Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

73 And what does it wind up by saying is the true duty of man? To fear God and keep His

THE DAYSPRING. commandments.

Whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited

us... To guide our feet into the way of peace. ~ 74 What book comes after Ecclesiastes ? The Song of Solomon.

75 Why so called? Because written by | Kneeling towards the light, Solomon in the form of a Song of Love.

O little child, 76 What does it refer to under the figure of Marriage? The Love of Christ and His Church. Thou dost forget the near,

Thou tremblest not for fear, (6) The MAJOR PROPHETS.

For to thy wondering sight · 77 What are all the remaining books of the

The white clouds piledOld Testament? Books of Prophecy.

Piled on the brink of day, 78 When did these prophecies beğin? About 840 years before Christ.

Say, Voiceless, kneel and pray;' 79 When did they cease? About 440 before

Dayspring doth rise for theem Christ.

Dayspring thy glad eyes see, 80 Name the first of these books ? Isaiah. .

O little child. 81 Why so called? Because the prophet Isaiah wrote it. 82 Did Isaiah prophesy first? No.

Most pleasant dawn of day 83 Why then is his book put first? From its

'Tis sweet, 'tis fair, being one of the longest, and with most in it of Him to whom all the prophets bore witness. It wakes the sleeping bird;

The very earth is stirred, • 84 Name the next book? Jeremiah. : 85 When did Jeremiah begin to prophesy?

Yet kneel and pray, Seventy years after Isaiah ceased.

For dayspring rises there 86 What did Jeremiah live to see? Judah following the other tribes into captivity. Brighter than earth can tell; 87 Where were they taken captive to? To

And thou, a child, may'st dwell Babylon and other parts of Assyria.

In its exceeding light, in thy glad heart _88 What book follows Jeremiah's prophecy? Ask that it rise, of thy own life a part, The Lamentations. 89 Why so called? Because written by

O little child. Jeremiah in the form of a lament, or funeral dirge. 90 What was he lamenting over? The cap

Yes, seek it still for thine, tivity of Judah and the desolation of Jerusalem.

To guide thy feet 91 What follows the Lamentations ? Ezekiel.

| Into the way of peace, 92 Who was Ezekiel ? One of the captive Where all the dark doth cease, Jews in Assyria.

And it doth shine; 93 What book comes next? The Book of And show the golden street, ' Daniel.

Where thou sometime may'st stray, 94 Who was Daniel? - Another of the Jewish

In heaven's unending day; captives.

Plcad thou for this, of Christ's exceeding 95 Did Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah, live at the same time? Yes.

grace, 96 Describe the difference in their circumstances ? Kneeling and lifting towards the light thy Jeremiah was one of the remnant of the Jews left in Jerusalem; Ezekiel was one of the

face, captives in Northern Assyria ; and Daniel was

O little child. one of the captives in Babylon.

H. W. H. W

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]



where there played not the faintest of mistwreaths.

O, we're all right,' said Alick, answering his look, “but there are plenty of fellows have been lost among the mountains it always seemed to me awful—think what it would be, an eagle may be your next neighbour with a half eaten baby in its eyrie, and the mists curled and curled, and crags and torrents and moors between you and any human soul-I should like to try it; but would'nt it be awful

[ocr errors]


'I vote for that.' · "So do I.'

August, and the long, long heather, was dyeing the moors and the mountains. And the bell-heather, pink and purple, was fading by the burn sides slowly, and the blue, blue noon was burning up above the sharp granite peaks which glistened back like diamonds to the unshadowed sun.

And the three boys had lain among the brakens in their indolent happy mood, and watched the ebbing of the tide, and the gleaming of the wet shingle, and the idle flapping of the sails that were wooing a wind in vain, till a sparkle from the Red Rock which hung midway up the glen, had made them think how glorious to climb the great boulder in the sun.

Midway up the glen it hung. At some time, long, long ago, in a great storm of the mountains, it had been torn from their brow. And now embedded in the heather, its ancient scars all filled with the lichens and the brownveined spleenwort, and the little pink and white-flowered stone-crop, dainty and tender and strong, it stood a great weather-beaten land mark, which travellers curiously examined, but passed and left unscaled.

'It's rather hot,' said Johnnie, when, the cool brakers left behind and the fringes of birch and alder, they trod the long upland glen.

*Look here,' said Alick Barnard, there must be no backing out-if you want to come, come; and if you don't, you can get safe home yet, and go. Don't be codding off; you're not afraid of it if you are. I'm going, but that's no matter.'

'Afraid!' exclaimed Johnnie, looking hotly up at his brother, who was one head taller than he, and broader in degree. And he wiped the 'drops from his brow, and strode through the knee-deep heather.

'He can turn when he wants,' said the third, who was Alick's age, and no brother.

But no one answered to this, and they went on together, growing silent as the glen grew wilder.

Think what it would be, M'Ian, to be lost in a place like this,' said Alick, half under his breath, and with a boy's love for conjuring up .what seemed a possible danger.

• Lost!' repeated M‘Ian with a laugh and a shiver. He looked at the gleaming granite

'Yes, too awful for me, I don't care for that sort of thing as you do-you're always after something queer.

But there was a certain re-assurance in the sharp peaks cut against the sky, and the blackfaced sheep that would stop their nibbling on the heights, and look at them with half scared eyes.

And after that they went on silently enough, breathing the sweet, wholesome scents of the bog-myrtle and the thymè, till both were left behind, and the Red Rock frowned down upon them.

Now, the great boulder, as has been said, had tender streaks in it. It's scars were filled with mountain flowers, than which no flowers are sweeter: and in the cool moist, grey shadows which were made by the ledges of the rock, there grew such fairy ferns as no where else may be gathered.

Always in stern places there is shed such redeeming fairness-streaks of specks of but intenser loveliness—that we may know the God of strength is the God of gentleness toothat we may be glad through our reverence, that love may cast out fear.

One short eager strain of strength and skill; feet in the stone-crop crevices, hands clutching the heather tufts, vehement mutual warnings and encouragements, and the top of the Red Rock was gained. The three boys, stretched hot and wearied on the great, sloping boulder, looked down on the tumbled glen which lay deep and shadowy with the white water foaming through it, and loneliness like a spirit, brooding over the purple dark.

This is grand."

That was all they said for a while. And then when the stillness grew, as most among the mountains have felt, into something of a Presence, one of them spoke again.

No God! would that not be awful, Harry.' For it was natural to talk of such things; the stillness was like a church, and the closing in of the mountains, suggested Bible days.



The boys did not smile nor wonder at that sudden, solemn thought of Alick's. They answered with their silence, and Alick spoke again.

Did you ever try to think what it would be like?

"I did, once.'
· When?'

I'm not going to tell that, for it's awful to think of. I was only trying, because I heard somebody say it. I'm never going to try again, never.'

What made you ever try it?' "Did'nt I tell you? I heard somebody say it. Don't you mind that. It was like Robinson Crusoe on the desert island, but far worse. You don't know till you try what it feels like, Harry. Do you know when I look at that picture of Robinson finding Friday's foot-print on the sand, it always makes me remember how I felt then. It was when I had been miserable for days; and all at once, I don't know how it was, I felt quite sure that God was really round me. Some feelings in us are signs of God, real signs, just as there could'nt have been a foot-print on the sand, if Friday had not left it there.

"And the sea, and the dry land,' answered Harry slowly, awed by the thought of his friend which he could not make quite his own, and going back to the Bible for the proofs which lay so open before them.

Yes, but these are different, they are not signs like the other. Harry, I could'nt live unless I knew God lived too.

Harry answered nothing, and Johnnie, in a tired voice, said :

Everybody knows that, Alick, what makes you talk like that to-day ?'

Then Alick grew silent too; and looked up at the glistering mountains, and heard the curlew's cry, and the loud laughter of the water that broke down the rocks in the glen: and these seemed to give the answer which his own lips could not make.

But Harry was oppressed by the silence. Ho stretched himself along the boulder, and looked over its further side.

'It's as steep and smooth as a wall,' he said, turning his face half round, we'll drop it, Alick, the heather's splendid below.'

Then Alick woke from his own happy and grave thoughts, to lean towards the edge of the rock, and measure its height with his eye.

It's too high for Johnnie.' •We can catch him.'

'I can drop it well enough,' protested Johnnie.

But how will we get along; we can't climb back again, you see.'

“There's a path round the other side, I saw it coming up the glen.'

'All right, then,' said Alick.

In a moment his hands were on the edge of the sharp, steep, glistering boulder, and then he lay amidst shouts of laughter in the long elastic heather below.

It's glorious; you can't get hurt,' he cried, plunging, with an ecstacy of pleasure in the deep, fragrant purple bloom, tumble down, Johnnie, it's all right however you come.'

And Johnnie did tumble down,' and Harry after Him, and the long, rich heather received them, pliant, tender, strong, like a good nurse's arms.

There was nothing but heather to be seen,-waves on waves of it; only here and there a sharp, granite rock, protruding through the warm purple. No sunny rock-roses; no myrtle now.

Now for the path,' said Alick, the first to rise from his couch, it's uncommonly jolly here, but we'd best find our way.'

“Yes, the glen might put on its night-cap too soon to suit us.'

And they rose with laughter and jests to seek Harry's 'path.'

The heather on which they stood covered but a tiny plat, which the rocks overhung on two sides, and broke away from one another in a wild, impassable mass.

The one apparent egress was close under the Red Rock.

This is the way,' shouted Alick, its narrow, take care, Johnnie, hold by the heather.'

Alick was some yards in front. Suddenly he stood still. He muttered somnulow short words, were they of prayer or tear? His companions heard the sound, they could not tell what he said. •What have you come to ?’ they called.


The answer was low and hoarse; the boy had drawn back a step, they could see his features set firm, a sudden paleness over them. They were by his side in an instant; and then all stood still, for their way was barred by a precipice that sank down sheer and deep, and was lost in a shadowy mass of torn and splintered granite, far, far down, where no foot had ever been.



They looked at one another-alone in the clear, in the words of the psalm-the moundreadful silence and then Johnnie trembling tain psalm of David. as with cold, clung to his brother's arm.

'I to the hills will lift mine eyes * Alick, Alick, what can we do?'.

From whence doth come mine aid.” "Nothing,' said Alick.

Alick and Johnnie joined, and the psalm He put his arm round Johnnie, holding wafted loud as their voices could carry it him fast, with that rush of brotherly tender over the rocks and the heather. And while they ness which comes in danger or in death. And sang, the moon rose up on the ridge of the moun. Johnnie pressed closer still not speaking nor tains, and looked down with a sweet familiar shedding tear, but saying by the mute gesture, face, that was like a promise after prayer. . Let us meet the worst close together.'

Sing it again,' said Johnnie.

And the same psalm rose once more; for O the frown and the fierceness that seemed their hearts had bitter need of it in the night, in the glistering mountains !

and the loneliness. White and weak in the shadow of the Red Before the last line was finished, Johnnie's Rock, Harry had sank down.

eyes had closed. He slept on his brother's 'Let us look better,' said Alick, 'Harry, arm, a tranquil, sound sleep. get up and come.

'Listen! that was a sound.' And Harry rose with a fierce hope, that Harry sprang to his feet. A rude, strong was like despair in his eyes.

voice was shouting through the dark, someBut way of retreat there was none. It was where high above them. many hours later, and the cold shadows of the "Where awa, lads. Who's doun there? mountains stretched heavily down the glen, Three of us,' shouted Alick and Harry the sea was lit with the sunset, but the sea lay

| together. far away. And the boys sat down with their Is there no help? we can't get up or down.' fearful fate staring on them through the gloom.

"Atweel no,' said the voice, what gat the Johnnie, in abandon of sorrow, was crying like o’ye into that uncanny neuk?' on his brother's shoulder, and Harry on the

"We dropped from the Red Rock.' other side, leaned on the same friend, in a dull

The voice was silent for a minute. sort of patience of fear, speaking never a word.

O don't leave us,' cried Harry in despair. "Harry, God lives, you know.' ,

"I maun leave ye to get help-I maun hae “Yes, said Harry, listlessly.

ropes to draw ye up wi'. Lads, gie thanks And He can help us if He will.'

for the mercy that brought me here this “Yes,' said Harry, in a tone as hopeless as

night. I'll awa for ropes, keep warm till I before.

come back. There's to ye. Wrap yoursel's We'll pray to Him,' said Alick, and he

round with that. It's fended bravely frae rose and knelt on the heather. For the

mony a blast before. danger and darkness and loneliness had

And the unseen speaker dropped a shepbanished all timidity and pride. And Harry

herd's plaid over the rocks, and there was cast off his stupor, and knelt beside him too,

silence again, the silence of the mountains and Johnnie, still clinging to his brother, fell, and the glen. also on his knees.

But the boys in ecstasy of thanksgiving It was an inaudible prayer that rose from

bent their knees once more upon the heather. the heart of each, a long, entreating prayer to "I told you God could holp us-He has the strong, the gentle God, the God to whom done it,' said Alick. in all sorrow we go with tho true child It seemed many hours before the shepherd instinct that feels for the father's, the mother's returned, and the rope was thrown over the hand, in dark places and lonely.

Red Rock, and one after another was drawn Harry's stupor was gone when they rose. safely to the top. And in the early morning He looked into Alick's face. Alick wondered to

twilight they went back down the long glensee the brave, quiet light, that had come to his. Johnnie in the shepherd's arms, and the

Would we not sing a hymn, and then we moon still fair above the mountains. might sleep,' he said....

But they learned in that fearful night, a Sleep! Alick looked at the boy.

trust they would love, zover. For they had “Yes, sing,' he answered.

been alone with God, and God had sent them id. And Harry's voice rose instantly, loud and |

8. V. A. e.

« AnteriorContinuar »