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A Spring Flower Faded

A Spring Flower Faded image A Spring Flower Faded image
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A spring flower, indeed, was our little C, dewy, and glowing witb innocenco and beauty ; a sweet bud, plucked ore itopened to tlie dav, leaving to us Gut her gentío memory, floatitig in upon our souls like a pleasant fragrance. The death of a little child - with what complete and weary desolalion it filis a lióme ! How all seems dark without the gleam of onw brigh t face - how all seems silent without th sound of one glad voice - how all seems colj without the glow of one lost love ! But the mother, poor, stricken heart, whoshall count her tears, who shall sound the depths of her affliction ? How must she mis that face, that buried love - the fond twininp of little arms about her neck, and the pressuro of soft, warm Upa against her own ! And lior often will she listen unconsciously fortlie light footsteps which shall come no more and how at the mention of one name, will her heart bleed within her, will she grow faint through all her soul! How often in the deep nightr will she wake to miss one dear head from her bosom, and stretcli forth her hand and cali upon her dead in the agnny of vain yearning - " Gon!, gone forevor - bost treasure of my heart - young life of my life - my child, my precious babe ! Why hast thou left me desolate, oh, rny God ï" This ís the language of a mother'& ijiteusa sorrow in the despairing blindness of a first terrible bereavement. But with the Christain mother, there succeeds to this storm of the sou), a sweet and holy calm, when balmy breathings from the celestial shore steal over the troubled waters, and the voice of divina Iovq iays, "Peace, be stiü" the thick clouds part nbove her, grow silvery with brightness and revea! a heavei starry with t+ie glorie of God. Oh, how TMar to tho bcreaveil mother, is the Mnsier, the moek Rodeemer - for was ha nol " .1 rrmn of sorrona, and aoqiinintcd o'üh e.'ioft" In tho hour of hor iitter ilesolntion. whnn th crnshing weight of her nnguüh nath borne lier to tho rnrth. Ho offers not 10 lorfamr Kp.with a terrible moekory, "i trohlot oí '" nll nnii vinfpar." hut il nip ni'cil with ho hfit oonsolations - a ilranhl ot'joy eternal, wlncli is the hope of mmortality, Slie knows - that mother - that t!;e child lost to her, has been fnunj and cared for hy tho angela ; and ts spirit hath hut passed.HUe a hird of pas3sgp, f rom tho storms and chili airs of a wir.try land, to a elimo of unending stimmer, whoso BUmhino is the amilo of love, whose atmosphero is the brealh of peace. She knowe that the fragüe flower which faded on her bo som, hath sprung into lovelier life and aweeter bloon), ir. " the garden of the Lord." Thero ia one incident in history which strikingy shows the helievin mother's indehtcdnes9 to the Go?ppl of Christ," " nnd revoals how grestly she is blessed ahove her heaihen sister. It is this : Cleomnnes, King of Sparta, was imprisoned by one of the Ptolemies. He escaped hy a bold strategem, but faiÜBg to miso a rebeli.on, feil upon his sword and died. Ptolemy, greatly exasporated, ordcred that the Spartan'9 family should bo put to death. Cratcsclea, one of the most heroic of Sparta's heroic womdn, entreated to die before the children ; but this was not permitted her - ahe beheld them perish, nnd as the dagger pierced her own bosom, she cried, "Oh, rny children, fhith"er are ye goncV' Can words nonvey to tlie minci more agony ofsnul these ? Arnid the sharp anguish, went forth that cry - " Oh, my children, whithtr Hre yo gone V' - a qjestion offearful import, which thope wns none to nnswer. The life of earth was fa?t fading behind, and before her lay a renlm, shadowy and strnnge and dim - "a voicelcss shorc." She huno wilh unspeaknble foar over a dark and unf'athomable aby?s. into whicb shc had seen lurled the children of her lovc, and strove to discern thetn pre she plunged herself into that vast gnlf, which sent up no murmurs from its black and awful deptbs. ín vain, in viiin, ihnt last, wild, downward gaze ! In vain that listening pause. Shc beheld not even the gleam nf a floating robe on that midnïght derp ; she heard nnt. the fnintest cry of a lo ved voicc suving - "Herí :r? we, ■come ilion to us!" - aiui iu blinduess and de epairing frenzy, desc'erdrd her spirit to the dread abyss of deaih. For then the faith in Him " who tnsted denth foi our sake," had not como, like a sustaining angel, to receive the falling soul, and bcar it npward ; tho " Star of Bethlehem1' liad nut risen on the night of the gravo. Then, oh, wel! might the mother mourn and "refuse to be cnmforted," for Jesús had not said, "Suffer Hule children to cnme unto me and forbil them not, forofsuch is the kingdom ofheaven." Oh, ynung mother, if, when from your arm you lay your dead babe, vet warm with your last embrace, upon thecold bosom oftheeardi. your heart is buried with it, and you pine and pray for tlie grave-rest heside your darüng, think how far more terrible xhr anguish born of th( convictiön that the gentle and loving sprit liad passed into nothingness, as thosc fair litnhj and that svvcet fuce, tliose shining curls, ■those soft lips and those dear eyes, fall into dust, colorlcs3 and lifelcss. The child departed has been 8pokcn of as a faded flower. This it is not ; but a flower ti-aii?[)lantcd, iti the morn of its beautif'ul existence. Had it lingcred here the dustof low decires and ihi f sin might have wcighed it lo the earth, and dimmed forever its earlv loveliness; unholy pleasures might have stolen away the breath of its pui-ity, and fiery passinns drank up the dew r.r i;s innocence and Büt ririw, the re glovs -itlii!i ts heai ; tlie bloom of iinmorlalify - it ever sendath up the !i:cense of pruiie, and there ever falloth upon its baptismal dews, which are morning cxhaialions frum "he rivcr of life." Tlie exqiiisiti! and mournful tenderneas wbich uccccls '.o a mother's bereavement. is one of the Fi'pIIcst and most beautiful things out of fiiéáveri. The maternal hearr, ihongh broken and desolate is not closed against the sorrovvingnnd of otherg. Then it is that woman beenmes a bietsing and a support to íhe un fortúnate : then pressing aainst her lacerared breast, ike a holy cross, th divine love ofChrist, her gympathy goes fortii bomidlessly lo all the afflictL'd ; and zchi!dhood liecomes to her ns sacred ns n the hnur wlien. upon the young.iewish lirows.upturned in childisii wondir, the beautiful benediction of the Saviour feil hke nn invisil)le baptism. The writerof this orce ïvitnossed a touching incident, which will not soon pass from her ! membrance. She was visitingf Laurel Hill Cemetery, one dark and chilly day.enrly in the winier. X'Vhile she stood beside the beautiful monument wjiicli reclines the exqjisite statue ofa child, Alfred Tlieodiire, and a young and lovely woman, in deep mourning; camo up, nnd pausing, looked long upon that fair and sleeping figure, and wept, as perhaps she had but. latei v went fnr her own dearbabe. It was a bitter coli) day for the season ; no hirds sang in the buró branches, through which sijjhed the wild winds of Docember; not one floral watchar over the dead had survived the autumnal ínosts; a liglit gnow was heginntiig to fall, and there wns icc on the peláis of tho fculptnred ,.lüy, whieh lay broken by the side of the slumbering infant. Suddenly there carne a blast, sweeping before it a cloud of snow-Makcs and I withtiied leaves. With a corivulsive shudder and a low cry of pitying angnish, the weeping tUnmgar caught the warm shawl from her own ttouwol, and flung ir. over the railing and on to the sculoturud child ! O, how blessed must have been ia her the thoughl whieh succeeileil, sheddin" a genial glow throiigh linr clulled heart and tremblii]" frame, iliHt the infant spirit dwelt where no pain nnd cold might come ; folded Wke o lamh in ths arms carriel 'enderly in the bosora of the " Gonri Shepherd." O, mothep, when the soni-light fades frorn the eye,vvhen the death-tlew s'tles on the brow of thy lal)e, listen to the divine volee whieh comes to thy spirit, w'uspering, " It is well with ihe cliild." In tho harsh cup of sorroiv, tliou drinUest the pearl of a priceless joy. - Strew wiih violets tbine ioaPnU's coffin-pilloivj rose-bu()s in ils üllle hands ; pïont many flrtwors upnn its grave, for they are faint types of those unfading flowers wliich shall spring along its path, and crown lts brow wilh immortal bennty, in the Parad se of God. And go thou often to tliat grave at eventide, and sing abovc it Ljw sweet hymns of praise ; and it may be, tliat as tliy song flonts upward, thy chil3 may hear the loved voice in the pauses of celestial music, and may descend to thee- its nngel presence be arronnd thee, ilent and pure as the gtarlight ! It may thon return, thou'gh invisibl.y, lo thy fond arms, and hide itl cherub íjjce in thy bosom. Then shal! the breath of ts love ponotrato to tliy hcarr, fillinpr ?t xviih temlerncss nntl joy, nnil " the peace of God, which passeth a nnderstnniling."