In various ways Reuben added to his store. When the snow came, he made nice broad paths about the house, which so attracted the notice of a neighbour, that she asked if he might be allowed to make paths for her. He rose early that he might have time for this extra work, and was well paid for his efforts. The box grew heavier from week to week. Reuben had almost enough.
One day there was a barrel of flour left at Mrs. Porter’s. She thought there must be a mistake about it; but the man said he was directed at the store to take it to that house. Mrs. Porter went immediately to learn about it, and what was her surprise on finding her son had been the purchaser. How could he pay for a whole barrel of flour? “The money,” said the merchant; “he brought in a box. It was in small bits, which took me some time to count, but there was enough.”
The mother called, with a full heart, at Mrs. Johnson’s, and related what had occurred. Reuben wondered why his mother should cry so. He thought she would be happy. He was sure he was happy. He had been thinking two years of that barrel of flour, and now he felt more like laughing than crying.
Those tears, noble boy, are not tears of sorrow, but of the deepest, fullest joy. You are more than repaid for your self-denial. You have persevered in your determination. You have resisted every temptation to deviate from the course which you marked out as right. You have borne meekly the charge of meanness so galling to your generous spirit, and now you receive your reward. You are happy, and so is your mother, and so are your kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson.
That night, Mr. Johnson remarked to his wife, as they sat together before the cheerful fire, that he had some idea of keeping the little miser and educating him. “A boy who could form such a purpose, and keep it, will, in all probability, make a useful man.” After-years proved the correctness of this conclusion. Reuben is now a man of intelligence and wealth. He is one whom the world delights to honour; but among his pleasantest memories, I doubt not, is that of the barrel of flour he bought for his beloved mother.
“Filial love will never go unrewarded.”
Mary and Eddie had retired to their little beds. Their mother had said “good night,” and had given them both a kiss. She was just leaving the room, when Eddie said to his sister,
“Now you can tell me about Jesus.”
This simple remark revealed to Mrs. Dudley the subject of their conversation after she left them for the night. It gave her great pleasure, for she desires nothing so much as that her children may love the Saviour, and she knows the more they think about him, and the more they learn of his life, the more they will find him worthy of love. Mrs. Dudley offered up a silent prayer to her heavenly Father that the Holy Spirit would teach them and guide them into all truth.