An orphan indeed.
The spring advanced into summer, and on one of its calm and bright evenings, Margaret, exerting her little strength, took William to the grave-yard, and both seated themselves on the little green hillock beneath which George Raymond awaited in peace the resurrection from the dust. No costly monuments nor storied urns were in that simple grave-yard. Some plain marble tablets marked the resting-places of the dead; but there were memorials of deeper meaning and more lovely. Trees waved their branches protectingly over the little mounds; kind hands had planted them with flowers and kept them sacred. Thus it was a pleasant spot, and full of hallowed remembrances. Margaret had never spoken of her coming death to her son; but now, seated on the spot of earth which must ere long be opened to afford a resting-place for herself, she told him that soon, in a few weeks most likely, he would be an orphan indeed, alone in the world, and with no friend but God.
How can the sorrow and astonishment of the poor boy be described? Motherless and fatherless! what a deep and painful impression did the words of that truly pious mother make upon him! He had dearly loved his father, but the exertion he had at once made to help to support his mother had prevented his viewing that great loss in all its magnitude; but now, to lose her on whom, since his father’s death, he had hung his whole heart, was an idea so terrible that he could scarcely comprehend it.
“Mother,” he exclaimed, as he threw his arms around her and sobbed wildly, “you will not die! surely you will not! I cannot live without you; I shall have no home,—nobody to love when you are gone.”
Poor Margaret, controlling her own emotion, tried to comfort her weeping child, and at last succeeded; for strength from above was given to her heart, and words to her tongue. She spoke so convincingly of God’s wisdom, and goodness, and righteous dealing in all things, that the boy’s grief abated, his eye once more lighted up, and peace returned to his heart. The assurance that God, the Father of all, who never forsakes the creature he has made, would be to him more than parents could, came plainly upon his soul, and filled it with trust.
“You will not be alone, my poor child,” said Margaret; “God will be with you. He has work yet for you to perform. See that you do all that he has commanded, and in a proper spirit, and you cannot fail to be blessed—not, perhaps, with earthly prosperity, but with that better portion, peace of mind, a good conscience, and the hope which maketh not ashamed, whose end is eternal life. Never neglect your Bible or the duty of prayer; avoid all bad company; keep your heart pure; and God will be with you, to bless and protect you.”