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MRS. M. You had cause for such
apprehension, my son ; but since
have sincerely repented of that offence, and have, I trust, resolved in the strength of the Lord, never again to commit the like, therefore you may still hope that your place is amongst the wheat. Wilful sins, however, must always cause a dread that we are among the tares ; therefore against such we must ever watch and pray. The child of God may be betrayed into sin ; but it is the repetition of sin, the continuing in sin, knowing it to be sin; it is thinking of sin with complacency, without abhorrence, or affecting holiness of life when our inward thoughts and wishes are on the side of sin, that proves us to be among the tares.
EMILY. "I am sure, mamma, you are among the wheat.'
*MRS. M. Through faith in Christ, I feel a blessed assurance, my dear Emily, that I am; and it is that which supports me under the pain I daily suffer, and enables me to think with calmness of quitting all I love on earth; I feel I am going to one who is dearer than all; and I have also a joyful, a soothing hope, that I shall meet again those who have been most dear in this life.'
GEORGE, 'I hope you may, mamma, but you are very religious and good, so of course you expect to go to heaven.'
MRS. M. “It is not on account of a consciousness of any virtue in myself, George, it is not because I think I have kept the commandments of God's pure and holy law, that I have this glorious assurance of happiness. No, my children! On the contrary, I feel that I am a transgressor continually, in thought, word, and deed, against the divine law. It is because that holy law has been kept and fulfilled for me, by him who alone could keep and fulfil it ; it is because I feel that the punishment of my many and grievous offences has been laid upon one that is mighty to save,– has been borne for me by my precious Saviour ; I feel that, enabled by his Holy Spirit, without which “I could do nothing,”: I am grateful for his boundless mercy, and therefore endeavour, imperfectly indeed, (Oh! how imperfectly!) to do his will ; trusting, that as he has been pleased to awaken me, and shew me that I was walking in an unsafe and slippery path, he will guide and keep me in the right way, in the “ paths of righteousness and peace :—that he will lead me through the “ dark valley of the shadow of death, so that I shall fear no evil.”,
While Mrs. Mansfield was speaking, the two children had turned their heads away from her and covered their faces with their hands; tears flowing gently down each blooming cheek. She took a hand of each and said,- Weep not my beloved children at the thought of your mother's happiness.'
EMILY. Oh, Mamma, I could not bear to see you
die.' Mrs. M. Emily, remember Him who can enable you to bear it; think not of death and the grave, but look above it ; it is that prospect which will soothe your young heart, when it shall please the Lord to deprive you of your parent. Consider what is beyond the grave; remember“ there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain,” neither any more sin. Once met on that happy shore, Emily, we shall never part again; and instead of a poor sinning, weak, helpless mother, you will meet her with a glorified body, free from all the pain she has suffered here ; and you will live for ever with her in the presence of that heavenly Friend, who “ sticketh closer than a brother."
EMILY. • But we are very happy, dear Mamma."
MRS. M. • You and George are very happy, Emily; you have kind parents and friends who have endeavoured to lead your minds to rational pursuits, and you enjoy the pleasures that belong to your age ; your garden, your boat, your books; George his dogs : but, when winter comes, you have nothing to do in the garden ; you cannot go out in your boat; you cannot read always; you are not fond of work; you often feel weary; you sometimes suffer pain ; grief too you have felt, young as you are.
But in the
blessed world beyond the grave, there is joy without any mixture of grief, employment without labour, no pain, neither fear of pain ; happiness unmixed with the fear of losing it, “ Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss.",
George. That is a lovely picture you have drawn, Mamma; but still I am selfish enough to wish to keep you here a little longer.'
Mrs. M. It is a picture of which I trust and pray you may both know the reality ; but we must learn the perspective of it here George, else we should not be able to understand its beauty, or to enjoy its reality.'
GEORGE. “Yes, Mamma, and therefore I want you to stay to teach it to me.'
MRS. M. • There is but one teacher that can do that, George ; but I am very willing to be his handmaid in the work, and I think he will permit me to be so for some time longer, for I feel much better latterly.'
Emily's tears were instantly dried up, and throwing her arms round her mother's neck,