In a Sunday school class the lesson was about lying. A young girl put this proposition to her teacher, "My mother is `old-fashioned' and thinks it is wrong to dance, so when I want to go to a dance I tell her that I am going to stay with a girl friend. Is it wrong to tell that kind of lie?" The teacher replied, "No, if your mother is such a `back number' as that, it is all right to lie to her." Another child in the class, reporting the incident to his parents, was removed from that Sunday school, and sent to a sound one.—The Voice.
Sir Ernest Shackleton was once asked to tell of his most terrible moment of which many may be so described in the Arctic. But his worst was spent one night in an emergency hut. He and his fellows lying there; he rather apart from the rest. They had given out the ration of the last remaining biscuits. There was nothing more to divide. Every man thought the other man was asleep. He sensed a stealthy movement and saw one of the men turning from side to side to see how his comrades were faring. He made up his mind that all were asleep and then stretched over the next man and drew his biscuit bag to himself and removed the biscuit. Shackleton lived through an eternity of suspense. He would not have trusted his life in the hands of that man. Was he turning out a thief and under terribly tragic circumstances? Stealing a man's last biscuit! Then Shackleton sensed another movement. He saw the man open his own box, take the biscuit out of his own bag and put it in his comrade's and return the man's biscuit and stealthily put the bag back at his comrade's side. Shackleton said, "I dare not tell you that man's name. I felt that that act was a secret between himself and God."—Adapted from The Life of Faith.
A young man, arrested for swindling his employer out of $30,000.00, sat alone in a criminal's cell out of which daylight had faded. Cowering on his hard bed, he pictured himself with the world outside full of light and comfort. The question came to him sharply, "How came you here?"
Was it really for the stealing of this great sum?
Yes, and no.
Looking back twenty years he saw himself as a schoolboy, ten years old. He remembered his Uncle John—such a queer, kind, forgetful old man. That very morning his uncle had sent him to pay a bill at the country store and there were seventy-two cents left, and Uncle John did not ask for it. When they met at noon this boy, now in prison, stood there under the beautiful blue sky, and a great temptation came. He said to himself, "Shall I give it back to him, or shall I wait till he asks for it? If he never asks for it that is his lookout. If he does, why, I can get it together again."
He never gave back the money.
A theft of $30,000.00 brought this young man to prison; but when a boy he turned that way when he sold his honesty of seventy-two cents.
That night he sat disgraced, an open criminal, in his chilly cell.
Uncle John was dead long ago. The old home was desolate, his mother broken-hearted. The prisoner knew that what brought him there was not the man's deed, but the boy's.
Had the ten-year-old-boy been true to his honor, life now would have been different. One little cheating was the first of many until his character was eaten out, could bear no test, and he wrecked his manliness and life.—Budget.
President Lincoln was not only known as "Honest Abe"; he was also known as one who loved the truth. One day he was visited by a gentleman who was in the habit of making promises without keeping them. He coaxed one of the Lincoln boys to sit in his lap by promising to give him the charm he wore on his watch-chain. The child climbed into his lap. Finally the gentleman arose to go, when Mr. Lincoln said to him, "Are you going to keep your promise to my boy?" "What promise?" said the visitor. "You said you would give him that charm." "Oh, I could not," said the visitor. "It is not only valuable, but I prize it as an heirloom." "Give it to him!" said Mr. Lincoln sternly. "I would not want him to know I entertained one who had no regard for his word." The gentleman colored, undid the charm and handed it to the boy, and went away with a lesson which he was not likely soon to forget.—Mabel Reynolds Makepeace.
A man said, "For years when I have bowed down in private prayer a certain incident in my life has been slapping me in the face." The speaker was a man above eighty years of age. He was a man of wealth. He had given thousands to missions and the cause of education. He was a liberal man. But there was a little sand on the journal, which caused a slight friction. This is his story as related with his own lips. "Years ago I bought some hay from a neighbor. It was weighed and I gave the man the totals. Before the account was settled the man died. I went to the administrator and asked if he had any account against me, and he found nothing and I gave the claim no further attention. The matter has put a shadow on my life for years and has hindered and impeded my spiritual progress. Tomorrow morning first thing I am going to the widow and settle the account in full. Best of all, he did it. A new light broke over his face. The controversy was over. He had liberty again. His testimony rang clear and true. That which had been slapping him in the face was gone.—The King's Business.
A Chinese convert, newly brought to the faith, was being tempted by one of his countrymen to cheat. Upon his refusal, his tempter asked why. "Because three will know that I cheated," replied the native Christian. "You will know, and I will know, and Heaven will know." And this applies to all lands. "All things are naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."—Selected.
An old lady who is wholly consecrated to the Lord's service is rather poor in worldly goods, but rich in spiritual things. She is only a washerwoman, but she gets up early and works late at night in order to be able to devote time in the Lord's service through visitation and winning souls for her Master. Sometimes she is engaged by a wealthy family to look after their house during their holidays. One day the lady made the remark, "Mrs. J—, I don't believe much in this doctrine of holiness that you profess and are so fond of talking about." "Well," said the old Christian, "you know, madam, that before I came into your service you used to send everything of value that could be removed to a place of safety, but since I have been in charge you have left even your most valuable property under my care. Oh, yes, madam, you believe in my holiness."—Christian Herald.