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in your grandchildren ; and there will be something of them, some time, in their children.
Marham. No doubt, men's lives do live on in their descendants.
Aubin. In their flesh and blood, their beating hearts and pliant limbs; but so they do in other ways, and in other men. good deed of ours, the world will be the better always. And perhaps no day does a man walk down a street cheerfully, and like a child of God, without some passenger's being brightened by his face, and, unknowingly to himself, catching from its look a something of religion, and sometimes, not impossibly, what just saves him from some wrong action.
Marham. The stream of society is such, that often a pebble falling into it has altered its course. Many times, words lightly spoken have been carried against thrones, and been their upsetting: And many a little event has had in it what in its unfolding filled towns and countries, and men's minds and ages. I say, that, under Providence, it has done this.
Aubin. An ark of bulrushes fetched from among the flags of the Nile was the saving of Moses, and the deliverance of the Israelites, and an event through which the Saviour of the world was born where he was. The way of thinking which St. Paul got as a youth, influenced his way of viewing and arguing the Gospel as an Apostle of the Gentiles, so that when Saul of Tarsus was listening at the feet of Gamaliel, it was as though the whole Christian Church had sat there. And very certainly Augustine would never have been heard of in the world so much and so long, and even now so reverently, but for his mother, in whose warm temperament he shared, and after whose earnest prayers on his behalf, year after year, he became a Christian.
Marham. Yes, there have been men of such a character and standing as that, through happening to them, even slight things have, in their effects, become stupendous, and as wide as the world. But we were speaking just now of common life and ordinary men.
Aubin. And without common men, there could be no uncommon ones; and every extraordinary event has its roots in quite ordinary places. Days and years are linked together, and so are men's lives, by chains of cause and effect, and sometimes curiously and most wonderfully. So that it is possible, that to-day in a shop, what an artisan is working at with a song may be the case—no! one means—of filling a palace with grief fifty years hence, and of changing a dynasty. `Or one word of your speaking to a boy this morning may prove to root and thrive in his spirit, like good seed, and to become what will bear fruit for a whole neighborhood, and perhaps for a nation, and for ages.
Marham. That is not a thing that could ever be known.
Aubin. Not in this world, perhaps. Nor would it be good for us to know such things; for we are weak creatures, and we might get to do what is right for the sake of its grand effects, and not for its own dear loveliness. But though much of the greatness of the life we are living is wisely veiled from us, yet we cannot believe too much of it. And now, uncle, rays from the stars come millions of millions of miles together, and there are millions of them in the breadth of an inch, yet they are not lost in one another; and it can be told of any one of these rays whether it shines from a sun or a planet, or whether from a solid or a liquid mass.
Man can know this with his of eye flesh; so that it is not impossible that an angel may be able to trace a thought out of one mind into another, from people to people, and down generations.
Marham. It is not so unlikely; and, Oliver, it is perhaps even probable.
Aubin. Perhaps when death shall make us spirits, the spiritual world will be open to us, and all the movements in it; and great thoughts will look like angels going from soul to soul; and noble feeling will seem electric, as it spreads; and some words will be echoing for ever, out of the recesses of one soul into the chambers of another.
Marham. The watchwords of liberty and right.
Aubin. Hated, and wronged, and blind, and nearly friendless, was John Milton, during the latter part of his life. His sufferings were great, and so was his faithfulness; and he has sat down in the reward of them. And perhaps, now and then, he hears from his throne in heaven the refining music in men's minds which his poetry makes round the earth, unceasingly. I knew a mother, who died with her arms round her child, praying God, the while, to guard it. And now, along her son's path, shining more and more as though unto perfect day, is to be seen what perhaps gladdens her with the certainty that the fervent prayer of her righteousness did avail him much. And many years hence, there will be to be seen among men some little trace of my having lived; and perhaps I shall myself see it. O, that would be a tender delight! It is not impossible, I think.
Marham. In heaven, every sinner that repents is known of; and, very likely, so are the means of his conversion; and if so, then nearly all the holy influences there are in christendom must be known of.
Aubin. I shall not live long; nor shall I be in the memories of men very long. But out of the characters of men I shall never die, quite : no, not in many ages. I like the thought of lasting on in the earth, any way. It is pleasant to me to think even of leaving my body behind me in the world. Marham. O, is it?
Aubin. Out of this world into another my soul shall go, through death. Soon this earth will be to me what my body was buried in. My body will rot and become dust ; but it will be my dust. And
always it will be in the earth; and I like to think so. Dear world of my birth, that I am to remember for ever and ever! I have had pain in it often, and pleasure often. And, 0, what I have learned in it! God, and Christ, and my immortality! And I have got the knowledge of the Good, the Beautiful, and the True.
Marham. And of Human Brotherhood.
Aubin. The blood of which God has made all nations of the earth is not much felt yet, as being one blood. But our having shared in it will be a near relationship when we human creatures have scattered ourselves thinly among the hosts of heaven. Then to have been of the same generation will be like having been of the same family; and, down long streets of stars, we shall look back upon this earth as the little home we all lived in once. When I think how I shall remember this world after death, sometimes there are moments in which I do love the very dust of this dear earth.
Marham. I feel so sometimes, Oliver. Aubin. Years ago, a beggar and I exchanged looks on a roadside, and we have never seen one another since, and we never shall again, in this world; but after many ages, perhaps, we shall find ourselves standing side by side, looking up at the throne of God.
Marham. There lies no despised Lazarus at my door; but perhaps I have not searched far enough into my neighborhood. I could help the poor more than I do, I think. There are some things luxuries they may be called--which I might deny myself, and perhaps ought to. I will think of this, and to-night I will
Aubin. Uncle, are you speaking to me, or only to yourself ? for I do not hear you.
Marham. I was thinking something to myself, and aloud, too, I suppose. But, Oliver, go on with what you were saying: now, do.
Aubin. I shall die soon. The hand of God is on me. My feelings are not much changed, perhaps ; but they are stronger than what they were, I think. Now, every man I part from is a soul to be met again, and every face I see is what will be bright with the light of heaven some time, and in my sight. Duty reaches down ages in its effects, and into eternity; and when a man goes about it resolutely, it seems to me now as though his footsteps were echoing beyond the stars, though only heard faintly in the atmosphere of this world, because it is so heavy. Yes, dear uncle, and in this way I shall still hear you, though soon you will hear me no more. But often when you are doing a good action, you will think the light of it is to be seen in heaven, and that perhaps I am seeing it. And sometimes after your prayers you will think that, some way, I may know of them, and perhaps join in some of them; for now and then I may be near the elders spoken of in the Apocalypse, as having every one of them golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. What, then, is death? It will be a concealment of me from the world, but not a hiding of the world
always there will be something of me lasting on in the world; and to the end of it the world will be known to me in some things, I think. Yes, it certainly will be. What is it, then, to die? It is not to be estranged from this life utterly. O, no! For it is to be taken into the bosom of the Father, and to feel his feelings for this world, and to look back upon it from under the light of his eyes.
Death is this, and it is beauty and it is peace.
A LOST DAY-ITS VALUE.
A day has perished from our brief calendar of days : and that we could endure; but this is no more than the reiteration of many other days, counted by thousands, that have perished to the same extent and by the same unhappy means, viz., the evil usage of the world made effectual and ratified by our own neglect. Bitter is the upbraiding which we seem to hear from a secret monitor. “My friend, you make very free with your days; pray how many do you expect to have? What is your rental, as regards the total harvest of days which this life is likely to yield ? Let us consider. Threescore years and ten produce a total sum of 25,550 days; to say nothing of some seventeen or eighteen more that will be payable to you as a bonus on account of leap year. Now out of this total, one-third must be deducted at a blow, for one item, viz., sleep. Next, on account of illness, of recreation, and the serious occupations spread over the surface of life, it will be little enough to deduct another third. Recollect also that twenty years will have gone, the earlier end of your life, (viz., above seven thousand days) before you can have attained any skill or system or definite purpose in the distribution of your time. Lastly, for that single item which, amongst the Roman armies, was indicated by the technical phrases
corpus curare," tendence on the animal necessities, viz., eating, drinking, washing, bathing, and exercise, deduct the smallest allowance consistent with propriety, and upon summing up all these appropriations, you will not find so much as four thousand days left disposable for direct intellectual culture. Four thousand, forty hundred, will be a hundred forties; that is, according to the lax Hebrew method of indicating six weeks by the phrase of “forty days," you will have a hundred bills or drafts on Father time, value six weeks each, as the whole period available for intellectual labor. A solid block of about eleven and a half continuous years is all that a long life will furnish for the development of what is most august in man's nature. After that, the night comes when no man can work; brain and arm will be alike unserviceable; or if the life should be unusually extended, the vital power will be drooping as regards all motions in advance.-De Quincy.
There was once a farmer who had a large field of corn; he ploughed it and planted the corn, and harrowed it and weeded it with great care ; and on this field he depended for the support of his family. But after he had worked so hard, he saw the corn begin to wither and drop for want of rain, and he thought he should lose his crop. He felt very sad, and went out every day to look at his corn, and see if there was any hope of rain.
One day, as he stood there looking at the sky, and almost in despair, two little rain-drops up in the clouds over his head saw him, and one said to the other, “ Look at that poor farmer; I feel sorry for him; he has taken such pains with his field of corn, and now it is all drying up; I wish I could do him some good.”
“Yes," said the other, “but you are only a little rain-drop; what could
do? You can't wet even one hillock.' “Well,' said the first, 6 to be sure I can't do much; but I can cheer the farmer a little at any rate, and I am resolved to do my best. I'll try; I'll go to the field to show my good will, if I canst do no more ; so here I go.” And down went the rain-drop, and came pat on the farmer's nose, and then fell on one stalk of corn. “Dear me," said the farmer, putting his finger to his nose, what's that? A rain-drop. Where did that drop come from? I do believe we shall have a shower.”
The first rain-drop had no sooner started for the field, than the second one said, “Well, if you go, I believe I will go too; so here I come; and down went the rain-drop on another stalk.
By this time a great many rain-drops had come together to hear what their companions were talking about, and when they heard them, and saw them going to cheer the farmer and water the corn, one of them said, “If you are going on such a good errand, I'll go too;" and down he came. “And I," said another; "and I;" " and I;" and so on, till a whole shower of them came; and the corn was all watered, and it grew and ripened, all because the first little rain-drop determined to do what it could.
Never be discouraged, cbildren, because you cannot do much. Do what you can. Angels can do no more.
A CHILD'S PRAYER.
Sweeter than the songs of thrushes,
When the windows are low;
Were the voice and cheek so fair
Like a white lamb of the meadow,
Climbing through the light;
Seem'd she, saying, "Holy One,