Hardcover , pages. Published January 28th by Lamplighter Publishing first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Christie's Old Organ , please sign up.
Lamplighter Fiction | Finding Christ Through Fiction
Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 26, Miss Jen rated it it was amazing. Beautiful story! This is one of my favorite books of all time, it's simply precious! View 1 comment. Jan 18, Janice Dick rated it it was ok Shelves: children-s , fiction , inspirational , paperback. A very old Classic Stories story featuring the gospel message. The message is clear, which is good, but the tale is used as a medium for preaching, and the language style is old enough that most young readers will likely not touch it.
My opinion only. Jan 29, Sonya rated it it was amazing Shelves: childrens. Walton writes a compelling book of love, dedication, suffering and hope by a young orphan who must find enough donations from playing an organ to live. He befriends an old man because he plays "Home Sweet Home"--a song he remembers his mother sang to him. The two search for hope in spite of the struggles of finding food, having no one else and knowing the old man's sickness will lead to his death. A story giving hope, showing mercy, and portraying the quest we all have with our after death a O.
A story giving hope, showing mercy, and portraying the quest we all have with our after death and our God.
Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
Truly a heart warming book to encourage and uplift. Old Treffy played his old organ in the attic. Christie, a ragged boy, listened and recognized a familiar hymn that his mother sang when she died, Home, Sweet Home. Treffy grew old and weak and Christie took over and played the organ in the streets. Christie made friends with Charlie and Mable, two children out in the outskirts of town. Christie overheard an announcement of a gospel meeting on Sunday night and went to it. This book goes on to present the two main characters, Christie and Treffy, Old Treffy played his old organ in the attic.
This book goes on to present the two main characters, Christie and Treffy, searching after truth about their sin and salvation through Jesus Christ. I greatly enjoyed this book and the biblical principles that shown through it. And he remembered what she had said to him just afterwards,—. Since then, life had been very dreary to little Christopher.
Life without a mother, it hardly was life to him. He had never been happy since she had died. He had worked very hard, poor little fellow, to earn his bread, for she had told him to do that. But he had often wished he could go to his mother in "Home, sweet Home.
He waited for it very patiently, whilst old Treffy was playing the other three which came first, but at length some one closed the door, and the noise inside the lodging-room was so great that he could not distinguish the notes of the longed-for tune. So Christie crept out quietly in the darkness, and closing the door softly, that no one might notice it, he stole gently upstairs. He knelt down by the door and listened. It was very cold, and the wind swept up the staircase, and made little Christie shiver.
Yet still he knelt by the door. At length the organ stopped; he heard the old man putting it down by the wall, and in a few minutes all was still. Then Christie crept downstairs again, and lay down once more on his hard bench, and he fell asleep, and dreamt of the mother in the far-off land. And he thought he heard her singing, "'Home, sweet Home,' I'm home now, Christie; I'm home now, and there's no place like home.
- The Project Gutenberg eBook, Christie's Old Organ , by Mrs. O. F. Walton;
- The Project Gutenberg eBook of Christie's Old Organ , by Mrs. O. F. Walton!
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The dismal lodging-house had a charm for little Christie now. Night after night he returned there, that he might hear his mother's tune. The landlady began to look upon him as one of her regular household. She sometimes gave him a crust of bread, for she noticed his hungry face each night, as he came to the large lodging-room to sleep. But one night, as he was kneeling at the attic door, the music suddenly ceased, and Christie heard a dull, heavy sound, as if something had fallen on the floor.
He waited a minute, but all was quite still; so he cautiously lifted the latch, and peeped into the room. There was only a dim light in the attic, for the fire was nearly out, and old Treffy had no candle. But the moonlight, streaming in at the window, showed Christie the form of the old man stretched on the ground, and his poor old barrel-organ laid beside him. Christie crept to his side, and took hold of his hand.
It was deadly cold, and Christie thought he was dead. He was just going to call the landlady, when the old man moved, and in a trembling voice asked, "What's the matter, and who's there? I was listening to your organ, I was, and I heard you tumble, so I came in. Are you better, Master Treffy? The old man raised his head, and looked round. Christie helped him to get up, and took him to his attic straw bed in the corner of the attic.
Good night. That was the beginning of a friendship between old Treffy and Christie. They were both alone in the world, both friendless and desolate, and it drew them to each other. Christie was a great comfort to Treffy. He went errands for him, he cleaned the old attic, and he carried the barrel-organ downstairs each morning when Treffy went on his rounds. And, in return, Treffy gave Christie a corner of the attic to sleep in and let him sit over his tiny fire whilst he played his dear old organ.
And whenever he came to "Home, sweet Home," Christie thought of his mother, and of what she had said to him before she died. Treffy looked round the wretched little attic, with its damp, weather-stained roof, and its rickety rotten floor, and felt that he could not call it "Home, sweet Home. But old Treffy knew very little of heaven; no one had ever told him of the home above.
Yet he thought of Christie's words many times that day, as he dragged himself about wearily, with his old organ. He was failing very fast, poor old man; his legs were becoming feeble, and he was almost fainting when he reached the attic. The cold wind had chilled him through and through. Christie was at home before him, and had lit the fire, and boiled the kettle, and put all ready for old Treffy's comfort.
He wondered what was the matter with Treffy that night; he was so quiet and silent, and he never even asked for his old organ after tea, but went to bed as soon as possible. And the next day he was too weak and feeble to go out; and Christie watched beside him, and got him all he wanted, as tenderly as a woman could have done. And the next day it was the same, and the day after that, till the attic cupboard grew empty, and all poor old Treffy's pence were gone.
Let me see, what can we do? Shall I take the organ out? Old Treffy did not answer; a great struggle was going on in his mind. Could he let any one but himself touch his dear old organ? It would be very hard to see it go out, and have to stay behind,—very hard indeed. But Christie was a careful lad; he would rather trust it with him than with any one else; and he had come to his last piece of money. He must not sit still and starve. Yes, the organ must go; but it would be a great trial to him. He would be so lonely in the dark attic when Christie and the organ were both gone.
What a long, tedious day it would be to him! What a day that was in Christie's life! He was up with the lark, as people say, but there was no lark within many a mile of that dismal street. He was certainly up before the sparrows, and long before the men on the benches in the great lodging-room. He crept out cautiously into the court in the gray morning light, and kneeling by the common pump, he splashed the water upon his face and neck till they lost all feeling with the cold.
Then he rubbed his hands till they were as red as cherries, and he was obliged to wrap them up in his ragged coat that he might feel they still belonged to him. And then he stole upstairs again, and lifting the latch of the attic door very gently, lest old Treffy should awake, he combed his rough hair with a broken comb, and arranged his ragged garments to the best possible advantage. Then Christie was ready; and he longed for the time when old Treffy would awake, and give him leave to go. The sparrows were chirping on the eaves now, and the sun was beginning to shine.
There were noises in the house, too, and one by one the men in the great lodging-room shook themselves, and went out to their work and to their labor until the evening. Christie watched them crossing the court, and his impatience to be off grew stronger. At length he touched old Treffy's hand very gently, and the old man said, in a bewildered voice,—. Christie drew himself up with considerable importance, and walked up and down the attic, that Treffy might further admire him.
Her tunes are getting old-fashioned, poor old thing; she's something like me.
But you mustn't take no notice of the boys, Christie. I reckon it's called after some man in the wars, maybe. I expect he was some lazy scoundrel who wouldn't do his duty, and so they made up a song to mock at him. But that's as it may be, Christie; I don't know, I'm sure. I expect he wasn't born when my organ was made; I expect not, Christie.
And, with an air of great importance, Christie carefully descended the rickety stairs, and marched triumphantly across the court. A few children who were there gathered round him with admiring eyes, and escorted him down the street. But Christie shook his head resolutely, and marched on.
He was not sorry when they grew tired of following him and turned back. Now he felt himself a man; and he went on in a most independent manner. He had often turned the handle of the barrel-organ in the lonely old attic, but that was a very different thing to playing it in the street. There had been no one to hear him there except old Treffy, who used to stand by most anxiously, saying, "Turn her gently, Christie; turn her gently. There was no barrel-organ like his, he felt sure. He did not care what the folks said about Marshal Lazy; he was not so good as poor Mary Ann, Christie felt sure; and as for "Home, sweet Home," Christie almost broke down every time he played it.
He did so love his mother, and he could not help thinking she was singing it still somewhere. He wondered very much where she was, and where "Home, sweet Home," was. He must try to find out somehow.
See a Problem?
And thus the day wore away, and Christie's patience was rewarded by quite a little store of pence. How proud he was to spend it on his way home in comforts for old Treffy, and how much he enjoyed giving the old man an account of his day's adventures! Treffy gave Christie a warm welcome when he opened the attic door; but it would be hard to say whether he was more pleased to see Christie, or to see his dear old barrel-organ. He examined it most carefully and tenderly, but he could not discover that Christie had done any harm to it, and he praised him accordingly.
Then, while Christie was getting tea ready, Treffy played through all his four tunes, dwelling most affectionately and admiringly on "Home, sweet Home. Old Treffy did not regain his strength. He continued weak and feeble. He was not actually ill, and could sit up day after day by the tiny fire which Christie lighted for him in the morning.
But he was not able to descend the steep staircase, much less to walk about with the heavy organ, which even made Christie's shoulders ache. So Christie took the old man's place. It was not always such pleasant work as on that first morning. There were cold days and rainy days; there was drizzling sleet, which lashed Christie's face; and biting frost, which chilled him through and through.
There were damp fogs, which wrapped him round like a wet blanket, and rough winds, which nearly took him off his feet. Then he grew a little weary of the sound of the poor old organ. He never had the heart to confess this to old Treffy; indeed he scarcely liked to own it to himself; but he could not help wishing that poor Mary Ann would come to the end of her troubles, and that the "Old Hundredth" would change into something new. He never grew tired of "Home, sweet Home;" it was ever fresh to him, for he heard in it his mother's voice.
Thus the winter wore away, and the spring came on, and the days became longer and lighter. Then Christie would go much farther out of the town, to the quiet suburbs where the sound of a barrel-organ was not so often heard. The people had time to listen in these parts; they were far away from the busy stir of the town, and there were but few passers-by on the pavement.
It was rather dull in these outlying suburbs. The rows of villas, with their stiff gardens in front, grew a little monotonous. It was just the kind of place in which a busy, active mind would long for a little variety. And so it came to pass that even a barrel-organ was a welcome visitor; and one and another would throw Christie a penny, and encourage him to come again. One hot spring day, when the sun was shining in all his vigor, as if he had been tired of being hidden in the winter, Christie was toiling up one of these roads on the outskirts of the town.
The organ was very heavy for him, and he had to stop every now and then to rest for a minute. At length he reached a nice-looking house, standing in a very pretty garden. The flower-beds in front of the house were filled with the early spring flowers; snowdrops, crocuses, violets, and hepaticas were in full bloom. Before this house Christie began to play. He could hardly have told you why he chose it; perhaps he had no reason for doing so, except that it had such a pretty garden in front, and Christie always loved flowers. His mother had once bought him a penny bunch of spring flowers, which, after living for many days in a broken bottle, Christie had pressed in an old spelling-book, and through all his troubles he had never parted with them.
And thus, before the house with the pretty garden, Christie began to play. He had not turned the handle of the organ three times, before two merry little faces appeared at a window at the top of the house, and watched him with lively interest. They put their heads out of the window as far as the protecting bars would allow them, and Christie could hear all they said.
Isn't it, nurse? Mabel had heard her papa make a similar remark to her mamma the night before, when she had been playing a piece of music to him for the first time, and she therefore thought it was the correct way to express her admiration of Christie's tune. But the tune happened to be "Poor Mary Ann," the words of which the nurse knows very well indeed. And as Mary Ann was nurse's own name, she had grown quite sentimental whilst Christie was playing it, and had been wondering whether John Brown, the grocer's young man, who had promised to be faithful to her for ever and ever more, would ever behave to her as poor Mary Ann's lover did, and leave her to die forlorn.
Thus she could not quite agree with Miss Mabel's remark, that "Poor Mary Ann" was so cheerful, and she seemed rather relieved when the tune changed to "Rule Britannia. But the children had run away from the window, and scampered downstairs to ask their mamma for some money for the poor organ-boy. A minute afterwards two pennies were thrown to Christie from the nursery window.
They fell down into the middle of a bed of pure white snowdrops, and Christie had to open the garden gate, and walk cautiously over the grass to pick them up. But for some time he could not find them, for they were hidden by the flowers; so the children ran downstairs again to help him.
At last the pennies were discovered, and Christie took off his hat and made a low bow, as they presented them to him. He put the money in his pocket, and looked down lovingly on the snowdrops. It was a weighty matter selecting the flowers; and then the four snowdrops were tied together and given to Christie. Christie told them his name, and as he went down the road he heard their voices calling after him:—.
The snowdrops were very faded and withered when Christie reached the attic that night. He tried to revive them in water, but they would not look fresh again; so he laid them to rest beside his mother's faded flowers in the old spelling-book. Christie was not long in repeating his visit to the suburban road, but this time, though he played his four tunes twice through and lingered regretfully over "Home, sweet Home," he saw nothing of the children, and received neither smiles nor snowdrops. For Mabel and Charlie had gone for a long country walk with their nurse, and were far away from the sound of poor Christie's organ.
Treffy was still unable to get out, and he grew rather fretful sometimes, even with Christie. It was very dull for him sitting alone all day; and he had nothing to comfort him, not even his old friend the organ. And when Christie came home at night, if the store of pence was not so large as usual, poor old Treffy would sigh and moan, and wish he could get about again, and take his old organ out as before. But Christie bore it very patiently, for he loved his old master more than he had loved any one since his mother died; and love can bear many things.
Still, he did wish he could find some one or something to comfort Treffy, and to make him better. But Christie was not to be so easily put off. What if Treffy should die, and leave him alone in the world again? The little attic, dismal though it was, had been a home to Christie, and it had been good to have some one to love him once again. He would be very, very lonely if Treffy died; and the old man was growing very thin and pale, and his hands were very trembling and feeble; he could scarcely turn the old organ now. And Christie had heard of old people "breaking up," as it is called, and then going off suddenly; and he began to be very much afraid old Treffy would do the same.
He must get some one to come and see his old master. The landlady of the house had fallen downstairs and broken her arm. A doctor came to see her , Christie knew; oh, if he would only step upstairs and look at old Treffy! It was such a little way from the landlady's room to the attic, and it would only take him a few minutes. And then Christie could ask him what was the matter with the old man, and whether old Treffy would get better. These thoughts kept Christie awake a long time that night; he turned restlessly on his pillow, and felt very troubled and anxious.
The moonlight streamed into the room, and fell on old Treffy's face as he lay on his bed in the corner. Christie raised himself on his elbow, and looked at him. Yes, he did look very wasted and ill. Oh, how he hoped Treffy would not go away, as his mother had done, and leave him behind! The next day he watched about on the stairs till the landlady's doctor came.
Old Treffy thought him very idle because he would not go out with the organ; but Christie put him off with first one excuse and then another, and kept looking out of the window and down the court, that he might see the doctor's carriage stop at the entrance. When at last the doctor came, Christie watched him go into the landlady's room and sat at the door till he came out.
He shut the door quickly after him, and was running down the steps, when he heard an eager voice calling after him. The doctor did not quite know what to make of this lucid explanation. However, he turned round and began slowly to ascend the attic stairs. But I'd better go in first, please, sir; Master Treffy doesn't know you're coming. And to Christie's great joy, old Treffy made no objection, but submitted very patiently and gently to the doctor's investigation, without even asking who had sent him. And then the doctor took leave, promising to send some medicine in the morning, and walked out into the close court.
He was just getting into his carriage, when he felt a little cold hand on his arm. I've got a few coppers here, sir," said Christie, bringing them out of his pocket; "will these be enough, sir? White I'll give a look at the old man again. A month more with his dear old master,—only another month, only another month. And in the minute which passed before Christie reached the attic, he saw, as in a sorrowful picture, what life would be to him without old Treffy.
He would have no home, not even the old attic; he would have no friend. No home, no friend; no home, no friend! And only another month before it came! Treffy did not speak; it was a solemn thing to be told he had only another month to live; that in another month he must leave Christie, and the attic, and the old organ, and go—he knew not whither. It was a solemn, searching thought for old Treffy. He spoke very little all day. Christie stayed at home, for he had not heart enough to take the organ out that sorrowful day; and he watched old Treffy very gently and mournfully.
Only another month! But when the evening came on, and there was no light in the room but what came from the handful of fire in the grate, old Treffy began to talk. I expect that 'Home, sweet home,' is somewhere in heaven, Master Treffy; I expect so. It's a good place, so my mother said. I know so little about it, so very little, Christie, boy. The next day Christie had to go out as usual.
Old Treffy seemed no worse than before,—he was able to sit up, and Christie opened the small window before he went out to let a breath of fresh air into the close attic. But there was very little fresh air anywhere that day. The atmosphere was heavy and stifling, and poor Christie's heart felt depressed and weary. He turned, he hardly knew why, to the suburban road, and stopped before the house with the pretty garden. He wanted to see those merry little faces again,—perhaps they would cheer him; he felt so very dull to-day. Christie was not disappointed this time.
He had hardly turned the handle of the organ twice before Mabel and Charlie appeared at the nursery window; and, after satisfying themselves that it really was Christie, their own organ-boy, they ran into the garden, and stood beside him as he played. And standing on tip-toe at his side, little Mabel took hold of the handle of the organ with her tiny white hand. Very slowly and carefully she turned it, so slowly that her mamma came to the window to see if the organ-boy had been taken ill.
It was a pretty sight which that young mother looked upon. The little fair, delicate child, in her light summer dress, turning the handle of the old, faded barrel-organ, and the organ-boy standing by, watching her with admiring eyes. Then little Mabel looked up, and saw her mother's face at the window, and smiled and nodded to her, delighted to find that she was watching. And then Mabel went on playing with a happy consciousness that mother was listening. For there was no one in the world that little Mabel loved so much as her mother.
But Christie knew that "Rule Britannia" lay between them and "Home, sweet Home;" he took the handle from Mabel, and saying, brightly, "All right, missie, I'll make it come as quick as I can," he turned it round so fast, that if old Treffy had been within hearing, he would certainly have died from fright about his dear old organ long before the month was over. Several people in the opposite houses came to their windows to look out; they thought the organ must be possessed with some evil spirit, so slowly did it go one minute, so quickly the next. But they understood how it was a minute afterwards when little Mabel again began to turn, and very slowly and deliberately the first notes of "Home, sweet Home," was sounded forth.
She turned the handle of the organ until "Home, sweet Home," was quite finished, and then, with a sigh of satisfaction, she gave it up to Christie. Where is 'Home, sweet Home'? Charlie had taken the handle of the organ now, and was rejoicing in "Poor Mary Ann;" but Mabel hardly listened to him; she was thinking of the poor boy who had no home but an attic, and who soon would have no home at all.
Isn't heaven some sort of a home? The little stars live in heaven; I used to think they were the angels' eyes, but nurse says it's silly to think that. And Jesus is there, Christie; wouldn't you like to see Jesus? I'm so sorry,—you won't have a home at all; what will you do? Christie walked on very thoughtfully. He was thinking of little Mabel's words, and of little Mabel's tears. What if he should never, never know anything of "Home, sweet Home"? And then came the remembrance of poor old Treffy, his dear old master, who had only another month to live. Did he love Jesus? He had never heard old Treffy mention His name; and what if Treffy should die, and never go to heaven at all, but go to the other place!
Christie had heard of hell; he did not know much about it, and he had always fancied it was for very bad people. He must tell Treffy about Mabel's words. Perhaps, after all, his old master did love Jesus. Christie hoped very much that he did. He longed for evening to come, that he might go home and ask him. The afternoon was still more close and sultry than the morning had been, and little Christie was very weary.
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The organ was heavy for him at all times, and it seemed heavier than usual to-day. He was obliged to sit down to rest for a few minutes on a doorstep in one of the back streets about half a mile from the court where old Treffy lived. As he was sitting there, with his organ resting against the wall, two women met each other just in front of the doorstep, and after asking most affectionately after each other's health they began to talk, and Christie could not help hearing every word they said. West," said the other; "it belongs to the church at the corner of Melville Street.
A young man comes and preaches there every Sunday night; I like to hear him, I do," she went on, "he puts it so plain. He's a kind man, is Mr. Wilton; he came to see our Tommy when he was badly. Do you know him, Mrs. Smith; "and you needn't bother about your clothes, there's no one there but poor folks like ourselves. And little Christie had heard all they said, and had firmly made up his mind to be at the mission-room the next evening at seven o'clock. He must lose no time in making out what Treffy wanted to know.
One day of the month was gone already. I suppose I ought to; good folks do, don't they? When I was a little chap no bigger than you, I used to hear tell about these things, but I gave no heed to them then, and I've forgotten all I ever heard. I've been thinking a deal lately since I was took so bad, and some of it seems to come back to me. But I can't rightly mind what I was told. It's a bad job, Christie, a bad job. It had been a close, sultry day, and it was a still more oppressive night. It was long before Christie could get to sleep, and when at last he had sunk into a troubled slumber, he was waked suddenly by a loud peal of thunder, which made the old attic shake from end to end.
Old Treffy raised himself in bed, and Christie crept to his side. It was an awful storm; the lightning flashed into the attic, lighting up for a moment every corner of it, and showing Christie old Treffy's white and trembling face. Then all was dark again, and there came the heavy roll of the thunder, which sounded like the noise of falling houses, and which made old Treffy shake from head to foot. Christie never remembered such a storm before, and he was very much afraid. He knelt very close to his old master, and took hold of his trembling hand. I don't love Him, Christie; I don't love Him.
And again the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled, and again old Treffy shook from head to foot. Christie, boy, do you know what sin is? But I never cared about it before to-night. And just then came the thunder, and I awoke; I can't forget it, Christie; I can't forget it," said old Treffy. Christie could not comfort him, for he was very much afraid himself; but he pressed very close up to his side, and did not leave him till the storm was over, and there was no sound but the heavy downpour of the rain on the roof of the attic. Then he crept back to bed and fell asleep.
The next morning it all seemed like a bad dream. The sun was shining brightly, and Christie rose and opened the attic window. Every thing looked fresh and clean after the rain. The dull heavy feeling was gone out of the air, and the little sparrows were chirping in the eaves. It was Sunday morning, and on Sunday evening Christie was to hear the clergyman preach in the mission-room. The poor old man seemed very restless and unhappy all that long spring day. Christie never left him, for it was only on Sunday that he could watch beside his dear old master. He could see that old Treffy had not forgotten his dream, though he did not speak of it again.
And at last the long, weary day wore away, and at six o'clock Christie washed himself and prepared to depart. The mission-room was only just open when little Christie arrived. A woman was inside lighting the gas and preparing the place for the congregation. Christie peeped shyly in at the door, and she caught sight of him and ordered him off.
Now, as poor Christie had no one to talk to, this was rather an unnecessary speech. However, he went in very meekly, and sat down on one of the front benches. Then the congregation began to arrive; old men and little children; mothers with babies in their arms; old women with shawls over their heads; husbands and wives; a few young men; people with all kinds of faces, and all kinds of characters, from the quiet and respectable artisan's wife to the poor little beggar girl who sat on the form beside Christie. And, as seven o'clock struck, the door opened and the minister came in.
Christie never took his eyes off him during the whole service. And, oh! A young woman behind him was singing it very distinctly, and he could hear every word. Oh, if he could only have remembered it to repeat to old Treffy! The words of the hymn were as follows:—. And after the hymn came the sermon. The clergyman's text was Revelation "There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth. He spoke of the Heavenly City of which they had just been singing, the bright, beautiful city, with its streets of gold and gates of pearl. He spoke of the river of the water of life, and the trees on either side of the river.
He spoke of those who live in that happy place, of their white robes and crowns of gold, of the sweet songs they ever sing, and the joy in all their faces.
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The clergyman also told them that in that bright city sorrow was never found. No weeping there, no tears, no sighs, no trouble. No tired feet on that golden pavement, no hungry ones there, no hot burning sun, no cold frost or snow. No sickness there, and no death, no funerals in heaven, no graves in the golden city. Perfect love there, no more quarreling or strife, no angry tones or discordant murmurs, no rude, rough voices to disturb the peace. And all this for ever and ever, no dread of it coming to an end, no gloomy fears for the future, no partings there, no good-byes.
Once there, safe for ever. At home, at rest, with God. And a quiet murmur passed through the room, a sigh of longing, an expression of assent. And little Christie whispered softly to himself, "Like to go there! The gates would be shut against me for that one sin. No soul on which there is a speck of sin can go into that bright city. Is there one here who can say that there is only one sin on his soul? And again there was a faint murmur round the room, and again a deep-drawn sigh; but this time it was the suppressed sigh of accusing consciences.
Every one of us has sinned again and again and again. And each sin is like a dark blot, a deep ink-stain on the soul. And Christie's thoughts wandered to the lonely attic and to old Treffy's sad, worn-out face. If Christie had been listening, he would have heard the clergyman tell of the way in which sin could be taken away; but his little mind was full of the one idea of the sermon, and when he next heard the clergyman's words he was telling his congregation that he hoped they would all be present on the following Sunday evening, as he intended then to preach on the second verse of the hymn, and to tell them, more fully than he had time to do to-night, what was the only way to enter within the gates into the city.
Christie walked home very sadly and sorrowly; he was in no haste to meet old Treffy's anxious, inquiring eyes. And when he reached the dark attic he sat down by Treffy, and looked away from him into the fire, as he said, mournfully:—. I've heard it all over again to-night. He preached about it, and we sang about it, so there's no mistake now. But there's no sin allowed inside the gates; that's what the clergyman, said, and what the hymn said too:—. And hours after that, when Christie thought Treffy was fast asleep on his bed in the corner, he heard his poor old trembling voice murmuring again and again: "Closed are its gates to sin, closed are its gates to sin.
And there was another ear listening to old Treffy's voice. The man at the gate, of whom Bunyan writes, had heard the old man's sorrowful wail, and it went to his very heart. He knew all about old Treffy, and he was soon to say to him, with tones of love, as he opened the gate of rest: "I am willing with all my heart to let thee in.
That week was a very long and sorrowful one to Treffy and to Christie. The old man seldom spoke, except to murmur the sad words of the hymn, or to say to Christie in a despairing voice,—. The barrel-organ was quite neglected by Treffy. Christie took it out in the daytime, but at night it stood against the wall untouched. Treffy could not bear to hear it now.
Christie had begun to turn it one evening, but the first tune it had played was "Home, sweet Home," and Treffy had said bitterly,—. So Treffy had nothing to comfort him. Even his old organ seemed to have taken part against him; even his dear old organ, which he had loved so much, had helped to make him more miserable.
The doctor had looked into the attic again according to his promise, but he said there was nothing to be done for Treffy; it was only a question of time, no medicine could save his life. It was a very terrible thing for old Treffy thus to be slipping away, each day the chain of his life becoming looser and looser, and he drawing nearer each day to—he knew not what. Treffy and Christie were counting anxiously the days to Sunday, when they would hear about the second verse of the hymn. Perhaps after all there might be some hope, some way into the bright city, some entrance into "Home, sweet Home," through which even old Treffy's sin-stained soul might pass.
And at last Sunday came. It was a wet, rainy night, the wind was high and stormy, and the little congregation in the mission-room was smaller than usual. But there was an earnest purpose in the faces of many who came, and the clergyman, as he looked round at the little company when he gave out his text, felt that many of them had not come from mere curiosity, but from an honest desire to hear the Word of God.
And he lifted up his heart in very earnest prayer, that to many in that room the Word which he was about to speak might be a lasting blessing. The mission-room was very still when the minister gave out his text. Little Christie's eyes were fixed intently on him, and he listened eagerly for every word. The clergyman first reminded them of his last Sunday's sermon, of the bright golden city where they all longed to be. He reminded them of the first verse of the hymn:—. And then he asked very gently and tenderly, "Is there any one in this room who has come here to-night longing to know of some way in which he, a sinner, can enter the city?
Is there such an one here? One sin is enough to shut us out of heaven, but we have sinned not only once, but hundreds of thousands of times; our souls are covered with sin stains. But there is one thing, and only one, by which the soul can be made white and clear and pure. A detective novel not only can be, but usually is, written without any overt reference to God or theology. Such references appear throughout her work, without being overstated or didactic. The independent existence of Evil is frequently asserted. Writing of the final Miss Marple novel, Nemesis , A.
Miss Marple is named Nemesis. Close Login.
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Web Exclusives First Thoughts. Intellectual Retreats Erasmus Lectures. Video Podcasts. If you never face despair, you will never have faced, or become, a Christian, or known a Christian life. But you must also know, as he did, what it means to be alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, to feel that all your friends have forsaken you, that those you love and trust have turned away from you, and that God Himself has forsaken you. Hold on then to the belief that that is not the end. If you love, you will suffer, and if you do not love, you do not know the meaning of a Christian life. Perhaps Christie did know the meaning of true religion after all.
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