Alas! how light a cause may move Dissension between hearts that love! Hearts that the world in vain had tried, And sorrow but more closely tied; That stood the storm when waves were rough, Yet in a sunny hour fall off, Like ships that have gone down at sea When heaven was all tranquillity.
When I consider how little of a rarity children are -- that every street and blind alley swarms with them -- that the poorest people commonly have them in most abundance -- that there are few marriages that are not blest with at least one of these bargains -- how often they turn out ill, and defeat the fond hopes of their parents, taking to vicious courses, which end in poverty, disgrace, the gallows, etc. -- I cannot for my life tell what cause for pride there can possibly be in having them.
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Surely it is a matter of joy, that your faith in Jesus has been preserved; the Comforter that should relieve you is not far from you. But as you are a Christian, in the name of that Saviour, who was filled with bitterness and made druken with wormwood, I conjre you to have recourse in frequent prayer to 'his God and your God,' the God of mercies, and father of all comfort. Your poor father is, I hope, almost senseless of the calamity; the unconscious instrument of Divine Providence knows it not, and your mother is in heaven.
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Antiquity! thou wondrous charm, what art thou? that being nothing art everything? When thou wert, thou wert not antiquity - then thou wert nothing, but hadst a remoter antiquity, as thou calledst it, to look back to with blind veneration; thou thyself being to thyself flat, jejune, modern! What mystery lurks in this retroversion? or what half Januses are we, that cannot look forward with the same idolatry with which we for ever revert! The mighty future is as nothing, being everything! the past is everything, being nothing!
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I remember an hypothesis argued upon by the young students, when I was at St. Omer's, and maintained with much learning and pleasantry on both sides, 'Whether supposing that the flavour of a big who obtained his death by whipping (per flagellationem extremem) superadded a pleasure upon the palate of a man more intense than any possible suffering we can conceive in the animal, is man justified in using that method of putting an animal to death?' I forget the decision.
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The young man till thirty, never feels practically that he is mortal. He knows it indeed, and, if need were, he could preach a homily on the fragility of life; but he brings it not home to himself, any more than in a hot June we can appropriate to our imagination the freezing days of December.