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HOPE, DESTROYED AT DEATH, 1 I. It is a case of hope destroyed.
In such a case of bereavement as this,
there is a dark, a very dark side. The “Thou destroyest the hope of man." distress which the stricken parents suffer, W E are sitting in the house of mourn- leads them to look only on the dark side,
W ing. In the centre of the room is a and to refuse to admit that there is, or can coffin that contains the corpse of a little be, a brighter sidestill all must acknowchild- lovely in death — its little hands ledge that there is a sadness in such events folded-and the sweet smile yet impressed that is well adapted to spread a deep gloom upon its face, with which it peacefully fell over their hearts. asleep in the arms of Jesus. Seated at its! The hope of its physical life is destroyed. side are the bereaved young parents, from What a beautiful object, a wonderful whose fond embraces death had snatched piece of mechanism, is a human being ! it, and they are overwhelmed in their deep How interesting and lovely, especially, is grief. It was their only child—a babe of a little child! It is then a man or woman two summers—the joy of their hearts—the l in miniature--but a most beautiful miniason of their hopes and the light of their ture. How fondly do its parents contemdwelling. The feelings that swell in their plate the exquisite jewel as it lies nestling breasts as they sit beside the coffin that in its mother's bosom, and wonder mingles contains their lost treasure, and which will with joy in their hearts, that such a treain a few hours be laid away in the dark, sure is theirs. They watch over its life cold grave, are painful in the extreme. with ceaseless vigilance, and start up The fond dream which they had cherished alarmed, and clasp it anxiously to their concerning its early life is destroyed. In bosoms, on the approach of danger. They the anguish of their souls they look up to contemplate with an interest that never the hand that has dashed their darling tires, the expanding of its bodily form, expectations to the ground, and say,, and the gradual development of its “Thou destroyest the hope of man.” strength. They look forward with pleas
Yes, mourning ones! we have in the ling hope to the time when the helpless death of your dear babe an instance of infant in their arms shall have attained hope destroyed—but if we look beyond that its manhood, and shall move in society, which appears, and view this event in the loved and honored by its associates. Many light of the Gospel, we will perceive in it vague, yet pleasant dreams concerning its also a case of hope restored. It may be future life, are cherished in the deep heart profitable in this solemn hour to consider of hearts of those that gave it birth. it in both these aspects.
| But how sadly are all these fond dreams VOL. III. NO. 4.
scattered, and these cherished hopes des- | brightly in the morning, but ere it had troyed, when the cold hand of death is ascended a few degrees from the horizon, suddenly laid upon it. How distressing | its rays were all obscured by the dark are their feelings when they look upon it, clouds that involved the world in the but it is pale in death-its bosom heaves gloom of night. The tender plant had not—its hands move not—its eyes no sent forth its beautiful foliage and its bud longer sparkle with life and pleasure. of promise, but a worm appeared suddenly How dire is the calamity when the won- at the root, and the bud of hope sickened, derful piece of mechanism has become a and withered, and died. Its career of wreck—the machinery stands still—the life that had begun so hopefully, and that process of dissolution has commenced, and was so interesting to its parents, is unes. in a few days that which was once such a pectedly cut short. The past seems to lovely babe, will have become a mass of you but a pleasant dream, and the earthly corruption and dust. Oh, how dreadful is future that you had expected for it will death! How hard to resign it, with all never come. A sad void is made in your the fond hopes which its infant life had hearts — the object around which your awakened, to the cold and dreary embraces dearest affections were entwined, has been of the grave.
taken away—and the present and the The hopes that had been indulged concern- future are alike cheerless and without ing its mental improvement are destroyed. hope to you. Indeed, you cannot yet
Parents usually promise themselves a realize the extent of your calamity, but large amount of pleasure from contribut. for days, and weeks, and months, the loss ing to the development of the mental you have sustained will seem to increase, faculties of the immortal being that has and leave a more painful impression upon been confided to their care.
your hearts. At first its mind seems almost a blank,/ The hope of satisfaction and comfort and gives little promise of the mental im- / which its parents had promised themselves, provement of which it is capable. With a from the future kind offices of their child, degree of interest of which none can form are destroyed. an adequate conception but those who are! We all, as parents, promise ourselves parents themselves, does the parent's ob- some reward from the future dutiful conservant eye detect the first dawn of reason duct of our children, for the toils, and in its mind, and watc i the gradual unfold-tears, and anxieties which we have eniny of its mental powers. Day after day | dured on their account. Young and innothe process is observed with increasing cent as a little babe is, it not only rests its interest-traits of character are exhibited weigl:t on its mother's knee, but it also that were not observed before-and every lies as a burthen on her heart. No future new discovery of advancing intellectuality requital which it can make her will be an sends a thrill of pleasure to the bosom, adequate return for the bodily sufferings and adds an additional cord to bind it to - the midnight watchings— the mental its parents' affections. Plans of future anxieties and the nursing care endured training are formed_a bright career of and exercised on its account. The anxious honor is marked out, and expectations of parent cheerfully endures all this privasuccess in life are indulged, perhaps very tion, and performs the arduous task, in the wild and extravagant, but still very natural hope of realizing at a future time, some of to a parent's breast.
the fruits of present toil. The filial affec· But what a dreadful disappointment to tion shown by a child to its parent—its this pleasant dream is occasioned by the gratitude for parental care-its attention premature death of the subject of all these in sickness-its support in old age-and fond anticipations. The sun had arisen so the satisfaction derived from its general
HOPE, DESTROYED AT DEATII, RESTORED IN HEAVEN.
good conduct, and the position of respect- | as the case is, it is yet not unmingled with ability and usefulness it has attained in consolation. Your disappointed hopes will the world, afford substantial gratification all be revived again. to parents' hearts, and a partial remu Your child still lives. neration for parental cares and toils. J Would it startle you if a friend, in
Whatever hopes of this kind you had whose word you have the fullest confiwound around the life of your child, are dence, would pass to where you are sitall destroyed by the sad event which has ting, and whisper into your ear, that what deprived you of it. You have had the is enclosed in that coffin is only a mass of care of its infancy, and your consolation the cast-off garments of your babe—that is in the remembrance of the past, and in the child itself is not there, but that it the hopes of an earthly future. Its short is now in an adjoining room, as innocent, career is over. The sand of its little life and smiling, and happy as it ever was, was soon run. Its lips that smiled so and infinitely more so? Would you not sweetly upon you, will smile at the re- | at once dismiss your grief, and dry your cognition of your countenance no more. | tears, and feel relieved of the burthen that You will hear no more the laugh that now presses so heavily upon your hearts? betokened the joy of its soul, nor the | And is not such the fact, though somevoice that had begun to articulate its pa- | what different from the sense in which the rents' names. The warm thrill of joy that language employed to describe it would gleamed like an electric current through be ordinarily understood? The child “is your souls as you pressed it with a gush not dead, but sleepeth.” The body which of affection to your bosom, is still plea- is now a corpse, and which we will lay in sant to think upon, but cannot be realized the grave, is not that which constituted again. The recollection of the happy the true being of your child. That was moments you have spent in caressing the the tenement-the frail, clayey tenement dear object of your heart's idolatry, is - which it had inhabited for a season, the all the reward for the past-the hope of living tenant itself is not there. There future satisfaction with it on earth is is the casket-and it was indeed a beautidestroyed by its death.
ful casket—but still only the casket-the This is the dark side of this case, and precious jewel which it contained is no it is indeed gloomy and sad. It awakens longer in it, but is safe and uninjured, and our deep sympathies in your behalf, and beyond the reach of all peril. Death did we sincerely condole with you. But whilst not, and could not annihilate its being. we have admitted and dwelt upon the dark | It only separated the mysterious cords side of the picture, let us now turn to a that bound its real life to a mass of heavy brighter side. Dark as the picture is, clay, so that it is now released and free. there is yet a bright side. The darkness Death could not really touch your child. is not so profound, but the rays of some It could affect the gross matter with bright, twinkling stars can penetrate it. which its spiritual and nobler nature was The night is not so dark and gloomy but clogged, but that nobler nature itself it the rosy morning will break and chase it could not affect. It is really therefore not all away. In our contempla ion of the dead. It still lives. Do not mourn it as case, we have considered it as furnishing dead. Think of it as living, for such an instance of hope destroyed—let us now indeed it is. Such a view of the caselook at it again, and we will discover that and it is the true view to be taken of it, it also presents a case of
will restore hope to your hearts, although II.-Hope restored.
the first view seemed to destroy all hope. You are not left utterly hopeless. Your Your child is happier now than it was sorrow is not the agony of despair. Sad before.