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It was so plain that what he said yesterday was stamp of God's mind was indeed upon it. Betrue. Mind and body alike failing. My one wildered and confused I felt, but I believed it, and earthly friend fast passing away from me, and rejoiced in the glad tidings. going-whither? Like the lightning's flash But though my chains were off, and I had darted the thought across my mind : "If ye shall stepped from my dark prison-chamber, my limbs ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Might were feeble and my eyes weak from a life-long I not ask for my beloved father too? Ob! sweet bondage. I had much to learn, Oh! it was so and precious words of Jesus !-perhaps that was marvellously sweet to know there was a Friend to my first actual realization of their exceeding pre-whom I could tell all my troubles—who cared to ciousness. Hope and gladness rose amidst my hear them. A Friend who could never change, sorrow and nerved me for my task.
never weary, never misunderstand ; to whom my But after a longer pause than usual, I said, every thought was known; who knew my heart, “Papa, dearest, are you not very tired to-day? | not to judge it, not to condemn it, but to wash Would it not be better to rest your head ? To- out all its defilement in the ever-flowing fountain morrow it will be better.”
of his own atoning blood. Very sacred is the “I think I must rest, my child ; put away the remembrance of that first hour spent in the known papers, I will try to sleep."
presence of Jesus. My heart ached at the desponding tone of his Then I took up Conrad's Bible, having first voice. I know he too plainly realized that no to- asked in simple trust that the right place might morrow of restored vigour would come to him. I be shown me. It opened at the third chapter of darkened the window, made him comfortable with the Gospel of John. Little as I knew of divine cushions, gave him his medicine, and then left him, things, the historical portions of the Old Testaas he preferred, alone. Then I was free to shut ment were, of course, familiar to me. I was at no myself in my own room.
loss to comprehend the allusion to the brazen First I sat down for a few moments to collect serpent; and my heart glowed within me as I read my thoughts, but they were beyond my manage- of the mighty love of Him who so loved the ment; so I did as Conrad von Edelstein had world that he gave his only begotten Son, that advised me—knelt and told them all to the whosoever—whosoever, ah! infinite breadth of Lord. Perhaps my trust was more in my teacher grace !—“whosoever believeth in him should not then, but I do not know. He had told me of one perish, but have everlasting life ;" and of him all-sufficient Saviour—of a God of love—a Father; who came not“ to condemn,” but “to save.” How of an enlightening and life-giving Spirit. He had true I felt it that men love darkness rather than pointed to a perfect sacrifice—a finished, accepted light. How awful the responsibility of those who work—a risen and glorified Redeemer. He had seal up the fountain of light and life from their spoken of a living Man at the right hand of God fellows ! -feeling with the feeblest ones who believed in And then I read how they who simply receive him-pleading for them-knowing, feeling, sbar- this testimony “have set to their seal that God ing their sorrows now as much as he did when is true." And I rejoiced in the knowledge that he was himself a suffering, sorrowing Man on my seal was set to it for evermore. Oh ! desperearth. He had shown me God's salvation was ate blindness of unbelief, that persists in giving free-uite as rne an we preatne—not to be bought, the God of truth the lie ! or earned, or merited-only taken in empty, out- On and on I read- -slowly, for the German lanstretched hands of need. That Jesus had done guage was not altogether easy to me—till the wanall; God bad accepted him—was satisfied with ing light obliged me to close the book. It was a his work; we had but to do and be the same. small pocket edition-a mother's gift. But I had And as he spoke of these things, my soul had read the marvellous story of Sychar's well ; the received them. I could not understand it; it living words of the fifth chapter ; the wondrous was all so new, so strange, so wonderful—so dif- miracles and deep teachings of the sixth ; and I ferent from anything I could have conceived. The had enough to fill my heart to overflowing.
I think Captain von Edelstein fully understood | wonderfully—even came down-stairs and resumed the meaning of my heartfelt “Thank you,” as I his pen for some hours each day. We had no returned him his book that night. My father real annoyance from our uninvited guests; owing, naturally inquired what it was, and then I told no doubt, to their captain's orders, they never inhim all. He listened in perfect silence, but when, truded beyond their allotted portions of the house, in tones broken with emotion, I began to beg him
which were remote from our own. As I have too to believe in the free salvation, to receive said, the château was a large and rambling old Jesus and Jesus only as his Saviour, he stopped place, and we only occupied a small part of it. me with more of coldness in his manner than he Barbe, indeed, complained bitterly of the terrible ever showed to me.
ir:roads they made upon larder and cellar, and "Hush, Léonie; that is enough! It is well, prophesied starvation for us in the future. perhaps, that you, well that Conrad von Edelstein, even she admitted they were not uncivil, though should imbibe these principles in your youth, their pleasantries often greatly ruffled her dignity. while the mind is fresh and the reason unexercised. And for myself all was brightness, without and I believe those who hold them find support in
within. That first morning's happy hour in the them in sorrow. I admit, the ideas garden had its counterpart each day. I no longer beautiful, and, for those who have the power of lingered timidly, but went straight to the terrace simply receiving them, exalting and comforting. walk where Captain von Edelstein always awaited But a man cannot unlive his life ; cannot come The hour became two, and more some days. down to an infant's capacity.
Believe what you At that time he was at liberty, but after lunch he will, my child, so as it makes you, as you say, so
usually rode off at the head of his men, not returninexpressibly happy. But do not expect me to ing till late in the evening. That he always spent share your new opinions; even could I think the in conversation with my father and with
for truth I have been all my life seeking lay between after the first night he always contrived to draw the covers of the Bible, it would be too late now. me into it. Nor was the subject nearest to two of Do not speak of this again."
the three hearts present omitted. When Captain For a moment a chill fell upon me; the tender von Edelstein first introduced it, I trembled. But words I had lingered over that afternoon,—“Ye my father did not resent it—though, alas ! for my will not come unto me that ye might have life,” hopes, he met it but with cavillings and reasonrose in my mind. It was so sad to think any ings and sophistries. Doubtless it was well for should refuse that love-so bitter that my own me to learn how completely the sword of the Spirit dear father should be of the number! But the could shatter all opposing weapons. And no other thought of the listening ear and sympathizing
was used in those arguments. heart above soothed me. I would tell Jesus. But those morning talks were most precious to He would surely hear, and save my father before me, and every day the little Bible was in my posit was indeed “ too late."
session till evening. It was so sweet, the two new friendships I had found together—the earthly
and the heavenly. Those morning hours of close CHAPTER XI.
heart-intercourse were more than years of ordinary
acquaintance. Shackled by no conventionalities Clouds soon o'ercast our sunshine,
of etiquette or propriety-my life had been too So beautiful, so bright,
isolated and simple for me to gain or require any And while we still admire it, It darkens into night!
knowledge of such things—I was perfectly free One sky alone is cloudless, Where darkness enters not ;
from all self-consciousness and scruples, and my 'Tis found alone with Jesus, And Jesus changeth not."
heart opened like a flower to the dew, under the
pleasant and refreshing influences of sympathy and I must not dwell on the details of that happy kindness, and all that lends friendship its magic week. Everything conduced to make it such. charm. The only cloud was the uncertainty how Contrary to my expectations, my father rallied soon this would come to an end.
SUNSHINE AND SHADOW.
With the selfishness of happiness, I thought, These I looked upon first, then I turned to the little of the sufferings of my native land, except wide stretch of country in front. The blue air when my friend told some tale of sorrow connected was so clear that for miles objects stood out with with them, or when they were otherwise brought wonderful distinctness. Too great, alas ! First to my notice. I lived in a sunny dream, know- my eyes only took in the wide expanse of plain, ing the waking must come soon, but resolutely bordered by a distant mountain ridge ; but as shunning anticipation of it. I can scarcely fancy they gradually grew accustomed to the sight, and it was little more than a week I dreamt!
began by degrees to take in details, dimness spread One afternoon-one of those clear, brilliant, crisp over my vision—desolation over the beauty of afternoons that are the great charm of autumn nature. Rich woods, sunny fields, gleaming weather-I leaned over the little gate that led waters, radiant sky; all so fair to look upon,from the garden into the paddock, and thence to fairer, it almost seemed, than I had ever beheld a footpath that wound first through a plantation, them, but bearing now amidst their beauty the then up a steep ascent to the very top of the grim marks of the destroyer. Colline Rouge, from whence a glorious prospect After the first wide glance across the broad could be enjoyed. It was a favourite walk of valley, I sought instinctively a familiar and favmine, but for months I had not been able to go ourite point in the landscape, where the pretty any distance from the house, both on my father's village of Arlecourt stood on the sloping banks account and because of the unsettled state of the of a winding stream, its white cottages peeping country. But this afternoon I felt an almost ir- through masses of thick foliage, forming an enresistible longing to breath the free, exhilarating chanting picture of rustic beauty and peace. air of the hill-top, and to see the country in its sought it, and found—a heap of blackened ruins' gorgeous autumn beauty. Well I knew the My heart stood still and my knees failed, splendour with which it would be invested in the Blindly I dragged myself a few yards, and sank slanting rays of such a sun as was slowly sinking down on a large stone in front of the crumblin. in the deep blue sky, flecked with snowy masses remnant of wall belonging to the old castle, near of cloud, lovely to look upon, but betokening, I which I had been standing. All rushed upon me, knew well, a change of weather. If I did not go the misery—the desolation--the anguish—the then, I should miss the sight for that year—it awful realities of war. It was my first sight of might be for ever! Captain von Edelstein had its cruel footsteps. And I had been so happy! taken his whole band away with him that morn- It was long before I could look again. As i ing, so I was sure not to encounter any soldiers.
did so, a rushing sweep of wind brought with i A moment's hesitation, and I found myself rapidly a dull, deep, booming sound that made me shiver. ascending the rocky path with a keen sense of Far away I saw long files of soldiers, in dark unifreedom and enjoyment-perhaps with a dash of forms, winding slowly along. My eyes, sharpene excitement at the thought of possible danger. to acuter vision than usual, distinguished other
Twenty minutes' eager climbing brought me to vestiges of recent struggles. Fallen trees-heap the top, my heart beating and my cheeks glowing of ashes-dead horses-broken bridges—and eve! with exertion. It was worth while. Never had and anon that terrible boom in the far distance I seen the old familiar scene more glowingly In one place I saw black clouds of smoke rising. beautiful. Behind, and on each side, the hills What scenes of agony and death were being enstretched, ridge upon ridge, some in light, some acted there? in shadow, as the clouds now began to gather A deadly sickness of soul stole over me as I round in the west, tinged with various shades of gazed. And, as if to add to my impression of gray, purple, blue, green, according to the different horror and dismay, large masses of clouds, which liguts that fell upon them. To the left, half had been slowly gathering in the west, spread over buried in the many-tinted woods, lay the little vil the sun, and cast their heavy shadows like a pall lage of Drécy, crowned by the gray turrets and upon the earth. The wind, too, always high in flaming windows of the Château de Maurence. ) that exposed position, had risen, and now swept round and over me with great violence—with that | sunshine and in shadow it is always your right and sobbing, wailing, shrieking sound, that heralds your privilege to rejoice and be glad in him." coming change of weather. But it seemed then But as he spoke, I felt my joy had not been to peal in my ears like the nation's wail over de purely spiritual. solated homes and stricken hearts-like the death- “But ou !” I said ; “how is it God lets such angel's requiem over bloody fields of battle and of things be ?” death. And I had been so happy!
“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Again and again that thought recurred. True, was the reply. “God is just ; and God is love." I could not help, but I might sympathize. Ah! “I see the justice. Men sin ; wander, and sin, I was to be taught how—soon, very soon. It and forget him, and it is just they should feel the grew cold, but I did not move till the rolling of rod of his anger; but oh! where is the love ? a stone among the ruins behind me caused me to Many who suffer thus are innocent children and start up in terror, which increased when I heard helpless babes ; some must be his own people, I footsteps and caught a glimpse of a blue uniform cannot understand it. Yet that he is love, I through a loophole in the old wall in front of know, I believe, I feel !” which I stood.
There was a pause, then Captain von Edelstein Great was my relief when the figure of Captain said quietly “ Look up,
mademoiselle." von Edelstein advanced from behind. “Oh, it is I did so, first at the sky, then inquiringly at you!” I exclaimed.
him. “Yes, it is I,” he said, smiling; “I fear I have “ Look at those clouds opposite." startled you. But, Mademoiselle Léonie," he I did so. Large, dark, heavy masses, piled up, continued very gravely, “why are you here alone, fold upon fold, of varied shape and tint—but all and so far from home? It is not wise it is not of sombre shades of leaden-gray and black safe! Excuse me, but you ought not, must not spread almost over the sky overhead and in front. do so again!”
A strip of pale, clear sky marked out the horizon " I shall not want to," I said bitterly; "look in the west, and the edges of the stormy wrack there!" I pointed to the burnt village. “And were sharply defined in every part, and brilliantly listen, oh! it is terrible, terrible !”
illumined by the intercepted rays of the sinking He did not speak, but I knew how he felt sun; in some parts the radiance was dazzlingabout these things, and continued: “I could not in all pure and silvery bright-forming a contrast help coming here this afternoon. I have so loved of great beauty and intensity. this spot, I longed so much to see it in its autumn "It is grand-it is sublime," I said, after beauty once more ; and — and — I am not having gazed at the beautiful sight for some time, sorry I did. Oh, Captain von Edelstein ! in spite my companion remaining silent. of all you have told me, I have never realized the “But you do not see what it has to do with fearful truth of such things till now. I bave been your question ? so happy-tbis last week, I mean-so happy, on “No, I do not.” the very threshold of agonies such as those ashes "Well, describe those clouds ; looking up at tell of! Oh! I have been so thoughtless-80 them from earth, what are they like?” selfish!"
“Darkness, confusion and gloom, are they not ?" “ Nay, dear Mademoiselle Léonie, not thought- “But how do they look from above, on the less, not selfish. You have not, as you say, real- other side ?" ized the horrors of war before.
“Ah! I see all brightness above, all darkmay never see them nearer! When God gives us ness below!” sunshine, we do well to enjoy it—if it is indeed “Now I think you catch my thought. Yes ; his sunsbine and his gift, it will but strengthen us looking up from the earth, truly we see only the for the coming storm--and your gladness has been dark side-looking down from heaven, we shall from him. Now he has shown you the suffering, see only the bright one.
see only the bright one. God's dealings are often he will give you the sympathy. But remember, in to our view like that stormy mass of cloud,
God grant you
« Oh yes ;
dark, and mysterious, and impenetrable ; no able to do so. And he is always near. earthly light can pierce, no húman wisdom com- mademoiselle, you must really let me take you prehend them. But, behind the darkness, beyond down as quickly as possible.
down as quickly as possible. The rain is already the gloom, there is a glory of light our eyes could beginning—we shall barely reach home before it not bear to gaze on now-only faith sees the comes down in earnest. Can you manage the gleams on the edges, and knows there is the sun short path, or is it too rough ?” undimmed behind. What we know not now, we
I always use that one. shall know hereafter. And for our now we have good climber.” the pledge, "Lo, I am with you alway,' and 'All So we started at once. The road was too steep things work together for good to them that love and stony and the wind too boisterously strong for God.' Leave the hows, and the whys, and the conversation. But I know the rough road was easy wherefores, Mademoiselle Léonie! they are not with the assistance I had that evening. About for you—for us. Trust him ; he is true : follow half-way down the hill, a spur of the wood prohe is love."
jected far out, the extremity of it coming almost “Ah! yes, I see now: we must not try to to a point, and reaching within a few yards of the understand God's ways—we must wait till we are steep narrow sheep-track, rather than path, by above the clouds, beyond the earth !”
which we were descending. We were walking "To understand the meaning and end of all his more slowly, to recover breath after the hurried dealings. Yes, Mademoiselle Léonie, but we can scramble down the almost perpendicular hill-side, learn much of them under his teaching even here. but still quickly, as the sky was now completely Look at those hill-tops yonder !"
overcast, and a damp promise of rain already in I looked where he pointed, and saw that the wind. I had taken Captain von Edelstein's the summits of the hills were bright with golden offered arm, to aid my struggles against the sunshine, while their bases and the valleys be- violence of the blast. The road was smoother tween lay deep in shadow, with the gray mist now, but we went on in silence. The deep gloom rising dull and thick from out of them.
and depression had passed from my mind. If “ Those who stand on the mountain-tops, sobered and saddened, I was now subdued and mademoiselle, catch the first and last beams of restful. the sun—those who are in the valleys now, do Glancing up into my companion's face, somenot even know he is shining at all. Take your what wondering at his unusual silence, I was stand on the heights of faith, dear Mademoiselle startled by the expression of intense sorrowful Léonie, on which the bright rays of the Sun of pain and troubled thought it wore, with something Righteousness ever shine steadily; never linger of stern decision in the lines of the mouth, and a in the valley of doubt, among the chilling mists far-away look in the fixed gaze. Of what was of unbelief and despondence."
he thinking? Of home? Of his mother? Of “Ah! I was in the valley of unbelief when Thekla ? Perhaps of one dearer still ! But no; you came just now, and I found it indeed a cold had there been such a one, I should have heard wretched place—my very heart was chilled. But of it, bis confidences had been so free, and frank, now I feel the sunshine warm upon it again. and full. Yet, perhapsA las, how weak I am ! But you have always My anxious thoughts were suddenly broken in help ready for me," I said, looking up at him upon by a short, sharp report. gratefully.
whizzed past-close-between us ! I screamed, There was a look of wistful, regretful sadness and clung closer to Captain von Edelstein's arm, in his eyes that perplexed me, as he answered, as he faced round like lightning towards the spur after a short pause, “To God be the glory; but of wood from which the shot had been fired. remember, mademoiselle, it is only as the mouth- In another second he had broken away from piece of him who indeed knoweth how 'to speak my clasping hands-sprung back a yard or two, a word in season to him that is weary,' at all pushing me forward as he did so-crying, “Quick, times-in all circumstances—that I have been quick ! Léonie ! run, they will fire again.”