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CIII LD II O O D.
Methinks I can read the history of the fair child whose image adorns these pages. The youngest darling of the flock, less petted by her parents than by her brothers and sisters, she has wandered to the outskirts of the garden, and having gathered a bunch of white lilies, types of her infant purity, now listens to the voices of her playmates, who are in search of their little favourite. Youth is in itself, as an abstract thing, beautiful, but human beauty excels all other loveliness in the creation.
Why are angels, the blest inhabitants of that holy region to which we aspire, continually represented by the greatest artists as children, but because we can imagine no being, inferior to the great Author of all, more pure, more spotless, than “ one of those little ones ?”
How distinct and accurate are my recollections of my earliest years! Events which occurred ere I had seen my eighth summer are better remembered by me than things of possibly greater importance, which have taken place within a few months. The fruit was then sweeter, the fields greener, the birds more musical, flowers emitted a more delicious perfume, and the summer sun shone brighter than it does now. And why did all things then wear so fair an aspect ? All took their reflection from the pure and uncontaminated mind which looked upɔn them, and saw through the medium of its own almost sinless vision.
How different an aspect does the landscape wear in the varying seasons ! yet not more unlike is the hue of the leaf, when first it breaks its small enclosure, and delights our eyes with its refreshing verdure, to the deep brown and red tint of the same leaf in autumn, when, beautiful in decay, we still admire it, than the aspect of all things to the young-to him of more mature age--and to him advanced in years.
I pity those who have been unhappy in childhood : a store of sweet recollections is lost to them. They are deprived of an unfading enjoyment-one which never decays. In grief and anguish how often do our thoughts revert to “auld lang syne;" and oft are we made better by the remembrance of the pious counsel which fell, perchance at the moment all unheeded, on our ear, when we were yet in childhood; but though we failed immediately to benefit by it, the good seed at length sprung up in our hearts, and brought forth fruit.
The prayer we learnt while yet a habe, kneeling beside our parent, and in lisping accents offering our petitions to Him, “who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hath perfected praise,” recurs to our memory; and, whilst uttering those words, we seem to regain something of the child-like spirit which was ours when we for the first time breathed them. Tears—yet how unlike the scalding drops forced from our eyes by anguish and shame-fall from our downcast lids; and each drop, as it descends, seems to purify the heart whence it sprung.
Blest happy childhood ! How often will the sigh burst from the overloaded heart, while passing through life's feverish trials, for the by-gone days of Childhood !
L A MBETH CHURCH.
Tus church was rebuilt between the years 1374 and 1377. The original tower still remains : the other parts of the present structure are not older than the latter end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth centuries. It is composed of flints mixed with stone and brick, and consists of a nave, two aisles, and a chancel. In the list of benefactors to the church are some who contributed to the erection of the north aisle in 1504, and to that of the south aisle in 1505. Archbishop Warham was a great contributor to the building of the west end, in 1519. Two chapels called Howard's and Leigh's were built in 1522 ; and these were incorporated with the church when it was repaired in 1769. The nave is separated from the aisles by octagonal pillars and pointed arches, over which are several coats of arms in stone.
In one of the windows of the nave is a pedlar and his dog, painted on glass. According to tradition, it is the representation of a person, literally a pedlar, who bequeathed a piece of land, called Pedlar's Acre, to the parish. But the more probable supposition is that it was a rebus upon the individual's name.
In this church are monuments or tablets to the memory of many eminent persons, such as Archbishops Bencroft, Tennison, Hutton, Cornwallis, &c.