Puslapio vaizdai

put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.' (1 Cor. xv. 50-58.)"

[ocr errors]

Whilst Mr. Fairchild was talking to his little girls, Sukey had got dinner ready, and little Henry: came running into the garden to call his papa and


After dinner, Mrs. Goodriche and Mrs. Fairchild got ready; and they all set off to go to see. Mrs. Roberts. John Roberts's cottage and garden were not a quarter of a mile from Mrs. Goodriche's. Poor John, when living, had maintained himself and his wife in a decent way by selling. vegetables; and he used to pride himself on his pinks and tulips, and other pretty flowers, with which his garden abounded.-The children set off jumping and skipping before their papa and mamma; but when they came near the house where death was, they walked slower, and at length they fell. behind.

When Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild and Mrs. Goodriche came into the garden, Mrs. Roberts's son and daughter-in-law came out to meet them, and invited them up stairs to see the corpse. They accordingly went into the cottage, and up stairs. "And will you please to go too, Master and Misses?" said the young woman, turning back to the children, who stood at the door. The children looked

grave, and hung back a little while at last Lucy stepped forward first, and the others followed. The young woman led them, through the lower room of the cottage, to a little door opening upon a narrow stair-case. When they came to the door, they perceived a kind of disagreeable smell, such as they never had smelt before: this was the smell of the corpse, which, having been dead now nearly two days, had begun to corrupt; and as the children went higher up the stairs, they perceived this smell more disagreeably.


The body of the old man was laid out upon the bed in the upper room: the poor old wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild, with Mrs. Goodriche, were sitting round the bed. The face of the corpse was quite yellow, there was no colour in the lips, the nose looked sharp and long, and the eyes were closed, and sunk under the brow: the limbs of the corpse, stretched out upon the bed and covered with a sheet, looked longer than is natural: and the whole appearance of the body was ghastly and horrible than the children expected, and making out the words of Job; "But man dieth, and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up; so man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth; thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away." (Job xiv. 10– 12, 20.)

They all three stood looking at the corpse for a long time, without speaking one word. At last Mr. Fairchild said, My dear children, you now see what death is: this poor body is going fast to corruption. The soul, I trust, is with God; and my reason for this hope is, that the poor man, when

living, was a follower of the blessed Lord Jesus Christ, his Redeemer; but such is the taint and corruption of the flesh, by reason of sin, that it must pass through the grave, and crumble to dust. And this shews the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and its horrible nature, that the soul, which has sinned, must be born again, and the sinful body be dissolved, and fall to dust in the grave. Remember these things, my children, and pray to God to save you from sin.

"Oh, Sir!" said Mrs. Roberts, "it comforts me to hear you talk! I know that my poor husband loved his Saviour, and trusted in him for salvation; therefore I do not sorrow as one without hope. I know that my poor man is happy, through his dear Saviour. But it would comfort me, Sir, if you would join with us in prayer before you go, round my poor man's bed.

Mrs. Roberts then called her son and his wife, and they all knelt down round the bed, to pray that they might also, when the hour of death came, be found in Christ. I shall put down Mr. Fairchild's prayer in this place for your use, with the hymn which they all sang together afterwards.

A Prayer for a Happy Death.

O Lord God, Almighty Father! thou knowest that in a very little time this my soul must go out of my body, and appear before thee; and this my sinful body must go down to the grave, and there corrupt and fall to pieces, and lie in the dust till the morning of the resurrection; at which time the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised; and they "that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame a ndeverlasting contempt." (Daniel xii. 2.)

O holy Trinity! hear the prayers of a poor

child. Grant unto me, All-glorious Three in One, that I may, when death visits me, be found in Christ, washed from my sins through faith in his precious blood, and endued with a new heart and new spirit through the power of the Holy Ghost. My heart by nature is full of wickedness: I can do nothing good without help from God. I am not fit to go to heaven: I know that if sinners, such as I am, were to go there, that holy place would become unclean: I know, also, that there is no repentance after death; and that when people die wicked, they must remain wicked for ever. Oh, therefore, dear Lord and Saviour! now, now, before death comes, give me a clean heart and a new nature! And although this my filthy body must see corruption, and fall to pieces in the grave, yet, O Lord! O bleeding and dying Lamb! save my immortal soul: and make it clean and white now, at this present time; and when it leaves this my body, receive it into thy bosom, as Abraham received Lazarus.

O plead and supplicate for me, blessed Redeemer! Thou whose sides were pierced for me! thou who wast nailed upon the cross for me! thou who wentest down into darkness and the grave for me, a sinful child! plead for me before the throne of God; that he would send his Holy Spirit to cleanse and purify my heart, that I may be ready, when death comes, to give up my body to the worms and the grave, knowing that at the last day it will rise again, without spot or blemish, being made in the likeness of the Lamb which is without blemish and without spot.

And now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory world without end. Amen.

"Our Father," &c. &c.


O FOR an overcoming faith
To cheer my dying hours,
To triumph o'er the monster Death,
And all his frightful pow'rs!

Joyful, with all the strength I have,
My quiv'ring lips shall sing,
"Where is thy boasted vict'ry, Grave?
"And where the Monster's sting?"
If sin be pardon'd, I'm secure;
Death hath no sting beside;
The Law gives sin the damning pow'r,
But Christ, my Ransom, died!

Now to the God of Victory

Immortal thanks be paid,

Who makes us conqu'rors while we die,
Through Christ, our living Head!


WHEN Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild returned from the old gardener's, they found John ready with the cart: so, wishing Mrs. Goodriche a good evening, and thanking her for all her kindness, they returned home.

The next morning Mr. Fairchild got up early, and went down to the village. Breakfast was ready, and Mrs. Fairchild and the children waiting at the table, when he came back. "Get your breakfast, my dear," said he to Mrs. Fairchild; "don't wait for me." So saying, he went into his study, and shut the door. Mrs. Fairchild, supposing that he had some letters to write, got her breakfast quietly: after which, she sent Lucy to ask her papa if he

« AnkstesnisTęsti »