Brilliant month of June ! What an accumula tion of treasures are scattered over the face of the florist's domain by thy liberal hand. Or rather, since those figurative expressions steal away the ascriptions of praise from him to whom they should ever ascend, and scatter them among the clouds of pagan imaginations, rather let me say, how richly has the Lord our God dealt forth his unmerited bounties; on how many fair pages, of ever-varying beauty and grace, has he written the story of his compassionate love to man—the memorial of that blessedness which they alone enjoy who seek his face. That the flower-garden is a type, the most cursory glance ought to convince us —the outline cannot be mistaken, by one who con siders it with that reference to spiritual things which the Christian should not—cannot lose sight of: but there is, in the ample detail of all its delicate filling-up, such a perfect correspondence, that the more we study it, the fuller will be our appreciation of that expressive promise to the church, " Thou shalt be like a watered garden".
Watered by the soft dews and cooling rain of spring, we have seen the plants arise from their dark chambers, and shake off the dust, and unfold their bright bosoms to the sun. Always to the sun. Called into existence by his vivifying power, and ripened in its pod by his steady rays, the seed, in its earliest state and most shrouded form, was altogether his work. It never would have been, independent of his influence, and under that influence it wras preserved, until, having been placed where it should become fruitful, the germinating process had brought it forth into open day—no longer a seed, but a plant. And when its beautiful garments are put on, when it stands so clothed that Solomon in all his glory could not compare with it, what does the flower, in this watered garden ? It turns to him whose creative power and preserving care have led it to its new state of being—it turns to bask in the full glow of transforming love ; it looks upward ; and upward it sends that rich fragrance which never dwelt in the original seed, or in the mass of polluted earth where its first habitation was fixed; a fragrance that belongs only to its expanded slate. Thomson has very elegantly expressed this :
'Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers,
In mingled clouds to him whose sun exalts,
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints'.
Yet Thomson only saw with the perception of taste, and by the exercise of natural reason argued from the things that are seen to the invisible First Cause. Alas ! that many who have been deeply taught of the Holy Spirit to view all in Christ, and Christ in all, should often come so very far short of even this ascription, when looking upon their watered gardens of perishing flowers !
I am shamed by every weed that grows, when I bring myself to this test—when I compare the diligence with which each tiny blossom seeks the beams of the summer sun, with my sad unheedful-ness in striving to catch the far brighter beams of that eternal Sun, without whose life-giving light my soul cannot be sustained. The favourite edging of my flower-beds is singularly eloquent on this point. Heart's-ease composes it; and while the border that faces the south exhibits its beautiful little flowers on short stems, basking tranquilly in the ray, displaying a broad uniform sheet of gold, and silver, and purple,—the strips that run from south to north; appear as with their heads turned, by an effort, out of the natural posture, that they too may gaze, and shine. To complete the picture, where a little hedge throws its shad-dow over another bank of my heart's-ease, I see them rising on stems, thrice the length of their opposite neighbours', perfectly erect, and stretching upwards as if to overtop the barrier, that they too may rejoice in the sunshine which gladdens the earth.
Beautiful at all times, when are flowers most beautiful ? To this question each will reply, according to his peculiar tastes and preferences. For myself, I must declare that they never look so lovely in my sight, as when brought to wither gently on the bed of death.
It was in the land of warm deep feelings—the country which I must needs be continually bringing before my readers, if my hand be prompted by the abundance of my heart—It was in Ireland, that I made this discovery. It was well known how revolting are the scenes of riot and debauchery usually presented at an Irish wake: the very name is an abhorrence to those who comprehend its character, as practised in the south of Ireland, among the Roman Catholic population. Yet a wake, kept by some humble Roman Catholics in the South of Ireland, is one of the spectacles to which my memory often reverts wTith delight; associating with it all that is most touchingly lovely in the world of flowers.
The boy was not two years old, who lay stretched on a little couch, over which the hand of affec tion had festooned a drapery of delicate white muslin, confined here and there with bows of white satin ribbond, while a dress of the same materials enfolded the corpse : his little cap just shading the soft bright locks that alone varied the snow-like appearance of the whole object, until the last finish was given to the careful arrangement, by disposing small bunches of delicate flowers, and young green leaves upon the pillowr, the coverlet, and the surrounding drapery. The child was very beautiful when living; in death, surpassingly so. If real grandeur is any where on earth to be found, it dwells on the broad open brow of infantine beauty, ere the conciousness of wilful sin has marred its native majesty. Often have I quailed before the steadfast gaze of a very young child; almost forgetting that the little creature, who looked so bold in comparative innocence, was already a condemned sinner:—that, though of such is the kingdom of heaven, it is only by the atoning blood of the cross that a being so polluted can enter there. But infancy in death— infancy snatched from an evil world, ere the taint can overspread its unfolding mind—infancy redeemed, and rescued, and exalted to behold always the face of God in heaven—is indeed a glorious spectacle. "Where is the Christian parent, whose bitterest tears have been unmixed with the sweetness of assured hope, when contemplating the be-reavment of a babe, not lost, but gone before ?— gone to Him whose compassionate bosom is ever open to receive his lambs ; his hand always extended to wipe the tear-drops—the few and transient tear-drops of infancy—forever from their eyes.