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keep this Sunday holy; that I may do no manner of worldly work in it, nor talk about business in it, nor spend the day in visiting, or foolish play, or idleness; but that I may spend this holy day in reading my Bible and other holy books, and singing hymns, and praying, both at church and by myself at home. And, O my Father, send thy Holy Spirit into my heart, that when I pray and read I may mind what I am about, and not think of foolish things whilst I am repeating the words of God. And O fill my heart this day with love for that dear Saviour who died for me; that I may serve him with joy and delight, and not be tired when I am hearing his blessed words, or thinking of vain or foolish things when I am in his holy house. And when I have fulfilled my number of Sundays in this world, remove me, O dear Lord God, for my dear Saviour's sake, to that happy place where we shall enjoy an eternal Sabbath at thy right hand for ever and ever. Amen.
"Our Father," &c. &c.
Another six days' work is done,
Return, my soul; enjoy thy rest;
Improve the day thy God has bless'd.
Come, bless the Lord, whose love assigns
O that our thoughts and thanks may rise
This heav'nly calm within the breast
In holy duties let the day,
THE ALL-SEEING GOD.
I MUST now tell you of a sad temptation into which Emily fell about this time. It is a sad story, but you shall hear it.
There was a room in Mrs. Fairchild's house which was not often used: in this room was a closet full of shelves, where Mrs. Fairchild used to keep her sugar and tea, and sweetmeats, and pickles, and many other things. Now as Betty was very honest, and John too, Mrs. Fairchild would often leave this closet unlocked for weeks together, and never missed any thing out of it. One day, at the time that damascenes were ripe, Mrs. Fairchild and Betty boiled up a great many damascenes in sugar, to use in the winter; and when they had put them in jars, and tied them down, they put them in the closet I before spoke of. Emily and Lucy saw their mamma boil the damascenes, and helped Betty to cover them and carry them to the closet. As Emily was carrying one of the jars, she perceived that it was tied down so loosely that she could put in her finger and get at the fruit. Accordingly she took out one of the damascenes, and ate it: it was so nice that she was tempted to take another; and was going even to take a third, when she heard Betty coming up: she covered the jar in haste, and came away. Some months after this, one evening, just about the time that it was getting dark, she was passing by the room where these sweetmeats were kept, and she observed that the door was open;
she looked round to see if any body was near, but there was no one: her mamma and papa, and her brother and sister, were in the parlour, and Betty was in the kitchen, and John was in the garden: no eye was looking at her, but the eye of God, who sees every thing we do, and knows even the secret thoughts of the heart; but at that moment the fear of God was not in the heart of Emily. Accordingly she passed through the open door, and went up to the closet: there she stood still again, and looked round, but saw no one. She then opened the closet door, and took two or three damascenes, which she ate in great haste. She then went to her own room, and washed her hands and mouth, and went down into the parlour, where her papa and mamma were just going to tea.
Although her mamma and papa never suspected what naughty thing Emily had been doing, and behaved just as usual to her, yet Emily felt frightened and uneasy before them; and every time they spoke to her, though it was only to ask the commonest question, she stared and looked frightened, making out the words of King Solomon; "The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion." (Prov. xxviii. 1.)
I am sorry to say, that the next day, when it was beginning to get dark, Emily went again to the closet, and took some more damascenes; and so she did for several days, though she knew she was doing wrong.
On the Sunday following, it happened to be so rainy that nobody could go to church: in consequence of which, Mr. Fairchild called all the family into the parlour, and read the Morning Service, and a sermon. Some sermons are hard, and difficult for children to understand: but this was a very plain, easy sermon; even Henry could tell his mamma a great deal about it. The text was from
Psalm cxxxix. 7th to 12th verses: "Whither shall go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there: if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me: if I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me; yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."
The meaning of these verses was explained in the sermon at full length: it was first shewn, that the Lord Jehovah is a Spirit, without body, parts, or passions; and, secondly, that there is no place where he is not: that if a person could go up into heaven, he would find God there; if he were to go down to hell, there also he would find God; that God is in every part of the earth, and of the sea, and of the sky; and that, being always present in every place, he knows every thing we do, and every thing we say, and even every thought of our heart, however secret we may think it. Then the sermon went on to shew how foolish and mad it is for people to do wicked things in secret and dark places, trusting that God will not know it. "If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me:" for no night is dark unto God: "He will surely bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart." (1 Cor. iv. 5.) Therefore" woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?" (Isa. xxix. 15.)
Whilst Mr. Fairchild was reading, Emily felt frightened and unhappy, thinking of the wickedness
she was guilty of every day; and she even thought that she never would be guilty again of the same sin: but when the evening came, all her good resolutions left her; for she confided in her own strength, and therefore the Divine assistance was for a while withheld; and she went again to the room, where the damascenes were kept. However, when she came to the door of the closet, she thought of the sermon which her papa had read in the morning, and she stood still a few moments, to consider what she should do. "There is nobody in this room,' she said; "and nobody sees me, it is true; but God is in this room: he sees me; his eye is now upon me: I cannot hide what I am going to do from him he knows every thing, and he has power to cast me into hell. I will not take any more damascenes; I will go back, I think. But yet, as I am come so far, and am just got to the closet, I will just take one damascene-it shall be the last; I will never come here again, without mamma's leave." So she opened the closet door, and took one damascene, and then another, and then two more. Whilst she was taking the last, she heard the cat mew: she did not know that the cat had followed her into the room, and she was so frightened, that she spilt some of the red juice upon her frock, but she did not perceive it at the time; as it is said, “The way of the wicked is darkness: they know not at what they stumble." (Prov. iv. 19.) She then left the closet, and went, as usual, to wash her hands and mouth, and went down into the parlour.
When Emily got into the parlour, she immediately saw the red stain on her frock. She did not stay till it was observed, but ran out again instantly, and went up stairs, and washed her frock. As the stain had not dried in, it came out with very little trouble; but not till Emily had wet all the bosom of her frock, and sleeves; and that so much, that