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THE VENERABLE BEDE.
These corruptions belonged to a later date, and while, even in Bede's time, the monasteries exhibited many evils, they were at the same time productive of much good. England was not then the happy and peaceful country that she now is. She had but lately received the blessings of Christianity. Her inhabitants were half-civilized, and all their notions were rugged and uncultivated. It was amongst this people that the monasteries were established. They brought with them many of the benefits of civilization. They taught the cultivators of the soil the best ways of ploughing and draining the lands ; and instructed them in the arts of building and manufacture. They healed the maimed, and attended the sick ; established free schools for those who were willing to learn ; and on the sabbath called all the people together to hear the Gospel.
Nor did the benefits of the monasteries end here. They also promoted industry. Every inmate had his allotted task. Those who were studious might follow in retirement their favourite study; while those of a more active character found work in the garden or field, or in the many necessary duties inside the monastery. Their tasks were various, but none were allowed to be idle. Each had his allotted labour, and all joined in the mutual work of teaching, and preaching to those around.
It was in one of these monasteries that Bede lived. He had many pupils, two of whom-Erigena and Alcuin -were considered the two next best scholars to himself in Europe. He worked up to the day of his death, which has been so touchingly told by one of his pupils that we cannot do better than close with it. He says: “ There was one of us with him, who said to him, Most dear master, there is still one chapter wanting :
HEATHEN GIRLS IN INDIA.
do you think it troublesome to be asked more questions? He answered, 'It is no trouble. Take your pen and make ready, and write fast,' which he did ; but at the ninth hour he said to me, 'I have some little articles of value in my chest, such as pepper, napkins, and incense; rus quickly and bring the priests of our monastery to me, that I may distribute among them the gifts which God has bestowed upon me.
The rich in this world are bent on giving gold and silver and other precious things; but I, in charity, will joyfully give my brothers what God has given unto me.' He spoke to every one of them, admonishing and entreating them that they would carefully say masses and prayers for him, which they readily promised ; but they all mourned and wept. Having said much more he passed the day joyfully till evening, when the boy above-mentioned said, ' Dear master, there is yet one sentence not written.' He answered, Write quickly.' Soon after, the boy said, “The sentence is now written.' He replied, 'It is well, you hare said the truth. It is ended.' And thus on the pavement of his little cell, singing, 'Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,' when he had named the Holy Ghost, he breathed his last, and so departed to the heavenly kingdom."
HEATHEN GIRLS IN INDIA. In the Somers Town Mission School, London, connected with Dr. Hamilton's church, Regent Square, there is a small fund raised yearly for the support of a little girl, named Rungammah, in the Free Church Mission House, Madras. We have just seen a letter this poor little giri lately sent to her young friends in London, which we give below:
HEATHEN GIRLS IN INDIA.
* To the dear Children of Somers Town Sabbath School.
“ Mamma told me that you wanted to hear about me, and that many dear children in England thought about me, and gathered pence that I might live in a Christian home and know about the blessed Jesus, and how to get to heaven when I die. Last year, before Anderson Mamma went to Switzerland, I was baptized along with five other boarding sisters, and my name was called Lucy. When I was a little child my father and mother died; but our grandfather loved me and my sister very much, and kept us until we grew big girls, when he was very old, and could not work any more to give us food, and he was very sorry, and he brought us here and left us with Anderson Papa. We are very happy in the boarding school. There are twenty-six sisters, and we learn to read in Tamil and in English. Miss Mehantery, from Scotland, teaches us, and is very kind to us. Sister Charlotte, one of the married Christian sisters, teaches us to cook, and to clean our rooms, and to mend our clothes, and to work beautiful crotchet things in the evening. We play, and skip on the ropes like the English girls ; and we sing sweet English hymns about Jesus. It is very kind of the dear little girls in England to love a little India girl 80 far away. I will try and ask Jesus to bless them, and make me his own child, that I may meet them in heaven when I die.
“ I send much love to all those dear children, and many thanks.
“ Yours affectionately, * LUCY." Mr. Campbell, who sends home the letter, in a note of his own says :
Rungammah is now baptized, and her Christian name is Lucretia Wallace. She goes on very steadily, and is improving in every respect. There are about thirty girls in the boarding-school, and many of them give us much joy by their Christian character and conduct. God seems to have worked powerfully in some of their hearts, and the “ fruits of the Spirit” are very marked and beau
tiful in them. I do trust that all the beloved children who take an interest in Rungammah, and gave their money to support her, have first of all given themselves to Jesus; and that in them also the graces of the Holy Spirit are clearly seen.
Let them all read Galatians T. 22, 23, and ask themselves, Have these fruits been produced in us ?
“But while we have a sweet circle of Christian girls among whom the heart of the weary missionary is often refreshed, there are millions of little girls in India who have never heard the name of Jesus, and hundreds, thousands I may say, who have been taught of the blessed Saviour, but who are still heathens and Mohammedans, worshipping an idol, or reverencing and following a false prophet. How one's heart bleeds for such! They are precious souls ; they have all the engagingness of a girls nature : but they do not know Christ.
In our school in Madras we have about 800 of these little girls reading, and our great object is to get them so advanced as to be able to read in their native tongue the wonderful works of God as revealed in his word. We teach them; we address them ; we pray for them. A good number have renounced idols and followed Christ; and a greater number have gone away to these heathen houses again, but carrying with them a knowledge of the Redeemer, and able to read of love and power to save.”
PROFESSING Christians speak of Jesus as a Saviour, but very few are able to say, “ He is a Saviour to them.” They live so far away from him, so much like worldly people, and so little like true Christians, that they are “always learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth." Very often this is true, both of old and young. Many have a
name to live and yet are dead.” See, oh! see,
that it is not so with you. When the Holy Spirit teaches a soul, he draws it nearer to Christ, and rery often enables it to sing
“He took me from a fearful pit,
And from the miry clay ;
Establishing my way.” Many little children are able to say this, not merely in word but in truth; and you might be able to say it, too, if you were honest with yourself and with God. Not a few of the readers of the JUVENILE MESSENGER have found the Lord during the past year ; and it is for their sakes, mainly, that we print the following letter. It was written by a poor servant-girl, a scholar in one of our Sabbath-schools in London, to a little girl in the country who had just found the Saviour. The writer of the letter is very young; she has not had much schooling; she does not spell very well; but for nearly a year she lias been in the school of Christ, and he has niade her" wise unto salvation.” Her letter thus begins
« July 1st, 1860. "DEAR MARY,-Mr. has asked me to write a few lires to you, and it is with the greatest of pleasure that I tare up my pen to do so. I write, dear friend, as a sister in Christ Jesus. You are a Christian now. kmw what people expect of you? Do you know that thy will expect you to be all that is kind, and gentle, and obiging ? Now, turn to some verses—Luke i. 71, 72, 74, 75 Jeremiah xxxi. 33, 34. See where God has promised to nake us good and holy; and ask him for Christ's sake to do so. Turn to Galatians ii. 19, 20; you see there the life that he says he lives. He says that Christ lives in hin; and you, dear Mary, must have Christ living in you, toc if you wish to live as a Christian should. You ought