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Only a little gleaner;
Only a little gleaner;. Nor lightly breathe the name,
And yet, in Heaven's great hall Perchance that tiny maiden
There may be a store of golden grain, Puts you and me to shame,
Piled by those hands so small, By the earnest way she works all day,
From the little gleaners here on earth,-Though still unknown to fame.
Kind words and deeds to all. Only a little gleaner
Then scorn not yet the humble naine, That follows the reapers' way,
Nor lightly turn away, But she darts in and out among them,
When only a little gleaner' Like a dancing sunlight ray;
Is passing on her way;
Of this, our earthly day.
London : HOULSTON AND Sons, Paternoster Buildings.
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THE SCOTTISH DAWN. A MONG the wild Irish mountains, a 12 prince was born.
'Tis very long ago : there are endless stories told of him, yet stories so lofty, strange and sweet, they are worth hearing over and over. For we never can hear too much of the good and great men gone—the holy lives that have left their memories as dews for the world.
Let us take them gratefully, reverently. We are more than human if their footprints may be never guiding footprints to us.
And especially may little feet, that are but beginning the way, be led and lured by the feet now entered the golden city.
The blameless youth of the boy is spoken of by old story-tellers; his beautiful face, his princely bearing, his wisdom, his earnestness, his truth. He learned with a wonderful quickness all the learning of the time. His genius, his gift from God, was perceived in his first years. His tutor called him friend, instructed by his pupil's clear thought.
All the years of his childhood and youth, he may have had his own high dreams, his dreams of service to God, his dreams of blessing to the people. He may among his own lone mountains have nursed them prayerfully, while God was shaping his character not in haste-but giving it years to grow in mellowness, wisdom, and strength, teaching in many ways him who was destined to guide a nation's faith.
Rock-bound in a stormy sea lies the little island of Iona, close to the land indeed, but the land is a stormy land, and the sea breaks in from far. The island of Hii it was called in the days of the Irish prince; the island of Iona now, it is known to the thousands of tourists who sail down the beautiful Clyde to the spot which this prince made sacred.
It was wrapped in thick darkness then. Some say there the Druids worshipped their horrible bloody worship of some dark cruel being, the creation of their own fierce imagination, whom they ignorantly called God. Others say that on this little island the Druids never raised a stone, that the sea-gull flapped its white wings above the lonely rocks, and the rocks had no other tenants in these misty ages of history.
Be that as it may, on the mainland near there were savages enough. Among the purple mountains of Argyll—further and further inland, savages and night.
And when the prince landed on the island
with his twelve faithful followers, it was the first dawn of morning in this terrible dreary dark.
History gives many reasons for this prince forsaking the Irish shore. Some say his over. zeal for right bad stirred up enemies at court, that his somewhat eager spirit rebelled against usages and wrongs. And so be was fain to put to sea, and because the isle of Hii was near and offered no obstructions of landing, there he and his twelve disembarked, and Iona became sacred to Columba.
For this Irish prince was St. Columba, one of Scotland's earliest teachers, one whose name may well be cherished down all ages among great names and good.
Columba had a kinsman near-Conal, king of Argyll. There is but a little strip of stormy water between the mainland and the isle; and Conal did service to Columba in rude ways of his own.
And here Columba and his monks began their simple laborious lives. Their convent was rough wooden huts; their church was also of wood—it had a little bell which called the monks to prayer. Three times daily, three times nightly, they gathered there and prayed. They were earnest men all, and Scotland lay before them, a savage and strange land to be taught the faith of Christ.
Two years they were raising their convent, their church, tilling and pasturing their land, preparing Iona to be church and school to the rude mainland.
Then their missionary work began. Col. umba, with some of his monks, departed on his famous journey to convert the northern
To Brude, the king, first they went; and Brude listened to those words, which, savage as he was, he thought were better than any words he ever heard before. The strong, the loving, the righteous God--the Creator, the Preserver-sin, and therefore sorrow; Christ the sacrifice. The king heard of these; perhaps scarcely understood through his ignorant depraved sense. But this he saw and felt, that Columba was greater and wiser than he and all the Druid priests; so he became his friend.
He gave as a token of his friendship, Iona, in possession to the teacher.
Then among the wild mountains, and the blue lochs, and the streams, wandered Columba and his monks, preaching the word of God. And wherever he preached he raised a little
church, till all the Highlands were covered He went to the even-song in the little island with the missionary footprints of Columba. church. And then he returned to his hut,
Many perils they met with, for the Druids and gave Diormit his last charges, telling him withstood the Christians. Many times they to deliver them to the monks when he had sought their lives. But God's hand was passed from them. These charges were earnest over his own, keeping them from all harm. entreaties that they should live in love, and And Columba had a noble presence, which steadfastness, and faith ; and assurances that constrained the reverence of men—80 benig God would comfort them, and bless them, and nant, so wise, so bold-he showing daily in abide with them. his own life all that he taught the people.
At length the small bell rang out the hour Once at worship with his monks in a lonely for midnight prayer, and Columba, rising up place, the Druids came suddenly upon them. quickly, was the first to enter the church. Then up through the evening air shot a rich, When the monks crowded in with their Ioud organ-toned voice. Twas Columba lanterns, he was prostrate before the altar; chanting a psalm: 'Blessed be the Lord my they fearfully pressed around him, and then strength, which teacheth my hands to war, one long wail arose. For in the saint's and my fingers to fight. My goodness, and venerable eyes, a strange light of joy was my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer.' shining, and they all knew the angel was For that voice, as tradition says, so powerful, come for whom he so long had prayed. yet so sweet, was carried over the hills as no So Columba died amongst them, and was other voice could be. A voice to command buried in his own little cemetery, within the the heart, said the people, was the voice of sound of the sea. St. Columba. And the words of the sacred But the work of his life did not die. The psalm, although scarcely understood, had in church and schools of the Culdees, as they them the power of God. The Druids quailed. were called, flourished still, though their
So Columba went on his way, teaching and founder was gone. For one hundred and blessing the people, and he reaped the fruit of twenty years in the little island monastery, his labours in the Christianising of half the peace and prosperity reigned undisturbed. Highlands of Scotland.
. At that time, Nectan third, king of the Besides all this, his busy life was occupied Picts, made an attempt to introduce some in founding colleges, in training his mission Romish practices. Now the pure faith of the ary monks till this little Scottish isle became Culdees had never been derived from Rome, a centre of piety and learning, and its fame and the monks resisted and protested, as they spread over Europe, and men came from far well might, against this royal usurpation of to learn at Columba's feet.
authority. The sick also flocked to him, for Columba The monks might protest, but the king had was a physician of renown, and never turned the power, and so many of them were removed from the poor, nor the helpless, nor the from Iona to Abernethy, which was also a sorrowful.
Culdee college, but more under the influence At length came the calm, bright evening of of Nectan, than was the old seat of Columba. this life, 80 full of work and prayer.
Then again Iona was quiet, till the begin. Columba, for the last time, saw his monks ning of the 9th century, when it was desolated at work in the fields; saw the hay fields by Danes and Norwegians, and Columba's growing yellow, and the granaries waiting bones were carried off. They were buried their wealth, blessed the heaps that were again in the church of Dunkeld. stored there, then slowly, with his faithful The Culdee churches and colleges were servant, returned to his monastery home. scattered all over the land-Dunkeld, Loch. When they came in sight of the monastery, leven, Culross, St. Andrew's, Melrose. The he raised both his hands and blessed it, telling college of St. Andrew's gradually came to Diormit, his servant, 'twas the last time, that be great among them all, and from that day this night he must go.
to this has held its distinction as a seat of When he reached his own but, he finished learning. writing a part of the thirty-fourth psalm. | But slowly the pure Culdee faith was beHe' paused when he wrote the words, They coming choked and extinguished. The usages that seek the Lord shall not want any good. and corruptions of Rome were creeping over thing. And he never wrote more.
the land. And David I., zealous for the
Pope, carefully swept away from Scotland the of God; he was sure God would count last traces of Čuldee teaching.
nothing too much to do for him; He would Yet Columba had done his work, and with
even come from heaven on purpose to carry all these centuries between, his name is a
him there if it were necessary. But the name to reverence-a saintly name. Sixty kings rest in Iona, yet the waves on the island
angels, with their shining wings, were ready shore are burdened with only one memory
for all the messages of love. And Georgie 'tis that of her Saint Columba.
thought of God as the human Saviour-the
man Christ Jesus—the very same upon GEORGIE'S PRAYER.
the throne above as He was when He lived
here below. I KNOW a little boy, with large bright
The love and trust of a little child-how I black eyes, and brown hair-George
sweet, and fresh, and free from all mishe is called a merry, mischievous little
givings! fellow, full of vigour and playfulness. But
Mamma,' said George, again pursuing George sometimes has quiet thoughts ; per
his own thoughts, if I go to heaven first haps the angels whisper to him in his I'll show you all the pretty places when you dreams. One night his mamma came to see
come. It's far bonnier than here. And if her little boy after he had lain down to rest,
you go to heaven first, you'll meet me and to give him his good-night kiss, and see
show it all to me.' that he was warm. "Have you said your
No fear on the little boy's mind, no prayers, Georgie ?' she asked.
thought of death or the tomb; dying to No, mamma, but I'll say them now.'
Georgie was going up to heaven with the As Georgie was a very little boy his
shining angel. In 'T'hy presence is fulness mamma often said the words of his prayer of joy, at Thy right hand there are pleasures before him, so she began, 'Lord Jesus,
for evermore.' make me a good little boy.'
Does not the Father of Spirits himself Not that one,' Georgie said.
come near to the little children, and make Then his mamma said the words of the
to shine in upon their souls some bright pretty little hymn :
beams of divine truth? Yes, perhaps truer
visions of heavenly things are granted to "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
these little ones than many of us are Look upon a little child.'
favoured with, who are travel-soiled and
weary, and our eyes dimmed with the dust But George objected again, 'Not that one of earth. either; have you no new prayers you could How pleased Georgie's father was whon teach me?'
his little son's childish words were repeated When you grow a little bigger, my dear to him. Perhaps they comforted him, for wee hoy, you will know what you want the shadows of the tomb were already most yourself, and will be able in your own gathering around him, and he felt their words to ask from God what you would like gloom. Ab! not the grave bat heavenbest to have.''
| look above-Christ hath abolished death. *But I may never live to be lig,' said Now Georgie's papa has gone, but George Georgie very eagerly, God may send his thinks of him always as in that happy land, angel for me very soon; He may be even sending him just now. You know,' he "Where everlasting spring abides, added in an explanatory tone, He could
And never-withering flowers,' not come for me Himself-he has not wings.'
Simple confiding little Georgic. The and feels sure he is waiting his arrival words" made his mother smile, but she there, ready to welcome him, to walk with caught his meaning.
him on the green pastures of heaven, and Little George trusted so fully in the love to lead him beside its still waters.