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“ Let me fall," said David, “ into the hands of God, not into the hands of man.” It is good to suffer the chastisements of the Lord; there is a blessing in them; but it is evil indeed to come under the punishment of man. The pale face, the crippled limb, the languid body, sad tokens of suffering hours, are all here ; but the sense of crime committed, the shame, the dread of the future, the remorse for the past, the perpetual harassing constraint, a moral chain as heavy as a physical one-these are not here, and in their absence, the dull sick ward of the hospital is lighted up with freedom, and patience, and hope.
Ascending a fight of broad stone steps, we enter the hall, and from thence are ushered into the matron's apartment. It seems so pleasant, so comfortable, with its pretty little curtained window, looking out upon the shining sea. Perhaps the first feeling is, can any one be happy in a scene of so much sorrow? But is not this the case with all our happiness in the world?
We enjoy while others suffer. There is One only who sees, and One only who cares for all the sorrows of man.
From the matron's room we are conducted to the wards. These are occupied with different classes of people. The wards of the men and women are of course separate. There are in the hospital which we visited, the Physician's ward, the Surgeon's ward, the Accident ward. The hospital ward is like the workhouse ward, a long, large, lofty room, fitted up with a number of beds; but there is this difference between the workhouse and the hospital, there is no appearance of squalor or poverty in the latter. The sick poor are here the guests of the rich, and treated accordingly.
We look round the hospital ward; there is every mark
of freedom and repose. The clean, soft beds, with their neat soft furniture, are not all occupied ; some of their tenants are up, sitting by the fire, others by the window ; some are sitting up in their beds reading; some at work. A bright-looking little canary is singing merrily in one of the sunny windows. “ That belongs to one of the nurses," said the matron; they like to have birds; it helps to amuse the patients.” At the other end of the very spacious room a small beautiful tree stands in the window. By the side of this fair stranger from the tropics, in the most distant corner, is a bed, distinguished from the rest by having a screen and a curtain drawn before it ; that sad, silent corner is the abode of one whose sufferings are too great to be exposed to others; in pity to her, in pity to them, the screen and the curtain are drawn between. As we go from ward to ward, we see the same sorrows and the same alleviations ; pain and suffering, help and patience. There are children here too; a poor little sick face looks out from many a bed. “ Here is one,” said the matron, " who was very much burned, but she is getting better; she was lifting a kettle off the fire and the flame caught her pinafore.” We asked the little housemaid her age; Six,” was the reply.
It was a wise and Christian thought to take the sick poor into a comfortable home and nurse them there. No heathen nation ever possessed a hospital; and for the most part, we believe, the plan has been carried on in the same wisdom and kindness, with which it was—in ages remote from our own-begun: nevertheless, like every other good work, it needs helping onward. We have said that in a hospital the sick poor are the guests of the rich, and the latter should visit their guests. They should visit them to encourage others in the discharge of their duty.
We remember a poor friend of ours, who, at the distance
of many long years, could hardly speak without tears of a boy whom she lost in a hospital. He was a servant in a family, and was taken ill of a dreadful and contagious disorder; he was immediately removed to the hospital set apart for such cases, and his mother was written to; she, poor woman, immediately hastened to him; the mother's love knows no fear; he was very, very ill, but he knew her. “ You cannot stay here," said the nurse, your time is expired." « Oh," said the mother, " it did not seem to me but a few minutes; however, I was told when I might come again, and I went home to wait: if he was worse, they said they would let me know. Well, as the days passed, and I did not hear, I began to feel comforted, and so the morning came when I might go again, when, just as I was setting off, a messenger arrived to say he was dead;" and the mother, at the recollection, again gave way to bitter grief. € But," we said, " the friends and relations are always allowed to be with the dying?” « Ah, yes," said the mother, “but then that is such a dreadful place; none of the gentry go there."
We have district visitors-why should we not have hospital visitors ? Christian visitors might find a large sphere of useful and happy occupation amongst those who are just rising from a bed of sickness, and preparing, with returning health, to begin anew the daily tasks of life.
Come then, ye who desire to follow the footsteps of Christ, bring consolation to the bereavedthe sick—the dying; bring the greatest of all consolations, one which, if received, will turn the night of sorrow into the day of hope; the promise which is balm to all the sicknesses and sorrows of this life. Christ came
not to be ministered unto, but to minister;" let his servants follow his steps.-From “ Castle Rag and its Depende encies."
BOASTING. ANNA STRONG was a sad little boaster. Though she meant to speak the truth, she was so vain and thoughtless that no one could believe her.
She always wanted a long lesson. She would say, "I can learn it all; it is not too hard for me ;” though when her class was called out to recite, she was very often sent back to her seat to study.
If anything was to be done, at home or at school, Anna would always say, “I know how; please to let me do it ;'' even if it was a thing she could not do at all.
Miss Eaton was Anna's teacher. One day, she wished some one to point to the name of the cities on a large map, so that all the girls in the class might know where to find them.
" O, let me do it," said Anna; “ I know how as well as can be."
Yes, you may do it,” said Miss Eaton ; but Anna could not point to a single name that her teacher called.
“ You are like a silly little pigeon I used to hear about when I was a little girl," said her teacher.
A bright-eyed little girl, raising her right hand, said, 0, please tell us about the pigeon.”
“ The story,” replied Miss Eaton, "is, that when the pigeon first came into the world, all the other birds came and offered to teach her how to build a nest.
“ The cat-bird showed her its nest, all made of sticks and bark; and the sparrows showed her theirs, which were woven with moss and hair. But the pigeon, walking about in a very vain way, and turning her head from side to side, said, 'I know how! I know how to build my nest as well as the best of you!!
“ Then the black-bird showed his nest, which was fastened to some reeds, and swung over the water ; and the turtle dove said hers was easier to build than all, for it was quite flat, and made only of sticks laid together. But the pigeon turned her pretty head as before, and said, ' I know how!'
“ At last the birds left her. Then the pigeon found that she did not know how at all; and she went without a nest, until man took pity on her, and built a pigeonhouse, and put some hay into it.
Now, children, though the story of the pigeon is only a fable, and not true, yet you may learn from it a very useful lesson.
“ Little boys and girls, who are vain boasters, are laughed at by others, and only deceive themselves. Like the silly pigeon, they say, 'I know how ! but they often find to their sorrow, when it is too late, that they do not.
“Remember, my dear children, that when you once learn to do anything well, you will not need to boast of it."
TEMPER. FRIEND,” said a Quaker, “I will tell thee; I was naturally as hot and violent as thou art. I knew that to indulge this temper was sinful; and I found it was imprudent. I observed that men in a passion always speak aloud; and I thought if I could control my voice, I should repress my passion. I have, therefore, made it a rule never to let my voice rise above a certain key; and by a careful observance of this rule, I have, by the blessing of God, entirely mastered my natural temper.” The Quaker reasoned philosophically. Reader, TRY IT.