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The Harvest of Years eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 274 pages of information about The Harvest of Years.
and we may feel and know that this man, standing as he does within the bounds of a belief whose main foundation embraces the two thoughts, heaven and misery, cannot, if he believes this to be true, do less than urge it upon us all.  But if we stop and think, we can say, perhaps the heart of this religious tree he represents may not be sound, and when the axe of advancing ideas trims its branches and buries its blade within its trunk, we shall, as I believe, have proof of this; and then, perhaps his eyes will turn with ours to the outstretched arms of a noble oak, whose leaves are green, whose heart is sound, and at whose base we all may gather, against whose sides we all may rest.  It has waited long, and grown in our father’s forest until at last its giant dimensions have been apparent.  The leaves of its upper branches caught the eye of a ranger on truth’s high mountain, and the underbrush must now be cut away to make a path for our feet.  Let the winds annihilate the dogmas of a creed, let our hearts open to all good thoughts, and let this one also be as the anchor of our souls, this glorious thought of our Father’s love, this binding together of his children.  Patience and work both are needed:  will not my dear boy help me?  I know he will, and our Emily; God give to me the help I need from these two young hearts,” and she held out her hands to us.

I said “Oh, Clara!” and sank on the floor beside her, put my head in her lap, and let the tears fall as they would, unmindful of all else save my dear, beautiful friend.  Louis sat on the other side of her with his arm around her waist, and her head lay on his shoulder.  The curtain of the evening slowly fell, and in slumbers I drew her thoughts close to my heart, Aunt Hildy’s “God help us” floating like music through my dreams.

CHAPTER IX.

The new faith.

“Emily will help me!” Oh, how those words haunted me!  I would help her; yes, if I could, but when should I ever stop making blunders, when should I lose the impetuous nature that drove me too often on the beach of thought, with shipwrecked sentences that fell far short of my thought, and expressed nothing of my real self.  Why was it, as I grew older, I came to realize, that if I had been born a little later, it would have been easier?  I was standing on tip-toe trying in vain to touch that which lay beyond my reach; of course I must be constantly falling, and the security of growth I could not then wait for.  I must keep reaching and falling, covering myself with disappointments, while in the hearts if not on the lips of those about me must rest the same old words, “Emily did it.”

Clara says I can do something, and having grown to feel that her words were almost prophecy, I felt sure there was something ahead, and repeated again and again, “Emily will do it.”  Mr. Benton was looking beyond his depth, and still did not hesitate to try and swim across the difficult waters that lay between himself and Clara, and before Louis left us, something occurred which I must tell about.  I had been called over the hill on an errand, was obliged to go alone, and was then detained somewhat, and when I came back, Louis met me, and taking my arm, said: 

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