Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

It was the appeal of tottering age to happy, handsome youth, and Julius could not resist it. With a royal grace he laid a guinea in the old man's open palm, and felt fully rewarded by his look of wonder and delight.

“God give you love and luck, young sir. I am eighty-three now, and sair failed; but I was once twenty-three, and young and lusty as you be. But life is at the fag end with me now. God save us all!"

Then Sophia, who had a natural love of neatness and order, began to collect the plates and napkins, and arrange them in the basket; and this being done, she looked around for the housemaid in order to put it in her charge. The girl was at the other end of the field, and she went to her.

Charlotte had scarcely perceived what was going on. The old man's singing had made her a little sad. She was standing under the tree, leaning against the great mossy trunk. Sophia was out of hearing. Julius stepped close to her. His soul was in his face; be spoke like a man who was no longer master of himself.

Charlotte, I love you. I love you with all my heart.” She looked at him steadily. Her eyes flashed. She threw downward her hands with a deprecating motion.

“ You have no right to say such words to me, Julius. I have done all a woman could do to prevent them. I have never given you any encouragement. A gentleman does not speak without it.”

“I could not help speaking. I love you, Charlotte. Is there any wrong in loving you? If I had any hope of winning you."

“No, no; there is no hope. I do not love you. I never shall love you."

“Unless you have some other lover, Charlotte, I shall dare to hope ”

“I have a lover." “Oh!”

“ And I am frank with you because it is best. I trust you will respect my candour.”

He only bowed. Indeed, he found speech impossible. Never before had Charlotte looked so lovely. He felt her positive rejection very keenly.

"Sophia is coming. Please to forget that this conversation has ever been."

“You are very cruel.” “No. I am truly kind. Sophia, I am tired; let us go home."

So they turned out of the field, and into the lane. But some. thing was gone, and something had come. Sophia felt the change, and she looked curiously at Julius and Charlotte. Charlotte was calmly mingling the poppies and wheat in her hands. Her face revealed nothing. Julius was a little melancholy. “The fairies have left us,” he said. “ All of a sudden, the revel is over."

[ocr errors]

** And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures."

THOMAS CHAMPNESS AND HIS WORK.

REV. D. SUTHERLAND.

Rev. THOMAS CHAMPNESS, Wesleyan evangelist and editor of Joyful News, is doing a work in England which entitles him to be ranked among the living forces of Methodism. The story of his life is full of the heroism of consecrated perseverance in welldoing. Like many other men who has won prominence in the world, he owes much to home influences. His testimony on this point is emphatic: “All that God hath done for me and by me; every soul that I have been permitted to turn to Christ, as well as those I have helped to bear the cross which comes to all, I owe to Charles and Mary Champness, who made my early days a time for sowing the seed of which it will take all eternity to reap the harvest."

Home training and the education of the street, by which he gained a sure and wide insight into human nature, did more for him than the learning of the schools. Of the latter he had very little. Cultured in the ordinary sense of the word he is not, nor do we regret that he never passed through a college curriculum. It is now becoming manifest that culture has a tendency to plane down the rugged forcefulness of a preacher's individuality, and to compel his mode of expressing thought into a mould which turns out phrases more elegant than heart-searching. At any rate, Thomas Champness never learned to worship at the shrine of literary polish. From the first his sermons carried in them the power of individual thinking and expression. No echoes of college professors and favourite authors could be traced in his sermons. They were entirely his own from start to finish. In that lay much of their usefulness.

Champness' first sphere of labour was in Western Africa, where he toiled on for six years with untiring zeal. The poisonous climate proved fatal to all his colleagues. He himself was brought to the gates of death. At one time his attendants thought he was gone, but with an intense effort of will he rallied his energies, and afterwards slowly recovered. It was the belief that God wanted him to live, and that the Missionary Society needed further work from him, that gave him courage to fight his enervating disease inch by inch. When victory came, and he was pronounced convalescent, he had to return to England to recruit. It was feared at first that his constitution was shattered beyond hope of recovery, but a year's rest set him up again. He could not be idle. The passion for souls which burned hot in his breast urged him to activity.

It would not be wise for him to go back to the heathen of Western Africa, but there were home heathen in the villages and towns of England, who needed salvation as much as their dusky brethren. To them he decided to consecrate his energies. A working-man himself, and brought up among the poor, his heart went out to the masses for whom no man seemed to care. So he buckled himself to the self-sacrificing and arduous work of a home missionary. His methods, like his speech, were all his own. Having bought some pictures representative of Bible scenes, he fixed one of them in turn on a pole which he held aloft at a strcet corner. If it was night, a bull's eye lantern supplied the necessary light. The picture held aloft did for his open-air meetings what singing usually does—it gathered a crowd. Once they were gathered round Champness, they could not tear themselves away. Pathos and humour, graphic narration and sure-footed insight into human nature, racy Anglo-Saxon words and sympathetic knowledge of the burdens of the poor, united in giving his presentations of the Gospel a charm which kept his hearers spell-bound. The many services he has conducted in chapels and on the streets have been richly blessed of God. If in the England of to-day there is one man who has the key to unlock the ears and hearts of the working classes in town and country, that man is Thomas Champness.

He does not selfishly keep the secret to himself. He is willing to impart it, and as a matter of fact is imparting it at present to young men in preparation for evangelistic work at home or a broad. His labours as an evangelist have been and are such as would of themselves entitle him to the grateful reverence of all, Christians, but the debt is largely increased by his endeavours to train others to widen and perpetuate his methods of work.

The School of the Prophets established by bim resembles that of Mr. Moody in Chicago. Its object is to raise up a class of preachers qualified to grapple with the religious needs of villages and rural districts too poor or indisposed to seek the services of college-bred ministers. From these villages and rural districts there pours every year a stream of humanity to swell the rivers in the cities. Mr. Champness' idea is to purify the cities by going to the source and purifying the villages and country districts. So his training-school is a bold attempt to solve a pressing problem in English religious life.

Mr. Champness opened his college with but two pupils. It grew rapidly until it numbered twenty-six. Then he removed to a commodious country mansion, called Castleton Hall, in the neighbourhood of Rochdale, where he has had as many as ninety students at a time. Most of them came to the institution straight from the plough, the office or the factory. Few of them had more than a rudimentary English education, and some of them had not even that. Out of such materials Mr. Champness makes preachers. A day's programme may give some indication of the methods followed in their tuition : Breakfast begins sharp at seven o'clock. They study theology and pastoral work from 8.30 to 9.30 a.m. From 10 to 12, Rev. J. Todhunter, a supernumerary minister in Rochdale, gives them lessons in English history, grammar, Bible history and theology. Dinner is at 12.30. After dinner two hours are spent in the four acres of ground belonging to Castleton

Hall, in gardening, athletic exercises, or in games. The evening is devoted to private study. By no means the least important hour of the day is the one in which they are taught homiletics and the art of public speaking by Mr. Champness himself. Out of this institute have already proceeded nearly twenty missionaries to foreign countries, and a considerable number to home mission-fields in the northern and central counties of England. It is no small tribute to the efficacy of their training that they should be in constant demand wherever they go, and that superintendents of circuits gladly avail themselves of their services.

One would think that the charge of this School of the Prophets and his varied evangelistic labours were enough for one man, but they do not exhaust Mr. Champness' activity. He also carries on considerable literary work, and a system of colportage which makes him a power for good to many who never saw his face. His weekly newspaper, Joyful News, has a circulation of 50,000. Some of his books, quaint, homely, and outspoken like his sermons, enjoy a wide popularity. Over 2,000,000 leaflets written by him have been sold. He sends out young men who can preach to act as colporteurs, and keeps himself in personal touch with them by means of constant communication. In this way the good news is spread throughout the remote districts scattered up and down the kingdom.

Mr. Champness' story is full of significance. It shows what consecration and perseverance can do. Once he put his hand to the plough, he could not turn back. Patiently and bravely he followed the guidance of God, undaunted by failure and unelated by success. To-day his simplicity of manner and life is as genuine as in earlier years. He knows too much to take credit to himself for the work he has done, or the commanding influence he exerts.—Zion's Herald.

WESTWARD.

BY AMY PARKINSON.

The way grows brighter as the day declines,

And we haste our rest to find ;
For the path leads straight to the glowing west,

And the shadows fall behind.
Our hearts beat lighter as we think with joy

Of the journey almost done ;
Of the cross laid down and the darkness past

When the life of light is won.
Just one more shadow, where the road dips down

And comes to the river's side,
Then a few short steps to the farther bank,

Where the golden gates stand wide.
Our feet move swifter near the journey's close,

For we haste our rest to find,
And we soon shall pass through the glorious gates

With the shadows all behind !
TORONTO.

ENGLAND IN EGYPT.

success

[ocr errors]

The recent disturbance in Egypt we are not accustomed to rule in lends special interest to an article in fetters, to fight with one hand tied the January number of the Review behind our back, nor have we had of Reviews, which we abridge. It is much success in the egg dances of written by Mr. Milner, who has had diplomacy. Nevertheless, notwiththree years' experience in the British standing all these difficulties, thanks, civil service in that country. This ac- as Mr. Milner says, to our practical complished gentleman has been char- common-sense, we have put the acterized by Dean Church as “the thing through, and have come out finest flower of English scholarship at the other side with a that Oxford had turned out in this which has astonished no one so much generation." His book on “Eng- as ourselves. land in Egypt” is described by Mr. Mr. Milner says, and says truly, Stead as

one of the best published that possibly no other race, except in 1892, one that every British citizen the practical matter-of-fact Briton, for many a year to come will do well could have managed to evolve cosmos to read from cover to cover.' We out of chaos under such paradoxical give copious extracts from this book, conditions. The Frenchman, with and also comments by the versatile his logic, would have chafed himself editor of the Review of Reviews : into a fever, and the German, with

his authoritative, scientific, orderly Of the Scuttle policy we shall instinct, would have found the nonhenceforth hear little. That cause, sensical, happy-go-lucky system too hopelessly bad in itself, has been great a burden

to bear. The Englisheffectually damned by the advocates man, however, without logic and which it has attracted to its defence. without science, trusting to the great After deciding to keep Uganda, the rule of thumb, and to the principle Cabinet cannot entertain any non- of doing the best you can under the sensical propositions about scuttling circumstances, and allowing Provifrom Cairo. Mr. Milner has ar

dence to take care of abstract theories rayed the moral sense of England on and ultimate developments, has a the side of a sound Imperial policy by natural gift which has stood him in proving that it would be a cruel crime good stead in Egypt. against the best interests of the luck

Mr. Milner remarks that if the less fellaheen if we were to abandon government of Egypt had to be carthem to the tender mercies of their ried on under the conditions of a worst enemies after accustoming nightmare, the revival of the counthem to a period of peace, justice, try, in spite of these conditions, is and protection.

almost worthy of a fairy tale. It is No one can rise from reading his doubtful whether in any part of the pages without feeling proud of his world the same period can show anycountrymen, and grateful for the thing like the same tale of progress. good work which they were called He has written his book in order to upon to perform. Milton would in- show how it was done. It takes him deed have seen here something to over 400 pages to trace the developjustify his cheery conviction that ment of this wonderful story®; but wherever there was some excep- the secret can be stated in a sentence: tionally difficult task to perform, “It has been achieved by the appliGod's Englishmen were sent to do cation of a reasonable amount of it. Exceptionally difficult, indeed, common-sense and common honesty was our task in the Nile Valley-and to a country ruined by the absence the difficulties were not such as Eng- of both." But common-sense and lishmen are wont to overcome suc- common honesty alone might have cessfully. We can ride, or fight, or failed had England not been fortunate sail, or govern as well as any nation enough to have at Cairo a statesman, if we are given a free hand. But to whom Mr. Milner pays a well

a

« AnteriorContinuar »