LESSON 67 No pay, No work
"Little boy, will you help an old man up the hill with his load?"
These words were spoken by an old gray -- headed man, who was drawing a hand -- cart with a bag of corn in it.
"I can't; I am in a hurry," said Hanson, the boy addressed,
who was hurrying to get to the schoolyard, that he might play with the boys before school began.
The old man sat down on a stone at the foot of the hill, to rest himself and gather strength for the ascent.
He gazed after Hanson, and sighed as he thought of the days of his youth, now far back in the past.
A tear was beginning to gather in his eye,
when another little boy, John Wilson, came up to him and said, "Shall I help you up the hill with your load?"
The old man brushed his eyes with the cuff of his coat, and replied, "I shall be very glad to have your help."
He then arose, and taking the tongue of his cart, pulled with all his strength, while John pushed behind.
When they reached the top of the hill, John discovered a rent in the bag on the under side, from which the corn was dropping out;
and, putting forth all his strength, he turned the bag, so that there might be no further loss of corn.
"I am much obliged to you," said the old man, as John set out upon a run for the school -- house; "and may the Lord reward you."
But John was out of hearing before the last words were spoken.
When John reached the school -- house, he was about ten minutes too late; for which he received a mark.
This was a very unusual thing for him, as he was remarkable for being punctual.
If he had told the master what had detained him, he would have been excused; but he thought it would look a little like boasting to do so.
So he took the mark without saying a word.
When the school was out, Hanson said to John, "For what did you get a mark?"
"Because I was too late," said John.
"I know that; but why were you not in time? I saw you at the foot of the hill, only a little way behind me.
I suppose you stopped to help old Stevenson up the hill with his grist? He tried to stop me; but I don't work for nothing."
"Nor I either."
"Oh! you got a mark from the school -- master. Do you call that pay for your work?"
"You don't know what else I got."
"Did you get anything else?"
"I did not do it expecting to get anything for it."
"Why did you do it, then?"
"Because I thought I ought to help the poor old man."
"If you have a mind to be such a fool as to work for nothing, you may. No pay, no work, is my rule."
To be kind and useful is my rule, John might have said with truth; but he did not say so.
Nor did John really work for nothing when he performed acts of kindness.
In the first place, he had the approval of his conscience; which was worth something.
In the second place, he had the pleasure of doing good; which was also worth something.
In the third place, he had the gratitude and love of many; also worth something.
And lastly, and best of all, he had the approval of God,
who has promised that even a cup of cold water given to a disciple shall not lose its reward.