A little circumstance, which occurred at this time, marked her tenderness of conscience. A new bonnet had been promised to her, but not arriving at the time she had hoped, her disappointment was so great that she shed many tears. This was mentioned to a friend, who talked to her about it. Sarah made no remark at the time, but afterwards she said to her mother, “I did not know before that it was wrong to cry when we were disappointed; I will try not to do so again:” and in the evening her father overheard her begging God to forgive her pride and fretting about the bonnet.
Another feature in Sarah’s character may be here noticed: this was her love of truth. “She has never deceived me,” was her mother’s frequent remark. “I cannot remember a single instance of untruth, even in play,” and perhaps this truthfulness of spirit enabled her the more readily to trust the word of another. “She promised me,” Sarah would say, and on the promise she would ever rest, in all the sweet dependence of a child. Surely this may speak a word to those professing to be the followers of Him who keepeth his promise for ever—the covenant-keeping God. How lightly are promises often made! how carelessly and thoughtlessly broken!
Sarah was only permitted to attend the Sabbath school for a few weeks. Her health and strength failed, and soon she was confined to her room, then to her bed, which she scarcely left for several months. But now the work of God within her became more evident. It was a pleasant service to sit by the bed of this young disciple, and read and talk with her of a Saviour’s love. She said but little, except in answer to questions, but her bright and happy countenance showed how welcome was the subject. Who that witnessed her simple, child-like faith, would not acknowledge the fruit of the Spirit’s teaching? It was the more apparent, as she had but little help from man, and few outward advantages, not even being able to read; but she treasured up in her mind all she heard, and it was as food to her soul, the joy and rejoicing of her heart.
At an early period of her illness, a violent attack of pain and palpitation of the heart made her think she was dying, and she told her mother so, adding, “But I am not afraid, I am so happy.” “What makes you so happy?” was asked. “Because I am going to heaven, and when I pray to Jesus, my heart seems lifted up.” “But, Sarah, do you think your sins forgiven?” “Yes, mother, I am sure so.” “What makes you so sure?” “Because Jesus says so.”
“Jesus says,”—this was ever the ground of her confidence, and proved to all around her the Saviour’s oft-repeated lesson,—“Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall in no wise enter therein.”
Sarah lingered many weeks after this. Her mind was full of peace; as she lay on her sick bed, no shade of fear passed over her, all was sunshine within. This one happy thought filled her mind,—“Jesus loves me, I am going to heaven.”