Page images
PDF
EPUB

with most confiding trust, he rested,

Closing his eyes, he breathed for a few minutes more calmly than he had done for a good while; and then, at a quarter before ten o'clock in the morning of Friday, 21st December, 1855, gently, and without the slightest struggle, the breath ceased, the pulse stopped, and the spirit of the first-born of our family entered, we doubt not, into the joy of his Lord.

A SISTER'S LOVE. A BOY and his sister had to cross a mountain. The night was dark and stormy, and they lost their way. Next morning both were found dead from exposure. The boy and girl lay side by side-the latter with her arm around her brother's neck, and her flannel petticoat, removed from her own person, round his feet.

dress.” And, after the interval of a few minutes, he said again, in the same tone of voice,-"I want a robe! I want a robe!” On awakening from this, the last sleep he had on earth, we saw, although he was evidently quite conscious, and continued so to the last, that his end could not be far off.

During the latter weeks of his illness, he had not cared about going outside the door, even when the day was fine, and the weather comparatively mild. But within the last few hours of his life, he repeatedly expressed an intense longing to get out to the open air. The difficulty he felt in breathing, had, no doubt, much to do with the desire, and, perhaps, originated it. On the last Sabbath, however, he had begged that the servant would carry him to church, “to hear papa preach.” Even now, when so much reduced that we were afraid almost to lift him, he turned to us, and said beseechingly,—“Papa,mamma,- will you-be-so kind as-to dress me?”

We could not, of course, grant his request; but there was nothing like fretfulness or murmuring, when, in order to divert his attention from the subject of his wish, we assured him that in a very short time Jesus himself would dress him in a white robe,

When very low, in a feeble voice he called “Mamma;” and when his mother inquired if he wished for anything, he replied—“Jesus said, -Suffer-the--little--" The sentence remained unfinished.

The paralyzing touch of fastapproaching death was laid on the enfeebled tongue, and it refused to articulate more. Subsequently he made several efforts to speak to us, but only now and then could we catch an unconnected word. The last we heard him utter “Lord” and “Jesus.” Though the remainder of the sentence was lost, these names of precious significance sufficed to show us that, on the confines of the eternal world, the mind of our dear boy was solely occupied with thoughts of the Saviour he loved, and on whom,

LINES ON THE DEATH OF OUR

FIRST-BORN.
The early grave is fillid,

And thou art gone
To thy last resting-place,

Thy last long home.
But though thy grave is fill'd,

Thou art not there;
'Tis but thy dust: thou roam'st

In regions fair.
Thy ransomed spirit has gained

Its longed-for rest;
The fetter'd soul's released,

And thou art blest.
And now, in bliss supreme,

Thy raptured eyes
Dwell on the Prince of Life,

In yonder skies,
A radiant band thou saw'st

Of angels fair ;
And thou, thyself, hast join'd

Their anthems, where
No tear shall dim thy sight,

Or mar thy joy,
But praise to God shall be

Thy blest employ.
Then, darling child, adieu !

We mourn thee not;
Nor would we wish to change

Thy blessed lot.
Quickly thy bark was moor'd,

Thy voyage o'er,
And bliss attain'd by thee

Unknown before ! M. H.

were

The fragment Basket.

her now.

said : 56

[ocr errors]

BENEVOLENCE. At a missionary meeting, among the negroes in the West Indies, it is related, these three resolutions were adopted

1. We will all give something.

2. We will all give according to our ability. 3. We will all give willingly.

At the close of the meeting a leading negro took his seat at a table, with pen and ink, to put down what each came to contribute. Many advanced to the table and handed in their contributions, some more and some less. Among the contributors was an old negro, who was very rich, almost as rich as all the rest united. He threw down a small silver coin.

“Take dat back again," said the chairman of the meeting. “Dat may be'cording to de fust resolution, but not 'eording to de second.”

The rich old man accordingly took it up, and hobbled back to his seat much enraged. One after another came forward, and all giving more than himself he was ashamed, and again threw a piece of money on the table, saying, “Dar, take dat!” It was a valuable piece of gold, but given so ill-temperedly, that the chairman answered, “No sir, dat won't do! Dat may be 'cording to de fust and second resolutions, but not 'cording to de third.” He was obliged to take it up again. Still angry with himself and all the rest, he sat a long time, till nearly all were gone, and then advanced to the table, with a smile on his countenance, and laid a large sum of money on the table.

“Dar, now, berry well,” said the presiding negro, "dat will do—dat am 'cording to all de resolutions." AN ANECDOTE OF WHITE

FIELD. Upon the death of his wife, he preached her funeral sermon. The

“And we know that all things work together for the good

of them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,”. Rom. viii. 28. In noticing her character, he mentioned her fortitude, and suddenly exclaimed, “Do you remember my preaching in those fields, by the old stump of the tree? The multitude was great, and many were disposed to be riotous. At first I addressed them firmly, but when a desperate gang of banditti drew near, with the most horrid imprecations and menaces, my courage began to fail. My wife was then standing behind me, as I stood on the table. I think I hear

She pulled my gown (he then put his hand behind him and touched his gown), and looking up

George, play the man for your God.” My confidence returned. I then spoke to the multitude with boldness and affection; they became still,and many were deeply affected."

GIVING IN HARD TIMES.

As to religious charities and the means of religious improvement, the rule of the late John Rankin, of New York, is a good one. When hard times come, give double. After the great fire in that city in 1835, some of the citizens who had large sums invested in Insurance Companies, found themselves suddenly deprived of a great portion of their income. The pastor of one of the churches, in making his annual solicitation for the cause of Foreign Missions, passed by a venerable and worthy man who had been accustomed to give a hundred dollars a year, and did

not ask him for a contribution, The gentleman soon asked the pastor if it was not time for the collection. “Yes," said he, “I have made it already, but knowing that you had been a great loser this year, I did not think it proper to call upon you for your usual donation. My dear sir," replied the gentleman, “it is very true that I have suffered great losses, and must be prudent in my expendi

[ocr errors]

text was,

ܙܝ

tures, but retrenchment must not begin at the house of God.That very day he sent to his pastor a cheque for two hundred dollars, and the same for every succeeding year to the time of his death.

PUNCTUALITY. Dr. Fisk says: "I give it as my deliberate and solemn conviction that the individual who is habitually tardy in meeting an appointment, will never be respected or successful in life.”

The Ladies' Repository says, “ There is some severity in the remark; but we endorse it as a truth sustained and corroborated by all the observation which, in our short life, we have been able to make, and which the experience of none can invalidate."

It appears George Washington was of the same opinion, or when his private secretary pleaded as an excuse for want of punctuality a bad watch, he would not have tartly replied, “ Then either you must get another watch or I must get another Secretary.” PAUL'S ESTIMATE OF HEA

VEN. In speaking of the glories of the eternal world, the rapture of the apostle does not escape him as a sally of theimagination, as a thought awakened by a sudden glance of the object; he does not express himself at random from the sudden impulse of the moment, but in the sober tone of calculation: “I reckon, he says, like a man skilled in this spiritual arithmetic;

“ I reckon," after a due estimate of their comparative value, “that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.

No man was ever so well qualified to make this estimate. Of the sufferings of the present world he had shared more largely than any man. He had heard the words of God, and seen the vision of the Almighty; and the result of this privileged experience was, that he desired to escape from this valley of tears, that

he was impatient to recover the celestial vision, eager to perpetuate the momentary foretaste of the glories of immortality.-Hannah More,

LAST THINGS. The last words of the Old Testament are a fearful threatening: “ Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

The last words of the New Testament are a benediction : “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

The last words of Christ before his ascension are a glorious promise: “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Often the wicked despise the last offer of mercy made them more than any preaching they ever heard. When I have seen friends wiping away the clammy sweat from the brow of a dying man who had long rejected salvation, or moistening his lips with a little water, I have often trembled lest it should be the last mercy he should ever receive.

It seldom happens that the last thing done by one who has led a wicked life is to repent and turn to God.

READING THE BIBLE. At a late meeting of the Presbytery of Buffalo, it was stated that a pastor, feeling that amid the overwhelming mass of miscellaneous reading that was about flooding his congregation, the Bible was being sadly neglected, took this somewhat novel method to revive an acquaintance with its precious truths. He drew up a pledge, the signers to which promised that on a given day, they would each, in connexion with their pastor, commence the systematic perusal of the Holy Scriptures, reading at least three chapters each week-day, and five upon the Sabbath ; thus completing the volume in one year. He procured in his congregation, going from house to house, ninetythree signatures to this pledge. Will not that people be more intelligent listeners upon the Sabbath ?

[ocr errors]

Poetry.

trust;

[ocr errors]

ASKING, RECEIVING. OH, ask not wealth;

When wealth, and fame, and power are The gaudy bauble glitters to deceive; gone, It hath a thorn to press thee when And all earth's blandishments for ever asleep,

flown. It maketh wings, and leaveth thee to Ask for a home in heaven, where grief weep;

can never be. Ask not what wealth can give. Oh, ask not fame;

THE CHILD AND THE ANGELS. The empty bubble breaks at every gale; Its mighty shadow stalks in midnight

The Sabbath sun was setting slow gloom ;

Amidst the clouds of even; It kills its hero, then haunts his tomb,

“Our Father," breathed a voice below, Where all its triumphs fall.

“ Father, who art in heaven !"

Beyond the earth, beyond the cloud, Oh, ask not love;

T'hose infant words were given; "The fond heart's idol" breaketh the

“Our Father," angels sang aloud, fond heart;

“ Father, who art in heaven!” His smile is often deceitful, and its power

“ Thy kingdom come,” still from the Too oft is felt in sorrow's darkest hour; ground Ask not his treacherous dart.

That child-like voice did pray :

Thy kingdom come,” God's hosts reOh, ask not power;,

sound, Seek not a burden that must crush thee

Far on the starry way. down;

Thy will be done,” with little tongue, Look at the throne of tyrants in the

That lisping love implores : dust, Behold how frail the prop in which they

“Thy will be done,” the angelic throng

Sing from seraphic shores.
Ask where their might has gone.

“For ever," still those lips repeat

Their closing evening prayer: Oh, ask not life;

“For ever,” floats in music sweet “Not even life itself makes good the

High midst the angels there ! name.”

Thine be the glory evermore, How on its victim craves the boon of

From Thee may man ne'er sever; death, When death or sorrow yearn to yield

But every Christian land adore

Jehovah, God, for ever!" the breath!

CHARLES SWAIN. Ask not the fitful flame. Ask for a broken heart; A grief for all the ills thy hand hath

MINE AND THINE. done,

ALL that I was-my sin, my guilt, A pang for wasted life, for useless breath;

My death was all my own;

All that I am I owe to thee, A hope that triumphs over the fear of death;

My gracious God alone. Ask, and the goal is won.

The evil of my former state Ask for a quiet mind;

Was mine, and only mine; A heart at rest from all the jars of strife,

The good in which I now rejoice A humble heart that never soars.to fall,

Is thine, and only thine. A heart to bless the Hand that gave it The darkness of my former state, all,

The bondage all was mine; That priceless gift of life.

The light of life in which I walk, Ask for a fount of tears :

The liberty is thine. The heart to sympathize in others' woe; Thy grace first made me feel my sin, The soul to feel for all the sorrowing It taught me to believe; here,

Then, in believing, peace I found,

Í And power to point them to a better And now I live, I live. sphere,

All that I am, even here on earth,
Where tears can never flow.

All that I hope to be,
Ask for a home in heaven;

When Jesus comes and glory dawns, Poor lonely wanderer on life's troubled I owe it, Lord, to thee ! sea,

H. BONAR.

Let our youth of feeling out,
To the youth of nature shout,
While the waves repeat our voice,
Welcome, Spring ! rejoice! rejoice!

SPRING IS COMING.

BY M. NACK,
Who was deaf and dumb from his

childhood.
SPRING is coming ! spring is coming!
Birds are chirping, insects humming,
Flowers are peeping from their sleeping,
Streams escaped from winter's keeping,
In delighted freedom rushing,
Dance along in freedom gushing ;
Scenes of late in deadness sadden'd,
Smile in animation gladden'd;
All is beauty, all is mirth,
All is glory upon earth.
Shout we then with nature's voice,
Welcome, Spring ! rejoice! rejoice!
Spring is coming ! come, my brother,
Let us love with one another,
To our well-remember'd wild wood,
Flourishing in nature's childhood;
Where a thousand flowers are springing,
And a thousand birds are singing;
Where the golden sunbeams quiver,
On the verdure-girdled river;

THE POOR MAN'S BIBLE. [“ Well might Coleridge say that the

fairest flower he ever saw climbing round a poor man's window was not so beautiful in his eyes as the Bible which he sawlying within."-Bayne.]

DEAR to the eye

Of the passer-by, "Tis dearer to the heart of the poor;

A father's smile

On honest toil, Is the flower that blooms by his door.

But sweeter far,

And dearer are The plants of grace that bloom and thrive,

When age and youth,

By Bible truth,
Their hearts control, and daily live.

Monthly Observations.

The aspect of Public Affairs has not greatly changed since our last issue. India continues to occupy the mind both of the church and of the world, and there is a strong probability that vigorous action will be taken by both in furthering the future welfare of the millions of Hindostan. The London Missionary Society is buckling on its armour afresh. At a special meeting of the Town and Country Directors, a resolution was adopted, if possible, to send out Twenty additional Missionaries. Under the circumstances of the Society this is, doubtless, a great effort; but it will come incal. culably short of the necessities of the case. To carry out this high resolve will require both men and money; and it is for the churches to furnish both. Now, more than ever, it is to be desired that prayer

and supplication should be everywhere made to the Lord of the harvest, to send forth suitable labourers. Among the churches there is an abundance both of talent and of piety; what is wanted, therefore, is a thorough baptism of the needful number with the Missionary Spirit, and this will infallibly be attained by fervent prayer. When the men are found, they must be supported; but this the churches are well able to do. Nothing is required but for the people of God to give as he has prospered them. Multitudes, indeed, can do little more than they are now doing; but a very few individuals, who have been abundantly blessed in their basket and their store, are able to meet the wants of the case even by a very slender effort,

« PreviousContinue »