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ON THE DEATH OF A LITTLE CHILD.
“ The less of this cold world, the more of heaven,
THE visits of Death, at whatever hour and under
whatever aspect he presents himself, are always solemn. Where is the man who can follow even an infant to its grave, without ling his compassion moved? Where is the human being who can see a little child carried to the house appointed for all the living, and not he melted into tenderness?
Clouds and darkness are round the throne of God; his ways are often past finding out; yet of this we may be assured, that, whether he withholds or gives, whether he refuses or bestows, his determinations are founded in wisdom and righteousness and mercy.
On a cursory view, it seems to be among the appointments of his providence, which serve but to astonish and confound, that any of his rational creatures should be born only to breathe, and die; and that children should be compelled to close their eyes upon the world before their faculties can be developed,-just when their sportive innocence and their broken accents of affection are beginning to repay the cares, and more than ever to engage the hearts, of those who have the deepest concern in their welfare. We can hardly resist our inclination to ask, why they were not permitted to attain to years of reason and understanding ? and why all the pleasing expectations with which the Author of our frame has gladdened a parent's bosom, should be dashed in a moment to the earth? God alone can judge of times and seasons; and to his will it is always our interest as well as our duty to bow with awed and unquestioning submission : “ Even so, Father! for so it seemeth good in thy sight!”
In the present instance, however, we shall perhaps, on maturer reflection, discern enough to satisfy our doubts, and to confirm our faith. Had it pleased the Dispenser of our circumstances to arrest the progress of disease, and to raise the little sufferer from her couch, those feelings of nature, which prompted such unceasing efforts for the restoration of her health and strength, would assuredly have been kindled into devout gratitude,-would have been quick to acknowledge, and assiduous to improve, the rich, the inestimable blessing. Yet who can tell what trials might have awaited her in the further progress of her days? Who can describe the pains and languors of which she might have been the victim? Who can say with what temptations God might have seen fit to visit her? or through what thorny and rugged paths she might have been called to pass ?
Nor is this all. There are brighter beams of light and consolation to which the mourner in Zion may open his darkened and sorrowing spirit. “ It is not the will of your Heavenly Father that one of these little ones should perish.” They sleep ini Christ; and will appear among those whom Christ shall bring with him, at the last day, to the eternal mansions of his Father's house. You can accompany their angel-forms in your imagination, to a better and a happier world, where the Saviour, who while on earth “ suffered the little children to come unto him and forbade them not,” will gather the lambs into his bosom, and cast around them the arms of his love. “ Of such is the kingdom of heaven.” In the paradise of God, and around the tree of life, these plants will again unfold their blossoms, beneath the radiance of an undeclining sun, and bring forth fruits unto immortality. Possessing this assurance, “ let us be patient in tribulation, and rejoice in hope.”
And oh! how blessed beyond all bliss will be the pious and affectionate parent when he shall meet his long-lost children, after the separation of the tomb, “ in the effulgence of the uncreated and immortal light!" He will then discover that his love for them has not been in vain. He will then find that the tenderness with which he listened to their cries, and the anxious solicitude with which he hung over their sick and dying pillow, have not been forgotten. They are all written in the book of God's remembrance; and joyful will be the remembrance in that day when the book is opened.
Happy they who instead of mourning in gloomy and hopeless despair, can solace their hearts with these great and precious promises! Let our fervent prayers ascend to the God of peace, that he would fill us with all peace and joy in believing, and preserve us blameless and without rebuke to the coming of our Lord. Amen.
THE END OF THE GOOD MAN'S
(REV. DR. TOWNSON.] We read that in certain climates of the world,
the gales that spring from the land carry a refreshing smell out to sea, and assure the watchful pilot that he is approaching a desirable and fruitful coast, when as yet he cannot discern it with his eyes. And, to take up, once more, the comparison of life to a voyage, in like manner it fares with those who have steadily and religiously pursued the course which heaven pointed out to them. We shall sometimes find by their conversation, towards the end of their days, that they are filled with hope, and peace, and joy; which, like those refreshing gales and reviving odours to the seaman, are breathed forth from Paradise upon their souls, and give them to understand, with certainty, that God is bringing thein unto their desired haven.
THE CHRISTIAN DEATH-BED.
(REV. HENRY MELVILL.] WE look not always for
triumph and rapture in the death-bed of the righteous. But if there be not ecstasy, there is often that composedness in departing believers, which shews that the lasting arms” are under them and around them. It is a beautiful thing to see a Christian die. The confession, while there is strength to articulate, that God is faithful to his promises, the faint pressure of the hand, giving the same testimony, when the tongue can no longer do its office; the motion of the lips, inducing you to bend down, so that you catch broken syllables of expressions such as this,“Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly;" these make the chamber in which the righteous die one of the most privileged scenes upon earth, and he who can be present, and gather no assurance that death is fettered and manacled, even while grasping the believer, must be either inaccessible to moral evidence, or insensible the most heart-touching appeal.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST.
[REV. DR. DEALTRY.] TO
O a mind which is disposed to serious medita
tion, how many subjects of deep interest are suggested by the condition and destiny of man! If we look back for a few years, not one of the many