« AnteriorContinuar »
The writer of the following has unfortunately become a sufferer from the extensive Bush fires above referred to. The industry and prudent forethought which he has manifested is highly creditable to himself, and gives encouragement to hope that, notwithstanding his misfortune, he may yet occupy a respectable position in society :
Geelong, Port Philip, Australia, Feb. 19th, 1851. My dear Friend,— 'Tis with feelings of a melancholy nature that I now pen these few lines to you. I have written several times, but have received no answer to any of them, which has created great uneasiness about you all ; for I often think something serious must have happened to some of you, or I should have heard from you. As soon as you receive this write to me to allay my fears. All I can say of myself is that I am doing very well, but I have been very unfortunate lately. I work hard, but misfortune seems to frown on all my efforts. I stopped in the Bush for eighteen months, and brought £40 into town, and bought an acre of land, and built a fourroomed cottage, which I thought would bring me in 14s. per week rent; and so it would, but on February the 8th there were some terrible bush fires, which swept the whole of the farms for fifty miles, and my cottage among them was completely burned to the ground. The distress of the poor farmers was horrible to behold, but by the kindness of the inhabitants of Geelong, who gave great sums to alleviate their sufferings, £3,000 was raised in one day, and they are raising large sums daily; and I feel my loss severely; but in other respects I am better off now than ever I was in England, or ever should have been. I can always find plenty of employment either in town or country. I am greatly respected by all who know me. Thank God, I am rich in a good name, but poor in pocket. When I say poor, I do not mean as at home, for I am not without a few pounds, thank God; but you must remember that I live in a land where every sober and steady man has got money in the bank ; but, please God, I shall soon retrieve my loss. I sincerely hope to come to Old England to see you again. I feel that I must, if I go back to Australia again. I am now learning the bricklaying, for I feel that the trade will be worth money to me when I have learned it. At first I repented emigrating, but I soon learned I was better off. I have seen much of the country. I keep a log. I only wish I could send it you; I will if human contrivance can do it; every word of it is truth, so that you may rely on it. Melbourne, the capital of Port Philip, is getting quite a large place. Give my compliments to Mr. Shellum; tell him that I am still learning, for since I have been away I have found that the advice he always gave was good, though then I paid no attention to it.
JAMES CHARLES W[To be left at the Geelong Post Office.]
SILENT INFLUENCES. We do not always understand how powerful these are. When some incident occurs to remind us of it, or some noticeable illustration of it is given in our experience, we are startled for the moment into surprise and awe. Our ordinary life seems wonderful and fearful; it becomes invested upon the instant with an immeasurable responsibility. A parent lets fall a remark before a thoughtful and sensitive child, which arrests his attention. It may have been merely the tone in which it was uttered, or the peculiar collocation of its words, or some equally insignificant circumstance connected with it makes him notice it, and the parent has no idea that he has noticed it. He hardly thinks of it indeed again, but loses it again in the instant rush and press of life. But it sticks for some reason in the child's thoughts, and will not out; and years after, it is freshly remembered. A whole system of action and belief has sometimes been drawn out of such a remark, and the destiny has been shaped by it. A man of cultivation and social attractiveness, especially if he hold some position of influence and distinction, as a journalist, a statesman, a professional man, is often little aware--because he has strangely forgotten the days of his boyhood-how wide and permanent are the influences he
SOWING AND REAPING.-AFTER FRUIT.
leaves upon the society he passes through. What he says may not be remembered; but what he is, will be. Many think of him with pleasure, and with a secret wish to know him and be guided by him, of whom he does not think at the time.
SOWING AND REAPING. UNDER the government of God there is a blessed inter-dependence of sowing and reaping—there is a sure connection of cause and effect, although often at wide intervals. In the spiritual husbandry of God's vineyard, there is a mutual interchange of work and reward. One generation or set of men labour, and a succeeding generation entereth into their labours ; and the reward of those that sow in one age is the harvest others reap in the next. They do not always reap who sow; but that precious promise, “He that goeth forth with weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless return again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves,” is fulfilled thus: They return from sowing at one time, with sheaves of harvest which they or others have sown at another, it may be a long time ago; and the foot of the sower treads upon the heel of the reaper.
Sooner or later, but ever in the great Husbandman's good time, the seed sown beside all waters is sure to come up. The world's great Owner has ever an eye upon his seed. It is ours to go forth and sow, to sow in hope, to sow in tears, but never doubting that we, or others in our stead, will in due time return with rejoicing, bringing the sheaves with them.
When there comes over the land a general and mighty revival of religion, then it will be seen and acknowledged how much the humble country pastors, and colporteurs, and tract-distributors, and faithful Sabbath School teachers, have had to do with bringing it to pass ; when others will enter into their labours, whose arms shall be heavy with the golden sheaves of a spiritual harvest, for which the seed is even now being sown.
Though seed lie buried long in dust,” and you may think it wasted and decayed, it is never lost. If not on this side of the grave, it shall spring on the other, and thou shalt be RECOMPENSED AT THE RESURRECTION OF THE
Work on, work ever; hope on, hope ever, for thy reward is sure.
AFTER FRUIT. In a small village in Suffolk lived a labourer and his wife; they had one son, a soldier in India ; he left them when a young man, and many a time have I listened to the old woman's joyous anticipations of her son's return; he did return, a man young in years, but old in wickedness, wounded, a cripple, and invalid for life, and indeed it was thought his time here would be short; however, he gained strength, and with the partial restoration of his health, it became evident what his previous habits had been, and I fear his parents had but little comfort in his return ; it pleased the Almighty that his bodily sufferings should be protracted for a long period. I think he came home in 1839 or 1840, from that time till 1847 he continued in the same hopeless state of both mind and body, occasionally when very ill appearing repentant, but again relapsing to his former careless state, he grew weaker, so he was not able to walk about the neighbourhood as he used to do, for lame as he was he had contrived with the help of a stick to get about; at this time he used to add a little to his pension by working as a tailor for the labourers. During this period he was visited by the minister and other people; two young ladies, sisters, living in the place, were very grieved at his ignorant state. and used to read and talk with him ; he professed great respect for them, but they looked in vain for any sign of the new birth
unto righteousness ; they both, I think, felt that he loved the “messenger and not the message,” and both were called
away before the good seed had taken root. Several years afterwards he told me, he was one evening standing in the road quite tipsy; one of these young ladies passed, and said to him, “Tom, I do not think I can ever speak
to you again, I am so grieved to see you thus ;" he said he thought nothing of it then, but he never saw the lady again, she died a few weeks afterwards.
In the summer of 1847 I called at the cottage, and in the course of conversation he expressed a wish to learn to read, he said he had, years ago, many opportunities of learning, and he knew his letters, but when in health he never cared to learn, but now if he had a spelling-book he thought he could teach himself. I procured a common child's spelling-book, with easy lessons from the Psalms and Testament in it; in a few weeks he had managed to learn well enough to read these lessons, and could understand what he read, and spoke of the pleasure it gave him to be able to do so, and how earnestly he would recommend every one to learn if they had opportunity. He gradually became a changed man in outward manners, and I trust the inner man was changed also ; he gladly welcomed the visitors who would read and converse with him. In the following winter he kept in bed from, I think, January to April or May; he was a great sufferer, very patient and cheerful, and when able to sit up in bed, would sew, making bed quilts of pieces of print, and embroidering little pieces of cloth to make mats or pincushions ; he had learned how to embroider in India of a native tailor belonging to his regiment, and curious birds and flowers would he fashion truly un-English ; these were given to those people who visited him, and very gratefully, were any little odd bits of cloth or floss silk received by him ; he was ingenious and neat in his work, and beguiled many a weary hour with his needle. When he came down stairs after being in bed all winter, he appeared more refined and chastened. He looked on the beautiful trees and green meadow in front of his cottage with a different eye, admired their beauty, and spoke of them as the work of God. He said he could see the hand of God in every event of his life, said how differently he felt years ago, now he had a Saviour to look to, and if he were ever well enough would tell that Saviour's name and all he had done for him to other young men living in wickedness; he was never able to do that, but he lived long enough to show to all who saw him what wonderful work had been done in him. He delighted to hear the Gospels read, entered vividly into all the narrative parts, and after hearing them would appear as if the scene was before him. I recollect once after reading the 20th and 21st chapters of John to him, he said to his mother in the night, “I have been thinking of what Miss B. read to me about Jesus supping with the disciples, and I think ere long I shall be one of that glorious company.” He was at this time extremely deaf, but still I could make him hear for a short time, and used to be struck at his good memory and clear perception.
Two days before his death he sent for me to bid me good-bye ; he was much exhausted by coughing, but was able to welcome me, and asked me to read and pray with him; afterwards he told me how he valued that spellingbook, he had read the lessons in it so often that he was quite impressed with the truth of those simple words, and added earnestly, “I look upon
that book as the means of bringing me to God; I never should have known my own sinfulness but for that.' I was surprised at the earnestness of his words and manner, but it taught me that God does not despise any instrument however humble, that leads a sinful being to himself, neither do we know how the giving of a book, or the teaching of a lesson may be blessed. Oh! let all who can, and surely all may do something for another-let them never be discouraged at the small means they have, or be faint-hearted because they see no present fruit. “ Let us never weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap
if we faint not.”
I saw the poor man once more; he was then very feeble, but said in answer to a question as to how he felt, that all was peace, and he felt his Saviour with him.
His death took place in May, 1849 ; he had a long and suffering illness, but during the latter part of it, frequently expressed his sense of mercy granted in thus being permitted time to seek that Saviour whom he had so long neglected.
The Children's Gallery.
THE BOY THAT WISHED TO must mean something quite different to LOVE HIS NEIGHBOUR.
making companions and friends of the
ungodly and ill-conducted. Well, as it MASTER,” said a boy at a Ragged does not mean that, let us School, can you tell me who is my it does mean ; let us see how our blessed neighbour?"
Lord himself expounded it. When the “Why do you want to know that, young man asked him the very same Will ? " said the master, smiling.
question you asked me, what did he “Because, sir, I have been reading this answer ? chapter," Will answered; and he pointed “He told a parable about a man being to the Gospel of St. Luke x. 27, and robbed and wounded by thieves,” said read the words, “Thou shalt love the Will Morrisson ; "and how a priest and Lord thy God with all thy heart, and a Levite passed by without helping him, with all thy soul, and with all thy and how at last a poor Samaritan came strength, and with all thy mind; and thy and helped him." neighbour as thyself.”.
“And who did the young man think "Well, what troubles you in that, my was neighbour unto him that fell among boy? Which of these two command- thieves ? ments do you think it wisest to keep ?” “The man that had pity upon him,"
“Why, sir, that is what I was thinking said Will. about. Sometimes one does not feel to “ Yes; and does that show you who is love God at all-one forgets somehow; our neighbour?" but when one comes to think about God, “Any one, I think, that we can show and about his goodness—how he keeps us pity and kindness to,” said Will. every moment of our lives—above all, "Just so," said the master.
“ That how he gave his Son to die for us—why wretched woman who is your neighbour then"
one way, because she lives next door to Well, my boy, what then ? "
you, should only be considered your Why then, sir, we can't help loving neighbour, in the gospel sense, when you God, bad as we are we can't help it ; so can do her any manner of good, by word I can understand that commandment, or by deed. Were you to seek her comsir; but I don't quite understand the pany, or that of her children while they other, about loving our neighbour as our- were rioting in sin, or offending God by selves."
gross language, you would break the “And why not?”
Scripture precepts instead of keeping “Because my neighbour is a very bad them. But if you saw them in misery, one; the wife gets drunk and quarrels sickness, or suffering, you would obey the with her husband, and lets the children gospel precept by going to them, and run into bad ways; and the man swears, trying to relieve them. You would wish and uses dreadful language : do what I others to act thus by you, and by acting can, sir, I can't love them, and I don't
would prove that you loved your like to keep company with them.” neighbours, in the gospel sense, as your
“And do you think, Will, that God self; because what you would desire to gave us this commandment knowing we be done to yourself you tried to do for could not keep it ? ”
them." No, sir, I don't think that."
“But, sir, I have nothing to give, and “Well, let us think how it is to be I could do little for any one ; so I don't kept. First, do you think it would be know how I am ever to practise that comright for you to keep company with the mandment.” bad neighbours you have ? Think of “My boy,” said the master, "you have some other text of Scripture that advises doubtless often heard the saying, you against such companions.”
"Where there is a will there is a way. “Evil communications corrupt good You know it was the servant who had manners," said Will. My son, enter only received one talent who would not not into the path of the wicked, and go use it in his Lord's service. Now, it is not in the way of evil men.”.
likely you have only got one talent to use “Yes," said the master; “and, as in the way of practising this commandScripture cannot contradict itself, you see ment; but, if so, remember to use it. that to love your neighbour as yourself | You cannot do much perhaps in tending
TIIE CHILDREN'S GALLERY.
the sick, or feeding the hungry, or clothing the naked; because your time is not your own, and you have barely food and clothing enough for yourself. But you can give a kind word instead of an unkind one ; you can set a good example instead of a bad one ; you can breathe a prayer instead of uttering a reproach. Above all, remember that if you love God yourself, the best way to show love to your neighbour is to use every means that may be in your power to make others love God also. So remember, Will, that every one to whom we may do good, whom we can comfort, or relieve, or improve, is our neighbour ; that what we do, be it much or little, is accepted by Christ as the cup of cold water, given in the name of a disciple, provided it be done in love and in faith, for his dear sake: that every time we refrain from speaking an ill word of any one, recollecting that we should not wish any one to speak such an ill word of us, we are trying to practise the command to love our neighbour as ourselves; and every time we feel God's love and goodness, and seek to bring others to feel the same, we are practising that command just as much, nay a vast deal more, than if we gave all our goods to feed the poor.”
It was long after this conversation that a circumstance occurred which appeared first to explain it. I am going to tell what that circumstance was. Will Morrisson was put to a trade; he was an out-door apprentice. His parents were poor; but the boy had been sent to school, and was able to read and write well. He had got a Bible at the evening school, which he still went to. After the conversation I have related, his parents observed that Will was in greater haste to go out on evenings than he used to be. As soon as he came from work he washed and cleaned himself, took his Bible off the shelf, buttoned his pocket over it, and went out. They remarked that it was too early to go to the school, and besides that the school was not held every evening; but yet every evening Will put his Bible in his breast and went out. Curiosity led soine one to watch where he went. He was followed; and where do you think he was found ?
In a poor room a young girl lay dying of consumption; and Will Morrisson sat on a box in that room reading the Bible to the dying girl, who could not read it for herself. He had wished to know who was his neighbour. He had found who was his neighbour. He had wished to
practise the great commandment to love his neighbour as himself. He had found a means of practising it. Where there was a will there was also a way. He wished to love his neighbour as himself; his Bible was dear to himself, and so he shared his treasure with one who needed it. He knew that Christ gave the words of eternal life, and he brought those words to the dying girl that she might have hope in her latter end, because some of Christ's words of life are these“ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall be live." “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Thus did Will Morrisson try to practise what he knew. It is a fearful thing to know, and not to practise ; for he who knew his Lord's will and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. And the poorest, and lowest, and most ignorant can find some means of practising the precepts they are taught in the gospel. It is still more fearful to know what is right, and continue to do what is wrong. If you have no other way of showing that love
your neighbour, you can show it in one of the very best ways; that is, by
good example. That is the way Christ himself pointed out when he told his disciples to teach the world by their good works to glorify their Father in heaven. It is God alone who can enable us to do good and to be good. It is by depending on his strength, and asking constantly for his grace, that we can hope to endeavour to keep his two great commandments -to love God with all our soul, and mind, and strength; and to love our neighbour as ourselves.- Child's Companion.
TRUE SYMPATHY. “Be ye kindly affectioned one to another.” Two twin sisters, of thirteen years of age, were induced to go to a Ragged School lately opened in the neighbourhood. They could not read even the letters, were very wild, and of quarrelsome unforgiving tempers, often threatened to leave the school, owing to quarrels with some schoolfellow. At the end of a year they could read in the Testament; one of them soon became a monitor of the younger classes, was amongst the most cheerful and intelligent of the girls, and remarkably grateful for the benefits of the school. By saving a few pence she was