« PreviousContinue »
“ There was such deep contentment in the air,
Were native to the summer.” I gave a silent welcome to the Beech and Elm first bursting into leaf, to the swelling buds of the later Oak and Ash, and to the sweet wild flowers scattered under the hedges on either side; most prized of these, the delicate wood-sorrel with its pencilled flowers, grouped with blue tufts of violet, and the elegant stitchwort.
In resigning ourselves to the influences of nature, many valuable and holy lessons come unsoughtthe poet Wordsworth says
“Think you, 'mid all this mighty sum,
Of things for ever speaking,
But we must still be seeking." Whilst thus contemplating the beauty of nature, and rejoicing in her smiles, thoughts of God and hiç beneficence were stealing into my heart, and awakening the spirit of thanksgiving. “O all ye green things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord, praise him and magnify him for ever.” Yes, the trees, the flowers, the grass, do magnify the Lord. and my heart gives back the echo of their praise !
As we pursued our way, my attention was drawn to a tree lately fallen by the road-side a young Oak, felled at the moment of opening its buds.-As it lay upon the turf, its branches stripped of their bark covering, it offered a striking spectacle by the side of those, which, in strength and beauty, unfolded their leaves in the warm sun: we passed quickly by, but the image of the fallen tree was not so soon
effaced, nor the train of thought that followed. I reflected upon hopes, destroyed in their earliest developement; upon life, cut down in the time of strength; and then I recalled the words of Scripture, "Set not your affections on things of earth ;” and of another text, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Sorrow shall blight, and death destroy, till time is no more. Thus, then, watching and praying whilst it is called to-day, with us, and seeking salvation through Christ, may we finally put on incorruption, where all tears shall be wiped from every eye, and death have no more dominion, remembering, that there is no hope in the grave, for "as the tree falleth it shall lie.”
DOMESTIC SKETCHES.- No. 2.
THE MOTHER’S LESSON. “Good morning, little love," said Mrs. Barrett to Charles one morning ; “Is my Charles quite well this morning ?”
Charles.—Yes, mamma. Mrs. B.---And quite happy? Charles.— Yes, mamma. Mrs. B.--And quite ready for breakfast ? Charles.-Yes, mamma. Mrs. B.-Come, my love, and before we go to breakfast, let us think who it is that makes us quite well and quite happy, that gives us breakfast, and kind friends to get it ready for us. Does my Charles know who it is ?
Mrs. B.-What did David say when he slept comfortably all night, and awaked in peace ?
Charles. -I laid me down and slept, I awaked ; for the Lord sustained me. (Psalm iii. 5.)
Mrs. B.-Did David expect that God would take care of him in the day too, and wherever he went ?
Charles.—Thou compasseth my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. (Psalm cxxxix. 3.)
Mrs. B.- When you are with me, I do what I can to take care of you ; but you are often out of my sight. Oh, my love, what a thing is it to be able to think God sees all my ways, and God will preserve me in them! Does he preserve and love alb people ?
Charles.—Those who believe in Jesus.
Mrs. B.-Whom does David say God will send to take care of those whom he loves ?
Charles.—Good angels. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. (Psalm xci. 11.)
Mrs. B.-How does Jesus teach us to address this good God?
Charles.-Our Father which art in heaven. (Matt.
Mrs. B.-Children love their fathers and mothers. Charles.--I am sure I love you, mamma and papa.
Mrs. B.-And I trust, and every day I pray earnestly for my little Charles, that he may love his heavenly Father. How does God wish to be loved.
Charles.—With all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the mind, and with all the strength. (Mark xii. 30.)
Mrs. B.- I pray that you and I may love him so.. Charles.-I am happy when I love you, mamma.
Mrs. B.—Yes, my dear; love for one another, or as it is sometimes called in the Bible, charity, makes us happy : but to love God makes us happiest of all. If a child did not love his father or mother, what should we call him?
Charles.- Very ungrateful.
Mrs. B.-I have no reason to call you ungrateful, for in your love to your papa and mamma, you are a good boy. But it is sad to think that to our heavenly Father we are all ungrateful: nobody loves God till he is pleased to send his Spirit into our hearts, and to make us love him. And so that disciple whom Jesus loved—you know who that was ?
Mrs. B.–Well, so he says of those who love God, we love him, because he first loved us. (1 John iv. 19.)
Charles.-- Did you ever not love God, mamma?
Mrs. B.-Ah, my child, may you love him betimes? Now kneel down, and pray to him, solemnly, my love, and with your heart.
Charles.-My Father, which art in heaven, I thank thee for taking such a care of me this night, and that I am alive and well this morning. O Lord, send thy Holy Spirit into my heart, that I may love Jesus who died upon the cross for me. O Lord, bless papa and mamma, and my brother and sisters, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Then Mrs. Barrett took Charles into the breakfast-parlour to breakfast.
RETURN, O wanderer, return,
And seek an injured Father's face ;
Were kindled by reclaiming grace.
And seek a Father's melting heart;
His hand shall heal thine inward smart.
He heard thy deep repentant sigh,
When no intruding ear was nigh.
Thy Saviour bids thy spirit live;
How freely Jesus can forgive.
And cast away thy slavish fear;
'Tis mercy's voice invites thee near.
Regain thy lost, lamented rest:
To clasp his wanderer to his breast. W, B. C.
EXERCISES FOR THE YOUNG.–No. 2.
SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES. 1. What are the instances of suicide recorded in Scripture ?
2. Where are Alexander the Great and Cyrus prophesied of, each more than 200 years before he was born?