Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

bours to get his field reaped, the lark's nest was secure from disturbance, but no sooner does the farmer set in his own sickle, than the old bird and her young must find another bome.

That it is better to be useful than beautiful, is taught us by “ The Stag and its Antlers," for while the despised legs saved, the admired horns, entangled it to its ruin. Would we learn the value of perseverance, and the folly of presumptuous haste, turn to the fable of " The Hare and Tortoise." Is it true that prayer without effort is folly, and that effort without

prayer

is presumption ? See an apt illustration, in the story of the Waggoner who besought Jupiter's help in his trouble. But we might fill the “ Recordwith examples of the various illustrations contained in fabulous lore, and yet far from exhaust the subject. Our object will be gained if Band of Hope advocates will turn their attention to this wide field of wisdom, for the elucidation and enforcement of their subject; it will well repay their efforts, and frequently enable them to fasten their lessons of sobriety, truth, and virtue like a nail in a sure place, fastened by the Master of assemblies.

HOW FRANK CROKER WAS REFORMED. Frank Croker had a tidy wife, and a set of bright, intelligent children, but he had no great liking for their society; and as to spending every evening with them, he would as soon have shut himself in the village church, and listened to the hooting of its owls. Yet Frank was not what is called a bad fellow at heart. It is true he liked drinking and smoking at "The Bengal Tiger," but, as his neighbours said, that fault was common. It was the general opinion that he would not willingly have harmed a fly; and probably the people who held this view were in the right. It is so easy to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel !

Frank Croker had married well. His partner was a thrifty soul, and although she received but half her husband's wages, made both ends meet to perfection. But there were those who held, that constant striving to feed and clothe her children, and pay her

way, without letting the world into the secret of her straitened means, had paled the cheek and undermined the health of the once blooming Hester. Certain it is that she had so strangely altered since her marriage, that her own cousin, Margaret Gower, when she came with her husband and children to settle at Hopedale, could scarcely recognise her. Yet Croker lovedor fancied he loved his wife, and often told his fellowworkmen that he was “lucky" in having won her. The land

lord of “The Bengal Tiger” was often compelled to listen to a list of Hester's virtues, as, in the long summer evenings, he sat, with his best customer on the bench before his door. Perhaps Frank had a notion that to praise his wife would make some amends for starving her.

Yes, starving; for it was simply impossible for Hester to provide for her children and feed herself at one and the same time. Even the eggs which were laid by the children's poultry, were sent to the market, in order that he-the selfish fathermight have a decent joint for his Sunday's dinner!

"Your boys are fine fellows,” remarked Margaret Gower, one evening, as in returning with her husband from a cottage Bible-reading, she paused at the door of the inn to exchange civilities with Croker ; “but to my mind, they look very thin and careworn.

Is that your fault ?” “Not likely,” said Frank; “but they both take after their mother. She's thin enough, ain't she ?"

“Yes ; she don't get enough to eat,” said Margaret bluntly. "You just spend your evenings at home, instead of letting yourself be eat up by Bengal tigers, and you 'll soon see a change in your family.”

"I can't spend my evenings at home," said Frank. “I'm too sociable."

“Better say, at once, too selfish,cried Mrs. Gower, who, when she once began, “spoke her mind” without fear of consequences. “If you felt any interest in helping your wife and children, you would soon be able to spend your evenings with them without bankering after public-houses and pot-compa-, nions."

Frank laughed, and said it was well they were not within hearing of the landlord. Then turning to Gower, he inquired how he spent his evenings.

“At home,” replied Margaret's husband, who had hitherto been acting the part of an amused yet anxious listener; and if you will come to our cottage, you shall have a specimen of my way of enjoying myself.”

Frank rose and followed him, not altogether from curiosity. His conscience had been awakened by Margaret's home-thrust, and he was seriously beginning to suspect that he was a fool. The Gowers had been living in the village for several months, yet this was his first visit to their home. They were not of his stamp, for they were religious people, and hitherto he had carefully avoided them.

“Which house is yours ?” he inquired, as, after passing the churchyard, they drew near two small brown houses, with trim gardens in front and rear. “Is it that one with the vine?”

His new friends smiled as they replied in the affirmative, for it pleased them to exhibit their home in its summer beauty. And truly it was a cottage which spoke well for its owners. The little garden was in itself a study, with its two bee-hives and its arbour, its fruit-trees and its flowers, its trim walks and its long potato plot; and as for the house, there was scarcely such another in the parish. “Do

you like these two front windows ?” inquired William. “I made them myself.”

They were only small-paned casements, but they were so exactly suited to their position, and so luxuriantly curtained by delicate rose-trees, that Gower thought much of them.

“I manage to get through a lot of this sort of work, mornings," said the host, as they crossed the threshold.

“What time, then, do you get up?" asked Croker: "I never wake.”

“Well, half-past four is about my time in summer, and the boys come down when I do; but the girls and their mother sleep an hour longer," said William.

“Why my wife gets up first,” said Croker, smiling.

“And goes to bed last, I'll answer for it,” interrupted Margaret, who was now preparing supper. “I'll tell you what it is, Mr. Croker : if you go on as you've begun, my poor cousin 'll be in her grave by this time twelve months. It's of no use to mince the matter; she's working herself to death.

“Well, she will do it," said Croker, angrily. “I often tell her not to work so hard." " And what does she say to that?” inquired Margaret. She says

the children and the house must be cared for." “ And so they must; and you ought to help her to do it.” “I earn all the money,” said Croker: “what more can I do ?”

Why, you can cheer her with your company; and you can help her to train your children well; and you can trim up your House instead of boosing at the Tiger' every evening."

"You speak very plainly," said Croker.

“I must,” said Margaret. “I have tried you with smooth words at your own house several times. Won't you have any

supper?"

“No, thank you,” said Frank; “I never eat when I'm angered. Good even to you."

He turned away as he spoke, and left the cottage.
“Shall I go after him ?” said Margaret to her husband.

“No, he will do much better alone,” said William. “ You have convinced him that he is wrong, but he won't acknowledge it. Poor fellow, you hit him hard !"

"Never mind, if it does him good," said Margaret. “It takes rather & loud peal of thunder to waken some folks.”

It was late that night when Frank Croker reached his home; and Hester was half asleep when he laid his hand upon the latch and softly entered.

What change bad come over him, that he passed an arm around her waist and kissed her forehead ? Had he, at last, begun to understand?

It was even so. Frank Croker was an altered man. Two years have passed since that eventful nigbt, and he still perseveres in spending his evenings at home. And though he gives, as yet, no evidence of that change of heart without which there can be no hope for eternity, there is much reason to believe that his constant attendance on the means of grace, and the daily Bible-reading which Hester has persuaded him to begin, will be the means of his conversion to God.

LEAVES FROM AN ABSTAINER'S NOTE BOOK. A Bad Example.The Rev. Mr. Tate held a vicarage in the diocese, and was prebendary in the Cathedral of Exeter, their united incomes yielding him about £1250 a-year. After enjoying the income for about six years, he has been made a bankrupt, with debts to the extent of £10,000. Among the items, £300 is set down for wine, and £10 for pints, quarts, and half-gallons of “ half-and-half” at a public house.

A WORD TO PARENTS.---A young lady was lately reckless enough to reach over the table-rock which overhangs the roaring falls of Niagara, that she might pluck some flowers which grew upon its edge, but as she stooped she lost her balance, and, dreadful thought! was dashed from that awful height to the abyss below. We almost think we hear her wild death shriek and feel her giddy whirl. By and by, a father comes to the spot, 10 gaze on that scene of unrivalled sublimity. The flowers attract the notice of his little child, and she too steps forward. Bui, quick 'as thought, the paternal hand drags her back, while with all the eloquence of a father's voice, he tells the futal story. Fathers and mothers ! thou. sands of little ones have gone down a more awful gulf. Will you sport on its brink as if danger there were not? Or will the hand that drags back from temporal death furnish the means of more dreadful ruin ?Rev. W. Reid. WORK FOR CHRISTIANS. If anybody wishes to be an apostle to the

Gentiles, or, as we now call, it, a missionary to the heathen, he need not wait to learn half-a-dozen languages, or spend a fortunę at a college, or purchase an outfit, or cross one or two oceans, or run the risk of being eaten by savages. He has only to walk a couple of miles in any

direction in this great metropolis, or, if that be too much, go to the nearest mews or back lane, and he will find plenty of stray sheep'whom no pastor ever sought out, with whose hearts 10 man of God ever communed, who have indeed heard of the Church, and have been baptized, nay, married (?) and churched in its fabrics, but who know about as much of its faith as if they were the intended objects of the projected mission to Central Africa.— Times, July 10, 1860.

GOLDEN WORDS.--Youth should indulge po vices, for vice is the disease of the soul; youth should love instruction, because an uneducated man is no better than a inonkey. He who acquires most knowledge rises nearest to his Maker, from whom his soul springs. Instruction should be grounded on solid moral education, and on this the social edifice should rest. Do you care for honour ? Honour can only be acquired by virtue and instruction; nations, like individuals, when weak are insulted and enslaved. Bear with other people's weaknesses ; submit to no insults ; love instruction; instruction is bread and independence; it ayailed me in foreign lands to place me above want.-General Garibaldi,

BEFORE RISING TO SPEAK.-Mr. Pitt was nervous before rising to speak; hence, perhaps, his recourse to stimulants. A surgeon, eminent in Brighion, some years ago told me that when he was a shopboy in London, he used to bring to Mr. Pilt the dose of laudanum and salvolatile which the great statesman habitually look before speaking. The laudanum perbaps hurt his constitution more than the port wine, which he drank by the bottle; the wine might be necessary to sustain the physical spirits lowered by the laudanum. Mr. Fox was nervous before speaking ; so I have heard was Lord Plunket. A distinguished member of the Wnig party, now no more, and who was himself one of the most sensitive of men, and one of the most attractive of orators, told me that once in the House of Cominons he had crossed over 10 speak 10 Mr. Canning, on some question of public business, a little time before the latter delivered one of his most remarkable speeches; and, on taking the hand Mr. Canning extended to him, he exclaimed, " I fear you are ill, your hand is so cold and damp.". “ Is it?" answered Canning, smiling;

so much the better; that shows how nervous I am; I shall speak well, to.night."-Sir E. B. Lytton, in Blackwood's Muguzine for April.

THE CHURCH --At a public meeting in Port Glasgow, the Rev. Wm. M‘Lachlan, of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, stated that application for church-membership had lately been made to him by a publicad, and while they did not refuse communion because of his being a spiritdealer, yet they desired his business should be conducted in such a way as he confessed his inability to do, and the consequence was they parted. The reverend gentleman remarked, that it all churches would do their duty in this matter, it would be a blessing to society. League Journal.

« ForrigeFortsæt »