« ZurückWeiter »
came to the seventh verse where it is written : “And the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death,” the heathen asked what was to be understood by the word stranger.
“That means every one who is not a descendent of Aaron,” said Hillel. “Even David, the King of Israel, would have been put to death had he undertaken to assume the discharge of the sacred duties that belong to the office of High-priest."
Then the heathen man said within himself: "If the greatest man in Israel was not counted worthy to fill this office, how could I, a poor stranger, discharge its duties !” Then he gave up his idea of becoming High-priest, but continued diligently to study in the law, and was received among the people to whom God had said : “Ye shall become a kingdom of priests." Ex. 19:6.
After some time, these three all met together, and the grateful heathen convert said': “Schammai's haste and passion nearly drove me to destruction, but Hillel's humility and meekness preserved me! May every blessing descend upon thy head, Israel's excellent teacher! for thou hast brought me under the cover of the wings of Israel's God !"
Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath,
Thou hast all season's for thine own, O Death. Wben the leaves fall under the first breath of autumn, or the rose bush scatters the flowers that have long been withering on its stem, we regarā it as the order of nature to blossom, to ripen and decay; and such, some would vainly persuade themselves, is the fate of man. When the aged have finished their journey of threescore years and ten, the grave seems like the long home to which they have been traveling. At the death of the young we pause and ask how can this be ?
We cannot believe that the very lip, the blooming cheek and the bright eye are as liable to fade as the dim sight and wrinkled cheek of age! But look around! Who has not seen a sufferer live year after year on a bed of pain, while a younger and a stronger frame has fallen under the sickness of a few weeks ? Who has not seen a gray-haired father lay his son in the grave, or a grand-parent weeping over the little tomb of a grandchild? We know that the aged most die, but we require some startling lesson to teach us, how resistless are the shafts of death. Every year witnesses the departure of some whom we knew and loved. We recall with emotiou the names of those who have been dear to us in life but who have passed into the silent city where repose the dead! Is there one who has not seen some one go to the eternal world with whom he delights to live again in memory ? In passing the Old Church Yard, we often pause to contemplate the brevity of life, and cast a glance o'er the tombs of the departed ; and, although we see a greater num. ber of small graves than large ones, we think it more natural for the aged than for the young to die, and we can scarcely bring ourselves to realize the truth, that age is not regarded by the Reaper-Death !
Death shoots his deadly arrows everywhere, and rides on every breeze! Can we believe that the deep and earnest passion of a noble nature just swelling into every beautiful virtue, should never manifest its power, should never unfold itself ? What longing, wbat aspirations breathed in the still night beneath the silent stars; what dread emotions of curiosity; what deep meditations of joy ; what hallowed imaginings of never experienced purity and bliss; what possibilities, shadowing forth unspeakable realities to the soul; all verge to their consummation in thee! The dead leave behind them their memory, and the effects of their actions. Their influence still abides with us. We live and com. mune with them in their writings, and we enjoy the benefits of their labors. They admonish us by their very silence of our own frail and transitory being. They instruct us in the true value of life, in its noble purposes, its duties, and its destination. They spread around us in the reminiscences of the past sources of pleasing though melancholy reflections. We dwell with pious kindness on the virtues of the departed. As time interposes its growing distance between us and them, we gather up with more solicitude, the broken fragments of memory, and weare, as it were, into our very hearts the threads of their history.
Oh I death what art thou to the Christian, but the gate of life; the portal of heaven ; the threshold of eternity.
When a twister a twisting will twist him a twist,
It is not the miller in the mill that we are thinking of. Though we could, no doubt, also make a very interesting article about him ; for in our boyhood we were accustomed to hear singularly wild and weird stories about mills and millers. Well do we remember how our boyish imagination was excited to its utmost by tales of witches in mills-telling how they played all kinds of tricks on the miller, under the forms of cats, and how they were a terror to the neighborhood in general! But as we are not on this subject at this time, we will leave that kind of millers to their own troubles.
It is of a well known butterfly insect called the Miller, that we intend to write. He, no doubt, bears this name from the fact that he seems covered with a kind of white meal, and always looks as if he had just come out of a flour bag. Not only from this circumstance is he familiar to our readers, but also from a peculiar habit he has of flying round the candle at night. Whether the light has a stong fascinating power over him, or whether it is the warmth of its flame that he loves, perhaps the learned know; we confess ourselves unable to divine why it is that he seems so determined on the flame that he flies around it, flies close up to it, flies into it and through it, till he is so singed and burnt as to drop crippled or dead on the floor! How often have we watched this singular insect in its gyrations about the candle, and wondered over-much at its singular habit and taste. Much time have we lost in observing the Miller, from the time he made his first circle round the flame, till coming nearer and nearer, bolder and more desperate, he plunged into the flame and met his end !
We have said that we have lost time at this ; but we feel inclined to take back that remark. It can hardly be said that the time taken up in these observations was lost. For in our own mind our reflections generally turned us into a strain of moralizing; and many useful lessons have we learned from these millers. Very impressively have they taught us.
A perfect picture of human life have we seen in them. How often have we seen similar conduct in the young. With what a fascinating power have we seen them drawn nearer and nearer to some plausible vanity, to some gilded means of ruin! Though often singed, and wounded and burnt, by coming too near it, they ventured again—and then again-till they plunged into it soul and body, and were in soul and body lost! As in the case of the Miller, the very brilliancy which fascinated them proved their ruin.
Young man, are you not perhaps just now under the powerful fascination of a power that will sooner or later prove your destruction. Is
not the light around which you circle with so much delight, concealing a trap for your ruin? You have perhaps bad some intimation of this in your experience, and have some apprehensions of danger, but the sweet allurement attracts you nearer ! We beseech you, break the spell in time. Sit down some evening and watch the Miller that, in a similar way, courts death around your candle. Observe his ways, consider bis end. Take warning from his fate, and be wise !
LEAVING THE PARSONAGE.
BY THE EDITOR.
Our household goods are safely stown,
And some are on the way;
And desolate to-day.
In our new home are waiting friends,
And they'll be kind, I know;
And-hasten, let us go!
Has nothing been forgotten, wife?
Think all our treasures o'er ;
If left, would grieve us sore.
A slip of every favorite rose
That bloomed before our door,
And packed among our store.
The fruit-trees must be left behind;
But I have grafts of all;
New trees as nice and tall,
The children's swing I've taken too,
'Tis safely packed away;
But old will be the play.
Is any thing forgotten still ?
How natural is the fear !
And yet be worth a tear !
Some softening memories rise ;
Deep gleamiog in your eyes !
Some six years in the past;
You thought not of it last!
There was a tearful parting then;
But one removed that day ; When death came to our little fold
And bore a lamb away!
How fresh is all before me still;
'Twas March-& tbin wet soow Fell on the marble of the vault,
Soon as it lay below!
The Parsonage looked lone that day
It looks not now so drear; We could not go together then,
Nor stay together here.
And shall we now together go
And leave the lone one here? No; where the living flock abides
The dead lamb shall be near !
Now, wait here with the children, wise,
I know a friend that's kind, We'll bring the little coffin in
It must not stay bebind.
See here! wrapped in brown paper neat
I got it at the store-
Suspected what I bore !
Did I pot nicely hide it, wife,
From every curious eye ? 'Twas much to us, but naught to them
Who careless passed me by!
We leare no lone one here;
The dead lamb shall be dear!