"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Isaiah 1:18


ONE Sabbath afternoon, a big boy stood

at the door of a Sabbath School. He was

so bad that he had been turned out of

school the Sabbath before. His father and

mother had brought him, and begged that

be might be received again. The Superintendent

said, "We should be glad to do him good, but

we are afraid he will ruin all the other

children. It is very bad for a school when

a big boy sets a wicked example."

"We know he is a bad boy at school,

sir," said the parents, "but he is ten times

worse at home; he will be lost if you do

not take him back."

"We would take him back if we could

secure his good behavior. I will see," said

the Superintendent.

So he stepped back into the school, and

rang the bell for silence. All listened while

he said, "That boy wants to come into the

school again, but we cannot take him back

without making sure of his good behavior.

Will any one be surety for him?"

A pause followed: the elder boys shook

their heads. They said they knew him so

well. The others did not care for him.

But one little boy pitied the big bad boy,

and was very sorry that no one would be

surety. The little boy went by the name of

"Ragged Tom." It was not his fault that

he was ragged, for his mother was very

poor. The Superintendent soon heard his

little voice saying,

"If you please, sir, I will, sir."

"You, Tom! A little boy like you! Do

you know what it means to be surety, Tom?"

"Yes, sir, if you please; it means that

when he is bad again, I'm to be punished

for him."

"And are you willing to be punished for

that big boy?"

"Yes, sir, if he's bad again."

"Then come in," said the Superintendent,

looking to the door; and the big boy, with

down-cast face, walked across the room.

He was thinking as he walked, "I know

I'm a bad boy, but I'm not so bad as that.

I'll never let that little fellow be punished

for me never!" I think God had put that

thought into the big boy's mind. He was

graciously helping Tom's work as the surety.

As the children were leaving the school,

the Superintendent saw this big boy and

little Tom walking and talking together.

He said to himself, "I am afraid that boy

will do Tom harm. I must go and look

after them."

When he reached the cottage where Tom

lived, he said to the mother, "Where is

your son Tom?"

"O, he is just gone up stairs with a great

boy that he brought with him. I don't

know what they are doing."

"May I go up?''

"O yes, sir."

The Superintendent went slowly and gently

up the stairs; and as he reached the top

he could see through the door that Tom and

the big boy were kneeling together. He

soon heard Tom's voice saying,

"O Lord, make this boy, that has been

the worst boy in school, O Lord, make him

the best boy."

The Superintendent kneeled by Tom's

side, and they all prayed together.

God heard them. The big bad boy became

one of the best boys in the school.

God raised up friends for "Ragged Tom,"

who put him to school, and after that sent

him to a missionary college. He is now a

missionary, and is preaching to the Africans

about Jesus, who became the surety for



 "MOTHER," said a little girl who had

just come in from the new-fallen snow, " the

snow is such a pure, pure white, that I could

not help saying in my heart again and again

that little verse, “Wash me, and I shall be

whiter than the snow.'"

That is a sweet prayer, and one which

we should all use.