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bringing under my observation the quiet humility, retiring modesty, and child-like simplicity of her character, assigned her a locality the fitness of which none who knew her could dispute. In loveliness, delicacy, grace, and sweetness, Zelia claimed to be the Lily of the Valley among my treasures. She would have smiled, with a farther resemblance to the innocent and happy-looking flower, had she heard me say so; but she knew it not. I have seen her fair face bent over these chapters, with emotion heightening its bloom, little thinking that they were to become the record of her own short transit across my path. Never did the most enthusiastic florist watch the pride and glory of his parterre as I have seen the appointed cherisher of Zelia fulfil his happy charge. Ardent and affectionate even beyond the common characteristic of his race, he superintended the transplantation of his delicate blossom to this rougher atmosphere from the more genial west; and even when the lip restrained its language, which was not always the case, I have marked the proud glance, scanning a whole cluster of fair girls, as in defiance of any competitor who should dispute the palm of beauty with her. I have marked it, and trembled; for I knew the frailty of the tenure whereby he held his treasure; and in the very tenacity of his grasp I read an augury of bereavement. Yet the contrast gave a finish to the picture; his passionate admiration threw a light, as it were, on the beauty of her calm unconsciousness of that which called it forth. I never traced in her look or gesture a movement of vanity: nor observed a ruffle on her quiet aspect, save when disturbed by the solicitude for his peace, whose extreme sensitiveness laid him open to many a wound that would have been an unfelt collision to one of colder temperament. “Awake to the flowers,” he was peculiarly liable to be “touched by the thorns;” little would he have heeded them had he foreseen the poignard that was being sharpened for the boscim of his earthly peace and joy! The tenderness of her concern for him rendered her delicate constitution more susceptible of injury: some severe trials of health quite undermined it; but we thought this Lily of the Valley would prove as en
during as her hardy, though delicate-looking type, which fades, indeed, and bows its head beneath the sod under a rough visitation, yet starts up again with the reviving year, and re-asserts its preeminence of place among the ornaments of the earth. Zelia, restored to the full bloom of health, and in the increased radiance of beauty, was, by the will of God, removed from the comparative retirement where we had met, to a scene so far dissimilar, that, had I not known her to have been a child of God, I should have despaired of her retaining the resemblance to my simple Lily. It was so far the path of duty that no choice could be exercised: but the call which fixed the sphere of her husband's labours in the midst of metropolitan society, exposed them both to the deadliest of all snares, popularity and adulation. Poor, blind, unbelieving creatures that we are ' If a man but devote himself to a pursuit, if he rear and nurse a flower for his proper credit and renown, no less than his pleasure, we never suspect that he will carelessly leave it, in its promise of prime, to be rent by the gale or trampled by the hoof. We trust him that for his own sake he will guard the work of his hands. But even this poor measure of confidence we are slow to place in Him who plants trees of righteousness that he in them may be glorified. Knowing that the Lord doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men, we cannot doubt the meaning of his dispensations. If we pass by and miss the flower, and behold no vestige thereof in its wonted place, what are we to conclude, but that the careful gardener foresaw some coming storm, or the rude intrusion of some defiling tread, and housed the delicate shrub from harm 7 Oh, it would have been sad to see the petals of the beauteous lily withering under a burning sun, or disfigured by the reptile's trailing course, or bruised and prostrate in the unclean soil, from which it had been lifted to bloom in the pure atmosphere of heaven. It was better to contemplate the vacant spot, and to mourn over a temporary separation, with the sweet assurance that such occurred only because the Author of its being would preserve it unharmed and undefiled, to flourish in his presence, far removed from every foe.
It was by no lingering ailment that the removal of our sweet Lily of the Valley was affected. She had bided her time, and rejoiced that a man was born into the world, and smiled back, in returning convalescence, the fond father's redoubled delight as he looked on the soft blossom that reposed on her pillow. But the pestilence walking in darkness found unsuspected admission to the scene—she was no subject for its sharp visitation—a few, a very few short days, and no more remained of that young wife and mother than what claimed the last sad office of agonized love—to be shrouded in darkness, and laid low, till the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout; with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God: till the liferestoring mandate is issued, “Gather my saints together unto me,” and the dead in Christ, rising first, shall encircle the throne of Him who comes not again to suffer, but to reign; and to fulfil the blessed promise that they who here suffered with him shall then reign with him also.
“If we suffer with him”—it is a startling “is.” Suffer we must, for we are born to it, in virtue of our inbred guilt and corruption; but to suffer with Christ is a mysterious privilege alike inaccessible and unintelligible to the carnal mind. He alone who knows that Christ has suffered for him can suffer with Christ. It is not ours, as in the days of the infant or awakening church, to receive the cup of persecution: the sword does not flash above our heads, nor the faggot kindle at our feet; nor are the untamed beasts of the wood let loose upon our bodies. But since to suffer with Christ is the decreed pathway to the kingdom of his glory, we may rest assured that He who has secured the end will prepare the appointed road. To contemplate the Saviour in his humiliation and affliction, and to arm ourselves with the like mind, is all that rests with us. “Be still ; and know that I am God,” is alike the language of preparative warning, and of subsequent support. It is a terrible lesson for flesh to learn—yea, impossible that flesh should ever learn it: but that which is contrary to the flesh receives the stroke, and bends, with the might of a renewed will, the otherwise immoveable sinew of the neck. Oh the stupendous working that achieved the
WOL. II. 29
sublime victory when “Aaron held his peace" But nature, thus subdued, is not crushed beneath the iron setters of a pitiless conqueror. “Cast down, but not destroyed,” she weeps, and finds the tenderest of all sympathy in him whose mercy smote because he loved. We know the flower is but removed from the breath of uncongenial air, and in that we cannot mourn; but the eye has lost its delight, the heart its treasure, the home its sweetest charm. How desolate now, and blighted appears the spot that was as the garden of Eden' How cold and comfortless the earth that her presence clad in beauty It would seem as though the very sunbeam was only attracted by the flower; and now on the naked soil it strikes harshly and glaringly, repelling the gaze that it formerly gladdened. An unsupplied want oppresses the mind; a strange vacancy sickens the heart. Restless, wearied, terrified at the newness of his position, where shall the mourner find a solace commensurate with his need? In this—“If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him.” There is an immeasurable distance between submission to the cross and acceptance of it. Simon the Cyrenian, compelled to bear it, and Paul glorying in his infirmities that the power of Christ might rest on him, are the representatives of two classes whom man may confound, but who are severally discerned of God. The one bends in silent acquiescence beneath the burden that a stronger hand has fixed beyond his power to shake off: the other regards his affliction as a heaven-appointed means of bringing him to a suller participation in what Christ's sufferings have purchased for him—even that strength proportioned to his day which is doubly precious as being a fulfilled promise. A strength that he marvels at— perhaps almost murmurs to find so mighty: for the disposition of the heart is that of Jonah, when fainting he wished in himself to die, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” It loves to brood over the loss, to conjure up a thousand torturing phantoms of past happiness, and to contrast the present gloom with the most vivid of all the day-beams that preceded it. Under this influence, many a mind has wrought itself to frenzy, and either become a wreck—a blank in the intellectual world, or nerved the hand to the commission of a crime for which there is no repentance. No! nature does not welcome the voice that, coming with power to appease the tempest, says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Poor comfort indeed it were to receive that message, if its purport respected only the absolute sovereignty with which he wields the power of life and death ! The experience of one whose pride had been crushed into the dust of earth, and his glory changed into unexampled vileness, and who had learned to tremble before Omnipotence, suggested that sublime language, “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” But such helpless submission to irresistible power belongs not to the Christian. To him the declaration, “I am God,” comes fraught with the sweet assurance, “I am love.” The hand that smote him was guided not by despotic authority, but by compassionate tenderness. He knows God as one who doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. It pleased the Lord to bruise his beloved Son: to put Him to grief in whom he delighted, and to deal with him as a sinner, who did no sin. And this was love—infinite, everlasting love, in its highest exercise. The Christian knows it to be so; and he is still, even in spite of the desperate struggles of corrupt nature, desiring to rebel; for in the Godhead of his Master he acknowledges the pledge of power to save to the uttermost; and he joyfully takes hold of the strength that prostrates and paralyzes another. It is an amazing work, so to subdue the will of man; and in the mightiness of its operation the mourner feels not only that his God can do all things with him, but that he, poor worm as he is, can also do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him. These are solemn seasons indeed, when God presents himself to the soul which he has afflicted, and says, “Lovest thou me?” And if the soul be enabled with sincerity to answer, with Peter, “Lord, thou knowest that I love thee;” the stillness of spirit
succeeding that colloquy, when the Lora being in his temple, all that is earthly keeps silence before him, is perhaps the nearest approach to heavenly peace that his redeemed people can know while yet in the body. The heart knows that it may sorrow; that no prohibition has been uttered to stifle the voice of woe. Rachel was not chid when she wept for her children; and that grief in itself is perfectly innocent, who shall deny, when we point to the Holy One, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with gries” throughout the whole course of his visible abode among the sons of Adam. The stillness commanded is not that of apathy or of indifserence, or of forced acquiescence: it is a patient waiting for the promised crown, while bending under the predicted cross. The Lily of the Valley will shortly appear as tranquilly beautiful as ever, as gracefully mantled in its broad leaf, as rich in the fragrancy of its delightful perfume. And shall the feeling be denounced as unsubmissive that draws a sorrowing contrast between the gardener's acquisition and the mourner's bereavement? If so, I claim my portion of the censure; for I shall assuredly lament over it, and wish the flower that I love had been altogether blotted from the fair face of creation, so that the husband had not been widowed, or the babe left motherless. The form and the hue that bring her with more vivid fidelity before my recollection will almost appear intrusive; for nature secretly says, “Why should these pale blossoms be found in their wonted station, while the place that knew her, knows her, alas! no more for ever?” But although thus coldly greeted, the beauteous Lily will be dearer than before, for it brings a message of hope, ripening, as I contemplate it, into joy. Last autumn I had occasion, through some changes in the arrangement of my little garden, to take up the roots of the Lily of the Valley for an hour. It was a hackneyed subject, I confess, but while looking on the small unsightly heap, as it lay at my feet, I could not but be struck anew with the wonder-working skill that was to weave such a tissue of elegance and loveliness from materials so unpromising. For the hundredth time I pondered over the nothingness of man in his best estate, supposing the uttermost of his power and craft to be expended on one of those ordinary objects. Deprived of the aid of three elements, earth, air, and water, could he, by any effort, cause it to reproduce the form that, if left to the unassisted operation of those elements, it would certainly exhibit? Impossible: he might by violence destroy the principle of vegetable life; but to call it into action, otherwise than by the way that divine wisdom had appointed, was beyond the reach of his contrivance. Glorious in creation, how much more glorious is the Lord our God in redemption! Man may reach the mainspring of his fellow's mortal existence, and wrench it away, and stop the complicated machinery in its course: but neither man nor Satan can approach the life of the soul, when restored by Him who first breathed into Adam's nostrils “the breath of life.” Dying in Adam, made alive in Christ, he that believeth on the Son of God Hath everlasting life. It is a prize in possession, not in prospect—it is what no power could confer but that which in giving stamps the gift with immortality. I buried the roots again, and smoothed over them the earth, and left a little stick to mark where I might confidently look for their re-appearance in due season. And she, the fair, the gentle Zelia, she too has been laid low beneath the surface of the ground, and the sod is growing smooth above her, and the record of lamented love distinguishes it from surrounding heaps. Many a successive crop of Lilies of the Valley may rise and bloom, fade and die, before the appointed time of her bright change shall come. But come it will; the Lord will have a desire to the work of his hands. He will call, and she will answer. Imagination cannot realize the scene, when the vile body—vile at its best estate—shall be changed like unto Christ's glorious body, and become like Him. Imagination cannot look into those glorious revelations; but faith which is the evidence of things unseen, beholds it all. Affection itself sorrows not as being without hope: and that hope, that precious hope, steals upon the lacerated heart, sweetly whispering the promise, and bidding the mourners in Zion “comfort one another with these words.”
It is not in the power of winter, however severe and sweeping in his operations among the flowers, to deprive me of all my store. Though every leaf should wither, and every root become a mass of corruption, and not a blossom remain in the conservatory, I am always provided, not only with one, but a complete bouquet of bright and showy flowers. The Amaranthus, in all its varieties of form and colour, with everlastings of purple or of gold, and a rich assemblage of grasses that appear quite indestructible, form this magic group. I bought it in the street, of a poor, sicklylooking, aged woman, who evidently wanted the price of her “Christmas posy” to supply the craving of hunger; but this common-place mode of acquisition by no means lessened the interest of the purchase. What has been touched by the poor, possesses a peculiar character in my eyes: and I could not but think, when taking the gay bouquet from a withered hand, how tenderly the Lord provides for their wants, whom we so little consider in the midst of our festivities.
The intense cold that followed, soon left my winter nosegay without a rival, and, excepting the border of box that encircled it, not a change has yet appeared, not a tint has faded, not a leaf fallen. These flowers are an excepticn to the general rule; they have been cut down, yet neither dried up nor withered; even the “flower of grass,” that impressive emblem of man's glory and goodliness, waves in its pristine grace, and shines brightly when a sun-beam falls aslant upon the cluster. I must needs apply this: not indeed to an individual, but to a race, far more to be wondered at than these imperishable flowers. A race long since deprived of the life-giving fatness of the root; dead, yet continually before us in all the reality of bustling life. Need I name them?—the Lord's own ancient people, the dispersed of Judah, the “nation scattered and peeled,” and trodden under foot; familiar with every storm that can rage without, and preyed upon by every corrupt principle within, separated from the stem, deprived of spiritual nutriment, yet
surviving all ; and destined to survive, in
pre-eminent glory, the pride of that earth which now scorns them. Oh, I cannot
abode, and range them before him, and hold sweet converse with them concerning their own Messiah, the Prince. There was no flashing enthusiasm about him, but
look upon the unfading Amaranthus with- a deep, calm, settled conviction that Israel
out recalling those precious words, “I
should yet be gathered, and that in having
have loved thee with an everlasting love.” his own portion of labour assigned in that I read in it at once the promise and its ful-i field, he was honoured above all others.
filment; I see what the Lord has said he would do: I see what he actually does, and I know assuredly what he will yet do. I have no more doubt of the literal restoration of Judah and Israel to the literal Canaan, no more doubt that in their own land “they shall possess the double,” and shine the brightest in a bright and glorious church on earth, than I have of my existence. The time is not now far off when the Lord will be gracious to his land, and pity his people; when he will heal their hurt, and gather them, and watch over them to do them good, and show the world how dearly his poor Israel is “loved
for the fathers' sake.” The whole church
sends up the petition, “Thy kingdom come,” and the coming of that kingdom will be to the despised Jew a receiving again into God's favour; and that receiving again of the Jew shall be to the Gentiles, “life from the dead.” Indissolubly connected with this delightful subject is the name, the image of one who has often rejoiced with me over those sweet promises to Israel, which none can gainsay without depriving the holy scriptures of all literal meaning, and debasing them into a cluster of shadows. He was a Gentile by birth, but in spirit an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile. Awake to all that concerned the kingdom and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, he was peculiarly alive to the rich portion secured to the children of Abraham; and dearly did he prize the privilege of devoting himself to them. Often have I seen him, in his pulpit, with the little ones of the Hebrew schools ranged in the opposite gallery, catching new zeal, new energy, new confidence from a glance at that precious charge: and often have I beheld him, in the midst of the Hebrew boys, lost in thoughtful contemplation of the harvest that should follow that first-fruits offering, presented in faith and hope. I have also known him send for a considerable number of the children to his own hospitable
He was a man of thought, of study, and of prayer, and this was the element wherein he dwelt—the exceeding great and precious promises given to the children of the fathers and the prophets. Others might rise in the church, or seek the promotion of their worldly interests: to him it sufficed that he came within the scope of that oft-repeated declaration, “Blessed is he that blesseth Thee.” Seven years have now passed since I sojourned under that roof with the good old Simeon for my fellow-guest; and very dear to Ine is the recollection. I had before been privileged there beyond all other places: I had caught some sparkles from the brilliant, though eccentric flashes of Wolff, and had identified myself with a little circle whose great bond of union was the heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel, that they might be saved; and whose hourly study it was to devise plans sor forwarding the blessed work. I had sat, many a summer's day under the tall. branching tulip trees, that threw their refreshing shadow on the smooth grass plat: and while the lovely group of youthful faces—for my friend had a goodly array of olive-branches round about his table— added life and beauty to the scene in itself most sweet, I have conversed with him and his beloved partner on the coming day, when Israel should sit each one under his own vine and under his own figtree, with none to make them afraid. At the period of my first and successive visits there was one present also, whose joyous temper brought mirth into every circle. They loved him much, and greatly did he enjoy the social freedom that dwelt there. A thousand little incidents crowd on my recollection as I recall those days: but Mr. H. knew and deeply sympathized in my chief solicitude for that beloved one; and I trust they are now rejoicing together in the presence of the Lamb. Never can I forget the sweet words of comfort given me by Mr. H. when the terrible stroke of