Зображення сторінки

through envy, “He doth know that ye shall be like God,” therefore he does not wish you to eat of it!

We ought not to overlook the meanness of the sin of evil speaking. It is a way of injuring others which in many cases leaves him no opportunity of correcting the false impression. It is well called, in one of its manifestations, "back-biting." It is also called, in another of its forms, “whisperings." These words strikingly exhibit its mean and sneaking character. Hence evil speaking is within the reach of any capacity. It requires no talents, no education, no polish, no refinement, no parts of any kind; these are rather in its way. The most ignorant and degraded, the lowest and meanest spirit that crawls on the earth, licks the dust, or wallows in corruption-the foulest and most contemptible moral maggot is capable of it. Yea, is only the better fitted for the wretched work. Shall one raised into sympathy with the heavenly life in Christ Jesus fall into such a fellowship of meanness and sin? “I will take heed to my ways that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”

The foulest whelp of sin. The man
In whom this spirit entered was undone.
His tongue was set on fire of hell, his heart
Was black as death, his legs were faint with haste
To propagate the lie his soul had framed ;
His pillow was the peace of families
Destroyed, the sigh of innocence reproached,
Broken friendships, and the strife of brotherhoods ;
Yet did he spare his sleep, and hear the clock
Number the midnight watches, on his bed
Devising mischief more ; and early rose,
And made most hellish meals of good men's names.


Tuose evening bells, those evening bells,
How many a tale their music tells,
Of youth, and hope, and that sweet time
When first I heard their soothing chime.

Those joyous hours are passed away,
And many a friend, that then was gay,
Within the tomb now darkly dwells,
And hears no more those evening bells.

And so 't will be, when I am gone,
That tuneful peal will still ring on,
While other bards shall walk these dells,
And sing your praise, sweet evening bells.





SOME years ago our home was in a southern State. It has been a long while since, and many things have faded from my memory. One event, however, has found a lasting lodgment there; although it happened when I was very young, yet even now it is often recalled fresh to my mind amid the excitement of the times in which we live.

Towards the close of a chill November day, an individual stopped at my father's house and petitioned for a home and fare for the night. He stated that he was a stranger, sick, and destitute of means and money. The needy and forlorn looks of the unfortunate stranger won sympathy in his favor. His request was

in the family in his behalf. My mother from her own kind heart, as well as from principle of Bible duty, regarded the stranger as the child of misfortune, and therefore entitled to generous kindness.

Bible commands and promises concerning the treatment of strangers are not wanting. "Thou shalt not vex the stranger." “Ye were strangers in a strange land.” “There shall be one law to you and to the stranger.” There is a stranger's God who looks with no indifferent eye upon the treatment of this class of His creatures. My children may be strangers; then God have mercy on them, for the kindness shown to others in similar circumstances. Has not that prayer been answered more than once! My mother trusted to a faithful God.

A stranger may be “one of the least of those little ones” in befriending whom we may be doing it unto Christ. Our relation to our fellows makes it an unquestionable duty to do all in our power to alleviate the distress of suffering humanity. Man, alas! often hears not the call of this duty and looks upon scenes of wretchedness and misery with selfish indifference. While here and there individuals may be found who like a generous Howard, have souls alive to this duty; the great mass of men live in and for themselves only, and have no concern for any thing beyond sordid interests.

Of the condition of the many whose lot is to be numbered with the unfortunate part of our race, that of the stranger is doubtless the most to be commisserated. He least of all perhaps receives the attention of those whose hearts do sometimes beat in sympathy when moved by “melting pity's call.” That the stranger is an unfortunate member of our race it is presumed there are few, in view of the movements in our day, willing to deny. Here, in these evil times, to be a stranger is to be unfortunate. The hardness of

VOL. VI.-14

form, to your notrenger's woesion, we pro

the stranger's lot is this: he cannot help the Providence that has prevented him from being born in the bosom of our own or your own family.

With this apparent digression, we proceed to narrate the simple story of that stranger's woes and wrongs. First, let us introduce him to your notice. He was of a meagre, tall and commanding form, and for one of his age right straight withal. Thin and poorly clad, dressed in a suit of threadbare black. His head and brow bespoke a mind of more than ordinary mold. The undoubted marks of intelligence lit up his face. The fire of his large black eyes still burned with much of its original lustre. Eloquence, beaming from the eye, surpasses all other forms of expression; and thus he poured unfeigned gratitude upon his generous host, who had so freely granted his surplication. His hair, once black, was now mixed with “many hoar and gray,” which seemed to indicate that it had felt the blanching frosts of some fifty winters. A deep expression of melancholy spread over his countenance-in short, his whole appearance was that of a careworn man, of one who had poignantly felt the chilling pangs of disappointed hopes, and suficred many of life's keenest woes.

That stranger once had a home and friends. A mother's warın heart once did beat as tenderly for her "baby boy" as my mother's ever beat for me, or yours for you. Far from mother, sister, friends and home now, he became the hapless stranger that you see him. Notwithstanding the visible marks of rough-handed time and ruthless fate upon his person, there were yet aiso traces of former happiness nd better days. Something still remained which plainly told the = 'intive observer that his condition was not always as it now appear. Only those who have been like him situated can know what it is to be a stranger in a strange land, what it is to be homeless, fridlessen and alone. God pity the stranger's lot!

The morning of his life had dawned in Italy, where all things were ag bright to him as the rising sun on a clear summer day. There first he breathed the pure air, fragrant only with the balmy odors of the flowering groves. There those dark eyes first drank in heaven's clear light. Bariy joys there filled his soul with pristine emotions never to be forgotten. There, too, with enrapturing delight, peculiar to the enthusiastic soul of those born and nurtured in the “bunny south,” he beheld the surpassing natural beauties of fruitful plains, the vine-clad hills, and the glassy surface of the seas reflecting from their smooth bosoms the bright and dazzling floods of light, as the king of day sinks to rest in his place in the West. The land of poets, where once the Muses dwelt, where every hill is crowned with the remembrance of mighty deeds, where once proud Rome flourished in magnificent glory—that land was his home. Ile could once call it his own native land. A land which to those of other climes appears so lovely, must have been

once proud to owned with the here once the rest in his

[blocks in formation]

peculiarly dear to him. There were the scenes of his first, his only, his fondest love, where he was encircled too by friends and luxurious affluence.

Providence saw fit to change his lot. Regardless of his happiness, he was torn from his friends and the embrace of those be most dearly and tenderly loved. He was cast upon our own free shores. Misfortunes never come alone. In almost every walk and at almost every turn the needy stranger was driven and repulsed from the door of the selfish, unfeeling man of the worldoften perhaps through sheer thoughtlessness and ignorance of his real condition. The unsympathizing fathoms not the harrowed look of disappoinment, of sadness, and of loneliness which the stranger ever wears in his face. This is often seen even when the houseless and homeless wanderer does not depend upon the cold charities of the world for his daily bread. How often has not a sympathizing look and a kind soothing word of a new found friend, as radiant sunshine, cleared up and dispelled the clouds from the beshrouded brow! Or, in the case of the needy, as he goes away cold, hungry and sick, we can see the inward feelings of his heart portrayed, in the sad expression of his dejected countenance; while thoughts of home and absent friends stir up the deep yearning fountains and inmost broodings of the soul.

Alas! even in our happy, blessed America, on Freedom's soil, the stranger finds“ there is no place like home.” Even here, wandering on, an outcast from society and its privileges, destitute of many of the comforts and necessaries of life, the stranger is made to feel too keenly the bitter pangs that gnaw into the vitals of the sad heart. Who in this selfish, money-loving, businessdriving world has the time or disposition to stop and inquire after the hapless, forlorn and persecuted stranger? Who will sympathize with him in his distress, or impart a word of consolation to him, as he buffets with the storms and billows on life's mad tossed ocean?

Having suffered many of the ills incident to a stranger's lot, through many wearisome years, ho resolved once more to see his native land, and in his happy boyhood's home commune with friends. Then when life's flickering flame would cease to burn, the hand of some kind one might close his eyes in death and satisfy stern nature's last sad claim. But in this too he was doomed to be disappointed. The fell monster in the form of a wasting disease had already fastened on his vitals and marked for his own. Death met him in this foreign land. He never left our house. In that upper corner room he went to bed, grew worse, and in a very short time died. No loving mother, no affectionate sister, no sorrowing friend Was there, whose tender hand would wipe the death sweat from his brow. These were not there to prepare and cheer his lone soul for

its solitary journey through the dark valley of the shadow of death. All alone he met the mighty conqueror, the King of Terrors.

His remains were decently buried near the banks of the beautiful Antietim. The great national road, near which is his grave, has grown less noisy since the stranger sleeps there. The rolling stream still murmurs on as it did when first we laid the weary stranger down to rest under the branches of a “weeping willow.” Two rough, nameless and unlettered stones marked the spot where his body is buried. His requiem is still chanted by the spring zephyrs, the summer breezes, the autumnal winds and the wintry storms, as moaningly they revel among the branches which overhang the grave. No longer now does he feel the stranger's cold rebuff. There he will continue to rest alike unmindful of the busy, heartless world passing by upon the road, and of the gently gliding waters of the stream as they roll onward to the mighty ocean.

His friends are doubtless, if alive, uncertain of his fate to this hour; but when the last trump shall summons the cold, dark grave to give up its dead, he will arise and come forth. Then the stranger and others will stand in the presence of the Judge who will say to the righteous, “I was a stranger, and ye took me inforasmuch as ye did it to the least of one of these, ye did it unto me.”

If we have gained by this plea for the stranger, for the forlorn and friendless wanderer, one cup of cold water, one crust of bread, one soothing word of sympathy, of comfort or of pity, our labor has not been in vain.

“That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me."



LITTLE bird with bosom red,
Welcome to my humble shed !
Courtly domes of high degree
Have no room for thee or me;
Pride and pleasure's fickle throng
Nothing mind an idle song.
Daily near my table steal,
While I pick my scanty meal.
Doubt not, little though there be,
But I'll cast a crumb to thee,
Well rewarded if I spy
Pleasure in thy glancing eye;
See thee, when thou 'st eat thy fill,
Plume thy breast, and wipe thy bill.
Come, my feathered friend, again,
Well thou know'st the broken pane.

« НазадПродовжити »