Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

seemed so cheerful, and complained so little of his ailments. When the doctor called next day about two o'clock, he raised himself on his elbow, and conversed for some time with great buoyancy, but in a moment suddenly he again complained of the pain, laid his head back upon the pillow, closed his eyes, and quietly fell asleep.

There was no articulate prayer, no parting counsel to surrounding friends, no dying testimony. Nor was this needed. By the uniform tenor of his conduct, and through the course of a long life, both in the church and the world, in the bosom of his family and in the walks of Christian philanthropy, he had been a living epistle of Christ, which might be known and read of all mankind.

Death struck with no foreshadowing fears,

He struck our joy when full of leaf;
The ebb and flow of changing years

Has never changed that tideless grief.

Upon the pool the shadows play,

The glancing sunbeams wave and cross ;
But deep below and every day,

There lies the under-sense of loss.

We miss his voice upon the stair,

We miss the joyous night's farewell,
Miss the quick glance and silver hair,

Among the walks he loved so well.

This house is shadow of a shade,

And we like birds whose nest is gone ; Yet round the wreck that has been made,

The double wreck, they linger on.

To Him who made his face so bright,

Who gave him such a shining soul, Then took him where he walks in light,

'Mid the great ages' perfect whole.

Oh, stretch across the gulf of death !

Oh, stretch to me that kindred hand! Be near me on this shore of faith;

Be with me when I quit the land.'

[graphic]
[graphic][merged small][merged small]

"He bringeth them unto their desired haven.'—PSALM

CVII. 30

6

A

over.

MEETING at the "Sailor's Home' on Thursday the 9th November, at twelve o'clock, stands recorded in his little

memorandum-book, amongst the number of his prospective engagements.

But ere that day had dawned, life's stormy voyage with himself was

The bark that had set out on many a friendly enterprise, and weathered many a perilous storm, had reached the quiet haven. And he who, like a mariner, homeward bound, had been toiling with such indomitable courage, and for such a lengthened period of time, amid the trials and the conflicts of this mortal life, had now landed on the peaceful shore, upon which no rough billow shall ever break, and found for his wearied spirit an asylum more tranquil than the "Sailor's Home,'—a place of calm and enduring rest in the mansions of his Father's house above.

"I thought of those whose struggles all were o'er,

In the calm rest of God's untroubled sleep ;
Of white-robed saints upon che tideless shore,

Where none may toil or weep.

And then I thought of that far better land,

From every storm and darkening tempest free,
Where never billow sobs upon the strand,

For there is no more sea.

Until I almost longed to be at rest

From life's exceeding sorrow and its care,
To join, even now, the anthems of the blest-

Their perfect gladness share !

But while I dreamed of God's eternal home,

Watching the shadows as they flitted by,
Voices all dear and earnest seemed to come

From out the grave and sky.

Bidding me work while it is called to-day ;

To suffer, if He will, and so be strong ;
To use His blessed gifts as best I may,

For no true life is long.'

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy

victory ?'-I COR. XV. 55.

came to

a

[ocr errors]

N some respects it was a grievous shock

and a bitter disappointment to surviving relatives, that the summons

James Nisbet so suddenly. Yet, even here, it is not difficult to trace the hand of a Father and the manner of his removal very forcibly suggests the remarkable words of the Divine Redeemer : He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.' Or as it is expressed in another passage, • If a man keep my saying he shall never see death.'

And so it was with him. Death indeed came to him, but he did his work so quickly, that the sufferer was scarce sensible of the sting which he once dreaded; he was not required to walk with sad and

« ForrigeFortsett »