-
nard. "I thought that after toiling so long,
and (though I say it, who should not say it)
with such success, that I should, as a matter of
course, work my way to the head of my office;
as it is, this fellow Hardy, some sprig of gen-
tility, I suppose,"-Barnard uttered the word
with a sneer,-" because he happens to have
interest, is put above me, and reaps the reward
that ought to have been mine. He is a single
man, too, to whom money is no object, he has
not mouths to feed as I have,-he will be
throwing away on mere amusements what I
need to support a family It is a shame, I say,
a crying shame! Barnard shut his desk,
locked it, and pushed it back with an angry air,
as though some how or other it had something
to do with his wrongs.
Hardy is likely to make a pretty mess of the
business," observed Jones, seeing that every-
thing here will be strange and new to him, and
that he's not up to the ways of the place. He
won't know a tea-plant from a tobacco-plant,
and ignorant as he is of the natives, will be
taken in every day of his life."
The idea seemed to give Barnard ill-natured
satisfaction. Yes," said he, with a bitter
smile, "they who have put him where he is,
will have cause to repent their folly, and I for
one shan't be sorry to see it Hardy has some
misgivings himself, I take it. Would you be-
lieve that the fellow has had the coolness to
write me a fine humbugging note about my
knowledge and energy, and all that sort of
thing, hoping that I will let him profit by my
experience; which means, of course, that I'm
to teach him his work, and have all the trouble
of the business, while my fine pupil gets all the
"Have you answered his note ?" asked
Answered it-no, I should say not!" ex-
claimed Barnard, impatiently, ".I used it to
light my cigar. If Hardy in his ignorance get
into troubles, why he may get out of them in
his own way, say I, not a finger will I hold out
to help him; and so I wish you good evening! "
and settling his hat on his head, Barnard set
out on his walk to his home.
"Jones said the truth, it has been hard upon
me, very hard thought Barnard, as he went
on his way: "this is a life full of disappoint-
ments, and I suppose that injustice is what one
must look for in an evil world like this "
Barnard was little aware how his anger
against his fellow-men was linked with a re-
bellious spirit towards God. He considered
that he had not his due; that after working
hard and working well, he had deserved more
than he had received. Barnard was not count-
ing up his mercies, nor was he counting up his
sins; had he done so with an honest, candid
mind, he would have found that his mercies far
outweighed his merits, that his sins far out-
weighed his sorrows. In a humble and grate-
ful soul, envy and jealousy can hardly find
And yet Miles Barnard was reckoned a good
man: he was sober, generous, diligent, a duti-
ful son, a kind husband, a tender father; he
was regular in religious duties, and bore a
character without a stain. And therefore man's
great enemy, who is ever seeking to draw God's
soldiers from the path of duty, was secretly
trying to ruin the soul against which he could
not outwardly prevail. The tempter could not
draw Barnard into open sin, such as the world
would condemn,-he could not make him a
thief or a drunkard; but he was hiding in the
heart of the man the venomed passion of jea-
lousy, knowing well if cherished there, that one
passion would suffice to destroy. Is it not
written in the Word of God, Whosoever
hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know
that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in
him? It is declared of envyzngs as well as of
idolatry and drunkenness that they which do
such things shall not inherit the kingdom of
Barnard's home was not far from his office:
a pleasant home it was, though a small one,
almost as bright as that which he had left ten
years before in England. Barnard and his
family dwelt in a bungalow, a low house built of
sun-dried bricks, with a verandah round three
sides of it, situated at the edge of a tea-planta-
tion. As it stood in rather a hilly part of India,
where the heat of the climate is not so intense
as it is in the plains, English plants throve in
the little garden as well as those peculiar to the
East. Wallflower and hearts'-ease were seen
growing near to the plantain-trees which threw
the shadows of their large graceful leaves on the
bungalow wall. It was the hour of sunset, the
sky was mantled with glorious clouds of crimson
and gold, more brilliant than we ever behold
them in England. The beauty of the sky, the
calm peace of the scene, were not without their
quieting effect upon the angry mind of Barnard.
He had intended, when placed at the head of
the office, to move into a larger and better fur-
nished house, but he could not help thinking, as
he approached his little home, that he might
make an exchange for the worse.
"After all there's no use in grumbling," said
he to himself, "my employers have used me ill,
it is true, and I'll not regret if they have to pay
for it; but I've the blessing of a good home still,
and the thought of Mary and the children might
sweeten a harder lot than mine."
Barnard found his wife in her sitting-room
finishing mending one of his shirts. On her
knee was his youngest child, Neddy, a boy not
four years of age. The little fellow had been
unwell, fever had rendered him restless and
fretful, and while nursing him his mother had
found her work proceed but slowly. She had
placed a heap of toys on the table before him to
amuse him, and let him turn her work-bag in-
side out, at the risk of his losing her reels, or
tangling her skeins. With little dainties which
she could ill afford, she had been tempting his
sickly appetite, and now, though still plying
her needle, she was hushing him to sleep with
a low soft song.
At a little distance stood her other child,
Agnes, who was several years older than her
brother, and so had long enjoyed the privileges
of a baby, which she had been very unwilling
to give up when a red-faced little stranger had
appeared. This young girl usually ran to meet
her father, when he came home from his office,
with a bright smile and a fond word of welcome;
but now she did not seem to notice his entrance.
Instead of a happy, good-humored smile, there
was a sulky scowl on her face; and Agnes fixed
her eyes upon Neddy, as he lay in his mother's
arms, with a look that was anything but kind.
"Why, Agnes," cried Barnard, in a loud
cheerful tone, have you not a word for your
father, my girl? I've had a long busy day,
and you were asleep when I kissed you in the
morning, before I went to my business."
Agnes scarcely turned round her head; she
seemed almost ready to cry, and only muttered
half to herself, Mother has given Neddy all
"Surely my little girl is not jealous," ex-
claimed Barnard, as he took off his hat, wiped
his brow, and seated himself at the table, on
which the evening meal was spread.
Mother has given Neddy all the cakes,"
grumbled Agnes, in the tone of one who thinks
herself neglected and ill-used.
"Poor Neddy cannot take meat," said Mrs
"And mother pets him, and fondles him on
her knee, and sings the songs that he likes-
not what I like, and she loves Neddy best, and
I can't bear it!" continued Agnes, with a
flushed cheek and a swelling heart, stamping
her little foot on the floor as she spoke.
The gentle mother looked distressed. My
Agnes," said she, Neddy is no dearer to me
than you are, and if I seem to cherish him
more, the reason is- "
"Give her no reason !" interrupted the in-
dignant father, she must trust your justice
and your love; she knows that you are kind and
good, and must believe that what you do is for
the best! Such a miserably jealous temper,
if indulged, would make the girl wretched her-
self, and render her a torment to others."
Then turning to the child, he sternly added,
" Go into the inner room, Agnes, and lie down
upon your charpoy (bed) until your mother is
at leisure to come and undress you. You shall
not sit up to supper to-night, nor hear the
Bible-reading, nor rest on my knee. Such a
spirit must be crushed at once; I'll have no
selfish, jealous child for my daughter!"
Agnes heard her father's sentence with great
mortification, but she dared not dispute his will.
She looked in entreaty on her mother, but Mrs
Barnard was far too wise to interfere. Slowly
and sullenly she retired into the inner room,
with her finger in her pouting lips, giving an
angry glance as she went at her brother, the
innocent cause of her disgrace. Miles Barnard
was annoyed at the bad spirit which he saw in
his daughter, but I know not whether it struck
him that there was in it any likeness to his
own. Full of anger and indignation as he had
felt on that day, because another had been pre-
ferred before him, he needed to apply his own
lesson to himself; to trust the justice and the
love which orders the course of events, and,
knowing that his Heavenly Parent is kind
and good, to believe that what He wills must
be the best for His children.
As soon as Agnes had left the room, Barnard
lit the candle, cut the bread, and sat down to
his supper, his wife still allowing her sickly boyr
to rest on her lap, while she partook of hes
meal. Barnard then began to speak to hi
wife of his own disappointment. He told her
of the letter which he had received from Mr
Hardy in the morning asking for that help, on
first setting to work, which Barnard, from his
experience in the business, was so well able
to give. Before he had finished his account,
however, Barnard and his wife were suddenly
startled by a loud scream from the inner room
into which Agnes had gone, from which they
were only divided by a door which she had left
half open. The parents rose from their seats
in alarm; Neddy, who had almost dropped
asleep, being suddenly roused, joined his cries
to those of his sister. Barnard caught up the
light, and rushed into the sleeping chamber,
followed by his anxious wife, bearing her boy
in her arms.
Agnes, looking wild with terror, flew towards
her father as he entered. Oh! kill it, kill
it!" she cried, clasping him round the knees
"Kill it-kill what?" exclaimed Barnard,
looking about him hastily, and seeing no cause
"Is it a snake ?" cried the mother.
"Where did you see it, whatever it may
be ?" asked her husband.
The terrified child pointed to the charpoy.
Barnard held the candle so that its full light
should fall on the bed. The pillow and coverlet
were white as snow, not a speck could be seen
This is some piece of folly," cried Barnard,
"the girl has been frightened at nothing."
"But I saw-I saw it!" exclaimed Agnes.
Saw what ?" said the impatient father.
Something as big as your finger, with legs,
oh! such a many, running right over the bed!
I dare not lie down on it again!"
The creature must have been a centipede,"
cried Mrs Barnard, sharing the alarm of her
daughter. Even Neddy hushed his crying at
the name of the poisonous reptile; and clutched
his mother's neck more tightly; he had heard
of, though he had never yet seen, that venomous
creature which sometimes haunts the dwellings
"If it be a centipede, we must hunt for it
till we find it," exclaimed Barnard; "it might
be the death of the child. But our house is so
carefully kept, that I still think that Agnes has
but fancied that she saw one; so little light
could have come through the half-open door,
that her eyes might easily have been de-
Still Agnes persisted that she had seen it-
seen, quite plainly, a horrid creature with dozens
Barnard put down the light on a chair, and
took his large heavy stick from the corner. He
then tore off the coverlet, and shook it, then
looked carefully under the bed. Not a trace of
the reptile was to seen.
"Look under the pillow!" cried his wife.
Barnard caught up the bloster, and beneath it-
behold a centipede lay coiled, which instantly
attempted to make its escape.
"There it is! there it is!" shrieked Agnes.
"Kill it! kill it! cried her frightened little
Down came blow after blow from the strong
stick wielded by the powerful arm of Miles
Barnard. The father struck with hearty will,
and the centipede soon lay dead before him.
Oh! cried little Neddy, stretching out his
arms to Agnes, "I so glad-so glad-the wicked
thing not hurt my sissy! and in that moment
of thankful joy the two children embraced each
other with fond affection.
Agnes could not at once recover from the
effect of her fright, she was cold and trembling,
and the tears rolled down her cheeks. Mrs
Barnard could not bear to leave her alone, and,
with her father's consent, took her back with
them to the room which they had just quitted.
Barnard thought that his child had been
sufficiently punished for her temper, and allowed
her to sit beside him, and share his supper
Nothing more was said just then of her fault;
the adventure with the centipede had almost
driven it from the minds of both father and
But Mrs Barnard could not so soon forget what
had given her so much pain to see. Full of
thankfulness as she was, that her child had been
saved from the poison of the reptile, she felt
that Agnes was still exposed to another danger,
less startling, but not less real. She was glad
that her little girl should be present, as usual,
at her father's evening reading of a chapter from
the Bible, and drew her more closely to her
side, as Barnard read aloud the words of St
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is
of God, and every one that loveth is born of
God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not,
knoweth not God, for God is love. . If
a man say I love God, and hateth his brother,
he is a liar. And this commandment
have we from Him, that he who loveth God,
love his brother also.
Miles Barnard thoughtfully closed the holy
book, rose, and replaced it on its shelf. Neddy
had fallen asleep in his mother's arms. Agnes
had not listened very attentively to the reading,
for, if the truth must be told, her thoughts were
running so much on the danger which she had
escaped, that she could hardly think of anything
else. Her eyes had been instinctively wander-
ing round the room in search of another centi-
pede, resting with anxiety on every dark nook
in which she thought that one might be hidden.
Something long and black near her mother's
chair had given her a start of alarm, till, looking
more attentively at it, she had seen that it was
only a shoe-string. As soon as her father had
put by the Bible, she spoke to her mother on
the subject that lay so much on her mind.
"Was it not a good thing, mamma, that I
saw that dreadful creature on my bed? It
might have hidden itself, you know, and kept
quite quiet till I was asleep, and then have
crept out and stung me Ought I not to thank
God, mamma, for shewing the enemy in time ?"
"You should indeed," replied Mrs Barnard,
"and ask Him to shew you every enemy that
may be lurking without or within."
"What do you mean, mamma?" asked
Anges, with an uneasy look, you don't think
that any more centipedes are hiding about my
No, Agnes, we have most carefully searched,
and we will take every care to guard our child-
ren from all such creatures. But it is not so
easy to keep away the wicked thoughts and
passions which creep into the heart, and hide
What passions, mamma? asked the child.
Such passions as those of jealousy and
envy, which are the centipedes of the soul,
hateful, loathsome, dangerous. I thought that
I caught a sight of one of them to-day."
Agnes looked puzzled for a moment, and then
exclaimed, Ah! I know what you mean,
mamma. You are thinking of my being so
cross and angry because you gave more to my
brother than to me. It was very naughty in me
to be so unkind to poor Neddy!"
"And it was very foolish also, my Agnes.
Instead of being peaceful trustful, and happy,
you were making yourself miserable by cherish-
ing bad feelings in your heart. Remember,
also, dear child, that sin, like the centipede,
carries with it a deadly poison. To foster
jealousy is not a happy thing, it is not a wise
thing, and it is not a safe thing. Was it not
the jealousy of Cain against Abel that led to the
first dreadful murder ? The reptile may, at the
beginning, have seemed too small to be dangerous
-merely shewn by an angry feeling, perhaps,
or an unkind look or word; but it soon grew
into a terrible act, and the bite of that reptile
was death! God looks into the heart, and I fear
that to-day He saw jealousy coiling in yours."
"I'm afraid that God did," said the girl.
"And what should we do then, my child? "
"Hunt it out, and crush it like the centi-
pede !" cried Agnes.
"That's right my girl!" exclaimed Barnard,
who had been listening with interest to the con-
"But," said Agnes, with a little hesitation,
"I did not ci .sh the centipede-I could not
-I had not strength enough to kill such a
"What was it that you did?" asked her
"I saw it-I was afraid of it-I called out
loud to my father for help "
"And so must we, my Agnes, when evil
passions lurk in our breast. We must not let
conscience go to sleep, fancying that all is
right; we must watch against sin, and when we
see it, call earnestly for help to our Father in
heaven. Our hearts are by nature full of evil,
selfishness, malice, and pride. To the thought-
less, it may not appear to be so-their characters
may appear to them spotless and fair, as the
linen on the charpoy seemed to us; it was not
till we searched, and searched well, that the
hidden foe was discovered. And when we have
found the evil in our hearts, we must remember
that we have no power in ourselves to make
them holy and pure. We must ask God to
grant us His Spirit, to destroy the evil within,
we must pray as the poor leper prayed, Lord!
if Thou wilt Thou canst make me clean! and
say with David in the Psalm, Create in me a
clean heart, 0 God! and renew a right spirit
Agnes looked thoughtfully at her mother:
"Do you think that God would hear me if I
prayed so?" said she, "do you think that He
would come quickly to help me, as my father
did when I cried out so loud in my fear?"
"We know and are certain that God will
come to the help of His praying children,"
replied Mrs Barnard, for He has many times
promised to do so. Most especially has God
assured us that He will answer prayer for His
Holy Spirit, for the gentle Saviour hath said, If
ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto
your children, how much .more shall your
Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them
that ask Him."
"And will the Holy Spirit in my heart take
all my naughtiness away?"
"Not at once, my darling child; there will
be a life-long struggle against sin, blow after
blow will be given; but gradually the blessed
Spirit will drive out evil temper, destroy every
wicked feeling, and love, joy, and peace will
dwell in the heart, and prepare it for the glories
It was now time for the children to go to rest.
Little Agnes knelt by her mother's side, and
clasping her hands repeated a simple prayer-
"Heavenly Father, forgive me all my sins, and
send down Thy Holy Spirit to make me gentle,
kind, and good, for the sake of Thine only Son."
Agnes had often before uttered that prayer, but
she had hardly understood its meaning; she
had not thought of her sins as her enemies, lurk-
ing within to destroy, nor had she felt how help-
less she was in herself to drive out and conquer
When Agnes arose from her knees, there was
a pleasant expression upon her young face,
which made her look different indeed from the
jealous, ill-tempered child who but an hour
before had so sullenly quitted the room.
"Mamma," said Agnes, in a half-whisper,
',I hid my doll to-day, that you might not give
it to Neddy, but he shall play with it to-morrow
as long as ever he likes."
Mrs Barnard smiled, and bent down to kiss
her little daughter; "I see, she said, that my
Agnes is resolved to crush her centipede. Now
bid good night to your father, my child, your
little eyes are heavy with sleep; I will take you
and Neddy into the other room, and watch
beside my nestlings while they rest."
Agnes went softly up to her father, and put
her arms round his neck. Thank you for
saving me from that creature!" whispered the
little girl. Barnard pressed her fondly to his
"God bless you, my child," he said, "keep
you from every evil, and guard you from every
danger!" He then turned to his wife, who
was leaving the room with her boy. "Mary,"
he said, "just unlock your desk for me before
you go, for mine is, as you know, at the office,
and I have a letter to write."
"Are you going to write to England ?" in-
quired Mrs Barnard, as she put her keys into
"No, I am going to answer Mr Hardy's
note;" and seeing an inquiring look on his
wife's face, Barnard added, "I shall tell him
that he may depend upon my doing all that lies
in my power to make things go on smoothly and
well in the business. I will try to do unto him
as-in his place-I should wish him to do unto
me; that is the golden rule. I have been re-
viewing my own conduct, and I see that I, too,
have my centipede to crush."
Dear reader, have you not also yours? can
you lay your hand upon your heart and say,
"There is no angry passion lurking there;
there is not a single human being upon earth to
whom I owe any ill-will; there is hot one to
whom I would not be ready, at this moment, to
do a kindess ? "
Perhaps you cannot quite say this, but you
think that you are at least free from the mean
passions of jealousy and envy. Let us take the
light of Truth, and search carefully to make
sure that no such reptile be lurking within.
If it pain you to hear a neighbour praised; if
you are impatient and angry at his success in
life, or feel a secret satisfaction when he meets
with some disappointment; beware, my friend,
beware! There's a centipede to be crushed!
If you take pleasure in repeating ill-natured
tales of those more prosperous than yourself;
if you are inclined to look upon the rich and
great as if they were foes to the poor, and to
wish to pull down all to one level; look narrowly
to your motives, and search if the centipede
jealousy be not within!
If a feeling ever arise that you are dealt with
more hardly than others; if you are discontented
with your lot, and tempted to doubt the wisdom
and love that appoints it, be sure that a danger-
ous enemy is there, a centipede to be crushed.
And oh! remember that your own efforts are
not sufficient to drive out the lurking foe. Who
can say, I have made my heart clean, I am
pure from my sin? As the Lord Jesus Christ,
when He dwelt upon earth, entered the Temple
and cast out from thence all that offended His
pure eyes; so now, when He enters the heart,
He cleanses it by His Spirit, and takes the evil
away. From Him let us ask that best gift of
charity, without which whosoever liveth is counted
dead before Him !
I have spoken of searching by the light of
Truth, I have only to add that that light is to
be found in the Bible. Such bright rays fall
from that portion of it which I am now going to
transcribe, that no one who honestly tries his
own life by it, can fail to discover if venomed
jealousy be hiding in his heart.
Charity suffereth long and is kind.
Charity envieth not.
Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Doth not behave itself unseemly; seeketh not her own.
Is not easily provoked; thinketh no evil.
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.
Beareth all things.
Believeth all things.
Hopeth all things.
Endureth all things.
Holy Spirit, sent from Heaven,
Rest upon us while we pray-
Comforter in mercy given,
Let our lives Thy power display I
There let every grace be springing-
Love that makes a heaven below;
Peace, sweet calm in sorrow bringing;
Joy like such as angels know!
Meek Long-suffering calm abiding,
Gentleness, Goodness, fruits divine,
Faith in a Saviour's love confiding,
Mleekness, Temperance,-these are Thine!
Like a waste, where thorns are growing,
Is the heart ere grace it knows,
Bdt when Thy blest stream is flowing,
Deserts blossom e'en as the rose !
"I THINx as how Church Lane must be here
some-abouts. Rachel told me I could not go
wrong if I kept to the right after passing the
King's Arms; but this London bustle be very
confusing, and to an old soldier like me, getting
summat dim about the eyes, with all the turns
here and the turns there, it's hard work to find
out a street."
Thus spoke Wat Weller, a pleasant-looking
old man in the dress of a Chelsea pensioner, as,
on a Saturday evening in March, he tried to
find his way to the home of his married daughter.
Wat was a good deal bent by age, and tanned
by weather, and he walked with a limp from the
effect of an accident which he had had in the
autumn. The old soldier had been knocked
down by a gentleman's gig, and all through the
winter had been an invalid. But spring had
returned, and health had come back. Wat had
always been a temperate man, and a cheerful,
trustful temper helped him through his troubles;
he was sure that God had ordered all things for
the best, and the old man never increased his
fever by fretting under his appointed trial. But
very joyful and very thankful was Wat Weller
to find himself again able to enjoy the fresh air,
and to go abroad into the sunshine. He was
especially glad, after so many months of illness,
to be able to pay a visit to his daughter, Rachel
Stowe. Her husband was, as Wat knew, a
patient in an hospital. Mrs Stowe had changed
her dwelling-place since her father's last visit,
which was the cause of his difficulty in finding
it now. Rachel had gone to Chelsea several
times during the winter, to see her old father the
pensioner, but he felt that she could ill spare the
time for the journey; it had grieved him on each
visit that she made, to see her looking more care-
worn and thin, as if weighed down by household
troubles. "It is fitter that the old man should
go to her, than that she should come to the old
man," thought Wat; "and now that-thanks
to God-I be getting so hearty, I'll see if I can't
find my way to Church Lane, and cheer up my
lass a bit."
It might have cheered any one to have looked
at that bright, honest face, weather-beaten and
wrinkled as it was, from the toils, hardships,
and troubles which the soldier had undergone.
Wat had a way of seeing the bright side of
everything, for he had a brave and trustful
spirit. He did not keep his eyes bent upon
earth, as too many do, searching for briars and
thorns in the way; but he lifted them to the
blue sky above, and remembered that beyond
that sky dwells One who is kind and wise and
good, who gives to His faithful servants what
they need here, and more than they can desire
hereafter. "It's my comfort," would Wat
sometimes say, "that God always keeps His
best things for the last; when one thinks of
the glory at the end of the battle, who would
flinch from the struggle, which cannot be
With some trouble, and after many inquiries,
the old soldier succeeded in finding Church
Lane. "As well as I can see," said Wat
Weller to himself, Rachel han't made a change
for the better. This here lane don't look as if
it ever got its fair share of sunshine or air, and
I guess that nothing but a baker's cart ever
rattles over them stones,-why the grass is
a-growing atween them !"
The aspect of the place was indeed not in-
viting. The dull brick houses had a dusty,
musty air, their windows were all dirty, and
some of them broken, or patched up with paper
or rags. An old-clothes shop and bottle-ware-
house was on one side of the street, a low
public-house on the other. Sickly, unhealthy
fowls were picking at the turnip-tops and stale
cabbage-leaves that had been flung out into the
road, while a set of ragged children were play-
ing at pitch and toss in a corner.
Rachel must have been hard put up, poor
soul, afore she came here," thought Wat, as he
crossed the street to a very small shop, with
" Stowe" in black letters over the door. In
the window appeared sundry glasses of barley-
sugar, pink-rock, gingerbread, and bulls' eyes,
flanked by tapes, bobbins, and buttons, shewing
that Mrs Stowe was obliged to eke out her small
confectionery business, by the sale of a few odds
A boy with a shock of red hair, not well
combed, and a sallow face, not well washed,
was sitting on the door-step, sucking an orange.
He started up joyfully on seeing the old soldier.
Mother, mother! here's grandad," shouted
the little fellow, as he rushed out to give his
rough, hearty welcome.
Softly-softly, my boy, Tom," said the old
man kindly, I ain't over firm on my pegs;"
and entering the shop he met his daughter,
whose thin face was lighted up with pleasure at
Oh! father, I am so glad to have you
here! exclaimed Rachel.
"And I be glad to find myself beside ye
again. It's many a long day since I've made
such a march as I've doneto-day," said the old
man, sinking wearily on a chair brought for him
by his grandson, taking off his cap, and wiping
I hope that now that you've got so far,
you'll stay a long time with us, father."
Over the Sabbath, if ye've a corner to give
me. I'm not particular as to quarters, ye know,
if so be that the company's good. And how is
Thomas?" added Wat Weller.
Better, much better," said the wife: "he's
to leave the hospital on Tuesday."
"Thank God for that!" cried her father
heartily, and thank God that he had such a
place to go to, with doctors and comforts and all !"
But neither the tone nor look of Rachel ex-
pressed any gladness as she said: Comforts
enough, for the matter of that; but he'll feel all
the more what a wretched home he comes back
to. It will be long enough afore he'll get up
his strength, or be fit for anything like work,
and he'll want good nourishing now. I don't
know how we shall struggle on, with nothing
but the shop to look to !"
"Be thankful for present mercies," said her
father, be thankful that your husband is raised
from a sick bed, as I, too, myself have been
raised; praise God for His goodness, and trust
Him for the time to come. As for your home,"
he added, looking around, I should brush it
up a bit if I was you. That window would be
none the worse for a little cleaning, nor the
glasses either, for the matter of that: if ye're
too busy," continued the veteran, clapping his
grandson on the shoulder, there be ten fingers,
I'll be bound, up to a job like that."
Tom's mouth expanded into a wide grin at
the idea of actually making himself useful.
"And may be," said the cheerful old man,
"he'd end by polishing up a bit his own face
and hands and making himself look a little spree
to welcome his father home. I be an old
soldier, ye know, and I like to see things tidy
Little Tom became suddenly conscious that
the shop was dirty, the window dirty, himself
exceedingly dirty, and not fit to be seen by one
who had worn the smart uniform of the Queen,
and been accustomed to white-wash, soap, and
pipe-clay. Possessed by a new desire to look
as the grandson of a soldier ought to look, the
little fellow dashed out on an expedition to the
pump, and even turned over in his mind whether
he had not seen a bit of an old comb lying in the
dust-bin, with which he might bring to some-
thing like:order his tangled shock of red hair !
To-morrow's the Sabbath," continued Wat
Weller, we must have something a bit com-
fortable together," and drawing an old leather
purse from his pocket, he laid, one by one, three
sixpenny pieces on the counter.
"Oh! father, you can't spare them!" ex-
claimed Rachel, who knew how small was the
"I can spare 'em well enough," said Wat
Weller with a smile; "we must have a meat
I've not a bone in the house," cried Rachel;
I'll step over to the butcher's directly;" and
without stopping to put on her bonnet, the
gaunt hungry-looking woman quitted the shop,
to make her little purchase round the corner.
Wat Weller, thus left alone, looked round
him again, and something like a shade of sorrow
came over his bright cheerful face. It was not
the evident poverty of the place that saddened
him, nor even the want of that neatness and
order which can give to poverty an air of com-
fort; his eye rested bn the Bible on the shelf,
half hidden by a pile of old papers, and so dusty
that a finger drawn across it would have left a
mark all along. That Bible, the purchase of
several months' savings, had been Wat's wed-
ding gift to his daughter. He had no wealth
to give her, he said, but that was a treasure
beyond all price. No wonder that to see that
Bible neglected, should cost the old man a sigh.
"There's something wrong here, I'm afeard,"
said honest Wat to himself. It may be that
the cares of this world are choking the good
seed that was sown long ago. God have pity
upon my poor daughter "
Tom returned, looking all the fairer and bet-
ter for his washing. The little fellow was fond
of his grandfather, and delighted in the soldier's
long stories. Wat was ever a favourite with
children, for he took an interest in their pur-
suits, and was always ready to add to their
How gets on the learning, my boy ? asked
the old man, who had himself during the last
summer taught the child his letters, and to re-
peat the Ten Commandments.
Tom grinned, hesitated, looked half ashamed,
and passed his fingers through his red hair.
Don't you go to school? said his grand-
No, not since Christmas, mother can't
afford it," answered the boy.
She teaches you herself, then, in the even-
ings ? "
"Not she, she don't do nothing' to me but
bang me about, and scold at me," replied Tom,
with a saucy look. When I gets bigger I'll
be off, and be a soldier like you, and see foreign
parts, and not be bothered by having mother
always at me!"
Honour thy father and thy mother, that
thy days may be long in the land which the
Lord thy God giveth thee. I hope that you've
not forgotten that Commandment, my boy,"
said Wat Weller.
I'm glad that you're telling him his duty,
he wants speaking to, he does!" exclaimed
Rachel Stowe, who at that moment re-entered
the shop with a raw piece of meat on a skewer
in her hand. Tom gets a-playing with all the
idle lads in the lane, he's no help to me, he
don't mind what I say, and he must see that
I've enough to do to put bread into our mouths,
without having him to worry me out of my life
with his impudent ways."
Tom turned round with a saucy look of de-
fiance, and was about to say something insolent,
when his grandfather checked him by laying a
firm grasp on his arm.
"Don't answer again, boy," said Wat, al-
most sternly; "when I come again amongst
ye, after so many months of sickness and pain,
I want to see and hear something different from
angry looks and bad words."
The old man's tone and manner inspired
respect. Both mother and son were silenced;
and the meal, of which they shortly afterwards
all partook together, was a more cheerful and
peaceful one than any which for a long time had
been shared by the Stowes. Wat told old stories
during the evening, while he helped Tom to rub
up the glasses which held his mother's little
store of sweetmeats, and Rachel, on a hint from
her father, mended the holes in the jacket of her
He wouldn't be fit to be seen in church to-
morrow, with his elbows looking through his
sleeves !" said the soldier.
"We don't go often to church," observed the
I goes as often as I can," said his mother,
rather tartly, "but it's hard for poor people like
we to manage it."
"Where there's a will there's a way," said
Wat Weller, "and with nothing more than
getting to church. We all go where we expect
to get good. If there were bread-tickets given
out at the other end of the town, there be a
many who would find their way to the place,
who never enter the door of a church, where
they would learn how to get the Bread of life
that would feed their poor souls for ever. If
they believed that hearing God's Word, and
learning His will, would really help to make
them happy, we should not hear so often as we
do of hindrances to church-going. It's unbelief
is the real root of such hindrances. The prayer
which we need is the prayer of the disciples of
old, Lord! increase our faith! And now, as
it's getting late, and those holes are mended at
last, let's have down the Bible, Rachel. I
should not sleep easy any night if I'd not had a
sight of God's Word afore laying my old head
on the pillow."
Before giving the book to her father, Rachel
hastily wiped the dust off with her apron; she
could not help feeling in her conscience as if
that dust were a witness against her.
The old soldier had been much tired with his
long walk, and slept till a later hour than usual.
He was up, however, and dressed, a long time
before the bells began ringing for service.
Rachel had the breakfast ready, and in honour
of her father, both she and Tom looked a good
deal neater than they usually did, while the rare
sight of a white cloth appeared on the breakfast-
table in the little back-parlour.
As the three were together, drinking their
tea, which, though rather pale in colour, was at
least warm and sweet, Tom, who sat opposite to
his grandfather, with his face towards the door,
said hastily to his mother, "There's somebody
awaiting you in the shop."
Rachel rose in a little confusion; her father
turned round with an expression of surprise.
"Not a customer on Sunday !" he exclaimed.
Oh mother always sells on Sundays," said
Tom, she gets a deal more then than on other
"Just take your tea, father, dear, I'll be back
in a minute," faltered Rachel, who was about to
hurry into the shop. Her cheek was flushed,
her manner was nervous and excited; for she
had been brought up to honour God's day, and
it made her uneasy to feel that her father's eye
was upon her.
"Let me go to your customer to-day," said
the old soldier, slowly rising, with a grave, sad
expression on his face; and followed by Rachel,
he went into the shop, where a gaily-dressed
servant-girl was waiting in rather impatient
"A pound of your gingerbread nuts," said the
girl, throwing down a piece of silver on the
"Take back your money," said Wat, with
quiet decision; "gains carry no blessing with
them if earned by breaking God's law. Hath
He not said, Remember the Sabbath-day to keep
it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all
thy work, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the
Lord thy God."
The girl started at an address so unexpected,
but took up the money with a pert little laugh;
" I shall take good care not to come here again,
Sunday or week-days," she cried, as she
flaunted out of the shop.
"Oh, father, you will ruin me !" exclaimed
Rachel," replied Wat, earnestly, I know
of no ruin like the ruin of the soul. Money got
by disobedience to God, whether by stealing, or
falsehood, or Sabbath-breaking, what is it but
the wages of sin, and God Himself hath told us
that the wages of sin is death. What shall it
profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose
his own soul, or what shall a man give in ex-
change for his soul? Can you answer that
question, Rachel ?"
"I'm sure," exclaimed his daughter, almost
crying, that no one hates Sabbath-breaking
more than I do. I would gladly shut my shut-
ters every Sunday if my neighbours would only
That is to say, that you would gladly serve
God if you were sure that you could do so with-
out any trouble or loss. Rachel, Rachel! ye
forget the words of our Master, He that taketh
not his cross and followeth after Me, is not
worthy of Me."
"I am sure that my cross is more than I can
bear!" exclaimed, the poor woman, bursting
"It is not your cross, but your burden of
cares that is weighing you down, my poor
Rachel," said her father with tenderness, for her
sorrow went to his heart. God bids us cast
our cares upon Him for He careth for us. Be
careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer
and supplication let your requests be made
known unto God. But He bids us also take up
the cross, that is, God bids us deny ourselves
anything and everything that is forbidden by
His law. Now look ye, Rachel, what men do
when they think to struggle out of poverty and
trial by breaking the Sabbath :-they carry their
burden, and they leave their cross. Better, a
deal better, to take up the cross, and leave the
burden to God. If they make it their part to
obey, God will make it His part to provide.
What said the Lord Jesus Christ to those
troubled with the cares of what they should eat,
what they should drink, or wherewithal they
should be clothed ? Your Heavenly Father
knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things shall be added
If I could only believe that," said Rachel
in a hesitating tone, as she dried her eyes with
"Ay, there's the rub exclaimed Wat; I
told you last night that unbelief is the real root
of all our difficulties. We will not treat the
God of truth as we would treat any earthly friend
whom we honoured, we will not take Him just
at His word !"
Father, you can't tell how miserable I am !"
cried Rachel; "I know as how I've been aging
wrong, but it don't seem as if anything would
thrive with me. I think that God has forsaken
me quite. My trade is poor, my rent is due,
my husband's sickly, and my boy-he ain't no
comfort to me. I'm sure I've been a good
mother to him, but he's the very plague of my
Wat laid his wrinkled hand upon that of his
daughter, which was resting on the counter, and
lowered his voice that it might not reach the ear
of Tom, who was busy in the parlour with his
breakfast. "Rachel," said he, "let me speak
out plain to ye for once; it's not to vex ye,
my child, but a bitter truth is better than a
sweet falsehood. Have ye been a good mother
to Tom when ye've taught him by your own
example to disbelieve God's promises and dis-
obey God's law ? Sunday after Sunday he has
seen you a-breaking the Fourth Commandment,
can ye wonder if he does not keep the Fifth ?
If ye do not honour your Heavenly Father, can
ye complain if ye reap what ye have. sown in the
disobedience of your own son ?"
Rachel looked perplexed and distressed; she
had not seen the subject before in this light.
"Call your boy now," continued Wat, "bid
him put up those shop-shutters at once; and
pray God to give you grace to teach your son
from this day forth, both how to obey, and how
to trust in the Lord."
Rachel hesitated and sighed; she could not
make up her mind, either to take up the cross
of self-denial, or to cast down the burden of
I'll tell you how it is," said the soldier;
"it's like as when there be a traitor in the fort,
and at night, when he be sentinel on the watch,
he open the gate to the enemy. Unbelief is
the traitor in the heart, he unbars the gate to
the foe; first comes disobedience, then follows
despair, and destruction is not long in the rear."
Tom, who caught the sound of something
that seemed to be about war, came out from the
parlour, with his thick lump of bread and butter
in his hand.
"Bid him put up those shutters," said Wat
"I can't afford not to sell on Sunday!" ex-
claimed Rachel, again giving way to tears;
"the truth is, father, that I've nothing left this
blessed day but five pennies in that little brown
jar that you see yonder on the shelf. I can't
throw away my only chance of getting a living
for my child. God will not be hard upon me,
for He knows that I'm sinning against my will.
If I was only a little better off, I'd not sell one
lozenge on Sunday !"
You would not sell," said the old man, very
slowly, "if I promised you that if you obeyed
me to-day, you would find to-morrow five golden