‘Oh, how different to mine!’ cried Stephen, hiding his face in his hands.
‘Yet,’ said Miss Anne, ’you may claim the promise made to us by our Lord: “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,” in a far richer measure, with infinite long-suffering, and a multitude of tender mercies.’
‘Lord, forgive me, for Jesus Christ’s sake!’ murmured Stephen.
But the dusk was gathering, and the others were returning to them under the old yew-tree, for there was the long ride over the hills to Danesford, and the time for parting was come. The day was done; and on the morrow new work must be entered upon. The path of the commandments had yet to be trodden, step by step, through temptation and conflict, and weakness and weariness, until the end was reached.
Stephen felt something of this as he walked home for the last time to the cinder-hill cabin; and, taking down the old Bible covered with green baize, read aloud to his grandfather and Martha the chapter his father had taught him on his death-bed; bending his head in deep and humble prayer after he had read the last verse: ’Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’
* * * * *
STORIES BY HESBA STRETTON.
Cobwebs and Cables.
Through a Needle’s Eye.
David Lloyd’s Last Will.
The Children of Cloverley.
The Fishers of Derby Haven.
A Thorny Path.
Enoch Roden’s Training.
In the Hollow of His Hand.
The Religious Tract Society, London.