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many years been her reconciled Father through her faith in the atonement of His Son; and she could remember won derful deliverances which He had wrought for her in times of distress as great as the present. So she took as her new-year's motto, “I will trust, and not be afraid. Hitherto hath the Lord helped me!” And, casting her burden on the Lord, she was able to turn to her children with a cheerful faco; and the homely meal was brightened by her loving words, and pleasant stories of the past.
The new year and the hallowed Sabbath dawned together; and as she rose next morning, and looked forward into the probable trials of the future, the widow felt thankful that this “first day" might be given entirely to God, and strength be sought to take its discipline and its duties in the spirit of a Christian. The trial of her faith was nearer than she thought. Scarcely was breakfast over, before her door was besieged by applications for tea-cakes from her neighbours who hallowed not the Sabbath. They knew her conscientiousness, and had not generally disturbed her in this way; but today she must make an exception to her rule: it was holiday-time, and people must enjoy themselves ; and surely she would be glad to get her children a hearty meal. These, and many other pleas were urged by the would-be customers : some tried ridicule, and some abuse, to shake
her purpose : and stronger than all these rose the voice of the tempter, suggesting that He to whom she had entrusted her case had not supplied her wants so very liberally; and that in this instance, when relief was at hand, she might certainly avail herself of it. But through all the strife of human and satanic temptation there breathed the still, small voice of Divine guidance: “Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy.” “ This is the way, walk ye in it.” “He that believeth shall not make haste;" and Mrs. --, keeping a firm hold on the promise of the widow's God, was able " to stand in the evil day.”
“Mother !” cried little Johnny, dashing into the room next morning with very unusual animation, “here is a letter from uncle William : perhaps he has sent you a new-year's gift!” “No, dear," said his mother sadly, "your uncle has never spoken to me since I was married; and I fear it is too late to expect him to change now :" but she hastily opened the letter, and written upon it she might have read the triumphant inquiry, “ Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Her brother had relented towards her; and, in a kindly letter, had enclosed the exact sum required to make up her rent, and it had reached her only an hour or two before the landlord was expected to call for it!
“A Judge of the widow, and a Father of the fatherless, is God in His holy habitation."
TRUTH. THE year 1860 being now past, and the year 1861 having come, without unnecessary grief at our own short-comings, or unkindly remembrance of other people's misdoings, who does not wish to begin the new year better than he has lived the old one: A better year would be a happier year, and we wish every one “a happy new year."
The pride of Great Britain is the sanctity, seclusion, union, and comfort of her families. The family is God's own in
stitution for the concentration and diffusion of the greatest social good. Look at a well-ordered family which way you will, it ever impresses you with respect and delight. But we are apt, perhaps, to under-estimate the importance of “our servants," as an element of well-being and happiness in our families. “Our Times" may be called, on sundry occasions, critical, eventful, spirit-stirring, and the like; but the term that comprehends most fully, and most perfectly, the spirit of “Our Times,” is “Money-seeking Times,"
Everybody wonders and inquires what everybody else is worth : he that has most money is of the greatest worth; and he that has none is nothing worth. We know that such-like talk is, indeed, nothing worth ; for we are very sure that thousands of most worthy people are poor people; and if much money were really necessary to make us worth much, one wonders why God has not taken greater care of His own children, after that fashion. This sort of talk, we say, is unwise ; and is damaging to our right judgment and peace of mind. And we would at once express our sorrow at finding that “our servants," carried away by the stream of“ our times," can indulge so far as they often do, in calculations about what their situations are worth, and how much themselves also are worth. This is a habit of thinking which quite saps the mind of all considerations but one, which is just this: How can I get the most out of my situation; and what is the least I can render in return! Fie upon such thoughts! They are genuine fruits of a covetous heart, and are themselves fraught with untold mischief and misery. No honourable persons can either indulge this disposition in themselves, or respect those who do gratify it. To assist “our servants" in making themselves, and the families wherein they reside, sure of happiness, is our purpose in writing the following paragraphs.
Truth. There is nothing like truth. It is the first and best of all qualities. It is the foundation of honour, the line of righteousness, the plummet of exactness, the pendulum of punctuality, true strength of character; it makes threats terrible, and promises reliable; without it friendship is flattery, and contracts are lies.
No matter whatelse perishes, truth perishes not. Truth abides for ever. Such is the common estimate of truth, that every one despises falsehood; and nobody can be called a false man without offending him. Truth is, of all qualities, the most valuable in “our servants.” It does not follow that there should be any less of what besides may form a good servant; of kindliness, modesty, and so on; but unless truth, the fair, the firm, white stone of truth, lie at the foundation, some day or other, everything you heap up will tumble down, because it was not built up on truth. Therefore take truth into your very heart: there it will cure the deceit of the heart itself, and regulate your judgment, and give law to your lips, and unity to your actions, and it will look out at the windows of your eyes, and it will render your whole character clear as crystal. Be sure of this, that you will find many temptations to depart from the truth. An enemy may suggest that the matter being little, the lie to cover it cannot be great; or the matter being great, it is worth a lie to cover it. Horrid! No lie is little. Nothing can be worth a lie. Therefore may you pray, with the devout Psalmist, « Save me from the way of lying." Save me from equivocation, prevarication, hypocrisy, guile, simulation, dissimulation, false looks, false tones; everything that is untrue. Make me, O God of truth, like Thyself in truth : let my yea be yea ; and my nay, nay. In truth, let me liken Jesus, who is “ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” God loves truth, and will hear and answer such a prayer as that, for Christ's sake. Then, should slander breathe upon you, it will be but as breath upon a diamond: the diamond is dim one moment, bright the very next.
JESUS, SWEET NAME. FROM THE LATIN OF ST. BERNARD. JESU ! the very thought is sweet! In that dear Name all heart-joys meet; But sweeter than the honey far The glimpses of His presence are. No word is sung more sweet than this; No name is heard more full of bliss;
No thought brings sweeter comfort nigh
THE BANKS OF THE TAMAR.
“Xo further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode; There they alike in trembling hope repose,
The bosom of his father and his God.” “ What was it?" you are ready to say, "what was it you saw?" Why, it was not the effigy of Sir James Tillie putting forth tokens of life; but it was a living thing mysteriously peering over the old Knight's stony shoulder; it was an owl : and he looked at me from under the ivy, and rolled his lustrous eyes, as if he would say, “ Who is this that dares to disturb my first delicious moments of communion with the gathering shadows?” “So it is come to this !” murmured I within myself, as I dropped from the window of the desolate place, and threaded my way down through the darkling wood, “it is come to this: the poor Knight can no longer choose his company; his mortal part, at all events, could it speak, would have to say, 'I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls."" Nevertheless he ought scarcely to complain; for night-birds had their home in that mountain-knoll long before Sir James Tillie was born : he chose to come to them, not they to him. And it may be hard even for an owl to suffer encroach
ment. But, after all, to think of one's bones reposing where the silence is never broken but by the voice of a solemn bird keeping“ watch and ward," is much more pleasant than to conceive of being buried in some open yard, where the sod which covered one is to be trodden down and worn away by the feet of those who pay no respect to dust which fetches nothing in the market. Yes, and much more agreeable than to suppose one's mortal tenement pressed beneath the squat slabs of some cemetery, whose stones serve the double purpose of covers for the dead, and pavement for the living. To look at some of our graveyards, is to be tempted towards the opinion that, as to any tasteful care of departed friends' memorials, many are disposed to say, as a primitive Jew said about his brother's blood, “What profit is it?” How little there is in such cases to remind us that
“ The dust we tread upon was once alive!” I have not much affection for Paris ; but I do love the example of her “Père la Chaise." If she has no “homes” for the living, she becomingly provides them for the dead; and if no heart is to be found under the accomplishments of her social life, she manifests a lovely feeling in her attention to the tombs of her children,
But I am getting out of my way. My returning steps were bent towards Halton, It was now dark; and I felt, as I entered the porch, that the light from a mullioned window promised me a cheerful home. The walls of my chamber, like those of the parlour below, were adorned with panelled oak. The room had been evidently one of the best of the familyapartments. Here then, said I to myself, as with the aid of my tiny candle I looked around through the dim space; here then, perhaps, the good Sir Anthony Rous used to repose after the hospitable toils of the day: for who could forget the name of one whom Thomas Fuller puts among his « worthies?” The humorous biographer has left but few words, it is true, as he never gives more than the living pith of his material ; but in this case, as in every other, he throws a charm over the place where the subject of his notice lived and moved. “Give me leave," says he,“ to transcribe what I find written of him : 'He employeth himself to a kind and uninterrupted entertainment of such as visit him, upon his not sparing inviting; or their own occasions; who (without the self-guilt of an ungrateful wrong) must witness, that his frankness confirmeth this welcome, by whatsoever means provision, the fuel of hospitality, can in the best manner supply.' He was father to Francis Rous, late Provost of Eton, whose industry is more commendable than his judgment in his many treatises.” It is pleasant to know a little about the places into which Providence leads us. One can relish a meal all the better for knowing that men of honourable memory had dined in that room; and one's chamber has a deeper charm if he can call up its former occupants, and spend a sleepless hour in mystic communion with them. So I thought as I pushed open a small door in the wainscot, and found myself in what, it may be, was the old Lord of Halton's private closet; where, probably, he had taken godly counsel from Master FitzGeffrey, the Parson of the parish, who lived to see both the Squire and his lady laid low. Nor has the merit of his quaintly-titled funeral-sermons for them helped to keep their names fresh, or his own, as a theologian, popular, or even alive; though the worthy Pastor still
figures, now and then, in a rare catalogue, as "a Cornish poet," and the author of “Sir Francis Drake, his Honourable Life's Commendacion, and his Tragical Death's Lamentation." Other memories came; so that mine was a watchful night. The bed afforded repose, but no sleep. For å time my musings were broken now and then by certain strange movements behind the wainscot; but one soon gets used even to such things; and towards midnight, Milton was in my mind, and I thought I could understand a little of the feeling which he expresses in one of those gemmy bits of his, which make us feel the witching power of pure English, when used by & true poet :
“Let my lamp, at midnight hour,
Her mansion in this fleshy nook." I was not in a “ lonely tower," though in deep stillness; there was no "lamp" to break the gloom; and yet I was on the watch: not that I wanted to “unsphere the spirit of Plato," but my soul seemed alive to any intimations it could catch about one immortal mind at least, which had probably begun its life in that very chamber, and had performed by no means a common career before it left its “fleshy nook.” Where was the spirit of Francis Rous ? A sentence which once fell from his pen came now so vividly, that it might have been borne to one by living breath : “I was first breathed from heaven; and I came from God in my creation..... Where should a low spirit find happiness but in the Highest Spirit? and where should a created spirit seek happiness but in the Spirit that created it? Wherefore, being a spirit, I fasten myself in a spiritual happiness; and this spiritual happiness I look for in no other but in the first and best Spirit, beyond whom there is neither good nor being." One could never doubt the heavenly rest of the old Republican's soul, though I confess I could never fully take in either his political belief, or his religious creed. He was born within the walls which now sheltered me. His training was completed at Oxford. In the first Parliament called by Charles I., he ap
peared as the Member for Truro, in his native county. At a later session, he represented Tregony; and then Truro again claimed the honour of giving him a seat. As a Radical reformer, he struck right and left, and at every real or fancied abuse in turn; now at the Church, and now at the Court; here at taxes, and there at Arminianism. In the Parliament of 1653 he sat for Devonshire, and figured first as Chairman, and then as Speaker. It was now that he conceived the notion of forming an English commonwealth after the model of ancient Judaism. But when he found that those about him were not prepared for a theocracy, he took what seemed to be the next best plan, and proposed the Protectorate under Cromwell, in whom, he thought, the virtues of both Moses and Joshua were combined. His reward was a place in the Privy Council of His Highness. In 1656 he entered Parliament as a Member for Cornwall, and very soon after was promoted to the House of Lords. His remarkable career was finished at Acton, on January 7th, 1659; and he was buried in great state at Eton, of which he had been Provost for sixteen years. Clarendon is unfair to his memory, and leaves a sketch of his character among the few wickedly or carelessly daubed portraits which disfigure his noble work Cromwell's “Parliament repaired to the Parliament House," he tells us, "and made choice of one Rous to be their Speaker; an old gentleman of Devonshire, who had been a Member of the former Parliament, and in that time been preferred and made Provost of the College of Eton, which office he then enjoyed, with an opinion of having some knowledge in the Latin and Greek tongues, but of a very mean understanding, but thoroughly engaged in the guilt of the times.” To the eye of a Royalist there would be many dark shadows on the character of a man who had done so much “to change times and laws;" and indeed the mere fact that Rous had acted as a chief Trier of public Preachers, and as Commissioner for putting out "scandalous and ignorant Ministers," was quite enough to disturb the balance between prejudice and truthfulness in the mind of a Court historian. Thestern "Trier" was, however, far above contempt. Nor will a calm student of his writings believe that
he was " of a very mean understanding." Among the “Treatises and Meditations" which he dedicated “to the saints, and to the excellent throughout the three nations," may be found “ Diseases of the Time, attended by their Remedies," and “ Oyl of Scorpions, or the Miseries of these Times turned into Medicines for curing themselves ;' and, if one may judge by the manner in which he deals with popular evils, it was woe to the blind and godless Cleric whose abilities were tried by Francis Rous. In the theological branch he would have as little mercy in some cases, perhaps, as a Divine whom I heard bawl once after a Methodist Preacher, “ Arminianism is a lie; it was never true, it was never ordained to be true!" Yet, perhaps, an Arminian even might manage to admit the old “ Trier's" leading aphorism, " The root of predestination is unsearchable, the wit of man is short and shallow ;' especially when he was told from the bench that, “in these and the like depths of God, no man is to wade above his stature. Every man should understand according to sobriety; that is, according to the measure which he containeth. Let not the homer tear itself to pieces by stretching itself to be an ephah, but every member (for members are different) aspire to his proper fulness; and though they reach not to such mysteries, they may converse in points of more absolute necessity to salvation." But unsound doctrine even would stand a better chance in the presence of the Commissioner than practical vice. It might do some people of our own times a great deal of good to be rebuked by him ; for, alas ! he might be speaking of these days when he said, “Another great sin of this land is deceitfulness of trades. Single trades are grown to be double, for there are two trades in one; the one is a skill of doing it truly, the other of doing it deceitfully. And he is the most skilful tradesman that knoweth the falsehood of his trade, rather than he who knoweth the truth of it.” Nor would some of his utterances on “monstrousness of apparel” be out of place were they issued against the present rage for appearances. “For by the ambition of clothes there is a general remove," says he," and the lower is stept into the place of the higher, and each goes about to be like them who are unlike