dice every subsidiary distinction shall be swept | 80 small that it is to be lightly set aside

2 away—the church where there shall be one to sit down with the professed followers of 1. fold under one Shepherd-the church where the Lamb, in obeying his command to show here there shall be unison and harmony in the forth his death till he come? I entreat

pursuits of the innumerable company-the those to whom these words-uttered, I am

church where the song and the shibboleth, sure, in all affection and respect-I entreat is dictated by a common ecstasy, shall flow those to whom they apply, to ponder them

into a spontaneous and universal anthem seriously and with much fervent prayer, to the Lamb that was slain--the church | and not to be content until their earthly where men of every clime, from the shivering lot is cast with those in whose society they North, the drastic South, the dewy East, hope to share the bliss of heaven ; not to and the glowing West, shall have no tie of be satisfied until they enjoy, in the ordikingdom or of blood, save the blood that nance of Christ's own appointment, a foreredeemed them and the kingdom of Im taste of the marriage supper of the Lamb. manuel—where no climate parches, and no Whatever may be the differences of our blast benumbs-where the sun shall not social tastes and tendencies, let us all light on them, nor any heat, but the glory seek to have this law of affinity to of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the which our thoughts have been directed, light thereof — and where no glittering illustrated in our personal assimilation to dome, no gilded cross, no Moslem crescent, the image of our Saviour. Let us seek to and no pagan mosque salute the sky, but have “our lives hid with Christ in God, where the Lord God Almighty and the so that when Christ who is our life shall Lamb are the living temple.

appear, we may also appear with him in There are some, I know, who have not glory." And when the time shall come to perplessed to appreciate the joys and de- call us from the associations of this earthly ughts of the Church of Christ, who, I have scene, may we all be enabled to yield obe

sitation in saying, ought to be united dience to the summons, in confident anticiin its f

tellowship and partaking of its privi- | pation of that other and happier period,

To them the church herself, with when, having, at the signal of the voice of one harmonious voice, appeals, in earnest the archangel and the trump of God, been entreaty that they would come to "their own "let go from the bondage of death and of company." We want you to unite with the the grave," we shall, by a spontaneous and professed disciples of Him whose yoke we

resistless impulse, seek “our own company* know you bear. Oh, is it a command so

in the innumerable company of angels, and at we can afford to disregard it in the general assembly and church of the

and be baptized, every one of you, first-born, whose names are written in m the name of the Father, and of the Son, heaven! and of the Holy Ghost”;' Is it a privilege 1

[ocr errors]


And the Lord said unto Mos

A PROMISE FOR THE NEW YEAR. rd said unto Moses, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.—Exodus

xxxii, 14.

Oh, favour'd leader of the chosen band,
Thro' all the windings of that desert land ;

The way was long and dreary,

The steps were sad and weary;
Yet well might we desire thy toil and woes,
If only on our hearts might fall such words as those.

We turn to-day another leaf of time-
Up a new pathway, all untried, we climb:

No friendly footstep near us,

No earthly waymarks cheer us; Vainly we strive to scan that fair fresh page, Or pieree the mists which hide our journey's coming stuge.

No need to do so-He who Israel led,
Close at our side thro' all the way we tread,

Moves in the cloud before us,

Shines in the pillar o'er us : To us this day, the message is addressed“My presence goes with thee, and I will give thee rest."

And is it so indeed ? and may we take,
Each for himself, the blessing which can make

Peace ʼmid the tempest's raging,

The bitterest storms assuaging,
Lighéting with sunshine up the dark and crear?
Is it so ? Master! Saviour! Then we will not fear.

Yes, from the shadows of those ages gone,
Shines that fair promise forth--to lead us on

(By its still might sustaining

- The strength, the vigour waning) Over each rugged pathway, thro' The new born year's dim vistas opening now to view.

We will not fear! Albeit well we know
Its course may leave behind a track of woe;

That tears may soon be flowing

Where gladness now is glowing; That from our way some light, and from our heart Some hope, now bright, may vanish, ere it hence depart.

We will not fear! For He has promised rest,
Whate'er betide, whose presence in the breast

Can soothe the deepest sadness,

And heighten even gladness.
If e'er our hearts are lone and dark with care,
Will it not be because that Presence is not there?

Under the Shepherd's arm we dread no ill :
Grant us THYSELF, and we will trust Thee still.

Thy love divine possessing,

We bear with us a blessing. To us on earth may such repose be given, Till, e'en this year, perchance, we find the rest is-Heaven!

Tales and Sketches.


solitary companion, an iron-grey cat, in the DAY.

kitchen, fearing that the cake might other

wise present a temptation too strong for the New Year's Day was a double anniver cat's principles to withstand. sary to Hester Pratt. On that day, fifty Meanwhile she busied herself in preparyears before, she had come into the world. | ing the oven for the chicken which was to A solitary half-century it was to look back furnish her New Year's dinner. This, upon-for Hester was an old maid. Thirty too, was an old custom of her mother's. years before she had been betrothed to Her The chicken was nearly ready for roasting, bert Gordon, but he had proved false to his when the sharp ears of Hester detected a plighted faith, and the day that was to have slight noise in the wood-shed, which immewitnessed her bridal saw him wedded to diately adjoined the kitchen. another. That day closed the heart and She advanced hastily to the door, and hardened the nature of Hester Pratt. Her threw it open. manners became frosty and forbidding, and Could she believe her eyes ? Could huthe name of old maid, which clung to her, man depravity reach such an astonishing became even more repulsive from the con height, or rather depth? There, almost nection.

paralysed with astonishment, she beheld a Within the space of three years, Hester's boy in the act of carrying off her New sister and parents died, and she was left | Year's cake! alone at thirty-alone in the house which Her momentary surprise over, she prohad belonged to the family for three gene ceeded to act with energy. rations. She was advised to relieve her soli · Striding up to the delinquent, who had tary state by admitting another family, but stopped short in consternation, she seized this she declined to do, evidently preferring him by the collar of his jacket, and shook solitude to society.

him vigorously, exclaiming, in angry Twenty years passed, and in passing did tones, not fail to leave their imprint" on Hester “I've caught you, you little rascal Pratt. Her face became sharper, and her hair have I ? Now tell me why you were going more plentifully eprinkled with grey; yet her to steal my cake ?" step was apparently as firm as ever, and The boy hesitated for a moment, and her movements as decided. She had suffi- | seemed uncideded how to act. cient property, and more than sufficient, for * Tell me instantly, before I band you her small requirements, and every year saw over to the constable,” repeated Hester, something added to her account in the vil. with another shake, while with her free lage bank. Her savings were not likely to | hand she snatched from the boy the cake

e cake be diminished by charitable offerings. She which he had appropriated. had closed up the avenue to pity: and “I was very hungry,” said he, in a low bardy must be the beggar who should ask

voice. alms of her a second time.

“Hungry! I dare say," sneered Hoster; It was New Year's morning-a cold, 1 "I guess if this had beon a loaf of bread frosty morning.

instead of cake you wouldn't have been On that morning Hester Pratt had baked troubled that way. a loaf of cake-a rich fruit cake, with which “I would rather have bread," said the she intended to regale herself at tea. Not boy. that she cared so much for the cake, but You would !” exclaimed Hester, astonher mother had been wont to do the same ished. on that occasion, and Hester kept up the “Besides, I wanted to carry it to little old practice.

Bessie.” ... Having baked the cake, she drew it from “Who is little Bessie ?" inquired Hester,

the oven, steaming hot as it was, and car with something of curiosity in her manner. · ried it out into the shed to cool.

“Sbe is my sister, and she is blind." With commendable care she shut up her | Hester looked attentively at the boy. In

spite of her hardness, there was something, thetically. She remembered her own grief in this allusion which touched her.

when her father and mother had died, and The boy was apparently about eleven left her alone in the world. years of age. He was a handsome boy, or 6 Yes, ma'am, they died six months ago." would have been, if his pinched face had “ Where?" not spoken so eloquently of privation. His " In this city." clothing was quite insufficient for that in “ And why didn't you go to some of your clement day, and his hands were fairly red uncles or aunts ?” with the cold. Now, Hester's prejudices “We had none." were all against him. Her theory in regard “What! had no relations of any kind?" to boys was, that they were unmitigated ** None very near.” muisances--that they were a class of vaga ." And so you've been cruising round the bonds who took a malicious pleasure in country ever since, have you?” lving, thieving, and kindred vices; and she “Yes, ma'am.” had hitherto waged an uncompromising .“ Getting your living by stealing, I supwarfare against them.

pose ?” Yet there was an undefinable something “No, ma'am," said the boy, blushing. about this boy-something in his expres “How then ". sion—which softened her against her will. “Sometimes people would be kind Scarcely knowing how to proceed, she be enough to give us a little something, and gan to question him.

we didn't need much. But this morning “Do you live in this village ? I never I have been to two or three places, and they saw you before.”

told me they didn't believe my story ; and “I never was here before this morning, | so, as I came through your yard, I hapma'am."

pened to see the cake in the shed, and I “You don't find it convenient to stop | thought of how hungry Bessie was, and I long in the same place," said Hester, sar didn't dare to ask, for fear you might recastically, thinking of her cake.

fuse, and so~" Apparently the boy understood the allu “So you stole it?"sion; for he said earnestly

“ Yes," said the boy, in confusion. “Indeed, ma'am, I wouldn't have taken What was Hester to do? the cake if we hadn't been so hungry, She more than half believed the boy's Bessie and I."

story, and yet her distrust of boyish naturs “Bessie ? You have spoken of her be would intrude. fore. How do I know but it's a story you She must have ocular proof of his truth, are making up, just to get off?” said Hes- 1 and then-well, then she would decide what ter, Liardening herself. .'

to do. "I would show her to you, ma'am, if- 1 “Sit down in the chair,” said she, “and I

will get my things, and go over to the barı “If what?" interrupted Hester, sharply. with you, and see if your story is correct."

“I was thinking you wouldn't want to “Will you p" exclaimed the boy, joyfully. go where she is, and you might think if I “He doesn't seem to be afraid for the offered to bring her that I was only trying | result,” thought Hester. to get away.”

In two minutes she was ready to go. * He's sharper than I thought," passed They took their way across the fields. through Hester's, mind. ." And where is There was no path, but the upper surface your sister ?" she asked, aloud.

of the snow was frozen stiff, so that there “I left her in the barn over there," said was no danger of falling through. Hester the boy, pointing across the fields.

kept firm hold of the boy's arm, with the “ Is slie older than you ?” asked Hester. lurking suspicion that he might yet elude

"No, she is two years younger," was the her in some way. . reply.

· So they reached the barn. * You might be in better business than It was in the middle of a large field, and, wandering about the country, stealing cake," contrary to the usual custom in the counsaid Hester Pratt, in an uncompromising try, at quite a distance from any house. tone. "Why don't you stay at home with The boy went up to the door and called, your parents ?

“ Bessie.” “They are both dead," said the boy, sadly. “Where are you, brother?" said a sweet, “Dead !” exclaimed Hester, hali sympa- j childish voice.



: you."

He went into the barn, and led out a

DEATH AT THE FEAST. beautiful little girl of nine, with a sweet ex. pression, but eyes, alas, for ever closed to ALL was of no avail. Hope had died the bright sunshine and the fair world. out, at last, and that clear, beautiful New

“ Have you brought any bread ?" asked Year's morning dawned on aching hearts in the little girl. “I am so hungry!”

the family of Roger Tileston. The news "No, Bessie,” said the boy : but he went from door to door all over the housequickly added, " I have brought a lady who hold, “ Roger cannot live--we must part was kind enough to come with me to see with him to-day!”

“ To-day, New Year's Day!” exclaimed “Where is she ?" asked Bessie, stretch | his sister Louise, lifting her clasped hands, ing out her hand.

then bowing her head with a burst of And Hester Pratt, more moved than she anguish. had been for years, put forth her own Only the night before it was thought hand to meet the hand of little Bessie, and there had been a decided change for the she said, more kindly than was her wont, better; they had gone to rest with the “I am sorry you are so hungry, child. If hope that Roger would enjoy the day with you come to my house, you and your bro them, after all; that he would be spared to ther shall have something to eat.”

them, not certainly to sit at their board, "Let us go at once, Herbert,” said and gladden their hearts with his handBessie.

some face,- not to be the merry, laughing, “We are much obliged to you," said the frolicksome fellow he had been on the preboy, grateful for a kindness which Hester ceding New Year's Day,--but even with his Pratt's previous manner had not led him to pale cheeks resting upon the pillow, scarcely anticipate.

more white, it would be such a joy to feel y They were soon at the house, and Hester | that the terrible crisis had passed, and that brought forth a plentiful supply of bread some time he would be restored to them and butter, together with an apple-pie. It whole again. need hardly be said that the children did For Roger Tileston was the glory of that ample justice to what was set before them. household. He seemed to reign in every

"Didn't your sister call you Herbert ?". heart, that loved him, next to the Supreme. asked Hester, abruptly, when they had It was hardly a wonder. Gifted in an unnearly satisfied their appetite. “What is usual degree; gentle, courteous, glorying in your last name?"

all things virtuous; a Christian after the "Gordon. My name is Herbert Gor pattern of Christ; cheerful, consistent, and don."

unfaltering in his upward career,--Roger "And your father's name?” asked Hester was a model for all who knew him. His hoarsely.

noble character shone the more conspicuous "I was named after him."

from the fact that he was the son of wealthy Hester rose, and paced the floor ex parents, and surrounded on all sides by the citedly.

temptations liable to the rich of this world. These, then, were the children of her To be a worthy minister of the Gospel of faithless lover-of him who had embittered Christ was his sole aim and ambition--for her life! And yet she could not dislike this he prayed, worked, and studied. Just

them. Strangely enough she felt a yearn- entering his twenty-first year, blest with ning for them, as if she would like to have health, the affection of dear friends, the

them live with her always. There was à absorbing love of his parente, brothers, and fierce struggle in her heart, but the fresh sisters, it would have seemed to many a generous impulses that had so long been i mystery unparalleled that he should be so stified burst' forth, and when the children suddenly cut off by so wholly unlooked-for rose, and, thanking her for their lunch, a providence. offered to go, she said, slowly,

The very week on which New Year's “Would you like to live with me al. Day came, the first day of the week, helpways ? »

ing an aged man from his carriage, the A flush of joy overspread the faces of the horse took fright, turned, and inflicted a two orphans, and they accepted her offer wound in the boy's side, that was destined with grateful thanks.

to cause his death. He was taken home, And that was the happiest New Year's and for four anxious days his recovery was Day that Hester Pratt had ever passed! considered as certain.

« VorigeDoorgaan »