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Go gather them, and take them her-
Their silver voice will chime to her
And bring the simple daisy,
Where the sun his parting rays, aye
Twill tell her that from 'neath the grave
She shall come forth again;
For Christ once died His own to save,
Bring the gold and purple pansy-
That flower which love's sweet fancy
Hath called 'my own heart-ease.'
Bring the woodbine, the pale woodbine,
Sweet lessons of dependence these
And strength to bear what God may please
And bring the pretty snowdrop-
Too fragile and too fair to stop
When spring's first ray hath shone.
And bring the rosy pimpernel,1
The poor man's weather-glass,
And bid her that she watch it well,
Lovers of this little flower will know that the pimpernel is some times red, sometimes blue, or yellow.
She'll see it close its gentle eye,
She'll see how to the morning sun
And learn, like it, the Christian one
And ne'er in storm, or ne'er in shine,
When with a wisdom all Divine
Her faith and trust He'd prove.
But bring her not that death-fraught flower,
Now hasten to the woods away,
But bring not from the gardens gay
Their bright and showy bells.
Seek from the woodlands hidden flowers
They'll sing to her of fadeless bowers,
So we left the flowers to their silent ministry to the sick girl: we knew each one had its voice for her—each its message from God-or she would not have cared for them. In days of health she had given to each its peculiar lesson to teach her. She told the forget-me-not to remind her that God had said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." The violet, "God giveth grace to the humble." The primrose, "Be patient." The lily, our Saviour's own sermon, 66 Consider the lilies." The daisy, the grave bereft of its terrors: 'I have redeemed thee from the power of the grave." The 1 I John iv. 8.
heart's-ease," Peace I leave with thee." The little brighteyed flower (I forget its name), "Cheerfulness in sorrow." The woodbine and ivy, "Clinging to Christ." The Snowdrop, "Blessed are the pure in heart." The pimpernel, "Look unto Me;" 66 a covert from the storm." The nightshade, "Evil communications corrupt good manners ;" and what death would be without a living Christ. The whole bouquet, "All things richly to enjoy." "Shall He not much more give us all things ?"
Dear reader! life will possess an added pleasure if you strive to imitate this young girl's example, and try to see your Heavenly Father's hand everywhere, and His loving care in every daily detail of your existence, and in all creation from the lofty, snow-capped mountain to the wayside hillock; from the cedar of Lebanon to the wild blossom in the hedge.
NO. VIII. "I MAY AS WELL SAY IT AS THINK IT." HERE is, in this saying, a sort of blunt candour which at first sight seems commendable; yet, in reality, on most occasions when it is spoken we should find it would have been better not to have given utterance to the thought; for this expression, "I may as well say it as think it," is generally used in order to justify some objectionable opinion, or some harsh judg ment of a fellow-creature; and which harsh judgment, moreover, may be utterly without foundation. It is bad enough to misjudge people even in our hearts; but if we speak our suspicions as well as think them, the matter has gone abroad, and who can tell where it may end? The seeds of distrust and discord have been sown in the minds of others; and thus a report, which is perhaps entirely false, is spread, and possibly the happiness of some life, or lives,
may be marred; and all because, having taken up such an opinion, we say, "I may as well say it as think it."
Another occasion on which we use this expression is when under provocation. A servant would be likely to say of a strict master, "He has no feeling for any one beneath him; he is harsh and unreasonable, and I don't mind saying so;" whereas it may be that, in forbidding that particular indulgence, the master may be, in kindness, shielding his servant from temptation; but in a moment of anger the servant has spoken to others his own harsh judgment of a really good master, and helped to give an erroneous impression of his behaviour to his inferiors.
Moreover, these censorious remarks are generally made behind a person's back; too often is it the case that slander is uttered concerning those who, being absent, cannot defend themselves. How many an accusation might prove groundless if, in common fairness, it were made in the presence of the accused! Besides, the habit of saying such things because we think them is bad for our own minds, for the impression is deepened, and takes the form of reality when the lips sanction the thought by giving utterance to it.
This habit of first judging our neighbour, and then considering that we do no more harm by openly condemning him, has its origin very often in a pharisaical feeling of our own superiority, for we generally contrive to find fault with him for some failing or folly from which we consider ourselves to be entirely free. Instances of the kind might easily be found: "How strange it is that onę never sees Mr. Smith's name in any subscription-list, and yet every one knows he is a rich man." We take it for granted he is ungenerous, and see no reason why we should not say so; whereas he may have given largely, while withholding his name; in which case, by hinting that he does no good with his money, we have done him a cruel injustice.
Or, on some occasion of extreme provocation, we see a Christian give way to irritability of temper, and think there is no harm in saying of him that, "He is, after all, no better
than his neighbours." Even as the injurious words pass our lips, how do we know but that he is at that moment seeking pardon, and praying to be increasingly blessed with a "meek and quiet spirit ?"
If we cultivated more sympathetic feelings we should not so often either "think" or "say" what injures our neighbour's reputation; we must learn to place ourselves, in imagination, in his circumstances, and, looking on his trials and temptations from his point of view, make kindly allowance for the difficulties which beset his path: in most cases we should probably own that we ourselves should have acted as he did, or even perhaps not so well.
But there are times when we may with truth and propriety feel, "I may as well say it as think it ;" and that is with regard to the expression of our better feelings. from timidity or false shame, we are too apt to hide our best thoughts rather than express them. We hear, for instance, of a sudden death, and it reminds us of the Parable of the Virgins, who were roused from their slumber and sleep to go forth and meet the Bridegroom; but we keep the thought to ourselves, lest we should be told we are "preaching;" whereas, if we gave utterance to it, it might come home to the conscience of some one who heard, and who might thus be led to inquire whether he himself was ready to obey such a summons.
Or we are pained by hearing trifling conversation on the Lord's day, and think, "Is this in accordance with the command that on His day we should not say our own words ?"1 Here again we "may as well say it as think it;" for the mere thought passing through our own minds can do our neighbour no good; but, if spoken in a kind and judicious manner, and some interesting subject started in accordance with the day, the mind of our companions might be awakened, for the first time possibly, to the importance of honouring the holy hours. Those whom we thus influ
Isaiah lviii. 13.