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some nice warm gruel given to Kitty before Jim was fetched up; and then as he crept up stairs, Mary whispered to him, "Be sure to read very low, and pick out all the comforting bits for the poor creature to think of." And Jim did pick out the comforting bits he read of Jesus praying for his murderers, saving the dying thief on the cross, raising the dead, and weeping by the grave of Lazarus; and then he read that "God is love," and willeth not the death of a sinner; and that Jesus had put away the sins of the whole world when he died for us; and that whosoever believed on him was saved for ever. Kitty listened eagerly, only signing to him to go on when he was about to stop. Time went by; Jim was still reading and Kitty and Mary listening; at last, Kitty said—
"I thank you, neighbour, with all my heart; those are the sweetest words I ever heard. Oh that I could live to show what I believe the Lord has done for a wretch like I am! God bless you both; and when you come to be where I am (on your dying bed), may you never feel what I do, that I've never done anything for Him who has done all for me; and now, please, pray.'
Jim and Mary knelt down, and Jim sent up a short fervent prayer to the throne of grace; he knew to whom he prayed, and his soul went up in those few earnest words to the God of all love and to the Father of all mercies, that as they had been permitted to bend before. him on earth, they might stand before him in heaven, blessing and praising his holy name. As Jim was leaving the room, Kitty called him back, and begged Mary to give him some papers which were in the old box by her bedside.
"They are my marriage lines, Mr. Edmonds," she said; "mine and Nelly's mother's too; the other papers are Ted's, but you'll please read them and take care of them. Ted used to say they would help to get us into an almshouse or something or other when we were old." Jim took the papers, and wishing Kitty a good night, went down to bed, Mary remaining behind. Kitty dozed and coughed, and coughed and dozed some hours; but at last woke up with a dreadful fit of coughing, which continued until she fainted from exhaustion. Mary ran down to a widow who lived in the room under, and begged her to come to Mrs. Carroll. It was a long time before Kitty showed any sign of animation; and at last when she
rallied sufficiently to take notice of Mary and the widow, they felt sure that in a few hours all would be over. Toiling on, every breath harder to draw and farther apart, poor Kitty lingered until the morning; Jim crept up and took a last look at her thin weary face, before he went to work, but she did not observe him. It was just seven; a light step was heard on the stairs, Mary turned her head and saw her dear minister enter the garret; she raised her finger, and he stepped aside to where the dying woman could not see him. Fainter and fainter grew Kitty's breath; Mary saw her lips move, and, stooping down, asked if she wanted anything. "No," replied the dying woman; then in a low but distinct voice she murmured, "to the uttermost,—yes—able.” It was over-and rising above the sobs of the weeping women (for two or three of the other lodgers, seeing the clergyman go up, had followed, and been standing at the open door), rose Mr. Elstone's voice with his Master's words: "I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Then turning to the women, he said, in an earnest, affectionate way, "My dear friends, you have seen our sister pass away, and with her dying breath declare that God will save to the uttermost any poor sinner who will come to him and so he will, if we close at once with his offers of mercy-but remember, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation; and our heavenly Father, though he promises to receive all who come to him now, makes no such promise to those who delay coming till to-morrow. Oh, now, therefore, whilst it is called to-day, come to your loving Saviour and, casting all your sins and sorrows upon him, henceforth live to his praise and your own happiness; so that when the time of your departure shall arrive, you may realize that 'to die is gain.'
Mr. Elstone then went down to Mary's room, and finding Nelly and Charley there, told them that God had sent for their dear mother, and that she was gone to live beyond the bright blue sky; and if they were good children and learned to love the Lord Jesus, some day he would send for them and take them to their mother, and they would never more be parted. His simple manner and gentle voice soon won the children's confidence; so that when Mary came down, after performing the last sad offices for Kitty, she
found Charley sitting on his knee playing with his watch, and Nelly at his feet gazing up into his face with love and wonder. Mary thought it very kind of Mr. Elstone to come out to see Kitty before he had had his breakfast; she little thought that the good man had spent the night in prayer to the Shepherd of souls, that the wandering, but returning sheep might be received safely into the fold, and be saved with the remnant of the true Israelites; she had no idea how he had longed for morning that he might go to the dying woman, and administer comfort and consolation to her troubled spirit; and that leaving his house early and meeting Jim, he had heard that Kitty was nearly gone, and had therefore come directly to her, hoping that he might not be too late. A few days after Kitty's death, a humble but decent funeral was seen going towards the parish church; a tall burly man carrying a little boy on one arm, and with his unoccupied arm leading a little girl; whilst a short plump woman, walking on the other side of the child, followed the bier. There they laid poor Kitty in her quiet grave, with a good hope that the corruptible body should be raised incorruptible, to the praise and glory of Him who is willing and "able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him."
Jim and Mary took the children and brought them up as if they had been their own, "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;" the little ones grew and became a blessing to the worthy couple in their old years, verifying the words of the wise man, "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
THE CHARACTERS OF A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN.
IN PARADOXES AND SEEMING CONTRADICTIONS.*
1. A CHRISTIAN is one that believes things his reason cannot comprehend; he hopes for things which neither he nor any man alive ever saw; he labours for that which he
*In perusing the following sentences, their paradoxical character must be borne in mind. The apparent contradictions in the belief of the church are stated baldly and in an exaggerated form, so as to arrest attention and stimulate thought. They are taken from a volume entitled "Selections from the Writings of Lord Bacon," recently published by the Religious Tract Society. A few of the aphorisms have been omitted.
knoweth he shall never obtain; yet, in the issue, his belief appears not to be false, his hope makes him not ashamed, his labour is not in vain.
3. He believes a virgin to be mother of a son; and that very son of hers to be her Maker. He believes Him to have been shut up in a narrow room, whom heaven and earth could not contain. He believes Him to have been born in time, who was and is from everlasting. He believes him to have been a weak child, carried in arms, who is the Almighty; and Him once to have died, who "only hath life and immortality" in himself.
4. He believes the God of all grace to have been angry with one that hath never offended him; and that God, who hates sin, to be reconciled to man, though sinning continually, and never making, or being able to make, Him satisfaction.
5. He believes himself to be precious in God's sight, and yet loathes himself in his own. He dares not justify himself in those things wherein he can find no fault with himself; and yet believes that God accepts him in those services wherein he is able to find many faults.
6. He praises God for his justice, and yet fears him for his mercy. He is so ashamed as that he dares not open his mouth before God; and yet he comes with boldness to God, and asks him anything he needs. He is so humble as to acknowledge himself to deserve nothing but evil; and yet believes that God means him all good. He is one that fears always, yet is as bold as a lion. He is often sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; many times complaining, yet always giving thanks. He is the most lowly-minded, yet the greatest aspirer; most contented, yet ever craving.
7. He bears a lofty spirit in a mean condition; when he is ablest, he thinks meanest of himself. He is rich in poverty, and poor in the midst of riches. He believes all the world to be his, yet he dares take nothing without special leave from God. He covenants with God for nothing, yet looks for a great reward. He loseth his life and gains by it; and whilst he loseth it, he saveth it.
8. He lives not to himself, yet of all others he is most wise for himself. He denieth himself often, yet no man loveth himself so well as he. He is most reproached, yet most honoured. He hath most afflictions, and most com
9. The more injury his enemies do him, the more
advantages he gains by them. The more he forsakes worldly things, the more he enjoys them.
10. He is the most temperate of all men, yet fares most deliciously; he lends and gives most freely, yet he is the greatest usurer; he is meek towards all men, yet inexorable by men. He is the best child, husband, brother, friend; yet hates father and mother, brother and sister. He loves all men as himself, yet hates some men with a perfect hatred.
11. He desires to have more grace than any man hath in the world, yet is truly sorrowful when he seeth any man have less than himself. He knoweth no man after the flesh, yet gives all men their due respects. He knoweth if he please man he cannot be the servant of Christ; yet, for Christ's sake, he pleaseth all men in all things. He is a peace-maker, yet is a continual fighter, and is an irreconcilable enemy.
12. He believes him to be worse than an infidel that provides not for his family, yet himself lives and dies without care. He accounts all his superiors, yet stands stiffly upon authority. He is severe to his children, because he loveth them; and by being favourable unto his enemy, he revengeth himself upon him.
13. He believes the angels to be more excellent creatures than himself, and yet accounts them his servants. He believes that he receives many good things by their means; and yet he neither prays for their assistance, nor offers them thanks, which he doth not disdain to do to the meanest Christian.
14. He believes himself to be a king, how mean soever he be; and how great soever he be, yet he thinks himself not too good to be a servant to the poorest saint.
15. He is often in prison, yet always at liberty; a freeman, though a servant. He loves not honour amongst men, yet highly prizeth a good name.
16. He believes that God hath bidden every man that doth him good to do so; he yet of all men is the most thankful to them that do aught for him. He would lay down his life to save the soul of his enemy, yet will not adventure upon one sin to save the life of Him who saved his. 17. He swears to his own hindrance, and changeth not; yet he knoweth that his oath cannot tie him to sin.
18. He believes Christ to have no need of anything he doth, yet maketh account that he doth relieve Christ in all