Imágenes de páginas

Yet still I loved her, for the love she bore my mother's name,
And for her own meek gentleness and life that none might blame;
And she loved me, and oftentimes would stroke my brow and say,
Come, cheer thee! those are never lost for whom true hearts still

I strove to think it was so, but nine tedious years went by,
While many an anxious prayer I prayed that brought me no reply,
And heard of deeds I could but blame when Willy bore a part,
Till the very wish that prompted hope sank fainting in my heart.
'Twas early in October, on a sunny afternoon,
When the russet leaves were quivering to the robin's cheery tune,
And a lingering bloom and fragrance hung about the garden flowers,
That seemed a dying memory of the gorgeous summer hours.
We sat beside the open door, to feel the pleasant breeze,
And the lace upon its pillow lay unwoven on my knees,
The while I watched the broad highway among the fields below,
And the footpath up the hill-side, as my sire did long ago.
I saw a traveller leave the road, to climb the steep ascent,
Through field and copse and hop.ground bare, his weary course he bent,
And past the withered heather bloom and through our garden gate
He came, and stood unrecognized before us as we sate.
I might have known him, when the latch, whose spring no stranger

Gave way at once beneath his touch, and wide the wicket flew,
And the old, half-blind, half-crazy dog, that never left my feet,
Went stumbling down the garden path his coming step to meet.

But I did not know him till he laid on mine a thin cold hand,
And sinking by me on a chair like one too faint to stand,
He looked into my face through tears that swelled but did not fall,
And said, “ Reproach me as you will, for I deserve it all.”

I had nursed a caged pet linnet, long before when but a child,
But it stole from my caresses to be once more free and wild,
And a fearful hailstorm rose and beat, and when its wrath was o'er,
I found my linnet bruised and maimed beside the cottage door.
I could as soon have raised a hand to crush that wayward thing,
While fluttering on my bosom with torn plume and broken wing,
As I could have said a word to bow my brother's drooping head,
So I wound my arms about his neck, and kissed his cheek instead.

He stayed with us. I tended him with fondest love and care,
And never spoke of what was past, except to God in prayer.
But hectic flushed his wasted cheek and lit his full, bright eye,
And I felt that like my truant bird he came to me to die.
It was a cruel, slow disease that wore his life away,
And his stricken heart within him pierced by deeper suffering lay;
But silently he bore it all, and gave no outward sign
Of the anguish that consumed his soul to any eye but mine.
But I knew when the sharp pain made the wan cheek whiter still,
And marked the pale lips trembling oft despite the firm bold will ;
And heard when night hushed all around in slumber calm and deep,
My brother pace his chamber racked by thoughts that would not sleep.
I spoke to him of hope and heaven; alas ! it was in vain :
He listened to me moodily, and answered not again:
Till I was fain to cease, and lift a silent prayer above,
That He whose hand had pierced would heal the brother of my love.

H. F.

ARE YOU AT WORK ? A YOUNG man of strong passions and burning zeal, was passing with eager haste along the road which led to the city of Damascus. His errand was one of cruelty and oppression. There had arisen during the last few years among the religionists of his country, a new and rapidly-increasing sect, which met with determined and powerful opposition from the leading men of that age. The spirit of persecution raged furiously against the peaceful and loving disciples of the despised Nazarene; and our youthful traveller was distinguished for his ardent participation in the efforts which were made to crush and exterminate them. He was proceeding now to Damascus for the purpose of arresting and imprisoning, without regard to age and

sex, every adherent to the new faith. But on his way to the city, before he could accomplish his murderous design, a sudden light of unearthly intensity and brightness, flashed around him; and in the midst of his terror and amazement Christ revealed himself to him as the real object of his bitter and unrelenting persecution. Few but all-subduing were the words of that injured but forbearing Saviour, and it was the thrilling remonstrance which fell from His lips, that awakened this memorable inquiry in the humbled and softened heart of the repentant Saul, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do ??)

Eighteen centuries have rolled away since the occurrence of this remarkable noon-day vision, and it has never been repeated. That radiant glory which dimmed the splendour of the meridian sun does not burst across our path, startling us by its magnificence, and awing us by its mysteriousness; and there is no audible voice from heaven appealing to our personal consciousness of sin, and enkindling the best emotions of our heart. And yet, dear reader, has the Saviour never spoken to you ? has He never disclosed Himself in the glory of His character, and the greatness of His love, to your wondering apprehension ? In the seclusion of your quiet chamber, or amidst the hallowed engagements of the sanctuary; while perusing some simple and affectionate treatise, or when bending over the pages of the Sacred Volume, have you not heard “a still small voice” pleading earnestly with you, and striving to win your immediate devotedness to God's service ? And at such a moment, if you were “not disobedient to the heavenly vision," if you did not stay to “confer with flesh and blood," was not this the ready response of your touched and deeplyimpressed heart, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do ?”

Oh, it is a blessed thing for us when our natural independence and self-will is thus exchanged for a child-like, submissive, and teachable spirit; when, instead of leaning to our own understanding, or conforming ourselves to the maxims of the world around

us, we are made willing to sit at the feet of Jesus, and are anxious to learn of Him. For, when the language of our heart is, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?” we are in our right position; we are recognizing Christ's authority to direct us; Christ's claim to our unquestioning obedience. Nor are we trying to evade that authoritative claim by concealing ourselves in the mist of vague generalities, but there is a frank and cordial avowal of our individual responsibility in our utterance of the inquiry, “Lord, what wilt Thou have ME to do?And an uncontrollable desire for action also evidences the sincerity of our self-consecration; Lord, what wilt Thou have me TO DO?

Dear young reader, if you love Christ, I am sure you are longing to work for Him. You want to be actively employed in His service; you wish to tell others of His goodness, that you may enlist them for His disciples. You have an irrepressible desire to be doing something. This is a right state of feeling. As everything that is healthy in the natural world is putting forth its germs of life, so must the Christian be ever exerting his energies, and developing his powers. “We want men of hot hearts, to tell of the love of Christ," said a converted Chinese. And you might as well try to stay the tide of the ocean as to check the progress of those ardent emotions which are enkindled in the young Christian's mind. 66 While I mused,” said David," the fire burned, then spake I with my tongue.” It matters not how lowly the position, nor how limited the capabilities; where there is a real and earnest desire to work for Christ, work will be found and work will be done.

Look at that poor old woman in yonder almshouse. She is quite a cripple, unable to walk or stand, and her fingers are twisted by rheumatism into all kinds of shapes. A visitor, on entering her apartment, finds her busy with some religious tracts. “Well, Mrs. H-, what are you doing?” “Oh, sir," she replies, “I am sorting my tracts.” “What for?” “ To send out to my neighbours." The fact is, that she received, from time to time, these tracts from richer friends, and then employed some one to carry them round the spacious court of almshouses in which she lives; and her work is to keep up a regular supply and exchange. Thus poor old Ellen, in the almshouse, finds some way to be useful.

There lived in a poor cottage a girl of sixteen. The only means of instruction ever enjoyed by her did not last for more than six months, but her mind was awakened by an ardent desire for knowledge. After she had learned by heart the few books within her reach, she took the Bible, and though she had seldom heard the Gospel preached, yet the Spirit of God inspired her with wonder, as she read the story of a Saviour's love. Her wonder was changed to fear; she was humbled; she sought pardon;

and with a sense of forgiveness, came the inquiry, What she, a poor ignorant child, could do for her Saviour ? She thought of her brothers; she read to them, over and over again, the lessons she had learned from the Bible. She had heard of Sabbath schools, and with a determination to establish one among the few neighbours in her vicinity, she persuaded her father to lend his kitchen for a school-room. Soon her school increased; old men and middle-aged came, and the youthful teacher was happy.

Years passed; and in place of scores, hundreds were seen in that school each returning Sabbath, and it is now in the midst of a flourishing village. A neat church stands by the side of the old kitchen, and the songs of Zion echo from its walls; and the voice of the Gospel minister is heard from its pulpit on the Lord's day. That teacher sleeps! She has gone to receive the blessed commendation—“She hath done what she could."

Yes, she has ceased from her labours; but mark

« AnteriorContinuar »