Page images
PDF
EPUB

66

66

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!" "O," 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, when you 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." "O," 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.

66

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.

ministe

of a

from

house, while she read the scriptures and prayed.

ts of

The you

e went

Having now obtained light in her own soul, da dis she could not be at rest while her friends were, on th still in darkness. "O that my father were here! is coun I am sure he knows nothing of all this!" Iner, who two days she left the house where she was visit-ty, can ing, and returned to her home. She soon found locks an opportunity of speaking to her father. Hemed," 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. 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

Let

them over by her sweet and amiable deportment. treat u

At length she obtained permission from her father to have family-worship; and twenty per

sons assembled, night and morning, at that ring s

Christia

they

to

Sy has

ONE of t

Forgive

tors."

same ki

e exercise

unforgi

efore

him

necessi

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."

FORGIVENESS.

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.

[ocr errors]

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 everything 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

out fishing. Henry had a beautiful fishing-rod, which his father had bought for him.

George (for by that name I shall call the boy who abused Henry) was desirous of borrowing this fishing-rod, and yet he was ashamed to ask for it. At last, however, he summoned courage, and called out to Henry upon the play-ground:

Henry, will you lend me your rod to go fishing?"

will go

home

"Oh yes!" said Henry," if you with me, I will get it for you now." Poor George felt quite ashamed of himself for what he had done; but he went home with Henry to get the rod.

[ocr errors]

They went up into the barn together, and when Henry had taken his fishing tackle from the place in which he kept it, he said to George, "I have a new line in the house, which father bought for me the other day; you may have that too, if you want it." George could hardly hold up his head, he felt so ashamed. However, Henry went and got the new line, and placed it upon the rod, and gave them into George's hand.

A few days after this, George told me about it. "I never in my life felt so much ashamed," said he; "and one thing is certain, that I never can call Henry names again."

Now who does not admire the conduct of Henry in this affair? This forgiving spirit is

« PreviousContinue »