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Miss Loveday knew not how to reply: she was therefore glad when Barbara thus continued, “I have been thinking how good; how very, very good, God is,” she said, “to bring you here to love me, and to teach me as Horace taught my uncle ; and I have been thinking how the love of God comes to us, through so many, many ways. It seems to me, when I was getting more and more unhappy, as if God sent you to tell me, that he had not forgotten me. If
you had come sooner, perhaps I should not have been so very, very glad.”
The more the child spoke, the more Miss Loveday felt confused. She had once or twice met with persons, who though perhaps really religious, had offended her with using such modes of speech, as are by worldly persons called cant; but there was a freshness and simplicity, and an elegance of sentiment, in little Barbara's communication so very unlike the style she disliked, that she could not doubt its genuineness, and she felt assured, that the affections and convictions of the child went with all she said. Through the divine blessing, there was scarcely a word which the little one uttered, which did not take strong hold upon Emmeline's mind, so much so, that when the school bell called the child away from her, she was left like one just waking from a very long dream ; for, probably, till that crisis of time, it had never entered into her mind, that this world with all its frivolous pursuits, was but a deceptive shadowy thing, whilst that hitherto despised religion dealt only in the realities of existence.
Suppose,” said she to herself “that it is so; then this despised child is the only one in this far-famed establishment, as far as I can judge, who holds the truth : whilst all the rest, myself among them, have hitherto been only devoted to the pursuit of variegated shadows : all, all of which must vanish in the darkness of the grave.”
It was observed that Miss Loveday looked very serious, and had nothing to say at breakfast ; but this symptom of something wrong, was set down to some aprice of temper, and therefore passed over by the sisterhood.
Miss Loveday saw no more of Barbara till she came up to her room, at the hour in which the pupils retired, and there and then, won by the pleadings of the child, she consented to read the Bible aloud to her, whilst she was preparing to get to bed, turn over the dear old book? Come let me know the subject of your studies this morning?”
“I was looking for the Shepherd King, Miss Emmeline,” replied Barbara, and trying to follow him, wherever I could find him
Indeed, said Emmeline, half playfully, half surprisedly, and trust you found him ?
“I could find him easily by the marks I made that day,—tha happy day, long long ago, Miss Emmeline,” returned the chik heaving a gentle sigh.
“What wonderful day was that, my dear,” asked the your lady?
“We were in the park, ma'am," returned the child, "my of dear uncle and myself, and Cæsar, and we saw a shepherd a distance driving a flock of sheep up a winding lane, toward green hill, which we knew to be very pleasant in fine weath and then my uncle told me that Horace had taught him, t whenever he saw a shepherd with his flock, he must think of Saviour, because it is written of him (Isaiah, xl. 11.) “He sl feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs in arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead th that are with young.” My uncle never forgot anything wl Horace had taught him; so then we began to look for all places where the Good Shepherd is to be found; for you kn Miss Emmeline, that there are bad shepherds in the Bill."
Miss Emmeline might have answered," I know no s but according to the old saying, she kept her own Barbara whose young mouth was opened by a ser never before enjoyed in that house, went or communications. “That was our shepherd-ti it was when the trees were in blossom Emmeline, and I called it our shepherd talking of nothing but shepherds the days. We looked for all the ver mean particularly the Good Sheph
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Miss Loveday knew not how to reply: she was 'Bereidie
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lese mere empty had been going : long, it became nat, through the r state of being. : but there was ip to everlasting at and quiet, and ew born babe in fant in the flesh. the scriptures had ier had added light a her soul, and to self, that the Lord ith from error, as om the bones. ined for her a trial nless it had been cough immediately y faculty and every nd refreshment of t, yet all her cares ne more experiencd they made so lig?
ame up lo es there and the ated to lead the ng to get to bed,
a custom which being commenced that night, was carried on with small interruption till the Christmas holidays : whilst it never once entered into the mind of Barbara, that she was by the divine blessing, pouring of the fulness of the Living Rill intrusted to her keeping, into the breast of her companion, by her various little notes and comments, though Emmeline was enabled to feel from day to day, that so it was. But whilst the noblest, loftiest, and best directed efforts of man, to convey instruction to another, may sometimes fail, it not unfrequently happens, that the very humblest instruments are made available by God's blessing. And so it ought to be, lest man should glory in his own wisdom, and should say “Behold what have I done.” The value of the instructions thus conveyed from the younger to the elder, as related in our narrative, consisted in the gift which was conferred on her, (through the ministry of that simple one, of whom it might have been truly said, he had but one idea, and that was Christ in all, and all in Christ), of discerning, and being able to point out, in her own child-like way, indeed, the bearing of almost every passage of scripture which was brought forward on the great scheme of salvation by Jesus Christ. She knew nothing of doubtful and perplexing questions—she had never heard of polemical disputes, and controversies on ecclesiastical matters, but the Father had revealed himself to her, as he does sometimes to men and babes, and the Holy Ghost had given her power to comprehend as clearly as the saint of matured years, the leading truths of the gospel. And speaking from experience, and as man can only speak, a little child is often much more apt in understanding what is meant by the Father's love, than others more advanced in life.
Although there is no doubt that a mighty work was going on under the roof of the establishment of Mrs. St. Leger, and the Misses Greatorex, yet was it not suspected in the family during the whole of the interval between the Midsummer and Christmas holidays, at which time Miss Loveday went to visit a friend in the country, and Barbara was permitted to keep her place in her friend's room. It was at that period that the child wrote the letter formerly introduced, and though she used no means to conceal it, it was suffered to pass without inspec. tion.
When Emmeline returned, she thought that her little girl looked pale and thin, and remarked to Mrs. St. Leger that she was troubled with a cough.
“It is,” returned that lady, "merely the effect of a cold, caught in returning in the rain from a walk, a few Sundays since, as Mademoiselle tells me ; for I have been absent from home; but now you are come back, we shall hear no more of it. The child is a little low-spirited thing, and as Mademoiselle says, seemed hardly alive during the whole of the vacation : how you can bear with her, Miss Loveday, is an enigma to all of us; but we expect the mother home in a few months. We have had letters with the account, that the precious son and heir is dead : hence I suppose, that some new plan will be hit upon for the daughter, now a very great heiress.
“Alas! my little one !" thought Emmeline, "you are to be abandoned to the tender mercies of these people. What may not be your trials, my gentle one!" Nor were these mere empty words. For some time past, the work of grace had been going forward in the heart of that young lady: and ere long, it became evident to all persons of spiritual discernment that, through the divine favor, she had been admitted into another state of being. She lived no longer a life of sense and flesh: but there was within her a well of living waters springing up to everlasting life. She had spent the holidays in retirement and quiet, and such seasons, are not less healthful to the new born babe in Christ, than they are essential to the tender infant in the flesh. During that interval, her constant perusal of the scriptures had been abundantly blessed, and her heavenly Father had added light and strength to the faith already implanted in her soul, and to such a degree, as to make it plain, even to herself, that the Lord the Spirit is swift and powerful, dividing truth from error, as the sword of double edge separates the flesh from the bones.
But the same Omnipotent Parent had ordained for her a trial which needed all that strength and more, unless it had been renewed from on high, from hour to hour; though immediately on her return to the school she put forth every faculty and every resource she could command, for the solace and refreshment of the little child who was bound up in her heart, yet all her cares proved of none avail. Little did she, or even the more experiencd about her, apprehend that the cough of which they made so light,