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The world, once watered by His tears and blood,
And shall we sleep?
Millions are sinking, pierced by sin and care,
And shall we sleep?
And still the Master speaks, and still He cries,
Oh, by these symbols of His love we take,
Let us not sleep!
It is twenty, or it may be thirty Such, or somewhat like it, was the years ago, that I read a little sketch story, and I have ever since seen intended to illustrate the text, how the commonest action of life "Pray without ceasing.” It is so may be made an act of praise and long ago that I have forgotten worship; and how things which where I read it; and the exaet have necessary
connection illustrations which were put into with religion may yet be coloured the mouth of the speaker. But I with it, and help us in spiritual have never forgotten the point of the growth. story, or its practical lesson. The In the same manner I have, when narrative brought before a walking solitary the busy streets of clergyman, who was represented a town, or sauntering along some as saying to an old trustworthy village lane, pushed shoulder to servant, that he found a difficulty shoulder with a man; and heard in in understanding the command, the act of passing some half-dozen "Pray without ceasing.” There were words that have set me thinking, orders to be given, journeys to be and formed in themselves a text made, visits to be paid, letters and a sermon.
Some of these waywritten, sermons prepared. How side voices I would from time to could this be done, and yet he time put before the readers of the never cease from prayer ? But the CHURCH, and it may be that they old retainer professed that to her will wake echoes in 'some hearts there was no difficulty at all.” I that may be for good. wake, and I pray to God I may so This afternoon I heard the words wake to eternal life. I rise, and I which I have put at the head of the pray Him I may rise to newness of present paper uttered under the life. I dress, and I pray that I may following circumstances.
The be clothed in the Redeemer's glorious May sunshine, the leafing righteousness. I light the fire, and trees, and the springing flowers had pray as I do so that the fire of made me restless and longing for divine love may be kindled in my the country; and I set off for a few heart. I sweep the room, and it days' holiday in the lovely environs suggests the prayer that the dust of of Ross. And in my walk to-day I frivolity and the foulness of sin may came to a charming picture. The be swept from my heart.”
road contracted and seemed to be
carried through a trench, as it were the first speaker moved rapidly on, (so high and so steep rose the banks doubtless to join his more punctual on either side), for a hundred yards companion in the oak-wood hard by, or less. On one side this bank was where I could see the tall white fringed with some very large hollies stems that too plainly told the and dark
yews, while the other side devastation being wrought there.
crowned with three noble But though he moved away, the and wide-spreading oaks, which words stayed by me.
"Gone stretched their gnarled limbs (now forwards !" They were simple being rapidly clothed with green enough, but they seemed to ring and yellowish leaves) completely in my brain; and it was strange across the lane, to their evergreen that, amid such a wealth of life and opposites. A shady canopy was colour they should suggest thoughts thus made above my head, and of death. But the faculty of assoover the banks, half of rock, half of ciation is most subtle and peculiar; red rich soil, that shut me in. And and it was, doubtless, the fact of the what a prodigality of beauty on one man having disappeared from those banks! From the rim the scene, and the other hurrying drooped down a mass of dark poly- after him, that made me see in that podiums and ivy, which contrasted brief interview a compendium of finely with the first green of the life ; and in those two words a young hazels, and of the tender happy and Christian description of thorns, and with the uncurling death. fronds of the common mas. and For is not life for all of us (if we foemina ferns. But the profusion of will make it so) a brief passage wild flowers had equally arrested through a road which our heavenly my steps. There the stellaria with Father has surrounded with beauteits spiky leaves seemed to aspire to- ous flowers, and flooded with a wards the early hawthorn bloom celestial glory, more radiant even overhead. The bluebells nodded than this May sunshine ? Bare and to the cowslip, the clustering prim- rugged as the way itself may be, roses whispered the violets, the has it not evermore its borders of delicate pencilled wild geranium on green and comforting turf which we its red stalk waved gently over the may at times refreshingly walk, or creamy strawberry, the germander rest upon ? Has it not its side speedwell almost rivalled in its blue views and onward prospects, glad the dear forget-me-not, while the with spring hopes, and beauteous late Lent lily, the glittering butter- with more than earthly flowers ? cup, the golden celandine, the purple And does not each succeeding orchis, the dog-violets were all generation pass on to the work there, besides various flowering which others before them have been nettles. It was a scene in which engaged in, but left unfinished ? Hunt or Bligh would have found We all have our life tasks; many ten thousand pictures; and while I of them to be accomplished only was lovingly noting them, I was with sweat of the brow, with fatigue startled by a voice that cried from of body, with weariness of spirit, just beside me, “Hast seen Jim, and with anxiety or sorrow of soul. Bill ?” It was from a bark-peeler The woodmen I had seen but half who had come almost close to me an hour before had not felled those unnoticed, and the man he ad- monarchs of the wood, or stripped dressed in the field above us both them of their bark without many & shouted back, “Hi, lad, he' gane sturdy blow, many a heave and forrads” (yes, man, he has passed struggle, many an hour of toil in onwards). Satisfied with his answer | hot sunshine or in drifting wetting
rain. Yet as they were not without of advancement. They are higher alleviations (if they would look for than we are, every way better and them) in the songs of wood birds, more exalted; they are moved from the play of the timid hare or the rear rank to the front, promoted stealthy rabbit, the glittering dew- from amongst the servitors in drops and the thousand beauties of passages and antechambers, into springtide : so in sorrows or in the banquet-hall, and presenceanxieties, in disappointments or in chamber of the Master. Let us mental struggles, in poverty or in then not regard death altogether in sickness, if they come to us, let us its gloomy aspect, or sorrow as look upwards ; let us look from our those who without hope. task, and from our troubles to the Rather let us be assured that it is promises, to the springing hopes, all well with them, all right for us, to the dear charities and companion- and hear, in the stillness of the ships of life that are on every side death-chamber, answering our cry of us, and most of all to the happy of distress or doubt, a gentle plains of everlasting summer, to breathing, “He has gone forward.” " the never withering flowers" and But as those words came to the the celestial sunshine that already woodman, I saw him grasp his makes bright a not distant horizon. barking tool, and quicken his step.
And once again. The words He strode up the hillside at a “gone forward” are surely a happy rapid pace, as one who was late in way of considering our friends who his work and would overtake time. have departed. They were here The words come to us. Come to amid earth's flowers, or with bleed- us in the arrow that flieth in the ing feet walking its stony ways, as darkness, in the pestilence that the case may have been. They are walketh in the noonday; come to with us no longer. The father, the us in every relative, companion, or mother, the loving companion, we acquaintance who disappears from look for them in vain. Where are our side in the great life march. they? Shall we say “dead”? It Come to you, reader of this paper. has a blank, dull sound, it has no Hear the words! Let us quicken word of comfort, no suggestion of our steps, let us brace up our happiness, no thought of reunion. energies and engage more earnestly Rather let us say “gone forward.” in our work—the work of saving our For death is not a destruction, it is own souls, and helping those who not an extinction. It is barely a surround us. In a word, let us so separation. They are gone for- live that our death may be a call, ward,” our departed ones : forward “Come up higher,” and our sorrowto their work, they wait us there. ing, yet rejoicing friends may be The work waits us too: a happier, able to say of each of us, "He's more blessed work than we can do gane forrads.” here. “Forward” also in the sense
C. C. P.
THE MINISTER AND THE MARBLE-PLAYER. MANY years ago a certain minister was going, one Sunday morning, from his house to his schoolroom. He walked through a number of streets, and as he turned a corner he saw, assembled round a pump, a party of little boys who were playing at marbles. On seeing him approach they began to pick up their marbles and run away as fast as they could. One little fellow, not having seen him as quickly as the
rest, could not accomplish this so soon, and before he had succeeded in gathering up his marbles the minister had closed upon him, and placed his hand on his shoulder. They were face to face, the minister of God and the poor little ragged boy who had been caught in the act of playing marbles on Sunday morning. And how did the minister deal with the boy ? For this is what I want you to observe. He might have said to the boy, “ What are you doing here? You are breaking the Sabbath. Don't you deserve to be punished for breaking the command of God ?” But he did nothing of the kind, he simply “Have you found all your
marbles?" “No," said the boy, “I have not."
“ Then,” said the minister, “ I will help you to find them.” Whereupon he knelt down and helped to look for the marbles, and as he did so he remarked, “I liked to play at marbles when a little boy very much, and I think I can beat you. But,” he added, “I never played marbles on Sunday."
The little boy's attention was arrested; he liked his friend's face, and began to wonder who he was. The minister said, “I am going to a place where I think you would like to be.
Will you come with me?
" Where do you live ?”
Why, that's the minister's house !” exclaimed the boy, as if he did not suppose that a kind man and the minister could be the same person.
“ Yes,” was the reply, “I am a minister, and if you will go with me I think I can do you some good.”
“But my hands are dirty, sir, and I cannot go looking as I do.” “ Here is a pump; why not wash ?” was the reply.
“I am so little that I can't wash and pump at the same time," the boy said.
“I will pump while you wash.” And the minister at once began pumping while the boy washed. Then the minister lent the little lad his own handkercheif, with which he dried his hands and face, and so accompanied the minister to the door of the Sunday-school.
Twenty years after the minister was walking in the street of a large city, when a tall gentleman tapped him on the shoulder, and, looking into his face, said,
• You don't remember me ?
“Do you remember, twenty years ago, finding a little boy playing marbles near a pump? Do you remember that boy's being too dirty to go to school, and your pumping for him, and your speaking kindly to him, and taking him to school ? '
“Oh, yes!” said the minister, “I do remember.”
“Sir," said the gentleman, “I was that boy. I rose in business and became a leading man. I have attained a good position in society,
and on seeing you to-day in the street I felt bound to come to you and shake your hand, and say that it is to your kindness and consideration for me, a little marble-player years ago, that I owe, under God, all that I am and hope to be.”
And with a hearty shake of the hand, and a “ God bless you!” they parted.
SHE nears the land, the boat that brings
My wandering boy again to me,
And now each sunburnt face I see.
It is not that with rising tears
It is the lapse of twenty years.
A lad, a babe; I see him now,
I stroke the curls upon his brow.
But brings not back the time that's fled;
I shall not pat the childish head,
Of boyhood, in his look or tone;
Me still of hopeful visions gone.
We hold each other hand in hand ;
A blessing from the spirit-land.
She'll grate upon the beach. And see,
Who waves his cap aloft ? 'Tis he.
As in the man the child appears ;
Have bridged that lapse of twenty years,
NEWS OF THE CHURCHES. The memorial stone of a new stone of a new chapel has been chapel, for the ministry of the Rev. laid at Hucknall Torkard, for the C. Springthorpe, has been laid in ministry of the Rev. J. T. Almy. the Trentham Road, Longton, -The chapel at Little Leigh, Staffordshire.—A new chapel has Cheshire, under the care of the been opened in Cambridge Street, Rev. A.' Spencer, has been reGlasgow, for the ministry of the opened after alteration. - The Rev. A. Wylie.—The memorial foundation stone of a new chapel