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'Twas morn; and while the sun's first smile awoke
An Eastern clime to life and loveliness,
There rose a Jewish Rabbi to fulfil
The duties of the holy Sabbath day.
Forth to a distant school he bent his steps,
Within whose old and venerated walls
The Hebrew youth were gathering, that he,
Their honoured teacher, might conduct their feet
To tread the paths of pleasantness and peace.
Few were the members of his scattered race
To whom the Rabbi's fame extended not;
But he, far dearer than his own renown,
Held three loved objects of his tend'rest care,
A gentle wife, and two young sons whose minds
Were now beginning to unfold themselves,
And show, like op'ning flower-buds, the stores
That lay enclosed within. Two sons; alas!
The flush of health lay glowing on their cheeks
That morn when, at the threshold of his door,
Their father kissed and blessed them,—but before
The sun attained a noon-day height in heav'n,
Fever had seized their veins, and rapidly
They withered in its burning hand away;
While she who prized them more than life itself
Received upon her lap each drooping head,
And watched, unaided, save by faith divine,
Her blossoms fading in their early bloom.
Lo, all was over now. The mother raised
Her tearless eyes to heav'n, and found the strength
She humbly sought for there. Then she arose
And bore the lifeless bodies of her sons
To her own inner room, where, on a couch,
She laid them tenderly, as if to rest.
Behold! her ear has caught her husband's step,
Returning to his home, and forth she goes
To welcome him! “Where are my sons ?” he cried,
And glanced all eagerly around. Thy sons
Have left thee, husband ;—they are gone to school."
“'Tis strange then," he returned," that I within
The schoolroom's bounds in vain have sought for them.”
Yet marked he not his wife's averted head,
Nor heard her smothered sigh. 'Twas evetide now;
And low upon the crimsoned west the sun
Stood, like a golden idol glittering
Within its jewelled shrine. The Rabbi gazed
Upon that scene of tranquil loveliness,
And watched the birds wing homewards thro' the air ;-
“The Sabbath wanes,” he cries; “ where are my sons,
That we unitedly may raise to heav'n

Our hearts and tongues in gratitude ?” “Rabbi,
They are not far away. Yet hearken first
To me. Long days ago there hither came
A wayfarer, who bore within his arms
Two caskets filled with priceless gems, which he
Confided to my watchful care. The trust
In truth was precious, and by night and day
With pride I guarded them. But now, alas !
The traveller demands that I resign
His treasures; say,--should I then withold them ?
“Art thou my wife ?” the Rabbi quick replied;
“And wouldst thou unlawfully retain
That which is not thine own ?" " I waited first
But thy consent, my husband. Come with me.”
She led him where their dead sons sleeping lay,
And with a gentle hand upraised the veil
That shrouded them. Instant the Rabbi burst
Into loud sobs and lamentations. “My sons,
My sons, dear sunlight of my fading eyes,-
Ye who about my heart entwined yourselves
Like creeper-plants that round a rugged stem
Cling blossoming,—why died I not for ye?"
Well had the mother stood the lightning stroke
That left her desolate ; but now she wept,
And beat her breast in agony of soul.
Then suddenly her voice arose and hushed
The Rabbi's sobs to stillness. " What, husband,"
She exclaimed, “wouldst thou restore those caskets
To their lender, and shall we not resign
Our precious ones to Him who gave them ? Lo!
It is the Lord; He giveth all in love,
And with a love as great at times
Sees also good to take away. Blessed,
For ever blessed, be His holy name.”
The Rabbi bowed his head submissively,
While the deep echo of his voice replied,
“ Yea, blessed be the Lord.” “Oh, wife,” he said
All fervently, “thou art indeed a gift
More precious far than all the pearls that hide
Their modest beauties in the ocean depths.
Within thy mouth is wisdom's dwelling place,
And on thy tongue the law of kindness bangs !"
The veil of night enshrouded half the world,
And the still moonlight like a glory fell
On two bowed heads,-for, kneeling by the couch
Of their dead sons, the Rabbi and his wife
Adored the Power who gives and takes away.

B. A. J.

Were but human beings always what they are in their best moments, we should already have on earth a kingdom of heaven.


THE EARLY ENGLISH CONVERTS. "OH PAPA," cried Emma Morton, throwing her arms round her father's neck, as she stood beside the easy chair in which he was sitting, - what a treat it is to be able to begin again our delightful twilight talks. Bob and I used to miss you so much when you were away."

Didn't we !" exclaimed Robert. “Papa, we shall never suffer you to go to America again.”

Nothing but the most pressing business, as you know, my dears,” said Mr. Morton, “would ever have taken me so far


from your mamma and you; and I sincerely hope I may not be obliged to leave you in this manner again. I am very glad, however, to hear that you have both been a great comfort to your dear mother; and, now that we have leisure to think of such things, I should like to know how you are getting on with your studies. Do you like history any better than you did, Bob?" No, father, not much; I hate to read of the quarrels of one king with another, and I do get so tired of battles and sieges and all that; I do wish history could be made more entertaining."

Why, Robert,” cried Emma, “ I'm sure you were deep enough the other day in the great thick pictorial history that is kept in the dining-room book-case; he was sitting, papa, with both his elbows on the table, just like that, and mamma spoke to him three times before he heard.”

A very sad tale to tell of him indeed," said Mr. Morton, shaking his head in mock displeasure; "and pray, Master Bob, what was it that interested you so deeply ?"

It was only because I just happened to open the book at something very entertaining -something that reminded me, papa, of the talks we used to have with you about Luther and

and the Reformation, This was an account of the way in which Christianity was first taught in England : a monk named Augustine came over from Rome, and

Oh, I know all about 'that!" Emma was eagerly beginning, when her father held up a warning hand.

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“Gently, love," said he, “let your brother speak first; you would not like, I know, to be interrupted yourself.”

"That's just Emma's way,” said Robert, rather pettishly; "she always thinks she knows better than

I forgot just then,” said Emma; “but indeed I do try not to be overbearing as you call it, papa.” And as her father bent forward to kiss her, he saw a tear glistening in her eye. “Only try, my dear child, and you'll succeed," said he. “Now Bob, my boy, go on with what you were saying; who sent Augustine, to England, do you remember?"

“ A pope, papa, a very good and learned pope, named Gregory; and the story I was reading says, that one day when Gregory was walking in the market-place at Rome, he saw some children standing there in order that they might be bought for slaves."

" What a shame!" exclaimed Emma; - What right had any one to sell them, I should like to know? I hope it made Gregory very angry."

“That the story does not say; but these children, you must know, didn't look like Roman children; they had fair skins and long light hair, and were altogether so pretty that Gregory stopped to look at them, and asked what country they came from ; and when he heard it was from England, (which was then looked upon as only a little insignificant island) he first began to think of sending a missionary there to teach Christianity to its inhabitants.”

Yes,” said Mr. Morton, “but you've forgotten one part of the story. When Gregory learnt that these beautiful children were English, (or Angles, as they were called) he exclaimed, " They would not be Angles but angels if they were but Christians;" and this led bim very naturally to think what a pity it was that so fine a people as the English should be left without any knowledge of the true Christian faith.”

“Had Christianity never been taught in this country before, papa ?"

“ It had, Emma, during the time that the Romans were masters of England; but when the Saxons gained possession of our island, they put down Christianity,



and brought in the worship—often the very cruel and bloody worship of their own false gods instead; but go on, Robert, what more have you got to tell ?”

Gregory,” continued Robert, “sent a monk named Augustine over to England, and there when he landed he was very well received. The king, whose name was Ethelbert, consented to hear him preach, and

It was his wife, most likely, who persuaded him to do that,” said Emma, “she was a French princess, and she had been a Christian already when she married Ethelbert.”

Had she? I forgot that,” said Robert; well, at any rate, the king was so much struck with Augustine's preaching, that he allowed him, and the priests who were with him, to go and settle at Canterbury. And that was not all either, for some little time afterwards Ethelbert consented to be baptised, and then a great many of his subjects were willing to be baptised too."

“ How glad Gregory must have been to learn that Christianity was spreading in England,” cried Emma.

"Yes,” said Mr. Morton, “his joy was so great that he immediately made Augustine archbishop of Canterbury. Can you tell me how long ago it is since Augustine arrived in England, Robert ?”

"Let's see,-it was in the year 600, so that makes it more than twelve hundred and fifty years ago ; what a number of changes have taken place since then, papa."

“Yes, indeed, my boy; yet amidst all these changes we find that the Christian religion has only become more and more prized and honoured. Let us be careful that we value it enough, and try, by our example at least, to make others love and value it too."

“Ah then, I suppose," said Emma thoughtfully, we should, in a small way, do good, like Augustine and other good missionaries. Papa,” she presently added, “ did churches and cathedrals begin now to be, built in England ?”

They did. Many of the heathen temples were, in the first instance, altered so as to be used as places for Christian worship; but there may still be seen, in different parts of England, the ruins of abbeys and cathedrals which were built at a period not much later than

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