Page images
[ocr errors]

Of course, this was a great humiliation to Peter, “ Thou's a foolish fellow,” replied Rowntree. and all the more that it was said in the hearing of “Thou'll not find it easy to get a shop like the one the whole shop. He thought, moreover, that thou's in. Besides, thou'll want a character; and every body seemed to enjoy it rather than other- what sort of character does thou think thou would wise, and it might be so; for Peter was by no get if thou were sent off; aye, or if thou took thymeans a general favourite.

self off, just now?" To make the matter still worse, the foreman took Peter could say nothing in reply to that ; for, from Peter another piece of work of the same kind, with all his pride, and with all his conceit of his saying, it was plain he could not be trusted with it. skill as a workman, he could not help feeling that

Peter was very angry; and he was just about to his friend was right. give utterance to his wrath, when he was checked “ Then,” continued Rowntree,

“ thou's always by a glance from one of his fellow-workmen, George spouting that stuff about a man being a man for Rowntree, who, it so happened, had greater in a' that.” fluence with him than anybody else in the shop. “Stuff!" said Peter; “it's a great sentiment."

That, by the way, was somewhat remarkable, “The sentiment may be grand enough,” replied considering the kind of man Rowntree was. He Rowntree; “but I tell thee that as thou uses it was an honest, outspoken Yorkshireman, a total- there's neither grandeur nor common-sense about abstain and a true Christian-in almost every- it; and I'm fair sick of hearing it. If thou would thing the very opposite of Peter. Peter, however, just try to be a man, instead of for ever telling us could not help respecting him for his straightfor- thou is one, there would be some reason in it." ward honesty; and, besides, he had before this had A man!” said Peter, drawing himself up to good reason to know that Rowntree regarded him his full height, “who says I am not a man ?” very kindiy.

“Thou's big enough to be a man,” replied There was no opportunity for Rowntree saying Rowntree, " and thou can sometimes talk big anything just then; but he was quite sure it enough for half-a-dozen; but I'll put it to thyself, would not be long before Peter went to see him if thou is not doing a lot of things which have not and talk over what had passed. He was right. a bit of manliness about them ?" He had scarcely finished his tea the same evening Well, what ?” asked Peter, somewhat indigbefore Peter entered his house.

nantly. Rowntree led the way into his little parlour, and “I saw thee last night,” replied Rowntree,“ Sunthere the two sat down together.

day night, though was, and I heard thee; but I I tell you what,” burst out Peter, as soon as don't think thou saw me. It was about fifty yards they were by themselves, “I am not going to from the Rose and Thistle. Thou would have stand this kind of thing any longer. To think tumbled into the gutter, if one of thy fellows, who of Powell talking to me like that an upstart was almost as drunk as thyself, had not propped fellow, who has wheedled the governors into thee up; and thou was singing about a man being setting him up above better men! And before the a man for a' that. Now, to my mind, thou was a whole shop, too! I may be poor, and I may have vast deal less than a man: for a man who has made a mistake now and then; but ‘A man's a drunk away his senses is hardly a man. And then man for a'that.'”

thy drink costs money-the money thy wife and “I was very sorry for thee, Peter," said Rowntree; children ought to have to make them comfortable; “and I'll not deny, that if only half as much had and instead of spending it on them, thou goes and been said to me, I should have hardly known spends it on the drink that makes thee little better where to put myself. But thou knows, as well than a beast. Now, I ask thee if there is aught as I do, that thou deserved all thou got. Thou that's manly in that ?” would never have made that mess of the job if Rowntree said all this straight out; but he said thy head had not been muddled by yesterday's it so kindly, that Peter could not be offended. drink. Then, too, thou had not the sense to hold “ Then,” continued Rowntree, “this is a kind of thy tongue. Thou may be thankful Powell did thing that nearly always goes on from bad to not turn thee off at once."

worse; and if thou goes on drinking only a bit Peter was a good deal disappointed; for he had longer, I tell thee frankly I shall have very little expected far more sympathy from his friend. hope for thee. Ah, Peter, it would be the manliest Rowntree, however, knew very well that there was thing thou ever did, if thou would only make up something which Peter needed far more than thy mind to give up the drink and stand to it; sympathy, and that was a bit of straight, plain and let me tell thee thou'll never be a real man talk, and he resolved to give it him.

till tlou does." But Peter was by no means inclined as yet to They had some further talk on the subject, and confess himself in the wrong, and he replied, de- at length Peter said, “Well, l'll try.” I'he first fiantly: "Well, who cares? Let him turn me off, time for many a month, his place at the Rose and if he likes. I suppose I could find another shop Thistle was vacant that evening; and we are glad somewhere or other."

to say that he has never filled it since.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



“But, Peter,” said his friend, “mind this; al- who had done the work, asking her to be kind though I am certain thou will never become a true enough to call. She did so, and the circumstances man, unless thou gives up the drink, that of itself were explained to her. She was a kind Christian won't make the one. There's many a fellow who lady, who, amongst other good things that she did, never touches a drop of drink from year's end to took a special interest in all efforts which sought year's end, who is not much of a man after all. the deliverance of those who had fallen beneath Only the Lord Jesus Christ can make us the men the slavery of drink. When she heard how sorry we ought to be.”

Peter was, she said she would gladly undertake tu And Rowntree was right. We don't deny that restore the damaged portions of her work, and also there may be a great deal that is noble and manly that she would ask her friend for whom the present about men who do not believe in the Lord Jesus was intended to excuse the delay. Peter, too, Christ; but, there is no manhood like Christian begged to be allowed to do his own part of the manhood. For see what faith in Christ does for a work over again, without any additional wages; man. Through the power of the Holy Spirit it and he never did a better job in his life, and asked makes him “a new creature," delivering him from that he might be permitted to take it to the lady's all vile passions, and filling him with an earnest house himself. love for everything that is good and right. Then Since then Peter has stood firm, and there is not the Gospel sets before him the noblest example, a steadier workman in the shop. It is even said, that of the Lord Jesus Christ; and besides, it that if Powell should leave-and there is some binds him by his love to the Lord Jesus, to follow likelihood of it-he has a good chance of getting after everything that is “honest, and lovely, and his place ; but that remains to be seen. of good report.” Even beyond all this, it promises There is something better still: Peter goes to him the grace of the Holy Spirit, that he “may regularly, every Sunday, to the House of God, grow up into a perfect man, unto the measure of and he takes his wife and children with him. the stature of the fulness of Christ.” There is no In regard to that, we may say, that his friend telling what a man, even the feeblest may become, Rowntree was just a little disappointed; for be is if he will only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. a Methodist, and he thinks there is nothing in all

Peter knew very well that he had not heard the the world like Methodism, and he would have last of his spoilt work, and that the foreman would liked Peter to go with him to the Methodist chapel. have no alternative but to mention it to the heads But Peter found in the town a church of the same of the firm; and the question was what was to be order as that which he had attended in Scotland, done.

and he preferred going there. Any little disap“Tell them honestly how it happened,” said pointment, however, which Rowntree might have Rowntree," and tell them how sorry thou is; and in regard to this, soon passed away. say that, if they will pass it by, such a thing shall “It does not much matter," he said to Peter, “ never happen again, because thou's determined not only thou's a Christian ; and I hope thou is one. to touch another drop of drink.”

Besides, as it is the thing thou was accustomed to Peter was wise and manly enough to take his when thou was a lad thy father's and thy friend's advice; and though his employers were mother's religion—they'll maybe keep hold of much grieved, they consented to give him another thee better than we could bave done." trial. He found, moreover, a friend in an unex- And who will deny that there was a good deal pected quarter. A message was sent to the lady | in that ?


[ocr errors]



and to offer the prayer of Stephen, “ Lord Jesus, An old clergyman once said, “ When I come reeeive my spirit.” “For Thou hast redeemed me, to die, I shall have my greatest grief and my O Lord God of truth.”Ibid. greatest joy-my greatest grief that I have done

A penitent and believing sailor said, “To save so little for the Lord Jesus, and my greatest joy such a sinner as I am, He shall never hear the last that the Lord Jesus has done so much for me."

of it.” We are apt to forget that praise is well Dr. Marsh.

pleasing to God. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth THE HOUR OF DEATH. Me." And St. Paul states the same :

By Him With reference to the hour of death, I have also let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God conoften thought I should like to have the humility tinually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks of the publican, “ God be meriful to me, a sinner,“ | to His name' (Hebrews xiii. 15)."Ibill.

[ocr errors]


JOHN i. 38.

WHERE dwellest Thou? They could not tell

Half that their heart was full of then : The sun was low, and all the dell

Was full of groups of restless men. They longed for further talk, and now

His courteous manner led them on : The glow of Heaven was on His brow,

And in His eyes its promise shone. A voice is crying in their heart

In words they could not hear before :" It is to Him you may impart

This burden you can bear no more."

The story holds me: and I tell

Each word, repeating, to my heart. I too would know where Thou dost dwell

I too would act the scholar's part. O Master! where, in this our time,

Colder and shallower, dost Thou stay? In cities, or where distant chime

Rings out an l in the quiet day? I too would find Thee, for I know

Full well that all my peace is there, To be Thy scholar, and to go

With Thee, submissive, everywhere.

[graphic][merged small]

They are too reverent to be bold,

Yet far too earnest to be still; 0 happy hearts! for Love doth hold

Already thought and heart and will.
He turned and beamed with glowing eyes :

They saw a hero in His face:
His kindness holds them in surprise ;

His smile makes sunshine in the place.
They go together down tle glen,

They spend with him the mellowing day; But when those two come back again,

They know the old has passed away. The Day-spring from on high had come,

The day-star rose and glittered fair : A glory lights them to their home,

For all has changed since they were there.

I know Thy wisdom is the best,

Better than learning's living voice : My heart has proved the unerring test,

And made, I trust, the unchanging choice. Bear with me! foolish in the tone

Of wandering questions: I know well The humble heart and pure alone

That is the home where Thou dost dwell. O for that happiest heart! secure,

Amidst all changes, of its rest: O for that happiest spirit ! sure,

Amidst all blessings, of the best.
Come, Greatest One, and stoop again

To lowly haunts, Thy lov'd abode:
Turn not away from foolish men,
But pitying, make them sons of God.


[ocr errors]


H Emother knew her boy, and when she heard recent remarks of this character she would say, cele- “Never mind, he is self-willed now, you br a- will see it turn out well in the end.” tion Never was prophecy more truly fulfilled. of the In his

his subsequent parliamentary Jubilee of the career, in which he so bravely fought

Emancipation the cause of the oppressed slaves, he of the slaves in recognised the result of his mother's the British co- training. “I constantly feel,” he wrote

lonies, recalls to her from London, “especially in the memories of the workers action and exertion for others, the effects in that great cause, among of principles early planted by you in my

whom Fowell Buxton was mind.” prominent. He was born at Castle As he was likely to inherit considerable Hedingham, in Essex, on the 1st of property in Ireland, his mother sent him April, 1786, but the stories of his early to complete his education in Dublin. childhood clearly show that he was no He had learnt little or nothing at " April fool."

When he was six years school. When the prospect of going to old his father died, and he seems at college opened before him, he gave up once to have risen to a sense of his desultory reading and shooting, and responsibility in a family of five, where made everything bend to his determinathere were two little brother and sisters tion not to be behind any of his comyounger than himself.

One who knew panions, and he soon recovered lost him well said of him, "He never was ground. As might have been predicted, a child, he was a man in petticoats." the young student, not then eighteen, Wordsworth’s oft-quoted line, “ The child came off successfully after his examinais father to the man,” was never more tion, and tells his mother with delight, literally true. The remarkable deter- that as far as he could ascertain, he was mination of purpose to carry things to a the first Englishman who had gained successful issue was manifested in his a premium at the Dublin University. almost infantile years. He was sent to During a tour in Scotland in one of his school, first at Kingston, and then at vacations, taken in company with the Greenwich, but the education for life- family of Joseph Gurney (father of the work which he received in his holidays celebrated Elizabeth Fry), who resided under his mother's care left a far deeper at Earlham, near Norwich, he became impression upon him. To that gifted increasingly interested in the subject of mother he owed much that he afterwards religion. He purchased a large Bible became. Her great desire was to give with the resolution, steadfastly kept, of her sons a deep regard for the Holy Scrip- reading a portion every day. And he tures, and a lofty moral standard of action. remarks, under date September 10th, The strong character of Mrs. Buxton was 1806, that quite a change had passed reproduced in her son Fowell " for worse over his mind with regard to reading the and for better.” He describes himself as Holy Scriptures. "Formerly,” he says, having been in his boyhood of “a

daring, “I read generally rather as a duty than

I violent, domineering temper.” But the as a pleasure, but now I read them with

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

great interest, and I may say, happiness." his recovery, he says, “It would be diffiHe visited Earlham as often as possible cult to express the satisfaction and joy I during his college career, and an attach- derived from it. Now know I that my ment formed on the first day of their Redeemer liveth,' was the sentiment acquaintance with Mr. Gurney's fifth uppermost in my mind. In the merits of daughter, Hannah, ripened into an en- that Redeemer I felt a confidence that gagement, and they were married in made me look on the prospect of death May 1807. In the year 1812 his brother- with indifference. No one action of my in-law, Joseph John Gurney, insisted life presented itself with any sort of conthat he should give his aid in the second solation. I knew that by myself I stood meeting of the Norwich Auxiliary Bible justly condemned, but I felt released from Society.

the penalties of sin by the blood of our This was his first address at a public Sacrifice. In Him was all my trust." meeting, and is thus described. “His “I feel a joyfulness of heart," he said speech was distin

to his doctor, guished by its

“ which would enacuteness and good viline today

a ble me to go sense, as well as

through any pain. for the Christian

“From faith in. temper in which it

Christ?” he was was delivered." Who will

itu sinode asked. “Yes, from About this time

faith in Christ. It is we find the religious

an inexpressible impressions, to

favour beyond my which reference has

deserts. What have been made, taking

I done all my life a firmer hold on his

long? Nothing, soul, and he attri

nothing that did butes the clearer

God service, and for views of gospel

me to have such truth, which he then

mercy, shown! My received, to his at

hope," he added, "is tendance the

to be received as one ministry of the Rev.

of Christ's flock, to Josiah Pratt, in

enter heaven as a Wheeler Chapel,

little child." A day Spitalfields. Thirty years afterwards he or two afterwards he said "I shall never wrote to this honoured friend, “What- again pass negligently over that passage ever I have done in my life for Africa, in the Prayer-book," We bless Thee the seeds of it were sown in Wheeler for Thine inestimable love in the redempStreet Chapel.” In 1813, he was attacked tion of the world by our Lord Jesus by an illness which brought him to the Christ," and he broke forth into thanksbrink of the grave. It was a memorable giving for the mercy, “the unbounded, period in the history of his spiritual the unmerited love" displayed towards life.

His mind, which had previously him in having the Christian doctrine been harassed with doubts, clung hence- brought home to his heart. From this forth with a tenacity which could not be well-spring of love and gratitude to his shaken to the reality of the Christian Saviour issued that intense devotion to faith, and the “omnipotence of prayer.” His cause, which bore him up in after Alluding to this wonderful change after life amidst much opposition, and many



« PreviousContinue »