LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 499
across the dark and wicked soul. He understood full well that it was God who was standing between him and his victim, and he blasphemed him. That submissive and silent man, whom taunts, nor threats, nor stripes, nor cruelties could disturb, roused a voice within him, such as of old his Master roused in the demoniac soul, saying, " What have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth ? — art thou come to torment us before the time ?'
Tom's whole soul overflowed with compassion and sympathy for the poor wretches by whom he was surrounded. To him it seemed as if his life sorrows were now over, and as if, out of that strange treasury of peace and joy, with which he had been endowed from above, he longed to pour out something for the relief of their woes. It is true, opportunities were scanty ; but, on the way to the fields, and back again, and during the hours of labor, chances fell in his way of extending a helping hand to the weary, the disheartened and discouraged. The poor, worn-down, brutalized creatures, at first, couldi scarce comprehend this ; but, when it was continued week after week, and month after month, it began to awaken long-silent chords in their benumbed hearts. Gradually and imperceptibly the strange, silent, patient man, who was ready to bear every one's burden, and sought help from none, — who stood aside for all, and came last, and took least, yet was fore-, most to share his little all with any who needed, — the man who, in cold nights, would give up his tattered blanket to add to the comfort of some woman who shivered with siclsness, and who filled the baskets of the weaker ones in the field, at the terrible risk of coming short in his own measure, — and who, though pursued with unrelenting cruelty by their common tyrant, never joined in uttering a word of reviling or cursing, — this man, at last, began to have a strange power over them ; and, when the more pressing season was past, and they were allowed again their Sundays for their own use, many would gather together to hear from him of Jesus. They would gladly