She placed a wet cloth on his head, lay down by his side, and knew no more until the next morning. Both slept soundly. When she awoke, she saw that the child was breathing naturally and that the fever was entirely gone. Then she fully realized that God had healed him. With a grateful heart she thanked the Lord for his tender love. It was indeed true that Leroy was well. About ten o’clock his mother carried him to the lake and, having Bessie to row the boat, gave him a pleasant boat-ride. The fever never returned; his head stopped growing; and he became a strong, healthy boy. The friends who had thought that he would surely die said they could not understand the change that had taken place, but Mrs. Worthington understood, and gave God all the praise.
EXPLAINING THE DIVINE LIFE.
After Bessie’s conversion Mrs. Worthington’s talks to her were often on the subject of the divine life within—how to care for it and nourish it, so that it might not die nor become blighted. She sometimes compared the young Christian’s experience to that of a new-born babe. “You know,” said she, “the little one must be carefully fed, and tenderly guarded against everything harmful. Even a slight breeze blowing upon its little body, if unprotected, might result in death. But as the child grows older and stronger, it gradually becomes accustomed to the rude elements about it and can, with comparative safety, be brought in contact with them. The Christ life, new-born in the human heart, is just as sensitive and needs the same tender care. Guard it carefully, Bessie. It must be constantly nourished by prayer and the Word of God. Seek to become established by the grace of sanctification; then you will be better able to meet temptation and persecution. Christ is your shepherd, and he wants to lead you, his lamb, into green pastures and beside still waters.
“A person may profess to be a Christian, Bessie; but unless he has a change of heart and affections, he is what the Bible terms a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and not one of the gentle lambs of the Savior’s fold. The profession does not amount to anything when the heart is full of envy, hatred, jealousy, love of self, and a drawing toward the world. A person with a profession only, may appear for a time to be quite lamb-like; but sooner or later the old nature will manifest itself, for it can not be hidden long.”
“I think, Mama,” said Bessie, “I understand you—but you spoke of the experience of sanctification; please tell me what that means.”
As briefly as possible, the mother explained that the second cleansing of the heart takes away that evil nature which causes man to want to disobey God.
Not long after this talk Bessie had an experience in school that helped her to comprehend her mother’s words. To be put back in her studies was hard, but to have to give up her old teacher, to whom she was strongly attached, was harder still. Her regret on the latter account, however, was of short duration; for her new teacher was even more lovable than the old one, and, best of all, she was a Christian. She and Bessie not only got along well, but became warm friends and enjoyed sweet fellowship in the Spirit. One day, however, something happened that severely tested their love, but, in the end, only deepened it.