Imatges de pÓgina

whisper poured its comfort into our soul, and exhorted us to take courage? Our Father has been near us, in all our distresses, if we have not seen him. He has spoken peace to our troubled soul, if we have not heard him. And the same voice which springs from the green herbage, and is wafted along on the odorous breeze-which is blended with the murmur of the forest, with the dash of ocean's wave, and rises above the fury of the storm-the voice which sends its softest echoes through the vast concave of heaven, and side by side with every ray of light—that voice tells the unfortunate and the sorrowing, no less than the prosperous and the happy, of infinite goodness and never failing mercy. It says to human sadness, be consoled; to human pride, lie prostrate; to human piety, awake, receive my inspiration, and live and glow for ever.

We wish to excite a livelier attention to the works of nature, and a quicker perception of the lesson which their variety, and order, and beauty, and uses convey to the inquiring mind. The works of God will continue to proclaim his perfections, and to declare his greatness and majesty, whether we listen to them or not. Beauty, and sweetness, and grace, and fragrance will overspread the face of the earth-the seasons present their varied charms-and

heavens their magnificence by day, their softened splendour and glory by night, notwithstanding our inattention and insensibility. But this indifference will rob us of one of the purest and most exalted pleasures which we are capable of enjoying—that of learning to reverence and love the Creator through the medium of his works. Call those

pleasures after which men are so frequently and eagerly hastening!-speak not of them at the same time with the pleasures of intellect-those which devout admiration of the works of creation, and the frequent study of them, supply to the mind. These are pleasures which may be safely pursued; there is wisdom in the pursuit of them, for they not only solace us when care and distress come over us, but they are productive of good to our moral nature; they strengthen our religious impressions, and render our pious feelings more susceptible, more vigorous, and more fruitful of offerings to our Father in Heaven.

We need state no other reasons for calling upon the young, before other and less valuable habits are formed, to accustom themselves to contemplations on the Divine works, that they may see God in them, and hear the music or the awfulness of his voice. Nature presents to them a book in which they may always read; she speaks to them in a language which they may always hear. And with the disposition to learn of her, they will find mental profit as well as health even in a walk. They cannot see an object which is not curious and wonderful. A tree, a plant, a flower, the rippling brook, or the broader or more majestic river, the spirit of the morn, the brilliancy of mid-day, and the silence and sweetness of eventide, the earth lighted up by day, and the heavens with their own lustre by night—all these objects, and all the phenomena of nature, will pour knowledge into their minds, and peace and joy into their hearts. And they will go to revelation for new lessons, and listen with increasing reverence, and piety, and hap


piness to the voice of Him who giveth salvation to his people.

'Twas the voice of God! I heard it rise

On the fitful tempest's angry moan,

As billowy clouds engulfed the pure skies,

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:
Mournful it came on the sweeping blast

From yon dark hull where terror is shrieking,
Where the wild farewell is convulsive past,

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,
Their drops in scented chalice distilling,

And spirits of air fan the blooming day,
And Nature's bosom with joy is thrilling.

It swept through the glade and bade awake,
The crystal gem in each flower-cup shined;
Then murmuring breathed o'er the scented brake,

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

Hung on the spot where the lorn one wept,
And left its lingering echoes there:
And still shall it touch the chords of joy,
Still make up rapture's holiest tone,
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

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