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The Eleventh Commandment
by [?]

“Is there a good fire in the little spare room Jane?” said Mr. Wade, a plain country farmer, coming into the kitchen where his good wife was busy preparing for supper.

“Oh, yes, I’ve made the room as comfortable as can be,” replied Mrs. Wade; “but I wish you would take up a good armful of wood now, so that we wont have to disturb Mr. N–, by going into the room after he gets here.”

“If he should come this evening,” remarked the husband. “But it is getting late, and I am afraid he won’t be here Before the morning.”

“Oh, I guess he will be along soon. I have felt all day as if he were coming.”

“They say he is a good man, and preaches most powerfully. Mr. Jones heard him preach in New York at the last conference, and tells me he never heard such a sermon as he gave them. It cut right and left, and his words went home to every heart like arrows of conviction.”

“I hope he will be here this evening,” remarked the wife as she put some cakes in the oven.

“And so do I.” remarked Mr. Wade, as he turned away, and went out to the wood pile for an armfull of wood for the expected minister’s room.

It was Saturday afternoon, and nearly sundown. Mr. N–, who was expected to arrive, and for whose comfort every preparation in their power to make, had been completed by the family at whose house he was to stay, was the new Presiding Elder of B–District, in the New Jersey Conference. Quarterly meeting was to be held on the next day, which was Sunday, when Mr. N–was to preach, and administer the ordinances of the church. Being his first visit to that part of the District, the preacher was known to but few, if any, of the members, and they all looked forward to his arrival with interest, and were prepared to welcome him with respect and affection.

The house of Mr. Wade was known as the ‘minister’s home.’ For years, in their movements through the circuit, the preachers, as they came round to this part in the field of their appointed labor, were welcomed by Brother and Sister Wade, and the little spare chamber made comfort. able for their reception. It was felt by these honest-hearted people, more a privilege than a duty, thus to share their temporal blessings with the men of God who ministered to them in holy things. They had their weaknesses, as we all have. One of their weaknesses consisted in a firm belief that they were deeply imbued with the genuine religion, and regarded things spiritual above all worldly considerations. They were kind, good people, certainly, but not as deeply read in the lore of their own hearts, not as familiar with the secret springs of their own actions, as all of us should desire to be. But this was hardly to be wondered at, seeing that their position in the church was rather elevated as compared with those around them, and they were the subjects of little distinguishing marks flattering to the natural man.

While Mr. Wade was splitting a log at the wood-pile, his thoughts on the new Presiding Elder, and his feelings warm with the anticipated pleasure of meeting and entertaining him, a man of common appearance approached along the road, and when he came to where the farmer was, stood still and looked at him until he had finished cutting the log, and was preparing to lift the cleft pieces in his arms.

“Rather a cold day this,” said the man.

“Yes, rather,” returned Mr. Wade, a little indifferently, and in a voice meant to repulse the stranger, whose appearance did not impress him very favorably.

“How far is it to D–?” inquired the man.

“Three miles,” replied Mr. Wade, who having filled his arms with wood, was beginning to move off towards the house.