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CHAPTER LIII.

-Methought that I had pass'd
The bitterness of death
Without the agony.-MONTGOMERY.

On awaking, Jeannette said to her sister :'" Matilda, I have had a beautiful dreain. I thought I saw my parents in the abodes of the blessed ; that they advanced to meet me, and, pointing to a seat which they had quitted, intimated that they would place me between them. Still, I advanced reluctantly, and with an imperfect consciousness that my father was still an inhabitant of this world, I turned towards the earth, which, in remembrance of sumething I have read, I called my earth. Then I felt my hands gently pressed, and heard voices saying, that in heaven there was compensation for tears, and that my children, and all I loved, would soon join me. When I heard the latter words, a thrilling doubt shot like an arrow through my heart. I was as sensible of that pain as if I had been awake. But it lasted not long. Unseen hands swistly conveyed me to a spot where a sundial was surrounded by roses ; and as the shadow of the sun passed over it, other voices told me, that long years of suffering and sorrow here, were there but as an instant ; that before the emancipated spirit had leisure to pause, the wide portals of the tomb were again thrown open, and it was reunited to the beings over whom in thought it had hovered. --Matilda ! it was a dream of beauty !"

“The natural result, my dear Jeannette, of your previous train of thinking.”

But Jeannette shook her head in denial of this suggestion : she believed it to be, she said, the immediate forerunner of her death. She devoted a short time to prayer before she suffered Lindsay to be summoned to her side. In the mean time, Mr. Langham and her brother had arrived. She begged to be allowed to see them ; but either from being unable, or from the wish to remain perfectly calm, she made no attempt to speak. She gazed on all who surrounded her with looks of gratitude, love, and resignation. She seemed

silently to implore them nor to repine, and to endeavou w convince them of her own internal happiness by her unmoved tranquillity. If a tear started into her eyes, it

appeared to spring from sympathy with them. The waiting for death must ever be mournful and appalling—the thoughts and feelings which were then thronging round the hearts of the spectators, will not admit of description, or even definition. But, once selt, they are never forgotten.

Jeannette remained thus tranquil, thus surrounded, as long as life was granted. When at length she died, she passed into eternity with a countenance so beautifully serene, that Matilda and Lindsay who had held her hands to the last, might have asked, "Does death or sleep possess her ?"--But they did not; the ebbing pulse had ceased its slow and indistinct vibrations; the warm flood of life, so long perceptible to the lips that pressed her brow, bad ceased to Aow : the fatal truth could not be disputed. It was first made known to Mr. Langham and Hamond by the shriek of despair which broke from Matilda. With what mingled affection and anguish did this hitherto gentle and resigned, but now bewildered girl, weep over the remains of this beloved sister!

But we may not attempt to depict this agonizing scene. Lindsay, Matilda, Mr. Langham, -all had their respective portions of heavy sorrow. Jeannette had been idolized by all, and the grief of all was severe, but the grief of all was different.

Matilda felt as young hearts feel when the blight of desolation first comes upon them. Blaine not her tears of bitter agony ! censure not the depth of her despair! She yields to nature, but consolation is at hand. The seeds of immortal hope which Christian faith scatters over the darkness of the tomb, in the first moments of anguished sorrow, put forth no promise. We think of the dead that they are dead, not " that they rise.” That hope of the believer breaks not on the soul till the first tempest of grief has passed away. Happily there come hours for gentler tears, and the influence of religious hope. Then do those who grieve turn with confidence for consolation to Him who has said, “ Blessed are they that mourn."

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