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to the plain below and cross the narrow stream, and he is in possesi of it. But he hears the authoritative voice: “I have caused thee to it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.” He is to at the very moment when he most wished to live.
(4.) Still more unwelcome would the summons be to quit the w thus early, because it was a sign of God's displeasure with The strange command is explained by the words of Numbers xx. 10“ And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together be the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we | must God) fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice (his petula making him forget both the command he had received and the Div power by which the miracle was to be effected): ... and the I spake unto Moses and Aaron: Because ye believed Me not, to sanc Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring congregation into the land which I have given them." (See Deut. xxxii. 48–52.)
It is the consciousness of sin that, more than all else, makes unwilling to die. It is not the earliness, not the disappointment, even the pain, that makes us start back. “The sting of death is g If a man be assured that God is pleased with him, he will find li difficulty in facing all the terrors of dissolution. Moses knew t but for the displeasure of God he might have continued to live, might have died long hence under happier auspices. But he is dy under a cloud.
It is a very solemn feature of the government of this world, God often allows a good man's sins to cast a shade over the remai of his life, and even to darken its close. Eli was a good man; bu culpable weakness in the management of his family was allowe bring on terrible consequences, to himself and to them and to country. David was “a man after God's own heart;" but his decler from the ways of piety left its bitter remembrances to the end of Hezekiah was a devout man; but his vainglory was punished by distressing announcement that all the magnificence of which he boasted should ere long become the prey of the invader, and untold calamities awaited both his descendants and his people. An it often is. Conscience sometimes brings the retribution. Someti the result is seen in mischief done, to oneself or others, which never be repaired. Sometimes a more direct interference dec God’s displeasure against the sin of His servants. It matters how : in any case the law is equally plain. Moses knew that he suffering the displeasure of God: therefore he could not bu unwilling to die.
(5.) Finally, he had to die alone.
Very few are willing to die thus. We have heard of one instal in modern times. But that was in the case of a man so extraordi in his life that it might almost have been predicted that bis d
* John Foster.
vould not be like that of other men. It seemed but in the course of nature that one who had lived in such close and fearless fellowship with the unseen world should desire to make his actual entrance into it alonethat he to whom God had long been so solemn a reality should wish then to be alone with Him.
But such cases are rare. Most men would die in the presence of others. The man strong in faith would have them there to listen to his dying_testimony-to hear him say: "I know that my Redeemer liveth?" It is said that Addison on his death-bed sent for a young friend, and thus addressed him, not boastfully we can believe : "Come and see how a Christian can die." One of an affectionate nature would desire to console those who love him and weep for him, and to give them the last embraces of friendship. A timid saint would have bis Christian friends around him to whisper to him consolations meet for the dying. One who has been longing for the conversion of relatives and others would have them see him die, as a last solemn expostulation on the all-important subject. Very few would die alone. It is a solemn season.
The spirit is about to enter an untried world, and to stand before God. If ever man needed all that human presence and human aid can do for him, it is then.
Moses was a man possessed of human sympathies in no common degree. The stern energy and force which such a life as his required did not make him forget to love. In reading his history we are often made to feel that it would have been much more for his happiness if he had had less tenderness of spirit. How fitting that such a inan should have died, like Calvin for instance, surrounded by those who loved and revered him, and waited to receive the last solemn admonitions from his lips. But he must die alone—with no human hand to support him, no human voice to cheer him. On that solitary, bleak, mountain-top he must pass away from the world he had loved so well.
(To be continued.)
A NOBLE FELLOW.
FOR THE YOUNG. “Only listen to this !” exclaimed “Leave me,” he said, feebly; "put a young lady, whose bright eyes me down under that tree, and go were dimmed with tears, to the two back to your duty. You may turn or three friends wbo were spending the fortune of the day—but all your the evening with her. Is it not care cannot keep me from dying. grandly heroic ?"
What matters a little more ease to It was during the heat of the late me, in comparison with our glorious American war; and in the par.
cause? A stray shot even, would ticulars of a great battle, an account only put me out of my pain the was given of a young lieutenant, who was carried mortally wounded His companions left him unwillfrom the field by his sorrowing com
ingly, for he was within range of rades. He had been shot through
shot and shell; but the stars and the spine, and the pain was agoniz
stripes waved them onward, and they saw him no more.
The dying soldier lay with closed cham peeped into books at recitation. eyes until, opening them for a last He began to realize the fact that a look at earth, he saw a comrade boy is primarily a boy; and over that fallen from his horse, while a rebel inevitable superstructure there is officer stood over him with uplifted sometimes a slight colouring of what sword. The effort caused him ex- he may be,and often times none at all
. quisite pain, but he could just grasp "A very commonplace boy, decia pistol; and as the rebel fell over dedly short and dumpy, with a geneon his face, Lieutenant Wharncliffe ral look of whiteness pervading
, breathed his last sigh, and the Union eyes, complexion, and an evident officer returned to the ranks, to use disinclination to speak more words the life thus unexpectedly saved in than were necessary at any given gaining a victory that filled all loyal time, came by degrees under the hearts with hope.
teacher's notice; and after a while “If he had only lived !” added the Mr. Brace regarded him with posifair reader. “Ï would have given tive pleasure, for the simple reason anything to see him--and such a that he never disappointed him. beautiful name, too! I wonder He raised no expectations of any how he looked ? Like a hero, I kind, but pursued the even tenor of hope.”
his way as placidly as a calm river. * Very few heroes answer our ex- The boys all called him Shorty, pectations in this matter," replied a and for some time the teacher sup. gentleman of the party, with a smile. posed this to be his name, and also But what
have read reminds called him by it, to the great amuse, me of a boy I once knew. And if ment of the other pupils. It seemed you will honour me with your atten- doubtful if.Shorty' would remontion, I should like to tell you some- strate, had he been dubbed Beelzething about him.”
bub. As the gentleman in question never “And yet none of his companions told anything that was not inter- despised him. Far from it. There esting, the party were at once trans- seemed to be a sort of latent affection formed into eager listeners.
for him in every boy-heart there ; “Half a hundred school boys, and if not brilliant, Shorty' was ranging from the ages of ten to always a respectable average. He eighteen, furnish abundant material accomplished no triumphs, but nei. for observation and speculation. So ther did he suffer inglorious defeats. thought the young collegian who had “ Mr. Brace often found himself just taken charge of the flock in watching the boy, and wondering if question, when he had succeeded in there might not be more within that reducing them to something like cranium than appeared on the sur. order. It seemed to Horace Brace face; and, one day, he believed that (as we will call him) that the school he had found it. was a particularly interesting one; “A spelling-test' had been in, and as he was somewhat given to stituted, with going up and down, dreaming, he had already picked out and by some accident or other a future poet, a general, an orator, a Shorty' was promoted to the head Chevalier Bayard, a Roger Ascham, of the class. The defeated ones were and a few other worthies.
evidently not at all pleased; and “But, alas! he soon found that the after school was dismissed.Shorty' poet was given to slang and peanuts, lingered, and said, awkwardly that the general was a decided bully, enough, to Mr. Brace, the orator a mere spouter, that 66. If
you please, sir, I'll take my the Chevalier without reproach rich- old place again to-morrow. I like ly deserved it, and that Roger As- it better, and I don't think going
p and down makes any of us feel voices; and the shy boy was dragged imfortable.'
out from behind a pile of desks. Yes; Mr. Brace thought that he "You have done a good work toad found this quiet boy's parallel : day, my boy,' said the teacher, in a le was Godfrey of Boulogne, who voice full of emotion; 'not only in efused to wear the crown of Jeru. seeing just what was to be done at alem where his Saviour had worn a the right moment, but also in orrown of thorns.
ganizing the band of workers who " But the next day he glanced at proved such effective aids.' him, as he was sprawled out on all “I couldn't help seeing it, sir,' fours, urging his sled down hill; was the reply; "and the other fellows and called himself absurd for the worked as hard as I did.' thought. He liked his old place "Presence of mind,' continued better-that was just it, and nothing Mr. Brace, with the feeling that he
was saying just the right thing, 'is **Shorty' was always in time, an invaluable gift; not so showy, always knew his lessons, but never perhaps, as some others, but one to volunteered any original remarks which, as in the present case, we upon them; had always time to help often owe a lasting debt of gratitude.' any one who needed helping ; never "The fire made a great talk; and cared about using his sled, if some some of the larger boys, the general other boy wanted it; indeed, he and the orator among them, 'only usually discovered a very hard sum wished that the flames had really that would keep him in doors on such rushed through the top of the buildoccasions, and often supplied one or ing, that they might have scaled it two companions from his lunch- with ladders, and had their hair and
eyebrows burned off perhaps; and “ The orator and genius of the then their names would have been school laughingly informed him in the paper, and wouldn't that be that he had a whole rag-bag full of glorious po humdrum virtues.
But 'Shorty' said he was very ‘Shorty'smiled, but said no. glad the flames didn't getany higher;
he didn't think he would enjoy Once there was a fire in the climbing into them, and leaving his
a fire where one ought hair and eyebrows behind. not to be; and the flames burst out “ The orator and the general were first over the stove-pipe. There was a little contemptuous at this reply; å great commotion; the master they agreed that 'Shorty' was looked pale, and the boys scampered good, plodding
sort of a fellow, but about without being of the slightest with nothing of the heroic about him.
“And this was the estimate in "Suddenly the stove-pipe was which he was held until he died; torn down, and pail after pail of then, light broke suddenly upon the water dashed on the spot around blinded ones among whom he had which the flames seemed to circle; walked unrecognised.” a squad of boys by some magic being " What was his real name?” asked formed into a line, and filling the the bright-eyed young lady, with pails and kettles from the well as sudden interest. fast as they were emptied.
“ Lieutenant Wm. Wharncliffe,” “In a short time the fire was was the reply; "and I was his extinguished; and then Mr. Brace teacher.” asked, "Who tore down the stove- “ Then he was ‘Shorty!' pipe
what a noble fellow !” 'Shorty!' shouted half a dozen And so they all thought.
THE FATHER OF ENGLISH HYMNS. ABOUT the year 1675, a worthy Deacon Watts, who kept a Puritan boarding-school in Southampton, England, was locked up in prison for being an incorrigible Dissenter. It was during the reign of the second Stuart, which Macaulay has well styled “the reign of the strumpets." Before the door of the good deacon's cell, his wife used to come and sit while she sang for the comfort of her imprisoned husband, and for the quieting of her eldest born baby, which she held in her arms. The little Isaac must have been drawing in some inspirations of his mother's music with his mother's milk. He was a poet from the cradle. His earliest thoughts he shaped into rhyme.
His mother offered a copper prize to the children in her husband's school for the best bit of poetry they could produce; and Master Isaac, then in his eighth year, won the prize by the following saucy couplet:
"I write not for a farthing, but to try
How I your farthing writers can outvie." At fifteen the precocious lad had made choice of the “better part," and became a follower of Jesus. He worshipped at the Independent Church in Southampton, of which his father was a deacon ; but the preaching edified him more than the service of song. The congregation were endeavouring to praise God every Sabbath in the clumsy, jawbreaking measures of Sternhold and Hopkins or the jolting rhymes of Nahum Tate. To the tuneful ear of the young student this saw-filing process in the name of sacred psalmody was utterly beyond endurance One Sabbath morning(in 1702), after service, he vented his contempt for such ill-conditioned doggrel, and the only reply he received was “Give us something better, then, young man !” He accepted the taunting challenge, went home, and produced, before sunset, a hymi which was lined off, and sung at the evening service. It began with the verse :
“Behold the glories of the Lamb,
Amidst His Father's throne:
And songs before unknown.” The author was just eighteen years old ; but on that Sabbath our English Hymnology was born, and young Isaac Watts was its father Well might Montgomery say that he was almost the inventor of hymns in our language, so greatly did he improve on his now forgotten predecessors in English sacred song.” Richard Baxter had written twenty years before, his beautiful,
"Lord, it belongs not to my care,
Whether I die or live." But the single seed-corn did not sprout into a hymnologic harvest Watts had struck the Meribah-rock of melody, and the waters continued to gush forth. In the year 1707 he gave to the Churches an