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and I believe in the Augsburg Confession.' I was at a loss how to answer him.
“ When we entered our captain's tent, he asked us what reward he was to have for saving our lives. We said that we could give him nothing now, but promised him all our buried gold and silver when we could obtain it. The next morning he sent some of his men with the maid into the city to fetch away our property, but they came back empty, as it was impossible to get to the cellar because of the fire. Meanwhile the captain treated us with uncommon kindness and care.
“Nevertheless we longed for a quieter life. My sickness increased this desire on my wife's part, and she earnestly pressed the captain for our pass and permission to leave. He postponed this request, as he had not yet received our ransom. At length our maid-servant brought over all our valuables, which we at once offered to him. He laid them all out on the table, and there were a considerable number of fine old thalers, which I had not seen for a long time. He gave my wife back her new silver hooks and one thaler, and kept the rest of the money and the silver goblets. Difficult as it had been for us to earn all these things, we did not grudge them to him to whom, next to God's gracious providence, we were indebted for our very lives.
“At our request the pass was now prepared, in which our preserver called himself • Captain Joseph de Ayrisa, Head of the Watch of the Regiment of Prince Savelli.' We went thence to Olvenstadt, where the field-chaplain Schwanenberg received us and many Magdeburgers most kindly. I was very ill, and owe him many invaluable services. We next came to Garleben (Salzwebel), and finally to Hamburg. Here for some weeks we awaited the issue of public events, but God mercifully appointed that there I soon received an invitation from the entire congregation at Reudsburg, in Holstein (where I was formerly called as a deacon), to become their pastor, and this call I accepted."
Few of the people of unhappy Magdeburg survived to record such a story. There is a naive simplicity and faithful sincerity about this good soul tossed in such unusual storms. He was far better suited to the peaceful pastoral calling than for such perilous adventures. He hardly seems conscious that all through his wife was his “good angel ” and chief protector, though he had parted from her in fulfilment of his routine duties. It was well that Providence brought her back to him, or his childish helplessness would have ended in his destruction. The accuracy of the description enables one to realise the dreadful horrors of the day to many as pious and more brave and more heroic than Thodanus, but who found no escape from barbarity, shame, anguish, and infamy, save in death.
The nobler spirit of many who fought, as well as suffered, for this cause shines out in the words of the hero Gustavus :-“We strive not for human or temporal honour and substance, but for God's honour and word-for the real and only blessed religion. Wherefore we must not doubt that the Almighty, who, in spite of our foes' opposition, has already led us in marvellous ways over so many passes and streams, will now, with His help,
powerfully stand by us, will strengthen our arms, and vouchsafe us the rictory over the pride of our enemies." His watchword for the army on the day of his victorious death on the field of Lutzen was God with us." Praise be to God, who established the Protestant cause in Europe by Lutzen's loss and triumph.
“ In Spring-time.”
“I am the resurrection and the life."
It seemed hard that the doctor's skill was of no avail in saving his own little baby.
Out of a score of little sufferers, that season, he had restored nineteen to anxious parents. But the twentieth died in spite of all he could do. And it was his own little one, whom he loved better than his life. For the little mother at the head of his house, the blessed wife would die to save, he had been able to do nothing save to help support her sinking form as her child was buried from sight.
After the baby went away, the doctor's house was desolate in every sense of the word. You felt it the moment you crossed the threshold. Not that the curtains were drawn and the blinds closed, for the sunshine was still allowed to enter; but heart-broken parents can scarcely make a cheerful home, and they say there is no mistake in the statement that the death of little Blossom did really break the heart of both father and mother.
The doctor's office looked like a nursery, they said who saw it ; but the hush in that room was oppressive since the baby went to sleep. During the day the little one's toys were scattered all over the floor. On the doctor's prescription table would sometimes be found a little sock, or a baby's tumbled hat, and even little flannel waist-bands that had pressed his darling's form. Over in one corner hung the doctor's rubber coat, nerer more on the hat-rack in the hall, and by the side of the coat stood an empty baby carriage, with a pillow in it, and a sunken hollow where a little form had reposed. On the study-desk, underneath the ponderous volumes and medical journals and reviews, Blossom's picture-face laughed up into yours -her dear, dear face that they missed so in the doctor's house.
The doctor and his wife did not sit down and spend their days in wailing and crying ; theirs was a mute grief ; wordless, unutterable, but as intense and fixed as suffering depicted in marble. Their hearts were not marblelike or indifferent in a single particular. Oh, no. They were human hearts broken, and the troubles of others got in all the more quickly. But consolation they had none to offer. Was a baby sick at midnight or later, and the doctor summoned from his bed, the most violent storin ever known would not have prevented him from trying to reach the little one's side. Where duty had prompted before, love and sympathy now led ; and as the doctor looked at the little empty carriage, he would grasp his rubber coat, and dash out of the house for some mother's home, whatever the night. Oh, how they loved and thanked him, the watching parents, as they
noticed his devotion to the case, his earnestness to keep the shadow from falling on their homes. But if nothing availed, and the darkness came on apace, he had only tears to offer--only a wringing grasp of the hand as he turned away. He said once, there wasn't any comfort for such cases ; it was better to leave them alone.
People wondered the doctor did not hasten to place a block marble to mark Blossom's grave, as month after month passed without recognition of this custom. But the designers of monuments did not wonder. He visited them continually, but their drawings did not suit him. From them he would go to the marble-yard and look searchingly at the many styles displayed, and to the rooms where the choicest models were carefully placed, and would then slowly turn from them all, and shaking his head would walk away.
“ can't tell what I want,” he said, one day. “I want my Blossom, and I can't have her, and so I want-well, I can't tell, only I don't want to look at broken rose-buds and crosses and crowns and shattered columns when I visit my baby's grave. And I don't want to read, 'Gone before,' or 'Our angel,' or 'Fallen asleep'-nothing like these. As I don't know what want, I will wait even a while longer. I want my Blossom ! I don't want her tombstone to tell me of her death every time I glance at it. God knows there is no need of that; and if there were, the mound is an eloquent reminder of the fact. Oh! I want to love the little monument; I want it to be something more than marble to me. Good-day, sir; good-day. I'll call another time.”
It so happened an old marble cutter was standing by, with his head bent, listening, as the doctor ejaculated the above sentences ; and as the latter hurried away, the old man turned to the puzzled foreman of the yard and said: “I have it—the idea—what he needs—what he wants, but does not realise. Follow up my suggestions ; gain his permission to put up a stone on trial, and if he orders it down I will pay the entire cost myself.” The old marble cutter was a Christian.
Some weeks afterward, Blossom’s grave was honoured with a little monument. It was just at spring-time ; the rose-bushes by the mound were putting forth buds ; the grass was turning green ; and here and there a crocus broke the earth. Winter, with its skeleton anns and white shroud, had passed away, and in its place new life appeared and the season of desolation was forgotten.
“Spring has come and we want our Blossom!” cried the doctor, brokenly, as he and his wife entered God's acre and slowly walked the path their feet had learned so well.
Well-what was it made them stop and glance at each other?
O, nothing-only the glad promise that Blossom should be given back in God's spring-time. For, beautifully cut upon the monument placed there, was the promise : "I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIEU.” The stone bore no other inscription.
I was down at Brown's, the photographer's, recently, when the doctor's errand-boy entered, and handing a note to my friend the artist, retired.
“An order for some more of those little monuments,” said Brown.
“ What monuments?” I inquired.
'Why, don't you remember the doctor's baby that died two or three years ago ? :)
I remember 'Little Blossom.'” “Well, it is photographs of her monument he wants. He's ordered a hundred of those, if he's ordered one. For, besides supplying his special friends”—and here Brown lowered his voice-he, too, has lost a little one"he takes them on his rounds-and-well-he doesn't scatter them broadcast, but when the sorrow, which he has done his best to avert, comes to some house, he doesn't rush off and leave its inmates comfortless ; he takes out the picture from his medicine-case and tells them of his little one with whom it was so hard to part ; and then, in that touching way of his, adds : 'I grieve for her constantly—she was my idol—I worshipped her-but still, in spring-time, my Blossom will live again ; here is the promise : "I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE.”
And as the doctor goes around, day after day, night after night, comforting the heavy-hearted wherever he finds them, and binding up wounds which his medical skill alone would have no power to heal, he has made the heavy burden of sorrow easier to bear in many homes ; and between their tears and their sobs people grasp his hand and the little picture he gives them, and exclaims, “God bless you, doctor; God bless you again and again !”
And yet this great, noble, sorrowing man does not seem to realise this beautiful mission of his-that which is finished in heaven--the wiping avay of tears—and often exclaims: “It was such a mysterious providence that took my treasure from me! I cannot understand it !" But, doctor, in spring-time all these things shall be made plain.
HELEN V. OSBORNE.
Light after darkness,
Gain after loss ;
Crown after cross ;
Song after sigh ; Home after wandering,
Praise after cry. Sheaves after sowing,
Sun after rain ; Light after mystery,
Peace after pain ;
Joy after sorrow,
Calm after blast;
Sweet rest at last.
Gleam after gloom ;
Life after tomb;
Rapture of bliss ;
F. R. HAVERGILL.
Sigus of Spiritual Derliue. 1. When you are averse to religious conversation or the company of heavenly-minded Christians.
2. When, from preference and without necessity, you absent yourself from religious services.
3. When you are more concerned about pacifying conscience than honouring Christ, in performing duty.
4. When you are more afraid of being counted over-strict than of dishonouring Christ.
5. When you trifle with temptation, or think lightly of sin.
6. When the faults of others are more a matter of censorious conversation than secret grief and prayer.
7. When you are impatient and unforgiving toward the faults of others.
8. When you confess, but do not forsake sin ; and when you acknowledge, but still neglect, duty.
9. When your cheerfulness has more of the levity of the unregenerate than the holy joy of the children of God.
10. When you shrink from self-examination.
11. When the sorrows and cares of the world follow you farther into the Sabbath than the savour and sanctity of the Sabbath follow you into the week.
12. When you are easily prevailed upon to let your duty as a Christian yield to your worldly interest or the opinions of your neighbours.
13. When you associate with men of the world without solicitude about doing good, or having your own spiritual life injured.
Be Patieut. Be patient with your friends. They are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. They cannot see your heart, and may misunderstand you. They cannot know what is best for you, and may select what is worst. Their arms are short, and they may not be able to reach what you ask. What if they alas ! lack purity of purpose and tenacity of affection ; do you not also lack these graces ? Patience is your refuge. Endure, and in enduring, conquer them, and if not them, then at least yourself. Above all, be patient with your beloved. Love is the best thing on the earth, but it is to be handled tenderly, and impatience is a nurse that kills it.
Be patient with your pains and cares. We know it is easy to say and hard to do. But, dear child, you must be patient. These things are killed by enduring them, and made strong to bite and sting by feeding them with your frets and fears. There is no pain or care that can last long. None of them shall enter the city of God. A little while, and you shall leave behind you the whole troop of howling troubles, and forget in your first sweet hour of rest that such things were on the earth.