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Uncorrected OCR Text
Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 101
AND FRIEND OF
THE SONS OF TOIL
Published foR the Editor by Messes. PARTRIDGE & Co.; A. W. BENNETT; and W. TWEEDIE, London.
[Price One Penny.
LOST AND FOUND
DlCK JONES, THE SAILOR.
Dick Jones was the only son of a pious widow. He was self-willed, and well-nigh broke her heart by running away to sea. For years she never heard of him, for he gave way to dissipation and vice, and he never sent her even a single letter.
One night, as he paced the deck in his midnight watch, while the vessel went rushing onward through the deep, dark sea, solemn thoughts settled heavily around Dim Here, and there, a star looked down upon him with watchful, reproving eye. He felt alone, in the presence of some mighty, mysterious Being. Early memories returned; the lessons of the Sabbath school, the plaintive toll of the church bell, the voice of his mother, as seated on her knee, she taught him of the dear Saviour, who took the children to his breast, and blessed them.
A few drops of rain, from a passing cloud, fell upon his head. In the excitement of the reverie, he gasped, “These are her tears! Yes! Just so they felt on my forehead, when she used to beseech me to forsake the foolish, and live, and go in the way of understanding.
These good impressions scarcely wore away during the brief remainder of the voyage. When he saw in dim outline, the hills of his country gleaming amid the clouds, a new joy took possession of his soul. And when his feet rested again on the solid earth, and he received his wages, his first thought was to hasten and share them with his mother and only sister, whom he had so recklessly forsaken.
“Will you come to my house, sir?” said a man upon the wharf, near him. “Good accommodations, sir, for sailor gentlemen. Everything, first cut and first cost.”
“Where is your house?”
“Near by. Here, boy, take this fine young mail’s chest along. I’ll show you the way, sir. The favourite boarding-house for all jolly, noble-spirited tars.”
“I’ll show you the way, sir. The favourite hoarding-house for all jolly, noble-spirited tars.”
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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
It was evident that he was now m the power of a land-shark. Alas! for all his hopes: the straggles of conscience, the rekindling of right affections. ( Temptation, and the force of habit, were too strong for Rim. Almost continually intoxicated, his hard earnings vanished, he knew not how, or where. I was not long ere his rapacious landlord pronounced him in debt, and produced claims which he was unable to meet. His chest with all its contents was seized, and he, miserably clad, and half bewildered, was turned into the streets.
As the fumes of prolonged inebriety subsided, horrible images surrounded him. Smothered resolutions, and pampered vices, sprang from the seething caldron of his brain, frowning and gibbering like ghostly tormentors. Monstrous creatures grinned and beckoned, and when he would have fled, cold slimy serpents seemed to coil around and fetter his trembling limbs.
Still, with returning reason came a deeper misery. He desired to die, but death fled from him. Covering his face with his hands, as he sate on the ground, in the damp, chill air of evening, he meditated different forms of suicide. He would fain have plunged into the sea, but his tottering limbs failed him. Searching for his knife, the only moveable that remained to him, he examined its blunted edge, and loosened blade, as if doubting their efficiency. Thus engaged, by the dim light of a street-lamp, groans, as if the pangs of death had seized him, burst from his heaving breast. Half believing himself already a dweller with condemned spirits, he started at the sound of a human voice.
“Thou art in trouble, I think.”
The eyes once so clear in the days of innocence, opening wide and wild, glared with amazement on the calm, compassionate brow of a middle-aged man, in the garb of a Quaker. The knife fell from his quivering hand, and sounded on the pavement. But there was no answer.
“Art thou in great trouble, friend?”
“Friend! Friend! Who calls me friend? I have no friends, but the tormentors to whom I am going.”
“Poor man! I see thou art a sailor.”
“I was once. What I am now, I know not. I wish to he nothing. Leave me to myself, and those that are howling around me. Here! here! I come:” and groped aimlessly for his lost knife.
The heart of the philanthropist yearned as over an erring brother. The spirit of the Master who came to seek and to save the lost, moved within him.
“Alas! poor victim. How many have fallen, like thee, before the strong man armed. Sick art thou, at the very soul. I will give thee shelter for the night. Come with me, to my home.”
“Home! Home?” shouted the inebriate, as if he understood him not. And while the benevolent man, taking his arm, staid his uncertain footsteps, he still repeated, but in tones more humanized and tender,— “Home! your home? What! me a sinner?” until a burst of tears relieved the burning fires within.
And as that blessed man led him to his own house, and laid him upon a good bed, speaking words of comfort; heard he not from above that deep, thrilling melody, “I was sick, and ye visited me, in prison, and ye came unto me? Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of these, ye have done it unto me?”
With reviving day the sinful man revived; humbled in heart, and sad. Subdued by suffering, and softened by a kindness, which he felt to be wholly undeserved, he poured out a fervent prayer for divine aid in the great work of reformation. He was glad to avail himself, without delay, of the proposal of his benefactor, to enter on service in a temperance ship ready to sail immediately for the East Indies.
“I am acquainted with the captain,” said the good man, “and can induce him to take thee. I am also interested in the vessel, and in the results of her voyage, A relative of mine goes out as supercargo. Both of them will be thy friends, if thou art true to thyself. But intemperance bringeth sickness to the soul, as well as to the body. Wherefore, pray for healing, through the merits of Christ, and he who rejoiceth over the repentant sinner, will give thee aid.” Self abasement, and gratitude to his preserver, swelled like an overwhelming flood, and choked his utterence.
“All men have sinned, my son, though not all in the same way. But there is mercy for every one that sorroweth, and forsaketh the evil. God hath given me the great happiness to help some who have fallen as low as thee. Thank Him, therefore, and net the poor arm of flesh. May He give thee strength to stand firm on the Bock of Salvation.”
Broken words, mingled with tears, struggled vainly to express the emotions of the departing sailor. His benefactor once more shaking him heartily by the hand, bade him farewell.
“Peace be with thee, on the great waters. And remember to strive and pray.”
A new world seemed to open upon the rescued one. Of the quietness and order that pervaded a temperance ship, he had no anticipation. There were neither quarrels nor profanity, so common among the crew, nor arrogance, and capricious punishment, on the part of those in power. Cheerful obedience, and just authority prevailed, as in a well-regulated family. He was both surprised and delighted to find his welfare an object of interest with the officers of the ship, to receive kind council from them, and to be permitted to employ his brief intervals of leisure with the well-chosen volumes of a seaman’s library.
Still it was not with him, as if he had never sinned. Not all at once could he respire freely in a pure atmosphere. Physical exhaustion, from the withdrawal of stimulants, to which he had been long accustomed, sometimes caused such deep despondence,that life itself seemed a burden.
Cherished vice brings also a degree of moral obliquity. Every permitted sin lifts a barrier between the clear shining of God’s countenance, and the cold and frail human heart. Perverted trains of thought, and polluted remembrances still lingered with iim, and feelings long debased, did not readily acquire an upward tendency. Yet ;he parting admonition of his benefactor to drive and pray, ever sounded in his ears, and became the motto of his soul. By little and little, through faithful obedience, he obtained the victory. His improvement vas noticed by others, before he dared to congratulate himself; for humility had strangely become a part of his character, who once defied all laws, human and divine. His countenance began to resume the ingenious expression of early years, and the eyes, so long fiery, or downcast, looked up with the clearness of hope.
“Blessings on the temperance ship!” he often ejaculated, as he paced the deck in lis nightly watch, “and eternal blessings in the holy man, who snatched me from the lowest hell.”
At his arrival in a foreign port, he was watchful to avoid every temptation. His friend, the supercargo, took him under his special charge, and finding him much letter educated than is usual with sailors, gave him employment of a higher nature, which was both steady and lucrative. His expences were regulated with extreme economy, that he might lay up more liberally for those dear ones at home, whose images became more and more vivid, as his heart threw off the debasing dominion of intemperance, and its host of evils.
The returning voyage was one of unmingled satisfaction. Compunction had given place to a healthful virtue, whose root was not in himself.
“Why is this?” he often soliloquized: “why should I be saved, while so many perish? How have I deserved such mercy, who willingly made a beast of myself, through the fiery draught of intemperance? Oh, my mother! I know that thy prayers have followed me,—they have saved me.”
With what a surpassing beauty did the hills of his native land gleam upon his eye, unfolding before him, like angels’ wings. He felt also, that an angel’s mission was his to the hearts that loved him, and which he in madness had wounded. Immediately on reaching the shore, he began his journey to them. Stopping his ears to the sounds of the city, where he had once sunk so low, he hurried by its haunts of temptation, less from fear, than from sickening disgust.
Autumn had ripened its fruits, without sacrificing the verdure of summer. It was the same season that, seven years before, he had traversed this region. But with what contrasted prospects, and purposes! How truly has it been said, that no two individuals can differ more from each other, than the same individual may, at different periods of life, differ from himself.
Richard Jones scarcely paused on his way for sleep, or for refreshment. He sought communion with none. The food of his own thoughts sufficed. As he drew near the spot of his birth, impatience increased almost beyond endurance. The rapid wheels seemed to make no progress, and the distance to lengthen interminably. Quitting the public vehicle, which did not pass that secluded part of the village where his parental cottage was situated, he sought it in solitude. It was pleasant to him to come thus unknown, and he meditated the rapturous surprise he was about to create.
Those rocks! that river! can they be the same? The roof! the very roof! and the maple that sh aded it. But the garden-fence, the gate, are broken and gone. Where is the honeysuckle that my sister Margaret trained? He was about to lift the latch,— to burst in, as in days of old. But other thoughts came over him, and he knocked gently, as a stranger; again, more earnestly.
“Who is there?”
It was a broad, gruff accent. He opened the door; a large, coarse woman stood there, with sleeves rolled above her red elbows, toiling at the wash-tub.
“Does the Widow Jones live here?”
“The Widow who? why, I live here myself, to be sure.”
The quivering lips, and parched tongue, scarcely articulated,—
“Where is Margaret Jones?”
“How should I know? I never heard o’ such a one, not I. Tho’ I’ve been here, and hereabouts, this two year, I reckon.”
A horror of great darkness fell upon the weary traveller. He turned from the door. Whither should he go? There was no neighbouring house, and had there been, he would fain have hidden his misery from all who had ever known him. Instinctively he entered the burial -ground, which was near by. There was his father’s grave with its modest stone, where he had been so often led in childhood. By its side was another, not fresh, yet the sods were imperfectly consolidated, and had not gathered greenness, He threw himself upon it,—he grasped a few dry weeds that grew there, and waved in the rising blast.
“This is to be alone in the world! Oh God! I have deserved it; I was her murderer! but I dreamed not of such misery!” Long he lay there, in his tempestuous grief, without being sensible of a faint hollow sound, heard at regular intervals. It was the spade of the sexton, casting up earth and stones from the depth of a grave, in which he laboured. Even his deaf ear caught a voice of anguish, as he finished his work, and he drew near to the sailor.
“Did you ever hear of a middle-aged woman, called the Widow Jones?” was the eager enquiry.
“Hear of her! I know’d her well, and her husband too. An honest, hard-working man he was; and when he died, was well spoke of, through all this village.”
“And his wife?”—
“Why everybody pitied her, inasmuch as her husband died so sudden, and left leetle, or no means behind, for her and the children.”
“There were children, then?”
“Yes, two on ’em. She worked hard enough, to bring ’em up, I guess. I remember the funeral, as if ’twas only yesterday. I stood just about where you do now; and I used this spade, the very first time it ever was used, to dig that same grave.”
With a convulsive effort, as when one plucks a dagger from his breast, he asked faintly,—
“When did she die? ”
“Die? mercy on you! Why, I dont s’pose she’s dead at all. Sure, I should have been called on to dig the grave, if she had died: that’s sartain. I’ve had all the business of that sort, in these parts, as you may say,- for this forty year, and better.
“Tell me, for mercy’s sake! if Widow Jones still lives?”
“Why, man! what’s the matter on ye ? you’re as white as the tomb-stones. I tell ye, she’s alive, for aught I know to the contrary. She moved away from here, a considerable time ago. It an’t so well with her, as ’twas in days past.”
Grasping the sexton strongly by the arm, he demanded,—
“Where is she to be found?”
“Oh help! help! the man will murder me, I verily believe. Did ye ever hear of what was called the stone-house? just at the hither eend of the next village, after you cross a bridge, and go up a hill, and turn to the right, and see a small cluster of buildings, and a mill, and a meetin’-house? Well, she lives there, in a kind of a suller-room, for I was a telling you, I expect, she an’t none too well off. Zounds! _ the creature is gone as if he wanted to ride a streak o’ lightning. He is demented, without a doubt. What a terrible risk I’ve run! Deliver us from crazy men, here among the tombs. How awful my arm aches, where he clutched it.”
While the garrulous sexton made Ins way to his own dwelling’, to describe his mysterious guest, and imminent peril of life, the supposed maniac was traversing the intervening space with breathless rapidity.
Bushing onward towards a long, low building of gray stone, which appeared to have many tenants, he leaned a moment against its walls, to recover respiration, and bowing down, looked through an uncurtained window in its gloomy basement.
By the flickering light of some brushwood, burning in the chimney, he saw a woman placing the fragments of a loaf upon a table, beside which sate two young children. She was thin, and bent; but having her head turned from him, he was unable to see her features. Could that be her; so changed? Yet, the “come in,” that responded to his rap, was in a tone that thrilled his inmost soul.
“Have you any food to bestow? I have travelled far, and am hungry.”
“Sit down, sir, here at the table. I wish I had something better to offer you. But you are welcome to our poor fare.”
And she pushed towards him the bread and the knife. He cut a slice, with a trembling hand. The youngest child, watching the movement, whispered, with a reproachful look,—
“Granny! you said I should have two pieces to night, ’cause there was no dinner.” “Hush, Richard!” said the little sister, folding her arms around his neck.
The returning wanderer with difficulty maintained his disguise, as he marked the deep wrinkles on that brow, which he had left so comely.
“ Have you only this broken loaf, I fear the portion I have taken, will not leave enough for you and these little ones. _ “We shall have more to-morrow, sir, it God will. It was not always thus with us. Whemmy dear daughter and her husband were alive, there was always a sufficiency for the children, and for me. But they are both dead, sir; the father, last year, and she, when that boy was born.”
“Had you no other children?”
“Yes sir. One, a son, a dear and most beautiful boy. Long years have passed, since he went away. “Whether he is in the land of the living, God only knows.”
Her suppressed sob was changed to surprise and resistance, as the stranger would fain have folded her in his arms. Then, kneeling at her feet, and holding her thin hands in his, he said,—
“Mother! dear mother! can you forgive me all?”
There was no reply. The sunken eyes strained wide open, and fixed. Color fled from the lips. He carried her to the poor, low bed, and threw water upon her temples. He chafed the rigid hands, and in vain sought for some restorative to administer.
“Wretch that I am! Have I indeed killed her?”
And then the shrieks of the children grew shrill and deafening,—
“The strange man has killed grand-mo ther!”
But the trance was brief. Light came to the eye, and joy to the heart, known only to that of the mother who, having sown in tears, beholds suddenly the blessed, unexpected harvest.
“Do I live to see thy face? Let me hear thy dear voice once more, my son.”
But the son had vanished.
At his return, came supplies, such as that poor, half-subterranean apartment had never before witnessed; and ere long, with those half-famished children, they partook of a repast, whose rich elements of enjoyment have seldom been surpassed.
“What a good, strange man!” said the satisfied. boy.
“We must not call him the strange man any more, but our uncle,” said little Margaret; “so he told me himself.”
“Why must we say so?”
“Because he was dear mother’s dear brother, just as you are mine. Did not you see that he cried, when grandmother told him she was dead?”
“Well, I shall love him for that, and for the good supper he gave us.”
“Have you here my father’s large Bible?” asked the son of the widow. She brought it forth from its sacred depository, carefully wrapped in a towel. Tears of rapturous gratitude chased each other along the furrows, which bitter and burning ones had made so deep, as she heard him, with slow and solemn utterance, read that self abasing melody of the Psalmist. “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness; according to the multitude of thy mercies, blot out my transgressions.”
This was the Psalm, that during his brokenness of spirit, on the deep waters, had been his comforter; and now he seemed to breathe into its eloquent words, the soul of penitence and devotion. At its close, he kneeled ,and poured out a fervent prayer to the God of their salvation; and the sleep which fell that night upon all the habitants of that lowly abode, was sweet as an angel’s smile.
The daily efforts of Richard Jones, for the comfort of his mother, were delightful. Her unspoken wishes were studied with a zeal, which feels it can never either fully repay, or atone. For her sake, and for that of the little orphans intrusted to their care, he rejoiced at the gains, which, through the friendship of the supercargo, he had been enabled to acquire in a foreign clime, and which to their moderated desires were comparative wealth.
But amid the prosperity which had been granted him, he still turned with humility to the memorials of his wasted years. In his conversations with his mother, he frankly narrated his sins; and while he went down into the dark depths whither intemperance had led him, she shuddered and was silent. Yet, when he spoke of the benefactor who had found him in the streets, ready to become a self-murderer, she raised her clasped hands, and with strong emotion besought blessings on him who had “saved a soul from death.” They felt that it is not the highest and holiest compassion to relieve the body’s ills; but to rescue and bind up the poor heart that hath wounded itself and which the world hath cast out, to be trodden down in its unpurged guilt.
He was not long in discovering how the heart of his mother yearned after that former home, from which poverty had driven her. On inquiry, he found that it might be obtained, having been recently tenanted by vagrant people. The time that he devoted to its thorough repair was happily spent. Its broken casements were replaced, and its dingy walls whitened. The fences were restored, with the pretty gate, over whose arch he promised himself, that another season should bring the blossoming vine that his lost sister had loved.
He sought also, in various places, those articles of furniture which had been disposed of through necessity, and which he had valued in earlier days. Soon the old clock, with a new case, merrily ticked in the corner, and the cushioned arm-chair again stood by the hearth-stone. Near it was poor Margaret’s work-table, with a freshly-polished surface, on which he laid, when about to take possession, the large family Bible bearing his father’s name.
Bright and happy was that morning, when leaning on his arm, the children walking hand in hand beside them, neatly apparelled, the widowed mother approached the home endeared by tender recollections and whence, poor and desolate, she had gone forth. As she paused a moment at the door the overflowing, unutterable emotion, ’was gratitude for the restored virtue of the being most beloved on earth. It would seem that congenial thoughts occupied him. for drawing her arm more tenderly within his own, he said: “Lo! this thy son was dead, and is alive again, and was lost, and is found.”
L. H. Sigourney.
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men.” Gal. vi. 10.
“ The knife fell from his quivering hand and sounded on the pavement.”
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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
RAIN OR NO RAIN.
In the little parish of Yellowdale the farmers 3 had long been without a minister. One day the Rev. Mr. Surely visited the village, and was asked to stay over Sunday and preach to them. The people were pleased with his sermons, and some were anxious to have him stop. A meeting was called to know the mind of the parish. “I don’t see any use in having a minister,” said Sharp, a rich old farmer, “a parson can’t learn one anything; if we’ve any money to spare, we better lay it out in something that will bring a fairer return.” The Sabbath-loving part of the people argued strongly against him. “Well,” answered Sharp, not choosing to show himself convinced, “I’ve heard tell of ministers that could pray for rain, and bring it, if we could hit one of that sort I’d go for keeping him.”
Mr. Sharp was a man of consequence, and the younger and less knowing of his neighbours were quite taken with the idea. “That would be a minister worth having, they thought. And after much talk it was agreed to ask Mr. Surely to stay on this condition, that he would give them rain, or fair weather when they wanted it; for their farms often suffered both from severe droughts and heavy rains. Mr. Surely was immediately waited upon by a committee of the parish, who soon came back bringing the minister with them. “I will accept your terms upon one condition,” said he, “that you must agree upon what sort of weather you want.” This appeared reasonable, and matters were arranged for a year’s stay at Yellowdale.
Weeks passed on, bringing Midsummer heats. For three weeks it had not rained, and the young corn was beginning to curl with drought. Now for the minister’s promise, “Come,” said Sharp, with one or two others, whose hilly farms were suffering, “we need rain;” you remember your promise.” “Certainly,” answered the minister, “call a meeting.” A meeting was called.
“Now my friends,” said the pastor, “what is it you want?”
“Rain, rain,” shouted half-a-dozen voices.
“Very well, when will you have it?”
“This very night—all night long,” said Sharp.
“No, no, not to night,” cried Mr. Smith, “I’ve six or seven tons of well-made hay out; I would not have it wet for anything.”
“So have I,” added Mr. Peck, “no rain to-night.”
“Will you have it to-morrow, asked the minister. But it would take all to-morrow taking it in. So objections came up for the two or three next days. “In four days then?” said Mr. Surely.
“Yes,” cried Sharp, “all the hay will be in, and no more need to be cut till—-“
“Stop, stop,” cried Mrs. Sharp, pulling her husband smartly by the sleeve, “that day we have set to go to Snow Hill. It mus’nt rain then.”
In short, the meeting resulted in just no conclusion at all for it was found quite impossible to agree.
“Until you make up your minds, said the pastor on leaving, “we must all trust in the Lord.”
Both Mr. Smith and Mr. Peck got their hay in, but the day the Sharps were to go to Snow-hill it began to rain in good earnest. Sharp lost his visit; but his crops gained.
And so it happened once or twice again. The year rolled by, and the people could never all agree upon what kind of weather they wanted. Mr. Surely, of course had no occasion to fulfil his part of the contract, and the result was that they began to open their eyes to the fact that this world would be a strange place if its inhabitants should govern it. They saw that nature’s laws could be safely trusted in the hands of nature’s God.
At the close of the year the minister spoke of leaving. This the people would not listen to; “But I cannot stay under the old contract,” said he.
“Nor do we want you to, said Sharp, much humbled, “only stay and teach us and our children how to know God, and to obey his laws.”
THE WIDOW’S SON;
ANIGHT WITH THE WASHINGTONIANS.
(Continued from page 99.)
He seemed bewildered at all this; he but dimly comprehended its meaning. But he was becoming more and more sobered every moment. By this time the regular proceedings of the meeting which consisted principals of the relation of experiences. To these he listened with the deepest interest, and often could be seen drawing his hand across his eyes evidently much affected. As one and another told how he had been enabled, to overcome the thirst for liquor, that had at one time been intolerable, I could see him lifting his head with an air of confidence that made my heart feel glad in my bosom.
After the speaking was over, and the pledge was read, he was the first to come forward and inscribe his name. As he returned to his seat, I stepped forward and took his hand.
“You will keep that pledge? I believe you will,” I said confidently.
“By God’s help, I will! O sir, I can never thank you enough for bringing me here!”
“Remain faithful, and that will he my highest reward.”
“I will, I will, God being my helper,” he replied, earnestly grasping my hand, and then passed on to his seat.
I need not say that my heart glowed in my bosom, and that I felt more than ever resolved to speak a warning or encouraging word to the poor drunkard wherever I should meet him. The history of the individual I have alluded to is one of much interest, involving details of a tender and pathetic character. Ireceived it in part from his own lips, months after his reformation, and partly from his aged mother, who has invoked blessings on my head a hundred and a hundred times. Without further preliminaries, I will introduce it to the reader.
THE WIDOW’S SON.
“I am here, father,” replied the son, coming quickly to the bedside, and bending over his dying parent with tender solicitude, mingled with deep sorrow at the sad bereavement he was evidently about to sustain.
“Is your mother here, Alfred,” the father said, as his son, just verging upon manhood. stood near him.
“She has left the room for a few minutes. Shall I call her?”
“No, my son, for I wish to speak to you alone.”
A brief pause ensued, and then the father proceeded:—
“Alfred, a child can never know all that a tender mother feels for him—all that she has suffered for him. If he could know it, and feel it, he would never neglect her, or think lightly of her. You, my son, have been blessed with the — tenderest mother—one, who from the moment the light of this world dawned upon you, has not ceased to love you and care for you with the most affectionate solicitude. Time nor strength will permit me to tell you of all her care, and anxiety, and watchfulness over you through the period of infancy and youth, nor how untiring have been our exertions in the effort to impress upon you those high and pure principles, that, if obeyed, will be your guide and defence in manhood. And now, that I am about to leave you—now that he, upon whom your mother has leaned so long, is about being taken from her, will not her only son repay her deep and untiring solicitude by a return of care and affection that shall, in some degree, compensate for so great a loss? But I need not ask you this question, my son, I have confidence in you. I am sure that the genuine truths we have endeavoured so carefully to implant in your mind, must and will take root, and produce good fruits. As for me, my son, standing as I now do upon the utmost verge of time, I am not afraid to pass through the narrow strait of death. I am conscious that I have endeavoured, through a long life, to live in obedience to the pure and elevated principles of the Gospel of Christ, and this now sustains me. And I pass away from this stage of existence with the more calmness under the deep consciousness which I have, that my removal will only bind the two beloved ones whom I leave behind me, in stronger bonds of affection.
(To be continued.)
A NEWHAVEN FISHWIFE.
The fishing population on the east coast of Scotland are a very primitive and unsophisticated race. From their habit of constantly intermarrying amongst themselves, their manners and customs have undergone little change for more than a century. The labour of providing for the wants of a household is equally divided between the husband and the wife. The former goes to sea in the evening, with his partners in the boat, and returns in the morning with a cargo of fish. No sooner, however, has the boat been drawn ashore, than he walks off to his home, and leaves his wife and those of his partners to divide the fish amongst them. These they accordingly transfer to their several baskets—or creels, as they call them—-which they forthwith shoulder, and march off to the nearest town, for the purpose of disposing of their burden while yet fresh. The money thus obtained, however, they do not account for to their husbands on their return. On the contrary, they retain it in their own possession, and purchase therewith not only every needful article for themselves and families, but also their husbands’ clothing and whatever else they see them to require. This habit of keeping the purse naturally gives these sturdy matrons a high idea of their own position in the little commonwealth. In fact, they consider themselves the most important part of it; and it is no uncommon thing to hear them remark of any girl, about to enter on what they consider a somewhat early marriage, ‘Daft lassie! What would she do wi’ a man? she can hardly keep hersell yet!”
Owing to the same habit of intermarrying amongst themselves, it frequently happens that there are several individuals of the same name in a locality, so that a stranger has some difficulty in finding out the person he is in search of. Thus, a gentleman some years ago, on approaching a fishing village in the north, inquired of a girl whom he overtook on the road, if she could inform him where John Ross lived. “Whilk (which) John Ross?” said the girl. The man he was in search of being advanced in life, the gentleman answered, “Old John Ross.” “Aye, but whilk auld John Ross?” was the immediate rejoinder. Recollecting that his humble friend was tall as well as old, the gentleman mentioned this circumstance, but still it would not do. “Whilk auld lang John Ross?” was the next interrogatory; and it was not until he had explained that the John Ross he wanted had a squint in one eye, that he received the final answer, “ Oo, auld lang gleed John Ross! He bides in the farres’ awa’house in the back raw; yonder, whar ye see the lum reekin.”
The Rev. Rowland Hill, on going to preach at Bristol Tabernacle, began his series of sermons on the eve of Bristol fair. His text was, Isaiah lv. 1, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat, yea, come, buy wine -and milk without money and without price.” The congregation was large. Thus he began: “My dear hearers, I guess many of you are come to attend Bristol fair. So am I. You do not mean to show your goods until tomorrow; hut I shall exhibit mine to-night. You are afraid purchasers will not come up to your prices; but I am afraid my buyers will not come down to mine; for mine (striking his hand on the Bible) are ‘without money and without price.’”
Let us not trouble ourselves and our neighbours with unprofitable disputations, but all agree to spread to the uttermost of our power, the quiet and peaceable Gospel of Christ. Near fifty years ago, a great and good man, Dr. Potter, then Archbishop of Canterbury, gave me a piece of advice, for which I have ever since had occasion to bless God, “If you desire to be extensively useful,” said he, “ do not spend your time and strength in contending for or against such things as are of a disputable nature, but in testifying against open notorious vice, and in promoting real essential holiness.”
THE LATE FATHER MATHEW.
This celebrated apostle of temperance and benefactor of his country is now no more. He expired on Monday, the 8th day of December last, and his remains were interred in the Cemetery of the Botanic Gardens, in Cork, amid the tears of tens of thousands.
We cannot, perhaps, pay a higher tribute to the memory of this benevolent character than by quoting the words of that amiable authoress, the late Mrs. Horatio Montefiore, (sister to Lady Rothschild) in a letter to a friend- —
“It seems to me that Father Mathew has carried out a noble mission, and that the working class have had few better friends than this untiring and zealous advocate of temperance. He has increased the comfort of thousands, and brought back love, and hope, and religion to many a hearth where once there was but sin, and discord, and misery.
It is in contemplation to erect a monument to the memory of Father Mathew, in addition to the one now to be seen on Mount Patrick. A “nation’s gratitude,” however, is a better memorial than any sculptured marble.
MATHEW TESTIMONIAL, MOUNT PATRICK, NEAR CORK.
THE WIFE TO HER HUSBAND.
[The following admirable lines, by an American lady, were found in the cottage of a tippling gardener, in the United States. They had the happy effect of winning him from the noisy club or tap room, to his own domestic hearth.]
You took me William, when a girl, unto your home and heart,
To bear in all your after fate a fond and faithful part;
And tell me, have I ever tried that duty to forego,
Or pined there was not joy for me when you were sunk in woe?
No; I would rather share your tear than any other’s glee,
For though you’re nothing to the world, you’re all the world to me.
You make a palace of my shed, this rough hewn bench a throne,
There’s sunlight for me in your smiles, and music in your tone.
I look upon you when you sleep my eyes with tears grow dim,
I cry, O Parent of the poor, look down from Heaven on him!
Behold him toil from day to day exhausting strength and soul—
O look with mercy on him, Lord, for thou can’st make him whole.
And when at last relieving sleep, has on my eyelids smiled,
How oft are they forbad to close in slumber by our child;
I take the little murmurer that spoils my span of rest,
And feel it is a part of thee I lull upon my breast.
There’s only one return I crave , I may not need it long,
And it may soothe thee when I’m where the wretched feel no wrong;
I ask not for a kinder tone, for thou wert ever kind;
I ask not for less frugal fare, my fare I do not mind;
I ask not for attire more gay—if such as I have got
Suffice to make me fair to thee, for more I murmur not.
But I would ask some share of hours that you on clubs bestow;
Of knowledge, which you prize so much, might I not something know?
Subtract from meetings amongst men each eve an hour for me;
Make me companion of your soul as I may safely be.
If you will read, I’ll sit and work, and then when you’re away
Less tedious I shall find the time, dear William, of your stay;
A meet companion soon 111 be for e en your studious hours,
And teacher of those little ones you call your cottage flowers;
And if we be not rich and great, we may he wise and kind,
And as my heart can warm your heart, so may my mind your mind.
Some of our readers have expressed a strong desire that the railway principle of “compensation for injuries” should be adopted in cases of wife beating. The late Lord Mayor of London, (Mr. Alderman Salomans), whose abilities on the judicial bench have excited the admiration of thousands, expressed his regret, in a case which came before him in October last, that the law did not authorize him to compel the publican who had supplied a poor drunkard with liquor, to support the wife and family whilst the prisoner was undergoing his six months imprisonment. It is worthy of being made extensively known that this principle has been adopted in some of the American states, with evident advantage. If a publican supplies a man with liquor until he becomes intoxicated, and if the man commits any crime whilst so intoxicated, and be committed to prison, the publican is called upon by the authorities to pay for the support of the poor wife and children during the time that the drunkard is in prison!
Let not enjoyment lessen but augment affection; it being the basest of passions to value what we have not, yet slight it when possessed.
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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
A NOBLE TESTIMONY.
We have met with various striking instances of Sabbath-keeping families who have prospered in the world, and of Sabbath-breaking ones who have been brought down to to poverty, but have never known a Sabbath fact told with such thrilling effect as the following. Edward Corderoy, Esq., a highly esteemed merchant in the metropolis, was called upon to address a meeting of several thousands of the men of London in Exeter Hall last February on the question of Sunday Rest, and in the course of his telling remarks, which were listened to with the deepest interest, he said:—
“I knew a man once, who honored the Sabbath day. He was the manager of large works for a Government contractor, and had to pay some hundreds of men on a Saturday night. I think it was at a time, when, by a change in the coinage, some temporary works were required in haste—(I was but a child then);—his employer told him he must work on the Sunday, and have his men in the yard. ‘Sir, replied he, I will work for you till twelve o’clock on the Saturday night, but I dare not work on the Sabbath. I have a higher master to serve.’ ‘George,’ said the master, ‘my back is not so broad as your’s, but I will bear the blame.’ His foreman told him, ‘There is a day coming when each must give an account for himself,’ and firmly but respectfully, he declined to work on the Sabbath.
“Yet that man was but a servant; he had a wife and six children: had he lost his situation, he had nothing but his character and his skill as a workman to sustain him. You would say ‘O yes! he had far more, he had the blessing of the God of the Sabbath!
“The Sabbath morning came—who that witnessed the sight ever could forget it? The men assembled and went to work under other orders than those they were accustomed to receive. This good man assembled his family—the Scriptures were read—prayer was offered—the frugal meal was despatched—and then, father and mother, and the six children left the yard (for they all lived on the premises) in the sight of the assembled workmen, and walked solemnly away to the House of God.
“I thank God that that working man was my father.
“The situation was not lost; the God-fearing workingman was all the more honored and trusted because of his religious consistency. He closed the eyes of his employer when the friends of more prosperous times had nearly all forsaken him. The family my father served consisted of four brothers, the eldest of whom was buried with honors in Westminster Abbey—my father attended the funeral of the youngest in an ordinary grave-yard, and none were found to erect a tombstone!
“My friends, whatever of prosperity has been vouchsafed to my brothers and myself, I unhesitatingly attribute, under God, to that honored father’s instruction and example, who would not break the commandment to ‘Keep holy the Sabbath Day.’”
We have been much interested by hearing from a gentleman who recently travelled in Cumberland, of a happy looking old man who was wheeling along the high road a novel looking burden. On enquiry, it proved to be the Perambulating Library; the large box containing a supply of books which the messenger was taking from Mealsgate to Bolton New Houses. On depositing his burden, he would then have to take the books which had been in use at Bolton New Houses forward to another village, and so on for a circle of eight villages, comprising in addition to the above, Ireby, Torpenhow, Bothel, Bolton Low Houses, Sandal, Bolton Gate, and Uldale. As some of our readers may wish to imitate this plan of diffusing good literature amongst the rural population, we have procured a copy of the Rules, from which we make a few extracts:—
“The management shall be vested in a Committee, consisting of the Patron, (Sir Wilfred Lawson, Bart.) the President, George Moore, Esq., London, the Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer, the Clergymen, and other Ministers of the district, &c.
“A Librarian shall be appointed at each station, to receive the Books, and to lend them out to the Members of the Society.
“No Books shall be admitted into the Library, either by purchase or donation, until the same shall have been examined by the Committee.”
“Each person on paying the annual subscription of one shilling, shall be furnished with a list of the rules, &c., &c., also with a Member’s Card.
GEORGE MOORE, ESQ.
We are anxious to impress upon the minds of the thousands of hard-handed workingmen who monthly peruse our pages, that it is one of the peculiar blessings of Great Britain, that there is perhaps no one, however humble his position in life, who may not, by industry and perseverance, under God’s blessing, elevate himself in society.
No nation in the world can boast of such a noble array of Peers, Baronets, Knights, Magistrates, Merchant and Manufacturing Princes, who have sprung from the industrial ranks of life.
In order to inspire our readers with an earnest desire for self-improvement and the wise employment of their leisure hours, we purpose giving, occasionally, portraits, with brief notices of well-known characters, who, although by the Divine blessing upon their industry, are now ranking amongst the wealthy of the land, are not ashamed to speak of their early days.
We have much pleasure in commencing these notices with the portrait of George Moore, Esq., one of the Merchant Princes of the City of London, partner in the celebrated firm of Messrs. Copestake, Moore, and Crampton, of Bow Church Yard.
At a recent festive gathering of the Commercial Travellers’ School, the chairman, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton said,— “Mr. George Moore, the treasurer of this society, is an eminent example of the qualities by which wealth is obtained, and of the virtues in the exercise of which it should be spent. He may well be proud of having been the architect of his own fortune. When he came to London he was but seventeen years old, and was without a friend. At the age of twenty-two he became a traveller for an eminent firm in the lace trade. His zeal and his abilities founded his reputation. That reputation led on to fortune. He became partner in that great firm which he has since so conspicuously advanced. Well has he since used his advantages, by doing all the good in his power, in promoting charities for the relief of distress and for the education of the young. He has thrown his whole heart and soul into services of that nature with as much ardour as if he were again building up a fortune for his own children.”
Mr. Moore was a Cumberland youth, and we rejoice to find that he takes a special interest in the diffusion of pure literature amongst the working classes of his native county. He established the Perambulating Library at the place of his birth, and he is now originating
A BOOK- HAWKING SOCIETY
We have to acknowledge with thanks the encouragement which he has afforded to our labours by the circulation of many thousand copies of the British, Workman, and by presenting Yearly Parts* for the railway waiting rooms on the various lines of railway in Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Northumberland.
In Ragged Schools, and Reformatories for Criminals, Mr. Moore now takes an active part, and we pray that his life may be long spared to aid these and many other philanthropic enterprises.
* The Yearly Parts for 1855 and 1856 are strongly bound together in cloth for this purpose.
Are you not surprised to find how independent of money peace of conscience is, and how much happiness can be condensed in the humblest home? A cottage will not hold the bulky furniture and sumptuous accommodations of a mansion, but if God be there, a cottage will hold as much happiness as might stock a palace.
When we fancy others-better off than ourselves, it may only be because we know our circumstances, but do not know theirs.
Lord Byron, in speaking of his life, said, I once attempted to enumerate the happy days I had lived, which might, according to the common use of language, be called happy. I could not make them count more than eleven, and I believe I have a very distinct remembrance of every one. I often ask myself whether between the present time and the day of my death, I shall be able to make up the round dozen.
TO OUR READEES.
We take the earliest opportunity of thanking our numerous friends and correspondents for the earnest response which they have so very unanimously given to our appeal for new subscribers. It is with feelings of gratitude that we announce the pleasing fact of having commenced the New Year with a circulation of eighty-four thousand copies. We indulge the hope that another three months of continued effort will realize the required 100,000.
Amongst the various excellent plans for extending the circulation, we have felt peculiar pleasure in the very successful one adopted by a few ladies in Middlesex. Some months ago, they gave away a copy to each cottager in the village, promising to call again for the names of subscribers. About one hundred agreed to take copies monthly, and the ladies cheerfully undertook to deliver these themselves. The monthly visits have afforded many pleasing opportunities for conversation with the wives and families of the working classes. The subscribers have gradually increased, and we have now a letter before us from one of the ladies, in which she says,
“I am glad to state that we have now the pleasure of supplying about two hundred copies monthly, and that we have met with an interesting case of a reformed drunkard, whose change of life is owing to his perusal of the British Workman.”
For such a testimony we desire to record our thanks to God. That he has been pleased to bless so feeble an instrumentality is our highest reward.
Several other communications of a somewhat similar character we purpose noticing in our next, particularly the one from Mr. Jackson, of the Dunfermline and Charlestown Foundries.
WAYS OF HELPING US.
The following are effective modes of extending the circulation:—
1. Getting booksellers to expose copies for sale in their windows. (A large Show Bill for Booksellers may be had on application to the Publishers.)
2. Recommending Employers to present copies to their men, for two or three months, with the intention of inducing them to purchase the future numbers for themselves.
3. Sending out specimen copies to your friends in the Colonies, and requesting them to promote the circulation.
How to secure Monthly Packets of the BRITISH WORKMAN delivered at your own door, post free.
Packets of the British Workman will be forwarded to every part of the United Kingdom, post free, according to the following scale, the amount being paid in advance by post office order, (or if under 10s., in postage stamps) to the Publishers, Messrs. PARTRIDGE and Co., 34, Paternoster Row. London.
A packet of s. d. £ s. d.
*4 copies for 0 4 Or for one year 0 4 0
8 „ 0 8 „ 0 8 0
16 „ 1 4 0 16 0
24 „ 2 0 „ 14 0
32 „ 2 8 „ 1 12 0
40 „ 3 4 „ 2 0 0
50 „ 4 2 „ 2 10 0
* Fewer than 4 copies cannot be sent at this rate post free.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
We are again compelled to postpone the insertion of several Notices.