Imágenes de páginas

heels were high, still seeming what she was, a low and very delicate figure.

"After having followed her several mornings with my eye, I could bear it no longer ; indeed I was so worked up that I spoke aloud, and spoke to you in your cradle : ‘Well my child,' I said, 'it does not signify, but you shall have your naughty way no longer. You shall not be indulged in crying, and clinging to me whenever you see your widowed mother. Come, come, I added, don't stretch those pretty arms, and open that sweet toothless mouth in smiles to me, my precious one'--for you were just awake. *You shall be indulged no more, my little tyrant' So saying, I took you up, and fed you and dressed you in your prettiest dress and your little hunting-cap with the feather and gold tassel, which the squire had given you, and took you to seek your own mamma; chiding myself all the way for my unkind backwardness, which had led me already to a neglect of that poor widowed lady, which I then felt to have been really cruel. I ought to have tried, at least, I thought, to have forced comfort upon her long before this time.

“I followed her steps down the straight walk, and then turned up towards the alcove. But I did not find her, though she had been there ; and there she had left an open book. I ventured to take it up; it was a volume of Dr. Watts's hymns; and it was open at the one entitled “Salvation, which was marked by fine pencil lines along the whole hymn :

"• Salvation! oh the joyful sound !

'Tis pleasure to our ears ;
A sovereign balm for every wound,

A cordial for our fears.
“ " Buried in sorrow and in sin,

At hell's dark door we lay,
But we arise by grace divine

To see a heavenly day.
66 Salvation! let the echo fly

The spacious earth around,
Whilst all the armies of the sky

Conspire to raise the sound.' “Never till that moment," continued Mabel, “ did the word salvation' come to my mind with such sense as it then did, though I had heard it thousands of times before, perhaps. But it was the lady herself, and not a mere book I was seeking; and leaving the alcove, I turned into the little path among the shrubs near it. I followed this path through the door in the garden wall to the church yard, where I found your dear mother, as I had expected, seated on a low flat tombstone. She started at seeing me, but I stepped on; and holding her child to her, I said “Take him, and kiss him, dear lady, and don't give way to his humours, if he cries to me. Come, I will sit down by him.' I then chid you, my boy, and made you understand that you were to sit where you were, and I filled your hand with some wild flowers which I plucked from the sod. It is time,' I said that this humour of the wayward babe should be overcome, and that you should begin to enjoy his smiles ;' and I coaxed you to turn your face and let your mother kiss your cool, fair, cheek.

I saw that she was ready to weep, but she restrained herself; and asking me still to sit by her, ' Mabel,' she said, “you look hard at me; perhaps you are blaming me in your heart because I came here; but I did not come to mourn; I came to rejoice. I cannot rejoice in the things of this world. No, that is past; all earthly hope is gone; the mists of vanity are removing and removed. It is but a little time since I saw beyond them only blackness and darkness, spectral images of the grave, corruption and the charnel house, with very, very threatening scenes beyond them. I believed that like Jacob, I must provide some gift to make me acceptable to Him who rules all creation ; for I had been taught from childhood that my salvation depended in some sort on good works. But when you referred me to my uncle's book closet, and I found there the old family Bible, I was induced to read that blessed book till all things became new to me; and in looking to my past life I discovered that I had no good work to boast of, but that one and all of my best fruits were cankered. For some time I was almost driven to despair ; I was, in fact, in misery. But by God's blessing on the reading of that book I found that I might not only be rescued from the hell which I had been taught to tremble at, but received by grace through faith into the favor of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.' She then explained to me, at some length and with deep feeling, her views of that scheme of salvation made known to us through the gospel. Though at that time a stranger to its power, I was much struck with her earnestness of manner, and the awful sense of sin which, as she said, the Holy Spirit had carried home to her conscience. I could not, however, understand her self-reproaches, as I was at a loss to know in what respect she was so utterly vile as she expressed herself to be, nor could I sympathize with her humility and penitence on account of those transgressions, till enabled, at an after period, to read my own heart in the glass of Holy Writ. But the good hope she had received through grace transcended all her fears, and was as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.

“ I do not come here,' she said, pointing to the mournful memorials around her—I do not come here to meditate upon the worm and the grave, but to glory in Him who has promised to ransom all who receive Him, from its power, and to redeem them from that second death which awaits those who continue in their sins.

“I could not, as already observed, understand half she desired to tell me," continued Mabel : “but my curiosity was so excited that I was anxious to know more, and lost no opportunity of listening to her kind teachings.

The happiness which your dear mother now seemed to feel was not a little heightened by the fact that I had succeeded in overcoming your little rampant humors; and you were seldom away from her. There was one thing, and one thing only, made me sad; and this was when she would say as she sometimes did : *Nurse I shall not be here long; I shall soon go home; and when I am gone, my uncle has promised me that you shall take my boy to your father's house, the Rock Cottage, and keep him there till he is six years old, and may God give you grace to use that time, and to instruct him in all that the Lord the Saviour has done for him: and to show him through the Divine Spirit shining upon the Word, that there is no other name, but that of the Lord the Saviour, by which man can be saved. This affectionate charge was too much for me. My feelings though as yet unrefined, or quickened by the Holy Spirit, gave way, and I could only answer by a flood of tears. How was I who so much needed teaching myself, to teach you, my dear babe, the principles of sacred truth? But these words were as a goad to

urge me ona school master to bring me to Christ. I read the Bible for myself ; I thought much upon it: I prayed earnestly on your behalf, and mine ; and God at length led me to Himself through Jesus Christ.

"Alas! my dear son, my nursling, my beloved boy, could I have foreseen that before the next Christmas arrived, your beloved mother would be in glory, and you with your poor nurse removed to this humble cottage, the grief I should have felt, would have greatly clouded the bright joys to which I have alluded. But so it was to be ; and when it took place, I bless God that I was enabled to say even of this painful visitation ‘He hath done all things

M. M. S. (To be continued.)


A LANDSCAPE IN THE MOON. Wandering through a district, perhaps, the most chaotic in the moon, where ranges, peaks, round mountains with flat tops, are intermingled in apparently inextricable confusion, where there is no place larger than a common field, that, too, rent by fissures, and strewn with blocks that have fallen from the over-hanging precipices—we descry, in the horizon, what seems an immense ridge, stretching further than the eye can carry us, and reflecting the sun's rays with dazzling lustre.

On approaching this wall, through a country still as toilsome, it appears not so steep, but to have an outward sloping, which, however rough, is yet practicable to the strong of head and firm in knee. Ascend then, O traveller, averting your eyes from the burning sun, and having gained the summit, examine the land. scape beyond. Landscape! It is a type for the most horrible dream- a thing to be thought of only with a shudder. We are on the top of a circular precipice, which seems to have enclosed à space fifty-five miles in diameter from all the living world for ever and ever! Below, where the wall casts its shadow, it is black as Orcus-no eye can penetrate its utter gloom; but where day light has touched the base of the chasm, its character is disclosed. Giddy it must be to stand on the summit of Mont Blanc, or the Jungfrau, or Teneriffe ; but suppose Jacques

Balmat, when he set the first foot on that loftiest Alpine peak, had found on the other side, not the natural mountain he ascended, but one unbroken precipice, 13,000 feet deep, below which a few terraces disturbed the uniformity; and at some ten miles distant from its base, a chasm deeper from where he looked, by 2000 feet, than Mont Blanc is elevated above the level of the sea; would even the stout Swiss have brought home his senses?

But onwards; and to the bottom of this mysterious place. No foot of man can take us there, so that we must borrow a wing from the condor. It is, indeed, a terrible place! There are mountains in it, especially a central one 4000 feet high, and five or six concentric ridges of nearly the same height encircling the chasm ; but the eye can rest on nothing, except that impassable wall without breach, only with a few pinnacles on its top, towering 17,000 feet aloft on every side, at the short distance of twenty-seven miles, and baffling our escape into the larger world. Nothing here but the scorching sun and burning sky; no rain ever refreshes it, no cloud ever shelters it; only benign night, with its stars and the mild face of the earth.

Look around, now, and away from Tycho. Those round hills with flat tops, are craters, and the whole visible surface is studded with them, all of less diameter than Tycho, but probably as deep. Look yet farther. What are those dazzling beams like liquid silver, passing in countless multitudes away from us along the whole surface of the moon? Favourites they are of the sun; for he illumines them more than all else besides, and assimilates them to his own burning glory: they go on every side from Tycho. In his very centre, overspreading the very chasm we have left, there is, now that the sun has farther ascended, a plain of brilliant light; and outside the wall, at this place at least, a large space of similar splendour from which these rays depart. What they are we know not : but they spread over at least onethird of the moon's whole surface. ----Nichol.

« AnteriorContinuar »