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that her days were numbered, and that the hour of her departure was at hand. So true it is, 'that in the midst of life we are in death.' 'As a leaf we do fade.' Our life is, indeed, as a vapour seen for an instant, then vanishing away. The decree had gone forth: neither tears nor prayers could avert its fatal efficacy; and the place of Emily, like the vine assailed by the tempest, and falling with the elm to which it clung,* was ere long to know her no more.
* Come olmo, a cui la pampinosa pianta
La Gerusalemme LiberaTa—Canto xi.
"Oft had I placed the simple wreath
Upon her virgin-breast;
Around her bed of rest."
Happy in themselves, and blest beyond the lot of thousands, this favoured family might have ceased to remember, that it is 'through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God,' or have forgotten,
"Awhile permitted o'er these wastes to roam,
had not He, ' who called them to his eternal glory/ in mercy visited them with affliction. Thus is it, that our great Forerunner, while he summons us to the conflict, trains us to the heavenly warfare. 'Made perfect himself through sufferings,' he exercises his children with similar trials, at once to renew their confidence, confirm their faith, accus
VOL. II. I
torn them to dependance, wean them from the vanities of an unsatisfying world, and fit them for his undefiled repose. As the captain of their salvation, he is pledged to lead them on. Yet, while he assures them, that neither death nor life shall separate them from his love, he oftentimes sees good that they should ' go forth with weeping, bearing their precious seed, that sowing in tears they may reap in joy.' Thus are they brought more immediately to Him as the only source of consolation, and are gradually taught that flesh must not be their arm. Their fears are dispelled, their hopes are brightened, and they begin to look forward with longing desires to those mansions of uninterrupted, and unalloyed felicity, which he is gone before to prepare for them-—where sin shall not enter—where the storms of time shall be heard no longer—and where the waves of , trouble shall for ever cease to roll.
Emily's illness now assumed, daily, a more alarming character. The unfavourable symptoms, which had disappeared for a little, returned with augmented violence, and she was soon pronounced in a decline. Many months passed tediously away in efforts to mitigate her sufferings, or, if it were permitted, to arrest the progress of her disorder; but notwithstanding every assistance, which the most tender assiduity could afford, it was evident that they had only conducted her nearer to the grave. Persuaded from the commencement of her sickness, that it would be 'unto death,' she had made it a particular request that she might not be deceived as to her real situation. "Thelast enemy," she said, "must assail us soon or late; and I trust I shall be enabled to hail his approach with joy. Some seem anxious to banish the thought of dissolution; but my hopes beyond are too sweet to permit me to forget that I must die. To the christian, death is but the door that opens to the regions of eternal happiness; and why then should I be afraid to approach it?" Her danger had now become imminent, and it was considered a proper moment for complying with her desire. She listened to the
awful disclosure with the not 111 r.iffled serenity, awd gently chided those, who could not Testraifl the tribute of affectionate regret beside her, saying, with a smile that irradiated her pale and emaciated cheek : " Now I am indeed drawing near the long-wishedfor goal. Do not weep for me, my dear mother, and beloved friends. My afflictions wirl soon have an end. Oh, do not, do not weep for me V
Althongh doomed to contend with an exquisite sensibility, the frequent accompaniment of a delicate frame, captivating to the beholder, but too often injurious in possession, Emily enjoyed a tranquillity which outward evils could not invade. Her humble, but undivided and undoubting affiance in a reconciled God, and the natural sweetness of her disposition, chastened and nourished by the influences of his Spirit, had indeed long breathed a calm and resigned contentment over her path; and manifold as were the trials she was now called to undergo, they could not disturb the settled composure of her mind. The refuge she had fled to, she found, amidst accumulating