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“What shall I render Thee, Father Supreme,
But there was silence. Yea, a hush so deep,
THE JOYS AND SORROWS OF LIFE.
They who say that this is a miserable world, or that this is a miserable life, say not well. It is a misanthropy, or a diseased imagination only, that says this. Life is liable to misery, but misery is not its very being; it is not a miserable existence. Witness—I know not what things to say, or how many. The eye is opened to a world of beauty, and to a heaven all sublimity and loveliness. The ear heareth tones and voices that touch the heart with joy, with rapture.
The great, wide atmosphere breathes upon bathes us with softness and fragrance. Then look deeper. How many conditions are happy! Childhood is happy; and youth is prevailingly happy: and prosperity hath its joy, and wealth its satisfaction, and the warm blood that flows in the ruddy cheek
; and sinewy arm of honest poverty is a still better gift. is so hearty and cheering—none that steals forth from the windows of gay saloons—as the song of honest labour among the hills and mountains. Oh! to be a man—with the true energies and affections of a man—all men feel it to be good. To be a healthful, strong, true-hearted, and loving man-how much better is it than to be the minion, or master, of any condition_lord, landgrave, king, or Cæsar! How many affections, too, are happy-gratitude, generosity, pity, love, and the consciousness of being beloved ! And to bow the heart, in lowliness and adoration, before the Infinite, all-blessing, ever-blessed One-to see in the all-surrounding brightness and glory, not beauty and majesty only, but the all-beautiful, all-majestic, allconscious Mind and Spirit of Love—this is to be filled with more than created fulness—it is to be filled with all the fulness of God!
THE JOYS AND SORROWS OF LIFE.
A world where such things are—a world, above all, where such a Presence is—seemeth to me a goodly world.
I look around upon it, I meditate upon it, I feel its blessings and beatitudes; and I say, surely it is a world of plenteousness, and beauty, and gladness, of loves and friendships, of blessed homes and holy altars, of sacred communions, and losty aspirations, and immortal prospects; and I remember that He who made it, looked upon it, and saw that it was very good.
The world, even of nature, is not one laughing, gay scene. It is not so in fact; it appears not so in the light of our sober, solemn, Christian teachings. The dark cloud sometimes shadows it; the storm sweeps through its pleasant valleys; the thunder smites its everlasting hills; and the holy record hath said, “thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” It has been said that all the tones in nature are—to use the musical phraseon the minor key. That is to say, they are plaintive tones. And although the fact is probably somewhat exaggerated when stated so strongly and unqualifiedly, yet to a certain extent 'it is true. It is true that that tone always mingles with the music of nature. In the winds that stir the mountain pine, as well as in the wailing storm ; in the soft-falling shower, and in the rustling of the autumn leaves; in the roar of ocean, as it breaks upon the lonely seabeach; in the thundering cataract, that lifts up its eternal anthem amidst the voices of nature; and so, likewise, in those inarticulate interpretations of nature, the bleating of flocks, the lowing of herds, and even in the song of birds, there is usually something plaintive ---something that touches the sad and brooding spirit of thought. And the contemplation of nature in all its forms, as well of beauty as of sublimity, is apt to be tinged with melancholy. And all the higher musings, the nobler aspirations of the mind, possess something of this character. I doubt if there were ever a manifestation of genius in the world that did not bear something of this trait.
abid blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and Dabid said,
Blessed be thou, Lord God of Ásrael our father, for eber and
eber. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest ober all: and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to gibe strength unto all.
Now, therefore, our God, we. thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. For all things come of thee, and of thine own habe be giben thee
1 Chronicles xxix. 10, 12-14.
that y babe built for the house of the kingdom by the might of
my power, and for the honour of my majesty ? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a boice from beaben, saying, o king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken ; The kingdom is departed from thee.
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar : and he was driben from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of beaben.
Daniel iv. 30, 31, 33.