Page images

He was

heard the harsh and angry word from lips upon which the Saviour's name had just lingered. He had felt the unjust, quick, passionate blow from the hand which, a moment before, had been raised in supplication to heaven. He had seen the purse-strings relax at the bidding of worldliness, and tighten at the call of charity. He had seen principle sacrificed to policy, and duty to interest. He had himself been misappreciated. The shrinking sensitiveness which drew a veil over his most sacred feelings had been harshly construed into hardheartedness and indifference. Every duty to which his attention was called was prefaced with the supposition that he was averse to its performance. cut off from the gay pleasures which buoyant spirits and fresh young life so eloquently plead for ; and in their stead no innocent enjoyment was substituted. He saw heaven's gate shut most unceremoniously upon all who did not subscribe to the parental creed, outraging both his own good sense and the teachings of the Bible; and so religion, which should have been rendered so lovely, put on to him an ascetic form. Oh, what marvel that the flowers in the broad road were so passing fair to see? that the forbidden fruit of the "tree of knowledge” was so tempting to the youthful touch ?

“Oh! Christian parent, be consistent, be judicious, be cheerful. If, as historians inform us, “no smile ever played on the lips of Jesus of Nazareth, surely no frown marred the beauty of that holy brow.

Dear reader, true religion is not gloomy. ways are ways of pleasantness, her paths are peace.” No man, no woman, has chart or compass, or guiding star, without it.

Religion is not a fable. Else why, when our household gods are shivered, do our tearful eyes seek only heaven?

Why, when disease lays its iron grasp on bounding life, does the startled soul so earnestly, so tearfully, 80 imploringly, call on its forgotten Saviour ?

[ocr errors]

66 Her

Ah! the house “built upon the sand” may

do for sunny weather, but when the billows roll, and tempests blow, and lightnings flash, and thunders roar, we need the Rock of Ages."



WE'RE old and poor, my Jane and I,

And on the parish long ago
Had both been cast, but one came nigh

And said, “By Jove, it shan't be so,
While I've a crust I'll give them half,"

Said our son Jo!

He works at yonder smithy where

The ruddy forge-fires seethe and glow;
His hands are black, his face not fair,

He's not well-favoured, that we know,
Yet no one has a fairer heart

Than our son Jo!


He gives us bit, he gives us sup,

For us as well as him doth flow
The stream of all he has; our cup

He brims with gifts, and utter woe
Had long o'erwhelmed us both except

For our son Jo!

In summer, as we crutch about,

And watch them in the meadows mow,
Each time we hear the children shout,

And lads at cricket cry “Hallo!"
As of the boy he was we think

Of our son Jo!

In winter, when the ground is white,

With hoary frost and flakes of snow That daze and dazzle our old sight,

However cold the ice-winds blow, We feel our winter summer'd o'er

By our son Jo!

Well, well! a brief space more and we

Shall drop, and older cease to grow; Not many springs we now may see,

Soon, soon will come the common foe; Meantime our fathers' God be thank'd

For our son Jo!




STAND up-erect! Thou hast the form,

And likeness of thy God !—who more? A soul as dauntless mid the storm Of daily life, a heart as warm

nd pure, as breast e'er wore.

What then ? - Thou art as true a man

As moves the human mass among ;
As much a part of the great plan
That with Creation's dawn began,

As any of the throng.
Who is thine enemy? the high

In station, or in wealth the chief ?
The great, who coldly pass thee by,
With proud step and averted eye:

Nay! nurse not such belief.

If true unto thyself thou wast,

What were the proud one's scorn to thee? A feather, which thou mightest cast Aside, as idly as the blast

The light leaf from the tree.

No :-uncurb'd passions, low desires,

Absence of noble self-respect, Death, in the breast's consuming fires, To that high nature which aspires

Forever, till thus check’d;

These are thine enemies—thy worst;

They chain thee to thy lowly lot:
Thy labour and thy life accursed.
O, stand erect! and from them burst !

And longer suffer not !

Thou art thyself thine enemy!

The great !—what better they than thou ? As theirs, is not thy will as free? Has God with equal favours thee

Neglected to endow?

True, wealth thou hast not—'tis but dust!

Nor place—uncertain as the wind ! But that thou hast, which, with thy crust And water, may despise the lust

Of both-a noble mind.

With this, and passions under ban,

True faith, and holy trust in God,
Thou art the peer of any man.


then: that thy little span Of life may be well trod !



Be kind unto the aged

Their many years respect;
O pity their infirmities,

As kindness you'd expect,
Have patience with their little whims

And cheer the lonely heart;
A gentle word, a loving act,

A comfort will impart.
Be kind to grandpa,—there he sits

With shining, silvery hair;
His sticks are in the corner,

Beside the old arm-chair.
Poor grandpa's hands are shaky now

And feeble is his voice;
O meet his little wants, and try

To make his soul rejoice.
Be kind to poor


there With wrinkles on her brow,She once was young and beautiful,

Ah, e'en as thou art now.
But granny's eyes are growing dim

And she is blithe no more,-
O help her when she fain would try

To totter o'er the floor.

Be kind to father, mother too,

As down the hill they go,They bravely toiled through life's rough path

That you a man might grow. Repay them now with grateful acts

And kind, and tender words; Pierce not their ever yearning hearts With bitter, poison'd swords.

« PreviousContinue »