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God ?" O what can speak the earnestness of that dying youth's pleading with those he loved the best. They standing, as it were, on the nearer bank of the river, and he, from the tone of his voice, his look, and his gesture, as if already landed on the farther shore, and from beneath the very gates of the celestial city, shouting across Jordan, “Will you-will you give your hearts to God ?” Their answers seemed to give him peace. He then looked calmly on the Christian friends around, and said, “Will you, all of you, meet me in heaven ?” “Yes !” was the joyful response. Once again he looked intently round the room upon each separately, as though he would have said, “Remember!" and then fixing his eyes towards the ceiling, he breathed, “ Come Jesus ! Now, come Jesus!" Having desired Mrs. Hampson to move his feet, and turn his head, his face was turned to the wall. He then said, “There that will do, and,” continued he, “you won't make a noise ; don't make a noise.” Happy youth! the celestial gates are moving on their golden hinges ! for ever hushed be the wail of sorrow there ! He was now calm and composed ; only once he opened his eyes, looked up as if in mental communion with some unseen guest, and they gently closed again. His friends thought he would now sleep until evening, but not so, the watchers forgot the prayer so recently uttered, “that he might have strength to finish his work, and then have a speedy release.” The strength was given, the work was done, and now, yes now—the release was given, whilst they bent over him, and marked his quietude, in three minutes after his last request—without a parting sigh or struggle, he was gone, within the city.
He fell asleep in Jesus on the 4th of November, 1850, in the 18th year of his age. His remains were borne to the grave by eight of his fellow-teachers and companions belonging to the school, and as they laid him within the precincts of his last earthly resting place, it was in “Sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection."
THE LADY'S GIFT TO A HIGHWAYMAN.
A FEW years ago a lady was walking along a solitary road, when two men of very disreputable appearance approached her. As they drew near, she anxiously looked around for help. No human creature was in sight, the dreary moor spread out on all sides, without one habitation upon it-escape was impossible, her heart died within her, and she biterly reproached herself for having walked in that direction alone. At that moment when fear was at its height, a bird suddenly arose from the ground close beside her; she looked down, and the bright blue blossoms of the “Forget-me-not,” which clustered along the edge of the bourn at her feet, met her gaze, and recalled her thoughts to Him to whom the beauties of the wilderness belong. The flower brought a message of peace to her heart, and she walked forward with calmness.
The men soon came up, and, as she expected, asked for charity. “I have no money with me," she replied. “But we must have something,” they said ; their eyes fixed upon her gold watch. She at once took out her pocket Bible and handed it to them ; they looked surprised, glanced at each other, and with a polite bow returned the book and were going away, when the lady in her turn became the beggar. "Nay, my friends,” she said, “I must entreat you to take this, it is of more value than silver or gold, for what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?” She put it into their hands and hastened away.
Time passed on, and the circumstance had nearly faded from the lady's remembrance, when a fearful accident happened at a neighbouring quarry. A large block of stone fell ; one man was killed on the spot; and several ll others very much hurt. As the “quarry village” was at some distance from her residence, the lady did not go to see the sufferers until a woman of not very respectable character, one day called upon her, and asked her to go
and see her husband, who, she said, was very ill, and the doctor
did not think“ he was long for this world.” She accordingly went, and with some disgust entered the filthy hovel pointed out to her. The loud angry voices, and the strong smell of whisky which assailed her, before her eyes could recover from the blinding effects of the smoke that escaped through the door alone, almost induced her to turn. She however stood still for a few moments, and soon discovered a few tattered rags in the corner, on which the poor man was extended. He raised himself on his elbow as she approached, and holding out her old pocket Bible, said, “ Lady, do you remember that? it has indeed been more precious to me than silver or gold, it has told me of Christ and of hope.” The lady gazed at his death-like features; she could not be mistaken, she remembered the man who in his days of strength had forgotten God, and who now, in the midst of ungodly acquaintances, seemed to be confessing Him. She was much overcome, but seeing his time on earth was drawing very near its close, she said, “ Thank God, my friend, if this book has told you of Christ, but what has it told you of yourself ?"!
“ It has told me I am a vile sinner."
“Feel myself a sinner!” he replied. “Oh! was there ever such a one out of hell. Such a drunkard, such a swearer, such a Sabbath-breaker. Oh! I am indeed the chief of sinners."
"And in what, then, is your hope ?" inquired the lady.
“My hope is in Christ,” replied the dying man. “My sure stay is in him ; he has shown me my sins, but he has also shown me his own righteousness ; in Him is my hope, and in Him is
salvation.” This was enough, the lady no longer doubted, but rejoiced over her brother who had been lost, but was found again. After some further conversation, she inquired for his companion who had been with him when she gave them the Bible.
“Ah! that is the sad thing, my lady ; his is the sad story, poor man.” “ Was it he that was killed when the stone fell ?” exclaimed the lady.
“Oh! no, far worse than that, poor fellow; may God help him."
He seemed unwilling to speak, but when the room was somewhat cleared of its many inmates, he said, “ You see, my lady, the thing is this, we took little thought of yon
blessed book, for awhile after you gave it, and we kept on in our wicked courses, till John, poor lad, took ill, and then he began to read, and to talk a deal of what I did not understand, and I thought his brain was turned; but I took the book myself, and soon I saw it was his heart that was turned not his head. Oh! Blessed be the God and Saviour of us both.
“Well,” said the lady, “ that is indeed a matter of thankfulness. I do not understand what distresses you about John."
“Ah! John, poor lad. You see after we both began to read, the girls there (meaning John's and his own wife) and the lads about began to talk, and his Riverence the priest got hold of it, and just then the stone fell at the quarry and Tim O'Neal was killed, and many more were not much better, myself one of them ; and after that his Riverence came up and attacked us both, and said it was a judgment on us for reading the book without his leavefor ye see we were from Ireland—and he laid penances on us, he said, for the saving of our souls, and we did all he told
us, but our souls were not much the better for it, and when he came again we told him so, and he swore at us and said we were heretics, and, that he would not give us absolution, and that if I died I would go to the burnings. But by that time, blessed be God, I had more light in my mind, and I was not afraid, so I told him that it was absolution of God I needed, and if I had that, I cared for no more.' He would have made the house too hot for me if he could he was in such a rage, and wanted me to give up my book, but that's what I would not do, and I just said, 'It was not all the priests in Ireland that would get me to give up that blessed book.' 'But you shall,” says he. “But I shall not,' says I, 'for it is God's book, and not yours.' At that he left the house swearing, and saying he would
bring us to justice, and would tell the laird how we were poachers ; and
so, my lady, we were, before the Lord in his love taught us better; and to be sure he gave information, and they have carried away poor John. They could not take me, for I was badly; and when they ask him about it, he will have to say that it is all true, for you know he cannot now say one word that God may not hear.”
The lady felt deeply for this trial of poor John's principles ; but comforted his friend by saying, that if he was indeed a child of God, all things must work together for his good, and that she would pray for him.
Ah! Prayer is the thing, my lady,” said the man, “prayer is the thing for dying sinners. Oh ! pray for me too, that the Lord may be with me to the end.”
The lady paid several subsequent visits to her dying friend, and on each occasion found him more and more confirmed in the faith. He lived to see delivered from prison, and commence a quiet, sober, and industrious life. He left his precious Bible to John, and with his last breath desired him to love that book above silver or gold “For mind," said he, “mind, for what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?"
I WILL RELY ON JESUS.
In one of the wealthy homes of lived a little girl, named Mary. She had parents to educate her, servants to wait upon her, and coaches to ride in. There seemed a many things around this child to make her happy ; but Mary was not pleased and satisfied with those things which please and satisfy other little ones. She knew she often did those things which she ought not to do, and left undone those things which she ought to have done ; this filled her heart with fear and trembling. What could save her from God's displeasure ? Where could she flee for refuge."
Before she could read, she treasured up passages from