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be vouchsafed or denied, it behoves us submissively to bow to the will of our Creator, assured that whatever is for his own glory and our permanent good, he will certainly bestow. In every case patience will remove doubt and discouragement; for we must inevitably shortly pass into that never-ending state, where our knowledge of spiritual things will be perfect: and, oh! what a source of strong consolation is it to know, that when our heart fails and our strength fails, when the Lord hath added grief to our sorrow, when we faint in our sighing and find no rest, then our God is the strength of our heart, and (will be) our portion for ever! Yes, blessed be God, we may confide in his assurance, that, “ as our day is so shall our strength be."

This soul-cheering doctrine is applicable to every situation in which a frail and weak human being may be placed, and eminently calculated to administer consolation under afflictive dispensations. What a steadfast anchor it offers to the agitated soul, when tossed by the storm of distress, to know that


in proportion to our danger and our helplessness will our Creator impart his aid and his strength.

O may our faith never fail to realize this divine support, and thankfully acknowledge the blessedness of it; praising him who, in the inestimable gift of his holy revealed word, enables us at once to supply, through faith, the bereavement of temporal comforts by the glorious vision of future blessedness, and excites us to use all diligence to ensure, through our Redeemer, our eternal wellbeing !

O, when we search out our spirit, and enquire what are the thoughts that fluctuate there, let us remember that there is a season of correction, appointed in mercy by a gracious God, to bring us nearer to him ; a time to mourn-dark clouds in our moral world, as in the natural, which, though gloomy and dreary to the vision, are yet full fraught with fructifying influences, and generally succeeded by fruitfulness and beauty.

Such are the dark clouds of sorrow in their salutary effect on our moral being and our

spiritual graces ; for those clouds literally break in rich blessings on our head, bringing forth fruits of joy unspeakable and full of glory. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted,” says holy David, “that I might understand the wondrous things of thy law. Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I have kept thy word.” These clouds of sorrow are in

mercy vouchsafed by Heaven, to lead the immortal spirit to reflection and self-improvement, by profitable meditation on our being and our end. Thoughtful serenity is the concomitant of solitary devotion. Much spiritual instruction may be derived from conversing with the silent dead, for the awakened soul is thereby prepared for heavenly communion, and our confidence in our God becomes in proportion stronger and stronger.

- Children of woe, awake!
The Lord thy footsteps yet hath led,

And will not now forsake.".
“O raise thine eyes, and dare to trust
Jehovah's changeless word,”

Ismael, Prize Poem, Stanza 15.


Through all the various shifting scene

Of life's condition, ill or good, Thy hand, O God, conducts, unseen,

The beautiful vicissitude.

Thou givest with paternal care,

Howe'er unjustly we complain, To each their necessary share,

Of joy or sorrow, health and pain.

Trust we to youth, or friends, or power?

Fix we on this terrestrial ball ? When most secure, the coming hour,

If thou seest fit, may blast them all.

When lowest sunk with grief or shame,

Fill'd with affliction's bitter cup, Lost to relations, friends, and fame,

Thy powerful hand can raise us up.

Thy powerful consolations cheer ;

Thy smiles suppress the deep-drawn sigh ; Thy hand can dry the anguish'd tear

That rises in the mourner's eye.

All things on earth and all in heaven,

On thy eternal will depend ;
And all for greater good were given,

And all shall in thy glory end.

This be my care-to all beside

Indifferent let my wishes be : Passion be calm, and dumb be pride,

And fix'd, O God, my soul on thee!

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