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It is impossible she can recover; and I wish you to tell your child what I say.” She was one of seven children. He father, who was a farmer, had made a large sum of money during the war: every thing he touched seemed to turn into gold. His children were taught to think of hardly anything but the art of acquiring wealth ; and gold appeared to be the only god worshipped in the family. The father, however, was much distressed at the idea of parting with his daughter; for she was a favourite. It was two days before he could bring himself to speak to her on the subject; but at last he told her what the physician had said. She received the intelligence with great composure, and said,
Well, father, if I cannot survive, I should like to have all my brothers and sisters about me once more before I die.” They were sent for ; and father and mother, two brothers, and four sisters, surrounded the bed of the dying favourite. No doubt it was a mournful scene. When she had bidden to them farewell, she said to her mother, “ I should like to give something to each to remember me by, when I am gone;" and her clothes, her little jewels, and her money being brought to her, a little parcel was made up for each as a memorial of her when she should be dead. Contrary to all expectatiou, however, from that day she began to amend; and, at the time of her appearing at the little party, she had pretty well recovered.
THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER. When she had finished her recital, the young minister observed to her, “ It is not often that a person is brought so near the gates of death, and comes back to tell us how she felt. I should like to know what the state of your mind was, when you thought you were going to die !" “0," said she, “I was very happy.” He replied, “ It is a solemn thing to appear in the presence of God, to give an account of every thought, and word, and action. To what place did you expect to go,
died ?" Why, to heaven, certainly,” said she. “So does every body,” he replied.“ If you ask the drunkard, and the Sabbath-breaker, and the liar, they all hope to go to heaven. But on what grounds did
you found your hope ?" Why, I never did any body any harm; I had always been dutiful to my parents, and an affectionate sister, and kind to my neighbours.” “0,” said the young minister, " that is delightful so far as it goes! It is pleasing to think of one who has a dutiful daughter, and a kind sister and neighbour. But had you no other grounds for hope?” “No," she replied, were they not sufficient?” He made no direct reply; but said, “ I am very thankful you did not die.”. "Why,” she inquired, sharply, “do you think I should not have gone to heaven ?” “ Yes,” said he, “I am sure you would not! You were hoping to go to heaven without Christ! The Bible knows nothing of sinners being saved without Christ.
You were resting on a false foundation; and had you died, that foundation would have given way, and you would have fallen through it into perdition.” She was impressed and arrested, and begged the young minister to instruct her. He explained to her the way of salvation; and God blessed what he said to her conversion.
Having now obtained light in her own soul, she could not be at rest while her friends were still in darkness. “O that my father were here ! I am sure he knows nothing of all this !” In two days she left the house where she was visitiug, and returned to her home. She soon found an opportunity of speaking to her father. He was surprised and alarmed, and gave her this decided answer: “I desire that you will never speak to me on this subject again. It has never before been brought into my family; and I beg I may never hear of it more." She spoke next to her mother, who also was surprised and distressed, and said, “I am your mother, I am not to be schooled by you. Let me hear no more of this.” She then tried her brothers, and had to endure a long season of persecution; every one wondering what had happened to Betsy. But she gradually won them over by her sweet and amiable deportment. At length she obtained permission from her father to have family-worship; and twenty persons assembled, night and morning, at that house, while she read the scriptures and prayed.
A minister in the neighbourhood had the happiness of admitting into his church nine ploughmen from the estate on which the farm stood; and they all dated their conversion to the efforts of the farmer's daughter.
The young minister mentioned in this anecdote went abroad as a missionary, and long acted a distinguished part, for Christian usefulness, on the continent of Europe, On his return to his country, he paid a visit to the farm. The father, who had now grown to be an old man of eighty, came out to meet him; and while his silver locks flowed down on his shoulders, he exclaimed, “Now, sir, we are a whole family going to heaven, through Christ. And dear Betsy has been the instrument of accomplishing it all.”
One of the petitions in the Lord's Prayer is, Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,” We thus pray that God will exercise the same kind of forgiveness toward us, which we exercise toward others; consequently, if we are unforgiving or revengeful, we pray that God will treat us in the same way when we appear before him in judgment. Thus God teaches the necessity of cultivating a forbearing, and a forgiving spirit. We must do this or we cannot be Christians.
When I was a boy, there was another little boy who went to the same school with me, who had been religiously brought up, and taught to regulate his conduct by the pure principles of Christian duty. Some of the bad boys were in the habit of ridiculing him, and doing every: thing they could to tease him, because he would not join with them in mischief.
Near the school-house there was a small orchard, and the scholars would frequently go there, and gather apples, without the leave of the owner. One day a party of boys were going into the orchard, and one of them asked this pious boy to accompany them.
“Come, Henry,” said one of them to him, “let us go and get some apples.”
“The apples are not our's,” he replied, “and I do not think it right to steal.”
“You are a coward, and afraid to go,” the other replied.
“I am afraid," said Henry, “to do wrong, and so ought you to be; but I am not afraid to do right.
The wicked boy was exceedingly irritated at at this rebuke; he called Henry all the ill names he could think of, and endeavoured to hold him up to the ridicule of the whole school.
Henry bore it very patiently, though it was hard to be endured; for the boy who ridiculed him, had much talent and influence.
Some days after this, the boys were going