Billeder på siden

estimation, be considered as uncalled-for interference with matters belonging to a different class of readers. We place before us the word of God; and by its undeviating line we seek to straighten our own: nor have we cause to do otherwise than most gratefully to confess, that, proportioned to the steadiness with which this tract has been pursued, have we found the success of our miscellany confirmed. We bless God for it: and to his mercy in Christ Jesus we commend both our readers and ourselves; that in whatsoever station we may respectively be placed, therein, through his guidance, we may be found faithful.

June, 1837.



JANUARY, 1837.


MANY and overpowering are the recollections excited by a glance at the tablets of former days. Perchance a leaf of an old pocket-book-perchance some lively letter, or familiar note, coming unexpectedly to hand in a search for something else, and the eye falls on a name, then in familiar use, now numbered with the things that were. The individual almost starts into life before us, just as we last beheld him, occupying his assigned place on earth, surrounded by all the ties that formed his happiness here. Another rapid movement of that mysterious engine, thought, and we shrink from the consciousness that all those ties are broken-his place knows him no more-his portion of earthly things is just so much cold clay as suffices to shroud his mouldering bones in the darkness of the tomb. The memento, so suddenly beheld, is no less suddenly laid aside; and a wish will rise that it had not intruded, when


the busy mind was in quest of somewhat that, by preoccupying it, unfitted it in a measure for the startling reminiscence.

But how different is the feeling when perhaps the same recollection of the same individual is awakened in the quiet moments of a leisurely stroll through the open space, whose boundary is the blue sky above, the green sod beneath, and the graceful forms of diversified vegetation flourishing around! There, all is in keeping though the flowers be all gone, and the sky overcast with driving clouds, it is still beautifully in keeping when the image of some lost friend flits before the mind; for “man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble: he cometh forth as a flower and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not." Types and allegories seem to accord, almost universally, with the taste of our species. The young child stretches his infant faculties more readily to grasp the truths conveyed by such a medium: the most unlettered of men, who could not follow a plain argument through two short sentences, will accompany Bunyan's pilgrim to the end of his journey, with evident relish of the savour with which that exquisite book is replete and in the languages of nations considered savage-the wild Indians of the woods particularly, we find little else than a compendium of tropes and figurative expressions. The Holy Scriptures need not be cited as a perfect model of this parabolic style and, look where we will, through the broad open pages of creation, dull indeed must be the eye that fails to catch the same character, pervading them in every part. For the business of life, the cares and efforts requisite to keep our worldly mat

[ocr errors]

ters even, the study, the court, the counting-house are valuable auxiliaries; but in the hour of relief from the pressure of worldly occupation, whether the bent of the mind be to joy or sorrow, to expectation or disappointment, to meditation or devotion, give me my beloved haunt-the garden-and I cannot fail of finding that which, in the absence of all human sympathy and companionship, shall charm away the loneliness of feeling; shall heighten my joy, or soothe my grief, with sweet tales of One who is never far from the heart that desires to acknowledge his sovereignty.

The season is bleak; and what between the unlooked-for snows that heralded November, and the hurricane that marked his exit, few indeed are the flowers left to bide the blasts of the closing year. But flowers I need not: my steps are arrested in the search by an object more suitable to my purpose, and near it I linger, absorbed in thoughts as sweetly solemn as ever followed the flight of a glorified spirit to its Father's bosom. A noble oak, seemingly arrived at the last stage of its natural existence, had been, I cannot say torn up, but rather broken off, with scarcely a discomposure of the earth around its roots, and there it lay, recumbent on the sod, which had yielded to its pressure, without apparent injury to either. Majestic, when last I saw it, full of life, and loaded with its leafy honours, it looked to me no less majestic, in its wintry state, leafless, and unadorned, stretched peacefully on the earth so long overshadowed by its spreading boughs. Here, then,' I mentally said, 'here let me stay my steps; for what spot so meet can I find, whereon to pause and think over my pleasant

« ForrigeFortsæt »