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peace. This was the blessed saying his soul longed for. John became a Christian, and for about four years he adorned the doctrines of the New Testament. A more humble, contented, peaceful-looking man I have rarely seen. The hour of his death came. He was asked whether he still trusted in the Lord Jesus. He replied “It all right-it is all right,"
— and died. Many wept at his grave, and to this day his memory is as pure incense and precious ointment.
And now for the history of my intimate friend Thomas. He was a member of a trade in which drunkards abound.
He soon fell a victim to their example. At fourteen years of age he got drunk, and for a long series of years his life was marked by recklessness and debauchery. He swore. He associated with the vile of both sexes. He violated the laws of God. When he married, his life became even worse. Both he and his wife indulged in all the low, filthy, degrading habits common to the intemperate. They were often intoxicated for days together. When Saturday night came, and Thomas got his wages, the publican was sought, and his burning fluids purchased and swallowed with fearful eagerness. When the glory of the Sabbath morning shone on the window of his room, Thomas was generally in a drunken dream. When the Monday came he was pale, blear-eyed, nervous, and ready to die. So he went on for many a year. But God granted him repentance unto life. One Sabbath he was out drinking. As he went along the street he found himself near the door of a Temperance Hall where a religious service was being held. He pushed open the door, and looked in. The preacher was delivering the last sentence of his
“Repent!” he cried. “Repent!! Aged sinners are
' seldom saved. Therefore, repent now, that you may be saved.”
Thomas heard the sentence, and saw the preacher sit down. Turning away he mused, and said “It is high time for me to repent." And from that hour he sought to live a holy life. He signed the pledge, and the preacher went to see him, and prayed with him. The drunkard became sober, and for a time he did well. Then he fell, and was seen reeling about the streets. The preacher went to seek him, and again the pledge was signed. Thomas now attended the Temple of God. Evidence was given that he had become “ a new creature.” Both his home and his workshop witnessed his prayers. His neighbours confessed his christian excellence. But he was to be tried in a fiery furnace. It was found necessary to advise him to consent to an awful surgical operation. The time was fixed.
Twenty-one medical men were present to witness it, and Thomas was on the table for three quarters of an hour. All went well. Once more, however, had he to feel the torture of the surgeon's knife, and again he survived it. He was able to return to his work, and to his place in the House of the Lord. At this time Thomas's wife was often drunk, and behaved in a shameful manner. One day she commenced drinking. The Sabbath dawned, and found her in a degraded state. Thomas treated her most kindly, and then went to public worship. On his return home he prepared his wife some tea, and gave it to her. He then engaged in prayer. On laying down beside his wife he said:
“Oh! if you would only lead a better life, Mary, I would be a happy man. Will you ?"
“I will, Tom !” was her response.
But Thomas gave no answer. The Angel of Death had laid his cold hand upon his breast, and it ceased to beat. His wife gave the alarm, and his friends and neighbours rushed in, and gazed earnestly upon his face. It was pale and calm.
They looked ;
His spirit had fled;
The soul undrest
From her mortal vest,
And proved how bright
Bursting at once upon the sight. When Thomas was borne to his grave, many—many followed the mourners, and I felt that I had lost a dear friend who not, for God took him.”
PRACTICAL PAPERS, No. 8.
By Mr. G. M. MURPHY.
“If I but make a nation's songs,” said Fletcher, of Saltoun, "I care not who may make their laws.” A people's songs ever exert a mighty influence for good or ill, upon their own hearts and homes, as also upon their country's destiny. The ghastly crime of war, would never have been arrayed in such gorgeous attire, nor would its tide of blood and death have been so deep, and broad, had not the painters, historians, and
poets, combined to represent its sanguinary stream as beautified by more than rainbow hues of glory.
So with Intemperance. The goblet, the tankard, the vine, the barleycorn, the lordly revel, and the wayside inn, have each their poetical panegyrists, many of whom, even while the praises of drink and drinkers are flowing from their pen, are being murdered by the theme they sing. Bacchus, the personification of every lewdness, and whose infamous rites and ceremonies heathen Rome united to suppress, has his altars and worship established in every enlightened and christian land. Hymns and odes are ever being chaunted in his praise; while his wor. ship is so literally reduced to practice, that George Cruikshank's gigantic picture, so ghastly in its glaring truthfulness, appears more like a panorama of current events than an effort of the artistic genius and skill.
We owe very much of this infamy, suffering, sin, and shame, to the metrical praises of “rosy wine,” dedicated by misguided poets to the “ Jolly God.” What a mockery of a title ! How terribly grim it appears, when viewed by the medium of the victims ruined at his shrine. The Jolly God!" Think of the jolliness of the poverty and bankruptcy he is ever occasioning; how “jolly” the misery that, like a shadow, ever dogs his steps; the “jolly” crime to which he leads ; the “jolly” madness which so frequently seizes his victims; how "jolly” the gout, and other maladies his devotions create ; how “jolly” the deaths of drunken suicides, and alas ! how “jolly "the hell beyond. Think of all these, and then we shall in some degree have estimated the results to which his godship’s joviality leads.
But if songs in favour of drink, war, and vice, are fraught with mischief, may not ballads and melodies, on the side of sobriety and virtue, be rife with good ? Our reply is unhesitatingly in the affirmative. He who has written a good song for childhood, is a benefactor to the human race. Watts' Moral Songs for Children, have done more in England, to restrain passion and wrong, than all the human laws since devised. Next to the writer of a good piece for singing, the praise of men, aye, and the smile of angels, is his, who writes a pleasant tune to which to sing it. The teacher who brings both poet and composer together into the children's voice, mind, and hearts will not lack his share of praise, and doing his work well
, will impart a pleasure which death only can destroy.
We never lose the memory of childhood's music. If young people are to be happy, we must teach them to sing, and to sing what is sensible and true, as well as melodiously sweet in sound.
The Band of Hope movement has done something towards improving childhood's songs. The Sunday and Day Schools, by reason of priority of establishment, still more. But the Temperance contribution to the world of harmony has been by no means unimportant. Who that heard the thousand voices of the Band of Hope children, brought together by the “Union," to sing at the great Temperance Gathering of the National Temperance League at the Crystal Palace, in August last, but is fully convinced of this! What unison of voice! How distinctly the words were rendered ! The papers containing the words were almost superfluous, so clear and unmistakable was the utterance of the children. This is as it should be, if our singing in Band of Hope meetings is to become an attraction
and a power.
Tunes should be correctly taught, words be learnt without mistake, and such melodies only used as have a clear and welldefined meaning. The conductor should make suitable selections for stated times : in the open air, simple and lively tunes should be used; for festivals, friendly and inviting words, set to grand and cheerful music. The artistic (unless thoroughly learnt) and the instructive part of the singing should be left to the ordinary practice meetings.
Happily, there is now a large choice of melodies from which to select, so that almost every taste may be suited ; but for general use and diversity, the hymns and melodies published by the Band of Hope Union are comprehensive in their range, and the tunes excellent; while its cheapness (one penny for seventy melodies) is a sure guarantee of acceptance with very many. Earnestly pleading with Band of Hope conductors that they will see that the melody department of their work is conducted with increased efficiency and zeal, we conclude by presenting our readers with some original specimens of the kind of melodies and tunes adapted for different occasions, and which may act as a key-note for the guidance of our friends. For an Open-Air Meeting:
Although but young, we'll nobly strive
Intemp'rance to subdue ;
Be earnest, be earnest, and loving be!
In obtaining victory.
And hear its mother's moan ;
Be active, be active, and prayerful be,
And he may yet be free.
To break the drunkard's chain;
Speak gently, speak gently, make trial fair,
And stamp God's image there.
To him our voices raise ;
“ Our Father, our Father, oh haste the time !
" And the world shall all be Thine."
For a New Year's Festival, or an Annual Meeting:
TUNE~" Cheer, Boys, Cheer.”
Welcome friends, we gladly meet you here,
As thus with joy we usher in the year.
Blighting men's hopes, destroying their peace;
Welcome friends, &c.
[1st four lines.]
We'll work on, rememb’ring the reward ;
Its friend and helper, creation's mighty Lord.
Crime be restrained, and vice yield its throne ;
Welcome friends, &c.