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The hardest part of the journey was now over. The rest of the way was through green pastures, and the shepherd (no longer the stranger) was always with her. She saw glimpses of those who had gone the way before her, and who had safely got to rest, and she heard these words : “ They follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.”
But the last struggle was at hand. Still her guide was with her, and, raising her from the earth, he removed her to a better and brighter state, far above the toils and hardships of her earthly pilgrimage.
How can words describe the future home of the little pilgrim ? Let those who desire to enjoy her happiness strive to follow Jesus, and in his good time he will take them to heaven. Let them remember their own weakness, and thus sing :
Lord, lest my feeble steps should slide
Or wander from thy way,
And let me never stray.
Beneath my Shepherd's care,
Till I shall enter there.
A CHILD'S VERSE.
He hears an infant's praise:
And thank him all my days.
ALTHOUGH it was very plain that Susie was far from being perfect, everybody at home could see that there was a great improvement day by day in her temper and conduct. She was much more patient and forbearing than she used to be; more willing to give up her own way, and to bear meekly any little unkindness or injustice. They could not tell how it was that Susie was so changed, but they were very glad of the alteration, for things went on so much more pleasantly now.
No. 197. May, 1861,
á Susie could have told them what made her feel and act differently; but she seldom spoke about herself, and then only to aunt Mary. Not that Susie believed herself to be as gentle, and loving, and forgiving, as she really was; for other people know us better in these respects than we know ourselves. Still, Susie felt that she had begun to go in the right road, though as yet she had only advanced a few steps in it.
And what made Susie keep in that way? What made her persevere in spite of all difficulties P It was more than "her text,” more than the resolve to do as it said. Susie had learned to love the Saviour who gave us that text. She had never read or thought much about him before she came to live at home, for her grandmother had seldom spoken of him. It was from aunt Mary that she heard that sweet story of his love, which had won her little heart to trust in him. She longed now to be one of the lambs in his fold, and to sit as Mary did at his feet. And it was because she loved him that she was trying to keep his commandments, especially that one which bids us love our enemies, and do good even to those that hate us.
Susie's school troubles were more cheerfully borne now. And they were fewer since she had taken her text for her guide. Loving our enemies, or those who are unkind to us, is a sure way of turning them into friends. Emma Perkins left off teasing her. She said Susie had grown so good-tempered, that there was no fun in doing it. Besides, Susie was so ready to oblige her, and so willing to yield for the sake of peace, that Emma could not help liking her, and rather took her part_than otherwise. She found out one day that Susie did not like being called " little Susie;" and instead of laughing at her, and repeating it the oftener on that account, as she would have done formerly, she seldom called her so afterwards. Susie wondered, sometimes, that she had disliked Emma so much, and supposed it was because she had not known her well enough.
But Susie's attempts to make friends with Fanny Simpson were less successful. Fanny was not a nice tempered girl. She was very vain of herself, and all that she did ; and she was rather jealous of Susie, because Susie had a good memory, and could learn and remember some things better than she herself could. She often annoyed Susie in little ways, too little almost to be mentioned, but not too little to be felt.
Susie was half inclined to give over trying to suit Fanny. Why should she take any more trouble about her ? Since Fanny would be contrary and disagreeable, it was no one's fault but her owu; and why should Susie be concerned about it? why should she bear with her spiteful ways, and check the hasty words which they so often provoked? Why should she ? Emma Perkins would not; her own sister Jane, she was sure, would not; they would treat Fanny just as she treated them; but Susie could not do so now. It is true she was sometimes much tempted ; nor could she always quite keep down her rising temper : but she generally got the mastery over herself, and was able to behave herself as a child should behave who loves Jesus, and wishes to become like him. These words were often in Susie's thoughts, and helped to cheer and encourage her : “ Christ also suffered for us, leav. ing us an example, that we should follow his steps : who did no sin, neither was gnile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again ; when he suffered, he threatened not,” 1 Peter ii. 21–23. And Susie often sang to herself the lines of one of her favourite little hymns :“I want to be like Jesus, so lowly and so meek, For no one mark'd an angry word that ever heard him speak. I want to be like Jesus ; I never, never find That he, though persecuted, was to any one unkind.”
“ Continual dropping,” says an old proverb,“ wears away stone;" and as time passed on, and Susie still showed a gentle, forbearing spirit, Fanny grew a little, a very little, more amiable.
It was drawing towards the close of the half-year, and most of the girls in Mrs. Ashley's school were very busy about the examination, and the prizes. Fanny Simpson was at the top of the class for English History; she had never once lost it during the six months, and she was very desirous to keep it until the end.
One day Mrs. Ashley happened to ask a question which none of the girls could answer, until it came to Susie's turn. Now, it was rather curious that Susie should know more than the others; but I will tell you how it was.
Two or three days before, her brothers were disputing at breakfast-time about this very same question, and John had asked his father which of them was right. His father told him, and Susie listened to his reply, not so much from a wish to gain information, as to see whether John or Harry were the most correct. She had thought no more about the subject till it was now brought to her mind; but she