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opulent, with their dusty beau-pots, cause a breathless longing for green fields; and the splendid array of highly cultivated flowers, fruits, and vegetables, compressed into such a space as a city market, tell of that wealth which can command all that is luxurious, rather than of the simple garden and the glade studded with trees.

Did you ever, at the upper windows of some poor dwelling in a narrow court, observe a broken tea-pot, with its sprig of peppermint or southern-wood, sustained by a rude rail, ambitiously painted green? You may be sure some poor soul dwells there, who is transplanted by hard necessity into the cheerless privations of that home, from some fresh cottage where the spring bubbled up in crystal beauty in the well, where the grass, sown with daisies and buttercups, approached even to the door-step, and the free breeze of heaven blew all around him :

"The stranger, hurrying through the dingy town,

May know his workshop by its sweet wild flowers.
Cropp'd on the Sabbath from the hedge-side bowers,
The hawthorn blossom from his window droops;
Far from the headlong stream and lucid air
The pallid Alpine rose to meet him stoops,
As if to soothe a brother in despair,
Exiled from Nature and her pictures fair."*

And well will it be, if the denizen of the city lose not the regret for that country home; well will it be, if, even at the expense of some sentimental sorrow, the intervals of toil be filled up by remembrances of country habits and youthful happiness; well will it be, if the soul-destroying dram-shops do not obliterate the remembrance of the tranquil cottage, and if the sight of a poor, drooping, smoky, city sparrow, draw a tear at the remembrance of the sweet songsters that peopled the trees of the fields where his childhood roamed at large. Such regrets and remembrances do not necessarily indicate discontent with our present lot, but rather keep alive in the heart the healthier associations which protect from deterioration, and save from complete amalgamation with the evil which surrounds us. Their influence is calculated to be even of

* Ebenezer Elliot.

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higher and nobler utility, if it lead him to cast the eye of faith far into that promised land where the sun will not light on the inhabitants, nor any heat; where hunger, thirst, toil, and tears are unknown, where unavailing regrets and bootless longings can no more enter, than stings of conscience or apprehensions of future sorrow. How merciful is that arrangement which secludes every mind from all the minds around it, and leaves it unveiled before its God alone. The soul can rise superior to that contaminating mass of human beings, which limits bodily movement, taints the air, and injures health; for, in its spiritual mechanism, it is capable of a secret and ennobling intercourse, unintruded on by the thronging and bustling crowd around it.

Obadiah was able to "fear the Lord greatly," while his eyes and ears were exposed to the offensive and polluted worship of Baal; and his sovereign, Ahab, in whose hand his life was, could not, with all his tyranny and malignity, either penetrate or prevent the communion which his spirit held with his God. So may the soul, that has tasted how suitable to holy contemplation are the calm retreat and silent shade, be able to sustain that contemplation, when the remembrance of the retreat and shade are all that is left him. "The mind is its own place,' and those who in any situation endeavor to draw nigh unto God, will find his promise sure, that He will draw nigh unto them. The very restlessness of human wishes, the fruitless toil, the failure of enjoyment even when the desired object is possessed, which are constantly exhibited in the crowded city, are as well calculated to tutor the contemplative mind, as the lonely wilderness or the mouldering ruin. All that man labors after, and all the mistaken estimates that he forms of himself, may be seen rather in the city than the country.. It is not, therefore, a place of tranquil enjoyment, but surely it is a place of warning.

"Earth walketh on the earth, glittering like gold
Earth goeth to the earth sooner than it would ;
Earth buildeth on the earth temples and towers,
Earth sayeth to the earth, all shall be ours."

So says the mouldering grave-stone by the gray ruins of

Melrose Abbey. The same great lesson is as surely and far more painfully impressed on the contemplative soul, in the din of a great community. M. G. L. D.

FIRST WEEK-WEDNESDAY.

FAMINE IN THE BEGINNING OF AUTUMN.

THE indication of spring in the change of atmosphere, so marked sometimes for a week or two in the early part of that season, that it is called by the French L'ete de San Martin, (Saint Martin's summer,) attunes the feelings to hope, with respect to what is in the womb of time, and soon to be enjoyed more uninterruptedly. And again, the balmy breath of summer, maturing vegetables, and covering the valleys with the green blade that affords the promise of a fruitful harvest, cheers and enlivens those who are at ease in their possessions. Being out of reach of want themselves, they little wot of the extremities of hunger and privation, of discontent, of envy, and of longing desire, which are endured and called into exercise amongst their fellow beings, who are a few grades below them in the scale of providential bounty. Then the humane and benevolent, whose sympathies for the poor are much awakened by cold, (an evil which they partially share with them,) feel as if at liberty to relax from their care and exertion, and conclude that the season of heavy privation is over. How little do they know the truth, in the case of a year of scarcity! It is not till the sun rises high above the horizon, and his influence warms the bosom of the earth, that the truly pinching time of famine arrives. The scanty crop has been husbanded during winter; its gleanings still eke out a meal in the early part of summer; but then all is expended, and famine, that scourge of the Lord, meets the poor with inevitable sternness.

"O, who can warm himself in winter's frost
By thinking of meridian summer's heat?"

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Or who can satisfy the present cravings of hunger, by gazing on crops not yet ripened for the sickle? Any one who has penetrated the lanes, the cellars, and the garrets of the crowded city, and breathed the tainted air, which, in dun vapors, hangs around them, must shudder at the helplessness of man, and the extent of his capacity of suffering. Strong exertion, and fixed purpose to lend aid, only alleviate bodily wants in a degree, while they too often draw forth most painful exhibitions of moral evil. Selfishness, envy, deceit, and trickery, are vices which are stirred into more lively action by a dispensation of rebuke and judgement. The heart of the philanthropist has often been chilled, and his extended hand checked, by the sight of the human character, as it is displayed when struggling under the afflictions of want, without being subdued by them. Yet these are the fruits which God, who penetrates the heart, knows to be in the germ all the while that his rain and sunshine have been shed on it. Has He been patient so long? let not man fret because of a fellow sinner. When He smites, let the soul of the reconciled go out in pity and in prayer.

But, regard it as we may, famine is one of the sorest evils, coming direct from the Divine Hand, that falls upon man. It is of not uncommon occurrence, and against it industry and contrivance have little power. Not only does the uncivilized Caffre pine under its influence, and draw his famine-belt tighter, as the pinching foe gripes him more closely, but the industrious and ingenious European bows under its dominion, and, hunger-bitten, sinks and dies.

We look to second causes, and impute our years of dearth to wet and cold, to hot and parching seasons, to cycles of weather, to comets, and many other accidents, some of them real and others imaginary, and thus wilfully conceal from our view the power of God, who blesseth a land, and maketh it to bring forth fruit abundantly, and, again, who "turneth a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of them who dwell therein." He has said, "that nation will I punish with famine ;" and "I will send the famine among them." To his people Israel, He

made this denunciation, "If ye will not yet for all this heark-
en unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for
your sins. I will break the pride of your power, and I
will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass."
Again, "the Lord shall smite thee with blasting and mil-
dew; and the heaven that is over thy head shall be brass,
and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.” Accord-
ing to the Mosaic law, after six years of culture, the sev-
enth was to be a Sabbath of rest unto the land, and a sab-
bath to the Lord. When, through want of faith in the
Divine care, which was to furnish them meat in the sab-
batical year,
the Israelites left off the observance of this law,
they did not expect that God would reckon with them for
their disobedience. Yet, nearly a thousand years after the
law was promulgated, where an account is given of burning
the houses of gold and the palaces, and of carrying away
captive to Babylon those who had escaped the sword, we
are reminded that a strict account had been preserved of
every act of disobedience. The sabbatical years were
still to be required of them, and to be forcibly exacted, for
they were to be kept in captivity "till the land had en-
joyed her sabbaths: for, as long as she lay desolate, she
kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.

29*

Another remarkable instance of retribution, appears in the failure to release the bondmen in the year of jubilee. The law was, that if a brother were waxen poor, he might pay his debt by means of his labor, and that of his family; but this could not extend beyond the year of release, when he was to depart, both he and his children, and return to the possession of his fathers. They were not to be sold as bondmen, or ruled over with rigor; for they were God's servants, which He brought forth out of the land of Egypt. The cupidity or unfaithfulness of the wealthy in Judea, had led them to disobey this law. But when the time of retribution arrived, while the king saw his sons and the nobles slain before his eyes, and was himself carried captive, with all the people possessing wealth and substance, "Nebuzar-adan, the captain of the

2 Chron. xxxvi. 21.

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