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Tales and Sketches.
from you! I lost my way, got into a creek, THE LIGHT IN THE WINDOW.
and it must be midnight, but I meant to “MOTHER, I will be everything to you come, for my master gave me a trifle tothat I can be, I promise you that!”
night, and I knew how much you needA look of high resolve made the young ed it." brow manlike in expression. Not yet had “My dear boy!” sprang from the moten summers deepened the gold on those ther's full heart, as the silent tears trickled fair locks. His earnest blue eye looked down her pale cheeks. fondly in the faded face that bent over him. “I wonder I haven't thought of it beThere was a world of love in his soul-a | fore," she said, musingly. “After this I'll love that was not only lip-deep, but was I put a light in the window. It won't show proved by acts of self-denial.
| far; but it will be pleasant for you to see They were poor, that mother and son ; it, and know that I am watching for you." oh, how poor they were! But, in holy 1. For three years the lamp was placed in heart love, they possessed untold riches. the window every night; and, “as bright Yes, out of their bank in heaven they drew as mother Locke's little window," became every day, every hour, uncounted treasures. a favourite saying.
The youth had just secured a situation At the end of that time the widow's son in a shop about five miles from where they was offered a place on board of a vessel, lived. It was but a small pittance; but, and he accepted of it. It cost bim none ef late, the mother had grown so feeble that knew what a struggle to part from the she could earn nothing.
being he loved with an almost worshipful The boy was to have his meals with his affection. But the time had come when he employer, and could, if he chose, sleep must go forth into the world to do battle there. But he did not choose. For a glad for himself and for her, and a sailor's life smile from mother; for a pressure of that seemed to open up the way. feeble hand; for the tender, Christian “ It seems to me,” said the fond mother, words that came from those pale lips, he when, with a deep sigh, she parted from was willing, after his day's work, to walk him, " as if I must still put the light in home, dark and tedious though the way the window. I shall think sometimes I was. When he earned any trifle extra, he hear the fall of your footsteps, the click of brought home some little delicacy to his the latch, your pleasant voice. O my son, mother, and which was sweet to the inva my son, if I could but light you over the lid, because he brought it.
stormy waters !” One night the widow looked from her “ Mother, God will do that,” said he, window, and said, as she saw the twilight pointing to the glowing heavens. « God deepering earlier than its wont, " He will will light me through storm and through not come to-night.” So, quite confident calm ; but, mother, I shall think every that he would not venture in that storm, night that the lamp is in the window; that she read her Bible till her heart kindled you sit near it; that somebody blesses you with the holy words, and, putting out her for the guiding ray; and, above all, that Ight, went to rest.
you are praying for me." She knew not how long she had slept, The long voyage was nearly ended; but wien a voice awakened her. The voice 80 | another voyage was to end before that. dear to her was crying, “Mother! mother!" | The widow was taken ill. And, as she lay Instantly rising, she groped for a light, un | helplessly upon her bed, and the neighfastened the door, and there stood her son, bours came in to care for her, she would covered with mire from head to foot. His | say, “ Put the lamp in the window; my face was wet, but the honest, happy smile son will be thinking of it." was toways abated.
Night after night, and even until her “My boy! how could you come on such | eyes grew dim, she would watch the raa nighi?" 'exclaimed the widow.
diance of the flickering light, only saying, “ Way, mother, storm couldu't keep me sometimes, “ Shall I live to hear his footsteps ? Will that feeble flame still burn, 1 his whip on the dusty road. How can be when my life's light has gone out ? ”
crush that happy heart ? She lay quietly; a smile upon her lips, “There, you need not speak!” cried the her eyes closed, her hands folded.
young man, in a voice of sudden anguish; “ I have longed to see him," she said ; and he buried his face in his bands. “ I have prayed earnestly, but I have given “My poor lad, your mother is—" it all up now. I shall not meet him in this " Don't! don't !" cried the other, show. world."
ing now a face from which all colour had “ Have you put the light in the win fled. “O my mother! my mother!-she dow ?" she asked, suddenly, earnestly, a is gone, gonomand I coming home 80 few minutes after. “ It is growing dark.” | happy!" · Alas! it was not the light that was grow For some moments he sobbed as in ing dark.
agony. How dreary the world had grown! Her hands grew cold. Over her counte The flowers had lost fragrance, the sun nance came that mysterious shadow that warmth ; his heart seemed dead. falls but once on any mortal face.
“James, she left a message for you," “O my son! my son!” she whispered, said the farmer, wiping his eyes with his “ tell him"—they bent lower to catch the
sleeve. failing words—“ tell him I will put a light “A message for me?" it seemed as if in the window of heaven, to guide his
the white lips could hardly speak. footsteps there."
“ Yes. Says she, Tell my son that I will The thrilling sentence was hardly spoken, put a light in the window of heaven, to when the shadow dropped from the suffer guide his footsteps there." ing face, and it smiled in the calm majesty « Did she, oh, did she say that? God of death.
bless you for telling me! All my long Not many days after, a ship came into voyage I have thought of the light in her ". the port of a busy city. Among all those little window. I have seemed to see it who stepped from her decks, none were streaming along, till it grew brighter and more hopeful, more joyous, than the brighter as I drew nearer. A light in the widow's sou. He had passed through the window of heaven ? Yes, mother, I will kordeal of a sea life, so far, unscathed. He think still you are waiting for me. I could 12 had kept himself as spotless as if, at every not see you in these long years, but I knew !. night-fall, his feet had been turned towards the light was burning. I cannot see you the door of his mother's cottage. How his now, but I know the light is burning. In heart bounded as he thought of her! It did will come, mother!” not occur to him that, perhaps, her silver Slowly he went to the graveyard, and i locks were lying under the lid of the coffin. there he knelt and wept upon her lowly O no! he only thought of the pleasant light grave. But not there he thought her. A in the window, that her hands had trimmed sweet vision was vouchsafed him. Then for him.
he knew that the light was placed in the Beautiful was the day on which he tra- | window of heaven. velled again the long-accustomed road. | Once again he knelt in the room where How pleasant now to go home with suffi. | he had last left her. Nothing was removed; 1. cient to provide for the comfort of that dear but oh, how much was wanting! There, mother! She should never want again. He on the window-sill, stood the lamp-that would take her to a better home, and give brought the tears afresh. But he took his po her the luxuries he had once longed to see mother's well-worn Bible, and, kneeling in her possession. Hope on, dreamer ! with it in his hand, as if she could hear Yonder comes one, who trudges on lag. him, he sought her Saviour, and conselho gingly-a farmer, in heavy boots and frock, crated himself to a life and work of right ! his whip in his hand.
eousness. From that cottage he went out . “ I see you know me," said the young into the world, carrying his gift as a sacred sailor, smiling. “ Well, how is my mo memorial; but seeing always, wherever his ther?"
work led him, his waiting mother, and the “ Your-mother_"
lamp in the window of heaven! “Yes ; is she well? Is she expecting me? Of course she is ; we're late by a month, full.”
“Your mother, James, well”-he strikes
dusty mal by
my property more than I do." Lady Fitz
royalty had coaxed him into permitting med monteren Far as the eye could reach extended the the “ vulgar people” to enter his park on robe obseke
magnificent domain of Lord Augustus one day in each week; but he hated to see face la is
Fitzroyalty; the ground thereof was un happy faces; and when that day came
dulating and well wooded; through the round he always retreated to a private cried be the midst wound a clear, refreshing river; the shrubbery, where no sound of joy could dis
house, situated on a respectable eminence, turb his moody meditations. He was lying commanded a charming view of the estate; one sultry June day beneath a tree in this among the noble trees graceful deer re retirement, giving full swing to his bitter, clined or sported in many a group, while in satirical reflections, when he perceived the surrounding pastures hundreds of cows coming towards him a queer little man and sheep enjoyed a peaceful and contented with a great box on his back. Surprised existence. Lord Augustus Fitzroyalty bad | and annoyed at the intrusion, he was
8 wife-a healthy, cheerful, excellent lady, about to order him away, when curiosity Molle who loved the noble lord, and his house, to know what the box contained deterred bistan and his domain, and the poor people on it, him, and he contented himself with roar
and the cows, deer, sheep, birds ; in fact, | ing out,
Lady Fitzroyalty loved everything and « I say, fellow, who are you?” preces everybody-her heart's desire was to do « Sir," said the little chap, with a low
those around her good, and render them bow and a broad grin, “ I am a showman." 1. happy; she succeeded, with one exception “A showman! And what do you - her noble husband.'
show?" Lord Fitzroyalty was not happy; he did “I have a vast collection of beautiful not believe in happiness; he was an idle, | scenes, and can show almost everything the discontented, used-up man. In his youth heart of man can desire." he had been what fashionable people call “ There's one thing you cannot show." "a little wild,” he had “ sowed his wild 1 6 Name it." . . oats”—which means, he had given the “ A happy man.” whip and spur to those passions he ought The showman smiled ; then laying his to have curbed with a strong hand, and in box on the ground, so chat Lord Fitzstead of looking to heaven for purification royalty could look in without rising, bade and peace be bad looked to earth for sen him observe. sual gratification and indulgence ; he had At first a plain white surface only was drained the cup of pleasure to the dregs, I visible ; gradually, however, the faint outand the viper coiled at the bottom had line of a building appeared, which grew stung him ; the poison had entered into his each moment more distinct. Soon Lord soul; he had lost all enjoyment of what is Fitzroyalty beheld with astonishmert a pure, innocent, and natural; he considered magnificent palace, with high towers, masall approaches to happiness as the results sive pillars, and spléndid porticos; each of ignorance; his appetites had been so moment it became more perfect, until at extravagantly indulged and violently eti length it stood forth complete in symmulated that they had lost their healthy metrical beauty. Immediately facing him Pne, and demanded constant excitement stretched a large chamber, through the ith an insatiable craving; he took no windows of which he perceived a numeeasure in his abundant wealth, his mag rous and brilliant assembly ; graceful and Zcent estate, his honourable pedigree, or | manly forms, gorgeously attired, passed be
pure-minded, innocent wife; for his fore his astonished gaze; while a sumptuous 1 was tainted, corrupt, and dark, and banquet, in gold and silver salvers, shone wild passions seemed to have burnt out! upon the extended board. Beneath a cavery vitality. Such was Fitzroyalty nopy at the head of the table sat the chief iserable man!
person of the assembly ; to him all the gay et he was envied; thousands who were company paid homage; they appeared to itted into his park once a week envied court his favour, and extol his wisdom and - they thought the owner of so fine an munificence; he received their advances e must be supremely happy; and he, with gracious condescension.
he saw their bright faces and heard “ That man,” said the showman, “ is merry laughter and happy voices, the owner of this splendid palace, and the I mutter, " These vulgar people enjoy | possessor of untold wealth; his wisdom
is universally extolled, and his favour | leaning against the gate pillars ; his body anxiously solicited.”
is wasted to a skeleton; his lips look parched “ The old story,” said his lordship : “ if and black; he seems to be dying, for his one asks to see a happy man he is imme- head has sunk low upon his breast, and he diately shown a rich one. Now, I know takes no notice of those around. The from experience that richness cannot give passers-by regard him with disgust, or at happiness; I am rich-and miserable." best with loathing pity; the fine ladies
ir Stop, stop!” said the little showman. sweeping past draw aside their spreading “ Did I say he was happy? lle is not the robes, lest they should touch bim, and be man I mean. Look again."
contaminated. Look! look! & carriage “I see a number of elegant figures and wheel has passed over his ankle, and the beautiful faces; there is one lovely lady bone is crushed and broken. What an Eparkling with many jewels, speaking to a awful contrast is this sight of suffering to handsome young man as if she loved him. the gay revellers in the palace! But see, Is he the man?”
he moves not, he seems insensible to pain; “ No," said the showman.
a crowd is gathering round him ; horror “In another smaller room two men are is painted on every countenance. Poor, playing with cards ; one, his face lighted | miserable, wretched being ; surely a very up with triumphant satisfaction, is pocket personification of destitution and distress." ing a bandful of gold; his companion “Stop! stop! stop!” said the showman ; looks distressed, but that does not appear -"that's the bappy man." to damp his ardour. Is he the man ??? “Impossible!" “No; look again.”
“Behold!” said the showman in a “In another room I see a numerous au | solemn voice. Gradually it appeared as dience hanging breathless on the lips of though night was approaching ; an awful one man, who stands addressing them, his gloom overbung the palace; the gay revellers face beaming with intelligence, and his ac lost their comeliness, while the various tion full of manly dignity and grace-stay! apartments, so lately resplendent with light he has ceased. How they applaud him; and beauty, seemed peopled with a thousand they seem wild with enthusiastic admira fiends ; unhallowed desires looked from tion. Meanwhile he stands erect and once enchanting eyes; unholy thoughts silent before them; but his flashing eyes, depicted themselves on every countenance; quivering lips, and flushed cheeks, show the and each soul in that vast mansion, when i intensity of his enjoyment. Surely he is stripped of its gaudy trappings, appeared the happy man ?”
the sport of evil spirits, and the slave of “He is not,” said the showman.
sin. “Well, you puzzle me-stay! In the While Lord Fitzroyalty gazed on this room above they are dancing. What a col. appalling spectacle, à voice distinct and lection of youth and beauty! What brilli solemn spoke these words :ancy and animation! They seem to move “ The world and wealth may much bestow in a charmed atmosphere of love and music. Which worldly men call happiness, What joy and vivacity sparkle in their eyes !
But the world's children never know
Pardon and Peace. What grace and vigour display themselves in their movements ! Surely in that
“ A wild unholy joy may fill
The soul, and cheat with streams of bliss, assembly is the happy man?”
But no small voice speaks calm and still, “No," said the showman; “is there no
Pardon and Peace. one else ?"
" A little while man's life endures, “There is a group of lackeys in the
And then that little life must cease,
But nothing in the world secures court, but surely they are not happier than
Pardon and Peace. their master?".
“ When from his worn and batter'd frame “No one else ?"
Man's guilty soul obtains release, " There is a handsome officer alighting
He finds not, nor can ever claim, from his charger, there is a lady stepping
Pardon and Peace.” from her carriage, and there is a crowd of Meanwhile the scene had grown so dark R3 gazers at the gates."
that the palace was almost lost in din ! “No one else ?"
“ Oh, horrible! there is a miserable “Now," said the showman, “look at my object, a poor blind man, but half-covered happy man.” Through the dark clouds, with rags, is sitting on the ground, and straight and pure from heaven, fell a flood
of rich light upon the poor despised beg. l It seems that divisions had arisen in the gar : angels supported bis dying head, and church, the members had been alienated breathed peace into his soul, as his life from each other, and God had withdrawn ebbed away; then arose, clad in a pure his presence. No souls were converted, no white garment, a holy spirit, with eyes full spiritual life enjoyed. Time rolled on, and of heavenly brightness, and clasped hands, still the deserted meeting-house in fair proand as the poor, battered, clay tabernacle portions stood, the monument of derision fell lifeless and deformed upon the pave and spiritual declension. ment, the spirit, supported by rejoicing But there was one man who loved God angels, soared upward through the track and the church. Every Sabbath morning, of light, until it disappeared amid clouds on his way to another sanctuary, he would of brightness, and the glory faded away. stop and look at the closed doors of the
Again, while Lord Fitzroyalty gazed on house in which he once met with his family with solemn awe, the voice he had heard to worship the God of his fathers. Often before pronounced these words :-
he would be seen sitting on the steps, his “ His clothes scarce hung upon his form
Bible in his hand, and drops of sacred grief (Torn into shreds by many a storm),
flowing down his cheeks. When urged to And failed his freezing blood to warm
unite with some other church, and give up But Jesus died for him.
the old one, he refused. Nothing could " He had no home, por friends below,
induce him to stop praying that those doors Inured to poverty and woe, Few would one kindly glance bestow
might be opened, and those walls again echo Bat Jesus died for him.
the sound of salvation. He prayed while "Stretch'd on the cold hard stones he lay,
others fainted; he wept while others turned Blind, helpless, pror, from day to day,
away; he believed while others in despair Unloved, though thousands pass'd that way
gave up all as lost. Sabbath after Sabbath But Jesus died for him.
that poor man was seen weeping on the “ Then to his lowly shed he crept; But ere he laid bim down and slept,
steps of that closed sanctuary ; and to all He prayed to God, found peace, and wept, who asked why he wept he told the sad For Jesus died for him.
story, and his confidence that God would “Pare angels from God's boly seat,
come and open those doors and again visit Guided that poor man's wandering feet,
his people. And joined with him their praises sweet, For Jesus died for him.
Eight years he waited! For eight years
he sat upon the steps and wept! Eight " And when worn out with woe and pain, His life no longer could sustain,
years his faith faltered not! Then God They bore him to their homo aguin,
came. While all the other churches in that For Jesus died for him."
town were cold and formal, a few persons Lord Fitzroyalty looked up, but the
were converted in an adjoining city, and howman had gone, and the show was no
came back to their own homes with the love more-above him waved green branches.
of Chriat burning in their souls. They saw “Tear me," said his lordship, “I must the old man weeping on the steps; they have been asleep!”
looked at the closed doors, and said, “The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore his servants will arise and build.” They
unlocked the doors, swept the aisles, called WEEPING ON THE STEPS.
a pastor; and now it is one of the most THERE once stood, in one of the most flourishing churches in the State, led, by a beautiful New England towns, a large devoted, educated, and popular minister, in brick meeting-house, occupying a com- | worship within those walls so long silent manding position, and observed for its / and deserted. The man who sat on the loneliness by every one who passed that way. / steps and wept has beheld the redemption But the doors were locked, the bell in the l of his people; and heaven has echoed with tower was silent, and from the pulpit came / joy over the conversion of hundreds of no sound of salvation. The Sabbath day | souls. dawned, but those doors were not opened, How ought cases like this to strengthen the bell was not rung, the pulpit was not our faith and encourage our hearts! The occupied. All around were beautiful resi Christian is often compelled to weep bitter dances and a happy community, but from tears over the desolations of Zion. But those year to year that place of worship was tears do not often flow in vain. Heaven is abandoned by God and unoccupied by men. moved to mercy by the sorrows of the be.