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True Riches T.S. Arthur

Chapter XVII

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The morning found him something better, but not well enough to sit up. Mrs. Claire had, by this time, recovered in a measure her calmness and confidence. She had thought much, during the sleepless hours of the preceding night, and though the future was far from opening clearly to her straining vision, her mind rested in a well-assured confidence that all things would work together for their good. She knew in whom she trusted. On the Rock of Ages she had built the habitation where dwelt her higher hopes; and the storms of this world had no power to prevail against it.

How little dreamed gentle Fanny Elder--or Fanny Claire, as she was called--when she laid her cheek lovingly to that of her sick "father"--she knew him by no other name--and drew her arms around his neck, that he was suffering alone on her account. In her unselfish love, Claire felt a sweet compensation--while all he endured on her account had the effect to draw her, as it were, into his very heart.

As quickly as it could be done, Mrs. Claire got through with the most pressing of her morning duties, and then, the older children away to school, she came and sat down by her husband's bedside, and took his hand in hers. As he looked into her face, pale from sleeplessness and anxiety, tears filled his eyes.

"O, Edie!" said he, his voice tremulous with feeling, "isn't this disheartening? What are we to do?"

"He careth for us," was the low, calmly spoken reply; and, as Edith lifted a finger upward, a ray of heavenly confidence beamed in her countenance.

"I know, Edie; I know, but"--

The sick man left his sentence unfinished. A heavy sigh marking his state of doubt and darkness.

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"We must feel as well as know, Edward," said his wife. "God is good. In looking back through all our past life, does not the retrospection lead to this undoubting conclusion? I am sure you will say yes. Has he not, in every case, proved better to us than all our fears?--Why, then, should we distrust him now? In the beautiful language of Cowper, let us say in these dark seasons--

'Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
    Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flower.'

"Shall we doubt the sun's existence, because the night has fallen? No, dear husband, no! There are bright stars smiling above us in token of his unerring return. We know that the morning cometh after a season of darkness; and so, after our spirits have lingered awhile in the realm of shadows, the light will break in from above. Has it not always been so, Edward?"

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True Riches
T.S. Arthur

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