Her mother said to her, with a very sorrowful countenance, “Do you know, my child, that they teach very erroneous doctrines there, in regard to a future life? They teach that all will be eventually holy and happy, both the good and the bad.”
“But, mother, I should think it would make us all happy to believe so. The minister told us that ‘God is Love;’ and that cannot be a bad doctrine. I am sure I would much rather think so, than that he would hate any of us, for you have often told me that hatred was very wicked. I cannot think that a good and wise being would do that which you have taught me is wrong. Then they all seem to love each other dearly. They are like a pleasant family of brothers and sisters. Do let me go, will you not, dear mother? I should be so happy.”
Her mother said many things to convince her that it was not right to change her school. But she was very unhappy, and said so often, “Do let me go,” that her mother consented to gratify her; thinking, perhaps, that she would soon tire of it.
Sunday came, and Emma was nearly the first one there; so anxious was she to be in season.
She entered the schoolroom with a bright and happy face, and when the superintendent came to her, she said, “I have come to join your Sabbath school. Will you receive me?”
To add to her joy, the superintendent gave her a seat in the same class with her friend Abba, who was a very kind and good little girl; and she found a number of others in the class who were very glad to see her there. One little girl lent her a book to study, and when the teacher gave her a lesson for the next Sabbath, she said, “I have a lesson now. Fanny lent me her book, and I have already learned a lesson from it.”
This pleased her teacher very much; for she thought that there were many little girls who would have been very glad of such an excuse to put off their lessons. Ever after, she was very constant in her attendance, always had her lessons very perfect, and never stayed at home, even if it chanced to be a rainy clay; for she would say, “My teacher will be there; and I am sure if she is there, I can go. Besides, I know it will make her very happy to see me always in my place.”
In this way did this good little Emma continue to go on, acquiring knowledge, and gaining the love and good-will of all who knew her. She was always happy and cheerful; kind to her parents, obliging to her brothers and sisters, ever ready to assist the poor and destitute, having a kind word and a happy smile for all. And this she learned from that one great and ennobling truth, that “God is Love.”
How dear to our hearts is that old Sabbath schoolroom,
Which each Sunday morning presents to our view;
The seats, the piano, the portrait that’s near it,
And ev’ry loved thing which our memory knew.
Our dearly-loved pastor, his wife who comes with him,
Our Superintendent, and dear Mrs. G.,
The teachers, the pupils, and faithful Librarians,
We each Sabbath morning invariably see.
That old Sabbath schoolroom, that dearly-loved schoolroom,
That blessed old schoolroom where all love to be.