Oh, glorious and holy majesty of truth! who can resist its power? and now the journeyman, although ashamed to meet the glance of a child whose principles were based upon the law of Him who is the Truth, recognised its beauty and its force. He was addicted to low and base pursuits and pleasures, but the signature impressed originally on the heart of man, although half effaced, was not entirely obliterated, and he shrank back as from a superior power; for he felt as if a child had been commissioned to judge and condemn him.
A certain eloquent writer has said, “Every one is a missionary for good or evil, whether he designs it or not; he may be a blot, radiating a dark influence over the society to which he belongs; or he may be a blessing, spreading light and benediction over his own circle,—but a blank no one can be!” And the two we have been describing belonged to these classes; one was the leaven that sours or corrupts, the other the salt that silently operates; each was performing a mission for eternity. Which one, dear young reader, was to meet approval or endure judgment in that great day when all shall stand before the judgment-seat? How long the better emotion which had been created in the heart of Jem Taylor lasted, we cannot tell; he began to talk on other matters, and for a long time there was no more temptation from that quarter.
Mr. Walters came in soon afterward, and having heard of the affair, was ready to renew the strife with our poor hero; but as Thomas Burton, making a most opportune visit, bore testimony to the truth of our hero’s story, no further punishment than the loss of the cat was deemed necessary.
MAKING OTHERS HAPPY.
William had always been a delicate boy, although, while in the country, his health was good; but now the confined air of the shop, and the odour of the leather, and the stooping posture consequent on his trade, began to tell painfully upon him. He wondered what was the matter that he did not now ever feel bright and hopeful. He went about his work mechanically, was listless and silent. His features assumed a cast of anxiety unnatural in a child, and painful to notice. Still, no duty was neglected, nor did the Walters notice the change in his looks, since all allotted services were duly rendered. The young spirit was gradually yielding to the oppressive yoke, although patiently borne. But although cast down and perplexed, it was not in despair. The light commanded by “God to shine out of darkness” still illumined his heart and gave him comfort, and at the source ever open to the broken-hearted he could still appeal. Without the support of that “arm” which is never “shortened that it cannot save,” he could not have borne up under the hardships of his present lot.
He was not sent quite so much into the street as at first; for he could now make shoes, and his work was valuable to his master. He did not often see little Ned Graham, as it was only on Saturday evenings that he carried home the week’s work; but he always saw Mrs. Bradley at her place in the market, and through her sent the pennies he was able from time to time to gather.