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poverty and greatest suffering, “ Not my will, but thine be done." “He was carried by angels to Abraham's bosom."
The Apostle John, designated “the Disciple whom Jesus loved,” leant upon his Master's breast at supper time. Perhaps there is reference here to the custom observed among the Jews. The Jews regarded Abraham's bosom as the place of the greatest honour, privilege, and happiness, and our Saviour says that Lazarus was carried thither by angels. He was an heir of salvation, and angels had been his ministering spirits. And after attending through a life of poverty and pain, this poor and suffering child of God, they watched his dying moments, and then carried his freed and happy spirit to its place of rest, to Abraham's bosom. Happy saint! great and many were thy trials, exemplary was thy patience ; great must have been thy faith, and great too is thy reward. Thy evil things are passed, all passed and for ever passed. And thy good things are no longer objects of faith and hope and contemplation, but of full, glorious, and eternal fruition. Thy soul in Abraham's bosom, and thy body sleeping its last peaceful, dreamless sleep. But ere long, it shall awake and arise, no longer capable of hunger, pain, weariness, and death, but fashioned like unto the Saviour's glorious body. Soon, yes, very soon, thy glorified soul shall be rejoined by thy then glorified body, to live in happy intercourse, and reign triumphantly with Christ in heaven. And a word for the poor, tried, tempted, suffering Christian, thou hast a full cup often, and sometimes thy cup runs over. But hope on, pray on, trust on, wait on a little longer. Thy "evil things'' shall soon end, and thy "good things” begin never to cease. And when! thy lot seems hard ; when a feeling of discontent struggles within thy breast, when the murmur or the sigh trembles on thy lips, think of the Beggar, and ask, is my lot harder han his ? Take heart again, dejected one, thou art now eceiving thy evil things. But even now thou art a child f God; angels are thy ministering spirits even now. Be aithful unto death, and angels shall carry thy spirit to
Abraham's bosom, as they carried Lazarus. And I would say to those who would like to enjoy the reward of honour and happiness, which the Beggar is now, and shall for ever enjoy, and who would not like at death to be carried by angels to Abraham's bosom, but who are either strangers to that grace, which, while it was also sufficient to support him under his deep poverty and extraordinary suffering, at the same time so fully qualified him for his glorious reward, remember that if we have not the Beggar's poverty and suffering, we must have his piety-- holiness without which no man can see the Lord, or we never can be carried by angels to Abraham's bosom.
KNOCKING AT THE DOOR.
A TRUE STORY. The glowing sun of a midsummer afternoon poured through the curtainless windows of the little village school, and small curly heads drooped like delicate flowers in the languid air. Among them all, little Katie's sunny ringlets fell the lowest ; and if you had lifted the golden veil, you would have seen that the weary eyes had forgotten to con the long line of hard words in the worn spelling-book, and that the silken fringes of the drooping lids were pillowed lovingly upon the sweetest little cheeks in the world. Yes, in the heated air, soothed by the lazy drone of the hungry flies, and the restless hum of young student voices, Katie had fallen asleep.
She was dreaming, too ! She was dreaming of the little brother, darling Charley, who, in the bright spring timewhen the violets were opening their sweet blue eyes after their long sleep-had strayed away from earth, and passed through those gates of glory always open for the entering of little feet. And she dreamed that she clasped him to her little lonely heart, and begged him never to leave her again. And amid the greatness of her joy she sobbed aloud, and started to find Belle's soft arm around her, and to hear her whisper
“What is the matter, darling ?”.
Before poor Katie could well collect her thoughts to ! answer, the school was dismissed, and she heard the teacher exclaim, as he pointed to the darkening west,
“Hurry home, children, or you will be caught in the shower.”
But Katie could not hurry, and as she walked slowly out of the door, again little Belle's sweet voice cried“ Poor Katie, are you sick ?”
Then Katie poured into the sympathising ear of her little friend all her troubles, and finished by saying, “I could not bear to find it only a dream ; I feel as if I must see Charley once more."
"Where do you think he is ? ”asked Belle.
“In heaven, I know,” replied Katie ; "and mother says he cannot come back to us, but we can go to him some time ;” and her sobs broke out afresh.
“Why don't you go to him now?” cried Belle.
“I don't know the way,” said Katie. “I was very sick when they took him away in the little coffin, and I don't know were they went.”
“Are you sure ?” said Belle eagerly. “Oh, I know it,” said Katie.
“ Then,” said impulsive little Belle, " then I can show you the way. I saw where they put your little brother." The glad light in Katie's tearful eyes was beautiful to behold.
“Will you, will you show me, Belle, now, this very afternoon ?"
“ Yes, indeed,” cried Belle, and with clasped hands, unmindful of the gathering gloom, these little pilgrims set forth on their journey to heaven.
Once on the way a doubt oppressed Belle. “Are you sure, Katie, that you can get in ? ”
“Ah,” said Katie, with sweet assurance, “how Charley would run to open the door!” and her cheek flushed with anticipation.
" Do you suppose Charley is very happy ?" urged Belle. “ Very,” said Kati, emphatically.
“ And what does he do all the time ?”
“ Plays with the angels with such lovely wings,” cried Katie, with great animation. “And they pick up stars, that lie all over the floor of heaven, and play with them. And the rainbows, I suppose they keep them up all the summer ; and, oh, how Charley used to love rainbows ! He cried once because"
“ Dear me,” said Belle, interrupting her in great dismay “it rains Katie, and we are ever so far from home ; what shall we do ?”
“But we are almost to heaven, arn't we? Let us hurry and go in there."
“Yes," said Belle, “ I see the door.”
“ There," responded little Belle, pointing to the rising ground and iron door of the village vault.
« Oh,” exclaimed Katie, with intense disappointment, « is that heaven ? Oh, Belle, it is like a great grave ;” and her little lip quivered sadly.
“Why," said Belle, “ that is where they took your brother, the very place, and you said he had gone to heaven; besides," continued she, brightening, “ when we get through the little dark door, it may be all very bright and beautiful on the other side."
“ Perhaps it is,” said Katie more hopefully.
But now the large drops began to fall very fast, and a thunder-storm in all its sublimity burst upon the little travellers. The burdened west gleamed like an ocean of flame, and the floor of heaven resounded to the solemn tread of the mighty thunder. Still the little children, with clasped hands and pale lips, pressed on, and their angels, who “do always behold the face of our Father," watched over them lovingly, and they walked secure in the heavenly company.
At last the busy, pattering feet reached the gloomy entrance, and Katie's sweet, hopeful lips were pressed close to the cold door.
“Knock!" cried Belle ; and with all her strength Katie did knock; and a hollow echo was all her reply, while
the dead within heeded not the call from fresh, young, hopeful lips, and the little brother, with folded eyes, and pale clasped hands, heard not the sweet, imploring cry.
“Charley, dear Charley, it is your sister, your own sister Katie ; won't you open the door ? "
"He does not hear you, Katie, it thunders so," said Belle. “Let us wait a little while ;” and they waited.
Soon there was a lull in the storm, and again Katie, strong in faith, knocked at the dreary door, and her loving cry, “ Charley, dear Charley," echoed sadly back.
“Do you hear any thing," asked Belle, with parted lips; “is he coming ?"
“No,” replied Katie ; “I thought once I heard his little feet, but it was only the rain."
“ Perhaps," suggested Belle, with large, imaginative eyes, “perhaps he is playing with the angels a great way off, in a beautiful garden.”
" Oh,” sobbed Katie, “ I hope he will not love the little'! angels more than me!”
“Knock once more, just once,” whispered Belle. With wavering faith again the little soft hand pleaded for entrance, and a tremulous voice cried piteously, “ Charley, ! darling, dear, sweet little brother, please open the door to your own poor Katie. Don't love the little angels better than me. Oh, Charley! Charley!” She threw herself upon the ground, and sobbed in an agony of grief and disappointment.
“Katie,” said Belle, half-frightened at this outburst, “let us go home now, and come again to-morrow and try."
“No," said Katie, with touching hopelessness, “ I shall never come again. Let us go.”
She rose without another sob, or fresh tear, even upon i the wet cheek ; but the grieved expression of the sweet childish mouth was pitiful to behold.
Back over all the dreary way went Katie and Belle. Little shoes wet, little dresses dripping, little heads bent like dew-laden flowers, little hearts very heavy.
At Katie's door stood her anxious mother, peering through the shadows for her darling.