You see, do you not, that this is just what He did who bore our sins in His own body upon the tree—the Saviour of men? What He suffered we cannot know in this life; but God laid on Him the iniquity of us all; and this He willingly bore to save us from death. With His stripes we are healed. How great the gratitude each of us owes such a Friend.
“Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
[Illustration: “I’m awake, mother, come in.”]
Mrs. Lomax softly opened the nursery door and peeped in. “I’m awake, mother,” said a voice from the white cot; “come in.”
The lady quickly poked the smoldering fire into a blaze and opened the blinds. It was a bitter cold day, and Jack Frost had decorated the windowpanes with silver pictures of forests and castles.
“What wakened you so early, Patty, dear?” asked her mother, coming over to sit on the edge of the bed. To her surprise the young face was wreathed in bright smiles.
“I had such a strange, sweet dream,” said Patty, her eyes shining. “I think it must have been my dream that waked me.”
“What was it, love?” But Patty was silent. “You don’t want to tell me your dream, little daughter?”
“I think I’d rather not, mother, if you don’t mind.”
“No, I don’t mind.”
“Well, then, I won’t tell it.”
Patty’s mother had no dream of her own to tell, for she had hardly slept a single one of the many hours between dark and dawn. Many of them she had spent on her knees beside her bed, pouring out her heart in prayer for her darling who was, with the returning day, to undergo a painful and dangerous surgical operation.
For days Patty herself had been in a sad state of nervousness and depression; it had been necessary, for certain reasons, that she should know what was before her, and though she bore up bravely for her years, it could not but be to her like entering a dark cloud.
And yet there was the smile on her lips and the light in her eye, though the hour of trial had come!
The weeks slipped away, each one leaving little Patty stronger than it found her, and nearer to the end of her prison-life behind window panes. For the great trial was safely passed, and the surgeon said one reason that the little girl came so safely through it, without fever or inflammation of any sort, was that she was so quiet and brave, and didn’t excite or fret herself.
When Patty heard these praises she only smiled and said, “That’s my secret.” Though she did not ask, Patty’s mother sometimes wondered what she meant and why she would not tell her secret.
But one day Patty overheard a visitor speaking of another child who was to undergo an operation. This visitor was one of the managers of St. Luke’s Hospital, and the child she spoke of was a charity patient, a poor, little deformed girl in the public ward. She was an orphan, and had no friends except the kind people at the orphanage where she had been put when only a few months old.