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When Emmeline returned, she thought that her little girl looked pale and thin, and remarked to Mrs. St. Leger that she was troubled with a cough.
“It is,” returned that lady, “merely the effect of a cold, caught in returning in the rain from a walk, a few Sundays since, as Mademoiselle tells me ; for I have been absent from home; but now you are come back, we shall hear no more of it. The child is a little low-spirited thing, and as Mademoiselle says, seemed hardly alive during the whole of the vacation : how you can bear with her, Miss Loveday, is an enigma to all of us; but we expect the mother home in a few months. We have had letters with the account, that the precious son and heir is dead : hence I suppose, that some new plan will be hit upon for the daughter, now a very great heiress.
“Alas! my little one !" thought Emmeline, "you are to be abandoned to the tender mercies of these people. What may not be your trials, my gentle one!". Nor were these mere empty words. For some time past, the work of grace had been going forward in the heart of that young lady: and ere long, it became evident to all persons of spiritual discernment that, through the divine favor, she had been admitted into another state of being. She lived no longer a life of sense and flesh: but there was within her a well of living waters springing up to everlasting life. She had spent the holidays in retirement and quiet, and such seasons, are not less healthful to the new born babe in Christ, than they are essential to the tender infant in the flesh. During that interval, her constant perusal of the scriptures had been abundantly blessed, and her heavenly Father had added light and strength to the faith already implanted in her soul, and to such a degree, as to make it plain, even to herself, that the Lord the Spirit is swift and powerful, dividing truth from error, as the sword of double edge separates the flesh from the bones.
But the same Omnipotent Parent had ordained for her a trial which needed all that strength and more, unless it had been renewed from on high, from hour to hour; though immediately on her return to the school she put forth every faculty and every resource she could command, for the solace and refreshment of the little child who was bound up in her heart, yet all her cares proved of none avail. Little did she, or even the more experiencd about her, apprehend that the cough of which they made so light, was in fact the indication of a pectoral disorder, which soon made itself apparent in all the symptoms of rapid decline-so rapid indeed, that when the alarm was taken, there was scarcely time to communicate with Mr. Watson and the nurse before the child became a pale, cold corpse.
It was between the crisis of the first alarm, and that of the arrival of Mr. Watson and the poor old nurse, both of whom, the little one was most anxious to see once again, that such communications passed between the dying child and her friend, as filled the latter with holy amazement, under the assurance, that to those to whom the Saviour had manifested himself in his loveliness, in the present life, death is nothing more than the two-leaved gate, opening from a wilderness on a garden of delights ; revealing more and more, as the fitful valves expand, of those glories which eye has never seen in health and active life. In these, she was enabled also to perceive, that in the near prospect of death, one object only throughout all space-amid all things that man has known, has felt, has loved, has ever possessed-one only is precious; and that in the assurance of being loved by that one, that only one, the dying child reposes in more than peace, a consciousness of blessedness, almost, if not quite incompatible, with the continuation of the functions of natural life.
Nor was Emmeline the only individual amongst the persons who were in attendance on the child, who was astonished at the aspect of that little one, though it is not known, whether any
of the others fully comprehended its cause, though they were witness to her frequent exclamations of thanksgiving and joy, and to the sweetness, the tenderness, the affection with which she addressed all who presented themselves before her.
Suffice it to say, that this little child was enabled to convey the pure and sparkling Rill of Living Waters in its uncontaminated, unmingled purity, to that one sweet friend appointed to bear it onward through “new fields, and pastures new."
It was Emmeline that closed the eyes of Barbara, and gave her the last kiss, and as she raised herself from these acts, she said in a low voice of deep feeling, “The Redeemer was, and is, and shall be, her All in All-Oh! may he be mine also.
M. M. S. (To be continued)
THE THREE WORDS.
My eldest girl had been paying a visit of a week or ten days in the neighbouring town, and as I was going to bring her home, I proposed to avail myself of that opportunity to call on Major Goode, who resided in the same direction. As we passed a showy-looking house in the outskirts, with a pair of globes staring out of the first floor window, and a harp in dishabille up stairs, my child said to me
Papa, what is the meaning of Seminary?' Wishing to give such an answer as would elicit farther enquiry, 1 replied, “A seminary is a sowing-place.”
“Oh, then, that's where they teach young ladies to sew?” said she with a roguish and enquiring smile.
“No, no," I answered : “you know what I mean very well; a seminary is, or ought to be, a place where they sow seeds in the minds of young people-where they give them information and ideas, and teach them to think out and practise what they learn."
Here our conversation dropped for the time; but I could not help thinking, as I walked onwards, upon the subject, and especially with reference to the analogy between instruction in the moral, and sowing in the natural, world.
We live in an age when our agriculturists are just awaking to a right estimate of their position—when they are submitting their plans to the test of experiment, and advancing towards the realization of that great truth, that they must reap what they sow, and as they sow. Ten or twenty years since, had you asked a country farmer what quantity of seed went to an acre, he would have answered contemptuously, “Why, in course, the more the better; the more seed you put in, the more you'll get out- that stands to reason. But in the present day things are wonderfully altered. So far from its being clear that the crop always bears a proportion to the seed, it has been fully demonstrated in a variety of instances, that where three bushels of corn have been sown upon one acre of land, the crop has been far less than where half of that quantity only had been used, the seed itself, the soil, carried to excess, is equally disadvantageous, and that the safe course in this, as in all matters is the Via Media.
and all other circumstances being the same, On the other hand, it has been proved that thin sowing, if
Why here, I thought, as I got deeper into my subject, are my wife's “ Three Words” in natural and intimate connectionSeed, Soil, and Season! For I made no doubt I had hit upon them at last, and smiled in anticipation of the conquest I was to declare on reaching home. The seed must be good, the soil must be good, and the seasons must be good. Well. “The seed is ! the Word”-yes; God's truth is the good seed—there can be no doubt of that. The Soil! We know very well from the parable of the sower what this should be—"an honest and good heart." And then, as for the Season—"a word spoken in season, how good it is."
"There then,” said I, congratulating myself on the discovery, " there then is the solution of my wife's problem.” But reasoning farther on the parable I have referred to, I felt a little puzzled. Why, thought I, the matter is not quite cleared up now.
The good seed cast into good ground was not in every case alike productive. It brought forth “some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold"-prospering in some instances thrice as well as others. And yet here, Seed, Soil, and Seasons, were alike good. I must still wait a little farther experience, before I speak too confidently of my discovery.
The incidents of that very morning furnished a key to the difficulty; but as they must not be here anticipated, let me proceed with
narrative. A long and rather weary walk, for the weather was fatiguing, brought us to the domicile of Major Goode. It could boast of little comeliness certa¡nly, as regarded its outward appearance, which was that of an unsightly square block of brick and mortar, recessed with blank windows on the side fronting the road, but having only one opening in that part of the building that really served for the admission of light and air. This was in the upper story, in the extreme corner, giving to the whole structure a most one-eyed and whimsical appearance. The shreds and nails that had formerly held an old pear tree to the wall, were still visible in many places, but the major had removed the tree, for he either was, or fancied himself, very nervous ; and the twittering of the sparrows that held their revels there on dull afternoons
and doubtful mornings disturbed him. A high brick wall shut in the garden ; but if you could have looked over it, you might have seen on that side of the house two ranges of windows which would have had a pleasant aspect had the garden been laid out with taste. In this high wall was a close green gate, having a small square opening about breast-high, through which the tradespeople of the major were accustomed to pass the daily supplies of the household-free trade, even in bread and butcher's meat, being altogether repugnant to the notions of the inmates.
These inmates, by the way, were but two--the major himself, and Mrs. Griffin his housekeeper, a querulous old lady of about sixty-five. Major Goode had for many years past retired from active service, and had been a widower about as long. His only son had been killed in India; one of his daughters had married, and was settled in the same country, and his third child had died young.
Before coming to our neighbourhood he had resided principally in the vicinity of London, where amongst those who held similar religious views, he was well thought of. Measured by the standards of the Bible or the Church of England, these views were certainly not orthodox, although had any one told him so, the major would have returned the compliment with interest, as he looked upon himself and the clique to which he belonged as constituting undoubtedly those very men described by Job, on whose removal Wisdom would die out. Born of religious parents, he received what they conceived to be a religious education, but their narrow views of Christianity led them to eschew every book but the Bible. Everything else with them was “carnal knowledge”-useless, and worse than useless, in their esteem, inasmuch as they feared it would lead them away from the simplicity of the gospel, instead of letting in upon the pages of Inspiration, the light of literature and science. Now, although it cannot be disputed that to an enlarged, enquiring, and intelligent mind, disposed to use, as not abusing them, the intellectual talents which God has given him, there can be no better or more complete guide than the Bible, the case is very different with those of narrow or one-sided capacities, who, because they cannot reconcile apparently conflicting statements in the word of Truth, take up with one set of doctrines only, and leave the others