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establishment having been broken up, his house and former belongings being in the hands of his angry creditors. Whither he had retired no one could tell.
Months passed away : the bankrupt had had to appear once and again before the Bankruptcy Court. Then there had been a final settlement, and a discharge : and then other matters were talked about, and Mr. Reid and his downfall were forgotten—forgotten, at least, by all but a few. The once banished daughter, we may be sure, never forgot her father. This and thus she thought :
“Let faultless hands presume to cast
The stone which first should lay thee low,
Ah! it should never strike the blow.
"Still hopes and prays :" this was Anna's motto. In other words, “ Men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Praying always."
Anna had read these words in her favourite book : “ Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.” Those are Christ's words; and Anna believed them. It was a sweet and loving and holy avenge that she prayed for; but not the less to be granted for that.
One day, a year or more after the final adjustment of the bankruptcy case-during all which time Mr. Reid's retreat had been undiscovered—Anna was called away from her pupils to receive a stranger who was waiting to see her in her friend's drawing-room. The stranger was a city missionary, and he brought tidings which were full of both joy and sorrow. There was a note from Anna's father, tremulously written, entreating her forgiveness for the past, and begging her to return with the messenger, that he (the writer) might see his injured daughter once more before he died. There was more in the note; but Anna scarcely read, or comprehended what she read, only this—“dead, and alive again; lost, but found.”
An hour later, and Anna was by her father's side; clasped in his arms; he in hers. He was stretched on a pallet bed, in the garret of a small house, in a mean suburb of the city. There was scarcely a scrap of furniture in the room save the bedstead and bedding, a single chair, and a brown earthenware jug containing water.
He had much to speak of that dying man—for he was near death. He told, as best he could, how, when he found himself scorned and well-nigh destitute, he had fled from society, and sought out an obscure abode, intending to end his life violently where he would not be recognised, and thus find a last refuge in a pauper's grave. How he lingered over his fearful resolution from day to day, filled with remorse and dread, in thinking, thinking, ever thinking, of his misspent life and ruined circumstances : how, of all his thoughts, none filled him with despair so unutterable as the remembrance of the persecution to which he had exposed, first his Christian wife, and then his daughter. T'hen, how in this deep affliction a message of mercy was brought to him which turned him from his wicked design, and led him to seek for that mercy he had so long despised, from Him whom he had so long bated : how then, in some humble way, he had sought to earn, and succeeded in earning, a scanty subsistence at the hands of those who little knew or thought that in the aged man they employed in a low capacity they were daily brought into contact with the once prosperous man of the world who would, in the heyday of his career, have despised them had they been brought into contact. Yet more he told : how he hesitated long, intending every day, and every day shrinking from the thought, to make known to his injured daughter his present abode and occupationnot to seek help, but humbly to ask pardon for the past; until stricken with the sickness which he knew to be the precursor of death, he had sent for her: and could she, would she say once more, “ I forgive ?"
Father, dear father!” What more could Anna say ? But she did say more when more calm, and heard more that filled her with unspeakable joy; for she knew now that her prayers had been heard and answered. The Lord had been very good to her.
“A hundred-fold now' in this time-houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands :" yes, a hundred thousandfold more. She understood it all
Anna remained by her father that day, and returned on the next, and on many other succeeding days, to minister to his wants, to comfort him with her presence and her filial devotion, to read to him from the Book of Life, and to witness his humble but firm and unshaken trust in the declaration and promise which belong alike to all who will flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in the gospel : the declaration that “the blood of Jesus Christ, God's dear Son, cleanseth from all sin ;" the promise, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool ;” and this also, “ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
At last the parting came, but her prayer had been answered; what more could Anna desire ? Ah! much more yet; there was more to pray for. Was there not her sister Lucy, of whose very whereabout she as well as her father had been some time ignorant?
“Ah!” said Anna to herself, “praying always, praying always: men ought always to pray, and not to faint.'
Father! dear facher !
Oh, my father !
Losing a father's love
God was my Father;
In his word I found
The word was true :'
Better than these
Was God's dear love.
Father! dear father!
By God's sweet grace,
I loved you then,
On bended knees,
This seemed the answer :
Then trouble came.
That prayer was answered. Father, dear father! O that glad, glad day, When came a heaven-sent messenger to say, “He who was dead now lives;
“ The sinner is restored, For he has sought the Saviour, and has proved How rich these words,
THE MAN WHO WANTED TO SET EVERYBODY RIGHT. 179
6. That ne'er hath prodigal come round,
Subdued in heart, and craving grace,
Praying, ever praying.
My prayers were heard.
Yet blessing Him who smites ;
Thus I found you,
Father, dear father!
THE MAN WHO WANTED TO SET EVERYBODY RIGHT,
Twould have been very difficult to find a man
more thoroughly satisfied with himself than Peter Elliot. Peter was a saddler in the village
of Wilton. He had a good business, and numbered amongst his customers a great number of the surrounding farmers and gentry. Besides, he had a row of snug cottages at the foot of the village; and some people suspected that he had shares in railways and banks. In short, he was what is called “ a well-to-do sort of man."
All this gave him, with many persons, a good deal of influence. He was, besides, a shrewd, clever man, with a large share of that racy humour which always helps to make a man popular. He knew, or thought he knew, all about everybody: He could tell you who was a man of substance and who was only a man of straw; which of his fellow-tradesmen in the village were prospering, and which the reverse; who was bringing up his family well, and