Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Death, said to Hopeful, “I sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head; all his waves go over me.” Hopeful said, “Be of good cheer, my brother; I can feel the bottom, and it is good.” Having partaken of the affliction and of the consolation, such a one can bring a smile of peace and even joy upon a careworn soul, when prosperous friends would only deepen the gloom. Let the angel of the Lord encamp around me to deliver me, but give me the "Man of Sorrows” for my Friend; I want a Friend who has been “stricken, emitten of God, and afflicted.”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

HAVE YOU FAITH? you always feel sure you will receive what you ask of God ?"

No, I do not feel sure, because I do not know

if it is best for me. I know God hears my prayer, and if it is best, he will give me what I ask. I am content to trust him wholly."

“Well, I cannot feel so; I ask, but at the same time feel that I have no faith. Oh that I had as much faith as you have!” All may have it."

Yes, but it is the gift of God, and if he meant I should have it, I suppose he would give it to me."

“Now, my friend, do you talk so in regard to other requirements? If you wish to be a good musician, do you say, if God meant you should be a good musician, he would make you such! No, you study and labour to acquire this accomplishment. So in regard to Christian attainments : God does not bestow them without the asking. He says, Ask, and ye shall receive;' Whatsoever ye sball ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you.' Seek earnestly for this gift.

Oh, it is so hard to have faith in the Lord Jesus!” “But you have faith in earthly friends. Tell the Saviour all

your wants; how earnestly you desire, above all things else, a firm, unwavering faith in his blessed promises, and believe me, you shall find those precious words true, " Then shall

ye seek me and find me, when ye search for me with all your

heart.'

WHAT IS LIFE?

Psalm xvii. 15. '

THE child lay down to rest ;

HE

His bright eye had no tear;
His glad heart felt no fear,
Not yet by grief distrest :
One little hand still clasp'd his toy;
His dreams were only dreams of joy.
The man lay down to weep;

Since he had been a child,

Stern grief and anguish wild,
Those thorns, which sin doth keep
Still lurking near each earthly flower,
Had pierced his soul with withering power.
Old age lay down to die;

Life's joyous hours were flown,

Labour and sorrow known.
I heard the last faint sigh :
The child, the man, the vet'ran, all
Were shrouded 'neath the fun'ral pall.
Then what is life? A smile,

And then a tear: a breath

Just drawn, and lost in death.
Young for a little while,"
We sport on waves which o'er us surge,
Then into age from youth we merge.
Yet more than this is life:

From childhood's happy cot,

From manhood's tearful lot,
From age's last death-strife,
All must arise-arise to know
Eternal joy or endless woe.
Then give us grace, O Lord,

Whether we smile or weep,

Or live or die, or keep
Or lose our earthly gourd,
To lay us down in peace with thee.
To wake with joy thy face to see.

E. C.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

700D morning, sir.”

“Good morning, good morning," said the person thus addressed, returning the greeting

quickly. “May I speak a few words with you, sir?" the other person asked. He was an elderly gentleman, with white hair, and a mild, intelligent countenance. He was comfortably clad, though in rather an old-fashioned style; and he had in his gloved hand a gold-headed cane.

The cane was evidently carried as an aid to locomotion : the gold head was ornamental, certainly; perhaps professional also.

[merged small][ocr errors]

I beg your

For there may be still physicians who think that their walking outfit is not quite complete without the addition of a gold-headed cane; and the old gentleman was a physician, though retired from active practice.

“May I speak a few words with you, sir?" said he.

“A few words? Oh, certainly, Mr. pardon, though. I have not the pleasure of knowing you." This speaker was a much younger man.

He, too, was gentlemanly, though after a more modern fashion. His manner of speaking was quick and abrupt and impatient; somewhat haughty, moreover. A stranger would have supposed that Mr. Masbam (for this was the gentleman's name) had, for some reason or other, a good opinion of himself. Nor would the stranger have been mistaken.

The two gentlemen had met each other in a footpath, near the margin of a narrow river, or broad stream (we may call it either), the banks of which sloped upwards to the meadow where was the footpath. Farther off, on the background, beyond the stream, were rising hills, wooded to the summits with fine trees of some hundreds of years' growth. On the side of the stream, and not far from the spot where the two gentlemen were standing, was a large building which looked like a factory: the likeness being rendered complete by a tall chimney, which was, at that time, sending out volumes of thick, black smoke.

“My name," said the old gentleman, in reply to the last spoken words of the younger, “is Edwards. I have been a physician, and have recently returned to my native place, Auburn”-a small and pretty village about half a mile off, on our side of the river, it may be explained—“to end my days there in quiet retirement.”

“I congratulate you on the choice you have made, doctor," said the younger speaker. “A pretty place that Auburn; and a healthy spot too, I should suppose," he added, with an air of indifference.

“It used to be both pretty and healthy, sir. At any rate I thought it the former, and I know it was the latter. In fact, it is on this subject I have taken the liberty of interrupting you, having thus accidentally met.”

Mr. Masham's brow clouded a little. " I do not know, doctor, what you can have to say to me, or what I can say to you, on such a subject,” he said, hastily, and as though the very mention of it was unpleasant to him.

“I will explain, sir, if you {will allow me,” continued the physician; "and I will do it in as few words as possible. Let me be right, however. I presume I have the honour of addressing Mr. Masham ?"

“That is my name, certainly; regarding the doubtful honour you must judge for yourself, doctor," rejoined the other, his hauteur rather increasing. But of this the old gentleman chose to appear unconscious.

“It is respecting the healthiness of Auburn, Mr. Masham: you are aware, I think, that there have been some complaints lately.”

“ I really cannot say, doctor; I have a good deal to do and think about, and don't give much heed to idle rumours. But now you speak of it-yes, I think I have heard something about-about the

“About the pollution of the stream, sir, I presume," said the physician, who clearly saw that the mill-owner (for such was Mr. Masham was unwilling to speak out plainly.

“Yes--what they choose to call the pollution of the stream,” said Mr. Masham.

“ And the pollution of the atmosphere too, sir,” the physician added.

“I understand what you mean, doctor; you mean to tell me that my chemical works yonder are a public nuisance,

The gentleman spoke rather angrily. "I do not wish to say anything offensive," said the physician, mildly; “but possibly you do not know how injurious to health the fumes of certain chemicals are when in a state of combustion; and that the same effects are produced by the mixture of poisonous refuse with water used for domestic purposes.

“I know how much nonsense may be talked on such matters, at any rate,” said the manufacturer, laughing lightly; “but, doctor, you have too much good sense, I think, to yield to vulgar prejudices. The fact is, the people hereabout don't like my having bought this estate and built those works. I believe they have been put up to it by the man whom I outbid : and so there is nothing too foolish for them to

say

about me. As to my poisoning the air and the water, and all that sort of thing, it is all an imagination. Look at my workmen, now; they are healthy enough, at any rate; so much for the bad air. And as to the water-have you tasted it, doctor?"

Yes, and analyzed it, sir."

I suppose.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »