Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

His mother's amazement and delight was as great as his own, and after paying the rent they had enough money left over to relieve present anxieties. Tom was induced by some comrades to go to the Sabbath School, and what with the teacher's kind. ness who called at his abode, and helped his mother to procure work, he went back every week and became, although he was poor, one of the best and attentive scholars there. Some cast off clothes were given him with a pair of boots, and he has induced his mother to go regularly with him to church, and they do not doubt God's goodness now, and are learning daily to trust more and more in Him. The last ticket Tom got to learn off was

deepest gratitude. To entertain him with stories, to teach him to sew, to take him walks in the country, and to assist him on these occasions in gathering flowers and fruits, were some of the many ways in which she shewed her love.

Another of the friends of Kitto's childhood was a shoemaker named Roberts, who stayed next door. As he worked with his awl and last, if in good humour, he would tell John the wondrous stories of Cinderella, Blue Beard, and such like. When John learned that these stories were printed and could be bought for a copper or two, his few pence were saved up and spent on story-books instead of sweets. In a year and a half he had quite a small library of such tales.

Before he was twelve years of age, Kitto made his first attempt at authorship. His cousin came to see him one day, and told him that he was going to purchase a story book with a penny. Kitto. was very anxious to get a penny at the time, and so offered to write his cousin a story for the penny. The offer was accepted, the story was written, and a picture painted at the beginning; the cousin took the story, John got the penny, and both were thoroughly pleased with their bargain.

Another amusing incident of Kitto's childhood was an attempt to act a play. The play bills in the streets had often attracted his notice, so although he had never seen a play he resolved to arrange for one. He formed a plot, secured a number of companions, and instructed them in their parts. The play bill was drawn out and posted at the door-admission price,

ladies eight pins, gentlemen ten.' An audience of fifteen responded to the call; and when the entertainment was over, the pins were given to John's aunt for three half-pence, which in turn were spent in gingerbread and apples; and the whole assembly, actors and audience, indulged in a feast.

When ten years of age, along with his grandmother, who had become unable to support herself, Kitto went to stay with his father. In company with his father he


FAMOUS BOYS. JOHN KITTO-THE PATIENT BOY. TN a poor house in Plymouth, John Kitto,

1 the well known Biblical scholar, was born on December 4th 1804; so that it is exactly 76 years ago on the 4th of next month. His father who had started well in life became badly behaved, so that the hardships of intemperance were added to those of poverty in Kitto's early home. When four years of age, he was sent to stay with his grandmother, who had always looked on him with special love; and Kitto in later years looked back to the time he spent under her care with feelings of the

[blocks in formation]

began to work as a mason. His evenings, windows. One week—the fair at Plymouth after the others had gone to bed, were -he got eightpence; but twopence.was as spent in reading and writing by the light much as he usually made in a week. of sticks gathered during the day. Three In 1818, his grandmother was forced to years after removing to his father's, he leave Plymouth and was unable to take her met with the terrible accident which grandson with her. Kitto was thus left deprived him of his sense of hearing. He solely dependent on his parents. As he was carrying a load of slates to the roof of had no prospect of making his own a house, and had just reached the top of | livelihood, he was in 1819 admitted to the the ladder, when in stepping on to the roof workhouse. There he was placed under his foot slipped and he fell a height of the charge of a Mr Anderson to learn thirty five feet to the pavement below. shoemaking. In 1820 he lost by death his For a fortnight he remained unconscious, grandmother, who had been such a true but at last he was able to recognise those friend to him. He felt the loss most around him. Their extreme quietness keenly. I shall not attempt to describe

my feelings,' he wrote in his diary at the time; they were such, that the moment when I stood on the brink of the grave, eagerly looking on the coffin till the earth concealed it, I shall never forget till the hand that writes this shall be as hers, and the heart that inspiros it shall cease to beat.'

His life in the workhouse was on the whole pleasant, though there were many hardships. He had many kind friends who helped him by giving him books to read. The other boys used to persecute him, till at last he had to complain of their conduct. One of them said all he did was in play, but Kitto answered—and I hope my readers will remember the answer— You should hurt no one in sport.'

Whenever your sport gives pain, struck him forcibly, and when instead of, be sure it is cowardly sport. speaking to him they wrote on a slate the On leaving the workhouse in 1821 he answers to his questions, he was still more was placed under a shoemaker of the name surprised. Why do you write to me? why Bowden. His master proved a cruel one; not speak? Speak! Speak!' he cried. for we find such entries in his diary as the • You are deaf,' was the startling answer following: November 29th. First blow! presented on the slate.

threw a shoe in my face; I made a wrong After eight months his health was stitch.' December 6th. Struck again.' restored, but his total deafness prevented December 7th. Again! I could not bear it, him resuming work. He was therefore a box on the ear, a slap on the face.' left to regulate his time very much as he January 16th. I held the thread too short: pleased. His next effort to earn a few | instead of telling me to hold it longer, he pence was by selling pictures of his own struck me on the hand with the hammer drawing and advertisement tickets for shop | (the iron part).' His master proved so




cruel that Kitto was removed back to the teacher, and thus abandoning the island to workhouse. One very interesting entry in heathen darkness. And God heard their his diary shows how he spent 10d. : prayers. 'mince pie 01 d., paper 3d., Books 2d. Gave . When Mr Copeland landed on Aniwa halfpenny each to five little children 2d. | at the appointed time, instead of wishing Gave to B- B— 1d. Left, id.' Here him to take away their teacher, the natives we must leave Kitto for the present. He crowded round him, imploring him to bring lived to be a great student of the Bible, the teacher whom they had a month before and to serve his country in serving his rejected. On hearing that Navalak, the God.

teacher, had not come in the ship, two of Surely such a life was a patient life. , the most influential natives said they wished Through all his early hardships-his poverty, 1 to go to Aneityum, and look at Navalak, and his ill-usage, his losses—he passed success speak to him, and bring him to their fully, because he remembered that his lot island. was according to the will of his heavenly Great was the surprise of those on board Father. If in the same spirit we accept all when Mr Copeland returned to the that God sends us, no matter how hard it Dayspring, bringing with him two may be to bear, God will give us strength Aniwans and an Erromangan. The to triumph and at last take us to Himself. Aniwans were amazed and delighted with

J. M‘M. what they saw, and the kindness they

received both in the ship and at GLIMPSES OF THE NEW HEBRIDES.

Aneityum. The day after their arrival at

Aneityum was Sabbath, and Mr Copeland ANIWA.

preached from the words, Come over into A NIWA is a very small island near Macedonia and help us;' telling the A Tanna. It has only about 200 congregation that here were two men come inhabitants, but its story is a very from a heathen island to get some one to teach interesting one. Like Aneityum, it is them, and asking who would go with them. now a Christian island. Samoan teachers Two Aneityumese offered themselves, one carried the Gospel to Aniwa in 1840. of whom accompanied the Aniwans to Raratongan and Aneityumese teachers their home and the other was appointed to were afterwards placed on the island, but Tanna. The teacher was well received on very few listened to their instructions. So Aniwa, and the two natives shewed their strong a hold had heathenism on the people, gratitude to Mr Copeland by hurrying to that in July 1864, when Mr Copeland went their plantations whenever they landed and ashore with an Aneityumese teacher and coming back with their friends, bringing his wife who intended to remain on the cocoa-nuts, bananas, and fowls, as a present island, the natives would not have them, | for the very good canoe,' the · Dayspring.' and wished the teacher, who had been with The people were now anxious to get a them for a time, to leave. With a sad missionary, and as Tanna, from which Mr heart Mr Copeland returned to the ship, Paton and Mr Matheson had been obliged taking with him the teacher he had brought, to flee, was still shut against the Gospel, and promising to come back in a month in 1866 Mr Paton was appointed to go to and remove the other teacher if he then Aniwa. wished to leave.

He was able to speak to the people from That was a month of deep anxiety | the very first in Tannese, which more than to the missionaries, and they prayed two thirds of the inhabitants understood, earnestly that God would touch the hearts and he soon acquired their own language, of these degraded people and incline them though he found it more difficult to learn to receive the messengers of peace. They than Tannese. The accounts received from could not think of taking away their only | him have been most cheering.



In a letter dated 8th July 1867, Mr Paton writes:

'I am glad to be able to inform you that though heathenism has had a desperate struggle with Christianity since we came to this island, yet the gospel has so far prevailed, that now the whole inhabitants are professing Christians, and so many have given up their idols that I have now a canoe, a box, and several bags filled with them. ... Truly the Lord has done great things for us, and, through us, among this benighted people. Little more than twelve months ago they were all, or nearly all, savage cannibals ; now, our average attendance at church on Sabbath morning is over one hundred and thirty persons, and at the Wednesday afternoon prayer-meeting from seventy and upwards. "I am sure you would be delighted to see one hundred and sixty of them stand up on Sabbath and devoutly pour out their hearts to God in praise ; or one of their number earnestly pleading with God in prayer, or another addressing his people, pleading with all to hold fast to the word of Jehovah and to live accordingly.

One circumstance which greatly aided the progress of the good work on Aniwa was Mr Paton's sinking a well. There was a great scarcity of fresh water on the island, and when Mr Paton purposed to dig a well, the natives would not believe that there could be water under ground and under coral rocks, and only a very few of them could be persuaded to help him. All the others laughed, saying, Missi, what is the use of helping? There can be no water there. Even the few who did help at first, were afraid to go into the well when it was a few feet deep; and so Mr Paton had to dig and cut through the coral rocks with his own hand, and then build it all from bottom to top with great blocks of coral. The well was nearly twenty-six feet deep, and the water was excellent. When the first bucket was brought up the natives examined the water and tasted it. Then, taking each other by the hand, they ventured one after another so near as to be able to look down to the

bottom, where they saw a beautiful spring of fresh water rising from the coral below. Their surprise and delight were so great that nearly the whole of the inhabitants came to see the wonder.

One chief cried out, We all thought and said that there could be no fresh water here, and we thought Missi mad for trying to sink it; but he told us there was water. Now we see the water, and believe his word. He spoke the truth, and we could not help laughing at him. This is a proof to us that, though we cannot understand all he tells us about Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, yet if we could see it all and taste it like the water, we would find it all to be as true. After this we must all believe all he says, though we cannot understand it all. Missi truly speaks the truth.'

Mr Paton felt amply rewarded for all his toil when he saw that the well he had made had not only supplied the natives with abundance of fresh water, but had made them more willing to listen to him when he spoke of the living water of which whosoever drinketh shall never thirst, but it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

M. T. S.


SHALL THEY TRUST. ...............

PRIZE BIBLE QUESTIONS. THREE Prizes are offered for the largest number of correct answers to the Questions during 1880. The Competition is limited to those under 14 years of age. The answers to be sent to the REV. JOHN KAY, 2 Cumin Place, Grange, Edinburgh, by the 25th of each month.

31 What sin committed, on one occasion, by servants of God, is mentioned eight times ?

32 When did a heathen reprove a servant of God for neglecting to pray in a time of trouble?

33 When did a heathen nation imagine that their gods had delivered a servant of the true God into their hands?

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »