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So he felt the Master's presence drawing
closer all the while : Though the Master's face was hidden, yet he
knew it wore a smile.
Once he bent above a comrade fainting in the
mid-day heat, Sheltered him with woven palm-leaves, gave
him water, cool and sweet.
Then it seemed, for one swift moment, secret
radiance filled the place; Underneath the green palm-branches flashed
one look of Jesus' face.
Once again, a raftsman, slipping, plunged be
neath the stream and sank; Swiftly Felix leaped to rescue - caught him,
drew him toward the bank
Battling with the cruel river, using all his
strength to save Did he dream? or was there One beside him
walking on the wave ?
Now at last the work was ended; grove de
serted, quarry stilled, Felix journeyed to the city that his hands had
helped to build.
In the darkness of the temple, at the closing
hour of day, Once again he sought the altar, once again he
knelt to pray:
“Hear me, O Thou hidden Master; Thou hast
sent a word to me; It is written-Thy commandment. I have
kept it. Look and see.
" Thou hast bid me leave the visions of the
solitary life ; Bear my part in human labour; take my share
in human strife.
“ I have done Thy bidding, Master ; raised the
rock and felled the tree; Swung the axe and plied the hammer, working
every day for Thee.
“ Once it seemed I saw Thy presence through
the bending palm-leaves gleam; Once upon the flowing water - Nay, I know not
't was a dream !
“ This I know: Thou hast been near me : more
than this I dare not ask. Though I see Thee not, I love Thee. Let me
do Thy humblest task!”
Through the dimness of the temple slowly
dawned a mystic light; There the Master stood in glory, manifest to
Hands that bore the mark of labour, brow that
bore the print of care ; Hands of power, divinely tender; brow of light,
“Hearken, good and faithful servant, true dis
ciple, loyal friend! Thou hast followed Me and found Me; I will
keep thee to the end.
“ Well I know thy toil and trouble. Often
weary, fainting, worn, I have lived the life of labour, heavy burdens I
“Never in a prince's palace have I slept on
golden bed, Never in a hermit's cavern have I eaten un
“Born within a lowly stable, where the cattle
round Me stood, Trained a carpenter in Nazareth, I have toiled,
and found it good.
“They who tread the path of labour follow
where My feet have trod; They who work without complaining do the
holy will of God.
" Where the many toil together, there am I
among My own; Where the tired workman sleepeth, there am I
with him alone.
"I, the peace that passeth knowledge, dwell
amid the daily strife ; 1, the bread of heaven, am broken in the sacra
ment of life.
"Every task, however simple, sets the soul that
does it free; Every deed of love and mercy, done to man, is
done to Me.
“ Thou hast learned the peaceful secret; thou
hast come to Me for rest; With thy burden, in thy labour, thou art Felix,
" Nevermore thou needest seek Me; I am with
thee everywhere; Raise the stone, and thou shalt find Me ; cleave
the wood, and I am there."