The Deacon's Singing School.
"I am going out to see if I can start a singing school," said a good
man, as he stood buttoning up his overcoat, and muffling up his ears,
one bitterly cold Winter night.
"A singing school," said his wife, "how will you do that?"
"I have heard of a widow around the corner a block or two who is in
suffering circumstances. She has five little children, and two of them
down sick, and has neither fire nor food. So Bennie Hope, the office boy
tells me. I thought I would just step around and look into the case."
"Go, by all means," said his wife, "and lose no time. If they are in
such need we can give some relief. But I cannot see what all this has to
do with starting a singing school. But never mind, you need not stop to
tell me now; go quickly and do all you can for the poor woman."
So out into the piercing cold of the wintry night went the husband,
while the wife turned to the fireside and her sleeping babes, who, in
their warm cribs, with the glow of health upon their cheeks, showed that
they knew nothing of cold or pinching want. With a thankful spirit she
thought of her blessings, as she sat down to her little pile of mending.
Very busily and quietly she worked, puzzling all the time over what her
husband could have meant by starting a singing school. A singing school
and the widow--how queer! What possible connection could they have?
At last she grew tired of the puzzling thought, and said to herself, "I
won't bother myself thinking about it any more. He will tell me all
about it when he comes home. I only hope we may be able to help the poor
widow and make her 'poor heart sing for joy.' There," she exclaimed,
"can that be what he meant? The widow's heart singing for joy! Wouldn't
that be a singing school? It must be; it is just like John. How funny
that I should find it out!" and she laughed merrily at her lucky guess.
Taking up her work again, she stitched away with a happy smile on her
face, as she thought over again her husband's words, and followed him in
imagination in his kind ministrations. By-and-by two shining tears
dropped down, tears of pure joy, drawn from the deep wells of her love
for her husband, of whom she thought she never felt so fond before. At
the first sound of footsteps she sprang to open the door.
"Oh, John! did you start the singing school?"
"I reckon I did," said the husband, as soon as he could loose his
wrappings; "but I want you to hunt up some flannels and things to help
to keep it up."
"Oh, yes! I will; I know now what you mean. I have thought it all out.
Making the widow's 'heart sing for joy' is your singing school. (Job.
xxix:13.) What a precious work, John! 'Pure religion and undefiled is to
visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.' My own heart has
been singing for joy all the evening because of your work, and I do not
mean to let you do it alone. I want to draw out some of this wonderful
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