Page images
PDF
EPUB

pleasure, to act always as in his presence, and contented to be searched and tried; or, as St. Augustine says, “use me here as it pleaseth thee, so as hereafter it may be well with me.” Surely there is much of heaven in a life regulated in such a spirit.

It is to walk our appointed way in a halo of serene mild light, that infuses no unquiet thoughts, admits no guilty fears, and nothing to disturb or annoy us.

We have alluded to a species of resignation with which it may be feared many deceive themselves. But, observes one, “ The wounds which such stoicism would cauterize, religion heals." That only is the resignation which diffuses serenity to the perturbed spirit; which, when we are drinking the bitter cup, can say to him whose wisdom presents it, with intensity of faith and love can say, “ Thy will, not mine, be done.” “ It is God's will,” we say to ourselves, and this first thought supports our resignation. Does it not confer a dignity on sorrows to know we have a God to whose boundless love we inay confide them? With what eagerness, with what transport, does the afflicted soul

embrace the comfortable hopes which religion presents! We invoke the God of the “spirits of all flesh,” we pour out our hearts before him; our present agonies, our past griefs, and we are graciously enabled to rise from our interesting devotion with a spirit more serene, and filled with a tranquillity and hope that devotion has diffused through our souls. Such is the happiness of approaching him who is good, who can do every thing, whom none ever loved without receiving comfort.

It is such approaches to our Creator which renders the enquiring and humble spirit familiar with the high attributes of the Deity, before whom we bow with faith unfeigned, and love most reverent. We are enabled by his imparted Spirit of grace to bless him as much from the heart when he withers our gourds, as when he raises our pleasant plants; and that with a depth of feeling, of which, perhaps, none but the sorrow-stricken heart is capable. This is the resignation which religion teaches; this the sacrifice of self which it requires.

The Christian knows that blessed are those

M

who die in the Lord; even so saith the Spirit; and the heart of the Christian mourner, in its deepest distresses, has the witness of the Spirit to that consolatory assurance.

Live on in hope ; seek thy pure treasure there,
There, where the good man garners up his hope,
And if the record of his deeds be fair,
Esteems all else but vanity and dust;
Content to know, whate'er the lot he share,
That God appoints it still, and God is just.

Sonnet to Roscoe, 2nd vol. 114.

“ Religion tells of amity sublime

Which no condition can preclude. Of One Who sees all suffering, comprehends all wants. All weakness fathoms, can supply all needs."

“ THERE IS A SPIRIT IN MAN."

THERE are times when the divinity stirs within us; when the soul abstracts herself from the world, and the slow and regular course of earthly business does not keep pace with the heaven-directed mind. Then earth lets go her hold ; the soul feels herself more akin to heaven, and soaring upward, the denizen of her native sky, she begins to muse upon herself and her own capacities, and to hold self-discourse in a strain above mortality. Such thoughts and feelings may, perhaps, be deemed visions of the imagination; but we may certainly aver they are no unprofitable visions. Far from this, these moments of silence and meditation are often of eminent utility both to ourselves and others; for they

prove that the spirit is not always the bondman to the flesh; that there is something immortal in us, something that, amid the din of life, urges us to enquire after the attributes of a more spiritual nature. Let then the cares and the business of the world sometimes sleep, for this sleep is the awakening of the soul. It is led to recollect how high is its destination, even for the enjoyment of God for ever!

It argues a right frame of soul if, in these moments of self-retirement, we earnestly desire and fervently pray for a believing view of future glory, to which our Saviour has pointed the way, the harps of angels invite us, our departed loved ones attract us, and the voice of our gracious God calls, as our eternal rest. What so likely to awaken and to cherish these heaven-directed thoughts and aspirations as the bereavement of our dear friends ?

What means this transportation of our friends?
It bids us love the place where now they dwell,
And scorn the spot which they have left so poor.

Young.
But whether this great spiritual blessing

« EelmineJätka »