« НазадПродовжити »
thoughts associated with the three great virtues—faith, hope, and charity. I refer to the truly noble Earl of Shaftesburya name that shines as a sunbeam, cheering many a sinking heart. Oh what a halo of true glory there is about that good man! Occupying the first position of rank and fortune, devoting his entire life to deeds of mercy and charity, my eyes grow dim as I gaze on the brightness of that Christ-like life, “ going about continually doing good;" working night after night deep in the deep sin-trenches of the great city; reviving the sinking, bringing back the outcast, and ever directing the erring to an honest way of life. The work of this true nobleman exhibits in its most radiant hues the dignity of labour. It must have been such a life that the poet was contemplating when he wrote
“Lives of great men all remind us
Yes, my friends, we must all learn a lesson from such a life, and strive, after we have by honest labour made provision for those of our own household, to do some little good to the great family of mankind,-something that will tend to make men wiser and better. If there be
humble workingman present, who timidly stands aloof from such work, leaving its performance to those in high places, I would have such
, one remember that it was the humble, hard-working fishermen of Galilee that were first called upon to follow our Saviour, and do his work, and that the “ Lord of Glory” himself was educated for his works of love and mercy, not in the colleges of learning, but in the humble carpenter's workshop. This great fact was no doubt meant to have its significance-meant to convey the truth that an humble position in life should be no barrier to active exertions in every good work.
Oh, then, let us all strive to do some share of work in the Lord's vineyard! Let us all do something to promote the progressive movements of our time,
something that will tend to preserve the purity of the something that will tend to restore the lost lamb to the fold of the Great Shepherd; something that will tend to hasten the return of the Prodigal to the arms of his sorrowing Father; something that will tend to cheer the drooping spirit and bind up the broken heart; something that will tend to promote the good of men and the glory of God; and if, when the great Book is opened, such works shall be found recorded as an earnest of our faith, Jesus himself will tell the assembly of the just the dignity of our labour.
It is a very safe advice that my friend Mrs. Armstrong gives on all occasions—that is, If you can say no good of a person, say nothing about them. That is the policy that I am going to adopt in reference to my acquaintance Mrs. Gallacher; but there can be no harm in my giving you a slight sketch of what she said to me the other day, and leaving you to form your own opinion of her ladyship.
I chanced to meet Mrs. Gallacher in the house of a mutual acquaintance, and in the course of conversation I asked Mrs. Gallacher if she had read that wonderful book, Uncle Tom's Cabin. “ No," said she, nor never intend to read it: if
everybody had been as much annoyed as I have been with that abominable book there would be less fuss about it.”
“ Bless me!” said I, “I cannot see how you can have received annoyance from such a source.”
“ It may be,” said she, “but I can soon give you proof positive of the fact. The first time I heard of Uncle Tom's Cabin was about four months since, when a cripple cousin of mine, who lives in the country, and spends his time in reading books and feeding birds, sent our children a pair of pigeons, a black one and a white one, with strict injunctions that they were to be taken great care of, as they were rare specimens, and he had christened them Eva and Topsy, after those wonderful characters in that wonderful book, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Now, you see, I neither knew nor cared
anything about either Eva or Topsy, but I always knew it was the height of nonsense wasting good meat in feeding fat 'doos,' so I very quietly twisted the necks of both Eva and Topsy, and made them into a nice bit pie for Mr. Gallacher's supper and mine, for I am not one of those people that believe in living on potatoes and salt when they are by themselves, and keeping all bits of niceties to make a show at a party. I think if you are to have anything nice in the cookery way, you should have it when you are by yourselves, when you can get the good of it. So, when I had my pie prepared, I went to the baker with it myself, and gave strict injunctions that it was to be done a beautiful brown. Well,—would you believe it?—when the pie came home it was burned to a perfect cinder-perfectly uneatable! And when I went to the baker to make my complaint, he just laughed in my face, and said, “You must really excuse us on this occasion, for every one's head seems turned with that wonderful book. I intrusted your pie to my oldest apprentice-a very careful young man in general; but it being in the evening, he got so absorbed in Uncle Tom's Cabin that he quite forgot your pie till the smell of it burning awakened the youngest apprentice who chanced to be sleeping on the baking table.' That was my introduction to that abominable book, Uncle Toni's Cabin. Well, the next of it was this. Mr. Gallacher and I were invited to the examination of a Sunday school. Not that we take any interest in anything of that kind : Mr. Gallacher and I are both of opinion that the dark places of the earth have been and will be the habitations of cruelty, for all that simple folk may think they can do for them. But there was a number of our customers interested in this school, so we had to give them a subscription. Of course we rubbed them off with as little as possible, but still we had to subscribe. So, when the examination of the school came on, we were both invited. Mr. Gallacher was not for going, but seeing that
we had given the money, I thought it best to go and let our
I selves be seen. So we went to the examination, and a very tiresome affair it was. Well, after all the classes had been examined, the teacher said that any of the patrons present might, if they pleased, put a few questions to the scholars. So I wanted Mr. Gallacher to put a question or two, but he said he would do nothing of the sort. He said he did not mind anything of the 'Questions.' Indeed, he said he did not mind what they were about at all; so I just stepped forward myself, and I asked a big, wiselike lump of a boy if he could answer me the simple question, 'Who made him?' And with that the boy folded his hands, and turning up the white of his eyes, in a droll, snivelling tone answered me, Nobody as I knows-I 'spect I grow'd.' Well, in place of being any way ashamed of the boy's ignorance, both teacher and scholars, and all the visitors, burst out into a roar of vulgar laughter, as if they were laughing at me. And what do you think? The teacher told me when I was leaving the school that the boy I had questioned was one of the most advanced scholars in the school, and had been so indignant at the simplicity of my question, that he had answered me in the language of that wonderful book, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Advanced scholars !—I'm thinking they'll be considerably further advanced before they get another subscription from me!
"Well, it was not many days after this fine examination, till I made arrangements to go to the coast to look for a house. I always like to go pretty early in the season, for if you go early, and meet with a timorous person who is afraid their house will not be let, and if you can persuade them that it is likely to stand empty, and make a judicious bargain, sometimes, by sub-letting the house, you can have your own salt water for nothing, and profit besides. This year I had made up my mind that I was to go to Kilcreggan, for I always like to go to the most