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fifth commandment is broken, when a parent's n will is despised, when there is clandestine wooing, and the wedded ones dare not ask the blessing of God upon them, then those fatal rings are worn I"
Even as he epoke, with fearful, hesitating step a maiden approached the pile, led on, half-reluctant, by one who was whispering soft words in her ear. Oh! could it be love that led him to act the part of tempter to the woman who trusted him? or did he fondly hope to find the faithful wife in the uuduteous daughter?
"And what is the neglected cluster of rings, which no finger yet has touched?" said Marion.
The voice of Time sank to the soft whisper of the western breeze, and milder light shone in his eye, as he replied :—" They are for those whose marriages are made in heaven: every circlet of gold has been formed by Esteem. When two devoted to one service meet, heirs of one hope, followers of one Lord—when, loving and beloved, they would share each other's joys, nor shrink from the burden of each other's sorrows— when, each helping each in a heavenward path, they would press on in the same strength to the same bright goal above—then these rings unite them here, emblems of that eternity which will unite them in bliss never-cnding."
A voice behind Marion seemed to echo the last words. She knew that voice—it thrilled to her soul, and she knew the hand that pressed upon hers the pledge of connubial love. Could all the diamonds of Golconda have rendered it more precious to the heart of the youthful bride?
Then again the voice of Old Time arose, like the rushing sound of the angry blast. "I come, I come!" he cried; "thrones melt as snow before me 1 The lowly village, the crowded city, the home of the peasant, the palace of the monarch, bear the marks of the deep footprints of Time. And mine is the touchstone that tries the gold; it is my hand that draws back the veil of Truth; I touch the bubbles of Folly, and they break, and leave but a tear behind I"
Marion watched, as with stealthy but rapid step Time approached Althea and her husband. Now lines appeared in the fair, smooth brow; the glossy ringlets were streaked with gray; the fairy form bad lost all its grace! And the once ardent lover, how cold was his lookl—how changed from the bridegroom was the husband 1 i Time laid his heavy hand on the ring which still glittered on the finger of Althea: at once the circlet lost all its brightness—the color changed, the gilding was gone, naught remained but the
dull, worthless metal beneath! The ring had never been.gold!
Haughty Julia! 'mid thy wealth and thy state, Time aleO is stealing on thee 1 Bars of gold will not bolt him out; he tramples earth's treasure* beneath his feet. He touches the ring on the worldling's hand, and tne dull, heavy fall of iron is heard I Man may see naught but th* loop of gold, but the wearer feels the galling chain; hopeless, unpitied, must she drag it% weight: she has chosen her fate, and she must bear it. Her ring had never been gold I
With mournful interest Marion watched the steps of the wedded pair who had sacrificed duty to love. There were looks of suspicion, words of reproach, as the shadow of Time fell across their path; but when his cold hand touched the fatal ring, a faint cry escaped from ttie wife'a pallid lips, a slender asp coiled where the circlet had rested. Her ring had never been gold!
And now Marion felt Time approaching herself, yet closer she clung to the husband betide her, with love, more deep and confiding. Time held out his hand, but she did not shrink; ebe felt his cold touch, but she trembled not. The ring which she wore grew brighter than ever; it was formed of the gold which changes not in the furnace of trial, or the chill grasp of Time. And that voice which she loved was sounding in her ears, like soft music from a sphere above, "for richer for poorer, in sickness and in healtft, to love and to cherish, till death us do part."
"Till death us do parti" repeated the bride, "united in life, in death, and beyond it I" Even as the words burst from ber lips, the whole scene melted from before her—the figure of Time had vanished. She suddenly opened her eyes, and wondered at the dimness around. The light had burnt out in her chamber, wasting away, and dying like the flame which mere earthly attractions have kindled ; but a soft, rosy gleam was now tinging the east—bright harbinger of a brighter radiance—it was the dawn of Marion's wedding-day I
A Sabbath well spent
And health for the toils of to-morrow;
Is a certain forerunner of sorrow.
Sir Matthew Hale.
CHRIST RAISING THE DEAD.
liCUar shining after rain."—2 Sam. xxxiii. 4. The wind doth moan, and the cold rain fall, And the garden blooms no more;
But the dark clouds fly
O'er the wintry sky,
Shall the spring restore.
So care may come with a blighting breath,
But the tear and sigh
With the hour flit by,
'Neath the bright suusliiue.
And IH'nlh hif shadowy wing' shall spread
As the flower shall fade
'Neath its baneful shade, lies youth in the bed that the worms invade
For the mouldering prey.
la vain the wind and the rain shall beat O'er the dreamless sleeper there;
Though mnny a year
Shall the winter sere
To the sons of care.
Howl on—lor the winds be calm to him,
And his grave sweep softly o'er; .-— —
On his darkened eyes /\\ 0 \ N 7
The primeval curse of the Almighty, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," hath found universal lodgment in the offspring of the preat progtnitor. Hii disobedience to the mandate of the Creator, while dweller and denizen of Eden, lost to his descendants it* hallowed beatitudes and the high pleasures of its paradise. Its fearful and appalling execution on the race hath made earth groan; and mortals, gasping for continuance of life, and stretching their dim gaze on blank vacuity, have gone, generation after generation, down to the darkness of the grave. Old chronicles, of days beyond the flood, and genealogies of ancestry ivaching through the linked ages of the world's being, all teach the mournful lesson of man's decay and final departure. The hoary and century-laden Methuselah, whose vista of years was bounded by the farthest stretch of time ever yet meted out to any of the earth
born, at length came to die; and all his timeworn ancestors, numbering back to the first of his kind, jielded up the ghost and were not upon the earth, Enoch his sire excepted. Oh, the dark wing of the destroying angel hath ever hovered over and brooded upon the race; and his victims, chosen from all climes and all classes and all ages, are every day and hour and moment going hence and passing away. Beauty and rank and wealth, innocence and guilt, the just and the unjust—all, all, indeed, cannot stay him in his flight among the doomed inhabitants of earth. How well his merciless mission hath been fulfilled, let the countless hecatombs of the fallen sufferers of his rage and violence, through all the piled-up ages of his unchecked sway, tell and teach the sons of men. The literature of all the tribes, and tongues, and kindreds of men on the wide surface of the great globe, is pregnant with saddest tales and sorrowful histories of his dreadful doings. The great sea itself hath had registered upon its barrier boundaries how ruthless have been his ravages; and upon the bed of its nethermost abyss have been deposited the numberless trophies of his victories over the human race. Your fathers, where are they? and the prophet*, do they live for ever J
/ Long ages in the world's history pass away, anil the predictions unheeded of prophets and Isapredi seers come to be fulfilled. In thy territqfcjes; O Palestine! shall now be settled the ^reat question propounded by the old man of Oriental Uz, the greatest of all the men of the East, perfect and upright, God-fearing and evil-eschewing in all his ways, once owner of oxen, and asses, and camels, and flocks of sheep in myriad numbers, and head of household great and happy, but stripped, at length, of all his substance by Sabeau swords and bandits from the Chaldee hills, suffering and Satan-stricken: "Iw
A MAN DIE, SHALL BE LIVE AGAIN?" In beautiful
Galilee, in the ancient and patriarchal allotment of IsMiehar, in the neighborhood of Endor—fearful dwelling-place, in time of Saul, of seeress aud sorceress—in the city of Nain, in view of Mount Tabor, and beneath the shadow of dewy Heimon, in her home made desolate by the Destroyer, sitteth, solitary and sad, the mother of an only son lifeless and shrouded for the sepulchre, and she a widow. The weeds of widowhood have ever told how deep her love for him whose image sat upon the face and form of the fair, but now fallen child. Memory thickly teems with the visions of other days, when the husband lived and loved, and the boy now departed.
climbed the father's knee and kipssed him into joyousness. The birds sing happy carols in the tree-tops, but she heedeth not thjir music . The mountain air breathes among the leafy branches of the olive and the palm, and awakes ten thousand harps ^Eolian to softest, saddest strains, that but too well chime in with the current of sorrow which now sweeps the heartstrings breaking in her bosom. In her sorrow hath she deeply pondered upon the pages of the Uztte philosophy of man's mortality and destruction of the body, and will not be comforted by its profoundest teachings:
"Man, the offspring of woman,
The Bnptizer in Jordan, the holy harbinger of a new era among the children of men, and forerunner of Him who shall raise to life the sleeping dead, hath proclaimed to the gathered j multitudes in the desert wilderness, and in the wild fastnesses of the mountains, His advent, and that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. A homeless wanderer goeth about, mingling with the crowds by the wayside, and entering the cdrcles of the sorrowful around the hearths of the Holy Land. That wandering one cometh to the city of the sorrowing mother—that childless and husbandless woman, with train of humble followers, and people struck with wonder at his words. He neareth its gateway entrance, and there meets the funeral train of the widow's son, whose body is on its way to burial. Obsequies how sad!—who shall comfort and console the childless one in her loneliness? The people of the city come forth in thronging multitudes, sympathizing and sorrowful, to accompany her in the mournful rites of sepulture. Who among that throng can mensure the length and the breadth and the depth of her affliction I But there is one in their midst who bringeth comfort and consolation, and hath power to turn her
grief into fulness of joy. The long looked-for visitant, Messias, Israel's Great Deliverer, hath made his advent. God hath indeed hia people visited, and a great prophet is risen up among them—euch prophet is that homeless wanderer! He hath compassion on the tearful and griefsmitten mother; and in accents soft He saith unto her, "Weep not, O woman!" They that bear the body withhold their footsteps, and Hs approacheth unto the bier of the dead. A voice, oracular and emphatic, is heard, saying in the dull ear of death, "Young man, I say unto thee. Arise." They are no idle words, trifling with maternal hope and fears, or powerless pretenoa practised on credulous minds. Behold, he that was dead heard that voice; and, obedient to ths high and mighty behest, he sitteth upright and is alive again!
Again is heard that voice without the walled city of David, sacred to the Jew, and clustering with memories of the renowned ones whose names have been chronicled in its hallowed history, saying, "I am the resurrection and the life." The bereaved and sorrowing sisters of Bethanybirth and burial-place of Lazarus their brother— heard it and were glad. The dead man likewise heard it, with the summons, "Come forth ;" and, awaking from the slumbers of the grave, hia muffled and bandaged body, yielding to the call, rose from its resting-place, reanimate and instinct with vitality. The cerements of the sepulchre are cast away; and, again invested with the habiliments of the living, the loved of the Lord goeth forth to live again! Albeit the great prophet hath departed from the grave of Lazarus, it cometh to the ears of those near by and afar off, that a man who was dead is nlive again! The rumor reaches those high in place and power; chief priest and Pharisee stand aghast, and the old Sadducee surrenders his disbelief in a resurrection from the dead. It hath also coms to the hearing of the Baptist, while exercising the rites of his high commission in the waters of Enon, near to Salim. He seeketh to learn whether the wonder-worker is He that should come. His messengers witness his works, and return to tell him that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, tht dead are raised, and to the poor the gospel i» preached!
The Hebrew seer, from the first, prophesied and sung of Sheol; and though his strains were sometimes sad and sorrowful, his revelations were a lamp to dispel the darkness of the grave, and A light to illuminate the valley of the shadow of 23
MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES.
death. The minstrelsy of the bards of Zion, in tent or temple, hath ever told that he should live again, whose body, borne to Hinnom/s Vale, became the food of worms, or consumed away by fires unquenched by night or day.
"I will ransnm them from the power of the grave;
FROm THE sERmA,V OF L CHLANd, BT V. II. HIDOE.
I Preaxkp not !on£ ago
I stood on a rorky steep—
And down on the glorious deep.
Beneath me, in gallant trim,
A stately l>ark lay moortd. The surtje its dark side laving— (iayly its flag was waving,
And a pilot stood on hoard.
And Iwhold there came from the mountains
A merry, merry band; Bedecked with garlands bright, They seemed like spirits of light,
As they tripped ulong the strand.
"Say, pilot, wilt thou take us'"
£" What nymphs be ye so gay?" "Earth's joys and pleasure are we; from earth we fain would flee: Oh! bear us from earth away!"
Then the pilot, he bade them enter,
And they entered one by one.
And they answered, "There are none."
Away! then—the bark, unmoored.
Leaped gayly from anchor's thrall; And away she sped with a glorious motion And I saw them vanish over the ocean— Earth's joys and pleasures all.
It Takes Two To Mare A SLANdER.—"My dear friend, that woman has been talking about you Bo again! She has been telling the awfullest lies you ever heard; why, she railed away at you for a whole hour!" "And you heard it all, did you?" "Yea." "Well, after this? just bear in mind that it takes two to make a slander—one to tell it and one to listen to it." •
MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES.
BT RIY. gI0B03 w. BBTFTUNI, D. D.
"The babe wept; and she had compassion on him, and said, "This Is one of the Hebrew children."
You know the story. The babe is the infant Moses. He has been hidden, until he can be hidden no longer, from the cruel decree that every new-born eon of Israel should be cast into the river. Sad, but not despairing, for her faith was strong in God, his mother has woven a little ark of bulrushes, and laid him in it, among the sedges by the river's brink. The daughter of Pharaoh, in the simplicity of ancient manners, perhaps as a religious rite, goes to bathe. She sees the cradle-like ark, and sends one of her maidens to fetch it; "and when she opened it, she saw the child; and behold the babe wept, and she had compassion on him."
How natural! A weeping babe and a pitying woman! What heart could withstand the tears of a helpless child? What woman's heart would not yearn to take within its warm sanctuary the wailing outcast from a mother's arms If How natural that wealth and power should seize upon the cheap but exquisite luxury of giving shelter to the homeless and nurture to the perishing!
Such kindness were, indeed, natural. The world is filled with plenty for all its human family, although the poor are many and the rich few. And thus does God teach us, by nature itself, that none should be in want while any have more than enough. But, alas! the human heart is most unnatural; it hardens under the bounty of God, and forgets the wretchedness of others, the more it enjoys. The praises we lavish upon charity, show how seldom it is found; and that which man, like God, should delight to give, is garlanded as though it were a sacrifice.
Yet, thanks to grace not altogether withheld from fallen humanity! there are some who rise above this common selfishness, and whom no fortunes, however high, can make careless of another's sorrows. The princely lady in the text was one. Had she been only rich and high-born, the divine pen would never have written a word to tell us that the woman had ever lived. Mere riches, and rank which riches give, are but the gilding of worthless clay, to be stripped from it by the heirs, when the
MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES.
vile dust of him who hoarded or epent it for himself goes to rottenness with his memory. Ohl if they who deck themselves gorgeously for the eye of the world, and fling open their doors for the revel of their parasites, knew how malice poinU the finger, and envy sneers, and hate hisses, and scandal whispers behind their backs; how the few whom instinct forces them to love watch for every token of their coming death; and how dhame and everlasting contempt await them in the eternal world, they would smile less fondly upon themselves, and, perchance, think it better to buy some prayers from the grateful poor, and return to a faithful God some portion of what he has given them, that they may find it again in heaven. The mere rich—the rich without goodness or mercy—are like the marsh, into which the waters flow only to stagnate and grow vile. There are none less worthy of love from men, and none more hateful in the sight of God. But how beautiful is the life of those who, like springs filled to overflowing with the gifts of God, send forth their goodness in streams, to refresh, to gladden, and to save 1
The Christian traveller wanders among the ruins of Egyptian greatness, and, as he gazes upon the mysterious pyramids, or the serene face of the colossal Sphinx, wonders yet more at the forgetfulness which, like the sands over the cities where they reigned, has covered the namee and the story of those far-pa.it dynasties; but, as he turns his steps tusvard the river, and sees the bulrushes waving upon its brink, he thiuks of her who walked there more than thirty-five centuries since, and saved from the waters a weeping child; and we, on this farwest Atlantic shore, bless her memory for that one deed of kindness, which blooms fresh and fragrant in the garden of the Lord, while the warlike fame of Ssso-itris is wrapped about, like a shrivelled mummy, in doubtful hieroglyphies.
There is a better and a truer immortality vouchsafed to goodness — an immortality we cannot believe withheld from her, Gentile though she was; for while God, after making the wrath of man to praise him, punishes the wicked instrument, he is not wont to leave hearts and hands which he has made the channels of his kindness unsanctified, or without reward. "The fashion of this world passeth away," like the shifting scenes of a drama; and soon all who have walked their little hour upon its stage must stand, stripped of
every false show, before the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ. His angry voice will drive into everlasting punishment, as accursed, the murderous conqueror, the selfish proud, the rich who forgot God, and the lovers of pleasure more than of him; but not one kind act, or word spoken in his name, will be forgotten by him; and the faithful follower of God's own Son, our elder brother, who went about doing good, healing the sick, pitying the mourner, teaching the poor, and taking up little children into his arms, shill enter, amidst the acclamations of angels, the joy of his Lord, decorated with works of mercy and holiness, the only blazonry of heaven. Then shall we reap immortality as we have sown in time.
We must not overlook a peculiar nobleness of soul discovered by this excellent lady's own worda: "The babe wept; and she had compassion on him, and she said, This is one of the Hebrew children." She pitied the weeping child; but pitied him the more because he was a Hebrew. The Hebrews were an enslaved people. The Egyptians saw with fear the quick growth, in numbers and strength, of a race marked as distinct from them, and filling the laud. From a cruel foresight, they "made them to serve with rigor, and made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field.'' It is easy to understand how such systematic oppression degraded them in their masters' eyes; and the more so, because, as their story afterwards shows, it degraded them in their character. It is the worst part of slavery, that it crushes the spirit. That was a base and coward spirit which murmured at freedom in the desert, and longed for the flesh-pots of Egypt again. The children of the land grew up with scornful prejudice against the miserable drudges, whom they saw laden with burdens, or driven to live like beasts; and nowhere could this contempt have been more busy than in the court of Pharaoh, where the national policy was determined upon, and the example of public opinion set. The young princess had often heard, from the highest councillors, curses and wrath heaped upon every Hebrew head. She knew that her own father ground them to the dust, and was bent upon the death of every man-child born to them. Who could wonder, if, borne away by the general feeling, even her kindly heart had shut itself against pity for the bondsmen of Egypt? It would have been but like mankind, among whom there is no preju