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3. Warrior, that from battle won
LXIX.—AN IMPRESSIVE SCENE.
D. P. PAGE. · 1. I can never forget - nor would I if I could -- a lesson impressed upon my own youthful mind, conveying the truth that we are constantly dependent upon our Heavenly Father for protection. In a plain country school-house, some twentyfive children, including myself, were assembled with our teacher on the afternoon of a summer's day. We had been as happy and as thoughtless as the sportive lambs that cropped the clover of the neighboring hill-side.
2. Engrossed with study or play,- for at this distance of time it is impossible to tell which,— we had not noticed the low rumbling of the distant thunder, till a sudden flash of lightning arrested our attention. Immediately the sun was veiled by the cloud, and a corresponding gloom settled upon every face within. The elder girls, with the characteristic thoughtfulness of women, hastily inquired whether they should not make the attempt to lead their younger brothers and sisters to the paternal roof before the bursting of the storm.
3. For a moment our little community was thrown into utter confusion. The teacher stepped hastily to the door to
survey more perfectly the aspect of the western heavens. Oppressed with dread, — for it is no uncommon thing for children in the country to be terrified by lightning, some of the youngest of us clung to our older brothers or sisters, while others, being the sole representatives of their family in the school, for the first time felt their utter loneliness in the midst of strangers, and gave utterance to their feelings in audible sighs or unequivocal sobs.
4. The teacher, meanwhile, with an exemplary calmness and self-possession, closed the windows and the doors, and then seated himself quite near the younger pupils, to await the result. The thick darkness gathered about us, as if to make the glare of the lightning, by contrast, more startling to our vision; while the loud thunder almost instantly followed, as it were the voice of God. .
5. The wind howled through the branches of a venerable tree near by, bending its sturdy trunk, and threatening to break asunder the chords which bound it to its mother earth. An angry gust assailed the humble building where we were sheltered; it roared down the capacious chimney, violently closed a shutter that lacked a fastening, breaking the glass by its concussion, and almost forced in the frail window sashes on the westerly side of the room. Quicker and more wild the lightnings glared — flash after flash — as if the heavens were on fire; louder and nearer the thunder broke above our heads, while the inmates of the room, save the teacher, were pale with terror.
6. At this moment there was a sudden cessation of the war of elements,-a hush,-almost a prophetic pause! It was that brief interval which precedes the falling torrent. A dread stillness reigned within the room. Every heart beat hurriedly, and every countenance told the oonsternation that was reigning within. It was an awful moment !
7. With a calm voice, breathing a subdued and confiding spirit, the teacher improved this opportunity to impress upon our young minds a great truth. “Fear not, children,” said he, “it is your Heavenly Father that sends the storm as well as the sunshine and the gentle breeze. You have been just as much in his power all day, as you are at this moment. He has been as near you, supporting you, supplying you with breath, with life all through the pleasant morning; but then you did not see him. He is just as able to protect you now, for 'not a sparrow falls to the ground without his notice,'and he ruleth the storm and 'rideth upon the wings of the wind.' We should ever feel willing to trust him; for he is ever able to grant us deliverance from all our dangers. God is here now to protect us."
8. Just as he finished these words the rain began to fall. First the drops were few and scattered, but soon the windows of heaven were opened, and the thirsty ground was abundantly satisfied. The sound of the thunder became fainter and fainter as the cloud passed away; the sun burst out again in renewed splendor; the full drops glittered in his beams upon the grass; the birds began their songs; the rainbow spanned the eastern hills; and our hearts, taught by the timely instructions of a good man, began to expand with eager gratitude for our preservation by the hand of our Heavenly Father.
9. The remainder of the afternoon passed happily away; and when our books were laid aside, and we were ready to burst out of the room to enjoy the refreshing air and participate in the general joy, the teacher, taking the Bible from the desk, asked us to remain quiet a moment, while he read a few words that he hoped we should never forget.
10. The passage was the following, from the 65th Psalm:
“By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation ; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea. Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power; which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.
11. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.
“Thou visitest the earth and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.
“ Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly, thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers, thou blessest the springing thereof.
“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side.
“The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing."
12. After closing the book, the teacher said, “Go out now, children, and witness how perfectly these words have been fulfilled toward us this afternoon,-and, from this day's mercies, learn hereafter to trust God as confidently in the storm, when he displays his power. by his outward 'tokens,' as when he kindly smiles upon you in the beams of the glorious sun, or gently breathes upon you in the morning breeze."
13. We went forth bounding in gladness and gratitude, and saw the “outgoings of the evening to rejoice,” — "the pastures clothed with flocks,"_" the valleys covered over with corn,”—“the little hills rejoicing on every side ; "- we heard also the general “shout for joy,” — and we felt, as we never before had felt, a deep, thorough, abiding conviction of the truth that God is our father and our friend; the God OF OUR SALVATION.
14. I know not how soon these impressions faded from the minds of the other children,- but, for myself, I can say, that from that time to the present, whenever I have been exposed to apparent danger from the impending tempest, the warring elements, or the ravages of disease, the teachings of that hour have always revived in my mind, to soothe my troubled spirit, and to reassure my faith and confidence in the presence of an all-sufficient and merciful Preserver. A thousand times have I devoutly blessed the memory of that faithful teacher, for having so early and so happily turned my thoughts upward to Him, in whom “we live and move and have our being."
LXX.- BRING FLOWERS.
1. Bring flowers, young flowers, for the festal board,
2. Bring flowers to strew in the conqueror's path! He bath shaken thrones with his stormy wrath,