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RECOLLECTIONS OF WILLIAM B.
or say evil things. What a plague-spot the knowledge of evil may be!
But sickness came. I soon missed him from his seat, for the good are always missed. Oh! that I could take every boy to a sick-bed, and impress on his mind what sin has done, and what the end of it must be! Much I prayed for William, and others, too, prayed ; but our prayers were answered, not, as we expected, by his recovery, but by the Lord Jesus claiming him as his own. when a gardener cultivates a flower and loves it, and expects it to bring forth fruit, the proprietor may come and take it for himself, so the Lord, who had only lent him to us, took him to his own bosom. With a great fear of exaggeration, I yet feel that the grace of God in him warrants this statement. Ah! would it be our end, if now we were laid low ?
On his death-bed, though in much weakness, the Psalms were his delight. Portions, like the 15th of John, that he had by heart, he did not want read. In the presence of his relatives, he offered a most impressive prayer, concluding with the blessing which we pronounce in the church at the close of the service. He possessed £1, and he wished 5s. to be given to the Missions, the rest to be given in presents to his companions. He had no fears, no donbts, about it being well with him hereafter.
I was naturally curious to know from his friends, how long what I regard as marks of grace in his character had appeared. They speak of him being such from a very child. This should make us value the prayers of Christian parents. His mother says that he was observed by her, to her great dread, stealing out of his bed at night to a closet to pray, and stealing back again, after, remaining a long time. . Children ought not to do any. thing without the full knowledge of their parents ; but I have heard before of pious children stealing times for prayer, and that for their parents, and of their parents discovering it, not to rebuke them, but to shed tears of joyful gratitude. So was it with William. Also, his tender conscience in noting breaches of the 5th Com
RECOLLECTIONS OF WILLIAM B.
mandment—the great command to a child-wa markable. His love to practical remarks in preaching was remarked by his parents. His conversation was always good ; as, when the sufferings of the missionary Judson were spoken of as great, he said, “Think of the Master whom he served.” Such is the kind of boy we have lost. Can our near friends say such things of us?
Suffer me now to draw out a few lessons from this narrative. I would not have written it, but for the hope that some child might be made better by its perusal. May the Spirit of God bless it to all!
I. Perhaps some may mourn his loss. I do very heartily. But we are to remember, that, if he were a child of God, he has gone home. When friends go to Australia, a few tears are shed ; but if they are to be well there, and we are to join them soon, we are comforted. And if Australia would be always in the mind of those left behind, for the sake of friends there, will not heaven be precious to us, as we think of seeing Christ our friend, and in him all the good people that we have loved here ? Oh! children, if heaven be really yours, what though a few seas are to be passed : these shall be safely passed, and one moment of heaven will make up for all the sufferings and hard service here. Happy
they who early get there ! II. Perhaps others, reading this, may say, " Oh, that I were sure of heaven! I fear I am not in the way.”
Well, it is right to feel so. If death were to come to-night, what an awful thing to be in doubt! I am sure we have all, old and young, done enough to merit hell. What foolish boys are those, who presume on life, and go on careless, after the death of this boy? Let me, however, guide you. Many an earnest boy fails for want of direction.
Believe, then, that God loves you. Think of your earthly father, and how much he loves you ; then of God-far abler, and purer, and infinitely more loving to you, even to you.
Then, believe that though you are guilty in God's
SIN MAKES US AFRAID.
holy eyes, and though God cannot overlook that, yet he has provided the Lord Jesus for just such as you. However great your sins—and they are far greater than ever you will fully know—their greatness is swallowed up in the infinite ocean of an infinite Saviour's obedience and sufferings. unto death for you.
Then, with these things before you, the great thing is to be interested in this wonderful work of Jesus. The image of the ark-I used it to William-will help you here. All out of the ark perished, however high the mountain which they ascended; all in it were saved ; '80 out of Christ the best will perish, for their best is but sin; but in Christ the worst are saved, and will become better. The great thing, then, is to get into Christ, and keep in Christ; and this is done, just by cordially and consciously taking Christ as your ark. Never wiń you perish, if in this state.
SIN MAKES US AFRAID.
Why was Adam afraid of the voice of God in the garden? It was not a strange voice--it was a voice he had always before loved: but he now, fled away at the sound, and hid himself among the garden trees. You, can tell me why, I am sure. It was because he had disobeyed God. Sin makes us afraid of God, who is holy ; nothing but sin could make us fear one so good and so kind. Have you not felt this same kind of fear, when Satan has tempted you to do wrong?
A child was one day playing alone in a drawing-room, full of beautiful ornaments. He had often been told not to touch anything there, as they were of great value, and many of them were made of rare glass or china, and cost much money. He was usually an obedient boy ; but on this particular day he was seized with a great desire to lift
THE GENTLE CALL.
up the lid of a beautiful china jar, as he knew it was filled with sweetly scented rose-leaves. He left his toys, and went to the stand where the jar was placed. As he was too short to reach the lid, he climbed on a stool for the
purpose; but just as his hand was on the lid of the jar, he heard a sound, and starting, he let it fall from his hand. It was not broken, but cracked, and he thought that most likely no one would remark it ; 80, replacing it on the vase, he left the room. Day after day passed; but, although no notice was taken of the injury, he lived in constant fear of a discovery. Every time his aunt called him he started, and when he was in bed at night, if he heard but the rustle of her dress in the passage or on the stairs, he was frightened. Yet it was not his loving aunt, but his sin, that made him tremble. She was always kind and gentle, and had never spoken a harsh word to her little nephew during his long visit to her house. At last the misery of concealment became so great, that one day he told his aunt all; and the words she spoke to him then will never be forgotten. He learned from that week's re morse more of the nature of sin, than in his whole life before. And as they knelt down and prayed to God for forgiveness, the child felt humbled and penitent, and lifted up his soul very earnestly, that God would cleanse him from secret faults, and take away the love of sin from his heart.
THE GENTLE CALL.
BEHIND a lowland cottage,
With climbing roses gay,
Two children at their play.
THE GENTLE CALL.
All round the garden walks they ran,
Filling the air with glee,
Beneath an old oak-tree.
Tlrey were silent for a little space,
At length the boy began“I wonder, sister dear, if I
Shall ever be a man?
“I almost think I never shall,
For, sometimes in my sleep, I dream that I am dying
Nay, sister, do not weep!
“ It is a pleasant thing to die;
For, though this world be fair, I see a lovelier in my dreams,
And I fancy I am there :
“I think that I am taken there
As soon as I have died;
With an angel by my side.
“And I wish that you, my sister,
And my mother dear, and I,
And all together
“ But when I read my book to hor,
Or when I play with you,
And the bright angel too.