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Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, He could not comfort himself in the tender His little day of life but then begun?
love of God. He longed for nearness to Perhaps thou gav’st me, though unfelt, a kiss;
God, and he could not feel Him near. Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss. Where once we dwelt, our name is heard no more.
And so he was troubled and sad; and all Children, not thine, have trod our nursery floor; his hymns are tinged with the griefs of his And when the gardener, Robin, day by day, own soul. Drew me to school along the public way, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapped In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet capped.
"The billows swell, the winds are high,
Clouds overcast my wintry sky; 'Tis now become a history little known,
Out of the depths to Thee I call:
My fears are great, my strength is small. hours, When, playing with the vesture's tissued flowers,
O Lord, the pilot's part perform, The violet, the pink, the jessamin,
And guide and guard me through the storm; I pricked them into paper with a pin,
Defend me through each threatening ill; (And thou wast happier than myself the while, Control the waves; say, “Peace, be still.” Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head and smile.)
Amid the roaring of the sea,
Is all that saves me from despair.
Dangers of every shape and name
Attend the followers of the Lamb, So little to be loved, and thou so much.'
Who leave the world's deceitful shore,
And leave it to return no more.
Though tempest-tossed and half a wreck, never practised it. For now that dark
My Saviour, through the floods, I seek; cloud came over his life, which was never Let neither winds nor stormy main wholly lifted from it; Cowper was insane.
Force back my shattered bark again.' When he left the asylum at St. Albans, all the hopes of his life were scattered. But Cowper's sacred poetry is too well His father was dead, and of all the family known to quote. Best known of all, perborn in the old Berkhampstead rectory, the haps, is that beautiful hymnfive sons, and two daughters, only himself and his brother John remained. His "God moves in a mysterious way, tender and clinging affection for this last
His wonders to perform; remaining brother, drew him to the little
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
· And rides upon the storm. town of Huntingdon, not far from Cambridge, where his brother lived. Here the Deep in unfathomable mines river Ouse steals through the rich and
Of never-failing skill, . level lands among the poplars and the
He treasures up His bright designs, willows; and in the family of the Unwins
And works His sovereign will. Cowper found that gentle home which sheltered him all the remaining years of
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread his long, sorrowful life.
Are big with mercy, and shall break After the death of Mr Unwin, he removed
In blessings on your head.' with Mrs Unwin to Olney in Buckinghamshire, wishing to enjoy the ministry of ! It is said to have been written in an Newton, who was then curate of Olney. hour of such dark sorrow as no little child It is to this friendship of Cowper and can understand. Newton that we owe the Olney Hymns. | But Cowper was gentle through his Cowper, indeed, wrote very few of them. / sorrow-lived a simple and blameless life,
Thy silver locks, once auburn bright, Are still more lovely in my sight Than golden beams of Orient light,
For could I view nor them nor thee, What sight worth seeing could I see? The sun would rise in vain for me,
Partakers of thy sad decline,
And still to love, though pressed with ill,
But ah! by constant heed I know
solaced by many dear friendships, and his pet hares and his flowers or at least partly solaced; for the dark, strange cloud of gloom was never lifted from his heart.
In 1780, Newton left Olney for London; and that well-known correspondence began in which Cowper often discloses his darkness in such a pathetic way.
Of myself, who had once both leaves and fruit, but who have now neither, I say nothing... The light that reaches me cannot be compared either to that of the sun or moon. It is a flash in a dark night, during which the heavens seem opened only to shut again.'
And thus he walked through his dark life-ever longing for the love which was all round him, and he knew it not. But all the green things which God made were endless in their friendship to him—the poplars and the elms; and the flags and rushes in the pond; and the moss and ivy which grew round the little hermitage where so often he read and thought. And his letters have made us know them all, and also his still, domestic life, where he read by the winter hearth to his faithful friend, Mrs Unwin, or held the wool for her knitting, while her busy fingers wound it. We know how his green-house was fronted with myrtles, which made the most agreeable blind;' and how his favourite walk was spoiled by the cutting down of the lilacs and syringas, and the tall poplars which had been his summer shade. And his poetry, like his letters, are all touched with home life, inspired by the sofa and the tea urn, and the quiet garden walk. Constant, through the long years of gloom, Mrs Unwin tended him. At length she, too, became an invalid; and Cowper's love and sorrow are told in some some sad verses, dated 1793.
The twentieth year is well nigh past
And should my future lot be cast With much resemblance of the past, Thy worn-out heart will break at last,
It was on the 17th of December, three years after this, that Mrs Unwin died. Cowper would not believe she was gone. But when he entered her room, and saw the gentle, placid face, still with death's long stillness, he turned away in an agony, and never named her again.
For three more saddened years his own life lingered on. He died on the 25th of April, 1800, and was buried in St. Edmund's Chapel in the church of East Dereham, in Norfolk. The church is very old. It was founded in the time of the Saxons by a princess of East Anglia, and afterwards destroyed by the Danes. But it has been restored and preserved through all these troubled centuries, and in the year 1800 became Cowper's quiet restingplace.
Rest at last after the long sorrow, not among the green trees he loved, but under the hallowed arches where others, through so many ages, had sought and found God.
H. W. 8.W.
JOHNNIE MAURICE, OR TRUE HEROISM.
| for his weakly frame. Every stroke of his
little arms became weaker and weaker, and JOHNNIE Maurice had been but a short still he struggled on. God grant that he u time at school, when a circumstance may reach the shore in safety,' prayed the occurred which led some of his companions watchers on the beach. On he came till to brand him as Cowardly Jack.'
only about half a dozen yards from the One day, while playing at ball, Johnnie shore; then exerting all his strength, he accidentally struck å lad named Samuel gave little Willie a push towards his brother Ruff a severe blow on the eye. Sam, who Sam, who caught him, and smiling a sad was a great fighter, immediately gave farewell, Johnnie Maurice sank to rise no Johnnie a blow on the face. All the boys more. gathered round expecting to see a fight. His pale, sweet face, as he was carried In this, however, they were disappointed, home to his almost heart-broken mother, for Johnnie only said, I have a better way will never be forgotten by his companions. of fighting than that,' and walked away. Poor Sam was inconsolable. How bitterly
The schoolboys thought Johnnie a he regretted ever having struck that cruel coward, because he wonld not return the blow. If shoolboys only knew the grief blow Sam gave him; quite overlooking the Johnnie Maurice's companion then felt, it fact that he never complained to the master would surely be a warning to them against or to any one; a circumstance which might calling their gentle companions who refuse have shewn them that they had judged him to fight, cowards. unfairly.
When called to look at his face ere he Some time after there was a holiday, and was laid in the grave, the recollection of a party of the schoolboys went to Sheer their unkindness towards him made the Cliff to spend the day fishing. Samuel sorrow of his companions far more bitter; Ruff, with his little brother Willie, who and when following his remains to the was only four years old, and Johnnie cemetery, they sadly wondered if he had Maurice, were among the number. The forgotten and forgiven their harshness day was dry, but stormy; and the swell on towards him while he was with them. the sea was unfavourable for fishing. The No one regrets this more than Sam, who boys chose a corner of the cliff, about eight regularly visits the little grave, and twines feet above the sea, and were eagerly and with flowers the simple tombstone, on silently waiting for fish, when suddenly which is inscribed little Willie Ruff fell into the water. Sam uttered a cry of distress, and became deadly
JOHN MAURICE, pale. He thought of plunging in after his
DROWNED AT SEA, brother, but when he looked at the waves his courage failed, and he turned helplessly
AGED THIRTEEN YEARS., to his terrified companions. Already
He laid down his life for his friend. Johnnie Maurice, the boy whom they had
1. a 8. called Cowardly Jack,' had thrown off his heavier clothing, and leapt into the water. Roused to exertion by this heroic example,
SOMEBODY'S BAIRN. Sam descended to the foot of the cliff, there to wait the issue. By this time the SOMEBODY'S bairn in danger stood, swell had carried wee Willie about thirty » Where vehicles passed through the yards from the shore; but Johnnie, bravely
crowded street, buffeting the waves, reached the drowning When one heart, moved to a melting mood, boy just in time. Holding the child's head Flew to the rescue with willing feet: above the water with one hand, he made 'Twas strange that a stranger should discern for the shore. But the effort was too much | The fearful risk of somebody's bairn.
Silently clasping the helpless child,
What standard of righteousness are we warned She drew it safely from danger near;
against, because by it no one can enter And One who noted the action smiled
In what different ways does Jesus shew that At the kindly deed and quivering tear,
the sixth commandment may be broken? That told how a mother's heart could yearn | If we have quarrelled with any one, what must .O'er what was only somebody's bairn.
we first do before we can worship God
Why ought we to agree with our adversary Somebody's bairn may still be seen
quickly? Straying into the paths of sin,
What metaphors are here used to teach us the And few will stoop on their way, I ween, necessity of giving up sin ? To gather the helpless wand'rers in,
What words of Jesus forbid the use of any oath With loving patience enough to learn
in common conversation ?
What reason is given why we should answer The road to the heart of somebody's bairn.
simply yes or no, without using any stronger
expressions ? Somebody's bairn in suffering lies
What better rule did Jesus give instead of the
worldly maxim, Near the crowded mart in a dreary home;
Thou shalt love thy
neighbour, and hate thine enemy'? And who, like an angel in disguise,
What motive is urged to induce us to do good On errand of mercy there will come,
to them that hate us ? Or more than a glance of gladness earn What questions are here put to teach that From the brightened looks of somebody's
believers should have a higher standard of
duty than others ? bairn?
What is the standard at which we should aim ? Somebody's bairn! with a sudden thrill
[These are not Prize Questions ; but intended solely to
encourage the study of the Scriptures at home.] The words take an import, deep and wide: The world seems moving about me still,
That strays from a loving Father's side; And I think what brotherly bowels yearn. | Prize Scripture Acrostics and Questions. O'er mankind, merging in somebody's bairn.
Competitors will please observe to address their
answers now to Reu. JOHN KAY, Edinburgh.
A HEATHEN god, to whom a noble knelt;
A Cross and sepulchre all could brave.
A cry of grief, but not of crime or guilt;
A word that filled a monarch's heart with Oh! who will the depth of His joy discern
fear; O'er a lost world ransomed, as--somebody's A woman heard, where only Heaven could hear. bairn.
J. K. MUIR.
Those few initials joined, the name is seen
Beauty and youth companioned for a time, The Bayspring Bible Class.
With grief and penury, on page sublime;
From eyes lit up with love's immortal flame, QUESTIONS ON MATTHEW'S GOSPEL.
When, from her lips, the vow devoted came, Chapter V., 17-48.
That still the Christian echoes in the ear What mistake as to Christ's work in relation to Of one he loves,
the law and the prophets is here corrected? Dear daughter of an alien race, designed In what terms does Jesus here teach the certain To lasting honour that should bless mankind, fulfilment of every word of God?
Thy sky, though early clouded, shone anew; What is said of those who obey, and teach | A star of promise lit the heaven of blue;
others to obey, the least as well as the Hope lived again, while love, maternal, smiled greatest of God's commands ?
Upon the mother's heart, and blessed her child.