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Mary was thoughtful and reserved. She was remarkable for her punctuality and decision.
Among the many instances which occurred in proof of her firmness and perseverance, the following may be mentioned.
Means of no trifling nature were resorted to, to induce her to leave her school, and attend one that was larger, and some would say, more respectable. But in this trial she said—“If we are poor, that is not a crime, and if we are faulty, it is my duty to try to improve and to remove faults.” It was a cause of sorrow to her to see others led away at the same time from the school to attend the one referred to.
At another time, one of her companious was thought to he worldly and careless about spiritual things. She endeavoured to do her companion good, by right means, and now, thanks be to God, through her instrumentality, not only her companion, but the whole of the family belonging to her friend are now members of the Church, and their conduct now is worthy of imitation.
During the winter previous to Mary's death, revival services were held at the Chapel at Middleton. At that time she caught a severe cold.
This it is supposed laid the foundation of her disease which ended in her death.
About the beginning of January 1853, her strength began rapidly to decline. Her parents also were afflicted at the time. This was a great trial to them all. At that period she was frequently visited by the teachers and the members of the Church, who, by their prayers and liberality, aided and comforted the family in distress. Mary trusted in God. In these afflictions she remembered, that her heavenly Father took no delight in afflicting his children, that all was intended for their good. To the fervent petition of her friends, who came to see her, she joined her own, and she frequently expressed her thankfulness to her friends, and her hope and confidence in God.
Two days previous to her departure to her inheritance above, she had several of her Sunday School friends with
her. She looked upon them, though so near her end, with a countenance beaming with delight.
The day before she died, she sang with confidence, looking up to heaven,
“ There is my house and portion fair,
And my abiding home.” On the morning following, April 19,)-1853, her father said to her—“Mary, you cannot remain much longer with us are you happy ?” With a radiant smile she said she was, and then without a sigh or groan, she took her flight to the better world, to dwell in the bosom of her God for
When her funeral sermon was preached, many tears were shed.
OUR INQUIRY OFFICE. To the EDITOR, -Sir
Will you kindly insert the following questions in the “Juvenile Companion and Sunday School Hive,” should you deem them worthy, and oblige Yours, respectfully,
W. 1. What evidence have we that we are fulfilling the Divine command respecting the observance of the Sabbath, and what reasons can be given for the change from the seventh to the first day?
2. What is the idea that St. Paul had in view, in Hebrews xii. 1, 2, and to what circumstances does he refer?
3. What proof have we that God is the hearer and answerer of prayer ?
4. Will any of your young readers furnish a few proofs of the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Answers to the above must be concise ; long articles would occupy more space than we can spare.-Ed.
THE LAD AT THE COAL-SHED.
At one time of my life. I was superintendent of a Sabbath-school, in the neighbourhood of London. It was situated in the midst of a poor district, through which there was no leading thoroughfare. Our school house stood at the further end of a large quadrangle, on either side of which were the dwellings of many of our scholars. I am living many miles away from the spot now, yet I can distinctly see the vacant space between the houses, with my children at play there, and I can clearly hear their merry shouts.
On Sabbath mornings, when on the way to the scene of my labours, I had to pass a house, one half of which was used as a greengrocer's shop, with fruit and sweet things for children in the window, while the other half was an open coal-shed. In this latter place a number of women would nearly always be congregated, buying and laughing, with rude and boisterous talk. I never could bear that shop. I felt sure that it was a sad temptation to my poor children. And I think I never heard any of them repeat the fourth commandment without recollecting the coalshed.
When I reached our quadrangle, I generally met coming out of it a lad who wheeled a barrow, having a number of empty coal sacks thrown across it. He worked at that
From his appearance, I should judge that he was about sixteen years of age. He would give me a cheerful, and somewhat sancy look. And, as I have no doubt my countenance expressed the feelings of my l.eart towards him, I must have returned it with a look of rebuke and pity. His whole deportment was full of life and good humour. He whistled with spirit, and ma aged his barrow with a jaunty air. Although his face was covered with smut, yet I could see that his features were regular, and that the glow of youth was on his counte
His eyes were fine and intelligent. I touk an interest in the lad. I am sure I prayed for him nearly
every time we met. But I am grieved and ashamed to acknowledge that I never spoke to him ; and although I had tracts in my pocket, yet I never offered him one. I cannot imagine how I could be so neglectful. I feel that this was a great sin, which I have many times confessed before God, and I humbly hope that he has forgiven it. But surely I shall never forgive myself.
In the autumn of 1851, I went out of town to recruit my health. One morning, having received my London letters, I put them into my pocket, intending to read them during my walk. And following a path which led under an old gateway into a nobleman's park, I walked up
and down perusing them under the shade of some oaks. They were chiefly from my poor children. For it was at the time of the Great Exhibition, and they had been taken in two omnibuses to see it. You may easily imagine what lively and extravagant descriptions these notes would contain. Having finished them, I opened a letter from the schoolmistress, and was immediately struck with the difference of its character. So great and sudden was the change, that it seemed to me like stepping at once out of dazzling sunlight, into a dense forest. But I soon solved the mystery of this change. One short sentence explained it immediately. “ William Martin,” said she,"is dying.” Now William Martin was the lad with the wheelbarrow.
On my return to town, I found that Martin was dead and buried. “I shall never feel that I did my duty by that lad," said the mistress to me, with many tears. It seems, that one day while she was busy in school with the children, a strange woman stepped in.
“ Come and pray with a dying lad," said she. The mistress had no very favourable opinion of her visitor, and could not make out who the boy was, and so she neglected to go. But on the following morning a little boy entered, and exclaimed with much earnestness, " William Martin is dying, and he begs that you will come and pray with him.” The mistress immediately went up stairs, and putting on her bonnet and shawl, set out for his house. When she reached it,
she was immediately shown into his room. It was a comfortless-looking apartment; and on a bed, but scantily covered with clothes, lay the now pale and dying youth. Over a chair-back, (hard by, were hung the clothes which he had worn when in health. As she went in, he looked at her with solemnity and affection ; and sitting down on
“Well, Martin, why have you sent for me ?"
I believe that I shall go to hell.” “ How so ?” “ Because I have been such a wicked boy." Yes, Martin, I must tell you the truth ; you have been
wicked boy." He fixed his eyes steadily upon her.
“ You have constantly broken God's holy day, although you knew better, Martin.”
“I have, I have ; and I had been taught better at the River-lane school.”
The River-lane school, which he had attended nearly three years before, was about two miles off.
“ You often mocked me, Martin, when I warned you to leave off
ways." Shutting his eyes, “ Yes, yes !"
And you have set your little brother a sad example. You can't tell how much harm you may have done him.”
"I own to it all. It is all true. I have been a very wicked boy. I am a great sinner. Oh, that God would have mercy on my soul! Will you pray with me ?”
All this was said with intense earnestness and grief.
The mistress took off her bonnet, and knelt down by his bedside to pray with him, while he put his now thin hands together, and lifted up his large, eloquent eyes to heaven. When she began to pray, he repeated after her the petitions which she offered. But when she came to ask that his sins might be forgiven, the words she employed were not strong enough to express his feelings. So he backed them by his own earnest entreaties. You may