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I, too, must sing, with joy-ful tongue,
That sweet-est, an-cient cra-dle-song:
Who un-to man His Son hath given !
(Written for his little son Hans.- Translated by Mid Winkworth.)
LESSON xcix.-A SCENE IN VIRGINIA. The Nat-u-ral Bridge is en-tire-ly the work of God. It is of so-lid lime-stone, and con-nects two huge moun. tains to-geth-er, by a beau-ti-ful arch, over which there is a great wag-gon road. Its length from one moun-tain to the other is near-ly eight-y feet, its width thir-tyfive, its thick-ness for-ty-five, and its per-pen-dic-u-lar height a-bove the wa-ter mark is not far from two hun-dred and iwen-ty feet. A few bush-es grow on its top, by which the trav-el-ler may hold as he looks o-ver. On each side of the stream, and near the bridge, are rocks pro-ject-ing ten or fifteen feet o-ver the wa-ter, and from two to three hun-dred feet from its sur-face, all of lime-stone. The vis-it-or soft-ly creeps out on a shag-gy pro-ject.ing rock, and look-ing down a chasm from for-ty to six-ty feet'wide, he sees, near-ly three hun-dred feet be-low, a wild stream dash-ing and foam-ing a gainst the rocks be-neath, as if ter-ri-fied at the rocks above. This stream is called Ce-dar Creek. He sees un-der the arch trees whose height is sev-en-ty feet; and yet, as he looks down upon them, they ap-pear like small bush-es. I saw sev-er-al birds fly un-der the arch, and they looked like in-sects. I threw down & stone, and count-ed, thir-ty-four be-fore it reached the wa-ter. All hear of
heights and depths, but here they see what is high, and they trem-ble, and feel it to be deep. The aw-ful rocks pre-sent their ev-er-last-ing a-but-ments, the wa-ter murmurs and foams far be-low, and the two mouu-tains rear their proud heads on each side, sep-a-ra-ted by a chan-nel of grand and ter-ri-ble beau-ty. Those who view the sun, moon, and stars, and al-low that none but God could make them, will here feel that none but an Al-migh-ty God could build a bridge like this.
The view of the bridge from be-low, is as pleas-ing as that from the top is aw-ful; seen from be-neath, the arch would seem to be a-bout two feet in thick-ness. Some i-dea of the dis-tance from the top to the bot-tom may be formed from the fact that, as I stood on the bridge and my com-pan-ion be-neath, nei-ther of us could speak suf-fi-cient-ly loud to be heard by the oth-er. A man from ei-ther view does not ap-pear more than four or five inch-es in height.
As we stood un-der this beau-ti-ful arch, we saw the place where vis-it-ors have oft-en ta-ken the pains to engrave their names upon the rock. Here Wash-ing-ton climbed twen-ty-five feet and carved his name, where it still re-mains. Some, wish-ing to im-mor-tal-ize their names, have en-gra-ven them deep and large, whilst oth-ers have tried to climb up and in-sert them high in this book of fame.
A few years since, a young man, am-bi-tious to place his name a-bove all o-thers, came very near los-ing his life in the at-tempt. Af-ter hav-ing with much fa-tigue climbed up as high as pos-si-ble, he found that a per-son who had oc-cu-pied this place be-fore, had been tall-er than him-self, and had con-se-quent-ly writ-ten his name a-bove his reach. But he was not thus to be dis
cou-raged. He o-pened a large knife, and began to cut in the soft lime-stone, pla-ces for his hands and feet. With much pa-tience and in-dus-try he worked his way up-wards, and suc-ceed-ed in carv-ing his name high-er than the most am-bi-tious had done be-fore him. He could now tri-umph; but his tri-umph was short, for he was placed in such a sit-u-a-tion that it was im-pos-si-ble was placed in suchá oito to de-scend, un-less he fell up-on the rug-ged rocks beneath him. There was no house near from which his com-pan-ions could get as-sist-ance. He could not long re-main in this con-di-tion, and what was worse, his friends were too fright-ened to do anything for his re-lief. They look-ed up-on him as al-rea-dy dead, expect-ing ev-er-y moment to see him pre-cip-i-ta-ted up-on the rocks be-low and dashed to pie-ces. Not so with him-self. He de-ter-mined to as-cend. Ac-cord-ing-ly he plied the rock with his knife, cut-ting pla-ces for his hands and feet, and grad-u-al-ly as-cend-ed with in-credi-ble la-bour. He ex-erted ev-er-y mus.cle. His life was at stake, and the ter-rors of death rose be-fore him. He dared not look down, lest his head should be come diz-zy. His com-pan-ions stood on the top of the rock en-cou-rag-ing him. His strength was al-most exhaust-ed; but a bare pos-si-bil-i-ty of sa-ving his life remained, and hope, the last friend of the dis-tressed, did not for-sake him. His course was ra-ther o-blique than per-pen-dic-u-lar. The most crit-i-cal mo-ment had now ar-rived. He had as-cend-ed con-sid-e-ra-bly more than two hun-dred feet, and had still fur-ther to rise, when he felt him-self fast grow-ing weak. He thought of his friends, and all his earth-ly joys, and he could not leave them. He thought of the grave, and he dared not meet it. He made a last ef-fort and suc-ceed-ed. He had
cut his way near-ly two hun-dred and fif-ty feet from the wa-ter, and in lit-tle more than two hours his anx-ious com-pan-ions reached him a pole from the top and drew him up. They re-ceived him with shouts of joy, but he him-self was com-plete-ly ex-haust-ed. He faint-ed im-medi-ate-ly on reach-ing the top, and it was some time be-fore he could be re-cov-ered.- Todd
LESSON C.--CONFESSION; OR, THE WAY TO RESTORE PEACE
OF MIND. Two boys, on a pleas-ant win-ter eve-ning, asked their fath-er to per-mit them to go out upon the riv-er to skate. The fath-er hes-i-ta-ted, because though with-in cer-tain lim-its he knew there was no dan-ger, yet he was a-ware that a-bove a cer-tain turn of the stream, the cur-rent was rap-id, and the ice con-se-quent-ly thin. At last, how-ev-er, he said, “You may go, but you must on no ac-count go above the bend.”
The boys ac-cepted the con-di-tion, and were soon a-mong their com-pan-ions, shoot-ing swift-ly o-ver the smooth, black ice, some-times gli-ding in grace-ful curves be-fore the bright fire which they had made in the middle of the stream, and some-times sail-ing a-way in-to the dim dis-tance in search of new and un-ex-plored re-gions. Pres-ent-ly a plan was form-ed by the oth-er boys, for go-ing in a cheer-ful com-pan-y far up the stream to explore its shores, and then re-turn a-gain in half-an-hour to their fire. Our boys sigh-ed to think of their fath-er's pro-hib-it-ion to them. They faint-ly and hes-i-ta-ting-ly hint-ed that the ice might not be strong e-nough, but their cau-tion had no ef-fect upon their com-rades; and the whole par-ty set forth, and were soon fly-ing with full speed to-ward the lim-it pre-scribed.
"My son," said his fath-er, “ I have ob-served, for a day or two, that you have not been hap-py, and you are ev-i. dent-ly un-hap-py now. I know that you must have done some-thing wrong; but you may do just as you please a-bout tell-ing me what itis. If you free-ly con-fess it, and sub-mit to the pun-ish-ment, what-ev-er it may be, you will be hap-py a-gain; if not, you will con-tin-ue to suf-fer. Now you may do just as you please.”
“Well, fath-er, I will tell you all. Do you re-mem-ber that you gave us leave to go up-on the river and skate the other eve-ning ?”.
“Well, I dis-o-beyed you, and went up-on the ice where you told us not to go. I have been un-hap-py ev-er since, and I re-solved to tell you, and ask you to forgive me.”
We need not de-tail the con-ver-sa-tion that fol-lowed. He made a full con-fess-ion, and by do-ing it, he re-lieved him-self of his bur-den, re-stored peace to his mind, and went a-way from his fath-er with a light and hap py heart. He no more dread-ed to meet him, nor to hear the sound of his voice.
He could now be hap-py with his sister a-gain, and look upon the beau-ti-ful stream wind-ing in the val-ley, with-out feel-ing his heart sink with-in him, un-der a sense of guilt,—while all the time his broth-er, who would not come and ac-know-ledge his sin, had his heart still dark-ened, and his coun-te-nance made sad by the gloom-y l'ec-ol-lec-tion of un-for-giv-en sin. Yes, con-fession of sin has an al-most mag-ic power in re-stor-ing peace of mind.-Abbott.