The Baldwin Librar
m' Uwu, *WC
WHAT A CHILD MAY D00.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
" THE TRAVELLING SIXPENCE," "LOST & RESCUED,"
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY,
56, PATERNOTER Row, 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD,
SAND 164, PICCADILLY.
I. THE ORPHAN 5
II. THE NEW HOME 17
IIn. SUNDAY 30
IV. A HASTY WORD 41
V; HOPES AND FEARS 52
# TAND still, Miss Rachel, do. Your
aunt and uncle will be here directly,
and I want you to have your hair
tidy. And don't keep on crying
like that,-a pretty face you'll have
got by the time they come;" and, crossly as
the maid tried to speak, her own eyes were
filling fast as she tied back the golden curls
with the long black ribbon, and caught a
glimpse of the child's pale, sad face in the
Rachel tried hard not to cry any more,
but stood very still, with her lips quivering
painfully; and as she heard the sound of
carriage wheels driving up to the door, she
turned a shade paler, and trembled from head
6 .Rachel Rivers.
"Please leave me here just five minutes,
Jane, and then I'll come down,--I will indeed.
Oh, do go," added the child, as the servant
hesitated for a second, and then left the room
with some reluctance.
Then Rachel crouched on the floor, and hid
her face in the counterpane of the bed, for-
getting her dress, and her curls, and Jane's
probable displeasure, in the violent grief which
burst forth as soon as she was alone. Oh,
mamma, mamma, I want you so !" she moaned.
"I am so little, and so afraid, and I want you
to take care of me. What shall I do, or how
can I bear to go away from my own dear
For a minute or so she cried on, and then
remembering her promise, and that time was
passing, she rose up and wiped her eyes,
determined to be brave if she could. She
looked ina the glass, and was quite shocked at
her own appearance. What would her re-
latives think of her ? It seemed so ungrate-
ful, Jane had told her again and again, to cry
and grieve when they had taken such a journey
to fetch her away to live with them in their
own home. So she stood at the open window,
trying to grow quiet and lose the marks of
The Orphan. 7
her tears if possible; but her little heart
fluttered with nervous dread at meeting those
who were strangers to her, and yet were the
nearest relatives she had left now in the
It was- a bright summer day,-the roses
were blooming in the garden, the smell of
the new-mown hay came up from the fields
beyond, and there was a pleasant murmuring
sound of bees and birds in the June sun-
shine; but poor little Rachel Rivers turned
away from the window with a suppressed sob,
for it seemed so hard, so terribly hard, to
think that in three more days she should
have gone away from that bright, sweet lHome
of hers for ever.
Next minute a small black figure glided
down the wide staircase; and, crossing the
hall, stood for a second irresolutely at the
drawing-room door. Twice she grasped the
handle, only to drop it again, and brush away
the tears that would keep gathering in her
eyes; then with a great effort Rachel con-
quered her fears, and went in to meet the
relatives who were waiting for her.
So this is Rachel," a quiet voice said; and
the child was drawn close to her aunt's side,
8 Rachel Rivers.
and two dark eyes looked kindly down upon
her,-so kindly, that she burst into tears once
more, and could not say a word to either of
So Mr. and Mrs. Herbert let her be, and
talked to each other until Rachel had again
conquered herself, and was able to look up
and even to smile a little-a painful smile to
those who watched her so pitifully.
Before night came Rachel and her aunt
were good friends, and the child had told her
of her mamma, and how hard it seemed to be
"But you know that mamma left you to
us, Rachel; and so you will try and love us,
and be happy, will you not ? It will all seem
strange at first, I know; but after a time you
will get to know us all at Lynwood, and every
one will be very kind to you."
"Will it be soon when we shall go away
from here, Aunt Amy ?" Rachel asked, after
It would not be any use putting it off,
darling. If it would do you any good, or
save you any pain, we would wait a week or
two; but parting is bad whenever it comes,
and your uncle and T think it best for you to
The Orphan. 9
get it over quickly. Owen and Walter are
wanting us at home, too, and waiting so
anxiously to see "Cousin Rachel."
Rachel smiled a little, but said nothing.
It was evening then, and they were sitting in
the dusky light by the window of the library,
where so often she and her dear dead mother
had sat on happy summer nights before.
Rachel was glad that it was growing dark, so
that no one could see the tears chasing each
other down her pale cheeks at the thought of
going away from The Lorn, which had been
her home all her little life of ten years, and
which she loved so dearly.
It won't be to-morrow, will it ?" she asked
"No; the day after, I think, dear; but we
need not talk about it just now. Isn't it
bed-time, Jane ?" said Mrs. Herbert as the
servant came in to close the window and light
the gas; to which Jane replied that it was
long past the usual hour. So Rachel bade
her aunt good-night, and went out to kiss
her uncle, who was strolling about the
garden in the twilight; and then she fol-
lowed Jane up the wide gloomy staircase,
past the door of her mother's room. to her
10 Rachel Rivers.
own little bed, where she dreamed all night
of leaving The Lorn, and woke up frightened
and crying many a time before the day-
It was Rachel Rivers' first great grief, this
loss of her mother and her home. Her father
had died some years before, when his little
girl was too young to grieve for him, or keep
any remembrance of him in her heart; and
since then she had lived on a quiet happy
life with her mother at The Lorn.
Rachel had always been used to see her
mamma look pale and weak, to know that
she could not walk about, and play and
laugh, like the mothers of some of her own
little friends did. Still she had never sup-
posed that she was ill, or that the time
was coming when she would die, and leave
her little Rachel so sad and lonely.
Mrs. Rivers had known it though, and
had wept bitterly through many a wakeful
weary night, to think of her child alone in
the world without father or mother. Rachel
had often wondered why sometimes her
mother's eyes would fill with tears as sho
looked at her, or passed her hand over her
curly head, and then turned away so sadly.
The Orphan. 11
Now that she was dead it all came back to
her, and she knew what had caused the tears
and sorrow; she guessed partly how her
mamma had loved her, and thought anxiously
of her in those last days.
But now all was over,-the terrible parting
had been when Rachel was lifted on to the
bed-for the last look, the last kiss, and the
faint low words, Try and keep close to God,
my darling; love Him always, and some day
He will bring you to be with mamma again;"
and then the poor little girl had cried terribly,
and clung to her mother, begging her not
to die, not to go away and leave her, until
some one unclasped her arms and carried
her away. Next thing Rachel knew was that
her mamma was dead ; and in a few days a
funeral procession went slowly along the
drive, and out at the gates of The Lorn,
beneath the waving branches of the trees,
and up the hilly road to the grave where
Mr. Rivers had been buried so many years
All this had happened more than a week
before Mr. and Mrs. Herbert's coming. They
had been long, dreary days; yet Rachel saw
them pass with a great pain in her heart,
12 Rachel Rivers.
because each one as it came brought nearer
the time when she was to go away and find
a home amongst strangers.
Brightly the sun shone that morning when
Rachel stood for the last time at the window
of her little bedroom, looking out over the
fields and gardens towards the cemetery
beyond, where she could just catch a glimpse
of the monument above her parents' grave.
Poor little girl! it seemed that the bright-
ness and the beauty of the summer day made
it harder to go, harder to have a last walk
round the pretty garden, a last peep into the
rooms with the broad windows all shaded
round with roses and honeysuckle, and then
to put her head out at the carriage window to
gaze back at The Lorn, which looked so very
bright in the summer sunshine, while her
heart was so dull and sad.
She did not cry much, her relatives
thought she bore the parting strangely well,
and the servants wondered at and praised her
for her self-control. But her grief was very
terrible, perhaps worse because she was so
silent and so still during the long journey,
which took her further and further from all
those she had ever known and loved.
The Orplan. 18
"What are you thinking about, Rachel?"
her uncle asked once or twice, as he watched
the grave, sad little face, and Rachel had
started and blushed and answered, Nothing;"
and then, with the sudden impulse of her
truthful nature, added, That is, I was think-
ing of so many things I could hardly tell you.
Of Lynwood, and what it will be like, and
most of all of The Lorn and-and mamma,"
but the voice trembled then, and the child's
head turned quickly round again to the
window, from which she saw nothing for
many miles of country through which they
passed because of the tears which blinded her,
and rolled slowly down on to her black dress.
At last the long journey was over, and the
sun was setting when the travellers found
themselves at Lynwood, and Rachel glanced
round the unfamiliar rooms of her new home.
Owen and Walter were there, the two
cousins who had expected her so anxiously,
"and talked of nothing else for days, and yet
who now got away into the furthest corner
of the room, and gazed at her from their round,
surprised eyes, until Mrs. Herbert bade them
come out and speak to "Cousin Rachel."
They came then, awkwardly enough, and
14 Rachel Rivers.
shook hands with her; and Rachel, who had
never been used to many children, and less
than all of boys their age, looked as shy as
they did. But some of the restraints passed
off as tea was got through. Owen and Walter
had so much to say to their parents about
all that had happened during their short
"The dog's got puppies, mamma," Walter
cried. "Five of them, the .funniest little
things you ever saw. Two white, one black,
and two brown ones. Of course we may keep
"Of course you may not," put in Mr.
Herbert. You have no idea what numbers
of pets there are here, Rachel," he added,
turning to his little niece. "We have dogs
and cats and birds and horses."
"And some white mice, and a parrot, and
a tortoise too," said Owen.
Rachel looked surprised, and smiled a little,
which made the boys' hearts warm towards
her: they had been feeling rather disap-
pointed, after all their expectations, to find
this new cousin so very silent and pale and
sad-looking. "Doesn't she ever talk, papa ?"
they asked, when Mrs. Herbert and Rachel
The Orphan. 15
had gone away out of the room after tea, and
then their father explained to them how tired
their little cousin was from her long journey;
besides she felt sad and strange, because she
had just parted from home to come quite
alone among strangers.
"And you must be good and kind to her,
you boys; just as if she was your sister," said
Mr. Herbert; and then their mother came
down alone, saying that Rachel was very
weary and was already gone to bed.
"Poor little thing, her sad face makes my
heart ache," she added; "but no doubt she
.will soon cheer up and get used to us all,
and settle down happily at Lynwood."
"I hope Rachel won't always look so quiet
and miserable," Owen whispered to Walter as
they passed her door on their way to bed that
night. "Don't you think it would amuse her
if we carried Flora's basket in with all the
puppies, for her to see first thing when she
wakes?" And so they did, in the early
summer morning, long before Rachel was
awake, and her aunt found the dogs there by
her bed-side when she went to rouse her.
"Silly boys," she said. '" However, they
meant it kindly, Rachel; they thought what
16 Rachel Rivens.
pleased them so much would please you;"
and Rachel, though she did not much care
for Flora and her five puppies, did care very
much that Owen and Walter had thought
about her and wished to make her happy; so
she went down to breakfast with a little more
cheerfulness in her face, and some hope in the
sad heart which was just then needing love
THE NEW HOME.
EFORE Rachel Rivers had been in
her new home many days she had
"grown used to her altered life; and
though she thought of The Lorn by
day, and dreamed of it by night,
she was getting to bear her trouble more
patiently and bravely. Certainly every one at
Lynwood was very kind to her. From the
first her heart had turned trustfully to her
Aunt Amy; and she could not but love
Uncle Robert, her mother's only brother; and
as for Owen and Walter, although they
were somewhat boisterous in their fun, they
really tried their best to amuse their little
cousin, and make her happy.
- Rachel had soon made friends with the
dogs and horses, and all the pets which she
was dragged to see; and, though Lynwood
.was not to her thinking half so nice a place
ms her own home, it was a pretty village
18 Rachel Rivers.
enough, with pleasant walks all round and
about it. On cool summer evenings Mrs.
Herbert and the children loved to linger in
the shady lanes, enjoying the breeze which
stirred the leaves above their heads, and picked
the wild roses which grew in the hedges; and
later, as they went homewards, she would
watch the little twinkling light of the glow-
worms as they passed.
So Rachel was not unhappy amongst those
who wished and tried so much to make up for
her great loss, and comfort her; but there was
one thing which came as a real pain and
trouble to her, which seemed as if it must
prevent Lynwood ever being a real home.
From babyhood Rachel had been taught to
look up to God as her Father, who watched
her always, and was grieved when she sinned
against Him, and glad when she tried to
please Him. She had learnt to love to pray
to Him,-not just kneeling down and saying
a form of words, wishing to get them over,
as some children do; but to feel it a very
happy thing that she, a little sinful child,
might speak to the good Jesus, and tell Him
all that she wanted Him to do for her, and ask
Him to make her meek and gentle as He was.
The New Home. 19
Later, as Rachel had grown older, and
understood and thought more about such
things, when she first began to take her sins
and troubles to the feet of her Saviour, her
love to Him became stronger; and though she
often thought how happy it must have been
to live in the world when He did, and see His
face of love, she thanked God so much that
she might still get Christ's blessing as
certainly as the children did when they
crowded round Him so many years ago, when
He taught in their towns and villages, or
gathered them around Him on the sea-
shore. So when Rachel's great sorrow came,
when she realized that she was without
parents, and so alone in the world,-I hardly
know how she would have borne her grief if
she had not felt quite sure that God loved
her, and would always take care of her, if she
did not forget Him or wander from His side.
The very first night of her coming to Lyn-
wood, when Aunt Amy had persuaded her to
go early to rest, and had stayed with her to
help her undress, Rachel had been so surprised
when she was going to kneel down to her
prayer to hear her aunt say, "Are you not
too tired for that to-night, darling ? Surely
20 Rachel Rivers.
God will not expect long prayers from you
just now, and you can say them as well in
bed, I am sure." Rachel had been wishing
beforehand that Aunt Amy would go away
for a little, while she prayed,-it seemed easier
to feel that she was alone with God, telling
Him all her troubles when there was no one
by; but these words struck her painfully,
although she answered at once, Oh no, aunt,
I'm not too tired to pray to God-it will rest
me;" and when Aunt Amy had kissed her,
and gone down stairs, the little girl had
thought and wondered over it, trying to
imagine why it was that any one could even
suppose it would tire her to ask God to
watch over and keep her safely through the
Then in the morning Rachel could not but
feel that the servant who helped her dress
looked surprised as she knelt down by the
side of her bed, after she was quite ready, and
then left the room with a smile on her face
which the child could not fully understand.
"I suppose they do all say prayers, and love
God here at Lynwood," she reflected, as she
prepared to go down stairs; and then some
words her mother had spoken came back to
The New Iome. 21
her mind-words which she Lad forgotten
directly they were said, Even if those round
you don't love what you love, or think of God
as you have learned to do, you must just go
on thinking first of Him, only doing what you
know He would like, no matter who laughs at
.you." Was that what her mother was thinking
of ? She knew then, no doubt, that sooner or
later her child would have to find another
home; and perhaps it was the knowledge
that it would be with those who were not
loving and serving God, which made her cry
so sorrowfully at times during those last days,
when she would look at Rachel, and say, If
it were not that I am sure God will take care
of you, it would be so much harder to leave
you, my darling."
Tears flowed from the child's eyes as the
thought and remembrance came, but she
brushed them bravely away. She would love
God with all her heart, she would trust
Him as her dear mother had trusted Him,
and then she should be quite safe. So, as
we have said, her face was calmer and
brighter when she greeted her friends that
morning, and thanked her boy-cousins for
bringing the dog and her puppies to amuse
22 Rachel Rivers.
her; and nobody guessed what sad thoughts
and fears had filled her heart not many
Now, boys, get off to school," Mr. Herbert
had said when breakfast was quite .got
through; and, with much noisy gathering
together of books and slamming of doors
and boisterous farewells, Owen and Walter
raced off at last, and the house was left in
quietness and peace until their return at
"What will you do, Rachel ?" her aunt
asked as they stood together by the open
window watching the merry riotous boys
until they were out of sight. "Your uncle
shuts himself up amongst his books till
dinner, and I am busy with my house for an
hour or so. After that I shall be ready to
walk or work or read, or anything else which
will amuse you. But while I get through my
business, what will you do ?"
"I think I will gp upstairs, aunt, please,
and unpack my books, and put them up on
the shelves in my room," said Rachel.
Well do, dear; but ring the bell if you
want any one to help you," said Aunt Amy,
kissing the little thin delicate face which
The New Home. 23
looked so sorrowful, even when a smile flitted
So Rachel went away by herself to the-
pretty room, which she was told to call her
own; and, as she knelt down on the floor,
and stooping over the box took out her books
one by one, the tears she had been trying to
hide all breakfast-time fell fast again, and yet
in falling they seemed to ease her heart of
some of the pain.
How different it is at home," she thought;
" there I always read with dear mamma
first thing. It helped us to keep so near
God all day, if we got even a few words of
Scripture to rest in our minds when we began
the morning. I must do it alone now. Oh,
mamma, dear mamma! I wonder if you know
how your little Rachel wants you," she sobbed,
as she drew out her little well-worn Bible;
and, sitting down just where she was, on the
floor by the open book-box, turned over its
pages black with pencil-marks, so many of
which had been made by her -mother's hand.
Scarcely knowing what she would choose,
Rachel opened at John xiv. 1: "Let not your
heart be troubled." The very first words,
sweet familiar words they were, too, calmed
24 Rachel Rivers.
and soothed her; and before she had read
through the chapter her tears were dry, and
her face at peace, for God's peace was filling
her little heart which trusted Him. Jesus
knew her troubles, He knew all about her
loneliness, how she wanted to love and please
Him, but was so fearful she might go
wrong without some one to help her now,
-she felt so sure of this sure, too, that
He would give her His Holy Spirit to lead
her into all truth, and sanctify her heart that
she could not feel afraid any more,-and so
she closed the Bible, and took out the other
books she wanted to arrange on the pretty
shelves her aunt had placed in her room.
There were a great many; and of many dif-
ferent kinds; there were some brightly-bound
blue and red and green story-books, for
Rachel loved tales as well as any other child
ten years old; and there were lesson-books
too, history and grammar and geography, and
I know not what, which were more useful
than ornamental. And then there were what
Rachel called her "Sunday Books,"-" The
Pilgrim's Progress," which she knew almost
by heart, "Anne Ross," "Emily Grey," num-
bers of bound-up "Child's Companions," and
The New Home. 25
many more than I could name, some new and
some old, some which were presents and some
which had belonged to her mother in her
childish days; and by the time they were all
neatly placed side by side, Aunt Amy came
to see if Rachel was too weary from her
journey to take a walk. But Rachel thought
she would like it, and was soon ready, and
they went out through the village and into
the lanes, where there were stiles to get over
before they could get to the pleasant fields
beyond, where the haymakers were busy at
their work, and where Rachel and her aunt
were glad to sit down in a shady corner, and
eat some luncheon they had brought with
It is all so pleasant," Rachel said at last,
"almost as pretty as home."
"And you think you will love us, and be
happy, darling ?" said Aunt Amy, softly; but
the only answer to that was a loving little
squeeze from a small, soft hand, and a glance
of gratitude from the tearful blue eyes which
looked up into her face as if to thank her for
As they rose to walk towards home a woman
came along to meet them with a weary step,
26 Rachel Rivers.
and then sunk down under the hedge they
had just left, faint and exhausted from bearing
the weight of the child she carried in her
It was a little boy of perhaps four years,
who turned his heavy eyes on his mother, and
begged for something to drink. Mrs. Herbert
was too kind-hearted to pass her by; besides,
she could not have resisted Rachel's look,
which seemed to beg her to help them.
In a few words the poor woman told them
that she was on her way to her native village
with this her only child. They had been
living in London; but work had been scarce,
and they had almost starved there; and so at
last she had started for her home, to see if the
fresh air would give health and life to her
little one. But all her money was gone, and
she had walked along the dusty roads mile
after mile for two days, begging a shelter
in some barn or out-house at night, getting a
drink of water or sometimes of milk at a
cottage door, if any one looked kindly at her,
and eating the bread she had brought with
her. But now they had not passed a cottage
for several miles, and Harry was crying for
water, and she had not strength to carry
The New Home. 27
him further, but sunk wearily down under
the hedge, not knowing what was to become
In five minutes Mrs. Herbert was at the
door of a farm-house near by, where the
woman knew her well, and supplied her
with a mug of milk and slices of home-made
bread for the poor travellers; and then, as she
and Rachel watched the poor child revive,
and saw fresh strength and life come into the
face of the weary mother, they felt glad it had
chanced that they had walked that way, and
so been there to help them.
Before Mrs. Herbert left the field, she gave
the woman a few shillings, which would keep
her from want during the rest of her journey,
and then Rachel tripped along by her side
with a light heart and happy face.
"You look as pleased as can be," said her
aunt, glancing down at her; "what makes
you so happy, dear ?"
"Oh, I am so glad we met the poor woman,"
said Rachel. Why, aunt, the poor child
might have died if we hadn't happened to go
that way; or rather, if God hadn't taken us
there, mamma would have said," she added,
in a lower tone.
28 Rachel Rivens.
Mrs. Herbert looked wonderingly at the
child. You don't really think it was any-
thing but a chance that took us that way this
morning, Rachel ?"
But the child's astonished eyes spoke more
plainly than her voice as she said, Think it,
Aunt Amy? Why, I know it. I am quite
certain it was no chance at all, but God made
it happen so. He always takes care of every
one, and He meant us to be there to help the
poor woman and her child. Don't you think
so too, Aunt Amy ?"
But there was a look on Mrs. Herbert's
face which was not often there-part pain,
part doubt, part remembrance. You remind
me of when I was a child, Rachel,-nearer
God than I am now. I can't talk about it,
darling; but when you say your prayers to-
night pray for me that God may teach me to
believe in Him and yield my heart to His
love and grace."
Rachel puzzled very much over that, but in
her own simple way she asked God that
evening to make Aunt Amy love Him and
think of Him more.
Many times during the day, and for days
after, Rachel thought of the poor mother and
The New Home. 29
her sick child whom they had met in the hay-
field, and some words she had often read in
her little Bible seemed to mix up happily
with her thoughts: "I was thirsty, and ye
gave me drink;" for she knew Christ was as
pleased with kindness shown to the suffering
and poor as if it was done to Himself.
"AflT was Sunday evening,- tea had
been over some time, and Mr. and
sat by the open window, looking
out into the pleasant garden;
while Rachel, a little apart, was poring over
a book-her long curls shading her thought-
ful face. It was July then. She had been
more than a month at Lynwood. Still she
thought as much of home and her mother
as she had done at first; and it seemed
as if Sunday brought more fully before her
a sense of the greatness of her loss. They
were all very good to her, those newly-found
relations; they treated her with the love of
parents and brothers, and strove to make it a
real home to the little orphan girl. Yet, as
weeks went by, Rachel felt still more the
difference to her former life, and there was
a growing consciousness that God was little
known or thought of in that household.
Sunday mornings, which were ushered in
by the pleasant chiming of bells from the
churches round, brought no change in the
habits of other days, excepting that breakfast
was later; and one by one dropped in to
their seats until the bells had stopped, long
before the meal was finished.
It had struck Rachel painfully on her first
Sunday at Lynwood, that no one seemed
thinking of going out to one of the different
places of worship near them. She had lingered
about, and waited to be told to get ready; and
at last, finding the time had gone by, she had
run up to her own room, and locked herself
in, and cried bitterly, because she was so dis-
appointed and troubled.
It was the first time, since she was old
enough to understand such things, that she
had ever been kept from the house of God on
a Sunday morning, unless for some cause
which could not be avoided. And then she
had turned to her little well-worn Bible, and
tried to make up for what she had lost by
reading some of the chapters her mother had
loved; and then, after she had knelt to pray
32 Rachel Rivers.
God to help her and bless her, and show her
how to follow Him now there was no one to
teach her, she felt more hopeful. Still her
face was paler, and there were marks of tears
on her face, in spite of all the efforts she had
made to remove them; and when she joined
the rest of the family at dinner, her aunt felt
quite sure that something had particularly
troubled her. Later in the day, when she
was alone with her little niece, Mrs. Herbert
found out what had been amiss, and had
promised Rachel that in future either she
herself or one of the servants should take her
to the service at the church close by on
The promise had been kept; and the con-
gregation who worshipped regularly at the
parish church were all interested in the fair-
haired child, in her deep mourning, who fol-
lowed the service so reverently and earnestly,
and who they soon knew to be the orphan
daughter of Mr. Herbert's only sister.
Many smiled gently at Rachel as they
passed her in the church porch, or in the
narrow lane which led to her home; but she
was timid, and glided by them blushing so
deeply and clinging so tightly to the hand of
the maid who brought her, that no one ever
spoke to her, though some kind hearts sent
up an earnest prayer to God for the little
On this July evening, when we see Rachel
Rivers poring over a book as she sits on
a low seat by the open window, she had been
thinking how much happier she should be if
her aunt and uncle and boy-cousins went
with her on the Lord's day to worship at the
old ivy covered church. It seemed to her
a terrible thing that there should be those
who did not want to do this, who did not
love Sunday more than other days, just be-
cause it was specially set apart to think of
God and His dear Son Jesus Christ, the only
Then she began to wish so much she could
persuade them to go,-she was sure it would
please God. But she was only a child, and it
might vex her friends if she appeared to want
to teach them what was right. "She longed
to know what would be the best way to
act; and so, while she seemed so interested
in her book, a great many thoughts were in
her mind about her relatives, who were so
unconscious of it, and only God knew all
34 Rachel Rivers.
which filled that little heart which loved Him
"Why, Rachel, how quiet you are !" ex-
claimed Mr. Herbert at last, bending towards
her so closely as to read the title of her book,
" Pilgrim's Progress," why I remember
wading through that when I was quite a boy,
and was tremendously interested in old Chris-
tian and his travels. Are you fond of that
book, little one?"
Rachel's face was answer enough. Oh, I do
so love it," she said. "I think I know it by
heart, and yet I am never tired of it-never.
Mamma used to tell me it when I was too
little to read, and it was the first book she
gave me when I was older next to my
"Isn't it awfully dry ?" said Owen, looking
over her shoulder. Isn't it all about good
people-one of those books that pious folks
read all Sundays and go to sleep over ? "
But Rachel's face flushed high as she an-
swered, "I don't think any one could go to
sleep over Pilgrim's Progress, Owen. Even
you would like it, I believe; and you go
to sleep nearly all Sunday afternoon with-
out reading at all, and so does Walter."
"Well, that's because there's nothing else to
do," put in Walter; "Sunday's such a dull
day. Even if one does try and cut it short by
getting up an hour or so later, and going to
bed earlier, it's horridly long; and I know I'm
precious glad when Monday morning comes,
even though there are those bothering old
"I wonder you never go to church," said
Rachel. "Don't you go ever?"
"When we were little fellows we had an
old nurse who took us sometimes; but she
went away, and then we didn't care about it,"
explained Owen. "You see, papa never goes.
He says it's a day of rest; and he doesn't see
the use of tiring himself with church-going;
and mamma says it makes her headache in
summer, and gives her a cold in winter; and
so it isn't likely we want to go by ourselves."
Rachel looked very grave. "I thought it
was because it is a day of rest that people do
go to church," she said. "When they're all
tired with thinking about business and work
and lessons through the week days, they can
forget all about them on Sunday, and just
think of God and heaven and Jesus, and those
happy things that take the weary feeling
36 Rachel Rivers.
away, and help them to remember that by-
and-bye it will be all rest and happiness.
And so they begin the business on Monday
fresh and rested from giving Sunday to God."
But Owen and Walter did not enter into
that, it was a new idea to them. "Do you
really like church-going, Rachel?" asked the
elder boy. "Or is it only because you think
it's good and proper to go ?"
"Oh, Owen, how can you ask me?" said
Rachel, reproachfully. Why, ever since I was
the tiniest child, I loved it,-when I was so
little that I couldn't understand what was
going on; only I liked the singing because I
fancied the angels' songs in heaven must
sound like that. But when I knew more
about God it seemed the happiest of all
things to go to His house, and hear about
Him, and be taught how to please Him
better; and then I pray to Him, and ask
for His Holy Spirit to make me a good
child, and cure me of my faults, so that I
may be getting ready to meet mamma when
But can't you say your prayers at home ?"
questioned Owen, who was not willing to
be convinced so easily.
"Of course I can,-of course I do. But
going to the house of God doesn't keep me
from saying my prayers at home. It only
gives me a time and a place to say more,
and to think more of God there, where it's
all so quiet, and there's nothing to take my
thoughts away. I can then think of the
love of Christ to my soul, and quietly tell
Him how I want to love Him."
"Come, what are you young folks talking
of so earnestly?" asked Mr. Herbert, who
with his wife had been strolling round the
garden while the children talked.
"Rachel has been saying how she likes
to go to church, papa," cried Owen. "Why
don't you go?"
"Because I had too much of it, my boy,
when I was young like you. Sunday was
the most miserable day in all the week to
me; for I had to sit on a high chair and
learn catechism, when I had been dragged
to ever so many services."
But Mrs. Herbert checked him. "Don't-
don't speak so to the boys, especially before
Rachel. Remember how good her mother
was, and she was your own sister,"-and
that memory closed Mr. Herbert's lips and
38 .lachel Rivers.
softened his heart; for he thought of the
time when he had been taught with her
on happy Sundays in childhood, when the
sweet old Scripture tales and verses had
sounded pleasantly in his ear; and with the
recollections came a wish that he had kept
his boyish love and reverence for holythings,
instead of wandering so sadly far from God.
The church bells began just then, and rung
sweetly in the summer air. Mrs. Herbert
was struck by Rachel's wistful look. "You
wouldn't care to go again, love, would you?
It would tire you so."
"Oh, aunt, if I only might! It would be
so nice. But it would be nicer if you would
go too," she added, timidly.
A flush rose to Mrs. Herbert's face, and
the child almost feared that she was dis-
pleased; but next minute she said gently,
"I will take you, Rachel, if it will give you
Ten minutes later they were on their way,
accompanied by Walter, Owen chose to
remain with his father. "It's queer to see
mamma go off like that," he said; but for
once Mr. Herbert looked thoughtful as he
answered, "I don't know, Owen,-I think it
might be better if we had gone too;" and
after that they strolled silently about the
garden till the church-goers returned.
Meanwhile Mrs. Herbert and the children
had entered the church. It was old and
time-worn-its carved oak-work and stained
glass contrasting strangely with the more
modern pews which filled it. Walter thought
it looked beautiful as the sunshine streamed
through the crimson glass. "I didn't know
it would be like this," he whispered to his
cousin as they took their seats; "I thought
it would be dull and dark."
As the sunlight faded, and the prayers and
singing came to an end, it was with real
pleasure'Rachel saw the clergyman mount the
pulpit stairs. He was a good man-unpre-
tending in his piety, untiring in his labour,
-a kind friend equally to rich and poor,
and Rachel felt almost sure that God would
send some message through him to the heart
of Aunt Amy. At any rate she had prayed
for it; and she was sure that then, or some
other time, God would answer her request.
This evening his sermon was very plain
and earnest--his text the words, "Come
unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy-
40 Rachel Rivers.
laden, and I will give you rest." Perhaps
he could not have chosen a subject more
likely to go straight to the heart of many of
his hearers, but especially to Mrs. Herbert.
Weary! ah, she was indeed that. Weary of
the worldliness that had grown over the
better feelings of her nature, unsatisfied,
ever longing for something, she knew not
what, which would bring to her soul the
peace for which she longed. She now was
directed to Christ, who could supply all, and
more than she could ask or think, who asked
no great sacrifice, no great achievement,-
only her love, only her heart, which He
longed to fill and flood with that peace of
SGod which passeth all understanding."
When all was ended, and the worshippers
rose to go, Mrs. Herbert's head was bowed for
several silent moments in real prayer to God
-her first prayer for many a year.
"God bless you, my darling," she whispered
when she kissed Rachel that night. "You
shall never go to church alone again."
"I am so glad you liked it," the child
answered, and her last waking moments
were given to an earnest prayer for "dear
Aunt Amy, uncle, and the boys."
A HASTY WORD.
", I am so sorry, so very sorry;"
and Rachel's head sank down
again, and the tears streamed
Through the little slender hands
which covered her face. I ought
not to have answered Owen so crossly even
if he did teaze me,-and I who tell God
every day that I love Him! Oh, dear, how
wrong I was, how wicked I must be !" and the
child cried more violently than ever; and
then she knelt down, and in her simple way
told God she was so grieved for the cross
words and angry voice which she knew He
had heard, and which had displeased Him;
and she begged earnestly that her sins might
all be washed away in the blood of Jesus
After a time she grew quieter, and sat down
to think over what had happened. It had
42 Rachel Rivers.
begun from a trifling thing too, when after
breakfast she had been sitting down so deeply
interested in one of her books that she had
not noticed Owen coming behind her, until
her much-loved volume was snatched from
her hand, and her cousin had read aloud
several sentences from it, ridiculing it as he
did so. "Dear me, what a very good little
girl," he sneered; I should like to see
such an one dearly. Listen, Walter," and on
he went again.
"Give me my book, you naughty boy,"
cried Rachel, half in tears, and trying in vain
to snatch it from his hand.
"Jump higher, Rachel," laughed the tire-
some boy, raising it further and further from
her reach; "catch if you can!"
But Rachel wanted her book. She had
been intensely interested in it; and between
her anxiety to know how the story went on,
and her fear lest Owen should tear the pages
in his rough play, her patience went; and
bursting into a fit of angry crying, she told
him passionately that she hated him, and she
wished she had never come to Lynwood..
Just at that instant Mr. Herbert entered
the room, in time to see Rachel's angry face,
A Hasty Word. 43
and hear her words. "Why, Rachel, so you
can get in a passion too, can you? I really
thought you were a better child. However,
I suppose you're like the rest," he said.
"Owen, give your cousin her book. Don't
you know its cowardly to vex a little girl who
can't bear teazing."
But before Owen could obey Rachel had
darted from the room covered with confu-
sion. First of all, she was vexed at having
so disgraced herself, and fallen in her uncle's
good opinion; but afterwards she was sorry
because she had grieved her Saviour, wounded
His heart, which loved her so tenderly, and
this seemed worse than to displease the best
and dearest earthly friend.
So Rachel cried and sobbed as we have
seen, until she had asked God to pardon her
sin, and make her a better child. Then she
dried her tears, and sat still, wondering how
she could meet Owen again.
Meanwhile Mrs. Herbert had been told of
what had happened. "If you'd only seen
her, mamma; she looked a perfect little fury,"
Owen said; didn't she, Walter ?" But Walter
felt sorry for Rachel, and only answered,
"You shouldn't have bothered her so."
44 Rachel Rivers.
"I could not have supposed, Owen, that
you would have been so unkind," his mother
said. "I am indeed disappointed that Rachel
has not so much control over her temper as
I supposed,-still I am sure she tries hard to
be a good child. But I am far more dis-
appointed to find that my own boy could do
such an ungentlemanly thing as take pleasure
in tormenting any one."
Owen went away to school then, feeling
annoyed with himself, and still more vexed
"Stupid little thing," he said to his brother.
"I thought it would be nice to have her live
here; hut I don't know,-ppap and mamma
make such a fuss of her. However, they'll
begin to find out she isn't such a saint
We left Rachel to her solitary thoughts in
her own room. She was so conscious of her
fault, and of the disappointment it would
cause her Aunt Amy, that she felt almost
ashamed to go down stairs.
"I think I'll say I have a headache, and
can't come down," she thought.
"But that would not be true," said con-
A Hasty Word. 45
"But I'm so ashamed of having been so
"Because you liked them to think you were
very good," urged conscience.
"Well, I am good generally. I don't
know when I've been naughty before, it's so
"But only because God helped you. It's
nothing to be proud of. You could not do
anything good by yourself," whispered the
voice in her heart.
"Oh, dear, I wish I had not done it. They
won't forget it for ever so long."
"You must bear it as a punishment, and
it will keep you humble," came the next.
Then Rachel saw it all. Ah! the secret of
her fall lay in that-she was not humble.
She had been growing proud of her good
conduct, of her love of holy things, of her
freedom from many childish faults; and so
this had happened by God's permission to
show her that she was only a simple little
girl, so weak, so faulty, that she could only
be safe when she clung closely to her
Then Rachel knelt down once more, and
said, "Dear Jesus, how can I be so proud,
46 Rachel Rivers.
when you were so humble Help me to feel
my weakness and sinfulness, and to know
that I can do nothing good by myself. For-
give me, and wash away my sin, and help me
by Thy Holy Spirit to be careful for the
future," and then she went softly downstairs
to look for Owen.
She met her Aunt Amy as she crossed the
hall, and asked her if Owen had gone to
"Oh yes, a long time ago," was the reply.
"But how you have been crying, Rachel; your
eyes tell a sad tale."
"Yes, indeed, Aunt Amy; you don't know
what a naughty child I've been, unless they
"Well, I did hear something about a tire-
some teazing boy who made his little cousin
very angry; but you need not have fretted
about it, my child. We don't expect any one
to be perfect, and never get cross."
"Oh, auntie, indeed I ought to grieve
about it, because it was so wrong of me, so
very wrong, and it has made Jesus sorry.
But I will try and never do it again. Do you
think Owen will forgive me and love me ?"
"Of course he will, Rachel. I don't suppose
A Hasty Word. 47
he has thought about it since he got into
school; and by the time he comes home it
will all have gone out of his head. He's
a vexatious, tiresome fellow; but it's all fun,
and not malice, and he is really fond of you,
Yes, I am sure he is; he's always been so
good to me, and mended my dolls and cut
my pencils, and everything I asked him. But
I will beg him to forgive me the moment he
So that evening, as the two boys came
within sight of their house, a little black-
clothed figure stood at the gate watching for
them; and, as soon as she was quite sure it
was her cousins, Rachel ran up the country
lane to meet them, and flinging her arms
round Owen's neck, told him she loved him
dearly, and was so very sorry for her pas-
"There, don't hug a fellow like that,
Rachel," he said, disengaging himself, much
as if it had been from the clasp of a small
bear; "I'd forgotten all about it, I declare;
and it was jolly fun to see you dancing about
with your eyes-flashing and your face so red,
-you looked quite pretty, Rachel."
48 Rachel Rivers.
"God did not like to see me," she said,
softly; "but I hope I'll never do it again;"
and then the three children went in to the
house together, and Owen and Rachel seemed
better friends than ever after that time.
"I'm sorry I said what I did about her as
we went to school, Walter," said Owen, when
they were in bed that night; "I didn't mean
it,-I'm sure I like her to be here tremen-
dously; and if we didn't make a fuss of her it
would be a jolly shame, poor little thing. I'm
sorry I teazed her."
I wonder she begged your pardon, though,"
said Walter. "That's what I don't think I
could ever do.-it makes a fellow feel so
"I am sure it was hard to her to do it. I
suppose she thought she ought to," said
"Well, I do believe Rachel would do any-
thing she thought was right. I never saw
any one quite like her. I wonder if it's saying
her prayers and going to church, and all that
sort of thing, that makes her different to us.
I'll ask her one of these days;" and then they
began to feel sleepy, so the talking came to a
A Hasty Word. 49
The next Sunday, when Rachel and Walter
were having a quiet walk round the garden
together, he tried to put his speculations into
"I say, Rachel," he began, "do you think
it's any real good going to church. I've been
ever so often lately, to please you, and I don't
think I'm better."
"But you must be better for praying to
God, Walter. You don't know how. Perhaps
you'd have done many more wrong things if
you hadn't been. Besides God has told us to
keep the sabbath-day holy, so we ought to go
where people meet together to hear of Him
and pray to Him."
Well, do you think I've been a bit different
since I went, Rachel?"
Rachel paused. "Yes," she said, slowly.
"I really do feel sure of it. I've seen once or
twice that instead of grumbling and pulling
a horrid face when uncle told you to do any-
thing, you've obeyed without seeming vexed.
And ever so often I know you've not quarrelled
with Owen when he was most provoking;
and I fancied you seemed to think about
other people more than yourself lately, Walter.
Yes; I'm sure you're growing better."
50 Rachel Rivers.
"Oh, those are such little stupid things. I
know I've been trying; but I don't see much
"Well, but God never said we should see
much difference. If He sees it, it's enough;
and He does see every little thing we try to
do; and so He helps us to do better every
"I wish you'd tell me what you say when
you pray to God, Rachel. I've forgotten the
prayers I learned when I was a little chap,
and perhaps I don't pray rightly."
"Oh, Walter, indeed I could not tell you
quite. You see, I have always got so much
to say to God. I ask Him to take care of me,
and help me to remember how near He is
always; and then I think of all I've done
to displease Him, and I tell Him I'm sorry,
and ask that my sins may be blotted out
through the blood of Christ. And then I ask
God to bless me, and to bless you and Owen,
and uncle and aunt, and to let us all be
together in heaven some day, with papa and
mamma. Oh, I can't tell you any better,
Walter, because I'm only a little girl; but
God will teach you what to say to Him, if
you ask Him."
A Hasty Word. 51
Walter Herbert thought very much then
and many a time after of his little cousin's
words. Perhaps it was the first time any
idea of real prayer to God had reached his
mind, and it rested there; for those simple
thoughts were the beginning of a different
life to the rough schoolboy; and from that
day he began the habit, which was never
afterwards neglected in all the years of his
life, of constant prayer to God, whom as yet
he only knew, as it were, afar off.
HOPES AND FEARS.
R. MARSHALL, the clergyman of Lyn-
wood Church, was walking slowly
home after, service one Sunday
J evening with an old college friend
"T by his side, who had been his
visitor for several days. It was a calm sum-
mer night, and they sauntered along the lanes,
in no haste to leave the pleasant, balmy air, or
to interrupt their chat over old times. "Well,
you've a nice parish here," said the visitor;
" plenty of work, I see,-but you will not mind
that. I like the church, too,-it's a quaint,
old building. By the way, there was one
family there I could not help looking at,-a
lady and gentleman, two youths, and a young
girl of perhaps thirteen or fourteen years. It
was the girl I noticed so,-she seemed so
particularly reverent and earnest."
Mr. Marshall smiled. And she is as earnest
as she seems. She is an orphan, and lives
Hopes and Fears. 53
with her uncle and aunt, and the lads are her
cousins. Since Rachel Rivers came to Lyn-
wood, four or five years ago, it has seemed as
if God made use of her to draw the whole
family to Himself. They were utterly without
religion-seldom entering a church, never, I
suppose, uttering a prayer. Now they are
thorough, earnest, hearty Christians, and it
has been through her, under God. 'And
a little child shall lead them.' I always
think of those words when I see that family
kneeling in church, as you saw them to-
Yes; Mr. Marshall's words were true. The
faith and love which had been sown in the
heart of the little motherless girl, who had
come so sorrowfully to Lynwood some years
before, had sprung up into precious fruit by
His blessing. I do not think any one of the
Herbert family could have explained how or
when the change came; but slowly, though
surely, one by one adopted the habit of paying
outward reverence to God, and He touched
their hearts with the fire of His love, and
brought them in sorrow and hope to the
feet of His Son, whom from that time
they clung to as their Saviour.
54 achel Rivers.
Those who had known Mr. and Mrs. Her-
bert before Rachel's coming would not have
recognized them in the loving, watchful Chris-
tian parents they became, in their life of
simple, unpretending piety; and, as they said,
"Through God, we owe the change to the
example of that child." The rough school-
boys were rough still, perhaps,-full of mirth
and mischief, with many faults and failings.
But true religion was softening their hearts,
was keeping them firm under temptation,
courageous for the truth, and would gradually
mould them into good and noble men.
And Rachel-is her old pride still there?
Have the years which have made her a bless-
ing to others left her unimproved, brought
her no nearer to the God of her early child-
hood ? Ah, no I If she could speak, it would
be to tell of her many imperfections, of her
want of love, of trust, of her unlikeness to her
Master. But at the foot of the cross Rachel
has been learning humility; there she has
seen the weight of her own sins, and the one
great and all sufficient Sacrifice for them.
There, if she learns her own weakness, her
own sinfulness, she also learns to trust
simply to Jesus, who died to take away the
Hopes and Fears. 55
sins of the whole world, and reconcile it to
the Father in heaven. So Rachel goes quietly
on in her daily life, mistrusting herself as she
learns self-knowledge, confiding only in a
strength which is not her own.
"I do not think Rachel is looking strong,"
Mrs. Herbert said to her husband one day
during the fifth summer since she had lived
at Lynwood. "There's a glitter in her eye,
and a flush on her cheek at times which make
my heart ache. And she coughs some-
times,-a little husky cough I don't like
Why, you are getting positively nervous,"
Mr. Herbert said; "I don't see anything to
be alarmed at. She is growing fast, and girls
of her age are often a little delicate; but
I feel sure that your love makes you fan-
"I hope so, truly," said Mrs. Herbert; but
the uncomfortable doubt rested in her mind,
although she strove to banish it, and she
watched her niece with anxious eyes, and still
more anxious heart.
"You are not well, Rachel," she said one
day as the young girl returned from a walk
looking pale and faint.
56 Rachel Rivers.
"Yes, auntie dear, quite well-only a little
tired; but I think I always am tired now. I
went to see old Mrs. Lee, and read to her a
little,-poor thing, I fancy she gets weaker
every time I go. And then I went to meet
Walter; but I think I must have mistaken
the hour he fixed to be home, for I have seen
nothing of him, so I had my walk for no good.
Mr. Marshall overtook me just now, and we
had a nice little chat, which made up for my
Why did you not ask him in ?" said Mrs.
"I did, but he was too busy--there are so
many people ill just now, I think. Oh, aunt,
how good he is!-so self-denying and hard-
working, and every one loves him so, the poor
most of all. You should hear Mrs. Lee
speak of him, and all he has done for her."
"Yes, he is a good man-a real follower of
Christ, teaching and helping and comforting
something as He comforted so many years
ago," answered Mrs. Herbert. It is a glorious
calling, that of a minister of God."
"Well, we can all do something: that is
a comfort, isn't it, Aunt Amy ? But it is so
little, so sadly little, after all," added Rachel.
Hopes and Fears. 57
"'She lath done what she could.' You
must be satisfied if those words can be true of
you, darling. But with teaching on Sunday
afternoons, visiting ever so many poor cottages,
and working for most of the babies and chil-
dren in the village, I fancy our Rachel does
a good deal, sometimes more than she ought
"Oh, aunt, don't say that; it does not seem
much when God does so very much for me,"
said Rachel, seriously. Then she added, "Do
you know, aunt, sometimes I fancy I shall not
have a very long life. I mean that I shall
never be old; and so those words seem to ring
ever in my ear, 'Work while it is day, for the
night cometh in which no man can work.'
Perhaps my night may come soon, and then
I shall only feel that I have not done half
"My dear Rachel, surely you are fanciful.
You don't feel ill ?" questioned Mrs. Herbert,
"No, Aunt Amy, not ill at all. I really
could not tell you why such thoughts come,
but they do."
Do banish them then, darling. You must
live for us, and all who want you, to whom
58 Rachel Rivers.
you have been such a blessing;" but, though
Mrs. Herbert spoke lightly, Rachel's words
had gone with a thrill of pain to her heart,
reviving the fear which had been hidden
there so long.
Another year had passed away, and once
again the leaves had budded bright and
green, and the spring had deepened into
summer. But there was a shadow hanging
over many a heart and home in Lynwood,
for Rachel Rivers was dying,-the tiny cloud
had deepened into a terrible fear which be-
came a certainty, and all hope of her life was
over now. The little cough, the shining eye,
the brilliant flush which first distressed Mrs.
Herbert had borne its fruit of death.
Many of the village poor came to ask after
the bright-haired child they had grown to
love like the sunshine, and turned away
weeping sadly at the words, "There is no
hope-she is dying fast."
"Dear me!" mourned poor old Mrs. Lee
from her bed of weakness; "only to think
that she, so young, should be taken, and I,
a poor old woman of no use to any one,
should be left Little did I think that
Hopes and Fears. 59
she'd go first when she was a sitting here
reading me a chapter from the Bible in her
pretty voice. And then she'd say, 'Oh, Mrs.
Lee, wouldn't it be happy to have our Saviour
here now, to be near Him, and listen to Him,
and feel His kind hands blessing us as He
blessed the children who were brought to Him
then?' Ah! she'll be near Him soon, pretty
dear," and the old woman wiped her eyes.
"And you will follow," said Mr. Marshall,
softly, to whom she had been speaking. You
will soon go home too; home to our Father's
house, where there will be no more death,
no sorrow, no crying."
The good clergyman's heart was full of
sorrow, too, as he went his way to the house
where Rachel was dying. He thought of her,
the little timid, earnest child she had been
when she first came to Lynwood. He had
watched her growing into girlhood, and re-
joiced to see the seeds of piety springing
into bloom, to mark her increasing effort
to be like her Master, and he had hoped
hers-would have been a long life of useful-
ness. "But God's ways are not our ways,"
he reflected. "Rachel's little work is done,
or she would not be -taken home so early."
60 Rachel Rivers.
They were all around her bed when Mr.
Marshall went upstairs,-uncle, aunt, cousins,
in the agony of grief they tried so vainly
to restrain. Rachel only was calm; and as
she recognized her friend, she extended her
thin white hand to him with a smile.
"I am so glad you have come," she said,
faintly. "I wanted to say good-bye, to
tell you I am quite happy. Jesus is very
near now, and He will take me home."
"You have no fear, my child ?" said the
"Oh no, how could I be afraid when He
loves me? And I know He has forgiven me
all my sins because He has promised it."
She was silent for a minute, and then she
"Owen,"-he drew nearer.
"You remember when I was so little, how
cross I used to be when you teased me. I
am so sorry for it,-you won't think of those
times, will you?"
"Oh, Rachel, don't-it makes me remember
how unkind I was so often. If you would
only live! we want you so."
"God wants me, Owen, and I am so glad,
for I shall see mamma once more. But you
Hopes and Fears. 61
will come to me, Owen; you and Walter, and
uncle and Aint Amy, all together with Jesus
"Oh, I don't know, Rachel," whispered the
lad, "I'm not good like you are, I'm not fit
But 'you are trying, dear Owen," mur-
mured the dying child. "Jesus asks you
to believe in Him, and to love Him, and to
try to please Him. He died for our sins once,
and His blood cleaneth our guilt. Through
faith in Him we become God's children.
Promise me you will feel quite sure of this
before I die;" and then Rachel closed her
eyes once more, and seemed to sleep,-but
.it was the sleep of death, from which there
should be a glad awakening in the joy of
There was sorrow in her home for many
a day, for they knew Rachel's place could
never be filled again. But from those sad
hearts there rose up thanksgiving to God,
that He had made a little child the means
of leading them to the Saviour to whom she
had given her young heat. They laid her
to rest in the quiet village churchyard, with
a simple stone to mark the spot. There they
62 Rachel Rivers.
often go, and think of Rachel, not in the
darkness of the grave, but as a happy spirit
in heaven. There the poor linger on summer
nights, and speak of the fair-haired child
whose voice and steps brought joy to many
a humble home; and the little village chil-
dren hush their voices as they play on the
grass near by, and read the words engraved
on the stone which tell them the secret of
Rachel's happiness in life and death: "I
love them that love Me, and those that
seek Me early shall find Me." Yes! that
was how Rachel had learned to subdue her
childish faults, had grown gentle and humble
like the loving Saviour. She had given
Him her heart, and He had filled it with
His own.love. She had sought Him in her
early days, and He had kept His promise,
"They that seek Me early shall find Me."
Finding Jesus, she had found peace, joy,
help, and eternal life, as we too shall find
it if we ask it in earnest prayer.
THE LOVE OF JESUS.
How loving is Jesus, who came from the sky,
In tenderest pity for sinners to die;
His hands and His feet were nail'd to the
And this He once suffered for sinners like me.
How gladly does Jesus free pardon impart
To all who receive Him by faith in their
-o evil befalls them, their home is above,
And Jesus throws round them the arms of
How precious is Jesus to all who believe!
And out of His fulness what grace they
When weak He supports them, when erring
And everything needful He kindly provides.
64 The Love of Jesus.
Oh, give, then, to Jesus your earliest days!
They only are blessed, who walk in His
In life and in death He will still be their
For those whom He loves, He will love to
LONDON KNIGHT, PRINTER. BARTHOLOMEW CLOSE.