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Tip Lewis and His Lamp

CHAPTER XVI.

"Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven."

Tip was very undecided what to do. He went out on the steps and looked about him in the moonlight; then he came in and took a long look out of the window. At last the question, whatever it was, seemed to be settled. He turned with a resolute air to Kitty who was washing the tea-dishes.

"Kitty, don't you want to go to prayer-meeting up at the church?"

Kitty dropped her cup back into the dish-pan and stood looking at him, a good deal surprised. At last she said,—

"I'd like to, Tip, but I don't look decent to go anywhere. I've only this dress and my old hood."

"I wouldn't mind that," said Tip. "I've only this awful old jacket either, but I mean to go. Hurry up the dishes, and let's go."

"Well," said Kitty at last, "I will; but what will mother say?"

"I'll fix that." And Tip stepped softly into the bedroom. "Are you better to-night, father?"

"Not much better, I guess. How's arithmetic to-day?"

"First-rate; Mr. Burrows said I was getting ahead fast. Mother, may Kitty go out with me to-night? I'm going up to the church to prayer-meeting."

Mrs. Lewis turned from the basket where she had been hunting long, and as yet in vain, for a piece of flannel, and bent a searching bewildered look on her son.

"I don't care," she said at last; "she can go if she likes; but I doubt if she will."

She did, however; in ten minutes more the two were walking along the snowy path. Kitty was sober. "Tip," she said presently, "don't you never get real awful mad, so mad that you feel as if you'd choke if you couldn't speak right out at somebody?"

"Well, no," said Tip, "not often. Yes, I do too; I get mad at Bob Turner sometimes, mad enough to pitch him into a snow-bank; but it don't last long."

"Well, mine does," said Kitty. "I begin in the morning; something makes me cross, and I keep on getting crosser and crosser every minute, till it seems as if I should fly. Do you suppose I'll always do just so?"

"No," answered Tip positively, "I don't. You keep on trying a little bit harder every day, and by and by you'll find that you don't get cross more than half as easy as you used to. I know it will be so, because I've tried it in other things: when I first began to behave myself in school, it was the hardest work—my! You can think how I wanted to whisper, and things kept happening all the time to make me laugh, but I just kept trying, and now I hardly ever think of whispering. Kitty, does mother know?"

"No," said Kitty, "she don't."

"If I were you, I'd tell her."

"Oh, Tip, I can't! She never looks at me without scolding me; I can't talk to her about this."

"Yes, you can; I'd surely do it if I were you. It will be a great deal easier to try hard if mother knows you are trying."

They were almost at the church door.

"Kitty," said Tip suddenly, "let's pray for father to-night. I've been praying for him this long time; you help me."

Step by step, God was leading Tip Lewis in the narrow way. No sooner was he seated in the bright, warm little room, and had listened to Mr. Holbrook's earnest prayer, that every Christian there might do something for Christ that night, than the struggle began: what ought he to do for Christ? People all around him were, one after another, offering prayer or saying a few words. Ought he to? Could he? Oh, he couldn't! Who would want to listen to him? It wouldn't do any good. There was Mr. Burrows right in front of him; he would be ashamed of him, perhaps. Yes, but then, ought he not to own his Saviour? Mr. Holbrook had spoken of the verse, "Whosoever will deny me before men," and had made the meaning very plain. Mr. Minturn had just prayed that no one there might be ashamed of Christ. The end of it all was, that Tip slipped off his seat down on his knees, and said, "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Show me how to pray. I don't want to deny Christ. I want to love Him. I want the boys in our school, and my father, and everybody to love Him. I'll try to work for Jesus. I'll try to work for Him. Help me every day, and forgive my sins for Jesus' sake. Amen."

Tip had never felt so near to God as he did when he arose from his knees. Mr. Holbrook's voice trembled with feeling, when, soon after, he prayed for the young disciple who had early taken up his cross.

At the close of the meeting, the minister pressed his way through the little company of people who were waiting to speak with him.

"Good evening, all," he said hurriedly. "Excuse me to-night, brother," to Mr. Minturn, who would have stopped him any way; "I want to speak to some people before they get away from me;" and those who watched, saw him hurry on until he overtook Tip Lewis and his sister.

"Good evening, Edward. This is Kitty, I think. How do you do, my little girl? Edward, do you know such a Bible verse as this: 'I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplication'?"

"No, sir," answered Tip eagerly; "is there such a verse?"

"Yes, somewhere in the Psalms you will find it. I don't remember just where. Can you feel the truth of it when you think of your sister?"

"Yes, sir, I can. God did hear me."

"And you think you love Jesus to-night, Kitty?"

Kitty felt a great awe for the minister, and her "Yes, sir," was low, and spoken in a timid voice.

"What makes you think so?"

"I—I don't know; only I pray, and He hears me, and I like to."

"Well, now, Kitty, almost the first thing which people think of after they have found Jesus, is something to do for Him; they begin to look around to see what they can find. What are you going to do?"

"I don't know, sir; I haven't got anything I can do."

"Ah, that's a mistake! you can find plenty of work if you look for it; only don't look too far, because it is the little bits of things which come right in your way that Jesus wants you to do. When you brush up the room, and set the table neatly, and brighten the fire, and do little thoughtful things that help your mother, then you are pleasing Jesus, doing work for Him. Isn't it pleasant to think that in all those little things He is watching over you, and that you make Him glad when you do them well? Do you know that one of God's commands is, 'Honour thy father and thy mother'?"

"No," said Kitty softly.

"It is; those are the very words; Edward can find them for you in the Bible; and honour means more than obey; it means, try to please them in the very smallest things."

They were very near the corner where Mr. Holbrook must leave them. He laid his hand gently on Tip's shoulder, as he said, "Speaking of Bible verses, Edward, I have one for you this evening, in the Saviour's own words: 'Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him will I also confess before My Father which is in heaven.' Good-night."

Tip understood him, and there was a bright look in his eyes. The two walked on in silence for a little. Presently Kitty said, "I guess Mr. Holbrook don't know just how mother is, or he wouldn't talk so."

"Yes, but," said Tip quickly, "God knew all about it always, you know; and yet He said that verse."

"So He did," answered Kitty gravely.

 

 

 

 


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