« PreviousContinue »
has done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” Let us come with our homage and gratitude, and sing praises to Him.
5. In the worst times let this be our joyous confidence, “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” “ Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” If there is one peril more than another which threatens our prosperity, I will venture to give it a name: that indifference to our mercies which might provoke God to withdraw them, and give them to another people. May God incline us more and more to that unambitious, unselfish, contented, cheerful, thankful temper, which is at once a medicine and a feast, an ornament and protection.
XIV.-OVER THE RIVER.
NANCY A. W. PRIEST.
Loved ones who've crossed to the further side;
But their voices are drowned in the rushing tide.
And eyes, the reflection of heaven's own blue;
And the pale mist hid him from mortal view.
The gates of the city we could not see;
My brother stands waiting to welcome me !
2. Over the river the boatman pale
Carried another — the household pet;
Darling Minnie ! I see her yet!
And fearlessly entered the phantom bark;
And all our sunshine grew strangely dark. We know she is safe on the further side,
Where all the ransomed and angels be ; Over the river, the mystic river,
My childhood's idol is waiting for me ! 3. For none return from those quiet shores,
Who cross with the boatman cold and pale ; We hear the dip of the golden oars,
And catch a gleam of the snowy sail, And, lo! they have passed from our yearning hearts ;
They cross the stream, and are gone for aye; We may not sunder the veil apart
That hides from our vision the gates of day;
May sail with us o'er life's stormy sea ;
They watch and beckon and wait for me !
Is flushing river and hill and shore,
And list for the sound of the boatman's oar;
I shall hear the boat as it gains the strand; I shall pass from sight with the boatman pale,
To the better shore of the spirit land ;
I shall know the loved who have gone before,
And joyfully sweet shall the meeting be,
The angel of death shall carry me!
XV.-THE VILLAGE PREACHER.
2. Thus, to relieve the wretched was his pride,
3. Beside the bed where parting life was laid, And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed,
The reverend champion stood. At his control,
4. At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
Let the pupil carefully study and explain the last four lines. The simile they contain has been pronounced one of * the most beautiful in the language.
XVI.—CHARACTER OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
1. Mr. Lincoln's life is a noble illustration of the adage, “Honesty is the best policy.” Not that this adage furnishes a sufficient reason for being honest. The honesty that is induced by a desire to secure some personal advantage is hardly worth the name. There are some kinds of honesty, too, that, in the view of keen-sighted men, are very bad
policy. The true reward of personal integrity is not what is usually called personal advantage. But God has so adjusted the laws of human life, that the true good of the individual does follow the strictest honesty. And so it was in the case of Mr. Lincoln. His life was a glorious success. Few men have ever had their names written in the annals of time, who would not be the gainers by exchanging their fame for that of our martyred chief magistrate.
2. When History is making up her lists, and the noble ones of all time are arranged in a glorious company, what form among them all will shine brighter than his ? Bright in a persistent purpose to do the right, as far as he saw it; in his manly simplicity ; in his unshaken trust in God, and faith in man,— trusting even the assassin that was about to slay him, and never failing to confide, to the full, in the people whom he governed; and, above all, bright in the glorious privilege of sacrificing his life for his country and his principles. As an undying possession, as a heritage for all the ages, give me the clear fame of Abraham Lincoln, rather than the most magnificent reputation built up by the proudest conqueror that ever stained his guilty blade in the blood of his fellow man!
3. How many men of transcendent mental powers have s sought to be President of the United States? How many have gazed on the shining goal with longing, but unsatisfied, eyes ? Henry Clay, the silver-tongued, whose fervid eloquence stirred the hearts of his admiring countrymen from sea to sea and from lake to gulf, with a high ambition,—"the last infirmity of noble minds,”—strove to clutch the coveted prize; and his last days were darkened by the cloud of a sad disappointment, because he failed to reach it. Daniel Webster, one of the most nobly endowed intellects of all time, who, by his masterly logic and glowing imagination,