Imágenes de páginas

fessed. Such only is the requisition now, and it will prove a profitable meditation to all to consider the uses of this service, and the reasonableness of its institution.

Christ is the highest ideal of excellence ever vouchsafed to man--the living embodiment of moral and spiritual perfection. And if we would have his spirit and be happy, for one cannot be happy without the spirit of the Master, the simplest and most natural means of its attainment is what? To consider it-to meditate upon itto gain a clear and definite conception of it-to form the image of its excellence in our minds, and to set it before us as a standard to guide us in our endeavor. We shall be quickened by our contemplation to a desire for a holier and better life, and shall feel strengthened and born to newness of life when the Spirit of Jesus dawns within us, and we begin to realize that we have a kindred nature, a kindred discipline, and may share a kindred faith and glory. What contemplation is so needful, so helpful to us (tempted and suffering creatures) as this? What communion will bring such calm and holy trust, will speak such peace to our troubled spirits, as this? What life ever lived in the wide world, was so full of sweet and gentle humanities, so simple, so beautiful, so precious, so child-like, so holy, so God-like as this of Jesus of Nazareth ?

Meditate-meditate upon it. Seek occasions for the contemplation of this divine and holy life that you may realize it. Go down into the depths of your soul, study its nature, its capacities, its wants; find out what it was made for. Become familiar with the beauty of rectitude, the divinity of goodness, the venerableness of sanctity, the majesty and humbleness of prayer, the heroism of virtue, the sublimity of devotion. Let glowing thoughts of purity and gentleness, candor and forbearance, disinterestedness and love, become your bosom companions, for where these thoughts come not, there is no bope, no promise, no improvement, yet where they abide and live-where they live in self reproach and struggle in prayer, there is garnered up a whole magazine of means, the very means of grace and salvation.”

To him, then, who would rise above the world and its trials, vicissitudes and calamities; who would wear a calm, unvexed and changeless spirit; who would treasure in his inward life an inperishable blessedness; who would bebold the approach of the minister of death ("s the white-robed spirit with the ever weeping eye and drooping wivg") wiihout a feir; to him

who would live and die with an unfaltering trust

--we say,--meditate upon the life and death of Jesus. The way is open, the Table of Commemoration is spread-it is the Lord's Table-it is free to all who believe in the blessed Savior and desire to partake of his spirit-no creed of sectarianism-no church organization interposes an obstacle--it requires no profession of superior sanctity or especial fitness. It asks only the profession of sincere desire for a virtuous and happy life, and access to the Memorial Table is as unhindered, as the prayer of the humble and contrite spirit to the Throne of Grace-as the petition of the child to the parent.

It is true that the creeds of many churches would forbid such an approach ; but we profess not to believe in these partial and exclusive systems--we believe Christ to be the Savior of all men, that he is an Exemplar to us all, that there is no mysterious efficacy in the philosophy of his nature-and yet, though we believe in the imitableness of his perfections, and put away the incomprehensible theory of the Godhead, we pause and hesitate and submit to the paralyzing influences we profess to have discarded. An impenetrable cloud of mystery hangs over the Communion Table, and many dare not approach it, as if it were still surrounded with difficulties, and demanded the assumption of new obligations and the profession of a peculiar faith and church membership. The obligations which the Communicant recognizes, are the obligations which are already laid upon every human soul; the imperative, unalterable obligations of a moral and spiritual nature-obligations neither to be assumed nor renounced, neither to be assented to nor denied, for they are as imperishable as the immortal coul. Recognized they may be by the Communicant, but not created; and does he who abandons this service tell us that he does not recognize his Christian obligations ; does he still believe that he can be happy in refusing Christian obedience? Does he still deny the need of appointed Christian nieans? If it were so, the answer would be obvious. Nevertheless it is perhaps true, that it is secretly believed that a Christian obligation is not binding until it is adınitted. Are the laws of Nature alterable ? Do we need to admit their existence before we are subjected to them? Are they imposed only upon those who recognize their existence? What has our recognition or denial to do with the laws of Nature? The stability and harmony of the Universe depend upon these laws, and we are

s which would sanctify us, and by setting before

the subjects of them whether we recognize them holy name of Jesus, then should we rejoice wiib or deny them.

an exceeding joy to participate in that service So also is it with spiritual laws. They are as unchangeable as the Lawgiver, as immutable as our minds in an especial form, the idea of virtue the wisdom of the Father, as unconditional and and truth, elevate us to a purer and holier prac. universal as the laws of Nature. Nay, they are tice, to a more Christian life. This means is the laws of Nature; the laws of Him of whose rational and natural. It has an intrinsic excel. being and attributes Nature is but a Revelation lence as a means. It is peculiarly designed for -of Him of whom all visible things are but instruction and discipline. It is a most direct “the garment,” of whom light is but the “ shad- and efficient means. It will powerfully impel ow.” What, indeed, has our acceptance or ac- us to put forth new endeavors, and reach forward quiescence, when we think of it, to do with the to better and holier aims. And is such a service infinite will and majesty of the Omnipotent! to be disregarded and set aside by the plea of Are his ways as our ways, or can we stay his

its fearfulness? The immutable and ceaseless hand, or say, what doest thou ? Believe it then, obligation which rests upon every human soul, “if we will have nothing to do with religion, re- is fearful indeed, for we are the artificers of our ligion will have something to do with us." If own weal or woe; here is all our danger; here we will refuse and neglect the means of Chris- should be all our fear; but aid which will help tian culture and discipline, we must take the us in the path of duty, and strengthen us for the penalty of our disobedience, and soon or late, we

trials and sorrows of life, ought to be hailed by must come to this truth, the conviction that the us as a blessing and minister of good; and all law of Christ is our only guide and safety, our

worldly gains and advantages, learning, wealth, only reliance and salvation. Happy shall we

and the abundance the heart desireth, should be be to learn this blessed truth betimes, for it is a reckoned as light and trivial compared to the truth which must be learned by all, as all must undying treasure of the imperishable soul. yield to the Omnipotent will of the Father, and Consider again, if the fearfulness and solemChrist must reign till he hath put all enemies nity of the act of prayer would be considered a under his feet. Come then to the Table of the valid excuse for its neglect ? and let us calmly Lord. Meditate upon his pure and holy life, examine the matter, and see if the service of and be changed into the same image.

Communion is or can be, when rightly viewed, “But the symbols of the body and blood of more solemn or impressive-can Communion Jesus awe and repel us,” say some,

with the Savior be esteemed a holier act than shrink away in fear and sorrow. Gladly do we Communion with the God and Father of our hear the name of Jesus in the Sanctuary, in our Lord and Savior ? Is Jesus then to our thought hymns of devotion, in the sacred teaching of the more inaccessible than the Deity? Are we not Scripture, in the prayers and services of the yet freed from the blighting mysteries of the un. Holy day, but there is an undefinable dread holy creeds of man's device? Besides, if this about this ordinance, and we cannot feel that plea be admitted, what shall be the limit of its we ought to participate in it.” Is this dread validity ? Why shall not any and every religious rational ? The symbols surely are not holier ordinance be disregarded because of its dread than the truths they teach. The bread and wine significance, because we cannot approach it are but designed as emblems of the body and without fear and sorrow? Life, human life, this blood of Christ. The sacred rite is intended to every day life of ours, is full of the most vital fix attention, to impress the mind by visible interests, the most imminent perils, the greatest means, to lead to devout and serious meditation, and most solemn meaning, if we will rightly and to the realization of the divine ideal in consider it. The significance of the external Christ. Let us consider if we are not influenced world to the soul appears to be all its value; by the spirit of the false theology we condemn, and all other interests sink into comparatire if it can be true that the blessed name of the worthlessness, when we meditate upon the imSavior is “music to our ears," when we shrink perishable and unutterable worth of truth and in fear from that service which will so clearly holiness, of inward peace and purity, of a conreveal him to us; or do we think that we have science void of offence, and an hunble, thankful enough of the Spirit of Christ within us, and do spirit of resignation to the will of the Father. we rest satisfied with our present partial attain- Life is full of dread significance and unspeakable ment? If, indeed, as we profess, we love the awe, when we apprehend it oright. Nothing to

16 and we



us, can be more fearful, more solemn, more the life and death of Jesus; we shall partake of mysterious, or wonderful.

What are

his filial spirit, his divine trust, his gentleness Whence came we? Why are we here? Whith- and meekness, his patience and serenity, his er shall we go, and when ? What is our birth? triumphant joy and blessedness. We shall see What and why is death? If a man die, shall be the Father's love in all the dispensations of life, live again ? Shall there be a recognition of the shall look with Christ's faith through all gloom loved and lost in the spirit land ? What is the and sorrow, shall drink the cup the Father givmeaning of sin and sorrow? What is the teach- eth, and, like the Master, be perfected through ing of loss and pain, disappointinent, calamity suffering, and wear a crown of imperishable and bereavement? What is this consciousness glory. We are too weak and erring to trust in within us, this subtle, invisible, ever yearning, ourselves; Jesus is our great Exemplar, the type questioning spirit in our bosoms? Yes, life is of our humanity, and we would not miss his full of deepest moment and most vital interest, foot-prints to the Father's throne. full of fearfullest significance, of most blessed


Chairman. hopes and aspirations, of bitterest anguish and

Brooklyn, N. Y. unspeakable woe. It is a fearful thing to live, a fearful thing to sin, a fearful thing to die; and shall we be hindered by a feeling of the fearful

A WINTER NIGHT. ness of the act, from coming unto him who was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," 'Tis dark ! no moonbeam's silver light that we may learn how to bear all events and Appears to bless the cheerless night; trials calmly, submissively and triumphantly,

But wintry winds a requiem sing, and come of conquerors, and more than con

For Summer's blight and transient Spring, querors over the world and the hosts of evil ? Yet all is light within my mind, Nothing can be more solemn to us than the un

No clouds, nor tempest, there I find. measured responsibilities which rest upon us ; I joy when Spring's first smiles appear, nothing more fearful than the unsounded depths

When Summer fruits and shades are here ; of our own souls; nothing more mysterious than

I joy in Autumn's beauty bright, our own life, than meniory and hope, than joy And yet I joy in this dark night, and sorrow, than death and the grave; and shall

Because to me it has been given we who have access to the Father, who aspire The faith which makes this earth a heaven. to share the secrets of the universe, who would find out the Almighty and learn his wisdom and

I'm happy when the sky is fair, his wondrous works and ways,- shall we not

Or when the storm-cloud lingers there ; seek the counsel of his Christ, to whom and

I'm happy when the stars are bright, through whom the Father has revealed his will,

Or tempest veils the brow of night ; to whom he gave his spirit without measure,

I'm always happy when I feel who was in the Father and the Father in him,-

The joys which faith and hope reveal. who bore all sorrows and calamities, and perse- 'Tis dark ! no ray of light I see cutions and denials and treachery, and an ago- Amid the storm's loud revelry ; nizing death upon the Cross, that he might tri- And winds with anthems, wild and strong, umph over all, and thus be perfected, and redeem Beguile the weary soul with song ; and save the world from sin and sorrow? Shall

There's beauty in the moon's soft light, we not come to the table of his commemoration, There's grandeur in this darksome night. and commune with him, and obey his affectionate and dying request, who gave his life a ran

Webster, Mich. som for us, that the world might be hallowed by his stainless virtue, and we and those who come after us, be blessed by his guileless life and per

THE DESERTED MANSION. fect example ?

Let the irrational dread of Jesus be put away; Not far from my own loved home, upon the let us obey our Iaster, and instead of the aw- green banks of “Willow Dale Brook,” that fulness and sorrow, there will spring up in our winds its way gently and beautifully through souls a calm and holy peace and gladness, and the vales and meadows of the land of my adopwe shall love to meditate upon the character, tion, there stands a ruinous old mansion, around


whose crumbling walls twines the ivy in its na- than eighty winters. She resides but a few tive wildness; and through whose crevices and yards from the mansion of which I have been broken windows, plays the wind in strange, speaking, and is ever ready to impart to youththough not discordant music.

ful curiosity, some legend of years long since The broken arches, decayed and decaying "passed into the lapse of ages." timbers, the moss-covered roof and grass grown “At the time when my acquaintance with paths;-all inform the passer-by, that it is long, the family began," says my informant, “ it convery long, since human feet have trod those

sisted of an old man, his wife, one son, and two floors, and the sounds of joyous gaiety and mirth lovely daughters--the youngest about fifteen echoed and re-echoed through those halls.

years of age. The parents formerly resided in Time's indelible stamp of ruin and decay is one of the New England States, surrounded by plainly visible upon every spot that can attract loved friends and relatives. But these had dethe notice, assuring us that that old structure parted, one by one, until father nor mother knew must soon fall and mingle with the dust. Yet of a single individual, beyond their own little ere it passes into non-entity, would it not be circle, to whom they were bound by the ties of well to chronicle a few events in the lives of its relationship. Circumstances compelled them to former occupants? to place upon record some remove from the place of their nativity, and afmemorial, which shall, in future years, remind ter much trouble and time spent in seeking a us, that once a dwelling stood upon that lone place that henceforth they should call “home," neglected spot, and within that dwelling beat they selected that home upon the banks of our hearts as truly great, good and gifted, as ever own beautiful rivulet, where merrily gliding wathis fair earth could boast of? My spirit answers ters seem to welconie each stranger to its side. “ It is well."

The neighbors did all they could to assist the Allow me then, dear reader, to present to strangers in establishing themselves in the man. your imagination a correct portrait of that an- sion that had for years stood tenantless, and cient family. It shall not be adorned with more when all preliminaries were arranged, wished than earthly beauty and goodness; it shall not them a long life of happiness and peace, demon- ! be one that sendeth to the heart only bright strating by deeds which spoke in louder tones hopes and unclouded sunshine; neither shall it than words, that their wishes proceeded from the be shaded with an undue portion of sorrow. No; heart. Their kindness and hospitality were well it shall be a true picture of the life and pilgrim- repaid. In due time the villagers found in Mr. age of those faithful ones who toiled on, man- B

a counsellor, adviser and friend. To him fully and bravely through life's labor and strug. they came in all hours of trial, perplexity and gles, calmly dwelling beneath the bright sun- care, and from him received words of comfort shine of prosperity, and passing beneath the and sympathy, and if need was, more substanshades of adversity and sorrow as calmly, lean- tial tokens of the same. Mrs. B-, her son ing trustfully upon the arm of Him who was and daughters, were no less favorites than the their Protector, Guardian and Friend.

honored partner and sire. They were frequent I have spoken of that “ancient family," and and welcome visitors in the dwellings of the ancient indeed they were, for nearly half a cen- poor, the oppressed and down trodden; at the tury hath elapsed, since the last and only re- bedside of the suffering invalid, and in the homes maining member thereof, found a quiet resting of those who were mourning over the departing place in the village church-yard, by the side of or departed spirits of loved ones; and ever by those who finished still earlier, their voyage over their presence they disfused the gentle sunshine life's changing sea. But few of the villagers of peace, and the holy influence of a faith whose recollect the event, and still fewer are even crown is love-infinite, eternal, unchanging and aware that such people have ever existed, except universal, ---love to God as a universal Father, through the medium of some aged relict, who and to all mankind as brethren,-a faith that now and then recounts the many kindnesses pointed beyond the narrow boundary of earth to that he in his youth received from the occupants a limitless realm in the eternal world, into of yonder dilapidated and mouldering building. which will finally be transplanted every mem

The circumstances that I am about to lay be- ber of the universal brotherhood. fore you, were related to me by a lady whose Two years had passed, and nothing had oclimbs are tottering beneath the weight of years, curred to disturb the quiet of the household, and and whose head is white with the snows of more

many already believed their hopes and kind


wishes in behalf of their new friends, would be beheld the calm and peaceful serenity of soul fully realized. But an over-ruling Providence beaming from the eyes of Mary, as she sat by “who seeth 'not as man seeth," was about to the bedside of her suffering sister, I felt still bring to nothing their imaginings, to sunder the more deeply the goodness of that Presence. A ties of social and domestic love so firmly united glance told me that He who gave to morby removing from their midst the pride and joy tality life and breath, was about to take it back of their hearts. The son had in his efforts to unto himself-and clothe it in garments of imarrest the progress of a fire that lately occurred mortality. And when he had finally accomin the village, contracted a severe cold, which plished his purpose, there ascended to him from settling upon his lungs, soon terminated his the altar of Mary's heart, the incense of thanksearthly existence. Deep was the sorrow arising giving that earth’s labors and trials would no from this dispensation, but it was met with more have dominion over her who had so faithmeek and trusting hearts, which faltered not in fully withstood them,-a prayer that even the the work given them to accomplish. The be- slender thread that bound her to earth might be reaved family shed tears of regret that one so severed, and she, too, find entrance into the young and gifted, so loved and cherished, would Presence of the Holy of holies, yet she united no more gladden them by his presence; but they with this prayer that most beautiful of all praywere tears of chastened grief, for they knew his ers, “ Father, not my will, but thine, be done.” spirit still lived and labored on in a higher and A few more rolling months and the villagers holier sphere,—and they were patiently looking rendered the last sad offices, and paid the last forward to the time, not far in the distance, when tributes to her memory; and the re-united famithey too, should have a holier mission than earth ly now quietly repose within that “narrow house affords.

appointed for all living." Above their sleeping We will now pass over a number of years, dust, for many years, blossomed nature's fairest during which the parents had found their last flowers-and there still waves the gently bendresting place on earth. Both had well fulfilled ing branches of the willow and lotus tree, from the mission God the Father gave them to ac- which the feathered songsters are ever pouring complish, and when he called them home, they forth requiems to their memory. calmly bade adieu to earth and the remaining The few remaining relics of this ancient and objects that bound them here, and leaning trust- honored family are fast hastening to decay. The fully on the Omnipotent arm of love, entered old mansion has well nigh crumbled into dust; "the valley of death." We now behold the a few more years at most will obliterate every orphan sisters pursuing alone the journey of life. vestige of their existence, “and the place that Their heads too have grown white with years, has known them, will know them no more." and increasing sorrows. A saddened, yet cheer- My narrator ceased, and I exclaimed involunful expression rests upon their countenance,-a tarily, Thus is it with all terrestrial things ! smile plays upon their lips, but 'tis a smile of change, mutation and decay, are written upon heavenly joy, -a bright and holy lustre beams all, even upon ourselves, and soon will the ivy from their eyes, which are radiant with visions wreath of time be broken, and our freed souls of heaven. They pursue their wonted avoca- encircled in the fadeless wreath of immortality! tions at home, still spending a portion of their

Hartwich Sem., N. Y. time in administering to the wants of the suffering invalid, and smoothing the pillow of the dying. Often are they found holding sweet and holy communion with the Father of all spirits,

THE COMING OF KOSSUTII. beseeching Him, if it is his will, to soon gather them back to his fold, where they may again

UPON the sea at last ! the wide, wild sea, bask in the smiles of loved and loving friends,

The sea that mirrors on its heaving breast and drink still deeper at the fountain of bis love.

A universe of beauty, bright and free, A few years more, and their prayers are an

As is the spirit of our noble guest ! swered.

He comes ! () winds ! be soft as when ye sweep One beautiful autumnal evening I entered

Upon a bank of Spring's most tender flowers ;

And their abode. The mellow tints of the setting

blue skies, smile on, and do not weep,

Or frown upon this hero-friend of ours ; sun, sent down deep into the heart a conscious

And let each crested wave bow to the man of ness of the presence of Omnipotence, and as I


L. E. B.


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