Whom I had thought I never more should meet.
They looked, dear mother, as they used to look,
When they were well and happy; ere disease
Had robbed them of their beauty, or death’s seal
Fastened upon their features. And their faces
Beamed with a brightness never seen before.
I asked if they were happy, and if I
Could join them; or if they would return
To us again; and told them, mother dear,
How lonely we had felt since they departed,
And left us in our grief; and how we missed
Their pleasant voices and their merry laugh;
For though you said ’twas wrong to wish them back,
I could not think but you would welcome them.
They were too happy in their angel home,
To think of coming back to earth again;
And neither, said they, could I stay with them,
Because my time was not yet come. But they
Would look upon us from their high abode,
And ask our Saviour’s blessing on us both;
And soon his arms would open, and his voice
Would call on us to follow them; and they
Would welcome us to those bright realms above,
Where they, with angels, now have found a home;
Where all shall find a home, a resting-place,
After the toils of earth. Where skies are bright,
And spring forever reigns. Where flowers shall bloom
In never-fading freshness, nor be touched
By winter’s frost. And, more than all, where love
Unites all hearts in one great brotherhood,
Nor separation comes to break the chain.
“Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined,”—is an adage as true as it is ancient. One’s character, happiness, and usefulness, during his whole life, depends, in no small measure, upon early education. The child taught to disregard the Sabbath, and lightly to esteem the instructions of the Sabbath school, grows to manhood devoid of aught that can entitle him to the society and respect of the good and virtuous. With a soul shrouded in midnight darkness, he gropes his way through life, and at the grave sinks into oblivion, “by none esteemed, by all forgot.” However we may hope for such a soul, through the mercy of God, as we surely do, it is not now qualified to enter upon and fully appreciate the purity and joys of Christ’s kingdom.
We seldom hear of the execution or imprisonment of one who regarded in youth the Sabbath school. Indeed, I think it impossible for one who has been successfully taught to reverence and to love the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, to become an outcast from society. It is true, envy, with its envenomed tongue, and malice, with its still more poisonous breath, may assail even such a one; but their shafts will fall harmless at his feet. The shield of his soul they cannot pierce. They cannot eradicate from the heart the influence of the high and holy lessons which it received in youth. Its many sources of enjoyment they cannot destroy.