God’s Acre

IT was late in November, and the first great snow and gale of the season had set in the day before, and all through the night the storm had grown in fierceness and strength; but now, in the morning, although the wind moaned and sobbed through the bare trees, and the snow continued to fall, the storm seemed to have spent its fury, and was gradually exhausting itself.

Amy and May looked eagerly out of the window at the storm; but, shivering, returned to the small fire that burned on the hearth. These two girls were orphans, and lived with their grandfather and grandmother, who, being very old and feeble, could not work much, therefore this little family of four knew what it was to be cold and hungry. But these aged people were Christians, and had taught Amy and May to love God and trust in him.

Again and again they went to the window, gazing wistfully out across the half-mile that lay between them and the cemetery; where their parents slept that long, dreamless sleep. It was the anniversary of their mother's death, and they desired to visit her grave, and lay upon it a wreath that they had made from some evergreens, which a kind lady had given them.

Finally, as the afternoon was far spent, the girls thought that they would wait no longer for the storm to cease; so, putting on their scanty wraps and taking an old umbrella, they started, Amy carrying the wreath. The memory of their parents was very dear to them, and carrying this wreath to put upon their mother's grave seemed to them a token of their love; and truly it helped to keep their memory green.

As they drew near their destination, an awesome feeling overcame them, for this was " God's acre." Thus they had always called it, because they thought that God had a special care for his children that slept here; and their grandparents had taught them that those, who sleep in Jesus are guarded by angels till the morning of the resurrection.

Arriving at the cemetery, they laid the wreath upon their mother's grave, and, kneeling down in the snow, clasped their cold bare hands together, asking God to help them to be good, that they might one day meet their father and mother in Heaven.

Returning home, they were overtaken by a sleigh in which was a gentleman muffled up to his ears in fur. Halloo, little ones, won't you have a ride; and, springing out, he lifted them in before they had time to reply. Where have you been such a cold day, little girls. To "God's acre," was the reply; our mother and father lie there.

Tears came into the eyes of the gentleman, but he said nothing. As he lifted them out at their own door, he slipped a silver dollar into the hand of each little girl; and before they could recover enough from their surprise to say anything, he was far down the road.

Oh, see! Cried both the children at once, as they rushed into the room where their grandparents were; see what the gentleman gave us; now we can have plenty of fire and not be so cold. "Truly, those that trust in the Lord are safe," said the old people. "God is good. Let us thank him for his care;" and they all kneeled down and prayed with thankful hearts.