The Five-dollar Gold Piece.
"'A friend,' says a venerable clergyman, Rev. Mr. H----, 'at a time when
gold was scarce, made me a present of a five-dollar gold piece. I
resolved not to spend it, and for a long time carried it in my pocket as
a token of friendship. In riding about the country, I one day fell in
with an acquaintance, who presented a subscription-book for the erection
of a church in a destitute place.
"'I can do nothing for you, Mr. B----,' said I; 'my heart is in this
good undertaking, but my pocket is entirely empty; having no money, you
must excuse me.'
"'Oh, certainly,' said he; 'all right, sir. We know you always give when
it is in your power.'
"We parted; and after I had proceeded some distance, I bethought me of
the piece of gold in my vest pocket. 'What,' said I to myself, 'I told
that man I had no money, when I had by me all the time this gold
pocket-piece. This was an untruth, and I have done wrong.' I kept
reproaching myself in this way until I stopped, and took from my pocket
the five-dollar piece.
"'Of what use,' said I, 'is this piece of money, stowed away so nicely
in my pocket?' I made up my mind to turn back, and rode as fast as I
could until I overtook Mr. B----, to whom I gave the coin, and resumed
"A few days after, I stopped at the house of a lady, who treated me very
hospitably, for which I could make no return, except in thanks and
Christian counsel. When I took leave, she slipped into my vest pocket a
little folded paper, which she told me to give to my wife. I supposed it
was some trifle for the children, and thought no more of it until I
reached home. I handed it to my wife, who opened it, and to my
astonishment _it was a five-dollar gold piece, the identical
pocket-piece I had parted with but a few days before_. I knew it was the
same, for I had made a mark upon it; how this had been brought about was
a mystery, but that the hand of the Lord was in it I could not doubt.
'See,' said I to my wife; 'I thought I _gave_ that money, but I only
_lent_ it; how soon has the Lord returned it! Never again will I doubt
"I afterward learned that Mr. B---- had paid over the coin to the
husband of the lady at whose house I staid, along with some other money,
in payment for lumber, and he had given it to his wife.
"Take my advice, and when appealed to for aid, fear not to give of your
poverty; depend upon it the Lord will not let you lose by it, if you
wish to do good. If you wish to prosper, 'Give, and it shall be given
unto you; for with the same measure that ye mete, it shall be measured
to you again.' 'Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in
the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.'"
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