Page images
PDF
EPUB

“CHRIST is sensibly present very often; but weakness dulls thought, and sometimes I seem more going backwards. It is altogether His work in you, none of mine, dearest L May He ever bless and keep you near Him. 6. Your loving sister in Him,

- MELISE.

“ What sort of thing would you like of mine? A book, pencil-case, or something I have worn P"

To her Father.

Torquay, March 17th. My dear Papa,

“ Thank you very much for your letter. I feel a little better to-day, so take the opportunity of writing. I think I have nearly got over the effects of the oil, not that I can expect to get up my strength again in a hurry, though I dare say when I can sit out of doors it will revive me a little. I manage to eat better breakfasts than I did, which is a good sign. I have no repugnance to the homeopathic system, and will try anything you wish, dear Papa, though, as you say, times are in God's hands. He can make me well, if He sees fit; but it seems as if He were calling me * Home;' and for myself I long to go where sin shall be no more, but where I shall ever behold the Face of my Father which is in heaven. My sickness is no trouble or sorrow to me; for you and dear mamma I do feel troubled, for I know you will be loth to part with me, and perhaps for your sakes God may yet spare me as He did before. If He does, may He give me grace to be a better daughter than I have been, alas !

6

our

To her Brother. “My dearest William,

“ I feel a little better this morning, so begin an answer to your kind letter. Write to me when you have time, for your letters are always a comfort; but I am not strong enough to write often. I lie down nearly all day, and I have not my convenient table here. I wish for you here sometimes, indeed very often. You would come if I were worse, would you not ? but I am rather better just now, only I still get weaker. And for our dear parents' [sake), perhaps it were better that I were taken away, because they love me so much, and God will comfort them.

Mr. Y is so kind in visiting me, and came yesterday and gave us the Holy Communion. It was so refreshing! I had rather dreaded It, for fear of wandering thoughts, but was wonderfully helped, and felt very happy afterwards. I wish you could have been with us. Sometimes I seem so very cold and dead, only thinking about making myself comfortable, and grow sleepy directly I begin to lift up my heart; but Mr. Y says I must not mind that, because God knows how weak I am.

Ever your most loving sister,

“ M. H. M. BROWNLOW."

非 *

[ocr errors]

The following letter, written in a very irregular hand, shows signs of increasing weakness. She was at that time only able to sit at the table for a very short time.

To Miss L-

'[Torquay,) March 28th. “ My dearest ,

“ Thank you very much for your many kind

[ocr errors][merged small]

letters, they are a great comfort to me; I hope you will go on with them. They talk now of sending me home while I can be moved, as they see it is hopeless to expect any improvement. The diarrhea has ceased, and left swelling behind, which will soon render me immoveable. I shall be very thankful to go home, if it is God's Will. But, oh! I am so happy, I don't care what comes if only JESUS keeps so near! I could hardly contain myself all yesterday, and was very glad of the opportunity of seeing my doctor alone, [and] of speaking to him; and I had the comfort of the prayers of Mr. Y~; he is coming again on Monday to administer the Holy Communion. He is so sympathizing, and speaks so beautifully of God's Love, and always prays for just what I want most.

“ CHRIST will comfort you, dearest - You know we shall be nearer then than now. Perhaps I shall be able to see you, and now we can't meet. Would you like my little text-book that I read every morning before saying my prayers ? I wear no ornament, and a ribbon, or a collar, you would soon wear out: or would you like my Prayer Book? I can't think of anything else I have used constantly. God for ever bless you and keep you, dearest L

• Your sister in Him,

“ MELISE."

Crossed in pencil. “ Have you begun your class ? It will be rather difficult to know what to read to them; but it will be very useful, if you can get an influence over them.

“ If it had been God's Will I should have tried homeopathy, for He over-rules all things, and for our good.”

H

CHAPTER V.

RETURN FROM TORQUAY TO Wilmslow-PREPARATIONS
FOR DEATH - LAST LETTER — RAPID DECLINE -

- LAST FEW DAYS-DEATH-FUNERAL-CONCLUSION.

" He shall gather the lambs with His Arm and carry them in His Bosom."

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life : and I will dwell in the House of the LORD for ever."

“I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My Hand.”

It was towards the end of March that Melise's rapidly increasing weakness warned us to prepare for that separation which she already felt as near, but which we could not bring ourselves to contemplate as so close at hand. In fact she still looked so well in the face, that no one could have believed that within five weeks she would be lying cold and dead; and though her weakness was certainly very great, yet it was hoped that the summer sun and her native air would revive her, at any rate for a time. Her mother wrote on the 23rd of March :-"All say there is no immediate danger, but the dear child is very, very much weaker, but so happy and resigned. She is cheerful, though constantly on the sofa, ex

1

cept when she drives out for an hour whenever the weather permits her to do so, and that refreshes her most."

The clergyman to whom she refers in the preceding letters continued to visit her as long as she remained at Torquay; and as she was unable to go to Church, he gave her the Blessed Sacrament every week. He says of her: “I much regret that I did not see her sooner, and travel with her in her spiritual progress. The impression she made upon me was that she had been made meet for the inheritance of the Saints by the HOLY SPIRIT's teaching, to which she looked through all outward means. There was no speculativeness about her, no vain inquiring of any kind. It was the simple wish to know God's will, and do it: to accept the Church as her appointed Teacher, and to follow it: to be nourished by the Sacramental Body of our Blessed LORD, and to grow in grace thereby, and in the knowledge of Him. She had loved God as her FATHER, and she yearned for Heaven as her Home. There was no clinging to earth. She sat loose even to the dearest family affection, though she valued it to the full. And though there was a great desire to go to CHRIST, yet this was not accompanied with the least impatience. She submitted to the bodily remedies that were applied to her, but her great comfort was the aid of God's Priest, because she felt that God spoke to her through His ministering servant. * * Thank God that I was permitted to minister to her, slight as that ministry was.”

« PreviousContinue »