Page images

Heart and Hearth



A Happy Christmas to you all !



[ocr errors]

ISHES ride on fleet And, first, shall we not humbly and

horses. How many gratefully adore at Bethlehem the Mystery of these invisible of Divine Love? “Great is the mystery of travellers are at this

godliness—God was manifest in the flesh.” joyous season pass- “Christians, awake, salute the happy morn ing hither and thi.

Whereon the Saviour of the world was born ; ther, more swiftly Rise to adore the mystery of love, even than the lightning flash or current of

Which hosts of angels chanted from above !" the mysterious telegraph.

As we ponder, in the presence of the We cannot employ the telegraph to con- Infant Saviour, the lowliness of His greatvey our wishes—the cost of the messages ness, and contrast it with the pride of our we should need to send would empty a good poor fallen hearts, let us make humble conmany deep purses; but we can use the more fėssion of our sinfulness; and then, as we useful if not the more wonderful machinery think of the self-sacrifice of His love,of the Printing Press, and by its instru- Love Divine, "all love excelling" — love mentality despatch and deliver in the home which prompted Him to give Himself, -we of every one of our readers our hearty shall surely rejoice in the sweet tidings of word of Christmas greeting

the angels' carol :A HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL !

“Peace on earth and mercy mild, May we add---anticipating in order

God and sinners reconciled!" that we may thank—that we doubt not, This is tho chief lesson we learn at when the eye of the reader rests upon Bethlehem; but it is not the only lesson. this page, a brother wish will travel back Are we not also taught there the Dignity on the wings of kindly thought

which is thrown over Human Life by the fact “ A Happy Christmas to our Editor too !that the Son of God took our nature upon

Well, we cannot but feel that the lessons Him and dwelt among us ? of Christmas-tide ought to make We have read a story which may help “ happy;" and if we learn them we are to impress upon us this Christmas lesson. sure they will. “Let us," then,

now go

When the Pretender, Charles Edward, was even unto Bethlehem," and with the quitting the shores of our land after his shepherds listen to the Teacher there. fruitless attempt upon the crown,

N 2

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

he was



It may

accompanied to the vessel by a Highlander, the particular reason of his preference, the who had given himself up entirely to the reply was—"Because on our birthdays only service of the man whom he considered to

one receives presents, but on Christmasbe his monarch. They parted on the Day it is 'giving all round.'” Now I think shore, never to meet again in this life; but this was an excellent answer. The best ere they parted, Charles Edward, touched

Christmas carol, next to the carol the by the devotion of the man, forgot the angels sung, is “Thanks be unto God for usual stiffness of princely etiquette, and His unspeakable Gift:!” And the best way reaching out his hand to his humble friend, of showing our thankfulness, is "giving all gave his hand a hearty and a loving grasp. round.” Ever after that, the Highlander, when any It is evident that our friends in the acquaintance happened to approach, put illustration which precedes this paper are his right hand into his bosom, and offered not likely to lack a bountiful provision of only the left. The thing was remarked Christmas fare" on Christmas Day. We upon, and he was asked why he did it.

hope none of our readers will lack it either. “Oh,” he said, “his hand was sick,”. But there are

some who will, unless meaning his hand had received some injury. those to whom God has given more, whilst But upon being pressed more closely, he they “eat the fat and drink the sweet," admitted that, inasmuch as his monarch remember the ministry of love. had grasped that hand, he could never be poor Lazarus lying at the gate has consent to allow it to be profaned by a not been altogether free from blame for meaner touch.

neglecting to emulate the “wisdom” of the May we not say, inasmuch as Christ ant, who, although “having no guide, hath trod this earth in human flesh, hath overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in breathed our air, hath mingled in our the summer and gathereth her food in occupations, hath sat by a family fireside, the harvest;” but let us not blame him and mingled in human cares and human God's open hand dispenses "daily joys,—there is a dignity thrown round bread” all the year round-often to those human life, round every pursuit (how- who forget to thank Him and at Christever humble, so it be honest) which mas above all other times He seems should make us most careful how we

to bid us “ deal our bread to the hungry." pollute or degrade it? How would our Even the poor have some who are poorer daily lives be ennobled, if we were always than themselves; and the “widow's mite” looking to Jesus as our Example: ask- may make some desolate heart rejoice. ing ourselves in seasons of difficulty and In the joy of another at Christmas we temptation, 66 What would Jesus do ?” shall best increase our own. Kind words And then seeking heavenly grace to enable and loving deeds and tender sympathy, us to “walk worthy of our high vocation,” are gifts all can bestow; and these at as His “ friends," His “ brethren” ?

Christmastide should be scattered everyOne other Christmas lesson we must where. note—the invitation which Bethlehem gives Thus have we gathered three Bethlehem to one and all to engage in the Mutual lessons. Need we add, a Christmas kept Ministry of Love. " If God so loved us, we in this spirit would not fail to prove å ought also to love one another."

"Happy Christmas"? The joy of heaven “I always like Christmas Day better would seem to descend to earth; Faith, than our birthdays,” said a bright-eyed Hope, and Charity would be guests home treasure to his father. When asked in the home;

and the Saviour's birth




[ocr errors]



would be regarded as the earnest, not only of our birth into His kingdom of grace here, but of our birth into His kingdom of glory hereafter.

As embracing, then, our practical heed to these Christmas lessons—“the mystery of

Divine Love," "the Dignity which is thrown
over human life by the Incarnation,” and
“the mutual Ministry of loving hearts"
we wish our readers one and all-

A Lappy Christmas.


A Christmas Welcome to the Saviour-Guest.

ND art Thou come, dear Saviour! Hath Thy love
Thus made Thee stoop and leave Thy throne, abovo

The lofty heavens, and thus to dress
In dust, to visit mortals ! Could no less
A condescension serve ? And, after all,
The mean reception of a cratch*—a stall !
Dear Lord, I'll fetch Thee hence. I have a room-
'Tis poor, but ’tis my best—if Thou wilt come
Within so small a cell, where I would fain
Mine and the world's Redeemer entertain.
I mean my heart. 'Tis filthy I confess,
And will not mend Thy lodging, Lord, unless
Thou send before Thine harbinger-I mean
Thy pure and purging grace---to make it clean,
And sweep its inmost corners : then I'll try
To wash it also with a weeping eye.
And when 'tis swept and washed, I then will go,
And, with Thy leave, I'll fetch some flowers that grow
In Thine own garden-Faith and Love to Thee.
With these I'll dress it up, and there shall be
My Rosemary and Bays. Yet, when my best
Is done, the room's not fit for such a Guest.
But, here's the cure-Thy presence, Lord, alone
Can make the stall a court, the cratch a throne !

* The old word for manger.

The Dear that is Past. ET us review the year that is past. vain purposes, and fruitless resolves! We

What have we done for Christ with have all cause for deep humiliation. Too

the talents we possess, be they few or little prayer! too little study of the Bible ! many P Some can point to a fair balance too little zeal for God! sheet, showing an increase of worldly means; Let us meditate upon what the Lord hath wbat have we done, whether rich or poor, to done for us, whilst we have done so little for increase the treasure laid up in heaven? Him; and, constrained by His love, both in Alas! how much of life has been wasted—is providence and in grace, devote ourselves wasted-in doing nothing! Alas ! how much more faithfully to His service! of it has been spent in dreams and fancies,

C. B.

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

bad voyage.

Roger Beckinsall's Story; or, The Milestones on the Road. BY EMMA MARSHALL, AUTHOR OF BETWEEN THE CLIFFS ; MATTHEW FROST," ETC. CHAPTER VI.

father had gone to lie down. Presently she spoke up quite clear and loud,

Roger dear, I am going to mother. I shall HAT good minister's house

see her very soon; Jesus has told me so. Do became a second home to

go home to your father, Roger. Don't wait me; I owe him more than

too long. He is sure to love you just as God tongue can tell.

loves us. He is sure to be so kind.” But a change came over Dear little heart! There are few things that home, as over every: which have left a stronger mark on me than thing in this world. Thero

the words of that little child. was a bad fever in the neighbourhood, and She died that night with a smile upon her the minister's wife and their only child—little lips; and a few months after the minister had Mary-were laid low by it. The mother went

laid her by her mother he found he could no first. Her husband sat up with her every

longer bear his desolate home, and he went to night, and never left her; and I did all I

take another charge in a distant part. It was could after working hours to amuse and take a sore trouble to me, but I remembered little care of little Mary. The minister used to

Mary's words, and made up my mind to go warn me that I might catch the fever, but I home. I saved enough to pay part of my was not afraid not a bit.

passage, and I worked out the rest in the This child was like many who are called

passengers' cabin, waiting on the steward and home early. She was as sweet and pretty as a doing a lot of things which I had done when rosebud in June; and one of our own little ones I came over, four years before. We had a very who died was very like her. We often used to

Storms, wind, and tempest went talk of many things. I used to tell her of my near to send us to the bottom. Then we fell in home in England, of the church so old and grey, with foggy weather, and as the French ships of the primroses in the lane, of the beautiful big were lying about the Channel, we had a deal sea where the white ships sailed. I told her I

of trouble to avoid them. The first great Bonghad been naughty, and that I had run away parte had just come back from an island they from the best of fathers, and she used to say, sent him to, and war had broken out again in “Why don't you go home, Roger? He would be

Europe. sure to be glad to see you." I said, " I didn't As I shouldered all my worldly goods and know. I had written twice from the hospital walked ashore at Liverpool, I heard nothing and no answer had come. I expected he was talked of but the French, and every one won. determined I should reap what I had sown- dering how it would end. I thought then, as wild oats, as they call them.” Ah! mine was

I have thought dozens of times since, how a pretty heavy crop. Besides, unless I worked

lonely we are as we move through the world my passage out, it would cost a lot of money -I mean how our own troubles and sorrows to get over the great wide ocean, and it would

are nothing to anybody we pass in the journey take a long time to save it; and a good bit of of life. What was it to the crowd as I pride was left behind still. I did not fancy threaded my way through it that I was a the village people should have cause to say I prodigal going home, uncertain what I should had come back like a bad penny, with scarce a find there, weary-hearted and sad. No; we coat to cover me; so I would wait.

should often be badly off for sympathy if we “Don't wait till it too late, Roger dear," did not feel that One who is near us knows all. said little Mary one day. That was just before Does not that take the sting out of trouble she sickened of the fever.

when we feel it is understood and shared by She was so ill they never told her her One who loves us? Well, and what a wonder mother had gone first; but she wanted no of wonders that our dear Master is always telling at the last. I was with her. Her poor ready to be to us a friend and a helper, a

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

strong tower to which we may ever go and be days gone by. Mrs. Herbert turned and safe!

caught sight of me, and came quickly forward. It was a beautiful spring evening when, after Roger Beckinsall !” she exclaimed. “At long wanderings, I walked once more through last!” the village street of Seabourne. The twilight With all the kindness of a mother she led me favoured me. No one noticed me; or if they into the house, and then she told me the story did, no one knew me. I felt there must be I was craving to hear. My father only lived a changes, and so there were. A new name few months after I left him. A cold and chill was over the Raven Inn. I could see to read seized him in the winter of that year, and he it in big white and blue letters. So Jack had no strength and no spirit to bear up Braine must be gone. An old cottage at the against it. He died blessing me and forgiving end of the village was pulled down, and the me, listening to the last for the sound of my ground was planted with cabbages and pota- footsteps up the lane, saying, “ He will come toes.

back day.

At last I came to the church. That looked when her son told the news of dear young


answer ever came.

just the same; the jackdaws were flying in Mr. Herbert's death to Mrs. Herbert, his and out their holes in the tower, and there father promised to bring me home; but, as under the big tree was a lot of primroses you know, he left Boston before I reached it, growing, just as they had grown when I was and all trace of me was lost. Mrs. Herbert a little boy. Somehow I felt afraid to go up wrote to me to the Weston hospital, but no the lane to our door. Not a word had I heard

Well, my father was from my father since the day I left him to this spared all that trial and anxiety, which has hour.

been a comfort to me all my life. His last How slowly I went up to the old place, just words to Betsy Gale were—all of a sudden as as if I was dreading what I should find there.

if he were speaking to my mother—“Mary,” At last I was at the porch. The door was half he said, “ Mary, the boy has come home!” open, and a young woman with a baby in her When Mrs. Herbert had finished her story arms was standing by the fire, stirring some- she asked me for mine, and I told it; and all thing in a saucepan with one hand, while she about my dear young master's last days, as 1 held the child with the other. I could not have told it to you. She wept and rocked speak. I knew there was no welcome for me. herself to and fro, but she said over and over I stood speechless. Presently the young again, "Thank God for His goodness to my woman came forward, and said,

boy. He escaped from the hand of the fowler, Do you want to see my husband ? He is and I know he is safe. So let me thank down at the church, I think. If you step Him." there you will find him."

When I saw the dear lady cry, I wished I Down at the church! I saw it all. There could find tears; but though I wandered down was another parish clerk at Seabourne,-my to the churchyard in the dim light and knelt father's place knew him no more. I was turned by my parents' grave, no tears would come. into stone for a minute or two, and then a The news spread in the village that I was great groan passed my lips as I tottered out come home, and the next day-Sunday—as of the porch.

the bell was ringing for service, I found a “ Sit down, pray,” said the young woman; number of people waiting at the Lych gate 11. "you look very tired. Adam will be here speak to me. Some said I was that altered directly, I daresay."

they shouldn't have known me; some said But I turned off in silence. I couldn't something, some another, but I felt like one speak.

of the old stone figures the squire's tombI walked straight on like one in a dream to stone. the gate in the arch, and opening it I went in. I went into church and knelt down, and hid A figure clothed in black was pacing up and my face. Presently the service began, and as down a side-walk in the twilight, a tall figure Adam Beale's voice sounded from the desk, I I knew well, though it was more bent than in seemed to feel it was all true. I knelt on

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »