Imatges de pÓgina

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

“ Whither shall I go from thy Spirit ? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there : if I make


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 shown, 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 would he find God; that God is in every part of the earth, and of the sea, and of the sky; and

verses :

that, being always present in every place, he knows everything we do, and everything we say, and even every thought of our heart, however secret we may think it. Then the sermon went on to show 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?(Isaiah xxix. 15.)

While 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 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 everything, 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



[ocr errors]

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 spilled 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 wetted all the bosom of her frock and sleeves; and that so much, that 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


been Emily ?" said her mamma;

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 palm 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 horri. ble were they, that at length she awoke, screaming violently. Her

and mamma heard her


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 terrifying.

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 uttermost. 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

to say.

found Emily so much worse, that although he tried to bide 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 anything 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 anybody understand what she wished

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

It was a terrible trial to 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?” (Isaiah xxix. 15.)

Emily had been exceedingly ill for nine days; and every one feared that if her fever continued 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

any more!

« AnteriorContinua »