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For Gold or Soul? by Lurana W. Sheldon

Part 5 out of 5

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crown her noble life with the seal of forgiveness?"

"I have nothing to forgive," whispered Faith, blushing deeply. "If
Christ has forgiven there is nothing further."

"And you will marry me, Faith, if I prove worthy?" he murmured. "For,
oh, I love you, sweetheart, and I cannot live without you!"

"I will marry you--yes," was the girl's low answer, "if at the end of a
year you are still in the faith--still carrying the light to the darkest

There was just one kiss to seal the compact, but that kiss was a
benediction, a holy consummation.

* * * * *

Meanwhile Mr. Denton was still sitting in his chair, although the big
building was empty of all but its watchman.

His head was bowed down upon his bosom, as the year just passed spread
panorama-like before his vision.

What had he accomplished of his Master's work? He breathed a sigh that
it had been so little.

He had tried to put justice in the place of its opposite, to install
sweet liberty in the place of oppression. In his dealings with his
fellow men he had been fair and equitable, even leaning toward mercy
when opportunity offered.

In fact, he had incorporated the Spirit of Righteousness into the Temple
of Mammon and molded worldly affairs after the principles of divine

And what to him had been the results? He smiled with grateful
satisfaction as he briefly reviewed them.

There was a trifling shortage as compared with the accounts of previous
years, so trifling that it astonished him when he reflected upon the
amounts which he had paid his two partners. Beyond this the business of
the store had been good and his books showed new accounts recently
opened with wealthy persons, which assured him beyond doubt that they
indorsed his methods.

Further than this, there were offers of capital from a dozen different
sources. The sincere Christians of the city could not have expressed
more tangibly their ardent desire to stand shoulder to shoulder with the
merchant who had resolved to deal according to his conscience.

The outlook for the future was more than hopeful. He could see no
obstacle in the path of his ultimate victory.

There should be no more grinding down in the work-rooms where his goods
were made, no undercutting of prices to ruin a brother merchant.

He should be just with others and they must be just with him or he would
refuse absolutely to have dealings with them.

Every employee of his establishment should be suitably remunerated, and
by this treatment he felt assured that he would receive their ablest

Co-operation in his humane work was all that he needed, and here, on his
desk and in his books, was ample proof of this assistance. He bowed his
head in thanksgiving as he finished his reflections.

"Surely, with God all things are possible," he murmured audibly, and
then a thought of his son's conversion and his wife's gradual but sure
return to reason with health brought a flow of happiness that irradiated
his countenance.

A glimpse of starlit sky was visible through his window and Mr. Denton
raised his eyes to it in solemn contemplation.

"Thy ways are not our ways," he whispered humbly, "but though the cross
is heavy and hard to bear, Thou wilt give Thy servant a just reward, and
the end is peace--peace that passeth understanding."


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