« AnteriorContinuar »
us with their presence. He who, in the darkness of affliction and bereavement, has such monitors as these to make the bright spots of the past live again, has an ingredient in his cup of sorrow, which turns bitterness into sweetness, and makes the grave a hallowed and a blessed spot near which to linger.
The grave of a mother is a place of singular interest. We can recall no words, no acts, no love, with such emotions as we can those of a mother. Others have helped to drive life's woes away in the sunny days of youth, and the busy hour of manhood; but, in helplessness, she was our protector, and, in the frequent yet too often disregarded griefs and disappointment childhood, she was our best sympathizer. It was her gentle voice and silent look of reproof, which, in the impetuous days of youth, restrained us from the treacherous paths of vice, and led us to pass unheeded the siren notes of temptation.
It was her bright smile and mysterious influence that threw a charm about the social circle, brighter than the tinsel and glitter of unholy pleasure. It was her prevailing prayer which followed us through the mazes of a deceitful world, and shielded us from harm, amid the fierce struggle of conflicting passions and the assaults of ten thousand adversaries. We owe her more than a life of gratitude and faithful effort can repay; and the cold neglect of indifference and ungratefulness, which may long lie buried and forgotten, will return, perhaps too late for remedy, to fill us with that woe which is its legitimate fruit. And when she is gone, the words of love, spoken in “by-gone hours," and the look of gratitude, and the act of filial obedience, will blossom like sweet flowers on her grave, and bless us with their fragrance.
Reader, did you ever stand by the grave of a mother? If you have not, that hour, so painfully dark, or cheered by many a bright star to chase the gloom away, may come to you. It may come in the days of youthful carelessness, or in the serious hour of manhood. That smile which so often lighted up her face, may come again, either to reprove you for coldness and indifference, or to comfort you with the filial love which repaid it. Those oftrepeated words of reproof, which came from her devoted faithfulness, may come back to mind, when the lips that uttered them
are cold in death ; and they will remind you of the recklessness or obedience which rewarded them.
Those prayers, so often put up for you, may be heard again, when the heart which throbbed in their utterance has ceased to beat; and they will have a meaning in them, which will make the hour of remembrance a precious or an unwelcome one.
Ohareader, if ever, by a careless word or act, you have requited a mother's love; if ever, in a hasty moment, you have returned her look of reproof with the frown of displeasure ; if ever, by a wayward step, you have sent a thrill of pain through the heart that yearned for you—think of that hour when these things, which now appear light and trivial, may lie upon your stricken heart a painful burden, which you would, but cannot throw off. And think, too, of that hour, when kindness gratefully received, and wishes faithfully met, and love affectionately reciprocated, will shed light into the night of bereavement, and chase away with their brightness the presence of anguish. The mother's grave may be to you the most blessed and sacred spot on earth ; for it may
tell of a holy love and a faithful gratitude. It may bring to your delighted view a past, all radiant with smiles given and returned, with joys imparted and reflected, with love bestowed and reciprocated; and it may point to a Future, bright as Heaven, because blest with a Father's smile; a Future, in which loved ones shall meet in purity and perfect bliss.
J. L. C.
HINTS TO SABBATH-SCHOOL TEACHERS.
REMEMBER you are dealing with souls which are to live eternally; that they are now like the melted silver, capable of receiving impressions which will last forever. Then stamp upon them the image of Christ; and though it may show but faintly now, God will bless your faithful, prayerful labor, and bring out that image to shine as a star in glory. Remember that Christ, the Great Teacher, is your pattern, and that, in order to be a faithful teacher, pleasing God, you must be like him. Like him in prayer.
The stillness of night and early morn witnessed his early supplications. Like him in teaching. The hearts of his hearers burned within them, and their souls were quickened at his words. Like him in spirit. Peaceful, meek, humble, and pure in heart. Like him by the way. Ever uttering words of comfort and kindness to all who came to him troubled. Like him at all times. Doing the will of your Father in heaven. Like him in knowledge. Possessing the knowledge of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
REPORT OF THE NORTH ADAMS, MASS., MA.
This day, beloved sisters, brings us to the seventh anniversary of this Maternal Association. For seven years have we held on our way-now, rejoicing in the glad sunshine of propitious skies, ourselves and our dear families the objects of our Heavenly Father's preserving care and favor—then, walking beneath the gathering clouds of sorrow and adversity, faint and distressed, too faithless often in the assurance that the same kind Father's providence is over us, and in the gracious promise, “ Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” During these years, who of us has not received mercies as innumerable as unmerited, from the hand of our God? Who, ah! who among us, has not tasted of the of sorrow?
But it belongs to us especially to review the past year, to note its most prominent events, our progress, and present position.
The meetings of the Association, with two exceptions, have been held, and for the most part well attended and sustained. The quarterly meetings have been observed, and the children are progressing in the Catechism, which they are studying, under the instruction of our pastor, who always meets with us on these occasions. Their sweet voices also unite in singing some hymn they have committed to memory. No meeting among us seems to cre
ate more real interest than this. It touches a chord which vibrates through all our hearts, to which we cannot be insensible. Would that more among us would rightly appreciate the blessing of a Maternal Association! Our list at the present time numbers forty mothers and one hundred and forty-one children. No mother among us, during the year, has been removed by death. One, with her little family of three sweet children, has given us the parting hand, and sought another home, in Montreal ; but we cherish her memory, and her little ones are still near to our hearts. May the Saviour dwell with them, and be their portion forever. Another sister, who two years since removed from among us, has been called to deep affliction. Her oldest son, a promising youth of sixteen, has been suddenly cut down by death. The name of E. H. is the first recorded on the list of children who have belonged to this Association. But we bless God that our dear sister sorrows not as those without hope. Her son, about a year since, connected himself with a Christian church, of which, though the youngest, he was a very active member. He died, commending early religion to his young associates, and rejoicing in hope of a glorious immortality. Some of our own families have been invaded by death. Scarcely was our last report completed, ere one of our little band was cold in its embrace. A. W. P. was a bright and promising boy of five years. He had attended school through the summer, and just before his death had been present at its examination, when his speaking face and ready answers had excited general interest and remark. “Death loves a shining mark," and he must be the victim. May we not hope he is a pupil now in the school of Jesus, where none of the temptations or sins of earth can enter? The next removed was W. H. E., aged eight years. His sickness was short and distressing, and the affliction was indeed great to his parents, who have many times been called to weep over the graves of their children.
of their children. Who has not listened to Willy's voice of melody, as he sang at our doors, “Home, sweet home," or some other favorite song? But from his grave to-day comes to our hearts another voice of sclemn exhortation, saying, “ Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
Our sister Mrs. S., while absent from her home, has just been
called to part with her youngest child, of some more than a year's brief existence. Separated from her husband by so great a distance, and for so uncertain a period, what an aching void must the death of this dear babe leave in her desolate heart! Ah! never can the far-famed mines of California's soil restore the dead to life, or preserve to us our richest treasures, those of our heart's true love! No, gold is powerless here, and let us give it only its true value, and teach our children, too, its proper estimate. In this time of excitement on this absorbing subject, let us, as mothers, seek to exert a saving influence. Let us more earnestly pray, that our children may “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and that those from among us who, like the merchantman, are seeking goodly pearls, may like him find one pearl of great price, and sell all that they have, and buy it.
Another evil among us, to which our children are more or less exposed, is the desecration of the Sabbath of the Lord. I fear we are not sufficiently alive to the importance of this subject. During the past season the Sabbath, with its sacred claims, has been presented to us, in a series of sermons, by our pastor; and oh, that his words of warning and exhortation may be remembered and heeded by us all. If we love our children, and desire their best good, let us teach them to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." How full and emphatic are the promises of God's word to all such as call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and how fearful the threatenings denounced against such as esteem the Sabbath a weariness, and say, “When will it be gone ??? God, in a most striking manner, has set His seal upon the declarations of His word on this subject, in His providential dealings. Let us cherish the Sabbath, with its institutions and ordinances, as our richest inheritance, and teach our children, that they can never trample upon it without incurring the fearful judgments of an offended God.
To many of our families, the past year, another treasure has been added, but not without the addition, also, of new anxieties and obligations. Much at the present day is said and written upon a mother's duty and influence. Doubtless our own judgment responds to the sentiments of the wise and good on this sub