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OF THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIBL.
his fishing-rod, or sit on some green flowery EMINENT MEN
bank above them, and indulge his meditative mood.
How can one better fill a little page than IZAAK WALTON.
with these sweet thoughts of his. TO pass from old Thomas à Kempis, the
The lark, when she means to rejoice, to 1 monk in the Dutch convent, to the cheer herself and those that hear her; breezy life of Izaak Walton lived among she then quits the earth, and sings as she green English meadows, and begun a ascends into the air, and, having ended her hundred and twenty years after that of a heavenly employment, grows then mute and Kempis had closed, brings a vivid change sad, to think she must descend to the dull of scene and circumstance. Yet it brings earth, which she would not touch but for also pleasant resemblances, all the more necessity. . . . pleasant to find because of the distance and But the nightingale, another of my airy foreignness of the men one to the other. creatures, breathes such sweet loud music It is difficult perhaps to express where the | out of her little instrumental throat, that touch of spiritual kinship lies.
it might make mankind to think miracles It is not as a religious writer that Izaak had not ceased. He that, at midnight, Walton is best known. He wrote several when the very labourer sleeps securely, beautiful biographies, quaint and sweet in should hear, as I have very often, the clear spirit, and deligthful as biographies may be. airs, thesweet descants, the natural rising and But his most famous work is a book of falling, the doubling and redoubling of her instructions on fishing, which is called voice, might well be lifted above earth, and • The Complete Angler, or, Contemplative say, “Lord, what music hast Thou provided Man's Recreation. This, however, is so for the saints in heaven, when Thou affordest full of goodness, beauty, devotion, and bad men such music on earth ?”. truth, one cannot read it without wishing And again from the music of birds, he to know something of him who wrote it, turns to the sweet flowers. and feeling sure that his life must have What would a blind man give to see the been beautiful and gentle also.
pleasant rivers and meadows and flowers He was born at Stafford on the 9th of and fountains, that we have met with since August, 1593. His father and mother both we came together? I have been told that, died before he was five years old; and little | if a man that was born blind could obtain is known of his childish years or of those to have his sight for but only one hour who cared for them. But his life was during his whole life, and should, at the prosperous and, while still in the prime of first opening of his eyes, fix his sight upon life, he retired from London and business | the sun when it was in its full glory, either to enjoy a country life.
at the rising or the setting of it, he would Many long years he lived to enjoy this be so transported and amazed, and so happy leisure. He was happy in his wife admire the glory of it, that he would not and children, and happy in abundant friend willingly turn his eyes from that first ships. Honest Izaak Walton,' 'gentle ravishing object, to behold all the other Izaak Walton,' are the names by which he various beauties this world could present to is known among them. He loved books him. And this and many other blessings and literature, he loved all natural things. we enjoy daily. And for most of them, He loved the sweet rural scents and sounds, because they be so common, most men the trees, and birds, and flowers. But forget to pay their praises ; but let not us; especially he loved the quiet waters which because it is a sacrifice so pleasing to Him wandered through the meadow lands; and that made that sun and us, and still protects his favourite amusement through the long l us, and gives us flowers and showers, and summer day, was to stray along them with meat, and content.'
• He that loses his conscience has nothing left that is worth keeping.
"God has two dwellings; one in heaven, the other in a meek and thankful heart.'
· When I would beget content, and increase confidence in the power and wisdom of almighty God, I will walk the meadows by some gliding stream, and there contemplate the lilies that take no care, and those very many other various little living creatures that are not only created, but fed, man knows not how, by the goodness of the God of nature, and therefore trust in Him. This is my purpose ; and so let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.'
Occupations so quiet, and a spirit so tranquil, might well preserve long life and health. Izaak Walton lived to be ninety years old, and preserved all his faculties in full vigour to the end. He died in his daughter's house on the 15th December, 1683. He was buried in Winchester Cathedral, in a Chapel in the south aisle. His grave is marked by a large black marble slab, which tells,
'Here resteth the body of
HW. H. W.
INTERNATIONAL SERIES of LESSONS. QUESTIONS ON THE 'GOLDEN TEXTS.
Dec. 7.—THE HEAVENLY SONG.
Rev. 5. 1-14. Memory verses: 9-12. Golden Text. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing
Rev. 5. 12. Who is the Lamb that was slain? John 1. 29. Why was the Lamb slain? Rev. 5. 9. 1 Pet.
1. 18, 19. Who sing this new song? Rev. 7. 9; 14. 3. When should we begin to learn this song? 1 Pet. 2. 9. Mat. 21. 15, 16.
Dec. 14.—THE HEAVENLY CITY. Rev. 21. 21-29; 22. 1-5. Memory verses: 1-6. Golden Text. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Heb. 11. 10. What glorious prospect animates Christ's people
during their pilgrimage here? Heb. 11. 16.
1 Pet. 1. 4. Rev. 21. 4. Why is heaven compared to a city? Psa. 107.7.
John 14. 2. Rev. 7. 9. Who is the way to this city and the light of it? John 14. 6; 17. 24. Rev. 21. 23.
Dec. 21.—THE LAST WORDS. Rev. 22. 10-21. Memory verses: 16-21. Golden Text. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Rev. 22. 21. What is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?
2 Cor. 8. 9. John 15. 13; 10. 17, 18. How does this grace become ours? Rom. 5. 1, 2. What is it, to have this grace with us? Col. 2.
2, 3. Eph. 3. 17-19. What does the word Amen signify? Rev. 22. 20.
1 Cor. 14. 16. Deut. 27. 26. Dec. 28.- Review, or Lesson selected by the School.
CHILD'S MORNING PRAYER.
My moring prayer:-
For friends to love,
For all I have,
O wash me clean
And give me food,
For Thou art good,
O teach me how
To serve Thee now,
To take me home,
PRIZE ESSAYS. THE names of the successful competitors for the Prize Essays will be given in the January No. A new Series of Bible Questions' will also be given, for which Prizes will be offered
Communications to be addressed to the Rev. JOHN KAY, 2 Cumin Place, Edinburgh.
This year's Dayspring Vol. is now ready.
Price One Shilling. May be had of all Booksellers. Looking unto Jesus: A New Year's Address
for 1880. By the Rev. A. G. Fleming. Price 13d., or 8/4 per 100.
PAISLEY: J. AND R. PARLANE.
R. B. MERRYLEES.