Page images
PDF
EPUB

A LETTER FROM EGYPT.

fourteen years

cause of the stagnation of Egypt and other countries, which were once the glory of the whole earth. I have not seen a piece of mason-work in progress in this country where girls from eight to

of

age did not carry the mortar upon their heads; and that under a savage driver with a long stick. And in one instance when that stick was being used most unmercifully, I confess that the temptation which led Moses to that hasty step with the Egyptian appeared more striking than ever before. And I will not say that it was well for this Egyptian that I could not look “either way” without seeing somebody, but I will say that if ever a human being ought to be killed, this monster deserved such a fate. But in spite of all these things the business of Egypt is increasing rapidly. The railroad is finished from Alexandria to Suez, and is used for the overland route to India and China. The French are building a canal from Suez to the Mediterranean Sea. And since the American rebellion cut off the supply of cotton, tremendous efforts have been put forth to encourage the growth of that staple. This has been so far successful, that with the high prices of that article, the people have made more money than ever before, business has increased, foreigners flocked in, and the stagnation even of Egypt is disturbed by the finger of commerce and the mighty dollar. Prices of labour bave advanced, and the cost of living nearly doubled within three years, except with the common people, who raise their own onions and turnips. But hotel bills, always reported "cheap, if poor," are now about fifteen shillings a day, and O such living!

Well, there, my space, and more than I intended for this letter, is used up all upon Egypt as it is, and why? Because everybody who visits this country seems to come to see the pyramids, and have given repeated and better descriptions of them than I can, while the present life and aspect of the country has not been noticed much. This is a strange country. We walk around the pyramids, which probably the Jews helped to build, and through the immense quarries where the slaves of those times toiled, and pass over the spot where tradition says Moses was found, and then look out upon the people, dressed very much as they were then, and seem to feel that it is a kind of dream or vision. Here are solemn lessons, worthy the study of the world. But will the world study and improve ?

R. D.

POETRY.-ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS,

Poetry.

WHOM GOD HEARS.
It is not be who prays the loudest,

With many a polished phrase or word,
Who walks the path to church the proudest,

Whose voice of prayer is ever heard.
Not they who talk and loudly sing

The anthems of the saints of light,
They are not always in the van

of those who labour for the right.
The faintest sigh of Christian love,

Breathed at the morning time or even,
On fragrant gales is borne above,

And finds an audience in heaven.
Like perfume in the summer morn,

Or like the early silvery dew,
Dissolving in the grateful air,

Floating to heaven's ethereal blue;
Thus from the humble, contrite soul,

The perfumes of devotion rise,
And thus the breath of warm desire

Is mingling with the sacrifice.
Dearer to God are honest rays,

And hearts of deep sincerity,
Than pompous form and gaudy show

And robes of flowing drapery.

Anecdotes and Selections.

THE OLDEST CITY IN THE WORLD.-Damascus is the oldest city in the world; Tyre and Sidon have crumbled on the shore; Baalbec is a ruin; Palmyra lies buried in the sands of the desert; Nineveh and Babylon have disappeared from the shores of the Tigris and Euphrates. Damascus remains what it was before the days of Abraham-a centre of trade and travel, an island of verdure in a desert, “a predestined capital,” with martial and sacred ass iations extending beyond thirty centuries. It was near Damascus that Saul of Tarsus saw the light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun; the street which is called Straight, in which it is said "he prayeth,” still runs through the city; the caravan comes and goes as

ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS,

it did one thousand years ago; there is still the sheik, the ass, and the water-wheel; the merchants of the Euphrates and the Mediterranean still occupy these “with the multitude of their waiters.” The city which Mahomet surveyed from a neighbouring height, and was afraid to enter, “because it is given to man to have but one Paradise, and, for his part, he was resolved not to have it in this world," is to this day what Julian called the "Eye of the East," as it was in the time of Isaiah “the Head of Syria.”

Rough DIRECTIONS.— If we know of a great danger in a road, or on a hill, and we write a notice, and get it printed, or painted on a board, for the information of our fellow-creatures, we do a good deed. If the board be as handsome and striking as the best sign-board, or if the printed bill be well executed, and the language correct, all the better. But if a man is uneducated, and yet benevolent-and many such there are-and no other means are at hand than a black board and a bit of chalk, and he writes upon it, tak. kere. vn. te. lift. cide. ov. te. rode. ower. te. klif., and thus sets people on the look out, he does good, and he is but a sorry fool who laughs such a man to scorn. The humane will honour him. Certainly every word in his notice is spelt wrong, and for this, if he pretended to scholarship, he would deserve to be ridiculed; but it has saved a life whilst it has caused many a laugh. Would it have been best for hiin to have omitted his notice because he could not do it as it ought to have been done? Certainly not. For, in that case, the man who was saved by it would most likely have gone over the cliff.—Herrick.

MEDITATE ON GOD.-If you would meditate on God and the things of God, take heed that your hearts and your hands be not too full of the world, and the employments thereof. The more full your hand is of worldly employments, the more you will think thereon; and the more you think thereon, the less you will think of God and the things of God. And what is the reason that many meditate and think so little of God and the things of God, but because their hearts are so full of the world. Where their treasure is, there will their hearts be also.

THE BIBLE.—Let me entreat you to study the Bible; study it with prayer, with expectation; with eyes alert and open, read it; in your most tranquil retirement, read it; and when a few of you, who are friends like-minded, come together, read it; search it; sift it; talk about it; talk with it. And as he thus grows mighty in it, I promise each earnest Bible student two rewards it will make him both a wiser and a better man.

COMPASSION OF JESUS.—The orb of day may be quenched in gloom, the lustre of the stars may fade and melt away, the tides of ocean may fail, genial dews and refreshing showers may cease to revive the thirsty land, but the compassion of Jesus can never fail, so long as there is to be found amongst those who believe in him one who, in this vale of tears, needs his guardian care or the consolations of his grace.

THE FIRESIDE.

RAGGED SCHOOL EMIGRANTS.-Girls in considerable numbers were taken some years ago out to Canada, accompanied by a matron; and not only was every one of them speedily placed in a comfortable situation, but there was an eager demand for as many more. Here is a letter from one of them :

“My dear Mother,—This comes with my kind love to you, hoping you are well, as it leaves me at present. Dear mother, I have enclosed you a small sum of money, hoping that it will be received by you, dear mother, though so far away. I do not forget you, and at some future period, I hope and trust I may enjoy the pleasure of your society, The sum enclosed is £12. I hope you and my sister are well and happy. I myself am very well. So believe me to remain, your ever dutiful and affectionate,

MARGARET MACK." In a previous letter received from her, this girl had enclosed a sum of £5. "Such facts as these need no comment: they are complete in themselves. And very many more cases like these continue to bear witness to the blessed social results of Ragged Schools.

The Fireside.

ON MOTHERS CONDUCTING FAMILY WORSHIP.

We can see no good reason why a christian mother, in the husband's absence, should not be willing and happy to gather the children as usual, read the accustomed scripture, and then offer up an appropriate prayer. There is nothing unfeminine or indelicate in it, no

ng that need be embarrassing, nothing at all so difficult or inappropriate as when praying in the presence of females alone, as many are accustomed to do in their social meetings. While, on the other hand, we think it quite as practicable as it is christian, and are fully persuaded that as soon as the first embarrassment is over, this would become a service which the lonely wife would be exceedingly reluctant to give up on account of the encouragement and comfort it gave her. During those few moments, she would seem to meet the absent one at the throne of grace, and hold sacred intercourse there. How much less anxiety, too, would she probably feel, after having thus committed berself, and all her precious interests, unto Him who has promised to care for those who cast all their cares on him. We are also confident that the happiest influence would go forth from such a daily service upon children and others who might chance to witness it. It would more than perpetuate the daily service; the fact that the mother assumes it rather than have it once omitted, will deepen the wonted impression of

THE PENNY POST BOX,

it; and to our watchful Father in heaven we are sure it would be one of the sweetest offerings that earth can send up before him.

We plead for the service also on the very good ground of its influence upon the absent husband and father. Wherever he may be, he is apt to be thoughtful, if not sad, when the hour of family worship at home comes round; and we make appeal to any christian father to say whether anything could give him purer satisfaction in his absence than to know that at the appointed hour his household are at their accustomed place, while the wife leads their thoughts to God, or intercedes with him for his blessing upon them and upon their absent head.

The Penny Post Box.

HAVE YOU LOST A CHILD BY DEATH ?

To Fathers and Mothers. THERE are, perhaps, few wounds go deeper into the hearts of a father and a mother than the loss by death of one of their children a little boy or girl who could just begin to walk and talk, and make itself interesting and lovely. Has the father or mother who reads this ever lost such an one. I have: and I know how deep such wounds go into the heart. I never could feel so much for David weeping for his child as I did after I had endured such a loss. Yet, like him, I was wonderfully comforted by the thought that I should go to it, and I would fain have gone then to see if it were safe; for I felt as if a part of myself had gone into eternity. My family chain was broken. There were nine links in it. One was now snapped, and it could not be repaired any more on earth-only in heaven; and so that made me think more of heaven and less of earth. I believe the Lord broke off that link on purpose to do us all good-father, mother, brothers, sisters,-all of us. We had not had one death, and but little sickness. Now both came, again, and again, and again. And every time they came they made us think more of that world where there will be no more death. Well: they are gone! the dearly loved ones are gone, and we must follow. Our Father who is in heaven took them home to himself. I have no doubt of that. They were his, and he loved them more than we did I am sure of that too. We must now try to follow them whither they are gone, that we may see them and have them again. And this is why they are taken often, that we who live may be reminded that on earth all is frail and uncertain, and that heaven only is the place of immortality and certain lasting enjoyment. May I and mine, and you and yours, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who died to save us from sin, and death, and Satan, and hell, be all found at last “IN LIFE'S ETERNAL BUNDLE BOUND."

A FATHER.

« PreviousContinue »