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this boy asleep, I'll help you make more pies, Mollie, honest I will." With a contented fatherly look he began walking the floor with the sleepy Junior.
At midnight the assembled family did team work on an unforehanded Christmas. The oven was full of fresh mince pies; Mrs. Brownell prepared sagey, odorous dressing. Benny and Kenneth, feeling mutually responsible, patiently picked a lank, lean bird. Howard whistled softly as he sat up an electric train; Myrlte and June made real button holes in real doll garments. An air of belated preparations, of Christmasy bustle and confusion permeated the entire house. The parlor was littered, its furniture crowded out of place to accomodate the spare room bed. The commotion and excitement which June had lamented had found its way into the Brownell home.
Off by the Christmas tree, Mr. Brownell adjusted a Santa Claus costume to his ample figure. He cast apprehensive glances at the three little sleepers as he worked.
"I haven't worn one of these things since Bennie stopped believing," he muttered softly. "They're sort of hot and stuffy, but it's worth the trouble, just to see the little shavers' eyes grow big!"
Mrs. Brownell, smiling happily, came from the kitchen to raise a warning finger. "Listen!" she commanded.
"It's only the Christmas chimes, mother," answered Howard. "Watch this train folks, it's sure some hummer!"
"I know," replied his mother. "But those chimes mean Christmas-real Christmas-service-toil-peace and happiness through service. I'm glad my plans were spoiled. I wouldn't have missed mothering these four babies for a good deal. It makes me feel young again. Santa Claus, have you got something for my stocking?" she bantered gaily.
The extemporaneous Santa Claus strode over to the midnight cook and kissed her squarely on the mouth.
"You're lots nicer when you're not forehanded," he whispered.
By Lucy Russell
Dear little baby, now go to your rest
Folded from harm, safe on mother's warm breast.
That when the crown of his manhood's years comes to his brow
The Man of Nazareth
By Harold Goff
What is your first impression when you think of the Man of Nazareth, the lowly Nazarene? Different, is it not, from the impression that comes with the thought of any other man in the history of the world? What is your feeling, as you reflect upon His life as in the hour of contemplation you go over in your mind all that He was and all that He did? What about Him stands out pre-eminently in your retrospect?
Is it not His love and gentleness? In that phrase we have, it seems to me, the key-note of His great character. Love and gentleness. nearly every act of His life they are in some way emphasized. Even on occasions in which they do not stand out conspicuously, they will be found to be hovering near. In the majesty of His power, and in the glory of His life, they play an important part.
Let us recall an incident in connection with the Master. It is an episode well known and much referred to, yet it can not be told too often, nor its lesson learned too well. The Scribes and Pharesees are about Him, and into His presence they have brought a woman of sin. It is no doubtful case, for, if the record be true, the woman was taken in the very act of her offending. And her captors, with a feeling perhaps of vengeance in their hearts, but with the thought, too-and, perhaps, uppermost to test the Master, laid
their accusations before Him.
"Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us that such
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." And again He stooped and wrote upon the sand.
Then in a moment He looked up again. He and the woman alone, and he said unto her, "Woman, where are those, thine accusers; hath no man condemned thee?" And she answered, "No man, Lord." Then the Master, in His love and tenderness said to the woman, "Neither do I condemn thee."
Memorable, immortal words!
But note the admonition, nay the command, that followed quickly af ter: "Go, and sin no more."
The love and tenderness of the Master did not blind Him to the fact that human faces and hearts must be set like flint against wrong doing. If His Father's work was to be accomplished; if mankind was to be brought back at last to salvation and exaltation, the weaknesses of the flesh and the evils of mortality must be overcome; there could be no condona
tion of that which the Father had forgiven or frowned upon. "Sin no more," Christ said to the woman of scarlet. Loving her with the utmost of tenderness and compassion, yet He knew His duty in pointing out the way for her to go.
It must not be thought that because the Master's heart was warm and tender, overflowing with love for the humblest or the highest of His Father's children, that He was without strength and firmness of moral character. In no sense was he a weakling. On the contrary, when the occasion demanded he roused a fire, an intensity of feeling that made the wicked tremble in His presence. Do we need further reminder of this than to recall the scene of the money-changers in the temple? From Jesus mild is suddenly evolved Christ militant. we call Him Prince of
And so he was, and is, and e'er shall
For patiently He labored to release Mankind-His sheep-from bonds of tyranny.
was serenely calm. He taught by love and persuasion, drawing men to Him by the warmth of His feeling for them.
His path was not one of roses. Thorns also were strewn along His way, just as at the end in a literal sense they were pressed down upon His brow. He had many trials, much grief; indeed, He came to be known as the "Man of Sorrows." Yet He taught happiness and His hands and heart reached out to bless and comfort those to whom sorrow and affliction had come.
His vision was broader than ours. He saw beyond this vale. He knew our needs. He sympathized with our weakness and suffering. Above all, He sought our eternal good.
Power and dominion were within His grasp, but He did not seek His own glory. He was in the world to help mankind, and to that service He gave Himself with the utmost devotion. In Him we have the highest type of self-sacrifice the race has ever known. It meant for Him not only life-long and endless toil, but the cruel tortures of Calvary. "Greater love hath no man."
He taught us our greatest lesson of humility and upward striving. He is for us and for all the world a safe and sure guide. He is a haven of refuge for the weary and heavy-laden. He is "The Life and the Light," leading on to eternal glory and peace.
What thoughts, then, should fill our minds and stir our hearts as again we approach the Christmas tide? Should they not be warm, gentle thoughts that bring a flood of tenderness? How can anyone, thinking of Him, be aught but loving and kind? So much misery in the world, so much of heartache and sorrow! So much, too, of hate and envy!
What would He do if He were here, walking and talking with men as once He did through the vales of Palestine? Would He not seek to comfort and to bless? Would he not succor those in need and comfort those whose hearts were sad? Yea, even though it meant again Golgotha and the rood, He would give His life to the service and the happiness of human-kind.
And so, too, can we each in his little measure-bring more of joy and sunshine into the world. Love and gentleness-that is all we need. The rest will be easy if we bring only these. No more unkindness, no more cruelty. No more hate and envy with all the misery-making brood that fol. low them. A new life, a new world! And a surer hope of that eternal joy which the Master died to give to us.
Finding the Sun in Sunnyvale
By E. C.
I left my packing when the telephone rang and hurried in a happy flutter to the living room. Jim had promised to call and tell me how much baggage I could take after he had seen Hendricks, the new mail carrier. I did so want to take all the pretty things I'd spent the summer and fall in making for this home going Christmas.
If only Jim were going, too-but he couldn't be pursuaded to leave little Dorothy Hardin who had pneumonia nor old lady Granville whose rheumatics had been worse the last week. I pushed these unpleasant intrusions from the whirl in my mind as I took down the receiver. "Hello, Barbie"-how Jim's voice sounded-
"I wanted to run home and tell instead of 'phoning, but I've just had a call to the Bend and didn't have time. We've just-just learned that the bridge over Spring Creek has been crushed by a big snow-slide and the -the mail coach can't get through."
I tried hard to keep back the quick protesting sob, but I know Jim heard it.
By Jim's answer I knew two things, first he felt just as badly over my disappointment and, secondly, because someone was in the office, he could not tell me so in the way he would like to.
"Hendricks says the road will not be passable for weeks, but it may not be as bad as that. They're working on a horse trail around the point now, and they may be able to get the road cleared in a few days. Anyway you're all ready to go just as soon as they do get it opened. I'm awfully sorry, dear.”
There was a pause. I knew Jim was hoping for a word from me attempting at least to assure him that it did not really matter so very much. But I could not say it. All the hateful months I had spent in the little, ugly frontier town, so different in every way to my own home, seemed to rise in rebellion and I wanted to scream: "I will go! I'll wade through banks of snow! I'll not stay in this beastly place for Christmas andfor "
With an effort I kept these words from bursting forth but I could not
"Can't can't I go home then?" bring myself to say any others. I wailed like a child.
"I'm awfully sorry, dear," came
a second time in Jim's low concerned voice and again he waited; but I did not speak.
"I can't tell just when I'll be home," he finally went on in a tone I knew he was trying to make professional. "Little Dorothy is worse this morning. They are waiting for me now to go to the Bend, I'll get home as soon as I can. You'd better go over to Aunty Doane's or 'phone for one of the girls to come and stay with you until I get back. Good-by dear, I'm awfully sorry."
And after another hopeful pause I heard him reluctantly put the receiver on the hook.
I crumpled over on the window seat and gave myself up to the hysterical sobs that had been smothering me.
I'd been planning this trip forwell since the very moment of my coming to Sunnyvale. That first evening Jim had read my ill-concealed disapproval of the place and had sug gested that we'd go home for the next Christmas and that of course we wouldn't always live here.
Those two things had clung to my mind while he had gone on elaborating on the wonderful opportunities the place offered for his beginning practice and what really fine people the villagers were when once you came to know them. He had predicted that I'd soon grow to like it.
Like it! My sobs took on added vehemence. Sunnyvale! What mockery in the very name. A narrow valley smothered between bare hillscovering a wealth of coal no doubt, but so far away from civilization that the great mounds of coal that had been mined during the years since the discovery of the mines, were still waiting for the advent of a doubtful railroad. And the people! I had been reared in a college community-my
father had been a college professor and my associates had been cultured and progressive.
Here even the Doane's said "hain't" and "wouldn't ought"-and the pri vations! There wasn't a bathtub in the whole village, nor an electric light. The rural telephone-the boast of the community-with its annoying double ring system and the provincial practice of the people to gossip and to listen-in, made it a joke. The mail service was irregular and slow.
The only social and intellectual diversions were pitiful little amateur theatricals by local organizations, and musicals by the church choir.
The place was ugly; the people ignorant, narrow-minded, and gossipy. I hated it! I had hated it from the first and now I almost hated Jim for having brought me here. No, of course I didn't hate Jim-but how could he endure it?
And now if I couldn't get away for weeks I couldn't go at all. It wouldn't be safe to travel in the crude stage coach-the only way to get to the railway station one hundred miles away.
At this thought I became more hysterical than ever. No! No! My baby should not be born there! Jim him self had wanted me to go home for
that to be under the care of dear old
Dr. Beck and to have the comfort of Aunt Sarah's presence. It seemed to me that to have my baby born in Sunnyvale, would be placing a curse on the little new life-the curse of narrowness, ignorance, and provincialism.
Presently the realization that someone was knocking on the back door penetrated my misery. With an effort I controlled my sobs that the intruder might not hear. Why would these people persist in always coming to the back door? And why did they