“Oh,” said the gardener, as he passed down the garden-walk, “who plucked that flower? Who gathered that plant?” His fellow-servants answered, “The MASTER!” And the gardener held his peace.
The feelings of the mother’s heart on Friday found vent in some lines entitled To My Dying Eddy; January 16th. Here are two stanzas:
Blest child! dear child! For thee
is Jesus calling;
And of our household thee—and only thee!
Oh, hasten hence! to His embraces hasten!
Sweet shall thy rest and safe thy shelter be.
Thou who unguarded ne’er hast left
Alone must venture now an unknown way;
Yet, fear not! Footprints of an Infant Holy
Lie on thy path. Thou canst not go astray.
In a letter to her friend Mrs. Allen, of New Bedford, dated January 28, she writes:
During our dear little Eddy’s illness we were surrounded with kind friends, and many prayers were offered for us and for him. Nothing that could alleviate our affliction was left undone or unthought of, and we feel that it would be most unchristian and ungrateful in us to even wonder at that Divine will which has bereaved us of our only boy—the light and sunshine of our household. We miss him sadly. I need not explain to you, who know all about it, how sadly; but we rejoice that he has got away from this troublous life, and that we have had the privilege of giving so dear a child to God. When he was well he was one of the happiest creatures I ever saw, and I am sure he is well now, and that he is as happy as his joyous nature makes him susceptible of becoming. God has been most merciful to us in this affliction, and, if a bereaved, we are still a happy household and full of thanksgiving. Give my love to both the children and tell them they must not forget us, and when they think and talk of their dear brother and sisters in heaven, they must sometimes think of the little Eddy who is there too.
* * * * *
Birth of her Third Child. Reminiscence of a Sabbath-Evening Talk. Story of the Baby’s Sudden Illness and Death. Summer of 1852. Lines entitled “My Nursery.”
The shock of Eddy’s death proved almost too much for Mrs. Prentiss’ enfeebled frame. She bore it, however, with sweet submission, and on the 17th of the following April her sorrow was changed to joy, and Eddy’s empty place filled, as she thought, by the birth of Elizabeth, her third child, a picture of infantine health and beauty. But, although the child seemed perfectly well, the mother herself was brought to the verge of the grave. For a week or two her life wavered in the balance, and she was quite in the mood to follow Eddy to the better country. Her husband, recording a “long and most interesting conversation” with her on Sabbath evening, May 2d, speaks of the “depth and tenderness of her religious feelings, of her sense of sin and of the grace and glory of the Saviour,” and then adds, “Her old Richmond exercises seem of late to have returned with their former strength and beauty increased many-fold.” On the 14th of May she was able to write in pencil these lines to her sister, Mrs. Hopkins: