Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Songs of the Garden .

BY MRS. ELLIS, AUTHORESS OF THE

66

WOMEN OF ENGLAND."

X.

The First to Die.
ELOVED and lovely are the flowers that

fall,
At once struck down by autumn's early

chill; Of the fair garden sisters, first of all

To feel the hand whose icy fingers kill. Beloved and lovely are the first who die While noonday sunshine lingers soft and

warm, While darkening clouds rest in the distant sky,

Nor wakes the anger of the sleeping storm. We deem them lovelier, that no eye may see

The wasting of their petals, one by one. In the lone darkness, and the mystery

Of midnight silence, death's cold work is done. Perchance with them the evening sun went down

In cloudless splendour, smiling to his rest, Tinging with glory many a flowery crown,

And scattering gold o'er many a starry crest. So passed the heliotrope, unseen in death:

Twilight had left her blooming on her bed ; So her last sigh of almond-scented breath

Floated away, and morning found her dead. So the tall dahlia bowed her head and died; And we who had not praised her charms

before, When the first frost of autumn smote her pride,

Told of her beauty, though she bloomed no

Sad Tidings.
NCE more, my garden friends, I come

to bring
My heart's sad burden and distress to

you. Cease, little birds, I would not hear you sing;

I only want to sit beneath the yew, And see, far off among

the walks and bowers, The graceful wreathing of my favourite

flowers. I want to breathe my sorrow, all unheard,

Save by those silent listeners-friends of old: I cannot bear the warble of the bird,

Who never knew a joy or grief untold: But the still flowers, their songs are soft and

low, In tones of beauty answering to my woe. My brother-he of radiant look and mien,

Who played beside you when a laughing bog, Who loved the garden walks, the woods of

green, And echoed back their summer songs of joyMy brother sleeps far off, where palm trees wave

In fitful shadows o'er his lonely grave. His foot, that lightly trod the shining ways

Of life, too little caring where it strayed, Will never more, as in those carly days, Seek the home garden,-rest beneath its

shade,-Or spring elastic o'er some flowery bed,

Eager to follow where the sunshine led. My brother died alone. The friend who kept

Untiring watch within his humble cot, O'er wearied, for a few brief moments slept,

Then woke, and called him, but he answered

more.

not:

Thus, when the light of human life and love

Fades in a moment, ah, how bright it seems! In memory's pictures beautiful, above

All that the minstrel sings, or poet dreams. Gone from the flowery paths-for ever gone!

And yet we never knew them less than fair! We never saw the dismal grey steal on,

To scatter ashes o'er their sunny hair. Call not such partings sad. The first to die

May be the meetest for the marriage-feast; Wakeful, and ready for the midnight cry,

May pass unquestioned in, a welcome guest.

Yct sure he thinks those blessed words had

come, "Enter, poor prodigal, thy Father's home." My brother's grave is on a far-off coast;

But, since I know at evening there was light, I cannot call our loved one dead or lost,

Only gone from us in the silent night; Gone in his beauty, like the flowers that lie

Struck down by early frost-the first to die.

The Home Library.

Sermons preached at King's Lynn. By the late choose what the righteous God has chosen, and crush

Rev. E. L. HULL, B.A. Third Edition. down the hesitation of self-will, and do what He has London: James Nisbet and Co.

willed, although the whole universo stood as His foe;

it is to have the whole body, soul, and spirit conRefinement of style, freshness of thought, trolled by the love, and baptized in the purity, of the beauty of expression, and force of reasoning; Eternal. will make these sermons attractive to all “ But in that absolute and literal sense there never readers. But the spirit of sanctified experience has been, nor can be, a righteous man upon earth, and which pervades them, and the power with

hence the question returns, In what sense is man the which the writer grasps and grapples with sinner made righteous? In what way does he become those metaphysical difficulties which serve so

so? The answer brings in that great paradox of largely to make up some men's discipline of

Christianity which contains in itself one great secret

of the present concealment of the glory of the godly. probation, give them a special value. The

Man becomes righteous by denying his own righteousauthor, it appears, died at the early age of one-and-thirty.

ness, and accepting that of another. So long as a His manuscripts were not man claims any fragment of righteousness in himself, revised by himself, and the sermons are partly as his own, he will find his trusted virtues fade into reported from notes only. These disadvantages, the withered rags of self-glory, and his fancied power however, have not deprived the sermons of a melt before the first great temptation that flashes on distinct and unbroken line of thought, and his way. It is when he feels that he is nothing, has have rather added to that reality and closeness nothing, and can do nothing; it is when, under that of appeal which more scholarly preparation

crushing sense of shameful impotence, he catches sight might have hindered. The closing sermon is

of Christ crucified, and commits himself utterly to

Him, that he begins to be fighteous and holy. The å very remarkable one, and the retired-we

old mystery, 'I am crucified with Christ: neverthemight almost say unknown-career of the

less I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me'-in gifted preacher affords a striking illustration its intense utterance of self-renunciation and trust in of the truth which it enforces.

another, expresses the secret of all the righteousness An extract from this sermon will show that that can ever live in a human soul. For it is by that our high opinion of the volume has not been act of self-renouncing faith that the heavenly power too strongly expressed. The text is, Then of Christ enters a man's spirit. 'He lives in me,' shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in

such a man may say, 'and, therefore, by renouncing the kingdom of their Father." The argument,

my own might, I have a might that can dash every turning on the word " then,is thus stated :

temptation from my career. I own myself dead, and

then, looking on Ilim, His living Spirit streams into “Our Saviour seems to imply that until then the my nature, and the holy, tender, victorious life of glory of the righteous must be, in a measure, con

Jesus becomes manifest in my mortal fesh. By feelcealed. He appears to teach us that in this world ing that I have nothing, I begin to have all things ; righteous men are seen imperfectly--clouded by their and God, whose far-seeing eye reads in that new lifo frailties, and veiled in the garment of the flesh; and of faith the germ of a perfect and eternal purity, that it is only then, when the story of the world has declares me to-day a righteous man.' ended, that the light which is in them shall break Taking that as the Christian idea of the nature of forth in all its splendour.”

righteousness, you will perceive at once why the

glory of the righteous is so greatly hidden now. Our After pointing out how truly this conceal. faith is, as yet, only the germ of a new creation, and ment of the glory of the righteous is a reality, often it is cradled in tears, and made strong by storms. the author proceeds to inquire into the reasons The very cares and duties attending our existence on of the concealment. Two reasons are advanced, this earth will tend sometimes to lessen our believing the one rising from the nature of righteous

surrender to Christ; ayd we maintain it only by reness in man; the other from the discipline by

sisting their power. It is hard to maintain that upwhich it is perfected. We give the treatment

ward look at the Saviour by which we grow righteous; of these two reasons :

we are tempted to look into our own experiences, and,

trusting them, our purity ceases to grow. We fancy, **(1.) We find the first reason in the nature of the in our hours of excited emotion, that we are strong only true righteousness ir man.

enough to meet temptation; we try, and we fall, and To perceive this, start the question, What is the learn, through bitter tears, how hard it is to keep that righteous man? In the absolute sense of the word, constant self-renunciation by which alone we become to be righteous is to have so strong a sympathy with right and true. Slowly, very slowly, through struggle that which is everlastingly right and true, that no and through storm, are we changed by faith into temptation to the wrong could make the man swerve righteous men; and who, then, can marvel if, amid aside, though it were backed by all the allurements of that life-long conflict, our glory is but dimly seen? the world and all the forces of hell; it is indeed to The germ of the golden grain is within the believer

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

men.

already, though the hour of its brilliant maturity has ! reform. Whatever the result of the recent er. not yet come. The morning dawn of the light that tension of the franchise may be-whether “the shall .shine forth in the kingdom of the Father,' is

leap in the dark” will bring us to firmer rising in his spirit even now, but the clouds and storms

ground or not-there can be no doubt whatof the early life yet veil it, and only the stray beams of its glory break upon our view.

ever, that our national prosperity would be “ (2.) We find a second reason for this concealment

promoted by the general adoption of such in the discipline by which the righteous are perfected.

counsel as this :“We have seen that by faith we become righteous. Start, now, the question, how that faith is to become

“ The inborn love of home and country should make deepened ?--and in the everlasting law of our nature,

us feel that the welfare of the nation depends upon the that faith grows strong only by trial, you have at

way in which our homes are conducted; so that every once another source of the concealment of the glory of man in his capacity as husband and father, to say the righteous soul. For the man whose inward life is

nothing of more public duties, should feel that he is

, one upward glance at Christ must learn to look on in a measure, responsible for the well-being of the Him with intenser stedfastness, by passing now and

country.” then through the valley in which the horror of great darkness' besets him behind and before, and voices of

The following words are quoted as having doubt whisper in the gloom. The heart that is to be

been addressed by “one of the highest-minded kept surrendered to the Saviour must reach its full teachers of our age” to a company of working surrender by the shattering of its hopes and loves, and

We wish every voter would get them by learn, through tears wept over vanished idols, that heart, and resolve to act upon them :nothing but the Eternal Love can satisfy its passionate desires. The spirit that, walking by faith, follow's “The possession of a vote gives to the workingthe path of the Redeemer, must be trained by sharp man a solemn responsibility. Let us not be told that unrest, and the sad sense of homelessness, to that the injury done by a wrong vote is small; it is not so pilgrim life that finds a home nowhere but in the that we measure responsibility. If there be a million mansions of eternity.

voters, and a man votes corruptly, it is true it is but “Here, in that law-faith grows by trial---we find the millionth part of the injury, which may arise from the solution of the mystery that has perplexed the a bnd law that is attributable to him; but responsibility thinkers in all ages-viz., the peculiar trials of the is measured not by the amount of injury which results, righteous. Unspiritual, worldly men, beholding the but by the measure of distinctness with which the consorrows of the Christian Saint, imagine they are judg- science has the opportunity of distinguishing between ments for secret sin. No! a thousand times no! right and wrong. That man is not worthy of a vote They form the discipline by which the faith of the in this country who gives his vote to the temptation righteous soul is purged from earthly mists and gifted of a bribe ; neither is he worthy who bribes a mun to with heavenly vision.

vote against his conscience. That man is not worthy “But this necessary discipline of their faith incritably of a vote who intimidates another; nor is he worthy concrals their glory. The world's eye sees little beauty

who suffers himself to be intimidated. That man in the crown of thorns, and is unable to perceive the misuses his privilege who corrupts by exclusive dealgrandeur of the faith that accepts the sorrow of the ing; so does he who votes solely from self or class heaviest cross for the sake of the Christ it cannot see.

interest." There are, indeed, flashes of spiritual glory, beaning now and then from the Christian spirit in its agony,

The Parish Tune Book. A selection of useful that are too bright to be concealed; but, usually, the psalm and hymn tunes for various metres. mass of men are unable to hear the undertone of Compiled by G. F. CHAMBERS, F.R.A.S., heavenly music that thrills through the cry of the Inner Temple. The harmonies revised Christian sorrow, or detect the robes of the heavenly by R. REDHEAD. London: Warne and Co. palace beneath the garments of great tribulation. “We cannot see this ourselves when we are the

The title of this Tune Book best describes it. subjects of trial. When by some gigantic sorrow a

The selection is excellent, and will supply the whole world of hope and affection is suddenly swept

lack of peculiar-metre tunes which has so long away--when our highest and noblest efforts are broken been felt. The amount of labour the work has into failures, --in those hours we are merely stunned and entailed may be judged from the fact that the overwhelmed by grief, and it is not easy-- nay, it is compiler states he has sifted no less than two almost impossible-- to see the glory brightening in the thousand tunes to get two hundred ! inner man, that at last shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of the Father.'”

Hymns. By H. B. London: Crocker and A True Briton. The Story of a Life. London:

Cooper.
Jarrold and Sons.

One of these hymns will be found in our preChristian patriots should take a note of this sent number. The others are quite equal to tract. By circulating it they will promote true it in excellence.

a

[graphic][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »