I said to a man, “This is a beautiful tree in front of your house.”
He answered, with a whine, “Yes; but it will fade.”
I said to him, “You have a beautiful garden.”
He replied, “Yes; but it will perish.”
I found out afterward that his son was a vagabond, and I was not surprised at it.
You cannot groan men into decency, but you can groan them out.
Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter! Devote these December, January and February evenings to high pursuits, innocent amusements, intelligent socialities, and Christian attainments. Do not waste this winter. We shall soon have seen the last snow-shower, and have passed up into the companionship of Him whose raiment is exceeding white as snow—as no fuller on earth can whiten it.
To the right-hearted, the winter nights of earth will
soon end in the
June morning of heaven.
The River of God, from under the Throne, never freezes over. The foliage of Life’s fair tree is never frost-bitten. The festivals, and hilarities, and family gatherings of Christmas times on earth, will give way to the larger reunions, and the brighter lights, and the gladder scenes, and the sweeter garlands, and the richer feastings of the great holiday of Heaven.
THE POWER OF CLOTHES.
One cannot always tell by a man’s coat what kind of a heart he has under it; still, his dress is apt to be the out-blossoming of his character, and is not to be disregarded.
We make no indiscriminate onslaught upon customs of dress. Why did God put spots on the pansy, or etch the fern leaf? And what are china-asters good for if style and color are of no importance?
The realm is as wide as the world, and as far-reaching as all the generations, over which fashion hath extended her sceptre. For thousands of years she hath sat queen over all the earth, and the revolutions that rock down all other thrones have not in the slighest affected her domination. Other constitutions have been torn, and other laws trampled; but to her decrees conquerors have bowed their plumes, and kings have uncovered. Victoria is not Queen of England; Napoleon was not Emperor of France; Isabella was not Queen of Spain. Fashion has been regnant over all the earth; and lords and dukes, kings and queens, have been the subjects of her realm.
She arranged the mantle of the patriarch, and the toga of the Roman; the small shoe of the Chinese women, and the turban of the Turk; the furs of the Laplander, and the calumet of the Indian chieftain. Hottentot and Siberian obey the mandate, as well as Englishman and American. Her laws are written on parchment and palm-leaf, on broken arch and cathedral tracery. She arranged how the Egyptian mummy should be wound, and how Caesar should ride, and how the Athenians should speak, and how through the Venetian canals the gondoliers should row their pleasure-boat. Her hand hath hung the pillars with embroidery, and strewn the floor with plush. Her loom hath woven fabrics graceful as the snow and pure as the light. Her voice is heard in the gold mart, in the roar of the street, in the shuffle of the crowded bazaars, in the rattle of the steam-presses, and in the songs of the churches.