Page images

little messenger again have been like a prompting and saving thought from God, flitting over these dim and mighty waters ? A less agency even than this often car. ries the Word abroad that is meant to redeem the world, and, in the black waters of sin and death, save sinking souls. Your word, your prayer, your mite, dear reader, may be such a messenger, winged with tidings of help.

A VOICE OF CHILDHOOD. Of the same terrible wreck some touching incidents are told. With a great concourse of passengers it was crowded fore and aft. When the cry passed amongst them that all was lost, the scene was one of pallid woe. Every woman and child having been removed to the Ellen, the men, clustering into the rigging, and on the sides of the ship, prepared for the moment when it should fall into the breast of the waves. Little time for prayer, none for tears, scarce any for words of farewell. Some who, we are told, a few hours before were laden with gold they had gathered in distant lands, were seen pouring it out on the cabin floor in haste and despair, fearing now and hating what they had so loved and toiled for, and knowing that even a few ounces of its weight, if they were cast abroad in the waves, might sink them to the bottom. From the gold strewn everywhere in heaps, they fled as from an accursed and fearful thing. In death, and in face of eternity, it seemed to smite them with a stroke unutterable. It would appear as if the soul dared not commit itself to these floods, burdened even with its touch. So, equipped in life-buoys, or clinging to the spars that might drift when the vessel sank, most of the doomed crowd waited under the dim heavens and on the wide sullen sea, the coming of the awful time. Slowly the great ship was sucked into its grave, and in the black whirling deep at first men were dragged down many feet beneath the waves, and then out of their depths cast forth again, either to swim or perish. Hundreds were thus seen driven wildly on the face of the heaving abyss. For many hours no help was near, and no light of hope was upon them. Some swam for a while together-others, divided by the waves, went wide apart; and from the solitudes of the great deep, far and near, there came ever and anon a desolate cry, as another and another strong heart yielded and went down to rise no more. One man, saved when in the last extremity, tells, that as he floated on the waste, he knew not whither, the whole past of his life seemed in vision to rise and shoot upon his soul. Things he had forgotten for years,—things that had given him pain and remorse in childhood, but that his manhood's life had blotted out so long, rose again as he had felt them in early times. A dying sister's sick-room -the pallid face in the shadows of its last hour-in an evil moment his having stolen a bunch of clustered grapes from her pillow - the darkness in which, after the cruel wrong, he had buried himself-his mother's voice of reproach in the still night-the aching of his sorrow afterand the sad look and sad tone of his mother's grief, that lingered in his heart for many days, and would not be driven away-all these rose in thronging memory, haunting him in the waves so vividly, and in the deep silence of the sea, as if through their anguish he was literally living again. He felt as if death was near, since that voice of childhood fell on his soul, glancing like an arrow of light through all the darkness and forgottenness of the past. Ere the night was over, however, he was taken up by a passing vessel and saved.

Reader, such scenes and times are all types of what death and judgment will still more awfully reveal. In these every hidden thing will be brought to light, and, as in an instant of time, the whole life will be lived again; voices of childhood will especially come back-tender, holy, full of reproach, long forgotten perhaps, burdened with many a lesson and many a prayer taught us. Treasure these voices now; treasure the questions Jesus now so touchingly addresses to your soul; forget His words and the name wherewith He hath called you never, and then you need fear no change. Death, judgment, eternity, nothing can separate you from Him and from His love.

W. R.

“MY TEACHER WAS THERE." It gave great encouragement to the anxiously inquiring scholar who attended the prayer meeting and the weekevening service, to be able to say, “My teacher was there, and spoke a kind word to me.' And if the hearts are right, both the teacher and the scholar will rejoice together when they can say,

" Jesus was there."



Who among you, dear little friends, have not heard of the story of the Indian massacres-of the heathen soldiers, murdering their officers, and torturing and mangling even poor little children ?

It was at Allahabad, a great city in the north of India, that an English youth, Arthur Cheek, a young ensign not more than sixteen, was lying, left for dead, among his murdered comrades. Night had come on: the youth opened his eyes, and looked feebly round. He was fear. fully wounded, but life was precious, and he knew that God who gave him this precious gift could yet preserve it for him, if such were His will.

As he was lying on the parched earth under the cloudless sky, he remembered that close by there was a deep chasm in the ground shaded by trees, where perhaps he might hide himself from his murderers, until some help should come. If he could but reach it! Little friends! who can tell what a precious gift a few hours of life

may be!

Slowly and painfully the young soldier crept towards the ravine, and before day broke he was safe under the deep shadows of the trees, and refreshed by a drink of beautiful water from a brook which ran along them by the side of them. Morning came, and noon, and the sunbeams, life-destroying to a European, glared fiercely through the heavens; the friendly shade made the young soldier a tent, and the brook was meat and drink and medicine to him. But as the shadows of the evening descended, he began to think of the sort of company that frequented at night the Indian woods—the Bengal tiger, the hyæna, the leopard, the jackall; he had no means of protection against them, except by climbing a tree, and his dreadful wounds made this a fearful task ; besides, he must sit in the tree all night. The young soldier was patient and courageous; notwithstanding the pain and the suffering, he raised himself from the ground, and contrived to get into the tree. Another morning came, he slowly descended, and resorted to his brook again. We have said the brook was meat and drink and medicine to him ; indeed it was, for he had no other. Another day rolled slowly on, moruing, noon, and evening came: again the young soldier succeeded in mounting the tree; the third—the fourth—the fifth day came; how he must have listened, as he was lying there, to every sound that disturbed the silence of those vast solitudes, in the hope of hearing an English voice, or the beat of an English drum! He was not alone : no one who loves and serves the Lord can ever be alone, or feel forsaken; the door is always open between Christ and His disciples, and they can hear His voice, and He can hear theirs. The young soldier thought doubtless of his home; he thought, perhaps, of the texts he had learned when a child, of the hymns he had taught to others in the Sunday school; he thought of those who loved him as their own life, going cheerfully about their usual occupations in happy England, and little thinking of where he was lying; but he knew they prayed for him, and that God, who heard their prayers, would answer them according to his need. As he was lying under the trees, on the fifth day, he heard a sound: it was the sound of footsteps—it came nearerwas it to save or destroy-an Englishman or sepoys ? terrible questions for the young soldier to ask himself at such an hour. They were soon answered,—he saw himself surrounded by sepoys. All hope of life in this world was now over, but there remained the life of the next, and the home with Jesus. Calm, self-possessed, and prepared to suffer, they dragged him out of the wood, into the presence of one of their brutal leaders. He found another prisoner there, not a fellow-countryman, but a fellowChristian, a native catechist, who had once been a Mohammedan; he, poor man, was kneeling upon the ground surrounded by sepoys, who were endeavouring to tornient and terrify him into denying his faith. Far was every voice that had ever instructed him, far every friend who had taught him to lean upon Jesus; he had yet stood firm, but, the object of constant care and constant teaching, he was unused to stand alone; he seemed for a moment to waver; there was a word of Christian kindness and encouragement at hand, the voice of one ready to suffer with him. “Oh, my friend !” said the young officer, come what may, do not deny the Lord Jesus!”

Just at this minute, the sounds so longed and listened for in the silent wood were heard—the alarm of the English attack; and Colonel Neill, at the head of the Madras Fusileers, broke in upon the murderers.

The fray was short, the flight speedy; the grateful catechist, saved from a danger worse than death, hastened to him who had been God's messenger to strengthen his

[ocr errors]

faltering spirit. He was dead; he had done the last work reserved for him ; God's messenger had gone home to the house of his Father.- Children's Missionary Magazine (Letter in the Times.”)

WHAT CHILDREN TEACH.", CHILDREN teach us what is our present state in relation to that which is to come. “ The heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.” This is our condition now. We are not yet come to the rest and inheritance, which the Lord God giveth to us. We are infants, in our minority, bound unto a service of obedience. As the young prince, in the days of his babyhood, has no idea of the throne and sceptre which await him, and asks for the toys which suit his age; 80 we have no conception of the kingdom to which we are heirs : if God were to tell us about it, we should not understand Him; we should tire of listening, and plead for some bauble of the hour. Therefore, our Lord simply declares, that eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, heart hath not conceived, the things He hath prepared for them that love Him. We must wait till our change come. Now we are under tutelage and discipline. Yet a little while, and we shall need no more chidings, no more chastenings, God will take us home; and as the glories of the New Jerusalem burst upon us, and the Hosanna-songs of the redeemed reach our ears. we shall feel that we have “put away childish things.The Protoplast.



LIFE OF CHRIST. 1.-CAPERNAUM-THENCE TO BETHSAIDA. Death of John the Baptist.(Matt. xiv, 1-12; Mark vi.

14-29; Luke ix. 7-9.) Healing in the desert.-(Matt. xiv. 13, 14; Mark vi.

30-34 ; Luke ix. 10, 11.) Miracle of the loaves.—(Matt. xiv. 15-21; Mark vi. 35-44;

Luke ix. 12-17; John vi. 1-13.)

« PreviousContinue »