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her apparently dying father, 1 Tim. i. 15, and other passages.
“I am too ill to attend to you, child." A sigh escaped from the child as she sat down by the bed-side, apparently in prayerful thoughtfulness. I moved forward 80 as to engage her attention. She looked up, blushed, immediately rose, and said,
"I'll call my mother, sir.”
Taking a chair at the side of the bed, I spoke to the poor fellow, who, though evidently better, was still suffering very much. He seemed surprised at the sound of my voice, and turned himself to gaze at me, but the bandages which enveloped his head prevented him from discerning my features. I replied to this movement by saying,
" You do not know me, but I called last night, soon after your accident, and felt anxious to see you again."
do Thank you, sir,” he said. “I am very bad, and don't know how it will go with me, but it was well I was not killed ; I am afraid I shall lose my eyes. It would have been a sad thing for them poor things if I had been taken.”
"And how would it have been with you," I asked, “if you had been called so suddenly into the presence of God? You know, I hope, that there is no salvation for the soul, save as we repent of sin, and look to Jesus Christ, the sinner's friend ?”
The countenance of the man again expressed surprise, and, as if speaking to himself, he said
“ It is he: it is his voice."
“Yes,” I replied, “ that is my name; but you are a stranger to me, as I am almost a stranger in this neighbourhood."
" I thought I knew your voice," he said " as soon as I heard it, and your words just now brought back to my mind when I last saw you."
My interest in him was now increased, and I asked with some curiosity, “When and where was that?" “Do you remember, sir, teaching a class of boys in
chapel, in London, many years ago ?”
“Yes, very well,” I replied, “ but it is certainly many years ago, for I was then quite a young man."
“Well, sir, and don't you remember a dark-haired boy of the name of William, who used to give you a good deal of trouble, and whom you used to teach in the week at your own house sometimes ?”
“I do very well remember him," I said ; " and is it possible that you are that same lad? I often inade inquiry after him, but never learned more than that the family had gone away; and had long since forgotten the sur. name, though I remember the boy William."
“I am the same lad, sir, lying here now; and very glad I jam to see you again."
With this he stretched out bis hand to welcome me. Exhausted with the excitement and the conversation, he fell back on the bed, whilst I, deeply interested in this unexpected recognition of my long-forgotten scholar, retired from the bed room to the little room below. Mrs. Penley and two or three of the children had come into the room during our conversation. In a few minutes she followed me. We talked together a little upon the singularity of this meeting, and I learned from her that thoy had been married about fourteen years, and that they had lived in the neighbourhood of their present dwelling nearly the whole of the time. Penley was a sober and steady man, had constant work, except during the strike. He was a good husband, and kind to the children, but she added, with tears in her eyes,
“He doesn't give his mind to better things, and that grieves me very much."
One evening -(the writer is speaking of the same man, recovered from his accident, and of the family)---one evening early in the spring, I was visiting several families in the neighbourhood of lenley's house, and about half.past eight o'clock had my hand on the latch of Penley's door. The sound of some one reading made me pause before I entered. Through the side of the blind I could see Penley, his wife, and five children, seated round the table, each with a Bible, from which they were reading in turn, apparently from one of the gospels. I dared not interrupt them; and I stood while a verse or two of some hymn was sung, and then all knelt before! God, whilst the father presented the family prayer. Joy and gratitnde filled my heart; and, on entering the room after all was finished, I could not belp expressing the pleasure it gave me to see them so engaged, and to inquire if it was a usual practice with them.
Penley was a little confused as he replied, “ I endeavour, in my poor way, sir, to keep it up at nights when I am at home. But my words are very poor, sir. I wish you had stepped in a bit sooner.” “It is the heart, William," I replied, “ that God looks at; and if that be sincere he will not regard the poverty of the words we use. llowever, I shall be very happy to join you some evening when I am passing this way. Is this the usual time when you have it ?”
Rather later than usual, sir, we've been to-night, for the boys stopped out longer than they ought. We like to have it early, sir, because of the little one, for she is very fond of her book, and, with Susan's help, can spell out the words very well.–Family Scenes.
MORNING WITH THE CHILD. A MOTHER sat in tears by the bed-side of her youngest-born and best beloved. Six days had passed since the hand of fever was laid upon him, and, ever since, the life-fountains had been drying up under the fervent heat. Many times daily had she entered into her closet and bowed herself before the Father of Mercies, praying that the destroyer might pass by her dwelling. But prayers and tears availed not. Steadily the disease kept on its fatal course, and now scarcely a hope remained. Friends gathered around, offering words of consolation, but they were only as idle murmurs in her ears.
“ The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away--blessed be the name of the Lord," said the good pastor, who, only a year before, had lifted the
sweet boy in his arms,and, in the presence of angels,touched his pure forehead with the waters of baptism.
But the mother made no sign, She could not accept this affliction as a blessing-she could not offer up thanks. Her very life was bound up in the life of her child, and the thought of separation was so terrible, that no place for consolation was left in her grieving spirit.
"It is appointed unto man once to die,” added the minister, still seeking to penetrate the mother's heart, and pour in oil and wine ; we must all pass by this way-must all enter this valley-must all go down into the dark river. Ilow much better, then, to die in the morning of life, ere fierce sunbeams have drank the fragrant dews, or the green leaves have withered on the sapless branches.”
Still the mother made no sign.
"You will have a treasure in heaven; and where the treasure is, there will the heart be also."
But all availed not. The tears fell like rain.
Sadly, at length, the minister turned away, and left the weeping mother with her friends; for her ears were closed to all the words of consolation he could offer.
An hour later, and the mother still bent over the frail body of her little one. There was no hope in her heart, for she saw upon his wan face the signet mark of the death angel. One friend remained with her ; and, until now, this friend had offered no words of comfort. The grieving mother was bending over the pillow upon which the sick child lay, and gazing down upon the countenance she was soon to see no more, when she felt a hand laid gently upon her own, and with a touch that sent a new impulse throbbing through the heart.
" It is very dark here, sometimes,” said the friend, very softly, very tenderly, and with a meaning in her voice beyond that contained in the words she had uttered. The mother answered only by a returning pressure of the hand.
Even the light of this world is darkness when compared with the light of heaven. Here the best and most highly favored do little more than grope their way. There, every one walks in noon-day clearness.
She had gained the mother's ear. Her words had gone inward to the region of thought.
“I have passed through these deep waters, my friend," she continued, " and have heard their terrible roaring. I have held a dying babe in my arms, and clung to it with an agony of grief that seemed as if it would snap my very heart-strings. But, after the keenness of affliction was over, I had this consolation, and it has remained ever since. When the night with me was at the darkest, it was morning with my child. Yes, it was then that the morning broke on him which shall never go down in night. Blessed morning of celestial glory! Oh, how often and often since, when I have walked in darkness, have I thanked God, with a true heart, fervently, that it was morning with my child !”
The mother's tears ceased to fall, and she turned her wet eyes upon her friend, and looked into her face earnestly.
“ There is one question," said the friend, after a pause, “that every mother should ask herself. It is this— How do I love my child--selfishly or unselfishly? If unselfishly, then, whatever is best for the child, will give to her heart the deepest pleasure. I had a dream on the very night my precious one was taken away from me. I believe that it was imaged to my fancy while sleeping, by a loving angel sent to comfort me in my great affliction. There had always been something very fearful to me in the idea of dying here, and awakening to consciousness in a new and strangely different existence; and the thought followed my child. That dream was to me a revelation, and as such I accepted it thankfully. I saw, in my sleep, two scenes-the one contrasting with the other, as we sometimes see them in pictures. One scene represented the saddest of my life experiences. I saw, myself sitting in darkness and in tears, as you sit now, my friend and sister, bending over my precious babe, clinging to it as the miser clings to his gold—aye, and with an intenser passion But only a veil dropped down between that scene and another, which quickly enchained my vision, and caused my heart, heavy with grief, to throb with a new-born pleasure. An angel, in form like a chaste young virgin, was clasping to her bosom a babe, in all the ecstacy of a new-born joy. No mother, when she feels upon
her breast the first pressure of her first babe, ever felt more delight than I saw pictured in the face of the angel as she held my babe to her loving heart. Yes, my babe, just born into heaven, and given into her care by the Divine Father of us all.
“For a time I could not withdraw my eyes from the face of the angel. Never had I gazed upon a countenance so full of love; so radiant with celestial beauty. And the babe nestled on her bosom as lovingly as it had ever nestled on mine. From this scene, after gazing upon it until tears ran down my cheeks-tears of gratitude that it was so well with my babe-1 turned to look at the darker one-at the sorrowing earthly mother and the suffering child! Poor babe! Wasted with sickness and writhing with mortal pain. How yearningly and pityingly my heart went towards it, and I prayed for its deliverance ! even as the words went up from my heart, the darker scene faded until it became no longer visible; but the brighter one remained. When I awoke, and grief for my great loss revived in my heart, I recalled the precious dream, and took comfort. What if I did walk in darkness? It was morning-eternal morning, with my child !"
As the mother listened, to her mind was also pictured the two scenes. Her tears had ceased to flow, and her countenance showed a visible interest. A little while she sat musing, and then, as she turned her eyes, full of tenderness, upon her sick boy, said:
Oh, it is hard, very hard, to give him up! How can I do it? How can I resign him, even to the care of an angel ?”
The friend said no more. Her words had found a way into the heart of the sorrowing one, and she left them to do their own work.
A little later, and the hour of deepest darkness came—the hour of sepa : ration. Over the mother's spirit a pall of blackest gloom was spread. The words of her friend had faded from her memory. She saw not the beautiful beyond, but gazed only upon a dark, gloomy abyss, into which her
precious one was about falling, while she stood helpless by. Oh, what would she not then have given for light upon the future ! for an unsealed vision. Willingly would she have died, that she might go with her child along the unknown way, and shield him from its terrors. Over him she bent, seeing nothing, hearing nothing, caring for nothing, but her boy; while darker and closer the shadows gathered around her. It was nightdark, cold, moonless night, with the grieving mother.
For more than an hour the child had lain in a deep stupor ; but it was evident that life was ebbing away, and that the last agony would soon be over. For herself, the mother had almost ceased to grieve; every thought and every feeling were centered in her child, about passing alone through the gate of death-alone to meet the realities of the unseen world.
Suddenly a light fell upon the wan, suffering face---a smile played around the white lips—the eyes, long closed, and heavy with pain and fever, flew open, and, glancing upwards with a glad expression, the child said
“Good morning, mamma !"
“Good morning, love !” answered the startled mother, scarcely thinking of the words she uttered.
"Good morning !" repeated the child, still gazing upwards, with a new and heavenly beauty in its countenance. “Oh, it is morning now!"
Fixed was the glad look for several moments; then the fringing lids drooped slowly, until they lay softly upon the pure white cheeks. The closed lips parted; but the smiled remained. The hands, lifted for a moment in glad surprise, fell over the placid breast, and all was still, and holy, and beautiful.
"Yes, it is morning now," whispered the friend in the mother's ear, as she sat like one entranced, gazing upon the pulseless form before her, which, as if touched by an enchanter's wand, had suddenly changed from an image of suffering into one of tranquil beauty.
And it was morning with the child-a heavenly morning-and also with the mother; for a new light had dawned upon her, and a new faith in the hereafter. The dark valley was suddenly bridged with light, and she saw her precious one by angel guides led safely over.
“God careth for these jewels,” said the friend, a few hours afterwards. "They are precious in His sight: not one of them is lost. His love is tenderer even than a mother's love. We may trust them in His hands with unfaltering confidence. Yes, yes, grieving mother! it is indeed morning with your babe !"-Stops towards Heaven.
HOW DO WE SPEAK TO OUR CHILDREN ? Is it in a cold, formal, listless, manner? Or do they see at once, by the kindling of the eye, the earnestness of the tone, and the overflowing of the heart, that we mean all we say, and much more? Before another Sabbath some of them may have gone beyond our reach for ever: what memory of us will they take with them ? Should they perish, will any of their blood be found on the skirts of our garments ? If unfaithful, how shall we face each