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matter, and using their influence, obtained a 'berth for the lad on board a merchant vessel bound for the West Coast of Africa. The West Coast is known to be unhealthy for all Europeans; and Mr. Lloyd could not endure the idea of shipping his only son off to the “White Man's Grave.” Hardened and careless, however, as Alexander was, he bade defiance to danger, and sailed off in high spirits, while the almost broken-hearted father returned home alone, to wrestle and plead with God on behalf of his wandering son.
E. R. P.
Rock of Ages."
Thoughtlessly the maiden sung,
“ Rock of Ages, cleft for me
By permission, reprinted from “ Public Opinion.”
BY CRONA TEMPLE.
VERYBODY knows what echoes are, and yet very few
people have heard an echo such as I once heard when I was a child.
We lived on the western coast of Ireland then, and near our house was a wonderful place called Crowey Hole. It was very deep, and big enough for two churches, towers and all, to be hidden within it completely! It was
close to the great cliffs that stood like walls against the sea; and as we children walked across the hills there we often looked down into the Hole and longed to explore it. Birds built their nests in the tufts of grass growing in the clifts of the rocks far below, and we used to think that no living thing without wings could ever get to the bottom.
But one day, as we were walking at very low tide at the foot of the cliffs, we noticed a narrow opening beside a great spur of rock. Quite a narrow chink, scarcely worthy the name of a cave.
We entered this place, stepping carefully over wet rocks and masses of sea-weed ; creeping almost on hands and knees beneath the stooping roof, and at length found ourselves many yards away from the outer air. began to get very dark, and we stopped for a minute to take breath. We could hear no sounds but the drip, dripping of some water falling far beyond us, and the ripple and boom of the sea. One of my brothers suggested going back; he was but a small boy then, and the dreariness and dimness made him feel a little bit afraid.
“No, no. Let us go on as far as we can !" cried another, who was much older and bigger. So we scrambled on once more.
“Hallo!” cried some one in front.
“What is it?" said I, my voice sounding strange and awful in that empty fissure of the rock.
“Light ahead !” was the reply. Come on!”
So on we went, bumping our heads and bruising our knees; splashing through little pools which there was not light enough to see, and now and then slipping upon some coil of sea-weed lying, like the sea-serpent itself, in great folds thicker than our bodies.
Presently the light before us grew stronger, and what was strange—we could hear the sound of the sea in front, instead of behind us. “ The cave must have twisted round, and got back again to the shore," said I.
A few steps more and we found ourselves in the open
air indeed, but not upon the shore, although the blue sky was over our heads, and the blue sea stretched away, seen through an enormous opening on our right hand, and looking exactly like a picture set in a great oval frame of black rock.
We were at the bottom of Crowey Hole !
My brother shouted out “Hurrah !" Instantly a perfect volley of “hurrahs” arose, as if a company of giants were hiding there and shouting back at us. We shrunk together in a sort of alarm, for there was something terrifying in the sound coming, hollow and unearthly, from all sides at once.
“It is only the echo," my eldest brother said. Only the echo," repeated the rocks gently. The " giants" were gentle this time, for my brother had spoken softly.
Then we began to shout all sorts of things; calling our own names aloud, and listening for the way in which they were shouted back to us. “I love you !” somebody cried. “ I love you !" said the giant voices, over and over. wretch !” shouted one of the boys, and instantly the echo repeated the words in a torrent of abuse. We shouted, and sang and whistled until we were weary, and then we began to think of returning.
First we walked about the bottom of Crowley Hole, thinking it grand to tread the shingle on which we had often looked down ; we looked up at the birds now flying across the chasm, and scarcely envied them their wings; we had found a way for our own little feet.
Crowey Hole proved to be a cave whose roof had fallen in and had been washed away by the waves. The mouth of the cave was still arched over, and formed the opening through which we could see the wide plain of the ocean, covered with its shining summer waves. On the land side the cavern branched off into several dark holes, like the fingers of a gigantic glove; these we did not then explore, but, quite contented with our discovery, we hurried home as quickly as we could, to tell where we had been and what we had seen.
Sometimes, now, when I wish to amuse the children around my knees, I tell them of Crowey Hole and its wonderful echo; and I know they would like to go with me to explore its wonders; they would like to shout out words for the cliffs to repeat; they would like to raise some simple melody, to try if the echoes can sing as well as talk.
But Crowey Hole is far away, and my children and I hear other echoes day by day.
If we hear kind, loving words from friendly voices, it is because we have uttered kindly loving words to them. If hard cold tones chill and pain us, can we not trace them as the echo of hard cold moods of ours?
And memory brings us echoes which are sometimes very sweet, and sometimes very sad. It is in our own power to awaken the sweet ones, if we care to do so.
The Sabbath comes, the day which God has given for us to hear sweet words which will echo for us all through the week. Every time it dawns we may hear, “ Our Father which art in heaven.” Listen to the echo. Listen to it on Mondays, when the week's work is beginning, and, as you listen, just think: "I ought to be happy, and to go singing on my way; for although I am in the midst of earth's trials and labours, in heaven there is a mighty God who allows me to call Him Father."
"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.” Listen for that echo when you are tempted to feel angry with those who have annoyed you. Let the vexations of the week bring with them an echo of the forgiveness and gentleness which we are bidden to show, even to our enemies.
“ Deliver us from evil.” Daily we should hearken to the echo of that prayer.
The Saviour Himself lifted His hands to His Father for aid ; and ought not we to do so, poor, weak, sin-stained, and ruined as we are? Evil within, evil without-deliver us, O Lord !
That seventh day will waken many such echoes. And yet some lives are filled with sadness. Their mouths are