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A LOVELY BRIDE.
when she noticed the sofa was wheeled round to the precise spot where, that evening, the happy pair were to rise and exchange their solemn vows; and there the lovely bride was kneeling, so absorbed in her own thoughts, the intrusion of her friend was unnoticed. That friend stood for a moment, gazing in holy admiration at the scene; she longed gently to approach and kneel by her side, but the occasion was too sacred to admit of social union, and she retired.
And what so solemn and absorbing was occupying the thoughts of this happy being? Was it the anticipations of worldly felicity that had brought her there? Looking round upon the beauty and gayety of the room, where in a few hours she would give her hand to him whom she preferred to all others on earth, had she, in the wilderness and excess of her own emotions, fallen into a reverie ? Nothing of the kind. Delighted she might be, and justly was; but she had one duty to perform, a high and holy duty, ere she plighted her vows to the object of her early affections. There, in that spot where she would soon stand, and surrender her earthly all to her husband, she would first consecrate herself to the Lord. The prior consecration was due to him. On that altar she wished to offer an earlier and holier incense; on that spot, to make a record of the prior deed which she had given of herself to her superior Lord.
I know not of an earthly scene more lovely, or of an immortal being, in similar circumstances, in an
attitude more becoming. And I am sure, that if her intended husband had himself the love of God reigning in his heart, and could he have seen her there, whatever he might have thought of her before, his love would have said — not, perhaps, with perfect truth, for others, it is to be hoped, have done so before her — but he might be forgiven, if, in his ardor and admiration, he had exclaimed, “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”
What a beautiful example for the imitation of those who are about to be led to the hymeneal altar ! Most beautiful, most becoming! I know not the subsequent history of that “lovely bride,” but I am certain she never repented of that act of selfdedication to God. She may not, indeed, have escaped sorrow and affliction, but if they were her lot, I know that God would remember the kindness of her youth. He would not forsake her. She might bury her husband, children, friends ; she might suffer sickness and poverty; but in no hour would her heavenly Father forsake her. He would guide her by his counsel, and afterwards receive her to glory. Youthful females ! would you lay the foundation of: future peace ? would you provide against the reverses of fortune ? would you have a friend and a protector through this world of vicissitude ? would you have consolation in the darkest night of adversity which may set in upon you?- imitate the example of “a lovely bride."
The wedding ring is mine, love;
· I'll wear it until death;
While life retains its breath.
I'll wear it to my grave, love,
And in the coffin's dust,
The fond heart's bridal trust.
A LITTLE WORD.
A LITTLE word in kindness spoken,
A motion, or a tear, Has often healed the heart that's broken,
And made a friend sincere.
- has crushed to earth Full many a budding flower, Which, had a smile but owned its birth,
Would bless life's darkest hour.
‘T'hen deem it not an idle thing
A pleasant word to speak; The face you wear, the thought you bring,
A heart may heal or break.
Young bride, - a wreath for thee
Of sweet and gentle flowers ;
In Eden's happy bowers.
Young bride, - a song for thee !
A song of joyous measure,
Filled with honeyed pleasure.
Young bride, - a tear for thee!
A tear in all thy gladness;
Joy unmixed with sadness.
Young bride, - a smile for thee!
To shine away thy sorrow,
Will hope as well to-morrow.
Young bride, - a prayer for thee!
That, all thy hopes possessing,
May crown thee with his blessing.