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man's understanding; the unspeakable glory, up far beyond the sun, where we know not; the hidden mysteries of GOD; in Abraham's bosom; in the land of pure delight; the happy land; with the angels; the dead of long ago, the Fathers of the Faith: where is the crystal stream, the sweet fountains, the river of GOD, the unfading flowers and "the eternal bowers" round the throne of GOD. Think of their going hither and thither, there in that most lovely place, holding sweet converse with the Saints of GOD, chanting unearthly words to the angels' minstrelsy, ever and ever beneath the drooping palms. And, what is better far, more glorious still, the purest of all pure delights-think of their being fulfilled for ever and aye with GOD's own Divine Love, thrilling through and through their undying souls-tasting of the pleasures which are at the right Hand-drinking, as it were, out of a river, “holy love and infinite." Ah! what a day of joy must this be to them and to all GOD's redeemed ones. Ah! what a day of gladness to all holy souls, now slipped out of their prison house, received there with the most honourable of all time; with the blessed Spirits, Cherubim and Seraphim, Patriarchs and holy Prophets, Martyrs, and Virgins, Innocents and Confessors, holy Bishops and other Saints of GOD, departed in His faith and His fear-all presented before such an honourable company by their good angels. Surely it is past all human knowing. Neither you nor I nor any living can tell their great gain. Yes, their bodies are indeed dead and cold and lifeless, but they are not dead, but only gone before, living to GOD in the bright and beautiful Paradise. Let us think of them so to-day on this their Festival. Let us thank God that He has called them to the higher life, which is not yet for us; that they are where we would be, having won the prize, which we are looking for; that theirs is that "peace, be still," which is "strifeless, endless, ageless."
Ah, dear brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in one common Humanity: think of S. Paul's own words, " of sorrowing not as men without hope." Think of his desire "to depart and to be with CHRIST;" think of how " JEsUs lives;" and then our grief for blessed ones will be but for a little space, like the servitude of Jacob for Rachel" a little while" for the great love we bear unto them. So shall we climb "the steep ascent of heaven," drawn thither with strong cords of love, linking together the sweet brief past here with the hope of endless reunion there. Only let us now with Noah build our ark while the weather is calm; only now with Joseph let us lay up our
stores in the days of plenty, for yet the weather is fair; yet Jonas calls in the streets; yet Wisdom crieth aloud to all that pass by; yet the Angels are at the gates; yet the Prophet woos; yet the Apostle beseecheth for CHRIST's sake; yet the Bridegroom tarries and waits the Virgins' leisure. O GOD, to us may grace be given "to follow in their train," to enter in, to win the prize, to join the blessed, to sing those songs which ever and ever sweep across the crystal sea.
And so the dear LORD's Pierced Hand will have become to us a Hand of Glory, with its sacred Wounds glistening out brighter than the heart can fancy. But ere this can be, first, the earthly song, “It is good for me to have been in trouble;" then the prayer of S. Augustine, "Let Thy words, O my SAVIOUR, upon the Cross be my last words;" then the departing in peace; the closing of the eyes; the uplifting of them in the Eternal Day; the seeing JESUS, our long looked for Hope; the dear ones we have lost; yea, those blessed ones now in God's own keeping, in the true glory, in the most perfect bliss. Ah! nothing but Joy, Joy, Glory, GLORY, Alleluia, ALLELUIA, for the lost are found, they that were dead are alive again; the dry bones live, through JESU's love, through the power of the Resurrection and the Blessed Sacrament, and the prayers of the Church, and the earthly life, the short brief struggles here.
Ah! what a great Reward; with JESUS, the KING of Saints, and Mary the Virgin Mother, the Angels and the Blessed of all time. Yes,
"Peace, they have done it;
Look not down, but upward;
Up to the Glory and the Altar Throne,
Up to the swinging censer and the palm branch;
The Alleluias of a heavenly tone."
Yes," Beati mortui, qui in Domino moriuntur ; requiescunt a laboribus
G. C. NIFFac.
YE, who have passed all sorrow and temptation,
Ye, the elected out of every nation,
Say, did tears ever dim your happy eyes?
Glorious your trials, and your trust more glorious,
Onward we toil, with footsteps weary ever,
Faint at the least breath of the worldling's scorn,
We too would sing, although our hearts are aching,
Let us take comfort, for these days are ending,
M. J. K.
દ ARE you very busy with that sermon, uncle ?" asked Mabel one afternoon as she entered the library, and seated herself in her favourite low chair at the Vicar's feet. Her manner was so shy that Mr. Harland looked up with surprise, for usually when he was alone she was accustomed to invade his refuge with the boldness of a privileged intruder, and perching like a bird on the broad window-seat, unfold the rainbow-coloured counterpane designed for Edwin's couch, which as she knitted, streamed around her in bright flakes that might have vied with the gay plumage of her tropical namesakes.
The laborious parish-priest chanced to be much engrossed, but he had long attained that rare form of unselfishness which can bear patiently with interruptions and with those who cause them, ever "holding himself in equal readiness to do God's work, or leave it at His call."
"I am not writing a sermon, May Bird," he said pleasantly, turning from the half-finished page that he might the more readily bestow the fixed attention which draws out incipient confidence. He waited
patiently for her to speak, but Mabel did not take advantage of the opening, and with a view to make her feel at ease he added cheerfully, "I am collecting the materials for a course of lectures on the Types of the Old Testament, for the benefit of the elder school-children during Lent. It is a very interesting study to myself, and hence I may venture to hope that it will prove so to my listeners."
"But surely there would be time to prepare them between Septuagesima and Ash-Wednesday," observed Mabel.
Possibly so, but I have great faith in the course pursued by a late bishop, who when asked the secret of his regularity amid such multiplied engagements, answered, 'My plan is always to try and keep ahead of work.""
"But in what way? I do not see exactly what he meant,” continued Mabel.
"By seeking to anticipate known duties, and thus making provision for those unexpected claims to which all persons are more or less liable," replied Mr. Harland.
"Is that the reason you complete your sermons early in the week?" asked Mabel.
"Yes; I like to feel there is a wide margin for contingencies, and that I may dwell long and lovingly upon the truths I wish to set before my people. Besides, one finds perpetual haste scarcely compatible with sweetness of temper."
"I think Geraldine must act upon that theory," resumed Mabel, "for she always is serene, even although it may happen to be the last day for the Indian Mail.'”
"She does well," rejoined Mr. Harland, "for a writer of the age observes with truth, 'We must do our work calmly, if we would have it hallowed by GOD's Presence.' May Bird, you have boundless respect for the monastic system; why will you not evince it by adopting such an unobtrusive Rule of Holy Life as shall be the best preparation for a Holy Death ?"
"I never have attempted it even at Hugh Town without finding that my schedule must often be completely altered, and that I am either pleased it should be so, or else very much out of temper," replied Mabel, with a candour which might have disarmed a far more rigorous judge.
"Rules must of course be flexible," rejoined the Vicar, "and we need not lose heart when they are changed or suspended through no wilful fault on our own part."
Still, I have always fancied a rule must imply both regularity and steadfast adherence," persisted Mabel.
"Such is its very essence, but upon the other hand we may not turn from the direct leading of Providence. Every rule framed for Christians living in the world, must, as it were, comprise space for free motion within the circle of its restrictions."
"Uncle," said Mabel, by a sudden effort conquering her timidity, "there are some questions I should like you, as a clergyman, to
The Vicar's countenance beamed with deep tenderness at this appeal, for above and beyond the natural bond of relationship between himself and his adopted children, did he value the yet closer tie which links the Christian priest with every member of his flock, through the One Shepherd Who is over all. It was a joy when Mabel herself urged this most sacred of claims on his protection, for he hesitated to assert it upon his firm conviction that confidence should ever be spontaneous, and that the young are frequently least able to be unreserved towards those of their own household.
"What is it you should like to say, love ?" he asked gently, on perceiving that Mabel appeared unable to take the initiative.
Only that I have so wished lately to be a child again," said Mabel, drawing a long breath, as though to free herself from the accumulated weight of years.
The contrast between the tone and aspect of the speaker was sufficient to provoke a smile, but Mr. Harland, well aware how chilling is the least approach to levity, retained unmoved his grave courtesy of demeanour.
"I can understand your feeling," he replied, "for probably most grown persons often experience it. Which of childhood's blessings do you thus covet? GOD intends that the highest shall be continued to the Christian through all stages of his pilgrimage."
"I long for guidance, and a sense of acting under visible authority," said Mabel. "I rejoiced on first escaping from childish restraints, but I now find myself becoming yearly more unstable, often indeed appearing to do better for a time, but afterwards relapsing into old habits of carelessness, against which I had yet formed earnest resolutions. I seem to need especial discipline and training from a clergyman. Uncle, can you do anything to help me ?"
Mabel's expression was touchingly humble and trustful as she besought aid from the spiritual guide to whom her holiest interests