His uplifted dart is inexorable!
(From Octavius Winslow's, "A Good Man's
Misinterpretation of a Dark Providence")
We are born to die.
The treasured ones around us have within them
the seeds, and upon them the sentence, of death.
The brilliant eye, the roseate cheek, the vermilion
lip, the tall, graceful form shooting up, as in a night,
like a cedar, are often to a skillful and discerning
glance, but as flowers blooming for the tomb.
Our home circles, with all the powerful barriers
which affection and influence can cast around them;
guarded as by angel sentinels of love; are not a
security against the entrance of 'the king of terrors'.
Youth cannot resist him.
Beauty cannot awe him.
Wealth cannot bribe him.
Eloquence cannot persuade him.
Learning cannot confound him.
Skill cannot baffle him.
Tears cannot move him.
Religion cannot evade his icy touch.
To all this, his uplifted dart is inexorable!
the prince from the throne,
the ruler from the state,
the orator from the senate,
the judge from the bench,
the minister from the pulpit,
the head from the family,
the mother from the home,
the babe from its mother's arms.
None, none are spared!
Do you see....
that vacant chair?
those unread books?
those portraits on the wall?
that treasured locket?
that unworn apparel?
What do they mean?
Oh, how sad, how touching their mute, expressive
eloquence! They remind us of the departed. They
tell of the eternal land where they have fled, where
they will return not again until time be no more.
But what is this sad visitation of bereavement,
but one of the appointed dispensations of our
heavenly Father, sent in unerring wisdom,
righteousness, and love?