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LITTLE ONES IN HEAVEN.
EDITED BY THE AUTHOR OF
"THE AIMWELL STORIES," ETC.
“Soon, soon, thy little feet have trod
The skyward path, the seraph's road,
D. M. MOIR,
59 WASHINGTON STREET,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
GOULD AND LINCOLN, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massa
GEO. C. RAND & AVERY, BOSTON.
The death of young children is one of the most common afflictions that befall the human family. According to a recent medical authority, twenty-two per cent. of our race die before they are one year old ; thirty-seven per cent. before they are five years old; and nine-twentieths of the whole number born, die before reaching their fifteenth year.
But familiar as this form of bereavement is, the loss of a child in its early years is ordinarily one of the most sorrowful calamities that can overtake those whom God has permitted to enter into the parental relation. There is a peculiar poignancy in such a grief, as there certainly is a peculiar sadness in such a visitation of death. To see budding loveliness, with all its artless ways and its treasures of unfolded hopes, nipt in a night by the frosty touch of the destroyer — to witness the death-agonies of helpless, confiding, mutely-appealing innocence, without the power of relief
to commit to the dust in its feeble infancy the child upon whose strong arm and loving heart you had hoped to lean in the days of your own weakness and decay this is more than a sad reversal of the order of nature; it is, to the sensitive and affectionate heart, one of the sharpest pangs it is capable of enduring.
And yet it must be added that there are also many peculiar sources of consolation opened to those who
are weeping over empty cradles and tenantless little beds. These little missed ones -0, how they are missed ! are, we believe, chosen lambs, gathered into the fold of the Good Shepherd; beauteous buds, and sweet, half-opened blossoms, transplanted from our chilling atmosphere into
"those everlasting gardens, Where angels walk, and seraphs are the wardens;"
precious family jewels, rescued from a mean casket and an unsafe custody, and set as living stars in a crown of immortal beauty; glimmering germs of unschooled intelligence, expanded in a day by a heavenly magic into angel profundity, and perchance transformed into ministering spirits, to watch over the weary steps of their earthly guides, and to teach those who were once their teachers :
“How changed, dear friend, are thy part and thy child's!
He bends over thy cradle now, or holds
It is to minister such tender consolations as these to parents of children “passed into the skies," that the following collection of thoughts, suggested by the death of the young, has been made. May the soothing words of sympathy, the sweet and precious consolations, and the wise and gentle counsels, which are scattered over these pages, distil like heavenly dew upon many a bleeding heart, and help to allay those griefs with which the stranger may not intermeddle.