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jun 20 05 



©pinions of t!je Briti's]^ Press. 

Evang-elical Repository. — l^iQwer h^iove, at least in this 
country, has love intertwined so lovely and so sweet a 
wreath — a true Immortelle — \.o lay on the grave of de- 
parted childhood. 

Glasg-otv Herald. — It will help to wipe away those tears 
which, we suppose, are well-nigh the hottest that gush out 
even in this sad and sorrowing world. 

British Controversialist. — ^h\^ is a casket of affection, 
full of gems of heart value, and precious to the soul. It 
is an anthology of parental love and sorrow, and an ency- 
cloptedia of pure and holy consolation. 

United Presbyterian Magazine. — The plan and execu- 
tion of this little work are alike most admirable. We 
cannot exaggerate its merits; and rivals, that see it put 
above and before themselves, will frankly acknowledge 
that this is just as it ought to be. 

Reformed Presbyterian Magazine. — We heartily com- 
mend it to the perusal of those from whom God has in His 
mysterious providence removed " household treasures." 

London Quarterly Review, April, 1869. — A most beau- 
tiful and blessed book. Here are treasures of consolation, 
in prose and poetry, for all that are bereaved. 

The Morning Star. — It is so true to its title, and so ad- 
mirably adapted to comfort houses of mourning when the 
flowers of earth have been transplanted to the heavenly 
soil, that it cannot fail to be a real household treasure. 

U?iion Magazine for Sunday School Teachers. — A treas- 
ury of the consoling utterances of genius and sympathy, 
admirably adapted to soothe those who weep because their 
children " are not." 

Pulpit Afialy St. — Never, to our knowledge, was the lit- 
erature of infant salvation so extensively collated, or so 
wisely and carefully distributed. 

Words of Comfort 






530, BROADVV^Ay. 




^^'-t' ■ ■ '^•-^ 





This volume, of which fifteen thousand copies have al- 
ready been printed in Great Britain, hardlj' needs com- 
mendation to the American reader. But the testimony 
of two eminent clergymen — one in England and the 
other in Scotland — may not be out of place. 

Dean Alford, in the " Contemporary Review," says : 
" This charming book . . . originally sprung out of a be- 
reavement, which has indeed brought forth choice fruit. 
Mr. Logan has brought together an ample collection, from 
writers, English and foreign, in prose and verse, of pas- 
sages which could bear on this subject. The large diffu- 
sion of the volume is of itself testimony of the truth of our 
recommendation, when we say that it is one which would 
form a precious gift to bereaved friends, and would be 
admitted into counsel with the wounded heart, at a time 
when almost all words, written and spoken, are worthless. 
Higher praise could hardly be given." 

George Gilfillan, in the " Dundee Advertiser," says : 
" Cordially do we wish that it may find its way into every 
room of the vast house of mourning, and do there its 
benevolent mission as a portion of the grand ministry 
by which God is yet to 'wipe away tears from all faces.'" 

That its lessons, so full of healing balm, so enriched 
with truth, so clothed in beauty, may relieve, console, and 
gladden many a stricken heart, is the hope of the Ameri- 
can Publishers. 

"I AM THE Resurrection and the Life." — John xi. 25. 

"Is it well with the child? It is well." — 2 Kings iv. 26. 

" Even so, — it is not the will of your Father which is in 
Heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." — Matt, 
xvlii. 14. 

"Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." — Matt. xLx. 14. 


"It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power." — i Cor. xv. 43. 

" The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be 
THE name of the Lord." — Jobi. 21. 

"They died, for Adam sinned: they live, for Jesus died." — 

" Not Lost, but Gone Before." the almost Christian sentiment of the 
great heathen morahst, Seneca. — D. M. MoiR ("Delta ")• 




Brief Notice of a Short Life 17 


Rev. Dr. William Anderson, Glasgow 25 

Rev. Dr. James Morison, Glasgow * 30 

Rev. George Gilfillan, Dundee 37 

Rev. Dr. John Ker, Glasgow 42 

Rev. Dr. Ralph Wardlaw, Glasgow 54 

Rev. Dr. Alex. MacLeod, Birkenhead 57 

Rev. Dr. Alexander Wallace, Glasgow 61 

Rev. Dr. Robert Ferguson, London .62 

Rev. Dr. J. Logan Aikman, Glasgow 65 

Rev. Dr. Edward Steane, London 66 

Rev. Dr. William Cooke, London 67 

Rev. Dr. Chalmers 69 

Rev. Dr. Candlish, Edinburgh 70 

Rev. Dr. Lawson, Selkirk 70 

Jeremy Taylor 70 

Evans 71 

Rev. John Newton 71 

lo Contents, 



Rev. Dr. John Macfarlane, London — Parental Anxiety 

Removed by the Early Death of Children ... 72 

Rev. Dr. William Anderson, Glasgow — Recognition 

after the Resurrection 76 

Rev. Dr. Anderson — A Word of Warning to Mothers 78 

Rev. Dr. John Brown, Edinburgh — Restoration of 

Children in Heaven 80 

Rev. Dr. Chalmers, Edinburgh —The Light that 

Radiates around the Infant's Tomb 83 

David Pae, Edinburgh — John Brown and his Little 

Graves -85 

Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, London — "Is it well with the 

Child.?" 91 

Professor Henry Rogers — A Mother Congratulated 

on the Death of her Child - - i 97 

Rev. Henry Allon, London — Children "God's Heri-" 103 

Rev. George Gilfillan, Dundee — The Charm of Child- 
hood no 

Rev. George C. Hutton, Paisley — The Early Re- 
moval of Children a Proof of Divine Goodness 114 

Rev. William Taylor, M.A., Liverpool — Bereaved 

Parents Comforted 118 

Rev. William Blair, M.A., Dunblane — Grief not For- 
gotten : 22 

Rev. Dr. J. Logan Aikman, Glasgow — "Are there 

Infants in Heaven?" 126 

Rev. J. P. Chown, Bradford — On the Death of Chil- 
dren 131 

Contents, ii 

Rev. Dr. John Bruce, Newmilns, Ayrshire — "It is 

Well " 133 

Rev. John Guthrie, A.M:, Glasgow — God's Relation- 
ship to Children 135 

Rev. Dr. Joseph Brown, Glasgow — The Children 

Safely Folded 137 

Rev. Dr. Robert Ferguson, London — Little Ones in 

Heaven 139 

Rev. Dr. George Smith, London — Mutual Recogni- 
tion in Heaven 142 

Rev. Charles Garrett, Manchester — Safe with Christ 144 
Rev. Professor M'Michael, D.D., Dunfermline — Un- 
converted Parents Admonished 145 

Rev. Henry Batchelor, Glasgow — A Word in Season 148 
Rev. William Bathgate, Kilmarnock — Appeal to 

Parents 150 

William B. Bradbury, — A Transplanted Flower . . 153 

Rev. Dr. Schaff — A Sweet Sorrow 154 

Rev. Edward Irving, London — " Little Edward " . 156 
Rev. Dr. John Cumming, London — Germs of Immor- 
tality 158 

Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod, Glasgow — The Black- 
smith and his Wife at " Wee Davie's " Coffin . 160 
Rev. Dr. Thomas Guthrie, Edinburgh — The Flowers 

of Paradise 163 

Rev. Dr. Alexander Fletcher, London — The Intelli- 
gence of a Glorified Infant 164 

Rev. P. B. Power, M.A., Kent — Heavenly Relation- 
ship 165 

Rev. John Jameson, Methven, Perthshire — The Faded 

Flower ? . . . 167 

12 Contents . 

Rev. Alex. B. Grosart, Blackburn — A Hebrew Story 169 
Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, Stirling — The Lilies Gath- 
ered 171 

Rev. Thomas Boston, Ettrick — Children before the 

Throne 172 

Matthew Henry— The Grave a Wardrobe .... 173 
Samuel Rutherford — The Bloom falling into Christ's 

Lap 175 

Robert Hall — A Bud of Beauty 176 

Rev. James Hervey, A.M., — Victory without Con- 
flict 177 

"The Flower Plucked by the Master" 178 

Rev. Richard Cecil — The Crown of Life .... 179 

Archbishop Leighton — Gone to Sleep i8i 

Selection from "The Edinburgh Christian Instructor" 

— The Glory of Departed Infants 182 


Rev. R. H. Lundie — Musings on the Death of Chil- 
dren 185 


Rev. Professor Eadie, D.D., Glasgow — The Saviour's 

Sympathy with the Afiiicted 204 

Rev. Professor Eadie, D.D., Glasgow — "Jesus Wept" 207 
Rev. Dr. Charles J. Vaughan, Doncaster — How to 

Sympathize with Mourners 211 

Dean Alford, Canterbury — "Thy Will be Done" . 213 
Principal Tulloch, D.D., St. Andrews — Sorrow for 

the Dead 217 

Contents,. 13 

Professor Islaj Burns, D.D., Glasgow — "How are 

the Dead Raised Up, and with what Body do they 

Come?" 221 

Rev. Dr. John Ker, Glasgow — Christ's Delay to 

Interpose against Death 227 

Rev. George' Gilfillan, Dundee — A Lovely Life : Its 

Closing Scene 231 

Mrs. Janet Hamilton, Langloan — Resignation to the 

Divine Will 235 

Rev. Henry Allon, London — A Word to Parents . 239 

Rev. J, Baldwin Brown, B.A., London — " These Lit- . 

tie Ones" 242 

Rev. Henry Ward Beecher — Identity Preserved in 

Heaven 244 

Rev. Wm. Morley Punshon, M.A. — Heaven a Vast 

and Happy Society . 248 

Rev. Dr. Theodore L. Cuyler, Brooklyn — A Walk in 

Greenwood Cemetery 250 

D. M. Moir ("Delta") — A Thornless Sorrow . . . 254 


D. M. Moir ("Delta") — "Wee Willie" 256 

William Wordsworth — " We are Seven " .... 259 

Alfred Tennyson, D.CL. — The Grandmother . . 261 

Alfred Tennyson, D.C.L. — Enoch Arden .... 262 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge — Berkeley and Florence 

Coleridge 262 

Robert Southej-, LL.D. — Undying Love •. . •. . 263 

Robert Burns — A Flower Transplanted 264 

Robert Burns — " A Rose in Heaven " 264 

14 Contents, 


Thomas Aird — Song of the Church-jard Children . 265 

D. M. Moir ("Delta") — "Weep not for Her". . . 266 

James Hedderwick, Glasgow — Home Trial . . . . 268 

Walter C Smith, D.D., Glasgow — Our First Taken 273 
William B. Robertson, D.D., Irvine — The Child's 

Angel 276 

W. B. Robertson, D.D., Irvine — The Departed Nigh 278 

James Montgomery — The Infant Choir in Heaven . 279 

Archbishop Trench, Dublin — " Sleep Softly " . . . 280 

Archbishop Trench, Dublin — Moravian Hymn . . 281 

Archbishop Trench, Dublin — The White Doves . . 282 
Henry Alford, D.D., Dean of Canterbury — The Child 

in Paradise 283 

Henry Alford, D.D., Dean of Canterbury — Faith . 284 

Henry Alford, D.D. — Lacrymse Paternae .... 285 

John Milton — "The Fairest Flower" 287 

Paul Gerhardt — " Still Thou art mine Own "... 289 
Gottfried Hoffman — " Go Hence, my Child " (Trans- 
lated by John Guthrie, M. A., Glasgow) . . . . 292 

Dante — The Vision 293 

Gerald Massey — " Our Wee White Rose" .... 294 

Alaric A. Watts — " The Death of the First-Born " . 296 
Theodore Martin, London — The Angel and the 

Infant 3C0 

RobertNicoU— The Sick Child's Dream .... 301 

Mary Howitt — The Child in Heaven 304 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning — A Child's Grave at 

Florence 305 

Mrs. Hemans — A Messenger of Heaven 308 

Harriet Beecher Stowe — The Garden Rose-Bud . . 309 

J. Stanyan Bigg — "O Little Child" 311 

Contents. 15 

Robert Pollok, A.M. — The Dying Mother and her 

Child 312 

Alexander Wallace, D.D., Glasgow — Jesus in the 

Storm , 314 

John Critchley Prince — "The Dewdrops Gone" . . 314 

William M.Taylor, A.M., Liverpool — The Rosebuds 316 

John Guthrie, M.A., Glasgow — Parental Consolation 317 

William T. M'Auslane, Glasgow — Resigned in Hope 318 
Rev. Henry Batchelor, Glasgo-w— To a Bereaved 

Mother 319 

Alex. Wallace, D.D., Glasgow — The Contrast . . 320 

James D. Burns, M.A. — The Angels Singing . . . 320 

William Freeland, Glasgow — Not Dead, but Changed 321 
Selection from "The Christian Witness"— "The 

Lambs all Safely Folded " 322 

Rev. Richard Cecil — The Day-Dawn 325 

John Moultrie — "The Three Sons" 327 

John Pierpont — " He is not There " 328 

Meinhold — The Good Shepherd and the Lamb . . 330 
Selection from "The Christian Treasury" — "The 

Evening Star" 331 

Charles Wesley — Gone to Paradise 332 

Ralph Erskine — The Highest Rank in Heaven . . t^t^t^ 


Robert Robinson 333 

William Cowper 333 

Thomas Aird 334 

Mrs. Hemans 334 

Hartley Coleridge 334 

Professor John Wilson 334 

1 6 Contents* 


R. B. Sheridan 335 

James Cawthorn 335 

Francis Davison 33^ 

Samupl Taylor Coleridge 33^ 

Samuel Wesley 337 


npHE history of the little girl, whose some- 
what sudden death was the moving cause 
of collecting the contents of the following pages, 
is soon told. Sophia, only daughter of Wil- 
liam and Janet Logan, was born at Bradford, 
Yorkshire, June 12th, 185 1, and died at Ab- 
botsford Place, Glasgow, May ist, 1856, at 
the tender and interesting age of four years 
and ten months. Towards the close of March, 
1856, she accompanied her mother to Keir-mill, 
Dumfriesshire. About two months previously, 
Sophia's faithful nurse had been buried in 
the churchyard there. The child gave her 
mother no rest till she took her to the beautiful 
old sequestered burying-ground, on the banks 
of the Scarr. She soon stood beside, what 
she affectionately designated, whilst the tears 

1 8 Brief Notice of a Short Life, 

trickled down her cheeks, " My Mary's grave ! " 
The child was deeply affected, and would allow 
no one to touch it with a foot, but gently 
pressed with her little hand the tender grass 
which covered it. She then went, of her own 
accord, to a greener spot in the burying-ground, 
plucked a " forget-me-not," and put it in at the 
head of what she repeatedly spoke of as " My 
Mary's grave ! " 

Early on a Monday morning, which was one 
of warm sunshine, after wishing '^ good-bye " 
to a pious friend on her death-bed, she, in 
company with her mother and grandfather, 
walked to Thornhill. Passing along the ro- 
mantic banks of the Nith, she was greatly 
delighted with the gambols of a number of 
lambs, and, with childlike simplicity, entreated 
"Granpa " to assist her in catching one of them. 
On returning home, she referred with great 
glee to this part of the visit ; and little did her 
parents then imagine that in about five short 
weeks their friends, in consolatory letters, 
should be referring to herself as a "safely 
folded Jamb '' ! How impressive and sug- 
gestive the words of the Psalmist: "Thy way 
is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, 
and Thy footsteps are not known." And how 
soothing to a confiding heart the well-known 
lines of Cowper ! — 

Brief Notice of a Short Life. 19 

*' Judge not the Lord bj feeble sense, 
But trust Him for His grace; 
Behind a frowning providence 
He hides a smiling face. 

His purposes will ripen fast, 

Unfolding every hour; 
The bud may have a bitter taste, » 

But sweet will be the flower. 

Blind unbelief is sure to err, 

And scan His work in vain; 
God is His own interpreter, 

And He will make it plain." 

Sophia was seized with gastric fever, and for 
three weeks was chiefl}^ confined to bed. On 
the last Sabbath but one of April, she was able 
to be out of bed and relish a little food. For 
a few days she seemed to improve, and on the 
following Saturday was up during most of 
the da}', and enjoyed herself much. After 
running nimbly across the room-floor, she said, 
playfully, to a beloved friend and "mother in 
Israel," "You see, Grandma, that I can run 

* Both loved ones now sleep together in the same 
grave, in the Glasgow Necropolis; the one having died in 
her fifth, the other in her eighty-fourth year. It may 
interest young readers to know that Sophia's Grandmother 
had been for about seventy years a humble, sincere fol- 
lower of Christ, and died in the firm faith and hope of 

20 Brief Notice of a Short Life, 

This was her last Httle earthly journey. 
Before retiring to rest, the writer said, " Shall 
we ask Jesus to take care of us ? " To which 
she promptly replied, "Yes!" — at the same 
time gently folding her hands. On the Sab- 
bath morning, on being asked to repeat a fa- 
vorite passage of Scripture, she did so ; but, in 
a lower and peculiar tone of voice, quoted 
Proverbs viii. 17, "I love them that love me; 
and those that seek me early shall find me," 
adding, after a pause, and in a whisper, 
" The Lord's my Shepherd T^ On Monday 
evening it was evident that the solemn mes- 
senger. Death, was approaching. In the morn- 
ing, her father, when alone with her, said, 
" Will Sophia give her papa a kiss ? " She 
instantly clasped her hands around his neck, 
and with all the earnestness and pure affection 
of a loving child, embraced him. The voice 
of an all-wise, ever-kind Father was heard, at 
this inexpressibly trying moment, saying, " Be 
stilly and know that I am God ! " The writer 
was "dumb, and opened not his mouth," and 

going to heaven. Her last Bible utterance, suggested b^ 
one of her oldest and beloved ministerial friends (the 
Rev. Dr. Wm. Anderson, Glasgow), was the following: 
" There remaineth, therefore, a Rest to the people of God." 
May the young, like her, give their hearts lovingly to 

Brief Notice of a Short Life. 21 

submissively, though with a soreness of heart 
which cannot be expressed in words, silently 
took farewell of Sophia. Oh leaving the house, 
for the labors of the day, he said to Him who 
hears even 

" The burthen of a sigh," 

when passing in sadness along the busy street, 
"The Lord gave, and the Lord is taking 
away ; blessed be the name of the Lord ! " 
and mentally repeated the following favorite 
verses, with a mournful interest never before 
experienced : — 

" Whate'er we fondly call our own 
Belongs to heaven's great Lord ; 
The blessings lent us for a day 
Are soon to be restored. 

'Tis God that lifts our comforts high, 

Or sinks them in the grave; 
He gives ; and when He takes away, 

He takes but what He gave. 

Then, ever blessed be His name ! 

His goodness swell'd our store; 
His justice but resumes its own; 

'Tis ours still to adore." 

In the course of the afternoon, her mother, 
observing her dear child getting worse, said, 
"I think Sophia is going to 'Gentle Jesus,"* 
when she faintly but distinctly responded, 
"Yes, ma! and you will come too!" This 

22 Brief Notice of a Short Life. 

was the last simple, intelligent sentence she 
uttered on earth. She lingered on for a short 
time, becoming gradually weaker, till at five 
o'clock on Thursday, the ist of May, a lovely 
sunny morning, the spirit was wafted by angels 
to join the white-robed company of youthful 
immortals "before the throne" in heaven. 

The following were Sophia's favorite pas- 
sages of Scripture : " I love them that love 
me ; and those that seek me early shall find 
me ; " " Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
and renew a right spirit within me;" "The 
Lord is my Shepherd." 

Her favorite hymns were the following, part 
of which she often sung in the evening, es- 
pecially during the closing months of her brief 
but beautiful life : — 

" Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, 
Look upon a little child; 
Help me, Lord, to come to. Thee ! 
Let Thy blessing rest on me ! " 

' See the kind Shepherd, Jesus, stands, 
With all-engaging charms ; 

Hark, how He calls the tender lambs. 
And folds them in His arms. 

' Permit them to approach,' He cries, 
Nor scorn their humble name; 

For 'twas to bless such souls as these 
The Lord of angels came. 

Brief Notice of a Short Life, 23 

The feeblest lamb amidst the flock 

Shall be its Shepherd's care : 
While folded in the Saviour's arms. 

We're safe from every snare." 

*' There is a happy land, 

Far, far away, 
Where saints in glory stand, 

Bright, bright as day. 
Oh how they sweetly sing! 
Worthy is our Saviour King, 
Loud let His praises ring — 

Praise, praise for aye. 

Come to this happy land, 

Come, come away; 
Why will you doubting stand } — 

Why still delay? 
Oh we shall happy be 
When, from sin and sorrow free. 
Lord, we shall live with Thee — 

Blest, blest for aye. 

Bright in that happy land 

Beams every eye : 
Kept by a Father's hand, 

Love cannot die. 
On then to glory run ; 
Be a crown and kingdom won, 
And bright above the sun 

Reign, reign for aye." 

This "Brief Notice " has been retained in the 
present edition with some hesitation. The 
writer feels as if it were too sacred for the 
pubHc eye. It has been preserved chiefly for 

24 Brief Notice of a Short Life, 

the benefit of those who been called to 
mourn over the removal of beloved "little 
ones ; " who will perhaps feel, in perusing the 
pieces which follow, that they have been col- 
lected by one who can enter sympathetically 
into their deep heart-sorrow. 




T NOW turn to the consideration of the case 
^ of such as die in infancy. These form by far 
the greatest proportion of Redeemed Spirits. 
And when the heart of the Christian is ready 
to fail within him for grief, when among adult 
men and women he can discover so little 
which will reward the Redeemer for the tra- 
vail of His soul, how reviving it is to look 
upward, and contemplate the innumerable 
multitude of those who were rescued in in- 
fancy from the corrupting power of the world, 
and safely secured for Himself in His heavenly 
pavilion ! It is astonishing on the one hand, 
that there should be found so many w^ho have 
dark misgivings of heart on the subject of the 
salvation of these infants ; and, on the other, 
that among those who do not question it, so 

26 Infant Salvation. 

little account should be taken of them in esti- 
mating the glory of the kingdom — despising 
these little ones, and scarcely reckoning them 
in the number of the Saved : whereas it would 
be a less improper way of calculation to say, 
that the kingdom belongs to children, and that 
the adults who are saved are a few who are 
admitted to a share of their inheritance. 

Observe, therefore, in the First place, that, 
with regard to the deceased infant children of 
believers, their salvation, at least, is as sure 
as the salvation of the parents themselves. 
What was the promise worth, yea, what did it 
mean, if it contained nothing for the spirits of 
his infant offspring, when the Lord said to 
Abraham, the type of all believing parents, 
" I will establish my covenant between me and 
thee, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed 
after thee," and commanded that they should 
be circumcised, as well as himself, as a token 
of their interest in the promised salvation? 
Are not the blessings of God especially bless- 
ings for eternity ? " Wherefore God is not 
ashamed to be called their God, for he hath 
prepared for them a city." And can infants 
renounce the God of their parents, as those 
may do who have grown up to years of per- 
sonal responsibility? Oh, happy children, ye 
who were laid hold of by the Redeemer and 

Infant Salvation. 27 

appropriated to Himself, before ye could apos- 
tatize like your wretched brothers and unhappy 
sisters, who have broken the household cove- 
nant and abjured the family's Saviour ! Then, 
said I to the father and mother as they wept, 
Your children who have died are a better 
portion to you than those who live : weep for 
the living and not for the dead : it is the living 
you have lost; the dead are safely reserved 
for you. — Again: when believing parents 
made their way so earnestly through the 
obstructing disciples, to place their children 
before the Redeemer that He might bless them, 
what otherwise was His reception of them 
worth, yea, what did it mean, when "He was 
much displeased" with his disciples, "and said 
unto them. Suffer the little children to come 
unto Me, and forbid them not : for of such is 
the kingdom of God," and then " took them up 
in His arms, put His hands upon them, and 
blessed them ? " If any of these children had 
presently died — and there can be little doubt 
that some of them did die in childhood — how 
vain it had been for them to be blessed by the 
Redeemer, if there be no heavenly inheritance 
for those who die in early years? 

It is most injurious, however, to the cause 
of infants, to plead it on ground so low as this. 
Instead of merely vindicating their admission, 

28 Infant Salvation. 

and some consideration for them, I regard 
them as being generally the best welcomed 
spirits which pass into the eternal world. 
The whole of our Lord's treatment of them is 
calculated to produce this impression. Besides, 
contemplating the subject in the light of 
reason, — Is not the intellectual and moral 
structure, I ask, of an infant's spirit the same 
as that of a full-grown man? And who shall 
dispute, that some of the brightest geniuses 
and most amiable hearts of our race may have 
been withdrawn — in the love and valuation 
of them withdrawn — after a short time's 
breathing of the pestilential air of this earth, 
yea, before a breath of it was inhaled, to be 
secured and nursed in the Paradise of God? 
As I think of it, I become the more persuaded, 
that this securing of many of the best by early 
death, maybe a principle of the divine admin- 
istration. It is true, they passed away without 
having acquired any of this world's learning ; 
but irrespectively of God's standard of meas- 
urement being a moral one, how insignificant, 
I appeal, will not even Newton's science 
appear in yonder Temple of Light ! Will the 
infant spirit have any sense of inferiority from 
the want of it? Will it appear disrespectable 
for the want of it in the estimation of the 
Eternal One? — It is true, again, that they 

Infant Salvation » 29 

passed away without any prayers in which 
their infant knees had bowed ; and without 
any psalms of praise which their infant hps 
had sung; but what, brethren, I, a second 
time, appeal, is the chief characteristic of a 
rehcrious life in this world? Is it not to have 
our hearts brought back to their infant state? 
To have them cleansed of these pollutions, and 
divested of these perverse habits which we 
have contracted since we were like these chil- 
dren, w^ho were early withdrawn from the 
corrupting influences to which we have been 
exposed? Accordingly, Christ's great lesson 
for us is, Learn to be like a child. — And, a 
third time, if there are a few deeds of charity, 
of the performance of which we can speak for 
ourselves, oh, is it not all more than counter- 
balanced when these infants can plead in 
reply, that they were guilty of no envious 
thoughts, no bitter or slanderous speeches, no 
impure imaginations or devices, no fretfulness 
against the Providence of God, — of nothing 
at all which can be charged against them as 
either a dereliction or transgression of duty ! 
Who of us shall presume to compare himself 
with an infant, or forbid that its spirit go to the 
Saviour of its pious father, or the Saviour of 
its pious mother? 

In the Second place, with regard to those 

30 Infant Salvation, 

children dying in infancy who are the off- 
spring of ungodly parents — equally of such 
do I believe, that they shall all be saved ; 
though not with a salvation so glorious as that 
of the offspring of the saints. It is not by 
any means for the relief of the anxiety of 
those wicked parents that I express myself 
thus confidently about the salvation of their 
children ; but for magnifying the grace of 
God, and rejoicing the hearts of the saints on 
the subject of the magnificence of the Re- 
deemer's kingdom, and the splendor of His 
reward. . . . We claim them for the king- 
dom. When the Son of God was incarnated, 
He became these infants' Brother ; and when 
they have not rejected Him, will He disown 
them ? 


Infinite wisdom has determined that trou- 
ble, of one description or another, shall con- 
stitute part of the discipline to which ever}/ 
human being must be subjected. In the pres- 
ent provisional state of things, afflictive dis- 
pensations "must needs be." 

We do not at present inquire why it is that 
this element of suffering interpenetrates to so 

Infant Salvation, 31 

large an extent the fabric of human society. 
We take our position upon the undisputed and 
indisputable fact, that trouble, in one form or 
another, is universal ; and withdrawing our 
attention from all other developments of this 
ubiquitous ingredient in human life, we fix it 
upon one of the most painful forms in which 
it is found, and over the bier of the departed 
infant we would ask, "Is it well with the 

Tender as are the ties that bind the parental 
heart to those little undeveloped but ever- 
developing Living Objects which enable par- 
ents to realize that they are parents, these very 
ties are destined to be often agonizingly rup- 
tured. Comparatively few are the households 
in which there have not been " mourning and 
bitterness " for some child that was, and is not. 
Many are the Rachels who have been bowed 
down under bereaving afl^iiction, and have 
wept, and "refused to be comforted," because 
their sons or their daughters " are not." The 
"places that once knew" multitudes of dear 
little Miniatures of fathers and mothers, now 
"know them no more." And fathers and 
mothers go about the streets mourning ; or, 
refusing consolation, they languish in retire- 

But is there no balm for the wound of 

32 Infant Salvation, 

bereaved parents? Is there no physician to 
heal their broken spirit? There is a physi- 
cian, all-skilful to cure. He has a balm 
which is the very essence and elixir of conso- 
lation : "It is well with the child." The 
child is not lost, but gone before. Its " death 
is gain." Though it is "absent from the body," 
it is "present with the lord," which is "far 
better." It is in "Abraham's bosom." And 
what is grander still, it is in the bosom of 
Infinite Love. Its voice to its parents, if that 
voice could be heard by earthly ears, would 
be, "Weep not for me." Such is our deliberate 
opinion concerning departed little ones. 

There is a positive foundation on which the 
doctrine of the everlasting bliss of all who die 
in infancy may be securely built up. 

(i) It may be proved from the fact that^ in 
consequence of the interposition of the work 
of Christy there is to be a universal resur- 
rection of the bodies of men. It will be 
admitted that there was no provision made for 
the resurrection of the bodies of men except in 
the restorative dispensation of mercy through 
Christ. As it is "in Adam " that all die, so is 
it "in Christ" alone that all shall be made 
alive again. It is the " second Adam " who 
is the Cause, or Occasion, of the universal 

Infant Salvation. 33 

But in the resurrection of the body and its 
reunion to the soul, there will be to the glorified 
a vast addition to their means of bliss ; and 
there will be to the lost a vast addition to their 
woe. The bodily organism must, according 
to the condition in which it is placed, minister 
largely to the happiness or to the misery of the 
soul. Can we suppose, then, that any of those 
who die in infancy, and who have never had 
the opportunity of rejecting the propitiation of 
Christ, will be subjected, on account of that 
gracious work, to greater woes than they would 
have been called to endure had there been no 
Saviour at all? Can we suppose that Christ 
will be an unmitigated and inevitable curse to 
any of mankind? Surely we cannot cherish 
such a supposition, when we remember that 
He came into the world not to condemn it, but 
to save and to bless it. But if we cannot 
cherish such a supposition, we cannot suppose 
that any infants dying in infancy will be 

(2) This reasoning is fortified by the express 
teaching of our Lord himsef. We learn from. 
tlie Gospels, as for example from Matt. xix. 
13, that on a certain occasion there were 
brought to Him "little children," that He 
might put his hands on them and bless them. 
His disciples rebuked the parents. But Jesus 

34 Injcifit Salvatio7i. 

said, " Suffer little children to come unto me, 
and forbid them not,y<9r of such is the kingdom 
of heaven.'''' This does not seem to mean " for 
of persons resembling little children is the 
kingdom of heaven." The term rendered "of 
such " has naturally a demonstrative import. 
Our Saviour elsewhere employs it when He 
says, " The hour cometh, and now is, when 
the true worshippers shall worship the Father 
in spirit and in truth ; for the Father seeketh 
such to worship Him ; " that is, " seeketh these 
to worship Him." It occurs in many other 
portions of the New Testament with the same 
demonstrative import, as for example in Acts 
xxii. 22, in w^hich passage w^e learn that the 
Jews in Jerusalem cried out on a certain oc- 
casion, in reference to Paul, "away with such 
a fellow from the earth ; " that is, " away with 
this fellow from the earth." Jesus then means 
" for of these is the kingdom of heaven." The 
kingdom of heaven belongs to " little children." 
This interpretation is confirmed by the con- 
sideration that we should otherwise be at a 
loss to discover any peculiar propriety in our 
Saviour's action, when He took up the little 
ones in His arms and blessed them. If the 
reason of His procedure resolved itself simply 
into the fact that the adult subjects of the king- 
dom of heave^i are childlike^ the same reason 

Infant Salvation. 35 

might have led Him to take up lambs in His 
arms and bless them, inasmuch as the adult 
subjects of His kingdom are lamblike as well 
as childlike. 

It is true that it is added, in Mark x. 15, that 
our Saviour said, after blessing the little chil- 
dren, "Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall 
not receive the kingdom of God as a little 
child ^ he shall not enter therein." But still 
even here, it is supposed that the kingdom of 
heaven belongs to little children ; for when it is 
said, " whosoever shall not receive the kingdom 
of God as a little cJiild^'' the meaning surely 
must be, " as a little child receives it." WJio- 
soever shall not receive tJie kingdom of God 
without seeking to present any thing of the 
nature of personal meritoriousness, shall in no 
zvise enter therein. 

If it should be said that " the kino-dom of 
heaven " spoken of by our Lord is the kingdom 
of heaven upon earth, we would reply, that 
the kingdom of heaven is not entirely upon 
earth. It is partly and principally in heaven. 
And moreover, if there be no obstacles to the 
infant's admission into the earthly province 
of the heavenly empire, there can be none to 
its admission into that larger and more glorious 
province above, whicli, from its vastitude and 
vast pre-eminence, gives the denomination to 
the whole domain. 

36 Infant Salvation. 

(3) We might add to these considerations 
the fact that throughout the Scj'ipture's God is 
Jreqziently represented as cherishing a special 
regard for little children. We see this in the 
rebuke administered to Jonah : " And should 
I not spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein 
are more than sixscore thousand persons that 
cannot discern between their right hand and 
their left hand." We see it in the words of 
Jeremiah xix. 4, "They have filled this place 
with the blood of innocents." And again, in 
the words of Joel ii. 16, "Gather the people, 
sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, 
gather the children and those that suck the 
breast^ etc., then will the Lord be jealous for 
the land, and pit}^ his people." And in Ezekiel 
xvi. 21, God calls the little children of the 
Israelites His children^ and pours terrible de- 
nunciations upon the people for causing them 
to pass through the fire to Moloch : " Thou 
hast slain my children, and delivered them to 
cause them to pass through the fire." 

On the whole, then, every line ot Scripture 
truth, when we follow it out undeviatingly, 
leads us up to the conclusion, that "it is well" 
with all the " little children " who have been 
carried away from the unfolding arms, though 
not from the infolding hearts and memories, 
of bereaved parents. They have been taken 

Infant Salvation. 37 

up "higher." They have been committed 
to wiser and more tender keeping. "Their 
angels " have got them ; and in the immediate 
vicinity of the throne, they are undergoing a 
training, v\^hich is absolutely free from all those 
elements of imperfection, which might have 
resulted in moral deviation, defilement, and 
death, had they remained on the earth. "It 
is well." 


"The promise is unto you and to jour children." — 
Acts ii. 39. 

We argue the salvation of infants, First, — 
From the spirit of the Book. Secondly, — 
From the revealed character of God. Thirdly, 

— From the glorious sufficiency of the death 
of Christ. Fourthly, — From the interest Scrip- 
ture takes in children. Fifthly, — From some 
remarkable individual promises. And in fine, 

— From the example and language of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. And, first, From the spirit of 
the Bible. What is that spirit ? Is it not a 
gentle, a peaceful, a kind, almost an infantine 
spirit ? The writers of Scripture were simple 
as children, yet wise as divine inspiration 

38 Infant Salvation, 

could make them. And this kindly simplicity 
they have transferred to their writings. Their 
wrath, when awakened, burns against obstinate 
transgressors ; not against the infant of days, 
but against the sinner a hundred years old. 
And if you would see this spirit in its per- 
fection, read the 12th of Romans, or the 13th 
of ist Corinthians — the epistles of John, or the 
pleadings of the ancient prophets — those elo- 
quent, tender, broken-hearted pleadings with 
sinners — and ask yourselves, could that spirit 
have been inspired by a God who would place 
eternal obstructions between infants and sal- 

We argue it again from the character of 
God. You need not be told -what that is. It 
is that of a Merciful Being — of a Father — 
of one whose name is Love — in such a sense, 
that even His wrath is love — that even His 
justice is love — that all His perfections crowd 
in and form that grand central Love which is 
His essence and all. And when His anger 
is awakened, against whom does it smoke ? 
Not against children, but against transgressors 
adult in age, obstinate in rebellion, unwearied 
in wickedness, who have rejected His terms 
of salvation, and sinned against great light and 
many privileges. How irresistibly arises the 
question. Is it possible that a God who wishes 

Infant Salvation, 39 

all to be saved can refuse infants admission 
into His kingdom ? — that He who has no 
pleasure in the blood of bulls and goats, 
has pleasure in the perdition of lamblike 
infants ? — -none in the death of him that dieth 
— going down by his own voluntary act into 
the pit — and yet hath in that of those who 
have never been offered and never refused 
salvation ? Perish for ever such hard and 
blasphemous conceptions of God ! 

But, again, I argue it from the glorious 
sufficiency of the Death and Atonement of 
Christ. Sufficient for all,, as all now grant 
that atonement to be, it must be sufficient for 
infants. It follows, therefore, that infants may 
be saved — that there is sufficient sfroundwork 
laid in Christ for their acceptance. Christ, 
it is admitted, has died for some infants ; but 
why not for all? and if for all, — since none 
can by unbelief put themselves beyond the 
pale of salvation , — why should not all be saved ? 
Supposing a taint of sin somehow connected 
with the child, has not Christ died to take that 
taint away ? Supposing the dying infant des- 
titute of what is called " original righteousness," 
has not Christ, by His obedience, wrought out, 
and brought in a robe so ample as to be able 
to supply its every deficiency, and to clothe all 
its nakedness? 

40 Infant Salvation. 

But, again, think of the interest the Book 
of God takes in children. No term occurs 
more frequently than children. It sparkles 
like a sunbeam in every page. No promise 
is uttered but it is immediately extended to 
children. " How shall I put thee among the 
children?" is God's great point of inquiry. 
" Child of God " is His highest title of honor. 
The Bible may be called "The Child's own 
Book." It contains, more than any book in 
the world, matter peculiarly adapted for young 
minds and young hearts ; and its juvenile 
heroes, Samuel, Abijah, Timothy, and the 
rest, are among the most interesting of all its 
characters. How strange all this ! did God 
look upon all infants as possessing no beauty 
to be desired, and no capacities of moral 

Remember, again, some special promises 
made to infants in the Word of God. Children, 
says David, are God's heritage, — His own 
peculiar and chosen possession. The promise 
is unto you " and to your children." To your 
children more fully than to you. It is to you 
if you accept it; it is to your children, without 
any ■ exception or reservation whatever. And 
how often are we told in scripture to imitate 
children. "In malice be ye children," — im- 
plying that that foul plant of hell, which is 

Infant Salvation, 41 

indeed the essence of the devil as love is the 
essence of God, is not to be found in their 
breasts. And ye, therefore, " As new-born 
babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, 
that ye may grow thereby." 

But in line, all this comes to a bright and 
glowing point, when we consider the example 
and the language of Christ Jesus. I cannot 
resist the idea that our Lord himself had much 
of the child in His appearance and manner. 
He was, verily, the "holy child Jesus." He 
had certainly much of it in His utterances. 
His language in the Sermon on the Mount 
resembles that of one who was at once a God 
and a child, so infinite is the simplicity, and 
so immense the depth. And why was Christ 
born a child? Why did He not appear like 
the first Adam, a full-grown man at once? 
Might it not be to show that such was His 
interest in children that He became an infant 
in their stead, consecrating thus the cradle, 
and filling the nursery with a divine radiance? 
You remember, too, how He took a little child 
and set him in the midst of His disciples, and 
said, " Except ye be converted, and become as 
this little child, ye cannot inherit the kingdom 
of God." And you remember the still more 
beautiful and significant words, "Suffer the 
little children to come unto me, and forbid 

42 Infant Salvation. 

them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." 
That scene, — was it ever surpassed in pathos 
and in spiritual meaning? The disciples tried 
to prevent them coming. I don't think they 
did so on extreme principles, and because 
they thought them young vipers and the spawn 
of Satan, that might contaminate Christ by 
their neighborhood. They merely thought 
them beneath the notice of one so great 
as their Master; too small, too insignificant. 
Christ judged otherwise. The faces and bear- 
ing of these little children reminded Him of 
the far land from which He had descended, 
— of angels, heaven. His Father's house. He 
thought Himself back at His native region. 
And He said, "of such is the kingdom of 
heaven." Heaven is composed of characters 
similar to these ; and these, if not checked and 
retarded by the evil influences of the world, 
are on their way to heaven, and were these 
dying now, they would go there. 


Tn the 14th chapter of the first book of Kings, 
there is a short history which, within the game 
compass, is not, perhaps, surpassed by any 

hifant Salvation » 43 

other in the Old Testament for graphic touch, 
solemn interest, and real pathos, — the narra- 
tive ot^ the Hfe and deaili of Abijah, the son of 
Jeroboam. The picture of the irreligious 
father, pierced to the quick in his heart's ten- 
derest affections ; his appeal in behalf of his 
dying child' to the God he had forsaken; the 
strange commingling of folly with his appeal, 
in ordering his wife to feign herself to be 
another, as if He who could save from death 
could not see through disguise ; the submissive 
compliance of the anxious mother, her journey 
to the blind and aged prophet, the terrible 
word and death sentence which met her on 
the threshold, and her return to a home 
already filled with the bitterness of those who 
mourn for a first-born, — all form a story of 
wonderful and tragic interest. 

But it is to the rays of light in it that we 
would turn, and they all issue from one point, 
— the death of a child. It is as if in a time 
and place in which hopeless degeneracy 
reigned among the more mature, God wished 
to show how he could still make up the jewels 
for His crown ; gathering them out of the 
darkest pits of this earth and showing us their 
glitter, before He gave them their heavenly 
setting. It is a ground of great comfort and 
hope, when our eye and heart are wearied with 

44 Infant Salvation. 

sights and histories of full-developed wicked- 
ness among heathen at home and abroad. 
Where the death of tli^ young is most sadly 
abundant, may we not reverently trust, that 
behind the physical causes which are working 
there, a purpose of mercy lies hidden? — as 
if the gleaming form of the angel of life could 
be discerned liastening to bind up the sheaves 
which the death-reaper is cutting down. 
There are other methods of delivering from 
the Sodoms and Gomorrahs of the world than 
flight by the way of the plain ; and God has 
higher mountains to carry His elect to, than 
that which was a refuge for righteous Lot. 

The notice of this life is very brief. Little 
could be said of it on this world's side, it was 
so colorless and unsensational. How far it 
had passed from infancy into childhood we 
cannot say, — probably only a few short steps. 
But the great end of life had been gained, 
even in regard to character ; not its maturity 
indeed, but its direction. This is the main 
thing in our present life. "Even a child is 
known by his doings, whether his work be 
pure and whether it be right." The first step 
has been taken in the path which leads to 
everlasting life, and if death comes, it is God's 
acceptance of the traveller's aim, — the seal of 
perpetuity set upon that Zionward look. The 

Infant Salvation. 45 

Hosanna passes at once into a Hallelujah. 
The way in which this tendency of character 
is described, is very tender and very comfort- 
ing to those who have lost little children. 
" In him there is found some good thing 
toward the Lord God of Israel in the house 
of Jeroboam." The very vagueness and in- 
deliniteness of it are full of kindness and 
charity; for though the ^^ some''' is not ex- 
pressed in the original, it is really implied. 
An indescribable so7newhat^ different in dif- 
ferent natures, and discernible oftentimes only 
by a parent's eye, will show how a very j^oung 
child's heart turns to the thought of God and 
Christ, and the heavenly world. It is perhaps 
realized only when the child has been taken 
away ; and he mustbe cold and hard who can 
listen with indifference to a parent, while the 
smallest of these tokens are fondly rehearsed, 
— the shghtest motions of the tender blade as 
it quivered beneath the Spirit's breath. He 
does not despise these tokens who quenches 
not the smoking flax, and who, when there 
was no loving paternal eye here to make 
search, came and sought them Himself. 
There must be some such force in the w^ords 
'^ there is found^^' as if God were seeking 
something which His eye could rest on with 
complacency in this monarch's house, and 

46 Infant Salvation. 

found it in the heart of this young child 
feebly feeling after Him. It was the one great 
treasure of the palace in the sight of Him 
who knows to discriminate the gold from the 

There is a testimony to the power of the 
grace of God in the words, "/// the house of 
Jeroboam,''^ It was certainly He who found 
the good thing in the child's heart who had 
first hidden it there. There is none good but 
one, that is God ; and there is nothing good 
toward Him but what comes from Him. To 
find the treasure in such a palace was as rare 
a thing as marvellously beautiful, — the equiv- 
alent in the Old Testament of " saints in 
Caesar's household," and more of a miracle in 
its w^ay than that of him who was kept from 
the lion's mouth, or those who passed through 
the fiery furnace without the smell of fire on 
their garments. The spiritual life is the 
higher, and to implant and guard it in such a 
crisis is a work more divine. What means 
God's providence employed to carry the seed 
of that good thing into the heart, we cannot 
tell. Whether the mother did not wholly 
share the father's godless life, or whether 
there was some nurse or attendant who became 
a foster-parent to the soul, we know not. The 
power of God's Spirit to teach was in any 

Infant Salvation. 47 

case the same. In nothing, perhaps, is the 
divinity of the Scripture revelation more ap- 
parent, than in the way in whicli the mind of 
the youngest child can not only touch but 
comprehend its grandest truths, — grasp with 
its infant hand the infinite. The breath 'that 
inspired the Bible comes evidently from Him 
who breathes into us the breath of life ; they 
are so fitted to each other. Try science or 
philosophy, or the history of nations, in their 
power of quickening and elevating the first 
movements of the spirit, compared with the 
doings and sayings of the Maker and Saviour 
of the soul. This is a never-failing encour- 
agement to parents to begin early the religious 
training of their children ; and it is a sure 
ground of hope, that the soul which, in its 
first essay, can take such a hold of the highest 
truth, is made for an immortal life. There 
are deaths of babes and sucklinfrs from which 
God can perfect praise, so as to still the enemy 
and the avenger. He can kindle a little lamp 
in our earthly homes, so bright, that we can 
see Him carrying it up to make of it a star in 
the highest firmament. When, as in this 
instance, it is kindled we know not how; 
when it shines solitary but steadfast through 
some cloud-rift in a troubled sky, — it lets us see 
a peculiar power in his grace ; but in every 

48 • Infant Salvation, 

instance in which we see Him writing His 
new name upon a young heart before He 
takes it to Himself, we are bound to look upon 
his work with a very loving and hopeful 
admiration. Never is it more manifest that it 
is not for time but for eternity He is doing it ; 
that He is taking up the lamp of our home to 
shine in the sky above all cloud and tempest. 
"It shall never perish, neither shall any pluck 
it out of my hand." 

The death of the child of Jeroboam, no less 
than the good thing found in his life, has les- 
sons of encouragement and comfort. As it 
regarded the family from which he was taken, 
his death is spoken of as a judgment ; but it is 
only because they refused to understand its 
true meaning. The history looks at it in the 
light of the result ; but in the Divine intention 
it was sent in kindly warning. Jeroboam had, 
been a sinner and a seducer to sin, and he 
had been repeatedly admonished in vain. 
His right arm had been withered and healed 
again, and still he resisted. A child was sent 
to him, in whose young heart there was some 
good thing toward God, and he despised the 
attraction ; and now that child is removed, 
"if" his heart may be melted by the tender- 
ness of sorrow, and \^d. to hear a voice from 
its grave. Happy for him if the death of his 

Injant Salvation. 49 

child had proved the life of his soul. Then, 
though the child had not been restored, he 
would have been enabled to say, " I shall go 
to him." But he vs^ent on frowardly in the 
way of his heart, and the death which w^as 
sent in mercy is written down in judgment. 
It is our own use of these events which makes 
them gentle or stern : as we bear ourselves to 
them, they turn to us their side of light, or 
frown upon us from the cloud, till the chariot- 
wheels of the heart drive heavily. Never 
does God woo more tenderly, or seek to win 
for heaven more attractively, than in the love 
of a child taken to the skies in its opening 
months or years. If we have been lying 
fettered in worldly sloth and sin. He is send- 
ing his angel to deliver us out of the prison. 

But if there was mercy offered to the parents 
in the death of the child, there was the full ac- 
complishment of it to the child himself. Could 
we but see the future in this world from which 
a premature departure saves, and the future in 
another to which it conveys, it would help to 
reconcile us to the frost which withers many an 
opening blossom. There were trials lying in 
wait for his spiritual life which could be in no 
other way escaped. The good thing which 
was in him as a child would be for a while 
reckoned by the father a childish caprice ; but 

5o Infant Salvation, 

as it grew with his years and strengthened 
with his growth, it would have encountered 
stern opposition, and the alhirements of his 
position would have laid many a snare for his 
feet. He was yet in the peaceful harbor, but 
§oon he must venture out on the open sea, 
with its fierce storms, its adverse currents, and 
its deceitful eddies. God's power could, and 
doubtless would, have kept him safe amid all ; 
but He deemed it more merciful to spare him 
the struggle, and to hasten the course of the 
frail bark, like that of the ship into which 
the Saviour entered, immediately to the land 
whither it was going. "The Lord knoweth 
how to deliver the godly out of temptations," 
— some by grace in this world, others by an 
early call from it. 

He was saved from witnessing and sharing 
the suffering; and ruin which soon afterwards 
overtook his father's house. The catastrophe 
had been delayed, perhaps by the unconscious 
intercession of this young life ; but it could not 
be averted. The axe is lying at the root of 
the barren and withered tree which has cum- 
bered the ground so long ; but first the tender 
vine which has clasped its arms so lovingly 
around it, must be gently untwined and trans- 
planted to a place of safety, where it may' 
flourish in a better soil, and under a more 

Infant Salvation, » 51 

peaceful sky. A flood of desolating waters is 
about to sweep over the wide land of Israel, 
but God must prepare an ark for his young 
servant, ere the storm can break. What 
though that ark be his grave ? It is full of 
happiness and hope to those who are shut in 
by the hand of God. "Thou wilt hide me in 
the grave ; thou wilt keep me secret, until thy 
wrath be past ; thou wilt appoint me a set time, 
and remember me." "The righteous is taken 
away from the evil to come." 

The mercy of the early death is still more 
clear, when we think of what the child was 
taken to. When faith lets us look within the 
veil, we see Him who long afterwards assumed 
bodily form and speech, beginning his gracious 
invitation, " Suffer the little children to come 
unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is 
the kingdom of heaven." Surely He was in 
tliis place though they knew it not. Neither 
w^as it far from this in time or place that a 
prophet w^as about to speak of Him : " He 
shall feed his flock like a shepherd : He shall 
gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them 
in his bosom ; " and here already He is bring- 
ing home the firstlings of His flock. There 
were many bright hopes before the child to 
human eyes ; but such a word of invitation 
might well outweigh them all. He was taken 

52 Infant Salvation. 

from the expectation of an earthly crown to the 
possession of a heavenly one ; from the troub- 
led and precarious dominion of Israel to a 
kingdom that cannot be moved ; from the pro- 
tection of a father who, however well he loved 
him, knew not his true interests, to the care 
and nurture of the Father of spirits ; from an 
earthly mother's tenderness to Him who created 
it, and who says, ''As one w^hom a mother 
comforteth, so will I comfort you ; " from the 
loud wail of a sorrowing nation to the joyful 
acclaim of the nations of the saved ; from the 
tears of kindred to the bosom of the family 
where they weep no more. Is it well with the 
child? and shall we not answer? It is well. 

It is a blessed thing when bereaved parents 
can so reply, when faith can lean on God, and 
hope can look up to heaven, and love can ten- 
derly smooth the short green grave where God 
has hidden their heart's desire — his precious 
seed — and they, mourning but not murmuring, 
can patiently bide the time till He shall give it 
back to them, in the day when flower and 
fruit, freshness and ripeness, are found united, 
and a joy with them like unto the joy of har- 
vest. Let us not ask why the child entered 
this world only to quit it, and made its brief 
home in our hearts to leave them more lonely 
and desolate. It is one token that there is 

* Infant Salvation. , 53 

another world, when there are so short sojourn- 
ings in this. The entrance of the child into 
the life of earth, however narrow its space, is 
as true a beginning of the life that never ends, 
as the threescore years and ten ; and its share 
in the great atonement as real and full as that 
of him who has borne, through all the appoint- 
ed hours, the burden and heat of the day ! 
Its release and his labor are alike of grace, 
and have their place and purpose in the innu- 
merable family of the redeemed. There must 
be many varied voices in the harmonies of 
heaven, as well as in the choirs of earth. 
There, too, "both young men and maidens, 
old men and children, must praise the name of 
the Lord." Nor has its short life been in vain, 
even on earth, if it has drawn the affections of 
any to a heavenly world, — if the sweet bird 
of passage which nestled beneath our eaves 
has attracted the heart to the sun and summer 
of a better land. — Then, "the child dies an 
hundred years old." Only let it be the earnest 
wish and effort of parents who have lost their 
children, to make sure of this, — to see to it that 
the separation is not perpetual, and that the 
bond be made as eternal as it is deep and dear. 
There is no judgment in such deaths, no sting 
in such sorrows ; but goodness and mercy — 
pure, unmingled, and everlasting — to parent 

54 Infant Salvation. 

and to child. "Thus saith the Lord : Refrain 
thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from 
tears; for there is hope in thine end, saith the 
Lord, that thy children shall come again to 
their own border." 


"While the child was yet alive, I fasted and 
wept ; for I said. Who can tell whether God 
will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 
But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? 
can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, 
but he shall not return to me." 

Let not this be interpreted as the language 
of insensibility. The general character of 
David, and his previous behavior on the same 
occasion, ought to save him from every impu- 
tation of this kind. No. His heart was full 
of paternal and conjugal tenderness. Fain 
would he have brought back his babe to his 
own fond embrace, and to the breast of its dis- 
consolate mother. But the thought was vain. 
All was now over. The last sigh with which 
the infant spirit escaped to wing its way to the 
world of light, had settled the case with regard 
to the child. David had found his consolation 
in God, and he had the richest and sweetest of 

Infant Salvation. 55 

all comforts respecting his infant. The lan- 
guage, "/ shall go to him^'" is evidently the 
language of comfort, by which he was sup- 
ported under the anguish that would otherwise 
have been intolerable in the thought of v/hat 
follows: ^^ but he shall not return to me'"' It 
does not, then, it cannot refer to the grave. 
The child was not in the grave w^hen the words 
were uttered ; noc do I believe there was any 
thought of the grave in the bereaved parent's 
mind. What consolation could there have been 
in that^ that hc^ too, should lie down a cold, 
inanimate corpse? This was not ^<?/;^^ /<^ him 
in any sense that could impart the slightest satis- 
faction to the afflicted spirit. The words clearly 
imply firm conviction of his child's existence 
and happiness. " I shall go to him," means, I 
shall go whither he has now gone. And if his 
afterwards joining him there was an object of 
hope, there is necessarily implied the persua- 
sion of his having gone to a place of happiness. 
How sweetly soothing, how inestimably pre- 
cious is the same thought still to the agonized 
bosom of parental love ! How delightfully tran- 
quillizing, when the first burst of nature's agony 
has a little subsided, the reflection that your 
child has been taken away from the evil to 
come, — taken, to spend those years in heaven, 
which he must otherwise have spent amidst 

56 Ififant Salvation. 

sin, and temptation, and sorrow, in the valley 
of tears : that he has been spared all the perils, 
and fatigues, and fightings of the wilderness, 
and has been received at the: better country, 
even the heavenly ; that the tender and lovely 
plant which you had begun to cherish with so 
much care has been happily removed from all 
the chilling frosts and withering blasts of this 
inferior clime, and has found its place in the 
garden of God above, there to drink the dews 
of paradise, and to flourish in unfading beauty ! 
It is a settled, undoubting, delightful serenity 
which the soul enjoys in contemplating the de- 
parture of little children. Think of what the 
kind and gracious Redeemer said of them, 
when, with a frown on those who would have 
forbidden their being brought to him, and a 
smile of ineffable benignity on the little immor- 
tals themselves. He said : " Suffer the little chil- 
dren to come unto me, and forbid them not : 
for of such is the kingdom of God ; " and, tak- 
ing them up in His arms, He blessed them. 
Think, then, of their blessedness, and that 
will soothe your grief. 

The following is an extract from an unpub- 
lished letter, addressed by Dr. Wardlaw, to 
his daughter and her husband, the Rev. J. 

Infant Salvation. 57 

Reid, M.A., Bellary, India, on the death of 
their child, in 1833 : — 

With regard to your precious little darling, 
all is well. He is not lost, — not lost even to 
you. He is only gone home before you ; and 
in the everlasting home you will by and by 
find him. . . . It is a delightful thought, that of 
having part of ourselves with God before us. 
And then the confidence is so perfect, so en- 
tirely free from all misgivings, so sweetly tran- 
quil, unruffled by the least breath of doubt, in 
regard to "little children." Did not you hear 
the compassionate Redeemer saying to you, 
as He was loosing the band of life, " Suffer 
your little child to come unto me"? He said 
this when on earth. He says it from heaven, 
when He thus takes away the "babes and 
sucklings " of His own people's fond affections, 
that " out of their lips " He may " perfect praise " 


"Your little ones, which je said would be a prey, and 
your children, which in that day had no knowledge be- 
tween good and evil, they shall go in thither." — Deut. i. 39. 

You are in circumstances to welcome light 
from whatever quarter on the destiny of children 
dying at the age of yours. 

58 Infant Salvation. 

I have lying before me the analysis of an 
argument from Analogy on this subject, which 
made a great impression on me at the time I 
first saw it, and may be of use to you at present. 
The argument is based upon the admission of 
children into the promised land. 

I need not remind you that there is an anal- 
ogy between the land which was once the land 
of promise to the Jews, and our heavenly 
home. From that land, for their sins, the 
fathers were excluded, Caleb and Joshua 
alone excepted. But of the children it is said, 
^"They shall go in thither." If this was so 
in the case of the earthly Canaan ; if the chil- 
dren of parents, who themselves were exclud- 
ed, were favored in this way ; if they were the 
subjects of mercy, while their fathers were the 
objects of punitive justice, — how much more 
may we expect it to take place in respect to the 
heavenly Canaan? The point here is, that the 
exclusion of children does not follow the exclu- 
sion of parents. If it did, all would have 
been excluded except the children of Caleb 
and Joshua. 

The reason assigned by God for this proce- 
dure is one which will be applicable at the 
day of judgment. " Your children, which in 
that day had no knowledge between good and 
evil, they shall go in." It is true they were 

Infant Salvation. 59 

living when their fathers rebelled against God ; 
but they were not partakers in the rebellion. 
In the day of provocation they were gambolling 
about the green fields in innocent ignorance of 
what was taking place : they were not yet ca- 
pable of distinguisliing between good and evil, 
and, therefore, they were not excluded. But 
since we are speaking of the dealings of the 
unchangeable God, we may safely conclude 
that He will acknowledge the force of the same 
reasons in the final judgment. The infants 
who die, carry with them towards the judgment 
throne no knowledge of good or evil-, no ex- 
perience of the bitterness of offending God. 
And they will not be involved in the condem- 
nation of the wicked. 

If you next consider the purposes for which 
children were admitted into Canaan, you will 
see that similar purposes require fulfilment in 
their admission into heaven. One of these 
purposes is referred to in the verse quoted at 
the top : "Your little ones, which j/^ said should 
be a -prey^ If you read carefully the fourteenth 
chapter of Numbers, verses 1-3, you will un- 
derstand the force of the rebuke. Sin had 
blotted out their faith in God. "Their chil- 
dren were sure to perish ! " They themselves, 
too, would perish. So they thought. And 
they were indeed to perish. But the helpless 

6o Infant Salvation. 

ones, the innocent, the unpartaking, were to go 
free. Now the admission of the children into 
Canaan, after the expression of unbelief on the 
part of the parents, was a vindication of God's 
ways, an answer to the unbelief of the parents, 
and a perpetual token that God deals with in- 
fants on the ground of saving mercy. It is glori- 
ous to think that God is preparing a reply to the 
doubts and disbeliefs of all who are far from 
Him, by a similar exercise of grace. Sceptics, 
infidels, heathens, expect nothing for their 
children but death, temporal and eternal. 
How will they be amazed when they discover, 
in another state, that God has been better than 
their thoughts ; and although they (because 
of their sins) are excluded, their children have 
been admitted into His presence. — Still fur- 
ther, God had this purpose in bringing the chil- 
dren into Canaan, that they should advance 
His standard into new territory, build up His 
kingdom, and be the organ of His praise. 
Has He not the same purpose in respect of 
heaven ? He chooses not to be alone throughout 
eternity. And (blessed prospect !) from the 
mouth of babes and sucklings He ordains the 
strength of His eternal hallelujahs. He who 
could raise up children to Abraham from the 
stones, will not want the power to fill heaven 
with their loving and delightful songs. 

Infant Salvation . 6l 


I HAVE often been struck with the following 
passage in connection with the subject of infant 
salvation : " Out of the mouth of babes and 
sucklings hast thou ordained strength because 
of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the 
enemy and the avenger." (Ps. viii. 2.) The 
enemy and the avenger referred to here is, 
I think, Satan, who would avenge himself, 
if he could, by destroying the whole human 
race. But his revengeful desires have been 
thwarted, inasmuch as many helpless babes 
have been made the subjects of renewing 
grace. More than this : I suppose the majority 
of our race die in infancy ; these, I believe, are 
all lambs of the " Good Shepherd," and are 
taken to tlimself : "for of such is the kingdom 
of God." In this way the Father of mercy 
"ordains strength, stills the enemy and the 
avenger ; " because, in the salvation of infants, 
the number of the saved is greater than the 
lost. Our Saviour quoted this ancient oracle, 
when the children sung His praises in the 
temple, and He silenced those who were insti- 
gated by the " enemy and the avenger " to find 
fault with the children and their songs. Many 
children now sing the praises of the "Good 

62 Infant Salvation. 

Shepherd" in the temple above, and your dear 
child is there, too, and of her and many more 
are the ancient words true, " Out of the mouth 
of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained 


As partakers of a fallen nature, children are 
subject to disease and death. Much and ten- 
derly as we love them, it is not unfrequently 
that we are called to follow them to the silence 
and the solitude of the tomb. More than one- 
third of the race die in infancy and childhood. 
What is their final condition ? This is a ques- 
tion which often forces itself upon the thought 
of Christian parents, and which more or less 
disturbs their inward peace and quiet. But 
hovv^ tranquillizing, and how assuring, are the 
words of the Saviour, " of such is the kingdom 
of heaven " ! — as if to intimate that heaven is 
their true and proper home, their Father's 
house, in which only they can be for ever safe 
and happy. Of the salvation of infants there 
can be no possible doubt ; for, " as in Adam all 
die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." 

Infant Salvation, 63 

Whatever may be the effects involved in man's 
transgression, these are all provided for and 
removed by the substitution and the work 
of Christ ; so that if there were no personal 
sin or actual guilt, the Saviour's mediation 
would result in the salvation of the whole race. 
From all such individual, actual guilt, infants 
are free ; and the atonement insures their intro- 
duction into the family of God, with a full 
participation in the glory of the world to come. 
But myriads of children, no longer within the 
years of infancy, are permitted to light up our 
homes with their smiling, beaming faces for a 
longer or shorter period, and in many ways 
to add to the sum of our earthly joys, and yet 
are taken from us while the dew of youth is 
upon them, and sometimes amid the first and 
earliest buddings of their intellectual develop- 
ment and intelligence. What is their final 
condition? It is impossible to fix on any one 
uniform age in a child as the point at which 
responsibility begins ; but let the age be what 
it may, we are firm in the belief that the Spirit 
whom the Saviour sent to glorify Him, and 
whose office it is to take of the things which 
are Christ's and show them to us, not only 
enlightens the minds of these little ones prior 
to their removal, but so reveals a Saviour's 
love to them and in them as to draw their 

64 Injant Salvation. 

young and susceptible hearts into union and 
fellowship with Himself here, and thus prepare 
and meeten them for the life and the bliss of a 
higher state. If in all things Christ is to 
have the pre-eminence, then He will have 
the pre-eminence in numbers. The saved 
will far outnumber the lost ; and among these 
redeemed and glorified ones, those whose hearts 
have been least defiled by actual sin, and who 
are most susceptible of receiving the impression 
of the Saviour's image, will occupy a con- 
spicuous place. Just as a single dew-drop can 
reflect all the rays of the sun, so the mind of a 
child can take on and reflect the likeness of 
God: "of such js the kingdom of God." They 
are there in myriad throngs, — pure, perfect, 
and for ever blessed. They perfect the family 
of God. Their presence makes that home 
of the redeemed all the brighter, and sunnier, 
and more attractive. There is no circle into 
which they do not enter, no scene in which 
they do not mingle, and no service in which 
they do not perform their part. 

Infant Salvation. 65 


The argument for infant salvation rests, not 
on isolated passages, but on the genius of the 
Bible and its economy of grace. We muse 
upon the mission of Christ to find one of its 
principal glories in glorified infancy. The 
inhabitants of Christian and Pagan lands shall 
be judged respectively by the Gospel and 
by conscience, but to neither law can infants 
be subject. The death of children is traceable 
to the sin of Adam, and their glory to the 
righteousness of Christ. The only view which 
harmonizes universal scripture is, that the re- 
demption by Christ completely covers the sin 
of Adam, that adults in Bible lands are judged 
according to their faith or unbelief in the Son 
of God, and that Christ's covenant with His 
Father carries the salvation of all infants. 

There is an intuitive conviction that infants, 
who have not fei'sonally rejected the law and 
love of God, cannot be excluded from the 
kingdom, and that they are as fully identified 
with the second as with the first Adam. There 
may be a higher degree of glory given to some 
translated infants because of their godly parent- 
age. But the soul of man clings to the thought 

66 hifant Salvation. 

of no infant being lost in the universe of that 
God, whose " tender mercies are ove;: all His 


We arrive at the conclusion, so delightful in 
itself, and so consolatory to parents in the hour 
of bereavement, that their precious children 
whom, in the sweetness of their infantile in- 
nocence, the cold hand of death has rifled from 
their bosoms, are translated to the regions 
of the blest. Those delicate flowers, which 
the rude storms of our inclement atmosphere 
have blighted, unfold in eternal fragrancy 
beneath the pleasant beams of the sun's celes- 
tial glory. Those bright, but little stars, which 
to us seem prematurely quenched, do but sink 
beneath the horizon till, with new lustre and 
augmented magnitude, they repair their dj'oop- 
ing radiance, and " P'lame in tlie forehead of 
the morning sky." Those gems, more precious 
than pearls or rubies, of which the anguished 
mother has been despoiled, are set in deeper 
brilliance in that glorious mediatorial diadem 
which encircles the Redeemer's brow. Those 
infantile voices, which had scarce learnt to lisp 
His name, now sing in lofty descants, " Sal 

Infant Salvation. 6^ 

v^ation to him that sitteth upon the throne, and 
to the Lamb." Then let the stricken hearts 
of parents, whom death has made childless, 
no longer indulge an immoderate grief. Your 
beloved and lamented offspring, looking down 
from their heavenly spheres, would chide your 
sorrow. Among the ransomed they have taken 
their immortal stations. 


One of the most beautiful incidents of the 
Redeemer's life aftbrds to the question of infant 
salvation a most decisive and satisfactory solu- 
tion. There stands the Incarnate God ! Truth 
beams from His lips, and healing power radiates 
from His omnipotent touch. Mothers in Israel 
gather around Him, and anxiously present 
their children for His benediction. The dis- 
ciples, ignorant of the depth and tenderness 
of His sympathies, and knowing as yet but 
little of the benign purpose of His coming, 
rebuke the tender women for their intrusion, 
and thrust them and their children away from 
His presence. But He, the messenger of 
truth, and the procurer of life and salvation for 
all, bids the trembling women draw near to 

68 Iiifant Salvation. 

Him, and welcomes their children to His loving 
arms, uttering those memorable words, "Suffer 
the little children to come unto me, and forbid 
them not : for of such is the kingdom of God." 
(Mark x. 14.) Nor can the word " such " be 
frittered down to mere likeness ; and, if it were, 
the likeness itself would indicate a fitness for 
the kingdom ; and if a fitness, a title thereto 
through grace. But another text gives the 
meaning of the word a direct personal appli- 
cation to children themselves as such : " Take 
heed that ye despise not one of these little ones 
[little children being then in His presence] : 
for I say unto you that in heaven their angels 
do always behold the face of my Father which 
is in heaven." (Matt, xviii. 10.) These plain 
and striking words settle for ever the question 
of infant salvation. In heaven the little ones 
are angels, blessed spirits, dwelling in God's 
immediate presence, beholding His face, and 
rejoicing in the light of His countenance. 

Parents, wipe away your tears: your little 
ones are safe. Though severed from your 
embrace, they are received into the embraces 
of Him who died for them and rose again. 
Lift up your eyes then from the gloomy sepul- 
chre to the radiant throne, and there behold 
them resplendent in robes of purity, and exul- 
tant in the bliss of the Divine presence. Pre- 

hifant Salvation. 69 

pare to meet them in that bright world, where 
the parting tear shall never be shed, and the 
sad farewell shall never be heard. Meanwhile 
be unceasingly careful to train your surviving 
offspring to a meetness for that blessed inheri- 
tance, that at the last day, when standing 
in His glorious presence, you may say re- 
specting both them and yourselves, "Here, 
Lord, are we, and the children Thou hast 
given us." 


I CANNOT believe that the Saviour, who 
evinced such attachment to children upon 
earth, who took them in His arms and blessed 
them, who rebuked the apostles for forbidding 
their approach to His person, who declared 
that "of such is the kingdom of heaven," — 1 
cannot believe that the infant flower, which so 
soon lies withered upon its stalk, is not trans- 
planted into those unfading bowers where it 
will flourish in all the bloom and vigor of 

yo Itifant Salvation. 


In many ways it may be inferred from 
Scripture, that all dying in infancy are elect, 
and are therefore saved. 


This venerated divine says, in his "Reflec- 
tions on the Death of a Beloved Daughter," — 
He will compensate all her sorrows in that 
land where sorrow and sighing shall flee 
away. Sweet hope ! Let no man attempt 
to bereave me of it. It is founded on the 
Scriptures, on the mercy of God, and on 
the exceedingly abundant grace of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. I will not renounce this hope. 
It appears to me to be founded on the sure 
word of God. 


Why should Jesus be an Infant, but that 
I infants should receive the crown of their age, 
I the purification of their sainted nature, the 

In/an t Salvation . 7 ^ 

sanctification of their persons, and the saving 
of their souls by their infant Lord and Elder 


Your heavenly Father never thought this 
world's painted glory a gift worthy of you, 
and therefore He hath taken out the best thing 
it had in your sight that He might Himself 
fill the heart He had wounded with Himself. 


I AM willing to believe, till the Scripture 
forbids me,* that infants of all nations arid 
kindreds, without exception, who die before 
they are capable of sinning " after the simili- 
tude of Adam's transgression," who have done 
nothing in the body of which they can give 
account, are included in the election of grace ; 
and that the words of our Lord with respect 
to another class of persons, are applicable to 
them : " It is not the will of your Father in 
heaven that one of these little ones should 



Rev. Dr. John Macfarlane, London. 

'T^HE ardent love you have for your chil- 
■*■ dren is not altogether pleasurable. It 
necessarily carries you into many anxious 
thoughts about their welfare. In this sense, 
they are a burden to you, and this burden 
becomes all the heavier the more you love 
them. Your own experience of this world 
has not exalted it, as a place of residence, in 
your estimation. You have tested its prom- 
ises, and found them false and vain. You 
have tasted its pleasures, and found that they 
"bite like a serpent, and sting like an adder." 
You have groaned under its pains and penal- 
ties, and you have found out that help from 
man is in vain, and that miserable comforters 

Consolation. 73 

are all that crowd around you in the night 
seasons of your soul, and sore disquietudes. 
You, therefore, tremble when you think of 
your darling infants living to be cast upon 
such revolutionary periods in the troubled life 
of man, wherein, though they may preserve 
their integrity, they must endure hardships, 
but in which, also, they may lose their precious 
souls for ever. Their futurity, then, is at once 
your main difficulty, and your most fertile 
source of anxious foreboding. Now, has not 
their early death solved this difficulty for you, 
and ought it not, therefore, also to be your 
consolation? You will never have any more 
anxiety on their account. The various hid- 
ing-places in your hearts, from which these 
anxieties spring upon you, have been 
searched, and by death have been completely 

Their Education is completed. — They 
"know as they are known." Your utmost 
wish in this respect was to give them, if not a 
learned, at least a useful education. But God 
has been better than your wish. They are 
now in knowledge far beyond the most splen- 
did scholars and most profound philosophers 
of this and of every age. Their intellectual 
stature is only to be accounted small when 
compared with the wisdom of God Himself. 

74 . Consolation, 

Neither before angels, nor the spirits of the just 
made perfect, have they to veil their faces. 

Their Holiness is perfected. — Not one 
of the infirmities they inherited from you now 
appertains to them, they are "holy as God is 
holy." Did you tremble at the thought of 
their exposure to the temptations of Satan and 
the flesh? Be assured now that they are 
"more than conquerors through Him that 
loved them." Exquisitely beautiful now are 
those dear creatures in all the graces of the 
family of God. Their thoughts, their desires, 
their actions, are at this moment in perfect 
harmony with the mind of the^ Holy One of 
Israel. The same mind that is in Christ is in 
them ; they do the will of their heavenly 
Father, and He is pleased with them every 
moment, and every moment delights their 
happy souls with His approving smile. 

Their Happiness is consummated. — You 
were not at ease as to measures for their future 
provision, and even with respect to the most 
likely ones, you feared that they might fail. 
To make them comfortable for life you are 
ready to sacrifice much, and you never wea- 
ried in efforts to secure for them an honorable 
independence. Their futurity was upon your 
minds all the day, and oft took from you the 
sleep of all the night. Surely, then, you may 

Consolation, 75 

cease from lamentation, when you are certified 
that, as they shall sin no more, so neither shall 
they suffer any more. They are as happy 
now as they can be. God has provided for 
them in heaven. They are now inheriting the 
promises. They are now in actual possession 
and enjoyment of "that inheritance which is 
incorruptible and undeliled, and that fadeth 
not away." Within them is a " well of water 
springing up into everlasting life ; " without 
them is the perennial flow of the river of life ; 
above them is the unclouded sun of God's favor ; 
and around them are gathered the inexhausti- 
ble fountains of celestial bliss. They are so 
happy now that they are for ever singing. 
And if ever there should be a " Selah " to their 
song, it is only to draw in a larger inspiration 
for a more melodious burst of praise. They 
would not return to you now, much though 
they loved you and you them. They do not 
miss you now, much though you miss them. 
Your sorrows do not diminish their joys, and 
their joys ought to diminish your sorrows. Oh, 
who would bring them back again here^ to toil, 
and sweat, and suffer, and, perhaps, to sin 
without penitence, and to die without faith? 
You, O weeping parent, ought to be the very 
last to think of it, and yours should ever be the 
song of gratitude. 

76 Consolation, 

Rev. Dr. Wm. Anderson, Glasgow. 

How different in character will be the meet- 
ing after the resurrection ! when that grave, 
feared as a destroyer, shall be demonstrated, as 
made of Christ, the regenerator of our friends — 
rendering back in incorruption that which it re- 
ceived in corruption, in glory that which it 
received in dishonor, in power that which it 
received in weakness,* a spiritual body, lit as 
a tabernacle for the glorified soul, that which 
it received a natural body, an impediment to 

* In the inscription on the tombstone of mj child, I 
have thus paraphrased the Scripture, " Sown in Infancy, 
he shall be raised in Manhood."— When once comforting 
a bereaved saint with the assurance that she was the 
mother of a heavenly family, and that she would yet see 
her children in the kingdom, she inquired what I thought 
they would be like. I quoted i Cor. xv. 43 to her. " Does 
that mean," she said, "that they will appear like meji f" 
I answered, "I thought many interpretations were further 
from the truth." " I like that well enough," she replied, 
"but, oh, that it might please the Lord to show them to 
me, just as they were in this world, though it should be 
but for a minute ! " — On the subject of the mode of rec- 
ognition, I remark, that there are phenomena being daily 
exhibited, which make it no fantasy to suppose, that the 
ardent wish of a mother's heart going forth over the king- 
dom may have an attractive influence in selecting and 
bringing her child to her side. 

Consolation. 77 

its exercises. Hosannah to the Lord of Resur- 
rection for this blessed hope ! Yea, so over- 
whelming is its glory, that it is like to obscure 
our faith. How shall the mother recognize 
her son, who departed from her an emaciated 
infant, in yonder angelic form in the vigor 
and brilliancy of resurrection manhood ? And 
how shall the father, who wept bitter tears in 
secret over his daughter's decrepitude, distin- 
guish her in yonder seraph of celestial grace? 
What mean you, friends? You surely cannot 
wish to meet your children in that plight of 
wretchedness in which you bade them farewell, 
so that, unassisted, you could of yourselves 
recognize them. The Lord will provide; but 
methinks it will, probably, be a busy day for 
those good angels who ministered to us on 
earth, finding us out for one another, and in- 
troducing us. Remembering how they had 
seen us grieve for one another, how sympathet- 
ically they will enjoy the scene, as we stand 
amazed for a while at one another's glory be- 
fore we embrace ! 

How many parents there are, who have 
almost entirely forgotten those of their children 
who died in infancy ; and who, being inquired 
at about the number of their family, will, so 
unlike that sweet faithful child who so reso- 
lutely maintained "we are seven," give account 

7 8 Consolation. 

only of those who live, — the least worthy of 
being reckoned ! Faithless father and mother, 
that you are ! amid all your rapture, how 
ashamed you shall be of your forgetfulness, 
when these neglected ones are restored to you, 
so beautiful and glorious ; and especially 
when, under that angel-guidance, they hasten 
with such excitement to meet with those of 
whom they are told, that under the Creator 
they were the authors of their existence ! 
Nor will it be with little excitement that they 
hasten to meet j/^??^, their brothers and sisters, 
with whom they may associate and worship, 
as being more of their own nature than any 
others to be found in all the kingdom. The 
whole of you — brothers and sisters, as well 
as parents — meditate on them ; the thought is 
most sanctifying : it endears the Redeemer 
with peculiar attraction to a tender heart ; 
and, remember, there are no hearts great 
which are not tender. 

Rev. Dr. Wm. Anderson, Glasgow. 

The Psalmist sa3's of God, " There is none 
upon earth that I desire beside Thee," speak- 
ing evidently, comparatively, and signifying 

Consolation. 79 

that among many objects desired, God received 
the supreme place. This is a subject of 
familiar illustration. But David said some- 
thing before that: "Whom have I in heaven- 
but Thee?" Ah, let the bereaved mother be 
admonished. If the vision of her child in 
heaven be more frequent, and more endeared 
to her heart than the vision of the child's 
Saviour; and much more, if the vision of the 
former so engross her heart as to exclude the 
vision of the latter altogether, — I must assure 
her that heavenly-mindedness such as this will 
not promote that heavenly meeting on which 
her hope is set. Her first object of admiring 
contemplation in heaven must be her own 
Saviour ; and her great hope must be, meet- 
ing with Him, and seeing Him in his glory, 
before any meditation on the present happi- 
ness of her deceased child be of a sanctifying 
character ; and before any hope of meeting 
again with that child in heavenly bliss be a 
hope not to be disappointed. I would ex- 
press myself tenderty, when it is a bereaved 
mother's heart which is addressed ; but would 
it be genuine tenderness if it were delusive, 
flattering unfaithfulness? Hope first in Christ 
for yourself, and then hope, not for your 
child's salvation (that is secure), but that you 
shall enjoy companionship wdth Him in glory. 

8o Consolation, 

Rev. Dr. John Brown, Edinburgh. 

With what delight will parents, themselves 
released from the captivity of the grave, 
behold their early-lost, long-mourned children 
coming forth, not the pale, emaciated, lifeless, 
ghastly forms they reluctantly committed to 
the grave, but strong in incorruptibility, glori- 
ous in beauty, " fashioned like unto Christ's 
glorious body." Then shall it appear to the 
assembled universe, that among the redeemed 
of the Lord, fathers have not hoped in vain, 
nor mothers brought forth for trouble. " They 
are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and 
their offspring with them." 

But it will be long, long ere they return. 
The captivity of death is measured, not by 
years, but by ages. What then? It is but 
the few, it may be the very few, remaining 
days of the years of our pilgrimage, which 
prevent our spirits from embracing theirs ; and 
in the resting-places prepared for us, though 
we shall not cease to desire, we shall never 
weary for "the adoption, the redemption of 
the body." " Be patient, brethren, unto the 
coming of the Lord, Behold, the husbandman 
waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and 

Consolation. , 8l 

hath long patience for it, until he receive the 
early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; 
and stablish your hearts." Then "those young 
and tender plants, which are now cut down, 
and withering around us, shall spring up in 
fairer and more durable forms." "The chil- 
dren of the resurrection cannot die any more, 
but are equal to the angels." 

Having been raised from the dead, they shall 
"mount up together in the clouds," along with 
those who have been miraculously changed, 
" to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall 
they ever be with the Lord." Among that 
glorious company shall be found those infants 
and little children whose untimely departure 
to " the land of the enemy " drew forth such 
tender regrets and bitter tears. They shall 
not only "return," but "come to Zion, with 
songs and everlasting joy upon their heads : 
they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow 
and sighing shall flee away." They shall not 
only leave for ever the dark and lonesome 
abodes of death, but they shall for ever dwell 
in the cheerful regions of perfect life, and light, 
and joy. They shall not only be brought from 
the land of the enemy, but they shall be 
"brought in and be planted in the mountain 
of Jehovah's inheritance, in the place which 
He has made for Himself to dwell in, in the 

82 Consolation. 

sanctuary which His hand has estabHshed." 
There "Jehovah-Jesus shall reign for ever and 
ever," and there "they shall reign with Him." 
The long silence of the grave shall be ex- 
changed for the ceaseless ever-new songs of 
Moses and the Lamb. "Sing unto the Lord, 
for He hath triumphed gloriously. Who is 
like unto Jehovah among the gods? Who 
is like unto Him, glorious in holiness, fearful 
in praises, doing wonders? He has ransomed 
us from the power of the grave. He has 
redeemed us from death. He has swallowed 
up death in life. O death, where is thy sting? 
O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to 
Him who has given us the victory. Salvation 
to our God and to the Lamb, for ever and ever. 
To Him who loved us, and washed us from 
our sins in His own blood ; to Him be glory 
and honor for ever and ever. Worthy is the 
Lamb that was slain, slain for us. Hallelujah ! " 
And again and again the great multitude, with 
a voice as of many waters and mighty thun- 
derings, shall shout " Hallelujah ! " And none 
in all the happy company will sing more 
sweetly than the little children. 

Then, indeed, shall be brought to pass the 
saying that is written, "Out of the mouth 
of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected 

Consolation . 83 


Rev. Dr. Chalmers, Edinburgh. 

The following is an extract from Dr. Chal- 
mers's Lectures on the Romans, chap. iv. 

9-15 ; — 

This affords, we think, something more than 
a dubious glimpse into the question that is 
often put by a distracted mother when her babe 
is taken away from her, when all the converse 
it ever had with the world amounted to the 
gaze upon it of a few months, or a few opening 
smiles which marked the dawn of felt enjoy- 
ment ; and ere it had reached perhaps the lisp 
of infancy, it, all unconscious of death, had 
to wrestle through a period of sickness with 
his power, and at length to be overcome by 
him. Oh, it little knew what an interest it had 
created in that home where it was so passing 
a visitant ; nor, when carried to its early grave, 
what a tide of emotion it would raise among 
the few acquaintance it left behind I On it, 
too, baptism was impressed as a seal, while as 
a sign it was never falsified. There was no 
positive unbelief in its little bosom ; no resist- 
ance yet put forth to the truth ; no love at all 
for the darkness rather than the light ; nor had 

84 Consolation, 

it yet fallen into that great condemnation which 
will attach to all who perish because of unbelief, 
that their deeds are evil. It is interesting to 
know that God instituted circumcision for the 
infant children of Jews, and at least suffered 
baptism for the infant children of those who 
profess Christianity. Should the child die in 
infancy, the use of baptism as a sign has never 
been thwarted by it ; and may we not be per- 
mitted to indulge a hope so pleasing, as that 
the use of baptism as a seal remains in all 
its entireness, — that He who sanctioned the 
affixing of it to a babe will fulfil upon it 
the whol-e expression of this ordinance? And 
when we couple with this the known disposition 
of our great Forerunner — the love that He 
manifested to cliildren on earth — how He suf- 
fered them to approach His person — and lav- 
ishing endearment and kindness upon them in 
the streets of Jerusalem, told His disciples that 
the presence and company of such as these in 
heaven formed one ingredient of the joy that 
was set before Him — tell us if Christianity do 
not throw a pleasing radiance around an 
infant's tomb? And should any parent who 
hears us feel softened by the touching remem- 
brance of a light that twinkled a few short 
months under his roof, and at the end of its 
little period expired, we cannot think that we 

Consolation. 85 

venture too far when we say that he has only 
to persevere in the faith, and in the following 
of the gospel, and that very light will again 
shine upon him in heaven. The blossom which 
withered here upon its stalk has been trans- 
planted there to a place of endurance, and it 
will then gladden that eye which now weeps 
out the agony of an affection that has been 
sorely wounded ; and in the name of Him, 
who, if on earth, would have wept along with 
them, do we bid all believers present to sorrow 
not even as others which have no hope, but to 
take comfort in the thought of that country 
where there is no sorrow and no separation. 

" Oh, when a mother meets on high 
The babe she lost in infancy, 
Hath she not then, for pains and fears — 
The day of woe, the watchful night — 
For all her sorrow, all her tears — 
An over-payment of delight? " ' 

David Pae, Edinburgh. 

In the churchyard, and in matters connected 
with it, John Brown seemed quite a different 
man from what he was anywhere else. Genial, 
free, and hearty in his own house and the 
village, he was grave and taciturn in the dis- 

. 8& Consolation . 

charge of his funeral duties, and watched over 
the place of tombs with a jealous care. This 
part of his character no one could read but the 
parish minister : he alone had the key to it. 
The secret, however, was this. The deepest 
affections of his soul centred on the enclosed 
two acres, which he had tended for twenty 
years. He regarded it with a pride and even 
a love, as great as, and very similar to, that 
with which an enthusiastic gardener looks 
upon his domain, and cherishes its floral 
treasures. Every new-made grave was to John 
like a flower which he had planted, and it was 
added in his memory to the many hundreds 
which covered the surface of the enclosure ; to 
be thought of and cherished according to the 
degee of respect and reverence which the sexton 
had for its inmate. As a gardener has his 
favorite flowers, so John had his favorite graves, 
and spent additional time on their adornment. 
Hence one grave might be seen with a smooth 
velvet turf, and a flower or two blooming upon 
it, while those surrounding it were covered 
with rank masses of grass ; thus, by looking at 
any one grave, it could be known what was the 
state of John's feelings towards the mouldering 
dust beneath. His professional love was par- 
ticularly lavished on the little ones. For the 
children's graves he had a peculiar affection 

Consolation, 87 

and reverence. Not one of them was suffered 
to go to waste ; and long after the little mound 
had 'disappeared, the small level spot was 
easily found by patches of white clover, — for 
John invariably sowed this on the little graves, 
and on none other. Mr. Gray had not been 
long minister of the parish till he noticed the 
odd practice of his grave-digger ; and one day 
when he came upon John smoothing and trim- 
ming the lowly bed of a child which had been 
buried a few days before, he asked him why 
he was so particular in dressing and keeping 
the graves of the children. John paused for a 
moment at his work, and looking up, not at 
the minister, but at the sky, said, " Of such is 
the kingdom of heaven." 

" And on this account you tend and adorn 
them with so much care," remarked the minis- 
ter, who was greatly struck with the reply. 

"Surely, sir," answered John, "I canna 
make ower braw and fine the bed-coverin' o' 
a little innocent sleeper that is waitin' there 
tiLl it is God's time to wauken it and cover it 
with the white robe, and waft it away to glory. 
When sic grandeur is awaitin' it yonder, it's 
fit it should be decked oot here. I think the 
Saviour that counts its dust sae precious will 
like to see the white clover sheet sfread 
abune't; dae ye no think sae tae, sir?" 

88 Consolation . 

"But why not thus cover larger graves?" 
asked the minister, hardly able to suppress 
his emotion. ''The dust of all His saints is 
precious in the Saviour's sight." 

"Very true, sir," responded John, with great 
solemnity, "but I canna be sure wha are his 
saints and wha are no. I hope there are 
mony o' them lyin' in this kirkyard ; but it 
wad be great presumption in me to mark them 
oot. There are some that I'm gey sure aboot, 
and I keep their graves as nate and snod as I 
can, and plant a bit floure here and there as a 
sign o' my hope ; but I daurna gie them the 
white sheet. It's clean different, tho', wi' the 
bairns. We hae His ain word for their up- 
going, and sae I canna mak' an error there. 
Some folk, I believe, are bauld enough to say 
that it's only the infants of the guid that will 
be saved." 

"And do you adhere to that doctrine?" 
inquired Mr. Gray. 

John answered by pointing to a little patch 
a few paces off, which was thickly covered 
with clover, 

"That ane," he said, "is the bairn o' Tarn 
Lutton, the collier. Ye ken Tam, sir?" 

Mr. Gray did, indeed, know Tam, for he 
was the rnost notorious swearer, liar, and 
drunkard in the parish ; and John did not 

Consolation, 89 

require to say any more to show that he dis- 
believed the doctrine of the condemnation of 

"It's no only cruel and blasphemous," he 
continued, in a dry, sarcastic way, "but it's 
quite absurd. Jist tak' that bairn o' Tarn's as 
an example. According to their belief it's 
lost ; because we may, without ony breach o' 
charity, say that Tam is at present a repro- 
bate. But he is still in the place of hope, sir ; 
and it is quite possible that he may be con- 
verted. What comes o' the bairn then? Na, 
na," he added, looking reverently upward, 
"God is merciful, and Jesus died; and it was 
He that said, * Of such is the kingdom of 

Mr. Gray was much struck by the deep 
feeling and fervent piety manifested by the 
grave-digger, and thought he would extract 
more of his ideas regarding the subject on 
which they had been speaking. For this pur- 
pose he pointed to the little grave which John 
was trimming so neatly, and, knowifig it to be 
that of a still-born child, he observed, — 

"Is it not mysterious, John, that the little 
human form lying there should not have been 
permitted to cross the porch of existence? I 
saw it as it lay so still and beautiful in its 
snowy robe, and as I noticed its perfect form, 

po Consolation, 

with every organ and every limb complete, I 
was almost tempted to ask why God had made 
such a beautiful temple in vain." 

" ^ In vain ! ' say ye," returned John. " Na, 
no in vain. God mak's naething in vain, far 
less a form like that in His ain image. Omni- 
potent as He is, and infinite in His perfections. 
He canna afford tae fashun sic a glorious 
object only that worms might prey on it. The 
little marble image lying below this sod is as 
great a thing as ever God made on this earth. 
Adam, when he rose up frae the green sward 
o' Eden, wasna mair physically perfect. He 
was bigger, nae doot, but nae better formed ; 
and was the ane made in vain ony mair than 
the ither? Na, na, na ! The bairnie, puir 
lamme, '11 ken naething o' the joys and sor- 
rows, the sunshine and shadow o' this life ; 
but he'll be a pure, unsullied sharer o' the life 
that is ayont this, and higher than this : for I 
aye cast anchor on the blessed words spoken 
by the Redeemer o' men and infants, ' Of such 
is the kingdom of heaven ; ' and whan I think 
o' a still-born wean, I think o' a human being, 
made, no for time, but for immoi'tality '^ 

The minister took John's hand, and silently 
pressed it. He had got the key to his deeper 
nature, and was thrilled by its unexpected 




Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, London. 

" Is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well." 

Now, let every mother and father here 
present know assuredly that it is well with the 
child, if God hath taken it away from you in 
its infant days. You never heard its declaration 
of faith ; it was not capable of such a thing, 
it was not baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ, 
not buried with him in baptism ; it was not 
capable of giving that " answer of a good 
conscience toward God;" nevertheless, you 
may rest assured that it is well with the 
child, well in a higher and better sense than it 
is well with yourselves ; well without limitation, 
well without exception, well infinitely, "well" 

I now come to make a practical use of 
THE DOCTRINE. First, let it be a comfort to 
bereaved parents. You say it is a heavy cross 
that you have to carry. Remember, it is 
easier to carry a dead cross than a living one. 
To have a living cross is indeed a tribulation, 
to have a child who is rebellious in his child- 
hood, vicious in his youth, debauched in his 

9? Consolation, 

manhood ! Ah, would God that he had died 
from the birth ; would God that he had never 
seen the light ! Many a father's hairs have 
been brought with sorrow to the grave through 
his living children, but I think never through 
his dead babes ; certainly not if he were a 
Christian, and were able to take the comfort 
of the apostle's words, "We sorrow not as they 
that are without hope." So you would have 
your child live? Ah, if you could have drawn 
aside the veil of destiny, and have seen to 
what he might have lived ! Would you have 
had him live to ripen for the gallows? Would 
you have him live to curse his father's God? 
Would you have him live to make your home 
wretched, to make you wet your pillow with 
tears, and send you to your daily work with 
your hands upon your loins because of sorrow? 
Such might have been the case ; it is not so now, 
for your little one sings before the throne of 
God. Do you know from what sorrows your 
little one has escaped? You have had enough 
yourself. It was born of woman, it would 
have been of few days and full of trouble as 
you are. It has escaped those sorrows ; do 
you lament that? Remember, too, your own 
sins, and the deep sorrow of repentance. Had 
that child lived, it would have been a sinner, 
and it must have known the bitterness of con- 

Consolation. ' 93 

viction of sin. It has escaped that; it rejoices 
now in the glory of God. Then would you 
have it back again ? 

Bereaved parents, could you for a moment 
see your own offspring above, I think you 
would very speedily wipe away your tears. 
There among the sweet voices which sing the 
perpetual carol may be heard the voice of your 
own child, an angel now, and you the mother 
of a songster before the throne of God. You 
might not have murmured had you received 
the promise that your child should have been 
elevated to the peerage ; it has been elevated 
higher than that, — to the peerage of heaven. 
It has received the dignity of the immortals ; 
it is robed in better than royal garments ; it is 
more rich and more blessed than it could have 
been if all the crowns of earth could have been 
put upon its head. Wherefore, then, could 
you complain? An old poet has penned a 
verse well-fitted for an infant's epitaph : — 

*' Short was my life, the longer is mj rest; 
God takes those soonest whom he loveth best; 
Who's born to-day, and dies to-morrow, 
Loses some hovirs of joy, but months of sorrow; 
// /■ Other diseases often come to grieve us, 
\j. \ Death strikes but once, and that stroke doth relieve 
'■- \ us." 

Your child has had that one stroke and has 
been relieved from all these pains, and you 


94 Consolation, 

may say of it, this much we know, he is 
supremely blessed, has escaped from sin, and 
care, and woe, and with the Saviour rests. 
"Happy the babe," says Hervey, "who. 

Privileged by faith, a shorter labor and a lighter 

Received but yesterday the gift of breath, 
Ordered to-morrow to return to death." 

While another says, looking upward to the 
skies, — 

" O blest exchange, O envied lot, 
Without a conflict crowned, 
Stranger to pain, in pleasure bless'd, 
And, without fame, renowned." 

So is it. It is well to fight and win, but to win 
as fairly without the fight ! It is w^ell to sing 
the song of triumph after w^e have passed the 
Red Sea with all its terrors ; but to sing the 
song without the sea is more glorious still ! 
I do not know that I w^ould prefer the lot of a 
child in heaven myself. I think it is nobler to 
]iave borne the storm, and to have struggled 
against the wind and the rain. I think it will 
be a subject of congratulation through eternity, 
for you and me, that we did not come so easy 
a way to heaven, for it is only a pin's prick 
after all, this mortal life ; then there is exceed- 
ing great glory hereafter. But yet I think we 
may still thank God for those little ones, that 

Consolation. p5 

the> xiave been spared our sins, and spared our 
infirmities, and spared our pains, and are en- 
tered into the rest above. Thus saith the Lord 
unto thee, O Rachel, if thou weepest for thy 
children, and refusest to be comforted because 
they are not : " Refrain thy voice from weeping, 
and thine eyes from tears : for thy v^ork shall 
be rewarded, saith the Lord ; and they shall 
come again from the land of the enemy." 

The next and perhaps more useful and 
profitable inference to be drawn from the text 
is this : many of you are parents who have 
children in heaven. Is it not a desirable thincr 
that you should go there too? And yet have I 
not in these galleries and in this area some, 
perhaps many, who have no hope for hereafter? 
In fact, you have left that which is beyond the 
grave to be thought of another day, you have 
given all your time and thoughts to the short, 
brief, and unsatisfactory pursuits of mortal life. 
Mother, unconverted mother, from the battle- 
ments of heaven your child beckons }'ou to 
Paradise. Father, ungodl}^ impenitent fatlier. 
the little eyes that once looked joyously on you, 
look down upon you now, and the lips which 
had scarcely learned to call you father, ere 
they were sealed by the silence of death, may 
be heard as with a still small voice, saying to 
you this morning, "Father, must we be for 

96 Consolation. 

ever divided by the great gulf which no man 
can pass ? " Doth not nature itself put a kind 
of longing in your soul that you may be bound 
in the bundle of life with your own children? 
Then stop and think. As you are at present, 
you cannot hope for that ; for your way is 
sinful, you have forgotten Christ, you have not 
repented of sin, you have loved the wages 
of iniquity. I pray thee go to thy chamber 
this morning, and think of thyself as being 
driven from thy little ones, banished for ever 
from the presence of God, cast "where their 
worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." 
If thou wilt think of these matters, perhaps the 
heart will begin to move, and the eyes may 
begin to flow, and then may the Holy Spirit 
put before thine eyes the cross of the Saviour, 
the holy child Jesus ! And remember, if thou 
wilt turn thine eye to Him thou shalt live ; 
if thou believest on Him with all thy heart thou 
shalt be with him where He is, — with all 
those whom the Father gave Him who have 
gone before. Thou needest not to be shut out. 
Wilt thou sign thine own doom, and write 
thine own death warrant? Neglect not this 
great salvation, but may the grace of God work 
with thee to make thee seek, for thou shalt 
find — to make thee knock, for the door shall 
be opened — to make thee ask, for he that 

Consolation. 97 

asketh shall receive ! Oh, might I take you 
by the hand, — perhaps you have come from a 
newly-made grave, or left the child at home 
dead, and God has made me a messenger 
to you this morning, — oh, might I take you by 
the hand and say, "We cannot bring him back 
again, the spirit is gone beyond recall, but you 
may follow " ! Behold the ladder of light before 
you ! The first step upon it is repentance, out 
of thyself; the next step is faith, into Christ, 
and when thou art there, thou art fairly and 
safely on thy way, and ere long thou shalt be 
received at heaven's gates by those very little 
ones who have gone before, that they may 
come to welcome thee when thou shouldst land 
upon the eternal shores. 


[The following letter occurs in " Selections from the Cor- 
respondence of R. E. H. Greyson, Esq. ," edited by Pro- 
fessor Henry Rodgers, the eminent author of " The Eclipse 
of Faith : " — ] 

London, 1839. 
My sweet Cousin, — I have in vain tried to 
tell a lie for your sake, and say, — I condole 
with you. 

But it is impossible. How can I, with my 

98 Consolation. 

deep convictions that your little floweret, and 
every other so fading, is but transplanted into 
the more congenial soil of Paradise, and shall 
there bloom and be fragrant for ever? How 
can I lament for one who has so cheaply be- 
come an "heir of immortality"? who will 
never remember his native home of earth, nor 
the transient pang by which he was born into 
heaven ! who will never even know that he 
has suffered except by being told so ! Shall we 
lament that he has not shared our fatal privi- 
lege of an experience of guilt and sorrow? Is 
this so precious that we can wish him partaker 
of it? My cousin, those who die in childhood 
are to be envied and felicitated, not deplored ; 
so soon, so happily have they escaped all that 
we rhust wish never to have known. 

"Innocent souls, thus set so early free 
From sin, and sorrow, and mortality," 

who can weep for thein^ as he thinks of the 
fearful hazards that all must run who have 
grown up to a personal acquaintance with sin 
and misery? 

An ancient Greek historian tells us it was a 
custom among a people of Scythia to celebrate 
the birth of a child with the same mournful 
solemnities with which the rest of the world 
celebrate a funeral. So intensely dark, yet so 
true (apart from the gospel), was the view 

Consolation, 99 

they took of what awaits man in life ! The 
custom was fully justified, in my judgment, by 
a heathen view of things ; and if it would be 
unseemly among us, it is only because Chris- 
tianity has brought ''life and immortality to 
light," and assures us that this world may be- 
come, for all of us, the vestibule of a better. 

"You are very philosophical," you will say : 
" You talk very fine, but you do not feel as 
you talk." Excuse me, my dear; I talk just 
as I have always felt ever since I came to a 
knowledge of Christianity and of human life; 
and often — yes, often in the course of my own 
(and let the thought be consolation to you, for 
how do you know that your little one might 
not have tasted the same bitter experience?) 
— often in the course of my life, as I have 
looked back and seen how much of it has been 
blurred and wasted ; what perils I have run 
of spiritual shipwreck ; what clouds of doubt 
still often descend and envelop the soul ; what 
agonies of sorrow I have passed through, — 
often have I cried, with hands smiting each 
other and a broken voice, " Oh that I had 
been thus privileged early to depart ! " — But 
you cannot imagine a mother echoing such 
feelings in relation to her own child ! Can you 
not? Come let us see. 

There was once a mother, kneeling by the 

lOO Consolation. 

bedside of the litde one whom she hourly ex- 
pected to lose. With what eyes of passionate 
love had she watched every change in that 
beautiful face ! How had her eyes pierced the 
heart of the physician, at his last visit, when 
they glared rather than asked the question 
whether there yet was hope ! How had she 
wearied heaven with vows that if it would but 
grant — "Ah!" you say, "you can imagine 
all that without any difficulty at all." 

Imagine this, too. Overwearied with watch- 
ing, she fell into a doze beside the couch of 
her infant, and she dreamt in a few moments 
(as we are wont to do) the seeming history of 
long years. She thought she heard a voice 
from heaven say to her, as to Hezekiah, "I 
have seen thy tears, I have heard thy prayers ; 
he shall live ; and yourself shall have the roll 
of his history presented to you." "Ah !" you 
say, "you can imagine all that^ too." 

And straightway she thought she saw her 
sweet child in the bloom of health, innocent 
and playful as her fond heart could wish. Yet 
a little while, and she saw him in the flush of 
opening youth ; beautiful as ever, but beauti- 
ful as a young panther, from whose eyes wild 
flashes and fitful passion ever and anon 
gleamed ; and she thought how beautiful he 
looked, even in those moods, for she was a 

Consolation, loi 

mother. Bnt she also thought how many tears 
and sorrows may be needful to temper or 
quench those fires ! 

And she seemed to follow him through a 
rapid succession of scenes, now of troubled 
sunshine, now of deep gathering gloom. His 
sorrows were all of the common lot, but in- 
volved a sum of agony far greater than that 
which she would have felt from his early loss ; 
yes, greater even to her, and how much 
greater to him ! She saw him more than once- 
wrestling with pangs more agonizing than 
those which now threatened his infancy ; she 
saw him involved in error, and with difficulty 
extricating himself; betrayed into youthful sins, 
and repenting with scalding tears ; she saw 
him half ruined by transient prosperity, and 
scourged into tardy wisdom only by long ad- 
versity ; she saw him worn and haggard with 
care, his spirit crushed, and his early beauty 
all wan and blasted ; worse still, she saw him 
thrice stricken with that very shaft which she 
had so dreaded to feel but once, and mourned 
to think that her prayers had prevailed to pre- 
vent her own sorrows only to multiply his ; 
worst of all, she saw him, as she thought, in 
a darkened chamber, kneeling beside a coffin 
in which Youth and Beauty slept their last 
sleep ; and, as it seemed, her own image stood 

I02 Consolation. 

beside him, and uttered unheeded love to a 
sorrow that " refused to be comforted ; " and as 
she gazed on that face of stony despair, she 
seemed to hear a voice which said, " If thou 
wilt have thy floweret of earth unfold on earth, 
thou must not wonder at bleak winters and in- 
clement skies, /would have transplanted it 
to a more genial clime ; but thou wouldest not." 
And with a cry of terror she awoke. 

She turned to the sleeping figure before her, 
and, sobbing, hoped it was sleeping its last 
sleep. She listened for his breathing, she 
heard none ; she lifted the taper to his lips, 
the flame wavered not ; he had, indeed, 
passed away while she dreamed that he lived ; 
and she rose from her knees, — and was 


" Ah ! " you will say, " these sorrows could 
never have been the lot of my sweet child ! " 
It is hard to set one's logic against a mother's 
love ; I can only remind you, my dear cousin, 
that it has been the lot of thousands, whose 
mothers, as their little ones crowed and laughed 
in their arms in childish happiness, would have 
sworn to the same impossibility. But iox you^ 
— you know what they could only believe; — 
that it is an impossibility. Nay, I might hint 
at yet profounder consolation, if, indeed, there 
ever existed a mother who could fancy that. 

Consolation, 103 

in the case of her own child, it could ever be 
needed. Yet facts sufficiently show us, that 
what the dreaming mother saw, — errors re- 
trieved, sins committed but repented of, and 
sorrows that taught wisdom, are not always 
seen, and that children may, in spite of all, 
persist in exploring the path of evil, " deeper 
and deeper still." With the shadow of uncer- 
tainty whether it may not be so with any child, 
is there no consolation in thinking that even 
that shadow has passed away ? For aught we 
know, many and many a mother may here- 
after hear her lost darling say : " Sweet 
mother, I was taken from you for a little 
while, only that I might abide with you for 
ever ! " 

Ever yours affectionately, 

R. E. H. G. 

Rev. Henry Allon, Islington, London. 

What a beautiful form of life is childhood ; 
Its pure and tender physical beauty is but a 
faint emblem of its intellectual and moral con- 
ditions. Its very imperfections — its helpless- 
ness and ignorance — constitute its exquisite 

I04 Consolation. 

charm ; the roughest men confess it, the most 
sorrowful women are soothed by it, guilt feels 
a kind of awe at it, and vice is softened and 
purified by it ; it inspires ambition with regrets, 
it melts impenitence to tears. A child is God's 
angel on earth — fresh, as it were, from his 
presence, and full of divine ministries — soften- 
ing, humanizing, and sanctifying. It is a link 
that connects the busy life of this world with 
the solemn and mysterious world of spirits. 

What a blessed and beautiful order of being 
it is ! Suppose that human life had no child- 
hood, — that men entered the world in the full 
power, and roughness, and unsanctity of adult 
manhood, — how hard and untractable a thing 
life would be ! how destitute of the experiences 
that preciously teach it, of the influences that 
beneficially mould it ! How inestimable the 
experiences and processes whereby we pass 
from helplessness, and ignorance, and in- 
nocence, to strength, and knowledge, and 
holiness ! Bad as we may be, we should be 
a thousand times worse, destitute of the 
memories and experiences of childhood. Very 
precious, therefore, is God's gift of children. 
They are special means of grace to us, special 
ministers of spiritual ■ thought and things. 
A wonderful Bible for a parent to read is 
a little child, a wonderful spiritual influence 

Consolation. 105 

for a parent to feel, almost an incarnation 
of the Holy Spirit himself. Even the recol- 
lections of childhood — of its purity, freedom, 
and blessedness — will break in upon the har- 
dened spirit of a guilty man, and he will 
weep in very sadness over the memory of what 
he once was. The providence of God repeats, 
as it were, our own childhood in that of pur 
children, — our own experience is reproduced 
in theirs. Children teach parents more, per- 
haps, than parents teach children ; in a thou- 
sand ways they bring down heavenly thoughts 
and things upon the parents' hearts. Who 
can take a child up into his arms and look into 
its pure face, and into the transparent depths 
of its guileless soul, and see its freedom from 
care, suspicion, and sin, without deep and 
manifold thoughts and feelings concerning the 
soul, and God, and the possibilities of life. A 
child comes to us as if direct from God himself; 
it lives in our homes long before the fair 
picture and lesson of innocence is blurred and 
effaced by sin. No ministry so appeals to 
human hearts. 

*' Heaven lies about us in our infancy." 

We muse and wonder as we look upon a 
child's face, until it grows almost divine, and 
we are half " afraid to look upon God." 

1 06 Consolation , 

God's gift of children is intended only for 
blessing, — a blessing to pious love and faith; 
they are a " heritage," a possession bestowed 
by the heavenly Father's love, and intended to 
stand in rich spiritual succession to us. They 
are more than spiritual beings, they are heirs 
of our spiritual privilege and piety ; our pious 
parentage is, by God's blessing, to secure their 
piety. It is a privilege which, in the natural 
order of things, should be a blessing to them ; 
it is a plea of power which they may urge in 
prayer, " Truly I am thy servant, and the son 
of thine handmaid." "The promise is to us 
and to our children." If we be faithful to our 
"heritage," it will, as a rule and principle — 
admitting of exceptions, it is true — become 
the heritage of our children. The richest, the 
most precious, the most affluent of all gifts, 
is God's gift of children; beyond wealth, or 
art, or literature, or social friends, or even 
conjugal love, they enrich and bless a home. 

It is only when we thus intelligently and 
articulately realize the manifold blessing of 
children, that we can intelligently speak of the 
sorrow of their loss. It is a great mystery — 
one of the greatest mysteries of life — that so 
much young life should just bud and perish. 
It is the law of all life that there are more fallen 
blossoms than ripened fruit; but when children 

Consolation, 107 

die it is a sorrow as well as a loss. The pangs 
of birth, the unconsciousness and helplessness 
of infancy, it may be a few months or years of 
bright and beautiful development; the vague 
eye brightening into intelligent recognition, 
the vague feebleness strengthening into pur- 
posed activity, the vague instinct ripening into 
a pure and clinging love, health and beauty 
growing day by day ; and then the sudden 
smiting down, the ruthless quenching of that 
beautiful spark of life, and it is as if "made in 
vain." It is true that the entrustment has been 
but short ; there has been but little time for 
mere possession to grow into endearment ; but 
strong passionate parental instinct does in days 
that for which other possessions years are 
required, and the death of a child is often a 
deep wound that almost breaks the heart that 
it lacerates, the scar of which is ever after 
tender to every touch and palpable to every 

But we may not think that because so early 
taken, children have been given in vain. How 
it would change the whole economy of life if 
children never died ; if every life that was 
begun grew up to an assured maturity ! What 
an exceptional and, in a thousand ways, harm- 
ful law of life it would be ! And is there not 
more than fancy in the thought and the comfort 

I o8 Consolation . 

that there are children in heaven as well as on 
earth? If earth would lose, were only adult 
life upon it, would not heaven lose also? Will 
they not be in heaven, as on earth, part of 
the softening, sanctifying, endearing agency 
whereby we are ever advancing to perfection? 

And is not' a parent, is not a family infinitely 
better for even the transitory presence of a child 
in it? Have not deep springs of various moral 
feelings been touched? have not our hearts 
pondered many things as we have watched it 
sleeping, or nursed it waking? has it not been, 
as no other gift could have been, a medium 
through which God's voice has spoken to us? 
has not the hardest of us been softened to tears, 
the most irreligious of us thrilled into prayer? 
while, in the pious, almost every religious 
principle and emotion has been appealed to 
more powerfully than by any other thing. 
Were the child to live, the feeling might be 
superseded, the impression effaced, by its after 
developments. It would become a man. Its 
death deepens and perpetuates them. After 
years are passed it is still and must be ever to 
us a child; and all the tender, holy feelings 
that it appealed to are fresh and vivid. 

In many senses Christ says to us, "Suffer 
the little children to come unto me, and forbid 
them not : for of such is the kingdom of heaven." 

Consolation. 109 

If destined to adult life on earth, they are to be 
of His kingdom in childhood, and to retain the 
heart of childhood, even to old age. But we 
may " live in an inverted order." Parents may 
close the d3'ing eyes of their children ; their 
little footsteps may precede ours through the 
dark valley ; our faith may have to put them 
into the arms of Jesus, we being forbidden to 
go with them ; and our fond, blind love may 
hesitate, so that He may have to say to us, 
" Suffer them, suffer the little children to come 
unto me, and forbid them not." He may have 
need of them for the enrichment, with child-life 
and child-beauty, of the Father's house which 
He* has gone to "prepare." We know not 
wherefore He calls this or that particular child ; 
and if it be ours that He calls, we may refuse 
to be comforted ; we may cry with a great and 
bitter cry, "Wherefore hast Thou given them 
in vain?" But do not let us forget that it is 
into Christ's arms that we put them, that it is 
He who " takes them up into His arms and 
blesses them." They are safer with Him than 
they could be with us. His love can do for 
them what our poor love cannot do. With our 
children in Christ's arms, we ourselves shall 
follow more willingl}^ and eagerly. When our 
dying hour comes, and we have to commend 
our spirits into His hands, we shall remember 

no Consolation. 

that they are the loving hands which received 
our children ; that He has already taken to Him- 
self, as it were, part of us; our children are 
" preferred before us ; " and we hasten to Him 
who has received and blessed them, and to the 
Father's house which they gladden and enrich 
with their presence ; and so shall we and the 
children which God gave us be for ever with 
the Lord. 

Rev. Geo. Gilfillan, Dundee. 

The charm of childhood, — who has not felt 
it? — although it may not always be easy to 
analyze its elements. Some of them, how- 
ever, are obvious enough, and are found in 
the young of all animals, and in all youthful 
things. The full-grown tree has much beauty, 
but more still belongs to the tender sapling, 
which the snow almost breaks as it descends 
upon it, and which seems so helpless, yet 
interesting, in its infancy. The full-blown 
rose is a gorgeous object, but sweeter still the 
rosebud, peering out timidly through its half- 
opened eye into the strange atmosphere of 
earth, and making you cry with the poet, 

Consolation. ill 

*' Sweet flower, thou'rt opening on a world 

Of sin and misery; 
But this at least consoles my mind, 

Thej cannot injure thee." 

The river, mature in age, swelled by a hun- 
dred tributaries, arisen in flood, and raging in 
wrath from bank to brae, may be a sublime 
sight; but surely it is more attractive in its 
youth, when a narrow strip of green, amidst 
barren moors, is its only boundary, and one 
star reflected on it from the proud heavens, is 
its sole companion. You tremble at the eagle, 
swooping and screaming through the upper 
ether, with the lightning in his eye, and the 
lamb in his talons ; but you love to look at the 
young eaglet, lying secure in its lofty eyrie, 
and expecting the arrival of its food-bearing 
father. The old sparrow is a thief, and, as 
such, detested ; but the young sparrow is the 
favorite and pet of the child, herself a pet and 
a favorite. The sheep seems silly enough, 
while bleating in her pastures, and running 
away when no one pursueth ; but how lovely 
and dear the lamb, suddenly appearing by her 
mother's side, as if dropped from one of the 
wliite spring clouds, or meekly following in 
her train, even though it be to slaughter and 
death ! And so with the children of the human 
family. Coming out of the awful cloud of 

112 Consolation. 

darkness which enshrouds birth, they come 
out as stars. Taken out of earth's lowest 
parts, they shine forth as gems of' the purest 
water, and the brightest colors. Bursting up, 
as it were, from the bowels of the world, they 
burst up as flowers of the sweetest fragrance 
and the most variegated hues. Purity, sim- 
plicity, instinct, and unconsciousness, compose 
at first the elements of a child's existence. 
There it lies, like a thing of heaven and 
eternity, amidst the bustle and care and evil 
of the world ; nourished on smiles, turning, 
sweet satellite ! round the orb of its mother's 
face ; sending up aimless, but beautiful smiles 
of its own, both when awake and when 
asleep ; and dreaming that " strangest of all 
things, an infant's dream." In what innocence 
it is wrapped, as if in swaddling-bands of 
snow ! No envy wrinkles that smooth brow, 
no lust and no hatred lurk in that heart, no 
fury burns in that clear, mild eye : its only 
food is milk, and its only sin is tears. In 
what blessed ignorance it dwells ! It knows 
not of God ; but neither does it know of His 
many foes and rebellious creatures. It knows 
not of good ; but neither does it know of evil. 
The alarm of war it never heard, the blood- 
spotted and tear-stained records of the sad 
history of humanity it never read, of the 

Consolation, 113 

folly, falsehood, cruelty, impiety, and madness 
which dwell in the heart and blacken the life 
of man, it is altogether unaware; and yonder 
spring rose-bud, first meeting the smile of the 
light, is not more unconscious of the rude 
realities of the world than that newly-budded 
babe. Beautiful all this ; but there is a period 
a little farther on when the child becomes 
more interesting far ; that is when the soul 
awakes within it, and the coming forth of 
the evening star from a mass of clouds is 
not so beautiful as the first awaking of im- 
mortal mind in a child's eye ; and when the 
heart awakes within it, and its smiles are 
no longer undistinguishing and no longer 
aimless, but become deeper in their signifi- 
cance, while equally sincere ; and the under- 
standing aw^akes within it, and proceeds to 
ask questions which no philosophy and no 
theology have yet been able to resolve ; and 
the power of speech awakes within it, and its 
tongue overflows with that artless but piercing 
prattle which is more delightful than the mur- 
mur of streams, than the bleat of lambs, or 
than the stir of wind-sw^ept flowers ; because, 
while equally unconscious and equally musical, 
it is full of articulation, of meaning, and of 





Rev, George C. Hutton, Paisley. 

There is a sinless grief. Jesus Himself 
could weep. The heart, no less than the 
flesh, must bleed when wounded, and some of 
its softest tendrils are torn when little ones are 
plucked away. Still, this most amiable sor- 
row, the sorrow of Rachel weeping for her 
children, may reach excess. It is possible to 
nurse it in morbid luxury or desperateness of 
spirit, to the stoppage of all duty. The moan 
may swell into the murmur, and the smarting 
soul, Jonah-like, think it well to be angry. 
Yet why should a living man complain? 
There is worse grief in Bochim. "I would 
rather," said a gray-haired sire, following his 
son of shame, "have carried him to the 
grave." To have buried Hophni and Phine- 
has when simple babes, would have cost less 
anguish to Eli, than to hear of their death at 
Aphek in the "blossom of their sins." Bitter 
as it was for David to lose the child of Bath- 
sheba, it was bitterer far to part with evil 
Absalom. It is told of an artist that, once 
engaged on a painting of Innocence, he took 
for his model the face of a lovely child. 

Consolation. 115 

Long afterwards, being occupied on a com- 
panion picture of Guilt, he visited the dungeon 
of a noted felon in search of artistic hints, 
only to find his cherub-model of other years 
transformed into that dark-visaged convict. 
So it is : the cradle hides many unknown 
developments. Herod once smiled on the 
breast ; Cain once played at the knees of Eve. 
If it could be said of some, Better they had 
not been born ; it might be thought of others, 
Better they had early died. 

Yes, mourning parent, let God alone. His 
time and ways are ever best. Even were 
your offspring to be all Samuels and Timothys 
in riper life, would it lessen the pang to part 
with them then? Did it so with Jacob mourn- 
ing Joseph, or the woman of Nain lamenting 
her manly son? Or if you shrink when the 
pruning-knife removes the buds and blossoms, 
w^ould you prefer that it should be applied to 
your faithful spouse, the earthly stem which is 
better than "ten sons"? Say not, "All these 
things are against me." Only "w^ait patiendy 
for the Lord." "They shall not be ashamed 
that wait for Him." Your soul shall 3'et revive 
as disconsolate Jacob's did, when he saw 
Joseph's glory in Egypt. This is the furnace 
ordeal, and when God hath "tried" you, you 
shall "come forth as gold." "All things work 

1 16 Consolation . 

together for good to them that love Him." 
The Lord hath but sent the young ones on 
before, that you may more sweetly follow. 
Against you ! No. But deem not the ques- 
tion strange, — Is there none to be thought of 
except yourself? Is the Great Father not 
entitled to recall His own, or has He only 
your feelings to consider? What of the inter- 
ests of the child, — His, still more than yours? 
Look that there be not some touch of self in 
your too eager love. When you stooped over 
the couch of the little sufferer, you felt you 
could give a world to purchase only an hour 
of ease for the fevered frame. In the time of 
health you watched the budding morals of 
your mirthful boy and your gentle girl ; you 
kept far from their ears the echo of impiety, 
and from their eyes the spectacle of pollution ; 
you toiled and prayed for their weal and 
happiness. And do you now weep that your 
warmest wishes have been far exceeded? 
Would you, if you could, bring back the 
30ung immortals from the land where the 
inhabitant shall never say, I am sick, to this 
scene of aches and pangs ; from the purity 
of Paradise to the infections of the earth ; 
from the clime of immortality ahd " God's 
holy mountain," where "nothing shall hurt or 
destroy," to the howling wilderness, the Van- 

Consolation. 117 

ity-fair of temptations, and the valley of the 
shadow of death? "If ye loved me," said 
Jesus to His sorrowing followers, "ye would 
rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father." 
In almost similar terms, might these young 
spirits correct your excessive sorrow. These 
precious ones have only now gone home. 
They were never so blessed in your embrace, 
as now in the hands of the Good Shepherd. 
You loved to see their happiness here, and 
sometimes feared to die lest they should fare 
ill in a cold world. That ground of anxiety 
is now removed, and you may die assured 
that they want no good thing. Their Guar- 
dian is He who " gathers the lambs with His 
arm, and carrieth them in His bosom." Too 
natural was the mistake of Martha and Mary, 
"Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother 
had not died." Far otherwise does Jesus 
show His love ; even by making death gain. 
" It is appointed unto men once to die." Some 
must precede, child or parent ; and first started 
is first arrived. Grudge not the children their 
happy start. Think rather that they shall be 
waiting for you at the pearly gates ; and that 
if their removal has saddened the hearth, it 
has gladdened the skies, adding an element to 
the bliss of heaven, and providing for you a 
store of parental enjoyments that shall never 

ii8 Consolation. 

fail, in the society of your early lost. " For 
our light affliction, which is but for a moment, 
worketh for us a far more exceeding and 
eternal weight of glory." 


Rev. Wm. M. Taylor, M.A., Liverpool. 

Bereaved parents, do not sorrow murmur- 
ingly and without hope when 3^our children are 
taken from you in death, for in such a dispen- 
sation Jesus is only saying to you in another 
form what He said to His disciples long ago, 
■'Suffer the little children to come unto me, and 
forbid them not : for of such is the kingdom of 
God." Their death is but their going to Him, 
for I have no doubt whatever of the salvation 
of infants. It is not indeed a doctrine distinctly 
revealed ; but it may, I think, be inferred from 
many passages of Scripture, and from the 
whole character of the gospel itself. The very 
words which I have quoted, even if there were 
no others, warrant the conclusion that infants 
are received into that kingdom of God. which 
stretches into eternity ; and if this be so, where- 
fore should you be like Rachel " refusing to be 
comforted " ? 

Consolation . 119 

Consider to whom they have gone. They 
have been taken to the arms of Jesus, and to 
th'fe bright glory of the heavenly state. Noth- 
ing now can mar their felicity, or dim the lus- 
tre of their joy, or damp the ardor of their 
song ; and could they speak to you from their 
abode of bliss, they would say to you, weep not 
for us, but weep for yourselves, that you are not 
here to share our happiness. 

Consider from what they have been taken. 
They have been removed from earth, with its 
pains and privations, its sufferings and sorrows. 
Look back upon your own chequered histories, 
and tell me if yon can contemplate without a 
feeling of grief, the idea of your children pass- 
ing through such trials as those which have 
met you in the world ? Would you wish that 
their hearts should be wrung as yours have 
been, by the harshness of an unfeeling world, 
or by the ingratitude of those whom you have 
served ? Nay, in view of the agony of this very 
bereavement, would you wish that a similar 
sorrow should be theirs ? And yet does not 
their continuance in the world involve in it the 
endurance of all these things ; and ought it not, 
therefore, to be a matter of thankfulness that 
they have reached heaven without having 
passed through the full bitterness of earth ? 
Above all, can you contemplate the spiritual 

1 20 Consolation . 

dangers with which the world is environed, and 
not feel grateful that your little ones are now 
eternally safe from them ? Think of the temp- 
tations that have beset you, and of the dreadful 
battles which you fought with them, and how 
near you were to being conquered by them, 
and let me ask if in this view you can feel other- 
wise than glad that they have gained the vic- 
tory without the perils and hardships of the 
fight ? Perhaps had they been exposed to 
these dangers they would have fallen before 
them ; perhaps had they lived they would have 
grown up only to fill your hearts with sadness, 
and '' to bring your gray hairs with sorrow to 
the grave ; " but all this is now impossible, for 
they are safe with Jesus. It z's hard to part 
with your children ; indeed there can be no 
severer bereavement, unless it be the death of a 
husband or a wife. But, oh ! remember the 
death of your child is not the heaviest calamity 
that could befall you, for '' a living cross is 
heavier then a dead one." 

Consider again for what they are taken. 
Perhaps you have been wandering away from 
Christ, and He has taken this way to bring you 
back. Perhaps you have been centring your 
heart too much on the earthly object, and He 
has taken it to Himself, that your treasure may 
be still in Him. Perhaps you have never 

Consolation. 121 

known Him, and He has taken this means of 
introducing Himself to you, coming to you as 
He did to His followers of old, over the very 
waves with which you are struggling, and say- 
ing, *' It is I, be not afraid." Perhaps some 
other member of your family was to be led 
through this affliction to the Lord, and thus one 
little one was taken from you for a season, that 
another might abide with you for ever. And if 
this should be so, can you repine ? 

Consider, finally, how this bereavement will 
appear when you come to lie upon your death- 
bed. I have seen mothers and fathers not a 
few at that solemn hour, but never one have I 
heard expressing anxiety for the little children 
who have gone before. The great concern, 
then, after their own eternal safety, has always 
been for those they were leaving behind. The 
Lord, thus, is afflicting thee now, that thy sorrow 
may be mitigated at the last. Think of all these 
things, mourning parents, and then your be- 
reavement will seem to be, as it in reality is, a 
token of love and not of anger. 

"Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath, 
The Reaper came that day ; 
'Twas an angel visited the green earth, 
And took the flowers away." 

122 Consolation. 

Rev. William Blair, M.A. , Dunblane. 

When God sends grief to any of His children, 
He has a twofold purpose in view : to awaken 
thought in them at the time, and to lay up for 
them a store of instruction and profit for the 
future. The immediate effect of God's visita- 
tions to us by the death of dear babes is prepar- 
atory to the higher end and ultimate effect. 
Grief, as the word literally signifies, is heavi- 
ness, and therefore not "joyous." But the 
heaviness " must needs be " to create any thing 
like a real, deep impression in the soul. If 
adversity is to afford '" sweet uses," the bitter 
must be tasted first. No permanent benefit 
will result from a superficial contact with sor- 
row. What the poet sings of " a little learn- 
ing " is equally applicable to our experience 
of grief: we must "drink deep or taste not," 
if we would enjoy the outcome of genuine 
tribulation. It depends very much on the 
entertainment we give to impressions of sor- 
row, whether the future will bring a blessing 
back to our bosom. The world's way is to 
shut down grief as it shuts down the coffin lid 
on the dead, to let the waves of worldliness 
rush in as they do behind the keel that has 

Consolation. 123 

parted them asunder. In plain words, the 
world's remedy is oblivion, utter extinction of 
the sight or sound of the objects of buried 
affection and hope. Nor is that fatalistic way 
of submitting to sorrow as an inevitable neces- 
sity, as devotees beneath the wheels of inexor- 
able destiny, one whit more Christian or 
childlike than the sullen forgetfulness of the 
worldling. The virtues of submission, of holy 
resignation to God's will, of softened and sanc- 
tified experience, will never grow on such wild 
olives. Very significant are Paul's words of 
warning, neither to "despise the chastening 
of the Lord, nor faint when we are rebuked 
of Him." Those who grow hard in the fire 
affect to "despise" grief as a thing unmanly, 
womanish, weak, and unworthy of being cher- 
ished in the memory or the heart. And, to 
some extent they are right, when we analyze 
the kind of grief they indulge. 

It is grief as a sefithnent that is weak and 
"shallow," not as a motive power in the soul. 
Let sentimental, sensational grief be unremem- 
bered, for it is no better than noisy laughter. 
It touches only the surface : it has no power 
to stir the depths of our nature. It weaves its 
immortelles^ and hangs them around the tomb, 
and straightway forgets what manner of man 
it once was. But genuine, real grief is not 

124 Consolation . 

forgetful nor empty. It is a fruitful bough by 
a well whose branches run over the wall. It 
is a full rounded cluster wherein is the wine 
of life ; " destroy it not, for there is a blessing 
in it." Keep alive the memory of your grief, 
the hallowed associations with which it is en- 
twined, the nearness of your soul to God when 
heaven seemed let down to earth to take from 
you the best of earth to heaven, the reality of 
prayer then offered, and of the answer re- 
ceived, and the rapture of heavenly joy in 
which you walked when your home was " the 
valley of the shadow of death." Cherish the 
memory, freshen the sense you have of your 
grief, not to throw shadows athwart your 
pathway, but to brighten it with light from 
heaven. Visit in thought the chamber where 
the strife of death was waged, and the church- 
yard corner where you deposited the precious 
dust, and think of the transfiguration, now 
that the decease has been accorrjplished, and 
the new link to bind your heart to the unseen, 
and the grand re-union coming nearer every 
day, and then the untold happiness not of 
"months in the New Jerusalem," but of "for 
ever with the Lord," and with all you have 
loved and lost, but found again when you 
shall be found of Christ at His coming. 

Lord Monboddo lost a beloved daughter. 

Consolation. 125 

and grieved after a worldly sort over her. 
Her picture on the wall only reminded him 
of his misery. A friend drew a curtain over 
that picture : upon which the sad father said, 
"That is kind: come now, and let us read 
Herodotus." Miserable comforter, that ro- 
mancing father of Greek history to a grieving 
father ! Seek not so to bury your sorrow. 
"Go and tell Jesus," as John's disciples did 
when their master was taken away. That is 
the way to get your grief assuaged, to have it 
transfigured so that the ca7'te in the album, or 
the bust on the wall, or the head-stone at the 
grave, will bring no shade of gloom around 
your brow ; but each remembrancer of your 
little one may prove a beckoning light up 
through the darkness to the light that is inac- 
cessible and full of glory. That is the way to 
get the breach healed. It may be that in the 
first outburst of your sorrow, when your sons 
and daughters rose up to comfort you, you 
put aside their ministry of consolation, and, 
like Jacob, said, " I will go down into the 
grave unto my son mourning." But, in the 
end of the days when parting words are 
spoken, Benoni, the son of sorrow, has become 
Benjamin, the son of my right hand, and the 
crowning benediction rests on the head of him 
that was separate from his brethren. Then, 

126 Consolation, 

in the light of Heaven, every shadow of earth's 
darkness will flee away, every Gethsemane 
become an Olivet, every step in the vale of 
tears a step in your ascension to the everlast- 
ing Kingdom. 

Rev. Dr. J. Logan Aikman, Glasgow. 

Do deceased infants remain infants in 
heaven? It is surely worse than trifling with 
scripture to make the phrase, "small and 
great," place infants, as such, before the judg- 
ment-throne. To talk of the lisping lips and 
pattering feet of children on the floor of 
heaven is truly painful. Had these infants 
lived to riper years, some of them might have 
loved and served Christ, and gone from man- 
hood's prime to fill lofty thrones. Can any 
sense of privation flow from God's removal 
of them into His own glorious presence? 
Can they be inferior in heaven to what they 
might have become upon the earth? 

The idea of continued infancy carries in it 
the thought of privation. Some would assure 
mourning mothers . of having their beloved 
infants restored to their fond embrace. Do 
they seriously reflect upon what they say? 

Consolation. 127 

Were distance, and not death, the form of 
separation, they would be justly viewed as 
"miserable comforters." Tell a mother, part- 
ing from her child because of climate, that 
she will again receive him, ten or twenty 
years hence, in -precisely the same condition. 
Would she not resent it as an insult thus to 
dwarf her noble boy, and imprison him for 
years in an infant's frame? Surely the^ same 
reasoning applies to death as to distance, and 
equally to heaven and earth. Our whole 
nature, instinctively, appeals to the law of 
progress as the law of life. To contemplate 
eternal infancy in heaven is to think of igno- 
rance in the land of vision, of weakness in 
the scene of power, and of imprisoned facul- 
ties in the presence of the glorified Redeemer. 
When infants rise to heaven they are subject 
to the law of life, and advance in the develop- 
ment of their being at a pace unknown on 
earth. When we ask the mother to look 
beyond her own loss to her child's gain, we 
think of that sainted spirit as rising more 
rapidly to manhood's fulness, and heaven's 
excellence, than if he had lived on earth. 
How can an intellig^ent mother ever become 
reconciled to her personal loss, or even rise 
above the thought of her child's loss, if, as she 
sees the remaining members of her family 

128 Consolation, 

increase in stature, knowledge, and wisdom, 
she must needs think of the brightest and best 
of them, whom God has sainted, as retained 
in perpetual infancy? Much as that mother 
marvels at, and rejoices over the dawning and 
advancing intelligence of her little circle, one 
glimpse of her sainted boy should convince 
her that a few short years in heaven have 
done more for him, than a long and well-spent 
life can possibly do for them. 

Yet what wonderful compensation in the 
Divine economy ! Ripe Christians must begin 
their heaven on a loftier platform, and pro- 
gress at a quicker pace in the ever-upward 
march towards perfection, than those who 
have all to learn after they have entered upon 
glory. Looking from the earthward side of 
life we say — happy souls, translated to heaven, 
in blessed unconsciousness of sin and sorrow ! 
Looking from the heavenward side we ex- 
claim, Blessed ye, who lived and served on 
earth, to have your manifold labors recited 
and rewarded by the Saviour-Judge ! We 
may speculate on the comparative advantages 
of early and later removals, — of inhincy with 
its unconsciousness of sin, and its feebler 
spiritual life, and of manhood with its large 
experience and greater power of progress 
within the one kingdom, — but ever to fall 

Consolation. 129 

back for comfort upon the all-wise God, and 
in adoring gratitude to say unto Him, "Even 
so, Father : for so it seemed good in Thy sight." 

The law of development is the law of life, 
alike on earth and in heaven. Exercise ex- 
p'ands and invigorates the faculties. Enlarged 
capacities demand an ever-widening sphere of 
action. Why restrict to manhood and not 
extend to infancy the gracious provisions of 
that Divine law? Why not stereotype ex- 
hausted age as well as unfledged infancy? 
Must these germs of activity never rise into 
action? Shall the blossom never ripen into 
fruit? Can the noble faculties of mind and 
heart find an everlasting prison in the bosom 
of infancy ? Must that child carry in him all 
the elements, and yet never reach the stature 
of a perfected manhood? To ask these ques- 
tions is to answer them, and so as to affirm 
that man's loftiest hopes fall far short of God's 
glorious fulfilment. 

The very thought of" heaven suggests the 
absence of all imperfection, — the non-appear- 
ance of feeble infancy and time-worn age, 
the universal manifestation of manhood in 
immortal beauty and strength. The finished 
work of Christ demands a complete humanit}' ; 
and man is still seriously incomplete in child- 
hood. Soon the infant in heaven rises out of 

130 Consolation, 

his infancy, and attains to a knowledge, wis- 
dom, and spirituality, greater far than if he 
had lived and loved Christ for a hundred years 
upon the earth. 

Great, however, as the progress may be 
prior to the resurrection of the body, and fully 
as entrance into heaven must compensate for 
an early removal from earth, let it be remem- 
bered that the spirit in heaven is not humanity 
perfected. The body must needs be raised, 
and in a form adapting it for union and part- 
nership with the glorified soul, ere heaven can 
be enjoyed in its fulness. The recovery of 
the entire man into the likeness of Christ is 
the finishing of the work of redemption, and 
must be the introduction of ransomed and per- 
fected humanity into the fulness of promised 
and prepared glories. 

When musing sadly on the recent removal 
of our endeared Theodore from our family 
circle, narrowed so much by three beloved 
ones withdrawn before him, the tender and 
timely sympathy of a much loved friend whis- 
pered the precious sentence, " Christ's cove- 
nant with His Father, that He should have all 
the infant spirits for His kingdom, is our only 
satisfactory foundation." The comfort in these 
priceless words is affectionately offered to all 
bereaved and sorrowing parents. 

Consolation. 131 

Rev. J. P. Chown, Bradford. 

Sometimes the child is taken, when God 
sees if it were spared it would engross too 
much of the parents' affections, it would be 
idolized instead of loved, would be in the place 
of the Saviour and heaven to the parents, and 
that would not be well either for them or the 
child. Sometimes the child is taken instead 
of the parent. Justice does not say, "Thou 
fool, this night thy soul shall be required of 
thee," but Mercy says, instead, "I will call the 
child, and that may arrest him in his course, 
and the shock may break the ties that bind 
him to sin." And so the child, who is ready 
for heaven, is taken ; the parent, who must 
have been cast down to hell, is spared. Some- 
times God sees that our affections are becomincr 
too closely entwined around earthly objects, 
and He takes the child, that those affections 
may be drawn up to heaven with it ; it needs a 
painful wrench to tear them away, and it is 
thus He snatches from us a present treasure, to 
lead us to seek after future and everlasting 
joys. And then we know they are not lost, — 
these dear departed children. The flower was 
given, and had just begun to bloom in its 
beauty and breathe its fragrance through your 

132 Consalation. 

dwelling, and now it is gone ; but it is not 
withered, it is not stolen, it is not destroyed ; 
the Lord of the garden has sent His messenger, 
and he has plucked it, and borne it up from the 
desert world, whose rude blasts chilled it, to 
the Paradise where it shall bud and bloom in 
the sunlight of heaven for ever. Remember, 
too, how many parents would have rejoiced 
if their flowers had been taken to Paradise, 
instead of being spared to be the poor wretched, 
withered, down-trodden things they are now, 
— rather weeds, indeed, than flowers, — or 
crushed, it may be, almost out of existence 
altogether. And think, also, that if our little 
ones were taken from heaven to earth, or even 
if it were from earth to an unknown place, or 
to a worse place, then we might grieve over it ; 
but it is not so, if we have them not here 
we have them in heaven. About whomsoever 
we may have doubts over their departure, 
there is no room for doubt here ; the Saviour 
who gathered them around Him upon earth, 
and blessed them, is gathering them around 
Him in heaven, and blessing them in a manner 
of which we can form no conception ; and so 
they are there, dwelling in His presence, 
blessed in His smile, rich in His glory, and 
waiting to welcome those who shall follow 
them, to their portion of everlasting peace 
and joy. 

Consolation. 133 

Rev. Dr. John Bruce, Newmilns, Ayrshire. 

Surely it should not require many words to 
persuade bereaved Christian parents, that with 
their children also "it is well." They may 
think on the object of their tenderest affection 
as for ever withdrawn from them, and laid in 
the dreary, desolating grave. The bhmk pro- 
duced in their family circle, with its mournful 
associations, may ever and anon obtrude itself 
on their view. And when they reflect on the* 
days when the candle of the Lord shone upon 
them, and when all was cheerful in the midst 
of their dwellings, they may be overpowered 
and overwhelmed, and for a time may even 
"refuse to be comforted." But, by and by, 
the tumiult of the soul is allayed \ by and by 
the precious promises are attended to ; by 
and by the Spirit, with its consoling influences, 
gets access to the mind, and then the bereaved 
and sorrowing parent can look at the bright 
side of the dispensation, and can say. It is well. 
Musing on God's ways towards him, he may be 
supposed to indulge in such thoughts as these, 
— He was indeed a pleasant child that was 
removed from me, and one on whom my heart 
was set. I had fondly hoped to see him grow 
in strength and beauty, and to be usefully and 

134 Consolation. 

honorably active in life. I had anticipated the 
period when he should be my companion, 
my counsellor, my comforter, my pride. But 
God in His sovereignty has ordered it other- 
vvrise ; and shall I complain? Shall I complain 
because, in a different w^ay from that w^hich 
my own imaginings had pictured, my highest 
wish for my child is fulfilled? Shall I com- 
plain because the warfare has been so short, 
and. the victory so easily and speedily won? 
because the lamb has been so soon gathered 
into the fold, and sheltered from the rough and 
ruthless blast? because the little voyager on 
life's wide ocean has escaped so completely 
the perils of life, and has entered so soon the 
peaceful haven? because the immortal spirit, 
the heir of heaven, lingered for so short a time 
in this land of darkness, and passed so soon 
into the realms of light? Shall I complain for 
these and similar reasons? Verily, No. Fond 
nature, cease thy unwarrantable murmuring. 
Look to thy child in his glorified state ; " for 
of such is the kingdom of heaven." Think 
of him as raised above all sorrow, and suf- 
fering, and imperfection, and mingling with 
the innumerable company of the redeemed. 

"Forgive, blest shade, the tributary tear, 

That mourns thine exit from a world like this : 
Forgive the wish that would have kept thee here, 
And staj'd thj progress to the realms of bliss " 

Consolation, 1^5 


Rev. John Guthrie, A.M., Glasgow. 

Our Father in Heaven, the infinite Parent 
of us all, and the Saviour, who did what no 
parent has done, — shed His blood to redeem 
them, — have a closer relation to our children, 
and a better right to them, than we. Be it the 
endeavor, then, of mourning parents to exclaim 
with the bereft patriarch, and as much as pos- 
sible in that patriarch's spirit and power, "^ The 
Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; 
blessed be the name of the Lord." Yea, let 
them overflow with hallelujahs, that, in the 
Atonement of Jesus, they have such an im- 
pregnable ground of hope in respect to their 
deceased children. The fact that these chil- 
dren are in heaven, among the shining throng, 
white-robed, and vocal with the praises of 
redeeming love, should endear Jesus to them 
the more, through the ransom of whose precious 
blood their darlings are now in an infinitely 
happier than the parental home. This will 
help you, desolate parent, better to appreciate 
and realize the claims of that bright world 
to which they have been summoned. You 
know not what use God may have for them 
there. Who knows to what glorious account 

136 Consolation, 

Jesus, even now while you weep, may there be 
turning their little radiant spirits? He has the 
ripened spirits there of "just men made per- 
fect ; " and with these He gems and jewels His 
crown of many stars. But He has also use 
there for the infant spirit in its loveliness. If 
the ripened saints are the stars that grace His 
crown, He whose delight is to take the lambs 
into His arms may well cull also the buds and 
flowerets of childhood to cluster as a garland 
round His bosom of love. Your children's 
precious dust is at present in the hands of the 
enemy; but that enemy, — "the last enemy," 
— shall be destroyed, and you and the tender 
objects of your regret, if you are only faithful 
to that Saviour whose blood has saved therii, 
and persevere in the faith and love of Him 
to the end, will meet again ere long, tri- 
umphant over death, the grim foe that has 
despoiled you, and spend a long and happy 
Forever in the presence of your Lord. 

We would say, in conclusion, to the bereft 
parent, through whose heart grief has driven its 
rude ploughshare, and whose wounds, it may 
be, are yet green, "Mourn not as those who 
have no hope,", for, as respects your children, 
"there is hope in their end." In their material 
part only, they are, like Rachel's of old, " in the 
land of the enemy : " their nobler part is in the 

Consolation . 1 37 

land, and in the embrace, of the Infinite Friend. 
Nor is that Friend forgetful of their sleeping 
dust. It is precious in His sight. " The 
redemption of the body " is as sure as " the 
redemption of the soul." That enemy, " the last 
enemy," shall one day be destroyed ; and on 
that eventful day, "your children shall come 
again." Only see to it, now^ like David, that 
you will, by faith, " go to them," and Jesus 
will see to it then that they shall " come to you." 
" Thus saith the Lord ; refrain thy voice from 
weeping and thine eyes from tears ; for thy 
work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord;. and 
they shall come again from the land of the 
enemy." What a rapturous prospect for the 
Christian parent ! 

Rev. Dr. Joseph Brown, Glasgow. 

I HAVE a full persuasion in my own mind 
that "it is well with the child" that dies in 
infancy ; and I have often felt thankful that I 
had satisfied myself oh that head before I was 
led to secure the possession of a burying place 
for' my own infant children ; but my faith rests 
less on any particular passage than on the 
genius of the gospel scheme. Just as I find 

138 Consolation. 

that the divinity of our Lord is the key to the 
interpretation of the current representation of 
Scripture, so I think that the salvation of infant 
children is in best accordance with many 
portions of the holy oracles. 

I had occasion to glance at the subject 
of infant salvation recently, w^hen speaking 
of Christ's being " glorified in " the number' of 
" His saints in that day," and in endeavoring 
to establish the position that the redeemed will 
greatly outnumber those that perish. I believe 
that even in past times the number of the 
saints may have been greater than a con- 
tracted charity has supposed, than the spirit 
of bigotry has allowed. I believe that, in 
the long ages of rest and triumph in store 
for the Church, "the nations of the saved" 
will soon counterbalance the deficiencies of 
many generations. And even in reference 
to those periods in which sin and Satan have 
most prevailed, I comfort myself with the 
thought that death has been employed by Him 
who has the power of the keys, in securing a 
great ingathering into the kingdom of heaven, 
from those who have died in infancy. 

I remember conversing, many years ago, on 
this subject, with the late Ebenezer Brown, 
of Inverkeithing, and of marking the delight 
he seemed to gather from the thought that the 

Consolation, 139 

multitudes of children who die in heathen 
countries, and in the heathen parts of our own 
country, ay, and even those that are violently 
taken away by the cruel hands of superstition 
and idolatry, are " caught up to God and to 
His throne," to swell the numbers of the 
ransomed, and to enlarge the honors of the 

Rev. Dr Robkrt Ferguson, London. 

We are not forbidden to mourn over the loss 
of those who have been taken from us ; but our 
sorrow should be moderated by the reflection 
that our loss is their gain. The joy which was 
felt, and whose expression could not be re- 
pressed at the birth of the child, is surely not 
to become extinct in the event of his departure 
and introduction to a nobler state of being. 
Are all those delightful emotions which took 
possession of our breasts when he began to 
develop his intellectual power, or his spiritual 
life, to die out when that very same child is 
taken up into the society of perfected spirits, in 
whose midst his mental powers and his inner 
life will be revealed as they never could have 
been in this inferior state ? Is it nothing that 
we have given birth to one who is now num- 

T 40 Consolation . 

bered with the sons of glory, and whose pres- 
ence in heaven has widened the circle of the 
redeemed around the throne of God ? If death 
be a condition of life, then those whom we may 
have lost by death are not lost, but gone before. 
They are not dead, but live ; and with the liv- 
ing only do they hold communion. If the 
highest type of created life be that of the re- 
deeined and the glorified, then our joy ought 
to be proportioned to those higher conditions 
of being and of bliss to which they have been 

Christian parent ! dry up thy tears ; or if you 
must weep, make a rainbow of your tears. 
Let joy rise above grief as heaven rises above 
earth. If the birth of your child filled your 
breast with emotions which no human words 
can express, and if on his being born again 
you became the subjects of feelings yet more 
tender and peculiar, then think of him now 
amid the beatitudes and the blessedness of the 
heavenly world, sinless in character, deathless 
in life, exhaustless in energy, ceaseless in ac- 
tivity, and through the ages on ages, ever mov- 
ing in the light of the throne, expatiating amid 
its unquenchable glories, and upholding com- 
munion with the Eternal Life. 

How delightful the idea that some of our 
little ones are there, ever beholding the face of 

Consolation. 141 

their Father, reposing in His immutable love, 
and being filled with the fulness of joy ! How 
cheering the thought that they have been ad- 
mitted to the society and the fellowship of per- 
fected spirits, are now the companions and 
associates of patriarchs, and prophets, and 
apostles, of martyrs and confessors, of the 
mightiest and the noblest dead, and hold the 
most intimate intercourse with them on all that 
is holy and true, unchangeably good and sub- 
limely grand ! How inspiring the belief, that 
the}^ are now waiting our arrival, and are beck- 
oning us onward and upward to join their wider 
circle, to enter with them on brighter scenes, 
and to enjoy life with them in its fulness and 
its fruitions ! If we have ties on earth we have 
ties also in heaven. Nor let us forget that 
heaven is our home, as it is the home of those 
little ones now in glory. It is there that we 
are to meet them again, to be reunited in 
indissoluble bonds, and to dwell in endless 
life. Their very existence there is meant to 
charm our spirits up to their bright abode. 
Let us, then, set our affections on that higher 
world; let us yield to its attractive inffuence ; 
and let us rejoice in this prospect of mingling 
for ever with our little ones and our loved ones 
in scenes of ineffable light and life, of glorious 
love and boundless joy. 

142 .. Consolation. 

Rev. Dr. George Smith, Poplar, London. 

The hope of reunion in a future state of be- 
ing has been prevalent amongst devout and 
thoughtful persons in all ages of time, and under 
the various dispensations of divine truth which 
have passed over men. Some glimmerings of 
this expectation have visited communities and 
individuals unblest with the light of a written 
revelation, but who probably derived their 
impressions from traditionary recollections of a 
primitive faith. A definite and ever-brighten- 
ing impression of the truth has been obtained 
under the Patriarchal, the Jewish, and the 
Christian economies. This hope has been a 
great comfort to mourners in seasons of bereave- 
ment. They have felt as did the monarch of 
Israel, who when lamenting the decease of his 
child, encouraged his heart by uttering the 
well-known words, "I shall go to him, but he 
shall not return to me." . . . 

By many of those who receive the kingdom 
of God as little children, this consoling doctrine 
is admitted without gainsaying, and is almost 
intuitively perceived. Not very long since, an 
aged disciple, a highly valued relative of mine, 
fell asleep in Jesus at the advanced age of 

Consolation. 143 

eighty-one years. On hearing of the event, 
his sistej:, more aged than he, said, " How glad 
my dear mother will be to see her darling boy 
again ! " When the tidings of death reached 
my home, a grandchild of the departed saint, 
my own youngest boy, Richard Morley, being 
then only in his fifth year, exclaimed, " How 
delighted grandmamma will be to see him 
again ! " Thus youth and age, both taught of 
God, testified to a glorious truth. They have 
both since then passed into the world of light ; 
the child after a few weeks only, and they are 
doubtless reunited to the loved ones of whom 
the}^ believingly spoke. 

This subject is adapted to comfort the orphan 
deprived of parental support, and cast on the 
fatherhood of God. It is equally suited to 
bind up the wounds of parents who mourn, like 
Rachel, over their children, because they are 
not. Nor is it less fitted to support the mind 
of others who are deprived of companions in 
labor, and sorrow, and joy. We can follow 
them b}^ faith within the veil, and behold their 
ever increasing happiness. We can listen to 
the voice of revelation, which assures us that 
they without us cannot be perfect ; and we can 
look forward with hope to the time when, 
knowing as we are known, we shall rejoin them 
in the climes of bliss, and with them place the 

144 Consolation. 

crown of redemption at the feet of the Re- 
deemer. With Richard Baxter, the eloquent 
discourser on " The Saint's Everlasting Rest," 
we may say, addressing the Captain of our 
salvation, — 

"As for my friends, they are not lost; 
The different vessels of Thy fleet 
Though parted now, bj tempests tost, ' 

At length shall in the haven meet." 

Rev. Charles Garrett, Manchester. 

Oh, weeping, trembling mother, the Good 
Shepherd who carries the lambs in His bosom, 
looks pityingly upon you, and says in loving 
tones, " Can you not trust your child with Me f^ 
Surely your heart, in the midst of its agony, 
wdll reply, "Yes, Lord, I can." You have 
often said to an earthly friend, " I have no fear 
nor anxiety about my child when it is with 
you.''' And if this be true, for it to be with 
Christ must be far better. Think of His un- 
erring wisdom, His almight}^ power, His bound- 
less resources, His unutterable tenderness, and, 
above all. His infinite love, and your faith will 
be strengthened and steadied. Remember that 

Consolation. 145 

He loves your sainted child as tenderly as 
if there were not another child in the universe, 
and, oh, how safe, how happy it must be with 
Him! Bear in mind, also, that the separation 
is only for a "little while," as little as is 
consistent with your eternal welfare. Your 
heavenly Father is far more anxious to have 
you in heaven than you are to get there. All 
the events of your life are working together for 
this end. You may not be able to see how 
this can be, but His eyes are clearer than 
yours. He sees the end from the beginning. 
If, therefore, you cannot -praise Him for this 
" fiery trial," don't murmur., be " dumb, and 
open not your mouth," because He has done it. 
He will understand your silence. " He knoweth 
our frame ; He remembereth that we are dust." 
His purposes will soon be accomplished, and 
then amidst the glories of heaven you will meet 
again ; so shall you "obtain joy and gladness, 
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." 

Rev. Professor M'Michael, D D., Dunfermline. 

Perhaps there is a danger, in themes of this 
description, of overlooking the case of mourn- 
ing parents, who are themselves in an un- 

146 Consolation, 

sanctified state, and who are destitute of a 
saving faith in the Lord Jesus. This book 
may fall into their hands, and to them I would 
now address a word of kind and faithful ex- 
postulation. May it be abundantly blessed, 
through the Holy Spirit, to promote their 
eternal interests ! 

My supposition is, Death has entered your 
dwelling, and has snatched a loved one from 
your embrace. That child, I believe, is safe, 
— safe in heaven ; but you yourselves are still 
living in sin and unbelief. What a monstrous 
contradiction is here ! Your child in heaven, 
while you are on the broad road to hell ! That 
child was dear, inexpressibly dear to you ; but 
the Lord took him. Perhaps it was done for 
your spiritual benefit. Had it not been for this 
gracious purpose, he might have been still 
Avith you, cheering your heart. More fre- 
quently than is imagined, children become 
martyrs for the sake of their ungodly parents. 
For them they wither, and for them they die. 
But has this divine visitation produced the 
effect which it ought to have done? Did you 
actually look upon your own child in the con- 
vulsions of death? did you place it in its little 
coffin, and lay its head in the grave, without 
a piercing consciousness of the evil of sin? 
There would have been nothing surprising. 

Consolation. 147 

though God had smitten jk<??^ dead, and friends 
had been summoned to your funeral. Laden 
with sin, as all of us are who have arrived at 
mature years, that was just what might have 
been expected, and what would assuredly 1 ap- 
pen did not infinite mercy prevent. But did it 
never occur to you, how dreadful sin must 
appear in the sight of God, when even that 
young child of yours paid the awful penalty? 
The wages of sin is death. Did it never occur 
to you, that if there were nothing inconsistent 
in divine goodness and justice sending disease 
and death upon that little one, what must be 
your own condition, should you die impenitent 
and be summoned into the presence of the 
Judge with all your guilt upon your head? 
Did it never occur to you, what additional 
misery shall be yours in the place of perdition, 
when you remember there, that you have a 
darling child in heaven, and that had you 
profited by the lesson which its premature 
death was intended to teach, 3^ou might your- 
selves have been with it, and with the other 
glorified inhabitants, singing the higli praises 
of our God? By the memory of that child 
so dear to you ; by the value of your own 
immortal souls which are in danger of perish- 
ing ; by the terrors of the day of judgment, 
when each one of us must give an account 

148 Consolation, 

of himself unto God ; and by the precious blood 
of Christ, which cleanseth from all sin, I 
beseech you now to repent and to accept the 
overtures of divine compassion. Mercy there 
is for you still, much as you have hitherto 
hardened your hearts and despised the chas- 
tisements of Jehovah. Flee, without delay, to 
the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls, and 
surrender yourselves freely unto Him. Then it 
will be in your power to say, with the bereaved 
Shunammite, " It is well ; " and also to adopt 
the language of David, with reference to his 
dead son, "I shall go to him, but he shall not 
return to me." 

Rev. Henry Batchelor, Glasgow. 

You need not ask the Prophet's question, 
"Is it well with the child?'' The "Good 
Shepherd " always carries the drooping lamb 
in His bosom, and the last breath is the token 
that it has reached the sacred and guarded fold, 
and that its spirit has found rest. Death to a 
little one is like liberating a bird to seek its 
native clime. Its unsoiled pinion and virgin 
song are for a sunnier realm. The light in 

Consolation, 149 

which it is lost to thee is the radiance of the 
better land. " For of such is the kingdom of 
God. But oh ! parent, what of thine own 
soul? Hast thou one so near to thee, one that 
thou thoughtest inseparable from thy life and 
love, in heaven? Are the little feet touching 
the blissful shore that thou shalt never tread? 
Is its ear filled with sounds that shall never 
come to thine? Is its young and tender form 
lustrous with a glory which shall never shine 
on thee? Is it now looking on the face which 
thine eye, through all the eternal ages, shall 
never see? 

Is thy little one so much to thee^ and art thou 
less to Godf " We are His oifspring." The 
Great Teacher enjoined, "When ye pray, say, 
our Father.^'' Ye have a place in the paternal 
love of God. Thy burdens are His care. An 
imperilled soul is more to Him than all his 
vast dominions. He has taken to Himself the 
little life so precious to thee, to draw thee 
after. This is God's most loving act to thee. 
Many a time thou hast heard His voice, and 
didst not heed it. He gave His only-begotten 
Son to agony and death for thee, and it 
touched thee not; now, He has taken thine 
own loved one from thee. It is not the first 
time that a little golden head has attracted 
hoary hairs to heaven. Tiny pattering feet 

150 Consolation. 

trace for strong men the way to God, and 
lead, by silken cords of love, to His blest 
abode. " Out of the mouths of babes and 
sucklings Thou hast -perfected ■praise''' May 
it be thy comfort that every step in life is 
guiding thee to embrace thy little one again, 
where flowers never wither, and immortality 
beams in every countenance. 

Rev. William Bathgate, Kilmarnock. 

Christian parent, bereaved of an infant- 
child, one word of appeal to 3'OU. Sore was 
your heart in the sad hour which struck the 
departure, to another home and bosom, of your 
darling child. Though seasons may have 
come and gone, though years of vicissitude 
may have fled since you kissed for the last 
time the infant-clay in its snow-white dress, 
or heard the first clod fall relentlessly on the 
coffin which contained the pride of your heart, 
the tear still starts, and the lip still quivers, 
over the name and image of your beloved in- 
fant. Sorrow not for him. He stands on the 
other bank of the Jordan, ready to hail you as 
you rise from the troubled river. He tunes his 

Consolation, 151 

infantine harp to give you a gladsome wel- 
come to the mansions above. Wish him not 
"back again," for the wish is unkind as well as 
vain. Comfort yourself with the assurance 
that you "shall go to him." Your child is not 
among strangers. The angels wait on him. 
The Saviour carries him in His bosom. 
Never was he so much at home. He has the 
blessed fortune to advance beneath the care 
and education of heaven. He is in the train 
of the blessed Saviour, for whose glorious ap- 
pearing you daily look. Oh, let your affections 
be jixcd on the heavenly world. The Great 
Spirit will not charge you with idolatry should 
you quicken your pace to glory because your 
departed child wearies for your coming.' God 
smilingly looks on the reunion of sire and son. 
Christless parent, bereaved of an infant- 
child, what shall we say to you? It is well 
even with the spirit of your little one. This is 
a gratifying, gladdening truth, even to a parent 
bound for a dread futurity. But, then, though 
you are welcome to all the consolation which 
such a truth is fitted to impart, does not the 
truth flash across your benighted soul a terri- 
ble suggestion? Oh, see you not that if you die 
Christless as you are living Christless, your 
little one and you shall never meet. Should 
it often watch for its mother's spirit emerging 

152 Consolation, 

with a song of victory from the billows of the 
Jordan, it shall watch in vain. Should it on 
the morning of judgment recognize its mother's 
face and hold aloft its tiny hands, it shall hold 
them up in vain. Ah ! bereaved mother, you 
have drunk the bitterest of earth's cups. 
Death tore from you the idol o-f your heart. 
But, continue Christless, remain unsaved, and 
you will see your child rising in glory, while 
you yourself are sinking into hell. Can you 
stand that ■prospect f Take your infant's Sa- 
viour as your Saviour. Rend not the heart of 
the soul-loving and soul-saving Jesus by con- 
tinuing unsaved, and constraining Him to bid 
you depart far from your child, and far from 

Wm. B. Bradbury. 

Katie is gone. Where? To heaven. An 
angel came and took her away. She was a 
lovely child, — gentle as a lamb ; the pet of the 
whole family. The youngest of them all. 
But she could not stay with us any longer, she 
had an angel sister in heaven, who was wait- 
ing for her. The angel sister was with us 
only a few months, but she has been in heaven 

Consolation. 153 

many years, and she must have loved Katie, 
for everybody loved her. The loveliest flowers 
are often soonest plucked. If a little voice 
sweeter and more musical than others was 
heard, I knew Katie was near. If my study- 
door opened so gently and slyly that no sound 
could be heard, I knew that Katie was coming. 
If, after an hour's quiet play, a little shadow 
passed me, and the door opened and shut as 
no one else could open and shut it, "so as not 
to disturb papa," I knew Katie was going. 
When, in the midst of my composing, I heard 
a gentle voice saying, "Papa, may I stay with 
you a little while? I will be very still," I did 
not need to look off my work, to assure me 
that it was my little lamb. You stayed with 
me too long, Katie, dear, to leave me so sud- 
denly ; and you are too still now. You be- 
came my little assistant — my home angel — 
my youngest and sweetest singing-bird, and I 
miss the litde voice that I have heard in the 
adjoining room, catching up and echoing little 
snatches of melody as they were being com- 
posed. I miss those soft and sweet kisses. 
I miss the little hand that was always first to 
be placed upon my forehead, to " drive away 
the pain." I miss the sound of those litde feet 
upon the stairs. I miss the little knock at my 
bedroom door in the morning, and the triple 

154 Consolation, 

good-night kiss in the evening. I miss the 
sweet smiles from the sunniest of faces. I 
miss,— oh, how I miss the foremost in the 
little group who came out to meet me at the 
gate for the first kiss ! I do not stoop so low 
now, Katie, to give that first kiss. I miss you 
at the table and at family worship. I miss 
your voice in " / want to be an angel ^^^ for no- 
body could sing it like you. I miss you in my 
rides and walks. I miss you in the garden. 
I miss you everywhere ; but I will try not to 
miss you in heaven. "Papa, if we are good, 
will an angel truly come and take us to heaven 
when we die?" When the question was asked, 
how little did I think the angel was so near ! 
But he did "truly" come, and the sweet flower 
is transplanted to a more genial clime. " I do 
wish papa would come." Wait a little while, 
Katie, and papa will come. The journey is 
not long. He will soon be " Home." 

Rev. Dr. Schaff. 

Now, farewell, my precious boy ! Till I 
see thee again, farewell ! With a saddened 
heart have I performed the last act of earthly 

Consolation, 155 

love ; and now I resign thee into the hands of 
higher and better parental care. Short was 
thy visit in this rough and tempestuous world ! 
The heavenly gardener has early transplanted 
the fragrant lily of thy life into a milder and 
purer clime. Thy life was not yet darkened and 
imbittered by the fearful curse of sin and death. 
As a tender lamb of Christ, thou didst bear thy 
cross in friendly innocence, like the infants of 
Bethlehem, who were slain by the tyrant-sword 
of Herod, as the first^martyr fruits offered to the 
new-born Saviour, to whom the ancient church 
has devoted the third day after Christmas as 
an anniversary-day of special remembrance. 
Thou art now happy with them, and with the 
pleasant angels, far away from the sultry and 
sickly atmosphere of earth and sin, in serene 
celestial heights, in' the green peaceful bowers 
of Paradise, led, and fed, and refreshed by the 
Great Shepherd of the sheep and of the lambs, 
who was Himself once a child, that He might 
sanctify the tender age of infancy, and who, in 
the days of His flesh, pressed infants to His 
bosom, speaking those words of comfort : " Suf- 
fer little children to come unto me, and forbid 
them not : for of such is the kingdom of God." 
His thou wert by birth ; and, as He formed 
fliy beautiful body, so did He also, by His 
Holy Spirit, silently, and unconsciously to thee, 

156 Consolation. 

early prepare thy spirit for that holy world 
where now thou art at home. It was He that 
taught thee to lisp, as thou didst in the midst 
of thy suffering, with infant joy : " Heaven is a 
beautiful place ; God is there, Christ is there, 
the angels are there, all good people are 
there ! " Yes, my hopeful, pious boy Lthey are 
all there, old and young, great and small, — 
all who have overcome in the blood of the 
Lamb ! There also dost thou bloom for ever^ 
in the unfading beauty of the loveliest age ! 
Thither also do thy parents, by God's grace, 
hope to arrive, when their hour shall strike, to 
embrace thee, the beloved of their hearts, in 
glorified youth, and to lose thee no more for 
ever I Oh, the joy of such a meeting I 

Rev. Edward Irving, London. 

Whoso studieth as I have done, and rellect- 
eth as I have sought to reflect, upon the first 
twelve months of a child ; whoso hath had such 
a child to look and reflect upon, as the Lord 
for fifteen months did bless me with il (whom 
I would not recall, if a wish could recall him, 
from the enjoyment and service of our dear 

Consolation. 157 

Lord), will rather marvel how the growth of 
that wonderful creature, which put forth such 
a glorious bud of being, should come to be so 
cloaked by the flesh, cramped by the world, 
and cut short by Satan, as not to become a 
winged seraph ; will rather wonder that such 
a puny, heartless, feeble thing as manhood 
should be the abortive fruit of the rich bud of 
childhood, than think that childhood is an im- 
perfect promise and opening of the future man. 
And therefore it is that I grudged not our noble, 
lovely child, but rather do delight that such a 
seed should blossom and bear in the kindly 
and kindred Paradise of my God. And why 
should not I speak of thee, my Edward ! see- 
ing it was in the season of thy sickness and 
death the Lord did reveal in me the knowledge 
and hope and desire of His Son from heaven ? 
Glorious exchange ! He took my son to His 
own more fatherly bosom, and revealed in my 
bosom the sure expectation and faith of His 
own eternal Son ! Dear season of my life ! ever 
to be remembered, when I knew the sweet- 
ness and fruitfulness of such joy and sorrow. - 

The following is an extract from a letter to 
Mrs. Irving, when on his solitary journey 
homew^ard, over the moors, on foot, dated 
Annan, i8th October, 1825 : — 

Here I winded the Yarrow at the foot of the 

158 Consolation . 

loch, under the crescent moon, where, finding 
a convenient rock beneath some overhanging 
branches which moaned and sighed in the 
breeze, I sat me down, while the wind, sweep- 
ing, brought the waters of the loch to my feet ; 
and I paid my devotions to the Lord in His 
own ample and magnificent temple ; and sweet 
meditations were afibrded me of thee, our 
babe, and our departed boy. My soul was 
filled with sweetness. " I did not ask for a 
sign," as Colonel Blackadder says ; but when 
I looked up to the moon, as I came out from 
the ecclesia of the rock, she looked as never a 
moon had looked before in my eye, — as if she 
had been washed in dew, which, speedily 
clearing ofi:', she looked so bright and beau- 
tiful ; and, on the summit of the opposite hill, 
a little b?'ight star gleamed upon me, like the 
bright, bright eye of ojcr darling. Oh, how I 
wished you had been with me to partake the 
sweet solacement of that moment ! 


Rev- Dr. John Gumming, London. 

Christianity alone looks with sympathy 
on infants, loves them more than angels, pro- 
vides for their future state, and plants in the 

Consolation, 1^9 

sorrowing hearts of those who have lost them 
bright hopes of restored union and communion 
in glory. Christianity takes the int''ant close 
to her mother-bosom, spreads over it the warm 
wing of love, sprinkles on its bright brow 
waters from that river whose streams make 
glad the city of our God, and gives utterance 
to the deep sympathies of her heart in these 
words : " Suifer little children to come unto 
me, and forbid them not : for of such is the 
kingdom of heaven." Babes are not too insig- 
nificant in her thoughts. Her Incarnate One 
controls the exalted hierarch beside the throne, 
and also stoops to teach and bless an orphan 
child. Never did He who spake as never 
man spake breathe a more beautiful or touch- 
ing thought, or bequeath to mourning mothers 
bereaved of their infants a more precious 
legacy, than when He rebuked the stern 
frowns which His disciples cast on the mothers 
that crowded round Him with their babes, and 
took up the unconscious infants in His arms, 
and blessed them, and said, "Sutler little chil- 
dren to come unto me, and forbid them not : 
for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Who- 
soever may undervalue these germs of immor- 
tality, these folded buds of promise, these 
tenants of earth in training for heaven, — the 
Son of God does not. He spreads over them 

i6o Consolation, 

the shield of His power, and covers them with 
the feathers of His wing. He saw immortal- 
ity beam from their countenances, in their 
bosoms His ear heard the beatings of a life 
that can never die ; and capacities which all 
the treasures of time and earth cannot fill, 
disclosed themselves to the eye of Him to 
whom the most secret structure of mind and 
body is thoroughly unveiled. It is relation to 
eternity that makes the feeblest strong, and 
the smallest great. 


Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod, Glasgow. 

The little black coffin was brought to the 
smith's the night before the funeral. When 
the -house was quiet, Davie was laid in it 
gently by his father. Jeanie stood by and 
assumed the duty of arranging with care the 
wliite garments in which her boy was dressed, 
wrapping them round him, and adjusting the 
head as if to sleep in her own bosom. She 
brushed once more the golden ringlets, and 
put the little hands in their right place, and 
opened out the frills in the cap, and removed 

Consolation. i6i 

every particle of sawdust which soiled the 
shroud. When all was finished, though she 
seemed anxious to prolong the work, the lid 
was put on the coffin, but so as to leave the 
face uncovered. Both were as silent as their 
child. But ere they retired to rest for the 
night, they instinctively went to take another 
look. As they gazed in silence, side by side, 
the smith felt his hand gently seized by his 
wife. She played at first nervously with the 
fingers, until finding her own hand held 
by her husband, she looked into his face with 
an unutterable expression, and meeting his 
eyes so full of unobtrusive sorrow, she leant 
her head on his shoulder, and said, "Willie, 
this is my last look o' him on this side the 
grave. But, Willie dear, you and me maun 
see him again, and mind ye, no to pairt ; na, 
I canna thole that ! We ken whaur he is, and 
we maun gang till him. Noo promise me — 
vow alang wi' me here, that as we love him 
and ane anither, we'll attend mair to what's 
guid than we hae dune, that — O Willie! 
forgie me, for it's no my pairt to speak, but 
I canna help it enoo, and just, my bonnie 
man, just agree wi' me — that we'll gie our 
hearts noo and for ever to our ain Saviour, 
and the Saviour o' our wee Davie ! " These 
words were uttered without ever lifting her 

1 62 Consolation. 

head from her husband's shoulder, and in low, 
broken accents, half choked with an inward 
struggle, but without a tear. She was encour- 
aged to say this — for she had a timid awe 
for her husband — by the pressure ever and 
anon returned to hers from his hand. The 
smith spoke not, but bent his head over his 
wife, who felt his tears falling on her neck, as 
he whispered, "Amen, Jeanie ! so help me, 
God ! " A silence ensued, during which Jeanie 
got, as she said, "a gude greet," for the first 
time, which took a weight off her heart. She 
then quietly kissed her child and turned away. 
Thornburn took the hand of his boy and said, 
"Farewell, Davie, and when you and me meet 
again, we'll baith, I tak' it, be a bit diflferent 
frae what we are this nicht !- He then put the 
lid on mechanically, turned one or two of the 
screws, and then sat down at the fireside to 
chat about the arangements of the funeral as 
on a matter of business. 

After that, for the first time, William asked 
his v/ife to kneel down, and he would pray 
before they retired to rest. Poor fellow ! he 
was sincere as ever man was ; and never after 
till the day of his death did he omit this " exer- 
cise," which once a day was universal in 
every family whose head was a member of 
the church ; and I have known it continued by 

Consolation. 163 

the widow when her head was taken away. 
But on this, the first night, when the smith 
tried to utter aloud the thoughts of his heart, 
he could only say, "Our Father — !" There 
he stopped. Something seemed to seize him, 
and to stop his utterance. Had he only 
known how much was in these words, he 
possibly might have said more.- As it was, 
the thoughts of the father on earth so mingled, 
he knew not why, with those of the Father in 
heaven, that he could not speak. But he con- 
tinued on his knees, and spoke there to God 
as if he had never spoken before. Jeanie did 
the same. After a while they both rose, and 
Jeanie said, "Thank ye, Willie; it's a beau- 
tifu' beginning, and it wull, I'm sure, hae 
a braw ending." "It's cauld iron, Jeanie, 
woman," said the smith, "but it wull melt and 
come a' richt." 

Rev. Dr. Thomas Guthrie, Edinburgh. 

Heaven is greatly made up of little chil- 
dren, — sweet buds that have never blown, or 
which Death has plucked from a mother's 
bosom to lay on his own cold breast, just when 
they were expanding, flower-like, from the 

164 Consolation. 

sheath, and opening their engaging beauties 
in the budding time and spring of Hfe. " Of 
such is the kingdom of heaven." How sooth- 
ing these words by the cradle of a dying infant ! 
They fall like balm drops on ' our bleeding 
heart, when we watch the ebbing of that young 
life, as wave after wave breaks feebler, and 
the sinking breath gets lower and lower, till 
with a gentle sigh, and a passing quiver of the 
lip, our sweet child leaves its body lying like 
an angel asleep, and ascends to the beatitudes 
of heaven and the bosom of its God. Perhaps 
God does with His heavenly garden as we do 
with our own. He may chiefly stock it from 
the nurseries, and select for transplanting 
what is yet in its young and tender age, — 
flowers before they have bloomed, and trees 
ere they begin to bear. 

Rev. Dr. Alexander Fletcher, London. 

Has it never struck you, my friend, the glo- 
rious change which is effected upon the mind 
of an infant, the moment its disembodied spirit 
is admitted among the holy and intelligent cit- 
izens of the new Jerusalem? I have often 

Consolation . 1 65 

thought of it with surprise and dehght. In 
one instant, there is a greater influx, a greater 
communication of Hght into its glorified under- 
standing, than all the accumulated light which 
glowed with splendor for many years, in the 
mind of the greatest philosopher, who has 
added lustre to his country, to his species, to 
the world. All the experienced Christians and 
divines whom that dear babe has left behind 
it, are as much behind it in the degree of their 
knowledge, and in the enlargement of their 
capacity, as they are behind it in place. 
Heaven does not exceed this world more in its 
grandeur and glory, than this glorified infant 
does the greatest, the wisest, and the best of 
human beings, living in this vale of tears. Oh, 
how much this should reconcile pious parents 
to the departure of their dear babes from a 
world of ignorance and of suffering, to a land 
of unclouded intelligence and unceasing en- 

Rev. p. B. Power, M.A. , Kent. 

Remember, poor mourner, that the child 
that hath left thy home hath found another 
home. Thy little one is not homeless : doth 

i66 Consolation. 

not that thought in itself pour oil and balm 
upon thy heart? Think no more of the isola- 
tion and loneliness of the body's grave, but 
think of the companionship and joyousness of 
the spirit's home. Life, love, joy, warmth, 
all cluster themselves about the name of home : 
let them cluster in thy thoughts around thy 
child who is at home. Oh, what loving care 
and thoiight were spent upon thy little one ! 
and oh, bitter grief! thou canst spend them 
now no more ; the departed one is out of the 
reach of thy ministry ; that thou canst no 
longer do any thing for it is part of thy bitter 
woe. But think ! 

"Thy flower hath found a home with One, 
Who well its value knows." 

A voice softer than thine whispers to it, hands 
more gentle than thine minister to it, eyes 
more loving than thine look upon it ; if thou 
lovest as a parent should love, be content to be 
outdone ; thou art conquered in life's strife 
only by beings of another world, and thy child 
reapeth the victory of thy defeat ; thou wouldst 
have done much for it had it lived, they do" 
more now that it is dead ; thou wouldst have 
set great price upon it had it tarried with thee 
here, a price far greater still is set upon it by 
Him that has taken it to Himself. 

Consolation, 167 

Rev. John Jameson, Methven, Perthshire. 

So quickly, so lightly, and so placidly passed 
she, that ere we had the courage to think she 
was going, already she was not. With all 
the simplicity of an infant, she had said to her 
mother, the day before she fell ill, that she 
was going to die. Just as she was departing^ 
she revived for a moment, gathered strength, 
and throwing one full look of kindness on her 
trembling parent, breathed her last. " That 
look," said her mother to me, " I can never for- 
get ; that look was all the portion she had to 
bequeath ; and that look now lifts me up." 
There w^as something very fine in the scene. 
Little Johnnie, heedless of his own grief, — and 
he, too, had been crying bitterly, — when he 
beheld his mother weeping, sprung to her, 
clasped her in his arms, clapped her with all 
his gentleness, and kissed the tears from her 

This world of ours, my dear Mary, is just 
a green-house, where there are flowers of 
every standing. Those, generally, of a com- 
moner and lowlier sort hang long, and from 
month to month, unfading still, deal out, with 
unchanging hue, their daily meed of fragrance, 

1 68 Consolation, 

— it maybe, little felt and little noticed, but 
still they are there. Those, again, of grander 
flowering, with their bright and delicate and 
sparkling beauty, which rivets our gaze, soon, 
right soon, alas ! fade away. There is a 
flower, they tell us, the most exquisite of all 
that blossoms, which blooms during night, as 
if day were too strong for the delicacy of its 
sweetness. In such haste is it to be gone, 
that in the self-same hour in which it opens 
and spreads its loveliness, it sheds it, and its 
leaf falls off. The gardener alone, curious 
and deeply interested, who has sat up and 
watched to see, has catched and felt the pleas- 
ure of the passing sight. Your little Maggie 
was such a flower. Why should we think it 
strange when the flower is faded? "The spirit 
of the Lord bloweth upon it." The flower 
has lived its own, its appointed time ; and 
could tarry no longer, by no means. A 
child may cry when its lovely flower is gone ; 
far otherwise the gardener himself, — he is 
satisfied, nay, is quite delighted, that ever such 
a flower was his. 

Consolation, 169 

Rev. Alex. B. Grosart, Blackburn. 

I GATHER up what I havc submitted thus 
far, by telling an old Hebrew story. Rabbi 
Meir — so it runs — sat during the whole of 
one Sabbath-day in the public school, and 
instructed the people. During his absence 
from home, his two boys, both of them of 
uncommon beauty, died. His wife, their 
mother, bore them to her chamber, laid them 
upon the marriage-bed, and spread a white 
covering over their bodies. Towards evening, 
Rabbi Meir came home. " Where are my 
beloved sons," he asked, " that I may give 
them my blessing?" "They are gone to the 
school," was the answer. " I repeatedly looked 
round the school," he replied, "and I did not 
see them there." She reached him a goblet ; 
he praised the Lord at the going out of the 
Sabbath, drank, and again asked, " Where 
are my boys, that they may drink of the cup 
of blessing? " " They will not be far off," she 
said, and placed food before him, that he might 
eat. He was in a gladsome and genial mood ; 
and when he had said grace after the meal, 
she thus addressed him : " Rabbi, with thy 
permission I would fain propose to thee one 

1 70 Consolation . 

question." "Ask it then, my love ! " he replied. 
"A few days ago, a person intrusted some jewels 
to my custody, and now he demands them 
again : should I give them back again? " "This 
is a question," said Rabbi Meir, " which my wife 
should not have thought it necessary to ask. 
What ! wouldst thou hesitate or be reluctant to 
restore to every one his own?" "No," she 
replied, "but yet I thought it best not to restore 
them without acquainting thee therewith." She 
then led him to their chamber, and, stepping 
to the bed, took the white covering from their 
bodies. " Ah ! my boys, my boys ! " thus 
loudly lamented the father; "my boys! the 
light of mine eyes ! " The mother turned 
away and wept. At length she took her hus- 
band by the hand, and said, " Rabbi, didst 
thou not teach me that we must not be reluc- 
tant to restore that which was intrusted to our 
keeping? See, the Lord gave, the Lord hath 
taken away, and blessed be the name of the 
Lord ! " " Blessed be the name of the Lord ! " 
answered Rabbi Meir. It is well for bereaved 
parents to say, with Rabbi Meir, under their 
loss, " Blessed be the name of the Lord." 

Consolation, 171 

Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, Stirling. 

Upon the 7th day of December, my dear, 
sweet, and pleasant child, Isabel Erskine, died. 
I got freedom during her sickness, particularly 
the same forenoon, before she died, to present 
her before the Lord, and to plead His covenant 
on her behalf. The Lord enabled me to quit 
her freely to Him, on this account, that He had 
a far better title to her than L She was mine, 
only as her earthly father, she is His by 
creation, preservation, by dedication to Him in 
baptism, and His also, I hope, by covenant 
and redemption, and therefore, I am persuaded, 
she is now His by glorification ; and that she is 
with the Lord Jesus, and with her dear mother, 
triumphing with God in glor}^ I had a par- 
ticular affection for the child, and doted but 
too much upon her, because she was the 
likest her mother of any of the children, both 
as to her countenance and humor. But I see 
that the Lord will not allow me to have any 
idols, but will have the whole of my heart to 
Himself. And, Lord, let it be so ! Amen, 
and amen. She died pleasantly, without any 
visible pang or throe ; her soul, I hope, being 
carried by angels into Abraham's bosom, and 

172 Consolation, 

her body buried by her mother's side in her 
brother's grave. I take it kindly that the Lord 
comes to my family to gather lilies wherewith 
to garnish the upper sanctuary ! " for of such is 
the kingdom of heaven." And oh, it some- 
times affords me a pleasing prospect, to think 
I have so much -plenishing in heaven before 
me ; and that, when I enter the gates of glory, 
I shall not only be welcomed by the whole 
general assembly of saints and angels, but that 
my wife and four pleasant babes will, in a 
particular manner, welcome me to those regions 
of glory, and that I shall join in the hallelujahs 
of the Higher House, which shall never have 
an end. 

Rev. Thomas Boston, Ettrick. 

I HAD your letter of May, 1726, with the 
affecting account of your loss of a dear child. 
I travelled that gloomy road six times, and 
learned that God has other use for children 
than our comfort, an use far more honorable 
and happy for them ; and the parents come to 
see afterwards, that it is a peculiar kindness 
to the poor babes they were so early carried 

Consolation. 173 

off. It likewise serves to let into that Word 
in particular, in its sweetness, " I will be thy 
God, and the God of thy seed," while parents 
are taken up for the salvation of their dying 
little ones, and look about to see what the 
Word says with relation to the case. Oh, do not 
grudge the freedom the Lord has used with 
you, in pitching upon a precious thing for Him- 
self, and taking it away. Both of you have 
offered your all to the Lord ; and though, 
when it comes to the pinch, the heart is ready 
to misgive ; yet in calm blood I am sure you 
will stand to the bargain, and check yourselves 
for any semblance of repenting. The next 
time you see your child, you will see him shin- 
ing white in glory, having been washed in the 
blood of the Lamb, who was an infant, a child, 
a boy, a a outh, as well as a grown man ; 
because He became a Saviour of infants and 
little children, as well as of persons come at 


Matthew Henry. 

Blessed be God for the covenant of grace 
with me and mine, it is well oi'dered in all 
things and- sure. Oh that I could learn to com- 

174 Consolation, 

fort others with the same comforts with which, 
I trust, I am comforted of my God ! This 
comes near, but, O Lord, I submit ! I am much 
refreshed with 2 Kings iv. 26. "Is it well 
with thee ? is it well with thy husband ? is it- 
well with the child ? and she answered. It is 
well." Although I part with so dear a child, 
yet I have no reason to say otherwise but that 
it is well with us, and well with the child, for 
all is well that God doeth ; He performeth the 
thing that He appointed for me, and His 
appointment of this providence is in pursuance 
of His appointment of me to glory, to make me 
meet for it. 

After the funeral he thus writes : " I have 
been this day doing a work that I never did, 
burying a child. A sad day's work ; but my 
good friend Mr. Lawrence preached very sea- 
sonably and excellently in the afternoon, from 
Psalm xxxix. 9. ' I was dumb, I opened not 
my mouth ; because Thou didst it.' My friends 
testified their kindness by their presence. 
Here is now a -pretty little garment laid up 
in the zuardrobe of the grave, to be zvorn 
again at the resurrection : Blessed be God for 
this hope ! " 

Consolation, 175 

Samuel Rutherford. 

In a letter, dated St. Andrews, October, 1640, 
on the death of a friend's child, Rutherford, 
one of Scotland's most valiant witness-bearers, 
thus tenderly writes : If our Lord hath taken 
away your child, your lease of him is expired ; 
and seeing Christ would want him no longer, 
it is your part to hold your peace, and worship 
and adore the sovereignty and liberty that the 
Potter hath over the clay and pieces of clay- 
nothings, that He gave life unto. And what 
is man, to call and summon the Almighty to 
his lower court down here ? For He giveth 
account of none of His doings. And if you 
will take a loan of a child, and give him back 
again to our Lord, smiling as His borrowed 
goods be returned to Him, believe he is not 
gone away, but sent before ; and that the 
change of the country should make you think, 
he is not lost to you who is found to Christ ; 
and that he is now before you, and that the 
dead in Christ shall be raised again. A going- 
down star is not annihilated, but shall appear 
again. If he hath cast his bloom and flower, 
the bloom is fallen in heaven in Christ's lap ; 
and as he was lent awhile to time, so is he 

17^ Consolatit 


given now to eternity, which will take your- 
self; and the difference of your shipping and 
his to heaven and Christ's shore, the land of 
life, is only in some few years, which weareth 
ever}^ day shorter; and some short and soon 
reckoned summers will give you a meeting with 
him. But what — with hhn f Nay, with better 
company : with the Chief and Leader of the 
heavenly troops, that are riding on white 
horses, that are triumphing in glory. 

Rev. Robert Hall. 

This eloquent divine, in speaking of the 
death of his little boy, says, "God dries up the 
channels, that you may be haply compelled to 
plunge into an infinite ocean of happiness. 
Blissful thought ! Father, mother, you who 
mourn over the grave of your little one, look 
up ! know that the chastening rod is in your 
heavenly Father's hand, and that if He hath 
taken away. He first did give, and He doeth 
all things well. He gave you the bud of 
beauty, and you centred your happiness in its 
being. He saw that this was not for your 
good, so He took away the child, whose pres- 

Consolation, 177 

ence had been as a leaping, sparkling streamlet 
to your heart's love, that that heart, which had 
before tasted of earthly, might be lost in the 
immensity of heavenly love. 

It is a very solemn consideration, that a part 
of myself is in eternity, in the presence, I trust, 
of the Saviour. How awful will it be, should 
the branch be saved and the stock perish ! 

Rev. James Hervey, A.M. 

Yonder white stone, emblem of the inno- 
cence it covers, informs the beholder of one 
who breathed out its tender soul almost in the 
instant of receiving it. There the peaceful 
infant, without so much as knowing what 
labor and vexation mean, "lies still and is 
quiet; it sleeps and is at rest." Staying only 
to wash away its native impurity in the laver 
of regeneration, it bade a speedy adieu to 
time and terrestrial things. Happy voyager ! 
no sooner launched than arrived at the haven ! 

" Happy the babe, who, privileg'd by fate 
To shorter labor, and a lighter weight, 
Receiv'd but yesterday the gift of breath, 
Order'd to-morrow to return to death." 

178 Consolation. 

Consider this, ye mourning parents, and 
dry up your tears. Why should you lament 
that your little ones are crowned with victory 
before the sword is drawn, or the conflict 
begun. Perhaps the Supreme Disposer of 
events foresaw some inevitable snare of temp- 
tation forming, or some dreadful storm of 
adversity impending. And why should you 
be so dissatisfied with that kind precaution, 
which housed your pleasant plant, and re- 
moved into shelter a tender flower, before the 
thunders roared, before the lightnings flew, 
before the tempest poured its rage? Oh, re- 
member ! they are not lost, but " taken away 
from the evil to come." 


A gentleman's gardener had a darling 
child, in whom his affections seemed to be 
centred. The Lord laid His hand upon the 
babe : it sickened and died. The father was 
disconsolate, and murmured at the dealings of 

• The gardener had in one of his flower-beds 
a favorite rose. It was the fairest flower he 
had ever seen on the tree, and he daily marked 
its growing beauty, intending, when it was 

Consolation. 179 

full blown, to send it to his master's mansion. 
One morning it was gone : some one had 
plucked it. Mortified at what he thought was 
the improper conduct of one of the servants, 
he endeavored to find out the culprit. He 
was, however, much surprised to find that it 
was his master, who, on walking through the 
garden, had been attracted by the beauty of 
the rose, and, plucking it, had carried it to 
one of the beautiful rooms in the hall. The 
gardener's anger was changed into pleasure. 
He felt reconciled when he heard that his 
master had thought the flower worthy of such 
special notice. 

"Ah, Richard !" said the gentleman, " you 
can gladly give up the rose, because I thought 
it worthy of a place in my house. And will 
you repine because your heavenly Father has 
thought wise to remove your child from a 
world of sin, to be with Himself in heaven?" 

Rev. Richard Cecil. 

I PERCEIVE I did not know how much my 
life was bound up in the life of a creature. 
When she went, nothing seemed left me ; one 

i8o Consolation, 

is not, and the rest seem a few thin and scat- 
tered remains. And yet how much better for 
my lamb to be suddenly housed, to slip unex- 
pectedly into the fold to which I was conduct- 
ing her, than remain exposed here ; perhaps 
become a victim. I cried, "O Lord, spare 
my child ! " He did ; but not as I meant ; He 
snatched it from danger, and took it to His 
own home. — Part of myself is already gone 
to Thee : help what remains to follow ! 

He who removed our infant has seemed to 
say, "What I do thou knowest not now, but 
thou shalt know hereafter ; patiently suffer this 
little one to come unto me, for of such is my 
kingdom composed. Verily, I say unto you, 
their angels do always behold the face of my 
Father. If I take away your child, I take it 
away to Myself." Is not this infinitely beyond 
any thing you could do for it? Could you say 
to it, if it had lived, thou shalt " weep no more, 
the days of thy mourning are ended"? Could 
you show it any thing in' this world like " the 
glory of God and of the Lamb"? Could you 
raise it to any honor here like " receiving a 
crown of life " ? 

Consolation . .181 

Archbishop Leighton. 

Indeed, it was a sharp stroke of a pen that 
told me your pretty Johnny was dead. Sweet 
thing! and is he so quickly laid asleep? 
Happy he ! Though we shall have no more 
the pleasure of his lisping and laughing, he 
shall have no more the pain of crying, nor 
being sick, nor of dying ; and hath wholly 
escaped the troubles of schooling, and all 
other sufferings of boys, and the riper and 
deeper griefs of riper years ; this poor life 
being all along nothing but a linked chain of 
many sorrows and many deaths. Tell my 
dear sister she is now much more akin to the 
other world ; and this will be quickly passed 
by us all. John has but gone an hour or two 
sooner to bed, as children used to do, and we 
are undressing to follow. And the more we 
put off the love of this present world, and all 
things superfluous beforehand, we shall have 
the less to do when we lie down. 

1 82 Consolation, 


(From the Edinburgh Christian Instructor, 
Dec. 1817.) 

There is scarce a dwelling into which we 
can enter, but if we speak of the death of 
children, the starting tear will tell us that from 
it some are gone, that the flower of beauty 
opened but to perish, and that the heart doted 
on it only to bleed in disappointment and 
sorrow. " Thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy 
voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears ; 
for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord, 
and thy children shall come again from the 
land of the enemy." (Jer. xxxi. 16.) 

You are saying, " Had my children glorified 
God, this might be expected ; I might have 
hope for their resurrection had that tongue 
sung his praise, and these hands been lifted 
up in His name ; " but in them He has been 
honored, though you have neither seen nor 
known it ; and it will be more gratifying to His 
benevolence to restore them to you than to 
grant them at first. He who would not permit 
the disciples to keep back infants from His 
arms, will not suffer death to detain in the 
grave the babes He has destined for His 
bosom. To rescue them He will be the plague 

Consolation, 183 

of death and the destruction of the grave, and 
they who sung not this song before they went 
to it, shall exclaim as they rise, "O grave, 
where is !hy victory ! " But is this all the 
triumph of departed infants over the last enemy, 
and him that had the power of death? The 
spirit, soaring to glory, is n^ore than a con- 
queror. The lisping babe has been qualified 
for the song of the Lamb, and from the melody 
that soothed it to rest, it is gone to those 
anthems of the blessed, in which it will bear 
its part in ever-living rapture. Satan hath 
exulted in the blasted beauty and the early 
graves of infants, but God has confounded his 
boastings by clothing them with immortality 
and perfection, and by raising them to fairer 
loveliness and sweeter felicity than earth can 
admit of. The flower, over which the wind 
passed, is blossoming in heaven in fragrance 
and beauty, which the fondest workings of 
fancy could not conceive, and surely it is safer 
there than under this inclement sky. Thy 
babe is reposing in the arms of infinite love ; 
Jesus rejoices in its opening excellences, and 
so mayest thou in faith and hope. The early 
death of infants has suggested to the heart 
sunk in despair, as well as raised from the lips 
of the caviller the expostulation, "Why hath 
God made any of His creatures in vain?" 



But in their translation to glory, this dark 
dispensation is cleared up, and the merits of 
the second Adam are delightfully illustrated. 



Rev. R. H. Lundie. 

A N investigator of pedigrees was searching 
•^^^- in a midland county of England, for any 
traces that might still be found of an old family 
of the district. He went to the records of the 
church, but their name was not there, it had 
perished. He repaired to the supposed site of 
their ancient hall. Not a stone remained to 
tell its place. Disappointed in these attempts, 
he accosted an aged peasant : " Do you know 
any thing of the Findernes?" 

"Findernes?" was the reply. "We have 
no Findernes here, but we have Findernes' 

Here was a clew. The old man led the 
way to a field where there were traces of an 
ancient terrace. 

1 86 The Crown without the Conjlict, 

" There," said he, pointing to a bank of 
garden-flowers grown wild, " there are Fin- 
dernes' flowers, brought by Sir Geoffrey from 
the Holy Land; and, do what we will, they 
will never die." 

There are those who will read these lines 
that can go back ten, twenty, forty years, and 
recall the time when a child was taken from 
them. It has left no record in the annals 
of the world ; no more mark than the shining 
pebble that is thrown into the river, when the 
waters close over it for ever. Is there, then, 
no trace to be found beneath the heavens 
of that loved one? Go, ask the mother bereaved 
so long ago. There, in the old garden of a 
heart overgrown with many experiences, and 
shaded with many a sombre spray of ivy, 
and many a weeping branch of cypress, 
flourish still the old memories of that cherished 
child. His winsome ways, his pleasant prattle, 
his sunny smile, his look of love, are all 
remembered still. These flowers of memory 
bloom as fresh as on the day after the little one 
was gathered home. The snows of winter 
may have fallen thick upon that mother's head, 
but touch the old chord, and it will vibrate true 
and tender as ever. Encourage her to speak 
upon this theme, and she will pour forth her 
recollections of her lost one, and will narrate 

The Crown without the Conflict, 187 

to you the incidents of his sickness and his 
death with a minuteness and detail that will 
astonish any one who has not had or lost a 
child. We lately met a mother whose boy 
was taken from her more than thirty years 
ago, who told us, as the tear rose to her eye, 
that when she is looking after the affairs of her 
household, she sometimes comes upon his toys, 
and never without a flood of tenderest memories 
filling her heart. 

We train our children ; but it is no less true 
that our children train us. They are meant 
by God as a means and occasion of much 
discipline for heaven. How they call out our 
purest and most unselfish affections ! what new 
tenderness they pour into our hearts ! how they 
humanize and soften the roughest nature ! 
And when taken from us, are they not like 
magnets to draw our hearts to the things that 
are above? There are fathers and mothers 
who seem to see, when they look up into the 
deep blue of heaven, a dimpled hand that 
beckons to them, and to hear a silver voice 
that whispers from the skies, " Come up higher." 
To very many, the theme of which we have to 
speak — the removal of children — cannot be 
out of season. 

And, first of all, the parent wishes to be 
satisfied on this point. Does God love my 

1 88 The Crozufi zuithoiit the Conjlict, 

children ? Does He love them ? Ask it father, 
ask it mother, of thine own heart. Dost thou 
love thy child ? Ay, with a love that is stronger 
than death. And whence springs that parental 
love of thine? Is it of earth or of heaven? 
Is it not a rill, a tiny one, from the great 
fountain of perennial love in the heart of the 
Father of us all ? It was He that taught thee 
how to love thy child. 

See how tender was His care for the six 
score thousand persons in Nineveh who could 
not discern between their right hand and their 
left hand, and for whose sake, in great part, 
the city was spared. 

There was a babe once, in the old land of 
Canaan, born in the village of Bethlehem, and 
cradled in a manger there. Did the eye of the 
great Father look upon that babe, and does 
He not know how to love a human child ! 

And mark how the Son of God loves chil- 
dren. Parents bring their infants to Him that 
He may touch them. His disciples resent the 
intrusion, and rebuke them. But Jesus called 
them unto Him, and said, " Suffer the little 
children to come unto me, and forbid them 
not : for of such is the kingdom of God." Jesus 
values them more justly and more fully than 
his own disciples did. He appreciates their 
infant immortality. He listens to their lisped 

The Crown without the Conjlict. 189 

praise. How many an infant voice has learned 
to say, with childlike trust, these gracious 
words : " Suffer little children to come unto 
me." When they so speak, the Master knows 
that they cannot understand like men : He 
knows, also, that they can trust better than 
men. It is with the little child as with the 
sinner rescued when his head is hoary, — he 
can be saved in no other way but through the 
cleansing blood of Christ. 

A fully developed faith is not possible in 
an undeveloped child. And while faith, as 
the means of connecting the sinner with the 
Saviour, is the indispensable condition of 
entrance into heaven with those to whom faith 
is a possibility, it is not, it cannot be, with 
those in w^hose breasts, from the nature of the 
case, faith cannot dwell. Else were the remedy 
inadequate to the disease, else were the plaster 
smaller than the wound, else it is no longer 
true, that " where sin abounded, grace did 
much more abound." We believe accordingly 
that the population of heaven is very largely 
made up of children. No small proportion 
of the human family is cut off in infant years. 
In reference to the children of the ungodly 
dying in childhood. Scripture for wise reasons 
has not broken silence, and however strong 
the grounds of hope may seem to be, we will 

190 The Crown without the Conjlict. 

go no further than the record of the written 
Word, — we, too, will keep silence. But as 
regards the children of Christian parents cut 
off in infancy, the same infallible Word does 
warrant us to speak with confidence. The}'' 
are born within the covenant : they are within 
the covenant when they die. " The promise 
is to you and to your children." " It is not the 
will of your Father which is in heaven, that 
one of these little ones should perish." 

But this leads us to our main inquiry : Is 
the removal of our children by death consistent 
with God's love of them and us ? 

There are many mysteries on earth, and 
few, w^e are free to confess, greater than the 
sufterincrs and death of a child. The babe 
that lies in pain in that little crib has never 
sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgres- 
sion, yet it suffers after the similitude of 
Adam's suffering. It cries to you for help, 
and you cannot give it. It has sought a 
mother's aid in all its previous troubles, and 
has never sought in vain. If a little advanced 
beyond infancy, perhaps your dying child, 
while he cries that mournful cry uttered by so 
many since the days of the Shunammite's suf- 
fering son, "My head, my head," plaintively 
asks of you what will make him better. You 
stand helpless beside the son of 3^our love. 

The Crown zvithotit the Conjiict. 191 

You would lay bare your own bosom to receive 
the blow* that is aimed at him. You would 
lay your own head on the pillow of death if he 
might live. But it may not be. The last 
enemy has his hands about your child ; and 
your prayers, your tears, your silent agony, 
cannot avail to ward off the fatal blow, for his 
hour is come. We dare not say that no mys- 
tery is here. But, believer, as you witness or 
recall that scene, remember that " the wages of 
sin is death." And though the sting of death is 
taken away, the power of death must be felt 
even by a child. 

Yet tliere are comforts that gather round 
this sad scene if you can compose your heart 
to discern and to accept them. 

I. To clear away a frequent and natural 
delusion, we remark. Your sorrow is not ex- 
ceptional. It is the common lot. Since Adam 
lost his son, tens of thousands of his posterity 
have mourned in like bereavement. But you 
say, " My case is altogether peculiar ; no one 
knows how much my child was to nie. Many 
a father has lost his child, but has any lost 
such a child as mine ? He met my heart's 
deepest yearnings : he was balm to me in 
sorrow, he was rest to me in weariness, he 
was gladness to me always, and more than 
that, I thought that in riis simplicity and light 

192 The Crown without the Conjiict, 

and love he was God's messenger to wean me 
from the dross and earthiness of this» present 
life." Well, well, thou woe-stricken parent, 
we have no heart to debate these points 
with thee. Weep on, it will do thee good 
to weep. Thy child was much, was per- 
haps every thing, to thee : so have other 
bright and radiant children been to other 
desolated hearts. Yet some cases may be 
worse than thine. A friend just returned from 
New York said to us the other day, " I was 
arrested in a cemetery, when my eye was 
scanning the records of the dead, by one 
gravestone, on which was this inscription : — 

" yohuy Mary, William, Ellen, yane* 
Our alir 

Not another word was added ; not another 
word could have strengthened that silent tes- 
timony to the agony of broken hearts, and to 
the chili that had fallen upon a family hearth 
once warmed and brightened by the presence 
and the joy of children. Mourner, is thy case 
worse than this ? 

2. A dying child may suffer, but he does 
not sorrow. Often his sufferings are less than 
they seem to us, and especially in the terrible 
heavings and agonies of the last conflict the 

The Crozun zvithout the Conjlict. 193 

subduing influence of weakness, and the sub- 
siding of consciousness, may make it lighter 
for our child to endure than for us to witness 
his struggles ; as if the sufferings of a child 
were meant mainly for the heart of his parent. 
But even where the suffering of the child is 
great, there is no sting in it. There are no 
regrets about the past, there are no anxieties 
about the future. There is only present pain. 
Contrast this with the death-beds of men and 
women. Go to the chamber where a wicked 
man lies dying : his body may be in agony, 
but is that the worst part of his sufferings? 
We have heard such a one, awakened to a 
sense of his soul's peril on the brink of eter- 
nity, cr}' out, " Every limb of my body is in 
agony, but it is not that which disturbs me ; 
my soul, my undying soul, what is to become 
of my soul ? " Or if the comparison is held 
more legitimate, go to the death-bed of a good 
man, and how often will you find that there 
are unutterable regrets in his heart for the loss 
of opportunities of serving liis Master and his 
generation : how often, too, in the hour and the 
power of darkness has even the holiest man, 
as he draws near to the valley of the shadow 
of death, visitings of doubt and dark moments 
of fear ? Bereaved parent, thy dying child 
had none. He heard the soothing accents of 

194 The Crown without the Conflict. 

a mother's lullaby, he felt the soft pressure of a 
mother's hand, and though his body was in pain, 
his heart was all at peace. He trusted while 
he lived, and when he died he trusted still. 

3. The departed child of the Christian pa- 
rent is safe. He is folded by the Good Shep- 
herd where there are no perils to encounter. 
On this thought, from week to week, and from 
year to year, you will find your heart dwell 
with increasing thankfulness. Conflicts he 
shall never know ; temptations are all left 
behind ; a tear shall dim his eye no more. 
His brief, bright life, you may perhaps be able 
to say, was an unclouded one. He never felt 
a storm but the storm which wafted him to 
heaven. I thought, indeed, to watch the un- 
folding of that bud so full of promise ; how ten- 
derly and lovingly should I have guarded it 
as it disclosed new beauties every day but — 
Ay, there is a but ! But if he had lived he 
might have survived his father and his mother, 
and he might have fallen into hands less ten- 
der. In boyhood he might have become the 
companion of the careless and the wicked. 
He might — who knows but he might ? — have 
made shipwreck of his faith. All that might 
have been ; but he is safe : his little bark is 
moored in the haven where no tempest blows. 
So grief mellows into gratitude. 

The Crown without the Conflict . 195 

And is there not deep cause for gratitude? 
Your child, through the Lord Jesus Christ, 
has won the victory without having ever drawn 
the sword, has put on the crown although 
he has never borne the cross. May it not be 
as a mark of peculiar favor and a special fruit 
of the Saviour's atoning work that your little 
one has reached such blessedness so easily 
and so soon? 

King David had a son who grew up to man- 
hood, beautiful in person, wmning in manners, 
the favorite of the people and the pride of his 
father's heart. But gifted in mind and comely' 
in form, his talents were his snare, for his 
heart w^as not right with God. That which 
had seemed to the rejoicing father so beauti- 
ful in the opening mind of Absalom the boy, 
became in Absalom the man, the occasion of 
the bitterest anguish of that father's heart. 
In the prime of his days and the pride of his 
rebellion, Absalom was cut oft\ Though a 
rebel, he was yet a son, and David mourned 
over him as such a father will ever mourn 
over a loved and lost one. "The king was 
much moved, and went up to the chamber 
over the gate and wept ; and as he went thus, 
he said, O my son, Absalom, my son, my son 
Absalom ! would God I had died for thee, O 
Absalom, my son, my son ! " 

196 The Crown zuithoiU the Conjiict, 

King David had another son, a little child. 
"And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's 
wife bare unto David, and it was very sick" 
..." and it came to pass on the seventh day 
that the child died." David mourned for that 
son also, but with what different feelings in 
his heart! "Can I bring him back again? I 
shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 
There is firm faith as well as sore sorrow in 
his mourning for his child. " I shall go to 
him," he says. But no such ray of hope 
strikes across his darkened spirit when he 
weeps for his lost Absalom with the cry of 
blank and utter sorrow, "O Absalom, my son, 
my son." Say, bereaved parent, who weepest 
for thy child and wilt not be comforted, which 
was best for David, Absalom spared to the 
beauty of his mature manhood, or his child 
snatched from his straining grasp in infancy? 

We do not say that such was God's reason 
for dealing with you as He has done, but it 
may have been. God has His reasons, though 
He does not tell them all to you. Enough for 
you that it is your God whb has done this 
thing. Your child has gone to rest for the 
night. You enter his chamber : he starts, 
and is afraid. The room is all in darkness, 
and he cannot see you : but you speak to him. 
You do not tell him why 3'ou are there, but 

The Crozvn zuithoiit the Conjlict, 197 

it \^ you7' voice he hears. His father is beside 
him ; it is enough. He turns upon his pillow, 
and he sleeps again. In your own night of 
weeping, listen, and you will hear your 
Father's voice, not unriddling for you the 
mystery that perplexes you, but saying only, 
"It is I, be not afraid." And when thou 
knowest it is He, wilt thou not in the darkness 
trust thy Father as thy child trusts thee ? 

You tremble, you struggle when the child 
you love is snatched out of your embrace by 
an unseen hand ; but tremble not. He who 
takes him into His arm^s knows what it is for 
you to let him out of yozir arms. You are 
yourself reconciled to God by the blood of His 
Son. Like Abraham, you are a friend of 
God. And just as you are kind, not only to 
your friend, but to his children for his sake, 
so is God kind, not only to you, but to your 
children. It was, perhaps, the fruit and evi- 
dence of that kindness that the little one you 
mourn has been better provided for above, 
than you could have provided for him here. 
The Lord chose to have your child beside 
Himself. And you have done the same thing 
when your children were absent from their 
home. You wearied for them ; you sent for 
them ; you brought them home again ; you 
must have them with you. The Saviour feels 

198 The Crown without the Conjlict, 

thus toward his absent children : " Father, I 
will that they also whom thou hast given me 
be with me where I am." What, then, do you 
complain of ? He has called your little one 
home ; your little one, and His little one. For, 
let it not be forgotten that though he is your 
child, he is God's child still more than yours. 
He is yours but by descent : he is God's by 
creation and by redemption. 

You will learn, ere long, to look on it as a 
high honor that your child has been sent for 
by the Heavenly King. When the youthful 
shepherd of Bethlehem was sent for, to the 
court of King Saul to play before him on the 
harp, did his father Jesse hold back the boy? 
did he refuse to let him go? And if a higher 
King has need of your son or of your dayghter 
in the courts of heaven, would you refuse the 
King's demand? 

We may gather that children are wanted 
in the worship of heaven, from the fact that 
children bear an accepted part in the worship 
of earth. Under the old dispensation, "the 
little ones" are present with the captains of 
the tribes, the elders, the people and the stran- 
gers, to enter into covenant with the Lord 
their God. (Deut. xxix. 10-13.) The 
prophet Joel, in the name of the Lord thus 
speaks: "Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify 

The Crozvii without the Coiiflzct. 199 

a fast, call a solemn assembly ; gather the 
people, sanctify the congregation, assemble 
the elders, gather the children, and those that 
suck the breasts,'' when the priests were to 
weep between the porch and the altar, and to 
cr}^ " Spare thy people, O Lord." (Joel ii. 
15-17.) It was the Loin's choice that the 
treble of infant voices should mingle with the 
wail of the men and the women of Israel. 
Among the great multitude who serve him day 
and night in his temple, God may have need 
of infant voices : perhaps the joyous voice you 
loved to hear is wanted there : an infant harp 
waits for an infant hand to strike it. Father, 
mother, if it be thy infant, say, wilt thou re- 

4. As the magnet is to steel, so is a child in 
heaven to a parent on earth. Nothing brings 
us into closer contact with God than His taking 
sole charge of our child. We are its parents 
still, but we cannot control, we cannot guide, 
it now. For the purposes of protection and of 
training, God is its sole father. 

You loved heaven before, but your stake in 
it is deeper now, and your love for it is greater. 
Perhaps you have a son whose lot is cast in a 
distant land, about which you knew and cared 
but little before he went to it. His home is 
now, let us suppose, in Queensland. A sud- 

200 The Crozun without the Conjlict, 

den interest is awakened in your breast about 
that land. What you read in reference to it 
you retain. And if you meet with any one 
who has been there, how eagerly do you 
question him about it. You have another 
child whose lot is cast in a still more distant 
land. The Lord h%s taken him to the land 
of promise. From the day he left you, what 
a quickened desire you have had to learn 
about that land ! What are the mansions which 
my child inhabits ; who are his companions ; 
what is their employment; and, above all, 
what is the way to that better country ? 

If you have not known the way before, oi 
knowing have not walked in it, the cause 
perhaps is not obscure, as regards your own 
soul, why your child has been taken thither 
before you. I have known the shepherd when 
he failed to guide the sheep as he desired, take 
up her bleating lamb in his arms, and then 
with quick step the mother followed. I have 
known the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls 
try many plans to make a father and a mother 
enter the strait gate and walk in the narrow 
way. Prosperity was sent, and they forgot 
God : adversity followed, and they murmured 
that God had forgotten them. The discipline 
of joy and of sorrow seemed alike ineffectual. 
At last, the Shepherd gendy laid His hand 

The Crown without the Conjlict. 201 

upon a lamb of their little flock ; I noticed that 
It was the brightest and the rriost cherished of 
them all. The parents struggled, but they 
could not keep their lamb. The Shepherd 
claimed it, gathered it in his arms, and 
passed it through the gate of Zion. Then 
first the parents learned to look on that land 
as their home, and to seek that He who had 
folded their little lamb should be their Shep- 
herd too. 

5. This cause of sorrow for your child can 
never return. Sickness from which you re- 
cover may leave behind it a tendency to 
relapse. But not death. That is endured 
once for all. " It is appointed unto men once 
to die." Your son, your daughter, has got 
through it, and it is not to be done again. You 
would not dare to bring your child back again 
if you could. And in your deepest grief you 
feel it far better to have had and parted wath 
him for a time, than never to have had him for 
your own. You bless God that He lent him 
to you for a season. We can add but one 
other topic for the consideration of the be- 
reaved parent : — 

6. Your sorrow has taught you to sympa- 
thize as you never could before. When others 
suffered as you now suffer, the time was when 
their trial made no deep impression upon your 

202 The Crown withotit the Conjllct. 

heart. But now you will never be heard to 
say, "It is but. a child." A door of entrance 
is opened for you to sorrowing hearts. You 
find yourself linked in a blessed companion- 
ship with those who, like yourself, have chil- 
dren in heaven. Taught in God's own school, 
you have learned, with a power that is amazing 
to yourself, to comfort those that are in trouble 
with. the comfort wherewith you yourself are 
comforted of God. You had been saying, as 
Lamech said of Noah, "This child shall com- 
fort us;" while God was saying, "You shall 
comfort others," being yourselves comforted 
with the comfort not of a living child on earth, 
but of a glorified child in heaven. Thus you 
may be a more useful if a sadder man, because 
your child is taken from you ; and usefulness, 
not pleasure, is what God's people are to labor 
for on earth. 

You have meditated on all these themes of 
consolation and on many more. You have 
realized the honor conferred upon you of hav- 
ing a ransomed child in heaven. And while 
the heathen, who was told that his son was 
dead, could say, "I knew that my son was 
mortal," you are able to say, "I know that my 
son is immortal." Nevertheless, there are 
times when your sorrow seems stronger than 
your solace, and your feebleness seems greater 

The Crown without the Conjlict. 203 

than your faith, and your lonely heart will 
only cry, " My child, my child ! " You, though 
a father, have yourself a Father, who taught 
you to love that child with such a love. He 
knows how you miss and mourn him, and if 
you lean on Him, and look to Him, He will 
surely bring you peace. Wait, mourning 
parent, wait, and follow the voice of the lamb 
as he is carried in the Shepherd's arms, and 
you shall see your child again. 

Finally, bereaved parent, thou mayest have 
children living still. Let the memory of him 
whose place is empty, when they gather round 
thee, engage thee to give them each and to 
give them wholly to the Lord. And thou, 
parent, who hast never thus been tried, look 
round upon thine unbroken band with rejoic- 
ing, yet with trembling heart, and listen to the 
voice that says to thee in reference to each one 
of them, "Take this child and nurse it for 
me." Dedicate him to the Lord; so if he 
lives, it will be better for thee and for him. 
Dedicate him to the Lord ; thy child may 



Rev. Dr. John Eadie, Glasgow. 

TT is in the period of suffering and bereave 
-*- ment that the soul is brought into nearer 
contact with God, and knows Him, not from 
what it beheves, but from what it enjoys, — not 
from what it has been taught, but from what it 
has experienced. We are all aware that our 
Lord is named the "Man of Sorrows," and we 
are taught that He is " touched with the feeling 
of our infirmities ; " but we do not adequately 
comprehend the truth, till, under the pressure 
of infirmity, we enjoy His sympathy ; and 
then we can say, Now we know it, for we 
have felt it. There is truly a sublime mean- 
ing in the words which He spoke to Martha, 

Comfort /or Mourners in General. 205 

" I am the Resurrection and the Life ; " but 
only those circumstanced as she was — the 
grave having closed over her brother — can 
really enter into their nobility and triumph. 
He who has never felt the pang or desolation 
of bereavement — whose heart has never been 
pierced by the barbed and mortal shaft — who 
has never gazed on the corpse of parent, 
brother, or child, and seen it closed up from 
view — w^ho has never made one of the group 
of weeping mourners that stand, in inexpress- 
ible solemnity, by the grave, and feel a sad 
sinking of heart as they leave behind them, in 
dust and darkness, that form which they shall, 
not see again till Christ descend and the 
trumpet sound — such a scathless and untried 
believer cannot, though he would, unfold to 
himself the sweetness and comfort of the say- 
ing, " I am the Resurrection and the Life." 
There is no Christian heart that does not hold 
by the pledge, " My grace is sufficient for 
thee ; " but it is only when " weakness " over- 
powers it, that it can really find that His 
"strength is made perfect." Without affliction, 
the purest and closest knowledge of God could 
never be acquired ; a veil would still seem to 
lie upon Him. The glory that surrounds Him 
might dazzle us ; but we should still be com- 
parative strangers to the tenderness and love 

2o6 Comfort for Mourners in General. 

of His heart. Still at a distance from Him, 
we would indeed trust Him ; but when He 
lays His hand upon us and brings us nearer 
Him, then do we acquaint ourselves with His 
loving-kindness, no longer by report, but by 
tasting it. You may have seen the solar beam 
thrown back in yellow splendor from the crys- 
tal rocks, as they glistened with gold, but now 
you have found and gathered the precious ore. 
It is one thing to admire the beauty of His 
pavilion, and another thing to be in it; one 
thing to know Him from what He has said, 
and another to know Him in what He has 
done. Surely experimental intimacy far excels 
theoretic information ; but it is gained only in 
the school of affliction. 

Did, therefore, the friendship of Christ secure 
us against suffering, it would shade from our 
view these prime and happy lessons. But 
Christ is anxious that we learn them, and 
therefore, though he loves us. He permits us 
to suffer, that we may yearn for a fuller sense 
of His presence, and, penetrating into His 
heart, know, because we feel, the love and 
power of our Beloved and Friend. 

Comfoj't for Mourners in General, 207 

Rev. Dr. Eadie. 

Marvellous spectacle ! Jesus wept, as the 
mourners about him wept ! The sight of 
such sorrow overpowered Him, and He could 
not refrain. That was a true manhood, which 
felt this touch of nature, and burst into -tears. 
There was no Stoicism in His constitution. 
There was no attempt to train down His sym- 
pathies, and educate Himself to a hard and in- 
human indifference. Neither was He ashamed 
of His possession of our ordinary sensibilities. 
He felt it no weakness to weep in public with 
them that wept. So sinful did sin appear in 
its penalty of death — so saddening was the 
desolation which death had brought into that 
happy home — so humbling was the picture of 
Lazarus, alive and active but a few days 
before, but now laid in the narrow vault, and 
carefully concealed from view, that the Saviour 
bowed to the stroke, and, under the impulse of 
genuine sympathy, "Jesus wept." Perhaps 
the prospect of His own death and entombment 
rose up suddenly before Him, — the thought 
that He should soon be as Lazarus now was, a 
cold and inanimate corpse, with weeping 
mourners making a similar procession to His 

2o8 Co7nfort for Mourners in General. 

tomb. And though He had but to take a 
few steps more, and the greatest of His mira- 
cles should be achieved, and he that was dead 
should be raised, — so powerful and tender 
were His mingled sensations that "Jesus 

Shall we use the common term, and say that 
He was "unmanned "? No. Such an epithet 
originates in a grievous misinterpretation of 
our nature. Is man to be denied the relief of 
tears, and woman only to be so privileged? 
Is it beneath his masculine robustness to show 
a moistened eye? Is he to be a traitor to deep- 
est and purest emotion, and to attempt to cau- 
terize the fountain of tears? No. Christ, the 
model of manhood, the mirror of all that was 
noble and dignified, did not deny Himself the 
relief; and shall men be looked upon as effemi- 
nate, as falling from the dignity of their sex, if, 
with emotions like Christ's, they shed tears like 
Him ? No. Perish that dignity which would 
aspire to a transcendental apathy that man was 
not made for, and which Jesus despised ! The 
tear is as genuine as the smile. He who would 
do such violence to his nature, insults its 
Creator, and would foolishly set himself above 
the example of the Redeemer. Instead of 
raising himself above humanit}^ he sinks 
beneath its level. The brow that never wore 

Comfort for Mourners in General. 209 

a smile is not more unnatural than the eye that 
never glistened with a tear. 

Therefore do we vindicate for the afflicted 
mourner the privilege of tears. You are not 
giving way to sin, when you are giving way to 
tears. Man is not disgracing his manhood, 
nor woman showing herself to be but a woman, 
when they weep under bereavement. Try not 
to be above the Saviour. It is not sin to mourn, 
but the sin is to murmur, — to fall into queru- 
lous repining as if God had wronged you, and 
it needed an effort on your part to forgive 
Him. We are sure that Jesus harbored no 
grudge of this nature against His Father in 
heaven ; and yet He wept. To forbid tears is 
to impose a cruel penance, — is to deny a lux- 
ury to the mourner in which his Lord indulged. 
O thou of the bruised heart ! when thuu goest 
to the supulchre where the beloved dust is 
garnered, weep, but not in dejection, — weep, 
but repine not ; disturb not the unbidden tear, 
as thou art in the place of burials. The dust 
thou sorrowest over cannot indeed respond ; 
but the time is coming when thy tears shall be 
wiped away by the very hand that inflicted the 
stroke. . . . 

Whichever form of bereavement oppresses 
you, oh, be comforted by the thought that 
''Jesus wept ; " that He who so wept is still 

2IO Comfort for Mourners in Gefieral. 

unchanged in nature ; that the heart which 
was so troubled is as susceptible now as then, 
and beats in unison and sympathy with you 
under such trials and sorrows. What a com- 
forter is the Elder Brother, who knows what it 
is to be bereaved, and will, out of such experi- 
ence, soothe and solace His people ! Nay, 
more : for eighteen hundred years the Man 
Jesus has been employed in binding up the 
bleeding in heart, and healing all their wounds. 
Every variety of grief He has dealt with, and 
with every element and form of it He is per- 
fectly famiHar. If there be power in human 
sympathy to lighten the load of woe, oh, how 
much more in the sympathy of Him who " bore 
our griefs and carried our sorrows," — whose 
words of comfort reach the heart, — who gives 
Himself, to be loved in room of the object 
taken away, — and gathers the departed into a 
blessed company before the throne, with the 
prospect of a happy and unclouded reunion ! 
Let the mourner never forget the image of 
the weeping Saviour. Oh, how it will reas- 
sure him, and fill him with unspeakable con- 
solation ! Thou weepest, but "Jesus Wept ! " 

Comfort for Motiniers in General. 211 

Rev. Dr. Charles J. Vaughan, Vicar of Doncaster. 

Sorrow is a great test of truth. Nothing 
which has the slightest tinge of unreality, 
whether in the form of exaggeration or of affec- 
tation, has a chance of acceptance with persons 
in deep trouble. There must be, as a first 
condition, the recognition of the existence in 
the sufferer's case of that which is hard to bear ; 
and there must be, as a second condition, the 
presentation of that which is perfectly support- 
ing, because absolutely true, to meet it, if a 
man would minister with any effect to one on 
whom pain or loss, anxiety or desolation, has 
laid a heavy hand. Too often there is an 
attempt to ignore the sorrow ; to treat it as if it 
were made too much of; almost to reprove it, 
as if it were fanciful or voluntary. It is diffi- 
cult for health and sickness, ease and distress, a 
whole heart and a wounded heart, to meet and 
sympathize : grief is suspicious of gladness, 
and is slow to be persuaded that he who comes 
to the house of mourning from the dwelling of 
cheerfulness can bring with him a just appre- 
ciation of the calamity which he seeks to soothe. 
To be able to weef with them that iveef is a 
necessary requisite in one who would be, in 
the divine sense, a son of consolation. 

212 Comfort for Mourners in General. 

It is the first object of sorrow, if we recog- 
nize in it any object at all, that it be felt. If 
there is a remedial purpose in it, or if there is 
even a chastening and a humble purpose in it, 
this can only be answered by the entrance of 
the pain itself into the very soul's soul. This 
is what an inexperienced comforter will not 
let it do. He acts, with his spiritual comfort, 
just as he thinks it wrong and shocking for 
another to act with his worldly comfort. He 
counts it a great sin to drown sorrow by letting 
in the din of the world upon it ; but does he 
not himself seek to overbear sorrow in an op- 
posite manner, by haste and precipitation in 
administering the remedies of the Gospel? 
Truths which will be valuable and efficacious 
a month hence, may themselves be inopera- 
tive and inaudible to-day. And the wise 
physician, like Him whose hand is working 
with him from above, will abide and watch his 
time. He will be satisfied, in the first in- 
stance, that the soul should lay itself low and 
let the wave pass over it. Its foot must touch 
the bottom of the deep waters before it can 
safely rise again to their surface. All that 
we can desire to hear from the rent heart, in 
the first hours of anguish, is the simple confes- 
sion, // is the Lord. 

Comfoi'i for Mourners in General. 213 

Rev. Dr. Henry Alford, Dean of Canterbury. 

I SUPPOSE, when we say every day, "Thy 
will be done," in our Lord's prayer, we mean, 
" Here I am, dispose of me as Thou wilt." 
And doubtless such a general feeling is a good 
and salutary one, an excellent introduction to 
our daily duties and trials. It may be well, 
however, to put it sometimes more to the test, 
and question it somewhat more closely than 
Christians usually do. Have we reflected, 
when we ^thus say, that our heavenh^ Father's 
will evidently is, that we should become 
perfect, as our Saviour did, through suf- 
fering? Have we made our account, that 
health and strength, fortune and friends, are 
all in His hand, suspended in the balance with 
our eternal welfare? that our Father's care 
over us is such, that if one of them is seen by 
Him to outweigh and interfere with our soul's 
health, He will surely interpose and take it 
from us? Have we borne in mind, that the 
very day, in whose opening hour we kneel in 
our closets and say, "Thy will be done," may 
see our whole life's bitterest and dreariest pas- 
sage, — may behold us stricken down by our 
Father's judgment, may make the strong man 

214 Comfort for Mourners hi General.' 

a miserable wreck, the rich man a poor bank- 
rupt, the social man a solitary in the world's 
wilderness? Do those whose souls are knit 
in one by love's closest tie of God's own sanc- 
tioning, reflect, when they say these words 
together in the morning, that one may be taken 
before the evening, and the other left, to try 
how deep the resignation to God's will really 
was? Does it ever cross the mother's mind, as 
she teaches the blessed prayer to her babe, 
fresh risen and bright in the morning, that 
ere night His will may indeed be done upon 
both, — that she may be striving to suffer it 
on earth, while her darling is doing it in 
heaven ? Far be it from me to dash or imbit- 
ter the heart's joys, pure and holy like these. 
But, O brethren, such thoughts as these will not 
dash nor imbitter joy. Then it is imbittered, 
^yhen the soul has made her nest and her home 
here below, has gazed on her beloved object 
insatiably, and never thought of God — has 
used the world as if she possessed it — and 
some hour when all is fair and serene, in the 
midst of much treasure laid up for many 
years, comes the fatal stroke, unlooked for, 
unaccountable, irremediable. One such rec- 
ord I have seen engraved on the tomb of 
; a beloved child : " The miserable parents ven- 
' tured their all on this frail bark, and the wreck 

Co7nfort for Mourner's in General, 215 

was total." This, is bitterness indeed ; but to 
see all our comforts coming day by day from 
God's hand — to live in the continual conscious- 
ness that He who to-day tries our gratitude 
by giving them, may to-morrow try our faith 
b}^ withdrawing them, — this is not to poison 
joy, but to enhance it tenfold, — it is not to 
blight the fair plant, but to give it strength 
and endurance, so that it shall flourish not 
only in the sunshine but in the storm ; not 
only in the morn and promise of life, but 
amidst disappointment and decay and death. 

"Thy will be done." And what if that will 
be not only afflictive, but dark and mysterious 
also? What if God be pleased to wound just 
where we believed we wanted cherishing? 
What if to the weak and short-sighted eye of 
sense He even seem as a tyrant, delighting in 
doing us harm, striking us when w^e are down, 
yea, forgetting His own promises and break- 
ing His everlasting covenant? O brethren, I 
know how hard it is in such cases to feel from 
the heart this prayer, — how the words seem 
almost to choke us in utterance, and the peti- 
tion to be more than we ever can really ^attain 
to. But let us not, for all that, relinquish 
our trust in our Father's love and care of us. 
What He does, we know not, we know not 
now ; but we shall know hereafter. I remem- ^ 

2i6 Co7nfort for Mourners in General, 

ber, on one of those glorious days of all but 
cloudless sunshine, with which some of our 
summers abound, passing in view of a well- 
known line of bare and majestic downs, then 
basking in the full beams of noon. But on 
one face of the hill rested a mass of deep and 
gloomy shadow. On searching for its cause, 
I at length discovered one little speck of 
cloud, bright as light, floating in the clear 
blue above ; this it was which cast on the 
hill-side that ample track of gloom. And 
what I saw was an image of Christian sorrow. 
Dark and cheerless often as it is, and unac- 
countable as it passes over our earthly path, 
in heaven its token shall be found ; and it 
shall be known to have been but as a shadow 
of His brightness, whose name is Love. In 
this case too, then. His will be done ; rest in 
the Lord, and He shall make it plain. It is 
good to wait ; it lifts men above the world and 
out of themselves, and they grow in the 
knowledge of their Father and God, and 
in ripeness for the day when He shall be 

Comfort for Motcrners in General, 217 

Principal Tolloch, D.D., St. Andrews. 

The New Testament teaches us to think of 
our dead ones as "asleep." "Them also 
which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." 
(i Thess. iv. 14.) They are gone from us, 
but they rest in the Lord. And when they 
awake, they will be still with Him. Why, 
then, should we weep for those who, now 
calmly resting in Christ, await a joyful resur- 
rection ? 

As " sleep is to waking, so is death to the 
resurrection." It is the dawn of a resurrection 
Morning which gives its full force to the im- 
age. In death there is rest from care and 
sorrow, and all the ills which make life pain- 
ful ; and so far it is like to sleep, when we lie 
down and put from us, in unconscious slum- 
ber, the cares of the day, the sorrows that may 
have vexed us, or other ills that may have 
pained or wearied us. But it requires the 
assurance of an awakening to complete the 
analogy. It were little to say to men, as 
Socrates said long ago, that death is a "great 
gain," even if we only think of it as a "deep 
sleep in which one has had no dream." In- 
sensibility is better than pain or toil. But to 

2i8 Comfort for Mourners in General, 

the Christian the sleep of death is only the 
prelude to a joyful day. The sleeper awakes 
refreshed and strengthened to a " mightier 
power of life." The believer sinks to rest in 
the grave that he may rise again on the res- 
urrection Morning in new and more glorious 
being. " For if we believe that Jesus died and 
rose again, even so them also which sleep in 
Jesus will God bring with Him." 

It was this view of death of which the 
heathen knew nothing. They might think 
of their dead ones as resting in the dust. 
Their Philosophers might discourse of a 
dreamless sleep ; and their Poets sing of a 
long night of perpetual slumber towards which 
they were hastening ; but they knew nothing 
of the Morning that was to break on their long 
sleep, of the Resurrection to which it was 
destined. Even the ancient Hebrews saw this 
but dimly, and therefore they cried, "The 
living, the living, he shall praise Thee. For 
the grave cannot praise Thee ; death cannot 
celebrate Thee : they that go down into the 
pit cannot hope for Thy truth." (Isaiah 
xxxviii. 18-19.) "In death there is no re- 
membrance of Thee : in the grave who shall 
give Thee thanks?" (Ps. vi. 5.) "The 
dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go 
down into silence." (Ps. cxv. 17.) Prophet 

Comfort for Mourners in General. 219 

and Psalmist had at the best but a feeble hold 
of the doctrine of Resurrection to Eternal Life. 
They saw before them the darkness ; they 
felt, with something of horror, the silence of 
the tomb, but the eye of faith did not pierce 
steadily beyond the voiceless gloom. Life 
and immortality have only been brought 
clearly to light in the Gospel, — in Him who 
hath Himself risen "the first-fruits of them 
that sleep." And hence, the Christian alone 
looks with cheerful hopefulness in death. 
Others may face it with steadfastness or calm : 
he alone lies down to sleep in hope. Not 
only without fear, but in joy he enters the 
dark valley, and friends lay him in the nar- 
row prison-house, "dust to dust, in the hope 
of a joyful Resurrection." "For this corrup- 
tible must put on incorruption, and this mortal 
must put on immortality. . . . Then shall be 
brought to pass the saying that is written : 
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, 
where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy 
victory? The sting of death is sin, and the 
strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to 
God, which giveth us the victory, through our 
Lord Jesus Christ." (i Cor. xv. 53-57.) 

It is this fact of Resurrection which leads 
the apostle to say that we who remain alive 

220 Comfort for Mourners in General, 

Others which have no hope." (i Thess. iv. 
13.) Why, indeed, should we thus sorrow, 
who beheve that as "Jesus died and rose 
again, even so them also who sleep in Jesus 
will God bring with Him"? (i Thess. iv. 14.) 
They who had no such faith, might well weep 
as they buried their Dead out of sight and 
knew not whether they should ever more see 
the light of life. But why should we hope- 
lessly weep for those who are resting with the 
Lord, who have gone before to be for ever 
with Him? Why, indeed, but for the faint- 
ness of our hearts and the weakness of our 
flesh? Let us sorrow rather for ourselves, that 
our sight is so dim and our faith so dull — 
that we are so little able to look beyond things 
which are "seen and temporal" to those which 
are "unseen and eternal." The Living, 
rather than the Dead, may have a claim^ upon 
our sorrowful regard. For the Dead have 
gone beyond our anxiety. They have entered 
into their rest. They are asleep in Jesus ; 
while the living, who are around us, and with 
us, may be wandering far away from Him, 
may be wounding Him by their sins, may be 
"crucifying Him afresh and putting Him to 
an open shame." It is as if we were to weep 
for the child resting in its father's bosom, shel- 
tered in a happy home, rather than for the 

Comfort for Mourners hi General. 221 

child who has gone astray in darkness, and \ 
cannot find its homeward way. It is as if we \ 
were to sorrow for the mariner who has found I y- 
a safe harbor, and rests in peace, rather than | v.> 
for the storm-tossed sailor in the open main, | 
around whom the billows may be heaving | 
high, and over whom the sky may be darken- j 
ing to his doom. No, brethren, let us not 
sorrow for those who are with God, safe in a 
Father's house, sheltered in the haven of eter- 
nal rest. But let us be anxious and careful 
for the Living, that we may help them, and 
guide them by God's blessing in a right way ; 
and for ourselves, that we may "know the 
things which belong unto our peace before 
they are hid from our eyes." 


Professor Islay Burns, D.D., Free Church 
College, Glasgow. 

"But how are the dead raised up, and with 
what body do they come? " The question will 
still recur, not on the suggestion only of a 
wistful curiosity, but under the pressure of 
those doubts which the physical difficulties 
of the case now, as in the Apostle's days, 

2 22 Com/or t for Mourners in G enteral, 

awaken. How shall it be possible even for 
Omnipotence itself to gather together again, 
from the sepulchres of all the ages, the dust 
of each of His' saints, so long since dissolved, 
dispersed, blown about the world, mixed up 
with other organisms, taken up into the very 
blood and flesh of other animals and other 
men, in the long succession of ages? How 
shall each reclaim his own, when the same 
substance, the same identical particles have 
belonged successively to many? Can Omni- 
potence itself overcome the natural impossi- 
bility of the same atom being in two places 
and forming a part of two distinct material 
organisms, at once? Surely if the immortal 
spirits of men are again to be invested with a 
material form, it cannot be the same identical 
body which they laid aside at death, and 
which they left behind them in the grave. 
The objection is specious, but not solid. It is 
founded altogether, not on the difficulties of 
the doctrine itself, but on an erroneous and 
superficial understanding of the doctrine. The 
identity of animal organisms is an identity, 
not of particles, but of form and structure and 
continuous sentient life. Even during our 
present state of existence, while the organic 
identity of our bodies remains, their material 
substance is incessantly changing ; so that in 

Comfort for Mourners in General. 223 

the course of a ver}^ few years every single 
atom of their present framework shall have 
passed away and given place to others. Thus, 
in this sense, the body of the child is different 
from the body of the boy, and the body of the 
boy from that of the man, and the substance 
we take from our mother's womb is not the 
same, but wholly other than that which we 
shall lay in the tomb. It is not in this, then, 
that our true identity consists, seeing that amid 
all the incessant change that in this respect 
takes place, that identity remains all the while 
unaffected. There is no individuality in 
atoms ; each one, so far as we know, is like 
another, and can contribute nothing therefore 
to the distinctive peculiarity or differentia of 
the bodies which they compose. I am what I 
am, not because I am composed of such and 
such particles, but because out of such parti- 
cles I have be^n moulded by the plastic hand 
of God, into that distinctive form and type of 
organic subsistence which belongs to me, as 
an individual, and which is mine and not 
another's. Even if, by a miracle, every atom 
of my bodily substance were in an instant 
eliminated and substituted by others, I would 
siill remain, as to every thing which constitutes 
my true identity, alike in body as in soul, 
totally unchanged. In this sense, then, — that is 

224 Comfort for Mourners in General, 

to say, in the sense, not of an atomic, but of 
an organic and vital identity, — the body of our 
resurrection shall be the same with the body 
of our burial. As the body of our birth is the 
same with the body of our death, so shall be 
the body of our death with the body of our 
immortality. It will be changed, and yet the 
same, — changed in its conditions, properties, 
powers ; the same in individual form and type, 
in its characteristic style and physiognomy, in 
the proportion of its parts, and its special 
adaptation to the uses of that one particular 
soul to which it inalienably belongs ; so truly 
the same that both we ourselves shall be sure 
of it, and all w4io knew us before in the flesh 
shall recognize and know us again. It will be 
the same, though raised now to the full pre- 
destined perfection of its nature, conformed to 
its true ideal, even as its type was cast in the 
eternal thought of God from the first, — bright, 
beautiful, glorious, each according to its own 
individual style and fashion of brightness, 
beauty, glory, as every true work of God is 
and must be. It was thus that the Apostle, in 
his own grand way, solved the difficulty: 
"Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not 
quickened, except it die : and that which thou 
sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, 
but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of 

Comfort for Mourners in General. 225 

some other grain : But God giveth it a body 
as it hath pleased Him ; and to every seed his 
own body. ... So also is the resurrection of 
the dead. It is .sown in corruption : it is 
raised in incorrupt'on ; it is sown in dishonor : 
it is raised in glory ; it is sown in weakness : 
it is raised in power ; it is sown a natural 
body : it is raised a spiritual body. ... So 
when this corruptible shall have put on incor- 
ruption, and this mortal shall have put on 
immortality, then shall be brought to pass the 
saying that is written, Death is swallowed up 
in victory." (i Cor. xv. 36-54.) 

Here, then, we must pause. With this 
glimpse of the glory to be revealed, grand, 
but undefined, we must rest satisfied. Other 
questions manifold, and to the thoughtful spirit 
of deepest interest, we might ask, but cannot 
answer. What precisely shall be the new 
conditions, capacities, powers of our resurrec- 
tion life? In what respects shall it be the 
same, and in what unlike our present earthly 
state? What new avenues of knowledge shall 
we possess, what new organs of perception, 
what new spheres of activity, and springs of 
enjoyment? Shall there be music, poetry, art, 
science, deepening research, and advancing 
knowledge of the works and ways of God, in 
heaven, even as here? Where shall the final 

226 Comfort for Moiirners in General, 

seat of the blessed be? or 'shall they be con- 
fined, as now, to any exclusive spot, — to any 
one single orb in the immensity of God's uni- 
verse ; or shall they not rather roam at large 
through all its wide domains, tread free and 
unrestrained through all the streets of the 
illimitable city of God? Shall we still, then 
as now, only scan from afar, the course of the 
planetary orbs, and the twinkle of the distant 
Pleiades, or shall we be permitted to visit 
them, and know all about them, and be at 
home in them, as in so many chambers of the 
one Father's house? In what form or stage 
of their development shall the bodies of the 
blessed rise, — as in youth, or in manhood, or 
in ripe majestic age? Shall the child of this 
world be still a child in heaven ; or expand 
all at once in that wondrous transfiguration 
moment, into the fulness of its stature and 
■perfection of its powers? and shall the old 
man be still an old man for ever ; or shall he 
not rather, by that great regenerative baptism, 
be brought back to all the freshness and 
strength of his manly prime? Shall we, in 
short, appear then, just as we were when death 
took us ; and not rather as we were or might 
have been, at our best? Shall the great Archi- 
tect of that new creation realize the true and 
perfect ideal of the life of His saints ; or the 

Comfort for Mourners in General. 227 

restoration only, though in a glorified state, of 
their actual form here below ? We cannot tell. 
We know not what we shall be. Enough, 
that God knoweth, and that He planneth and 
doeth all things well. Enough, that however 
high our conceptions of the unseen world, 
and sublime our aspirations in regard to it, it 
will still be something higher and grander far 
than we dream; for "eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of 
man, the things which God hath prepared for 
them that love Him." Enough, that there 
shall be a new heaven, and a new earth, and 
that we shall be made perfectly meet to possess 
and to enjoy it. Enough, and above all, that 
Christ shall be there, and that "when He shall 
appear, we shall be like Him ; for we shall see 
Him as He is." 


Rev. Dr. John Ker, Glasgow. 

"Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw 
Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if 
Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." — 
John xi. 32. 

Another reason why Christ permits death 
is, that the sorrowing friends may lea?'n entire 

2 28 Comfort for Mourners in General, 

reliance on Him. It is a subject for study in 
this chapter, how Christ leads on these sisters 
from a dead brother to the Resurrection and 
the Life, and teaches them through their loss 
to gain what they never could lose any more. 
Had He snatched Lazarus from the brink of 
death, they would have trembled again at his 
every sickness, but when they learn to find 
their brother in Christ, they are secure of him 
for ever, and the}^ discover in Christ Himself 
more than their heart conceived, — 

" One deep love doth supersede 

All other, wh^n her ardent gaze 
Roves from the living brother's face 
And rests upon the Life indeed." 

Christ separates our friends from us for a 
while that we may learn to find our all in Him- 
self. He makes their grave the seed-bed of 
immortal hopes, which shall give us back 
every thing that is good in the past, and a joy 
with it like the joy of harvest. The expres- 
sion of our resignation in bereavement is as 
much a triumph of His grace as the calmness 
He gives to our dying friends. When Martha 
and Mary can still call Him ''Lord,'" and when 
their " hope can smile on all other hopes gone 
from them," — when they can clasp Christ as 
their portion amid desolation around and 

Co7nfort for Mourners in General. 229 

within, — Christ Himself is justified in the per- 
mission of death. . . . 

We mention, as a last reason for Christ's 
delay to interpose against death, that He brings 
in thereby a grander final issue. Had He 
come and arrested this sickness midway, or 
raised Lazarus to life so soon as he died, the 
gladness of the friends would not have been so 
great, nor would his own triumph over death 
have been so illustrious. But He patiently 
waits his hour, while the mourners weep and 
the scoffers scorn. Men must interpose when 
they can, but the Son of God interposes when 
He wills. The wisdom with which He chooses 
his time makes his delay not callous nor cruel, 
but considerate of our best interests in with- 
holding for a while that He may bless us at 
last with an overflowing hand. Could the 
mourners see it as He does, they would will- 
ingly acquiesce, and would go forth patiently 
sowing in tears that they might have a more 
abundant reaping-time of joy. 

It is in this interval of delay that our life is 
cast. The world is represented by this home 
of Bethany before Christ reached the grave, 
and all the phases of character, and all the 
stages of Christ's progressive advance may be 
seen in the hearts of men around us. But at 
whatever step of his journey man's faith may 

230 Comfort for Mourners in General. 

discern Him, He is surely on His way. The 
tide of eternal life is setting in toward the 
world of graves, and its swell and its murmur 
can be already perceived by all who have a 
soul to feel the heaving of Christ's heart. 
Amid the tears and sobs of the bereaved 
friends, whose sorrows still touch Him, He 
is moving to the sepulchre. His presence, 
though unseen, can be heard and felt in whis- 
pered consolations, — in the faith and hope 
which His Spirit infuses into the soul. Those 
who know Him for what He is, recognize a 
Friend who weeps in sympathy with them, 
and who walks by their side to the tomb which 
His voice shall yet open. The delay seems 
long, but He counts the hours as we do ; and 
not for a single one will He linger beyond 
what infinite wisdom sees fit. One result 
of this delay shall be a grander final issue. 
He permits His friends to descend with broken 
ranks into the swellings of Jordan, but He will 
lead them forth on the other side in one fully- 
marshalled and bannered host. He puts the 
jewels one by one into His crown within the 
secret of His palace, that He may bring them 
out at last resplendent and complete as a royal 
diadem from the hand of His God. Patient 
waiting shall have its full compensation on that 
day, and divine delay justify itself before the 

Comfo7't for Afoiwners in General. 231 

universe in glorious and everlasting results. 
Could we see to the end, it would reconcile us 
even now. He discerns it for us, and with- 
holds His hand from premature and imperfect 
interference. After their burst of weeping, 
He hushes the separate voices for a season in 
the silence of death, till they can awake and sing 
in full harmony, that their united praise may 
still the enemy and the avenger, and be his 
glory and their own joy for ever. 

Rev. George Gilfillan, Dundee. 

There was one event in my domestic history 
at this time which cast a deep shadow on my 
soul, and weakened me for the contest with my 
spiritual foes. This was the death of a dear 
little girl who was connected with me, and 
whom I regarded as a daughter. I am guilty 
of no conscious exaggeration when I call my 
Agnes all that Mrs. Stowe has since represented 
in Eva, — one of the rarest specimens of the 
workmanship of Heaven. In her simple yet 
profound nature was united a wisdom beyond 
her years to the most bewitching artlessness. 
Playful, yet serious; quick in feeling; buoy- 
ant in sph-its ; fond of books and of solitude to 

232 Comfort for Mourners in General, 

a degree which is rarely to be found in one so 
utterly a child ; affectionate and open-hearted, 
she wielded a gentle fascination which was felt 
beyond her own little circle, and attested by 
the tears which the news of her loss drew from 
many to whom she was but partially known. 
Her face was one of those which, without 
being perfectly regular in their beauty, win 
their way still more beseechingly to the heart. 
Its leading characters were transparent open- 
ness, — every feature obeying the motions of the 
mind within, promptly and fully as the wave 
receives the sunbeam ; great flexibility and 
intelligence of expression ; and that indescrib- 
able something which naivete and heart unite 
in stamping on the countenance. Her brow 
was prominent, pale as marble, and nobly ex- 
panded ; her eyes, — 

" Oh, speak not of her eyes ! — thej were 
Twin mirrors of the Scottish summer heaven ; " 

her chin Grecian, as if chiselled by Phidias ; 
her cheek, in exercise or emotion, often flush- 
ing up through its paleness into a rich and rose- 
ate hue ; her voice clear, sweet, none the less 
for its Norland accent, and predicting a beauti- 
ful singer ; and her step light, airy, and swift 
as a " roe or a young hart upon the moun- 


Comfort for Mourners in General. 233 

cough — changed her countenance, ere it sent 
her away, spreading a fearful pallor over the 
whole, protruding the fine eye into a stare of an- 
guish, and choking up the music of her voice, 
which, inarticulate, became unable to express 
her thickening thoughts and wants ; but death 
restored her to herself, and almost all her former 
beauty clustered round her corpse. Death is 
often a ghastly disguise, a dread mask, remind- 
ing you of an ill-executed picture. But she was 
so calmly beautiful, so spiritually still, so smil- 
ingly radiant amidst her marble coldness, that 
but for the heart-heard whisper — how stilly 
low ! — "It is for ever," and the shudder spring- 
ing from the touch of the icy brow, you would 
have said, " The maid is not dead ; she only 
sleepeth." Death seemed forced to smile out 
the news of immortality from her dear cold coun- 
tenance. It was solemn beyond expression to 
see friend after friend coming in on tiptoe, rais- 
ing the covering, looking and leaning over the 
face, and with sighs or tears, or aspect of with- 
ered unweeping woe, turning away. It was in- 
expressibly touching, too, to see the immediate 
relatives taking their last look ere the lid of 
the coffin was closed, amid bursting sobs, and 
all the other irrepressible signs of sorrow — 
suddenly brought under the sense of an eternal 
separation ; one parent the while looking not 

234 Comfort fo7' Mour^iers in General. 

— daring not to look — but 'patting the dear 
brown head once more, and hurrying away. 
In a sweet southerly side of the beautiful kirk- 
yard of Fettercairn, beside the bones of her 
grandfather (and now of her father, who loved 
her so fondly) , under the clear blue sky of the 
north, and in the expectation of the coming, to 
this sunlit vale of tears, of Jesus Christ with 
His holy angels, repose, and have for twenty- 
five years reposed, the remains of one who 
never gave a pang to a friend's heart, nor 
armed with a rod a father's hand ; whose mem- 
ory shall be cherished, and her sweetest name 
repeated, and the spot where lies her virgin 
dust visited and watered with tears, while 
there lives one of those who really knew her, 
or felt how insipid in comparison was all love 
beside what she inspired — of one who in the 
brief business of her existence exhibited the 
affection of the amiable child, the ardor of the 
docile scholar, the liveliness of the fearless 
girl, and the graces of the saint sanctified from 
the womb. She was my play-fellow when 
cheerful, my comforter when sad ; her ardess 
yet piercing prattle at once soothed and roused 
my mind ; and assuredly, amid all the " cham- 
bers of my imagery," I have never had an idol 
like her, whose premature loss I continue bit- 
terly, yet submissively, to deplore. 

Comfort f 07' Motirners in General, 235 

Not so submissive were my feelings at the 
time. How my heart bled, and what dark, 
unhappy thoughts crossed my soul, as I saw 
this good and beautiful young being writhing 
in anguish, and weeping with her fearful pain, 
till there came at last a wild and merciful de- 
lirium, and gave her partial forgetfulness ! 
And it was not till I saw the child I loved so 
dearly fairly committed to the grave, and had 
leaned a long time in anguish over a tombstone 
which was casting its shadow on the little 
spot, and, looking up to the sun shining so 
bright and cold in the spring sky, had said 
within myself, as Scott cried at the burial of 
one of his friends, "There shall be less sun- 
shine for me henceforth," that tears came to 
my relief, and a rainbow of resignation, if not 
of hope, seemed to smile through these bitter 
yet blessed tears. 

—4 — 

Mrs. Janet Hamilton, Langloan, Coatbridge. 

Not long since I paid a visit to a neighbor 
of mine who had lately suffered som-e severe 
domestic bereavements. She was lately the 
mother of two sweet and amiable girls. She 
never had any other children, and being on 
the shady side of fifty herself, she had looked 

236 Comfort for Mourners in General, 

forward with hope to a time, when the infirm- 
ities of old age would overtake her, to receive 
from them that attention, help, and comfort 
which their filial love and dutiful affection 
seemed to warrant. But "God, who seeth not 
as man seeth," and who often brings His own 
people " through fire and water to a wealthy 
place," saw fit to remove the green and tender 
saplings ; thereby loosening the earth-bound 
roots of the mother tree, though in the process 
every fibre of her heart thrilled with agony at 
the separation. And in this, her hour ot" bit- 
ter trial, she was sometimes ready to say with 
her Saviour in His agony, "Father, if it be 
possible, let this cup pass from me," still she 
was enabled to add, " not my will, but Thine be 
done." This being the happy frame of this 
mother's mind, she was enabled to bear up 
under the heavy shock given to maternal love 
and natural feeling by the sudden death of 
her youngest daughter, who was cut oft' by 
scarlatina, after a few days' illness. The 
eldest, who had also been attacked by the 
same disease, partially recovered, but, after 
lingering for some months, followed her sis- 
ter to the grave. It was about a week after 
the interment that I paid the visit to the mother 
I have already mentioned. I found her sit- 
ting alone, and busy knitting. Some mourn- 

Comfort for Mourners in General. 237 

ers put away and hide from sight clothes, 
books, toys, and every reHc of the beloved 
dead. Not so Mrs. G. ; the work of the 
e-ldest girl lay on the table, and the stools on 
which the children used to sit still occupied 
their respective places, and their scliQol-bags 
still hung on their accustomed pegs. She 
was pale and grave, but wore a look of patience 
and resignation. When she saw me, she rose 
and held out her hand ; and, although her 
eyes filled and her lip quivered when she did 
so, she soon recovered her composure. The 
Bible of the eldest lay on the table before her. 
It had been almost her sole companion since 
her daughter's death, and the source from 
which she had drawn comfort and resignation. 
After a short pause, I said to her, " Margaret, 
is it well with thee? is it well with the child?" 
Without hesitation she replied, " It is well. 
He hath done all things well, and I am re- 
signed to His will." She then pointed to tlie 
now open Bible before her. "See," she said, 
^' that was my Elizabeth's Sunday school Bible, 
and there are the texts chosen and marked 
out by her, to prove the exercise given out by 
her teacher for the coming Sunday — (the ex- 
ercise was this, ' we should be resigned to the 
will of God in all things') — but lijtle did she 
or I think that we must prove it, not only l)y 

238 Comfort for Mom-ners in General, 

suitable Scripture proofs, but also by our own 
resignation and submission to the will of God 
in the heavy trial so near at hand. For, when 
Sunday came, my Elizabeth lay on her death- 
bed, and in the delirium of fever she constantly 
repeated at intervals, in broken words, the 
intended exercise, *We should be resigned to 
the will of God in all things;' and blessed be 
God, who enabled me, at each .unconscious 
repetition of the exercise, to respond in my 
heart to the precious sentence. She had a 
conscious interval before death, during which 
she several times expressed a wish to die and 
to be with Jesus, and her last audible words 
were the refrain of her favorite hymn, ^ O 
Lamb of God, I come ! ' She fell asleep in 
Jesus. And I have also a good hope, through 
grace, for my dear little Janet. And though 
I sit alone here I am not solitary, for God is 
with me. And in this book (referring to her 
daughter's Bible) my Elizabeth 'being dead 
yet speaketh.' My daughters are gone to 
God, but I have many other sources of conso- 
lation ; for never now (it might have been so 
had they lived) shall sin, sorrow, or shame 
light upon them." 

She ceased to speak ; and I found that she, 
whom 1 came to comfort, had ministered both 
comfort and instruction to myself. 

Comfort for Mourners in General, 239 

Rev. Henry Allon, London. 

What a deep religiousness appeals to us in 
a child ! How simply it prays, how implicitly 
it believes, how reverently it feels ! It has 
to learn to disbelieve. What a lesson to our 
hard, unspiritual, unbelieving nature is the 
simple, pure, and beautiful religiousness of a 
child. Thank God, our seared battered hearts 
come day by day into contact with the gentle 
innocence, purity, and love of children. Thank 
God, we are all children before we are men 
and women. Happy is he who is wise enough, 
and humble enough, to learn the lessons that 
his child teaches him. 

No wonder that Christ himself takes a little 
child and makes him the exemplar of his new 
kingdom. While the worldly teacher of a 
child is ever summoning him to manhood, the 
spiritual teacher oi' a man is ever recalling 
him to childhood. Christ bids us return to 
the guileless consciousness, the pure feelings 
of childhood. We must re-live our child- 
life ; reproduce our child-consciousness ; realize 
again the sinless and simple experience of 
childhood ; become as we were when little 
children, — humble, docile;, pure, believing, 

240 Comfort for Mourners in General. 

prayerful, or we shall be unable to "receive" 
the kingdom of heaven, and unfitted to "enter' 

It is but natural, therefore, that, in the 
Bible, children should be represented as the 
very choicest of God's gifts. They are God's 
" heritage, " — that which He gives as our very 
richest portion in life. How enthusiastically 
the Bible always speaks of them as such ! 
We never meet with a dubious estimate of 
them, with a faltering congratulation. Every- 
where they are spoken of rapturously and 
exultingly, as the very crown of earthly bless- 
ings. Like all life, they come more directly 
than other things from the hand of God him- 
self. They are His precious gift. His " heri- 

We do not always so conceive of them. 
Pure, unselfish, and self-sacrificing as parental 
love is, the holiest and most perfect of all 
our human affections, — even it is capable of 
being deteriorated by circumstances, corrupted 
by wrong and sinful feeling. It is not every 
parent that receives a child as God's "heri- 
tage." A precious thing it may be to him, but 
not a gift from God. Other feelings of joy it 
may awaken, and yet not a feeling of religious 
gratitude ; other obligations it may create, and 
yet not the obligation to learn and to teach 

Comfort for Mourners m General, 241 

religious lessons. We may " take the child 
and nurse it " for our own parental joy, — for 
our social, or commercial, or ambitious pur- 
poses, — and yet not "nurse it for God." Every 
feeling of joy may be awakened by it except 
religious joy ; every sense of obligation except 
religious obligation. It ought to expel all self- 
ishness, to purify and intensify conjugal love, 
and to multiply it by a new affection ; and 
yet selfishness may feel a child a restriction 
upon social pleasure, a tax upon worldly gain. 
It ought to inspire thoughtfulness and faith ; — • 
it is an intrustment so high and holy, — a soul 
to train for God, and heaven, and eternity; — 
an intrustment accompanied by great promise, 
connected with the highest joys and with 
the greatest destinies ; — and yet the highest 
thoughts and purposes inspired by it may be 
selfish and earthly ; or, if pious feeling is 
excited by it, it may be only misgiving and 
fear, — an unbelieving, godless feeling, that, 
almost as a matter of course, it will grow up 
wicked, and need conversion in adult life. 


242 Comfort for Mourners in General, 

Rev. J. Baldwin Brown, B.A., London. 

These little ones ! Not angels, then ; but 
nurslings of Christ. "Take it, and bring it 
up for Me." I have no call to enter here into 
curious doctrinal discussions as to the natural 
estate of young children. Blessed be God, 
their estate in Christ has become a spiritual 
estate, and all their destiny has passed under 
the rule of His redeeming love. ... I turn to 
the God-man, who gathered the infants around 
Him, and took them in His arms, and blessed 
them, and said, " Suffer the little children to 
come unto me, and forbid them not: for of 
such is the kingdom of heaven.'' Gladder was 
He, perhaps, at that moment, as the little ones 
clustered round His knee and pressed to His 
heart, than through His whole pilgrimage of 
sorrows. As the pure fresh morning air, in 
which the rosy flush is glowing, and on which 
the meadows have flung their dewy sweets, 
must the balmy breath of these little ones have 
played on the Saviour's strained and weary 
heart. Unselfish, unworldly, uncareful, unfear- 
ful, unenvious, ungrasping, unconscious, in- 
nocent ! What a garden of flowers is here, 
with the morning light playing upon it, and 

Comfort for Mourners in General. 243 

the air alive with song ! Take heed that ye 
despise it not. It is the garden where, in the 
early light, you may meet the Master. He is 
abroad in it betimes, and here you may learn 
His deepest thoughts, and hear His wisest and 
most lovely words : " Except ye be converted^ 
and become as little children, ye shall not enter 
into the kingdom of heave7i." 

Little children. The whole force of the 
words is here. They soon learn the battle- 
cries of our conflicts, and shape their puppets 
after the likeness of our follies and sins. But 
little children are Christ's own nurslings. 
They love, and trust, and give, after the 
fashion that reigns in heaven. Love is their 
sunlight ; they ask for nothing but to bask in 
it. There is no glow for them when that sun 
in the home is clouded ; there are no clouds 
for them when that sun in the home is un- 
veiled. They have no possessions which they 
do not increase by sharing. Give a little one 
the gift it longs for, and straightway it toddles 
off in its glee to share it with its friend. Their 
only idea of having is sharing, till you have 
taught them a darker lesson. The very birds 
trust not more joyously the bountiful hand of 
the Father which is over them all. "Never 
mind," said a little one once to a father who 
had his full share of the burdens and struggles 

Comfort for Mourners in General, 

of life, and who was lamenting to her that 
he was too poor to gratify some desire which 
she had expressed, — "never mind, papa, you 
have enough to go on with." Yes, I thought 
when I heard it, " Out of the mouth of babes 
and sucklings Thou hast ordained strength, 
and -perfected f raise J^ 


Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, New York. 

A BEREAVED mother sent this query to the 
Rev. Henry Ward Beecher : " Last Thursday 
our little three-year old baby left us. She 
was the sunlight of our home here ; and is it 
true that when I, too, cross the river, I shall 
not know her, and knowing, shall not love 

The following was Mr. Beecher's reply : — 
"The nature of the body to which we come 
by resurrection is a matter purely of specula- 
tion. Nothing conclusively is taught by the 
Scriptures. Paul declares iXvdi fcsh and blood 
shall not inherit the icingdoni of God. So far 
as this negative reaches, the teaching is clear 
enough. Whatever the body is, it is not flesh 
and blood. But what conception can we form 
of a body except of that flesh and blood body 

Comfort for Mourners in General. 245 

in which we have always dwelt? The Apos- 
tle seems to teach that our spiritual bod}', 
without being material, will be one which shall 
correspond to our earthly one. It will answer 
our spiritual condition just as the mortal body 
does our earthly state. Beyond this all is 
fancy and speculation. Every one trying to 
fashion a conception of a spiritual body, will 
follow the peculiarities of his own mind, or 
his habits of thought and the tendencies in 
which he has been educated. As an exercise 
of the imagination, such speculations may not 
be without some benefit. They will certainly 
be harmless, if one does not fall into the con- 
ceit of thinking that his idealizings are literal 
truth. Good men and learned men have in 
eveiy age so differed among themselves as to 
the probable spiritual, that no one need be 
afraid of differing from everybody else. Even 
Paul could not explain the facts to us. In- 
stead, he drew illustrations from the vegetable 
kingdom, implying that as a corn of wheat 
when planted did not come up with the same 
body or form, but that it developed a new 
form out of the seed which was planted, so it 
should be with the human body. 

" The 7nain truth to be cherished is, that we 
shall really live on after death, and that our 
identity \^ill not be lost, but that the heavenly 

246 Comfort for 3fou7'?iers in General. 

state will so develop itself out of the materials 
gathered in the earthly, that we shall be the 
same beings, recognize ourselves as the same, 
employ the same faculties, and carry forward 
that very mind and disposition with which we 
left the world. 

But shall we recognize each other in heaven ? 
This precise question is neither put nor 
answered in the Sacred Scriptures. But 
beyond all dispute, it is implied, assumed as 
. the very necessity of a moral state, that the 
■principle of memory will exist ; that the suf- 
ferings, temptations, triumphs of men over 
evil, — that the Divine helpfulness and fidel- 
ity displa3^ed during the whole of men's 
earthly lives, — will be an occasion of thanks- 
giving 'd^ndi praise. Now, if memory survives, 
wh}^ should its action be limited to one class 
of experiences? Why, if we remember earthly 
sufferings, should we not remember those who 
soothed or sympathized in them? If we re- 
member adult friends, why should we forget 
little children, which take hold upon the heart 
with a grasp even firmer than any grown per- 
son can? there is no authority for suppositions 
which parcel out the memory and limit its 
free activity. 

It may be safely said, to all of that great 
company of mourners whose children have 
^ 16 

Comfort for Mourners in General, 247 

gone away from them, God has taken your 
BABES : THEY ARE SAFE. They did not ven- 
ture out into some great void, some vague and 
unexplored way, where the little wanderers 
w^ere left to find their own way. If there be 
use for angels, surely there is none more fit 
and beautiful than to bear in their bosoms, 
and convey to the presence of the All-Loving, 
the tender spirits of little children. 

Nor do we need to doubt that there is in the 
Father's house a place for them, and sweet 
company, and perfect blessedness and glad- 
ness, innocence and friendship, such as they 
could never have had on earth. 

Our children are cared for. He that was 
grieved when little children were kept from 
Him, who took them up in His arms, laid 
His hands upon them, and blessed them, — 
is He any less a lover of children in heaven 
than He was upon earth ? 

But shall we know them? Why not? 
Where is there an intimation in Scripture to 
this effect? It is not positively affirmed ; but 
it is implied that men, dropping at death all 
that is of the flesh, will rise into the commu- 
nion of heaven, carrying the same affections, 
sentiments, w^ill, and intelligence that they 
had on earth. Otherwise, of what use are 
discipline, education, earthly experience? It 

248 Comfort for Mourners in General, 

is the saint made perfect, not made up of a 
new pattern, that we shall meet in glor}^ 

Let no mother be driven from the hope of 
meeting her children in heaven ! Let mothers 
comfort themselves in believing that the loves 
of earth will go on in heaven, and that what- 
ever was pure, noble, and true on earth will 
go on with them for ever. Among all other 
griefs, let not this unnecessary one arise, that 
you have lost your children for ever ! He 
who keeps you for them, will keep them for 
you. They will be more beautiful, sweeter, 
more glorious in preciousness. They will be 
enough the same to make you glad for all the 
growths, additions, and refinements of their 

Rev. William Morley Punshon, M.A., Canada. . 

The question of the recognition of departed ! 
friends in heaven, and special and intimate | 
reunion with them. Scripture and reason ena- ( 
ble us to infer with almost certain persuasion. I 
It is implied in the fact that the resurrection is a 
resurrection of individuals ; that it is this mortal 
that shall put on immortality. It is implied 
in the fact that heaven is a vast and happy 

Comfort for Mourners in General. 249 

society ; and it is implied in the fact that there 
is no unclothing of the nature that we now 
possess, only a clothing upon it with the gar- 
ments of a brighter and more glorious immor- 
tality. Take comfort, then, those of you in 
whose history the dearest charities of life have 
been severed by the rude hand of the spoiler ; 
those whom you have thought about as lost are 
not lost, except to present sight. Perhaps 
even now they are angel watchers, screened 
by a kindly providence of forgetfulness from 
every thing about you that would give them 
pain ; but if you and they are alike in Jesus, 
and remain faithful unto the end, doubt not 
that you shall know them again. It were 
strange — don't you think ? — if amid the multi- 
tudes of the heavenly hosts, the multitudes of 
earth's ransomed ones that we are to see in 
heaven, we should see all but those we most 
fondly and fervently long to see ! Strange, if 
in some of our walks along the golden streets 
we never happened to light upon them ! 
Strange, if we did not hear some heaven-song 
learned on earth trilled by some clear ringing 
voice that we have often heard before ! Oh, 
depend upon it, in a realm of perfect happiness 
this element of happiness will not be absent, — 
to know and love again what we have known 
and loved below. 

250 Co7nfort for Mourner's in General, 

. ''The resurrection and the life." Oh, what 
heart is not thrilled by the preciousness of the 
promise? Whose does not throb the more joy- 
ously as he recognizes the Redeemer who 
brings him life ? " The resurrection and the 
life I " Enjoyed recompense, recovered friends, 
— these are our hopes above. Ah ! but nearer 
still and dearer still, enhancing each of these 
a thousand-fold — as every true and loyal 
believer thinks — with Jesus there ! So shall it 
be in heaven, and with glad eye and with beat- 
ing heart will each ransomed spirit break from 
its own private joy to fasten gratefully its gaze 
upon the Master who has purchased it, and 
to hear again in a pronounced immortality of 
comfort and of bliss, " I am the resurrection 
and the life." 


Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler, Brooklyn. 

For some years past, my favorite resort has 
been the beautiful and incomparable Green^ 
wood. It has no rival in the world. " Noth- 
ing that I have ever seen in Europe compares 
with this," said Newman Hall to me as we 
stood on Sylvan Cliff, on a golden day of last 

Coinfoi't for Mourners in Ge^ieral. 251 

October (1867); and he added, "Nothing I 
have yet seen in America gives me such an 
impression of wealth, taste, and refinement as 
this exquisite spot." Old Jeremy Taylor says 
that it is good to knock often at the gates of the 
grave ; and, truly, there is no terror in death 
to one who only has to look forward to 
bewitching Greenwood as the resting place of 
his body, and to Heaven as the dwelling of his 
ransomed soul. 

Yesterday I went to Greenwood alone. 
Ho\v often, in times past, have I walked there 
with a pair of little feet tripping beside me, 
which now, alas ! are laid under a mound of 
green turf and flowers. The night before the 
precious child departed, having wearied him- 
self with play, he quaintly said, "My little 
footies are tired at both ends." Ere twenty- 
four hours were past, the tired feet had ended 
life's short journey, and were laid to the dream- 
less rest. Thousands and thousands of other 
little children are slumbering around him ; for 
Greenwood is one vast nursery, in which cribs 
give place to little caskets and coffins, and no 
one is afraid to speak loud lest they wake up 
the silent sleepers. Over the dust of these 
sleeping treasures are hundreds of marbles 
which bear only such pet names as "Our 
Lucy," or "Our Willie," or "Sweet ^little 

252 Comfort for Mourners in General, 

Carrie," or "Our Darling." Close beside the 
narrow bed, so dear to me, lie a pair of chil- 
dren in one spot, and on the tiny marble above 
them is carved this sweet verse : — 

"Under the daisies two graves are made, 
Under the daisies our treasures are laid. 
Under the daisies? It cannot be thus; 
We are sure that in heaven they wait for us." 

What a celestial cheerfulness breathes in 
such words ! How like to a guardian angel's 
song ! There are other inscriptions scattered 
through the cemetery which are equally redo- 
lent of Christian hope and immortality. For 
example, on a stately monument is written 
only the name of the dead, and on the other 
side of the granite shaft the simple, thrilling 
announcement, " The Lord is Risen ! " 

Several tombs bear the single line, " Our 
Mother.''' No inscription in the whole city of 
the dead touched me so tenderly as the one 
word, " Good-night," on the tomb of a young 
wife. Perhaps this was her last utterance as 
the twilight of the "valley" fell upon her 
advancing footsteps. Among many carved 
clusters of lilies, myrtles, and violets, we 
often discovered on the monuments of God's 
departed children this flower, from the Holy 
Spirit's own hand : " Blessed are the dead 
which die in the Lord." This is the amaranth 

Comfort fo7' Mourners in General. 253 

which angels wreathe above the sainted dead. 
Hew t>agrant it is with the love of Jesus ; how 
dew}^ with precious promises ; how it glitters 
in the light which falls from the sapphire walls 
of the New Jerusalem ! Matchless line : that 
never grows old, and never stales its heavenly 
freshness ! If there be any line which the 
" ministering spirits " chant above the sleeping 
dust of Christ's blood-bought heirs of glory, it 
must be this one which the Spirit taught to the 
beloved John. Not as a dreary dirge do they 
chant it; not as a melancholy requiem: it is 
a jubilant paean of triumph over those who 
have come off more than conquerors, — whose 
achievements are complete, and for whom 
wait the " robes made white in the blood of the 

To me, the most captivating view is from 
Sylvan Cliff, overlooking Sylvan Water. On 
that green brow stands a monument which 
bears the figure of Faith kneeling before a 
cross, and beneath it the world-known lines of 
Toplady : — 

" Nothing in my hand I bring, 
Simply to Thy cross I cling! " 

As I stood beside that graceful tablet yester- 
day, the light of an October sun threw its 
mellow radiance over the crimsoning foliage, 
and the green turf, and the sparkling water of 

254 Comfort for Afourners in General, 

the fountain which played in the vale beneath. 
In the distance was the placid bay, with one 
stately ship resting at anchor, — a beautiful 
emblem of a Christian soul whose voyage had 
ended in the peaceful repose of the " desired 
haven." The sun went down into the purpling 
horizon as I stood there ; a bird or two was 
twittering its evening song ; the air was as 
silent as the unnumbered sleepers around me ; 
and, turning toward the sacred spot where my 
precious dead is lying, I bade him, as of old. 


D. M. MoiR, THE "Delta" of "Blackwood." 

[The following is an extract from a letter, dated Mus- 
selburgh, 8th January, 1S45, addressed by Dr. Moir, on 
the receipt of a favorite volume, to a friend, whose child 
he had been attending professionally : — ] 

The gift has only one drawback. Would, 
so far as our weak eyes can see, that it had 
been ordained that I should receive it from 
other hands than yours ! This was not to be, 
and for wise purposes, although we see them 
not. The loss and the grief are to those who 
are left behind : to him these cannot be. Yet 
a little while, and the end cometh to us also ; 

Co7nfo7't for Mourners in General. 255 

and we, who would detain those we love, our- 
selves almost as quickly go. 

Speaking from sad experience, a long time 
must yet elapse ere you and his mother will be 
able to look back on your deprivation with 
philosophic and unimpassioned minds, or be 
able to dissever the what must be from the 
what might have been. But when that time 
does come, you will find that the lamentation 
for an innocent child is a thornless sorrow; 
and that the steadfast faith, through the Re- 
deemer, of meeting him again, and for ever, 
can lend a joy to grief. 


D. M. MoiR. 

FARE-THEE-WELL, our last and fairest, 
Dear wee Willie, fare-thee-welll 
God, who lent thee, had recall'd thee 
Back, with Him and His to dwell : 
Fifteen moons their silver lustre 
Only o'er thy brow hath shed, 
When thy spirit join'd the seraphs, 
And thy dust the dead. 

Like a sunbeam, thro' our dwelling 

Shone thy presence, bright and calm; 
Thou didst add -a zest to pleasure. 

To our sorrov/t; thou wert balm ; 
Brighter beam'd thine eyes than summer; 

And thy first attempt at speech 
Thriird our heartstrings with a rapture 

Music ne'er could reach. 

As we gazed upon thee sleeping, 
With thy fine fair locks outspread. 

Thou didst seem a little angel, 

Who to earth from heaven had stray'd , 

Wee. Willie, 257 

And, entranced, we watch'd the vision, 
Half in hope, and half affright. 

Lest what we deem'd ours, and earthly, 
Should dissolve in light. 

Snows o'ermantled hill and valley, 

Sullen clouds begrimed the sky, 
When the first drear doubt oppress'd us, 

That our child was doom'd to die. 
Through each long night-watch, the taper 

Showed the hectic of his cheek; 
And each anxious dawn beheld him 

More worn out and weak. 

Oh, the doubts, the fears, the anguish, 

Of a parent's brooding heart. 
When despair is hovering round it. 

And yet hope will scarce depart, — 
When each transient flush of fever 

Omens health's returning light. 
Only to involve the watchers 

'Mid intenser night! 

'Twas even then Destruction's angel 

Shook his pinions o'er our path. 
Seized the rosiest of our household. 

And struck Charlie down in death ! 
Fearful, awful ! Desolation 

On our lintel set his sign; 
And we turn'd from his quick death-scene, 

Willie, round to thine ! 

Like the shot-star in blue midnight, 

Like the rainbow, ray by ray. 
Thou wert waning as we watch'd thee. 

Loveliest in thy last decay! 

258 Wee Willie, 

As a zephyr, so serenely 

Came and went thy last low breath, 
That we paused, and ask'd our spirits, — 

Is it so? Can this be death? 
As the beams of Spring's first morning 

Through the silent chamber play'd, 
Lifeless, in my arms I raised thee, 

And in thy small coffin laid; 
Ere the day-star with the darkness 

Nine times had triumphant striven, 
In one grave had met your ashes. 

And your soul's in heaven ! 

Five were ye, the beauteous blossoms 

Of our hopes, our hearts, our hearth; 
Two asleep lie buried under, — 

Three for us yet gladden earth. 
Thee, our hj^acinth', gay Charlie, — 

Willie, thee our snow-drop pure, — 
Back to us shall second spring-time 

Never more allure ! 

Yet while thinking, oh ! our lost ones. 

Of how dear ye were to us. 
Why should dreams of doubt and darkness 

Haunt our troubled spirits thus? 
Why across the cold dim churchyard 

Flit our visions of despair? 
Seated on the tomb. Faith's angel 

Says, " Ye are not there ! " 

Where, then, are ye? With the Saviour 

Blest, for ever blest, are ye, 
'Mid the sinless little children, 
• Who have heard His " Come to me ! " 

We are Seven. 259 

'Yond the shades of death's dark valley 

Now ye lean upon His breast, 
Where the wicked dare not enter, 

And the weary rest. 

We are wicked — we are weary — 

For us pray and for us plead ; 
God who ever hears the sinless, 

May through you the sinful heed : 
Pray that, through the Mediator, 

All our faults may be forgiven; 
Plead that ye be sent to greet us 

At the gates of heaven ! 

Wm. Wordsworth. 

... A SIMPLE child 

That lightly draws its breath 
And feels its life in every limb. 

What should it know of death? 

I met a little cottage girl ; 

She was eight years old, she said; 
Her hair was thick with many a curl 

That clustered round her head. 

She had a rustic, woodland air. 

And she was wildly clad : 
Her eyes were fair and very fair ; 

Her beauty made me glad. 

" Sisters and brothers, little maid. 

How many may jou be?" 
*' How many? — Seven in all," she said. 

And wondering looked at me. 

26o We are Seven, 

" And where are thej ? I pray you, tell,** 

She answered, " Seven are we; 
And two of us at Conway dwell, 

And two are gone to sea : 

" Two of us in the churchyard lie, 

My sister and my brother; 
And in the churchyai'd cottage, I 

Dwell near them with my mother." 

*' You say that two at Gonway dwell. 

And two are gone to sea, 
Yet ye are seven ! — I pray you tell, 

Sweet maid, how this may be." 

Then did the little maid reply, 

"Seven boys and girls are we; 
Two of us in the churchj'ard lie. 

Beneath the churchyard tree." 

"You run about, my little maid. 

Your limbs they are alive; 
If two are in the churchyard laid. 

Then ye are only five." 

"Their graves are green, they may be seen," 

The little maid replied, 
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door. 

And they are side by side. 

" My stockings there I often knit, 

My kerchief there I hem ; 
And there upon the ground I sit. 

And sing a song to them. 

"And often after sunset, Sir, 

When it is light and fair, 
I take my little porringer. 

And eat my supper there. 

The Graiidniolhcr, 261 

"The first that died was sister Jane; 

In bed she moaning lay, 
Till God released her of her pain ; 

And then she went away. 

" So in the churchyard she was laid ; 

And, when the grass was dry, 
Together round her grave we played. 

My brother John and I. 

"And when the ground was white with snow, . 

And 1 could run and slide, 
My brother John was forced to go, 

And he lies by her side." 

" How many are you, then," said I, 

"If they two are in heaven?" 
Qiiick was the little maid's reply, 

"O master! we are seven." 

"But they are dead ; those two are dead : 

Their spirits are in heaven ! " 
'Twas throwing words away ; for still 
The little maid would have her will, 

And said, "Nay, we are seven!" 


Alfred Tennyson. I, 

So Willy has gone, my beauty, my eldest-born, my flower; 1 

But how can I weep for Willy, he has but gone for an | 
hour, — / 

Gone for a minute, my son, from this room into the next; j 
I, too, shall go in a minute. What time have I to be vext? 


262 Berkeley and Florence Coleridge, 

Alfred Tennyson. 

[Enoch Arden having gone to sea, after many years' absence returns to 
his native place, and, when near his own end, speaks as follows to a friend 
of his departed infant : — ] 

And now there is but one of all my blood, 
Who will embrace me in the world-to-be : 
This is his hair; she cut it off and gave it, 
And I have borne it with me all these jears. 
And thought to bear it with me to my grave ; 
But now my mind is changed, for I shall see him, 
My babe, in bliss ; wherefore, when I am gone, 
Take, give her this, for it may comfort her : 
It will moreover be a token to her 
That I am he. 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

O FRAIL as sweet I twin buds, too rath to bear 

The winter's unkind air; 

O gifts beyond all price ! no sooner given 

Than straight required by Heaven ; 

Match'd jewels, vainly for a moment lent 

To deck my brow, or sent 

Untainted from the earth, as Christ's, to soar. 

And add two spirits more 

To that dread band seraphic, that doth lie 

Beneath the Almighty's ej^e ; 

Glorious the thought, — yet, ah! my babes, ah I still 

A father's heart ye fill ; 

Though cold ye lie in earth, though gentle death 

Hath sucked your balmy breath, 

Undying Love, 263 

And the last kiss which your fair cheeks I gave 

Is buried in yon grave. 

No tears, no tears, — I vv^ish them not again. 

To die for them w^as vain, 

Ere Doubt, or Fear, or Woe, or act of Sin 

Had marr'd God's light within. 


Robert Southey, LL.D. 

They sin who tell us Love can die, 

With life all other passions fly, — 

All others are but vanity. 

In heaven ambition cannot dwell, 

Nor avarice in the vaults of hell ; 

Earthly these passions of the earth, 

They perish where they have their birth ; 

But Love is indestructible : 
Its holy flame for ever burneth. 
From heaven it came, to heaven returneth. 
Too oft on earth a troubled guest. 
At times deceived, at times opprest, 

It here is tried and purified, 
Then hath in heaven its perfect rest; 
It soweth here with toil and care, 
But the harvest time of Love is there. 
Oh! when a mother meets on high 
The babe she lost in infancy, 
Hath she not then, for pains and fears, 
The day of woe, the watchful night, 
For all her sorrow, all her tears, 
An over-payment of delight? 

264 A Flower Transplanted. 


RoBERT Burns. 

(^On an only Daughter ivho died in Autumn 17950 

Oh, sweet be thj sleep in the land of the grave. 

My dear little angel, for ever I 
For ever? — Oh, no! let not man be a slave, 

His hopes from existence to sever. 

Though cold be the claj where thou piUow'st thy head, 

In the dark silent mansions of sorrow. 
The spring shall return to thy low narrow bed, 

Like the beam of the day-star to-morrow. 

The flower stem shall bloom like thy sweet seraph form, 

Ere the spoiler had nipt thee in blossom, 
When thou shrunk'st from the scowl of the loud winter 

And nestled thee close to that bosom. 

Oh, still I behold thee, all lovely in death. 

Reclined in the lap of thy mother. 
When the tear trickled bright, when the short stifled 

Told how dear ye were aye to each other. 

My child, thou art gone to the home of thy rest, 

Where suflfering no longer can harm ye. 
Where the songs of the good, where the hymns of the 

Through an endless existence shall charm thee. 

Robert Burns. 

Here lies a rose, a budding rose, 

Blasted before its bloom ; 
Whose innocence did sweets disclose 

Beyond that flower's perfume. 

Song of the Churchyard Children, 265 

To those who for her loss are griev'd 

This consolation's given, — 
She's from a world of woe receiv'd 

And blooms a rose in Heaven. 


Thomas Aird, Dumfries. 

Lo ! through the churchyard comes a company sweet 
Of ghosted infants, — who has loosed their feet? 
Linked hand in hand, this way they glide along; 
But list their softly-modulated song : — 

Our good Lord Christ on high 
Has let us forth a space, 
To see the moonlit place 
Where our little bodies lie. 
Back He will call us, at His dear command 
We'll run again unto the happy land. 

O'er each unblemished head 
No thunder-cloud unsheaths its terrors red ; 
Mild touching gleams those beauteous fields invest, 
Won from the kingdoms of perpetual rest. 

Stony Enchantment there. 
Nor Divination frights ; 
Nor hoary witch with her blue lights, 
And caldron's swarming glare; 
There are no muttered spells. 
Envy, nor Clamor loud ; 
Nor Hatred, on whose head for ever dwells 
A sullen cloud. 
There is no fiend's dissembling, 
Nor the deep-furrowed garment of trembling, 
But the robes of lucid air, 
Oh, all is good and fair! 

266 Wce^ not for He?'! 

Unto the Lamb we'll sing, 
Who gives us each glad thing: 
For Mercj sits with Him upon His throne; 
For there His gentle keeping is revealed, 
O'er each young head select a glory and a shield. 
Wide be His praises known ! 

And in the end of days, 

Our little heads He'll raise ' ' 

Unto Himself, unto His bosom dear, 
Far from the outcast fear 
Of them — oh, woe ! — who make their beds in fire. 
Sons shall we be of the celestial prime. 
Breathing the air of Heaven's delicious clime, 

Walking in white attire, 

With God Himself sublime. 

** Delta," in "Blackwood's Magazine," written 

IN 1850. 

Weep not for her! Oh, she was far too fair. 
Too pure to dwell on this guilt-tainted earth! 

The sinless glory, and the golden air 

Of Zion, seemed to claim her from her birth, — 

A spirit wandering from its native zone: 

Which soon discov'ring took her for its own : 
Weep not for her ! 

Weep not for her! Her span was like the sky; 

Whose thousand stars shine beautiful and bright; 
Like flowers that know not what it is to die ! 

Like long-link'd shadeless months of Polar light; 
Like music floating o'er a waveless lake. 
While Echo answers from the flowery brake, 
Weep not for her ! 

Weep not for Her! 267 

Weep not for her ! She died in earlj youth, 
Ere hope had lost its rich romantic hues; 

When human bosoms seem'd the homes of truth, 
And earth still gleam'd with beauty's radiant dews. 

Her summer prime waned not to days that freeze; 
Her wine of life was run not to the lees; 
Weep not for her ! 

Weep not for her ! By fleet or slow decay. 
It never griev'd her bosom's core to mark 

The playmates of her childhood wane away, 
Her prospects wither, or her hopes grow dark; 

Translated by her God, with spirits shriven, 

She passed as 'twere in smiles from earth to heaven : 
Weep not for her! 

Weep not for her ! It was not hers to feel 
The miseries that corrode amassing years, 

'Gainst dreams of bafllled bliss the heart to steel, 
To wander sad down Age's vale of tears. 

As whirl the wither'd leaves from Friendship's tree, 

And on earth's wintry world alone to be : 
Weep not for her ! 

Weep not for her! She is an angel now, 

And treads the sapphire floors of Paradise, — 

All darkness wiped from her refulgent brow. 
Sin, sorrow, suffering, banished from her eyes; 

Victorious over death, to her appear 

The vista'd joys of Heaven's eternal year : 
Weep not for her! 

Weep not for her! Her memory is the shrine 

Of pleasing thoughts, soft as the scent of flowers, 

Calm as on windless eve the sun's decline. 

Sweet as the song of birds among the bowers, 

Rich as a rainbow with its hues of light, 

Pure as the moonshine of an autumn night : 
Weep not for her ! 

268 Home TriaL • . 

Weep not for her! There is no cause for woe; 

But rather nerve the spirit, that it walk 
Unshrinking o'er the thorny paths below, 

And from earth's low defilements keep thee back : 
So, when a few fleet severing years have flown. 
She'll meet thee at Heaven's gate, and lead thee on ! 
Weep not for her! 


James Hedderwick, Editor of "The Glasgow 

I NEVER thought of him and death, so far apart they 
seem'd, — 

The love that would have died to save of danger scarcely 
dream'd ; 

Too late the fear that prompted help, too late the yearn- 
ing care ; 

Yet who that saw his lustrous face could doubt that death 
would spare? 

Oh, could my pangs have lightened his, or eased his fail- 
ing breath, 

I would have drain'd the bitter cup, had every drop been 
death : 

But, though I drank his agony, until my heart o'erflow'd, 

From oft' the little sufferer's breast I could not lift the load. 

It weigh'd him down ; I saw him sink away from life and 

Grief waded in the gentlest eyes ; my own could scarcely 

see : 
He look'd so calm, he felt so cold, — all hope, all life had 

A cry of pain would have been sweet, but pain itself was 


Home Trial, 269 

They took his form of innocence, and stretch'd it out 

Tears fell upon the pulseless clay, like rain-drops upon 

stone ; 
They closed his eyes of beauty, for their glory was o'er- 

A.nd sorrow drew its deepest shade from gladness that was 


The sun was lazy in the heavens that day our darling 

And longer wore away the night we miss'd him from our 

All sleep was scared by weary sobs from one wild heart 

and mine, — 
The only sleep in all the house, my innocent! was thine. 

I made mad inquest of the skies; I breathed an inward 

psalm : 
The stars burn'd incense at God's feet: I grew more 

strong and calm : 
I utter'd brave and soothing words, as was my manhood's 

Then hurried speechlessly away to hide the father's heart. 

His coffin-crib a soft hand deck'd with flowers of sweetest 

To beauty and decay akin, their living breath they lent; 
But never could they breath impart whence other breath 

had flown ; 
Ah me! aflfection's helplessness, when death has claim'd 

his own ! 

Our child was now God's holy child, yet still he linger'd 

here ; 
Oh, could we but have kept him thus, the pictured dust 

how dear ! 

270 Home Trial. 

But soon the grave its summons writ upon the black'ning 

lips ; 
And wheresoe'er I look'd for light, I onlj saw eclipse. 

There was no loveliness in flowers, in human ejes, or 

books ; 
Dear household faces flitted round with pain'd and ghastly 

looks ; 
A shadow mufiled like a mist the splendors of the day, 
And sorrow speaking to the night took all its stars away. 

No more might fair hands fondly smooth the pillow for 

his head; 
The joyless task Avas now all mine to lay him in his bed : 
I laid him in his earth-cold bed, and buried with him 

The hope that trembling on its knees expired 'mid broken 


.As in the round and beauteous bud the promise we may 

Of the unfolded perfect flower, I used to read his face, 
Till love grown rash in prophecy foretold him brave and 

strong, — 
A battler for the true and right, a trampler on the wrong. 

Had I my life to live again, I know how I would live, 
And all the wisdom I have learn'd, to him I meant to 

give, — 
To bless his glowing boyhood with the ripeness of my 

And train him up a better man, to tread a nobler stage : 

To train him up a perfect man, the crown of life to win, 
With kingly chastity of thought to awe rebellious sin. 
With all the light thrown forward of a bright, unwasted 

youth, — 
A soul as pure as cloister'd love, and strong as castled 


Home Trial, 271 

His lot, how happy had it been, with age to guard and 

guide ! 
And yet he might have proved a sire, — his darling might 

have died : 
If so, I need not canvass more the heavens why this 

should be, — 
Ah! better to be early dead, than live to weep like me! 

Tears! tears! ye never can be his! The thought my own 

should dry; 
Yet other thoughts and sadder thoughts still brood the 

fountains by : 
Why was a treasure to me given, for death so soon to 

take ? 
Oh, may the answer be, — a heart grown purer for his 


Striving one day to be myself, of living things I thought, 
And musing on my blessings left, a calm was in me 

Till gliding to my infant's room, all noiselessly I stept, 
And shudder'd as remembrance woke that there no more 

he slept. 

The world is emptied of my child, yet crowded with his 

loss ; 
The silence and the vacancy my steps for ever cross; 
With every sound of merriment my sorrow is at strife. 
And happy infants stare at me, like pictures wanting life. 

My eye grows greedy of distress; what healthless looks 

I meet! 
What tear-writ tales of anguish in the harsh, unheeding 

street ! 
Yet while the wasting griefs I trace in other hearts that 

The sj'mpathy I fain would give, my own heart sootheth 


272 Home Trial, 

Again, to dwarf my woe, I dream of war and shipwreck 

Of choking pit, of crashing train, of fierce o'ermastering 

fire : 
Alas ! the thousand frantic ills, which some are doomed 

to prove ; 
O God ! how sweetly died my child 'midst ministries of 


So gently wail, ye pleasant winds ! and weep, ye silver 

showers ! 
Thou shadow of the cypress tree lie lightly on the 

flowers ! 
The summer has its mildews, and the daylight has its 

And some put on their marriage robes, while some are 

clad in shrouds. 

Thus o'er the gleaming track of life the generations 

run : 
Do they to clodded darkness pass, or to a brighter sun? 
Does nothing spiritual ascend? can soul become a sod? 
Is man on earth an orphan? is creation void of God? 

Is the resplendent cope of night deserted, drear, and 

dead ? 
Does no great ear lean down to catch the prayers by good 

men said ? 
Is groan of murder'd patriot, or shout of martyr'd saint, 
As idle as on savage shores the homeless ocean's plaint? 

Above the lands that front the sky in the illumined east, 

The stars hang low and large, like lamps at some immor- 
tal feast, 

And from those lands so near to heaven have wondrous 
voices come 

Of God's eternal fatherhood, and man's celestial home. 

Our First Taken. 273 

I marvel, then, dear child of mine! whom 'neath the grass 

I laid, 
If wing'd and bright, a spirit now, though scarcely purer 

Thou liv'st in His almighty care, in mansions of the skies! 
Oh say, wilt thou come down to me, or I to thee arise? 

Great mysteries are round thee, child! unknown or dim 

to me. 
But yet I cannot dread the death made beautiful by thee ; 
The path thy little feet have trod I may not fear to tread, 
And so I follow in the dark, as by an angel led. 

Rev. Walter C. Smith, D.D., Glasgow. 

Sit close beside me, dearest wife; 

We are together, if alone ; 
The dew upon the bloom of life 

Is gathered, and the bloom is gone; 
And part of us is in the grave, 

And part is in the heaven above; 
But stronger is the tie we have 

In mingled cords of grief and love. 

Sit very near, and let me dry 

This tear that trickles down thy cheek, 
And this that trembles in thine eye; 

For it is time that we should speak: 
The choking stupor of the hour 

Is past, when weeping was relief; 
Now yield thee to a gentler power, — 

The tender memory of grief. 

274 ^^^ First Taken. 

Let's talk of her, — our little one 

Who walks above the milky way, 
Arrayed in glory like the sun 

That lightens the eternal day; 
The little gift that we did make 

To God, by whom the boon was given, 
He wished it, deeming she would take 

Our hearts away with her to heaven. 

Remember that sweet time when hope 

Sat brooding o'er its future joy. 
And low, fond laughter wakened up 

With bets upon a girl or boy; 
And little caps in secret sewn. 

Were hid in many a quiet nook: 
You knew the secret to be known. 

Yet hid them with a guilty look. 

Remember all the gush of thought 

When first upon your arm she lay, 
And all the pain was all forgot, 

And all the fears were smiled away; 
And looking on her helplessness 

Awakened strong resolve in you, 
And mother-love and tender grace; 

And all was beautiful and new. 

For you were sure, a week before. 

That you should never live to see 
A baby laughing on the floor. 

Or placid lying on the knee. 
Or laid on my ungainly hand 

That always feared to let her slip, 
Or held up, with a fond command. 

For pressure of a father's lip. 

Oii7' First Taken, 275 

O sweet bud, flowering dewj bright 

To crown our love's rejoicing stem ! . 
O great ejes wondering in their light, 

With long dark lashes fringing them I 
And over these the forehead broad, 

And then her full and parted lips 
And rounded chin, meet for a god, 

And pink shells on her finger-tips I 

Most beautiful her life! and we 

Were even too full of happiness : 
As dewy flowers hang droopinglj, 

O'erburdened with the weight of bliss, 
And, fearful lest the treasure spill, 

Close up their petals to the light, 
So we forgot all, good or ill, 

To clasp to us that dear delight. 

Remember how we noted all 

Her little looks and winning ways, 
And how she let her evelids fall 

As I was wont in wooing days; 
And held her little finger up 

In curious mimicry of mine; 
But when the smile was on her lip, 

Lo ! all the beaming face was thine. 

Oh, say not she was only seen. 

Like song-bird lighting on the tree, 
A moment, while the leaves were green, 

Filling the boughs with melody, 
And then, when hope arose serene. 

She left us sadder than before ; 
And better she had never been, 

Than leave us stricken to deplore. 

2*]6 The ChMs Angel. 

And was it nothing then to feel 

A mother's love, and do her part, 
While soft hands o'er the bosom steal, 

And soft cheeks press against the h'eart? 
Nay, let us kneel together, love. 

And bow the head, and kiss the rod; 
We gave an heir to heaven above, 

A child to praise the Christ of God. 

He would have infant trebles ringing 

The glories of the great I AM ; 
He would have childish voices singing 

The hallelujahs of the Lamb; 
And shall we faint in grief's desire 

Because this grace to us is given. 
To have a babe amid the choir 

White-robed around the throne of heaven? 

We had a joy unto us given 

Transcending any earthly pleasance ; 
We had a messenger from heaven; 

Let us be better for her presence. 
Our mother earth where she is laid 

Is dearer to my heart for her : 
We have such kindred with the dead, 

The very grave is lightsomer. 


Rev. W. B. Robertson, D.D., Irvine, Ayrshire. 

Elder sister, elder brother, 
Come and go around the mother, 

As she bids them come and go; 
But the babe in her embrace 
Rests and gazes on her face, 

And is most happy so. 

The Child's AngeL 277 

Dropping from her lips and eyes, 
Soft and hidden harmonies 

Steal into her infant's heart: 
Mirror'd in clear depths below, 
Gleams of mystic beauty flow, 

And fix, and ne'er depart. 

Christ, our Lord, in His evangel, 
Tells us how the young child's angel, 

In the world of heavenly rest, 
Gazes in enraptured trance 
On His Father's countenance. 

And is supremely blest. 


Other angels come and go. 
As the Lord will, to and fro : 

Some to earth, on missions fleet, 
Some stand singing, some are winging 
Their swift flight, and homeward bringing 

The saved to Jesus' feet. 

Angel hosts all mingling, changing, 
Circle above circle ranging. 

Marshalling, throng God's holy place: 
But the children's angels, dearest 
To the Father's heart, come nearest, — 

They always see His face. 

And oh ! if earthly beauty, beaming 
From frail mother's face, rush streaming 

Deep into her infant's heart, — 
What rare beauty must theirs be. 
Heavenly God, who gaze on Thee, « 

Who see Thee as Thou art ! 

278 The Departed Nigh, 

Rev. W. B. Robertson, D. D., Irvine, 

Departed, say we? is it 

Departed, or Come Nigh ? 
Dear friends in Christ more visit 

Than leave us w^hen they die. 
What thin veil still may hide them 

Some little sickness rends, 
And, lo! we stand beside them; 

Are they departed friends ? 

Their dews on Zion mountain 

Our Hermon hills bedew; 
Their river from the Fountain 

Flows down to meet us, too. 
The oil on the head, and under, 

Down to the skirts hath run ; 
And though we seem asunder, 

We still in Christ are one. 

The many tides of ocean 

Are one vast tidal wave. 
That sweeps, in landward motion. 

Alike to coast and cave; 
And Life, from Christ outflowing, 

Is one wave evermore, 
To earth's dark caverns going. 

Or heaven's bright pearly shore. 

Hail, perfected immortals! 

Even now we bid you hail ! 
We at the blood-stained portals, 
• And je within the veil ! 

The thin cloud-veil between us 

Is mere dissolying breath. 
One heavens surround, and screen us; 

And where art tliou, O Death ? 

The Infant Choir in Heaven. 279 


James Montgomery, Sheffield. 

Happy, thrice happy were thej thus to die, 

Rather than grow into such men and women, — 

Such fiends incarnate as that felon sire 

Who dug its grave before his child was born ; 

Such miserable wretches as that mother 

Whose tender mercies were so dreadlj cruel ! 

I saw their infant's spirit rise to heaven, 

Caught from its birth up to the throne of God; 

There, thousands and ten thousands I beheld 

Of innocents like this, that died untimely, 

By violence of their unnatural kin, 

Or by the mercy of that gracious Power, 

Who gave them being, taking what He gave 

Ere they could sin or suffer like their parents. 

I saw them in white raiment, crowned with flowers, 

On the fair banks of that resplendent river 

Whose streams make glad the city of our God, — 

Water of Life as clear as crystal, welling 

Forth from the throne itself, and visiting 

Fields of a Paradise that ne'er was lost; 

Where yet the Tree of Life immortal grows. 

And bears its monthly fruits, twelve kinds of fruit, 

Each in its season, food of saints and angels; 

Whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. 

Beneath the shadow of its blessed boughs 

I mark'd those rescued infants, in their schools, 

By spirits of just men made perfect, taught 

The glorious lessons of Almighty Love, 

Which brought them thither in the readiest path 

From the world's wilderness of dire temptations. 

Securing thus their everlasting weal. 

Yea, in the rapture of that hour, though songs 

Of cherubim to golden lyres and trumpets, 

And the redeemed upon the sea of glass. 

28o '' Sleej> Softly r 

With voices like the sound of many waters, 

Came on mine ear, whose secret cells were open'd 

To entertain celestial harmonies, — 

The small, sweet accents of those little children, 

Pouring out all the gladness of their souls 

In love, joj, gratitude, and praise to Him, — 

Him who had lov'd and wash'd them in His blood; 

These were to me the most transporting strains 

Amidst the hallelujahs of all Heaven. 

Though lost awhile in that amazing chorus 

Around the throne, at happy intervals 

The shrill hosannas of the infant choir, 

Singing in that eternal temple, brought 

Tears to mine eye, whilst seraphs had been glad 

To weep, could they have felt the sympathy 

That melted all my soul, when I beheld 

How condescending Deity thus deign'd, 

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings here. 

To perfect His high praise; — the harp of heaven 

Had lack'd its least but not its meanest string. 

Had children not been taught to play upon it, 

And sing, from feelings all their own, what men 

Nor angels can conceive of creatures, born 

Under the curse, yet from the curse redeem'd, 

And placed at once beyond the power to fall, — 

Safety which men nor angels ever knew. 

Till ranks of these, and all of those had fallen. 


Richard Chenevix Trench, D.D. , Archbishop of 

No mother's eye beside thee wakes to-night. 
No taper burns beside thy lonely bed ; 

Darkling thou liest, hidden out of sight, 
And none are near thee but the silent dead. 

Moravian Hymn, 281 

How cheerly glows this hearth, yet glows in vain, 

For we uncheered beside it sit alone, 
And listen to the wild and beating rain 

In angry gusts against our casement blown : 

And though we nothing speak, yet well I know 

That both our hearts are there, where thou dost keep 

Within thy narrow chamber far below, 

For the first time unwatched, thy lonely sleep : 

Oh, no, not thou ! — and we our faith deny, 
This thought allowing: — thou, removed from harms, 

In Abraham's bosom dost securely lie, — 

Oh ! not in Abraham's, — in a Saviour's arms, — 

In that dear Lord's who in thy worst distress. 
Thy bitterest anguish, gave thee, dearest child. 

Still to abide in perfect gentleness. 
And like an angel to be meek and mild. 

Sweet corn of wheat, committed to the ground 
To die, and live, and bear more precious ear; 

While in the heart of earth thy Saviour found 
His place of rest, for thee we will not fear. . 

Sleep softly, till that blessed rain and dew, 
Down ligh,ting upon earth, such change shall bring. 

That all its fields of death shall laugh anew. 
Yea, with a living harvest laugh and sing. 

Archbishop Trench. 

Where is this infant? it is gone. 

To whom ? To Christ, its Saviour true. 
What does He for it.'' He goes on 

As He has ever done, to do : 

282 The White Doves, 

He blesses, He embraces without end, 

And to all children proves the tenderest friend. 

He loves to have the little ones 

Upon His lap quite close and near; 
And thus their glass so swiftly runs, 

And they so little while are near. 
He ^ave, — He takes them when He thinks it best 
For them to come to Him and take their rest. 

However, 'tis a great delight 

Awhile to see such little princes. 
All drest in linen fine and white, — 

A beauty which escapes the senses : 
The pure Lamb dwells in them, — His majesty 
Makes their sweet eyes to sparkle gloriously. 

Be therefore thanked, thou dearest Lamb, 
That we this precious child have seen, 

And that Thy blood and Jesus' name 
To it a glittering robe hath been : 

We thank Thee too that Thou hast brought it home, 

That it so soon all dangers hath o'ercome. 

Dear child, so live thou happily 

In Christ, who was thy faith's beginner : 

Rejoice in Him eternally 

With each redeemed and happy sinner; 

We bury thee in hope, — the Lamb once slain 

Will raise, and we shall see thee yet again. 

Archbishop Trench. 

Fair sight are ye, white doves, which refuge sure 
Are finding in a tall rock's cloven side : 

Types of a fairer thing, of children pure. 
Which early did their lives with Jesus hide. 

The Child in Paradise, 283 


Henry Alford, D.D., Dean of Canterbury. 

{Sacred to the Memory of Clemejit Henry Oke Alford?) 

My blessed child ! Last Sunday morn, 

That feast of all the year, 
We held thee in our wearied arms, 

Distraught with hope and fear : 

We soothed thee with caresses fond ; 

With words, alas, how vain ! 
We strove to still thy piercing moans, 

And set to sleep thy pain. 

But still the thought would ever rise 

In stern reality, 
111 balanced by returning hgpe. 

That our dear child would die. 

Another Sunday morn is come, 

But all is altered now : 
Pilgrims upon this earth are we, 

A blessed saint art thou. 

No mother now beside thy bed 

Lets fall her burning tears; 
No father bathes thy fevered head, 

Nor whispers rising fears. 

That form so fair, those eyes so bright, 

Are laid in hallowed ground, 
And over them the churchyard chimes 

A peaceful requiem sound. 

284 Faith, 

But thou, dear, glorious child, art fled. 
And on thy Saviour's breast 

Dost for the resurrection-morn 
In holy quiet rest. 

Oh, never would w^e change this hour, 
With blessed hope so bright, 

For that sad day of fainting prayers, 
For that last anxious night. 

The earth and all that is therein 

Are hallovvred to us now; 
In work, at rest, at home, abroad,. 

Where'er we turn art thou. 

Thou blessed child in Paradise, 
Safe fled from sin and pain ; 

Oh, not for all thy life could give 
Shouldst thou be here again. 

Henry Alford, D.D. 

I THOUGHT, if I could go and stand 
Beside our dear one's grave in Faith, 

And lift the voice and stretch the hand, 
And call on Him who conquered death ; 

And then, in my reliance deep. 

Bid the new-buried corpse come forth, — 
The call of faith would break that sleep, 

And animate that lifeless earth. 

But while I pondered thus, within 

A gentle voice reminded me 
That I was weak, and soiled with sin, — 

That faith must strong and holy be. 

LacrymcB Paternce. 285 

*' Raise up the deadness of thj soul, 
Be pure and watch, and fast and pray; 

Then mayest thou bid the sick be whole, 
Then shall the dead thy voice obey." 

Lord God the Spirit! purify 

My thoughts, bind fast my life to Thee; 
So shall I meet my babe on high, 

Though he may not return to me. 


Henry Alford, D.D. (1850). 

Here take thy stand; within this chamber lone 

That looks upon the unfathomable blue 

Of the blest ocean, take thy stand awhile, — 

Ah, mournful task! and watch yon fading face 

So lately lit with love and eager joy 

Now blank, but beautiful ! Trace thou those lines 

"Which death had spared ; build up that noble brow, 

Part the fair hair, and mimic with thy brush 

That curl, whose very flexure tells of him. 

Precious thine art, — God's gift, — how often said. 

How never felt till now! This autumn day 

We leave thee here with him. Death, cease thy work! 

Forget thy course. Decay ! One favoring hour 

Befriend our wish, how earnest, but how vain ! 

sweet refreshment to the wearied heart. 
This converse with the unalterable dead ! 

1 know not where, nor rightly what thou art : 
I only know that thou art blest and bright, 
Unfading and mine own : and thus I sit 

Long pensive hours alone, scarce stirred in thought, 
Scanning thy presence through, a mist of tears. 
Others may change, but thou shalt never change: 

286 LacryjucE Pater nee, 

Forgetfulness, and distance, and neglect, 

The chills of earthly love — the stealthy pace 

Of summer-stealing age — these touch not thee; 

That heart of thine, fresh well of living love, 

Hadst thou been here, might in long years have failed, 

Or poured on thankless fields its errant streams, 

Or poured avi^ay (such sad vicissitudes 

We learn to look for, w^ho live long on earth) 

Else-whither in abundance, sparing here 

Few dro'ps and scant. But now, beloved one. 

That everlasting fount is all our own. 

They tell me, that we soon shall meet again ; 

That some have heard the mighty chariot wheels 

Roar in the distance; that the world's salt tears 

Are cleaving their last furrows in her cheeks. 

It may be so : I know not. Oft the ear, 

Attent and eager for some coming friend. 

Construes each breeze among the vocal boughs 

Into the tokens of his wished approach. 

But this I know: HE liveth, and shall stand 

Upon this earth; and round Him, thick as waves 

That laugh with light at noon, uncounted hosts 

Of His redeemed : and this I further know : 

Then shall I see thee, — amidst all that band. 

Know thee unsought, and, midst a thousand joys 

Ineffable, our own shall we possess, 

Clasped heart to heart and looking eye to eye. 

Oh, dawn, millennial day! Come, blessed morn! 

Appear, Desire of Nations ! rend Thy heavens, 

And stand revealed, upon thy chosen hill! 

The Fairest Flower, 287 


John Milton. 

O FAIREST flower, no sooner blown but blasted, 
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly. 
Summer's chief honor, if thou hadst out-lasted 
Bleak Winter's force that made thj blossom dry; 
For he being amorous on that lovely die 

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss. 
But kill'd, alas, and then bewailed his fatal bliss. 

Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead. 
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb, 
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed. 
Hid from the world in a low delved tomb ; 
Could Heaven, for pity, thee so strictly doom? 
Oh, no! for something in thy face did shine 
Above mortality, that show'd thou wast divine. 

Resolve me, then, O Soul most surely bless'd 
(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear). 
Tell me, bright Spirit, where'er thou hoverest. 
Whether above that high first-moving sphere, 
Or in the Elysian fields (if such there were) ; 
Oh, say me true, if thou wert mortal wight, 
And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight? 

Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof 
Of shak'd Olympus by mischance didst fall ; 
Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof 
Took up, and in fit place did reinstall? 
Or did of late Earth's sons besiege the wall 

Of sheeny Heaven, and thou, some goddess, fled 
Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head? 

288 The Fah'est Flower, 

Or wert thou that just maid, who once before 
Forsook the hated earth, oh, tell me sooth, 
And cam'st again to visit us once more? 
Or wert thou Mercy, that sweet-smiling Youth? 
Or that crown'd matron sage, white -robed Truth? 

Or anj other of that heavenly brood 
Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some good? 

Or wert thou of the golden-winged host 

Who, having clad thyself in human weed, 

To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post, 

And after short abode fly back with speed, 

As if to show what creatures Heaven doth breed; 

Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire 
To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heaven aspire? 

But oh ! why didst thou not stay here below 
To bless us with thy Heaven-Iov'd innocence. 
To slake His wrath whom sin had made our foe. 
To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence? 
Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence. 

To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart? 
But thou canst best perform that office where thou art. 

Then thou the mother of so sweet a child 
Her false imagined loss cease to lament, 
Aud wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild; 
Think -what a prese?it thou to God hast setii. 
And render Him with patience what He lent; 

This if thou do, He will an offspring give, 
That till the world's last end shall make thy name to 

* John Milton was born in London, on the 9th of December, 1608, and 
died there on Sunday, the 8th of November, 1675, aged 67 years. 

"" Still Thou art Mine Own:' 289 

Paul Gerhardt.* (Written in 1650.) 

Thou'rt mine, jes, still thou art mine own I 

Who tells me thou art lost? 
But jet thou art not mine alone; 

I own that He who crossed 
Mj hopes has greatest right in thee; 
Yea, though He ask and take from me 
Thee, O mj son, my heart's delight, 
My wish,- my thought by day and night. 

Ah might I wish, ah might I choose, 

Then thou, my Star, shouldst live, 
And gladly for thy sake I'd lose 

All else that life can give. 
Oh, fain I'd say, Abide with me. 
The sunshine of my house to be; 
No other joy but this I crave, 
To love thee, darling, to my grave ! 

Thus saith my heart, and means it well, 

God meaneth better still : 
My love is more than words can tell, 

His love is greater still; 
I am a father, He the Head 
And Crown of fathers, whence is shed 
The life and love from which have sprung 
All blessed ties in old and young. 

I long for thee my son, my own, 

And He who once hath given. 
Will have thee now beside His throne. 

To live with Him in heaven. 

» Gerhardt was an eminent commentator of the Lutheran Church 
many, and the Prince of German hymn-writers. 


290 ''Still Thou art Mine Own:' 

I cry, Alas ! my light, my child 1 
But God hath welcome on him smiled, 
And said, "My child, I keep thee near, 
For there is nought but gladness here.'* 

blessed word, O deep decree, 
More holy than we think! 

With God no grief or woe can be, 

No bitter cup to drink. 
No sickening hopes, no want nor care, 
No hurt can ever reach him there ; 
Yes, in that Father's sheltered home 

1 know that sorrow cannot come. 

We pass our nights in wakeful thought 

For our dear children's sake ; 
All day our anxious toil hath sought 

How best for them to make 
A future safe from care or need, 
Yet seldom do our schemes succeed ; 
How rarely does their future prove 
What we had plann'd for those we love I 

How many a child of promise bright 

Ere now hath gone astray. 
By ill example taught to slight 
And quit Christ's holy way. 
Oh, fearful the reward is then, 
The wrath of God, the scorn of men I 
The bitterest tears by mortal shed 
Are his who inourns a child misled. 

But now I need not fear for thee, 
Where thou art, all is well ; 

For thou thy Father's face dost see, 
With Jesus thou dost dwell ! 

^"^ Still Thou art Mine Ozvn.^'' 2qi 

Yes, cloudless jojs around him shine, 
His heart shall never ache like mine, 
He sees the radiant armies glow, 
That keep and guide us here below : 

He hears their singing evermore, 

His little voice too sings, 
He drinks of wisdom's deepest lore, 

He speaks of secret things. 
That we can never see or know 
Howe'er we seek or strive below. 
While yet amid the mists we stand 
That veil this dark and tearful land. 

Oh that I could but watch afar, 

And hearken but awhile. 
To that sweet song that hath no jar. 

And see his heavenly smile 
As he doth praise the holy God 
Who made him pure for that abode! 
In tears of joy full well I know 
This burden'd heart wc3uld overflow. 

And I should say, Stay there, my son, 

My wild laments are o'er; 
Oh, well for thee that thou hast won, 

I call thee back no more ! 
But come, thou fiery chariot, come, 
And bear me swiftly to that home, 
Where he with many a loved one dwells, 
And evermore of gladness tells! 

Then be it as my Father wills, 

I will not weep for thee : 
Thou livest, joy thy spirit fills, 

Pure sunshine thou dost see, 

292 " Go Hence, my Childy 

The sunshine of eternal rest : 

Abide, my child, where thou art, blest; 

I with our friends will onward fare, 

And, when God wills, shall find thee there. 


Gottfried Hoffmann (1658). 

Translated from the German ^^-jy Rev. John Guthrie, 
M.A., Glasgow. 

Go hence, my child ! 
God calls thee to depart 

From out this world of woe. 
I weep full sore; thy death has wrung my heart; 

But since God wills it so, 
I'll put all vain laments away. 
And try, with soul resigned, to say, 
Go hence, my child ! 

Go hence, my child ! 
To me thou wert but lent 

Awhile on earth to roam ; 
And now the summons comes; thy day is spent; 

And thou must hie thee home. 
Then go, for 'tis God's wise decree, 
And as He wills, so let it be : 

Go hence, my child ! ' 

Go hence, my child ! 
Thou find'st in heaven that rest 

Which earth could not bestow; 
'Tis only with thy God thou canst be blest, 

Without one trace of woe. 
Here we must grieve and inly pine, 
There endless life and bliss are thine: 
Go hence, my child ! 

Dante's Vision, 293 

Go hence, my child ! 
We follow all apace, 

As God may bid us go. 
Forth didst thou haste, ere yet earth's bitterness 

Dashed thy young life below. 
A life prolonged is lingering pain, 
An early death is speedy gain : 
Go hence, my child ! 

Go hence, my child ! 
Already angels wait 

To bear thy spirit bright. 
Where God's dear Son shall meet thee at heaven's gate, 

And crown thy brows with light. 
'Tis well, thy little soul is free. 
Through Christ thou hast the victory : 
Go hence, my child ! 


Now contemplate the Providence divine ; 

Whence Faith, as viewed on its two several sides, 
Shall equally in this fair garden shine. 

And know that downward from the lofty throne, 
Which in the middle the two parts divides, 
No one is there through merit of his own. 

But through Another's ; and upon conditions ; 
For all these souls freed from the body were. 
Ere upon choice were founded their volitions. 

This may you be convinced of (if due pains 

You take to mark them, and their accents hear) 
Both by their looks, and by their childish strains. 

Yet now you doubt, and still your doubts withhold : 
But though your bonds are intricate, yet I 
Will strive your subtle reasonings to unfold. 

294 " Ou7' Wee White Rose:' 

Within this peaceful kingdom's wide domain 
No room is to be found for casualty, 
No dwelling there for hunger, thirst, or pain 

For in this realm is 'stablished every thing 
Under the sanction of eternal laws, 
As to the finger answereth a ring; 

Therefore the children that herein do press 
To life eternal, not without a cause 
Inherit excellence or more or less. 

Gerald Massey. 

All in our marriage garden 

Grew, smiling up to God, 
A bonnier flower than ever 

Sucked the green warmth of the sod. 
Oh, beautiful unfathomably 

Its little life unfurled ; 
Love's crowning sweetness was our wee 

White Rose of all the world. 

From out a balmy bosom, 

Our bud of beauty grew; 
It fed on^smiles for sunshine, 

And tears for daintier dew. 
Aye nestling warm and tenderly, 

Our leaves of love were curled 
So close and close about our wee 

White Rose of all the world. 

Two flowers of glorious crimson 
Grew with our Rose of light; 

Still kept the sweet heaven-grafted slip 
Her whiteness saintly white. 

" Our Wee White Rose:' 295 

I' the wind of life they danced with glee, 

And reddened as it whirled; 
More white and wondrous grew our wee 

White Rose of all the world. 

With mystical faint fragrance, 

Our house of life she filled, — 
Revealed each hour some fairy tower, 

Where winged Hopes might build. 
We saw — though none like us might see — 

Such precious promise pearled 
Upon the petals of our wee 

White Rose of all the world. 

But evermore the halo 

Of Angel-light increased : 
Like the mystery of Moonlight, 

That folds some fairy feast. 
Snow-white, snow-soft, snow-silently, 

Our darling bud up-curled. 
And dropt i' the Grave — God's lap — our wee 

White Rose of all the world. 

Our Rose was but in blossom; 

Our Life was but in spring; 
When down the solemn midnight 

We heard the Spirits sing: 
*' Another bud of infancy. 

With holy dews impearled ; " 
And in their hands they bore our wee 

White Rose of all the world. 

You scarce could think so small a thing 

Could leave a loss so large; 
Her little light such shadow fling, 

From dawn to sunset's marge. 

296 The Death of the First-born, 

In other springs our life may be 

In bannered bloom unfurled; 
But never, never match our wee 

White Rose of all the world. 

Our leaves are shaken from the tree, 

Our hopes laid low, 
That after our Spring-nurslings, we 

May long to go. 

The warm love-nest our little Doves leave 

With helpless moan. 
As they for us at heart would grieve 

In heaven — alone! 

The tender Shepherd beckoningly 

Our Lambs doth hold, 
That we may take our own when He 

Makes up the fold. 

Alaric a. Watts. 

The late Sir Robert Peel sent the following note to the accomplished author : 
" It is not from mere courtesy that I assure you that your name is respected by 
me. I have had the satisfaction of reading many of your poems. I particu- 
larly call to mind two, — ' The Death of the First-Bom,' and ' My Own Fire- 
Side ; ' to have written which would be an honorable distinction to any one." 

My sweet one ! my sweet one ! the tears were in my eyes 

When first I clasped thee to my heart, and heard thy fee- 
ble cries ; 

For I thought of all that I had borne, as I bent me down 
to kiss 

Thy cherry lips, and sunny brow, my first-born bud of 

The Death of the Fh-st-born, 297 

I turned to many a withered hope, to years of grief and 

And the cruel wrongs of a bitter world flashed o'er my 
boding brain ; 

I thought of friends, grown worse than cold, of persecut- 
ing foes, 

And T asked of Heaven if ills like these must mar thy 
youth's repose ! 

I gazed upon thy quiet face, half blinded by my tears, — 
Till gleams of bliss, unfelt before, came brightening on 

my fears ; 
Sweet rays of hope that fairer shone 'mid the clouds of 

gloom that bound them. 
As stars dart down their loveliest light when midnight 

skies are round them. 

My sweet one, my sweet one, thy life's brief hour is o'er, 
And a father's anxious fear for thee can fever me no 

more ! 
And for the hopes, the sun-bright hopes, that blossomed 

at thy birth, — 
They too have fled, to prove how frail are cherished things 

of earth ! 

*Tis true that thou wert young, my child, but though brief 

thy span below. 
To me it was a little age of agony and woe; 
For, from thj^ first faint dawn of life thy cheek began to 

And my lips had scarce thy welcome breathed, ere my 

hopes were wrapt in shade. 

Oh I the child in its hours of health and bloom that is 

dear as thou wert then, 
Grows far more prized, more fondly loved, in sickness and 

in pain ; 

298 The Death of the Fi7'st-horn, 

And thus 'twas thine to prove, dear babe, when every 

hope was lost, — 
Ten times more precious to my soul, for all that thou 

hadst cost. 

Cradled in thy fair mother's arms, we watched thee, day 

by day. 
Pale like the second bow of heaven, as gently waste away : 
And, sick with dark foreboding fears we dared not breathe 

Sat, hand in hand, in speechless grief, to wait death's 

coming cloud ! 

It came, at length, — o'er thy bright blue eye the film was 

gathering fast, — 
And an awful shade passed o'er thy brow, the deepest 

and the last; 
In thicker gushes strove thy breath, — we raised thy droop 

ing head; 
A moment more — the final pang — and thou wert of the 


Thy gentle mother turned away to hide her face from me, 
And murmured low of Heaven's behests, and bliss attained 

by thee ; 
She would have chid me that I mourned a doom so blest 

as thine, 
Had her own deep grief burst forth in tears as wild as 

We laid thee down in thy sinless rest, and from thine 

infant brow 
Culled one soft lock of radiant hair, our only solace now; 
Then placed around thy beauteous corpse flowers, not 

more fair and sweet, — 
Twin rose-buds in thy little hands, and jasmine at thy 


The Death of the First-horn. 299 

Though other offspring still be ours, as fair perchance as 

With all the beauty of thy cheek, the sunshine of thy 

brow, — 
They never can replace the bud our early fondness 

nursed ; 
They may be lovely and beloved, but not, like thee, the 

First I 

The First ! — How many a memory bright that one sweet 
word can bring, 

Of hopes that blossomed, drooped, and died, in life's de- 
lightful spring; 

Of fervid feelings passed away, — those early seeds of 

That germinate in hearts unseared by such a world as 

My sweet one ! my sweet one ! my fairest and my First! 
When I think of what thou mightst have been, my heart 

is like to burst; 
But gleams of gladness through my gloom their soothing 

radiance dart. 
And my sighs are hushed, my tears are dried, when I turn 

to what thou art ! 

Pure as the snow-flake ere it falls and takes the stain of 

With not a taint of mortal life except thy mortal birth, 
God bade thee early taste the spring for which so many 

And bliss, eternal bliss, is thine, my fairest and my 

First ! 

300 The Angel and the Infant. 


Theodore Martin, London. 

{From the French of Jean RebouUe, of Nismes.') 

An angel over a cradle stood ; 

His visage shone with a radiant gleam ; 
And he seem'd on his own fair form to brood 

In the mirror pure of a crystal stream. 

" Oh, come to my home, sweet babe so fair! " 
He murmur'd; " Come with me now! 

Ah, we shall be happy together there ; 
The earth is unworthy of such as thou. 

"Its gladness is never without alloy; 

Some pang from its best delights will rise; 
A wail still rings through its shouts of joy, 

And all its pleasures are clogg'd with sighs. 

*' O'er every feast is the fear of doom ; 

No sky so clear and serene, but may 
Be blacken'd and riven with storm and gloom 

Before the dawn of another day. 

*' On that pure brow shall the trouble pass 
Of hopes deceived, and of haunting fears? 

Shall those blue eyes be bedimm'd, alas! 
By the bitter rain of regretful tears.-* 

"No, no! dear babe, through the fields of space 
Thou wilt fly with me to a better sphere ; 

God will not exact, in His boundless grace. 
The days that else thou hadst linger'd here. 

*' No soil of sorrow, no taint of sin, 

From thy sojourn here on ihy robes shall rest, 

The smiles that usher'd thy young life in 
Shall follow thee home to yon region blest. 

The Sick Child s Dream, 301 

" On thy forehead no cloud shall a shadow fling, 
Nor the darkness there of the grave forecast; 

Of so unspotted and pure a thing 
The loveliest morning is still its last." 

And, slowly unfolding his wings snow-white, 

The angel ceased, and aloft he fled 
To the blest abodes of eternal light. 

Alas ! poor mother ! Thy boy is dead ! 

Robert Nicoll. 

MiTHER, mither, my head was sair. 
And my een wi' tears were weet; 

But the pain has gane for evermair, 

Sae, mither, dinna greet : 
And I ha'e had sic a bonnie dream. 

Since last asleep I fell, 
O' a' that is holy an' gude to name, 

That I've wauken'd my dream to tell. 

1 thought on the morn o' a simmer day 
That awa' through the clouds I flew. 

While my silken hair did wavin' play, 

'Mang breezes steep'd in dew; 
And the happy things o' life and light 

Were around my gowden way. 
As they stood in their parent Heaven's sight 

In the hames o' nightless day. 

An' sangs o' love that nae tongue may tell 
Frae their hearts cam' flowin' free. 

Till the stars stood still, while alang did swell 
The plaintive melodie. 

302 The Sick Child's Dream, 

And ane o' them sang wi' my mither's voice, 

Till through my heart did gae 
That chanted hymn o' my bairnhood's choice 

Sae dowie, saft, an' wae. 

Thae happy things o' the glorious sky 

Did lead me far awaj^, 
Where the stream o' life rins never dry, 

Where naething kens decay; 
And they laid me down in a mossy bed, 

Wi' curtains o' spring leaves green, 
And the Name o' God they praying said, 

And a light came o'er my een. 

And I saw the earth that I had left, 

And I saw my mither there ; 
And I saw her grieve that she was bereft 

O' the bairn she thought sae fair; 
And I saw her pine till her spii-it fled — 

Like a bird to its young one's nest — 
To that land of love; and my head was laid 

Again on my mither's breast. 

And, mither, ye took me by the hand. 

As ye were wont to do, 
And your loof, sae saft and white, I fand 

Laid on my caller brow; 
And my lips you kiss'd, and my curling hair 

You round your fingers wreath'd ; 
And I kent that a happy mither's prayer 

Was o'er me silent breath'd. 

And we wander'd through that happy land, 

That was gladly glorious a'; 
The dwellers there were an angel-band, 

And their voices o' love did fa' 

The Sick Child's Dream. 303 

On our ravish'd ears like the deein' tones 

O' an anthem far away, 
In a starn-lit hour, when the woodland moans 

That its green is turn'd to gray. 

And, mither, amang the sorrowless there, 

We met my brithers three, 
And your bonnie May, my sister fair, 

And a happy bairn was she ; 
And she led me awa' 'mang living flowers, 

As on earth she aft has done; 
And thegither we sat in the holy bowers 

Where the blessed rest aboon. 

And she tauld me I was in Paradise, 

Where God in love doth dwell, 
Where the weary rest, and the mourner's voice 

Forgets its warld-wail ; 
And she tauld me they kentna dull nor care; 

And bade me be glad to dee, 
That yon sinless land and the dwellers there 

Might be hame and kin to me. 

Then sweetly a voice came on my ears. 

And it sounded sae holily, 
That my heart grew saft, and blabs o' tears 

Sprung up in my sleepin' e'e ; 
And my inmost soul was sairly moved 

Wi' its mair than mortal joy; 
'Twas the voice o' Him who bairnies loved 

That wauken'd your dreamin' boy ! 

304 The Child in Heaven. 

Mary Howitt, London. 

We meet around the board, thou art not there ; 

Over our household jojs hath passed a gloom; 
Beside the fire we see thy empty chair, 

And miss thy sweet voice in the silent room. 
What hopeless longings after thee arise ! 
Even for the touch of thy small hand I pine; 

And for the sound of thy dear little feet. 
Alas ! tears dim mine eyes, 
Meeting in every place some joy of thine, 

Or when fair children pass me on the street. 

Beauty was on thy cheek; and thou didst seem 

A privileged being, chartered from decay; 
And thy free spirit, like a mountain stream 

That hath no ebb, kept on its cheerful way. 

Thy laugh was like the inspiring breath of spring, 
That thrills the heart, and cannot be unfelt. 

The sun, the moon, the green leaves and the flowers. 
And every living thing. 
Were a strong joy to thee ; thy spirit dwelt 

Gladly in life, rejoicing in its powers. 

Oh ! what had death to do with one like thee, 

Thou young and loving one, whose soul did cling 
Even as the ivy clings unto the tree, 

To those that loved thee.-* Thou, whose tears would 
Dreading a short day's absence, — didst thou go 
Alone into the future world unseen. 
Solving each awful untried mystery, 
The dread unknown to know ; 
To be where mortal traveller hath not been, 

Whence welcome tidings cannot come from thee ? 

A Child's Grave at Florence. 305 

My happy boy! and murmur I that death 

Over thy young and buoyant frame hath power? 
In yon bright land love never perisheth, 

Hope may not mock, nor grief the heart devour. 
The beautiful are round thee; thou dost keep 
Within the Eternal presence; and no more 1 

May'st death or pain or separation dread : 
Thy bright eyes cannot weep, 
Nor they with whom thou art thy loss deplore; 

For ye are of the living, not the dead. 

Thou dweller with the unseen, who hast explored 

The immense unknown ; thou to whom death and 
Are mysteries no more ; whose soul is stored 

With knowledge for which man hath vainly striven; 
Beloved Child, oh ! when shall I lie down 
With thee beneath fair trees that cannot fade? 

When from the immortal rivers quench my thirst? 
Life's journey speedeth on ; 
Yet for a little while we walk in shade ; 

Anon by death the cloud is all dispersed, 
Then o'er the hills of heaven the eternal day doth burst. 


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 

This July creature thought, perhaps, 

Our speech not worth assuming; 
She sat upon her parents' laps, 

And mimicked the gnats humming; 
Said, "father," " mother," — then left off, 
Fortongues celestial, fitter; 
Her hair had grown just long enough 
To catch Heaven's jasper-glitter. 

3o6 A Child's Grave at Florence, 

Babes ! Love could always hear and see 
Behind the cloud that hid them, 

" Let little children come to Me, 
And do not thou forbid them." 

Poor earth, poor heart, — too weak, too weak 

To miss the July shining! 
Poor heart! — what bitter words we speak 

When God speaks of resigning! 
Sustain this heart in us that faints, 

Thou God the Self-Existent! 
We catch up wild at parting saints, 

And feel Thy heaven too distant. 
The wind that swept them out of sin, 

Has ruffled all our vesture : 
On the shut door that let them in, 

We beat with frantic gesture. — 
To us, us also, open straight! 
The outer life is chilly; 
Are we, too, like the earth to wait 

Till next year for our Lily?* 
— Oh, my own baby on my knees, 

My leaping, dimpled treasure. 
At every word I write like these. 

Clasped close with stronger pressure I 
Too well my own heart understands, — 

At every word beats fuller, — 
My little feet, my little hands. 

And hair of Lily's color. 
But God gives patience, Love learns strength, 

And Faith remembers promise. 
And Hope itself can smile at length 

On other hopes gone from us. 
Love, strong as Death, shall conquer Death, 
Through struggle, made more glorious : 

* " Lily," the pet name of the child. 

A Child's Grave at Florence, 307 

This mother stills her sobbing breath, 

Renouncing yet victorious. 
Arms, empty of her child, she lifts 

With spirit unbereaven, — 
" God will not take back all His gifts ; 

My Lily's mine in heaven. 
Still mine! maternal rights serene, 

Not given to another! 
The crystal bars shine faint between 

The souls of child and mother. 
Meanwhile," the mother cries, "content I 

Our love was well divided : 
Its sweetness following where she went. 

Its anguish stayed where I did. 
Well done of God, to halve the lot, 

And give her all the sweetness ; 
To us, the empty room, and cot, — 

To her, the Heaven's completeness. 
To us, this grave, — to her, the rows 

The mystic palm-trees spring in; 
To us, the silence in the house, — 

To her, the choral singing. 
For her, to gladden in God's view, — 

For us, to hope and bear on, 
Grow, Lily, in thy garden new 

Beside the Rose of Sharon ! 
Grow fast in Heaven, sweet Lily clipped, 

In love more calm than this is. 
And maj' the angels, dewy-lipped. 

Remind thee of our kisses! 
While none shall tell thee of our tears. 

These human tears now falling. 
Till, after a few patient years, 

One home shall take us all in — 
Child, father, mother — who left out? 

Not mother, and not father! 


3o8 A Messenger of Heaven, 

And when, our dying couch about, 
The natural mists shall gather, — 

Some smiling angel close shall stand, 
In old Correggio's fashion, 

And bear a Lily in his hand, 
For death's Annunciation." 


Mrs. Hemans. 

No bitter tears for thee be shed. 

Blossom of being! seen and gone. 
With flowers alone we strew thy bed, 

O blest departed One ! 
Whose all of life, a rosy ray, 
Blush'd into dawn and pass'd away. 

Yes! thou art fled, ere guilt had power 

To stain thy cherub soul and form; 
Closed is the soft ephemeral flower, 
That never felt a storm ! 
$ The sunbeam's smile, the zephyr's breath, 
All that it knew from birth to death. 

Thou wert so like a form of light, 

That Heaven benignly call'd thee hence 
Ere yet the world could breathe one blight 

O'er thy sweet innocence : 
And thou, that brighter home to bless, 
Art pass'd with all thy loveliness ! 

Oh ! hadst thou still on earth remained, 

Vision of beauty! fair, as brief! 
How soon thy brightness had been stain'd 

With passion or with grief! 
Now not a sullying breath can rise 
To dim thy glory in the skies. 

The Garden Rosebud, 309 

We rear no marble o'er thy tomb, - 

No sculptured image there shall mourn; 
Ah ! fitter far the vernal bloom 

Such dwelling to adorn ; 
Fragrance and flowers and dews must be 
The only emblems meet for thee. 

Thy grave shall be a blessed shrine, 

Adorn'd with nature's brightest wreath ; 
Each glowing season shall combine 

Its incense there to breathe ; 
And oft upon the midnight air 
Shall viewless harps be murmuring there. 


Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. 
{In Memory of Amite, ivho died at Milan, June 6^ i860.) 

In the fair gardens of celestial peace, 
Walketh a Gardener in meekness clad; 

Fair are the flowers that wreathe His dewy locks, 
And His mysterious eyes are sweet and sad. 

Fair are the silent foldings of His robes. 
Falling with saintly calmness to His feet: 

And when He walks, each floweret to His will 
With living pulse of sweet accord doth beat. 

Every green leaf thrills to its tender heart. 
In the mild summer radiance of His eye; 

No fear of storm, or cold, or bitter frost, 

Shadows the flowerets when their sun is nigh. 

3IO The Garden Rosebud, 

And all our pleasant haunts of earthly love 
Are nurseries to those gardens of the air; 

And His far-darting eye, with starry beam, 
Watcheth the growing of His treasures there. 

We call them ours, o'erwept with selfish tears, 

O'erwatched with restless longings night and day; 

Forgetful of the high, mysterious right 

He holds to bear our cherished plants away. 

But when some sunny spot in those bright fields 
Needs the fair presence of an added flower, 

Down sweeps a starry angel in the night; 

At morn the rose has vanished from our bower. 

Where stood our tree, our flower, there is a gravel 
Blank, silent, vacant, but in worlds above; 

Like a new star outblossom'd in the skies, 
The angels hail an added flower of love. 

Dear friend, no more upon that lonely mound, 
Strewed with the red and yellow autumn leaf, 

Drop thou the tear, but raise the fainting ej^e 
Beyond the autumn mists of earthly grief. 

Thy garden rosebud bore within its breast 
Those mysteries of color, warm and bright, 

That the bleak climate of this lower sphere 
Could never waken into form and light. 

Yes, the sweet Gardener has borne her hence, 
Nor must thou ask to take her thence away; 

Thou shalt behold her in some coming hour, 
Full-blossom'd in His fields of cloudless day I 

"6> Little Child r' 311 


J. Stanyan Bigg, Ulverston. 

Not always are we in the weary mart; 

Not always are we plodding in the streets. 

We, in our rural home, when the gray dusk 

Falls upon copse and meadow, saunter out. 

And do not talk, but think of thee, O child ! 

And in the night, when heavy hearts are hushed, 

In the deep night we hear the beating rain, 

And in the beating rain the wailing wind, 

And in the wailing wind a cry, a low, 

Soft cry, not as of agony, but bliss, — 

A silvery cry, as though we heard a thrill 

Of spirit-music, far beyond the rain, 

Beyond the wailings of the wind, beyond 

The storms and gloomy reaches of the night, — 

Out of the golden spaces far beyond : 

And then we dream. We do but dream, O child ! 

O little child! that camest, and art gone, 

That wert our child, and art our child no more. 

We dream thou hast not yet forgotten us. 

But yearnest from thy starry home, as we 

Yearn towards the heavens for thee. We do but dream, 

And in our dreamings are not quite forlorn. 

Thy room is here, sweet babe ! We enter it, 

The room, but oh ! the child. Thy little bed 

Is white in moonlight; — oh ! for the beauteous form. 

Thy toys are trembling in our palms ; — but oh ! 

The tiny, dimpled hands that fingered them. 

The stairs are here ; — but oh ! the little feet ! 

Gone ! Gone for ever ! Yet we hope to reach 

The heaven that holds thee; and with humble hearts, 

Thank God for thee, O child ! We know that thou 

Art seeing now, and not as in a dream. 

312 The Dying Mothe7' and her Child, 

The things we long for, and shall never see 
Until we join thee in the after-world; — 
Thee, little child ! who earnest, and art gone, 
Who wert our child, and art our child no more, 
Being familiar with the floor of heaven. 
And dwelling nigh unto the throne of God ! 


Robert Pollok, A.M. 

Our sighs were numerous, and profuse our tears; 

For she we lost was lovely, and we loved 

Her much. Fresh in our memory, as fresh 

As yesterday, is yet the day she died. 

It was an April day; and blithely all 

The youth of Nature leaped beneath the sun, 

And promised glorious manhood; and our hearts 

Were glad, and round them danced the lightsome blood« 

In healthy merriment, when tidings came 

A child was born ; and tidings came again 

That she who gave it birth was sick to death. 

So swift trod sorrow on the heels of joy ! 

We gathered round her bed, and bent our knees 

In fervent supplication to the Throne 

Of Mercy, and perfumed our prayers with sighs 

Sincere, and penitential tears, and looks 

Of self-abasement; but we sought to stay 

An angel on the earth, a spirit ripe 

For heaven ; and Mercy, in her love, refused : 

Most merciful, as oft, when seeming least! 

Most gracious when she seemed the most to frown! 

The room I well remember, and the bed 

On which she lay, and all the faces, too, 

That crowded dark and mournfully around. 

The Dying Mother and her Child. 313 

Her father there, and mother, bending, stood; 

And down their aged cheeks fell many drops 

Of bitterness. Her husband, too, was there, 

And brothers, and they wept; her sisters, too, 

Did weep and sorrow, comfortless ; and I 

Too wept, though not to weeping given : and all 

Within the house was dolorous and sad. 

This 1 remember well ; but better still 

I do remember, and will ne'er forget. 

The dying eye ! That eye alone was bright, 

And brighter grew as nearer death approached : 

As I have seen the gentle little flower 

Look fairest in the silver beam which fell 

Reflected from the thunder-cloud, that soon 

Came down, and o'er the desert scattered far 

Apd wide its loveliness. She made a sign 

To bring her babe : 'twas brought, and by her placed. 

She looked upon its face, that neither smiled 

Nor wept, nor knew who gazed upon 't ; and laid 

Her hand upon its little breast, and sought 

For it, with look that seem'd to penetrate 

The heavens, unutterable blessings, such 

As God to dying parents only granted, 

For infants left behind them in the world. 

" God keep my child ! " we heard her say, and heard 

No more. The Angel of the Covenant 

Was come, and, faithful to His promise, stood 

Prepared to walk with her through death's dark vale. 

And now her eyes grew bright, and brighter still, 

Too bright for ours to look upon, suffused 

With many tears, and closed without a cloud. 

They set, as sets the morning star, which goes 

Not down behind the darkened west, nor hides 

Obscured among the tempests of the sky, 

But melts away into the light of heaven. 

314 ^^ The Dew-drops Gone,^^ 


Rev. Dr. Alex. Wallace, Glasgow. 

. Sad, sad thoughts and weary 
Had preyed upon my mind; 
A darkness deep and dreary 
Had made me sick and blind. 

But now upon the ocean 
Of troubled thoughts I see 

My Saviour's graceful motion : 
He Cometh unto me. 

The winds and waves He stilleth, 

And all is calm again; 
My soul with life He filleth. 

Like sunshine after rain. 

The eye of faith is beaming 
With joy sen-t from above ; 

The rainbow cloud is streaming, 
The pledge of constant love. 

My loosened tongue adoreth 
The greatness of His might; 

His smile alone restoreth 
The darken'd soul to light. 


John Critchley Prince, Lancashire. 

*'Oh, dearest mother! tell me, pray. 

Why are the dew-drops gone so soon? 
Could they not stay till close of day 
To sparkle on the flowery spray, 
Or on the fields till noon.^" 

" The Dew-drofs Gone,''' 315 

The mother gazed upon her boy, 

Earnest with thought beyond his years, 

And felt a sharp and sad annoy, 

That meddled with her deepest joy; 
But she restrained her tears. 

*'My child, 'tis said such beauteous things, 

Too often loved with vain excess, 
Are swept away by angel wings, 
Before contamination clings 

To their frail loveliness. 

Behold yon rainbow, brightening yet! 

To which all mingled hues are given; 
There are thy dew-drops, grandly set 
In a resplendent coronet 

Upon the brow of heaven. 

No stain of earth can reach them there. 
Woven with sunbeams there they shine, 

A transient vision of the air, 

But yet a symbol, pure and fair. 
Of love and peace divine." 

The boy gazed upward into space. 

With eager and inquiring eyes. 
Whilst o'er his sweet and thoughtful face 
Came a faint glory, and a grace 

Transmitted from the skies. 

Ere the last odorous sigh of May, 
That child lay down beneath the sod! 

Like dew his young soul passed away, 

To mingle with the brighter day 
That veils the throne of God. 

Mother! thy fond, foreboding heart 

Truly foretold thy loss and pain ; 
But thou didst choose the patient part 
Of resignation to the smart, 

And owned thy loss his gain. 

3i6 The Rosebuds, 


Rev. William M. Taylor, A.M., Liverpool. 

A ROSE-TREE bj mj house-side I did plant, 

And in its growing I took great delight; 

I nailed its branches to the wall, and watched 

Them spread, until thej wreathed my window round 

With leafy beauty. Every time I looked 

Abroad, its verdure feasted my glad eyes ; 

And when, returning from my vineyard work 

At night, I sought my home, I lingered still 

Upon the threshold, that once more I might. 

Before I slept, behold its loveliness 

Each little spray I knew, its very leaves 

I numbered, and with rapture saw at length. 

One morning, 'mid the sparkling drops of dew. 

Its virgin buds peep out, their conic forms 

All fringed with mossy softness, and the white 

Beneath half covered, half revealed. I clapped 

My hands for joy, and called my friends and showed 

My new discovered riches. Nine there were. 

All lovely, and I said, with heart sincere, — 

** As each one ripens to its fragrance full, 

I'll give it to my Lord ; " for this had been 

My purpose from the planting of the tree; 

And this it was that made my joy so rich. 

I left my home that morning as my wont, 

Only my heart was blither than sometimes, 

And, at my work, I thought full oft about 

My rosebuds, wondering much what like they'd be 

At my return, and almost wishing that 

The day were done, that I might see them still 

Again. The evening came, I hastened home, 

And looked ; and lo ! there were no more than seven I 

Some hand had plucked the other two, and left 

The stem on which they grew a broken thing. 

Parental Consolation. 317 

I sighed, and cried, and wept, and like to her, 

Whose bitter wail of old made Ramah sad, 

I would not be consoled. Long time I stood 

And gazed in blank perplexity. I could 

Not speak for tears ; but when I turned I saw 

My Lord himself, with my twain buds upon 

His breast. "I gathered them," He said, and that 

Was all ; but yet it was enough to soothe 

My wounded spirit; so I calmly said, — 

*' For Thee, dear Lord, I meant-them from the first; 

I thought, indeed, to keep them till full blown, 

And then present them at their best to Thee, 

Not deeming that Thou caredst for them thus. 

But, as Thou wilt, Thy best is best, and if 

I erred in my poor thoughts, forgive, nor chide 

My tears. That which I had designed for them 

At last, is given me, only sooner than 

I first had planned. But my great end is gained, 

And since Thou wear'st them on Thy breast, ' It's well ! '** 

Rev. John Guthrie, M.A., Glasgow. 

When troubles like a tempest sweep. 

And tides of fierce temptation roll. 
As deep, remorseless, calls to deep. 

Around my whelmed and sinking soul ; 
Lo ! He is near, my Saviour dear. 

Who trode affliction's path; 
Who walked the wave, despoiled the grave, 

And plucked the sting from death. 

If in bereavement's bitter cup 
Some dregs continue to the end. 

As memory wakes the image up 
Of parent, brother, sister, friend; 

3i8 Resigned in Hope, 

Mj Lord who wept o'er him that slept, 
And soothed the sisters twain, 

From heaven on high, with tender eje, 
Still marks the mourner's pain. 

When weeping o'er my children's grave, 

As if to rescue from its gloom 
The golden hopes that childhood gave. 

Now quenched and buried in their tomb; 
Thou fondling arm, thou bosom warm, 

Where babes of old were pressed, 
I joy to see my lambs with Thee, 

Safe folded on Thj breast! 

If infants none in heaven were found. 

To glad its golden street, 
*0- But only star-bright victors crowned, 

Then heaverr were incomplete. 
Such stars may gem Christ's diadem, 

Yet infants too have place; 
These flowerets young are garlands strung, 

Sweet trophies of His grace. 

William T. M'Auslane, Glasgow. 

Our little boy is gone ! 
His gladsome voice, whose music lately filled 
Our homes and hearts, is now for ever stilled! 
How changed his looks ! Closed are his bright eyes now; 
Pale is his cheek, as marble cold his brow;* 
Those limbs, before so active, are at rest. 
The spring is broken, motionless the breast, 

Life, light, and joy are flown ! 

To a Bereaved Mother, 319 

Oh, earthly hopes, how vain ! 
Frail is the fabric, fair though it appear, 
Which on uncertain human life we rear; 
Before some sudden storm it yields away, 
A ruin lies, and sinks into decay. 
So have our hopes of what, in future days, 
Our boy might prove, crumbled before our gaze, 

Ne'er to revive again ! 

But why should we repine? 
Our darling child was only ours in loan, 
God, when he lent him, tent what was His own. 
And shall we feel displeased He now should come 
To claim and take him to the Heavenly Home? 
Oh, rather let us, though 'tis sad to part. 
Yield up the loved one, and, with thankful heart, 

Bow to the will Divine! 

Then let our tearful eyes 
Turn from the little tenement of clay 
From which the ransom'd soul has passed away; 
Let us behold, by faith, that land so fair, 
Now dearer to us that our boy is there. 
And may we seek to join him on that shore 
Where, when we meet, we meet to part no more, 

But dwell beyond the skies. 


Rev. Henry Batchelor, Glasgow. 

The life ethereal, sublime, 

Wastes not beneath the senseless clod. 

The folded bud has changed its clime, 

And opens in the light of God; 

The soul its mortal chrysalis has riven, 

And spreads its wings a seraph bright in heaven. 

320 " The Angels Singing" 


Rev. a. Wallace, D.D., Glasgow. 

Weep not for me : the smoking flax 

Shall flame in heaven a radiant star; 
The bruised reed shall stronger wax, 

In grace and strength surpassing far 
The cedar on the mountain's brow, — 
No withered, wavering weakling now, 
But fairest workmanship of love, 
A pillar in the courts above. 

James D. Burns, M.A., London. 

I HEARD the angels singing 

As they went up through the sky, 
A sweet infant's spirit bringing 

To its Father's house on high : 
" Happy thou, so soon ascended. 

With thy shining raiment on ! 
Happy thou, whose race is ended 

With a crown so quickly won ! 

Hushed is now thy lamentation. 

And the first words to thee given 
Will be words of adoration 

In the blessed speech of Heaven ; 
For the blood thou mightst have slighted 

Hath now made thee pure within. 
And the evil seed is blighted 

That had ripened unto sin. 

Not Dead but Changed, 321 

" We will lead thee bj a river, 

Where the flowers are blooming fair; 
We will sing to thee for ever, 

For no night may darken there. 
Thou shalt walk in robes of glory; 

Thou shalt wear a golden crown ; 
Thou shalt sing Redemption's storj, 

With the saints around the throne. 

"Thou shalt see that better country, 

Where a tear-drop never fell, — 
Where a foe made never entry. 

And a friend ne'er said farewell 
Where, upon the radiant faces 

That will shine on thee alway, 
Thou shalt never see the traces 

Of estrangement or decay. 

"Thee we bear, a lily-blossom 

To a sunnier clime above; 
There to lay thee in a bosom 

Warm with more than mother's love. 
Happy thou, so timely gathered 

From a region cold and bare. 
To bloom on, a flower unwither'd. 

Through an endless summer there I ** 


William Freeland, Glasgow. 

Late living, and now dead ! O beauteous boy. 
So early dead, who wast so late a joy ! 
Ah, me! how still and strange 
Is this God's dream of change ! 
Transfigured in the light of death. 
Thou seemest breathing without breath ! 

322 The Lambs all Safely Folded. 

How shall we fill our hearts with other glee, 
Who loved, of all the world, but thee — but thee ! 

Can ever we behold 

So sweet a bud unfold? 
O pale cold snowdrop of our married spring, 
How deep God pierces with so slight a thing! 

So slight a thing! Man's pyramids shall yield 
Their high borne heads unto the humblest field : 

Each ancient star and sun 

Shall crumble one by one : 
But thou, who keep'st with death such early tryste, 
Shalt bloom eternal in the realms of Christ ! 


I LOVED them so. 
That when the Elder Shepherd of the fold 
Came, covered with the storm, and pale and cold, 
And begged for one of my sweet lambs to hold, 

I bade Him go. 

He claimed the pet; 
A little fondling thing, that to my breast 
Clung always, either in quiet or unrest; 
I thought of all my lambs I loved him best, 

And yet — and yet — 

. I laid him down, 
In those white shrouded arms, with bitter tears ; 
For some voice told me that, in after years. 
He should know nought of passion, grief, or fears, 
As I had known. 

The Larnbs all Safely Folded. 323 

And jet again 
That Elder Shepherd came; my heart grew faint: 
He claim'd another lamb, with sadder plaint. 
Another! She, who, gentle as a saint, 

Ne'er gave me pain. 

Aghast I turned away; 
There sat she, lovely as an angel's dream, 
Her golden locks with sunlight all agleam. 
Her holy eyes with heaven in their beam ; 

I knelt to pray : 

"Is it Thy will.? 
My Father! say, must this pet lamb be given.? 
Oh, Thou hast many such, dear Lord, in heaven ! " 
And a soft voice said, "Nobly hast thou striven; 

But — peace, be still ! " 

Oh, how I wept 
And clasped her to my bosom, with a wild 
And yearning love, — my lamb, my pleasant child ! 
Her, too, I gave : the little angel smiled, 

And slept ! 

" Go ! go! " I cried : 
For, once again, that Shepherd laid His hand 
Upon the noblest of our household band : 
Like a pale spectre, there He took His stand, 

Close to his side. 

And yet how wondrous sweet 
The look with which He heard my passionate cry : 
"Touch not my lamb — for him, oh, let me die I" 
*' A little while," he said, with smile and sigh, 

" Again to meet." 

324 The Lambs all Safely Folded. 

Hopeless I fell; 
And when I rose, the light had burned so low, 
So faint, I could not see my darling go. 
He had not bidden me farewell ; but, ah 1 

Yfelt farewell — 

More deeply far 
Than if my arms had compass'd that slight frame; 
Though could I but have heard him breathe my name, 
" Dear mother! " but in heaven 'twill be the same; 

There burns my star ! 

He will not take 
Another lamb, I thought; for only one 
Of the dear fold is spared to be my sun. 
My guide, my mourner when this life is done; 

My heart would break. 

Oh, with what thrill 
I heard Him enter; but I did not know 
(For it was dark) that he had robbed me so; 
The idol of my soul, — lie could not go ! 

Oh, heart be still! 

Came morning: can I tell 
How this poor frame its sorrowful tenant kept,? 
For waking tears were mine ; I, sleeping, wept, 
And days, months, years, that weary vigil kept. 

Alas, "Farewell!" 

How often it is said ! 
I sit and think, and wonder, too, sometime. 
How it will seem, when, in that happier clime, 
It never will ring out like funeral chime 

Over the dead. 

The Day Dawn. 325 

No tears ! no tears ! 
Will there a day come that I shall not weep? 
For I bedew my pillow in mj sleep. 
Yes, yes, thank God, no grief that clime shall keep ! 

No weary years. 

Ay, " It is well! " 
Well with my lambs, and with their earthly guide : 
There, pleasant rivers wander they beside. 
Or strike sweet harps upon its silver tide ! 

Ay, " It is well! " 

Through the dreary day 
They often come from glorious light to me ; 
I cannot feel their touch, their faces see, 
Yet, my soul whispers, thej^ do come to me ; 

Heaven is not far away! 

Rev. Richard Cecil. 

[The following lines were written by the revered Author, on the death of 
his infant, who departed at ^i3y-break.] 

Cease here longer to detain me. 
Fondest mother, drowned in woe; 

Now thy kind caresses pain me : 
Morn advances, let me go. 

See yon orient streak appearing, 

Harbinger of endless day: 
Hark, a voice the darkness cheering. 

Calls my new-born soul away. 

326 The Day Dawn. 

Lately launched, a trembling stranger, 
On the world's wild, boisterous flood, 

Pierced with sorrows, tossed with danger, 
Gladly I return to God. 

Now my cries shall cease to grieve thee, 
Now my trembling heart finds rest; 

Kinder arms than thine receive me, 
Softer pillow than thy breast. 

Weep not o'er those eyes that languish, 
Upward turning to their home ; 

Raptured, they'll forget all anguish, 
While they wait to see thee come. 

There, my mother, pleasures centre; 

Weeping, parting, care, or woe 
Ne'er our Father's house shall enter: 

Morn advances, let me go ! 

As through this calm, this holy dawning. 
Silent glides my parting breath. 

To an everlasting morning. 
Gently close my eyes in death. 

Blessings endless, richest blessings. 
Pour their streams upon thine heart, 

(Though no language yet possessing) 
Breathes my spirit ei-e we part. 

Yet to leave thee sorrowing rends me. 
Though again His voice I hear : 

Rise ! may every grace attend thee; 
Rise, and seek to meet me there! 


The Three Sons.^^ 327 

John Moultrie. 

I HAVE a son, a third sweet son ; his age I cannot tell, 
For they reckon not bj years and months where he is gone 

to dwell. 
To us, for fourteen anxious months, his infant smiles were 

And then he bade farewell to earth, and went to live in 


I cannot tell what form his is, what looks he weareth now, 
Nor guess how bright a glory crowns his shining seraph 

The thoughts which fill his sinless soul, the bliss which he 

doth feel. 
Are numbered with the secret things which God will not 


But I know (for God hath told me this) that he is now at 

Where other blessed infants be, on their Saviour's loving 

I know his spirit feels no more this weary load of flesh. 
But his sleep is blessed with endless dreams of joys for 

ever fresh. 

I know the angels fold him close beneath their glittering 

And soothe him with a song that breathes of Heaven's 

divinest things. 
Iknow that we shall meet our babe (his mother dear and I), 
Where God for aye shall wipe away all tears from every 


328 "i7(? is not There''' 

Whate'er befalls his brethren twain, his bliss can never 

cease ; 
Their lot may here be grief and fear, but his is certain 

It may be that the tempter's wiles their souls from bliss 

may sever; 
But, if our own poor faith fail not, he must be ours for 


When we think of what our darling is, and what we still 

must be ; 
When we muse on that world's perfect bliss, and this 

world's misery; 
When we groan beneath this load of sin, and feel this 

grief and pain, — 
Oh ! we'd rather lose our other two, than have him here 


John Pierpont. 

I CANNOT make him dead ! 

His fair sunshiny head 
Is ever bounding round my study-chair; 

Yet, when my eyes, now dim 

With tears, I turn to him, 
The vision vanishes — he is not there! 

I walk my parlor floor. 

And, through the open door, 
I hear a footfall on the chamber stair; 

I'm stepping toward the hall 

To give the boy a call ; 
And then bethink me that — he is not there! 


"^^ He is not There,^^ 329 

I thread the crowded street, 

A satchell'd lad I meet, 
With the same beaming eyes and colored hair; 

And as he's running bj, 

Follow him with mj eye, 
Scarcely believing that — he is not there. 

I know his face is hid 

Under the coffin lid; 
Closed are his eyes; cold is his forehead fair; 

My hand that marble felt ; 

O'er it in prayer I knelt; 
Yet my heart whispers that — he is not there. 

I cannot make him dead ! 

When passing by the bed, 
So long watched over with parental care, 

My spirit and my eye 

Seek it inquiringly. 
Before the thought comes that — he is not there! 

When at the cool, gray break 

Of day, from sleep I wake, 
With my first breathing of the morning air. 

My soul goes up, with joy. 

To Him who gave my boy, 
Then comes the sad thought that — he is not there! 

When at the day's calm close. 

Before we seek repose, 
I'm, with his mother, offering up our prayer. 

Or evening anlhems tuning, 

In spirit I'm communing 
With our boy's spirit, though — he is not there! 

Not there! — Where, then, is he? 
The form I used to see 
Was but the raiment that he used to wear : 

330 The Good Shepherd and the Lamb, 

The grave, that now doth press 
Upon that cast-ofF dress, 
Is but his wardrobe locked; — he is not there I 

He lives! — In all the past 

He lives; nor, to the last, 
Of seeing him again will I despair. 

In dreams I see him now; 

And, on his angel brow, 
I see it written, " Thou shalt see me there ! '* 

Yes, we all live to God ! 

Father! Thj chastening rod 
So help us, Thine afflicted ones, to bear, 

That, in the spirit-land. 

Meeting at Thy right hand, 
'Twill be our heaven to find that — Thou art iberef 


Gentle Shepherd, Thou hast still'd 
Now Thy little lamb's long weeping; 

Ah, how peaceful, pale, and mild, 
In its narrow bed 'tis sleeping! 

And no sigh of anguish sore 

Heaves that little bosom more. 

In this world of care and pain, 

Lord, Thou wouldst no longer leave it; 

To the sunny heavenly plain. 

Dost Thou now with joy receive it. 

Clothed in robes of spotless white, 

Now it dwells with Thee in light. 

" The Evening Star'' 331 

Ah, Lord Jesus ! grant that we 

Where it lives may soon be living; 
And the lovely pastures see 

That its heavenly food are giving; . 
Then the gain of death we prove, 
Though Thou take what most we love. 

. (From the "Christian Treasury.") 

She was " the evening star " I thought would shine 
Upon my path, as I, with years decline, 
Thought I should watch its lustre softer glow, 
Cheering my weary pilgrimage below; 
But God has set my bright and gentle star 
In heaven afar. 

She was my flower : the sad pathway of life. 
So full, to sinful man, of care and strife. 
Was by her presence stripped of many a thorn, 
Making my trials easier to be borne. 
My flower is now in realms of holy light. 
In glory bright. 

Yes, she is there ; for, while on earth in pain, 
She loved supremely her Redeemer's name; 
Now she is with Him, near His throne she stands, 
Rests in His arms, one of His folded lambs. 
Soon shall we meet before that glorious throne, 
My little one. 

Yes, there's my child; I see, with eye of faith, 
Her happy spirit free from sin and death; 
She is a jewel on her Saviour's brow; 
Low at His feet her crown she loves to throw; 
While He, enthroned in love and mercy mild, 
Smiles on mv child. 

332 Gone to Paradise. 

Shall I then grieve my precious one is where 
She doth the golden crown and white robe wear? 
No ; rather would I joy that she is free, 
And wait vay Father's summons patiently, 
To join with her the heavenly blessed throng, 
In glorious song. 

Charles Wesley. 

Wherefore should I make my moan, 
Now the darling child is dead.? 

He to rest is early gone, 
He to Paradise is fled ! 

I shall go to him, but he 

Never shall return to me. 

God forbids his longer stay, 
God recalls the precious loan ! 

He hath taken him away. 
From my bosom to His own. 

Surely what He wills is best; 

Happy in His will I rest. 

Faith cries out, " It is the Lord ! 

Let Him do what seems Him good : 
Be Thy holy name adored, 

Take the gift awhile bestowed; 
Take the child, no longer mine; 
Thine he is, for ever Thine! " 

Ej^itafhs oil Infants, , 333 


Ralph Erskine. 

In heavenly choirs a question rose, 
That stirred up strife will never close; 
*' What rank of all the ransomed race 
Owes highest praise to Sovereign grace?" 
Babes thither caught from womb and breast 
Claimed right to sing above the rest; 
Because they found the happy shore 
They never saw nor sought before. 


Robert Robinson. 

Bold infidelity, turn pale and die ! 
Beneath this stone four infants' ashes lie ; 

Say, are they lost or saved? 
If death's by sin, they sinned, for they lie here : 
If heaven's by works, in heaven they can't appear. 

Reason, ah, how depraved ! 
Revere the Bible's sacred page, the knot's untied ; 
They died, for Adam sinned : they live, for Jesus died I 

Wm. Cowper. 

Bewail not much, my parents ! me, the prey 
Of ruthless Hades, and sepulchred here. 
An infant, in my fifth scarce finish'd year, 
He found all sportive, innocent, and gay, 
Your young Callimachus ; and if I knew 
Not many joys, my griefs were also few. 

334 E^itafhs on Iiifants. 

Thomas Aird. 

The glistening infant dies in its first laugh, 
Like flower whose fragrance is its epitaph. 

Peace to mj Judith in the grave! she died in her young 

God took her to Himself, and I blessed the Almighty's 
ways. ^ 

Mrs. Hemans. 

Thou, that canst gaze upon thine own fair coy, 

And hear his prayer's low murmur at thy knee, 

And o'er his slumber bend in breathless joy, 

Come to this tomb! it hath a voice for thee! 

Pray ! Thou art blest, — ask strength for sorrow's hour. 

Love, deep as thine, lays low its broken flower. 

Hartley Coleridge. 

Yet, sure the babe is in the cradle blest, 
Since God Himself a baby deign'd to be; 
And slept upon a mortal mother's breast, 
And steep'd in baby tears, — His Deity. 

Hartley Coleridge. 

Oh, sleep, sweet infant, for we all must sleep, 
And wake like babes, that we may wake with Him 
Who watches still His own from harm to keep. 
And o'er them spreads the wings of cherubim. 

Professor John Wilson. 

No fears have we when some delightful child 
Falls from its innocence into the grave; 
Soon as we know its little breath is gone, 
We see it lying on the Saviour's breast 
A heavenly flower, there fed with heavenly dew. 

Efitafhs 071 Infants. 335 

R. B. Sheridan. 

In some rude spot where vulgar herbage grows, 

If chance a violet rear its purple head, 
The careful gardener moves it ere it blows, 

To thrive and flourish in a nobler bed; 

Such was thy fate, dear child, 
Thy opening such ! 
Pre-eminence in early bloom was shown; 

For earth, too good, perhaps ; 
And lov'd too much, — 
Heaven saw, and early mark'd thee for its own. 

The cup of life just to her lips she press'd. 
Found the taste bitter, and declined the rest; 
Then looking upward to the realms of day. 
She gently sighed her little soul away. 

James Cawthorn (1719). 

These happy infants, early taught to shun 
All that the world admires beneath the sun, 
Scorn'd the weak bands mortality could tie, 
And fled impatient to their native sky. 

Dear, precious babes ! alas ! when fona.y wild, 

A mother's heart hung melting o'er her child; 

When my charm'd eye a flood of joy express'd. 

And all the father kindled in my breast, 

A sudden paleness seized each guiltless face. 

And Death, though smiling, crept o'er every grace. 

Nature, be calm ; heave not the impassion'd sigh 
Nor teach one tear to tremble in mine eye; 
A few unspotted moments pass'd between 
Their dawn of being and their closing scene; 
And sure no nobler blessing can be given. 
When one short anguish is the price of heaven. 

33^ Efita^hs on Infants, 

Francis Davison (1635). 

Wit's perfection, Beauty's wonder, 
Nature's pride, the Graces' treasure, 

Virtue's life, his friends' sole pleasure, 
This cold marble-stone lies under, 

Which is often moist with tears 

For such loss in such young years. 

Lovely boy, thou art not dead. 
But from earth to heaven fled ; 
For base earth was far unfit 
For such beauty, grace, and wit. 

Thou, alive on earth, sweet boy, 
Hadst an angel's wit and face ; 

And now dead, thou dost enjoy 
In high heaven an angel's place. 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

Ere Sin could blight or Sorrow fade, 
Death came with friendly care, 

The opening bud to heaven conveyed. 
And bade it blossom there. 

Its balmy lips the infant blest, 

Relaxing from its mother's breast, 

How sweet it heaves the happy sigh 
Of innocent satiety! 

And such my infant's latest sigh ! 

Oh, tell, rude stone, the passer by 
That here the pretty babe doth lie 

Death sang to sleep with lullaby. 

Efitafhs on Infants. 337 

Samuel Wesley (1692). 

Beneath, a sleeping infant lies, 

To earth whose ashes lent, 
More glorious shall hereafter rise, 

Though not more innocent. 

When the archangel's trump shall blow. 

And souls and bodies join. 
What crowds will wish their lives below 

Had been as short as thine! 

Cambridge : Press of John Wilson and Son. 

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Fi-om an Editorial Note to Volume Ten, by the Rev. JOHN Stan- 
ford Holme, D.D. 
" If there is a minister of the gospel in the world who is 
truly cosmopolitan, that man is Charles H. Spurgeon. Mr. 
Spurgeon has now ministered for many years to the largest 

congregation in the world. To see him and to hear him has 
become a matter of curiosity to all who visit the great metrop- 
olis. But it is not on these accounts chiefly that he is a man 
of general interest throughout Christendom. It is rather 
that over fifteen hundred of the sermons of this one man 
have been accurately reported and printed. It is that the 
number of readers of these sermons has continued steadily 
to increase for more than twenty years, until now they are 
read weekly by hundreds of thousands wherever the English 
tongue is spoken. It is, above all, that these sermons have 
been blessed to the conversion and edification of multitudes 
in all lands. 

" Many of the causes of the wonderful popularity of this 
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ness and vigor of thought, in simplicity and purity of lan- 
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presentation, he is perhaps without a peer in the pulpit. . . . 

" It is not his manner to spin his web out of himself. The 
resources from which he draws are not measured by the 
strength and the store of his own faculties, but rather by 
the infinite fulness of the divine word. He never preaches 
from a topic. He always has a text. His text is not a mere 
motto, but in it he finds his sermon. He uses his text with 
as much reverence and appreciation as if those few words 
were the only- words God had ever spoken. The text is the 
germ which furnishes the life, — the spirit and substance of 
the discourse. Every sermon has the peculiar flavor and 
fragrance and color of the divine seed-truth of which it is the 

" It is not surprising, therefore, that sermons so varied, 
fresh, and evangelical, should have so large a circulation. 
... As some of these volumes have had an issue of one 
hundred thousand copies, it will be seen that the circulation 
of these sermons even in this country is altogether without 
precedent ; and, as the verdict of the Christian public, it 
fully justifies the estimate we have placed upon them." 

jrtance to