« PreviousContinue »
THE COTTAGE IN THE WOOD.
flock of thine heritage, which sycamore, the chesnut, and even
wept beside the grave of a veneThe morning had risen upon the rable pilgrim, who was resting from distant heights, and their snow-clad bis labours beneath their tranquil summits were already gleaming in shade, as if guarding his slumbers her smile. The crimson tinge she from the rude winds of heaven. It bad imparted to them deepened as reached its destination-entered we gazed on the wide amphitheatre the copsewood that overhung the of mountains; and our minds rose waters, and we saw it no more. from the material creation, which So glides by, we thought, the light we surveyed in so much loveliness, shallop of life. Now it is seen to that better and fairer world, on gaily floating on the stream of time. which the sun shall not shine by Its sails anon are opened, and the day, neither the moon by night; breeze blows favouring: but while whose hills, unlike those we con you behold it, its canvas is no longer templated, destined to be removed, unfurled; the gale that bore it forare from everlasting to everlasting; ward dies away; it attains the deand whose rivers, dissimilar to the sired haven; and disappears in the far and troubled waters, resounding mysterious gloom that envelopes as they fell from precipice to preci- the eternal shore-the world of pice, and soon to pass away, flow spirits. down with pure unmingled plea Yonder,” said my friend, as sures, and irrigate and beautify the we turned the projection of a rock garden of the Lord--the unfading that leaned over the lake, and along Paradise of God.
which our path conducted, “
yonWe were winding leisurely up a der, peeping through the trees in path that led from the adjoining the distance, is the cottage in the village, stopping at intervals to ad- wood.” Involuntarily and simulmire the surrounding scenery. The taneously, we stopped to contemlake-it was the Lake of Lucern plate its seclusion--dear to my lay stretched in unruffled placidity companion, and for his sake a before us. Not a breath agitated degree less dear to me. its surface; -not a dimple moved white, and with the blue smoke over its blue and silent depth. In curling over it looked beautiful inthe distance appeared a boat, but deed. It was, however, far reits sails were unspread; for the mote; and though dimly seen, yet breezes were asleep on the bosom our eyes lingered over it with a of the little ocean; while the storms, pleasure better felt than described. for a season hushed, were looking Deeply as my affections, from pedown in pity from the mountain on culiar circumstances, have twined its weary breast, which was only themselves round the mountains now beginning to repose from the and valleys, the wilds and woodfury with which they had lately lands, the waters and pleasant rocked it into angry and tumul- fields of Switzerland, still are there tuous waves. The oar, however, some spots where memory lingers was plying ; but its dip was lost in in the fond retrospect of years, now the quietude that dwelt around. for ever fed, with reminiscences Onward it moved, bending its more than usually grateful, and course to a small harbour, whose with interest of a kind that, yet banks were clothed with the thick wakes with a more lively emotion
the dormant feelings of my breast; month of July that I first ascended where we have beheld piety bend- this hill, after a long and tedious ing under the accumulated weight confinement, occasioned by the of affliction, and yet recognizing, in rupture of a blood vessel, while every dispensation, the supreme engaged in the important duties of direction of an Almighty Father; my vocation; and for which I had where we have ourselves been hum- been recommended to abandon my bled in Spirit, and found it good stated and arduous employments, to draw near to God; where we and to retire to these charming rehave been visited by the “day- treats. It was doubly exhilarating spring from on high ;” where the to inhale the freshness of the breeze tender mercies of redeeming love that had just sprung up, and to have distilled on us like the dew of contemplate, in their summer Hermon, and dropped on us with adornments, these woods and the reviving influence of the early waters, and to survey the blue and latter rain; where
face of heaven. I felt the beauty • Those hopes that, like refreshing gales
of those words of inspiration, At evening from the sea, come o'er the “truly, the light is sweet, and a soul,
pleasant thing it is for the eyes to Breathed from the ocean of eternity,' behold the sun;' and, simple as have fallen upon our hearts, and they are, they bore to me, in the enabled us, with joyful anticipa- situation in which disease had tion, to realize the things invisible; placed me, a weight of meaning where we have held sweet com well calculated to awaken gratimunion with those who are tude to that benignant hand, which and dear to us in the ties of the is never weary in doing good to Gospel, though now, perhaps, man.' withdrawn for a season, a little “Never weary," I replied, “inseason, from our embrace: such deed! The divine mercy is an inare some of the associations which exhaustible fountain, that enriches must ever make us look back on, many a barren spot in his dreary the scenes of other days with wilderness, diffusing through its mournful, it may be, but with un- wastes, like the palm-trees in the earthly delight; and such were desert, a coolness that revives the some of those which have left on failing courage of the pilgrim, and my mind the deep feelings with enables him again to go rejoicing which I return, in idea, to Swit on his way." zerland, and with which my soul “ My path,” continued my now hovers round the cottage in friend, "s for I then was glad to the wood.'
chuse a more gentle acclivity, hav“ As I was soon to be called ing been much reduced by illness, away,” said my companion, re- lay along the slope of that prosuming a narrative which had much jecting crag, which meets your affected me, and which I now re eye towards the higher borders of quested him to continue; “as I the lake. On my right flowed the was soon to be called
little stream which you may, perspot, which a variety of circum- haps, catch falling over yon prestances had concurred in endear- cipice, nearer its source. Though ing to me; and where I had hoped, small, that rivulet is not unknown had it been the divine will, to la- in the annals of the confederacy. bour more abundantly, I was desi- On its banks was fought one of the rous to visit once again, if it should most hardly-contested of the batbe but once, every roof in my neigh- tles which deepened the tragedy bourhood beneath which dwelt a of our independence; but which
It was in the eventually sealed the liberties of
child of peace.
Switzerland. Murmuring beside Grisler was, undoubtedly, inexme, as if in melancholy remem cusable *; but whether a revolt, brance of the generous hearts that even under such circumstances, there had parted with their last was justifiable, would furnish life-drop in defence of their hearths ample subject of discussion.-To and altars, it necessarily gave rise return, however, to our narrative. to many painful, though not unpro
“ On my right, for a considerfitable, reflections."
able part of the way, ran that “ There is something, indeed, pretty wood-crowned hill, embotruly affecting,” I said, filling up somed in whose trees lies the cota pause in my companion's nar- tage I was in search of, and rative,” in the thought of the which at that time was completethousands whom the meteor of ly hid in the thick foliage that fame has allured to death. Many, surrounded it. Though the path believing they expired in a cause was rather intricate, I had received which Heaven looked upon with such particular instructions, that, an eye of peculiar favour, have keeping its general position in rebeen known to exult almost in the collection, I did not doubt but I pangs of dissolution; when, alas! should find, without difficulty, the they should have mourned and abode of my venerable friends. wept over that very impulse which Opening a little gate, which shut buoyed them up. Yet, I cannot in the entrance to that portion of consider war in every case forbid- the wood, I began to ascend the den; and if in any it be permitted, steeper acclivity on which their surely it is that in which the sword cabin stands. A summer sun shone is drawn to protect ourselves, our
warm upon me; but from the state wives, and our children, from the of my body, through sickness and unprovoked aggressions of tyranny, confinement, I was scarcely senand to leave to our posterity the sible of the glow in which nature freedom we inherited from our was exulting around me.” fathers.
“ Ah!” I said, unable to stifle " Men have been firm in battle : they have the rising sigh, “ too apt an em
blem of the soul! Long enthrallWith a prevailing hope on ravag'd plains; ed by sin, and held in the tramAnd won the birtb-right of their hearths mels of carelessness, and indiffer
with blood, And died rejoicing midst their ancient fanes, how tardy is it in shaking off the
ence as to its eternal well-being, That so their children, undefiled by chains, Might worship there in peace.”
chains it had once loved so much! “ Yes," resumed my friend; is it, indeed, to unlock the affec
No matter of easy accoinplishment " and thoughts similar to these oc- tions, even under the bright effulcupied my mind as I proceeded on my way. Alas! how painful is gence of the sun of righteousness;
more arduous still to acknowledge it to reflect on the myriads whom his efficacy, and to open the bosum the sword has swept from the to the healing of his wings.” earth! If Tell and his gallant band had been more sparing of
“As I proceeded," continued life, and had had, in their ardu- my companion,“ I took my hymnous struggle, a more undivided re
* Grisler was the name of an Austrian gard to the glory of Him, through Governor, whose sererities occasioned the whom kings reign and princes insurrection which terminated in the comdecree justice,' we might have re- plete emancipation of Switzerland from traced the contest with greater sa
foreign yoke. The story of his sententisfaction; but now I cannot view
cing Tell to shoot an apple off bis son's
head, for some trivial offence, is well it without a sigh. The conduct of known.
book from my pocket, and read that
666 Mrs. Duplin is a good wosimple song which we sang the man,
I believe.' other evening together when rest
66*1 do think she's a Christian ing under the shade of the oak. It woman, Sir. was the first
• • You have just grounds for Watch o'er my heart, thyself, dear Lord, your opinion of her, I hope?'
Each sense, each thought restrain, “ I can only say, Sir, that her Tbat nought opposed to thy blest will conduct bespeaks her a disciple of May there admission gain.
the Lord. I never enter her door, And that my onward paths to thee
but she begins to talk to me about May still directly tend, Conduct my steps, and in thy ways
my soul, and to tell me that she Uphold me to the end.
and I are old people now, and that An admirer of nature, even from we must soon be going to give acmy_infancy, I frequently turned, count of ourselves to God. as I ascended, with a slow pace, Indeed, my friend, I would the hill, to admire the prospect. trust so from what you relate. My way, it is true, was solitary, Few study the word of God, or and I was alone. None had I to trouble themselves about the salvawhom I might communicate my tion of others, who have not some emotions, and who, by partaking, deep anxiety for their own. Inwould have enhanced my delight; stances there are, doubtless, of yet was there one beside me who the contrary; but let us hope that sticketh closer than a brother;' they are rare. Can you read, my one to whom I could unfold the 'friend?' most secret of my thoughts; one “No, Sir, unfortunately." in whom I could confide with a re
have some one perliance still more unhesitating, than haps, in your family who can? I could place,"--and he looked * • My wife can read, Sir, at me affectionately as he spoke though her eyes are now becoming “ than I could place, my friend, dim; and my two sons are good even in you."
scholars. I felt the loss it was not Passing through a gate, I ob- to be able to read, and, I, thereserved on my right a wood-cutter. fore, gave my poor boys a little His appearance was venerable; education; and it has fully repaid rather attractive than otherwise. me; for many a long winter's evenThe lines of age were strong upon ing, when the winds were beating his bleached brow, and his long on our little shed, and the rains grey locks waved in the wind. His were falling fast, have they beaspect was mild, and bore some guiled away with some instructive indications, as far as I could judge, and interesting story: and then it of one
‘redeemed from among was pleasant to close the night with men. His
His eye had an expression a chapter from the Bible; and well of gentleness, and seemed as if it did my dear lads read the holy had wept, and that more than volume.' once, over the sins and follies of
I rejoice to hear such an achis youth, I stopped and ad- count of your domestic circle, my dressed him :
aged friend. May the Spirit teach « « This is the way to old Du- you more and more the value of plin's; is it not?'
that sacrifice which the Redeemer Sir.'
offered on the cross; and may you “ • Do you know that family?' and your's daily grow in grace and
“Yes, Sir. Sometimes I'm in the knowledge of our Lord and cutting wood in their neighbour- Saviour, Jesus Christ! To know hood, or trimming the fences, and him is life eternal.'» I step into their cabin.”
MEMOIR OF AN AFFLICTED, HUMBLE CHRISTIAN.
How variously does the Lord appears to her pastor, that the deal with his people, in effectually importance of religion has been drawing them nigh unto himself, growing upon her during that time. or in recovering them from their So clear were her views in her last wanderings, and causing them to illness, and so bright her prospect, be conformed to the image of his being filled with all joy and peace Son! He, however, is good in all in believing; that all her former his ways, and holy in all his works, knowledge of religion, though eviand kind even when he seems the dently to a certain extent influmost severe. This was altogether ential, seemed to amount to nomost satisfactorily and delightful- thing in her estimation. ly admitted by the subject of the About a year before her death, following Memoir.
Mrs. A. was afflicted with I will endeavour to give the de cancer in the breast, which renscription, as near as I can with pro- dered an operation necessary. She priety, in the very words of Mrs. A. then began to see the evil of sin in " When I was ten years
age, a very different manner than formy mother died; and being in a merly, even as the Scriptures warpublic house kept by my father, I rant us to expect all shall, who was more in the way of temptation are under the teaching of the Holy than I might have been in other Spirit. Referring to this period, situations. From that time I was she said : “ I remember walking led to pray, that I might be pre- in the orchard, when
heart served from the dangers to which I seemed ready to burst, from the was exposed. When about fifteen remembrance of my sins, and my years old, I was much struck with longing desire to obtain forgivethis text, given out by a clergyman ness. I felt, that the fifty-first at a feast, Eccles. xi. 9, • Rejoice, Psalm was exactly suited to my O young man, in thy youth; and I wept and read it over and let thy heart cheer thee in the days over again. I could truly say, my of thy youth, and walk in the ways greatest trial was a sense of my of thy heart, and in the sight of own vileness.” thine eyes. Here a pause was In conversation with her pastor, made. Well, thought I, surely this was her statement : “ About these words are not in the Bible. Christmas last, those words which The remainder of the verse was you read in the ninety-fifth Psalm, added : ' but know thou, that for all at church, awakened my attention: these things God will bring thee • Forty years long was I grieved into judgment.' I then understood with this generation. I thought, the meaning. I was seventeen that I had grieved God after the when my father gave up the public manner of the Jews, for I was fortyhouse. At twenty-one, I married. three years old. When I saw the I was always desirous to know the surgeon drive into the yard, I tremmeaning of Scripture, and never bled from head to foot; but as soon found my mind rise up against di as he came into the room
my vine truths; yet since this affliction, fears all vanished, and through the I see things in a very different operation, I was encouraged and light to what I did before.”
strengthened as though I had seen It is nine years since Mrs. A.'s Jesus standing by.” When the health began to decline. She was disease returned, and it was selfa most industrious farmer's wife, evident that no relief could be afand has left a husband and ten forded, Mrs. A. said, “ It seems children to deplore her loss. It to me as if the Lord had sent this