Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Permanent Impressions on the Soul

While this world passes away, it leaves permanent impressions on what lasts for ever. This is the great law of God, — that in a changing world, and by its aid, the soul is trained for an immortal life. Take those who have arrived at middle age, and all that was their world in early life has gone like a dream. Their companions are scattered, or are no more ; the scenes in which they lived are changed; death has broken the bond of kindred; parents are, perhaps, in their graves; their early homes are in the hands of strangers, or fallen into decay till the very hearth-stones cannot be found. The fields and trees and waters are no longer the same, and the places that knew them once know them no more. All is changed and gone; and yet not gone, but by a strange alchemy transmuted into a spiritual form, and left imperishably in the soul. All these things have left permanent impressions behind them, which not even death and a change of worlds can efface. You are what you are, because the transient influences of that home were what they were. Those that there loved you, though dead, yet speak. In the purer tastes of your heart, the tastes nurtured in your home linger. In the impulse to duty, your mother's voice is heard. The just and generous purpose is not so much yours, as the reviving in you of a father's liberality and magnanimity. In the ear of memory, and mingling with its best thoughts, the leaves of the trees which spread their arch over your childhood still whisper, and the fire-light glows on the hearth, and the sky of that early time, with its clouds and its stars, still shines. The words of parents were lost in the air, their lips have long been silent; but the notions of duty and the conceptions of providence taught by those fleeting words have entered into the soul to abide there for ever, — the perpetual miracle, — a transient breath nurturing an eternal principle.

Ephraim Peabody (born March 22, 1807)

Life Is Uncertain

"To arrive at another of those milestones which mark the years between the cradle and the grave; to be made aware how swiftly life flits by; to be conscious that we are growing older, and perhaps not better; to remember dear friends who were with us, but are not now; to hear from bereaved homes and opened graves the warning that life is as uncertain as it is brief;—all this is surely enough to sober the most frivolous mind." — Ephraim Peabody (born March 22, 1807)

Ephraim Peabody (born March 22, 1807)

King's Chapel, Boston

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