« AnteriorContinua »
I married my cousin Thomas Bush, and we came to live here ; and here have I lived ever since, and hope to do so, till it pleases God to remove me to a fairer habitation, where the Lamb will feed me, and will lead me unto living fountains of waters : and God will wipe away all tears from my eyes.' (Rev. vii. 17.)
When Mary Bush had finished her story, Lucy and Emily wiped some tears from their eyes; and Henry said, “ Take us, Mary, to the place where the echo is, that I may think how you stood and called for your mother. Oh! how lonely you must have felt, when you called, and called, and nothing answered but the echo!”
Mary Bush then led the children to the place where the echo was: it was caused by the windings of the hill, which returned the voice of any one that spoke, or any other sound. The children soon perceived the echo; for there was a woodman at work at some distance in the coppice, and the echo repeated the sound of the strokes of the hatchet almost as plainly as the first sound.
It was time now to return home; and the children took leave of Mary Bush, and Goodman and Margery Grey. Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild were not returned when they got home. John gave each of them a bunch of cherries, and they went up stairs to bed ; but before Henry parted from his sisters, they all knelt down to pray that God would give them hearts to behave well to their dear parents. Their prayer was a very pretty one, and I shall put it down here, with the hymn they sang.
A Prayer for a Child that God would give him
Grace to behave well to his parents.
O Almighty God! thou who, for thy dear Son, the blessed Lord Jesus Christ's sake, hearest the prayers of all such as come to thee in his Name ; hearken, I humbly pray thee, to the prayer of a sinful child, who is now come before thee to beg of thee help that he may behave dutifully and kindly to his dear parents and teachers. Oh! to this end, dear Lord God, send thy Spirit into my heart, that I may be dutiful to them, obeying all their lawful commands, and striving in all things to please them; not shunning their company, as my sinful heart would have me to do, but taking delight in being with them, and attending upon them, and pleasing them, as they attended upon me when I was a helpless little baby. And if their health or their strength, or their eyes, or their limbs, should fail them, o give me grace to help them in their age, and to be eyes and hands to them! In a little while this my dear father and mother and those kind people who took care of me when I was young, will be taken from me, and I shall see them no more in this world. I shall then look to the places where they used to be, and shall not find them; and my eyes will desire to see them, and cannot see them. O Almighty God! grant that, when these my dear friends may be taken from me, I may not have the remembrance of any undutiful or negligent behaviour towards them to trouble
mind. And to this end, O Lord, send thy Spirit to search my heart, that I may know, before it is too late, and whilst these dear friends are with me, whether I have been, or now am, an undutiful child ; that I may repent before it is too late, and may amend my behaviour before these beloved ones are taken hence and are no more seen. O dearest Saviour ! give unto me, and unto them, new and holy hearts, that after death we may meet in thy presence, to enjoy an eternity of happiness at thy right hand for evermore.
Now to thee, O God, who gavest thy dear Son to die for us, and thee, O bleeding Lamb, and thee, O Holy Spirit, be all glory and honour, for ever and
Amen. “Our Father,” &c.
Thus far my God has led me on,
Through this wide wilderness I roam,
Temptations ev'rywhere annoy,
My soul with various tempests toss'd,
Is this, dear Lord, the thorny road
'Tis even so: thy faithful love
STORY OF THE ABSENCE OF GOD. A BOUT this time Mr. Fairchild thought it proper to begin to teach Henry Latin. Latin is a very difficult language, and requires many hours of hard labour before any little boy can master it; but it is necessary for every boy to learn who is to become a clergyman, such knowledge being required of a young man before he is ordained. Mr. Fairchild wished to bring up Henry to be a clergyman, and it was Henry's
own wish also. When Henry got his new grammar and dictionary, and Latin exercise book, he was much pleased, particularly as his papa at the same time gave him a nice deal box to keep his books in, with a lock and key; but he was not so well pleased when he found that he could not learn his Latin grammar and play with the hare too half the morning, as he used to do when he had only spelling and a verse from the Bible to learn every day.
When Mr. Fairchild set him his first grammar lesson, which was a very short and easy one, he said to him, “I shall endeavour, my dear boy, to help you as much with Latin as possible ; but at the same time I must tell you plainly, that you must labour yourself to learn it, or all I can do for
you no good. First of all read your lessons over to me,' continued Mr. Fairchild,
you are sure that
you speak every word right, and then sit down and repeat them so many times looking at the book, and so many times without.” Accordingly Henry read his lessons over several times to his papa, and then went to his place at the corner of the study. Mr. Fairchild looked at him soon afterwards, and saw that he had laid his book down, and was holding something in his hand, making signs to the hare to come to him. Miss Puss stood with her head out at the door of her house, mumping her parsley, after the manner of bares, and looking at Henry. "Henry, what are you about ?”
will do you
said Mr. Fairchild, rather sharply: upon which puss ran into her house, and Henry began to repeat his grammar lesson, half aloud and half in a whisper ; but before he had repeated the lesson once over, his voice ceased ; and Mr. Fairchild looked at him again, and he was spinning a button on the lid of his new box. Mr. Fairchild spoke again, and Henry looked at his book. Mr. Fairchild then went on writing for some time, for he was writing to his brother in London : then, looking at Henry, he saw that he was twisting a piece of packthread round his finger, and the new grammar lay at his feet. Mr. Fairchild then spoke angrily : “ This won't do, Henry : you shall say that lesson before dinner-time, or have only bread and water for dinner.” Henry made no answer, neither did he offer to pick up
grammar. Mr. Fairchild finished his letter, and looking at his watch, “ It is now walking time, Henry,” he said; “I shall go out, and leave you here. If I find that you can say your lesson before I return, you shall have your dinner ; if not, you shall have only bread and water." So saying, Mr. Fairchild took his hat and stick, and, going out of the study, locked Henry in.
When Mr. Fairchild came in, he called Henry to say his lesson, but Henry could not repeat half a line of it; and Mr. Fairchild thought that he looked as if he were determined not to learn it. However, to try him, he bade John give him some bread and water, and sent him back to the study till tea-time. At teatime he called him again, but he could not repeat one word more than he had before. Mr. Fairchild then took a small horse-whip, and making John hold him, he flogged him well, and sent him to bed, telling him he must say the lesson before breakfast. Accordingly, before breakfast, he called him again, but not one word more than the half line would Henry say. Mr. Fairchild, fearing that he might be faint with hunger, ordered John to take some dry bread and milk