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coming from Mary's chamber. She rose-prepared to leave her room—and then listened. All was still; but in a few minutes she recognized her papa's returning footsteps. She met him on the landing, and found he had been preparing something for his suffering patient. “You had better not come now, my dear,” he said: “nurse and Kemp are both up, and giving me every assistance; lie down for the present.”
“O no, papa, I must come,” replied Caroline ; " and if there is immediate danger, I must fulfil my promise to Janet, or she will never be happy again. Is Mary dying ?”.
" She is passing through a severe struggle. You must not agitate her.”
“Only let me come, papa. I will command myself, and charge poor Janet to do so too.” Caroline entered with Dr. Wilmot, and found the object of her care laboring for breath : the mind apparently unconscious, through her bodily suffering. Having however raised her head, and by degrees administered the medicine, she had at length the comfort of seeing a look of intense affection fixed upon herself, accompanied by a smile of holy peace. But it was not until after one or two relapses, that any power of speech returned ; she then said with difficulty,
“Dear Carry,- I am going-Janet?”.
“I will fetch her, dearest,” replied Caroline. And having tenderly wiped the cold dew from her forehead, she resigned her to nurse for a few minutes, and left the room.
With a gentle kiss the kind girl awoke her little cousin : and having prepared, and endeavored to fortify her mind for the closing scene, they both returned together.
Mary motioned for Janet to come close to her, and for Caroline to sit on the bed, and support her as before. Then looking affectionately at her uncle and the servants, she seemed to compose herself with entire satisfaction.
A solemn silence followed, broken only by their soothing words of kindness, or some comforting text, which Caroline whispered to her, till Mary's own voice said, "The twenty-third Psalm.”
Neither Caroline nor Janet felt able to read, but Dr. Wilmot, with no small emotion, complied.
“ Thank you,” said the dying girl. “O my dear uncle, seek the good part, it shall never be taken away. Dear Caroline! and Janet, dear Janet! do not weep; we shall soon meet again. Nurse, I thank and love you for all your kindness.” She then lay for some time, apparently in quiet meditation. About half an hour after, she turned her eye to Caroline, saying," Toplady's hymns, dear!"
Her cousin had been so accustomed to read to her, that she easily understood her meaning. “The Dying Believer to his soul, love?" she enquired.
Mary nodded; and her uncle again fulfilled her desire. He had proceeded with that beautiful, soul-elevating poem, as far as the lines,
“ Angels, joyful to attend,
Hovering round thy pillow bend ;
And escort thee, quick to heaven” when Mary suddenly exclaimed," It is come !"—her head sunk on Caroline's shoulder, and they almost thought she was gone: but as Dr. Wilmot placed his finger on her pulse, she again opened her eyes, and smiled on him.--"In a few minutes, my dear child,” he said, “ your happy spirit will have joined the heavenly hallelujahs.”
With a tranquil smile, though not without much difficulty, Mary repeated the lines,
“ And Jesus and salvation be
The close of every song.” These were her last words ; the fluttering breath became shorter and shorter; she attempted to fetch one sigh ; and the spirit fled.
The two weeping girls seemed rivetted in the position they had taken ; Caroline still supporting the lifeless head, and occasionally kissing those cold lips; while Janet, kneeling by the bed-side, bathed the stiffening hand with her tears. But theirs was not the frantic grief of unsubdued hearts. When Dr. Wilmot endeavored gently to disengage them, and represented that it was absolutely necessary to resign the beloved form to other hands, they took one long embrace, and then obeyed him, though the effort caused a burst of sorrow beyond what they had yet experienced: nevertheless, they strove to say, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
From that night, notwithstanding the difference of age, Caroline and Janet loved each other with more than sister's love.
Immediately on the receipt of Dr. Wilmot's letter, Theodore had set out for England, and was proceeding without delay to Henley, when the affecting tidings of Mary's death turned his course to Summerdale ; for she had begged to be interred in the same vault with her revered parent; and Janet, in compliance with her own earnest request, was to accompany her uncle, and remain a longer or shorter time, as might prove best. Theodore arrived at home in time to receive the dear remains.
Such was the consistent life, and such the happy death, of Mary Macpherson. A chaste and simple tablet was placed beneath that of her father, inscribed with a verse chosen by Janet, and a text of her own selection.
• When we devote our youth to God,
'Tis pleasing in His eyes ;
Is no vain sacrifice.” “BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED, THROUGH FAITH, AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD."
S. S. S.
Demand successive songs of praise. The parents of Amelia Rushton had been accustomed to notice the different birthdays of their children in such a manner as might leave some profitable result. In doing this, they did not resort to dancing nor feasting: they endeavoured to impress on their children's minds, a sense of the mercy of God in preserving them from year to year, the privileges they enjoyed, the obligations under which God had laid them, and their gradual advance towards eternity. In addition to which, they gave them the following questions for their contemplation, to assist them in the important duty of self-examination.
1. What progress have I made during the past year in the several branches of education to which my attention has been directed, in ancient and modern history, geography, music, and other things?
2. What has been my success in my endeavour to cultivate a good disposition? Have I watched against pride, passion, envy, evil speaking; and have I studied meekness, gentleness, forbearance, diligence? Have I endeavored to render to all their due; honor to my parents, submission to my teachers, affection to my relatives, civility and kindness to all ?
3. Am I aware that time is gradually passing away, and that I am, consequently, every year, nearer the consummation of my existence? Have I attended seriously and constantly to the state of my soul, so as to consider its salvation as the paramount object of my daily regard ? Have I fled to Jesus for salvation as my only hope, and am I prepared to die, so as to be always ready, whenever the Lord shall call me from this world to another?
The day was ushered in with the usual salutations ; “ I wish you, dear Amelia, many happy returns of your birthday.” Mr. and Mrs. Rushton affectionately kissed their daughter, while the former said, very emphatically, “ May you increase in wisdom, as you increase in age and stature; and in favor with God and man.” “ Amen!” added Mrs. Rushton. “The Lord bless you, my child and keep you from evil; seek him diligently, and remember, that His favor is life, and his loving kindness is better than life.”
The family sat down to breakfast; reading and prayer followed; Amelia was remembered in her father's petition, who prayed earnestly, that, like Mary, she might possess that good part which should never be taken from her, and like Deborah, become eminent as “a mother in Isræl.”
The children thronged around tier, to present some token of their affection. George gave her a tablet, and a silver pencil case, which, he said, would be useful in writing down the heads of the sermon. Robert gave her a hundred of Gillott's steel pens, and a beautiful silver pen holder. Her eldest sister presented her with a handsomely bound copy of Cowper's Poems, and little Jane put a new silver thimble upon her finger. From her father she received a neat edition of Horne on the Psalms, and from her mother, Robinson's Scripture Characters.
After thanking them in turn, she carried her presents to her room, and kneeling down, fervently implored the Divine blessing
upon her parents, and dear relatives, and on herself, that she might fulfil all the wishes of her parents, and that her future life might be spent in works of usefulness. Rising from her knees, she opened her writing desk, and in her memorandum book wrote the following
BIRTHDAY REFLECTIONS. July 23, 1840. This day I have attained my sixteenth year, and I may truly and thankfully say, that “goodness and mercy have followed me all my life.” A large portion of my youthful days are gone-gone for ever ; mingled with years beyond the flood! What motives have I for gratitude! Blessed with serious parents, I have been trained up in the ways of God, and initiated in the principles of the gospel. Their example has illustrated and confirmed their instructions, and I see in them, what every christian ought to be, and what I earnestly pray, I may eventually prove. That the Lord has, I trust, called me by his grace, and made me a new creature, is a display of mercy, for which, to utter his praise, even eternity will be too short. In reviewing my progress in the various parts of my education, I wish I could say, I had done what I could, and all that I could; but I see myself a mere child in knowledge, when I consider its profound depths, and the amazing stores that are opened to my view. Yet would I be thankful for the little stock that I possess, determined to use my best efforts to increase it.
I would be walking with the wise,
That I may wiser grow. I find myself exceedingly deficient in spiritual grace, and lament that I so often display a proud, haughty conduct, and a passionate temper. Still, I trust, I hate these things, and endeavour to watch against them. My heart condemns me when I feel the risings of envy, and I grieve whenever I have indulged in the habit of evil speaking, convinced, that while I am condemning the faults and failings of others, I am, alas! too guilty of the things I censure. May I hereafter be more circumspect, always keeping in view the conduct and example of my Lord and Saviour, having my conversation in heaven, and looking for his
I would not be regardless of the rapid departure of time. The . return of this day reminds me how speedily, and yet how silently,