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rich purpling in the east, her attitude now rapt adoring, all her stately frame inspired with spiritual emotion deep, high quivering with an ecstasy of joy! Her hands clasped firm upon her breast, her lips apart, her head in fond sweet longing lovingly upraised, glad listening to some coming sound; a song of soft celestial music bursting rich high over head from out the golden sky; bright cloud-borne angels. winging quick their way amidst melodious anthems to our earth. As nearer they approached, beheld I one more glorious than the rest in triumph bearing quick a golden crown to where the rapt expectant stood, which on her radiant brow she midst hosannahs placed, the long white robes of her surrounding mates transformed to down, pure, soft, and glistering, which, outstretched, became angelic wings, and as they strung their jewelled lyres in harmony seraphically sweet, all bright ascended in one glorious, mystic throng, majestic to the sky! In the sainted one thus crowned with glory and triumphantly borne aloft on angels' wings I recognised-MYSELF and I awoke !"

The animated recital of her extraordinary dream had so exhausted Eliza that she fell back upon her pillow in a state of great prostration, amounting almost to unconsciousness. When she had somewhat recovered, I commended her to the affectionate care of her mother, and on retiring felt more depressed and sad than I had ever done before. The descrip

tion of the dream, and the prophetic train of thought to which it naturally gave rise, formed the one absorbing subject of contemplation on my way homeward, the solution to which I arrived being, as may be imagined, the one most satisfactory to myself-viz., that it was a dream.

Having to repair for a time to Edinburgh immediately after this visit to the forester's daughter, I did not return home until the middle of October, fully three months having elapsed in the interval.

Full of anxious thoughts about Eliza, which grew more intense and painful the nearer I approached her father's

cottage on the following day after my return, when I silently took my accustomed way along the well-known winding pathway by the base of the Hunter Hill. It was a lovely autumnal day, and most unusually warm for the season of the year. The sun shone forth o'er hill and dale in all the bright effulgence of summer, the happy midges dancing in wild, mad revelry in his sparkling beams, and the pugnacious robin singing in flute-like notes from the topmost boughs the sweetly plaintive requiem of the fast decaying year. The ash and the oak, still green and beautiful, contrasted finely with the deep bronze of the beech and the golden yellow of the elm, while the stately mountain pine upreared high up above them all her dark and sombre diadem of everlasting green. The dull rustling noise of the falling leaves, otherwise so saddening to the mind, and so painfully suggestive of the decay of the life of man, was on this glad day of sunny brightness and joy more pensively solemn than sad, more soothing and comforting than a gloomy foreshadowing of the dark river, or an ominous foreboding of the unseen world beyond. Far up in the golden sky the beautiful clouds bright tinged with a rainbow softness of colour and richly fringed with a delicate saffron of matchless splendour, seemed like guardian angels reposing in the lap of the Great Eternal and gazing with intense interest on some attractive object on earth, as if waiting, with their chariots of glory, to convey some sainted loved one to the far-off land of blessedness and peace!

I had now entered the deep ravine through which the waters of the burn rush with great velocity, until abruptly divided by a little grass-covered island, on either side of which they dash down the shelving rocks like mimic waterfalls of pleasing sweetness and picturesque beauty. Often, in the rich blush of summer, had I solitary stood on this lonely island admiring the sharp outlines of the beautiful picture which stretched itself out before me in all its light and shade of romantic, ever-changing loveliness-the rugged banks around rich clothed with luxuriant foliage, the wooded hill beyond

all sweetly vocal with the songs of birds, the church spire towering high between, with the distant Grampians, in all their grim and lofty grandeur, forming a noble and fitting background to such an enchanting scene.

Emerging slowly from the ravine, I unexpectedly met Dr Steele, of Forfar, returning from a professional visit to the forester's daughter. After the usual greeting, the good, kind doctor, gently putting his arm in mine, turned with me in the direction of the cottage, inquiringly saying, as he did so

"You are much interested in the welfare of the forester's daughter?"


"Very much interested indeed," I frankly replied. did you find your patient to-day, doctor, for I have not seen her myself for several months? I sincerely hope she may be getting better, and that you entertain good hopes of her ultimate recovery."

"She is better in one respect," he quietly replied, "for she is getting nearer heaven every day she survives. As to her ultimate recovery, I dare not hold out any hope whatever; if I did, I should belie, as a professional man, my own convictions."

"You surprise me much, doctor," I hurriedly rejoined. "To me, on the contrary, Eliza appears to be gradually gaining strength. Her eye is as bright and her countenance as blooming as ever."

“These are just the symptoms, my young friend," the doctor replied, "which to the experienced eye lead to the very opposite conclusion. To be candid with you, the trembling tenement, which still so tenaciously retains its feeble hold of her up-soaring spirit, is so worn and fragile in its texture, that the silver cord may be loosed and the golden bowl be broken in the twinkling of an eye. She will pass away so peacefully that, if not watched by night and by day, her pure and gentle soul may wing its silent flight above before any perceptible change be observed or anticipated. Take this in good part, and you may remember afterwards my parting words."


My trembling lips could not articulate a reply, and the forester's cottage being now in sight, the tender-hearted doctor bade me an affectionate adieu, and went on his way to the glen.

To my great surprise, and as if falsifying the predictions of the good physician, instead of finding Eliza on the couch of sickness, she was seated at the door of the cottage, where she received me with her sweetest smiles of welcome, gently chiding me at the same time for my long absence from the cottage.

"Eliza expected you to-day," said her mother, who sat beside her daughter, intently watching her every movement with the tenderest solicitude. "No one had informed her of your arrival, and yet she heard your footsteps, she said, in the tangled brushwood long before you came in sight, and seemed to feel your presence beside her while you were yet a far way off. Array me, mother,' she joyfully exclaimed in the morning, 'in my long white robe and let my tresses fall full and carelessly adown my shoulders in the way he likes to see them best, and lead me out among the sunshine and the flowers as a bride to meet the bridegroom.""

"Mother should not have told you that," Eliza blushingly said, at the same time beckoning me to be seated in the empty chair beside her. "The beautiful morning blent in the more beautiful day," she continued, "I felt so cheerful and so happy, as if inhaling the very atmosphere of heaven, my exulting spirit bounding in gladness in fond anticipation of some coming joy, that I longed to breathe again the soft sweet air of the hills. and to listen to the last long plaintive song of the dying year. You will read again to me, will you not, of the celestial city and the river of God, of the new song of the redeemed, and the harpings of the angels on the hills of heaven? You remember my last wish?"

On presenting me with the same Bible from which I had formerly read, and which I had given her many years before, she fixed her clear blue eye with such a spiritual intensity of

gaze on mine that I felt as if I were in heaven itself, or rather that one of its celestial inhabitants had become my companion on earth. Seeing me hesitate, Eliza softly said—

"Much as I love this fair and beautiful earth my spirit longs to breathe a purer atmosphere of bliss, to roam in glorious sunshine on the mountain tops of the empyrean heavens, and, grandest thing of all grand things, to walk with Christ in white amid the Father's smiles. Read :-I long yet once again to hear from loving lips the sweet notes of that triumphal song, 'Alleluia; the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth! Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints!'"

Catching now her intensity of joy, I rapturously read of the holy city, with its gates of pearl inwrought with burnished gold, its dazzling walls of jasper, amethyst, and emerald; the rainbow round about the Throne, the crowns and sceptres, robes of white and palms of victory; the thousand times ten thousand voices thundering loud like sound of many waters, and harpers harping with their harps-the song, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Hearing no response, I looked up from the book on which I was reading, but, alas! the brightness of Eliza's eye was quenching fast in darkness; the snow of death was already gathering on her brow, and her pure and gentle spirit was peacefully passing away to God who gave it! I gently took her cold and clammy hand in mine. The pressure was returned, and with a faint, sweet smile on her ashy lips, Eliza Wood, the forester's daughter, entered into her rest!


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