Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE FUTURE LIFE.

THE FUTURE LIFE.

BY WM. C. BRYANT.

How shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps
The disimbodied spirits of the dead,
When all of thee that time could wither, sleeps
And perishes among the dust we tread?

naked, instruct the ignorant, and carry the gospel to those who are ready to perish.

To the third it may be said Though the husband requires it, yet, as God does not require it, it is better to obey God than man; and should the husband persist, even he may be" won by the conversation of the wife," while she loves God, and trusts in him.

New York City, Dec., 1842.

For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain
If there I meet thy gentle presence not,
Nor hear the voice I love, nor read again,

In thy serenest eyes, the tender thought.

Will not thy own meek heart demand me there?

That heart whose fondest throbs to me were given?
My name on earth was ever in thy prayer;

Shall it be banished from thy tongue in heaven?
In meadows fanned by heaven's life-breathing wind,
In the resplendence of that glorious sphere,
And larger movements of the unfettered mind,

Wilt thou forget the love which joined us here?
The love that lived through all the stormy past,
And meekly with my harsher nature bore,
And deeper grew, and tenderer to the last,

Shall it expire with life, and be no more?

A happier lot than mine, and larger life,

Await thee there; for thou hast bowed thy will
In cheerful homage to the rule of right,

And lovest all, and renderest good for ill.

For me, the sordid cares in which I dwell,

Shrink and consume the heart, as heat the scroll;
And wrath hath left its scar - that fire of hell,
Has left its frightful scar upon my soul.

―――

Yet, though thou wear'st the glory of the sky,

Wilt thou not keep the same beloved name,
The same, fair, thoughtful brow, and gentle eye,
Lovelier in heaven's sweet climate, yet the same?

[blocks in formation]

21

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

22

SHE IS UNKIND TO HER MOTHER.

www

"SHE IS UNKIND TO HER MOTHER."

66

My son," said an aged father to his promising boy, as he discovered his increasing interest in the daughter of his neighbor, "weigh well this matter. I am an old man, and have not been an idle observer of the human family during my long life. One misstep taken now may ruin your prospect of happiness for this life, or so mar it as to render life almost undesirable. Many young men have made shipwreck of their peace by unadvisedly and injudiciously contracting an alliance of matrimony with women of bad dispositions."

"Why, father," interrupted Charles, "you are putting me quite aback, by speculating in so serious a manner upon what I thought so agreeable a subject, as to excite my apprehensions and awake my fears. I have not designedly kept any thing secret from you; my visits to neighbor B.'s have all been known, and never yet disapproved of, to my knowledge."

"No, my son," continued the father, "you have not acted covertly or unfilially in this matter. This gives me increasing confidence in you. I have noticed, and with pain, too, your oft-repeated visits to Mr. B.'s, and have as often desired to caution you, but have been waiting a suitable opportunity. The best evidence, I think, a father can give to his son, of his love, and his confidence in him, is the plainness and candor with which he makes known to him his mind upon all subjects. To be honest, then, you must allow me to say that you are mistaken in Miss B.'s worthiness of your affections. She is not the young lady your imagination has painted. I am sure you would not, upon this or any other subject, act in direct opposition to sentiments you have habitually expressed."

“Why, father,” exclaimed Charles, "you seem more and more serious." again heard you say that you would not unkind to her mother,' or who was dis

"Have I not, my son, again and marry any young lady who was respectful to her?”

"Yes, father," hastily answered Charles, "those are my sentiments, and always will be; but I was not aware that there could be any application of them in the present case. Miss B. has always appeared exceedingly mild and pleasant when in my company, and always treated her mother, for aught I knew, with propriety."

"Ah, my son, your affection has thrown a mantle over her conduct. She has wounded her own mother's feelings in the presence of us all. Old people look at these things dispassionately. Your mother and myself have often spoken, when alone, of Miss B.'s unkind treatment of her mother. We have seen her give her mother glances with her eyes, and make such tart answers, when she was not suited, as to cause our hearts to bleed. Miss B. has too much sense, and values too much our esteem, to come right out before us,

SHE IS UNKIND TO HER MOTHER.

23

***********

and tell her mother to 'hold her tongue,' or that 'she does not know what she is talking about;' and such like. But her good natural sense had not power enough over her bad natural disposition to suppress those glances, those intonations of voice, and those short answers, which her too sensitive mother understood."

[ocr errors]

"But, father, Mary has much to contend with. Her mother, you know, is not the most intelligent woman in the world; and this sometimes is very mortifying to her daughter. Mary, having been sent abroad, and becoming educated in a very superior manner, finds it sometimes a very difficult task to put up with her mother's lack of modern improvements.'

99

"That argument, Charles," rejoined the father, "if of any weight, goes directly against Miss B., because she should be the more tender and forbearing, kind and respectful to her mother, so as to hide, if possible, her imperfections. It is a hard case, my son, that a daughter, because she has had superior advantages, and become more accomplished than her mother, should set herself above her. In those very advantages and accomplishments should be laid the basis of heartfelt gratitude, respect, and affection. What! treat her own mother with unkindness and neglect in company, especially before those in whose eyes she should endeavor to exalt her? Who was it, Charles, that watched over Mary from her earliest infancy, bore with the fretfulness and troublesomeness of her early childhood? Who guarded her health, watched over her by day and by night, and often and again, with maternal tenderness and anxiety, listened whether she breathed in health? Who wept when Mary's skin was hot, her breath feverish, and her pulse quick and hard? Who bathed her temples, prepared for her every little delicacy, and hung over her as an angel ministering to her wants? Whose eyes were those which beamed with delight as Mary gradually arose from her sick bed, and became restored to health? And last, though not the least, who was it that bowed with Mary at the throne of grace, when her little lips could scarcely articulate, and taught her to lisp the name of Jesus? Was it not her own mother? The same mother she now can treat with neglect and unkindness. Beware, my son! I have only a few words more to say. Miss B. is unquestionably a young lady of fine talents and superior education. She has a fine, commanding person. She is of a highly respectable, genteel family. All these things are desirable. But she lacks one thing—she lacks an amiable disposition; she is 'unkind to her mother;' and my experience has always taught me that an unkind daughter habitually makes an unkind wife."

Half our forebodings of our neighbors are but our wishes, which we are ashamed to utter in any other form.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THE

MOTHER'S ASSISTANT.

VOL. III.

FEBRUARY, 1843.

The object in publishing the following communication, is to show parents the great importance of maintaining in their families, without interruption or cessation, and in the presence of strangers as well as their own household, Family Prayer. We are acquainted with the writer. He says, in a private note, "I have travelled the downward road which leads to death, twenty-two years. I sought and obtained what I imagined was real pleasure, but I can now say that the last year of my life has afforded me that sweet peace of mind, to which this world is a stranger.—ED.

NO. 2.

[Written for the Mother's Assistant.]

THE FAMILY ALTAR.

Never shall I forget the first time I bowed my knee at the "Family Altar." Being somewhat out of health last year, I left the city of New York, to spend a few months in the country, by the advice of my physician. I visited a relative who resides a short distance from the city. I left home, a careless sinner. I had been, and was then, taking broad strides in the road which leads to death. I spent my precious time in devising plans for the comfort of my poor body, without thinking I had an immortal spirit to save, and fit for the sky. I was constantly treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath.

On the morning after my arrival, I arose as usual, without thanking God for preserving my worthless life during the night. I was soon assembled with the rest round the "Family Altar," and with them, for the first time, bowed my knee in prayer; but while they were offering up their morning sacrifice, I was thoughtless and unconcerned-merely an idle looker-on. In this manner I passed five months. When about returning to this wicked, but highly-favored city, my

« PreviousContinue »