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“ But please," said Dot, eagerly, “I saw Mr. Solemn put her in, right down among my daisies in a white box, and please, I would so like to know how she got out."
“ She didn't get out,” said Ethel.
“ Because she never went in,” Violet went on; "she told mamma so, you know, before she died.”
“ Then please,” said Dot, “wasn't she in the little box?”
“ Yes, she was at least-no, she wasn't. I wish mamma was here,” said Ethel ; "she could tell you how it was. That was her body, you know, in here-her soul was in the sky.”.
“I don't quite see,” said Dot, being puzzled.
“ Why this is your body, Dot,” said Violet, taking hold of Dot's arm, and giving it a little pat.
“But, please, that's my arm," said little Dot, in a very bewildered voice.
“ Yes,” explained Ethel, “ but all this is your body, Dot ; -all over you, your soul's inside somewhere, where you can't see it.”
“ I should like to see my soul," said little Dot.
“Oh! but you never could,” said Violet. “ Could she, Ethel ?
“No, I think not,” said Ethel. “Perhaps when we get to heaven we shall."
CHAPTER VII. --THE LITTLE WHITE STONE. As soon as the young ladies were gone, Dot hastened in search of Mr. Solomon. She found him walking home to his dinner, his spade over his shoulder, and slipping her hand in his, she walked beside him, and told him her morning's adventures.
“ Please, Mr. Solemn,” she said, “ have you got a soul ?"
“Why, yes,” said Solomon ; “everybody's got one-to be sure they have.”
“ Then they'll only put your body in the ground, Mr. Solemn ? I'm so glad—that won't matter so very much; will it?”
Solomon made no answer, so Dot went on :
“ Shall you like your soul to go to heaven, Mr. Solemn ?”
“ Yes, child,” said the old man; “it's a good place is heaven, so they say.”
“Shall you dig graves in heaven, Mr. Solemn ?”
“ No," said the old man, with a laugh ; " there are no graves in heaven. There is no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying.'”
Solomon had learnt this verse at his mother's knee, years ago, and it came back to him with a strange freshness which almost startled him.
Dot looked up in his face, as she said, brightly
“What a very nice place heaven must be! But what will you do there, Mr. Solemn, if you don't dig graves ?”
“ Why sing, I suppose, Dot-sing hymns and such like.”
“ I didn't know you could sing, Mr. Solemn,” said Dot, with a laugh; "you've got such an old voice-it all shakes about; but you and me must help each other; that'll do won't it?" she went on.
Never were plants more diligently watered than those on Lilian's grave; and great was Dot's delight as she saw the little green shoots coming one by one out of the ground.
But what was her surprise one morning, on going to the grave, to find two men in her quiet corner. They were very busy, for they had brought with them a small white marble stone for the little girl's grave. Dot never left the place whilst they were there; she watched their every movement with the deepest interest, and when they were gone she examined the stone very carefully, though she could not read a word of what was on it. But old Solomon put on his spectacles and made it out for her.
" Lilian Stanley,'” he began --
“No; wait a minute," said the old man ; “I'll tell you it all-here's some reading at the bottom : 'White in the blood of the Lamb.' That's all, Dot.”
“ What Lamb, Mr. Solemn ?".
" Oh, I don't know, Dot; that's a text; it's in the Bible somewhere." .
“ I want to know all about it,” said Dot; impatiently. “ Can't you tell me, Mr. Solemn ?"
But just then they heard a voice behind them saying
“ Oh! that looks very well. I am so glad it is done !" and, looking up, they saw the little girl's papa, with Violet having hold of his hand.
Solomon touched his hat respectfully, and moved away, but Dot stayed behind, for she wanted to hear about the text on the little girl's grave.
“White in the blood of the Lamb,'” read Mr. Stanley aloud.
“What Lamb ?” asked little Dot, simply.
“ The dear Lord Jesus," said the gentleman. “My little girl would never have got to heaven if He had not washed her in His blood. And now Lilian wears a white robe, made white in the blood of the Lamb. Yes, my children," he went on, taking the little girls by the hand, “there is no other way to the bright land above the sky;- there is no other way to get rid of your sin-and no sin can enter into heaven. But Jesus has loved you, and shed His blood for you, and He can wash you whiter than snow.”
“ Will He wash me?" said little Dot.
“ I am sure He will, my child, if you ask Him," said the gentleman.
Then he took the two little girls to a seat on the gravelpath not far away, and he taught them this short prayer : “Wash me, and I shall he whiter than snow.” And that prayer was treasured up in little Dot's heart.
Over and over again she repeated it as she walked home, and many times she said it during the day. And when Dot's mother came to look at her child in bed, little Dot turned over in her sleep, and she heard the words again, “ Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
“ Almost Persuaded."
A PARABLE. Ta 've do, Mr. Mop-handle ?" said a Dog-rose one
morning, nodding over the hedge. “How does , your stiff and starchiness find yourself to-day?"
“Thank you, neighbour Briar," answered the Standard Rose-tree, “ I can't turn my head to
“Ha, ha! indeed so it seems," interrupted the first speaker.
“ To see you,” continued Goliath (the familiar name in the garden for the standard), who wore round his neck a zinc label, with his family name inscribed thereon, “ Géant des Batailles," his credentials of respectability ; “ but are you disposed for a talk ?”
“I am indeed," answered the Briar, “ provided we don't go too far; but we so seldom agree, 'tis a good thing we don't live at the same side of the paling, or we should often literally come to the scratch. Eh ?
“ Indeed it is strange how, as the old chronicle says, brothers of one family fall out and chide and fight.' And yet our disputes are not of the desperate type you describe ; certainly we don't agree, but we love each other-don't we?" —(the Dog-rose nodded assent) —"although not with the same unanimity, as if we held the same opinions. I still wish, dear Briar, that you were at this side of the hedge." .
“ Much obliged, dear Géant, but I'd ra-a-ther not," answered the cousin. “I like the sweets of liberty too well to care to be 'within the fold,' as preachers say." And here our speaker raised himself on a friendly gust of wind to his full height, and, leaning over the hedge as far as he could go, lay gently down at the feet almost of his erect cousin. “How. ever, as the mountain can't come to Mahomet, Mahone: must make the best of the situation.' We are more conveniently placed now for a conference; and, though I can't but call it the 'old, old story,'I am willing to listen to some of your reasons for submitting, and why you wish me to
submit, to the bondage you are evidently in. Go on, my willing captive."
“Well, my first point is, that I am not a captive at all. I am a responsible creature, at liberty to act and think for myself. The root of your mistake is, the not comprehending that we exist in different elements and atmospheres, and have different tastes and feelings. My Master's great glory consists in this very thing that all the plants which He has transplanted into this garden, and taken under His own cultivation, although they could oppose His will if they chose, would not do it, and that they act of their own accord in accordance with His will."
Oh, very fine indeed, Mr. Mop-handle, with your straight stock and your bushy head it sounds very well to say you enjoy your artificial existence; but I know your natural inclinations, and that if your bonds were cut and your crutch removed, you would soon be cleaving to the dust as well as the wildest of us; and a really enjoyable life you would have then.”
“ My experience tells me there is much truth in what you say, my dear Briar. I have the old wild nature within me as strong as ever. I was once, like you, living outside the hedge and enjoying my life--for I knew no other ; but my Master transplanted me, and grafted the new kind of rose upon me, and now my great fear is always lest I should ever be left to degenerate into my old wild condition, and lest, in a moment of madness, I should be allowed to yield to my natural inclination to straggle about, showing itself by offshoots and sproutings which, in spite of myself, are always appearing. So I continually remind my Master that, because of the frailty of my nature, I cannot stand upright, and beg Him not to take away these supports (which you call my bonds), until He thinks fit to remove me from this to the spot He has appointed for me to flourish permanently in. You see you can hardly call me a prisoner, when it is my own deliberate constant anxiety that I should be subjected to my Master's entire treatment according to His will."