The New Life by Unknown


"The light of the sun does us no good unless we are living in it! Yes, that is just what the minister said," mused Tim, as he tossed his Sabbath-school paper upon the table, and gave himself up to the flow of his own thoughts. "Yes, he said just that, and more, too. He said that the life of Christ will do us little good unless we are living in it; that is, unless we are Christians, it makes little difference to us whether Christ gave His life for us or not."

"What is on your mind, now?" It was Tim's sister Ada who asked this question as she came running into the room upon her return from school. She had stopped on her way to gather violets, and that, you see, is why she had not reached home as soon as Tim.

"Oh, I was just thinking about what the minister said last Sabbath, that is all," replied the lad in a low voice.

"Oh, yes, what he said about people being 'born again' if they would live the Christ life, and that reminds me that I must write his text down in my text book. Let's see, it was last Christmas, wasn't it, when Mrs. Martin gave us those little books, and told us to write in them the text of every sermon we heard preached; and I am glad to say that I have not missed many Sabbaths since then."

"Neither have I," said Tim. "And do you know, I have been wondering whether Mrs. Martin will give her class any presents this Christmas."

"Oh, I don't know. I should think a teacher did her duty by teaching a Sabbath-school class fifty-two times in a year, without spending her money on presents for us, even if we are but four. I think it would be more appropriate for us to be giving her a present this year, than for us to be expecting one from her."

"And let's get up one for her," proposed Tim.

"And that means that we will," laughed Ada. "When you say, 'let's' in that tone something is always sure to happen."

"But we don't want to have the whole say about the presents ourselves," observed the boy, evidently pleased at his sister's compliment. "Mark and Nettie haven't come by from school yet. When they do, we will call them in, and see what can be done."

"All right, and let's watch for them."

The windows facing the road were immediately taken possession of, and it was not long before Ada and Tim were both rapping on the panes of glass.

"What is it?" shouted Mark from the road.

"Come and see," replied Ada.

Mark and Nettie, a rosy-cheeked brother and sister, were soon in the little sitting-room, and Ada and Tim were laying before them their plans for Christmas.

"It is just like this," said Ada; "I found Tim dreaming about Christmas, and I just suggested that we give Mrs. Martin a Christmas present this year. Now what do you think of it?"

"That would be just the thing," said Nettie.

"But what do you think she would want?" queried Mark.

"We can't tell, unless we ask her," replied Ada. "But have any of us ever heard her say what she wanted?"

"I have," said Tim. "I have heard her say that what she wanted the most of anything was to have her scholars come to Christ."

"But I mean something that we could give her."

"But if we should make up our minds to be Christians, it would make her pleased," said Tim, "and perhaps she'd rather be pleased in this way than to have a present."

"I know that she would," said Nettie; "and I say, let's settle the question once for all."

The others looked in amazement at Nettie; they could scarcely understand what she meant. Her face was flushed, and she was trembling with emotion, but one thing was certain, and that was that Nettie was in earnest—also Tim; and whatever Tim wanted the others to do they generally did.

"You may as well tell us what you do mean," said Mark.

[Illustration: "<i>We might sign a paper</i>."]

"Why, just what I said," replied Tim. "I think it is about time that we began to think some of being Christians—that is, if what the minister says is true, and I suppose that it is, for everybody believes everything else that he says, when he has anything to say in our house and in the store."

"I should say as much," said Nettie.

"But what can be done about it?" queried Mark, in perplexity.

"We might all sign a paper, telling her what we intend to do, and give it to her Christmas," proposed Tim.

"So we can," said Mark, "and let's do it at once."

So Tim went to the desk, and spent a few minutes writing something upon a piece of paper. When he had finished, he turned around and asked; "Want to hear it?"

"Of course," answered Nettie.

So he read: "We four scholars of your class have made up our minds to be Christians, and we give you this information as your Christmas remembrance from us."

"Just the thing," said Ada.

"And I suppose that we must all sign it," suggested Nettie.

"Of course," answered Tim.

"But is this all that we must do to be Christians?" queried Mark.

"I should say not," answered Tim, "but if Mrs. Martin knows that we are in earnest, she will tell us what to do."

So the paper was signed by the four, after which Mark and Nettie continued on their way homeward.

On the Sabbath following Christmas, after the class had gathered, and were waiting for Sabbath-school to begin in the little church on the hill, Tim passed to Mrs. Martin an envelope bearing her name. When she opened it and read the note that was within, her eyes filled with tears of joy.

"Oh, my precious class! My precious class!" This was all she could say, as she looked from one to another with face shining like an angel's.

"We thought that you'd tell us just what to do," began Ada. "We felt that we needed help from you."

"And you shall have it this very hour. We will let the lesson go to-day, and just have a little meeting all to ourselves."

"That will be just beautiful!" exclaimed Nettie.

While the other classes in the church were discussing the lesson for the day, Mrs. Martin's class in the pew in the rear were settling the great question of their lives.

Mrs. Martin began by telling them the story of the Christ—how Christ left His heavenly home, and came to earth to die for all men, since all are sinners; and how all may be saved from sin by being sorry for their wrong-doing, deciding to lead a right life, and taking Him as their personal Saviour. "Is this what you all believe?"

"It is," replied the class, softly.

Then all closed their eyes, and Mrs. Martin prayed softly for them, after which each prayed for pardon, and by the time Sabbath-school was dismissed, all felt that Christ had accepted them as His very own.

"Oh, how I shall prize this little note," said Mrs. Martin, as they were leaving the church for home. "You could not have given me a Christmas remembrance which would have meant more to me. And I am sure that I am not the only one you have remembered this day—you have given yourselves to Christ, who died and arose from the grave for you, and He will treasure the Christmas gift you have given Him more than I can the one you have given me."