by the American Sunday-School Union
Charley was a sweet little babe. It was a pleasure
to kiss his plump cheek, and pat his fat and
dimpled arms. He was a dear babe, and we all
loved him, and our blessed Saviour loved him even
more than we did.
Before Charley was two years old, he became ill.
All that physicians could do was done for him, but
he daily grew more and more feeble. The bright
blue eyes lost their brilliancy, and became faded and
dim. The plump and rosy cheek became hollow
and pale. The fat and rounded limbs grew thin
and weak, and we all felt that little Charley would
soon be taken from us.
The same sweet smile lingered about his mouth,
although pain and suffering had saddened that baby-face.
He no longer tottered about the floor, but
was confined constantly to his bed. Not there even
was he to remain more than a few short weeks.
The angel of death came, and bore him to the
Saviour's bosom. His friends looked at the beautiful
casket, and felt that the spirit which had inhabited
it, and made it precious, was no more there.
They committed it tearfully to the grave, and, lonely
and sorrowing, returned to their desolate home.
The crib was vacant—the tiny shoe had no owner—the
rattle lay neglected. There was no need of the
noiseless step lest the sleeper should be awakened.
Little Charley slept in death.
How sad and broken those loving hearts! Those
parents were Christian parents, and they sorrowed
not as those without hope. Jesus, their Saviour,
had wept, and they knew their tears were not forbidden.
One of the cords which bound them to earth
was snapped asunder. They had one child in
heaven, there to be a pure and sinless spirit in the
immediate presence of his Father—God. There
was comfort in the thought that Charley's tiny bark
had safely passed over the sea of life, and was securely
anchored in the haven of eternal rest.
Charley had a brother, Willie, two years older
than himself. Little could he know of death—but
he knew he had no baby-brother now, and his mother
told him Charley was in heaven.
"I hope, mother," said he, "the apostles will
not get him."
"Why, my child?"
"Because they did not want little children to go
to Jesus," was his artless reply.
This little boy has recently removed, with his parents,
to the city. He does not like it as he did the
green grass and shaded fields of the country. He
feels lonely without the companionship of the trees
and the birds, and he wishes that "God would take
him right up to heaven to play with Charley."
How is it with you, my dear child? Are you
ready to be taken "right up to heaven?" Do you
love your Saviour? Do you obey your parents?
Are you truthful and conscientious? Do you study
your Bible to learn all you can about God, and what
he would have you be and do? Do you pray to him
daily for His blessing, and ask Him to keep you
from sin? Do you seek His forgiveness for all you
have done that is wrong?
So live, that when the angel of death comes for
you, he may carry you where Charley is, into the
blessed home prepared for all who love God. When
He will come, you cannot know. Be always ready,
and then He will not find you unprepared.