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THE LESSON OF A DAY.
In the afternoon, the family were called to attend the funeral of a beloved neighbor and friend, who had been cut off in the brightness of youth but a little more than a year after her marriage. Prior to that event, Mary had been a daily visitor in the Vinton family, and was as a daughter and sister; and although, when she became the wife of Mr. Ashley, their intercourse was less frequent, the depth and tenderness of their attachment was in no degree diminished. Slowly and mournfully they entered the house of death, and grouped themselves around the remains of Mary. There she lay in beautiful repose, like an angel overtaken by a dream; or like a fresh creation of the divine artist only waiting for the breath of life to heave that breast, and dilate that flowing form, and part those lips, upon which even seemed to hang some utterance of gentleness and love. Alas! within that tabernacle, the lamp of life had gone out, never to be rekindled; and that frame so beautiful, was attired, not for the gaieties of life, but for the gloom of the grave. Oh Death! thou great reaper of this world's field, thus it is ever. Thou cullest the lovely, the tender, the good. With thy frosts and chills thou strikest the child amid his playthings, and the young saint kneeling at Goi's altar, and sparest to fill up his three-score and ten the reviler of his Maker and the foe of his kind,
The funeral solemnities over, the Vintons, who were truly the chief mourners, returned to their homes, severally occupied with reflections befitting the melancholy employment of the afternoon. There a pleasant surprise awaited them. Mr. Vaugher, the uncle of whom we have already spoken, had arrived from the city an hour before, taken possession of the premi. ses, and roused up the parlor fire to a generous glow. Finding, he said, that by some inadvertence of the person charged with sending the annual package of knick-nacks, Emmeline's parcel had been omitted, and having, moreover, a liule leisure on hand, he had resolved at once to allow himself the pleasure of an old-fashioned winter evening with those he loved best. The cordial welcomes showered upon him, and the fond kisses of the affectionate girls, eflectually dispelled the chilliness of his ride. Poor Emmeline's fears and sorrows were of course brought to an end, and she was now the happiest of the group.
The conversation after tea naturally turned to the funeral of Mrs. Ashley, whose many virtues all eagerly dwelt upon, and whose early
death all deplored with profound emotion. Mr. Vaugher was much affected. He had known and loved Mary as a child, and had strongly counselled her against accepting Mr. Ashley, whom he also knew thoroughly as a heartless debauchee, unworthy of a woman's confidence. “ Have you understood the nature of her disease ?” inquired Mr. Vaugher. That seems to have been obscure,” replied Mr. Vinton. “I will tell you,” said the uncle.
Mary Ashley died of a BROKEN HEART! Yes," said he, “the man who vowed to her and to God, to love her truly and only, forstore himself, and lavished his gross affection upon another and an unworthy object. She knew it. In vain was her dwelling supplied with every necessary and with every adornment and luxury. In vain did he look blandly upon her in pablic. She was an unloved, NEGLECTED WIFE. The consciousness of this was a scorpion upon her heart, till the grave pitied her and took her to its bosom.” The old man wept as he added, in subdued, solemn undertone: “Sleep there, pale and weary one, for thou hast long been sleepless, and there none shall disturb thee. Thanks to God, though thou wast a neglected wise, thine was not a neglected Saviour.”
As he uttered these words Emmeline shrieked in an agony of feeling, and for some time lay sobbing on the sofa, unable to speak a word. At length, beckoning her father to her side, she said, “ Pa, I understand it.” “Understand what? my dear.” “ The sermon, pa, Mr. Taylor—the sinfulness of NEGLECT-O, I see it all. Was I not tortured this morning, when apparently only our dear uncle had slighed me, and have not I slighted the Saviour indeed all my life, when he justly looked for the evidences of my affection ? Did our poor Mary pine and perish amid all the brightness and bioom of youth, stung with a sense of neglect? And is it nothing to the Saviour that I, the poor worm upon whom he set his everlasting love, and to the door of whose eart he has so often come knocking till his locks were wet with the dews of the night, that I should regard him with indifference, and repel him with neglect? My eyes are open, and I see that what we call mere neglect, may be indeed cruel and criminal as the murderer's steel. Never again shall it be my plea that I am only a neglecter of the Saviour, and soothe myself with the idea that it involves no positive and flagrant transgression.” And they all knelt in prayer for a blessing upon the lesson of the day.
THE PARLOR TABLE.
Sermons not before published, on various prac. tical subjects, by the late EDWARD Dorr GrifFIN, D. D., N. Y. M. W. Dodd.
" The Prince of preachers” was the title which Dr. Griffin often received, and which he deserved as well as any man of the age in which he lived. With a beauty and brilliancy of imagination never surpassed, he combined close reasoning powers rarely equalled. Both were exercised with a refinement of taste which gave a charm to the productions of his pen; and his style of delivery possessed all the characteristics of the loftiest eloquence; so that no pulpit orator in this country drew more attentive crowds or produced more immediate and permanent impressions. Mr. Dodd has published a volume containing sixty of his sermons, and we doubt not that they will become standard family discourses, to be handed down from generation to generation. Anil so long as the glowing genius of man employed in elucidating and impressing the highest truths of the Divine Word, has admirers, so long will these sermons stand in the front rank of American sacred literature.
CHRISTIAN RETIREMENT, or Spiritual Exercises of the Heart, by the author of " Christian Experience as displayed in the Life and Writings of St. Paul.” N. Y., J. S. Taylor & Co., 1844.
This is the third American from the eighth London edition of a beautiful book for the Christian to keep in his closet, for reading in hours of retirement; and the popularity it has obtained in this country and in Europe, shows that it reaches the wants of those who love to have their meditations judged by the suggestions of those who have made great attainments in the divine life.
OLD HUMPHREY'S COUNTRY STROLLS. * The course of time seems back to roll
Where nature's varied charms abound; And when through country scenes I stroll
Admiringly, and gaze around With eager eye and swelling vein,
I feel my heart grow young again." We love old Humphrey. He has an eye for the beautiful and true in nature and books, and his former volumes, “ Observations," " Address. es," " Hints," &c., have been the source of pleasure to us, many an hour; we thank Mr. Carter for this addition to our Old Humphrey series ; and when he hears from him again, we should like to know it.
The Martyr MISSIONARY. Under this title the American Sunday School Union are just issuing the life of the Rev. John Williains, the English missionary, who was murdered and devoured by the savages of one of the South Sea islands, a few years ago. The volume is one of the most interesting that has ever been published by this Society, abounding in striking anecdotes and descriptions of the manners and customs of a barbarous race; and showing also most glorious triumphs of the gospel, converting the ferocious and cruel cannibals into meek and humble followers of Christ. We would that this little volume were in the hands of every child. It is specially calculated to be useful from the fact that it shows the great good effect. ed by a man who was once an apprentice in a blacksmith's shop, but who, by the grace of God, became one of the most distinguished missionaries of modern times.
MisceLLANIES, by John Harris, D. D. There is not at this moment in the sacred profession, a man who stands higher as an elegant writer than Harris, the author of “Mammon," “ The Great Commission," and other works. He has risen from being a poor boy, to his present eminent position, and his example should be a stimulus to all the young. These essays are worthy of being read with attention, and we doubt not that they will find many admirers. Boston: Gould, Kendall & Lincoln, 1844.
Awake, Thou Sleeper, a series of awakening discourses by the late Rev. J. A. CLARK, D. D., author of " The Pastor's Testimony,” &c., &c. N. Y., Robert Carter, 1814.
Dr. Clark was a beautiful writer, and his books have been widely popular, not only among Christians of his own denomination (the Episcopal), of which he was so bright an ornament, but among all who love the Evangelical spirit which they breathe. These discourses are rich, fervid, and eminently calculated to produce a deep impression, and we commend them cordially.
History of Missions. The most elegant volumes recently issued from the American press, are the two just published by Robert Carter, containing a complete history of the rise and progress of modern missionaries to the heathen world. In every family, they would prove an unfailing source of entertaining and valuable instruction, as they would serve to interest both the old and the young in the cause of missions. They are adorned with a large number of hand some engravings, and abound in rich anecdotes and striking !acts, such as ought to be familiar to every one. Mr. Carter has issued these volumes at such a price as cannot fail to secure for them an extensive circulation.