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Much suffered with the smitten ones in thought,
And after years when feet we thither bent,
A straggling few we gathered near the door
With ease be torn, as on his furrowed brow
Not of the dead brief words the pastor spake
They bore it straight, which was with silent look Upraised on shoulders stout which could the burden brook.
And fast we walked that day, in line short-drawn,
We talked of weather, weddings, prices dear,
Wended we thus our way through street and lane,
A thousand opening flowers shed sweet perfume,'Twas here the sexton's hands had dug the poor man's tomb.
Close side by side in measured rows were made
Alike from fame and calumny would bide.
Then rumbled loud upon the coffin-lid
Untutored nature was their only guide
The grave half filled the tired sexton paused,
And straight we turned with eager step set free
The grass now grows upon
Yet lost not is that dust ; that sod o'ergrown
Art. VII.-SHORT NOTICES.
TAE HEAVENLY HOME; OR, THE EMPLOYMENTS AND ENJOY
MENTS OF THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN. By Rev. H. Harbaugh, A. M., Author of “ Heaven; or, The Sainted Dead," and “ Heavenly Recognition.” Third Edition, Philadelphia : Linsay & Blackiston. 1853.
The Rev. Mr. Harbaugh has we believe performed an important service to the cause of religion by his recent works on the Future Life, of which the above mentioned volume forms the third and the last in the series. A discerning public has already manifested its high appreciation of his labors in this direction. The two former volumes were received with more than usual favor among Christians of various denominations, and in widely different sections of the country. It was, therefore, no matter of surprise that the third volume on the Heavenly Home should immediately on its publication receive an extensive circulation, and in a very short period reach the third edition. It may be regarded as the continuation and completion of his previous works, and hence the publishers slowed their good taste in having the three volumes bound uniformly, and giving them a common title in addition to that which designates the subject of which each one treats in detail. Taken together they may be regarded as a treatise on the Future Life, the general title under which they are now all embraced. The subjects which they discuss are so intimately connected together, that if one volume were lacking it would create a hiatus, which his readers would naturally desire to see filled up. As it now is, having followed him in his searches for the abodes of the Sainted Dead, and pondered his arguments for the recognition of Christian brethren in the abodes of the blessed, they will no doubt regard it as a privilege to engage with him in his meditations upon the employments of the departed in glory. The whole series now printed on fine paper, and bound in such handsome style, will, from their own intrinsic merit, find their way into many Christian families, and prove a source of edification to them in the various relations of life. The mourner, and all such as have drunk the cup of affliction, and are looking upwards inquiringly for some alleviation of their woes, will be drawn by their attractive titles, and find in their pages the comfort which the world can neither give nor take away. As this class of readers is neither small, nor likely to grow smaller in the present state of the world, we predict that “Harbaugh on the Future Life,” will not only be extensively read, but also for a long time to come.
It is, however, not only because we think that the wants of a particular class in the Christian community are to be met by the publications referred to, that we here recommend them. We believe that they are calculated to exert a much more extensive influence and to have a wider bearing upon the community at large. They are books that may be considered as adapted to our times generally. In this our materialistic, utilitarian and grossly sensual age, we are disposed to hail with favor every earnest and temperate effort to lead the minds of men away from earth to heaven, from what is seen to that which is unseen, from the absorbing interests of an ever busy world to that higher and better world where man's destiny is to be reached and realized. Notwithstanding the progress which we have made in intelligence, in the arts and the sciences beyond what was accomplished in former ages, the invisible world no longer influences the minds of men as it once did. Its stupendous facts and realities have not come home to the interests, the affections and thoughts of the masses of men generally as they once did. No telescope, for instance, has been as yet discovered by which they may be magnified to our vision, and by which order and distinction may be introduced among them. It is on the contrary to be feared, that they have receded from our view, and to most persons been converted into thin, misty nebula, of which we can form no very distinct conception. Hence it becomes necessary, and in our country more so than elsewhere, that the Church should put forth efforts to turn the attention of men to that glorious world of truths revealed to us in the gospel. We are constantly tempted to become worldly-minded and sensual in our thoughts and feelings. Material interests, the pursuits of gain, of honors and pleasures meet us at every turn of life, and the general excitement pervading all classes of the community, attendant on the vast progress which is making in material interests, like a dangerous current threaten to draw men everywhere into the whirlpool of ruin. Amidst the din of business, and the strife and conflicts of rival interests in the various departments of life, the French proverb receives a just application : “ The noise is so great, one cannot hear God thunder.” This state of things is too often regarded as no evil in itself, and we are easily deceived by the various specious names of human progress, and enterprise, by which it is described. Under these circumstances, when the human spirit is pressed downwards towards earth with the weight of a mill-stone resting upon its heavenly aspirations, and is tempted to wed itself to gross matter itself, we know of no better antidote to the downward tendency, than that presented in the gospel, the faithful proclamation of the realities of an unseen world. They have ever been the salvation of men from the bondage of the flesh, and they must continue to be the only magnet to attract them to a brighter and better inheritance beyond the vale of earth.
The work of Mr. Harbaugh, at the head of the present article, which has given rise to these reflections, is we believe well calculated to exert such an elevating and sanctifying effect on the minds of its readers. The book is throughout attractive on account of its simple, natural, yet at times ornate and beautiful style ; for the earnestness and piety with which the argumentation is conducted, and the fervor of feeling which pervades it generally, even when the discussions become metaphysical in their character. On the score of ratiocination it is decidedly in advance of its predecessors. The subject frequently leads the writer to the elucidation of points, which have puzzled divines in all ages of the Church, and upon which there is not as yet the much desired unanimity. As an instance of this we might specify the ninth chapter, where the author con siders the nature of the glorified body of the saints in heaven