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... Sermon On Mud

... Sermon On Mud image
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In a long prayer at a Wednesday evening meeting a lady addressed the Almighty, offering, as we are prono to do, various criticisms. Among the counts in her indictment was one npon which she arraigned Providenoe with great severity. It was that he saw fit to inflict npon the community so much mud. Her words ran something like this: "No matter how much I may clean, my house is continually tracked with mud; my porches are kept in a filthy condition my carpetsare filled with dust that spoils them and I can't keep my house neat. It's nothing but mud, mud, mud!" When she had finished several other of the good ladies present gave voice to fervent "Amens!" But before the meeting was dismissed the pastor rose and remarked: "1 cannot close this meetins: without sayiiig that God is not responsible for the mud. If there were no men there would be no mud, and there need be none even now that there are men. In Portland, Ore., whers it rains sis months in the year, there is no mud, for the simple reason that the men who live there know enough to use the intelligence God has given them in building good roads." That pastor was right. It is man and not God that makes the mud. The sooner the women whose houses are kept in a filthy condition and whose backs always ache f rom constant but f utile efforts to keep those honses üdy, realize this fact the sooner will the remedy be apptied. If the wives, instead of asking the Lord at the Wednesday night prayer meetings to dry up the mud, would hold a little meeting in the family sitting room every night, and preach a short sermón to their husbanda on the necessities of road improvement and the evils of mud, resulta would soon begin to appear. The Lord helps thoae who help themselyes! Mud "grinded in" the carpets does more to wear those carpets out than the patter of a dozen generations of tiny feet. And it wears out the patdence and health of the housewife quicker than it does the carpets. She may sweep and brash and scrub until she sweeps holes in the carpets, scrubs the paint off the floors, and alas! sweeps and brushes and scrubs the bloom off her cheeks, the brightness out of her eyes and the happiness out of her heart, but she will never get that mud out of the carpet until she puts a shovel into her husband's hands and makes liim go and use it on the roads, and by intelligent work strike at the root of the evil by making them ao hard and smooth that they won't genérate the mud in the first place. Nor is the house the only place where mud engulf s the happiness of the farmer's wife. She is as mnch interested in i ts abolishment f rom the roads as she is in ite exile from the parlor, and woulc be, even if the two were not connectec by an endless chain of footsteps. "For four months in the year a woman living in the country might as well be lockec in a prison with her family, so far as seeing new faces or having any socia intercourse is concerned," said one. Anc it is true. Who is the jailer? Mud What woman, after a trying day's work at the countless things which keep the country housewife busy, would not be glad for an opportunity to drive to a neighbor's or to an entertainment in the nearest village. It would certainly be a welcome relaxation and a beneficial varia fcion of the grinding monotony of lif e in a farm house kitchen. But what woman would not ratherdo without the relaxation and allow the monotony to go unbroken than to f eel that when she asked her husband to gratif y her wish she was asking him to undertake a really formidable task. To "harness up" and drive for a mile or two on a pleasant spring evening over clean, hard roads would be a pleasure to both husband and wife. But when the roads are so muddy that the jaded horses can barely pull the wagon along; when with every step the horses take their hoofs go 6plash into a river of mud and send blotches of it flying over everything in the vicinity, including the people they are drawing with so much difiiculty, and when a drive of a few miles means an hoor or two on the road instead of a few minutes, then the expeSence is robbed of its pleasure. The chances are that by the time the farmer and his wife have arrived at their destination they will be exasperated with the roads, with themselves and with life. The versation with host and hostess will be half hearted. When the time comes to return home, and the farmer thinks of the half hour or hour he will have to spend rubbing the dirt off his horses bef ore he can go to bed, and the wife, more tired than cheered by the visit, thinks of her life in a sea of mud, it ís more than probable that they who really love and honor each other will not try very hard to keep back the UI natnred words suggested by their general depres0ion. Mud is a great promoter of family jan. But if instead of quarreüng with each other because the roads were-maddy, the farmer and his wife would logically look tnto the situation, they woold soon see the real state of affaire. They would see that if the money and labor expended on the roads to make them mnddy were intelligently applied, with the object in view of making them dry, the object eould be very easily accomplished and the quarrels avoided. And they would See that not only would the quarrels be avoided, but that the farmer would be able to haul more produce to market with fewer horses and lees wear and tear on wagons and harnees; that the farm could be better worked with fewer men, and that it would therefore increase rapidly in valué; that social evening calis and trips to the nearby village or city would be easy and pleasurable, instead of hard and tiresorne. In short, they would see that good roads would change the whole complexion of life in the rural districts, and change it decidedly and undoubtedly for the better. And they would see, moreover, that the Portland preacher was right when he Raid that fhn T.nrt ia nnt rftmonfiiblfi for the mudl