« AnteriorContinuar »
ACTS OF LOVE AND AFFECTION CONTINUED.
AFFECTION is a lovely thing in all, but in young people it appears more lovely than in others. When we see the little lambs of a flock in a grassy field in the midst of their innocent gambols, it is a lively emblem of a family of young people who love one another. The little lambs scamper up and down with double pleasure, because of their scampering companions. They share together the sun, the breeze, and the sport; and though they speak not, the happiness they feel is plainly shown! In the same manner, children partake each other's pursuits, and add to each other's joy. That which lights up the eyes of one, sparkles in the eyes of the remainder;
and the pleasure that animates one heart, beats in the bosom of all.
Nothing could be plainer than the desire of the young people to carry out, in their conduct, the lessons they received from their kind-hearted parent. Edward and Thomas seemed to watch for opportunities of showing their affection for their sister; and Mary was equally vigilant in regard to little Peter. What a striking difference there is between a family, in which the young people dwell together in love; and another, in which brothers and sisters find a pleasure in vexing and thwarting one another.
"And now, children," said Mr. Franklin, as he seated himself among them, "let me begin my present remarks by reminding you of the words of holy writ. 'A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another,' John xiii. 34. The highest act of love ever yet performed, was the love of the Redeemer, in giving up his life on the cross for sinners. The remembrance of this act should be a strong motive within our hearts, urging us to acts of love. How trifling is all our self-denial! how little all our affection, compared with the love that brought the Son of God down from heaven to lay down his life for sinners. We should indeed love him, 'because he first loved us.' Every act of love to the followers of the Saviour is an act of love to the Saviour himself. Verily I say
unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,' Matt. xxv. 40. And every act of hatred and unkindness to those around us is, also, an act of ingratitude to Him; for if he loved us, surely we ought to love one another."
Mary. We do really love one another, papa: I love all my brothers, and I know that they love me.
Mr. Franklin. I believe you, my dear; and I hope that your love will grow stronger as you grow older. When we last met in the summer arbour, I spoke of the love and affection of a mother for her offspring; and now I will give you a striking instance of this in common life, which took place some time ago, at Glasgow, in Scotland. An elderly widow, in humble circumstances, called at the shop of a silversmith, and taking out of her pocket a "bawbee," (halfpenny,) requested him to cover the rim of it all round with silver. Curious to know the reason why so small a piece of copper should be ornamented at so much expense, the silversmith made inquiry about it, when the poor widow informed him that it was a 66 gift frae her son," who, led astray by bad companions, was then under sentence of banishment for seven years. On the morning of his departure, she went up to Bridewell to see him away; and she said she had just a glimpse of him, when he gave her
the bawbee, saying it was all he had in the world. The poor woman, shedding tears, said she would keep it as a token of remembrance as long as she lived, as it would “ aye be like a picture to her of her poor Willie, when he was far awa' and o'er the seas."
Mary. Poor woman! It was almost enough to break her heart. I dare say she would not part with that halfpenny for a golden sovereign.
Mr. F. You see, my dear children, what little links are sufficient to bind hearts that love one another together. Her son had most likely tried her sorely by his bad conduct; but all this seemed to be forgotten when he gave her his parting gift of affection, a bawbee, the only halfpenny he had left in the world.
Peter. I hope he will come back again to his mother yet.
Mr. F. There are some actions that look like acts of strong affection, but which, after all, may not spring from love. Such, for instance, as that of a Hindoo woman burning herself alive on the funeral pile of her husband. A dreadful instance of this inhuman custom not long since took place.
Edward. Please to tell us about it. I should like to hear it all.
Mary. Oh it must be very shocking. But do you say, papa, that it is not done from love?
Mr. F. I am afraid that superstition has.
much more to do with the affair than affection. Wives who burn themselves are generally supposed to be persuaded to do so by the brahmins, or Hindoo priests; and the poor victims are excited by drugs of different kinds which are given them.
M. I think I should like to hear about it. Mr. F. The account appeared in a Madras newspaper, and was as follows. "A brahmin died, leaving a young wife, aged seventeen, and other relatives, but no children. On the following morning the woman declared her intention of sacrificing herself upon the funeral pile of her husband; and a wealthy native, having offered to defray the expenses, preparations were made on a grand scale, in a secluded spot at about two miles from Lashkur. A spot was chosen, and four large posts, eight feet high, were fixed, on which a sort of scaffold of dry wood was formed, and underneath it were layers of the driest wood and cow dung sun-dried, and other inflammable materials, so as to burn briskly when set fire to. The body of her husband having been placed on the scaffold, and a considerable quantity of dry straw strewn, and oil and ghee poured over it, the woman mounted the pile, apparently with some reluctance, amidst the shouts of the spectators. She took her seat on the right; and, after a short ceremony, putting her arm under the neck of the corpse, with much composure stretched herself beside