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designed her for, and which will be her comfort here and her life hereafter,
Piety has been beautifully compared to “a carpet, soft and deep, which, while it diffuses a look of ample comfort, deadens many a creaking sound. It
It is the curtain which, from many a beloved form, wards off at once the summer's glow and the winter's wind. It is the pillow on which sickness lays its head, and forgets half its misery.” In her sphere, woman is like the moon, reflecting the rays of the sun, and holding her steady course; wading oft through misty clouds, but emerging more beautiful than before ; giving light to all, but producing confusion for none. Her life should be a calm, holy, beautiful walk from the hearthstone to the altar fire; from the bosom of her family to the throne of God. Between these points lie all her duty and destiny.
THE DUTIFUL CHILD.
She hath caught the fair splendor,
She hath heard the low, tender,
And she says, “I am weary!
The night time is dreary;
SHE WAS HIS ONLY CHILD: BESIDES HER HE HAD NEITHER SON
NOR DAUGHTER. — Judges 11: 34. THERE is a world of domestic meaning treasured up in these few words. Jephthah was a judge in Israel, and was called, in his official capacity, to lead the army against the enemies which surrounded the people on every side. On one occasion he was sent against the Ammonites, who came against him with long legions of warriors, well prepared for battle. Before the engagement, Jephthah went to God, and besought a glorious victory. He solemnly vowed before God, tha. provided victory should crown him with its laurels, he would, on returning home, sacrifice whatever came forth first out of his house, as a burnt offering to the Lord. His vow was solemn, and made from an honest heart, and with an unyielding determination. It was recorded on high, and rang in the warrior's ears as he rushed into the battle. Victory was won at length, and Ammon was smitten, from Aroer unto Minnith. Flushed with victory, elated with success, decorated with the spoil of vanquished foes, the conquering judge returned to Mizpeh. As he came near, the vow, the solemn, awful vow came into his mind, and his manly heart resolved to execute it. Soon the royal residence was seen in the distance, and his soul was in haste to meet those he loved. Steadily he gazed, to see what or who should come forth first from his gates. The beast, the man servant, or the maiden was to be offered as a burnt sacrifice. While he advanced, the doors were thrown open, and the sound of music and song came pouring forth; and soon a gay and happy company rushed to welcome the returning victor, and decorate his head with flowers. But ah! who is she that leads this gay throng of maidens? whose voice is sweeter than the rest? whose timbrel is more nicely tuned ? and whose bosom swells with the wildest emotion :
And what means it that the victorious chieftain stops, and rends his garment, and mourns aloud ? What means it that tears of grief roll down the face so lately wreathed in smiles, and anguish fills the bosom so recently heaving with ecstatic joy? It is his daughter that has come forth to greet him, and his fatal vow falls on her. 0, what to him now is victory? She is his only child; and besides her he has neither son nor daughter. She it is who has been the light of his home, who has fanned his head when weary and faint, who has sung him to sleep at night when nothing but her voice could dispel his cares, and who has made his life a scene of happiness. That home now is to become an altar on which she is to be laid as a victim, and he himself is to be the priest who shall make the sacrifice.
The daughter, who has already heard of the victory, sees that some terrible calamity has fallen on her sire, and she runs to him, winds her arms about his neck, and compels him to tell her all. With all a father's fondness he gazes down into her mild eyes, and expects to see her at once convulsed with sorrow.
But he beholds no such manifestations of grief. Without a tear, without a sigh, she calmly says, “ Your vow, dear father, must be fulfilled, and let the thing be done : only give me a respite of two months, and I shall be ready."
This whole scene, so affecting, so full of interest and pathos, one of our own sacred writers has woven into the thrilling melody of poetry. He takes the tender scene, and blends it into charming verse:
66 Onward came
The mighty Jephthah led his warriors on