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in his arms,
. because he loved you; does he not deserve to be loved in return?"
Ellen had nothing to say; she hung down her head further and further.
“And patient and kind as your mother is, the Lord Jesus is kinder and more patient still. In all your life so far, Ellen, you have not loved or obeyed him; and yet he loves you, and is ready to be your friend. Is he not even to-day taking away your dear mother for the very purpose that he may draw you gently tò himself and fold
you as he has promised to do with his lambs?' He knows you can never be happy anywhere else."
The gentleman paused again, for he saw that the little listener's mind was full.
*“ Has not Christ shown that he loves you better even than your mother does? And were there ever sweeter words of kindness than these ?
“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid thein not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.' “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.'
“I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.'
He waited a minute, and then added, gently, “Will you come to him, Ellen ?"
Ellen lifted her tearful eyes to his; but there were tears there too, and her own sank instantly. She covered her face with her hands, and sobbed out in broken words, “Oh, if I could—but I don't know how."
“Do you wish to be his child, Ellen ?" “Oh yes, sir-if I could.”
"I know, my child, that sinful heart of yours is in the way, but the Lord Jesus can change it, and will, if you will give it to him. He is looking upon you now, Ellen, with more kindness and love than any earthly father or mother could, waiting for you to give that little heart of yours to him, that he may make it holy and fill it with blessing. He says, you know, 'Behold I stand at the door and knock.' Do not grieve him away, Ellen.”
Ellen sobbed, but all the passion and bitterness of her tears was gone. Her heart was completely melted.
“ If your mother were here, and could do for you what you want, would you doubt her love to do it? would you have any difficulty in asking her ?"
" Oh no!"
" Then do not doubt his love who loves you better still. Come to Jesus. Do not fancy he is away up in heaven out of reach of hearing—he is here, close to you, and knows every wish and throb of your heart. Think you are in his presence and at his feet,
,—even now,—and say to him in your heart, ‘Lord, look upon me I am not fit to come to thee, but thou hast bid me come-take me and make me thine own-take this hard heart that I can do nothing with, and make it holy and fill it with thy love I give it and myself into thy hands, O. dear Saviour !'”
These words were spoken very low, that only Ellen could catch them. Her bowed head sank lower and lower till he ceased speaking. He added no more for some time; waited till she had resumed her usual attitude and appearance, and then said,
Ellen, could you join in heart with my words ?” “ I did, sir,- I couldn't help it, all but the last.” 6 All but the last ?” “Yes, sir.”
But, Ellen, if you say the first part of my prayer with your whole heart, the Lord will enable you to say the last too,—do you believe that ?”
Yes, sir.” “ Will you not make that your constant prayer
you are heard and answered ?”
“ Perhaps the answer may not come at once,-it does not always ;—but it will come as surely as the sun will rise to-morrow morning. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.' But then you must be in earnest. And if you are in earnest, is there nothing you have to do besides praying ?”
Ellen looked at him without making any answer. “When a person is in earnest, how does he show it ?"
“By doing every thing he possibly can to get what he wants."
te: Quite right;" said, her friend, smiling ; and has God bidden us to do nothing besides pray for a new heart ?"
"O yes, sir, —he has told us to do a great many things."
“And will he be likely to grant that prayer, Ellen, if he sees that you do not care about displeasing him in those great many things ??-Will he judge that you are sincere in wishing for a new heart.?"
"Oh no, sir..
" Then if you are resolved to be a Christian, you will not be contented with, praying for a new heart, but you will begin at once to be a servant of God. You can do nothing well without help, but you are sure the help will come; and from this good day you will seek to know and to do the will of God, trusting in his dear Son to perfect that which concerneth you. My little child,” said the gentleman softly and kindly,
are you ready to say you will do this ?" .: As she hesitated, he took a little book from his pocket, and turning over the leaves, said, “I am going to leave you for a little while I have a few moments' business down stairs to attend to; and I want you to look over this hymn and think carefully of what I have been saying, will you ?and resolve what you will do.”'
Ellen got off his knee, where she had been sitting all this while, and silently taking the book, sat down in the chair he had quitted. Tears ran fast again, and many thoughts passed through her mind, as her eyes went over and over the words to which he had pointed:
Behold the Saviour at thy door,
You treat no other friend so ill.
With open heart and outstretch'd hands.
This matchless kindness to his foes.
Ne'er entertain'd so kind a guest.
When at his door, denied, you'll stand.
The last two lines Ellen longed to say, but could not; the two preceding were the very speech of her heart.
Not more than fifteen minutes had passed when her friend came back again. The book hung in Ellen's hand; her eyes were fixed on the floor.
“Well,” he said kindly, and taking her hand, “what's your decision ?"
Ellen looked up. “ Have you made up your mind on that matter we were talking about ?"
“Yes, sir,” Ellen said in a low voice, casting her eyes “ And how have you decided, my child ?" “I will try to do as you said, sir,”.
“ You will begin to follow your Saviour, ana to please him, from this day forward. ?"
“I will try, sir,” said Ellen, meeting his eyes as she spoke. Again the look she saw made her burst into tears. She wept violently.
“God bless you and help you, my dear Ellen," said he, gently passing his hand over her head ;—“but do not cry any more--you have shed too many tears this morning already. We will not talk about this any more now.”
And he spoke only soothing and quieting words for & while to her; and then asked if she would like to go over the boat and see the different parts of it. Ellen's joyful agreement with this proposal was only qualified by the fear of giving him trouble. But he put that entirely by.
Time and the hour run through the roughest day.
JHE going over the boat held them a long time, for El
len's new friend took kind pains to explain to her whatever he thought he could make interesting; he was amused to find how far she pushed her inquiries into the how and the why of things. For the time her sorrows were almost forgotten.
" What shall we do now?" said he, when they had at last gone through the whole ; ;" would you like to go to your friends ?"
“I haven't any friends on board, sir," said Ellen, with a swelling heart.
“Haven't any friends on board! what do you mean? Are you
alone ?” “No, sir,” said Ellen, —"not exactly alone; my father put me in the care of a lady that is going to Thirlwall ;but they are strangers and not friends.”
“ Are they unfriends? I hope you don't think, Ellen, that strangers cannot be friends too ?”
“No indeed, sir, I don't !” said Ellen, looking up with a face that was fairly brilliant with its expression of gratitude and love. But casting it down again, she added, “But they are not my frierrds, sir." “Well then," he said, smiling, “ will you come with me ?" O
yes, sir ! if you will let me, and if I sha'n't be a trouble to you, sir."
“Come this way,” said he, “and we'll see if we cannot find a nice place to sit down, where no one will trouble us."
Such a place was found. And Ellen would have been quite satisfied though the gentleman had done no more than