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A Monthly Magazine for Sunday Reading.
[All Rights Reserved
MY DEAR READERS.—Herewith you have the first number of Sunday Talk. I hope you will like it, and if you do, that you will recommend it to your friends. My objec, in the first place, is to reach the Glasgow public, but I trust, ere long, Sunday Talk may have friends in many parts of Scotland and even in England. I have been told that such a Magazine will not be popular amongst the people whom I aim at reaching, and who, I think, may be classed as the readers of weekly and evening newspapers; that it is not a good enough or large enough for such readers as my good friend, Dr. Donald Macleod, caters for so successfully every month in his Good Words, and that, on the other hand, it is pitched too high for the readers of weekly and evening papers—those who read the one for the sake of the stories in them, and those who read the other for the news of the day.
Well, we shall see.
I venture to think, and the large sale of the Glasgow Weekly Citizen—a purely literary paper, admirably conducted—and of the Saturday's issue of the Evening Citizen, in which "Orion's” Tangled Talk appears, confirms me in my belief that there is room for such a periodical as Sunday Talk, and that a large class of readers will hail an organ in which, at a small price, they can have pleasant literary chat for Sunday or any other day, and in which their attention will be directed to books, old and new, from which so many draw instruction, inspiration and consolation. At one time I thought of making Sunday Talk half a newspaper half a magazine, and three years ago, as many of my private friends know, I issued a prospectus of such a periodical. But I found that the strain of conducting such a journal along with the incessant labour of the parochial work in my parish would be too great for me. That field has since been very successfully occupied by The Christian Leader, so ably and energetically conducted by my friend the Rev. W. Howie Wylie.
I shall not say much about the future of Sunday Talk. Each number must speak for itself. I shall endeavour to find out what suits the taste of the great majority of my readers, and shall get as many of the popular writers of the day as I can to help me.
I must ask your indulgence for any shortcomings this first number may have. I edit it in a remote Highland retreat-far away from my books and office. This accounts for the list of books for Sunday reading not being up to date. I regret that this is so all the more as No. 1 of Orion's “ My Books," has had to be held over for another month owing to pressure upon our space.
The present number, appearing as it does on the first of October, has somewhat of a Harvest bias, if I may be allowed the expression. The November number, I hope may contain a good deal about Luther-born on the 10th of November, 1483. The December and January numbers will naturally treat of the Christmas and the New Year festivals.
I have written you quite frankly in regard to my aims and proposals. I hope you will favour me with any suggestions you think will be serviceable, and I shall be glad to number many of you not only among my readers, but among my contributors and friends. Yours very faithfully,
THE EDITOR. CLACHAN-AN-DISEART, 22nd Sept., 1883.
22 Margaret: Saint and Queen.
North Riding of Yorkshire, made his way to Wear
mouth. A vessel was lying in the harbour which bore All Literary Correspondence to be addressed to the Editor, 253 Argyle Street, Glasgow.
a notable freight. On board were Edgar the Aetheling, Books, Magazines, and Periodicals should be sent in by the his mother, his sisters, and several of the faithfullest 12th of the preceding month, otherwise they may be left over till the following number.
adherents of the Saxon line, of which he was the weak Business Communications to be addressed to the Publishers,
and witless heir. After Harold had “met the doom Messrs. GILLESPIE BROTHERS, 253 Argyle Street, Glasgow.
of God on Senlac Hill,” Edgar, the grandson of Edmund Ironside, was the only rightful successor to the English throne; but right, as embodied in his puny person, could make no stand against the vigorous might of the Norman duke. The Northumbrian nobles who espoused his cause could win no triumphs for so imbecile a claimant; and they and he, after some futile efforts on
his behalf, were, when Malcolm reached Wearmouth, By the Rev. R. HERBERT STORY, D.D., Rosncath.
waiting for a fair wind to carry their broken fortunes out UT of the mists of Scottish legend and fable, that of England. The Scottish king offered the royal fugitives
lie thick over the distant heights and levels of an asylum within his dominions. They had thought the middle age, rises the figure of Malcolm Canmohr of retiring to Hungary, where Edgar's father had found Malcolm with the big head—the son of “the gracious shelter during the tyranny of Canute, and where he Duncan." He was but a child at the date of his and his sisters had been brought up; but they accepted father's assassination by Macbeth; and many years Malcolm's promise of a nearer refuge, and agreed to passed ere time brought about revenge and restitution.
come to Scotland. Malcolm bade them farewell at Duncan was slain in the year 1040: Malcolm was Wearmouth, and made his own way home; leaving a crowned at Scone on the festival of St. Mark, in April, track of fire and blood behind him, and so harrying 1057. Scone, to which the “Stone of Destiny" had Northumberland of its inhabitants that, after his return, been transferred from Dunstaffnage, had become the every hovel beyond the border was supplied with an centre of royalty; and for the first time a coronation English slave. marked the accession of a new king.
Bad weather or some other cause delayed the voyage The kingdom was beginning to consolidate, though of the Saxon fugitives; and the king had disbanded it was yet but limited and disorderly, bounded on the his marauders, and taken up his abode at Dunfermline, south by lines equivalent to those of the present before he heard tidings of his promised guests. Border, but on the north and west encroached upon by Ove stormy morning word reached the strong tower the petty territories of turbulent earls and marmaors that rose above the dense woods, which then begirt the who maintained an unruly and pugnacious independ hill of Dunfermline, that a strange ship had come to
The big-headed Malcolm discerned the weakness anchor under the lee of the land, at the point now and danger which must threaten both kingdom and known as St. Margaret's Hope. Messengers sent by dynasty from these restless neighbours; and set himself the king, brought back a report that the vessel was to reduce their strength, while he concentrated and of great size and numerously manned; upon which, enlarged the power of the crown. At the same time, Malcolm-possibly divining that she bore the disconsohe welcomed to his dominions the exiles whom the late remnant of the Saxon family-dispatched an strifes and intrigues of the Saxons, and afterwards the embassy of his “highest lords” to visit the voyagers advance of the conquering Normans, drove to seek and fetch him a definite account of them.* These refuge beyond the Tweed. Nor did he fail to take the
envoys were cordially welcomed on board, and "carefully opportunity, afforded by the intestine troubles of Nor
noted, not without admiration, the lordliness of the thumbria, to push his frontier southwards. The region men, the beauty of the women, and the good breeding between the Humber and the Tweed was the theatre of the whole family.” “We saw a lady there,” said of perpetual turmoil and bloodshed, amid which Saxon, one of them, more susceptible or more discriminating Dane, Norman, and Scot dealt indiscriminate ravage than the rest, "whom, from the matchless beauty of her and slaughter. The victory of Hastings gave Norman
person, and the ready flow of her pleasant eloquence, William no secure hold over this ill-used debateable
teeming, moreover, as she did, with all other qualities, land; and it was again and again wasted by Danish piracy, Northumbrian insurrection, and Scottish foray.
* The simple narrative of Turgot implies that Malcolm had not seen
Margaret until now, and that her arrival was accidental. On one of his inroads, Malcolm, having spoiled the
(“Annals") and Mr. Robertson ('Scotland Under Her Early Kings ") interpret the facts in the mode I have ventured w follow.
The Harvest Festival.
\HE Harvest Festival was held in Saint Mary's on
the 23rd of September. The Musical Service was as follows, the hymns being taken from the "Scottish Hymnal :
PSALM cxxvi., Tune-Abbey.
PSALM civ. 24.
ciii. 2. Hymx 174, Resignation.
HYMN 176, St. George's Windsor. The Voluntaries were Handel's “O, Lovely Peace" (Judas Maccabeus), and a Prelude by Wely. The Lessons were the one hundred and forty-fourth Psalm and the sixth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, nineteenth verse to the end of the chapter. The preacher was the Rev. Claude Lorraine, the minister of the parish. He chose as his text Psalm cxxvi., 3rd verse, “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad;" and those words from the thirteenth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, thirtieth verse, “In time of harvest." Wishing to create the harvest sentiment, the hearts of his hearers he spoke as follows of
I declare to thee, O king! that I suspect to be the mistress of that family, whose admirable loveliness and gentleness one must admire, as I deem, rather than describe.” Malcolm lost no time in going on board the strangers' ship, in person, when he found that she bore the Saxon exiles, and that this fair wanderer was the Princess Margaret, the eldest sister of the Aetheling.
It does not appear certain whether he had seen Margaret, along with her brother, at Wearmouth, or now met her for the first time, and, like King Edward, when he beheld the Countess of Salisbury at her castle gate was “stricken to the heart with a sparkle of fine love that endured long after, and thought no lady in the world so worthy to be beloved as she.” Be that as it may, he “fell in love." Whether he had done this before or not, he had been already married ; for, on the death Thorfin Sigurdson, the “ugly, clever, and cruel” Yarl of Orkney, he had espoused Ingebiorge the Yarl's widow Ingebiorge, however, was either dead or divorced (the dissolution of a marriage being easy and common in those days) and Malcolm's hand was free for Margaret to accept if she chose, Her brother was, against the advice of his friends averse from her marrying the Scotch king, and, at first, ghe recoiled from it herself. She had seen enough of the stormy and distracted world, with its factions and battles—intrigues and murders. Young as she was, she had known the peril and bitterness of exile, of war, of homelessness, of disinheritance, of flight from enemies, by land and sea. Amid the restless tumult and confusion, the only note of peace was rung in her memory by the convent bells of Hungary. She and her sister made up their minds to seek the calm haven of the church. Her sister, Christina, carrried out her purpose and became the “bride of Christ”; but another destiny was reserved for Margaret. After a brief delay, she yielded to Malcolm's suit. The wedding was celebrated at Dunfermline, with all the magnificence which the unrefined Scotch court could display. This was in the year 1070; Margaret was about twenty-four years of age, and Malcolm some ten years older. They took up their abode at the King's Tower, which was enlarged and beautified; and of which a broken fragment still may be seen within the demesne of Pittencrieff. And now from this “city set on a hill”—this stronghold of gray Dunfermline—the light of Margaret began to shine, graciously and beneficently, over her husband's realm.
( To be continued.)
Harvest Time in the Country. I quite realize it is more difficult in the city to feel the joy--the exuberant fulness of joy-which those experience who live in the country, who almost see the corn ripening as they gaze in the heat of the sun by day, and under the brilliant light of the moon by night. I remember, in the first church of which I was minister, how much easier it was to speak about the glad harvest-time and to draw lessons from it, when the faces of those I had to address were tanned by the sun, as they cut down the grain every day during the week that had passed; when I felt that I was speaking about what was visibly the greatest event in their year—that time up to which all their toil had led; when all the way to church, I had walked along a road—five miles in length—which seemed only a lane dividing one golden field from another, when on both sides of the avenue leading up to the church-very plain and small it seems in comparison with this large and beautiful one, but very dear to me then and dear to me still—I had to brush aside the ears of corn nodding to each other as if in converse; when from the pulpit, when the door was open as it always was on those summer days, I could see the breeze making fast flitting waves upon the surface of the amber-stemmed wheat. When I knew, too, that after morning service was over, I had to walk through the fields and hear all about the work that had been
Even if a clouded life is only here and there lit up by a single clear shaft from the sun it is sufficient, for it proves that the sun is in the heavens and shines ; and so one will have the full brightness of day, as soon as one has stepped out of the mist - it is day there.
done during the week, and listen to the homely talk of kind and honest hearts till the bells rung out for evening service—would we could say with greater truth for even song. Then after that was over and the sun set not only on the harvest-fields,
“Golden was the west, and golden the corn,
And golden, oh! golden our 'life's' opening morn but also upon the waters of our north-eastern sea, only a stone's throw away, its restless waters calm at this evening hour, its winter's sobbing silent this summer night; and also upon ruins the most memorable and venerable in our country, becoming nearer every stup we took homewards. Then the passing word with with those who had worshipped with us, or were strolling outwards; the “Good Night," which did not belie its name, and which gave promise of another bright day upon which the ingathering could be prosecuted very easy then and there to say “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad, in time of harvest.” Very different is harvest-time to us now in the city ; yet, even we here, who do not often see the reality, have our ideals of the happy time which we carry in our hearts, never, perhaps, any more than the ideal Christmas-time, always realised, but good for us to have before us—the waving fields, the golden stubble covered with stooks of freshly-cut corn, the cheery laugh of the reapers bending busily and willingly to their work, well laden carts piled with splendid sheaves—the song, as of revellers, as the harvest is being borne homewards—the moon in the sky, rubicund and rosy as if, Bacchante-like, she had been been feasting herself on the purple vintage of other lands. Not a boy or girl who does not share in the general joy! Not an aged man or woman who can 'crawl at all but who comes out to bask awhile in the sunshine-to think of the harvests of long ago when they could work and sing with the best; perchance to give a few solemn thoughts to the other reaping—the other Harvest Home, which awaits them as it awaits us all. So with this ideal harvest before our eyes, we can at all times use the words of the Psalmist, “ The Lord hath done great things; whereof we are glad—in time of harvest.”
After shortly expounding the Psalm and describing the circumstances amid which it was probably composed, and the use made of it as one of the songs of degrees the Pilgrim Psalms—the preacher went on to speak of The Use made of the 126th Psalm by Thackeray.
A fit psalm for us in many of our moods, and used by at least one of our writers to illustrate a touching episode in a most beautiful story. “That patient, faithful toil must sooner or later win a reward is an axiom
with all races; and those who remember the magnificent use a great writer of fiction made of this Psalm in what has rightly been called one of the most pathetic passages in our literature will need no other proof of its beauty, and its capacity of adaptation to varying ages and needs." Some of you may remember how a widowed mother had sent her young and faithful kinsman away from her in sorrow and in anger, not knowing, as she was to know afterward, that he had done all be could to save her husband's life. How he went away and won his laurels in the war, but never forgot his devotion to his beloved mistress as in the chivalrous language of the day he called her. How they met in the grey of a winter's day in the cathedral at the time of evening prayer, and how as the choir sang this Psalm as an anthem, her son seeing her kinsman said “Look, mother;" and how afterwards, as they walked home together, she spoke of her wicked heart and her suffering, and how she knew he would come back, and then she goes on to say—“And to-day, in the anthem, when they sang it, “When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream,' I thought, 'Yes,' 'like them that dream—them that dream;' and then it went–They that sow in tears shall reap in joy, and he that goeth forth and weepeth shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him ;' I looked up from the book and saw you.
I was not surprised when I saw you. I knew you would come, my dear, and saw the gold sunshine about your head. She smiled an almost wild smile as she looked up at him. The moon was up by this time, glittering keen in the frosty sky. He could see, for the first time, now clearly, her sweet, careworn face. Do you know what day it is? It is the 29th of December—it is your birth-day. But last year we did not drink it—no, no. My lord was cold, and my Harry was like to die, and we had no wine. now you are come again, bringing your sheaves with you, my dear.' She burst into a wild flood of weeping as she spoke, she laughed and sobbed on the young man's breast, crying out wildly—'bringing your sheaves with you, your sheaves with you." As he had some times felt, gazing up from the deck at midnight into the boundless starlit depths overhead in a rapture of devout wonder, at that endless brightness and beauty, in some such way now the depth of the pure devotion, which was for the first time revealed to him, quite smote him and filled his heart with thanksgiving. Gracious God, who was he, poor and friendless creature, that such a love should be poured out upon him ; (and are his thoughts not a commentary upon our text)? Not in vain, not in vain had he lived; hard and thankless should he be to think so, that has such a