Imágenes de páginas

over this region of eternal silence. And what is there more ? Nothing ?-Come, faith, and people these deserts ! Come, and reanimate these regions of forgetfulness ! Mothers ! take again your children to your arms, for they are living. Sons ! your aged pārents are coming forth in the vigor of regenerated years. Friends! behold, your dearest connexions are waiting to embrace you. The tombs are burst. Generations, long since lost in slumbers, are awaking. They are coming from the east and the west, from the north and from the south, to constitute the community of the blessed.

But it is not in the loss of friends alone, that faith furnishes consolations, which are inestimable. With a man of faith not an affliction is lost, not a change is unimproved. He studies even his own history with pleasure, and finds it full of instruction. The dark passages of his life are illuminated with hope ; and he sees, that, although he has passed through many dreary defiles, yet they have opened at last into brighter regions of existence. He recalls, with a species of wondering gratitude, periods of his life, when all its events seemed to conspire against him. Hemmed in by straitened circumstances, wearied with repeated blows of unexpected misfortune, and exhausted with the painful anticipation of more, he recollects years, when the ordinary love of life could not have retained him in the world. Many a time he might have wished to lay down his being in disgust, had not something, more than the senses provide us with, kept up the elasticity of his mind. He yet lives, and has found that light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

The man of faith discovers some gracious purpose in every combination of circumstances. Wherever he finds himself, he knows that he has a destination-he has, therefore, a duty. Every event has, in his eye, a tendency and an aim. Nothing is accidental, nothing without a purpose, nothing unattended with benevolent consequences. Every thing on earth is probationary, nothing ultimate. He is poor—perhaps his plans have been defeated—he finds it difficult to provide for the exigencies of life-sickness is permitted to invade the quiet of his household—long confinement imprisons his activity, and cuts short the exertions, on which so many depend-something appārently unlucky mars his best plansnew failures and embarrassments among his friends present themselves, and throw additional obstructions in his waythe world look on, and say, all these things are against him.

Some wait coolly for the hour, when he shall sink under the complicated embarrassments of his cruel fortune. Others, of a kinder spirit, regard him with compassion, and wonder how he can sustain such a variety of wo. A few there are, a very few I fear, who can understand something of the serenity of his mind, and comprehend something of the nature of his fortitude. There are those, whose sympathetic piety can read and interpret the characters of resignation on his brow. There are those, in fine, who have felt the influence of faith.

In this influence there is nothing mysterious, nothing romantic, nothing of which the highest reason may be ashamed. It shows the christian his God, in all the mild majesty of his parental character. It shows you God, disposing in still and benevolent wisdom the events of every individual's life, pressing the pious spirit with the weight of calamity to increase the elasticity of the mind, producing characters of unexpected worth by unexpected misfortune, invigorating certain virtues by peculiar probations, thus breaking the fetters which binds us to temporal things, and

From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,

In infinite progression. When the sun of the believer's hopes, according to common calculations, is set, to the eye of faith it is still visible. When much of the rest of the world is in darkness, the high ground of faith is illuminated with the brightness of religious consolation.

Come, now, my incredulous friends, and follow me to the bed of the dying believer, Would you see, in what peace a christian can die ? Watch the last gleams of thought, which stream from his dying eyes. Do you see any thing like apprehension ? The world, it is true, begins to shut in. The shadows of evening collect around his senses. A dark mist thickens and rests upon the objects, which have hitherto engaged his observation. The countenances of his friends become more and more indistinct. The sweet expressions of love and friendship are no longer intelligible. His ear wakes no more at the well-known voice of his chil. dren, and the soothing accents of tender affection die away, unheard, upon his decaying senses.

To him the spectacle of human life is drawing to its close, and the curtain is descending, which shuts out this earth, its actors, and its scenes. He is no longer interested in all that is done under the sun. 0! that I could now open to you the recesses of his soul ; that I could reveal to you the light, which darts into the chambers of his understanding. He approaches the world, which he has so long seen in faith. The imagination now collects its diminished strength, and the eye of faith opens wide.

Friends! do not stand, thus fixed in sorrow, around this bed of death. Why are you so still and silent ?

Fear not to move-you cannot disturb the last visions, which entrance this holy spirit. Your lămentations break not in upon the songs of seraphs, which enwrap his hearing in ecstasy.' Crowd, if you choose, around his couch—he heeds you not-already he sees the spirits of the just advancing together to receive a kindred soul. Press him not with importunities; urge him not with alleviations.

Think you he wants now these tones of mortal voices—these material, these gross consolations ? No! He is going to add another to the myriads of the just, that are every moment crowding into the portals of heaven!

He is entering on a nobler life. He leaves you-he leaves you, weeping children of mortality, to grope about a little longer among the miseries and sensualities of a worldly life. Already he cries to you from the regions of bliss. Will you not join him there? Will you not taste the sublime joys of faith ? There are your predecessors in virtue ; there, too, are places left for your contemporaries. There are seats for you in the assembly of the just made perfect, in the innumerable company of angels, where is Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and God, the judge of all.


All things are of God.—MOORE.
Thou art, O God, the life and light

Of all this wondrous world we see ;
Its glow by day, its smile by night,

Are but reflections caught from thee.
Where'er we turn, thy glories shine,
And all things fair and bright are thine.
When day, with farewell beam, delays

Among the opening clouds of even,

And we can almost think we gaze

Through opening vistas into heaven;
Those hues that make the sun's decline
So soft, so radiant, Lord, are thine.
When night, with wings of starry gloom,

O'ershadows all the earth and skies,
Like some dark, beauteous bird, whose plume

Is sparkling with unnumber'd eyes ;-
That sācred gloom, those fires divine,
So grand, so countless, Lord, are thine.
When youthful Spring around us breathes,

Thy spirit warms her frāgrant sigh;
And every flower that Summer wreathes

Is born beneath thy kindling eye:
Where'er we turn thy glories shine,
And all things fair and bright are thine.


The Coral Grove.-J. G. PERCIVAL.
Deep in the wave is a coral grove,
Where the purple mullet and gold-fish rove,
Where the sea-flower spreads its leaves of blue
That never are wet with the falling dew,
But in bright and changeful beauty shine,

Far down in the green and glassy brine.
The floor is of sand, like the mountain's drift,

And the pearl-shells spangle the flinty snow; From coral rocks the sea-plants lift

Their boughs where the tides and billows flow. The water is calm and still below,

For the winds and waves are absent there, And the sands are bright as the stars that glow In the motionless fields of


air. There, with its waving blade of green,

The sea-flag streams through the silent water, And the crimson leaf of the dulse is seen

To blush like a banner bathed in slaughter. There, with a light and easy motion,

The fan-coral sweeps through the clear deep sea ; And the yellow and scarlet tufts of ocean

Are bending, like corn on the upland lea.

[ocr errors]

And life, in rare and beautiful forms,

Is sporting amid those bowers of stone,
And is safe, when the wrathful spirit of storms

Has made the top of the wave his own :
And when the ship from his fury flies,

Where the myriad voices of ocean roar, When the wind-god frowns in the murky skies,

And dæmons are waiting the wreck on the shore; Then, far below, in the peaceful sea,

The purple mullet and gold-fish rove, There the waters murmur tranquilly

Through the bending twigs of the coral grove.


Written in a church-yard.—BLACKWOOD's MAGAZINE.

A sweet and soothing influence breathes around
The dwellings of the dead. Here on this spot,
Where countless generations sleep forgot,
Up from the marble tomb and grassy mound,

, There cometh on my ear a peaceful sound, That bids me be contented with


lot, And suffer calmly. O! when passions hot, When rage or envy doth


bosom wound;
Or wild designs-a fair deceiving train-
Wreathed in their flowery fetters me enslave;
Or keen misfortune's arrowy tempests roll
Full on my naked head,—0, then, again
May these still, peaceful accents of the grave,
Arise like slumbering music on my soul.



"Watchman, what of the night ?"

Isaiah xxi. 11. To this query of Isaiah, the watchman replies, “ That the morning cometh, and also the night." The brevity

« AnteriorContinuar »