The Father Knew Best
Dr. Arnot, one of the greatest Scotch divines, was in this country before he died. His mother died when he was a little boy only three weeks old, and there was a large family of Arnots. I suppose they missed the tenderness and love of the mother. They got the impression that their father was very stern and rigid, and that he had a great many laws and rules.
One rule was, that the children should never climb trees. When the neighbors found out that the Arnot children could not climb trees, they began to tell them about the wonderful things they could see from the tops of the trees. Well, tell a boy of twelve years that he mustn't climb a tree, and he will get up that tree some way. And so the Arnot children were all the time teasing their father to let them climb the tree: but the old sire said:
One day he was busy reading his paper, and the boys said:
"Father is reading his paper. Let's slip down into the lot and climb a tree."
One of the little fellows stood on the top of the fence to see that father did not catch them. When his brother got up on the first branch, he said:
"What do you see?"
"Why! I don't see anything."
"Then go higher; you haven't got high enough."
So up he went higher, and again the little boy asked:
"Well, what do you see now?"
"I don't see anything."
"You aren't high enough; go higher."
And the little fellow went up as high as he could go, but he slipped, and down he came, and broke his leg. Willie said he tried to get him into the house, but he couldn't do it. He had to tell his father all about it. He said he was scared nearly out of his wits. He thought his father would be very angry. But his father just threw aside the paper, and started for the lot. When he got there, he picked the boy up in his arms, and brought him up to the house. Then he sent for the doctor. And Willie said he got a new view of that father. He found out the reason why that father was so stern. He said the moment that boy got hurt, no mother could have been more loving and gentle.
My dear friends, there is not one commandment that has been given us which has not been for our highest and best interest. There isn't a commandment that hasn't come from the loving heart of God, and what He wants is to have us give up that which is going to mar our happiness in this life, and in the life to come.