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THE MISSIONARY, SUNLIGHT.

BY CAROLINE C.

" Her presence makes thick darkness light

Hope's rainbow spreadeth o'er her path;.
Through her, weak souls are filled with might,

And Mercy triumphs over Wrath.”

A SWEET Sister of Charity, a faithful, never-weary- | another short-lived triumph! But he is so Napoing missionary, is the beautiful Sunlight, daughter of leon-ish in his nature, we may well have our fears the proud monarch who reigns supremely over the on this point.) broad dominions of the “upper blue !"

When the king had returned to his palace the night Six long, tedious months in her father's gorgeous of the last decisive victory-after he had thrown palace, had the lovely maiden been constrained to aside his golden armor, though weary from the conmingle in the festal scenes which enlivened the flict, he paused not a moment to rest till he had summonarch's dwelling during that dreary time when moned his young daughter 10 his presence, and thus the poor earth lay helplessly beneath the iron hand made known to her his will. of winter. How often from the palace-windows “Tomorrow, my child, put on thy most beautiful had she looked with eyes dimmed with tears, and and radiant garments, and let the bright smile come most melancholy glances on the world that was sub- back once more to thy face, for I have work for thee ject during all those months 10 a natural kind of to do. I have subdued the army of King Winter, heathenish slavery! Despoiled of their rich garments and now it shall be thine to make joy in the place the old princes of the forests stretched forth their where he has sown desolation. It is thine, 10 renaked arms toward her in supplication of her pre- store order and comfort and happiness and beauty in sence and charitable aid. A voice, to no ear audible the dwelling place where he reigned in such a rude, save her own, crept up from beneath the winding- uncivilized, mubocrastic manner. Ah! that light in sheets which envelopes streamlet and river; and a thine eye tells me it is no ungrateful task I set for thee! wail that broke forth from the poor in their agony it is very plain now, the cause of all thy sighing and and want, reached her gentle heart, and her tears fell tears for so long back; the old bloom will revisit thy afresh. And even the children of gayery and fashion cheek again I see. But remember, thy mission is felt an irresistable yearning in their hearts to listen one all-important. Do all things well, and nothing once more to her soft and gentle teachings!

hastily-and now to rest! This shall be no gala-night, But " 't is always the darkest the hour before day;" thou needest all thy strength for thy work; so hasle to and while Sunlight was half-despairingly revolving thy couch, and be stirring early in the morn.” in her mind all possible means by which she might When the maiden was thus assured of the fulfill. again, without the utmost danger of sudden death, ment of her greatest hope, she bended down at the be enabled freely to wander over earth to beautify king's feet and said, joyfully, “Oh, my father, I bless and bless it, the discerning old king, her father, saw thee for thy goodness. The dear earth, she shall how pale her cheek was growing, and how dimness swiftly know thy mercy, and array herself in glorious was creeping over her bright eyes. He knew she garments in which to honor her deliverer! Towearied of, and longed heartily to escape from the morrow, to-morrow shall see that if thou, my father, heartless pomp and magnificence which surrounded art strong to make free, thy daughter is loving, and her; so he resolved to carry into immediate execu- patient, and full of good-will to help and adorn the tion a plan he had long been contemplating. He miserable captives thou hast delivered from bondage.” would make a sudden and strong attack on his old And early the next morning the lovely princess foe who was lording it so magnificently over earth! went forih alone, rejecting all offers of a body-guard, He would leach the rough, boorish chiestain, in a a most devout and devoted missionary, whose end way he could not mistake, that there were other and and aim was to make glad the waste-places, and to mightier powers in existence than his own.

cause the wilderness to blossom. So he fought long and valiantly, and won the There were as yet, here and there, stubborn patches victory-a glorious one it was, too. In a few days of snow on the ground, and a vindictive, sharpmany sharp, fierce conflicts had taken place, the voiced wind, a wounded straggler belonging to the glittering crown of winter was broken, his staff of white king's retreating army, and his chief object office taken from him, and the disagreeable old gray- seemed to be to exhaust the patience of all who were beard was forced to skulk away in silence and shame within hearing wherever he moved, by his rude inand confusion of sace, to his bleak and fitting home sulting speeches. But totally unmindful of him, at the North Pole.

and maintaining a most dignified silence, Sunlight (Would he were wise enough not to attempt again passed by him, well knowing that he too would

had gone.

speedily be compelled to follow whither his master song; the heavens finding it impossible to resist the

general rejoicing which follows the most successful Sometimes dark, threatening clouds would fit before labor of the missionary, put on a brighter and a more her eyes, for a moment totally obstructing her vision, resplendant garment, and the dear Sunlight is filled but a brave heart was that maiden's, and when these with unfeigned rejoicing when she sees how speedily petty annoyances were passed, she continued on her the regenerating influences of her glance are reway patiently and hopefully as before. An apparently cognized. hopeless and endless task was that Sunlight had un- It is spring-time then! dertaken. She must, as it were, perform the part of Weeks pass on, but Sunlight does not tarry in her resurrectionist. She must breathe life into a breath-work; the grand commencement she has made, but less body, and call the seemingly dead forth from the work of perfecting is yet to be done. their graves. The labor seemed too vast for her Gradually she spreads a richer green over all the gentle hand, it appeared almost impossible that she meadows; all along the banks of streams and lakes should accomplish it. She was alone, too, in a the grass grows long and soft—the leaves hang heavier strange, unpleasant kind of silence. There was not and fuller on the forest boughs—a softer voice whisthe voice of even a bird to cheer her on, and stiff and pers through the day-time and the night-flowers mute the brooklets lay in their coffins of ice. blossom more richly and abundantly, and the air is

But she is very far from despairing. And her strength filled with their fragrance. Sunlight has spread the is, indeed, perfectly wonderful. Stealing with quiet perfection of beauty over earth, and filled with unsteps along the banks of the little streams, she speaks utterable affection for the world she has beautified, to them some words apparently powerful as the more warm and tender grow her embracingsmand

open sesame," for the waters begin to open their in return the voices of all the earth go up in a fereyes, faintly the pulse begins to throb, and the heart vent declaration of love and gratitude to the fair to beat, and ere long they have wholly thrown off missionary who has so generously, so gloriously lathat cold shroud which enveloped them, while it in bored for them. The good, beautiful Sunlight! no turn becomes part and parcel of their own rejoicing wonder all creation loves her, and blesses her; no life. Then they set forth rejoicing in their strength, wonder that innumerable objects, on all other suband glorying in their newly-gained liberty, careering jects dull and voiceless, discover a way in which to through the just awakening fields, and astonishing sing her praises ! them by the beautiful soft songs of thanksgiving they It were idle to attempt a detail of all the homes and unremittingly sing. The princess is not alone then hearts that even in one day she blesses and enlivens one class of prisoners she has released, and their glad by her presence; but let us for a few moments follow voices cheer and encourage her in her work of love. her in her wanderings, perhaps thereby we may gain

Day after day she returns unweariedly to the great a proper appreciation of the labors of this good angel. field of her pleasant labor, and day by day perfects It is morning, and she has just alighted on the the evidence of her progress. A most efficient co- earth; and see now where her light feet are first worker whom she arouses and entices to join her in directed. On yonder bill there stands a lofty building her work, is the gentle spirit of the summer wind. -secure as a fortress, made of stone, and brick, and Encouraged and excited by her smile, he takes the iron. It is a gloomy, comfortless looking place; the oath of sealty, and heartily strives to aid his mistress. windows, though it is a warm summer morning, are From the brow of earth be wipes away the tears the fast closed, and bars of iron stretch over them! It is stars have wept, and multitudinous are his kind un- a prison-house; but, though its inmates are guilty ceasing offices, for she has promised him a dominion criminals, the pure and high-born Sunlight does not which shall spread over many rejuvinated forests, disdain to visit them. She is looking through all those and freshly garmented fields !

grated windows fronting us—will you also look in? In the old woods she lays her hand upon the There is a criminal condemned to death-a hardmyriad branches, and on the softening ground be- ened villain, whose unbridled passions have worked neath which lie the buried roots. From every bough his ruin. He is yet far from old, not a gray hair is she calleth forth the tender buds, and ere long she there in all that thick black mass which crowns his spreads with kindly hands a rich, green mantle over head! From his youth up his life has been a life of all the forests. And in those “ leafy-pavilions,” the sin, and little remorse. Heaven has at last overreturning birds she has summoned from the south, taken him, and he will soon fearfully expiate, in build their nests, and sing merrily through the long, part, his guilt. happy days.

Yesterday, justice delivered to him the sentence; Quickened into life by her presence and word, over he listened to it as though he heard it in a trance, and all the barren fields the soft and tender grass springs ever since they brought him from the presence of up; the moss becomes aspiring, too, even the humble the excited court, he has sat on that hard pallet, immoss, and disowning its gray garments, it dons the moveable as now. His food is untouched-he has more beautiful and universal green livery. A thou- no time to feel the wants of nature; his arms are sand thousand insects spring into sudden existence- closely, convulsively folded upon his breast; the the voice of the croaking frog is once more found in black, large eyes, have a fixed and stony glare, in tune. Violets bud and blossom, the air grows in which it would seem few tears had ever gathered; creasingly more mild; even the wind learns a sweeter | firmly compressed are the pale lips; no prayer or

sigh, or moan shall issue from them! He knows | joy centered; she is dreaming of her maiden homethere is no way of escape for him—that on such a of her bridal morning. The voices of her former, day, at such an hour, he will perish by the exe- youthful friends are ringing in her ears; the innocutioner's hand; and that dreadful fact it is which is cent thoughts and hopes of girlhood fill her heart again. constantly staring in his face, and writing such a re- She wakens weeping-for in imagination she is cord of shame and terror in his heart.

standing once more beside the death-bed of her He feels no penitence-nothing but anger, that he mother, listening to the words of warning and counsel has stupidly suffered himself to be overtaken by the that mother forces herself to speak when she beholds hand of the law—that his crimes have been detected with all a parent's agony that the girl of her hopes It is not the fear of God that is before his eyes; it is is treading in the wild paths of shame and sin. not dread of the hereafter which so overpowers him, She wakens in tears, with a strange feeling of but hatred of his fellow men, and a desire to wreak contrition that she has seldom or never felt before his vengeance on them who have brought to light agitating her bosom, to see the Sunlight looking his guilt!

down with pitying glance upon her-10 see the good Through all the long, dark hours he has rested on spirit whose mission it is to make glad and bright the his hard bed, listening to the “ voices of the night," earth, deigning 10 creep through those prison-bars to and not one softening thought has entered his heart, speak a word of counsel and hope to her. Thoughts not one repentant sigh has he breathed. It seemed of her husband, on whose honest name she has cast then as though nothing could arouse him as he so such dishonor, and of her deserted, innocent child, coldly beheld the reality, death staring him in the come to her full of most sorrowful reproach. A longface. But now see, there is a faint glow on the ing for the restoration of her lost virtue-a convicnarrow window-pane, and it grows brighter and tion of the peacefulness and happiness and exceeding brighter. Creeping slowly along the wall it reaches reward attending goodness, ever make her unsealed him at last-it falls upon his breast-it glances over tears flow more freely. Beside that narrow bed, on his hard face, where sin has written her signature the stone floor of her cell, she kneels down in her with a pen, as of iron-it looks into his stern eyes sorrow and contrition, and on her knees she breathes -hat light arouses him, and while he returns the forth such a prayer as never before went from her piercing gaze of the sunbeam, human feelings are heart. And the dear Sunlight is witness of that aroused in his breast once more. He rises from the prayer! She looks upon the kneeling penitent with place where in his rage he had flung himself-he joy—and from that now hallowed place she does not gazes round the contracted, miserable cell in which steal forth hastily, leaving the cell dreary and comhe is secured! Alas! and he has fallen so far that fortless as before; she is there when the woman rises humanity acknowledges the justice of immuring him from her supplication, as though to assure of the in a prison ! and as he gazes on the gentle spirit smile of Heavenly forgiveness, which may yet await whose presence fills his cell with light, the recollec- her. She remains to give encouragement to the hope tions of his far-off, innocent childhood—of his early that the corroding stains "now resting on her soul home, from whence not a great many years ago he may be ere long effectually wiped away—that rewent with the blessing of his old mother sounding in concilement and love and peace, are yet for her on his ears, steals over him-his heart is softening-his earth. lips tremble—the stolid, hardened look has passed Near this woman's cell there is another where a from his countenance-he is human again—he weeps! youth, unjustly accused, singularly blameless and inBlessed Sunlight! Fairest and holiest of the mission nocent in his life, is singing a morning hymn of aries, who come from the halls of heaven to purify praise and adoration. Hemmed in as he is by the the earth, she has subdued him! Oh, we will hope prison-wall, deprived of that freedom which is the that now, since the heart of stone has been changed good man's best possession, confined with guilty men, to one of flesh, the good, redeeming work may not and bearing himself the heavy imputation of crime, stop there; we will hope that when he is standing in yet is he supported by the comforting knowledge of his last hour upon the scaffold, when she comes to his innocence, and by the assurance that the eye him again, it may be with a faith-supported heart which is strong to pierce the secrets of the heart, that he will behold in her brightness a token of the knows his innocence. The dreariness of his conblissful rest which awaits his repentant, pardoned finement does not fill his soul with terror; his faith spirit !

is strong in the power and goodness of his Maker, and Close adjoining this cell there is another which so it is with patience he performs the labor apporlikewise bas its guilty inmate-a miserable, aban- tioned him, looking confidently for the hour of his doned woman. She is sleeping. For her violation release, and the honorable conviction of his uprightof the laws both of God and man she is now im

ness in the minds of all honest men. prisoned.

And when the kindly Sunlight appears before him, She is sleeping, but hers is a troubled slumber, her presence but serves to foster these hopes. It is for conscience is at work night and day in the mind a sweet message of patience and faith she whispers of that woman, accusing and condemning-yet she to him, and after she has departed, through all the sleeps. She is dreaming of the husband of her early long day its remembrance strengthens and cheers years-of the child in whom, when she was young him. Blessed be the good spirit who remembers 10 and innocent, and of contented mind, her hope and visit these sad, afflicted, guilty ones in the hour when they are well-nigh forgotten of all the world, and by A beautiful song she sings to the merry youngsters“ their own kin!

a song whose burden has more of wisdom in it than Beyond the prison, on the same range of elevated many gather from their books in the course of years grounds, just without the city, there is a cemetery--a lesson of reverence of freedom, and of innocent a quiet place where the dead sleep in peace. And love for nature. thither Sunlight bends her golden, sandaled feet. Sunlight is not content with merely resting like How brightly her shadow lies on the white monu- a visible blessing on the head of the gentle girl ments, and on the grass and flowers. How quiet whose breast is throbbing with a "love for all things and holy is this place, there is no sound of the tread pure and holy," she steals into her guileless heart, of living feet to disturb the rest of the slumberers; and makes that glorious by her smiling there; and no human form at this early hour is treading in this the little one laughs while she lingers, because she solitary place to muse on the “vanity of all earthly fancies that all the future to which she looks for. things,” or 10 weep over the departed! Oh, yes! ward, will prove as bright and joyous as the un. there, by that newly-made grave, where the sod has clouded present. And as for the king's daughter, been placed so recently, there, where the print of the she knows when she hears that joyous ringing laugh feet of the funeral-train is yet fresh on the loosened which always welcomes her presence, that it is ground, there stands a child with flowers in her indeed more blessed to give than to receive! hand; she has come to lay them on the grave of her The bright-eyed maiden loves children, with all mother! The Sunlight knew that she would meet the earnestness of her sost, true heart, and how her there, for every morning since the day the funeral- earnestly they return her love, let every man and train paused there, and laid the loving mother in the woman and child answer! She is, indeed, like a dark, cold,“ narrow house,” the little girl has visited kind and gentle elder friend to them-'ke a friend that grave, bringing with her to beautify it, and måke whose heart has not grown cold or hard from much it seem a rest more sweet and cheerful, the flowers mingling with the world, who knows how to sympa. from her little garden, which early in the spring her thize with them in their simple joys, who listens to mother planted there. When the child goes back to their merry voices with a tender interest, which the city, the vast crowds of life will have awakened, time has not been enabled to make cold or false. and the rush, and jar, and strife, will have begun; Well may the children love her, whose smile is happy were it for all those multitudes, if a voice, the grand main-spring of their joy—the constant ingentle and holy in its teaching as has spoken to that spirer of their never-ceasing hope ! young girl, whispered also to them, ere they mingled Look for a moment into this alms-house. Poor in the whirlpools of business and pleasure!" people, the wretchedly poor, who were rendered at

Then amid the dwellings of the city Sunlight last, by long destitution utterly unable to work with wanders next. And by no means is she sure to honor the rude elements of life, which lay like broken usefirst with her presence the mansions of the rich; for less tools around them, are gathered here for rest, that at such an early hour she would hardly receive a they may gain strength for a renewal of their conwelcome there; perhaps, however, this is not the fict! For a few weeks, and perhaps a longer time, sole reason why the very first place which she they may dwell in this comfortable shelter, and parchooses to enter is the cot of the humble laborer. take of food, not gathered from the refuse of rich Gently does she lay her fair hand on his rude, men's tables—hey may partially rest from their hard, weather-worn frame, and tenderly she kisses his unsatisfactory, unproductive labor. Let us hope hard-browned face, as a loving mother embraces that Sunlight may not speak vainly to them now, as her infant. And if the man does not at once awaken every day she livens up their new home, let us hope at the call of her royal highness, she does not go they may understand the cheering messages she away and leave him in humanly anger, but yet brings to them, and as they learn more of the goodmore lovingly does she caress him, thinking mean- ness and justice of their Creator than they have ever while to herself, “poor man, he was worn out by yet had time to learn, perhaps with more of hope and his hard work yesterday.” And so at last by her resignation they will endure their burden. It were patient gentleness she succeeds in awakening him, well to go through necessity to a poor-house, even and when he rubs his eyes, and sees her waiting for if we can find no other school in which to learn the him there, with her soft band, on which the regal grand lesson of endurance and continuance in wellring is glistening, resting so lovingly upon him, how doing; there, perhaps, it would not be impossible to he reproaches himself that he has dared to sleep understand the messages dear Sunlight delivers every while she was honoring his poor roof by her pre- day to our upappreciating, slow-hearing minds. sence! and how fervent is the blessing with which Notwithstanding all our boasted democracy, there his heart blesses her, as he hastens a way to his labor is scarcely a being on the face of the earth who emwith a light heart and renewed courage.

braces with quite such heartiness its principles, and Later in the day, peeping into the small windows so understands its precepts as-Sunlight. How graof the unpretending school-room, she beckons to the ciously her hand is laid on the matted locks of those little children to come out and ramble with her among children of want; how lovingly and earnestly is her the fields, to hunt for the ripe strawberries in the kiss imprinted on their toil-grimmed faces-how grass, and to gather the violets, and lilies, and wild radiantly her smile envelops them. Ah! well-a-day! geraneum flowers which grow in the shady woods. I would there were in human hearts as much of genuine love! No sham-tenderness, nor aristocratic, cold-only child—The child of whom they had made an blooded, repelling fondness, is there in her embrac- idol, whom God, who hath said " thou shalt have no ing, stronger than a human heart's beating is that gods but me," hath taken away from them. They which proclaims the life that is in her!

have with their own hands laid their child in her coffin, See now in this other place, where helpless orphans ere long they will see her borne away from them are collected and cared for, children whose parents forever; so it is with unutterable sorrow they stand have died and left them helpless and dependent on beside that little one and gaze on her pale face. The the bounty of the world; Sunlight has not forgotten blinds are c'osed, and the curtains partly drawn, but them either. Kindly hands and charitable hearts through an open shutter the Sunlight enters the have gathered these little ones from hovels of sin, darkened room, and drawing near to the bereaved and sorrow, and shame, and nurtured by the good parents, she lays her hand, oh, so gently on the foreand the wise, in early manhood and womanhood they head of the child ! will be prepared to struggle for themselves, and to The clustering curls which fall upon that brow bear their own life-burden.

seem almost illuminate beneath the pressure of that Day after day the affectionate Sunlight visits these hand—and the mother's tears fall faster as she looks assembled little ones, and adds her cheerful blessing on the beautiful litile one that will be so soon hidden to that which God has already pronounced on them, away from the pleasant day-light and the hopes of whose love has prompted them out of their abundance life. But as the father looks, his sorrow is abated, to support and comfort the destitute and friendless. his voice is lifted up, there is hope in its tone, he

And there is another place teeming with human says, “ Mary, let us weep no longer over our child, life, where this good friend of earth and her children her spirit has already won a brighter crown than that comes daily, but where there are very few who may the sunlight lays upon her head.” welcome her smiling approach, but few to know And the mother's grief becomes less wild, and certainly of her departure when she is gone. This humble is the voice with which she makes answer, is the home for the blind.

“God help us, it was his to take away who gave." How many are the fair young faces and graceful, And now with more of submission under their gentle forms and innocent hearts, how frequent are affliction, with much of hope that cheered even in the kindly words in that place; and yet, alas! how the midst of their bereavement, they will see their small the power to see and know the beauty of the child laid in the funeral-vault to meet their eyes no world; how few the eyes to behold the approaching more until the resurrection morning and with of the fair daugher of the sun! The blind live there, chastened hearts, and more thoughtfully they will but Sunlight does not shun them! When she enters tread the path set before them, feeling convinced their dwelling-place unsummoned, and only attended and thankful that sorrow has taught them a lesson of by that glory with which God has adorned her, they wisdom they never could have learned in a life like may, it is a fact they often do, know that something that they had lived. blessed and heavenly is nigh, because they feel it in Through the opened Gothic windows of the old their enlivening senses, in the warmth of her caress- church she is speeding, for what? To make beautiful ing. But they may not touch her hand; and when by her presence the temple of the Lord. See ! bethey speak to her she does not answer them; and fore the altar there is gathered a little group, and a so they know she is not a mortal, but a spirit who maiden and a youth are answering the binding, may not speak with an audible voice to them a will,” to a question than which none more fraught spirit though which loves and blesses them!

with deep and solemn meaning was ever propounded Let us follow on further in her path, where polished to mortal man and woman. doors are fastened against the intruding world. It is The bridegroom has placed upon his companion's a home of fashion, but from the parlor windows no finger the uniling ring-she is his wife. You see she token of life are seen. The blinds are closed—the has arrayed herself gayly; it is the great festival of dwelling looks uninhabited. But there is life within, her life-may it not prove the adornment has been ay, and death, too! Around the silver door-knob, and for the ceremony of the sacrifice of all the dearest and circling the door-bell handle, where the hands of the best hopes of her trusting young heart! Around these wealthy and gay have so often rested, (but very rarely happy ones are gathered their most familiar, dearest those of the poor and needy,) there is wound a scarf friends ; before them the “solemn priest," and, hark! of crape, and mournfully the death-token flutters in with mingled words of warning, and of counsel, and the morning air. For two days scarcely a form has of blessing, he pronounces them now man and wife. entered those doors; the sufferers within, however And upon the newly-wedded ones is resting the conmuch they may have rejoiced in display in former gratulatory smile of Sunlight! She bids them joy in days, have no wish that there may be spectators to their love, and gives the bridegroom the comforting their sorrow.

assurance that his will not prove cross and turYet there is one-a not often beeded guest, though bulent bride, for his wedding-day is calm and bright, a seldom failing one-who comes to them now they and over all the sky there is not one speck of cloud ! cannot shut her out; she longs to utter some soothing But why does the Sunlight linger when the bridal and consoling word. She penetrates to the very party has gone forth? She is about the altar and scene of their grief. She looks into the silent chamber chancel, as though there were others yet who would where the father and mother are weeping over their need her presence and her blessing there.

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