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   Chapter 36 No.36

The Good Time Coming By T. S. Arthur Characters: 3936

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:05

"OUR Father in heaven never leaves us in a pathless desert," said Mrs. Markland, light breaking through her tear-filled eye. Her husband had just related the conversation held with Mr. Willet. "When the sun goes down, stars appear."

"A little while ago, the desert seemed pathless, and no star glittered in the sky," was answered.

"Yet the path was there, Edward; you had not looked close enough to your feet," replied his wife.

"It was so narrow that it would have escaped my vision," he said, faintly sighing.

"If it were not the safest way for you and for all of us, it would not be the only one now permitted our feet to tread."

"Safest it may be for me; but your feet could walk, securely, a pathway strewn with flowers. Ah me! the thought that my folly-"

"Edward," Mrs. Markland interrupted him in a quick, earnest voice, "if you love me, spare me in this. When I laid my hand in yours on that happy day, which was but the beginning of happier ones, I began a new life. All thought, all affection, all joy in the present and hope in the future, were thenceforth to be mingled with your thought, affection, joy, and hope. Our lives became one. It was yours to mark out our way through the world; mine to walk by your side. The path, thus far, has been a flowery one, thanks to your love and care! But no life-path winds always amid soft and fragrant meadows. There are desert places on the road, and steep acclivities; and there are dark, devious valleys, as well as sunny hill-tops. Pilgrims on the way to the Promised Land, we must pass through the Valley and the Shadow of Death, and be imprisoned for a time in Doubting Castle, before the Delectable Mountains are gained. Oh, Edward, murmur not, but thank God for the path he has shown us, and for the clear light that falls so warmly upon it. These friends, whom he has given us in this our darkest hour, are the truest friends we have yet known. Is it not a sweet compensation for all we l

ose, to be near them still, and to have the good a kind Father dispenses come to us through their hands? Dear husband! in this night of worldly life, a star of celestial beauty has already mirrored itself in my heart, and made light one of its hitherto darkened chambers."

"Sweet philosopher!" murmured her husband, in a softened voice. "A spirit like yours would illuminate a dungeon."

"If it can make the air bright around my husband, its happiness will be complete," was softly answered.

"But these reverses are hard to bear," said Mr. Markland, soberly.

"Harder in anticipation than in reality. They may become to us blessings."

"Blessings? Oh, Agnes! I am not able to see that. It is no light thing for a man to have the hard accumulations of his best years swept from him in a moment, and to find himself, when just passing the meridian of his life, thrown prostrate to the earth."

"There may be richer treasures lying just beneath the surface where he has fallen, than in all the land of Ophir toward which he was pressing in eager haste," said Mrs. Markland.

"It may be so." Markland spoke doubtingly.

"It must be so!" was emphatically rejoined. "Ah, Edward, have I not often warned you against looking far away into the future, instead of stooping to gather the pearls of happiness that a good Providence has scattered so profusely around us? They are around us still."

Markland sighed.

"And you may be richer far than imagination has yet pictured. Look not far away into the shadowy uncertainties of coming time for the heart's fruition. The stones from which its temple of happiness is to be erected, if ever built, lie all along the path your feet are treading. It has been so with you from the beginning-it is so now."

"If I build not this temple, it will be no fault of yours," said Markland, whose perceptions were becoming clearer.

"Let us build it together," answered his wife. "There will be no lack of materials."

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