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But there is one passing by, whose vessel seems frail indeed; yet the voyager takes no precaution, he looks neither to the past, nor the future, and seems to think life one unchanging now ; and Oh! how does he spend it? Deeper, and yet deeper, do these swiftly recurring signals find him in the ways of vice and folly, but see, he approaches one of the outlets we have named, and swiftly and silently does his bark shoot between its dark rocky shores,—now we can only see his flag floating above the rocks; what inscription does it bear? “The Lord hath made all things for himself, yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”
But we must not stay to notice every vessel, for we are passing onward too; so we will look again at those we first named. They have joined company, for the thoughtless one has obeyed the invitation," Come with me;" and the promise “I will do you good” has been fulfilled. O! how sweet the encouragement to talk with others by the way! and sweetly does the clear voice of one voyager blend with the softer cadences of the other, as they realize the enjoyments of christian intercourse: we will listen to their song,
"Upon our youthful way
Hope's fairy blossoms lie;
On life's still-changing sky,
O! shall their hopes decay?
In autumn's golden day;
Thou, who hast been our watchful guide,
But we have spent too much time in noting the progress of others ; let us turn and look at our own. I believe a large portion of the readers of this Magazine are young females; will they listen to one of their own number?
I know not, dear young friends, how many birthdays you have numbered, perhaps more than she who now addresses you, yet let us remember the last must come sometime; may come soon. Will each one now reading these lines see another? Will she who writes them? We cannot answer this query, nor is it needful we should ; yet there is one all-important question, "Where will our next be passed ?" and there are but three places-on earth, in heaven, in hell! Should we be in the former case, yet shall we be liable to an instant change to either of the others. O! are we so living that death may be gain? Perhaps some of you have chosen that better path which leadeth to life; seek for companions to tread it with you, so walk as to recommend religious ways as ways of pleasantness, for all may thus silently work in this great cause, and living epistles will often be read when others are disregarded ; oh! then let the law of love be so written on your conduct that all may know you have been with Jesus, and on every action, be “holiness to the Lord” inscribed! Then whenever the last birthday on earth may come, it will only be the prelude to a better and happier, even a heavenly one.
And oh! if we may speak of increase of bliss in heaven, where all is full perfection, shall it not add new rapture to the song of the redeemed, if they shall be called to welcome to that better land, those, whom on earth, they have been made instrumental in leading thither?
Look round you then, dear young friends, on those who are ignorant and out of the way; and ask yourselves, “ Is there not one whom I may seek to lead to the Saviour's feet?” Are any in sorrow? It was when the waters of Bethesda were troubled, the blessing was given. Are others rejoicing ? seek to excite in them feelings of gratitude to the Giver of all good : and with some, even through your instrumentality, now may be the accepted time, now the day of salvation!
E. M. I.
PLEASURES FOR NOTHING.
(From Howitt's Book of the Seasons) March is a rude, and sometimes boisterous month, possessing many of the characteristics of winter, yet awakening sensations perhaps more delicious than the two following spring months, for it gives us the first announcement and taste of spring. What can equal the delight of our hearts at the very first glimpse of spring—the first springing of buds and green herbs. It is like a new life infused into our bosoms. A spirit of tenderness, a burst of freshness and luxury of feeling possesses us : and let fifty springs have broken upon us, this joy, unlike many joys of time, is not an atom impaired. Are we not young? Are we not boys ? Do we not break by the power of awakened thoughts, into all the rapturous scenes of all our happier years? There is something in the freshness of the soil—in the mossy bank—the balmy airthe voices of birds—the early and delicious flowers, that we have seen and felt only in childhood and spring.
There are frequently mornings in March, when a lover of Nature may enjoy, in a stroll, sensations not to be exceeded, or perhaps equalled by any thing which the full glory of summer can awaken :-mornings which tempt us to cast the memory of winter, or the fear of its return, out of our thoughts. The air is mild and balmy, with now and then, a cool gush by no means unpleasant, but on the contrary, contributing towards that cheering and peculiar feeling which we experience only in spring. The sky is clear; the sun Alings abroad not only a gladdening splendour but an almost summer glow. The world seems suddenly aroused to hope and enjoyment. The fields are assuming a vernal greenness—the buds are swelling in the hedges--the banks are displaying amidst the brown remains of last year's vegetation, the luxuriant weeds of this. There are arums, groundivy, chervil, the glaucous leaves, and burnished flowers of the pilewort,
--the first gilt thing
That wears the trembling pearls of spring ; and many other fresh and early bursts of greenery. All unexpectedly, too, in some embowered lane, you are arrested by the delicious odour of violets, those sweetest of Flora's children,
which have furnished so many pretty allusions to the poets, and which are not yet exhausted : they are like true friends, we do not know half their sweetness till they have felt the sunshine of our kindness : and again, they are like the pleasures of our childhood, the earliest and the most beautiful. Now, however, they are to be seen in all their glory- blue and white, modestly peering through their thick, clustering leaves. The lark is carolling in the blue fields of air; the blackbird and thrush are again shouting and replying to each other, from the tops of the highest trees. As you pass cottages, they have caught the happy infection: there are windows thrown open, and doors standing ajar. The inhabitants are in their gardens, some clearing away rubbish, some turning up the light and fresh-smelling soil amongst the tufts of snow-drops and rows of bright yellow crocusses, which every where abound; and the children, ten to one, are peeping into the first birds’-nest of the season, the hedge-sparrow's, with its four sea-green eggs, snugly, but unwisely built in the pile of old pea-rods.
In the fields, labourers are plashing and trimming the hedges, and in all directions are teams at plough. You smell the wholesome, and I may truly say, aromatic soil, as it is turned up to the sun brown and rich, the whole country over. It is delightful, as you pass along deep hollow lanes, or are hidden in copses, to hear the tinkling gears of the horses, and the clear voices of the lads calling to them. It is not less pleasant to catch the busy caw of the rookery, and the first meek cry of the young lambs. The hares are hopping about the fields, the excitement of the season overcoming their habitual timidity. The bees are revelling in the yellow catkins of the sallow. The harmless English snake is seen again curled up, like a little coil of rope, with its head in the centre, on sunny green banks. The woods though yet unadorned with their leafy garniture, are beautiful to look on ;they seem flushed with life. Their boughs are of a clear and glossy lead colour, and the tree-tops are rich with the vigorous hues of brown, red, and purple; and, if you plunge into their solitudes, there are symptoms of revivification under your feet—the springing mercury and green blades of the blue-bells—and perhaps above you, the early nest of the missel-thrush, perched between the boughs of a young oak, to tinge your thoughts with the anticipation
of summer. These are mornings not to be neglected by the lover of Nature, and if not neglected, then not forgotten; for they will stir the springs of memory, and make us live over again, times and seasons that we cannot, for the pleasure and buoyancy of our spirits, live over too much.
RICHARD EVELYN, John EVELYN, the author of Sylva, thus records in his diary the decease of one of his dear little ones :
* 1658. 27 Jan. After six fits of an ague died my son Richard, 5 years and 3 days old onely, but at that tender age a prodigy for witt and understanding; for beauty of body a very angel; for endowment of mind of incredible and rare hopes. To give onely a little taste of some of them, and thereby glory to God: at 2 years and halfe old he could perfectly reade any of ye English, Latin, French, or Gottic letters, pronouncing the 3 first languages exactly. He had before the 5th yeare, or in that yeare, not onely skill to reade most written hands, but to decline all the nouns, conjugate the verbs regular, and most of ye irregular; learn'd out Puerilis, got by heart almost ye entire vocabularie of Latine and French primitives and words, could make congruous syntax; turne English into Latin, and vice versa, construe and prove what he read, and did the government and use of relatives, verbs, substances, elipses, and many figures and tropes, and made a considerable progress in Comenius's Janua ; began himselfe to write legibly, and had a strong passion for Grecke. Strange was his apt and ingenious application of fables and morals, for he had read Æsop; he had a wonderful disposition to mathematics, having by heart divers propositions of Euclid that were read to him in play, and he would make lines and demonstrate them.
As to his piety, astonishing were his applications of Scripture upon occasion, and his sense of God: he had learn’d all his Catechisme early, and understood ye historical part of ye Bible and New Testament to a wonder, and how Christ came to redeeme mankind. These and the like illuminations far exceeding his age and experience, considering the prettinesse of his addresse and behaviour, cannot but leave impressions in me at the memory of him. When one told him how many dayes a Quaker had fasted, he replied that was no wonder, for Christ had said man