Зображення сторінки

of the narrow-minded self-complacent- newly allied race, and giving back to the would-be-orthodox. On all sides men world in such admixture freshened enerare turning from the tricks and tech. gies, and ample recompense for the renicalities of their old scholasticisms, cognition of the negro's rights. These and seeking fresher atmosphere, and are our warrants for indulging hopes, searching for broader paths. The world full of a bright glorious exultant future finds that science is indeed the com- of the world. You ask " What have pauion of God's word; and that the these to do with the world's jubilee ?” and truest philosophy comes hand in hand the answer is “They have come from that with the teachings of the Nazarene. She which is to be the cause of the world's has grown wise enough to doubt, and jubilee; they are the result of preachnow has learned that her fancied prime ing Christ free and unrestricted to the was only the budding of a thinking nations of the world.” child. The aspect of the world, as thus considered, gives a warranty for hope of such II. The change which is our boon; a consummation.

the time in which our lot is cast is but But take another yiew. Go into the the preparation for that other and world of art. Time was when her brighter era. The day of universal freepaintings told of some wondrous ex- dom, the day of universal joy. What will ploits of some mythical divinity. Her it be, and how will it be brought about? statuary professed to give for human What will it be? benefit the glorious features and the You take up your Bible and read beauteous form and figure of some of the second coming of Christ! Some patron saint. Then, on again! Legends good old notions most affectionately of some astounding miracles made the cherish the prospect of a personal Christ canvass all aglow: and devotees in again upon the earth. Those who hold thousands wore away the steps of far such notions see Zion's sacred height famed shrines, or kissed away the toes rescued from the Turk, and hear thereon of some distemper-curing block of mar- the praises of the King of Heaven, and ble. But as mind expanded, art became no longer the adoration of the chief of rational, and while she might in flighty Islam. All the world shall go to Jerufancy sometimes deal in the legendary salem, and from thence shall coine the and fabulous, on the whole she assumed edicts which will be required, so that a sober air, and either pencilled or the world shall be ruled in righteouschiselled that which was more accordant ness.” It seems, on second inquiry, that with the demands of reason, and the such an idea contains too much of the powers of the soul. That which belongs “material” to make it true concerning to the spiritual is left more and more to the future of the world.

“ His kingthe unseen, and art does not so much dom” is not a realm of temporal power. attempt to interfere with what is not in “His government” will not have need her domain. She is growing, and hasten- of such laws and edicts. The consuming to a joyous consummation.

mation hoped for by all true and earnest Another warranty is seen in the hearts will be rather of the “spiritgrowing recognition of the rights and ual” than of the “material.” The jubiliberties of man. The devil of slavery lation will be the consequence of freehas not wholly gone, but he is gnashing dom. What will the freedom be? There his teeth in the prospect of the fetters may be thrones and kings and powers. being bound around himself; already They will be subordinate to the principles on his back he feels the lashing of his

of the Prince of Peace. There may be own scourges.

For slavery of every armies and leaders and fleets and navies, kind is fast dying its own natural but they will sail only to mutual advandeath. Our national exultation soon tage, and march to minister to each will be over the blessings of education, other's prosperity in the varied kingand freedom from class preferences doms of the world. Their flag will be and distinctions. Our parish bells soon emblazoned “ Liberty," and their passwill peal forth their jubilations over re- word will be “ Peace.' But these will ligion free from state patronage and only be results. Results of what ? Recontrol.

sults of the “universal joy!” Of that And so in other lands. Similar deep-seated joy of the human heart truly signs are manifesting themselves, and saturated with the spirit of Christ; that inspiring hopes are indulged, by the all-absorbing all-comprehensive charity citizens of the various commonwealths. which must come from the understandA cross the ocean, on the Western Strand, ing of the lessons of His life; that exwe shall see, ere long, the blood of black panding developing thought which is the and white man mingling together in the very characteristic of the divine; that

consummated integrity and sublimer truth which are the peculiar qualities of the human truly governed by the divine; that broad and glorious hopefulness which ever ministers to other's weal, and which ever conduces to its own influence and power; that strong and nerveful faith in Heaven's own King, which ever invests its possessor with God's own bravery and strength. When every heart is so invested, then look out for the manifestations of men's joy.

What will the world's jubilee be ? It will be what you can picture to yourselves must inevitably exist when the seed of the woman has completely bruised the serpent's head. Far back from that grand old poetic time, the creation of the world, the words of this prophecy comeringing down the ages likejoybells even now ringing in the auspicious morn, “like inscriptions on the banners of the Christian host, foretelling the issue of the battle; words which flash like the light of torches against a sombre sky, or steal like the light of morning along the mountain tops." These words foretell their own accomplishment; they are the predictions of their own success. That universal overflowing of gospel truth will be, when the world has laid all its sin and shame and sorrow before Him “who is the desire of all nations," and has bowed beneath the force of His mission, and yielded assent to the royalty of His claims. In that will come the freedom; in that freedom will be the joy; the freedom and the joy will be the jubilee.

How will it be brought about? This is the world's question for the church to answer! Hope and effort must go hand in hand! The church prays for this glorious consummation. Again and again are venerable brethren heard praying for “ the time to come when all men shall know the Lord.” But while the prayers of the church may seem to be very fervent, it is to be lamented that the powers of the church appear but very feeble. Why is there not more harmony between different sections of the church? Why is it that when some seek for brotherly exchanges and communion, they should meet with rudeness, and their gray hairs be no protection from insult ? The sections differ in their sentiment. They are diverse in their forms of government. They vary in their modes of worship. Will men remember that they may be one in Christ? This is the way to bring in the world's jubilee! We shall only bring it about as we live in its spirit in the present; the spirit of Christ's own

gentle charity. There must be bearing with each other's peculiarities, forbearing with each other's prejudices, smiling at each other's eccentricities. There may be helping each other in difficulties, counselling each other in necessity, and supporting each other in extremity. It is the broadest indulgence of such a spirit, and the universal breathing of such an atmosphere, which will conduce to the speedier arrival of the glorious time. It is because men live so falsely that the church is so far below the standard which is her due. It is not large and numerous grants to send the messengers of Christ to far off lands; it is not prayers, either long or short, earnest and devout as they may seem, which are to do the work; it is a daily growth into the spirit of the Master,” and manifesting a Christ-likeness in the walk and conversation everywhere, which are needed to help on the good work, the dawning of the day when the world is free in Christ. We some

“How long Lord! and doth it repent Thee concerning thy servants ? It is not that we are straitened in God, but because we are straitened in our. selves! It is as the church lives nearer to Christ, the world over, that the nearer is the dawning of the day. It is as the Church of the Present is more and more imbued with the spirit of its Lord, that it will the more certainly herald the Church of the Future.

times say

The World's Future is but the developed perfection of the World's Present. What is good alone can remain. What is evil will perish by its own hand. It is only as we cherish in our lives the charity of Christ; it is only as we manifest that in our hearts are like motives with our Master's; it is only as we infuse into our communities the influence of gospel truth and gospel zeal, that we can expect a present blessing. And it is only as we are enjoying present blessings, that we can hope for a future freedom and joy. Nearer to Christ! then shall we be able the more clearly to read the future. “Beyond the driving clouds we shall see the mild splendour; beyond the smoke and dust of battle we shall see the fruitful and far-stretching plains of peace.” Helping with our means, and cheering by our sympathies, and supporting by our prayers those who sow the story of the cross, whether on foreign shore or native land, we shall think with joy of the reaping and the harvest home. Nearer to Christ in the present is but the prelude to the harmony of the future; the jubilee of the world made free in Christ.


No. XIII.-Love-Problems Worked out.

“IF,” said Mr. Mostyn, in a somewhat hesitating and reluctant manner,

“if you can get my daughter's consent, I don't know that I've any very serious objection.”

“Thank you, sir, many thanks. I am much obliged by your kindness, and hope I may not prove an altogether unworthy son-in-law," answered Claude Vernon, as he left the office of Mr. Mostyn, the last lingering cloud of doubt chased away by the full assurance of victory.

To his young and joy-filled spirit it seemed all was won, and the object of his suit fully gained, since he had unexpectedly but clearly triumphed at what he mistakenly called the “head-quarters of the enemy.” For although it never occurred to his mind that Miss Mostyn would resent his proposals, he had from the beginning feared the issue of his appeal to her father. Claude Vernon knew that he had to speak to a keen-witted man of business, a steady plodding labour-loving Englishman, who justly prided himself on the thoroughness with which he did all his work, loathed idleness as the first-born of Satan, and drew sweeter and fuller draughts of joy from the unchanging fountains of conscience, integrity and goodness in his business life, than from all the ample rewards attending his diligent industry. Furthermore the young suppliant remembered that he had gained notoriety at the Mostyns for his neglect of his father's trade, his avowed ignorance

of its details, and his utter dislike to its demands, and in fact cared for nothing belonging to it besides the money it brought, and therefore he would not have been surprised if Mr. Mostyn had brusquely said to him when he asked for his daughter, your ways, sir, and learn how to work before you talk to me about having my daughter. When you have wiped out the reproach of your accursed laziness I may hear you; not a word will I listen to before.” Instead of this Mr. Mostyn was as meek as a lamb, gave his consent as though it were not unexpected that it would be asked for, and Claude Vernon had only now to go and enjoy the coveted prize. “Somehow or other," he said to himself, as he walked along the road, “I always was a “lucky dog.'

Nor was it strange that the handsome Claude Vernon should regard himself as a special favourite of Dame Fortune. As

he looked in the large mirror of his elegantly furnished dressing room he saw a tall well-proportioned man in the best health, with a gentlemanly presence, clad in elegant attire, every garment made within a hair's breadth of the latest canons of fashion. He knew he had a good position, was most respectably connected, and being an only child and the heir to his father's increasing wealth, his “prospects” were of the most enviable description. His manners too were pleasing and amiable, and his character was not stained by any flagrant vice. Surely no young woman's heart could refuse to yield its ready homage to the fervent attentions of such a well-equipped wooer.

Six weeks before the interview in Mr. Mostyn's office, Claude Vernon had, in a shambling indirect and unmanly way, suggested his love to Margaret. Surprised, and a little offended, she had met it with a quiet, respectful, but firm and persistent refusal; and every subsequent approach to more than ordinary courtesy had been suddenly checked by her freezing indifference. But Claude Vernon knew women too well, or what had the same effect, thought he did, to be depressed by that. Such refusals were matters of course, and treated as part of the ritual of love-making prescribed by the customs of the world. “Young ladies of nineteen,” said he to himself, chuckling over the quick wit, and deep knowledge of women displayed in the observation, “ Young ladies of nineteen always adopt such tactics. Their chances are many, and they can afford to play with them for a while. Of course their 'No's' are not to be taken seriously. It is only their clever way of drawing a man out of his shell, meant to make him desperate, so that he may more vehemently protest his love and devotion.” Indeed, in the judgment of the self satisfied and victorious Mr. Vernon, woman's nature is a very common place thing, and very easily satisfied. “Falling in love” means no more than achieving a good match, a full purse, a fine house, and a giddy round of pleasures. These are the prizes so inconceivably dear to the feminine heart that any woman will sacrifice everything else to enjoy them ; and these prizes, and many more, it is in the power of Claude Vernon to offer to Margaret Mostyn. Of course she will accept him.”

[ocr errors]

Ah, too clever young man! Your shal- it. He got up to go to Mrs. Mostyn; low judgment is for once at least at fault. but shame held him back. He rejected! This time you are reading with the book Gall is sweetness itself compared to the upside down. Quick as you judge your- bitterness he felt as he looked again and self in the penetration of woman's na- again at the words—“You really must ture, you have wholly misread Maggie, never speak to her again about it.” and know no more of her noble spirit Humiliated and chapfallen, he vowed and pure goodness than the rudest and protested he would live and die a peasant of the splendours of royalty, or bachelor and a misanthrope. the benighted negro of the mysteries of Of course Fred Williamson knew noscience. You are as blind as a mole to thing of what was taking place ; and the lofty aims she cherishes, and the mo- while Maggie was holding her heart for tives from which she acts. She cares him alone, and with a defiance not usual nothing whatever for your artificial social to her refusing to let another have the superiority, for the cold glitter of ex- least place in it, he was dreading every ternal gaiety, the pomp of worldiness, week the fateful disclosure that would and all the poor garbage on which the tell him that she was for ever beyond misled devotees of fashion seek to feed his grasp. His was the first pure love of their souls. To admire greatness, rever- a fresh, strong heart, full of wonder, ence goodness, attain perfection, is the reverence, and worship; but often visited passion of that spirit which in your with fleets of distressing fears. The thoughtless folly you have imagined can more he saw of her the more he loved ; satisfy its deepest cravings with a well- and as his love grew in purity and ardressed doll in a gay doll's house.

dour, the keener were his apprehensions “ Given his consent," exclaimed Mag- lest she could be carried off by some one gie, with a look of wild surprise, as worthier than himself. Such a sweet of one frightened in sleep, when she sunny countenance, warm affectionate heard from

her mother the report of the eyes, dignified and graceful form, and morning interview between her father exalted character, were so likely to captiand Claude Vernon. “ Given his con- vate other hearts as well as his, that he sent," she repeated, raising her voice, seemed to himself always living on the “Why ever has he armed him with that? edge of a tremendous catastrophe. I'd rather live an old maid for a hundred Two long years had passed in this painyears, solitary as a nun, than have such ful silence between these two souls when a shallow-brained creature. He hasn't George Mostyn without knowing anyone of the elements for making a woman thing of the strength of Fred's affection really happy. Are women mere children for Maggie, artlessly told him of the dethat they must look for nothing but a cided refusal Claude Vernon had just handsome face, glittering jewellery, and received. The blood left his lips, as rustling silks? I couldn't even respect though he were dead; and he fell back him; to say nothing about loving him. into the nearest chair and was within an He hasn't a grain of character. I feel ace of fainting away. His joy was ashamed that such a man should imagine greater than he could bear. The awful he can make any woman a good hus- dread of his life was removed. His fondband. Whatever was father about?" est hopes drew a new and better lease of Calm yourself Maggie, my child.” life. Courage was fed with imperishable

I can't, mother dear. Oh, do write to fuel. George's message supplied prehim at once, and tell him plainly it's cisely what he needed to set him at rest. quite useless to come.”

For unconsciously to himself, but with “If you really wish it, I'll

painful reality, it was the memory his “ Wish it, dear mother, I do with all past, and the knowledge of his slender my heart. I haven't a particle of my means, that had padlocked his lips and being going towards him. Tell him I held him from telling Maggie what she can't, I will not see him on such an wished to hear, and he hungered to let her errand," and she burst into a flood of know. He was still living in St. Giles; still tears, and rested her aching head on hovering like a guardian angel over him her mother's bosom.

who held a father's place, if he failed to

do a father's duty, and who had been I suppose a stroke of paralysis would given in solemn charge to him by his hardly have stunned Claude Vernon dying mother: still working patiently more than Mrs. Mostyn's letter, stating, and with brightening hope for his salvain the most courteous but positive and tion from the fearful depths of drunkenundisguised manner, the entire absence ness ; now succeeding in anchoring him of even a ray of hope that her daughter to the stable shores of Abstinence for a would accept him. He wouldn't believe few weeks, and then losing sight of him

[ocr errors]

He was

amongst the rocks and breakers of the character in early restraints than in devouring sea, but never failing to follow luxurious abundance, him in the life-boat of kindness and love. Mr. Mostyn loved Maggie with a fond Still much of his hard earned money was tenderness that made him dread the sunk in that dreary home, and he could least possible privation and suffering not see the day when he should be free overtaking one so delicately brought up. from such claims. True; he was out of He did not want his children to have to his apprenticeship, and had been chief begin where he did, and struggle up the clerk at three considerable “jobs.” His hill difficulty as he had to do. He had future was full of promise. But the toiled for them, and wished them to have brightness of the morrow does not dissi- the advantage of it. Claude Vernon, pate the clouds of to-day. The prosperity though not altogether acceptable, had of coming years will not fill an empty the obvious recommendations that he purse now, or blot out the traces of the

would certainly have been able to shelter adversity of bye-gone times.

Maggie from misfortune, and give her a fettered and poor, and he feared a refusal good place in society; but Fred Williambecause he could not offer a magnificent son was as poor as a church mouse, and home, and an abundance of material had relations hanging so heavily upon comforts. It was the old enemy still him that he could not rise. And yet pursuing him. It had kept him out of Maggie, with that strange waywardness the church long after his conversion; which belongs to woman, goes with the made him moody and self-contained and poverty and the lowliness, and not with apparently haughty in the factory; en- the wealth and station. veloped him in an atmosphere of cold- “Its a puzzle to me, Maggie ; I don't ness, and barred every way of approach know what to do.” I hardly wonder to the realisation of the fondest wish of that you do not like Vernon.

He's a his heart.

lazy hound. Marriage might, perhaps, But now the stumbling stones were have put him straight, you know. But cast up. The way was clear: and he was this Fred, why he can do nothing for ashamed of himself that he had ever you. You'll have to take a back kitchen, thought Maggie would be attracted by and come home for your dinner every glitter and show. Her heart was set on other day.” something nobler than mere display: “ If you really disapprove of him, I am “She cares for character, for true worth,' sure I will yield to your wishes at any and Fred added, with the unexpressed cost, father,” said brave Maggie, strug. logic of the heart, “she cares for me.” gling to keep down the throbbing anguish

Little time was lost in taking advan. it cost her to say any such thing. tage of these glad tidings. Fortified Disapprove, my girl. I admire him. with such new hopes he sought and ob- He is one of the finest fellows I know. tained an interview with Maggie, which He is brave, and has more pluck and told both of them that the love problem patience than I had. I reckon him a which had busied, grieved, and rejoiced, noble youth, and he'll make somebody a their hearts for more than two years, was good husband, but for you, Maggie, there's now nearly worked out.

the thing.”

“Shall I tell him you object. I will No. XIV.

do as you wish. I know you love me, First or Second.

and will only wish me to do what is best.

Do you object, father?” Nearly,” but not quite. Fred Wil- Well, hardly that; I can't take upon liamson was hardly likely to be so ac- myself the burden of deciding for you in ceptable a suitor to Mr. Mostyn as Claude a matter like this. Your mother and I Vernon. Parents can scarcely be ex- have talked it over, and while we would pected to see lovers with lovers' eyes. not prevent you from doing what you When a man has made money he is feel to be right for a moment, we are aware of its value, and probably sets an anxious that you should decide in full exaggerated estimate on the comforts it view of the consequences.” brings. Specially is this the case when “ Dear father, I have looked at them memory tells of early sufferings, and again and again. I know that if I had stinted means and painful economies. accepted the other (she would not call The scars of old wounds make us shrink him by his name in such a relation) I from allowing any one dear to us to go should have had riches, station, comfort, into similar conflicts, even though we and good connexions; but with them, know they may gain more strength from one who has not been a kind son, who suffering than from pleasure, and find makes fun of his father, jeers his mother, more food for purity and greatness of never did a really kind and generous act so

« НазадПродовжити »