British Workman Vol. 1, No. 7 (1855)


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No. 7.]


Published for the Editor by S, W. PARTRIDGE, at the Office of the “British Workman,” No. 9, Paternoster Row, London.

[Price One Penny.


Not from the Judicial Bench only, but also from the Joiner’s Bench have arisen some of the noblest of men; thus proving that where the hard-toiling mechanic rightly and perseveringly applies his talents, he may rise to, not only influence, but frequently to affluence.

Inigo Jones, the celebrated architect, who was patronised by the nobility and crowned heads, not only of this, but of other countries, commenced life as a common carpenter.

Bramah, the celebrated engineer, who conferred so great a boon upon his country and the world by the invention of the Hydraulic Press, was apprenticed as a carpenter.

Dr. John Hunter, who by the common consent of all his successors, is regarded as the greatest man who ever practised surgery; he who left behind him one of the greatest monuments of skill of which this country can boast— the Hunterian Museum, was the son of a Scotch farmer, and until nearly 20 years of age, worked as a carpenter, with Mr. Buchanan of Glasgow. Though rough in his manners, and very deficient in his education, he rose by his indomitable perseverance to the highest pinnacle of fame.

Henry Peto, Esq. the original proprietor of the extensive square of buildings known as Furnival’s Inn, in Holborn, London, started life as a carpenter.

John Harrison, born at Foulby, near Pontefract, the inventor of the Compound Pendulum and the Time Keeper for ascertaining the longitude (for which invaluable invention he received £20,000 from the Government) was the son of a working carpenter.

Opie, so well known as the late president of the Royal Academy, was the son of a carpenter.

Haydn, the celebrated composer, was the son of a wheelwright.

George Harvey, Fellow of the Royal Society, the celebrated mathematician and President of the Plymouth Athenaeum, started life as a carpenter.

Sir John Hawkins, an eminent London Magistrate, whose remains are interred in Westminster Abbey, was originally a carpenter.

Dr. Samuel Lee, the celebrated professor of Hebrew, at the University of Cambridge, was, at the age of twelve, apprenticed as a carpenter. This eminent and accomplished scholar received his education in the Charity School of Longnor, near Shrewsbury.

Thomas Cubitt, who designed and built the Queen’s residence, Osborne House, in the Isle of Wight, was once a working carpenter.

Tredgold, one of the ablest engineers of which this country can boast, the author of the popular work on the Steam Engine, was apprenticed to a common carpenter in his native village of Brandon near Durham. For five years he worked as a journeyman carpenter in Scotland.

Reader! do you ask how it was that Tredgold raised himself up in life? Tredgold’s biographer gives you the reply:—“ During his leisure hours he diligently studied Chemistry, Geology, and Mathematics, which was the secret of his extraordinary success in after life.”

Let our readers make good use of their leisure hours, and some of them will assuredly rise to eminence.

The present Sir S. M. Peto, Bart., is not ashamed to own that he once worked at the bench as a carpenter.

Alderman Cubitt, one of the greatest builders of the present age, worked at the bench as a carpenter.



Having tarried a few days in a beautiful village of the West, I embarked in a vessel which was crossing one of the great lakes. Three other individuals had taken passage, and night coming on found us waiting for a breeze.

About nine o’clock, as the sails were hoisted, another passenger came onboard. When we had cleared the harbour he entered the cabin, and seemed to suppose that he was alone; for we had all retired to our berths. The lamp was burning dimly on the table, but it afforded sufficient light for me to discover that he was young. Seating himself beside it, he drew a book from his pocket and read a few minutes. Suddenly, from on deck, was heard the voice of the captain uttering oaths, terrific beyond description. The youth arose, laid his book on the chair, and, kneeling beside it, in a low whisper engaged in prayer. I listened attentively, and though his soul seemed to burn within him, I could gather only an occasional word, or part of a sentence, such as “mercy,” “dying heathen,” “ sinners,” &c. Presently he seemed in an agony of spirit for these swearers, and could scarcely suppress his voice while pleading with God to have mercy on them. My soul was stirred within me. There was a sacredness in this place, and I was self-condemned, knowing that I also professed the name of Jesus, and had retired with my fellow-passengers to rest, not having spoken of God or committed myself to his care.

Early in the morning I was awaked by a loud voice at the door of the companion-way,—“ Here! whose tracts are these ? ” followed by other voices in threats and imprecations against tract distributors, bethels, temperance societies, &c.

I thought of the young stranger, and feared they would execute their threats upon him ; but he calmly said, “Those tracts, sir, are mine. I have but a few, as you see; but they are very good, and you may take one, if you wish. I brought them on board to distribute, but you were all too busy last night.” The sailor smiled and walked away, making no reply.

We were soon called to breakfast with the captain and mate. When we were seated at the table, “Captain,” said our young companion, “ as the Lord supplies all our wants, if neither you nor the passengers object, I would like to ask his blessing on our repast.”

“If you please,” replied the captain, with apparent good-will. In a few minutes the cook was on deck, and informed the sailors, who were instantly in an uproar, and their mouths filled with curses. The captain attempted to apologise for the profanity of his men, saying, “It was perfectly common among sailors, and they meant no harm by it.”

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“With your leave, captain,” said the young stranger, “I think we can put an end to it.

Himself a swearer, and having just apologised for his men, the captain was puzzled for an answer ; but after a little hesitation replied, “I might as well attempt to sail against a head wind as to think of such a thing.”

“But I meant all I said,” added the young man.

Well, if you think it possible, you may try it,” said the captain.

As soon as breakfast was over the oldest and most profane of the sailors seated himself on the quarter-deck to smoke his pipe. The young man entered into conversation with him, and soon drew from him a history of the adventures of his life. From his boyhood he had followed the ocean. He had been tossed on the billows in many a tempest; had visited several missionary stations in different parts of the world, and gave his testimony to the good effects of missionary efforts among the natives of the Sandwich Islands. Proud of his nautical skill he at length boasted that he could do any thing that could be done by a sailor.

“I doubt it,” said the young man.

“I can,” answered the hardy tar, “and will not be outdone, my word for it.”

“Well, when a sailor passes his word, he ought to be believed. I know a sailor who resolved that he would stop swearing; and did so.”

“Ah!” said the old sailor, “ you’ve anchored me ; I’m fast—but I can do it.”

“I know you can,” said the young man, “and I hope you will anchor all your shipmates’ oaths with yours.”

Not a word of profanity was afterwards heard on board the vessel. During the day, as opportunity presented itself, he conversed with each sailor singly on the subject of his soul’s salvation, and gained the hearts of all.

After supper he requested of the captain the privilege of attending worship in the cabin His wishes were complied with, and soon all on board, except the man at the helm, were assembled. The captain brought out a Bible, which ho said was given him in early life by his father, with a request that he would never part with it We listened as our friend read Matthew’s ac count of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and then looking round upon us he said, “He is risen—-yes, Jesus lives ; let us worship him.”

It was a melting scene. Knees that seldom bowed before now knelt at the altar of prayer while the solemnities of eternity seemed hang ing over us. After prayer we went on deck and sang a hymn. It was a happy place, f floating Bethel. Instead of confusion and wrath there was sweet peace and solemnity. We ceased just as the setting sun was flinging upon us his last cheering rays.

The captain, deeply affected, went into the cabin, lit his lamp, took his Bible, and was en gaged in reading till we had retired to rest.

After this, for three days, we regularly attended family worship, and had much interesting conversation on various subjects ; for there was nothing in the religion of the young stranger to repress the cheerfulness of social intercourse. From his familiarity with the Bible, his readiness in illustrating its truths and presenting its motives; and from his fearless but judicious and persevering steps, we concluded that he was a minister of the gospel. From all he saw, he gathered laurels to cast at his Master’s feet, and in all his movements aimed to show that eternity was not to be trifled with A few hours before we arrived in port we ascertained that he was a mechanic;—a village carpenter.

Before we reached the wharf, the captain came forward, and with much feeling bade him fare well; declared that he was resolved to live as he had done no longer—his wife, he said, was a Christian, and he meant to go and live with her; and added, “I have had ministers as passengers on my vessel Sabbath-days and weekdays, but never before have I been so touchingly reminded of the family altar where my departed parents knelt.” As we left the vessel, every countenance showed that our friend had, by his decided, yet mild and Christian faithfulness, won the gratitude of many, and the esteem of all.

We soon found ourselves in a canal boat, where were about thirty passengers of various ages and characters; and my curiosity was not a little excited to learn how my companion would proceed among them. The afternoon had nearly passed away, and he had conversed with no one but myself. At length he inquired of the cap =tain if he were willing to have prayers on board.

“I have no objection,” said he, “if the passengers have not; but I sha’n’t attend.”

At an early hour the passengers were invited into the cabin, and in a few minutes the captain was seated among them. After reading a short portion of Scripture, our friend made a few appropriate remarks, and earnestly commended us to God.

As soon as he rose from prayer, a gentleman, whose head was whitening for the grave, said,

“Sir, I should like to converse with you. I profess to be a Deist. I once professed religion, but now I believe it is all delusion.”

“Sir,” said the young man, “I respect age, and will listen to you; and, as you proceed, may perhaps ask a few questions; but I cannot debate, I can only say that I must love Jesus Christ. He died to save me, and I am a great sinner.”

“I do not deny that men are sinners,” said the old man, “but I don’t believe in Christ.”

“Will you then tell us how sinners can be saved in some other way, and God’s law be honoured?”

We waited in vain for a reply, when my friend proceeded;—“ Not many years since, I was an infidel because I did not love the truth, and was unwilling to examine it. Now I see my error ; and the more I study the Bible, the firmer is my conviction of its truth; and that there is no way of salvation but through a crucified Redeemer.”

As the passengers sat engaged in conversation, one of them at length turned to our young friend, and related the circumstances of a murder recently perpetrated by a man in the neighbourhood, while in a fit of intoxication. To this all paid the strictest attention. The captain joined them to hear the story, the conclusion of which afforded an opportunity for the stranger to begin his work. He was the advocate of temperance as well as religion, and here gained some friends to this cause.

“But,” said he at length, “ though intoxication occasions an immense amount of crime and misery in our world, I recollect one instance of murder with which it had no connection.” He then related, as nearly as I can remember, the following story:—

“In a populous city of the East, was a man who seemed to live only for the good of others.

He daily exhibited the most perfect benevolence towards his fellow-men ; sought out the poor and needy, and relieved their wants; sympathised with and comforted the sick and the afflicted; and, though he was rich, his unsparing beneficence clothed him in poverty.

He deserved the esteem of all, yet he had enemies.

He took no part in politics, yet many feared that his generosity was a cloak of ambition, and that he was making friends in order to secure to himself the reins of government. Others feared that his religious views, connected with his consistent life, would expose their hypocrisy. At length a mock trial was held by an infuriated mob, and he was condemned and put to death.”

“Where was that?”—“When was it?”— “Who was it?” was heard from several voices.

“It was in the city of Jerusalem, and the person was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. By his enemies he was hung upon the cross, and for us, guilty sinners, he died.”

Every eye was fixed upon the young man, and a solemn awe rested on every countenance. He opened a Bible which lay upon the table, and read the account of Christ’s condemnation and death; the captain nodded to him as a signal for prayer, and we all again fell on our knees, while he wept over the condition of sinners, and, for the sake of Christ, besought God’s mercy upon them. Here again was a floating Bethel..

In the morning, the stranger was not forgotten ; and he evidently did not forget that there were immortal souls around him, hastening with him to the bar of God. During the day he conversed separately with each individual, except an elderly gentleman who had followed him from seat to seat, and showed much uneasiness of mind; the realities of eternity were set before us, and the Holy Spirit seemed to be striving with many hearts.

As the mantle of evening was drawing around us, our friend requested an interview with the aged man.

“Yes, yes,” he said, “I have been wishing all day to see you, but you were talking with others.” He acknowledged that he had tried to be a Universalist; and though he could not rest in that belief, he never, until the previous evening, saw his lost condition. “ And now,” said he, I want you to tell me what I shall do.”

The young man raised his eyes to heaven as if imploring the Spirit’s influences, and then briefly explained the nature and reasonableness of repentance and faith, accompanied by a few striking illustrations in proof of the justice of God in condemning, and his mercy in pardoning sinners.

The old man saw the plan of redemption so clearly, that he burst into tears and exclaimed, Oh, my soul, my soul! How have I sinned against God! I see it—I feel it; yes, I have sinned all my days.”

“But Jesus died to save sinners,” replied the young man; “will you, my friend, give him your heart?”

O yes, yes ! if I had a thousand hearts he should have them all,” was the answer.

The young man turned away and wept. For some minutes silence was broken only by the deep sighs of the aged penitent. There was something, in an hour like this, awfully solemn. Heaven was rejoicing, I doubt not, over a returning prodigal. As he stood alone and wept, he reiterated again and again, “Yes, I will serve God; I will, I will.” After a time, his feelings became more calm, and lifting his eyes towards heaven, with both hands raised, he sang,

“There shall I bathe my weary soul
In seas of heavenly rest.
And not a wave of trouble roll
Across my peaceful breast.”

And then again he wept, and said, “ Yes, O Jesus, precious Saviour!”

The time had come for our young friend to leave us. By his zeal in his Master’s service he had stolen our hearts, and all pressed forward to express their friendship in an affectionate farewell.

Such was the influence of one individual, whose unwavering purpose it was to live for God. He felt for dying sinners ; and, relying on the help of the Holy Spirit for success, laboured for the salvation of souls around him.

Will not the reader solemnly resolve, in God’s strength, that henceforth, whether at home abroad, he will make the glory of Christ, in the salvation of men, the one object of his life ? When Christians universally shall do this, we may expect soon to hear the song of Zion float on every breeze: “ Alleluia ! The kingdoms of this world are become the king doms of our Lord and of his Christ.”


If you are about to do a piece of work, you will be careful to begin right; otherwise you will have to take it i-n pieces, and do it over again. If you are going on a journey, you will be careful at first to get into the right road; for, if you start wrong, you will be continually going farther and farther out of the way.

Now, you are starting in life, and life is a journey. If you start wrong, as I said, you will be all the time going out of the way. You have a life work to do; but if you begin it wrong, all your labour will be worse than lost. Not only will you have it to do all over again, but to undo what you have done.

God hath given a man two eyes, if he lose one he hath another; but he hath but one soul, and if that soul be lost, he is undone for ever.—Chrysostom.
General Washington was a minute man. An accurate clock in the entry at Mount Vernon controlled the movements of the family. At his dinner parties he allowed five minutes for difference of watches, and then waited for no one. If members of Congress came at a late hour, his simple apology was, “ Gentlemen, we are too punctual for you,” or, “ Gentlemen, I have a cook who never asks whether the company has come, but whether the hour has come.”

Nobody ever waited for General Washington. He was always five minutes before the time, and if the parties he had engaged to meet, were not present at the season appointed, he considered the engagement cancelled, and would leave the place and refuse to return.

The institution of the Sabbath seems to have been understood down through all ages. In the interruptions of written history, other vestiges of ancient records remain, indicating to the annalist what may have been understood in early ages. These, like the cairn altars of the Druids on our hills, throw a glimmer of light back through the shadows of the past on the manners of early times. The simple fact of the number seven being found marked upon all that remains of the monumental history of the past, is of itself sufficient to convince us that the six days of creation, and the seven days of the week, have been pointedly established, and clearly understood since the creation of man.—John Younger, Working Man’s Prize Essay.

Hearers and readers are divided into four sorts, some like sponges, that suck up all, both bad and good ; some like sandglasses, who, what they receive at one ear, let go out at the other; some like a strainer, that lets all the good pass through, but keeps the dregs; some like the sieve, that keeps the good grain, and lets through what is worth nothing. These last only are to be approved.—Boston.

A young fop, of an infidel turn, while travelling in a stage coach, sought to display his smartness by attempting to pick flaws in the narratives of Scripture. After trying to show the inconsistency and improbability of several events described in the Bible, he referred to the life of Nebuchadnezzar, and argued that it was utterly absurd and impossible for a man so far to forget his human instincts, and eat grass like a beast. Having stated his views, he asked the opinion of the passengers, and, among the rest, of a grave-looking Quaker, who had hitherto taken no part in the conversation. “Verily, friend,” answered the Quaker, “I see no improbability in the story, if he was as great an ass as thou.”

May we consider each night as the tomb of the departed day, and, seriously leaning over it, read the inscription written by conscience, of its character and exit.—Foster.

In the fertile valley of Emmenthal, in Switzerland, lived a far mer, who cared for neither God nor man,and who wished in everything- to have his own way. One Sabbath afternoon, having large quantity of cut grain in his field, and observing the clouds gathering round the tops of the mountains, and the spring becoming full of water, he called his domestics, saying, “ Let us go to the field, gather and bind, for towards evening we shall have a storm. If you house a thousand sheaves before it rains, you shall be well rewarded for so doing.”

He was overheard by his grandmother, a good old lady, of eighty years of age, who walked supported by two crutches. She approached with difficulty her grandson. “John, John,” said she, dost thou consider? As far as I can remember, in my whole life, I have never known a single ear of corn housed on the holy Sabbath day, and yet we have been always loaded with blessings ; we have never wanted for anything. Granting that it might be done if there were a famine, John, or appearances of a long continuation of bad weather; but thus far, the year has been very dry, and if the grain get a little wet, there is nothing in that very alarming. Besides, God who gives the rain, gives the grain also, and we must take things as he sends them. John, do not violate the rest of this holy day, I earnestly beseech thee.” At these words of the grandmother, all the domestics came around her; the oldest understood the wisdom of her advice, but the young treated it with ridicule, and said to one another, “Old customs are out of date in our day; prejudices are abolished; the world now is altogether altered.”

“Grandmother,” said the farmer, “everything must have a beginning, there is no evil in this, it is quite indifferent to our God whether we spend the day in labour or in sleep, and He will be altogether as much pleased to see the grain in the corn-loft as to see it exposed to the rain; that which we get under shelter will nourish us, and nobody can tell what sort of weather it will be to-morrow.” “John, John, within doors and out of doors, all things are at the Lord’s disposal, and thou dost not know what may happen this evening; but thou knowest that I am thy grandmother ; I entreat thee, for the love of God, not to work to-day; I would much rather eat no bread for a whole year.” “ Grandmother, doing a thing for one time is not a habit; besides, it is not a wickedness to try to preserve one’s harvest, and to better one’s circumstances.” “But, John,” replied the good old lady, “ God’s commandments are always the same, and what will it profit thee to have the grain in thy barn, if thou lose thy soul ? ” “ Ah! don’t be uneasy about that,” exclaimed John, “ and now, boys, let us go to work! time and weather wait for no man.” “ John, John,” for the last time, cried the good old lady ; but alas! it was in vain ; and while she was weeping and praying, John was housing his sheaves; it might be said that all flew, both men and beasts, so great was the despatch.

A thousand sheaves were in the barn when the first drops of rain fell. John entered his house, followed by his people, and exclaimed with an air of triumph, “ Now, grandmother, all is secure ; let the tempest roar, let the elements rage, it little concerns me, my harvest is under my roof.” “Yes, John,” said the grandmother solemnly, “but above thy roof spreads the Lord’s roof.”

While she was thus speaking, the room was suddenly illuminated, and fear was printed in every countenance.

A tremendous clap of thunder made the house tremble to its foundations. “ Oh!” exclaimed the first who could speak, “the lightning has struck the barn!” All hurried out of doors. The building was in flames, and they saw through the roof the sheaves burning which had scarcely been well housed.

The greatest consternation reigned among all the men, who, but a moment before, were so well pleased. Every one was dejected and incapable of acting. The aged grandmother alone preserved all her presence of mind; she prayed, and incessantly repeated, “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Oh, Heavenly Father! let Thy will, and not ours be done!”

The barn was entirely consumed, nothing was saved.

The farmer had said, “I have put my harvest under my roof.” “But above thy roof is the Lord’s roof,” had said his grandmother.

This teaches us the lesson, that all is in the hands of God, whether in the fields or in the barn ; and what we endeavour to preserve from the rain can be reached in any place by Him who commands both the rain and the thunder.

Dr. Wichern.


Tune.—“Be gone, dull care.”
“Come on, John Brown,
To the Wagon and Horses with me;
My comrades will meet there to-night,
And the tap-room will ring with their glee.
With such jovial companions to keep us alive,
To be happy we scarcely can fail,
For they all drink when there to the drowning of care, In bumpers of old Burton Ale.”
“No, no, James Bond,
Thy courses are sinful and bad;
The hole at thy elbow, and waistcoat in rags,
Tell a story that makes me sad.
Thy staggering gait, and thy big red nose,
And thy pimples are warnings to me,
And I will not go with thee in folly and vice.
For a drunkard I never will be.”

“You’re wrong, John Brown,
For while Time is fast waving his wings,
If we drink Burton Ale,
We shall all be as happy as kings.
Drink water and mope like an owl if you will,
But I hate such a pitiful plan,
So I’ll go to the Wagon and Horses to-night,
And have pleasure, and drink while I can.
Alas! James Bond,
For your end must be anguish and woe,
And then, when you’re call’d on to die,
To what place do you think you shall go?
With such shadows o’erclouding your path,
Your example is fearful to me,
So with water to drink, and with God for my guide;
A drunkard I never will be.”

G. Mogridge.


At the close of an address delivered in a bye street of Islington last Sunday evening, which had been patiently listened to by a numerous audience, some standing inside their houses, and some without,—just as the preacher had uttered the last word, he was touched on the elbow by a man behind him, and accosted with the words, “ I should like to speak to you, sir !” The white smock in which he was clad, the thick muscular hand, the cap set jauntingly on one side of the head, the ruddy cheek, and hearty tone of voice, free but not familiar, showed at once that the speaker was a “ navvy.”

“ I want to speak to you, sir ! you see I am a navvy: passing down the end of the street, I saw you preaching; and I always likes to hear that that’s good: and, sir, you see, there’s 400 or 500 on us, wot’s going to the Crimea, and we have preaching every day at four o’clock, and I want you to come along with me down to the ‘bition, [exhibition] to-morrow to preach : ‘cos, I think, you are just the genl’m’n to preach to me and my mates!”

A long conversation ensued: the man spoke with the guileless simplicity of a child, told all his history past and present: enlarged with

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warmth upon the kindness of an excellent lady,-—the daughter of Dr. Marsh, at Beckenham,— who had talked; with them, and visited them, and, as he said, even preached to them. “Ay, sir, the beautifulest serment ever I heard in my life.” A request to address a few parting words to such a body of men, when made by one of then-number in such a way, it was impossible to refuse; for, in fact, the navvy would take no denial: he did not seem to understand what “no,” meant: “Ah! but I want you to come down to the ‘bition; ‘cos, you are just the genl’m’n to preach to me and my mates.” At length a promise was given ; and with a hearty shake of the hand, and exclaiming, “I shall expect you,”—away he went.

The day came, and the preacher repaired to the appointed rendezvous, vix., Penge Bridge, under the Croydon Railway. On arriving, a brother clergyman met him to say, “I fear you will be disappointed, for the men have been called up to the Crystal Palace to sign their articles But we will wait.”

One by one, however, the men began to come down; each had a civil—nay affectionate— word or gesture of welcome for us : each held out his hand for a tract, and then sat down on the fence, or by the wayside, to read. Soon the road presented a spectacle such as one has but seldom seen. Below were fifty or sixty navvies leading in silence; and above, as many more quickening their pace to get a tract before all were given away.

After waiting some time and conversing freely with the different groups, “Now, my lads, we will begin.” “ Here’s the place, sir, over into this bit of ground. You stand in the middle and we will get all round, and I’ll warrant, you will make us hear.”

It was impossible not to remember the scene described in John, when the multitude sat down on the green grass ; and as the preacher stood in the midst of 150 or 200 navvies, lying and sitting on the grass in the bright summer sunshine, in every variety of attitude, but all equally attentive, he could not but lift up a prayer that His Master would himself give the portion for his servant to break to the souls of his fellow-sinners around him. His heart warmed towards them, and he felt, as never before, the force of the Apostle’s language, “ I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.” The fifteenth of Luke was read and just as the preacher was about to begin his address, another large party appeared turning the corner of the road, and on catching sight of us, they set off running to the place. As they came up to us, one huge fellow who seemed to lift his brawny bulk over the fence by a mere act of volition, like a bird, shouted out “Hallo! you an’t our regular parson; but wait till we get up to ye!”

For forty minutes they listened to the preach ing of the word, in silent attention; one man only made a coarse remark, he was not quite sober, and he was instantly stopped by an indignant murmur from all the rest. At the close of the address, they rose to their feet, every head was uncovered, and they joined audibly in a few words of prayer.

With a cordial farewell, and many a “thank you, sir, I wish you would come again,” from the whole party, the preacher withdrew. Shortly afterwards quick steps were heard behind him, and a man came up hastily, saying, “Sir, I hope you will not be offended, but there is one thing I want, my life has not been anything nigh the mark as a man ought to be, as I consider; but if you will give me a Bible, I will try and shape my life according.”

Mr. Editor, no doubt you are very clever in diagnosis, and understand symptoms: will you be so good as to tell your readers whether you think these navvies belonged to the “ dangerous classes ? ” X.

June, 16, 1855.

*** We extract the above interesting fact from The Islington Indicator, a monthly publication which deserves an extensive circulation. Ed.


The following generous instance of heroism in a peasant, has somewhat even of the sublime in it. A great inundation having taken place in the north of Italy, owing to an excessive fall of snow in the Alps, followed by a speedy thaw, the river Adige carried off a bridge near Yerona, except the middle part, on which was the house of the toll gatherer, who with his whole family thus remained imperilled by the waves, and in momentary expectation of certain destruction. They were discovered from the bank, stretching forth their hands, screaming, and imploring succour, while fragments of the only remaining arch were continually dropping into the impetuous torrent. In this extreme danger, the Count of Pulverini, who was a spectator, held out a purse of one hundred sequins, as a reward to any adventurer who would take a boat and save this unhappy family; but the risk of being borne down by the rapidity of the stream, and being dashed against the fragments of the bridge, and of being crushed by the falling of the heavy stones, was so great that not one of the vast number of lookers-on had courage enough to attempt such an exploit. A peasant passing along was informed of the promised reward. Immediately jumping into a boat, he by amazing strength of oars gained the middle of the river, and brought the boat under the pile, when the whole terrified family safely descended into it by means of a rope. “Courage,” cried he, “ now you are safe ? ” By a still more strenuous effort, and great strength of arm, he brought the boat and family to shore. “Brave fellow!” exclaimed the count, handing the purse to him; “here is your promised recompense.” “I shall never expose my life for money,” answered the peasant; “my labour affords a sufficient livelihood for myself, my wife, and my children; give the purse to this poor family, who has lost its all!”

A gentleman who resides in a fishing-town, and who has made extensive inquiries, remarks, “Those who fish on the Sabbath do not ordinarily take any more, during the season, than those who keep the Sabbath. They do not make more money, or prosper better for this world.

“One man followed fishing eight years. The first four he fished on the Sabbath. The next four he strictly kept the Sabbath, and is satisfied that it was for his advantage in a temporal point of view. Another man, who was accustomed, for some years to fish on the Sabbath, afterwards discontinued the practice, and found that his profits were greater than before. Another man, testifies that, in the year 1827, he and his men took more fish by far than any who were associated with them, though he kept the Sabbath, and they did not. It was invariably his practice to rest from Saturday till Monday; and though it was an unfavourable season for the fisheries, he was greatly prospered in every way, and to such an extent, that many regarded his success as almost miraculous.

Examples like the foregoing might be multiplied to almost any extent. So far as I can learn by diligent inquiry, all who have left off fishing on the Sabbath without an exception, think the change has been for their temporal advantage.”—Dr. Edwards.

A gentleman belonging to a fishing town, which sends out more than two hundred vessels in a year, writes as follows : “ I think it may safely be stated that those vessels which have not fished on the Sabbath have, taken together, met with more than ordinary success. The vessel whose earnings were the highest, the last year and the year before, was one on board which the Sabbath was kept by refraining from labour, and by religious worship. There is one firm which has had eight vessels in its employ this season. Seven have fished on the Sabbath, and one has not. That one has earned One hundred and fifty pounds more than the most successful of the six! There are two other firms employing each three vessels Two out of the three, in each case, have kept the Sabbath, and in each case have earned more than two-thirds of the profits.—Dr. Edwards.


Come, messmates! ’tis time to hoist the sail;
It is fair as fair can be;

And the ebbing tide and the northerly gale
Will carry us out to sea.

So down with the boat from the beach so steep,
We must part with the setting sun;

For ere we can spread our nets in the deep,
We’ve a weary way to run.

As, through the night-watches we drift about;
We’ll think of the times that are fled,

And of Him who once call’d other fishermen out
To be fishers of men instead.

Like its they had hunger and cold to bear;
Hough weather, like us, they knew;

And He who guarded them by his care
Full often was with them too!
’Twas the fourth long watch of a stormy night,
And but little way they had made,

When he came o’er the waters and stood in their sight,
And their hearts were sore afraid;

But He cheer’d their spirits,.and said, “It is I,”
And then they could fear no harm;

And though we cannot behold him nigh,
He is guarding us still with his arm.

They had toil’d all the night, and had taken nought;
He commanded the stormy sea,

They let down their nets, and of fishes caught
An hundred and fifty-three.

And good success to our boat he will send,
If we trust in his mercy aright;

For he pitieth those who at home depend
On what we shall take to night.

And if ever in danger and fear we are toss’d
About on the stormy deep,

We’ll tell how they once thought that all was lost,
When their Lord “ was fast asleep; ”

He saved them then—He can save us still—
For his are the winds and the sea;

And if He is with us, we’ll fear no ill,
Whatever the danger be.

Or if He see fit that our boat should sink,
By a’ storm or a leak, like lead,

Yet still of the glorious day we’ll think,
When the sea shall yield her dead;

For they who depart in his faith and fear
Shall find that their passage is short,

From tine troublesome waves that beset life here,
To the everlasting port.

If any doubt the necessity of a Sabbath, in order to the maintenance of our civil and religious institutions, let them look to those nations which have made the experiment of living without one. What was ancient Rome, with her six or seven millions, when she had no Sabbaths, but the grand theatre of inhumanity and crime, whose deleterious influence has, ever since, been felt all over the world ? What was France when she introduced the decades, and blotted out the weekly Sabbath ? What have been Mexico and South America? And what have been every Christian nation contemning that heavenly institution?
God Almighty has permitted me but one journey through the world, and when gone I cannot return to rectify mistakes.


A person came to Mr. L___ one day, and said, “I have something against you and I am come to tell you of it” Do walk in, sir,” he replied, “you are my best friend. If I could hut engage all my friends to be faithful with me, I should he sure to prosper; but if you please, we will both pray in the first place, and ask the blessing of God on our interview.” After they rose from their knees, and had been much blessed together, he said, “Now I will thank you, my brother, to tell me what it is that you have against me.” “ Oh,” said the man, “I really don’t know what it is; it is all gone, and I believe I was in the wrong.”


The following is a simple method of rendering water almost as cold a3 ice. Let the Jar, pitcher, or vessel used for water, be surrounded with one or more folds of coarse cotton, to be constantly wet. The evaporation of the water will carry off the heat from the inside, and reduce it to a freezing point. In India, and other tropical climes, where ice cannot be procured, this is common.


When we hear these words coming boastfully from the lips of a young man just entering upon his majority, we cannot forbear recalling the reply of a French prince to a stranger, whom he encountered in one of the rooms of his palace.

“Pray, sir,” said the prince, “to whom do you belong?”

“To myself,” gruffly replied the stranger.

“Ah, my dear sir,” was the ready retort, “what a pity it is you have such a stupid master!”

“We can prove,” says Baron Liebig, “with mathematical certainty, that as much flour or meal as can lie on the point of a table-knife is more nutritious than five measures (about eight or ten quarts!) of the best Bavarian beer; that a person who is able daily to consume that amount of beer obtains from it in a whole year, in the most favourable case, exactly the amount of nutritive constituents which is contained in a 5lb. loaf of bread, or three pounds of flesh.”—Letters on Chemistry.

Let kindness and forbearance govern all your actions. If tempted to forget and reply unkindly, think that God will be displeased, and you will refrain from using the improper words Which had risen to your lips.



A married woman became an exemplary christian, but her husband was a lover of sinful plea sure. When spending an evening, as usual with his jovial companions, at a tavern, the conversation happened to turn on the excellencies and faults of their wives; the husband just mentioned pronounced the highest encomiums on his wife, saying she was all that was excellent, only she was a methodist. “Notwithstanding which,’’ said he, “such is the command which she has of her temper, that were I to take you, gentlemen, home with me at midnight, and order her to rise and get you a supper, she would be all submission and cheerfulness! “

The company regarded this merely as a vain boast, and dared him to make the experiment, by a considerable wager. The bargain was made, and about midnight the company adjourned, as proposed. Being admitted, “Where is your mistress,” said the husband to the maid-servant who sat up for him. “She is gone to bed, sir.” “Call her up,” said he.

Tell her I have brought some friends home with me, and that I desire she would get up, and prepare them a supper.” The good woman obeyed the unreasonable summons; dressed, came down, received the guests with perfect civility, and told them she happened to have some chickens ready cooked, and that supper should be got as soon as possible. It was accordingly served up, when she performed the honours of the table with as much cheerfulness as if she had expected company at the proper season.

After supper the guests could not refrain from expressing their astonishment. One of them particularly, more sober than the rest, thus addressed himself to the lady; “Madam,” said he, “your civility fills us with astonishment. Our unreasonable visit is the consequence of a wager, which we have certainly lost. As you are a very religious person, and cannot therefore approve of our conduct, give me leave to ask, what can possibly induce you to behave with so much kindness to us?” “Sir,” replied she, “when I married, my husband and myself were both unconverted ; it has pleased God to call me out of that dangerous condition. My husband continues in it. I tremble for his future state. Were he to die as he is, he must be miserable for ever; I think it, therefore, my duty to do all I can to make him as happy as possible in this life.”

This wise and faithful reply affected the whole company. It left a deep impression on the husband’s mind. “Do you, my dear,’’.said he, “really think I should be eternally miserable ?

I thank you for the warning. By the grace of God, I will change my conduct.” From that time he became another man, a serious Christian, and consequently a good husband.

Arvine’s Anecdotes
PART II. (Front page 19)

You are now in your place; you have found a situation likely to suit you, and you have just entered your new home. What are you thinking about ? Are you not thinking a little (or perhaps a great deal) about what you will gain in your new place? You think about your wages Perhaps they are high and you are glad and satisfied, or, may be, you consider them low, and are sorry and discontented. Some servants think so much about gain, that they forget what belongs to their master, and fancy it belongs to themselves; and actually take it themselves. But I hope you are not one of these servants ; if you are, you have entered on a course which will, sooner or later, most surely, bring you misery and disgrace in this world, besides ruin and punishment in the next. But let me tell you what the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy, and what he says is “ great gain.”

Look in your Bible, 1 Tim. vi. 6. “ Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Great gain! this is not what the world calls great gain. When a man has gained wealth and honour, people say he has gained a great deal. When a servant gets a better place with higher wages, people say she has gained a great deal. St. Paul did not say these kinds of things were gain; he says, “ Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Let me tell you a little what is meant by these two words, Godliness and contentment. They are very good things; they are the best things any one can have ; they are great gain, not only in this world, but in the world to come. “ Godliness.” What does this mean ? I will tell you in a few words. It means to remember that God sees you in every thing, and to remember to see God in every thing. If you do this, you will then learn to glorify God in every thing.

First, remember always, “ Thou God seest me.” This is a short sentence which many of us were taught when we were children ; but how few of us really think of it. How different our lives would be were we constantly to remember God sees me. In my bed, God sees me; when I get up, God sees me; when I kneel down to pray, God sees me; when I go to my work, God sees me; at my meals, God sees me; when alone, God sees me; when I am with others, God sees me ! What a wonderful thought it is ! I cannot be too low, too mean, too small for the great God of heaven and earth to see. God sees me ! What deep meaning in these words. How useful it would be for us did we often repeat them to ourselves.

Secondly. Let us try to see God in everything. God orders all things, God knows all that happens to each of us, nothing in our lives is too mean for Him to take notice of. What a thought this is, again! I am in sorrow, God knows it; lam perplexed, God knows it; I have much unkindness to bear from others, God knows it; I am in pain and suffering, and in sickness, God knows it. Then again, I am very happy, God knows it; I am prospering in what I am doing, God knows it. This is a sweet thought in joy, and a comforting thought in sorrow. It is a thought that we should constantly dwell upon.

Thirdly. As we remember that God sees us and as we see God in everything, so we shall learn to glorify God in everything. In everything, in the very smallest thing you do; yes, you are a poor servant girl, but you may glorify the great God of heaven and earth. God once chose a ‘ little maid ” to be the means of bringing salvation to her master and his family. Will you find out in your bibles the beautiful story of this?

A godly young woman ; what higher title could we give? A beautiful young woman; ah! the wisest of men said “ Beauty is vain.” A rich young woman! riches make to themselves wings and fly away. A clever young woman! “Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” But a godly young woman, that is “great gain;” that will last for ever. “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” A godly young woman. Look at her dress, it is suited to the station in which God has placed her. Listen to her words; “the law of kindness is in her lips” to her equals, and to those who are placed over her by God, she is humble and obedient, respectful and modest.

My friends, is not Godliness a good thing in itself! But Paul tells us it has another good thing with it. Contentment. Surely if the best thing we can say of any one is a “ godly young woman! ” the pleasantest thing we can say of her is “ a contented young woman.” Contentment must follow godliness ; for when we know that God sees us and orders everything for us, we must be satisfied with His arrangement. Suppose a dear kind friend had procured your place for you; suppose she had been to your mistress and talked kindly of you to her, and had been to your fellow servants and spoken favourably of you to them; and that this dear friend had been to see the—room you were to sleep in, and that she knew all you had to do, you would feel very happy and comfortable in your place, and often think with pleasure, “ My kind friend knows all I have to do here.” Well God is our best friend, not only has He ordered the place which each of us occupies, but He is with us every moment, and arranges everything that happens to us. Surely we must be contented. We cannot think of God and be discontented.

I conclude with what is more important than anything else, How are you to know God ? Only by Christ. Out of Christ God is your enemy, you cannot approach God, you cannot think of God, but through Christ. One sin unwashed by the blood of Christ will keep you as far from God, as heaven is far from hell. Do you know this? if not, pray, “Lord, give me the Holy Spirit to teach me of Jesus, that- I may know Thee, and fear Thee, and love Thee.” Christ is the way to God, and then to “ Godliness with contentment, which is great gain.”


How startling the thought, that the babe, lying in its mother’s arms, is silently, yet potently, receiving the great outlines which are to form the character of the future man or woman! The pious mother may be ever exerting an agency, which, under God, may raise her child to heaven’s glory; and the mother, without God, though not positively irreligious, as the world judges, may be wielding an agency which is sending her helpless babe to endless perdition.

If all women were the Christians they ought to be, how quickly would the world be filled with the knowledge of God, and of his son Jesus Christ. The coming generation might live in a new earth, and celebrate the final triumphs of the cross. It was when the sons of God married the daughters of men, that the world was so quickly deluged with crime. But as they give their earliest impressions in favour of the world, and nurture their children in the principles, maxims, and fashions of the world, they defer the time of Jesus reigning from the river to the ends of the earth, just so much longer. O, when will they consider! When will they awake to the worth of the soul, and to the immensity of eternity!

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“O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all; the earth is full of Thy riches.” Psalm civ. 24.

“Thou makest the outgoing’s of the morning and evening to rejoice. Thou visitest the earth and waterest it. … Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly : Thou settest the furrows thereof: Thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest the springing thereof: Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness ; and Thy paths drop fatness: they drop upon the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks: the valleys also are covered over with corn: they shout for joy, they also sing.” Psalm Ixv. 8—13.

“All the earth shall worship thee and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. Psalm lxvi. 4, 8, 9

Give me the eye that can see God in all; the hand which will serve God with all; and heart which can bless God.


The Garvock correspondent the Stonehaven Journal writes, “In the past twelve months only two deaths have occurred in this parish, numbering, as it does, 600 souls. The parishioners boast that they are without parallels.

A gentleman was walking down a lane near a town in Norfolk, when he found himself in company with the following personages—an ass, with a great awkward lad of seventeen or eighteen years on his back, beating the poor animal most unmercifully with a stick on the head and neck; an old man, armed with a hedge-stake, striking at the hocks and hind-quarters; and a boy of eleven or twelve, also with a stick, cutting here and there as opportunity offered. The animal was kicking, turning round, and throwing his feet on the raised foot-path, at the same time resolutely refusing to stir one step in advance.

“Isn’t this a nice brute we have here, Sir?” said the old man to our informant. “We have been trying three-quarters of an hour to get him on, and we can’t.” The gentleman said he would try what he could do; and, having disarmed three of their sticks, and laid them on the path, commenced a milder course of treatment, by patting the ass on the neck, rubbing his nose, and speaking kindly to him.

The poor animal evidently understood this tone of kindness; for hardly two minutes had elapsed before, on the word of command, and a farewell pat on the neck, he cantered off as gaily as possible in the proper direction.

How better it is to treat animals with kindness, instead of cruelty! God, who made man, made every dumb animal. He is very angry with those who treat horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, or any creatures with cruelty.

If our young friends in their walks should see any man or boy acting cruelly to a poor donkey, we recommend them to give him a copy of this paper, and kindly say, “Please read this, and you will see how to manage an ass.


Robert Burns, on his way to Leith one morn-, met a country farmer; he shook him earnestly by the hand, and stopped to converse awhile. A young Edinburgh “Blood” took the poet to task for this defect of taste. “Why, you fantastic gomeril,” said it was not the great-coat, scone bonnet, and the saunders-boot hose I spoke to, but the man that was in them; and the man, sir, for true worth, would weigh down you and me, ten … such … day.”
Father does it. —Then it’s no wonder if sons do it too. If father reads the newspaper on Sabbath, John will be likely to read his toy-book. If father drinks a dram, or bolts out an oath, the little ones are in a fair way to do the same. If father pollutes his lips with an ugly word, so will they.
Richard.—G-o-o-d M-o-r-n-i-n-g, R-o-b-e-r-t. H-a-v-e a p-u-l-l, m-y B-o-y?

Robert.—No, thank’e, Richard, none of your drink for me.

Richard.—W-h-y n-o-t, l-a-d? P-r-i-m-e g-o-o-d s-t-u-f-f.

Robert.—Stuff indeed! I have long forsworn both the pipe and the pot, and I thank God for having enabled me to do it. Oh, Richard, that I could persuade you to follow my example, and leave off these drinking habits, which are working your ruin, body and soul. That dim eye, that palsied hand, that withered frame, tell how this love of drink has injured your physical nature ; and that purposeless eye reveals what your ‘ inner man ’ has lost of energy and power by this debasing vice. Think how it is sapping the foundations of your health, destroying your reputation, emptying your pocket, clothing you with rags, and doing you more injury than your worst enemy could accomplish. Oh ! if there are any noble aspirations still left in you; if you have any regard for yourself, your friends, your wife, your children ; if you desire to be happy here and blessed hereafter; I beseech you break at once a habit that can only end in wretchedness and ruin. The book I have learned to reverence teaches me that “the way of transgressors is hard,” and your appearance confirms the truth of the saying. But it says also, my poor brother, “repent and turn yourself from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.”

With temperance and thrift—
Wheresoever we drift,
We shall scarce miss a prosperous to-morrow;

But the pipe and the pot,
(Let it ne’er be forgot,)
Are sure to bring ruin and sorrow.