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it of the eternal verdure that borders the holy stream from which quaff the immaculate citizens. John, in his vision, beheld a rainbow around about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
St. John, being the fourth on the list of apostles, to him, therefore, is assigned this gem; and appropriately, too, for no other saint (except Paul) was ever favored, while yet in the body, by beholding such refreshing and glorious scenes as was the beloved disciple. With the anticipation of these ineffable pleasures glowing warm within his soul, what must have been the exultation of John, when, at length, was given the signal that closed his toilsome pilgrimage of ninety years, consecrated from early manhood to the service of his divine Lord ! how joyfully was sped his flight to once more recline his weary head, silvered now with the frosts of age, on that adorable bosom where had been so often soothed his every sorrow!
From the representations of the early painters, we have in our minds, generally, a model of St. John as a fair and beautiful youth with luxuriant flowing locks. And it is thus that we love to regard him; to us he is a being of angelic comeliness. Such, in spirit, he remained until the end of his life. St. John seemed to be l aptized with the fire of love; not a mere sentimental emotion, but a vital, living principle. In sublimity he soars far above the other evangelists; for while they begin by tracing the human lineage of our Lord, he at once opens with His essential Divinity. “Little
“ children, love one another,”—often, when age and feebleness precluded his saying more to his beloved flock at Ephesus,—was the simple sentence that constituted his entire sermon. Perhaps the nearest assimulation in character, apart from inspirationto the seraphic sweetness of John, was that of the distinguished Fletcher of Madeley, who seemed, even while on earth, to dwell in heaven. What supreme bliss must such sympathetic souls enjoy together to all eternity! May we, the bewildering labyrinths of this world traversed, be so happy as to roam with our loved ones the green delicious meads of the Paradise of God! May we, worn wayfarers, the darkness of sin and of the grave for
ever past, be permitted to bask in the refulgence of - the true light that shineth forever, and irradiates
with its fadeless beams the immortal regions! Said å gifted young American artist, when dying, not long since, at Florence, “I am journeying to a strange country, but oh, how beautiful!" and expired, humming a favorite Spanish melody.
“These flowers are very beautiful,” said another young artist, to one, who, the day before his departure hence brought him some winter roses; “but I am going to a country where the flowers never fade." And a third young son of genius whispered to me when the power of swallowing had failed him, “I am thirsty; the waters of life will be so
r sweet.” But a very brief space elapsed ere the Shepherd Divine was leading him through green pastures and by the still waters.
O blessed, thrice blessed hour! when, the dream of life with its manifold fluctuations all over, its pains, sorrows, and disappointments forever vanished away, we behold the Eternal City, all iridescent with gems and burnished gold! When, advancing to hail us with glad welcomes, we espy the dear ones, whom here below, with swelling hearts and many a bitter lamentation, we consigned to the tomb! Sing aloud, dumb heart! cease thy moan, sad spirit! that moment alone of transport will suffice to recompense thee for ages of earthborn grief! Light Supreme, so guide us through this darksome wild, “ that through the grave, and gate of death,” we may, in the Great Day of Harvest Home, “pass to our joyful resurrection !”
A. B. G.
The Blest Realities.
Y sky's unveiled;
Its brilliant glories o’er me gleam ; My vision's clear and free.
The conflict's o'er ; And the fierce, fiery, hard-won fight is past;
My vanquish'd foes will rise no more;
The night is gone;
And the blest light of that clear sun
I'm basking now
Ambrosial zephyrs fan my brow; Sweet fields before me lie.
Oh, this is bliss !
Forms of unrivalled loveliness
I hear the sound
And the sweet cadence wafted round,
My spirit thrills
And peace my ransomed being fills,
Jerusalem is here
Glittering with beauty, gems most clear,
And this is heaven! Long, long lost friends are coming at my call ;
Eternal life to me is given, And God is all in all.