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L. Take the wings.
In silence from the living, and no friend
The gay will laugh
By those who in their turn shall follow them. 6. So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
This', friend'; that', brother'; friends and brothers all; Though you are worthless, witless, never mind it;
You may have been a stable-boy: what then'? 'Tis wealth, good sir', makes honorable men.
You seek respect, no doubt, and you will find it. 2 But if you are poor', heaven help you'! Though your sire
Had royal blood within him', and though you
He walk'd on this side', then on that';
He tried to introduce a social chat; Now here', now there', in vain he tried; Some formally and freezingly replied,
As Croesus rich, I'm sure.
What a confusion'! All stand up erect';
These bow in honest duty and respect';
Meet gratitude for such kind condescension? 5. The poor man hung his head,
And to himself he said, “This is indeed beyond my comprehension :"
Then, looking round,
One friendly face he found,
A man may lend his store
Of gold or silver ore,
THE ELDER'S DEATH-BED..
BY PROFESSOR WILSON. 1. For six years' Sabbaths I had seen the elder in his accus. tomed place beneath the pulpit, and, with a sort of solemn fear, had looked on his steadfast countenance during sermon', psalm', and prayer! On returning to the scenes of my infancy, I met the pastor going to pray by his death-bed'; and with the privilege nature gives us to behold, even in their last extremity, the loving and beloved', I turned to accompany him to the house of sorrow, of resignation, and of death'.
2. When we reached the cottage', a few words sufficed to say who was the stranger; and the dying man, blessing me by name, held out to me his cold, shriveled hand, in token of recognition. I took my seat at a small distance from the bedside, and left a closer station for those who were more dear.
3. “If the storm do not abate'," said the sick man', after a pause', “ it will be hard for my friends to carry me over the drifts to the kirkyard.” This sudden approach to the grave struck, as with a bar of ice, the heart of his grandson, a loving boy about ten years of age; and, with a long, deep sigh, he fell down, with his face like ashes, on the bed, while the old man's palsied right hand had just strength to lay his hand upon his head. “God has been gracious to me, a sinner," said the dying man. “During thirty years that I have been an elder in your kirk’, never have I missed sitting there one Sabbath! When the mother of my children was taken from me',- it was on a Tuesday she died', and on a Saturday she was buried, —we stood together. We stood together when my Alice was let down into the narrow house made for all living. On the Sabbath I joined in the public worship of God: she commanded me to do so the night before she went away. I could not join in the psalm that Sabbath', for her voice was not in the throng'. Her grave was covered up', and grass and flowers grew there."
4. The old man ceased speaking, and his grandchild, now able to endure the scene',-for strong passion is its own support, glided softly to a little table, and, bringing a cup in which a cordial had been mixed', held it in his small', soft hands to his grandfather's lips'. He drank, and then said, “ Come closer to me', Jamie', and kiss me for thine own and thy father's sake';" and, as the child fondly pressed his rosy lips on those of his grandfather', so white and withered', the tears fell over all the old man's face', and trickled down on the golden head of the child sobbing in his bosom!
5. "Jamie', thy own father has forgotten thee in thy infancy', and me' in my old age'; but, Jamie', forget not thou thy father', nor thy mother'; for that, thou knowest and feelest', is the commandment of God." The broken-hearted boy could give no reply. He had gradually stolen closer and closer unto the loving old man', and now was lying, worn out with sorrow', drenched and dissolved in tears', in his grandfather's bosom! His mother had sunk down on her knees', and hid her face with her hands! “Oh! if my husband knew but of this, he would never, never desert his dying father!” And I now knew that the elder was praying on his. death-bed for a disobedient and wicked son.
6. At this affecting time the minister took the family Bible on his knees and said', “Let us sing, to the praise of God, part of the fifteenth psalm'.” Ere the psalm was yet over', the door was opened', and a tall, fine-looking man entered, but with a lowering and dark countenance, seemingly in sorrow, in misery and remorse. Agitated, confounded, and awe-struck by the melancholy and dirge-like music', he sat down on a chair', and looked, with a ghastly face, towards his father's death-bed'. When the psalm ceased, the elder said, with a solemn voice, “ My son', thou art come in time to receive thy father's blessing! May the remembrance of what will happen in this room before the morning again shines over the hazel-glen' win thee from the error of thy ways'! Thou art here to witness the mercy of thy God and thy Savior, whom thou hast forgotten.”
7. The minister looked, if not with a stern, yet with an upbraiding, countenance, on the young man, who had not recovered his speech, and said, “ William', for three years past, your shadow has not darkened the door of the house of God'. They who fear not the thunder, may tremble at the still', small voice': now is, the hour for repentance, that your father's spirit may carry up to heaven tidings of a contrite soul, saved from the company of sinners!”
8. The young man, with much effort', advanced to the bed. side', and at last found voice to say, “Father', I am not without the affections of nature; and I hurried home the moment I heard that the minister had been seen riding towards our house. I hope that you will get recover'; and, if I have ever made you unhappy,' I ask your forgiveness'; for, thuh I may not think as you do on matters of religion', I have a an heart'. Father', I may have been unkind', but I am cruel. I ask your forgiveness.”
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9. “Come near to me', William'; kneel down by the bedside, and let my hand feel the head of my beloved son, for blindness is coming fast upon me. Thou wert my first-born, and thou art my only living son. All thy brothers and sisters are lying in the churchyard', beside her whose sweet face thine own', William, did once so much resemble. Long wert thou the joy', the pride of my soul'; ay, too much the pride, for there was not in all the parish such a man, such a son, as my own William. If thy heart has since been changed, God may inspire it again with right thoughts. I have sorely wept for thee':-ay, William', when there was none near me,-even as David wept for Absalom, for thee', my son', my son'!"
10. A long, deep groan was the only reply'; but the whole body of the kneeling man was convulsed, and it was easy to see his sufferings, his contrition, his remorse, and his despair. The pastor said, with a sterner voice and austerer countenance than were natural to him, “Know you whose hand is now lying on your rebellious head'? But what signifies father', to him who has denied God', the Father of us all'?”. “Oh! press him not too hardly,” said his weeping wife, coming forward from a dark corner of the room, where she tried to conceal herself in grief, fear, and shame. “Spare', oh, spare my husband': he has ever been kind to me!” And with that she knelt down beside him, with her long, soft, white arms mournfully and affectionately laid across his neck.
11. “Go thou likewise', my sweet little Jamie'," said the elder,—“go even out of my bosom, and kneel down beside thy father and thy mother, so that I may bless you all at once, and with one yearning prayer.” The child did as the solemn voice commanded', and knelt down, somewhat timidly', by his father's side; nor did the unhappy man decline encircling with his armı the child too much neglected, but still dear to him as his own blood, in spite of the deadening and debasing influence of infidelity.
12. "Put the word of God into the hands of my son, and let him read aloud to his dying father the 25th, 26th, and 27th verses of the eleventh chapter of the Gospel according to St. John." The pastor went up to the kneelers, and, with a voice of pity, condolence, and pardon, said, “There was a time when none, William', could read the Scriptures better than couldst thou': can it be that the son of my friend hath forgotten the lessons of his youth'?” • 13. He had not forgotten them: there was no need of the repentant sinner to lift up his eyes from the bedside. The sacred stream of the gospel had worn a channel in his heart, and the