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"Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining"
by [?]

WHAT! can this be true in this dark world of ours, where the thick clouds of sorrow, disappointed hopes, and bereavements are continually hanging over us, obscuring even the bright star of hope; where upon every passing breeze is borne deep wailings of woe, bitter sighs ascending from bruised and broken hearts mourning over lost hopes, crushed affections, wasted love; struggling vainly for victory in the fierce battle of life; groping about in darkness to catch, if possible, one gleam of sunlight from the heavy clouds–but in vain?

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Another shrine robbed of its idol; another hearth left desolate. See, how the black clouds settle down and press more closely around that lonely widowed one. Grim Death mocks at his grief from the open grave, so soon to receive his heart’s idol. Ay, remove the coffin lid; gaze with all the agonizing bitterness of a last look upon that cold marble face; was aught on earth so lovely? Kiss for the last time the pure forehead. Ah! those pale white lips give back no answering pressure of love; sealed for ever by that last chilling blast from the cold river.

And now the damp earth presses heavily over that cherished form; far down in the darkness and silence of the grave must the loved one remain, never more to cheer by her gentle words of love and kindness, the heart of him who so needed her sympathy and love. Gone, gone for ever.

What on earth is now beautiful or bright since the dearest, best treasure is removed? Oh, no! there can be no bright spot in affliction like this; there can be no bright ray to gild this night of sorrow.

Ah! thou erring mortal, repine not. The all-wise Father knew thy frail heart, saw thy whole life and soul bound up in that one creature, weak and sinful like thyself; forgetful of the Creator; and wilt thou dare raise thy feeble voice against the Almighty when He removed the idol that He alone may reign? Wilt thou not bow meekly, kiss the rod, and accept the bitter cup of bereavement, offered as it is in mercy?

And is this all? Is there no life beyond the grave? Is the spirit which held such communion with thine for ever quenched?

Can the grave contain for ever the immortal part? Look up, oh! mourning one; thy loved one is not there.

Hark! hearest thou not soft, heavenly voices, whispering sweetly of a life beyond the dark river, where Death can never come; of glorious mansions where is peace and joy for ever more, and of another freed spirit welcomed to the blissful home? Dost thou not feel upon thy tear-moistened cheek, gentle wavings of angel wings perfumed with the breath of heavenly flowers?

Even now, may the happy glorified spirit of thy loved one be hovering around; think you it would return again to that perishing body of clay?

The sweet star of faith is already rising over thy grief; the clouds, all bright and shining with hues caught from heavenly skies, are no longer dark and rayless; and now, even with thy lonely bleeding heart, canst thou humbly receive the chastisement from Him who doeth all things well.

Henceforth will earth seem less dear, heaven nearer, and more to be desired; thy own cherished companion is there, and who can know but that her pure spirit may sometimes look down upon thee, still to encourage thy endeavours to battle manfully with life and its trials, still to cheer and console in thy hours of distress; but now, with heart and affections all purified from the dross of earth, will not the influence be more blessed than when she walked with bodily presence at thy side?

Yes, thanks to our merciful Father, every cloud has a silver lining, however dark the side presented to our view, ladened heavy though it be with sorrows and woes, which almost crush the life from our hearts as it presses upon us; yet there away, hidden from our short mortal vision, gleams the soft silvery lining, ever gently shining, perhaps never to be revealed in this world, reserved for us to discover after we too have been called from this to our heavenly home, and look back upon our earthly pilgrimage with rejoicings that we have been so safely borne through every trial and temptation.

Ah! then will our sky be without a cloud. All joyous and happy will we tune our harps anew to the praise of Him who loved us and hath given us the victory!