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sweet boy in his arms,and, in the presence of angels,touched his pure forehead with the waters of baptism.
But the mother made no sign, She could not accept this affliction as a blessing-she could not offer up thanks. Her very life was bound up in the life of her child, and the thought of separation was so terrible, that no place for consolation was left in her grieving spirit.
" It is appointed unto man once to die,” added the minister, still seeking to penetrate the mother's heart, and pour in oil and wine ; we must all pass by this way--must all enter this valley-must all go down into the dark river. How much better, then, to die in the morning of life, ere fierce sunbeams have drank the fragrant dews, or the green leaves have withered on the sapless branches."
Still the mother made no sign.
"You will have a treasure in heaven ; and where the treasure is, there will the heart be also."
But all availed not. The tears fell like rain. Sadly, at length, the minister turned away, and left the weeping mother with her friends; for her ears were closed to all the words of consolation he could offer.
An hour later, and the mother still bent over the frail body of her little one. There was no hope in her heart, for she saw upon his wan face the signet mark of the death angel. One friend remained with her ; and, until now, this friend bad offered no words of comfort. The grieving mother was bending over the pillow upon which the sick child lay, and gazing down upon the countenance she was soon to see no more, when she felt a hand laid gently upon her own, and with a touch that sent a new impulse throbbing through the heart.
" It is very dark here, sometimes," said the friend, very softly, very tenderly, and with a meaning in her voice beyond that contained in the words she had uttered.
The mother answered only by a returning pressure of the hand.
“ Even the light of this world is darkness when compared with the light of heaven. Here the best and most highly favored do little more than grope their way. There, every one walks in noon-day clearness.
She had gained the mother's ear. Her words had gone inward to the region of thought.
"I have passed through these deep waters, my friend," she continued, " and have hcard their terrible roaring. I have held a dying babe in my arms, and clung to it with an agony of grief that seemed as if it would snap my very heart-strings. But, after the keenness of affliction was over, I had this consolation, and it has remained ever since. When the night with me was at the darkest, it was morning with my child. Yes, it was then that the morning broke on him which shall never go down in night. Blessed morning of celestial glory! Oh, how often and often since, when I have walked in darkness, have I thanked God, with a true heart, fervently, that it was morning with my child !"
The mother's tears ceased to fall, and she turned her wet eyes upon her friend, and looked into her face earnestly.
“ There is one question," said the friend, after a pause, “that every mother should ask herself. It is this— How do I love my child-selfishly or unselfishly? If unselfishly, then, whatever is best for the child, will give to her heart the deepest pleasure. I had a dream on the very night my precious one was taken away from me. I believe that it was imaged to my fancy while sleeping, by a loving angel sent to comfort me in my great affliction. There had always been something very fearful to me in the idea of dying here, and awakening to consciousness in a new and strangely different existence; and the thought followed my child. That dream was to me a revelation, and as such I accepted it thankfully. I saw, in my sleep, two scenes-the one contrasting with the other, as we sometimes see them in pictures. One scene represented the saddest of my life experiences. I saw, myself sitting in darkness and in tears, as you sit now, my friend and sister, bending over my precious babe, clinging to it as the miser clings to his gold-aye, and with an intenser passion But only a veil dropped down between that scene and another, which quickly enchained my vision, and caused my heart, heavy with grief, to throb with a new-born pleasure. An angel, in form like a chaste young virgin, was clasping to her bosom a babe, in all the ecstacy of a new-born joy. No mother, when she feels upon
her breast the first pressure of her first babe, ever felt more delight than I saw pictured in the face of the angel as she held my babe to her loving heart. Yes, my babe, just born into heaven, and given into her care by the Divine Father of us all.
"For a time I could not withdraw my eyes from the face of the angel. Never had I gazed upon a countenance so full of love; so radiant with celestial beauty. And the babe nestled on her bosom as lovingly as it had ever nestled on mine. From this scene, after gazing upon it until tears ran down my cheeks-tears of gratitude that it was so well with my babe-1 turned to look at the darker one-at the sorrowing earthly mother and the suffering child! Poor babe! Wasted with sickness and writhing with mortal pain. How yearningly and pityingly my heart went towards it, and I prayed for its deliverance ! even as the words went up from my heart, the darker scene faded until it became no longer visible; but the brighter one remained. When I awoke, and grief for my great loss revived in my heart, I recalled the precious dream, and took comfort. What if I did walk in darkness? It was morning-eternal morning, with my child !"
As the mother listened, to her mind was also pictured the two scenes. Her tears had ceased to flow, and her countenance showed a visible interest. A little while she sat musing, and then, as she turned her eyes, full of tenderness, upon her sick boy, said:
“Oh, it is hard, very hard, to give him up! How can I do it? How can I resign him, even to the care of an angel ?”
The friend said no more. Her words had found a way into the heart of the sorrowing one, and she left them to do their own work.
A little later, and the hour of deepest darkness came—the hour of separation. Over the mother's spirit a pall of blackest gloom was spread. The words of her friend had faded from her memory. She saw not the beautiful beyond, but gazed only upon a dark, gloomy abyss, into which her
precious one was about falling, while she stood helpless by. Oh, what would she not then have given for light upon the future ! for an unsealed vision. Willingly would she have died, that she might go with her child along the unknown way, and shield him from its terrors. Over him she bent, seeing nothing, hearing nothing, caring for nothing, but her boy; while darker and closer the shadows gathered around her. It was nightdark, cold, moonless night, with the grieving mother.
For more than an hour the child had lain in a deep stupor ; but it was evident that life was ebbing away, and that the last agony would soon be over. For herself, the mother had almost ceased to grieve; every thought and every feeling were centered in her child, about passing alone through the gate of death-alone to meet the realities of the unseen world.
Suddenly a light fell upon the wan, suffering face—a smile played around the white lips—the eyes, long closed, and heavy with pain and fever, flew open, and, glancing upwards with a glad expression, the child said —
“Good morning, mamma!”
"Good morning, love!" answered the startled mother, scarcely thinking of the words she uttered.
“Good morning!" repeated the child, still gazing upwards, with a new and heavenly beauty in its countenance. "Oh, it is morning now !"
Fixed was the glad look for several moments; then the fringing lids drooped slowly, until they lay softly upon the pure white cheeks. The closed lips parted; but the smiled remained. The hands, lifted for a moment in glad surprise, fell over the placid breast, and all was still, and holy, and beautiful.
“Yes, it is morning now," whispered the friend in the mother's ear, as she sat like one entranced, gazing upon the pulseless form before her, which, as if touched by an enchanter's wand, had suddenly changed from an image of suffering into one of tranquil beauty.
And it was morning with the child-a heavenly morning and also with the mother; for a new light had dawned upon her, and a new faith in the hereafter. The dark valley was suddenly bridged with light, and she saw her precious one by angel guides led safely over.
“ God careth for these jewels," said the friend, a few hours afterwards. “They are precious in His sight : not one of them is lost. His love is tenderer even than a mother's love. We may trust them in His hands with unfaltering confidence. Yes, yes, grieving mother! it is indeed morning with your babe !"-Steps towards Heaven.
HOW DO WE SPEAK TO OUR CHILDREN ? Is it in a cold, formal, listless, manner? Or do they see at once, by the kindling of the eye, the earnestness of the tone, and the overflowing of the heart, that we mean all we say, and much more? Before another Sabbath some of them may have gone beyond our reach for ever: what memory of us will they take with them ? Should they perish, will any of their blood be found on the skirts of our garments ? If unfaithful, how shall we face each other in that solemn day? The followers of Jesus should be like their Lord ! How did He warn, instruct, in vite! How reluctant He was that the muchloved city should hasten to its awful doom, his bitter tears and touching lament will for ever tell! How desirous He was for the salvation of one soul, let the earnest and repeated proffer of the water of life to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well bear witness. How lovingly he invited even little ones to come to Him, we none of us can forget, as he said, " Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." How solemnly earnest He was in conflict, suffering, and death, no human tongue can tell ! Such as He was, would He have us to be, in purpose, spirit, and act. True, it is a lofty standard; but not impossible to faith, and prayer, and love. He knows our weakness, but we are strong in Him ; our darkness, but He is the light of the world ; our deadness, but He is our life. Leal-heartedness to Him will be our true preparation for all Christian labor. “Lovest thou me?'' He asks, and then gives us the blessed commission to “ feed His lambs."- And 'tis an honor an Angel might covet, to break the bread of life to the little ones in Christ's flock !
GROWING IMPORTANCE OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
The Sunday school is a rising sun. Every successive year witnesses its ascent to a loftier altitude, the diffusion of its influence through a wider sphere, and the increase of its power as an evangelical agency. Every new year added to its history gives it a stronger hold on the affections of the Church, and intrenches it more securely in her confidence. Every year spent in observing its workings and results, strengthens a conviction in the breasts of thoughtful men that the Church must hereafter look more and more to the Sunday school as the arena in which the battle for this nation's complete evangelization is to be chiefly fought. With her aggressive forces obviously declining in their power to save the adult population, the Church must make the religious education she is imparting to her Sunday school children the instrument of their spiritual regeneration, or she will, sooner or later, find her numbers diminishing, and her power to grapple with the stupendous wickedness of the times seriously waning. . We hail this general movement with pleasure. It augurs well for the future of our
It shows that the heart, the intellect, and the hopes of Christ's church are being attracted towards the Sunday school. It is an omen that the latter-day glory of the Sunday school will be greater than its glory in the past. In view of it, we thank God and take courage. The march of our cause is onward. The children of the church and of the nation will, ere long, be,“ taught of the Lord." The day hastens in which a whole generation of children, being saved by faith, will grow up into 'a community of converted men and women, and our country present, what the world has never yet witnessed, the glorious spectacle of a thoroughly evangelical nation.
The General Reader.
MEJORY BENEFICENTLY affairs multiply and crowd upon each EMPLOYED.
other, till at last they prove so intriThomas Fuller, so celebrated for his cate and perplexed, that nothing is great memory, had once occasion to left but to sink under the burthen. attend on a committee of sequestration, sitting at Waltham, in Essex. He got
VIRTUE. into a conversation with them, and was much commended for his powers
It ought always to be steadily in"Tis true, gentlemen,” culcated, that virtue is the highest observed Mr. Fuller, " that fame has proof of understanding, and the only given me the report of being a memor
solid basis of greatness ; and that vice
is the natural consequence of narrow ist; and, if you please, I will give you a specimen of it.” The gentlemen thoughts ; that it begins in mistake, gladly acceded to the proposal; and, and ends in ignominy. laying aside their business, requested Mr. F. to begin. “ You want a speci
EPITAPHS. men of my memory, and you shall
An epitaph must be made fit for have a good one. Your worships have the person for whom it is made; for a thought fit to sequestrate a poor but man to say all the excellent things honest person,
who is my near neigh- that can be said upon one, and call buur, and to commit him to prison. that his epitaph, is as if a painter As he has a large family, and his cir- should make the handsomest piece he cumstances very indifferent, if you can possibly make, and say 'twas my will have the goodness to release him picture. It holds in a funeral sermon. from prison, I pledge myself never to -Selden. forget the kindness while I live." It is said that this witty appeal obtained
POPULAR PREACHING. that for which it pleaded.
When the pious and eloquent Le
Tourneux was preaching the Lent PROCRASTINATION.
sermons at St. Benoit, in Paris, Louis Procrastination has in every age XIV. inquired of Boileat how it was been the ruin of mankind. Dwelling that everybody was running after amid endless projects of what they him. “ Sire," replied the poet, “ your are to do hereafter, they cannot so majesty knows that people will always properly be said to live, as to be al- run after novelties. This man preaches ways about to live, and the future has the Gospel.” ever been the gulf in which the present has been swallowed up and
MEMORY. lost; hence, arise many of those misfortunes which befall men in their I can better remember the transacworldly concerns. What might now tions of seventy years, than of yesterbe arranged with advantage, by being day: pour liquor into a full vessel, delayed cannot be arranged at all. and the top will run off first.They are clogged and embarrassed; Hutton.