Imagens da página

much studied, nor is any labour too great to secure them. Here is a most sacred duty. Indifference to the interest and pleasure of those so near you, whose very form and features are but a reflection of your own, is melancholy proof of a selfish spirit, and the absence of every virtue and noble feeling

Through days and years you must of necessity mingle together, and the amount of harmony and happiness, or of discord and sorrow, which this relation creates, is almost incalculable. And what is more becoming, more lovely, than the union of those little hands, and the mingling of those young hearts, who have been cradled on the same bosom, and are still sheltered by the same roof? And what so honourable and engaging, in after life, as brothers and sisters still affectionately united; most interested in each other's pleasure? who to the love of nature, instinet, and the nursery, have added the stronger and sacred bond of matured affection, and whose honour and happiness, and safety, lie in continuing and strengthening it in riper years?

There is something always affecting in parental care, and in the warm glow of filial love; and yet there is an indescribable interest thrown around the fraternal affections, which often surpasses both, and which borrows from both a peculiar sacredness. As parental care must soon cease, and filial love find its objects no more on earth, the fraternal relation, where peace and mutual happiness are studied, exhibits the fruits of the one, and opens a broad and beautiful sphere for the exercise of the other; and whoever beheld a family, where this peace and happiness were sought, without an assurance of its continucd prosperity and happiness when parents shall be no more! And though their offspring are left tender and young, and exposed, in their mutual love, the parental blessing lives, and, through the eternal covenant, smiles the mercy of God. Let brothers and sisters study peace, and promote, as their own, each other's happiness; and so live, that their purest and highest joys shall be found in each other's society.

There is more than language can describe, in brothers treading hand in hand the path of life, and sisters resting

in confidence and love on a brother's smiles, and leaning for protection and support on a brother's arm.

As, arm in arm, the forest rose on high,
A lesson gave of brotherly regard ;
And, on the mountain brow expos’d,
Bearing the blast alone-the ancient oak
Stood, lifting high his mighty arm, and still,

To courage in distress, exhorted loud. Nor should this interest and love be permitted to die away in after years, but be cultivated with increased care, as new and more distant relations are formed; when fears, perhaps begin to rise, that your love and interest may become estranged from those whose happiness has so long been in your hands. That sister is unworthy a husband's confidence, who can erase from her heart the affectionate remembrance of a brother left at home to cheer the parental fireside; and that brother is a brute, who, in a husband's love, can forget a sister's want and tenderness.

In these separations, which must occur in life, do not lose nor fail to express mutual and continued remembrance, Forget not that you are brothers and sisters still, and that with all the relations you can form on earth, you can know no more of these. Often exchange the kind expressions of continued interest and affection. Pledge and extend aid and relief when needed, and carry to your graves the remembrance that you are “ members one of another.” United by nature, be united by grace, in the sympathies of a santified fraternity.

Where there are brothers and sisters, it is painful to see them preferring to be separate. It indicates a want of the finer feelings of our nature; of those delicate and affectionate sensibilities which are the surest pledges of future dignity and decorum. The eye of an intelligent observer here reads more of character than you perhaps imagine.

One of the finest writers on domestic prosperity and the fraternal duties, says, “Seck your happiness in each other's society. What can the brother find in the circle of dissipation, or among the votaries of pleasure, to be compared to this?

What can a sister find amidst the concert of sweet sounds, that has music for the soul, compared with this domestic harmony ? Or, in the glitter and fashionable confusion, and the merry dance, compared with those calm, sequestered joys, which are found at the fireside of a happy family ?"

There can be no spot more sweet, profitable, and enchanting, than that domestic circle, where wise and affectionate parents witness the fruit of their labours, in the love and interest to make happy, which pervade the hearts and actuate the lives of brothers and sisters. They now most amply repay the labour and the care bestowed, and give the pledge of mutual love and protection, when parental care and kindness shall be suspended by death.


THE NOBLEMAN'S DAUGHTER. The daughter of an English nobleman was providentially brought under the influence of the followers of Wesley, and thus came to the saving knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. The father was almost distracted at the event, and by threats, temptations to extravagance in dress, by reading, and travelling in foreign countries, and to places of fashionable resort, took every means in his power to divert her mind from “ things unseen and eternal.” But her “ heart was fixed." The God of Abraham had become “ her shield and exceeding great reward," and she was determined that nothing finite should deprive her of her infinite and eternal portion in him, or displace him from the centre of her heart. At last the father resolved upon a final and desperate experiment, by which his end should be gained, or his daughter ruined, as far as her prospects in iife were concerned. A large company of the nobility were invited to his house. It was so arranged, that during the festivities, the daughters of different noblemen, and, among others, this one, were to be called on to entertain the company with singing and music on the piano. If she refused compliance, she would be publicly disgraced, and lose, past the possibility of recovery, her place in society.

It was a dreadful crisis; and with peaceful confidence did she await it. As the crisis approached, different individuals, at the call of the company, performed their parts with the greatest applause. At last, the name of his daughter was announced. In a moment all were in fixed and silent suspense to see how the scale of destiny would turn. Without hesitation, she arose, and with calm and dignified composure took her place at the instrument. After a moment spent in silent prayer, she ran her fingers along the keys, and then, with an unearthly sweetness, elevation, and solemnity, sang, accompanying her voice with the notes of the instrument, the following stanzas:

No room for mirth or trifling here,
For worldly hope, or worldly fear,

If life so soon is gone ;
If now the Judge is at the door,
And all mankind must stand before

Th' inexorable throne.

No matter which my thoughts employ;
A moment's misery or joy!

But, 01 when both shall end,
Where shall I find my destined place?
Shall I my everlasting days

With fiends or angels spend ?

Nothing is worth a thought beneath,
But how I may escape the death

That never, never dies !
How make mine own election sure,
And when I fail on earth, secure

A mansion in the skies.

Jesus, vouchsafe a pitying ray,
Be thou my guide, be thou my way

To glorious happiness I
0! write the pardon on my heart !
And whensoe'er I hence depart,

Let me depart in peace.

The minstrel ceased. The solemnity of eternity was upon that assembly. Without speaking, they dispersed. The father wept aloud, and when left alone, sought the counsel and prayers of his daughter for the salvation of his sonl. His soul was saved, and his great estate consecrated to Christ. I would rather be the means of communicating such thoughts in such circumstances, and aid in the production of such results; I would rather possess wisdom thus to speak as occasion requires, than to possess all that is finite besides. What hymn, what thought in the universe could be substituted for the one then uttered? The time, the occasion, the thought expressed, the hallowed and “sweet manner" of its utterance, present full realization of all that is embraced in our idea of fitness. That surely was "a word fitly spoken.”


THE annals of the reign of Catherine II., make mention of one cphemeral palace, which, like that of Pandæmonium,

“Out of the earth, a fabric huge,

Rose like an exhalation;" and like an exhalation vanished, not leaving a wreck behind. From a true and particular account of this ice palace, drawn up by Kraft, an imperial academician, and published at St. Petersburgh the year after its erection, it appears, that seven years before, an ice castle had been built on the river Neva; but the ice bent under the weight of the edifice and of the soldiers who garrisoned it. To avoid a similar defect in the foundation, it was resolved, on the occasion of the marriage of Prince Galitzin, in 1740, to erect a palace of ice on terra firma; and a site was chosen between the imperial winter palace and the admiralty, one of the lords of the bed-chamber being appointed to superintend the works. The palace was constructed of blocks of ice, from two to three feet thick, cut out of the winter covering of the Neva ; these being properly adjusted, water was poured between them, which acted as cement, consolidating the whole into one immense mass of ice. The length of the edifice was fifty-six feet, its breadth seventeen feet and a half, and its height twenty-one. It

« AnteriorContinuar »