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and she had no rest till she found it by believing in Jesus, and going to him for salvation and righteousness.
The letter added, "I felt impelled to write to you, and to tell you that I bless God he directed you to make us that morning call, and led you to pray for my dear child the prayer of faith—for such I have no doubt it was. She will be another star in your crown of rejoicing. Let this encourage you, dear brother, to be faithful wherever you go-"
CHASTENING IN LOVE.
0 SAViotm, whose mercy, severe in its kindness,
Adored he the power which illumined my blindness,
Enchanted with all that was dazzling and fair,
I followed the rainbow, I caught at the toy;
Disappointing the hope and defeating the joy.
The blossom blushed bright, but a worm was below:
Sweet whispered the breeze, but it whispered of woe;
So, cured of my folly, yet cured hut in part,
I turned to the Befuge thy pity displayed;
Weave visions of promise that bloomed but to fade.
1 thought that the course of the pilgrim to heaven
Thou show'dst me the path: it was dark and uneven,
I dreamed of celestial rewards and renown:
I asked for the palm branch, the robe, and the crown:
Subdued and instructed, at length, to thy will,
Oh! give me the heart that can wait and be still,
There are mansions exempted from sin and from woe;
But they stand in a region by mortals untrod:
There is rest, but it dwells in the presence of God.
Our father's oracular forebodings proved sadly correct; For, though for a few weeks Charlotte Evans appeared to receive benefit from his prescriptions and professional advice, it was plain that this improvement was only tem j porary. She rallied for a short time; and then disease made such rapid progress as to forbid the faintest hope oi recovery.
It was on a pleasant evening in autumn that Bessie and i I paid our second visit to Mrs. Evans' invalid daughter. The three months which had passed away since our former
Nut EMBER, 1862.
call, had wrought a striking, and in some respects a mournful change in her. We found her seated in an easy chair, propped up with pillows, and then scaroely able to sustain the fatigue of this half-recumbent posture.
At the outset of her illness Charlotte Evans persisted in declaring herself not ill—weakened only by over-exertion, she said. But now she knew better.
"Oh! but you must not give up in that way," said I, when she had plainly declared that she knew herself to be beyond hope of restoration to health: "you must get rid of such melancholy thoughts."
"Melancholy! dear Miss Emily; they are not melancholy thoughts. At least," she added, " I do not feel that they often make me melancholy; and I am sure they ought never to make me so." She smiled very peacefully when she said this.
"I am very glad they do not have such an effect upon you," I replied; "but it would be better not to think about dying."
"Why not think about dying?" 6he asked, quietly. "Is it not best, Miss Emily, for me to think about what is so very near?"
"How can you talk so, Charlotte?" interposed my sister, in as sprightly a tone as she could assume. "Who can possibly have put it into your head that you are near dying? I am sure our father has not said, so: has he now?"
"Oh no! Mr. Mailman tells me that it is all nonsense, and that I ought to look forward to being quite well again. It is very kind of him—that is," added the invalid, hastily, as though . correcting herself, "he means it kindly, I am sure."
"Why not take his advice, then, Charlotte, and banish those gloomy fears about death?"
"Dear Miss Emily," replied she, fixing her bright eyes upon me, as though she would have read my very thoughts, "I have no business to have gloomy fears about death; but I must think about it."
We tried in vain to move Charlotte from this notion of hers.
"You do not really believe that I shall recover—I am sure you do not," she said, in reply to some argument my sister had used; "although you are so kind as to endeavour to encourage me, as you fancy, Miss Bessie; and I tell you truly that the prospect of death does not trouble me."
"Oh! Charlotte, I am so glad of that," said Bessie, with a sudden out-pouring of feeling which she could no longer restrain, and which effectually broke down any barrier of ceremony there might have previously been between the invalid and ourselves: "I am so glad of that," she repeated; "for it must be a great comfort to you."
"It must be a pleasure to you now, Charlotte," I added, "to remember all your past goodness, and to feel persuaded that God is your friend."
Charlotte fastened her eyes upon me; and there was a very deep expression in her earnest look: "It is a great happiness to me—oh, how great!—to believe and know that God is my friend," she said: "but there is nothing in me that I dare think of as goodness. It is only because he is very merciful and long suffering and slow to anger that I oan have any hope either in life or in death."
"To be sure," I said, "that is what we must all look to, the mercy of God; but there is a great difference, you know—a difference in people, I mean; and you are not like a great many others. You always did your duty, Charlotte; and, if you were a little too strict as we sometimes thought, I dare say it was all for the best." I remember saying this with a feeling of superiority and self-complacency, and with a kind of consciousness of the difference in station between our former servant and ourselves which qualified my sister and myself to give encouragement and instruction. I remember, too, the meekness and humility with which the poor invalid listened patiently to all that we said, although she knew how ignorant we were, and, in her gentle way, gave a reason for the hope that was in her.
"I think there is a difference, Miss Emily," she said, after a moment's thought; "but it is not at all the difference you mean. Would you mind my reading a few verses which will tell you better than any words of my own, where I feel the difference?" And Charlotte laid her hand on a well-worn Bible which was on the table by her side.
My sister and I both assented, of course; and the invalid opened the book. She readily found what she wanted, and in a very soft, low voice, read as follows:—-" And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in. the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
She paused here, partly because reading continuously exhausted her, and partly from timidity. "It is very bold of me," she whispered presently; "but there is a little more, if you would not mind, ladies;" and she looked at us inquiringly.
My sister smiled, and nodded assent; and Charlotte read the next few verses: "' But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ, Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.'"
Here the reader shut the book.
Very little more passed then, for Charlotte was exhausted; and we now took our leave for that time.
"What a very strange thing that poor girl's religion is!" said I, as we were on our way home. Bessie did not reply; and when I turned to see the reason, to my great surprise 1 observed that her eyes were filled with tears.
"Don't ask me about it, Emily dear," she said hastily: "it is very foolish of me; I shall be better presently."
We loved each other very dearly, Bessie and I. This was natural; were we not twin sisters? We had never had secrets; or if there had ever been secrecy towards others, we two shared them in common. We were scarcely ever separated from each other by day, and we shared the same room at night.
That night I was roused from sleep by the stifled sobs of my sister; and in another moment I was by her bed-side.
"Bessie, dear Bessie, are you ill?" I asked hurriedly and in alarm.