PURITY OF CHARACTER.
Over the plum and apricot there may be seen a bloom and beauty more exquisite than the fruit itself,--a soft, delicate flush that overspreads its blushing cheek. Now, if you strike your hand over that, and it is once gone, it is gone forever; for it never grows but once. The flower that hangs in the morning, impearled with dew, arrayed with jewels,--once shake it so that the beads roll off, and you may sprinkle water over it as you please, yet it can never be made again what it was when the dew fell lightly upon it from heaven.
On a frosty morning you may see the panes of glass covered with landscapes, mountains, lakes and trees, blended in a beautiful fantastic picture. Now, lay your hand upon the glass, and by the scratch of your fingers, or by the warmth of the palm, all the delicate tracery will be immediately obliterated. So in youth there is a purity of character which, when once touched and defiled, can never be restored, --a fringe mere delicate than frost work, and which, when torn and broken, will never be embroidered.
A man who has spotted and soiled his garments in youth, though he may seek to make them white again, can never wholly do it, even were he to wash them with his tears. When a young man leaves his father's house, with the blessing of his mother's tears still wet upon his forehead, if he once loses that early purity of character, it is a loss he can never make whole again. Such is the consequence of crime. Its effects cannot be eradicated, they can only be forgiven.--Beecher.
Thank God for the abundant provision made for all; for though all have lost purity and perfection and could never restore it to themselves, God has provided that the pure in heart--in motive, in intent, shall not only be accepted through Christ as if pure, but, more than this, has provided for a restoration (in his due time-- the Millennial Day), to actual purity and perfection, of all who hate sin and accept aid and deliverance through the Life-giver.
Mr. Beecher, great man and orator though he was, missed the pearl in his subject, as all who overlook the ransom do.--EDITOR.
"His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood avails for me."