But Harry and Effie had not been thus deprived, and as hand in hand they followed the little coffin to the grave, through their tears of sadness and sympathy there gleamed out a bright and elevated expression, almost a happy one, which shewed that they looked beyond these sorrow-claiming objects, and saw the suffering child they had loved and pitied a redeemed spirit of light. They could see that the little flower, which had drooped and faded in the atmosphere of this world, grew bright and beautiful in the sunshine of immortal love. They knew that the kingdom of God was made up of just such little children—those who had died before they knew anything of the sin and wickedness of this world; or having known it, having grown old and gray beneath its heavy burden, had laid all at the feet of Jesus, and in spirit gone back to helpless, guileless infancy again.
They knew that their little friend now dwelt with that dear Saviour, who, when on earth, blessed little children, who gathers the lambs in His arms, and carries them in His bosom. Yet it was a sad day for them, for they mourned the dead, as mortals always mourn when mortals die, although they did not wish him back, and they pitied the living. More tears were indeed shed for Mrs Gilman, than for the child.
The contents of Rosa Lynmore’s purse had been reserved by Mr Maurice for this sad occasion, he having supplied all previous wants; and it had been sufficient to give a decent burial to the little boy, who slept quietly at his father’s side—to be awakened only when you and I, my dear reader, shall be aroused from the same slumber.
Mr Maurice was right when he said if Mrs Gilman was stricken, it would be in mercy; for her heart being weaned from the world, at last found a refuge from its loneliness in the consolations of religion, and left the broken reed of earthly love, on which it had leaned too confidently, for the Rock, Christ Jesus, the friend that never fails.
She entered Mr Maurice’s family as a domestic, and has grown gray in its service.
Harry Maurice, it was for a long time thought, would become a preacher of the Gospel; but when he became old enough to judge, he decided in favour of his father’s profession, declaring that he who fails to do good in one situation in life, would most decidedly fail in another.
Sweet little Effie! Her struggle with her heart on the occasion of the book was not the last; it was difficult for her to learn its deceitfulness, and she required repeated lessons.
As she grew older, however, she was always complaining of her own sinfulness, while every one else thought her the meekest, the gentlest, and most self-sacrificing being that ever lived. She had, indeed, become remarkably sharp-sighted to her own faults, and, in proportion, forgiving to those of others.
But at last a trial came. She was called on to leave all she loved on earth, and carry the Gospel to a far off benighted land.