Imatges de pÓgina

in his Redeemer grew more lively; his thoughts of himself, in like manner, became more lowly and humble. One morning, not long before he died, Mrs. Bush was cutting some apples to make a pie ; and one of the apples was quite rotten all through, although the outside was quite smooth and looked well.

“ That apple," said Charles, speaking to Henry, " is like my heart by natureall bad to the very core--not one bit good in it; and yet I remember the time when I thought myself a good boy.”.

Why, even now," said Henry, “ I don't like to be thought a sinner, although I know that I am one ; but you are not ashamed to be thought a sinner, Charles : you do not seem to wish to hide your

faults from any body." .Why, Master Henry," answered Charles, “it iş no time for me to be playing the hypocrite when I am going to die. I feel that I have not many days to live: this world is departing fast from me, and the next coming nearer my view : the grave is before me, and heaven and hell beyond, as it were but a step: and though I might deceive my father and mother and other people, and pretend to be better than I am, yet I cannot deceive God. No! I am a miserable sinner, Master Henry; one in whose heart sin has lived and ruled, abiding continually, growing and flourishing, and that from the time of my birth till God humbled me and opposed it by his Holy Spirit.”

"What do you mean by sin abiding and flourishing in your heart always ?” said Henry.

Why, Master Henry," answered Charles, “I don't know how to make you understand what I mean; but I will try to explain myself. When I was a little child, the first thoughts I had about good and bad people were, that some men were good and would go to heaven, and that some were


bad. I thought my father was good, and my mother, and my grandmother, and Mrs. Fairchild, and Mr. Somers, and Mrs. Barker, and such; and I thought that Farmer Freeman, and 'Squire Collins, and he that was hanged on the gibbet at Blackwood, and such folks, were bad men. As to myself, I thought that I was a very good little boy; and my brothers and sisters not quite so good to be surebut I had no idea of their sinful natures, or of my

As I got older, I became sensible that I had some faults: and then my father taught me about Adam eating the forbidden fruit, and I got some kind of notion that there was evil in my heart; but I thought there was good in my heart too, as well as evil, and a great deal of good too : but since God has been pleased to touch my heart, particularly since my sickness, I have become sensible that by nature there is no manner of good at all in any man's heart : nay, that sin is so strong in us that we can no more stop from sinning than we can from breathing ?”

• Charles,” said Henry, “ I know that you understand these things better than I do, yet I do not quite understand what you mean when you say we cannot stop from sinning. Now, here have I been sitting this half hour talking to youI don't think I have said any bad-how then have I been sinning ?"

“ Master Henry,” answered Charles, “I trust and hope that your heart is not altogether in its natural state, but that the Spirit of God has already begun to work a change in it; so that you are not altogether under the power and dominion of sin : yet I know that sin is not dead in you, nor ever will be, until that blessed time, when, in the morning of the resurrection, your sinful body will awake in the likeness of your Redeemer.”

“ But," said Henry, “how have I sinned since I came here? Explain it to me, Charles.”

“ Why," answered Charles, “ there is one way in which we all sin continually; and that is, in loving and pleasing ourselves more than God. In all our thoughts we ourselves come foremost, and God (if he comes at all) afterwards, and this with the best of people. The love of ourselves is always present with us, always mixing itself with every thought; so that we may be said to worship ourselves in the place of God: and from this sin, Master Henry, we never cease.”

When you are dead, Charles," said Henry, I shall often think of you, and go to see your grave. You have taught me many things which I never knew before."

“God bless you! my dear little boys,” said Mary Bush: “ living or dying, God bless you both!”

A few days before Christmas the weather became very cold, and a great change at the same time took place in little Charles. Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild, and Mr. Somers, notwithstanding the hard frost, often went to see him as he drew nearer his end, and were much pleased with the happy state of mind in which he was, for he seemed to have no desire but to be with Him who died for him, even that Lamb of God which was slain for the sins of the world. Early one Wednesday morning, in the beginning of the month of December, Margery Grey came over in haste to Mr. Fairchild's to call Henry : “ Little Charley is dying,' she said, “ and asks for young Master.” As soon as Mr. Fairchild and the family heard the news, they all set off in haste to Mary Bush's. Emily and Lucy were crying all the way as they went; but Henry tried not to cry, which made him only feel the more, for his cheeks were quite pale, and he could scarcely speak, for Henry loved little Charles

much. When they came to the cottage, they found Nurse and Joan, with all John Trueman's ļittle children, in Margery Grey's room. Poor little Charley was lying on a bed in bis grandmother's room. His head was lying on a pillow, supported by his mother, who sat upon the bed looking at her dying child, whilst ber tears ran down her cheeks. John Trueman was kneeling on one side of the bed, holding one of Charles's hands. Mr. Șomers stood looking silently on, sometimes lifting up his



and repeating something to himself, as if in prayer: and Mary Bush, and poor Charles's elder brother and sister, were crying in different parts of the room.

When Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild with the children came in, Charles's eyes were shut, and he lay as if sleeping. He was much changed since the day before : his eyes were sunk, his face become deadly pale, and his mouth drawn close. When Henry looked at him, he could keep biş. tears back no longer; they overflowed his eyes, and ran fast down his cheeks. After a few minutes Charles opened his eyes, and looked rouud him at every one. - At length, perceiving Henry, he smiled, and put his hand towards him.

“Dear, dear Charles !" said Henry, sobbing.

Do not cry, Master Henry,” said. Charles, speaking in a low voice ; “ I am happy.".

And wbat makes you happy now, my dear boy?” said Mr. Somers: “ speak and tell us, that we may all here present lay fast hold of the same hope, which is able to make a dying bed so easy."

Charles turned his dying eyes towards Mr. Somers, and answered; “I know that my Redeemer liveth ; and though after my skin worms shall destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God.” (Job xix. 25, 26.)

The little boy spoke these words with difficulty ; and indeed the latter part was rather guessed at than heard distinctly : then, as if quite worn out, 293 he shut his eyes, and lay as much as an hour as if asleep, though his frequent startings and convulsions, with his slow and solemn breathings, shewed that death was coming on apace. At length he awoke, and his mother and Mr. Somers spoke to him, but he took no notice of them. The manner of his breathing changed: he looked round the room eagerly; then, suddenly looking upwards, and fixing his eyes on one corner of the room, the appearance of his countenance changed to a kind of heavenly and glorious expression, the like of which no one present ever before had seen; and every one looked towards the place on which his eyes were fixed, but they could see nothing extraordinary. After a while his eyes half shut, and he fell into the agonies of death.

Death, even the death of those whose souls are redeemed, is a dreadful sight; for the sinful body struggles hard with it. Satan then does his worst : but it is written, “ He that is with us is stronger than he that is against us ;” and he will surely deliver those, whom he hath purchased with his precious blood, even from the power of death and hell.

After several convulsive pangs, little Charles stretched himself; he breathed slower, and slower, and slower; then, fetching a deep sigh, his features became fixed in death. Nurse, who had come into the room some time before, perceiving that the soul of the dear child was departed, came up to the bed-side, and gently closed the eyes, and bound up with a handkerchief the mouth of the corpse ; and having laid the arms and feet straight upon the bed, she stepped back to wipe away the tears that were running fast down her cheeks. All this while no one spoke, but all stood silently looking on the features of the dear child as they settled in death. After a few moments, Mr. Somers gave notice that he was going to pray, and every one knelt down

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