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sickness, and my gay and active hours become a weight and a weariness to me, I will not say my portion is a hard one. All those things of which I am deprived were thine or ever they were mine-I had no right to them, even at the first-much less a claim to keep them longer. I will not look out upon the green hills, and wish that I might claim their summits- I will not listen to each departing footstep, and wish that I might go forth and drink the evening breeze-fretting my spirit to impatience for that which is forbidden me. Rather let me turn my thoughts inward on myself, or upward to my God, to learn, if I may, the meaning of this dispensation, and the designs of heaven in thus afflicting me. They say it is sad to see one so young, so early borne down by lingering sickness. But what do they know? Perhaps, as I was walking blindfold towards futurity, there was some unsuspected evil on my path, from which nothing but this sickness could have saved me. O, my Father! I can read much, and thou hast read far more, of what was in my heart, when, in the full hey-day of health and spirits, I was setting forth upon my sublunary voyage. Perhaps thou sawest there such deepsown germ of vanity, of pride, of selfishness, or some unholy passion, that nothing short of this painful excision could have checked its growth. Do I desire that thou hadst spared it? Has pain more bitterness than sin ? Are these nights of weariness more hard to bear than the still whispers of a conscience shamed and ill at ease? O no! Rather let my cheek be pale with the sickness of death, than suffused with the blush of shame, though none but thou, O God, be nigh to mark it. · Before I was afflicted, I went astray~I know not myself how far. I was too busy to examine my own heart and the motives of my conduct. Beloved, and applauded, and successful, I did not pause to consider how my Father in heaven was pleased wbile all around me smiled. I was too happy to set my affections on eternal things; the present sufficed me, and left no place for more. And thee, my Saviour, I did not seek thee, because I did not want thee. My replete and sated spirit hungered not and thirsted not, and came not to thee to be fed. But now compelled, as it were, to sit down upon the road, I have had time to look behind me, and before me, and about me; and if I have looked upon some unwelcome truths, and learned some uneasy lessons, I have surely learned some beside whose sweetness I would not part from to escape ten thousand times the price of suffering I have paid for them. What do we lose, if in taking account of our possessions, all things prove of less value than we thought them, excepting one thing, and that of so inestimably more, as far outvalues all we thought we had. If I have proved how unstable are all the delights of youth, and health, and gaiety, since one cold blast could put them all to flight, I have proved, too, the faithfulness, and love, and tender pity of the Saviour I knew before, but never tried so deeply. I have learned how sweet it is, when all the interest of life is suspended by the want of power to enjoy it, to have a scene to gaze upon that grows into distinctness as the other fades in distance: how cheering when the friends you have loved, pow soon, perhaps, to be parted from, come but to gaze on you with anxious and tearful eyes, to know that whatever symptom threatens to divide you from them, does also promise to bring you to Him who loves you more than they.
Very little in the hours of health did I guess of the altered judgment I should form of things, when I came to view them from the bed of sickness. In looking back upon my life, I could smile, were it not for shame, at memory of the trifles that used to ruffle my spirit and destroy my happiness—the follies with which I could take up and call it enjoyment-my little resentments, and jealousies, and impatience, at things now seeming of no account. In looking inward on myself, the aspect is no less altered. The faults for which I used to make excuse, the sin I considered but as the guiltless infirmity
of my nature, nay, very many things I thought to be no wrong at all, are now become my burden and my shame, more poignant, more intolerable, than all my bodily suffering. And looking forward, death seems to me no more a distant and invisible enemy-eternity no more a vague and undefined expectation of I know not what and instead of a mere thing of course, a stale and heartless theme, my Saviour's life on earth, his love, his boli. ness, his agonizing death, has become my bosom's only hope, my sorrow's consolation.
And shall I be impatient of the lesson that teaches me all this? No, rather let me pray it may be continued till all this is fully learned. It cannot be given in anger, Had God not loved me, he would not have interrupted my enjoyments, and brought me to the solitary chamber where he meant to restore me by his truth, to comfort me with his love, and by his grace subdue and sanctify my soul. Shall I wish he had not loved me thus? Be far from me every impatient and repining thought It is true, alas ! that nature sinks and my spirit is faint within me. Conscience seizes on the moment of weakness to remind me that when I had the health that is gone from me, I used it in frivolous and vain pursuits when I had all the powers of my mind in natural action, I expended them upon the things of time, and refused my life's best moments to my Maker's service. And will he now accept this worthless remnant-these spiritless and painful hours of which I can make no other use, and therefore am willing to concede to him? An earthly friend would scorn such offerings he would say to me, “No; since you shared your prosperity with other friends, go to them now and let them share your adversity too.” But God does not say so-He does not say, Come to me while you are well and bappy that I may be sure you are sincere in your devotions, and prefer me above all the good things that surround you, else will I reject youHe says, Come to me, thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted—come to me, you that are weary and heavy laden-come when there is no one else to listen and nothing else to help you. Is there not a sweet thought of comfort in these words—and if I should return to health and spirits, shall I forget what I have thought of them now? Rather may I never so return, than forget in their enjoyment what I thought of the world, of God, and of myself, in the sadness and silence of my solitary chamber.
But I desire not to choose, for I know not what is best, and should most surely choose amiss. If I should desire death, it might be too bold a wish; the effect of impatience of suffering, of weariness of life, or unwillingness to carry to the end the burden sin has laid upon me. If I should desire life and health, the wish might be too bold again. For perhaps I should forget my God, think lightly of my Saviour, and lose, in the growing love of earth, the thought of my eternal state-in the noon-tide of enjoyment lose sight of that bright hope which is the beacon of my darker hours. Or perhaps I should but live to suffer some hard trial my omniscient guide knows well I have not strength enough to bear. Rather let him choose who knows, and cannot choose amiss. Be it granted to me only that living I may not forget him, and dying I may be with him.
HYMNS AND POETICAL RECREATION S.
THOUGHTS IN THE CHURCH YARD AT H-
Yes, sweetly o'er yon bower the rose
Yet can the poet's downcast eye,
Blooms on the grave.
In all, the softly pensive mind
Speaks from the grave.
She monumental pomp disdains, Where sculptur'd marble's splendour reigns, But where no epitaph is plac'd, Where with no stone the sod is grac'd, 1
* The queen of the meadows stops bleeding.