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It hastens to them, by the breeze
Near, and more near; and can it be,
(More venturous than their own)
God of the mariner! protect
Her inmates as she moves along, Through perils, which ere now had wrecked, But that thine arm is strong!
Ha! she has struck! she grounds! she stands Still, as if held by giant hands!
"Quick, man the boat!" away they sprang, The stranger ship to aid,
And loud their hailing voices rang,
And rapid speed they made;
But all in silence, deep, unbroke,
'T was fearful! not a sound arose,
Which filled each heart with fear.
He was alone, the damp-chill mold
While the pen within his hand had told
They took his book, and turned away,
The wife, in her death sleep, gently lay
Near him in life most dear,
Who, seated beside his young heart's pride,
Oh, wedded love! how beautiful,
And triumph o'er the heart;
Can cheer life's roughest walk, and shed
There was a solemn, sacred feeling
And, softly from the cabin stealing,
And to their boat returning, each
With thoughtful brow, and haste,
The Charnel ship, which, years before,
They left her in the icebergs, where
A monument of death and fear,
And grateful for their own release,
MRS. A. P. DINNIES.
THE USES OF SUFFERING.
BENEVOLENCE has a higher aim than to bestow enjoyment. There is a higher good than enjoyment; and this requires suffering, in order to be gained. Suffering ministers to human excellence; it calls forth the magnanimous and sublime virtues, and, at the same time, nourishes the tenderest, sweetest sympathies of our nature; it rouses us to energy and to the consciousness of our powers, and, at the same time, infuses the meekest dependence on God; it stimulates toil for the
goods of this world, and, at the same time, weans us from it, and lifts us above it. I have seen it admonishing the heedless, reproving the presumptuous, humbling the proud, rousing the sluggish, softening the insensible, awakening the slumbering conscience, speaking of God to the ungrateful, infusing courage, and force, and faith, and unwavering hope of heaven. I do not then doubt God's beneficence, on account of the sorrows and pains of life. I look without gloom on this suffering world.
True; suffering abounds. The wail of the mourner comes to me from every region under heaven; from every human habitation, for death enters into all; from the ocean, where the groan of the dying mingles with the solemn roar of the waves; from the fierce flame, encircling, as an atmosphere or shroud, the beloved, the revered. Still, all these forms of suffering do not subdue my faith; for all are fitted to awaken the human soul; and through all it may be glorified.
We shrink, indeed, with horror, when imagination carries us to the blazing, sinking vessel, where young and old, the mother and her child, husbands, fathers, friends, are overwhelmed by a common, sudden, fearful fate. But the soul is mightier than the unsparing elements. I have read of holy men, who, in days of persecution, have been led to the stake, to pay the penalty of their uprightness, not in fierce and suddenly destroying flames, but in a slow fire; and, though one retracting word would have snatched them from death, they have chosen to be bound; and, amid the protracted agonies of limb burning after limb, they have looked to God with unwavering faith, and sought forgiveness for their enemies. What then are outward fires to the celestial flame within us? And can I feel, as though God had ceased to love, as though man were forsaken by his Creator, because his body is scattered into ashes by the fire?
It would seem as if God intended to disarm the most terrible events of their power to disturb our faith, by making them the occasions of the sublimest virtues. In shipwrecks we are furnished with some of the most remarkable examples that history affords, of trust in God, of unconquerable energy, and of tender, self-sacrificing love, making the devouring ocean the most glorious spot on earth. A friend rescued
from a wreck, told me, that a company of pious Christians, who had been left in the sinking ship, were heard, from the boat in which he had found safety, lifting up their voices, not in shrieks or moans, but in a joint hymn to God; thus awaiting, in a serene act of piety, the last, swift approaching hour. How much grander was that hymn than the ocean's roar ! And what becomes of suffering, when thus awakening, into an energy otherwise unknown, the highest sentiments of the soul? I can shed tears over human griefs; but thus viewed, they do not discourage me: they strengthen my faith in God.
W. E. CHANNING
MORAL INFLUENCE OF BURIAL-PLACES.
If this tender regard for the dead be so absolutely universal, and so deeply founded in human affection, why is it not made to exert a more profound influence on our lives? Why do we not enlist it with more persuasive energy in the cause of human improvement? Why do we not enlarge it as a source of religious consolation? Why do we not make it a more efficient instrument to elevate ambition, to stimulate genius, and to dignify learning? Why do we not connect it indissolubly with associations, which charm us in nature, and engross us in art? Why do we not dispel from it that unlovely gloom, from which our hearts turn, as from a darkness that ensnares, and a horror that appalls our thoughts?
To many, nay, to most of the heathen, the burying-place was the end of all things. They indulged no hope, at least no solid hope, of any future intercourse or re-union with their friends. The farewell at the grave was a long, and an everlasting farewell. At the moment when they breathed it, it brought to their hearts a startling sense of their own wretchedness. Yet, when the first tumults of anguish were passed, they visited the spot, and strewed flowers, and garlands, and crowns around it, to assuage their grief, and nourish their piety. They delighted to make it the abode of the varying beauties of nature;
to give it attractions which should invite the busy and the thoughtful; and yet, at the same time, afford ample scope for the secret indulgence of sorrow.
Why should not christians imitate such examples? They have far nobler motives to cultivate moral sentiments and sensibilities; to make cheerful the pathway to the grave; to combine with deep meditations on human mortality, the sublime consolations of religion. We know, indeed, as they did of old, that “man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets." But the separation is not everlasting, and the mourners may not weep, as those who are without hope. What is the grave to us, but a thin barrier, dividing time from eternity, and earth from heaven? What is it, but "the appointed place of rendezvous, where all the travelers on life's journey meet," for a single night of repose?
“”T is but a night, a long and moonless night, We make the grave our bed, and then are gone." Know we not,
"The time draws on
When not a single spot of burial earth,
Why, then, should we darken, with systematic caution, all the avenues to these repositories? Why should we deposit the remains of our friends in loathsome vaults, or beneath the gloomy crypts and cells of our churches; where the human foot is never heard, save when the sickly taper lights some new guest to his appointed apartment, and "lets fall a supernumerary horror" on the passing procession? Why should we measure out a narrow portion of earth for our grave-yards, in the midst of our cities; and heap the dead upon each other, with a cold, calculating parsimony, disturbing their ashes, and wounding the sensibilities of the living? Why should we expose our burying-grounds to the broad glare of day, to the unfeeling gaze of the idler, to the noisy press of business, to the discordant shouts of merriment, or to the baleful visitations of the dissolute ?
Why should we bar up their approaches against real mourn