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expressing at the
present. When they arose from their knees, they looked at each other, and at the lad, and felt ashamed.
William Milne now became a student in the missionary seminary at Gosport, and as he had before shown that his sympathies for the heathen did not lead him to neglect those immediately around him,
it was here. laborious evangelist in the villages of Hampshire. The
success of the William Mine befoie the examining committee.
South Sea missions A conversation with a friend, who told him that a drew his heart towards the sunny isles of the Pacific; brother of his was contemplating a missionary life, but he remained silent, and in this he acted wisely. drew his attention to his own duty with regard God designed him for a wider sphere than that to to missions. He prayed for guidance, he consulted which his heart tended.
which his heart tended. Milne proceeded to China, Christian friends, and he applied, through two where he joined Dr. Morrison in translating the ministers, to the London Missionary Society.
Scriptures into Chinese. He travelled about, preachA committee was appointed at Aberdeen to examine ing and teaching in several languages; and he had the young candidate, and when he first presented the joy of baptising one of the very first Chinese himself, most of them were afraid “that he would converts. He died, calmly and peacefully, after a not do.” One minister proposed that he should go lingering illness, June 2, 1822, at Malacca; and the out as a mechanic, rather than as a missionary.
last entry in his journal shows his devotedness to “Anything, anything," was his reply, “if only en- his Master's work :-"April 21st. Remained at home. gaged in the work. I am willing to be a hewer of Saturday and to-day assisted Mr. Ince in revising a wood, or a drawer of water, in the temple of my God.” Scripture catechism, which he is writing.” He was sent back for a month to reconsider the step which he proposed to take, and at length was accepted. This would be, apparently, towards the close of the
When Mr. Milne came before the presbytery of Aberdeen, the gentlemen were astonished at his uncouth dress, little corresponding with aspirations for literary fame. “Man judgeth by the outward appearance," and he was soon ordered to withdraw, and after blaming the gentleman who had sent him, it was at once agreed to send him home. Before the youth was called in, Dr. Philips expressed his regret that before deciding his fate they had not asked him to engage in prayer. On again entering the room they requested him to pray.
He instantly fell upon his knees, and addressed God with such humility and fervour,
RAIN FROM HEAVEN.
But ah ! there's never a despot
The gravest, yea, and the
saddest, Come bending at his feet, To feel their sore hearts
Great tears in the eyes of baby
Oh wee white king and darling,
OME years ago a home for poor
orphan children was founded in the Western States of America, and a gentleman travelled about from place to place, asking people to help to support it.
One day he found himself at a meeting in Yorkshire. The people
who listened to him were mostly poor workmen and workwomen, but his account of the orphan asylum, and of its little inmates, touched their hearts. There was a collection made afterwards. Even the smallest child seemed to have had a halfpenny given it for the collecting-box, which was passed around, and only one gave nothing, and that was a pretty girl of twelve, who had shed tears at the tale of poverty, and seemed particularly touched to hear of a little lame child who had evinced a disposition to do good to others despite her infirmity.
This girl's face had been so bright and earnest that the old clergyman had noticed it particularly, and now, as he watched her, he saw tears stealing through her fingers. Soon she arose and softly stole out of the church—for all this happened after service was over and the blessing uttered-and the clergyman scarcely expected to see the little, round, sunburnt face again.
However, that very afternoon, when he had had his tea and was walking slowly along a little green lane near the home of the friends to whom he was paying a visit, he saw a small compact figure in pink calico, crowned with a round straw hat exactly like a boy's, ducking short curtsies to him from a little distance, and he recognised the girl whom he noticed at the chapel, and nodded reassuringly to her. Seeing this she quickly advanced and stood close beside him.
“If yo' please, sir, yo' be t' gentleman as spoke t' us to-day, yander," she said softly, blushing and casting down her eyes. “And if yo' please, I'm fain ť speak t' yo'. I put naught int' box to-day, sir. It might be yo' noticed it, sir, and thought I did not care for t'
poor little children; but I did, sir." “ You are only a child yourself, my dear,” said the gentleman; “children are not expected to have money to give. You have the heart to give it, and this is a great thing; and when you are older you will be able to do more as you please.”
“ Yes, sir," replied the child; "and it's not as father would grudge me the money for the plate, but he's been mortal bad lately with a fever, and has just got about. But, sir, this is what I wanted to say to yo'. I heerd yo' tell, as you'd bid awa' a year and coom back again then and tell us what you'd seen and heard, and I wanted to ask yo' if I mightn't give what bit of money I might have—it couldn't be much to the poor
“ And sir for
READ JOSHUA xxiv. 32.
children, to the poor little things—when yo' come seems wrong to say 'twas me gave it; and please, sir, again ? That was what I wanted ť
if yo' must write a word after it, couldn't yo' just put “ Indeed you may, lassie,” said the old man. you can pray for them if you can do nothing else. I earned the money, if you please." wish rich old men and women had your kindly heart, “And that is the way it was written,” said the
clergyman. "Rain from Heaven.' But the angels Then the child said, softly, “Please, sir, I'd like to knew all about Maggie Zolliver. They had her record know when yo' come, if I chanced not to be at the written, I feel very sure.” chapel, and any one would bring me word. My name is Maggie-Maggie Zolliver, sir.” Then she dropped her little bobbing curtsey, and
THE GRAVE IN THE PROMISED LAND. The clergyman left the place, and remained away, as he said he would, a year.
When he returned he spent his first Sabbath morning in the chapel, and there, on the first bench, with a proud happy look in her eyes,
OSEPH on his death-bed had taken an oath of the sat a little girl, with a round brown face, and smooth,
children of Israel that they would not leave cropped, black hair, who clutched a folded paper tight
his bones in Egypt, but carry them up into the in her hand.
Promised Land. Moses had done accordingly; and all For a moment the old gentleman looked at her with through the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderout recognition. Then he recalled Maggie Zolliver, ness the bones of Joseph had been carried with them. grown as only a girl of twelve can grow in a year.
Now at length they entered into possession of the The plate was passed about, and she put a few pennies land, and the bones of Joseph found a resting-place into it, but when the rest were gone she lingered, and
there. came softly up to the reading-desk.
The purchase of a family burying-ground is no “Please, sir,” she said, “ I've stopped to gi' it to yo uncommon thing, and it often happens that the dead for fear 'twould be lost i’ the plate. It's for the little are brought from far to their grave.
But this was a poor children; and please might some of it be used peculiar case, and that not merely on account of the for the little lame girl yo' spoke of? I feeled as if great lapse of time, and the long carrying about of the I knowed her when you told us about her knittin' remains, but also from the motives actuating those the stockin' and all.”
concerned. Meanwhile the clergyman had opened the paper and Generally a burying-place is bought, and the dead found within it a sovereign.
are conveyed from a distance, from a natural wish that “ Why, Maggie, this is a great deal for one little those of one family should lie together, and that girl to give," said he. “ How did you get it? From survivors should be able to visit the graves of those some rich person, I suppose.”
whom they have lost. But here there was a deeper “No, I worked for it," replied Maggie, “and Lord motive. All concerned—Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and sent me work. Last summer there came a dry time, Joshua—all acted in faith. and there was no water for the laundry in the town This burying-ground was in the land of Canaanwhere they wash the clothes for the gentlefolk. We the Promised Land ; but Jacob bought it while yet a have a deep cistern, and the water there is cool and fresh stranger there, believing that God would fulfil His always; besides I'd caught a deal in barrels and hogs- | promise, and give that land to his posterity. Joseph heads, for the same thing had happened the year before, showed like faith. At the time of his death his people and I noticed it. And I went to the man that hires were still kindly treated in Egypt, and there seemed the washers and asked him if I might fetch water, and no likelihood that they would ever leave the home he promised me I could, and he said he'd give me a which they had found there. But Joseph died in the penny a pail. It was a bit of a walk, but I'm strong, full belief that God would visit them, and bring them and the dry time lasted a long while, and I emptied the out of that land into the Promised Land, and so he cistern and the hogshead and kept going to and fro all made them swear to lay his bones there. Moses also day, and when the wet spell did come I had my poond acted in faith in obeying his directions: and Joshua, earnt, and this is it, sir, if yo' please.”
in carrying them out fully, when the Promised Land “I think more of it than if a rich man had given
was entered. me a hundred pounds !” said the clergyman.
All was of faith. The hopes of all were centered I shall write down here, “A pound from little Maggie in the Promised Land. Through all delays and diffiZolliver,' and your name will be read to the poor little culties, faith in God's word was still maintained ; and children in the 'Home' in America."
at length every expectation was fulfilled. The children But Maggie dropped her curtsey again.
of Israel were put into possession, and the parcel of Please, sir, don't !” said she. “I didn't do it for ground, purchased hundreds of years before, received to be telled aboot. I'd feel shamed, and then 'twas the bones of Joseph. God gave me the means to earn
the money, and it
been called by his name, and remained perhaps to this day. But no such honour was desired by him. His heart was in the Promised Land, his dearest wish was to lie there at last. The Christian, if he chose the world as his portion, might rise perhaps to great honour; but he has chosen a better portion. He is content to be small and of no reputation here, so he may but win a place above. He has counted all but loss for Christ.
Joseph died, but he died in faith. The Christian must die too, but he also dies in faith. He falls asleep in Jesus. God will receive his soul. His body will go to corruption in the grave; but the day will come when the body also will rise again, glorified and immortal, to be for ever with the Lord. Then the earth will give up its dead.
Then from ancient and long-forgotten graves will come forth the saints which slept; then all of every age and clime who died in faith will rise in glory, and meet the Lord, and dwell together in the true Land of Promise.
In this case, the purchase of the
the ground and the carrying of the bones thither were of faith. But generally faith has to do, not with the seen, but with the unseen ; and the important question is, not where the body shall lie, but what is the state of the soul before God. Is there saving faith in Christ? Is there peace through His blood ? And this is a point that must be settled before death; this is a question for to-day.
Natural feeling seeks that those near akin to each other should lie together after death, and affection craves to be able to visit a beloved
but it is a far more precious thing that those of one family should also be one in the Lord ; and it is sweet to be able to think of the dead, whether they lie buried near or far away, as "not lost but.gone before." Be it our chief desire, our most earnest endeavour, our continual prayer, for ourselves and for all we love, that, living or dying, we may be the Lord's ; and that, wheresoever our mortal remains may rest, we may all awake with joy at the trumpet's sound !
Jacob buying a Burial-place.
believer. Long ago a purchase has been made, a title won, a place prepared. No gold or silver was paid, no title-deed was signed and sealed; the blood of Jesus procured this right, His merits form the title. Faith lays hold of the covenant of grace in Christ Jesus, and thus the believer becomes an heir of God, à partaker of the promised inheritance. He dwells now in a strange land, his journey is through the wilderness, enemies oppose him, and the way is long. Yet he does not, and cannot, make his rest here. The promise lives in his heart. His home is where his Saviour is. Such faith as Jacob and Joseph, Moses and Joshua, had about the land of Canaan, the believer has about the heavenly Canaan. He believes that God for Christ's sake will give him a place there, and he will seek no other resting-place for his soul.
If Joseph, great as he was in Egypt, had been content to rest in that land, it may be that a vast pyramid might have been built over him when dead, and