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to sternness and severity; and Lord Macaulay said spring, and the rich ripe fruits of autumn. It was that they objected to bear-baiting, not becanse not the pleasant things in the world that came from it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave plea- the Devil, and the dreary things from God; it was sure to the spectators; but my impression is, that “ sin brought death into the world and all our many of them were very far from being grim and woe;" as the sin vanishes, the woe will vanish too. gloony. John Owen--who may be taken as a very God himself is the ever-blessed God. He dwells fair example of the Independents of the Common in the light of joy as well as of purity, and instead Fealth-was as graceful and accomplished a gentle. of becoming more like Him as we become more maa, as polished, as courteous, and as free from miserable, and as all the brightness and glory of artaicial and conventional restraints, as can well be life are extinguished, we become more like God as imagined. When he was a student he delighted in our blessedness becomes more complete. The great mally exercises-in leaping, throwing the bar, bell. Christian graces are radiaut with happiness. Faith, ringing, and similar amusements; he learnt to play hope, charity-there is no sadness in them :-and if the date, the fashionable instrument for gentlemen penitence makes the heart sad, penitence belongs to in those days, from the most celebrated performer the sinner not to the saint; as we become more di the time, who was also tutor to Charles I. ; saintly, we have less sin to sorrow over. and when Owen became Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, No, the religion of Christ is not a religion of he made his old music-master professor of music in sorrow. It cousoles wretchedness, and brightens the uuiversity. He was a very different kind of with a divine glory the lustre of every inferior joy. peleon, even when he became Vice-Chancellor, from It attracts to itself the broken-hearted, the lonely, what those of us would imagine who suppose that the weary, the despairing, but it is to give them the saints who reigned under Cromwell were a rest, comfort, and peace. It rekindles hope; it in. martitied race of men. The historian of the Uni- spires strength, courage, and joy. It checks the
exity of Oxford is very severe upon the great merriment of the thoughtless who have never con, ludependent for not being sufficiently dignified and sidered the graver and more awful realities of man's solenn in his dress, Instead," says Anthony life and destiny, but it is to lead them through Wool, "of being a grave example to the university, trapsient sorrow, to deeper and more perfect blessedLe seoraed all formality, undervalued his office by ness, even in this world, than they had ever felt goug in quirpo (whatever that may be) “like a before the sorrow came, young scholar with powdered hair, snake-bone Take the representations of the Christian faith band-strings" that is, - band-strings with very which are given in the New Testament, and you Large tassels—"lawn bands, a very large set of will see that, though it may be a religion for the ribbons pointed at his knees, and Spanish leather sorrowful, it is not the religion of sorrow. To boots, with large lawn tops, and his hat mostly hearts oppressed with guilt it offers the pardon of cocked ;' all of which means that John Owen was God; to those who dread divine displeasure it too much of a daudy for Anthony Wood, who hated reveals God's infinite love; to those who are tor. the Puritans and all their doings. John Milton mented with the consciousness of moral evil, and taught that there was a time to laugh as well as to penetrated with shame and self-contempt by the #eep, and in one of his sonpets invites his friend habitual failure of every purpose and endeavour to Cyriac Skinner “deep thoughts to drench in mirth live a pure and perfect life, it offers the inspiration that after no repeating draws,' and, having said of the Holy Ghost. If at the commencement of Se To measure life, learn thou betimes, and know, 1
the Christian life, it relies on the purifying power of Towards solid good, what leads the nearest way,” . penitence, and if to the very end it encourages devout
and reverential fear, it also teaches that the joy of Le adds,
God is our strength; and it is an apostolic precept * For other things, mild Heaven a time ordains,
that we should Rejoice evermore. As for the chief And disapproves that care, though wise in show, troubles which annoy and distress mankind, it That with superfluous burden loads the day, And when God sends a cheerful hour refraing."
possesses the only secret which can make them felt
less keenly, and borne without that bitterness of There are, no doubt, times when joy is im spirit which often poisons grief, and transforms a possible. When the heart is broken it cannot be calamity, morally harmless, into a curse and a sin. "merry.” But what is pecessary for some people It tells the anxious to cast all their care upon God, to remember is that cheerfulness, good spirits, and to “take no thought for the morrow ;" the ught-beartedness,, merrimenti, are not unchristian poor that they may be heirs of a divine glory ; aor unsaiotly. ii dr.
those who have had heavy losses, of riches which We do not please God more by eating bitter aloes never take to themselves wings, treasures of which than by eating honey. A cloudy, foggy, rainy day they can never be robbed ; it tells those who have
not more heavenly than a day of sunshine. A suffered from injustice and calumoy, of a righteous funeral march is not so much like the music of Judge and an equitable judgment-seat; it reveals angels 23 the songs of birds on a May morning. to the sick a life of immortal health ; and to those There is no more religion in the gaunt, vaked forest whose hopes are wrecked in this world a world 10 winter than in the laughing blossoms of the beyond death, in which they may have a career brighter and more triumpbant than their happiest is not of much use telling these people to mix in imaxinations can conceive. Nor is it silent and cheerful society; it is only a very rare cheerfulness helpless when those we love pass from us, and are that can last very long in their presence. It is not laid in the dust. It was not Christ who brought of much use telling them to visit the sick and the death into the world ; nor by rejecting Christ can poor, to learn what real trouble is, and so egeare we or our friends become immortal. The brain from imaginary evils; for however much good such was burned with the fires of fever, the limbs were visits might do to themselves, the unhappy victims struck with paralysis, the harmonious movements of their sympathy, instead of being cousoled and of the heart were troubled with fatal disease, before strengthened by their kindness, would only dis- ! Christ came; and these evils would continue in cover, after they had left, that their troubles, the world if all memory of the Christian faith | which seemed bad enough to bear before, have perished. But to the dying, and those who mourn somehow been magnified and made more intoler. 1 for the dead, Christ reveals glory and immortality able than ever. People of this sort are to be pitied,' as the certain destiny of all who love and fear God. and all about them are to be pitied too. The only i It does not become a Christian to be “melancholy." use, perhaps, that can be made of them is to take
warning from them not to iudulge too freely in the It was the fashion thirty years ago to think that luxury of woe; it becoines a species of moral dram. , habitual melancholy made people interesting. When drinking, or opium-eating, from which, when once Lord Byron's poetry was most popular, it was a yielded to, it is almost impossible to escape. ! mark of distinction to be consumed by a hidden Solomon was right-“A merry heart doeth good grief, to talk of a desolate life, to have a counten like a medicine,” The Hebrew is rather more expres- | ance pale with unutterable misery. There are still sive than the English, and also more just. For some very young persons whose health is not very medicine, though it may do us good, often does it good, and whose brain is not very sound, who affect in a very unpleasant way, inaking us miserable and this poetical gloom. Let me assure them that disconsolate at first, though we are brighter and instead of making them interesting, it makes them better for it afterwards. Cheerfulness, if a meextremely unpleasant, and that all sepsible people dicine at all, is medicine of a very agreeable kind. regard this affectation with contempt.
The Hebrew might read, translating it freely, "A There are other persons who have a most sur merry heart keeps the body healthy and sound, prising genius for making the most of all the pro makes a wound heal quickly, so that the bandage saic troubles of life. You never see them but they may soon be removed.". What a relief it is, after a have some new calamity to talk of. At first, and limb has been long bound, to have the bandage taken until you come to understand them, you think off! How welcoine the freedom from restraint ! them the most afflicted of mankind, and your How welcome the sense of recovered soundness ! sympathy is touched by the look of distress That is the kind of feeling which the proverb says which has become habitual to their countenance, comes from a cheerful heart; it keeps the body and by the tone of despair which is hardly ever wholesome, so that if a wound comes it is soon absent from their voice. But you discover by and cured. A moody spirit, like an unhealthy physical by that they are not worse off than other people. condition, makes slight wounds dangerous, and the They have no severe sickness in their house; they cure very protracted and wearisome. are not in danger of bankruptcy; they eat well-and sleep well; their children are not idiots or cripples; If it be a part of Christian charity to alleviate - why should they be always miserable? They the miseries of mankind, then the cultivation of a have somehow got in the habit of being so. They cheerful spirit is a Christian duty. Why should carry about a moral microscope, which makes you lighten the sorrows of the poor by your alms, revelations to them of which other people are hap and make your own house miserable by your pily ignorant. No matter how clear the water is, habitual gloom? And if you have learnt anything they can always see in it disgusting creeping things. of human nature, you will know that among the pleaEvery ache in their limbs is a threatening of hor- santest things that can find their way into a louse rible agony ; every odd feeling the symptom of where there is auxiety and want, are the music of a latent and, perhaps, mortal disease ; if a chance happy voice and the sunshine of a happy face. The dimness comes over their eyes, they are certain 'best person to visit the aged and the poor-other they will soon be blind ; if they strain å tendon, things of course being equal -is the one whose step they make sure of being lame for life. They see is the lightest, whose heart is the merriest, and the dark shadows of dreadful vices in the slight who comes into a dull and solitary home like a follies of their children. They see impending ruin fresh mountain breeze, or like a burst of sunlight on if their income falls five per cent. They think of a cloudy day. No one can make a greater mistake the affairs of the world much in the saine way, and than to suppose that he is too cheerful to be a good make ready for the battle of Armageddon if the visitor of the sick and the wretched. Cheerfulness French emperor adds a few thousand men to his is one of the most precious gifts for those who army. It is hard to say how this unfortunatc desire to lessen the sorrows of the world. It can habit is to be cured, when onee it is formed. It do that which wealth cannot do. Money may
diminish external miseries; a merry heart can, for cheerfulness of spirit which will enable us to adu the time at least, drive the interior grief away. to the general sum, at once of the happiness and
It is possible to cherish and encourage this spirit virtue of our race. Christ has not come into the of joyousness, even where it is not the result of world for nothing. His work has not been a fail.
satural temperament. Consider what it is that de- / ure. We may recognise in multitudes the bright i presses, you and makes you gloomy. If it is the image of His own perfections. The invisible
monsciousness of sin, often confessed, never heartily Spirit is revealed in the visible excellences of in| forsaken, appeal to Him who can purify as well as numerable Christian people, who * add" to their pardon; master for a single week the temptation to "faith, virtue'. . . knowledge , .. temperance... which you habitually yield, and you will find your patience ... godliness ... brotherly kindness ... sell in a new world, breathing clearer air, and with charity.” The morbid anatomy of human souls is l a doudless heaven above you. If it is incessant not a pleasant study ; I doubt whether it is very thought about your own personal affairs, escape from profitable ; I am sure it is very depressing. I prethe contracted limits of your personal life by care fer to thank God for the spiritual health and for the wants of others. Determine, too, to think strength of those in whom I see His promises more of what is fair and generous and noble in translated into facts; and if sometimes it is nehuman nature than of what is contemptible and cessary to dwell upon the moral evil which clings selfish. Those who distrust the world and think even to good men, and upon the terrible depravity of meanly of it can never be happy. There is sin the ontcasts of Christian society, I find in Him a enough, no doubt, both in ourselves and others; “refuge " from the sore " trouble" which the vision hat there is more of heroic goodness, more of saintly of sin brings with it. He is ready to pardon the self-sacrifice, more of geniality and kindness than guiltiest, and to bring home to Himself those who i some of us seem to suppose. It makes my heart have gone furthest astray. 1 * merry" to think of the patience and courage Why should those who have seen God's face be ' with which many that I know are bearing heavy sad?"In His presence," both on earth and in troubles ; the generosity with wbich some of the heaven, there is “fulness of joy." poor relieve the distresses of those who are more
TIence lonthed Whelancholy, i wretched than themselves; the firmness which Of Cerberus and blackest midnight born,
some are showing in the presence of great temptations to wrong doing; the energetie devotion of
Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy;
Find out some uncouth cell, others to the highest welfare of all whom their Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings, | influence can reach; and I believe that a generous, And the night-raven sings; bearty faith in the real goodness that adorns and
There under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks,
As ragged as thy locks, ennobles mankind, is one of the best aids to that
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.”
R. W. DALE.
“Sing, Poet, 'tis a merry world;
health, and cheerfulness, his thoughts never wanThat cottage smoke is rolled and curled.
dered far from the mysterious and awful borders of *In sport, that every moss ' 1, . Is happy, every inch of soil :
the Silent Land. References to Death and the in Before me runs a road, of toil, um
Future run like a solemn undertone, heard at With my grave cut across. 31 Sing, 'trailing showers and breezy downs,
intervals more or less distinctly, through all the Iknow the tragic hearts of towns."
melodies of his verse or prose. They occur in his
earliest as well as in his latest works. One of his So sang Alexander Smith, twelve years ago, in best essays is expressly devoted to the subject of the freshness of his youth and strength. , It seemed “Death and Dying ;”, and there is a most pathetic
Fery unlikely then that the gloomy image suggested, passage referring to it in that “On the Importance Hin the fifth and sixth lines expressed anything of a Man to Himself." In one of his latest essays,
Eore than a poetic generality. For no one familiar exquisite alike in thought and style, in the Argosy with the singer's pleasant face and bright smile of December, 1865, “On an Old Subject,” he seems
could associate with him the idea of anything as if pacing meditatively along the margin of that i tragic or dismal; even now, it is difficult to think great unknown sea, and the chime of his closing
of him as a dead man, whom we shall, see no words calls up a vision of the sud sinking beneath more. These lipes probably seemed to some readers its distant waves. One comes upon these thoughts
9 strike a Beedlessly, sad note in the prelude to now, with a deeper sense than before of their truth that beantiful poem on Glasgow. But the poet and force. For they were not the mere play of himseli knew better. Consciously or not, he was, fancy, but lay very deep in the poet's nature. as all true poets are, a vates, a seer of things hid And now these visions have become reality, and trom the common sight. In the midst of life, and that.“grave cut across” the toilsome path way hias