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When the mother of my children was taken from me-it was on a Tuesday she died-and on Saturday she was buried. We stood together when my Alice was let down into the narrow house made for all living. On the Sabbath I joined in the public worship of God; she commanded me to do so, the night before she went away. I could not join in the Psalm that Sabbath, for her voice was not in the throng. Her grave was covered up, and grass and flowers grow there; so was my heart, but Thou, whom through the blood of Christ, I hope to see this night in Paradise, knowest that, from that hour to this day, never have I forgotten Thee."
9. The old man ceased speaking-and his grandchild now able to endure the scene, for strong passion is its own support, glided softly to a little table, and bringing a cup in which a cordial had been mixed, held it in his small soft hands to his grandfather's lips. He drank and then said, " Come close to me Jamie, and kiss me for thine own and thy Father's sake;" and as the child fondly pressed his rosy lips on those of his grandfather, so white and withered, the tears fell over the old man's face, and then trickled down on the golden head of the child at last sobbing in his bosom.
10. "Jamie, thy own father has forgotten thee in thy infancy and me in my old age; but Jamie, forget not thou thy father nor thy mother, for that thou knowest and feelest is the commandment of God."
11. The broken-hearted boy could give no reply. He had gradually stolen closer and closer unto the old loving man, and now was lying, worn out with sorrow, drenched and dissolved in tears, in his grandfather's bosom. His mother had sunk down on her knees, and hid her face with her hands. "Oh! if my husband knew but of this-he would never, never desert his dying father;" and I now knew that the Elder was praying on his death-bed for a disobedient and wicked son.
12. At this affecting time the minister took the FamilyBible on his knees, and said, "Let us sing to the praise and
glory of God, part of the fifteenth Psalm;" and he read with a tremulous and broken voice, those beautiful verses : —
Within thy tabernacle, Lord
Who shall abide with thee?
13. The small congregation sang the noble hymn of the Psalmist to 66 'Plaintive martyrs, worthy of the name." The dying man himself, ever and anon, joined in the holy musicand when it feebly died away on his quivering lips, he continued still to follow the tune with the motion of his withered hand, and eyes devoutly and humbly lifted up to Heaven.
14. Ere the psalm was yet over, the door was opened and a tall fine-looking man entered, but with a lowering and dark countenance, seemingly in sorrow, in misery, and remorse: agitated, confounded and awe-struck by the melancholy and dirge-like music, he sat down on a chair-and looked with a ghastly face towards his father's death-bed: When the psalm ceased, the Elder said, with a solemn voice, "My son-thou art come in time to receive thy father's blessing. May the remembrance of what will happen in this room before the morning again shine over Hazel-glen, win thee from the error of thy ways. Thou art here to witness the mercy of thy God and thy Saviour, whom thou hast forgotten."
15. The minister looked, if not with a stern, yet with an upbraiding countenance, on the young man who had not recovered his speech, and said, "William! for three years past your shadow has not darkened the door of the House of God. They who fear not the thunder may tremble at the still small voice-now is the hour of repentance-that your father's spirit
may carry up to Heaven tidings of a contrite soul saved from the company of sinners!"
16. The young man, with much effort, advanced to the bedside and at last found voice to say, "Father-I am not without the affections of nature-and I hurried home as soon as I heard that the minister had been seen riding towards our house. I hope that you will yet recover-and if I have ever made you unhappy, I ask your forgiveness—for though I may not think as you do on matters of religion, I have a human heart. Father! I may have been unkind, but I am not cruel. I ask your forgiveness."
17. "Come nearer to me, William; kneel down by the bedside, and let my hand find the head of my beloved son-for blindness is coming fast upon me. Thou wert my first-born, and thou art my only living son. All thy brothers and sisters are lying in the churchyard, beside her whose sweet face thine own, William, did once so much resemble. Long wert thou the joy, the pride of my soul, ay, too much the pride, for there was not in all the parish such a man, such a son as my own William. If thy heart has since been changed, God may inspire it again with right thoughts. Could I die for thy sake -could I purchase thy salvation with the out pouring of thy father's blood-but this the son of God has done for thee, who hast denied him! I have sorely wept for thee-ay William, when there was none near me-even as David wept for Absalom-for thee, my son, my son !"
18. A long deep groan was the only reply; but the whole body of the kneeling man was convulsed; and it was easy to see his sufferings, his contrition, his remorse, and his despair. The Pastor said with a sterner voice and austerer countenance than were natural to him, "Know you whose hand is now lying on your rebellious head? But what signifies the word father to him who has denied God, the Father of us all ?". "Oh! press him not so hardly," said the weeping wife, coming forward from a dark corner of the room, where she had tried to conceal herself in grief, fear, and shame; "Spare, oh !
spare my husband - he has ever been kind to me ;" and with that, she knelt down beside him, with her long, soft, white arms mournfully and affectionately laid across his neck. "Go thou, likewise, my sweet little Jamie," said the elder, “go even out of my bosom and kneel down beside thy father and thy mother, so that I may bless you all at once and with one yearning prayer." The child did as that solemn voice commanded, and knelt down somewhat timidly by his father's side; nor did that unhappy man decline encircling with his arm the child too much neglected, but still dear to him as his own blood, in spite of the deadening and debasing influences of infidelity.
19. Put the Word of God into the hands of my son, and let him read aloud to his dying father the 25th, 26th, and 27th verses of the eleventh chapter of the Gospel according to St. John." The Pastor went up to the kneelers, and, with a voice of pity, condolence, and pardon, said, "There was a time, William, when none could read the Scriptures better than couldst thou can it be that the son of my friend hath forgotten the lessons of his youth?" He had not forgotten them there was no need for the repentant sinner to lift up his eyes from the bedside. The sacred stream of the Gospel had worn a channel in his heart, and the waters were again flowing. With a choked voice, he said, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world."
20. "That is not an unbeliever's voice," said the dying man triumphantly; "nor, William, hast thou an unbeliever's heart. Say that thou believest in what thou hast now read, and thy father will die happy!"-"I do believe; and as thou forgivest me, so may I be forgiven by my Father who is in Heaven."
21. The Elder scemed like a man suddenly inspired with a new life. His faded eyes kindled-his pale cheeks glowed
---his palsied hands seemed to wax strong-and his voice was clear as that of manhood in its prime. "Into thine hands, O God, I commend my spirit!"-And so saying, he gently sank back on his pillow, and I thought I heard a sigh. There was then a long deep silence, and the father and mother and child rose from their knees. The eyes of us all were turned towards the white placid face of the figure now stretched in everlasting rest; and without lamentations, save the silent lamentations of the resigned soul, we stood around the Deathbed of the Elder.
467. Record your Reminiscences of some absent Friend or Relative, in which the following particulars are neatly developed :
468.-1. A description of his personal appearance, size, gait, deportment.
2. Observations on his pronunciation and general mode of expression.
3. Notice any of his sayings or maxims remarkable for their acuteness, truthfulness, pungency, or wit.
4. The more remarkable qualities of his mind, and educational training.
5. His plan of life, how sustained.
6. Any actions deserving of especial notice, and their tendency.
7. A contrast. Conclusion.
469. Record your Reminiscences of some Popular Preacher on the following points:
470.-1. State his personal appearance in the pulpit. 2. His pronunciation, mode of delivery, and gestures.