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INNOCENCE AND GUILT.
'All Thy works praise Thee, O Lord, Thy saints shall bless Thee,' said one of old.
May we do our part nobly with "bur powers, as the inferior part of the creation do. with theirs! u. E. v.
LILY OP THE VALLEY. "PLOWER of the vale, with fairy bull, -*. And scented breath from secret cell, Children of nature love thee well.
Thou dwellest in a bed of green,
Thou imagest the spirit-power
AH things are symbols, more or less;
Flower of the vale, that lowly lies,—.
Thou'rt shrined upon the sacred page,
A symbol meet, from age to age,
Of Him whom highest thoughts engage.
Yes! lovely flower, thy pearly face, With genial power and gentle grace, Make yonder bower a holy place
Where humble spirits rev'rent stand To mark the movement of His hand When sunshine flushes o'er the land;
And, foremost still amid the throng, He views the outline borne along, Who swells the universal song.
Flower of the vale, fair symbol dear, Thy form we hail from year to year, Pure, fragrant, pale, without compeer.
INNOCENCE AND GUILT.
A PAINTER wished to draw a portrait of Innocence. He found it at length in a bright eyed boy, full of light and life and love. In a very little time the cherubboy reappeared in the painter's canvas, the almost breathing type of innocence. Years afterwards the painter wished to paint a companion portrait, that would bring out the contrast of guilt. t He sought for it among the inmates of a prison. At length he found it in a face hardened by sin, clouded with the darkness of crime. In a short time this face looked forth from his canvas the very picture of guilt, and was hung up beside the picture of innocence. 1 But how great was the artist's astonishment on discovering that the boy who sat for the one, was the man who sat for the other also. It was sin that marred the fair face of that young boy; it was sin that took all its beauty away, and left nothing but repulsiveness in its placer
How then can we become truly beautiful? It is by getting the child's heart back again, in other words, a new heart. The beginning of all true beauty lies there, a heart renewed by the Spirit of God,* a heart mado beautiful by the love of God. This is the true beauty, for it is from within outwards. It shines in the heart, in good thoughts, in pure affections, in gracious desires. It shines next in the countenance, in sweetness and light. And it shines on the life in all that is beautiful and good. A. 0. r.
While angels in their songs rejoice,
The saints in prayer appear as one
In word and deed and mind,
Their fellowship they find.
0 Thou by whom we come to God,
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod!
Here are a few verses of another of his less known hymns. It is full of peace, and strangely contrasts with the toilful life of its author.
* Night is the time for rest;
How sweet, when labours close,
The curtain of repose,
Night is the time to weep,
To wet, with unseen tears,
The joys of other years—
Night is the time to pray;
Our Saviour oft withdrew
So will his followers do—
Night is the time for death;
When all around is peace,
From sin and suffering cease:
The early life of Montgomery was full of hardship and difficulty. His father was a Moravian missionary in the island of Tobago; but the little boy was born at Irvine, in Ayrshire, in a humble little house on November 4th, 1771. He was sent to school near Leeds, and afterwards to a grocer's shop to be a little errand boy. But he did not like his duties; and one day, with only three shillings and sixpence in his pocket, he ran away from Mirfield where his master's shop was. But he could not get into any wider life, and, tried hardly by sorrow and disappointment, he came back to the old ways. 'He was once more a shopkeeper's boy—this time in a village in Yorkshire, the fittle village of Wath.
The boy's spirit was restless still—he felt that a future was before him, different, surely, from that which was opened by the grocer's shop. l He 'had written many poems; good or bad, he at least would try what^was in them.'i* So with only his poetry and his hopes, he ^ travelled from Wath to London. v* No publisher would buy his poems—disappointment was again his lot. J
But,he was^stilljonly twenty; and about this time hesucceeded in getting a situation in a newspaper office in Sheffield. Shortly afterwards;1 he himself established a weekly journal in Sheffield.'S It was called the Sheffield Iris, and the talent of Montgomery soon made it much read. Its editor gathered round him many true friends; the struggles
of boyhood were passed, and the bright future he had dreamed of seemed to lie straight before him.
But in less than four years the poet was again in trouble. He was charged with having printed a ballad which contained defiance to the Government. The ballad was not written by himself, but by an Irish clergyman. But Montgomery having printed it, was held responsible for what it contained. He was tried and found guilty, and sentenced to three months' imprisonment in the Castle of York and to pay a fine of twenty pounds.
So the amiable poet, full of kindness and good-will to all the world, lived for three months like any common culprit, in the grim old castle-prison.
In 1806 his first volume of poetry appeared. It was entitled " The Wanderer of Switzerland and other Poems." Afterwards he published many volumes, which were much read and admired. In 1825 he gave up his connection with the Sheffield Newspapers, and retired into quieter life, rich in friends and fame.
For all the ills and sorrows of his youth he was abundantly repaid. A pension of two hundred pounds a year was granted him by the Government; and, happy and honoured, he lived far on into a serene old age. He died in 1854, eighty-three years old.
With one last little poem, let us leave the life of James Montgomery.
'Sow in the morn thy seed,
At eve hold not thine hand,
Broad cast it o'er the land.
Beside all waters sow,
The highway, furrows stock;
Scatter it on the rock.
Thou canst not toil in vain:
Shall foster and mature the grain
Thence, when the glorious end,
The day.of God, is come,
And heaven cry, "harvest home."'
HARVEST HOME IN INDIA.
eye. The soldiers surrounded the guide. 'Where is the water?' they cried. 'Eight hours' march,' said the guide, 'and we shall be at the wells.' And with that he pointed in the direction where the wells lay. 'He is deceiving us,' cried one, 'the water is not there.' 'He is leading us to destruction,' said a second, 'out upon the traitor.' 'I see the water!' cried a third, pointing his comrades in a different direction. 'We see it, we see it!' his comrades replied; 'death to the false guide.' And so the guide was slain. And away they marched. And now they saw the fountain before them. How large it was! liker a lake than a fountain. How beautiful too! reflecting the palm trees on its bank. And how near!—' eight hours!' they said, 'we shall be there in one!' And away they sped in haste and eagerness. But they never came nearer it. As they kept moving, the lake kept moving. The quicker they went, the quicker it went too. Ah, it was not a lake at all, but only the picture of a lake. It was what travellers call the mirage of the desert,—the image of a thing appearing on the horizon, but not the thing itself. And so it was not a fountain the Egyptain soldiers saw, but only the appearance of a fountain. And whilst it seemed to be leading them to life, it was really leading them to death; for that whole army perished in the wilderness. Once on a time men were all wandering in the wilderness of this world. They were athirst for the water of life, and they did not know where to get it. They sought it in one direction, they sought it in another. They tried to find it here, and there, and everywhere, but never found it. At length a Guide appeared, who undertook to lead them to the water of life. For a time it seemed as if they would follow Him. But very soon they rebelled against Him, and said He was leading them astray. At last they put Him to death, and determined to find the water of life in their own way. The great bulk of the people followed them. But the water of life was never reached— they perished in their pride. Yet there were some who did not follow. They waited by the dying guide; and they made
the discovery that the water of life was in Himself. His death became a fountain of the water of life. His resurrection became a fountain. His ascension became a fountain. You know who this guide is? It is the Lord Jesus Christ. He who said, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink,— He whose last invitation in the word of God is, Whosoever will, let him take the v.ater »f life freely. A. G.F.
HARVEST HOME IN INDIA.
I AT the conclusion of harvest, the **. heathen Koles have for ages held one of their most important festivals. It occupies several days and nights, and is characterized by frightful debauchery— eating, drinking, dancing, and every sort of revelry. Instead of quite abolishing this feast among the Koles who have been converted to Christianity, the missionaries have altered its character, and turned it into a beautiful Bible-like celebration, which puts one in mind of 'the feast of weeks' in Jewish times. Like the true Israelite of old, the Christian Kole brings part of his increase, and offers it to the Lord, "Every man as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord his God."
'When the day of this festival comes round, the great body of the Christians meet together. They are then formed into a procession along with the children of the schools, boys and girls, and headed by the missionaries in gown and bands. Each individual brings something: some have baskets or brass vessels, containing rice and other grain; others bring sheaves or roots; and others bring pice (pence). Thus they march to thechurch, wheretheydeposittheir offerings on the floor opposite the pulpit; and very soon there are good big heaps of both grain and pice. After this there is regular service conducted by the missionaries, when there is a great deal of singing, in which the whole congregation join most heartily; andiudeedthemusiciswondcrfully beautiful; these wild people have such sweet and harmonious voices. They seem to make their offerings very gladly, and