An Object Lesson

It was in the early evening of an autumn day when an occupant of a railway coach looked out into the western sky upon a wondrous glowing star somewhat above the horizon. Thought became absorbed in contemplating the beauty, purity, and hope symbolized by this bright messenger of comfort,—for it was a sorrowful circumstance which had made the journey necessary.

While she was thus engaged the lights inside the coach were turned on, and attention was drawn to other things. Special notice was claimed by the perfect reproduction of the interior of the coach, which appeared in the glass in such a way that it seemed to be just outside the car window. In comparing this reflection with its original, and otherwise studying it, the star was for the time forgotten. On looking for it, however, it was found to have become more luminous because of the increasing darkness. Attention was now divided between the star and the outdoor picture of the interior of the coach, which by this time had come to seem as real and solid as the inside; then the train began to swerve in such a way as to bring the picture, or reflection, between the observer and the star. An exclamation of regret was about to escape the beholder, when, lo! right through the apparently solid reproduction appeared the star. There was a sense of glad surprise as the beautiful significance of this object lesson dawned on the thought; likewise, a feeling of gratitude for the lesson, which not only furnished comfort for that hour, but has continued to unfold new and higher meanings to the traveler through all the various stages of progress in life's journey.

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