Page images
PDF
EPUB

dates, and rice, and saltpetre, and sal-ammoniac, and seeds, and oils, must no longer sit in the dust; and England with all her ability and resources must go on in many of her arts still nearer to perfection.

But the excellence of this Great Exhibition lies chiefly in this: It does not only tell us what to do, but how to do it. It is an embodiment of the Rationale of Progress. Cause and effect, means and end, and not unfrequently each link in the chain of induction, are cleverly collated and placed in juxtaposition. If Iron and Copper ores, and Coal, in New Zealand, are to be got at and got out and prepared, the proprietors or discoverers have the best and latest plans exhibited and explained by which their mining operations can be successfully carried on. The Ichthyophagite of Greenland may here see how the native black-lead of that poor peninsula may be purified, condensed, and manufactured into pencils, and learn " the several processes, from the grooving to the finishing." Even the furtive wanderer over the trackless and sterile wastes of Arabia and Africa -the very types of poverty and desolation—may see in the various manufactures of glass around him, that there are "treasures hid in the sand” of inappreciable value. The gorgeous Crystal Fountain, glancing and quivering in the many-colored sunshine, and throwing up its cooling streams before him, is first cousin only to the billowy sands of his own desert! Nay, who shall despair of any soil, even for agricultural purposes, when he sees "a sample of white wheat from land previous to its improvement, not worth one shilling per acre ?” Whatever

may be now the position of the human race, there can be no doubt that they were made for love and brotherhood. War is the child of ignorance and mistrust; and the better we know each other, the less likely shall we be to fall out by the way. All the world can trust England with a knowledge of its products, its arts, its manufactures, and no inconsiderable amount of actual property. Can England be less forward in holding out the right hand of fellowship in acknowledgment of such ingenuousness and confidence? It cannot. Wars and rumours of wars, so far as our country is concerned, are henceforward to be mere matters of history. Peace and goodwill are the acted language of this World's Epitome-let the heart answer to the appearance, as face answereth to face.

MARY ELWOOD'S WARNING.

(A Story for Young Christians.) MARY ELWOOD was quite a respectable person—there is no doubt of that. She lived in rather a genteel way, was kind to her servants, gave something to the beggars occasionally, and now and then sent a dinner to some one of her poor neighbours. She paid her tradesmen's bills punctually too, and did not beat them down in their prices; and besides all these evidences of being a “good Christian,” as the world has it, she attended the public services of the religious community of which she was a member, pretty regularly, and the prayer mecting not unfrequently.

She was certainly a fair average professor. Not that she was very communicative to the other members : on the contrary, she was generally thought high and distant. Indeed, one old lady was kind enough to take her in hand on this subject once, assuring her how much greater her influence would be, if she behaved more as though she felt the other members to be her brethren and sisters. Miss Elwood took the hand of her adviser and thanked her for her advice, but she did not change her manner, and still shrank from intimacy.

A close observer of this lady might have remarked that she came to chapel from habit rather than interest—there seemed a dull uniformity of expression on her countenance during the service, and marked weariness toward the close. Only very rarely did it brighten up into any thing like earnest thought, and then the look was always painful. At the prayer meetings she usually wore the same passive air, but sometimes when a young and ardent Christian poured out his soul to God in fervent unaffected supplication or in joyful praises, she was known to weep.

She had come, recommended, from a distance—so that though she had been for some years connected with that church, she was but little known to the members of it, when at length, the minister began to think it would be well to set her to work in its service; and accordingly he begged her to call on Anne Barton, a young candidate for the privilege of church membership.

Miss Elwood accepted the trust, and before another day had passed, set out on her errand. Having announced herself, and in few and simple words stated her object in coming, she proceeded to question Anne Barton, relative to the great choice she had made. At first, she spoke as one who has a task to accomplish; but by degrees, as she received clear and sstisfactory replies, and as the young girl forgetting her timidity, spoke earnestly of her anticipations of spiritual communion among the disciples of the Lord, Miss Elwood showed great emotion and interest. Anne Barton wondered to see the crimson flush on her countenance, as more than once she cast her eyes down-and how was she pleased, when she received from her a warm invitation to pay her a visit, that they might talk further on the subject.

Nothing could be nicer, thought Anne; she would bring her work, as was proposed, and spend a long evening. The evening came, and true to her intention, Anne appeared. Miss Elwood received her kindly; but talked on ordinary topics very busily all tea-time. Anne wished that she would begin on the theme dearest to her heart, but she did not, and when the teathings were removed, and they were seated by the window at work, they fell by degrees into that awkward silence which shows that there is a subject uppermost in the minds of those present, on which they feel it difficult to speak.

At length Anne, looking hard at her knitting, began, “It must be a glorious thing to be acknowledged a member of the church of Christ!" There was a pause, but no reply, and she proceeded, “ To have the Christian sympathy, the prayers, and kind advice of older and more experienced members, and then to be in constant communion with those who love the same Lord, and to speak to them of him."

She paused again, and glanced at her entertainer, whose eyes were fixed upon her, but who merely said, “ Yes."

After a minute or two, Anne resumed, " I think I should like to live with the family of some good minister; one who had nothing else to do than to be good, and who would teach me to obtain more of the spirit of Christ.” Again she stopped, and there was a long silence, which Miss Elwood broke, by saying,

"Ah! you do not know much of the professors of religion: وده ۱

they are not what you think then, nor what they should be. You will be sadly disappointed if you expect perfection!"

“I do not,” said Anne, “but I think of them as persons who have the same interests as myself, who have the same end in view, are of the same family—as persons whom Jesus and for whom he died, and I love them for his sake. But surely they who have sat long at his feet, and heard his word, can teach me something of his love, more than I know, who am so young."

“Sit at his feet yourself, my dear child,” said Mary, “and learn at once from Him; for as surely as you follow implicitly the light held out by another, you will go wrong. Let his word be a " light unto your feet, and a lamp unto your path,' or you will surely stray,—and what if you should leave him ?"

Tears rushed into Anne's eyes as she said, falteringly, “God forbid!”

“I felt as you do many years ago," continued Mary, “I thought I never could find pleasure in any ways but his ways; I did not know how weak I was, but now"

Anne looked anxiously into the agitated face of her friend, The evening was advancing; but the candles were not lighted, and there, in the twilight they sat, their work laid down. The face of the younger, was turned with anxious, wondering interest toward the elder, hardly comprehending, certainly not realizing that of which she spoke; for she had not proved her own weakness—but deeply compassionating the suffering that almost choked her words as she spoke.

They sat awhile, silent; and then in a quieter tone Miss Elwood said, “When I was young, it seemed easy to give up all for him who had so loved me, and it was so. While I kept near his side, and, as it were, held his hand, it was so; but sometimes it was a struggle. The tempter would suggest, Why make yourself an offender for such a trifle ?' and in my perverse heart, I felt weary of constant watchfulness—but when, through a power better than my own, I was enabled to conquer myself, and to seek for pardon and strength to this sin, I felt peace.”

“ Not Thou from us, O Lord ! but we Withdraw ourselves from Thee !"

enounce

* I remember, one Saturday night, sitting up late in my room, making an article of ornamental dress for the next day's wear. The time passed on, and I was very tired, and when I had compathie my candle had nearly burnt out. There was no time to read my usual scripture portion, and hastily undressing, I knelt down to pray. But I could not pray; I had been wasting my time, and I had but little at my own disposal, in making what was wholly superfluous, merely to gratify my vanity on the morrow, the Sabbath, which should be devoted to God! I had done this too, in preference to studying his will; I had thrown away his time--so the voice within told me.

“ But, I reasoned with my heart, So-and-So does the same, and so does -, and she is quite a Christian.' Then the voice replied, • Ye, measuring yourselves by yourselves, and comparing yourselves among yourselves, are not wise.' Can you ask your Heavenly Father to bless this work of yours ? I rose from my knees, and by the flickering light, ripped the work in pieces, crying as I knelt down in the darkness, “God forbid that I should cherish pride and vanity at the expence of the knowledge of his love! and I prayed, that for the sake of him who gave so much for my ransom, I might be pardoned this wandering of the heart, and not be left to my own strength.

“ That night I sunk to sleep with tears upon my face, but with sweet peace

in
my
heart-the

peace of forgiveness. This seems a little thing, and it is so, in comparison with some others; but its very smallness makes it more suitable to my purpose in telling it to you. Great sins frighten the mind, those which in our folly, we call • little,' find shelter unperceived, and I want you to see that it is the only safe and happy way to avoid the beginnings of sin--or perhaps, I should say, to avoid cherishing the smallest sin, where no sin should be harboured.

“But, I will tell you another little instance of the blessedness of yielding to that power which convinces of sin. By some accident, I had given offence to one who was dear to me she spoke angrily, and wounded my pride severely: I retorted, and was betrayed into considerable warmth of temper.

“We parted for the night. Alone, before God in the silence of my chamber, my words and feelings rose against me, and I

R

« PreviousContinue »