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sometimes seems scarcely long enough for all the pleasant occupations that lie around me. God has blessed me in every way."
“But sickness is a great trial, surely.”
“Yes, my dear, perhaps it is in itself; but it may be made in God's hand subservient to our highest joy. You know the Psalmist said, 'Thou hast put gladness in my heart more than in the time that their corn, and wine, and oil increased.' Happiness must be in the heart, in its very innermost chamber, to be worthy the name at all; and then outward things will have small power to affect it.”
“And well do I know this happiness is yours, dear Miss Marsh,” said Helen, with a look of affection.
“Yes, my dear, I thank God it is. 'I know that my Redeemer liveth. I know that my sins are pardoned. I know that in the great day to which we are all hastening, I shall be clothed in that beautiful robe of righteousness which Christ has wrought for
me; and therefore should I not be happy, and spend the short remnant of my days in songs of thanksgiving ?” Miss Marsh was silent for a few minutes, then she resumed: “I re. member being very much struck, some years ago, with a remark which I met with in the life of that great and good man, Robert Hall. Have you ever read the book, Helen ?”
“Yes," said Helen, “I have.”
“ Then perhaps you remember the passage I would refer to. You know his life was passed in continual pain and suffering, and yet his joyous spirit seemed capable of rising above it all. But just reach me the book down from that shelf, my dear. I should like to read it to you.” .
Helen did so, and, after a short search, Miss Marsh read the following passage :
“He carried about with him an internal apparatus of torture, accompanied frequently by a sensation described by himself as a living dissolution. Yet such was the peculiar structure of his mind, doubtless fortified and pre. pared for patient endurance by an energy imparted from above, that though his appointment by day and by night was incessant pain, yet high enjoyment was notwithstanding the law of his existence.” *
“What a beautiful passage !” said Effie; -“but how wonderful it still seems to me! Does it seem so to you, Helen ?”
“Not exactly wonderful, but very glorious and very enviable. I feel like one gazing at Mont Blanc from the very bottom of the valley below."
“ Think where I must be, then,” said Effie, “almost at the earth's centre! Oh, Miss Marsh, I shall never reach this.”
“Begin to mount, my dear, and you know not what height you may reach in time. Learn to regard your soul as a thing apart—a thing immeasurably superior to the paltry interests, and pleasures, and pains which attach to its earthly companion. You may not be called upon for such a high exercise of faith as this;
* "Life of Robert Hall,” by Olinthus Gregory.
but see that you are carefully improving whatever opportunities the providence of God is laying before you. Take up your duties one by one as they open upon you, and you will find in them the best preparation for the more arduous ones that may lie beyond. And you must remember, too, my dear, that we feel differently at different periods of our lives. You are young now, and life looks very brilliant to you. When you are as old as I am, you will relinquish what you now value without a pang."
“Now that is just what I am afraid I never shall do,” said Effie; "that is just what makes me fear I shall have a joyless old age. What can make amends for that spirit of enjoyment which comes to me now at all times, I know not why or wherefore, and which of course I must lose as I grow older ?”
“Do not be afraid, my dear; leave all that in the hands of One who has said, “Even to hoar hairs will I carry you.' Do you remember those beautiful lines of the poet which
speak of his experience ? and truly I can say they speak of mine :
That time is past,
The sun was sinking low on the horizon when the cousins rose to take leave. The afternoon had been one of great enjoyment to them both, but it had left upon their minds an impression of solemnity which, to Effie at least, was a new sensation. The still beauty of the evening accorded well with the tranquil