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daughter, who, working at a flax-mill still for this lone woman in her lone in the neighbourhood, toiled hard, and cottage, without any great cause to de contented herself with plain dress and for, to sit there and see the fire creepsimple fare, that she might help to | ing closer, drawing nearer and nearer maintain her mother. Before leaving to her feet. By the time I entered it the cottage for her work, she was in had almost reached her where she sai, the habit of heaping up the refuse of motionless, speechless, pale as death, the mill in the grate and kindling it. looking down on the fire as it was She placed her helpless mother in a about to seize her clothes and burn her chair right before the fire, and, as this to a cinder. Ere it caught I had time, fuel burned slowly away, the old wo and no more, to make one bound from man was kept comfortable till her the door to the hearthstone, and return. It happened one day that I seizing her, chair and all, in my armii, left my manse, and skirting the walls to pluck her from the jaws of a cruel, of the old churchyard, and passing the fiery death. corn mill with its busy sound and Here we recognize the ordinary laws flashing wheel, I took my way down of nature: those of fire, which, kept the dell to the cottage of the old woman, alive by the oxygen of the atmosphere, which stood in its garden embowered consumed the refuse; that of grariamong trees. But having met a pa
tation, which, when the fire had eaten rishioner, with whom I had some subject away the foundation and left it icp of interest to talk about, I called a heavy, tumbled it on the floor; thai halt; and, sitting down on a bank of of impulse, by which, when it fell, it thyme, we entered into conversation. was projected beyond the hearthstone Ere the subject was half exhausted the to surround the paralytic with a widow rose to my recollection. I felt flaming circle. somehow that I must cut short and By what law of nature was I moved hasten away on my visit. But the that day, instead of visiting other sick, idea was dismissed, and the conversa- | to turn my steps to the cottage of this tion went on. However, it occurred poor woman? By what law of natur, again and again, till, with a feeling when I lingered on the road, was I that I was neglecting a call of duty, as moved, without the remotest idea of by an uncontrollable impulse, I rose to her danger, to cut short, against all my feet, and made all haste to the cot- | my inclinations, an interesting COItage. Opening the door, a sight met versation, and hurry on to the house, my eyes that, for a moment, nailed me which I reached just at the very mik to the spot.
of time? One or two minutes later, The pile of mill-refuse, which had the flames had caught her clothes, and been built from the hearth some feet I had found her in a blaze of fire. lo up the wide open chimney, having its | look on this as a case of special provifoundation eaten away, had fallen, and, dence some may regard as superstitious precipitating itself forward, had sur and denounce as inconsistent with the rounded the helpless paralytic with a spirit and philosophy of the age, as a circle of fire. The accident took place mere relic of the days of ignorance some minutes before I entered. She | and darkness. I leave them to had cried out, but no ear was there to their cold philosophy and “scienes hear, nor hand to help. Catching the | falsely so called.” Be it mine to live loose refuse around her, on and on, and die in the belief of a present and nearer and nearer, the flames crept. | presiding as well as personal God; in It was a terrible sight for the two Wig- the faith which inspired my aged town women martyrs, staked far out | friend to thank him for the wonderin the sands of the Solway Frith, to ful deliverance, and the boy to exmark the sea-foam crawl nearer and plain his calm courage on the nearer to them; it was more terrible | roaring deep in those simple but
and words, “My Father is at the her latter end into peace, made a
mighty difference to the mourners Edinburgh was the scene of another around her bed, and especially to her mgg which- a matter, not of life or eminently devoted and pious mother. eath, but of dying peace-I also She who had been left like many other out providential. A lady belonging ministers' widows, to struggle with
my congregation, a very lovely poverty, had been borne up as few Eristian-whom I knew to be ill, but have been by the remarkable faith in a * in danger-was dying on a day | presiding Providence. That venerable at I was dragging myself home, I woman saw God's hand in everything. cary and worn out with long hours Her Father had done this, and her work. It occurred to me, on finding Father had sent that; and for myself paelf near the street where she lived, I wish I had the same ever-present, at I should go and see her; but, magnanimous, holy trust in God's proing more fit for a sofa than further vidence as bore her through a sea of Iice, I dismissed the idea and walked troubles, and made her regard me that ninking of the poet's line,
day as sent to do an angel's office; to s plongman homeward plods his weary way.
smooth her Jennie's entrance into that
better world-ministering to an heir of But the idea occurred again, only to salvation, dismissed. I said to myself, there It is not always easy, I admit, to Lothing very serious in her case. distinguish the merely marvellous from ut it came back again and again; yet | the providential, nor the providential resolved to shake off this feeling, and from the miraculous; and many things uking over it, made my way home; which sincere and pious Christians 11 had actually passed the opening have fondly considered as special inthe street when the impression re terpositions of Providence, may, I mund with irresistible force, and, grant, admit of much controversy. rorised by the circumstance, I re But to regard all events as but the reod my steps and turned them to sults of the common laws of nature
is, in effect, to shut God out of the How was I astonished to be met at government of His own world. To tdoor with the news that she was represent God as standing by, a mere ing, and how great was my astonish spectator, with His hands tied, so to sit and grief also to find this best speak, so that He can neither interpose d brightest of saintly women in deep to confer blessings nor inflict judgpor dency! A dark cloud hung | ments, is to mock Him with the shadow
that blessed soul; it was like the of a kingly crown, and clip the wings tiration over the Saviour's cross; by which-lifting above the cloudy I seemed to hear that awful cry, | regions of care and doubt-prayer ty God, my God, why hast thou raises us to the skies. It may be in a aken me?" There we were, she way unknown to, and inscrutable by, gling with death, and I with her us; but unless God, interposing, takes var. It pleased God so to bless | an actual and active part in our fate
uth I was sent, as I believe, to and fortunes, I see no sense in prayer. before her, so to bless the prayers flicted and astonished mother and
THE OLD COLLIER. Thered up, that, ere her sun sank in In the beautiful picturesque county ht, it came forth from the cloud I of Somerset lived an old collier, emihant, and to all appearance larger nent for his deep-toned piety, and the lever. Death in the dark had fervent attachment that he manifested is no eventual difference to this to the missionary enterprise. The and loving follower of the Lamb, 1 providence of God had cast his lot in de lifting of the cloud, turning | the coal-mining district of Radstock,
in the vicinity of Frome, where, with Yet this was not altogether the ol the sweat of his brow, he obtained his collier. His religion had, indeed, ri bread, by spending a considerable por- pened in comparative seclusion, but hi tion of his time in one of those dark life was useful. As a professed follower and deep pits, where the rays of the of Christ, he was constant in attend sun never penetrate. We should almost ance on all the ordinary meetings at as easily expect to find examples of the church, and strenuous in his engodliness in the pit of perdition, as in deavours to provoke others to love ank: one of those coal-pits, where so many good works. There was a noblenes imprecations are heard, did we not oc of soul within him that could not ! casionally meet with a precious jewel, circumscribed by the narrow limits that assures us it is not all blackness his daily avocation, and through h and darkness, but that in the most rude exterior glistened the pure brigh depraved places there are sometimes ness of a genuine Christian characte happy exceptions of persons who call In the cause of missions he was deep upon the name of the Lord. The Lord interested; the tenor of his actio has his hidden ones in circumstances showed that it lay near his heart, un and local situations where we least that he was anxious, in some war, i expect them. Sometimes he shows us be instrumental in carrying forway an old weather-beaten mariner, grown the benevolent operations. When th grey in the midst of a fierce and un
anniversary meetings of the distrs governable crew, steering his course were being held, in the several place towards the New Jerusalem, and guided of worship in the neighbourhood, } by the Star of Bethlehem ; at other was generally present at them a times, we are greeted by the Christian allowing no trivial matter to deprive smile of an old miner, betraying an him of the luxury of the feast he wa intimate acquaintance with the de there accustomed to enjoy. As a spised Galilean, and such a richness of officiating minister was going to ou Christian experience as serves to shame of these meetings, he overtook the ai our timidity and enlarge our hearts. collier on the road, who put into k We feel, in company with him, as hands a brown paper parcel, re though we were travelling through the securely packed, and tied and seals shaft of a mine, where one stroke of with an injunction not to open it runt the mattock, to the right or to the left, after the chairman had delivered t. may possibly discover to us a new view introductory speech. The meeting, of precious ore. On the very spot usual, commenced with prayer ; where we expect to find only thorns
was a very good prayer, but and briers, we find a cultivation like seemed very long, as the minist the garden of the Lord, and sweeter was considerably exercised with co flowers than are wont to bloom in the jectures about the brown paper part more frequented parts of Christendom. Next followed the chairman's speech In the midst of the desert we often it was a very good speech, well adapt find the loveliest roses, and from the to the occasion, but to the minister rudest copse we often hear the sweetest appeared very long, for he was wishini notes of the nightingale. There are to open the brown paper parcel. In children born to the Lord, as the dew sently the time came; the chairs of the morning, silently and secretly, finished his speech and introduce before daybreak ; and there are Chris another speaker to the meeting; tians so circumstanced, as to illustrate the minister, sitting by his side, the poet's beautiful comparison : solved to satisfy his curiosity by lean * Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
ing the contents of the brown pap The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
parcel. Out came the penknife, ty Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, I went the string, and lo! on open!
And waste its sweetness on the desert air." ! it, the brown paper parcel becam
hanged into a white paper parcel, | that soweth and he that reapeth rejoice aring on it the inscription, in bold together. Etters, “WE ARE ALL INSIDE, SIR.” I inside! thought he. And pray
THE VIOLETS' LESSON. ho are all you inside? To work rain went the penknife, prepared to
FOR THE YOUNG. ate a valiant assault upon these ONE bright day early in springysterious "all insides.” The reader time a cluster of timid violets, which ay imagine his surprise on discover had pushed their way up through the 3 them to be eight silver coins, damp mould, opened their eyes and uralent to a sovereign, offering looked out on the world around them. emselves for missionary work, ac They found themselves just within the mpanied with the following letter : edge of a large wood, with noble old "Dear Sir,- We have been in many
forest-trees lifting their heads in
stately grace on every side, and vigorfferent places, and in many very
ous young saplings shooting up hero flerent companies and conditions,
and there between. The whole wood t always the most respectable. At
was filled with the music of the birds, st, one by one, we have come into
which had flown north from some e possession of our present owner,
sunny clime to herald the approach of ho has put us aside for a while, and
summer. And close beside the timid w offers us to the Lord of Missions,
violets, so near that they could lean you will accept of us for His service.
over and look down into its clear We are yours faithfully, from
waters, a bright stream went hurrying AN OLD COLLIER.”
by, out into the meadows and fields "N.B. We have no objection to go
beyond, and on, on, as far as the road, as any country or climate will
violets could see; how much farther fit us.'
they did not know. Everything about In a corner of the church sat the them was so grand or so beautiful, Id collier, studiously observant of the and so full of life, that the poor little motions of the audience, to ascertain violets felt themselves very insignifi
it were probable that many others cant beings indeed in this strange, yuld be disposed to engage inside glad world, into which they had laces on an embarkation to the hea entered. And they shrank closer
together, as if each would shelter itA day or two afterwards the last self behind the other, when the golden seting in the district was held, and April sunshine, glancing through the I appropriate sermon was preached budding boughs above them, spied to the words, “ The end." The old them out, and sent a stray beam to llier, returning home, under a deep cheer them and brighten up their deliapression produced by the subject, cate blue petals. Presently a bird ad to a young friend, with much perched himself on one of the branches mphasis and solemnity, as though he of a graceful elm close by, and da presentiment of his own ap- | warbled as if he would pour out his oaching dissolution, “ Who can tell ? very heart in music-such a song of arhaps this may be the end to some life and gladness and love!
“Oh!" sighed one of the violets, And so it proved. The next morn when the strain paused for a moment,
as he was descending the pit, “ if we could have voices like that, large stone fell upon his head, and | to rejoice every living thing within de accident terminated fatally. He hearing, it would indeed be something 126 numbered with the dead, and his to live for. Would it not be a grand appy spirit took its flight to the thing, sisters, if we could be of some gions of purity and bliss, where he use in this beautiful world ?”
Low as the whisper was, the bird, 1 timidly, but they welcomed the war who was just poising himself on the bright sun-rays, when they shone bough above, preparatory to another upon them, bringing to them fresh outburst of melody, heard it, and, and colour; they breathed out the looking down, said, “Why, you are delicate fragrance lovingly on the s of use, little ones! It is your busi- | spring airs, which gently caress ness here to grow up just as fresh them. And so they bloomed in perfe and lovely as you can, and help | beauty, unseen for a while by hum: to make the world more beautiful. | eyes. But on one sunny day to Everyone cannot sing, to be sure; | young girls came wandering thron but every one can do what is in his | the wood, searching for wild flowe own power.” And so, having answered | and listening to the birds. Present the violet, he launched out into his one of them paused above the cost song again exultingly, joining the of violets. *Oh, Laura, see wh chorus of woodland minstrels who lovely violets! I am going to pa were rejoicing on every side.
them for mamma. If I should gat But the violet whispered to her them, they would wither long befus sisters lower than before : “ Ah, but I could take them to her, but if I co wish we could do something! It is them as faithfully as I can, they v all very well to be beautiful, although be the loveliest reminder of the Spra I doubt if such poor little tiny things that I can send to her in the close bw as we are anything very wonderful in | up city.” So she sat down on a fallen tr that way.”
near by, and sketched and painted The April wind swept across them, delicate wee things in the book sh and bent their heads over the clear carried with her, while the violet stream. “Look at yourselves in the | stood in an ecstasy of delight at to water, and see if you have not been ing how much joy they could give u made beautiful enough to help to their beauty. Then the young girl gladden the world, and do not sigh for went on, and left the wood to : more than has been given you. Live solitude. your own life to the utmost; be fra All things went on as before. I grant and blooming, and you do your birds sang their love-songs, flitting part." And the stream looked up to and fro; the trees put forth free them, and sang also in its low, mur leaves, and grew greener every ds murous ripple, “ Everything has its and gave deeper shade; the stre own work to do in the world! Mine rippled merrily on its way. Occasion is to freshen the grass and flowers, ally some careless woodsınan strolle that, like yourselves, grow near my whistling, along a faintly-trodd green margin, and the lofty trees that path that led through the heart of mirror themselves in my waters; and wood; or a troop of merry childre after a while, when I have expanded let loose for holiday, came ser into a broad river, to bear on my wild flowers; but none of them houd bosom noble ships that carry men the violets, until one golden morum whither they wish to go. Rejoice in there came a little pale-faced, bly the sunshine and soft air, and be as eyed girl, drawn by her brothers in lovely as you can-as lovely as you light basket carriage. The little were designed to be-and in time you had been sick for weeks, but with will know for what use you are des opening spring she had revived, tined. Bo content till then.” So the now on soft, sunny days, she was a April wind swept on to visit other to go out in this way to take the flowers, and the brook flowed along its As her brothers drew her along pebbly bed, singing low to itself as the margin of the stream, she before.
the violets, and the blue eyes And the violets still looked up bright with pleasure. “O AN