Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

370

OUR CHILDREN'S CORNER.

When satiated with food, it conceals what remains. Its food consists of roots, fruits, and nuts. It is a native of South America, and is hunted by the natives on account of its flesh, which resembles that of a rabbit.

It is easily tamed, and delights in gnawing every thing that comes in its way. The female produces, at all times of tho year, from four to six at a birth.

Our woodcut represents the long-nosed agouti; which is said formerly to bave inhabited most of the West Indian islands, but is now almost contined to St. Lucia. But it still abounds in Brazil and Guiana ACcording to Laborde, all the woods of Guiana are full of it, whether on hills, on plains, w in marshes.

OUR CHILDREN'S CORNER.

a

THE INFIDEL AND THE DYING for the first time since he had murmured it CHILD.

with childish carnestness in his mother's The child's disease was scarlet fever. Ten ear, his lips gave utterance to those hallowed days and nights of ever-deepening gloom words of prayer. At such an hour, unde had passed ; and in the silent night, having such circuinstances, it could not be uttered insisted that Evelyn, who had herself shown carelessly; and Euston Hastings understod symptoms of illness through the day, should its solemn import; its recognition of Goi's retire to bed, Euston Hastings sat alone, sovereignty; its surrender of all things to watching, with a tightening heart, the dis- Him. He understood it, we say; but Le turbed sleep of the little Eve. It was near trembled at it. His infidelity was annihimidnight when that troubled sleep was lated; but he believed as the unreconciked broken. The child turned from side to side believe, and his heart almost stood still with uneasily, and looked somewhat wildly around fear while " Thy will be done in earth, her,

as it is in heaven,” fell slowly from his lipe. “What is the matter with my darling" Soothed by his compliance, Eve becain. asked Euston Hastings, in tones of melting still, and seemed to sleep, but only for a few tenderness.

minutes. Suddenly, in a louder voice than " Where's mamma? Eve want mamma had been heard within that room for days to say, 'Our Father.'

she exclaimed, Euston Hastings had often contemplated “Papa, papa, see there! up there, papa." the beautiful picture of his child kneeling Her own cyes were fixed upward on the with clasped hands beside her mother, to ceiling, as it seemed to Euston Hastings, lux lisp her evening prayer; or, since her illness to him nothing else was visible, while a forbade her rising from her bed, of Evelyn smile of joy played on her lips, and her kneeling beside it, taking those clasped arms were stretched upward as to some hands in hers, and listening to Eve's softly- celestial visitant. murmured words. Well he knew, there- "Eve coming!" she cried again. "Take fore, what was meant by Eve's simple Eve.” phrase, “ To say, 'Our Father.''

“Will Eve leave papa " cried Eustoa “Mamma is asleep," he said : "when Hastings, while unconsciously he passed his she awakes, I will call her.”

arm over her, as if dreading that she woul! "No, no, papa : Eve asleep then.”

really be borne from him. “I will call her at once, then, darling;" With eyes still fixed upward, and expend, and he would have moved, but the little ing her last strength in an effort to rise from hand was laid on his to arrest him.

the bed, Eve murmured, in broken tones, “No; don't wake poor mamma: papa Papa come too-mamma-grandpa-littia say Our Father,' for Éve.”

brother-dear papa—" " Will Eve say it to papa ? Speak, then, The last word could have been distic. my darling,” he added, finding that though guished only by the intensely-listening ear the hands were clasped, and the sweet eyes of love. It ended in a sigh; and Euston levoutly closed, Eve remained silent. Hastings felt, even while he still clasp-]

“No; Eve too sick, papa; Eve can't talk her cherub form, and gazed upon his so much. Papa, kneel down and say, 'Our sweetly-smiling face, that his Ére har Father,' like mamma did last night; won't indeed left him for ever. you, papa ?"

And yet not for ever. He straightway Euston Hastings could not resist that sought the Lord, and has now followed har pleading voice; and kneeling, he laid his to glory.—Charms and Counter-Charns hand over the clasped ones of his child, and,

1

BIOGRAPHY.

WILLIAM WOODHALL,

of a class, which he met for twenty-four OF EDMONDSLEY, NEAR DURILAM. years in the same room in which he obtained WILLIAM WOODHALL, the subject of the

forgiveness of sins through faith in the following brief biographical reminiscence, precious blood of Christ. Often would he was born in Arkengarth-Dale, near Rich- advert, with irrepressible emotion, to the mond, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. hour, and point to the spot, -hallowed in His parents were exemplary in their deport- his memory as was Bethel to the ancient ment, and carefully instructed their children Patriarch,—where his soul, disburdened of in the word of God. While yet a child, her load, was filled with peace which passeth William was visited with the enlightening understanding. He delighted to kneel on influenco of the Holy Spirit. His conscience the same spot, and renew his solemn vow of was remarkably tender. He imbibed a love self-dedication to God. He was enthusiasfor the Bible and the means of grace. His tically attached to Wesleyan Methodism, natural disposition was kind and amiable, but without bigotry; nor would he suffer which gave a peculiar charm to his youthful its doctrines or discipline, its Ministers or character. Among his associates he was a members, to be unjustly maligned in his confidential friend. These hopeful features presence. By integrity, uprightness, and of early piety were transient; like the industry, he won for himself general esteem. morning cloud, they swiftly passed away. In 1832 providential circumstances led As is too often the case,-especially when

to his removal from this interesting sphere youths are prematurely introduced into the of usefulness, justly endeared to him by so busy scenes of active life, in the absence of many pleasing associations; and he came to parental control, and without affectionate, reside with his daughter and son-in-law at faithful supervision, - William yielded to the a small village near Durham. One who fascinating temptation of worldly pleasure,

knew him well observes, " At this time ho and among ungodly companions soon became seemed to enjoy a high degree of grace, and careless and wicked even as others. He to have attained the sanctity of a father in could not, however, entirely throw off the Christ;" nor did his piety here suffer derestraint of conscience, and often endured

clension agony of mind arising from deep conviction There were, in the neighbourhood, a few of sin. It was not until he had arrived at persons “that feared the Lord and thought man's estate, and had become a husband upon His name:" these were formed into a and a father, that he was induced to small class, of which he was appointed the abandon the way of the ungodly and the

Leader. sinner. His increased responsibility, and During the last "strike," which proved the fearful consequences of his evil example,

80 mischievous and destructive to the causo wcre vividly brought before his mind. Hé of God throughout the coal-mining district again resorted to the house of God, where of the north of England, this little class was the word preached as a sharp arrow pierced nearly disbanded; but he remained faithful. his soul: he fell on his knees a subdued And no one more feelingly deplored the penitent, and cried for mercy. At a subse- blight which that outbreak of disaffection quent prayer-mccting, while earnest inter, spread over the garden of the Lord. Ilis cession was made for penitents, he was regret was not sentimental, but practical : enabled to rest his soul on Christ as his he did all in his power to counteract the Saviour, and obtained a clear and satisfac- prevailing evil, and to foster a better fceling tory evidence of pardon, the comfort of among the miners. In the respective relawhich he never again lost. He lived by tions of husband, father, and master, ho the faith of the Son of God. Amid the was affectionate, faithful, and prudent; in buffetings of Satan, the anxieties of worldly

social intercourse with his friends, he was care, and the lowering clouds of adversity,

cheerful without trifling, and always dishe could ever say, “My heart is fixed, 0 countenanced the practice of speaking evil of God, my heart is fixed ! Jesus is mine, and the absent; while in all the transactions of I am His."

life he was honourably influenced by ChrisHe was a man of prayer, and walked tian principle. He was a devout

man,

and humbly with his God. His Bible was his maintained an unbroken consistency of chaconstant companion : while he drew com- racter. It was his own desire to “ follow fort from its sweet promises, he sought to peace with all men, and holiness, without walk in the truth; and his whole life ex- which no man shall see the Lord." hibited the power of Divine grace. It was

But his character never appeared moro his delight to do good. He was sincere, attractive than during his last sufferings. zealous, and intelligent. His peculiar fitness "A Miction is the good man's shining scene; for the important office of a Leader did not Prosperity conceals his brightest rays ;

As night to stars, woe lustre gives to men. escape the watchful eye of his beloved

Heroes in battle, pilots in the storm, Pastor. He was entrusted with the charge And virtue in calamities admire."

a

[blocks in formation]

The affliction which terminated his life death, she began to seek the Lord with was protracted and troublesome. For many great earnestness, She was much enmonths he was unable to recline on his bed, couraged by reading a piece of poetry, in and could seldom enjoy refreshing sleep ; " The Youth’s Instructer," for October, but “patience" had its "perfect work.' 1838, entitled, “The Sleep," the concluding On one occasion when I visited him, he line of each stanza being, expressed entire resignation to the will of

"He giveth His beloved sleep." God; and, in answer to my inquiries

Not unfrequently she stated how profitable respecting his Christian experience, he said,

she had found it to peruse those lines, “Sir, I have examined the foundation of

which she evidently understood to allude my hope. I have reviewed forty years spent to that sleep in death, that peacefully falling in the service of God; during which time I

asleep in the Lord, which she desired to have had many answers to prayer. My

experience. way is not, and has not been, hid from the

A short time before her death, taking Lord.' I have lacked no good thing. I feel

her father's arm, and walking with him that I am an unprofitable servant; but my

into an adjoining room, she said, " I wish hope rests on the Rock of Ages. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded plied that God would give her strength to

I could give myself up;" and it being rethat He is able to keep that which I have

do so, she expressed herself as not being committed unto Him against that day.'

quite satisfied as to her religious state. (2 Tim. i. 12.) His confidence remained

An interesting conversation then ensued, unshaken, though he was severely assaulted

during which her father repeated the words, by the enemy; and the serenity of his mind

"Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou was unagitated in the midst of sufferings

shalt be saved.” “I will try to believe," that were distressing to witness. His last

was her reply; and then immediately she words were,

added, “I do believe.” From that time "O that I might at once go up!

she doubted no more; but, not unfreNo more on this side Jordan stop,

quently, as if to strengthen her faith, she But now the land possess."

repeated the passage which at first had His happy spirit entered into rest afforded foundation to her hope: “Believe Thursday, Sept. 23d, 1847.

in the Lord Jesus Christ!" JOSEPH K. TrckER. The change in her deportment was now

very perceptible. When, apparently, she had but a few hours to survive, all the family being called into her room, she who

had once been so timid, now took her leave MEMOIR OF LOUISA CANNON,

of all with as much composure as though OF BOLTON.

she had been going on a short journey, and DIED, July 31st, 1847, at Bolton, aged kindly and affectionately addressed suitable

advice to each. On her brothers and sisters twenty-three, Louisa, daughter of Mr. William Cannon, for many years a Trustee and

especially she urged to be kind to their Class-Leader in that town. She had great

parents, to read their Bibles, and to pray sweetness of disposition; but, though the

much to God. fear of the Lord” was long before her eyes,

lier sufferings were severe. “I often the result of the blessing of God on the wondered," she observed, “what careful instruction she had received, she die; but now I know. I did expect to die ;

but did not think it would be so soon." was a stranger to “the comfort of the Holy

More than once she desired her father to Ghost;" and a natural reserve and timidity

pray that she might have an easy passage indisposed her to converse much in reference to her religious state.

to heaven: and the prayer was heard; for For some time her constitution had been whilst, with great emphasis, repeatinggradually declining by consumption; and,

“Take my body, spirit, soul, amidst the fluctuations and sometimes de.

Only Thou possess the whole," ceitfully-flattering stages of that malady, her voice failed, and, without a struggle, she cherished an ardent love of life : but,

she sank into the arms of death. at length, finding that she must prepare for

JAMES E. Movitox.

on

was to

[ocr errors]

POETRY.

cease :

THE FAREWELL.
BY THE REV. RICHARD BAXTER.
Time and work end: blest souls are gone

before;
Consumed lights may serve to kindle more.

dead can speak. God can His lamps restore.

The winds that blow them out will quickly
High pride, rough passion, God can soon

appease ;
Truth, love, and concord raise with great

increase.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

VIEW OF SUEZ. This town is situated at the head of the western arm, or gulf, of the Red Sea; a little more than sixty-two geographical miles to the cast of Cairo. It is poorly walled on three sides, being open to the sea on the north-east, where is a good quay. There is a bazaar, or street of shops, tolerably furnished with goods from Cairo. The population includes more than a thousand Moslems, and more than a hundred Christians of the Greek Church. The transit of the productions and merchandise of the East from the Red Sea to the Nile has always made this an important station, and caused the existence of a city in the vicinity, though the present town cannot be traced to a more remote origin than the early part of the sixteenth century.

“We arrived at Suez," writes a recent traveller, “on the shores of the Red Sea. It is a small town, with a few ruined houses.

No garden, tree, or green spot is visible in the whole neighbourhood ; and no drop of sweet water is to be had, -that which is at all palatable having to be fetched from a distance of three leagues, on the other side of the sea, and even this has a saline flavour. The town derives its importance only from its harbour, in which a large number of pilgrims annually take ship for Mecca. The steam-boats, for communication between England and India, lie to the south of the town, on the wide bosom of the bay."

Some writers of eminence have been disposed to place the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea, recorded in Exodus xiv., near Suez. But it is too evident that many of those who adopt this opinion forget the miraculous character of the event. It is well observed by Dr. Kitto, that “the object of all scientific investigation" in regard to this matter, from Niebuhr downward, “has been to find some place where the

"

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

ebb of the tide, assisted by a wind, might have examinod the matter as an interesting bring the waters so low as to afford the point of Scripture history, Dr. Robinson is Israelites a safe passage: and hence a place almost the only one who has concurred in has been fixed upon near Suez, where the Niebuhr's view....Mr. Lieder, after spendebb alone now leaves a narrow arm of the ing several days in the locality, concluded bay fordable. Since so accomplished a that the miraculous passage did not take traveller as Niebuhr advanced this view, place at Suez, but did take place eighteen ordinary travellers, taking no particular miles further down, at the place where the interest in the question, have usually mouth of the valley of Bedés, or Tawirah, assented to his conclusion; but of those who

opens upon the shore of the Red Sea."

ARTS AND SCIENCES.

THE SPIDER'S THREAD. Reader, when thou hast gazed upon the beautiful webs of the geometric spider that glittor so abundantly in the fields and by the roadside on a dewy morning, or when thou hast, with unsparing hand, swept from the wall of thy dwelling the less pleasing net of the house-spider, hast thou ever considered how important a part the delicate thread of this despised web-spinner plays in the affairs of men? If thou hast not, follow me awhile, and I will tell thee part of the wonders it has contributed to accomplish.

It is then, in some sense, the astronomer's measuring-line, by which he has taken the distance of the sun, moon, and planets, and has approximated to that of a few of those remoter luminaries, the fixed stars. By it he has ascertained that these latter, though called "fixed," and until lately supposed to be absolutely permanent in space, are in reality perpetually moving with great velocity, and in orbits of inconceivable magnitude. By means of it he has tracked the comet in its erratic course, and has learned the diameters of the numerous orbs that compose the solar system. He has even weighed these distant and ponderous bodics, suspending them, as it were, to his balances by the slender and almost invisible thread spun by a weak and insignificant spider. And to the delicacy of these wonderful balances we are wholly indebted for that grand discovery, the detection of the existence of the planet Neptune, and the determination approximately of its position, before a ray of its feeble light had been caught by the searching glass of the observer.

But how,-some of my readers will by this time exclaim,-how can the spider's thread have, in any way, contributed to theso wonderful results: The answer is, that all these results are due to the remarkable accuracy that has been obtained in astronomical observations; and that in order to make accurate observations, the astronomer must have delicate instruments, one essential Ivature of which is some ineans of deter

mining exactly the instant when a heavenly body crosses the central line, or aris, as it is called, of the telescope. For this purpose, a line of some kind, or, more correctly, a system of lines, must be stretched across the tube, in or near the focus of the eyeglass, marking precisely the axis of the instrument. A fine thread of silk or linen, or even the finest human hair, or the most delicate wire, is too coarse and uneven for the purpose where great exactness is required. A spider's thread is found to answer perfectly. Hence it is used in nearly all the better class of astronomical instruments; and daily, in various parts of the world, astronomers are watching the passage of the sun, the moon, the planetz, and the fixed stars, behind the fine spiderlines that stretch across the tubes of their telescopes.

The results already mentioned as attributable in part to the fineness and regularity of the spider's thread,-a thread which, slender as it is, is composed of some hundreds nay, according to Reaumur, of some thonmands of fibres, -are of themselves suficiently remarkable. But when we consider their relation to nautical astronomy,--that the lunar and other tables used by the navigator in determining his position at sea, ove their accuracy in part to the nicety of astronomical observations, and hence to the delicacy of the spider's thread, -the importance of this singular product of animated natura rises still higher in our estimation. It is not too much to say that it has contributed to the preservation of human life, and that the it ouk leviathans" of the ocean are in some sense guided in their course, and drawn aside from sunken rocks and the lurking dangers of the deep, by the light and slender cord so curiously elaborated by the spinningapparatus of the spider.

As an illustration of the accuracy with which the position of a vessel at sea may be obtained from astronomical observation, I will introduce, although it may appear to be somewhat of a digression from our subject, an anecdote from J. F. W. Herschel's

« ForrigeFortsett »