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and painful would be the bewildering indefinite. neficent uses. Among these uses is that of Dis. ness of such representation, to the buwed and cipline, necessary and healthful Discipiine. weary wanderer through the shadows and gloom Spiritual developement and discipline are of affliction.
among those things which most of all in this Others, and they are by far the larger class, life we need. Proper manhood cannot be atregard affliction as a divine visitation upon men
tained without them. It is upon growth, proin the form of judgments. These heavy judg- gress, that moral perfection and genuine happi. ments flow from the divine displeasure against ness depend; but growth must not be too rank the sinful world; they are awful expressions of and violent, else it will result in distorted forms heaven's wrath against weak and erring bu- and inward weakness. Pruning, the invigoramanity. This view, that we are made to sor- ting exercise of the wind and storm must do row because God is angry with us; that our their work upon the growing development: pain is only the bitter sting of his hot wrath there must be check and moderation in order against us for our sins; this view, I say, has that time may be had for the gathering and something in it that is shocking to the soul pos- permanent deposit of the necessary vital forces sessed of any religious sensibility. If this rep- and strength. Among the agencies which oper. resentation be true, the chief end of sorrow is ate this result, sorrow holds a very conspicuous the strange gratification of an offended Divinity. | place. It breaks in upon the current of our What thought could be more crushing to the thoughts; it arrests the tide of our feelings; it sufferer! This theory, orthodox it is claimed to stops us in our career, and shows us the feeblebe, is too monstrous, it reflects too severely up- ness of our condition and the narrowness of our on the moral disposition of God, to find accept- resources, when those resources are merely huance in the heart where he is revered and loved man. In a word, it puts to the trial our thoughts, as the pure and infinite Father.
feelings and powers; and from the one-sided And while I say this, I do not put out of sight
character of our past experience and developthe sad fact that there is much suffering, from ment failing then to sustain us, obliges us to the slightest shade to the darkest and most aw- exert new energies and to put forth efforts in ful, that arises from our imperfection and sin;
new directions. When sorrow comes, and we and of which we are consequently the immedi
bend under its awful pressure, we at once disate cause. But then it is most manifest that cover that there is need in the soul for one kind our suffering does not all come thence. No logic of culture which we have not yet given it, and has ingenuity enough to make it all spring from which perhaps we never should have given it, wrong within ourselves. There are sorrows
had not this dark dispensation revealed its great from which no saintly virtues can save us. And necessity. Hence the discipline of sorrow tends they are moreover our deepest sorrows. An to give completeness to our spiritual growth, and unseen hand sometimes presses heavily upon
therefore renders us an important service in perthe heart, which we cannot lift off at our will. fecting the character. Our tears sometimes flow against our prayers, Does any one say that this is asserting more and the sigh gets the mastery of our thoughts. than facts will bear out; that we really witness Pangs there are, too, which can only be felt; no such pure and high results flowing from the there is no language for them; they do their ministration of sorrow as are here intimated, or solemn work back of the seat of all material
at any rate they do not extend so far? lansensations, in the central essence of the living swer, facts do bear out all I have said, and much spirit. And whatever else may be their cause,
Who needs to be told that the purest they spring not immediately from sin. AU
and mightiest spirits among men, have been the good men have known them, and they have left children of trial and sorrow. Do you see a their einblems even on the cross, which hence
brother devoting himself and his substance to has become the symbol of the world's faith and the sons of affliction and want?-be sure he hore.
hath himself already tasted the bitterness of sorBut sorrow has its uses, and they chiefly con
Do you behold a woman-strong in her cern the sufferer. They seem to us of the high- very weakness; smoothing with delicate hand est spiritual importance. Not in vain were we the brow of anguish ; bending with unwearied made to suffer and weep, and not blindly does gentleness, and a calm moral beauty over a this mighty experience fall upon us.
It is an neighbor's bed of death; or speaking sweet and ordination of God for the wisest and most be- tender words that drop like heaven's balm upon
the afflicted spirit; be sure her heart has first felt the baptism of sorrow—has first known what it is to be torn and bleed. Or need I tell you, that those who have suffered much, meet this dispensation with greater presence of mind and resignation of spirit; that they actually manifest vastly more moral strength, than those who are nearly unused to this kind of spiritual discipline.
It is a fact, then, that sorrow does make us stronger; that it developes a kind of power in us, the most pure and spiritual, which nothing else does; and that it thus nds to give vigor and fullness to our moral strength, and perfection and beauty to our character-blessings without which we are comparatively indigent and imbecile.
And then, moreover, what a purifying influence does this ordination exert upon those who become its subjects? What is there more chas. tening, indeed, more refining in its office upon the human soul? Have you not seen it still the rage of passion; subdue the hard and perverse will; quench the fires of enmity ; soothe the waters of contention; soften the rude man into the gentleness of the little child; and bend the haughtiest pride to the meekness and humility of a proper disciple of Jesus?
Sometimes, you will see a single visitation of sorrow change the whole current and character of a man's life; sometimes it makes of the sinful man a man of prayer and devout life; sometimes it awakens those upon whom it falls from their dream of worldliness to the high and glorious realities of truth, duty and heaven. Some persons indeed owe almost more to sorrow than to direct blessings, for the purity and excellence of their characters; since it has been under this painful discipline that both their attention has been arrested, and the work of regeneration gone on. And I apprehend, could we, in this regard, analyze our own experience so as to trace effects to their real causes, we should all find ourselves not a little indebted to the same mysterious agency for whatever of those qualities which we, in any eminent degree, possess. We see, then, that another use of sorrow is, to purify and refine our feelings, to chasten our thoughts, and inspire us to genuine excellence of character and life. It is therefore a minister of goodness, doing a work of love--a work which we deeply need—which we could not dispense with without experiencing the greatest loss-and which no other power seems fitted to do as sorrow does it.
We find another use of sorrow in the revela
tion which it makes to us, concerning the friends whose loss we mourn.
It has been said we never know the value of our blessings till ve lose them. This is especially true of our friends, that we never fully appreciate them till they are taken from us. While they are with us, we do not stop to count over and estimate the blessings which are centred in them. Nor do we put our hinds upon our hearts, and feel how large a part of our happiness, our very life even, hangs upon them. Our friends afford us a thousand comforts and pleasures of whose source we are quite unconscious until their fountain is cut off.
We do not know how many kindnesses are done for us, and only on our account; how much labor and strength are expended for our benefit, to meet and relieve our wants, or to multiply our enjoyments, until they who do them have separated from us. It is through our tears that we first behold how rich was the treasure that hung about our bosoms. "When we see the parting wing, then, alas! we discover that truly an angel has been with us." And as sorrow presses upon us, we discover virtues in the departed, worth and excellences which we never before suspected; while their faults sink away into obscurity, are lodged in the grave to be soon forgotten. Thus sorrow consecrates friendship and immortalizes love. Our friends pass from our houses to dwell in our hearts; and their viriues from the dust and strife of the world to the calm and sacred retreat of our holiest memories.
One beneficent influence which this peculiar office of sorrow must esert upon us, is to transfer to us something of the spirit of that excel. lence over which our griefs so fondly brood, in meditations half thought and half tears. Such intimate and long continued communings; such clasping of spirit to spirit, cannot take place without an actual, if not indeed a sensible trans. fusion of the vital essences of the departed to the living. It is thus the dead often live in us more than we think. They breathe into us something of the breath of their own life; and it is long before the consciousness of its presence ceases to thrill every nerve and memory of the soul. As the light of the sun plays up the western sky long after himself has sunken to bis nightly rest; so do they who pass below the horizon of life, leave behind a pure sweet radiance that lingers many a year among the virtues and affections of the living. No, indeed ; our friends do not die so suddenly as men deem! They pass away from our eyes, but, oh, how long, long do
H. B. SOULE.
they still live in our memories just as really as So also is it with our friends; as they depart when they were by our side. We lay their bod- they add new attractions to heaven; they win ies in the grave, but themselves live in our al- us more and more from the earth. Our hopes fections, till those affections go where there is of happiness here dissolve; the present grows no more decay, nor separation, nor death. dark; the future only brightens in our dimmed
Another use of sorrow, and the last I have and weary vision; and whatever else time to mention, is one of a high religious char- there, no place is so beautiful, so dear to us,acter; it prepares us for heaven, and with an and which we so long to go to, as the “sweet, ever increasing force draws us thither. It seems sweet home” where our loved ones dwell. And hardly necessary to descend to an explanation as they are in God's pure and blessed heaven of the manner in which proper sorrow tends to sinless, pangless, tearless—thither do we tendthe preparation of our minds for the future life, there would we dwell-and welcome is the hour as those who have had any experience in this which finally bears us to the thrilling embrace discipline must have felt how the work was ac- of our friend, and the bosom of God. complished, and those who have not, cannot, upon the slightest reflection, fail very justly to apprehend it. It is a holy work which in this regard it does for us. We are induced by it, to
LINES. place a more just estimate upon the value of the world, and the relative place it should hold in
" It is a weak mind that would care for such a trifle." the catalogue of our interests. Under the ministration of sorrow we see that, in the great
THERE are some bold and spirited who heed not emergencies of being, we require something di
th of others ; viner than the world can afford; something that
Ridicule and scorn to them uncared for the soul can lean on and find support; that the
things ; heart can retire to and find rest; which is spir- Independence is their motto, and they laugh at itual and eternal. Sorrow breaks off our undue opposition ; worldly attachments; turns the current of our Or rather like it well, for it calleth forth their thoughts into new channels; or fixes them upon
strength, higher objects and more heavenly modes of be- Their creed is that the consciousness of duty well ing and sources of enjoyment. It leads us out performed, of the world, and above the world, since we fol- Bringeth its own reward, and
that praise or low, as well as we can, those who depart from
blame from others, us. We thus come already, as it were, to dwell Can neither add nor take away one item of enjoyin eternity ; since our thoughts, feelings, aflec
ment. tions, sympathies go out there so often, and There is another class, of gentle, loving beings, abide there with such never-wearied interest. Whose all of happiness depends on moods of Such exercises, such communions tend power
those about them ; fully to prepare us to enter upon the conditions The thing they value most in life, a smile of apand felicities of that pure and eternal state of probation, existence.
And frowns to them the death of joys their souls
cannot brook censure, But not only are we fitted for heaven by the ministrations of sorrow; we are also drawn
Weak and timid is their seeming, for they never
feel resentment, thither by the most magical attractions, the most sacred and permanent influences.
But forgive unnumbered wrongs if you grant them
but one favor. for this reason that Jesus said with so much
They often are the scorn of those whose boast is beauty and feeling, “In my Father's house are
self-reliance, many mansions; I go to prepare a place for
And who cannot respect a mind where this selfyou. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I
trust is lacking, will come again and receive you unto myself;
Oh ye, who dare attempt to rate the talents of that where I am there ye may be also.” That
another, is, if I go away, your love for me will draw you
Know ye not how unjust it is to use for all, one where I am; you will soon desire to be with me
standard ? in the heavenly mansions, " where the wicked
Know that to every human soul a special miscease from troubling and the weary be at rest.”
And he who doeth his errand best is dearest unto
God ! These may be placed about thy path to test thy
own heart's goodness, And if thou treat’st them with contempt, thou'lt
hardly prove its worth. Oh, when thou see'st one bowed in grief for that
thon wouldst not notice, And feel inclined to mock at such and call their
misery weakness, Beware how thou dost add a pang to hearts now
full of sorrow; For sin it is to trifle thus with feelings of an
other ! Oh treat with gentle charity all with whom thou
hast dealings, And leave thy Maker to decide the merits of thy
c. M. M.
No, indeed!” said cousin Nell, “my sister Emma will never marry a yankee pedlar. She has rejected far more suitable offers for her hand; never I am sure would she thus disgrace her friends. And besides, Will Moreton has too much sense to propose; he feels nothing but gratitude for her care for him during his long illness at our house, nothing more than this, I assure you."
“Be not too sure that she loves him not, do they not ride or walk together every day since he has been able to go out ? do they not read the same books ? do they not sing the same songs ? are they not, in fact, constant companions? and besides, there is naught but his occupation that she could object to in the least. Is he not handsome, and talented, and educated, and has he not more practical common sense than all her previous lovers, not excepting young Thornton, our feugling lawyer, or Charles Preston, our trim, stately young parson, both of whom I conjecture have received an emphatic refusal from her fair lips."
“Well, I know Will Moreton is vastly superior to his class, and I do wonder whatever possessed bin to become a pedlar. Of all human callings I consider that the most decidedly low."
“ But, fair coz, should we ever scorn a person of true merit because of his occupation ? He may have good reasons for his business at present, without intending to remain a pedlar forever."
Well, it would be really laughable if sister Emma, with all her ideas of propriety, and the like, should indeed marry Will Moreton ; but I will know her mind on the subject, before I sleep again; and I will even now go to her room and inquire for my future brother, the pedlar."
Emma and Ellen Browning were orphans. Their mother was the daughter of wealthy pa. rents, living in one of the fine little villages of the Empire State. She had married against the will of her parents, and removed with her husband to the Far West, where she was doomed to sufler the evils of poverty and toil as best she could. Years passed with their changes, and the infant voices of her two daughters rang merry peals of music through their humble home.
Mr. Browning was a kind husband and father, and struggled manfully with the hardships of his lot, and hoped for a brighter future.
Mrs. Browning felt even amid her privations, that she could still be happy, could she be assured that her friends would once more be reconciled to her. But the western climate agreed not with the tender plant that had been tenderly nurtured amid a luxuriant eastern home, and ere her twin children had scarcely lisped her endear. ing name, the health of the mother failed, and she felt that she was passing rapidly away. She wrote her friends, soliciting their care for her children, and craving their pardon for her seeming disobedience. She died in early autumn, and ere the snows of Winter were drifted over her grave, her husband was laid beside her in a lonely church-yard near their humble home.
David Leach, a bachelor brother of Mrs. Browning, came for the children; he took them to his own pleasant home, and all that art and wealth could do for them, was eagerly performed. And well did they repay his care for them by the childish love they bestowed upon their dear uncle. His hitherto quiet home was no longer lonely, as their tiny footsteps and joyous presence
made cheerful those elegant apart
Years passed, and the sisters were grown to womanhood. Emma was tall and graceful, with finely chiseled features, and quiet blue eyes, and was denominated the prettiest girl of our village. Nell, too, was beautiful, with laughing, black eyes, less tall than her sister, with a heart as full of innocence and good nature as love to her Creator and fellow creatures could make her. As their uncle's hospitable mansion was ever open to visitors, who were entertained
with the greatest cordiality, their house was residents of the village. He was pleased with generally thronged with company. And they the quiet, dignified manner of Emma, and ere had lovers too; yet they seemed in no haste to many days elapsed he called at their uncle's. leave their kind benefactor, and they were fast Then he came again, and again, till the village merging from their teens, with their hearts still gossips began to wonder. And one quiet afterfancy free.
noon, as he happened to be alone with Emma About this time our aged minister, who had in the parlor, she was honored with a formal of
years broken the bread of life to the village fer of his hand. Contrary to his expectations it flock under his care, was called suddenly to his was quietly refused. Emma kept her own counrest. "And who will be his successor ?" was sel, and when the preacher was more pathetic the agitated question of the community. It was than usual, the next Sabbath, none knew why at length decided that as there was a great lack his thoughts ran in so sad a strain. “I believe of spirituality in the younger members of the our minister's affections are really set on heavflock, a young man would be perhaps more suc- enly things,” said one dear old lady at the close cessful in winning souls to the church, than any of the services. And so it seemed. other. They accordingly applied to a distin- The next proposal of our fair heroine was from guished theological school, and in due time our young village lawyer. He was exceedingly Charles Preston, a young graduate, was ordain- ambitious, and probably loved the fair Emma ed, and installed as the future pastor. A strik- as well as it was possible to love other than ing contrast was he to his aged and illiterate himself; he saw that she was beautiful, and predecessor. And as was expected, a most pow- talented, and as his wife, would favor his ad. erful awakening was soon felt throughout the vancement in life, particularly when her uncle's borders of our village Zion. The young ladies wealth was thrown into the scale. He too was all at once became interested in every good surprised at her refusal, and left the house mutwork,—the sewing circle no longer languished tering, “ Be an old maid then, who cares." for want of members, but many were the gar- But this was not her fate. ments made by the young Dorcases for the poor A few months later, and Will Moreton, the and destitute, while their pastor read to them yankee pedlar, first set foot in their uncle's dwelfrom the Book of Martyrs, or some other relig. ling. Purchases were made by the young laious volume. The sermons were listened to dies, from his well selected assortment, and as with the most intense interest, and as the young evening approached he politely requested Mr. pastor passed down the aisles at their conclu. Leach to permit him to reinain there during the sion, many were the honied words of flattery night, remarking that he generally preferred to which fell upon his ear.
stop at private dwellings, rather than submit to In the course of a few months the church had the society, usually found at country inns. His nearly doubled its members, and prosperity was request was granted, and he retired early, exceswithin its walls. Most of the young ladies sively fatigued. The family were surprised seemed to vie with each other in their attentions that he made not his appearance in the mornto the handsome young pastor. A few indeeding, and Mr. Leach, on going to his room, found there were, who either did not appreciate his him alarmingly ill. A physician was immeditalents, or else had too much practical goodness ately summoned, who pronounced him in a high and respect for religion, merely to join the fever, and would require the best of care. “I church, which should consist only of true be- will attend to him," said Emma," it is no more lievers, to make a conquest of the minister. than duty to a suffering fellow creature.” Among the latter class were Emma and Nell William Moreton was the only son of a widBrowning. They met him first by accident at owed mother, whose home was in one of the house of a poor widow, whom they heard the peaceful villages of Massachusetts. Mrs. was ill, and they had come with a well filled Moreton was poor as regarded this world's goods, basket for her comfort. Mr. Preston was sur- yet she felt that she possessed an ample treasprised that he had not made their acquaintance ure in her son, the fair and affectionate William. before. He had noticed them at church, at the He enjoyed all the advantages of a common regular hours of Sabbath worship, but as they school education, and those who know what the came not to the enquiry meeting, or evening common schools are in his native state, will unlectures, he had concluded that they were not derstand me when I say, that he left school Vol. X X. 32
thoroughly fitted for any business pursuit.