Page images
PDF
EPUB

treasure given him. What is ambition compared to history of races—this truth runs as a gold thread that but selfish vanity? To be rich, to be famous ! “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." Who are What do these profit a year hence, when other names our sweetest poets? Whose music lies closest to the sound louder than yours, when you lie hidden away human heart and lays the gentlest hand upon our lives? under the ground along with idle titles engraven on Are they not those who learned in suffering what they your coffin. But only true love lives after you, follows taught in song? Whose are the lives that live? Those your memory with secret blessing — or precedes you which have been lived on the principle of Christ's and intercedes for you. Non omnis moriar-if dying, life; "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a grain of I yet live in a tender heart or two; nor am lost or wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, hopeless living if a sainted departed soul still lives and but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." They who prays for me.

lose this life find the eternal life of God and Christ. After pointing out to his hearers some of the many Keep the golden seeds of the grain housed safely in lessons the Psalm was calculated to teach, he concluded our granaries, away from the damp earth and the as follows:

drenching rain, the cold and frost of winter, and there When we think of God's goodness to us in creation, is no barvest-no produce—no fruit. But throw it in providence, and in redemption, we can use the broadcast into the earth, trample it under foot, let it psalmist's words. He has made us in his own image, lie hidden away, let the rain get to its heart, let the has given us souls whereby we may know and love frost touch the seed, let the winds almost bear away Him, and which, if knowing and loving Him aright, its young shoots, and by and bye, when spring goes will grow into the image of His own son, our Lord and and summer comes, we shall have as now, joy in Saviour. We have eyes to see all that is beautiful in time of harvest. nature, in the forms of those we love, ears to hear So with our lives. They must be given away. creation's manifold sounds and the music of the voices They must be exposed to trial. They must be broken of those dear to us, minds to grasp all that is elevating, on the Cross—in tears must we sow, if in joy we wish purifying, ennobling, to ponder over and make ourselves to reap. Like the life of the Master, must be the life partakers of the thoughts and characters of all great of the disciple. He sowed in tears. He now reaps in men, and power to become humble followers of their joy. He has seen of the travail of His soul and is lives. When we think of the unwearied providence satisfied. He went forth weeping, but He is to come which has watched over us ever since we can remember again, bringing his sheaves with Him—the sheaves of with all a mother's tenderness and a father's wisdom, of the redeemed lives of the sons of God, made like unto the way in which we have been led and kept in the the pattern of His own most perfect life. And oh! to path of life, of our personal, social, and domestic joys; come to that in any degree to reach to the measure of above all when we think of the inestimable gift we the perfect man in Christ Jesus---is that notworth sowing have in the person of Jesus Christ and the redemption seed now, even though it be with tears and weeping ? which, by. His life and death, He hath purchased for For to be like Christ, who carried about heaven in us, we may well exclaim with the Psalmist “The 1 His heart, is to be in Heaven, and there is no other Lord hath done great things for us ; whereof we are Heaven that I know of, or can imagine. And being glad.”

| like that, finding ourselves anywhere with such hearts, Am I speaking to any sorrowful ones who try hard | surely we shall be like them that dream. We shall to make these words their own and are not able to do I hardly know ourselves or realise where we are for a 80, to any burdened hearts which can raise no hymn of ' time; we shall perchance be "too short in glory yet praise, and feel no thrill of joy. All I can say to such to speak or sing." But when we find voice, though is “Trust in God. Wait patiently on Him." Could we it be still in dreamland, our mouths shall be filled see as He sees, our calamities might seem our greatest with holy laughter and our tongue with songs of holy blessings. Let us try to say to ourselves, as we bow joy. We shall surely be able to look back upon all *our heads in resignation, “This trouble, this calamity | our past life and say, “The Lord hath done great which makes me so miserable, is sent by God. I must things for us; whereof we are glad." try to see in it the hand of a Father, and believe that | And more than this, for oh! surely, unless our all things are working together for our eternal good natures are greatly changed-unless, in one word, they that we are ourselves living examples of the truth become unchristian—unlike Christ, we shall not be contained in the latter part of our Psalm—that in the content to rest there, but thinking of the exiles still history of us as individuals, it is as true as in the on earth-or anywhere else, still captives to sin, still history of the race that in the lives of men as in the laden and heavy with some burden, still sore distraught

Too soon, ah me, too bitter soon,
He reached the dell unsunned at noon,
Where in long flutes the water falls

Into a deep and glimmering pool,
And struck from out the dripping rocks

The silver water sparks all cool Spangle the chilly cavern-dark

And clear-cut ferns green fringe the gloom, And with continuous sound the air

Trembles, and all the still perfume-
Here came the child for water chill,
The sultry reapers' thirst to still.
Ah ! cornflowers blue and poppies red,
Weep, for our little Love is dead.
“Hither, come hither, thou fair child,"
Loud sang the water voices wild,
“Come hither, thou delightful boy,

And tread our cool translucent floors,
Where never scorching heats may come,

Nor ever wintry tempest roars, Nor the sharp tooth of envious age

May fret thy beauty with decay,
And thou grow sad ʼmid wailful men;

But in thy deathless spring-time stay,
Made one with our eternal joy,
For ever an immortal boy."
Ah ! cornflowers blue and poppies red,
Weep, for our little Love is dead.
He dipped his pitcher o'er the brink,
About it dimpling sunlights wink,
The smooth rill fills its darkling throat

With hollow tinklings mounting shrill
And shriller to its thirsty lip;

But sweeter, wilder, louder still The water voices ringing sing ;

And beckon him, and draw him down
The cool-armed silver-wristed nymphs,

His warm lips with cold kisses crown ;
And to their chilly bosoms prest,
He sinks away in endless rest.
Ah! cornflowers blue and poppies red,
Weep, for our little love is dead.
But still in the warm twilight eves,
Threading the lone moon-silvered sheaves,
Or where in fragrant dusky heaps

The dim-seen hay cool scents emits,
The boy across the darkening hills

Bearing his little pitcher flits,
With feet that light as snowflakes fall,

Nor passing, stir the feathered grass ;
And sings a song no man may know,

Of old forgotten things that pass,
And love that endeth in a sigh,
And beauty only bord to die.
Blue cornflowers weep, red poppies sigh,
For all we love must ever die.

tives as

we shall

pray

the blessed Lord to bring back our cap

“streams in the south.” “Bring back, O Lord, all exiles from Thy love; all wanderers from the Father's home, all Les Miserables, and for this end, give me, even me, the wings of a dove, that I may speed to earth and be a ministering spirit to some erring soul, some lost, unhappy one. I am willing once again to sow in tears if, by that means, I can help others to reap the heavenly joy, to come home to Thee with some sheaves of golden grain. Give me some precious seed and I shall go forth weeping if Thou willest—I shall sow it in some heart, and doubtless I shall come again with rejoicing, bringing my sheaves with me." And then the Heavenly Home will resound with the joy of harvest, and the cry of God's children will be, “The Lord hath done great things for us ; whereof we are glad.”

The following poem is from a charming volume of verse by Miss Ellice

Hopkins "Autumn Swallows." Macmillan & Co.

BORMUS.

A LINUS SONG.

THE “Linus Songs" were sung in the harvest-fields, or in the vineyards at vintage. They were of a tender and melancholy character, with a pathetic burthen, in which all joined, beating time with their feet; and seem to have been inspired by some sort of unconscious sense of sadness over the golden corn laid low, and the purpling grapes gathered and crushed. They derive their name from Linus, a beautiful boy brought up among the sheepfolds, and torn to death by wild dogs.

Down from the lifted cornfield trips
The child with ripe red-herried lips,
The radiant mountain boy with eyes

Blue as wet gentian in the shade,
His golden hair all wet with heat,

Limp as the meadow.gold new laid;
And as a russet fir-cone brown,

An earthen pitcher gaily swings
Upon his little shoulder borne,

Water to fetch from sunless springs ;
And while the flowers his bare feet brush
Loud sings he like a mountain thrush.
Ah! cornflowers blue and poppies red,
Weep, for our little love is dead.

By paths that through sweet hay new mown
Like hillside brooks come leaping down,
Past silver slabs of morning, where

The wet crags flash the sunlight back,
Past the warm runnels in the grass,

Whose course the purple orchids track,
And down the shining upland slopes,

And herby dells all dark with pine,
Incarnate gladness, leaps the child,

Still singing like a bird divine,
His little pattering sunburnt feet
With bruised meadow spikenard sweet.
Ah ! cornflowers blue and poppies red,
Weep, for our little love is dead,

There is no greater spendthrift than the miser. He wastes his life in order to gain what he neither can nor will enjoy.

He who can give much is rich : and can we indeed pity the man because of his poverty, who has been able to sacrifice his entire wealth, his abilities, his life for a being whom he loved, or an idea that has become dear to him ?

If all our labours for the good of our fellowmen were in vain, if even our noblest endeavours remained fruitless, if our desires, directed to what is higher, were not fulfilled, and the beautiful and the good could never be victorious-still, after all, the fairest part of this pitiful existence would fall to those who cherished their illusions to the mouth of the grave ; and, al. though they were not victors, fought, notwithstanding, for noble aims while they had breath.

love, and life, and somewhat to say thereon, have said it, unfettered by creeds or traditions, and as the spirit by which they were possessed gave them utterance. As in our other columns, therefore, you will

meet with the great spirits of religion, so in this, our The Court of the Gentiles,

court of the Gentiles, we shall introduce to you some

of the great spirits of the world, and report some of W ERE my readers Scotsmen or Scotswomen their brightest, deepest, and most wonderful sayings.

alone, any explanation of the heading of this | The first we propose to introduce to you is column would scarcely be requisite; but as amongst

HEINE. them there are sure to be many who are not Scotsmen

Heinrich Heine! Who does not know him? or Scotswomen and whose theological and biblical educa

Who that does not ought not? And who that knows tion has been lamentably neglected, it will be requisite,

him does not find an ever new delight in his brilliant in order to prevent misunderstanding, to say one or two

pages ? He calls great men “the stars of the earth,” words by way of preface or explanation. The Court of

and was himself one of the brightest. Wit, humour, the Gentiles belongs peculiarly to the domain of the

pathos, a marvellous suggestiveness, an irony flashing theologians, biblical critics, commentators, and eccle.

in clear, sharp, incisive words, destructive of hypocrisies, siastical historians, and is one which they can explain

and letting in the light of heaven upon things long and define with authority. I, of course, not writing as

hid and smothered up, imagination and fancy, an one of them, cannot speak with the same assurance or

impassioned love for humanity, inexhaustible sympathy authority, nor can I venture to deliver an opinion,

for the suffering and oppressed, and withal a style of like them, ex cathedra. On the contrary, both now and

exquisite beauty, and a manliness and frankness always, I shall write with their fear continually before

which wins and charms and fascinates—all these are my eyes. Still, as some word of explanation is

to be found in subtle and harmonious combination requisite, and as none of that grave and reverend

on almost every page of Heine's writings. The story company of precisianists is at hand to say it, I

of his life is soon told. Born at Düsseldorf on the must say it for them.

Rhine, of Jewish parents, in December, 1779, he was Well then, the Court of the Gentiles was one

intended for commerce, but not liking it, studied of the precincts of the Temple in Jerusalem be

for the bar. His success as a lawyer was not great ; yond which no one who was not a member of the

it is doubtful, indeed, whether he desired that it chosen race was permitted to pass in his approaches

should be, literature having far greater charms for to the Holy Place. Now, as the pages of Sunday

him than jurisprudence. In 1825 he became a Talk are to be devoted to Religion, Morals, and

Christian, and received the certificate of baptism, that Theology, or to such things as belong to our higher

“card of admission,” as he called it, “to European and spiritual life, it is obvious that it may be likened

culture.” For the most part he lived at Berlin, to the Temple, if not to the one in Jerusalem, at

Hamburgand Paris, at the last of which places he died least to the one of which George Herbert speaks. It

in 1856, after lying many years in his mattress-grave," is obvious, also that it can only be occupied by chosen

and after seven years of the most intense suffering. vessels, and, moreover, that it is by them alone that it can be properly filled. Now, when you remember these

Heine's writings are in French and German, for

he was master of both. The difficulty of translating things you will easily understand, whythis column is called

him is known only to those who have tried to "the Court of the Gentiles.” Not that it is intended

render him into English worthy of his German or to fill it with “vessels of wrath” or with “vessels of

French. Happily we are spared the trouble, Mr. J. destruction," or that any of these will have the slightest

Snodgrass having rendered into admirable English hand in it. No; it is just a small corner which we

Heine's Religion and Philosophy in Germany, and also have saved for the world; and just as the Jews

a number of selections from his other writings; and reserved their court of the Gentiles for those who did

as we cannot hope to rival Mr. Snodgrass as a transnot belong to their peculiar race, so we have reserved

lator, we shall cull the sayings we now propose to this, our Court of the Gentiles, for those who do not

present our readers from his extremely meritorious speak as theologians, nor as priests or levites, but for

[graphic]

volumes.* writers who having received ordination neither in the Jewish nor in the Christian church, yet having some

* Wit, Wisdom. and Pathos from the Prose of Heinrich Heine, London, Trübner & Co.: Paisley, A. Gardner. Religion and Philosophy in Germany, by Heinrich Heine, London, Tribner & Co.; Glasgow, D. M. Main,

“When I hear anyone disputing the existence of God I am overcome by a strange anxiety, an uneasy dread, such as I once experienced in visiting New Bedlam in London, when I had for a moment lost sight of my guide and found myself surrounded by madmen. "God is all that is,' and doubt as to the existence of God is doubt as to life itself; it is death.”

Christ is the God whom I love best-not because he is a legitimate God, whose father was a God before him, and has since infinite time ruled the world; but because he-the born Dauphin of Heaven-has democratic sympathies and delights not in courtly ceremonies; because he is no God of an aristocracy of crop-headed theological pedants and fantastic warriors, but a modest God of the people, a CitizenGod, un bon dieu citoyen."

"Christianity-a democracy: one God, who has created and upholds the universe; but who loves all men alike, and protects all his dominions equally. He is no longer a national, but a universal God."

“The duration of religions has ever been dependent on human need for them. Christianity has been a blessing for suffering humanity during eighteen centuries; it has been providential, divine, holy."

"Eternal praise is due to the symbol of that suffering God, the Saviour with the crown of thorns, the crucified Christ whose blood was, as it were, the healing balm which flowed into the wounds of humanity."

“As the stars are the glory of the sky, so great men are the glory of their country, yea, of the whole earth. The hearts of the great men are the stars bf earth.”

“Poverty sits by the cradle of all our great men, and rocks them up to manhood; and this meagre foster-mother remains their faithful companion throughout life.”

" John Bull is a born materialist, and his christian spiritualism is for the most part traditional hypocrisy, or mere material dulness of intellect—his flesh resigns itself because the spirit cannot come to its aid.”

"I was young and proud, and it still further raised my vanity to learn from Hegel that, not as my grandmother supposed, God, who lived in heaven, but I myself, here on earth, was the real god."

“The merchant, all the world over, believes in the same religion. His office is his church, his desk is his confessional, his ledger is his Bible, his warehouse is his holy of holies, the exchange bell is his summons to prayer, his gold is his god, and credit is his creed."

Holy men, like the Stylites, are now an impossibility; for philanthropy would speedily have them shut up in a madhouse."

“Luther shook all Germany to its foundations; but Francis Drake pacified it again : he gave us the potato."

“Does the oil which is poured on the head of kings still the tempests of their minds."

“By no race was a belief in immortality more strongly held than by the Celts: one might obtain the loan of money from them to be repaid in the next world. Pious Christian usurers should take an example from them."

“It is only kindred griefs that can draw forth our tears, and each weeps really for himself.”

“The music at a marriage procession always reminds me of the music of soldiers entering upon a battle ?"

“What is truth? ‘Bring me the wash-hand basin,' is the reply of Pontius Pilate."

“Who maketh the Clouds His Chariot."

Psalm civ. 3.

Oh! make my clouds Thy chariots to bear my spirit home,
And let them lift me far aloft above the starry dome,
Above the host of seraphim, above the angel choir,
Into Thy presence face to face to find my heart's desire.

Oh! make my clouds Thy chariots, let them raise me from the

dust, From the mean, and poor, and earthly, from the moth and from

the rust, From the selfishness that wearies, from the vanity that cloys, To the love that passeth knowledge, to the peace that passeth joys!

Oh! make my clouds Thy chariots, wherein this heart shall run,
To bind each broken life that bleeds beneath the circling sun,
To touch with kindred sympathy the woes the world hath given,
And on the wounds of earth to pour the healing balm of heaven!

Oh! make my clouds Thy chariots, so shall I learn to see
That the mist that dims the glory is itself a light from Thee,
For the shadows of the wilderness to me shall sing aloud
When I find Thy nearest coming in the advent of a cloud !

Geo. MATHESON, D.D.

OCTOBER:
When treacherous Autumn, Winter's smooth-faced spy,

Thro' the wide woodland glides with stealthy tread,
Set his death warrant, seal of gorgeous dye,

Full on the front of many a verdant head;
How proudly then the forest giants rear

Their boughs aglow with gold and crimson flame ;
As we have seen some village maiden wear

The gaudy robes that prophesy her shame :
Or idle youth by wicked arts cajoled

The flaunting colours of the camp to wear,
Whose braggart speech and bearing, vainly bold,

His foolish pride on ruin's verge declare ;
For on his pathway, plain to every eye,
Or wasted life or bloody grave doth lie.

ISABELLA STUARI.

Cathedrals I have Seen.

ST. ANDRÉ, BORDEAUX.

W HAT a fine old pile this looks as it stands bathed

in the afternoon sunshine ; its peaks and towers standing out so sharply against the southern sky. Its stones, from their original grey, have worn themselves quite brown with age, and here and there, in high solitude, grows a tuft of grass, or a sprig of wallflower in quiet serenity among the towers—with only the pigeons for companions—and we have often watched a young family of these feathered creatures flutter in and flutter out in alarm when the great bell begins tolling its message to the sleepy town. And what a solemn toll that bell hasyou hear it wherever you are ; its deep-toned tongue booms out beyond every other bell or sound and insists on being heard.

Up till a few years ago there was nothing but a wooden paling round the old church, but now a handsome iron railing protects it, and the building itself stands in a pretty clear space, many of the old houses having been pulled down to give it breathing room. Still, there are one or two left clinging tightly to the sacred walls and leaning back confidingly against its buttresses as if for protection in times of trouble, and there they have been allowed to remain. “We have been so long together, why separate us now ?” they seem to say.

And while we are still outside, let us look at that strange, tall tower, standing in such solitary grandeur by itself, quite separate from the Cathedral, and yet so near it, looking from the ground up to its tall head like a guardian angel at the gates, spreading its shadow across the older building in sweet companionship. And away up at the top, what is that that crowns it so nobly and shines so brightly in the sun, causing us to shade our eyes to look at it? Now we see it is a huge figure of the Virgin Mary with the blessed Child in her arms, standing far above the common things of this earth, and smiling down upon us with that benign look in her face that we have seen in so many statues of her abroad. We perceive she is radiant in golden apparel, which accounts for her shining so brightly.

This tower was begun many, many years ago, in dedication to the Virgin, but only finished lately—in fact, it grew so slowly, that at last a little band of priests and deacons connected with the Cathedral could bear it

no longer and decided that it must be finished, so a list was made, with the dear old Cardinal heading it, and the oath taken, that not only would they collect funds for it, but they would each sell some of their earthly goods to go towards the sum, and so it was gradually finished—the concluding ceremony consisting of the installing of the gigantic figure of the Virgin and Child on the top, and securing her there for all ages to come.

There is also a sad story connected with this tower. It was the scene of the suicide of a handsome young Roman Catholic priest who had strayed from the narrow path and fallen deeply and passionately in love with the daughter of a citizen of the town. Of course, the forbidden love was discovered, and the girl being sent away, died from a broken heart among strangers in a nunnery. The lover, hearing of her death, and feeling that it would be a long agony to pass the remainder of his days with the awful secret weighing on his soul, forgot his duty to God-his Church and his sect, and demanding the keys of the tower from the unsuspecting warder one lovely moonlight night, stole slowly up the tortuous stairs of the tower—up—up till he came out on the parapet at the top bathed in a flood of silver light. One prayer—one nam.e—one sigh—and then—eternity! His mangled corpse was found at the foot, in the cold dawn, by the watchman. In one hand he still clutched tightly a lock of soft brown hair, and in the other his only hope of salvation—a cross.

But come, we must go inside and see the Cathedral. So in we pass under the rows of carved saints who keep watch so silently over their shrine, and dropping a few sous into the blind beggar's hat at the door, pass the western portal. What a cold air meets you and fans your face, so different from the furious blaze outside, that seems to burn the very soles of your feet. How cool the stones are, and the shaded light is so grateful to the eyes. Quiet figures of men and women pass to and fro, some kneeling for a few minutes on the steps of the altar; some leaning in attitudes of devotion on the back of the little wooden chairs (prie-dieus); while round one of the stone pillars three ragged little children are having a game of "tig, their little wooden sabots sounding clack, clack, on the quiet air. But no one seems to mind, and the children are as familiar with their church in which they have been brought up as if it were their home, which it surely is to all the poor. Having seen enough of the altar and choir which seems to stand boldly out into the church, we think of going round to see what is at the back of the altar where so many steps are being directed. Here we find the usual chapels or cluster of

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »