Зображення сторінки

the instrument of his ruin, he soon breathed out his last.

The ABSURDITY OF DeisM.- A gentleman once arguing with a deist on the absurdity of rejecting Christianity without examination, said, “That he never knew any person examine the subject thoroughly who did not afterwards embrace it;" but excused himself from searching into it, under the plea, “ that to do so was like drinking brandy, which always produces intoxication.” “It is honourable to Christianity," says the gentleman, " to have enemies, who must give up the exercise of their reason before they can reject it.”

The eloquent SAURIN strikingly describes the folly and madness of such men :-“What surprises me, what stumbles me, what frightens me, is to see a diminutive creature, a contemptible man, a little ray of light glimmering through a few feeble organs, controvert a point with the omniscient Jehovah; oppose that Intelligence who sitteth at the helm of the world; question what he affirms, dispute what he determines, appeal from his decision, and after God hath given evidence, reject all doctrines that are beyond his capacity. Enter into thy nothingness, mortal creature! What madness animates thee! How darest thou pretend, thou who art but a point, thou whose essence is but an atom, to measure thyself with the supreme Being, with Him whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain !"

[ocr errors]



« THE SMALL AND THE GREAT ARE THERE.”Among these confused relics of humanity, there are, without doubt, persons of contrary interests, and contradictory sentiments. But death, like some able daysman, has laid his hand on the contending parties, and brought all their differ. ences to an amicable conclusion. Here enemies, sworn enemies, dwell together in unity. They drop the imbittered thought, and forget that they once

Perhaps their crumbling bones mix as they moulder; and those who, while they lived, stood aloof in irreconcilable variance, here fall into mutual embraces, and even incorporate with each other in the grave.-Oh! that we might learn, from these friendly ashes, not to perpetuate the memory of injuries; not to foment the fever of resentment, nor cherish the turbulence of passion, that there may be as little animosity and disagreement in the land of the living, as there is in the congregation of the dead !

were foes.

But I suspend for a while such general observations, and address myself to a more particular inquiry.

MEDITATION ON TIE Loss or A DARLING Son, -Here lies the grief of a fond mother, and the expectation of an indulgent father. The youth grew up, like a well-watered plant; he shot deep, rose high, and bid fair for manhood; but just as the cedar began to tower, and promised ere long to be the pride of the wood, and prince among the neighbouring trees, behold! the axe is laid unto the root; the fatal blow struck; and all its branching honours tumbled to the dust;-and did he fall alone? No, the hopes of his father that begat him, and the pleasing prospects of her that bare him, fell, and were crushed together with him.

Doubtless it would have pierced one's heart, to have beheld the tender parents following the breathless youth to his long home; perhaps, drowned in tears, and all overwhelmed with sorrows, they stood like weeping statues, on this very spot. Methinks, I see the deeply-distressed mourners attending the sad solemnity: how they wring their hands, and pour floods from their eyes! Is it fancy? or do I really hear the passionate mother, in an agony of affliction, taking the final leave of the darling of her soul ? Dumb she remained, while the awful obsequies were performing; dumb with

grief, and leaning upon the partner of her woes. But now the inward anguish struggles for vent; it grows too big to be repressed. She advances to the very brink of the grave. All her soul is in her eyes. She fastens one look more upon the dear doleful object, before the pit shuts its mouth upon him, and as she looks she cries,in broken accents, interrupted by many a rising sob, she cries, “ Farewell, my son! my son ! my only beloved ! would to God I had died for theel Farewell, my child ! and farewell, all my earthly happiness ! I shall never more see good in the land of the living.–Attempt not to comfort me. I will go mourning all my days, till my grey hairs come down with sorrow to thegrave.”

UPON THE DEATH OF A Pious FATHER.—There is a small and plain stone placed upon the ground, purchased, one would imagine, from the little fund, and formed by the hand of frugality itself. Nothing costly; not one decoration added; only a very short inscription, and that so effaced, as to be hardly intelligible;was the depository unfaithful to its trust ?-or were the letters worn by the frequent resort of the surviving family, to mourn over the grave, and revive the remembrance of a most valuable and beloved relative? For, I perceive, upon a closer inspection, that it covers the remains of a father,-a religious father,--snatched from his growing offspring, before they were settled in the world, or so much as their principles fixed by a thorough education.

This, sure, is the most complicated distress that has hitherto come under our consideration. The solemnities of such a dying chamber, are some of the most melting and melancholy scenes imaginable. There lies the affectionate husband, the indulgent parent, the faithful friend, and the generous master. Here he lies in the last extremities, and on the very point of dissolution. Art has done its all. The raging disease mocks the power of medicine. It hastene, with resistless impetuosity, to execute its dreadful errand; to rend asunder the silver cord of life, and the still more delicate tie of social attachment, and conjugal affection.

The sufferer, all-patient and adoring, submits to the divine will; and, by submission, becomes superior to his affliction. He is sensibly touched with anxious concern for his wife and children: his wife, who will soon be a destitute widow; and his children, who will soon be helpless orphans. Yet, “though cast down, he is not in despair.” He is greatly refreshed by his trust in the everlasting covenant, and his hope of approaching glory. Re. ligion gives a dignity to distress. At every interval of ease, he comforts his very comforters, and suffers with all the majesty of woe.

With all the father, all the husband, still live ing in his looks, he takes one more view of those dear children, whom he had often beheld with parental triumph. He turns his dying eyes on that beloved woman, whom he never beheld but with a glow of delight. Fixed in this posture,

« НазадПродовжити »