« PreviousContinue »
are seen and are temporal, but pries most inquisitively into the things that are not seen, and are eternal. While the outward man is decaying, she gazes at the throne ; John saw in Heaven the throne which was surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.---And although there is a long, dark, deep valley to pass through, before we can get possession of the prize, Faith sees ' in the midst of the throne a lamb, as it had been slain. There she · fixes her attention: and then she sweetly sings :
“Of all the dear objects belov'd,
Then how shall the saints all unite,
The Lamb in the midst of the Throne.' In writiny further on the sorrows of separation, I must observe, that when persons marry, they know that death will certainly dissolve the union. They are also well aware, that it is quite uncertain, which of them must close the other's eyes.
The time and manner of our death are uncertain.---And in this, the goodness of God towards us most conspicuously appears. We have examples all around us, which continually warn us to be ready :---and remind us, that at an hour when we think not, we may be called hence. We know that we must go the way of all flesh.---" It is appointed unto all men once to die."
Abraham buried Sarah ; and Jacob buried Rachel, and Leah.--- And no man knows when he takes a wife, but what he may have to lament her loss. Thus one who lived in our own time, has related his sorrows on this subject, in a Poem, entitled · Distress.'
Once sacred friendship, kindled into love, Mlade all my hours with soft endearments move; Heav'n gave a wife, - to me,—to Heav'n endeard, Who all my comforts and my sorrows shar'd; But Heav'n resum'd her to the world of bliss, And left me lonely, to lament in this.
Now to yon yew I turn my weary feet,
I visit where her ashes rest,
When at your graves I shed the friendly tear,
Thus, 'my dear Sir, the sorrows I have named are made the instruments of drawing the heart from the world, and all terrestrial things, and of alluring the mind upwards, to contemplate invisible
realities, and to look forward, in expectation of a happy meeting again in Heaven
The gay and giddy crowds of mortals, whose thoughts are all occupied with the business, and the pleasures of the world, have no conception of the feelings of the man, whose heart has been mellowed by affliction. He deems those pleasures which delight the mass of mankind, as trifling and nonsensical, in comparison of what his enjoyments are, in the anticipated pleasures of faith and hope.
The men of the world wonder perhaps at his stupidity: or pity him for his de. jection. But he can truly say: 'I have renounced the little things that delight your minds :---far nobler pleasures attract my attention ; my treasure, my hopes, and my heart, are all in heaven, whither I myself am going.'
• I see a hand you cannot see,
That says I must not stay.' • The purpose for which life was given me, is now accomplished; and now, I am looking forward to that happy world, where angels and holy spirits dwell: and am waiting all the days of my appointed time, till my change come.'
• Cease, every joy, to glimmer on my mind, But leave-oh! leave, the light of Hope behind! What though my winged hours of bliss have been, Like angel-visits, few and far between? Her musing mood shall every pang appease, And charm--when pleasures loose the power to please!
Yes, let each rapture dear to Nature, flee; Close on the light of Fortune's stormy sea--Mirth, music, friendship, love's propitious -smile, Chase every care, and charm a little while, Ecstatic throbs the fluttering heart employ, And all her strings are harmoniz’d to joy. But why so short is love's delighted hour; Why fades the dew on Beauty's sweetest flower Why can no hymned charm of music heal, The sleepless woes impassion'd spirits feel? Can Fancy's fairy hands no veil create, To hide the sad realities of fate? No! not the quaint remark, the sapient rule, Nor all the pride of wisdom's worldly school, Have pow'r to soothc, unaided and alone, The heart that vibrates to a feeling tone! When, 'reft of all, yon widow'd sire appears A lonely hermit in the vale of years ; Say, can the world one joyous thought bestow To friendship, weeping at the couch of Woes No! but a brighter soothes the last adieu,--Souls of impassion'd mould, she speaks to you! Weep not, she says, at nature's transient pain, Congenial spirits part to meet again !!
You know, my dear Sir, that whether we are married or single, sickness and death cannot possibly be avoided. And nothing but • a sure and certain hope,' of happiness in a better state, can thoroughreconcile us to give up every connexion