Abbildungen der Seite



As we walked slowly on--for some of us found our Ann's father, and she beguiled him of many a weary bruises a little troublesome-I said to the coachman hour by her artless prattle, and he was never more happy jokingly, and as pleasantly as I could, “ We've got than when telling a story or doing something to please the drag put on us now, eh?”

“ little pet," as he called her. “You're right, sir," he replied, shaking his head. Taking her sun-bonnet in her hand, but forgetting “ This is the last time I come down that hill without to put it upon her head, she ran and found him sitting it, you may depend. But who'd ha' thought it ?” under a tree in his garden, leaning upon one of his

“Misfortunes mostly come like that,” I said, “when crutches. His eyes were fixed upon the scene before people don't put the drag on. It's always " who would him, but his mind was wandering in the sorrowful past, have thought it?'”

among blighted hopes and ruined prospects, when he “ You're right, sir ; and I ask your pardon if I was was startled from his reverie by the earnest voice of a bit rough with you just now; but I never thought Ann, saying, “Grandpa, do you pray ?" we should have come to grief like that.”

She sat down beside him, and a long conversation We had a little friendly chat after this, and I hope ensued, known only to themselves and to God. not without profit to both. But as I thought over the The next morning he read a chapter in his longincident afterwards, I could not help feeling how neglected Bible, and offered the prayer of the penitent, many cases there were in which the timely putting on and never afterwards deserted the family altar which of the drag would have saved far worse calamities.

he then erected. He became a devoted reader of God's I thought of the many cases which had

Word, and found a solace for his earthly afflictions in within my own knowledge, where an unguarded use of the hopes of a blessed immortality. the tongue had produced irremediable evils, and where “putting the drag on," had it been possible, would have been the saving of many a reputation and the

THE LAST LIFE-BUOY. prevention of many a bitter and unkind thought. How much suspicion and ill-feeling have arisen among

An overboard !” The cry rang out from the friends, even among families, from unguarded words !

man at the helm of the Nyanza, a troopshir How often has a story been set incautiously going,

under full sail, just nearing the English which has brought grief to many a home circle, and

coast. Yes, there was the poor fellow, fallen from a set a whole neighbourhood at variance ! Uttered mast, and struggling with the waves. To slacken speed, speech cannot be recalled. Words are winged, and

and stop the ship’s course in time for him to reach her

But fly we know not whither, nor how fast; and so it

was hopeless, though he was a powerful swimmer. becomes us to guard our iips, and even our thoughts ; life-buoys were flung towards him, that he might supfor cherished thoughts are apt to find expression when

port himself above water till a boat, quickly lowered, we do not intend to utter them.

There they are,

should pick him up. ready formed to our lips. The temptation is strong.

Now he is close to one of these buoys, but, alas ! he A voice within, which whispers caution, is unheeded.

does not see it, and still swims on. Eagerly soldiers The drag is not put on. Words are spoken which are

and sailors crowd aft and shout as he nears the second like a spark to gunpowder; and after regrets can

life-buoy ; but all in vain : he has passed that too ; never cause them to be forgotten. “He that refraineth

and now the excitement on deck is tremendous, for the his lips is wise.”

swimmer is evidently growing exhausted. There is one more chance; the third and last life-buoy is

floating now within arm's length of the drowning GRANDPA, DO YOU PRAY?

“ Look to your right!” Every voice on board joins NN, a sunny-faced girl of six years, sat in her in the cry; they see the sinking man raise himself as

little chair, with her doll carelessly lying in if for a last look at the friends who seem to be leaving

her lap, and her large blue eyes fixed on the him to die—and now, hurrah ! he has seen and grasped floor, as if her thoughts were far away; then suddenly the life-buoy, and is saved. A few minutes more and rising, and heeding not her fallen doll, she ran to her the Nyanza's boat is beside him. mother, saying, “Does grandpa pray?"

I thought as I heard of this incident from an officer Her mother asked her the reason of that question. who witnessed it, that it is even so that there are She said, " Because I've been there nights and morn- given to us precious and quickly passing opportunities ings, and watched, and I never heard him pray. I'll for laying hold of God's salvation, His gift of eternal go and ask him!”

life, by the voice of His Spirit in His Word. Her grandfather was a peaceable, honest, and in- points us to His Son Jesus Christ, the only way of dustrious man, who had experienced a great deal of escape from death everlasting. But like the third life worldly sorrow, and, not knowing how to cast his bur- buoy close beside the drowning seaman, each offer of den on the Lord, had sometimes drunk to excess, as he His grace which reaches us may be the last; just said, “to drown trouble.” He had become a cripple beyond it may lie the point where there is “no reand was obliged to use crutches. He lived very near medy."




Alice J. Turner,

READ JOHN iv. 35-38.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The fields were white for the harvest then, and the FIELDS WHITE TO THE HARVEST. same may be said now. The greater part of the world

is still without the Gospel. But the need of the Gospel,

as God's appointed instrument for bringing soulsto his short parable was spoken by our Lord to

Him, is still as great as ever; and in every part of the His disciples just after His conversation with

heathen world there are some at least who are preparer! the woman of Samaria, and while she was gone to receive it. into the city to tell the people of the wonderful things For the disciples were not only to lift up


eyes she had heard.

and look on the fields; they were to go in and reap ; It was winter time, answering perhaps to our they were to carry the Gospel to those who were thus November or December, for it wanted four months to in need of it, and ready to receive it. Such is our «luty harvest; and in that country the harvest is much

too. earlier than with us. The fields bore no appearance of All may do something. At harvest time there is harvest yet; they were not even green; the seed was work for all. One reaps, another binds, a third loads probably but just sown; for four months is about the

the wagon. Men, women, and children work together. time there between sowing and reaping. Every one None need be idle. The old, whose reaping days are knew this. So our Lord said, “Say not ye, There over, can yet help to gather up what is left; and even are yet four months, and then cometh harvest ? ” the little ones, whose working days have not begun, But then He added, Behold, I say unto you, Lift

may be seen at harvest time returning from the field, up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are each with his little bundle of gleanings. So it is in white already to harvest." What did He mean?

the spiritual harvest. The missionary who crosses the Did not the very appearance of the fields contradict

sea to carry the news of salvation by Jesus Christ to His words?

some dark land, is a chief labourer in the field, il He meant not the natural harvest, but the harvest of


in the harvest. But those who stay at home may souls. In the natural harvest there is always a time of be follow-workers with him. The preacher, the speaker, waiting between sowing and reaping. It is so generally the collector, the giver, the smallest contributor, are in the spiritual harvest too, but not always. It was all engaged in the harvest field, each doing something not so in this case. Seed had been sown, and the in the great work. There is work for all, and to all harvest was about to follow directly. Jesus had spoken

the word comes,

“Lift up your eyes, and look on the to the woman of Samaria the words of eternal life, and

fields; for they are white already to harvest.” she had received them. And now she had gone into

The reaper works for


and the labourer in the the neighbouring city, to tell to others what she had

spiritual harvest has his reward too. Yes, a rewardheard. Jesus knew what would follow. He knew yet not of works, but of grace; a gift, not a payment. that the Samaritans would come out to Him at the But it will surely be received ; for even a cup of cold word of the woman, and hear the Gospel from His lips. water given for Christ's sake shall not go without a No sooner did they hear His word than they believed reward. it. No sooner did He come to them, than they received What is this reward? We are not told fully ; but Him, and begged Him to stay with them. Here was this parable throws some light on the subject. Part at indeed a speedy harvest. Here was a field ripe as soon least of the reward will be joy for souls saved. As

there is rejoicing among us every year at harvest-home, Our Lord drew the attention of His disciples to this. so will there be joy at the great spiritual harvest-home. “ Lift up your eyes,” said He, “and look on the fields ; When the corn is all gathered in, and the last load has for they are white already to harvest.” They were to been brought to the barn, the wages are paid, and observe the readiness of the Samaritans to receive the

all rejoice together, master and men, all who have had Gospel, but that was not all. This was but one field; part in the harvest, from the highest to the lowest.

So there were other fields equally ripe for the sickle. The will it be in the harvest of souls. Even now there is disciples were to go forth to their work of preaching joy in heaven over one. sinner that repenteth. How the Gospel, with the encouraging belief that souls were great will be the joy, when all the redeemed of the ready to hear and to believe. They were to take what Lord are gathered in ! happened among the Samaritans as a sample of the Happy then all who have laboured for God,-every success which would follow their labours among other

sower, every reaper, every gleaner in the field of the people. There was great need of the Gospel Souls world. What joy to have borne a part, however were perishing for lack of knowledge. In great num- humble, in such a work, and now to see the fruit ! bers there was a work of preparation already going on. Now all is love and joy. Now he who began in From among

both Jews and Gentiles many would hear great discouragement, and saw but little fruit, meets and receive the Word. There was a great field for the him who came after him, and brought the work to it disciples to labour in, and there was everything to en- happy end. Let none who know the preciousness of courage them.

Let them put in the sickle of the Christ refuse to bear a part, and thus neglect so plain a Gospel, and gather in souls to Christ, for the harvest duty, so blessed a work, and lose a share in this joyful was ripe.


as Sown.

[ocr errors]




other indications of settling previous to her going THE SHIP ON FIRE.


While some were standing in silent resignation, or in x board the Kent East Indiaman, during stupid insensibility to their impending fate, others were

a storm, one of the officers, with the yielding themselves up to the most frantic despair. well-meant intention of ascertaining Some on their knees were earnestly imploring, with that all was fast below, descended with significant gesticulations and in noisy supplications, the

two of the sailors into the hold, where mercy of Him, whose arm, they exclaimed, was at length they carried with them, for safety, a light in the patent out-stretched to smite them. lantern ; and seeing that the lamp burned dimly, the The upper deck was covered with between six officer took the precaution to hand it up to the orlop and seven hundred human beings, many of whom, deck to be trimmed. Having afterwards discovered from previous sea-sickness. were forced on the first one of the spirit casks to

alarm to flee from below be adrift, he sent the

in a state of absolute sailors for some billets

nakedness, and of wood to secure it ;

now running about in but the ship in their

quest of husbands, chil absence having made a

dren, or parents. heavy lurch, the officer

The dignified de unfortunately dropped

portment of two young the light; and letting go

Jadies formed a specimen his hold of the cask in

of natural strength of his eagerness to recover

mind, finely modified by the lantern, it suddenly

Christian feeling, that stove, and the spirits

failed not to attract the communicating with the

notice and admiration of lamp, the whole place

every one who had instantly in

an opportunity of witblaze.

nessing it. On the meAs long as the de

lancholy announcement vonring element ap

being made to them that peared to be confined to

all hope must be relinthe spot where the fire

quished, and that death originated, which was

was rapidly and inevi. surrounded on all sides

tably approaching, one of by water-casks, hopes

the ladies above referred were cherished that it

to, calmly sinking down might be subdued ; but

on her knees, and claspno sooner was the light

ing her hands together, blue vapour that at first

said, “Even so come, arose succeeded by vo

Lord Jesus," and immelumes of thick, dingy

diately proposed to read smoke, which speedily

a portion of the Scripascending through all

tures to those around her: the four hatch ways,

her sister with nearly rolled over every part

equal composure and of the ship, than all fur

collectedness of mind ther concealment became

selected the 46th and The whole place was instantly in a blaze. impossible, and almost

other appropriate Psalms ; all hope of preserving their lives was abandoned. which were accordingly read, with intervals of

The captain resorted to the only alternative now left prayer, by those ladies alternately to the assembled him, of ordering the lower decks to be scuttled, and females. the lower ports to be opened, for the free admission of When “all hope that we should be saved was now the waves. This was no sooner accomplished, than

taken away,”

a sailor exclaimed, “ A sail on the lee the sea rushed in with extraordinary force.

bow !” The joyful announcement was received with The immense quantity of water thus introduced into deep-felt thanksgivings, and with three cheers upon the hold had indeed the effect, for a time, of checking deck. The vessel proved to be the Cambria, which the fury of the flames; but the danger of sinking took the survivors on board, and eventually landed having increased as the risk of explosion was dimin- them at Falmouth. ished, the ship became water-logged, and presented From The Loss of the Kent, by General Macgregor, ju-t republished.




streets, thinking it perhaps the most wonderful of all London sights.

The thoroughfare along which we were threading our way was very crowded at that hour, and I watched with the curiosity of a stranger the dexterous way in which the omnibus-driver guided his horses through the throng. But, expert as long habit had made him, he was guilty of one mistake, and his wheel came in contact with a small hand-barrow which an old woman was pushing : the barrow itself was not overturned, but the shock threw off a basket which stood upon it. In spite of the woman's efforts to save it, the basket fell to the ground, and out of it rolled handfuls of pence and halfpence over the pavement and amongst the horses' hoofs.

The next instant a swarm of boys, spying the booty, came flocking up—came flocking from nowhere, it

appeared to me, for I had not seen one previously. T is now some years since I happened to be in The driver passed on, with a shrug of his shoulders; but

London, during the season when the huge busy not before I had heard part of the torrent of oaths which

town is at its busiest. I was going from the poured from the unfortunate woman's lips, as she tried extreme West-end to the City, on the last day of my in vain to protect her barrow and regain her coppers. stay, and I climbed to the box-seat of an omnibus, and “Poor soul !” I said. gazed at the human tide which flowed along the “Ay, sir, I'm very sorry," the driver responded, in

[ocr errors]


a contrite tone, " but it was not exactly my fault ; she “You know it is true, as well as I know it !” I said. should not have tried to cross just then.”

Neither of us spoke for a while. Presently my friend “I pitied her more for using such words,” I asked, “ Zir, are you a clergyman ?” remarked, “than for the mere loss of her pennies.”

“No, indeed." He looked at me with the same The driver looked sharply at me for a moment. keen look which I had noticed before. “She didn't like to be robbed of her money,” he said, “Excuse me, sir, but are you an Englishman ? " " and small wonder !”

“Well, a kind of an Englishman," I answered, “ But swearing only made matters worse.”

smiling; "an Irishman, that is." Right you are, sir; but she couldn't help it, you He struck his hand upon his knee. “ God bless see : 'tis another proof of the truth of the old saying, you, sir !” he cried—but more an exclamation ‘Money is the root of all evil.'»

than a blessing, however—“God bless you! and I'm an "I beg your pardon," I said, “but that saying is Irishman too! but I've never stood in Ireland.” not true."

“How's that?" I asked, more and more interested. The driver stared at me more keenly than ever.

“Sir, I'll just tell you how it is. I was born in “Certainly it is a goodish while ago that I heard it Sicily, my parents were Irish. My father was a first, but when I was a boy I learned it from very gentleman, my mother a lady. He was consul at good authority," he said, rather grimly. “Something Palermo, and there I was reared. Then-then-in out of my line now, sir," he said ; “but it is my short, sir, I took to bad ways. I ran from home; certain belief that I have the best authority. Those I wandered far and wide ; I got desperately wounded words are in the Bible !” There was a quiet triumph in a drunken fray in France ; I sank and sank until I in his tone; he evidently expected that he had settled almost came to beg my bread. Now I drive this the question.

'bus." "I beg your pardon again," I answered ; "the Abruptly as he spoke, his manner could not wholly Bible says no such thing !”

hide the deep feeling which lay beneath. He turned “Well, sir, if I was in the way of laying a bet with his face aside, but I fancied I could see the water a gentleman I'd risk -heavy odds on it," returned the glistening in his eyes. “I don't know why I talk like omnibus-ulriver, pulling up his horses with a jerk to this to you,” he said ; "I beg your pardon, sir." set down a passenger.

“Nay," I replied, "you have interested me greatly. "You would lose your bet, then," I said. “The In all your wanderings have you not been to Ireland ?" Bible

says, • The love of money is the root of all evil;? "No, but I long to go there ! Sir, it is a strange which you see is a very different thing."

feeling, that love of a man for his country! It's a queer I saw in a moment that my friend the driver was a thing that I, who never stood upon its sod, should yet man who sometimes troubled himself to think. His have no dearer wish than to go to Ireland.” face lit up with a half-smile as he replied,

“ It strikes me as being more beautiful than strange, “ You have me there, sir, and I'll allow you have me I said. “I have never seen the face of my Father most fairly. The thing is different! The fact is we are which is in heaven, nor even got a glimpse of His always willing to lay the blame of our doings on any glorious kingdom, yet I love Him, and I love His thing but ourselves--the devil, other people, or the land, and long beyond all things to see Him, and to poor money, 'tis all one, so long as we can manage to know what may be the beauty of the things which He spare our own selves.”

has prepared for me. Wander as you inay, your heart Yes,” I said, “the money is innocent enough, but turns to Ireland still; and I, however held in bondage it is the undue love for it which does the mischief. here, yet look and hope and sigh for the land which is God gave cattle and lands and worldly wealth to mine by the free gift of the Saviour.” Jacob, and Joseph, and Job, and Solomon; and gave Had I said too much ? He understood me, I could the riches as rewards and tokens of His favour--which see, and I did not think he could be vexed at my He would scarcely have done if wealth was in itself speech. I took courage.

" And heaven is yours by an evil.”

equal right with mine," I said ; "and God Himself “ Dear! dear !” muttered he; years

will not dispute our claim if we plead our heirship in since I thought about those old Bible names--years

His Son." and years !"

He did not reply. We had reached the City now, Here was a clear opening for saying a word in my and were crossing the Holborn Viaduct; presently my Master's cause : so I remarked, “ It is a wonderful journey would be at an end, and my new friend and I thing that if we forget to think about the Bible, or of would part, most likely for ever. “ Will

you Him by whose Divine will that Bible was written, yet

your name?” I said. God never forgets us, but waits close to us, ready to My real name is forgotten now, sir; it would be answer us if we choose to turn to Him with a word of useless to repeat it. I call myself Bob Dillon now.” feeble prayer for His aid.”

“ And have

you been at your present work long ?” " It would be wonderful if it were true.” The “More than five years. I have married a wife in words were so low I could scarcely catch them above my own sphere of life, and she and I try to keep an the deafening noise and turmoil of the streets.

honest home for our little ones; but we began low,


and year's

tell me

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »