Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

a

of all her sins. Thus she obtained the witness of the Holy Ghost to her adoption into the family of God, which enabled her joyfully to sing

"My God is recoriciled.” She immediately became a member of the church and met in class. She received her first ticket of membership in December, 1847, from the Rev. Mr. Mackenny; she loved the means of grace, but especially the class meeting ; and trifling matters never kept her from it. Thus she was a comfort, and not a grief to her class leader. She was steady and consistent in her walk and conversation, and therefore an ornament to the church. Being anxious to do good, she collected considerable sums for the Missionary cause, and was received as a teacher into the Sunday School; which honourable position she creditably occupied as long as her health permitted, and was beloved by her scholars. As a teacher she was much respected, punctual in her attendance, kind to her scholars, clear and Scriptural in her instructions ; she earnestly desired the conversion of her scholars, and there is good reason to expect that she will meet some of them in heaven. Her Christian experience was sound and Scriptural, clothed with humility, full of gratitude, and it was edifying and encouraging to others. Meekness and gentleness characterized her at home and abroad, and often did her widowed mother's heart dance for joy, that God had given her such a daughter, to be the principal means of her support, and comfort in this life. The enemies of religion were compelled to acknowledge the purity and consistency of her walk and conversation, and the reality, and divinity of that religion which she professed, enjoyed, and practised ;

“ The proofs of godly fear she gave,

And showed how the Christian lived." Being of a delicate constitution, she was occasionally obliged to leave her employment, to recruit her exhausted strength. In the spring of 1854, symptoms of pulmonary consumption made their appearance, which compelled her to leave her work, never to return. Upon this painful

event, she calmly said, I have come home for the last time, and I give myself up to the will of God.” The same spirit of patience and resignation was exhibited during the whole of her illness, her mind being “ kept in perfect peace, stayed on the Lord.” Our minister the Rev.J. Thompson, her leader, and

many other Christian friends often visited her, and they always found her calm and resigned, trusting in Christ, and looking for a glorious immortality. On being told of an afflicted person who desired life, she said, “Nothing on earth is very desirable, and I am only sorry to leave my widowed mother, but I commit her to the care of Almighty God, and hope she will meet me in heaven, with my other relations.” One who saw her on her deathbed, says, “Never did I see such fortitude, such a holy quiet triumph of faith, such familiarity with death, and such assurance of heaven ; she was enabled to say, 'O death, where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory!'” Thus waiting and watching, her Lord found her, and in his chariot of love and power, took her to himself. On the 24th of May, 1854, aged twenty years and seven months.

May all our Sunday School teachers and scholars follow her bright example, as she followed Christ, to an immortality of joy! The Rev. J. Thompson improved her death from Psalm ciii. 15, 16,

As for man his days are as grass, &c.". to a crowded and deeply affected congregation. Newton.

I. STEINTHORPE.

a

POOR LITTLE MAY'S PRAYER. LITTLE MAY sat by the round table in the kitchen, looking very serious and rather sad. She might well look sad, poor child, for a small piece of bread, and a little tea, or rather coloured water, drained for the second or third time from the teapot, was all that she had for her breakfast that morning : and there was still less in prospect, for the cupboard was quite empty, and so was her mother's

[ocr errors]

The rent,

pocket; there was not a single penny in it. Where the money was to come from, neither May nor her mother could tell, for May was too young to work for her living, and her mother could not get any work to do. too, must be paid that week, if possible, for the landlord declared he would not wait after that time; so that altogether there was much distress in that dwelling.

Little May's mother was a Christian woman; she endeavoured to put her trust in God, and to teach her child to do the same. But it was hard work to be patient and hopeful, when want was actually staring them in the face ; and the mother's heart sank within her as she looked, first at May, and then at their scanty breakfast. She did not care so much about herself, but she could not bear to see her little one without sufficient food to eat. She tried to speak cheerfully, to keep up May's spirits, and when she found it was impossible to do so, and that in spite of all her efforts she could not restrain her tears, she told May to put on her bonnet and run about out-of-doors; it was a pleasant morning, and the air would do her good. She felt that she could bear her trouble better alone.

So May went, like a dutiful child, although she would rather have stayed with her mother. Poor little May ! she went on and on for some time, wondering what would become of them, and wishing she could do something to help her mother. But at length the nice fresh air which swept over her pale face, and tinged it with a faint rosecolour, seemed to soothe and cheer her, and she felt less sad than when she set out. She began to gather the flowers which grew on each side of her path, and they were so fine, and smelt so sweet, that while plucking them, and forming them into a large nosegay, she almost, if not quite, forgot her dinnerless home.

But in seeking for flowers, May had not reflected how far she was going, and now she felt tired, for she had come a long way. There was a large log of wood lying beside a white gate close by, and she sat down on it to rest herself. This gate was the entrance to a long garden and shrubberies, which led to a handsome-looking house

a

[ocr errors]

but little May was so weary with her ramble, and so troubled with her sad thoughts, that she did not notice either the garden or the house. She sat for some time, the soft tears falling like rain-drops on her flowers, till the chirp, chirp, of some sparrows who were looking about for their lunch, and one of which had descended to pick up a crumb not far from May's feet, roused her, and made her lift up her head. She watched the bird as it flew off with its prize, and then she remembered a verse which she had learnt on the last Sabbath: “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not better than they?”—(Matt. vi. 26.) “Surely," said May, “if God feeds the sparrows, he can give us some bread. I will ask Him."

So May knelt down, and, in her own childish, simple language, asked help from her heavenly Father. She was always in the habit of praying aloud, and, feeling that she was alone, she did the same now. “I am so hungry,” pleaded little May, in her clear earnest tones, “and mother is hungry too. We have no bread left, and no money to buy any. Please to send us some.” This was the substance of her prayer, and she rose up with a lightened heart, for she believed that God had heard her, and that He would in some way supply their need. Oh, what a comfort it is, even to little children, to pray when they are in trouble !

Little May did not know her prayer was heard by any one but her heavenly Father. But it was, and God intended that it should be, for that was the means through which He meant to answer it. On the other side of the thick hedge which separated the garden from the road was a gentleman, the master of the house, doing a little gardening, an occupation of which he was very fond. He had listened with some curiosity to the unexpected sound of a child's voice, and little May's touching petitions deeply affected him. He peeped over the hedge, and watched her get up from her seat, and begin to retrace her steps without her seeing him, and when he had ascertained which way she was going, he hastened across a field or two adjoining his grounds, the opposite end of which brought him out into the lane considerably in advance of May, for it was a much shorter cut, and he walked very fast. Then he turned round, and walked slowly towards May, that he might meet her as she came up. When she was near enough he stopped, and spoke to her, and said, “ Have you gathered those pretty flow

ers?"

Yes, sir,” answered May, dropping a low curtsey. “But you would be very glad if you could turn them into a nice loaf of bread, wouldn't you ?”

May looked up in surprise.

"I think you are hungry,” he said, “are you not? And you have no bread left at home, have you

?"No, sir,” said May, still more astonished. " Nor yet any money to buy some with ?"

“No, sir," repeated May,“ my mother spent all she had yesterday. Have you been to mother's, sir ?" she asked balf-shily; for how could a stranger know about their affairs unless he had gained his information from her mother?

“No," replied the gentleman, with a smile, for he perceived her meaning, “I do not know your mother, and I never saw you before to-day. What is your name?

May Thornton, sir.” “And where do you live now ?” “In Prospect Place, sir, just by the old church.”

“Well, little May,” he said, “if you will sell me those flowers which you have gathered, I will buy them of

you."

“Oh sir, they are not worth buying,” said May, her cheeks flushing with pleasure.

I think they are," said the gentleman, “and I should like to carry them for a little girl at my house, who does not know where to find them so well as you do. Here is the money for them; go home and tell your mother to get you some dinner with it; and tell her also that I am

a

« PredošláPokračovať »