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therefore a fit and natural season for stopping and looking back on the day. And can we ever look back on a day which bears no witness to God, and lays no claim to our gratitude? Who is it that strengthens us for daily labor, gives us daily bread, continues our friends and common pleasures, and grants us the privilege of retiring, after the cares of the day, to a quiet and beloved home?
The review of the day will often suggest not only these ordinary benefits, but peculiar proofs of God's goodness, unlooked for successes, singular concurrences of favorable even.s, singular blessings sent to our friends, or new and powerful aids to our own virtue, which call for peculiar thankfulness. And shall all these benefits pass away unnoticed? Shall we retire to repose as insensible as the wearied brute? How fit and natural is it, to close with pious acknowledgment, the day which has been filled with divine beneficence!
But the evening is the time to review, not only our bles sings, but our actions. A reflecting mind will naturally remember at this hour that another day is gone, and gone to testify of us to our judge. How natural and useful to inquire, what report it has carried to heaven! Perhaps we have the satisfaction of looking back on a day, which in its general tenor has been innocent and pure, which, having begun with God's praise, has been spent as in his presence; which has proved the reality of our principles in temptation: and shall such a day end without gratefully acknowledging Him in whose strength we have been strong, and to whom we owe the powers and opportunities of Christian improvement?
But no day will present to us recollections of purity unmixed with sin. Conscience, if suffered to inspect faithfully and speak plainly, will recount irregular desires, and defective motives, talents wasted and time misspent; and shall we let the day pass from us without penitently confessing our offences to Him who has witnessed them, and who has promised pardon to true repentance? Shall we retire to rest with a burden of unlamented and unforgiven guilt upon our consciences? Shall we leave these stains to spread over and sink into the soul?
A religious recollection of our lives is one of the chief instruments of piety. If possible, no day should end without it. If we take no account of our sins on the day on which they are committed, can we hope that they will recur to us at a more distant period, that we shall watch against them
to-morrow, or that we shall gain the strength to resist them, which we will not implore?
The evening is a fit time for prayer, not only as it ends the day, but as it immediately precedes the period, of repose. The hour of activity having passed, we are soon to sink into insensibility and sleep. How fit that we resign ourselves to the care of that Being who never sleeps, to whom the darkness is as the light, and whose providence is our only safety! How fit to entreat him that he would keep us to another day; or, if our bed should prove our grave, that he would give us a part in the resurrection of the just, and awake us to a purer and immortal life! Let our prayers, like the ancient sacrifices, ascend morning and evening. Let our days begin and end with God.
Scene after a summer shower.-A. NORTON.
THE rain is o'er-How dense and bright
Yon pearly clouds reposing lie!
Cloud above cloud, a glorious sight,
Contrasting with the dark blue sky!
In grateful silence earth receives
The general blessing; fresh and fair,
Each flower expands its little leaves,
As glad the common joy to share.
The softened sunbeams pour around
A fairy light, uncertain, pale;
The wind flows cool; the scented ground
Is breathing odors on the gale.
Mid yon rich clouds' voluptuous pile.
Methinks some spirit of the air,
Might rest to gaze below awhile,
Then turn to bathe and revel there.
The sun breaks forth-from off the scene,
Its floating veil of mist is flung;
And all the wilderness of green
With trembling drops of light is hung.
Now gaze on nature-yet the same,—
Glowing with life, by breezes fanned,
Luxuriant, lovely, as she came
Fresh in her youth from God's own hand
Hear the rich music of that voice,
Which sounds from all below, above;
She calls her children to rejoice,
And round them throws her arms of love.
Drink in her influence-low born care,
And all the train of mean desire,
Refuse to breathe this holy air,
And mid this living light expire.
Baneful influence of Skeptical Philosophy.-CAMPBELL
O! LIVES there, heaven! beneath thy dread expanse One hopeless, dark idolater of Chance,
Content to feed, with pleasures unrefined,
The lukewarm passions of a lowly mind;
Who, mouldering earthward, 'reft of every trust,
In joyless union wedded to the dust,
Could all his parting energy dismiss,
And call this barren world sufficient bliss?
There live, alas! of heaven-directed mien,
Of cultured soul, and sāpient eye serene,
Who hail thee, man! the pilgrim of a day,
Spouse of the worm, and brother of the clay!
Frail as the leaf in Autumn's yellow bower,
Dust in the wind, or dew upon the flower!
A friendless slave, a child without a sire,
Whose mortal life, and momentary fire,
Lights to the grave his chance-created form,
As ocean-wrecks illuminate the storm;
And, when the gun's tremendous flash is o'er,
To night and silence sink for ever more!—
Are these the pompous tidings ye proclaim,
Lights of the world, and demi-gods of fame?
Is this your triumph-this your proud applause,
Children of Truth, and champions of her cause?
For this hath Science search'd, on weary wing,
By shore and sea-each mute and living thing?
Launched with Iberia's pilot from the steep,
To worlds unknown, and isles beyond the deep?
Or round the cope her living chariot driven,
And wheeled in triumph through the signs of heaven?
Oh! star-eyed Science, hast thou wandered there,
To waft us home the message of despair?—
Then bind the palm, thy sage's brow to suit,
Of blasted leaf, and death-distilling fruit!
Ah me! the laureled wreath that murder rears,
Blood-nursed, and watered by the widow's tears,
Seems not so foul, so tainted, and so dread,
As waves the night-shade round the skeptic head.
What is the bigot's torch, the tyrant's chain?
I smile on death, if heaven-ward hope remain!
But, if the warring winds of Nature's strife
Be all the faithless charter of my life,
If Chance awaked, inexorable power!
This frail and feverish being of an hour,
Doomed o'er the world's precarious scene to sweep,
Swift as the tempest travels on the deep,
To know Delight but by her parting smile,
And toil, and wish, and weep, a little while;
Then melt, ye elements, that formed in vain
This troubled pulse, and visionary brain!
Fade, ye wild flowers, memorials of my doom!
And sink, ye stars, that light me to the tomb!
Truth, ever lovely, since the world began,
The foe of tyrants, and the friend of man,-
How can thy words from balmy slumber start
Reposing Virtue, pillowed on the heart!
Yet, if thy voice the note of thunder rolled,
And that were true which Nature never told,
Let Wisdom smile not on her conquered field;
No rapture dawns, no treasure is revealed!
Oh! let her read, nor loudly, nor elate,
The doom that bars us from a better fate!
But, sad as angels for the good man's sin,
Weep to record, and blush to give it in!
Affecting picture of constancy in love.-CRABBE.
YES! there are real mourners-I have seen
A fair, sad girl, mild, suffering, and serene;
Attention (through the day) her duties claimed,
And to be useful as resigned she aimed:
Neatly she dressed, nor vainly seemed to expect
Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect;
But when her wearied parents sunk to sleep,
She sought her place to meditate and weep.
Then to her mind was all the past displayed,
That faithful memory brings to sorrow's aid:
For then she thought on one regretted youth,
Her tender trust, and his unquestioned truth;
In every place she wandered, where they'd been
And sadly-sacred held the parting scene,
Where last for sea he took his leave ;-that place
With double interest would she nightly trace.
For long the courtship was, and he would say
Each time he sailed-this one, and then the day-
Yet prudence tarried, and when last he went,
He drew from pitying love a full consent.
Happy he sailed, and great the care she took,
That he should softly sleep, and smartly look;
White was his better linen, and his check
Was made more trim than any on the deck;
And every comfort men at sea can know,
Was hers to buy, to make, and to bestow:
For he to Greenland sailed, and much he told,
How he should guard against the climate's cold,
Yet saw not danger; dangers he'd withstood,
Nor could she trace the fever in his blood:
His messmates smiled at flushings in his cheek,
And he too smiled, but seldom would he speak;
For now he found the danger, felt the pain,
With grievous symptoms he could not explain.
He called his friend, and prefaced with a sigh
A lover's message—“ Thomas, I must die:
Would I could see my Sally, and could rest
My throbbing temples on her faithful breast,
And gazing go!-if not, this trifle take,
And say, till death I wore it for her sake!