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He was not only Saviour but example. Let not a broken fragment of the precious gift of life be wasted.
In the workshop of a great Italian artist was a poor little boy, whose business it was to clean up the floor and tidy up the room after the day's work was done. He was a quiet little fellow and always did his work well. That was all the artist knew about him.
One day he came to his master and asked timidly, "Please, master, may I have for my own the bits of glass you throw upon the floor?"
Why, yes, boy," said the artist. "The bits are good for nothing. Do as you please with them." Day after day then the child might have been seen studying the broken pieces found on the floor, laying some one side, and throwing others away. He was a faithful little servant, and so year after year went by and saw him still in the workshop.
One day his master entered a storeroom but little used, and in looking around came upon a piece of work carefully hidden behind the rubbish. He brought it to the light, and to his surprise found it a noble work of art, nearly finished. He gazed at it in speechless amazement.
"What great artist can have hidden his work in my studio?" he cried.
At that moment the young servant entered the door. He stopped short on seeing his master, and when he saw the work in his hands a deep flush dyed his face.
"What is this?" cried the artist. "Tell me what great artist has hidden his masterpiece here?'
"O master," faltered the astonished boy, "it is only my poor work. You know you said I might have the broken bits you threw away."
His artist soul had wrought this wonderful result. The fragments of life have in them life's mosaic. Not the broken bits of a kaleidoscope, but the masterpiece under the hand of God.
Every soul is a celestial venus to every other soul. The heart has its sabbaths and jubilees in which the world appears as a hymeneal feast and all natural sounds and the circle of the seasons are erotic odes and dances. Love is omnipresent in nature as motive and reward. Love is our highest word and the synonym of God. Every promise of the soul has innumerable fulfilments. Each of its joys ripens into a new want. Nature, uncontainable, flowing, forelooking, in the first sentiment of kindness, anticipates already a benevolence which shall lose all particular regards in its general light. The introduction to this felicity is in a private and tender relation of one to another, which is the enchantment of human life; which, like a certain divine rage and enthusiasm, seizes on a man at one period and works a revolution in his mind and body. Unites him to his race; pledges him to the domestic and civic relations; carries him, with new sympathy, into nature; enhances the power of the senses; opens the imagination; adds to his character heroic and sacred attributes; establishes marriage and gives permanence to human Society.-EMERSON.
And now abideth faith, hope, and love; these three, but the greatest of these is love.-BIble.
Love shortens time, conquers the impossible, and defies death. Love is the keyword of life. It unlocks the chest in which all the jewels of character are kept. Within the four corners of this four-lettered word is the "fulfilment of the law."
Simon, Son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" strikes at the very centre of a man's heart. That is the most searching of all questions. Its answer makes complete revelation. Belief, profession, and even action are sometimes surface and shallow. This is vital and the plummet which fathoms the depths. One of the most tragical scenes of all history is that of Rizpah, the noble-hearted, heroic mother, sitting on the rock of Gibeah for five long, weary months at the foot of the cross which held the forms of her two sons. She fell upon sackcloth and kept that continuous and superhuman vigil under the burning rays of noonday sun and deadly
dews of the midnight; from April to October the beasts and birds and all enemies were driven away. Not one moment did sleep compel her to betray her trust. Vulture and jackal were disappointed, and lost their prey. The traveller paused before this strange, sad spectacle and passed on to forget the suffering and heroism of the broken-hearted mother. These two youths had been sacrificed by the enemies of the father, Saul, and a mother's devotion fastened her by unseen shackles to then! even in death. What force in humanity rendered that sublime endurance possible? That one transcendent word in the language is the only explanationLove. It is the element which alone can live in the desolation of the rock, the harshness of the sackcloth, the heat of the summer, the chill of the night, the loss of rest, and the strain of nerve. It defies all opposition and mocks its enemies. It is king if it wills to hold the sceptre. It stands by the side of broken health, and bankruptcy, and empty cradle, and green mound, and every condition of human life, and reveals its supremacy. It is the only explanation of the power of endurance and the willingness of sacrifice. It lightens labor, and pushes the hands of the clock, and forces forgetful