« 이전계속 »
bath, a most beautiful, excellent, full salvation, through the blood of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, was set forth faithfully ; but, just before the close, all was marred by the solemn assertion, that all these blessings flowed only through the appointed channels, which were the regularly ordained clergy, and the sacraments.”
Now, dear sir, my friend does not profess to be a judge of good preaching; but an aged Christian, of above three score years is or ought to be a judge of good teaching. We each lament over the absence of one important subject in the present day. Sabbath after Sabbath passes, and the people (from the pulpit) never hear “ whether there be any Holy Ghost.”. If the Holy Spirit be not present in the word, Christ is preached in vain. It is the sun shining on the clay, without dew or rain. There is a lamentable deficiency here—the pouring out of the Spirit can alone save the nation. God works by what instrumentality he pleases, and I have just given proof that the Scriptures read by a warm-hearted, balf-worn-out missionary, conveys life to the soul, and brings forth love from a heart which had never felt love to God before. Nothing on earth could recompense these poor men for their self. denying labours—nothing but the presence of God, in the power of his Spirit, could carry them through their work, or support them under it. I refer particularly to some who have to labour among the most depraved of human beings—forget them not in your prayers—and that the dew of heaven may rest abundantly on all your labours of love is the prayer of, dear sir,
Your affectionate servant in Christ, July 26, 1845.
THE WORKHOUSE NURSE.
THE SHIPWRECKED FISHERMEN. “On Sunday week (Nov. 12, 1843,) sixty-nine fishermen, who had been saved from shipwreck during the awful storm of the 18th ult., publicly returned thanks to Almighty God in Cromer Church, Norfolk. They all rose, when their names were called on by the officiating minister, and then on their knees joined the beautiful form of thanksgiving in our Church Service.”—Times.
Each in his fisher's coat they stand,
Just three score men and nine,
Their praises to combine.
The sunny cheek of spring,
One heartfelt tribute bring.
The struggling sob bursts forth,
Their new, unwonted birth.
They wept not when the wrestling blast
Rended the sail in twain,
And ploughed along the main.
Rode on the billows' surge,
Which thundered forth their dirge.
Were saved among that crowd), And aged saints, who oft before
In prayer and praise had bowed,
The Lord of wind and wave,
« Lord, thou art strong to save. The quivering lip, the faltering tongue,
The hoarse and husky tone,
Has oft no voice to own,
(For faith flows down in prayer,) Until the deep full-toned " Amen"
Calls every echo there.
Its deep response to wake
To light and sunshine break.
The echo still prolong,
His voice to join the song :
Ascribed unto thy name ;
Nor hope of mercy came ;
That sea has sunk to sleep,
* Hebrews vi. 19.
N. J. N.
FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALB.
OLD HUGH PROVERBS.
One of the first things that I remember is the circumstance of travelling through a dark wood in Gloucestershire, with a dear papa and mama, and a little brother, and our nurse.
I remember a wide path amongst the trees, by the side of which the carriage stopped, and to my astonishment, and to the despair of my little brother, our nurse kissed us, took her basket, curtsied to her master and mistress, and disappeared quickly amongst the brushwood. She was gone to the cottage on the common, where her parents lived, and her basket contained comforts for them, which it was one of the sweetest objects of her life to gather together; for the afectionate child delights to say, as Joseph did to Jacob, “I will nourish thee."
Peggy was a rosy-cheeked country lass, who had been brought up by her father and mother to be industrious, honest, and faithful. They had not the opportunity of schooling their eldest children--for sixty years ago there were few country schools for the children of labourers--so they sent little Peggy to work, and a better birdkeeper was not to be found. She wore a round black hat, and jacket, and in the summer she knit her stockings as she went merrily to her work and walked round and round the fields; and in the cold weather she made a fire of the dead sticks and leaves, and danced round it till her blood was warm.
When she was old enough, she left out-door work, and went to service, and soon rose, from being an underservant, to the charge of a nursery.
Peggy's warm heart was divided between the children committed to her care, and her father and mother; and Hugh and Betty Proverbs were well deserving of their child's tender regard. They were respected by high and low; and the secret of the respect they gained was
this, they honoured the Lord, and obeyed his voice; and God has said in his word, “Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed."
Thirty years ago, Hugh Proverbs was three score years and ten, and Betty was three score. He had reached the age of man, for the Psalmist says,
"The days of our years are three score years and ten;" and yet his eye was not dim, nor was his hair grey, nor was his natural strength abated, except that like the patriarch, Jacob, he halted on his thigh, and consequently could only do little jobs of work for his good friends, the neighbouring farmers. Yet they were so thrifty, so clean, so afraid of debt, and so beloved and helped by their children, that they lived comfortably in their honey-suckle covered cottage. God gave them more than the bread and water which he has promised to those who are in covenant with him. (Is. xxxiii.)
I remember that cottage; our kind mother took us when we were on a journey to spend a day there. The scent of honey-suckle now reminds me of that joyful day, when we ran wildly about the common, and into the wood, and partook of the eggs and bacon fried so well by old Betty.
I said that thirty years ago, old Hugh was three score years and ten; he lived till the primroses had passed away last spring (1845), and was laid in his grave, aged one hundred years.
I believe he will bless God for ever, that he was spared to see that great age; for every year, as it passed by, shewed him more of the loving-kindness of the Lord; his soul did magnify the Lord, and his spirit rejoiced in God his Saviour. When he could no longer go forth to his labour, it was his daily habit to walk to the church-yard, where he used to sit for hours. He read there the books and tracts which were given and lent to him, and on his favourite tombstone he meditated upon death, judgment, heaven, and hell. The grassy mounds at his feet covered many whom, in his long life, he had seen borne first to the font and then to the grave;
and the old man would say, “ All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass ;
grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of the Lord endureth for ever.” And then he would lift his bright eye to the sky, and meditate upon the Redeemer, who had overcome death for him, and opened for him the gate of everlasting life.
Sometimes he remained in the church-yard till evening time, for he loved to “consider the heavens, the work of God's fingers, the moon and the stars which he had ordained;" and there was one bright peculiar star, which he called his slar, and which he delighted to gaze upon. It was a planet, and moved in its orbit, which puzzled the old man, for he saw hundreds of other twinkling bodies that did not move, and he sometimes feared that his star was going to move quite away. So constant was he to his studying place, as he called the church-yard, that the passers by looked out as naturally for old Hugh Proverbs on his tombstone, as for the church tower itself.
He and his wife were both good readers, and had excellent memories. They had made a rule to read daily the Psalms appointed, and a portion of the Bible, and their minds were stored with words of truth. He could say the Litany perfectly, and many portions of Scripture; and she could repeat hymn after hymnn. And thus the nights passed with them if they were sleepless, when he was a hundred years of age and she four score and ten. Two of their favourite hymns were,
" Jerusalem! my happy home,
Name ever dear to me:
In joy, in peace, in thee ?” &c.
66 One there is above all others,
O how he loves !
O how he loves !
O how he loves !" &c.