Imatges de pàgina
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ATHER, let me dedicate

All this Year to Thee, In whatever worldly state

Thou wilt have me be.. Not from

sorrow, pain, or care, Freedom dare I claim; This alone shall be my prayer,

“ Glorify Thy Name !” Can a child presume to choose

Where or how to live ? Can a Father's love refuse

All the best to give ?
More Thou givest every day

Than the best can claim ;
Nor withholdest aught that may

Glorify Thy Name !"
Vol. VIII. No. 1.

If in mercy Thou wilt spare

Joys that yet are mine : If on life, serene and fair,

Brighter rays may shine, Let my glad heart, while it sings,

Thee in all proclaim ;
And, whate'er the future brings,

Glorify Thy Name !"
If Thou callest to the Cross,

And its shadow come,
Turning all my gain to loss,

Shrouding heart and home, Let me think how Thy dear Son,

To His glory came, And, in deepest woe, pray on, "Glorify Thy Name !"

[JANUARY, 1871.

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LOST IN THE SNOW; FOUND IN

CHRIST. HIGHLAND widow left her home early one morning, in order to reach before evening the residence of a kinsman, who had promised to assist her to pay

her rent. She carried on her back her only child,

a boy two years old. The journey was a long one. I was following the same wild and lonely path when I first heard the story I am going to tell you. The moun

tain-track, after leaving the small village by the seashore where the widow lived, passes through a green valley, watered by a peaceful stream which flows from a neighbouring lake ; it then winds along the margin of the solitary lake, until, near its further end, it suddenly turns into an extensive copsewood of oak and birch. From this it emerges half-way up a rugged mountain-side, and entering a dark glen, through which a torrent rushes amidst great masses of granite, it at last conducts the traveller, by a zig-zag ascent, to a narrow gorge, which is hemmed in upon every side by giant precipices. Overhead is a strip of blue sky, while all below is dark and gloomy. From this mountain-pass the widow's dwelling was ten miles off, and no human habitation was nearer than her own. She had undertaken a long journey, indeed! But the rent was due some weeks before, and the sub-factor threatened to dispossess her, as the village in which she lived, and in which her family had lived for two generations, was about to be swept away in order to enlarge a sheepfarm. The morning when the widow left her home gave promise of a lovely day; but before noon a sudden change took place in the weather. Northward, the sky became dark and lowering. Masses of clouds rested upon the hills. Sudden gusts of wind began to whistle among the rocks, and to ruffle with black squalls the surface of the loch. The wind was succeeded by rain, and the rain by sleet, and sleet by a heavy fall of snow. It was the month of May,

-for that storm is yet remembered as the “Great May Storm."

The wildest day of winter never beheld flakes of snow falling heavier or faster, or whirling with more fury through the mountain-pass, filling every hollow and whitening every rock. Weary and wet and cold, the widow reached that pass with her child. She knew that a mile beyond it there was a mountain shieling which could give her good shelter ; but the moment she attempted to face the storm of snow which was rushing through the gorge, all hope failed of proceeding in that direction. To return home was equally impossible. She must find shelter. The wild cat's or fox's den would be welcome. After wandering for some time among the huge fragments of rock which skirted the base of the overhanging precipices, she at last found a more shel

tered nook. Crouching beneath a projecting ledge of rock, she pressed her child to her trembling bosom.

The storm continued to rage. The snow was accumulating overhead. Hour after hour passed. It became bitterly cold. The evening approached. The widow's heart was sick with fear and anxiety. Her child-her only child—was all she thought of. She wrapped him in her shawl, but the poor thing had been scantily clad, and the shawl was thin and worn.

The widow was poor, and her clothing could hardly defend her from the piercing cold of such a night as this. But whatever became of herself, her child must be preserved. The snow, in whirling eddies, entered the recess, which afforded them at best but miserable shelter. The night came on. The wretched mother stripped off almost all her own clothing and wrapped it round her child, whom at last in despair, she put into a deep crevice of the rock, among some dried heather and fern. And now she resolves, at all hazards, to brave the storm and return home in order to get assistance for her babe, or to perish in the attempt. Clasping her infant to her heart, and covering his face with tears and kisses, she laid him softly down in sleep, and rushed into the snowy drift.

The night of storm was succeeded by a clear blue sky, and wreaths of mist hung along the mountain-tops, while a thousand waterfalls poured down their sides. Dark figures, made visible at a distance on the white ground, might be seen with long poles examining every hollow near the mountain path. They are people from the village, who are searching for the widow and her son. They have reached the pass. A cry is heard by one of the shepherds, as he sees a bit of a tartan cloak among the snow. They have found the widow-dead; her arms stretched forth as if imploring for assistance! Before noon they discovered her child by his cries. He was safe in the crevice of the rock. The story of that woman's affection for her child was soon read in language which all understood. Her almost naked body revealed her love.

Many a tear was shed, many an exclamation expressive of admiration and affection were uttered from sorrowing Highland hearts when, on that evening, the aged pastor gathered the village in the deserted house of mourning, and by prayer and fatherly exhortation sought to improve, for their souls' good, an event so sorrowful.

*

*

More than half a century passed away. The aged and faithful pastor was long dead, though his memory still lingers in many a retired glen among the children's children of pious parents. His son, whose locks were white with age, was preaching to a congregation of Highlanders in one of our great cities. The subject of his discourse was the love of Christ. In illustrating the selfsacrificing nature of that “ love which seeketh not her own," he narrated the story of the Highland widow, whom he knew in.

me.

boyhood. “If that child is now alive,” he asked, “what would you think of his heart if he did not cherish an affection for his mother's memory, and if the sight of her poor tattered cloak, which she had wrapped round him in order to save his life at the cost of her own, did not fill him with gratitude and love too deep for words? Yet what hearts have you, my hearers, if over the memorials of your Saviour's sacrifice of Himself you do not feel them glow with deeper love and with adoring gratitude ?”

A few days after this, a message was sent by a dying man, requesting to see the preacher. The request was speedily complied with. The sick man seized the minister by the hand, and gazing intently on his face, said, “You do not-you cannot recognise

But I know you, and your father before you. I have been a wanderer in many lands. I have visited every quarter of the globe, and fought and bled for my king and country. I came to this town a few weeks ago in bad health. Last Sabbath I entered your church, where I might once more hear, in the language of my youth, the Gospel preached, and I heard you tell the story of the widow and her son.' Here the voice of the old soldier faltered, his emotion almost choked his utterance; but, recovering himself for a moment, he cried, “I am that son!” and burst into a flood of tears. “Yes," he continued, “I am that son! Never, never did I forget my mother's love. Well might you ask what a heart would mine have been if she had been forgotten by me! Though I never saw her, dear to me is her memory; and my only desire now is, to lay my bones beside hers in the old churchyard among the hills. But, sir, what breaks my heart, and covers me with shame, is this : until now, I never saw with the eyes of the soul, the love of my Saviour in giving Himself for me--a poor, lost, hell-deserving sinner! I confess it! I confess it !” he cried, looking up to heaven, his eyes streaming with tears ; and pressing the minister's hand close to his breast, he added, “ It was God who made you tell that story. Praise be to His holy Name, that my dear mother has not died in vain, and that the prayers which I was told she used to offer for me, have been at last answered; for the love of my mother has been blessed by the Holy Spirit, in making me see, as I never saw before, the love of the Saviour! I see it, I believe it; I have found deliverance where I found it in my childhood-in the cleft in the rock, but it is the Rock of Ages !” And, clasping his hands, he repeated with intense fervour, "CAN A WOMAN

SUCKING CHILD, THAT SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE COMPASSION ON THE SON OF HER WOMB? YEA, THEY MAY FORGET, YET WILL I NOT FORGET THEE.

FORGET HER

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