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She lamented very much her misimprovement of privileges. "What a very useless life I have led!" she said to her pastor; and to her father she said, "I have not been so great a comfort to you as I might have been." To a friend she said, " Pray for me; but I am not depending on your prayers." All her hopes were resting on Jesus Christ, the sinner's friend. Often was she heard saying, "I know in whom I have believed;" "Jesus is precious, he is waiting for me;"
"Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are; While on his breast I lean my head, And breathe my life out sweetly
Mr. Lister, a Primitive Methodist minister, calling to see her, she asked about his daughter's death, who had been her school companion, and remarked she would soon see her. Mr. L. said, "And no one else?" "Yes, I shall see Jesus; I shall see him as he is." She was exceedingly patient under her sufferings. "Father," she said, "it will soon be over now. I have had a very weary day; but I am afraid I am impatient. Pray for me, father, that I may have more patience;" and often, when completely exhausted by excessive perspiration, she threw her long thin arms across the bed, and exclaimed,
"No more fatigue, no more distress,
Nor sin nor hell can reach the place;
And at another time she said,
"There shall I bathe my weary soul
A friend calling one day, said to her, "Annie, the pins of the tabernacle seem to be fast loosening, one by one." Yes," she said; "but I have a building of God, an house not made with hands."" She spoke very earnestly and affectionately to her brothers; told them how God had changed her heart and forgiven her sins, and urged them to seek an interest in the blood of Jesus. She sent a message to some of the young teachers in the Sabbath
school to decide immediately for Jesus Christ, and not to put off seeking salvation to a death-bed. When thinking of her own unworthiness, she asked for the hymn with the words "my righteousness, my all in all," in it. When found, the verse was read to her:
"A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
She said, "Yes, that is it."
On the Saturday evening before her death she had a very severe fit of coughing, and was almost choked. like to see Dr. Trotter. I am not After recovering she said, "I should afraid to die, but I should not like to be choked." After this she was very little troubled with the cough, but perspired very much, and had a very restless and weary night. Often she said, "I am happy." Two hours before she died she said, though in the extreme of weakness,
"What is this absorbs me quite,
Steals my senses, shuts my sight, Drowns my spirit, draws my breath,Tell me, my soul, can this be death? The world recedes, it disappears; Heaven opens on my eyes; my ears With sounds seraphic ring; Lend, lend your wings; I mount, I fly; O Grave! where is thy victory? O Death! where is thy sting?'" She often spoke of the happiness of heaven; and when her father was repeating part of a Sunday-school hymn,
"Oh! we shall happy be,
When from sin and sorrow free, Lord, we shall live with thee;" she said, with emphasis,
"Blest, blest for aye.'
We can have no conception of the happiness of heaven. We shall meet there. I shall see Mrs. Bonet, Mr. Whitfield, and Dr. Matheson."* Her last words, a minute before she died, were, "Jesus, receive my soul;" and after a pause, "Jesus suffered❞—which sentence she never finished; and after a slight convulsive struggle she "breathed away her soul into the bosom of her
* These were very dear friends, who have gone to heaven, whose names were
often mentioned at her home.
God." Her never-dying spirit left behind it its tenement of clay, and took its flight to that world where the inhabitants shall not say they are sick; where there are no death-bed scenes to witness, no funeral processions, and no graves in which to inter our dead: "I heard a voice from heaven, saying, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!"
May this narrative of the last sayings of Annie Shadforth be the means of doing good to the young readers of the PENNY MAGAZINE, and especially to those who attend Claypath Chapel Sabbath-school, and in whose spiritual welfare she manifested such an intense interest in her last moments! May you seek that Saviour in whom she trusted, and when you die your spirits shall enter on those scenes which she is now beholding in all their beauty!
ON July 2nd, 1849, were committed to the tomb the remains of a little girl, one of the lambs of Christ's flock, which he has been pleased to gather to his heavenly fold. Connected with her last days on earth a few facts occurred, which may be interesting to the juvenile portion of the readers of the PENNY MAGAZINE.
This little girl was the only living daughter of her parents, and only twelve years of age when she died. She was much beloved; but love could not shield her from the blast of sickness, nor preserve her from death. Months ago symptoms of consumption appeared in her delicate frame, and it soon became apparent to those around that disease was doing its work, and speedily death must ensue. Such prospects awoke in her father's breast all the tender solicitude of the most affectionate parental love. The sickness and the apprehension made the love between the parent and the child the greater. No means were left untried that fatherly watchfulness and medical aid could afford, if possible, to stay the progress of disease and protract life, if not to restore to health.
For a season she appeared not to get any worse, but seemingly a little better; when, alas! her dear father, who had grieved so much over her sickness, and feared he could never bear to see her die, was himself suddenly taken ill, and when the best means had been used to avert disease in the father. It was soon found that although the father had feared the death of his child, yet he himself must die the first; and now, instead of the father having to nurse his sick and feeble daughter, she was called to sympathize and grieve by the bed of her dying father. The scene of her father's death was only to prepare her for her own; for she only survived him fourteen days, he having died on the 15th of June, and she on the 30th.
As this little maid had attended upon my ministry, with her father, and the rest of the family, during the last eight years, and as she craved my presence, instructions, and prayers on her behalf in her affliction, I watched with deep interest the operations of her youthful mind in relation to religion. Though she was so young when she died, yet there were many traits of mind and character, shown by her in sickness and death, worthy of being known and remembered by the young.
Her love to her father was very great. -When, at the suggestion of her father's medical attendants, I told him that his sickness would be unto death, and that his end was near, as soon as little Mary got to know what had been said to her father, she most tenderly embraced him, and prayed earnestly that she might die with him. Whether I her father was living or dead, none on earth was so dear to her as he. What she knew to be her father's wish was her's; his favourites were her's; her heart was bound up with his. When she became worse, she said, "I shall soon be with my father." As Mary knew very well the troubles of her father, when he was in health, better than most of his friends, and as she had seen the influence which they produced upon his mind, and upon his delicate frame, and how, while living, he had interested himself in the welfare of others; when, a few hours before her death, I repeated to her our Lord's
words, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," and then added, "How few there are amongst men who do this!" she immediately said, "But my father did." I further said, "But Jesus died for his enemies, even his murderers; so his was love greater than your father's." She admitted the truth. Mary's father was worthy of her love, and he had it. She believed that death would convey her to him, and bring her spirit quickly to his. This made death appear gain to her; she even welcomed death.
Children! have you parents yet alive, who love you even unto death? Then let them have your love in return. Love none but Jesus more; and if your parents be already dead, fallen asleep in Jesus, as you commit your souls to Jesus by prayer and faith, expect that death will bring you to the home of your fathers.
This little girl wished to die.-She said to her nurse, Pray that I may die with my father." The evening before she expired she said, "Pray that I may die soon-that I may even die tonight." Her desires for a better life in heaven appeared to have conquered her love for natural life on earth. She had no terrifying fears of death, and no lingering desires after anything that earth affords. All that she desired here was that she might die soon, and with ease; that as she passed through the flood of death, the waters might not overflow her soul; that she might feel the truth of the lines by Dr. Watts:
"Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are;
And breathe my life out sweetly
Youthful Reader! do you think that you could die as readily? Are you trying to live each day so that you may not fear when God calls you to die?
Mary was also remarkable for her confidence in prayer.-Whatever she wanted, in the prospect of death, her language showed that she had no hope of obtaining but from God, and in answer to direct and fervent prayer. Though her father had been for years a regular attendant on public worship
though he had been kind as a father, and highly esteemed by his neighbours, yet up to the time of his being seized with illness there had not been the regular daily maintenance of family prayer in his house. The neglect of this became a great trouble to the father, and the more so when, during his affliction, his daughter, after having perused a book on the subject of prayer, which had deeply impressed her own mind, told this to her father, and urged him to begin to pray without delay. As the father's weakness prevented him from conducting family worship himself, it was performed for him by a friend. While the father gradually sunk into the arms of death, nothing seemed to please the daughter more than to join with those who knelt by her father's side, to implore God's love and blessing upon them both.
If she wished her father to have a comfortable night, if she wished to die with him, or that she might die soon, and die easily, these things must be prayed for, as well as pardon, peace, the presence of Christ, and eternal life. She appeared to have caught a most vivid impression of the meaning of those scriptures that say, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much," and "Whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." It was most obvious to others, as well as to herself, that she had the petition that she asked of God, and that she desired others to ask on her behalf. Her last night of life was more than usually comfortable. The night which she wished to be her last proved so, and she died without a struggle or a groan.
My young friends, if you have not begun to pray, to say unto God, "Bless me, even me also, O my Father;" if you have not felt and expressed the necessity and privilege of prayer; if you have never rejoiced while you have remembered that God stoops to hear the cries of children, and waits to answer their prayers; if hitherto you have had no delight in prayer when offered by others for you, when presented by a father, a mother, a minister, a Sabbath-school teacher, let me tell you that nothing but this can help you in sickness and in death. Mary
found the truth of this. Like her, then, choose the part of those who pray. Then will Jesus say of you, Behold this or that little girl or boy prayeth, and then over you good men will rejoice, and angels and the spirits of the just tune their harps to praise.
Little Mary expressed herself on the subject of God's minute observance of things, and his constant care over us.She would say, "The very hairs of our head are all numbered, and not a sparrow falls to the ground without God's permission;" so that in this her sentiment was that of the Psalmist, who taught the people to say, " But our God is in the heavens; he has done whatsoever he pleased." She believed, therefore, that her affliction happened not by chance; that it was sent and regulated by God; that it was the expression of his sovereign will; that she was in God's hands, as clay in the hands of a potter; that insignificant and worthfess as she was, yet He who numbers the hairs of the head, and marks the sparrow in his flight and fall, would not fail to regard and keep her. these thoughts she became reconciled to her lot, resigned to God's will, and hopeful of support.
Consider, children, in whose hands your lives are; that God observes your down-sitting and up-rising; that he has a right to do with you and your's as he pleases. Aspire to sing of God,
"He guards thy soul, he keeps thy breath, Where thickest dangers come; Go and return, secure from death,
Till God commands thee home."
As death was seen approaching, Mary was not unmindful of the Missionary cause. She thought of the London Missionary Society, as the means of sending the gospel of grace and peace to the perishing heathen. Two days before her death, when she was making her last bequests of little articles of property to her relatives, the companions of her childhood, and her friends, she sent for me in haste. Having given me, for Mrs. W., a piece of her own needlework, as a token of esteem, she bid her mother reach her purse, and give its contents to me. Having received the money, I said, "Mary, here are five shillings." She,
supposing the purse had contained six, asked her mother for another. I then inquired, "Mary, what do you wish me to do with this money?" She replied, "Give it to the Missionary cause." Thus, in distributing her small matters of property, she did not forget the cause of Jesus, nor the condition of degraded, perishing humanity. The sum was small, but it was the simple, hearty, voluntary gift of a dying child, and therefore not despised nor lightly esteemed by Him who sat over against the treasury, who knows how to appreciate the willing offering of children, whatever their offerings may be, with as much pleasure as he views the larger bequests of the aged and the wealthy.
My youthful readers, let the cause of truth and grace at home and abroad receive your sympathy; present portions of your money, while you are in health, to the cause of Christian missions. You will not lose your reward: you will be laying up treasure; for "he that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord;" and should you die in youth or in more advanced life, having any portion of this world's treasure, remember that God expects that you should devote some portion of what you have to him.
This little girl's last thoughts of Christ's love are not unworthy of being recorded. Soon after four o'clock on the morning of her death, when she seemed somewhat refreshed with sleep,
approached her bed I directed her mind to the love of Jesus. We spoke of its tenderness, as being the love of her Shepherd, who was about to gather her in his arms, and carry her to his fold in heaven; of its greatness, being love above a father's or a mother's; as that which was everlasting, unchanging; which many waters could not quench, nor death itself destroy. As the cold sweat of death stood on her placid brow, discourse on this subject manifestly refreshed her.
There is no music so soft, so sweet, so touching, so soothing in death, to the child or the parent, as the tidings of the great Redeemer's love-the glad tidings of Christ's compassion, who bled and died, rose and revived, and now lives to bless us. The whispers of his love fall on the awakened, attentive
sinner's ears as the melting strains from celestial harps, or the fuller sounds from the vast choir of the blest in heaven. Dear children, open your hearts, in life and death, to the message of a Saviour's love.
One expression more which we heard fall from the lips of this dying child, and we shall close the narrative.
There had been something said in her hearing about the Lord's supper, when I took the opportunity of relating the following fact that had fallen under my own observation, and which shows the evil consequences of administering the supper to the sick. I was asked to visit a man on the point of death. His most intimate friends knew him to have lived a notoriously wicked life. A
short time before my visit he had received the bread and wine from the hands of the clergyman, as the Lord's supper; and yet the moment I began to speak to him about his sins and his need of pardon by the blood of Christ, in the most deliberate manner, though he was in the agony of death, he told me he neither cared for me nor Jesus Christ, and the sooner I left his room
In this manner did this little girl leave the world, and with the greatest composure resign her breath and commit her soul, without a struggle, into the hands of Jesus, by whom she was blest in death, and in whom she now sleeps. Which of you, my dear young friends, would not pray, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like hers?" That it may be so, love your parents-fear not to die-begin to pray-mark the hand of God in your afflictions-contribute of your money to the Missionary cause— cherish deep thoughts of Christ's love
and have prayerful compassion for wicked men. Seek the grace of God, that in this way you may live; then like her you will die. Sutton, Notts.
The Children's Gallery.
"BE KIND TO
WE always like to see people who are kind. If persons are not kind, we at once set them down as having something singular or queer about them, which we do not admire, and cannot love. If there is no kindness there is no good-breeding, no friendship, nothing to make us loving and beloved. What would the world be without kindness? what would you be? Are you kind?
Not long ago I was spending an hour in the bosom of a quiet, and peaceful, and happy family. Being fond of children, and of children's sports, I amused myself with the younger of two daughters,-an interesting and intelligent girl. She obtained possession of a box, which, in sport, she seemed reluctant to give up. Her sister, who was several years the
elder, and from her age alone had a right to exact obedience, asked her, in the gentlest manner, to bring over her treasure. "No!" said the younger. The elder persisted in her request, and continued, during a brief and unexciting word-conflict, to maintain that firmness which is the very pivot of family order. At last my junior friend, touched with no very amiable feeling, raised her little hand, and hastily flung what it contained against her sister. It struck her upon the forehead, gave her considerable pain, and, I think, left a mark, as a sort of memorial of the unseemly rage of that otherwise good little girl.
But perhaps you ask, "Was she not sorry for what she had done? Did she not shed tears? Did she not throw herself immediately at her sister's feet, and