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Nestled the lowly primrose. Childless dames,
And maids that would not raise the reddened eye,
Orphans, from whose young lids the light of joy
Fled early,—silent lovers, who had given
All that they lived for to the arms of earth,
Came often, o'er the recent graves, to strew
Their offerings, rue, and rosemary, and flowers.
The pilgrim bands who passed the sea to keep
Their Sabbaths in the eye of God alone,
In his wide temple of the wilderness,
Brought not these simple customs of the heart
With them. It might be, while they laid their dead
By the vast solemn skirts of the old groves,
AJnd the fresh virgin soil poured forth strange flowers
About their graves; and the familiar shades
Of their own native isle, and wonted blooms,
And herbs were wanting, which the pious hand
Might plant or scatter there, these gentle rites
Passed out of use. Now they are scarcely known,
And rarely in our borders may you meet
The tall larch, sighing in the burying-place,
Or willow, trailing low its boughs to hide
The gleaming marble. Naked rows of graves
And melancholy ranks of monuments,
Are seen instead, where the coarse grass, between,
Shoots up its dull green spikes, and in the wind
Hisses, and the neglected bramble nigh,
Offers its berries to the schoolboy's hand,
In vain—they grow too near the dead. Yet here,
Nature, rebuking the neglect of man,
Plants often, by the ancient mossy stone,
The briar rose, and upon the broken turf
That clothes the fresher grave, the strawberry vine
Sprinkles its swell with blossoms, and lays forth
Her ruddy, pouting fruit.

LESSON IX.

The Elevated Character of Woman.Carter

The influence of the female character is now felt and acknowledged in all the relations of life. I speak not now of those distinguished women, who instruct their age through the public press. Nor of those whose devout strains we take upon our lips when we worship. But of a much larger class; of those whose influence is felt in the relations of neighbor, friend, daughter, wife, mother.

Who waits at the couch of the sick to administer tender charities while life lingers, or to perform the last acts of kindness when death comes? Where shall we look for those examples of friendship, that most adorn our nature; those abiding friendships, which trust even when betrayed, and survive all changes of fortune? Where shall we find the brightest illustrations of filial piety? Have you ever seen a daughter, herself, perhaps, timid and helpless, watching the decline of an aged parent, and holding out with heroic fortitude to anticipate his wishes, to administer to* his wants, and to sustain his tottering steps to the very borders of the grave?

But in no relation does woman exercise so deep an influence, both immediately and prospectively, as in that of mother. To her is committed the immortal treasure of the infant mind. Upon her devolves the care of the first stages of that course of discipline, which is to form of a being, perhaps, the most frail and helpless in the world, the fearless ruler of animated creation, and the devout adorer of its great Creator.

Her smiles call into exercise the first affections, that spring up in our hearts. She cherishes and expands the earliest germs of our intellects. She breathes over ua her deepest devotions. She lifts our little hands, and teaches our little tongues to lisp in prayer. She watches over us, like a guardian angel, and protects us through all our helpless years when we know not of her cares and her anxieties on our account. She follows us into the world of men, and lives in us and blesses us, when she lives not otherwise upon the earth.

What constitutes the centre of every home? Whither do our thoughts turn, when our feet are weary with wandering, and our hearts sick with disappointments? Where shall the truant and forgetful husband go for sympathy unalloyed and without design, but to the bosom of her, who is ever ready and waiting to share in his adversity or his prosperity. And if there be a tribunal, where the sins and the follies of a froward child may hope for pardon and forgiveness, this side heaven, that tribunal is the heart of a fond and devoted mother.

Finally, her influence is felt deeply in religion. "If Christianity should be compelled to flee from the mansions of the great, the academies of philosophers, the halls of legislators, or the throng of busy men, we should find her last and purest retreat with woman at the fireside; her last altar would be the female heart; her last audience would be the children gathered round the knees of the mother; her last sacrifice, the secret prayer escaping in silence from her lips, and heard, perhaps, only at the throne of God"

LESSON X.

The Incarnation.Milman.

For thou wast born of woman, thou didst come,
O Holiest! to this world of sin and gloom,
Not in a dread omnipotent array;

And not by thunders strewed

Was thy tempestuous road;
Nor indignation burnt before thee on thy way:
But thee, a soft and naked child,
Thy mother, undefiled,
In the rude manger laid to rest
From oft'her virgin breast.

The heavens were not commanded to prepare

A gorgeous canopy of golden air;

Nor stooped their lamps th' enthroned fires on high;

A single silent star

Came wand'ring from afar,
Gliding unchecked and calm along the liquid sky;
The Eastern Sages leading on,
As at a kingly throne,
To lay their gold and odors sweet
Before thy infant feet.

The earth and ocean were not hushed to hear
Bright harmony from every starry sphere;
Nor at thy presence brake the voice of song

From all the cherub choirs,

And seraph's burning lyres Poured through the host of heaven the charmed clouds along, One angel troop the strain began,

Of all the race of man,

By simple shepherds heard alone,

That soft Hosanna's tone.

And when thou didst depart, no car of flame
To bear thee hence in lambent radiance came;
Nor visible angels mourned with drooping plumes:

Nor didst thou mount on high

From fatal Calvary,
With all thine own redeemed outbursting from their tombs,
For thou didst bear away from earth
But one of human birth,
The dying felon by thy side, to be
In Paradise with thee.

Nor o'er thy cross did clouds of vengeance break,
A little while the conscious earth did shake,
At that foul deed by her fierce children done;

A few dim hours of day,

The world in darkness lay,
Then basked in bright repose beneath the cloudless sun:
While thou didst sleep beneath the tomb,
Consenting to thy doom,
Ere yet the white-robed Angel shone
Upon the sealed stone.

And when thou didst arise, thou didst not stand
With devastation in thy red right hand,
Plaguing the guilty city's murtherous crew;

But thou didst haste to meet

Thy mother's coming feet,
And bear the words of peace unto the faithful few:
Then calmly, slowly didst thou rise
Into thy native skies,
Thy human form dissolved on high
Into its own radiancy.

LESSON XI.

Contemplation of the Starry Heavens.Chalmers.

There is much in the scenery of a nocturnal sky, to lift the pious soul to contemplation. That moon, and these stars, what arc they? They are detached from the world,

and they lift }rou above it. You feel withdrawn from the earth, and rise la lofty abstraction above this little theatre of human passions and human anxieties.

Tne mind abandons itself to revery, and is transferred, ni the ecstasy of its thoughts, to distant and unexplored regions. It sees nature in the simplicity of her great elements, and it sees the God of nature invested with the high attributes of wisdom and majesty.

But what can these lights be? The curiosity of the human mind is insatiable, and the mechanism of these wonderful heavens has, in all ages, been its subject and its employment. It has been reserved for these latter times to resolve (his great and interesting question. The sublimest powers of philosophy have been called to the exercise, and astronomy may now be looked upon, as the most certain and best established of the sciences.

We know that every visible object appears less in magnitude as it recedes from the eye. The lofty vessel as it retires from the coast, shrinks into littleness, and at last appears in the form of a small speck on the verge oftho horizon. The eagle with his expanded wings, is a noble object; but when it takes its flight, into the upper regions of the air, it becomes less to the eye, and is seen like a dark spot upon the vault of heaven. The same is true of all magnitude. The heavenly bodies appear small to the eye of an inhabitant of this earth, only from the immensity of their distance.

When we talk of hundreds of millions of miles, it is not to be listened to as incredible. For, remember that we are talking of those bodies, which are scattered over the immensity of space, and that space knows no termination. The conception is great and difficult, but the truth is unquestionable.

By a process of measurement, we have ascertained first the distance, and then the magnitude of some of those bodies which roll in the firmament; that the sun, which presents itself to the eye under so diminished a form, is really a globe, exceeding, by many thousands of times, the dimensions of the earth which we inhabit; that the moon itself has the magnitude of a world: and that even a few of those stars, which appear like so many lucid points to the unassisted eye of the observer, expand into large circles, upon the application of the telescope, and are some of them much larger than the ball which we tread upon and to which we proudly apply the denomination of the universe. * * * *

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