They That Conquer Shall Wear The Crown
"I'm not going to Sabbath-school another Sabbath; that's so," said little Effie May, with great emphasis, as she rushed into the house and angrily threw down her little straw hat.
"Tut, tut! What has happened to my little girl, to make her talk in this manner?" said her mother, coming from the bedroom, where she had just put baby on its pillow locked in sweetest slumber; and little three year old Robbie looked up wildly from his play, wondering, too, what had happened. Perhaps it was well that papa had staid to afternoon meeting, for he, no ' doubt, would have been greatly shocked to have heard his usually gentle Effie talking so strangely.
" Well," said the little girl, petulantly, Jennie Willard was there to-day, and she had on a beautiful new suit of blue silk, and when she went to crowd in by Minnie Lane who always dresses nicely the teacher told her to sit back with me, and she looked back at my old dress, then whispered to Minnie, `I don't want to sit by that shabby thing,' and something else that I didn't quite understand; but I knew by the way she turned up her nose it was something real mean about me. Just then the teacher looked toward her, and she came back, but all the time she looked sulky about it, and kept drawing her silks away from my dress, and herself into the least possible space, as much as to say, ` If I do have to sit by you, my clothes shall not touch yours;" and when she went home, Arthur Benton walked by her side, and, you know, it was nearer for him to come this way, and he always has till now; but I believe he was ashamed now to be seen walking by me, because I dress so poorly. Then, too, nearly all the girls had on new hats and dresses, which made my old ones look ten times more shabby than ever; and I don't mean to go another Sunday; " but here Effie's angry feelings gave way in a burst of tears.
The mother was silent for some time; but when she thought grief had taken the place of anger in her child's heart, she quietly said:
" I'm sorry my little girl should let pride, either in herself or any one else, disturb her happiness to-day. She is surely capable of higher thoughts, and should feel more of pity than of anger toward one who cares so much more to display fine clothing than to receive religious instruction. I would rather my girl should go to Sabbath-school hi plainer attire than she does now, for the purpose of getting good, than to be dressed in the costliest silks, and go only to display them. But I know, Effie, that you have been because you wanted to become wiser and better, not only for your own sake, but for the sake of helping others to be so; and I see no reason why you should not still want to go for the same purpose; for, surely, you can receive just as much instruction in a dress like yours as you could in a dress like Jennie's, and probably more; for, perhaps, fine clothes might make you proud, as you think they do her."
" But, mother, I don't think I received much good today," said Effie, as soon as she could stop sobbing long enough to answer, "for all the time I was thinking how shabbily I looked beside the other girls, and wishing I could dress so that they wouldn't be ashamed to be seen in my company; and you have often told me, mother, that it was better to make others happy than to make ourselves so, and I know Jennie would have been much happier to-day, if I had not been there, and I think most of the girls would be better pleased to have me absent than to have me there, so would it not be better for me to stay at home on account of the feelings of others, even though I want to go myself?"
Though Effie May was only a little girl, ten years old, for the last year she had been trying to live a Christian, and now the evil one was strongly tempting her, and had almost made her believe that by doing wrong she would be honoring the Savior, instead of favoring the Tempter; and this is the way he often comes to even older hearts than hers.
( Originally Published 1887 )
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