“Papa, I do love you so, I love you dearly, and I will try to be a better girl,” Lulu said, clasping her arms tightly about his neck, as, having laid her in her bed, he bent down to kiss her good-night.
“I hope so, my darling,” he said; “nothing could make me happier than to know you to be a truly good child, trying to live right that you may please the dear Saviour who died that you might live.”
Max, lying in his bed, was just saying to himself, “I wonder what keeps papa so long,” when he heard his step on the stairs.
“Are you awake, Max?” the captain asked, as he opened the door and came in.
“Yes, sir,” was the cheerful response; “it’s early, you know, papa, and I’m not at all sleepy.”
“That is well, for I want a little talk with you,” said his father, sitting down on the side of the bed and taking Max’s hand in his.
The talk was on the sin of profanity. Max was told to repeat the third commandment, then his father called his attention to the words, “The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”
“It is a dreadful and dangerous sin, my son,” he said; “a most foolish sin, too, for there is absolutely nothing to be gained by it; and the meanest of sins, for what can be meaner than to abuse Him to whom we owe our being and every blessing we enjoy?”
“Yes, papa, and I—I’ve done it a good many times. Do you think God will ever forgive me?” Max asked in trembling tones.
“’He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.’ ’I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions, for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins,’” quoted the captain.
“Yes, my son, if you are truly sorry for your sins because committed against God, and confess them with the determination to forsake them, asking forgiveness and help to overcome the evil of your nature, for Jesus’ sake, it will be granted you. ’The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.’”
“No day discolored with domestic strife,
No jealousy, but mutual truth believ’d,
Secure repose and kindness undeceiv’d.”
They were a bright and cheery company in the other house. They had divided into groups. Mrs. Elsie Travilla sat in a low rocking-chair, between her father and his wife, with her little grandson on her lap. She doated on the babe, and was often to be seen with it in her arms. She was now calling her father’s attention to its beauty, and talking of the time when its mother was an infant, her own precious darling.
On a sofa on the farther side of the room the two sisters, Elsie and Violet, sat side by side, cosily chatting of things past and present, while a little removed from them Lester, Edward and Zoe formed another group.