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• Once,' said he, “when I was from home, I worshipped on a Sunday morning with a very large congregation. Seated next me was a very little boy. When the hymn was given out, he found it in his book, and as I had no book that day myself, he showed it me, and when we all rose to sing, I read from this little boy's book, he holding one side and I the other. I was so much pleased with the singing, that I remained silent for a minute to listen, and forgot my little friend, but presently, stooping down to read the next words, I heard his voice. He was singing the tune quite correctly, and in a very sweet and quiet way; and not only were the tones good, but he sang the words as if he understood them, and felt the meaning. Then I thought, here is a young child worshipping God as truly as any of the congregation, and it is God who has given him his voice and the feelings of his heart, and though he has but a little voice, as he is but a little fellow, yet he is not lost in this great congregation ; but God sees and hears and accepts him.

Here Mr. Eldern paused, and Mary said, “I suppose, papa, God hears Thomas sing in the night. You know when the church-clock strikes, the bells play a tune, and Thomas often sings the tune with the bells.'

Mr. Eldern then spoke of Paul and Silas, who sang praises at night in their prison, and of good men who had described the comfort and courage God gave them in their sufferings as a song in the night.' Thomas said, he sometimes felt lonely in the night, and sometimes his heart beat so loud, it frightened him. “It sounds like the ticking of a great clock;' but he added, “I listen to it, and try not to be afraid, but to think that it says, Fear not-Thomas—God is—near you.'

The boy's heart was diseased, but every heart is indeed as a clock of life, and its beatings, we all must sometimes feel to be very solemn in the night silence as we lie awake. For how long is it wound up? and when shall its last beat come? Is not the sound of the heart's pulsations an ever-speaking witness for God ? Let us lay our hand upon our bosom, and


Our heart beats, therefore there is a God.' It beats all day, but not by our command. It beats all night, but not because of our entreaty. We will sleep, for it is God who shall make it continue to send forth its issues of life. When we awake also, we are still with him, therefore will we not fear.'

During the summer, Thomas had gained a little strength, but the first chilly days of autumn took it from him. After breakfast, he usually lay on his couch an hour or two, and then his mother or Mary, or sometimes Eliza, read to him. One very still October morning, when he was fainter than usual, Mrs. Eldern had read him a short portion from one of the Gospels, and left him for a while. When she returned, he was singing, in a very low voice, the words of the nursery song,

• If any one inquire for me,
Pray tell them I'm asleep

In Abraham's bosom.'


As she heard the words, she paused at the door, for, indeed, her eyes

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had filled with tears, and she stayed to let them disappear before she entered. So she heard him begin again,

Dig my grave wide and deep,
Strew it with flowers sweet,
That I may lie and sleep

In Abraham's bosom.' And now she came forward and said, 'How came you, Thomas, to be singing these words ? '

· When you went away,' he answered, “I tried to think of what you had read, but I could not, I felt so weak; and then that


would come into my mind again and again, so at last I began to sing. Do you think it was wicked that I did not keep thinking of our Saviour ? I did try.'

• Certainly not,' said his mother, quickly.

'I shall die soon,' said he, but I should like to have you to take care of me in heaven.'

• You will have a happy home there, Thomas,' she replied.

He was silent a moment, and then said, “I wish I could hear our Saviour speaking the words, “ Suffer little children to come unto me.”'

* But, Thomas, he meant us to feel as if we heard him speak.' • I wish he would tell you, you might say them to me from him.' • It is just as if he had, I may say them to you for him.' 'Then do, please,' said he, . repeat them to me once more.'

She did so, with true mother's voice, and after a little more talk he fell asleep.

It seemed doubtful whether Thomas would outlive the coming winter, and yet he did, though in a very weak state. Many pleasant Sunday afternoon services and conversations there were that winter, and many small things, which were nevertheless felt to be of memorable domestic interest, could we tell of our little friend. He had often flowers in his room through the cold season, for a gentleman living near sent them from his greenhouse, and he noticed that frequently amongst the strong fine flowers there was one or more worm-eaten or in some way injured. These,' he said,

were like himself among his brothers and sisters, and what a good thing it was that “ most of them, like most of the flowers, were healthy.' Nor did Mr. Eldern forget, in his care for the sick, what was appropriate for the healthy. There were plenty of domestic games and studies in the family that winter. And though he was thankful to use Thomas's piety to promote that of the rest, he was careful not to expect theirs to show itself in quite the same manner as his. He taught them that though there is a happy and necessary preparation for death, there is an equally happy and necessary preparation for life. He taught them, too, that they might give practical proofs of a religious spirit by industry, good temper, forbearance, and love of study. He said to his wife, one Sunday, 'We wish our children to be little Christians, Ellen, not little pharisees, and not little doctors of divinity. There are many young boys and girls who cannot talk much of the “ way of salvation," but what is far better, they are walking in it. We must teach them the

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Scriptures as fully as we can, and we must be lawgivers in our own house. But we must not imitate the meek and grave lawgiver of Israel just at the time when he offended ; and address the children in spirit, if not in words, thus, “ Hear now, ye rebels !” And we must remember that if it is with the heart man believeth unto salvation, much more is it so that the child believeth. The Love of Christ is possible to children, but much Knowledge that we ourselves possess of him, we cannot give them yet. Strong and right affections are a very great blessing; these are to pious habits as a powerful spring. And,' he added, with a smile, ‘ if I try to wind up this spring on the Sabbath, and you regulate the works in the week, we may have all the children keep time together, true time, time by the sun.'

The latter part of the winter, Thomas was quite confined to his room, and around his bed in the evening the whole family often assembled, and then he gave with the gravity of a man, but with much simplicity, what we may call his dying charges to his brothers and sisters. They must love one another, he said, and obey their parents, and pray to God, and follow him to heaven. And once, after he had spoken of dying and being buried, he finished by saying, · Now, Mary and Eliza, you will come and see me; you will come and look at my grave I mean, and you'll bring Samuel and Joseph.' They promised him they would, and confirmed it with a kiss. A few days before he died, as his father stood by him with a glass of medicine, he put up his thin hand and stroked his face twice, saying, “I shall want it no more, papa. I shall want it no more. I am going to die.' And then he added, Mamma says, I shall soon be strong again, and be like the angels. You will, my boy,' said his father, and hastened away.

The evening before his death, Hannah, who had come to bring him something to drink, placed it on his picture-table, and then stood by the bedside to look at him, His eyes were closed, and she thought he was asleep. But as she stood there, he opened them, and said, 'I am going to heaven, Hannah; good bye.'

Hannah's tears fell on his hand.

• Don't cry, Hannah,' said Thomas; - indeed I am going to heaven ; good bye.'

Oh, master Thomas,' said Hannah, “if you had never fallen down.' • But if God knows when a sparrow falls, surely he knows when a little boy does. It was our Saviour who noticed the sparrows, and I am going to the Saviour, Hannah.'

Hannah said she was sure of that. Thomas hoped she would take care of Joseph and the others, for his sake he said. Hannah promised him she would not forget them as long as she lived, and then she left him.

It was a little after sunrise next day that he died. It was an early spring morning, and promised a day of peace and beauty. Both his parents were with him. And where his head first lay, there also it leaned for its last repose-on his mother's bosom. The morning light fell brightly on his face. With his last breathings his features quivered. Mr. Eldern saw and knew that this was death; so kneeling down he

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said, “Lord, into thine hands we commend his spirit.' After a few minutes' silence, in a sorrowful, but composed voice, the mother said, * And now it is all over.' Thus Thomas died. With tears, Hannah prepared his body for its last chamber. The flowers in his room were placed in his coffin. Each child also put in some early flower, plucked from the garden. Samuel, with a violet, brought a bee which he had found lying near it. •Papa,' he said, “here is a dead bee; Thomas loved bees. Mr. Eldern looking at it said, It is not dead, Samuel, it is asleep, the cold has benumbed it.' And going with the child into another room, he opened the window, and placed the bee in the sunshine. In a little while it revived, and flew cheerfully away into the garden. 'So,' said Mr. Eldern, ‘has Thomas's busy little spirit flown away to heaven, and perhaps, Samuel, there is a garden there more beautiful than that near Jerusalem, which Jesus loved, where he has seen and spoken with his Saviour.' In a few more days, before the violets his sisters had put into his dead hand had faded, the earth covered the remains of Thomas Eldern. On the footstone of his grave, his age and the day of his death were recorded; and on the headstone were these words

• Thomas Eldern's grave.

He was a Christian child.' About two months after Thomas's death, Mr. Eldern returning home, met Eliza at the garden gate with a basket in her hand. Well, little maiden,' said he, “where are you going?' 'Papa, dear, I am going

to see Thomas; these primroses are for his grave. Mary is behind with Samuel and Joseph.' Mr. Eldern stooped down, kissed her, and passed on.

T. T. L.

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Cromwell Aphorismiis.



that are,

NOTHING must make a man's conscience a servant.
It is most sweet that he who is not persuaded have patience towards then

and judge not. Subtlety may deceive you ; integrity never will. Take heed of being sharp, or too easily sharpened by others, against those to whom you can object little, but that they square not with you, in every opinion concerning matters of religion.

All that believe have the real Unity; which is most glorious, because inward and spiritual ; in the body, and to the head.

[As) for being united in forms, commonly called uniformity, every Christian will, for peace sake, study and do as far as conscience will permit.

In things of the mind we look for no compulsion, but that of right and reason. Notions will hurt none but those that have them.

If any good hath been done, it was the Lord, not we his poor instruments (who did it).

Liberty of conscience is a natural right; and he that would have it ought to give it.

Is it ingenuous to ask liberty and not to give it ?

Be above all these (worldly) things by faith in Christ, and then you shall have the true use and comfort of them, and not otherwise.

What profit is there in the things of this world: Except they be enjoyed in Christ, they are snares.

Mercies should not be temptations; yet we too oft make them so.

I wonder not at differences in opinion, at discontents and divisions, where so anti-christian and dividing a term as clergy and laity' is given and received.

A few honest men are better than numbers (without honesty).

The naked simplicity of Christ, with that wisdom he is pleased to give, and patience, will overcome all this (factious opposition and suspicion).

I know God has been above all ill reports, and will in his own time vindicate me ; I have no cause to complain.

If a man take not his own burden well, he shall hardly (understand) others' [burdens).

Not the encountering of difficulties makes us to tempt God; but the acting before, and without faith,

* Uprightness,' if it is not purely of God, may be, nay, commonly is, deceived.

When ministers pretend to a glorious reformation, and lay the foundations thereof in getting to themselves worldly power, and can make worldly mixtures to accomplish the same, . ... (they] may know that the Zion promised will not be built with such untempered mortar.

Though an approbation from men hath order in it, and may do well [regarding ministers]; yet he that hath no better warrant [for preaching) than that, hath none at all.

Approbation is an act of conveniency in respect of order, not of necessity, to give faculty to preach the gospel.

It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy, to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon a supposition [that] he may abuse it.

Your pretended fear lest error should step in [through the preaching of other than approved ministers], is like the man who would keep all the wine out of the country, lest men should be drunk !

I know where to have a man that hath principles.

The mind is the man. If that be kept pure, à man signifies somewhat; if not, I would very fain see what difference there is betwixt him and a beast. He hath only some activity to do some more mischief.

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