The Golden Rule



It was a chilly, foggy evening in autumn. Edith sat by the window, looking out into the gray gloom, in a state of mind something like that of the weather, disconsolate and depressed, she could not tell why. She was not alone in the room; her father was there, and a group of brothers and sisters.

"No one takes any notice of me, or cares if I feel sad," she thought "Now, when you feel gloomy, it is so pleasant to have someone come and cheer you up." Conscience whispered, "Do you know what is the matter with you? You are a little tired, and idle, and cross." She did not listen much to the voice. Suddenly there darted into her mind the words which she had taught little Lulu that morning, "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."

She did not care to listen to these words either, but they would not be dismissed; they seemed to say themselves over and over again in her memory, more times than little Lulu had repeated them in her anxiety to say them correctly at school, till at last she began to see what they meant.

"I wonder," she said to herself, "if I really must do for somebody else everything that I want somebody else to do for me." She turned from the window, and went and stood by her father's chair.

"Father," she said, "you must have had a wet and disagreeable walk home. Don't you want your slippers?"

"Why, yes, I believe I do. I was too tired to think much about it, though. Thank you, dear. It is pleasant to get home." The mother just then brought in a lamp.

"It is such a gloomy evening I thought I would light up early," she said, drawing the curtains. Edith looked around on the group. Susie was lying on the sofa, with hot, flushed cheeks.

"Poor little girl!" said Edith, kneeling down beside her, "you have one of those troublesome headaches, I know. I have something good for you—the nice cologne in the red bottle Aunt Julia gave me." And in a minute she was bathing the hot forehead with it. Meanwhile she noticed the cloud on her brother Russell's face, as he pored over his school-books.

"What's the matter, Russ?" she said, looking over his shoulder.

"Matter enough," he answered. "See here! I have eight sums to do, and I cannot get the first one, and I don't know how many hours I've wasted on it" Not many, Edith suspected, but she did not say so. At any rate, he wasted no more, for a few words of explanation gave him the clew to the solution of all his difficulties.

"I say, Edie," said Max, seeing that she looked kinder than usual, "get me some string, will you, and the bottle of glue?"

"O you inventor! " she said, bringing them,

"What are you making now?"

"You'll see when it's done," was his only answer. Lulu's ever-happy face was full of smiles, as usual, this time at her doll, preparing for bed. Edith laid a caressing hand on the fair curls as she asked, "Where's Fanny, little pet?"

"Up stairs," said Lulu. "Please tie Bessie's night-gown." As "Bessie" was laid to rest, with her staring blue eyes wide open in her cradle, Edith went upstairs to find Fanny, wondering what could keep her up there alone in the cold. Fanny was next to herself in age, and shared her room. She was sitting in a little arm-chair in the growing darkness.

"I missed you, dear," said Edith," and came to find you."

There was no answer, and Edith sat down on the arm of the chair, and asked, "Are you sick?”

"No, no," cried Fanny, bursting into a flood of tears on Edith's shoulder; "but I want to be a Christian, Edie, and I cannot do anything till I know that Christ has forgiven all my sins." Edith was startled; she had not thought of this.

"I am so glad, darling," she whispered. Edith did not know how to lead her sister as she would be led; so she went down stairs for mother, staying in the nursery herself to put little Lulu to bed.

A happy family rejoiced that night with one who was beginning to know the joy of salvation, having found Him who taketh away the sins of the world. Edith pondered upon her new application of the Golden Rule.

"How selfish I was," she thought, "to sit there moping because no one came to cheer me up, when, after all, I only needed to go and do my duty, and there was nothing to be gloomy about! Next time I think I want some sympathy, I’ll remember to go and sympathize with all the rest."

It was a good resolution, and one that Edith has persevered in carrying out, until it has become second nature for her to be helpful and thoughtful of others' comfort.



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No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind

so fast, as love can do with only a single thread.