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By the Rev. George EVERARD, M.A.,
Author of " Strong and Free,” &c.
were gathered for earnest and
coat-of-arms of a Scottish family in a stained-glass window in Glasgow Cathedral, and may be a helpful
thought for those who read this paper. Every day that passeth, Tells of love unfeigned,
Every hour that flies, Love that never dies. But another year begins, and here is the niessage it seems to speak to you : "Gang forward!” Don't look behind. Don't go back. Don't stand still. Don't loiter to pick up the flowers by the wayside. Nay, “gang forward,” my young friend, forward, uprard, heavenward, never tiring nor stopping to rest till your work is done and the goal is reached.
“Gang forward,” young friend, though hosts of difficulties lie in your path. You remember Israel by the Red Sea. The way seemed barred ; Pharaoh and his chariots behind, the waves of the mighty deep before. What is to be done? The Voice is heard : “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go FORWARD.” And beneath the overshadowing cloud, forward they went, and the shore was gained and the enemy was cast into the depths. You, too, may see troubles before and hindrances you cannot battle with, but let your face be Zionward, let your hope be in God, and all will be well.
“Gang forward” in searching for treasure in the gold-mine of Holy Scripture. I have heard of a settler in Australia who found a nugget of gold worth £700, though shepherds for years had walked over the spot where it was found. This coming year take the spade of meditation and prayer and dig into this precious field of God's Word, and you will find far greater wealth than gold and silver. Do not reckon the Bible a dull book, but study it regularly, and it will be a growing pleasure and delight to you.
Gang forward” in the knowledge and love of Jesus. Did you read the story of Joseph Sieg, and the way in which he saved 600 lives? He was an engine-driver in America, and the tender
took fire, and he was driven back into the next passenger compartment. But he soon perceived that the train was moving on to certain destruction. It was going at the rate of 35 miles an hour, and the fire was spreading, and soon the whole train would be in Aames, and it would be impossible for the passengers to escape. So he threw himself right into the flames, was just able to stop the train, and was found in the water-tank, his clothes all burnt off him, and shortly afterwards he died in much suffering. He died, but the passengers were preserved. And each one exclaimed, as the scene of danger was left behind, “He saved my life.”
We see in it all a type of the love of Christ. He died that we might live. He faced the fiery judgment which man's sin deserved, and thus saved all who trust in Him from death everlasting. Who can tell the depths of His love? Let us think of it more. Let us ask Him to show it to us by His Holy Spirit. Many of you know the love of a kind mother or father, of an affectionate brother or sister, but this love is far, far beyond all.
Jesu, my Lord, I Thee adore,
O make me love Thee more and more. “Gang forward” in kind words and looks and deeds. This coming year try to make all around you happier. See if you cannot every day do some one thing to lighten the burden of another or to add to their comfort. You may deny yourself a pleasant walk to let another go; you may spend a few pence for something to nourish some one who is ill; you may go and do a bit of work for some one who is worn out with toil; you may read a chapter to some one who lives near you; you may give a book or a card to some on their birthday; you may help a dull scholar with a lesson that is difficult. Some way or other “ gang forward” in making others brighter and happier.
“Gang forward” in self-improvement. In your young days do your very best; work hard while you are at school ; and if you have left, still go on to learn and to advance. Don't waste precious time. In play-hours throw yourself heartily into games, but at other times don't idle away the hours that will so soon be gone. Remember you are now sharpening the axes and the knives and the swords you will be using all your life; I mean you are preparing for the battle that lies before you by improving every faculty and power of your minds. Do it well and thoroughly; and whatever gifts you possess, lay them at the Master's feet, and ask Him to use them in His service.
In every way “Gang Forward !”
MILES LAMBERT'S THREE CHANCES.
Miles Lambert's Three Chances.
BY MARY E. PALGRAVE.
O on, Miles ! I say, go on! I'll
not stop here no longer unless
held his breath, and quite forgot to go on with the story of the Three Bears, while he struggled to make his clumsy pencil represent the beauties he felt so keenly.
“ There!” he cried at last, springing up from his knees. “Tumble down, Robin, as fast as you like; I can do no more to it.”
“Oh, Miles, I think 'tis very good! I should have known it for Robin anywhere, and you've done his hair so pretty,” said a girl behind him, who had been coming slowly up the garden path with a piece of knitting in her hand.
The boy had taken up his sketch, and was holding it out at arms' length, and looking at it in a very dissatisfied way. Those who really understood drawing would have seen even more to praise in the sketch than Margery did, for though rough and untrained, it was clever and powerful, and showed true artistic feeling in every line. To the artist himself, however, it was full of nothing but faults and failures, which his beauty-loving eyes showed him only too plainly, but which he knew not how to correct.
" 'Tis as bad as it can be, I tell you,” he cried roughly; “I know it ought to be different, quite different from this, only I don't know how to get it!”
He was just going, with a stamp of impatience and disappointment, to crumple up and fling away the unfortunate drawing, when Margery, who was used to such sudden attacks of despair, caught his arm and stopped him.
Now, Miles,” she said in a wise little soothing voice, “don't you be so silly, and go tearing up a nice bit of paper for nothing, like that! Come and show it to Mother, she's been very bad all day, and perhaps it will cheer her up a bit to see the picture you've been making."
She slid her arm into his, and led him away to the low grey cottage which lay at the bottom of the sloping garden.
An hour later Miles and Margery were climbing in hot haste one of the steep downs which, on all sides except the south, hemmed closely in the little hamlet where their home lay. Down there the sunshine had departed long ago, and the great shadow of the hill which shut out the western sky lay far up the opposite slope, but the high ground at the top, to which they were hastening, was still bathed in glorious sunlight, and from it they would be able to watch the sun setting behind the purple head of Creech Barrow.
They had done this every fine evening for years, these two, except now and then when Miles
The speaker was a little boy of six years old, who was perched in a very unstable way upon the loose flat top of a wall of roughly-piled stones, while his position was made
still more uncomfortable by a large sheep-dog sitting beside him.
Toby will go trying to jump down, and l’se so tired of keeping my arm round his neck, and you won't even go on with the story!”
There was a note of coming tears in Robin's voice, and his lips began to pout most threateningly.
“ Well—so presently the three Bears came home from their walk, and the great big Bear said—I say, Robin, look this way. Don't turn your head round like that, or I shall never get it right !-and so the great Bear said—the great Bear said
“ You've told that before,” cried the little boy on the wall. “ I want to know what the great Bear said, and if you don't go on, I'll jump down this very minute!” “No, no," shouted Miles, “I'll go on, if
'11 only be a good lad, and keep still just a little while longer."
Miles was kneeling on narrow, flagged path of a cottage garden, behind a wooden bench, on which was spread a sheet of coarse whitey-brown paper, such as grocers use to wrap up their parcels in. In his hand was a stick of charcoal. Not much of drawing materials these, you may say; but to Miles that piece of paper, begged from the farmer's wise up on the hill, was a rare and precious treasure, and had been saved up for many days before a subject he deemed worthy of it presented itself.
He bent over it now with flushed cheeks and eager, anxious eyes, as line by line he drew the child, and the great rough dog, and the smooth round lines of the down behind them, and the big stone on which he had chosen to perch his group. How prettily Robin's hair was blown out against the wind! And how well Toby's dark, shaggy head looked against his white pinafore! Miles
MILES LAMBERT'S TIIREE CHANCES.
“Oh, Miles, dear Miles, be patient, don't take on so,” pleaded Margery, laying her face lovingly against his arm, “there's plenty of time yet; just think how young you are.
When Father comes home and sees how beautifully you do draw, I'm sure he 'll manage”.
Margery,” broke in the boy, with a sudden change of look and tone, “ have you ever thought -has it ever come into your head-that perhaps Father never will come home?"
Margery stood quite still and silent for a minute, staring at him with her round grey eyes; then put out her hand with a piteous, imploring gesture, as if to ward off some heavy blow.
“.Oh, brother,” she cried, while the tears came
was kept too late at the quarries, and would not have missed it for worlds—Margery, because what made Miles happy made her happy too--Miles, because the beautiful colours of sunset and effects of evening light were a perfect feast to him. A glorious sunset was one of the few things that seemed to still his restless craving after beauty, and take him out of himself and make him look perfectly content. Margery liked to watch his face as he leant silently over his favourite gate and drank in the still beauty of the dying day.
But to-night even an unusually fine sunset was thrown away upon him. The spe!l for once had lost its power. He leant his arms on the gate and looked out westward, but watchful Margery very soon perceived that his thoughts were far away.
“ What is the matter, Miles?” she said at last; 'you are not really looking one bit!” Miles was silent, but the dark, moody look on his face deepened. “Do tell me," pleaded the little sister, anxiously. There must be something very much amiss if Miles did not even notice those lovely rose-coloured clouds and the deep orange glow beneath them.
But after all, it was only the old story; the same complaint that Margery had heard and had soothed so many times before; only rather louder than usual now, under the burden of recent failure.
Miles turned round abruptly and set his back against the gate.
“ 'Tis no use, Madge, I can't bear it any longer! I shall go off and beg my way up to London. I must be an artist! I must get some teaching! I will! I will!” A sob broke from him, and he shook his clenched fists passionately. “'Tis a shame I should be kept to the quarry work when I could do so much better. I've learnt all I can teach myself, and I may go on trying and trying for ever, and shall never draw one scrap better than I do now, without I have some one to help me!”
Margery grew quite pale with grief and sympathy. She had never yet seen Miles in such a taking.
"There's Will Stevens, down to Swanford, he's going up to London just for a holiday, and to see his grandfather! There's pictures and statues there, they say, as everybody can see for nothing as often as ever they like; but he'll never go nigh them! Why should he have such a chance, while I've got to stay here and work, work, work? I shall never see a real good picture if I live to be a hundred, I suppose! Why did God make me love drawing, if He's never going to give me a chance of learning it, I should like to know?”
it has come into my head sometimes that he has been very, very long gone, but I've tried to think it was only my fancy, and that nobody else was thinking such a thing.'
“Mother thinks so too; I know she does," said Miles, with a sorrowful shake of the head. “She's fretting for him night and day, though she tries to hide it from us, and it's that that's killing her. If he doesn't come soon, mother will die.”
Margery dropped down in a little heap on the ground, and hid her face in her frock to conceal the grief that was choking her. Vague fears of coming trouble had lain heavy on her heart for months; but to have them thus brought out and laid bare, and to find that others also were anxious and unhappy for the same reasons as herself, made it seem as if her forebodings were there and then coming true. And though, after the first shock, it might well be that she would find it a comfort to be able to share her troubles with somebody else, and not be obliged to fear and tremble alone, still, for the minute, it was almost more than she could bear.
Her sobs presently roused Miles from the load of anxious thoughts with which his own words had filled his mind, and he knelt down beside his little sister, and did his best to comfort her.
“Cheer up, old woman, it mayn't be so bad as we think, after all! 'Tis only two years come Michaelmas since Father went, and he was all safe and sound last Midsummer, when Captain Masters brought us that letter from him. Vessels are often away quite as long as this, and yet come home all right at last. We mustn't give up hope yet!"
But, though he spoke so cheerfully, the boy felt a gloomy foreboding that they might hope on and on, and find it always hope deferred ; and he could 5
PEEPS INTO WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
Peeps into Westminster Abbey.
BY EVELYN L. FARRAR.
scarcely keep down the sob which would have belied his words.
“ Come, Margery,” he continued, “do try and cheer up, like a brave lass, and let us come home. We mustn't let mother see you ’ve been crying, or she'll think we've heard bad news. Come along!”
With a tremendous effort Margery silenced her despairing sobs and scrambled wearily to her feet. How dark and dreary everything had grown ! The sunset light had entirely faded away, and masses of
steel-grey cloud coming up in the west. The little girl shivered from head to foot, and stood looking forlornly around her, wondering where all the light and warmth and colour had gone to, and why this had become such a dismal evening.
But Miles took her poor little quaking fingers in his, and suddenly, as she looked up at him, and felt how strong and warm and loving his rough hands were, her courage revived, and the colour came back into her cheeks. Why had she never known before how strong and tall and manly her brother was? She had only looked upon him hitherto as a companion and playfellow-a teazing one sometimes, or as a rather troublesome boy, whose great love of drawing and intense desire to be an artist made him every now and then very despairing and unhappy and difficult to manage ; but now it suddenly came home to her, in the midst of the dull sense of desolation which was weighing down her heart, that here was a protector for her, after all ! Her brother seemed, somehow, to have grown up into a man, all in a minute, since she had last looked at him.
“Oh, Miles," she cried, involuntarily, “how big you are! You can take care of us all.”
"If you will help me, Madge, I 'll do my best,” he answered steadily, with the new light of an honest and self-denying purpose in his boyish face; and, standing thus, with their hands tightly clasped together, the brother and sister made their half unconscious covenant to stand by each other, and to help each other to face the troubles and difficulties of life, which, before long, were to come heavily upon them.
“Come along, Margery; Mother will be wondering what has become of us,” said Miles, after a minute, in quite his ordinary manner, as he turned to go; and though, during their run down the hill, not another word passed between them, still Margery knew that she had found a friend and protector, and need no longer bear her burden of anxiety alone.
and girls are wandering about
is blowing so keenly outside, and they think they have found a capital play-ground. The elder ones walk about quietly, gazing up at the wonderful arches of the roof, and stopping now and then to try and
make out the inscription on some old monument. The little ones chase each other over the flat tombstones and jump down from the high window-seats. Even baby enjoys this strange gloomy place, and when some pigeon with brightlyburnished feathers flutters down from its nest in the deep-carved foliage of some pillar, and flies through the open window-frames on to the grass outside, she claps her tiny hands and laughs merrily. Ah, well, children's laughter is no strange sound in these old cloisters. Little voices have rung and little feet echoed within their walls many a time, since the boy-choristers of the monastery school lived and played here, hundreds of years ago.
But I can see one or two of the party are lingering round the west cloister door, looking wistfully into the Abbey itself. You would like to come in with me, children, I daresay. What! you are afraid of the old men in black gowns ? Oh, they will not mind our going in. The Abbey is open to every little boy and girl who is quiet and orderly Of course if people make a noise and forget they are in a sacred place, the vergers have to turn them out; but we are going to be very quiet. We are only going to look about us a little, at the many beautiful and interesting things to be seen in the Abbey. Come with me, then, through the nave and down the south transept. Look up, as you go, at the massive carved pillars, the delicate triforium arcade, and the high roof where the graceful arches meet like the branches of trees in a forest glade. Notice the richly-coloured stainedglass windows, glowing with crimson and blue. How grand and solemn it all is!
You would like to know some of the stories of the people who lie in the tombs all round us; something of the men whose statues we see, some standing up
PEEPS INTO WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
with outstretched arm, some lying as if asleep on their marble beds, some in armour, and some in long gowns? You want me to explain those inscriptions on the walls, written in such queer old letters that yon cannot read them ? Yes, you shall hear all about them, but not just now, for I want to tell you
of something else. Let us sit down on this bench facing Poets' Corner, where to our right, we get such a pretty view down the south transept, and let us talk about the early days of the Abbey, and the history of its foundation. We must go back to the Saxon times and about the year 616, in the reign of King Sebert, whose tomb you can see just inside the gates leading to the chapels of the Abbey.
London looked very different then to what it does now.
It consisted merely of a few houses clustered together on the tops of the clay banks above the river, and deer were hunted, fish caught, and corn grown on the spots where now stand handsome squares or rows of shops. Westminster was then a flat marshy ground, enclosed by streams, and so overgrown with thickets that it was called Thorney, or Thorn Isle. On this spot Sebert founded a monastery and built a little wooden church, which he dedicated to St. Peter, on the site of the present Abbey. There is a legend that St. Peter himself came to consecrate the church. A fisherman named Edric was fishing in the river one Sunday night, when the saint appeared, demanding to be rowed across to Thorney, which was flooded by heavy rains. Edric ferried him over, and St. Peter entered the church, which was immediately filled with a choir of angels and shone with a bright light. It was then consecrated amid the sound of angelic voices and the odour of sweet incense. The asto hed herman afterwards rowed back the saint, who rewarded him by a miraculous draught of salmon, bidding him never again to fish on a Sunday, and henceforth to bestow a tithe of his fish on the monks of the monastery. He also bade him tell the king that St. Peter himself had consecrated the church and that no further ceremony was needed. Next day the king and the bishop came to see, and found all the marks of the angelic consecration and the wax dropped from the angels' candles.
St. Peter's church then remained as it was, and gradually fell into decay till the time of Edward the Confessor, 1042, who was the last but one of the Saxon kings. I daresay you have heard about him before. He was called the Confessor from his great piety, which was such that after his death he was honoured as a saint.
His character was very
and beard being milk-white and his face smooth and rosy like a child's. His hands were long, white, and transparent, and were supposed to possess the power of stroking away diseases, especially that of St. Vitus' dance. Many stories are told of his miraculous gifts of healing. Once, it was said, a poor cripple lay at the palace gates, declaring that St. Peter had told him in a vision, he could be cured if King Edward would carry him on his back into the church. On hearing this, Edward, in spite of the taunts of his courtiers, lifted the cripple on to his back and carried him into the church, where he was instantly cured of his lameness, and walked away, hanging up his stool on the walls as a trophy.
Edward was most kind and generous to the poor, and often, to the dismay of his chamberlain Hugolin, would distribute the whole contents of his treasury among them. One night, while sleeping in his room, he was disturbed by a thief, who came two or three times to help himself to the gold in the treasure box. The Confessor watched him quietly for a time, but at his third entrance remarked, “ You had better go now, for if Hugolin catches you, he will not leave you a halfpenny.”