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Good Words 1860
Mary's Birthday

She is at rest, In God's own presence blest, Whom, while with us, we loved to greet this day; Her birthdays o'er, She counts the years no more ; On her hath beam'd the light of heaven's one nightless day.

When we would raise A hymn of birthday praise, The music of our hearts is faint and low; Fear, doubt, and sin, Make dissonance within; And pure soul-melody no child of earth may know.
That strange "new song," Amid a white-robed throng, Is gushing from her harp in living tone; Her seraph voice, Tuned only to rejoice, Floats upward to the emerald-arched throne.*
No passing cloud Her loveliness may shroud, The beauty of her youth may never fail; No line of care Her sealed brow may wear, The joy-gleam of her eye no dimness e'er may veil.
* Rev. iv. 3.
No stain is there
Upon the robes they wear,
Within the gates of pearl which she hath pass'd;
Like woven light,
All beautiful and bright,
Eternity no shade upon those robes may cast.
No sin-born thought May in that home be wrought, To trouble the clear fountain of her heart; No tear, no sigh, No pain, no death be nigh Where she hath enter'd in, no more to "know in part."
Her faith is sight, Her hope is full delight, The shadowy veil of time is rent in twain : Her untold bliss— What thought can follow this! To her to live was Christ, to die indeed is gain.
Her eyes have seen The bruised Nazarene, In blood-dipp'd vesture gloriously array'd: No earth-breathed haze May e'er becloud her gaze— She sees Him face to face on whom her guilt was laid.
A little while, And they whose loving smile Had melted 'neath the touch of lonely woe, Shall reach her home, Beyond the star-built dome: Her anthem they shall swell, her joy they too shall know.
In my last counsel to you, I stated frankly the kind of men whom I thought would give me a hearing, and listen, at least, perhaps kindly, to my words.
Assuming that I now address such, my reader probably exclaims—"Well, what have you to say? Out with it at once, that we may know what all this is about! The old story, I suppose, of religion ; and the old advice, that we young men being all sinners ought to be saints, and look solemn, and talk cant, and go to church, and read our Bibles, and be good boys, and give up everything agreeable ; deny ourselves whatever is pleasant to the body, and to the soul, also, for aught we know —in short, make ourselves as miserable as possible in this world, in order to secure happiness of some mystical kind somewhere or other after we die ! Is this what you want ? Please, don't go about the bush; but if so, speak it out like a man." Believe me, I have no wish "to go about the bush ;" as it seems to me no great compliment to your sense or intellect to do so. I shall also endeavour to "speak out like a man." Will you also endeavour to listen like one ?
Now, I tell you at once, that I would not spend precious time in addressing you, except for the sole object of making you saints. Yes ! do not read the words with either wonder or impa

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