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The Memory of One
WHO HAS DEPARTED TO
THE SILENT LAND;
A MUCH-LOVED AND DEEPLY-LAMENTED BROTHER, WHOSE
"INTO the Silent Land!" Ah, who can say that the footsteps of none he once loved on earth have entered the "shadows of that pale realm"? Death, sooner or later, cometh to all: the white and venerable locks of the aged, the maturity of manhood, the ruddy freshness of youth, whose flashing eye is salient with life and health, and the tender bud of infancy,-all soon, too soon, fall before the scythe of the pitiless destroyer.
"The air is full of farewells for the dying,
And mournings for the dead."
No suffering, no anguish, is like unto that of the deeply heart-stricken mourner, as he bendeth over his forever-hushed, but beloved, dead. Often, at such times, the heart and soul, though wonderfully stirred, feels a grief "too deep for tears." A link of the chain that bound him to earth has been rudely riven; and the vanity of this life, the nearness of eternity, with its all-absorbing interests, are felt and acknowledged. Such sad visitations of Providence induce
within us an insatiable desire to know more of the future; and the flight thitherward of the spirit of one who in life has been very dear, perhaps the dearest, seems to cast a soft halo of light into that future. Then the Christian finds the blessed promises of God, and the death and resurrection of Christ, unspeakably precious; he feels the need of the heavenly Comforter, and, while seeking to cast all his care on him, "knowing that he careth for him," what may have seemed the dark and distant future is illumed with an almost unclouded noonday brightness. Every earthly woe, every trial and care, can be mitigated by the consoling and sustaining influences of our holy religion. God has promised to "comfort all who mourn," if, in the time of their sorrow, they seek him.
Prayer, and reading the word of God, will not only afford sweet consolation in the deepest affliction, but prove a tower of defence, a shield against the temptations that frequently assail us at such times. Another source of comfort is to be found in the perusal of the writings of good and holy men who have felt the same bitter heart grief, and whose works abound with passages most touchingly fitted to console under the heavi est afflictions; teaching us how to meet, bear, and wisely use all such chastenings for our spiritual advancement. Our literature, too, contains much prose and poetry addressed to the heart stricken, desponding, and des
olate, who, in times of bereavement, love to linger among the "graves of their household," and dwell upon the state of the departed.
These "Voices from the Silent Land" have been collected in the freshness of a very deep affliction, and completed before its daily-gushing anguish had passed away. The compiler's aim and object is to induce some to make a good and wise use of afflictive dispensations, to see the hand of God in them all, and to feel that "the Judge of all the earth will do right." She can only desire that the perusal of these pages may prove as sweet and soothing a source of consolation to others as their preparation has been to herself. The women of the United States, however elevated and affluent their station, are rarely entirely free from the perplexities and anxieties of domestic cares, and can seldom find sufficient leisure to peruse or examine all the works from which this volume has been gathered; therefore it is designed more particularly for my countrywomen whom God, in infinite wisdom, may have caused to pass under the rod of affliction, but who, I trust, can say, with the poet, –
""Tis sweet, as year by year we lose
Friends out of sight, in faith to muse
How grows in paradise our store."
May 10, 1851.
M. N. W.