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It was clear to those who saw Sarah in her last affliction, that the Eternal God was her refuge, and underneath her were his everlasting arms. She bended to the storm-saying, "It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good."
The occupation of Sarah's father, called him very much from home; she therefore, almost as long as she could hold a pen in her hand, frequently wrote to him. Her letters were strictly spiritual, and of a very pleasing character. Sentences like the following are found therein. "Let us make our salvation the chief business of life; let us take care to please God in all things, yielding to him constant obedience, and then all will be right. My chief wish, concerning us as a family, is that we may so live on earth that we may all meet in heaven; and should I go first, I hope to have the pleasure of receiving you one by one, until all are brought home. With regard to myself I can say, notwithstanding the pain I feel, 'close by the gates of death and hell, I will urge my way to heaven.'
Her sufferings were very severe; but her confidence was unshaken.. Being asked on one occasion the state of her mind, she said, "This is hard work, but I find His grace sufficient for me."
"The rocking storm could not her hopes remove,
Found on the truth, whose Author's name is love."
The day on which she died, her mother read to her one of the Psalms, when she said, "O how beautiful that is!" Just before her departure, more than ordinary sweetness was seen resting on her countenance. This led her mother to ask, “ Sarah, what art thou smiling at?" She answered, “O, because Jesus is so near!" Those were about her last words. Her happy spirit, washed in the blood of Christ, and refined for everlasting glory by the rays emanating from the Sun of Righteousness, is now basking in those rays unclouded, and shall do so long as eternal ages roll. She died on the 6th of August, 1851, in the 23rd year of her age. May all who teach, and all who are taught in Sabbathschools, so live, that they may, after their days are ended on earth, dwell where she now is.
"Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in."
Her death was improved to a crowded congregation by Mr. J. Johnson.
THE INFIDEL AND DYING CHILD. EUSTON HASTINGS, the father, was an infidel. The child's disease was scarlet fever. Ten days and night of ever-deepening gloom had passed, and, in the silent night, having insisted that Evelyn, who had herself shown symptoms of illness through the day, should retire to bed, Euston Hastings sat alone, watching with a tightening heart the disturbed sleep of the little Eve. It was near midnight when that troubled sleep was broken. The child turned from side to side uneasily, and looked somewhat wildly around her.
"What is the matter with my darling?" asked Euston Hastings, in tones of melting tenderness.
"Where's mamma? Eve wants mamma to say, 'Our Father.'"
Euston Hastings had often contemplated the beautiful picture of his child kneeling with clasped hands beside her mother to lisp her evening prayer, or, since her illness forbade her rising from her bed, of Evelyn kneeling beside it, taking those clasped hands in hers, and listening to Eve's softly murmured words. Well he knew, therefore, what was meant by Eve's simple phrase, to say, "Our Father."
"Mamma is asleep," he said; "when she wakes I will ask her."
"No, no, papa, Eve asleep then."
"I will call her at once, then, darling," and he would have moved, but the little hand was laid on his to arrest him. "No, don't wake poor mamma; papa say, 'Our Father,' for Eve."
"Will Eve say it to papa? Speak then, my darling," he added, finding that, though the hands were clasped and the sweet eyes devoutly closed, Eve remained silent.
"No; Eve too sick, papa; Eve can't talk so much. Papa kneel down, and say, 'Our Father,' like mamma did last night; won't you, papa?"
Euston Hastings could not resist that pleading voice; and, kneeling, he laid his hand over the clasped ones of his child, and, for the first time since he had murmured it with childish earnestness in his mother's ear, his lips gave utterance to those hallowed words of prayer. At such an hour, under such circumstances, it could not be uttered carelessly, and Euston Hastings understood its solemn import, its recognition of God's sovereignty, its surrender of all things to him. He understood it, we say; but he trembled at it. His infidelity was annihilated; but he believed as the irreconciled believe, and his heart almost stood still with fear while "Thy will be done on earth, even as it is done in heaven," fell slowly from his lips.
Soothed by his compliance, Eve became still, and seemed to sleep, but only for a few minutes. Suddenly, in a louder voice than had been heard in that room for days, she exclaimed, "Papa, papa, see there! up there, papa!" Her own eyes were fixed upward, on the ceiling, as it seemed to Euston Hastings, for to him nothing else was visible, while a smile of joy played on her lips, and her arms were stretched upward as to some celestial visitant.
"Eve coming!" she cried again; "take Eve! "
"Will Eve leave papa? cried Euston Hastings, while unconsciously he passed his arm over her, as if dreading that she would really be borne from him.
With eyes still fixed upward, and expending her last strength in an effort to rise from the bed, Eve murmured in broken accents, "Papa come too, mamma, grandpa, little brother, dear papa!"
The last word could have been distinguished only by the intensely listening ear of love. It ended in a sigh; and Euston Hastings felt, even while he still clasped her cherub form, and gazed upon her sweetly smiling face, that his Eve had indeed left him for ever.
And yet not for ever. He straightway sought the Lord, and has now followed her to glory.-From the “Christian Treasury."
KIND HEARTS UNDER COARSE JACKETS.
EARLY one morning, the snow was falling fast in the streets of Edinburgh. The wind blew loud and cold, driving down the drift into the kitchen areas, and through the crevices of broken doors and shattered windows. A haggard-looking mother was shivering in the streets, picking out of the snow the cinders and chips of coal, with which she intended to prepare her baby's breakfast; for she had spent her last sixpence, the previous evening, in the blazing tap-room of the low whiskey-shop. The streets, from side to side, were covered with ice, from the snow which the sun had melted on the previous day. Many of the boys hastening to the high-school, had been obliged to take a hasty breakfast, almost scalding their tongues with the hot porridge; for they had said so often, "Plenty of time yet," when snuggling in the warm sheets, that they had scarcely their faces washed when the bell was ringing. And what was worse, as they had left no time to revise the morning lessons, their hearts were beating frightfully, expecting a practical explanation of the first declension by finding themselves at the bottom of the class.
But the bed of the ragged scholar was less inviting; he was in no danger of holding a morning's parley with the cozy sheets. Right glad was he when the old blanket staid at home, in which he wrapped himself on his straw bed; and when awakening in the morning, he found the shoes that he had given him lying where he left them; as they too were in danger of finding their way to the pawn shop, especially when father and mother got tipsy. The wind awoke him that morning long before daylight, as it whistled and howled along the dingy wynd, or court. He could not fall asleep again, for his feet were icy cold, his limbs stiff, and crouch together as he might, he could not get them warmed. He began to feel how true it is, that—
"Sleep on her downy pinions
Flies from woes, and lights on lids
What was he to do? He could not light a fire, for there was
neither coals nor cinders in the room; and his father and mother had taken their clothes and spread them on their own bed, so it was in vain to look about for something more to cover him. As he lay and listened to the wintry winds, whirling and rattling among the shattered slates, and making the old doors and windows creak, as if determined to pull them down, his heart beat with hopeful gladness when he heard the hollow tones of the Tron church clock chiming away its weary hours. But another chill came over him when the old bell stopped short at four. "What, is it only four o'clock yet? O, I wish it was eight. Another five hours to school-time!" But the clock would not speak again until another sixty minutes had passed.
Hour after hour passed away-eight o'clock came at last, and found John standing at the end of the wynd, waiting for his school-fellows. On getting up, he found that, sure enough, his shoes had gone, and how to get along the icy pavement on his bare feet he scarcely knew, but at last he thought of the comfortable school-room, and a plate of warm porridge and milk, would compensate for all, and soon make him forget the morning's misery. After a little time, a number of his mates were standing around him, wondering why he was so soon astir; but when they saw his poor naked feet and ankles, shivering in the snow, their hearts were melted to pity. They could not bear to see him limping along with knitted brows, and hear his sigh when his feet was pierced by the broken ice. But what could they do? no one had got a pair of shoes to lend him-and even if they had, the old clock was going faster now, and there was no time to return. "Let us carry him," said a noble little fellow. "Yes," said another, "shoulder high;" and in a minute John is placed upon their shoulders and borne triumphantly through the snow, and the shouts and cheers of his ragged and kind-hearted school-fellows! People stopped in the streets to look at the little company, and prayed that the God of the needy might bless them, when they saw their hearts leap with gladness-happy in their deed of mercy.
Dear reader! strive to learn four lessons from the noble conduct of these ragged boys: