Her mother had to put up many a bundle of nice things for her to take to some poor family in need. She was also fond of the works of nature, and would frequently spend an hour in walking alone in the shady and rural places in her town. One day, as the beautiful spring had just unfolded its loveliness, Emily thought she would walk out and breathe the delicious air. With a heart laden with good thoughts and with a quick step she passed along the gravelled street and by the cultivated grounds and fine houses, until she reached the green turf and wooded slopes, and here paused awhile under the large old trees, and thought of the wisdom, goodness, and love of God in giving us such a beautiful earth.
On her route, where the river curved around the foot of a gentle sloping hill in the shadows of old forest trees, was made a rural cemetery; so pleasant were its quiet paths and its cool shades in summer, that the living loved to wander there. Friends came there to plant flowers upon the graves of dear ones they had lost.
Through a low ivy covered gateway of stone, Emily entered the quiet place. There were no massive railings, and lofty monuments, and no costly devices, but God had made this place very beautiful—flowers were blooming along the well trodden paths, and around the last resting places of the dead. Here and there arose a simple shaft or a light column, and the graves of the household were bordered by a green hedge or surrounded by shadowing trees.
As Emily passed through the familiar walks, she came suddenly to a grave in the remote corner of the cemetery, beside which sat a solitary mourner. A small white slab lay upon the centre of the green mound and at its head grew a rose bush in bloom, bending, till its weight of white buds and blossoms touched the long bright grass upon the grave. Emily was attracted by its simple beauty, and drawing near, she stooped down and read upon the marble slab, “Dear Mina.” Her young eyes filled instantly with tears, for she knew that it was the darling child of a lady who to her was a stranger. As she turned away from the spot she met a lady approaching, who passed her and kneeled down beside the grave. She thought she would speak to the lady, and with tender sympathy she asked, “Was it your child?”
The lady, who was deep in thought, looked up at the sound of Emily’s earnest voice, and answered, softly, “Yes; ‘Dear Mina’ was my only child.” This interview led Emily to an acquaintance with the sorrowing mother, which caused her never to forget her morning ramble. She was a good woman, and at the decease of Emily’s mother became her Christian companion and instructor.
* * * * *
I doubt whether he will find the way to heaven who desires to go there alone: all heavenly hearts are charitable: enlightened souls cannot but diffuse their rays. I will, if I can, do something for others and for heaven; not to merit by it, but to express my gratitude. Though I cannot do what I would, I will labor to do what I can.—Feltham.