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gathered around some object on the i attendance that he needed. The ground. Tired with the heavy labour's fever at length passed away, and the of the day, he would have passed on, eyes of the patient opened to the had be pot heard a voice in the scene around him. The room was outermost ring of the crowd say, one which he had never seen before, “He is dead.” His curiosity was and the face of him who at the now aroused ; so, pushing his way momeut sat by his side was equally through the group, he found the strange. “Where am I?” And object of their interest to be a man' gradually the past came back, as all dressed like an English sailor, who who have ever been through the was lying on the ground. He was saine delirium know the past does evidently in a state of intoxication, 1 come back, and memory regains her and Mr. Harris might still have strange, strong power. It was, too, passed on, for the sight even then the will of the Holy Spirit that the was no uncommon one, even in the past should come back so as to instreets of Lisbon; but as one of the part life such as was never known crowd lifted up the man from the before to that weak sufferer. The ground, blood flowed profusely from cottage home at Langton, the village his mouth. He had fallen so vio- sanctuary, a mother's love, a father's lently against an upraised stone in prayers; they all came crowding like the badly paved street, that he was holy angels into the chambers of the rendered completely insensible. A soul; the head lay on a pillow wet disciple of him who ever helped the ! with the tears of the bitterest refallen, the English agent's sympathy morse.
2. No language can describe
No language can was now fairly aroused. Bidding i the power of the words of the some of the crowd, to many of whom English Bible by the side of that he was known, lift the man up, he sick couch. It was the bliss of the led the way to a small house that man who helped the stranger in his was near. Obtaining entrance only need to gently guide him “homeward,” by means of instant pecuniary re and to hear his first words of humcompense, Mr. Harris went in search ble trustfulness in the blood of the of medical aid. The brain was pro- Divine Redeemer. It was not long nounced to be fatally struck, and the l before Mr. Harris heard the whole Portuguese doctor thought the time of George's story from his own lips. of death was very near. Little As with others, so also with him, doubting that the ship to which the his first night at the theatre bad man belonged was in the barbour, proved the first step in a downward and that he should be able to discover course, in which he had never stayed it on the morrow, and finding all till he fell down in a fit of drunkeneffort to restore consciousness was ness in the streets of Lisbon. No utterly hopeless, Mr. Harris left his sooner did the right hand regain its patient in the hands of the poor cunning, than George wrote home in woman into whose house he had been a new language a letter which made brought, and promised to return early many hearts at Langton rejoice even in the morning. All attempts to dis- | as the angels in heaven. Soon, too, cover the ship failed, and it seemed followed even more substantial proofs likely that the sailor belonged to a of penitence, in the shape of small vessel which had sailed a day or two remittances to the firm in whose before, on board of which he ought to service he had been ; while many a have been. And the surmise was small enclosure testified how strong correct. Mr. Harris resolved that was the love which tbe Gospel had he would do the best that he could awakened for the inmates of home. with the bare hope that he might be Three years glided swiftly away, repaid, but with the certain prospect but each year Mr. Harris had addiof recompense “at the resurrection tional reason--in the integrity and of the just.” Fever set in, and life | industry of his companion in labourseemed long to hang by a slender to bless thc hand that had led him throad, but still the heart of the good where he was able to recover ono who Samaritan wearied not in his work of had fallen so low, but wbo now "sat love. A small weekly sum obtained at the foet of Jesus, clothed, and in for the poor English sailor all the his right mind.”
across the path, but could not call
him to mind. “I used to koow It was Christmas Eve, and Joe the Langton some years ago," and making ostler at the “Three Crowns,” in the a violent effort, George continued, town of Do , was getting ex “There used to be a good man there tremely fidgetty. He could not rest of the name of John Lake; is he by the blazing inn fire, and yet it there pow?” was too cold to stand in the street. “ Sure he is,” said the man as He had never known the coach to be though surprised at the question ; 90 late before, not even on Christmas “I know him well. John's had his Eve. Even the landlord at last troubles, though, of late. His lad began to be anxious, and in spite of that went away quite upset him like. the cold the group gathered around He didn't turn out just right. at the door of the large inn. At last, least so they says; and John did take however, to Joe's unspeakable satis on about that lad to be sure. As soon faction, came the sound of the well as he heard about that lad be began known horn, and soon after the to look quite old like ; he bean't steaming horses drew up their heavy older nor I, but he does stoop to be burden before the “Three Crowns."
sure.” Of the passengers who came by the It was well that the honest la. London coach that ever-memorable bourer warmed with his story, and Christmas Eve, we are only concerned that the moon was now quite hidden with one--George Lake. He was ex behind the clouds, or he might have pected home, but not so soon as he seen the big tears which were rolling had arrived; he had left Lisbon down the face of the stranger by his earlier than he had hoped to do, side. Taking the silence of his comand the voyage was remarkably quick. pavion as an evidence of his interest, The coach would go no further that he went on with his story. “It all night, and as Langton was only eight | comes o this ere roaming ; just as if miles George resolved to walk. Langton wern't good enow for that Leaving directions at the inn respect ere boy o'John's. There is not a ing his luggage, and taking a slight | better run o' land in the wide world repast after his long cold ride, he at 1 nor that about Langton. There's no once commenced his walk home. He place like home, I say. But they say had not gone far on his way, before as how it's all like to come right at he was joined by a labouring man, last. The lad is quite altered like, Who at once accosted him.
and I hope it's true, I do, for John's "I heard you say you were going sake. But, I say, how fast you walk ; to Langton, Sir; so am I; it's a good we shan't be long over the eight mile step from this.''
if you walk at that rate." “Yes, about eight miles, I sup. Slackening his pace, and making
an excuse for his speed, George found “Ay, quite as much as that. May. himself quite unequal to continue his be you are going to Cotwar Farm?" questions, and now most heartily "No, I am not.”
wished bimself free from his com..“Oh, maybe you are going to the panion. Listening as well as he could Vicarage?”
to the gossip at his side as be dwelt “No, I am going right into the on other incidents of Langton history, village."
they came at last to the commence"Åh, I dare sav you are going to ment of the village. see Mr. Chambers.'
“ This is Langton, sir, as I suppose Thinkiog it possible tho man inight you know.” come to the right person at last, “Yes. Does Mr. Chambers live in George thought it as well to turn the same house near the church?” questioner himself. “Do you know “Yes, sure; I thought you was Mr. Chambers, then ?"
going to sec Mr. Chambers, that I did.” "Sure I do," said the man, “ and "Well, good night. I know the everybody else in Langton. I was way now very well indeed." born tbere."
I thought he was going to see Mr. George looked at him in the dim Chambers, that I did," said the man moonlight that now and then streamed to himself as he walked away; "come
- to spend Christmas with him I dare allusions that were made to the darker
scenes of the past, in the parable "George Lake bad arranged it all 1 which the Redeemer wrote for all before what he would do; yet now time. The news soon spread: and that he stood before the house of the 1 nothing would satisfy olă Smith but village-pastor, he who had never that they should spend the Christmas trembled in the ocean storm shook night at Cotwar Farm. All were out like the aspen leaf. At last the at the doors to see the group pass strength came; but the knock at the along to the farm. Jolin Lake had door went to his heart. It did not not walked so erect for many a day. appear loud enough to be heard by Amongst the rest who looked on was the inmates, and he knocked again. George's friend of the night before. The door was opened by the white “And to think that I should walk haired old man himself, candlestick home with him, and tell him all in hand. George knew him in a about himself like! I thought he moment.
were going to see Mr. Chambers, that “Mr. Chambers.”
I did ; but I never thought he were “Yes, he lives here. I am Mr. George Lake.” There were many Chambers."
happy groups around family hearths “What! don't you know me, sir ?” in Old England that Christmas night,
And if ever son received a welcome but none were happier than those George Lake did. And another wel who sung the songs of Zion beneath come even more hearty was that a the oaken rafters of Cotwar Farm. few moments afterwards at the cot-| The Spirit of God is in all lands ! tage home.
He, one, may yet come home! Pray The log was still blazing on the on, ye that look on vacant chairs this hearth, and the night was almost happy Christmas time, and the prayer yone, ere Mr. Chambers took his will be the preface to the song which leave. But before he left, his voice at last angels shall sing over the realone had strength to read the only | turning prodigal !
a dark rigi
them, a miles
kuended Fity entire
was at work | “And very busy thinking, also ?”
noon in how much we are like these pea-
n when to climb upon. A Spiritual Staff to
and ap “Mr. Ransford," said the visitor,
Staff; that Christ planted for us.
afternoon,” hệ said, have not far to seek-you have only
calling my name. to reach out the tendrils of your I looked up, and was not a little heart in aspiration and faith, and astonished to see standing before me, they will clasp it. The command is, with an embarrassed air, one of the 'Repent and believe.'” most worldly-minded and irreverent He was a middle-aged man, whose characters in the village.
hair had grown early grey with “Yes, Captain Ball," I answered ; ! worldly cares; whose eyes were un. “I was giving these young pea-vines accustomed to tears; and it was mething to climb upon,"
affecting to see that hard face soften
and melt at last almost to weeping, as he grasped my hand.
"I have had a strange experience," he said, recovering himself, but still speaking with much emotion. “ It began about three weeks ago. I had lately been making some very good trades, and one night as I was walking home, reckoning up my gains, and feeling a pride and triumph in the start I had got in the world by my own shrewdness and exertions :-it was starlight, and very still. I could scarcely hear a noise but the field crickets, and the tramp of my horse on the dark road :-when suddenly a voice said, 'What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and
lose his own soul ?
“Was it actually a voice?" I questioned, as he hesitated.
“No; I knew it wasn't at the time. It was, I have no doubt, my own mind. But the expression was just as distinct and as unexpected as if it had been spoken by some person in my ear. The words I probably learned when I was a child, but had forgotten them, and I had to look in the Bible afterwards to see if they were there. I found them, and found a good many things besides, which seemed to have been intended expressly for me,- to break up entirely my way of life, and trouble all my calculations. The thing bas been working in me ever since, and I can't stop its working. I have come to the conclusion that I must be a different man, and live for a different purpose ; and I have come to talk with you about it.”
Having commenced giving the Captain's story as he related it, I shall continue it in his own words, as well as I can remember them. The reader, however, must imagine several weeks to have elapsed since my first conversation with him, and the scene to be changed now to an evening meeting, where the captain, after a long struggle with himself, got up to relate his experience.
"I went to talk with the minister," be continued, after having astonished many others as much as he had me, with the repetition of the above narration. “I wanted to get into the church, where I thought I should be safe. I had no conception of repentance and a change of heart. I supposed our pastor would commence
questioning me about doctrines, and so forth, to let me kuow what I would have to understand and believe before I could become a church-member. But he didn't take any such course. He made me go into the house, and sit down in his study, where he talked with me a long time about the blessedness of religion, and its value above all other things of this world, independently of its rewards hereafter. Then he said,
" Captain Ball, do you know the first thing requisite to be done, if you would be a Christian?'
“I did not kpow.
“ The Christian life--the life of a faithful follower of Jesus Christ'said he, can be founded only upon repentance. Now it is easy to say we repent of sins, and even to think we repent, but the only repentance that is worth anything is an active repentance-by which I mean, not only sorrow for sin, and an earnest desire to avoid it in the future----but one that goes to work, and seeks as far as it is in its power to make amends for every wrong we have ever done. Is there a person in the world, Captain Ball, who can look you in the face, and say you bave wrongel him?'
“He knew my weak point,” added the captain. “Every man has his weak point, and I suppose the lancet must be applied there first. That question was like sharp-searching steel driven into my soul. I writhed and groaned inwardly, and struggled and perspired a long time before 1 could answer. I saw it was going to be dreadful hard for me to be a Christian. I meant, however, to get off as easily as I could. So I determined to confess something which I supposed was known to everybody who knows me--my horse-trade with Peter Simmons, last spring.
“ 'Did you wrong Peter?' said the minister,
««•I shaved him a little,' said I.
""How much?' said he. "Tell me honestly what you think.'
66. I let him have a ring-boned and wind-broken nag that I had physicked up to look pretty gay, worth, for actual service, not over five pounds, and got in return a sound and steady beast worth fifteen pounds, and five pounds to boot. So I honestly think,'
in the easter.
said I, that I shaved him out of about fifteen pounds.
“And with fifteen pounds in your possession belonging to poor Peter Simmons, do you think you can commence a life of Christian purity? Do you think that Christ will hear your prayers for pardon, with stolen money in your pocket?' said the minister.
“I said something about a trade is a trade,' and 'men must look out for themselves when they swap horses ;' but he cut me short.
"'Your own soul,' said he, 'will not admit the excuses which your selfishness invents.'
"But the rule you apply,' said I, will cut off the heads of church members as well as mine. There's Deacon Rich, he trades in horses, and shaves when he can. het “No matter,' said he, whose head is cut off ; no matter what Deacon Rich does. You have to deal with your own soul and with your Lord. And I tell you whether you are out of the church or in it, a single shilling which you have unjustly and knowingly taken from any man, without rendering him its full value to the best of your ability-a single shilling I say, will be like a mill-stone hung upon your neck, to sink your soul into the sea of spiritual death!'
.“I could't stand that. The Spirit of God used those wouls with terrible effect on my heart. I was greatly agitated. The truth spoken by the pastor appealed to my understanding with irresistible power. I went away but I couldn't rest. So I took fifteen pounds, and went to Peter and paid him, making him promise not to tell anybody, for I was ashamed to have it known that I was conscience stricken, and had paid back nioney. Then I went to the minister again, and told him what I had done. He didn't praise me, as I thought he would. He took it as a matter of course, and no more merit in me than it is to wash my hands before I sit down to supper. On the contrary, he seemed to suspect that my hands were not quite clean yet. He wanted to know if I bad wronged anybody else besides Peter. I tried to say no, but my conscience wouldn't let me. I could have told a plumper lie than that once, without 1 flinching, --yes, and flattered my own
heart to believe the lie. I was dis. couraged. I felt bitterly disheartened. It was, indeed, so much harder being a Christian than I supposed, that I regretted going to talk with the minister at all. Like the young man who had great possessions, I was on the point of going away sorrowful. But my heart burned within me, and I was forced to speak.
" ' In the way of business,' said I, 'no doubt I have taken advantage here and there--as everybody does-as church members themselves do, when they can.'
“• What everybody does is no rule for you and me, Captain Ball,' said the minister. It is to be Christians
fullest sense--not simply to be church members that we must strive with all our hearts. The fact of being in the fold does not make the lamb; there are wolves in the fold, alas ; but we are by no means justified in doing as the wolves do, even when they appear in sheep's clothing.'
“I felt the rebuke. Well,' said I, 'there is Deacon Rich. I think he paid me a note twice. The first time he paid it, we were transacting other business, and by some mistake the note was not destroyed. I found it among my papers afterwards. I was a good deal excited, and lay awake more than one night, thinking what I ought to do about it. The deacon was a hard man, I considered, and took advantage of people when he could. He had driven more than one hard bargain with me.'”
The deacon, who was present, and heard these allusions to himself, winced, and coughed uneasily. Cap. tain Ball went on, without appearing to mind him.
“So,' said I to the minister, 'I concluded I would serve the deacon as he would probably have served me under similar circumstances. I kept the note by me a good while, and when I thought the particulars of our settlement had slipped his mind, I said to him one day, maybe he would like to take up that note which had been due then a considerable time. He was surprised, looked excited and angry, said he had paid it, and held out stoutly for a while ; but there was the note. There was no proof that it had ever been paid, and finally he took out his pocket-book, and with