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The day of execution came, the 11th of May, bright, it may be, with the fresh smiles of the reviving year, but dark and terrible to many a sympathizing heart. Windram and his troop guarded the victims to the place of doom, accompanied by a crowd of people, filled with fear and wonder, and still doubting whether yet the horrid deed would be done. The stakes were driven deep into the oozy sand. That to which the aged widow was tied was placed farthest in, that she might perish first. The tide began to flow, the water rose around them, the hoarse rough billows came advancing on, swelling and mounting inch by inch, over limb, and breast, and neck and lip, of the pious and venerable matron, while her young companion in martyrdom, still in shallower water, gazed on the awful scene, and knew that in a few minutes more her sufferings would be the same. At this dreadful moment, some heartless ruffian asked Margaret Wilson what she thought now of her fellow-inartyr in her dying agonies? Calmly she answered, “What do I see but Christ, in one of his members, wrestling there? Think you that we are the sufferers? No, it is Christ in us; for he sends none a warfare on their own charges.” But the water now began to swell cold and deadly round and over her own bosom ; and that her last breath might be expended in the worship of God, she sang the twenty-fifth Psalm, repeated a portion of the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and prayed till her voice was lost amid the rising waves. Before life was quite extinct, the torturers cut the cords that bound her to the stake, dragged her out, waited till she was restored to consciousness, and then asked her if she would pray for the King. She answered, “I wish the salvation of all men, and the damnation of none." “Dear Margaret," exclaimed one of the spectators, in accents of love and sorrow, “Say, 'God save the King !' say, 'God save the King!!” With the steady composure of one for whom life had few attractions and death no terrors, she replied, “God save him, if he will; for it is his salvation I desire." Her relatives and friends immediately cried aloud to Windram, “O Sir, she has said it! she has said it!" The ruthless monster, reluctant thus to lose his victim, required her to swear the abjuration oath. In the same firm tone she answered, “I will not: I am one of Christ's children; let me go!” By his command she was again plunged into the heaving waters, and, after a brief struggle, the spirit of this virgin martyr entered into the rest and peace of everlasting happiness.Hetherington's “ History of the Church of Scotland.”
SENTENCES FOR REFLECTION. Let not business, and the things of this world, hinder thee from attending to the things of God. Consider thou must find a time to die in, and then thou must be at leisure for
Avoid bad company, as thou wouldest men infected with the plague. There is many a man that has been good, which is not so now, because he did not keep himself in good company.
Thou art not truly virtuous for barely doing what is good, unless thou lovest it. For that which thou doest by constraint is imputable to the power which compels thee.
That is true learning which makes thee wise, and that is true wisdom which makes thee good ; that is, which renders thee ever obedient to God, useful to others, and most easy to thyself.
Thy life is wasted and misspent if it make not provision for eternity; and it matters little whether it be wasted in pleasure, or in drudgery after riches.
Thou didst begin to live the first day thou camest into the world, but from that very day also thou didst begin to die; and so thou madest but one entrance into life and death.
What thou desirest or hopest for seems perfectly good to thee whilst it is at a distance; but when thou hast it in thy hands, it may wound thee to the heart : leave it, therefore, to God to choose for thee, and bestow upon thee.
Prepare not thyself for eminent actions more out of glory than conscience. Thy shortest way to arrive at glory should be to do that for conscience which men do for glory.
Thou must have thy soul instructed in the means to sustain and contend with evils, and in the rules of believing and
living well, and often rouse it up and exercise it in this noble study.
No possessions can be good to thee, but by the good use thou makest of them; without which wealth, power, friends, servants, &c., will but help to make thy life unhappy.
NOTICES OF ANIMATED AND VEGETABLE
FOR AUGUST, 1847. BY MR. William Rogerson, of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
""Tis a fair sight, that vest of gold,
Those wreaths that August's brow enfold;
'Tis fair to see the farmer build,
And so 'tis sweet to see expand
The first half of the month.—The harvest and field mice have litters of young in their nests: the shrew-mouse is often found dead. The natterjack and toad utter their loud cries, and the frog takes shelter under broad-leaved plants. The trout, minnow, and carp bask in the sunshine on clear days.
The night-jar or fern-owl is heard and seen at this time ; and though it feeds, like the bat, upon nocturnal moths and other flying insects, the small birds show by the atiаcks they make upon it, that they believe it to prey upon them. The aberdevine, mountain-finch, crossbeak, turnstone, knot, and a few other species arrive from the north. The cuckoo, wryneck, titlark, turtle-dove, &c., begin to retire to more southern latitudes. The numerous tribes of insects afford a never-failing source of amusement and instruction to the inquiring entomologist. The papilio io, argus, and phlæas, attract our attention.
The jessamine exhibits its pretty little flowers, and the mountain-ash, or rowan-tree, displays its bunches of red berries, while the geranium tribe add to the beauty of the garden, and many pretty species also decorate our sunny banks. The sweet scabious, and the common blue passion-flower, are in bloom. The sky-blue cornflower, the scarlet pimpernel, the corn sow-thistle, and the yellow goat's-beard are in flower : this last plant is remarkable for the flowers shutting up at mid-day; and hence it is often called in the country, “go-to-bed-at-noon."
The sun-dew, which is in bloom at this time, is not uncommon in damp, peaty soils. It may be found in Epping Forest, &c. The leaves are small, brown, and spear-shaped, lying on the ground somewhat in the form of a star : the upper surface is studded with small glutinous glands, like minute dew-drops, whence the name. The flowers are shy of expanding, and appear nearly always in the bud, and hang in a drooping position.
The Swedish plum and the melon attract our notice among the fruits of August.
The last half of the month.—The puffin migrates; and the swift disappears, probably winging its way to more southern regions. Lapwings and linnets congregate, and the nuthatch chatters. Young broods of goldfinches are now seen, and the redbreast renews his familiar and pleasing song.
Much amusement may at this time be derived from searching for insects among the weeds thrown up in clearing ponds. Among these will be found the larvæ of the phryganea, or caddis-fly. The solitary bee and the white moth are now observed: the ptinus pectinicornis also makes its appearance, the larvæ of which are very destructive to wooden furniture, boring holes in tables, chairs, bed-posts, &c. The vapourer-moth (bombyx antiqua) may now be found. Many of what are called “the solstitial wreath of the goddess of flowers” are still in beauty; to which there are added, dahlias, hollyhocks, convolvuli, and all the new splendid varieties of Enothera, Nicotiana, &c., in the gardens. In the fields, and on wastes, foxgloves, toadflax, chicory, &c., are the most striking flowers.
“ Flowers of the field, how meet ye seem
Man's frailty to portray :
Passing at eve away!
“Go, form a monitory wreath
For youth's unthinking brow,
What most he fears to know;
“But while to thoughtless ones and gay
Ye breathe these truths severe,
Have ye no word to cheer?
“ Go, then, where wrapt in fear and gloom
Fond hearts and true are sighing,
The pillow of the dying;
“And say that He, who from the dust
Recalls the slumbering flower,
His mercy and His power;
* Blackwood's Magazine.
“Is anything that proceeds from the hands of the great Creator too insignificant for man to investigate? A moment's reflection will apprize us that the most minute insect must necessarily be as fully perfected in its structure, in its wonderful apparatus of nerves, muscles, respiratory organs, and organs of the senses, and all their functions, and its system of circulation, (proved by recent discoveries,) as the largest and, according to its rank in nature, the most gigantic animal, over which it possesses an infinite superiority of muscular strength; and when we find that there are insects scarcely discoverable without a lens, must we not exclaim with wonder and admiration at the stupendous power evinced in their construction ; and should not this stimulate us to learn as much as we can concerning these miracles, that we may be better able to appreciate the marvellous power displayed in their creation, although we can scarcely hope to arrive at the perfect comprehension of their least attributes, the complexity of their organization, when even most simple, the multiplicity of their instincts, and their very powerful agency in supporting the universal equilibrium of nature? Who then is bold enough to say, even to what his arrogance and assumption have dared to style a contemptible insect, • Thou art beneath my notice;' when he feels that the pigmy might reply, Thou, with all thy boasted superiority, dost not comprehend me?' Humility is the crown of humanity; and let us follow the words of Solomon, and learn wisdom from the ant."— Foreign Quarterly Review.