« AnteriorContinua »
piness to the voice of Him who giveth salvation to his
'Twas the voice of God! I heard it rise
On the fitful tempest's angry moan,
And the lightning's glance through their dark mass shone;
Proudly the storm went careering on,
The forest groaned at its maddening roar ;
Old ocean leaped up, that mighty one,
And dashed his huge form on the trembling shore.
That voice, that voice, how loud it rung!
How rolled its volume o'er mountain and fell!
Whilst Echo in breathless wonder hung,
And Time seem'd to hear his own sad knell:
From yon dark hull where terror is shrieking,
And human ties and hearts are breaking.
'Twas the voice of God-I heard it swell
Where the dark woods wave and birds are singing,
Where flowers their love-tale blushing tell,
And the heather's silver bells are ringing;
Where blossoms are wreathed from spray to spray,
And spirits of air fan the blooming day,
It swept through the glade and bade awake,
And the woodbine more lovely its tendrils twined;
On the zephyr's wing it was borne along,
And the woods grateful smiled as it passed them by, The happy brook warbled a sweeter song,
A thousand glad throats trilled their minstrelsy.
'Twas the voice of God-its melody came
O'er the soul, in richest cadence stealing, And it fanned into life the spirit's flame, Gently it breathed on each fount of feeling; Of love it whispered, the love that beams
More bright than day, than suns more glowingAnd told of rapture's sparkling streams,
From golden urns for ever flowing.
Softer and sweeter its harmony swept
O'er grief's deep throb, and the pang of despair
And still shall it touch the chords of joy,
Or, rushing along in its majesty,
Tell the world that it governs alone-alone.
Children brought to Jesus for his Blessing.
The kind notice which our Lord was accustomed to take of little children, is a pleasing and delightful picture of condescension and love. His errand was to men-to admonish them of their guilt and impiety, to warn them of the consequences of their evil doings, to excite the dormant spirit of goodness and religion in their souls, to lead them a subdued and penitent band to the throne of the Divine Grace; and the execution of this solemn and awful communion might have been supposed so to occupy his mind, and absorb his thoughts and feelings, as to indispose him to give more than a passing thought to the feeble infant and the prattling child. In frequent and holy communion with God, his whole soul filled with divine inspiration, swelling with thoughts of the unutterable majesty of his Adorable Parent, of the grace and glory of religion, of the pure bliss of immortality, of the final exaltation, harmony, and glory of mankind; how could it be expected that he should stoop from this height to welcome and bless the little one clinging to his knee and watching for his smile? And when we see him in all the dignity of a divine Messenger, and all the severity of offended virtue, exposing the deceit and wickedness of the Scribes and Pharisees, and making them tremble at his presence or steal away in the shame and confusion of their face; how little are we prepared for beholding him winning the hearts of parents by his condescension and benignity to their children! The error of his disciples would not be a very
uncommon error. They thought that he would be annoyed and troubled by the importunity of these parents. Perhaps they imagined that he might deem it trifling with him to ask his kind notice of the young, or feel it beneath the dignity of his office and character to notice or speak to them. Hence it was that they rebuked the parents. But they were wrong. They misinterpreted the gravity which at his age was truly venerable-the piercing look and severe tone in which he rebuked the impenitent: they knew not the full strength of that generous affection which beat in his heart for all human-kind; much as they saw in him to revere and love, they were yet but imperfectly acquainted with the generosity of his disposition, and had felt but in part the power and living grace of his virtues.
The parents turned away in disappointment at the rebuke of the disciples. It was in reverence of Christ they had come to him. They regarded him as a sainted being whose very touch might benefit their offspringwhose blessing, uttered in prayer, might cling through life to them and avail to their virtue and happiness; and they sorrowed to think that their errand had failed, and that one of so sacred a character and worthy their deep reverence, was not to be approached. But the Master hears the request, and hastes to correct the error of his disciples, and to remove the disappointment of the applicants. Suffer little children to come unto me, said he, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Thrice blessed words! The delighted parents heard them with transport. They pressed forward
with their little ones, and saw the condescending aud amiable Jesus lay his hands upon them, and rejoiced to think that his touch had imparted some spiritual grace.
The picture is truly a delightful one-let us gaze upon it for a moment ere we proceed. See the Saviour welcoming his infant disciples! his eye looks with kindness and love upon them, he bends to them with affection, his hands are clasped over them, his prayer ascends to heaven for them; whilst the parents' eyes swim in tears of gratitude and delight.
But mark our Lord's words-of such is the kingdom of heaven. What meaning shall we attach to such words? Does he mean to commend the disposition of children-to pronounce it good and lovely? Does he intimate that disciples of maturer age, to be acceptable to him, must shew the same artlessness and simplicity, the same inoffensiveness, the same yielding temper and humble spirit? This is his meaning for he loved little children-he watched with pleasure and delight their opening dispositions, and in all his views and all his labors, for the edification and final felicity of mankind, they shared his thoughts and quickened his exertions.
And it is a lovely thing to see innocent and happy children. We look with pleasure on the smile that animates their face. We watch with warm interest their minds opening to instruction, panting after knowledge, and the speaking intelligence of their eye when some fresh idea is taken in. How joyous their spirit! how guileless their thoughts! how free from care their hearts! they have not