« AnteriorContinua »
ornamented with silver. Almost all the gentlemen and ladies of the neighbourhood were in the room ; but Sir Charles and Lady Noble were not there. When Emily and Lucy saw the coffin, they began to cry more and more ; and little Henry too cried, though he rubbed his eyes, and tried to hide his tears.
When everything was ready, the coffin was lifted up, and put into the hearse; the company got into the coaches; and they all moved slowly to the parish church, which was close to the village, about two miles distant. As the children passed back through the park in the mourning-coach, they saw many places where they had walked and played with poor Augusta : and this made them the more sorrowful, to think how suddenly their little playmate had been cut off; making out the words of the prophet, as for man, “ All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof as the flower of the field.” (Isaiah xl. 6.) When they passed through the park-gate, they could hear the church-bell tolling very plainly. The carriages moved on very slowly, so that it was between five and six when the funeral reached the church. The churchyard was full of people. The coffin was taken out of the hearse and carried into the church, the clergyman going before, and all the people following. The coffin was placed on a bier in the middle of the church, whilst the clergyman read the first part of the Funeral Service. Lucy and Emily and Henry stood all the time close to the coffin, crying very bitterly, . Perhaps you have never read the Funeral Service with attention: if you have not, I would advise you to read it immediately, and consider it well; for there are many things in it which
wise unto salvation. -Poor Augusta's coffin was then lifted up, and carried, not into the churchyard, but to the door of a vault under the church, which was the burying-place of her family; and while the clergyman
continued reading the prayers, it was removed into a dark part of the vault, and Lucy and Enıily and Henry saw it no more.
When the service was done, Mr. Fairchild returned sorrowfully to the coach, with his children ; but before the coachman drove away, the clergyman himself came to the door, and said, “Mr. Fairchild, if you are going home, I will take a seat with you in the coach, and drink a dish of tea with Mrs. Fairchild this evening ; for I feel in want of a little Christian society." Mr. Fairchild gladly made room for Mr. Somers—for that was the clergyman's name—and the coach drove back to Mr. Fairchild's house.
As they were going along, they talked of nothing but poor Miss Augusta and her parents ; and Mr. Fairchild asked Mr. Somers if he knew in what state of mind the poor child had died. “Ah! Sir,” said Mr. Somers, you
the part of the whole business. From the time of the accident till the time that the breath left her body, she was insensible ; she had not one moment, as we fear, in which she was capable of reflection ; and it is well known that Lady Noble never taught her anything concerning God and her Redeemer, and never would let anybody else ; nay, she was taught to mock at religion and pious people. She knew nothing of the evil of her own heart, and nothing of the Redeemer, nor the sin of disobedience to her parents.”
Oh, Mr. Somers !" said Mr. Fairchild, “what a dreadful story is this ! Had this poor child been brought up in the fear of God, she might now have been living a blessing to her parents and the delight of their eyes. Withhold not correction from the child); for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die : thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from hell.' (Prov. xxiii. 13, 14.)
“Poor little Augusta !” said Mr. Somers : "Lady Noble would never hearken to me when I spoke to
her on the duty of bringing up her children in the fear of God. 'I believe she thought me very impertinent to speak to her upon the subject.”
By this time the coach had arrived at Mr. Fairchild's door. Mrs. Fairchild and Mrs. Barker were waiting tea for them : they had both been crying, as might be seen by their eyes. After tea Mr. Somers gave out a hymn and prayed. I shall put down both the hymn and the prayer in this place, altering only a few words, to suit any little child who wishes
to use the prayer by himself.
A Prayer against the Sin of Disobedience to
Parents. O Almighty Father! thou who didst command all children to honour their parents, and didst promise to bless those who obeyed this commandment, give me a heart to keep this law. I know that I ought to do all that my
father and mother and masters bid me to do, as long as they do not order me to do anything wicked; and yet my heart, O Lord God, is so utterly averse to all that is good, that I often feel great unwillingness to obey their most plain and simple commands : sometimes I rise up in open rebellion against my parents ; and sometimes I try to disobey them slily, when I think that they do not see me, forgetting that thine eye, O Lord God, is always upon me; and though thou, O Lord God, mayest not punish me immediately, yet thou markest all my sins in a book : and I know that the dreadful day will come, when the dead shall be raised, and the books shall be opened ; and all I have done, unless I repent and turn unto the Lord, will be read aloud before men and angels, and I shall be cast into hell fire for my sins.
O holy Father ! I am sorry my disobedience. O make me more and more sorry for it; and send thy Holy Spirit to give me a clean heart, that I may
obey this thy commandment. I know that disobedient children, unless they repent, always come to an ill end ; there is no blessing on such as do not honour their parents. O then, dear Saviour, hear my prayer ! Thou, that diedst for poor sinners, save a wicked child ! Give me a new heart ; teach me to be obedient to my parents, and to honour and respect them ; that I may be blessed in this present life, and may, through the merits of my dying Redeemer, be received into everlasting glory in the world to come.
Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour for ever and
Amen. “ Our Father,” &c.
Let children that would fear the Lord
Hear what their teachers say,
And with delight obey.
Are threatened by the Lord,
Or mocks his mother's word ?
What heavy guilt upon him lies !
How cursed is his name!
The eagles do the same.
Their parents honour due,
And live hereafter too.
THE THREE BOOKS.
It was the time of the Midsummer Fair; and John asked Mr. Fairchild's leave to go to the fair. may go John,” said Mr. Fairchild ; "and take the horse, and bring everything that is wanting in the family.” So John got the horse ready, and set out early in the morning to go to the fair ; but before he went, Emily and Henry and Lucy gave him what money they had, and begged him to bring them each a book. Henry gave him a penny, and Emily gave him two-pence, and Lucy gave him three-pence. “ You must choose a book for me with pictures in it, said Henry. “ And for me too,” said Emily. “I do not care about pictures,” said Lucy, “if it is a pretty book. So pray don't forget, John.”
In the evening, after tea, the children and their papa and mamma, as usual, got ready to take a walk; and the children begged their papa and mamma to go with them to meet John: “For John,” said Henry, “will be coming back now, and will have brought us some pretty books.”
So Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild took the road which led towards the town where the fair was held, and the children ran before them. It was a fine evening. The hedges were full of wild roses, which smelt most sweetly; and the haymakers were making hay in the fields on each side of the road.
“ I cannot think where John can be,” said Henry: “I thought he would be here long before this time.”
“Do not be impatient, my dear,” said Mr. Fairchild : "impatience is not pleasing in the eye of your heavenly Father.”
By this time they were come to the brow of a rising ground ; and looking before them, behold, there was John at a distance! The children all ran forward to meet him ; “Where are the books, John ?