Page images
PDF
EPUB

FACTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.

ONE GREAT FOLLY of human nature THE CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION is is to lose the blessings we already strict in his discipline, demanding enjoy in silly and vain attempts to implicit obedience, but he is bountiful lay hold of those which are beyond in distributing the high reward which our reach.

he himself has won for us-even Envy has been described as riding heaven for a few days' faithful service in her crazy boat on the sea of malice, on earth. but often when watching to see her THE BEAUTIES OF EARTH often exneighbour's boat upset, is upset her- cite our admiration, and they ought; self, by running upon an unseen rock. but if in this prison of sin we are per

THERE IS MORE TRUE GREATNESS mitted to gaze on such scenes, what in owning to a fault and repairing it shall we behold in the palace of holithan in stupidly persisting in wrong. ness when our eyes see the King in Better retreat like a lion with your his beauty? face to the foe, than like a yelping cur with your tail between your legs.

Poetic Selections.
Oems.

A VOICE FROM THE SPIRIT LAND. THE GREAT PIRATE, Satan, never

I SHINE in the light of God, wastes his time and strength in His likeness stamps my brow; boarding empty vessels; he bears Through the valley of death iny feet' have trod, down with all his force on those which But I reign in glory now. are richly laden with divine gifts and I've found the joys of heaven, graces,

I'm one of the ransom'd band; GOD LOVES US ALL, even the evil Unto me a crown of life is given,

And a harp is in my hand. and the unthankful, and would have us all to be saved. And therefore he

I've learnt the song they sing,

Whom Jesus hath set free; takes it as a wrong done to Him, if And the glorious walls of heaven ring we despair of any man whom he has

With my new-born melody. made, and for whom, as for us, Christ

No breaking hearts are here, has died.

No fear, nor thrilling pain; WHEN THE AGED CHRISTIAN sinks Nor wasted cheek where the frequent tear

Roll'd down and left its stain. under bodily infirmities into the arms of death, he reaches that period of his Ye friends of mortal years, existence when he is just passing to

The trusted and the true, the enjoyment of immortal youth.

Ye are walking still in the valley of tears,

But I wait to welcome you, EVIL THOUGHTS, whether conceived in us, or intruded on us, are among

Do I forget you? no! our chief tormentors in this life. Still binds my heart to the hearts below,

For memory's golden chain What a relief will entire deliverance Till we meet to unite again. from them in heaven be!

Each link is strong and bright, IN THIS WORLD the Christian is but

And love's electric flame as gold in its rough state; at death Flows freely down like a stream of light,

To the world from whence I came. the pure gold is melted out and refined, and the dross cast away.

Do you mourn when another star MORE HONOUR IS DUE to the Chris- Shines out in the glittering sky? tian who does battle with the world, Do you weep when the raging voice of war,

Or the storms of conflict die? than to him who skulks like a coward from the conflict. We honour Christ Then why should your tears flow down, more by serving Him in a crowded My soul is a gem in the Saviour's crown,

And your hearts be sorely riven? city than in a solitary cell.

My house is for ever in heaven!

THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.

The Children's Corner.

HUNTING SQUIRRELS.

JONATHAN WOODVILLE was a honest hard-working man with a wife and several children. He was only a farm labourer, but by industry and frugality he had managed to buy a cow and rent a bit of land. He had also an allotment near the village on which he grew vegetables for the house, and some barley for his two pigs; and his wife saw after a few chickens and ducks. But it was hard work to make both ends meet. Having heard that he could have assistance as an able-bodied labourer to go out to Canada, he sold his furniture and stock, bought a few new tools, and started. He was sent down into the western parts, where some new settlements were forming About fifty acres were allotted to him at a low price, but he had all the ground to clear of trees and bushes. He set to work, and having first of all put together a log house to live in, he then began in good earnest to chop down the trees and root up the bushes. He had four strong lads with him, all of whom, except one, Mike, fifteen years old, helped their father and worked like men.

Perhaps I should not have told you about all this if it had not been for that Mike; for one day when they sent him to go to the log-house for a saw, he went, but on the way seeing a squirrel in one of the trees he gave chase to it, and forgot all about the saw. His father and brothers wondered what had become of him. When they got home he was not there; but it was not long before he came too, tired and hungry, and then they knew all about it. He had been hunting squirrels. Years passed on and Jonathan Woodville had a snug farm of his

“But where is Mike ?” said one of his neighbours. “I hardly know," said the father, we could not get him to settle down to work, and one day he left us for the United States of America, where, I suppose, he is now, hunting squirrels."

I hope all the lads who read this will take care not to do as Mike did. They may not find any squirrels to hunt, but if they run first after one thing and then another instead of minding their own work, that will be just as bad as Mike hunting squirrels.

OWA.

66

TRIAL OF RICHARD BAXTER,

HIS LAST HOURS, AND HIS LAST SONG.

FLITTING across the scenes of the English Rebellion, Restoration, and Revolution, two hundred years ago, we see the shadows of some of the greatest men that England ever produced.

Among these, as a preacher and writer, Richard Baxter was conspicuous. As a preacher his energy was most forcible and powerful—few being able to resist his appeals. As a writer no man, perhaps, ever wrote and printed so many good books. He was, however, like all other men, not without his failings; but these consisted chiefly in errors of judgment arising often from the spirit and manners of the age in which he lived, and never from evil intention. In our days his life and labours would have won for him universal admiration. To think of such a man being treated in the brutal manner he was at what was called his trial cannot but excite our wonder and indignation. But there never was an English Judge who disgraced the bench like Jeffreys. But verily the wretch, as Lord Macaulay has described, met with his reward.

“ It had been determined before the death of Charles II. that Baxter should be imprisoned and tried, and he was actually on bail when that wretched king died. He was, by a warrant of Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys, committed to the King's Bench for writing that scandalous, seditious book,'-50 was it styledA Paraphrase on the New Testament.' He was committed in February, and in May he was brought to his trial.

In fact, nothing could be more innocent than the words for which he was indicted. He was indicted as · Richard Baxter, a seditious and factious person, of a depraved mind, impious, iniquitous, of turbulent disposition and conversation, determined to break in the peace of the community and the tranquillity of our Lord the King,' etc. He was brought to trial before Jeffreys. His counsel had moved for more time. I will not give him,' said that drunken and blood-stained judge'a minute's time to save his life. We have had to do with other sorts of persons, but now we have a saint to deal with, and I know how to deal with saints as well as sinners. Yonder stands Oates in the pillory, and he says he suffers for the truth, and so says Baxter; but if Baxter

TRIAL OF RICHARD BAXTER,

[ocr errors]

did but stand on the other side of the pillory with him, I would say two of the greatest rogues and rascals in the kingdom stood there.' On the 30th of May, Baxter was brought for trial. Sir Henry Ashurst had the courage to stand by him all the while. When I saw,' says another eye-witness, the meek man stand before the flaming eyes and fierce looks of this judge, I thought of Paul before Nero. The barbarous usage which he received drew plenty of tears from my eyes, as well as from others of the auditors and spectators. He drove on furiously, pouring out contempt and scorn upon Baxter, as if he had been a link-boy or knave, which made the people who could not get near enough to hear the indictment or Mr. Baxter's plea, exclaim, “Surely, this Baxter had burned the city.” But others said, it was not the custom now-a-days to receive ill, except for well-doing; and, therefore, this must needs be some good man that my lord rails so at.' The obscenity, the vulgarity, and unrighteousness of the judge on the occasion of that trial, are well known. Before the trial of Baxter, a short cause was heard; and then the clerk called another cause. You blockhead you,' said the judge,

the next cause is between Baxter and the King.' Some part of the · Paraphrase' objected to was Mark xii. 38.40—And for a pretence make long prayers.' Baxter made some remarks on liturgies. Is he not now an old knave,' said Jeffreys, “to interpret this of liturgies. No, no,' continued he, it is their own long-winded extempore prayers, such as they used to say when they appropriated God to themselves. Lord, we are Thy people, Thy peculiar people, Thy dear people.' And then he snorted, and squeaked through the nose, lifting up his eyes and mimicking their manner, as he said they used to pray. Baxter's counsel interposed. • Polfexen,' says Jeffreys, “I know you well. I will set a mark upon you; you are the patron of the faction. This is an old rogue who has poisoned the world with his Kidderminster doctrine. Don't we know how he preached formerly? “ Curse ye Meroz; curse them bitterly that come not to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” He encouraged all the women and maids to bring their bodkins and thimbles to carry on their war against the king of ever blessed memory. An old schismatical knave, a hypocritical villain.' 'I beseech your lordship,' said Polfexen, “suffer me a word for my client. It is well known to all intelligent men of this age and nation that those things do not apply to the character of Mr. Baxter. My lord, Mr. Baxter's

[ocr errors]

HIS LAST HOURS, AND HIS LAST SONG.

loyal and peaceable spirit, King Charles would have rewarded with a bishopric when he came in if he would have conformed.' • Aye, aye,' said the judge, we know that; but what ailed the old blockhead, the unthankful old villain, that he would not conform? Was he wiser and better than other men ? He bath been ever since the spring of the faction. I am sure he hath poisoned the world with his linsey-woolsey doctrine; a conceited, stubborn, fanatical dog. Hang him! this old fellow bath cast more reproach upon the constitution and discipline of our Church than will be wiped off for a hundred years; but I'll handle him for it, by G-! He deserves to be whipped through the city.'

Let us blush for the days when that trial took place; blush that the bench of English justice was filled by so drunken and disgraceful a buffoon-blush that the throne of England was filled by a man of a more depraved character than the judge. Jeffreys was fond of whipping, and he was desirous that Baxter should be flogged through the city; but the sentence was ultimately fixed at a fine of £500-a tolerable sum to pay for telling a mild piece of truth. This was one of the first acts of the gentle reign of James II. ; and it was early in the administration, of his Lord Chief Justice, but it was a type of both ;-mercifully both were short. Jeffreys danced a sort of bloody hornpipe through England when he went on circuit; while his whitelipped master taught for a brief year or two that love and forgiveness had no place in his christian code ; then the magnanimity of England sent both master and man packing. For two years Baxter continued in prison. We were walking once with Elihu Burritt over York Castle, where George Fox was confined, and when he saw the comfort of all the prisoners, their clean cells and raiment and food, he said, 'Ah, poor dear George Fox; dear Bunyan and Baxter; how very thankful they would have been to have had such a comfortable place as this !' In truth, perhaps, prison would not be very irksome to man like Baxter. In those days the saints expected it—they took pen, ink, and paper, and a book or two, and went into jail as if they were going home. The accounts given to us of Baxter, in prison, are interesting. The old man wrought away with his pen still. His Puritan friends came to see him. We interrupt you,' said they once ; Of course you do,' said he; but never mind, go on.' A man like that would not feel the shackles so much as many men.

We confess we like best to look at Baxter in prison. The dear

« PreviousContinue »