(For the Monitor.]


In the spring of 1824 I retired to a country village in New England to pass the vacation. It was there I had spent the morning of life, and formed those attachments which ever render the name of home dear. The village contained a large number of youth of both sexes, who, as is common for persons of their age, were eager in the pursuit of pleasure. It was the month of May, and they were looking forward with fond anticipations to the General Election, which was then near; and which for generations past has been observed in that region as a day of meriment and festivity. The day at length arrived; it rose serene and smiled propitious on the sons of pleasure. In the afternoon the youth assembled, as usual, and spent the time in mirth and dance till the hour of midnight was near; without, all nature was hushed in tranquillity; within, all was cheerful and happy, when suddenly consternation pervaded the assembly! Paleness and fainting seized the unhappy youth, and all their fancied joys in one short moment vanished. Death had entered the scene of revelry and laid his icy hand on one of the fairest maidens in the assembly! She lay groaning in a distressing fit; in this situation, she continued about four days, and expired. She was taken while dancing, and knew no more after she became insensible to the music and gaiety of the ball-room, until she awoke in another world!

On the day following her death was her funeral. A large concourse of people assembled to witness the so. lemn scene.

The corpse was conveyed to the village church, borne by her companions with whom she had so lately joined in scenes of merriment; the mourners slowly followed, weighed down with aggravated grief. The corpse was placed in the broad aisle of the church and a discourse was delivered adapted to the occasion. It was an affecting scene, tears flowed alike from the eyes of youth and age ; and when her companions rose

to sing her funeral dirge, the plaintive strain waked all the tender sympathies of the soul, their voices fal tered; few were able to proceed. O how changed was the scene from the hilarity of the ball-room! When the services were closed the coffin was placed on the green in front of the church and the lid laid open, that all who wished might view the corpse. The youth and companions of the deceased crowded around the coffin to take a parting view of their friend, and while they gazed on her lifeless form, and reflected that she was gone forever, their hearts were dissolved in tenderness, tears flowed profusely, they slowly retired as if reluctant to take a last adieu. After the crowd had withdrawn, I went and viewed the corpse; the flush of health which crimsoned her cheek while living, was gone, the face was fair but pale and cold as marble, and the purpled neck and bosom plainly indicated their speedy dissolution. O how changed from that animated picture of health, wbich four days previous added beauty and sprightliness to the gay circle of youth! O death! · thou art indeed relentless, thou hast blighted the flower of youth in all its vernal bloom, and laid low the bosom that swelled with fondest hopes, and beat with high expectations of future happiness !

After all had viewed the corpse it was conveyed to the churchyard, followed by the relatives and companions of the desceased, and the numerous assembly which was collected to witness the solemnity; all were mourners. The circumstances of this young lady's death were peculiarly affecting, and manifest the complete triumph of the king of terrours over the fondest hopes and brightest prospects of youth. Few of the long procession, which followed her faded form to the grave, were able to suppress the tear that flowed involuntarily for her untimely fate. When the coffin was lowered into the grave, and the mourners passed round to view the place of her lowly rest, their souls were wrought up to the highest pitch of tenderness ; it was the moment of long separation, affection was bereft of the object on which it had fondly rested, it was a scene of mingled woe and tenderness. The procession

passed from the churchyard and retired, yet here and there might be seen a little group of youth recounting the circumstances of this lady's death, relating whatever was recollected of her appearance and conversation during the season of hilarity in which she was taken ill, and dwelling with peculiar interest on the last words she was heard to utter.

Such is the simple narrative of a most affecting event, from which we learn the great uncertainty of life, and the infinite importance of being in constant readiness for death. Let not those who are rejoicing in youth put off the concerns of their souls to a future time; the present is the only season we can call our own, all be yond is uncertainty. Think not that the flush of health and vigor of youth are a pledge of safety; they may vanish in a moment! Remember the subject of this affecting narrative: she was in the bloom of youth, animation sparkled in her eyes and health smiled in her countenance ; at one moment she was brightening the circle of youth, and gaily participating in their amuse. ments; the next a pale senseless being, struggling in the grasp of death! Go to the grave where she now reposes in silence, and learn how vain are worldly plea

Clear shone her youthful morn, pleasure smiled around her, and the future opened to her view all those ideal charms, on which young imagination delights to dwell; but soon her sky was overcast, a violent tempest succeeded the serenity of morn, and her sun sat in darkness before it was noon. Such are the bright visions of youth; like morning clouds and early dew they pass away, and life with all its fancied joys is but an illusive dream of pleasure. Yet there is a fountain whence flow unfailing streams of happiness, there is a land free from darkness and tempest, its inhabitants experience neither sorrow nor pain, there all is vernal bloom and youth flourishes in immortal vigour. It is heaven, thither let us, travellers of a day, direct our course, and, disdaining the worthless toys that would impede our progress, let us keep in view the glories of that brighter world, where glittering crowns and ever. lasting joys await the righteous.



[ocr errors]

(For the Monitor.]



ibject of filial obedience is so important, and so volves your happiness both here and hereafter, happiness of many around you, that I must claim ndulgence, while I once more invite your attento this duty.

What I intend to urge upon you at time is your sacred obligations to obey your parents all things. You have, my dear, early been taught to lieve in God, who made all things by the word of his ower, and who is your Creator and Judge. You have been taught that from him “ cometh every good and perfect gift.” That all the happiness you enjoy, and

all the blessings you receive come from his bountiful , hand. That he regards not only our present but our

future happiness. That for this purpose he has made a gracious revelation of himself and of 6 those things that belong to our everlasting peace.” He has given us in his word those commands and those precepts which are necessary to render us happy, and we comply with them we have the promise of everlasting life. In this holy book there is a message.

for you

in particular, my dear child. Do you not wish to hear what your heavenly Father says to you? He speaks in love and tenderness. He only requires of you that which is necessary for your happiness. Will you not then listen to him, as to your best friend ? He says to you, “ Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land wbich the Lord thy God giveth thee." Ex. xx. 12. 66 Ye shall fear every one his mother, and his father.” Lev. xviii. 3. “Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother." Deut. xxvii. 16.

“ My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. Prov. i. 8.

6 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it,” xxx. 17.

For God commandeth saying, “ Honour thy father, and thy mother; and whoso curseth father or mother let him die the death.” Mat. xv. 4. 6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother (which is the first commandment with promise.)” Eph. vi. 1, 2. “ Children, obey your pa· rents in all things, for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Col. iii. 20. This, , my dear, is the language of heavenly love. Is it not reasonable that you should follow its dictates? Does not conscience also whisper, that you ought to obey God, you ought to obey your parents? If then Jehovah condescends from the throne of heaven, to speak to you, my dear child, in kindness, and from the tenderest regard for your interest, if conscience informs you of the same duty, if your happiness and the happiness of others depend on your performance of it, are you not under very sacred obligations to be always obedient to your parents, to cherish all those feelings of love and respect for your parents which God requires ? If you do this from a right state of heart towards God, you have the promise of life. Life is of ten used in Scripture to denote every kind of happiness. By life we are to understand the favor and blessing of God.

If then you do cordially render this obedience to your parents according to the requirement of the divine law, you will meet the approbation of your own conscience, the approbation of God, and be entitled to everlasting felicity.

If on the other hand you refuse to obey your parents, your guilt must be great indeed. You sin against God, you grieve and wound the feelings of your parents. You destroy your own happiness. You cherish that disposition, which is opposed to God, and which will be attended with other unholy feelings. Thus you

will form a wicked and odious character and be justly exposed to God's wrath and indignation forever.

In taking leave of you, my dear C, let me entreat you by all you hold dear on earth, by the value you Bet on your own happiness, by the love and regard you

« VorigeDoorgaan »