Imagens das páginas
[blocks in formation]

many years been her reconciled Father her purpose : and stronger than all these through her faith in the atonement of rose the voice of the tempter, suggesting His Son; and she could remember won- that He to whom she had entrusted her derful deliverances which He had case had not supplied her wants so very wrought for her in times of distress as liberally; and that in this instance, when great as the present. So she took as her relief was at hand, she might certainly new-year's motto, “I will trust, and avail herself of it. But through all the not be afraid. Hitherto hath the Lord strife of human and satanic temptation helped me!” And, casting her burden on there breathed the still, small voice of the Lord, she was able to turn to her Divine guidance: “Remember the Sabchildren with a cheerful face; and the bath-day, to keep it holy.” “ This is the homely meal was brightened by her way, walk ye in it.” “He that believeth loving words, and pleasant stories of the shall not make haste;" and Mrs. past.

keeping a firm hold on the promise of the The new year and the hallowed widow's God, was able " to stand in the Sabbath dawned together; and as she evil day." rose next morning, and looked forward “ Mother!” cried little Johnny, dashing into the probable trials of the future, the into the room next morning with very widow felt thankful that this “ first day'' unusual animation," here is a letter from might be given entirely to God, and uncle William : perhaps he has sent you strength be sought to take its discipline a new-year's gift!” “No, dear," said and its duties in the spirit of a Christian. his mother sadly, "your uncle has never The trial of her faith was nearer than she spoken to me since I was married; and I thought. Scarcely was breakfast over, fear it is too late to expect him to before her door was besieged by applica- change now:” but she hastily opened the tions for tea-cakes from her neighbours letter, and written upon it she might have who hallowed not the Sabbath. They knew read the triumphant inquiry, “ Is anything her conscientiousness, and had not gener- too hard for the Lord ?" Her brother ally disturbed her in this way; but to- had relented towards her; and, in a kindly day she must make an exception to her letter, had enclosed the exact sum required rule: it was holiday-time, and people to make up her rent, and it had reached must enjoy themselves; and surely she her only an hour or two before the landwould be glad to get her children a hearty lord was expected to call for it! meal. These, and many other pleas were “A Judge of the widow, and a Father urged by the would-be customers : some of the fatherless, is God in His holy tried ridicule, and some abuse, to shake habitation.”

Our Servants.


stitution for the concentration and diffusion The year 1860 being now past, and the

of the greatest social good. Look at a year 1861 having come, without un- well-ordered family which way you will, necessary grief at our own short-comings, it ever impresses you with respect and or unkindly remembrance of other people's delight. But we are apt, perhaps, to misdoings, who does not wish to begin the under-estimate the importance of “our new year better than he has lived the old

servants," as an element of well-being and one? A better year would be a happier happiness in our families. “Our Times" year, and we wish every one “a happy may be called, on sundry occasions, crinew year."

tical, eventful, spirit-stirring, and the like; The pride of Great Britain is the sanc

but the term that comprehends most fully, tity, seclusion, union, and comfort of her and most perfectly, the spirit of “Our families. The family is God's own in- Times,” is “Money-seeking Times,"

[blocks in formation]


Everybody wonders and inquires what No matter what else perishes, truth perishes everybody else is worth : he that has not. Truth abides for ever. Such is the most money is of the greatest worth; and mon estimate of truth, that every one he that has none is nothing worth. We despises falsehood; and nobody can be know that such-like talk is, indeed, called a false man without offending him. nothing worth; for we are very sure that Truth is, of all qualities, the most valuable thousands of most worthy people are poor

in “our servants.” It does not follow that people; and if much money were really there should be any less of what besides necessary to make us worth much, one may form a good servant; of kindliness, wonders why God has not taken greater modesty, and so on; but unless truth, the care of His own children, after that fair, the firm, white stone of truth, lie at fashion. This sort of talk, we say, is

the foundation, some day or other, everyunwise ; and is damaging to our right thing you heap up will tumble down, judgment and peace of mind. And because it was not built up on truth. we would at once express our sorrow at

Therefore take truth into your very heart: finding that “our servants,” carried away there it will cure the deceit of the heart by the stream of “our times,” can indulge itself, and regulate your judgment, and so far as they often do, in calculations about give law to your lips, and unity to your what their situations are worth, and how actions, and it will look out at the windows much themselves also are worth. This

of your eyes, and it will render your is a habit of thinking which quite saps whole character clear as crystal. Be sure the mind of all considerations but one, of this, that you will find many temptawhich is just this: How can I get the tions to depart from the truth. An enemy most out of my situation; and what is may suggest that the matter being little, the least I can render in return? Fie upon the lie to cover it cannot be great; or the such thoughts! They are genuine fruits matter being great, it is worth a lie to of a covetous heart, and are themselves cover it. Horrid! No lie is little. Nothing fraught with untold mischief and misery. can be worth a lie. Therefore may you No honourable persons can either indulge pray, with the devout Psalmist,“ Save this disposition in themselves, or respect me from the way of lying." Save me those who do gratify it. To assist “our from equivocation, prevarication, hyposervants” in making themselves, and the crisy, guile, simulation, dissimulation, families wherein they reside, sure of false looks, false tones; everything that is happiness, is our purpose in writing the untrue. Make me, O God of truth, like following paragraphs.

Thyself in truth : let my yea be yea; and Truth. There is nothing like truth. my nay, nay. In truth, let me liken It is the first and best of all qualities. Jesus, who is the same yesterday, to-day, It is the foundation of honour, the line of and for ever." God loves truth, and will righteousness, the plummet of exactness, hear and answer such a prayer as that, for the pendulum of punctuality, true strength Christ's sake. Then, should slander of character; it makes threats terrible, breathe upon you, it will be but as breath and promises reliable; without it friend- upon a diamond: the diamond is dim one ship is flattery, and contracts are lies. moment, bright the very next.




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
Than Jesus, Son of God Most High!
Jesu! the hope of souls forlorn!
How good to them for sin that mourn !
To them that seek Thee, O how kind!
But what art Thou to them that find?
No tongue of mortal can express,
No letters write its blessedness;

[blocks in formation]


No. XIII, "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,

[blocks in formation]

But I am getting out of my way. My re- figures, now and then, in a rare catalogue, turning steps were bent towards Halton. as " a Cornish poet," and the author of It was now dark; and I felt, as I entered “ Sir Francis Drake, his Honourable Life's the porch, that the light from a mullioned Commendacion, and his Tragical Death's window promised me a cheerful home. Lamentation.” Other memories came; so The walls of my chamber, like those of that mine was a watchful night. The the parlour below, were adorned with bed afforded repose, but no sleep. For a panelled oak. The room had been evi- time my musings were broken now and dently one of the best of the family- then by certain strange movements behind apartments. Here then, said I to myself, the wainscot; but one soon gets used even to as with the aid of my tiny candle I looked such things; and towards midnight, Milton around through the dim space; here then, was in my mind, and I thought I could perhaps, the good Sir Anthony Rous used to understand a little of the feeling which he repose after the hospitable toils of the day:

expresses in one of those gemmy bits of for who could forget the name of one his, which make us feel the witching whom Thomas Fuller puts among his power of pure English, when used by a “ worthies ?" The humorous biographer true poet :has left but few words, it is true, as he

“Let my lamp, at midnight hour, never gives more than the living pith Be seen in some high lonely tower, of his material ; but in this case, as in every

Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,

With thrice-great Hermes, or unsphere other, he throws a charm over the place

The spirit of Plato, to unfold where the subject of his notice lived and What worlds or what vast regions hold moved. “Give me leave," says he, “to The' immortal mind that hath forsook transcribe what I find written of him : ‘Ho

Her mansion in this fleshy nook." employeth himself to a kind and un- I was not in a “ lonely tower," though in interrupted entertainment of such as visit deep stillness; there was no “lamp" to him, upon his not sparing inviting; or break the gloom; and yet I was on the their own occasions; who (without the watch: not that I wanted to “unsphere self-guilt of an ungrateful wrong) must the spirit of Plato," but my soul seemed witness, that his frankness confirmeth this alive to any intimations it could catch welcome, by whatsoever means provision, about one immortal mind at least, which the fuel of hospitality, can in the best had probably begun its life in that very manner supply.' He was father to chamber, and had performed by no means Francis Rous, late Provost of Eton, whose a common career before it left its “fleshy industry is more commendable than his nook.” Where was the spirit of Francis judgment in his many treatises.” It is Rous? A sentence which once fell from pleasant to know a little about the places his pen came now so vividly, that it might into which Providence leads us.

One can

have been borne to one by living breath : relish a meal all the better for knowing “I was first breathed from heaven; and that men of honourable memory had I came from God in my creation..... dined in that room; and one's chamber Where should a low spirit find happiness has a deeper charm if he can call up its but in the Highest Spirit? and where former occupants, and spend a sleepless should a created spirit seek happiness but hour in mystic communion with them. So in the Spirit that created it? Wherefore, I thought as I pushed open a small door being a spirit, I fasten myself in a spiritual in the wainscot, and found myself in what, happiness; and this spiritual happiness I it may be, was the old Lord of Halton's look for in no other but in the first and best private closet; where, probably, he had Spirit, beyond whom there is neither good taken godly counsel from Master Fitz- nor being." One could never doubt the Geffrey, the Parson of the parish, who heavenly rest of the old Republican's soul, lived to see both the Squire and his lady though I confess I could never fully take laid low. Nor has the merit of his in either his political belief, or his religious quaintly-titled funeral-sermons for them creed. He was born within the walls helped to keep their names fresh, or his which now sheltered me. His training own, as a theologian, popular, or even was completed at Oxford. In the first alive; though the worthy Pastor still Parliament called by Charles I., he ap

[blocks in formation]


peared as the Member for Truro, in his he was" of a very mean understanding." native county. At a later session, he Among the “ Treatises and Meditations" represented Tregony; and then Truro which he dedicated “to the saints, and to again claimed the honour of giving him & the excellent throughout the three nations,” seat. As a Radical reformer, he struck may be found “Diseases of the Time, right and left, and at every real or fancied attended by their Remedies," and “ Oyl of abuse in turn; now at the Church, and Scorpions, or the Miseries of these Times now at the Court; here at taxes, and there turned into Medicines for curing themat Arminianism. In the Parliament of selves ;” and, if one may judge by the 1653 he sat for Devonshire, and figured manner in which he deals with popular first as Chairman, and then as Speaker. evils, it was woe to the blind and godless It was now that he conceived the notion Cleric whose abilities were tried by Francis of forming an English commonwealth Rous. In the theological branch he after the model of ancient Judaism. But would have as little mercy in some cases, when he found that those about him were perhaps, as a Divine whom I heard bawl not prepared for a theocracy, he took once after a Methodist Preacher, “ Arwhat seemed to be the next best plan, and minianism is a lie; it was never true, it proposed the Protectorate under Cromwell, was never ordained to be true!" Yet, in whom, he thought, the virtues of both perhaps, an Arminian even might manage Moses and Joshua were combined. His to admit the old “ Trier's" leading reward was a place in the Privy Council aphorism, “The root of predestination is of His Highness. In 1656 he entered unsearchable, the wit of man is short and Parliament as a Member for Cornwall, and shallow;" especially when he was told very soon after was promoted to the House from the bench that, “in these and the of Lords. His remarkable career like depths of God, no man is to wade finished at Acton, on January 7th, 1659 ; above his stature. Every man should unand he was buried in great state at Eton, derstand according to sobriety; that is, acof which he had been Provost for sixteen cording to the measure which he containeth. years. Clarendon is unfair to his memory, Let not the homer tear itself to pieces by and leaves a sketch of his character among stretching itself to be an ephah, but every the few wickedly or carelessly daubed member (for members are different) aspire portraits which disfigure his noble work. to his proper fulness; and though they Cromwell's “Parliament repaired to the reach not to such mysteries, they may Parliament House," he tells us, converse in points of more absolute necessity made choice of one Rous to be their to salvation." But unsound doctrine even Speaker; an old gentleman of Devonshire, would stand a better chance in the presence who had been a Member of the former of the Commissioner than practical vice. Parliament, and in that time been preferred It might do some people of our own times and made Provost of the College of Eton, a great deal of good to be rebuked by him ; which office he then enjoyed, with an for, alas ! he might be speaking of these opinion of having some knowledge in the days when he said, “ Another great sin of this Latin and Greek tongues, but of a very

land is deceitfulness of trades. Single mean understanding, but thoroughly en- trades are grown to be double, for there are gaged in the guilt of the times.” To the two trades in one; the one is a skill of doing eye of a Royalist there would be many it truly, the other of doing it deceitfully. dark shadows on the character of a man And he is the most skilful tradesman that who had done so much “ to change times knoweth the falsehood of his trade, rather and laws;" and indeed the mere fact that than he who knoweth the truth of it." Rous had acted as a chief Trier of public

Nor would some of his utterances on Preachers, and as Commissioner for putting “monstrousness of apparel" be out of out “ scandalous and ignorant Ministers,” place were they issued against the present was quite enough to disturb the balance be- rage for appearances. "For by the tween prejudice and truthfulness in the mind ambition of clothes there is a general of a Court historian. The stern “Trier" was, remove," says he," and the lower is stept however, far above contempt. Nor will into the place of the higher, and each a calm student of his writings believe that goes about to be like them who are unlike

ri and

« AnteriorContinuar »