Imagens das páginas

He sorry

Rutie," said a penitent baby morning, Rob?” said Johnny, voice,“ don't c'y any more. Robbie confusedly. be good. He sorry he make 'oo “Róbbie was bad boy to Rutie, feel so bad."

an' make her c'y once. “Dear little brother,” she an- now, and so he good now too." swered, tearfully, “I was crying They smiled at the sweet, quaint because I felt so naughty myself.” speech, but grew serious when Mr.

“'00 is never naughty," said he, Huntington spoke. seriously, wiping her eyes with his “I think there is much true chubby hand.

“Now I be's good, philosophy in what Robbie has just and put on my shoes, and play said,” said he. “Real repentance with my blocks."

is not merely being sorrowful over She thought in her heart of these wrong we have done, but leads us words: “Whatsoever ye shall ask always to turn to the right. If in my name, ye shall receive it.” Robbie did not prove his repentance Another than herself might also by being 'good now,' we might be have thought of these : “He that very certain of his not being truly ruleth his spirit is greater than he sorry now. "By their fruits ye that taketh a city.”

shall know them.' So Robbie played quite con As they rose from the table, Mrs. tentedly and silently, for him, all Huntington said to Ruth, “As soon the rest of the morning, and, not- as you are through with the work withstanding her sorrows that such come to my room.

I shall want wicked thoughts found place in her you to do an errand for me.” heart in the midst of her good So, after arranging everything resolutions, Ruth had a quiet joy neatly in the dining-room, Ruth and peace within her, and a loving went to her mother.

She was trust in the Lord.

sitting by baby Maud, rocking her She went busily and quietly about gently; and when Ruth entered the work of the house, doing the she turned quickly, best she could, making a mistake “ Has it stopped raining ? now and then, and working to inquired. make it right again; putting things "Yes, ma, just a little while ago." in order, making things comfort Then get ready to go to your able. At half-past twelve she had grandmother's for me. She has & the dinner ready, and called her decoction that I want for the baby. mother, father, and “the boys." Don't be slow, now, Ruth.” She had a long burn on her arm, She was ready in a little while; and flushed, hot cheeks, but after and she looked very sweet and all it was a happy face she carried dainty that rainy day, robed in her to the dinner-table that day. dark blue waterproof, with the

Her father said smilingly, "Really, jaunty hat and blue bird's-wing, Ruth, you are quite a little house- and feet neatly shod with goloshes, keeper. Your mother will have to as she went out softly into the look to her laurels.”

chilly air, over the muddy wet road Johnny, between huge bites of to grandma Morton's. bread and meat, said, 6. This dinner Mr. Huntington's nearest neighsuits me tip-top, I tell you, and I bour was James Smithson. Their was awful hungry! I'm the two houses were but little over half champion eater in this house on all a mile from each other, and the occasions."

dividing line between their two “We are perfectly well aware of farms was Deer Creek, a small that, John," said his mother. stream of water. Four or five

What have you been up to this years before, the two had had a diffi

[ocr errors]

culty about some cattle, in which, road was muddy and dreary, and according to

to Mr. Huntington's the transparent creek was changed opinion, Mr. Smithson had shown to a turbid stream, with driftwood an undisguised disposition to cheat rapidly whirling and eddying down and take advantage, in a manner, its surface. too, peculiarly dishonourable. Ruth was half-frightened as she

Mr. Huntington was a very good saw how near the water was to the man, but he was also a very just foot-log. She stopped a moment one, and belonged to that class of before venturing, and then began people who cannot be imposed on carefully to cross. with impunity. He had told James She had reached the middle of Smithson his opinion of the trans- the log in safety, when suddenly action; and the law had settled the she heard a loud, quick, warning matter with justice to both parties, call :but greatly to the dissatisfaction of “Look behind you, girl! Run for Mr. Huntington's opponent. your life! Run! Run!”

Since that time there had been She looked around wildly. She no intercourse between the two. was overcome with fright, and in Smithson had become very angry, her excitement she lost her balance refused to recognise Mr. Hunting- and fell. don when they met, and annoyed It was almost a miracle that she him and his family in every way was not precipitated into the rushpossible. Mr. Huntington, on the ing stream. But falling parallel other hand, though he would gladly with the log, with an instinct of have been on friendly terms with self-preservation she caught by a his neighbour, was sternly conscious rough projection, and finally with of being in the right, and would great effort, drew herself up in an make no advances towards a re- agony of terror. conciliation.

When she looked up, she beheld The one object that Smithson James Smithson regarding her with and his wife seemed to have any a malignant leer on his face. affection or interest for was their

“ Came prett near wetting your daughter Lily, a little golden- little feet didn't you, my dear? haired, blue-eyed fairy; she was There isn't anything behind you, so petted, flattered, and had every don't embrace that log any longer. childish whim gratified if possible. It isn't a becoming position. Get

Ruth's journey to grandma Mor- up and go home,” he added, and ton's led over the creek, and by the tell your father his daughter is house of the Smithsons. In fair pretty nearly as much of a coward summer weather it was a beautiful as he is himself,” walk. The “ dirt road” went wind Her fear was gone in an instant, ing gracefully down to the stream; and a white heat of passion glowed then those who rode went splash- instead. She rose firmly to her ing through, over a pebbly bed that feet, and, looking him steadily in shone up clear and bright through the eye, walked over the remainder the crystal water ; those who walked of the log towards him. went over the foot-log, placed a little “I'll make you sorry for this, if above the road, where the stream I am only a little girl" she said, was narrower and deeper, and her voice quivering with passion. where a tall walnut-tree cast its Pretty good! I'm badly scared ! dense, cool shadows.

Think you will have revenge ?” But now it was very different. “Yes, I do," she answered, in The trees and grass had not yet the same quivering voice. donned their robes of green, the He was really quite angry then,

and I don't know what he might And now Ruth began to come to have done, had he not seen a man herself. The atmosphere of that at some distance down the road. house was unfavourable to passion As it was, he laughed a scornful, or excitement. That sweet, saintly contemptuous laugh, that followed presence, that gentle, kind voice, Ruth as she went on her way; he had begun the work of exorcising then waited till both she and the the evil spirit the moment she had man were out of sight, looking care- entered the house, though she knew fully up and down the road. He it not; and, as she went on her way, had an impression that he heard there came back to her the memory a noise near the clump of elder of those resolutions of the night bebushes, and he examined, but found fore. What fruit had they borne ? nothing. After all this, he moved Her heart became very sad; she the foot-log just a little, so that it almost feared to ask forgiveness would turn with one walking over for the sins of her lips, and the it, and then went in a roundabout still more grievous sin of her heart. way to his home.

But at last she did dare, and sent If John Huntington's favourite up, a petition, at first feeble, but child in returning home should gaining strength as she thought chance to fall, of course he would that“He knoweth our frame, and have nothing to do with it. He remembereth that we are dust." A hardly thought she would gain her sweet peace came to her soul; peace promised revenge. And if no one with the world; peace with her should rescue her from the swollen Saviour-even that peace which stream-well, it would be the bitter- passeth understanding. est drop he knew of in his neigh The sunlight gleamed out from bour's cup of prosperity, and he the clouds for a moment, full and would have had nothing to do with bright, even as the light had come it-in the eyes of the world. again into her heart. As she looked

As Ruth pursued her way, how up, she saw Lily Smithson standthe passion boiled and surged within ing by the brink of the stream, in her at the utter meanness of the her white dress, bareheaded, and man! It was the silent, voiceless the golden hair falling around her anger that grows the hotter because shoulders. it has no vent; and she was hardly Ruth was about fifty feet distant conscious of passing over the road, when she saw her, with a baby's nor when she went in at her grand- fearlessness, start to cross the footmother's and knocked at her door. log; she saw the log roll half over,

She told her errand, got the de- heard a frightened, childish scream, coction for the baby, and was start- and the little white-robed form was ing back, when grandma Morton down in the swift water. said, “Ruth, dear, your face tells Did she think of the child's me something unpleasant has hap- father, who but a short time before pened to you. Can I help you? had nearly caused her to fall into Can you talk to me about it?” the same rushing current? Yes, for

She considered a moment, and an instant the thought flashed then answered with a shadow of a through her mind, but even at smile, “You are always sorry to the moment her feet were hurrying hear me talk when I am angry.' swiftly to the rescue of the daughter

“Walk soitly, my darling," said of her persecutor. her grandmother seriously. "There Down to the brink of the stream are many pitfalls for young feet like she catches at the white dressyours. Remember you are one of she almost has it-she reaches the workers in the Lord's vineyard.” | farther eagerly--she has caught it

but there is a misstep, a strong that have rung through my ears wave, and now two forms are clasp- ever since I saw her save my child ing each other in the fearfully swol- so nobly; it was what the Bible len water. On they speed; now the says about heaping coals of fire on branch of a tree strikes them, the heads of your enemies. Coals of then another, and they are in fire! To think that your child should the midst of some low, horizontal repay my persecutions by saving the branches that stretch over the life of mine! And all the thanks I stream. Ruth catches wildly at cần give you is to beg for your forthem—there is a frantic struggle for giveness, and I ask you to pray life—and the two forms are upon the that God will give me His. I wonshore, speechless, breathless, over- der at myself for saying this, as whelmed with fright, but saved ! much as I can see you wonder at

The first sound Ruth heard was me; and yet how could I do less, of rapid footsteps, as of a man run- when my baby might have been ning, and the next moment James cold and dead at this moment if it Smithson had clasped little Lily, hadn't been for her ?with her dripping garments, close The strong man's eyes were full

of tears; for God had spoken to his He had seen the child from his heart through His providence, and gate, just as she stepped into the filled it with a genuine repentance trap he had laid for another; and and conviction of sin. Yes, the eyes although he started to her rescue of all in that group were dim ; for in breathless haste, before he had the two families, so long enemies, passed over the long stretch of road were reconciled. he had witnessed the whole scene. Later, when the house had set

An hour afterwards Ruth lay on tled into its usual quiet, and the the sofa in her own house, wrapped twilight was fast turning into night, in warm shawls; for although she Mr. Huntington laid his hand genassured them that she felt well, they tly on Ruth's head, and said, "My had insisted upon doctoring her,“to daughter has done a good work tokeep off a cold.” A tearful group day in the Master's vineyard.” And surrounded her. Could it be that after a little pause, he added softly, the trembling voice that spoke be- “ Blessed are the peacemakers, for longed to James Smithson? they shall be called the children of

"I can tell you, Mr. Hunting- God.” ton," he was saying, “ of the words

in his arms.

OLIVET. THERE was one spot on earth which Jesus seems to have especially loved. It was “His wont” to go there. As John was His favourite disciple, the family of Lazarus His favourite household, Galilee His favourite water, so Olivet was His favourite mountain. An oriental city, with its crowded and filthy streets, could have no charm for such a spirit as His. When duty called our Lord into Jerusalem, He went there; but as soon as He could escape from its dirt, its dogs and its din, He bent His footsteps over the valley of Kedron to the quiet Mount of Olives.

It afforded Him a blessed asylum from noisy traffickers, churlish scribes, and insolent Pharisees. Olivet always treated Him kindly.


Olivet cast no stones at Him. Her ancient trees gave Him cool shelter from the noonday heat and the heavy night dews. Her flowers talked to their Creator-Jesus, and her verdant turf spread a couch for His

weary limbs. It is hard to identify more than three or four places now on which we are certain that Christ set His foot. One of these is the well's mouth at Sychar. A second is the hill-top'above Nazareth. The third is that still beaten road that leads over Olivet to the ruined village of Bethany.

It was on that roadside that Jesus was sitting when He beheld guilty Jerusalem and wept over it. It was about that same spot where He sat and delivered that wonderful prophetic discourse in the twentyfourth chapter of Matthew) on the Tuesday of His passion week. He slept that night at Bethany, on the eastern slope of the mountain. On the next day, as the conspirators were lying in wait for Him, He did not enter Jerusalem at all

. Probably He passed it in deep retirement upon Olivet, communing with His Heavenly Father, and preparing silently for that tremendous tragedy which should soon cast its pall of midday darkness over the city's streets and Calvary's altar of sacrifice. He needed repose. That day He dwelt apart. And as Dr. Farrar eloquently says: “On that Wednesday night He lay down for the last time on earth. On the Thursday morning He awoke never to sleep again. We must not think of Jesus as living with His disciples after the manner of men during the forty days between His crucifixion and His ascension. His public work was over. He only gave His disciples an occasional interview, and His last appearance among them was that memorable and sublime moment when He parted from them on the eastern brow of Olivet, and a cloud received Him out of their sight."

I have reviewed this connection of our Lord with that sacred spot, not only for its historic interest, but its spiritual suggestion. If Jesus sought a place for quiet meditation and for retirement from the city's bustle and Babel noises, every Christian should have his Olivet also. Those of us who live in large towns are apt to live at high pressure. The rural Christian has the scenery and the solitudes of God's great wide country about him. But in the bustling, bewildering, driving, roaring city, how difficult it is to “dwell apart. Where and how can we escape the roar and the contagion of excitements ? Where shall we find a Hermon, or a Horeb, a brook Ch or a Mount of Olives?

From early morn until bedtime we city folk are exposed to the whirl. The world meets us at the breakfast-table in the columns of the morning journal. We snatch the records of fires, and floods, and telegrams, and trials, with our cup of coffee. After a hurried meal we launch out into the crowded day. Engagements press. Care collars the tradesman, the lawyer, and, and, in fact, every man, as soon as he gets into the street. When he reaches his place of business his table is probably piled with letters demanding prompt reply. Cus

« AnteriorContinuar »