God's Good Man (Chapter 1, page 1 of 21)


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Chapter 1

It was May-time in England.

The last breath of a long winter had blown its final farewell across the hills,--the last frost had melted from the broad, low-lying fields, relaxing its iron grip from the clods of rich, red-brown earth which, now, soft and broken, were sprouting thick with the young corn's tender green. It had been a hard, inclement season. Many a time, since February onward, had the too-eagerly pushing buds of trees and shrubs been nipped by cruel cold,--many a biting east wind had withered the first pale green leaves of the lilac and the hawthorn,--and the stormy caprices of a chill northern. Spring had played havoc with all the dainty woodland blossoms that should, according to the ancient 'Shepherd's Calendar' have been flowering fully with the daffodils and primroses. But during the closing days of April a sudden grateful warmth had set in,--Nature, the divine goddess, seemed to awaken from long slumber and stretch out her arms with a happy smile,--and when May morning dawned on the world, it came as a vision of glory, robed in clear sunshine and girdled with bluest skies. Birds broke into enraptured song,--young almond and apple boughs quivered almost visibly every moment into pink and white bloom,--cowslips and bluebells raised their heads from mossy corners in the grass, and expressed their innocent thoughts in sweetest odour--and in and through all things the glorious thrill, the mysterious joy of renewed life, hope and love pulsated from the Creator to His responsive creation.

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