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eties—the passing away of short-lived things covered by the fres growth of new kinds !
A sound comes from the north! It is the voice of winter! In o1 night his nimble legions come, and the sickling frost cuts down sur mer to the ground. In a few weeks decay is over; freezing succee frost, and summer is wiped away, with all its colours, its sights, i sounds; and sad winds mourn over the playgrounds of flowers. nl
When, in winter, we remember the summer, its glories seem like dream; it is no longer a fact, but a thing imagined. But when hig winds walk abroad in the winter, and drive all men from the field and the house is populous, the family is gathered, and the nig having grown long by robbing the day at both ends, morning a evening, of many hours, the household cheer themselves with indust and study. And at evening, all gather to their various tasks: + father to his books, the mother to her children's treasures, the eld children to their school tasks, while the rosy child, with curled pa climbs the nurse's knee, and she drones to him the long story, a hu dred times old, and yet falling fresh as new upon the story-greedy ea of childhood. He laughs, he weeps ; he sighs, he shudders; he glo and expands, or shrinks and cowers, till the tale is done ; then, sitti for a while upon the stool by the mother's foot, the child grows a stracted, gazing into the pictured embers, seeing all manner of fantas figures and changing forms upon the opening and shutting face coals and the plastic ashes, till the eye sinks and the head nods, a the drooping little sleeper is borne off safe to bed.
In the morning, he wakes and hungers. The night is forgotten. vague remembrance rests with him of the sweet excitement of th night. But the day clears off these fancies ; they grow more and mor dim; they lie in the mind as films of spider-web float with long threa glistening in the summer air.
And thus, saith the Psalmist, we spend our days “as a tale that told.” Years, with all their vast variety of incident, are remembere vaguely—they are thin and dreamy! The present glows and eve burns with intensity. But it is quenched when a few days are past Days come in with form and sound and motion, like the coming ind crested waves. Like them, they break upon the shore of the presen they cover it with a million evanescent gems; they dissolve and flo out in undertow, and are lost again in the black depths ; while net days, like new waves, foam, sparkle, and break, as did they! .
One by one come to us days and years. Coming, they have ind viduality. But receding from us, they lose all separateness, and the past is one undistinguishable whole.
Who can analyse and separate the years of his childhood ? Fron birth till one is four or five, the unripe brain receives few impression that last. It is all blank. As in a printed book, at either end are bound up many blank leaves, without print or writing on them; 8011 human life, at either end, begun and ended with blank years, preserving no record, leaving no mark.
But then come the youthful days, full of romp, of hunger, of growth, of childish exhilaration! How do they seem to you now? Are they separable? Can you thread them, and paint them by memory? Only two or three things peculiarly significant remain. The days are huddled together. The very years are heaped in mass ; and you think back upon twenty years as if they were but a handbreadth.
It is as with a landscape to a traveller. Having journeyed all day, at evening reaching some high hill, he sits down to trace his path. The grass at his feet is plain enough, and the ants that run express up and down every stalk have brisk distinctness. The near bushes and the trees are so plain that the bough and separate leaves stand out in their individual forms. But as the view recedes, gradually he loses all these ; and a little farther off, leaves lie upon leaves, grass is matted upon grass, and is no longer form, but only colour. Yet farther, and trees begin to fade; tree stands up upon tree; and at length whole forests are to the eye but faint clouds, with not one distinct line, and hills are rubbed out, and all the inequalities of the way, which the complaining foot felt in travelling, the eye no longer discerns, and only here and there a single peak or mountain remains clear and individual Against the all-abounding sky.
Thus is it in life. Our nearer hours report themselves ; a little farther, and days only, not hours, are discerned; then days lapse, and weeks or months are like long aerial distances, in one line, whose continuity is measured by no prominent object. At length, years only can be seen, and not even these finally. For, as sailors leaving the harbour carry with them for a long time the sight of the shore, but sailing still, lose first the low water lines, but cling by the eye to the higher masses, which in time, in the ever sailing, fade and sink, leaving nothing but some height lifted far up like Teneriffe, which, after the night is passed, 18 all gone, hidden by the bend of the earth's surface, so, even hightopped years at length are shut down from our memory by the bend of the vast cycles of Time.
How wonderfully true is it that we spend our lives as a tale that is told ! Come, go back with me. Who were the members of your father's family? Besides your bro. thers and sisters, who dwelt there? Who visited? Who came and went? Who were the neighbours ? These things were vivid realities to you when a child. What are they now ? Mere marks! As a landscape artist plants in the foreground figures with limbs and features clear, but in the far-off distance, when he would paint a figure, takes his brush and spots down a mere dash-a formless colour-mark: so to us are the living things of the neighbourhood. Some, to be sure, stand up and remain. But a million are forgotten where one remains.
Who went with you to the village school? Call the roll! Who were the successive teachers-Popes of the ferule ? Who were the girls ? Who the boys ? Then, when the uproarious school broke forth in tumult at dismissal, if I had asked you, you could have given every name. Now call them up! Who sat by you on the right? who on the left? Who were in the first class ? who in the second? These were important things then. Who was whipped ? and who was never once struck? These, to you, were then more important than the roar of European revolution, the burning of Moscow, the battle of Waterloo; but what do you remember of them? Some memories are more tenacious than others. A few will reproduce much; inore some; most, but little if any.
How much can you recall from the church? Who went with you? Who sat about you? Who were the old men ? Who were in their prime? And who, like yourself, was young? And if these living and throbbing realities are faded out, it will be useless for me to ask you after the sermons. They were gone before they were finished. They fell upon your dissolving ear as flakes of snow upon water, and were gone in the very act of touching.
How much do you recall from the green graveyard ? What memo ries come thence, from that populous city without a magistrate, without a law, where all who quarrelled on earth are now peaceable dust, keeping excellent neighbourhood.
And thus I might go on, tracing, step by step, your entrance upon life, your early endeavours, your first hopes of manhood.
But let us change the method, and try the truth of this description in another way.
Call up the unwritten dreams and reveries of the past. They have filled years in all. You have woven fabrics of every pattern in the loom of fancy. You have reared up castles, peopled them with heroes; you have lost and found treasures ; travelled and explored, fought and conquered, loved and won, all in airy fantasies ; and thus worn out the watchful night, or wiled pain from consciousness in the weary sickness. Is that part of your life gone ? All gone!
Birds gathered for flight in autumn, rising high above snare or shot, and flying towards equatorial summer, often chance in their course to cast a feather from the wing which carries them through the airbrilliant in colour and curved like a bow—which, wavering and swaying, falls into some thicket while they flock on. And when, the seasons changing, they are recalled, and fy now northward over the same ranges, they reach the spot where dropped the spent feather, can they see it or find it any more? It is lost and hidden for ever! And so our youthful fancies, which carried us far above human life and reality, are fallen, and like the downiest feather from the wing, are lost and forgotten! If a tale that is told fades, how much rather those untold traceries of thought and subtilest evolutions of inarticulate fancy!
Where are the admirations which set the mind all a-sparkle? Where is the record of the wonders, the surprises, the ten thousand excitements, which broke the level of life, and brought interjections to the lips ? That a dull routine should be forgotten is not strange. But where are the salient experiences of life, the events which beat
upon the attention like a drum, or roused up your passions like a trumpet ?
Only a few of all the myriads remain. As one who goes forth from a populous town, often looking back, sees it shrinking and growing smaller, houses fading, and the complexity of streets and buildings growing to a mere spot, and at length only beholds here and there a long spire against the sky, or single tower, all the rest confused and hidden; so in the past, but one or two high-reaching experiences remain, while all the diverse and populous experiences besides are covered down and forgotten!
Your years of the past have been built of the same materials as go now to build your days. What rising and falling emotions, what flow of endless thought, what perpetual succession of events, which arrest the attention and occupy the feelings; what endeavours, what successes, what failures, each with its train of joy or pain, and each so important as to seem to leave indelible marks upon the memory! Yet, though there have been ten millions of these, and though they were of strength sufficient to hold you in their thrall, and excite you with pleasure, or agitate you with alarm, or afflict you with grief, sweeping the soul as wind sweeps the sea, and raising as many tumultuous feelings as the sea hath waves, yet now the smooth memory has shed them all! The trees will sooner remember all the successive leaves whose bosoms prepared the food for the growth of the wood, than you will recall the innumerable experiences of the past which bare formed and fashioned you to the shape which you wear. The burdens which you could not carry for their weight are forgotten; the sorrows that pierced you to the heart have left scarcely their name; the troubles that blocked your way, the dangers that shook your courage, and all those things which in their time wrung from you cries and prayers for relief,—you have not only surmounted and outlived, but mostly forgotten.
Love alone stands with an undiminished memory! What we have once really loved we never forget. The friendship of youth, the warm and generous confidences of true affection, the tender worship of a true heart, are immutable! All other feelings write their memories upon glass with crayons,-Love writes upon crystal with a diamond. For of all the heart's powers, this alone is sovereign. And, being sovereign, God has crowned it with immortality, and given to memory charge to keep unwasted all its experiences. And memory, that is tenaclous of nothing else, lets nothing slip of the experiences of true loving.
Another year has passed! Its months and its weeks already are buried. Only days and hours remain. These are passing. One more sunrise only hath this year! The next morning shall shine upon the face of a new year!
Let us turn, and bid farewell to the past and the passing. Farewell o its cares, to its burdens, to its troubles. Farewell to fears and hopes and griefs. Farewell to its yearnings, its aspirations, its wrestlings. They are gone!
(Dec. 1, 1868 Farewell to many who walked the year with us to the companior that was to us as an angel of God, and is now an angel with God Farewell to the babe that was ours, and is God's, and therefore more than ever ours, though beyond the reach of our arms! But the heart tends it yet, and cradles it more vigilantly than ever. Farewell to our Christian brethren, who have heard the trumpet before us, and gone forward! Year, thy march is ending! Thy work is done! Pass Disappear! We shall see thee no more, until, reascending, we shall behold thy record in the All-judging Day!
THE WONDERFUL SACK.
Before it spread the meadow. “ Meow-meow !" complained the at She had no money in her till,
black cat ;
“Mew-mew!” the spotted kitter
ow!” the bark A whole year's steady knitting. Of Ranger at the wicket. She had worn her fingers to the
Is Ranger barking at the moon?
Or what can be the matter?
What trouble now ? “Bow-ow! boy
ow!”But that's not half her trouble. She hears the old gate clatter. Her best black gown was faded | brown,
“It is the wind that bangs the gat Her shoes were all in tatters,
And I must knit my stocking!" With not a pair for Sunday wear; But hush !-what's that? Rat-ta Said she, “ It little matters!
rat-tat! “Nobody asks me now to ride,
Alas! there's some one knocki My garments are not fitting;
“Dear me! dear me! who can it And with my crutch I care not much Where, where is my crut To hobble off to meeting.
handle?" “I still preserve my Testament,
She rubs a match with ha And though the Acts are missing,
scratch, And Like is torn, and Hebrews She cannot light the candle.
worn, On Sunday ’tis a blessing.
Rat-tat! scratch, scratch ! the wo
less match! “And other days I open it
The cat growls in the corner : Before me on the table,
Rat-tat! scratch, scratch! Up And there I sit and read and knit,
the latchAs long as I am able.”
“Good evening, Mrs. Warner.*