shone in Margaret's eyes as she spoke of them; for in truth Margaret was dwelling in sunlight: God, her God, had proved His promise true, and had sent her help before the enemy had conquered, and had heard her prayer for increase of faith. She had not failed when put to the test, and now she was feeling the joy which only those can feel who have come out of great adversity and struggling, victorious through the strength given in answer to believing prayer. The power of prayer would never more be doubted by that happy, thankful woman, who had experienced it so fúlly, and Margaret was singing in her heart praises to God while she replied to the questions of her friend.

With the ready adaptation natural to her, Louise had already found out what was needed, and what she could best do for the comfort of His disciple to whom she was sent to minister.

"Dear Mrs. Leigh," she said, cheerily, "may I light your fire for you and make your room a little more comfortable, and I am sure you will feel better if you get to bed and rest your aching limbs

a little!" and with a very few directions from Margaret the coals and wood were soon found, and in a short time comfort reigned again, and the room was bright and cheery. Margaret, helped to undress by gentle fingers, was soon resting in bed, watching her new friend as she moved noiselessly about the room. Louise was dismayed at the aspect of the provision-cupboard, and hardly knew what to do; she glanced towards Margaret, and even her unpractised eye could see that she was very ill. "I must run home and find her something nourishing," she said to herself; then going up to the bed she said, "Do you need to have a doctor when these attacks come on, Mrs. Leigh ?"


Oh, no, my dear," was the reply, "it is nothing alarming. I have suffered thus at times for many years. I have a prescription, which I get made up, and which does me great good; if I may trouble you to get it made up for me this time, I shall be thankful to you. I think you pass the chemist's on your way to High Street. It is a pity to trouble anyone to-night, to-morrow will do

nicely, and I feel as if I should have rescue. My dear child, never doubt a good night's rest."

Him, nor His willingness to answer prayer. You are His child, are you not?"

Louise did not think to-morrow would do nicely, so taking advantage of Margaret's sleepiness, she slipped away with the prescription, and asked the chemist at the corner, a kind, good man, to make it up at once, told him of Margaret's state, and asked what she ought to take. "Good food and beef-tea: in fact, anything nourishing," was the reply. And then Louise went on to her home, where she soon satisfied them as to what she was doing, and with a jar of extract of meat, and other necessaries, returned to Margaret's room, where she found the kettle she had filled was boiling in readiness. Soon Soon a basin of beef tea was on a little stand by the bedside, and also a bunch of blue violets and green leaves, the gift of a loved friend to herself, and consecrated to the service of ministering love.

From her sleep of exhaustion Margaret awoke to behold these, and a bright loving face above them, waiting for her. "Oh, how good God is!" she said, as she raised herself up with difficulty. "I was sure He would come to the


"Yes," was the glad reply; "but you are not to talk now even about our Father.' I am going to stay all the evening with you, and when you are rested and a little better we can have a nice talk; your duty now is to take this," and Louise watched as spoonful after spoonful disappeared; then shaking up the pillows she sat down and read some of the closing chapters of John's gospel aloud, and after after them some hymns she had brought with her. Presently she came to one which has this verse in it, and read it with her heart in her voice :

"I know the hand that is guiding me
Through the shadow to the light,
And I know that all betiding me,
Is meted out aright.

I know that the thorny path I tread
Is ruled by a golden line,

And I know that the darker life's tangled


The richer the deep design."

"How beautiful that is!" exclaimed Margaret; "it is just as if some one had given expression. for me to some thoughts of my own

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and I do not think I can ever doubt Him again, since He has given me the precious gift of unquestioning faith. It is good to lie passive in His hands, instead of tossing to and fro in a sea of doubt and fear." Louise was half afraid to mention the morrow, but at length she said, "How will you "How will you manage to-morrow?”

"I don't know. The Lord will provide," was the cheerful answer. "I cannot do anything now. He knows, and He will take care of me. Oh, I have been so full of doubt and misery that it is almost too blessed a change to feel this strong faith in Him and all His doings."

Louise could not help the tears starting to her eyes as she listened to these words, and her thoughts at once fled homewards, and she said involuntarily, "Oh, Mrs. Leigh, I wish my mother could hear you talk of your God!"

Margaret looked earnestly at the girl, and replied, "Tell me of your mother, will you? Is she ill?”


'No, not ill," was Louise's reply, "but in a low, melancholy state of mind, which views everything through a dark medium, and bars her from all enjoyment. She has been so for years, long before I went to High Street, and she is not better yet."

She did not add, as she might have done, that her mother was a daily trial to all with whom she came in contact; a woman who had lost all influence over her children, who was a stumbling-block to those whom God had given her to train for Him, and a weighty hindrance to the husband who loved her with patient love. Yet such was Mrs. Ashley, the mother of the loving girl who was waiting on Margaret Leigh with such thoughtfulness and care.

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OT many streets Sundays with her parents. This was the Louise Ashley whose acquaintance we have already made. Some years previously all Mr. Ashley's hopes of worldly prosperity had been swept away by a stroke of commercial caprice, and his wife, who up to that time had been a light-hearted, joyous woman, was crushed by the blow. Instead of rising up and aiding her husband to bear his reverse of fortune bravely, she succumbed to the blow, and sank into a state of chronic melancholy, from which she made no effort to rouse herself, and spent her days in useless, wicked repinings over the days which were for ever gone.

distant from Margaret's humble abode dwelt the Ashley family, where a home that might have been almost an Eden was made a most unhappy one by the presence and influence of one woman, and she the wife and mother of those who dwelt therein. The family consisted of father, mother, and four children at home, besides which there were two absent sons, and a daughter who only spent her

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A nobler, truer woman would have shone forth as tried gold in such an ordeal-would have nerved herself to meet the inevitable, and have built up on the ashes of the past a blessed new home-life; but Eleanor Ashley's was a shallow nature, in which were no depths of womanly power and endurance. She liked sunshine, and because God had given to her shadow, she determined not to be happy. In the sunny days of prosperity, which had been her portion for so long, she had been joyous and contented, but He who orders the lot of each and all of us saw fit to send to her dark days of adversity, and those says of trial tested her and brought to light all the rank weeds which had been gaining root beneath the smooth exterior current of her life. She was truly weighed in the balance and found wanting.

It may be well imagined what a baneful influence such a woman would exert within her home, and it is little to be wondered at that as the two eldest sons grew into manhood, they first left their childhood's home, and afterwards the country of their birth, without any professed belief in their parents'

God. This was an added trial to the fretful mother, for, strange as it may seem, she was at heart a believer in Jesus, and wanted her children to become believers also; i but she was not a follower of her Master, or rather she was a follower very "afar off," who did not want to emerge from the mists and shadows of selfishness to press closely in His footsteps. If such did but know what joy and peace they miss by this "afar off" following, they would surely press on and get closer to Jesus, and, following closely, catch somewhat of His spirit and nature.

Poor Mrs. Ashley! She was much to be pitied as well as blamed, for her life was a most miserable one. By the inconsistency of her life with her profession, she had lost her influence over her children, and became a stumbling-block to those whom God had given her to train for Him, as well as a weighty hindrance to him whose help-meet and comfort she might have been. Oh, it was very, very sad; yet this state had come on by degrees, little by little. Long before the final test came had Eleanor Ashley

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