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For the Christian Herald.
THE PASTOR'S DAUGHTER. PERHAPS no country ever presents a more charming prospect to the man of reflection than is seen in the southern part of New-England, towards the close of May, or the beginning of June. Those who have ever spent this season of the year in that part of the country, need not that I should attempt to describe the loveliness of many of its natural scenes. The traveller is here often seen to stop his horse as he arrives at the top of an eminence, and in a kind of giddy surprise, throw his eyes around him on the little glens filled with the abodes of contentment and peace, and richly stored with the choicest gifts of nature. There is likewise something so exhilarating in this scenery, that the heart not frozen by the cares of this life, must, at times, warm and throb with gratitude to the author of all mercies. Before such scenes too, will the Christian be raised to that world, where every beauty is lasting and perfect.
It was at such a season of the year, at the close of a pleasant day, that I was slowly ascending a high bill, as the clear red sun was set. ting with a stillness that would be attending his last adieu. From the top of the hill I could count the spires of several village churches rising among the thick trees; while just under its brow, a most beautiful river was smoothly gliding between the luxurious hills which stood on either side, till it reached the Sound, with which it mingled with a gentle murmur, as if unwilling to be swallowed in oblivion. On the banks of the river, below me, stood a pleasant and quiet village, wbich seemed to unite activity with innocence and contentment. I rode slowly onward, now admiring the wisdom and goodness of God in the grandeur of the distant hills, or now gazing at the pencilled floweret, which seemed to wave its fragrant head in gratitude, or the little songsters that were pouring forth their last evening lays in praise, ere they betook themselves to rest. It was now that I had arrived at the house of an aged clergyman, where I had engaged to call. A plain, neat house was pointed out as the residence of the minister ; and it was pot till I had loudly and repeatedly knocked, that the door was opened by the venerable man himself. He received me with parental kindness of look, though a calm suppression of grief, and a finger placed upon the mouth, gave
me to understand that he was now actually weighed down by unwonted sorrow. “My only child, a daughter," said the good old man, “ on whom I leaned for support in my old age, is now no more! It was this very morning that I was thanking God for the blessing of such a child to cheer me during the remainder of my pilgrimage here; but she too is taken away, that my heart may not be too strongly bound to earth. She was my all in this world; but she was the Lord's; and he to whom I had delivered her in baptism, and to whom she had lately given herself, has called her to himself. 0, 1 ought not to la. ment that which is doubtless her gain; and I know
there is a shore Of better promise ; and I know at last, When the long sabbath of the tomb is past,
We two shall meet in Christ, to part no more!'” I was about to inquire into the particulars of his grief, and to offer the feeble consolation of earthly sympathy, when I saw the door yard filling with a great number of people, who were bringing in the lifeless corpse of a beautiful girl of about sixteen years old. The vene rable minister pointed to the group as an explanation of his sorrowshe covered his face with his handkerchief, but he was refused the alleviation of tears. The collection of people consisted of most of the village, who had left their houses on hearing the accident which I am relating. The young lady, whose lovely corpse was now placed in the entry of the house, in company with a companion, had attempted that afternoon to cross the river, on an errand of mercy to a poor sick family on the opposite shore. She was the subject of a late revival of religion, under the labours of her own beloved father, and she had now begun to exercise that benevolence, in wbich the disciples of Jesus will be engaged for ever. The two young ladies were in a little skiff under the direction of a man, who was afterwards discovered to be somewhat intoxicated. By carelessness or incapacity to act, he upset the boat in the deepest part of the river. The man and one of the girls saved themselves by clinging to the sides of the boat till assistance could arrive ; but the lamented Eliza S-- was separated from the others. The still waters soon wrapt their liquid sheets around, and encircled her in their bosom. She
"Fell into the weeping brook : her clothes spread wide;
like a creature native and indued
To muddy death!" She made a few faint struggles, and as if reposing on down, she softly sunk, no more to rise. A few bubbles rose and broke on the surface of the water, just in time to inform those who had come to save, that her immortal spirit had for ever fled. They carried the body on shore, where every suggestion of medical aid was exhausted, in vain endeavours to recall the cold clay to life. After the last hope of effecting this was over, her remains were brought by the feeling
The Pastor's Daughter.
villagers to her father's house. And it was these remains at which we were now gazing. The countenance was still fair and highly intelligent, and so composed that it seemed almost impossible that the spirit should not be still slumbering within. We all gathered round, and all felt ourselves to be too near the grave not to be silent and solemn. The aged father leaned upon his cane as he bent over the cold form of his child ; and though he did not weep, yet every one saw his grief was too big for tears. He steadfastly gazed at the beautiful face of his Eliza, whom he had so tenderly loved, and who he too well knew could never more gladden his heart, or receive his blessing. His remembrance of the past, and his anticipation of the future, seemed to struggle for ascendency over his feelings. He gazed and though for a time he spake not a word, yet I plainly saw his every tie to earth was now severed : and his looks seemed to pray
“ Soon may this fluttering spark of vital flame
Where, lulled to slumber, Grief forgets to mourn!' The hardy villagers looked upon their pastor as if they would willingly have taken a share of his grief, had it been possible, into their own bosoms; but they were too wise to attempt to offer any audible expressions of sympathy, for they well knew that, at a time like this, few could do this with profit. The women stifled not their grief, but gave vent to their feelings in tears. The youth and children poured out, in the fulness of sobbings, the overflowings of their hearts ; while the little child stood mute with astonishment, and seemed conscious that he was a witness of sorrow too big for utterance. The pastor had now so far exchanged the feelings of a father for those of the Christian, as to be able to speak, and inquired for "little Mary.” “Here!” said a little girl of about eight years of age, who had been holding him by the skirts of his coat, and weeping as if her heart would break; “ Here I am! O my dear Miss Eliza-my Miss Eliza!" The old man took her little hand within his, and could then mingle his tears with her's. After giving vent to his feelings, he spake with a calmness that was truly surprising. “Let us stop our crying, Mary! we cannot do Eliza any good, and she does not need our tears. She sleeps sweetly; and we should not mourn over her rest.” “ Asleep! and will she awake again-0 will she once more awake ?" asked the weeping child with great eagerness. “She will awake again : at the morning of the resurrection she will awake from this sleep. Do you remember what she told you last spring ?” “ What, when she came to see my sick mother at the poor-house, and took me home, and told me I might live with her, and she would never leave me !_() yes, I remember she told me how that God was a father to good little children, and that all good people go to God when they die, and live with the angels in Heaven- she told me this, and I know she has gone there -she was too good not to be with God; for she used every day to ask me to kneel down with her in her little room, and then she would
pray to Jesus Christ for me-she is certainly gone to Heaven. But what shall I do without her to teach me my lesson, and to tell me about God ? O my good, best friend is dead !'' “ Not your best friend, my child. God is your best friend ; and if you give him your heart, he will be your Father, and whenever you die, you will go to him, and meet your friend Eliza too. You shall live with me while I live, and when I die, there will be one from under my roof to follow me to the grave. And you,” said he, turning to his affectionate congregation, who were almost all, to an individual, standing before him, “you will receive my sincere thanks for your kind sympathies in this hour of sadness. Though my heart is almost ready to burst with its pangs, yet I should be wanting in duty towards you, and towards my Master, should this opportunity pass without my urging its improvement. You are aware that among all the doubts of hardened men, none have ever dared to deny that we are mortal. How often have we all been called to stand around the lifeless clay of our friends and neighbours, and as we conveyed thein to the cold mansions of the dead, how solemn has the voice come to our ears, • Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh! Who stands before me, whose heart has never been troubled with grief at the loss of friends? Where is the person who has never been called to weep at the departure of those who were dear-the mother whose offspring perished from her bosom in the very bud of its existence, the parent-the child-the busband - the wife, have all alike seen the gates of the eternal world open, and their friends and neighbours pass out, never to return! We all know these warnings; we know that we must soon follow; and inly can I not persuade you, my friends, to look beyond the verge of the grave, and even now begin to lay up treasures in heaven. O do this, for you are immortal, and cannot cease to exist. Do this, for you are probationers, and must one day die. Do it, for your time is uncertain, and you may die soon. When this morning's sun arose, the corpse that is lying beside me, was in the flush of health, and bid fair to sojouro here for a long time to come But she is gone, and left us in this wilderness world, till a few rolling suns shall see us placed as low as berself. You will soon follow your pastor to yonder grave-yard, for besides the infirmities of age, I have an assurance within me, that I shall have but a few more opportunities to ward you to prepare for death. Consider, then, your being, your destiny, your characters, your lives, and see whither you are going. Let the voice of my dear child reach you as it issues from the shroud, · Unto you, O men! I call, and my voice is to the sons of man.'”.
The good man ceased, for the multitude of feelings and thoughts which rushed upon bim, choked his utterance. But there was something in his calm and heavenly look, in his solemn and trembling voice, and in the attending circumstances, that made an impression upon his audience never to be effaced. We all were mute as if listening to a voice from the world of spirits; and I presume no one will ever be free from impressions there received ; and it is not unlikely that the great day of account will exhibit results of that occasion which were never imagined on earth.
Thoughts of the late Fever.
On a cold autumnal day, but a short time since, I visited the graveyard of this village. I was alone, and the memory of the past came rapidly before me as I saw the neat white marble raised over the sleeping dust of Eliza S Her father too was lying beside her, for he was right in predicting his labours on earth were almost closed. The father and mother were here waiting for the arrival of the great decisive day ;-and the daughter was lying between them. “ They were lovely in their lives and in their deaths were pot separated.” I was sad while viewing the simple inscriptions on the stones, and not a little affected when I found the following lines on the tomb of Eliza, which appeared to have been etched with a penknife by her father ere he died.
Beneath this stone so feebly reared,
Eliza gently sleeps;
For here a father weeps !
And free from mortal care :
THOUGHTS ON THE LATE FEVER.
To the Editor of the Christian Herald. WHETHER the late fever in this city is to be regarded as a judicial visitation of Providence, for certain specific sins of the people, or as involving nothing different, in this respect, from the ordinary experience of mankind, under the Christian dispensation, is a question about wbich there seems to be great diversity of opinion. Many suppose that this visitation was sent judicially, and not upon the principles of the ordinary dispensations of Providence ; and some, who occupy the station of public teachers, have ventured not only to pronounce it a judicial infliction, but to specify the particular sins for which it was a punishment. I am not aware what proofs they may have advanced in support of this opinion; but their views of the subject are attended with difficulties which I apprehend are insurmount. able. Some of these I take leave to state, in the hope that the consideration of them may lead to reflections more correct and more consistent with revelation and experience.
I believe as firmly as any one that all the miseries and afflictions of mankind are the fruit of sin; and suppose it entirely proper to say, with respect to what are termed judgments, calamities, and so forth, that in a general sense they are inflicted in consequence of the sinfulness of men. Many sinful practices are followed by immediate affliction, pain or misery, in one form or another ; according to what We term their natural tendency. In cases still more numerous, where pain and misery are experienced, no extraordinary degrees of wickedness can be alleged to have immediately preceded them; and in