Imatges de pÓgina

all her inner clothes were thoroughly wet, even to the skin to hide this, she put her pinafore on, to go down to tea. When she came down, "Where have you been Emily?" said her mamma: we have almost done tea."

"I have been playing with the cat, up stairs, Mamma," said Emily. But when she told this sad untruth, she felt very unhappy, and her complexion changed once or twice from red to pale.

It was a cold evening, and Emily kept as much from the fire and candle as she could, lest any spots should be left in her frock, and her mamma should see them. She had no opportunity, therefore, of drying or warming herself, and she soon began to feel quite chilled and trembling: soon after a burning heat came in the palms of her hands, and a soreness about her throat: however, she did not dare to complain, but sat till bed-time, getting every minute more and more uncomfortable.

It was some time after she was in bed, and even after her mamma and papa came to bed, before she could sleep at last she fell asleep; but her sleep was disturbed by dreadful dreams, such as she had never experienced before. She fancied she had been doing something wrong, though her head was so confused that she did not know what, and that a dreadful Eye was looking upon her from above. Wherever she went, she thought this Eye followed her with angry looks, and she could not hide herself from it. It was her troubled conscience, together with an uneasy body, which gave her these dreadful dreams; and so horrible were they, that at length she awoke, screaming violently. Her mamma and papa heard her cry, and came running in to her, bringing a light; but she was in such a terror, that at first she did not know them, but kept looking up as if she saw something very ter、 rifying.


"Oh, my dear!" said Mrs. Fairchild, "this child is in a burning fever: only feel her hands."

It was true, indeed: and when Mr. Fairchild felt her, he was so much frightened that he resolved to watch by her all night, and in the morning, as soon as it was light, to send John for the doctor. But what do you suppose Emily felt all this time; knowing, as she did, how she had brought on this illness, and how she had deceived, for many days, this dear papa and mamma, who now gave up their own rest to attend her; knowing also, as she did, how she had offended God, by continuing so many days in sin; and particularly in committing the sin again, after having been warned of the greatness of it in the sermon which her papa had read in the morning?

Emily continued to get worse during the night; neither was the doctor able, when he came, to stop the fever, though he did his utmost. It would have grieved you to have seen poor Lucy and Henry. They could neither read nor play, they missed their dear sister so much. They continually said to each other, "Oh, Emily! dear Emily! there is no pleasure without our dear Emily!"

When the doctor came on the third morning, he found Emily so much worse, that, although he tried to hide his fears from Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild, he could not. He ordered her to be removed from her brother and sister, lest they should catch the fever. Accordingly she was taken into the very room where the sweetmeats were kept: the doctor chose that room, because it was very airy, and separate from the rest of the house.

For some hours Emily had not seemed to notice any thing that passed; neither did she seem to know that they were moving her: but when she came into the room, and saw the closet door (for the bed on which they laid her was just opposite

the closet door), she looked this way, and that way, and tried to speak; but was so ill, and her head so confused, that she could not make any body understand what she wished to say.

The next day, when the doctor came, Emily was so very ill, that he thought it right that Lucy and Henry should be sent out of the house. Accordingly, John got the horse ready, and took them to Mrs. Goodriche's. Poor Lucy and Henry! how bitterly they cried when they went out of the gate, thinking that perhaps they might never see their dear Emily any more! It was a terrible trial for poor Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild: they had no comfort, but in praying and watching by poor Emily's bed. And all this grief Emily brought upon her friends by her own naughtiness! "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.)

Emily had been exceedingly ill for nine days; and every one feared that if her fever continueď a few days longer she must die; when, by the mercy of God, it suddenly left her, and she fell asleep, and continued sleeping for many hours. O how did her dear papa and mamma rejoice, when they found her sleeping so sweetly! They went into another room, and fell on their knees, and blessed and praised God. And Mr. Fairchild pointed out these words to his wife: "For the Lord will not cast off for ever; but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies: for he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." (Lament. iii. 31-33.)

When Emily awoke, she was very weak; but her fever was gone: she kissed her papa and mamma, and wanted to tell them of the naughty things she


had done, which had been the cause of her fever; but they would not allow her to speak. How kindly did Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild watch over their dear little girl, and provide her with every thing that was thought good for her!

From that day she got better; and at the end of a week, from the time her fever left her, shẹ was so well, that she was able to sit up, and tell her mamma all the history of her stealing the damascenes, and of the sad way in which she had got the fever. "Oh! Mamma!" said Emily, what a

wicked girl have I been! what trouble have I given to you, and to Papa, and to the Doctor, and to Betty! I thought that God would take no notice of my sin. I thought he did not see me when I was stealing in the dark: but I was much mistaken; his eye was upon me all the time, and he made me feel his anger. And yet how good, how very good it was of Him not to send me to hell for my wicked ness! When I was ill, I might have died; and, oh! Mamma, Mamma! what would have become of me then?"

[ocr errors]

Mrs. Fairchild was very much affected, when she heard her little girl talk in this way: she kissed her, and held her in her arms. My beloved child," said Mrs. Fairchild, "God has been very good indeed to you: he has brought you through · a dreadful illness; and what is better than this, he has brought you to a knowledge of your wickedness betimes. You might have gone on in your wickedness for many years, till you became a hardened sinner; but God, like a tender Father, has chastised you, my child." Then Mrs. Fairchild shewed Emily these verses: "And ye have forgotten the exhortation, which speaketh unto you as unto children: My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when

thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us; and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. xii. 5—11.) .

"Oh, Mamma!" said Emily," these are pretty' verses; and when I am able, I will learn them, and I hope I shall never forget them."

Mrs. Fairchild then knelt down by Emily's bed, and prayed; after which she sung a hymn. This prayer and hymn I shall put down in this place, that you may make use of it at any time when you may have been tempted to do any thing wrong, trusting that God could not see it.

The Prayer.

O Lord, the great and dreadful God! who seest every thing, and knowest every thing; from whom I cannot hide even one thought of my heart; whose eye can go down into the deepest and darkest place! how wicked have I been! O how wicked have I been! I thought that God would not know the evil thing that I did; I thought that it was hid from him but his eye was upon me, (his eye, so dreadful to the wicked!) his eye followed me wherever I

« AnteriorContinua »