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AN EARTHLY STORY WITH A HEAVENLY MEANING,

A. TAVLOR

JVOTS.

Coming to himself.
And when he came to himself, he said, Irw many hired servants of my father's have

bread enough and to spare, ar.d I perisk w.lk hunger.”—St. Luke xv. 17.

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The Way Home. I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

-ST. LUKE XV. 18.

THE STAR SHOWER.

November 14, 1866.

H, to raise a mighty shout,
And bid the sleepers all come out!

Nodreamer's fancy, fair and high,
Could image forth a grander sky.
And oh, for eyes of swifter power
To follow fast the starry shower!
Oh, for a sweep of vision clear
To grasp at once a hemisphere !
The solemn old chorale of Night,
With fullest chords of awful might,
Re-echoes still in stately march
Throughout the glowing heavenly arch:
But harmonies all new and rare
Are intermingling everywhere,
Fantastic, fitful, fresh, and free;
A sparkling wealth of melody,
A carol of sublimest glee,
Is bursting from the starry chorus,
In dazzling exultation o'er us.
O wondrous sight! so swift, so bright,
Like sudden thrills of strange delight;
As if the stars were all at play,
And kept ecstatic holiday;
As if it were a jubilee
Of glad millenniums fully told,
Or universal sympathy
With some new-dawning age of gold.
Flashing from the lordly Lion,
Flaming under bright Procyon,
From the farthest east up-ranging,
Past the blessed orb* unchanging;
Ursa's brilliance far out-gleaming,
From the very zenith streaming;
Rushing, as in joy delirious,
To the

pure
white

ray

of Sirius;
Past Orion's belted splendour,
Past Capella, clear and tender;
Lightening dusky Polar regions,
Brightening pale encircling legions;
Lines of fiery glitter tracing,
Parting, meeting, interlacing;

Paling every constellation
With their radiant revelation!
All we heard of meteor glory
Is a true and sober story:
Who will not for life remember
This night-grandeur of November!
'Tis over now, the once-seen, dream-like

sight! With gradual hand, the clear and breezy

dawn Hath o'er the marvels of the meteor night A veil of light impenetrable drawn. And earth is sweeping on through starless

space, Nor may we once look back, the shining

field to trace. Ere next the glittering stranger throng

we meet, How many a star of life will seek the

west! Our century's dying pulse will faintly beat; The toilers of to-day will be at rest; And little ones who now but laugh and

play, Will weary in the heat and burden of the

day.

Oh, is there nothing beautiful and glad But bears a message of decay and change? So be it! Though we call it stern and sad, Viewed by the torch of Love, it is not

strange. 'Tis mercy that in Nature's every strain Deep warning tones peal out, in solemn

sweet refrain. And have not all created things a voice For those who listen farther-whispers low To bid the children of the light rejoice In burning hopes they yet but dimly

know? What will it be, all earthly darkness o'er, To shine as stars of God for everevermore!

FANNY R. H.

* " That admirable Polar Star, which is a blessing to astronomers,"-Prof. Airy's Popular Lectures on Astronomy.

DECAY OF LOVE IN MARRIED LIFE.

M

EN do not always realize how much And yet we cannot think of it so, nor is it

a woman's affections are bound up right that we should; for the fault is not in in home; how much she needs the love, but in our treatment of it, or else in our

daily tendernesses of love to lightenmistaking that for love which is only its coun. her daily cares

-how with love she can bear terfeit. anything cheerfully, while without it she droops and becomes a disheartened, disappointed crea- portion of unhappiness in married life is assignture. They do not know-perhaps they would

able to the latter cause. It cannot but be hardly believe-how women, prematurely old evident to all persons of the least reflection, and careworn from this cause alone, would, by that many of the attachments resulting in a few words of endearment, such as they never marriage do not deserve the sacred name of expected to hear again, be brought back almost love. A young man sees a young woman, or to youth and beauty-at least, from bare exist- vice versa, and is, in common phrase, bewitched; ence to happiness and life. How can a man and verily the attraction does not deserve a be willing to bind to himself a body of death, better name. A fair face, agreeable manner, to walk through the dreary years with a heavy. an indication of preferences-any sensuous hearted, duty-bound, care-burdened, disap

charm-suffices for its cause. pointed woman, to whom life has become a If the impression has been mutual, the fasci. monotonous round of uninteresting necessities, nated pair surrender themselves at once to the when, by a timely thoughtfulness, a little atten. sweet delusion, fancying that it will last for tion, a little love lovingly expressed, he might ever, abandoning all doubts, listening alone to secure the constant, healing, beautiful minis- the voice of passion, or, as they fondly term it, trations of

“the language of the heart.” They dream

through a six months' engagement, and a “A spirit bright

blissful honeymoon, and wake at length to the With something of an angel light” ?

realities of life, and, alas! too often to a sober

consciousness of their unfitness to meet them Oh, the phantoms of dead joys that flit

together through unhaunted houses! Oh, the hopes that lie buried under still lighted hearthstones!

It might yet be well, if recognizing this,

they should set themselves courageously to Oh, the murdered possibilities strewn thick along the ways, over the lowlands and the up

work to remedy, as far as possible, their mis. lands of life!

take; to become assimilated by introducing It is sorrowful indeed to think of the decay

some common principle of thought and action of love that once defied both time and change God. But few comparatively have the

-to draw pear each other in drawing near to -of the bitterness and strife which have suc

courage ceeded to the deepest tenderness. It is sor

and strength to do this. Most commonly, the rowful, and it is humiliating: for we involun

gulf between the married pair widens with the tarily ask ourselves the question, If those who

lapse of time, each casting the blame of the would once have scorned to think that the

separation upon the other, and brooding over least shadow could ever rest upon their mutual

uncongeniality and the want of appreciation, love-whose protestations of affection were so

through a lonely life. Or it

may be worse than

this. A man or woman in this condition is in ardent, and whose early married life so bright --if these can change, what security, what hope

a dangerous state. Either may meet with a is there for others ? Must we conclude that

person truly congenial, fitted to call forth a love is a delusion; or that, if real, it is

genuine love, and in the light of this experience

the chain of bondage shall seem even heavier “Momentary as a sound,

than before, the separation vider. Poor, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,

tempted, aching hearts! Great, very great, is Brief as the lightning in the collied night,

the strength required for the struggle. Let That in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, us mingle large measures of pity with our And, ere a man hath power to say, Behold! censure of those who fall in it. The jaws of darkness do devour it up."

Impulse is not affection; mere passion is not

love; nor is that marriage “honourable" in personal, but which is common to them both, the sight of God which is entered into only to and towards which their attention and passions legitimize the indulgence of passion. "Can are directed with still more animation than anything manly,” says Coleridge, "proceed towards each other. If the whole attention is from those who for law and light would sub. | to be directed, and the whole sentimentalism stitute shapeless feelings, sentiments, impulses, of the heart concentrated to each other; and which, as far as they differ from the vital it is to be an unvaried I towards you,

and

you workings in the brute animals, owe the dif. towards me,' as if each were to the other, not ference to their former connection with the an ally or companion joined to pursue happi. proper virtues of humanity ?" Friendship and ness, but the very end and object, happiness love must unite in every married union where itself; if it is the circumstance of reciprocation, happiness can be reasonably expected or truly and not what is reciprocated, that is to supply deserved ; and by friendship we mean an af- perennial interest to affection; if it is to be fection arising from pure sympathy of spirit, mind still reflecting back the gaze of mind, and independent of aught else. Let none look for reflecting it again, cherub toward cherub, as happiness in marriage, who are unable deli. on the ark, and no luminary or glory between berately and firmly to declare that it would be them to supply beams and warmth to both, I a happiness to live together for life, though foresee that the hope will disappoint, the plan they were of the same sex. We state this with will fail. Human society is a vast circle of some breadth, and do so with consideration; beings on a plain, in the midst of which stands we point to a hidden rock round which the the shrine of goodness and happiness, inviting ocean seems to smile in sunny calm, but on all to approach. Now the attached pairs in this which many a noble bark has perished.

circle should not be continually looking at eaeh There remains yet one more reason for the other, but should turn their faces towards this decay of love in married life which we would great central object, and, as they advance, they speak of: it is the want of a common and will, like radii from the circumference to the adequate object of interest, and the steady, centre, continually become closer to each other, persevering, mutually assisted pursuit of it. as they approximate to their mutual and ultimate We will explain our meaning by a quotation object.To conclude, in the words of Saint from the journal of John Foster; and it may Augustine, “ If souls please thee, be they loved not be impertinent to remark, in passing, that in God, for they, too, are mutable, but in Him Foster's own married life furnishes a most are they firmly established, else would they beautiful comment on his theory: “I have pass away. In Him, then, be they loved; and often contended that attachments between carry unto Him along with thee what souls friends and lovers cannot be secured strong thou canst, and say to them, 'Him let us love! and perpetually augmenting, except by the Him let us love!'” intervention of some interest which is not

J. C.

LIGHTS AND SHADES OF LIFE.

BY THE REV. J. B. OWEN, M.A., INCUMBENT OF ST. JUDE'S, CHELSEA ; AUTHOR OF

THE HOMES OF SCRIPTURE,” ETC.

I.-SAILOR-BOY WILLIE: Ax INCIDENT ON THE THAMES.
OME months ago, on one of my weekly | hand clasped in each of the females, sat a slim

runs down the river to Wapping and singularly handsome lad of about ten years
Church, three passengers embarked old, “all a-taut" in sailor-boy trim, whose close

with me in the steamer from Hun. resemblance to the widow bespoke the pair as gerford Pier. A rather dirty-faced, draggle

mother and son. tailed, rumpled-looking young woman of

I took a fancy to the young salt from an act thirty, officiated as travelling foil to

of agile civility which he showed me. As we neatly dressed, pale-faced, comely widow, ap- stopped alongside London Bridge, I wished to parently of the same age.

The latter was

buy an Evening Standard, but the boat was not carrying an infant. Between the two, with a near enough to the landing to exchange paper

a

B

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