The only persons that are real sure that their calling and election is sure, and that they are going to heaven across lots, are the men who are hung for murder. They always announce that they have got a dead thing on it, just before the drop falls. How encouraging it must be to children to listen to the prayers of our ministers in churches, who admit that they are miserable sinners living on God’s charity, and doubtful if they would be allowed to sit at His right hand, and as they tell the story of their unworthiness the tears trickle down their cheeks. Then let the children read an account of a hanging bee, and see how happy the condemned man is, how he shouts glory hallelujah, and confesses that, though he killed his man, he is going to heaven. A child will naturally ask why don’t the ministers murder somebody and make a dead sure thing of it?
HIS PA MORTIFIED.
“What was the health officer doing over to your house this morning?” said the grocery man to the bad boy, as the youth was firing frozen potatoes at the man who collects garbage in the alley.
“O, they are searching for sewer gas and such things, and they have got plumbers and other society experts till you can’t rest, and I came away for fear they would find the sewer gas and warm my jacket. Say, do you think it is right when anything smells awfully, to always lay it to a boy?”
“Well, in nine cases out of ten they would hit it right, but what do you think is the trouble over to your house, honest?”
“S-h-h! Now don’t breathe a word of it to a living soul, or I am a dead boy. You see I was over to the dairy fair at the Exposition building Saturday night, and when they were breaking up me and my chum helped to carry boxes of cheese and firkins of butter, and a cheese man gave each of us a piece of limberger cheese, wrapped up in tin foil. Sunday morning I opened my piece, and it made me tired. O, it was the offulest smell I ever heard of, except the smell when they found a tramp who hung himself in the woods on the Whitefish Bay road, and had been dead three weeks. It was just like an old back number funeral. Pa and Ma were just getting ready to go to church, and I cut off a piece of cheese and put it in the inside pocket of Pa’s vest, and I put another in the lining of Ma’s muff, and they went to church. I went down to church too, and sat on a back seat with my chum, looking just as pious as though I was taking up a collection. The church was pretty warm, and by the time they got up to sing the first hymn Pa’s cheese began to smell a match against Ma’s cheese. Pa held one side of the hymn book and Ma held the other, and Pa he always sings for all that is out, and when he braced himself and sang ‘Just as I am,’ Ma thought Pa’s voice was tinctured a little with biliousness, and she looked at him and hunched him, and told him to stop singing and breathe through