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Three Hundred A Year
by [?]


“HOW much salary do they offer?” asked Mrs. Carroll of her husband, who was sitting near her with a letter in his hand. He had just communicated the fact that a Parish was tendered him in the Village of Y–, distant a little over a hundred and fifty miles.

“The money is your first thought, Edith,” said Mr. Carroll, half chidingly, yet with an affectionate smile.

This remark caused a slight flush to pass over the face of Mrs. Carroll. She replied, glancing, as she did so, towards a bed on which lay three children.

“Is it wrong to think of the little ones whom God has given to us?”

“Oh, no! But we must believe that God who calls us to labor in his vineyard, will feed both us and our children.”

“How are we to know that HE calls us, Edward?” inquired Mrs. Carroll.

“I hold the evidence in my hand. This letter from the vestry of Y–Parish contains the call.”

“It may be only the call of man.”

“Edith!–Edith!–Your faith is weak; weak almost as the expiring flame.”

“What do they say in that letter? Will you read it to me.”

“Oh, yes.” And Mr. Carroll read–

“REV. AND DEAR SIR:–Our Parish has been for some months without a minister. On the recommendation of Bishop–, we have been led to make you an offer of the vacant place. The members of the church, generally, are in moderate circumstances, and we cannot, therefore, offer anything more than a moderate living. There is a neat little parsonage, to which is attached a small garden, for the use of the minister. The salary is three hundred dollars. You will find the people kind and intelligent, and likewise prepossessed in your favor. The Bishop has spoken of you warmly. We should like to hear from you as early as convenient.

“Very affectionately, etc. etc.”

“Three hundred dollars!” said Mrs. Carroll in a disappointed tone.

“And the parsonage,” added Mr. Carroll, quickly.

“Equivalent to sixty or seventy more.”

“Equivalent to a hundred dollars more, at least.”

“We are doing much better here, Edward.”

“True! But are we to look to worldly advantage alone?”

“We have a duty to discharge to our children, which, it seems to me, comes before all other duties.”

“God will take care of these tender lambs, Edith, do not fear. He has called me to preach his everlasting Gospel, and I have heard and answered. Now He points to the field of labor, and shall I hold back because the wages seem small? I have not so learned my duty. Though lions stood in the way, I would walk in it with a fearless heart. Be not afraid. The salvation of souls is a precious work, and they who are called to the labor will not lack for bread.”

“But Edward,” said the wife, in a serious voice, “will it be right for us to enter any path of life blindfold, as it were? God has given us reason for a guide; and should we not be governed by its plain dictate?”

“We must walk by faith, Edith, and not by sight,” replied Mr. Carroll, in a tone that indicated some small measure of impatience.

“A true faith, dear husband!” said Mrs. Carroll tenderly, while a slight suffusion appeared about her eyes.

“A true faith is ever enlightened and guided by reason. When reason plainly points the way, faith bids us walk on with unfaltering steps.”

“And does not reason now point the way?” asked Mr. Carroll.”

“I think not. From our school we receive nearly seven hundred dollars; and we have not found that sum too large for our support. I know that I work very hard, and that I find it as much as I can do to keep all things comfortable.”

“But remember that we have rent to pay.”

“I know. Still a little over five hundred dollars remain. And the present offer is only three hundred. Edward, we cannot live upon this sum. Think of our three children. And my health, you know, is not good. I am not so strong as I was, and cannot go through as much.”