On thee the mother bends

Her tearful glance, and checks the rising sigh
Which on her hope attends,

As to the Lord she draweth fondly nigh,
And meets the light of his benignant eye;
She clasps her breathing infant to her breast-
She marks the power of Jesus-and is blest.

And they who linger near,

With friends in sickness yet more fondly lovedBetwixt a smile and tear


Gaze on the Saviour, and with faith are moved
To see the wonders of his kindness proved;
Around his robes they cling—the faint revive-
The stings of pain are quenched-the dying live.

The face, that wore but now

The settled paleness of the suffering hour,
Reclaims its healthful glow;

The red lip, faltering, speaks of heavenly power, While crystal tears descend—a grateful shower; Watering the damask cheek, that changed so soon, Like some fair lily to a rose of June.

'Tis done, and from the crowd

Sweet voices, filled with joy and thanks, arise—
The healed ones sing aloud;

And like rich incense, soaring to the skies,
Ascend the anthems of their glad surprise:
The lame, the blind are healed, the sick restored,
And with rejoicing hearts they praise the LORD.
W. G. C.



Ir was the last of those holy sabbaths which, among some denominations of Christians, are set apart to commemorate the forty days fasting of our blessed Lord, and the sacred services had already commenced in the church consecrated to the Trinity, when a female, closely veiled, and enveloped in a rich silk mantle, slowly entered, and with faltering steps took her seat in one of those pews appropriated to the stranger. This was already the third or fourth time that she had mingled in the devotions of the sanctuary, in the same mysterious and stealthy manner. She came and went alone, as noiseless as a spirit. She spoke to no one, she looked at no one, and she seemed alike unknown to all. The majesty of her demeanour, the richness of her attire, the profound humility and

[ocr errors]

dejection of her attitudes, and withal, the extreme care with which she preserved her incognito, attracted attention and awakened interest. She carried no book, and took no share in the external services of the sanctuary; but her heart was manifestly bowed before that God who dwells with the humble and contrite spirit.

The scriptures appropriated to the day, contained the conspiracy of the rulers against the Blessed One-his last most affecting interview with his disciples-when, overcome with the sense of treachery and ingratitude, he mournfully asserted, 'One of you shall betray me,'-the agony which induced him to exclaim, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,'-his pathetic and repeated prayers to his Father, that the cup might pass from him, his resignation, nevertheless, to suffer for his enemies,-his betrayal, -his arraignment before an impious tribunal,—the mockery, the contumely, the insults which he suffered from his oppressors, and, finally, that cruel denial of Peter, which must have stung him most of all, because it was from a heart he loved and trusted. During the recital of these painful scenes,

[ocr errors]

the stranger seemed to lose the impression that any one was present but herself. At first she was fixed so immovably in her station, that nothing but the deep sighs which burst from her lips, gave evidence that she was a breathing thing, and not the sculptured marble. As the affecting narrative proceeded, her sobs and tears were eloquent with the assurance that she felt its pathos. But the chapter concluded, and again she seemed to retire within herself, and to have no sympathies in common with the worshippers around her.

The voice of praise and the lofty peals of the organ had faded into silence; heads that had been bowed in prayer were again lifted; and all were listening to that most touching recital of the last hours of the Holy and the Just One, in the gospel for the day. The remorse of Judas, and his filling up the measure of his crimes by suicide, were now rehearsed; the fulfilment of prophecy in the appropriation of the thirty pieces of silver, that striking evidence of the true messiahship of Jesus; the appearance of that man of sorrows before Pilate; his feeble attempts to release him; the opposition of the Jews; and the awful malediction which

« VorigeDoorgaan »