Page images

As the mountain became more and more steep I found I had left the carriage, and was toiling up the rugged acclivity on foot. The ascent, which at first had been gradual, then difficult, and again almost insurmountable, had now become really so, and I was placed before a perpendicular rock which had the appearance of a wall, and which it was equally impossible to ascend, to pass by, or to elude. I looked around on the right hand and on the left, but refuge failed me, and my feelings were approaching to despair, when examining the rock more minutely I perceived at certain distances a series of strings or little cords, which seemed to be very much worn, as if they had been often used before, and laying hold of these, I presently observed little holes in this wall, in which I could place my feet, so I determined by the aid of these to mount up. I found that when I leaned my whole weight on the cords, that notwithstanding they were short and worn, they sustained me as if I had been light as a feather; but that whenever I felt suspicious of their strength, or did not grasp them firmly, I was ready to fall; so I resolved to lay hold on them with all my power and might, and by little and little I nearly reached the top of the rock; but here, attempting to look back, I became so giddy that I felt heart and flesh ready to faint. Then will I look once more upward, said I, and with a desperate effort I tried for the upper cord, when stretching out my hand, to my surprise, I laid hold on part of a balustrade which crowned the summit, and by mounting higher, I saw before my astonished eyes, steps of marble of a dazzling whiteness, leading to the portico of an open temple. The steps, pillars, and portico, as well as the temple itself, were all of unutterable brightness, so that I thought I was transported to some orient clime, and that this was a temple of the sun; till I recollected that the Persians, who worshipped that luminary had no temples, saying, they would never confine him within walls whose habitation was the wide universe. Then from the softness and amenity of all around, I thought it was a temple to the Greek idol, Clemency, when I also remembered that the Athenians said they would build no temple to her who ought to dwell in every heart. As I mused on the beauty and splendor of this edifice, and looked at the gold and sunlight of which its capitals and cornices seemed to

be composed, and was about to enter it with feelings of sweet and solemn awe, a strain of such exquisite melody rose upon the air, that enraptured with the celestial concords, I suddenly awoke!

Hereupon, Mr. Editor, I rubbed my eyes, and on looking up, found I was on my couch in my own little parlor, and that a waster was making sad havoc in one of the candles on the table, and that the other stood much in need of snuffing. My maid Betty opened the room door too, just at that moment, and asked me if I was going to give any thing to the waits this evening, as it was Twelfth night. It was their music, then, which had spoiled my dream, and I was disposed at first to be somewhat cross and give them nothing, but I changed my mind being a devoted lover of harmony. I then arose, took two or three turns up and down the room, heaved a sigh once or twice, and at last recalled most vividly the whole circumstances of my dream.

Ah! this dream, said I to myself, is no enigma, it is a riddle too easily solved. In the morning of life all is gay and joyous our infancy is passed under the eye of our dear parents, and we are cradled in their love. Our early years we spend at school surrounded with many beloved companions. All then is fair; life is young-hope is buoyant-expectation stands on tiptoe; it looks into the future and sees long vistas of happiness before it. All is bland and amiable; the landscape is beautiful, the sky is bright, the air is balmy, all nature is green, and fresh, and fair. By and bye comes disappointment, distrust, suspicion. Unkindness chills the affections, friends desert us, afflictions try us, cares molest us, the world persecutes us, and death severs from us those we love. This is the scanty herbage, the barren wild, the desert waste, the mountain, and the rock. But what are those little cords by which alone we are enabled to climb the rock, and what are those steps in the rock? These are nothing else than the promises of the everlasting covenant, by which the saints in every age have clung in their ascent over mountains of difficulty, and these are the footsteps of the flock by which the flinty path is


All go by the same way to glory :-through much tribulation

shall ye enter the kingdom. Need I add that the temple to which I was afterwards conducted in my dream, with its transcendant beauty, its unclouded brightness, its perpetual sunshine, and sounds of seraphic jubilee, symbolises with the temple above, where there is no need of the moon, neither of the sun to shine in it, for the glory of God doth enlighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

May those young persons for whose instruction I relate this dream, deeply ponder its meaning. May they while passing through the early and beautiful portion of life's journey, sometimes think of the arid path that has yet to intervene before they reach the end. May they remember their Creator in the days of their youth, before the evil days come, and while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain. The promises of the covenant will only avail those who are heirs of the covenant through grace: let them then lay hold of Christ by faith, in the beginning of life, and he will not fail them at the close. Let a new year witness to new efforts on their part, to be found in the narrow way, to be walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. Let their prayer be for a new heart, a new spirit, and a life of new obedience; then God will be with them, preserve, bless, and comfort them when left companionless and alone, bereaved of every human comfort. Let none say, or think, they are too young, either to love God, or to be the objects of his protecting care. Let them remember the infant Moses, the child Samuel, the lad Isaac, the stripling David, and supplicate the same faith, by the grace of the same Spirit, and they will attain to the same piety in kind, though not perhaps in degree. And then, without being a prophet, I will venture to predict, that the same God will be their God for ever and ever, He will be their guide even unto death, and after death an abundant entrance will be ministered unto them into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ-both their's and our's.

I hope your young readers, Mr. Editor, in whom I take so affectionate an interest as to remember them even in my dreams, will not forget me on Twelfth day; but pray for a blessing on my humble labors for their instruction, whether sleeping or

waking; and show by the attention they pay to my communications, that they will have no objection to hear again of your obedient servant, and constant reader,


M. G.


"Our life is but a passage to eternity; it ought, therefore, to be filled up with meditations on it and preparations for it. Who would not deny himself for a time, that he may enjoy himself for ever?"

"Remember you are at the door of Eternity!!"

"THIS is New Year's day"-said Charlotte to her brother Bernard, "I wish you a happy new Year." "I wish you the same my dear sister," replied he, affectionately embracing her-" Come let us go and see papa and mamma, and pay our respects to them." In a moment they were in the parlor where the family were assembling for breakfast. Doddridge's Family Expositor lay on the table, and a volume of Psalms and Hymns, for the purpose of family-worship. "Good morning, dear papa and mamma," said the children as they entered the room, "We are come to wish you a happy new year"— "Thank you, my dear children," said the parents, "We hope it will be a happy year to each of you also; may the blessing of God rest upon you, and then all will be well."

Breakfast being over, a portion of the Scriptures was read, and the following hymn sung on the occasion:


Here before thy mercy-seat,

By thy favor, Lord! we meet ;
Spar'd to see another year,
We our Ebenezers rear.

Multitudes, each passing day,
Have from earth been call'd away;
Youth and age have been remov'd
From the sight of friends belov'd.

We confess our follies, Lord,
All our sins against thy word;
Penitent we humbly mourn,

While to thee for grace we turn.


From the strait and narrow way,
May we never, never, stray;
Be each action and each word,
Holiness unto the Lord.

Guide and guard us through the year,
For our help do thou appear;

Grant us health, and grace, and peace,

Hope confirm and love increase.

Or should death our course arrest,

May we be for ever blest;

Where thy servant's glorified,

Praise the Lamb that lov'd and died.

When the hymn was finished, Mr. Beverley offered up a solemn prayer to God, in which he expressed deep contrition for the sins of himself and his family, their ingratitude for past mercies; their misimprovement of His holy word, and their frequent failures and transgressions. He prayed most earnestly for his children, servants, and relatives; for the prosperity of the cause of God-for the final triumph of the gospel, and for the happiness of all mankind,- -"Crown this year, O Lord, with thy blessing," said he, “Let us, as a family, behold thy righteousness, that parents, children, and servants, may be sealed unto the day of eternal redemption."

At the conclusion of the prayer, Mr. Beverley took his children by the hand, and in the most feeling and affectionate manner addressed them thus:


At the entrance of another year, I feel it to be my imperative duty to address you upon a topic in which your best and dearest interests are involved, a topic at all times appropriate, but especially so at this period. By the kind and indulgent providence of God, your Creator and Benefactor, you have been preserved through another year, and while thousands have departed to the world of spirits, from which no traveller returns, while many have been suddenly summoned to the bar of God, and others cut off by pining sickness, some in the midst of their sins, and some in the pursuit of the heavenly kingdom, you are preserved, and you are spared to a longer

« PreviousContinue »