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the sense of smell! What sweets for the taste, and nature's velvets for the touch! Let us select one of these, and note it, as a specimen of all. Music, for instance ! how wonderful a thing, when we reflect upon it, is music! A certain succession or combination of sounds,-which are in themselves merely impressions made upon the ear by agitations of the atmosphere—is found to be most grateful, delightful to the mind : we cannot tell why, but we are charmed by it. The very breathing of the wind among the trees-nature's Æolian harps—is a pleasant sound, and its roar through a forest is a sublime one. Then the lowing of cattle at evening, and even the distant bark of the watch-dog baying the moon, have power to call up pleasing associations. Still sweeter is the music of birds. But the human voice, that fine instrument of God's making, is richest of all; this, no artificial instrument approaches. The great Haarlem organ had indeed a stop, called Vox Humana, and which was meant for an imitation of the human voice; but it was such an imitation as showed it plainly to be but the work of “one of nature's journeymen,”—as indeed all men, at best, are. When, in the evening circle, we listen to a song, poured forth with feeling by a sweet voice, what


has it over the soul ! what power to wake up tender memories, to lull passions and anxieties, to warm the gentle affections, and to lift the spirit to God! And when, sometimes, in the silence of the night, we are waked from sleep by the sound of distant music, whether of instruments, or voices, or of both in unison, we seem rapt into heaven : those delicious harmonies, which had entered and mingled themselves with our dreams before we awoke, and had seemed to us then like music from

the spirit-land, -now almost keep up the illusion, even after we are conscious where we are ; and if not themselves strains from that happy world, they seem at least to give us a foretaste of its joys, and to tell of that blessed state where all is harmony and love, and where angel-choirs sing together the glories and goodness of their Lord.

Such are some of the pleasures and delights, which our good Creator has provided for us, through the medium of the senses. And the truth should be distinctly seen and felt, that these are of His providing : this elevates and sanctifies them. True religion forbids no innocent enjoyments : it only regulates pleasures, not destroys or deprives us of them. And such regulation increases rather than diminishes the delight they are intended to afford; for it cuts off that excess which would turn pleasure into pain, and it fills every joy with a life and soul derived from gratitude to its Divine Giver.

And now, at length, old age creeps on. And has that no enjoyments ? Has the great Creator provided no special delights for this period of life?

“ The hoary head,” we read, " is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” When the battle of life has been bravely fought, and the mastery gained over appetites and passions, and the spirit rests in the settled peace of victory-not proud, however, in self-dependence, but humble and grateful in the acknowledgment that all its strength is from above, then, there is a joy in the heart, surpassing the pleasures and delights of youthful and active life, almost as the happiness of heaven surpasses that of earth : it is, indeed, a

foretaste of that heaven, whither the soul is soon to be


and innocence of a wise old age have in them, indeed, something most beautiful as well as venerable. The innocence of infancy, truly, is ever charming; the helplessness, the pretty motions and unconscious graces of the little new being are attractive to every observer : but the “innocence of wisdom," as it has well been termed the childlike simplicity, joined to profound sagacity, the fruit of knowledge ripened by experience and mellowed by goodness, which are to be seen in the countenance of a wise and spiritual-minded old man-is still more beautiful. Such, indeed, is the character of angelic beauty itself. We often see in pictures, or sculptured on monuments, the faces of angels, and they are generally represented as infantine; not that angels can really be infants, for an infant knows nothing, and as yet can hardly be said even to have feelings or affections, whereas an angel is both a wise being, and full of love. But the reason they are so represented, is from a deep perception in the mind, that innocence—that is, a state of utter absence of pride, or thought or consciousness of self, which is the characteristic charm of infancy,—is also the essential principle of heaven and of the angelic character. The difference, however, between infantile innocence and angelic innocence, is, that the former is joined with ignorance, and is only external or on the surface, while the latter is united with the highest wisdom, and has its seat in the very depths of the soul, whence it radiates in lines of beauty through the countenance. Now, in a good old man, we may note a similar character: in his face there beams a childlike innocence, but joined with wisdom; and

hence, even through the wrinkles of the material covering, there shines a beauty of expression, almost angelic. It is, in fact, an angel robed in flesh: soon, he will drop his garment of clay, and soar a full angel to his proper heaven.

As innocence is the characteristic state of a wise old aye, so peace is its peculiar and distinguishing delight, and the great source of its happiness. This, too, is of a heavenly nature, and, as before remarked, is far above the exciting pleasures of youthful years. For, the delights both of youth and manhood are more outward and on the surface of the mind, and therefore liable to be disturbed by various passions and anxieties not yet subdued : it is the summer sunshine and storm.commingled, or quickly succeeding each other. But the peace of old age abides in the centre of the soul, and thence wells forth as a fountain of sweet waters, refreshing the whole garden of the mind, and making it a blessed Eden, a paradise; the sunshine of heaven is continually upon it; it basks in the smile of its Lord. Indeed, a soul in such a state may be termed itself a little heaven; for heaven is wherever the Lord dwells; and He dwells in the heart where there is peace, for He is the “Prince of Peace.” The

of old

age the settled serenity of autumn, when summer storms are gone, when the ripe fruit hangs from the boughs, and the landscape is decked with golden harvests, and the pleasant song of the reaper is heard afar in the fields. It is like the sweet stillness of evening, when the bustle of the day is over, and friendly faces are gathering in to the social circle; when the mellow glories of the West are casting over the earth a golden light; or, still later, when, as those soft hues fade

is as

away, heaven's own lamps are hung out, innumerable, in the sky, and the sight, drawn away from earth, is fixed in calm contemplation on the bright and peaceful worlds above. Old age is the sunset and the evening of life, when soon, the night of death being past, a new morn is about to arise on the spirit, the commencement of an eternal day.




Thus far, we have been occupied with the contemplation of that part of the spiritual universe, which is within man, while he lives in this world, -namely, his mind, with its various powers and affections, and their delights. This is truly a part of the spiritual universe, for it is spirit, though at present enwrapped in a garment of clay. But, in the providence of the good Creator, the time at length comes, when the spirit is divested of its material covering, and then ascends into its own proper sphere of pure spiritual existence, where, with capacities and joys indefinitely enlarged, elevated, and perfected, it continues to live on through eternity.

This separation of the spirit from the material body, we call death. But it is not, in fact, death; it is only separation. The part which remains behind, and which alone is visible to the material eye, namely, the body, is dead, because that which gave it life has departed from it, namely, the spirit. But the material body is not the man, and therefore it cannot with propriety be said that

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