“Yes, in de flesh; dat is true, but God is de Fader of all spirits who have come to dis world to take a body. I can find you many passages to prove it.”
“Well, I have never thought of these things before, but it must be true if the Bible means what it says. That’s a grand principle, Mr. Janson.”
“It certainly is, Mr. Ames. Many people object to it; but I cannot see, if we are to exist in a spiritual state after we leave this body, why we could not have existed before we entered it—but Signe, here, is the preacher. Her only trouble is with the w’s and th’s. She can’t get them right yet.”
Signe smiled. “No, Mr. Ames, I’m no preacher. It’s all so plain to me. De Bible says ve have a Fader in heaven, and I believe it. I also believe ve have ‘a moder der,’ as de song says. I can’t prove it from de book, but I just use my reason on dat.”
It was a new experience for Rupert to hear a fair lady expound such doctrine. The whole thing charmed him, both the speaker and that which was spoken. A new light seemed to dawn upon him. What if this life was but a school, anyway, into which eternal souls were being sent to be proved, to be taught.
“Have you any other quotations on the subject?
“Oh, yes; it is full,” said she. “When you get time read Heb. 12:9, Jer. 1:4-5, Eph. 1:3-5 and John 9:1-3. I do not remember more now.”
Rupert took them down, and read them that night before he went to bed. And each day he saw a new horizon; and the sweet-faced Norwegian was not the least factor in this continued change of mental vision. “God bless her,” he said to himself, “God has sent her to me for a purpose;” and he began to add to his prayers that he might so live that he would be worthy of the blessings which, seemingly, were coming his way.
“Even so faith, if it hath not works,
is dead, being
Chamogo Valley lies on the edge of the great arid region of America. At the time of Rupert Ames’ arrival in the valley, full crops were never certain, and during some years, rain was so scarce that there were no crops at all. The Chicago real estate dealer who had sold Mr. Janson his land had not enlightened him on this fact, and so he had already lost the best part of two years’ work by failure of crops. Rupert Ames learned of all this from Mr. Janson, and then he wondered why advantage was not taken of the stream in the bottom of the valley for irrigation purposes.
One day—it was near the end of the harvest, and they were pitting their last potatoes—Rupert asked Mr. Janson if the adjoining lands could be bought.
“Why, yes,” was the reply. “I was offered nearly the whole valley for a small sum, but I have all the land I care to handle. You see, this region would be different if we could rely on the moisture, but we can’t, and I am nearly tired of it myself. Do you want to buy me out?” This with a laugh.