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The ANGEL IN THE House.—Light.
No bed of death, enduring Love attends,
No blasted flower
No battle word Startles the sacred host with fear and | dread. The song of peace, Creation's morning heard, Issung wherever angel minstrels tread!
Let us depart,
Shall bleed no more at sorrow's stern control.
With Faith our guide, White-robed and innocent, to trace the - way, Why fear to plunge in Jordan's rolling tide, And find the ocean of eternal day ?
THE ANGEL IN THE HOUSE.
THERE is an angel in the house. No matter how fallen the inmates, how depressed the circumstance, there is an angel there to pity or to cheer. It may be in the presence of alittle child, or it may be enclosed in a stooping and wrinkled body, treading the downward path to the grave; or, perbaps, in a cheerful spirit, looking . the ills of life as so many steps towards heaven, if only bravely overcome, and mounted with sinless feet. We knew such an angel once, and it was a drunkard's child. On every side, wherever she moved, she only saw misery and degradation, and yet she did not fall. Her father was brutal, and her mother discouraged, and her home thoroughly comfortless. But she struggled along with angel endurance, bearing with an almost saintly patience the infirmities of him who gave her existence, and then hourly embittered it. Night after night, at the hours of ten, twelve, and even one, barefoot, ragged, shawlless, and bonnetless, has she been to the den of the drunkard, and gone staggering home with her arm. around her father. Many a time has her flesh been blue with the mark of his hand, when she has stepped in between her helpless mother and violence. Many a time has she sat upon the cold kerb-stone
with his head in her lap; many a time C
known how bitter it was to cry for hunger, when the money which should have bought bread was spent in gin. And the patience that the angel wrought with made *. face shine; so that though never acknowledged in the courts of this world, in the kingdom of heaven she was waited for by assembled hosts of spirits; and the crown of martyrdom lay ready waiting for her young brow. And she was a martyr. Her gentle spirit went up from a couch of anguish—anguish brought on by ill-usage and neglect. And never till then did the father recognize the angel in the child; never till then did his manhood arise from the dust of its dishonour. From her humble grave he went away to steep his resolves for the better in bitter tears; and he will tell you to-day how the memory of her much-enduring life keeps him from the bowl; how he goes sometimes and stands where her patient hands had led him, while her cheek crimsoned at the sneers of those who scoff at the drunkard's child. Search for the angels in your households, and cherish them while they are among you. It may be that all unconsciously you frown upon them, when a smile would lead you to a knowledge of their exceeding worth. They may be among the least cared for, most despised; but when they are gone with their silent influence, then will you mourn for them as for a jewel of great worth-The British Work a n.
LIGHT. How much of the loveliness of the world results from the composite character of light, and from the reflecting properties of most physical bodies! If, instead of red, yellow, and blue, which the analysis of the prism and experiments of absorption have shown to be its constituents, it had been homogenous, simple white, how changed would all have been 1 The growing corn and the ripe harvest, the blossom and the fruit, the fresh greenness of spring and autumn's robe of many colours, the hues of the violet, the lily, and the rose, the silvery foam of the rivulet, the emerald of the river, and the purple of the ocean, would have been alike. The rainbow would have been but a pale streak in the grey sky, and dull vapours would have canopied the sun, in: stead of the clouds, which, in the dyes of flaming brilliancy, curtain his rising up and going down. Nay, there would have been no distinction between the blood of the children, the flush of health, the paleness of decay, the hectic of disease, and the lividness of death. There would have been an unvaried, unmeaning, leaden hue, where we now see the changing and expressive countenance, the tinted earth, and gorgeous firmament.
CALVIN IN SEARCH OF A WIFE.
CALvin (says Professor De Felice, in a recent letter) had an affectionate heart, capable of strong attachments; but his natural disposition was reserved and austere. He would have regarded it as a weakness, perhaps an act of guilty pride, to draw frequent attention to himself, his sentiments, or his personal concerns. He avoided expressions of warm feeling. “His soul, absorbed by the tragic emotions of the struggle he maintained at Geneva, and by the labours of his vast propagandism abroad,” says M. Bonnet, “ rarely revealed itself, and only in brief words, which are the lightnings of moral sensibility, revealing unknown depths, without showing them wholly to our view.” No wonder that i. De Bure remained half concealed, the more so as she only lived a few years, and no children remained of their marriage. Yet, among Calvin's letters are found interesting notices of this woman, who was certainly worthy of the illustrious man that had offered her his hand. During his youth Calvin had no thought of contracting the bonds of matrimony: he could not, indeed, be married. Hunted by implacable persecutors, with no house in which to repose his head; forced to hide himself sometimes in Angoulême, sometimes in Balé ; preaching from place to place, and celebrating the Holy Supper in the depths of woods, or in caves: besides, occupied day and night in composing his book on the “Institutions of the Christian Religion,” which was intended to plead before Francis I, the cause of his brethren who were condemned to frightful punishments;–how could he wish to be married ? Would he have acted wisely to have aggravated his evils by domestic cares, and to call a wife o: the half of so heavy a burden? In August, 1536, Calvin became professor and pastor at Geneva. #..
acquired a home; but still his labours were great. He had to struggle against the men called “Libertines,” who, after breaking the yoke of Romanism, abandoned themselves to the grossest licentiousness. They viewed the Reformation as a license to disregard all laws, human and Divine. These Libertines occupied high offices in Geneva. They were in the councils of state, and had behind them a disorderly populace. Calvin saw that the precious interests of the evangelical faith were jeopardised; he lifted his voice with invincible energy against the Libertines, and refused to receive them at the holy table, exposing his blood, his life, to the discharge of his duty. Certainly this was not the moment to seek a wife. He was banished from Geneva by the Libertine party in April, 1538; and having been invited to Strasburg, was appointed pastor of a parish of French refugees. There for the first time, marriage seems to have occupied his thoughts; or rather, his friends particularly Farel, tried to find for him a wife and good companion. In a letter addressed to Farel, in May, 1539 (he was then thirty years old), Calvin sketches his ideal of a wife. “Remember,” he says to his friend, “what I specially desire to meet with in a wife. I am not, you know, of the number of those inconsiderate lovers who adore even the faults of the woman who charms them. I could only be pleased with a lady who is sweet, chaste, modest, economical, patient, and careful of her husband's health. Has she of whom yo have spoken to me these qualities? . . . . If not, let us say no more.” Another letter to Farel, dated February 6th, 1540, shows us Calvin eluding skilfully a proposal of marriage. “There has been named to me.” he says “a young lady, rich, of noble birth, and whose dowry surpasses all I could desire. Two reasons, however, induce me to decline; she does not know our language (she was of Alsace, a German province); and . I think that she is too proud of her birth and of her education. Her brother, endowed with uncommon piety, and blinded by his friendship for me, so as even to neglect his own interest, urges
me to the choice; and the wishes of his
WORDS OF THE WISE.
wife seconded his own. What could I named Idelette De Bure. She was a do? I should have been forced to widow, and all her time was spent in yield, if the Lord had not drawn me training the children left by her first from my embarrassment. I replied husband, John Storder, of the Anathat I would consent, if the lady on her baptist sect. She was born in a small part would promise to learn the French town of Guelders, in Holland. She language. She had asked for time to came to the capital of Alsace as a place reflect.. . . ."
of refuge for victims of persecution. The plan was abandoned. Calvin The learned Dr. Bucer knew Ideletto had foreseen it, and congratulated De Bure; and it was he, apparently, himself on not marrying a lady who, who recommended her to Calvin's atwith a large fortune, was far from pos- tention. sessing the requisite simplicity and Externally, there was in this woman humility. This correspondence con- nothing very attractive. She was enfirms what history relates of Calvin's cumbered with several children of a character. He was eminently disin- first marriage; she had no fortune; terested. A large dowry was a small she was dressed in mourning; her thing in his eyes. Of what importance person was not particularly handsome. was it to him to have a rich wife if she But for Calvin she possessed the best was not a Christian? This is the same of treasures, a living and tried faith, an man who refused all the pecuniary upright conscience, and lovely as well offers of the Sovereign Council of as strong virtues. As he afterwards said Geneva, and hardly left wherewith to of her, she would have had the coupay the expenses of his funeral—the rage to bear with him exile, poverty, paltry sum of fifty silver crowns. death itself, in attestation of the truth.
A second proposal of marriage was Such were the noble qualities which made. The lady in question had not won the reformer, any fortune, but she was distinguished. The nuptial ceremony was performed for her virtues. “Her praise is in in September, 1540. Calvin was then every mouth,” writes Calvin to Taul, thirty-one years old and two months. in June, 1540. So Calvin requested his No pomp in his marriage, no ill-timed brother Anthony, in connection with rejoicings. All was calm and grave, other friends, to make proposals of as suited the piety and gravity of the marriage. Unhappily, he learnt some married pair. Two of the Swiss contime after something unfavourable to sistories sent deputies to Strasburg to the young lady's character ; he with attend ; a striking mark of their attachdrew the proposal, and wrote sadly ment and respect. to his colleague, “I have not yet found a companion : is it not wisest to abandon my search ?” Thus he was discouraged by these fruitless attempts, and seemed WORDS OF THE WISE. to give up the prospects of marriage, as if the sweets of this union were not The masterpiece of knowledge, is to know made for him. It shonld be remarked | But what is good, from what is good in that, though he possessed manly firm
-F. QUARLES. ness in questions of Christian faith, Knowledge descries alone; wisdom applies. and though capable of giving his life
-Ibid. for the cause of truth, Calvin was Brave minds, opprest, should, in despite of timid and reserved in little things of fate, common life. “I am," he somewhere Look greatest, like the sun, in lowest state. says, “ of a shy, bashful disposition ;
-Ibid. I have always loved quiet, and I seek The swelling of an outward fortune can concealment. I know that I am na Create a prosp'rous, not a happy man ; turally timid, soft, and pusillanimous." A peaceful conscience is the true content,
He preferred to remain a bachelor, And wealth is but her golden ornament. lest he should be ill received by the
-Ibid. young ladies whom he addressed, or Johnson thought that the happiest life not make a good choice. An unex- was that of a man of business, with some pected incident changed his resolution. literary pursuit for amusement ; and that There was in Strasburg a pious lady in general no one could be virtuous or
happy that was not completely employed. “Be not solitary, be not idle.”—BURTox.
The formation and steady pursuit of some particular plan of life, has justly been considered as one of the most perfect sources of happiness.-MALTHUs.
Nature has sown in man the seeds of knowledge; but they must be cultivated to produce fruit.—LoRD Collingwood.
RELIGION Not SELFISH.—The first act God requires of a convert is, “Be fruitful.” The good man's goodness lies not hid in himself alone; he is still strengthening his weaker brother. I am persuaded to be a means of bringing more to heaven is an inseparable desire of a soul when in a right state. Good men wish all they converse with in goodness to be like themselves. How ungrateful he slinks away who dies and does nothing to reflect a glory to heaven' How barren a tree he is that lives, and spreads, and cumbers the ground; yet leaves not one seed, not one good work, to generate after him I know all cannot leave alike; yet all may leave something answering their proportion, and kind. Withered and dead are those grains of corn out of which there will not spring one ear. The physician who has a sovereign receipt, and dieth unrevealing it, robs the world of many blessings which might multiply after his death; leaves this conclusion to all survivors, that he did good to others only to do himself greater. Which how contrary it is to the Gospel, and the nature of Christian love, I appeal to those minds where grace has sown more charity. I doubt whether he will ever find the way to heaven that desires to go there, alone. They are envious favourites who wish their king to have no loyal subjects but themselves. All heavenly †† are charitable. Enlightened souls cannot but disperse their rays. I will, if I can, do something for others and for heaven—not to deserve by it; but to express myself, and my thanks. Though I cannot do what I would, I will
labour to do what I can.—Owen Faltham's Resolves, 1636. How MUST I DISPOSE MYSELF ON THE LoRD's DAY 2–Avoid all servile work, and expend it only in such actions, as tend to the sanctifying thereof. , God the great Landlord of all time, hath let out six days of the week to man to farm them; the seventh day he reserves as a demesne in his own hand; if, therefore, we would have quiet possession, and comfortable use of what God has leased out to us, let us not encroach on his demesne. Some Popish people make a superstitious almanac of the Sabbath, by the fairness or foulness thereof, guessing at the weather all the week after.” But I dare boldly say, that
from our well or ill-spending of the Lord's "
Day, a probable conjecture may be made, how the following will be employed. Yea, I conceive, we are bound (as matters now stand in England) to a stricter observance of the Lord's Day, than ever before. That a time was due to God's service, no Christian in our kingdom ever did deny; that the same was weekly dispensed in the Lord's Day, holy days, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, some have earnestly maintained. Seeing, therefore, all the last are generally neglected, the former must be more strictly observed ; it being otherwise impious, that our devotion having a narrow channel, should also carry a shallow stream.—Fuller's Wounded Conscience.
The fountain of content must spring up in the mind; and he who has so little knowledge of human nature, as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove.—Johnson.
When once infidelity can persuade men that they shall die like beasts, they will soon be brought to live like beasts also.SouTH.
* If it rains on Sunday before mess, It will rain all the week more or less. —Popish Rhyme.
several of the London and provincial weekly papers:– “Canton, Oct. 10, 1856. “My dear Sir, When I last wrote
Foreign Mission, who, with the view|you in the middle of July, I and
of giving it a wider and earlier circulation than we could do, inserted it in
my companions had just been robbed in our lodgings at a village about six
ARREST of THE REv. w. c. BURNs, IN CHINA.
teen miles from Swatow. The following day one of my companions returned to Swatow with my letter, and to obtain a fresh supply of books and money, while my o Christian companion and I went forward, as we intended to the town of Tang-Leng, about six miles farther on. We were without money, but, God provided support for usins way that was new to me. The
people who took our books gladly con
tributed small sums of cash for our support, and the first day we thus collected enough to keep us for two days; a countryman also, going the same road, volunteered to carry our bag of books for us—it was heavy for our shoulders, but easy for his, and he said he would want no money, but only a book. Thus the Lord helped us in going forward on his work, instead of turning back to Swatow for help. At Tang-Leng we were very well received. In the neighbourhood there are two native Christians, converted in connection with the American Baptist Mission in Siam, and who, though they are leftmuch to themselves, seem to follow the Lord in sincerity. With these we had much pleasure in meeting on the Lord's Day, and at other times. A heavy and continuous fall of rain detained us at Tang-Leng for some weeks without our being able to do much abroad; and, at last, on Monday, August 18th, we left this town, intending to return to Swatow. Our course, by water, leading us to within five or
six miles of the Choan-Chow-foo city
(chief eity of the Choan-Chow department), we agreed to pay it a visit; but fearing lest we .. give offence to the authorities we determined, instead of living on shore, to make the boat which conveyed us there our head quarters while we remained. On Tuesday, the 19th, we went on shore, and were particularly well received by the people; the demand for our books among persons able to read them was unusually great. In the meantime, however, an alarming report of the presence of a foreigner outside the city having been carried to the authorities, we were, in the evening, suddenly arrested in our boat, and, with all our books. &c., taken prisoners into the city. The same night we were examined Publicly by the district magistrate, and after the interval of a day we were
examined anew, by a deputy (I suppose) of the Chee-Foo, or chief magistrate of the department. On these occasions my companions and myself had valuable opportunities of making known something of the Gospel, and of the character and objects of Christ's disciples in China; and as there was a great demand for our books, the work of many days seemed to be crowded into one or two. The magistrates examined us with great mildness and deliberation, seeming anxious to obtain information rather than to find fault; and on the evening of the 21st, the day of our second examination, a sub-official was deputed to inform us that the magistrates found we had been arrested on a false report, and that if the Canton merchants at Swatow, or any of them, would stand security for us, we should be allowed to return to that place. The Canton merchants (through whom the trade in foreign vessels is carried on at Swatow), on being written to, came forward in the kindest manner with the document required; but in the meantime, it appears, the magistrates had reflected that having once arrested a foreigner, confined and examined him, they could not according to Jaw, or with safety to themselves, give him up to any other than a foreign consul, and so I was told that I should be sent to Canton. On Saturday, the 30th, I was put on board a river boat, and carried about a mile above the city. , Here we remained till Tuesday morning, when being joined by a number of officials, high and low, in all occupying four river boats, and going to Canton, some in connection with my case, and some on other business, we at last commenced our journey. I was provided with a servant, and with whatever food I wished, at the expense of the government, and had I been well, and had with me a good supply of Christian books, I might have enjoyed the journey much. As the case was, my books were nearly all gone, and as to my health, a slight cold which I had caught before coming to the city, had through excitement, etc., taken the form of an intermittent fever, with chills (ague), which, violent at first, continued more or less during all my journey. Our course lay first up the Choan-Chow river, against a rapid stream, through Ken-ying-chow, and