“But how shall I come?” she asked. “Tell me just how.”
“How do you come to me, love, when you feel that you have displeased me, and want to be reconciled?”
“Oh! you know I just come and acknowledge that I’ve been hateful and cross, and say how sorry I am, and that I don’t mean to behave so any more, and ask you to forgive and love me; and, dear Ned, you are always so willing and ready to do that, you hardly wait till I’ve said my say, before you put your arms round me, and hug and kiss me, and it’s all right between us.”
“Yes, dearest; and God, our heavenly Father, is far more ready to receive and forgive us when we turn to him with sorrow for our sins, confessing them and pleading for pardon in the name, and for the sake, of his dear Son, our Saviour,” “I’m afraid I don’t feel half so sorry as I ought.”
“Who of us does? but we are not to wait for that. We must come to him, to be shown the evil of our natures, the sinfulness of our lives.
“’Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.’”
“But how am I to make myself believe?” she asked.
“’By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.’ So you see, we have to go to Jesus for it all,—for repentance, for faith, for salvation from the guilt and love of sin, and from eternal death.
“The plan of salvation is very simple,—its very simplicity seems to stumble many; they don’t know how to believe that it is offered them as a free gift; they think they must do something to merit it; but it cannot be bought, it is ‘without money and without price.’ ’Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely,’ Come to Jesus, dear one; come now, for only the present moment is yours; delay is most dangerous, for the invitation may be withdrawn at any time.”
“If I could only see him! If I could hear his voice!” she sighed.
“That you cannot; yet you know I am not nearer to you, or more willing to hear a petition from you, than he is.”
At that moment a well-known step was heard in the hall without; and as Zoe rose hastily, wiping her eyes, Arthur tapped at the door.
“I bless thee for kind looks and words
Showered on my path like dew,
For all the love in those deep eyes,
A gladness ever new.”
A week had passed since Edward’s accident; and he now exchanged his bed, during the day, for an easy-chair.
He and Zoe had just finished taking their breakfast together in her boudoir when a servant came in with the mail.
There were letters from Viamede,—one for Edward from his mother, one for Zoe from Betty Johnson.
Both brought the unwelcome tidings that little Grace Raymond and Violet’s babe were very ill with scarlet-fever.