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him along with a mess o' raw potatoes t'other side the stun wall. I see he hankered after fresh victuals, so to speak; 'n I dono 's I blame him."
'twouldn't never grow without fencin', for that bull's dreadful obstropolous; and we hed them old rails handy. Anyway it's fixed now; and ef ye want to jaw him, or
John Dekin could not help a laugh; but set Squire Jinks onter him, why there's time Jim went on quietly:
"So ef you'd jest as lives keep him in a spell, I'll hurry up an' fix the fence, and then he can go out to pastur agin, leastways while there is pastur; 'twont last no great now, that's a fact."
Now the fence between the lots was Dekin's, as he very well knew; and he could have been made to pay well for the damage his beast had done; but he also knew Deacon Ellery was laid up with an attack of rheumatism, and Jim had all the work to do; if the fence was once up it would be hard work to make the bull's owner pay for it, so he grimly assented.
"Yes, I'll keep him tethered; but you hurry up with your old fence."
Jim went to work directly; hauled the rails, dug the post-holes, and hired a few hours' help to set them; before the next night that winter wheat was safely railed in, and Deacon Ellery, feeling a little better, had his factotum into the bed-room to hear an account of the day's proceedings, which Jim composedly gave him.
"Well, ye see, mister," said Jim, assuming a comfortable sort of attitude, as who should say, come now, let us reason together." "I did kinder mistrust from the looks o' things 'twas his'n; but thinks me, he ain't the kind to up and do right off; he don't care much of his bull doos eat up your wheat; I expect he's one o' them that did'nt hev a good mother. My! ef he'd ha' had my mother he'd known better, ef he had ha' been a fool. But, you see, folks is folksy; they ain't as they had ought ter be, and you can't fix 'em no way, reelly. I calc'lated that if you waited for him the grain 'd be clean lost; ef ye took the law on him, why that would be time an' money spent, and the wheat had oughter be a growin';
enough while the wheat's a growin' agin to satisfy ye that way.” .
"You go 'long," growled the Deacon, falling back on his pillow: "Its a pretty piece o' business to come to my time o' life to learn how to handle thistles; I don't deny but what I've learned suthin', but I guess you'd better go to bed now; you're allfired tired."
"Well I be, some," and stretching and yawning, Jim obeyed.
"That ain't nobody's fool!" ejaculated the Deacon, looking after him; "'r if he is, 't's a plaguy sight better folly than most folks's wisdom."
There was no lawyer sent to John Dekin; the fence stood firm against wintry storms, but Jim noticed that the bull was not turned into that lot again; and when spring returned the grain shot up in full luxuriance, thick and heavy-headed; none the worse for its accidental pruning, perhaps all the better. And beside there was certainly a softening in John Dekin's aspect toward his neighbor; perhaps not unmingled with contempt for the Deacon's "softness;" but still a grain of leaven had been planted in this unpromising lump; time,- perhaps eternity only could show how it worked. So Jim went his way in and about Sawyer; a being of no account in the eyes of most people; of less than none in his own; but planting here and there by the way-side little seeds of kindness and humanity that blossomed to some soul's delight and benefit. "She hath done what she could," was the Lord's own commendation, and this was the lowly measure of Jim's desert; but can any of us do more? How many of us do as much? How many of the great and rich leave behind them a grateful record in even as many hearts as always remembered with tender affection, poor Jericho Jim.
But it was reserved for him to do the great service of his life for his good old friends, the Ellerys. It has not been declared to you, dear reader, any more than it was to Jim,
that Deacon Ellery had a son living in a distant city, who for some years had never been seen in Sawyer, nor spoken of in his father's house. Sam Ellery had been the very core of his father's heart, to use the pathetic Irish phrase, and yet he never found it out; for with the painful shyness and reticence of his race and nature, Deacon Ellery hid this affection deep in silence and coldness. He was a rigid Calvinist, and had striven to bring up Samuel in the straitest sect of that sort. Dogmas and doctrines are husky food for a bright, brave, joyful soul like this boy's; he never took to them kindly; his mother's love made her religion just tolerable to him, for professedly she held her husband's faith. Sam could believe in the goodness and tenderness of God when he saw and heard his mother; but his father's stern and unflinching hand closed the gates which he was most desirous of opening. He went away from home to a position in a bank in Boston where he began as "boy," and had now arrived at the office of cashier. At first he had returned once or twice a year to the old home, to mother, and also to keep up a certain youthful sweethearting with Annie Palmer, the minister's pretty daughter; but as he grew to be a man and remembered bitterly his father's stern belief, he made use of his freedom to examine into religious faiths, and naturally enough rebounded into Unitariansm. That his son should become a member of that sect in particular was the very gall and bitterness of iniquity to the old Deacon, who could better have borne a defection in almost any other direction; and in what he called righteous wrath he wrote a dreadful letter to Samuel, and forbade him ever to enter his doors again, till he had repented of this great sin, and humbled himself in dust and ashes for betraying his Master, as the Deacon was pleased to style it. Although a loving and entreating letter from his mother went after this fulmination, and somewhat calmed Sam's first contemptuous anger, and though that letter was answered, and a fitful correspondence carried on between mother and son through Annie Palmer, Sam accepted his father's alternative, and stayed away from his home as persistently
as the Deacon ignored him; for he was indeed "a chip of the old block."
His name was never named in the family, nor uttered in the daily prayer, and if his father's heart ever cried after him, it cried in silence.
Now Jericho Jim adored the minister's daughter with the dumb passion of a faithful dog. It was the great joy of his life to have her come to the door with the milkpitcher for him to fill, as she sometimes did; and one pleasant word or lovely smile made Jim happy all day. After the fashion of wiser folks he paid tribute to this goddess continually. He brought her every wild flower in its season, and the rarest of all; he knew where the rhodora grew, and gathered its early blooms for Annie: delicate orchids unveiled their shy haunts for him, and the slight sweet flowers of spring all lay at Annie's feet from her faithful worshiper. Cardinal flowers and spotless pond-lilies came in their season; for her he stored the biggest nuts, and begged the sweetest fruits that grew in any garden, nor ever begged in vain, for Jim was petted and privileged in Sawyer. mightily joked about her fervent admirer, but nobody ever laughed at Jim, his pathetic simplicity shielded him like a young girl's innocence. But Annie knew very well that this poor boy liked her, though not how deeply; and knowing, too, his curious power of setting people to rights, it occurred to her that he might perhaps pave the way for her lover's reconciliation with his father; for the careless admiration of the Deacon's son had long ago deepened into love, and Sam Ellery had been many times to Sawyer to see Annie Palmer since he finally left his father's door; and now they were soon to be married, and Annie longed with all her heart to have peace between father and son.
One July evening, just at twilight, Jericho Jim arrived at the door of Parson Palmer's house with the milk for Sunday, which was always carried round Saturday night, and also with a pail of fresh lilies from Warren pond.
Annie came out to take them, fresh and cool as their spotless blooms herself; her
"Why, he hain't got any!" said Jim with I should'nt ha' ben good enough for him to simple confidence.
"Yes he has, Jim; he has indeed; but
they haven't spoken for years."
"Sho now! that are can't be; guess you dreamed it, Miss Annie. Why, Deacon Ellery's a good man; a Christian cretur as ever was; can't be; somebody's ben a—"
"Annie!" called Mrs. Palmer, evidently in haste; and Jim drove off, feeling in an uncertain sort of way as if he hadn't heard or ought not to have heard such things about his best friend, even from the adorable Annie. But the thing worked in his feeble head, and as Fools rush in where angels fear to tread," and sometimes do good service by their folly, so Jim plunged into the middle of things the very next morning as he was brushing the shoes for church-going, while the Deacon read over his Sunday-school lesson by the window.
"Say! you hain't got any son, have ye, Deacon?"
The old man looked at Jim with an air of terror as well as wonder, and turned pale as ashes:
speak to, too."
The Deacon could have struck Jim, who went on brushing the shoes as seriously as if they were an algebraic problem.
'Well, Jim, the fact is he didn't believe in the Bible, Sam did'nt."
"Poor cretur! poor cretur!" said Jim, warming into sympathy at once. "Well, Deacon; ye know what you was a readin' about to me last Sabba' day; a tryin' to drive inter my head ye know?-takes a lot o' time to drive anythin' into a fool's head; but I can't disremember that, 'twas so kinder marciful like, 'bout how the good Lord forgiv' them fellers that killed him, cause he said they didn't know what they was a doin'. Mebbe your Sam don't: what ef ye was to take him to Sabba' school, an' larn him better? You tell me where he stays, an' I'll go fetch him."
Jim was in eager earnest: his eyes were lit with unusual rays, and one hand held awkwardly out toward the Deacon; but the old man could not answer; he stumbled away to the bed-room and fell on his knees by the
"Yes, I've got a son," he answered me- bedside. What he said to God is not for us chanically. to know; what he did, was to write a letter that very night to Samuel, and beg him to come home to his old father, and his loving mother.
Why, I hain't never seen him! claimed Jim, as if still he scarcely believed. 'He has not been at home for five long years, Jim; he is a prodigal who filleth himself with husks," solemnly replied the Dea con, who had somewhat recovered his poise. "Well, why don't ye fetch him home 'nd give him suthin' better to eat?"
As for Jim, the matter passed clear out of his oddly made up mind; he had satisfied himself the Deacon had a son, the immediate curiosity was at rest. He did not see Annie Palmer the next day; in fact, so
The Deacon stared at Jim, but could not inconsequent were his mental processes when
"What's he ben an' done anyway?" went on the simple torturer. "Killed anybody? stole anythin'?”
under the external excitement, he did not once think of what she said to him; but only missed her as he would miss sunshine, or fire, or food; for Annie had become a
'Yes, he's a comin' home to-morrer. I hain't sot eyes on him this five year an' more; and a Thursday he's a goin' to be married to Annie Palmer."
"Oh Lord!" said Jim with a gasp; but the good woman did not hear him; heart and head were full of Sam, and she turned and went into the house.
Jim did not come in after milking that night; the Deacon found him curled down in a corner of the barn.
"I guess I'm sick," was all he said; but somehow he reminded the Deacon of an old dog he once had, that was mortally wounded by accident, and stole into that very corner
to die. There was the same hurt, protesting look in both pairs of eyes.
They took Jim into his own room, and in a day or two he was better, but never well again; he lived a few months, feeble, patient, smiling, and doing all he could. The only queer thing about him was that he never asked to see Annie Palmer, or even spoke her name again. Sam went up stairs to see him, but Jim was asleep, he said, and he wouldn't waken him. Perhaps Deacon Ellery, being a reticent man, never told his son how much he owed to the poor fool. Annie forgot him too, probably; but what can you expect of a happy young bride? When winter came Jim went. Dr. Green said the cold was too great for such a low state of vitality; perhaps it was. However that might be, one starry and splendid night a quick flash sprung into the languid eyes. "Mother!" he said, with an accent of rapture, and Jericho Jim was gone to the Jerusalem which is above. Rose Terry Cooke.
CHRISTIANITY AND CIVILIZATION.
THE issue has been directly made by a class of modern advanced thinkers, that Civilization and Christianity in their ultimate outcomes must run into irreconcilable conflict, because of essential antagonisms in their natures. What generally have been regarded as close allies have thus been set over against each other as hostile powers, neither of which can legitimately triumph but by the subversion of the other. course it is further assumed that in this rivalry Christianity must go to the wall.
For practical purposes, and to bring the debate within manageable limits, the question . may take this shape: "Is the social science of the New Testament applicable to existing conditions and relations of communities?" In defending the negative of this challenge, such points as these are taken: the depreciation and denunciation of riches in the Gospels and Epistles; the injunction of promiscuous charity to beggars-"Give to him
that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away; the injunction of carelessness about the future-"Take no thought for the morrow, saying what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed! For the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself;" the command of non-resistance-"I say unto you that ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also;" the socialistic and communistic examples of this record-"And all that believed were together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, as every man had need;' no one calling anything he had his own. Now here, to go no further, is a body of self-consistent and variously applied teaching, mostly from the lips of Christ himself, concerning the conduct of
men with men. Is it a precept that they can now live by, in average circumstances? that can be put into the practical working of an ever-advancing human improvement? It must be conceded that every one of these directions is, on the face of it, opposed to the latest and most carefully studied results of Christian statesmanship; by which is meant the science of government and of social order as determined by the inquiries and experiments of men at the head of these affairs, and truly loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ. If anything is settled here these things are that a general practice of almsgiving to the idle and unemployed classes only increases the evil; that, while some worthy persons are relieved, as they sometimes must be, thousands under such promiscuous gifts are encouraged in indolence and vice, whence the army of tramps and vagabonds is perpetually recruited. Again, the great curse of the day-laborer is just that improvidence which spends every earning as it goes, which lays up nothing for the morrow, and so makes way for our riotous and bloody strikes in addition to all the other misery of this careless want of forethought. Nor can the ever-recurring needs of these or any classes of the public be met by communistic schemes which, as human beings now are, must be set down as impracticable as it would be to mix all the different kinds of weather from January to December into one grand combination of nicely alternating sunshine and shower that would please everybody. The only communism which ever at all succeeded was that little transiently extemporized interlude after the first Christian passover, made possible by a most heavenly visitation of Divine grace; and that was soon troubled by grievous complaints of the Gentiles against the Jews, and by the horrid tragedy of Ananias and Sapphira. Some of these socialistic ideals, both as to governmental supervision of industry and the distribution of profits to a contented people, are very beautiful. So is, also, the universal peace theory between individuals and nations. But, when the question is put to their advocates--how, while human nature official and unofficial is what it is, are these theories to
be turned into actual facts?-there is no answer which political economy, even under Christian manipulation, can give, which it will do to date this side the millennium. Concerning the Gospel view of wealth this is to be said, that its accumulation is not forbidden, but grave cautions are uttered as to the dangers here involved, and a strong restraint is put upon this desire as 66 a root of all evil." This is ever true, and such warnings are always timely. But the money-power is indispensable to any large enterprise, secular or religious. Neither Civilization nor Christianity can do its work without this. With all their liabilities to mischief and oppression, riches are necessary means of a desirable human progress, be these condemnatory texts however numerous and strong.
This obvious consideration would of itself suggest that these texts thus cited in the above connections are not to be ruled down to a rigidly literal construction. This becomes yet more evident when we find that other Scriptures pointedly teach a quite different ethics. Thus the Apostolic precept as to non-resistance :-"If it be possible, at much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men"—which plainly implies the impossibility sometimes of maintaining friendly rela-. tions. So St. Paul himself fell back on his legal rights as a free citizen of Rome in taking the adjudication of his case up to Cæsar. Again as to forecast of the future and a thoughtful provision for its wants the same common-sense Apostle says of some of the Christian loafers of his day"This we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat:" a precept which, if sharply enforced, would abate three-fourths of our street beggary and quite as much of the general pauperism and destitution. It directly denies the construction of any word of Jesus as countenancing a heedless, reckless way of living, and almost makes it a sin to keep a confirmed idler alive by charity. So the parables of the five talents and the ten pounds, if primarily aiming at a spiritual application, cast a strong sidelight on our secular duties. Consider the praise given to the provident, painstaking, thrifty servants, and the terri