Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

pelting rain and utter darkness prevented any useful This intelligence put a happy end to our speculations observations.

as to the fate of our friends; and also solved for ourWe kept all as close together as we could—a strange selves the question what we were to do. group, as, lighted by the boat's lantern, we crouched Very thankful were we all when the captain welcomed under the canvas, lying on the damp boggy ground, or us back. We all agreed that the captain was right in leaning against the rock. We had scarcely crawled sending us at once ashore in the great uncertainty,into this place and begun to realise our position-some and though those, no doubt, fared best who remained of us verging on in life, and most of us accustomed to by the ship, still, for my own part, I confess I was glad all “ the comforts of the Salt Market,” and therefore to have escaped the great anxiety of hauling the vessel somewhat depressed—when a sailor proposed to keep off the rocks, when the chances were that she might up our spirits by singing a song. It was well enough have sunk at once like a kettle with a hole in it, and in its way, and certainly better than the other which

none escaped but those who could swim. they had sung in hauling up the boat, but not very Soon we were making progress for Ardrishaig. Besuitable for people who, through God's great mercy, fore six a.m. on Wednesday we landed at the pier, had just escaped from imminent peril of death. I I thanking God; and for ourselves, were in bed at therefore proposed some hymns instead. We sang the Bishopston before the little girls had even found out evening hymn, both Keble's and the other, Jerusalem that we had not come home at eight the night before, the Golden, and others used in the chapel here, in as we expected. which most of the party had been worshippers last The passengers urged upon the captain the desirableSunday. Then we had a short prayer commending ness of telegraphing at once to the Admiralty, and so ourselves to God's good keeping; and prepared to keep putting himself right there. He did so with some each other awake as best we could, for the seven hours trepidation. The First Lord at that time was the before us, as it was voted dangerous for any to fall Duke of Somerset, who likes his joke, as the House of asleep in our soaking state. I pulled out of my pocket Lords appears to know. He immediately telegraphed John Shairp's poem “Kilmahoe,” and read aloud “The

back the inquiry whether the Bishop of London was Sacramental Sabbath.” The Presbyterian minister of steering! And the captain, rightly taking this as an Lochgilphead, who was one of the party, read the next indication that the accident was not regarded with canto when I was tired. However, it seemed that

much gravity at headquarters, was immediately at something livelier was needed to keep the party awake,

peace. and the wonderful spirits of Archy Auchindarroch (just come home from India with the 72nd Highlanders, as fine a specimen of a spirited young soldier as I ever

GOOD COUNSEL. saw, who had really done wonders for us on our leaving the vessel), were far more effectual than the grave

HETHER therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatattempts of the minister and myself. Auchindarroch,

soever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” too, was a host in himself, keeping everybody's spirits

1. Never neglect daily, private prayer; up, and letting nobody fall asleep. His youngest son,

if possible have stated times for this exercise, and ten years old, was the only one who could not be kept when you pray, remember that God is present and awake.

that He hears your prayer.

II. Never neglect private Bible reading; and when less speculations where we might be-anxious ques.

you read remember that God is speaking to you, and tionings as to the ship — much thankfulness that that you are to believe and act upon what He says. we had not all gone to the bottom, and somewhat Backsliding generally begins with the neglect of fearful forebodings as to what might be the effect private prayer and Scripture reading. on elderly ladies and gentlemen, to say nothing of

III. Never let a day pass without trying to do young ones, from so unexpected a conclusion of our something for Jesus. Every night reflect on what pleasure trip.

Jesus has done for you, and then ask yourself, “ What About three, some streaks of day were descried, and am I doing for Him ?" at last our scouts announced that the vessel was at iv. If ever you are in doubt as to a thing being anchor at no great distance. It was resolved that the right or wrong, at once ask God's guidance and blessindomitable Archy Auchindarroch, with two sailors ing. If you cannot do this, stand still. and another gentleman, should row to the ship and v. Never take your Christianity from Christians, or ascertain how matters stood. About four, certain argue that because such and such people do so and so, tidings were brought to us that the vessel was safe

that therefore you may.

You should ask yourself, that when she cleared the rocks, to the captain's sur- “How would Christ act in my place ?” and strive to prise and great relief, he found that, as she had struck follow Him. on the keel, no hole had been made in her iron bottom vi. Never believe what you feel, if it contradicts -at least she had not let in any more water—though God's Word. Ask yourself, “Can what I feel be true, at first siie was reported to be letting it in, though

if God's Word is true ?” and if both cannot be true, slowly.

believe God, and make your own heart a liar.

W

And thus passed the seven hours. There were end

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

OME, ye thankful people, come,

Raise the song of Harvest Home;

All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin ;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied :-
Come to God's own temple, come,
Raise the song of Harvest Home.
All this world is God's own field,
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown ;
First the blade, and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear ;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take His Harvest Home;
From His field shall in that day
All offences purge away ;
Give His angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore.
Even so, Lord, quickly come,
To Thy final Harvest Home!
Gather Thou Thy people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin ;
There for ever purified,
In Thy presence to abide ;
Come, with all Thine angels, come,
Raise the glorious Harvest Home.

one of

A remedy, however, was soon sug. gested. By the side of the wood pile in the yard there were several long poles; and if the water should not prove too deep, it was evident that I could use them in place of the rope. With a long piece of cord a pole was sent down, and to my great joy I found that about four feet of it remained out of water.

I was thus enabled to do without the rope; and the bucket hav

ing been drawn up, I was left to make myself as comfortable as possible.

It was by this time broad daylight, and the guerillas were eagerly searching for those unhappy Frenchmen who, like me, had sought safety in concealment, when they found both flight and resistance impossible. At short intervals a discharge of musketry, followed by loud vivas, told me that the hunters had been successful, and showed me in the most unmistakable manner what sort of treatment I

had to expect at their hands if I should have the A FRENCH SOLDIER'S ADVENTURE.

calamity to be discovered. Not the least painful part

of the trial I had to endure was the apprehension that THEN a lieutenant in the French army serving the next minute would put the sufficiency of my hiding

in Spain, I had been billeted in a village place to the test. The posture, too, in which I was

which was suddenly attacked by guerillas. obliged to remain was exhausting in the extreme. With Many of my comrades were hunted out and shot down my legs at least four feet apart, and my toes thrust into without mercy. Fortunately I had made friends with crevices in the sides of the well, I leaned the whole my landlady, and she determined to do her best to weight of my body on the pole; and so, without any save me from death.

possibility of resting myself by even the most trifling From the back entrance to the house, a long covered change of position, I awaited the issue of events. passage led to the bottom of the yard, and about mid- Two hours had already passed, and I was really way in this passage was a rather deep well. My beginning to fear that my strength would give way, hostess proposed that I should descend in the when my landlady, who had kept away all this time bucket, as the guerillas would hardly think of looking because a party of guerillas were searching the neighfor me in such a place; and even if they should the bouring houses, appeared suddenly at the mouth of the passage was so ill-lighted that at a depth of some fifty well. or sixty feet I should most likely escape observation. “Señor Teodoro," said she, in that sort of frightened

We had at first agreed that I should thrust a foot whisper which one hears as distinctly as words spoken into each side of the crumbling walls of the well, and in a voice of thunder—"Señor Teodoro, I have so, supporting myself the best way I could, allow the brought you some bread and a flask of wine, as I am bucket to be drawn up, in order to avoid the suspicion sure you must need refreshment." which might be created by leaving it in so unusual a I was about to thank her warmly for the welcome position. But I found it to be quite impossible to do this. viands, when she interrupted me withI could by no means dispense with the rope. The well “ Waste no time in thanks, but recruit your strength, was so wide that, without a support in the middle, I which will yet be sorely tried.” She then lowered the should inevitably leave go my hold and be drowned. bread and wine by means of the cord which had served

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

to lower the pole, and, having done so, again withdrew. deadly faintness seized me; but the pain of my wound I had but just finished my loaf, and taken a draught prevented me from losing consciousness, and I was roused from the wine-flask, when, without a moment's warn- to fresh exertion by hearing the last of the guerillas ing, a party of some thirty or forty guerillas came depart. I then ventured to move, and, making a fresh rushing down the passage into the yard. It appeared appeal to my wine-flask, prepared myself to remain, if that now, having pretty well finished the bloody necessary, some time longer in my painful position. work they had undertaken, they had come with the Happily I was not put to the trial. Relief was determination of making a more rigorous search for close at hand. My comrades from a neighbouring me. They immediately dispersed themselves over the camp turned the tables on the Spaniards. It was now house, not forgetting to assure my hostess that they the turn of the guerillas to be hunted down and shot would, if they found that she had concealed me, wreak in cold blood ; and so enraged were the French that their vengeance on her.

they were with difficulty restrained from wreaking And now commenced a systematic hunt, in the their vengeance, not only on the guerillas, but also on course of which every part of the house was thoroughly the townsfolk, who were accused of having connived at, examined. No place was left unexplored where it was if they had not actually assisted in, the attack. My possible for a man to lie concealed. While all this was protectress, therefore, was not at all sorry to have so going on just over my head, I could hear every word good a voucher as to the friendly part she had played that was uttered almost as plainly as if I had been in in the affair as was afforded her by my presence ; and the midst of them. Fear is a wonderful quickener of I have the satisfaction of knowing that I thus repaid, the senses ; and my ears were so stimulated, as it were, in some small degree, the devotedness with which she by my intense anxiety to discover exactly what was had served me. Not that I could either say or do passing that I lost not a word or a sound, and I could anything to protect her from the insults and violence tell exactly what was going on as well as if I had seen to which her countrymen were exposed; for the every movement.

intense excitement I had undergone, coupled with Soon, however, to my great relief, the search seemed the bodily exhaustion consequent on so many hours to have been completed, and with inexpressible satis- of painful exertion, now that the danger was over, faction I heard the word given for their departure. proved too much for me, and nature fairly gave way. I was already beginning to draw breath more freely, On being hauled up, I swooned in the arms of my hoping that the peril had really passed, when the mouth deliveress, and the good lady had to tell her own story. of the well was darkened by the head and shoulders of As for me, I was roused from one fainting fit only to a guerilla, who was peering into the depths of my fall into another; and when I recovered entire conplace of refuge. Although I knew by actual experience sciousness, many days after, I found myself prostrate that the eye could not penetrate so low, yet my blood

from an attack of brain fever—the not unnatural seemed to rush back on my heart at the sight, and, result of all that I had undergone. I had been literally, I dared not breathe, lest the slightest sound carried insensible to the convent, and it was long ere I should betray me. Now, too, I offered an earnest could crawl from it to the town. When I did so, my appeal to the Almighty for protection, the horror and first visit, of course, was to my kind hostess. Alas! the helplessness of my situation entirely overcoming the house had been closed for some days, and its mistress forgetfulness of Him with which the soldier but too had gone none could tell me where. But I had little often meets the dangers and trials incident to his time for vain regrets.

I was soon well enough to set out calling.

for my regiment, which, during my sickness, had been For a few seconds, which to me were hours of

sent on active service. agonising suspense, the Spaniard strove to penetrate Such, however, was my escape from death. I cannot the deep shadow of the well, and then, remarking look back on the incident without the deepest emotion, that he would make assurance doubly sure, he seized or without feeling that if all men are bound to be a large stone which lay near, and dashed it into the

ready for their great change, the soldier has double opening. I saw the missile lifted high above his head. reasons to be so, seeing that he carries, as it were, his I could remark even the compressed lip, the deep life continually in his hand. inspiration, and the knitted brow-and then, as I involuntarily closed my eyes and commended myself to God, the stone, with a tremendous splash, fell into

AN OLD LETTER. the water at my feet.

SALUTE you with grace, mercy But although I escaped with life, I did not escape

and

from God

peace without injury. In it descent, the missile just grazed our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. I my temple, inflicting a iung, but happily superficial heard, with grief, of your great danger of perishwound. I had nerve enough, however, not to cry out, ing by the sea, but of your merciful deliverance, with and, what was of equal importance, strength of boly joy. Sure I am, brother, Satan will leave no stone enough not to give way under this additional trial of my unrolled, as the proverb is, to roll you off your Rock, powers of physical endurance. For a moment I feared or, at least, to shake and unsettle you : for at the same that I must have dropped, for my brain swam, and a

time the mouths of wicked men were opened in hard

[ocr errors]

66

End your

speeches against you, by land, and the prince of the nothing very much more delightful than to hear what power of the air was angry with you, by soa. See, then, their mother could find to tell. how much you are obliged to that malicious murderer, At first there was a discussion as to what should be who would beat you with two rods at one time ; but, the subject; should it be a tale of long ago, or one of blessed be God, his arm is short : if the sea and winds the familiar Scripture historics which none of them would have obeyed him, you had never come to land. ever found dull or wearisome? Presently Ellen said, Thank your God, who saith, “I have the keys of hell “Let mother choose," and all were quickly agreed ; and of death." “ I kill and make alive." “ The Lord for this was one of the happy homes wherein the exbringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up." If Satan ample of a Christian father and mother burns far too were jailer, and had the keys of death and of the grave, brightly to admit of the constant bickering and quarthey should be stored with more prisoners. You were relling to be heard in some families. knocking at these black gates, and found the doors Mrs. Harding looked into the glowing coals a shut; and we do all welcome you back again.

moment, and then, as if she had found her subject I trust you know it is not for nothing that you are there, said, “I will tell you a story which was told to sent to us again : the Lord knew you had forgotten me when I was a child. It is about my own grandsomething that was necessary for your journey ; that father, your great-grandfather.” your armour was not as yet thick enough against the "That is great-grandmother's picture upstairs," restroke of death. Now, in the strength of Jesus, marked Alfred. “She is dressed in a funny way, and dispatch your basiness ; that debt is not forgiven, but has long mittens on her arms.” deferred : death hath not bidden you farewell, but • Yes,” said Mrs. Harding; "for people wore their hath only left you for a short season.

clothes cut after a very different fashion to ours of the journey, ere the night come upon you ; have all in present day. I feel sure it was in much such a dress readiness against the time that you must fall through as you see in the picture of her that your greatthat black and impetuous Jordan ; and Jesus, Jesus, grandmother sat reading to herself one evening, long, who knoweth both these depths and the rock and all long years ago, when her husband ordered her to burn the coasts, be your Pilot; the last tide will not wait her Bible." for you one moment; if you forget anything, when “Burn her Bible !" cried Lucy. “Why, was not your sea is full, and your foot in that ship, there is no that

very wrong?" returning again to fetch it. What you do amiss in “And was not your grandfather a good man, your life to-day, you may amend to-morrow; for as mother?added Ellen. many suns as God maketh to arise upon you, you have “He became so, my children—from the evening of as many new lives. But you can die but once ; and if which I am going to tell you, he was a different creayou mar that business, you cannot come back to mend ture. But in his younger days my grandfather was that piece of work again. No man sinneth twice in one of those unhappy men who seemed to think there dying ill; as we die but once, so we die but ill or well is something clever and superior in saying they do not

You see how the number of your months is believe in anything;' believe neither in heaven nor written in God's book; and as one of the Lord's hell; believe neither in God nor His Son, our Lord hirelings, you must work till the shadow of the Jesus Christ. When I tell you this, you will not evening come upon you, and you shall run out your wonder that he had no love for God's Word, and that glass even to the last grain of sand. Fulfil your course if he saw his wife reading it, he grew very angry. But with joy ; for we take nothing to the grave with us, she said she had never seen him so much enraged but a good or evil conscience. And although the sky against the Bible as he was on that evening when, in clear after this storm, yet clouds will engender another. Divine mercy, he was awakened to see his sin. He

Samuel Rutherforch was just recovering from a trying illness, and needed

much nursing and care ; he was irritable too, and fretful, as many invalids are. Your great-grandmother

had given him his medicine and food, and seeing him, THE OLD FAMILY BIBLE.

as she thought, sleeping quietly in his chair by the fire,

she placed herself opposite him, and laying her large OTHER, do tell us a story,” said the eldest of

Bible on her knee, was soon absorbed in its contents. the four young Hardings, as they sat round How long it was she did not fully know, but it seemed

the kitchen fire one wet winter Sunday a short while until she heard him mutter an angry evening.

oath, and starting forward, point to the glowing “Yes, do," echoed Lucy, who came next in age. fire. " It seems so long, because we could not go out to the 66 Burn it!' he cried. · Do you wear me, Mary? service with father.”

Throw that book of yours into the flames, for I loathe George and Alfred never did go out, even on fine the very sight of it! It fills the minds of silly women nights. They were not nearly old enough for that; with impossible stories, and I'll not have it in my but they were quite as ready as their sisters for a story, house.' and in the opinion of all these children there was “At first she scarcely believed him serious, and tried

once.

"M

« ZurückWeiter »