Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

him for baptism. But on a certain day, a person came to John to be baptised, but John hesitated, not because he was unfit, but because John felt himself unworthy to baptise him. The bystanders were doubtless not a little surprised, to hear the Baptist say, “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?” strange words, and uttered in a tone of deep reverence.

Who can this be? What is His dignity ? and above all, what is the purity of His zeal ? Again they listen, and hear His reply to John, but their surprise is increased, rather than diminished, “Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” “And John suffered Him." The baptised one went out of the Jordan, and something was seen descending from heaven, and as it came nearer, it resembled a dove, and it lighted upon Him. What can it mean? What can it be the symbol of ? are questions, no sooner asked, than a voice, so solemn and full of majesty, that all who hear it, know it to be the voice of

“This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” “Is not this the Christ ?”

Apply this question to His temptution in the wilderness. Who is this person alone, in so solitary a place ? No, not quite alone, for although not visible to human sight, there is some one with Him, with whom He is engaged in fierce conflict. Having fasted forty days, and forty nights, He is hungry, His invisible tempter tells him to command the stones of the wilderness to be made bread. But the tempted one resists. He is now led into the city, and set on a pinnacle of the temple, and is tempted to cast Himself down, that angels may bear him up in their hands. But He is still unmoved. And now as a last resort, the tempter taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, saying “all these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” But the tempted one does not yield. Who is this, to withstand for so long a time even forty days, so powerful an enemy, one who found it much easier to tempt large numbers of angels, to rebel against their Maker, and who in a much briefer

God, says,

[ocr errors]

space, succeeded in seducing from their allegiance to God our first parents ? He who withstood him, by whom both angels and men fell, is the Christ.

(To be concluded in our next.)

FANNY AND AMY.

In a great city, not many years ago, in a pleasant house facing one of the Parks, lived two little girls, named Fanny and Amy. They had another sister, but she was a great deal older; and they had several brothers, but the two little girls were the youngest of the house, the pets of brothers and sister. These sisters, Fanny and Amy, did not resemble each other in appearance. Fanny, who was pine years old, had eyes blue as the sky; her cheeks were as round and rosy as the sunny side of a peach ; her hair curled around her face and neck, and in the sunlight it looked like gold, so rich and beautiful was its colour. She was a joyous, happy-looking child, quick in all her movements, intending to do right, but alas! often forgetting, and thus grieving the hearts of those who loved her, Amy, precious, holy Amy! had neither Fanny's blue eyes, nor golden hair, nor rosy cheeks. She was exceedingly beautiful; but it was a beauty not of earth, though she was very fair to look

upon. Her features were regular,--her eyes, large, dreamy, hazel, gazelle-like in their softness. No colour : ever varied the marble whiteness of her cheek and brow. I She was a child of God, and it was almost as if He had impressed His own signet upon her countenance, making it lovely as the face of an angel. Fanny was the picture of health,-- Amy was delicate and slender; and friends, as they gazed upon her sweet face, and her temples, where the blue veins looked through the transparent skin, felt in their inmost hearts she would not long be spared to them.

In the summer of Amy’s seventh year, it was thought best for her to pass a few months with an aunt in a distant and beautiful country town. So with many tears, and

[ocr errors]

kisses, and loving words the two sisters were parted. Amy had never before been on a steamboat, and the novelty of all around her soon caused her to forget the sorrow of separation. She could not understand what made the boat go, nor why every object she looked upon on the shore or river, seemed to pass away from her. Her papa watched her troubled face for some time without speaking; at length he said, “What is it? What troubles my Amy?" " Why, papa," said she, “I want to look at the pretty houses and gardens, and they move away before I see them; what makes them do so ?” Then her papa kindly

; explained to her that the houses did not move, but the motion of the boat made it appear as if they did. She could not comprehend it, but looking up into his face with sweet simplicity, she said, " That is one of God's wonders that mamma tells me about. I will understand it some of these days, when I am a big lady; won't I, papa ? Her father kissed her with a sad smile, for he thought,“Of such is the kingdom of heaven;" and he felt in his inmost heart that his precious child was only lent to him for a short season. Wearied with the unusual excitement, she fell asleep, and it was not until the carriage stopped at the door of the white house among the trees where she was to pass the summer, that she awoke, to find herself among comparative strangers.

And now it was a beautiful sight to see this lovely child not only winning her way to the hearts of relations, but gaining the love of all who witnessed the daily exemplification of the pare, lovely, and teachable spirit which dwelt within her. For two months she grew in health and beauty, both of body and spirit, till, returning one afternoon from school, she complained of soreness of the throat. As she had often before had slight attacks, friends were not alarmed, and applied the usual remedies, but without avail. Soon it was evident that the unfavourable symptoms were increasing. The physician was called, who pronounced her disease “hoarse canker.” Her distress was very great, yet no murmur nor impatient word escaped her lips; but when her parched tongue and lips prevented

a

her rendering audible thanks for the attention of the loved i ones around her, her countenance said more than language

could express.

Her disease increasing in violence, her mother was sent for, who immediately obeyed the summons. Oh, the joy that shone in Amy's sweet face as she leaned her head on that loved breast, and with difficulty whispered, “Dear mamma, I'm so glad you've come !" But all a mother's love and watchfulness, and tenderness, and prayers, and tears could not save her darling child. Her Saviour knew it was best that she should come and dwell with him in heaven.

Two weeks had passed since Amy had been to school, and the blessed Sabbath came in its beauty. The window by the side of her bed was opened, and she inhaled the fragrance of the sweet-briar trained around the casement. There seemed to be a music to her ear in the ringing and I tolling of the bells, and she repeated again and again, “Those Sabbath bells; those Sabbath bells !” The family went to church, leaving Amy and her mother together. Supposing her to be sleeping, Mrs. W. moved quietly from her bedside, but Amy called, “ Don't go, dear mamma, I want you to read in the Bible for me." " And what shall I read to you, my child ?" asked her mother. With great promptness she replied, “Read about Joseph and his brethren, and how the Lord took care of him when he had nobody to love him.” Mrs. W. turned to the Book of Genesis, and read the history of Joseph, to which Amy listened with great interest, till a violent attack of coughing so exhausted her it was feared she would not live through the day. She slept with little intermission till about midnight, when the loving watchers saw a change pass over her, and they knew the end was drawing near, and that in a little while she would be an angel in heaven. Arousing herself from the torpor, she lifted her head from her mother's bosom, where it had been pillowed, and said, “ Please all go out of the room but mamma; I cannot breathe with so many.” And then they saw the shadows of death were gathering around her. In a few moments she said, “ Mam

sence.

ma, I'm very cold ; my feet are like ice, and my hands are so cold.” Her mother gathered her in her arms, and with an almost breaking heart replied, “ It is death, my beloved child. Are you afraid to die, my Amy? Do you feel sorry to leave this beautiful world, and your dear papa ? and what will Fanny do?” With an expression of holy faith and trust, the dying child answered, “No, mamma, I'm not afraid to die. I'm not sorry to die. I'm going to heaven, where the blessed God will be my Father, and the holy angels my companions.” The Angel of the covenant did not forsake her. He went with her even to the

very gate of heaven. The vale of death was illumined by his pre

All was bright in the anticipations of this holy child. For a while she dozed, but suddenly starting, with a clear, distinct utterance she said, “It is all dark now. I cannot see you, mamma.” Again she slumbered, only to arouse again, and with startling earnestness say, “ Mamma, tell Fanny-tell Fanny-to be a good girl—to love the blessed Saviour-and come and live with me-in heaven. Oh, mamma, tell Fanny-tell Fan ”-the loved name unfinished was the last upon her lips.

Precious, lovely, holy Amy! The pet lamb of the earthly flock, was gathered into the fold of the heavenly Shepherd

" To that beautiful place He has gone to prepare

For all who are washed and forgiven;
And many dear children are gathering there,

For of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

LETTER TO THE EDITOR. DEAR SIR, —Permit me through the medium of “The Juvenile Companion,” to ask the children of our Sundayschools, generally, whether the suggestion which was thrown out in the February number, for the raising of a thousand pounds for the Missionary Fund, has, in any way met with their approval ? If it has, I for one should be most happy to know how far their efforts have been

« AnteriorContinuar »