Martha Noyes Williams.

Voices from the silent land; or, Leaves of consolation for the afflicted online

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doubt, every fear, concerning his future dispensations.
The perfection of the past will be admitted without a
question, as complete evidence of the perfection of the
future. The soul, therefore, will cheerfully yield it-
self with implicit confidence to the guidance and con-
duct of its Creator throughout the never-ending prog-
ress of duration.

• • • •* •

Heaven is the world of friendship ; of friendship


unmingled, ardent, and entire. The disinterested love
of the gospel dwells here in every bosom. Selfishness,
since the ejection of the fallen angels from these de-
lightful regions, has been here unknown and unheard
of, except in the melancholy tidings, wliich have
reached the happy inhabitants, of its deplorable effects
on our apostate world. Here, every individual in the
strictest sense fulfils the second great command of the
moral law, and literally loves his neighbor as himself.
No private, separate interest is ever proposed. A
common good is announced by the voice of God, so
great, as to comprise all individual happiness ; so ar-
ranged as to furnish every one his proper portion, the
part which he is to fulfil, and the means by which he is
to act in it with absolute ef&cacy ; and so noble as to
fix every eye, engross every heart, and summon every
effort. It is a good involving not only all that can be
acquired, but all that can be wished, all that can exist.
This great truth, is, also, admitted with perfect confi-
dence by every celestial mind. Every individual com-
pletely realizes the import and the truth of that glo-
rious declaration of Christ, the foundation of all pure
and lasting good, Avhether personal or social : It is
more blessed to give than to receive. Under its influence,
all the hearts and hands, all the mighty faculties and
unwearied efforts, of the heavenly inhabitants, are
completely occupied in doing good. To what a mass
must this good arise where the work is carried on by
saints and angels, in the great field of heaven, through-
out the endless ages of duration ! . . .

•This friendship will endure forever. No degeneracy
will awaken alarm and distrust, no alienation chill the


lieart, no treachery pierce the soul with anguish. No
parent will mourn over an apostate child, and no child
over a profligate parent. No brothers, nor sisters, will
be wrung with agony by the defection and corruption
of those who, inexpressibly endeared to them in this
world by the tender ties of nature, and the superior
attachments of the gospel, have here walked with
them side by side in the path of life, and have at
length become their happy companions in the world
of glory. Husbands and wives, also, here mutually
and singularly beloved, will there be united, not in-
deed in their former earthly relation, but in a friend-
ship far more delightful, and, wafted onward by the
stream of ages without a sigh, without a fear, will be-
come, in each other's eyes, more and more excellent,
amiable, and endeared, forever.

• • • • •

To the eye of man the sun appears a pure light, a mass
of unmingled glory. Were we to ascend T\iith a con-
tinual flight towards this luminary, and could we, like
the eagle, gaze directly on its lustre, we should in our
progress behold its greatness continually enlarge, and
its splendor become every moment more intense. As
we rose through the heavens, we should see a little orb
changing, gradually, into a great world ; and as we
advanced nearer and nearer, should behold it expand-
ing every way, until all that was before us became a
universe of excessive and immeasurable glory. Thus
the heavenly inhabitant will, at the commencement of
his happy existence, see the divine system filled with
magnificence and splendor, and arrayed in glory ajid
beauty ; and as he advances onward through the


V successive periods of duration, will behold all things
more and more luminous, transporting, and sunlike,


Bishop Ken,

The saints in happy mansions rest,

Of all they can desire possessed ;

No misery, want, or care,

No death, no darkness there,

No troubles, storms, sighs, groans, or tears,

No injury, pain, sickness, fears.

There saints no disappointments meet ;

No vanities, the choice to cheat ;

Nothing that can defile ;

No hypocrite, no guile ;

No need of prayer, or what implies

Or absence or vacuities.

There no ill conscience gnaws the breast ;
No tempters holy souls infest ;
No curse, no weeds, no toil ;
No errors to embroil ;
No lustful thoughts can enter in,
Or possibility of sin.


Saints' bodies there the sun outvie,
Tempered to feel the joys on high :
Bright body and pure mind
In rapture unconfined,
Capacities expand, till fit
Deluge of Godhead to admit.

With God's own Son they reign co-heirs ;

Each saint with him in glory shares :

Like Godhead, happy, pure,

Against all change secure.

In boundless joys they sabbatize,

Which love triune will eternize.



We speak of the realms of the blest.
Of that country so bright and so fair,

And oft are its glories confessed ;
But what must it be to be there !

We speak of its pathways of gold.
And its walls decked with jewels most rare.

Of its wonders and pleasures untold ;
But what must it be to be there !


We speak of its freedom from sin,
From sorrow, temptation, and care,

From trials without and within ;
But what must it be to be there !

We speak of its service of love,

Of the robes which the glorified wear,

Of the church of the first-born above ;
But what must it be to be there I

Then let us, 'midst pleasure and woe,
Still for heaven our spirits prepare ;

And shortly we also shall know
And feel what it is to be there !


H E R V E Y .

O ETERNITY, eternity ! how are our boldest, our strong-
est tlioughts lost and overwhelmed in thee ! Who can
set landmarks to limit thy dimensions, or find plum-
mets to fathom thy depths? Arithmeticians have fig-
ures to compute all the progressions of time ; astrono-
mers have instruments to calculate the distances of the
planets ; but what numbers can state, what lines can
gauge, the lengths and breadths of eternity ? " It ig
higher than heaven, what canst thou do ? Deeper


than hell, what canst thou know ? The measure thereof
is longer than the earth, broader than the sea."

Mysterious, mighty existence ! a sum not to be les-
sened by the largest deductions / an extent not to be
contracted by all possible diminutions ! None can
truly say, after the most prodigious waste of ages,
" So much of eternity is gone ; " for, when millions of
centuries are elapsed, it is but just commencing ; and
when millions more have run their ample round, it
will be no nearer ending. Yea, when ages numerous
as the bloom of spring, increased by the herbage of
summer, both augmented by the leaves of autumn, and
all multiplied by the drops of rain which drown the
winter, — when these, and ten thousand times ten
thousand more, more than can be represented by any
similitude, or imagined by any conception, — when all
these are revolved and finished, eternity — vast, bound-
less, amazing eternity — will only he beginning!



Into the silent land —
Ah ! who shall lead us thither ?
Clouds in the evening sky more darkly gather
And shattered wrecks lie thicker on the strand.
Who leads us with a gentle hand
Thither, 0, tliither,
Into the silent land ?


Into tlie silent land !
To you, je boundless regions
Of all perfection ! Tender morning visions
Of beauteous souls ! The Future's pledge and band
Who in life's battle firm doth stand,

Shall bear Hope's tender blossoms
Into the silent land.

land ! land
For all the broken-hearted !
The mildest herald by our fate allotted
Beckons, and with inverted torch doth stand
To lead us with a gentle hand

Into the land of the dear departed,
Into the silent land.

" There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye
hath not seen : the lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion
passed by it. But where shall wisdom be found ? and where is the place
of understanding ? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found
in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me : and the sea
saith, It is not with me. Destricction and death say, "We have heard the
fame thereof with our ears. God understandeth the way thereof, and he
knoweth the place thereof : for he looketh to the ends of the earth, and
seeth under the whole heaven." — Job xxviii.

274 suspiRiA.


II. VV. Longfellow.

Take them, Death ; and bear a^ay
Whatever thou canst call thine own :

Thine image stamped upon this clay
Doth give thee that, but that alone.

Take them, Grave ; and let them lie
Folded upon thy narrow shelves,

As garments by the soul laid by,
And precious only to ourselves.

Take them, great Eternity ;

Our little life is but a gust
That bends the branches of thy tree,

And trails its blossoms in the dust.

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Online LibraryMartha Noyes WilliamsVoices from the silent land; or, Leaves of consolation for the afflicted → online text (page 14 of 14)