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his house and business at a great disadvantage, which the present man profiting by, bought it, and I believe has hitherto succeeded to his expectation.
Now I saw in my dream that the four pilgrims sojourned for a week in this house, as proposed, and enjoyed the peaceful calm there after their late toilsome journeying, and the hearty good-will, free from ostentation or much profession, of their simpleminded host. There was a pleasant garden and an orchard at the back of the house, which the two young women especially liked to stroll about in, sometimes alone, and sometimes with the friendly Rachel, whom they frequently assisted in her household concerns. One day she said to them, “I can almost fancy you my two daughters.” On which Grace inquired if she had any family.
Alas, no !” replied she, “not now; but I had once a little girl, who would by this time have been older than, I should think, either of you are, had she lived, but she was taken from us at the early age of six years."
Grace. Indeed! that must have been a sad afflic
tion for you.
Rachel. It was so, and my dear husband and I felt it severely; but after a time we began to per
ceive that, like many other sorrowful events, it might in the end prove for the best; for the dear child was so intelligent, so pretty, and, in our eyes, so faultless, that we felt we had been making an idol of her, and should, but too probably, by over-indulgence, have marred those excellent qualities that endeared her to us. Young as she was, the piety of her heart was remarkable ; and that very circumstance, while it made her loss the greater, gave us a surer confidence that she was enjoying a far higher degree of happiness than we could ever have obtained for her on earth, and so we gradually ceased to repine that the treasure lent us for a few short years was restored to its Creator, and hidden from our eyes till they shall open hereafter in that bright and pure light which shall reveal all things. Rachel's narration excited much interest and
sympathy in the minds of her young auditors, and Myra observed timidly, that she thought she had shewn a more pious resignation to the Divine will than did her namesake of old, who would not be comforted.
Perhaps so," answered she; “but it must be remembered that she lived under the Mosaic law, not having the advantage of the blessed Gospel for her guide."
“About four months after our loss," resumed Rachel, “ I went one day into the room of a traveller who had just departed, feeling more than usually depressed, for it was the anniversary of my poor child's birth, when she would have attained the age of seven, and I saw on the floor a written paper, which I picked up, and found it to contain some sweet lines, applicable to the sad subject that engrossed my thoughts. I have kept them ever since. Perhaps you would like to hear them ?"
“We should, very much," replied both her companions.
She then read to them the following lines :
6 THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.*
“There is a Reaper whose name is Death,
And with his sickle keen
And the flowers that grow between.
Shall I have nought that is fair ?' saith he;
*Have nought but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.'
* The reader will probably recognise these charming verses from the pen of Professor Longfellow.
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves ;
He bound them in his sheaves.
‘My Lord has need of these flow'rets gay,'
The reaper said, and smiled ;
They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
These sacred blossoms wear.'
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
In the fields of Light above.
Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The reaper came that day ;
And took the flowers away.”
Now I saw in my dream, that not many guests arrived at the inn during the pilgrims' stay there, except one young man named Marcus. The few others merely stopped for refreshment, and went on again; but he remained from the morning of one day till the afternoon of the next, and being alone, was desired by Paul to join their company if he pleased, which he gladly did. He was of a gentle, amiable, and candid disposition, and a mutual interest and liking arose between the three young men, and they related to each other what had befallen them on the way, for he told them he was also on pilgrimage.
When Luke, in his recital, mentioned the name of Peter Romius, the other cried,
“ Ah! did you meet with him ?"
“ Yes," replied Luke; "and I conclude, from your question, that you knew something of him too."
Marcus. I did; for he made me stay at his house three days, Luke. And did he talk much with
and endeavour to bring you over to his opinions ?
Marcus. That did he, and with such plausible speech, that, had I been of a wavering faith, I might possibly have been converted according to his wish.
Luke. But, I presume, you could "give a reason for the faith that is in you.”
Marcus. Not only that (for he would not listen much to my arguments when I tried to refute some