New Free Read: For This

Do you remember John Remington? He was the young minister who was the main character in Isabella’s novels Aunt Hannah and Martha and John (1890) and John Remington, Martyr (1892).

In 1893 Isabella wrote a short story in which John made another appearance. Titled “For This,” the story centers around a certain mite-box.

Churches used mite-boxes to encourage people to give offerings. They were named for the “widow’s mite” mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 21:

And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.

And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

And He said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all;

For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God; but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
(Luke 21:1-4)

Typically, a church distributed mite-boxes on a Sunday to all church goers, including children. Each person was asked to fill their boxes with coins for a specified period of time (such as six months) before the church called for their collection.

Mite-boxes made of paper—like the one featured in the story—could be decorated with the name of the person or family who filled it, or with words or images that had meaning to the church’s cause.

That, in a nutshell, is how mite-boxes were typically managed in the Presbyterian Church; but leave it to Isabella to find a new use for a mite-box in her story!

You can read “For This” for free. Just click here to visit Then, choose whether you want to read the story on your computer, phone, iPad, Kindle, or other electronic device.

Or choose the “My Computer” option to print the story as a PDF document to read and share with friends.

7 thoughts on “New Free Read: For This

  1. Thank you so much for this sweet story!!! I think that is one of Pansy’s very best short stories ever!!
    Thank you for doing this blog! I alway enjoy reading the new posts…I usually mean to comment and never get around to it, but I read the the posts and enjoy so much learning more about Isabella, her books and the time period when she wrote them! Thank you for the time you invest in researching and writing these!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Ruthann. It’s always interesting to put Isabella’s stories into the context of events of her lifetime. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! —Jenny

  2. Well. this was a GEM!!!! Oh, my, I was brought to tears several times during this sweet story. I’ve always loved John and Mrs. Remington but this one is so precious. I had to put down my head and weep a bit each time they mentioned the twin brother and how tender the whole family was towards him. One of her best! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. I agree, Karen, this story is a real find. I love Isabella’s theme of sacrifice throughout the story; when I think of everything the family gave up, first to try to save their son, then the kindness they showed a total stranger, it made me take a hard look at myself! —Jenny

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