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Kate started. "Told who? Don't preach to me! I can't tell Him. He doesn't care for me; no one cares, now mother is dead."
"I love you very much, dear."
"Then you are the only one. Rachel, it is a bad thing to be left alone in the world. How can I hope to keep right T
"Do you ever ask Jesus to help you?"
"I never have said a prayer since a little after mother died; I've forgot how, and it's too late to begin now. Oh, m-'1 "»r, mother!" sobbed Kate.
".". is never too late, dear."
"It is for me; I've made up my mind. But, Rachel, promise me whatever you hear of me, don't quite hate-me, don't think I'm all bad."
"Kato, you frighten me. What is it you are going to do?" asked Rachel, looking her full in the face.
Kate drew away her hand suddenly, and the softened look passed from her face. "Let me go ! don't hold me! I tell you I will go!" And she hurried from the room.
The next evening Kate did not come; and when, on the second evening, she heard her steps stealing past her door down to the street, a horrible fear came over her—if this should be her last chance—if Kate should never come again!
"Rose," she said to the little girl by her side, •" run down as fast as you can, and tell Kate I must see her now. Oh! do get her to come!"
Rose ran off quickly; but neither she nor Kate returned, and Rachel fancied she had heard a scream of pain in the street below. She lay trembling, fearing, trying to pray for the poor erring girl; but the time seemed terribly long before Kate suddenly rushed into the room, holding littleRose in her arms. The child's face was white as death, and one little arm hung completely helpless at her side.
"I have killed her!" screamed Kate. "She is dead!"
Others crowded in, and a doctor was called, who set the broken arm, and pronounced that no great injury was done. The child must be kept quiet, and would soon be better; and there was every reason to hope that the arm would be strong again. Rose was carried to her mother's room, and Rachel was at last left with Kate, who knelt by her bedside, her face buried in the clothes, while she sobbed out her sad story.
"Don't look at me," she said; "just listen—I must tell you. Rachel, I was going away never to come back again. I had given it all up; I went yesterday to mother's grave, and told her I was a poor motherless girl, and couldn't hope to keep to what was right, and I said 'good-bye' to her, for I thought perhaps——" and Kate's sobs finished the broken sentence. Soon she went on: "I saw little Rose coming after me, and I knew you had sent her, so I ran away as fast as I could across the street because a cart was coming, and I thought Rose must stop; but she ran after me, poor little thing, right in the way of the horse, and I heard a scream, and ran to pick her up, and then I thought she was dead. Oh, Rachel! do you really think she will ever be well again?"
11 Indeed, Kate, I think the doctor knows best. But tell me of yourself. You are not going away now?"
"No, Rachel, I think not. I couldn't now; if only you will help me to try to be good."
"There is better help than I can give, dear," answered Rachel, smoothing the disordered hair with her white, thin hand. But she said no more, for she knew that Kate's sorrow was teaching its own lesson; but all her heart was lifted up in prayer that this wandering sheep might be brought back to the Father's fold.
Rose slowly recovered from the shock, and the broken arm grew strong again. Kate was constantly with her, dividing between her and Rachel every noon-hour and evening, never weary, as it seemed, though often silent and sad. Many lessons she learned in that time of grief and penitence—lessons of her own heart and of its weakness, and of the strength which God will give to all who sincerely ask and humbly receive—lessons of the love of Christ, who calls to Him all who are weary and heavy-laden, that He may give them pardon and peace.
Kate did not become gentle and patient all at once. Many and many a time she was ready to give up in despair the struggle with her self-will and passionate nature, and often she came to Rachel full of sorrow for the angry words with which she had answered the jests of her old companions, who called her one of Rachel Carrington's saints. It was—as with such natures it often is—even more galling to bear to be thought altered, than to try herself to amend. To be ridiculed where once she had led and commanded was bitter to her. But help was given—that help which never fails those who seek it—and prayer brought to her strength not her own, and the struggle became a more hopeful one as weeks and months went by. ,
After a while, too, her companions found some newer jest than Kate Roper's new ways, and she was left in peace, until at length her steady perseverance and consistent conduct won even from them and from her infidel brother-inlaw a respect shown in actions, if not in words. When Rachel had long passed away to her better home, and Rose had taken a place among the workers, Kate married a good and honest man, and children grew up in their home, to whom Kate tried to teach the lessons which her own mother had once spoken to her, and which, long forgotten, had, through the blessing of God, borne fruit after many days; and, in all the interests of a full and happy life; Kate never forgot to thank God for the turning-point of her life.
UJ5 Ittto Jltnr.
Stroke of the pen, a change of the figure, and we have passed from the old year into the new. It may be done in a moment, and the invisible line between the old and new, between the past and future, may be crossed without the slightest emotion. I cannot thus quickly and coldly dismiss the old year and all its associations. Time seems to fly more rapidly than ever. Let me reflect a little upon what has been, that I may enter upon a new and an untried way in a becoming spirit.
I have had many mercies. Whatever unexpected changes the past year brought with it, it worked no change in these. They were new every morning, fresh every evening. Mercies temporal and spiritual, personal and relative, crowned the year with goodness. Let me be grateful in the remembrance of these mercies. They did not come by accident. They were not the result of a lucky chance. They were not the product merely of my own foresight and scheming. God sent them; sometimes most unexpectedly, and always when they were undeserved. Let me be very thankful to Him in whom I have lived and moved and had my being; who has satisfied my mouth with good things; who has surrounded me with loving-kindness and tender mercy. Before advancing into the new year "I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness towards the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His loving-kindnesses."
I remember many sins. How numerous they have been, now that I quietly reckon them up in order! There were sins of surprise, when temptation burst in upon me like a flood. There were sins of presumption, when old besetments which I thought I had for ever done with awoke with the force of a giant refreshed by a long sleep. There were sins of imprudence, of temper, speech, conduct. What pain they occasioned me! what grief and anguish of spirit I still endure in the remembrance of them! Let me learn humiliation and circumspection. If I live through the opening weeks and months of the new year, I shall have again the same grief and anguish if I forget that I carry with me a body of sin and death, and if I do not watch as well as pray. Where the carcase is will the eagles be, and where the sinful heart is, thither most surely will be attracted all the subtle forces of my great adversary. Let me not say of any besetting sin, "That is buried; I shall never see it again; I shall never feel its force again." It may be only asleep and taking rest, to do more mischief when it awakes. Like a frozen snake, it may suddenly spring from its torpor and pierce me with its poisonous sting. In remembrance of the past year's sins let me walk humbly and circumspectly, redeeming the time.
I have lost several opportunities of usefulness, and they will certainly never return. I class these, indeed, among my sins; but I remember them with all the force I can summon, that I may not be thus faithless in future. I might have done more good amongst the children whom God has given me. I might have been more active in the religious work which I count my own in society. I might have more courageously and distinctly confessed my Lord before men. I have been indolent where I ought to have been industrious; timorous where I ought to have been honest; time-serving and negligent where, as a living epistle that could be known and read of all men, I ought to have declared that no man can serve two masters. I remember these things, that in the coming time I may work while it is called to-day; that I may not defer any duty, seeing that I know not what shall be on the morrow. Some to whom I might have been made the means of blessing died last year. They are for ever beyond my reach! Duties that were deferred then because of certain difficulties surrounding them, are more difficult of accomplishment now, and every day they will become more arduous still. In the strength of the Holy Spirit I must attempt them without delay. Whatsoever my hand findeth to do I will do it with my might; for the night cometh in which no man can work!
I will remember how often my faithlessness has been rebuked. There were days, the mornings of which were so dark and threatening, that long before noon I expected a total eclipse. There were seasons when neither sun, moon, nor stars appeared for many days. There were times of sore