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RUTH.
“And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each to her
mother's house."-Ruth i. 8.

At the crossway see them stand
With a hand in either's hand,
Leans the mournful mother there,
Ready on her road to fare !
All alone to face the blast,
And to reach her own at last!
Long 'mid Moab's stranger race
Dwelt she in that heathen place.
There the partner of her troth,
There her boys beloved both,
She within the grave hath laid :
Now around her glooms life's shade.
Earthly hopes have vanished all;
Yet, before the night doth fall,
Would she gladly list again
Israel's diviner strain ;
Gladly gaze on Bethlehem,
Though she may not gaze with them.
Those fair daughters bids she turn.
Tenderly their bosoms yearn
Tow'rds that sad deserted one,
Lonely, 'neath the golden sun.
Orpah, with the eyes of blue,
Kisses, weeps, and bids adieu.
But in Ruth's meek tearless eyes,
Deep and pure as eastern skies,
Firm resolve doth wax, and glow:
Lonely shall she never go;
She, whose sunshine cheer'd my heart,
Must not thus in night depart.
“When her son, her eldest pride,
Wooed and won me for his bride,
Then I shared her home of bliss :
Was't to leave, at hour like this?
Not, though rough and long the way;
Not, though famine's self should slay !"
Though behind her, summer's bowers,
Wooed her back to careless hours,
Though that woeful mother spake,
Leave me, child, for life's sweet sake,"
These the accents, calm as truth,
Pass'd the faithful lips of Ruth.
“ Do not ask me, mother mine,
Love's true purpose to resign:
Where thou wanderest I will go,
Where thou liest I'll slumber low,
Midst thy people, 'neath thy sod,
Trusting in thy only God."
And that mournful mother heard,
And she breath'd no second word.
Side by side they sought their goal.
Blessings on each faithful soul !
Wafting echoes faint and sweet,
Age to age doth “Ruth” repeat.

ARCHER GURNEY.

349

THE USE OF SUNSHINE.* We were just about to apologise to our readers for not having poticed this Christmas narrative before; but we anticipate their exclamation, “The Use of Sunshine l' what better time to treat the use of the thing than when we have it? When can instruction in the use of sunshine' be more seasonable, than at the summer solstice? To study the use of sunshine when we have none to use, is sadly discouraging; it is like learning the theory of music when we have neither voice, instrument, nor tuneful companion. But to turn our Midsummer days' dreams to account is an art which is as timely now as it is useful. The author, not the critic, must have made the mistake, in making • The Use of Sunshine' a winter's tale."" So you say, kind readers all; and it would be very pleasant to believe your reasoning to be as sound, as we are constrained to confess it plausible. But, alas! the severity of truth forbids. We do owe you an apology, after all. The * use of sunshine,” as we are here taught it, is to cast the splendours of the longest day on the shortest. The use of sunshine" is not, as you may suppose, like that of the flowers that bloom and die beneath it, to cheer and refresh us through the summer hours; but like that of the honey which provident industry gleans from those flowers, to be stored up for the darkest days, to yield us comfort and support when all other objects fail to impart then. This is the truth most pleasantly conveyed in this right seasonable Christmas narrative; nothing could be more suitable to the dark days of the year, or of the life. We owe you an apology, good readers all, and we are desirous to pay it. If you can be unacquainted with “The Use of Sunshine,” it ought not to have been through our neglect; and now that we have imparted to you the means of acquiring this pleasant art, do not wait till another Christmas, but learn at once to improve the shining hours, as the bees, and Dr. Watts, and the bright season, and more especially these sunny pages, suggest,

What, however, you ask, is the mode of using these bottled sunbeams? Are we to keep them for Christmas photography, and by their aid to paint on the camera obscura in our hearts the images of cheerful evenings and affectionate companions ? Are we, with their concentrated power, to kindle the yule log, and roast the “crab ” for the wassail ? Not exactly so, though our skilful mistress of the art of using sunshine does enable us to do something like this as well. But she has a higher end in view than any of the adjuncts of Christmas, however good or beautiful these may be. She would apply the dispensation itself of that blessed season to its legitimate uses,—diffuse the beams of "the Sun of Righteousness,”-show how the sunshine of worldly prosperity may, through bounty and self-denial, be stored for ever in heavenly treasures of light, -use the sunshine of love and kindness to the diffusion of cheerfulness, content, happiness, good will, religion,-till the reflection comes back with added warmth and brightness, and blesses alike receiver and bestower.

* The Use of Sunshine. A Christian Narrative. By S. M., authoress of “The Story of a Family," “ The Maiden Aunt," " Lays and Ballads from English History," &c. London. Hoby. 1852.

We will not mar the pleasure of our readers in their perusal of this beautiful tale, by giving any epitome of its narration ; ve should, by such a course, be at once spoiling the story and the interest. Suffice it to say, that “the use of sunshine" is exemplified chiefly, though not entirely, in the doings of a good brother and sister, whose worldly circumstances and dispositions are alike sunshiny. They are not, however, content to spend their light amid the glare of metropolitan or sea-side gaiety, or even to enjoy its reflected beauty in rural, literary, and social pleasure ; but

carry it to a darkling village in Ireland, where they so let it shine before men, that their good works are seen, and their FATHER in heaven glorified. And the good which they there achieve, vast as it is, has nothing of the improbable. It is so natural, that we can scarcely doubt it is in some degree what the narrator has seen, perhaps accomplished ; yet it is so great, that every walker by sight would, a priori, pronounce it chimerical. A faithful Christian, it is true, will be little moved by human prospects of success. He will take counsel of duty, not of human expediency; he will feel satisfied that the blessing will return into his own bosom, whether it find any other restingplace or not. Yet it is both a comfort to him, and an aid to his work and his cause, when he can point to results actually attained which the world pronounces impossible. And next to this is the ability to show, as this narrative has shown, that difficulties, insuperable to ordinary means, may, by faith and diligence, be

Although, as we have said, we abstain on principle from affording our readers even a glimpse at the plan of this book, we will, for their gratification, admit a beam or two of its light. Here, then, is a brief, simple, but eloquent dialogue. The interlocutors are the brother and sister we have mentioned. Horace begins,-p. 127,

“ How strange it is that the most unlovable part of puritanism, the sweeping away of festivals, of seasons for the sanctification of bright and happy thoughts, should have spread so widely among ourselves in this country! Not merely are we robbed of those dear memorial days, when we count up the wealth of our Church, and seek to kindle our devotion by recording before God the testimony of His martyrs ; but even some of the special honours that we would fain pay to our

Overcome.

LORD Himself,—some of the occasions for embodying and presenting to our people the first great truths of the Gospel, which we would fain prevent them from forgetting, are taken away from us : not even Ascension-day is kept here!"

It is so strange that people should forget the use of beauty and joy in religion,” cried Marion; "the Bible seems to me to be always teaching it, and it is so particularly necessary for the poor. Surely those whose daily life is a fast, should have nothing but festivals in their devotion !"

“I think the Church Building Commissioners have a great deal to answer for,” said Horace, smiling ; " so long as they cover the country with their detestable little assembly rooms, all idea of beauty must necessarily be separated from public worship. But I like your phrase, the use of beauty and joy ;' teach it, Marion,-it is just a mission for you.”

“And for you too,” rejoined she, anxiously, You agree with me, don't you?”

“ Indeed I do," he replied. “Just as sorrow is often the most necessary discipline for the prosperous, I feel quite sure that seasons, not merely of rest, but of absolute and keen enjoyment, have a specially healing and elevating effect upon those whose habitual life is a scene of labour and want. There is nothing I should like so well as to give to these people a series of bright, happy days, each connected with some name or truth in their religion,-each having its special service and its special rejoicing."

There is more in this strain, not less beautiful or true; but our readers must enjoy it in the book itself. Our extract shall now be poetry, in form as well as matter. Our readers will gladly re-welcome S. M. in her poetical capacity, which she has too long laid aside. It is a child's evening intercessory hymn :

“O SAVIOUR, pity all who weep,

And, weeping, seek Thy feet !
Thou givest Thy beloved sleep-

O make it calm and sweet!
“ Have mercy upon all who faint

Along their upward way,
Sore troubled by the ling'ring taint

Of Adam's sinful clay!
“ Have mercy upon all who strive

In fear for daily bread;
The poor man's drooping strength revive,

At Thine own table fed !
“ Have mercy upon all who part-

Love mourneth sore alone;
Heal tenderly each breaking heart,

And bind it to Thine own!

“ Have mercy upon all who err

They need it more than all ;
Lead home each helpless wanderer,

And raise up them that fall!
“ The dead, the blind, the lepers heard

Of old Thy healing voice!
Speak to our souls that quickening word-
Arise ! be clean ! rejoice !”

If you

Beside this hymn, there is a beautiful Christmas carol in this book, which is further recommended by the high musical talent of Mr. Grattann.

Haste, then, readers all, to learn the use of sunshine! enjoy that fair summer gift, learn how to apply it! If you enjoy it not, yet remember that behind the cloud the sun is shining," and there is a skill, which S. M.'s gifted pages will impart to you, by which the sunbeam may be let in from above, to your enlightenment and that of your neighbour.

SELFISHNESS; OR, SEED TIME AND HARVEST.

CHAPTER V.

« Can you

"I WANT a governess sadly," said Mrs. Sydenham, on her return to Cheltenham, to her friend Mrs. Beresford. recommend me one ?”

“No, I fear not. Yet, let me see; I can tell you a very good person to apply to,-Miss Bennet ; she lived in my brother's family for many years.'

“Do you think she would suit me? I want a very good one," for she had reflected that the more competent her governess, the less would ber own trouble be, and she had therefore resolved to take pains to procure one who would free her from responsibility and anxiety.

no! but I think it more than probable that, among her friends, she may be able to find a person to suit you.

She has retired, and lives at present at Storford, and I imagine has a large circle of acquaintance. Shall I write to her ?”

* I shall feel extremely obliged if you will." Mrs. Beresford accordingly wrote to Miss Bennet, describing minutely the sort of person wanted, and inquiring whether such an one was within reach of her friend. Mrs. Sydenham bad furnished her with a sheet and a half of indispensable virtues and accomplishments.

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