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are the witnesses of the most beautiful and most astonishing spectacle that nature ever presents to our view.

The earth, by an annual miracle, rises again, as from her grave, into life and beauty. A new creation peoples the wintry desert; and the voice of joy and gladness is heard among these scenes, which but of late lay in silence and desolation. The sun comes forth, like a bridegroom from his chamber,' to diffuse light and life over every thing he beholds; and the breath of heaven seems to brood, with maternal love,over that infant creation it has so lately awakened into being.

In such hours there is a natural impulse which leads us to meditation and praise. We love to go out amid the scenery of nature, to mark its progressive beauty, and to partake in the new joy of every thing that lives;—and we almost involuntarily lift up our eyes to that heaven from whence cometh the hope of man, 'which openeth its hand, and filleth all things with plenteousness.' Even upon the most uncultivated minds, these seasons have their influence; and wherever, over the face of the earth, the Spring is now returning, even amid nations uncheered by the light of the Gospel, the poor inhabitant is yet everywhere preparing some rude solemnity, to express the renewal of his joy and the return of his praise.

LESSON CXXXVII.

Instability of Earthly Things.-HERVEY.

The moon is incessantly varying, either in her aspect or her stages. Sometimes she looks full upon us, and her visage is all lustre. Sometimes she appears in profile, and shows us only half her enlightened face. Anon, a radiant crescent but just adorns her brow. Soon it dwindles into a slender streak: till, at length, all her beauty vanishes, and she becomes a beamless orb. Sometimes she rises with the descending day, and begins her procession amidst admiring multitudes.

Ere long, she defers her progress till the midnight watches, and steals unobserved upon the sleeping world. Sometimes she just enters the edges of the western horizon, and drops us a ceremonious visit. Within awhile, she sets out

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on her nightly tour from the opposite regions of the east; traverses the whole hemisphere, and never offers to withdraw, till the more refulgent partner of her sway renders her presence unnecessary. In a word, she is, while conversant among us, still waxing or waning, and tinueth in one stay.'

Such is the moon, and such are all sublunary things exposed to perpetual vicissitudes. How often and how soon have the faint echoes of renown slept in silence, or been converted into the clamors of obloquy! The same lips, almost with the same breath, cry, Hosanna and Crucify!-Have not riches confessed their notorious treachery a thousand and a thousand times? Either melting away like snow in our hands, by insensible degrees, or escaping, like a winged prisoner from its cage, with a precipitate flight.

Have we not known the bridegroom's closet an antichamber to the tomb; and heard the

ice which so lately pronounced the sparkling pair husband and wife, proclaim an everlasting divorce? and seal the decree, with that solemn asseveration, · Ashes to ashes, dust to dust!'-Our friends, though the medicine of life; our health, though the balm of nature, are a most precarious possession. How soon may the first become a corpse in our arms; and how easily is the last destroyed in its vigor!

You have seen, no doubt, a set of pretty painted birds perching on your trees, or sporting in your meadows. You were pleased with the lovely visitants, that brought beauty on their wings, and melody in their throats. But could you insure the continuance of this agreeable entertainment? No, truly. At the least disturbing noise, at the least terrifying appearance, they start from their seats; they mount the skies, and are gone in an instant, are gone forever. Would you choose to have a happiness which bears date with their arrival, and expires at their departure? If you could not be content with a portion, enjoyable only through such a fortuitous term, not of years, but of moments, O! take up with nothing earthly; set your affections on things above; there alone is ‘no variableness or shadow of turns ing.'

LESSON CXXXVIII.

The Arctic Dove. - Bowles.
Ride on:—the ark, majestic and alone
On the wide waste of the careering deep,
Its hull scarce peering through the night of clouds,
Is seen. But lo! the mighty deep has shrunk!
The ark, from its terrific voyage, rests
On Ararat. The raven is sent forth,
Send out the dove, and as her wings far off
Shine in the light, that streaks the sev'ring clouds,
Bid ber speed on, and greet her with a song:
Go beautiful and gentle dove,

But whither wilt thou go?
For though the clouds ride high above,

How sad and waste is all below!

The wife of Shem, a moment to her breast Held the poor bird, and kissed it. Many a night When she was listening to the hollow wind, She pressed it to her bosom, with a tear; Or when it murmured in her hand, forgot The long, loud tumult of the storm without.She kisses it, and, at her father's word, Bids.it go forth The dove flies on! In lonely flight

She flies from dawn till dark;
And now, amid the gloom of night,

Comes weary to the ark.
Oh! let me in, she seems to say,
For long and lone hath been my way;
Oh! once more, gentle mistress, let me rest,

And dry my dripping plumage on thy breast.
So the bird flew to her who cherished it.
She sent it forth again out of the ark;
Again it came at evening-fall, and lo,
An olive-leaf plucked off, and in its bill.
And Shem's wife took the green leaf from its bill,
And kissed its wings again, and smilingly
Dropped on its neck one silent tear for joy.
She sent it forth once more; and watched its flight,

Till it was lost amid the clouds of heaven:
Then gazing on the clouds where it was lost,
Its mournful mistress sung this last farewell:—
Go, beautiful and gentle dove,

And greet the morning ray;
For lo! the sun shines bright above,

And night and storm are passed away.
No longer drooping, bere confined,

In this cold prison dwell;
Go, free to sunshine and to wind,

Sweet bird, go forth, and fare thee well.
Oh! beautiful and gentle dove,

Thy welcome sad will be,
When thou shalt hear no voice of love

In murmurs from the leafy tree;
Yet freedom, freedom shalt thou find,

From this cold prison's cell;
Go, then, to sunshine and the wind,

Sweet bird, go forth and fare thee well.

LESSON CXXXIX.

The Convict Ship.-HERVEY.
Morn on the waters!—and, purple and bright,
Bursts on the billows the flushing of light;
O’er the glad waves, like a child of the sun,
See the tall vessel goes gallantly on;
Full to the breeze she unbosoms her sail,
And her pennon streams onward, like hope, in the gale;
The winds come around her, in murmur and song,
And the surges rejoice as they bear her along;
See! she looks up to the golden-edged clouds,
And the sailor sings gaily aloft in the shrouds:
Onward she glides, amid ripple and spray,
Over the waters,-away, and away!
Bright as the visions of youth, ere they part,
Passing away, like a dream of the heart!
Who—as the beautiful pageant sweeps by,
Music around her, and sunshine on high-
Pauses to think, amid glitter and glow,
Oh! there be hearts that are breaking below!

Night on the waves!—and the moon is on high,
Hung, like a gem, on the brow of the sky,
Treading its depths in the power of her might,
And turning the clouds, as they pass her, to light!
Look to the waters!-asleep on their breast,
Seems not the ship like an island of rest?
Bright and alone on the shadowy main,
Like a heart-cherished home on some desolate plain!
Who-as she smiles in the silvery light,
Spreading her wings on the bosom of night,
Alone on the deep, as the moon in the sky,
A phantom of beauty-could deem with a sigh,
That so lovely a thing is the mansion of sin,
And that souls that are smitten lie bursting within?
Who-as he watches her silently gliding-
Remembers that wave after wave is dividing
Bosoms that sorrow and guilt could not sever,
Hearts which are parted and broken forever?
Or deems that he watches, afloat on the wave,
The deathbed of hope, or the young spirit's grave?
'T is thus with our life, while it passes along,
Like a vessel at sea, amid sunshine and song!
Gaily we glide, in the gaze of the world,
With streamers afloat, and with canvass unfurled;
All gladness and glory, to wandering eyes,
Yet chartered by sorrow, and freighted with sighs:-
Fading and false is the aspect it wears,
As the smiles we put on, just to cover our tears;
And the withering thoughts which the world cannot know,
Like heart-broken exiles, lie burning below;
Whilst the vessel drives on to that desolate shore
Where the dreams of our childhood are vanished and o'er.

LESSON CXL.

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Advice to the Young.–CHANNING. Young man, remember that the only test of goodness, virtue, is moral strength, self-denying energy. You have generous and honorable feelings, you scorn mean actions, your heart beats quick at the sight or hearing of courageous,

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