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THERE is something solemn, something deeply affecting in the very thought, that all we behold must decay and die. There is nothing permanent, nothing lasting in this world of change. “Passing away,' seems written on every leaf and flower, as change follows change in quick succession. In spring time we rejoice at the re-appearance of the flowers, the return of birds and gentle breezes, and in the enjoyment of those beauties and blessings, we scarcely notice, that already spring has faded into summer; and instead of the sweet, cool zephyrs that fanned our brow, we feel the hot breath of the summer's sun. But summer too, with all its joys, is calmly, quietly passing away, flowers are drooping, while here and there can be seen the sear and yellow leaf speaking in silent language of approaching dissolution.
" Passing away !" How like a sad and melancholy ta le it falls upon the heart, and we start, to find that we too, have passed already so far down the stream of time, and soon our frail vessel will land us on the shores of Eternity
"We all do fade as a leaf," is the language of the “ Holy Book," and how strikingly true. A few short years and the infant upon the mother's breast will have grown to manhood. Childhood and youth alike will have passed away, while a few more weary years of joy and sorrow, finds him a resting place beneath the sod Mutation and decay is the destiny of everything we behold in this world.
Let us for a moment take a retrospective glance. Where are the friends of our cbildhood, and the companions of our youthful days? Ah! echo answers where? They too have passed anwy.
Some lie sleeping in yonder church-yard. Long, long ago, they passed away into the "silent land” and left us sad and lone; others have passed from our warm embrace, out upon the battle field of life, and we meet them no more, until we meet in a land of “rest.” Time is leading them onward and onward still, and soon, they too, will have passed the bourne. How fast time is hurrying us on to our Eternal Home, and yet how little we feel the import of the short sentence--passing away. A few short and weary years, and we too will be numbered among the forgotten things of earth, and others will occupy the places we now fill.
" Time is winging us away
To our eternal home,
A journey to the tomb." Soon all the noise and tumult of this vain world shall be bushed forever. Generation after generation is passing away, as shadows flit across the plain. Earth's vast drama is hastening to a close. Time is rushing on to its eternal sepulchre, and soon the end will come. The purposes for which God kindly gave it will be accomplished, and its mighty ages
narrowed down to the moment of its close. Then earth with all its pomp and splendor shall pass away like mist before the morning sun. “The Heavens shall pass away as a scroll when it is rolled together, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” And man, what of him whom God made a little lower than the angels ? Shall he perish with the earth? Ah! no, “ The hour is coming, in the which all that are in their graves shall come forth, they that have done good unto the ressarrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation,” is the language of holy writ.
" Mutation marks all earthly things
The friends we love to day,
To-morrow far away.
Where changes do not come;
The Christian's happy home.”
RY THE EDITOR.
Relieved against the quiet sky,
In dignity serepe.
And wear almost a frown.
Of waterfalls and birds.
Which distance hid before.
Statues of men they seem.
Is full of life and love,
Our father's growing old, John !
His eyes are growing dim;
A heavy weight for him.
And each a stalwart man,
And easy as we can.
At cradle and the plow,
That trickled down his brow;
Whate'er bis toil might be,
Upon his solid knee.
And sturdy grew each limb,
To share the toil with him ;
Tossing aside the grain,
Or ships that sheer the main.
Through weather foul and fair,
And tilt his easy chair;
At eve to tell us o'er
Our grandsires and the war.
'Tis gospel what you say,
Has turned her head so gray !
When neighbors called her vain,
A gleamiog sheaf of grain.
Der cheeks were round and fair,
Against ber wavy hair,
Her step fell lightly as the leaf
From off the summer tree,
She sang to you and me.
That wielded well the rod,
Tbe path forbidden trod;
We never looked in vain,
Brought down her tears like rain.
And we are what we are,
Her fading cheek and hair.
The tides no longer stir,
*We had no friend like her!
Thus speaking softly o'er
Shall welcome us no more.
An honest tear disown?
Yes, father's growing old, John !
His eyes are getting dim,
The deep descent with bim.
And each a stalwart man,
And level as we can.
THE DEPARTE D.
Are with us; and they tell us of the sky,
A house not made with hands, a home on high !
They have gone from us, and tbe grave is strong!
Yet, in pight's silent watches, they are near! Their voices linger round us as the song
Of the sweet skylark lingers on the ear, When, floating upward in the fush of even, Its form is lost from earth, and swallowed up in heaven.
THE MIDIANI TE'S DREAM. "BEHOLD, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley-bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along ” (Judges vii : 13).
Solomon says that, “ In multitudes of dreams there are divers vanities." This one considered apart from its connections, seems simply ludicrous ; and we are led to wonder at the odd and apparently incoherent things that are often grouped together in this way. But the Almighty can as easily cause the foolishness of men to praise Him, as weak things to confound the things that are mighty.
We hare here presented quite a different aspect of our general subject. It has already been observed how the will of Heaven has been directly revealed to godly men, as Jacob and Joseph ; also that the ungodly have been made the channels, indirectlv, for similar communications, as Pharoah and his officers; but here we have simply the dream in an annonymous character-the individual being entirely concealed beneath the significance of the dream itself. So that, we perceive, the Lord, who alone is the true interpreter of dreams, is not limited either to time, places or men, which are made indiscriminately the media through which He effects with equal certainty His divine purposes.
In the dream before us, we are uncermoniously introduced into the midst of one of the most wonderful and interesting scenes of Israelitish warfare. The Lord had raised up Gideon to avenge his nation of the encroachments and injuries perpetrated for so many years by the Midianites and their allied powers. He, though summoned to the leadership of his people as “a mighty man of valour," doubted, like Moses, his fitness for so great a work, until the declarations of the angel were confirmed by miraculous signs.
accordingly, the flesh and unleavened cakes which he had been di. rected to prepare upon a rock were consumed by fire at the touch of an angel's staff ; and the mysterious fleece of wool, at his own request, was filled with the dew of heaven while all around remained perfectly dry, and then it was “ dry only upon the fleece," while upon all the ground there was dew. Furthermore, an angel appeared to him by night, most probably in a dream, to order the destruction of the altar which his idol. trous father bad erected to Baal-to confirm him in his own mission, and as a beginning of the great work which he was called upon to perform.
With such unmistakable indications of the divine favor and presence he could not do otherwise than "go forwards ” Hence, be placed himself at the head of an army gathered from the tribes of Manaseh, Asher, Zebulon and Napthali, and pitched on Mount Gilead, over againt the Midianites, the Amalekites and Arabians who were in the valley of Jezreel beneath. But here again he had cause to doubt and fear in face of the fearful odds against him; for while the enemy appeared like grasshoppers in the valley for multitude, and numberd 135,000 soldiers, besides camels as numerous as sands upon the sea-shore, he could muster but