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Yet nobler is the one forgiven,

Who bears that burden well, and lives.

It may be hard to gain, and still

To keep a lowly steadfast heart; Yet he who loses has to fill

A harder and a truer part.

Glorious it is to wear the crown

Of a deserved and pure success ; He who knows how to fail has won

A crown whose lustre is not less.

Great

may he be who can command And rule with just and tender sway ; Yet is diviner wisdom taught

Better by him who can obey.

Blessed are those who die for God,

And earn the martyr's crown of light, Yet he who lives for God

may

be A greater conqueror in His sight.

Miss PROCTER.

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M

Y wife contrived a fleecy thing her husband

to infold, For 'tis the pride of woman true, to cover from the cold : My daughter made it a new text for a sermon very

old.

The child came trotting to her side, ready with

bootless aid. “Lily will make one for papa,' the tiny woman

said. Her mother gave the needful things, and a knot

upon the thread.

“ The knot, mamma ! It won't come through,

mamma ! mamma!” she cried.

AN OLD SERMON WITH A NEW TEXT.

93

Her mother cut away the knot, and she was

satisfied, Pulling the long thread through and through in

fabricating pride.

Her mother told me this. It gave a glimpse of

something more : Great meanings often hide themselves with little

words before; And I brooded over this new text, till the seed a

sermon bore.

Nannie, to you I preach it now—a little sermon, low: Is it not thus a thousand times, as through the

world we go? Do we not pull, and fret, and say, instead of

“Yes, Lord," "No"?

Yet all the rough things that we meet, which will

not move a jot, The hindrances to heart and feet—the crook in

every lot

What mean they, but that every thread has at the

end a knot?

94

AN OLD SERMON WITH A NEW TEXT.

For circumstance is God's great web—He gives it

free of cost; But men must help to make it clothes to shield

their hearts from frost: Shall we, because the thread holds fast, think all

our labour lost ?

If He should cut away the knot, and yield each

fancy wild, The hidden life within our hearts-His life, the

undefiledWould fare as ill as I should fare from the needle

of my child.

For as the cordage to the sail, as to my verse the

rhyme, As mountains to the low green earth, so fair, so

hard to climb, As call of striking clock, amid the quiet flow of

time,

As blows from sculptor's mallet on the marble's

dawning face,

AN OLD SERMON WITH A NEW TEXT.

95

Such are God's Yea and Nay unto the spirit's

growing grace; So work His making hands with what does and

does not take place.

We know no more the things we need than child

to choose his food; We know not what we shall be yet, so we know

not present good; For God's ideal who but God hath ever under

stood ?

This is my sermon. It is preached against all

useless strife. Strive not with anything that is - to cut it with

thy knife. Ah! be not angry with the knot that holdeth fast

thy life.

GEORGE MACDONALD.

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