Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

All at once a thought came into ent hersell: was to be managed.

letter which she said had just been conducted a school for girls until handed her by a boy, and he was the preceding midsummer, when waiting for an answer. Mrs. Ain- the physician told her she must slee read the letter; then, looking rest or die. She had, at her husup, she said almost peevishly: band's death, a pittance of money, Dear me! this is a sad case-very which she then invested, as she unfortunate. I'm sure I'm very thought safely, and she had added sorry, but really I don't see how I every year a little, so that by rigid can go away down there to-day. economy she could live on the inI'm so tired, and I have so many terest. She gave up her school things on hand that must be at- with the intention of resting a year, tended to.” Then after thinking, and then resuming that or some with her elbow resting on the table, other business; but within four and her head on her hand—“Well, months afterward the bank in which I can't see what I am to do in this her money was invested broke, and matter." The request was, that she had come to London to ascerMrs. Ainslee would come at once tain whether she could hope for to her old friend, who was lying any dividend, and to seek for emvery ill at a boarding-housefar ployment. She could learn nothing down the city, and among utter concerning the bank, save that there strangers. The writer apologised was little chance for hope, and none for urgency and haste by stating at all at present; neither could she that she feared being put out into find anything to do. She had been the street while too ill to help her, nearly four weeks in the city; fatigue self. She would have explained and anxiety had made her so ill her situation more fully, but was that she could no longer rise from unable to write much. From this her bed; and, as her money was now letter it was gvident that there was expended, she was almost in despair. lack of money, as well as illness; Bessie slipped a five-pound note and the provoking thing was, that into her hand, kissed her weepingly, there was in that short letter a and told her not to despond, as she glimpse of a troublesome case. should be taken care of; then reMeanwhile, the boy was waiting. turned home, feeling very despond

for know Mrs. Ainslee's head: she raised her how eyes, looked at Bessie (Nellie was On explaining the case to her asleep), and said, “I positively mother, that lady said she could can't go to-day or to-morrow, but see but one thing to be done. Besas you are so fond of Mrs. Kemp, sie must go again to-morrow, and say you go and learn the circum- take their family physician, get an stances, and leave a little money if order from him, and then they must necessary. I can't spare the car- get the poor soul into a hospital riage or John, but you can go by until she should recover. the omnibus, and take Hannah Next morning, before the doctor

was off on his rounds, Bessie went Very well, mamma,” responded in the carriage and took him down Bessie ; " I'll ring, and tell Hannah to see Mrs. Kemp. He questioned, to send the boy back with word and examined, and looked very that some one will visit Mrs. Kemp sad, but said nothing to her of the this afternoon.”

order, or of the hospital.

He Bessie went, and found the poor merely said, in a low tone, to the lady ill and in great affliction. Six young girl, “I will talk with you years previously she had removed as we return,” and asked if some to a thriving town, and had there wine and jellies could be procured

[graphic]

with you.”

[ocr errors]

at once. These Bessie promised to pital, or some similar institution, send within an hour or two: and, whenever an entrance could be again exhorting the sick lady to be obtained. of good courage, they set off home So Bessie settled all Mrs. Kemp's ward. On the way the doctor said affairs at the boarding-house, and that there was no positive disease carried off the poor invalid in the about Mrs. Kemp, but her whole carriage to her own home, where; system was exhausted, and she true to her engagements, she had a needed a long rest before she would cot placed in the room for herself, be able to do for herself. He said and faithfully and tenderly she exethe hospitals did not take in such cuted her trust. When Mrs. Kemp cases; and even if they did admit saw Mrs. Ainslee she tried to speak her for a few weeks, she would be her thanks ; but the poor quivering no better able to earn a livelihood voice could make no headway at the expiration of that time than against the thick-coming sobš. now, especially under the weight of Mrs. Ainslee took and pressed the anxiety which must rest on her thin, cold hand, and både her be mind. Had she no friends who quiet, telling her she was safe for would give her a home for a year? the present, and the best thing she If anything would restore her health could do was to keep her mind easy and strength it would be rest of and get well. As Mrs Ainslee left body and mind. Alas, no! there the room she met Bessie, and said, was the difficulty. She was the “ Poor soul! she's worse than I only survivor of her father's family; supposed ;" and she looked kindly, she had no children; and her late spoke gently; so the young girl husband's friends were not able to hoped her mother might be moved assist her, even if they had been to extend the term of her hospitality willing. The question of what was a week or two. to be done seemed now unanswer That night Bessie could not sleep; able, as Mrs. Ainslee did not feel she was thinking and thinking how herself called upon to assume the to find some way to help the helpresponsibility of the unfortunate less one; and as she lay silent, the woman's entire support.

latter thought her sleeping, and so However, Bessie's sympathy was Bessie could hear her sobbing low enlisted, and her energies awoke. and praying. At three o'clock in She said to herself: "It shall be the night some nourishment was done ;” and, though she would not to be given, and Bessie was glad of have liked any one to know it, she the excuse to rise and try whether prayed most earnestly that God she could do or say something to would show her how to procure soothe her charge. She was wise relief for her former teacher, now enough to perceive that she had literally her protégée, and she be better indulge Mrs. Kempin talking lieved she should find a way. In about her affairs, and in the conthe first place, with much ado she versation she learned that the formanaged to get her mother's con- tune-wrecked lady had boarded for sent to have Mrs. Kemp brought to awhile, since she gave up school, their house, but with the express with an old servant of hers—a understanding that the visit should widow, who was much attached to be only for the two weeks before her former mistress, and made the she was to return to school, where lady very comfortable at low rates. she was a weekly boarder. She was Mrs. Kemp said that Maggie had to nurse and amuse the invalid, and asked her to remain and share, if it to make the invalid aware that were only a crust; but she could she was to be disposed of in a hos- not accept that offer, as Maggie had

[graphic]

hard work to support herself and They sat in the library, where children by taking in washing, and other members of the family used the little parlour and bedroom were to sit, or come and go, until the a source of income of which it would preparations for Nellie's marriage be cruel to deprive them.

became so absorbing that now they A light flashed on Bessie's mind. generally had the room to themIf only there could be found money selves. That night Bessie forgot her enough to send the invalid back, lessons, forgot Fred Seldon, rememwhen a little better, and pay a bered nothing save that hateful small weekly allowance to Maggie problem, how to get some money for her board and lodging during for Mrs. Kemp. She wondered it one year, why then. Mrs. Kemp, her mother would let her stay at knowing she was safe for a year, school and not be present at the would rest and grow stronger. Oh, wedding, and if her mother would if-- She could hardly wait till would give her, instead of the pretty morning; she was determined on dress which she was to have as telling her mother all about the “if” bridesmaid, the money which it and the " only.” She did tell her would cost. Then she thought, even mother, and received some encour- if her mother would consent to this, agement, but rather more discour- that her cousin Carrie would be agement. Mrs. Ainslee said the bridesmaid in her place, and would plan was good, if the money were be mated with Fred on the occasion. forthcoming; but all the ladies she She could not bear that thought, knew had already expended in and a great lump came into her charities more than they had pur- throat, and as she gave an involunposed giving, and she did not know tary gulp to get it down, a hand one to whom she could apply. As was laid on her shoulder. She for herself, why, Bessie knew that started, looked up wildly, and burst Nellie's approaching marriage was out crying. robbing her both of time and money; Why, Bessie, what's all this there were so many little things about?” said Fred in astonishment, necessary to fill up the trousseau of for Bessie was not a crying girl. She a bride in her social position-little did not like to tell him. She was things that she should not mention vexed at making such a fool of herto the father.

self, as she termed it. After thinking a minute, Bessie “I'll tell you what,” said Fred, asked if she might do what she “ let's make bargain. You tell chose with her own pocket-money. me all your troubles, and I'll tell Her mother said certainly she was you mine." So she told him the at liberty to do so, but that would whole story, and he looked at her not half suffice. Bessie, however, very earnestly for a while, and then promised to spend next day with said, Mrs. Kemp, but Friday evening

That affair can be managed. had lately been devoted to a special You know I told you I had chosen purpose. Almost since she could business instead of a profession. remember, one, who first was play- Well, my father is going to take me mate, afterwards friend, had been into business in the spring, and then in the habit of overlooking her I can make up your deficiency studies; and, by the full concur- without asking leave of anybody; rence of parents on both sides, he but, meanwhile, I have just had a came, now that he was out of col- presert of money to buy a very lege, on Friday evenings, and they handsome watch and chain ; I am read together, or he helped her over to suit myself in the purchase ; one a hard place in mathematics. less expensive will do for me, and

66

my father won't object to the trans- with open arms and a face beaming action : I know him; the difference through smiles and tears. Long will put you all right for some before the year was expired she months. Will that do, now? But found some light employment, the stop ; I'll back out if you are only proceeds of which formed a nest-egg going to cry the harder, you-you for futnre and more vigorous efforts.

-pussy,” said Fred, his own voice She became comparatively strong, just the least bit shaky, and his and afterwards married a good man, eyes plainly saying: "You darling." who, like herself, was a lonely

Not long after Bessie (she had mortal going down the declivity þeen first to her mother) rushed of life. The two were no longer upstairs to Mrs. Kemp, hugged and lonely; they had competence, and kissed that lady's breath away, and were literally all the world to each then pantingly told her of the good other, though the grateful woman that was come at last. Bessie slept always said she had two children. soundly that night, but Mrs. Kemp As for Fred and Bessie, that was lay awake, in sweet peace and deep not the last time they acted in conthankfulness, praying, but not as cert for benevolent purpose. before. This was a thanksgiving- Fred, who is now Bessie's husband offering of the whole heart to the you must know, says he came near God who had not forgotten nor committing the sin of idolatry one forsaken her when she was ready night we wot of, for he then thought to perish. A fortnight later Fred a certain young girl angelic enough and Bessie placed the now con- to be worshipped, only we don't valescent invalid in the train in worship angels. Any way, he says charge of an acquaintance. She that night was a turning point in reached her home safely, where she his life, and he turned the right was received by the faithful Maggie corner, too.

a

BELIEVERS AT THE JUDGMENT-SEAT OF CHRIST.

BY THE REV. W. BURTON.

It is to be feared that this important subject does not receive the amount of attention from Christians which it deserves. As a consequence, crude and vague notions possess the minds of many, and no little obscurity of thought prevails, and one of the great scriptural motives to diligence and faithfulness is deprived of its due weight.

There is an error common enough among men of the world, and often used as a refuge by the sinner when hard-pressed—namely, that the qnestion of a man's salvation cannot be determined till the Judgment-Day. It is not that notion we have to combat among professors of Christianity at the present day, but rather the error lying at the opposite extreme, of taking too much for granted and so far settled, at a present tribunal of self-consciousness and human opinion, that virtually the judgment to come is stripped of all that renders it a solemn investigation of moral character and conduct.

The doctrines of grace seem to be held in such a fashion by some persons, that the thought of the judgment as a real decision and an open manifestation of character is almost entirely excluded. The idea

which some Christians entertain seems to be that, having felt the burden of sin and fled for refuge to Christ, there is no judgment for them-no judgment in the sense of a real and solemn investigation of the manner in which they have fulfilled their profession, the duties of discipleship, and the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ. Passages of Scripture bearing on the judgment are considered as referring only to the ungodly—the sinners will be judged, but not the saints. There seems to some minds a difficulty in holding at the same time the doctrines of salvation by grace, and such a conception of the judgment as makes it something real and momentous. The two things are looked åt as if they were antagonistic and contradictory, as if to hold the one you must let go the other. It is the aim of this brief paper to show that they are not contradictory, to press upon Christians the importance—while rejoicing that we are saved by grace-of being influenced by the thought of " that day” and its tremendous issues.

The teachings of our Lord, on certain occasions, seem as if purposely intended to show His disciples they were not to fancy themselves set on a privileged height above the reach of that law of moral recompenses which is applicable to other men, and to which all are alike amenable. On one occasion the lesson which the Saviour

taught drew forth from Peter the question, “ Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even unto all ?" The answer of Jesus shows that he was stating solemn truths bearing on all men, and that he had them in view as well as others-perhaps more than others—"Who, then, is that faithful and wise steward whom his lord shall make ruler of his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season ?" " is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.” No foregone conclusion on the part of the servant, or of his fellow-sérvants concerning him, will avail to set aside the judgment of the master. “ The servant that knew his lord's will and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."

The Apostle Paul, whose special line of things and divinely directed mission was to unfold the fulness and freeness of salvation by grace in opposition to works, says: " Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap; for he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting." "For we must all appear,” or, more literally, “be made manifest before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” He included himself, and evidently looked forward to that day with the deepest feeling of solemnity and responsibility. The thought of the judgment seat of Christ quickened him to diligence in his work, and to faithfulness in dealing with men : “Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.” “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.'

[graphic]
[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »