I Know and Have Certainty

NOT long since two persons were sitting talking together. They were strangers, and did not know each other's concerns. Mrs. P., who was old and ailing, was telling her visitor how much and how often she suffered. After a little while the latter began to speak about the difference between the soul and the body—how that the soul must live forever and ever, and of the urgent necessity of salvation.
“Mrs. P.," she said at length, "you would like to be saved, would you not?”
When her body had occupied her thoughts she had spoken cheerlessly, but now she brightened up and answered, with a smile, "Well, I don't feel the need to be. He says in His word we may become as little children, and be converted, and I have it
"And how did you receive it, Mrs. P.? I wish you would tell me.”
“You see," she said, as she began her simple story, "I am getting on in years, and I have ten children. They are all well brought up, and I used to pride myself about that, and think I was such a good woman. I was always sober, and taught my family all I could, and sent them to school. I was full of my own goodness. In my young days things were not explained simply, as they are now. I very seldom went to church, and when I did go, I did not understand. But a few years since I began to feel that, in spite of my goodness, there was something wanting, and about this time, too, there was a preaching going on near, at a place in yonder street. I went, and then it was that I heard for the first time of repentance and conversion. There was one seat they called the penitents' form.' My conscience told me it was my place, but I thought, I need not go there; the Bible says," When thou prayest, enter into thy closet"; I will go home, and get down on my knees in my room alone, and tell God.'
“Some time after this, in a night of pain and prayer, when all was still, the words came to me, Come, sinner, come, with all your sins.' Ah! it was as music to me, and I said, ' Here I am, Lord, and I do thank Thee for Thy dear kindness.' I got forgiveness then, and I am so happy? '
“I only want to hear about Jesus and His word now. I am only a poor ignorant woman. I can't read, but my little girl and I get on together. She is twelve, and can read a chapter, and then I pick out a few verses. When I was ill I could just spell out, in my poor way, words which comforted me. I am not one of those who wish and hope—I know, and have certainty; and as to death, why it is nothing, only a `shadow.' A.