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Plato, Ann



The village bell solemnly tolled. Numbers of people were seen slowly assembling at the funeral call. The hearse stood before the door of ancient mansion, and seemed to be in readiness to bear some human soul.

As I passed, I made a stop. I heard the minister lifting up his solemn voice in supplication that the living might be supported in willingness, in their bitter parting with the dead. I heard voices feebly mingling with his prayer. It was the voice of two orphan children, from whom their parents had been suddenly taken.

I followed with the mournful children to the graves of their parents. They saw their parents side by side, placed beneath the dark silent mansions of the tomb. Methought, as I saw the tears

flow fast down their cheeks, that they said, "we have neither father or mother on earth." Then thought I, hush my dears, "God will be a father to the orphan."

The children returned, but in mental distress. Now no earthly hand to guide them, and no friend to their relief. The brother said, "I think of the loss of our parents." Then methought I heard a still small voice saying, "the righteous are rewarded in heaven." The sister arose from her knees, and seemed to bend calmly over the place from whence the dead had been taken. "Brother," said she, "I fancy the smile of our mother; who, amid her tears, was an expression all sublime."

With them, indeed, life was short. Ere a week had sunk into its sorrowing vision, the orphans were no more. The youth wasted; and his wild eye shrank at the glance and footstep of the stranger.

His sister companion repeated to him passages of Scripture, with which her memory was stored, and sang hymns, until she perceived that if he was in pain he complained not, if he might but hear her cheering voice. She made him more acquainted with the life of the compassionate Redeemer, how he left a blessing for those who should trust in him. And a voice from within, urged her never to desist from cherishing that tender and deep-rooted piety, because, like the flower of grass, he must soon pass away.

Seated upon his bed, she bowed her face to his to soothe and compose him. The dying youth pressed his sister to sing the hymn he loved. She controlled her grief to cheer him once more with

its trembling harmony. "Sister," said he, "I should like to see my Uncle, before I resign my body into the arms of death." She answered, "I think, brother, that he will soon come." It was then that he breathed away his soul, whispering of the angels and their celestial melodies.

Gazing earnestly in his face, she saw the work of the destroyer. "Brother! dear brother! are you happy?" "Sister," he replied, with a faint smile upon his ghastly features, "Christ's ready for me. I am willing to go to him." Tremulous tones, like those of a broken harp, rose above the grief, to comfort her dying brother. One sigh of icy breath was upon her cheek, as she joined it to his, one shudder and all was over.

Her Uncle entered thoughtlessly. She pointed to the cold immovable brow. "Behold," said she, "my brother; see, he no longer suffers." She looked back to the fountains of other years, how that her happiness had been augmented by the presence of her brother, the sweet companion of her infancy. With tears, she committed her only seeming friend to the grave, beside her parents.

Ere another week closed, the sister was not among the living. In broken dreams, she fancied that she heard the voices of her parents, and her brother. She longed for an abode with the righteous. She felt the utter necessity of deriving consolation, and the power of enduring her sufferings, wholly from above.

It was evident with beholders, that life with he was short. Her frame wasted; and her deathly ountenance, told that life's abode was short. No friend to mingle in her prayers, and naught

to soothe her dying pillow. In silence, and unknown, she resigned herself into the arms of Jesus.

"Man that is born of woman, is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and never continueth in one stay."

"I have seen a youth in the pride of his days; his cheeks glowed with beauty; his limbs were full of activity;he leaped; he walked; he ran; he rejoiced in that he was more excellent than those. I returned: he lay cold and stiff on the bare ground; his feet could no longer more, nor his hands stretch themselves out; his life was departed from him; and the breath out of his nostrils. Therefore do I weep because Death is in the world; the spoiler is among the works of God; all that is made must be destroyed; all that is born must die." When I though thereon, I knew that life was short!"