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been forlorn and wretched. But I fancy that in this rhapsody of the humanising mission of tea, he always included the refining influence of woman. For tea without her delicate hand and inspiring presence, is scarcely better than the miserable weed that rivals it in public favor. It is only when woman—"lovely woman,"
presides at the urn, surrounded by the olive plants of wedded love, that I can see in the stream of steam rolling from the kettle the fallen idols of the Pagan barbarism of the East tumbling down, and the beauteous temples of truth, freedom and piety, rising in their stead.
The true way for all queens to rule is to “stoop to conquer.” Let their husbands call themselves as much as they please "the lords of creation," and let them seem to hold the reins, but it is theirs to tell them how to drive. This is the more excellent way. The dispute about the sphere of the sexes is as unphilosophical as it is unscriptural. It is God's will that man should be the head and woman the heart of society. If he is its strength, she is its solace. If he is its wisdom, she is its grace and consolation. And where there is the proper view of marriage, or of the sacred duties that God requires of husband and wife, there is no strife as to who shall govern. Both rule. The word of God is exceedingly plain on this subject. Domestic strife is always a great evil, but it becomes doubly so when it occurs before company, as happened with the king of Persia, and when professed friends come in and make bad worse. It is then the und mes incurable.
2. Let us learn to guard against all excesses, not only
SIN OF RASHNESS.
in feasting and in the loss of time, but of feeling and passion. How inconsiderate, how rash, how sinful was Herod's oath and terrible decree against John the Baptist! And scarcely less wicked were the king's unjust and cruel proceedings against his wife. And because of unjust and sinful separations between husbands and wives our land mourneth, and our State has become a hissing and a term of reproach. I know not where to find language to describe the sin and evils of divorce as it prevails in our day. According to law marriage is merely a civil contract, but that does not allow us to forget the sacredness of the tie that binds husband and wife together, nor has any legislature the right to separate them, except as the word of God allows. The tendency of the age seems to remove all restraint upon marriage, which of course is contrary to good manners and morality, and contrary to the word of God.
If the king had not taken counsel of his own hot blood, and of his wise men under the influence of wine, he had not brought upon himself a world of trouble. A single word spoken in anger, or an act done under the excitement of the passions, may cause a lifetime of repentence. Constitutions are very differently constructed. Men’s educations, temperaments and circumstances differ, but all should act calmly and intelligibly, and with great charity toward their fellow men. It was a maxim with General Jackson to take much time to deliberate—to think out the right resolution—but when once the resolution was taken, then to think only of executing it.
3. Ilow emphatic a lesson is here of human vanity! The great monarch of such a vast empire is not able to govern himself. And all the grandeur of half a year's feasting is spoiled by the disobedience of his queen. This was the dead fly in his pot of ointment. One hundred and twenty-seven provinces did not satisfy him. The whole earth was not enough for one for whose mortal remains less than two ells have long since been quite sufficient. The pride of displaying the riches of his empire was a windy happiness” that could not fill his heart. No earthly portion can satisfy the human soul, for it was made in the image of God, and nothing but God in Christ can now make it happy.
Ahasuerus' feast was full and flowing and long, but it had an end, and where now is all its glory? And how much the better to-day is it with him and his courtiers that they had so long a revelry in the royal gardens! What does it matter that they had beds of gold and silver, and feasted and laughed, and passed along the jest and the song! Great was the confluence of peoples at the king's tables, but they are all gathered with a much greater assembly-the congregation of the dead, whose sisters are worms, and whose mother is corruption. Happy, and only happy, is he whose sins are forgiven, whose iniquity is pardoned, and who has a part in the resurrection of the just.
4. Alas! that so lovely a place as a garden should have been the scene of such revelry and sinning. A garden is associated with some of our holiest and saddest thoughts. Sin fastened on our race in a garden. It was in a garden the curse was pronounced, and there too the great promise of a Redeemer was given. And it was in a garden the Messiah entered the lists of mortal combat to bruise the old serpent's head. Our gar
OUR LOVELY GARDENS.
dens—would that we had many more of them—that their beauty and fragrance might lead us to adore the Creator, and to pour forth to Him amid his glorious works the grateful, cheerful homage of the heart. Instead then of making our gardens the scenes of sinful mirth and dissipation, as did the Persian king, let us make them oratories for pious breathings to heavenlet them give us thoughts of God and of the love and sufferings of his Son Jesus Christ. It is
It is to Him we owe all our pleasures in the creatures and gifts of Providence, as well as the hope of eternal life. And so also let the garden be a preacher to us of our frailty. Verily at our best estate we are altogether vanity. We are like the grass that springs up in the morning, and is cut down and withered in the evening. Our days are few and full of sorrow. Our possessions and enjoyments here below, are passing away as the tender sighings of the evening breeze that passes over our garden plants. All our gardens of delight are in a vale of tears. 0 let us then send our affections
before hand to heaven, and fix them upon things at God's right hand, and so plant them in the Paradise above, that in due season, we may be transplanted ourselves from these low grounds of sorrow to the shores of a blissful immortality.