« AnteriorContinuar »
Tales and Sketches.
THE RAINY SUNDAY. | deep mourning, seated herself at a
window overlooking the street. Sho It was a gloomy, stormy Sunday.
was alone, for her husband had left ll night long the rain had poured the city upon business a few days be
dily down, and with the morning, fore, and had not yet returned. • addy streets, soaked grass, and drip The room seemed unusually gloomy ping trees, greeted the eye everywhere. and desolate to her that morning.
Many were the sorrowful glances Only a few weeks. before, it had rung fast through the blurred window-panes to the joyous music of a child's sweet by disappointed damsels who were pre voice; but the little cradle was empty, wanted from exhibiting their new sum and the tiny form, so carefully shielded her dresses and bonnets; and many from every rough wind, had been were the expressions of vexation as the left alone in the quiet churchyard, hours wore on, and the rain continued where the rain was beating down so without any prospect of intermission. drearily.
Empty pews abounded in all the Tears of passionate sorrow started to churches that morning, for, strange to the mother's eyes, and her whole soul er, sabbath rain is always considered went out in bitter rebellion against God. much more damaging to health and “ Others had many jewels; I had but apparel than that which falls on week ono; why should He pass by them, days; and more than one pastor and rob me of my darling, my only xr.eved that his sermon, on which he one!” 10 bestowed so much care during the Soon the bells ceased, the few pasTeek, must now be preached to a hand sers-by disappeared, and nothing broke tal of hearers.
the stillness but the measured ticking True, there were some quiet, earnest of the clock, and the driving rain as it Christians who, accepting the rain as beat against the window-panes. “I well as the sunshine from the hand of the cannot bear this! I shall go mad,” bring Father, thought it better to plod she exclaimed, starting up from her
rough the wet streets in their every | seat. Suddenly a thought crossed her day attire than to leave their places in mind. “ There is a church down the the house of God empty. There were street, which I have never visited ; I others, too, who had grown weary of | will go there. Anything is better than saying in-doors, who had yawned over sitting here alone." the last new novel, and pronounced it In a few moments she entered the ininteresting, and who had ventured strange church, and was shown to a out with the hope of averting a fit of seat. The singing of the first hymn the "blues." There were some, also, was nearly concluded, and she did not who were weary and heavy laden, who raise her eyes till the preacher's voice Lad come to escape their own sad startled her from her reverie. tboughts, and with a vague idea of ob He was a tall, noble-looking man, Taining rest and comfort.
with an earnest, thoughtful face, one The first vibrations of the church of those countenances which bear the tells were sounding o:zt upon the heavy unmistakable impress of goodness. 211, when a young lady, dressed in ! Satisfied with her scrutiny, the lady
again dropped her eyes, and did not l pathway. In many a household toraise them till the chapter and prayer | day there is an empty cradle; there are were concluded.
dainty white robes which will never At length, as the sermon proceeded, be worn again ; and little half-worn she began to feel interested. The preacher shoes which the tiny feet left behind had chosen his text from Psalm when they entered the dark waters of cvii. 23-30, those verses which so death. Strangers may say lign:ly. graphically describe a storm at sea, and į It is only a child. Ah! my friends, the terror and dismay of the mariners, little coffins often cast the longest until “they cry unto the Lord in their shadows. trouble, and he bringeth them out of " You cannot understand now why their distresses.'
God should have taken away your darHis theme was human life considered ling; but sweet is the assurance of our as a sea voyage. The losses, difficulties, Saviour, · What I do thou knowest not and disappointments of life were well now, but thou shalt know hereafter.' characterized under the figure of ad God saw that you were making an idol verse winds, stormy seas, rocks, and of that little one, and so He took 1 quicksands. He then proceeded to away, that you might learn to worship show the object of these dispensa Him alone,” tions.
The stricken mother was weepics “It happens very often that a storm, silently, but very different were her instead of impeding the vessel's pro tears from those she had shed a few gress, speeds her on her homeward hours before. Then in the bitterness voyage. If her course be skilfully of her spirit she hated God, because He shaped, the tempest drives her rapidly had taken away her child ; now stars forward in the desired direction. It saw the hand of a loving Father, why may bo in a dismantled condition, with through this dark and sorrowful path torn sails and damaged rigging ; still, was leading her to Himself. “Oh, forshe is rapidly nearing home.
give me!” she praved ; “ Forgive my “ Thus it is with the storms that so wickedness and rebellion. OG often sweep across the troubled waters | loving and merciful, pardon the errus of life. They are all designed by a heart that has so long refused to loving Father to bring us nearer home. vield to thee. Jesus, dear Saviour, We may not see it to be so now; but have mercy upon me!” when our tempest-tossed bark shall The sermon was ended, and the conhave anchored in a peaceful harbour gregation rose to sing the last hymn. of the new Jerusalem we shall see how | It was the “ Shining shore.” Many those threatening tempests drove us hearts thrilled with joy as they sung towards our quiet rest, 'for so he the sweet words, bringeth them to their desired haven.' “We may not understand now why
“ Should coming days be cold and dark,
We need not cease our singing : God took from us that dear friend,
That perfect rest nought can molest, whose loving heart had shared in all WŁere golden harps are ringing ; our joys and sorrows, and who was For oh! we stand on Jordan's strand, ever ready to help nd comfort us, Our friends are passing over, when we were wear almost fainting,
And just before the shining shore under the burdens | life. Perhaps
We may almost discover." He saw that we wer. leaning upon the How happy they seem ! thought the arın of flesh, when we should have stranger. What a sweet thought it trusted to the everlasting arm, and so must be to them that together they He took away the earthly support that shall enter into rest—the dear pastor we might learn to cling to Him alone. whom they love, the people for whom
“ There are other shadows, even | he has so often prayed darker than this, that fall across our! She stopped, and a dull, aching pa.fi
crept over her heart as she remem- | have been written on them, “God is bered that she had no part nor lot in not in this house.” The day of rest this glorious rest. “My darling is was profaned. Professing Christians safe on the shining shore, shall I ever would spend the Sabbath morning in reach there myself? O God, have the house of God, and the afternoon mercy upon me for Christ's sake!” in visiting their neighbours; and some
The service was over, and she turned even spent the afternoon in hunting to depart. There were some in that and fishing. Worldlings grew bold in church who remembered the injunc sin, and rejoiced at the inconsistencies ton, “Be not forgetful to entertain
ot forgetful to entertain of Christians. strangers ;" and before she gained the But in the summer of 183- à door, more than one kindly voice had | new spirit seemed to come among bid her welcome, and asked her to the people. Without any apparent Fat them again. They little knew cause, Christians became interested in buy much those few words had cheered the welfare of the church. On the the burdened heart of the sorrowful Sabbath they were regularly in their stringer.
places; their visiting and sports were Again she entered her lonely home, given up for the house of God. Soon weary and heavy-laden, it is true, but the pastor's heart was made glad by ist despairing. She knelt down to hearing the deep-drawn sigh from one, pras; and in the stillness, many words, or seeing a tear roll softly down the ben in years gone by, and long since cheek of another, or the head of anforgotten, of the love and compassion other bowed with tears of penitence. af Jesus, came back to her mind once Even the heart of the careless worldmors. Almost sinking into the dark ling was touched by the truth. The Faters, she saw His arms of love and scoffer was silenced, and went away mercy outstretched to help her, and to pray. The Bible was taken down & Peter, she cried, “Lord save me, from the shelf, and in many housefor I perish !" Before the dull twilight holds the family altar was set up. Larkened into evening, she had laid Instead of leaving their pastor alone her burden of sin and sorrow down at to pray, Christians gathered around to dear feet once pierced for her him, and united their prayers with his sake, and heard the sweet voice of for a blessing. Jesus saying, “ Be of good cheer, thy Before long, somewho had spent their sins are all forgiven thee."
evenings at the tavern were found in The rainy Sunday, over which so | the pastor's study, asking, “ What any repined, was to her the brightest | must I do to be saved ?" It was plain day of her whole life ; for, breaking that the Spirit of God was there. No frough its dark clouds, the Sun of | extra meetings were held, yet the lighteousness had arisen with heal seriousness kept increasing; the “still og in His wings.
small voice” was speaking to the hearts of men. In almost every family some were anxious, while here and there one began with trembling
to rejoice in the love of Jesus. THE PASTOR'S PRAYERS.
Before the leaves of autumn had
fallen, sixty souls were gathered into FOR years there had been a spiritual
the communion of the church. But arth in the little church at HM I
the good work did not stop. The Professors of religion neglected the little church was too small to hold all bouse of God; no meetings for prayer who came to worship. It was made were held; and the family altar was larger, and yet it was filled. The teglected. The dust had gathered so number of worshippers increased, and hick upon many Bibles, that it might | at length formed two congregations.
FOR THE YOUNG.
Another church was built, and another minister called to help the faithful old pastor in his arduous, but glorious work. For years this interest continued, until hundreds were rejoicing in redeeming love.
Though nearly all were surprised when the revival began, yet one had expected it; one soul had been praying and wrestling with God for the Spirit's influence. The pastor had believed and prayed, and “ according to his faith, so it was unto him.” His heart had been made sad at the coldness among the people of his care. When he thought how little his labours had been blessed, he was grievously discouraged. In his trouble he called upon God, and God delivered him.
Some distance from the parsonage there stood a small orchard. This orchard the man of God made his wrestling-place. Here, he afterwards told one of his deacons, he went in the twilight, and before the dawn of day, to plead for the outpouring of the Spirit upon his people. For weeks and months, with scarcely an omission, the break of day and the evening twilight found the faithful pastor in this Bethel on his knees, pleading with the Hearer of prayer.
Though more than thirty years have passed, and the good old pastor has long since gone to his rest, yet the influence of those prayers is still felt at H
Instead of one little house of worship, three churches now stand as monuments of the power of prayer. Instead of a few lukewarm followers of the Master, hundreds of warmhearted, working, praying Christians are united with the churches there, and hundreds have gone to the upper and better Canaan, to shine as stars in the good old pastor's crown of rejoicing. Truly, God heareth the “ prayer of the righteous.” What they ask “ in faith," that He will surely give.
NANNIE CLARE was in a small sea of troubles. Her father had gone out, and she sat perched up at his study table, a sheet of paper spread out before her, and her pencil in her hand, all ready to write whenever she should decide what name to put down next. But her face was all in a frown. The truth was, Nannie Clare was going to have a tea-party that very after noon, and the troublesome question, “Whom to invite, and whom not to," was gathering wrinkles all over ber forehead.
“Let me see,” she said, bending over her list, “Papa said I might have ten little girls, just as many as I am years old to-day, and I've got dowo one, two, three, four,-Oh dear ine! I've got nine names. I can have just one more. Now whom shall I insite! I do so want Fanny, but then there's that Ellen Mason; I like her, and we sit next to each other at school; but how funny she would look in her pink calico dress, and great thick shoes and every one of us girls will be dressed in white; then she is a lame, I don't believe she would like to come.”
“Dear me! I wonder why papi gave me that verse this morning. I') tired of saying it over, it doesn't mea me, I'm sure."
"Doesn't it, little Nannie? Sari over just once more, slowly, thought fully,---Christ was not ashamed B call them brethren.' Now, are for quite sure it doesn't mean youEllen Mason has no father, and her mother is poor; she lives in a little, low brow house at the foot of the hill; she though she is very kind and good natured, and helps you out of many hard sum in arithmetic at school, stil you know you are a little ashamed 6 her, and wish you could manage 5 slip out of inviting her to your party you feel cross every time you think her coarse shoes, and calico dress, an!
her wooden crutch. Isn't that very , uncle Charles about the swing, I'l strange for a little girl, who thinks she take myself off in a hurry. Florence loves Josus, and is willing to make Stone, she's proud as a peacock, looks Him her pattern ? "
like one too. Gracie Holden, Louise "Oh!" said Nannie, crossly, in Collins,-she'll get hanged some day aoster to her conscience, “I wish I with one of her long yellow curls. had never heard of Ellen Mason. I Katie Stuart, Janie Townsend, Emma won't believe I'll have any party at all, Hall. Oh, what a set!” i do have so many things to plague “I wanted Fannie Chester,” exde. The girls wouldn't treat her well plained Annie, “but you see I fshe did come, and that would make couldn't have but ten, and she is older her feel worse than if she hadn't been | than I, and won't care, I dare say." inted."
“She's gone to her uncle's," said "Christ was not ashamed to call Tom. “She was in the train this them brethren," whispered Conscience, morning. Why here's Ellen Mason,
waking very softly, but so plainly as sure as I'm alive. Did uncle that she could not help hearing.
Charles tell you to do that?”. "I'll ask papa to let me have her! “No," said Nannie soberly, “I here all day on Saturday, then we can haven't said one word to him about buye a beautiful time, ever so much nicer than to ask her to come with " Then however did you come to all those girls." Then she listened do it?". or the answer; it came, clear and “My verse is about her, Tom.” Bilet:
“ Your vorso! a verse in the Bible Christ was not ashamed to call about Ellen Mason ; let's hear it?" hen brethren.”
Once more Nannie slowly repeated, This time Nannie didn't say a word ; " • Christ was not ashamed to call she sat still for a few minutes and them brethren,'” tonght; then she slid out of her Tom looked at her curiously, father's study chair down on her knees, whistling a little. and from her heart came these words, “You're a queer chicken,” he said "I'ear Jesus, I want to be like thee, I at last. “Humph ! 1 dare say it's the Fant to do right to-day, please show first party sho ever got invited to in the how !"
her life. "Shall I drive round there Then she arose, and bent over the and get her before I go out for father?” aper with a face out of which all the “O Tom," said Nannie with dancing pas had gone, and wrote with a eyes, “if you only will, it is such a Fery careful hand, in as round even long walk, you know.” ters as she could—“ELLEN Mason." It is doubtful which was the more The study door swung open with | astonished at this offer, Nannie or Tom.
te noise than Mr. Clare ever made, and cousin Tom appeared.
“Mother! ( mother! I'm to go, I'm "Oh, Tom," said Nannie, “I've got to go! Nannie has sent me word to ay list all made out. Now will you yo be sure and come, and her cousin Tom round and invite them?”.
says he will drive round here at three "Don't know," answered Tom in a o'clock for me. I shall go to a real prorokingly lazy tone.
party, mother! just to think!” "Oh, but Tom, you must, because And Ellen Mason hopped round sana said I mustn't tire myself out this the room on her crutch almost as fast morning."
as could Nannie with her two feet. "Let's see who's coming?" and There were never ten merrier girls Tom reached out his hand for the list. 1 than those who played and swung and
"A girl party. My! I'm sorry I've chased each other around the trees in got to go round; if I hadn't promised | Mr. Clare's yard that afternoon.