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AMONG the other children in a charity school sat a little Jewish girl.She was a good,intelligent child,the quickest in all the school;but she had to be excluded from one lesson,for she was not allowed to take part in the Scripture lesson,for it was a Christian school.

In that hour the girl was allowed to open the geography book,or to do her sum for the next day;but that was soon done;and when she had mastered her lesson in geography,the book indeed remained oped before her,but the little one read no more in it:she sat and listened,and the teacher soon became aware that she was listening more intently than almost any of the other children.

“Read your book,”the teacher said,in mild re-proof;but her dark beaming eye remained fixed upon him;and once when he addressed a question to her,she knew how to answer better than any of the others could have done.She had heard,understood,and remembered.

When her father,a poor honest man,first brought the girl to the school,he had stipulated that she should be excluded from the lessons on the Christian faith.But it would have caused disturbance,and perhaps might have awakened discontent in the minds of the others,if she had been sent from the room during the hours in question,and consequently she stayed;but this could not go on any longer.

The teacher betook himself to her father, and exhorted him either to remove his daughter from the school,or to consent that Sara should become a Christian.

“I can no longer bear to see these gleaming eyes of the child,and her deep and earnest longing for the words of the Gospel”,said the teacher.

Then the father burst into tears.

“I know but little of our own religion,”he said;“but her mother was a daughter of Israel,firm and steadfast in the faith,and I vowed to her as she lay dying that our child should never be baptized.I must keep my vow,for it is even as a covenant with God Himself.”

And accordingly the little Jewish maiden quitted the Christian school.

Years have rolled on.

In one of the smallest provincial towns there dwelt,as a servant in a humble household,a maiden who held the Mosaic faith.Her hair was black as ebony,her eye so dark,and yet full of splendour and light,as is usual with the daughters of the East.It was Sara.The expression in the countenance of the now grown-up maiden was still that of the child sitting upon the schoolroom bench and listening with thoughtful eyes.

Every Sunday there pealed from the church the sounds of the organ and the song of the congregation.The strains penetrated into the house where the Jewish girl,industrious and faithful in all things,stood at her work.

“The shalt keep holy the Sabbath-day,”said a voice within her,the voice of the Law;but her Sabbath-day was a working day among the Christians,and she could keep it holy only in her heart,which she did not think was sufficient.But then the thought arose in her soul:“Doth God reckon by days and hours?”And on the Sundny of the Christians the hour of prayer remained undisturbed;and when the sound of the organ and the songs of the congregation sounded across to her as she stood in the kitchen at her work,then even that place seemed to become a sacred one to her.Then she would read in the Old Testament,the treasure and possession of her people,and it was only in this one she could read;for she kept faithfully in the depths of her heart the words her father had said to herself and the teacher when she was taken away from the school,and the promise given to her dying mother,that she should never receive Christian baptism,or desert the faith of her ancestors.The New Testament was to be a sealed book to her;and yet she knew much of it,and the Gospel echoed faintly among the recollections of her youth.

One evening she was sitting in a corner of the living-room.Her master was reading aloud;and she might listen to him,for it was not the Gospel that he read,but an old story-book,therefore she might stay.The book told of a Hungarian knight who was taken prisoner by a Turkish pasha,who caused him to be yoked with his oxen to the plough,and driven with blows of the whip till he almost sank under the pain and ignominy he endured.The wife of the knight at home parted with all her jewels,and pledged castle and land.The knight's friends contributed large sums,for the ransom demanded was almost unattainably high;but it was collected at last,and the knight was freed from servitude and misery.Sick and exhausted,he reached his home.But soon another summons came to war against the foes of Christianity:the sick knight heard the call,and had neither peace nor rest.He caused himself to be lifted on his war-horse;and the blood came back to his cheek,his strength appeared to return,and he went forth to battle and to victory.The very same pasha who had yoked him to the plough became his prisoner,and was dragged to his castle.But not an hour had passed when the knight stood before the captive pasha,and said to him,

“What dost thou suppose awaiteth the?”

“I know it,”replied the Turk.“Retribution.”

“Yes,the retribution of the Christian!”resumed the knight.“The doctrine of Christ commands us to forgive our enemies,and to love our fellow man,for God is love.Depart in peace to they home and to they dear ones;but in future be mild and merciful to all who are unfortunate.”

Then the prisoner broke out into tears,and ex-claimed,

“How could I believe in the possibility of such mercy?Misery and torment seemed to me inevitable;therefore I took poison,which in a few hours will kill me.I must die—there is no remedy!But before I die,do thou ex-pound to me the teaching which includes so great a measure of love and mercy,for it is great and godlike!Grant me to hear this teaching,and to die a Christian!”And his prayer was fulfilled.

That was the legend,the story that was read.It was heard and followed by them all;but Sara,the Jewish girl,sitting alone in her corner,listened with a burning heart;great tears came into her gleaming black eyes,and she sat there with a gentle and lowly spirit as she had once sat on the school bench,and felt the grandeur of the Gospel;and the tears rolled down over her cheeks.

But again the dying words of her mother rose up with-in her:

“Let not my daughter become a Christian,”the voice cried;and together with it arose the words of the Law:“The shalt honour they father and they mother.”

“I am not baptized,”she said;“they call me a Jewish girl—our neighbour's boys hooted me last Sunday,when I stood at the open church door,and looked in at the flaming candles on the altar,and listened to the song of the congregation.Ever since I sat upon the school bench I have felt the force of Christianity,a force like that of a sun-beam,which streams into my soul,however firmly I may shut my eyes against it.But I will not pain the in they grave,O my mother,I will not be unfaithful to the oath of my father,I will not read the Bible of the Christians.I have the God of my fathers to lean upon!”

And years rolled on again.

The master died.His widow fell into poverty;and the servant girl was to be dismissed.But Sara refused to leave the house:she became the staff in time of trouble,and kept the household together,working till late in the night to earn the daily bread through the labour of her hands;for no relative came forward to assist the family,and the widow became weaker every day,and lay for months together on a bed of sickness.Sara worked hard,and in the intervals sat kindly ministering by the sick-bed:she was gentle and pious,an angel of blessing In the poverty-stricken house.

“Yonder on the table lies the Bible,”said the sick woman to Sara.“Read me something from it this long evening:my soul thirsts for the word of the Lord.”

And Sara bowed her head.

Her hands folded over the Bible themselves,which she opened and read to the sick woman.Tears stood in her eyes,which gleamed and shone with ecstasy and light shone in her heart.

“O my mother,”she whispered to herself;“they child may not receive the baptism of the Christians,or be admitted into the congregation—thou hast willed it so,and I shall respect they command:we will remain in union together here on earth;but beyond this earth there is a higher union,even union in God!He will be at our side,and lead us through the valley of death.It is He that descendeth upon the earth when it is athirst,and covers it with fruitfulness.I understand it—I know not how I came to learn the truth;but it is through Him,through Christ!”

And she started as she pronounced the sacred name,and there came upon her a baptism as of flames of fire,and her frame shook,and her limbs tottered so that she sank down fainting,weaker even than the sick woman by whose couch she had watched.

“Poor Sara!”said the people;“she is overcome with night watching and toil!”

They carried her out into the hospital tor the sick poor.There she died;and from thence they carried her to the grave,but not to the churchyard of the Christians,for yonder was no room for the Jewish girl;outside,by the wall,her grave was dug.

But God's sun,that shines upon the graves of the Christians,throws its beams also upon the grave of the Jewish girl beyond the wall;and when the psalms are sung in the churchyard of the Christians,they echo like-wise over her lonely resting-place;and she who sleeps beneath is included in the call to the resurrection in the name of Him who spaks to His disciples:

“John baptized you with water,but I wil............

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