The Carrier's Daughter

THE object which I have in view in narrating the following true story of the patiently-borne sufferings, and the triumphant death, of one who in the morning of life was cut down, as a flower just opening its leaves to the sun, is to show you how happy and how beautiful the grace of Christ can make even a child, and what is its cheering influence on the soul of one quite young, in the prospect of eternity.
Emmie H. was the loving and affectionate daughter of John and Maria H., living in V. From the days of her infancy she had been weakly, and, being the only child, she was fondly cherished by her parents. At a very early age, when she most needed the care and sympathy of a mother, she was called upon to pass through a great sorrow, which severely shook her already weak constitution. Her mother one evening, after putting little Emmie to bed, retired to her rest as usual by the side of her child—the father was the mail cart driver, and at this time away on his duties. Mother and child lay down to sleep, but the mother slept the sleep of death, and in the morning when Emmie awoke she found her cold and still, or, as she told her father on his return home, with a bitter cry, "Mother is gone to heaven.”
Child as she was, the duties of making home clean and comfortable for her father now fell on her young shoulders—a duty which she performed with all the energy and ability of one much older. For some ten years she was the thoughtful, busy little housekeeper, doing her best to fill mother's place. Each Saturday everything was cleaned for Sunday, for she loved the Lord's day, and hailed it with delight.
She was to be seen in her place every Sunday at the Sunday-school. Not having a Bible of her own, she became intensely anxious to have one. She saved all the pence which she had given her till she had sufficient to purchase the precious book, and, when at last she had one in her own possession, her joy knew no bounds. Would that all of our dear readers loved and prized the Bible as did Emmie H.! Failing health at last deprived her of the public means of grace, but she would pass her time at home in singing sweet hymns and reading her Bible.
The kind friends in whose house she was lodging noticed that she began to all very quickly, fading like a rose in summer. Soon she became so weak as not to be able to move about. During the few days she lay lingering and suffering upon her bed the work of grace was beautifully manifest to all who visited or nursed her. Without a murmur she patiently and peacefully bore her sufferings and pains, which were intense at times, and, though day by day she gradually became weaker, yet in faith and grace she grew firmer and stronger. Her greatest joy was to speak of Jesus and His love—of the bright and shining angels—of the pearly gates and golden street—and then she would finish by saying, "I long to be there.”
Her young soul was flooded with the light of heaven. I remember the first time I called to see her, after we had been talking of the joys of heaven, and I was about to leave, that she asked me to ask the Lord Jesus to let her in through the gate there and then! I at once did so, her face brightening with a smile the while. She then lay so still, that it was as though her spirit had indeed fled, and we thought she had gone. But her time was not yet come; she had to wait a little longer to witness to others the truth of the gospel.
Lovingly and earnestly did she plead with her father to seek the Saviour, and turn from his evil ways, and meet her in heaven, adding that she should never get better in this world, neither did she want to do so. She entreated those who nursed her to be more earnest in their work for the Lord Jesus.
It was delightful to be with her. Her conversation was heavenly; and it was a pleasant duty to wait upon her, so grateful was she for every little thing done to cheer and smooth her journey. When leaving her one evening, thinking it was the last time I should ever see her on earth, I said, "Have you any message, Emmie, for me to carry from you to the children at school." She answered, "Yes, give them all my kindest love, and tell them to meet me in heaven.”
I called the next evening to inquire if she had gone home, and was told "no." When I was shown into her room, she greeted me with a smile, and said, "I am not gone home yet, but am still watching and waiting for the angels to come and bear me home to the skies. But," she added, "I think shall soon be there.”
These were the last words I heard from her plainly. I left, and called again the next evening, and found her still alive, though quite unconscious. She had become much weaker; her voice had grown more feeble and indistinct. The doctor had forbidden us to speak to her. The reality and solemnity of the great truth dawned upon us that our dear little friend was rapidly passing away, and had only a few more hours to linger.
The young person who nursed her at times heard the words in the faintest whisper, "Jesus"—"golden gates"—"heaven." Just before breathing her last, her voice seemed to return in all its usual strength and clearness. She opened her eyes, and looking heavenwards, she said, with hands uplifted, "I am coming, yes, I am coming, glory— glory—glory." Her hands fell, and in a few hours after, her longing desire was fulfilled, and she was at home, forever with the Lord.
Thus, at the tender age of eighteen, she passed away to the everlasting mansions, to welcome us home when our work is done; and as I thought of her patience and faith through all her pain, and witnessed the power of the grace of Christ, shining forth in all its sweetness, filling her soul with a joy and peace beyond all understanding, I could not refrain from saying to the friends who stood around her bed, "God grant our last hours may be as bright and triumphant.”
Death for her had no sting, and the grave no terror; she was resting and trusting in Christ, and death but snapped the fetters that bound her here, and set her spirit free.
And now, may all who read this simple story seek and love the Saviour who has so loved us as to die for us, and may they all have as sure and as bright a hope of heaven as Emmie had; and as through grace she triumphed and overcame, so may they through Christ triumph and overcome, and sit down with Him upon His throne. C.