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nations, as far as distance is concerned, will be as one household. Man will have accomplished all that ever he could do. Raising his head so high, he will dare even Phaeton-like to climb the battlements of the Eternal in his very pride and haughtiness.
And still, and still, NO CHANGE. "The night cometh and also the morning." So the watchmen cry one to the other. The lawyer will with subtle eye be conning over and eagerly perusing his parchments, and drawing up wills, which are to bind closely coming generations. The young lady, the belle of the ballroom will be decking herself out for fresh conquests and achievements. The miser will be counting over and over his hoarded gold.
And still, NO CHANGE.
Parliaments will be meeting, and statesmen talking grandly and loudly of schemes for national aggrandizement, of war and peace, of the law, and public good, and
"In holy conclave Bishops speak of tithes,
And universal rule, and panting hard
For fame, heroes are leading on the brave
To every man it seems as if this day would be as yesterday, and the coming day as the days which ever and ever have rolled away since the foundations of the world were laid.
BUT A CHANGE THERE WILL BE.
ON A SUDDEN. See the sun is reeling in the Heavens, nature is standing still, and over the earth gradually but surely a bloody cloud is coming, hanging amid the weird-like gloom gruesome and portentous in the sky, and then a pall of black darkness succeeds. No moon, no stars appearing. See the rivers are aghast and are flowing backwards in wild impetuous fury to their source. A low moan as of agony comes from the Ocean, and sea monsters, unheard of and never before seen by mortal eye, invade the cottages of fishermen. There is a dread silence over all the world. The winds sough and sigh in fitful blasts. A weird calm, death-like and awful, is upon all living. Hope seems lost. A fearful looking for of unheard terrors is on men's countenances. Emperors and kings, and prime ministers cease their councils of state.
And what more, what more is coming? In the dread commotion
1 Pollok's "Course of Time."
grim death, plague, pestilence, and famine, stalk abroad. All human love seems gone; youth and manhood are as nothing.
And what more? They say that the dead and buried, of long years ago, are rising, and strange sighs are heard in the air, and fearful forms haunting the midnight darkness.
And still something more yet? A whisper has gone forth that the very earth is unsafe and has been heard to groan and rock as if its hour had come to fail.
Yet further? A gleam as of Gold is said to be appearing in the far East, at first like a little cloud, not larger than a man's hand. Ah! it is coming nearer and nearer. It is true the dead are rising out of their graves to meet it. Some there are, who say, that certain of the dead are hiding their faces from it, and what faces! Oh, so horrible, so unearthly, so devilish, so full of horror, and dismay, and sin. Yes, the streak of gold is coming nearer, and Angels' Forms are seen, towering, and conspicuous in the black darkness, which overspreads the earth. And cowering mortals, the quick of earth, the kings, the princes, the great men and the poor country labourer, the high-born dame, and the poor needlewoman, with strange looks in their faces, aver that they see a Luminous Cross, so bright, so dazzling, and beneath that Cross a Throne, and seated on that Throne ONE like unto the SON OF MAN.
And they say that God has really come at last, and well do they know Who that ONE is, for they have all heard and known our GOOD FRIDAY's tale; and round about the Throne are Twelve Thrones, and on those Thrones are seated the TWELVE holy APOSTLES of the GOD-MAN, and far and near, around and ever around, are the Patriarchs and holy Bishops, Martyrs, and Confessors of the Crucified, come, COME to Judgment. Yes, the dead are rising, and lo! some having already the harps of GOD in their hands, "the earthly having put on the unearthly," are tuning them to the music of the heavenly City; and some are there looking so happy and blessed; and families, who once on earth were parted by stern fortune, by distance, the sea, and other mischances, are greeting one another with such happy countenances, so good, so holy, so full of GOD's beauty, the Stone of Separation being rolled away for
And why should I say more? Have I words to tell the Glory and the Happiness of the Redeemed, or can I find words to paint in true colours the Despair of the Lost, of the one left out, of him who will
never arrive home at all ever any more? And what of the Angels of GOD on that day ? O what joy to converse familiarly with them, to
go hand in hand with them among the wonders of GOD's creation! Oh! how you would like all this! I know you would. And if we would have the Blessedness of the Redeemed, this is what we must strive for. We must strive to be Good Friday children. We must have the Cross of our LORD deeply marked upon our foreheads. And what if we are bowed down with the weight of it? What matter then, if we only win the smile of our dear LORD?
It may be this GOOD FRIDAY may be the last GOOD FRIDAY we may see, and when next GOOD FRIDAY comes we shall really and truly know what Eternity means.
Believe me it is only those who bear the Cross, that can win the Glorious Crown. The Cross is indeed shame, but, thank God, it is also a Symbol of Victory. Oh! how the early Christians, now laid to Rest in the Catacombs, gloried in the Cross. May it be ours to have grace so to carry our dear LORD's Cross now in our hearts, "Crux in corde," that we may stand firm in the Great and Terrible Judgment. This is the end of GOOD FRIDAY. This was why our dear LORD was crucified, why we say,
"There is a green hill far away,
Outside a city wall,
Where the dear LORD was crucified,
Who died to save us all."
"Who died to save us all." What merciful words! There is Salvation for all, through JESUS's Blood, by putting His Precious Passion between us and our sins. Yes, "Who died to save us all." Yes, that we might be GOOD FRIDAY children, and after that children of Holy EASTER and of the RESURRECTION, singing with the Angels the songs of the REDEEMED. To which Blessedness may we all be brought through our dear SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, Who died as on this day upon the Cross to make us true sons and daughters of the Celestial Land.
NON NOBIS, DOMINE.
"In the Cross is salvation; in the Cross is life."
THOMAS A KEMPIS.
Imitation of Christ.
CREATION'S hushed-the night winds whisper low,
And countless stars their brilliant forms display,
Moon-silvered earth sends up a scent of flowers,
It is the Eve of Easter-and the strain
And hark-in distance swells a mighty sound,
We may not linger o'er the awful past,
When powers of darkness bound were downward cast:-
His Cross is life—His Glory lights the world.
C. A. M. W.
THE HYMN OF PRAISE.
"Day by day we magnify Thee."
ALONE and in silence Berthold the musician sat, watching through the night. His instruments of music lay around him, yet he woke no sound from them, but with folded hands and onward looking eyes listened to silence so intense, that the pale light of the crescent moon as it travelled westward, and the quivering gleam of setting stars, seemed the last high notes of some faint melody to his entranced and eager listening. Then in the twilight of the summer dawn he beheld, how all nature, mute though she were, yet stood as if in awe and expectant; not with the silence of an assembled choir, who when their
long sustained songs are ended, wearily lay aside their singing robes and rejoice in the stillness; but rather with the mighty pause that holds some band of minstrels, when with watchful eyes and ready hands they await the signal that shall bid them burst forth in preconcerted harmony. And now as the first flush of morning tinged the eastern sky, a far off voice of the wind arose, and the clouds that hitherto hung motionless spread their wings for flying; and nearer and louder sped the wind, bringing the murmur of the awakened ocean and the splash of its landward tide, fluttering among the topmost boughs of the forest, and shaking dew-drops on forsaken nests. Gathering strength each moment it passed onward, a spirit whose presence is only perceived by the aspect of those who feel its influence. The grass and green corn bowed their ranks in swift succession, the willow tossed back her long locks all dripping with tears, and the great trees waved their arms on high like priests with swinging censers. The musician watched the fleet messenger's approach as if it had special words for him. He saw the pool of water ruffled like a bird's breast, he saw the water lilies, like boats at anchor, drift apart to float back slowly to their former place, he saw the wreath of passionflower round his window blown aside, and the tendrils tangled with the climbing roses, and then the voice of the wind had entered and filled 'his whole chamber. The flame of his lamp bowed down suddenly and died, and as the rays of the sun shot slanting to his feet, and earth and air rang with the song of awakening life, well might the listening one lift up his hands to heaven and repeat the words that voice of nature bestowed on him, "We praise Thee, O GOD."
Out into the morning air he walked with buoyant footsteps, as one who felt that fallen though men are, yet their dwelling place is of heavenly pattern; a tabernacle adorned with fair colour, and replete with incense and harmony. His every sense was quickened to enjoy the beauties that surrounded him; his keen ear lost not a whisper of the thick clustering leaves, above whose soft accompaniment the birds' songs rang full and sweet, while far below the sea waves fell, with measured beat upon the shore. His eye followed the course of the stream as it ran through the glen, now flashing diamond-bright in the sunlight, now dark with overhanging boughs, sometimes turned aside by mossgrown stones, sometimes seeming to linger beneath the wild roses, that hung their pink and white blossoms over the water. The grassy