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Here, dearest one, may love's control,
And grace and mercy given,
In sweet foretastes of heaven.
The reader will notice that the forty-first is the last of the anniversary poems. The miscellaneous poems, which follow, I could not conscientiously withhold from this volume, as they were prized by my dear wife, and in the main, selected by her for publication in connection with the memorial poems.
Her death, which occurred on Friday, November 19, 1886, was an event so sudden, so instantaneous, without warning, without a look, a word; as swift as a flash of lightning out of a cloudless heaven,-a translation like that of Enoch, “who was not, for God took him,"—so overwhelming that I hardly dare to trust myself with the remembrance of it.
Some sentences from a letter written by me, in answer to inquiries of sympathy, anxiety, and sorrow from a very dear relative of my beloved wife, may be a more suitable description than anything I can now employ :
What a life of happiness in her beloved and loving society have I, in God's mercy, been permitted to enjoy! Forty-one years of the love and ministering care of such an angel, never thinking of herself, but always for me and others, with her tender, anxious, incessant care, always renewed; relieving me of every household anxiety, with such an artless, affectionate, trustful simplicity and earnestness, that the life of the whole family was an unruffled current of happiness; her prayers always ascending for us all ; and in uninterrupted attention to my welfare, for my quietude, and happiness, and peace of mind and heart.
Oh what a precious era of existence with such a being! I look back upon it all with amazement at God's loving-kindness, in providing and sparing for so many years such an angel of his own loving guidance to be my wife! Oh the inestimable value of such a blessing !
And then the precious benediction of our adorable Redeemer upon our mutual affection, in which there could be no idolatry, but a sweet fulfilment of his own dear command, “ HUSBANDS, LOVE YOUR WIVES, EVEN AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT.” No human being can ever go beyond that, nor can any one ever come up to it, except by the inspiration of our dear Lord's own Divine Spirit, which, if possessed and obeyed, would make every family on earth a dwelling place of Heaven.
Truly, “the voice of rejoicing and salvation" is thus in the "tabernacles of the righteous," and will always be such as long as Christ's own prayers and commandments are offered and obeyed; our households are thus of Christ's own creation and presence. Their mercy-seat under the wings of his own cherubim, intended as the representative of his presence and love. Oh what an uninterrupted, constituted state of infinite mercy would even this world be, if only this one command of wedded love, parental tenderness, and holy teaching of the children, given by our blessed Saviour for every family on earth, were fulfilled by all!
Oh who can rightly appreciate the preciousness of such a gift!
Several weeks before my dear wife was so translated from us on earth to Heaven, she had been employed in preparation for a mission of tenderest love and mercy to the dear children, so beloved by her (and especially to dear little Wyatt), whose education in Christ's own love had been for many months so great an object of her anxiety and prayer.
Oh how the dear child was intwined in the affections of her heart, and what sweet, attractive, and entrancing power of heavenly emotion she possessed over him! Every night and morning she carried him to the gates of the New Jerusalem, and set him down there as in the care of guardian angels! And now, just before this new Christmas season, she was getting a sweet array of attractive, persuasive lessons and presents for him and for the other dear ones, and was anticipating the happiness of another winter of undisturbed and blessed efforts to lead his youthful heart to Jesus.
Oh what would she not have enjoyed in carrying out this intention ; which indeed she seemed to have regarded in some respects as if it were her final and crowning missionary work in the dear circle of souls committed to her charge!
We had been perusing the record of some happy pilgrimage full of usefulness, and closed with grace and glory. I cannot now remember the name of the Pilgrim, whose life and death were so full of radiance; but these lines which I now copy were written then:
Dearest Love, may I and you
Something more for each to do ;Something more for Jesus' praise, Ere we close our pilgrim days.
May we, by this river living,