« EelmineJätka »
to feel for those involved in similar distresses; and when we thus own the benign influence of sympathy and act upon it by hastening to the relief of the afflicted, and endeavour to administer consolation to their sorrowful hearts, a soothing balm will be graciously vouchsafed, and shed upon our own.
It has been beautifully observed by Dr. Chalmers, (see Bridgewater Essay,) “God has so constituted our nature, that in the very flow and exercise of the good affections there shall be the oil of gladness. There is instant delight in the first conception of benevolence; there is a sustained delight in its continued exercise ; there is a consummating delight in the happy, smiling, and prosperous result of it. There is a happiness in the very wish to make others happy. There is a heart's ease, and a heart's enjoyment even in the first purposes of kindness, as well as in the subsequent performances.'
But as mourners we draw from even deeper and more copious fountains of consolation than those named. By calling into useful action the feelings implanted in our hearts,
we derive the exalted pleasure of giving glory to our God, and of imitating the bright example of our blessed Lord, with whom, through faith and hope, we are enabled to associate the beloved beings we mourn, removed from this transient scene of trial and probation, to fulness of joy and life for evermore!
Let us not then suffer our benevolent feelings to languish in inaction, under the pressure of absorbing grief, when every hour of life is, as it were, fraught with opportunities for its employment. Innumerable are the occasions by which we may prove our love to God by our love to man. By him, let us remember, we are placed under high responsibilities, briefly comprehended under the plain and simple precept, “Do good unto all men, as ye have opportunity.”
To the fulfilment of this duty, our divine Lord introduced us by the impressive force of his own perfect example. He went about continually doing good to the bodies and souls of men; and even in the midst of his own bitter agony, was mindful of the weak
ness, the sorrows, and the wretchedness of others. He has graciously bestowed upon us a moral capacity for the performance of good, while in his wisdom he has provided, by the dispensations of his providence, objects for the exercise and trial of our obedience to his commanded duty, or, (to use the expressive words of the same gifted writer, cited above,)
a rich gymnasium where we may learn, if not the triumphs of benevolence,* at least some delicious foretastes of that full and final blessedness, for which the scholarship of human life, with its manifold engagements and duties, is so obviously fitted to prepare us.
". The heart that feels another's woes,
Shall feel each selfish sorrow less;
The purest happiness shall bless."
* Original, “virtue.”
“ This world is all a fleeting show.” There faith lifts up the tearful eye,
There is an hour of peaceful rest,
To mourning wand'rers given ;
'Tis found above,-in heaven!
There is a soft and downy bed,
'Tis fair as breath of even; A couch for weary mortals spread, Where they may rest the aching head,
And find repose-in heaven!
There is a home for weeping souls,
By sin and sorrow driven, When toss'd by life's tempestuous shoals, When storms arise, and ocean rolls,
And all is drear-but heaven !
The heart with anguish riven, And views the tempest passing by; The evening shadows quickly fly,
And all serene-in heaven!
There fragrant flowers immortal bloom,
And joys supreme are given ; There
rays divine disperse the gloom :Beyond the confines of the tomb,
Appears the dawn of heaven!
From the Franklin Gazette.