Page images
PDF
EPUB

FACTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.

Wints.

TEMPTATION is the way to torment,

and torment the end of temptation. THE SHALLOW STREAM can babble PRAYER not assisted by practice is without interruption, but the deep laziness, and contradicted by practice river often runs with ut the faintest is hypocrisy. speech.

A PRAYING HEART naturally turns to THE MAN WHO DREADS SOLITUDE a purified heart. does not know the charms of the No HOPE can give us a title to highest life, since loneliness throws a heaven but such an one as also gives man upon himself and upon God. us a fitness for it. SOME MEN CANNOT FIGHT without

THE BLIND

HEATHEN have been acquainting the public with their told of an Atlas that shoulders up the battles.

heavens; but we know that He who How WISE MEN MIGHT BECOME supports the heavens is not under could they but begin at the alphabet them, but above them. of knowledge.

HE WHO IS NOT CONCERNED for the honour of his religion, may justly be

Poetic Selections. supposed to have neither honour nor

COME UNTO ME. religion. A KING IS A KING even while he is

ABT thou weary? Art thou languid ? asleep; and sin is sin although it does

Art thou sore distrest? not actually rage.

“Come to me,” saith Onę, "and, coming, THERE IS NO SUCH THING as a to.

Be at rest!” morrow in the Christian's calendar. THE SUN IS STILL THE SUN, though

Hath He marks to lead me to Him, wrapped up in a cloud; and truth is If He be my Guide? truth, though clothed in riddles.

"In His feet and hands are wound-prints, THE DOCTRINE OF A DEFERRED RE

And His side." PENTANCE is a mischievous doctrine,

Is there diadem as monarch and like to bring those who trust in That His brow adorns ? it to the devil.

“ Yea, a crown in very surety,

But of thorns !"
Gems.

If I find Him, if I follow,
WHATEVER CHRIST TOUCHETH he

What His guerdon here? dignifieth, be it prince or pauper.

“Many a sorrow, many a labour, LOVING HANDS AND WILLING HEARTS

Many a tear!" can soften the hardest morsel, and If I still hold closely to Him, strike a divine light in the darkest What hath He at last? hut.

“Sorrow vanquished, labour ended, CONTACT WITH SATAN is as certain

Jordan past!” as contact with Christ is essential in a

If I ask Him to receive me, truly spiritual life.

Will He say me nay? MEN ARE IN DANGER of deluding themselves with the idea that a weep

“Not till earth, and not till heaven,

Pass away!" ing Saviour can never be a punitive Judge.

Tending, following, keeping, struggling, CHRIST NEVER SAT at the banquet Is He sure to bless ? board without spreading the bread of “Angels, martyrs, prophets, pilgrims, life before the guests.

Answer, Yes!"

THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.

The Children's Corner.

THE DEVIL'S BRIDGE. At a place in South Wales, a mountain torrent rushes through a chasm in the rocks surmounted by an arch formed of an immense piece of rock, thus making a natural bridge, which is called the Devil's Bridge. The scenery is wild and beautiful. Standing on the summit of the arch and looking down into the gulf below, beholding the torrent foaming at your feet, you cannot but be struck with the sublimity and grandeur of the scene.

There are several such patural bridges in England, and most of them bear the uphallowed name which we have recorded the Devil's Bridge-to which, in times past, when ignorance and superstition were rife among the people, was usually attached a legend ascribing the placing of the piece of rock that forms the bridge across the chasm in its present wonderful position to Satan, who, it is said, wanted to get over himself, or to help some one else across. But now, happily, all such foolish and sinful tales are exploded, and although we cannot tell by what means rock was so placed, yet we know that it must have been by the power of God.

There are other and real Devil's bridges, which are far more common than these. They have no beauty, but are so ugly that we abbor them, and yet so deceitful and insnaring, like all Satan's work, that we often use them. True, they may conduct us over a difficulty that stands in our path, like the yawning chasm and the foaming torrent; yet they as surely conduct to sorrow and shame.

A lad idles on his way to school, or plays truant for an hour or two; then, as he goes into the school, he dreads the anger of his master and the punishment of his fault; and as he considers how best he may get over his difficulties, Satan, ever near, makes a bridge for him, and he tells his master “he had to go on an errand for his father.”

A girl, while going about her work, meddles with that which she ought not; presently a crash, and, behold, she has broken a glass, a cup, or a plate. Then comes the fear of discovery and her mother's anger, and instead of at once confessing her fault, she turns about in her mind how she may cover it. Satan makes a bridge to carry her over her difficulty; and, carefully replacing the broken pieces in such a way as to appear whole, she leaves the discovery of the accident and the blame of it to another.

A child comes to school with lessons unprepared Sunday after Sunday, with the oft-repeated excuse, “Please, teacher, I had no time.” But, alas! this is only another of the Devil's bridges—an excuse for idleness.

My dear children, I wish I could make you see that lying and deceit, in all their many forms, are but Devil's bridges. True, they may help you in the meantime over an obstacle, or difficulty, or danger; but, alas! do they not lead to something more terrible ?”

ANDREW LEE'S HOME SUNSHINE.

ANDREW LEE came home in the evening from the shop where he had worked all day, tired and out of spirits ; came home to his wife, who was also tired and out of spirits.

A smiling wife and a cheerful home-what a paradise it would be !” said Andrew to himself, as he turned his eyes from the clouded face of Mrs. Lee, and sat down with knitted brows and a moody aspect.

Not a word was spoken by either. Mrs. Lee was getting supper, and she moved about with a weary step.

Come," she said at last, with a side glance at her husband. There was invitation in the word only, none in the voice of Mrs. Lee.

Andrew arose and went to the table. He was tempted to speak an angry word, but controlled himself and kept silent. He could find no fault with the chop, nor the sweet home-made bread, nor the fragrant tea. They would have cheered his inward man, if there had only been a gleam of sunshine on the face of his wife. He noticed that she did not eat.

“ Are you not well, Mary?” The words were on his lips, but he did not utter them, for the face of his wife looked so repellant, that he feared an irritating reply. And so, in moody silence, the twain sat together until Andrew had finished his supper.

As he pushed his chair back his wife arose and commenced clearing off the table.

“ This is purgatory !” said Lee to himself, as he commenced walking the floor of their little breakfast room, with his hands thrust desperately away down into his trowsers pockets, and his chin almost touching his breast.

After removing all the dishes, and taking them into the kitchen, Mrs. Lee spread a green cover on the table, and placing a fresh trimmed lamp thereon, went out and shut the door after her, leaving her husband alone with his unpleasant feelings. He took a long, deep breath, as she did so, paused in his walk, stood still for some moments, and then drawing a paper from his pocket, sat down by the table, opened the sheet, and commenced reading. Singularly enough, the words upon which bis eye

Praise

your wife.” They rather tended to increase the disturbance of mind from which he was suffering.

[ocr errors]

rested were,

[ocr errors]

ANDREW LEE'S HOME SUNSHINE.

to the paper.

“I should like to find some occasion for praising mine.” How quickly his thoughts expressed that ill-natured sentiment. But his eyes were on the page before him, and he read on.

“ Praise your wife, man; for pity's sake give her a little encouragement. It won't hurt her."

Andrew Lee raised his eyes from the paper and muttered, O, yes; that's all very well. Praise is cheap enough. But

. praise her for what? For being sullen, and making your home! the most disagreeable place in the world ?" His eyes fell again

“She has made your home comfortable, your hearth bright and shining, your food agreeable ; for pity's sake tell her you thank her, if nothing more. She don't expect it; it will make her eyes open wider than they have for ten years; but it will do her good for all that, and you, too.'

It seemed to Andrew as if this sentence were written just for him, and just for the occasion. It was the complete answer to his question, “ Praise her for what ?" and he felt it also as a rebuke. He read no further, for thought came quickly, and in a new direction.

Memory was convicting him of injustice towards his wife. She had always made his home as comfortable for him as her hands could make it, and had he offered the light return of praise or commendation ? Had he ever told her of the satisfaction he had known, or the comfort experienced ? He was not able to recall the time or occasion. As he thought thus, Mrs. Lee came in from the kitchen, and taking her work-basket from a closet, placed it on the table, and sitting down without speaking began to sew. Mr. Lee glanced almost stealthily at the work in her hands, and saw that it was the bosom of a shirt, which she was stitching neatly. He knew that it was for him that she was at work.

Praise your wife.” The words were before the eyes of his mind, and he could not look away from them. But he was not ready for this yet. He still felt moody and unforgiving. The expression of his wife's face be interpreted to mean ill-nature, and with ill-nature he had no patience.

His
eyes

the newspaper that lay spread out before him, and he read the sentence : “A kind, cheerful word, spoken in a gloomy home, is the little rift in a cloud that lets the sunshine through."

Lee struggled with himself a while longer. His own ill-nature had to be conquered first, his moody, accusing spirit had to be subdued. But he was coming right, and at last got right, as to

fell upon

65

a

ANDREW LEE'S HOME SUNSHINE.

[ocr errors]

will. Next came the question as to how he should begin. He thought of many things to say, yet feared to say them lest his wife should meet his advances with a cold rebuff. At last, leaning toward her, and taking hold of the linen bosom upon which she was at work, he said in a voice carefully modulated with kindness, “ You are doing that work very beautifully, Mary."

Mrs. Lee made no reply. But her husband did not fail to observe that she lost almost instantly, that rigid erectness with which she had been sitting, nor that the motion of her needle had ceased.

My shirts are better made, and whiter than those of any other man in the shop,” said Lee, encouraged to go on.

" Are they?” Mrs. Lee's voice was low, and had in it a slight huskiness. She did not turn her face, but her husband saw that she leaned a little toward him. He had broken through the ice of reserve, and all was easy now. His hand was among the clouds, and a few feeble rays were already struggling through the rift it had made.

“ Yes, Mary,” he answered softly; " and I've heard it said more than once what a good wife Andrew Lee must have." Mrs. Lee turned her face toward her husband.

There was light in it, and light in her eye. But there was something in the expression of the countenance that a little puzzled him.

“Do you think so ?” she asked quite soberly.

“What a question !" ejaculated Andrew Lee, starting up, and going around to the side of the table where his wife was sitting. “What a question, Mary !” he repeated, as he stood before her.

“Do you ?" It was all she said.

“Yes, darling," was his warmly spoken answer, and he stooped down and kissed her. “ How strange that you should ask me such a question !"

“If you would only tell me so now and then, Andrew, it would do me good.” And Mrs. Lee arose, and leaving her face against the manly breast of her husband, stood and wept.

What a strong light broke in upon the mind of Andrew Lee. He had never given to his wife even the small reward of praise for all the loving interest she had manifested daily, until doubt of his love had entered her soul, and made the light around her thick darkness. No wonder that her face grew clouded, nor that what he considered moodiness and ill-nature, took possession of her spirit.

« PreviousContinue »